Currently I am part of an amazing group of women focused on their growth. One day we talked about enlightenment. I said I felt I had a moment of it when I was in Peru. It is something I still get glimpses of, but not at the depth I had there. They asked me to describe what my experience of enlightenment was.
Below are the elements I recognized as part of my enlightenment experience. What I notice is if I can regain one or more of these elements, I can return to that peace in my daily life. Each element addresses something that can cause us pain, and by removing it we can find peace.
Judging ourselves, others or circumstances causes us pain. When we give something meaning, good or bad, is when we get away from the truth and into our interpretation of the truth which creates pain. I wrote about the peace of releasing judgments in a recent post where I shared an old story about how releasing the self-created highs and lows of life, provides more peace and contentment.
One step further than no judgments, is releasing labels and words. When we label something, we have created a judgment – young or old, boy or girl, happy or sad. To find the peace of enlightenment, release words themselves. Once you label or name something, you have categorized it in your mind and it is no longer a magical thing existing on its own. Also releasing words detaches us from our self-created world. When we just see and experience things without a label, we experience the peace of unconditional existence.
Desiring something means we are not unconditionally accepting of the current moment. We are saying what we have and where we are is not good enough. True enlightenment is being at peace with the current circumstance whatever it is. It means pure acceptance of this moment and not feeling the pain of wanting something better or different.
When in a state of enlightenment, the past does not exist or influence our current experience. There is no worry or hope for the future. It means being completely present in the moment without ties to the past or expectations for the future. It is the ability to be fully present in this and only this moment.
As we release judgments, labels, desire, and time, we begin to let go of the meaning of the self. Enlightenment is releasing the ego and personality. When we are not judging or labeling ourselves, we are free to just exist. When we release desire and time, we are in the moment. Imagine if you could release all your baggage, all your judgments, and just experience the liberty of being. It is experiencing from outside your physical being and mind. It is allowing yourself to be separate and independent from the human experience.
When we are no longer tied to the self, we become at one with all. We no longer feel the separation created by judgments. We lose our self and blend into the wonder of all. Instead of feeling lost and insignificant when we release the ego, we instead gain all existence. We no longer become a single drop of water, but can experience what is means to be part of and wholly the ocean.
When you are having a challenging day, see if you can experiment with one or more of these concepts. Start by spend 10 minutes every day and try to remove your words, judgments and labels. Be at one with what is around you without interpretation. See if this new way of being can bring you peace. Namaste.