From the author of Steps Toward Inner Peace: Harmonious Principles for Human Living, Peace Pilgrim, there is an endless list of lessons we could learn. Lessons about life, love, peace, finding one’s calling, living in unity with the Creator, and many many more.
For those of you who don’t know this, from 1953 until 1981, she walked more than 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. Wearing a blue tunic and carrying just a few worldly possessions in her pockets, she shared her simple but profound message in thousands of communities throughout the U.S.: “when enough of us find inner peace, our institutions will become peaceful and there will be no more occasion for war.”
Today, her words – captured in books, videos and other media – continue to inspire people around the world.
33 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from the Compassionate Peace Pilgrim
1. If you understood how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.
“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”~ Peace Pilgrim
2. Those who have enough but not too much are the happiest.
“It is those who have enough but not too much who are the happiest.”
3. Keep your thoughts on the positive side because they are creating both your inner and your outer conditions.
“Constantly through thought you are creating your inner conditions and helping to create the conditions around you. So keep your thoughts on the positive side, think about the best that could happen, think about the good things you want to happen.”~ Peace Pilgrim
4. Worry is a useless mulling over of things we cannot change.
“Worry is a useless mulling over of things we cannot change.”~ Peace Pilgrim
5. Forgive yourself as easily as you forgive others.
“You must learn to forgive yourself as easily as you forgive others. And then take a further step and use all that energy that you used in condemning yourself for improving yourself. After that I really started to get somewhere – because there’s only one person you can change and that’s yourself. After you have changed yourself, you might be able to inspire others to look for change.”
6. When you understand that problems serve a purpose in your life, you understand they are just opportunities in disguise.
“When you perceive that problems serve a purpose in your life, you will recognize that problems are opportunities in disguise.”~ Peace Pilgrim
7. Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you
“Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you.”~ Peace Pilgrim
8. Live according to your highest light and more light will be given.
“Live according to your highest light and more light will be given.”~ Peace Pilgrim
9. When you find your calling, you work easily and joyously, and never get tired.
“After you have found inner peace you have endless energy – the more you give, the more you receive. After you have found your calling, you work easily and joyously. You never get tired.”~ Peace Pilgrim
10. When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.
“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”~ Peace Pilgrim
11. Love is the greatest power on earth. It conquers all things.
“The way of peace is the way of love. Love is the greatest power on earth. It conquers all things.”~ Peace Pilgrim
12. Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.
“Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love. The message isn’t new, but we haven’t learned to live it yet.”~ Peace Pilgrim
13. Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return.
“Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return.”~ Peace Pilgrim
14. Power is beyond numbers.
“Never underestimate the power of a loosely knit group working for a good cause. All of us who work for peace together, all of us who pray for peace together, are a small minority, but a powerful spiritual fellowship. Our power is beyond our numbers.”
15. Instead of stressing for the bad things which you are against, stress for the good things which you are for.
“I have chosen the positive approach – instead of stressing the bad things which I am against, I stress the good things which I am for.”~ Peace Pilgrim
16. Fear is very detrimental because you attract the things you fear. Get rid of it.
“The fear habit is very detrimental because you attract the things you fear. If we have any fear we need to get rid of it.”~ Peace Pilgrim
17. To simplify your life is the first step to inner peace.
“The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life.”~ Peace Pilgrim
18. All right effort bears fruit, whether we see the results or not.
“Never think of any right effort as being fruitless. All right effort bears fruit, whether we see the results or not.”~ Peace Pilgrim
19. If you wish to be free, you can. Don’t be a slave to your bad habits.
“People allow themselves to be slaves of their bad habits and society’s bad habits – but they have free will, and if they wish to be free they can.”
20. You have more power when you work for the right thing than when you are working against the wrong thing.
“You have much more power when you are working for the right thing than when you are working against the wrong thing. And, of course, if the right thing is established wrong things will fade away of their own accord.”
21. In this materialistic age, a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.
“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness, possesses you. And in this materialistic age, a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.”~ Peace Pilgrim
22. Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens.
“Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. If you have them, you have to take care of them! There is great freedom in simplicity of living. It is those who have enough but not too much who are the happiest. ”~ Peace Pilgrim
23. Every good that you you do or say, every good thought you think, vibrates on and on and in never ceases.
“Every good that you do, every good that you say, every good thought you think, vibrates on and on and never ceases. The evil remains only until it is overcome by good, but the good remains forever.”~ Peace Pilgrim
24. Humanity can only improve as people improve.
“Humanity can only improve as people improve. When you have improved your life, you can inspire those around you to want to improve their lives. Remember that a few in harmony with God’s will are more powerful than multitudes out of harmony.”~ Peace Pilgrim
25. There is something to that old saying that hate injures the hater, not the hated.
“There is something to that old saying that hate injures the hater, not the hated.”
26.It isn’t enough just to do right things and say right things – you must also think right things before your life can come into harmony.
“If you are harboring the slightest bitterness toward anyone, or any unkind thoughts of any sort whatever, you must get rid of them quickly. They are not hurting anyone but you. It isn’t enough just to do right things and say right things – you must also think right things before your life can come into harmony.”~ Peace Pilgrim
27. Thankfulness is like prayer. Be constantly thankful.
“I am constantly thankful. The world is so beautiful, I am thankful. I have endless energy, I am thankful. I am plugged into the source of Universal Supply, I am thankful. I am plugged into the source of Universal Truth, I am thankful. I have this constant feeling of thankfulness, which is a prayer.”
