Sunday, January 25, 2009

on the nature and experience of true peace




Salamun!
qawlan min Rabbin Raheemi.


Peace!
a Word from Merciful Lord.

- The Quran
36:58


1.
True peace is a gift from the Source of Mercy and Peace. At this time of our peak materialistic civilization many have come to realize that peace is neither a function of hoarding and piling up materials, nor the vanishing pleasures, nor it is a commodity on the side who owns the most. True peace is a wholeness by itself and realized contentment is one of the pathway to that. The foundation of True Peace within brings contentment and thus contains the wholeness within.

The classical text of Indian spirituality, Isa Upanishad's Peace Chant invokes peace in this way:

OM! That (the Invisible-Absolute) is whole; whole is this (the visible phenomenal); from the Invisible Whole comes forth the visible whole. Though the visible whole has come out from that Invisible Whole, yet the Whole remains unaltered.

OM! Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!
Remembrance of One! Peace! Peace! Peace!

2.
True Peace is not limited to any race, follower of this religion or that, nor even exclusive to mankind alone, but a boundless gift from the Source of Universally Merciful (ar-Rahman) to all sentient beings. Peace is an attribute of the Most Holy and thus can be felt projected even in valleys, mountains or in other creatures. As it permeate any creature or a landscape, also it can permeate any human heart. Sometime it is a singular, unique and private experience - also it can be a collective experience given to a group of people at a blessed occasion by the grace of a sanctified place or a holy being.

Arabinda Basu, a philosopher and scholar of the yoga of Sri Aurobindo, and a member of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the coastal town of Pondicherry, India described his own experience:

"There's a place called Sarnath, about 800 miles, a little less than, North of Varanasi and Buddha first preached a sermon there.. I once happened to be there with some friends. We were talking about this place, so on and so forth.

A Burmese monk, who was Buddhist, just passed, very slowly and gradually. He looked at us. We were all completely saturated at peace. Actual concrete peace, which felt like ice, without a discomfort. The whole body went completely cool. Not cool, but cool.

The man only looked at us. Did nothing. He had got this peace within himself. He can radiate it. It's my own concrete experience. Even now, I can recover the experience, if I wish to. Considering the experience, I can still get it. So much power is there in the peace."

3.
While describing his state of true-peace when he used to enter into divine communion, into salat or prayer, the holy prophet Muhammad, the final bearer of message of oneness from the single brotherhood of messengers sent to humanity, spoke about a cool sensation that filled his eyes as a token of peaceful state.

Prayer fills my eyes with a cool sensation.
- Holy Prophet Muhammad, benediction upon him

Eyes are the mirror of the soul and the peace permeates and flows through the soul about which the Prophet was pointing. For the prophet, the prayer was the holy sanctuary where he felt comforted by the descend and ascent of peace. Prayer in congregation (al-jama'ah), prayer in togetherness is for the very practical purpose to experience that wholeness of peace in a blessed gathering by collectively amplifying the vibration of peace.

Once the prophet asked one of his companion, Bilal to give call for prayer saying: "Bilal, call (the people) to prayer, let us be comforted by it."

The comfort which comes from inner state of stillness - is what true peace brings in.

Deep and inner peace of mind and heart is called "Sakinah" according to the Qur'an. The Qur'an mentions that "Sakinah" descends from the realm of unseen, upon the hearts of true Mu'mineen (true believers, one who has attained faith) and it is sent by the Divine Source of Peace (as-Salam).

Huwa allaze anzala als-sakeenata fee quloobi al-mumineena liyazdadoo eemanan maAAa eemanihim ... The Quran 48.4

It is God Who sent down tranquility (als-sakeenata) into the hearts of the believers, that they may add faith unto their faith.

Huwa Allahu allaze la ilaha illa huwa. al-Maliku al-Quddoosu als-Salamu al-Mu'minu al-Muhayminu al-AAazeezu al-Jabbaru al-Mutakabbiru subhana Allahi AAamma yushrikoon.
- The Quran
59:23

Allah is He, than Whom there is no other divine reality - the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah! (High is He) beyond and above any partners they associate with Him.

