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 and Enlightenment
Awareness is the golden key to increase the quality of life in relation to ourselves, in relation to other people, in relation to work and creativity and in relation to life itself.
People are like plants on different levels of their development. Awareness is not about continuously trying to change ourselves or trying to become “better”, awareness is about discovering a love, acceptance and respect for ourselves as we are. Awareness is about learning to appreciate all steps and levels of our psychological development process towards spiritual maturity.
We can either work with or against life. The first way is a “yes”-attitude towards life and the second way is a “no”-attitude towards life. The first way results in joy, harmony and wholeness and the second way results in fight, struggle and separation from life, but in the end the part can never win over the whole.
Awareness is to be true to who and where we are in the moment.
With less important things you can compromise, but with the important and meaningful things in life you cannot compromise.
Our spiritual development depends on our “yes” and commitment to our own growth.
When we begin to take responsibility for our own development, things begin to happen by itself. It is like Existence supports our decision to develop.

Look for the light and the possibilities in all situations. See what you can learn in all situations. In this way you can use all situations to grow.

Everything of real value is already within ourselves.
In the society today, there exists a deep division between the inner and the outer world, between intuition and intellect, between male and female qualities, between rest and activity and between outer knowledge and inner wisdom. There is a fast technological development in the society, but we seem to forget the most important factor: ourselves.

The 21st century means an inner awakening. It means a time to grow up. Many people talk about spirituality, meditation and inner development, but it does not seem to change their lives. Our spiritual development depends on our own commitment to our own growth.  We can use our free will to grow or we can chose not to grow. This is the freedom that life gives us and it is our own responsibility, but it seems to be few people that accepts the challenge of life to grow.

People in spiritual organizations also tend to get caught up in ideas of how it should be. They get caught up and in the need of the ego to create hierarchies with power, status, positions, roles, norms and conformity. I have been teaching in organizations on the theme Awareness and organization, where the awareness of the difference between acting out of ego and acting out of awareness has created a new flow in the whole organization.
There are many political, economical and religious interests, who are interested in that we do not develop a trust in ourselves since people who trust themselves and are in contact with their own inner source of truth are difficult to manipulate and control. The first step for a seeker of truth is to not allow other people to manipulate or control them.

One of the largest neuroses of modern times is the need to have power over other people. This is not described as a neurosis by modern psychiatry, but in a more enlightened society it will be seen as neurotic behaviour.
There are basically two kinds of people: those that seek power and outer recognition and those that seek love, truth and inner wholeness.
Humanity as a whole is in-between power and the heart in its psychological and spiritual development process towards spiritual maturity. The next step for humanity as a whole is to realise that real power is love and compassion. 

The 21st century represents a crossroad and a choice between the separation of ego and the vision of the heart. The silent revolution of the heart is a shift in human consciousness from the shortsighted perspective of the ego to the focus of the heart on love and the needs of the other. It is a shift in consciousness from the endless desires of the ego to the vision of the heart of love, joy, acceptance, wisdom and wholeness. When we follow the way of the ego, it only leads to struggle, conflict, separation and exhaustion. The way of the heart means to learn to listen to the voice of our heart, to our inner source of love, joy, truth and wisdom. It is to be in a deep harmony with Existence. 

