A Path to Enlightenment
A Path to Enlightenment doesn’t have to be difficult. Only our lack of desire for the truth holds us back. Enlightenment is in all of us, it just has to be found. Be open and accepting, do your research and take the advice of those who’ve come before you. This is just a simple guide to enlightenment to help you on your path. I hope it helps!
My thanks to The Wanderling, for setting me on this path.
Much of the text here is from his article “Thirty Minutes to Enlightenment“.
It has been tailored and edited to fit my own beliefs and Understanding.
No disrespect is intended from my altering of the text.
(1) The Tao
(3) Satori and Enlightenment
(5) The Cause of Human Suffering and Conflict
(6) THE Ego and Super-ego
(7) Sensual Perception
(8) Love and Hate
(9) The Centered Mind
(10) Freedom from Desire
(11) The Four Noble Truths
(14) In Conclusion
(15) Zen Enlightenment in a Nutshell
The Chinese word Tao is an attempt to represent something that is indescribable. A Taoist would say “It needs no more explanation, It’s best to just leave it at that”. Since I’m far from being a Taoist I find myself having to put some weight to it. So I’ll say the Tao is the energy of all that is. Although the Taoist knows the Tao can’t be defined they believe it can be experienced. The Taoist does this by living a life of self-discovery. He tries to understand himself and doesn’t try to be something he is not. He knows he is always the same yet is ever changing. He doesn’t attempt to challenge that notion. He simply accepts it.
The spiritual meaning of Zen must be interpreted individually because it is not a simple answer to a question, and cannot be answered by any Zen master. It is difficult to comprehend Zen because those who are not enlightened have minds that make Zen’s meaning out to be much more difficult to understand than the true simplicity of the belief “With our eyes on the horizon, we do not see what lies at our feet,” To become enlightened in Zen, one must merely remove the doubt that he is not enlightened. To fully understand Zen, meditation is more important than explanation. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.
Satori and Enlightenment
Satori is the spiritual goal of Zen. Zen can not exist without Satori. Satori can be thought of as enlightenment. Satori can come to you suddenly seemingly out of nowhere. It can come to you after years of intense study and meditation or after decades of travel and searching.
A brief experience of enlightenment is referred to as Kensho. Kensho is an initial insight or awakening. Satori is a comprehension or understanding.
Nirvana is when a person reaches a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering or conflict. Nor is there a sense of self. The person is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. Nirvana represents the final goal of Buddhism. It is the consequence of Enlightenment and Satori, and being in touch with the Tao. It is a mind peacefully at one with all things.
The cause of human suffering and conflict
The Enlightened understands how and why we suffer, and the methods one should put into practice to get rid of them. According to Buddhism, suffering manifests out of the three poisons: Moha (delusion, confusion), Raga (greed, sensual attachment), and Dvesha (aversion, ill will).
The original nature of the mind is pure, clean and flawless, Free from suffering. So there is nothing to improve, purify or perfect. As we grow, certain circumstances arise and ignorance is generated. As ignorance beings, we desire, often what we can’t have. As a natural counterpart to desire, rejection and anger appear.
If you get home with a strong desire for chocolate cake only to find there is no cake left. You have resentment. because someone ate the last piece. You desire it but you can’t have it. You feel that you’re needlessly suffering.
The ego, id, and super-ego
In the chocolate cake incident, mentality determines how the situation is played out. You may feel that the other household members don’t like you, otherwise, they would have left you some cake. Your instinct may be to get revenge. Your logic says revenge might lead to jail. This is the ego, id, and super-ego at play.
Think of the id, ego, and super-ego as three different aspects of your personality that work together to make up you as a whole.
The ego is our self image. It’s the identity we construct for ourselves. If we take all the beliefs of what we are – beliefs about our personality, talents, and abilities – we have the structure of our ego:
“I’m not good at math.”
“I am smart.”
“My freckles make me ugly.”
“Nobody likes me.”
“I am better than you.”
“That was stupid of me.”
The ego develops naturally as we experience life. It is realistic and says “this is how it is” and “is going to be”. The ego is a mediator and ultimately makes the decision on how to respond to a situation.
The id is primitive and instinctive. It’s what we are as a newborn child. It’s all the instincts of life. Including the libido (life) instinct and the aggressive (death) instinct. The id operates on the pleasure principle and has no concept of consequences. When the id achieves its demands, we experience pleasure. When it is denied we experience ‘unpleasure’ or tension.
The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive, illogical, irrational, and fantasy oriented. This form of process thinking has no comprehension of objective reality, and is selfish and wishful in nature.
The super-ego incorporates the values and morals of society which are learned from one’s parents and others. The super-ego’s function is to control the id’s impulses, especially those which society forbids, such as sex and aggression. It also has the function of persuading the ego to turn to moralistic goals rather than simply realistic ones and to strive for perfection.
The super-ego consists of two parts: The conscience and the ideal self. The conscience can punish the ego through causing feelings of guilt. For example, if the ego gives in to the id’s demands, the super-ego may make the person feel bad through guilt. The ideal self is an imaginary picture of how you ought to be, and represents career aspirations, how to treat other people, and how to behave as a member of society. Behavior which falls short of the ideal self may be punished by the super-ego through guilt. The super-ego can also reward us through the ideal self when we behave ‘properly’ by making us feel proud.
The enlightened person recognizes the importance of all three and keeps the ego, id, and super-ego in harmony to create the “Ideal Self”. If they aren’t harmonic, whatever the person does will result in abject failure.
An awakened sensuality approach can be used in the process of obtaining enlightenment. Sensuality refers to the experience of pleasure through your senses. Sensuality is, in essence, how in tune you are with your senses.
