Peace Within

Violence on the streets of Syria

Mass suffering in Yemen

Chaos in Afghanistan

Is peace possible?

Or are we doomed?

I have faith that everything will work out the way it’s suppose to be

All you & I can do is

Focus on becoming peace

To spread it far & wide

To understand

To show compassion

To live our message of peace

How will the world be at peace

If we are at war?

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True Compassion.

As I glance through YouTube I see many arguing over diet, ethics, and the environmental problems of animal agriculture. I see my fellow vegans becoming angry with meat eaters. I hear the words ” I just don’t understand” being repeated over & over again. To develop compassion for others we must first understand them. Us vegans will drive ourselves crazy with this mindset of misunderstanding. I hope to inspire others to practice a vegan lifestyle but do not wish to force others to be vegan. People change on their own time. You can not force anyone to be more compassionate to animals or care about the health of themselves & the planet. Forcing another is a violent act in itself, which goes against my vow of non violence. The world will change in it’s own time. All we can do is live our message and share it with others. If our message is peace & compassion, then we must be peaceful & compassionate with our meat eating brothers & sisters. Peace is the way.

Understanding others is necessary for compassion, love, & peace. I ate a meat/dairy/egg based diet for 27 years and have been vegan for 2 years. How can I judge anyone who still consumes animal products when I ate them most of my life? My focus as of now is to develop true compassion for those who consume animal products and especially for those who advocate for them in ones diet. True compassion is when we can show compassion to those we disagree with. It’s easy to show compassion to the innocent & weak. It’s much more difficult to show compassion to a slaughterhouse worker but nothing could be more important than developing compassion for them as well. Slaughterhouse workers are often immigrants who are recruited to work long hours for little wages. They often suffer from PTSD from the horrific violent acts they see on a regular basis. There are documented cases of slaughterhouse workers dieing from bacterial diseases and neurological diseases from freshly slaughtered animals.

I also feel strong compassion for those who suffer from chronic diseases from eating animal products all their life. From heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, colon cancer, and many other diseases that could of been prevented with a whole food plant based diet. They were lied to be industry and led to believe that they are wild carnivores that need to eat meat every meal for protein. So much unnecessary human suffering. My heart goes out to them & their families.

I hope to inspire my fellow vegans to be more compassionate & understanding to our meat eating brothers & sisters. Many of us were meat eaters most of our life. Who are we to judge? We are not perfect enlightened beings floating above others. Let’s focus our energy on educating others while showing compassion & understanding to them. This way we don’t drag ourself down with anger, rage, & misunderstanding. We can allow compassion guide our life. How will they ever understand compassion if all we show them is apathy? How will they know peace if all we show them is violence? Our own life is our message to the world.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

Vow.

Where there is hatred, I will show love.

Where there is fear, I will show trust.

Where there is doubt, I will show faith.

Where there is apathy, I will show compassion.

Where there is violence, I will show peace.

 

I vow to show others another way.

 

 

 

Peace is the Way.

When my opponent shows hatred, I will show love.

When my opponent shows apathy, I will show compassion.

When my opponent shows fear, I will show confidence.

When my opponent shows aggression, I will show peace.

When my opponent is attached, I will let go.

 

They are not my true opponent.

My true opponent is within.

Within my fear.

My judgments.

My limiting beliefs.

My attachments.

 

I vow to look at my opponent with full-hearted compassion.

I vow to forgive my opponent.

I vow to show them another way.

The way of peace.

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Buddha Nature: Awakening the Inner Child.

In Buddhism, there is the concept of Buddha Nature. Buddha Nature is a state of true compassion, peace, joy, and love for all living beings. Buddha Nature is something we are born with but lose sight of as society covers it with misconceptions, beliefs, myths, and fear.

Who did you want to be when you were a child? Before your family, friends, and your culture told you what to be? The photo above is me playing with Andy circa 1993.

Over the last couple months, I have dealt with old emotional wounds that lay deep inside me from childhood. It wasn’t easy but was much needed for my emotional health and to be at peace. In this difficult & turbulent time period, I also awakened to my inner child inside of me. I started remembering who I was at that time period and who I wanted to be as an adult.

