Feeling Inner Peace While the World Burns

It doesn’t conflict with the movement for justice and equality

“This Too Shall Pass”, an artwork by Ecif
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

This belief is: that if you do not suffer while others around you suffer, you are part of the problem.

“If I could change something about the present situation, I would be happy”.

I have good news for you. You do not need to wait for any of this to happen to feel inner peace and love your life.

Ken Keyes Jr was a quadriplegic after contracting polio aged 27 — after this experience he wrote multiple books on how to find happiness in the present moment

“One of these students in the book says to the master Jōshū, I have been here in this monastery for some time, and I’ve had no instruction from you. The master said, Have you had breakfast? Yes. Then go wash your bowl. And the monk was awakened.” — Zen Koan, as told by Alan Watts

This may at first glance appear to be an absurdly privileged belief. Indeed many socially progressive people seem to believe that anyone saying this must not care about social problems at all and instead have a toxic focus on the “individual self”.

The Beggar and the Monk by Jaze Phua

“True happiness comes from having a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved by cultivating altruism, love and compassion, and by eliminating anger, selfishness and greed.”

- The Dalai Lama

As such it’s important for you to learn how to feel peace with life as it is right now, Right Now.

Because Now is the only time that exists.

We can work for a better future, indeed we should, but we should not hinge our happiness on the achievement of any future goal.

The self-immolation of Thích Quảng Đức in protest against religious repression: “As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.”

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Reverie

“The nature of our immortal lives is in the consequences of our words and deeds” — Cloud Atlas