Should pushing towards enlightenment be advised if I feel a lot of resistance?
Updated: Jan 23, 2022
There are many stories of intense seekers who, on the verge of a mental and emotional meltdown, finally reach the moment when the inflated balloon of self breaks and the pressure vanishes. Self-identity, constructed by ego and intellect, is suddenly gone, leaving them with great relief and the realization of the simple Self.
Fortunately, this type of intensity is not required to reach the states we refer to as enlightened. Do we need an objective? Yes. Do we need a method? Yes. Do we have to be steady in our practice? Yes.
Anyone who excels in their craft, whether a pianist, artist, surgeon, chef, etc., has an objective and a passion for their work. They do it because they love it, or some do it just because - they have to; it's in their spirit.
However, as any creative person will tell you, there will be many times when you don't feel inspired - you have writer's block, it feels like you are up against a wall and can't move forward.
The drive to push forward is pushed back by an unseen resistance.
I can relate to the above, as I have been a musician, artist, writer, and more and an intense spiritual seeker my entire life. I have been through many personal struggles: meltdowns, despair, and feeling alone and frustrated when being up against a wall that I couldn't push through.
I've had enlightenment moments too - once, a time of anguish when my heart was breaking, and yet another time, just a moment of subtle distraction: I expanded so quickly that my ego couldn't regroup itself or its old ideas.
This quiet awakening led to an enlightened state of consciousness.
Some experiences are temporary, and others are permanent profound shifts in perception of Self and the world around us.
If you struggle with your meditation practice and don't feel like meditating, don't. Meditation is a tool but not the answer in itself.
Now, some people say that you need to push through difficult times - like a bodybuilder who has reached a plateau - you can't stop; you need to keep going.
All this depends on your personality type and which is the best approach for you.
To reach an enlightenment experience, we don't need to go head to head with ourselves like a battle. Instead, we win the war by withdrawing our attention from the field of mental activity, thereby no longer giving fuel to our thoughts.
In other words, we win by appearing to lose.
Our meditation should be so light and soft that we feel no resistance. Our thoughts and ego-identity can't get a foothold because we have gently withdrawn our interest in their activity - again and again.