Inspired by the book The Four Agreements by Don Miquel Ruiz, I thought about what my recommended key points for mental health and ‘enlightenment’ would be.
The most published philosopher of our time, Ken Wilber, gives us good clues. He had his people look through two thousand years of writings on propelling enlightenment. They found that key was to stimulate and cultivate all four dimensions of being human: the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual. This makes sense as that which we ignore becomes our nemesis. If I cultivate the spiritual and not the emotional, the emotional triggering will constantly highjack my attention. Or if I am physically not strong, I will be too tired or unwell to stay engaged.
So here are my ideas. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you think has brought you the most contentment and awe?
Staying well physically: moving the body, providing good nutrition for it, ensuring it gets enough sleep.
Staying well mentally: work on maintaining attention, on memory, on critical quality thinking.
Staying well emotionally by cultivating emotional literacy: be aware of where you are at emotionally and what is arising, and learn to manage it.
Staying well spiritually by having a spiritual practice, engaging in meditation, prayer, nature, joy, while cultivating surrendering and humility.
Commit to the ongoing journey of trying to live beyond the realm of survival drives
Commit to cultivating a kind, intimate relationship with your Dear Body. Speak ‘connect speak’ with kindness to your dear body, and allow it to be your teacher. It will teach you that there is no self, it will unveil dependent arising, the vibrancy and sheer emptiness of our experience.
Commit to being curious, challenge your understandings, your beliefs, the frames through which you view life. Be curious about what is beyond words, beyond understandings, beyond survival drives.
Commit to practicing humility, appreciation and gratitude
Commit to reminding yourself that you can only change yourself. When we focus on what is wrong with others, we are missing the point, wasting our time and losing the opportunity for growth and learning. Every interaction is potential teaching, and everyone around you is a teacher.
Commit to following your bliss, and allow your heart to be your guide. That which feels wholesome, amazing, beautiful, kind, contented, that it is our purpose to follow. There is no intellectual purpose articulated, there is simply cell health – go where that leads you. Follow your bliss and that will lead you to service, connection and contribution.
You might like this little practice:
Ask: ‘Allow me to be of service’
Ask: ‘Allow me to be a guardian of peace’
Ask: ‘What is most important for me to let go of?’
Ask: ‘What is most useful for me to know right now?