This Zen saying is often repeated replacing Peace or Happiness, instead of Truth. The only peace you will find on top of the mountain is the truth you brought with you. For so often we think, we will be happy ‘over there’ in our lives, and it certainly cannot be found here in the grind of our daily lives. Perhaps happiness/peace/truth can be found with a new career, or partner, or maybe it’s going to be delayed until our kids find their peace and happiness, and/or move our of our homes. Perhaps we idealise, it can be found in a monastery or ashram, or away from the world, like a hermit, away on a mountain. Does India hold the answers? Bali? Whatever ‘spiritual’ place we conjure up is usually far from the place in which we live daily.
It’s a trap to think this, as all of our experiences are generated through our own minds. And it’s our own minds that we travel with, here and there. It’s our own minds we are stuck within self-isolation. Its the filter of our own minds that we experience absolutely everything. So the idea that we will find happiness or peace, or truth somewhere other than where we are is like a dog chasing its own tail; it will never get there and be exhausted constantly. It’s time we started to take this reality more seriously, and begin working on our minds, rather than trying to escape the inescapable and find that which we already have. Working with our own minds, we can discover it is the very architecture of our own minds that we can find our place of peace. It’s within our daily lives, and thankfully we will meet continual opportunity in which to work on honing our minds, polishing off the rough parts, letting go and surrendering the tricks, and the mirages our minds have us believe.
If this sounds very foreign, and you are used to blaming that outside of you for how you feel, I highly recommend learning a meditation practice. There are lots of different styles, we teach an Integrated Meditation technique that involves transcendence with a mantra, and trains the mind to work with that which is beyond thought, and to become less attached to experiences and instead experience the wholeness that lies beneath the thinking about experiences. It’s about accessing the place of peace within us. To begin though, any meditation technique will benefit. Do it daily, don’t dabble. And yes, exercise is great, but it’s not meditation.
Begin with your days moving forward with the question to yourself based on your mood, do I know this to be true? Challenge your mind, it’s architecture and it’s rationale. Often it’s simply repeating what it knew before. Sometimes it’s repeating decades old, redundant information. Start to look more deeply into your own mind.
Sent with love,