According to the ubiquitous wikipedia ‘Inner peace refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being “at peace” is considered by many to be healthy and the opposite of being stressed or anxious. Peace of mind is generally associated with, happiness and contentment‘. Many spiritual practitioners and mental health professionals would agree, however, do we know how this desirable, mystical state arises, or where it come from? Why does it disappear so easily, and when it does how do we find it again?
Many great teachers of time honoured spiritual traditions have spent their whole lives mastering the stable state of consciousness required to maintain equanimity under any circumstances. There are numerous proven techniques which can bring the dedicated practitioner to this attainment, and whole cultures dedicated to ensuring continuity of practice and access to the state of inner peace. Most of us live outside of such conducive circumstances, the world in which we find ourselves is often confusing or distressing, we are pressured by circumstances, by social expectations, by responsibilities and by the choices we make. Because we perceive a limited range of choices, we can become stressed, anxious, and exhausted. Often we attempt to find a bit of peace for ourselves in mind numbing activities or substances. Remaining functional appears to be the best we can hope for, true happiness and inner peace seem like a fantasy in today’s fast paced world.
What can we do to help ourselves access the state known as inner peace?