People are looking for some grand, sweeping epiphany. They want trumpets and clouds and at least a moment of glory. But that’s not what enlightenment looks like. It’s not pomp and circumstance. It’s not an ultimate. It’s not a peak. It’s not a summit or an achievement, nor is it exciting. True enlightenment is to move through life with your awareness open to, and watching for, your own simple, flowing good-fortune. It is not a giant moment, it is a collection of tiny, simple moments. As Eve Ensler says, “Love is this simple gathering of daily kindnesses that add up to an amazing life.”
Stop wishing to be struck by enlightenment and instead invest your day in the way that will actually make a material difference to your life. You can sit on the bus or train or in your car and notice everything about everyone that you do not like. Or you can do exactly the opposite. One leads to the agony of ego and the other leads to the peace of wisdom and understanding.
Stop using your psychological energy to judge others with your thoughts. Stop using that energy to create criticisms and judgments of yourself as well. As often as possible avoid using your life force energy for anything negative. Negative things generally feel bad, so that’s how you can quickly identify them. Then as soon as you are able, shift your thinking to something of a higher frequency. Empty the teacup of your mind of the rotten tea, and leave yourself empty so that you can pour in positive experiences.
Surrender wanting things a certain way. Start to open up to the excitement of anticipation rather than the disappointment of expectation. Stop wanting specific things to make you happy and start instead looking for other gifts. I remember I was once disappointed that I got a book for Christmas when my brother got a new high-tech plastic hockey stick blade. As it turned out that book lead directly to a lifelong love of reading for which I am eternally grateful. So my expectation of getting something “as good as my brother’s” actually caused me to snub one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Bottom line, we should stop being so sure that we know what will make us happy and instead we should just watch the mystery of life unfolding in front of us and we should jump in whenever we feel the natural impulse.
Can you see how much easier it is than trying to impress everyone? You don’t have to be thinner, or prettier or stronger or tougher or a better dancer or fighter or skier or mathematician. You can just be you. And then you can just start watching for the almost constant awesomeness that the universe delivers to anyone who has their eyes and mind open.
Stop trying to make some big important spiritual achievement. Stop trying to be successful or spiritual, or Buddhist or Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Jew or Enlightened or or or. Just look right in front of you, in the moment that you are in, and keep your eye out for what you like. Far more often than not the world will greatly exceed any expectations you might have had with your limited imagination. Trust the universe. It may be mysterious, but that’s where all it’s awesomeness comes from, so just run with it.
Create a great day for yourself by keeping your eyes, mind and heart open. You can start right now. Start collecting the sort of experiences that will add up to a truly great day and that is precisely what you will have. Enjoy.
Much love, s
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.