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You are already enlightened.

The carrot of enlightenment is not to be chased, but to be found in your own hand. - From the first moment I heard about enlightenment I was, perhaps just like you, fascinated by the possibility.

I projected all kinds of things on what it would feel like; An end to all my worldly problems. Pure endless ecstasy. From what I understood from the Buddhist teachings I engaged in, it sounded far off. Work very hard to ever have a chance at it, and meditate as much as you can, and if you start early enough, you might reach it some day at a late age. Yet I found hope in the teaching, as it promised a way out my suffering, and perhaps this ecstatic explosive event by the end, so I picked up the practice of Vipassana meditation, the famous Buddhist meditation practice of highly concentrated body scanning.

With my mind back then still being quite scattered, confused, and full with addictions, and with my body not very flexible and ready yet for a meditation posture, it was really tough;

Boring, physically painful, and requiring a devotion and discipline that I had to dig very deep for.

Seconds seemed like hours in my meditations back in those times.

'Do I really need to practice this for decades to just have a chance at liberation?' I asked myself. Yet as I was so deeply desiring to taste the fruit of enlightenment and transcend the suffering that I had been carrying, and as I already experienced first little epiphanies and benefits from the practice, I had trust in the teaching and was willing to continue to work for it. My spiritual life took an interesting turn in 2019. By then I had been away from home for a long time, had done my second meditation retreat in Asia, had lived in Australia for a year, and had been through some stronger inner and outer transformations. My dedication to the spiritual path had been intensifying, and so had my hunger for deeper practice, and so I went back to Asia to travel Bali, India and Nepal. I was planning on another meditation retreat, my first longer 10 day one, that I wanted to prepare well for, and found a nice place to stay in the north of India in a village called Dharamkot during spring, where I rented a nice long-term room to study Buddhist books and practice Vipassana.

The interesting turn began when I met a person in a cafe one evening in that same village, that challenged all my beliefs about enlightenment and spiritual practice, while sipping a ginger-lemon-honey tea and over-looking the Himalayan mountains.

‘You are already the enlightenment you are looking for,' he told me, after we had been discussing spiritual matters for some time. I was debating his words because I was convinced - a bit religious even you could say - about what I learned from the Buddhists. 'You need to meditate hard, enlightenment is only for people that put in a lot of work,' was what I believed, and argued.

Yet at the same time I felt intrigued by this person; A spiritual radiance oozed out of his field, and I never met someone before that seemed so calm, happy and at ease.

‘Is he enlightened’, I thought?

'Might there be something in his message?' What I didn't know yet was that this was my introduction to Advaita, or non-duality, a radically different approach to the spiritual path from anything I knew. In retrospect actually a very similar one, but just explained differently in a way that can be extraordinarily beneficial on the path. You see, as opposed to teachings that describe enlightenment as a far away goal, non-dual teachings can reveal that the carrot that we so arduously chase as spiritual seekers, is already in our own hand. When we engage with other teachings, we are given a practice to supposedly leads us somewhere; samadhi, enlightenment, moksha etc. Yet Advaita reverses that idea; it confirms the existence of that very same end-goal, but it helps you to understand that it is not very different from your current experience. It is simply veiled. Whenever you forget about yourself for a moment, whenever you watch a sunset, dance at a concert, enter a flow-state while jogging, make love or make art,

Ór, when you simply slow down now, get quiet and don’t engage your thoughts for a moment, You have a direct perception - perception rather than an experience as this is beyond time - of the 'end-goal'.

Instead of reaching for this goal and making it some far away thing, make step 1 to recognize it here and now, and then simply begin to extend it, marinate init, and abide in it as much as you can.

Don’t do Yoga and meditation as a means to an end.

Know yourself first, and then do meditation and Yoga.

Know yourself not as a the practitioner,

But as the awareness that experiences the experience of practicing meditation and yoga.

Grasp this - and don't be too soon to think you grasped it until you are absolutely 100% sure about it through direct experience - and watch your awakening process blossom and elevate into new heights.


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