peace 2

Nothing can bring
you peace but yourself.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Each of us seeks peace of mind, but we sometimes fear that it means giving up excitement and ecstasy.  Peace sounds like contentment, which sounds like settling, letting the fire go out.  Actually, peace of mind allows you to go more deeply into the world and consequently to experience more excitement and ecstasy.  The fire burns brighter, fueled by awareness instead of anxiety.

Jennifer James


No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it, by vigorously willing to have it.  Peace is a margin of power around our daily need.  Peace is a consciousness of springs too deep for earthly droughts to dry up.  Peace is the gift not of volitional struggle but of spiritual hospitality.  Peace is an awareness of reserves from beyond ourselves, so that our power is not so much in us as through us.

Harry Emerson Fosdick


Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace.

the Buddha
Peace is such a precious jewel that I would give anything for it but truth.

Matthew Henry


We should have much peace if we would not busy ourselves with the sayings and doings of others.

Thomas Kempis


Nothing can produce so great a serenity of life as a mind free
from guilt and kept untainted, not only from actions, but purposes
that are wicked.  By this means the soul will be not only unpolluted
but also undisturbed.  The fountain will run clear and unsullied.



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We spend most of our time and energy in a kind of horizontal thinking.
We move along the surface of things going from one quick base to another,
often with a frenzy that wears us out. We collect data, things, people, ideas,
"profound experiences," never penetrating any of them. . . .
But there are other times. There are times when we stop.
We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves or its memory.
We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.

James Carroll

Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune
or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock
during a thunderstorm.

Robert Louis Stevenson

All our miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.

Blaise Pascal


Whatever peace I know rests in the natural world,
in feeling myself a part of it, even in a small way.

May Sarton

Happy people are not their own enemies, do not carry on an endless
war with their souls.  We may be fiercely at odds with the wrongs of
the world around us.  But inside ourselves, near the core,
if we are happy, we are at peace.

Lewis B. Smedes

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty:  to reclaim large
areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and
to reflect it towards others.  And the more peace there is
in us, the more peace there will be in our troubled world.

Etty Hillesum


The most common use of the word peace is as the opposite of war.
This is understandable but unfortunate.  Peace is not just the opposite
of violence or turmoil but has a whole register of meanings all its own.
The peace of a quiet landscape nurtures us.  A calm moment to ourselves
renews our energies. Interior peace energizes us; exterior peace gives us direction.
A gentle sun, a calm ocean, the loving smile of a friend--all of these give us peace.
We are sustained in a sweet aerie of calm.
   The opposite of peace is war, but so are agitation, anxiety, and violence.

Edward J. Lavin, S.J.

The surface of life is also in a state of constant flux, with good days and bad, victory and defeat.  To maintain, as the ocean does, a deep inner calm, while the storms of misfortune, reverses, fears and worries lash at the surface of life, is to discover the secret of serenity.
   Years ago, when Thomas Edison's factory burned down, he wasted no time bemoaning his fate.  Immediately after the disaster the reporters found a calm, quiet man already at work on plans for a new building.
   When Emerson's home was destroyed by fire and his precious books were being reduced to ashes, Louisa May Alcott came to console him.  The great philosopher said, "Yes, yes, Louisa, they are all gone, but let us enjoy the blaze now.  Isn't it beautiful!"
   Some people are ocean personalities.  In their inner depths they are not defeated by what happens to them.
   The towering waves of circumstances cannot reach us when we go deep within to seek the peace that passes all understanding.  While the surface of life is in turmoil we can find an inner calmness to see us through.

Wilferd A. Peterson

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.

Indira Gandhi



Learning to distance yourself from all the negativity is
one of the greatest lessons to achieve inner peace.

Roy T. Bennett
The Light in the Heart


All people desire peace; few desire the things which make for peace.



peace 2

Calm soul of all things! make it mine
To feel, amid the city's jar,
That there abides a peace of thine,
Man did not make, and cannot mar!

The will to neither strive nor cry,
The power to feel what others give!
Calm, calm me more! nor let me die
Before I have begun to live.

Matthew Arnold


To be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to
work and to play and to look up to the stars; to be satisfied with
your possessions, but not contented with yourself until you have
made the best of them; to despise nothing in the world except
falsehood and meanness, and to fear nothing except cowardice; to
be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgusts; to
covet nothing that is your neighbors' except their kindness of heart
and gentleness of manners.

Henry van Dyke


Every time we hold our tongue instead of returning the sharp retort,
show patience for another's faults, show a little more love and kindness;
we are helping to stockpile more of these peace-bringing qualities in the world.

Constance Foster


Inner peace is certainly the ultimate resource for those dealing
with suffering on a daily basis.  But this isn't something achieved
by distancing yourself from the suffering around you.  Inner peace
is more a question of cultivating perspective, meaning, and
wisdom even as life touches you with its pain.  It is more a
spiritual quality than a mental quality.

Rachel Naomi Remen
Kitchen Table Wisdom


If you do not find peace in yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.

Paula A. Bendry


Thinking about interior peace destroys interior peace.  The patients who
constantly feel their pulse are not getting any better.

Hubert van Zeller


In truth, to attain to interior peace, one must be willing
to pass through the contrary to peace.

Swami Brahmananda

Peace comes not from doing, but from undoing;
not from getting, but from letting go.


We have no freer or quieter place to which we may retire than into
our own souls, particularly when we have within us such thoughts that
by looking into them we are immediately in perfect tranquility.  And I
affirm that tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus



Peace is not something you fight for
With bombs and missiles that kill,
Nor can it be won in a "battle of words"
One fashions by scheming and skill
For those who are greedy and warlike,
Whose avarice for power cannot cease,
Can never contribute in helping
To bring this world nearer to peace
For in seeking peace for all people
There is only one place to begin
And that is in each home and heart--
For the fortress of peace is within!

