Category: Enlightenment


One of the problems in explaining enlightenment is that we have to use words. Words are only symbols and don’t give the real understanding. The letters of a word are merely a code that the mind translates into meaning. Words only have meaning if you already have an experiential knowledge of what the words mean. If you were blind could you understand color through just words? Can you describe music to someone using only words? Can you describe the emotion of love only using the symbols of words? Words are only effective at communicating experience if the experience is already known. You know color, music, and emotion because you have perceived them directly. Enlightenment is not an experience that one already has a reference for and so a word description is not likely to be meaningful enough to convey an understanding.

Through years of schooling we are taught to believe that if we can describe something accurately with words then we “know” it. This is a very limited kind of knowing. It’s like reading someone’s experience of surfing and assuming you know what it is like. Or reading the flight manual for an airplane and assuming you “know” how to fly because you “know” what is in the book.

The best we can do in explaining enlightenment in everyday language is to accurately give words to the experience. Perhaps for some the description will inspire their imagination and give them the desire to experience it themselves. This is just like a good flying story that inspires others to reach for the sky.

If you’ve ever had an epiphany you have had a little awakening. In that moment of realization your mind stopped thinking and you knew and felt beyond an intellectual logic. You perceived something directly in a way that transcended word descriptions. It is the kind of knowing that makes you look at the world, or yourself in a brand new way. Those little awakening experiences are moments when our previous assumptions or belief paradigms burst. My high school science teacher would say “the light went on.” Enlightenment is the big light bulb. It is the direct perception of knowing the nature of the world in one great continuous epiphany.

The Divine Comedy

When you have the spiritual awakening of enlightenment it is like seeing the funniest joke ever played. It appears that you are at a costume party and everyone is role playing the character they dressed up as. Except their costume is the personality made up of all their beliefs about what they are, should be, shouldn’t be, should do, and shouldn’t do. Their personality mask is a big set of agreements about themselves. The most hysterical part is that behind the mask is actually a being of infinite consciousness that is wearing the personality.

The Infinite Consciousness is so powerful that their intent to play the personality role at the party of life keeps them in the role for years, sometimes even a whole life time. In this way they have completely thrown themselves into the role of their costumed personality. They are acting in a silly personality of pretend and are ignoring the consciousness and power of their Divine make up.

Seeing something all knowing and powerful pretending to be a human personality is a phenomenal performance of folly. One of the particularly funny aspects is how seriously the personality believes everything when another part of their consciousness knows it is just made up.

I went to see a hypnotist once. During one of the sessions he took a group of people and hypnotized them into believing they were in the first day of kindergarten. I was rolling off my chair laughing at adults really believing and acting like they were children. In another session he had a man acting like a chicken. You know these people are capable adults just temporarily believing they are something they are not. It is belly aching funny to watch. The difference with people in the world is that they hypnotized themselves by believing their thoughts or someone else’s suggestion.

Seeing with Enlightened Eyes is Funny

My explanation with words certainly isn’t that funny but direct perception is. That’s because you can’t explain what is funny. What makes us laugh is not logical. It’s like a Far Side cartoon that rocks you with laughter. When you try to explain it with words the direct perception is lost in the symbols. Humor can’t be explained with the logic of words. The symbols of words start engaging the mind and analytical thinking takes over. When the analytical program of the personality is engaged our opportunity for direct perception is lost to the mind.

When we are laughing at something funny our internal dialogue is generally turned off. We are not analyzing or being logical with our thinking mind. We directly perceive and we know something is funny. We may not be able to explain what is funny, but we know by direct experience. Having a quiet mind allows a person to perceive directly and is an attribute of an enlightened state.

If you are evaluating spiritual teachers take notice of their sense of humor and how much they laugh. The measure of their humor, happiness, and laughter can be a measure of how clearly they see the world as it is. No need to make this the only criteria but consider it with many others.

The Enlightened Mind is Quiet

What keeps us from seeing the beauty and humor of humanity dressed up in personality masks is that we interpret through our mind. The mind adds dialogue of descriptions and interpretations about what we see. Most come from the voices of the inner judge and victim. We then hypnotize ourselves by believing what we think about what we see. Our attention fixates on these descriptions and we perceive our descriptions instead of perceiving the world directly. Like explaining or interpreting a joke, these descriptions generally aren’t that funny.

Spiritual traditions will describe this paradigm as being steeped in illusions. Our eyes are closed and we are asleep in a dream of our own interpretations. Some will call these interpretations filters, lenses, stories, projections, or false beliefs.

Consider the woman who is anorexic. She doesn’t see her body as it is. Instead she sees what she believes her body looks like. To measure this distorting dialogue you might notice the opinions you have about this article, your body, or other people. Often this dialogue is most obvious when we sit to mediate quietly and find that we can’t turn it off.

When we dissolve the dialogue in the mind and start living in a realm of silence we open our eyes to see a different world. Rather than see a world made of descriptions and opinions, we see one that is orchestrated by a conscious intelligence that transcends words. For communication purposes I’ll use the symbol “Divine” to denote that intelligent force of Life. It is the force that makes plants and grass grow, the planet spin, and the sun and stars shine. It’s a pretty incredible force. And darn smart too.

How to become enlightened

If it is enlightenment that you seek you will need to engage in experiential practices. These are actions that will quiet your mind so that you can perceive directly. Spiritual traditions around the world each have their own methods. They quiet the internal dialogue by eliminating the false beliefs, dissolving personal importance, and they train you to focus your attention into a silent world. Meditation and prayer are practices that engage you towards direct experience.

