Oh the effort we put in to “changing our selves”! Think of the time and money wasted on New Year’s resolutions, magic diets, fad-fueled workout regimens, and miracle cures to problems that may not even be problems. We strive for our version of perfection, usually an illusion, usually another way to squander a perfectly fine day.
Yet at the same time we feel pulled toward something greater than our selves. When we sit in meditation there are moments that feel serene, during which a sense of mental clarity absorbs us. If we strive for these moments, they are elusive. If we settle into our posture, into our breath, body, and mind with the intention to simply be present, receptive, and aware, then these moments may arise. I am not sure exactly what is meant by the word “enlightenment” when used in the context of meditation and a spiritual point of view. But if it means to “see more clearly” (i.e. with greater mental light) and to feel less of a burden in life (i.e. to have our mental load “lightened”), then perhaps enlightenment is a momentary awareness, a guest dropping into the guest house of our mind. And perhaps just the memory that this guest is always invited and always welcome can make each day feel even more full and alive.
Here are two poems I really like, and which I used in today’s guided meditation:
Forget About Enlightenment
Sit down wherever you are
And listen to the wind singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are, right now,
Not who you would like to be,
Not the saint you are striving to become,
But the being right here before you, inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You are already more and less
Than whatever you can know.
By: John Welwood
No car must splash him.
No car drive too near to his shadow.
This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo
but he’s not marked.
Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE,
HANDLE WITH CARE.
His ear fills up with breathing.
He hears the hum of a boy’s dream
deep inside him.
We’re not going to be able
to live in this world
if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing
with one another.
The road will only be wide.
The rain will never stop falling.
By Naomi Shihab Nye
Here is the video of today’s meditation:
And the audio of today’s meditation: