Don't Be Distracted By Inner Peace

Our minds are filled with confusion. We obsess endlessly. We anticipate, we regret, we brood and we scheme. We want what we don't have, and we don't want what we have. At times we feel under assault. At times we feel forgotten. The Sanskrit word for this is dukha. It is often translated as "suffering," but what is really means is pervasive, at times unbearable, dissatisfaction.

When we are aware of this inner noise, this dukha, we naturally want it to stop. We think there is some other state we should be in - calm, peace or even nirvana. We go looking for it. We try this and we try that, and now and then we do feel peaceful; we do feel calm. And it feels really good.

So we try to hold onto this feeling. We become anxious that something will interfere with our morning cup of coffee, our five-mile run. Which just increases our feeling of dukha.

It's like the Gordian knot - you can't untie it. But you can cut through it. Don't be distracted by inner peace. Don't be distracted by anxiety. Don't be distracted by anything. What are you doing right now? What is in front of you right now? Pay attention, see clearly and act correctly.

It's simple, but not easy. Our delusions mislead us. Our thoughts and feelings control us. We don't know who we are.

Some kind of practice, a daily practice over a lifetime, is necessary to cut through all this. And not in isolation, but within a community, to cut through self-absorption and delusion.

What kind of practice? It's up to you. My great-grandmother davened (Jewish prayer) every morning. My mother-in-law went to Mass every morning. I meditate every morning. Find what fits. Then do it, if you'll excuse the expression, religiously.

Bullock, J., & Roitman, J. (2005, June 25). Faith Forum: How do you find inner peace? Lawrence Journal World. Retrieved March 6, 2012,