It has been ages and ages since I meditated last, maybe 5 or 6 months. Amidst finishing my first year of uni, doing exams, moving house, applying to a new university and working out my finances, I have naturally managed to build up some stress and my state of mindfulness has wavered somewhat. Instead I have tried simply to bring my awareness into the present moment during random moments of the day when I remember, plus i’ve been taking some antioxidants which help too. I find this brings rare moments of peace into your day, which then helps you integrate this mindset into your other daily activities. So that is what I have been doing whenever I remember during the day. Apart from that I haven’t been doing any formal meditation and I haven’t been reading any spiritual texts or anything like that either.
Just the other day I was walking through the city and suddenly a wave of mindfulness and contentment swept over me, lasting for the rest of the day, no doubt a side effect of these constant reminders. I think this is testament to the fact that changing your mind is a long process and the effects of this will only be felt spontaneously as a result of rewiring your brain, having dropped old negative patterns of thinking. I used to think that this ‘enlightenment’ comes through consciously keeping your mind in the present moment all the time, but I have realised that is only a form of practice, and true enlightenment comes when you no longer need to do it consciously. It comes when you have finally let go of trying to live in the present moment because it is the state you live in already. You won’t be able to get to this state however until you practice mindfulness day in and day out. The moments of inner peace are basically just little previews of what is to come once your mind is free.
Enlightenment will always come out of the blue.
One of the most perfect descriptions I have ever heard comes from Osho recounting the day on which he became enlightened:
“I am reminded of the fateful day of twenty-first March, 1953. For many lives I had been working—working upon myself, struggling, doing whatsoever can be done—and nothing was happening.
Now I understand why nothing was happening. The very effort was the barrier, the very ladder was preventing, the very urge to seek was the obstacle. Not that one can reach without seeking. Seeking is needed, but then comes a point when seeking has to be dropped. The boat is needed to cross the river but then comes a moment when you have to get out of the boat and forget all about it and leave it behind. Effort is needed, without effort nothing is possible. And also only with effort, nothing is possible.
Just before twenty-first March, 1953, seven days before, I stopped working on myself. A moment comes when you see the whole futility of effort. You have done all that you can do and nothing is happening. You have done all that is humanly possible. Then what else can you do? In sheer helplessness one drops all search.
And the day the search stopped, the day I was not seeking for something, the day I was not expecting something to happen, it started happening. A new energy arose—out of nowhere. It was not coming from any source. It was coming from nowhere and everywhere. It was in the trees and in the rocks and the sky and the sun and the air—it was everywhere. And I was seeking so hard, and I was thinking it is very far away. And it was so near and so close.
Just because I was seeking I had become incapable of seeing the near. Seeking is always for the far, seeking is always for the distant—and it was not distant. I had become far-sighted, I had lost the near-sightedness. The eyes had become focussed on the far away, the horizon, and they had lost the quality to see that which is just close, surrounding you.
The day effort ceased, I also ceased. Because you cannot exist without effort, and you cannot exist without desire, and you cannot exist without striving.” –Osho
The whole article can be found here: