“Meditation is calling, have a peace-filled night,” I said ending a phone conversation with my friend. His response? “I don’t know what peace is.” Instead of taking the bait I hung up knowing I’d talk with him the next day.
Intense living, worries about children, family, finances, health concerns, global warming, warring in different parts of the world, consuming responsibility is what captures the mind. One step in front of the other, moving forward through each event to the next, where is peace in the midst of it? It’s there. You’re just not making room for it.
Generally outside events control us with little time spent examining inner state of being or thought given to sitting quietly in peace. Go through your day start to finish. Alarm goes off, jump up, shower, dress, out the door to the workplace, or school, or wherever you spend your day. Talking, listening, talking some more, e-mail, cell phones, talking some more, work, lunch, work, talking some more, heading home, cook, eat, TV, computers, news, shows, prepare for tomorrow, sleep, repeat. Where did you fit time to sit quietly, even if just for a few moments?
In response to my friends statement, “I don’t know what peace is,” the next morning I reminded him of how he actually does have moments of opportunity, many of them. In the course of a day, he spends a good part of it outdoors walking fields and forests, sometimes losing himself in careful footsteps through the woods, up a hill, through a creek. “Yes, you do know what peace is,” I said. “You experience it every time you walk in the woods and forget everything else exists.”
“Well said.” He replied. Well said. His work provided peace, he just needed to pay attention in order to recognize the opportunity. Change up your perspective. That cup of coffee or orange juice you drink over the newspaper or watching the news in the morning, take it outside to the patio and listen to the morning sounds, enjoy five minutes of peace-filled contemplation, observing only what’s in front of you, allowing thoughts of the day to wait…just five minutes. Focus on a tree, the leaves, the birdsong. Or how about in the car? Play favorite music, listen to each note, let the melody flow through you, even if just for five minutes. At the office, after lunch spend just five minutes staring out a window, or with your eyes closed on a park bench outside in quiet meditation.
Change up your routine, start with just five minutes. Before you know it your pace slows, and ah ha, you have found little pockets of peace-filled moments. Do it. Don’t wait. Do it now. Make a conscious choice, practice daily. It’s a beginning. Realize that you are more than this…
“Our true home is in the present moment, To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water, the miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. Peace is all around us — in the world and nature — and within us — in our bodies and our spirits. Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed. It is not a matter of faith, it is a matter of practice.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh