The Ultimate Guide To Inner Peace In Life
Inner Peace begins with silence
Inner peace . . . Sometimes I think we look for it but don’t really understand what we want. I know what I want. I want it to be quiet inside. I want the questions, the confusion, the regrets from the past that I can’t change, the concerns about the future that don’t even exist, the worries over what people thought about me in 7th grade—or what they think now—I want all these things to stop.
Sometimes I think that if I get those things then I will be free. Other times I forget that I even have a method to free myself and I stop looking for those things altogether. But I do have that method to escape. We all have that method. Yet we forget.
We forget because we fall for the lie that says in this life we are lacking. That somehow we are already not enough as we are. I’m not pointing the finger here. I fall for that lie every single day. Why? Because I am weak, I suppose. I fall for it even when I am being the smartest, most creative I know how to be. Here is an example.
On some days, when I am feeling extra clever, I will surround myself with people who know more than I do. Why do I do this? So that I can learn from them.
Maybe one day I decide I need to learn how to garden so that I can be self-sufficient in case the Zombie Apocalypse happens at the grocery store in aisle 7, just before I can get to the veggies and grab the carrots I need for my juicer. It’s a good plan, I think. Carrots are good for the eyes and I’m gonna want to see all the zombies I can. But if I can’t grab the bag quick enough, then I’ll obviously need to plant some of my own. This is just a given.
So I call up my friends that have tomatoes and cilantro in their window boxes and I set up the best “let’s-go-plant” soirée you have ever seen. Everyone gets together and we eat brunch amongst the greatest window-box gardeners the world has ever met. Everyone there has something to offer. That’s why I brought them here. Everyone except me, that is.
Can you figure out what happens next? Well, first I start to realize that these people actually do know more than I do. Sometimes we just have poor self-talk and we only think that others are smarter than us when they are not—but no. In this case, these people actually do know more than me. So then I start to believe that this makes me less of a person. I forget the reason they are here—I invited them—and I wallow.
“I must be a disaster,” I think. “Even this guy knows more than me.” This was by design, of course. I wanted him to know more than me. If not, I couldn’t learn whatever it was that I had to learn that day. Yet I still feel bad and I still I fall for that trap. I set it all up myself, and yet I fall prey to it. And that fact now also makes me feel terrible. What sort of a downward spiral have I gotten myself into?
In my head I start making all the lists of all the things that I will never again invite that guy to. Cancel Christmas, buddy. It’s just you and your window-box this year. Mwa-ha-ha. I’ll show them. They can all just stay home!
And then where am I by the time this is all finished? Alone. Even if I never carry out any of my evil, “cancel-Christmas” plans, I have alienated myself in my own head. I have distanced myself from the very people that were there to help me in the first place. People that dropped what they were doing to show up at my lovely soirée. People that I thanked—legitimately and honestly thanked—for being there when I needed them most.
And let’s not forget about the carrots. These are carrots—zombies aside—that would have nourished me, fed my family, been all-organic, and for the most part free. Yet because of my bitterness I won’t enjoy them. And this isn’t even the worst part.
The worst part is that most of the time, I let this happen to me before I even have the soirée to begin with! I talk myself out of so many opportunities because I figure I know, or can predict, the way things are going to turn out. It doesn’t help; and it definitely doesn’t get me anywhere. There is no inner peace, here. Rougher still, most of our interactions on this whole planet are designed to teach us something from people that know more. This makes it even more challenging on me.
What do I mean about the “whole planet” part of that sentence? I mean we have created this entire life to be surrounded by things that will teach us, and yet, when they do, we penalize and criticize ourselves for our mistakes and then we criticize the system as well—a system we need to help us grow. As in my Carrot Party, so with Karma.
Now maybe, just maybe, this doesn’t happen to you. It could be that you already have a “beginner’s mind.” Perhaps you are already silent on the inside when you need to be. If this is you, then let me say in the most honest voice I can that you are definitely NOT invited to Christmas! Although if you are the Zen-mind type, then you probably already knew I was going to say that anyway.
Ironically, it doesn’t even bug me that you have this part already figured out. On some level, I want you to know how to do this. I know that if you can do it, then maybe there is hope for me to be able to do the same thing one day. In fact . . . truth be told, I actually wish that you would come to Christmas so that I can learn from you, and I will tell you why that is.
