Seven Steps to Inner Peace


Inner peace is the most valuable thing that we can cultivate. Nobody can give us inner peace, at the same time it is only our own thoughts that can rob us of our inner peace. To experience inner peace we don’t have to retreat to a Himalayan cave; we can experience inner peace right now, exactly where we are. The most important criteria is to value the importance of inner peace. If we really value inner peace, we will work hard to make it a reality.

These are some suggestions for bringing more peace into your mind.

1. Choose carefully where we spend time.

If you are a news addict and spend an hour reading newspapers everyday, our mind will be agitated by the relentless negativity we see in the world. It is true, that we can try to detach from this negativity. But, in practise ,we will make our progress easier if we don’t spend several hours ruminating over the problems of the world. If you have a spare 15 minutes, don’t just automatically switch on the TV or surf the internet. Take the opportunity to be still or at least do something positive. The problem is the mind feels insecure unless it has something to occupy it. However, when we really can attain a clear mind we discover it creates a genuine sense of happiness and inner peace.

2. Control of Thoughts.

It is our thoughts that determine our state of mind. If we constantly cherish negative and destructive thoughts, inner peace will always remain a far cry. At all costs, we need to avoid pursuing trains of negative thoughts. This requires practise. – We cannot attain mastery of our thoughts over night. But, at the same time we always have to remember that we are able to decide which thoughts to follow and which to reject. Never feel you are a helpless victim to your thoughts.

“If you have inner peace,
nobody can force you to be a slave to the outer reality.”
– Sri Chinmoy [2]

3. Simplify Your Life

Modern life, places great demands on our time. We can feel that we never have enough time to fulfill all our tasks. However, we should seek to minimise these outer demands. Take time to simplify your life; there are many things that we can do without, quite often we add unnecessary responsibilities to our schedule. Do the most significant tasks, one at a time, and enjoy doing them. To experience inner peace, it is essential to avoid cluttering our life with unnecessary activities and worries.

See: Benefits of simplicity
Continue reading “Seven Steps to Inner Peace”

A Clearer Mind


“When we are clear in heart and mind—only then shall we find courage to surmount the fear which haunts the world,”

– Albert Einstein

When we have worries and problems going around in our mind, we feel like there is a heavy weight holding us down. Sometimes, these mental problems build up slowly and we are not even aware of how much we are struggling to carry around. We can also feel powerless to deal with what we have. These are some tips to keep less on your mind, and to aim for a clearer and sharper mind.

Make A Decision for Each Issue

For each issue that occurs, examine it and then decide what, if anything that you can do. For each issue that comes into your mind, you could:

  • Do Nothing. Some of our worries about other people are beyond our control. Some are things that have not materialised yet. In this case there is nothing we can do. Thinking / worrying about it does not help, so there is no need to pursue it further. Feel free to let go of it completely.
  • Do it Straight-away. If it is really urgent, or really quick, do it straight away then you can get it out of the way. For example, if you have dirty pots lying on the floor, you can go and clean them in two minutes, then you don’t have to think about them for the rest of the evening (or get nagged by your wife e.t.c…)
  • Make a Plan to Deal with it at a certain time. We can’t deal with everything at the same time, nor is it efficient. If we have a work related issue, but it in a box for when you return to work. Maybe you need to speak to someone, and until then there is nothing that you can do.

The fundamental point is that everything that comes our way, we carefully analyse the best way and best time of dealing with it. It’s like we have an inbox in our mind, but, we try to keep our inbox clear by either dealing with it straight away or putting it in folder (work, relationships) A folder to be dealt with at the appropriate time.

Quite often, we have things going around in our mind which we half heartedly deal with, but don’t resolve. We have many things which are nagging at our attention, but, we don’t deal with them straight away. With this method, we can be clearer about when we are going to deal with things.

When we have this clarity, we can be much more focused and at peace withourselves.

Each thought is hopeless and useless
When I am in my unclear mind.
Each thought is prosperous and generous
When I am in my clear mind.

