Peace Inside of Chaos
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Incidents like these play havoc with our peace of mind. I am sure you must have experienced a few of these disturbing emotions yourself.
For example —. It is difficult to let go of these anxious thoughts, they keep playing inside our minds like a broken record, the stress lingering on, destroying our inner mental peace. We feel victimized, agitated, depressed and stressed. Add up these bursts of anger and resentment that occur throughout the day — with your partner, boss, etc.
Finding inner Peace of mind seems almost impossible in these situations. In a world filled with arguments and disharmony, we long for scraps of inner calm, trying to find inner peace. But who is going to take the first step towards making it all better? Who will restore peace and balance in the world? Suddenly, a car cuts across and overtakes you and speeds away.
What is your usual reaction? You are angry and upset. Your mind is thrown off balance. You curse the driver, maybe honk your horn. Applying compassion in these situations is difficult.
The reason is simple — in our mind, we have been wronged. The other person has wronged us and we have been unfairly treated.
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You try to forgive the driver and try to maintain your peace of mind. Anger and resentment hijacks our brain. You curse the driver. You get angry. Maybe you say something angry to your wife, who reacts, which makes you even angrier.
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So now your wife is also upset. Things start going downhill pretty fast from there. The person who overtook you just received a call that his wife had a massive cerebral hemorrhage and the chances of her survival are bleak. He is distraught, trying to reach the hospital, thinking worst thoughts about his beloved. He has two children, aged four and nine. His wife means the entire world to him, and now she lies on her deathbed. How will he carry on without her?
How will you respond now?
Will you still call him names and get angry? Or will you be compassionate and just hope he gets to the hospital on time, maybe you would even help him in getting there. When the situation has been reframed, it makes you peaceful and compassionate. You are not angry and stressed anymore.
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You drive on the highway of life, finding peace within yourself. Because now you do not feel wronged anymore. Your mind feels the action was justified, given the circumstances. We assume they are rude and behave stupidly because that is their personality. That lady who was a little off at the customer desk while helping you? You took offence and were ready to talk to her manager.
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But what if she had just found out that her husband was cheating on her? Would you still judge her as being rude, or give her a little leeway? Maybe it would have escalated, with a follow up from the HR department. A single action of yours can lead to multiple levels of disharmony and suffering for multiple people. A Peace Shifu understands this commonly overlooked phenomenon. But it is difficult to invoke compassion and empathy in these situations. The brain rebels and hijacks our thought process. What I have learned in the past few years is that the mind needs reasons for compassion, peace and harmony.
You need to deal with the mind at its own level. Once the mind finds reasons to be compassionate and kind, it calms down pretty quickly! When a situation presents, which can potentially lead to stress and disharmony, you need to ask yourself — will getting angry help your inner peace? Will it create more suffering for everyone involved? Your act of being in peace will automatically help others. Instead be a Peace Shifu, the restorer of peace and harmony. You cannot use alternative narrative in every situation.
Sometimes, losing your peace of mind in the short run could be crucial in preventing further suffering. When you make a choice to act in a certain way, it has implications. For example, if you decide to be a Peace Shifu when your teenage son is insolent, are you cutting him too much slack? If you choose to maintain your inner peace of mind and calm, will this incident somehow create more trouble in the future?
Only you can decide this. Look at it this way- less peace now can sometimes mean more peace for everyone in the future. Think of an alternative narrative, and if you are really mad, think of more than one. I sometimes think of multiple imagined scenarios, which helps me to appreciate how many different kinds of unpleasant situations people can be in. Try to be a little more kind and compassionate.
Everyone is stressed, trying to make sense of this confusing world full of diseases, death and uncertainty. You are in an upmarket restaurant, celebrating your 4 th wedding anniversary. You have planned this event carefully, booked well in advance and you have been greatly looking forward to it. Chaos is the opposite of restoration or healing. But once in a while, those encountering chaos can see the positive aspects of the experience. Establishing a sense of controlled calm should be an important priority in your daily life.
Some ways to bring calm into your life include activities such as yoga, meditation, exercise, communing with nature, reading, and the creative arts. Meditation and writing are my personal anti-chaotic activities. In particular, loving-kindness meditations are useful during difficult times. As part of this 2,year-old practice, phrases promoting goodwill are repeated to evoke a feeling of love and friendship toward ourselves and others. There are many mantras you can use during this meditation, which can be directed toward yourself or a loved one undergoing a difficult time. The idea is to recite these phrases over and over again.
One of my favorites is from the book A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield, and I repeat this passage often during chaotic or difficult times. You might wish to print it out and post it near your computer. It is as follows:. Another book that is helpful during trying times is The Little Book of Calm by Paul Wilson, a collection of strategies that lead to a sense of peace and healing.
Wilson says that remaining calm is all about crisis control. He emphasizes the importance of breathing, and knowing how to automatically access the skills shared in his book. To do this he says, you must be prepared, patient, positive, and practical. It is a deliberate act, a conscious undertaking that helps release the feelings brewing inside us. Writing is a way of letting go, and it offers us a way to process key events in our lives.
Poetry, in particular, is healing to read and write because it explores our deepest and most intimate experiences, feelings, and ideas in a distilled and succinct manner. Writing helps us organize our thoughts, and as a result, helps us articulate our thoughts and emotions more easily. To begin writing, find a journal that appeals to you and a pen.