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How can we find true peace?


How can we find true peace?[1] 

 

 
Ven. Assist. Prof. Phramaha Hansa Dhammahaso, Ph.D.
Assistant to the Rector for Academic Affairs
Director of Office of International Association of Buddhist Universities



      What I wish to do now in this paper is to open this discussion with an important question for present world: How can we find the “true peace”?.  In order to answer this question, I will begin by defining the expression “true peace”, because it is a key term in this discussion.

      According to the Webster dictionary, conflict means “freedom from war”, which is “to stay without war”[2]. Moreover, Leo Tolstoy, who was expert in the way of ‘non-violence’, points out that “arising from peace is the appear of war”[3].

      Regarding the above saying, both of them are very similar to our concept of the definition of peace. This means “without war or violence, peace will occur”. In other words, following their idea, if we depart from war, we absolutely become peaceful.

       In the Buddhist perspective, “peace” means “not only when human beings and societies have problems with each other, they do not solve problems by using violence, such as war, beating, killing and so on, but they also have loving-kindness  and compassion with other people in the world.

       In fact, one might define peace as follows: there is a slightly different thing between the western scholars and Buddhism. The former attempts to focus on external peace; whereas the latter is aware of both external and internal peace.

       Turning now to a consideration of the meaning of “true peace” discussed above, I see evidence that the Buddha or his followers, at  least down to the modern time, have been greatly concerned with the question of “how we can find true peace”.

       Of all the religions in the world, the Buddhism is one of the religion based on “peace”[4]. There is at least one dimension how we can find true peace. One of these is to do meditation. From this, there are two significant reasons why meditation is a very important thing for seeking “true peace”.

        Firstly, when our mind focuses or concentrates on breathing in and out all the time, we will be in the present moment which means we  will be aware and understand everything as it is[5].

        Secondly, our mind is aware of one thing at one time continuously. After a short time, we will seek the true happiness that is hidden in our mind. Generally, whenever our mind is calm and peaceful, we will find true happiness. In other words, true peace and happiness are exactly the same. We could also use the term ‘Niravana’[6]. ‘Niravana’ is true peace and happiness.

        From this, we can explain that “true peace will arise from doing meditation. In other words, meditation will make our mind calm and peaceful. So, we cannot seek true peace outside our mind, but we have to find it in our mind by doing meditation.

        Let me conclude by stressing some of the methods how we can use to find the true peace. From a Buddhist perspective, the way leading to “true peace” is to do meditation.

        In my opinion, it is not difficult to seek true peace, because it stays in our mind. We do not have to spend more time looking for it elsewhere. Therefore, in order to achieve it more effectively, we should start to do meditation right now, otherwise, we might wait for it another hour, week, month, year or so on.

         As we all know, we might die at any minute. We absolutely never know when we will pass away. Therefore, the most important thing we should do right now is to be aware every minute while we are breathing in and out. In fact, we might say that whenever we forget our breathing, unfortunately, we are living like somebody who is going to die any minute.

 


[1] Dr.Phramaha Hansa Dhammahaso, The Assistant to the Rector  for Academic Affairs of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University.

[2] “Webster’  New College Dictionary Boston, (New York:  Houghton muffin company, 1995),  p. 808.

[3] Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace in 21 century, (Bangkok: Nanmee book, 2,000), p. 252-256.

[4] United Nation announce Buddhism as “religion of peace” in 1998.

[5] Tich Nath Hanh, Waking: the way of mindfulness, (Bangkok: Rurnkeaw, 2543), p.4.

[6] Bhikkhu Nanaponika, The heart of meditation, (Bangkok: Siam, 2538), p.23.

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