Peace means freedom from disturbance; tranquillity, and is a state or period in which there is no conflict. Neither social, political or economic and so on.
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Inner peace refers to a deliberate state of psychological or spiritual calm despite the potential presence of stressors. Being “at peace” is considered by many to be healthy and the opposite of being stressed or anxious, and is considered to be a state where our mind performs at an optimal level with a positive outcome. Peace of mind is thus generally associated with bliss, happiness and contentment.
It is attained by radical acceptance of what is.
Are peace and inner peace objectively possible?
What about the political socials racial conflicts? Chaos, slavery, attacks, crimes, hunger or and violent accidents?
And what about our fears, failures pain diseases and also death?
How to find inner peace when powerless we face challenges and difficulties in our daily lives?
Isn’t it selfish and illusory to seek for peace when the world is crumbling around us?
How to even consider it, while we are busy holding our breath hoping for the best?
and finally, why fear destroys our chances to find peace and how to stop fear to control our lives?
As you can see peace without and within are linked.
First of all, we have learned to live in an atmosphere of fear. At each and every corner, media pull us into the spiral of bad news. Every day finding pieces of evidence of a hostile world in which we live. But in reality, crimes, violence and conflicts decrease a little more every day and everywhere and the reason why we feel the contrary is that there is not one day without the announcement of an attack somewhere in the world, not one day without a sick breaking news that went viral on social media taking our undivided attention.
Fear feeds fear and fear sells, so, you’ll always see more negative and twisted news, than goodness in your feeds and on TV even though good and right things happen all day long. But how would we know?
There is another very important factor that explains the growth of the emotion of fear. Education. We haven’t learned to manage our emotions because that is not taught in school. What to do with them, why do we have them and how to react? How to accept our emotions and how to control them determines our level of happiness and peace. Because how to remain calm when there is a war zone within us?
Life is impermanent and changing and the risks we know them, like accident, diseases and death. But usually we don’t accept these facts because we have been raised like immortals and untouchables due to our status as human beings, that we embrace religiously, and just because we are IT, we wipe billions of animal and insects lives away with our hands each year, badly influencing their destiny, without making it a big deal out of it.
However, we don’t understand why life does it to us, humanity as if it were different.
Our Ignorance and self-proclaimed superiority as the winner of the lottery of life, does not in any way cancel our mortality out. But enough with sarcasm.
Buddhists meditate on death and we should do the same because a part of our fear of death is not to be prepared for it when it is time.
We really have to learn to not only expect our own death but also and especially our loved ones. It does not make it more acceptable to us but because it is inevitable, we must learn a fast way to recovery, in order to move forward. Because in a way this is our mission as human beings, to continue the species and evolve and it does take to be able to move forward.
Fear is a natural program for our survival (for instance, to run away from an intruder or fight for our lives), but through times it took over our minds. Now fear is one of our main sources of suffering and we are its prisoners.
Anxiety and stress, by-products of fear, touch all areas of our lives, even the most futile.
Because of our fear-based program, we spend our time trying to hold on to everything, situations, things and people in an impermanent and changing world.
Not only we cannot keep anything, nor can we control what’s going on out there.
The game is called life and it is a synonym of impermanence and change.
Our desire to control the odds is conditioned by society for a long time and we yet have to come to term with our mortality but how could we if getting old remains an unwanted thing and a taboo subject?
And so we suffer and hold our breath. We don’t talk about it. And so we suffer because we didn’t learn to let go of the impermanence of life and our own.
We prefer to hide under the table rather than facing the truth just because it is less painful.
Some believe that it is selfish not to talk about the issues in our country or in the world and that it is bad to avoid the reality.
In reality, if listening to the terrible news every day meant that people are concerned about others than themselves and compassionate, then most of us would help in a way or another but instead, we seem paralysed and stuck in the debilitating loop of fear.
Fear feeds fear. So what can we do about our fear?
