How does one “obtain” peace, exactly? Is it through self-less acts?… or narcissistic thoughts? Is it the answer to happiness?… or key to resistance/surrendering? According to the University of Hawaii, peace has always been among humanity’s highest values. It can be viewed of as a state of balance/equilibrium, whether internally or externally and is often associated with “serenity” and harmony.
To achieve this state of mind is extremely difficult, I’m assuming. It requires hours, if not years of meditation and deep contemplation. Those who submit themselves to such practice prioritize recognition and acceptance of their life situation. They must learn to be able to surrender themselves completely to the idea of “peace” and reject all negative and condescending thoughts. My question is, how does one live like that?! How is it possible to live without complaining about everyday problems and be optimistic 24/7? It is impossible… or is it?
Through the practice of yoga, which deals with the 7 chakras, or energy centers along the central meridian of the body, one can transform his negative energy into positive energy. Now how does that work? The Hindu traditional belief system of chakra embodies the belief that human beings consist of 7 points in which energy flows. The root chakra, located in the tailbone area, symbolizes the feeling of being stable/grounded, whether it be financially, emotionally, or physically. Located in the lower abdomen, The sacral chakra deals with acceptance of others and new experiences, having to do with pleasure and sense of abundance. According to the Hindi, self-confidence and esteem stems from the solar plexus chakra, located in the upper abdomen in the stomach area. Love and inner peace is associated with the heart chakra and is located in the center of chest just above the heart. The throat chakra deals with one’s ability to communicate and express himself and the third eye chakra, which can be assumed by the name, is related to one’s ability to focus, think, and make decisions. The last chakra, which is located at the very top of the head and known as the crown chakra, represents one’s ability to connect spiritually.
In the summer, I attended a few yoga classes. Being a pessimist, I took the ideals taught as a joke and found it odd how people could look up to such beliefs. As time went on, I found the sessions to be very relaxing and learned to appreciate them. I realized that that hour I had dedicated to yoga every week was the only time I was able to focus on things other than school work and obligations I tended to. Towards the end of class, the yogi instructor would turn off the lights and order us to lay on our backs to the ceiling, eyes closed. She would praise us for our hard work and go over the ideals of peace: acceptance and self-recognition. It was pretty neat to have those 10 minutes to reflect on what I had accomplished each day…
Practice today reminded me of yoga and inspired me to write about this topic. My coach told us to sit in a yoga position with our legs crossed and told us to lift our hands in a Y-shaped form, while focusing on our breathing. After 2 minutes, we were told to lay on our backs with our eyes closed and listened to him preach about the ideals of yoga. He told us to focus on having no emotions and accepting what was to come. He taught us to stay positive and release the negative energy. That.. made me look at practice through a different perspective.
Peace is not just some intangible idea, but a state of mind. It is belief system, a religion even, that fully embodies all aspects of life and emotion. To achieve inner peace, is to achieve happiness. It’s as simple as that.
I would like to apply this concept to The Oedipus Cycle. After being told by the prophet Teiresias that he had killed his father, Laius, Oedipus refuses to believe such claims and is at war with himself. Oedipus is confused and does not know how to respond such news. He is shameful of his actions and expresses his disgust for marrying his mother by blinding himself. His decision to do so depicts how he feels about the situation and of his emotional/mental state. Oedipus is not at peace with himself and is quite disturbed by what he knows thus far. He is not willing to accept what has happened and in response, has failed to recognize the evil forces of the world.