When we ask: How can I help peace prevail in the world, the very nature of the question suggests that we are drawing a division here between ourselves and peace – and presumably to the world as well. There is me here and peace or non-peace there and somehow both take place in the world. Peace is supposed to happen out there, others are supposed to provide peace – after all, I didn’t start the war! What do I have to do with it? I am clearly only the victim of the actions of others!

Buddhism, however, is different. Here it is said that everything is mind. Somehow difficult to understand. Presumably, however, on closer examination we can see that there is at least nothing that happens without the involvement of mind. Like the effect controls on the mixing desk, it takes over the final mixing of the acoustic signals transmitted by the ear, the selection of the color filters for everything that is visually perceived. Conversely, without exception, every word, every action is preceded by a mental moment in the form of an idea, an emotion or an impulse, however small and therefore often barely perceptible. 

The underlying pattern, quasi the sound setting or the light effect, we have created ourselves: Through imprints in our mental continuum, laid out in countless previous incarnations. They literally force us to perceive the world as we do: if we have imprints for war, we cannot perceive peace and vice versa. So the basic solution to the problem is to eliminate the imprints for war through appropriate practices and not let new ones arise. 

Every morning before we leave the house (or perhaps even better before we meet our partner…..) we can say to ourselves, “I connect with my fundamentally good Buddha nature and ask for intelligent spiritual guidance. May I thus dwell in a balanced state that enables me to meet other sentient beings with patience, love, compassion, tolerance, and flexibility. Being mindful of our actions, words, and thoughts helps us to keep reminding ourselves of this resolution. First, just for today. And again tomorrow. And again the day after tomorrow……

Granted, this probably won’t result in Putin and other ‘warlords’ having a eureka moment and saying, “Soldiers, back home to wife and kids!” (then again, who knows?). But it will hopefully lead to more inner peace over the imprints that are then laid, regardless of what’s going on out there in the world right now. 

By Christian Kiefer
One of Nalandabodhi’s Karunikas, written in response to the war in Ukraine


Explore More Posts


Trusting in Conflict

In the idealized sangha, everyone joyfully comes together and shares study and practice space. It is beautiful. However, what of the pain of community and the challenges we face together?” Stephanie Mikolaj asks. “Can there be a place for pain and conflict in this precious jewel, and can it in fact strengthen our bonds to one another?

Read More >

Death, Dying and Living: Tools for the Path – Starting October 29, 2023

“When we truly know that with every ending, there is also renewal, we begin to relax. Our minds become open to the process of change. We feel we can actually touch reality and are no longer afraid of death. We can learn to live well and fully now, with the understanding that death is not something apart from life.”

Nalandabodhi New York offers an online series of highly interactive conversations about incorporating Buddhist teachings into living a more joyful life and experiencing a better death, drawing instructions from a variety of teachers, including Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche’s book Mind Beyond Death.

Read More >

Not Even a Middle – Path of Study Course Online (Mahayana 303) – NB Akasha – Starting Oct. 2023

At first, turn away from non-virtue,
In the middle, dispel misconceptions of self,
Finally, go beyond all philosophical views—
One who understands this is wise indeed.
(Āryadeva, Four Hundred Verses, 8.15)

Madhyamaka is the supreme view that goes beyond all views. Nalandabodhi Akasha offers a Path of Study Online Course to bring us closer to conceptual certainty and non-conceptual glimpses of understanding.

Read More >