10 ways to inner peace

  1. Know about the importance of inner peace
    Inner peace is not just another emotional state, but it is our real being. It is the place of power. Being there is like having a magic wand.
    Inner peace is the place from which knowing comes. Knowing how to act appropriately in a given situation.
  2. Desire peace
    As long as it feels good to succumb to anger, the desire for peace is not strong enough. But life will take care of this. Eventually, we will all have suffered enough, and then inner peace will become the highest priority.
  3. Clear the clutter and simplify your life
    Too much stuff, too many items on the to-do list, and too many responsibilities can feel overwhelming. A friend asked me how I can stay relatively relaxed. I replied that part of it is that I have a low maintenance life-style. I just don’t do a lot of things that women and mothers are supposed to do in our society. Of course, that raises some eyebrows every now and then. But, inner peace is more important to me than fulfilling norms of the society.
  4. Get enough sleep, exercise, walk in nature, breathe consciously
  5. Keep a journal
    Write down anything that is bothering you just to get it out of your system.
  6. Meditate
    My favorite method is turning the focus of attention 180 degrees backwards so that awareness looks at itself. No counting of breaths, no special posture, no visualization techniques. Can be done during sleepless nights lying in bed or during routine tasks like peeling carrots for dinner.
    (This method comes from the Dzogchen tradition, but the easiest explanation is here in this 4 min video http://www.justonelook.org)
  7. Forgive
    If shit hits the fan, my favorite method is ACIM style forgiveness.
    In case you get angry about a situation, turn within and ask for inner guidance. How can I see this differently?
    If I don’t hear any answer, I run through the following checklist:
    -) I don’t get upset because the me which is hurt is not the real me ( – like it would be stupid to get upset about losing in a board game of Parcheesi).
    -) I don’t get upset because the thought which leads to being upset is not true ( turn the thought around with The Work by Byron Katie)
    -) I don’t get upset because there is something good even in this seemingly bad situation ( – maybe the disturbing event or person is meant to mirror me in order to show me something? Maybe it is a reminder of lost peace? Or it has a metaphoric meaning?)
    -) I don’t get upset because I have created the upsetting event myself in the first place (via the power of my creative consciousness).
    -) I don’t get upset because I have planned this challenge before my incarnation and it serves the purpose that I shall remember who I am in truth. (See the great books  Your Soul’s Plan and Your Soul’s Gift by Robert Schwartz. I was surprised to find out why someone might plan to experience alcoholism for decades. I highly recommend these books in case you struggle with some major issue which makes you upset for several years.)
  8. Stop the thought spiral about past and future
    How to stop anger and regret about the past and worries about the future? Options are ACIM style forgiveness, meditation, or focussing the mind on the present or on some task (like mantras or a flow activity).
  9. Give up control
    Being a mother has taught me that I have no control over my children. I have no access to the switch in their head when it comes to whether they learn or whether they clean their room. I can’t turn a tulip into a rose and vice versa. I can only give them water and fertile soil. It’s useless to struggle and then beat myself up about my inability to control them.
  10. Wake up
    See that the separate personal self is an illusion in the first place.
    We are consciousness. Before birth, in the body, and after death, we are consciousness. There is always the ‘I Am’ with content. We are the ‘I Am’ with all its content: noise colors lights shadows sensations thoughts emotions (which are physical sensations in the body) memories (which are thoughts). But by putting the label on our body as ‘me’ and on the other person and the wall over there as ‘not me’, we have separated ourselves with the consequence of fear and guilt. The way back home is seeing through the illusion of these labels. ‘I’ is just a label for this particular body-mind appearing in consciousness and it is not more real than Santa Claus. (Book recommendation: Gateless Gatecrashers by I. Cuinaite and E. Nezhinsky)
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33 thoughts on “10 ways to inner peace

  1. A wonderfully comprehensive checklist Karin, and your meditation sounds right up my street. You appear to incline to a blend of the theistic (ACIM) and non-theistic (Advaita); would you say that they are unnecessary distinctions may I ask?

