Spiritual Enlightenment


Excerpt from Becoming Enlightened

The mind has been chattering away for as long as the mind can remember. It is thought that the mind is an ever-present existence in the head. An inescapable presence. It is felt that the mind is the self. However, it is only felt this way because there has been no break in the continuation of thought. The mind is not solid, not an organ in the body. Imagine you are walking down the street and then you stopped. Where has walking gone? It does not exist. It isn’t a solid form, it is nothing that the self would identify with. It is simply an action.

The same is as with thought. It is merely an activity of the brain that has not for a single moment retired. Your brain has gone on thinking and creating thought for so long that you have come to identify with its voices. The mind simply an accumulation of many stored words and voices. It has come to hear your own voice and repeats it back to you within yourself. This is what you feel is you.

However, if you notice, this voice is often not within your control. If you observe the mind while it creates thought you will see that there is nonsense. There is a misfiring of many words and images that come from nowhere and everywhere. This is what goes on throughout every day and every night. At times you are using the mind, and at most times the mind is using you.

The mind cannot be seen as who you are. It is an automatic process, an activity, and not an identity or a solid object that cannot be gotten rid of. In fact, it should not be seen as the mind but that rather the brain is “minding”. Once it is seen as “minding” then you will start to become the master. Then you will be able to use the brain to mind. To think. This the only use for thought. Left on, the process of thought will drain the energy from all of your experience of life.

Excerpt from Spiritual Enlightenment

The mind is aggressive. Constantly interrupting and forcing its will. The mind does not want to submit, and submission to the flow of reality is needed in order to receive its gift of bliss. You must be in a state of receiving. This is difficult for a person who has spent their entire existence exerting their will onto reality. The ego, the sense of self that is identified with the mind, feels that it must not yield to any force. That it has the greatest interests of the person in mind, and that it will succeed in creating the best reality for the person. However, this is false. The intention is pure however it is naive of the mind.

The mind will never submit to nature. However as you become aware that you are not the mind, the mind will begin to fade away from you. You will begin to recognize the pure consciousness that you are. That consciousness will easily submit to the nature that it is part of.

Bliss is part of your nature. This is why reuniting with nature will help you find your own. It is simply what happens when the mind drops, reactions cease, and your inner awareness becomes reunited with the present reality,

Bliss is your nature in the same way that health is your nature. When you come into this world, it is not needed that you create health. It is already there. All that is needed for most people, is that you not get in its way. The same is for bliss. The mind and all of its illusions have gotten in the way. All that is needed is for the mind to fade away from you. For you to realize all the ways in which the mind has formed, and then put them into reverse. The mind, and the attachment to the mind have been formed out of unawareness. Therefore to reverse the mind, it is only needed for you to become aware of how it came to be. To become aware of all the ways in which it has deceived you.

Excerpt from Spiritual Enlightenment

I was not raised into any religion. I was allowed to explore the experience of spirituality and of life through my own sense of intuition. I had never believed in the personified version of God that existed as a man somewhere in the sky. I was not in any way religious, although since childhood I had a need at times for prayer. A need to speak with God, the universe, whatever it may have been. To ask for help. This existed until the day I experienced what God is.

In the week before my experience, there was still a sense of separation during my meditation. It seemed there was a barrier between myself and existence. I would try to force through it, not understanding where it began and where it ended. I stepped through trees, their leaves giving off immaculate colors from the season’s change and I would know that they were beautiful but I could not experience them fully. Even with what felt like an empty mind, I still had the sense that a greater peace would be felt without this thin layer of separation.

On one day, I sat in meditation, experiencing once again this barrier to peacefulness. I had finally to ask myself, what is this? Why are you not content? The answer that came immediately was that I am looking. In a sense of frustration I ask myself what, what are you looking for? Then I realized, God. For maybe my whole life I’ve been looking for God. It was my theory that God existed in everything, however not until that moment did I experience it. I realized, why are you looking away when God is in everything. It is in every cell within me. It is not only in the trees and the rocks, it is in this very room. On this material that touches my skin, in the air that I breathe in.

Suddenly, I melted into everything, and everything melted into me. For the very first time, there existed no border between myself and the reality around me. No barrier to separate me from existence. As if a drug had settled into my bloodstream, I felt a sense of complete bliss and weightlessness that I drowned in for the entire week. A feeling that even now I can slip into at any moment.

