Peace is a certain quality of existence which has been sought after, yet seldom found in a long enduring form, since time immemorial. In a behavioral sense, peace is generally understood to be a lack of conflict and freedom from fear of violence between heterogeneous social groups. Throughout history benevolent leaders have often exhibited a certain type of behavioral or political restraint, which in turn has often resulted in the establishment of regional peace or economic growth through various forms of agreements or peace treaties. Such behavioral restraint has often resulted in the de-escalation of conflicts, or in multilateral or bilateral peace talks. The avoidance of war or violent hostility is often the result of compromise, and is often initiated with thoughtful active listening and communication, which may tend to enable a greater genuine mutual understanding.
In a psychological sense, peace is perhaps less well defined but at least of an equal value to, or of a greater value than, "behavioral peace." Peaceful behavior has often been found to have been the result of a certain type of a "peaceful inner disposition" on the part of some. Some have expressed the belief that peace is a certain quality of inner tranquility which does not depend upon the uncertainties of daily life for its existence. The acquisition of such a "peaceful internal disposition" would seem to possibly be a valuable asset, capable of assisting in the resolution of otherwise seemingly irreconcilable competing interests.
Such individuals are sometimes known to de-escalate conflicts or to improve emotions through compliments or generosity. Small gestures of generosity that are reciprocated may be followed with even more gestures. Benevolent generosity can eventually become a pattern that may become a lasting basis for improved relations. Peace talks often start without preconditions and preconceived notions because they are more than just negotiating opportunities. They place attention on peace itself, over and above what may have been previously perceived as the competing needs or interests of separate individuals or parties, in a way which can sometimes derive unexpected, yet beneficial results. Peace talks are sometimes also uniquely important learning opportunities for the individuals or parties involved.
The term-'peace' originates most recently from the Anglo-French pes, and the Old French pais, meaning "peace, reconciliation, silence, agreement" (11th century). But, Pes itself comes from the Latin pax, meaning "peace, compact, agreement, treaty of peace, tranquility, absence of hostility, harmony." The English word came into use in various personal greetings from c.1300 as a translation of the Hebrew word shalom, which, according to Jewish theology, comes from a Hebrew verb meaning 'to be complete, whole'. Although 'peace' is the usual translation, however, it is an incomplete one, because 'shalom,' which is also cognate with the Arabic salaam, has multiple other meanings in addition to peace, including justice, good health, safety, well-being, prosperity, equity, security, good fortune, and friendliness, as well as simply the greetings, "hello" and "goodbye". At a personal level, peaceful behaviors are kind, considerate, respectful, just, and tolerant of others' beliefs and behaviors — tending to manifest goodwill.
This latter understanding of peace can also pertain to an individual's introspective sense or concept of her/himself, as in being "at peace" in one's own mind, as found in European references from c.1200. The early English term is also used in the sense of "quiet", reflecting calm, serene, and meditative approaches to family or group relationships that avoid quarreling and seek tranquility — an absence of disturbance or agitation.
In many languages, the word for peace is also used as a greeting or a farewell, for example the Hawaiian word aloha, as well as the Arabic word salaam. In English the word peace is occasionally used as a farewell, especially for the dead, as in the phrase rest in peace.
Wolfgang Dietrich in his research project which led to the book The Palgrave International Handbook of Peace Studies (2011) maps the different meanings of peace in different languages and from different regions across the world. Later, in his Interpretations of Peace in History and Culture (2012), he groups the different meanings of peace into five peace families: Energetic/Harmony, Moral/Justice, Modern/Security, Postmodern/Truth, and Transrational, a synthesis of the positive sides of the four previous families and the society.
Religious beliefs and peace 
Statue of Eirene, goddess of peace in ancient Greek religion, with her son Pluto.
Religious beliefs often seek to identify and address the basic problems of human life, including the conflicts between, among, and within persons and societies. In ancient Greek-speaking areas the virtue of peace was personified as the godddess Eirene, and in Latin-speaking areas as the goddess Pax. Her image was typically represented by ancient sculptors as that of a full-grown woman, usually with a horn of plenty and scepter and sometimes with a torch or olive leaves.
Christians, who believe Jesus of Nazareth to be the Jewish Messiah called Christ (meaning Anointed One), interpret Isaiah 9:6 as a messianic prophecy of Jesus in which he is called the "Prince of Peace." In the Gospel of Luke, Zechariah celebrates his son John: And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God by which the daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness and death's shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace.
Numerous pontifical documents on the Holy Rosary document a continuity of views of the Popes to have confidence in the Holy Rosary as a means to foster peace. Subsequently, to the Encyclical Mense maio,1965, in which he urged the practice of the Holy Rosary, "the prayer so dear to the Virgin and so much recommended by the Supreme Pontiffs," and as reaffirmed in the encyclical Christi Matri, 1966, to implore peace, Pope Paul VI stated in the apostolic Recurrens mensis, October 1969, that the Rosary is a prayer that favors the great gift of peace.
