icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Diane Dreher's Tao of Inner Peace Blog

Ripples of Peace for Our World Today

The Tao Te Ching tells us:


Follow the Tao,

Cultivate its ways,

And find yourself at peace.


And yet, sometimes peace is hard to cultivate, hard to find. This week I've been shocked and saddened by all the disheartening violence in the news. There is so much suffering in our world today. It can make us wonder what we can do, how we can cultivate the peace we long for.


The prayer of St. Francis asks us to be "instruments" of divine peace. We can begin by tuning our instruments to a higher key with a metta or loving kindness meditation.


To try this, put your hand on your heart and take a long, deep breath, slowly releasing it. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply as you say silently to yourself:


May I be filled with loving kindness.

May I be well.

May I be peaceful and serene.

May I be happy.


Now send metta to someone you love, visualizing that person as you say silently:


May you be filled with loving kindness.

May you be well.

May you be peaceful and serene.

May you be happy


You may choose to send metta to a difficult person in your world. If you do, visualize this person as you say silently:


May you be filled with loving kindness.

May you be well.

May you be peaceful and serene.

May you be happy


Then reach out to send metta to all sentient beings, saying silently:


May all beings be filled with loving kindness.

May all be well.

May all be peaceful and serene.

May all be happy


Feel the peace flow from your heart in a powerful ripple effect to begin healing the world, for as the Tao tells us:


Cultivated in your soul,

The Tao brings peace to your life.

Cultivated in your home,

It brings peace with those you love.

Spreading to friends and neighbors,

It brings peace to your community.

Spreading through your communities,

It brings peace to your nation.

Spreading through the nations,

The Tao brings peace throughout the world.

How do I know this?

Because it begins with you and me.

                                   Tao Te Ching, Chapter 54

Be the first to comment

Where Are You Not at Peace?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Many of us are at war with ourselves and one another.  Our days are filled with stress We spend our days in competition, confrontation, and frustration, driven by the fear that we're "not good enough." With our politics divided, environment imbalanced, and future uncertain, we wrestle with each new set of challenges and each new crisis on the daily news.


Yet the timeless wisdom of the Tao Te Ching offers a simple, transformational path to peace. Instead of waiting for the latest self-help celebrity or political leader to save us, the Tao asks us to take mindful responsibility for our lives. Through a shift in attitude, we can begin experiencing greater peace right now. Then, as our vision expands to reveal the larger patterns, we can bring greater peace to the world around us, one step at a time.


Where are you not at peace? Do any of these statements sound familiar?

  •  I'm not at peace in my body. It's too fat or too thin, too short, too tall, too young, too old. It breaks down, knots up in tension, gets tired, stressed, run down, and sick. I feel anxious, conflicted, and powerless.
  • I'm not at peace in my career. It's filled with demands, deadlines, mindless routine, obnoxious people, and one problem after another. I feel stressed, nervous, trapped, angry and fearful or bored and unfulfilled.
  • I'm not at peace in my relationships. I can't be myself with the ones I love. I feel obligated, trapped, bored, dominated, manipulated, anxious, and off-balance.
  • I'm not at peace in my finances. I'm worried about money, overwhelmed by bills and obligations. There's never enough to go around. I feel anxious, fearful, and insecure.
  • I'm not at peace with myself. My life is filled with compulsive working, eating, shopping, drinking, or drugs to fill up the emptiness inside. I feel frustrated, guilty, and confused
  • I'm not at peace with my world. I'm filled with anxiety and mistrust, seeing people from a different race, religion, or political party as enemies. I'm afraid of the future, seeing our country, economy, and environment deteriorating. I hide behind busyness, numbness, or cynicism, feeling powerless to make a difference.


Now choose one difficult area of your life to begin transforming into greater peace.


  • First, remember a time when you felt a deep sense of peace and oneness—in communion with nature, meditation, involvement in a creative process, or a special time with someone you love. Take a deep breath as you recall that experience.
  • Say to yourself, "Breathe in Peace" as you breathe in that deep sense of peace and oneness, flowing like a relaxing wave through your body. Breathe out any fear, confusion, insecurity--whatever has been troubling you. When you feel more relaxed, affirm to yourself, "I Now Live in Peace."
  • Think of that difficult area again. Only now see it transformed into greater peace and harmony. How would it look like and feel like? Ask yourself, "What is one small step I can take to move toward this vision of peace?" Could you get more information, consider your options, call a friend, do something you've wanted to do but keep putting off, sign up for a class, begin a mindfulness or exercise practice, write or call your congressional representative, volunteer for a cause you believe in? How can you follow your heart to step out of the shadows and into the light? See yourself taking that step, affirming to yourself, "I Now Live in Peace."
  • Then take that step, creating a new positive momentum with the wisdom of Tao which tells us that:


A tree that reaches past your embrace

Springs from one small seed.

A building over nine stories high

Begins with a handful of earth.

A journey of a thousand miles

Begins with a single step.      


                            Tao Te Ching, Chapter 64

Be the first to comment