How to Find Spiritual Enlightenment
Best Meditation for Enlightenment
We begin with a Zen story…
The Best Path to Enlightenment
Senior monk Tara shook her head in disbelief as she looked around the meditation hall at No Wind Monastery. She could hardly believe what she was seeing. The meditation hall, her favorite place on Earth, which was normally full of devoted, sincere monks working hard to break out of the delusion of duality, today looked like a circus gone wrong.
First, the hall was half empty and this too during the most important early morning meditation session. Then, instead of orderly rows of monks sitting intently in Zazen, there were monks sprawled out all over the floor in all sorts of wacky postures and positions. Some were lying on their back, others were standing, some were balancing on their head, one was even hopping around on one leg, although all appeared to be meditating, or least trying to.
As she scanned the room, the sights just grew more and more bizarre. She finally just shook her head in absolute bewilderment as she noticed some monks who appeared to be drunk and still others naked! Master Blumise had sure created a fine mess this time, she pondered as she reflected on the events of the last few weeks.
Each day over the past month, the mysterious Zen Master had revealed a different best way to reach enlightenment. Starting from, meditate with your eyes open, then the next day he had said, best to have your eyes closed. Following that he had said, lying down was the best posture, then he had said, meditate while hopping. He had carried on in this way for weeks. Having gone on to say, nude meditation is best and also, it’s a good idea to drink to dissolve the ordinary mind. The great master had even proclaimed that meditation was useless and it would only drive you mad, and that it was best to just do nothing. The result of all this enlightenment advice…. total chaos!
Finally, a monk noticed Tara and seeing an opportunity to get some more information about how to reach enlightenment, approached her and asked, "Oh great monk, please tell me what you think of all these new teachings that Mastery Blumise has imparted to us over the last few weeks? He has sure confused me."
Tara looked over to her fellow monk and almost gave him a heart attack by replying, "Master Blumise is dead."
Analysis on The Best Path to Enlightenment
You cannot rely on another for enlightenment. No one is going to save you or give you the answer. Saint A says follow this, Guru B says follow that, Savior C says, forget them follow me, all appear sincere and trustworthy, what are you to do? Realize you are confused and then reject them all.
You have to figure this thing out for yourself and the question then becomes who or what can you rely on? You cannot rely on another, that much we have seen. You also cannot rely on yourself. Why do I say that? Because you are like a crowd. One part decides one thing and another part decides against it. You decide to be vegetarian, till the part that loves hamburgers decides to eat one last Big Mac. You are full of contradictions and warring fractions.
The thing to realize is that there is really only one thing you can rely on, which will never let you down – Intelligence. This intelligence that I mention here is not a personal attribute, it is impersonal. It is simply pure intelligence, not yours or mine. This intelligence is your flashlight in finding your way home, it is the only tool you need. Let’s explore this tremendous power in some more detail.
What is Intelligence?
By intelligence here, I do not mean simply logic, reasoning, deduction, etc. The intelligent will be logical, but the logical may not be intelligent. By intelligence here I mean the power of observing things as they are and therefore understanding the current state via this direct perception. This capability is there in a human being, but it is not developed by most. Meditation, can be defined as the development and application of intelligence.
Towards this end, the first step is to put aside all you know. "Bhikshu, empty the boat!" Which means that you clear your mind of all you have borrowed and ingested, thus making it possible to see and question for yourself, perhaps for the very first time. You may be surprised to find, as you inspect and empty the boat, just how much junk you have cluttered your mind with, how little you have really truly questioned and what an amazing feeling it is to ask and inquire for yourself.
Once your throw out all the accumulated second hand garbage, you will feel the great power of aloneness, and will be able to observe without angle or prejudice. Now intelligence has a chance to function. To make this happen, turn the clear power of observation inward onto your mind and just start to watch keenly all that is taking place within. Let the understanding come from seeing what is actually happening, don’t analyze.
Try this right now. Why delay? Close your eyes, drop all the answers and solutions that you have been told or read about, and simply shine the light of awareness onto your thoughts. Observe them keenly, with the intention to comprehend via direct perception. Give it a few minutes, don’t be impatient. If you do this you will start to discover some truly remarkable things.
When you look in this way, the necessary action will spontaneously follow. Intelligence will then act. It has nothing to do with you, it has to do with intelligence. This is the art of meditation.
Master Blumise was trying to convey to the students that it was necessary for them to drop him and all the teachings that had come from outside. There is a famous saying, "If you see the Buddha, kill the Buddha," which means that finally, the Buddha also has to be dropped so you can see for yourself. Tara understood this, when she said that for her, Master Blumise was dead.
So do the same for yourself. Reject all that which has come from another and just let intelligence show you the Way. This is the true meaning of, "Be a light onto yourself."