“We need enlightenment, not just individually but collectively, to save the planet. We need to awaken ourselves. We need to practice mindfulness if we want to have a future, if we want to save ourselves and the planet.”~Thich Nhat Hanh
Enlightenment through meditation? Is it possible? Yes!
Is it easy? No!
My lifelong mission has been to help as many people as I can to learn how to improve their life.
In particular, I’ve been teaching various meditation techniques, pranayamas, concentration, visualization and imagination methods, and invocation of higher Divine powers.
I’ve always been trying to help my students any way I can. Very often, they just need a little bit of encouragement, for example, to learn how set realistic goals in their spiritual life. But at the same time, I was always encouraging them to strive for the greatest goal of all…
Enlightenment… direct realization of the truth…
Why is achieving enlightenment so important?
Because, if you aim too low in your spiritual goals, you won’t get too far. I always advise my students to aim as high as possible. And the highest goal one can possibly set in one’s life is enlightenment.
There’s no higher goal than that. Period.
Enlightenment can be achieved in a number of different ways. I even believe, there are people who are enlightened naturally.
Meditation is just one of the tools for attaining enlightenment.
Of course, meditation has a number of other benefits, but if you ask me what’s the primary purpose of meditation is, without a doubt it’s achieving enlightenment.
Enlightenment has different levels and there are different types. For example, Nirvana could be considered one form of permanent enlightenment.
But here we won’t get too far discussing the levels of enlightenment. There’s no point discussing them. Because it might only satisfy your intellectual curiosity, but it won’t help you move forward even a little bit.
In addition, there’s no way to convey this ultimate experience by words, sound, images, or in any other way.
People ask me from time to time if you have to have a spiritual teacher or a guru to accomplish enlightenment. No you don’t. It might be easier to have someone to guide along the way, but in no way that’s a must.
That said, let’s see why a spiritual teacher is important:
- In fact, enlightenment comes more as a Divine mercy, than as a result of your efforts. Your guru can help you receive Divine mercy more easily.
- The other point is that your spiritual teacher can help you get rid of your ego. It’s very difficult to do that on your own. Because you don’t see your ego. Other people do, quite easily. Without breaking your ego, there’s no enlightenment. No way. The farthest you can go is getting spiritual insights, but not enlightenment.
If you are a beginner in meditation, you have to start somewhere. Here is a simple meditation instruction to get you going.
You can use this meditation every single day, and if you think it’s necessary you may even meditate several times a day. This technique is great to relax after a stressed day at work, whenever you are under pressure, or you find yourself in a frustrating situation.
- Place a candle some 30 cm away and light it up. It should be leveled with your eyes.
- Gaze at the flame (the blue part ideally) for 5 minutes. Try not to blink too much while gazing.
That’s it. It’s simple, but effective. In time, your body will be more and more in peace, and your mind will follow too.
After a while, when you have mastered this or other simple meditations types, you’ll want to move on. Here are some instructions and a description what awaits you on the more advanced levels:
- Find a quiet room where you can be alone for a while. It is important not to be disturbed you something like 40 minutes.
- Start by performing a pranayama exercise – which is another name for rhythmic breathing. There are many different ways you can breathe rhythmically. For example you can choose to breathe in for the count of 2, hold your breath for the count of 8, and breathe out for the count of 4. Repeat this cycle 10 times. Pranayama is a great exercise for accumulation of universal energy. The technical term is prana – vitalizing energy that will recharge your body, giving you new spiritual power. Check this post to get an idea about the different pranayama types.
- Your pranayama should be followed by the practice of pratyahara. Pratyahara means to withdraw the senses from the outside world. Close your eyes and be conscious for several minutes. Do absolutely nothing. Observe. Observe the sensations in the body, hear the sounds around you, be conscious of the thoughts you have. But don’t interfere. Stay neutral. The final goal of this part is to achieve a state of being conscious without any thoughts. But it will take a lot of time until you manage to do so. Check this link for a complete guide on what pratyahara is and how to practice it.
- If you do your pratyahara the right way, your senses will be turned inside, which will increase your awareness a great deal more. You will be in a position to reach the inner part of your Self – God in you. You would be able to feel the warm energy in your heart, feel the flame of love present there. That’s the energy of Divine love.
- The next level is deep meditation. It’s where you become aware of the harmony of your heart, mind, and body. You feel devotion, you are able to contact the source of inspiration, and to open the possibility to achieve enlightenment.
- The last part is the most difficult. You have to go through a wall, and there are no doors. Divine love is your real nature. When your consciousness perceives itself, it becomes pure. You get the full meaning of the words I AM, I ENDURE, I EXIST.
When meditation happens, what you feel and taste is love. Divine love. In this harmonious state you can BE in the state of Oneness with the Universe.
When you learn to be quite, when you’ve abandoned any aspirations of any kind, you can say that you are free, without limitations. Only if your mind has become unoccupied, you will experience the indescribable magnificence of the moment of enlightenment.
You will feel your connection with the endless pool of power, with the source of unlimited inspiration and knowledge.
So yes. Work every day on your spiritual development. Have positive thoughts. Cultivate peace and serenity in your everyday life.
Develop love for your spiritual practice. Develop love for your meditation.
Devote your efforts to God. Everyone can succeed. You just have to overcome your personal obstacles.
Different people have different obstacles. And with them, your spiritual teacher can help.
You don’t have to wait for him or her: when you are ready, your spiritual teacher will come.
Here is a simple infographic that condenses the main practical points in this article.
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