“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time,
I rest in the grace of the world,
and am free.”
“The Peace of Wild Things”, by Wendell Berry
TIP 27: BE AT PEACE
Close your eyes and breathe in deeply, focusing on the word peace as you visualize pure light. Breathe out whispering the word peace, almost as a sigh, dropping your shoulders and relaxing your mind and body with each breath.
Is peace something we seek or is peace something we are or become when everything falls away? The wise elder, Bhisma, instructs his younger nephew, Yudhishthira, on how to become peace:
“Even the gods are bewildered at the path
of the one who seeks the abode of no abode,
Who sees all beings
With the being of oneself
And the being of oneself
as that of all beings
From not holding to the other
As opposite from oneself
There is the essence of dharma.”
Dharma, in both Hinduism and Buddhism, refers to the principle or law that orders the universe. Michael Stone, in his book YOGA FOR A WORLD OUT OF BALANCE, describes dharma as “not so much an anthropocentric truth but a natural law of the material world, observable, just as change is, in everything.” When Michael teaches his yoga students he often gives them the homework of trying to refrain from creating opposites for one week. By not categorizing ourselves as short not tall, white not black, or friend not enemy, we begin to participate in a reality where we do not set ourselves apart from the flux of what we are perceiving. Separation leads to fear. Union to peace.
Some of us try to attain our peace by comparing ourselves to others who seem less fortunate. We attempt to be content through our perception that another or others seem to suffer more. This makes the ‘other’ an enemy in our mind because the ‘other’ becomes a rival for our peace. What could be more ridiculous than this? Or, more of a distraction on the spiritual path. We are all ONE. If anyone suffers, we suffer too. When we focus on suffering, by the Law of Attraction, we experience more suffering.
How can we dis-cover the clarity of mind that leads to peace? How can we integrate flexible thinking and listening with ethical actions? Stone says, “the answer begins in our mental attitude and our ability to find clarity of mind with less self-referencing. Most of our habitual thoughts are stories about ourselves, and as we learn to work with these habit energies, we learn how to take in situations without filtering our experience through narratives of I, me, and mine.”
Getting very comfortable with our emotions and honouring and expressing them in appropriate ways can lead to peace. Yoga teacher, Sandra Summerfield Kozak, tells us a wonderful tale of detachment regarding the Dalai Lama. Sandra was attending a Buddhist training with the Dalai Lama when he was speaking about his life and he suddenly started to cry. Sandra says that he didn’t try to explain it or suppress it, even though he was lecturing to hundreds of people. Sandra says that he cried for several minutes and then dried his eyes and blew his nose and carried on with the lecture. Some part of his past had come to light. He allowed the experience, and then released it and let it go. As Sandra notes, ” experiences that are painful when they first happen are also often experienced as painful when we let them go.” (YOGI by Philip Self) Releasing the pain of the past is important for our peace and aliveness and growth.
TIP 28: BE GRATEFUL
At night, before bed, write down everything you love and are grateful for about yourself, and go to sleep feeling blessed and loveable. The more you count your blessings the more blessed you will feel and the more blessings you will attract. Gratitude holds the highest frequency. Be grateful even for life’s challenges and for those who bring them to you.
Our gratitude shortens our learning time more than any other practice. It is a way to increase our frequency and magnetism. Dr. Deepak Chopra tells us that “gratitude and generosity are natural attributes of an affluent consciousness.” ( CREATING AFFLUENCE)
I have homework for you to do before next week. It is an exercise that will transform mistakes into blessings for which you will be grateful. Choose one mistake that you made in your life. Find a total of ten blessings you are grateful for as a result of making that mistake. Write them down in your journal. To help you find the blessings, you can ask yourself these questions. What did I learn from the mistake? And: What are the good things that came out of the mistake? (from THE MAGIC by Rhonda Byrne)
I highly suggest that you also re-read my blog this week on “Peace” (January 2, 2014) as well as the one called “Attitude of Gratitude” (April 17, 2014) . I did.
Love & Light, Monica