Calm, Peace and Silence
Calm is a strong and positive quietude, firm and solid—ordinary quietude is mere negation, simply the absence of disturbance.
Peace is a deep quietude where no disturbance can come—a quietude with a sense of established security and release.
In complete silence there are either no thoughts or thoughts come, but they are felt as something coming from outside and not disturbing the silence.
Silence of the mind, peace or calm in the mind are three things that are very close together and bring each other.
How can we establish a settled peace and silence in the mind?
First of all, you must want it.
And then you must try and must persevere, keep on trying. What I have just told you is a very good means. Yet there are others also. You sit quietly, to begin with; and then, instead of thinking of fifty things, you begin saying to yourself, “Peace, peace, peace, peace, peace, calm, peace!” You imagine peace and calm. You aspire, ask that it may come: “Peace, peace, calm.” And then, when something comes and touches you and acts, say quietly, like this, “Peace, peace, peace.” Do not look at the thoughts, do not listen to the thoughts, you understand. You must not pay attention to everything that comes. You know, when someone bothers you a great deal and you want to get rid of him, you don’t listen to him, do you? Good! You turn your head away (gesture) and think of something else.Well, you must do that: when thoughts come, you must not look at them, must not listen to them, must not pay any attention at all, you must behave as though they did not exist, you see! And then, repeat all the time like a kind of—how shall I put it?—as an idiot does, who repeats the same thing always. Well, you must do the same thing; you must repeat, “Peace, peace, peace.” So you try this for a few minutes and then do that you have to do; and then, another time, you begin again; sit down again and then try. Do this on getting up in the morning, do this in the evening when going to bed. You can do this… look, if you want to digest your food properly, you can do this for a few minutes before eating. You can’t imagine how much this helps your digestion! Before beginning to eat you sit quietly for a while and say, “Peace, peace, peace!” and everything becomes calm. It seems as though all the noises were going far, far, far away (Mother stretches out her arms on both sides) and then you must continue; and there comes a time when you no longer need to sit down, and no matter what you are doing, no matter what you are saying, it is always “Peace, peace, peace.” Everything remains here, like this, it does not enter (gesture in front of the forehead), it remains like this. And then one is always in a perfect peace… after some years.
But at the beginning, a very small beginning, two or three minutes, it is very simple. For something complicated you must make an effort, and when one makes an effort, one is not quiet. It is difficult to make an effort while remaining quiet. Very simple, very simple, you must be very simple in these things. It is as though you were learning how to call a friend: by dint of being called he comes. Well, make peace and calm your friends and call them: “Come, peace, peace, peace, peace, come!”
Can one be peaceful in activity?
Yes certainly – the peace starts in the inner being – it is spiritual and psychic but it overflows the outer being. When it is there in the activity, it means either that the ordinary restless mind, vital, physical have been submerged by the flood of the inner peace or, at a more advanced stage, they have been partially or wholly changed into thoughts, forces, emotions, sensations which have in their very stuff an essence of inner silence and peace.
When the peace is fully established everywhere in the being, these things (reactions of the lower vital) will not be able to shake it. They may come first as ripples on the surface, then only as suggestions which one looks at or does not care to look at but in either case they don’t get inside, affect or disturb at all.
It is difficult to explain but it is something like a mountain at which one may throw stones – if conscious all through the mountain may feel the touch of the stones but the thing would be so slight and superficial that it would not be in the least affected.
Peace and Yoga
Peace is the very basis of all the siddhi in the yoga…
The first thing to do in the sadhana is to get a settled peace and silence in the mind… It is in the silent mind that the true consciousness can be built.
It is true that through whatever is strongest in him a sadhak can more easily open to the Divine. But… peace is necessary for all; without peace and an increasing purity, even if one opens, one cannot receive perfectly all that comes down through the opening.
When the mind is silent there is peace and in peace all things that are divine can come.
To want what the Divine wants, in all sincerity, is the essential condition for peace and joy in life. Almost all human miseries come from the fact that men are nearly always convinced that they know better than the Divine what they need and what life ought to give them. Most human beings want other human beings to conform to their expectations and circumstances to conform to their desires- therefore they suffer and are unhappy.
The real meaning of peace
There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them. One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest – in perfect peace. Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why? “Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”