A high school teacher was quite intense in his speech and attitude. After listening to the sage for a while he realised, “I want peace more than anything else, but I see how disturbed I am in life. It’s as if wherever I turn something upsets me: I turn on the TV or read the papers, I’m upset. I talk to people, I get annoyed. I go to work and there is no peace.”
“The primary reason for your disturbance and disquiet is your demand that reality be different from the way it is,” explained the sage. “The moment you accept the way things are, you’re at peace.” (Francis J Padinjarekara: A Dewdrop in the Ocean. Mumbai: Awareness Arc, 2009. pg. 82)
Everyone who is disturbed or unhappy has one thing in common – the difficulty in coming to terms with reality. The biggest battle we are engaged in is the fight against what is, a fight where the winner is already known.
Awareness is seeing what is directly and openly. Life is what it is whether we like it or not. Other people are the way they are whether we are pleased or displeased. A Zen master put it beautifully: Reality is what it is if you understand. Reality is what it is if you don’t understand.