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22 April 2017

Enlightenment for the Rest of Us

Enlightenment for the Rest of Us
maybe it’s time to stop making it so difficult to achieve

I’ve spent decades of my life studying, and learning to apply, improved ways to approach the art of living. Whether through martial arts, the arts of healing, writing, self-improvement courses, music, amateur acting, religious studies, backpacking, canoeing, volunteering, entrepreneurship… well, I’ve picked up a few souvenirs along the way.
  1. Keep a sense of humor. The world is too big for one person to save it, no matter what you’ve been told. I have a hard enough time simply saving my car from being towed away to the junkyard. We’re all in this together, even when you feel the most alone. I try to keep things in context.
  2. Stop crying so much. Laugh at how messed up things are. Even Buddha is dead.
  3.  Don’t take yourself so seriously. All my religious studies ever did was make me feel guilty. Now I can feel guilty for no reason whatsoever.
  4. Be self-deprecating. Life is not defined by how magnificent you are. So, take a breathless break from the competition. You’re killing us over here.
  5. Slow & steady wins the race. Rocks don’t get smooth overnight. I still have a lot of speed bumps. Pretty sure we mostly all do.
  6. Think about death every day. Are you really as important or as worthless as you think?
  7. Self-centeredness. Most of us behave as though we reside at the center of everyone else’s universe. Which is a bit silly since most of us can barely muster enough common sense to stay centered within our own selves.

These things have by no means turned me into a giddy, chirpy guy. Thank goodness. So if you ignore this list simply because it’s a list, I’m okay with that.
I’ve found if I only occasionally focus on just one of these thoughts, things improve. Even if only for a minute or two. And sometimes that’s all that’s needed.
Achieving enlightenment is like a child with knots in their shoelaces: life’s a lot easier if you just tie your shoes the right way. Humor helps keep the knots at bay.

PS — Steer clear of lists. Especially popular ones. Remember, get-rich-quick schemes were proven false centuries ago. It’s the same with lists. Like this one!