I direct you to practices instead of reading books because symbols aren’t likely to lead you to the experience. The more you read the more you fill your head with concepts, descriptions, interpretations, and expectations that form the matrix that traps perception. Reading conceptual ideas makes our analytical mind more dominant instead of more silent.

There are wonderful books that can help you with small epiphanies, but do not expect them to take you to your final destination of direct perception. Use what you read to give you some guidance and new perspectives if you like but more importantly practice something directly.

Humility is the Path to Freedom

Much of the chatter in the mind is born out of the beliefs we have invested in. Some of the major beliefs to be eliminated have to do with our self importance. Self importance relates to believing that you personally are the cause or center of what happens. This kind of belief paradigm comes in two forms. One paradigm is that we have the solutions to the world’s problems. The other paradigm is that we are somehow the cause of the world’s problems. In one direction we are the greatest person in the world and in the other direction we are the worst person in the world. (I use to think that if everyone approached their life the way I did the world would be a better place. At the time I didn’t notice it as self importance. I just thought I was right.) In either case our mind focuses on us in the story. A clue to our self importance is the number of times we use the words “I” or “me” in a sentence or thought.

You might find the inner judge and victim use these references to our selves to do comparisons between us and other people. When you dissolve the beliefs relating to your self importance you will have dissolved many of the stories in the mind and gone a long way towards inner silence. Without these false beliefs filtering your perception you can more easily see the world as it is. You will also see yourself more clearly as you really are.

The result of dropping your self importance is humility. Many people misinterpret humility to mean that they are less than other people. They take it as the opposite of arrogance. Humility doesn’t mean believing you are less than anyone else. It means being aware that you aren’t more important than anyone else while at the same time being aware that no one is more important than you. You treat yourself with respect and you treat everyone else with respect also. You no longer compare yourself to others in any way because you know through direct perception that everyone is equal.

You will find that highly conscious people who have dropped their self importance don’t make much of an effort to be heard or seen. A humble person will more likely listen than speak. They may be quiet and inconspicuous to the point that they don’t make much of an impression on you. In this way you might be in the presence of a master and not even know it.

An enlightened person will not generally put their agenda ahead of yours, even if your agenda will lead you into illusion and emotional suffering. Their respect for you as an equal capable of making your own decisions and dealing with your own consequences relieves them of any need to direct your life or worry over it.

To Become Enlightened Practice Expressing Love

Being happy is the result of expressing love. As you dissolve self importance and other agreements in the mind we spend less time thinking and more time feeling our emotions. Without judgments we don’t have excuses to not express our love. We don’t have to be serious and important all the time. Instead we learn to be childlike which is what great masters taught. The seeking of pleasure and enjoyment is our natural way and results in expressing love in everything that we do. The result of expressing love is that we are happy like children.

All aspects of elevating consciousness produce greater happiness. It is not linear as we will have our momentary ups and downs during the journey. Over all, happiness in your life is one of the best barometers to use to determine if you are headed towards higher consciousness. Don’t measure progress weekly or even monthly. As you wrestle with your inner demons, give yourself time to get back on your feet before determining if you are going forwards or backwards in your overall happiness. I personally suggest referencing back at least six months to measure real progress.

A World of Non-Duality is an Intermediate Step

If you are fortunate enough to make the journey to dissolve your self importance, quiet your mind, and open to love unconditionally you have done the hard part. In this level of consciousness you no longer react or feel victimized. You can live your life without fear, and be at peace within. Quite a few make it to this point of quieting the internal dialogue, and expressing love. (Quite a few is a relative term meaning about 1 in one million people.) In this state one lives their life full of compassion with everyone in the world as their equal.

Some people refer to this level of consciousness as enlightenment; however in my experience there is still further one can go. The final step is to open your spiritual eyes and see directly the Infinite consciousness alive in everything. With these eyes open you are aware of the costume of personality that Consciousness is wearing.

From this level of awareness the dance of life becomes that Divine comedy I mentioned earlier. It is not a simple trick to shift your perception to this heightened state of awareness. It is usually a challenge to do something that you haven’t done before. And since it takes place in the field of the mind behind the eyes you can’t just model someone else’s movements. It is difficult to elevate ourselves to a level of consciousness when we don’t know where that level is. It is for this kind of leap in perspective that an experienced teacher is extremely helpful. They may be able to give you a boost that opens your eyes to a world you hadn’t imagined before.

Once attained it is not likely that you will hold this enlightened point of view. The first time it may only last a few minutes or a couple hours. But once you have experienced this viewpoint you can bookmark it so you know where to evolve your consciousness in the future if you desire. Like opening your heart or being consciously happy, it often happens only for moments in the beginning. As you consciously practice those moments become longer and with less time in between until it is your normal state of being.

If you never make this final step you won’t be disappointed or feel like the failure. You will still be walking around with a quiet peaceful mind and love and happiness flowing out of you. With a fully compassionate mind there is no failure, disappointment, or sense that your journey has been wasted. The benefit of a quiet mind and experiencing your love coming out of you is enough to satisfy you everyday of your life. Enlightenment or not.

In the Beginning was the Word, and Immediately Following was Misinterpretation
When I describe that an enlightened person laughs at people some people are confused. They may interpret that the laughter comes from laughing “at” someone. This type of interpretation usually comes from the mask of the victim or judge personality. There is laughter, but it is not without love and compassion. Most often the laughter is only expressed inward. Outward it may only appear as a calm smile.

It can be funny listening to children make up ridiculous things. You love the children but you know that they are not aware enough to know what they are doing. They make you laugh while you adore them and their stories of fantasy. You don’t believe their stories, but you love them.

