With peace of mind you will be able to relax on demand, be active in a good and focused way, de-stress easily and feel content and happy. And your mitochondria and cells will be happy, too!
Happy mitochondria are crucial to wellbeing. Stress hormones and inefficient respiration damages mitochondrial DNA, and it is this that leads to early ageing and premature death.
The body’s chemical messengers, hormones, neurotransmitters and peptides create the direct experience of our life.
Whether that is peaceful, joyous, calm and focused, or exhausted, depleted, stressed, worn out, anxious and depressed.
The key factor that creates the difference is our mind.
What and how we think fires off the cascades of chemical messengers that either creates a distressing and unhappy experience of life, or creates peace and ease.
Buddhism and Deep Yoga had two words to describe these two states.
Dukkha is the irritation, dissatisfaction and distress that arises in the face of the volatility, uncertainty, changing, imbalanced and ambivalent world we live in.
Sukkha is the mind state of being at peace with all arising phenomena and change – even illness and death – and relaxing into the weave of space-time in a joyous and peaceful way.
These two terms cover the spectrum of our neurological experience in each domain of our lives. Can we move from dukkha to sukkha, with simply a change of mind?
The answer is with practice – Yes. A resounding YES!
It is simply a choice inside our brains, and arguably, it is a shift from the self-obsessive DMN (Default mode network) activity in the medial cortex, into the lateral cortical activity of being in flow with what is. It is a shift, a choice we can learn in conscious breathwork and meditative depth.
We can find a deeper sense of spaciousness and ease within the matrix of thought and feeling, a spaciousness that allows us the choice to respond to each arising feeling state and thought pattern – or not. We have this level of ease within when we cultivate the internal skill set of clear awareness.
We can, despite what many mindfulness and meditation teachers say, learn to switch off our internal dialogue completely, and learn to access levels of sublime inner peace, that most probably equate to deeper brain waves states than the average daily beta state of thinking, thinking, thinking – that most of us occupy relentlessly.
It becomes a skill to think or not to think.
Simply put, thinking is a way of seeking to make sense out of the web of sensory information from outside and inside the body. It is a problem solving tool. One that we get addicted to and believe we are.
Yet as a tool we can learn to put it down.
No problem means no solution is needed. No thinking happens. Just peaceful awareness. Simple, peaceful awareness of no-mind.
Seeing life as a relentless problem will create lots of difficult thinking, and the body states of stress that go with this. Stress states in excess hurt mitochondria, hurt all the organs of the body, create body pain and lead to a life of distress, quite literally.
We are taught that we are our thoughts, yet they are just what brains do when they are seeking to solve the problem of the moment.
If life is viewed as a constant problem the outcome is constant, difficult thinking. Such thinking creates cascades of stress hormones, neurotransmitters and peptides that create body states, that then feed the problem mentality, as the very states of the body become another problem, aches, pains, disease and so on.
Unless we learn the meta-discipline of meditative depth, we live in vicious cycles of thinking and stress, stress and difficult thinking.
Super wealthy people are largely trying to create god-realms, where they can eliminate all stressors, have what they want, when they want and never have to think about others. Such protectionist, isolation strategies can work in the short term. But the self-awareness and potency of being able to transform one’s inner reality is never achieved by this strategy, it is simply delayed until the biology of age grabs you and commands a different kind of attention.
There is no way out of death, not yet anyway!
It is way healthier for all to engage in the gentle and continuous strategies and discipline of training your mind, relaxing into awareness and dropping the unhelpful identification with thinking. This gives you freedom, you don’t need to create a glorified prison where you control all input (a ‘god realm’ of a private island, etc.) to feel at peace. You can do it anywhere, even in the most complex of contexts and situations.
I know this is true because I have done this.
I know it is possible to find the internal switch to turn off inner dialogue and dive deep into clear and aware, deeply peaceful brain states on a daily basis, because I can do this. Yes, it takes practice, yes, it takes discipline. But it is doable.
Whatever your background, whatever you are working with from your ancestry and conditioning, whatever condition your body is in, whatever kind of childhood adversity, adolescent complexity or adult difficulties you currently experience or have experienced, you have the key tools to start finding this greatest treasure, peace of mind and peace at heart.
And this can be discovered and cultivated through the four pillars of practice:
- Embodied Awareness – body based practices of wellbeing and interoception. Deeply feeling and ‘seeing’ into the body.
- Conscious Breathwork – a range of methods to learn the skills of navigation through your own mind, body and connection with everything that is.
- Mind Mastery through meditative depth – (this includes emotional intelligence). Leads to you understanding and evolving your own mind.
- Relational intelligence – this includes emotional intelligence and the skills of communication, and is about understanding how to be in-relationship in a deep and conscious way. Relationship with fellow humans and other lifeforms and our planetary life-support system.
When we find our birthright of peace of mind and peace at heart, we are at the beginning of a powerful journey, individually and collectively, to learn how to embody our own evolution and collectively enable conscious evolution, finding our true place on this planet as stewards.
This is the greatest treasure of all.