What is enlightenment and how do you know when you’ve attained it?

The word is itself contains “light” – or the light associated with God or Universal Consciousness. Enlightenment is the “coming into the light” or “becoming the light.”

In a secular context, enlightenment means the “ah-ha” moment when you fully understand something. In spiritual terms, you achieve understanding of the meaning and purpose of life and communication or one-ness with all creation and with God, and the realization of our own divine nature. In both cases, the experience is ecstatic and joyful.

Meditation is an important component of spiritual enlightenment.Meditation (contemplation and prayer are types of meditation) is an important component of enlightenment. Scientists are seeing actual physical changes in the brain that accompany enlightenment. For example, the brains of Buddhist monks have shown a dramatic increase in activity in the left prefrontal cortex, which is an area of the brain associated with happiness and clarity. Meditation frees you from reliance on the physical senses to obtain information and process it – instead it employs nonphysical, nonverbal, energetic means of communication.

You can learn to meditate, to access your intuition (your soul’s voice) and experience one-ness with all creation when you sign up for the Silva Method.

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Enlightenment can be called awakening to our true nature. According to Buddhist beliefs, a person who is awakened understands the workings of the mind and our imprisonment in suffering, feelings of lack, unfulfilled desires and the ego. This person has the insight into the way to our true nature and enlightenment. In Buddhism, one achieves enlightenment when one realizes their Buddha-nature or unity outside of physical experience. In Zen, enlightenment involves “kensho” or seeing one’s true nature (“satori” is the experience of kensho).

Enlightenment means the removal of all limitations from the mind, allowing each individual to realize his or her potential. Wisdom and profound compassion are characteristics of this awakening.

With respect to karma, enlightenment is the state in which all karma is purged. This frees the soul from the constant cycle of birth and death (with each life being a lesson or series of lessons on the way to enlightenment). The soul is then liberated and can exist once again in the perfection of the non-physical.

One-ness is liberating. Where do YOU begin and end?The Hindus beliefs are similar to those of Buddhists – “moksha” is a liberation from worldly desires. Enlightenment ends the cycle of reincarnation and earthly suffering. It is the state of freedom from ignorance of the truth – truth which lies behind the concept of consciousness and God – specifically, that God is not a separate entity but that our own essential nature is divine.

What are some signs that you are becoming enlightened?

1. Compassion – you feel less need to judge and criticize others. You are more easily able to put yourself in their shoes and see the world from their perspective. You feel more and more unconditional love, with no strings attached. You’ll notice an improvement in all of your relationships as this happens.

2. Less “neediness” of physical things to satisfy some unmet longing. Your life becomes incredibly rich, and not necessarily in material things, although your higher vibrational state will naturally attract many types of riches to you! You will realize that the life experience itself is the greatest treasure.

3. Less attachment to things and to concepts. Concepts like, “I am gluten intolerant”, “I am a doctor” or “I am an alcoholic”… in other words, less identification with behaviors, symptoms, addictions and activities that define who you are. When you realize that YOU are NOT these things, that they are symptoms of your thought processes, you are becoming enlightened.

4. Less attachment to people. Not that your relationships will become meaningless and empty – far from it! But you won’t feel that you need others to complete you. You realize that you are whole, and perfect, AS IS. Other people complement your life experience and enrich it – but you are free from needing to be in a relationship.

Freedom to enjoy life fully comes with enlightenment.5. Increased intuition and creativity. As you allow your essential divine nature to shine, you become less concerned with “failure” or “success”. You simply do what you love to do for the sheer joy of doing and experiencing it. You have open communication with your soul, and freely express who you are.

As the imagined barriers between you and universal consciousness dissipate, moments of inspiration become commonplace. You may have strong urges to create or to embark on some magnificent project. Your life becomes much richer as you integrate the nonphysical with the physical. You may suddenly start having very vivid and powerful dreams (use the Silva Method’s Dream Control to get the most from your dreams!).

Life becomes very joyful and easy (as the old saying goes, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional).

5. Changes in your spiritual practice: perhaps in the form of a strong desire to immerse yourself in it (many people quit corporate jobs and take up spiritual studies at a certain point in their lives); it may come in the form of a feeling that you’re comfortable in your one-ness and you no longer feel separate from others… This spiritual need may be new to you and if you feel the need to explore it further, follow your heart. Follow your intuition to guide you to the right spiritual track for you.

6. A major life-altering event (job loss, death of a loved one, divorce, natural disaster); what you take from this experience tells you how enlightened you are.

7. Desire to break free of old patterns. You feel like you’re in someone else’s skin. This person looks like you but YOU don’t do these things! Something has changed in you – your true nature is showing! You may feel a need to loosen ties to people who drain you. You may feel like getting rid of material possessions and simplifying your life.

These are just some of the ways that point to spiritual enlightenment. It’s a fascinating, illuminating journey, so enjoy it!

Enlighten your life with meditation

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