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Three Principles of Inner Peace

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

As stated in our previous post...

In Hindu mythology, there exists the symbol of the God Shiva. Shiva dances amidst the flames of destruction. He destroys the old and stagnant, while simultaneously calling in new creation with his drum. One hand points to his raised foot, emphasizing his dance called lila, or play. His other hand is raised showing a sign of peace. Lastly, he stands atop a dwarf demon, representing the surmounting of ignorance.

A great indicator of inner peace or equanimity is being able to, like Shiva, dance in the fire - to be amidst the chaos but not be affected by it; to be playful even amidst life’s toughest situations.

(To be in the world, but not of the world.)

This inner peace has been called many things throughout history...




On a daily basis, we can make choices to maintain a lifestyle that cultivates this deep sense of calm and inner peace.

Here are a few ways through which we can cultivate this inner stillness…

I’ve found that one can cultivate this calmness firstly through intentional action;

Aiming to be absolutely aware of the qualities, mindsets, and skills which we place value on, choosing to cultivate these on a moment-to-moment basis, and refining them when necessary.

This intentionality can begin first thing in the morning.

Development of individualized morning and nighttime routines allows us to set reminders of who we are and what our goals are.

My personal ideal routine consists of...

Feeling a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude before I get out of bed

Stretching and warming up my body

Listening to Ram Dass or Alan watts - a spiritual reminder of the Unity of all - to reflect upon


And mindfully drinking tea

I do this all before I begin work and study to set the tone for the day.

And I almost always wind down the day with…



Reflecting on the day - appreciating my accomplishments and being objective in knowing the areas in which I need to improve

Again, reminding myself of the Unity of all things

And another long meditation session

So, we can create optimal individual routines for ourselves that help us to continue to cultivate a virtuous character, as well as a calm and patient demeanor.

From here, it seems that when we know ourselves and know our values, we are less likely to be perturbed by temporary external circumstances or temporary emotional states.

We feel deeply, but we no longer identify with these temporary circumstances.

Instead, we actively choose who we want to be at each moment based on our values and overall well-being.

In fact, when Aristotle was asked ‘how to live a good life,’ his response was ‘live virtuously.’

My personal core values include awareness, equanimity, understanding (both empathetic and intellectual), discipline, and service to others.

When I worked in the hospitals, our bioethics classes taught that four core principles are autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice.

When we know ourselves, we can then craft a purpose for ourselves based on these values combined with our unique qualities and talents. This allows us to give heartfelt service to our fellow humans and the planet.

Finally, a having a sense of gratitude can get us through the most harsh of situations. Gratitude emphasizes an appreciation for our lives exactly as they are. It focuses on what we have instead of what we lack. With that, a more lighthearted and contented perspective of the world comes to fruition. We find that happiness is truly created from within.

This gratitude can begin with the small things in our lives and gradually pervade every area of our existence: I am grateful for this cup of tea; I am grateful for a roof over my head; I am grateful for food on the table; I am grateful for the endless opportunities of Life; I am grateful for waking up this morning with a fresh start...

To sum up,

  1. Instead of living in that anxious state of doing and accumulating, we can make choices with purpose and intention.

  2. We can do this by waking up at the same time every morning and having a routine for ourselves

  3. Know thyself - we can mindfully define what we stand for as a person and stay true to our moral virtues and values, which sets boundaries or principles so inner peace won’t be disturbed.

  4. We can live in a state of gratitude for the things that we have, rather than the externalities that we think will make us happy.

In doing these things, we train ourselves to be responsive from a place of abundance rather than reactive from a place of scarcity.

And we will slowly be able to live more equanimously, being able to dance in the proverbial fire.



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