After an intensive period of work, I lived during 6 months on the beautiful and magical island of Crete in Greece. I rented a house in a small fishing village.
The house was situated on the hill of a mountain and in one direction the ocean stretched out boundless to the horizon and in the other direction the mountain was rising majestically towards an endless clear blue sky. During the 6 months I lived on Crete, it struck me many times that the incredible beauty of life is that it is a mystery. If life would be as simple as two plus two is four, and then the whole problem of life would be solved, life would become unbearable boring and tedious. The greatness and beauty of life lies in the fact that it is an unknowable mystery, which can only be understood by living it – and ultimately by becoming one with it.
There are two distinctly different ways to meet every little precious moment of life. The first way is to say “no” to the reality of the moment, to say “no” to what “is” in the situation. To say “no” means to resist the reality of the moment. It is to create a separation to what “is” in the moment. The other way is to say “yes” to the reality of the moment. It means to invite, accept and embrace the living reality of the moment.
All places are spiritual places for those who have eyes to see.
Life is development. Life is change. If a person does not develop, it does not mean that the person stands still – it means that the person is going backwards.
What is trust in life? Trust is an attitude to life. It means to open our heart to life. It means to travel with an open heart into the unknown. It means to dare to take the jump into the unknown. It means to let go of our separate ideas, attitudes and expectations and allow life to guide us. It means to live in a deep harmony with life, without expecting life to fit with our ideas and expectations.
A friend of mine died recently, which made me meditate over the mystery of death. To my surprise, I felt that nothing really dies in this Existence. Our inner being is part of the limitless, part of the eternal. Death is a bridge over to the other side. Death is a journey into another reality. It is like my friend has move to another country, but we are still in contact on the inner plane. We are still meeting in the limitless ocean of consciousness – and our hearts are still meeting in love. This insight filled me with a deep joy and reverence for life.
What are the difference between idea and preference? It is a large difference between idea and preference. Idea means to have a fixed expectation about how we ourselves should be, about how others should be and about how life should be. When life does not fit with our preconceived expectations, struggle, disappointment and exhaustion occur. Preference means that we prefer that life develops in a certain way, but if the Whole offers us something else we have a “yes” and an acceptance for what the Whole offers. Idea represents an attitude of “no” and a separation from life and preference represents an attitude of “yes” and harmony with life.

Trust in life means to realize that life is not an enemy, but a friend. It means to realize that Existence loves us. It means to realise that life supports us. It means to realise that we are already one with life.
When we learn to meditate, we develop a trust to ourselves and to life. This trust helps us to be relaxed with whatever happens. This trust helps us to come in deeper contact with our inner being, with the source of life within ourselves.
I remember one of my clearest life lessons in how I worry to get things the way I want and how life continuously provides me with exactly what I need. I had finished an education in spiritual psychotherapy at the beautiful lake Laggo Maggiore in north of Italy on the border to Schweiz. I had not yet decided if I would go back to Sweden after the education, but when one of the other course participants was going to Sweden the next day, I also decided to go back to Sweden. The only problem was that her return ticket to Sweden was going over Italy, while my return ticket was going over Schweiz. But I decided to take a chance since the final destination Hamburg was the same. On the train I worried and played up scenes in my head of being thrown off the train in the middle of nowhere in Italy. When the Italian conductor came I tried to explain in a mixture of English, Italian, French and expressive body language that my ticket was going over Schweiz, but that I traveled over Italy and that the final destination Hamburg was the same. The conductor first looked at me for a long while and then he simply took a big black pen and made a large cross over the word “Schweiz” on my ticket and instead he wrote “Italy” with large black letters. Then he handed over my ticket again and left. Later on when we arrived to Hamburg, I began to worry about getting a sleeper ticket to Stockholm. On the train I asked the German sleeper ticket conductor and with German thoroughness he began to consult his lists. Then he informed me that due to a late cancellation, there was one single berth left to Stockholm – and that I could have this.
Our heart is the door to trust life. Opening our heart means to learn to invite the support from Existence. Existence tries in every moment to provide us with exactly what we need with more lovingness, ingenuity and creativity that we ever can imagine.
There are no reason to be lonely, to be separated from life. When we open our heart, there is always support.
Trust in life is to shift perspective from struggling and fighting to get things our way to listening to what the Whole wants.
The more our meditation develops, the more it becomes an inner quality of trust and silence, with which we can meet every moment in life.
An early sunny morning during the fall when the first snow had fallen during the night and the air was high, crisp and clear, I took a walk out in nature on my way to my first morning meeting with myself over a cup of coffee. In an isolated part of the forest on a very icy uphill path, I meet a young blind woman in her twenties with a cain and a blind dog. She told me that she had lost her way. My heart wanted to reach out to her in her vulnerable situation with a tenderness and respect for her courage and independence. I noticed when we continued to talk that even if her physical eyes did not see, there was nothing wrong with her inner eyes. I was sharply and unsentimental assessed by her inner eyes. I noticed that I turned my attention within and cleared my voice and energy from any underlying tones of pity or sentimentality with her vulnerable situation. I imagined if I would be in her situation and if I would handle the situation with the same courage, trust and strength that she showed. For a single moment, I love her like a little sister on the path of life with a respect for her courage, trust and strength. This situation was a reminder for me about the lessons that life gives to develop an inner trust to oneself and an outer trust to life itself. It was a reminder how challenges in life mobilize our whole courage and how these challenges can be a blessing in disguise when we accept the challenge. They make us discover a new depth of being and allows us to see opportunities that we otherwise would not have seen.
It is easy to trust life when life goes according to our ideas and expectations, but it is a challenge to trust life when life no longer go according to our expectations. Often in such situations, I ask myself what trust is in this situation, and invite Existence to guide me. Often this opens a new, fresh perspective to look at the situation. It often transforms problems and worry over how to get things my way into an unknown mystery of how life will solve this situation.
Even if its is chaos in our life, we can still say ”yes” and accept the chaos. We can create a conscious relation to the chaos, which allows us to even enjoy the chaos.
The inner being is a quality of trust to life. The inner being is a silence and emptiness, an inner space, where we can allow life to be as it is. I remember when I was in a situation, where life was not going the way I wanted it to go and I had to make a choice. To make myself clear about my obtions, I did an individual consultation with a therapist, who said: ”You have a lot of silence and trust in your being. In the inner being, there is not so much ”yes” and ”no” to things.” This became a lesson for me in learning to let go of my ideas and expectations and in developing a trust to allow Existence to solve the situation.
When we basically do not ”do” anything, Existence keeps us busy.
Ask yourself the question: ”What is trust in this situation?” in different situations and listen within to see what your intuition, the source of love, wisdom and wholeness, the inner voice of Existence, wants in this situation. Sometimes the answer will come directly and sometimes it takes some time before Existence is ready to respond, but you will always receive an answer. 

