Tag Archives: meditation

Myths About Enlightenment

(OK, since I was compelled to write, I am guessing my blog break is over.)

When I talk to spiritual seekers about enlightenment, which does not happen very often and only occasionally, I find that people have no idea what “it” is. When I first started on the path to awakening, I didn’t know what it was either. I am guessing this is normal.

One thing is certain: enlightenment is a process that is pretty well mapped out and is not different for everyone. There are distinct stages throughout one’s evolution that are common for all who go through them. There are different levels, so to speak. However, what we do with our state of enlightenment is unique because each of us is unique.

I vaguely recall that feeling of not having a clue of what I was searching for. However, I did have an intense yearning, which I felt fullbodily. In my early teens, I decided that life – as presented by the majority – made no sense to me at all. If I were to live, my life would be dedicated to finding whatever “it” was.

The feeling of yearning throughout my entire body was essential for me. It was a kind of driving force that drowned any doubt and fear. An intellectual idea of wanting to be enlightened, and without any connection to the body, has little power and even less use when the process gets challenging.

There are many myths about enlightenment. I see people forming different pictures of what “it” is in their heads that are simply incorrect. I went through the process and am still evolving. I also compared my milestones to the writings of sages and rishis and Westerners who have clearly gone through an awakening. The milestones along the way appear to be the same.

Let me first say what enlightenment isn’t:

  • It is not a psychodelic experience that comes occasionally, and then goes away. Unless the state is permanent, what occurred was simply a “peak” experience.
  • It is not an immediate cure-all for all physical ailments and emotional debris accumulated over the years. Although healing is dramatically accelerated.
  • It is not a detachment from life, where you become an un-feeling robot, observing everything from a distance. Instead, you go even deeper into life because you realize you are all of this.
  • All your uncomfortable everyday situations do not just go away overnight. However, you do have an intuition about how to move through these situations and ultimately rebalance. You live your life, but you do not define yourself by its ups and downs.
  • It is not dependent on religion, ethnicity, or culture. Anyone, when prepared and ready, can embark on the journey.
  • It does not require special ritual, incantations, mantras, or protections. Rather, one realizes permanently what one is and lives a life from that space of being – naturally.
  • It does not make one “perfect,” whatever that means to any individual. Perfection is a social, cultural, and individual construct that has no absolute reality. However, any imbalances and things requiring realignment are seen through with ease and can be addressed. It can take decades, perhaps, to fully clear out one’s life of clutter after the breakthrough has occurred.
  • It does not make one superhuman or a God, although some abilities may emerge naturally and depending on the person. Nevertheless, an enlightened person is not quite like most human beings and may wonder what it truly means to be human.
  • It has nothing to do with the Mind and runs on a completely different circuit. One cannot “think” and “analyze” one’s way to transformation – if we could, we would all be “there” already. Our Minds are mere tools compared to what “it” is.
  • It has nothing to do with never getting tired. Because of the honed desire to help others, an enlightened being may need more rest and solitude to be. Life in a physical body on this dense plane of existence is not “easy.” But after regenerating, it is much easier to continue giving back to life and to be engaged in one’s unique service.

It is “not” so many things, which people imagine without having actually gone through the process. Of course – we all construct answers that make sense to us at the time. And how would we know without walking the actual path?

What is “it”, then? Enlightenment is a permanent transformation, where the separation from what lives all of us (God, the Divine, whatever you call it) is gone.

The initial breakthrough is the most difficult because it feels like you have to give up all of your preconception and fears about life and reality, but we hold on to these dearly and resist the required surrender. Further breakthroughs do follow for some people. In actuality, the process of awakening to our intrinsic being does not appear to be something that ends.

Enlightenment makes living easier. Challenging situations “make sense” in an intuitive way. Thoughts become quiet. Being alone is never lonely. The desire to directly relate to life becomes much stronger than the tendency to analyze and dissect phenomena and experiences. One sees through the pedantic tendencies of vivisecting life into pieces and is not drawn to them at all because relationship and making connections is much more interesting. Living life directly and without any pretense becomes primary.

The role of the teacher is key to avoiding getting stuck at various points along the way. Before the breathrough, people get easily bogged down in useless patterns of relating to life and can’t move through them. I get a visual of people repeatedly and unconsciously banging their heads against a wall and expecting it to not hurt. The teacher would step in during such times and help the person see and shift the way they use their energy. The teacher serves as a living blueprint for the way energy can run through human form. Often, the student gets a “boost” and feels more open and creative after meeting a teacher (who may not call themselves that). Sometimes a person is “shaken up” after such an encounter without realizing that they are shaken up because of getting in touch with what lies within themselves. It is common to reject the enlightened being, which is a sure sign that one is more comfortable with where they currently are.

