I have been thinking a great deal about inner peace since encountering Roshi Joan Halifax in Santa Fe. She radiates an extraordinary sense of peacefulness. I have been pondering why this should be so.
The more I sit with it, the more I begin to think that inner peace is not something we can aim for. I may be wrong, but I suspect it is the byproduct of interior freedom.
The obvious question then to ask is where are the places where I am not yet free? And as I sit with that question I am almost immediately struck by the realisation that examining my fears and insecurities will lead me in the right direction. Not because I can root them out, but rather because it gives me ideas of where to actively begin to commit to developing new habits.
Any fears and insecurities I have really have to do with the ways in which I think I am perceived by others. So actively beginning to combat some of the behaviours which are about living up to an idealised version of myself seems a good place to start. This means operating out of a space of greater transparency.
There are a couple of small simple behaviours which I have identified as being important in presenting myself as more authentic. Authenticity is not simply being aware of my own thoughts. It requires that I do not hide that inner world. (Note: that not hiding is subtly different from actively revealing!). But if my silence is interpreted in a way in which I know is not true to the position that I hold, then I must speak up.
I hope that I am taking the right steps towards interior freedom. Regardless of the outcome, the experiment seems worthwhile.