Enlightenment, a term often stemming from Hindu or Buddhist roots, is defined as the extinction of human suffering. Wow, that’s a tall order. Although when we sit down to actually consider this term, it’s merely an aspiration that can serve as a beacon to direct us in the direction that can be most effective for us.
Acclaimed author and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh says, “There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.”
This is what rings true most for me. He grounds the concept into something tangible, something we can all get our hands dirty with. At the end of many mindfulness-based groups that I run, I discuss how we can truly engage with becoming more present in our daily lives. A common objection with the concept of doing meditation is that “I simply don’t have the time or discipline.” Ok, fair enough. While it is suggested to make time for practice in order for it to seep more effectively throughout the day, we might ask, where are the spaces throughout the day to practice?
There are so many opportunities in the day, so many spaces to weave in mindfulness to move in the direction of what some people might call “enlightenment” while others may simply call “peace of mind.”
Question: What are some other spaces you can think of that might be a place to stop, take a breath, and bring mindfulness to that moment to transform it from a moment of dis-ease to a practice to be present?
As always, share your thoughts, stories, and answer to this question below. Your interaction here provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.
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From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (July 1, 2009)
From Psych Central's Dr. Elisha Goldstein:
Two Steps to Simply Living a Better Life | Mindfulness and Psychotherapy (May 5, 2010)
Last reviewed: 1 Jul 2009