As times change, more people are becoming interested in enlightenment.
The word enlightenment means many different things to people but fundamentally, what unites us all on this search, is the desire to tap into an aspect of ourselves beyond ‘the individual’; the individual suffering; the individual disconnection from others and the individual stories that limit our potential in everyday life.
My first initial spiritual awakening happened at the age of twelve and triggered an all-out intense search for enlightenment that heightened by the time I was twenty. These days, my path has matured and given me nine key insights you may find useful.
You Have To Really Want It.
It is very easy to play spiritual ‘games’ by pretending to really want enlightenment, but if we are serious, the purity of our intent is going to be severely tested by the difficult and sometimes seemingly harsh lessons the Universe brings our way.
For a few rare individuals the path appears to happen without effort but for the majority of us it will be extremely challenging.
It Can Be Found Right In The Heart Of Everyday Life.
Enlightenment is not a transcendence of our humanity, it is a full, radical acceptance of what makes each of us completely human. You don’t become perfect, above the world and beyond normal human emotions – you just learn to embrace the craziness of this intensely dualistic world from a more integrated and balanced place inside yourself.
It can be tempting to do many things that take us outside of normal life and although useful at certain points on the path, the enlightenment is waiting to be discovered in the heart of everyday life too.
It Isn’t Going Beyond Your Personality Or Getting Some Particular State.
It can be tempting to believe that you will go beyond your personality and get into a fixed state when the enlightenment happens. Yet the more we grasp at a certain state or feeling, the further away the enlightenment becomes.
Although you can’t put what enlightenment is accurately into words, a good way to describe it is an acceptance of life how it is, with its gentle silence encompassing the body; thoughts; emotions and pure awareness itself. This then allows your unique personality and skill-set to become a vessel of enlightenment for the world.
You Still Have Human Needs
You will still have human needs, such as eating, money and the need for satisfying relationships. However, the key difference is you will stop playing out the stories and patterns that prevent your real needs from truly being seen and met.
The process of enlightenment is a gradual and sometimes intense transformation where you shed the ego-based beliefs that block your enlightenment and you begin to recognise your ‘human needs’ for what they are.
Where You Are Most Struggling In Your Life Is Often Where The Real Enlightenment is
We tend to avoid looking at simple things in our life that need to transform to help us move forward spiritually. Often however the real progress with enlightenment is made where we are most struggling in our life. A lack of money, a struggle with intimate or other relationships or a need to heal something can all be a message from the Universe that something needs to be looked at within.
Orientate Everything To Enlightenment
Everything in your life can be used as an opportunity to awaken further into the enlightenment that is your natural state. We are so conditioned to focus on making plans and judging things by how outcomes in the outside world, but the deeper we go on the path the more we have to trust and orientate all aspects of life to enlightenment. This doesn’t mean we have to do anything extraordinary, but instead is a realisation that all relationships, your career and interests can be used as a means to recognise and deepen your enlightenment.
A spiritual path can be hard work and can often lead to a frustration at life or taking things too seriously. Yet as we mature on the path we realise that although what most people call life might not be as real as they thought it was, it is still certainly something that can be enjoyed and embraced. Often doing simple everyday things with real presence can help us tap deeply into the enlightened state and makes it more enjoyable too.
Working With A Good Teacher Helps
Finding a good teacher is not easy but if our intent is pure and we are open to help, the right teacher will appear. Initially it is probably helpful to ‘go it alone’ and break free from a reliance on authoritive figures, but as our paths mature we should seek help from the ‘right’ people. Always listen to your intuition, it will guide you perfectly.
Trust In Divine Grace.
Although we can do so many things to prepare ourselves and open up a space within for the enlightenment to occur, we do also have to accept that it comes at Divine grace. It can be confusing because our logical mind can simply not grasp there is no method to follow; no guarantees and no formula for success – especially when we put so much work into it. If the mind had its way we would call this enlightenment game a waste of time and quit but the heart of the true seeker will keep pushing until grace comes in her own unique and gentle manner.