To some enlightenment may mean to gain greater knowledge or understanding about a subject or situation. To others it may mean to have a spiritual awakening. To me enlightenment means that I’m intimate with a moment – acutely aware of what’s happening here and now. There are no words to accurately describe enlightenment. You can’t read about enlightenment and know what it means. To be enlightened, I believe, one must feel it.
Many Rochesterians may have experienced enlightenment from their relationships with recent challenging events in our area: The funeral procession of Rochester police officer Daryl Pierson, and news of a plane crash that killed two prominent Rochesterians – husband and wife Others may have experienced enlightenment on Facebook, scrolling through the outpouring of condolences and photos posted for a family who just lost their loved one to cancer; being moved to action reading about a mother’s miraculous survival after she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle, or finally realizing that light will break through after many dark days.
Enlightenment, however, doesn’t always arise from grief, sadness, or loss. Happy moments are more frequent and offer us many opportunities to experience enlightenment from the ordinary things we do every day:
- Making coffee
- Driving a car
- Writing in a journal
- Reading a book aloud to a child
- Practicing yoga
- Walking in the woods
- Petting the dog
- Planting flowers in a garden
Children often have a way of reminding you to slow down, or stop whatever you’re doing to listen to their whimsical stories, or snuggle like bears on the couch. Children are like little buddhas, plump with enlightenment and unfettered by adult hang-ups. As a mom, I’ve found that when I allow myself to see the world throughout the lens of my child and act from an open heart, I learn something new.
This season, we need to take time to experience our enlightenment. Why not start right now?
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