I’ve been pretty into Buddhism over these past few years. I find it therapeutic and I can personally identify with some of the basic concepts that they teach to you on how to lead a life of less suffering. I think it is admirable and that there is something that anyone can gain from these practical tips.
One of the primary concepts in Buddhism is this concept of enlightenment. Of finally achieving your true nature. To achieve eternal bliss. To completely eliminate suffering from yourself and from this world. How do we reach this state? Is it even realistically possible to achieve such a high form of mindset?
I obviously haven’t done so yet. I am not blissed out 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I have my own problems and irritations to face every single day. I am admittedly still a work in progress. I still have a lot to learn about this game called life, and I will remain humble and try to continue to develop every single day. Every single minute. Every single second.
I am still progressing and improving. And I am not a finished product. Ideally, I won’t ever want to be a finished product. Hopefully, I can continue learning up until the day that I pass from this Earth. Everyone is trying their best to get by, and nobody knows absolutely everything that there is to know on this planet. That’s the beauty of it. The sheer uncertainty of it all.
Enlightenment is a nice goal to strive for. But it is obviously possible to find peace and satisfaction and comfort in this world regardless of whether or not you reach an arbitrary state. Because who knows whether you have achieved enlightenment or not? What’s stopping you from simply saying that you are enlightened?
It’s just a term. It’s just a definition. And everyone probably has a different determination of what that actually means. Just keep hacking away and improving and getting better every single day. And good things will happen. Keep working. Keep striving. Keep enjoying the process and see where this journey can take you.
I will try to stay an open book. I will try to open myself to influence from contrasting perspectives. I will try to not be too set in my ways. I will try to be soft and supple and go with the flow. I will continue to build this life and be open to new experiences.
I will try to move the needle and progress every single day. I will try to learn something new and be a forever student of life. Whether or not I achieve enlightenment in this day and age is a totally different story.
Sometimes, you need to shoot for the moon and you will land upon the stars. Maybe that’s what this concept of enlightenment is trying to teach us. To aim high. To strive for the impossible. To work towards great things. To be continuous and unperturbed by the inevitable challenges that life throws your way.
Has anyone actually reached enlightenment in this world today? Is there some miraculous person out there that has completely washed away all of his or her own suffering? I don’t believe it. Not even the monks or nuns have completely washed away all of life’s inconsistencies. Everyone is an unfinished story. Everyone has something left to learn, even the experts.
For me, I will be a constant learner until the day I die. And I will stay humble in my approach. I will aim for enlightenment but never expect to realistically achieve this state. I will continue to claw my way thru this world and be as present as I can be. But I won’t expect everything to go my way all of the time. That’s just not possible.
So, continue to work. Continue to put your head down. Progress in your own goals and journey. Because life is a holistic learning experience. We can learn more about ourselves each and every single day. And come out better because of it.
Don’t worry about enlightenment. Or nirvana. Or these perceived states of complete bliss and satisfaction. Maybe these states of mind do exist. Maybe they are just a complete fabrication. Whether it is true or not, just continue to work and progress. Continue to pursue your passions. Invest in your friends. Live a life that you genuinely enjoy and are proud of.
And I hope that you can find peace along the way in your respective journeys.