SHALOM & THE SERENITY PRAYER — SUFFERING & HEALING

Shalom, Hebrew for peace, is a term which continues to arise in my consciousness.  I have written about it before, in general terms as regards healing and as a mantra meditation.

Recently I have come to realize how closely connected it is with the famous Serenity Prayer. Adopted by many 12 Step Recovery groups, it may have been authored by Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. 

Its brilliance is in its truthful simplicity .  God, grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

It would be valuable for all of us to speak its truth each morning and each evening. 

How much of our own suffering is the result of our negative thinking?  How much of our lives is filled with worrying about the future, or kicking ourselves over our past mistakes ?  How often do we seek to control others, even our own futures–only to suffer from the realization that this is often impossible.

Acceptance of what we have no power to change is the key to alleviating much of our suffering.

Shalom is what we seek for ourselves as well as others.

It IS another name for serenity.

Shalom is being present in the moment, being mindful of only what exists now, not consumed by fear and worry about that which we have  no power to control.

We know that ultimate peace, shalom is as difficult to achieve as nirvana.  Yet we also know that without shalom we cannot enjoy the gift of life that surrounds us.  We are victims of our own pessimistic thoughts, our anxiety, depression, frustration. 

We cannot be at peace–shalom until we recognize this truth.  We also must understand how shalom is healing.  Our body craves shalom.  Our immune system functions best under shalom. Our blood pressure and cardiovascular system are at peace.  Our digestive system is as well.   Our interpersonal relationships bloom under shalom.

So in addition we can come to Shalom for peace, for self-forgiveness, for spiritual connection, for healing.  The meditation is simple. Either silently, or in a whisper,  repeat  " SHA"  on the in-breath then "OM" on the out-breath.

Note how "OM" is a universal spiritual vibration.  "SHA" is as well.

As you meditate, visualize peace and serenity and, at least for a while, bathe in its healing energy.

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