Monday, October 10, 2011

Micro Enlightenment: A Journey Towards Enlightenment

As I sat through many spiritual discourses, I felt as if the path to happiness as described by many of the preachers is never going to cross my life's path. The concepts often sounded so complex and my capability so small that I was losing hope of every making any progress on my spiritual journey. Then like lightening this thought hit - Whiling travelling, I have always enjoyed smaller attractions along the way. When I think of any past journey I always remember the unexpected "took my breath away" views and "stole my heart" experiences of meeting wonderful people. And I realized that I get more pleasure because of the collection of happy moments experienced during the journey than reaching the destination. Of course, a destination is needed similar to a goal, to have a known course of move. I thought why not break that mystic phenomenon of enlightenment as well into collection of micro-enlightenments.
This paradigm works for me; and I invite you to ponder on it as well. Take anything in life that is of importance to you. Let me share my experience with my anger management. The path to micro-enlightenment was to know the root cause of what triggers anger in me; and what fundamental need it severs and how do I respond. I realized that anger in me gets triggered when I perceive I have been physically, socially, mentally or philosophically insulted. As a result, I wanted to give it back - i.e. a strong desire of insulting the cause of my insult to get equal. The word to focus is "perceived insult". The other person might not even be intending to inflict any insult; yet in my perception I was feeling insulted and hence reacting. Observation followed by reflection resulted in the "Awareness of the anger; its need / cause; and reason for my response". The next phase was to contemplate and find a way to respond instead of react (use intellect not mind - see my previous post for mind versus intellect definition). Whiling mulling over my anger; I realized that when I get angry, I put myself physically, mentally and intellectually at a serious disadvantage. On one hand - my heart rate goes up, blood pressure increases, I am not able to think straight and my intellect is in shutdown state. So in the rage to insult cause of my perceived insult; I am getting into a negative mind frame and negative physiological state. And what about the cause of my insult - I realized I have no control if my anger will make the other person feel hurt or not. If someone just laughs at my anger or politely says SORRY; my anger served no purpose except hurting me mentally, physically and emotionally. So now I am practicing to respond to an insult with a silence... I find it even more effective as the other person, if intending to insult me, is left surprised - expecting a reaction but receiving none.... I am still on the journey... yet I believe once I stop reacting to the perceived insult and respond with a silent smile... I will be Anger Micro-Enlightened. And I will have one less dimension of life left to conquer before attaining enlightenment :)

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