There is no peace when the mind is not at rest.
This restless mind is indeed a source of great suffering. Our mind is at all times craving for satisfaction from external objects: beautiful sights, music, luxurious commodities, profits, fame and power. Why should it be so? Because we seek contentment.
If we live without food and clothing, we will need to obtain money in order to solve the problem of livelihood. But once we have enough food and clothing, we will still be dissatisfied. This time we will seek for food and clothing of better quality. We will want stylish sedans to drive, and a magnificent mansion to live in. When we have all these, we will still remain dissatisfied. The human mind is just like that, forever seeking, never contented. It runs like a galloping horse, no sooner than its rear feet touch the ground, its fore feet are already in the air. Never will its four feet land at the same time.
A discontented mind always feels that the other person has all the advantages. Actually, it is not so. Scholars are discontent because they always seek more knowledge. Even kings who possess unlimited authority are not satisfied and they too have inexpressible sufferings of their own. If we do not find contentment, we will never have peace and happiness. Thus we say, “We have to be content in order to have peace and happiness.” Yet the fact remains that the human mind can never be content. So how can there be peace and happiness? Religions in general try to give people comfort and make them content. Giving comfort may also be considered a common denominator of most religions. Some religions preach salvation through faith and say that salvation will naturally bring contentment and peace of mind. However, they can be seen to treat adults like children That is, they will give “toys” to the children if the latter obey their guidance and refrain from crying. In fact the problem remains unsolved, because a discontent mind cannot be satisfied by external gifts.
Buddhism shows us the significance of birth and death, and what we gain by keeping ourselves busy in our whole life. Buddhism also shows us the benefits of performing good deeds, and how to gain inner peace and satisfaction. We must investigate life from these points of view before we can grasp the core of Buddha-dharma. Only then can we acquire true peace and happiness.