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.
Tag Archives: Enlightenment
When you are awake, you see the truth is everywhere, in everything. Nothing was ever kept from you. Nothing was ever hidden. It’s that simple.
It’s in the pine cone you just walked past.
It’s your dog or your cat taking an afternoon nap.
It’s apple pie that just came out of the oven.
It’s there during family game night.
It’s there when you meditate (and even when you don’t).
It’s everywhere. All of the time. You just need to stop and look. It’s that simple.
If you are anything like me there are times you like to get scared. Halloween is always one of those times in our house. We fill our time with scary movies, haunted houses and lots of tricks and treats. Fear in a setting where we ultimately know we are safe can be an enjoyable experience but what happens when we dive into our deepest fears? Those fears that keep us awake at night and the ones that we don’t feel safe with? These fears that feel real and that can control how we move in the world, such as fear of death, fear of losing a job or fear of living life can come from different places. They can come from a difficult past event in the form of conditioning, such as someone who has been in a bad car accident being afraid to ride in a car. They can come from the mind, such as someone who is afraid of death because they don’t know what will become of them when they die or they fear that the people they leave behind will not be okay.
Ultimately, fear is misunderstanding. This isn’t to downplay what can be a very powerful and real emotion, it is to bring light to a false perception, which is a gift if you allow it to happen. The misunderstanding is generally that everything is not okay. We tend to want things to go a certain way in life. We want to be happy, we want to be healthy, we want our friends and family to be happy and healthy, but as we all know, this isn’t always the case. Something happens and we think that things have gone wrong because they are not going the way we want them to. What happens if we let go of that? What happens when we just let things happen without the thought of “that is good”, “that is bad” or “this is right”, “this is wrong”? When we stop arguing with reality there is a contentment that comes along with every situation, no matter what it is. When you stop letting your thoughts dictate the rightness or wrongness of any situation there is peace, no matter what. For example, a friend of mine’s son just broke his arm in an accident. It was a pretty bad break and, of course, it is never fun to see your child hurt. The boy, who is 5, is incredible to watch through all of this. Never does he say something like “how could this have happened?” or “why did this have to happen to me?”. He simply goes with it. Yes, his arm bothers him at times and yes the cast gets in the way but he doesn’t look at it as if it should be any other way. He accepts it as it is, like most 5 year olds will do with something like this. On the other side, my friend, the boy’s dad, is suffering greatly because he is telling himself consistently that this event should not have happened. He’s telling himself how terrible it is that this happened to his son. Who is suffering more? The son, who has the broken arm and has accepted the reality of it, or the dad, who is constantly telling himself that this is wrong?
Fear manifests itself in the same way. If you stop and look intently at your fears you can start to see the misunderstanding. Let’s say you are afraid of death. Hold that fear of death right in front of you. Then, even if for only five seconds, stop thinking about it. What does that feel like? Five seconds is all it takes to get a taste. Five seconds is all it takes to find out what it would feel like to be free of that fear. Five seconds of stopping your thoughts and/or stopping the commentary that tells you something is good, bad or something that you should fear, that’s enough to get a taste and one taste of how that feels is all it takes. From there you can let that grow into freedom. As you practice this expand the time, make it ten seconds…then 20…and so on. What happens? Feel it, get a sense for it, make it your meditation. Before you know it you will be free from it. The more you do this, the more you let go of the thoughts that tell you something is wrong, the more free you will be. The thoughts may still come but you begin to see that they are not the truth. You begin to see that everything is okay exactly the way it is. If you were to die, everything is okay. If you were to lose your job, it’s okay. If you simply have a bad day at work, it’s okay. Everything is perfect, just the way it is, no matter what. Once we stop trying to control everything around us, once we stop labeling everything as right, wrong, good and bad we see that YES! everything is fine just as it is. Whatever happened yesterday, perfect. Whatever is happening right now, perfect. Whatever happens tomorrow, perfect.
Five seconds is all it takes to get a sense. Just five seconds. So this Halloween when you are done watching those scary movies and walking through those haunted houses, take a moment to investigate one of those fears that you don’t feel safe with. Take those five seconds and realize that you are always safe, always fine, and that everything is just as it is and just as it should be. Realize you can be free from fear.
Every now and then I jump on the blog circuit to see what’s out there when it comes to ‘Spirituality’, “God” or “Enlightenment”. Most of the time that look is quickly ended with me shaking my head and giving a side-lined grin and a tip of my hat to the strength and cunning of delusion.
Today my search ended with a blog post by a woman who was now certain that there was no God because her cat died. I hear this type of thing often. Now, to preface this, I’m not saying that there is a “God” out there either because the problem with the modern-day idea of “God” is that it’s been so misused and distorted. What people, like this woman with the cat, think God is is what is getting in the way. Any idea of what you think God is…is wrong. It’s wrong. It’s a belief and no belief is true. What this woman with the cat is upset about is that her ‘idea’ of what she thinks God is was challenged. Her thought-up God didn’t rise to the challenge so instead of questioning her thoughts, ideas and beliefs on the subject she just dumps the whole thing altogether. My cat died. It’s not what I wanted to have happen. There is no God.
The lesson here? If you are upset that something didn’t happen the way you thought it should happen, then it’s your misunderstanding and no one elses. It’s up to you to question your beliefs behind it because it’s your beliefs, your thoughts and your ideas that are keeping you from knowing the truth. You are standing in your own way. It’s as simple as that.
So many times we get bogged down with the ‘stresses’ of life. That’s the trouble with ego, it makes everything personal and makes even the little things seem huge.
One of the things that used to ‘catch‘ me, even before awakening began to happen, was looking up at the stars, gazing at the moon or looking at a picture of Earth. I found it completely impossible to look out at one of those amazing sites and take anything in “my” life seriously. How could I? While life itself is an amazing and wonderful gift, the daily struggles and conflicts our ego makes up are nothing but just that, made up. The dream. Your dream. When I look out at the moon and stars or gaze at a picture of Earth and let go of myself the only thing there is eternity.
The only thing that separates the death of a leaf in the fall and the death of you is your thoughts. Do you weep in the fall when the leaves turn colors, wither and then fall to the ground? No. Instead most of us view this as a beautiful scene. We are no different. We too are seasons. We live. We pass away. To live is to die. To die is to make room for new life. The only thing that separates the death of a leaf and the death of you is your thoughts.