Enzo is the main character in Garth Stein’s book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. “Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs).”
Enzo (or Ensō, both are correct) is also the name of a Zen circle, a Buddhist symbol that represents infinity, “no-thing.”
For me, that symbol translates to simplicity, minimalism, a meditative state, and enlightenment which I define as “Recognizing that we are all connected, then consciously living that realization—our thoughts, words, and actions an unshakable reflection of that understanding.”
Zen is an enlightened state of mind. It’s also a way of being—living. As we close 2017 and look to writing the pages of a new year, my mantra is “Peace begins with me. Right here. Right now.”
Will you please join me?
Incidentally, The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of my all-time favorite books. If you haven’t read it yet, please carve out time and gift yourself with the opportunity. You’ll be glad you did.
Last week we enjoyed an evening out with friends at the Egyptian Theater in downtown Boise where we attended the 10th annual Xtreme Holiday Xtravaganza.
This vibrant musical production raises funds for the Interfaith Sanctuary—a collaboration of people who have joined together to shelter and serve individuals experiencing homelessness.
While waiting with the sold-out crowd for the doors to open, we enjoyed the myriad of LIGHT all around us, a reminder that even in the most challenging of times, so much good is possible in this world.
Light is something each of us can be. Joined together, our combined light offers possibility, opportunity, and the promise of a better tomorrow.
I find it not-at-all coincidental that the word light is prominent within the word enLIGHTenment. There are probably as many definitions of enlightenment as there are people. Here’s mine:
“Enlightenment is recognizing that we’re all connected, then consciously living that realization—our thoughts, words, and actions an unshakable reflection of that understanding.” —Laurie Buchanan
In the final week prior to departing our home of 20-years in Crystal Lake, Illinois, we’d almost completely packed the kitchen and ate our meals out or picnic style.
Sitting perfectly still in what seemed like tranquil meditation, an onion remained on the counter. Similar to a novice monk, it began with a tiny spark. In the onion’s case, a small green sprout at its crown. But with time and considerable growth, it leaned — with gentle ease — toward the bright, sunny kitchen window.
Our perspective is the lens through which we view life. It impacts the way we experience people, places, and things; and has a direct correlation to how we respond to life’s ups and downs. In fact, our perspective creates our world. In her book, You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay wrote, “What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us. I believe that everyone, myself included, is responsible for everything in our lives, the best and the worst. Each one of us creates our experiences by our thoughts and our feelings.” By changing our thoughts, we can change our life.
In my experience I know this to be true. That’s why I’ve chosen to let go of errors of the past, to forgive myself and others, to fill my world with joy, and to live a life of gratitude—regardless. It’s been said that enlightenment is letting go of everything we believe that’s not benefiting us. With thankful heart, I accept the peace of enlightenment.