How to Live Life
Enlightenment may seem a daunting task initially, but if you can just figure out how to live life well, you will be well on your way to fulfilling this great destiny of yours. In the past, I have given some guidelines on how to live in order to facilitate spiritual growth, and enjoy a happy and meaningful life, but in today’s article I want to give you the absolute basic life keys to get you started on your journey to Enlightenment.
The previous 2 articles I was alluding to above are also of course worth reading and learning from and here are the links to them: 5 Principles of Living an Enlightened and Good Life and 10 Things You Should Do Everyday for a Happy and Meaningful Life.
Without a doubt living life with full awareness, watching the ego in action, meditating and having a personal spiritual practice are big factors in your spiritual growth, but not everyone is able to establish all these aspects right away. So for those just getting their feet wet, what is the best way to start? For those eager to take this great journey back to their original, infinite nature, how should they begin? Here is the answer to that question. Start by living peacefully, honestly and in an orderly way. This is something most everyone can aspire to and being able to live life in this way sets the stage for deeper and wider growth. Below, I will expand on these simple but important keys on how to live well and begin the journey to Self-Realization.
3 Keys for How to Live Life Well:
1. Live Life Peacefully:
The amount of conflict and violence in the world is appalling to say the least. In response to this, all decent people undoubtedly want wars and hatred to end, and the first step to this is to stop contributing to the state of human violence by living peacefully ourselves. I know there are deeper and wider meanings to conflict, in which "what should be" conflicts with "what is", but here I am suggesting a more simple thing – which is just to live at peace with everything and everybody around us. That is the starting point.
Peaceful living softens the heart and teaches us how to diffuse our reactive nature so that we can become masters of our emotions. When the winds of conflict start to stir within, if you can remember your determination to live peacefully, it will lead you to becoming conscious and awake during such tumultuous times. Once conscious, you will be able to retain your composure and act intelligently, instead of becoming a slave to the storm of feelings conflict evokes. This ability to witness the ways of the ego and emotions, puts you on the path to awakening.
Learning how to live peacefully, will also teach you the art of forgiveness and the art of compassion. I have written about these topics previously and you can read about them in the following 3 popular articles.
2. Live Life Honestly:
The road to enlightenment is a path of negation. This is a very crucial understanding in order to make the right progress. What this essentially means, is when all that is false is taken away, what remains is your true, non-dual, already perfect nature. You are the substratum on which the game of life is being played out, and to encounter this timeless aspect of yourself, you need to shed all the masks you have put on. For that your have to learn how to live life honestly.
This is not as easy as it may sound initially. To live honestly you will have to shatter many images of yourself that you hold dear and face many aspects of who you are, which will downright appall and even disgust you. But this cleansing, this dying of our many false selves is a necessary part of the process. Real honestly leads to real simplicity and innocence, which is essential for walking this path path to your Natural Self.
To work on yourself, you have to first see things as they are, even if they are a mess. This is the first step and as your understanding deepens, you will come to realize that the way to break through is to totally accept the actuality of "what is", without any attempt to change or escape it. A prerequisite for such action is brutal honesty. The mind is a master at deception and the practice of honesty in all forms is the beginning of clarity.
This is also a topic I have written about in the past and you can find more of my thoughts on it in the following article:
3. Live Life with Order:
One great advantage that monks and yogis have when they live in an ashram or monastery, is that their lives have great order. This structured living then helps them establish internal order and helps them establish a strong spiritual practice. So try to adopt some of these aspects into your life as well and therefore benefit from such structure as the monks and yogis do.
The more such order emerges from your passion and your practice the more natural and effective it will be. Allow your practice to thus shape your life and structure your days so that you can move forward systematically and gracefully. Generally, you will find setting up a consistent time for your practice, waking up early, getting proper exercise, eating healthy, spending time in nature and other such wholesome activities becoming a natural part of your life as you progress.
Small things you do will matter also. Cleanliness, simplicity, balance, promptness, diligence, thoughtfulness will all start to emerge as you put your life in order. Also, order does not mean an absence of spontaneity. Being simple and making time for leisure will promote spontaneity, as will living in the moment, with honesty. So start to organize yourself and your time and get your life in order. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much this will help you in your personal as well as spiritual growth.
So how to live life in order to begin the great adventure to enlightenment? Live peacefully, honestly and with great order, and surely you will find yourself on the path to awakening and Self-Realization.