Through my study of the world wisdom traditions and my journey into mindful living, I have learned many valuable lessons which have brought me greater peace, joy and fulfillment.
Here are 21 of the greatest spiritual lessons I’ve learned:
1. The world’s wisdom traditions have one central message that I have learned to live and know to be true. Happiness (and when I say happiness I mean a deep and lasting contentment, a sense of being at peace and at ease within and feeling a deep connectedness with life (a happiness that words could never fully capture)) cannot be found in external factors but can only be found within. Happiness comes from abiding in our natural state.
2. Thoughts are not facts.
3. I’m not who I think I am.
4. The moment I leave the present moment I leave myself. The moment I leave myself, I leave the source of all true fulfillment. Nothing ‘out there’ in the world can bring that sense of fulfillment back… but in a heartbeat I can choose to return to myself and the present moment.
5. Everything is alive. Everything is connected. I am a part of an incredible, vast, outrageously magnificent and mysterious evolving cosmos.
6. There is nothing neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so.
7. When I drop desires and expectations about how people should be, about how life should be, about how I should be, all things are wonderful as they are.
8. Love, compassion and reverence arise naturally when I am fully present with any person, place or thing.
9. Taking care of myself is a gesture of love and kindness towards all life.
10. All fears ultimately come down to the fear of death. We don’t need to get rid of this fear but we do need to acknowledge it and extend compassion and understanding towards it. We also need to develop courage and vulnerability in the face of fear so we can live our lives authentically.
11. All that arises passes away. Observing and accepting this from the still, silent, changeless depths of my being, peace rushes forth.
12. What other people think of me is none of my business.
13. Our minds are the bottom line for how we feel, what we think and how we act. Change our minds and we change our whole lives from the inside out.
14. Trying to change the world without changing myself is futile.
15. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
16. Resistance is futile.
17. Gratification comes and goes, contentment stays with you forever.
18. Beliefs shape our perceptions, just like sunglasses color what we see. Mindfulness lifts the glasses off our face so we can see things as they really are.
19. What makes a human being most unhappy is mind wandering. What makes a human being most happy is being fully present in the moment. Therefore the most intelligent thing to focus on (once survival needs are met) is being fully present in the moment.
20. There is no such thing as a mundane moment. Only mundane states of mind.
21. The only thing that keeps us from being at peace is the stories we tell ourselves about why we’re not at peace. Without the story there is only peace.
Do you have some of your own spiritual lessons to share with us? Share your own wisdom in the comments section below.