Brandon West, Contributor
We all have a connecting link to universal consciousness within us, and when we are open and receptive to that connection then we are in a state of inner peace, love, inspiration, bliss, and so on. All of those wonderful qualities are who we are in our natural state. The only thing disrupting this flow is our thoughts, and the specific perceptions of ourselves and the universe which our thoughts create.
Think of the individual that you used to be for a moment, or the aspects of yourself that you are learning to transcend and transform through spiritual growth. That aspect of yourself is nothing more than a fixed perspective of life, your identity, a reality that is held in place through habitual thought, emotion, and behavior.
You only need to surrender to the higher consciousness within yourself, and all of the issues in your life will be resolved, and inner peace will be yours. You will naturally transform and become greater than you ever dreamed yourself to be as you let go of your old identity and embrace the new, powerful, infinite, and eternal aspect of yourself.
To do so is something that everyone alive has the ability to do. In a general sense it is the purpose of all life. All that it takes is some time, consistent effort, and the right leverage in the right places. These 7 principles for attaining inner peace are that leverage.
Meditation is the most important practice for attaining inner peace. Inner peace is the result of being perfectly aligned with our life purpose and with our inner truth. When we are acting against who we really are, then we are not in a state of inner peace, but when we are in alignment, inner peace is the result.
Meditation is elemental because it is the practice that specifically works to bring us in touch with who we really are, and is the key to self-mastery. This is because as we practice meditation we are developing attention, and when our attention becomes powerful, it naturally dominates the mind and thus inner silence is achieved.
Having a silent mind is only a complimentary benefit to the true purpose of meditation. For having a silent mind is the result of having such powerful attention that we are able to tune into the awareness of our higher selves – universal consciousness. When we tap into this awareness, then we are embodying our true self, and are at peace.
Each moment holds inner peace, but when our attention is distracted, we live in our thoughts either in the past or potential future, neither of which brings us peace. But when we are in this moment, there is only this moment, and what we are inspired and guided to do in this moment which will always be aligned with our true nature and purpose in life.
Inner peace does not have to be the result of years of meditation in some cave in the Himalayas, it can be as simple as a consciousness shift to doing what you feel like you should be doing. Doing what you love to do, what you’re inspired to do, and what brings you joy in this moment.
Only through meditation can we gain the awareness to making this shift in our lives, and this shift is the shift to inner peace. When we are not at war with ourselves, then we are at peace. There are always two factions within us, the ego, and our universal self. That is the only battle that has ever occurred throughout human history.
There was never any external enemy to fight, our external battles were and continue to be the manifestation of the battles that are taking place within us. When we fight others we are only fighting aspects of ourselves we have not accepted. When we align with universal principles then there can be no anger, only understanding; there can be no deceit, only truth; there can be no blame, only forgiveness; and there can be no frustration, only acceptance.
This is the true worth of meditation: tapping you into an awareness of yourself as universal consciousness, and thus reflecting the love that is source energy. The more you meditate, the more you know yourself, the easier it becomes to maintain alignment with yourself and source, and thus the deeper your inner peace becomes with time.
You will be able to achieve a radical level of inner peace in a months time with daily meditation, in comparison to your level of inner peace now. Yet know that this is nothing compared with what you can accomplish internally within a year, 5 years, and eventually 10 years of dedicated practice. For more information read Learn how to meditate, Meditation Techniques, and What is Meditation?
2. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of becoming aware of the quality of your internal state at all times. This practice trains you to monitor your thoughts, emotions, and intentions, and eventually you will reach the level where you can consciously choose the thoughts, emotions, and intentions that you allow to populate the garden of your mind.
Bright, kind, loving thoughts will breed happiness, unity, and confidence, whereas negative, angry, and judgmental thoughts will breed the opposite and bring you further from source and deeper into the realm of the ego.
Mindfulness also gives you the attention to become aware of your intuition, and the flow of inspiration – higher consciousness – that is already available within yourself. Higher consciousness is already within us all, it is just that we have not given our internal world enough attention to notice it.
