With the new year just beginning, we seek to analyze how our last year went and what are our goals for the future. As this year began to wind down I thought to myself “What would my new year’s goals be?” Usually I set myself some type of goal that will make me feel better about myself: losing weight, writing more, saving more money, watching more TED talks, cleaning out my closet, calling my mother more regularly and so on. I can admit that I don’t always succeed in these goals but it is more about me knowing what it is I want. This year feels different for me. This year has upset my inner calm and my ability to find the light in situations. I have to work harder to keep my spirits up and feel that aura of peace I feel from my connection to spirit. You may have noticed this in your daily life as well. So this year I thought I would make my practice one that restores this peace to myself and hopefully to the world.
The idea that came to me was one of spiritual practices for greater peace in our world. Though I find the word “peace” lacking in some ways to describe what it was I wanted to create in myself and in the world, it is the only word that came close for me to what I wanted to work on in this blog. My goal is to write throughout this coming year a blog of spiritual practices to bring about a peace that nourishes the practitioner and creates ripples of active peace and harmony out in the world.
I hope this blog inspires others to take up a practice of peace. Like any new year’s goal, you may have high hopes of your abilities to adopt new spiritual practice. This is good but to keep a disciplined practice one needs to know oneself. Know how much can you commit yourself to a practice of peace. Make your commitment to peace a goal you can achieve and feel good about. Your commitment might be a monthly, weekly, or daily session to work with the spiritual practices in this blog. Your commitment may be just to read and reflect upon it, and that is okay too. As I said I hope it inspires you to incorporate actions of active peace.
What is Peace?
The art of creation is to first define the creation and then to implement it. So the first step to creating a practice for peace is to define what peace is to you. Get out your journal, a piece of paper or start a new note on your device and write at the top of it “Peace is…” Give yourself a limited amount of time like one to five minutes. A time constraint makes us focus a bit more and prioritize what we put on the list. You can even start a timer. Start to make a list of free associations with what peace is under the title. Do it now before you read any further.
Below is my list:
Hope, tranquility, harmony, diplomacy, a deep breath, lack of war, lack of discord, a cup of tea, good friends, right action or dharma, the goal, drama free, at the heart of every dance, what I seek, connection to the divine, enlightened people, tolerant, kind, acting from the heart, an end to need, a happy family, the ten of cups, knowing and adapting to the pattern.
Your list of what peace is will tell you what you are moving towards when you say the word “peace.” It may have images of what you think of when you say the word or things you associate with it. Your definition of what you are trying to create is a good thing to go over before you start the spiritual creation process because it can show you what it is you mean when you say what you want. You may see harmony in your list and think that is a better goal then the word peace because, in your mind, peace is created by it.
The process of free association may also give you clues to how you can create that peace in incremental steps. Take as example “a cup of tea” from my list. I could make a blend of tea that is to bring me peace and make it into a tranquil practice to bring about peace in myself by making and enjoying that tea.
Now that you have connected a bit to your own definition of peace, write a short paragraph describing an ideal scene of peace. Describe it in all of your senses and make it as real as possible. The practice for this week is to get relaxed and visualize it when you can through out the day. You may find yourself changing the scene a bit with your day as you visualize it. Allow your mind to effortlessly create the scene as you create it in your inner senses. Always end with a moment of gratitude for this peace in all your ideal scenes to super-charge it for manifestation. Know that when you visualize an ideal scene you have created the reactions as if it was already true within your body, you have created a pattern on the causal plane and with gratitude charged it so it will come out of the casual into reality.
Below is my example of the ideal scene I am using today. Ever since the free association I have wanted some tea.
My ideal scene:
I have finished all my work for the day, the house is quiet except for its usual background sounds. I have just made some English breakfast tea with milk and honey. As I smell the tea my body releases all tension and I feel a wave of calm come over me. It is the relaxed, focused, and energetic calm that comes from a good meditation. I take a deep breath knowing that the infinite source is working toward the best solutions in all things. I feel a tingle of joy as I am grateful for this time of peace.
May your practice bring you peace.