    Very many thanks, Hariod.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Hariod.
      Thanks for sharing that you like the meditation method. It is is effective and simple. I have come to think of all other meditation methods as just preparatory stages.

      About your question, I’d say that there are two parts to be answered.
      1. Is ACIM theistic?
      Even though the language is theistic, the underlying concept is non-dual. Bill Thetford, who initiated the receiving of the Course, once called it the Christian Vedanta.
      A more lengthy discussion of this subject can be found here, on website on ACIM for atheists(!)
      http://acimandatheism.weebly.com

      2.Is it okay to mix and match?
      Now, since I think that ACIM is essentially non-dual, I would not need to answer this part. But I still do.
      There are so many spiritual paths out there, can we mix them? Which one has got it right?
      I have come to view this as in the parable of the five blind men who touch the elephant and try to describe it. And each one tells a different truth. None of them has got it quite right, but together they indeed describe what an elephant looks like.
      Another way to view the different thought systems is like rungs on a ladder. For the lower rungs, different teachings are needed than for the higher rungs. Maths is taught differently in kindergarten than in university. But it is still the same truth.
      ACIM is addressed to those with ego in full bloom. Nerdy intelligent people who like to think, discuss, and compete.
      ACOL is addressed to those with much less ego. It is much softer in language, much easier to understand. It gently directs us to the Copernican shift in worldview, the shift in identity.

      When I look at the Way of Mastery books, Jesus channeled by Jayem, I see the same sneakiness in his approach. He comes in through the backdoor, seduces and woos the ego. But then over a period of some years, we are prepared for the final push off the cliff.
      That is a very different teaching approach from straight-forward non-duality according to Greg Goode’s direct path, for example.

      But I think that both approaches have their values. The teaching must fit the receptivity of the student.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. We all love a good rant; it livens things up a bit after all. 😉 Besides, what you have offered in your response clarifies a great deal for your readership more widely and is therefore of service to all. Perhaps my original question may have been more appropriately put had I substituted the word ‘theistic’ with ‘teleological’?

            H ❤

            Liked by 1 person

            1. You mean that ACIM implies that we have purpose , while Advaita means that we have no purpose? This is getting above my paygrade. I’m no specialist for ACIM nor for Advaita.

              In case you want to know my personal opinion about the question of ‘Why are we here ? ‘, I’d say this:
              ‘Why’ is hard to answer. Better ask How come? and What goal to achieve while we are here ?

              For both questions, I like the ACIM view. We are here because of the thought of separation taken seriously. I have experienced often that thought is a precursor of manifestation. So it makes sense to me that the thought of separation causes a meat-suit with sense organs which enable me to perceive a world of separate things seemingly out there.
              Then what can we do while we are here ? Remember who we were before we started playing the game of ‘I am separate’ .
              And after we have remembered ? Then we do whatever we feel moved to do.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. I love this reply, Karin. We do whatever we feel moved to do… Amen!

                I do like to keep in mind that the meat suit is actually an effervescent, self-organizing, coherently orchestrated, non-localized, organically profound, epiphenomenal, electromagnetic symphony spanning more octaves of energetic pulsations than a field battalion of harps and banjos, always maintaining a dynamic, entropy-defying equilibrium with its surroundings, from which it is never truly separated… All reduced to a name and a mug shot for ease of dismissing it’s non-existence…

                Just sayin’. 🙂

                ❤ ❤ Michael ❤ ❤

                Liked by 1 person

  2. I love what you said about meditation,” turning the focus of attention 180 degrees backwards so that awareness looks at itself.” Brilliant!
    Blessings and Light,
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Mary!
      This meditation method is so simple and effective. Once, I was active in an internet forum, and many people there liked this method and found it helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I resonate with many of your chosen “tools”, Karin. In any given moment I am liable to cycle thru items 1 thru 10 repeatedly until grace smacks me in the head with a mallet. I especially resonate with the part about being a nerdy, competitive thinker… 🙂

