How to achieve peace of mind through Buddhism
Having a peace of mind, apart from being healthy, is the most essential state all human beings are striving to achieve. When we are anxious, stressed or depressed, our mind is trying to reject or solve this state as quickly as possible because our natural state is a peaceful mind. But it is not always easy to achieve.
There is a wide range of different kind of methods and mental approaches that can help us get to the point of peace. Some of the most useful methods to achieve that can be learned from an ancient religion Buddhism.
Here are some of the essential Buddhist methods and teachings for achieving peace of mind.
This is a worldwide known meditation technique, but in Buddhism it is actually a state of mind that is recommended to practice throughout the day. It is one of the methods in Eightfold Path thought by the Buddha himself to completely eliminate the suffering and achieve enlightenment.
Mindfulness is based on being completely present here and now with the mind being restfully focused on whatever is going on at the moment. If we take a walk, our mind should be completely engaged in the walk with all the surrounding and sensations such as the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze on our faces, the greenery surrounding us, etc. In other words, doing the walk means NOT thinking about yesterdays problematic situation at work or what we are going to cook three days from now.
With mindfulness being practiced regularly, peace of mind will naturally develop. It is obvious that not living in the past or future will help us being here and enjoy this very moment.
Another method of the Eightfold Path and it means always taking right effort that can only be useful to us. Although peace of mind is our natural state, unfortunately we carry a lot of mental garbage even from many previous lives. To be able to “clean” all that garbage, we must make a conscious effort that we want to get rid of it and then focus on developing the good thoughts.
Nothing can be achieved without an effort, that includes the peace of mind.
Achieving peace of mind can be compared to an overweight person trying to lose weight. Their natural state is being slim, however during life there has been many bad influences or maybe even some hormonal disbalance which caused extra weight. Now, to get rid of it and get to the natural state of slimness, a person needs to make the right effort to cut down food intake, starts exercising and then finally they can reach their natural state – slim body. The same is with peace of mind. A lot of negative thoughts develops through the years and now effort must be undertaken to eliminate it and let our natural state of peace to blossom.
Karma is a law of cause and effect, not exclusively connected to Buddhism but is explained thoroughly by Buddhist teachings.
I used to nurture a lot of thoughts of self-pity and regret until I learned about Karma. A certain peace of mind naturally developed in me when I realized how my own mind in the state it is presently (with all the garbage and negativity) is a result of previous actions that I have done.
That meant I wasn’t a victim of my life’s circumstances but a creator. When I realized this powerful truth and accepted it, I became at peace and all the self-pity, anger, regret, resentment, etc. naturally disappeared.
This requires a bit of contemplation so that everyone for themselves can understand how teachings about Karma can set a ground to start eliminating negativity.
Although Buddhism, if practiced consistently, can influence us to become happier and more peaceful with whatever of their methods are used, these three are my personal recommendation because they are easy and simple.
In short, right effort means consistency, mindfulness means awareness and Karma means responsibility and acceptance. With proper understanding and actions through these three teachings, we can always have a strong peace of mind.