A first step towards a peaceful mind is to want the welfare and well being of others. I must expand my heart to include the well being of all sincerely and with the same fervor as I seek mine and my family’s. If I don’t do this, peace of mind will elude me whatever else I do or don’t do.
A simple way to begin to achieve this is to practise this attitude in my prayers. When I pray, I must not limit it to only myself and my family. But I must pray for the well being and happiness of all. This is what the rishis teach me repeatedly. This is what the vedic prayers invariably do. If I’m attentive to the call of the vedas, I cannot miss the all-inclusiveness, the majesty and magnificence of the call of my own heart.
Here is one such prayer. Every word of this prayer is precious on a personal basis.
How peaceful my life will be if
- I filter what I hear and hear only the auspicious
- I filter what I see and see only the auspicious
- I have the strength of body and mind
- I shine in the effulgence of sacrifice
- All have well being by hearing only the auspicious
- All have well being by knowing the all pervasive knowledge
- All have well being with no misfortunes
- All are blessed this way
May our ears shine in the effulgence of hearing the auspicious
May our eyes shine in the effulgence of seeing the worshipful
May our bodies and limbs shine in the effulgence of strength and health
May we shine in the effulgence of sacrifice throughout our lives
May Indra, the Effulgence in Strength and Hope, grant us well being by strengthening us to hear only the auspicious
May Pusha, the Nourishment of Knowledge, bless us by granting us the all pervasive Knowledge
May Arishtanemi Tarkshya, the Effulgence of Indefatigable Protective Power grant us well being
May Bruhaspati, the Effulgence in Wisdom, bless us so.
Aum Peace. Peace. Peace.
bhadram karnebhih srunuyaama devaah | bhadram pasyema akshabih yajatraah | sthiraih angaih tushtuvaamsah tanoobhih | vyasema devahitam yadaayuh | svasti nah indro vruddhas sravaah| svasti nah pooshaa visvavedaah | svasti nah taarkshyo arishtnemih | svasti no bruhaspatih dadhaatu || Aum shantih shantih shantih||
You can listen to it here.
Peaceful mind is not peace of mind. It is a mind of peace. It is mindful of peace. It is not peace “of” mind but really it is the peace “in” mind.
My mind takes the first step towards the peace in it by sincerely yearning and working for the peace and well being of all. Not just me. Not just my family. But really for the peace and well being of all. This list includes strangers, enemies, friends, family and all those my path has not yet crossed. And then some.