How to Cultivate Peace

In the early morning, as the sun was still rising, I watched the entire Olympic opening ceremony. I have always enjoyed watching the opening ceremony as a kid, from the introduction of the athletes, the performances and lighting the cauldron. In lieu of releasing live doves, a symbol of peace, dove shaped lights brushed along the stadium ground, as large dove-shaped confetti fell from above, giving the illusion of doves flying around the stadium.

During a portion of the ceremony, four musical artists sang a cover of “Imagine,” by John Lennon. Since 1971, “Imagine” has long been a song about community and peace. The Olympics too have been a symbol of peace as nations come together, as a global community, while they aspire to win medals, the deeper aspiration is to approach or perhaps even reach world peace.

The five interlocking Olympic rings (blue, black, red, gold, and green) represent the five continents coming together for the world games. While world peace can seem like a child-like dream, we can experience individual peace though the practice of meditation.

From time to time I have heard “I don’t know how to meditate”, “I can’t meditate” or “I don’t like meditating.” My response to each statement is that there are many ways to meditate. For example, walking or running can be a form of meditation. You can also mediate by tuning into specific sound or chanting.

One form of meditation, that I would like to introduce to you is mantra meditation.

A 30-something woman, in work clothes, is seated on a mat on the floor meditating. A smile is on her face.
Photo by Ekterina Bolovtsova
Steps to Mantra Meditation
  1. When you wake up in the morning, find a comfortable upright, seated position. Make sure your spine is long, your head up with your chin slightly tucked and shoulders down your back.
  2. Have a soft focus towards the ground (or close your eyes, if that is more comfortable). Focus on the breath coming in and out of your nose. Notice the cool air as you inhale and the warm air as you exhale. Do this at least three times.
  3. On your next inhale, quietly repeat the word “peace”, to yourself. Say peace as many times as you can with each inhale and exhale. For example if it takes you an 6 count to inhale, say peace 6 times.

If you struggle to quiet your mind note that mantras can serve as something to focus on, which overtime allows the mind to quiet. Mantras also help to stay centered or recenter yourself if your mind starts to wander. Peace doesn’t resonate with you, you can choose a different word such as love, hope, surrender etc. Make sure the word you choose is positive and if you choose to say a phrase, make sure that it is short.

Try it out and let know how it goes. In time you may find yourself it easier to quiet your mind as you approach your own experience of peace.

Published by Stephanie Marie

Stephanie Marie began practicing mindfulness, meditation, and yoga in 2013. Nine months into her practice, she found her voice and launch her Mindfulness blog, Illuminated Voice. She is a group facilitator, yoga teacher, empowerment coach, and founder of HeartSpace Circle. In her free time, she enjoys taking art classes, listening to music, exploring the city, and spending quality time with loved ones. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Human Communication from Arizona State University and studied improv, acting, filmmaking, and anything related to her passion, human connection. As a blogger Stephanie writes about the importance of vulnerability, listening to your inner voice, honoring yourself, and speaking your truth.

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