Not long ago Christy and Kevin were away, attending hands-on classes learning to create sustainable living environments from the dirt – literally how to build a home from the earth and permaculture to grow food from barren land.
So what does a man do when his wife and son are away? Call a monk and a guru and have a meditation retreat of course! I’m laughing as I write that; the beautiful evolution of my life in one simple sentence.
Guru Singh, Wang Bo, and I had been planning this for some time. We had envisioned an escape to the mountains, teacher and student, immersed in nothingness. But when the time came leaving town wasn’t possible as I had a daughter to care for, business needs, and some new trees arriving. So last week the mountain retreat became the basement theater of my home and nothingness became a little more … well, populated.
But what began as less than ideal became the lesson. Not just the lesson of the retreat, but the LESSON. The realities of physical life mixed with the beauty of infinity – like the specks of a kaleidoscope, spinning together until the small pieces unite to form the beautiful, abstract picture of our life. That is the enlightened household – not enlightened man, or renunciate or hermit, but the self-realized man, woman, child, household, and community fully engaged in a life that reflects their values. The “real world” lived from the heart.
This is what we are all engaged in, each in our perfectly unique way.
- The lawyer spending the time he can’t sleep listening to audio talks on surrendering and allowing his life to unfold.
- The CEO, a vegan, who changes the menu for his customers saying simply, “what’s good for my family is good for the world.”
- The moms, who in between diapers, school, and long days at work, whisper in their children’s ears, “I love you for who you are, not for what you do.”
- The man shaken by cancer making his first green juice
- The teacher, the nurse, the doctor, the therapist who dare to replace the rules and protocols with a hug and a little magic.
- The scientist, a petri dish, and an epiphany that leads to the woman of his dreams who together touch people around the world through their teachings.
- The young girl who wakes up early to make a garden salad to take to school and then shares with her classmates, teaching by example what she has learned from her mom about health and wellness.
- The beautiful couple, blessed by wealth, turning privilege into service, putting their love to action in a giant web of benevolent creation.
- The courageous young people who don’t just march to the beat of a different drummer, they recreate the drum and bang it with such conviction that we all dance.
- The man who takes a break to build a jing garden for us all.
- The angels who rescue animals with the simple motto “all life is precious.”
- The son, blessed through the passing of his mom, lifted and guided by her spirit to find his true love and then share her hugs.
This is what “enlightenment” looks like in 2014. All of us, taking whatever step we are currently taking, creating together an enlightened household within the four walls of our houses, in the chair at our office, on the path while we walk our dogs, at school with our friends, wherever we are and doing whatever we can to create joy and love …
Enlightenment ridiculously summarized with the fusion of the words of two great poets:
“In a plane, on a train, in the rain … here, there and everywhere … I am what I am.”
Big hugs of love (from the basement),