As paradoxical as it seems, the reason most of us find no lasting peace in life is because our mind is forever trying to find something outside itself in which it can rest. This condition is not unlike the little fish that, unhappy with just swimming around, went in search of water -- its hope being that if it could find what it was looking for then it would also find what was missing from its life. This story helps us to see what our present level of mind cannot perceive:
We already live in the deep, silent, and restful "waters" of the present moment, and yet... we don't know its abiding fulfillment. We can't find the unlimited freedom for which we search because each time the divided mind tells us where to look for it we become, in that instant, a captive of thought, a virtual prisoner of promise.
True peace doesn't exist outside of the "now" from out of which it is always unfolding. Our spiritual challenge -- the "problem" before us -- is that the true present moment cannot be known by thought because "now" is not an idea. It is a living presence that cannot be grasped any more than sunlight can be bottled. Nothing exists outside of the present moment to hold it, let alone possess the feeling of its inexpressible power.
You may be wondering, "If I don't take action to fulfill myself, to end this sense of emptiness, what will become of me? There must be something I can do to realize the wholeness for which my heart longs?"
The answer to these questions is, "Yes, there is a way," but the true power of peace is not found in a "place" of any kind, which is why it always eludes our search for it. If we are ever to attain the fulfillment of ourselves, with its attending freedom, then we need to see for ourselves what is unthinkable to our present level of mind: self-wholeness appears by itself within us once we stop searching for it.