There have been descriptions of remarkable states rooted in the history of mankind. Whether it’s been called Enlightenment, Transcendence, Awakening or Transformation, similar descriptions of what it’s like to reach this state of being can be found across the world.
One analogy used to describe this state is as if you are waking up from a dream. In a dream state, everything that happens seems real to your mind. If your life is threatened in a dream, your mind will react to it the same way as if your life was threatened when awake. The experience of becoming enlightened is often compared to the feeling of waking up from a dream, the feeling of liberation and seeing everything from a higher level of consciousness. Except in this case, the dream is what we perceive as reality.
From the accounts of the fortunate people who have experienced enlightenment, a complete lack of self-consciousness is described along with the feeling of oneness with everything and everyone. The immersion of yourself in every single moment brings a sense of peace and bliss, devoid from any of your egoistic problems, regrets or worries.
This may sound like something entirely inconceivable for the ordinary person who doesn’t dedicate their life to the practise of meditation and reaching enlightenment.
The truth is that it’s accessible to each and every one of us.
Having dabbled in meditation for the past two years, I can attest to the fact that you can experience glimpses of this state if you practise meditation and the ability to be fully present. By no means am I claiming that I’m enlightened, but the glimpses alone can be enough to give you a new perspective on life and what’s really important.
The benefits of practising presence are immeasurable. It’s easy to think that meditation and the pursuit of enlightenment will not actually help you with “real life” problems and the goals you have set yourself. But the truth is that Enlightenment will refocus your priorities on more intrinsic and fulfilling things.
It will prevent you from constantly chasing future goals or regretting past decisions. You will realise that the present moment is all that really matters and once you appreciate each second regardless of the circumstances, your inner happiness will shoot upwards. Your fear of death and the unknown will vanish, knowing that even if you die in the next moment, you will be satisfied knowing that you had truly lived.
This may sound like a selfish pursuit and one which may not benefit other aspects of your life (after all, if we were fully satisfied with the present moment, would we even feel the need to work towards other goals and passions?). In actual fact, it will instead make you appreciate your friends and family far more instead of neglecting them for “more important things”. You will find a source of creativity and talent within you that you perhaps didn’t even know existed, formerly spent on meaningless endeavours to satisfy your ego.
Rather than seeking approval or making your happiness dependant on some future goal, you will feel comfortable with expressing your true self. Instead working for your goals from a place of neediness and desperation, be happy with who you are right now and then strive for your other desires. Your inner happiness essentially becomes a platform to spring from onto your other goals.
I hope I’ve given you an insight into my view of what enlightenment is and how it is both achievable and beneficial. As I mentioned before, meditation was one of the first steps which helped me on my journey. If you’d like to find out more about meditation here are my tips on how to get started.