How do you get to Carnegie hall? Practice, Practice, Practice. How do you find peace, happiness & joy? Practice, Practice, Practice. The wisdom is in the practice.
Most of us pine for the day when we won’t be at the effect of the world: when we will float effortlessly, painlessly, peacefully, joyously through life. And we somehow think this will miraculously & spontaneously happen of it’s own accord. Perhaps we will experience a divine vision and be forever changed…We will mysteriously be enlightened and then the pains of this world will no longer affect us. But as long as we are human, we will feel: Disappointment, anger, despair…
Enlightenment is not about making us less human. Enlightenment is allowing our human qualities to soften our hearts so deeply that we understand the nature of our feelings and alter us to become the most peaceful and loving human beings we can be.
But let’s be clear: the epiphany is not the hard part. The tricky part is allowing that epiphanic knowledge to guide us on a daily basis. Wise men aren’t born: they are cultivated. Knowledge and wisdom are crafted out of everyday experiences. A sage chooses his wisdom and in every moment he purposefully activates the wisdom he already has.
And yet how do WE get there? We start by stop thinking there is a “there” to get to. There is only here. And the only way to be here is to BE HERE NOW. Our spiritual masters may seem other-worldly, but ironically that is because they are deeply embedded in the Truth of this world. And the Truth can only be accessed in the present moment.
There is no magic pill for a joyful life. We have to practice being joyful, being peace, and being happy. It is a muscle like any other. Work it and it strengthens, ignore it and it atrophies. It is not enough to know the answers. Just as knowing an arpeggio on the piano isn’t enough to being able to play Chopin. Knowing the material is the first step but we are practitioners. We need to embody the knowledge. We need to play those scales to get them into our bones. Our lives are our work and our tasks are to viscerally experience & embody the knowledge in order to own it. Knowledge is power. Practice is peace.
You know what to do. You just have been avoiding doing it. Go for that run. Write in your journal. Meditate. Pray. Practice gratitude, Forgiveness, Non-judgment, today and everyday. Your world and your heart will open and soften and that peace and happiness that once seemed elusive? They are your touchstones. You can come back to them anytime you choose.
The wisdom is in the practice. And the practice is yours.