What is enlightenment?

Hello everyone, Clark here and welcome to my site. You might think that today’s topic is synonymous with Buddhism, but read on and you’ll find out really what is enlightenment. It is my belief that enlightenment applies to everyone and it is my wish that you get something out of this post.

Enlightenment and Buddhism

Growing up, my understanding of enlightenment is that it is something which all Buddhists aim for, sort of the highest achievement, the endgame of Buddhism. And it is very much a word or term that is synonymous with this religion. But you might be surprised to hear that there are many versions of what enlightenment is even among Buddhists, due to either a lack of understanding by practitioners who learn about what it is from an unreliable source, or perhaps different interpretations of the word by different people as is very common with these less-scientific ideas which are more open to interpretation.

One of the more common explanations of enlightenment is when a person realizes the truth about life or the true nature of reality, and stops being reborn. Thus, I think it can be implied that enlightenment is not something exclusive to Buddhists, but rather a state of being that everyone can achieve. Another term that is often used alongside enlightenment is ‘awakening’, meaning to achieve enlightenment is to be ‘awake’ to a reality that is already present but which we do not perceive up until that moment. However, it is said that the only true answer to “what is enlightenment?” is to achieve it yourself. All other answers are conditional.

What Does Being Enlightened Feel Like?

It is widely accepted by practitioners of Buddhism as blissful and transformative – the greatest experience a human being could have; a state of ‘perfection’. It is the end of suffering, stress and dissatisfaction. There are suggestions that enlightened beings are capable of extraordinary and supernatural mental powers. But obviously these are just theories as we could never know for sure what being enlightened feels like unless we are there ourselves. Some Buddhist teachers believe that it is an experience that one can have at moments, but some say that it is not a glimpse through the door but a permanent state.

It is the belief of certain branches of Buddhism that enlightenment can come suddenly in a single moment, or at least in this lifetime. This is based on belief in the inherent Buddha Nature in everybody which implies that our job is not to attain but to recognize it. These people also believe that enlightenment can be realized by using the various passions as well as hindrances of life as fuel for transformation.

We Are Already Enlightened?

One good way to test this theory is to be in the now. Experience the moment. See it, hear it, smell it, taste it, touch it. Feel it. Feel love for someone or something in every moment and in everything that you do. Appreciate the things around you. Be grateful for everything that is going well in your life. As I read somewhere, the present moment is all that we have. The past is already gone and nothing we do is going to change it. Thinking of the future can make you anxious, stressed out, and/or add fuel to your fears. In the present moment there is only peace.

The idea that we are all inherently enlightened already, and that all we have to do is realize it is similar to the idea that we are all born perfect and our role on Earth is only to learn how to express that perfection. There is a section on this previously written post which explains this.

I read this once in an article:

“The Universe doesn’t need you to be any different than you already are. If it did, do you think the Universe has such little power that it couldn’t compel you to be different? If ‘God’ wanted you to be ‘enlightened’, would it be very difficult for ‘God’ to make you ‘enlightened’? Obviously not”

Read the sequel to this post: How to be Enlightened

And that is all folks. If you have found this to be enjoyable and worthy, please share it with the people you know, in your social media page or anywhere else, anytime. And if you have any questions or comments in regards to this topic just let me know in the comment box below and I will get back to you ASAP. Thank you for reading this until the end!

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