For as long as I can remember, I have been seeking permanent peace, serenity, and tranquility in my life. And, sometimes I add joy and happiness to my list. Today, for the most part, I have found peace, serenity, and tranquility in my life. But it has not been an easy road to travel, only because there are so many who do not embrace my thoughts of goals of remaining enlightened. Far too many are living in the past, tied to the moment, and fail to understand the importance of becoming more than they are.
The quest to enlightenment is to let go of all the conditioning, worries and ego that we each carry with us every day. It requires that we accept life as it is and stop struggling against it. We slowly learn how to tear down all the walls that we think are protecting us and to let the light shine in. We learn how the heart reacts to life and then the mind afterward, creating unnecessary pain, insecurity and worry. We learn how to not react and to not keep the pain inside of us. We also learn to accept suffering, instead of avoiding it and move on. We learn to let it all go. We learn to use our consciousness. We learn to be truly happy.
We cannot find enlightenment if we think that the world revolves around us and we are each the most important person to us. We live on a planet of a little over 7-billion people, and most will find fault with your thinking. That's a lot of people to disagree with. And we are just one spinning planet of dirt and water, orbiting around a star, among hundreds of billions of stars in just our own galaxy. Tonight, step outside and look up to the stars in the sky and think about how trivial we each are in the world.
For me, I am learning to accept everything life has to offer. My time is limited on this planet. I want to spend the rest of it experiencing peace, serenity, and tranquility in my life. And, yes, sometimes joy and happiness. As for love, I have given it many times, but have thus far failed to have it returned to the same degree. I hope you choose to join me on my journey and that you will find all that you are searching for.
Here are 20 tips I have learned along the way towards living to live a more enlightened life and learning to enjoy the journey.
1. Drive out negativity: Eliminate all negative habits, people and influences from your life, and replace them with a positive attitude.
2. Don't make assumptions about others: Don’t assume that you know who people are as they probably don't know themselves, what they want because they keep changing their mind, or how they live their lives today because they will change soon enough.
3. Love does not discriminate: So be gentle and less critical of others beauty, brains, and body.
4. Get up and get out: You will not find new opportunities and great people if you are sitting on your sofa.
5. Your self is not permanent: Be constantly and consistently engaged in self-transformation.
6. Acceptance is one of life’s greatest values: Accepted others for who and what they are, and they will treat you well.
7. Fight fears by facing them: Conquering your fears is the most exhilarating and rewarding experience you can have.
8. Make good use of your time: When you are planning to do anything - consider what it would be like to do that same thing every day of your life. How you spend your time today, is how you will spend your life.
9. Status is a symbol - happiness a state of being: There are plenty of miserable married rich people.
10. Never trust your intuition: To do so means that you have never been wrong or made mistakes. Learn to think and think to learn instead.
11. Your mind controls your life: When you step out of your thoughts and use your conscience you will realize you are in control, not your thoughts. You are more than your thoughts.
12. Practice Openness - Understand that fanaticism and intolerance create suffering, but are the result of perceiving things in a dualistic or discriminative manner. Train yourself to look at everything with openness and the insight of interbeing in order to transform ourselves and the world around us.
13. Don’t go to the liquor store for milk: You will not get milk where it is not sold. So to avoid disappointment, don’t expect positive responses from people that may not be; emotionally, psychologically or mentally equipped to give it to you.
14. Passion is not anger - The next time you believe that someone is angry, ask instead if it is only their passion speaking. Those who are passionate about something are usually capable of being passionate about other things. How great it would be to have a friend or lover who is passionate toward you.
15. Do much for others, but one thing for your self: Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit, especially, with your words. For yourself - Do not let the others choose who you are or how you should act.
16. You don't build anything in a day: Expect that anything worth doing will take a very long time.
17. Practice gratitude each day: Every day is a small miracle. Be grateful for being born on a planet spinning in a vast universe surrounded by trillions of stars. Find a bright star in the sky and make it yours.
18. Use truthful and loving speech - Always be aware that your words are interpreted by others and they may create both happiness and suffering. Be committed to learning to speak truthfully, lovingly and constructively. Use words that inspire joy, confidence, and hope as well as promote reconciliation and peace in ourselves and among others.
19. Choose to be loving and accepting: One of the most important journeys to go through is to open your heart to love. This is to truly find spiritual love, not necessarily an emotional love.
20. Giving your love to another should be permanent: Instead of changing your mind, change your attitude instead. Consider your negative thoughts and let them go - not your loved ones.
This was originally published in "This Week I Learned" (http://thisweekilearned.com) in 1996, but I felt I did not want to allow it to languish in the archives. I hope you enjoyed it.