Sunday, April 19, 2009

Peace Vigil Class Starts Tuesday

On Tuesday, April 21 Master Teachers Tony and Linda Somlai will be holding a class covering Tony’s latest book, Peace Vigil: Living Without Hesitation. The class is being held at the Original Root Zen Center in Racine, WI. Doors will open at 6:30 PM with the class starting at 7:00PM.

The goal of this book is simple, to achieve a state of world peace within our lifetimes. Ok, once you stop laughing and catch your breath, the real focus of the class and book is simple, to give us the tools to live simply and peacefully with those around us.

The book itself is 108 passages and exercises. Each one starts with a single word that is the focus. It is followed by the concept, presented as a poem or verse. This is followed by the heart of the teaching, typically only one or two sentences. Then comes a more verbose description of the problem and solution with everyday examples that illustrate the topic. Finally there is the exercise. The exercises will ask you to do something on your own or with someone else. They may ask to think about things that have happened and have you take a different look at them. They may ask you to pay attention to something during the day or bring focus to certain actions.

The class itself will go more into discussions on the concepts and expand on how we can apply what is in the book in our everyday lives. If you enjoyed the book, then you owe it to yourself to check out the class.

I remember a teaching that Tony gave years ago, I’m pretty sure that I am butchering it, but this is more or less the idea behind it:

Most people mistakenly say that the opposite of war is peace. This is incorrect. The opposite of war is “not war.” It is incorrect to think that not fighting is peace. Not fighting is just that, not fighting.

Peace is action. It is making the effort to understand, to love, to hope, to help, and to work together. Peace is about building community with all of these. This effort starts at home, with your neighbors, your block, your street, your city. Very few people can even achieve the first two. World peace? Ha! I will be happy with world at “not war” and strive for peace on my block. If enough people get together and start from here, eventually those blocks will connect…a person can dream, right?

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