Peace is very much the word on everyone’s lips as Eastern Europe erupts in conflict. As people are evacuate their homeland, the outpouring of love and practical support has been astounding. We have become one in our accord of goodwill and compassion. Our hearts long to see peace for others, but also in our homes and to feel peace within. But is peace achievable? And how can we find peace in our hearts?
Jenny Light, psychologist, Yoga Elder and author has studies peace extensively both on a personal and a practicable global level.
‘I fall back in times of trial to the words of Gandhi, the master of peaceful conflict resolution: ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. If ever I feel powerless in the face of world events, I remind myself that I have access to unlimited power to be the change the world needs. The situation that is playing out in Ukraine is a wider symptom that more hearts are needed to carry peace and not hostility. Nothing is beyond the power of our collective hearts to solve.
Visualise, if you will, the heart as a huge electromagnetic generator, sending out and amplifying in waves the thoughts and feelings that we harbour. So if those feelings are negative, such as fear, despair, hatred or hopelessness, those are unwittingly projected out into the collective vibration of humanity, only to add fuel to disputes. Or your heart’s feelings can be positive: compassion for others, understanding, wish to bring succour, love and peace. Positive expressions have great power to overcome trials and make real and positive change for peace.
We are in a new paradigm of shift where humanity is on the brink of realising the power that they individually and collectively have, discovering how to harness the power of thought, powered by feeling to bring about that longed for peace.
What I’m witnessing in the world isn’t a power struggle of one nation in a tantrum with its neighbour, but a huge outpouring of love and peace from the hearts of millions around the world. How powerful is that! We are truly at a pivotal point in our evolution as humans.
I am inspired by the words of Paramahansa Yogananda to not take anything in this world too seriously. As actors on the world stage, we may come and go and each actor must play his or her part as nobly as he or she can. I would urge you to respond positively with meditation, prayer and with noble acts of kindness.
Now to the practical how-to on a personal level. How can we master our heart generator and amplify it for peace? Meditation. As soon as you attempt to sit quiet and float the consciousness within, something beautiful begins to happen you become aware that any negative feeling or distraction is not you. It’s merely a smoke screen occluding what is real. The true lasting reality is that behind that screen, peace perpetually emanating, like a pulsing jewel, from the centre of your energetic heart (or heart chakra).
Have you ever looked though coloured glass or Perspex? The tones and hues of 3rd dimensional objects are changed. The same is true of what we allow to emotionally to cloud our vision. Seeing things as they are without attributing a screen of opinion and perception takes practise. When you are looking out on the world from a sunny place of peace, even difficult situations seem more manageable. (If you allow your positivity to drop, anger and futility can loom in).
A practice of peaceful meditation not only changes how you feel and respond to events as they arise, it also contributes a real, practical change in the world.
Imagine the peace-jewel of your heart beaming forth peace rays to the collective matrix of consciousness of humanity. Further visualise that your peaceful feelings are being gratefully received by receptive hearts, as if they were being offered water in a spiritual desert.
The responsibility becomes us not the project feelings of alarm, fear, anger or hopelessness. This world stage is very much an opportunity for us to step up spiritually, personally and collectively, to shine our peace on the waters of the world and the waters within each human heart.
Jenny shares a meditation for a heart-centred peace, extracted from ‘Awakening the Lotus of Peace; yoga meditations for inner peace’ (Mantra Books 2022).
Meditation: Peace as Rays of Light
Sit upright, alert and relaxed.
Release all tension in the body: inhale through the nostrils and tense whole body, exhale and blow away tension through the mouth. Repeat three times.
Prayer: ‘Divine Father, Divine Mother, saints and masters, fill me with Thy cosmic rays of bountiful peace. Lead me onward, ever inward to develop such depth of meditation that I may find Thy Ocean of peace within. Om Shanti, Peace.’
Imagine that you have roots growing down from the tailbone and into a golden pool of light in the centre of the earth. Visualise turning on a tap and releasing treacle-like toxins out of the body, mind and emotions. Relinquish holding onto strings of attachment to desires.
See them sinking down into the golden pool of light and being transmuted back into light.
Visualise now that you are drinking up nourishment from the golden pool of light, up through your roots. Golden light fills the legs and lower half of the body, midriff, chest, arms, neck and head.
