Like Life, Enlightenment is a journey rather than the destination.
Do I consider myself an enlightened being? Yes….in certain areas and ways of life, I get it…I have experienced true enlightenment. In other areas, I still don’t quite get it…my journey of enlightenment is not complete. If it were, I would definitely handle some things way better than I do after all of these years.
So I journey on, staying open and receptive to higher learning, higher understanding, deeper wisdom, love, and compassion. I am learning to let the journey be its own fulfillment. To think I have “arrived” is to set myself up for disappointment and a sense of futility. That does not sound like fun to me!
May your journey, and mine, be gentle today. Peace.
Good morning! Here I am with another quote from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, The Art of Communication. The title of this blog is also the title of one section…though I added the question mark. The chapter answers my question of course and the passage below is a beautiful summary of his teaching.
Please breathe this in and be willing to sit with what he is saying. What we breathe into and embrace diminishes our resistance and makes life easier, more gentle and loving.
We all should learn to embrace our own suffering, to listen to it deeply, and to have a deep look into its nature. In doing so, we allow the energy of love and compassion to be born. When the energy of compassion is born, right away we suffer less, when we have compassion for ourselves, we can more easily understand the suffering of another person and of the world. Then our communication with others will be based on the desire to understand rather than the desire to prove ourselves right or make ourselves feel better.
I also believe that this level of understanding allows me to support others as they deal with their suffering. That support may at times be material but, most of the time, it is most powerful if I support another in their journey of embracing and understanding their suffering so that they develop compassion for themselves. This allows them to expand more fully into True Self, transcending definitions and expectations of what life “should” be.
Be blessed today, dear hearts, for you are loved.
Each morning I take a few moments to write down an intention for the day. I record my daily intention in a small notebook. Flipping through it from time to time brings me to a place of gratitude and peace.
An intention opens the mind and heart; it sets the tone for my day.
This is my intention today:
I live from the Truth of Who I Am…a spiritual being currently having a human experience.
I love this one and set it often:
I live from the Peace of my Soul.
What is your intention today?
Are you content with the state of your life, your family, your world, our world? If not, I invite you to think on these things:
What am I doing to enhance peace in my own heart and mind?
What am I doing to create peace within my family? Am I expressing love and understanding? Am I owning my “stuff” rather than behaving defensively?
Do I contribute to peace in my world (family, friends, work, church)?
What am I doing to find peace with those around me who may look, feel, think differently than I do.
I was thinking about the Golden Rule the other day. When I was growing up, all of us, no matter what church we attended, were taught this simple truth:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
As I walked and thought about this, I realized that this is something worth exploring. It feels powerful to me to evaluate what I am experiencing in light of what I am thinking and doing rather than focusing on what someone else is not doing or might be thinking.
If I want anything in life to be better, the best first step is to look at my part in the situation or relationship. Am I honestly doing my part? Am I showing up? Am I?
It’s OK to be OK, even when life is a challenge, even when life hurts…
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. (Thick Nhat Hanh)
Life is what it is … most often it is people who confuse and perplex me. I can become hurt and angry, hopping mad we used to call it, so I get it. Meanness is something uniquely human and, though I see it and I know it exists, it is something I do not relate to on a personal level.
Currently I am reading Gandhi’s autobiography and the quote below resonates so deeply within my being that I want to share it this morning. Having been on the receiving end of people elevating themselves by demeaning me, I learned at a very young age what it feels like. It is a behavior that mystifies me. The things I have experienced cannot compare to the suffering of those who are treated as “less than” simply because they exist.
May our hearts and minds be open to our own attitudes and behaviors with regard to those we are angry with, those who have hurt us, those we do not understand or agree with, those simply different than us. May we be a force of love, peace, and compassion in a world torn by the differences of its people. May we find ways, no matter how small, to bridge the gaps of misunderstanding so that our differences create a collage of peace rather than a map for turmoil and war. May we spend our energy, time, and money supporting the ways and means that inspire and support us in creating a world that respects and honors its own diversity.
“It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings.”
Excerpt From: M. K. Gandhi & Mahadev Desai. “An Autobiography.” The Floating Press. iBooks.
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This comment was made by Charles Dickens. Wouldn’t he be stunned by the way we communicate today! His comment more meaningful now than it was when he made it:
Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.
The only thing I would add to his thought is that this is even more true when there is the need to resolve misunderstanding or conflict. Text message cannot communicate the tone of your voice or the feelings on your face and in your eyes.
Enough said. Blessings of love and light, dear hearts.