Is there anyone who is enlightened? What is enlightenment?
Question 1: Is there anyone who is enlightened? What is enlightenment? I have seen or heard many people saying they are enlightened but actually I have not seen anyone who appears to really be enlightened. Please can you explain to me what is the reality implied in the term, ‘spiritual enlightenment’? I don’t want to hear what is written in books, but something grounded in experience. I have read many books, heard many saints, good souls , but they just say what’s written in the books only.
I would like to hear someone speaking from their first-hand experience and indicating the exact path and an exact way to achieve the process of enlightened consciousness. I do believe in some power such as God. Is enlightenment the same for one and all or are there different types of enlightenment?
I would also like to know if in Tantra meditation is it so that by touching someone, you can have a spiritual experience based in Love? Can the same feeling happen if the opposite partner is ill or weird or ugly looking?
Thanks and regards
Answer: There is a really beautiful quote from the Zen Master Hakuin, which begins with the sentence: “All beings are from the very beginning, Buddha.” It is true, we are born in an enlightened state with only one important difference, which needs to be understood; as an infant, we are not yet aware of our blessed state of being. The sage experiences a second birth into original innocence and with full awareness of what bliss means. When you meet sages, you will see that they have a quality of innocence, wonder and playfulness with wisdom born out of deeply lived experience.
The enlightened being realizes that love is omnipotent in the universe and that we are all living in an ocean of infinite love. A person, asking “Where is love?” is like a fish in the sea, asking, “Where is the water?”
The experience of an enlightened being is very similar to what happens to people who have a near death experience and come back to tell the tale. The reason is, that in the death process, a hormone is released in the brain that secretes bliss and love chemicals through the entire body, giving rise to euphoria and the deep realization about the nature of reality as being made of love.
When someone meditates deeply, to the point that they enter into Samadhi, the body is tricked into believing that this person is dying and will release the sacred soma nectar. When Samadhi is stabilized, the meditator will be able to tap into soma nectar at any moment. Another important aspect of Enlightenment is that the sense of what is reality will shift dramatically. In the Sufi tradition, they speak about the phenomenon of ‘falling upwards.’ This is exactly how it is. We fall upwards and begin living in a higher dimensional state. From there, we visit this dimension simply to play, to join in the divine Leela of life from a place of conscious choice.
You are asking how to achieve this state of being? Just as there are many paths to ascend to a mountain peak, there are many ways to reach enlightened consciousness. But the master key is meditation. The practice of meditation opens a magical alchemy of consciousness through a process of witnessing. And when meditation is combined with love, as happens in Tantra, the path becomes very direct and simple.
Some people carry many karmic knots or a lot of conditioning. This will all have to be unwound in order to enter the blessed state of enlightenment. Many people would like to avoid facing and unwinding the karmic knots and so try to take a faster shortcut. However, there really is no shortcut. We have to face our inner reality if we wish to become whole and return to our original innocence. This original innocence is a prerequisite for enlightenment.
Yes, healing methods or Gurus can help, but ultimately, we need to face and let go of sanskaras around which our ego patterns thrive.
Some people take plant medicine, believing that this will catapult them into the exalted state of enlightened consciousness. However, they come back after the experience and will have to spend a long time to integrate what happened to them, into their daily life, to ground it and to own it through lived experience rather than relying only on visions brought on by psychedelic plant mixtures.
You ask about Tantra practice and how this can help. Yes, Tantra which brings together love, (the feminine path) and meditation, (the masculine path), is the ultimate portal. By merging opposite polarities, Godliness is experienced easily and naturally, the oneness hidden behind all duality.
You ask if Tantra can be experienced even with someone who is not very attractive. This question makes me laugh. Each person has a God or Goddess nature hidden inside. If our vision is attuned to our third eye, we will be able to perceive it.
I love the story I heard from the Tibetan Tantra Lineage. A man may wish to be initiated by a Tantra Master and would be met at the gate of the monastery by a hideous old hag, with a deranged look, smelling foul, with sagging skin and missing teeth. Only if he was able to make love to her, seeing the radiant, sublime Goddess while doing so, would he pass the test and be allowed into the monastery.
Another device was also used. A young and physically beautiful man and woman would be brought together in a Tantric ceremonial sexual union. They would be requested to imagine the skeleton of the lover, with rotting flesh being eaten by maggots, as they entered into sexual union. It needs to be understood definitively that as we meditate in Tantra, any meditation which brings together opposite polarities will have the effect of bridging right and left hemispheres of the brain, leading to a unified being, Ardhanareshvara.
Question 2: Are you enlightened?
Answer: Many people wonder and many are too polite to ask the question, while others bring their own mind and concepts to this subject. Because of judgments, mind games, and projections I usually don’t talk about my experience in this regards. However, since you have asked this as a direct question several times, I will give you a simple and direct answer.
Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita
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