What stops us from being enlightened?

Enlightenment is something that many believe they can accomplish with great ease, however, enlightenment only comes to those that are seeking more meaning within their lives. I’m talking about wanting more fulfillment, happiness, achievement and satisfaction with one’s life – to be connected with the environment around them in a more profound and spiritual manner. Being enlightened means that one’s body is fully connected with the environment around them. Their emotions are complete and wholesome where all negativity is absent from their mind. Enlightenment has been sought after for Centuries. In fact, many Buddhist monks study their entire lives to be enlightened. It’s something that takes intense discipline.

I’ve only recently become a believer in spirituality. While growing up, I didn’t think too much about life – what my purpose was or why I existed. Even though my mother brought me up as Christian, I grew up with two older brothers that thought religion was a waste of time. The truth is; at an early age, I became heavily influenced by them and I chose to follow their direction of no belief at all. I never really thought about the meaning of my life until I found my passion of speaking to high school students. My first public speech delivered more than just a message to youth; it delivered purpose in my life. Mastering the art of public speaking over the past fifteen years has not only allowed me to convey a message to youth, it’s given me an opportunity to listen to thousands of people’s views on society – the way they see life. Interestingly enough, their perceptions of reality varied entirely. This has led me to believe that each of us has a unique idea of how the world works.

I first read about being enlightened in a self-help book called The Art of Happiness. It’s a book that was recommended to me by a dear friend, in which I learned many techniques to spiritual enlightenment. It’s something that’s since then served an abundance of positivity within my life, and now it’s a book that I would recommend to everyone that’s looking for further spiritual enlightenment. Within the pages were actual accounts of his holiness, the Dalai Lama, becoming truly enlightened as a Buddhist monk. He elaborates on his own spiritual journey and describes his experiences. His claims to a rich and fulfilling feeling of joy, satisfaction and inner relief included some of the most profound emotions which sounded very similar to my own experience of being enlightened. The interesting part of his story is how he explains how he’s practiced the techniques of becoming enlightenment so precisely that he is now able to choose when he wants to be enlightened. It’s almost like an ON/OFF switch inside of him. This means that not an ounce of negativity lives within his soul, where anger, hatred and remorse have been completely eliminated from his conscious. He is able to truly live in the moment every day of his life, and he consistently works at making the best of every waking moment. Feelings of jealousy, dissatisfaction and disbelief no longer have a place within his psyche. Even though, mastering the art of enlightenment came for him through much adversity, discipline and commitment, it was enlightening to realize that it is possible for one to reach such ongoing fulfillment in one’s life. In fact, his trek in reaching enlightenment has inspired me to find the same satisfaction within my own life.

Enlightenment can be inspired in so many different forms. Some have reached it through reading the “holy book” and other encouraging works of words, while others were merely inspired to reach such fulfillment through sermons at their family church. Either way, the moment that someone is inspired to reach true enlightenment; a rigorous and demanding journey awaits them. From experience; even though it can be difficult to achieve, it’s a journey that’s definitely worth taking.

Being inspired to reach enlightenment is only just the beginning. After one is inspired to take the first step, they’re now placed in front of many mental and emotional roadblocks. These obstacles can be demanding and difficult to overcome, although, once relieved, your life will be transformed in so many profound ways. These roadblocks include a variety of demanding and self-defeating beliefs, limitations and feelings of resentment. They also include a long list of negative emotional baggage that has been welling inside you for years. This baggage was formed through nasty relationships, hatred towards others and many various forms of negativity. This negativity has caused you to look at life in an improper form and has disabled many of your positive beliefs. It’s caused inner weakness and dissatisfaction. It actually blocks you from reaching any form of enlightenment. Most of us are unaware and completely oblivious to the fact that these problems are facing us. They’ve become normal and a part of our psyche. At times, it actually becomes very difficult for one to diagnose weather they harness these negative qualities within themselves. It takes inner confidence, strength and a whole lot of self-reflection to find them, however, once found, they can be eliminated one at a time. The goal in mind is to find and eliminate all negativity within yourself – all hatred, remorse, dissatisfaction, unease and the like. Once completed, unlimited potential within you awaits.

