4 Tips For Spiritual Enlightenment
Love, Laugh, dance, and sing.
Spiritual seekers often think you need to do hours of yoga, fasting, and meditation to achieve Awakening (Enlightenment). Thankfully, this process is not necessary.
I remember reading of an American Zen Master who was removed from his position and kicked out of the monastery through a revolt of his students, due to his consistently inappropriate behavior. Years later, he was asked, “What would you have done differently?” His response was, “I should have danced more.” My thought is that if he had danced more when he was in the monastery, he might have behaved better.
Creative expression through song, dance, laughter, silent introspection, and love can be key elements in your “Spiritual Practice.”
With humor, you are able to transcend the logic of a particular idea or thought and shift it just enough to make it seem absurd, provoke laughter and provide amusement. Humor is core to the creation of well-being, humility, and empathy, which together foster rapport and compassion and create strong connections between individuals and groups. Singing, dancing, and laughing will help you transcend the ordinary, and often negative patterns of the mind.
The mind is comfortable with repetition, habit, and the familiar. External silence will filter back into the chatter that is Monkey Mind and bring silence and quiet there as well. The arts, including singing, dancing, writing, and drawing or painting, are powerful tools for breaking these unproductive patterns. In time, as your practice evolves, it is laughter that will likely become the most powerful and most easily accessible of the seven pillars of wisdom that we discuss here. Humor is related to the Study of kōans. The study of kōans is designed to drag or shock a student out of an attachment to logic. Through the study of kōans, the mind becomes aware that new patterns will arise and disappear and these are likely to both shock and surprise it. Recognition of this is rewarded with the experience of humor. This often manifests physically as a spontaneous smile or laughter.
“It isn’t by getting out of the world that we become enlightened, but by getting into the world…by getting so tuned in that we can ride the waves of our existence and never get tossed because we become the waves.”
― Ken Kesey, Kesey’s Garage Sale
This type of laughter is a Zen kōan, a process that helps a person transcend the limitations of the intellect. The ordinary person upon observation will likely see the Wisdom Path as baffling at best and often ridiculous, while the serious student of this path laughs. From the perspective of the Wisdom Path, it is the ordinary way of living in unnecessary suffering and struggle that often appears ridiculous though it is a catalyst for empathy and compassion.
When you can laugh at life, death, happiness, and sadness then love will arise spontaneously. The serious student can soon see the general absurdity of life and the role humor serves as a tool for transformation.
Author: Lewis Harrison is an Independent Scholar with a passion for knowledge, innovation, personal development, self-improvement, problem-solving, philanthropy, and love. He is the creator of Harrison’s Applied Game Theory. His website is AskLewisGameTheory.com
“I am the former host of an absurdist, humor-based Q & A talk radio show on an NPR affiliated station in NY.
Here is a short excerpt from the show to make you smile.
“I am always exploring trends, areas of interest, and solutions to build new stories upon. Again, if you have any ideas you would like me to write about, just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com”.