The Four Noble Truths, and quest for enlightenment through the Eightfold Path, reminds all seekers that they must let go of the mental distortions that weight them down and keep them entangled/attached in the perpetual cycle of suffering that is inevitable for our species when they cling tightly to distortions that cause them to over-identify with their physical bodies, ideologies, identities, and impermanent creations in any given lifetime.
This, however, does not mean that, as a seeker (or even after you reach enlightenment), that you should abandon care for your body/life vessel, or that you should 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 yourself and others while you are alive.
Letting go of your clinging to illusion, simply means developing awareness of what you are creating in your body, life, and world through the landscape and tool of your mind, and being unattached to both the illusions that allow your resulting creations to manifest, as well as being detached from the outcome of what you manifest from your place of purity.
When you understand that your creations begin within you, and that when your mind is pure and undistorted so too are the expressions that result from it, you are then free to rest in the presence of your undistorted identity/full expression and simply live in joy, and in peace, in your 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 (as a species, individually and collectively), consequently manifest outward through thoughts, words, and actions (karma) that create suffering within ourselves and in the external world (if we remain unconscious of ourselves and our True nature).
Meditation and mindfulness are the tools that are required in order to free you 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 your overall physical health and external experiences, and allow you to not only find and create peace/mental and emotional freedom within yourself regardless of outside circumstances (since you cannot control the ever-present effect/impact of others’ thoughts and resulting actions in the world, but you can respond to these things). And, these tools also support you to gain a deeper understanding of, and greater compassion for, the mental insanity that plagues our species and is often, unfortunately, normalized as the default operating mode within most societies.
Meditation and mindfulness practices allow you to remove the illusions that cloud your understanding of your nature as a conscious being, 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, your presence and true expression as a fully enlightened being.
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?