As the Buddha says, desire is the cause of all suffering. When we eliminate desires, we experience Peace.
If we can come to accept that we truly do have everything we need to enjoy our Here and Now, then we are free to enjoy! Enjoyment is Inner-Peace.
If we open our eyes and start to use our minds a bit more, we will realize that much of what we think we ‘want’ or ‘desire’ is actually empty. Think of what you can take beyond the grave with you. Anything?
If there is one thing, it would be your beliefs and your conscience, anything physical cannot join you on the journey beyond the human flesh. So why live for that which is fleeting? If there is one thing worth cultivating and committing yourself to, it is the Spiritual Treasures! That which is physical does not last and ultimately has no real value.
Even in terms of practical human existence and for purposes of longevity, if that’s what you are living for, then nonetheless your comfortable couch will not increase your lifespan. It might actually cause you to live a shorter life as it promotes poor posture which can lead to physical ailments. Physical luxury is not only excessive but also fleeting. How many days have you woken up and looked at the new couch you bought and deeply appreciated it and found great joy in it? Perhaps for the first week, but we easily fall into the state of taking possessions for granted, hence we may even rarely appreciate the miracle of our physical bodies and minds.
One key to enjoying life and finding Inner-Peace is to elevate one’s preferences beyond that of the physical and into that of the intangible and Spiritual realm. Cherish those things which are impermanent and you will soon discover how much you really have with you at all times These blessings are with us all the time. Find joy in your breathing, in smiling, in moving and in listening. Enjoy creating value for others and serving the greater good.
The greatest gift we can give another is not some exorbitant amount of money, but it is our time. Time is irreversible and irreplaceable, and it is the one gift that we can all give freely to whomever we wish. Giving the gift of time is giving the gift of ourselves in our purest form. When we give money, we are giving the gift of ourselves indirectly, but when we give our time, we are giving the gift of our full selves to the service and love of another. More than any sum of money, people deeply appreciate the gift of time, for it is the common denominator that we all share.
The more we give, the more we grow in harmony and connection with the Human Spirit. This connection transcends anything physical and is a source of profound joy, much greater than any satisfaction derived from physical riches.
So too, the more we give the more we realize that the best things in life are free. Therefore, as Jesus says, we should not store up treasures on earth where thieves break in and steal. Instead, store up the Treasures in Heaven!
By Treasures in Heaven, I think Jesus was referring to the uniquely endowed gift of Being in your physical mind and body and beyond. The Treasure in Heaven is knowing one’s True Nature, discovering the Essence of the Universe, and realizing a greater experience of life each day. The Treasures in Heaven are learning, growing, serving and loving. It is expanding your horizons, dreaming big and striving to achieve that which you believe is good and just.
So long as we reap satisfaction or enjoyment from the physical world, we are allowing the external world to influence our quality of life. But why would we let something beyond our control dictate whether or not we are enjoying life? Rather, doesn’t it make sense to cultivate your Spiritual Riches and enjoy life because of the gift of your Nature? Instead of cultivating physical possessions, why not cultivate the ability to Love, Laugh, and Harmonize with Beauty and Grace?
Peace is an inherent state of our Nature. Unfortunately, we may be easily deceived to think that Peace and enjoyment of life are far beyond our current state. In reality, there is nothing we really need to achieve Peace. Instead, if we simply accept that we are at Peace, we will experience that Peace which is always with us.
John Wooden defines success as “Peace of Mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” That being said, Peace is not only the ends, but it is also the means. When we have Peace, then we can consciously work towards becoming better and better each day without regrets. All we can ever do is be our best.
We cannot go around comparing ourselves to other people, for such comparisons are fruitless. Sure, I am not as great a physical athlete as Lebron James, but does that mean I should feel inferior? Nahhhh. We are all blessed with different lots in life, so the best thing for any of us to do is to progressively work towards realizing our Worthy Ideal, starting NOW!
Peace is with you, and if you seriously doubt it, take 5 minutes to sit still, in silence, and just breathe. Take some time to consider what you think is worth fighting for. What is your ideal?
As Thich Nhat Hon says, “Peace is every step.” Step by step, in Peace, pursue your Worthy Ideal and share your love with the world. It’s almost certainly the best thing you can do.