As a small child, I remember envisioning myself to be a kind, strong, healthy, and compassionate adult who helped others. I idolized police officers, firemen, sports athletes, and ninjas for their strength, humility, and bravery. They were peaceful warriors to me who showed strength and compassion. Superheroes like Spiderman, Superman, and Batman emphasized strength, compassion, and humility. They protected the most vulnerable.

As a small child, I remember loving animals so much. I loved all different types of animals with full-hearted compassion. I never would want to hurt another life form. I still remember the day my parents told me what beef was and I was horrified that a cow died and that the juice was cows blood. The day I found out about factory farming was a traumatic experience. I couldn’t believe such a barbaric, inhumane, and unethical institution was allowed. I didn’t realize I could become a vegan to protect the most vulnerable until I was an adult. I suppressed this traumatic experience and continued to eat meat for the next 15 years. This post isn’t all about veganism but veganism is what sparked my transformation into diving deep into my inner child. By showing the most vulnerable (animals) true compassion by my actions I started the process of showing true compassion to myself, others, and the environment. Our true nature as children is to love animals. Society tries to turn that compassion into apathy and we are forced to accept that we have no control over the horrible things happening in the world.

Somewhere in my teens, I lost most of this inner child and I suffered tremendously for it.

I used to smile constantly, dance, be silly, and loved helping others. Around 10 years old, kids started making fun of me for smiling too much (smiley was my nickname) and adults (sports coaches) would shame me for smiling in serious situations. Soon I was taught that smiling, helping others, and being silly was feminine and weak. I started portraying myself more as a serious Mafioso than a fun loving child. My idols turned into Al Capone, Scarface, Charlie Sheen, Tupac, Lil Wayne, and Eminem. I suddenly didn’t smile much anymore, only grind danced, and didn’t help others because no one is helping me. I started not to give a f$%# about anymore, including myself. Eventually, this attitude led me down the path of infidelity, substance abuse, gambling addiction, and anxiety/depression. My inner child was buried under years of fear, judgment, hatred, and myths of masculinity.

As I awaken my inner-child, I feel more inner strength and confidence than I have ever felt before. I have smiled more in the last two months than the past 5 years. I have laughed, joked, and shown love to others. I feel more at peace with myself than I have ever felt. I have finally started my journey as a Peaceful Warrior. My weapons are compassion, empathy, love, and forgiveness. I will never have the strength of Superman or the Ninja Turtles, but I can show compassion and humility to the most vulnerable as they did.

Get back to what you loved to do as a child. Figure out what motivated you and made you happy. Be silly, smile, dance, laugh, and enjoy the simple things in life again. Be curious about the world again. Let go of the stories that hold you back from achieving peace, freedom, and enjoyment in life.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

 

 

 

The Path of the Peaceful Warrior.

The path of the peaceful warrior is one of infinite strength. The human heart has an infinite amount of compassion. The Art of Peace is a direct response to the Art of War. If we believe war is always inevitable then there will always be war. The Art of Peace allows the opportunity for another path. The path of peace.

Sadly, we mistake physical strength for emotional strength.

Many believe strength comes from rage, anger, and hatred. True strength comes from mercy, compassion, and love. When someone is hateful, they are in a weak state. They are tense, frightened, and fearful. When we are compassionate, we are loose and free flowing like a strong rivers current. We must show others another way. Not judge or hurt our opponent but to show pure compassion towards them as well.

The peaceful warrior trains his mind, body, and spirit. Eating a whole food plant-based diet trains all three of these. A peaceful warrior does not create more suffering into the world that is unnecessary. By being alive, we will cause suffering but we can do our best to not add more on top of this. There is true strength in showing mercy to innocent animals. We build our body strong through eating this way. It will give us the energy to strengthen our body, mind, and spirit right now and into old age. It will strengthen our muscle of compassion. It will strengthen our message of peace. How can we believe in peace and contribute to animal cruelty, torture, and suffering? This is not the way of the peaceful warrior. Our actions must be inline with peace. Peace is the way.

When my opponent shows apathy, I vow to show compassion.

When my opponent shows hatred, I vow to show love.

When my opponent shows war, I vow to show peace.

When

With Peace,

Johnny Hoffman