When you see a dog chase its shadow you don’t think less of the dog. You love the dog and you laugh at its antics. Their antics might even make you love the dog more. You are aware that the dog doesn’t know the difference between its shadow and something real and therefore you don’t judge the dog or think less of it

When you see a human chasing stories and illusions in the mind it can also be funny. With awareness it is clear that believing in the illusions is ridiculously funny. You laugh at their antics. At the same time their illusions about relationship and a false self image may be causing them emotional suffering. The emotional suffering aspect is not funny. Awareness doesn’t mean that it is without compassion and understanding for their emotional pain. Enlightenment allows us to be compassionate while at the same time being aware that the end of suffering can be just a shift in perspective away.

Becoming Enlightened in Steps

If you desire to become enlightened I suggest that you break up your journey into some smaller steps. The first task is to practice love and become happy. Enlightened people are both happy and loving. A simple step towards being loving is to accept where you are on your journey of conscious evolution. It might seem counter productive to accept yourself just as you are when you are striving for consciousness. But this is usually the distorted logic of the mind that doesn’t know the way to enlightenment.

Enlightened people accept themselves just the way they are. This begins by being aware of any self critical thoughts and then deciding that they are not true. The second act of acceptance is to accept other people and the world as they are. Enlightened people love and accept others just the way they are too. This also begins with being aware of thoughts and opinions and deciding not to believe them. Do what enlightened people do and you will be headed in their direction. I said these were simple steps but I didn’t say they would come easy.

If you are finding it challenging to be completely accepting of yourself and the world it is likely that you are stumbling over self importance issues and agreements in the mind. These are likely to show up through the inner judge and victim that make up the voice in your head. To overcome these obstacles to happiness and love you will need to identify and change these stories of the personality.

Once you have taken care of this bit of business you will be happy in your life and love will be easy. After that enlightenment just becomes a matter of expanding your consciousness to the point of view of Infinite. Becoming enlightened isn’t a way to measure your spiritual progress or success. This is just something the inner judge does. The enlightened person doesn’t measure success because there is no failure.

Source: Pathways To Happiness

Gary van Warmerdam combines the wisdom spiritual traditions have in eliminating suffering with common sense in a way that is both practical and effective. Gary has studied with best selling author of The Four Agreements, Dr. Miguel Ruiz since 1994. His experiences include spiritual journeys worldwide and many trips exploring the teachings of ancient Mexico. He co-developed and taught the Four Agreements Facilitators training at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY and the Crossings in Austin Texas. His teachings are based in universal principles of common sense and unconditional love found in all spiritual traditions. Gary teaches workshops throughout the country, leads spiritual retreats to Mexico, and coaches individual clients. His book, MindWorks, is available in print and in digital formats in numerous places.

Gary has previous professional experience in sales and management in both small and large businesses. He served as a nuclear trained officer in the US Navy and as officer of the deck of an aircraft carrier. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering.


Published on Aug 8, 2017

https://www.amodamaa.com/

‘Love Yourself to Death’ – an excerpt from a series of Meetings given in Seattle, July 2017.

Book: EMBODIED ENLIGHTENMENT.
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When you’re a lover of what is, it’s obvious that the world is your own face in the mirror. But how do you become a lover of what is? The “how” has been a mystery till now. Now it’s clear that all you need to do is investigate your stressful thoughts. The four questions and turnaround of The Work will take you as deep as you want to go.

People think that they need to get “enlightened” in order to be free, and nobody knows what enlightenment is. Yes, it’s in the sacred texts, and yes, this guru or that lama says he has attained it, but that’s just a concept; it’s the story of a past. The truth is that there’s no such thing as enlightenment. No one is permanently enlightened; that would be the story of a future. There’s only enlightenment in the moment. Do you believe a stressful thought? Then you’re confused. Do you realize that the thought isn’t true? Then you’re enlightened to it. It’s as simple as that. And then the next thought comes, and maybe you’re enlightened to it as well, and maybe not.

I have found that there are no new stressful thoughts, they’re all recycled. People try to “let go” of their thoughts. That’s like telling your child you don’t want her and kicking her out onto the street. I used to go out into the desert to get away from the world, and I took the whole world with me in my head — every concept that had ever been experienced. I was undoing the thoughts that run through the mind of every human being. Thoughts are no more individual than the TV program that everyone watches. I have found that all over the world, in every language and culture, people suffer because they believe the same stressful thoughts: “My mother doesn’t love me.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m fat.” “I need more money.” “My husband should understand me.” “My wife shouldn’t have left me.” “The world needs to be saved.” Of course, I would never ask people not to believe their thoughts. Not only would that be unkind; it isn’t possible for people not to believe what they believe. We can’t help believing our thoughts until we question them. That’s the way of it.

Source: Huffington Post

Spiritual Enlightenment is a process – and a very long one…

In fact, enlightenment is a full-time job until the rest of one’s life. Surely, after its establishment in an individual it is a job done quite effortlessly, but still it is an unfolding that knows no end.

Whoever thinks enlightenment is one moment that changes everything forever, understands only one fragment within a huge picture. It is true, of course, that there are moments which are clearly life-changing and consciousness-altering turning points – moments so powerful that essential components at the core of one’s personality come to a striking end. But without the process “before” and “after”, even they might lack the much-needed foundation on which they could meaningfully take root and expand.

We are, after all, half human half divine, and so at least a half of us requires long processes. That which is discovered in awakening is definitely not a process; it is our inherent all-encompassing divinity which is forever behind and beyond all processes. It is the unchangeable truth of that which was, is and will be, the One that abides in all – and the recognition that you, who awakens to this truth, is this one. Nonetheless, grounding in this truth and enabling it to spread over one’s body, personality, brain, emotion and human relationships are a demanding and complex process of transformation.

