The opponent of peace of mind is not something external, but within us. – Dalai Lama
What does that mean?
Everyone I know is looking for peace of mind. If they have none, they want some. If they have some, they want more. And I include myself in that group. How about you?
The thing that we keep forgetting is that peace of mind is like happiness. It does not exist in the outside world. If we have it, it is because it is within us, not because of our surroundings.
The quote reminds us that we need to stop looking outside of ourselves, and check within if we wish to find what we desire. Peace, happiness, fulfillment, these are the things most of us seek. But none come from outside of ourselves.
We have these things within us, and it is up to us to remember to abandon our pursuits of them outside of ourselves and to remember to seek them within ourselves. It might take some practice, but we can cultivate peace of mind, we just have to do the work.
Why is peace of mind important?
Yes, there are settings or places where we have more peace of mind. But that is only because we have chosen to allow ourselves to have more of it. Because of this coincidence, we often attribute having peace of mind with outside circumstances.
Similarly, we often associate a lack of peace of mind with the events and circumstances we find ourselves in, and blame things outside of ourselves for our condition. But that is not what really happened; it is just how we have trained ourselves to interpret our lives.
It’s easy to confuse coincidence with causation. But the cause of peace of mind, or the lack thereof, is completely within ourselves. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical. Something happens, and because it impacts us adversely, we worry.
But it is the worry, not the event, which caused us to lose our peace of mind. We could have chalked that event up to experience, and gone on about our lives, with our peace of mind in tact. That, I believe, is the key to peace of mind. Less worry, less self, more peace.
Where can I apply this in my life?
So, how was your day yesterday? Was it as peaceful and relaxing as you would have liked? If not, why not? For me, it was a hectic Friday, and I ended up working an extra hour and a half. However, I managed to get a lot accomplished, so I was cool with that.
How many of you would allow working an extra hour and a half on a Friday night to ruin your peace of mind? Now some of it was rationalization, and the knowledge that being a little late on a Friday meant I missed rush hour entirely, and that’s always nice.
But that is the kind of thing that if you aren’t thinking about it, could easily make, or ruin, your whole day. How many times has a day gone just OK up until the last little bit, and then gone either very well or not so well? It happens to me all the time.
If you focus on just the end, it was a lousy or a great day, right? But if you average the whole day, it is still a mostly OK day. It gets back to focus, and on what you choose to place your focus. Since it is a choice, I would recommend choosing wisely.
If most of the day was OK, but had a real rough spot, try not to focus on the rough spot. Yes, there may be future implications relating to the rough spot, but try not to worry about them. Think, plan, prepare, yes. Worry? That’s not going to help anything.
Worry is an antagonist to peace of mind. Worry is the thief in the night which steals our peace of mind, and leaves us in an unpleasant state of mind. So we need to do what we can to relax and let go of worry. Do what you can to be prepared, and then let it go.
Think back over the last week or two. How many times could you have had more peace of mind, simply by changing your focus? How many times could you have relaxed a little and not worried so much? How much better would you feel, how much more peace of mind would you have had, just by trying these few techniques?
Now it’s time to look forward. Try using these techniques over the next few days, and see if you can find a little more peace of mind. Please feel free to come back and leave a comment regarding what worked for you, so that we may all learn from your experiences.
Are you ready? Peace of mind, it’s already within you. Let it come out.
- Peace of Mind is Closer Than You Think (meditationsforwomen.com)
- It is important to let people know that they have the source of contentment and happiness within themselves. (philosiblog.com)
- a wild mind won’t find a peaceful place (jasbaku.com)
- Anger destroys our peace of mind and causes trouble. It also hampers our ability to function properly. (philosiblog.com)