Mar 29, 2022
If we were to walk through any office building or place of work, we would find that many of the workers look at computer screens with a background image of some peaceful beach or nature scene. The workers gaze at those images, wishing to not be where they are, and dream about being on that beach or in those mountains, at peace, with no stress or worries of any kind.
No one wants to be where they are, so everyone dreams about being somewhere else.
Many people work very hard to save money so they can go to those places for a vacation for a few days. Perhaps for those few days they have some excitement or some distraction, and maybe a bit of peace.
Then they go back to their routine lives, back to the same problems and sufferings, and they dream about one day escaping it again.
The truth is that peace does not come from our external circumstances. No matter how much effort we make to change our external circumstances, peace does not come from there. Peace comes from inside.
Even if you are very wealthy and famous, and have everything that humanity dreams of having, if someone says just the right words to you, you will explode with anger, even violence, and can even kill someone... so, the fame and money brings no peace of mind.
People who live on those famous beaches and resorts still commit suicide and other crimes. They have no peace.
As much as we may admire those beautiful, serene-looking places, those supposedly perfectly relaxing circumstances, even if we retire there or live there, we would not have peace because the causes of discontentment are not outside of us, in our circumstances.
Our suffering and our pain exist not because of where we live, but because of the quality of our mind.
The causes of suffering and pain are within us.
The cause of peace is also within us.
To find peace, you do not need to seek outside of yourself, but inside.
So, instead of looking for that relaxing beach outside of us somewhere in the world, we need to find it inside.
But, when we look inside, what do we see? Not that beach, but this one: a beach packed with people. A crowded place, with no room to walk or sit or swim, and filled with clamoring voices, each one demanding its desires, demanding attention, insisting on being the only one who should be on that beach.
This accurately reflects our inner state. Each one of those people is a longing, fear, resentment, some desire, some frustration, envy, pride, and all of them are constantly talking competing with each other, trying to stand out, and to be the one who's special.
Our mind never shuts up. It is never at peace. It is constantly chattering about what it wants, what it lacks, what it fears.
Truthfully, our longing for peace is the longing to escape the noise in our head, heart, and body.
When you observe some people, you see that they constantly have music or a tv playing, or are always scrolling on their devices; they need constant noise, constant impressions. This is because they want to avoid the noise in their mind: the music, the tv, or the scrolling is like a hypnotic bandage that numbs them. If you turn it off, they feel the pain of their inner condition.
The feelings of discontentment, stress, anxiety, and fear are all rooted in the constant chatter of our mind.
Unfortunately, in modern times, we have not been educated about our mind and how to deal with it.
We learn by example and by inheritance; when we're growing up and we adopt the habits that we observe. We're never given guidance or training in how to deal with thoughts, emotions and impulses and so they control us. They control our consciousness. That's why we are in a constant state of contradiction and inner conflict.
We have contradictory thoughts, feelings, and impulses. As a young person, for example, when it's time for us to become defined in our life, we feel that urgency to develop a career and become self reliant, successful and that is normal and natural. But unfortunately, our pride interferes. We want to stand out, to rise above the rest, and be seen as better than our peers. Then our laziness says, That's too much work, its too hard. Maybe I could just hang out at my parents house, watch TV and maybe get money from the government, or find a husband or wife to pay for everything. Then our envy says, But I want with these people on and Instagram have, I want to be like these other people: famous and rich. Then fear says what if I fail, what if I end up alone, what if I become sick...
We are always creating mental stories, dramas, tragedies, imagining events that never happen... we live most of our lives in a self-created fantasy that has no basis in reality. The result is that we are afflicted with constant worry, stress, and anxiety, all based on illusions.
These surging contradictory, unpredictable thoughts, feelings and impulses are symbolized in this crowded beach.
Maybe we've had enough of it, and we want to learn meditation.
Whatever the reason, people are attracted to meditation because they want an escape from pain, they want relief from suffering. So most people would say that the purpose of meditation is to escape from pain, to get away from suffering. They might mention some terms like self-realization, liberation or enlightenment, but not really be able to define what those words mean.
Meditation is related to those experiences; you can experience paradises, and reach self-realzation, etc, but it is not in the way that people think: that yoiu meditate in a cave for six years and you go to paradise. That is absurd!
What is paradise? It is a place without conflict, without suffering. Therefore, in such a place, there can be no pride, anger, lust, or envy. So, the solution is simple: if you want to live in paradise, whether on Earth or beyond it, then you must not have any of those qualities in yourself.
This is the actual purpose of meditation: to end suffering.
The only way to end suffering is to understand what causes it.
Since the causes of suffering are not visible with our senses physically, and those causes are not perceptible by our mind, we need to learn meditation so that we can harness the power of the consciousness, in order to perceive the causes of suffering and fix them.
The purpose of meditation is to acquire information about suffering and its causes, so we can become free of them.
From this you understand that pretty much everything popular culture is saying about meditation is kindergarten, very basic, and very shallow.
Meditation is a vast, extensive science. Through meditation, you can perceive the causes of existence. This is not imaginary or a process of thinking: it is a lived experience, more real than what you are perceiving through your physical senses.
The Buddha talked about atomic structures. He described atoms. He saw them in meditation. There is nothing special about that. It is an innate capability that all of us have. We just need to learn to use it.
Meditation is a function of the consciousness.
Meditation is not intellectual, emotional, or physical.
Meditation is a state of perception that does not use the physical senses.
To learn how to meditate, we first learn how to use the consciousness throughout the day.
The process of learning meditation does not begin when you sit on your chair or on your cushion.
To learn how to meditate, you have to practice constantly at all times and in all places. In everything that you do, be profoundly aware and present...
Read the lecture transcription: https://glorian.org/learn/courses-and-lectures/beginning-here-and-now/peace-and-where-to-find-it