Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details

Divided within ourselves

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 It’s a week of moving through, and being moved by, remembrances of war:

 WWII relics at the National Archives. A riveting exhibit of photograph “portraits” of war at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. My first visit to the overwhelming enormity, and silent power, of the Vietnam War Memorial.

 A tour of the headquarters of the Red Cross helped me understand its roots – it exists because the first Nobel-Peace Prize winner, Swiss businessman Henry Dunant, was so overcome by emotion at the sight of the unattended wounded on an Italian battlefield that his subsequent efforts led to both the Red Cross and the Geneva Convention.

 It was a battlefield a fraction of the size of the area I’ll tour today at Gettysburg.

 All week, my thoughts have turned to all that ‘Abdu’l-Baha said when he visited the U.S. in 1912, that it’s time for a whole world to understand what the Dalai Lama has summarized in this way:

IMG_0546At the end of a talk, the Dalai Lama was asked: “Why didn’t you fight back against the Chinese?”

He looked down, swung his feet just a bit, then looked back up and said with a gentle smile, “Well, war is obsolete, you know “

Then, after a few moments, his face grave, he said, “Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back … but the heart, the heart would never understand.

“Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind, and the war would be inside you.”

Artwork courtesy of Nelson Ashberger.


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