Find Inner Peace in YourSelf (part 1)
Are you looking for enlightenment? Seeking the hidden wisdom? On a quest to end all suffering? At some point in our lives, we all do. And for the lucky ones, finding that you are OK is wonderful. We may have to work toward some improvements in our life but we have come to understand how to be at peace within ourselves.
Others may not be so lucky, but all we can do for them is live in peace within ourselves and hope to guide when possible. Not being a holy man or a teacher sometimes has its advantages. I can tell my story and offer my tips and advice secure that the guidance I provide has proven itself in my own life. And I understand you are not seeking a teacher, just for a bit of guidance, a little nudge to get outside the spiritual aspects and to focus on how to find inner peace, for yourself. Are you ready?
This is a 2 part article and I’ll be sharing some background knowledge and my thoughts.
- Part 1 Relaxation and Meditation
- Part 2 Music and a Product
Relaxation can mean many things. In today’s world, I (and maybe you) get so caught up in our daily life that our definition of relaxation may be to de-stress, to just forget about all the noise that surrounds us. We seem to be willing to trade just a few minutes of valuable time for the elusive peace we insist we want and deserve. Schedules, co-workers, the boss or the employees all add to the days conflict. Family, friends and the tasks around our homes take away from the precious minutes we have just to unwind and let things settle.
My Grandparents had 13 children. One passed soon after birth. They raised 12 kids, scrambling to provide food and shelter. Those 12 kids often returned home for meals, and usually dropped us grand kids off for extended summer stays. GrandPa taught us about work and how to do the outside responsibilities that come with growing up. Granny taught us the value of managing a home and with running the store. Neither made any exception to whether we were a boy or girl, life has its responsibilities and we all face them.
Granny’s day usually started at about 3am, when she would get up and start breakfast. Her day would last until 8 or 9pm, when she finally finished her day and could rest. It seemed that Granny never had any free time. And yet… some of my best memories of Granny are when she was sitting down. She used to milk the cows and then churn her own butter. I have this wonderful memory of Granny sitting and making butter. She would be working and have her eyes closed, a small smile and a look of complete peace. Doing embroidery, she would seem so engrossed and focused on her stitches, again with a small smile. I don’t remember seeing Granny read the Bible but I can still see her sitting with a closed Bible in her lap with an expression of joy and peace.
Maybe we can’t take the minutes just to dedicate to relaxation that we should, but Granny taught us kids that relaxation can be had with the tasks we are given. That we can unwind simply by finding the joy that is around us.
Mindfulness is the process of bringing attention to experiences occurring in the present moment and is used to develop self-knowledge and wisdom. The recent popularity of mindfulness in the modern context is generally considered to have been initiated by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is an American professor emeritus of medicine and the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. A student of Buddhist teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Zen Master Seung Sahn and integrated their teachings with scientific findings. In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which is offered by medical centers, hospitals, and health maintenance organizations.
Other meditation exercises to develop mindfulness include:
You can focus on sounds, sensations, thoughts, feelings and actions that happen in the present. Mediators are recommended to start with short periods of 3 minutes or so of meditation practice daily, gradually increasing the time.
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help people become more
mindful. While MBSR has its roots in spiritual teachings, the program itself is secular.
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a psychological therapy designed to aid in preventing the relapse of depression,
It uses traditional cognitive behavioral therapy methods and adds in newer psychological strategies such as mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. The focus is on becoming aware of all incoming thoughts and feelings and accepting them, not attaching or reacting to them.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a form of clinical behavior analysis. It is a psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a psychosocial treatment developed for treating people with borderline personality disorder. Mindfulness is a core exercise used.
- Mode deactivation therapy (MDT) is a treatment methodology that is derived from the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy and incorporates elements of Acceptance and commitment therapy, Dialectical behavior therapy, and mindfulness techniques developed and is established as an effective treatment for adolescents with problem behaviors and complex trauma-related psychological problems.
Mindfulness has been found to result in better employee well-being, lower levels of frustration, lower absenteeism and burnout as well as an improved overall work environment. Since high levels of mindfulness correlate with ethical decision-making and increase personal awareness and emotional regulation, mindfulness training has been suggested as way to promote ethical intentions and behavior for business students.
The ways to find inner peace in yourself does not’t have to involve years of study or hours in meditation. We all have relaxation coping skills; some better than others, but we all have our own ways to relax. Developing strategies to improve our relaxation tie almost effortlessly into Mindful Meditation. We just change the focus. Little children are master mediators. Watch the total absorbsion into their play. That is being in the present moment.
The five basic meditations I mentioned are the foundation, the framework toward learning to live in the present. Thich Nhat Hanh has referred to breathing as an anchor. Something to bring the focus back to if thoughts or emotions begin to overwhelm.
In Part 2, I will be introducing you to a new (for me) artist, Daisy Maude. Not traditional meditation music by any stretch of the imagination but very much worth listening to. And to a product which has helped me to slip into a relaxed zone easier.
Have you tried Mindful meditation? Do you have someone in your life that showed you how to relax, to meditate in the present, like my Granny did for me?
I always value your comments and thoughts, your suggestions and/or questions are welcome.
Walking the Path of Peace,