The first article in 2019 i want to dedicate to the topic of enlightenment.
What is enlightenment at all? Some people say its a state of bliss, no-thought, or something like that. I cannot agree on that point. Of course these states of inner silence, radiating, are really impressive and i tended to label it kinda enlightenment as well in the past, but in my experience these mind states are temporary, impermanent as anything else. We dont need any insights either. So even drugs can give similar states.
Often these states come while sitting zazen. And yeah, they are really satisfying. So its easy to become attached to it. But is this enlightenment? No, i think enlightenment is indeed growing through the practice of the eightfold path. Buddha said liberation is the cessation of the attachment, aversion and delusion, so in my view enlightenment is beyond conditions. Rather we just dont act with those mind poisons, we transcend the kleshas, that doesnt mean that theres nothing like this arising. And while we are meditating we encounter all kind of phenomena. The practice is not to cling on them, nor to push thwm away but just be with it in acceptance and let them be as they are.
its really easy to sit while we experience these satori, no-mind, blissful states. Theres no problem to meditate on this conditions. Yet, we seem to cling on these states if we discriminate between good states we prefer, and those we dont prefer.
I dont like the term enlightenment, i rather call it awakening. Its the awakening out of the delusion, out of the robot-like routine, out of karmic tendencies but become aware of the inner mind processes, dont become entangled by them, not become distracted by any phenomena, no matter how the conditions are. If we realize that the mind poisons are just like clouds passing by, we dont act through to them. So its irrelevant if we experience any nonduality, bliss or ecstatic states or within tons of thoughts arising.