I am often asked where are the best places to seek and to find Enlightenment. Is it at a particular ashram or at the top of a certain mountain? Is it in a special holy place or monastery? Maybe in the pages of a book or maybe at the source of a great river?
I certainly tried as many of these places as possible and if you love to travel and are able to do so then there is absolutely nothing wrong with visiting holy places, mountains, monasteries, churches, ashrams, lakes, or other wonderful spiritual sites. It can be uplifting to read books and to study the works of those who seem to have discovered Enlightenment.
But the end of the journey to Enlightenment may just as easily be at a bus stop, in your house or apartment, in a hospital bed, on a beach, at a desk or anywhere else.
Enlightenment is a state of mind. It is not found in a dwelling nor is it found in a particular place. Enlightenment is the discovery of who and what you really are. It is an awakening to what has always been the Truth and will always be the Truth. Enlightenment is found in quiet. Find the One that is unaffected by anything in this world. Find the One that is untouched by human events. Feel the One that is unchanging no matter what the human body or mind may be going through. Feel the one who is not searching for anything, does not know anything, does not think it understands anything and has no questions. Find and Feel Awareness Itself. This is who and what you are and have always been.
It may be that you will need to feel and to experience a great deal of who and what you are not before you can set aside all of those and simply feel and recognize what is left when all the ‘are nots’ are discarded.
Ask yourself, Who am I? If I am not the seeker, the one who understands, the personality, the one suffering, the pain, the sadness, the joy, the love, the sleeping one, the awake one, the rich one, the poor one, the hungry one, the full one, and on and on and on. If I am not any of that, then what is left?
What is left is Awareness of it all. The One that is still and always; pure, untouched, infinite and immortal. Awareness just Is. Awareness is already Aware of ItSelf. It is not the one asking the question, Who am I?
It takes a quiet mind to get beyond all the mental and emotional noise. It requires extreme stillness to feel Awareness. But Awareness is always there. It has not been hiding anywhere. Besides stillness it is required that you are willing to surrender everything you think you know and everything you believe and everything you desire to feel Awareness. You must be willing to die to experience Enlightenment. This is how it will feel. Everyone who ‘achieves’ Enlightenment pays the same price. The price may seem very high but if Enlightenment is what you want then this is the price that must be paid. Nothing less will do.
When we surrender any sense of personal individuality, intellectual understanding or questioning and dissolve into pure Awareness until there is nothing left of ‘me’, we experience Enlightenment, Awakening. When we then live as pure Awareness in daily life the possibilities are endless.