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7 steps to enlightenment for beginners, steps to achieve them

Buddhism is all about spiritual development. Its not a religion that includes
worshipping gods or goddesses, but it focuses on the person him/herself.
Buddhism focuses on the following things:

Being mindful of your own thoughts and activities (meditation)


Living a proper life (morality/kindness)
Developing wisdom

According to Buddhist belief, suffering is caused by


The end goal of Buddhism is to achieve nirvana. So what is nirvana?

Enlightenment
A view of the true nature of reality
Cosmic unity
Unconditional love
Wisdom
Peace
Maturity

The Buddha has taught that all our unpleasant experiences result from an
uncontrolled mind, and all our pleasant experiences are products of a
properly controlled mind. He gave instructions for overcoming the
destructive characteristics of our minds and nurturing helpful mental states.
First Noble Truth
To live is to suffer to endure the hardships of life and the burdens of
psychological pains. In particular, suffering, impermanence, and uncertainty
(the tilakhana) are always present in existence.
Second Noble Truth
Suffering is caused by desire and repulsion. Wanting something or someone
makes you become dependent on that object or person, which means that
your happiness is out of your control. This makes you take charge of your
own contentment and joy. In fact, it is said that craving ties you to this world
and cause you to become reincarnated over and over again.
Third Noble Truth

Its possible to conquer suffering and achieve happiness in life by letting go


of addictions, and by not holding on to the past or imagining the future.
Focusing on the present instead of wasting energy on the past or future will
free us from stress and enable us to become happier.
Fourth Noble Truth
The Noble 8-Fold Path will make us escape the cycle of suffering.
Majority of people teach that the self must be developed
8 Limbs of Yoga
These limbs are all connected to each other, and a development in one
aspect will lead to a growth in another.
Yama
The way you relate to other people.
Niyama
The way you treat yourself.
Asana
The way you control your body.
Pranayama
Mastering your breathing.
Pratyahara
Turning your attention inward and away from the external world.
Dharana
Unwavering focus on one thing.
Dhyana
Deep meditation.
Samadhi
Enlightenment transcending the self

There are many methods to achieve enlightenment. For example, if you go


by the chakra development route, you will learn that you have to go through
the base chakra and work your way up. The base chakra deals with survival
issues, the second chakra deals with sexuality and so on, until you end up
with the crown chakra, which is synonymous to enlightenment. On other
traditions, you become blissful when you achieve a deep communion with
God through rituals, service, prayer, etc. This book will concentrate on the
Buddhist approach with a contemporary twist.
Its important to keep in mind that enlightenment is very personal. People
have different ideas about it so you dont have to match other peoples
experiences to be sure that you have reached your own enlightenment.
Its difficult to describe just what being enlightened is, so you have to
experience it yourself. But to give some clues, enlightenment is a state
where you experience completion. It makes you aware that everything is
made of consciousness, and your consciousness is part of everything. Your
view will become altered in a way that you may perceive the true nature of
reality, which is different from the normal, everyday reality that majority of
people spend their lives in. The experience unifies your fragmented self, and
at the same time connects you to a whole thats bigger than you.
Paradoxically though, enlightenment also releases you from your
individuality and it may feel that you have disappeared. The paradox will not
matter at this point because your enhanced mind will be able to reconcile the
gap.
To become enlightened is to be real to embody who you really are and not
what you or other people think you are. By reaching enlightenment, you will
come back as a stronger version of you who is true to your core. This is not
a superficial self-help treatment where you pretend to be someone youre
not.