students in a yoga teacher training doing crane poses

In many places around the world: London, GreeceBali, Thailand, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, New Zealand, Hawaii  the question is asked: what is enlightenment? I have never searched for enlightenment myself. I suppose that this may be the beginning of my journey to enlightenment.

YTT: So what is it? 

Upon looking up the definition in the oxford dictionary for some inspiration, I was surprisingly disappointed with the results. 

The definition was dull and lacked clarity or depth on a concept so inspiring. I will do my best to explain my thoughts, theories and beliefs around enlightenment but it is another one of those topics that does not have a simple definition. Doing yoga or a yoga teacher training, I believe that enlightenment is a journey inside oneself. 

A realisation about who you are as a person at your core and what your purpose is in this life; an internal transformation into your truest self. It is your connection to yourself, others and an all around sense of peace and happiness in your everyday life.

Distinction: YTT

I imagine that Enlightenment would have a before and an after. There is a distinct before in one’s life, a specific event where one is thrust towards enlightenment, and then an after where you have an elevated understanding of life itself. 

In traditional movies the process of becoming enlightened is often portrayed as a singular, often traumatic moment or event, however I believe that it is more of a long drawn out process or journey that one must consciously make the choice to undertake.

This journey could take a few weeks or, it could take a lifetime depending on the person and circumstances. A traumatic event might initiate a journey towards enlightenment. However I do not believe that that is the singular moment itself and for some it may not be necessary. 

Or at least I have not met someone who has had an experience such as that.

Mindfulness

The process of enlightenment would involve daily work. Work that consists of resolving internal conflicts, mindfulness and intentional selfless acts. There are many paths to lead to enlightenment but they all involve the same basic principals. 

Yoga, meditation, pranayama, and other creative outlets are all tools that one uses to achieve enlightenment. But if Enlightenment requires work and can take a long time to achieve, how does one know they have been enlightened?

Enlightened people are so in tune with their truest self that nothing in the material world can make them stray from their higher purpose. They are able to raise their vibrations that in turn raise the vibrations of others around them as well. 

People are drawn to enlightened people perhaps in the unconscious or conscious search of the same thing for themselves. 

In Conclusion

Enlightenment is a complicated concept that many people are in search of, but not many people fully understand, including myself. 

My interpretation of enlightenment is that it is the highest and purest form of self!  It involves conscious work and leads to what many would consider true peace and happiness.