The concept of Inner Peace is at the very core of Buddhist doctrine. Only when we have achieved inner peace can we hope to achieve world peace. This was Buddha’s message to the world. Here is an interesting Buddha story that reflects the Buddhist philosophy in a delightfully simple way.
Once Buddha was walking from one town to another with a few of his disciples. While they were travelling, they happened to pass a lake. As Buddha was thirsty, he told one of his disciples to get some water from the lake.
The disciple gladly obliged and walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that a few people were washing their clothes in the lake and right at that moment, a bullock cart was crossing through the lake. As a result, the water had become muddy and foul. The disciple couldn’t possibly take the dirty water to Buddha. So he returned to Buddha and told him the water was dirty and not fit to drink.
A half hour later, Buddha again told the disciple to get water from the same lake. The disciple, though perplexed, obediently agreed and walked up to the lake. This time, however, the disciple noticed that the water was crystal clean. The mud had settled down and the water was fit to drink. So he collected some water in a pot and took it to Buddha. Buddha looked at the pot of water and smiled.
He said, “See what you did to make the water clean? You did nothing. You just let it be. The mud settled on its own and you got pure water. Your mind is exactly like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it some time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put any effort to calm your mind. It will happen. It’s effortless.”
Buddha’s message is crystal clear. Achieving inner peace is effortless. It is not something to struggle for. It is an effortless process which will happen on its own. The practice of mindfulness is central to Buddhist philosophy where one observes the thoughts without passing any judgment or reacting to them. There are several mindfulness meditation techniques which can help us in achieving a calm and peaceful state of mind.
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