The ground was a tiny bit damp as I walked through the park. My mat tucked under my arm, I lifted my head to soak up the early morning rays of sun. The birds were in full chorus, the smell of almost-summer in the air. A profound peace settled within me.
For the past year or so now I have been focusing on the first of the Yama's (guidelines to live by) written by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, which is Ahimsa or non-violence. This notion goes way beyond not fighting or killing, it goes as far as never having a harmful thought towards someone else or towards ourself.
Imagine going through the day filling every corner of your thought with peace. Every action, challenge, situation, every person you met or thought about you bathed in peace.
This requires a constant watching of your thought, it is being very vigilant and at the same time compassionate with ourselves. When the "violent" thought comes parading through, we simply observe it, remain the Witness, totally unattached.
I often pause before responding in difficult situations and ask myself what would be the most peaceful response. I call this the "peace-pause" (try it, it really works!). Every instance, be it seemingly insignificant can either bring peace or violence. I find that many times the most peaceful response is to remain silent, letting life simply flow. It is in the letting go that peace naturally surfaces with no effort whatsoever.
That morning in the park surrounded by the stillness of nature set the tone for the rest of the day and reminded me that peace is always, always found within.