I gained nothing at all from Supreme Enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called Supreme Enlightenment.
Buddha’s first lesson
Siddhartha Gautama, the man who would become the first Buddha, was said to be born into a royal Hindu family. Being shielded from the extreme poverty and illness by his parents, he was shocked to learn of it one day while venturing outside of the royal compound. When confronted by it, he turned to the gods to ask them “What can I do?”
Sacrificing body and mind for wisdom
Leaving his wealthy family behind, Siddhartha exchanged his luxuries and riches for fasting, mediation and isolation. His body was weak from emaciation and his mind was plagued by the notion that he still hadn’t reached enlightenment.
Doing nothing under a tree
He then gave up his intense suffering to sit underneath a tree until enlightenment came. He stopped meditating, he stopped fasting and he stopped searching for the meaning behind all the misery in the world. In effect, he did nothing. He slept on the ground, took care of his basic needs, and villagers stopped by to feed him scraps from their own meals.
The secret is almost too simple
One day, Siddhartha woke up, opened his eyes, and felt different—on the inside and the outside. He recognized that this was enlightenment. When other people asked him about it, his answer shocked them. “I’m enlightened because I realize that enlightenment is knowing there is nothing you have to do,” he said. “You simply have to be exactly what you are being right now, and then make a choice about that, deliberately and with intention.”
Ancient wisdom for modern times
In today’s society, “doing nothing,” is often unacceptable. But Buddha’s point is just as relevant today as it was then, and is even supported by modern science... This is what we mean by mindfulness —to spend each moment living with intention and being present. There will always be suffering in the world, but you can choose to meet it with love and acceptance.
Take it from Buddha: it’s only by doing this that you can truly be enlightened.