Friday, January 24, 2014

Practicing Peace

“The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.”
Norman Vincent Peale

“Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.”
Mike Ditka

“If you want peace, stop fighting. If you want peace of mind, stop fighting with your thoughts.”
Peter McWilliams

I’m in San Francisco!  I’m visiting a long time friend.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a good weekend.  San Francisco is an interesting city and I’m looking forward to exploring it tomorrow.  Right now, however, I’m looking forward to writing.  As I’ve said many times before, I’m grateful to be warm and comfortable.  I’m grateful for the warm cup of coffee I just had.  I’m grateful for the soft music playing.  Mostly though I’m grateful for the privilege of writing. 
I had an interesting experience on the flight here.  I’m reading The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murray.  I was reading the chapter called “Practical Techniques in Mental Healing.”  As I was reading I became aware of…something.  It was peaceful.  It felt like God’s presence.  I felt completely removed from all my problems, from all problems.  There was no fear or sadness or anger.  Just peace. 
It’s not good to intellectualize peace.  Sometimes if I think too much about it, it lessens the experience.  Still something was happening in my mind as well as my spirit.  These are the thoughts that occurred, as best as I can remember them:
·      God is a God of healing.
·      I have access to healing and perhaps the ability to be an instrument of healing for others.
·      God is a god of peace.
·      I have access to peace and perhaps the ability to be an instrument of peace to others.
·      It is good to sit and concentrate on letting go of life for a few minutes and allow God’s presence to enter. 
·      I think I let too many activities and tasks get in the way of just being still with God.
·      It was nice to just sit and practice the presence of God.
·      I don’t have to sit.  I can practice God’s presence while I’m washing dishes, just like Brother Lawrence describes in his book, Practicing the Presence of God.  
·      At any moment I can choose my state of mind.
·      The previous comment is easier said than done, but it’s still worth doing.
·      I believe love, joy and peace are the states of being that God wants us to experience at all times.
·      The previous comment is also easier said than done, but fortunately it does not rely on my efforts.  I can ask Him to give me His grace and the ability to be and stay in that state of being.

Being peaceful takes an instant to attain and a lifetime of practice to maintain.  So tonight, as I’m writing, I’m practicing peace by being aware of each thought as it comes.  Now I’m going to enhance that practice by getting some sleep.  Tomorrow I will Get Started and Keep Going…peacefully.