I’m writing this from Beijing. Just 2 days ago, I was climbing the Great Wall of China. And days before that, I was at the Forbidden City with thousands of other tourists marveling at the architecture. Though despite these precious experiences, I still found myself giving energy to made-up worries. Worries for work that hasn’t yet started, things I said and things I wanted to do.
The strange thing is that this stress felt like home. I was able to recognize myself through the stress. This led me to a fascinating thought — wherever you go, there you are. There are no shortcuts to finding inner peace. It requires hours upon hours of mental training.
I was on the Great Wall with a blue sky above my head, green mountain tops layered in a panorama around me and ancient stones beneath my feet. It was the most beautiful and serene place I’ve ever been in my life. Yet instead of taking in the beauty of the moment, my eye were glued to my Nikon’s viewfinder. I was trying to immortalize what my two eyes were seeing.
Thankfully I was able to let the urge to capture pass over me like clouds in the sky and redistribute my energy to the marvels around me. This is an image I learned from my recent meditation practice and it’s been a powerful tool for helping me re-orient my focus.
This experience has helped me realize that:
- Sometimes vacations can do more harm than good because they can be used as tools for repression
- Meditation provides practical tools for cultivating inner peace