Golden light flows upward through the whole body and opening the skylight on the crown of the head to connect with a golden ray of light coming from the highest vibration.
Visualise that you are enveloped in a stream of golden light.
Watch the Breath flowing into and out from the body with the calmness of an observer.
Are there any pauses developing between inhales and exhales, exhales and inhales? If so, can you ride the pause, as if surfing a wave, holding the attention without being diverted to a random thought?
Use the pauses in the breath to hold back any intrusion of thought, like parting the Red Sea. You are developing the will power to create a bubble of calm that the mind cannot throw intrusions into.
Imagine that you are standing on the shore of a vast sea and the waves are lapping around your feet. Testing in the water directly through your soles and feeling the depth of peace contained therein.
Feel into the vastness of the sea. When your breath has become calm and your consciousness calmed, then you can perceive yourself as part of a Great Ocean of Peace. Drink up that peace through your feet as if by osmosis. This is a quiet of peace that your soul responds to as it brings a peace in the heart.
Allow that peacefulness to enter your physical body, stilling and quieting the nerves, calming the waters within each cell of the body, calming the heart, quelling any emotional upset and floating away all desires that no longer serve your soul development. Realise that you are holding onto those streams of desires and choosing to let then go. The ocean of peace gives you the potential for change. Absorb peace, as if your eyes were floating in a balmy ocean of peace.
Take your attention to the bridge of the nose, to the space between the two eyes. Focus the prana (energy) of the left eye and the right eye towards this point, without strain, so that both currents of energy converge. Inhale and try to keep the focus of both eyes at this point. Allow the right eye to be looking towards this point and the left eye to join it. Imagine that at this point a sphere of light becomes charged so that the more your attention is focused on it, the more powerful the sphere becomes.
The eyes are linked to the heart chakra so you may find that your heart becomes warm or starts to open. Keep adjusting the focus so the eyes remain channelled towards this point between the eyes, charging it up. That point may become warm, tingle, throb, or another indication of charging with prana.
Visualise shifting that charged sphere of prana and lift it 2 finger-widths onto the brow.
Visualise a golden tunnel opens on the brow. Golden light streams towards you, pouring in through your spiritual eye and into the brain.
Golden light, like rays of sunshine, is being absorbed by your heart.
Golden rays of light bring peace within the single eye (brow chakra) and peace within the brain, enveloping the body in a stream of golden light.
Keep bringing your attention back to the spiritual eye, absorbing golden light, until you feel that you have circlet of golden light around the brow.
Commence the So Ham mantra, maintaining awareness of rays of golden light flooding in through the brow chakra and the crown of the head.
Just beneath your feet, you are experiencing the ocean of peace. The body breathes in, mental mantra So and the body breathes out, mental mantra Ham. Just let go on the exhale of all expectation of what may happen in the next moment. Just be in the moment.
Be so filled with peace that the little awareness recedes, and you become expanded into the vast ocean of peace. Let go of the mantra practice.
Be open to receive golden rays of light into expansiveness.
Mentally affirm I am peace. I float in an ocean of golden peace. I am peace. I float in and am sustained by an ocean of peace. I give that peace to all.
Just beneath the inner door of my being is a vast ocean of peace which is constantly being filled by rays of peace. Bask in the loving vibration of peace. Bathe all of humanity in that peace.
Jenny’s new book, Awakening the Lotus of Peace: yoga meditations for inner peace (Mantra books May 2022) is a guide to meditating on peace, made accessible via the senses: peace as a soft breeze; peace as a whisper; peace as an inner smile; peace as radiance; peace as a musk that arises from within, etc. Each of these expressions of peace, Jenny has experienced herself on her quest for Inner Peace. A treasure trove packed with 15 beautifully scripted meditations, exquisitely adorned with peace mandalas and is a stunning addition to your yoga practice.
Jenny Light is a student of Paramahansa Yogananda and Yoga Elder with Independent Yoga Network. She lives in Ayrshire and runs meditation & mindfulness workshops and retreats in the UK/online. www.living-lightly.co.uk
Awakening the Lotus of Peace by Jenny Light is available from www.johnhuntpublishing.com/mantra-books/ or from wherever books are sold.