The Enlightenment Cycle
We find ourselves in the world. We're born here. We don't know why. We look around and we see life. We feel it. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it's pleasurable. Sometimes it's boring. Sometimes it's exciting. Sometimes it's frightening. Sometimes it's beautiful beyond comprehension.
Our bodies grow and develop. Our mind develops. We have experiences. And then something more happens for some people, and they begin to develop spiritually. It's an ache at first, a longing, a feeling for another time, another place, another condition. We want more. Or less.
We can feel the earth on a sunny day, feel the heat on a rainy day, the wetness, the wind. In the city, we hear the traffic, the noises; in the country, the sounds of the forest. We can make love, make money, go to work, feel fatigue, be excited. These are the things people do. One day melts into the next. And all you have for the days that you've gone through are memories, for the days that have not yet occurred, anticipations.
All that truly exists is this moment. This moment you're experiencing now.
Yoga is a science. It's the science of consciousness. It suggests that there's more, or less - that outside of what you experience there are other realms, other dimensions that go on forever. They're just beyond the portals of your vision. There are dimensions of light, perfect light, on the other side of sense experience and mental experience. There are dimensions of ecstasy, worlds where time does not exist, and there's nirvana, the central nexus from which all this comes, the creator, enlightenment.
Meditation is traveling. It's a journey. It's a process by which we go from here to there with our minds. We see that the mind is infinite. It's not relegated to the brain or to thought or to emotion. It's made up of an endless series of realities that stretch on into infinity. You can come to know these realities. You can experience them directly yourself. This is the essence of Buddhism. This process is the gaining of self-knowledge, of the awareness of life or its many awarenesses.
I'm a teacher of meditation. I've been teaching meditation for a while - many, many lifetimes. I'm also a student of meditation. There's always something new to learn. And I've observed a very interesting thing - that most people who meditate don't meditate. They think they're meditating, but they're not really meditating.
Meditation is concentration in the beginning. It's a focus. Then, in the intermediate stage, it's an opening, a deepening of one's awareness but with a focus towards the planes of light. In intermediate meditation, you're touching light more deeply than in introductory meditation. In advanced meditation, you become light. You transcend self, ego, time, space, dimensionality. You merge with the clear light of reality, you enter samadhi, and you go beyond this world.
Your ideas, your feelings, your needs, your wants, your loves, your hates, your ups, your downs - you go beyond it all and you become God. You become nirvana. You become enlightenment, for a while, for a timeless time. You merge with the ecstasy of the clear light of reality. And it changes you. It remakes you. It reforms you. It shifts you, and then you're that.
Your awareness returns to the world brighter, different, less solidified. And repeating this process endlessly or in many years and many lifetimes eventually will culminate in the experience of enlightenment where you will always be in a state of light, in a condition of limitless awareness. It goes on forever. As Bilbo tells us in his story in The Hobbit, in his little song he sings, the road leads on forever. That's the good news. There's no end to enlightenment. There's no end to incarnation. There's no end to infinity.