Tag Archives: Enlightenment

Leaves

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.

 


Forget About It

Every once in a while I head to the internet with the sole purpose of checking out what information people are putting out there in regards to spiritual enlightenment and waking up.  I last did this about a week ago and the trend I found has stuck with me since then so I figured it was time to write about it so  I could be done with it and move on.

The trend basically included this: “If a person says they are enlightened then they are not enlightened.”, and/or ” If someone says that everyone is already enlightened but they just don’t realize it yet then that person is not enlightened”.  <sigh>

If you are traveling around the web and find these statements forget about them because once you get hung up on wording like this you’ve only hindered your own eyesight.  Words are incredibly insufficient in describing the truth, in fact, they can’t describe the truth.  It’s impossible.  Even the word enlightenment is a poor substitute for the real thing.

So don’t get hung up on how something is worded.  Forget about it.  Wake up yourself…then it’s incredibly easy to tell whose got their eyes open and whose still sleeping.


Death

It’s interesting to sit back and observe what goes on in this world when it comes to death.  So much of what happens centers around a fear of it, yet so much is done to facilitate it.  Many strive for more organic food, free of pesticides and GMO’s yet the companies who produce these continue to do so, without much protest.  Many work to lengthen life by taking toxic medications that only work to ultimately make them sicker.  The decision is usually to pop a pill instead of getting to the root of the problem.  People smoke, do drugs and drink, knowing it’s not good for them and could ultimately lead to death.  The list could go on and on.  There is this great fear of death yet so many of our individual and collective actions only bring it on more rapidly.  It’s a curious thing.

What is it about death that frightens us so much?  Many people I know claim to be Christians and believe there is heaven to look forward to in death.  So why the fear if heaven is such a wonderful place?  Other people I know are struggling and suffering greatly, whether it is from financial worry or from health issues etc..  Wouldn’t death then serve as a relief?  Freedom from that suffering?  For me, it used to be the fear of leaving my kids without a mother.  It was that attachment that kept me in fear, as I’m sure it does with others.  We don’t want to let go of this life we were given, for whatever reason.  After all, it is a blessing.

One of the things that waking up does is remove fear, not just fear of death, but all fear.  Once you step back from it and look in its amazing that anyone can truly live an authentic life while surrounded by it.  Fear holds us tightly caged.  Freedom comes when we move through the fear and come out on the other side.  Of all fear, the fear of death is a biggie; the most foreboding of all fears for most people.  When you awaken that fear slowly (or for some quickly) fades away.  It can be said that waking up is like a death, but not a physical death.  It’s the death of ego.  The death of all that is false, taken place by what is true and in truth there is no fear.

This doesn’t explain, however, why there is such a fear of death yet the human race does so much to perpetuate it.  When I look out from the perspective of the truth it would seem as if we all know, even before awakening, that truth exists.  The human desire for death (usually subconscious) could be that the truth is trying to tell us something.  Not that we should die a physical death, but that we should allow our “selves” to die, while living.  This is freedom.  This is freedom from fear.  But because we are so wrapped up with what is going on around us we don’t take enough time to stop and look at this and we should.  Not looking at this is what creates the confusion.  It’s not our physical death we are pushing toward, even though it seems that way, because that is the only death most understand, but instead it’s a desire for the truth to surface.  In order for that to happen there needs to be a death of self, a death of separation, a death of ego, a death of the false with a birth into the truth.

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it is going to be a butterfly.  But here we have it.  The caterpillar makes its cocoon and when it re-emerges it is a butterfly.  The caterpillar didn’t die.  It’s life is still intact.  The only difference with its transformation is that now it has wings to fly.  And how beautiful is it that we were given this perfect example within nature to observe what death in life looks like.  All we need to do now is listen and learn from that example.  Let your ‘self’, your ego, be the one to die and you too will gain the wings to fly.


