Thursday Tidbits: The Art of Peace

This week’s Thursday Tidbits is the Bloggers for Peace monthly post, specifically the art of peace.  The art of peace begins within ourselves and radiates outward into every relationship we have, in particular those relationships that for one reason or another are askew or gone awry.forpeace6

To renew a relationship begins with intention, although to re-open our heart is often difficult. That is why the art of peace begins within, for when we are at peace with ourselves is when we re-connect to serve all.

In order to start, Pema Chödrön maintains it is not such a great effort to once again establish a relationship that serves, if we will just consider that a commitment we once made is now broken.


It means we have to let go of the story we’ve been telling ourselves–the why, the what, the how, or who– and just acknowledge “…that we hardened our heart and closed our mind, that we shut someone out. And then we can retake our vow. On the spot—or as a daily practice—we can reaffirm our intention to keep the door open to all sentient beings for the rest of our life” (Pema Chödrön).

Everyday life, no matter how we approach it, is a practice that requires patience, especially when we do not seem to notice any progress within ourselves or within the world.

There are four emotions that never involve the ego—compassion, gratitude, joy, and love—these four ways have many other names including the four agreements of Don Miguel Ruiz that ask us to be “impeccable” in our speech, not to take whatever occurs personally, to be present in all we do so we are not assuming anything about anyone for when we are present, we are doing the best we can.

The art of peace is available to us in every moment we have for each moment is free from any attachment to what has been or what might be. That we affirm our intention to be the best we can be and live with true compassion for ourselves and others in every moment is what keeps peace always within our grasp. It begins with being present.


“That’s the training of the spiritual warrior, the training of cultivating courage and empathy, the training of cultivating love. It would be impossible to count the number of beings in the world who are hurting, but still we aspire to not give up on any of them and to do whatever we can to alleviate their pain” (Pema Chödrön).

In alleviating that pain we must remember the key to the art of peace: the idea of serving rather than helping or fixing anyone or anything. It is only in serving that we view ourselves and our connection to all life as whole, not broken or weak.

When we are clear in our intention of serving, we are open to what is available for all of us. The art of peace is a celebration of the diversity that makes up the whole, an acknowledgment that uniqueness is necessary for completeness.

Here are links to other Bloggers for Peace and their consideration of the art of peace:

Kozo Hattori: Art Thou Peaceful 

Bodhisattva In Training: The Art of Peace

Grandma Lin: May Post for Peace

The Seeker: Peace is Like a River

Caron Dann: Recreationist Theory

Card Castles in the Sky: Float Upward

One of my favorite combinations of the art of lyrics, music, and painting is this well-known video featuring the music and lyrics of Don McLean and Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings.

Thursday Tidbits are weekly posts that offer choice bits of information to celebrate our oneness with one another through our unique perspectives. It is how we connect, how we have always connected but in the 21st century, the connection is a global one.

26 thoughts on “Thursday Tidbits: The Art of Peace

  1. Another fantastic post – and so true! Humanity never will have peace until we individually discover how to let go – of abstracting ourselves and of finding happiness in ourselves. A hope for the world.


    1. Thanks so much, Matthew, and as you say, if we will just begin with ourselves, imagine the change in the world. We make it so complicated. Really appreciate your kind words, Matthew.


  2. Karen,
    I love your take on “the Art of Peace.” You took it to a whole new level. Somehow I had forgotten about the Four Agreements, thank you for reminding me. Your posts are so full of wisdom from Pema Chodron, Don Miguel Ruiz, Nature, and, of course, Karen Huber. The combination is greater than the parts. It is in a sense art. Thank you for sharing. {{{hugs}}} Kozo
    p.s. Love the song, but I haven’t heard it in a while. Thanks for the flashback.


    1. Hello, Kozo!
      Those Four Agreements help me so much, especially when I want to take something personally or when I am sloppy in my word. Thank you for such praise but mostly, thank you for Bloggers for Peace. Who knows how much is changing because you decided to challenge all of us. Hugs, my friend.


  3. Great post, Karen and I especially connected with the section that reminds us to remain patient with everyday life. Too many times I find myself frustrated by thinking I haven’t made any progress until I look back and think how differently I would have handled something say, a year ago. I think our progress quietly creeps up on us; just another reason to stay the course. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Hey, Stephanie!
      As you say, our progress does “creep up” on us so it is a good think to look back at our awareness. We are always surprised. Thanks so much, Stephanie.


  4. Gorgeous post. Guess what, I found Pema Chodron’s book (The Places that Scare You) on my own bookshelf this past week-end (after searching for it in second-hand bookstores for months). I had it myself all along! Hmmmm. I must be ready to read it now, right? (Did you ever find “Way of the Peaceful Warrior?”) I loved the video too…


    1. Hi, Rufina!
      It does sound as if now is the time for you to read The Places That Scare You. That kind of synchronicity has happened to me many times with books. And yes, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior is on my reading list, and your question was quite timely as I had been considering it so thanks! So glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by.


  5. Oooh. Cara and I just took an afternoon break and watched the video. Thank you for posting it–one of my favorite artists, that Vincent. Thanks, too, for the reminder of what service is. I just came from a home where I wanted to “fix”. That is not the calling. It is to serve–love expressed without expectation. 🙂


    1. Hey, Deb!
      Isn’t that video just the finest? Both the music and art seem to be timeless, as the Seeker said in a comment below. Like you, my initial reaction is often one of “fix” but I am getting better at less reacting and more responding.


    1. Hi, August!
      Always great to have you drop by and glad you enjoyed the post. All in all, I am doing quite well these days. Hope all is well with you and yours.


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