How Finding Inner Peace Changed My Life

Let’s face it! We all have a preoccupied life… Our daily life is all about waking up in the morning, rushing into the kitchen making breakfast for ourselves and our family, running off to work, getting back home exhausted and cranky, falling asleep in front of the TV and then repeating the same cycle (with some ups and downs) all over again, for the rest of our life.

Well, try my version: some time ago I started combining my Master´s studies (which is a crazy amount of homework, essays, lectures and presentations), an internship at the United Nations and working in a hectic job, while I am writing my thesis and translating a book. In the past, I used to come back home, crawl up somewhere in my house and cry over this stressful situation. During this time, I felt miserable and even when I was trying to sleep I wasn’t able to as the nightmares were sneaking in to haunt me.

But on one great day, it all changed.

Being Curious Finally Paid off!

It was a boring afternoon… I went to the kitchen to make tea and started surfing the internet looking for new internship opportunities. When I was surfing the internet I came across a website that was teaching self-development and inner peace lessons for free. I got curious and signed up.

During the first lesson, I had to sit down for 30 minutes and try to think about nothing (It felt impossible as I had so much work to do).  As the lesson went on, I categorised all the duties in my head instead of paying attention. I simply could not concentrate. But after 15 minutes, I was out of duties for the day and my body started feeling relaxed and I couldn’t feel my fingers (to be honest I freaked out, opened my eyes and counted my fingers before going back to meditation again!). After 30 minutes, I felt weirdly calm. It was in the afternoon but it felt as if it was six in the morning and that I was ready to wake up and start my daily routine.

Finding Nemo

The main point of meditation method was learning how to “be at the center of yourself”. The whole concept was vague to me for a while. The teacher would count down steps to calm the body down and then ask us to find the center in our body. Yet every time I was thinking:  where is the center?!

One night it happened. I was dealing with some problems regarding my studies and was in a desperate need of some minutes away from reality. When I got home, I changed out of my uniform, lit some candles, closed my eyes and sat down in the lotus position ready to start meditating. After a few minutes, it happened just like that. I was there – in the center, looking at my meditation object (the moon). It gave me a feeling as if I was finally in my own home. I could not hear anything, I could not feel anything, I was not even thinking as I was experiencing a genuine silence from the bottom of my center and was listening to the delightful sound of “nothing”.

Turning point

This practice that I started out of curiosity suddenly became a daily habit. It was the only “me time” during the day. I could not wait to finish my work and studies, get back home and start my inner journey. After practicing the inner-peace lessons for 42 days, I started to experience unique visions. I was visualizing myself in my most favorite place on earth, sitting by the Yara River looking at the magical sunset. One day, my visions took me to a mountain, where I was looking at the clouds passing by, caressing my face. The next day I felt the center of my body, reaching neutrality and felt deeply relaxed. The feelings were so deep that I was afraid to tell someone in case they would spoil it! Little by little, it changed my behaviour. I was able to make better decisions, think more clearly and be more focused on my work and studies. How incidental it was that a small moment of curiosity could change my whole life!

Want to be a Peace builder? Start with yourself!

We all want to change the world. I used to be obsessed about United Nations, following their pages thinking, “Wow, these guys are changing the world! It’s amazing; I want to do that too”. However, if you had asked me back then, how I was going to pursue this ambition, I literally had no idea. I would simply be waiting for someone to tell me what to do instead of taking initiative myself.

I believe it is great to have ambitions about changing the world, but now that I have more experience, I know that you can only achieve your goals if you start from within yourself. It is impossible to be a famous worldwide peace builder in one night. The most important thing is that you start somewhere, whatever method works for you. For me the inner peace lessons were very helpful. It does not have to take much of your time – 10 minutes a day is a good start and then before you know it, you are ready to change the world.

How to begin your inner-peace journey?