Awakening this sensuality within you is an amazing and sacred experience of multi-sensory exploration of intimacy with self then with others. Embarking on this trip of sensuality with self, can elevate your respect and gratitude for your very existence and experience as a human. As a result, you empower your true self, enhance your personal charisma, power, and potential.
Connecting to your sensuality deepens a connection with self, leading to a feeling of rising in love with self. The outcome is an enhanced feeling of love, confidence, gratitude, joy, and bliss. You can experience increased understanding of your sexuality, and get better and better at optimizing your sexual energy. Due to a refined inner play of yin and yang energies, you’ll experience an enhanced state of ecstasy. You’ll be more focused on the present moment than ever before and be more grounded and soulful in lovemaking. This can prove helpful during the process of enlightenment.
Love and hate
Love and Hate are two very powerful emotions. Although complete opposites, one can not exist without the other. They are a duality. Most people are caught in the struggle between the two and will die that way. They will never be able to see the subtle connection between the two. They are not two different energies but a single energy having two different polarities.
Hate is love standing on its head. You can forget a friend but you can’t forget an enemy. An enemy will appear in your dreams more often than a friend. You think of harming your enemy more than you think of helping your friend. The reason for this is that hate is a negative force, and that force draws you to it. People are afraid of hate because hate hurts. One doesn’t pretend to hate. Why would you when you know it hurts?
Love on the other hand feels good. People can pretend love because the very idea of love is soothing. So love can be shallow or deep. Hate on the other hand goes deep and is never shallow. That’s why a person becomes more concerned about the enemy than friends.
The centered mind
The centered mind refers to the conscious mind. The subconscious mind is never focused on any one thing. Usually there are several hundred thoughts going on at any one time. It can never actually be centered. A person’s conscious on the other hand, has the ability to focus. Usually a person’s conscious is cluttered with different thoughts. When a person attempts something he must concentrate on, he finds it difficult because he has all the other thoughts in his mind interfering. The conscious mind can be centered.
The centered mind is a blank slate. It is not focused on any one thing. Instead it’s focused on nothing but the sensation of being relaxed. This is a prefered state to be in prior to attempting a difficult task that needs great focus. When the mind is centered, a person can have just that one thought enter allowing for great concentration on that particular task without other tasks interfering.
Freedom from desire
An enlightened person is free from desire. Desire is a strong emotional pull towards something that is wanted. This pull can be towards something that is good or bad for you. Your making your intention based on immense feelings that the mind is saying “I want that, It’s good”. However, these immense feelings often make you do things that aren’t always good for you.
A person’s life is full of desire for materialistic things. An enlightened person has set himself free from that. Being free from desire still allows you to have materialistic things however, you are liberated from the slavery of working for them.
The Zen teachings of Gautama Siddhartha-Buddha
(the “four noble truths”)
(1) to understand the nature of suffering.
Know that cultural/existential humanity suffers and understand the nature of that suffering. Suffering is defined as confusion, conflict and insanity, which is neurosis, psychosis, guilt, repression, anxiety, frustration, depression, and the biological stress created by them.
(2) to know its cause.
The cause of suffering is our affirmative commitment to illusionary duality, which is values, morals and ethics, which is good and bad, right and wrong, ugly and beautiful, great and inferior, etc.
(3) to know of its ending.
The end of suffering and conflict is called nirvana, which is mind at one with the tao/eden/reality, which is mind free from the need for values, morals and ethics and the confusion, conflict and insanity created by them.
(4) to know the way thereto.
To know that cultural humanity suffers, to know the cause of that suffering and thereby vigorously committing ourselves to eliminate from the mind, the cause of that suffering, which is our commitment to illusionary duality, which is values, morals and ethics.
Letting go of perfection will lead to a happier you. Accepting yourself for who you are will also bring you more happiness. We all know there is no such thing as perfect, but we all strive for perfection. And, striving for perfection, only sets you up for failure.
As the foregoing facts are fully understood, we are Enlightened. If we affirmatively and aggressively commit ourselves to this knowledge, we have experienced satori. Satori is the time spent from the moment of our commitment to the elimination of all values, morals, and ethics from the mind.
We are on the path to a mind at one with the Tao, which is the mind of Buddha.
We are on the path to a mind at one with Eden, which is the mind of a Christ.
W are on the path to a mind at one with reality, free of schizophrenic illusions and the confusion, conflict, and insanity created by them.
All three minds described, being one and the same mind.
- The way to sanity is not difficult. Only our lack of desire for the truth concerning the cause of human suffering and conflict and how to eliminate that keeps us from it.
- We must eliminate from the illusionary concepts of good and bad, right and wrong, ugly and beautiful, great and inferior, etc.
- We must eliminate from the mind all value, moral and ethical judgments.
- In time our entire being will be at one with reality. The need will no longer exist to differentiate judgmentally between this and that.
- Follow your path and you walk in absolute peace, the seeds of confusion, conflict, and insanity having been eliminated.
- This is the way and the teaching of Zen, which is the way and the teaching of the Buddhas, and in time the teaching of educational psychologists for the prevention of insanity.
- True Enlightenment, as experienced by the Buddha and transmitted through the patriarchs, is independent of verbal explanations.
Zen Enlightenment in a Nutshell
“Late one night a female Zen adept was carrying water in an old wooden bucket when she happened to glance across the surface of the water and saw the reflection of the moon. As she walked the bucket began to come apart and the bottom of the pail broke through, with the water suddenly disappearing into the soil beneath her feet and the moon’s reflection disappearing along with it. In that instant the young woman realized that the moon she had been looking at was just a reflection of the real thing…just as her whole life had been. She turned to look at the moon in all it’s silent glory, her mind was ripe, and that was it…Enlightenment.”