January 8, 2017

Looking for Enlightenment.

Quote.

When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

Question:

Three years ago, when I finished college in Dublin, Ireland, I went to Nepal and trekked to Mt Everest Base Camp. On this wonderful adventure I met a person who was to change the course of my life. She taught me about Eastern philosophy and meditation. It really struck a chord with me, because I was searching for happiness and didn’t know how to find it.  Since then I have been searching for “the best path” to enlightenment.

I took a ten day Vipassana retreat in Australia. I found a book by Swami Muktananda in an old second-hand book sale shortly afterwards… I read it and set out to learn “Siddha Yoga” meditation.

 I did this for a while but became disillusioned with it. The technique was nothing like the esoteric methods I had read about in Muktananda’s books.

I began researching meditation and  learned a popular form of meditation four months ago and have been meditating religiously, twice a day since then – determined this time, to persist and get past the initial phase that had always trapped me before.

However, I don’t see any tangible benefit from my efforts and I’m beginning to wonder why I’m bothering. I never seem to fully transcend – fulfillment always seems elusive, both in meditation and outside in the world.

An Indian man in my yoga class told me about Kriya Yoga, which I had read about in Paramahansa Yogananda’s ” Autobiography of a Yogi”.  My friend told me about a lineage of Indian Kriya Masters that can teach this to anyone who sincerely wants to learn for no charge.

It seems to be history repeating itself, but I feel I “must” go and do this. I feel that the universe has given me signs that it’s the next step on my path! And from what Yogananda’s book says about it, Kriya seems to be a “shortcut” to enlightenment… a way to get “one year’s worth of evolution in 30 seconds” by using the techniques of chakra meditation.

Is this really true, Dr. Chopra?

Or can Vipassana, mantra meditation, or Primordial Sound meditation do exactly the same thing?

Why does cosmic consciousness seem like such an unattainable goal for the normal man living in the world and is there a ” best way” or one method of meditation that is vastly more effective than all others?

I’m not interested in trivial benefits – I want to attain enlightenment IN THIS LIFE. Any meditation teacher I ask always has some reason why, although this is a possibility, it’s not likely… It may take thousands of lives to get to the ultimate goal. But I only know that I’m alive now. That’s all there is to work with. A set amount of time.

I don’t know what happens after the end that we all face, so putting the purpose of human life off for ” the next life” makes no sense to me…

Response:

All of those techniques are effective and have helped individuals attain self-awareness. And while a burning desire for enlightenment is a powerful motivation for spiritual practice, it’s important to understand that self-realization is not a dramatic experience, it’s just awareness knowing itself. The mind and body may generate dramatic temporary experiences we associate with that awakening, but the real spiritual experience is recognizing the presence of your awareness.

There is no real shortcut technique to self-realization to discover, there is only your path and what that unfoldment constitutes. It’s fine to use Muktananda’s and Yogananda’s books as inspiration, but it should not lead you to compare your personal experiences with theirs to gauge whether you are making progress or not. Most spiritual growth feels very mundane and unremarkable. Reading about experiences of celestial visitations with lights, colors, voices and whatnot, is fun, but it can lead you to devalue your own subtle but real experience of self-awareness.

Regarding how long it will take for your awakening, I can’t tell you. It depends on how much mental and physical conditioning there is left for you to release. Wanting to complete it in this lifetime is commendable, as a way of saying you don’t want to waste any time. But as with the previous consideration, comparing your present progress to an imaginary ideal is a recipe to take you out of the present where your growth really happens. You think that the spiritual practices you’ve got right now are not fast enough or powerful enough to get you to enlightenment in this lifetime. So instead of fully engaging in the complete transformative power of your present reality, you are casting about looking for the “perfect” technique. If you switch your approach to trusting that everything you need is right here in front of you now, then you will step out of the time-bound consideration of enlightenment and start to live the unlimited, eternal potential that is your true essence.

Love,

Deepak

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