Spiritual Enlightenment - Part 3

By Leo Gura - March 31, 2015 | 97 Comments

A guided meditation for creating an experience of no-self

Video Transcript

Show Full Transcript Minimize Transcript

Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org, and in this video I am talking about spiritual enlightenment and specifically how to go about creating an actual experience of no self. The objective of this video is to create a real experience of no self.

This is a somewhat advanced thing here. I am not going to go into a lot of foundation of what spiritual enlightenment is. If you are hearing this for the first time, what is this thing called no self and what is this thing called spiritual enlightenment, you have got to go and watch some of my earlier and more introductory videos about that, which you can find on my channel.

In this video, I am not going to spend a lot of time covering theory. What I want to do is tell a little bit of theory, but then jump right into a guided meditation where we will try to get you a real little taste of no self. It is not real enlightenment, but just like a little taste of it so that this starts to feel real for you.

It is really important that enlightenment is not confused with some philosophy, some religious system or some way of theorizing about the world, but recognizing that this is an actual fact, an empirical fact that you can experience right now. It is happening for you every second of your life. The only question is – are you conscious of it?

Here, we are going to try and quiet your mind down so that you can become conscious of it, if only for a couple of minutes. What we are going to do here is we are going to show you the truth of no self. What is this truth?

To recap from all the other videos, the truth of no self basically means that the entity that you believe is you, which is the entity that is experiencing all of life, that is perceiving the sound of my voice right now, that is looking at me if you are watching me on video, that is feeling your body and that is thinking things, that entity is an illusion of the mind. It is not a real entity.

This is the mother of all truths. This is like the key that unlocks the highest and most advanced levels of personal development and self-actualization that you can get to in life. This is the key that unlocks it all. This is the mother of all truths.

This is what is behind all of your neurosis in life, all your fears, all of your frustrations, your inability to be happy, all the problems you have in relationships and all the problems you have motivating yourself and being productive in your life. It all basically boils down to this fundamental root problem. The problem is that you believe that you are this entity, but this entity does not actually exist.

What we want to do in spiritual enlightenment work is we want to undertake an empirical investigation using our senses and using firsthand experience to actually discover for ourselves that, in fact, it is the case that there is no self. It is one thing for me to tell you and you can even agree with everything I am telling you, but that is not going to be good enough. You need to actually experience it.

Believing does not count for anything here. That is our objective here. This is going to be a very practical video. In fact, you are not going to get much from it unless you actually sit down and do this guided meditation with me.

I am going to guide you through it. I am going to get to that in a couple of minutes, after I introduce this topic. Find a quiet place. Find a place where nobody will distract you. Find a place where you are not going to feel weird doing this.

If you are driving your car somewhere or whatever, then you are going to have to wait to do this when you are at home and in a quiet location. The key principle here that I want to really introduce before we get into the guided meditation is this principle. The only thing that is real is what exists right now, in the present moment.

The Only Thing Real Is What Exists In The Present Moment

The only thing that is real is what exists right now, for you, in your direct experience in the present moment. This is a very important principle. Right now, I am not going to go into length proving it to you.

You are just going to have to take it on my word, that this principle is the correct principle. One of the problems with doing spiritual enlightenment work is that people look for proofs. They want justifications, but all that stuff is really not important to us because we are going to cut through all that bullshit and get straight to the direct experience.

We are not going to need a lot of justifications and all of that stuff. Plus, I have got other videos that are going to cover the justifications and the theory in lots of detail. I am not going to do that in this video. I want this video to be very practical.

But, I want you to take this principle as an axiom because this principle pretty much does all the heavy lifting in this empirical investigation. If you just take this one principle and you run off with it and apply it rigorously again and again in your life, you are going to become enlightened. That is the power of this principle.

The trick is that right now, if you haven’t done this work, then you do not realize the power that lies in this principle. Again, reality is only what exists right now and right this second, in your awareness. It’s in your awareness.

This means that if you have some idea about how reality is, if you are thinking two minutes into the future, if you are thinking about yourself, if you are thinking about your family, if you are thinking about the person in the next room, if you are thinking about the back of your head, all those things are not what is actually in your direct present experience. This means that those things are not reality. We like to call a lot of things reality, which are actually not reality.

One of the things that we do with spiritual enlightenment work is that we get very rigorous about what we actually define reality as. Reality is not the past. It is not ten years ago. It is not one year ago. It is not even five minutes ago.

It is not even one second ago. It is right now, in this present moment. Also, reality is not the future. It is not ten years from now. It is not one year from now. It is not even five minutes from now. It is not even one second from now.

It is right now. This might seem like it is kind of a pedantic point, but this is a very critical point because once you start to do this self-inquiry, what you are going to discover is this. Oh my god, most of my life, I lived either in the past or in the future. A lot of times, we think we don’t always live in the future.

Actually, what you are going to discover what you mean by future is that you mean a year in the future. Sure, you don’t live a year in the future, but it’s the way you run through your day. You are usually living five minutes into the future or two hours in the future.

Your mind is just thinking forward all of the time or it is thinking about the past. Well, what we need to do is that we need to recognize that this stuff is not reality. That is a figment of our imagination. It’s like a projection inside of the mind of something.

We call that reality, but that is not really reality. This is really where a lot of the illusion comes into play. That is a very important point. Even in the present moment, you might say – “Okay Leo, it makes sense.”

But, even when you are in the present moment, there is still a lot of thinking that you do in the present moment about whatever. You could be thinking about the back of your head right now and believing that it is a real thing. Actually, that is a thought, an image in your mind of the back of your head, which you are not actually seeing or experiencing.

You might be experiencing it if you are feeling the back of your head. You are certainly not seeing it. What we mean by what is actually real is that it has to be felt, seen, smelled, heard, touched and immediately perceived and sensed by you, right this very second.

Right now, if you are not experiencing the Moon, the Moon is not real for you. If you are not experiencing the Sun, the Sun is not real for you. If you are not experiencing your children or your family, it is as though your family does not exist.

It is not real. That is what we are saying. This is a radical claim to make. You might wonder, are we even justified to make such a claim? What I am going to say right now is just go along for the ride with me because it is not about justification.

It is about where we are ultimately going to go, using this little tool. This tool is not to be taken as gospel. It is simply just a tool that is going to help us get to some cool place experientially. The important thing here is that enlightenment is experiential.

Enlightenment is about actually being the truth that we are looking for. It is not about a logical and rational understanding. We are not trying to model reality here. We are not trying to outsmart some other person or trying to come up with a better theory of life that we had in the past.

That is not what we are trying to do. This is a very big trap that a lot of people get caught up in. It’s a very big trap. Just because I warn you about it, it does not mean you are not going to fall into it. I am going to keep warning, again and again and again.

Some of this stuff might seem like I am being repetitive, but this is just the nature of the work. There is not much substance in spiritual enlightenment. It is very simple. You just be the truth. The problem is that we kind of need to move in circles, around and around and around, until your mind starts to actually get what we are referring to here.

We are referring to very simple and basic things. Understand that existence itself is not a rational thing. You can use your rationality to think about life and to come up with the laws of physics and all of this stuff, but the very fact that something exists in reality, the very fact that reality itself is real and it exists is not a rational thing.

This is not something that you can use your logic on. This is not something that you can think about. It doesn’t make any logical sense that something exists versus that it does not. It makes no sense.

It just exists. We just happen to find ourselves in this amazing reality. We tell ourselves that we know so much about reality. In a sense, we do, but in another sense, we do not really know what the existence of it is.

We know how to manipulate reality, but that is a very different thing than understanding the existence of reality itself, which is what we are trying to get at with spiritual enlightenment. We are not only concerned with the existence of reality, but we are also even primarily concerned about what is our personal existence. Who am I?