– Sri Chinmoy (1)

Pay No Attention to the Speculations of the Mind

Often the mind creates imaginary problems. It speculates on people’s motives and attitudes towards us, even on the flimsiest of evidence we build up fearful situations. These mental speculations are usually wrong, but, they can take up a lot of negative energy and make our mind feel cluttered.

Don’t Take Problems Which are Not Yours

We need to empathise and offer support with friends and family. But, we have to tread a careful line to make sure we don’t take on problems which are not our own. If we waste energy worrying about problems which are not our own, it will be never ending, as we can’t even solve them.

Don’t Feel Guilty

If you want to transform
Your life radically
Then immediately give up
Your false sense of teeming guilt
. ”

– Sri Chinmoy (2)

What has happened in the past is gone. There is nothing we can do about it. Feeling guilty for past mistakes won’t help rectify them; however, it will burden us down. If we make a resolution to do the right thing, this is the best approach.

We can definitely keep our minds clearer. We have to be willing to let go of problems, and deal with things at the appropriate time. Either we need to relax or deal with a problem until there is nothing more we can do.


” Clear mind is like the full moon in the sky. Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but the moon is always behind them. Clouds go away, then the moon shines brightly. So don’t worry about clear mind: it is always there. When thinking comes, behind it is clear mind. When thinking goes, there is only clear mind.”

Zen Master Seung Sahn

Remember we always have a clear mind, it is just that sometimes it gets clouded by thoughts. But, by detaching ourselves from thoughts we can regain our clear mind.

Photo top by Tejvan, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries – at top of Glastonbury Tor.

(1) Excerpt from Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 12 by Sri Chinmoy
(2) Excerpt From Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 40 by Sri Chinmoy

Peace in the Modern World


The modern world with its many fascinations, distractions and temptations can give us many things, but the humblest of all goals – our own inner peace – seems the one illusive thing beyond our reach. Yet, to attain inner peace it is not necessary to go back in time or visit the timeless Himalayan caves. Peace is perfectly compatible with modern life, if we learn how to harness the values of peace to the dynamism of modern life.

Peace In the Stress of Life

Often I hear people say ‘I don’t have time to develop peace’. They have a vague idea peace may be gained if only they could win the lottery and retire from work.  It is a misconception that inner peace needs to be associated with an inactive life. We can often find inner peace through a purposeful life, a life of serving others. If we wallow in our own lethargy, we will never cultivate inner peace. Inner peace we don’t get from watching TV, at best it may give us a slight sense of relaxation, but not an abiding sense of satisfaction. Inner peace comes from a feeling of living a purposeful life. If we are unhappy, we will not gain peace.

Doing Our Best.

We put ourselves under great pressure. We want to try and keep everyone happy. But, inevitably it is impossible to keep everyone happy and always succeed in doing well. We have to judge ourselves on our motives and intentions – not the external outcome or what other people think. If we work with the right attitude, doing the best in difficult circumstances – what else can we do? Don’t allow the unreasonable expectations of others to disturb your inner peace. If we can work with this sense of detachment then we will avoid many feelings of guilty, worry and anxiety. It is these forces that disturb own inner peace.

Inner peace can never be dependent upon outer success and outer praise. It is the nature of the world to give success / failure, praise / blame in equal measure. We have to transcend this at be at peace with ourselves whatever happens.

One of the great spiritual texts – The Bhagavad Gita,  was given in the middle of a war (Battle of Kurushetra). Sri Krishna advised Arjuna:

Do your duty to the best of your ability, O Arjuna,
With your mind attached to the Lord,
Abandoning (worry and) attachment to the results,
And remaining calm in both success and failure.

The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2.


It is true we don’t need to live in austerity or a Himalayan cave to cultivate inner peace. But, it is equally true, that we can easily minimise the pressures and inconsequential distractions that are readily available in modern life. Modern technology has given us unprecedented access to technology and communication. Undoutedely this has benefits if used wisely. But, sometimes it is like getting a glass of water standing under the Niagra falls. In other words we can become overwhelmed with information and this can become almost addictive. Similarly we can spend hours sending short messages or doing small things. We become reluctant to switch off from the electronic world and spend time enjoying the simpler pressures of life.

There are many ways to simplify our life (see: 10 ways to simplify your life) . – Getting rid of junk, spending less time on checking email, taking time to ourselves; but this simplicity is often feared in modern society because we have become so used to absorbing out attention in external distractions. We need to disentangle from some of these to be able to cultivate peace.


To gain inner peace, we must learn to control our thoughts. It is our own thoughts which can take us to heaven or hell – no matter where we are on earth. We have to reject thoughts of jealousy, pride and insecurity. If we, even subconsciously, cherish these emotions then peace will be a far cry. It is when we cultivate good / uplifting thoughts that we can avoid the mental disturbance that is so harmful to inner peace.(How to control thoughts)

Another issues which is always very important is the idea that we have to want inner peace – it is only when we truly value the life of peace that we will work to make it happen. If we don’t value inner peace – how can we expect to have a peaceful life?

Real Peace

If we avoid negative thoughts and negative emotions; if we simplify our life and take a compassionate attitude to ourselves and others, we will definitely have a more peaceful life. But, to experience a very deep and abiding sense of peace, we need to go beyond the thought world and awaken the silence within.

To come back to the secret of inner peace, our questioning and doubting mind is always wanting in peace. Our loving and dedicated heart is always flooded with inner peace. If our mind has all the questions, then our heart has all the answers.

– Sri Chinmoy

It is this quiet part of ourselves, that is the real secret of inner peace. We cannot experience this silent peace, through philosophy or talking. It can only be brought to the fore by a silent mind and open heart. In concentration and meditation, we learn to silence the endless stream of thought and awaken this peaceful consciousness.

We might gain a glimpse of this kind of peace when we are lost in the marvels of nature or listening to the most profound music. But, to gain an easy access to the real inner peace, meditation is by far the most effective strategy.

Introduction to meditation

It is all in the Mind.

There was a great sage who spent many years meditating in a cave. Over the years he developed tremendous inner peace through his meditation. Once a great King came to visit and spoke to the sage about the turmoils of his earthly kingdom. The sage asked the King why not come and meditate with me in the cave – Then you can have peace. The king replied – what would the use be? If I came here, I would still be thinking of my Kingdom – I would be building imaginary castles in the sky. The King, at least, realised the route to peace lay in his mind and no where else.

There is another story about the great King Janaka who lived in ancient India. He ruled over a large Kingdom but was detached from his own world wealth and power. Once he was sitting with his Guru and several followers. When news came of severe weather, everyone rushed back to look after their possessions. But, King Janaka who had by far the most possessions remained unmoved. He was untouched by worry over his material possessions. He preferred to sit at the feet of his Guru. We may only have a few dollars in our pocket, but, if we spend all our time worrying about our material possessions we will not have inner peace.

Photo by Tejvan

Detachment and Attachment

There is a story of two Buddhist monks walking by a river. They noticed a young woman was having difficulty crossing the river, so one of the monks stopped and carried the lady across the river. Later in the day, the other monk spoke saying. – “You shouldn’t have carried that woman – as monks are not supposed to get involved with woman.’ The first monk replied, “I just carried her across the river, then let go of her.” By contrast, you have been carrying her around in your mind ever since.

The point of this story is that it is the mind and our thoughts which are important. With our thoughts we can create heaven or hell on earth.

For example, one millionaire may become obsessed with his money – every night he might count up his savings and then worry endlessly about losing his wealth. Because the miser only thinks of money, he fears people only wish to approach him for his money and so he becomes defensive and suspicious of other people However, another millionaire, may give little thought to his wealth. He won’t mind spending it for good causes, but, he wouldn’t use it for ostentatious display. Money is not the most important aspect of his life and he can easily detach from the desire for money and worries about money.

Here money is neither good nor bad – it depends how we use it. If we obsess with gaining more money we will be unhappy. But, if we are detached we won’t have the worries and anxieties of a miser.


Photo by Pavitrata Taylor, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries

The unexpected power of gratitude

In today’s fast moving world, qualities such as gratitude seem to belong to another age – a simpler time when life moved along at an easier pace and there was time to appreciate everything. Yet within this apparently meek sounding quality there lies a tremendous source of power that can radically reshape the way you look at the world.

