This weekend, I was struck again by how we try to find peace in our lives. We think of peace as a destination. as a place where we can stay once we reach there. As if it were the end of a journey. And yet, this is our mistaken belief. Thats why, when we try to *find* peace, we keep searching. We catch flashes of it in secret unguarded moments. And then we try desperately to find that place again, to capture the magic of that moment again, the way we remember it. But we are always disappointed-because we are unable to find the exact location of peace.
That is because peace is not a destination, it is the journey. You cannot find peace. You have to be peace. Peace is constantly evolving, changing. It is a transient state that has to be captured again and again. Initially it is hard to come to terms with this. If we have to keep finding how to be peace, how will we ever stay there? well, to stay there, we have to get peace into our hearts. We have to be totally open and invite peace. we have to say, o peace, you are not a guest anymore. you are here to stay. and as with any resident, there will be times when we fight with peace. and then we will make up. peace becomes a part of the fiber of our being. Peace is in sorrow as much as it is in joy. Peace is the underlying ocean where all other emotions float. emotions like anger, joy, confusion, happiness, passion, jealousy, wonder. Peace is the steady energy that is available always with us. We don’t have to find it. We have to be it. Peace is not separate from us. peace IS us.
I have often thought in the past that I will set aside time to be at peace. To practice peace for a few minutes. sit in solitude and look inside of myself and see peace. and now I’m realizing, I don’t have to set an appointment to find peace. Peace is there with me even as I work. As I cook. As I brush my teeth. Peace is there in the activities that connect me to all human beings (including when I’m in the bathroom!). And the key to being peace even as it changes shapes and colors, is to be mindful. To know in the face of any incident and any activity that there is also peace residing.
Our activities will never stop. Our suffering will never cease. But then in suffering is peace. In understanding and compassion, there is peace. So, as we go through our days, can we be mindful of our constant companion? of the resident in our hearts? Can we acknowledge this friend even in the presence of storms as in the presence of summer? Can we BE peace?
With peace, S.