Written by Amber
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”
Explaining what is meant by enlightenment is very difficult when using words. There is no definite understanding as words are just symbols, words are made up of letters which when placed together our minds translate into a meaning.
The meaning of the word only has an effect on us when we have an understanding of that word. For example if I were to write a piece of text in a language you were unfamiliar with you would struggle to understand what I was talking about.
This is the same with enlightenment a person that has not experienced enlightenment will not grasp the meaning through words.
It is easy to believe that you know something simply because you have heard of it or read a book on it this knowing is typical of all of us. Therefore explaining enlightenment with mere words is not going to be enough; however words are all we have so try and let your imagination unfold the words.
Have you ever experienced an “aha” moment? A time of sudden realization when all of a sudden the truth or understanding of something became crystal clear, “a light bulb was turned on”, this experience is called an epiphany. Through this epiphany something became clear that perhaps you were unsure of or didn’t understand previously, you have become enlightened to this new thing/state.
Walking the road to spiritual enlightenment
The Zen Buddhist definition of enlightenment is:
Enlightenment is the core of all religion. But we have quite often a strange picture of what it is. We equate the enlightened state with a state in which we have become quite perfect, quite nice and quiet, calm and accepting. And that’s not it.
In Zen, Enlightenment is the state of being with no mind. It is the disappearance of the ego. It is the loss of all identification with the body and the mind. It is freedom from beliefs, opinions, ideals and concepts. It is always sudden, because it is not an achievement; it is already the case. It is a remembering. In Zen it is called the pathless path, that is, it is not something to be achieved, but it is to be Realized and lived.
Enlightenment in Buddhism:
A Buddha, or fully enlightened one, is regarded as a sentient being that has developed all positive qualities, and has rid themselves of all negative qualities. According to the Theravada tradition, full enlightenment of a Buddha is not achievable for most; instead one strives to become an Arhat and achieve liberation from the cycle of uncontrolled rebirth and to achieve nirvana. This achievement is also called “enlightenment”. In contrast, according to the Mahayana traditions, every sentient being is regarded as having the potential for achieving full enlightenment and Buddhahood.
Generally spiritual enlightenment is sometimes referred to as brightening and broadly means the acquisition of new wisdom or understanding enabling clarity of perception.
My perception of walking the road to spiritual enlightenment is the realization that every single thing in the universe is where it has to be. When you are enlightened you become aware of the whole chain of reactions that you produce when you speak, act, or do things.
It is the realization and awakening of spiritual understanding.
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