What’s your sense of peace?
Enjoy four kinds of peace.
“Peace” can sound merely sentimental or clichéd (“visualize whirled peas”). But deep down, it’s what most of us long for. Consider the proverb: The highest happiness is peace.
Not a peace inside that ignores pain in oneself or others or is acquired by shutting down. This is a durable peace, a peace you can come home to even if it’s been covered over by fear, frustration, or heartache.
When you’re at peace – when you are engaged with life while also feeling relatively relaxed, calm, and safe – you are protected from stress, your immune system grows stronger, and you become more resilient. Your outlook brightens, and you see more opportunities. In relationships, feeling at peace prevents overreactions, increases the odds of being treated well by others, and supports you in being clear and direct when you need to be.
Can you stay open to the pain of others?
Be at peace with the pain of others.
Humans are an empathic, compassionate, and loving species, so it is natural to feel sad, worried, or fiery about the troubles and pain of other people. (And about those of cats and dogs and other animals, but I’ll focus on human beings here.)
Long ago, the Buddha spoke of the “first dart” of unavoidable physical pain. Given our hardwired nature as social beings, when those we care about are threatened or suffer, there is another kind of first dart: unavoidable emotional pain.
For example, if you heard about people who go to bed hungry – as a billion of us do each night – of course your heart would be moved. I’m usually a pretty calm guy, but when I visited Haiti, I was in a cold rage at the appalling conditions in which most people there lived. On a lesser scale but still real, a friend’s son has just started college and is calling home to tell his mom how lonely and miserable he feels; of course she’s worried and upset.
When we get married (or enter a committed romantic partnership), we hope for peace and love to rule the day, day after day and year after year. Because life presents difficulties, our peace can be shattered and our love may be in danger of dissolving. Just as mindfulness helps us to sit with the challenges of daily life and appreciate what is present, it can help us to appreciate our partners and sit with the hard moments that inevitably arise. Though we can’t avoid the problems, when we practice mindfulness in our relationship, we can handle difficult moments with compassion and love, rather than resentment and anger.
At first, practicing mindfulness in a marriage may feel uncomfortable or unnatural. Eventually, as you plug your practice into your daily routine, it may feel easy and wonderful! Just remember, there is nothing wrong with you if you have challenges in your relationship. When two people come together, there will always be places and moments in which they seem to clash. The objective is not to avoid problems altogether, but to create a practice that allows you to sit with these hard times and manage the difficulties together in compassionate connection, so that you can repair the rupture and move forward together with kindness and love.
How do we continue to bolster and reaffirm the peace in our lives?
Peace is our natural state of being. First of all, you have to remember who you are and remembering who you are means, remembering how you feel as peace, because this is who you are in this beautiful presence. And this presence is experienced as peace in every moment.
That’s why it’s important to live in breath. Awareness is quite honestly the only practice you’ll ever need because the more you abide in the breath and more you witness each inhalation and exhalation, the more you are remembering the peace that is your natural state of being.
Stress, anxiety, and depression kill your inner peace, but unfortunately, they are an integral part of human existence. The pandemic has made these issues more rampant than ever, and most people struggle to find mental peace. Relationships are suffering, social isolation is a real challenge, and WFH stress is making things worse. It is hard to live normally when the fear of death and financial uncertainties looms large. But you need not give up hope. Despite the challenges, things can look up if you take the right approach to rediscover mental peace. Here are some tried and tested ideas you must embrace right now.
Start your day with meditation
Rediscovering mental peace is all about restoring balance. Purging negative emotions can do the trick because they are probably overshadowing positive thoughts right now. A session of meditation and deep breathing every morning can give you the best start. It will take only a few minutes to focus on inner peace and positivity, and you will feel happy throughout the day.
The next time something dark or disturbing tries to steal into you to wreck your contentment, do not consent to be drawn into its seemingly important considerations. Instead of sinking into this yawning abyss, rather than running after something to resolve that rift, better to remember this truth: the peace you long for also longs for you. Then, whatever you must do, find your way to it! Here’s a good place to start.
Come awake to the backdrop of stillness within you, and while being aware within it, watch your own thoughts and feelings trying to drag you into the noisy world of their worry and fear. If you will go silent before them, they have no choice but to enter into the silence with you. This is how we turn the table on these thieves of peace. They cannot live with you in the light of higher self-awareness. In this mansion there is room for only one.
You can work at this exercise anytime you remember it. Try it now. Look past the familiar forms around you, including those reactions in you about them. Don’t think about the moment unfolding before you, see it; Be the whole of life in the perfectly present moment. This Now is where the spirit of peace resides. Drop the minutiae, the too-familiar sense of self found in sorting through the particular. Place your attention in the awareness of your thoughts instead of losing yourself within them and what they tell you is happening.
“In order for me to become a vessel, to be used, I had to have my attachments broken. You can’t be a true vessel if you’re attached. You have to be emptied out.”—Julia Butterfly Hill
The idea of becoming a vessel, or conduit, for selfless love to flow through you into the world is part of many spiritual teachings. To be of service in this way can become one of the highest aspirations for those on a deeply committed spiritual path. Julia Butterfly Hill, who spent two years living in the branches of a 1500-year-old redwood tree to prevent it from being cut down, has described her own preparation for this dedicated act of service. She let go of all physical attachments in terms of possessions, but then Mother Nature emptied her of everything else in a fierce wind/rain storm that brought her face to face with the possibility of her own death. She was “emptied out” for the task ahead.
Be Present with Feelings and Guidance
Unless there is actually something dangerous happening in this present moment, being fully in the moment brings a release of stress.
