How do you achieve enlightenment in 5 simple steps? Whether we are religious or not, enlightenment is something we all crave. Defined as “the full comprehension of a situation”, we have come to interpret it as having the answers to life, death, love, the universe and everything in between. It would also answer the endless question of “why are we here?” Enlightenment could very well bring about a universal truth, but more often than not it’s a personal journey.
Meditation is the perfect (if not only) way to inspire enlightenment, and today- for women especially- this is a necessity we can’t afford to overlook; in body, mind and spirit. Enlightenment will empower you to be the best mother, daughter, sister, friend, woman and person that you can be.
Meditation and Memories
Many cultures believe that the ultimate truth is not actually something you can find, but rather that it is something you have to remember. We are born fully aware of everything we need to know about ourselves, our world and our universe, but, unfortunately as we grow older, our spirits are corrupted and we forget more and more with each passing year. This would explain why when it comes to the bigger matters, children always seem to know more than we do. They haven’t lost their innocence, and therefore are still plugged in to the source.
Other spiritual paths are of the standing that we come into this world knowing absolutely nothing, but that the search- the hunger– for truth is hardwired into our brains and is therefore not only a spiritual endeavour, but a physical one too. This could be observed in how we preserve certain behaviours without being told to do so. Whether you are a primitive Warrior on a secluded island, a tycoon with more money and technology than necessary, or a middle class Average Jane- human priorities have always been love, family and comfort. If we have all three, chances are we will call ourselves happy. It’s something that does not discriminate. It’s one thing we can all agree on.
Either way, scientifically, we are remnants of something greater than ourselves. You have heard it a thousand times by now, but, you are made of star stuff. The secrets of the universe are not an external thing; we are the universe. Learning the ultimate truth- be it a personal journey or not- is an endeavour as simple as reconnecting with ourselves.
What better way to do that, than with meditation?
The Foundations of Enlightenment in 5 Simple Steps
Before you attempt enlightenment, there are some fundamental truths for you to keep in mind and meditate on to better understand your own awakening.
In Buddhism there are Four Noble Truths. They are:
- The truth of suffering (Dukkha)
Which is that life is painful. At some or another point in time, you will suffer- be it physically, emotionally or spiritually. Pain is the awareness of life as they say.
- The truth of the origin of suffering (Samudāya)
Which is that we suffer because of attachment. We attach ourselves to people, places, material objects, money, the familiar, belief systems, jobs, routines, etc. If ever we lose one of those things, it hurts, and we mourn.
- The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha)
Naturally if we end our attachments to- or dependence on- the familiar, it loses its power over us, and can no longer cause us pain. This does not mean that we cannot have meaningful relationships, or find sentiment in the things around us. It merely serves as a reminder that everything now is temporary and there is no use (other than harm) in clinging to things.
- The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga)
Which is that meditation is a way to disconnect from attachment. Upon meditating you learn that you already have everything that you need. Your life will soon feel less cluttered and your dependence on the material will dissipate.
Furthermore, there is an ethos called the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment, which (simply put) serves as a checklist for what you need to reach your own awakening. It stands as such:
- The right view
You need to have an honest and harmless view of the world around you. See things as simply as you can, but don’t take things at face value. Likewise, don’t judge- just observe.
- The right intention
Do not act with intentions of dishonesty or harm. Treat everyone (including yourself) well. Do not lie, or cheat, or trouble others. Treat life as sacred. Respect it.
- The right speech
Express yourself from the heart only. Don’t hold back on your words- when something needs to be said, say it, but be kind.
- The right discipline
Take things as they are. Do not try to change reality, and do not deceive yourself. Experience the world as it is, but stay strong in your ways and you will not be corrupted.
- The right life
Maintain your integrity and make the most of your time here. If you are unhappy- for example in your job- don’t complain about how much you hate it. Rather find a job you enjoy. Remain positive, and try to see the good in everything.
- The right effort
Don’t take shortcuts. Do things right or don’t do them at all. Do not waste your own time, but also, never waste the time of others.
- The right mindfulness
To truly become enlightened, you must be mindful of the universe; otherwise you will never understand it.
- The right concentration
Stop experiencing life on autopilot. Most of the time we are passers-by instead of participants. Think with your whole mind, feel with your whole heart and exist with your whole soul. You need to function at full capacity, or else life is something you will miss out on.
Achieving Your Awakening
Before you begin meditating for enlightenment, there are a few simple things to consider. This will prepare you for the journey you are about to embark on.
- You Need to Want It
Very rarely does enlightenment simply befall us. You have to want it with your whole soul or else two things might happen.
