Category Archives: Enlightenment

The Gift of Not Wanting

OK, I admit it, I love seeing my kids wake up Christmas morning to a pile of gifts under the Christmas tree.  This is especially true for my youngest this year, as it’s probably the last year that santa comes down the chimney.  Luckily for me, my girls are pretty simple and practical when it comes to their Christmas gift list.  Sure, there remain a few toys listed for the younger one but, in general, the list is filled with a few clothes items, pajamas, and maybe a couple of books.  Many times they have written things like “hugs and kisses”.   One of the cutest things on the letter to santa this year was, ‘please put something in mommy’s stocking this year’.  With all of this said, many times what I hear from them is, “You don’t need to get me anything mom.  I don’t need/want anything.”  What many people don’t realize from that statement, is that is a greater gift, for them, than any present under the tree could ever be.  The gift of not wanting and the freedom it brings with it.

Have you ever had the experience of  being perfectly content in the moment; completely at peace with everything just as it is?  No desire to change anything, not wanting anything to be different from the way it is?  What is missing during those moments of perfect contentment?  Part of the euphoria in getting something new, be it a television, a piece of jewelry, a new pair of pants, a new job etc., is that, for a short time afterwards, the wanting is gone.  The “want” is fulfilled.  This brings contentment.  Then, after a while, that fades and another want or desire takes its place.  Have you noticed?  Have you ever lost yourself in a movie and when the movie is over you feel great?  What happened during that time?  You lost yourself enough to stop putting demands on the moment.  For that time you were lost in the lives of the people on the screen, you didn’t want anything different for yourself.  Once those moments are over it’s usually not long before you are back to wanting to change things again.  I want an ice cream cone.  I must have that new shirt.  I want that lady over there to stop talking so loudly.  I want there to be no traffic on my drive home.  I want my husband to pay more attention to me.  I want my kids to be quiet.  I want a bigger house.  I want a new IPhone.  I want.  I want.  I want.  Heavy.  That’s how I feel when I even think about putting a demand on the moment.  It feels heavy, because it’s not freedom.  It’s a trap, and one most people find themselves in, many without even knowing it.

So, when my girls tell me that I don’t need to get them anything because there is nothing they need/want is a greater gift for them than any present ever could be.  To be free from constantly wanting something is just that, it’s free.  You are no longer bogged down or pulled along in life based on wants.  Day-to-day activities are not weighed down by wanting anything to be different than it is.  Wants may be fulfilled and bring you peace for a short time, but will ALWAYS be replaced by new wants….unless you stop.  It is possible to stop.  Be perfectly happy with everything just as it is.  When you do that, you will eventually see, that you will get more than you ever wanted because everything you need is simply provided, right here and now.

This morning (prompting today’s post), when a coworker asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I answered, “the gift to continue to not want anything”, I got one heck of a strange look.  She turned and began telling another girl how her husband had better get her the vacuum she saw over the weekend and new sheets for the bed or he was going to be in trouble.  Needless to say, I was smiling, she wore a frown.

This one’s for you Kate.  It’s not too late to ask for the gift of not wanting for Christmas.


It Could Be the Season of Truth – It’s up to you

A few quotes for today, to help promote that season.

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

John 8:32

“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.”

Lau Tzu ~ Tao Te Ching

“Enlightenment means waking up to what you truly are and then being that.”


“Do it.  Open your eyes.  The truth is right there.  You ARE it.  Everything is it.  It’s that simple.” 


Season of Truth

No Thought Needed

I’m currently in the process of selling my house.  We just had an offer on it this week, and it was a pretty good offer, given the state the housing market is in right now.  My realtor came over last night, very excited, with papers in hand.  We looked through them and she explained a couple of the sections that they had added to or altered.  She handed me a pen, expecting me to sign that second.  She was smiling.  I took the papers, gave her back her pen and said that I would call her in two days.  She didn’t get it.  She could not understand why I wasn’t jumping on this and selling the house that very instant.

When I first fell onto the enlightenment wagon there was a quote by Jed McKenna that I used to use as my mantra for a while.  It was, “Things come into a certain alignment, patterns emerge, rightness is perceived, and the clearly indicated course is followed.”.   In addition to that, he says something along the lines of, “if the answer isn’t indicated, then I don’t do anything”.   This was one of those times and even though I hadn’t considered this quote in a long time it instantly jumped into my awareness.  I needed to sit with this and wait for an indication of “rightness” or “wrongness”.  I needed to feel the current flow.  My realtor left, perplexed.

Today, by noon (even though I have another 24 hours before I have to give them an answer), I was getting text message after text message asking me what I was going to do.  Hurry, hurry, hurry, now, now, now, as if the universe would cave in on itself if the answer did not come in that very hour.   

I sat back in my chair, took a deep breath and … my answer was no.  We are not selling the house today.  Not because we don’t want to move, not because they were pressuring us for a decision, not because of any reason other than that is the answer that is indicated.  That’s it.  No thought needed.  Nothing cognitive necessary.  The indicated answer is simply just that, what is indicated.

