Not Enlightenment – September 22 2020

Not Enlightenment – September 22 2020

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 don’t care at all about enlightenment. 


What they are interested in is how to have a more peaceful life, how to become able to love, how to be more present in the world. 


They want to find happiness and fulfillment.


Can meditation and spiritual study 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. 


With less stress, a writer will find it easier to write, a runner will find it more effortless to run, a lover will find love more available to give.


And meditation allows us to transcend thoughts and feelings, so we begin to have contact with the place of pure Being within each of us.


Pure Being is the place of happiness and fulfillment, and to know it is to realize that happiness is always available to 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 outer self.


We do not need to seek enlightenment. All we need is to seek to become more awake, day by day. The Veda teaches that consciousness is infinite. Our ability to wake up to 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