People typically tell an enlightened being everything. Although this doesn’t pose any real threat, revealing may still be scary because we are attached to our identities and feel that vulnerability is a weakness. The enlightened being is a powerful mirror that sheds light on one’s insecurities, doubts, and fears, as well as their creative potential. There is never judgement in the sense of how people tend to label and conclude their dispositions toward another. In other words, an enlightened soul has no need for quick finality about anyone.

Fundamentally, enlightenment is about living as happiness amidst whatever comes up. One acquires a fundamental joy that grows and grows as one develops the expression of one’s state. This expression must be actively cultivated and engaged to bring one closer to the “full” state.

Restorative Awake

Sleep is restorative, balancing our physiological processes and brain function. Until this day, I saw no way to restore my being to balance because even deep sleep does not serve the same purpose for me anymore. Because I had no answers for how to regain my health so that I could be fully here, I just resigned to the potential for the rest of my life to be one of great discomfort.

But, when I was talking to a friend today about the potential imbalances resulting from incorrect giving and receiving, she responded that Buddha spent half of his time in meditation to be able to participate in this world. Later in the evening, I realized that this is what I have been missing – the restorative “awake.”

I crave complete immersion in my state of wakefulness. However, most of my time – for years – has been spent taking care of situations that I have largely outgrown. Somehow, I had moved on but expected that how I function would remain the same. Maybe that’s typical.

My life has been set up such that 2019 is the year when I release my karmic obligations. My divorce will be complete. My legal case to get my son from a prior marriage his college tuition from his well-off father will also be put to rest. I will complete my second Masters degree and will not be pulling all-nighters to do homework. A few other loose ends will be tied up. I can feel the karma unwinding and releasing me to truly live. This is exciting!

If it were not for my friend talking about Buddha meditating, I don’t know how much longer it would have taken me to make the connection that I can be alive here and I need ample time in my nonphysical bodies.

I am no longer built to continuously attend to this world, stealing occasional hours to engage in what is now more natural for me. This is why I have been physically breaking down. I am so grateful for this understanding.

Illnesses are indicators of an imbalance and bring us to attention to opportunities we ignore. There is no manual for how to live an easy, carefree life – we all have different requirements for our existence. What I have been missing is time to be in my true form, which is barely physical. It is not deep sleep, but an awake state of complete immersion in being.

In the meantime, I will still be caring for my children and the students I teach. To be able to give what I can and wholeheartedly want to give here, I need to have the time to spend in a state of restful wakefulness – where every cell of my body is cradled by the sparks of creation and I am unhindered by physical form. It is so simple!

I am glad that my previous situations will stop running my life and, instead, I will be able to rightfully claim my existence in freedom while still in the body.

Years ago, a teacher told me that I should not be hiding in a monastery, and challenged me to be in the world. I also knew, in my heart of hearts, that I had to be among people and sharing myself with them. I just didn’t know how that would work, given that I daily felt like I was swimming in mercury. Yet, it was obvious that my customary way of engaging with reality was not going to work.

When our eyes close, sometimes something altogether new is being made ready to be seen…

Beginning the Journey of Ego Transcendence

When making the decision to step onto a spiritual path, it is quite normal to not know what the outcome will be. A transformed state is challenging to articulate because most people will try to interpret it from the untransformed point of view. One thing is certain – the irritating aspects of life cease to be irritating and an individual can navigate situations with greater ease. This is not all that transformation brings about, but it does address frequent life complaints and fluctuating life situations no longer impact our happiness.

The ego is a process that causes us to interpret all stimuli in the context of ourselves. With repeated interactions, life literally becomes about our perspective on life and our view of ourselves. A feedback loop is created, where every occurrence is about and for us as individuals. We filter most of life that does not appear to impact us directly.

If we didn’t have the ego, how would we see life and ourselves? We would see life with greater flexibility of perspective. We would know that not everything is about us. We would have more room to be aware of others and events that have no immediate impact on our situation, even while we are going through our own stuff.

Ego is like flypaper that attracts and glues stuff into a cluge of our identity. No ego? No glue. No stickiness. No self-absorption. An ego-less persona is paradoxically there while no one is there.

