Creating Peace in a Modern World

“Peace comes not from the absence of conflicts in your life but from your ability to cope with them.”

Many people believe that creating peace in today’s society means living in a beautiful, pristine place devoid of conflict, strife, and the many negative or undesirable qualities of human existence. That is, eliminate the chaos and all will be well. However, as my father taught me when I was growing up in India, the world exists in a state of duality and discord, since this planet is always comprised of souls at different levels of evolution and conscious understanding. While it is highly unlikely that there will ever come a time in which everyone has simultaneously evolved to a place of absolute love, it is indeed possible for a majority of us to attain a dominant vibration of harmony and peace. During this process of transformation into a higher space, we are faced with the challenge of attaining peace in a modern society–amid loud city noises, angry drivers, and aggressive portrayals in the media, how can we touch serenity ? How can we help shift the dominant vibration of our universe into a calmer, kinder one for all? How can we all be more peaceful?

Anyone can sit alone on a beautiful beach or at the top of a mountain and experience inner calm. The sound of the ocean, the gentle movement of a breeze, and mostly the absence of any other people around us (!) make peace highly attainable in such an environment. In India, there are many mystics who retreat to the forest caves high in the Himalayas to touch upon inner peace. The outer tranquility of Nature influences and facilitates their inner journey towards peace. However, it is perhaps the ultimate mark of an advanced soul to live around chaos and still experience this same tranquility. I have seen other mystics in India meditating in the midst of bustling city life, under a tree, unflinching and completely serene, for many hours. So, which approach is “better?”

I believe that although both approaches lead towards the same goal, there are several considerations. First, there is a small percentage of individuals for whom retreat from the outer world is a viable option. Although the path of the mystic is considered a lofty one, it may not be a “higher” path—just one that is more appropriate for some souls. This choice may be one that was determined in a previous life, one that feels completely natural for the soul when he or she comes here. However for most people on this earth, it is their dharma (duty) to be in the world and of it. Thus, in order to find peace while living in this busy world, we must first become peaceful within ourselves. Through meditation, contemplation, self-growth, practicing kindness to people and animals, we energetically influence our surroundings for the better. When we are peaceful, wherever we look we see peace because we emanate that which we are, ultimately contributing to the transformation of the world into a higher ideal. Although the path of the mystic sitting alone in the forest is tempting and alluring at times, it is equally challenging and worthwhile to tap into peace by being a vital, moving part of this beautiful world.

The challenge for most of us is, therefore, not to retreat or withdraw from society, but rather to work on clearing our own negative tendencies so that we can bring more loving qualities to our daily existence, to our communities, and to the planet at large. When we emerge from our meditations and spiritual inner work, we are changed. Vibrationally we are different and since we are each an integral part of the whole, so too does the world change with our individual transformation.

My work in the world is to help people achieve inner peace so that their lives become a reflection of this serenity. We do not create positive conditions in our lives if we are in a state of anxious haste or agitation–therefore peace is not merely a pleasant state of being but in fact a vital part of our existence, facilitating the manifestation of our dreams and goals. Peace is a reality that emanates first from a state of mind and being that exists within and then flows out into the world. When we consciously cultivate and create this state within ourselves on a consistent basis, our outer world reflects peace back to us and becomes that peace which we see.

Sanskrit Prayer for Peace:
Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu

Translation: May all the beings everywhere be happy and peaceful.

Copyright © Professor Sasi 2007

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