I just watched episode eight of NRK’s Vendepunkt (Turning Point), a TV series about quality of life. It is hosted by a psychologist (a particularly wise one), and the topics are exemplified through interviews with people who made a choice of leaving a stressful life for a simpler and more rewarding and deeply satisfying one. It is well worth watching if you understand Norwegian….!
Inner peace was mentioned several times. What does it mean?
It can be a state, found through being in nature, connecting with good friends, through meditation and so on. But as any state it is precarious. At any moment, something can shift it into a different state. It doesn’t last. I may try to hold onto the peaceful state and push away incompatible states, but right away, I find that this activity in itself disturbs the peace. This form of peace is ephemeral.
There is also a different form of inner peache, one that is found through simply allowing experience, as it is. As if it would never change. Wholehearted. With kindness. Independent of the content of experience. (And if I find I can’t allow a particular experience, I can allow that as it is.)
When I am caught up in holding onto or pushing away experiences, there is stress and a sense of being off balance. And when I find myself as that which allows experience – as it is, independent of its content, and including the impulses to hold onto and push away experience – there is a different peace. One that is independent of states.
Here, there is stillness, even in the midst of a great deal of activity.
It all has to do with where identification goes. When it goes to holding onto or pushing away experiences, “I” am the one holding onto or pushing experiences away. “I” caught up in this drama and right in the middle of the stress it creates.
When identification goes to the observer, experiences are more easily allowed as they are. There is a stillness here as that which allows experience as is. There is more alignment with reality and what we are, which already allows any and all experience as is. There is a stillness from being more aligned with Ground.
But this is not satisfactory either since there is identification with the image of an observer. There is a need to shift into the observer, to find myself as the observer, and that involves a doer and work.
So the next shift is to for identification to release from the images of a doer and observer. For Ground to wake up to itself, already and always allowing any and all experience – including the doer and observer gestalts – as is. This is the absolute stillness.
- inner peace
- allowing experience (wholehearted, w. kindness, as little creatures seeking attention and love)
- alignment with reality/ground + notice wholeness of all that is
- so experienced as stillness, even in the midst of a great deal of activity