03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Prizing Peace

In my view, the emanation of peace by any one person is a boon to us all. When that person is the leader of the most powerful and sometimes the most dangerous nation in the world, that boon is magnified exponentially.

I happen to like President Obama and I support most of his policies, even if I veer toward a more progressive agenda than he seems beholden to. But liking the man, or even agreeing with his policies, isn't the issue here. There are a number of politicians I agree with, but at this moment I can't think of another one that emanates peace.

That the emanation of peace is recognized and saluted by one of the most prestigious organizations in the world is a cause for celebration. That it occurs before specific and quantifiable actions occur, is specific and hearty encouragement for such actions to occur.

That peace is even prized is an invitation to us all to investigate what we prize in our leaders and ourselves. We know as humans, and as humans subject to our government as well as to the actions of all other governments in our small world, that we want to prize peace. But do we value peace?

What do we value? We value the power to rule ourselves as we see fit. As a result we prize democracy, and we are extremely privileged to live in one. We value the need and the willingness to defend our democracy. We value the freedom to speak and think and worship as we please. We value being able to love freely. We value the sacrifices earlier generations made that have brought us to this point of even being able to consider this question.

This point is the point. With all the prior and present sacrifices and privileges, here we are. Now what do we value? Peace? That is the possibility.

Were the just and not-so-just-wars from our past fought just so we could demonize one another? Were the battles of the Revolutionary and Civil wars fought so that we could just keep on flexing our muscles and jaws, or so that we could live in peace together?

We know what sacrifices and scars war demands, but what does peace demand? Since President Barack Obama is the prizewinner, we can look to him to receive what he emanates. If you are willing to look at him, rather than at any particular policy he stands for, you will see that in fact he does emanate peace.

His strength isn't required for this emanation. His winning an argument or debate isn't required for this emanation. Even his happiness isn't required for this emanation.

What is required is his deep commitment to the value of peace. He is willing to be an emissary of peace even when vile hatred is being hurled at him. Most importantly, he is required to keep his mind and his heart open to emanate peace.

He has been awarded so that we can all benefit. So that we ourselves as well as our children can see what we still value even when we profoundly disagree. So that we can recognize the capacity within ourselves as individuals and as a planetary citizens to keep our minds and hearts open.

We can receive this award in our willingness to find the source of peace inside ourselves. We can extend this award by offering it all.

My beloved teacher Papaji always ended his meetings with the Sanskrit phrase, Om Shanti: peace for all.

All comments are read and appreciated.

Gangaji is offering a Couples Retreat with her husband Eli at Esalen Institue Oct 18-23. She will have a public meeting Nov 5 and weekend retreat Nov 7-8 in the SF Bay Area. She will be in Sydney, Melbourne, and Byron Bay, Australia during November and December. Additionally she is having upcoming Gangaji Foundation teleconferencing events. Read more about Gangaji's events and catalog of books and videos online.