Enlightened Expectations

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Daily Beacon.

Dear Rich, because you’re into enlightenment and that kinda stuff, your life must be fantastically awesome, is that true?

Dear reader, not quite.

I like to use the examples of Arjuna, Buddha, and Jesus all the time, so I’ll continue that trend here. After his talk with Krishna, Arjuna had to continue with the bloody battle before him. Following his enlightenment, the Buddha traveled around as a monk for the rest of his life. And I’ll assume you know what fate befell Jesus. In other words, the physical life we lead won’t necessarily manifest as retirement to the Garden of Eden.

But is my life better than it was? Yes, better in the sense that I’m much more comfortable with existence. And importantly, I practice hopefulness: I maintain the belief that things will always turn out for the better. Nowadays my anxiety and fear evaporate soon after they appear.

While it’s true that I have less than I’d like, I’m actually pretty free and unencumbered. I do what I want with what I have. I love my tiny family, they’re an endless source of joy and companionship. And my character experiences life’s drama like everyone else, but I maintain a certain detachment from the fray.

Yet sometimes I get so captivated by the flashing lights and sounds that I believe the spectacle to be real, but soon enough I realize my error. This is mindfulness, an awareness that allows me to alter my attitude. So dear reader, while my physical existence is pretty unremarkable, my ability to extract enjoyment from this particular life has increased significantly.

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