Peace of Mind

Do you have peace of mind?

Last night, somewhat exhausted through a bit too much gardening, I sat on my step. On that step the part where I sit is worn as is the wall where I rest my back. It is not a very glamorous step. It is next to the bins and our back door. Yet from it I can see the barns and the open countryside. In the evening sunlight I could see insects or flying things, dancing. And I had this thought; “on days like this I can see why it is called a green and pleasant land”. We live in a very tranquil spot, the quiet is usually only interrupted by the sound of farm machinery and the distant hum of lawn mowers. Maybe every now and then someone goes down the lanes. This tranquillity is largely missing in modern life. And I’ll hazard a guess that most do not have much peace of mind.

Whilst we are perennially alert for Pavlov’s ‘phone and held fast in the fear of missing out, it is difficult to be at peace. Whilst we have the unresolved chugging around in mind, there is but transitory peace. Even should we go to the most tranquil place on earth, our “world”, our mind comes with us. We are a hectic bunch, generally. The wife and I know that when people visit it takes them a long while to chill the fuck out. Some never do, not at all.

And here is the thing no matter how much meditation you do and how skilful you become, unless you work at your karma, it will continue to intrude and evaporate your peace of mind. You are unable to sustain that tranquillity for long periods. Maybe whilst sitting, it is OK, but to have it with you always, is more tricky.

Last night I had some seriously technicolour dreams and in those someone from my deep past was searching for me. I have had this kind of thing before only to find out later that they have recently died. But this pointed at the notion of unresolved challenges or in other words, karma. We can maybe resolve the “issues” in our mind but if we still have work to do, it builds up like a stack of stuff in the in-box, waiting. The longer we put it off the more it impinges on our peace of mind. It penetrates what tranquillity we may have and is like a resident background programme, it uses CPU time. We can’t use task manager to turn it off for ever. We may halt it. But those unresolved challenges continue to boot up, on wake up.

Although you may not think it from the size of this blog, my default usual state is not-thinking. I have to make a conscious effort, “now I am going to think about such and such”. And when I am done, it switches off. It has taken a bit of work to make the tube station trains fall silent and to stop them chugging around, all of the time. To do this one has to overcome the fear, the terror, of silence. I can’t show anyone what this feels like.

What I can do is ask these questions:

Do you have peace of mind?

How long can you sustain it?

Is this notion of peace of mind an attractive one to you?