Whether one is new to meditation or a seasoned practitioner, the feeling experienced by many is a sense of peace and calmness within. The challenge thereafter is to try to retain this feeling while navigating through the unpredictable ups and downs of life.

Before my conscious spiritual journey began in this life, I hardly understood the meaning of peace and calmness, and I especially didn’t know how to consciously tune-in to these inner experiences. I just waited and hoped for situations and environments to bring them to me.

I also used to think peace and calmness were the same thing—a state when there’s silence, and no conflict or disturbance. Although somewhat true, this wasn’t an accurate definition of peace and calmness. I also peace and calmness came to me from outside, a result of the surroundings and people around me. Through regular meditation practice I learned that there’s an inner reality where we, through conscious effort, have the capability to access an inner state of peace at will. I also learned that calmness has a dynamic element to it which I did not recognize earlier.

Paramhansa Yogananda Ji says ‘Peace emanates from the soul, and is the sacred inner environment in which true happiness unfolds’.

To achieve even a little bit of soul peace, even just to sit to meditate, I knew I first needed to calm down and reduce my restlessness. One simple, key learning was understanding that we can observe how calm or restless we are by observing our breath. Yogic teachings explain the connection between our breath, energy and mind: as we change one, it changes the other two also. Relaxation, and stillness of body and mind, are a prerequisite to tapping into our inner, eternal source of peace.

When I want go deeper in meditation and wish to focus on a particular divine quality such as Peace, I’ve found visualizations to be of great help. Especially as a beginner I didn’t know how to focus on such an experience and expand my awareness of it during the final phase of meditation. At Ananda I’ve found the guided meditations with visualizations to be very helpful and effective.

Over time, I enjoyed meditation more and more, and offer my deepest gratitude to God & Gurus for showing me the way. I found the following words of Paramhansa Yoganandaji very encouraging:

The more you feel peace in meditation, the closer you are to God. He moves nearer and nearer to you the deeper you enter into meditation. The peace of meditation is the language and embracing comfort of God. Therefore, God is present right on the throne of peace within you. When you know God as peace within, then you will realize Him as peace existing in the universal harmony of all things without.

I have gained a deeper awareness of how imperative it is to maintain the peace within at all times, not only during meditation.  Holding-on to the after-effects of meditation is about living in and with that sense of peace and calmness. As Yogananda ji says, to be ‘calmly active and actively calm’.

As we attune ourselves more and more to super-consciousness through meditation, chanting, affirmations, visualizations – we are consciously cultivating inner peace and calmness, and accessing a divine joy that is already ours. We are less dependent on what’s happening outside, and drawing more on our own inner strength. We try not to react in situations, but respond calmly from a centered, higher level of consciousness. We refuse to be driven by moods, and use our dynamic will power for constructive, soul-enriching purposes. We trying to stay cheerful and even-minded under all circumstances, and to live in harmony and in attunement with Divine will.

Lastly, I want to share the beautiful, crystal clear definitions the divine qualities of ‘Peace’ and ‘Calmness’ by Swami Kriyananda ji, that cleared completely my lingering confusion:

 “Peace is the soothing cessation of all agitation of feeling, whereas Calmness is dynamic, and is the silent, essential core of creativity, of impersonal love, and of divine wisdom.”

One Comment

  1. mm

    Beautifully expressed. A close reading makes the reader feel a palpable sense of peace, calmness and tranquillity, almost as though you’re touching it. Very nice indeed

    Waiting for more from you

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