Inner Peace in a Trice (transcribed)

I woke up this morning feeling that something was missing from my life. As I brushed my teeth, I thought to myself: what is this gap in my life? I have a good job and enough money to pay the gas bill. I have people to talk with and a beautiful wife. What is missing in my life?

I felt sad. I felt low. I felt that nothing would go right at work today, so I called the boss, told her I had Covid and took the day off.
I must be missing leisure and relaxation I thought to myself and so I decided to go to bed for the rest of the morning. I set the alarm for lunch, closed the curtains, and lay down.

Brr, Brr, Brr the alarm went off at 12 and I woke with a start. My mouth was dry, which was strange because I had drooled all over the pillow. I felt worse than I had before I went to sleep!

I dragged myself off the bed and went downstairs. I made myself a sandwich, but I had absolutely no enthusiasm for it. The bread was dry, the cheese tasted like chalk and the pickle jar was empty.

After eating, I couldn’t be bothered to wash up the dishes, so I left them and went outside for a walk by the river. This always used to cheer me up before, so why not try it now.

I don’t like dogs. I was chased by a big, black dog when I was a child and it put me off them. As I walked by the river I saw not one, not two, but three black dogs running towards me. They were not big, but they were yappy, and they had all been in the water. One by one, and then all at the same time they jumped up and put their muddy paws on my clean, white trousers. Yapping, yapping, yapping all the time!

By the time the woman had called them off, I was wet, dirty and in tears. I sat on a bench and cried with my head in my hands.
After a while, I got up to go home. I felt sadder than ever.

On the way, I saw a notice board and one of the posters said Free Talk – Finding Inner Peace. Something about the faces on the poster captured my imagination. They all seemed infinitely serene, infused with calm, lit up from the inside with contentment.

All the rest of the way home the words Inner Peace echoed inside me like a long-lost message from a kinder, simpler time. I felt the words repeating inside me: peace, inner peace, peace from the inside, peace inside.

I thought to myself what if that’s the real key to happiness! What if that’s where I’ve been going wrong all this time!

As I went deeper into the thought of peace as a jewel shining inside me, it took me into an experience. Unknown to me, as I went deeper into the delicious feeling of calm, three yapping dogs passed me by. Unaware, I walked past roads heaving with noisy cars and lorries.

I didn’t even notice when I arrived home because I was rapt with concentration on my lovely, sweet haven: my own mind! It had been there all along, but I had never explored it.

I had found Inner Peace and, apart from the odd blip or two, I lived happily ever after.

The End

This was a story a wrote as part of a workshop I gave in Newcastle – 19 Feb 2023.


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