Experiencing Peace
By Art Ramsay, Ph.D.

 During the many years I have created and led classes, been in coaching sessions, and facilitated seminars, I have observed people at some stage of peace, in fear, and phases in between. Of course, I have sensed within myself similar emotions and feelings as well.

 Being “at peace” is not a one sensation experience. That is, peace is felt in many ways and may actually travel through several layers or levels of experience. If we look at David Hawkins’ Map of Consciousness, in his book Power VS Force, we see ‘peace’ at a level of 600, right before Enlightenment.

 While the above is only a sign of what Hawkins feels is an indicator of where you are emotionally and such, it is an idea to use. Another word on that level is ‘bliss’, so this gives us a place to start in viewing levels of getting to, and experiencing peace with this framework.

 I am not looking for levels of emotions, but how you might feel peace at different times in your daily, weekly, or monthly experiences. Why is this important? Since peace is given such a high level by Hawkins, it is a great indicator of where you are in your spiritual practice.

 My goal if there is such a thing for awakening to Who I Am, is to feel the peace that Jesus spoke of – “the peace beyond human understanding”. This peace is sensed more than it is felt, because it is beyond what the human body can experience on its own.

 We continue to look for enlightenment through practice and activities relative to our body; it isn’t there, so you might as well stop looking. As I have said in numerous ways in many articles: the ‘place’ to look is within. Only here can you experience peace and bring this experience outward to your everyday life.

 There are many ways to experience peace from the ‘outside’. That is, you sense peace during an event of some kind such as watching a sunset or sunrise, holding an animal or baby in you arms, watching an eagle fly across the sky, and so on.

 In these moments, your level of peace may vary and is sensed in sometimes different areas of your body. Having an eagle or hawk fly above you may elicit a sense of awe or even excitement relating to the event giving you a message. But deep within your heart or whole body, there is a feeling of peace.

 The sunset/sunrise experience may also be from a sense of awe, along with that is a feeling of peace. Each of these experiences is felt differently, even if only subtly. The next time you have an experience such as described above or at the ocean or walking through a forest, see if you can locate where your feeling of peace is felt.

 These events can be catalysts for going deeper and sensing the peace within. When I, and many meditation practitioners, lead a meditation I ask the mediators to focus on their breathing. But then, to get in touch with the space between their breaths because is a void, a place of nothingness. This is where you find inner peace.

 In the Christian Bible there is a statement to seek “the still, small voice”; this ‘voice’ speaks to you in the silence. While we get guidance through our intuition, we mostly ignore it in favor of what our intellect tells us. Too bad. This voice within comes from or through our heart, which has been discovered to be the source of this voice.

 Here again, we must sense something beyond what we think is there. That is, much has been written about being “in the silence”, but like ‘true peace’, this is a silence beyond the silence we sense when nothing is heard. This silence can be sensed even when our ears hear otherwise.

 What I have discussed above are deep stages, or levels, of peace and opening to Who You Really Are. These practices cannot be done casually, it takes a deep meditative state to be there. Actually, just ‘being’ is a wonderful way to remove your intellect from the situation. Sitting with no thoughts running through you mind is a wonderful practice.

 Whether you sense peace watching a sunset, sit on the beach with waves washing across you legs, climb a mountain and look out over the valleys and mountain peaks, or meditate in the many ways this can be practiced, coming to a place of peace within is a wonderful experience.

 Removing yourself from everyday chaos, depending on what level you experience this, is not an easy task. But practicing being at some level of peace will remove the feelings of dread and discomfort. You cannot do this through sheer willpower; it takes daily practice.

 It is like the man who chopped wood and carried water everyday. He then decided to go up the mountain to become enlightened. Several years later, he came down from the mountain enlightened. He then went back to chopping wood and carrying water.

 After we experience peace, become enlightened or ascend, we will most likely do the same, or similar, things we have for years; but we will experience life in a far different way than we have ever known. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Goethe


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