Peace is Waiting Inside
Peace is waiting inside. I didn't make that phrase up, it's actually the title of a wonderful song by Linda Worster. So how do we find this peace that is already present and waiting for us and is inside us? One thing for sure. If you are like me, you might feel like you are racing against time. And the answer to finding some peace inside would seem to be in slowing down time. Actually, its not in slowing down time but in slowing down our mind where we can find our inner peace which is already waiting for us, within us. We can't control time but we can "control" our wild minds. Now, I hear another song coming. This time its James Taylor's, "The Secret of Life" where the lyrics are, "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time". He further goes on to sing, "The secret of love is in opening up your heart, there's no need to feel afraid, don't let that stand in your way." James is awesome...a deeply thoughtful songwriter and musician! Now, back to the mind and time. In Buddhism, they call this phenomena that we all wrestle with as the elephant mind, our thoughts are like wild elephants on a stampede. In Yoga its called the monkey mind, our thoughts bopping around like monkey's jumping from tree to tree. As I was preparing to fly to California a few days ago I was noticing this feeling of time traveling just too fast and my mind being non-stop and hopping around like the duracell bunny. In fact, when I was driving to the Boston airport I had this feeling of my mind moving faster than my car on the turnpike. And just the day before when I was on a walk and I completely couldn't remember if I walked on a particular road that I often walk on. Yikes! When our mind races at 80 mph it's impossible to be in our own center and resource our inner peace and live with wisdom. What's the key to developing inner peace and inner wisdom?
I notice that when I lead workshops and see clients, my mind focuses on working with healing energies and time becomes more spacious. The key seems to be that I consciously create or intend a healing focus. Yet in day to day life, as problems and challenges emerge the mind can jump into a more fear-based, problem-solving mode or just be generally caught in the self-induced and culturally endorsed mental pressure cooker of more, more, more...faster, faster, faster! It is a place where we are not consciously creating or intending anything other than getting more things done quicker. When I was teaching at Hartford Family Institute last week, I noticed a plaque on the synagogue wall (which the Institute rents for the large lectures) with a quote from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel that went something like this, "God hides his presence so that man can bring God's presence to life through his deeds"--that's basically the quote as I remember it. Well, that touched me. Through our actions, when filled with healing intentions, God or spirit becomes visible and I would add palpable. God or spiritual energy can appear on earth when our actions have healing intentions behind them! That's a miracle we all have performed at different times. After reading this plaque, David Gilroy, one of my mentors at Hartford Family Institute, presented a profound lecture that began with, "in any given moment we are either supporting our experience or assaulting or rejecting our experience". Like a bell that phrase has been ringing pleasantly in my ears this past week. Accepting, being compassionate or supporting our experience is the essence of unearthing our inner peace. And to me, this is a spiritual act or deed that brings God out of hiding. So, for instance if we are feeling chaos, out of balance, in conflict, upset in any way--the moment that we can bring support, compassion, acceptance and understanding towards our chaos, imbalance, conflicted self, we then open to the peace inside and we could say, God, spirit or higher consciousness becomes more manifest. So, its not about just creating peaceful experiences through meditation, yoga, walks in the woods etc. as important and wonderful as they are. Inner peace and mature growth is found when we become aware of all the experiences we have as human beings, which much of the time is "not-peaceful" but tumultuous and even war-like. We then bring peace to "not-peace", in other words acceptance and support to our selves--this is the groundwork for directing our compassion to others. We bring God or spirit out of hiding as we do this. It does seems like a godly act of creation when we transform the pain or difficulty we experience into waves of acceptance and ease! The moment we are experiencing has already been created by our karma you could say (the energy that we have invested into our mental/emotional patterns and lives up to this present moment), yet we create it anew with our healing intention...when we support our experience. May we all have a peaceful heart that extends its acceptance to the varying terrains of our journey through life in this new year. May we be happy and know the root of happiness. Warmly, Dan