Written by guest blogger Meredith Moraine from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Peace is presence, and presence is peace.
Many people think of peace as absence of conflict, but that’s just a temporary truce. Real peace has a chance to happen when we’re fully present in mind and body.
In presence, there’s room enough for my view, your view, and other views as well. There’s room enough for my hurt and anger and frustration, and for yours as well. There’s room enough not to agree at all, but simply honor our differences. When the container becomes large enough, from a conflict that seemed unresolvable new opportunities can appear, like unexpected gifts.
Here is where meditation practice comes in.
Meditation teaches our minds, made turbulent by restless thoughts and emotions, how to rest. When the inner chatter has a chance to settle, the luminous presence of natural mind reveals itself. The ground of being—who we are when disturbances come to rest—is naturally loving, kind, spacious, and peaceful. Isn’t that amazing? We don’t have to create peace, we ARE peace!
As everybody who tries meditation finds out, knowing peace doesn’t happen right away. I remember the first good look at my mind through meditation—not a pretty sight! There was a major slugfest going on between me and life (which consistently failed to shape itself the way I thought it should), between me and others (equally uncooperative), and worst of all, between me and me. The new and improved spiritual me was having a very hard time with the unkindness, impatience, and general messiness now revealed in the glaring light of consciousness. I’m reminded of Oscar Wilde’s reported dying words: “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has got to go.” Maybe Wilde just wanted a good exit line, but what a perfect expression of the war we humans wage constantly with life as it is!
Over years of meditation practice, a bigger perspective opened up. I found that when I just let everything—the seething thoughts and emotions, and the urge to fix and resolve–rest in that larger space of full awareness, the need for conflict went away on its own.
This is the great blessing of practice. A peaceful, happy presence becomes no longer something that we make, but rather something that we are. It feels like moving from a hut to a mansion. But right from the beginning, there is relief from the inner and outer war. We find out that we can end the war and choose peace at any moment. We just need to know where to look: right here, right now, in the delicious richness of full presence.
Meredith Moraine has a decades-long interest in moving the peace and clarity of the meditative mind off the cushion and into daily life.
Having broken away from the tense, competitive atmosphere of the high-tech world to follow the inner path, she asked the questions: Is this necessary? Can the inner and outer paths combine right in the storm of deadlines and long hours? In the mid-90s, after teaching meditation in a number of public and private settings, she formed the company Working Well to take body work and meditation for stress relief training into the work place.
This posting by Meredith was first published in our local newspaper Atencion in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe to my feed and join a growing number of world-wide readers?- Go to top right hand corner of page to email Subscription