In moderating, not satisfying desires, lies peace.
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In moderating, not satisfying desires, lies peace.

-Ben Hecht

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Three miles from my adopted city lies a village where I came to peace.The world there was a calm place, even the great Danube no more than a pale ribbon tossed onto the landscapeby a girl’s careless hand. Into this stillness I had been ordered to recover. The hills were gold with late summer;my rooms were two, plus a small kitchen, situated upstairs in the back of a cottage at the end of the Herrengasse. From my window I could see onto the courtyard where a linden tree twined skyward — leafy umbilicus canted toward light, warped in the very act of yearning —and I would feed on the sun as if that alone would dismantle the silence around me.At first I raged. Then music raged in me, rising so swiftly I could not write quickly enough to ease the roiling. I would stop to light a lamp, and whatever I’d missed — larks flying to nest, church bells, the shepherd’s home-toward-evening song — rushed in, and Iwould rage again. I am by nature a conflagration; I would rather leap than sit and be looked at.So when my proud city spread her gypsy skirts, I reentered, burning towards her greater, constant light.Call me rough, ill-tempered, slovenly— I tell you, every tenderness I have ever known has been nothing but thwarted violence, an ache so permanent and deep, the lightest touch awakens it. . . . It is impossible to care enough. I have returned with a second Symphony and 15 Piano Variationswhich I’ve named Prometheus,after the rogue Titan, the half-a-god who knew the worst sin is to take what cannot be given back.I smile and bow, and the world is loud. And though I dare not lean in to shout Can’t you see that I’m deaf? —I also cannot stop listening.

-Rita Dove

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From 'Creating True Peace' by Thich Nhat HanhTo better understand the practise of protection, please study the Five Mindfulness Trainings in Chapter 3, particularly the third, sexual responsibility. By practising the Third Mindfulness Training, we protect ourselves, our family, and society. In addition, by observing all the trainings we learn to eat in moderation, to work mindfully, and to organise our daily life so we are there for others. This can bring us great happiness and restore our peace and balance.Expressing Sexual Feelings with Love and CompassionAnimals automatically follow their instincts, but humans are different. We do not need to satisfy our cravings the way animals do. We can decide that we will have sex only with love. In this way we can cultivate the deepest love, harmony, and nonviolence. For humans, to engage only in nonviolent sexuality means to have respect for each other. The sexual act can be a sacred expression of love and responsibility.The Third Mindfulness Training teaches us that the physical expression of love can be beautiful and transcendent. If you have a sexual relationship without love and caring, you create suffering for both yourself and your partner, as well as for your family and our entire society. In a culture of peace and nonviolence, civilised sexual behaviour is an important protection. Such love is not sheer craving for sex, it is true love and understanding.Respecting Our CommitmentsTo engage in a sexual act without understanding or compassion is to act with violence. It is an act against civilization. Many people do not know how to handle their bodies or their feelings. They do not realise that an act of only a few minutes can destroy the life of another person. Sexual exploitation and abuse committed against adults and children is a heavy burden on society. Many families have been broken by sexual misconduct. Children who grow up in such families may suffer their entire lives, but if they get an opportunity to practise, they can transform their suffering. Otherwise, when they grow up, they may follow in the footsteps of their parents and cause more suffering, especially to those they love.We know that the more one engages in sexual misconduct, the more one suffers. We must come together as families to find ways to protect our young people and help them live a civilised life. We need to show our young people that happiness is possible without harmful sexual conduct. Teenage pregnancy is a tragic problem. Teens are not yet mature enough to understand that with love comes responsibility. When a thirteen-or fourteen-year-old boy and girl come together for sexual intercourse, they are just following their natural instincts. When a girl gets pregnant and gives birth at such a young age, her parents also suffer greatly. Public schools throughout the United States have nurseries where babies are cared for while their mothers are in the classroom. The young father and mother do not even know yet how to take care of themselves - how can they take care of another human being? It takes years of maturing to become ready to be a parent.

-Thích Nhất

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The human world was very young and the disobedient children of God had just fallen, creating the underworld. Your God because of their desire to be like God forsook them. They craved and desired, the one thing that they should have never wanted, and that was to be as great as their creator. During this time of peace, the supernaturals traveled freely between the realms. We all knew of the fallen, the angels that had become demons, and knew that they were never to be released from the hell in which they had been cast. Their evil was beyond anything that was ever known. The leader of them, Lucifer, had declared war on the human children of God and desired more than anything to take their souls, to drag them to the hell he and his were stuck in for all eternity. All of the supernatural races were warned by an angel of God to never allow the demons from the underworld to escape their own realm. The veil was sealed by the angel and hidden from all.Unfortunately, evil always seems to find more evil. All evil things are drawn to each other, seeking out those who would help them in their cause. Though the veil to the underworld was hidden, the evil beyond it was great and as more and more lost souls were cast there after their deaths, and so the evil grew. It began to permeate the air around the veil such that other beings could detect it. There was no one who knew how to open it, but that didn’t stop them from trying.As the sons of men began to allow evil into their hearts, and as they began to stray farther from their God, they began seeking out other ways to fill the void inside them. They began to worship other beings, or objects. They sought out meanings for their lives in ways that caused darkness to creep into their hearts. God desired men to have free will and he would not force their loyalty to him. Sin was corrupting the world and Lucifer was allowed some control in the human realm. That sin gave Lucifer just the opening he needed to whisper lies into the ears of those who would listen. He pointed them in the direction divinity and sorcery where they learned how to contact the dead. They thought they were contacting loved ones who had passed on, but in reality they were drawing the demon spirits to them and giving them power, so much power that the demons began to be able to manipulate the actions of men and women still living.

-Quinn Loftis

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