“Heaven is not a goal; heaven is the presence right now. If you are present, the divine is available. If you live in the moment, you are enlightened; there is no other enlightenment. And then ordinary life is so extraordinary. Then to be just a nobody is so fulfilling. I call this whole approach sannyas: dropping the goals, the purposes, the future—becoming part of existence this very moment, not postponing it. Then in this very moment, a great explosion is possible in you: the ego disappears, you are no more, but the divine is. And that is bliss and that is truth.” ~ Osho, Fame, Fortune, and Ambition
The following is an excerpt from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. It recounts the life and story of Buddha and how he went from being a young, spoiled child—who had essentially everything (and anything) he could have ever wished for—to the sage that we remember him as today who practiced severe asceticism before his enlightenment.
The suffering that the Buddha endured formulated the foundation for the teachings and philosophies on which Buddhism was later founded and the story of the Buddha shares a deep insight about how happiness is not the absence of suffering but rather a dance with suffering and non-ascetic, middle way living.
Below, you will find the story of Buddha as it was shared in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. While you read, we strongly encourage you to reflect on your beliefs of suffering and happiness and challenge you to take notes (real or mental) on areas of your life that might need some attention or reevaluation.
Some questions to consider: Are you pursuing happiness or happy in your pursuits? Are you waiting for a criteria to be met before you feel that you can be happy? Is meeting that criteria really going to make you happy or will it just lead to more criteria? If you’re feeling moved, drop some of your thoughts in the comment section below! We hope this helps and we hope you find value in this story. Enjoy!
“Enlightenment, peace, and joy will not be granted by someone else. The well is within us, and if we dig deeply in the present moment, the water will spring forth. We must go back to the present moment in order to be really alive.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
“Gaining enlightenment is an accident. Spiritual practice simply makes us accident-prone.” ~ Zen Saying, via Solitude
In the book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma we meet a high profile trial lawyer, Julian Mantle whose life is centered around power, prestige, and money. He’s the type who prioritizes three-thousand-dollar Italian suits, expensive meals at the finest restaurants, sexy young fashion models, and bright red Ferrari’s over gratitude, health, family, compassion, etc. and we quickly see how his life is on the fast track to some deep-seeded problems. Shortly into the book, while arguing a case in court, Julian collapses from a heart attack and nearly loses his life at the ripe age of fifty-three years old.
After being revived and given a second chance at life, he completely abandons his lavish lifestyle in search for one with greater meaning and significance and he heads to India for spiritual answers. Several years later, after his successful return, the fable follows Julian as he shares everything he learned with his former co-worker and friend who is still working at the law firm, destined to end up the same way Julian did on the courtroom floor. Twenty of our favorite tid-bits of wisdom are gathered together below for you to explore.
There’s nothing like a near-death experience to bring the preciousness of life into perspective. Continue reading
“To improve your mind without the cultivation of your physical gifts would be a very hollow victory. Elevating your mind and body to their highest level without nurturing your should would leave you feeling very empty and unfulfilled. But when you dedicate your energies to unlocking the full potential of all three of your human endowments, you will taste the divine ecstacy of an enlightened life.” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
“Those who are truly enlightened know what they want out of life, emotionally, materially, physically and spiritually. Clearly defined priorities and goals for every aspect of your life will serve a role similar to that played by a lighthouse, offering you guidance and refuge when the seas become rough. You see, anyone can revolutionize their lives once they revolutionize the direction in which they are moving. But if you don’t even know where you are going, how will you ever know when you get there?” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
“People who study others are wise but those who study themselves are enlightened.” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Imagine that everyone is enlightened except you.
…That’s right, the 3 year old screaming child, the moody teenager, the guy that cuts you off in traffic, and the arrogant businessman all have a deeper understanding of life than you.
The reason they act the way they do is so that they may teach you a lesson in life.
Sound strange? …Let’s look a little deeper.
How might a 3 year old screaming child teach you a lesson in enlightenment? Child screams can be so abrupt, obnoxious, and irritating that you might find your inner weather shift from sunny and happy to thunder storming and agitated in the blink of an eye (or the opening of a child’s mouth). But if you learn how to master your inner weather, no amount of screaming will be able to mess up your inner zen. Maybe that screaming child is teaching you a lesson in patience, compassion, and mastering your inner weather.
What about the moody teenager who keeps swinging from one extreme state to the other? Continue reading
“Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you. They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you learn perfect patience, perfect wisdom, perfect compassion.” ~ Gautama Buddha
“To help you remember the triviality of your daily tasks, interrupt your schedule with refreshers. These refreshers should cut to your core and strip the fat off the moment. Consider your own death. Behold an image of the most enlightened being you know. Contemplate the mystery of existence. Relax into the deepest and most profound loving of which you are capable. In your own way, remember the infinite, and then return to the task at hand. This way, you will never lose perspective and begin to think that life is a matter of tasks. You are not a drone. You are the unbounded mystery of love. Be so, without forgetting your tasks.” ~ David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
“Whenever you feel sad, sit by the side of a tree, by the side of the river, by the side of a rock, and just relax into your sadness without any fear. The more you relax, the more you will become acquainted with the beauties of sadness. Then sadness will start changing its form; it will become a silent joy, uncaused by anybody outside you. That will not be shallow happiness, which can be taken away very easily. And getting deeper into your aloneness, one day you will find not only joy – joy is only midway. Happiness is very superficial, depends on others; joy is in the middles, does not depend on anyone. But going deeper you will come to the state of bliss – that’s what I call enlightenment.” ~ Osho, Love, Freedom, Alonenss: The Koan of Relationships
“Enlightenment, peace, and joy will not be granted by someone else. The well is within us, And if we dig deeply in the present moment, The water will spring forth.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Savor
“Fortunately, some are born with spiritual immune systems that sooner or later give rejection to the illusory worldview grafted upon them from birth through social conditioning. They begin sensing that something is amiss, and start looking for answers. Inner knowledge and anomalous outer experiences show them a side of reality others are oblivious to, and so begins their journey of awakening. Each step of the journey is made by following the heart instead of following the crowd and by choosing knowledge over the veils of ignorance.” ~ Henri Bergson
“Nirvana means to extinguish the burning fires of the Three Poisons: greed, anger, and ignorance. This can be accomplished by letting go of dissatisfaction.” ~ Shinjo Ito