1- first of all, stop “buying fear” it will decrease the momentum you are the victim of. There is a great difference between being aware of what is going on around us and in the world and to get emotionally involved to the point where it becomes a handicap.
2- Understand the difference between empathy and compassion. In spirituality, the word compassion is often used over the word empathy because the latter one implies to become one with the suffering and distress of others. Do you think you can help someone when you suffer and produce negativity and even more fear around them? Can the fear and distress in your eyes produce any positive outcome?
Instead, we entertain an already over present negativity in this world and participate in its growth.
Moreover, empathy is a doorway to stress and diseases.
Embrace compassion instead, it is a positive energy, a loving and understanding and regenerating energy that which can help with the resolution of conflicts only because everyone needs attention and kindness and that is what compassion is pure loving kindness. Compassion is also acceptance, of what is, of the present moment and a doorway to new possibilities.
Say yes to what is, does not mean it is ok, but it is an invitation to let go of the burden of the resistance to what is, that is one of the main sources of suffering. It is not a yes to what happened or to what someone did to us but instead, it means recognising that it happened for our own healing and that of others.
By resisting to what is, we perpetuate our own suffering and fears.
How to access inner peace?
Our outer world is the reflection of our inner world. But Our inner world is also the reflection of our outer world because we react to it, to what we perceive with our 5 senses. It is called a loop. The loop is greatly fueled by media, institutions and any other sources of human conditioning, that cultivate the sense of fear in us and make nearly impossible for us to access our inner peace.
Moreover, we have this tendency to look for solutions outside of us, preferably in the form of a pill that would easily and quickly resolve our problems. But when it comes to finding our inner peace, there are no shortcuts because the answer is within.
Peace is a state that can be experienced here and now, but like happiness, if it depends on external conditions then it cannot be reached.
Finding Inner peace is a full-time work and cannot be compromised. We must train every day and all year round. It demands patience and dedication in order to progress. Only then we can experience inner peace.
4 principles to establish and maintain inner peace.
First of all, try to train when you are in control of your life when it is calm because once chaos arises, it usually takes the best of us, and in these moments we panic and don’t think about reaching for peace. We are close to survival mode.
1- Cultivate equanimity, which means living in serenity and detachment from sensation, events whether pleasant or not. This is the best way to be in control of our emotions and to maintain or go back to our peaceful state even when it is difficult. The best tool is meditation.
However, meditation must be practised every day. There are many different ways to meditate so use the opportunity to try many ways as possible until you find your way.
Moreover, it is scientifically proved that meditation decreases stress anxiety and facilitates concentration and calm.
2- Cultivate altruism, according to the Dalai Lama, an altruistic attitude is precious. If all we can think is “I, I, I,” then life becomes rigid and limiting. A compassionate mind increases self-confidence and is the source of ultimate inner and universal peace.
Compassion helps to connect with people and creates a bond, which seems to lack in this social media era where we feel lonely and isolated.
3- Control your negative thought patterns they are a source of suffering and fear and ignorance lead the way. When learning to manage our thought, our minds become calm and able to solve problems more objectively.
Usually, negative thoughts create panic in us. We cannot see and therefore think clearly.
It builds up chaos when it is peace and equanimity we are looking for.
So, learn to control your thoughts. I will make a video on that subject in the future because it is very important.
4- Imagine a world in which you’d like to live in. the tumult of our external world is the by-product of our inner world. It means that to change the first you have to change the latter.
For this use your imagination as often as possible. Visualise in great details a world where you’d enjoy living, working, where love would be around and educating children easy and safe and where you’d be happy.
This is a very powerful exercise when it comes to manifesting your reality. Not only children should dream, but it is also for everyone. Dreams realise themselves if we focus our attention on it and learn to relax.
The world is not or all black or all white and it is what we think of it so be aware of your thoughts and your dreams.
I suggest you listen to the guided meditation called “Chaos to neutrality, a grounding meditation”. This visualisation will help you relax and is a tool to help you ground during difficult times. The link is down below.