Alternate First Reading: Thich Nhat Hanh Reflection

A reading from Thich Nhat Hanh from his spiritual reflections on War and Peace.

Peace is something that we can cultivate in our daily lives. It is possible to cultivate
peace in every moment of our daily lives, while we walk, while we talk, while we sit.

I know that peace is made of two elements. The first is understanding and the second
is compassion. Cultivating peace means cultivating understanding and cultivating

Every time we go back to ourselves we have the opportunity to do the work of
cultivating peace.

Every time I breathe in or I make a step I have an opportunity to go back to myself and
become fully present in the here and the now.

We know very well that the cause of terrorism is fear and wrong perception. I don’t think
that the bombs and the guns can identify the cause of terrorism. I don’t think that the
military force can remove the wrong perceptions; in fact, they can strengthen these
wrong perceptions.

The only way to remove wrong perceptions is to establish a dialogue. The two
instruments that you need to use to restore communication are deep listening and
loving speech.

A reading from Thich Nhat Hanh.