Are You Available for Enlightenment?

May 31, 2024

In preparation for my two upcoming retreats I’ve been reading a wonderful book called In Days of Great Peace by Mouni Sadhu. Sadhu was a devotee of Ramana Maharshi and lived in Ramana’s ashram during the last year of the great sage’s life. In Days of Great Peace recounts the author's time at the ashram and the realizations he had there.

Sadhu's book can teach us many things about the quest for enlightenment. The first being about the immense the power of reverence. Every word of the book is saturated with a sense of veneration. Holding an ideal like enlightenment in such high regard may not be well thought of today, but when it comes to the sacred possibility of Divine Union, it's a necessity.

In order of us to be available for the miracle of enlightenment we must treat the extraordinary possibility of spiritual transformation with the highest regard. Enlightenment only becomes available to us when we hold it with veneration because the things we hold in veneration are the things we care most about. They are the things we take care of and pay close attention to. This is the relationship we must have with the possibility of enlightenment.

In Sadhu's descriptions of Ramana's ashram I feel the deep respect that fills every inch of space. Most of the people who lived in that field of reverence found their experience of life shifting in dramatic ways. This is the atmosphere that I want to create on my retreats.

When a group of people are on a retreat, they can generate a profound degree of mutual respect for what they are doing together. This atmosphere generates a field of supercharged spiritual potential. Spiritual practice done with this depth of respect for ourselves and for the possibility we’re aspiring to – will catalyze breakthrough experiences we could never attain on our own.

In an atmosphere of deep respect and love the experience of higher awareness descends upon us through grace. Over and over, Sadhu explains how the powers of single-pointed concentration, mental clarity, mystical vision, spiritual love, as well as a profound eradication of fear, all flood into our experience simply by resting inside a field of reverence.

I know this is true because I've experienced it. We can come together in a sense of reverence that washes away the obstacles to realization. In that atmosphere no work is required. We simply rest in our true spiritual love, and the obstacles melt away. Fear, pain, anxiety, uncertainty, judgment, pride, callousness and rigidity are all sweep aside as the direct realization that we are part of a living cosmos enters us. We see how our life is constantly flowing into us from a higher source. In this dramatically expanded sense of existence, we see for ourselves what a miracle it is to be alive.

The purpose of a retreat is to come together with others to generate a sacred atmosphere that opens us to the miracle of enlightenment.

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