Islam derived from the root word salam which literally means peace. Muslims are called followers of Islam. Quran clearly stated "Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah, hearts are assured" and stated "O you who have believed, when you are told, "Space yourselves" in assemblies, then make space; Allah will make space for you. And when you are told, "Arise," then arise; Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do." 
Buddhists believe that peace can be attained once all suffering ends. They regard all suffering as stemming from cravings (in the extreme, greed), aversions (fears), or delusions. To eliminate such suffering and achieve personal peace, followers in the path of the Buddha adhere to a set of teachings called the Four Noble Truths — a central tenet in Buddhist philosophy.
Hindu texts contain the following passages:
May there be peace in the heavens, peace in the atmosphere, peace on the earth. Let there be coolness in the water, healing in the herbs and peace radiating from the trees. Let there be harmony in the planets and in the stars, and perfection in eternal knowledge. May everything in the universe be at peace. Let peace pervade everywhere, at all times. May I experience that peace within my own heart.
— Yajur Veda 36.17)
Let us not concord with our own people, and concord with people who are strangers to us. Celestial Twins, create between us and the strangers a unity of hearts. May we unite in our minds, unite in our purposes, and not fight against the heavenly spirit within us. Let not the battle-cry rise amidst many slain, nor the arrows of the war-god fall with the break of day
— Yajur Veda 7.52
A superior being does not render evil for evil. This is a maxim one should observe... One should never harm the wicked or the good or even animals meriting death. A noble soul will exercise compassion even towards those who enjoy injuring others or cruel deeds... Who is without fault?
— Valmiki, Ramayana
The chariot that leads to victory is of another kind.
Valour and fortitude are its wheels;
Truthfulness and virtuous conduct are its banner;
Strength, discretion, self-restraint and benevolence are its four horses,
Harnessed with the cords of forgiveness, compassion and equanimity...
Whoever has this righteous chariot, has no enemy to conquer anywhere.
— Valmiki, Ramayana
Inner peace, meditation and prayerfulness
Main article: Inner peace
Buddhist monk during meditation near Phu Soidao Nationalpark.
Psychological or inner peace (i.e. peace of mind) refers to a state of being internally or spiritually at peace, with sufficient knowledge and understanding to keep oneself calm in the face of apparent discord or stress. Being internally "at peace" is considered by many to be a healthy mental state, or homeostasis and to be the opposite of feeling stressful, mentally anxious, or emotionally unstable. Within the meditative traditions, the psychological or inward achievement of "peace of mind" is often associated with bliss and happiness.
Peace of mind, serenity, and calmness are descriptions of a disposition free from the effects of stress. In some meditative traditions, inner peace is believed to be a state of consciousness or enlightenment that may be cultivated by various types of meditation, prayer, t'ai chi ch'uan (太极拳, tàijíquán), yoga, or other various types of mental or physical disciplines. Many such practices refer to this peace as an experience of knowing oneself. An emphasis on finding one's inner peace is often associated with traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and some traditional Christian contemplative practices such as monasticism, as well as with the New Age movement.
Main article: Satyagraha
Satyagraha (Sanskrit: सत्याग्रह satyāgraha) is a philosophy and practice of nonviolent resistance developed by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He deployed satyagraha techniques in campaigns for Indian independence and also during his earlier struggles in South Africa.
The word satyagraha itself was coined through a public contest that Gandhi sponsored through the newspaper he published in South Africa, 'Indian Opinion', when he realized that neither the common, contemporary Hindu language nor the English language contained a word which fully expressed his own meanings and intentions when he talked about his nonviolent approaches to conflict. According to Gandhi's autobiography, the contest winner was Maganlal Gandhi (presumably no relation), who submitted the entry 'sadagraha', which Gandhi then modified to 'satyagraha'. Etymologically, this Hindic word means 'truth-firmness', and is commonly translated as 'steadfastness in the truth' or 'truth-force'.
Martin Luther King, Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Mathew Ahmann, executive director of the National Catholic Conference for Interrracial Justice, at a civil rights march on Washington, D.C.
Satyagraha theory also influenced Martin Luther King Jr. during the campaigns he led during the civil rights movement in the United States. The theory of satyagraha sees means and ends as inseparable. Therefore, it is contradictory to try to use violence to obtain peace. As Gandhi wrote: "They say, 'means are, after all, means'. I would say, 'means are, after all, everything'. As the means so the end..." A contemporary quote sometimes attributed to Gandhi, but also to A. J. Muste, sums it up: 'There is no way to peace; peace is the way.'