April 16, 2017
Mindfulness is the topic du jour, and it doesn’t look like it’s going out of style any time soon.
You can’t turn around without hearing a word or phrase related to it — meditation, acceptance, letting go, enlightenment…
In some ways each term has been endowed with mythical characteristics, but enlightenment may take the cake for being the most difficult to pin down and rife with misconceptions.
I’m not going to give you a definition of enlightenment although below I’ll present one person’s perspective. What I will offer are ideas for you to consider if you’re exploring a path of mindfulness and have enlightenment as a goal.
If you find yourself intrigued, I’ve met my goal. Because enlightenment can’t be ‘logicked’ or intellectualized or explained. From what I understand, it is an experience. Hoping this will kick-start an exploration or be a boot in the pants if you find yourself stalled.
#1 Drop your idea of enlightenment
If you’ve experienced it, great. If not, you’re in for an exciting adventure discovering that it’s not what you thought it was.
#2 Forget about arriving
If you think you’ve arrived, you haven’t. Notice the next time someone pisses you off. It becomes clear that not only have you not arrived, you have only just begun.
#3 Make friends with ambiguity
See # 2 above. We want black and white. The further along the path you go the blurrier the edges around black and white will become.
#4 Lighten up!
The road can be joyful and daunting. Meet all the stages with equal measures of interest, openness, willingness and curiosity and you’ll make the trip a lot more satisfying.
#5 Make the term ‘I don’t know” your new best friend
If you think you know, it’s over. I’ve wondered if having the ability to embrace ‘I don’t know’ may be the most straightforward pathway to real enlightenment..
Pema Chodron says, “enlightenment is a direct experience with reality.” If you’re interested here is one of her perspectives on enlightenment.
Full disclosure. I have not arrived. I am not enlightened. I’m tremendously enjoying the experience of exploring it. I hope I’ve peaked your interest.