What is the Definition of Enlightenment and How Do I Find It?

Finding EnlightenmentWhat is the definition of enlightenment?  This is an important concept for me.  After all, this website is all about finding More Inner Peace.  Enlightenment is a concept that is so connected with inner peace.

There have been many spiritual teachers throughout the ages that have discussed and attempted to define enlightenment.  And, there are many facets of enlightenment and ways of describing it.  Part of the issue we have when we want to define enlightement or the essential nature of our being is that we are really trying to assign words to something that can’t really be defined by language.  A spiritual teacher can only use language as a signpost to point towards enlightenment.  The reality is that spiritual enlightenment cannot be fully described, or just believed on an intellectual level.  It has to be experienced.  Having said that, I am going to provide some quotes and definitions of enlightenment from Eckhart Tolle below.  He has helped point me in the right direction in the simpliest and most practical ways.  I will then conclude with some of my thoughts on enlightenment, in humility, based on my experiences in walking this path for a while. (Not that I am claiming to be enlightened or to have found enlightenment!)

Eckhart Tolle Quotes on Enlightenment


“The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being.”

“Enlightenment consciously chosen means to relinquish your attachment to past and future and to make the Now the main focus of your life.”Finding Enlightenment

“So the single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: learn to disidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head, as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.”

“On a deeper level you are already complete, and when you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do.”

“As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you certainly cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter.”

“Ego is the unobserved mind that runs your life when you are not present as the witnessing consciousness, the Watcher.”

“Death is a stripping away of all that is not you. The secret of life is to die before you die and find that there is no death.”

Enlightenment“Being spiritual has nothing to do with what you believe and everything to do with your state of consciousness.”

“The outer purpose of the world is to create form and experience the interaction of forms … The inner purpose is to awaken to its formless essence”

“Just as the sun is infinitely brighter than a candle flame, there is infinitely more intelligence in Being than in your mind.”

“True change happens within, not without. Find the Now within. Everybody you come in contact with will be touched by your presence and affected by the peace that you emanate, whether they are conscious of it or not.”

My Thoughts and Experience on Enlightenment

My awakening began and continued to develop for years prior to me understanding what was actually happening to me.  It started with self awareness.  As I began to journal daily, I started to become aware of how distorted my persception of reality really was.  I began to work through the false narratives in my mind and started to get relief from my lifelong depression.  You can read more on the work I did to gain victory over depression and find more inner peace here.  Videos, books and workshops from a variety of teachers, including Wayne Dyer, Kyle Cease, Matt Kahn, and Paul Selig started to point me more in the right direction.  Regularly meditating and listening to brainwave entrainment audios was also helpful in quieting my mind.  You can read more about that here:

Brainwave Entrainment

Quieting Your Mind - Enlightenment

More recently, reading The Power of Now, by Eckhard Tolle really put it all together for me.  He helped me understand why meditating and quieting my mind was important.  I also began to understand that each moment can be a meditation.  Meditating is not just sitting in the lotus position with your eyes closed and focusing on your breathing.  It is more about learning how to be in the present moment, free of incessant thoughts that pull you to the past or future.

First, realize that your thoughts are not you.  When you are experiencing negative thoughts and emotions, try to observe them.  Be the watcher.  Do not judge them or yourself.  We tend to get our identity from the past and our interpretation of it.  But, your true self is much deeper than that!  Most people’s minds run them instead of the other way around.  By observing your thoughts and realizing that you are not them, you bring the awareness of your deeper being to them.  You then have the power to make a choice.  This includes not being ruled by those thoughts!  This is not resisting them.  You accept them, realize they are not you, and that you have a choice in how to respond to them.

How do we exercise that choice?  By focusing on being in the present moment.  This takes lots of practice, but over time, you can be present more and more often.  When you are focused on the present moment, your mind quiets.  You are focused on accepting and being present in the here and the now.  Quiet the mind.  Let go of regrets from the past or imagining the future.  Don’t try to escape to present, saying “When I have this or that, then I will be happy.” or, “If only I had done this or that, I would be happy.”  Pay attention to the sights and sound around you, your breathing, feelings in your body.  Notice the silence in your mind between thoughts and try to expand that silence.  You may only be able to do it for a couple of seconds at first, but stick with it.

As I have made a habit of focusing on the present, I can tell you that everything about my life has changed for the better: so much more inner peace and joy that is not dependent on outside circumstances.

Conclusion

This article was an introduction to the definition of enlightenment, including quotes from Eckhart Tolle and some of my own thoughts and experiences.  If you would like to learn more, I would suggest reading The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle.  You may also be able to find the complete audiobook on YouTube.

Emotional Freedom Techniques

Emotional FreedomAs someone who has struggled with major depression and anxiety, I have researched and tried many emotional freedom techniques over the years. I can honestly say that I have found a peace, joy and happiness in my daily life that I could have only dreamed of years ago. So, my hope is that this article is helpful in pointing you in the right direction with some ideas for your own emotional freedom! These are what I would consider foundations and essential practices to get you moving in the right direction. Please comment below if you would like to connect and discuss this further.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

You may have come here looking for more information on the Emotional Freedom Technique and other Energy Psychology topics specifically. If that is the case, I would suggest checking out a free resource to introduce you to EFT. It’s a 60-page book called the EFT Mini-Manual (Affiliate Link).

Finding Emotional Freedom in Your Journal

JournalOK, before you say “I’ve heard that before, it’s never going to happen!”, hear me out. I have learned to be my own therapist and work through emotional challenges in real time by writing my thoughts down in a journal. In fact, I have made an entry in my journal every single day for as long as I can remember. First, here are some foundations tips to make this work for you:

The first secret is to not overwhelm yourself with keeping a journal

My only rule is – write at least 1 sentence every day. That’s it. This gets you in the habit of writing and gives you a habit to build on. Some days a lot, some days a little.  All based on what you feel like doing that day!

Make writing in your journal as convenient as possible

I like to use an electronic journal that stores everything in the cloud. (Like Microsoft One Note or Evernote). This way, if I am out and have a thought that I want to write down, I open the app on my phone and start writing. I just add to it whenever I want from my desktop or laptop.

Use your journal as a tool to help you know yourself better

Develop your own way of highlighting important things that you want to return to later. For example, when I have an insight I don’t want to forget, I put ## in front of it. Then, about once a month, I do a search through the document for ## and read the insights. You would be amazed at how many insights you had and forgot. This has been CRITICALLY important to my ongoing emotional freedom and spiritual growth. You can also develop other symbol combinations to help you track specific things in the same way.

What to write in your journal and how to use it

Now that we have some basic technology and organization down, let’s talk about what to put in your journal and how to use it:Find Peace

  1. This is for your eyes only. So, be completely honest with yourself. Don’t write what you are “supposed” to be. Write reality, no matter how ugly it is. Write out as many thoughts as you can. Over time, you will see thought patterns that your aren’t currently aware of and that are not serving you at all! I have become so much more self-aware by doing this.
  2. If you are particularly sad or anxious or afraid, take the time to write out exactly why you are feeling that way. First of all, it helps to process the emotions. But, it also helps to separate issues that may be jumbled together in your mind. For example, I woke up anxious a while back. When I started writing about it, I realized that there were four separate issues bothering me. I could have never sorted that out in my head without writing it down. So, I wrote down the best mindset that I could have for each one and got a better handle on the situation! Sometimes, when you have several things stressing you out at the same time, they just get conflated into this giant ball of stress and overwhelm. Your conscious mind can only handle a decision or two at a time.
  3. Observe your thoughts and write down what you notice. Are you kind to yourself in your thoughts or are you your own worst enemy. I’ll talk more about this in the next section. One of the biggest changes in my life has been going from my own worst enemy and critic to my best friend. Observing and writing down my thoughts helped me to realize how bad the situation was and to change it.
  4. Take time to periodically review your journal. It’s a great way to get to really know yourself. Self awareness is so important. I have learned so much about myself by doing this. And it has allowed me to better look at my life as an observer and look at myself more objectively.

Finding Emotional Freedom Through Loving Yourself

OK, that heading may sound a bit strange or trite. But again, hear me out. When I was discussing my journal above, I mentioned the importance of observing your thoughts and writing them down. I realized through this process just how bad my self-esteem really was. Not only that, I was able to see destructive behavior patterns in myself that I never noticed before. My self-esteem was so bad, that I spent most of my life making decisions based on trying to please other people. By first observing my thoughts, and then replacing them with better ones, I was able to be kind and compassionate with myself. My self-esteem improved. I started validating myself and making decisions that were best for me! It changed everything.

Make a habit of being kind to yourself in your inner dialogue

When you first really take the time to observe your thoughts, it can be overwhelming. You might find it quite ugly inside your head, as I did. Try to approach it as a detached observer at first. Observe out of curiosity. Then, realize that you have a choice over your thoughts. You can start by recognizing that a thought is not empowering to you and replace it with something that is. It will be awkward at first. You will find resistance at first. But if you keep at it, you will change your inner dialogue completely over time. And that will change EVERYTHING!

A continuum of love and compassion

Seeking Human Kindness

When you stop judging yourself and start loving yourself unconditionally, something interesting starts to happen. You also become more loving and compassionate toward others, because you realize that they have wounds and struggles just like you. So, it becomes this beautiful love that permeates every aspect of your life! And, you will start feeling better. Because, love is the highest thought and love feels good! We all need human kindness. Start with yourself!!

Emotional Freedom Through Meditation

Obviously, meditation is a very popular topic these days, and for good reason. For the purpose of this article, I want to keep it simple. It is helpful to your emotional well being to quiet your mind and body. Try sitting in a comfortable position and taking slow, deep breaths. Focus on your breath and keep your body still. Stay with it and accept where your mind is at as you try to quiet it and relax. You don’t have to be a guru that can be still for hours. Start with 5 minutes a day and build on it to your liking. Over time, quieting your mind and body and taking the deep breaths will help you become more emotionally resilient and peaceful.

Conclusion

I hope this article has been helpful to you and that you will be able to find more emotional freedom in your life through the emotional freedom techniques I discussed. I briefly mentioned the Emotional Freedom Technique and suggested that you check out the 60-page book called the EFT Mini-Manual (Affiliate Link). Next, I discussed the importance of journalling. I know of no other way to better get to know yourself and to see yourself accurately (and then start to make changes that empower you). Next, I talked about the importance of monitoring and changing your internal dialogue to treat yourself with love and compassion. I also briefly mentioned meditation. If you would like to explore changing your thoughts to be more positive and loving, I recommend reading Dr. Wayne Dyer. Here are 3 of his books that are worthwhile (Amazon Affiliate Links):

The Essential Wayne Dyer Collection

Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life

Mark

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