Healing comes basically from the silence within ourselves.
Healing is pure love. Love is what creates healing. Silence is the inner source of healing. It is the source of love deep within ourselves, which is our true nature.
What is the heart of meditation? The heart of meditation is an inner quality of silence and emptiness. This is the inner being, the undefinable and limitless within ourselves. It is to watch the pure consciousness without content. It is to watch the clear blue sky of consciousness without any clouds that hides the sky. It is to understand who we are beyond words. It is a direct existential insight into who we really are.
Truth is a quality in the moment. It arises when we have trust in what happens and are in contact with what Existence wants us to do. This quality makes the moment shine with a joy and inner satisfaction.
There are basically two different ways to relate to the moment. The first way is respons and the second way is reaction. Respons is a fresh and alive action from the heart in the moment. Respons is to be open and available to what is real and authentic in the moment. Respons is to respond with the truth in the moment. It is a love for the truth in the moment.
Reaction is to act out of the past. Reaction is to act out of our ideas, attitudes and preconceived concepts about how we ourselves, how other people and how life should be.
Healing happens when we say ”yes” to the truth in the moment. Healing happens when we accept the reality of the moment with a love for how the moment is. 
Through following our own heart, we also help other people to follow their heart. Through following our own truth, we also help other people to follow their truth.
Healing is the way of the heart. To open our heart means to invite truth in our life. Our heart is the door to allow Existence to guide us.

Intuition is our inner source of love, truth and wisdom. The more we trust our intuition, the more we have access to this inner source.
My own path has always been to trust my intuition and myself. My intuition has always been my inner teacher and guide in life – even long before I was even aware of this fact. I have always trusted my own heart, my own love, light, truth, wisdom and intelligence - and it has always led me right. It has led me right even when trusting my own heart has meant to go against the flock, when it has meant to go against others or when it has meant to put up creative boundaries against that which does not fit with my heart, with my own truth.
The ultimate wisdom is the insight that we are not separated from life. Wisdom is the insight that we are one with life, one with the Whole.

