The Dance of Enlightenment

I love this blog! I find it very useful for my daily life.

Relax and Succeed

I like your blog but I don’t really have any ‘problems.’
Is there still something I can do that will help me grow spiritually?


Dear Free,

Hey, good for you! Problem-free! But did you notice your assumption? By asking “is there still…?” you’re operating from a headspace that is presuming that spiritual growth is about dealing with problems. You see it as a salve and not a dance. You’re seeing challenges as ladders and growth as gaining altitude. You’ve been taught a very linear, rising-toward-God/Enlightenment set of narratives. You imagine Enlightenment as the end of a road. It is an achievement and its objective is to stop suffering. That’s a misunderstanding, and that’s also why you definitely can grow even without “problems.”

380 Relax and Succeed - Happiness is the absence of strivingYour spirituality is not something you achieve. It’s not an answer. Nothing ends there. Mental and Spiritual Health is not something you work toward and

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The Twelve Life Lesson: Learn how to balance


Dear Bella,

You are learning new things every day from different people and your surroundings. I am thinking of a way to guide you how to learn anything effectively.

I think the teachings of one of the greatest teachers, Buddha, may be useful for this matter. He talked about how to balance the five faculties during the mindfulness practice. But I think this skill can be applied to learning anything too.

The five faculties are faith, wisdom, perseverance, concentration and mindfulness. First, we need to set a goal and have faith in it. After finding a way to achieve it, we need to stick to the path. We also need to have faith in ourselves to achieve the goal.

Second, we need to balance faith with wisdom. Wisdom comes from our prior experiences, knowledge and reasoning. We should not have blind faith in a path. We need to reflect constantly to find the right way to learn.

Third, we need to learn with perseverance. There will be challenges in any path. But we need to put enough effort every day to face them so that the goal can be realized.

Fourth, we need to balance perseverance with concentration. We cannot force the mind to concentrate. This will put too much stress on it and cultivate resistance. We need to make learning fun and light so that we can persevere. Just relax and the right concentration will arise.

Finally, mindfulness helps balancing the previous four faculties. It helps us to observe the learning process from a distance and stops us from becoming extreme. But we cannot force mindfulness to happen as it is not controllable. It arises when we have the right concentration and be at the present moment fully.

I hope this will help you learn anything happily in the future.


The Eleventh Life Lesson: Gratitude


Dear Bella,

If you ask me what is the most important ingredient of happiness, I would say gratitude. I have met many people in my life who have everything, but still feel unhappy. I have also met many people who seem to have few conditions to be happy, but yet have peace in their hearts. So I know that happiness is relative. It is a matter of perspective. No condition will make us happy without gratitude.

I really mean “no condition”, not a beautiful face, not a comfortable house, not a good husband, not good kids, not a good job, etc. Who defines what is good anyway? If we don’t believe what we have is good, then nothing will be good enough for us.

We have the power to decide if we live a life filled with disappointments or gratitude. Unlimited desires from a belief of entitlement will cause disappointment. But if we appreciate the reality as it is, we will be able to find the best out of every situation. Then we won’t take the difficulties personally. There will be a distance between the mind and the situation. And we will be able to see the situation with clarity and respond reasonably.

With gratitude, every little act of kindness from the others becomes amazing. We will see the world as a beautiful place. I feel grateful that you are in my life.

May mindfulness be with you,


The Tenth Life Lesson: Understand Anger


Dear Bella,

Everyone has anger in the mind. Anger is a kind of strong energy that comes from unmet expectations. It starts from small irritations, like getting upset about not getting something that you want or getting something that you don’t want. Then these irritations accumulate and get stronger. As anger is a strong emotion, it is very easy to be noticed. It pushes us to punish the others because it causes so much pain in us.

The key to handle anger is not to get rid of it, but to understand it. The desire to get rid of it will add another layer of anger or turn the anger inside, which is guilt. So when it appears, we need to first acknowledge it. We don’t acknowledge it as “my” anger as it does not belong to us. And we don’t label ourselves as an angry person because everyone has anger inside. Whenever it arises, we just need to know that it is there and let it go. Then anger will reveal its true nature to us and become our greatest teacher.

Once we understand anger, it will not take over us. It will become just like other emotions that arises and falls away. We will know that there is no need to react to it or punish the others. We will take it less seriously. Anger will become like a visitor who does not stay long.

May mindfulness be with you,



The Nineth Life Lesson: Understanding the Reality

Mindful Mind Map

Dear Bella,

Life is a process of learning how to let go the mind and the body.  In order to be able to let go, we need to understand the reality.  First, we realize that our ideas, opinions, beliefs, values and all thoughts are just parts of the reality, but not the reality itself.  When there is some distance between our consciousness and thoughts, we will gradually see the ultimate reality.  Second, the ultimate reality is the three characteristics of things, which are impermanence and non-self that lead to suffering.

The mind and the body are the origins of suffering because they don’t last and they cannot be controlled.  Ignorance about these truths lead us to attach to the mind and body and then try to control them.  When our desire to get more and to control cannot be satisfied, we get angry.  But if we are aware of these attachments, acknowledge them and let go, we will be free from ignorance, desire and anger.  We will be at peace.

May mindfulness be with you,