To be at peace is to fully accept everything as it is. It is being one with reality, not fighting against. With peace comes complete detachment to negative and positive events, this doesn’t mean nothing is felt but more like you are enough and anything else outside of yourself that is bad or good, is merely a bonus or slight hiccup.

What is it to be at peace?

There is a famous Taoist story of an elderly farmer, who had worked his crops for decades.  One day his horse ran away. His neighbors heard and came to visit. “Such bad luck”, they said.

“Maybe”, the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse came back, with 3 wild horses behind it. His neighbors heard and said “How wonderful”.

“Maybe”, the farmer replied.

The next day, the farmer’s son tried to tame one of these horses, by riding it. He was thrown off the horse violently, breaking his leg. The neighbors offered there sympathy, “that’s awful” they said.

“Maybe”, the farmer replied.

A couple of days later, military officials came to the village to draft young men. They saw the farmer’s son’s injury and moved on. The neighbors once again congratulated the farmer on his good luck

“Maybe”, said the farmer.

The moral of the story is that, attachment to things outside of your control will never bring you lasting peace. Peace is the state that comes when you accept what is, and not pass judgment on it. It is the ability to be O with the worst while still enjoying the best.

You may think you are at peace because your country isn’t in turmoil, there are no guns firing outside your door and rebels aren’t pillaging your town. This is sadly the case for some countries; however the western world is not much better off. People can have a good job, a car, and a nice family in a safe neighborhood, and yet still be at war.

There’s a conflict from what they expect from the world and what the world is giving them. This is not living in peace. If you are reading this, you probably aren’t living with an external war, but it is very likely that you are experiencing an inner conflict. This inner peace is a lot harder to come by. It is the feeling of calm when you are sat alone, it is the belief everything will be OK, even when your world is collapsing around you. When everything seems to be going wrong you don’t judge, you accept it and allow things to change. When there is internal peace there is no anxiety or depression, no pain or suffering. There is only stillness and tranquility. There is complete detachment from the outcome, leaving you in a perpetual state of calmness.

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