Monday, January 21, 2019

Peace of Mind

What does it really mean to "find peace"?  By definition, peace means a state of quiet tranquility where there are no disturbances, no war, no aggression, and no conflict or hostility.  It's a place of harmony or perhaps a time of calm contentment.

When we are seeking peace we might be looking for a quiet place or gentle environment.  Maybe a break from noise and human congestion.  Peace can be that small coffee shop where not a lot of people go, or it can be your own home library or patio get away where water fountains gently trickle and birds click away in the trees.

Finding peace within the mind, however, is a little tougher and requires training ourselves to stay in the present rather than allowing the mind to wandering off into worry, rumination, or dwelling on regrets about the past.  By the same definition, peace of mind also seeks to find a place of quiet mental tranquility where we are not disturbed by our noisy or aggressive thoughts.  Finding a cognitive place of harmony and calm contentment means staying mindful of what is happening right at this moment.

One method for finding a mindful place of peace is to focus on the senses.  Noticing in this present moment what it is you feel, smell, hear, taste, and see can help to keep your mind from wandering off into the noise and disturbance of thoughts about the past and worries about the future that take you away from this very moment.

Focusing on the senses in the present moment can bring you to full awareness of the meal you are eating, the music you are listening to, the feel of the temperature in the room, the beauty of your surroundings, or the aroma of everything in front of you, be it a cup of coffee or a beautiful flower.

When the mind is trained to stay present it is at a higher state of peace than when it is untrained and living in the past or the future.  A mind that is dwelling on the past, where it lives out the hour or day ruminating about how things "should" have been, or "could" have been, is a mind at war with itself.  And a mind living in the future, where it dwells on the "what ifs" and contemplates the catastrophes that may come, is a mind that can never rest due to that jackhammer noise called "worry".

Peace, and better yet... Peace of Mind, is a quiet and tranquil place, free of unwanted and disturbing thoughts.  It's a place of harmony and calm contentment, in the mind.  You have no greater task in this lifetime than to bring your mind to a place of peace, and there is no greater peace than being fully present in this very moment.

Thanks to Ray MacLean for the great photo