Spiritual Enlightenment is a process – and a very long one.

When I was 23, after an intense chain of mind-shattering experiences, an awakening took place in this spark of consciousness that had formerly known itself as “Shai”. The separate self which had governed the core of this consciousness literally exploded and was replaced by the dominion of an all-encompassing oneness.

It took me a long speechless year to “get used” to this new reality. Silently I watched the coming apart of the most basic structures of thought and feeling, time and space. My spiritual teacher at that time, to whom I conveyed this mysterious happening, recognized this awakening, acknowledged it as the first steps of a Buddha and encouraged me to teach – and others to spend time in my presence.

But honestly, though the heart of spirituality and mysticism was revealed to me constantly – a revelation followed by a powerful energy field and a spontaneous flow of spiritual wisdom – in actuality, this was far from the Buddha state. Seeds of Karma, personal longings and central conflicts were not fundamentally uprooted.

After awakening, the fire of truth starts burning up the remainings of the sense of “I” and its implications.

This stage is what I define as “Awakening”: the personal core has been replaced, yet the person is still not unified with the truth. In Awakening you know all that you should know, but you are not able to fully live up to it. The energy field evoked around you and the Charisma of the enlightened one are very high; your spiritual insight is penetrating and contagious; you find it very easy to enter profound spiritual states; you understand the ancient scriptures from within; you have a constant still presence at the center of your being. But in actuality, there is still too much of the person, as the seed of “I am” is still alive and kicking.

I did get hints to this. Three truly liberated teachers who I met throughout the years of awakening recognized that this had been a “profound experience”. I could not tell the exact difference, not until I met at the age of 26 an American Yogi and entered a seven-year cycle of studying and initiating by him. This teacher awoke in me the sense of long fructification when explaining that in his tradition, after awakening one must ripen throughout a cycle of 21 years before one is allowed to teach. Currently I am 17 years after this turning point, and fully acknowledge how necessary these processes of fructification are.

The separate self which had governed the core of this consciousness literally exploded and was replaced by the dominion of an all-encompassing oneness.

What exactly is this fructification process? It is the slow and gradual process along which that which was revealed at the core of consciousness reaches the surface of one’s personality and begins to unify with the body, thought, emotion, life experience and relationships.

This is what we call “integration”, as spiritual integration is the process that makes what we know inside and what we show outside one and the same.

Along the fructification process one must be cautious, since the combination of the exhilarating sense of complete freedom and the fact that the seeds of Karma are yet to be uprooted is quite dangerous. The fire of life that can inflame one’s desires still burns inside. It takes time for the other fire, the fire of truth which began to flare at the moment of awakening, to consume the seeds of Karma and the remnants of desire.

After awakening, the fire of truth starts burning up the remainings of the sense of “I” and its implications. It also burns up the leftovers of the personality’s central conflicts. Not less important, it gradually nullifies the gap between the experiencer of truth and truth itself. In other words, it brings to an end the sense of experience and the different states of consciousness.

This process culminates in yet another major turning point, which is known as “liberation” (Jivamukti = a liberated soul) or “Enlightenment”. In Enlightenment, life’s fire dies out. One no longer desires worldly objects such as food or sex. Spiritual experiences and heightened states of consciousness are no longer alluring and instead, one abides in the unchanging being; nothing is “more” or “less”. The very process of personal development is concluded. There are still inevitable Karmic implications, the result of past actions, yet the Karma-producing engine ceases to function. One is endowed with an ancient, all-inclusive wisdom of life as a whole, and naturally serves humanity from morning till night.

Is liberation the end then? No. There is truly no ending to this maturation. That is why the images left from spiritual teachers are almost always their oldest version. Perhaps when they were younger they emanated more ecstasy and power, but the grown-up teacher embodies the closest vision to the completeness of consciousness within a human form.
Source: Shaitubali

Confusion No More brings relief to seekers, clearing their cobwebs of confusion with incisive clarity, clear understanding and deep compassion. Ramesh’s modern, eloquent and simple Teachings have touched thousand of seekers from around the world over the past 20 years. His timeless message, his compassionate approach, his jargon-free simplicity have made him a leading teacher of Advaita, non-duality. Confusion No More is a combination of some original writing and other material drawn from his there much-loved books Who Cares, Sin & Guilt and The Infamous Ego. Here is a good opportunity for you to have confusion no more.

Ramesh S. Balsekar, married to Sharda and a father of three, is known and loved by seekers from around the world as an eloquent Master of Advaita, or Non-duality. After retiring as President of the Bank of India, Ramesh translated many of the daily talks given in Marathi by his Guru, Nisargadatta Maharaj. The teaching began in 1982 after Maharaj had twice directed him to talk, and since then he has written over twenty books on Advaita as well. Ramesh is widely regarded as undeniably unique and uncompromising in his presentation of the concepts, in keeping with an early premonitory remark by Maharaj that as a teacher Ramesh would not be “parroting” the words of his Guru. In response to the appreciation frequently shared by visitors at his talks for the singular clarity and `purity` of the teaching, Ramesh himself has perhaps best expressed it with his view of the Master-disciple relationship: “The purity of the teaching lies in the absence of an individual teacher and an individual learner – that is to say, in the absence of a subject-object relationship. The purity lies in the spontaneity of the happening.”

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Enlightenment is not unlimited Bliss – Ramesh Balsekar

Will Enlightenment bring me unlimited Bliss or Pleasure?

Happiness is the Birthright of every Human – Ramesh Balsekar

An inspiring new book born from a profound spiritual awakening. Topics covered: a personal account of the author’s enlightenment, the connection between science and mysticism, the limits of modern psychology and philosophy, the true goal and unity of all religions, what enlightenment is and how to attain it, and the spiritual destiny of humanity.

