Peace is impossible to those who look on war. Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace. How easily, then is your judgment of the world escaped. It is not the world that makes peace seem impossible. It is the world you see that is impossible.
-A Course in Miracles (Opening Quote, Meditations from the Mat)
Day 283 – Throughout my day as a teacher, it is not uncommon for me to hear a student say, “I can’t do this,” or “I don’t know how to do this,” or even, “I don’t care.” Too often I hear a coworker share concerns about students as “He/She doesn’t do anything,” or “He/She can’t read,” or “He/She can’t write.” I, too, have uttered all of these words, no less human than my students or coworkers. And I get it. We all have to squeeze grades out that demonstrate state standards or predict tests. Yet, the same words that create impossibilities, also create opportunity. And when we take the time to find out why, the world transforms.
As Rolf relates, “we each have within us the ability to bring an end to violence,” so to do we have it within us to use our words nonviolently to create possibilities. Rolf shows us that having this ability means that violence or words of impossibility in our midst makes it our responsibility. Further, he shows us that “pranayama is a profound step in this transformation [as we]…are intentionally bring peace to the waters of our minds.”
The world off my mat is a scary place and I feel all sorts of violence more acutely, but Rolf reminds us that one of the fundamental teachings of yoga is that “if you encounter a person who is established in nonviolence, you will give up violence in that person’s presence.” So it is. Continued practice daily, both on and off the mat. For what else is there to do but practice as if peace and love are inevitable?