The Dawning of Inner Peace That Lights Up Your World
When I first heard the words “peace that passes all understanding” as a child, it was as though it subtly planted the seeds of peace within my heart. Through many years tending to that garden, I have come to experience luminous moments of profound peace. The phrase pointed me to the truth that such peace is always available to us, when we are willing to look deeper, become still and go within.
To live in peace is to live free from fear of violence, conflict or hostility. In peaceful living, we don’t feel any sense of “against-ness” towards anyone or anything, including ourselves. We feel whole, unified with all that is. This is because we are rooted in our inherent interconnection with life itself. Established in the light of inner peace, we realize that any notion of against-ness is a passing illusion, one created by our ego that only knows to separate and divide.
World peace begins with individual peace of mind. We need to get to know ourselves. We need to befriend ourselves. We need to understand the wars we wage in our minds; the way we carry animosity and against-ness towards ourselves, others and the world. We need to realize the way we inadvertently attack the moment, without even knowing that we do.
In peaceful living, we shift from experiencing ourselves as disconnected beings who seek to solve problems we perceive as “out there.” It cures us from our human tendency to sense that somehow life is “happening to us.” We are inspired by the truth that however we choose to think, feel and act affects all life, everywhere. As we tend to the seeds of peace within us, they flower into radiance. Then we may, in turn, plant and nurture peace in the world around us.
Our thoughts and moods are like clouds in our personal atmosphere that can keep us from sensing the sun of inner peace. They also affect those around us. We all breathe the same air. We live under a common sky. We walk the same ground. Because we are all connected, all life on the planet will sense, at some level, our inner sun or clouds.
Remember, however, that to judge yourself for feeling cloudy days enables a disconnected state. That would add more clouds to your own sky, and so to our shared, collective sky. Instead of focusing on clouds, or trying to push or pull at them or judging them as wrong, look instead to the shining sun, ever present beyond them.
Last month in this column, I invited you to begin to inquire into what peace means to you. I also suggested that you take a few minutes, morning and night, to be present with yourself, as well as pausing throughout the day to tune in to how you are feeling. In these practices, you make space for the light of peace to dawn in your heart and mind. As you continue them, see if you can begin to carry some of that light into every moment of your day.
I also invite you to take a few moments now for introspection with the following questions:
• When I feel peaceful, does it seem to support peace around me?
• When I feel full of storm clouds, do I see that reflected around me?
• Am I willing to let go of fighting the moment? What would that look like?
• Am I willing to be patient and compassionate with myself, even when I don’t feel at peace?
• Am I willing to stay focused on the light of peace?
• How would my life change if I chose to do so?
Parvati is an award-winning singer, composer, producer, yogini, author, and Founder and CEO of the international charity Parvati.org. Her work is dedicated to protecting all life on Earth by establishing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS).