Awake in the World

Everyone says, “I want peace,” as if it will fall out of the sky and suddenly all will be peaceful. I’ve found that peace requires a lot of effort – at least as much as working in a corporation and probably more. When I worked sixty to eighty hour weeks in international business in Europe, I found that I could take time off, go away for the five week summer vacations and not think about business. But peace is not a part time job. It requires full time attention and practice. One of my many teachers, Sathya Sai Baba, who died recently and the Dalai Lama condoled as a great loss, said, that by eliminating the “I” or ego and getting rid of the wants and desires, peace results. It sound so simple, but simple practices are not necessarily easy.

Doing spiritual practices and consciously diminishing the “I” in activities and reducing desires for things is a 24/7 practice that even extends into dream sleep. It’s hard work. But this kind of work to become more quiet, humble and peaceful is the most important work I feel I will ever do. I don’t get paid for it in dollars. The rewards come in a more serene life where I’m not pulled on a mad, emotional roller coaster of dramas and happiness. Life becomes more even, regular and calm. It doesn’t mean there is no more passion or excitement. But the higher, wiser part of me steps back and looks from deep within and observes without getting caught up in the play. As one inspirational quote goes, “Life is a game, play it.” But don’t get caught up in the game. This is a way to peace.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011) She’s a world traveler and longtime student of the world’s oldest spiritual traditions. An instructor at the Sophia Institute, Debra leads workshops on spirituality in the U.S. and Europe, writes for publications around the world. Visit her at: and

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