How Can I Find Inner Peace?

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inner peace

What is inner peace?

The Taoist answer is: Self Acceptance.

Inner Peace can be as simple as letting go, and resting under the shade of an old tree.

The path taken to find inner peace is as hard or simple as a person makes the journey of self acceptance to be.

A Taoist will embrace inner peace by always taking the moment to be present in their life.

I received this question the other day: The full text of the question goes as:

I have no idea how to go about resolving the constant questions that go through my head! Asking these questions just makes my life miserable as it always leads to no answers over and over again.
I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel all I see is more questions! Is it possible for people like me to find inner peace?

Everyone can find inner peace. The path is through acceptance. However, countless paths for finding acceptance exist. Some seekers take a longer path than others as they work out to resolve personal inner conflicts within their life. So the answer requires two parts. It first is important to understand the nature of questions. Then we will teach how Taoism helps a person find acceptance.

The Nature of Questions

Countless practices and systems of belief exist to help people find answers. The challenge is finding a practice or system that matches to your nature.

For example: Zen practice teaches a person to just keep asking questions and then more questions until the mind literally says enough is enough and the mind just lets go. Of course Zen then takes this a step further and you ask a few more questions just to be sure you mind has learned to be empty of questions.

In Taoism you learn everything is relative. This means most answers are not worth chasing. So you let go of the questions to skip straight into acceptance.

In fact, Taoism takes this a step further to teach many questions don’t have a “larger” answer at all, that in fact the only answer possible is that you yourself are the answer. In other words, a Taoist reaches the point of acceptance where you, “as you are” literally becomes the answer for a majority of the questions you face…

In Taoism, questions fall into two categories: Outer Truth and Inner Truth. Questions that fall in the zone of Outer truth are questions that could be consider universal in nature. For example : What is Red? Red is a color… pretty clear cut right? Nope.

Since many questions end up being relative:

For instance What is Red? Well depending on how you perceive the world, Red can mean something different. So to someone who is color blind their RED may not be the same as your RED.

So questions which are dependent on your nature fall into the category of Inner Truth.

Even more confusing: questions could have different answers depending if you are trying to answer relative to an Outer Truth or Inner Truth such as the “What is Red?” question illustrates. So when considering this: it isn’t hard for a person to get stuck in endless loops chasing questions and semantics. A Taoist knows that answers are infinite. A person can spend an entire lifetime chasing answers only to left still chasing after more.

A problem is many people try to force questions which are Inner Truth in nature as if they were only Outer Truth based issues.

This is the root reason for religions causing so many problems: trying to force a personal answer as an universal truth upon others. A perfect example was the question I answered the other day about Taoism’s View on Homosexuality.

So back to the question about finding inner peace.

Taoism teaches this:

Inner Peace can be discovered when understanding many questions are actually asking about Inner Truth.

Inner Peace is a matter of accepting your life
as an answer towards questions of Inner Truth.

How Taoism helps a person discover acceptance

Taoism teaches:

  1. The past is just… the past.. long gone and passed on by.
  2. The future is not here yet…
  3. Taoism teaches you are here now, firmly in the moment: dancing from moment to moment. By embracing the ride of now, a person quickly learns: to let go of false attachments to past pains, learns building a future is just a way of deceiving oneself away from now… In this process of embracing life now… a person can let go enough to actually have a chance to see themselves truly by being present in their life.

If you are too busy holding on to the past or chasing the future:
it’s hard to take the time to then see yourself clearly now.

A strange thing happens at this point… A person discovers all the internal fractures once considered to be flaws and weaknesses… are actually beautiful… That in the light of living now… all aspects of our life makes us what we are… and that is wonderful. In living now… all futures are possible: opening up new “Possibilties” of 10,000 dreams where each one is valid… and it’s fun to play about, to flow as life weaves together into something unexpected…. Because it’s always possible to accept who you are now. Inner Peace opens up as a person releases into their own nature.

  1. Is it an easy path to let go of the past?No… since being able to remember the past always gives strength to avoid issues.
  2. Is it an easy path to stop holding onto the futureNo… since it’s by planning and slowly building with a good plan that humans have built so many marvelous wonders.
  3. Is it easy to accept oneself?No … not when so much strength can be gained through community: and in turn we are taught to base personal acceptance upon other viewpoints over our own personal values.Initially as a Taoist you learn to let go of everything in order to see oneself clearly and to embrace oneself as is. In time acceptance comes at the point of relaxing into oneself.Later in this process a Taoist mixes together all aspects of themselves… to truly live as oneself… this means being fully human. In harmony with the past and future to now.

