The first step to bringing peace is not to try to eliminate all external hostile forces, which is impossible anyway, but rather, to work with our own mind. If we tame our mind, we will enjoy true peace, as if we have pacified the whole world. Shantideva writes,
Untamed beings are as unlimited as space.You will never be able to overcome them all.Yet, if you could simply overcome the hatred in your mind,You will find that it is as if you have overcome them all.How can you possibly find enough leatherTo cover the earth?But if you could just wear leather sandals,You will find it to be as if you have covered the earth.In the same way, you will never be able to changeAll external objects.But if you change your own mind,There is no need to change anything else.
Excerpted from World Peace Begins in Your Mind, by Tulku Thondup.
This article was originally published in the April-June 2007 issue of Dharma World.