The realtor I am using is, luckily, a friend of mine, so she tries very hard to understand, but 99% of the time, people just don’t.  After all, I have the perfect place lined up to live, winter is coming and I would no longer have to deal with my LONG driveway and the snow, the house we’d move into is in the perfect location, on a lake, just 10 minutes down the road, next door to my daughter’s best friend and closer to the kids schools.  Not to mention, after the end of this month it is no longer available to rent.  Every sign, if looked only on the surface or through thought, says we should sell…now. 

But the answer is no and who am I to question it?  I don’t know why it’s ‘no’ and maybe I never will, but I trust it.  This is one of the things that takes some getting used to in the whole awaking gig.  Trusting the universe over your meager little thoughts.  Surrendering.  It gets easier to do the more you do it but it can be a scary thing.  All I know, is that when I listen to that indication, eveything turns out more beautifully than I could have ever imagined. 

To quote Jed one more time, “I want what’s best and I trust the universe, not my little brain, to be the judge of what’s best and how best to make it happen.”.

No thought needed.


I was sitting at the computer today, staring at a blank screen, wondering what would come to me to write about today.  Then I realized, the blank screen says it all.  That’s it.  Enlightenment made simple.  Emptiness right before our eyes.



Your darkest day is just as big of a blessing as your brightest.


Nope.  Unless you’ve already seen it, you have no idea what enlightenment means or what it is.  Whatever you think it is, you are wrong, so let it go. 

See it for yourself.  BE it for yourself…then try and explain it and see if you know what it is. 

Perhaps we can laugh about it together while we swing.

You Don’t Act Awake

“You don’t act awake.”

“He doesn’t act like he’s enlightened”.

Have you ever thought this thought or known someone who has? It’s more common than you might think. One of the curious things about the spiritual seeker is the preconceived notion of what someone looks/acts like when they are awake or enlightened. Many believe that a person who is enlightened will be in constant bliss, always calm, always smiling…on and on. But is that true? One of our foremost and well-known spiritual leaders, Jesus Christ, was known to get angry and knock over a table now and then. So does that make him less awake than he is depicted in the Bible? In truth, it makes him a very good example.

When awakening happens, yes, it does bring about a certain calmness, a certain contentment with everything that comes. You see that everything is right, just the way it is. What it doesn’t mean is a loss of personality. What it doesn’t mean is that you will necessarily “like” everything that happens. There is still an attraction to certain things and a repelling from others, kind of like a magnet. Certain energies will flow together more than others.

Will there still be emotion? Of course. It’s the identification with the emotion that fades. It becomes more a movement of energy instead of something you own, and it doesn’t come from thought. For example, I still see an anxious energy arise sometimes before I give a talk or teach a class but instead of getting wrapped up in it, I step back from it and observe it flowing and essentially watch it fade away. I don’t identify with it and I don’t attach to it. I observe it arise and I observe it fade. I don’t try to control it or change it. I just observe it, appreciate it, watch it fade.

There is no mold. An awake or an enlightened person may be the man who spends the rest of his life in a secluded cave in silence. It may be the person who finds solitude in a cabin in the woods. It may be the woman who leads her own Sangha to point others in the direction of their own awakening. It may be the grocery store clerk who scans your items and takes your money. It could be the old yogi who smokes 3 packs of cigarettes a day and grumbles at the ignorance of his followers. It may be the gas station attendant. It may be that old oak tree in your back yard. It may be you. There is no mold to fit. An awake being can take any form and can perform in any way. It’s not up to you and it’s not what you think.

(And I’ll add that the awakening process itself can be a quite messy affair. It isn’t usually some instantaneous snap of the fingers where the clouds open up and the angels sing. It’s not always light and glorious. Most of the time it’s messy, confusing and can look like a complete mental breakdown to an unfamiliar observer.)

So check in with your conceptions now and then. Because we can never know the expression the universe has in store for us, until we let it happen.


There are different levels of awakening.  Rarely does someone simply “snap out of” the dream with no residual pieces of ego left behind.  Lately my awareness has come to focus on a piece that many hold on to, even without knowing it.  The piece of ego that says, “you should not be that way” or “you should not act that way”.  You can see this everywhere.  It’s part of what creates the human drama.  True freedom cannot come until you allow others the freedom to be who they are.  Allow others the space.  Accept them for who they are.  If you are not allowing them to be who they are then there is resistance to what is.  Full awakening includes a release of that resistance.  It is allowing everything (and everyone) to be as it is.  This isn’t to say that you will always agree with it, or even like it, but you can accept it.  Allow it.  This is true for ourselves as well.  For example, maybe you meditate and get frustrated that your mind will not slow down.  What would happen if you just allowed yourself to be as you are, busy mind and all?  What would happen if you accepted yourself as you are instead of trying to ‘better’ yourself, change yourself or resist yourself?  Instead, allow yourself to just be as you are.  Make it your practice.  Allow yourself and others to be as you and they are.  It will not only assist in allowing reality to be as it is but it brings you to a place of presence.  A place of true freedom.

Enjoy the beauty.


In being awake you realize your connection with everything around you.  You realize that you ARE everything around you and everything around you is you.  It is all one.  There is nothing more simple.  There is nothing outside of you.  There is nothing separate.  There is just one and you are it. 

Once this is realized, all there is left to do…is play.

All One

Right Here

The path to enlightenment is right here, right where you are.  No need to go anywhere.  No need to figure out where to go next.  Let go and you will be led.  That is grace.