- One with the Whole
What is enlightenment? The word ”religion” originally means ”to return to the source”. It means to rediscover the contact with our inner being, with the source of life within ourselves. The deepest pain in our heart is that we are disconnected from our inner being, we are separated from life. The deepest thirst and longing in our heart is to return to our being, where we are one with life.
”The most beautiful experience is the mystical”, says Albert Einstein in the book Living Philosophies. The goal of meditation – if you can talk about a goal in connection with meditation – is enlightenment. In the depth of our being, we are already enlightened. We are an inseparable part of Existence, but we have forgotten our true nature. We have forgotten our inner Buddha. Meditation is the way to discover our inner being, our authentic self, our inner Buddha. Enlightenment is the fruit of meditation. It is to realize the highest attainment in human consciousness. It is to climb the inner Mount Everest. The brilliant philosopher Emmanuel Kant was once asked what enlightenment is and his short answer was: ”to grow up.”
What the Japanese Zen-tradition call ”satori” is a short glimpse of enlightenment. It is like when the lens of a camera opens for a split second and lets the light in. It is a glimpse of the light, of the Whole, which exists as a possibility in each and every moment of life.
I was 9 years old when I had my first glimpse of wholeness. It was early Christmas morning and I was standing in my pyjamas in the living room and looked out of the large windows. Outside the white snow flakes silently singled down towards a snowclad landscape. Suddenly I was filled with a feeling of being one with the slowly dancing snowflakes, one with the silent landscape. I did not understand then that this was my first taste of meditation, but it created a deep thirst and a longing in my heart to return to this natural and effortless experience of being one with the Whole.
Each human being is unique; each human being contains a divine spark, an aspect of God. We are much more than we think we are. The mystery of life is that it is impossible to understand life, but we can live life. We can never really understand life, but we can become one with life. We can become one with the dance of life, one with the ultimate mystery of Existence.
I remember an insight that taught me much about life. One day I felt that I had everything that I really wanted in life. I had a creative and meaningful work as a therapist and course leader, I had a relationship with a beautiful woman, who I loved and who loved me, I had friend that I trusted and I had money to do what I wanted. But in spite of all this, I still had a feeling that there was something missing in my life. I was not satisfied. The thirst and longing in my heart was still searching for something more. It made me realize that the deepest pain in my heart was that I was still separated from the Whole and that no outer things or relationships could ease this pain.
Problems can never really be solved; it has more to do with discovering a new perspective of seeing. It is about transcending problems, to grow beyond problems and discovering a new dimension to be. Instead of seeing things as problems, we can see them as mysteries and wonder how life will solve this situation.
The inner being is the undefinable within ourselves. The inner being is so undefinable that we can experience it, but we can not explain it in words. We can become one with it, but we can not understand it. The inner being is the ultimate mystery of life.
We originally come from the invisible existential source and it is to this source that we return when we die. Death is the unconscious way to return to this original source, while enlightenment is the conscious way to return to this source. Death means to still believe in our separation from life and enlightenment means to realize our innate oneness with Existence.
When I did a therapist education in USA 1984, one of the course leaders – who had given personal and spiritual guidance to thousands of seekers of truth all over the world and who I consider one of the best spiritual therapists in the world – said that I was going to get enlightened, that I would ”disappear into the silence”. I did not really understand what he meant then and it was totally absurd for me when other course participants congratulated me afterwards. The thought that I was going to be enlightened was totally absurd for me. For me enlightenment was something that happened to special and chosen persons like Osho, Buddha, Jesus, Lao-Tzu and Krishnamurti. I did not feel either special or chosen. I did not feel worthy of being enlightened
The whole theme of enlightenment is still too large and overwhelming for me, but I feel that the deepest thirst in my heart and being is to get enlightened, to become one with Existence. I really want to know the mystery of life. I feel that the rare and precious moments when my heart and being vibrates in oneness and harmony with life shows that I am on the right track. The open secret, the existential joke, is that enlightenment is to search for that which we already are.
Enlightenment is really as simple as drinking a glace of water. But because enlightenment is so simple, it is easy to miss. Enlightenment is so close to us that it is easy to miss. It is about realizing that the door to enlightenment has never been closed. It is our own effort and restlessness that keeps it closed.
In love relationships with another person, we can experience short moments of unity and wholeness. But these moments are always followed by separation again, since relationships are a continuos balance between love and freedom, between meeting and parting, between independence and being together and between separation and wholeness. Enlightenment means to discover this wholeness, this harmony with life, within ourselves, without being dependent on anybody or anything.
Enlightenment does not mean to be special or to have an idea to be especially spiritual. There is nothing special about being enlightened. To be enlightened does not mean to be higher than somebody else - in the same way that a large tree is not higher or better than a little bush or a rose is not more beautiful than a tulip is. Enlightenment just means that we have discovered our authentic inner being, our innate belongingness with life, while somebody else will realize this when the time is ripe. To be enlightened is to be totally ordinary, so ordinary, in fact, that we are nobody at all, we are nothingness, an emptiness. To be enlightened is to be a medium for Existence; to be enlightened is to be a spiritual healer. It is to be a medium for Existence, so that the Whole can sing and dance through us. We become a flute on the lips of Existence through which the existential music can flow. 
Existence tries in every moment to give us exactly what we need with more love, compassion and creativity than we can ever imagine. When we trust life, we can relax and allow life to guide us to meet the people that we need to meet, to make the experiences that we need in order to take the next step in our spiritual development.
The essence of life is joy. Joy is the substance of life.

