Enlightenment. Enlightenment has been my sole goal for as long as I can remember. I have had unbelievable moments of extreme joy, moments where everything clicked for me, moments when I knew that I was close ……. to something.
When I first started to see the light at the end of a multi-decade spiritual path, I was reading Vasishta’s Yoga. This is a marvelous beginning, but I took it as the beginning and the stopping point. I needed to go further …….. for Vasishta taught me how to live an enlightened life away from temporal reality. I needed to know how to bring that enlightenment into the temporal reality. In other words, i need to be enlightened while living my life in this incarnation. I will spend quite enough time in the great realm of spiritual nothingness when I no longer carry around this body.
I sought out someone I knew, someone whose reputation was so great that I knew years ago I wanted a reading from him. I never did it and I’m not sure why. Years ago I could have afforded it quite easily. Years ago my husband was still working, still bringing in good money. So I didn’t get that reading because I couldn’t afford it. There must have been some other reason. I think that reason was because I wasn’t ready for it. I hadn’t even gotten the point of nothingness at that time, of analytical meditation, of inner peace or the need to live in the moment. I just wasn’t ready.
Last night I listened to the reading Robert Thibodeau did with me on October 8 again. He recorded it all on CDs and my son burnt them on his hard drive and transferred them to my computer. It is amazing how much I remembered and wrote down and how much I didn’t remember.
I can say, although I am supposed to get over feeling sorry for myself according to Robert, that my life over the last decade has not been easy. There were many trials brought on from outside sources and many trials in my family life. The biggest trial has been my husband’s illness, when everything I was working on involving myself and my spiritual growth slowed and almost stopped. Where I had to concentrate solely on him and not on anything else. That was the first time transiting Pluto hit my natal Sun position in my chart. It’s been going back and forth ever since.
For three years, I’ve been my husband’s caregiver. For the last 1.5 years, he’s been in the nursing home, but still my responsibility. I still have to be there, make decisions, visit him as much as I can, just be there. For the first year I saw him every other day. I was wearing myself out. There wasn’t enough alone time for me to be here at home, doing things I need to do for myself. Last summer I hit a limit and I couldn’t visit him as often. I was definitely burnt out. Seeing him in the state he is in is difficult. It is more difficult to know that he will never get better, only worse, until he dies.
During that time this summer, I didn’t spend a lot of time meditating or reading or learning. I skimmed along the surface of life, just getting by, doing things I wanted to do but not going deep. Not growing, not learning, not assimilating information.
I had my reading with Robert, finally, at just the right time. I knew I had some heavy aspects in my chart, work I had to do on myself. Everything came together and for years I’ve been walking around on hold. My life could have ended then. It was like it did and then I kick-started myself.
And now we’re coming to the end of my husband’s life. I know that he can’t live much longer and I also know that although I’m prepared for his death, nobody can really be prepared for what they will feel after it’s all over.
Over the winter, while all the heavy aspects in my chart are working themselves out, moving off, going away …….. I am going to be expanding my spiritual knowledge. There are 7 books that I am going to absorb, not read, but absorb. I am going to read them with intent, with concentration and with meditating on what i read. I want to assimilate this knowledge to further my spiritual enlightenment. It is a great project for my winter, when things are still too up in the air to be counted on as sticking around, when life is still too fluid.
Robert said that everyone with a higher spiritual goal has to spend some time alone contemplating what they learn. Christ had his 40 days and 40 nights, Buddha sat under a tree, Krishna led the battle on the battlefield of the mind and the body. We all need to spend time absorbing what we learn.
My first book is Transform Your Life by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. It is described as a practical guide to transforming one’s life by understanding the nature of love. I like that. There were so many choices of books to read that I couldn’t decide which to do first. So rather than read them one at a time, I’m going to read them all simultaneously, a chapter or two at a time …….. getting something here, something there ……. and then meditating on what I’ve learned, taking it inside and letting it nourish me.
A fine goal that. And I’ve already learned one thing ……… to not procrastinate when it comes to spending time developing oneself spiritually. After all, as Gyatso says, we may die today. When I die, I want to be as prepared as I can be – for my next life. I want to accumulate more good karma so that even if I can’t change the world and make it a better place in this lifetime, I will have a head start on it in my next lifetime ……….