Anxious for Rest

December 7, 2016

Personal Growth

The Zen master, Adyashanti, tells of a man who runs up to a wise man and asks him—while jogging in place—“Where do I run, to find rest? Quick, tell me.”

The wise man says, “If you just stop for a moment, you will find rest. Rest will be right there.”

Incapable of hearing this, the man says, “No, you don't understand. Tell me which way to run so I can find rest.”

The wise man then says, “In that case, keep on running. Run as fast as you can. It's up around that corner, and then another corner, but hurry up, or someone else might get there first.”

Sometimes we just have to wear ourselves out, and the faster we do it, the quicker we get where we want. The right answer is sometimes too simple for us.

I have watched so many people do some version of running to find rest. They want happiness, so they search the world for it. They want inner peace. Ironically, they are anxious—fearful and frantic—to find it. But all their anxious searching yields them only more fear, frustration, and exhaustion.

We can’t find peace with fear. We can’t find love with effort or money. We can’t find happiness by “looking hard” for it. It’s all right in front of us. The simple laws that govern love and happiness can be learned by anyone, but they require rigorous honesty and a thorough trust—to the point of utter vulnerability—that is incomprehensible to most of us.

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