For two seasons I lived in the bush of Zambia. Something I dreamt of for a long time. Something I welcomed with open arms. Every day I had the time, the peace and the space to reflect on myself. Every day I meditated. Every day I wrote.
Once I found the peace, it stayed there for long periods of time. Few distractions were there to steer me away from that peace.
With the quiet and simple lifestyle in the bush it is easy to come to yourself and let all your worries dissolve. It was when I came back to the city that the harmony would quickly disappear.
Now I live in the city. A busy, filthy -but fun!- city. Whenever I feel stressed I feel like running away. Running back to the bush. I daydream of a quiet mountaintop, where I live a simple life, away from all the hussle and bussle. Unfortunately we haven’t discovered teleportation yet, so for now that is not an option.
Over the years I have come to see that mountaintop as a lame excuse. Anybody will find peace relatively easily when meditating on a mountaintop on a daily basis. The real challenge lies in staying at peace, where ever you are and no matter the external circumstances.But that is not where we live. We live here, in the busy-ness of everyday life. Work, traffic, people, lights all here to potentially distract us.
Moving to the city was a choice. No running of to the bush for some quiet time. What made the bush so uniquely harmonious? I tried to replicate the environment around me. What I found is that peace is always here. Always accessible. All I have to do is pay attention to my breath. Soon the quiet returns, sounds fade away to the background, problems evaporate, stress disappears.
That mountaintop, afterall, does not really exist. It is only a place in your mind. A sacred place that you can go to whenever you want.