Helen Steiner Rice


Inner peace is not found by staying on the surface of life, or by attempting
to escape from life through any means.  Inner peace is found by facing life
squarely, solving its problems, and delving as far beneath the surface as
possible to discover its verities and realities.

Peace Pilgrim


There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace.
You will find that deep place of silence right in your room,
your garden or even your bathtub.

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross


First keep peace within yourself,
then you can also bring peace to others.

Thomas Kempis


Peace can reign only where there is no disturbance, and
disturbance is due to thoughts that arise in the mind.

Ramana Maharshi

In the hearts of people today there is a deep longing for peace.
When the true spirit of peace is thoroughly dominant, it becomes
an inner experience with unlimited possibilities.  It is only when this
really happens, that the spirit of peace awakens and take possession
of people's hearts, that humanity can be saved from perishing.

Albert Schweitzer

We tend to feel at peace when things are under control.  And we do the
best we can to control or manage our lives according to our ideas of order. 
But if inner peace depends on that control, your peace of mind could
frequently be at risk.  Can you control the economy or energy supplies?
Another person's behavior or actions?  The choices and destinies of loved
ones or others on whom you depend?  When you take a long, honest, and
sincere look, there may be very little outside yourself that you can
control.  Therefore, real peace must be an inside job!
A person is truly wise who knows that the heart is the place where lasting
peace may be found.  The changeability from one day to the next of your
personal world, or the world at large, may make outer things an unreliable
source of peace.  Try going away to the mountaintop, or to any place that
seems serene and carefree to you, and you can still find yourself disturbed
over something--a memory, a concern about a current situation, a fear
about the future, or a mere gnat flying around--if you fail to realize
that peace dwells at the center of your being.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life


To the peaceful a house is like a forest and to the restless even a
forest is like a crowded city.  To one who is at peace, the entire
world is a peaceful forest.  To one who is restless with
a thousand thoughts, it is an ocean of sorrow.

Yoga Vasistha


Few find inner peace but this is not because they try and fail, it is because
they do not try. . . When your life is governed by the divine nature instead
of the self-centered nature you have found inner peace.

Peace Pilgrim


When I think of peace, I think of a world where human beings are no
longer brutalized on account of such accidents of birth as sex, race,
religion, or nationality. For me, peace is a way of structuring human
relations where daily acts of kindness and caring are tangibly rewarded.
It is a way of thinking, feeling, and acting where our essential
interconnection with one another is truly honored.

I pray for a world where we live in partnership rather than domination;
where "man's conquest of nature" is recognized as suicidal and sacrilegious;
where power is no longer equated with the blade, but with the holy
chalice: the ancient symbol of the power to give, nurture, enhance life.
And I not only pray, but actively work, for the day when it will be so.

Riane Eisler


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peace 2

Our capacity to make peace with another person and with the world
depends very much on our capacity to make peace with ourselves.  If
we are at war with our parents, our family, our society, or our church,
there is probably a war going on inside us also, so the most basic work
for peace is to return to ourselves and create harmony among the
elements within us--our feelings, our perceptions, and our mental
states. . . . We must recognize and accept the conflicting elements
that are within us and their underlying causes.  It takes time, but the
effort always bears fruit.  When we have peace within,
real dialogue with others is possible.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Living Buddha, Living Christ

After a quarter of a century of personal experience and professional
observation, I have come to understand that peace of mind is the true goal
of the considered life.  I know now that the sum of all other possessions
does not necessarily add up to peace of mind; on the other hand, I have
seen this inner tranquility flourish without the material supports of property
or even the buttress of physical health.  Peace of mind can transform a
cottage into a spacious manor hall; the want of it can make a regal
residence an imprisoning shell.

Joshua Loth Lieberman


I want first of all to be at peace with myself.  I want a singleness of eye,
a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry
out these obligations and activities as well as I can.  I want, in fact--to
borrow from the language of the saints--to live "in grace" as much of the
time as possible.  I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense.
By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be
translated into outward harmony.  I am seeking perhaps what Socrates
asked for. . . "May the outward and inward person be at one."

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Gift from the Sea

Peace does not require that each person love his or her neighbor--
it requires only that they live together with mutual tolerance,
submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.

John F. Kennedy

Serenity is knowing that your worst shot is still pretty good.

Johnny Miller


We are all human beings, whatever our positions.  If we
open our hearts and speak with sincerity, we can communicate
and touch others on the deepest level.  World peace starts
with trust between one individual and another.

Daisaku Ikeda
Buddhism Day by Day


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From the spiritual side:

Lord, thou madest us for thyself, and we can find no rest till we find rest in thee.

St. Augustine

O God, grant us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed;
the courage to change what can be changed;
and the wisdom to know one from the other.

Reinhold Niebuhr

A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has
already been done.  God has not left it for us to do;
all we have to do is enter into it.

Dwight L. Moody


There may be those on earth who dress better or eat better,
but those who enjoy the peace of God sleep better.

L. Thomas Holdcroft

Whoever lives in the spirit lives in perennial peace.  It is a happy peace,
a smiling peace, but one is not lost in it.  One is aware also of the suffering
which exists around him or her and the world at large.

Paul Brunton

Matthew Arnold counted as the greatest single line in all poetry
that saying of Dante's poetic insight: "In Thy will is our peace."

Philemon F. Sturges


Only those to whom God is present in everything and who employ
their reason in the highest degree and have true enjoyment in it know
anything of true peace and have a real kingdom of heaven.

Meister Eckhart



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.




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