Monday, January 28, 2013

The elusive inner peace

Inner Peace
Could there be a more lofty goal?  Could there be a more worthwhile one?

A true cultivator of the Tao has unparallelled inner peace.  Today I have been contemplating what it will take for me to obtain inner peace.  Obviously this is a long and intensive process, as I'm not feeling very peaceful at the moment.  I think striving for this kind of peace during turbulent times in my life is quite valuable.  If I can keep some semblance of it now, then I can have confidence that I can find inner peace any time in my life.

Here are the steps I'm currently working on:

~ Embrace Change
     It is a very difficult thing to do, as we humans are hard wired to resist change.  Remaining flexible (flowing like a river) allows inner peace to flourish because the struggle to resist change is let go.

~ Detach from Outcomes
    Not being attached to outcomes is something the Tao talks of often.  My actions should come from within, not based on the potential outcomes I see.  I should be motivated by simplicity, compassion, and humility in all that I do.  By letting go of perceived "correct reactions" to my actions, I can keep inner peace regardless of the outcome of any situation.

~ See Truth
     This is perhaps the one that I struggle with the most.  I recently asked a Taoist master how I could work on my confidence.  He answered simply, "See the authentic truth."  This means looking at myself in a truly honest and objective manner.  I tend to be quite hard on myself in all aspects, boarding on self-loathing.  My husband often points out that I think everyone is better than me, even people I've never met.  If I look at myself from an authentic truth, however, I know that I am no more or less worthy of anything than someone else is.  Seeing truth erases judgements and allows me to accept everyone and everything as it is, even myself. 

I decided that these three things will be the first steps of my thousand mile journey to inner peace.

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