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[God] grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. — Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), theologian, The Serenity Prayer
If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we can't share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. — Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace
In order to "dwell together in peace," we must learn to find peace in our own hearts. In the story, "Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom," a girl struggling with a friendship gains a new perspective and peace of heart through learning about the Serenity Prayer. Through meditation, a meditation bead activity, and some real-life scenarios, participants practice techniques to discern situations they can or cannot change and to find the serenity and courage they need in their own lives.
This session will:
- Encourage participants to find peace within themselves as a means to bring peace to their relationships, communities, and the wider world
- Build participants' ability to discern, in difficult situations, what calls for courage to seek change and what calls for acceptance so that they might find serenity
- Empower participants to feel in control of their own well being
- Introduce the well known, nondenominational Serenity Prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr
- Explore techniques for centering and finding inner peace.
- Give examples of how they embody their faith covenant through acts of peacemaking
- Understand, through the story "Serenity, Courage and Wisdom," how finding peace within themselves can be a means to bring peace to their relationships, communities, and the wider world
- Practice "the wisdom to know the difference" between difficult circumstances they might be able to change and those they might need to accept with serenity
- Practice finding inner peace in sitting and walking meditations
- Embody the "tied-together" theme of the curriculum through creating knotted strands of meditation beads.