As you practice mindfulness and become aware of this awareness within, you will develop the ability to live more consciously by fluidly staying in alignment with this ever-present awareness. The absence of inner peace, and of all discordance in the world simply arose because humans lost the awareness of this aspect of themselves, and descended into the real of dogma and blind faith.
We had to believe in a higher power and bow to priests in order to gain favor, when in reality the higher power was just a greater, more powerful and loving aspect to ourselves. Now is the age where belief and faith is unnecessary. Experience it for yourself. The only truth of the world is this:
Everything that changes is illusion.
The true you is pure universal consciousness.
Universal consciousness is God.
Therefore, you are God.
Understand this and you will understand all. As you consistently observe your mind you will begin to notice that some of your thoughts come from a higher, unlimited aspect of yourself. These thoughts will encourage you, they will raise you to new levels of awareness, and inspire you to greatness. Begin to trust in these thoughts and believe in them, because they are your universal source trying to become you.
3. Contemplate Your Divinity
To cultivate inner peace, cultivate a new image of yourself. We are not at peace when our thoughts and our actions do not align, and when our thoughts and our true self do not align. Aligning our self-image with our true self is a continual process because we will always be learning new things about ourselves, experiencing new and higher levels of consciousness, and deepening our understanding of who we are, specifically if you practice meditation daily.
Align yourself with universal consciousness by contemplating your divinity. Contemplate yourself as a loving, kind, abundant, creative, powerful, successful, radiant, and blissful being. Anything else simply is not in alignment with who you really are.
When you consistently think about yourself or others in a negative way, you are affirming your own negativity, and thus living from your ego’s limited image of yourself which places you as separate, above, and below all those around you. Until you realize that you are equal and one with all things, and that everything is perfect, you will be continually basing yourself on deceit which is not conducive to inner peace.
Inner peace is the state achieved once you begin to understand and contemplate the truth of yourself. And the only truth of yourself is your consciousness. As an Indian yogi said, “That which is real which never changes.” Basing yourself off of your transient, ever-changing nature, is like trying to build a house on a foundation of sand, or like trying to build a nuclear reactor on a fault line: It is doomed to instability, failure, and destruction.
Search within you for the aspect of yourself that never changes. It is pure awareness, and when you identify with this aspect of your being you are focusing on the truth of yourself, and the aspect of yourself that is infinite and eternal. An awareness and understanding of this aspect of yourself is inner peace, because it means that no matter what may happen in life, in your mind, in your body, or in your relationships, you are always perfect, always divine, and always one with infinite love.
This is your divinity. Literally. This is the awareness that was named God, because it is universal consciousness which is lucid dreaming reality into being. You may not think that it could be God, or that you could be God, but that is only because you have not fully embodied this awareness, and thus you haven’t felt your consciousness expand, nor the radiance and love that comes through you when you tap into this awareness.
When you connect to this higher level of consciousness within you, then you will understand how everything in your life, in your mind, and in the world is all in divine order, and thus it is perfection. When you see your perfection, then you will see this perfection everywhere, and inner peace will be your reality.
When there are no flaws within or without, there is nothing that requires your stress or worry.
4. Shift Your Perspective
Think about this divine aspect of yourself on a daily basis and you will become it. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “we become what we think about all day long.” When our thoughts are thinking about our past experiences, potential futures, or dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions of any kind, we are separate from our authentic selves.
Not literally of course because nothing is separate. Our attention is merely looking in the wrong direction; searching externally trying to achieve something that we already are. Or as the Taoists say, we become ‘like fish swimming in water looking for the water.’
Shifting your perception is easy, it all depends on how we think and feel. Thought is the energy of creation, and our thoughts and emotions create reality. With them we can create beauty, truth, love, and bliss, but first we have to think about those principles of creation.
If we learn how to think and feel consciously, meaning that we set an intention for what we desire to create and then think thoughts and consciously feel emotions aligned with our intention to the exclusion of all else, then we will have the power to create anything we can first imagine.
