Our Four Noble Truths, and quest for enlightenment through the Eightfold Path, reminds us that we must let go of all of the mental distortions that weight us down and keep us entangled/attached in the perpetual cycle of suffering that is inevitable for our species when we cling tightly to distortions that cause us to over-identify with our physical bodies, ideologies, identities, and our impermanent creations in our lifetime.
This, however, does not mean that we abandon care for our bodies/life vessels, or that we recklessly go around creating havoc in the world instead of consciously and diligently taking actions/performing “right” karma in order to manifest and bring about “good” things for ourselves and others while we are alive.
Letting go of our clinging to illusion, simply means developing awareness of what we are creating in our bodies, lives, and world through the landscape and tool of our minds, and being unattached to both the illusions that allow our resulting creations to manifest, as well as being detached from the outcome of what we manifest from our place of purity.
When we understand that our creations begin within us, and that when our mind is pure and undistorted so too are the expressions that result from it, we are then free to rest in the presence of our undistorted identity/full expression and simply live in joy, and in peace, in our connection with all of creation/existence.
To become “enlightened” means to become unburdened by the heaviest load that most humans carry around with them, the load of a clouded, uncontrolled, and unrefined mind (and ego), which we consequently manifest outward through thoughts, words, and actions (karma) that create suffering within ourselves and in the external world.
Meditation and mindfulness are the tools that are required in order to free humans from this cycle of misery and suffering by supporting the cultivation of a healthy equanimous mindscape.
These tools, when applied within, extend their impact outward to our overall physical health and external experiences, and allow humans to not only find and create peace/mental and emotional freedom within themselves regardless of outside circumstances (since one cannot control the ever-present effect/impact of others’ thoughts and resulting actions in the world, but can respond to these things if life is sustained in one’s physical body), but they also support humans to gain a deeper understanding of, and greater compassion for, the mental insanity that plagues our species and is often, unfortunately, normalized as our default operating mode.
Meditation and mindfulness practices allow humans to remove illusions that cloud their understanding of their nature as conscious beings, who, when free from the heaviness and fog of distorted thinking and attachments (to false identities, ideologies, desires, and so forth), can live in the present in, and as, their presence and true expression as full enlightened beings.
Have you been practicing the work called for in this week’s prompt? What are some takeaways that you have gained so far from your efforts?