What is enlightenment? Is it only for those who believe in Buddhism? Is it truly achievable?
If you were to google the internet on enlightenment, you would see many ways to describe it. You would see definitions like this:
- ‘being free from all karma, being fully self-realized’
- ‘being free from the cycle of karma and rebirth’
- ‘being at oneness with the universe’
- ‘being who you really are’
- ‘being free from all your imaginary suffering’
- ‘inner awakening’
- ‘finding that there is nothing to find’
When I asked a wise friend of mine this question, his answer was ‘Total acceptance of self’. This is an answer that really resonates with me. If we truly accept ourselves, we don’t get angry, frustrated and generally annoyed with life and other people and circumstances.
You may have experienced moments of enlightenment. Have you ever felt totally and completely at peace even for a short moment, even through your life’s challenges? It’s a feeling of extreme inner joy and peace.
If you are on an intentional spiritual path, you are more likely to experience moments of enlightenment, because you are more awake and aware.
I am not a Buddhist, although I find most of Buddha’s teachings very helpful for daily guidance. I find peace and serenity within lovely buddhas. Moments of enlightenment can happen for anyone and when you experience it, I think you’ll know it.
In our western society lifestyles, I think it’s too much to expect that we can ‘achieve enlightenment’. However, we can achieve ‘moments of enlightenment’ with practice, the right intention and living our lives with compassion.