What am I really? Am I the body? Am I the thoughts in my mind? Am I the voice in my mind? Am I the thing that perceives all of these sensations?

What am I, actually? This might seem like it is an obvious thing. I am this creature, standing before you or I am this creature, sitting over there. Well, it turns out that it is not quite so simple. In fact, you are not that creature.

Even presently, you don’t really believe that you are that creature, but you are just confused about it. What I want to demonstrate to you in this video with this practical exercise that we are going to do is that enlightenment is not a philosophy.

It is not a theory. It is not a religious system. It is not a belief and it is not a scientific model. It is none of those things, which should really peak your curiosity. You would then wonder – “Well Leo, then what exactly is it?”

“How could it not be one of those things? Everything that I have known in my life is one of those things. What you are proposing here, either you are masquerading it as something else, but it is actually one of these things or it is actually and really something totally different.”

“What could that be? I cannot even imagine, because anything that I can imagine is either going to be a theory, a philosophy, a belief system, a religion or a scientific model. What else is there?” Well, that is a very good question.

I want to demonstrate to you what else there is. What there is, besides all of that stuff, is that there is reality itself. There is being, being as in “to be”. This is the thing that all those other things are trying to describe.

What we want to do is that we want to eliminate all of the middle men. We want to go directly to the being, without any intermediary. We are not going to use a philosophy, a theory, a model or even thought to get there. This is because if we are using thought, this is basically what all those different things are, theories, philosophies, religions and scientific models, they are all thoughts.

The problem with thoughts is that if you are thinking thoughts, you are not actually being the reality. You are just thinking about reality. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could be reality itself, without thinking about it? That might seem irrational.

That might seem crazy. That might seem like it is impossible, but I want to suggest to you that it actually might be possible. It is just that you haven’t really practiced doing this before. No one has really taught you how to do this before.

You have never really had one of these kinds of experiences. You have never really had a true experience of being. What you have had 99.99% of your time in life is an experience of thinking, of conceptualizing, of modeling, of theorizing, of philosophizing, of religion—sizing and every other kind of “sizing” that you can come up with.

All of it is basically thoughts. What we want to do is cut through all of that. Now, I want to start this meditation process. I am going to guide you through it. What you are going to do is just sit very comfortably.

This is going to be a very enjoyable process. You are going to sit very comfortably. I am going to take you through this thing and it will take maybe 10, 15 or 20 minutes. I am not sure how long it will take, but we are going to guide you through.

What I want to help you do here is that I want to help you actually get a little taste of the experience of no self. This is an experience of what it is like to actually not be a self, but to be the actual reality that we are trying to really understand. The word ‘understand’ is not a very accurate word here.

We are trying to understand this without thinking about it, which is tricky because you don’t know how to understand something without thinking about it. In your life, you have never done this. Before I begin, I want to give credit to Peter Ralston who I got a lot of great ideas and information from about enlightenment.

He is one of my favorite thinkers about this topic. Some of his guided meditation sessions were really helpful to me, so I was really inspired by that. Let’s go ahead and begin.

The Meditation

Go ahead and take a comfortable seat. I want you to sit with your back straight and upright. Get comfortable. Put your feet flat on the ground. Close your eyes and we will begin. Make sure that you are in a quiet spot and that no one is going to interrupt you for at least 10 to 20 minutes.

Okay, good! Go ahead and close your eyes now. As you do that, I want you to relax your body, just a little bit. Start relaxing all of the muscles. Relax your face. Relax your legs. Relax your stomach. Good!

Start to bring your attention in the present moment, in the moment of right now. It is not a second ago, not a second later, but right now. Notice all the sensations in your body, all the feelings, all the emotions, all the thoughts, any itch you might have, any pressure in your body you might have and any feelings of warmth and coldness. I want you to feel all of that.

Feel the pressure of your butt on the seat that you are sitting on. Don’t think about it. Just experience it, experience it as a raw sensation. Good, now experience the sensation of the soles of your feet on the ground or whatever surface they are touching.

Experience that. Right now, that experience is happening for you in the present moment. Every experience that you experience is only happening in the present moment. Good, notice that you did not notice these sensations previously, five minutes ago when you were watching my video.

You were totally unaware of all of this stuff, but you are in the present moment right now and you are starting to get a sense that these things are happening to you every millisecond. These sensations are morphing, changing, evolving and changing how they feel. Just go with that flow, whatever it is for you.

Just allow it to be and just accept it. Can you allow yourself to accept the present moment exactly as it is, even if it is not perfect and even if you have some lingering worry in the back of your mind of some problem that you have in life? Go ahead and just let that go, just for now and just for a few minutes.

You can always come back to it. Any worries you have about the future – go ahead and let that go too. Just get very present in the moment and start feeling your body. Without moving, can you sense your feet? How do your feet feel?

Can you sense your legs, your lower legs and your upper thighs? Go ahead and sense them right now. Good! Now, sense your butt, sitting on the seat. Just feel it, whatever it feels like. Good, now sense your back, sense your stomach and your ab muscles, without moving them.

Just sense it. Good, now bring your awareness up to your back, your shoulder area and also your front chest muscles. Just sense all of that. Notice how this sensation is happening without your control.

You are not controlling it. You are not manipulating it. It is just happening. You don’t need to think about it. You don’t need to make it happen. It is just happening.

Good, now sense your shoulders and upper arms down through your elbows and into your forearms. Sense all of that. Good, now sense your hands, the tendons in your hands, the muscles in your hands, the palms of your hands and all the way through to your fingertips, without moving.

Just sense that. Good, now sense your neck muscles and move that awareness up into your jaw and into the front of your face. Feel the sensations, the raw sensations in your facial muscles. Go ahead and completely relax all of them. Make your jaw very loose.

Relax your face so that it is totally comfortable. Good, now go ahead and take one really nice and deep breath in, at your own pace. Inhale slowly and then exhale slowly. Good! Relax your body as you do that.

Go ahead and relax your body right now, even more than it already is. Feel all the tension melting away from your body. You are becoming very still, very calm, much centered in the present moment and very in touch with existence. Notice that all these raw sensations that you are feeling are raw existence.

Don’t think about it. Just feel it, notice it and experience it. Existence is experience. Good, now go ahead and take one more really nice and deep breath in calmly and then exhale. As you exhale, relax your body completely.

Good, now let’s have you take one more nice, steady, calm and deep breath in and then as you exhale, relax every single muscle in your body until you are completely and totally relaxed. Very good, now let your breaths breathe automatically for you, without having to control it. Notice how the breath just breathes for you, without you having to will anything.
There is a certain raw sensation to the breath. Good, now also notice your heart beating inside your body and what that feels like. Can you feel it? Good! Notice that this happens automatically, again, without any conscious control from you.

Good, now what I am going to have you do is imagine some things. I want to have your mind be very calm, very still, very tranquil and very placid, like a still pond without a single ripple on it, as you go and imagine these things. I want you to just accept what I tell you and just go with the flow.

Just see where it takes you. If you are comfortable, just go with the flow. Don’t think about it too much. I want you to imagine now the point from where you are sitting now, in the present moment, all the way into the past, all the ways back into the moment you were born. Imagine that all that time never even existed.

Just erase it from your memory, as though it never even existed. It is just not real. Good, now what I want you to do is picture all the time from the present moment to tomorrow, to next year, all the way to the end of your life that you can envision, all the plans that you have, your entire calendar, your work week, your schedule and all the huge and big goals you have for your future. Erase all of that from your mind.

Just make it a blank. Pretend like it never even existed and like it will never exist. It is total fiction. Good, now notice that it leaves you very centered and very present in the moment. The word ‘past’ doesn’t even exist in your mind. The word ‘future’ doesn’t exist in your mind.

