How To Find Inner Peace Right Now

how to find inner peace

“Leave your front door and your back door open.
Allow your thoughts to come and go.
Just don’t serve them tea.” — Shunryu Suzuki

Whenever I offer meditation taster sessions to the public, it never ceases to amaze me how often people who have never meditated before experience profound peace the first time they try it.

Even people who are deeply unhappy are able to experience peace and inner calm the very first time they meditate.

Why is this?

It is because, whatever your mind may tell you, peace is your true nature.

It is always present within you but most of the time, you are too absorbed in the activity of the mind to notice.

Your peace is hidden in plain view, just like the screen at the movie theatre.

Before the movie begins, the screen is clearly visible. Once the film starts, however, you get caught up in the excitement and drama of the movie and don’t notice the screen any more.

It doesn’t change or go anywhere. You simply don’t notice it while the movie is playing.

Just like the screen, the backdrop of peace is present in you the whole time but your attention is captivated by the flickering images of the mind—the thoughts, the feelings and the emotions that are constantly coming and going.

Meditation is simply a technique to help keep your attention anchored in the here and now—to keep your attention on the screen.

You don’t have to look for peace. You don’t have to fix or change anything.

There are only two places your attention can be. You can either be present in the moment or you can be thinking.

Peace is the natural consequence of being present.

Whatever the mind may tell you, there is no distance between you and peace, between you and love, between you and happiness.

Peace is ever-present within you, even if you don’t feel it right now.

Unhappiness exists in the form of thoughts alone. When you are fully attentive to the present moment, thinking ceases and, in the absence of thinking, what remains is peace.

Of course, most people will pick up their unhappy story again the moment they stop meditating but, nevertheless, isn’t it great that they were able to be free of suffering for a short time at least?

With practice, anyone can learn to deepen and extend these moments of peace.

 

Peace As An Emotion vs The Peace That You Are

If you for search online for articles and blog posts on finding inner peace, most of them refer to the experience of peace… the feeling of peace that comes and goes, not the eternal state of peace that is inseparable from who you are.

And, by the way, the natural state of peace I’m referring to is not some strange, mystical, ‘woo woo’ altered state that’s only accessible to highly evolved yogis or gurus.

It is not some elevated state of consciousness that is attained only after years of gruelling austerities and spiritual practice.

It’s who you are right now in this very moment, regardless of how screwed up you may believe you are… and I’ll bet you already experience it way more than you realise.

The paradox is that it’s so simple and so familiar that we overlook it—just like the screen at the cinema.

We are looking for some big deal when the answer is really simple.

 

kick the thinking habit

 

Searching For Inner Peace On The Level Of The Mind

“Don’t be a peaceful person, Be peace.” — Papaji

If you are serious about experiencing more inner peace in your life, my best advice would be to start a regular meditation practice.


Here’s an online meditation program from my friend, Giovanni Dienstmann, that I’d highly recommend. Master Your Mind — Beginner Meditation  (It’s an affiliate link which means I will receive a small commission but you’ll pay no extra at all.)


I believe that, consciously or unconsciously, we all know that we’re far greater than we are taking ourselves to be.

This intuitive knowingness manifests as a persistent itch that never goes away—a sense of ‘something missing’, a desire to ‘come home.’ It keeps us searching and prevents us from ever being able to rest fully.

I love the above quote from Papaji, “Don’t be a peaceful person. Be peace.”

Of course, there’s a lot we can do to experience more inner peace on the level of the mind, on the level of the person.

Here’s a list from a post I wrote: “Finding Inner Peace: 7 Things You Can Start Doing Today.”

  • accept yourself unconditionally
  • don’t resist what life brings
  • learn how to deal with overthinking
  • spend more time in the present moment
  • spend more time in nature
  • live simple, slowly and mindfully
  • look for the good in everything
  • engage in a daily spiritual practice

But the truth is, we’ll never be completely at peace until we discover and reconnect with our authentic Self., with the wellspring of peace within.

So how to do that?

 

You’re Not Your Thoughts, Feelings Or Emotions

“Leave your front door and your back door open.
Allow your thoughts to come and go.
Just don’t serve them tea”. — Shunryu Suzuki

True peace comes, not from having peaceful thoughts, feelings and emotions but from realising that (as Rumi so beautifully suggests in his well-known poem, the Guest House) they are simply visitors that enter your awareness, linger for a moment and leave again.

They are not who YOU are. You are the screen, the backdrop, the unchanging awareness.

You are the Guest House. Peace, agitation, happiness, sadness, bliss, despair are all visitors that show up at the door uninvited, looking for a room. You don’t have to entertain them.

If you leave them alone, they have no power to affect your peace.

The key to lasting peace is not to change or fix your thoughts (they are self-arising and beyond your control anyway) but to change how you relate to them.

As Shinryu Suzuki suggests, “Allow them to come and go. Just don’t serve them tea (don’t engage with them).

Or, as Rumi puts it, “The dark thought, the shame, the malice; meet them all at the door laughing and invite them in.

Thoughts, feelings and emotions will only affect your peace if you take them personally— if you identify with them and take them to be who you are.

I’ll end with a quote from my book “Kick The Thinking Habit.

“Don’t be concerned about the thoughts that come and go. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone. Leave the mind in peace to do its dance, and it will leave you in peace to do yours. Don’t touch it at all, and you will remain untouched by it.”

If you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. And feel free to share it with your friends.

RESOURCES

Master Your Mind — Beginner Meditation (affiliate link)

Master Your mind — Intermediate Meditation Course (affiliate link)

If you feel you could use some personal guidance, give me a shout and we can set up a FREE coaching session?

 

monkey mind

 

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