Finding Inner Peace

Becoming aware of either an obvious and nagging or a submerged yearning for balance and inner peace, we hope ­ at some vague future date ­ to attend to this gnawing hunger. Yet sacred moments that feed and support these longings are around us right now ­ every where, at every moment. These sacred mo ments are actually brief, seemingly ordinary moments, which act as reviving breaks from daily frenetic activities.But why are these ordinary experiences deemed `sacred’? Because immersed in them, we experience a sense of beneficial stillness and peace. Because they often propel us beyond our limited sense of iden tity, inviting us to connect with enhanced perception ­ if even for a brief space of time ­ to those wider dimensions of the beauty and awesomeness of Creation and of our place within it.

Sadly , daily activities or worrying about the future grip us, making us forgetful of the need to invite or allow those sacred moments in. We plod through each day , with the haveto-do stuff ­ tasks, deadlines, calls, email, social networking, meetings; and all too soon, another day is over. The good news is that we can deliberately and actively practise creating space for these reviving, nourishing moments. The even better news is that as we repeat something regularly , the brain registers it, and the process starts to become more natural, easier and eventually almost automatic.

Inner Peace-featured

To begin with, for a few days or weeks, we need an external reminder ­ a timeror reminder bell on one’s cellphone, or notes stuck in places you will notice. While i was developing my own practice, i had as a reminder the image of the simple and elegant double-line pause button symbol as my desktop background! Making ourselves pause simply enables us to be present to any one such moment fully. Repeatedly experiencing sacred moments helps us to get us in touch with the wisdom of what really matters. So, you pause. Then what? Well, then you look around. Really look. And intentionally bring your senses to the foreground. Your eyes might notice the light through the leaves of trees if you are outdoors, or coming in through the blinds or cur tains if you are inside a room. You might hear the delightful sound of birds sing ing or children’s’ laughter, or a snatch of music. You might smell the earth after a rainfall, or coffee brewing. Instead of gobbling your food, you notice the G textures and colors on your plate.

And you might then be shocked to realize how your eyes or ears are conditioned to first search for dissonance and unpleasantness; we are so habituated to this negative, unhealthy way of perceiving our world. While this is admittedly a part of our reality ­ it is not the only part; it is simply the part we are accuse tome to tuning in to. In repeatedly tuning in to the annoying, irritating, or disturbing ­ we automatically tune out of the small but precious delights and beauty all around.The thing to do is not to give up, but to look again. But this time ­ as a Persian phrase has it ­ do it with beautiful eyes.