    I am finding the deep practice of acceptance to be increasingly important to my inner well-being. That is obviously an extension of my ACOL reading, but it is kind of an interesting elaboration on forgiveness at some level. Forgiveness in ACIM struck me as being founded upon the realization that nothing we are disturbed about can truly affect us. Acceptance is kind of a dancing form of forgiveness for me, where we accept we are deeply unified with what lies behind and within all that arises… When I put it in words, it comes out lame… But there was a subtle difference for me between the sense of invulnerability, and the sense of being invulnerable and yet wrapped up intricately in all of it…

    Blessings!
    Michael

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thanks for your comment and for your sharing, Michael.
    Yes, these ways or steps are like a repeated cycle for me, too.

    You wrote, “Acceptance is kind of a dancing form of forgiveness for me, where we accept we are deeply unified with what lies behind and within all that arises”
    That is put very poetically. And it is interesting that you see a difference there between forgiveness and acceptance. Hmm, food for thought for me….

    I think, I have my issues with both words, forgiveness and acceptance
    (-acceptance is often misunderstood; if it is cold, should I accept the cold? Or should I accept the inner impulse to put on a sweater? If I am exploited, should I accept the exploitation? Or should I accept the need to acknowledge that I have manifested that for myself so I am forced to look at whatever it is inside of me that has generated/created/allowed this circumstance?)

    For me, both forgiveness and acceptance translate to “Choose inner peace no matter what happens.” (- and then, appropriate action can flow from this inner peace. And often I am surprised what appropriate action looks like. How it does not fit into my previous concepts of polite,kind,loving. How it is often honest and fearless)

    It is the staying at peace inside which I have been trained to do (otherwise grace would hit me hard). And that inner peace can only be real peace if we are identified with something outside of the screen of the virtual reality game , i.e. if we are identified as consciousness.
    So, that process is circular for me:
    Choosing inner peace if shit hits the fan , causes me to remember that I am not the character of the computer game.
    Remembering that I am not the character of the game, but the one who has programmed the game, causes or enables me to stay at peace.
    Peace,
    Karin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Karin,

      I’ve been wanting to come back to this comment, as my own words about the distinctions between forgiveness and acceptance have given me pause for reflection. Not that I want to over-analyze it, but it was an interesting revelation to myself as I wrote it that I have been curious about.

      I like the way you put it: that they both translate to choosing peace above all else. I agree with you. And I can appreciate the difficulties you have with both words. When we use them with the meanings they are given in ACIM and ACOL, but in a conversation where all parties don’t necessarily understand those same meanings, it is incredibly easy for the intent to be misinterpreted. As you say, neither is the suggestion we allow ourselves to be run over… And I agree there is a deep choosing of peace in both of these inner movements, for lack of a better term.

      First, I realize that forgiveness and acceptance tend to arise as responses to moments when I find I am not at peace. Do you agree? It is when we feel the strain of something pushing or pulling on us, that invites our attention first, and then the choice to return to peace is often facilitated by the “act” of forgiveness. The way I personally experience ACIM-style forgiveness, is as the willingness to relinquish my interpretation of what is happening, so that the invulnerable nature of spirit might arise to replace the misperception of that “little self” who is temporarily running the show. Forgiveness for myself, is initiated by this willingness, and releases a profound feeling of peace as my locus of identification dissolves. I can’t really even explain what forgiveness is, to be honest. I think it’s a word we use to explain this miracle I have described– the combination of willingness and desire for peace, which initiates a miraculous– (meaning a shift not solely under one’s own control, but one that arises as grace within awareness)– shift in identity and interpretation. This is truly a choice for peace, and peace is what we feel when our perception has been “corrected” in this way.

