Inner peace is the most valuable thing that we can cultivate. Nobody can give us inner peace, at the same time it is only our own thoughts that can rob us of our inner peace. To experience inner peace we don’t have to retreat to a Himalayan cave; we can experience inner peace right now, exactly where we are. The most important criteria is to value the importance of inner peace. If we really value inner peace, we will work hard to make it a reality. These are some suggestions for bringing more peace into your mind.
1. Choose carefully where we spend time.
If you are a news addict and spend an hour reading newspapers everyday, our mind will be agitated by the relentless negativity we see in the world. It is true, that we can try to detach from this negativity. But, in practise, we will make our progress easier if we don’t spend several hours ruminating over the problems of the world. If you have a spare 15 minutes, don’t just automatically switch on the TV or surf the internet. Take the opportunity to be still or at least do something positive. The problem is the mind feels insecure unless it has something to occupy it. However, when we really can attain a clear mind we discover it creates a genuine sense of happiness and inner peace.
2. Control of Thoughts.
It is our thoughts that determine our state of mind. If we constantly cherish negative and destructive thoughts, inner peace will always remain a far cry. At all costs, we need to avoid pursuing trains of negative thoughts. This requires practise. – We cannot attain mastery of our thoughts over night. But, at the same time we always have to remember that we are able to decide which thoughts to follow and which to reject. Never feel you are a helpless victim to your thoughts.
“If you have inner peace, nobody can force you to be a slave to the outer reality.” – Sri Chinmoy
3. Simplify Your Life
Modern life, places great demands on our time. We can feel that we never have enough time to fulfill all our tasks. However, we should seek to minimise these outer demands. Take time to simplify your life; there are many things that we can do without, quite often we add unnecessary responsibilities to our schedule. Do the most significant tasks, one at a time, and enjoy doing them. To experience inner peace, it is essential to avoid cluttering our life with unnecessary activities and worries.
4. Spend time to cultivate inner peace.
Every day we spend 8 hours a day to earn money, can we not find time to spend 15 minutes to cultivate inner peace? No matter how much money we earn, it cannot bring us inner peace, but, if we spend 15 minutes on meditation and relaxation techniques inner peace can become a possibility. Meditation does not just mean sitting still for 30 minutes; in meditation we seek to experience a state of consciousness which is flooded with inner peace. To experience this inner peace we cannot allow any thought to enter into our mind. True inner peace occurs when we can transcend the world of thoughts.
“You cannot buy peace; you must know how to manufacture it within, in the stillness of your daily practises in meditation.”- Paramahansa Yogananda
5. Be Immune to Flattery and Criticism
If we depend on the opinions and praise of other people, we can never have inner peace. Criticism and flattery are two sides of the same coin. They are both the judgements of others. However, we should not allow ourselves to be affected by either. When we do, we feed the ego. We should learn to have confidence in ourselves. This does not mean we will love ourselves in an egotistical way, it means we value our real self and have belief in the good qualities that are part of everyone.
6. Be Active
Inner peace does not mean that we have to live a life of a hermit. Inner peace, can be felt amidst dynamic activity. But, this action should be done with selfless motives. When we serve others we forget our sense of self, and it is when we forget our limited self that we can have inner peace.
7. Avoid Criticising
If we want inner peace, we should feel that our inner peace depends on the well being of others. If we are indifferent to the feelings of others, then it is impossible to have inner peace for ourselves. What we give out comes back. If you offer a peaceful attitude to others this is what we will see return.
Source: [Sri Chinmoy]