10 Basic Tenets of Enlightenment for the Spiritually Aware

10 basic tenets of coming to one's senses spiritually

Spiritual awakening is a continual invitation to accept yourself precisely as you are, in all your magnificent imperfection. It is neither a destination nor a goal.

“Complete and utter enlightenment did not result in the acquisition of even the slightest thing for me!”


It is not a superhuman accomplishment or success, as the Buddha was attempting to convey to us (albeit very few people really listened to him).

It is not necessary to go all the way to India to find it. It is not a unique and exceptional condition of perfection that is only attainable by a select few who are fortunate or privileged.

This is not an invitation-only club. It is not an out-of-body experience, and it does not mean living in a cave, turning off all of your wonderful senses, and removing yourself from the reality of our contemporary world.

Nor does it involve meditating in complete darkness. It is not possible for a flamboyant guru with a beard (or without a beard) to pass it on to you, nor is it possible for it to be taken away or lost.

You are under no need to become a disciple or follower of anybody else, nor are you required to give up all of your things.

You do not have to join a cult. You are not required to follow anyone else’s lead.

It is really an age-old appeal to accept and love yourself exactly as you are, with all your beautiful imperfections, at every moment of your existence.

It is about emerging from the epic movie of your past and future titled “The Story of Me” and showing up for life, understanding that even your sentiments of non-acceptance are welcomed here.

It is about being totally present and awake to each wonderful moment as it occurs.

It is about radically giving up on this wonderful gift of being, experiencing both the pain and the pleasure of it, the happiness and the sadness of it, the ecstasy and the overwhelm of it, and the certainty and the uncertainty that come along with it.

Having the awareness that you are never cut off from the whole, that you are never damaged, and that you are never really lost

Here are some basic guidelines and tips to keep in mind:

1. There is Only This Moment: There is No Goal

There is just THIS, the scene you are in right now in the film that is your life.

Leave behind the epic tale of time and space, the past and the future, regret and anticipation, and the pursuit of many emotions and experiences, including the quest for spiritual enlightenment.

Relax your normal emphasis on ‘what’s gone’ and ‘what’s not here yet,’ which are things that you cannot possibly manage from where you are right now.

Step outside of the narrative of ‘My Life’ and give yourself permission to be intrigued by what is alive, right now, in this place.

Be interested in the very alive dance of ideas, sensations, emotions, and impulses that is taking place wherever it is that you now find yourself.

Always keep in mind that the only area from which genuine solutions might finally come is in the present moment. The here and now is your real home, independent of both the past and the future.

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It is the only thing left—an oasis of peace in the middle of the storm.

Awakening one’s spiritual nature is not something that can be achieved or arrived at.

As a substitute, it is an invitation to accept and trust oneself in all your magnificent shortcomings.

2. The Causes of Misery Involve Thought and Opposition

The primary issue is not pain; rather, the main problem is the way in which we think about pain, the way in which we oppose discomfort, and the way in which we strive to flee from all of this and achieve some imagined future.

When we start dwelling on our pain, our grief, our anxieties, and our rage; when we start brooding over our discomforts; when we start going back and accelerating the movie of our life, this is when the actual trouble starts!

Instead of immediately investigating and experiencing the experiences that are occurring in the here and now as they occur, we focus on the events of the past and the future.

This extra layer of rumination and resistance that we add to life is what causes the anguish that we experience. What about the invitation?

Get out of the past and the future, the search and the effort, and encounter life in the raw, right now, without judgment and without the hope that peace,’ relaxation, enlightenment,’ or any other form of change will occur.

Accept the present on its own terms, and look at everything that is happening as a gift. Just be there, without preconceived notions or expectations, through the good, the bad, the joyful, and the terrible.

3. One’s Thoughts & Feelings are not Their Own: Nor Do They Represent Reality

Consider the occurrences of consciousness, including thoughts and feelings, to be objective and detached from your identity.

Thoughts and bodily sensations come into existence and pass away on their own, much like waves in the ocean that is you, in the same way that sounds that we hear do.

They are immune to attempts to control, erase, or flee from them. You should cultivate the same kind of attitude toward your thoughts and experiences as you do toward the noises you hear.

Kindness and a sense of wonder should be how you respond to all of your thoughts and experiences. Consider them honored visitors who are here with you.

4. Rather Than Being the Thinker of Ideas, You are the Place for Them

Ideas are only clouds in the wide sky above you; they are neither you nor reality; they are just hypotheses, possibilities, rumors, propaganda, judgments, voices, pictures, rewinds, and fast-forwards arriving and leaving.

Don’t bother trying to manage them, quiet them down, put an end to them, erase them, or dump them.

Even though they are highly busy right now, you should be the area for them to go to. It is important to keep in mind that if you are attentive to your ideas and observe them, you are not bound by them.

