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.
You’ve been clever with your analogy, Amy. I love this post.
Thank you, Cin. That is a compliment coming from you!
I love…how would I know what to charge for one breath…that is wisdom. How lucky you have him! As for retainers..never had one…:)
I laugh every time he says that line, Chris, because it is the sweetest truth!
Hi Amy .. I hear you – peace with things working quietly in the background, we can be us .. no distractions, no thinking of the past, or the future .. just the now .. for us all I hope it arrives sooner rather than later .. with thoughts – Hilary
Yes, Hilary, to be fully us! To know what that is and to be it.
What a wonderfully insightful post, Amy. I had a retrainer of sorts as a child, so can relate a bit to how it feels, although I never thought to associate it with spirituality 🙂 Thank you for the reminder to be in the moment, aware of our underlying urges…and I love that pic of you and Sam!
You have beautiful teeth, Naomi – I remember in Africa. So the exercise paid off in spades for you. I have to hope this venture brings me to a solution that lets me smile freely again. It is not good for one’s soul to be self conscious about some aspect of our bodies!
It really must feel strange to have a foreign object in your mouth, I can understand how this would take a bit of getting used too, but as long as it all helps in the end that is what matters.
A lovely photo, looks like a day out with some fun as well.
After a while, it feels like it belongs, except when I have to speak to people. That photo is my play friend, Sam. She loves walking as much as me so we hike for miles some days. There’s ever an echo of laughter around us.
Isn’t it marvellous how even the smallest of things can give the most essential of insights?
I hope you keep enjoying the popcorn, and the nuts and salads — with or without the retrainer. For surely, you are trained, and your teeth will be too in no time.
Priya, many thanks. I will keep enjoying those foods. I just finished devouring a handful of almonds and soothing my mouth with a cool, soft, sweet banana. Aaaah life…full of such important decisions. 😀
Peace is what we are when we’re not too busy being something else.
The Buddhist’s would even advice that we not crave peace.
Amy, this is an absolutely wonderful and wise post. So glad you have placed it here for us.
Yes, Jamie, I’m familiar with the Buddhist advice, They teach about the downfall of any attachments, if I recall correctly. Do the Buddhists not gain peace by being loving and kind? As you say, it’s that they don’t want to desire it – which is what Prem says we need to do in order to find it within ourselves. Interesting…
wise, wise words. Peace – the ‘final’ blessing of life, according to the Mennonites. Peace comes from within and nothing on the outside can bring it to us. We go within, where all wisdom and divinity lies, and find that peace we all long for.
walk in beauty.
You’ve got it, Joss. Many thanks!
I loved this post, I have spent a lot of evenings listening to Prem Rawat. We will all get there one day.
Speaking of that, Dee, I have another lesson to do tonight before bed. It’s one of the highlights of my day.
As Jamie notes “this is an absolutely wonderful and wise post”…I couldn’t agreee more…it was a delight to read.
Thank you so much, Charles, nephew-of-Aunt-Bea!
When we get out of our own way, peace surfaces of its own accord.
Aah . . . that’s better. 😀
You make me laugh, Nancy! Hope the move didn’t hurt! 😀
What a great post! Love your analogy, although it made my jaw ache with rememberances past.
I don’t know eternity, but I love living for the moment. I’ve always done a reasonably good job of that, but it really gets easier after retirement.
“Peace is not the absence of war.” I love that.
Hello Rangewriter – good to meet you! Thank you for the visit and for leaving such a welcome comment. Just peeked at your new site and really liked what I saw. I really want to see what you do with all that furniture your are moving around. And what colour you plan to paint the walls. 🙂
I read this once and twice and could not shake the thought that kept running through my head, but maybe you can make sense of it with me. “Let it be” kept coming to mind. I finally took the time to click over and check out the lyrics, Amy. Many times when I have become troubled, I hum this tune…… I wonder (because I really like your message this post) if I was offered that thought just to tell you this comment that you have just “whispered words of wisdom”, because I believe you have.
Leslie, you humble me. Your contemplations jazz up my posts beyond any way I could imagine. Like your paintings, you are so willing to show how you got to where you are. Many thanks!
Never thought of using the retainer as a metaphor but it sure works. Of course, I ditched mine too soon and my teeth…well, you know what happens. Peace is so elusive it seems. We can’t even find it within our own country right now. :0(
Imagine if every person in power came from a base of genuine peace. Not for money or glory. Just for peace’s sake. It sounds too simple – people think it’s so simple that it’s silly.
Bless those Mennonites! Ironically, I had one remind me of that very thing this past week.
Because I forget. *sigh*
WHY I’d sign up to hand over my peace….beats the heck outta me.
Must be a human deal, huh?
I like that fella.
I like that he said what I needed to hear and that you put it out there for me to receive.
Blessings and PEACE to you.
Many thanks, Mel! Delighted to share his message.
‘I want a computer. Actually, I want peace.’
A very simple statement yet exactly true Amy. I like this post so much I Stumbled it. Another great title for this would be Computer or Peace?.
Thanks, Poch. I appreciate your very kind gesture. I’m feeling some peace as I write. My computer is acting like a teenager on hormones. I don’t remember it ever being this fast. Thank goodness for great technical help when I needed it!
What a timely message for me to read, Amy … I understand the analogy and appreciate the form in which it is delivered. Thank you for sharing ~~
I have had a “retainer” twice in my life … over 20 yrs later, i still have the wire behind my bottom teeth … refuse to let them remove it …
Blessings for being the vessel of delivery with timely, inspirational, gentle yet powerful posts filled with love ~~
Many thanks for your comment, Becca. I’m grinning over the wire behind your bottom teeth. All blessings are appreciated.
Your perfect post is the treatise of my life now. No matter what circumstances rise and fall around us, what is inside is where we must live, where we find peace. For every word, thank you.
Your domicile shows, Ruth, in your writing. It simply shows. It’s like your writing wears a perfume of peace.
What a delightful photo 😉
Great having the freedom to be young at heart. 🙂
I’m a firm believer nothing comes by accident and this post was spiritually delivered. Been browsing and I like what I see. I remember meeting you a long time ago but didn”t sign up for your blog which I will surely do now so as to not miss any.
Cause all I want is peace. Thank you.
It is surely a deep call from within all of us, I believe, Clarbojahn. Yes, I have swung by your site at different times over the past. And I will continue to do so. 🙂
In the heart of every human being is also want … well this was very wisely said! There is for sure, though sometimes instead of acknowledging this fact, we just pretend other wise and complicate life. If people could’ve been more direct and honest in their wants, I think it would’ve been easier when it comes to relationships.
Often, I’ve wondered, Blaga, if people may want something so badly that the thought of having it fulfilled frightens them. What if reality proved that the “want” was overrated? Then they are left with no want and no reality!
This is a beautiful post. We often seek peace outside of ourselves. For me, I think “how could I find peace within myself when I am full of anxiety, turmoil and wrong answers? How could peace reside in the same place?” Thank you for this message. So glad to find you on TRDC.