Why do we fear? We are afraid or anxious either because we feel that something threatens to take away our happiness, or that something is lacking for us to be happy. Thus, we worry about what we have or do not have, about what we have accomplished or failed to accomplish, and about how we are now and how we would like to be.
Fear is a consciousness of lack, of being threatened. It’s direct opposite, worldly passion, is the consciousness of striving to get, to improve, to accomplish, to become something that we are not.
Peace is the antidote to fear and worldly passion. Peace favors clarity, awareness, and object-less bliss. Through clarity, we see things as they are, without superimposing self-centered views of how they should be. Through awareness, we see how things are necessary and appropriate for our present experience. Through bliss, we experience that our emotional state is independent of external persons, objects, or events.
From peace flow love and compassion, imbued with the power to actually manifest them. But this peace is not a thing to be attained. Peace is our natural state. It requires nothing to be taken away and nothing to be added. It already is. Like water which is muddied, if we only let our true nature settle, we will experience this peace which is always there.
How do we make practical use of this View? First, we must study and contemplate it so that we dispel all doubt. When we have intellectually realized the truth of peace as our natural state, then we must cultivate it in meditation —that is, return once and again to the experience of peace, first on the meditation seat, then in daily life.
Now it may be difficult to experience this peace, because our minds are habituated to agitation under the sway of disturbing emotions, but peace itself is neither difficult nor distant. On the contrary, it is the way we are, the way we have always been. Under all that agitation, under all the confusion and feelings of want, peace is the foundation.
So, we relax little by little into perfection. We relax the body through movement, the energies through breath, the mind through resting in the clear light. We let go of the tension. It is not accomplishment that we need, but release. It is easy. There is nothing to do but let go of our burden. It is relief.
We can only start where we are. When a person has very tight muscles, we do not expect them or encourage them to attempt demanding and advanced physical practices. We gently encourage them to stretch a little, to breathe a little deeper, and then stretch a bit further —and only on the exhalation, which is a letting go.
Patience is the practice of peace. When we cultivate patience with others, ourselves, and the teaching, we experience peace. Practice patience with others and peace is yours. Practice patience with yourself and peace is yours. Practice patience with the teachings and peace is yours. Return to your natural state of peace as often and as long as it is possible at this time. With practice, departures from peace will become less frequent and of shorter duration.
OM All is pure as it is. You are pure as you are.