What is spirituality? What is enlightenment? What role does meditation play in experiencing these states of being? How can martial arts be harnessed to achieve these moments of bliss and extend them into eternity?
Spirituality is the search for the eternal truth- at least that is why I undertake a spiritual journey. The truth is so vast and it can be sought using many varied paths. Many seek through religion, others through practises of personal development and transformation such as yoga, meditation and martial arts, some use healing as a means to connect to ultimate reality, while others use science to discern the truth empirically, with measureable, quantifiable evidence. These paths offer many benefits and individuals will be drawn towards one or many aspects that appeal to them. It is not to say that all people who practise these disciplines are seeking eternal truth. For those that do have a desire to connect to the universal truth, these paths offer chances to glimpse an experience that is often fleeting and at the same time life changing, when the connection to the universal truth is made. This is what I think the Masters called enlightenment- a series of spiritually enhancing experiences that bring the person closer to the ultimate truth.
Meditation takes you further away from the chatter of the mind and closer to the blissful silence of no- mind where you might experience the currents of universal energy flow and access wisdom and understanding that are beyond your conscious mind. You might make intuitive leaps that give you insight or profound compassion that leads to healing and human connection far deeper than pills and potions can offer. You reach a centre of calmness that need not leave you when you rise from your meditation practise. You can carry it with you, a still centre in the vortex of life experience. This state of peace and inner acceptance and power can also be achieved in martial arts- the forms provide a moving meditation that invoke dynamic stillness that may spread out across many moments achieving a state of deep calm and rapid, powerful movement.
Both martial arts and meditation can be practised to such a degree that life can become an endless experience of calmness and tranquillity. From a balanced centre, a person can experience the joy of love, the power of combat and the beauty of art and life itself. From this centre, there is a profound sense of self, of who I am and what I stand for.
Remaining centred is an intuitive art. As the environment around you is changing, so you too must flow with the changing elements of your environment. No moment is ever the same, no experience ever duplicated, simply an ever- changing flow of energy that remains in balance and harmony. The conscious mind cannot do that. Only the still centre can be a true reflection of the world around it, like a still lake perfectly reflects the sky. The reflection changes with every passing cloud, every animal that enters and moves in the landscape, each rustle of swaying branches.
So enlightenment, if you are to experience it for longer than that fleeting moment, means you become one with the environment. Enlightenment is not a static state of being- it is fluid. You must feel your way through the perfection of experience and being to remain balanced, in harmony and in blissful awareness of the ever expanding moment.
Nourish the Flame Within offers meditations that brings you to that centre, to remain there and honour that unique self that is inter- connected to all universal energy or ultimate truth. To explore where that connection takes you is your journey to that eternal truth, that experience of enlightenment that becomes your spiritual path.