Welcome to Boundless Gratitude's Peace Jungle

The Peace Jungle began twenty years ago. It was an Imagine Peace Project, in which “the first step in creation [was] imagination.” It attracted a lot of attention because a lot of people thought it was somehow connected with John Lennon’s legacy, which it wasn't. So eventually, I changed the name to Peace Jungle. But that wasn’t the only, or even the largest, problem that arose.

Attempting and even wanting to “imagine peace” in the midst of constant work and family responsibilities got to be way too difficult. Forcing myself to do so anyway brought feelings such as cynicism, anger, and resentment. They made me feel at war rather than peace. Imagining war led me to think that war makes a very few people insanely wealthy, while leaving just about everyone else insanely miserable. I began to associate war with greed, and to associate peace with gratitude.

Imagining and expressing “boundless gratitude,” although still difficult, was at least possible in my everyday real world. Imagining an ideal of boundless gratitude also made it possible for me to reflect on my shortcomings and to work on overcoming them. On top of that, studying music and stories from cultures around the world seemed to confirm an earlier feeling that all of us live in “peace jungles” of one kind or another, and that all of us struggle day-to-day to live our own versions of “boundless gratitude,” regardless of what we happen to call it.

This past Christmas Eve, I happened upon a Dalai Lama quote that seemed to "raise the bar" on this personal challenge of mine, a bit higher than the level at which I was starting to get comfortable: “The best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.” Must be what it takes to imagine peace.