28. Look at everyone in your life with deep compassion, no matter what they have done to you.
“I no longer become angry. I not only do not say angry words, I do not even think angry thoughts! If someone does an unkind thing to me I feel only compassion instead of resentment. Even upon those who cause suffering I look with deep compassion, knowing the harvest of sorrow that lies in store for them. If there were those who hated me, I would love them in return, knowing that hatred can only be overcome by love, and knowing that there is good in all human beings which can be reached by a loving approach.”~ Peace Pilgrim
29. Sit in stillness and listen to God’s voice telling your what to do.
“We spend a great deal of time telling God what we think should be done, and not enough time waiting in the stillness for God to tell us what to do.”
30. Praying without ceasing is a constant state of awareness of oneness with God
“Praying without ceasing is not ritualized, nor are there even words. It is a constant state of awareness of oneness with God; it is a sincere seeking for a good thing; and it is a concentration on the thing sought, with faith that it is obtainable.”
31. Always pray to be made an instrument which can speak only Truth.
“I pray without ceasing now. My personal prayer is: Make me an instrument which only truth can speak.”
32. The light of the world is within you. Never stop sharing it.
“You can visualize God’s light each day and send it to someone who needs help. Your divine nature must reach out and touch the divine nature of another. Within you is the light of the world, it must be shared with the world.”
33. It is through solving problems in accordance with the highest light we have that inner growth is attained.
“If only you could see the whole picture, if you knew the whole story, you would realize that no problem ever comes to you that does not have a purpose in your life, that cannot contribute to your inner growth. When you perceive this, you will recognize that problems are opportunities in disguise. If you did not face problems, you would just drift through life. It is through solving problems in accordance with the highest light we have that inner growth is attained.”
“Know that you are God’s beautiful child, always in God’s hands. Accept God… accept God’s protection… there is really no problem to fear. Know that you are not the clay garment. Know that you are not the self-centered nature which governs your life needlessly. Know that you are the God-centered nature, The Kingdom of God within. The Indwelling Christ. Eternal and indestructible. Identify with the real you.”
“Do you know God? Do you know there is a power greater than ourselves which manifests itself within us as well as everywhere else in the universe? This I call God. Do you know what it is to know God, to have God’s constant guidance, a constant awareness of God’s presence? To know God is to reflect love toward all people and all creations. To know God is to feel peace within – a calmness, a serenity, an unshakeableness which enables you to face any situation. To know God is to be so filled with joy that it bubbles over and goes forth to bless the world.”
“For those of you who are seeing the spiritual life, I recommend these four daily practices: Spend time alone each day in receptive silence. When angry, or afflicted with any negative emotion, take time to be alone with God. (Do not talk with people who are angry; they are irrational and cannot be reasoned with. If you or they are angry, it is best to leave and pray.) Visualize God’s light each day and send it to someone who needs help. Exercise the body, it is the temple of the soul.”
“Few find inner peace but this is not because they try and fail, it is because they do not try. . . When your life is governed by the divine nature instead of the self-centered nature you have found inner peace.”
“No outward thing – nothing, nobody from without – can hurt me inside, psychologically. I recognized that I could only be hurt psychologically by my own wrong actions, which I have control over; by my own wrong reactions (they are tricky, but I have control over them too); or by my own inaction in some situations, like the present world situation, that need action from me. When I recognized all this how free I felt! And I just stopped hurting myself.”
“Now there is living to give instead of to get. As you concentrate on the giving, you discover that just as you cannot receive without giving, so neither can you give without receiving – even the most wonderful things like health and happiness and inner peace. There is a feeling of endless energy, it just never runs out, it seems to be as endless as air. You seem to be plugged in to the source of universal energy.”
“We can work on inner peace and world peace at the same time. On one hand, people have found inner peace by losing themselves in a cause larger than themselves, like the cause of world peace, because finding inner peace means coming from the self-centered life into the life centered in the good of the whole. On the other hand, one of the ways of working for world peace is to work for more inner peace, because world peace will never be stable until enough of us find inner peace to stabilize it.”
“Those who have overcome self-will and become instruments to do God’s work can accomplish tasks which are seemingly impossible, but they experience no feeling of self achievement. I now know myself to be a part of the infinite cosmos, not separate from other souls or God. My illusory self is dead; the real self controls the garment of clay and uses it for God’s work.”
“The simplified life is a sanctified life, Much more calm, much less strife. Oh, what wondrous truths are unveiled- Projects succeed which had previously failed. Oh, how beautiful life can be, Beautiful simplicity.”
“Difficulties with material things often come to remind us that our concentration should be on spiritual things instead of material things. Sometimes difficulties of the body come to show that the body is just a transient garment, and that the reality is the indestructible essence which activates the body. But when we can say, ‘Thank God for problems which are sent for our spiritual growth.’ They are no longer problems. They then become opportunities.”
“Believing that war is contrary to the will of God and to common sense, and feeling that the way of peace is the way of love, I shall work for peace by using the way of love myself, by helping any group I am part of to use it, by helping the nation of which I am a citizen to use it, by helping the United Nations to use it, and by praying that the way of love be used all over the world.”
“Who am I? It matters not that you know who I am; it is of little importance. This clay garment is one of a penniless pilgrim journeying in the name of peace. It is what you cannot see that is so very important. I am one who is propelled by the power of faith; I bathe in the light of eternal wisdom; I am sustained by the unending energy of the universe; this is who I really am.”