Top of the morning to you, my friends. What’s going on? My name is Clark, and today we are going to be discussing a heavy topic :). We are going to learn how to be enlightened! The conventional thought is that enlightenment is a concept that is only associated with Buddhism. But that cannot be further from the truth. After all, we all share this wonderful planet together and something wonderful like enlightenment should involve all of us, even though people from each religion may tell us otherwise.
Before we engage in this discussion, read the prequel to this post: What is Enlightenment? In short, enlightenment has been described as the end of suffering. Eckhart Tolle, in his book The Power of Now, shared his take on how we can be enlightened, and thus feel true joy, love and peace. I’ve been reading The Power of Now and here on this page I would like to share with you what I’ve gleaned from it.
Detaching from your Mind (and Emotions)
As human beings, we like to identify ourselves with our mind. We say that we would just be like animals if not for it. However, identification with the mind is said to be the greatest obstacle to enlightenment. Often times, your mind is using you instead of the other way around. For example, you can’t stop thinking with resentment about something or someone who wronged you in the past.
So what you can do about this is detach from your mind. Be the observer who is watching your mind’s thoughts. But do not judge or condemn any of the thoughts, because that would mean you are your mind again. Just stay there for a while and observe the mind’s activity. By doing this, you will realize that you are not your mind, that there is a non-physical you that “arises from beyond the mind”. Your thoughts will subside and you will experience a period of “no-mind” when you are one with Source or Being. Feelings of real love, joy and inner peace will arise in you. With practice, this period of “no-mind” will become longer and the feelings will deepen at the same time.
Emotions are your feedback mechanism of the thoughts you are having. If you are feeling really bad, that means there are really negative thoughts swirling inside your head. As with the mind, your job is to disengage from your emotions, in much the same way that you detach from your thoughts.
The trick here is that people often prefer to be in familiar pain than step into the unknown and disengage from their emotions. When you finally detach, your emotions will try to get you attached to them again. Hence, you have to persist.
Be in the Now
It has been said that the past is already gone, and the future has not arrived yet. The present moment is all that we have. Now is life. An example is given in The Power of Now: If you ask an animal what time is it, it will tell you that the time is now.
You can also experience “no-mind” by focusing on the Now. Become intensely conscious of the present moment. So if you are jogging, pay attention to the movement of your legs, the sound of your steps, what is in front of you, engage all your senses. If you are listening to live music, experience every beat… How much in the Now you are will be “communicated” to you by the depths of love, joy and inner peace that you feel.
It is said that the mind will habitually resist the present moment, because it cannot function without time. Therefore, the mind will always try to either bring you back to something that has happened before, or it will make you think about the future. Often times, when your mind brings you to the future, you are feeling worry about what would happen instead of anticipating it. Similar negativity occurs when you think about your past.
Surrender to the Now, which is life. If you keep resenting the past and worrying about the future, then you may miss out on life, which is happening now, and passing you by every second. When you live in the Now, life will suddenly start to work for rather than against you.
Put the above into Practice!
When we are talking about the non-physical, it is difficult to differentiate between the different components, that is if they are even different. When you are in the Now, you would feel detached from your mind and emotions. And when you are detached from your mind and emotions, you will find yourself in the present moment. Therefore, you may well realize that the three practices above overlap with one another. Don’t analyze or stress over it, just enjoy the practices and the feelings that arise.
Once I have done a second reading of The Power of Now, I may write a sequel to this post (which will be part 3 of this series). Let me know what you think of the information shared above in the comment box below (leave any questions that you may have below as well). And finally, my friend, kindly share this post with anyone who you think might be interested and benefit from it. Thanks!
Read next: How to be enlightened Part 2