All there is are things that are happening exactly now, moment by moment by moment, as I am speaking and as you are feeling all the sensations in your body. Good, now imagine that all the possessions that you have, your house, your furniture, your car, anything else that you own, your bank account, all the money in it, take every single possession that you own and imagine in your mind that they just do not exist. They are just completely erased from reality.

They do not exist. They never even existed. Can you allow yourself to imagine that? Good, it is a total blank spot, as far as possessions go. Now, I want you to imagine your job. If you are a student, imagine your school or any other social obligations that you have.

Imagine the schedule that you have for the next week or for the next month. In your imagination, I want you to completely erase these things. Imagine as though they do not exist and they never existed at all. Poof, gone! Good, now I want you to imagine all of your social roles that you play in life.

I want you to imagine your friends and your family, the people around you, your relationship, maybe your husband or your wife, your girlfriend or your boyfriend. I want you to imagine that none of this exists. Take it from your mind and just totally erase it. It doesn’t exist and it never existed.

Total blank! This feels fine. You are not threatened by this. It is just a total blank. Now I want you to imagine the society that you live in, the culture that you live in and any societal obligations that you have.

Imagine that this society and this culture are just a complete blank. It does not exist and it never existed at all. It is totally gone from your mind and it does not influence you any more at all. The culture does not influence you.

Society does not influence you. Imagine you have no social responsibilities. You have no social role whatsoever. Good, now imagine all the personal worries that you have in your life, all the concerns that you have, whether about money, relationships, your health, your career, your business or your personal development.

Take all of those and imagine that they do not exist and they never even existed. There are no worries, no concerns and no fears. All of it has just been erased from your mind. Imagine that you have no personal concerns whatsoever. Good!

Notice how good it feels, how calm and peaceful it feels, so just keep going with it. Allow yourself to just play along and to just go with the flow, even though it might seem a little bit unorthodox or weird to be imagining these things. Now imagine all the beliefs you have about life, all the scientific beliefs that you have, all the religious beliefs, all the spiritual beliefs and all the everyday common and most basic beliefs you have about life.

They are things you believed because other people have told you about them. They are theories you have about how life works and how things should be. I want you to imagine that all of this is just completely gone. Poof, erased!

It is as though it never even existed. Good! Imagine also any traditions that you have, that these are also all erased, as though they never existed. Good, now I want you to imagine any emotions that you have had in your life or any emotions that you presently feel or think you might feel.

Imagine that all of these emotions are completely gone now and they have been completely erased. There is no happiness, no sadness, no excitement, no loneliness, no fear, no anger, and no frustration. All of it is just gone. There are no more emotions.

Imagine that emotions never even existed in reality. Good, now I would like you to imagine that any opinions that you have about life, about yourself or about other people and any conceptualizations that you have, any theories you create, any stories in your mind about what reality and how it works, all of these are now gone. They are erased, as though they never even existed.

You have just completely released opinions. You don’t need opinions anymore. Good, now I want you to imagine that thoughts no longer exist. Literally any thought about anything does not exist anymore. It is just gone from your mind as though it never existed and as though you lived in a reality where thoughts do not exist.

Good, now notice, without thinking because thoughts no longer exist. As you listen to me, you are not thinking about anything. You are just existing now. You are just being right now. You are just experiencing whatever experience comes to you, right now and in this very moment.

Good, now imagine that there is no self-image anymore. There is no more picture in your mind of you. There is no more picture in your mind of your body, your name, your personal history, your social connections, your relationship to reality or your position in life.

Imagine that your self-image is just completely erased. It doesn’t exist, as though it never existed. Good! Can you feel the sensations and experiences right now and in the present moment, the sights through your closed eyelids, the colors, the feelings in your body, the sound of my voice, other sensations you might have, smells, pressure of your body and pressure in your mouth of your teeth and your tongue?

Imagine that these things are just existing. They are pure existence and not even part of your self-image because the self-image has been erased. So, what are these things really? Take a look at your sensations right now, without thinking about them.

Get very curious and ask yourself – what are these things? What are these sensations, these colors, and these sounds? Allow yourself to experience them as though you are experiencing them for the very first time, as though they are completely new, fresh and alien to you.

Take all the beliefs, assumptions, opinions that you have and thoughts about these sensations and just erase them all from your mind, as though they never existed. Feel the sensations and wonder – what are these sensations? What are they really?

What are they? Why do they exist? How can they exist? Good, now imagine that these sensations exist without an observer observing them, without a you feeling them, but that they are just free floating experiences.

They are just like a torrent of raw experience, without anyone experiencing them. What this makes them is that it makes them the raw fabric of existence. Imagine that existence just exists, without reason, without logic, without explanation, without even an observer and without you.

What if you weren’t something that was experiencing life and all of these raw sensations, but that what you call YOU was actually and simply the sum total of every raw sensation that is being felt right now? What if you are not simply some aspect of these sensations, like the bodily aspect or the mental aspect, but you were the entirety, the whole Universe of sensations?

Right now, that is being felt. That is existing right now. Imagine that you could exist, without being a YOU. Can you allow yourself to not be anything in particular? You are not a body, not a mind, not a thought, not a word and not an image, but a nothing.

Can you allow yourself to be nothing? Who are you really? If we strip away everything that we have stripped away, if we strip away your possessions, all your friends and family, your cultural influences in society, your traditions, your personal worries and beliefs, your emotions and your thoughts, remember, all of these things are gone now, they do not exist, even the self-image, the image you have of yourself in the body and occupying the body, also does not exist anymore.

Even the notion that you are experiencing my voice right now and that you are experiencing sitting on this seat and feeling that pressure on your butt, your feet and your legs, is not you feeling that. If we strip all of that away, what is left? If all our opinions of reality are gone, all of our preconceived assumptions and all our thoughts and theories are gone, what is left?

Don’t think about it. Just experience what is left. Can you allow yourself to experience reality exactly as it is, without any filters, without any assumptions, without any thoughts and without needing reality to be in any particular way?

Take a moment now to accept exactly what you are experiencing, whatever it is and even if it feels uncomfortable or unpleasant. Just allow yourself to accept it completely because this is reality. This is existence itself.

Good, now just take a moment to feel this in silence. If you are having any thoughts, stray thoughts coming up, allow yourself to accept those too and just to feel those for the raw feeling that a thought is. Thoughts feel a certain way. Allow yourself to accept that.

Very good! The question is – what is your most essential and fundamental nature? Who are you existentially? What are you? Do you even exist or is all that exists raw experience, without even an observer experiencing the experience?

Take a look, without thinking and without any prejudice about how you believe reality ought to be or how you believe it really is. Remember, leave those aside. Those are all erased. Just bask in that raw experience and accept whatever comes up.

Can you feel how calm and peaceful you are right now, being totally in the present moment? Can you feel how pleasant it is simply to exist? Can you allow yourself to be happy just now, with reality exactly as it is? Don’t you feel complete right now, in the present moment, without needing anything at all?

Don’t you feel perfectly confident, perfectly secure, perfectly content and perfectly at ease, without needing anything? You don’t need a relationship. You don’t need money. You don’t need a new goal. You don’t need more personal development.

You don’t even need enlightenment. Just now, right in the present moment, allow yourself to be calm, content and happy. Acknowledge to yourself that mere existence is enough to be happy, the mere fact of existing.

You might not even know exactly what is existing. Who is this entity that exists because we stripped away everything that you thought was you? All those things we stripped away, those were not you, including your self-image, including the picture in your mind you have of your body, the back of your head and of this entity who is listening to my voice right now.

What if the voice that you were hearing right now was not something that you were hearing, but it was something that simply existed and that you were it? You were not hearing this voice. You are the voice because you are everything that is being experienced.

You are the entirety of experience. There is no center to you. Wherever the experience is, that is where you are. Good! I am going to give you a few more seconds to bask in that emptiness. Notice how pleasant the emptiness is, how fulfilling and how peaceful it is.

Good, now on the count of three, you are going to take three nice and deep breaths in at your own pace and then you are going to open your eyes. One, two, three! Take three nice and deep breaths and then open your eyes.

Good, welcome back! That was a little guided meditation and that is a meditation that can produce the experience of no self. There are no guarantees. Everyone is different. Some people might have had a very powerful experience of no self.

Others might have had monkey chatter the whole time and not really been able to experience anything. Others might have been resisting the whole time, coming up with objections or been feeling emotions of various kinds. They may have been distracted and not been able to focus.

If you were not really able to focus, you felt distracted and your mind was all over the place, then I would encourage you to go through this exercise again and as many times as necessary until you can get some sort of calm, very peaceful and very content state. It is a state that you might call no self. It is a state where you, as an entity, dematerialize.

You Are The Invisible Man

When that happens, you merge with raw experience and with existence itself. This state can only be experienced without any thoughts, prejudices, opinions, assumptions, social roles that you play or any other images that you have of yourself. You cannot be attached to any of that.

You cannot be attached to your emotions, to your thoughts, to your beliefs, to your possessions and to your position in life. The reality is that what you really are, whether you have experienced it or not, is you are nothing and emptiness. This allows you to be reality itself.

But, what happens is that you identify yourself with a particular small section of this whole giant experience, which you call your body, your thoughts and your mind. You identify yourself with just this, which precludes you from being what is out there. This distinction is created between I am here and everything else is there.

If you go through these kinds of exercises, you will notice that this distinction can blur and merge, and actually can be completely erased. This is not because it is some fancy mental technique, but because it is actually the truth. What your present way of existence and living is, socially, your current life, is putting on garments on top of the invisible man.

You are really, fundamentally, essentially and existentially really the invisible man. But, because the invisible man cannot be seen, what you do is that you have to put on garments, socks, jackets, pants, shirts, hats, glasses and jewelry. You do this because when you put all of those things on, you can look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself – “That is me!”

But, what is interesting is that it is also possible to start stripping those things away. Take off every one of those pieces to see that they are not essentially you. In fact, they are just little garments and artifacts, very silly little things and very arbitrary little things.

You totally could have been wearing a different hat and it would have made no difference to your essential nature, which opens this very profound question. What is your essential nature if it is none of those garments? That is the question that I want to leave you on in this video.

That is the question of spiritual enlightenment. That is not a question that can be answered through logic, through rationality, through theorizing, through philosophy, through religion, through prayer or any other external action. It can only be realized by very honestly; extremely honestly, radically honestly looking inside to see what is really there. It is not what you think is there, not what you want to be there, not what other people told you is there and not what makes sense to be there, but what is actually there.

Tip Jar
Tip Jar
Like this video?
Leave a tip
Come join the Actualized.org Forum! Meet like-minded people & transform your life.
Ramona says:

Great video, Leo! After sex, here comes the enlightenment… I suppose after this video, you will approach “the dirty talk” subject in the bedroom. Should I say how this looks like? Like an incredible hotch-potch. Nevertheless, I appreciate what you are doing and I’ll keep on listening to you (with great amusement when you speak about nonsense and with interest when you bring on serious topics).
Now, I’ll try to do this meditation, although I still have some articles to read about awsome blowjobs.

Ariana says:

That’s very funny Ramona. I love your comments (your previous one in Leo’s How to have great sex video, had me creased up with laughter.). I’m with you completely.

I hang on because there are many golden nuggets in amongst the occasional strands of no(n)sense. Leo you’re doing an amazing job.

And you can make some of us laugh at any rate.

Should have had the sex video 30 years ago. If only I had known then what I know now LOL

Leo Gura says:

If you can’t appreciate sex, you’re taking yourself way too seriously. Don’t forget that sex is equally as spiritual as everything else. Nothing is more spiritual than anything else.

Ramona says:

Maybe it is true, Leo. Maybe, in your imagination, Ariana and I said that we don’t appreciate sex. Maybe, in my imagination, all that I wanted was to point that, lately, you are a contradiction in motion. Or maybe I just want to ask you gently to search for the latest book of Dalai Lama: “After a week of enlightenment, let’s talk about shaved pussy!” Enjoy your reading!

Leo Gura says:

There is no contradiction. Why would sex contradict enlightenment? Sex will still happen. Sex is no different than eating or drinking or enjoying a sunset. All these actions are good and will continue.

Ariana says:

Mmmm! Leo. Lighten up. It’s not sex per se that’s being brought into question here. Look around. Could there be something you’re missing in this particular conversation. Keep an open mind and an open heart and maybe you’ll see

Thomas J says:

Hey Leo I have been meditating for about a year now, seriously, which means in my case one hour a day, but this was brilliant! really awesome very different this guided version. Was very into it, almost no monkey chatter. Something very cool happened, thanks man!

Meditation is such a broadly discussed topic, I mean I’ve read so much about it and therefore tried out different tactics while meditating. I have benefitted already a lot from it, calmness, not getting emotional, not getting angry or anxious and more benefits. At least it feels like I owe all this to meditation.

Leo Gura says:

Good work! Keep going with it!

Ninos says:

I tried the exercise and I felt that I was not being myself when I got rid of my ability to think. My brain is me. My ability to think, to remeber past experiences and feelings. To think of the future 5 min, hours or years into the future. To think of alternative future for myself according to the actions of right now. I am assuming animals or creatures that don’t have intellect are what you might call enlightened. They only have basic instinct, they are hungry they look for food, when in mating season they want to have sex. ( not make love, it would take intellect and emotion).
I can see how if you forgot about the past and future and lived for the moment it can be usefull. It would have to like a switch that you turned off and on as needed. I feel I can use the technique Leo is teaching to stop mentally masterbating the past and contemplating the future too much. I will try to just be in the moment while working or interacting with people. While I have meditating I can then do some mental masterbation.
Over all I don’t see the benifit of enlightened person if they slip backward towards the animal kingdom rather then move forward towards higher state of intelligence. To each his own I guess.

Thomas J says:

I think you are missing the point here Ninos. I’ve read and listened to a few supposedly enlightened people and they all came accros as being very intelligent, people who normal people like us can benefit a great deal from. So your comment of slipping back to the animal kingom is a hilarious one.

And besides animals do have some fine characteristics. Look at dogs and cats, they don’t seem to worry too much do they? They are always in the moment and relaxed and happy and content. So in a way I want to be more like a dog!

So I love this enlightenment stuff and perhaps you should give it a chance to, besides your mind will always be there for you, you will never lose your ability to think and worry about the future if you want to.

elena says:

Great video,very different this guided version..

WingWizard says:

I am not really able to resonate with the topics which you refer to as ‘advanced’ such as Spiritual Enlightenment, Curse of Being Human and the like. Simultaneously I am totally resonating with topics such as How to have sex,Being a Man, Life Purpose, How to Study. Why is this happening? Am I low level for these advanced topics and I need to go through all the ones I am resonating with to understand these? Or is it something else?

Leo Gura says:

Personal development happens in phases and stages. You’re just not there yet. No worries. Work on the stage you’re at.

WingWizard says:

What would this mean, though? All the stuff I am learning below Spiritual Enlightenment becomes useless when I reach there? If I am able to realise the Truth (with a capital T, like you refer) and become enlightened everything will become pointless, since there is no ego, no sense of perception of Truth and no Me. Do you understand what I am saying Leo?