What gratitude can do for us:

  • Puts things in perspective: Human beings have this self-defeating propensity to let the bad things in life fill our mental vision and leave no room for the good, a tendency reflected and perpetuated by television and newspapers. Often it takes just one bad thing to happen for us dwell on it and get depressed, no matter how many good things that are happening. In cultivating a daily practice of gratitude, we start to reverse that process and gain a true perspective on life.
  • Lifts us above the ebbs and tides of life: The more you develop the quality of gratitude in your life, you will start feeling grateful even when bad things happen to you, because you will have developed the inner vision to see that good things and bad happenings are nothing but experiences to shape you and make you stronger. Hence you will be able to have piece of mind no matter what the outer circumstances are.
  • Takes us out of our limited ego: As with other practices of self-discovery, your awareness expands and you gradually feel you are part of something much more infinite than your limiting ego and finite mortal frame. Gratitude helps us turn away from self-centredness and realise our place in the universe.
  • Awakens a higher part of our being: Gratitude is primarily a quality felt by the heart centre, that place in the middle of our chest where we can feel our soul, or the essence of our existence. Therefore, when we are consciously grateful, some inmost part of ourselves is awakened and we enter into the higher and nobler realms of our being.

Continue reading “The unexpected power of gratitude”

How to Be Actively Calm and Calmly active


To be actively calm and calmly active is the essence of a balanced life. We need to be active, but this activity needs to be undertaken with equanimity and inner peace. As well as working and achieving things, we should not ignore the importance of looking after ourself and paying attention to our inner life.

Here are some suggestions to be actively calm and calmly active.

1. One Thing at A Time

This concept is essentially simple; yet, if we can concentrate on one thing at a time it will make a big difference. Whatever we do, we should give it our full attention and focus. When we have only 1 thing to do and one thing to think about, it is quite easy for our limited mind to cope. When we have several things on our mind we flit from one problem to another; when this occurs, we can become overwhelmed at how difficult life seems. By doing several things at once, we won’t get more done, we will just feel more busy and feel more important. Try to do only one thing at a time and see the difference it makes. Start off with the your most important task and gradually tick off the things that you need to do.

2. Set Aside Time for Relaxation.

It is very easy to feel that our life is too busy to spend 20 minutes cultivating inner peace. However, the success of our outer activity depends on our inner state of mind. If we our mind is confused and brimming with conflicting thoughts, our outer activity will be hard work and victim to our own insecurities. However, if we can clear the mind and achieve an inner state of peace, we will be able to work much more effectively. The time we set aside aside for ourselves will not reduce our potential, it will give us increased productivity.

Continue reading “How to Be Actively Calm and Calmly active”

10 Powerful Ways to Deal with Anger


Here are some practical suggestions for dealing with anger.

1. When you are angry say nothing.

If we speak in anger we will definitely aggravate the situation and quite likely hurt the feelings of others. If we speak in anger we will find that people respond in kind, creating a spiral of negative anger. If we can remain outwardly silent it gives time for the emotion of anger to leave us.

“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.

Thomas Jefferson

2. Be indifferent to those who seek to make us angry.

Some people may unfortunately take a malicious pleasure in trying to make you mad. However, if we can feel indifferent to them and their words; if we feel it is beyond our dignity to even acknowledge them, then their words and actions will have no effect. Also, if we do not respond in any way to their provocation, they will lose interest and not bother us in the future.

3. Use reason to stop anger.

When we feel anger coming to the fore try to take a step back and say to yourself “This anger will not help me in any way. This anger will make the situation worse.” Even if part of us remains angry our inner voice is helping us to distance our self from the emotion of anger.

4. Look kindly upon Others.

Another visualisation, suggested by spiritual teacher Paramhansa Yogananda, is to see the anger-rousing agent as a 5 year old child. If you think of the other person as a helpless 5 year old child your compassion and forgiveness will come to the fore. If your baby brother accidentally stabbed you, you would not feel anger and desire to retaliate. Instead, you would just feel he is just too young to know any better. This exercise may be particularly useful for close members of the family who at times evoke your anger.

Continue reading “10 Powerful Ways to Deal with Anger”