My personal 'search' began many years ago, as a young man with a dissatisfaction of my life; I wasn’t fulfilled by what it presented to me. A piece was missing and I began to look for what that was.
At first, I began to look outside myself. I searched for teachings, books, teachers, gurus to give what I was missing. When I was ayoung man, I found an ashram. I was told it was a place where I could find the missing piece. The ashram had a Guru - a teacher - which only made it all the more alluring. My expectations, however, were soon dashed when after a period of time I realised that I knew more than the “Guru”. I later came to understand the definition of the word Guru - “one who points the way”. This guy thought he was the way… and it was all about him!
What he believed is what he expected everyone else to believe. I decided to branch out further a field, traveling to eastern lands and still looking outwards for ‘that teaching’, ‘that Guru’, whom I hoped would give me what I was looking for. While I amassed knowledge along the way, a number of years passed and I still found myself without the missing piece (or perhaps peace).
Eventually, I had the following major realisations:
Realisation 1 - Anyone who calls himself a Guru cannot be one
One day someone said to me, ”Peter, you will only find what you seek by going within.”
While that statement resonated with me, I realised I didn’t understand what it mean’t and I certainly didn’t truly understand how ‘go within’.
By this stage, I was older and less influenced by others. I had begun to learn that on the spiritual journey there were many ego-based self proclaimed teachers, who may have seemed to “know” the answers. Yet when I looked deeper, I found that most didn’t know; they were in pursuit of their own ego glory.
Realisation 2 - What is presented is not always what really is.
Also by now, I had found that meditation was a process that was not only to be used to find inner peace (which I had been taught was its purpose), I found that meditation had a much greater function. It could be used to discover who I really was. In order to find who that was, I first had to look into what I wasn’t, what had shaped me and the personae that I had built (the false self that I believed was the ‘real’ me).
I had to see and understand the belief systems that I had gathered along the way, the beliefs that were the foundation of who I was. I had to ask myself the question:
“Do these belief systems still serve me?”
“Is the self I am the real me?”
On reflection I found out that many of these beliefs no longer served me and that I would be better off without them.
Realisation 3 - I could set myself free from outdated beliefs that no longer served me.
Peace - I discovered - was on the other side of the monkey mind of dysfunction and inner turmoil. I had to go into and understand the lack of harmony I carried within, in order to allow the true harmony of my being to surface.
Realisation 4 - The harmony and peace I yearned for was already there within me.
Realisation 5 - Meditation is the key to going within
I read a book called “The Hidden Door” and realised that the way within was to travel beyond this inner door. I began to search for that door. Perhaps what I was searching for was on the other side of that door?
Realisation 6 - The only way that I could find the doorway within was to pause the mind chatter.
Realisation 7 - In order to stop the mind chatter, I had to find my way to the silence.
Realisation 8 - Once in I was in the silence the hidden door would open and the peace I longed was for revealed.
As is typically the case for most of us, it was a long process of discovery to find these truths and realisations. By sharing them with others, I hope to help you find your own door within and your own inner piece (peace).