Leo Gura says:

No, it’s not necessarily useless. One stage builds on the next. In a skyscraper, the 100th floor sits on top of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floor. The lower floors have their uses.

Aliz says:

Where do thoughts come from? What initiates them? If I ‘caught’ myself thinking, I immediately stop. How can I watch my thoughts? The second I become focused/aware, they stop… kind of.

Leo Gura says:

Good questions. Sit down and look for the answer in your direct experience. Forget what people have told you.

Michael says:

I am

Have a beautiful week. all of you.


Mark says:

Top job mate. Without question of a doubt I had an enlightening experience which lasted for several minutes.

No words can describe it, that’s the whole idea. It’s perfection (even then thats just a label for it and it should be respected beyond labels).

This is the one I used it’s free on YouTube punch it in their search engine:

Jon Kabat-Zinn – Body Scan Meditation – GUIDED MEDITATION

Great stuff


Natasha says:

As I move further away from the conditioned consciousness and getting more in touch with the true essence of my being, dealing with my emotion driven Mom has become a real challenge. My Mom now can’t call and unload her “drunken monkey” thinking on me like she used to. I have drawn some lines here and feelings got hurt. Doing things for and with her helps to keep her re-assured of my love for her, so she is coming to terms with some emotional detachment that has occurred between the two of us (which is healthy anyway). I even tried to share some things about what I am learning with her, but she is not yet ready to accept/ understand. I still see it as a positive thing. Liberating oneself from any sort of falsehood and boldly pursuing the truth/ reality is always a worthy cause, no matter what the cost.

Leo Gura says:


Neil Byrne says:

Hi Leo, I have terrible anxiety and my mind is always full of this mind chatter that you speak of, at first during the guided meditation I could not focus and my mind kept thinking of past and future things but I managed to get into it towards the end and I was more relaxed than I have ever been before and my eyes were watering when I opened them at the end. have you any other advice or tips on how to get control of my mind so that I am not day dreaming and fantasizing all of the time because I do not want to be day dreaming and fantasizing all of the time but I just cant seem to stop it??

Leo Gura says:

You can’t stop it because you are not a real entity, and so you have zero control over thoughts.

If you want to tame the monkey chatter, check out my video How To Meditate and start doing it daily.

claudete says:

To just find out I am nothing is liberating and emotional. How can I continue this process of discovering without an apparent spiritual person beside me to help me to continue my journey?

Leo Gura says:

Follow the videos, meditate daily, do the guided visualizations. There’s lots of stuff to do.

Ramona says:

Enlightenment is not about suppressing sex, is about transcending it. It’s like kaving all the rivers in the world and someone offers you a glass of water. You will not need it anymore, it will become meaningless. More than that, sex, unless you are performing it by yourself, requires another human being and this is a source of suffering. The moment you’ll search for happiness/peace outside of yourself, the suffering begins.
The fact that you are labelling sex as good, indicates me that you belive something else must be bad, perhaps abstinence, isn’t it? Maybe it is time to question your attachement to this particular source of pleasure…
Until then, smile, Leo, and have a lot of sex, nobody wants to take your favorite toy away from you.

Armin says:

Having problems

Armin says:

Sorry for that comment, please delete it

Ninos says:

Ramona just tugged on a string from enlightenment. If Leo wants to have sex as opposed to not having sex, is Leo enlightened? If he is not inlightened then what point will he be enlightened? Is enlightened mean living in a cave eating berries and meditating in a forest until you die? Which bring up my comment is enlightenment having no intellect like a animal living in a forest? The contradiction of the video Leo puts out smacks us all in the face. If there is no ego? There is no universe? There is no reality? There is no God? This is all nothing? Who prefers sex over no sex?

I am not trying to be diffacult or take away from Leo’s amazing work. My issue is the contradictions with enlightenment. A buddist monk living in the mountains I can’t argue with, but a sex hungry, actualized person being enlightened is hard to understand.

So if enlightenment is a bunch of nonsense then what is the truth about the universe? Is my theory that there is a God so far off the truth? Can I be right? Or is there another truth that no one has come up with yet? Two contradictions can not both be right?

James says:


I GOT IT!!!! I DON’T EXIST!!! EXCITEMENT JOY, NOO FEAR!!!! The voice is popping up, saying that this feeling might not last but…. BUT NO… I DON’T EXIST!!!!

THERE IS NO ME… Only the experience of me… wow…



James says:

After having calmed down and settled into this more, here’s how it is.

After the meditation stopped, I opened my eyes… everything was normal… can’t quite remember what was said briefly afterwards… then all of a sudden, it clicked. I understood that I am the void, able to experience the raw sensation of mind and body. When my body stops functioning, there’ll be nothing left to interpret these experiences and I will cease to be.

I was so elated at this quite simple understanding that I laughed and danced and jumped up and down… My hair stood up on end… My body rushed with sensations… and I understood that the closest I can be to anything is raw sensation.
An hour or so later, I watched that Guardians of the Galaxy movie with a friend as I had promised earlier… I could focus on and engage with the film. Fun movie! …but I couldn’t drop the awareness of everything in my field of vision and still had a feel for the sensations in my body. It is extremely fulfilling! Overwhelming at first. I not only hear music better than ever before but experience the emotion and journey of it more intensely.

Now I’m balanced again. There’s a feeling in my brain that’s permanantly there right in the top centre of the frontal cortex above my hairline. I reason that this is because the tissue is not yet used to such activity. I am actualised in the present moment and can silence my brain at will. It’s still a little rough because this is very new. I now remember times where I’ve had this heightened sense before but it was due to having destroyed my inner voice with fast living and suppressed emotions. This was in response to life events where I have been unable to cope with alot of hurt. (Perhaps some old abandonment issues!) That clarity was a short lived experience without the right foundations.

Back to the present! This is the knowing of an abstract truth… it feels as though an illusion has disappeared. Hilarity dawns the moment you realise the Irony of “spiritual enlightenment” is in the absence of any form of spirit! As an Agnostic I had settled with the notion that the spirit could be called “your mind” …”who you are”… your personal, cultivated energy that perhaps came from a collective source of energy. The Gaia theory-esque concept from Final Fantasy had always resonated with me a little… but I believed in nothing without conclusive evidence.

However, the truth is so simple and is seemingly the least intuitive notion. How can you truly understand that “you” don’t exist?

The Ego isn’t real, ergo your self image doesn’t exist. The only thing you physically possess is a body. “You” are simply the awareness of the sensation and functions of that vessel. The sum total of your experience… memory of previous experience, stored in the brain… an onboard computer system which guides a very advanced, organic machine. The information in which, you can edit and replace at will when you master your psychology…

Funnily enough, I’ve never felt more alive or human!

Yes, the physical world exists around “you”. When I’m gone, the physical world will continue without me. When this information becomes a truth which you discover yourself through an empirical investigation, life itself becomes the greatest joy… a most precious treasure. Physical pain is only a sensation albeit an intense one. When you realise that you are only the experience of sensations… and when you find yourself actualised in the present moment with the ability to control your powerful brain, the world becomes your Oyster.

Life is purely sensational.

Robert says:

hello Leo I found your videos 3 months ago while doing search for help , because I been feeling empty all my life I am 35 yeasr old and still having this feeling sometimes I think i am the only 1 in the world and that no 1 will understand me ,I can not have a sex life only had sex 3 times in my life with 2 diferent girls never told them that for me is realy hard to be clouse to some1 . my doctor says is depression and he prescribe me some pills , honestly do not take pills for anything I only go to doctors if is something serious do not like to become dependent of any medication . yours videos have helped me so much thanks . but I am a nice guy I have a job I help any1 that needs it .and I know many people that knows me,that they really like me they told me how nice guy I am but I would love to have a girlfriend and be more relax in front of people what is wrong with me ?????

