If it so happens that while we’re trying to maintain that sense of ease in the heart, disturbances come in to interfere, making the mind distracted and restless, we should remember that we don’t have to look for that lost sense of ease anywhere else. Remember: wherever there’s restlessness is where there is stillness. We have to be alert to the preoccupations that have put the mind out of shape. We don’t want them, so we shouldn’t pay them any attention. We should try to remember the good preoccupations that have given us a sense of peace and calm in the past. When we can put the mind at ease in this way, the things disturbing that ease will disappear right there, right where the bad preoccupation was.
This is like darkness: no matter how long the darkness has reigned, when we realize that it’s darkness and that we want light, we don’t have to look anywhere else. If we have a lantern, then as soon as we’ve lit it, light will appear right where there was darkness before. We don’t have to look anywhere else. The darkness will disappear right there where there’s light. In the same way, when the mind isn’t at peace, we don’t have to look for peace anywhere else. Restlessness comes from an unskillful preoccupation; peace, from a skillful preoccupation right in the same place.
This reflection from Ajaan Suwat Suvaco is from Fistful of Sand, p. 9.