I know that if I can just silence my mind for a minute—that if I can make those critics in my head take just a tiny break—then I know I will realize that I actually am a great guy. Something like that would do me wonders. Seriously. The moment I can take a break from all that self-sabotaging chatter, then I am free to start seeing the world for what it is: beautiful perfection. Even when it challenges us, it is still awesome, still here to help.
There is another problem with inner anger, stress and discord: it only affects you. No one else even knows you’re feeling it. Same with holding a grudge. Most of the time the only person angry about it is the one thinking about it. And since you are the one holding that grudge, well . . . sucks to be you. The other guy isn’t even mad. They just walk around happy while you (or usually I) just sit there and stew about it. This is where the need for inner peace—inner stillness—comes in. And that is what I aim to provide.
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- Phase 1, you will start below. It is about the peace within.
- Phase 2 is next, and it teaches you how to find inner peace at work.
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Phase One – The Self: Introduction
Have you ever gone to the edge of the ocean at night and while sitting on the shore realized that the world was amazing? The same thing is true for the stillness of the forest and the expanse of the beautiful nighttime sky at the top of a mountain. With a peaceful mind I cannot ever look up at the stars or out at the ocean at night and remain unchanged. It is outside my grasp. When I see those things I am changed inside. I am truly moved. There are of course times when I look at them, but I don’t see them. This is why I need inner peace. I want to always see the beauty around me.
When I can still my mind, I can see beauty . . . and sometimes when I see beauty, it can still my mind.
At those moments I see the perfection of the world for what it is. At those moments I believe that I myself am part of this perfection and I start to remember some of the amazing things in my life. I realize that I have things for which to be grateful. At those moments I thank the God that I believe in. He might be different than the one you believe in . . . unless your God also looks down at me and laughs at some of the ridiculous situations I have gotten myself into.
I’m pretty sure God has a sense of humor and most of his laughs come from watching me go from almost-mess, to the brink of disaster, to kind of okay, to near-awesome on a regular basis. I’m like a mixture of Sisyphus (that guy that rolls the boulder uphill) and Charlie Chaplin (that guy who rolls back down the hill under and around that boulder). I don’t have the cool hat or the mustache though. Or the big muscles for boulder-rolling. But I do at least know how to plant carrots.
Whether or not God is laughing at me or not though, it’s at those moments that I find renewal for my next push up the mountain. Why do I keep pushing my boulder up there, even though I know I will only roll back down? Because up there I find silence. At the top of the mountain I find my quiet place, and, I learn that the boulder was only me, all along . . . so I give the boulder permission to disappear for a moment.
At those places there exists a quiet that I don’t normally find in my own mind. So I go there to remember what “peace” sounds like. I try to model it. I try to remember it.
The first time I took a trip to Hawaii, I was so incredibly moved that I wanted to change my entire life around to enjoy this new peace I had found in my mind. In the nightstand drawer by my bed in the hotel there wasn’t even a bible, there was a book about Buddha! How cool, I thought. How different. I woke up early each day to sit on the balcony and read it.
Once I returned home again I downloaded a recording of the ocean and played it on a continuous loop to put me in that same state of mind. I felt incredibly at peace. Here is the irony of that situation. At the time I lived in Los Angeles about 6 miles from the ocean—an ocean that I had never even visited! When I came home again I still didn’t go to the beach. I played a recording I found online!
I can’t quite explain it to you other than to say that the peace I needed, was on the inside, not something I had to go looking for at the coast. You see, I didn’t really need the beach, per se. I needed the idea of the peace that it generated in me. That still works for me today. Here is another example.
When I sit in LA traffic and the sun is beating down on my windshield, I notice that I scrunch up my face because of the glaring sun. They tell me it makes wrinkles appear on your forehead eventually. I assume they’re right. Now take that exact same sun, shine it over a beach in Hawaii, and put me under it on a giant beach-towel. Do you think my face is still scrunched up? Not a chance.
I have a huge smile on my face and my forehead is relaxed. The wrinkles are sent back to the drawing-board to find some other plan on how to invade. Same sun. Same face. Different thoughts about it.
Here is another thing that works for me. I read somewhere once that, “I am the sky and my thoughts are the clouds that drift across it.” Sometimes I can watch them come and go. It’s a small thing, but it really changes my perception of where I exist in the scheme of things.
Other people can find that silence in their work. Not necessarily at work, mind you. They find it in their work.
