User:Ish ishwar/Peace Treaty
This Peace Treaty was developed by Thích Nhất Hạnh and members of Plum Village and published in his book Touching Peace (1992). It may be used as a tool of anger resolution and peace-making. Nhất Hạnh encourages communities to add articles that suit their needs. A commentary is included within the chapter containing the Peace Treaty (Touching Peace, pp. 61-71). The 24-hour limitation is imposed because according to Nhất Hạnh waiting for a longer period can become poisonous to the angry person and to the persons around him or her.
Although the treaty was developed within a Buddhist meditation community, I believe that similar peace treaties can be used within many communities from different backgrounds.
The Peace Treaty
In Order That We May Live Long and Happily Together,
In Order That We May Continually Develop and Deepen Our Love and Understanding,
We the Undersigned, Vow to Observe and Practice the Following:
For the one who is angry
I, the one who is angry, agree to:
- Refrain from saying or doing anything that might cause further damage or escalate the anger.
- Not supress my anger.
- Practice breathing and taking refuge in the island of myself.
- Calmly, within twenty-four hours, tell the one who has made me angry about my anger and suffering, either verbally by delivering a Peace Note.
- Ask for an appointment for later in the week (e.g. Friday evening) to discuss this matter more thoroughly, either verbally or by Peace Note.
- Not say: "I am not angry. It's okay. I am not suffering. There is nothing to be angry about, at least not enough to make me angry."
- Practice breathing and looking deeply into my daily life — while sitting, lying down, standing, and walking — in order to see:
- a. the ways I myself have been unskillful at times.
- b. how I have hurt the other person because of my own habit energy.
- c. how the strong seed of anger in me is the primary cause of my anger.
- d. how the other person's suffering, which waters the seed of my anger, is the secondary cause.
- e. how the other person is only seeking relief from his or her own suffering.
- f. that as long as the other person suffers, I cannot be truly happy.
- Apologize immediately, without waiting until the Friday evening, as soon as I realize my unskillfulness and lack of mindfulness.
- Postpone the Friday meeting if I do not feel calm enough to meet with the other person.
For the one who made the other angry
I, the one who has made the other angry, agree to:
- Respect the other person's feelings, not ridicule him or her, and allow enough time for him or her to calm down.
- Not press for an immediate discussion.
- Confirm the other person's request for a meeting, either verbally or by note, and assure him or her that I will be there.
- Practice breathing and taking refuge in the island of myself to see how:
- a. I have seeds of unkindness and anger as well as the habit energy to make the other person unhappy.
- b. I have mistakenly thought that making the other person suffer would relieve my own suffering.
- c. by making him or her suffer, I make myself suffer.
- Apologize as soon as I realize my unskillfulness and lack of mindfulness, without making any attempt to justify myself and without waiting until the Friday meeting.
We Vow, with Lord Buddha as Witness and the Mindful Presence of the Sangha, to Abide by These Articles and to Practice Wholeheartedly. We Invoke the Three Gems for Protection and to Grant Us Clarity and Confidence.
the ________ Day of __________________
in the Year _______ in ________________
This morning (afternoon, etc.), you said (did, wrote, etc.) something that made me very angry. I suffered very much. I want you to know this. You said (did):
Please let us both look at what you said (did) and examine the matter together in a calm and open manner this Friday evening.
Yours, not very happy right now,
Example of a verbal notification
"My dear friend, what you said (did) this morning (afternoon) made me very angry. I suffered very much and I want you to know it. I hope that by Friday evening both of us will have had a chance to look deeply into this matter."