We think that we are separated from life, but in reality we are already one with life. We are an inseparable part of life. We belong to life.
If you want to test how independent you really are from life, then try to hold your breath and imagine how long you would survive without air. Life is a continuous development between independence and dependence, between love and freedom and between male and female qualities. We need the air, we need the houses and we need the roads. We are not separate from life; we are a part of life.
Existence supports us totally in our thirst and longing to return to the original source. Existence tries in every way to help us to get enlightened, to realize that we are already one with life.
Our world is a mirror of ourselves; our world is a mirror of our own face. We receive exactly what we give ourselves. If we give out love, we receive love back. If we give out anger and hate, we receive anger and hate back. If we want to create a loving world around us, then begin to give love – and love will return to us like pebbles on the water.
Spiritual healing means to heal the split between our idea of being a separate “I” and all that which we already are. Spiritual healing means to heal our separation from life. Spiritual healing is to become a healing Buddha.
One evening when I meditated out in nature, my separation from life suddenly disappeared and changed into a unity with life. Suddenly I was one with life. A joy without reason filled my heart. I was suddenly one with the divine dance. It was a deeply healing experience, a feeling that I was Ok as I am and that Existence loves me. It was a feeling of belonging to Existence. It was an experience of coming home.
When we realize that we are one with life, the world becomes our home. We are at home everywhere.
Enlightenment is like throwing everything up in the air – all our ideas, dreams, expectations, our separate goals, our previous spiritual experiences, all our ideas of who we are – and see what comes down again – if anything.
Enlightenment is not only a question of individual enlightenment; it is also a question of global enlightenment. It is a question of creating a buddhafield, a paradise, on earth.
We all seek enlightenment – independent of if we are aware of it or not. We all seek love, joy, acceptance, silence, truth, freedom and oneness with life. Some people seek enlightenment in unconscious ways through work, power, status, success, money, relationships, and sex or through becoming famous, but it is all the same basic search for enlightenment.
Enlightenment is not only about individual enlightenment, it is also about collective enlightenment. Collective enlightenment means an expansion of consciousness. It means to begin to think in terms of “we”, rather than “I”. To think only in terms of “I” is to act out of the personality. The personality is a separation from life. To think in terms of “we” means to be in contact with the inner being, with the authentic self, with the meditative quality within ourselves, with the inner capacity to surrender to life. To think in terms of “we” means to be in contact with the inner “yes”-quality. It means to cooperate with that which is larger than ourselves. Collective enlightenment could also be called for spiritual globalization – in contrast to the economic globalization, which is only good for the few and bad for the many. When we realize that all living beings seek enlightenment, that all living beings seek love, joy, truth and freedom, we can develop a sense of compassion for all living beings.
The seventh level of consciousness is placed on top of the head. It is called Unity or chrownchakra and relates to open for universal consciousness, to attain the ultimate wisdom.
The seventh level of consciousness relates to learning to know God. It relates to truth, unconditional love, enlightenment and the experience of being one with the Whole. It is a freedom and joy beyond words. The experience of the seventh chakra is an experience beyond words, which is hard to describe in words. It is to be nothing and everything at the same time. It is to discover that we have never really been separated from Existence. It is to be in a deep harmony with Existence. Our separate little river has finally united with the ocean of consciousness, with the Whole.
When we begin to open the seventh chakra, the thousand petaled lotus flower opens. We have learnt the lesson of life. We have grown up. We have become spiritually ripe and our inner tree has finally grown fruit. This unity with the Whole does not mean that our unique individuality disappears. It means that the richer our life experience is and the more qualities we have developed, the richer the quality of our enlightenment becomes.
