The Experience of Enlightenment Part I: Before

Along this path, I have faltered and fallen down more than once. Many errors in perception and experience were made.  In this case, there can be no mistake.  I am perfected.

Perfection is a hallow word though – as most words are. In this case, perfection is simply attainment of the highest goal, combined with the realization that there is no highest goal.  There is only the oneness and its many expressions.

The difference now – and why I can say, with absolute certainty, that perfection has been realized? Because I am at one with the harmony now.  This was my final experience…  now it only deepens.  In this series I will describe the final steps taken, the experience itself, and what followed.

For the past few days I’d been resisting the urge to write. One of my guides had suggested that I was still very much attached to my concept of self – and she was very correct.   From Wednesday – Friday I took a personal oath of silence – which was really an intention to avoid words.

Words define our experience, but they also limit it. With every word I wrote, or spoke, or thought, I was continuing to limit my own experience.  This was a truth that I understood, so I attempted to withhold myself from the use of words – with moderate success.

While practicing in this space, I also delved very deeply into the heart of Buddhist teachings and a number of other traditions, seeking an understanding of the path, and the steps that I still needed to take in order to fulfill my highest purpose.

Mine was still a world of confusion. With all of my experiences to this point, I knew that I was close and that only one great moment was left for me to encounter.  However, no path appeared.  There was no clarification from the wisdom as to the final steps I was to take.

Many things did indeed become clear – and the research was helpful, but in the end, the final piece of the puzzle was the wisdom and words of the teacher Adyashanti. After listening to some of his other work, I purchased a copy of ‘The End of Your World”.  This held the last of what was needed.

Chapter 1 explained my exact predicament – that someone so far along on the path is usually left much to their own, or must find solace in a teacher. I had no teacher – and no solace.  I had only myself and my guides, who – as best they could, attempted to guide me along the paths they understood.

My path was my own… Cobbled together from bits and pieces of what the oneness had revealed, manifesting in an unfolding of the highest order.  But the final steps were unclear.  Adyashanti explained, in session 1, that this is not uncommon – which is why he’d written this work.

Session 2 inspired a great deal of person fear. He spoke of those with awakened experiences lasting seconds, minutes, hours, days, or even years – before the ‘aperture’ of awareness closed back up, and the person would lose sight of the goal…  Maybe just for a time, maybe forever.

This caused much concern as this past month has been very challenging. My path unfolded so quickly and with so much head on collision, that I knew it was not something I would likely ever be able to open myself up to again.  If this was not my time, and the aperture were to close, it would close for good.

Sessions 3 and 4 provided deep and penetrating insights into the nature of moving from an awakened experience to an enlightened experience. Session 5 continued in this manner, but I did not finish it.  When he began to talk of writing our ‘velcro’ thoughts, I decided to begin writing.

What I have not mentioned is the deep inner turmoil that was going on within me at the time. Every part of the path, all of my experiences, and all that occurred was real.  No one has to believe me.  But I know – and in this knowing is a beauty beyond imagining.  However, during my silence I was forced to confront a spiritual delusion.  This delusion was one of greatness – of saving the world.

All along my spiritual journey, I’d been clinging to Buddhist traditions.  My experience with the Theravada tradition from 2004 to 2006 and insight meditation during the same period had been so right for me at the time.  And as things unfolded for me, things started to make a whole lot of sense in terms of what the Buddha was teaching.  I really held onto that as a CLEAR guide on the path.

But then something started to change in a VERY big way.  At a certain point it stopped making sense.  At first, it was the recognition of all aspects of the Buddhist Arhat, or Bodhisattva, within myself.  Then I began to see myself as the awakening spirit of the Buddhist ‘Maitreya’ figure.  The lion – the heart.  I AM the Lion – I AM the heart!  But because I was clinging to Buddhist doctrine, I was really struggling because this was the only story that actually made any sense.  Was I just going completely insane and being CONSUMED by my narcissism?

My therapist was with me the whole way – as was my former love and forever friend. They watched everything happening – and they KNEW it was real – they saw it – and they know the me that was – and they know the me that is now.  And they KNOW that these are two distinct entities – one of which no longer exists.   My mother and my ex-wife also watched from afar, and they too have seen the transformation.  Though I do not think they still grasp the full magnitude of what has occurred.

But at the time, this ‘fantasy’ of mine was a Velcro thought that needed to be purged in a very big way. I was telling myself that I was the next Buddha.  The next Jesus.  That I was to become the savior of the world.  Yet this was a PENETRATING sensation and not a thinking one, so I could not understand it.  My spirit was trying to tell me something important and I was missing it.

Yet I also knew that if I were to hold on to this idea of greatness and tried to take it with me deeper into my spiritual journey, I would remain forever lost. My ego had attached itself to my spiritual journey and inserted itself into the very back of my mind, repeating this narrative over and over again.  And it was too much – it felt like a form madness unto itself.

In session 5, Adyashanti had described his own process of writing in order to explore his own Velcro thoughts. Writing is also how I process my own thoughts, so my intention was to write about this singularly bothersome thought and apply the methods of Byron Katie’s ‘The Work’ to it.  It felt like the right way to get to the bottom of things and settle the matter once and for all!

When I sat down and began typing – the moment came upon me.

Continued in Part II.

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