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Can Enlightenment Be Simplified?

I have been seeking for a while. Like probably since about age 5 or 6. I just forgot. I remembered about 13 years ago when I found myself at Wattle Hollow near Devils Den, bawling in the woods during a silent retreat with dear sweet Joy Fox. Fast forward, a decade + of dedicating myself to exploration, interaction, study, and discipline. The discipline wasn’t really as admirable as it sounds, it was out of survival and a desperate need to grow and to return back to my early seeking self.

As a young child I recall spending time in my “world”. I think most of us did that right? That quiet place where it was only you inside of yourself. No one else’s words or beliefs. I remember distinctly spending time in that space, and then coming out and asking the question “is life even real?” ”am I even real?”  I remember thinking that everyone must know about that place, and have those questions. At Wattle Hollow I found it again. Underneath the noise were the tears and the trauma, and then I found the quiet. It was exactly like I remembered it. 

A few years ago, I discovered Transcendental Meditation for its simplicity. Through this mantra-based technique I found myself again. And the bonus, the founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a trained physicist, dedicated to bring objective scientific thought to ancient teachings. My other favorite, Abraham Hicks, also describes processes that simplify connection. Connection to your highest self. To the life you have already defined for yourself but for some reason won’t let yourself in.

Today I don’t have the answers but I am beginning to see the simplicity of higher states. How to know when you are “in” or when you are “out” and how to help yourself in the in between. 

SEVEN STAGES OF CONSCIOUSNESS (as I understand them):

1 to 3: Waking, Sleeping, Dreaming. Evolution of desires. Experiencing the full emotional range in response to life’s experiences.

Fourth: Beyond the activity of the mind, silent pure awareness. Allows you to align with your greatest potential and that of the greatest support in creativity. Scientific markers include alpha brain coherence, decrease in skin conductivity, increase frontal blood flow, reduced respiration that pervade all higher states. Distinctly different from stages 1 to 3. Meditation can cultivate access to this stage. Life in turn responds to desire. Peace, joy, bliss felt naturally and easily during the stage. 

Fifth: Duality, seeing your “normal” self-living and experiencing life PLUS feeling your inner space of quiet, the inner silent pure awareness. Allowing awareness to have a constant presence. Occurs naturally after spending time in stage four. Our opportunity to align with desire and life’s response. Peace, joy, bliss grow. The dual perspective allows us to consciously move up emotional scale. 

Sixth: Union with the highest support in nature, that is always around, supporting the precious you. For the spiritual, experiencing God’s love for you. For the metaphysical, experiencing the magnetic law of attraction. For the scientific, change in metabolic rate that corresponds with changes of experiences in the environment. Getting really good at the alignment of our desire with life. Peace, joy, bliss stabilize even during diversity. Experience stability of higher emotional states.

Seventh: Maintaining union. Steadiness. Spiritual, metaphysical, scientific - whatever your belief about it is exactly perfect. Maintain the union between Self and guaranteed support. Embracing diversity because of the desire that is born. Deep appreciation for all manifest and unmanifest. Peace, joy, bliss stabilize during diversity. Experience permanence in higher emotional states. 

Meditation is the number one way to reset yourself, to “remember” your quiet pure state of awareness. Once you find it, you can access it anywhere. You can feel it beside you all day. You can tell when you have gone away from it. You experience the support of nature when you maintain it. Your direct experience reveals your path toward it and with it. Your direct experiences determine your practice and dedication to it.

For my personal path, mantra-based meditations are the easiest. In February I’ll be certified to teach Primordial Sound Meditation with Chopra. The course will include 7 hours of scientific and spiritual lessons about consciousness to help you fine-tune the path inward and a personal mantra that you can use for the rest of your life, calculated to your Vedic vibration.  Email me at sunnymlane@gmail.com to schedule your personal or group session. With so much love, Sunny

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sunny Lane, M.Ed. has been teaching meditation and yoga in Northwest Arkansas for over 10 years, having studied Vinyasa Yoga with Dr. Kausthub Desikachar, Tibetan Buddhist Meditation with Geshe Dorjee and Vipassana Meditation with Joy Fox. She currently works in the nonprofit sector, consults for the University of Arkansas Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, and has a Master’s degree in Education and Workforce Development.

As a Transcendental Meditation practitioner, Sunny is researching the science and technology of consciousness through Maharishi International University. Her research focuses on the influence authentic emotions have on the development of higher states of consciousness and how they can be used as the measuring stick and map for fulfillment. She is a certified Conscious Aging Facilitator, E-RYT 200, and is completing her second Master’s degree in Consciousness and Human Potential. 

Sunny currently works in the nonprofit sector as the Director of Development for the Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center, aligning regional economic development efforts with high-quality early childhood education through local, state, and federal grants and partnerships. Since joining in 2014, the development team has raised over $22M to fund annual programs and the organization’s new facility near the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, she spent 15+ years in corporate business development and higher education. In addition, she operates The Sunny Soul, providing on-site wellness, meditation and yoga classes for local companies and schools. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Bentonville, the Network of Executive Women, and active in the Greater Bentonville Chamber. She has been a resident of Bella Vista, Arkansas since 1999 and has three children, Jamie, Hannah, and Robbie.