Flavian says:

Hi Leo. Keep up the amazing work you are sharing with us.
Frankly speaking I am grateful to God and the Universe, even a fictitious one, that You exist if you catch onto my paradox…

anyway, it would be great if more guided meditations were possible on your side

You are undertaking a great tremendous work in the field of personal development and from my subjective perspective, guided meditations would be amongst the most useful material..to quench a bit the “drunk monkey” that chatters all the time. All my best regards, Flavian

Andra Bane says:

Awareness is. Perception exists independent of a perceiver.

While “I” pretends to exist in the matrix: where my awareness is, there I am.

“I” falsely assumes control, which creates struggle and suffering.

If I is conceptualized awareness, and awareness connects all things, I am boundless.

One with LIFE


Mary says:

I have been meditating since 2005 when I first bought my holosync “Awakening Prologue” and I ALWAYS fall asleep. I tried it with my spine straight, (sitting up) not lying down, and lasted all of 15 minutes awake before I fell asleep. (the program is 1 hour long) The strange thing is, that I don’t remember removing my earplugs and putting the portable cd player away (yeah, haven’t gotten around to putting it on my iPod) That really freaks me out how I can do stuff while meditating. And if I am putting it away, am I still awake or asleep? Because for the life of me, I don’t remember! Should I just start meditating for 15minutes at a time and build up from that? (although with holosync they say to do at least 30 minutes) So confused.

Bauer says:

Hi Leo! You mention a guy that has been an inspiration for you – Peter something!
I was wondering If you could write down the name for me, so able to find more from him!
Thanks a lot for all the free sharing!

ttm says:

I think he was Peter Ralston.

Marjorie says:

Leo, Maybe it would be interesting to put out a poem on the totalitariam of the life based on enlightenment. I saw the complete video: my experience unique. It was like being lifted from pressure in so many ways, the self became part of a mass, it disintegrated. My mind quieted down, and the result was a divine experience.

Thank you for sharing all this information with us all.

Jonathan says:




Pedro says:

I meditate for years and I like it. What I like is to becoming myself calm and peaceful, but when I still meditate I try to enjoy this calm, and I can not. It’s like I need to feel again with more intensity. I think I don’t enjoy calm, I just like to make me calm. Another thing, is that it was difficult to separate myself as a perceiver, because I feel the body. I can’t feel what is around the body. I simply can hear and smell it, but I can’t feel it. So I am identifying myself as a perceiver of the body. I understand what you say about that I’m not the one that is thinking, but I do not understand why I am not the perceiver. After enlightenment the only thing that stays in you and you can say that no other piece of matter can do that, is to feel your all body, no?

Pedro says:

I already got it Leo, There are something in my body that makes me feel, but that thing is replaceble… Fuck, I really not exist …. But the ego is right to argue that unfortunately the world treated him very badly! He has no guilt about it, Leo! Now and also thanks to you, I’m much more prepared to give him what he wants. It’s like you try to give the best possible end of life to someone before he died (if that person could die). After that will come the way to enlightenment!

Ivett says:

hahahaha, Leo you are so dramatic but it’s cute.I’m a diamond way buddhist,and this is what we learn actually and I was laughing so much when you say now the truth comes you dont exist.hahaha,it is so liberating to know that isnt it.hahahaha.crush me

Ivett says:

but the fastest way to enlightenment actually to meet someone who already reached this state,to know how sweet taste you have to have a peace of chocolate first

Sonata says:

What is next step after I watched all spiritual enlightment videos?
Where can I find more?

Royce says:

Hello everybody . I really appreciate what you are trying to pin down with these videos Leo. It is not an easy task.

What fascinates me the most is that early on in episode 1 I remember thinking, “my god, he is actually describing(or trying to put words on) the insights you get by having a proper psychedelic experience”.

I do not know if you are aware of this at all, but everything you talk about is exactly how I would describe my experience with psilocybin mushrooms.

I have only had one proper psychedelic experience, and I am not sure if I will undertake another journey. Daily meditation and just being seem to do the trick for me nowadays.

You could spend 1000-10000 hours to attain this “state of being”, or you could do some research on how to take psychedelics properly, and achieve this state in a couple of hours.

You might argue against this, but either way, what these videoes try to describe, is what happens during a psychedelic trip. Everyone who has done them properly knows this.

Are you aware of this Leo? If you are, then it is a little strange that you do not even mention that psychedelics can be used as a shortcut. I am not saying that it is in any way “better”, I only suggest it as an alternative. Do your own research people!.

English is not my mother tongue, so please excuse me if my writing skills are somewhat below US standards

Leo Gura says:

They cannot be used as a shortcut. Psychedelics will not make you enlightened. What I am talking about is a permanent understanding, not a state experience.

Royce says:

Maybe shortcut was the wrong word. You most definitely get glimpses of what this permanent understanding is like. The raw experience of it.

I agree that they will not make you “enlightened”, but they are a very helpful tool that will break open all of these illusions you speak of. All of your culturally conditioned beliefs will be shattered during a trip.

Although these insights do wear of as time flies by, and that is why I seek other techniques to attain this permanent understanding.

Pedro Silva says:

It will just destroy your brain. If some day you want to be the permanent understanding, you will have no capacity to do that.

Royce says:

Did it destroy yours? I am not sure what you mean by that statement. Exactly what do they destroy? Can you back up this claim of yours with any solid research?

Psychedelics gave me an overwhelmingly profound psychological experience, unlike anything I could ever imagine. Since they are so powerful, they should be treated with the utmost respect. They are not for everyone.

Anything can be abused. If you abuse psychedelics, it might permanently damage your brain. If you abuse water, you might die of that. I am talking about use, not abuse. Those are two completely different things.

I think the whole point is that everybody already is this “permanent understanding”. It is not something you have to work hard to achieve. It is already there. You are it, I am it, everyone and everything is it! The trick is to be aware that you are it.

Pedro Silva says:

I will not convince you. So it remains for me to say that maybe one day after this amazing experience, voices, sounds, hallucinations continue in your head, day after day and you will want them to disappear but they insist on not leave you in peace and hast finished by destroying you’re relationship with the true reality.
I really do hope that this does not happen to you or to the people who love you.

Royce says:

I appreciate your concern Pedro. Although I am still not sure what you imply in your post. Do you seriously claim that there is a relation between use of psychedelics and schizophrenia?

Again, I am not talking about drug abuse. People are capable of treating certain substances with respect you know.

Pedro says:

Yes.. Certainly that relationship exists, and it can happen in one time, one shoot, one opportunity and you have to deal with it for your all life.

Michael says:

Dear Leo

Thank you very much for all this amazing work you do.

Since i was teeneger i started to realize that something going on.. Ive learned so much about meditations and tried to find myself whats going on. But then people didnt understand me i was alone so i was scared not to be accepted in social life and i hid from all of that.
Now im 34 and started to have the feelings again about my life. Ive split with my girlfriend after 9 years together, left the country i was living in and trying to live again.
My parents dont understand me, my friends dont understand me. I am not interested in alcohol, party’s, material things, dont think of the future or the past. But how to get over people who dont understand me. I work as insurance brooker and im talking to people daily.. 50 people a day. And i cannot understand them, they dont understand me… how can i learn to see through. I am doing lots of execises, gym, meditations, even manual work just not to get hook on bad habbits or stimulations.
I really dunno what to do and how to get along with people who are hooked on everything.
Please someone help me.

