Peace is the state of mind not only free from conflict, but is also the harmonious ground of our being. We can see peace in the context of social, personal, and ultimate views. In a social context, peace is when the flames of war and prejudice have extinguished and true respectful connections are possible. This comes from a heightening of ability to empathize with groups we label as other or different that we make ourselves against. From empathy which builds through communication and mutual understanding, disparate groups can be comforted in knowing that their difference doesn't trump the values they have in common, as well as come to mutually agreed upon terms. They can respect those facts, and therefore come to peace. This applies to relationships as well (see “Relationships” on the website under “Meditation Documents/Handouts).
For individuals, finding peace with ourselves means letting go of the conflicts that arise in us. This could be from letting go of self doubt and criticism, or from recovering from anxiety and depression (see “Anxiety”, “Depression”, and “The Method for Transforming Negative States of Mind”). Coming back to a harmonious relationship with ourselves always involves resting in our naturalness or our hearts intelligence. In this way we rest into a place in ourselves that feels like home. For that reason, actively relying on our naturalness and our heart's intelligence is a primary way to achieve a peaceful state of mind no matter what the circumstance. We can do this by using our breath as a grounding force to bring us back home.
Finally, peace is the place that is the ground of our being. The Divine Within, or the place where we know the meaning of life, is itself true peace. It resides in the stillness of our hearts and minds. It is a peace that as the Bible says is a “peace that surpasses all understanding”. That is because it is that which informs all understanding and every thought we have, it is the ground of our being. Therefore no thought could comprehend it. This peace is what we all rely on, for any peace we feel is grounded in this deeper peace. It is like the harmony of empty space with itself: perfect and pure.
In meditation we seek out the peace within us. In the empty space of our own mind, after a thought has ended and before a new thought has arisen, there is a space of stillness. In that place we can feel That Great Peace. This is the goal of our practice that is actually not a goal but who we truly are. May you know peace in your life that you may be free of conflict and know the ground of your being.