Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Path to Enlightenment

This is an historic day for a lot of reasons. We have a new president - of whom I have very mixed feelings. But, as the leader of the nation I love, I will be supportive of his role and have hope that he is less a politician, and more a leader with integrity. Regardless, I do not envy his position to take the reins in such uncertain times. It would be nice if he really is the "change" everyone claims him to be be.
On that note, the note of hope for the future and change, I have had one of those life-changing weekends where I feel that I have overcome one of the many roadblocks presented during the different stages of life. I needed clarity and I needed to center and recharge, so I took a last-minute trip to Las Vegas. Now, Las Vegas is no bodhi tree, but I guess you never know where and when understanding will occur. I learned so much about myself and about the world around me this weekend that the term, "stepping stone" won't cut it. It was more mountain than stone, and more leap of faith than step. The best part about the trip, 70+ degree weather notwithstanding, was that it was so unexpected. I went to get away from life and life found me and brought me home. Is it cliche to say that you find yourself when you travel? When you experience new places, talk to new people, and seek to view life differently? Maybe more of our lives should be lived as if we were travelers through unknown country - observe more, say less, wait patiently, give others the benefit of the doubt, gain perspective, open ourselves up to new ideas, and feel the sun on our faces. My path to enlightenment began a long time ago, and I have struggled down that path getting closer to the end. But perhaps I realize there is no end, nor should there be. The path to enlightenment is eternal, enlightenment is not static, it is dynamic. You don't achieve it, you align yourself to it.

This quote from the talk by Thomas S. Monson during the October 2008 LDS general conference sums up my understanding,
"Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth." [Sarah Ban Breathnach, in John Cook, comp., The Book of Positive Quotations, 2nd ed. (2007), 342.]


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