Here are a few suggestions if you are interested in experiencing the same journey to find your inner self like me:

  • Take your meditation posture on the floor,  chair,  or a sofa;
  • Relax your body and then your mind;
  • Concentrate and be aware of your surroundings. Find a central place within yourself and imagine it is a mental object, such as the moon;
  • Reach complete silence and equanimity in your mind. From this moment onwards, neutral observation and detachment to whatever may arise or occur is important. If thoughts arise, one can combine the mental object with a phrase (i.e. “Clear and Bright”)
  • Before getting up: spread the LOVE to all beings.

See you at the center!

When The “Self” Bloomed Within The Silence

It took me two months of reflecting, deep thinking, waves of depression, diving into the unknown, meditating, re-reading my journal, dying & re-birthing in order to arrive to the decision of transferring to you my journey to self- realization which is a process of life, light and bliss. I will start with one critical stop: Global Peace on the Move 20, Meditation Retreat: June 2017.

The 14 days at the meditation retreat have been a real roller-coaster ride of internal lively experiences.

Paradox of Feelings

It has been saddening yet joyful, deathly yet re-birthing; it transferred me from the highest mountain to the lowest valley of internal tornado storms. This combination of everything happened while in total body stillness. So what is that paradox? That a body very still could create an internal explosion of all states of being happening within that total motionlessness of the body which led to the fact that my pen never stopped writing, as the flow of insights streamed through me every second, of every minute, of every hour, I was writing non-stop throughout the whole day a combination of insights, observations and inspirations.

My state of being transferred each day from one state to another, at the beginning it was a feeling of: excitement, lightness, enjoyment, then transferred to feelings of sadness, loss, fear, insecurity, imprisonment, conflict, distraction, confusion until gradually on the 7th day, I was arriving somewhere more of a stable state: calmness, silence, tranquility, serenity, stillness, blissfulness, emotionlessness, neutrality, contentment and insight.  My journey was a journey of  the self, cutting its way through the distortions of my mind, and reaching to rest peacefully within its true nature.

Morning Awakening

There is a thin line between the past and the future, which is the present moment. At Dhammakaya Sanctuary, I was living in that moment called “the present”, where everything was expressing itself into a form of life, where it’s the only time possible to notice what’s happening in its precise details using all the 5 senses, and being in the moment of now allowed me the chance to witness a miracle called: LIFE. As I was pulled into it when every morning we woke up at 5 AM  just at the awakening moment of the forest itself, the moment when the forest came to life.

As I walked barefoot to the meditation room, I could feel the connection between me and the mother earth, as every part of the forest gently caressed every part of my existence leaving me in a state of calm vividness.  I could feel the swift breeze waving its “good morning” at my eyes, and I could inhale the freshening of the leaves through my nose, and lungs, and my whole body as it smelled all the scents of the forest coming together into one specific smell, greenness.

Reaching the view up the mountain next to the meditation room as the sun comes up every day rising like a true queen, I felt the spirit of the whole universe shining up in front of my bare eyes, where I was the only person watching this miraculous moment, it’s the moment my heart was fulfilled with total bliss, as I greeted this place with my “sun salutation” sequence, and spiritually connected with everything that was alive there. All this magical combination of the nature brought me up to life every day of my GPM 20.

Blossoming Bliss

On the 8th of June (6th day of the retreat), Teaching Monk Luang Phi Pasura guided the session, which started as any other meditation sessions, however what blossomed out of it was: EXTRAORDINARY.

One second made all the difference, as I was no longer hearing the monk’s voice guiding the meditation session, my breathing came to a point where it was very slow & very still, like I was barely breathing, and there was no sensation of my physical body. My mind was clear and empty, no thoughts were regenerating. My whole existence disconnected from the present moment, I was not here but nowhere else… I was within my being.

Total silence expanded deeply within my whole existence, layers of peace spread within my center and a pure light shining beyond those layers of peace, an explosion of total bliss blossomed within me, as I came to meet my true self. It was beyond joy, beyond happy, beyond any earthly description. That connection of love within, left me in a state of total completeness, total contentment of being my own self which lies there, endlessly beautifully and blissfully, within the layers of silence something was happening, changing, it was the “self” revealing itself in its’ truest nature.