a peaceful heart

cultivating a peaceful heart is the work of a lifetime. when this truth comes fully into awareness we can join it. we can start to be with our being.~~~gunilla norris, inviting silence: how to find inner stillness and calm, 2004

a peaceful heart...a heart that is open, loving, caring, and capable of breaking and healing...over and over again.

a peaceful heart is one that has come to terms with life in all its guises, in all its aspects and all its adventures.

a peaceful heart has grown over years to feel deeply all that life gives. it has expanded and contracted, both physically and emotionally, over a lifetime.


to have a peaceful heart is a human desire, a human longing, a human being. to simply be, to sit in awareness of what is, takes a lifetime of conscious practice and, as the buddha called it, right effort. some may be blessed with this ability from an early age, though, for most of us, it takes decades of opening and closing, of remembering and forgetting.

and this being in the heart in peace is what we can model for others, whether they are younger than we are or older.

peace in the heart is not always tranquil. it can be painful, searingly painful. and there can be peace alongside the pain. peace in the heart is being with what is. we are conditioned to avoid pain and move toward pleasure. this too is human being. we know that pain is inevitable, and, as the saying goes, suffering is optional. it is the suffering that is set aside by a peaceful heart. that heart can hold the pain without suffering, without adding or subtracting even an iota of what is present in the moment.

as we grow in years we experience losses, of course. and it is a peaceful heart that can hold these losses as they come. they are an essential part of life, of being. without the impermanence of things, experiences, objects, and people there would be no growth, no creation, no joy.

cultivating a peaceful heart is the path we walk as conscious elders...we walk both for ourselves and for others. let us be with our being.


(with 79 years of life experience, gunilla norris is a spiritual teacher who flies under the radar. she is not well known and does not teach a specific tradition, rather encourages us to see the spirit in daily life, mundane activities and each breath.)