Have you ever seen the Seinfeld episode “Serenity Now!” skits? Jerry’s dad and Kramer are both convinced that reciting these words brings peace of mind. In reality it serves simply as a mantra shouted amidst times of overpowering anger; dad stammering around during a shouting match with his wife … Kramer smashing appliances in rage when Jerry accidentally steps on a rose in the hallway.
What is Inner Peace?
At Peace Revolution, meditation practice is also dubbed “Inner Peace Time“, hence the inspiration for the name of this website. Just like the topic of meditation, interpreting the meaning of Inner Peace can be tricky. And, just like meditation, I believe the truth of it is surely more experiential than intellectual.
But still, knowing that much, it is easy to “expect” inner peace from our Inner Peace Time. If we don’t immediately see peacefulness, our experience can spiral into one of pervasive toil. We change positions constantly, we fixate on the meditation session itself, how it’s not working, or
“I’m not good at this, WHY am I not peaceful yet? WHY can’t I be calm? There’s nothing for me to be anxious about? My mind won’t sit still!”
However, how we deal with these aspects once we become aware of them is THE practice.
Ultimately, you could say that Inner Peace comes from the freedom of knowing we have a choice. The word PEACE makes us sometimes think of the state of things as they are. But then what if it’s raining or overcast in our mind?
Meditation can show us a new way of experiencing our mind—or show us, to begin with, that we are indeed always experiencing our mind.
Lately, for this reason, I like to think of Inner Peace more as Inner Connection. Meditation is a practice of seeing ourselves, not in any particular way, not in any holy way, and hopefully not with any expectation. Just seeing ourselves, as we currently are. The mind absolutely does not want to believe that this is all that’s necessary to meditate. It will secretively cling to a sense of happiness, and push away discomfort, negative thoughts, feelings, and distractions.
Have you ever noticed that “pushing” distractions away and “reaching” for peace of mind does not necessarily work? I have.
And … Doesn’t sound similar to “SERENITY NOW!”?
This strain and sense of discomfort, I find, are exactly my things to work on. There is a sense of friction caused by expectations grinding against actual experience—and if that friction is held in awareness, we can use it to see just how our mind look at this moment. Not in a way where we measure and analyze it, but in a observant way … where even in the midst of discomfort and mental strain, we can put our hand to our chin and say …
“hm. mhm? … mHM … hmm.”
Instead of shaping our experience, meditation can be an exercise in simply accessing our capability to perceive.
It just so happens that fine-tuning this neutrality and acute self-awareness naturally births acceptance of experience.
And this in turn births Self-Acceptance.
And it so happens that Self-Acceptance brings Inner Peace.
And Inner Peace already means Outer Peace.
The act of trying to experience any particular thing during or after meditation usually ends up in a similar frustration to Cosmo Kramer’s. Nevertheless, no matter what, while meditating, we are learning about how our mind looks.
Because happy and hatred, comfort and pain, are all held in the same mind.
Thankfully, meditation is an exercise that simply works poorly when there is negativity abound. And, more telling, the experience does not teach us that we should distinguish the negativity—this doesn’t seem to work, either. Instead, meditation can even show us how to deal with our negativity. Perhaps this ability is actually what leads to more positivity.
If we continually meditate, this sense of detached acceptance and awareness may pour into all experiences, not always in ways we can perceive. The very act of sitting down, the willingness to do so, can refine our being.
Can you try this willingness?