The ability to dramatically increase our enlightenment
How we do it
Another view of 'the steps'
"Enlightenment is disenheavyment."
"Enlighten: To give the light of fact and knowledge to; reveal truths to; free from ignorance, prejudice or superstition."
Webster's New World College Dictionary
Enlightenment is "transforming... suffering and hardship into a world of hope... seeing the 'boundless' potential within human beings."
"Simplify all the crappola that mankind has added to basic Buddhist wisdom and you are left with the message that we have the capability to achieve, through learning of wisdom, great happiness."
Removing what gets in the way leaves that which we can thrive on:
Effectiveness in life
THE ABILITY TO DRAMATICALLY INCREASE OUR ENLIGHTENMENT
It is proven that we have a great learning capacity and a brain that has a part that has great reasoning power, known as Right Thinking.
Those are the tools to achieve more than we can even conceptualize that we could achieve.
What we can achieve is not actually limitless, but metaphorically speaking it is "limitless."
Basically, we have a huge, huge box with limits as its boundaries of what we can do, but we are so far from those boundaries and in such a small part of the box that we would never run into the boundaries (unless we had infinite life). In a sense, we are boundaryless, or you could simply say we have vastly more potential to achieve what we want in life such that our happiness could realistically be, in my estimate, increased at least 100 fold.
The idea of "growth" is not, in my estimate, about growing for growth's sake, but about the ability to, at each level of growth, live life better (more effectively) and increase our abiity to appreciate each part of life at a higher level.
The basic idea is that we get a great return for our time and effort each time we grow, so the name of the game is to maximize our growth each time we have the opportunity and time to do so - so we can be happier and happier and happier and then even more happy... (Of course, we have to spend time living the other parts of life, so our time for growth is limited in some degree, but not nearly as much as we think! Read the 80/20 Principle on www.live8020.com.) Suffering is caused by beliefs that don't match reality, thereby defying principles, laws, and what works. We solely need to identify those beliefs that are based on what is not true and to replace those beliefs with what is true and what works.
If we do that, the rest falls into place, because we are fully enabled to use our great abilities to achieve much more of what we want, without the limits of beliefs that are untrue.
Indeed, it is a virtually 100% accurate indicator that one is thinking an untrue belief if one is experiencing any emotional pain.
HOW WE DO IT
If we are going to create ourselves as something great and beautiful so that we can live a life of full happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment, we need to do as Michelangelo did in creating the statue of David: he simply chipped away all that wasn't David. So, our task is to chip away all that isn't true and workable out of our minds and ways of doing things and to enhance the wisdom of how to live life.
We do that by:
Acquiring the wisdom to know better what to do and how to view things.
Learning "what works" in life and how things work, in order to maximize their use for
That is what this site is about.
ANOTHER VIEW OF "THE STEPS"
Once one takes away all the fodder, the truth of the Four Noble Truths becomes obvious: that we create our own suffering, it is unnecessary, and we simply need to correct our beliefs to match reality and we will eliminate the suffering.
The means to that is to adhere the eight practices that get you to the point of operating well enough to achieve the wisdom that is necessary to eliminate suffering and to create oneself being truly happy. I recommend you adopt and live them, for the rest of your life. They are listed in The Eight-Fold Path Of Buddhism.
The Enlightened Person's Checklist. Are you enlightened? What does an enlightened person look like? What does such a person do? How does he/she live? See how you stack up against this, and see which you want to add to who you are and how you are living life. An Enlightenmen Plan For A Specific Young Person - Plan 1 - Written for a young man who was seeking the truth, who stuck closely by me while I was at The Option Institute. He was reading Islamic materials, studying meditation, etc - and seeking true enlightenment. I remember one day, as I was walking by with some other people, that he called me aside to ask me the question "how can I eliminate all thoughts?" (as in meditation), to which I replied "you can't, as it is impossible, but you can manage them and not believe that which is unsubstantial and not true." Alex - See an email answer to his question of how to reach enlightenment. My Enlightenment Experience Being Sick In India - Gratitude And My Non-Suffering. An interesting experience of being light even though extremely sick - and an affirmation of the saying that "pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional."