The Peace That is Always Here
This past year has been interesting, looking back I am not really clear on the propulsion but what I do know is that it was definitely not boring. I learned a lot about myself and I had to make some decisions to give things up that were difficult to give up. I got lost in a story of drama that took me in many different directions with many plot lines, but what I noticed was that although exciting and interesting the drama got tiring after awhile. And I had a desire to be at peace. So I fortunately had the opportunity to remember again that the peace that I was searching for was here in this moment all the time. I didn’t need to figure it out, I didn’t need to fall in love, I didn’t even need to eat. I just needed to notice what was here in the moment. I recognized that all of the drama I was holding onto was because I thought it would give me the peace that ironically I already had. I thought if only I figure this part out then I will feel better. If I understood why this happened then I would see the truth and then and only then would I be healed. I would be more lovable, sexier, thinner and just plain old worthy. Little did I realize that all of those things I was searching for so that I could be happy were a distraction to the actual happiness that exists in this moment sitting here in my sweats, alone in my apartment with unruly hair and unshowered.
I don’t even know if happiness is the right word. You see happiness like all other emotions comes and goes that is not what I am pointing to I am pointing to that thing that doesn’t come and go the thing that allows for all comings and goings, we may call it peace, presence, existence or a multitude of other words but the truth is words can’t describe it. It is present all the time it never leaves and it is constantly holding us. We are it and it is us there is no separation. The only thing is that we “think” there is and in that moment we get to question the thoughts and remember that the peace that we so seek is here and all we need to do is stop and notice. Whether it is taking a deep breath and feeling the air flow into our nostrils, our chest, down to our bellies and then back around again. Or watching the clouds move in the sky, just allow the senses to be more prominent then the thoughts. Allow yourself to feel, see, taste hear and smell what is actually here, take notice of that rather than the thoughts for a split second and experience the noticing. In that moment we can get a taste of the peace we crave. The peace that is always here, even when we are so involved in our thoughts that we cant see the hand in front of our face. When life appears devastating, when sadness seems to be coming from the depths of our soul. We can stop for a moment and notice the sky, the moon or that wonderful thing that keeps us living each day our breath and remember the sense of peace that is always here.
And in my experience feeling this sense of peace reminds me that this is all I ever wanted in the first place. The right body, the romance, the money all of those things were just attempts at making myself feel that I was worthy of that sense of peace, that I had all the time without any of those things.
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Rabbi Esther Azar