Choose consciously what you allow into your mind, and into your awareness. If you are trying to shift your thinking to be aligned with abundance, peace, joy, love, and divinity, then one of the most important things you should consider is what you program yourself with on a daily basis by watching, reading, listening to, and engaging in.
By all means stop watching the news! The news is an infallibly way to breed scarcity, fear, negativity, conflict, violence, hopelessness, and separation into your thoughts. This is exactly what it is used for and is one of the most powerful ways to control the thoughts, emotions, and lives of humanity by manipulating our perception.
Instead, just don’t comply with the system and read inspirational books, watch inspirational movies based off of love, kindness, and truth, and perhaps the most important thing of all, do things that make you feel happy, and free. Instead of filling your head with negativity, fill your life with love and freedom and you will offset the ignorance in the world by no small degree.
First of all it is more productive and proactive, secondly, it just feels better. Higher vibration energies are exponentially more powerful than negative ones, therefore it only takes a fraction of positive energy to neutralize all negative (low-vibration) energy within you.
If you see negativity in the world, then you have negativity within you. Abolish it by only seeing the light and the love inherent not only in our society, but in creation as well, and you will discover that you attract more of the light and love within yourself, and opportunities that validate that potential within you.
5. Practice Receptivity
Allow yourself to be propelled and guided through life. The universal mind is creating and maintaining all life, and all of creation. So why do we feel the need to interrupt it flowing through us by ignorantly getting in our own way? Instead of thinking yourself through life, and just blindly doing things based off of what you think you want or what you think will happen, why not open yourself up to the infinite knowledge of the universe, and your purpose so that right action can be revealed to you?
Stop doing in life, and instead allow yourself to be done. This force that is working through you is your higher self, which is universal consciousness. This awareness is already available within you. You don’t have to cultivate it or achieve it. You only need to develop the sensitivity and the attention to identify it.
Instead of disconnecting ourselves from this force, we can consciously use it and co-create with the same energies and potential as the creator. We are in existence not so we can worry about low-level, low-consciousness tasks, we are here to apply our magnificent creative powers and our unique perspectives in order to assist in the divine co-creation.
Surrender to this magnificent power within you. Admit that your conscious mind is not who you are and that you are actually something much greater. Admit to yourself that you have been mistaken about your identity until now and that you sincerely desire to connect to your source and allow your infinite potential to flow through you, instead of living from this limited idea of yourself called the ego.
This is an essential step because you are acknowledging that your ego is not an accurate reflection of your true nature, and that there is a part of you that is truly brilliant, unlimited, and powerful. Make it your most fervent desire to embody that part of yourself and live from it consciously, and start paying attention to what you are being guided to in life through inspiration, passion, and curiosity.
Practice non-interference as you just let yourself do what you naturally what to do for a change, and be who you naturally are. You have given so much of your time and your life to others doing what they want you to do, what do you want to do now in this moment? In life? Your mind may betray you, but your feelings, your heart, will not.
“There is a voice that does not use words. Listen.” – Rumi
6. Trust Your Divine Nature – Surrender To Inner Peace
All the steps before this one are preparation. They are about first looking within yourself and getting to know the truth of who you are by cutting through all the internal clutter. This next step is about surrendering completely to your divine and infinite nature.
It is not an event but a process, one in which you will experience many insights, awakenings, and mini-enlightenments along the path of infinite consciousness evolution that we are all on. Each awakening, and enlightenment itself is a process of continually expanding your consciousness into infinity.
Each time you expand a little bit you will see yourself and the world in a new way. You will discover more inner peace, more power, more potential, and more love within yourself, and within creation. And you will discover more perfection within all. This is what it means to trust your divine nature.
You will question yourself along the way. You will question if you are worthy, if you are capable, if you are on the right path, and the validity of your dreams. That is normal. Trust the path, trust your spiritual practice, and trust these 7 principles and continue to apply them as often as you remember until they become habit. Your training will never betray you.
