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Inner Peace There is no surprise like the surprise of Inner Peace: it's as startling as a moonbeam visible at high noon. How it operates is beyond me: I only know it is reliable if I am reliable -- if I remember to stop and call to it when the trees are upside down and the birds have quit singing.

Inner Peace is reliable and it is spiritual food: yet there's nothing routine about it, ever.

Time after time I have paused to call on Inner Peace when I had no idea what shape It would take and what It might say when It got there. Inner Peace has, in fact, no standard answers -- have you noticed that? It is as unpredictable as jumping beans. All we can observe is that when we do open the door to invite it in -- it is always right on the money, always perfect in its reponse.

I remember a particular day when everything in life seemed to be going awry. Somehow I had tumbled deep into a pool of disorder. To say it another way, I found myself looking at things as they seemed and no further. How they seemed was chaotic.

So it went along in this manner for a while, me walking on slippery ground, until out of nowhere I suddenly felt an impulse towards sanity.

The impulse settled on me like a friendly hand, straightening my windblown cap with a quick tap. Following that tap, I spend an entire day meditating on Order, on Peace. I made it my day's work. Putting everything human, everything me aside, I simply called to Inner Peace. And called to It. And called to It. And what happened during that day? Nothing.


By the next morning, all the world seemed slower and softer and less dangerous. Mysteriously, I began cleaning out closets and neatening the house. Something heavy had lifted out of my awareness. And in its place, there it was: a subtle but tangible No-Thing with its own faint fragrance and a distinct hum: Inner Peace.

No, I don't know how it does that, but it does. It floats into our presence like a surprise summer mist. Moistening the dry spots, Calming the tides. Combing the tangles. Feeding the hungers.

I've seen it come a thousand and one times, and still it is a mystery. It probably always will be. All I know is, without it, I'm nothing.

� Elsa Joy Bailey
Elsa Joy - A Chapel Without Walls