How to Find Inner Peace
“How can we have peace, even an iota of peace, in our outer life, amid the hustle and bustle of life and our multifarious activities? Easy: we have to choose the inner voice.”
– Sri Chinmoy, The Garland of Nation-Souls
How to find inner peace
Sri Chinmoy writes that to find inner peace, we must first listen to our inner voice. Almost all of us have had the experience of hearing or feeling something inside ourselves—trying to help us and guide us in our daily life. And almost all of us have had wonderful experiences when we listen to our inner voice – and perhaps also sad experiences when we do not listen to our inner voice.
How to find inner peace? How can we get peace of mind? How can we find inner peace which we know we have, but which we usually cannot access at our free will?
These are questions which have motivated countless millions of human beings throughout history – driving some to disastrous ruin, and some great souls to illumination and complete oneness with the highest. The story of the Lord Buddha’s transformation from a prince to a fully enlightened Being is a great example of the latter.
An exercise for finding inner peace:
Meditating on the Vast Sky and the Deep Ocean
If you would like to try a simple and most effective meditation, please feel free to try this one by Sri Chinmoy:
“When you want to develop the power of meditation, then think of something very vast. Think of the sky or the sea. When you meditate early in the morning or in the evening, you do not have to face the ocean or look up into the sky if you do not want to. Earlier I said that if you can see the rising sun in the morning, it is extremely helpful. But if you do not have the opportunity to see the sun or the sky or the sea, no harm. Try to see the rising sun inside you; try to see the sky inside you; try to see the ocean inside you. Your spiritual heart is infinitely larger than the ocean and infinitely vaster than the sky.”
– Sri Chinmoy, Kundalini: the Mother-Power
The quest for inner peace:
Siddhartha Becomes the Buddha
Siddhartha was the crown prince and finally got to leave the palace grounds with his charioteer, Channa. The first day he went out, he could not believe his eyes. He saw a man with white hair who could hardly walk. That day Siddhartha learned about old age.
The second day Siddhartha started his journey with such joy. He saw such beauty in nature. Then, suddenly, he saw a man lying on the ground who could barely breathe; he was writhing in pain. Channa told the Prince that the man was sick.
On the third day Siddhartha was once again filled with complete happiness at the most beautiful spots they passed by. At one point, Siddhartha saw people carrying a man on their shoulders. All the people were shedding bitter tears, and the man was lifeless. Siddhartha asked Channa what was wrong with the man and why was everyone crying. Channa told him that the man was dead.
Siddhartha had never before known of old age, illness or death. But after these most significant experiences, Siddhartha decided that he would conquer fully old age, illness and death? And he did it! How? By conquering himself and becoming completely one with all life. How? By silencing his mind and discovering the infinite peace within himself through meditation. In this way, Sidhhartha became the Lord Buddha. You can find this story and several others from Lord Buddha’s life inside a most inspiring play written by Sri Chinmoy, Siddhartha Becomes the Buddha. http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/sbb-5.
You can watch the entire play here.
The Infinite Source Within
All of us have had shocking experiences when we discover that life is not what we had imagined. Specially painful is when we learn that pain, suffering and death are part of life. Indeed, these sad experiences have driven countless millions of people to seek some way to escape them. Be it through tireless achievement, making money, making friends, constant diversion—or more negative actions like descending into drugs or other self-destructive behaviours. Ultimately, most everyone finds a way to go beyond the pain which is a part of life.
Again, some people are directed to spirituality not through any sad experiences, but because they want to bring more meaning and fulfillment to their lives. They ask themselves, “How can I discover who I really am?” “How can I develop to the fullest of my capacity?” “I know I have so much more to offer to others, but how can I develop all the talents I have inside me?”
Some very, very rare individuals — like Prince Siddhartha — follow their inner guidance to learn about meditation. Not only do these great souls conquer all negativity, but they fill themselves with boundless peace, joy and inner strength. They discover a source of infinite capacity within themselves and learn how to harness that source.
The quest for inner peace:
Sri Aurobindo’s Inner Awakening
Another supremely great soul, Sri Aurobindo, was imprisoned in India by the British in 1908 – having become a great independence leader in India. Where many freedom-fighters lost their way completely as a result of the heinous torture they were subjected to inside the jails, Sri Aurobindo had extremely high spiritual experiences of Lord Krishna during his imprisonment in isolation. Sri Chinmoy describes Sri Aurobindo’s loftiest experiences in a poem entitled Aurobindo in the Alipore Jail.
So what are the secrets of these great souls and others who find peace in the most challenging of places? How to find inner peace? All of the greatest spiritual teachers of the past have discovered that some form of prayer or meditation is their great secret. In order to find peace, in order to have something solid from within which will allow us to truly serve others, we must uncover the peace we have within.
Our Peace is Within
Peace is a living and breathing reality which we can and must find within us. Indeed, inner peace is itself boundless power. As Ralph Waldo Emerson writes “Nothing external to you has any power over you.” (The Very Best of Ralph Waldo Emerson by David Graham)
In a letter to his nephew, Thomas Jefferson writes about the practical power of maintaining our inner poise: “Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition, v. 19, p. 242)
For me personally, Sri Chinmoy’s essay entitled “Our Peace is Within” expresses perfectly the imperative for each one of us to discover the peace that lies within all of us.
Sri Chinmoy writes:
“No price is too great to pay for inner peace. Peace is the harmonious control of life. It is vibrant with life-energy. It is a power that easily transcends all our worldly knowledge. Yet it is not separate from our earthly existence. If we open the right avenues within, this peace can be felt here and now.
“The greatest misfortune that can come to a human being is to lose his inner peace. No outer force can rob him of it. It is his own thoughts, his own actions, that rob him of it.
“Our soul lives in Peace and lives for Peace. If we live a life of peace, we are ever enriched and never impoverished. Unhorizoned is our inner peace; like the boundless sky, it encompasses all.”- Sri Chinmoy
How to find inner peace