Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Seeking appears to be central to the human condition. At our core, we aspire to be at peace with ourselves, with others, to attain contentment. Like a compass, this search for contentment drives our lives and our behaviors. It fuels religious fervor; the burgeoning self-help industry; workaholism; the legal and the illicit drug industries; it funds tens of thousands of yoga retreats annually and over 30,000 new users of meditation apps per day in the United States alone. As we move through our days yearning for contentment, we experience stress, anxiety, frustration, shame, physical discomfort. We accept these as an inevitable part of life. Maneuvering through these obstacles, we constantly look for inner peace; we look for it outside of ourselves, convinced that eventually—with perseverance and some good luck—we will find the practice, or the community, or the philosophy which will open the door to our contentment. Then, we will feel fearless, healthy, safe, and fulfilled.
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