Saturday, 3 April 2010

Getting Accustomed to Peace

For all that we claim to be searching for peace of mind, we have a remarkably difficult time getting comfortable with it. Highly evolved beings through the ages have pointed the way, and yet we continue to struggle with the idea of true peace. A lot of this has to do with the problem is that the mind is so unaccustomed to not having to struggle and run on to the next discovery that it very often, upon stumbling onto a brief moment of peace, simply blunders right on its merry way.

So what is this peace? The Dao De Jing suggests that "the Tao that can be described is not the Tao". Many other sources suggest this element of being beyond description and conception. How can we hope to understand that which is beyond concept? I recall struggling myself with this concept when I was younger. It is a terrifying idea, that mind is no longer needed, and one which it will struggle mightily against. The usual tactics of distraction, manipulation, control and denial will usually ensure quite effectively that we do not stumble upon the truth.

So what is this truth?

Simply this - we are more than our thoughts. Look inside your mind right now, and notice what is there. Where did that thought come from? Where did it go? This is what the masters have asked over the centuries. There seems to be this black hole. But in the moment of asking, if you paid attention, there is a gap, a moment of no-thought. No thought does not mean unconsciousness. We enter this state by accident, sometimes, when driving or doing some kind of repetitive task. Or perhaps when we are lost in art, or rapture. It is a moment of pure awareness, beyond thought.

Well, perhaps it is unfair to say "beyond thought". It is more correct to say "more fundamental than thought". For if we can exist in the space between one thought and the next, and can even be aware, then we are more than our thoughts. The space is the basic fabric of being - it is the sea of awareness. And as we direct our CONSCIOUS awareness towards this, we naturally become more aware of it. Yet, it will defy any attempt to quantify or qualify it. This is what frustrates the mind so. And that is why it fails to see anything special in this event.

But wait! Most of humanity has stumbled upon this gem of existence at one point or another. 99.9% will promptly arise, dust themselves off and go on their way. The remainder will do a variety of things. Many of these will attempt to manipulate this space in some way, for they will correctly deduce that this is somehow the doorway to the soul. Precious few will actually be willing to sit in this space and watch what arises. And for those who do, able to remain awake long enough not to be torn away by newly arisen thoughts, a feeling of peace and well-being will arise. And this will be peace. It will not feel like it necessarily, for the mind will really have no reference for it. But this will be the arising point of the soul. And if we want to get a chance at getting to know lasting peace, we would do well to stay in this sensation long enough to get acquainted.

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