Travelling Light

Enlightenment and the End of Self

Years ago, I (Jenny) had an experience which I only recently came to know was a moment of understanding of the Tantric approach to enlightenment – which resonates so much more with me than the world-denying ascetic approach.

This is what I wrote at the time:

ride_the_light_hd_widescreen_wallpapersThe path to enlightenment may not lie where we supposed …

It was a flicker of understanding, which dodged momentarily above the threshold of conscious awareness as I lay in savasana at the end of a yoga class. Abandoning pranayama breathing, I dived deep to follow that scintillating flicker.

Something to do with the Self, and the struggle to transcend it.

Where is it? And then I am amongst it, fully immersed for a moment in the revelation. Freed by it. My body reconfigures in an instant to incorporate the new understanding.

Rather than striving to eliminate the Self (for striving causes suffering), perhaps we could watch the Self performing its antics with compassion and good humour.

The Self is inescapable for most mortals.

Do we, then, resign ourselves to a lifetime of yearning for the unknowing bliss of completely letting go of the Self? Or does enlightenment lie elsewhere?

Whoever or whatever it is that gives such things gives us our essence at birth. The design of this essence starts to unfold. To watch it unfold is to live. To watch it with confidence and good humor is to follow the way.


Quoted in The Warlord by Malcolm Bosse.

Where Taoism meets Buddhism, there does the Self lose its grip on my mind and my emotions. And once seen its proper perspective, well, it’s kinda amusing.