by Enza Vita

Q: How do I realize my true spiritual self?

A: The conscious awareness that reads this page is your actual true being, the one and only true self that can see through every eye, hear with every ear and feel with every heart.

Once you realize this, you naturally begin to shift, from being constantly in your head thinking all the time to finding yourself simply abiding as awareness, your true identity. Once it’s pointed out to you, you will find yourself entirely here and entirely aware.

All that has occurred is that you’ve simply recognized the obviousness of this aware presence that you already are, and the obviousness that it has always been here. This is what is meant by the words, “I know that I am.” This natural obviousness of your true nature, the truth of your being, is all the support that is needed. Truly.

Your assumption that you are an independent entity is only an automatic projection of your ego. Recognizing your true self, being as you are, is not about achieving a goal or reaching a certain point. It’s about being present in this moment, and nothing else. Everything is encompassed in that simple act. From there, everything else happens effortlessly.

Keep it simple. You are present and aware of your existence right now. Everything else is thinking and belief that will take you away from this doubtless unavoidable aware presence. When attention wanders into thoughts and then imagines a “me,” a conglomerate of beliefs is born, and like a cloud hides the sun, so those ideas hide this aware presence.

Be what you are.

Anything else, all concepts of what we are, are only thoughts appearing and disappearing in the brightly aware space that you are.

Q: How do you define Enlightenment ?

Enlightenment is not a special experience. We’re always looking for that special experience in the midst of our ordinary life like looking for diamonds in the mud, but the mud itself is pretty interesting. Remember when we were kids? Who cared about the diamonds right? Give me the mud, much much more fun…

And when we really see the mud, our ordinary life just as it is, that very seeing is the Love, Peace, Joy and Freedom that we have been looking for.

What we are in essence includes everything. It also includes our humanity and being human involves having thoughts and feelings. This is not something to be abolished but something to be fully experienced. Realization does not abolish one’s humanity but it actually makes us more human because nothing is resisted.

Enlightenment is not like a perpetually sunny day or being “in the zone” 24 hours a day or having a sustained experience of any kind but it’s more about seeing the face of God, the Beloved in everything as everything and knowing that everything is an expression of That – winning, losing, being in the zone, being out of the zone, falling flat on our face and resting as That which includes and transcends all duality.

True Realization is seeing God, or the play of Consciousness, not just in the transcendental state but in and as the physical world, in and as all these other beings, and in and as us. And the realization is that God, the source the Absolute is everywhere and everything including our ordinary life as it is moment to moment. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes messy and even terrible. But always, always deeply miraculous.

Enza Vita is the editor of InnerSelf Newspaper and founder and director of the MahaShanti Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the awakening of all beings. Enza is the author of the book Always Already Free. Based on Enza’s own experience, Always Already Free, guides the reader from the seeking process through the integration of enlightenment into everyday life and reveals that spiritual enlightenment is not a faraway dream, but the ever-present reality always available here and now.