I thought it would be a good idea to write out a detailed plan for helping each of you reach nirvana, or enlightenment – freedom from all suffering.
After sitting for a while staring at the blank screen, I realized – I don’t know how to go about it. I don’t know how to go about it myself, and I definitely don’t know how to tell you to go about it.
I think the real issue for me is not that I couldn’t find the process written out somewhere and repeat it here – but, I can’t even come up with a good definition of what nirvana is – what it looks like.
What qualities does an enlightened person have?
I’ve never even met an enlightened person. I’ve met some real candidates, but whether or not they were enlightened or not – who’s to really say?
I am not sure I could even point you to an enlightened person. Thich Nhat Hanh seems pretty far along the stream if he isn’t already swimming in it. Not sure. I never met him. I wouldn’t know how to qualify him if I did meet him. I don’t know what questions I would ask him, except maybe this –
What is the Point of Becoming Enlightened?
You know? What good is it? I mean, I can guess the good for the individual. As a selfish thing, I think I can see that it’s quite a nice state of mind. Sort of like that limbo state when you’re bitten by a many-banded krait (Bungarus multicinctus) and you have this euphoric, non-caring, non-troubled mind. Of course, then you’re on the way to dying, but with nirvana you’re not dying or dead – that’s your permanent state. Isn’t it?
Or is it?
Freedom from suffering. That sounds nice. I’ve felt that before. I can feel it now if I clear my mind. I don’t know that it’s the greatest thing in the world. I guess it’s great. It feels good. There’s no stress. No wanting. No moving toward anything. Feels stable. I feel balanced like that – without being aware of a thing called balance.
It’s great in short duration. I can’t see doing that for an entire day – my family would miss my contribution. If I didn’t work, I’d not make money – which they depend on. In the state I wouldn’t care though because there’s nothing there – no thought, no caring, no wanting, no fear. As a selfish thing, I guess nirvana seems pretty nice.
If you have a family or other people who rely on you, what then?
Not so great. Definitely not great in a full-time situation or permanent situation. I’m glad I can snap out of it whenever I want. I’m glad I’m not too attached to it – it could be like a drug of sorts I guess if someone treated it as such. I can take it or leave it though. It’s there if I want it. It’s there if I don’t. I guess it’s there if I need it. I don’t remember needing it much. I do go into the state every once in a while just to experience it – make sure it’s still available.
I don’t think that’s nirvana. I mean, there must be more to it than a flat-mind state that cannot be perturbed. There must be something more to it than a state of non-thinking, of just experiencing. Isn’t there?
If this is the state that is enlightenment – then I’d have to say it was probably here from the start. I couldn’t experience it before, but all it really is, is a flatline of the mind. Nothing more or less. When the mind calms to the point of not churning out thoughts – this is underneath. Flatline really explains it best. The mind is working in a barebones sense. But it isn’t creating anything – it’s being acted on, not acting to make anything happen, not doing anything with the body, not putting vibrations out into the world – it’s just receiving them. It isn’t digesting them through the filter of the mind when the vibrations arrive, it’s just that they arrive through the senses and that’s it. If something dangerous came into view I think the body would run. Not sure. lol.
Anyway… How Do You Reach Nirvana?
I’m not sure we really reach it at all…