About the Author

In 1996, at the age of 22, Stephen D’Amico experienced a profound spiritual transformation. Following this awakening, he spent several years integrating and deepening his understanding of this transformation. Then, in 2000, he began writing this book as a way to help enlighten the world.

Stephen is not aligned with any particular religion or spiritual tradition, but his teaching grows out of the supreme truths found at the heart of them all. At the core of this teaching lies the understanding that the enlightened transformation has the power to transform this world into a heavenly paradise, and that the greatest advancement each of us can make towards this divine destiny is to become one in whom the consciousness of God is fully awakened.

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CANADA TALKS RADIO INTERVIEW

Host Richard Garner from Canada Talks radio show What in the World?! interviews Spiritual Teacher Stephen D’Amico, author of the new autobiographical book, The Incredible State of Absolute Nothingness.

Jiddu Krishnamurti Enlightenment Story

This is an excerpt from Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening by Mary Luytens.

Jiddu Krishnamurti was found one day as he was picking through trash. Just another poor Indian boy forgotten by the world. This one would walk a very different path. His aura gave him away. Pure and white, it spoke of greater spiritual destiny. Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater had finally found their Buddha.

Theosophists had long been waiting for the reincarnation of Buddha. The ancient texts promised his return where he would appear as the Maitreya – the friend. Theosophists believed that Buddha had not reincarnated because he was unable to find a suitable host. Why not hasten his return by creating one for him? A plan was set in motion.

Krishnamurti was raised and bred to be that perfect host. No expense was spared. He was given the best education in England. He was supported and surrounded by some of the world’s most advanced spiritual practitioners. All their eggs were in this one basket. Destiny awaited.

It all came to a climax on the 3rd of August 1929. Theosophists worldwide gathered in the Netherlands to see the holy vessel that was Jiddu Krishnamurti. It was a meeting of the Order of the Star – an organization whose sole purpose was to usher in the new era.

The moment was perfect. As thousands sat around him, he shocked his audience by announcing the dissolution of the Order. It was a radical break from his past and a bold affirmation of his own Being.

“Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path…” — Krishnamurti, on that fateful night

Thus began Jiddu Krishnamurti’s career as a world teacher. He travelled from place to place and delivered teachings to anyone that would listen. With the Cold War at its peak, these were heady days for humanity. In Krishnamurti many found inspiration for a better world – proof that we could live very differently on this fragile planet.

Krishnamurti tirelessly preached that spiritual enlightenment was at hand for anyone who wanted it. He abhorred all gurus, masters, spiritual practices and religions. The truth was found within and no where else. Given his life experience, his antagonism to organizations and prescribed paths is understandable.

The rebelliousness that seeded his independence colored the entirety of his teaching. He spoke the truth but it was not very practical for the spiritual seeker. How many of his close disciples reached the same heights as he? None.

Krishnamurti was not wrong. It is possible for one to realize one’s true nature by simply recognizing the fact, but it is perhaps 1 in 100 million that is prepared for such a feat. For the rest of us, spiritual practices are useful tools to help us get up that mountain. Without them we are not prepared to make the journey.

Towards the end of his life, Krishnamurti lamented that his decades of preachings had all gone to waste. He feared that his talks were treated as a form of spiritual entertainment. The people around him had not really changed. They could quote him it length, but none could share in his experience of our true nature.

Ever since I left Australia I have been thinking and deliberating about the message which the Master K. H. gave me while I was there. I naturally wanted to achieve those orders as soon as I could, and I was to a certain extent uncertain as to the best method of attaining the ideals which were put before me.

I do not think a day passed without spending some thought over it, but I am ashamed to say all this was done most casually and rather carelessly. But at the back of my mind the message of the Master ever dwelt.

Well, since August 3rd, I meditated regularly for about thirty minutes every morning. I could, to my astonishment, concentrate with considerable ease, and within a few days I began to see clearly where I had failed and where I was failing. Immediately I set about, consciously, to annihilate the wrong accumulations of the past years. With the same deliberation I set about to find out ways and means to achieve my aim.

First I realized that I had to harmonize all my other bodies with the Buddhic plane (the highest plane of consciousness) and to bring about this happy combination I had to find out what my ego wanted on the Buddhic plane. To harmonize the various bodies I had to keep them vibrating at the same rate as the Buddhic, and to do this I had to find out what was the vital interest of the Buddhic.

With ease which rather astonished me I found the main interest on that high plane was to serve the Lord Maitreya and the Masters. With that idea clear in my physical mind I had to direct and control the other bodies to act and to think the same as one the noble and spiritual plane. During that period of less than three weeks, I concentrated to keep in mind the image of the Lord Maitreya throughout the entire day, and I found no difficulty in doing this. I found that I was getting calmer and more serene. My whole outlook on life was changed.

Then, on the 17th of August, I felt acute pain at the nape of my neck and I had to cut down my meditation to fifteen minutes. The pain instead of getting better as I had hoped grew worse. The climax was reached on the 19th. I could not think, nor was I able to do anything, and I was forced by friends here to retire to bed. Then I became almost unconscious, though I was well aware of what was happening around me.

I came to myself at about noon each day. On the first day while I was in that state and more conscious of the things around me, I had the first most extraordinary experience. There was a man mending the road; that man was myself; the pickaxe he had was myself; the very stone which he was breaking up was a part of me; the tender blade of grass was my very being, and the three beside the man was myself. I almost could feel and think like the roadmender, and I could feel the wind passing through the tree, and the little ant on the blade of grass I could feel. The birds, the dust, and the very noise were a part of me. Just then there was a car passing by at some distance; I was the driver, the engine, and the tires; as the car went further away from me, I was going away from myself. I was in everything, or rather everything was in me, inanimate and animate, the mountain, the worm, and all breathing things.

