Sunday, August 07, 2016
how to find peace
Hot chips, sausages in bread, bakery lunches and even donuts (!) have been in eaten in far too greater proportion on this leg of our trip.
I've been cooking some delicious meals in our caravan fresh fish caught by River and Pete has been a highlight, but the undesirable foods have crept in when we've been out and about.
Sausages in bread are the standard catering item for any free event celebrating things like NAIDOC week or other cultural festivals.
Perhaps I'll have to write a post about getting back on the wholefood track.
For now though I'm writing about peace, namely peace within myself.
I've been doing some soul-searching on this trip as I often do when I travel, the two seem to go hand in hand for me. As I cover new outer territory I cover new inner territory.
More and more I've come to actually feel what spiritual masters talk about all the time, that peace isn't something to look for, that it is within us, there all the time.
To accompany me on my latest inward journey I've had the voice of Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Eat, Pray, Love as my guide.
I started re-reading it as a study on how to write memoir and then settled into reading the story again for the pleasure of it.
Just in case there happens to be A person out there who hasn't read it or seen the film, Eat, Pray, Love is about Elizabeth Gilbert's quest to find who she is and make peace with herself after her life crumbles and changes direction following a difficult divorce.
"Your treasure - your perfection - is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart." - p.207
And what I've discovered is that the silence of the heart is always there.
In our darkest times and in our lightest times it is always there.
Meditation is one way to find peace and feel the silence of the heart but there are other ways too.
Meditation scares some people. "How do I know if I'm doing it right? How do I do it? How long do I have to do it for?" goes the thinking.
Quiet all the thinking.
Sit. Breathe. Close your eyes. Breathe. That's all. And when thoughts come notice them but don't attach to them. Watch them float by like clouds or simply say the word 'thinking' in your head as a way of noticing the thoughts and then letting them float away.
And even though I said peace is within us, peace is of course outside of us too.
Peace can be found in a flower, in a sunset, in a raindrop. Nature is a wonderful place to find peace and you don't have to be surrounded by a forest to feel it (although immersing yourself in nature definitely helps).
Last evening as the sun was setting I walked from the caravan to the tap to fill up our water bottles. On the way back to the van I noticed how the sky had changed.
I stood in the middle of the field looking up at the soft grey clouds and the dusky pink sky. A few little stars were starting to twinkle and a slither of a crescent moon hung low in the sky.
I found peace in the sky.
Peace might be on your kitchen table or even in your basket of washing waiting to be folded.
Peace is all around us and within us and for those who can't see and feel peace at this moment pray for them.