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The Path to Enlightenment (Attaining Peace of Mind)

In Buddhism, attaining enlightenment means reaching a spiritual state of mind free from suffering and desires. To reach this state, one needs to experience a peaceful state of mind. It means to have a calm mind that is like a clear and unruffled surface of a lake.

Take a look at people around you. Most of them are probably busy, some yelling, and others complaining or grumbling. They have discarded peace, calmness, and serenity within probably because they do not know that a peaceful mind is synonymous with happiness.

What do you need to do to attain peace of mind? First step is to reflect on your thoughts and deeds. When your mind is disturbed, it gets ruffled like the surface of a pond after you toss a stone into it. What corresponds to a stone? Perhaps it is something others said to you or a mistake you have made. You need to find what agitates your mind.

Next, check if your own thoughts or deeds caused the problem or whether or not it happened by an indirect or direct mistake you made. If you think that you are responsible for it, you should accept the fact and make peace with your own actions and vow not to repeat the same mistake again. If you are not at fault, you should try to learn as much as possible from this experience. If you learn a lesson and gain something out of it, you no longer have to feel like you suffered from others’ mistakes.

Sometimes, you may face a hardship or tragedy that is just out of your control. What should you do then? You need to have faith. You need to believe that you will be able to overcome this hardship and that your future is bright. You need to believe in yourself and in the strength that you have within you. Believe that you will be fine in the end.

When you practice self-reflection with a humble, pure mind and have faith in yourself, you will be able to maintain peace of mind no matter what happens. This is the moment you experience a quiet, tranquil state of happiness. You will feel content and gratitude for everything around you.

Consider this: A peaceful mind is synonymous with happiness.

Try this: Practice self-reflection with a humble, pure mind and have faith in yourself.

This article is based on the lecture The Path to Enlightenment by Ryuho Okawa.