4.
True Peace, True Silence

True peace is the outpouring of a timeless "Silence" whose reality sits beyond the opposites at play in time and space. Excitement and disappointment are the polarized results of inflated and deflated ego states - temporal pleasures bound to the rational mind. In other words, any peace subject to changing conditions is, at best a temporary and collapsible pleasure.
- Karl R. Wolfe, PhD. True Peace, True Silence

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.
- Buddha

5.
Experiences of Peace Awakened

True peace is always possible.
- Thich Nhat Hanh

A friend of mine shared in correspondence her opening experience of true peace which caused a great inner change as is normally the case of such experiences:

"It was few weeks ago, I woke up in the morning. It was a cold morning. I watched snow fall for some moment, my room was dark and warm with the heating... It was so cozy and comfy. I was sitting near window having a cup of tea. Suddenly I felt so happy, so happy. My heart felt absolute peace. I just loved myself. I felt so much love for every one, even the people I sometimes don't like (Well, we cannot like every single person always, we are not perfect being). I thanked Allah. Since then I never did regret for my precious life. But then I started to feel strange... why is everything so good? Why am I receiving so much love and affection from people?"

Another dear heart mystic friend, may God bless her soul in this world and the next, shared her own experience of true peace:

"There were three or four times when I first felt what you describe, and those are the transforming moments, or the virgin experience of merging with a luminous light and a deep stillness in my soul that surrounded me with the peace of Oneness, or an awareness of a way that I was one with All that exists. It is a moment when I felt overwhelmingly that I became a We. It lifted the human feeling of isolation and the limited belief that I was alone or separate in this existence, and I never truly felt alone again in the same way as I did before these experiences of peaceful union.

These moments happened in different settings, and they did not seem to be anything that I could make happen of my own accord, except that I had persistently lived with and felt a profound longing for God. The moment of peace was a moment of transcendence, when spirit touched Spirit and moved me beyond all limitation into a transparent and delicate light of freedom.

There have been many peak experiences since, and ultimately, they have become a way of being for me that carry me through valley experiences, through dark times, through deep human sadness, and through change in the world that is disorienting. Ultimately, I became acutely aware of the Presence of a Divine mind, a Divine heart, a Divine soul, and a Divine spirit that exists beyond the dimension of human experience. This is a multi-dimensional universe, and the peak experiences awakened and expanded my awareness that it is possible that many dimensions can exist simultaneously.

The peacefulness became a delicate inner flow of spirit energy that suspended the outer conditions of the world and created an awareness within the soul that we are meant to be in communion with the Source of All Life, the Creator of Life Itself, with the God of our Hearts. The body relaxes, and there is a sense of peace and well being that is described in scripture as the peace that passes all understanding, which is truly how it feels to me. It is a pure gift of grace.

Life flows from the Source of All Peace into cycles of exalted states of joy and infuses a deep sense of connectedness and belonging when this happens. Love becomes a dissolving surrender into Belovedness. We are in the world, but we do not belong to it, nor are we bound to it. Peace is a blessed assurance of our wholeness and our communion with the Spirit of Love. I truly believe this peace is offered to every person and every heart."

6.
Peace left as gift from the Peace impersonated

Salaman atruku lakum; salami yu'sikum. Laisa kama yu'sil 'alamu yu'sikum ana.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, do I give unto you. - John 14:27, Saying of Holy Messenger, Jesus Christ, upon him be peace

7.
Prayer for Peace to the Source of Peace

Allahumma ya Mowlana antas-Salaam, wa minkas-Salaam, wa ilaika yarjaus-Salaam. Haiyyina Rabbana bis-Salaam, wa adkhilna daras-Salaam, tabarakta Rabbana wa-ta'laita, ya Zal Jalali wal Ikram.

O God! O our Master! You are eternal Peace by Your essence and attributes. The everlasting peace descends from You and ascends to You. O our Sustainer! Grant us true peace and usher us into the abode of peace. O Glorious and Bounteous One! You are Source of Blessing and Sublime. - Prayer of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace

Lord, make me an instrument of peace.
- Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, God be pleased with him

8.
Meditation of Peace

Slowly and steadily you have to silence your mind, so that the peace–dove
can nest in it.

I meditate
So that I can inundate
My entire being
With the omnipotent power of peace.
- Sri Chinmoy


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