The mouth retrainer snapped in place. A piece of clear plastic covered the roof of my mouth. A wire, bent in various places, surrounded the outside of my upper teeth.
“Pleeth essplain to me again – what ith thith going to do?”
The dentist said, “The retrainer will not allow your mouth to close inappropriately. Your teeth cannot come together. Your jaw muscles are being retrained. Once you feel more comfortable having, rather than not having, the retrainer, we’ll know you are ready for the next phase.”
“What will be the nest phaze?”
“That’s the plan I’m working on. We have to decide what you want to do so your teeth stop breaking. Your bite is badly off kilter and that is what we are correcting.”
“Ath long ath I can continue to eat saladzz, raw veggeez, nut-th and popcorn.”
“Certainly,” he said and rushed off to determine how to disturb my bank balance.
One week has passed. I already like having the retrainer in place. When I’m eating, it goes for a good soak and my mouth feels like a teenager, at once free, but unsure of itself. In a matter of minutes, my muscles are uncomfortable and ache deeply.
As I study my spiritual material, a transformation happens. The concepts are so simple they creep into nooks and crannies without my attention. It’s all about going inside – the only place where peace resides. It’s about seeing how little peace I feel.
- I want a computer. Actually, I want peace.
- I want clean windows. Actually, I want fulfillment.
- I want to visit my family. Actually, I want love.
- I want to post a blog today. Actually, I want fulfillment.
- I want to stop being bossy. Actually, I want acceptance and love.
- I want to live from my heart. Actually, I want peace.
My teacher tells me that all the wants I can name actually come down to craving peace. He assures me that I will discover the knowledge that gives me the gift of peace. He claims I will be overwhelmed by one breath, by its magnificence and its power. Apparently I will not place my attention on one breath without an indefinable wash of gratitude.
His face glows when he makes these claims.
The cost of this gift? It’s free. There is no charge for his teachings. When asked why he never charges the 100s of thousands of people he has addressed, his answer is, “How would I know what to charge for one breath?” He chuckles at his own joke.
“But don’t be mistaken by thinking this is cheap or has no value. The truth is, you could not afford what it is worth.”
This teacher was invited to assist the politicians who dealt with the crisis over the European Common Market. Politicians, religious leaders and countless others have said, “I’ve been looking for this my whole life.” He’s quick to remind that it’s not him we’re looking for – it’s knowledge about how to find peace. If we idolize him, we’ve slipped back into the trap of looking for peace outside ourselves.
He teaches that everyone is looking for peace. The lucky ones wake up and discover their thirst for it. Peace that passes all understanding waits to be claimed from beneath layers of denial, consumerism, egoism, analysis, intellectualism…
Words don’t feed the process, but they bring the knowledge that fuels the experience. With experience, we feel. In feeling, we have a hope of knowing peace.
We need to know who we are to feel the desire for peace, love and a sense of fulfillment. It means stepping into “now” and knowing eternity.
Knowledge, like the retrainer, picks up my stride with life. It nudges me to remember to feel. The awkwardness gives way to solid support.
I can eat the food I love without the retrainer. I can live the life I love without knowledge. I can manage fine for a while, but pretty soon I cannot ignore the ache. Actually, I want peace.