Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reflection on Enlightenment

Prajnatara T Bryant holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Religious Anthropology, certification in Spiritual Direction and Adult Education, and has extensive training in Buddhist spirituality, psychotherapy and meditation instruction. She has worked in the areas of counselling, meditation instruction and pastoral ministry in university, hospital and community settings for over 25 years. She currently works part-time as a psychological counsellor at King’s University College, UWO, is the founder of Mosaic Retreats and is a Gankonin (ordained Buddhist Minister) with the Amida Buddha Order, England.
Pranjnatara Bryant is a wonderful friend and my teacher. I asked her if she would consider contributing to the Italian Buddhist and she graciously accepted. I am very fortunate and humbled. She will be a guest contributor from time to time so my excitement is grand! Keep her and our sangha, The Amida Mosaic Sangha in your kind thoughts and meditations!
Namo Amida Bu,


There are many interpretations as to what enlightenment means and what the experience of the Buddha was on the day he declared as the earth was his witness that he was indeed free to love!  Today, we tend to gravitate to the notion that enlightenment is some far off state to be worked at and perchance accomplished after a life time or many life times of heroic effort.  The Buddha felt similarly and spent a great deal of time and energy engaged in rigorous spiritual practice and study before he finally came to rest at the foot of the bodhi tree.

Rest, a spiritual practice aligned with  purity of heart, is what we do when we surrender, or more to the point, give up grasping toward some perfected and exalted state. Rest, Thomas Merton tells us, is a kind of simple "no-whereness and no-mindedness that has lost all preoccupation with a false or limited self."   In other words, to rest is to be at peace in the possession of the sublime "Nothing".  It is a radical yes to the presence of Loveand a dramatic shedding of the need to know, hold on to, or possess.

In these days of darkness, we are invited to rest in that which is unknown.  Like the Buddha, we too may be exhausted from a life of too much, too many and too often.  This may be our season to seek out a bodhi tree of our own.
May the deepening 
Darkness gently draw you into the silence ofLove.

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