Calm is one of the most precious treasures for our mental balance but also one of the most elusive, especially in a society that advocates immediacy and where hyperstimulation reigns.
Calm is a state of tranquility and serenity. It doesn’t imply that problems have disappeared but that they don’ affect us, they are simply like clouds on the horizon: we know they exist but we’re also aware that sooner or later they will disappear.
Calm allows us to respond with equanimity to provocations and helps us maintain control in the midst of the storm, so we can make the best decisions possible and learn to respond instead of just reacting.
Therefore, it’s not strange that calm plays a leading role in Buddhism. This philosophical proposal doesn’t refer only to environmental calm but fundamentally to mental calmness. It refers to quieting the mind, so that emotions and thoughts don’t unleash inner storms.
Our mind is not fixed, it’s rather a process in evolution; a mental stream. If mind would always remain on a thought, it would get stuck, frozen. Mind is always moving because it’s dynamic. The problem is that as thoughts pass through our minds, continuity is assured. That is why the uneducated mind continually jumps from one concern to another. That flow of negative thoughts doesn’t end, never.
These mental habits add us in a state of confusion and agitation far from calm. This habit is very, very strong. Our mind is restless and is one of our main impediments to achieve inner peace.
This “problem” is solved by training the mind in tranquility. This Dalai Lama ode to calm will help us give it the place it deserves in our life:
It’s called calm and cost me many storms.
It’s called calm and when it disappears … I go out for searching it again.
It’s called calm and teaches me to breathe, to think and rethink.
It’s called calm and when madness tempts it are unleashed brave winds difficult to dominate.
It’s called calm and it comes with the years when the ambition of youth, the loose tongue and the cold belly give place to more silences and wisdom.
It’s called calm when we learn to love, when selfishness gives place to giving and nonconformity fades to open heart and soul, surrendering completely, to whoever wants to receive and give.
It’s called calm when friendship is so sincere that all the masks fall down and everything can be told.
It is called calm and the world evades it, ignores it, inventing wars that nobody will ever win.
It’s called calm when the silence is enjoyed, when the noises are not only music and madness but the wind, the birds, the good company or the noise of the sea.
It’s called calm and with nothing can be paid, there is no coin of any color that can cover its value when it becomes a reality.
It’s called calm and it cost me a lot of storms and I would go through it a thousand times more until I found it again.
It’s called calm, I enjoy it, I respect it and I don’t want to let it go…