A seeker of truth must take the last steps towards enlightenment himself without relying on any outer crutch or authority.
I took a quiet cup of coffee at a coffee shop and when I left the shop, one of these precious moments happened. Suddenly my whole perspective of reality changed from separation to wholeness. I experienced a unity and belongingness with all people that I meet. I experienced that I was one with all people and that all people come from the same invisible source. People have their own unique individuality, but they come from the same source. It is diversity in unity. It was a sheer joy to walk around and experience that I was one with all the people that I meet.
Divine love is to realize that we are one with life. Real love is to realize that in our essence, we are one with the other person, one with the stones, one with the trees, one with the earth and one with the blue sky. It is to realize that all of life is God.
I had a magical day during one Sunday when I walked out in nature. On the outside this day only consisted of taking a walk out in the beautiful sunny weather and cleaning my apartment, but on the inside everything suddenly changed. When I walked out in nature in the sunny weather, a silent explosion suddenly happened within me and my whole perception of reality changed. In a single moment, everything had changed, although nothing on the outside had really changed. Everything on the outside was exactly as before, but my way of seeing had changed. The difference was that before I did not see and now I could see. My eyes were open. Suddenly I was one with everything, one with the stones, one with the trees and one with the people that I meet on my walk. My heart danced with joy together with a feeling of: ”I am God”. Not that I am the creator of everything, but that I am part of the Whole, part of the divine. It felt like coming home, that Existence is my home. I also saw that even if the people that I meet did not understand that they are a part of the Whole, they still are a part of the Whole. I felt the waves of Existence in my own heart and being and I felt like a small wave in a great ocean. It gave a taste of the eternal, a taste of the limitless and boundless source of creativity. In just a few moments, I learnt more than during 20 years in university. Wisdom is basically the understanding that we all are part of the Whole. We are all small rivers moving towards the ocean. I laughed at the fact that enlightenment is really our innate birthright and that small children already lives in this mystical unity with the Whole.
Enlightenment is a total ”yes” and acceptance of ourselves. It is to love ourselves as we are.
Enlightenment is to live, love and be from the inner being, from the inner life source.
Enlightenment is to discover our authentic inner being, our unique flavor and quality, our true individuality. It is not about trying to imitate somebody else.
Enlightenment is the phenomenon of ”disappearing” into the Whole, to become so one with the larger flow of the Whole that it starts to sing and dance through us.
When we live in contact with our inner being, we find ourselves in an alive, intimate and expanding relationship with Existence.
Enlightenment is not a static phenomenon; it is to say ”yes” to the truth of the moment. It is to embrace the living reality of the moment. Enlightenment is a dance with life, a dance of eternity.
The insight of enlightenment is the same in everybody, but the way to express the quality of enlightenment is different depending on the flavor, quality, life experience and individuality of the person.
Enlightenment is not an end; it is a new beginning, which has no end. It just means that we realize that we are one with life – and that life is a dance of joy.
The dimension of being is a love affair with love. It is to return to the original source. It is to be one with life. It is to come home.
Enlightenment is to be in intimate contact with the healing ocean. It is when the drop disappears into the ocean, into the Whole. 
SWAMI DHYAN GITEN is author of the book Song of Meditation — About Meditation, Relationships & Spiritual Creativity (Solrosens forlag, Swedish edition, 2001) and The Silent Whisperings of the Heart - A Collection of quotes from Giten (The Mandala Press, USA, 2006). The Swedish edition of his first book Song of Meditation was selected as the book of the month by Life Energy Book Club, one of the largest quality book clubs in Sweden.  He is currently writing his third book Presence - Working from Within: Working with people from Love, Meditation and Wholeness.
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