The Peace Practice

For convenience sake we might agree that we need “new methods” and art to bring ourselves and others more life, more prosperity on three levels: 1. ) more life and prosperity physically; 2) more life and prosperity emotionally; 3.) more life and prosperity mentally. These three levels are not, of course, experienced separately, because they in fact are not separate. (This is a discussion for another time.) Nevertheless this First Method might be understood and classified as a “mental method ” simply because it helps us simplify and energize our momentary thinking, which in turn simplifies and energizes both our emotional and physical bodies.

This first method is recommended for both beginners and mature practitioners.  The method is called either The Freedom Exercise or The Peace Practice. In one, the emphasis is on happiness. In the other, the emphasis,is on peace.  In fact, however, they are are variations of the same practice. We can not have peace of mind without happiness. We can not have happiness without peace of mind.  Both of these forms of inquiry have been tested and found immediately effective for a happy and peaceful state of mind over many decades by many people.
This first method either incorporates or hints at many of the other methods of the New Methods Church. For those who are just now being exposed to it, I encourage approaching The Freedom Exercise and the Peace Practice in  combination with the Scientific Method. Do not take anything on faith. Let the first statements– enjoying my happiness, experiencing peace of mind, is the most important thing for me and for everybody else- be, at this stage, not statements of fact, but rather as scientific hypotheses that are going to be tested and proved either true or not. The same approach can be taken with the second statements (I enjoy my happiness when I enjoy the thoughts I’m thinking.)


The Freedom Exercise

The Law of Happiness:
1. Enjoying my happiness is the most important thing for me and for everybody else.

The Link:
2. I enjoy my happiness when I enjoy the thoughts I am thinking.

The Question:
3. Whenever necessary, or appropriate, I ask, Am I enjoying this thought, yes or no? If the answer is not an immediate and spontaneous yes, it’s a no.

The Action:
4. If the answer is yes (I’m enjoying my thoughts,) perfect. I’m enjoying my happiness. If the answer is no (I’m not enjoying my thoughts) then, in order to practice my happiness, I have two options:

a. drop the thought(s) I’m not enjoying and find or create a thought I enjoy more;
b. choose to enjoy the thought which a moment before I didn’t enjoy.

When I am enjoying my happiness, I am free.
When I’m not enjoying my happiness, I’m not free.
That’s why this is called The Freedom Exercise

(With deep thanks and appreciation to Christian Almayrac, M.D., who first articulated this basic life game!)

And then, its variation:

The Basic Peace Practice


1.  The most practical and most profitable thing we can do for ourselves and all those around us is to practice peace of mind, in every relationship, and every circumstance.



2. We practice peace of mind when we are at peace with the stories we are telling ourselves or others. 


3. Whenever necessary or appropriate we ask, “Am I at peace with this story, yes or no?”  If the answer isn’t an immediate and spontaneous yes, it’s a no. 


4. If the answer is yes (I’m at peace with the story I’m telling myself or someone else) perfect. I’m practicing peace of mind. If the answer is no (I’m not at peace with the story I’m telling) then in order to practice peace of mind I have two options:       


            a. drop the stories I’m not at peace with and find or create stories with which I am more at peace.


            b. choose to be at peace with the story with which a moment before I was not at peace.


      Peace is present prior to the stories that the mind is telling. Peace, not the stories, is what is most practical and profitable in every circumstance and every relationship.  

I’d love to hear your feedback, your experience, your resistances and or questions about these two different expressions of the first method. I’ve spent much of my adult life with it. At one time I thought it was the final answer, the final “method.” It took decades to find out it wasn’t. But those were very, very happy and peaceable decades!

If you would like to explore this first method in detail, I would recommend my book,  Practicing the Presence of Peace.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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