the chase for the elusive inner peace

my hairstylist asked me a question yesterday after telling me he planned on buying himself a rolex timepiece.

“what do you desire?”

well, i thought about it for a moment before saying “inner peace”. he was stumped by my answer and replied “do you not desire for luxury timepieces, clothes, handbags? a luxury handbag is of importance to a woman! what about properties and cars?” i went on to explain the reasons behind my desire for inner peace. unconvinced, he said “you can still have a prada and inner peace!”

do i desire for luxury goods? at the moment – no. i have not seen any luxury item that made my heart skipped – skipped to the extent of saving up for the item or drowning in depths of longings and lust. additionally, i know i’m not financially strong enough to buy a luxury item and not feel the pinch. to me, true luxury is being able to fork out $3,000 on a bag and fully appreciating the work and the vision that went into making that particular luxury item. truly luxury is knowing that i can easily spend that money on my parents or a charity without blinking an eye. i have no means to spend like this right now so i do not desire it.

to that, mavis commented “the whole point of desiring is because you can’t have it at the moment, right?”

yes but the definition of desire is :-


Noun: A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.

it just seem absurd to strongly wish for a handbag. the last time i had such strong feelings for a material item was when i went on and on like a broken record about how i wanted a macbook but still…i didn’t conscientiously save to buy a macbook. despite going on and on about it, half a decade passed me by before i eventually got it. the purchase was driven mostly by the demise of my hp mini. frankly speaking, macbook is not in the same league as luxury items – you can actually use this machine to do many things!

having said that, there’s nothing wrong with desiring for peace or prada. different strokes for different folks right? perhaps, i’m not desiring for luxuries because i know i’ll have it if i eventually want it and people are not desiring for inner peace because they already have it.

the question and his response stayed with me long after the hair cut was over. perhaps, a part of me find it hard to believe that inner peace is my only desire. ha.ha. i then realised i do have another desire and that is to travel the world. for some unknown reason, traveling and inner peace equates to freedom and there is nothing i long for more than being truly free.

so it was especially amusing and heartening for me to learn that “inner peace” is one of the underlying theme in the kung fu panda 2 movie. mavis chuckled and nudged me because i was sharing with her about the conversation i had with my hairstylist before we stepped into the theatre.

one can do wonders when one possessed inner peace. like po in the movie, he took all that negativity and turned it into something else. that reminds me of something i learned about buddha yesterday – thich nhat hanh shared in his book “creating true peace” that there is a famous picture of demons shooting arrows at buddha and how the buddha turned all that arrows into flowers.

that, to me, is beyond awesome.

inner peace is something i’ve been desiring for years. after years of mindless chasing, i feel like i am finally a little closer to grasping it but until i am like po, i shall never stop chasing after it.


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