Peace Begins with Me

Enzo is the main character in Garth Stein’s book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. “Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs).”

Enzo (or Ensō, both are correct) is also the name of a Zen circle, a Buddhist symbol that represents infinity, “no-thing.”

For me, that symbol translates to simplicity, minimalism, a meditative state, and enlightenment which I define as “Recognizing that we are all connected, then consciously living that realization—our thoughts, words, and actions an unshakable reflection of that understanding.”

Zen is an enlightened state of mind. It’s also a way of being—living. As we close 2017 and look to writing the pages of a new year, my mantra is “Peace begins with me. Right here. Right now.”

Will you please join me?

Incidentally, The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of my all-time favorite books. If you haven’t read it yet, please carve out time and gift yourself with the opportunity. You’ll be glad you did.


60 thoughts on “Peace Begins with Me

  1. Laurie, I’ll join you with that mantra! I can sense the calm from just the short words here. I’ll look out for the book; I’m intrigued and value your recommendation. Happy Boxing Day! 😀😀

  2. YES!!! This year for so many of us witnessing the effects of chaos worldwide, it is CLEAR how vital and urgent our efforts towards creating a more peaceful planet can only begin with each of our own efforts. Not only will I join you with making this my mantra, additionally I am determined to practice and share “peace actions” with you as I have found this to be the missing link that facilitates change and choices…………….since my mentor instilled my permanent mantra “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing” and I am forever grateful.

    • Lisa — It’s so good to hear from you. When I was on my short writing getaway, I thought about you on your extended getaway.

      I love your term, “peace actions” and will definitely be putting it into practice.

  3. At my Catholic high school, we would sing this song (see a couple verses below) at mass assembly. It also became a folk song with the God references in some verses edited out.
    I am happy to say this is a belief and mantra I’ve carried with me since then. I will certainly join you and others here in holding and living this belief. We need it more than ever. The book sounds wonderful, thanks for the tip.

    “Let There Be Peace on Earth”
    Jill Jackson and Sy Miller
    The UM Hymnal, No. 431

    Let there be peace on earth,
    and let it begin with me;
    let there be peace on earth,
    the peace that was meant to be. …

  4. That is also one of my favorite books, Laurie. I believe in your mantra, and will do my very best to practice it, however I cannot promise I will not rant about things when the stupidity of some in our world overwhelms me.

  5. I absolutely loved The Art of Racing in the Rain, Laurie, and who wouldn’t fall head-over-heels for Enzo! How lovely to learn that his name also has such a beautiful Zen connection. I can think of no more beautiful commitment for the coming year than to live the belief that, “Peace begins with me. Right here. Right now.”

  6. I will join you Laurie! Peace begins with me. Right here. Right now. I did a painting not so long ago that is a meditation on peace. I believe and experience a decidedly strong ripple effect from a sustained focus on peace for days on end as we go about the regular activities of living. Thanks for calling it and putting your stake in the ground!

  7. Happy Boxing Day, Laurie! I love your mantra and we should all try to live a peaceful existence. It is so much work not to be peaceful. They say, pick your battles and I know what is meant but I would rather not have any battles. Peace be with you for 2018!!

  8. Love this, and I join you Laurie. Wishing you and all your blogger friends and peaceful, loving and blessed 2018.
    BTW, Your into photo shows a woman in front row, left side who looks so familiar to me. Wish I knew who she is.

  9. Laurie, I have received the message loud and clear! I will make the attempt to immerse myself in the Peace of the Season (now that the wildness of Christmas has settled) and let myself be filled with the Grace of the Christ Consciousness. Wishing for your and yours all the glorious Blessings of the New Year!

  10. With pleasure Laurie.

    Like much of Buddhist thought, this symbol seems to me to hint at infinite depth, infinite recursion, the need for boundaries, yet the need for gaps, then senses of recurrence, renewal, and the creative.

    It seems that all distinctions have both power and can be traps that capture our attention and prevent us from distinguishing the subtle differences. Yet distinctions are needed for us to make any sense of anything.

    Finding that balance, where one can make some sort of sense, and stay open enough to distinguish new things, seems to me to be something of the art of peace, the art of Zen.

    Peace seems to involve acceptance of depths beyond comprehension, acceptance of eternal ignorance, acceptance of responsibility to do the best we can with what we have (including all of our uncertainties) with all our many fallibilities, acceptance of others as they are.

    Wishing you and Len and family all the best for the new year.

  11. One of my favorite books also. Yes Peace for the word of 2018. My friend Virginia also adds and “no guns”, To that idea and Jo adds “economic justice “ then we sing a round about love. (Tallis canon). About 43years weekly – yes a good word and idea

  12. I am with you , no problem . Everything crossed and eyes closed …my new candle lit and the book you suggested in the bag . Love to you and yours .
    👍❤️ Cherrryxxx

  13. I also love the book you mentioned…it’s right up there with Ishmael on my list of animal/philosopher books. And this is a wonderful post for the beginning of a new season, on many levels. Thank you!

  14. Laurie – I most certainly will hold this mantra for 2018. “Peace begins with me. Right here. Right now.” Love it – thank you.

  15. Gm dear I am waiting for this moment eagerly and welcome you from the bottom of my heart .its true that the way you crave for knowledge your thirst will be quenched here.Its a place full of ancient glory and you make it as soon as you can .

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