Matsumoto Sensei was walking down the street when he saw a beggar at the side of the road. As he passed the beggar, he heard something mumbled at him. He stopped and asked the woman to repeat what she had just said. “Spare some change?” At the same time, she held out a tiny paper cup.
Matsumoto Sensei said “I have nothing to give you. What is that you are sitting on?”
“An old box. I have been sitting on it for many years.”
“Have you ever looked inside?” Matsumoto Sensei asked
“What’s the use? There is nothing inside.” She said
“Are you sure? Take a look inside. You have nothing to loose!”
She did as she was told and opened the lid.
With astonishment, disbelief and elation, she found a check for $1 million.
This is a simple story and I have nothing to give you, but I am asking you to look inside of yourself.
Am I a beggar you ask?
Maybe not like the woman in the story, but those people who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they process unlimited material possessions. These people are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security or love, while they have a treasure inside that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the relative world has to offer.
What is enlightenment? What images come to mind when you hear this word? Does this word frighten you, or make you feel good? Is it some unattainable state of being? Is it some super human accomplishment?
Enlightenment is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being. It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible. It is essentially you but at the same time greater than you. It is finding your true nature.
If you cannot feel this oneness and connectedness then you will have the illusion of being separated, from yourself and the world around you. You then see yourself, consciously or sub-consciously as an isolated fragment. Fear arises and conflicts within and without become the norm.
In Buddhism, they teach a simple definition for enlightenment it is the end of suffering. But that is an incomplete definition. Why? Because it only tells what enlightenment is not. No suffering. But what is left when suffering ends? Buddha did not teach this in words but his silence implies you’ll have to find out for yourself. Meditate on this. Until next time I wish you peace, love and success.
Martin Acton sensei