There once was a king who offered a great reward for the best 
painting of peace. Many artists submitted beautiful works. 

At last the king narrowed his choice to two paintings. One was a picture
of a calm lake, mirroring the tall mountains that surrounded it. Above the mountains, a single wisp 
of a cloud floated  in the sky. 

The other picture was of an angry storm pouring torrential rain into a tumultuous river. 
Mountain crags were illuminated by angry  flashes of light that burst across the canvas. 
However, the king saw only the mother bird, nesting in a crevice of a rock, protected
from the elements by an overhanging pine branch.

"This," said the king, "Is the painting for which I have been looking.

Peace is not necessarily in pleasant surroundings. It is the calm
heart in the midst of life's storms.

Author Unknown

Such a difficult concept to grasp, this idea of peace.
That peace is within, not without, is a hard one to learn.

Every time we take a vacation we are seeking peace. 
Yet we tend to take the same problems with us and find no peace
and add yet another burden of frustration that we didn't find what
we so desperately sought.

Where do we get this idea that Peace is something from without ?

Ask anyone what makes for a peaceful place to them
and you will be regaled with visions of this quiet place, full of wonderful things.

You will hear that peace is a space where there is no turmoil. 
Well if that be the case, then Peace is an impossibility

As many would agree. I however don't think that's the case :)

Peace, like Love is an affair of both the heart and mind
One can have it or or not, as one chooses. But even in the middle of chaos
one can find peacefulness, for the simple reason that you make that peace, yourself

No one has to give it to you. In fact, no one can give it to you
If you wait for the Lull in life to find peace, you will wait forever

This takes practice to do, as we are taught differently
We are told over and over that  " this " = peacefulness
this being in whatever space or place, that spells nirvana in the current day

Which changes hourly, so it's an impossible thing to attain

Inner peace however, comes for free

No man has the power to upset you, except yourself
No one is able to make you unpeaceful, save you

This sounds like foolishness, but it is mere fact
It may be fact that your life is full of things that could be distressing,
it is your choice however, how you feel about them

Let me ask you this.. will it help the matter any
if you get all het up about it ?

If so, then by all means, pitch as big a fit as you feel the need for.
This from a champion fit pitcher ! I was, and occasionally still am
very good at it .. and do you know what ? Not a single moment
of my distress, served to lessen any problem in front of me ... EVER

In fact, most of the time, it robbed me of any power I might have had
to really DO anything about the situation I faced

I wasted all my energy in distress and used none to solve the problem.
It felt like I had done something. I had expended all this energy but
 in fact I had done nothing, but make myself miserable

And we do so love our misery don't we ?
Don't think so ?

Every time we re-hash and relive a hurt, we allow it to hurt us again
over and over and over.. we hang on to that pain as if it meant something

Now do we have to do this ? NO, yet we do

Why ?

It's a kind of justification, we are upset because of whatever
and we figure that if we get upset enough ... it will go away

Rather weird logic going on there.  It's like if we feed steaks to a tiger
long enough, the tiger will become a vegetarian ?

Sounds rather silly doesn't it ? Yet we do just this, all the time

Peace is a state of mind, to where you don't mind, no matter what

We seem to think that if we don't react to a problem with distress,
we are somehow not aware of the problem

I've been accused of this one
" How can you stand there and not be upset, don't you care ? ! "

On the contrary, I care very much, however, that does not mean
I have to run around in tears and distress myself ... to prove it !

Our very need to "prove" we care deeply is very often what causes
us to "lose our cool " and be without peace to begin with.

We all have our triggers, things we "care" about
things that cause us to let go of our peace, in order to prove we care. 

It seems a rather poor way to show caring if we are impossible to live with
because we are always upset !

It makes more sense to realize that getting all bent out of shape about it
is not a good way to show something matters to us
or that it is not going as we would want it to go

Most martial fights are due to this, most issues with our children
because we care about the situation .. when it goes " wrong " 
we respond by being upset ... this is supposed to show love ?

Ever notice that something you don't give a damn about
has no power to upset you ? Why ? You don't care is why,
it's not important to you

Which is why we lose our peace in the storm of life
because we DO care and try to prove it by being upset about it.
The more we care, the more upset we become,
We get passionate about it.

Now the big question is, what does this do to your peace ?
Predictably ... ruins it of course and with peace lost, it also ruins
any chance we might have had to take care of the problem
and so on and so on, to infinity

We and we alone can break that chain
by understanding a simple fact ... losing our peacefulness
because something has gone wrong, merely magnifies the wrong
and makes matters worse

Deep breath, get the priority right, and stop the reaction
if you can, and you will know much more peace
and handle life better, no matter what it throws at you

Blessings be


Companion work

Peacefulness, that elusive quality