“A compassionate state of mind brings inner peace, and therefore a healthier body.” ~Tenzin Gyatso

To many men and women, the concept of “inner peace” sounds so foreign and elusive that it appears more like science fiction than a “real” state of being.

Have you ever felt a moment when all your thoughts, feelings, and emotions seem to simultaneously align, and you feel a blissful state of total clarity?

It’s a unique sensation. During these moments, perhaps after a long day of fulfilling work, socialization or simply sharing love with friends and family, when you shut your eyes there is beautiful quiet. At that moment, as you lay still both in your mind and in your body, the workings of your inner Self feel as balanced and untouched as a sheet of sand upon beach shore. This feeling, like that image of a beach, is a pure and beautiful state of perfection.

The Inner Peace We Aspire to Achieve

Just at the water’s edge, the sand is calmly washed upon and groomed by gentle waves. Blissfully untouched. It is inner peace, mental clarity, total balance. If only for that moment, that sandy shore, capable of taking so many other forms, rocky and jagged, unkempt and chaotic, remains perfectly still. Perfectly smooth. If only for that moment, there is a great sense of simplicity and peace. Like that beach, total “inner peace” as a state of mind is everyone’s ultimate goal. But, how to get there from here? How to achieve an inner balance like the perfection of a fresh, cool sheet of sand at the foot of the shoreline?

Sand is the product of crushed rock — rock that has been battered and beaten upon for centuries by the elements: crashing waves, thrashing oceans, storms, and chaos. For each of us to be battered in life by challenges, problems, trials and tribulations is no different than the rocks that have been battered for ages and ages before being crushed into fine, soft sand.

When the Waves Come…

To fear the changing tides of life would be like the sand fearing the waves. Without the waves, the sand would never be there where it lays. Without turbulent trials, challenges and hardships, we would remain but rocks: stale and stagnant objects. We would remain untried, untested duds of the mind, tragically capable of so much more. When we are unwilling to face life’s challenges, we succumb to the fear of uncertainty that envelops crashing waves.

One’s fear of uncertainty is another’s opportunity. While so few would invite tides of turbulent change, once the waves are crashing upon the shores, let our fear be admonished and let us push onward. For when the end goal is such an unfamiliar and elusive state of mind as inner peace, crashing waves of turbulence and challenge will help us move closer to total inner peace: no different than the perfect and untouched shore of a perfect beach.