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Counting on Enlightenment: When will it be enough?
Submitted by Gina LaRoche on Mon, 11/7/2011, 1:30pm
Last week I did not sit meditation.
Okay, I just lied.
I led a 5 minute silence before a meeting but in my mind that does not count. Therefore, last week I was a bad girl.
The week before I was good.
I did one walking meditation session and 5 sitting, I also offered metta throughout the week.
This morning I did not sit meditation. I choose instead to write in my journal and went for a 2.5 mile run. Does that count?
Yes, I wrote count. . .
Count towards what? I wonder. . .
Towards my ultimate destination – Enlightenment
Am I supposed to be counting?
Am I actually keeping an internal scorecard, day after day, week after week adding and subtracting points? Will I ever have enough points and how would I know when I had arrived at enlightenment?
Unfortunately, the popular narrative of Gautama Buddha’s life has me trapped in the belief that if I do enough of . . . of . . . I am not even sure of what? Sitting? Standing? Walking? Following the five or eight precepts?
Then I will arrive, yes arrive, at enlightenment – like I will arrive at the address I have programmed into my GPS.
I suspect that is not what the Buddha was talking about in his teachings.
If I turn my attention toward exquisite sufficiency, a place to create my life in a context and declare that I am enough regardless of who I am, what I do or what I own. I can find a gentle place to look at my practices. If I stand in a commitment of mindfulness, peace and love – noticing breath and offering loving-kindness rather than counting my minutes, hours or steps in meditation, I may find in the space that I am enough, that I am here, and that I may indeed have found enlightenment.
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