- "Some people think it's a miracle to walk on water.
I think it is a miracle to walk on the earth in peace."
- - Thich Nhat Hahn.
- Most people know who Cindy Sheehan is. Most people have
read how this incredible woman has taken the tragic loss of her son, Casey,
who died in Iraq for a war based on lies, greed and corruption, and turned
it into a mobilizing heroic effort. Cindy has transmuted violence into
peace by example. Whether she is a Democrat or a Republican becomes irrelevant.
Whether she is a Catholic or a Buddhist becomes irrelevant. Cindy is more
than a label; she is greater than that. She has taken an "unspeakable"
event and given everyone a mirror in which to reflect. How many of us have
the courage to look?
- Recently, Cindy gave a speech at Riverside Church in
New York City. Reflecting on that event, she said:
- "In a speech I delivered at the Riverside Church
in NYC on the one year anniversary of Casey's death, which was also the
37th anniversary of MLK Jr's death, I said: we must all do one thing for
peace each day. I now know that is not enough. We must live peace and embody
peace if we want peace on earth. Our entire lives must be for peace. Not
just one activity a day."
- I saw Cindy Sheehan in the audience at a lecture I attended
at The Ethical Culture Society in New York. After the lecture, I, and many
others, went to greet her; to thank her, to hug her. The admiring throng
was honored to be in her presence, to "touch the robes of a Master",
to share the same space with someone who, indeed, "walks the talk".
- And yet, how many people truly understood what they were
feeling as they greeted Cindy? How many people merely intellectualized
her words and her behavior and returned to their lives unchanged; lives
peppered with hatred, anger, cruelty, and violent words.
- While the intellect rules the planet and emotions are
twisted and distorted, misused and abused, Cindy's words will remain merely
"words". The intellect cannot grasp who she is or hear beyond
her words. Cindy is talking about a way of life. Cindy is talking about
a moment to moment experience. Cindy Sheehan is a personification of the
heart, and the heart is the one organ which remains covered in our culture.
- This woman has been misused by people who hang on a fragment
of what she is and what she is saying. For these people, she becomes a
wonderful platform upon which to build their vitriolic rants. Her actions
get distorted into fuel for the personal fires of their rage.
- It is time for all of us to stand naked in front of the
mirror. It is time to throw away the defensive layer of flesh which keeps
us out of touch with reality. It is time to throw away the drugs and the
cigarettes and the booze. These are merely props in the play of self imposed
isolation. They are keeping us isolated from our true nature. We cling
to them as we cling to a lover. And though, they may temporarily blur the
pain, the pain is always there. Why do you fear it? Why don't you get to
know it? Why don't you go deeply into it? Stop running from it. Embrace
it. Befriend your pain, your loneliness, your shadow nature, and, if you
have the courage, you may become an authentic being. If you have the courage,
your words will no longer ring hollow. Your life will become an example
for everyone. You will have learned why you admire Cindy Sheehan.
- We are a great deal more than we think we are. Do not
be so quick to believe that reality is only what you can touch and taste.
Do not get caught in the illusion of the three dimensional world. Do not
dismiss the power of thought. Do not become an unwitting agent of your
own destruction. Do not believe that your angry words, spoken under the
guise of "peace", and your unkind actions to "the least
of your brethren" do not affect the entire world. Do not dismiss my
words as you reach for another cigarette. Do not dismiss the ancient wisdom
because your eyes cannot see over the belly which you stuff to numb the
feelings you are afraid to confront.
- It is time to stop the violence.
- Yesterday, I stood on a street corner with a group who
was protesting the war in Iraq. A man called an obscenity from a passing
car, and one of the "peaceniks" hurled an invective at the passing
motorist. She laughed at her comment which had attacked the size of his
manhood. Do you see the irony? Do you see the hypocrisy?
- "We must live peace and embody peace if we want
peace on earth.
- Our entire lives must be for peace." -- Cindy Sheehan
- Copyright 2005 Judy Andreas