OM SHANTI is a Sanskrit (yoga speak) term for ALL PEACE. I am always aware when I use the word OM in my teaching or spot it. OM means ALL - like not just SOME peace - ALLLLL. OM means everything. It’s how I see God as all powerful, all present and all knowing - Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient - that’s OM. So OM SHANTI really means PEACE everywhere and in everything.
That’s a tall order! Looking around at the world and even right in my community, there are times PEACE seems impossible to find. However, believe it or not, if I keep looking I can always find some remnant. I used to think of peace as quiet sometimes and it’s actually quite the opposite. There’s a verse in the book of Isaiah I love - it says “I will extend to her PEACE like a river.” So, when I think of a river I think of white water rafting - of which I am NOT a fan. The river is wild and rocky and can throw you all over the place, it’s also LOUD! So - peace actually calls out loudly in the situations that seem to throw me up against a rock - that’s peace like a river! It is exactly the kind of peace I need, a peace that shouts to me when I feel fear. It is simple really and simply does not mean easy.
If I am unable to find peace in outside circumstances, the loudest sound I can always tap into is the sound of my breath inside - a peace that flows loudly the more I turn it up. In yoga, the breath is called Ujjayi - which means VICTORY. How fabulous is the idea of finding a win inside when I can’t on the outside - inner peace like the eye of the storm is available. Even just pausing and taking a deep breath is one of my best tools to calm me down at home, in traffic, reading the news, you name it. There’s a scene in the book of John where Jesus is comforting others before He parts and He says “PEACE be with you.” Then the text says, “He BREATHED on them.” There is a peace beyond my understanding in this world, as close to me as the breath inside of my body, everywhere I go, in ALL things. Keep seeking your definition of lasting peace, we all need the reminders!
Om Shanti and Namaste, peacemakers. xx
- Amy Hanner Morris