You are not a small and insignificant creature. You are an ocean of consciousness, divine in origin, with unlimited potential. Every dream that you have that is based on love, service, joy, and passion is true and you would not have it if you didn’t have the ability to manifest it.
Our higher self and the universe speak to us through our divinely aligned dreams and aspirations. The universe speaks in this way to all beings, providing them with images, dreams, and aspirations of becoming better, of changing the world, and of passion, love, and kindness. But very few believe, and even less are listening at all.
No matter how much your thoughts bring you down and make you feel that you are not worthy, remember that courage within you that gave you the strength to dream so magnificently in the first place. For that was the universe, your higher self, god, speaking to you and guiding you home to your true potential.
Remember this as many times as necessary until you know, and then you will have arrived.
7. Identify With Your Divine Nature
It is the ego within ourselves which has a death-grip on anything that it can define itself with. Experiences, beliefs, thoughts, possessions, achievements, reputation, and so on. When we surrender we learn to let go of all that. Instead of defining ourselves with those truly meaningless things, we instead begin to identify with the divine aspect of our being: God, the Universe, Infinite Intelligence, Spirit, or whatever name you have for it.
That is our true nature. When we surrender to it we begin to identify with that aspect of ourselves, letting those things which the ego validates itself with become unimportant to us. That is not to say we must renounce all of our possessions, rather we will simply understand that they are there only for our comfort, and that there are much more important things in our life and to life than our possessions.
When you begin to identify with Spirit, by definition you are formless. Instead of being able to define yourself with your clothes, car, achievements, status, and all other material and thus illusory things, you will instead be defined and animated by something that is pure and formless: energy.
You will come to see yourself as the pure energies of love, bliss, kindness, purpose, abundance, inspiration, creativity, compassion, and brilliance which are the qualities of the Infinite Intelligence.
You will own these energies, more surely and proudly than you have ever owned anything else in your life, and you will take care to only feel and radiate the highest energies of creation, because to wear anything other than truth and beauty and love would be tantamount to wearing dirty, unflattering, ugly, and detestable clothes.
When you choose your energies and emotions with this much care, then you will possess these qualities in abundance, you will become them, and thus you will become the universe, and the universe will become you.
You will have attained enduring inner peace because you will be one with this powerful force in awareness which provides us with everything we could ever want, need, or imagine in our minds, and this presence will be with you always, and it will be present in every living creature that you see, in every mountain, and in every tree.
This presence is not something you must have faith in. It is something you will feel within you, flowing through you in all of your creations, and greeting the exact same presence within the rest of creation. For when you begin to resonate with the universe, you also resonate with the universe in each and every one of us, and within reality as well, bringing it to the surface for you and all to see.
You will exude this energy, and your life will reflect it back to you with every chance it gets. It is the energy of creation, the consciousness that dreamed existence into being, and it is what we will all return to at the end of this physical incarnation. But you do not need to wait until then. You can begin returning and connecting right here, right now.
Inner peace is within you, and it is realized by looking within. There is no other way. Meditation is the most important of these seven steps, because through meditation, all of these seven steps occur naturally, for they are the progression which all beings of consciousness go through on their path of self-realization.
Meditation is key. Without meditation you will not experience new levels of awareness, and deeper levels of your being, because meditation is the penetrating practice which gets to the truth of all things. It is like a laser that cuts through illusion and connects you to creative consciousness.
These seven principles that I have provided here of meditation, mindfulness, contemplating your divinity, shifting your perspective, practicing receptivity, trusting your divinity, and identifying with your divinity, are not a linear progression. They are a continual process of spiritual awakening and spiritual evolution.
Little by little, we move closer to our divine nature with each passing day. Make this day the day that you begin to consciously move towards your divinity and you will also be moving towards the inner peace that you are seeking. It is not a destination, but a path. One that gets incrementally more profound with each day if you stay true in your practice and commitment.