What is enlightenment really? Is it something that we want? Is it really relevant in our fast-paced, modern, distracted world? The answer is “Yes!” It’s absolutely relevant, relevant as never before, because enlightenment very simply means to be conscious, to be aware, to be awake. It means to have that observer within watching even when you’re having a difficult day, or something’s happened, or your thoughts are tanking and bringing you down. The observer, the Silent Witness within you that watches this and says, “Oh, look. This is where I’m at and this is where it’s taking me now.” That’s enlightenment.
There’s this false belief that when you enter enlightenment that you are in bliss 100 percent of the time. Bliss 100 percent of the time is Samadhi and, as Sai Baba said, when that happens 100 percent of the time you leave this world. You can’t stay in this world. So, God actually doesn’t want you to go there because God needs you here on this planet to do your work, to give your service, to hold the light here, to bring light into this world. So, thinking about Samadhi or trying to attain this bliss 100 percent of the time is actually not what you want to do. It’s really not relevant at this time. It’s relevant when you’re ready to pass over, but not right now.
What’s relevant right now is the enlightenment of being aware. And there are steps to do that. That’s why I’m saying look at this through new eyes. Enlightenment is not something that’s unattainable. It’s not something that’s so far away at the top of a tree that you can’t reach it. It’s actually right here with you. It is your natural state. It is when your soul and your consciousness and your ego mind have united to be the observer to guide you so that when difficulty comes you’re able to touch the frequency of joy and bliss. Even if you don’t sustain it, it doesn’t matter. You’re not meant to sustain it.
Why are you not meant to sustain it? Why can’t we live in bliss all the time? I’m sure there are some people who might want to argue with me, but I’ve met many, many enlightened masters and they all have difficult days. They all have times of sadness, grief, remorse, anger. They’re humans. They are human beings. And what I learned from them, and what I’ve learned through my own enlightenment is that enlightenment is a state that one weaves in and out of, like you’re sewing a fabric. But, don’t try to sustain it. Because, if you try to sustain it you will automatically lose it. That’s just part of the sacred alchemy of what enlightenment is.
As soon as you enter the observer state you can watch yourself in a situation, and then you lift into a joy, or have an aha moment. You greet that moment. You take that moment in. Like I said in my last newsletter, you look for those aha moments. It may last five minutes, it may last ten minutes, and it may last a day, or two days, or two weeks. But God, the universe, is going to send you another challenge because you met that previous challenge.
This is the university. The third dimension is your University of Becoming more and more refined at working with your thoughts, your feelings, your reactions, and your ability to connect deeply with yourself, with the world, and to repair and redeem yourself. It is a dance. It is the Lila, the Sanskrit word meaning “the dance of the universe.” No matter how high on the ladder you go, there’s a doorway and you may slide back down like the child’s game my kids used to play, Chutes and Ladders. (Which, by the way, is related to the ancient Sumerian game of Lila of the Ladder!) My point is, we all slide back down as we journey on our path to enlightenment.
Enlightenment is wisdom. It is having the ability to meet your challenges with wisdom. To understand wisdom and to even descend deeper into the great wisdom of the intelligence of the universe. This is wisdom beyond any language—English, French, Spanish, Croatian, Russian, Japanese, etcetera. It is knowledge of how to navigate through this world to bring repair and redemption. When you are an embodiment of wisdom, the Sophia, when you enter this state, when you are consciously carrying this state, your perception of this reality shifts. And when your perception shifts, even if the problems in your life have not been solved, even if nothing has changed, your relationship with your problems changes dramatically and you experience enlightenment.
Enlightenment is a deep state of connection of union, of oneness. And in that oneness you’re still experiencing the myriad of thoughts, feelings and emotions that your human self is here to experience. They don’t go away. You simply have a new relationship with them. Sometimes, I’ll have days where I feel myself sinking to a low that I experienced twenty, thirty years ago before I had my enlightenment. I say to myself, “How can this be? I’ve worked so hard.’’ But I realized that’s happening because the universe, the Creator, is saying, “It’s time for you to take your sewing needle and dip deep into the fabric of the separation again and gather that experience of separation. To sew it up, to lift it back up into your consciousness of enlightenment.” And so I do the work.
What is the work? How do we do the work? Very simply. You must take time for contemplation and reflection. There’s a reason why, in the ancient times, we went to abbey’s, why we went to convents, why we went into a hut in the woods or a cave, we did this to go into deep states of meditation. Because in order to attain enlightenment and in order to sustain it, one must have time for deep contemplation, time to watch your thoughts and feelings from the place of the Silent Watcher. Yes, it’s important to be in the world. But also to take the time necessary to reflect, observe, and go into prayer or deep connection.
