Niko Byoyo Burkhardt
Recently, our group has been exploring the topic of realizing enlightenment through any means we have. As a group, humans tend towards the dramatic and glamorous so sometimes we think we will get to enlightenment by a grand gesture or event. I have been exploring the concept of enlightenment through acknowledging limitations over the past few weeks and find it very liberating.
There are so many judgments we have as individuals and a society or culture about what we “should” or “should not” be doing. For instance. someone with a very strong work ethic can feel very useless unless they are constantly engaged in some result oriented task. When we encounter limitations in life, whether financial, physical or mental, we tend to judge ourselves and feel guilt.
In the past few weeks, I have had a chance to choose a different response to my own limitations. Rather than feeling guilty or defeated, I have experienced acceptance. After acceptance sets in for a while, I was able to see reasons to appreciate these limitations and have been able to use them as a springboard for new opportunities I could not have seen before. To me, this is a glimpse of enlightenment and it keeps me going when things seem too challenging.
As long as we are in resistance to a problem, we cannot see the way out of it. By resisting, we are in a state of mind that believes in duality. There is a problem and then there is me – they are two separate entities. By practicing acceptance, we become one with the limitation and thereby are empowered to move past it.
This Dharma Glimpse and many other can be found in our Bright Dawn Dharma Glimpses book. You can order one here. You can also learn about the Bright Dawn Center, links to services, resources and the Lay Ministry Program.