Self Realization, Self Actualization or Awakening are terms used to describe the process of Enlightenment.
Enlightenment is a state of expanded or higher awareness that feels blissful and fulfilling, independent of external factors.
In the classical text, 'Yoga Sutras' by Patanjali, it is described as "unbound consciousness". According to yogic wisdom, Enlightenment is the sole and highest purpose of the human being. The natural next step in the evolution of mankind. Just like the caterpillar turning into a butterfly.
Enlightenment can be a momentary experience or achieved as a permanent state.
Humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow, describes it as a “peak experience…an ecstatic moment of rapture ” that comes with psychological wholeness.
Psychological wholeness happens when we master our mental and emotional turmoils and gain maturity and wisdom from our life experiences.
For many of us this is a life time process. In one of my favorite books, Ordinary People as Monks & Mystics, author Marsha Sinetar states,
” Self- Actualization is a natural manifestation of healthy human development.”
How would the world look like if Enlightenment was our highest goal?
How would your life look like if Enlightenment was your highest goal?
What would your priorities be? What are the choices you would make?
" Enlightenment is our fundamental true nature, we can not reach it.
We can only re-connect with it by quieting the mind.
This is the whole purpose of yoga."
With our continuous sensory diversions, dispersed attention and oppressed tensions we rarely experience ourselves wholly and fully.
Yet the state of pure or unbound consciousness is our natural birthright.
Shifting back into this state requires working through layers of mental and emotional obstacles. Enlightenment is not a lofty goal where one simply moves towards peace and love. It is a moment to moment practice of consciously integrating all aspects of yourself into the light of your awareness. Also the parts that you habitually deny, oppress and reject. Therefore it’s considered the path of the warriors, the heroes and the braves.
The first step to Self Realization is to develop awareness of yourself. Awareness of the physical sensations, emotions and thoughts passing through you.
Meditation is an awareness practice that helps you purify from stress and build an autonomous state of happiness, one moment at a time. Through meditation your brain can grow new neurological connections. This can transformation can be felt when negative habits transform into healthy desires.
I dream how the world looks like if Enlightenment was an equal option as a career goal.
I imagine how the world looks like if psychological wholeness and maturity were considered top priorities. Our natural qualities of wholeness and compassion can surface and flourish into our actions. We can cultivate a thriving planet with our enlightened nature, just like the butterfly effortlessly pollinates the plants, helping nature to grow.