Fear

[tweetmeme]I’ve been hearing a lot of people lately say that you need to face your fears.  When I hear this it reminds me of a story I was once told.  Let’s say you are stuck down at the bottom of a well in the dark with a monster (your fears).  There is someone up above yelling down to you and telling you to face the monster, telling you to face your fears.  You face the monster time and time again.  You feel brave and courageous because you are facing the monster head on.  The problem with this is that you are still stuck in the well.  As long as you stay down in the well the monster will always come back in one form or another, always.  So why don’t you just climb out of the well?  Climbing out of the well into the light is where freedom is.

Fears are illusions.  They are created in your mind based on past experience and conditioning.  Instead of staying in the well, miring around with your fears and the monsters that haunt you, realize them for what they are and climb out.  If the person at the top of the well is someone who is telling you to face the monster instead of throwing you a rope to climb out I would highly question their expertise in the matter because, most likely, they are stuck in their own well.

I’ve talked about this before and a common response is usually something along the lines of, “fear can be beneficial” or “fear can be used to move us into action”.  Perhaps this is so, but when you realize your fears for what they are and climb out of the well you come to a place where action moves from a much more powerful and effective place.  You realize quite quickly that the benefits you thought you gained or the action you were moved toward was nothing compared the this new found fearless space.  It doesn’t compare.

Come and see for yourself.  Don’t believe me.  Try it.  Climb out of the well and be free.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.  There is, quite literally, nothing to be afraid of.


Be Still and Know

It’s winter here.  Snow is falling today, the flakes as big as acorns.  When I walk outside into the woods all I can hear is silence and it’s the most beautiful sound I know.

Winter is a time for rest.  The trees shed their leaves and sleep.  The chipmunks huddle in their tunnels with a stash of food for the winter.  The bears curl up in their dens and sleep until spring.  The birds that do not migrate batten down their nests that they’ve filled with a mixture of different bedding.  The snow falls, covers the ground, covers the trees and a beautiful stillness is left behind.  Are we so removed from the natural world these days that we cannot take this time of year to rest?  Unfortunately, for most of us the answer to this is yes.  The world does not slow down, jobs still need to be done, money still needs to be made, children still need to go to school and on and on and on.    Look at what we value.  Look at what put ahead of the cycles of life.  Jobs before rest.  Money before restoring ourselves.  Schooling before truth.  This is the way our culture works and it saddens me to watch sometimes because I know the potential that is there behind all of this clutter.

Most of us have become so separated from what is actually natural for us that we have no idea how to sit in rest and silence.  When things become quiet we turn on the television or pick up a book.  We’re taught that just sitting quietly or taking a nap means we are lazy.  We’re told that we should always be busy and/or productive.  We think that we should have many friends so that we do not have to be alone or that it’s not socially acceptable to sit home and do nothing on a Saturday night.  The list goes on with many more examples I’m sure.  What is it about the silence that we turn away from?  Why do we turn away from it?

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m usually not one to speak from Christianity, as there have become so many misconceptions, but today Psalm 46:10 keeps coming into my awareness.  Be still and know.  Notice how this psalm does not say ‘know and be still’.  Be still is what comes first.  However, the way we live in this culture today we seem to think that we need to know something first in order to be still.  We are in school by the age of 5 or so and continue until around age 18, longer if we go to college.  Then, once out of school, we go into the work force and learn a job.  By the time we get here we are so conditioned to be busy..to be making money…to have a family that the “be still” part of the equation gets left behind.  It gets so left behind for most of us that we no longer even know how to be still.  We put “know” first when it’s the stillness that holds the answers to everything.

So during this winter, during this time of rest, take a moment to be in stillness.  Take a moment to listen to the silence.  It will, for most, be uncomfortable at first but stay there for while if you can.  Look around.  Perhaps ask yourself why you’ve turned away from the stillness for so long.  If you do, you just may get your answer.  Don’t turn on the television set.  Don’t pick up that book.  Stay home by yourself on a Saturday night.  It’s okay.  Just like it’s okay to take a nap even though the laundry is sitting there.  Just like it’s okay to just go sit outside and watch the snow fall even though the house is dirty or you have a lot to do for work the next day.  Stillness comes first if you want your questions answered.  Stillness comes first if you want to live authentically.

Be still first….then you will know.