To dismantle the ego operation, it is helpful to engage in self-reflection. This is a deeply personal activity that has nothing to do with educating the mind about philosophy or others’ discoveries. The teacher is a sounding board for one’s reflections. The root cause of why someone is struggling is obvious to the teacher but maybe completely hidden from the student. The teacher will provide insights about this root cause and tie a person’s patterns of relationship and life engagement to this root. Then, more and more reflection follows.

Nothing special is needed here except living one’s life. No ceremonies. No incantations. Perhaps journaling and occasional conversations with a transformed being about personal struggles, but that is all.

At some point, the teacher will introduce the student to meditation. Unlike popularized meditation of relaxing the body and observing thoughts, this meditation may be quite different. It may cause some to have a peak experience or a realization immediately. It may also result in release. I won’t say more about this meditation because it’s not about words, but the direct connection that occurs on invisible levels. The teacher is a vehicle for this energy and models its integration and shining, but people mistake the teacher for a person. This, too, is normal.

In short, the path of ego transcendence can occur completely within the context of one’s life. It’s challenging for me to imagine another way. After all, are we not here to live our lives?

Some choices we make will set us back in our evolution, while other choices will propel us forward. But each choice is ours to make.

The teacher works with students predominantly on other planes of existence. It still amazes me how many people think they know what a teacher does without having reached that point themselves. How many myopic conclusions are drawn without having even a glimpse of such a life and existence? It is so foreign to everyday conceptions of life that it often frightens others, while simultaneously appearing interesting and inviting. But this is all normal too. People define their own value by having to have answers – even when the answers have no direct experience or knowledge as a basis.

Every life has value, regardless of the level of awareness. In these words is a great mystery…. The mind will try to analyze the meaning of a valuable life, but will fail eventually. Only direct knowledge of this value can reveal a different way of seeing human beings and has no need to compare and judge.

People mostly want validation and mistake that for love. They don’t realize that their constant search for validation is the ego – the very mechanism they wish to trascend. These characters are irritated or collapse into despair when no validation is forthcoming. Unconditional love has no need to play this game to lure someone in. The egoless state is far from a casual exercise in loving kindness.

People who do not recognize such transformed beings when they arrive on the scene will carry on doing what they do. Because they live as their identity, it is unlikely they will break free – it is not their time. Those who are hungry for transformation will recognize the teacher immediately with no second thoughts. If a teacher has not sought you out, you do not need one at this time. Even if one reached out, you may decide to pass by.

The ego does not go quietly. Its dismantling will bring up resistance, doubt, frustration, aggression, defensiveness, justifications, emotional outbursts, and a slew of its other trademark activities. One will either withstand the fire and burn off these faux-human layers, or give up and walk away – justifying their choice throughout. This is normal too.

The ego is not surprising, but highly predictable. It’s been done over and over. It is not unique or inspiring. The true creativity and individual uniqueness runs on a completely different circuit. It is no wonder that engaging creativity is such a powerful catalyst for ego transcendence. But even there are pitfalls. If it were easy to transcend the ego on one’s own, most people would have done it already.

Living Out of the Box

Our tendency is to take most of our life experiences for granted. We learn how to walk until we forget that we walk. We learn how to interpret what we see until we become blinded by the familiar. We weave our perception of life using our nervous systems and forget that our perspective is relative. Researchers call this phenomenon learning. I call it forgetting. Researchers say that the ability to perform basic tasks unconsciously frees us up to take on more challenging puzzles. I say that most people stop taking on more challenging, irregular, and innovative patterns of thinking after they get the basics and fall deeper into unconsciousness.

The mindfulness movement emerged as a way to help us remember the basics of how and what we experience. Paying attention to the breath and sensations helps one bring oneself into the moment and away from the traps of memories or future fantasies.

Mindfulness is not new – it has been fundamental to many meditation practices. Mindfulness is a repackaged version of old wisdom, reawakened to lure us out of autopilot. Living on automatic makes life pass by quickly and dims creativity until we are stuck in a box that looks like millions of other boxes. But we are more than this….

Living out of the box is a way of daring ourselves to remain awake. I like to feel awake. The feeling of being conscious liberates me to use my intuition, which moves in sparks and nonlinear flashes. For example, the other day I was reviewing a dream I had, where beings live on a planet that is close to both a bright blue star and a black hole. The light on the planet is a golden yellow that permeates and saturates the experience of these beings – everything is colored by this golden glow. Instead of treating this experience as background music to be filtered, the beings on this planet relate to the golden light as if it were a living presence – the glue between all. How often do we relish our liking of perceiving color? Maybe striking sunsets or sunrises catch our attention for brief moments, but we do not respond to all seeing this way.

