For the past two weeks I haven’t been sleeping well, and my insomnia filled nights have got me thinking deeply. I’m extremely unhappy, full of anxiety and have been for some time. I’ve never rejected the Buddhist path, but I just thought I couldn’t do it. Recently I’ve realized I want peace within myself, free from ego, from suffering. But I don’t know how to get this?
Peace isn’t obtained. It is intrinsic part of what you are. But there is so much junk that we throw on top of it that it becomes impossible to notice.
Your ego is that voice in your head that tells you how to perceive and judge events; it tells you who you are and what your place is in this world. It talks and talks to you, convincing you that you are this human identity.
And perhaps we are the identities we play, for now. But those identities are jokes, temporary constructs haphazardly grown from life experiences and desires.
Peace will not come from this impermanent concept of yourself. Peace is the only thing you have always had that will not change: your sensation of Existence.
Wherever you are, whatever emotion the moment contains, you still feel that you Exist. When you learn to settle into that feeling of Existence without trying to avoid certain emotions and attract other emotions, then Peace arises. Peace is not an emotion so it is not bound to the same continual cycle of transformation that emotions are.
Your suffering comes from your mind perceiving things and your body reacting to those perceptions. The constant anxiety is the ego’s constant whispering that you are not Whole, that you are missing something.
Of course, the reality is not that you are missing something but that you have forgotten something: your Self.
Reading books written by realized Beings will definitely help. But more than that, it is important that you take up a daily practice. I highly recommend meditation.
You will not change unless you make the effort every day. After a while, your effort will become effortless. But to make the shift, effort is required in my experience.
For me, that effort took the form of meditating daily. I started out doing about 15-20 minutes of mantra meditation per day for about six months. Mantra meditation is good for beginners because it gives your mind something to focus on when it tries to wander.
After that, I started doing sitting meditation daily. For about 2 years, I did 20-30 minutes of meditation about 4 or 5 days a week. Then it became more regular and the time grew.
Now I meditate an hour every day. I am by no means in a perfect place but I am light-years away from the person I once was. Or maybe I’m just closer to what I am than I was before.
You can do it. Your peace is here for you to rediscover. There are as many paths to peace as there are people to walk them. You can and will find your way; meditation will help you do that with a clear mind as well. You will be able to clearly see what will be of help and what will not.
And just remember, there is no way to peace. Peace is the way. It is here with you at every step.
Namaste, brother :) much love. May your path be showered with blessings.
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