Want Peace?


Are you at peace? 
Do you walk in peace? With peace? 
Do you carry peace in your body – in each step? 

It's easier than you think. It just takes practice. Regular practice. 
And, the practice couldn't be simpler.

It’s enough to sit still, and focus on your breath.
Make just one moment still. And quiet.
Just with yourself.

That is where peace is.

* * *

Then, carry that same still into your walking.
Then, carry it into every moment of your life. 
The anchor to your peace is your breath: it's always right under your nose.

Then, when you're at peace, each person you meet will feel your grounded presence.
Then, they will have a moment of peace themselves.
This is how the historical buddha said we save the world: the peace starts with you.
And ends with you. It's all about you.

But, most of us don't make the time to practice each day. But, peace is a muscle memory. If we don't practice peace, we can't have it, or maintain it. So the peace we seek – that could so simply be here, right now – alludes us.

So practice. Right now, with this breath. 
And then, carry that peace with you with each step you take:

  • Take a slow, deep breath
  • Slowly exhale, and let the morning, the day ahead, the week, and the month go
  • Sit up straight, then breathe
  • Notice your body
  • Breathe three long, slow breaths
  • Let the exhale be longer than the inhale
  • Let each breath be a little slower, a little still-er, a little longer, than the one before
  • Carry this slow, still breath with you throughout the day

To maintain and expand your peace, design your life to maintain a small practice: 

  • Set an hourly timer (on the hour, half past, whatever)
  • Each time it goes off - no matter what you're doing: notice your breath
  • Then take three long, slow, still breaths

That's it. Easy. The great thing is that you can take these three breaths anywhere, doing anything. 

It doesn't matter where the timer goes off. You can take three breaths in a meeting, on the phone, while giving a presentation, while listening to the screaming person. As you do this, you'll come to welcome the little alarm that reminds you to breathe – to be present to yourself.

After a few alarms, you'll notice you come into your body a bit more, get out of your head and into your feet - into the world - a bit more. You'll let yourself be a bit more slow and deliberate (i.e., a bit more peaceful).

Practice this throughout the day, and you'll begin to find peace and presence in your breath - no matter what else is going on. 

And THAT peace, that presence, will carry, thereby bringing peace to everything you touch, and everyone you meet.  No matter what angst, worry, fear, or dread might cross your path, you can walk peacefully. You can carry peace.

You can. 

Unplug from your phone while you travel today, and listen - watch - notice. Pay attention to (i.e., notice) the life around you, and come back to your breath. Let your breath center and ground you.

And, of course, do your five minutes of sitting with your breath as well (smile).

I wish you a day, week, and life of peaceful walking, and living,

(the above article was originally sent on February 1st 2017 to recipients of NorthScale's Weekly Encouragement email. You can sign up here: http://www.north-scale.com/weekly-encouragement/