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A Path to Relief from Anxiety

Right now, the news is filled with reports of intense discord between polarized groups, particularly in the United States, unstable political conditions, as well as vociferously expressed opposing opinions on COVID-19, leading to more divisiveness. If we are experiencing the effects of these conditions personally, the question may arise, “What is the remedy for this level of angst that I hold about these human events and the state of affairs?”

The book “Living Buddha, Living Christ”, written by Thích Nhất Hạnh and Elaine Pagels, written in 1995, has particularly pertinent words of insight at this moment in human history. Certainly, these words on the benefit of meditation offer one path toward relief of our anxiety:

“Our capacity to make peace with another person and with the world depends very much on our capacity to make peace with ourselves. If we are at war with our parents, our family, our society, or our church, there is probably a war going on inside us also, so the most basic work for peace is to return to ourselves and create harmony among the elements within us—our feelings, our perceptions, and our mental states. That is why the practice of meditation, looking deeply, is so important. We must recognize and accept the conflicting elements that are within us and their underlying causes. It takes time, but the effort always bears fruit. When we have peace within, real dialogue with others is possible.”

Excerpt From: Thích Nhất Hạnh & Elaine Pagels. “Living Buddha, Living Christ 20th Anniversary Edition.”