How can I find peace and quiet?

—W.I

Permanent peace and quiet are gained only through meditation and contacting God. Restlessness and noise, two of the most troublesome aspects of life, must be transcended before you can begin to acquire the inner peace necessary to know God.

To help rid yourself of restlessness, you must understand the value of meditation in the sense that the yogis of India understand it, as “concentration to know God.” You can be helped very much by definite Self-Realization techniques, which include proper diet, posture, mental discipline and character habits. By patiently following these techniques, you can attain a large measure of self-control, which leads to peace and quiet as well as to a realization of the eternal realities of the universe.

If you meditate on your blessings, on what you have to be thankful for, rather than upon the trials, ills, and worries that beset you, you shall begin to know God. The best and highest reward in a life of God Consciousness is the realization of unceasing happiness, which we call “peace” or “bliss.”

You must choose as quiet a place as possible for your meditation time, and always use the same place if possible. Early in the morning before others are up, or late at night when all activity has ceased, are the best times to meditate.

God can be found only by knowing the technique of meditation. The more you meditate, the more He will throb as joy in your heart.

Repeat the following prayer before each daily meditation: “Heavenly Father, bless my understanding, bless my thoughts, bless my activity, and bless me that I may use divine discrimination which quickly leads to Thee.”

Daily life practices
If you want to gain perfect peace and quiet, keep to yourself as much as possible. This does not mean you should not see your friends and others, but that you should not waste time in idle chatter and unnecessary contacts, which result only in restlessness and nervousness. Try always to avoid wasting time.

To overcome restlessness, start out with a firm determination that you will do each piece of work in its turn, without burdening your mind with useless concerns. Limit your thoughts to the task at hand. Dismiss the task just finished and allow the next task to take its turn. If you have entrusted someone else with part of your work, dismiss that part from your mind also.

Hold yourself in readiness to react calmly, instead of irritably, to the ordinary challenges of life. If you do not follow some such policy, you will not be able to get in tune with Reality – with Cosmic Truth. How can you know Reality, the eternal order of the universe, unless you learn how to calm yourself? Try always to cultivate emotional poise.

From Inner Culture, February 1940.