Peace is a state or being in tranquility that results from not having worries, guilt, overwhelm or boredom. Feel the peace, know the peace, be the peace, the peace, the peace…
This story of the Buddha from Spiritual Short Stories teaches us the value and depth of Peace.
Buddha’s Advice to Calm a Disturbed Mind
Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples: “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.”
The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid.
The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”
After about half an hour, Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.
Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be … and the mud settled down on its own, and you got clear water! Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be… Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”
What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Peace naturally descends upon us when we have done the work or sadhana of cultivating the earlier 11 qualities. When we get out of our own way, peace manifests from within. When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside. It spreads around you and the environment, so much that people around start feeling your inner peace and grace.
– Where in the story do you find the quality of Peace?
– How can you relate this to your own practice of calming your mind?
– Do I consider Peace as my strength and how often in my day do I find myself being Peaceful?
– On a scale of 1-10, how do I rate myself as Peaceful and why?
– If I were to relax something that blocks me from being Peaceful, what is it? And what can I relax and let go, offer up to my higher-self, for release now?
Invitation to Commitment
– What attitude do I commit to, in order to exemplify Peace in my daily life?
– What specific behavior will I adopt, that demonstrates Peace to me and others?
Practice for being at Peace
The last of the four higher emotions in Buddhist practice (after Metta, Karuna and Mudita), is Upekkha: being established in an inner stillness and letting it anchor us and hold us in equilibrium at all times.
Today, try this water meditation from our repertoire of cellular healing meditations which brings a state peace into our very cells. You will need a glass of water before you begin.
May the Peace be with you.