FINDING INNER PEACE
Finding inner peace relies on the ability to be still inwardly. Being still inwardly relies on having a central point to hold the reins of the wild horses of the mind. The main focus should be on the word INNER. This in itself is the first hint, key, or secret of what will be required for one to have or to at least experience some degree of Inner Peace.
Inner peace is not taking the reins and controlling the wild horses of the mind nor is it the strict and forceful attention on stillness. The reins of these horses need to be gently loosened and allowed their natural tendencies to move about. Usually, the thoughts one is trying to control are almost always connected to the outer world’s life. These thoughts concern themselves with things, places, people, and events. Some thoughts form powerful memories with emotional attachments which draws your consciousness away from the inner peace that you seek. Usually, these events and thoughts are problems, dilemmas, or experiences which are unresolved and draw you deeper and deeper into outer world experiences. No wonder it is difficult to find inner peace. We look for inner peace within the outer world of thoughts and feelings. To find inner peace we much go beyond feelings, beyond thoughts, and explore an inner world where this peace can be found. Where can we gently lead these wild horses to a place that they will not interfere with our goal of seeking inner peace? Is there a place that is beyond the mind, the thought, and the experiences of this outer world in which we live? If so, where is it and how do we find it? How do we get there?
These wild horses have to lead in the direction you wish them to go or they will run riot and go off in their own directions. One of the first things to do is to get control of your body and by doing this you begin to gently grasp the reins. I do not know if you know this but being aware of the breath is one of the first keys. You have probably heard someone tell you “Take a deep breath and relax”. Breathing affects the entire makeup of humans. Someone who is calm breathes entirely differently from a person who is fearful or one who is anxious. A person who is emotional will breathe very rapidly which is completely different from the slow rhythmic breathing of one who is calm and centered. So, the breath can, will, and does calm the emotional body and helps to still the wild horses of the mind.
It was said that the Buddha taught his disciples the first step of meditation was to focus on the breath. He would have his student inhale a breath and then exhale the breath. Inhale and then exhale. He would have them do this over and over for about 1-2 minutes. This rhythmic breathing would cause their body to relax and gently begin to still the mind. Then he would have his students inhale and at the end of the inhalation focus their attention on the space or gap before they exhaled the next breath. Then again, after the exhalation, focus the attention on the gap before the next inhalation. This way he slowly changed their awareness of the breath to the gap between the breath. Now the focus is on this inner space instead of the outward breathing. As the student became more aware of this space, he would have them focus on the stillness and bliss within the gap. Inhale, be aware of the gap, be aware of the stillness in the gap. Exhale, be aware, be still, inhale. The technique would take the student’s focus of the body to a focal point within the inner world. Once the student was in the inner space of the gap, they were directed to aware and be still. Next, conscious awareness was directed to be aware of this stillness and deep inner peace. Lastly, just let go. Be aware of the profound stillness, the deep inner peace, and the bliss.
This was a technique I was taught by my teacher Master Choa Kok Sui. I believe he modified the teaching of Buddha in order to update the teaching to our modern world. If the mind focuses on stillness and inner peace, then the universal or spiritual laws will return to each person a karmic response to what they have sown. If one sows seeds of tomatoes, they do not get cucumbers. If one sows seeds of tomatoes, they get tomatoes. You reap what you sow and you sow what you want to reap. So, if one sows the thoughts of stillness and peace, they will get inner peace and stillness. This is one level of inner peace a person can experience. By using the breath and focusing on the inner stillness, there will be an awareness of the peace and stillness within oneself. The mind is calm, the emotions are still, and the stage is set for higher awareness.
There is a deeper inner peace that helps us to live a happy and joyous life. My teacher and all the great teachers taught: “There is no inner peace without forgiveness”. True inner peace comes from having no inward thoughts of revenge or inability to forgive others. One may forgive a person but not forget the event. Thereby each time they remember, they suffer the unfortunate mistake or issue all over again. Forgiving is the first step to forgetting. Forgiveness and forgetfulness go hand in hand to create a lasting inner peace. Master Choa taught that forgiveness is for you not for those that hurt you. When you forgive you let go of the binding negative forces that create this endless loop of pain. People are told to forgive and forget but when they forgive inwardly or outwardly, they overlook the second teaching to forget the event or the memory. Some events are more difficult to forgive than others and some events are more difficult to forget than others. If you’re like me and had some wrong committed against you and it is difficult to let go, then you may have to bless the person or the event in order to move on.
It was explained to me like this. Karmically, whatever we experience is because events, thoughts, and ideas have been set into motion and on some level, it must return to us. If we sow seeds of hurt and discourse then we will reap these actions in some way. It is not that we are being punished, it is just the great operation of one of the inner laws of man. Through the return of these actions, we consciously get to experience what it is like to be at the opposite end of the event. Thus, we can learn from this and hopefully become more aware of what we think and what ideas we release from within ourselves into this great cosmic law.
When something happens to us, we can look at it from different levels of awareness. The first level is to react and become aware of what we did on our part that might have created it or brought it to us.
If the event is one of mental abuse, we might realize and be aware that the inner thoughts we think and the words we have been using are usually pessimistic, critical, and harmful. Therefore, when we reach a level and ability to see this consciously, we reach a point where we can take charge and change how we contribute to the world. We can sow seed thoughts and ideas which are more constructive and create future events which will be more optimistic and pleasant. Now the law of Karma becomes a tool to create a better life. By seeing where we have been, we can chart a course for the future. As Master Choa said, “The law of Karma is not punitive. It is not there to punish you. It is there to teach you what you have done in the past and what you can do to create a better future”.
Once a person develops a certain degree of awareness and understanding they view the law of karma from a higher perspective. Instead of reacting with anger or hurt, this higher perspective views the karmic event as compassionate. The higher viewpoint knows and is aware that it is paying its karmic debt and is grateful that it is being paid. However, there is compassion for the one who brought it to them because they now know that this person has created a karmic event that must return to them in some future time. So instead of feeling hurt or angry, this event is now one where compassion and blessing flow from the one who was wronged. They give thanks for the person or event that has fulfilled the karmic law and blesses the person or event so they may receive compassion and mercy for the events they have set into motion.
To have outer peace in the world there needs to be inner forgiveness. We can find inner peace within ourselves through techniques handed to us by those who came before us. Inner peace exists on many levels and is found within a person or within the event through forgiveness and letting go. Inner peace is an attribute within humankind. Through the application of higher understanding or through techniques to clear away the thin veil, the inner person can find a peace that passes all understanding and can arrive at a knowing and an experience of the great world within themselves.