Tantra says there are two kinds of people in this world. There are two types of people: those who live in darkness and those who live in the light.
The world has many seekers but only a few finders. Because those who seek are always concerned with the past, they cannot be free from the past; those who seek can never find because seeking means going to a future that is not yet here--so how can you find it? You have to stop seeking, let go of the past, and allow things to happen by themselves--then you will be surprised that great doors are waiting for you to enter into them.
In the last talk, I used the word "enlightenment" in two senses. First as a state of no-mind, and then as the ultimate flowering of consciousness, which is an end in itself.
The word "enlightenment" means being awake, aware, and alert with open eyes—and not only with your eyes but with all your senses. It also means having a sensitivity to beauty—to every kind of beauty that exists in this world: natural beauty as well as man-made ones; to music, dance, poetry, and all art forms that exist in the world.
Enlightenment is the realization of our true nature. This true nature is often referred to as "Buddha nature" or "our original face," and it has nothing to do with age, race, gender, or body type. When we recognize our own original mind, we become as capable of compassion, patience, and wisdom as the most revered Buddhist teachers.
How does one become enlightened? One way is through study and practice. The Buddha said that there are three gates to Enlightenment: ethics (following the precepts), samadhi (contemplating the teachings), and wisdom (understanding reality). These paths lead to liberation from our confusion and suffering, a state of radical freedom in which we can live in harmony with others while still being ourselves.
Enlightenment is a state of consciousness. It's only a word, but it's an important one because it has become synonymous with the highest religious experience possible.
Truly being enlightened means living each day in a state of Enlightenment. Enlightenment is not something that happens only once, and then you're done. Rather, it's a constant experience of being aware of everything happening around you and within you, with compassion and without judgment.
Consider this: what is a spirit, what is a soul, and what is a body? And are these concepts really separate, or are they all interdependent? Is there an actual difference, or is the idea of a difference just a perception?
The truth is that we are all one single consciousness. There is no separation between anything. Everything is connected. The illusion that we are separate and independent beings is just that—an illusion—and Enlightenment means breaking through that illusion so you can recognize your real connection to everything else in the universe and know that your actions have meaning beyond themselves.
The Fourth Way school of thought teaches us that our true essence is a spark of divinity from God (also known as the "Supreme Being" or "Great Architect"). We've fallen from that status into physical matter, and by doing things like focusing on worldly pleasures, we perpetuate our separation from God. In order for us to return to him, we must undergo a process of self-purification and tap into our innate connection to him.
Enlightenment doesn't come through a formula. It comes only when there is nothing to do. When you are no longer seeking, then you can be enlightened.
There are many people who read all kinds of books about Enlightenment, and yet they never become enlightened because they are seeking in the wrong direction.
The seeker has to be dropped. Then Enlightenment comes. But if you go on seeking in mind, you will keep postponing your Enlightenment, and it will never come because the mind is a seeker. The mind wants to attain something—it wants to create something that does not exist and hence goes on postponing it indefinitely.
Enlightenment is not a mysterious thing; it is very ordinary. Just watch your own life to see whether you live in the world or beyond the world.
If you live in the world, if you live with the memory, past experiences, then you are living in the "samsara"; and if you can live without any memory, live each moment of your life as if it were your first and last moment, that state is called Enlightenment.
Enlightenment is a state of being. When you are in a state of being, you are not in a state of doing. You have simply dropped the doing and become a witness. The body will continue to function, but it will not be you who makes it function. It just moves of its own accord. Your breathing continues, but it is not you who makes it happen; it happens on its own accord because the body has to breathe.
The same with the heart beating--it goes on beating because that is its nature; if it stops beating, the body becomes dead. The brain functions in such a way that you can think or not think--if you don't think, then there is no problem: even for twenty-four hours, you can remain without thinking at all, and there would be no problem. Even for years, you can remain without thinking at all--and there would be no problem.
It is only when the brain starts functioning that problems arise. A man thinks day and night, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year; his mind never stops functioning.
As a state of no-mind, its very nature is not to be created by you. You cannot create a state of no-mind because it is already there—you have simply forgotten it. It is your natural state, your original face before you were born.
To be enlightened means being in the light. It is not a question of being aware of some light; it is a question of becoming light.
As Buddha said, "To be enlightened does not mean to be aware of light; it means to become light."
Awareness is secondary, and even if you are aware, it is not going to bring you Enlightenment. Awareness is only a step toward Enlightenment. You have to move beyond awareness, and then you will become enlightened. Awareness cannot do anything; awareness is just a step toward Enlightenment.
Enlightenment is the end of delusion. It is completely natural and something you can achieve by yourself. The Enlightenment is not a new religion or a new belief system; it has nothing to do with them. The Enlightened state is a state of total freedom, and this freedom can be achieved without any effort on your part. You need only to be aware of the way things are and stop interfering with their natural course. That's all.
Ambassador of the Galactic Federation