It was very strange, I thought, that I could have known this intellectually for many years without having had experienced it. To know that there is no barrier while still experiencing a barrier. In an attempt to come back to a state of oneness, we can use the mind to create an understanding of the world around us. It can conclude that if there was a beginning of the earth, then the same materials all were used to create everything that exists within it. Even that which has been manufactured by man. It can conclude that there is a driving force within everything that creates life out of nothingness, that is responsible for growth and for aliveness. What is this force, but God? What is God but the nature that exists within everything? It can be concluded that all material does not die but is broken down into its smallest parts and recycled back into existence. That every material we touch and we see is in fact ancient and filled with what we can call God.

This is what the mind had already concluded. The trouble was that it was only information collected in the mind. Until I searched within myself to find what was limiting, I could not experience this. I still only was experiencing the barrier. Collecting information will not transform you. It will be necessary to go within and know yourself. To unravel all of the limits that have been created by the mind itself.

How would you feel if you knew that you were connected with this world around you on its deepest levels? On a cellular level, and even deeper.

Feeling this connection can free us from the anxiety of isolation and vulnerability. Dissolving the barriers between the self and the surroundings gives a feeling of mental and physical weightlessness that can only otherwise be experienced through mind-altering substances. Without you having experienced this, it will only be a practice in intellect for me to tell you. However, it may move you to experience for yourself.

How is it true that we are not separate when the weight of the self feels so heavy? When we can see the barriers so vividly, and when we are blind to the commonalities?

The body feels dense, heavy. However, science has explained what has been known for centuries. Every object is made of atoms hovering around one another. Within each of these atoms contains mainly empty space. Therefore within each object, we perceive as solid is empty space, including the body. We touch the hand and it feels solid, however, we are not even touching the hand. We are feeling the electrons in our bodies repelling the electrons of the object we are touching.

Light waves reflect off of objects and report to the mind through our eyes. This is how we create what we see. Objects are perceived as solid because the light waves are too large to fit between the empty spaces. We see ourselves and others as a heavy solid mass, however, we are light and filled with empty space.

We have created a solid sense of our continuous thoughts that we call the mind. However, it is nonexistent. There is no such thing as the mind, it is just a label that we have given to thoughts, images, desires, and identities. It is an illusion that carries a great weight within ourselves. An illusion that combined with the illusory density of our bodies creates a heavy ego. This ego keeps us in a constant state of separation. This ego prevents us from knowing our true selves.

Zen masters would say, go and find your original face. The face you had before you were born, the face you will have when you have died. What were you before you were written all over by society? Who will you be when you have been stripped of the body and the thinking mind? This is who you truly are.

When you realize that the ego is false, it begins to disappear. When you realize that the body is not solid, there comes a lightness. When you are no longer identified with the mind, when the thoughts begin to fade away into nothingness, there comes a hollowness. Not an emptiness that is negative, but a hollowness that is filled with quiet and peace. A hollowness that is filled with awareness. The Buddha called this anatta, meaning no self. To become hollow.

With a cluttered mind and the illusion of a heavy body, you are not receptive to your connection with the world around you. You are incapable of seeing the nature of the self, let alone the nature of the world. You are in an illusion that there is a separation. However, once you come in tune with your true state, you can begin to feel your connection with the reality that surrounds you. In this state of quiet and hollowness, you can begin to experience oneness. This is the greatest relaxation of all.

Excerpt from Spiritual Enlightenment

If enlightenment is your true nature, then what has happened? What is preventing you from experiencing it? At the core of what holds you back is the mind. Essentially it is the mind, and all that the mind creates, that prevents you from experience peace.

The mind creates the noise of thoughts, the illusion of ego, and future projections in the form of desire. It creates a hazy view of reality, keeping you in a dream-like state. It has been said that your consciousness is like a lake, reflecting reality. Reflecting the moon and stars above. The reflection is even more beautiful than reality. The reflection gives an entirely new quality to the moon and the sky. The surface of the lake giving a serene and poetic facet to the image. However, for you, the surface of the lake is not calm. The surface is in constant breaking with ripples and even waves, distorting the image of the moon and the sky. In this reflection there is chaos.

