Achieving Enlightenment

Achieving Enlightenment
Achieving Enlightenment

More and more people are now opening up, and sharing their personal experience of discovering a profound spiritual world, through the experience of enlightenment,  beyond what they could have ever imagined, that radically transformed their way of being and relating to the world.

If there is even a guideline to achieve the summit of an enlightenment state, it is probably made of meditation and “clear thinking”. Because reaching an enlightened state is not about thinking more, but being able to ‘stop thinking’… and just be…being!

Enlightenment, then, is a personal state only (or probably) reachable through meditation and throughly clearing of mind. It is not necessarily about thinking too much in order to acknowledge something, it is about to train your mind to being able to get to that point and, of course, comprehend it. Those critics would have some queries about reaching the Enlightenment just through meditation. However, it does make sense. At least, that is how the Whole Motion: Training Your Brain and Body For Optimal Health’s author, Derek Beres, sees it. In a recent article, he wonders himself about what  achieving  Enlightenment is about, after all. And, how a regular human being could achieve that state of mind.

Expanding our worldview

Enlightenment is an ambiguous concept due to its own nature. People tend to associate  to a Buddhist way of seeing and understanding the things that surround us. But it is actually much more than that, since it is beyond any religion.  It is about what is real, and what we can feel real from the outside world. It is that point where the outside and inside world are concepts that don’t make any sense anymore.

That specific sense, the meaning of nirvana, and therefore, achieving the Enlightenment is to rid yourself of the “twin illusions” many people suffer from: illusions inside of your mind and those occurring in the world. Expert Derek explains it as it follows, “the illusions are the result of dukkha, a Pali word often translated as “suffering,” though more precisely implies “unsatisfactory.” In the Buddhist tradition humans suffer because they don’t see the world, or their mind, clearly. They put too much emphasis on personal desires rather than objective thinking. We get too caught up in what we crave rather than what is. Enlightenment is freedom from such thinking.”

The Buddha realized thoughts are the problem. Enlightenment is the process of decluttering, or expanding, our worldview

In a practical way, it can be extracted from these words that Enlightenment is breaking free of those corrupts thoughts that follows your personal desires and block, somehow, your ability to see clearly. It is thus a process, an ongoing procedure where you try to become more and more aware of the things that are influencing your behaviour. By understanding them, to the extent that you want, you try to liberate yourself from them.

The question then is, how can we eliminate the corrupted thoughts? For Derek, the answer is inside us as we all -almost- think and behave similarly, and humans learn in a similar manner. We have genetic predispositions, but our environment, family, and peers shape our worldview. As we age, we apply that worldview to our experiences, suffering when conflicting opinions arise. The Buddha realized that thoughts can be the problem. Enlightenment is the process of decluttering, or expanding, our worldview—even, at a point, not having a worldview at all.

Breaking down the singular essence

This can be achieved in a situational manner. An important step in this process is understanding the difference between situation and disposition. A good example would be this: we see a man yelling at the barista one morning. Our first thought: “He’s a jerk.” Maybe… Or maybe his father died last evening. The supposed jerk is really the victim of an unfortunate situation.

In that case, if it were us, we wouldn’t see ourselves as the “jerks” because we are not aware of poor barista’s situation and we think we aren’t guilty, ever. This is due to our belief in essentialism: the notion that we have an inner essence that defines us. This longstanding idea has played a role in our cognitive framework for thousands of years, at least. Writer Derek goes a bit further and sees the problem is, it’s not true. None of us have a singular essence.

“We are different people in different situations. All life is situational. We’re sweet to this person, but that person really ticks us off, for no reason we can pinpoint. Our reactions are completely different, dependent upon situation. This has real-world consequences”.

Meditation takes us to Enlightenment

And the best way of getting rid of our essentialism for a situation way of thinking is through meditation. The art of thinking free and apart of our deep desires. The more you can meditate the more you can control your thoughts. Being like that can avoid difficult situations, bad temper or even sadness.

Indeed, Author Derek Beres agrees with it, and he adds that “the heavens might not open, but perhaps you can breathe a little more easily. Maybe you smile a bit more. Enlightenment is a process and a discipline. There’s no final state to achieve. Rather, it’s a state to always aspire to in all situations. A tall order, certainly, but one that puts us in control of our emotions throughout the day”.