Another lesson I learned from this dream is that the nervous systems of these beings are attuned to the strong gravity of both the star and the black hole. Their physiologies interpret gravity just like we hear sound! The black hole causes them to hear and feel a deep tone, droning through their existence. And the gravity of the star produces its own tone. They interpret gravity as sound – amazing! But no more magical than our ability to process light energy as color. The music to which these being are exposed is treated as something mystical and holy, and they are consciously listening to it.

You may say Who cares? Being aware of something as commonplace as light and sound that is always there doesn’t seem very interesting. And yet, as I feel what I see, and truly listen to the subtlety of what I hear, my entire life takes on a more nuanced texture.

Our lives have increasingly become about looking for the next rush. We crave something fresh, invigorating, and otherworldly. I watched some kids browsing YouTube…. They could only pay attention for a few seconds before jumping to the next video. They wanted the punchline without any buildup. They wanted a high on a continuous basis because their perception has become a giant callous. Even if they see something new and creative, they miss it. Their speediness through life is the walls of their box, holding them prisoner of dull emptiness.

If we unlock our ability to slow down and feel how we perceive, we dive deeper into existence and further from repetition. Life is literally countless frames per second, but we skim its surface like mosquitoes on a lake. We can only hear and see a minute fraction because our perception is out of sync with life – our need for speed disconnects us from reality, which gives us much more than we are now capable of receiving.

One last thought…. Have you ever caught yourself liking something and reflected on the feeling without the object that caused it? In my dream, I really liked the golden light and the low frequencies of the black hole. I could not peel away from how differently life consciousness worked on that planet. But then, I stepped away from the dream and just drowned in the feeling of liking. I was completely immersed in that while participating in my life.

We can never hit the bottom of existence because we have the ability to create it, and not to simply consume it. Our consumer culture is now about much more than the obsession to buy things. In fact, we have developed a taste for feeding on existence without creating anything ourselves. We are the vampires and the zombies, dead and hungry. We want to feel full infinity, but are stuck in insatiable hunger instead. We feed off relationships and stimuli to feel alive, but are dead only moments later and already planning the next heist. We are enraged that our hunger only grows. Those who do create cannot create fast enough.

We could stop the hunger completely and live fully, give back, and slow down until we feel the grains in a mirror and the subtle vibrations we call atoms. Wisdom and fullness lies in subtlety, which cannot be rushed. Wisdom cannot survive in a box. We cannot be alive in a box.

Timeless Splendor

Imagine laying down to rest. No thoughts. No worries. You have been engaged in something creative, and it was time to stop. So you stop.

Rest can be permeated with timeless splendor. Only the energy of your presence makes a distinct sound that is your being. Feeling this presence is relaxing and energizing. It is the feeling of freedom that is the core of what makes each of us unique.

I bask in this restful state. I draw upon it in times of pressure. I am inextricably connected to it at all times. This state of rest is everpresent. I completely let go into it when I lay my head down at the end of each day.

Perhaps it is meditation, only without props. A meditation that does not begin or end. Feeling the intersections of energy that create your unique pattern of being. Rather than a single note, you are a symphony that writes itself as your life.

Every one of your cells is a pattern that emerges from the surrounding space. That apparent emptiness surrounding the apparent you is more real than the object you perceive yourself to be. In acknowledging this negative space as reality, you know that you are never separate from anyone or anything. It becomes the living truth, vibrant and alive. There is a velvety richness in the palace of your being, replete with everything you could ever need or want.

This is Grace, alive in each heart. It does not require imagination or wishful thinking because Grace is real. We can access it by choosing it over and above everything else that may be going on. We make this choice repeatedly – against all odds – until it is automatic. We choose – pain or Grace.

The silence of a restful soul makes it obvious that life sings and sparkles. As the mind calms, another vista opens up and lets in that which our worries and thoughts block. All you need is a glimpse of being suspended in this timeless state – its fullness. You are complete. You are fulfilled. You are deeply loved as you are lived.

Living as Enlightenment – Part 2

See Part 1 Q&A here…. We’ll pick up where we left off….

Question: What is the most important aspect of being human?

Answer: A human being is embodied potential to be both the finite and the infinite. It’s not quite clear to me how this came to be, but it seems to be the way it is.