Ridding ourselves of all forms of negativity is something that should be a priority for us all. It just so happens to be the number one characteristic that defeats us every day. More deaths, crimes and disease come from negativity. Negative actions, negative emotions, even negative thoughts all contribute to our overall dissatisfaction in life. It’s simply something that has no place within our minds. It defeats us in so many ways. Even memories of negative experiences from our past disable us to see the real world as it is. It generates unhappiness and rids us of our sanity. In fact, it’s impossible to find true enlightenment if you host any negativity within your mind whatsoever. Once the negativity have been eliminated completely from one’s conscience; meaning, when one has completely detached themselves from the anger, remorse and hatred that they once harnessed towards anyone or anything they’ve ever experienced in the past, the inner doors of spiritual enlightenment will open. Speaking from experience, the feeling of enlightenment can be the most liberating feeling one can ever experience. When one is enlightened, it’s yet another journey to continue the enlightened experience. The good news is; it becomes much easier to reach once reached initially.

Aside from negativity, the other inner roadblocks that defeat our chances of becoming enlightened are the mental and emotional labels that we put on ourselves throughout our lives. These labels are formed through the friends we associate with, the family we were raised by, even by the coworkers that we work with. In fact, anyone we’ve ever associated with in our lives has in some way contributed to our inner labels that we’ve placed upon ourselves. We judge ourselves when we look at other people and become jealous of their lives or their belongings. For example: if you were to come across an old friend from high school on the street one day, and as you spoke to him or her, you realized they have certain qualities you wish you had. Perhaps they’ve become significantly wealthy over the years, or maybe he or she  seems to be happier in some way. These qualities drive you to feel inadequate. Feelings of inadequacy instantly form feelings of jealousy, anger and remorse, which alter not only your perceptions of the way you see the world, however, they begin to form inner labels that defeat you. These labels and feelings live inside of us for years, and very seldom are released from our conscious. Everyone that we’ve ever come across in life has contributed to the labels that we’ve placed on ourselves. Many times, we develop self-conscious feelings about who we are through these associations. We begin to feel inadequate because we see others as more successful in life. No matter whom they are or what they’ve accomplished in life, you seem to find qualities that are better than your own, making you feel more dissatisfied. We’ve even tried to keep up with mainstream materialism, which has made us become less grateful for what we already have. These feelings of inadequacy have also developed negative beliefs about who we are. They’ve created invisible limitations about what we can accomplish in life.

In addition to the labels that we place upon ourselves, it’s interesting to see how many different labels are put on us throughout our lives by other people, including our parents, our teachers, our friends, our mangers and coworkers, even our sibling’s place labels on us at times. These labels are best described as fictional roles that we play in life. For example: A parent may place the label of “the family re builder” on a child because he’s shown compassion for healthy family dynamics in the past, or they may have placed the role of “the golden child”, where they focus more attention on him compared to his siblings because he has certain characteristics that bring out his personality. Either way, these labels act as a barrier between you and your personality. They create false beliefs of how the world really works. These labels cause us to generate negative feelings towards society and towards ourselves. It’s important to locate these labels that are placed upon us and seek closure immediately. By finding the positive inner qualities that make you unique as a human being and by being grateful for what you already have, this will generate a satisfying feelings inside that will help you create peace within your mind. By eliminating the labels that were placed on you, you are one step closer to not only reaching enlightenment; you’re also one step closer to achieving your highest self – the one we should all strive for.

Our daily thoughts can also defeat our inner ability to seek true inner fulfillment. Our thoughts are more powerful than you may realize. They can generate motivation, yet they can also work in the opposite direction and damage our esteem and confidence. Our actions are in direct reflection to our future selves. If we think in negative forms, we’ll receive negative outcomes; and, if we think positive thoughts, we will be surrounded by positivity. Your thoughts equal your reality.

