Apr 112013

Ancient Techniques to Find Inner Peace

For millennia, people have pursued inner peace. Long before modern technology introduced new distractions, humans have sought methods to quiet their minds. If you're seeking ways to achieve inner peace, these four ancient techniques have proven effective even by today's standards.

Practice meditation

  • Practice breathing meditation.

    Breathing meditation is a simple and effective method for calming your mind. Begin by finding a comfortable and quiet place where you can sit and observe your breath. With practice, you'll be able to meditate for longer periods and place your mind on your breath in any surrounding.

  • 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. Gently bring your mind back to your chosen object.

  • Learn to visualize.

    Select images that promote happiness and serenity. Perhaps you might want to picture snow-capped mountains or sheep grazing in a meadow.

  • 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 holds meaning for you.

Use the soothing qualities of water

  • Take a bath.

    Cultures all over the world have long appreciated water’s calming effects. A long, 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.

  • Surround yourself with the sound of water.

    Eat your lunch by a park fountain or take a walk along a river. You can find recordings of waterfalls and oceans online or buy a CD with aquatic effects you can play anywhere you go.

Get back to nature

  • 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 work wonders to restore your inner peace. Visit your local state park or take a quiet walk around your neighborhood. If you work indoors all week, use the weekend to explore scenic biking and hiking trails.

  • Cultivate a garden.

    Gardening helps you to slow down and appreciate nature. Devote a section of your backyard to growing flowers or vegetables. If you live in an apartment, select plants that will flourish indoors or on a balcony, like some species of palm trees and herbs.

  • 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. Play with your cat. Sign up for horseback riding lessons.

Live in the present moment

  • Put the past behind you.

    Dwelling on the past can make it difficult to feel composed. If you keep reliving past misfortunes, make a choice to devote your energy to more constructive activities.

  • Adopt a positive view towards the future.

    The future always carries some uncertainty. Focus on creating causes for a better future and patiently accepting whatever outcomes arise.

  • 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. Engage fully with the people who share your life.

Many ancient techniques work equally well today for achieving a quiet mind, regardless of external circumstances. Visit your local library or bookstore to discover more information about the healing powers of meditation. With these methods, you can create a welcoming environment for yourself and others and train your mind to enjoy greater inner peace.

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