What is enlightenment, in the real world sense of its meaning?
I wouldn’t say I’m ‘enlightened’ as public media has labeled the term to be, but I’d probably say I know what it is.
And even how one is supposed to ‘get’ it.
Best of all, how one is supposed to be able to ‘get’ it Now.
But in the end, it would all be for nothing.
And why is this?
Because enlightenment is not a stage in which – after you’ve accomplished something – you arrive in.
In fact, the biggest misconception about enlightenment is that it’s something to ‘get’ to, to ‘do’, to ‘attain’.
I believe anyone who’ve done enough spiritual practice would agree…
That in the end, enlightenment is only about this, right here and now.
That’s all there is to it.
The world doesn’t change after you understand enlightenment.
In fact, it stays the way it is.
Being enlightened just means you’ve understood what enlightenment means, and then choose to have peace with that understanding.
In short, to be at ease with this, here and now.
Or you could just say, in everyday terms, be patient, at ease, and OK with how things go.
Unfortunately, life ain’t easy, for many of us.
Sometimes it gives us great highs, and most of us would think that life’s amazing and it’s incredible to be alive after those moments.
But more often than not, it hits us right where it aches, and makes us dread this suffering-laden life.
In those times, many of us would choose to drown ourselves in the pain.
That’s why Zen advocates Zazen (sitting meditation).
What is Zazen all about in the end?
People say it’s a practice to silence the mind, so you can gain more clarity in life.
According to Zen Buddhism however, the biggest lesson to learn from Zazen, is to just do Zazen.
Some may think doing Zazen may actually lead them to ‘enlightenment’.
Unfortunately, anyone who’ve done enough Zazen knows that you don’t get anything from the meditation other than clarity of mind, and aches throughout your body.
But it is the enduring through those aches while you’re practicing Zazen that you can get the full purpose of it.
It’s to remind people, that during hard times, you just do Zazen anyway.
That when life isn’t great, you just do Zazen (keep living on) anyway.
A little discipline is involved.
A lot of discipline is probably involved.
The world will never change.
What changes, ever, is our perception about it.
Enlightenment is a way of being present with this, right here and now.
What benefits does it bring you?
It just eases life for sufferers.
And… just perhaps, you may gain some knowledge and valuable wisdom, about life, because of your new-found clarity with what Is.
What’s after that?
You just keep doing ‘Zazen’.