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?
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.
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.
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!
Jagdish P Dave