Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Living An Enlightened And Authentic Life

I equate living a spiritual life with living a meaningful and authentic life. The search for the spiritual is the search for what's real. Much of our lives we are caught up in illusions, false selves, and unreality. With varying degrees of success I try to live a life that is authentic and real with as little illusion as possible. Part of my enlightenment is a happy by-product of age. When I was much younger I thought I would be much smarter by now. Some days, however, I feel like the older I get, the less I know. I don't really think I am getting dumber by the day. Often when we are young we think we know everything. We think we are smarter than our parents and all other authority. When we get older we are less certain about many things. This lack of certitude can have a very positive effect. It can make us more open to possibilities. When we realize that we don't know everything, then we can be surprised by life. Surprise and a sense of awe are essential to enlightenment. Some people call these "aha moments". Aha moments are experiences of epiphany, enlightenment and realization. I refer to them as moments of absolute clarity when everything suddenly makes sense. When we are grounded and centered and awake to the possibilities of life, we see meaning in many things, dreams can become reality, and our lives more authentic. Life starts to make sense. What can a person do on a practical level to be more grounded, centered, and awake? Here's a few things I do. I try to spend more time being and less time doing. I try to spend more time in stillness and less time running around. I try to routinely allow myself to be bathed in silence and to avoid noise and chaos. I make it a point to spend some time alone everyday. When I sit alone in silence, I try to quiet my mind so I can listen to my inner voice and not the voices of the world around me. I resist the rat race and the often unrealistic demands of modern life. I take the risk of being misunderstood by others in order to be true to myself. I care about what others think of me but I do not let their opinions change the essence of who I am or to dictate how I act or what I believe.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Silence, solitude and simplicity.
What a wonderful life it is.