Human beings’ quality of life is not based on how much they have but how much fear they must endure.

A simple peasant without a care in the world lives a far richer life than the king who fears the assassin’s dagger in the back at any moment.

It turns out that most of our fear is self created by a part of our brain called the default mode network. This is the part of our brain that fires up when we are not actively engaged.

This is the “daydreaming” state. It resembles the actual dream state in its deeper form but in its lighter form it is focused on things like status. It runs a sort of mental bio that says “this is who I am” but also “this is who I want to be”. The net result of this state is dissatisfaction and fear.

Siddhārtha Gautama, the Buddha was a brilliant man. He knew nothing of the workings of the brain but he did know the mind. He saw that to gain peace we first needed to master the mind. How? By developing a quality of the mind Buddhists call samatha, calm abiding. We start with clear focus on the breath. We do not let the default mode take over. We stay focused on the breath with the mind calm and one pointed concentration.

Learn this technique and you will learn peace.

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