When I see a person, I cannot focus on their superficial qualities or personality. I see something deeper that speaks to me directly – something I know and understand intimately.

I am still taken aback when I realize that the people I interact with don’t know who they are and what their awareness can grow into. Everyday life obsessions of “he said, she said” are so removed from my experience that I need to translate these dramas into something I can understand.

People want to be loved, and people mostly feel unworthy of love. There is fear. This seems to be the root of so much complexity and drama here. People define conditions and have expectations, which is diametrically opposed to embracing reality as it is. They spend a lot of time and energy trying to change life topography before they even find themselves on the map.

Nevertheless, everything the human race is going through is a stepping stone. No experience or realization is wasted – it is all raw material for the proverbial staircase to heaven.

When a human being glimpses that potential with the whole body and mind, no matter how short-lived, that is important. Then, this being knows that he or she is paradoxically becoming what one already is. Embracing this paradox is important and unique to the human nervous system, which is an exotic interface to the infinite.

Question: What does it feel like to observe people go through painful situations, even if some are self-created?

Answer: It depends. Over time, it is becoming more difficult for me to focus on individuals. Mostly, I feel the ebb and flow of the human race as a whole. Those individuals who recognize that I am noone in a body – they are easier to pinpoint because they must feel that they are the same as That on some level.

Some people – I feel like I know them, have known them, even if they are seeming strangers. I am already connected to them somehow and usually try to help them in some way. I will talk with them, give them attention, and sometimes take their pain. Of course, I never take money…. that is something I do not do. Maybe occasional food 🔆

Sometimes people say they don’t know why I care or help…. I see this dilemma as being separate from one’s true nature. If you know who you really are, you realize that there is nothing else to do but be available – you do what you are 24/7. There is no layer of planning or thinking about what I can get back. It just doesn’t work that way.

Most importantly, when I do not feel that draw to act, I don’t act. It is not my place, not my time. I trust and live that.

Question: If the enlightened being’s state is so different from the turmoil of this world, how can an enlightened being exist here?

Answer: At some point, the enlightened state will not be as rare as it is now. More and more people will break through the illusion of living as embodied shadows.

However, at this time, the difference in consciousness of the majority and the free beings is so dramatic that living here is not easy.

It is not easy to see people feel and act trapped, hearts break, and happiness be dependent on life’s conditions in a given moment.

I no longer cry except on rare occasions when there is united suffering of a group of people asking for help. I feel their pain as if it were my pain – vividly, viscerally, and running on all cylinders through my body.

But as the pain runs through me and has nothing to stick to. So, I put my attention on these people with a clear heart.

After enlightenment, attention does not wonder randomly, nor does it come with an intention for a specific outcome. Rather, the very act of such attention does what it can to alleviate pain and transmit a stable and unconditionally happy state of being automatically.

I have seen this act of attention bring healing to some. Bring clarity. It is a mystery to me how it works.

One thing is clear is that attending to people is an impersonal act – there is no agenda, just a pull to be there with all that is happening.

Does this tire me? Often. I need a lot of sleep to exist here and to allow my body to rebalance.

Question: Does an enlightened being look forward to being finally free of this world at death?

Answer: Every being feels a draw to the next level. However, in enlightenment, there is no urgency or need for a specific timeline.

In fact, the notion of time being something to grasp vanishes. There is only now, as cliche as that may sound. I am literally unaware of past memories or future anticipation. I am just here, and right now there is nowhere else to be.

One could say that I don’t think about my future, but that is not quite true. To function here, I need to address real-life situations, family and work responsibilities, and forge practical strategies for living with my family. I make an effort to plan living – physical life requires that. However, decision-making is fairly easy and quick. The compass always points north.

So, I do what needs to be done with the understanding that everything here – including my responsibilities, joys, and setbacks – all are temporary.

Living like this does not result in regrets or feelings of confusion. There are no looping thoughts and no unresolved dilemmas. The entire life is a simple, undirected unfolding – much like a flower greeting the Sun. And I am there with it all – both an observer and a participant.

I do not fear death, nor do I dwell on it. I just know when it’s not yet a good day to die.

What’s With All the Life Drama?

People are dramatic in so many ways. Why is there so much drama flying around the world? There is drama at all scales – from the individual to the global arena.

If you study history, very little has changed about human perspective in several thousand years…. People still find things to defend and attack…. People still view themselves as the stars of their own life movies, trying to problem-solve their existence. But who is the watcher watching one’s life?

