Enlightenment is Intimacy with All Things

Michael Damian

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Awakin FeatureDepending on how we use it, the mind can obscure or reveal truth and thereby create hell or heaven for us. In that sense, where we really live is in the quality of our state of mind. The factor that determines its quality is insight.

Insight comes from attention. Insight clarifies and uplifts. Insight also changes us at the deepest level of identity, because to see things as they are creates a shift in who we think we are. 

In other words, by seeing the truth, we awaken in truth. We cannot say, "I want to know the truth about existence, but leave me out of it." It does not work that way. To ask about the truth of existence throws our own identity into question. It works this way because truth, being total, cannot be found as an object, image or opinion outside of you. It is known through direct identity or not at all.

Insight is the inner vision that penetrates the surface appearances of life, freeing us from the toil of illusions. Vision has to start somewhere. We begin by seeing what is in front of us, whatever is appearing in the mind. As we learn to see, the passion for seeing grows. Vision opens the horizon of beauty in the heart. Then the time comes when we receive the total vision of the divinity of all things, in which the self is opened forever.

Opened, we enter true relationship. This is why enlightenment has been described as intimacy with all things. Intimacy implies the closeness of knowing. This does not mean that enlightenment will fill us up with knowledge about everything. Intimacy refers to a different order of knowing, through love. Love is a condition of vivid comprehension in which we appreciate that reality is whole and benevolent. This comprehension is the supreme discovery, the unknown goal toward which all human desire is bent.
 

Excerpted from "The Art of Freedom" by Michael Damian.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion of enlightenment as intimacy with all things? Can you share a personal experience of a time you appreciated the wholeness and benevolence of reality? What helps you to include your own identity in your inquiry on the truth about existence?

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8 Previous Reflections:

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    On Jun 25, 2017 Shah Alam wrote:

     I like it


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    On Jun 20, 2017 Robert Welton wrote:

     The great Dogen said "Enlightenment is intimacy with all things."  I say, Enlightenment is awakening to the awareness that everything is connected.


    1 reply: Susan | Post Your Reply
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    On Jun 20, 2017 Rashmi wrote:

     Seeing truth the way it is... is a return journey ... to be childlike again... to shun the teachings .. to self learn... for me.
    It also frees me in certain ways.


    1 reply: Me | Post Your Reply
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    On Jun 19, 2017 Ruth Simone wrote:

     When i experience reality as wholeness  - I feel a sense of at-one-ment with the focal point of my awareness, and with all things too. It's good to be reminded of how much I don't live in that awareness to stay in the practice and notice what develops with more attention.


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    On Jun 17, 2017 david doane wrote:

     Enlightenment means filled with light and abiding in light.  Enlightenment typically begins with being open to allow light with which to see what is, see truth, not see my own thinking or conditioning or preconceived beliefs and prejudices, not try to control or manufacture or manipulate what is, but truly see and accept what is, all of which is a process of intimacy with all things.  I fairly recently came to see that all that is, living and not living, is an expression of and part of one field, and with that realization I appreciate the wholeness of what we call reality more than ever before.  I don't know about the benevolence of reality -- I simply see that reality is, and what we make of it is our doing.  I am part of existence, so openness to existence includes openness to myself, which of course is a challenge that I sometimes embrace and sometimes side step.  Over time I gain a little enlightenment.


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    On Jun 16, 2017 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
     According to Vedanta philosophy, Divinity is described in three intertwined words- Sat, Chit and Ananda- Truth, Pure Consciousness and Joy or Bliss. This is our True Nature, our Essence, our True Identity. In this state of consciousness, time-space created boundaries get dissolved, the ego-created self disappears and the Self emerges. People who have reached this state are called self-realized beings.They are intimate with the universe that includes all living beings. To them the whole universe is one family. I have been blessed to be in the presence of such self-realized beings. Their loving and compassionate kindness evoked a deep sense of intimacy within me and with others sitting around me. I would call it an enlightening experience, a blissful experience. I felt infinite compassion, affection,  and warmth radiating from them. I deeply felt their loving presence. While I am writing this reflection, I feel their loving presence in my heart. Such experiences have awakened... [View Full Comment]

     According to Vedanta philosophy, Divinity is described in three intertwined words- Sat, Chit and Ananda- Truth, Pure Consciousness and Joy or Bliss. This is our True Nature, our Essence, our True Identity. In this state of consciousness, time-space created boundaries get dissolved, the ego-created self disappears and the Self emerges.
    People who have reached this state are called self-realized beings.They are intimate with the universe that includes all living beings. To them the whole universe is one family.

    I have been blessed to be in the presence of such self-realized beings. Their loving and compassionate kindness evoked a deep sense of intimacy within me and with others sitting around me. I would call it an enlightening experience, a blissful experience. I felt infinite compassion, affection,  and warmth radiating from them. I deeply felt their loving presence. While I am writing this reflection, I feel their loving presence in my heart. Such experiences have awakened my heart and have made my heart spacious and gracious flowing with loving kindness.

    May we all be blessed by enlightened beings for opening and expanding our heart!

    Namaste.

    Jagdish P Dave
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