134. For some people the search for peace of mind is a powerful motivating force for taking up and persevering in the practice of Zen. But what constitutes peace of mind? Is it a case of not being unduly upset or disturbed by whatever happens to us or around us? Does Zen help in the attainment of such a state of mind? And if it does, is this a realistic or reasonable way of being in a word marked by so much conflict, tragedy and suffering? Here we might recall that Gautama Shakyamuni was impelled to leave home and embark on the life of an ascetic by his encounter with various forms of suffering. The encounters robbed him of his peace of mind and gave rise to some deep questioning on his part.