“Peace doesn’t just happen. It requires work.” Just like staying fit
requires effort, so does keeping the mind healthy and serene. Beneath the surface our true nature is peace,
but like mining for gold, it requires work to get there. Most of the time the mind runs around in an
unruly way, fragmenting us into multiple pieces. While we’re working, it may be off thinking
about new clothes to buy. While we’re
eating it’s off thinking about working out this weekend. When we’re supposed to be relaxing and
enjoying a good chat with a friend, the mind may be off worrying about
work. It wanders, worries, frets, looks
forward and back, but rarely ever stays right here in the moment.
Some simple exercises can help to bring the mind home:
Defragment. Just as the computer software runs a
defragmenter to bring the pieces together, we also need to take time out to
stop the mind from running around. Some
people call this meditation, but in the beginning it’s simply an act of
concentration. To train the mind to stay
in focus, take a minute or two everyday and concentrate on a candle flame, a
flower, an icon or some beautiful object.
Allow the focus to be gentle with the face and brow relaxed. When the mind wanders, note this and gently
bring it back to the object of concentration.
This powerful practice is good training, not unlike the training
required for long distance runners. The
periods of concentration can be extended to five minutes, ten minutes or more. It’s a way of building endurance.
Unify thoughts, words and actions. How often do we
think one thing, say another and do something that is completely
different? A good aim is to bring unity
between, thought, words and actions, or to put it differently, to be in harmony
and balance in body, mind and spirit. By
following good thoughts and intentions, speaking good, kind and compassionate
words and acting in compassionate ways, this will bring peace to us and to
those around us. It will also set a good
example of unity and inspire others.
Follow the Heart. If your wisdom heart says to be silent next
time your family member or colleague provokes you, then do it. If you feel the need to put more heart into
your work, then act on this now. If your
conscience tells you to stop gorging on sweets and care for your body, then
obey it. Following the wisdom heart will
bring a deep sense of inner peace and eliminate fears. It brings us into complete union at all
levels if we pay attention and listen.
So the next time you’re feeling
concerned about not having peace, set up a training program and get to
work. The efforts will bring great
rewards, and benefit not only you, but also improve the environment for those
around for you.
Copyright: Debra Moffitt-Leslie, March 2010
Bio: Debra Moffitt-Leslie
Debra Moffitt-Leslie’s book,"108 Spiritual Practices for
Challenging Times" will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in 2011.
Her essays and articles appear in publications around the world and focus
on drawing attention to the spiritual in a mostly material-minded world.
She’s on the faculty for The Sophia Institute and gives workshops in the
U.S.and Europe. Her fiction was broadcast by BBC World Services and published
in numerous literary magazines. Read more at www.debramoffitt.com