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Enlightenment is generally considered to be an out-of-reach goal, attainable by only a few of the most evolved yogis, monks, and sages. What many people do not realize is that if we find the right path, this seemingly unreachable goal can become a reality for every one of us. As Deepak Chopra notes in his book Super Brain, we are now on our way toward enlightenment: “One clue that enlightenment is real − and accessible − is staring at us already. We use common phrases all the time that edge right up to it: Wake up, See the light, Face reality. These are all pointers to a higher state of awareness. . . . Once the mind wakes up, sees the light, and faces reality, the brain undergoes its own physical changes.”
Any kind of shift in perception must involve a change in how our brain functions. The difference between the vast majority of people and an enlightened person is that the latter has gone further in transforming his or her mind into a vibrant, alert tool that can see the ultimate reality. The good news is that we can look for breadcrumbs along the way, such as aha! moments and experiences of awakening that will show us we are progressing on the path to enlightenment. The following feeling experiences are part of this evolutionary process and gradual shift we will undergo as our mind opens to higher states of consciousness:
I am part of everything.
I am cared for.
I am fulfilled.
My life is meaningful to God.
I am unbounded, a child of the universe.
As we shift into enlightenment, the real world where we are connected with everything and where God is present in everything, including us, becomes more genuine. The first step to start on your transformational process is to actually want enlightenment. Your brain will then start to adapt to this new reality and the following levels or degrees of enlightenment will start to unfold in their own timing and individual rhythm.
When you begin to notice that the above degrees of enlightenment are already aspects of your awareness in this very moment, enlightenment becomes more palpable. The only thing you need to do is expand your awareness and realize that enlightenment is no longer out of reach.
Developing a meditation practice is one of the ways to start cultivating connection with the true nature of reality, with the real us, and with higher states of consciousness. As we dive into the vastness of our being, we begin to get a taste of our essential nature and a deeper connection with the universe. This new expanded awareness of ourselves allows the seven degrees of enlightenment to unfold naturally and effortlessly.
Teresa Long is the Director of Chopra Center University. She oversees all of the Chopra Center's teacher trainings and certification courses and is the worldwide liaison to our global network of more than 1,500 certified instructors. Teresa is the daily touch point along their journey to become certified instructors, and her nurturing team is their support system once they have been certified.