Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Many Paths to Enlightenment

Over the past 24 years, one of the greatest gifts that I have been given by my teachers is that there are many paths to enlightenment. As a matter of fact, some of these paths have been extremely surprising to learn about.

Initially, I'm sure like many, I believed that following a deeply religious or spiritual path, that of a monk, or a rabbi or priest, was truly the only way to the awakened state. Then as my understanding began to grow, I was taught the ultimate in truth, that anyone can get there, and very possibly in this lifetime, if they devote themselves to this purpose.

Like the athlete who desires to reach their ultimate in ability, the seeker on the path to enlightenment must also allow a variety of teachings to delve into their soul, and to create daily rituals that lead them to a deeper understanding of who they are, and what it is exactly that they are seeking.

Some choose the path of service, some the path of love, some the path of understanding, while others the path of extreme meditative solitude. Each of them can lead to the freedom, the acceptance, and the bliss of the awakened one.

Along with my personal teachers, hundreds of interviews with people like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, and Lama Sura Das, have opened my eyes to the magic of this life.

But this next point may come as a surprise. Enlightenment can also come in the form of great pain and discomfort.

A while ago after a meditation/pure light blessing class I was leading, I asked the group to share their personal experiences of the past hour if they were so inclined. After many had spoken of their union with the divine, feelings of extreme warmth or revelations that took the form of visions, a man raised his hand and began to speak.

"I wish I had good news to share, but my experience was quite different. I realized during this time, that my life is an absolute mess!"

Pure enlightenment, or awakening had occurred, although at first he did not see it. He had reached a state of truth, the blinders were off, and now he was finally free to choose a new path! Through awareness, another stage of enlightenment had occurred in his life.

Like the rungs of a ladder, enlightenment for most of us comes one step at a time. We see that what used to bother us before, we flow with. Anxiety levels drop , inner peace occurs more readily with each movement along the way, until one day we see why we are here, what life is all about....awakening to who we are, love, that we simply have to remember.

From Hinduism, to Buddhism, to Christianity and more, there are countless paths to enlightenment. Find yours, slow down, and lovingly focus more brilliantly on it today than yesterday.

Love, peace, David


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