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You are not the same as them. You are the still container; you are not the one who is being held.

Be what you are—the unchanging embrace of thinking, the expanse in which ideas may come and go as they choose.

Ideas can come and go because you are who you are.

5. Allow Yourself to Feel the Discomfort & the Suffering: Respect Them

Take a deep breath and acknowledge the unpleasant feelings you’re experiencing. Pay them respect rather than isolating yourself from them and denying them your affection.

Imagine or have a physical sense of your breath entering the neglected and vulnerable region, bringing with it the gifts of life and love as you take a deep breath in.

Oxygen, warmth, and a sense of dignity should be brought to this uncomfortable location in your body. Don’t even bother trying to ‘let go’ of the feelings or heal’ them.

They desire to be acknowledged, respected, and included in the events. Assume that even unpleasantness has intellect and that it is not working ‘against’ you.

Be aware that real pleasure is not the absence of or the opposite of sorrow or grief; rather, it is the readiness to accept all that life has to offer.

6. Being Accepting is Who You Are; It is Not Something You “Do”

When you accept something, it doesn’t imply the idea or sensation will go away; in fact, it may stick around for a while.

Instead of trying to accept it (which is frequently a pretext for resistance), recognize that it is already accepted, that it is already there, and that it is already a component of the scene.

Act as though it were possible that it would be around for good! This relieves the stress of attempting to outrun time or pondering why it is “still here.”

It is now present here. Recognize that this is the truth. Be inquisitive. Allow any desires, sensations, or thoughts that come up, including those of annoyance, boredom, disappointment, or even despair, to come up and be included.

They are not blocks but rather components of the scenario that is now taking place. Even the sensation of being hemmed in is part of the scenario!

7. Neither “Always” nor “Never” May be Used in This Context

In point of fact, there is no such thing as ‘always’ or ‘never’. Be cautious of these phrases because they are falsehoods, and they have the potential to produce a feeling of urgency as well as impotence; they feed the tale of seeking and lacking.

There is no such thing as “for the rest of my life,” “for years,” or “all day long.” There is just the present moment, which is your sole point of power.

Even trying to contemplate what the next day may bring might be exhausting at times. Be here.

8. If You Want to Get “There,” You Must First be “Here”

Stress and the feeling that we are “not there yet” are formed when we place an excessive amount of emphasis on reaching a certain objective or reaching a particular destination.

When we do this, we forget about the trip and become disconnected from each step along the way.

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But happiness is something that can only be discovered in the here and now; it has nothing to do with achieving one’s aims or arriving at one’s destination.

Get your mind off the next 10,000 steps, the 10,000 steps you haven’t taken yet, and the 10,000 things that are now absent, and bring it back to the step you’re on right now, this old earth that’s still alive, and your own personal presence.

Breathe. Feel the vitality coursing through your veins. It’s acceptable if we don’t always know where we’re going, especially because life may be unpredictable.

Acquaint yourself with the feelings of uncertainty, doubt, and apprehension that you have and learn to appreciate this holy space where there are no solutions.

It is active, imaginative, and packed with untapped promise.

9. Do Not be Embarrassed by Your Clumsiness: It is Perfectly Acceptable

Celebrate the fact that you have lost yourself in a tale, that you have been detached from the present, and that you have forgotten the moment.

You have just awoken from a dream that you were having. You possess a tremendous intellect as well as the capacity to comprehend and connect with others.

You have unknowingly broken free of millions upon millions of years of indoctrination. Instead of berating yourself for forgetting things, congratulate yourself for being able to recall them!

It doesn’t matter if you missed it, since the moment doesn’t care! The sequence in the movie called “Forgetting” is really great.

Sometimes you should just let yourself forget! Instead of striving to be “perfect,” focus on being humble along the way.

Along this route without a path, you may expect doubt, disappointment, and disillusionment to be your regular companions.

Presence is not a goal, nor is it a model of success that one must strive to emulate. When there is no concept of what is “right,” there is no way to do it wrong.

10. Quit Comparing Yourself to Others: You are Life Itself

You are one of a kind, and every step of your path is completely unique. It’s possible that we are all manifestations of the very same ocean of awareness.

However, at the same time, we are all distinct expressions of that same ocean, and everyone of us is completely singular in our wave-ness!

Don’t judge your own abilities based on those of others! When you begin comparing, you lose connection with your own current experience and devalue your own special, irreplaceable abilities, talents, and truths.

Avoid contrasting this moment with any imagined version of how things ought to have been or may have turned out.

When you accept yourself exactly as you are at this moment, even if it’s not where you imagined you’d be ‘by now,’ you open the door to the possibility of healing.

Trust both yourself and the people who tell you that you can’t trust them. It’s possible that even your incapacity to trust may be trusted in this situation, and that even the sensation that you can’t hold onto the moment is already being held…

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