Thursday, October 15, 2009

On Enlightenment

We all have our rituals, those things that we do to better ourselves, our practices of spirituality, devotion, or what have you. I know that I try to do yoga every morning while others may pray before bed every night. But what for? Where are we getting? Am I hoping for something? Am I hoping to gain some sort of enlightenment?

I've been reading Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and it has uncovered some wonderful ideas for me that I would like to share. While I seek enlightenment or happiness or success or strength or what have you, it is when I don't want it, when I don't search for it, that it comes to me. It is when I allow and when I let go that things happen.

I, like many, have searched for the perfect yoga routine, or the best schools in hopes that it will lead down the perfect road. I seek scaffolding and structure that will set up the path to happiness, to God, to ... But this easy path, this written scripture, this holy way, doesn't exist.

Really, there is no path to seek. I am already on my own path, the path that I should be taking. No teachings, as they are written, will give me the answers. I will have to deal with myself, accepting my strengths and weaknesses, accepting my triumphs and my struggles. I need to experience and live teachings for myself - allow for my own rhythm and my own interpretation. Like baking bread, following the recipe will only get me so far; I've got to tweak it for my environment, for my tastes, for my oven, for my ingredients...

And is it about searching and effort and struggle? No, it isn't. As the adage goes, it is only when you are not looking that you will find it. Love plops in my lap when I'm preoccupied with other things. Friends pop up when I'm not waiting for them. Water boils when I'm not watching. It's when I give up the struggle and the search and embrace things as they are - good, bad, mediocre, whatever - that life delivers its blessings.

I'll find what I'm looking for when I stop searching...


Vincent said...

Very enlightening piece, but a change from "you" to "I" in your piece would make it less of a sermon and restore to the reader the due respect of being the expert in living his or her life.

I cannot see how I know what is good for someone else; especially as the thing which I most want to tell them is the thing I only just learned.

"No teachings, as they are written, will give you the answers." But in using the pronoun "you", you have just added to the collection of those teachings which don't provide the answers.

Sorry to be annoying. I only do it to those whom I respect greatly.

Stefan said...

Thanks for your criticism Vincent, I just might revise the piece... after all it is my own personal experience.

Just me.... said...

Lots of people do years of therapy to get to the place you mentioned - the "stop looking for it and live" place...

You're growing Stef... Kudos..