Enlightenment is not an Experience – Linda Clair : Part 1 – Part 5

PUBLISHED in the InnerSelf Newspaper

Enlightenment is Not an Experience

Q: What do you mean when you say that enlightenment is not an experience?

Linda: An experience has a beginning, a middle and an end. Enlightenment is beyond time. It’s the end of time, really. And it’s forever – infinity. There’s no beginning to enlightenment, no middle, and no end. If you still see enlightenment as an experience, it’s not enlightenment.

Enlightenment is a word that is bandied about quite a bit, and different people seem to have different definitions of it, but I see true enlightenment as the end of all experience. It’s not the real thing if it ends – it’s still an experience. People who say that they’ve had enlightenment experiences may have had very profound experiences, and maybe a glimpse of how things can be, but that’s not enlightenment.

When you are totally immersed in the present moment, there is no time to experience anything.

When you are experiencing things, it’s time related. There is a person experiencing, so there is a separation, which implies time. When there’s no separation – no ‘I’, no mind separating things all the time, there can’t be any experience. It’s almost like you become the experience – which is what most people are trying to do in life. They are trying to satisfy themselves by using an experience, but what they really want is to be so totally immersed in it that they become the experience.

When the ‘I’ that separates itself from everything else goes, you just merge into the present moment – into reality. You become reality – and reality is not an experience. I had some profound experiences during my training, and I thought those experiences were giving me a glimpse of how it could be – but in a way they weren’t, because enlightenment is a state where there is no experience at all, where everything turns inward and you become what you thought you were seeking. When you are still in your mind, when the mind is still separating you from things, you’ve got no idea how it’s going to be.

It’s a state of not knowing – that’s what enlightenment is. And when you’re really fully immersed in not knowing and not wanting to know, there can’t be any experience. There’s no time for any experience.

You’ve really got no idea about enlightenment until it actually happens – until it takes you over – and that’s what happens – it takes you over completely. You can’t have any idea about it. You can feel things energetically when you’re around someone who is in that state, and that’s the closest you can come to it. You get a sense in that way – energetically. But the mind will try to turn that into an experience, and try to explain it and figure out what’s going on, and futurize it.

The mind works on the past, so it can only use the past – which is the known – whereas enlightenment is a state where you’re always in the unknown, so you can’t think about it. You can’t have any idea about it even when you’re in it. You are so immersed in not knowing that you don’t even know you’re enlightened.

I say that I’m enlightened because if I want to teach I have to say something. I have to use words, to try to encourage people, and to try to explain the state I’m in, knowing that it’s impossible. It’s not the words. The words connect me with people in a way, but it’s the energy behind the words that is important.

I’ve heard people say I must have a huge ego to go around saying I’m enlightened, but the only reason I can say it is because there isn’t any ego there. It would be much easier in a lot of ways to just keep my mouth shut, but I can’t keep quiet about this – it’s too important. I know there has been a lot of negative reaction, and that me just saying this will alienate a fair few people, but anyone who is open to the possibility that maybe this woman is enlightened may also realise that it’s possible for anyone who wants it enough. Some people will be repelled by it, and other people will be very attracted, and say, maybe I should see for myself whether I feel she is enlightened or not.

Enlightenment is a state of indescribable peace, a deep passionate peace – not cold and empty like your thoughts. Once you realise this state, you can’t lose it. When you have nothing you can’t lose anything. It doesn’t come and go like an experience.

You keep going more and more deeply into Here. Into Now. There is no end to it. You actually become this peace. It’s only then that you start to see what love really is.

Enlightenment is not an Experience Pt 1 – Part 5

Linda Clair in conversation with Leo Drioli. http://www.simplemeditation.net for more information

Enlightenment is not an Experience – Linda Clair pt2

Enlightenment is not an experience – Linda Clair pt 3

Enlightenment is not an Experience – Linda Clair pt 4

Enlightenment is not an Experience – Linda Clair pt 5

Interview With Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

By: Philip Goldberg

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an internationally known spiritual teacher whose Art of Living programs and humanitarian efforts have affected millions of lives. I had the opportunity to interview him during his recent visit to Los Angeles. Here are excerpts from that interview. (The photo was taken on a previous occasion.)