There are two types of thinkers; people that think in the past – people that constantly run nasty and negative images from their past in their minds, and, there are the futuristic thinkers – people that only think about their future. They believe that “everything will be fine in the future when …” These types of people suffer from the same thing that I suffered from early in my life. They believe that life will be happy when they achieve a certain goal, or when they marry their best friend. Life is perfect just the way it is. As we search for positive reinforcement in our lives, there’s an invisible line of negativity that surfaces around our daily thoughts. The problem with being a thinker from the past is relevant to the futuristic thinker; they both serve as detention for not living in the current moment. When we’re not living in the moment, we’re either living in the past or thinking about the future. By living in anything but the current moment, you’re starving yourself of the wonderful pleasures that the world offers. Living in the moment eliminates stress and allows us to find the beauty that radiates around us. From the simplest things in life, like hearing the birds chirp in your back yard, or the water flowing from a nearby stream; it’s these types of experiences that allow us peace and tranquility within our minds. For the seekers of enlightenment, it’s important to realize that any type of thought; weather it comes from the past or is fueled by the future; it’s working against your ability to reach true enlightenment.

It’s important to eliminate any and all forms of thought when you’re practicing enlightenment. Various techniques have been used in practicing the elimination of our thoughts. Techniques like yoga teach us proper breathing techniques, which moderates our thoughts. These techniques allow us to relax and bring our heart rates to a minimum. This enables us to slow down our thought process which trains our minds over time to relinquish all forms of thoughts during the practice. By releasing your thoughts; weather they reside in the past or in the future, you are one step closer to true enlightenment. Having a clear mind is a crucial factor in attaining any form of inner contentment. Having a clear mind comes with discipline. As mentioned, we are either thinkers from the past, or thinkers of the future. Very seldom do we get to the experience the present moment. If we slow our thoughts down to a minimum and relieve ourselves from any previous or futuristic thoughts we will attain enlightenment much easier.

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Showing 5 comments
  • Maddie

    I think there are a lot of things in combination that prevent us from enlightenment. Ego, the people we are surrounded by, etc. I do think, though, that the major reasons one can’t reach nirvana varies from person to person. Almost like the way we all have body fat in us; we all have the same thing(s), but to different percentages.

  • Madison

    I think our own selfish desires play a large role in what prevents us from being enlightened. It’s only natural for us to let our ego get in the way, though. After all, we are just human beings and there isn’t much that can be done about that. However, I still think that we are capable of enlightenment and if you really try to attain it, you can get there.

  • Fred

    Everyone is a philosopher. Intention is what separates the serious from the slackers. We can say what we intend to do but the magical part of awareness naturally gravitates toward the wise and the spiritual.We can become either of those things and more should we make that choice. We have to be drawn back to the mundane which is sometimes believed to be off the path. Really it’s not. To be off the path is still to be on it. The same way that to not make a decision is a decision in itself.. Life has a built in fail safe. No one get out alive and no one skates on principles alone. No matter what we look like or what we do or have, we’re all subject to the same intrinsic rules. Which is not to say that we can’t break a few laws and if we don’t get caught we can think that we’ve gotten away with something. we can run and we do run. We can hide but we can’t hide from ourselves We can only confuse the issue. The ability is always there no matter who we think we are. That’s the fairness of life. Enlightenment does not belong to just one person or some persons. It’s there or here waiting. All we have to do is open the door. Better still, the door is always open, all we have to do is walk in.

  • Patrick

    Enlightenment is one of the important part of our life as truly said enlightenment only comes to those that are seeking more meaning within their lives, this article gives a great motivational about enlightenment and we can get enlightenment if we wish to have it.

  • Ellison

    I love your thoughts on how you explain about thinkers. Negative thinkers always thought about their past and complaining all the time about their problem. On the other hand, positive thinkers dream about the future and start their journey from what they have. Great thoughts!

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