What I call prayer is that conversation with the divine intelligence where we ask for guidance to bless and heal the areas of disruption, the areas of disconnect, the areas where we’re in pain. Some of those pains, some of those griefs are meant to be experienced. They won’t be lifted. They won’t be taken away. We’re meant to have them. But we’re also meant to come to a new level of perception and see them with a new set of eyes so that the grief and the pain becomes a doorway for grace. And grace comes when you have the ability to be intimate, deeply connected with the divine intelligence and with others of our human family, your family, your friends, and even strangers.
When you have the ability to have this deep connection, this intimacy, your grief reveals grace. And grace, beloved grace, is our shining light of enlightenment. For she is enlightenment, the presence of awe, the presence of rapture. When you have those moments, and they come, they may come in a second and then just as quickly go. It may come in a second and then, “Oh, I had another thought.’’ Or something happens and it’s like, “Where did it go?’’ It’s gone.
So, what do you do? This is where I want to give you some tips. I want to just give you a few tips for you to touch your enlightenment and sustain it. So, the first tip I want to give you is that when you have that mystical moment, that very high state of mystical experience, when you have that, I want you to say to yourself, “Copy that.’’ Like you’re a Xerox. I don’t like to use the word machine, forgive me. But it’s like you’re laying down a template. You’re telling yourself, “Copy that. Make a copy of this. I don’t want to forget it. I want to have this right in front of me when I need it again.’’ So, when you have that aha moment or that moment of deep intuition and connection that uplifts you, say, “Copy that. I’m going to remember this.”
Then, when you get home, go to a place where you feel very safe. It may be a room or a corner in a room where you have set up an altar. It may be your bed. (I do a lot of meditation in my bed!) Close your eyes and say, “I recall this day of awe. I have my copy.” And then practice, with your eyes closed, finding your way back into that feeling. And you do this by using your inner feeling senses. Feel the feeling of that awe and mystery and beauty. This is Bhakti—devotion—the path of Bhakti. This is also the fabulous exercise one learns to use as an actor, or a writer, to recall experiences. You can use the same thing for your enlightenment. Recall the moment. What did it smell like? What was the air like when you had this experience? What did it feel like around you when you had this experience? Then focus in on one particular memory. Perhaps it’s a leaf on a tree. Perhaps it’s the small finger of your daughter or son. Perhaps it is the way the Sun hit the ocean, or perhaps it is the way a sparrow landed on a chimney. Recall the particular memory related to that moment.
Now, resting in that moment, in that memory, begin to watch your breath. And as you watch your breath, connect more deeply to that experience and say to yourself, “My intention is to bring my experience of enlightenment into the here and the now where I am.” You will feel it come in. It’s a doorway, it’s an energetic pathway. You will feel it come into you. You will feel it radiate through your body. And then? Sustain this feeling as much as you can, as long as you can, because you’re opening a doorway, you’re expanding a universe of awareness like a bubble in this reality. You may not be able to see it, but it’s there. So stay there, linger as long as you can.
Your enlightenment is right there within you. You are a creator and master of energy and frequency. What we see in this world, for example a table, a desk, your body—all these things are the direct result of a manifestation of energy. It’s just as Plato said. The desk, the chair and your body are like the shadows on the wall of the cave. They’re very real. But there’s a Source that created them, a Source behind them, an energy behind them. And this is what I want to encourage you and support you in understanding, accepting, and acknowledging: your ability to be a ray of radiance, of energy so that you can create your own experience of this reality, your own enlightenment, at any time.
I hope that this helps you and serves you on your journey as it has helped me and so many of the people I’ve worked with. Before I end, just close your eyes for a moment and allow rays of light to enter the crown of your head, a beautiful orb of light. This orb of light upon your head shines over you like a veil of white light, a beautiful veil, a healing veil of eternal light. As this light washes down through your body all the way down into your feet, pooling at your feet, take a deep breath allowing the peace, the awe, the harmony, the joy of life—your enlightenment—to fill every cell of your being. This will sustain you through your day and help to wash away the parts of you that are cynical, to wash any areas of self-loathing, of perfectionism, or judgement. Bathing in this light of loving kindness will turn your cynicism and self-judgment into a field of beautiful white roses, washing negativity away until you become a wide, open, vast ocean of possibility.
Allow this beautiful white light to fill and expand your mind, your thoughts, and your feelings, to fill all places of loss, grief, and uncertainty, until the loss, grief, and uncertainty become a basket of pearls—your pearls of wisdom. You may take a pearl from this basket whenever you need wisdom for your life—the wisdom of enlightenment—the wisdom of your joy and your purpose. The wisdom of healing, connection and intimacy. The wisdom of our human soul as one family on the journey together.
Take this practice and begin to play with it. The more you do it the more you will be able to sustain awe and grace and the beauty of the divine within you.