“Bodhi” is the Sanskrit word for enlightenment, which translates to mean an “awakening.” An awakening to what? Many believe it is the awakening to life. And yet, the majority of people sleepwalk through their existence. The time has come to wake up! But . . . how?
Defining spiritual enlightenment.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of enlightenment is to be free from ignorance and misinformation based on full comprehension of the problems involved. To enlighten something or someone is to provide illumination and to furnish knowledge. Buddhists define enlightenment as “a final blessed state marked by the absence of desire or suffering.”
Now let’s remove any religious connections the word may have and explore enlightenment at a spiritual level as a shift in consciousness.
What is consciousness?
Look up the word “conscious” and receive a million different definitions. Simply put, it is the individual awareness of feelings, thoughts, and the surrounding environment. Conscious experiences are constantly shifting. Exploring deeper dimensions allows us to take personal responsibility for what is not working in our lives. In essence, to reach a higher level of consciousness we must first learn what we don't want to know and recognize what we don't want to see. Say that again? Achieving spiritual enlightenment sounds like an overwhelming conundrum.
But according to some, it doesn’t have to be.
Is it truly possible to achieve spiritual enlightenment?
Many people believe that in order to reach spiritual enlightenment, one must meditate, fast, pray or even directly shut out the world. However, Dr. John McGrail, author of The Synthesis Effect: Your Direct Path to Personal Power and Transformation, believes anyone can reach spiritual enlightenment. He refers to it as "practical enlightenment," which means living your life virtually free of suffering and then passing it on to others. As a clinical hypnotherapist, established self-improvement expert, and a sought-after spiritual teacher, Dr. McGrail teaches people how to change their reality and achieve complete happiness.
In fact, Rule # 1 in the McGrail Method is “Life is supposed to be Fun!” Here is some centuries-old advice we could all follow to a spiritual (rather, a more practical) enlightenment.
The Power of Acceptance
Accept imperfections, not only in yourself but in others as well. Oftentimes, the qualities within ourselves are the qualities we perceive in something else. Remember the saying? “When you point a finger at someone, there are three pointing right back at YOU.” Kindness is the key to spiritual enlightenment, says The Dalai Lama. Acknowledge that we are all here on this Earth having the same human experience. Rid yourself of judgments and love from one soul to another.
The Power of Love
Open your heart. Surrender the ego, the mind’s false created self, and choose love in all waking moments. Every emotion or thought is derived from either fear or love. Love attracts more love and vice versa. These two root emotions are the reason for every action and feeling. Have love for yourself. Inner conflicts of self-sabotage and defeat are not conducive to our growth as human beings. Every time you forgive, you are experiencing spiritual enlightenment. Every time you spread love or rid yourself of hatred, you are experiencing spiritual enlightenment. Choose to live a life of love and your energy will vibrate with peace and harmony. Let go of jealousy, fear, and insecurities. Turn those emotions into compassion, tolerance and acceptance. The answer is always love.
The Power of Trust
Three hundred years ago, German philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote this about enlightenment: “Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding! Thus it is difficult for each separate individual to work his way out of the immaturity, which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown fond of it and is really incapable for the time being of using his own understanding, because he was never allowed to make the attempt.” Make the attempt. Trust your inner compass is guiding you in the right direction.
The Power of Letting Go
In the words of Lao Tzu philosopher of ancient China, “By letting go, it all gets done; the world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.” Give up the need to control everything that happens to you and around you. Let go of the reins and surrender to peace. Experience the journey to inner freedom. You are in the driver’s seat of your own life.
The Power of Truth
Recognize that you have the ability to clearly perceive truth. Truth begins and ends with you. Ludwig Borne, 19th century German writer and satirist, long ago stated, “Getting rid of a delusion makes us wiser than getting hold of a truth.” It is believed that by letting go of our delusions, we arrive at the truth. In order to let go, we must first acknowledge what is false within. Only when we recognize the false as false, we will be guided to a lasting transformation of truth that is free from delusions and suffering. Listen to the voice of truth within yourself. Even Shakespeare said “to thine own self be true.” Truth is pure. Truth is here and now. Truth prevails.
The Power of Purpose
We all need a purpose in life. Find your joy and share it with others. Every one of us has something unique and special to offer the world. Ask yourself, what feeds your soul? Believe in yourself. Stop thinking and start being. Live a little easier and a little more lightly. Awaken yourself to en-light-enment.
IMMANUEL KANT. Web. 04 May 2012. <http://ethics.sandiego.edu/Books/Kant/Enlightenment/what-is-enlightenmentKant.htm>.
Dr. John McGrail. Web. 04 May 2012. <http://drjohnmcgrail.com/>.
Mazuy, Kip. "Methods of Realizing Spiritual Enlightenment." Ezinearticles.com. 16 June 2009. Web. 4 May 2012. <Methods of Realizing Spiritual Enlightenment>.
Nirmala. "What Is Spiritual Enlightenment or Spiritual Awakening?" Spiritual Enlightenment. Endless-satsang.com, 2011. Web. 04 May 2012. <http://endless-satsang.com/spiritual-enlightenment-spiritual-awakening.htm>.
"Your Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment." Spiritual Enlightenment Now. SpiritualNow.com, 2012. Web. 04 May 2012. <http://www.spiritualnow.com/>.
Web. “Quotations.” 04 May 2012. <http://thinkexist.com>