Practicing Peace.

I recently went to a Vegfest in my local community. The food was great and overall the message was a positive one. A message that we can help stop climate change, transform our health, and vote with our wallets to stop cruelty against animals through eating a plant based diet. A few of the vegans were so angry at meat eaters though. One of the presenters went on an angry tangent about decapitated pigs heads at the grocery store. She yelled at the crowd that she couldn’t understand meat eaters(even though she ate these products most of her life). It was a friendly reminder to me that true compassion encompasses all beings, not just those who live the same way as you. The way of peace doesn’t condone violence but seeks to understand others instead of judge. True compassion encompasses Hitler, Stalin, and Charles Manson.

If we want others to be more peaceful we must be peaceful, it’s as simple as that. Maybe we could just focus on ourself, making our own life our message to others? Our message of peace will be watered down if we communicate in a violent way. Practicing non-violence is something MLK, Gandhi, Jesus, Buddha, and mother Theresa all agreed on. It’s something they wanted us to practice on a daily basis. The next time we complain about the world affairs we could ask ourself “how can we expect the world to be at peace if we aren’t?”

Focus within. One lit candle can light a thousand candles.

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

May I.

May I show compassion

To even those who harm others

May I always seek peace

When others choose violence

May I be grateful

Even when life gets tough

May I seek forgiveness

Knowing its a gift to myself

May I choose love

When fear crosses my mind

May I choose freedom

Over security

May I always seek to understand others

Not judge

May I be in this present moment

Even when my mind drifts to the past or future

 

Peaceful Warriors

Peace

Violence

Live within all of us

Feed the peace

Acknowledge the violence

Shed light into it

For peace grows with peace

Water the seed of peace

With compassion & understanding

Love the dark side

Show it loving kindness

Join me if you chose

In the army of love

Soldiers of peace

Compassion & understanding

As our weapons

We are peaceful warriors

Sheding light into the darkness

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

Suffering.

Suffering lives within all of us

Past mistakes on rerun

Future uncertainties constantly dance within our minds,

Making us suffering in this moment

How do we break from this cycle?

We can understand our own suffering

We can develop compassion and self love

As we develop compassion for ourself,

We can begin to transform our suffering into joy

Our life can now be spent helping others suffering less

Bringing joy & peace for those in need

Volcanic Eruption (Christchurch Mosque Shooting)

Fear bubbles underneath the volcanoes surface.

Pain filled smoke seeping to the surface.

Anger, hatred, & rage boiling inside.

Until one day,

A vicious explosion destroys all in it’s path.

Leaving only pain & suffering to all.

Innocence lost in a moment.

How could this happen?

Will there ever be peace?

Fear, anger, hatred, & rage live within all of us.

Simmering under the surface.

Compassion leads us to love & understanding.

Love & understand can tame the simmering flames within us.

Peace begins & ends with us.

This poem is in response to the Christchurch mosque shooting on 15 March 2019. RIP to all who lost their lives and condolences to all who were touched.