Furthermore, people love to watch others go through drama. They want to relate to someone else going through similar emotions and look for ideas about how they can handle various situations to bring about desirable outcomes? Of course, there is no agreement on what is truly desirable because desires also vary.

Such is our life – method actors are immersed in their characters so completely that there is no awareness of the difference between the role and What lives that role.

We lose ourselves to identification with our bodies, emotions, sensations, obstacles, and triumphs – all temporary in the grand auditorium where we are working out our “stuff.” We are all trying to sort out what we like, want, and need. I was listening to an 80-year old woman on a podcast, talking about how she is still trying to figure out what she truly wants in life….Age is clearly irrelevant to life while life is still a puzzle to be solved.

We want to know how to cope with change, setbacks, promotions, family, friends, and partners. Drama is the result. It is the reason why so many stories are published and the best-seller list never dries up. Hollywood can’t crank out movies fast enough to feed our yearning for “solutions.” Drama is the way a large number of people grow and interact together to make sense of our reality.

Unfortunately, drama becomes its own game of illusion when people forget to step back and reflect on what is fueling the energy of our interactions. What do we really want? At which critical point do we realize that we are not the games we play, nor do we have to buy into the games of others – regardless of how urgent and real anything may feel in the moment? Forgetting that drama is drama is entertaining, but removed from reality.

If you go to a quiet space and reflect on who is reflecting on your life, that is the beginning – the first step. Buddhists call this consciousness The Watcher.

But there is not a single layer to the onion. In fact, after you shift to identifying with the Watcher, you find that there is another Watcher right on its heels.

Shifting your conscious identification from one Watcher to the next is the process of enlightenment – until there are no more Watchers left – only you. It is not as simple as just passively observing…. each new awareness brings with it changes in the body, the mind, and creativity. The entire being shifts dynamically into a new state. I think Buddhists understate this process and make it sound like enlightenment is all about detachment, which it is not.

I used to think enlightenment was a single event, a flash…. Maybe for some. For me, it turned out to be a rapid unfolding with intense paradigm shifts until I alone stood in union.

When no Watchers remained and I have gone as far as I could while alive in this body, I was no longer sure that I am human. The shift in perspective and the instant insight into the underlying dynamics of people and events casts a different light on life. I stepped off the stage, or I simply dissolved in mid-act. I do not exist in a conventional sense. Whatever I am, I must still maintain my everyday life. And I also have a relationship to Life that is a full embrace without any drama. Yet, I can put on a show if I need to.

To a therapist, an enlightened person would certainly be someone to treat…. After all, what normal person willingly surrenders their life for the benefit of others and without negating oneself, does not charge money to teach those who want to learn in earnest, refuses to teach those who are not ready and never judges others – no matter their drama? What human being suffers the pain and feels the joy of others all over the globe as if all were happening to him or herself? What human being takes the pain of others when possible and permitted without wanting anything in return?

A therapist would surely find such a being to have some kind of a Savior Complex. After all, saving others is such an “important” task and naturally gives one’s life meaning. Certainly this is true for many people, but they are not enlightened. They are simply playing the Savior role.

An enlightened being is not a “someone” who feels that he or she has anything to “get” from being alive here. Such a concept is so foreign to practically all people that it is very hard to believe. And yet, this possibility of being no one in a body is very real. This is where the drama stops, the hall of mirrors vanishes, and life is revealed for what it truly is – union with the Divine and our unique abilities to manifest this union.

Living as Enlightenment – Part 1

I saw a question online: “How do enlightened people live?” Of course, people want to know what to expect after such a hyped up goal. If it’s such hard work for most people to become enlightened, knowing about the reward at the end is only fair.

I read the answers to that online question by various persons and did not see any that showed true understanding from experience. So, I wrote this Q&A….

Remember, I write this blog to share what is possible because I live it…. There are different phases of enlightenment, and – as one continues to move through them – one’s perspective shifts and deepens, as one incorporates all prior life and puts it in a new context.

Question: What do enlightened people think about?

Answer: The mechanism of thought changes in how it operates. Most of the time, the brain is quiet and steeped in what feels like a glow of dynamic potential. Have you ever asked a question and had no answer – and so you had to live with the question? The brain is in such a state of open-ended possibility, but without the forced drive to solve or resolve anything.

I spend most of my day (and night) feeling (being aware) of the presence of others in relation to each other and the earth. I only need to think when I speak or write – to translate my awareness, which now would seem foreign and unfamiliar to most people. I can start or stop thinking at will, and prefer flash insight to navigate all the information and life flooding my being daily.

