Enlightenment is a Place (Not an Event)

By Seamus Anthony

I may be completely unenlightened, and therefore have no idea what I am talking about, but to me enlightenment is not an event but rather, it’s a place.

By this I mean it’s not (in my opinion, unqualified by any particular dogma) something that just happens and then that’s it – you’re enlightened for the rest of your life.

For me it’s somewhere you have to make the effort to go (although sometimes you stumble upon it without trying, like walking out of the trees into an unexpected clearing in a forest).

And like all visits, you sit, maybe drink some tea, enjoy – but then you have to leave, already looking forward to your next visit.

Usually, I travel to this delightful place by meditation, and it can be a bumpy ride getting there. Sometimes I run out of time and steam and have to turn back without reaching the destination. Usually, if I keep steadfastly on, I get there eventually.

I used to go to this place a lot but over the last year or two I have rarely made the effort or found the time to visit this place.

I think this is ok (I had things to do) but it is not sustainable and the price is always increased feelings of negativity and decreased well-being. Recently I have had to admit to myself that this has been reaching a quiet kind of crisis point and I have really needed to get back on my chair and meditate. Thankfully, my trusty old steed is still happy to bear my load.

Maybe this is also what is meant by “returning to the breath”?

By Seamus Anthony

Hi, I'm Seamus Anthony. I am an author, artist and musician from Australia. Here at Rebel Zen, I document my journey as an creative artist and human and in doing so, hopefully help you in your own progress through your life of creativity. Go get your free E-book by me: "Taming The Monkey Mind".

2 comments Write a comment

  1. Attaining enlightenment via meditation, i think, is definitely a place you go. But when mystics such as The Buddha or Jesus attained englightenment, i dont think is was throught direct meditation. Thats part of it but meditation is not completely liberating. To be trully free from the ego and for the mind to cease activity, one must stay completely within the now, much like lucid dreaming. When lucid in a dream you are intensely aware of your surroundings while accepting what you see as an illusion or projection of your consciousness. The level at which you are able to stay within the now can be calculated by this chart. What level do you think you are at on a daily basis?


  2. Thanks for this resource David. I do agree that meditation is not the be all and end all, or rather that one of the key skills to personal success is to bring this awareness, mindfullness into your every day life.

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