What is the purpose of enlightenment?
Enlightenment is the state of a person who has attained the highest degree of perfection:he attains wisdom and compassion at a level that surpasses all our ideas about what the words “human” and “being” can mean. Undoubtedly, this is a high ideal, although it is quite achievable. It seems that today, in all the groups that make up an alternative to official Christianity, one or another kind of meditation is being studied, but there are significant differences between these practices and the Buddhist approach to meditation. For example, in Buddhism there is a unique point of view on the spiritual path.
According to this view, all of us, both men and women, we can achieve Enlightenment with our own efforts, not relying on blind faith. As for spiritual practice, the Buddhist tradition of meditation has been around for 2500 years. This tradition has been continuously transferred from teacher to student ever since the Buddha attained Enlightenment. Thus, Western Buddhists inherited a tradition that is still alive today. Since the Teaching is, first of all, the transmission of personal experience, and not dogma, it always preserves the novelty. If there is a need, Buddhism always finds new ways to express its ideas.
If we are talking about what can be achieved with the help of Buddhist meditation for a short period of time, then there are practices designed to give us the opportunity to establish ourselves in some basic qualities: first and foremost, we must become happy and healthy people. At this initial level, the goals of Buddhist meditation and other areas of spiritual development coincide. Each of us needs to make our life more harmonious, working on our habits, getting rid of minor sins, psychological problems, negative emotions – from everything that prevents us from becoming real people.
But this is not enough: even if we are happy in the ordinary sense of the word, this can not completely satisfy us, since “ordinary” happiness is too dependent on life circumstances. Even if people achieve certainty and confidence in their abilities to some extent, one can advise them not to rest on their laurels, but to start looking for a new, deeper approach to life – after all, true happiness can be found only by penetrating a special spiritual vision into the nature of reality . This is a deeper, more important state of happiness and there is a way to enter the stream of Enlightenment. Entry into this stream is a very remote goal of Buddhist meditation: we carry it out in the course of a long process of spiritual development.
The opportunities that Buddhist meditation provides,so great that words can hardly be given them due. For all of us, the door to this thousand-year tradition of the wanderings of the creative spirit through vast expanses of knowledge is open. In her, and to this day, new insights are being made and there are people who are capable of accomplishing them. And although our tradition is really filled with creative imagination and boundless there is nothing vague or unclear about it, for we have a map where the entire route of the great journey has already been laid for us extremely accurately and consistently.
What will help us on the path to enlightenment?
Indeed, one can regard Buddhism simply as a colossal collection of similar methods that help on the path to enlightenment, from which one can choose whatever is best for us. If you take full responsibility for any action or state of mind, you can learn to live with full dedication, skillfully using every moment and even living it with more joy. There are many ways to achieve such a creative approach to life. For example, people often come to the conclusion that it is very useful to practice the Dharma (that is, the Teaching of the Buddha) by sharing shelter with like-minded people. Some Buddhists tend to unite in order to make a living together.
Classes of art and other forms of creativity are also very useful, because they inspire us in the search for truth. In general, the practice of Dharma should increase the measure of awareness of our moral actions, developing in us a special feeling that will ultimately influence all our actions, even how we make purchases. As a result, any thing purchased by us, including food or clothing, will have some impact on the lives of others, not to mention the state of our own mind.