by John Gregor -
“When the path of truth is clear of all obstacles then the seeing of truth, the hearing of truth and the feeling of truth becomes clear. Purification leads the way to experiencing freedom of consciousness.
The objective of purification is to clear the way for the experience of Enlightenment. So what is Enlightenment? Enlightenment is the true essence of all sentient beings. It is what is left when all illusion has been stripped away.” --Hieu Doan
This is how Hieu Doan explained it to me when I first began to ask these questions. My main concern at the time was that I needed to take on the external and internal appearance of a spiritual man, to say the right things and to think the right things and so on.
I slowly started to ‘click’ that it was impossible to find my true self if I kept hiding from the doors that led me to it.
These doors so to speak had been popping up my entire life but because I was so attached to them showing up in a certain way I had rejected them for what they actually were.
It was the same with Enlightenment.
I had heard so many stories about it that I was bent on making myself into a carbon copy of all these teachers and gurus at the expense of who I actually was.
I lived in a monastery for over a decade, meditating and believing that this was what I needed to be and what I needed to do in order to achieve Enlightenment and awakening.
So why had it never come?
In all those years I felt no closer to Enlightenment than the day I asked the question. All I had was more questions.
When I first talked to Hieu I can honestly say I wanted to hit him when he said that I was rejecting the very answers I sought as quickly as I could ask the questions!
I was angry because I knew that this was the truth and he seemed to see right through me. That night I cried in meditation for the first time in years – because I’d come back to that initial truth.
All these years I’d rejected my self in search of a “higher” truth and in doing so I’d rejected that very truth that I’d been seeking from the start.
I’d fooled myself into thinking that I’d somehow surpassed the need to heal those fears and hurts at the core of my being.
Over the next few days I practiced in a new and humble way.
My whole body would shake at times as deep emotions were released and often I would cry for hours on end as deep pain and sorrow would arise from what seemed to be my very soul. Then on about the 3rd day I entered a deep stillness. I felt my entire body resonate with this stillness down to the smallest cell.
Something shattered then and I felt the entire world around me shift into this stillness that I was enveloped in. I opened my eyes and it seemed like time had stopped. I saw a leaf hovering in mid fall as it was caught in this stillness.
A pinpoint of light appeared directly in front of my eyes and began to open up into a larger vortex which eventually encompassed me. This spread into a deeper stillness and with it the most profound peace and I could say happiness that I’ve ever had the pleasure to feel.
It was then that I realized that I’d experienced this state because my consciousness had become free. In time I was to know that this was only the beginning of understanding the true state of Enlightenment.