Let’s start here: Calm is not merely the absence of stress and upset. People settle for that, but to settle is selling the infinite human potential short. “Well, I’m not upset and I’m not feeling totally stressed out, so I guess this is as good as it gets.”
Wrong! So very wrong! That’s only the least bad it gets.
Calm is not empty; it is full. Calm does not reflect the absence of trouble, dissatisfaction and ill will ; it reflects the presence of peace, gratitude and contentment. Calm is not a personal feeling of checking in with oneself and being OK; calm is an impersonal feeling of seeing beyond oneself and being deeply connected with all of life. Calm is not still and inactive; calm is engaged and involved in every moment. Calm is not neutral to what’s happening in life; calm is in love with life and everything in it. Calm is not quietly indifferent; calm is unconditionally loving. Calm is not cool; calm is warm.
If we were the ocean, calm would be the deep, dynamic currents that perpetually steer the waters around the globe. If we were the colors, calm would be a gorgeous rainbow, lifting our hearts and spirits with its graceful arch. If we were the sky, calm would be the north star, faithfully guiding us no matter where we were temporarily. If we were a rolling meadow, calm would be the wildflowers, brightening and enlivening the landscape.
The most wonderful thing about a calm state of mind, though, is that we don’t have to work at it to have it. It is what we have, it is the ordinary spiritual state of human beings, but for all the thinking we do around it. Calm is simply the beautiful feeling that emerges from a mind at rest. It takes no effort whatsoever.
Calm seems ordinary to people who are at peace with the deeper logic of created experience. We use the energy of life to create forms within our own minds and become conscious of what we’ve created. When we leave that process alone to work naturally, we create calm because, basically, we are creating a flow of thoughts connected to the flow of life. We move away from calm when we engage ourselves in thinking about our own thinking and trying to “fix” things or figure ourselves out.
Sydney Banks said, “Seek without seeking, for what you hope to attain is already within you.” (The Missing Link, p. 139) That essentially simple idea offers profound hope for peace among all mankind, if only it didn’t seem “too simple” to people who are striving mightily to make themselves into what they think they should be instead of being what they already are.