Peace only surfaces as a felt-experience when we stop manipulating our experience. When all manipulation behaviors cease there is space, openness, no end being aimed for - simply awareness riding the currents we call living. But the moment one muscle, thought, or emotion is manipulated - the experience tenses and all sense of peacefulness evaporates.
Ceasing manipulation does not mean no action unfolds. Action is still flowing freely as an expression of awareness, but as a listening, watching participation. Awareness loves to move. Awareness is curious. But when we manipulate it we are ‘moving awareness’, as opposed to ‘being moved by it’. We are deliberately moving it because we cannot be with where it already is. We are trying to steer it into something else - we have assumed another destination. We are living in the land of 'elsewhere'. Then there is no rest. There is only rest here, now, in this.
Manipulation is fighting awareness. Fighting awareness is exhausting - it is same as being at war with ourselves. Fighting awareness sickens us. Awareness has its own rhythm, its own way of getting things done, and its way cannot be understood or formularized. Awareness is peaceful when watched and listened to, and when followed without manipulation. Then there is still movement, motion, stillness, and activity. But this momentum is ‘a response to the innate curious intelligence of awareness’, not ‘an attempt to use thinking to control and dictate it’.
The challenge is being able to recognize awareness apart from the babbling of the mental body. Once we recognize awareness in a way we are able to allow it to move freely, an immediate felt-experience of peacefulness returns. This is because awareness is peaceful. Even in the midst of vast activity, awareness is peaceful, present, watching, listening, participating through curiosity, devotedly following the mysterious dance we call living.