“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there, buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.” —Deepak Chopra
What does it mean to feel peace?
Peace is defined as the state of tranquility or quiet within a community, such as freedom from civil disturbance.
Peace has also been defined as freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions.
I see the first definition as something external, something we cannot directly control. The second definition, however, is internal, that which we can control.
By working on yourself inwardly, you will inevitably produce results externally and those results can inspire others towards change. This is where it all starts. By looking inside first and then leading by example.
We can’t control our external experiences; we can’t control what other people do. But we can control our reactions to them.
We can be a leader for peace. We can lead by example.
By finding peace within ourselves, we show others the way.
If every person made it a priority to find a little bit more peace in their lives each day, the world would be a much different place. Instead of spreading fear, we would all be spreading love.
My friend and fellow yoga colleague, Erin, wrote a wonderful article about arming our future generations with the gift of peace in an effort to derail the mass shooting epidemic in schools. She thinks bringing yoga and meditation into schools will solve this problem. I think this is a brilliant idea and perhaps a way that awakening is supposed to spread.
Finding peace and serenity amongst your busy life can seem impossible, but all you have to do is be still. Find a comfortable seat and just be still. To protect the mind from wandering thoughts you can use a mantra or a hand mudra.
In meditation, you can connect with the peaceful space behind the thoughts … because you are the thinker and not the thought.
How do we know this? We know this because each of us is able to observe our own thoughts. In that way, there is a subject/object relationship.
You cannot be your thoughts because you are the one observing them.
The book, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, explains this concept very well. He teaches how you are essentially stuck in your head with a roommate—a roommate that never leaves and often gives you bad advice!
According to Singer, most of the time we are listening to this roommate inside our head, reacting to their every word. However, he reminds us that we don’t have to react to this voice.
It is so liberating and empowering to observe thoughts and just let them be. Not reacting in any way gives you more awareness.
To find the peaceful space behind the thoughts, we must practice meditation.
When we sit down to meditate, we might be confronted with our monkey mind … but fear not, because if you notice your monkey mind, you are already gaining a sense of peace.
The act of observation ceases the fluctuations of the mind and brings us that much closer to our true self. I like to use the mantra “let go” in my meditations. As I inhale, I mentally say “let” and as I exhale, I mentally say “go”.
My wish for this world is that everyone learns how to access the peace within. It is simply buried behind the thoughts.
When you find this place, please share it with others.
Let us paint the world with peace!
Michelle Ostermyer is fascinated by introspection. She chooses to explore her life through yoga and meditation practices. Her life purpose is to teach others what she learns. Check out her website at www.belleyogi.com