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.

Dr. Wayne Dyer Quotes from The Power of Intention

Wayne Dyer Power of IntentionI have found many Dr. Wayne Dyer quotes helpful and inspirational to me over over the years.  In fact, I credit the work of Wayne Dyer with helping me develop many of the habits and mindset changes that helped me overcome major depression and anxiety.  In this article, I will share some of my favorites from his book, The Power of Intention, along with some commentary on how I have applied them to my life.  All quotes below are taken from The Essential Wayne Dyer Collection (Amazon Affiliate Link).  Page numbers are referenced after each quote, which is bolded and italicized.  This is really just a small sampling of the wisdom of Wayne Dyer.

Introduction to Dr. Wayne Dyer on Intention

Wayne Dyer talks about intention in two different ways.  First, we have our intentions about the kind of person we want to be or the results that we want to manifest in our lives.  He also talks about attributes of the Spirit of intention.  In this case, I find you can just substitute “intention” for “God” or “universal intelligence” or “the universe” or “Spirit” depending on your preference.  The attributes he gives intention are ones typically associated with God.  So, in summary, the two types of intention are our personal human intention and divine or universal intention.

Ego vs Soul or Spirit or Intention

Dr. Dyer is not the first one to suggest that we as human beings have an internal struggle between the ego and the Soul or Spirit or Intention.  Here are some thoughts and quotes from Wayne Dyer on ego and Intention.

Ego and its Beliefs and Attributes

Ego is the part of us that, as a result of our existence in these physical bodies of ours, views ourselves as separate from God and others.  Whereas, the soul part of us is our true eternal nature, connected with God and others in love.  As Dyer says, “Ego is made of six primary ingredients that account for how we experience ourselves as disconnected.  By allowing ego to determine your life path, you deactivate the power of intention.” (Page 14)  These six ego beliefs are (also from page 14):

  1. I am what I have.  My possessions define me.
  2. I am what I do.  My achievements define me.
  3. I am what others think of me.  My reputation defines me.
  4. I am separate from everyone.  My body defines me as alone.
  5. I am separate from all that is missing in my life.  My life space is disconnected from my desires.
  6. I am separate from God.  My life depends on God’s assessment of my worthiness.

Through discipline, wisdom, love and surrender, we move away from these dis-empowering ego beliefs to the beliefs or faces of Intention.

Intention or Spirit and Its beliefs and attributes

Find Inner PeaceDyer discusses the seven faces of intention in detail (Pages 28 – 35).  They are:

Creativity.  “The face of creativity intends you toward continued creativity to create and co-create anything that you direct your power of intention toward.  Creative energy is a part of you; it originates in the life-giving Spirit that intends you.” (Page 29)

Kindness.  “Choosing to be kind is a choice to have the power of intention active in your life…Imagine this!  Kindness extended, received, or observed beneficially impacts the physical health and feelings of everyone involved!” (Page 29)

Love.  “As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it:  ‘Love is our highest word and the synonym for God.’…If you aren’t doing what you love and loving what you do, your power of intention is weakened.  You attract into your life more of the dissatisfaction that isn’t the face of love.” (Page 30)  He also quotes St. Francis: “‘Where there is hatred, let me sow love.’  What he is saying is the power to dissolve and ultimately convert hate into the energy of love.” (Page 31)

Beauty.  “Beautiful thoughts build a beautiful soul.  As you become receptive to seeing and feeling beauty around you, you’re becoming attuned to the creative power of intention within everything in the natural world, including yourself.” (Page 31)

Expansion.  “The power of intention is the power to expand and increase all aspects of your life.  No exceptions!  It’s the nature of intention to be in a state of increased expression, so it’s true for you, too.” (Page 33)

Unlimited Abundance.  “You don’t have to have an intellectual understanding.  It’s enough to silently know and proceed to live with your awareness of this face of endless abundance.” (Page 35)

Receptivity.  “You must not only become receptive to having guidance available to you to manifest your human intentions, but you must be receptive to giving this energy back to the world.” (Page 35)

How Do We Move More Toward Intention

To start to move toward intention, Wayne Dyer suggests (Pages 36 and 37):

Visualize the Power of Intention.  “Even though you know it’s invisible, close your eyes and see what images you receive.  Recite the seven words that represent the seven faces of intention: creative, kind, loving, beautiful, expanding, abundant, and receptive.  Memorize these seven words…”  (Page 36)

Be Reflective.  “Consider being like a mirror, and reflect what comes into your life without judgment or opinions…Discontinue judging yourself for being too fat, too tall, too ugly –too anything!”  (Pages 36-37)

Expect Beauty.  “This suggestion includes expecting kindness and love along with beauty to be in your life by deeply loving yourself, your surroundings, and by showing reverence for all of life.” (Page 37)

Meditate on Appreciation.  “Feel the surge of life force that allows you to think, sleep, move about, digest, and even meditate.  The power of intention responds to your appreciation of it.”  (Page 37)

Banish Doubt.  “When doubt is banished, abundance flourishes and anything is possible…Even when nothing seems to indicate that you’re accomplishing what you desire in your life, refuse to entertain doubt.” (page 37)

More Dr. Wayne Dyer Inspirational Quotes from The Power of Intention

Path to Inner Peace

Here are some of Dr. Dyer’s quotes that really spoke to me as I read through the Power of Intention:

“The way to establish a relationship with Spirit and access the power of this creating principle is to continuously contemplate yourself as being surrounded by the conditions you wish to produce.” (Page 40)

“It’s everywhere.  It wants to express life.  It’s pure love in action.  It’s confident.  And guess what?  You are it, but you’ve forgotten.  You need to simply trust your ability to cheerfully rely upon spirit to express itself through and for you.”  (Page 42)

“My intention is to recognize the Spirit as my Source and to detach from my ego.” (Page 47)

you’re eternal, an infinite soul in a temporary expression of flesh…only your physical body dies,…you were whole and perfect as you were created.”  (Page 118)

This is one of my absolute favorite affirmations that I repeat all the time:  “I’m no longer identified by this body/mind… I’m infinite. I’m one with all of humanity. I’m one with my source and this is how I choose to view myself from this day forward… I will exist for all eternity. Just as love is eternal, so this is my true nature. I’ll never be afraid again, because I am forever.”  (Page 131)

This one is really encouraging to me.  What I get from it is if you really get to know yourself at the deepest level, you will find your purpose, and your purpose will find you.  “Deep within you, at the level of your being, is what you were intended to become, to accomplish and to be.  In that inner placeless place, you’re connected to the power of intention.  It will find you.  Make a conscious effort to contact it and listen.  Practice being what you are at the source of your soul.  Go to your soul level, where intention and purpose fit together so perfectly that you achieve the epiphany of simply knowing this is it.”  (Page 155)

Conclusion

This article has really been just a sampling of the wisdom and inspirational quotes of Dr. Wayne Dyer related to the power of intention.  I plan on publishing more articles on the wisdom of Wayne Dyer.  So check out all of my posts tagged or categorized with “Dr. Wayne Dyer”.

What is your favorite Wayne Dyer quote?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this article in the comments below!

For further study, I recommend the following books by Dr. Wayne Dyer (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

I hope you enjoyed this article and that it was helpful to you.

Mark

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