10 Steps to EnlightenmentJune 2, 2008
|photo in Kamal Gad in India by Binary Half|
Want to wake up to who you are? Here it is, step by step. With links to more detailed articles.
1) Meditate. Find a way to connect with silence, with your inner Self on a reasonably regular basis. Thats the best way to help with anything that follows. Effortless approaches are usually best.*
2) Yoga. Take care of the temple. Your body is your vehicle of expression so taking reasonable care of it it helps. Yoga Asanas (stretching exercises*). A decent light Diet. Get enough Rest. Get enough Activity. Learn to eat foods that support the body rather than addict it, like sugars, caffeine, and low quality carbs. Then your bodies natural intelligence will reveal itself. Life is meant to enjoy, but moderation is a good rule of thumb.
3) Study. Learn about where you are going and whats next. Focus on quality over quantity. Seek to satisfy the mind but not indulge it. Avoid being a spiritual “looky loo”, hoping from one system to another. But don’t get trapped by “the one” either. It usually takes several teachers for us along the way. Best place to start is the study behind your practice above.
4) Inquiry. Make the study practical. Ask yourself who knows this, who is observing? Can you just be with what is? Why am I responding like this? Eckhart and Neelam focus here. Dyad is are an interesting variation.
6) Housecleaning. Clearing the inner house, doing the Work. This is mostly about the heart, supported by study and community, we begin to see through the illusions and shed the baggage. Sedona, EFT, and so forth.
Money is not on the list as its not a step. But your relationship with money is part of the housecleaning section. You need money to survive. Money to go to spiritual events. Money is just energy, the ability to do work. Deal with your issues here. Get real.
7) Gratitude. People find many techniques for clearing the way but I’ve found a simple habit of gratitude makes all the difference in the world. Seeing life from a grateful place rather than as a chore, burden, or hell changes everything. We begin to be able to release or forgive our burdens, let it all go. In the end, we discover there is nothing to forgive.
8 ) Allow. Gradually now we get into the more abstract. When we learn to clear the decks and understand deeper truths about the world, we find newfound trust in how it is. More and more, we learn to simply allow and be with it as it is. Even our failures in the above. This opens us to the flow of life, then the deeper flow of being.
10) Forget. Now comes the time to forget. Forget any idea of steps. Forget any concepts of Enlightenment. Concept means Mind. Awakening is beyond mind. Of that you know nothing. If you have gotten this far, ideas of it are a barrier to being it. Nothing you’ve know to this point has any use or validity beyond mind. Let it go. You won’t loose anything that has value. The mind will remain.
Awakening is not the end of the journey. It is not the goal. It is just the beginning. The beginning of a much grander, much happier, much better being. A life of continual growth and refinement, of deepening, and ever more bliss and peace.
There is what seems some work to be done to get there. They call it Tapas or warming in India. Preparing the ground. But its not something your individual self can control. Awakening happens in consciousness, so consciousness alone is in charge. It may seem that you are seeking Enlightenment, but really, it is Consciousness that is seeking an opening through you. When you step through the door, you will open the One to Itself and everything will celebrate.
PS – this is an outline and first draft. Consider it a suggestion not a prescription. Each of us has a unique path home.
* while meditation and yoga can be ‘learned’ from books, its usually better to begin with a qualified teacher. Better to start correctly than have to undo poor habits.