Question: What is sleep like?

Answer: Sleep and awakening are very different states. I pass from waking to sleep fully conscious and remain conscious. Time works differently in sleep, so I can go through an entire lifetime – usually someone else’s. Now, my life is spent trying to understand the planet and all the variety of people directly. Some souls attract me to experience life through their eyes, and I do. Feeling what others feel across the world and in different cultures directly has given me much insight about the web of life here. Some of my sleep time is spent in blissful absorption in the Divine, just as some of my day. But it is true that my life has become OneLongDay.

Question: How does an enlightened being carry on wordly responsibilities – family, job, paying bills, etc.?

Answer: Very diligently. With enlightenment, a finely-tuned sense of timing develops. It is like watching some doors open and others close – the opportunities for action. Feeling these moments of opportunity arise to act in the world is on automatic for me. Many people call me productive or even a workaholic. What they don’t realize is that I surf the waves of arising calls to action and engage them fully. Responsibility exists for me and I honor it. I give my entire heart to every action – to my children, husband, work, and service. And all the while being plugged into the life stream of our existence.

Question: Can processing so much information drive one insane?

Answer: The enlightenment process changes how your bodies work, how they interconnect, and makes the communication among these bodies more efficient. Yes, we have multiple vehicles to carry our life force here. If not handled properly, and with the help of an enlightened being, the transformation process can drive one insane. I feel that many “insane” people awakened something within themselves without guidance and could not control it. The key to not going insane is that you are no longer a personality with needs and desires – you cannot be “hooked” by anything this world can throw your way. Paradoxically, you also feel completely devoted to the world and its awakening process. So, you learn to handle quite a bit of information passing through your “body,” which ultimately is just a gateway for what lives us all and not a “thing” in itself. You can also control the flow of awareness through the nervous system, to prevent overwhelm. Enlightenment in a body does not mean you are God – even though you can feel infinity, you are not infinity.

Question: How does one interact with people on a daily basis?

Answer: People label me as a very strong personality. I say what I mean and walk my talk. There is no hidden agenda, no grasping for status or recognition, and no desire for a specific outcome. Again, paradoxically, there is a 24/7 intention to serve others with great care. I’ve written about service before, and service does not mean doing for people whatever they want and being constantly nice. Service is helping others wake up when a door opens, and that service can come in many forms – including yelling at someone. I never feel angry when I yell at or confront someone, and resume conversation about something else when the confrontation is complete without missing a beat. I don’t have anger or frustration, but I sometimes have to act it out for the benefit of another who is purposely hurting themselves or others.

That’s all for this segment…

Experiencing Meditation, Through My Student’s Eyes

I have written before how the meditation I was taught can only be taught by direct transmission. I was fortunate to meet a teacher who was able to teach me how to forge my own relationship with the Divine.

I asked my student to share her meditation with me, and here is what she wrote:

“In the midst of everything occurring in my life recently, I’ve felt unable to meditate as deeply. I went from being able to open myself up to the divine to feeling as if there was a gate, blocking my entrance to the freedom and clarity, which come in moments of meditation.

I asked my teacher to walk me through the process of meditating as if I were first learning, and she did. We began with my posture – she had me sit up straight with held my head level – as if something were pulling me upwards by the crown of my head. Then, I placed my palms on my lap, open and facing up. I looked into my teacher’s eyes and focused on letting go.

She asked me to breathe deeply and slowly, and I began – in through my nose and out through my mouth. Almost immediately, I could feel the flow of energy coming into me and moving out of me. It felt as if every exhale allowed release, and each inhale brought rejuvenation.

It was the deepest meditation I’d had in months. In the moment, my heart felt contentment; my problems were gone and the meditation brought instant release.

Afterward, I realized that when I was looking into my teacher’s eyes, I was not actually looking into eyes at all; I was peering directly into the light, embodied by her. This light guided me into awareness that is safe and comfortable, and that was also emphatically urging me to grow into my potential. This feeling is a mix of so many things, and, above all, it is where I feel most like myself and at peace.

My teacher guided me through the process and helped me get to where I needed to be to see my next steps on my own and to simply understand my choices.”

Relationship to the Divine is one of complete surrender to It – letting go of all grasping, holding, and control to allow It to flood one’s being. As It enters, one changes – quite visibly to others.

My own transformation has completed over a month ago. It just ended without any fireworks – 9 years after my teacher’s passing. There was nowhere else to go and nothing to become. This does not mean I know everything or have all of the skills that people have in this world. It just means that I have fully become That which seemed separate and unreachable in the past.