I love your work leo i really do.


anne newman says:

If you say that my true nature is spirit and that this spirit is one with everything including for example your spirit then why is it that this universal spirit (that I am) is only aware of the thoughts, emotions and sensations of one body and mind. For example if the spirit inside my body and mind is one with your spirit why is it my spirit cannot be aware of your thoughts, emotions and sensations. I suppose what I am asking is if spirit is universal and everywhere why is it that I am only aware of what’s going on in my mind and body and nobody else’s.

Leo Gura says:

Your question is based on many false assumptions.

You are not aware of anything because the entity that you call “I” does not exist! There is no “your” body or “your” mind. There are no such things as perceivers.

At the very root of it, you kinda are aware of what’s going on for everyone else because you and everyone else are both identical, both Nothingness. By which I mean, you can become aware of this with lots of work. Right now this will all sounds like crazy talk and yet another belief to adopt or reject.

anne newman says:

If you say that this entity called “I” does not exist then what is it that experiences this great peace and true happiness you say people experience when having reached enlightenment. It must be still a mind that experiences peace and happiness because nothing can be experienced without a mind. Pure spirit can not feel happiness or peace only the mind can. Pure spirit has no emotion nor thoughts. It’s nothing.
Is it that when a mind recognises that the truth is that everything and everyone is made out of spirit (which is invisible and hard to conceive) that that mind comes to a peaceful state.

Leo Gura says:

Again, a false assumption here that there exist experiencers separate from the experience. The happiness isn’t actually experienced. The happiness simply exists. Right now for you it appears to really be experienced. But this is the illusion we’re trying to dispel. Without a you, there is no more distinction between experiencer and the experience. What you call experience happening to you is actually just raw existence, which is the same as Absolute Nothing. Again, don’t believe any of this. Your conceptual mind will never be able to make perfect sense of it. It has to be lived.

dave says:

does meditation take a lot of energy? my body resist so hard and am getting skinnier every day

Leo Gura says:

Relax more. All you’re doing is sitting still. Relax and enjoy the stillness of life.

nikki says:

Thank you for these videos Leo. The principle of no self is so
important for me. I have to apply this in my life now, it’s taken years of work, soul searching to get to the place I’m at now. I’m still working on it sec by sec. But it’s come to a point that if I’m not applying this, my life, quite literally goes to shit. Funny really, but it does, and I have to be around people who are self aware, even if they don’t know it. The drama of my past has almost stopped especially the bad relationships. Once I was drawn to relationships that were very unhealthy for me now I naturally move away from things that I know will at some point cause me pain. But the best thing is that I’m very able to deal with so much more. I know where I end and another begins, I know what’s my stuff and I know what’s not mine. I no longer let others projections effect me. My emotions are mine not anyone else’s. Your videos have become a new tool of learning. Fresh and clear. Thank you.

Leo Gura says:

What are you talking about? THERE IS NO YOU!

This is not a technique to apply. It’s a physical fact. I don’t think you appreciate how serious this is.

nikki says:

Yes, I know this and I do get how serious that is. Maybe the way I write didn’t articulate understanding.

Understanding and realisation take time and sorry but change at times takes effort. Even enlightenment, doesn’t just happen at the snap of a person’s fingers. I know this may frustrate even you, but I’m a work in progress Ill get it at my own pace. It’s not a problem for me my life has turned around a million %. Letting go of the concept of me has opened up my life. I’m happy healthy, financially independent a now surrounded by love. And I live today. My journey to peace is my own, how I get there is my own. My interpretation of enlightenment is my own. I understand nothingness hence my happiness and tolerance for what can be intolerable for others.

Paul says:

Hey man,

Really cool meditation, thanks!

Had a couple of questions. Where do emotions and instinctual impulses fall in the conceptions, perceptions, and numina categories? They aren’t quite concepts and they aren’t quite perceptions/sensory experience. Unless we count them as a different kind of concept…

Also, I can see how concepts can fall away and a direct experience of the totality of the perceptions can be had, free from labels. However, at what point do we (or can we) experience the ‘outer world’ as you call it? The things themselves. Surely all we can ever have is an experience of the experiences (which are still perceptions no?)

Thanks for sharing all the sweet info.


Leo Gura says:

“We” is a concept.

“Labels” are a concept.

“Experience” is a concept.

“Outer world” is a concept.

“Perceptions” is a concept.

“Emotions” is a concept.

“Surely all we can ever have…” is a concept.

“You” is a concept.

Reality itself is not a concept. So do you see what the problem is?

paul says:

Hmmm I’ve been meditating and reflecting on what you wrote and I’m not actually sure.

It’s like the concepts all fall away and there isn’t anything left except direct experience. But even then experience isn’t quite the right word because there isn’t an experience-er. It’s more like ‘stuff’s happening’ and that’s it. But if feels good. Spacious and alive.

I guess it’s a constant exploration.

Leo Gura says:

That’s right!

Now keep going even deeper. Ask yourself, “Who is aware?” Look for it without conceptualizing.

paul says:

Not even sure how to answer that.

It’s more like awareness JUST IS, as opposed to any particular part of the ‘me construct’ being aware.

paul says:

Oh I figured the first question out. Emotions are phenomena, which are part of our experience. It’s the conceptualisations and mental labelling of emotions that is the illusion.

chala says:

funny how the answer for everything is NOTHING

anne newman says:

Having read a lot on enlightenment I have noticed there seems to be different paths/techniques people have used to get there however there seems to be one thing that nearly all the paths have in common and that is one needs to allow oneself to completely feel all the pain inside oneself without resisting it. This includes letting go of any thoughts creating the pain because if you are caught up thinking about what’s caused painful feelings then you’re still not fully allowing yourself to feel the pain instead you just thinking about what caused it.
What I don’t understand is how does accepting and just being with whatever pain exists in the moment lead one eventually to the great realisation that there is no me and there is no separate self. How does it lead one to the realisation that my true nature is not my mind and body and that my thoughts and emotions are not my true nature.

anne newman says:

I think what I am trying to say is how does vipassana meditation ( which is feeling emotions without reacting to them i.e. without trying to hold on to pleasure or get rid of pain) lead one to the realisation that there is no separate self and there is no me????

Leo Gura says:

By raising your mindfulness high enough, you will become mindful of the fact that there is no witness or self inside who is being mindful. The self unravels into what it truly is: an ad-hoc collection of words, images, and emotions. Could take you 5-20 years of Vipasanna to see that.

anne newman says:

You do often say that it takes a very long time to reach enlightenment using these kinds of techniques and I accept this is probably true. But isn’t it true that when people practice these kinds of techniques they start to notice changes for the better in themselves and their life even some times after only a few months of vipassana meditation. So even after a year or two, I agree one maybe still far from enlightenment, but may be there are a lot less ups and downs in one’s life, a lot less anxiety and stress and extreme reactivity to external circumstances. Is’nt this true???
I seem to be getting the impression from you that you believe you can reach enlightenment without having to go through the pain that’s inside of the self. Is this true??? I get this impression because in all your videos where you teach how to become enlightened you never talk about going through any pain. Your techniques seem to be a painless path to enlightenment??? I’m sure there are many paths to enlightenment and I find what you are teaching very interesting.

Leo Gura says:

Yes, there will certainly be benefits to doing meditation or mindfulness practice even if you never reach enlightenment.

Well… pain is a relative thing. I never said it would be an easy path. It’s emotionally brutal! For me personally it’s not painful because I’m pretty psychologically balanced. Those of you with deep emotional wounds will have a much more emotional path. You might go through periods of depression, rage, anxiety, and even suicidal tendencies. Everyone has different wounds.

Kim says:

Hi Leo

Something great just happened watching this video with the
great guiding from you, for a moment i did not want anything.

Leo Gura says:

Hehe, that’s the point of attaining no-self. No self, no problem. No self, no one to suffer. No self, no one to feel things are incomplete.

Kim says:

No self also means no one to enjoy the fruits of good work!?

