I’ve been thinking a lot about enlightenment lately.

EnlightenmentI suppose on the precipice of a major life change it makes one stop, take a moment, and pause. I have practiced; sometimes quiet poorly, but mostly successfully, Eckhart Tolle’s principles of enlightenment for the last decade. He puts it, simply, this way, the road to enlightenment is paved with these three intentions: Can I do it with Joy? Can I do it with Enthusiasm? or Can I do it with Acceptance? Mostly you try to accomplish whatever is in front of you with one of those three modes, joy, enthusiasm, or acceptance. I want to add Kindness. Can I do it with kindness even if all else fails, joy, acceptance, or enthusiasm, can I still be kind?

Kindness, as it is the Dalai Lama’s, is my religion. When all else is said and done, at the end of the day, I want to at the very least have been kind.

Yes, but were you kind?kindness and enlightenment

In my life, I have had many challenges many things that could push the normal person over that aforementioned precipice. I have had many stresses and stressors. I have had many days of sadness, loneliness, grieving, and feeling all out lost. I’m actually, in my default mode a chipper, happy, and  joking-around kind of person. I think humor has always been some sort of healing and escape mechanism for me. Joy, then is not usually difficult for me.

I still find frustrations with dealing with other people. These are some of the things that I stumble on with others and this stumbling makes me miss my mark on the road to enlightenment, or does it??? I would assume since just that I am self-aware of the stumble means I am still on the road.

Things I wonder and things I stumble over on the road:

Can you accept something like an apology, an explanation, a story, a person or etc. for what it is, at face value, without looking back, without rehashing, without analyzing, just acceptance?

Can you fill a void with silence or must it have activity, noise, chaos, news, messages, emails, social media, or fidgeting?

Can you let go without first becoming angry, frustrated, sad, or even attached in the first place?

Can you let someone bask in personal glory, celebration, accomplishment, or achievement without wanting, needing, or taking credit for your part? Can anyone do it for you?

Can you actually listen without comparison?

Can you ask for what you want directly without being demanding, commanding, expecting, passive, or entitled?

Can you assume you do not know the answer instead of that you do?

Can you live without critical, analytical, or judgmental thoughts towards yourself or others?

Can you embrace changes and use them to your advantage rather than bitch, moan, complain, or be frustrated by them?

Can you communicate clearly and concisely?

For me, these are things I either suck at, need to work on, or I am really practiced at them but they are the things that get me off track when other people do them. They are where I ultimately struggle with one of the modes joy, acceptance, enthusiasm, and ultimately kindness.  What are the potholes, speed bumps, and stumbling blocks on your road to enlightenment?