Enlightenment is not a personal achievement. Enlightenment is the realization of the absence of the person.
Even though we might speak in terms of “so-and-so achieved enlightenment”, enlightenment is not a personal gain, rather it is the loss of personhood.
That said, awakening to your real nature can and does happen.
For the rare few, that awakening happens without effort, spontaneously.
For the rest of us, it helps to prepare the ground for awakening. What do I mean by that? There are preparatory practices that can be very helpful in cultivating humility, and focusing attention.
For those who have had an investment in preparatory practices, it helps to be aware of the direct paths to awakening. There are two direct paths to awakening to your true nature. One is radical surrender of the sense of personal-self. Second is Self-Inquiry, the experiential exploration of the “I” that you think you are, which culminates in surrender. In surrender, the absence of personal-self is directly experienced, and the unchanging presence stands unveiled as your real nature, as Reality.
Awaken: An Experiential Exploration of Enlightenment is a heart offering that presents a simple, guided approach to Self-Inquiry, in the form of a dialogue between a Master and a Student. This interchange can be useful in conducting Self-Inquiry on your own. The approach is simple: Find that which is unchanging in experience, and be That.
It is important to note this. With preparatory practices, it is vital to approach them with humility, so they don’t become ego-fulfilling and ego-enriching experiences, which if they do, they’ll only serve to frustrate you over the long run. With the direct paths, likewise, it is unwise to approach them with a sense of forcing some outcome. It is not through doing, that Reality becomes the experience, for Reality implies non-doing. Non-doing implies absence of the doer. Approach this with a deeply relaxed mind and body, and with an open heart, that is ready to experience any experience without analyzing the experience.
* Check out the official page on the book, “What is Enlightenment? A Simple Guide.”
* Check out reviews and interviews about the Awaken book here, on the official page of the book: “Awaken: An Experiential Exploration of Enlightenment.”