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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Don't Obsess About Enlightenment.

"Rather than worry or obsess about enlightenment, why not be honest and accept that we will have our good days and our bad? We will have some enlightened moments of loving-kindness, as well as some dull ones. This encourages all of us to stay real and experience the moment as it is—not how we want it to be."

–Donald Altman, from Living Kindness.

James: I think this is a very important point to remember along our path because I know that I have a tendency sometimes to obsess over moments where I don't feel so "enlightened." I start getting down on myself for having repeated the same mistakes over and over again but then I remember that we can't progress without making "mistakes!!" None of us here in this life is perfect, which is why we are are here in samsara the first place!! So that should give us hope and give us cause to relax and just do our best within each moment that we experience.

I see "mistakes" as rough drafts in the process of bringing forth the sacred text within us all that is our enlightenment.

PHOTO CREDIT: Beautiful photo by Laurent G.

~Peace to all beings~

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wsfaro said...

I think this is a really important post - obsessing over enlightenment is an example of excessively using one of oneself's biases, and hence obsessing over enlightenment is a "worldly action" and doing so will not lead to enlightenment (rather, perhaps leading you astray). And I agree, mistakes do seem necessary for progress. Thanks for posting!

Reymiland said...

The only true mistakes we make are the mistakes we do not learn from.

Kyle R Lovett said...

I agree very much James, in Fact Shunryu Suzuki called these mind weeds and said one day we will cherish them for they will help lead the way.

PS, I quoted you on a post on progressive, hope that was ok. :)

designldg said...

Thank you for using my image here, this blog is interesting wth nice thoughts and words of wisdom.
Have a nice day.
Namaste all the way from Benares,

forest wisdom said...

Most certainly this is wisdom. Thank you, James.

biggercloset said...

Thank you for posting this! I'm going through a difficult period right now, and remembering a truth such as this is so important. I love your blog and will be checking back often.

Gina Monari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gina Monari said...

Mistakes as rough drafts in the process of bringing forth the sacred text within us all that is our enlightenment...Thank you for this! This post is helping me to be a better person today!

D said...

On Happiness, Peace and Enlightenment

Everything is personal. If one senses something in any way, the manifestation of it and the meaning of it and it's very existence is based on one's own internal perception of it and one's chosen interpretation of that perception's meaning. Perception is guided, indeed controlled by 'how' one chooses to understand and interpret the meaning of what is perceived. If one seeks happiness, peace and enlightenment then one must perceive and understand that one's ability to behave and experience
consistently with honesty, sincerity, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, love and happiness both within and without is directly related to those things which one holds most closely within one's self. Within the seeking of the truth and accuracy of the answers to peace and enlightenment lies the path. Walking the path requires involvement with any and all beings with whom and things with which one comes into contact.
Happiness IS peace and enlightenment.
May all who read this be blessed and pass those blessings on to any who do not.

Note: This is a personal opinion, though it may prove to be true absolutely

They call him James Ure said...


I'm glad it could help as I need the same reminders. I like the idea in Buddhism of rebirth because while the ideal is to realize liberation now--it is important to be realistic. This means realizing that most likely we won't realize enlightenment in this life.

That use to depress me a bit until I realized that It is compassionate. It takes a lot of the pressure off feeling like we have to be perfect.

In other religions you only have one life--one chance to get it "right." That's stressful to me, counterproductive and not very fair.

They call him James Ure said...

Thank-you biggercloset. I'm glad I could help and I am humbled by your compliments of the blog.

Gary said...

One of my teachers commented that it's likely that we won't reach enlightenment so it's best to have a plan B.

I thought this was both funny and true.


miracle_tke said...

38. If my confidence waivers, then my wisdom is not complete.

I am what I do, I am not what I did.

Losing faith, for a moment, is most likely a chance to learn new wisdom.

Why did I lose faith, how can I avoid losing faith now.

karim said...

Very thoughtfull post on enlightenment. It should be very much helpfull

Karim - Mind Power

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