      After several thousand or hundreds of thousands of daily applications, we become comfortable we can cross this bridge whenever the need arises. Acceptance brings to mind a couple of things that, at least for my own little brain, are distinctions, or expansions of that forgiveness process. First, where forgiveness was a means of crossing the bridge from the mad world we misperceive to the whole world of truth within, we can become something of a yo-yo. We can run across the bridge when difficulty arises, replenish our stocks of inner peace, and then run back and step into our daily lives once again. This at least, is how I have felt at times. Acceptance is slightly different for me in the sense that it is about being truthful about the fact that we can only truly live on one side of that bridge, and if we wish to release the full power of our being, one way to do so is by accepting which side of the bridge is our true home. This acceptance doesn’t mean we never get disgruntled, or ashamed, or aggrieved. It simply means we’ve acknowledged the two worlds are not equally valid. Forgiveness for me can be like a reset button. Acceptance is like a permanent change of address.

      This permanent change in address then allows me (us) to carry all that arises in an expanded field of peaceful movement. Rather than interrupting anything that is arising, to forgive it, we have acknowledged “in advance” that the events cannot affect our true nature, thus releasing ourselves to respond fully in the present to what is arising. Never leaving our true home, we can express fully in the moment, something I might not always have done when focused on forgiveness. Acceptance for me is like painting all of time with forgiveness, so it’s done. Now… with that complete, there may be a tickle of Love’s movement arising within me asking for a response, and I can be free to explore it, right where I am.

      Another aspect of acceptance is being deeply okay with all aspects of ourselves. Not just forgiving them and noting that the particulars of this world can’t affect our spirit, but accepting that they are unique expressions of who we are. We can identify with spirit, and the warts and foibles are okay. We don’t need to forgive them out of existence. We can carry them with ease.

      I don’t know if I’ve said this any better here in the unabridged version, but wanted to give it a try!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for this in-depth exploration of forgiveness and acceptance.

        Yes, they arise in situations in which we are not at peace, I agree.
        Or where we are at peace even if the circumstances suggest that we should not feel peaceful.

        I resonate with your description of the forgiveness process.

        I’ve never thought about acceptance as you put it :
        “Acceptance for me is like painting all of time with forgiveness”.
        “Forgiveness for me can be like a reset button. Acceptance is like a permanent change of address.“

        Yes, that makes sense. Forgiveness like an event in time, vs acceptance as a continuous state.

        Thanks for the unabridged version. It is very enriching to discuss with you.

        Peace,
        Karin

        Like

      1. Interesting you post that. I am working with them as we speak. It is amazing! I also found a small group of people that study Zen but most Zen people consider dangerous LOL. It is coming fast and furious over hear 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh and another really great thing I am doing is “Headlessness.” It is the simplest most direct route to the truth. I found them years ago and actually blew it off because my mind told me it was too simple and could not work. But it does work and it is powerful if we don’t allow the mind to “think” about the process.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Karin.
    I was here earlier, but wanted to come back and review. Today I am all about #2, #7, and #9. I have suffered way too much for way too long and really want to see things differently and perhaps, correctly. Enjoying the wonderful back and forth commentary here. Reminds me a bit of my former ACIM study group. While I am rather rusty with the Course ( I studied in the 1980s and 1990s) certain principles stick with me. But unfortunately so has the struggle. I see the separation as illusion, I got that, But what I do not get is how to live with people who live as if it is separate and if they are just humans without a spiritual consciousness.

    I am so glad I can come back here and utilize your blog as a resource.

    love,
    Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Linda.
      I hear you. Sometimes it can be damn hard to find peace, especially in such circumstances as yours.

      How to live with other people if they live as if separate? Well, there is no easy advice. That could mean so many things. Sometimes they are a mirror. Sometimes they are meant to be a prompt to speak up. Or it could be something else. It is best to rely on inner guidance in whatever form that might take. Inner voice, songs , dreams, synchronicities…
      I hope you will get some answer for your burning questions directly from Source.
      Love,
      Karin

      Liked by 1 person

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