What is the wind that breaks the stillness of the surface? The wind is the action of the mind and all of its creations. You are probably already aware that thought, the mind, has taken you from peace many times. However, the ability to stop the mind is not there. It seems as if you are crazy. As if the mind is the master over you.

Now think, who is you that wishes the mind to stop? If you can wish for the mind to stop, then you must be separate from thought. Now there are two questions. Who are you, and what is the mind?

Excerpt fromΒ Spiritual Enlightenment

We are always trying to explain things away with science. Acting as if we know the answers. The answers we have found have formed all of our beliefs and labels, and they are dead things. The moment we think we have found the answer we have killed the phenomenon. The moment you think you know the lover, the mystery has vanished. The label is a heavy anchor, weighing down and sinking things. Mystery is light. Mystery is smiling and in motion, never caught.

Hear the rain outside. We have labeled the drops rain. We have explained that the water has condensed in the sky within a cloud and now falls back to the earth. How mundane of an answer for such an absurd scene. How untrue of an answer.

How was the water created? When? By what force? How did the clouds become so beautiful, so different from one another? Why does the rain on leaves and on rooftops give a sound that makes us feel differently? What does this dripping water have to do with our emotions?

These and a million more mysteries. Hear the rain next with no explanation and for a moment thought stops. There is not enough room for thought when you are observing again for the first time this phenomenon of raindrops. Become aware that all of your explanations of the world are very limited in their ability to explain. With every finite simplification you have learned, you have taken away wonder. You have given space for the mind to ramble on to pointless distractions while you ignore the world around you for a lifetime.

If you wish to become more present in your reality then drop the explanations and labels that are stored in the mind. All it takes is awareness. An awareness of their origin and an awareness of their limitations. All at once you will be shaken from the dream of boredom and awoken into the reality of mystery that is everything. This is how you become present. Not by urging yourself to focus on the present. Not by convincing yourself to be here now, with the same mind that took you away in the first place. It is by adorning the mystery of all that is that you will be free from the mind that distracts from the present.

Excerpt from Spiritual Enlightenment

The mind will take you everywhere but here because it knows that once you are here it will cease. It explains away all the mystery. It says “the trees? Don’t worry about those, they are just plants. Pay no mind to that. However, you should look back to yesterday. Find what went wrong many years ago. Look ahead to the future and find what may go wrong”.

Time itself is the illusion of the mind, created by your flawed memories and dreams of the future. It traps you on a timeline where you are never facing front, but always forward or backward.

The illusion of time is solidified with the experience of what we call night and day. The concept of night and day is exclusive to earth and planets like ours that orbit around a life-giving ball of light. We wake up to the light, go about our day until it is time for us to rest. We go to sleep, and wake up into a new day. Each day is separated by the setting sun and restful sleep. We judge the difference between each sunrise and sunset with hours and minutes. We lump days together into weeks and months and years. We watch the image of ourselves in the mirror slowly shifting into a withered version of ourselves over the decades. Our minds capture and store these many markers and project the idea of time onto the world around us.

However, what would time be without these many markers? Without the illusion of a sunrise and a sunset? We would be much closer to an existence without time. We would experience each moment in the now, rather than living with the idea that there is always a tomorrow, separate from today.

The now can be seen as an empty stage that is everpresent. The stage is all of existence, a now that has never been anything other than right now. All that takes place in the universe, all that grows and the changes is simply a play on the stage of existence. This stage is what is eternal, not the props and characters in the play. Your memories are filled with the play, but never aware of the stage on which the play is performed. Becoming aware of the stage will keep you seated in the present moment. It will wake you away from the dream of passing time. Become aware that the mind is what is causing you to dream. You are accumulating dead and gone memories that are no longer within the stage. Keeping you from experience the play at hand.

It is a concept in yoga that you should die every moment so you can be reborn every moment. However, it is not meant for you to physically leave your body. It is meant for you to drop what the mind is holding. Erase all that has accumulated like dust in the mind. When all has been dropped, you can see the stage anew. You can become awake to the play that is unfolding here in the now. This is the only experience that truly exists. There is no use in dreaming about the past. It is not even certain that it was there. It is a subjective collection of your own sensory interpretations.

It is always the mind taking us away from what is true. Weighing down the mysteries of the universe with mundane labels. Keeping us lost in dreams so that we never experience the pulsating aliveness of this present moment.

Excerpt from Spiritual Enlightenment

The mind absorbs information through the senses and interprets them as needed for your survival as a person. However, there is not an absolute truth in this interpretation. What is seen by a human is not seen by other species. The information that our minds translate from the world around us is filtered. Each species views the world as it is necessary for its survival. Bats see much less of the world than humans. Their interpretation of the world is through the sounds that echo from their surroundings. Using the world as a mirror to reflect sound back to them. To a human, the bat is blind.

Many animals like birds and reindeer can see what we cannot, having access to an array of ultraviolet lights that we are blind to. For a human, power lines are simply black wires hanging above us. To an animal, these same lines appear terrifying, as bursting and popping lights.

Much of the world has been filtered away from us. For our survival, we see the world in separation. We see borders and distinctions, however, we fail to see the similarities that exist on a deeper level. We define and label each and every person and object in order to find order. At birth, we are named, as we age we are labeled with a race, a gender, a religion, and occupation.

It is in the name of survival in the world and in the society that we have developed an identity of ourselves and the world around us. Therefore we have become separate. We have formed a solid illusion of separation.

All of these names and labels of ourselves have converged to create the self, the ego. The ego is one of the many great deceptions of the mind.

This is why we move through life with a feeling of unsafety. The feeling isn’t always of danger, but of a certain vulnerability. A feeling that you are alone in your efforts in this world. That you are cut off from the world around you, exposed to the world in your aloneness.

You may not recognize this emotion as isolation. It often is disguised as anxiety, depression, boredom. We don’t realize that the root of these emotions could be a feeling of separateness. However, now that you are aware of the possibility, do you feel that you are connected with the world around you? Do you feel one with your surroundings or do you feel a detachment from them?

If you do feel a deep connection with the world it is good. If you are able to see past the illusory barriers between yourself and the world then it is good. However, if you are unable to feel this togetherness, how does it feel?


Excerpt fromΒ Spiritual Enlightenment

The mind is very adept at solving problems, or so it thinks that it is. The ability to solve problems is one of its reasons for existence. However, left unchecked the mind prevents you from experiencing your natural bliss. This is why you have become unhappy. At times this unhappiness is in the form of anxiety. The mind takes a wrong turn and veers into realizations of fearful thoughts. It creates the idea of a future and then worries and wonders what might transpire. Other times it creates sadness, and other times the mind creates boredom. You feel dissatisfied with existence in its purity, as you have not fully experienced the bliss that it could bring. Overall there is a void felt within that you know on some level should be filled with bliss.

Now with this problem, this void, what does the mind do? As it was meant to, the mind sets out to solve this problem. However, the mind is not equipped for this task, because it does not know anything outside of itself. And it is outside of the mind that bliss can be found.

The mind does not know that at its own end there is bliss. How could it know? The two cannot exist simultaneously. The mind has never known bliss. You might think that it has known bliss, however, in times of pure joy, you may realize that you were fully invested, fully involved in that moment. Time, as it is created by the mind, ceased to exist. You were one with the experience. But this was brief, and the mind did not recognize where this came from. The mind attributes that joy to the moment. To the situation, to the person, you were with. The situation may have triggered your presence, however, the bliss came from within. It was a symptom of you dropping the mind and dissolving into the reality of that moment.

The mind does not realize this phenomenon, and this is why it creates poor solutions for misery. Your mind’s solution for misery only leads to more misery. The mind’s solution to bliss is that of desire.

Your mind would like to argue with this. To say that desire could not be a poor solution. It will say that to desire feels good. However, I would ask you to explore the emotion of desire. While you are lost in the dream of your desire, imagining its fulfillment you feel better than you had before the specific desire was created. The dream is momentarily filling the void. However, the moment the dream fades there is a straining. There is impatience until the fulfillment. What is desire, really, but dissatisfaction? Desire is to say that what is here is not sufficient for my happiness. What I need is elsewhere. With this cycle of desire, you will remain forever in dissatisfaction.

Your mind will say that desire is leading you towards progress. It is the driving force for all of your motivation. You may believe that you desire a specific item, or person, or life. However, it is just what your mind has deemed a solution to the void that is felt within. What is at the core of every desire? What is it that you wish to achieve with the attainment of each desire?

