Meditation Tips No. 5: Instant Enlightenment
Good teachers are incredibly useful to us, especially when starting out with our meditation. Thereafter, they become guides who help to keep you on track, and help to point out options we may not have thought of on our own.
The ‘gurus’ to avoid are the instant or guaranteed enlightenment characters. In our age of instant food, love, entertainment, communication etc., we have become conditioned to expect and even to demand, instant service and gratification. So why not ‘instant enlightenment’?
There are at least 3 serious flaws with this type of thinking:
1. Demanding Ego
Instant enlightenment smacks of the ego’s endless ‘I want’ dramatisation, which the marketing boys and girls are only to happy to gratify, but which isn’t going to be given the time of day by a genuine meditation guide.
Through meditation, we are looking to broaden, deepen and develop our ego, so it becomes strong enough and mature enough, to be transcended.
2. Maturation Process
Enlightenment is more of an expression of being, rather than an event. Sure, we can have awakenings, big and small, but these events themselves are left behind sooner or later, as the stream of consciousness which we are expressions of, moves on and evolves more.
3. Already Enlightened
The fundamental flaw in any approach to meditation and the spiritual life where a ‘guru’ or a teaching promises some future enlightenment, is that we are already enlightened beings. So all striving, all searching and all effort towards enlightenment are in plain denial of the truth of our being.
As one of the great Zen teachers, Shunryu Suzuki, kindly pointed out: “Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened people, there is only enlightened activity.”
© David R. Durham
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