Saying that my transformation is complete is not a statement of arrogance, but is intended as a fact of hope for others. In the About page, I talk about my beginnings and the challenges all along the way. Now, my body is just a shell for the Life Stream, which serves the evolution of others.

Whose Lives Matter?

What does each of us believe about the value of one life? Does every life have value? If so, how do we honor every life? If not, how do we decide who should live and die?

The question looms in the background of our biased historical perspectives from time immemorial, where one side villainizes “the other.” The question pervades the fabric of class differences – those who can afford to live can live. This question has been answered, in part, by the legal systems of certain states via the death penalty. This question is answered by who we decide to help after natural disasters and wars. We express our beliefs by how we treat the elderly and our children. We express what we think by our social programs and their lack. We respond by how we treat the addicted or the mentally ill. We also answer when we do nothing and avoid thinking and feeling the lives of the oppressed, the hungry, the depressed, and the lonely.

It is clear that we, as the human race, do not believe that every life has value. And even if we do believe in every living potential, we often do not feel that their quality of life is our responsibility. And yet, many still quote: “It takes a village to raise a child.”

So, what is our responsibility for another’s quality of life? Perhaps, the answer is simple. Perhaps, we do everything we can within our sphere of influence to support others, as long as it does not require us to sacrifice our own lives. Individuality is different from self-absorption, and one must practice self-care.

Perhaps we always teach a man, woman, and child “to fish” first, and offer them loving kindness and healthy boundaries in the process. Perhaps we offer what we can of what is truly needed.

Our natural state is service that respects both the individual and the collective, but we are still learning how to navigate the perceived boundary between the one and the many. We are still maturing in this respect.

The root cause of having to even ask the question of which lives matter and who decides is the way we have tied up value with our economy and those at the top of the net-worth pyramid. Money is still power. People with money buy decisions. Things and people who make money are valued, even if the consumer culture rests on the toiling backs of the so-called expendable and the replaceable. So, we trade, buy, and sell – and this process has more perceived and tangible value than life itself. Yet, the system persists.

Until the system collapses due to its sheer insanity of treating people as disposable, service is the only option to honor life. Service is a challenging concept to grasp when one is not naturally in balance with the Whole. Proper service requires a profound understanding of oneself and others. What are our strengths? What are our limitations? Are our limitations real, or self-created and self-maintained? What do others really need? Have we properly listened, heard, and empathized with another’s experience? Then, life becomes about profound connections and less about status and turning a blind eye to status quo.

It is possible to over-serve at the expense of oneself, and it is possible to under-serve through overdeveloped self-absorption. The question of service requires a deep connection to the Web of Life, which expresses itself through all of us. Feeling this Web of Life as a reality and following Its guidance is the key, but what if one doesn’t feel It?

Prescriptive dogma develops when the dynamic flow of life is elusive. Rigid views and boxed strategies evolve from a lack of sensitivity. Until we, as a race, learn to know the dynamic moment, we will continue to write rules and laws for every occasion. Until our geyser of creativity bursts, our apparent choices will seem limited, as will our ability to engage situations.

I know that this is not the only way, and that we can evolve beyond prescriptive living into the nuanced awareness of our unique roles within the Whole.

Before we can build and rebuild, there must be a vision. What if the vision is for us to know one another so well that we can feel anyone’s pain as if it were our own? What if, when others spoke, we listened with the same focus we currently invest into being heard by others? What if we had a natural compass for appropriate boundaries, which do not violate our unity?

Meditation, as taught by an awakened teacher, is a way for us to break free of processed-and-packaged regimes. As the inflamed pustules of this world continue to rupture and expose the underlying dysfunction, a wave of true teachers will again walk among people openly to directly transmit the lost art of meditation.

Today, people are mostly interested in relaxing (or distracting themselves) from life’s stresses, rather than fundamentally transforming their relationship to life – to rest in the Divine (which redefines the whole experience of stress). Transformation is not yet seen as a viable, or even possible, option.

Make no mistake, what must be learned cannot be learned from a book, but through the living pages of embodied teachers who have already crossed the lake of transformative fire. Books are great at introducing ideas, but will not provide the feedback and support needed to transcend oneself – those going through the process will attest to its challenges and times that feel unbearable. For most, meditation is still a lost art. It is the meditation – communion with the Divine – that gets one through to an entirely new perspective on the value of our lives and any life.