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I think most people here would agree that all "Paths" to Enlightenment (Nirvana, Salvation, The Kingdom Of God) are really the same thing said in different ways: Be here now, transcend the self, extinguish desire, discover your true identity, love, devote yourself wholly to God...
Every one of these "states of being" implies the existence of all the others. They are in fact the same state of being. In order to be fully here now, there can be no trace of self. To transcend the self is to be here now. To love all things completely is to have transcended the self. To transcend the self is to extinguish selfish desire, etc. So, if we are serious about ending our suffering and the suffering of the world (which is what spirituality is really about...right?) we have to choose a path and PRACTICE it.
Personally I have chosen the path of awareness - be here now. It doesn't require any beliefs (other than the faith that to be here now IS a path) so I don't have to waste too much time trying to develop, understand and defend cosmic models of the universe and such. The problem is that with all the stuff of life it's hard to remember to be present. And how do we know when we are fully present? I find myself trying these absurd exercises like "O.K., be fully present now"........."Am I fully present? Damn, I must not be or I wouldn't ask!"
So, for others working on awareness I wanted to share a meme that helps keep one in the present without stepping all over the attempt. It's nothing new, just a reminder:
Whatever you are doing, do your very, very best. In every single tiny act...do your very, very best. In every minutia of every action - perform it perfectly. Make every movement, every act, efficient and effective. Lift the cup, cross the t, shift into gear, pull on the sock, pour the milk, push the broom, watch the bird, listen to your friend?our lives are made up of these tiny actions and every action, no matter how small is significant. Wholly devote yourself to each task.
Don?t worry about how things turn out. That isn?t up to you and will only keep you from performing each action with full awareness. Just perform your actions perfectly and leave the results to God (or the universe, or fate, or whatever).
?Whoever in acting dedicates his actions to the Supreme Spirit and puts aside all selfish interest in their result is untouched by sin, even as the leaf of the lotus is unaffected by the waters. The truly devoted, for the purification of the heart, perform actions with their bodies, their minds, their understanding, and their senses, putting away all self-interest. The man who is devoted and not attached to the fruit of his actions obtains tranquility; whilst he who through desire has attachment for the fruit of action is bound down thereby.?
- The Bhagavad-Gita
We can only do one thing at a time. It may seem like we are multitasking through life but we aren?t. It only seems that way because the mind is jumping all over itself from the past to the present to the future, from one task to another. It gives the impression that we are doing more than one thing at a time when awareness is not settled and is hopping all over the place. It gets smeared out and diluted ? the world becomes a fog of actions and thoughts and we perform each action without full awareness.
So give full attention to each task that presents itself- one after the other, don?t worry about the results and you will be naturally and fully immersed in the present. And don?t forget ? practice, screw up, practice more...
-------------------- What you're searching for is what's searching.
If you can't enjoy this moment, right here, right now... then what is the point?
I think we unconsciously set too many restrictions on what we cannot enjoy... even on things that aren't within our control. Our ego is so insanely paranoid and protected it makes you want to laugh at its shortsightedness and sort of feel sorry for it.. poor ego, you just don't understand, do you? Peace.
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you
yeah man that was put right on im learning that by to be in the moment is where it's at. Not thinking about it but just walking in it by faith. And giving up our selfish desires is the main part to enlightment and walking in an enlighting state.This is a brave mans walk and no other can journey the path but you and you alone, God bless all of you, Love n Faith Faith n Love
-------------------- "Well the first days are the hardest days." When life looks like easy street there is danger at your door.....