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Wherever home is – Vancouver, Bali, Thailand, Toronto, Hawaii, New Zealand, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Halifax or Montreal – enlightenment is a spiritual connection.
First, it is a state of being in which one perceives the world. And the things/beings in it with absolute and perfect clarity.
Second, it is a condition of transcendence of worldly bonds and concerns. Third, it is a rarified spiritual state in which one is profoundly in communion with the divine. I shall write of each in some detail.
From the moment of our conception, we are influenced by the manifest plane of physical reality. Once we are born, we immediately begin to imprint the culture in which we live. From the lights and sounds and shapes and smells of the birthing room to the emotions of the people around us.
As we grow, we learn the teachings explicit and implicit of our family and culture(s), and we have our own experiences both wondrous and traumatic.
We develop lenses through which we see the world; conditioning, aversions and biases come to inform our experience of life. There is a Buddhist teaching that our Authentic Nature is like the sun, and our acquired experiences act like clouds obscuring this sun.
The results are 2-fold: first, we do not perceive the world accurately. This is due to the distortion the clouds, and our own light is impeded from shining out into the world.
The process of Enlightenment involves “dispelling the clouds” by realizing and resolving our conditioning. This is so that we come into a true relationship with what is. This is, of course, a long and profound journey and Yoga (and yoga teacher training) and other spiritual traditions can be of great assistance.
This ties in closely with the concept of Samsara, which Krishna Das speaks and writes of at length. Samsara is the concern with worldly, external matters that takes us out of relationship with ourselves.
Enlightenment in this sense means freeing ourselves from Samsara and living a life focused on our heart, spirit, and relationships. It means going though the world with a sense of trust and surrender, focused on right living rather than desires, fears and distractions.
In this understanding, Enlightenment refers to a state of supreme connection with spirit and the higher realms, what may be understood as samadhi in the yoga tradition.
It is a condition attained through deep practice, wherein one cultivates the openness and clarity of the upper chakras and the states of being that resonate with them.
This form of enlightenment entails cultivating a relationship with one’s ancestors, spirit guides, and beings of pure consciousness such as ascended masters and deities. With these relationships, one can receive guidance and insight from the higher planes. That assist with life and that one can transmit to others to help them on their paths.
Saints, priests, and high-level medicine people seek and sometimes attain this form of Enlightenment. And this helps them to guide them others on the path.