“If you can’t find peace in yourself-you’ll never find it anywhere else"

This quote, associated with Marvin Gaye, the America singer and song-writer who was considered “The prince of Soul” caught my eye a few days and got me pondering.

 Whether Marvin Gaye actually said that or not didn’t really matter to me because given the abuse and violence he underwent as a child, alcoholism in adulthood and tragic murder by his own father, he seemed to have a good case to talk about inner peace or rather about th elack of inner peace.

Peace is such a huge issue in the world. It seems as though every corner of the world is afflicted by violent conflict and actual threats to human rights, fundamental freedom and in certain cases human survival.  Clearly its not an issue we can afford to overlook.
It is also very clear ( or so it seems to me) that the connection between inner and outer peace is not only not acknowledged and definitely not the base for any of the local and international efforts made to establish peace.

Given that most of the efforts made to design treaties, settlements and other types of agreements haven’t been too fruitful, I ask my self why not try a different approach? Why not start by teaching people to create inner peace first and then attempt to solve global issues?

What is Inner Peace?
Inner peace is a state or self reconciliation in which we accept ourselves and our circumstances as they are.

Inner Peace is experienced when we allow everything to be as it is without resistance or judgment or in other words when we learn to embrace every experience we encounter as is.
The key to feeling real peace is being able to accept what is. Contrary to common beliefs, inner peace does not come from self-improvement, it comes from self-acceptance.

The BIG Obstacle to Inner Peace
The biggest obstacle to finding inner peace is the belief that there is something wrong with you or your life the way things are in the present moment. As long as we search for experiences other than those we have, we will never be content in the present moment.

If only X were different... if only Y would change... then I could experience more peace. The underlying belief is that with my current set of thoughts, feelings or given the current circumstances, finding inner peace is impossible. 

How to Achieve Self- Acceptance?
Awareness is no doubt the number one “Must” for anyone who strives to experience self-acceptance and inner peace.

The mind is the inner judge. Basically all the mind does is to constantly categorize, evaluate and comment on everything we say or do. Becoming aware of the commentator creates distance between you and the commentary.

When you’re able to watch the commentary objectively you are far less involved. Instead of "This is bad" you may say "Aha, there is that crazy little commentator again... that's quite amusing!" Now that’s a totally different experience.

Drawing from Buddhism, we must embrace the stand point of the witness. Witnessing is the ability to observe what’s going on in your life as if from the side, as a witness, without involvement or a specific agenda.
The witness perspective is very similar to the perspective of a scientists or researcher, who collect data and observe it without a pre-conceived idea of what the outcome should be.

Inner Peace is experienced when we step out of our minds for a moment and objectively watch what’s going on in the mind from a distance.
Finding inner peace is not about changing any of the thoughts, feelings or emotions but rather about changing your relationship with your mind. What we understand, we become free of. Through understanding how suffering is created, we become free of it. And if the lack of peace continues, you can allow that to be Ok too!

Say you are feeling down for example. First you are aware of the feeling and then comes the commentary "This is bad.", "Will I never be free of this.", "Everybody seems to be OK except me.", "What on earth is wrong with me" etc.
The feeling in itself isn't that bad. It is the 'story' around the feeling that robs us of our peace.

Given the laws of resonance, it is my strong belief that putting our emphasis on teaching people how to achieve inner peace is a much more effective approach to creating more peace in the world. By developing inner peace more people will be transmitting a frequency that holds the quality of peace in it. By creating a significant mass of peaceful individuals the larger whole will be directly affected.