All day long I remained in this happy condition. I could not eat anything, and again at about six I began to lose my physical body, and naturally the physical elemental did what it liked; I was semi-conscious.

The morning of the next day (the 20th) was almost the same as the previous day, and I could not tolerate too many people in the room. I could feel them in rather a curious way and their vibrations got on my nerves. That evening at about the same hour of six I felt worse than ever. I wanted nobody near me nor anybody to touch me. I was feeling extremely tire and weak. I think I was weeping from mere exhaustion and lack of physical control. My head was pretty bad and the top part felt as though many needles were being driven in. While I was in this state I felt that the bed in which I was lying, the same one as on the previous day, was dirty and filthy beyond imagination and I could not lie in it.

Suddenly I found myself sitting on the floor and Nitya and Rosalind asking me to get into bed. I asked them not to touch me and cried out that the bed was not clean. I went on like this for some time till eventually I wandered out on the verandah and sat a few moments exhausted and slightly calmer. I began to come to myself and finally Mr. Warrington asked me to go under the pepper tree which is near the house.

There I sat crosslegged in the meditation posture. When I had sat thus for some time, I felt myself going out of my body, I saw myself sitting down with the delicate tender leaves of the tree over me. I was facing the east. In front of me was my body and over my head I saw the Star, bright and clear.

Then I could feel the vibrations of the Lord Buddha; I beheld Lord Maitreya and Master K. H. I was so happy, calm and at peace. I could still see my body and I was hovering near it. There was such profound calmness both in the air and within myself, the calmness of the bottom of a deep unfathomable lake. Like the lake, I felt my physical body, with its mind and emotions, could be ruffled on the surface but nothing, nay nothing, could disturb the calmness of my soul.

The presence of the mighty Beings was with me for some time and then They were gone. I was supremely happy, for I had seen. Nothing could ever be the same. I have drunk at the clear and pure waters at the source of the fountain of life and my thirst was appeased. Never more could I be thirsty, never more could I be in utter darkness. I have seen the Light. I have touched compassion which heals all sorrow and suffering; it is not for myself, but for the world. I have stood on the mountain top and gazed at the mighty Beings. Never can I be in utter darkness; I have seen the glorious and healing light.The fountain of Truth has been revealed to me and the darkness has been dispersed. Love in all its glory has intoxicated my heart; my heart can never be closed. I have drunk at the fountain of joy and eternal Beauty. I am God-intoxicated.

Source: Enlightened People

In Embodied Enlightenment, contemporary spiritual teacher Amoda Maa Jeevan dispels the outdated view of a transcendent enlightenment and instead presents a new, feminine expression of awakened consciousness for all—one that is felt and known through what our everyday lives are made of: our emotions, bodies, intimate relationships, work, and life’s purpose. This book is a direct invitation to awaken in a profound, embodied way, and to participate in a collective evolution that can create a new world.

When many of us think of enlightenment, we may envision a life of seclusion and contemplation, transcending the body and worldly attachments, or the achievement of karmic perfection. But what if, rather than something reserved for the mountaintop meditator or sage, the call to awaken is meant for us all? And how can we consciously live that awakening in the midst of our complex, messy, modern lives?

Speaking from her own awakened experience, Amoda Maa Jeevan offers a timeless wisdom, busting some of the common myths about enlightenment and addressing topics often excluded from more traditional spiritual conversations—from the connection between consciousness and the body to relationships to planetary health. In addition, she covers the unfamiliar territory of what happens after enlightenment, delving into awakened action, creative expression, and more.

There’s an urgency today to evolve beyond humanity’s current ego-based paradigm, and along with it, a unique expression of enlightenment is emerging. With clarity, passion, and grace, Embodied Enlightenment invites you on an exploration of consciousness that embraces both the messiness of your earthly experience and the non-duality of pure awareness, offering guidance on how your daily life can bring you into alignment with a divine destiny of individual and collective awakening.

Amoda Maa is a contemporary spiritual teacher, author, and speaker. After years of spiritual seeking, meditation, and immersion in psychospiritual practices, an experience of the dark night of the soul led her to a profound inner awakening. Then, after a long period of integration, she began speaking from silence in small gatherings. She offers meetings and retreats, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and events, attracting spiritual seekers and people looking for peace and fulfillment in an increasingly chaotic world. Her teachings are free of religion and tradition, and she brings to them a deep understanding of the human journey, born out of her own experience.

Amoda Maa is author of Radical Awakening (formerly How to Find God in Everything) and Change Your Life, Change Your World, both of which arose out of a mystical vision around the time of her awakening. In this vision, she was shown the key to humanity’s suffering and the potential for the birth of a new consciousness and world. Embodied Enlightenment is based on both her vision for humanity and the conversations on the cutting edge of spiritual inquiry in her meetings with people from all around the world. She lives with her husband and beloved, Kavi, in California. To learn more, visit http://www.amodamaa.com.

Foreword writer John Welwood, PhD, is a psychotherapist, author, and teacher specializing in the integration of Eastern spiritual wisdom and Western psychology. His books include Journey of the Heart, Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships, and Toward a Psychology of Awakening.

This Moment Loves You

Published on May 25, 2017

An excerpt from Amoda Maa’s new book ‘Embodied Enlightenment.’

Question: How did awakening and liberation occur for you?

