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The title of this blog comes from the words of Indian Prime Minister Nehru after the passing of Mahatma Gandhi. "The light that shone in this land was no ordinary light," Nehru said of the peaceful modern saint. The name of this blog, which chronicles my journey deeper into Spirit, is to remind us that there is no such thing as an ordinary light. The spiritual scriptures of many traditions such as the Bible, the Vedas, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the Koran and others all tell us that God is Light and so are we. It is the essence of who we are as a universe. Turn on your inner glow and shine it like a search light across the darkness of the world. We are the stuff of suns and stars.
We are no ordinary lights.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An Enlightenment Story: An Old Man in the Himalayas

I don't remember where I first heard this story. I just know it is a deep part of me, a kind of personal mythology that helps me to understand the world and living in it. When I move through my day, even when I feel good, I whisper this story into my own ear, and good turns into great. I hope it does the same for you.

Once upon a time....

In the mysterious and sacred land of the Himalayas, deep within a dark mountain cave, sat an old man. He was a sadhu, a man who had chosen the holy life of a renunciate. In the caves around him were other holy men, deeply involved in their spiritual practices from morning until night. In the cave to the right of this old man was another sadhu who had not eaten for 3 years except for a thimble full of water and a blade of grass each day. In the cave to the left, was a man who had kept his left arm in the air for 10 years. The old man in the cave went on about his day, cooking tea over a fire, tending to a small garden, and waving to the animals that passed by his cave door. He did not appear to be deep in meditation, and yet his eyes glowed with inner wisdom.

Early in the morning, before the light of dawn kissed the earth, the old man would climb up to the tallest peak and wait. Just as the sun rose in the sky, as the first rays of light hit the valley full of flowers below, he would hoot and holler, shouting "Good job, God!" and clapping endlessly, laughing in joy with all of his being at the radiance he saw.

His gratitude was his spiritual practice, and near the end of his life, fully and completely enthralled with creation, he reached enlightenment.

The End.

Try it. Whisper to yourself as you go through your day. Feel the warmth of the sun, the beauty of a flower, and give credit where credit is due.

Meister Eckart, a mystic, said that if the only prayer we ever said in our whole life was thank you, it would be enough. "Good job, God!"