This morning while I was heading to give a lecture to the Prenatal Yoga Teacher Trainees, I noticed many people on the street - mostly women but also some men - carrying olive branches in their hands.
I remembered that it was Palm Sunday, Cvjetnica in Croatian - the day people go to the mass to get their olive branches* blessed by the priests, to be then brought in their homes as a symbol of peace and protection. The olive branch rappresents the peace since the time of ancient Greece and is found in most cultures of the Mediterranean basin. It became associated with peace in modern Europe and is also used in the Arab world. The dove with the olive branch rappresents the Holy Spirit – the highest form of consciousness we can aspire to - yes, in this life, in this body.
I caught myself thinking – how ironical is that? How many of those people with this ancient symbol of peace are actually aware of its true meaning? And how many of us are LIVING that peace right now?
How cool would it be if we would carry that symbol only when we'd get to know that inner peace, or even better – what a wonderful world it would be if so many people on the streets, as I’ve seen today, would actually live the peace, instead of carrying around just a symbol of it?
Living the peace doesn’t mean not arguing with each others, or leaving the others in peace.
Living the peace is living the whole life from that centerness within, without judgement, attachment, anger, blame, guilt…
Living the peace is gracefully accepting ourselves and the others as they are.
It’s being One in our actions, words and thoughts.
It is living the live through that sense of gratefulness, connected to the sacred fire of our hearts.
It’s knowing our truth, our true nature.
It is living Love.
Moments like that expand our consciousness and change the world. We change the reality of wars, hate, fear of every-day-life just by our quiet presence. We become messengers of peace just by example. We smile and look the people on the street in the eyes, and their hearts recognize our hearts and they smile back to us.
So we can aspire to that peace, instead of the (empty) blessing of the olive branch. We can shed the old and aspire to renew ourselves, to rise our consciousness, to be truly kind.
And as we celebrate this week the Teacher who actually made it, let this celebration be an inspiration to do our best, to be our best.
Happy Eastern to all!
*Storically Palm Sunday include a procession of the faithful carrying palms, representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday. The difficulty of procuring palm leaves in cold climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees, such as olive, yew or willow. The Sunday was often named after these substitute trees, as in Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday.