Every time I host an Enlightenment intensive retreat I repeatedly watch as the process transforms the whole group of people. The experience cannot be fully described in words. The maximum of what I can do with this article is to get a bit closer, to give you a clue, a hint. The rest can only be known when you experience it for yourself.
When I say the word ‘Enlightenment’, what do you imagine? Total bliss? Contentment? Sitting in the lotus posture with divine light pouring out of your eyes while people drop food in your mouth? That’s what I thought for a long time… but no! I’ve come to realize it’s much more down to earth and accessible than you might think. Happy days!
Enlightenment does not mean being in a constant and never ending state of bliss. You still have to wash the dishes!
So I thought to write up a 21st century summary of what it is, how to recognize it and how to invite an enlightened state of Being to open up. Most of all doing that while still looking after the family and paying the mortgage!
Enlightenment does not mean being in a constant and never ending state of blissful awareness where nothing is important. You still have to wash the dishes, walk the dog, clean the house and pay the bills! Bumma!!
So what is it then?
What if I was to say that ‘enlightenment’ is a state of ‘Being’ that is not only accessible to you but it is highly likely that you have known moments of ‘enlightenment’.
Enlightenment is simply a moment where you are present, where thoughts and emotions are calm and still. There is a profound feeling of deep satisfaction, connectedness and peace. It is you!… in your raw nakedness!!
It is recognized when you are present, rooted in the moment and open. It can be energetically overwhelming or a soft gentle moment that kisses you on the cheek one second and vanishes the next.
For many people, these precious moments come and go. Really they do!! If we catch them they can stick like flies to honey or if not, they slip through our fingers like water.
Occasionally, there is a quantum shift that can leave you floored. Literally! However mostly, in daily life, they are small delicate moments.
So fragile and fleeting. Do you recall any moments when there is a lightness, a clarity, a joy, when the mind stops and there is just a feeling of being complete? Or an all consuming sense of satisfaction when you are just relaxed? These moment can come at anytime. You simply just feel ‘right’. The moment is whole. Often we attribute the sensation to be caused by an external cause and think nothing more of it.
How do I know when it happens?
So recognizing this shift … ( let’s just call it that for now, easier for me to type)… there are two words that sum it up, completeness and satisfaction. Often a shift into a conscious present, in the moment state of Being is so gentle, soft and delicate, that we miss it. It can come when cycling, walking , noticing a flower, tasting a mouthful of sweet fruit, a moment that takes your breath away and leaves the mind still, silent and at peace.
A shift is when your attention, your center, moves from being rooted in your mind, to being rooted in your Awareness.
And always, always happens when you are not trying.
It’s all about being present in the moment. If you are deep into your stories and thinking then the ground isn’t exactly fertile. The conditions need to be right. This is where the Practice of Presence is vital to preparing the ground for these moment to appear. And they will!
The different types of Enlightened presence
Be present just watch! You may recognize some of these descriptions.
Some moments are delicate like a butterfly, momentary like a soft breeze brushing your cheek. They can feel very light. There’s a sense of spaciousness and perhaps a bubbling joy or a quiet contentment. Or perhaps a moment in meditation of deep silence and peace with a feeling of weight on your body and no desire to even blink an eyelid,
There can be moment of feeling empowered, strong, energized, as if the world is spinning in your hand.
There are the other qualities of compassion and gratitude that can flow from the heart and be so overwhelming that tears will flow.
Heightened senses, inspirations, ideas that unfold effortlessly with a feeling of enthusiasm, joy and excitement. Love that one! ( Wish it would arrive more often, especially when writing articles for the website, with Mrs Monk waiting for delivery yesterday … moving on!)
There are also more profound shifts that can literally knock you flat and leave you sitting there in an ocean of conscious tranquility.
This is less common but is absolutely possible when cultivated in the right conditions. After a shift like that, there is a change that stays.
Can I invite it to happen?
Yes, yes a thousand times yes! Just by observing and recognizing those small moments they will deepen, become longer and more frequent. When a moment does happen rest in the part of you that is aware. Just watch!
Mostly enlightenment or ‘Self Realization’ grows in stages. One baby step after another.
There are no words that can really transmit the depth of change that can happen in such a short time. You can only know it by doing it. Jump in! You will see yourself in ways that you could never have imagined. You will find a freedom that is real. You will meet you in your naked truth and you will be empowered.
To invite deeper and more profound shifts the Enlightenment Intensive process is without question a Golden Key to unlock those states of exquisiteness. Here is a video about the process: