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Enlightened

August 7, 2018

It is easy to get caught up in the notion that there is a goal, a state of mind, a special place to reach in spiritual life. Accounts of extraordinary experiences can create ideas of how our lives should be if only we were “enlightened”, and lead us to compare ourselves to others. This actively contributes to low self-esteem. When we enter into mindfulness of the eternal present we discover that we are not going anywhere. Where we are is the only place for perfection of patience, peace and compassion.

My life may appear simple

even melancholy,

but traveling through this world

I have entrusted myself to Spirit.

In my sack, a few handfuls of rice;

by the hearth, a bundle of firewood.

If someone asks,

“What are the signs

of enlightenment or illusion?”

I cannot say.

Wealth and power are nothing but dust.

As the evening rain falls

I sit in my hermitage

and let the wet leaves answer.

~Ryoken

(1758-1831, Japanese Zen Buddhist Poet and Monk)

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