Dear SuHaeng Ja,
I love meditation, yoga, running—anything that puts me in that zone where the world fades away, my mind becomes clear and I catch a glimpse of a higher truth. And even though I feel aware of certain truths, I get so frustrated that I don't know it all yet. I don't want to spend ALL my time in deep meditation. Why does enlightenment take so long?
Dear Impatient Indigo,
In exchange for your question, I would like to offer you another one. What is "enlightenment?" Such a question usual leads to discussions about the ego and illusion. In my opinion this kind of discussion can lead you far off track because of preconceptions about what "ego" and "illusion." So let's talk about enlightenment without these distracting words.
Is enlightenment about reaching some ideal state, becoming an ideal person, living in ideal circumstances? According to many stories of individuals who have become enlightened, it is about an awareness of life that is much more real and practical than ideal. Simply getting to know yourself and living authentically are essential for enlightenment. Simple, but not easy.
I hope you can recognize that enlightenment doesn't require that you spend most of your lifetime in meditation. Meditation and yoga are practices that can help you accept and be your true self. However, instead of keys to enlightenment they can become tools of distraction. You can avoid the trap if you remember that enlightenment is a process.
The daily process of getting to know yourself, being honest and compassionate with yourself takes persistence, courage and a whole host of active attitudes, regardless of technique. Despite many distractions, you can learn to be at peace with yourself and the world around you. How you do this and the time you take depends on you. You can choose to make it enjoyable. Notice how quickly time passes when you are having fun. Are you having fun?
What in the world is a SuHaeng Ja?
SuHaeng Ja: soo-hang jah (n.) One who practices SuHaeng
SuHaeng: soo-hang (v.) 1. Performing an action with sincerity and intention to grow.
(n.) 2. Any practice, such as walking, observing, meditating or exercising, done with commitment and consistency.