I'm haunted by a quote I once read:
“The only Zen (peace) you find on tops of mountains is the Zen you bring there.” -Robert Pirsig
I'm haunted because it's so tempting to think that going somewhere else (a beautiful mountain lake, a cabin in the woods) can change me on the inside right here. Who doesn't feel more refreshed by beauty, but what happens when you get back home? Why was that change so short-lived?
As David Deida teaches: “Right now, and in every now-moment, you are either closing or opening. You are either stressfully waiting for something – more money, security, affection – or you are living from your deep heart, opening as the entire moment, and giving what you most deeply desire to give, without waiting.”
It's not glamorous, but you can actually do better right where you are.
Your situation may lack the grandeur of mountains or the quiet of a cabin, but it could be a very fertile place. How? Watch your behavior today and see how you react to a text, post, phone call, news item, noisy neighbor, careless dog walker, distracted cashier, rude driver.... The truth is, we need people if we are to grow, and all our problems with them, properly seen, are opportunities for growth. Trying to live in harmony with those around you right now will bring out enormous inner toughness.
We are mistaken when we think that peace happens ONLY if something or someone changes (meaning "does what I want"). To summon peace from within when faced with a stressful experience means that the lake or cabin become extensions of all that is good in me rather than a temporary narcotic.
Bring your peace everywhere and you'll be living a mountaintop experience all the time. Who wouldn't want that?