I admit that I am the perfect example of how we misunderstood the meaning of spiritual practice and life itself. I started practicing meditation when I was ten and grew up expecting that if I practice regularly, I will reach enlightenment by the age of forty.
A few months back I had a breakdown. I cried on my friend’s shoulder that I have not reached enlightenment. I was forty and felt like a loser. What I realized several months later, was that enlightenment was not a competitive sport.
- It’s a state of mind. It has nothing to do with being perfect, always in a good mood and happy. You cannot control external events, stop the aging process or avoid people who will challenge you.
- Enlightenment is not about going somewhere or reaching something. It’s about being right here, right now. It’s about absolute peace and presence. It’s about accepting where you are fully. My biggest inspirations are Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle.
- And as it’s not about reaching but being, you cannot program it. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to. It’s already here but in our regular state of mind, we’re not seeing it. Have you read The Alchemist? The hero had to travel the world to grow as a person only to come back home to find a pot of gold in his garden. It was there the whole time but he wouldn’t have discovered it if he didn’t undergo the journey.
ONE MINUTE PRACTICE THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE:
For one minute, watch your breath. Remember that all you need to do is WATCH.
Your chest opens, the air comes in, the chest comes down and you exhale.
Once you feel more comfortable with this practice, focus on your body.
What do you feel in your hands and your feet? Are your shoulders stiff or relaxed?
Just watch your body.
Why is this practice so powerful? Because it forces you to be present, not to strive for anything and just be here now.