The Long History of Seeking Inner Peace

Inner peace is not just a modern-day obsession. For millennia, people have sought methods to quiet their minds.

 

Long before modern technology introduced new distractions into our lives, humans have pursued inner peace.

 

Scholars believe the ancient gurus on the Indian subcontinent first introduce the concept of meditation through the oral tradition of the time. Because these traditions where past down from one generation to the next no one knows how long-ago people began to seek inner peace.

 

However, the first documented evidence dates to 5,000 BCE where wall art show people in meditative poises.

 

The practice spread to China and eventually throughout the middle east.

 

These practices influence many other religions finding their way into most religious texts and practices.

 

If you’re seeking a method to quiet your mind and achieve inner peace, these four ancient techniques have proven effective in stilling the mind.

 

Today these practices are more popular than ever, finding many new methods and forms of expression across the world.

Practice Meditation

When you think of finding inner peace meditation probably springs to mind. There are many forms of meditation taught by many different traditions.

It’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. Many myths around meditation that tend to discourage many people from even attempting meditation.

 

Click here to read the infographic I wrote to help dispel some of those myths.

 

Meditation is remarkably simple at heart. It’s a way to still the monkey mind from it’s constant spinning to give you inner peace and a profound sense of tranquility.

 Meditation isn’t something you do only once, or once in a while. To be effective it does require a commitment on your part. But the rewards are beyond anything you can envision.

Below are 4 suggested meditation methods.

  1. Practice breathing meditation. Breathing meditation is a simple and effective method for calming your mind. Start by finding a comfortable and quiet place where you can sit and observe your breath. With practice, you’ll be able to meditate longer periods or place your mind on your breath in any surroundings.
  2. Develop single-pointed concentration. Train your mind to rest upon your object of meditation whether it’s a candle or a spoken mantra. Note any distracting thoughts but decline to pursue them. Bring your mind back to your chosen object.
  3. Learn to visualize. Select images that promote happiness and serenity. Perhaps you may want to picture snow-capped mountains or sheep grazing in a meadow.
  4. Focus on positive thoughts. If your meditation is part of a spiritual practice, you can follow the prayers taught in your tradition. Alternatively, you can soothe your mind by repeating any thought or quote that is meaningful for you.

“Meditation is like giving a hug to ourselves, getting in touch with that awesome reality in us. while meditating we feel a deep sense of intimacy with God, a love that is inexplicable.”

Use the Soothing Qualities of Water

Purification rituals date back deep into our past.

 

In Egypt. one bathed in sacred pools first by removing all body hair as part of the cleansing process. There is evidence that these rituals also washed away guilt.

 

Obviously, this was an important aspect of inner peace and purity throughout the ancient world.

 

Today the tradition continues.

 

  1. Take a bath. Cultures all over the world have long appreciated the calming effects of water. A simple warm bath can soothe your nerves. Rest your head on a bath pillow and add some comforting scents like sandalwood or lavender. Turn the lights down low and play soft music.

  2. Surround yourself with the sound of water. Eat your lunch by a park fountain or install a solar device in your own backyard. You can find recordings of waterfalls online or get a CD with aquatic effects that you can play anywhere you go.

 

  1. The use of sensory deprivation tanks. Short-term use of sensory deprivation tanks brings about a deep sense of peace and relaxation akin to meditation.

Click here to read more about the effects of using Sensory Deprivation Tank 

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“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”

Get Back to Nature

You cannot long contemplate nature without finding peace and tranquility. You can’t ask for a simpler way to relax, to restore strained nerves, and bask in the beauty that surrounds you.

I remember my first walks in the English countryside with my grandparents. They instilled in me  a love for this simple pleasure. I’ve been seeking out great country walks ever since.

Can you think of a pleasant moment while out enjoying nature?

 

  1. Go for a walk. In some eras, it was common for people to go on long retreats into the wilderness. Even a short break can do wonders to restore your peace of mind. Visit your local park or take a quiet walk around your neighborhood. If you work indoors all week, use the weekend to explore scenic trails for biking and hiking.
  2. Cultivate a garden. Gardening is a great way to slow down and appreciate nature. Devote a section of your backyard to growing flowers and vegetables. If you live in an apartment setting, select plants that will flourish indoors or on a balcony, like some species of palm trees and herbs. You don’t need a large space to enjoy gardening.
  3. Spend time with animals. Spending time with animals is so therapeutic it’s even been proven to help people recover from surgery faster. Take your dog for a walk. Watch your cat at play. Sign up for horseback riding lessons. Watch and listen the birds in your neighborhood.

Click here to read The Comfort Trees

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.

Live in the Present Moment

Ultimately inner peace comes from your ability to live in the moment. Being present, being conscious, sitting in the seat of consciousness, allows you to live fully, joyfully, and with purpose.

 

  1. Put the past behind you. Dwelling on the past can make it difficult to feel composed. If you’re thinking about past misfortunes, decide if you’d rather devote your energy to more constructive activities.

  2. Adopt a positive view of the future. The future always carries some uncertainty. Focus on creating causes for a better future and patiently accepting whatever outcomes arise.

  3. Enjoy the present moment. Give your full attention to what is happening now. Take advantage of the opportunities before you and delight in the good things that surround you. Steer your mind towards wholesome thoughts and actions. Engage fully with the people who share your life.

Conclusion

Many ancient techniques work equally well today for achieving a quiet mind regardless of external circumstances.

 

I encourage you to experiment with these four ancient techniques to help you find inner peace, greater awareness, and spiritual growth.

 

I’ve included other articles you can read as follow-ups if you are interested in pursuing more ideas about these practices.

 

After reading the article, what ones are you most likely to try?

 

What is the one that challenges you the most?

 

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