Enlightenment

  • the state of having knowledge or understanding : the act of giving someone knowledge or understanding
  • a movement of the 18th century that stressed the belief that science and logic give people more knowledge and understanding than tradition and religion
Buddhism : a final spiritual state marked by the absence of desire or suffering.

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Etymology

Enlighten (v.): late 14c., “to remove the dimness or blindness” (usually figurative, from one’s eyes or heart).  From 1660s as “supply with intellectual light.”  Literal senses are less common in English: “put light in” is from 1580s; “shed light upon” is from 1610s.

 

Source: http://www.etymonline.com/

Wisdom

"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel."

Socrates (470 BCE – 399 BCE, Greek philosopher, his “Socratic method” laid the groundwork for Western philosophy. We know of him from his students that included Plato and Xenophon. When Greece’s political changed, Socrates was sentenced to death by hemlock poisoning, which he accepted rather than fleeing into exile.)

Bio Source:

http://www.biography.com/people/socrates-9488126

"The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self."

Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born theoretical physicist and philosopher of science, who developed the general theory of relativity. Einstein is considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century. He won The Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.)

Bio Source:

http://einstein.biz/

"For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction."

Cynthia Occelli (Author of the book, Resurrecting Venus: A Woman’s Guide to Love, Work Motherhood and Soothing the Sacred Ache, is a mother, businesswoman with a law degree.)

Bio Source:

http://www.cynthiaoccelli.com/

"Enlightenment means taking full responsibility for your life."

William Blake (1757-1827, English painter, poet, and printmaker. A mystic who believed he would bring about change in social order and in the minds of men.)

Bio Source:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/william-blake

"The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines."

Anne Lamott (born 1954, age 60, American novelist and non-fiction writer, progressive political activist, public speaker, and writing teacher.)

Bio Source:

http://barclayagency.com/lamott.html

"Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen."

Bodhidharma (The mysterious Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century CE who was credited with establishing the Zen branch of Mahayana Buddhism. He was also crediting with aiding the monks of Shaolin Monastery, famous for their martial arts skills, in meditation and training. )

Bio Source:

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/70979/Bodhidharma

"Do not look for happiness outside yourself. The awakened seek happiness inside."

Peter Deunov (1864-1944, Bulgarian philosopher and spiritual teacher who developed a form of Esoteric Christianity. His spiritual name was Beinsa Douno.)

Bio Source:

http://www.beinsa-douno.com/

"According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don't bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous."

Deepak Chopra, M.D. (born 1947, age 67, American author of 80 books translated in over 43 languages including 22 New York Times bestseller. He is a public speaker. Chopra’s medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology, and a fellow of the American College of Physicians and member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist, and an adjunct professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also a Distinguished Executive Scholar at Columbia Business School, Columbia … )

Bio Source:

http://www.chopra.com/about-us/deepak-chopra-md

Meditation

I love the power of words, because like numbers and animals they show up just when I need their wisdom.

The search for information is a mystical journey of self discovery and needed knowledge.

Here are two quotes that showed up for me recently within a small space of time, which were linked:

“Run my dear | From anything | That may not strengthen | Your precious wings.” — Hafez

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the s*&t that weights you down.” — Toni Morrison

In order to be infused with more love, joy, and enlightenment, we must individually, and now collectively, purge all those patterns that keep us imprisoned and limited.

Enlightenment, like happiness, is a process.  It takes time.  And we must practice often to feel and see the results.  It’s ver much like exercising.

There are a handful of human beings that are born enlightened, like the Dalai Lama for instance, and who have a high level of capacity to sustain joy.  But, even the Dalai Lama works diligently and daily to strengthen his spiritual practice.  For most of us ,who are striving to be “luminous beings,” we have to work at it too.  We have to do our internal work and develop systems towards self-mastery.

I work on my strengthening self-love and joy muscles from the moment I rise in the morning and until I go to bed.  My daily practice is about focusing and magnifying my energy with qi gong and core exercises, and elevating my thoughts and wellbeing through journaling, meditation, prayer, and writing.  It wasn’t always easy, especially in the beginning.  I had to build towards it, one routine at a time.  I now a solid practice, because I’ve slowly constructed it for the last twenty or so years.

Now every once in a while I am thrown off centered and disconnected from Source.  And when that happens I can get quite upset to know that I am not as enlightened as I thought I was.  That’s an ego thing, something I must work on.  But, being aware is half the battle.

As the great Ram Dass once said, “If you think you are enlightened, go spend a weekend with your parents.” 🙂

Finding what pushes one’s buttons is the fun of it too.  It means one is still human.

Purging is just one aspect of enlightenment.  Like William Blake said. It’s also about commitment, accountability, and responsibility to one’s soul and one’s unique connection to Source.

Toni Morrison also wrote, “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

Tru dat!  Freedom is intimately connected to enlightenment and authenticity.  Sometimes we get to see who we truly are when circumstances are challenging and not so bright.

I witnessed enlightenment while living in NYC during the time of 911, waiting for a bus and watching three beautiful teenage Arabic children dressed all in white, radiant and luminescent walking in the streets alone with their heads bowed, slow and reverent, one behind the other, in grief and sorrow for all the death and killing. I still get emotional remembering their innocence and pure of heart, light radiating widely.  I thought, too, of their mother and the courage it took for her to let them leave the house.

On another night during 911, I took the risk and offered my arm to help a 90-year old rabbi who needed support to brace himself as he disembarked from a public bus.  My friend and I then slowly and gently escorted him to the curb and walked him through snow, ice and slush to a clear shoveled sidewalk, where we both stepped back and waved goodbye.  All the while, a busload of riders stared, baffled to the act of  kindness they were witnessing.  We were all being hit by a new wave of love, and were in the midst of a mystical “quickening” of sorts, where enlightened waves of love, forgiveness, and compassion rolled over all of us.

We are here, assisting in the birth of our New Earth.  And we are finding the courage to open up our hearts and minds a little at a time.

With Love, Tonya

Discussion

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