Living with a Taoist outlook doesn’t mean to stop being yourself…

  • It simply means to not hold former shapes of the past.
  • It simply means to stop limiting yourself to expectations for the future.
  • It simply means to accept yourself now… honestly upon your own terms.

To take all the whimsy, experiences and your nature to where ever it might lead. So for myself the goal is just to enjoy, discover and swirl in wonder. Along the way to move gracefully while giving a helping hand as we can.

This Taoist approach keeps everything simple and honest. The most beautiful part is being present now, where acceptance is in each moment as it happens…

One step at a time.

Having no illusions: since the dance of life comes both with hard days and easier times. The Taoist just takes it as it comes… One moment, one step, one breath at a time.

This is the Taoist’s path for inner peace.

Additional Anger, Crisis and Emotional Support Reading Materials

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31 Comments. Leave new

Peruvian Smoke
October 7, 2014 2:07 am

I’m a very young adult (21) who has reached a certain maturity level which differentiate from everyone I can recall to know in my life. I’m an atheist and came to my personal conclusion about life’s purpose which I believe there is none but to enjoy life itself experiencing beautiful feelings/emotions as joy and happiness. Since then my ultimate goal in life has been to reach inner peace so I could remain in that state of mind but seemed to have failed, for over a year I have felt very “bored” and lack the usual joy I used to experience in my daily activities/experiences (socially or individually) . My questions is how does inner peace feels like? I accept myself but how does that overcomes feelings of apathy? I do not feel depressed or anything similar though. The last time I have really felt “alive” and a truly inner peace was when I first tried LSD, few years ago, an experience I would never regret, that has completely changed my perspective of life and helped me to focus on what really matters in life. Back then and several months after that I felt amazing, I was able to appreciate everything in life to its full extent and didn’t take anything given to me for granted. That was the closer I ever felt to my inner peace but somehow cannot remember how that used to feel like , not enough to be able to experience that same type of mind state again. This is the hardest and most important journey in my life which I started few years ago and will have a huge repercussion in how and where I lead my life as I value this journey way more than a financial/materialistic success. Now I’m about 6 months away to start a new life in a different country, to continue my journey to happiness and inner peace. For young people is quite difficult to meet others that can have a conversation towards this issues since most are not able to see further a materialistic / capitalist lifestyle and conform to it, but do not know inner happy can be achieve regardless your social and financial status,

@Peruvian: Enjoy your journey.

You ask: What does inner peace feel like?

Inner peace feels like wholeness.

Inner peace is acceptance. Acceptance is relative to your baseline of life, hence inner peace changes as your baseline of life changes.

We are mind, body and spirit. Wholeness is to have all three of these components. Because the balance of mind, body and spirit shifts relative to many factors, inner peace dances around how we find our terms of acceptance to any given situation. So the inner peace you had a year ago will not be the same as inner peace you need now, nor what you will need a year from now. It shifts as you grow.

Be patient as you balance two worlds: the physical world with it’s social rules and the spiritual world with it’s motion. Don’t try to live only in one of those worlds. Rather we are always of both worlds. Balance yourself in a way to live in both. We use our mind, -> how we hold our stories as a balancing pole to navigate between the physical and spiritual worlds. This is why people express or try to experience amazing tales: they are using these stories to balance out life.

We teach modesty in Taoism, which means simple stories are easier to hold and find balance against. However we don’t shy away from the great tales either. At times an epic story is needed to make life rock and to find wholeness against.

in certain state of mind, this is too long to read, let alone comprehend.
I would be really grateful if you could make it simpler.

@NF: Simple answers often don’t work for people stuck in complicated dramas. Answers with more detail often swamp those overloaded by life.

But here is a simple answer for you in the moment:

Time passes, Surf is up and so goes life…

Pause, avoid the larger waves, wait to let the smaller waves by and surf the waves that call to you. So goes the dance of life…

What are some good exercises to practice inner peace?

@Skennon: It partially depends on you. Since I don’t know you I can’t give specific recommendations.

You want exercises that match to your nature and reinforce your essence.

Generally speaking Qi Gong, Tai Chi and many yoga practices can be a good starting point for some people.

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