ONCE THERE WAS a remote little village. The people in this village were very simple. One day, a tourist arrived. The next morning, he took out his mirror and put it up on a wall so he could shave. He cleaned up and shaved, but he forgot to take the mirror off the wall before he traveled on.
An elderly villager with gray hair, bright eyes, and a beautiful shining face saw the mirror on the wall and looked into it. He had never seen a reflection of himself, so when he saw the face in the mirror, he was mesmerized, and he said to himself, "Today, I have seen the face of God." He left - completely happy: "I have seen God."
Then a young girl came along. When she saw herself in the mirror, she was taken aback. "I have seen the most beautiful woman on the face of this earth. When I grow up, this is what I want to look like!"
And then came along a man who had lost his father not too long before. He looked in the mirror and said, "Oh, my God! I have seen my father again."
Now, the three people who had seen themselves in the mirror started to get very upset. The older man wanted the mirror, because this is where he had seen the face of his god. The young girl wanted the mirror, because this is what she wanted to look like. And the third man wanted the mirror, because in it he had seen his father again.
They started arguing, and before long, fights were breaking out all over the village. Everybody was unhappy, because whoever went to the room and looked in the mirror on the wall- whatever they saw, they liked, and they all wanted the mirror for themselves.
Finally, a wise man happened to come by. When he saw what was going on in the village, he asked, "Why are you all fighting?"
Different people answered: "I want this thing because this is my god," or "This is who I want to be," or "This is my father," or "This is my this; this is my that."
So he asked for the magical thing to be taken down from the wall and brought to him. He looked at it and said, "Don't you know what this is? This is a mirror."
He called the old man, and he said, "You did not see the face of God. You saw yourself."
He called the young girl, and he said, "You did not see the most beautiful woman. You saw yourself."
He called the third man, and he said, "You did not see your father; you saw yourself. You look like your father, and that's why you thought you saw him, but it was you."
One by one, he called everyone and said, "What you see in this mirror, what you like in this mirror, is not the mirror. It's you!"
Now, how does this story relate to peace? You see, peace begins with each one of us. We have forgotten our own self, our own need. We like to talk about food, and we have become very good at it, but does that mean that we don't need to eat anymore? No. You can talk about food all day long. No problem. But sooner or later you've got to eat. This is my little bit of wisdom for you. Hunger does not look at anything else; it looks at being satisfied. And the hunger for peace comes from within you. It is not an intellectual idea.
Peace is the desire of the heart. Your heart. And it is as simple as the coming and going of the breath. Breath. This is how the movie of life begins. And how does the movie end?
Just recently, somebody's father passed away, and this person said to me, "We were all waiting till he had taken his last breath." Once again - breath. I know we're fascinated by the in-between part. This is what we live for, this is why we exist. That's all fine. I'm not criticizing that. But you should never, ever forget the importance of where your life began. And where it will end.