The wounded self is addicted to focusing on the past or future – ruminating about the past, perhaps with regret – and worrying about the future – trying to control it. If you notice your body while you are ruminating or worrying, you will notice that your body is tense. The tension is your inner guidance letting you know that your wounded self is in charge and you are abandoning yourself.
When you notice this, shift into being in this present moment and notice the peace and relaxation that floods your body.
A lot of people have felt they couldn’t breathe.”—Van Jones
Last November, when a new President and Vice President were elected in the U.S., many of us cried tears of relief. We felt we could breathe again, even if just for a moment. Not that the huge problems that face this country had been solved, but lighter, more compassionate voices were speaking at the national level. Possibility was appearing once again, where impossibility had ruled. Hope was arising within us, and the distant dream of a peaceful resolution of divisions seemed somehow closer. Now, in the wake of last week’s violent break-in at the Capitol building in Washington, it is even more important to hold onto that dream and to move forward in peace.
No one fails to react when public violence is flagrantly incited, which happened at the Capitol this week. As a political philosophy, or a way of life, disorder doesn’t work. Violence might not be inevitable, but chaos is.
But in the face of chaos, some facts remain constant and stable:
- Peace is a state of awareness.
- To advance the cause of peace, you must be at peace.
- External conflict reflects the inner conflicts of human nature.
- No dispute is ever settled unless both sides achieve a level of mutual satisfaction.
When politics comes down to rigidly opposing views, all of these facts are being ignored. Nothing gets resolved so that all sides achieve mutual satisfaction, and therefore grudges simmer, awaiting sudden eruptions and the pot boils over.
What would my life be like without me? Well, for one thing, it wouldn’t be “my life.” It would just be life—being, expanding, evolving. Exactly what it is without the filter I apply to it with “my.” As I continue along the path my soul has chosen for this lifetime, I see more clearly the limitations of language. “My” is a convenience for conversation, but the possessiveness we feel about so much in life is reinforced by that simple two-letter designation. In fact, nothing is mine. Even my soul is not really mine, nor is God. There is a limitless universal Spirit that we are one with, beyond description or possession. Caught up in “me,” “I,” and “mine,” our vision is restricted, dead-ended. Many times, our identity is so busy defending itself and its viewpoint that we can’t see the beauty and wonder around us or the love in the hearts of those closest to us. We lose friendships in arguments and misunderstandings.
“You will always have some haters. In fact, I believe if you have some haters, you're probably doing something great.” — Kute Blackson
You will always have haters in your life, your haters are people who gossip about you, talk negatively about you, hate on you for some reason. You will always have some haters in your life. It’s inevitable. It’s life. In this episode, I share a simple practice and ideas to learn how to deal with other people's hatred towards you. If you really want to be free, you must make peace with yourself and know you will not be able to please everyone. No matter what you do, you will have people who do not like you and will talk about you. Listen to this important episode and learn how to be at peace within yourself, so that you can be freer in the world.
Sometimes the twists and turns of life on Earth can feel like loss or emptiness, especially now. Yet the greater significance of our experiences may not be completely understood when they occur. Time brings perspective. There are no mistakes, and we are never really lost. Everything we experience provides an opening into greater awareness and an opportunity to grow and trust in the trajectory of our own lives.
“To be in a state of peace we need to be in harmony with the energy frequency of peace.” ~Codebreaker
Peace is your natural state. However, we are all experiencing stress and frustration in these challenging times.
When you experience these emotions, you are not in the high frequency state of peace.
Those feelings are indicators that you have unconscious programs – beliefs, ideas and stories – that need to be corrected.
Is there some aspect of your life that you’re not at peace with?
Have you ever wondered what’s preventing you from living in the high frequency of peace?
The core low frequency blocker to peace is unforgiveness.
Until you activate your soul’s superpower of forgiveness you have set yourself up for anxiety and a whole range of diseases and physical and mental challenges. A Harvard study showed that holding a grudge can kill you.
Charles Dickens described the French Revolution as “the best of times” and the “worst of times.” We could use similar words to describe our world now. There is chaos, conflict, death, and destruction on the one hand, and love, compassion, and the birth of a new more aware consciousness on the other. We who are alive at this time are bridges between the old and the new, Heaven and Earth, humanity and divinity. To hold all that within us requires great courage as well as deep inner peace. How do we achieve that?
During challenging times, such as the one we are currently experiencing, it is often quite difficult to remain calm and centered. Fear and anxiety dominate the collective consciousness, and we start to slide into negative thinking and feelings of overwhelm. We forget that at our core is unshakable calm and peace.
We have used language to separate ourselves from each other through a litany of pronouns—you, he, she, it, they—which together mean “other.” Yes, we say “we,” but it is usually used in a sense that cordons off “us” from “them.” The greater “we” that encompasses all of humanity is rarely part of our vocabulary. World events in the form of a deadly virus are now compelling us to open our hearts to that inclusiveness. We can no longer separate ourselves from one another, and that includes all of Nature as well. Our survival depends on seeing “we” everywhere. We are being radically schooled in oneness.
Forgiveness, peace, love and joy…
How good would it feel to immerse yourself in these high frequency codes?
Imagine how different this week might be if you could wrap yourself in a white light blanket of peace…
A cozy comforter of forgiveness and love enveloping you at every moment…
How would that change this week for you?
How would that change your entire year?
Think about that for a moment.
Are you ready to feel it? You can!
Take a few deep breaths…imagine a column of white light coming in and down, filling your whole body. This is your True Self, the perfection that you are.
Each year I use an issue of the Just One Thing newsletter to offer Twelve Good Things that I think are really wonderful and worth your attention.
May you and those you love and in fact the whole wide world be truly well, truly happy, and truly at peace.