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Question of the day: Number 551

“Enlightenment is when a wave realises it is the ocean.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

What does it mean to be enlightened? How would you define enlightenment? How does one attain it?

I’m curious to hear your thoughts.


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26 thoughts on “Question of the day: Number 551

  1. Nothing. But this nothing is something. In my view it is realizing that in the end the human mind is the only thing in the universe that can create something out of nothing. Realizing that our mind is much more powerful than we are led to believe, we just have to learn to tap into the power of nothing. Complete stillness, calmness, and quietness, down to the point of having no thoughts is that nothingness. Once that realization is made then the mind will create something out of nothing and you finally realize what it means to be human. But you have to let go of everything especially the ego to reach this state of nothing. Then you realize that we are something greater than the sum of our parts.

    1. Great answer. I once heard it referred to as “wordless oneness.” Far easier said than done of course. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a thoughtful answer. 🙏

  2. In my opinion and experience, it’s not something that is ever realized. I practice to move toward being unaffected by praise or blame, to experience joy and peace which is uncaused.

    1. I wonder about this. Whether to not enlightenment is something that’s accessible to all of us – but not lasting. Something you can find during a deep meditation but not something that stays indefinitely. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jeff 🙏

  3. Thank you for posting this, AP2. It is a tremendously important understanding…to which all of us will finally know. To me, enlightenment is to awaken from the delusional dream of “personhood.” In doing so, we realize that we are “I Am” dreaming that IT is having a human experience.

  4. It vary, as a young person to become enlightened may jus take explanation; and still some aspect not understood. Whereas a person who holds more experience, enlighten discovery jus an experiment away. But to the con man it is special; one who is the victim becomes enlightened with only negative emotions¡ …mark of ignorance, or a mark because ignorant¿

    1. I understand enlightenment in the term of understanding something – but I’m more curious about the meaning of spiritual enlightenment. Something that so few of us ever seem to attain. Thank you for lending your thoughts 🙏

      1. More real, less spiritual. I try to understand the real world for purposes of enlightenment.
        And the spiritual world for understanding of how to pull the greatest con¿ To have a mf show up every week to mediate, and give money is psychologically relatable. Psychologists for the fortunate, church for the fortunate who are sane.

    1. Me too! Although I suspect “wanting” to reach enlightenment/be enlighten might be part of the problem. Glad you liked the quote. Thank you Sharon 🙏

  5. In essence it means knowing oneself. This includes one’s own strengths, weaknesses, abilities, problems, faults, and everything else about yourself. Since no one will ever fully come to fully know themself, full enlightenment can never be realized by the person himself.

    1. Interesting. I tend to think of spiritual enlightenment as an understanding/awareness that there is no such thing as knowing oneself. That the self is an illusion. One most of us struggle to see through.

  6. I believe enlightenment is when we are able to fully embody the moment that is now. And when we wander off, it’s our ability to keep returning so that we continue the practice of meeting each other with all we have.

    1. I believe enlightenment can only be found in the now – so long as we’re resting in awareness – but I’m not so sure it’s only about come back to the present. I think it’s a state that comes from fully transcending the ego/dropping all thoughts. Thank you Wynne 🙏

  7. To me, Enlightenment is to release all the mentally noisy ego garbage that’s been building up for lifetimes. Really horrible and difficult to do, but it’s like with any diet plan; you feel better (and lighter) if you just push through the trauma and get the spiritual work done. Nothing that’s worth it is easy. Awesome quote there by Thich. 🙂

    1. I agree. I believe it’s unlearning everything that we have. Once we finally see through ourselves, I believe that’s it. Thank you for sharing. Glad you liked the quote 🙂🙏

  8. AP, I think enlightenment is the awareness that there are many perspectives on any issue. Enlightenment is a willingness to listen and read and consider all points of view. Enlightenment means respect for cultures, philosophies and opinions different from our own. <3

    1. I love your definition of it Cheryl. I certainly believe it encompasses respect and understanding. I believe it has a great deal with the understanding that we all part of one giant collective. That everything is intimately interconnected. What hurts you hurts me and vice versa. With that in mind, I wish you peace and happiness Cheryl ❤️🙏

  9. I think there are degrees of enlightenment and achieving it depends on your definition of it. This is a huge subject for me but I would say I have not achieved enlightenment because I am still here searching for answers.

    1. It’s a subject that fascinates me too. I certainly can’t claim to have found it either but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was the aim. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Patrick 🙏

  10. Enlightenment is not any changes from the experience’s but the clarity of truth of wisdom. For example, like a person who sees a snake on a rope, in darkness. When he/she knows the snake is not real snake, there is calmness which reveals the rope. It is about this importance to love ugly parts of ourselves whence assimilation of knowledge can be truly institutionalised. Finally one has to develop different mental faculties to receive the intended message and not require any special initiation to practice.

    1. Seeing things exactly as they are – not through the lens of our subjective mind but from awareness. Thank you for sharing 🙏

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