Perhaps they have something they do that they find meditative. Although I myself am not a great master, I have seen great masters at work and I can tell you, the trance state in which they work absolutely does exist. This I can assure you. It is the same when a dancer merges with the music or the whirling dervish disappears inside of his spin. This, I have seen. Rapture does exist and in that state there are no thoughts. In that state, your actions exist because you exist. Not because you caused them.
I have lived this state on more than one occasion. For example in martial-art competitions (it doesn’t happen often. For the most part I have been pummeled. But) there have absolutely been times when, “it was not me who moved, and yet others would say I moved nonetheless.”
Ironically I had the same experience in a recent spree of car accidents. I was driving on the freeway at a very high speed, when, in front of me, a series of collisions started occurring. Immediately, I found myself in the flow and by the obvious grace of God, I moved effortlessly through the violence. I was thankfully unscathed.
So this is your first lesson: Inner peace begins with inner silence.
Inner Peace step-by-step and guaranteed!
Some people call this meditation and indeed it is. You don’t need a yoga mat and a candle to meditate—but if you have them and they work for you then, please . . . keep it up. For the others of you, just know that meditation is the quieting of the mind.
Many have found that they can quiet their mind while in nature. You must go there at least once. After that, though you may want to, you will never have to go back. We will teach you how and why this is so.
If I knew someone was going away for a long time, I would teach them this technique and nothing else. I promise you it will save them and their sanity, while at the same time endearing your mutual relationship. For example, if you have a friend who is leaving you, I urge you to show them this. You will need most of a full day if you are both going to experience it—and I recommend you do.
(Note: that entire paragraph (above) was—for lack of a better word—channeled. I had not intended to write it, and yet it came out. Completely and rapidly. It was a cool experience and one I would like to try more of! This can only mean one thing: someone in the audience needs it. Let me know in the comments if it was you! If I see it, I promise to write back.)
Where were we? Yes, Nature. Go visit that place. Some place special to you. When you do, let me explain the technique you will use there. I found it to be amazing in my life and I have shared it with many others who also enjoyed it. I read about it literally decades ago in a book somewhere.
- What you do is this: when you go visit this nature spot of yours (perhaps it is a garden, for example), you bring along your friend and you also bring along a blindfold. I know. Crazy, right? Wait. It gets better. Have your friend blindfold you and then have them lead you slowly around the garden. No talking from either one of you. Remember, you’re trying to quiet your mind. This will bring you the peace you seek.
- As you walk around the garden, your friend (because you instructed them earlier) will direct you to experience different things. Maybe, for example, they will stop you at some flowers. Your job—your only job at this moment—is to just experience these things.
- Smell the flowers. Caress them. Listen to the sounds around you. Your hearing will be heightened. Can you hear the wind? Birds? People? Flowing water, perhaps? Next they will lead you to another place in this garden. Can you feel the wind on your face? Maybe your clothes billowing? What scents can you distinguish? Perfume? Fresh-cut grass? You get the idea.
- Walk around for an hour blindfolded. Your friend will keep time for you and tap you on the shoulder when the time is up. You do this part so that you are not constantly worrying about whether or not your hour is up. Quiet your mind.
- When you are done, take off your blindfold and walk around it all again for another hour. Still no talking. Have your friend take you to all the same spots they took you to the first time (and in the same order).
- After your two hours have passed, several things will happen. For one, you will likely now go and spend the next few hours quietly reflecting. That’s a good thing. You have now gained some silence in your life and that was the goal. (Even if you don’t spend the next two hours that way, however, you will have still spent the last two that way and that in itself is huge for some people.)
- Another thing that will have happened is that this place will now be ingrained in your psyche. You will know it completely—well . . . you will know it at least as it existed for those two hours. The sights, the sounds, the scent of it; all of it will be yours. Later, when you need to calm your mind, you can mentally revisit this place and you will remember it in extremely vivid detail.
You now have an extremely effective tool at your disposal to quiet things down. Important: Because it will be so completely familiar to you now, make sure you choose a special place for this all to happen. It will literally be with you for many years to come. Maybe also choose a rather close friend to guide you, so that at least they understand your type of crazy. In the 3rd phase of this series, I will show you a special function of this technique only to be used for Soulmates. Are you and your partner up to the challenge? Then make it through all 3 sections!
Next up: For those of you that want to find that same inner peace—that effortless flow of energy and creativity—at your place of work or in your life’s passion or even a hobby, then please, move on to Phase 2 on Inner Peace – Work.