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The Four “-lessnesses” of Enlightenment

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at four characteristics of enlightened awareness. Explanations of spiritual enlightenment can seem a little like riddles, and this article is a little like that, but at the same time I hope it is accessible enough for you to feel as if you can enjoy exploring enlightened awareness  for yourself.

Yours in the clear and chaotic space of enlightenment,


The Four “-lessnesses” of Enlightenment

Spiritual enlightenment means to locate the centre of your awareness in a place that is radically different from the place where it is for most people.
One of the difficulties of getting to this space of radically different space is that it is really quite difficult to describe, as it is beyond our usual use and experience of language. One of the best ways to try and describe it is by indicating what it is not.
So, with this in mind here are four “-lessnesses” that if we contemplate them can give us an idea of what resting in a state of spiritually enlightened awareness might be like:

Form-lessness – Enlightened awareness itself is formless, it has no physical or mental form. It is just that part of ourself that is pure awareness.
Time-lessness – Enlightened awareness is that part of our awareness that is beyond all ideas of past, present and future
Self-lessness – The Enlightened self is beyond any ordinary concept of self that we might normally have. It has no physical or mental characteristics that we can say ‘this is it’. In this sense it is a selfless-self.
Home-lessness – Our enlightened self has no location in time and space. Its home is in a place where there is no concept of home. Thus is at home everywhere and nowhere.

Four images for connecting to your Enlightened Nature

1. Imagine that the world around you dissolves into space. Then imagine that your body dissolves into space. All that is left is a formless space. Rest quietly in your awareness of that.
2. Drop all concepts of past present and future. Rest entirely in that place that lies beyond our understanding of ordinary time.
3. Forget the person you are. Drop all ideas of your story and personality. Rest in the awareness of that part of you that lies beyond any ideas of who you are.
4. Let go of the idea that ‘home’ is a place that you can ever find or get to. Rest in that part of your awareness is at home wherever you are, whatever you are doing, that does not need a place to go to feel at ease.

Your enlightened nature is a place that you can rest in, a place you can regenerate your energy, a place that gives the rest of your life in time and space perspective a context. It won’t give you the answers to your life, but it is a place that will give you the confidence to go and find those answers for yourself.

For this week you might like to sit and mindfully explore one of the four images above in contemplation, simply allowing your mind to rest for a few minutes in a state of form-lessness, time-lessness, self-lessness or home-lessness.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Support for you Meditation Practice 

If you enjoyed the article above, and are interested in sound technology that can help you more easily get into deeper states of meditation, the following two tracks work well with cultivating formless, timeless meditations:

Harmonic Resonance Meditation

Audio Serenity