Not Enlightenment – July 10 2018

In the mixture of starlight and cloud-reflected sunlight in which the desert world is now illuminated, each single object stands forth in preternatural though transient brilliance, a final assertion of existence before the coming of night: each rock and shrub and tree, each flower, each stem of grass, diverse and separate, vividly isolate, yet joined each to every other in a unity which generously includes me and my solitude as well… For a moment I think I’ve almost caught a falling star: there is no mystery; there is only paradox, the incontrovertible union of contradictory truths. A falling star which melts into vapor as I grasp it, which flows through my fingers like water, like smoke.
Edward Abbey,
Desert Solitaire
There are many people, even some of whom are deeply involved in meditation and spiritual study, who care not at all about enlightenment. 
What they are interested in is how to have a more peaceful experience of life, how to become more able to love, how to be more present in the world. They want to find happiness and fulfillment.
Do spiritual study and meditation help in this regard? Absolutely. Meditation releases stresses from the body, allowing one to be more and more present in the world and available to the experience of the world. And it allows one to begin to have an experience of life that is other than one’s thoughts and feelings, an experience of life that is transcendent of thought, that is the place of pure Being and fulfillment itself.
When we touch upon this place of pure Being and fulfillment within, and then study those teachings that help us to know this place as the Truth of the universe, we begin to realize fully that happiness simply is, and is always available to be chosen by us, regardless of the external facts of our life. Happiness is our birthright. Happiness is what we are, beneath the mistaken belief that we are this ego self.
We do not need to seek enlightenment. All we need is to seek to become progressively more awake. The Veda teaches that consciousness is infinite. Our ability to awaken more fully in our experience of consciousness must also be infinite. There always is some new experience awaiting only our attention. Nature has so much it wishes to show us. Will I be present enough to appreciate it? How awake can I be today?
Today I will bring myself wholly to the world, and I will ask of the world, as if it were alive and conscious and wise, to show me what it would have me see.
Tree, U.S. Route 6, Nevada
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober

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