Kim says:

Well it does not really matter when you do not want anything

Pistol Pete says:

so we are already here and always here and now…
and that is all?

Leo Gura says:

No, that is not all. When you actually have a direct consciousness of this truth, it will knock your socks off! Until then, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Pete says:

Thank you for replying
I experienced a state of no mind, no thoughts, just raw perception like a glimpse sometimes its strong, other times its blurry my awareness… .. realized that any thought I have is of the past or future because you cant think of now only think in the now… i cant find myself.. When i listen to the silence my awareness seems more focused.. am i on the right track ?

You have made a mass impact w your videos thanks Leo ..

Leo Gura says:

Definitely on the right track, but still not there. Keep practicing. It may take 100s of hours of such investigation to break through. You’ll know once you truly break through. It will be an event that you’ve ever before imagined was possible. Keep asking, “Who is aware?” Ask that question of every thought that rises for you, including the thought, “I already know who I am.”

Lorraine says:

Hi Leo,
I’ve been going through a personal development and spiritual journey for a couple of years now due to a family tragedy. I found your website about a month ago and have watched a few videos. I started watching your videos on enlightenment last week and began the 3rd one last night. I woke up this morning and went to work and today everything is different. Wow! Very depressing. Time for change.

Yann says:

We are one and multiple (monads). We monads have developed at least a conscience of our body, as opposed to the conscience of anything that is not this body. Therefore it is normal that we have at least a functional self. Otherwise we could not say “we”.
But apparently we also have the capability to break open the bolt of this functional self-only identification and see the oneness we emerge from or merge with. Excellent!

Alan Travers says:

That was incredible, thanks Leo! I have tried many guided mindfulness meditations but this technique blew them all out of the water. It really evaporated the monkey chatter I so struggle with with other meditations.

Everytime I erased a part of my life and my surroundings I felt lighter, it really was a weight off my shoulder. This gradual process of elimination really helped me get down to the core of my true existence and I felt completely relaxed and free…I was NOTHING.

Can’t weight to watch the rest of your videos on enlightenment but I don’t want to rush it. That was definately the closest I have been though and feel I have a greater ‘understanding’ of no self. Lots of work ahead though! Keep up the good work!

Yann says:

I’ve got a big question for you, since you caught a glimpse of enlightenment. Do you you believe that everything ultimately makes sense ? Do you believe in an ultimate, absolute meaning ? Or even that is just stories for you ?

Leo Gura says:

Things make a lot of sense, including the ultimate nature of reality, but you cannot conceptualize it or grasp it with the egoic mind. You cannot have a map or model of ultimate reality if that’s what you’re shooting for. You have to go beyond the limits of thinking.

Yann says:

No, I meant everything being so evident to the conscience that you no longer have questions on anything (even the question of why there is something at all rather than nothing at all).
Is it that kind of state, or is it just some indifferent a-sense ?

Ray says:

Hi Leo,
This is the second time I’ve experience no-self after many many practices. The first was more profound… Absolutely peaceful, utter bliss. This time I was almost there, but my ego resisted. It is scarred. ‘I’ almost had a panic attack when I had the thought that it wouldn’t come back. I got scarred that I’d never laugh again, never feel anything ever again without switching the emotion off UN-purposely. I worry that I’m never going to be lost in thought again because I know too much. I worry that I won’t be human, with the excitment as well as the pain. I worry about giving myself an un-reversible mental health disorder where I loss my identify and therefore loose everything that matters.

I know life is un-satisfaction. I am doing this journey because I’m unsatisfied and I want solid ground. But I feel like I’m silently killing myself, like I hate myself or something.
I want to carry on this journey and feel all the benefits (because it’s been truly amazing, I can’t even begin), but at the end of it, I still want to be here to feel these benefits.
I’ve got into this to save myself because I believe I’m suppose to be worth saving.

Is there an answer to this, or will I just be gone… And not care… and therefore it doesn’t matter.

I’m confused.

Ray says:

I feel I need to follow up on my previous post. After this moment of panic, I slept and when I awoke I felt immediately better and lighter in general… More expansive if that make any sense at all to anyone on this journey. This has happened a few times before when I have gone very deep.
I could be wrong about this, but my theory that I’m currently entertaining is is thus: When you sleep, your brain does a lot of figuring out, or restructuring so to speak. I feel this effect every time I’m learning a new peice in the piano. Whilst sitting down playing the notes trying to memorise them, I play 4/10 in a 0 is crap and 10 perfect scale, but than I awake up in the morning and immediately start playing 6/10.

its just a theory. I feel better when I grow into my enlightened self.

Thanks for reading.

Richard says:

Hi Leo,

Surely awareness itself is just a thought, perception or feeling? It has to have a mind to create it. Without a mind to experience it, there is no such thing as reality or nothingness. Surely they are both just concepts in the human mind.

Leo Gura says:

Nope! That’s the kicker! Awareness is none of those things, and the mind/brain is not necessary for awareness, reality, or Nothingness to be.

The entire “physical” universe could be annihilated, but your true nature would remain!

Yann says:

On the matter of enlightenment, I’ve been investigating a bit since I first saw Leo’s videos a year ago.
Many interesting people saying interesting things. The best being possibly Gary Weber. He’s enlightened, his ego collapsed and he no longer perceive the world and people in a descrete way, like he used to do. Plus he’s got a very scientific approach on all this, because he is a scientist: see his impressive CV on his website (section about)
After his enlightenenment, he was still managing his scientific team, just like before, even better, because as he put it wonderfully and accurately:
The more I surrendered (the self), the more I felt something was holding me. If you surrender completely, you’re totally held.
A good definition of grace, isn’t it? And the living proof that enlightenment does not mean no drive or ambition in life. Simply it’s no longer ours.
So, Leo, you will be able to run your site even after you’re fully enlightened!

Alex says:

I guess my situation didn’t go as well as other people did.

When I tried this meditation, there was this nagging feeling that the things I cherished in life was lost. Nothing intense, but a slight constant feeling. But if everything was for the present, there are no more possibilities to look forward to in the future. No pleasant memories to look back in the past. No identity to be proud of. No problems to look forward to rise over. No challenges to have fun with in the future.

Only now.

How intensely empty.

Lee says:

Going further you realize we are existence. We are like a patch of colors in a tapestry or a painting. We, our physical body, are just woven into the tapestry. We are no different than the tapestry. There is no boundary between our physical body and the rest of existence. We are part of tapestry and we are the tapestry. We are part of existence and we are existence. Our body is just a gathering of atoms. We gather these atoms from birth. All of these atoms existed before we were born and they will exist after we are born. So we always exist in some form in existence.

We can not poses anything, not even our bodies. Possessions are just an idea, a thought. Money is just an idea. Most people dwell on and worry about money and possessions every day of their lives, but these things are just imagination. The concept of possession is an illusion. We spend our days worrying about something that is not even possible. We are distracted during our lives from what is really important and we dwell on something that is imaginary.

draftskyr says:

Sooooo, “i” am just experiencing body sensations including sensations especially those inside my head that i sum it up as my fake self?of whatever?True self is this total sum of experience before labeling it or painting it or filtering with and putting extra sauce?
“I” am the sum of sensations while at the same time my mind creates stuff and projects it back?Or wtf , i can not describe it properly.

draftskyr says:

WOW IS it?The mind labels all experience of my body as me/an image/something with a label “I” and then is painting/filtering/labeling this experience on itself and painting/filtering/labeling the experience from world back on itself like a looping loop?But is there any experience from the world ?The sensations i experience are just these ones..at the present moment …,so everything else is fake and kind of random based of the selfimage/beliefs that the mind projects back on itself…

Leave a Comment
What color are lemons?*