- You will not be open to receive the truth when it comes
- You will distort the truth to suit your beliefs
The ultimate truth has to be undiluted for it to matter. If you seek anything less, you will do yourself a disservice. Want the truth so much that when it arrives, you won’t question or ignore it.
- You Can’t Worry
It doesn’t have to be said that stress is one of the unhealthiest habits humans have. Most of the time stress is unnecessary and self-inflicted so keep in mind that you can’t sweat the small stuff while you head out to find enlightenment. You have to be as calm as it’s humanly possible to be because enlightenment can be quite an intense experience and you don’t want to run the risk of feeling overwhelmed by it.
- Rituals Help
To tackle the above, and to aid you in your way, create a ritual for yourself. Following the guidelines of meditation, make sure you are alone and free of interruptions and distractions. Turn off your electronics- and your lights too if you want a more intense experience- dress comfortably, and sit comfortably too. Don’t tense up, and ensure that your muscles- or bottom- won’t start to ache after a few minutes. Now perform whichever ritual you see fit to relax you, and alter your state of consciousness. Chanting works almost like magic for this, so if you have a mantra, use it. When you are ready, focus on the truth and it will come to you. It won’t hurt to ask for it either!
Enlightenment in 5 Simple Steps
Before the truth you seek will come, you have to accept the truths you already know. Think of all the bad things you have done, and all the mistakes you made. You can’t change the past, so forgive yourself and let go. Likewise, think of all the good you have added to the world. Don’t be arrogant, but don’t sell yourself short.
2. The Awakening
Now comes the hard part; realizing that everything you are, everything you have ever been told, everything you think you know is a lie. You need to figure out who you are when you remove all external influence from your soul. Disregard every decision that was ever made for you. Who are you? Ask yourself this as many times as necessary. The answer will come when you are ready for it.
3. The Purge
If you want to be your true self, you have to let go of the things that chain you down. You don’t have to be drastic and sacrifice everything so you can live in the wilderness- not at all. But you can no longer afford waste. Anything that does not truly make you happy or healthy is unnecessary and you are wasting energy on it. Quit smoking. Donate your old clothes. Clean out your garage. Make this spiritual as well. Cut off people who are toxic to you, or the ones that you simple don’t like. Disconnect from the unnecessary services or networks you are not active in. Clear out your contacts. Settle your credit cards and then destroy them. Don’t invite unnecessary expenditure- be it financial or spiritual- into your life.
Using the law of attraction now, you have to be what you desire. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Work hard to reap wonderful rewards. Love as you hope to be loved, and live the life the wish you were living. What you put into the world is what you will get out of it. So fill it with beauty, kindness and joy.
Before you know it, you won’t recognise yourself. Things that troubled you before won’t matter. Love and happiness will be intensified. You will feel something strange that is typically drowned out by all the noise and ignorance around us…
The last step to enlightenment is to accept peace. This peace comes with trusting the universe and trusting yourself. Once your ultimate truth reaches you, you will notice immediately that it’s easy to accept. Knowing it has not changed you- changing yourself has allowed you to know. You feel better than you have ever felt before, and everything has fallen into place. That is true enlightenment- being content no matter what. Life is a gift. We were meant to cherish it.
Going Further…Past Enlightenment in 5 Simple Steps
Committing to your new found truth will not be hard to do. What has been seen cannot be unseen, and once you see the light you will wish to bask in it. But even though it won’t cost you trouble to commit to it, it’s a good idea to dedicate some regular time to maintaining it.
Going back to the idea that we are born knowing the truth- human souls are fragile and it’s all too easy to fall into bad habits or old ways. Once you are enlightened, you will never want to lose touch with that feeling and so you should make every effort to connect to the source habitually.
Daily meditations are a great way to do this, because even just two minutes a day is enough to keep you in touch with your best self.
Practise mindfulness throughout the day. Pick a time, or activity that is best for you. Maybe you want to be mindful every time you shower, or perhaps at every meal. Simply make time for it. It’s important.
Be minimalistic. This requires maintenance. Whenever something, or someone, enters your life ask yourself if it adds value to your life. If the answer is no, rid yourself of it.
Practise gratitude. The world could always use more of it. Be thankful and be kind at every opportunity you get. Say thank you for the big as well as the small. And be genuine about it.
Most importantly, share your truth with others. Chances are they won’t follow you blindly, but enlightenment, like kindness and gratitude, is contagious. Once people see how happy and at peace you are they will be inspired to find themselves. Inspire them. Be honest about your experiences and help where you can. Humans are a community. Play your part well.
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