The Author Speaks

Conversations with writers you should know about.

The Practice: Tools for Stress

The Book Brigade talks with spiritual teacher Barb Schmidt.

The path to inner peace is the path to outer peace, whether in your family, your community, or the world, finds Barb Schmidt. And it begins with five minutes of silence in the morning.

How do you define “inner peace,” in an everyday sense?

Inner peace is connecting with yourself every morning to start your day. When we sit in silence for five minutes every morning, we are plugging into our space within—one of peace, security, and strength. This sitting is not about stopping the thinking process, it's about sitting with our thoughts and watching them pass through our minds. In this sitting, we set the tone for our entire day; instead of wake up and go, we wake up and stop to get connected before we go out into our day. This brings inner peace.

What do you think most gets in the way of our achieving it?

People have certain expectations and ideas about meditation—this process of sitting with themselves. Many people think it's too hard, or that they don't have time, or that they just aren't cut out for it. In reality it's just a simple practice that's full of power. With the practice of sitting every day, even for five minutes, it gets easier, the benefits show up in our everyday life. It's really about letting go of expectations and just doing it.

What led you to write this book?

I partnered with the Peace Studies Program at Florida Atlantic University in 2001 and I've been giving lectures and workshops on the topic of inner peace for the past decade. This program has grown rapidly, and many wanted a book, a guide, something they could incorporate into and implement daily in their lives. This fit perfectly with my desire to spread the message to a wider audience that outer peace begins with inner peace.

What is the most surprising thing you discovered in writing this book?

I discovered how incredibly meaningful it was to recount my childhood and past, which was very difficult, as I write in the preface of the book. As a result of my spiritual and inner personal work these 30 years, I could write, relive everything, and have a smile of gratitude for my life then and now.

What is the most important point you want to get across?

We are magnificent human beings meant to live our lives, not at the mercy of the external world, but strong, confident and happy, connected with ourselves from within. My belief is that our outer peace, happiness, and success begin with inner peace, inner connectedness, inner strength. I want all beings to know this as deeply as I do.

Who would most benefit by reading this book?

I believe anyone can benefit—from people who are already on spiritual paths to those who are looking to begin. This book gives hope and instruction. I think there is something for everyone.

If you had one piece of advice, what would it be and who would it be for?

My advice for everyone is: Go within the beauty of your own heart, in silence, for five minutes every morning to start your day. You will discover your strength, magnificence, and ability to live the life of your dreams.

What would you like to see happen as a result of your book?

My deepest, most driving desire is for all people worldwide to begin the process of finding inner peace. With this inner peace we will have outer peace in our families, our communities, and our world. I'm on a mission; I founded the nonprofit Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life as a movement of peace, love, and empowerment for the world. All of my profits from the sale of The Practice will benefit this mission, so I hope to sell many, many copies to help change the world one person at a time.

About THE AUTHOR SPEAKS: Selected authors, in their own words, reveal the story behind the story. Authors are featured thanks to promotional placement by their publishing houses.

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The Practice

Selected authors, in their own words, reveal the story behind the story. Authors are interviewed thanks to promotional placement by their publishers.

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