Reflections on Enlightenment and the Way

#Inspiration Sunday

Reflections on Enlightenment and the Way


"Many of the past masters have tried to explain enlightenment. But, like climbing to a summit, it is an individual experience. Why try to explain the inexplicable phenomena of enlightenment?"

Let's say a person wants to climb to the top of a mountain to experience what it will be like up there. The way up is challenging, but he is determined and gets started. The mountain is high, and so the uphill climb takes a very long time. He encounters many people on their way down, and he asks each of them to tell him about their experiences. He wants to know what they saw and what methods they used to reach the top successfully. Everybody answers his questions, but they give him a different account. He continues, but after talking with that many people, he concludes that he knows what is up there. Perhaps he doesn't need to go up anymore. So he gives up and does not continue his journey.

In much the same way, in seeking enlightenment, there are no set answers to your questions. Enlightenment is a journey where you will come to understand the meaning of your own life, which is not going to be the same for everybody. It is essential to recognize that not giving up is a part of the practice toward enlightenment. There will undoubtedly be obstacles that will stop us in our tracks toward our awakening. And that is why no one can tell you that there is only one answer to this question.

We practice dharma so that we can create a perfect habit. The daily prayers and recitations may sometimes be boring for us, but it was the same for all of the masters who have accomplished it. Through their efforts, they have given us the perfect recipe. Once you become a master, it doesn't mean that you will understand all of the ingredients, but you will know how to use them. To bring out the best of anything, one needs to understand it's nature, which takes experience. There are different methods of study, and there are other experiential methods.

People change, and even we change continuously throughout our lives. We each have different natures, and we have to accept that. We have to experience our quirks, our impatience, and our judgments, so we know what we need to tune-up. We need to be like a sieve to sieve ourselves to see what's inside and clear it out. That is why meditation, self-acknowledgment, and self-love are so important. With this, we can look to find the kind of love that has no hidden agendas, the type of pure love that comes from the Buddhas.  

In conclusion, you must keep going with your practices, on this journey, without seeking to be influenced by the experiences others have had. Your destination might be the same, but the changes effected in reaching there will be unique to you.


Dharma Teaching by Singha Rinpoche and Edited by Sandeep Nath

1 November 2020