I am in a large classroom with many other students. The class is entitled “The Mystery of Inner Peace”.
Our teacher is a woman – tall and elegant – and she has a sort of knowing wise smile. She has posted a problem on the blackboard and has asked us all to “solve for X”.
The question she poses is “How can one find lasting inner Peace?” She asks us to solve it mathematically.
Me + X = Lasting Inner Peace. Solve for X.
We all work collaboratively and start collecting some potential answers:
X = lots of money
X = a fulfilling career
X = the perfect soul mate
X = great physical health
X = good looks
X = a great body
X = great sex
X = more play
X = fun hobbies
X = travel
X = family
X = friends
X = meaning
X = purpose
X = creativity
We compose a very long list. Our teacher just smiles. But no, none of those are the answer she is looking for.
It is a difficult problem. It seems to have no answer. All our X’s are temporary.
How can one find lasting inner Peace?
I doze off into a bit of a dream and suddenly the answer is clear. I loudly exclaim to the entire class “X = 0”!
Our teacher casts a knowing smile my way.
Today I will remember that no one thing will ever bring lasting inner Peace. That before thought, before feelings, before desires, before anything is the “me” that is both nothing and everything. That only in nothing, which mysteriously is also everything, is lasting inner Peace found. In Peace I discover that I am not a man, not a human being, not a body, not a thought, not a feeling, not an idea and not a desire. Peace is prior to all of that. 0 is nothing. 0 is everything. Herein lay lasting inner Peace.