I had my first what traditionally would be called awakening experience when I was 25 years old. This was very powerful and full of emotion and release and joy and bliss and all that it is supposed to be full of. But, because there was so much emotion involved, it obscured the simplicity of awakeness itself. Like so many others, I continued to chase certain ideas and concepts of what awakeness was supposed to be. That caused years of misery.

Gradually over time I had the same experience reoccur, but each time with less and less emotion. I could see more and more clearly over time what was the actual essential element. Then finally an awakening occurred where at the moment of awakening, there was no emotion in it. It was just the pure seeing of what is. When there was the pure seeing of what is, unclouded by emotional content, it was obvious. It was very obvious that consciousness recognized itself for what it really is – aware space before any emotion or thought or manifestation.

Question: Would you say that this is the point at which the
distinction between awakening and liberation occurred?

No. Even though there was a freedom and incredible sense of fearlessness and release from not being confined to the dream of a separate “I”, I started to feel somewhat discontented with that. I didn’t know why I felt discontented, and it didn’t bother me in any way. The discontent didn’t touch that freedom, so it didn’t bother me, but I was interested in it.

Then one day I was sitting reading a book, and I folded the book to
put it away and realized that somewhere in some magic time, something had dropped away, and I didn’t know what it was. There was just a big absence of something. I went through the rest of the day as usual but noticing some big absence. Then when I sat down on the bed that night, it suddenly hit me that what had fallen away was all identity.

All identity had collapsed, as both the self in the ego sense of a separate me, and as the slightest twinge of identity with the Absolute Self, with the Oneness of consciousness. There had still been some unconscious, identity or “me-ness” which was the cause of the discontent. And it all collapsed. Identity itself collapsed, and from that point on there was no grasping whatsoever for little me or for the unified consciousness me. Identity just fell away and blew away with the wind.

Question: When you noticed that the identity had collapsed and was
gone, what remained?

Everything just as it always had been. There was just the lack of any “I”, personal or universal, or the fundamental unconscious belief in any identity or of fixating self in any place. The mind can continue to fixate a subtle identity of self even in universal consciousness, or Self. It can be so incredibly easy to miss. To say “I am That” can be a very subtle fixation of consciousness.

Question: It’s still a landing, a form of identity.

It’s a slight landing, a slight grasping. It’s very subtle. But when it collapses, you are even beyond “I am That”. You are in a place that cannot be described.

Question: And that is what you call liberation?

That is what I call liberation. Really, in the end, what you end up with is that you don’t know who you are. You end up in the same place you started out. You truly don’t know who you are because it’s impossible to fixate the self anywhere.
Source: Enlightened People

Meditate your way into transcendence

Equanimity is a kind of self-control that springs from a state of mind, and complements self-realization or enlightenment. It is part of the benefit package we receive from experiencing that divinity within, through meditation. It can help us cope with major life-events. Self-realization helps us gain mastery over our mind, so we are always at peace, regardless of any disturbances that may take place around us. That is equanimity. Through meditation we can lift ourselves to a higher dimension of consciousness. Meditation is the only direct way to attain enlightenment or self-realization and to achieve a state of equanimity.

Do you wonder why some people find the idea of meditation pleasant or soothing, while others seem almost frightened of it and have a great deal of trouble sitting quietly, even for few minutes? We all meditate to a certain extent when we focus on performing a certain task with our limited consciousness, whether it’s repairing an engine, helping our child with homework, or screwing in a lightbulb. Without certain amounts of focused concentration, we wouldn’t be able to do anything effectively.

Meditation is not simply helpful to experience enlightenment or self-realization, but to live a less stressful life and function well. Sitting quietly – even for five minutes a day – can make a big difference in our day-to-day functionality and keep our mental and physical abilities intact, while providing so many other benefits.

If meditation – which entails focus and concentration – can do wonders in our life, why then, are some of us terrified to meditate?

Meditation is not easy to do, especially in this age where there is so much materialism, skepticism, atheism and hedonism. Coping with all the obstacles of modern life can be quite challenging. However, uplifting ourselves to generate peace and a state of equanimity is not impossible. It is within our reach, if only we can shift our priorities and sit still just for five minutes every day.

Equanimity means being in constant harmony with all happenings in the universe and carrying the equanimous state throughout every situation and in all dealings with other people. It is a unique type of attitude that we carry toward life in general, with the utmost evenness and composure, exercising self-control and maintaining our dignity. We do not feel any different whether we are experiencing pain, sorrow or joy.

Realization helps us gain mastery over our mind, so we are always at peace regardless of any disturbances that may take place around us. We react to pleasant and unpleasant situations with the same perfect balance, harmony and equilibrium. We do not get overly excited or sad with any situation, and we are able to handle everything with utmost calm and ease. We can be in the world but not get consumed by it.

When you display this kind of attitude, some people may mistake you for being indifferent about worldly happenings. It is not that realized individuals do not have any emotions or feelings, only that they don’t let them have any lasting impact. They have emotions but don’t become emotional.

One advantage of not being ruled by emotions is that we view all beings impartially. Once we are freed from personal likes and dislikes, decision-making becomes easier. Also, this makes it easier to avoid getting overly worked up or stressed during disagreements with other people, or to hold grudges for a long period of time. There is no residual agitation that builds upon itself, creating more negative thoughts. We become a non-excitable entity, where absolutely nothing can damage our inner peace. This is the equanimity we gain from being with our true nature.

There is no need to run toward sense objects, nor do we need to take ourselves away from them. Most of the time the mind remains peaceful, accepting everything as it is.

