Stages of Enlightenment

Stages of Enlightenment

By Desmond Yeoh

Ceramic Products Manufacturer in Malaysia

Ceramic Products

Johnny sighed as he posed his good friend Richard a question, “What is enlightenment? We cannot go anywhere unless we know what or where our destination is”.

Johnny and Richard are childhood friends. They have always kept in touch and are now in their forties.

Richard leaned back on the sofa and formed a tent with his fingers while he contemplated the question posed to him. After a few moments he replied, “I like the way Osho separated the process of enlightenment into three stages”.

Richard smiled as Johnny gave him a look of surprise, “Enlightenment has stages?”

Kriya Yoga Malaysia articles“Well yes, from Osho’s perspective. The first stage is when we get a glimpse of it. Our thoughts, which comprise our memories, mental chatter and mental movies, come to our mind so quickly that, together with the emotions they generate, appear to have an existence of their own. It is just like a swarm of locust appearing to be a giant from afar. That is what the ego or ‘maya’ is”.

Richard continued, “But there will come a time when there is a momentary gap of no-mind; when the mind is totally silent and we are in reality. It is the gap between our thoughts. The gap is very brief but it is long enough for us to get a glimpse of its beauty. From that point onwards, a seed has been planted. We have seen the bliss that is not conditional upon external circumstances; a happiness that comes from within”.

Johnny could understand what Richard meant. He had noticed that gap a few times; sometimes it happens when he is mesmerised by something beautiful and once, when something so disappointing happened that he just gave up striving to control his fate. At that point, he felt totally at peace but he could not understand why. Now he does.

Johnny said, “Yes, that makes a lot of sense. What is the second stage?”

“After experiencing the first stage, we start to see where we are heading. Through effort, we start to increase that gap for hours or even days. But the key word is effort. Effort is still needed to maintain that gap of no-mind; the silence between our thoughts. Most people do it through meditation but some may experience it while dancing, gardening or any other activity that can keep them absorbed. But when we let go of the effort, the gap disappears and again, we get caught up with our thoughts, conditioning and habitual patterns. They may not be as strong as before but still, we are caught up with them one way or the other”.

Johnny smiled, “That does not seem too difficult. I don’t mean the part of maintaining the gap of no-mind for days but rather, our ability to maintain the gap of no-mind through effort. It now appears to be something achievable rather than something mystical,” Johnny paused and sighed, “but I am still a long way from maintaining the gap even for an hour”.

Richard nodded in agreement, “Our ability to maintain the gap will depend on our effort and also to some extent, our surrounding circumstances”.

Johnny said, “I can already guess what the third stage is”.

“Yes, I am sure you guessed correctly. It is the stage where the mental silence is natural and effortless. We no longer identify ourselves with our mind, emotions and body. The mind becomes a tool and only works when we want it to. When it is not needed, it stays silent”.

Johnny drummed on the table, “That is the clearest explanation about enlightenment I have ever heard”.

Kriya Yoga Malaysia articles“Yes, Osho has a way of making things simple. The beauty of this is that we gain more and more inner-peace and happiness as we progress on our chosen spiritual path. The happiness that we gain from it is untainted unlike happiness… if you can call it happiness….that comes from fulfilling our desires. The delight that comes from fulfilling our desires is always tainted with fear and anger. When we are striving to fulfil a desire, we have the fear of not achieving the object we desire and we get angry at any obstacle that blocks us from reaching the desired object. When we have achieved it, we are still not free from negative emotions; we worry about losing it and get suspicious and angry at those who want to take it from us, especially if the object is a position of power”.

Johnny frowned, “You just killed off my passion for life,” and then laughed.

Richard shook his head in amusement, “No….I am giving you clarity. I am giving you another way to have happiness. You can still choose to enjoy the best of both worlds but ultimately, all your desires will drop away on their own effortlessly as you spend more and more time with the happiness that comes from within”.

Johnny smiled, “I have a huge reservoir of desires!”

“So do I but shall we just enjoy the spiritual journey?”

Johnny nodded in agreement, his face gleaming with the delight of a new understanding.

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