Peace Within Our Reach

mysticism peace Feb 27, 2024

Peace is always within our reach, depending not on what is going on in our lives or the world but on our fundamental, prevailing attitude. Regardless of the concerns that arise in our minds and cloud our hearts with anxiety, all it often takes is a turning around, a shift in perception, to realize that peace is intrinsic to our innermost nature, our deepest Self. Yet, this is easier said than done. It requires a process to train ourselves to recognize the quality of peacefulness as it manifests in us and as we manifest it in our consciousness through deliberate intention. This 10-day process invites us into a daily practice and perspective to exercise the intentional application to manifest peacefulness in our consciousness and to learn to recognize and relish what that feels like physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. 

In his core message, Jesus used an interesting Hebrew word that many of us find hard to swallow because it carries a sense of reprimand and condemnation. The translation in many versions of the Bible is "Repent; the Kingdom of God is at hand." The Hebrew word he used, Shuwb, translated as "repent," also means to turn around, an about-face, an inside out. The other two parts of his message are the Kingdom of God, which we might associate with a deep, eternal peace that is "at hand," indicating that it is nearby, within reach. 

Here's an optional way to understand his message:

There an alternative reality of a higher order you are used to
It is not far away or out of your reach but nearby and at hand
Turn within, look outside your box, and see with a different eye

The Hindu spiritual tradition offers a similar message: that enlightenment, also associated with peacefulness, is within our grasp, nearby, and readily accessible. It is a liberated state of being in which there is no fear, anxiety, or depression―in other words, "peaceful"—but it requires a shift in vision. This shift, however, is not easy, for we have learned to live with disempowering habits, habits that hurt and constantly disturb our peace, habits born of a self that is not who we are. Sadly, these clouded patterns associated with our personality are mistaken for our true nature. The shift we must make is the move to the awareness that we are, deep down, not just the bundle of fears and reactions that make up the ego. In doing so, we discover the authentic Self, the Atman of the Upanishads.

While many of these terms—peacefulness, Atman, Kingdom of God, authentic Self—stir something profound inside us because they ring true at that depth, it takes effort to get in touch with their reality. And it takes consistency and tenacity to stay the course. In this instance, the course is just 10 days. It may not seem like a long time; however, it is also a significant period to commit to daily practice.

But who are you committing to and why? You are committing yourself to yourself. Why? To care for yourself! Or, if you are taking care of yourself, improve that level of self-care because stress is taking its toll. 
Here is the first part of our Journal Questions based on the insights, perspectives, and practices we develop on Cultivating Peacefulness Daily.

  •  Is your peace deepening despite everything you hear in the news or from friends, family, and coworkers?
  •  Is your peace disturbed when driving or traveling by public transportation or alone at home?
  •  Is your peace disturbed when a coworker, friend, or family member passes a snide remark?
  •  What disturbs your peace the most? 

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