The precise time at which we gain the ability to transcend and attain equanimity depends on where we are in our evolutionary journey. Until then, the best habit to develop is to meditate, meditate, meditate…

Read more on these topics in my book Home at Last, published by White Cloud Press.
Source: Spirituality Health


Mapping Consciousness and the Enlightened Brain – Deepak Chopra

Published on Mar 26, 2017

Why do people want to become enlightened? According to spiritual teacher Adyashanti the spiritual impulse inside every human is because of Life’s longing to become fully conscious of itself. Life pushes us and it will do whatever it needs to in order to accomplish this goal: to become fully conscious of itself.

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Source: flickr.com


In the 1960s, there was a popular belief – popularised by psychedelic pioneers like Timothy Leary (pictured) – that drugs such as LSD could provide ‘chemical enlightenment’, a way of circumventing the years of arduous spiritual practice which monks and other spiritual put themselves through in order to attain a permanent higher state of consciousness. Why spend years meditating and practising self-denial when you can just alter your brain chemistry directly, by taking psychedelics? It soon became apparent that this was naive, and that regular LSD usage was much more likely to generate psychological breakdown than spiritual awakening. And many of those – such as Timothy Leary himself – who originally used LSD as a way of expanding consciousness eventually began to use drugs hedonistically, as a way of escaping boredom and discord, after their ‘chemical enlightenment’ project had failed.

Nowadays, psychoactive substances such as Ayahuasca and DMT are widely used with a spiritual intention, as a means of self-exploration and self-expansion. Ayahuasca in particular has a similar status as an ‘elixir of enlightenment’ to LSD in the 1960s.

I don’t think there is any doubt that psychedelics can generate temporary higher states of consciousness (or ‘awakening experiences’, as I prefer to call them). Some writers on mysticism – usually from a religious background – have argued that psychedelic awakening experiences can’t be ‘genuine,’ because they are artificially induced. But this is surely short-sighted and prejudiced. Psychedelic awakening experiences feature many of the same characteristics of other awakening experiences – intensified perception of one’s surroundings, a sense of connection or oneness to the world and revelations about the nature of reality, and so on. I’ve collected many reports of psychedelic-induced awakening experiences which feature these aspects (some of which I quote from in my book Waking From Sleep).

But although psychedelics can bring temporary awakening experiences, I think it’s very unlikely that they can lead to a permanent higher state of consciousness – that is, a state of ‘enlightenment,’ or in my preferred term, ‘wakefulness.’ The reason for this is that psychedelics are basically dissolutive – that is, they achieve their effect by dissolving away our normal mental structures, and putting our normal psychological mechanisms out of action. (I like to use the term ‘self-system’ for these structures and mechanisms.) When the normal self-system dissolves away, our sense of boundary disappears, so that we no longer experience separateness. Our normal concepts of ourselves and of reality fade away too, so that we feel we’re looking at the world and ourselves in a completely new way. The contents of our subconscious mind may open up into our conscious mind, as the boundary between them fades away as well.

This is fine for temporary awakening experiences, but permanent wakefulness can only occur if there is a new self-system to replace the normal one. It’s not enough to dissolve the sense of self – a new self has to replace it.

This is the major difference between prolonged spiritual practice and psychedelics. Prolonged spiritual practice (such as regular meditation or the following of a path such as the eightfold path of Buddhism, or the eight-limbed path of yoga) will gradually form a new self which will slowly supplant your old self – a self-system with much softer boundaries, a much less powerful sense of individuality and separateness, intensified perception, much reduced associational ‘thought-chatter’ and so on. This self-system may be so subtle and integrated within the whole of our being that you might not even notice that it’s there.

In other words, spiritual practice is basically constructive – it gradually changes the structures of consciousness, re-moulding our self-system into a higher functioning form. But psychedelics don’t facilitate the emergence of a new self-system. With the regular use of psychedelics, the danger is that the structures of the normal self-system will completely dissolve way, and without another self-system to supplant it, there will simply be a psychic vacuum, which equates with a state of psychosis. And unfortunately there have been many cases of this. In fact, you could say that this is really the only permanent psychological change which the regular use of psychedelics can bring: not awakening, but psychosis.

Of course, a person may decide to take psychedelics at the same time as following a spiritual practice, or it may be that the use of psychedelics is simply one element of a wider, more general spiritual path. In that case, it’s less likely that they will be disruptive, and more likely that they will have positive effects. The real danger is of using psychedelics independently, and particularly without any supervision.

There’s a further aspect to this though: psychedelics can be transformative in the sense that they can show us an expanded reality, and make us realise that the normal world we perceive is just part of the story. And once we’ve become aware of this expanded reality, it can change our outlook and our values. It can also awaken an impulse to return to the expanded reality in a more reliable, organic way – that is, through following spiritual practices and paths. This is a topic I’ll address in more detail in my next blog.

Steve Taylor is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, UK. This article is an excerpt from his book The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening. http://www.stevenmtaylor.com


Published on Mar 20, 2017

We have all heard fancy awakening or enlightenment stories, but what is enlightenment really about? According to spiritual teacher Roger Castillo enlightenment is something really mundane, it is the absence of suffering. But because so many spiritual seeker have an image in their mind that something very special has to happen they create expectation and thus suffering.

Roger shares also his personal Oneness experience. He believed that he reached his goal of spiritual enlightenment until his teacher Ramesh Balsekar and suffering proved him otherwise.

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Published on Feb 13, 2017

Easwaran shows us what it means to rest our mind in the Self.

He comments on the concluding verses from the Dhammapada, drawing our attention to the quality of resting our mind in our highest Self.

How do we do this? By not looking to the past or to the future, but by resting in the joy of the Self that is ever present, deep within our consciousness. He ends the talk with a glorious description of his own inner spiritual journey.

This is one of the two videos of the month for this coming month.

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