Q: The International Day of Yoga is June 21. Where will you be?

Sri Sri: New York. I’ll be speaking at Lincoln Center. I think it’s very much in the DNA of America to do yoga. It can bring health, sharpness of intellect, creativity, emotional stability and a broad vision, which America has always stood for. The U.S. is a very progressive country, very dynamic, very forward thinking.

Q: What would you like people to know about Yoga?

Sri Sri: Yoga is like a vast ocean. You can just go for a breeze, or you can go with an oil rig and drill for oil … Yoga offers many things to different people at many different levels–whatever they aspire for: union with the cosmic consciousness, or physical health, mental clarity, emotional stability, spiritual ecstasy — all this is part of yoga.

Q: Does it concern you that people think of Yoga only as asana [the familiar physical postures]?

Sri Sri: Not really, because at that moment that’s what they understand. But once they start doing asana they start seeing there is something beyond that. If interest for meditation gets kindled, then they are on the right track. But if it stops at exercise … it’s not bad, but they will not reach the goal.

Q: When people think of the classic eight limbs of Yoga…

Sri Sri: I knew you would ask about that. Unfortunately, people think the eight limbs are eight steps, one after another. You know, when a baby is born it’s not that one limb develops after another. All the limbs develop simultaneously. The eight limbs of Yoga are so interconnected, if you pull one all the others will come along with it.

Q: Some people think you have to master the yamas and niyamas before you can do the others. [The yamas and niyamas — five behaviors to avoid and five to engage — constitute the first two limbs.]

Sri Sri: The limbs are not sequential, they are all together. The practice of the others contributes to the ability to observe the yamas and niyamas. When we teach meditation in prisons, we see that the moment they have a taste of meditation, their whole thought process and behavior pattern changes. They start on the path of non-violence. They become very truthful, and the tendencies to cheat disappear. So the yamas and niyamas start happening in people’s life just when they begin meditation.

Q: How do your Art of Living programs fit into the eight limbs of classical Yoga?

Sri Sri: Yoga would be incomplete if even one limb is absent from it. All the eight limbs coexist. Our program is the same way. We do some asana, and some pranayama-breathing exercises-and meditation that leads to samadhi [the 8th limb; not a practice but a state of consciousness transcending thought].

Q: Dharana and dyana are the sixth and seventh limbs. How do you explain the subtle distinction between the two?

Sri Sri: One leads into the other. Dharana is having the attention on a particular thing, and dyana is how the mind from there dissolves into samadhi.

Q: A lot of people translate dharana as concentration.

Sri Sri: Absolutely not. Concentration is an outcome of meditation. Dharana is attention — not tension; in concentration there is tension [laughs].

Q: Have you run into opposition or resistance in the U.S.?

Sri Sri: In the beginning we had a lot of resistance, and prejudice. But it’s much better now. Yoga is much more accepted. Today, car companies use meditation and yoga postures to sell their products.

: How is the acceptance of India’s spiritual traditions in India itself, as the country modernizes?

Sri Sri: The younger generation is taking to it now. One generation previous was a little skeptical. The media also played a role. Now it’s different. People see the practical benefit.

Q: There is a lot of concern in the press about the protection of religious minorities in India.

Sri Sri: I think the fear is unfounded. Minorities have always been in good favor in India. For centuries they have been protected. The people-to-people connection is very good. There is a certain amount of polarization for sure, but not to the extent that minorities should be afraid of anything.

Q: What about the conversion issue?

Sri Sri: I think conversion should be from head to heart, not from one religion to another religion. I feel people should become more spiritual — rise above the religious differences and come together in the spirit of vasudhaiv kutumbikam: The world is one family.

Source: Huffington Post

The Cure for Insecurity in Relationships

Published on May 29, 2015

A discussion about the way to deal with insecurity in relationships.

For access to the full length video click here: http://non-duality.rupertspira.com/wa…

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