At one time you might desire money. However, ask yourself why. What is it that this money will buy? More freedom, more purchases, yes. And what do you believe will come from this freedom and these items? Happiness. If you have never known these things then you will believe that this is the answer. You will cling to this desire and you will hope that this is what is missing. This is how you will achieve your happiness.

Although what has money provided you with before that is now not enough? What freedoms have you now that are taken for granted? With the realization of your desires, you have found moments of excitement. However, once the initial glow that comes with this attainment fades, there is again darkness. Have you noticed how this is true for you in your past? What have you now that you had always wanted? Now, does it bring you the joy that it once had? Has it resulted in your lasting bliss?

Excerpt from Spiritual Enlightenment

I never fully believed in the far-fetched experiences that people claim to have. So easily it could be spun up for validity, for authority. However, I had been desperate to escape the existential dread that’s clung to me for all three decades of my existence. With nothing else left, I began a path towards a mysterious and potentially fictitious realm.

Early morning but after sunrise, I sat for my new ritualistic hour-long meditation. The past week I’d been feeling oddly in a state of more than serenity. It could only be called bliss. In the past, my hypochondriac side would have convinced me that it was somehow a tumor pressing against my brain in such a way that it was the only possible explanation for such a feeling. But these last few days I’d been feeling too blissful to hear that side of my mind. In fact, my mind itself was beginning to fade into nothingness.

It was the strangest week of my life, leading up to the strangest moment of my life. All week, animals were acting very strange to me as if I was now appearing in a dimension that only they could see. Birds landed on my lap, strange cats stared at me through my windows, squirrels ran up to my feet and glared at me in my own eyes. A school of hundreds of fish swam up to me within a foot of the shoreline, jumping and flipping themselves in the air in front of me.

For the whole week, I couldn’t dream. In fact, I wasn’t even certain that I was sleeping. In the moments that I fell asleep, a part of me was fully aware. Still awake. Falling asleep felt as though an inner self was slipping out of my body and doing a somersault above me while my body slept. It was spectacular but easily the most jarring experience of my life, until that day.

I sat in my usual chair, not anticipating anything anymore. I had been so happy that I forgot all about the experience of “enlightenment”. In fact, I was so blissful that I thought maybe it had already happened.

With my feet tucked beneath my legs, the pressure of my body against the chair began to disappear. Transforming from pressure to weightlessness. My eyes began to close, and in waking, as in sleep, a separation formed between myself and my body. However, now my body was not asleep. Every cell in my body felt very awake, while at the same time very distant.

Though distant from my body, it felt as if every small part of me was connected to every atom and molecule in existence. My body felt hollow as if I could feel the space between each one of my cells. I was no longer a solid object, just a gathering of particles that could blow away at any moment.

I remained floating in this feeling for ten minutes or maybe an hour, all the while feeling as if something were building. I began to notice that my breathing was becoming deeper and more pronounced. Slowly, the feeling of separation began to gather and pinpoint itself. I felt as though I was splitting off from myself at the point between both of my eyes. I realized that with this feeling, my heart was pounding. It began beating so violently that I felt it knocking hammering against the inside of my chest.

My breathing deepened and quickened, and it felt as though my head was being pushed backward through a force that was not my own. Without rebuttal, I allowed the heaviness to lean my head as far back as it would allow, all the while my heart beating faster.

If I could have felt fear at that moment, I would have been afraid that my heart would grip and cease under the pressure. My entire body became covered in a cold sweat, and my open hands shook with the rest of my body. There was no escaping the momentum, I had no control to stop the movement of what was happening in my body. And I didn’t wish to. My heart raced, my body convulsed, and I was panting for breath but deep within me I was observing, I was collected.

After some time, I felt a crescendo of pressure and finally a release from my brow. The weight of my head lifted and I began to lean forward. My hands shook still, but my heart began to settle down. I opened my eyes and could barely look at the sky. To see the world was too beautiful and I immediately began to cry. I was sobbing, and couldn’t begin to control myself. It was as if I could see the world for the very first time. Without a filter, without the veil of my mind shading the intensity. It was the veil I’d been wishing to lift for many years. Finally, I was face to face with reality.

I slunk to the floor, hands still shaking. After the last few days I wasn’t completely surprised at such a peculiar event however I realized that I couldn’t deny the intensity. It couldn’t be caused by anything else. Everything that has been said before, is real.


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