"We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves." - Dalai Lama
The state of peace is truly profound - peace is a way of being and a lens for seeing the world. For some, peace may seem like a fantasy, an idealistic dream, and yet, developing inner peace is truly the key to knowing fulfillment. So how do we do that?
Let’s start by looking at how many of us currently relate to peace:
Oftentimes, we have a tendency to make our external world responsible for our peace and happiness. For example: If this job happens, then I will be peaceful. Once I reach retirement, then I can be fulfilled. Once my significant other does exactly what I want them to do, then I will be peaceful. If my child gets into college, then I will be happy. Sound familiar? How successful have you found this strategy to create lasting peace?
As long as you make your external world responsible for your peace, you will never know true happiness or fulfillment. You might know momentary satisfaction, but then life will happen...the car will break down, our child will get sick. Our state of peace is shaken until the situation is resolved in the way we would like it to be. And, when this expectation goes unmet, there is immense suffering.
Although you cannot snap your fingers and create a stress-free world, you can practice training a basic life skill that will allow you to know peace, even when those around you are feeling stressed. By developing a daily meditation practice, you can shift your experience of the world and move from stress to peace thereby making your everyday world much more enjoyable and surprisingly peace-filled. Meanwhile, you can provide support for those that you love from a centered and powerful space.
Meditation has been shown to create the ability to step out of stress and into peace, even in the face of uncertain times. When you spend time every day in a meditative practice focusing on breathing a slow rhythmic breath of peace, you are taking your emotional system to the gym for a workout and actually increasing your neurological capacity for peace. The outcome of such a consistent practice reduces stress and allows you to stay centered even when the world is spinning around you.
Peace is something to be trained. It is a consistent practice for knowing a different reality. There is an inspirational billboard featuring His Holiness The Dalai Lama that captures this principle perfectly. It reads, “The Dalai Lama does not just Pray for Peace, He works for Peace Every Single Day.”
In actuality, practicing peace is one of the most practical things you can do. The only way to spread peace is for each one of us to commit to an inner practice of peace again and again. It is what the world needs now, more than ever.
Learn more about Conscious Transformation: a six week spiritual mastery course starting February 22 - April 5, 2017 at the Austin Mindfulness Center.
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Here you will find articles contributed by members of our team. We hope to provide helpful information here to inspire mindful living and general wellness. The information provided here is not a substitue for professional mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need to speak to a professional regarding your mental health, please make an appointment.