Everyone aspires to “peace of mind,” but is it possible to access it when the mind often seems at war with itself? We in the Western world have long been a left-brain-dominated culture. We inherited a worldview in which rationalism and scientific thought predominated and have grown up and lived lives in which logical thinking and behavior was valued above all else. Left-brain orientation is often seen as directly opposed to intuition and emotions, associated with the right brain (and with women). Feminists in the 1970s and 1980s pointed out that feminine attributes have been undervalued and often denigrated within the prevailing patriarchal systems. This split between masculine and feminine and left and right brain caused an imbalance and disharmony that divided individuals against themselves and undermined day-to-day human interactions.
Gradually, over time, people have opened to the idea of a healthier whole-brain orientation and functioning. In 2008, neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor published her groundbreaking book My Stroke of Insight, which chronicled her experience of how her left and right brain functioned after she had a stroke. Initially her left brain (language, organization, analysis, mathematics, linear time) was almost completely nonfunctional. On the other hand, her right brain (nonverbal, intuitive, inner peace, timelessness, spiritual connection) was providing her with brand new life-altering perceptions. Trained as a scientist, she had lived almost entirely in a left-brain world. After her stroke, she began to see the limitations of that narrow outlook as she experienced the world with no separation between herself and everything around her. A deep inner peace filled her, and a profound connection to something greater opened her heart. It took her eight years to completely recover the functioning of both halves of her brain. Part of her motivation was to be able to tell others how crucial the right brain is to our well-being as individuals and as a global community. Each part of our brain has important functions, and when they work in tandem, we are more whole as human beings. We now need to consciously welcome our right brain’s input to bring about balance.
My own spiritual journey over the past 25 years has brought me to some of the same insights as Jill Bolte Taylor. Like so many others at this time, I am opening to an experience of consciousness that includes everything and everyone in its infinite expanse. In deep meditation, I have at times felt no separation between my physical body and the outer world. Boundaries fall away, and I am just open-ended awareness. Recently, in fact, I had this experience while walking in my neighborhood at dusk. My body was part of infinite consciousness, as were the crickets and locusts I heard in the trees. And I heard them not from inside my head but from within that conscious awareness which was simultaneously everywhere. The crickets and I were points of life within that vast awareness, the God essence that is experiencing the world through me and the crickets and everything else. A deep sense of peace and oneness arose from this awareness.
That is the peace and oneness we are beginning to access now, individual by individual and group by group, until ultimately it will fill the planet with a new way of being. Harmony, balance, wholeness, loving-kindness—these will no longer be utopian ideas but instead real ways of living our lives. When we allow our hearts (and right brain) to guide us, that high vibration entrains the left brain like a tuning fork so that both parts work harmoniously together, and we human beings do the same. It is an incredible cosmic shift we are living through, and we incarnated to do all of this, for ourselves, for one another, and for those who come after. Peace of mind and harmony of heart—that is the promise and fulfillment we are individually and collectively stepping into now.