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Enlightenment

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So many searches into this word, so many moments of breath taking experiences, so much so that in the end it becomes too much and the elusive word Enlightenment disappears. This has been my search, the search and identification with enlightenment. Over many years a part of me has tried to make myself grow and change and become a better person, a better lover a better human being. The years have passed by and each year another search began and another concept grasped. And in the end the mind has become a well trodden wanderer, it has wandered all over spiritual words and meanings and doings.

There have been many ah-ha moments and for those moments it felt as though enlightenment was within my grasp. Then just as I was about to grab hold of the all time truth, my life would take a tumble and reality would slap me back in the face. Then the physical world that I was living, would need my attention, so I would have to step out of finding enlightenment and step back into the world of form.

So for many years this stepping in and out of life, love & form would rock my boat, and I would either go along for the ride and feel a bit un-balanced or I would just allow the waves of life to pick me up knowing that they do not last and soon I would be back in the flow. At times I knew deep within that I am following a path that is well trodden yet many before me have tripped over on the same boulders along the way and yet a deep feeling kept pushing me and shoving me until I would take another breath and seek again.

You know enlightenment is a funny kind of thing, because truthfully I have no idea what it is meant to look like or feel like on my travels. I know what it feels like to others who say they have felt and reached this point, yet if I know this from others interpretation then why is it so important to find it for myself.

What is it really that keeps pushing me in the same direction yet it feels at times that I am going in the wrong direction. It is only the ah-ha moments that keep me searching for the next moment and the next until hopefully they all become the one moment.

In the dictionary the word Enlightenment means “the action of enlightening or the state of being enlightened”. Then there is Nirvana which is the Buddhist version, “a state in which there is no suffering or desire, and no sense of self”

So as I look at the meanings behind this elusive word enlightenment; to enlighten is greater
knowledge and understanding, which has been my experience in everything that pushes me closer to enlightenment. Yes many moments of understanding greater knowledge and Nirvana, well yes also, many moments of no suffering or desire, and definitely while in this state no sense of self.

A few months ago someone said to me as I was telling a story about my journey that you are sharing the story of enlightenment. Well one story anyway, and it is the story of searching in the world and traveling around to find the right path home, to discover who I am. The path meanders along and the boulders we find along the way they trip you up, and finally you reach your destination and you recognize that you are in the very same place that you began, yet you are also much more aware of who you are in this place and the searching begins to take you to another place, a place that has no destination, a place that has been there all along. This searching ends with everything and nothing all at once, for the nothing place is neutral and doesn’t  hold a  deep meaning for you any more, no-thing in the world  pulls or pushes you to delve into conflicts or stories. All that you do and all that you see just is; you begin to recognize that all that matters out in the world is deep within you.

And now this has been accomplished, how does my world look? Well no different, my world still has my work, my friends, my hiccups, and my blocks. The difference is not in how the world looks it is how I see the world.

The metaphor of Buddha finally stopping the search in the world for enlightenment, and sitting under the Bodi tree and finally finding within Self what he was looking for, well this should be a clue as to where one should begin looking. Yet most searchers walk the same path, the same road and eventually they forget to look within, all our stories and emotions pull us into the world and it is there that we lose sight of who we really are.

So in truth it is not about where we live, how we look, what we do, it is about the quality we bring to where we live, how we look, what we do, it is always with us. In the world we are always and in all ways trying to be that which we already are.

If only we could take the time to tap into us, if we only dropped into and beneath all thought all distractions, then finally we would know that enlightenment exists already, that the search ends and begins with us.

Even after all of this, who I am does not change, it is always there, just listening, feeling and breathing. Who I am can never be distracted or deceived, who I am doesn’t anger or strive or yearn for anything. Who I am doesn’t get disappointed or over whelmed; who I am cannot be sought after, or found in any interaction of the body. Yet all of this will still be there in my life yet it is not who I am, Enlightenment, Nirvana, they are still moments in my life, but they are not who I am.

Actually there are no words to describe who I am, for in truth I am nothing yet I am everything!

Caroline Byrd 2006 ©




 

 
 

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