We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Friday, May 3, 2013


“Blue Ocean,” Tadashi Ikai, 2005
Courtesy Asian-Pacific Heritage Month
Unrest is a two-edged sword.  It squirms deep within our spirit.  It shines bright in our curiosity, in our restlessly creative hands, in our deepest desires to know and grow and stretch ourselves beyond where we are.  It can be a beautiful thing, the well-spring of great music, profound poetry, and magical art.

But unrest can be as destructive as it can be creative.  It hurries us past any hope of peace.  It simply cannot stop to listen, to see, or to feel those moments of beauty and love that are built into each of our days.  Unrest is angry, bedeviled, tense, touchy, patronizing and prejudiced, unreasonable, and lives in fear.  It lives in fear of coming to rest.  It goes into the quiet forests of our lives with a shotgun to bring down what lives there.  It pumps trash and filth into the beautiful lakes and quiet shores of our hearts.  It fills our streets with the roar of polluting machinery simply because we cannot come to rest, be still.

So, the most important task we face personally and as a race is to come to rest creatively, to balance the quiet of peace with the squirming source of our growth.  We don't need to "be at peace" so much as to find a way for rest and unrest to live in harmony in our souls.  Restless we must be—but quietly so.