Real Comments from Real Friends

from Enlightenment in Our Time, by Lonny J. Brown, HHC

During the writing of the book, the following request was sent on a self-return postcard to one hundred and fifty people. 

Dear Friends

My next book is in the works and it's about Enlightenment! To make sure it stays relevant, I’m including Real Comments from Real Friends. I’d love to have you contribute.

What does Enlightenment mean to you?

Ideas, quotes and questions used will be duly acknowledged, unless you indicate a preference for anonymity. You will also be invited to the signing party upon publication!

Thanks for your input.

(Please add your own Comments below) 



Dear Lonny, 
Enlightenment? It is how we die and are reborn and die again and are reborn, again and again, and again. In little ways, small ways, subtle ways. Each time shedding another layer, gaining insight, growing a soul. I used to think enlightenment would come quickly, instantly, with the right attitude or correct breath, or mantra. 
I hear enlightenment in the city's roar - slow, steady, waiting for me when I am ready to relax the defenses that keep me holding on. 
To be continued.. 
- Eric Linter

Here is what enlightenment means to me: 
A glimpse of a moment in which one becomes connected with the very source of collective intelligence. At a moment of Enlightenment, the truth can be seen clearly, and many questions find their answers. Enlightenment is also remembering or realizing our true, authentic nature, because the whole reservoir of life experience, from past, present, and future already exists within us. All we need is a quick ray of light to bring it back to our conscious mind. 
- Orna Benshoshan

I believe Enlightenment is a transitory state. When we experience it, it represents some kind of broadening or deepening of understanding of life, spirituality, knowledge.. It usually is accompanied by our having let go of a preconception about our world or universe.
- Mark Peterson

It means having an awareness that allows one to be open to insight.
- Pam Bowers

It seems to me that the challenge of Enlightenment in our time is not in understanding our relationship to the divine, but acting on it. Moving from our heads to our hearts and hands - thereby transforming ourselves and the world. That's the challenge!
- Virginia K. Slayton 

Hi All,
I have a theory on enlightenment. Maybe it is not to defend 
your beliefs, make judgements on other beliefs, stop looking for happiness, money, love and just work on being good to those you directly experience. I mean what good is putting down religion, all it is really is a way to get to true god within all of us. All we really need is a roof over our head and a baloney sandwich to get through the day. If that can satisfy me I will be truly enlightened.

Enlightenment is the presence of unconditional Love!
- Mary 

If enlightenment is anything beyond an illusion like anything else in the conceptual framework, I would say that it is the recognition of the presence of an underlying, constant inner peace in the midst of the worst possible chaos, renewed moment by moment, or lost moment by moment, depending on the openness of the heart to the Grace of the One Spirit. 
- Sandra Koulas Denninger, Rev. writes:
It is being in the present moment and at the same time in the eternal moment, from moment to moment. 

Dear Lonny, You are a good friend! Your enlightenment means a great deal to me - It is our friends that make our days worthwhile - their smiles upon greeting, their thoughts that encourage our own, their inspirations in whatever arts they are devoting themselves to, whether writing books or growing vegetables and flowers in their gardens. Good Luck & Best Wishes for a successful outcome! - Thea Greene 

The trouble with enlightenment: No one can tell you what it will be for you. Yet you are supposed to want it. It is devastating for the person you thought you were, yet it is the goal of much spiritual striving. It's a grace, it doesn't come just because you've paid your dues. Like bodies of water, it comes in various depths and has different qualities. Drink a little each day until you get oceanic, until the ocean is in you. Enlightenment is what your perception experiences when you are free of the fear of loss and free of illusions - Tall order. Here is a fruitful bundle of thoughts: "I know now that revelation is from the self, but from that age-long memorial self, that shapes the elaborate shell of the mollusk and the child in the womb.., and that genius is a crisis that joins that buried self for certain moments to our trivial daily mind." (W.B. Yeats) 
- Christopher (Briggs) Ember

To me, Enlightenment is the questions to live by. 
- Nancy (Pooky) Hayden

A moment of brilliant clarity, a feeling of intense joy, a realization that we are more than just our physical bodies, we all stand as one, together, and are inter-connected in a manifestation of collective thoughts. it can happen anywhere, with anyone, at anytime......."incredible!" 
- kris peters

Perhaps enlightenment is the realization of what makes harmony in our lives and in the world and then starting down the path to make it happen. How fitting to use technology in the process and I have no doubt that the world changes around technology will be even more dynamic than around the rail road. 
- Deborah Levine

Enlightenment consciousness is bringing to conscious awareness all that is in the subconscious and unconscious (of your body mind) and running you without you being aware of it.
- Christopher Wynter, Fiona Tulk

What is Enlightenment? That's like asking, What is God; why are we here; how did this all come to be? And today's answer is not the same as yesterday's, and different still from next year's... 
Enlightenment is falling in love -- with yourself and with life. Enlightenment is a state of.. being.. in.. love, feeling that love radiates out from you and comes back to you, experiencing that love in every moment, every breath, every action, seeing that love in every person and in all of creation. It's, finally, the end of separation -- union, communion; longing becomes belonging. Bliss, joy, peace. I guess that's it. 
Thanks for asking me. 
- Valerie Butler

Enlightenment is being in the "KNOW/FLY" zone. You "know" you're in the present moment and you can "fly" anywhere in an instant! Well, it's a bit humorous but then I think the world could use more humor.
- Maril Crabtree

Enlightenment is the realization that something is true or untrue. It may occur as the result of meditation or study or conversation with others. Even children can enlighten us or at least trigger an enlightenment. It may also occur "out of the blue," so to speak.
- Harry Li
An enlightened person is one who is at peace with him/her self, family, friends and environment. I believe that seeing the connectedness of all life allows us to happily co-exist with other kingdoms and cultures. When we separate good & evil, male & female, human & other, we are able to close ranks around our sex, culture, religion, species... and consider everything else some disconnected "other." Harmony returns when we once again understand that there is no separation. We are all always connected to the Source. 
- Celeste Longacre

En-Light-enment simply means remembering who we really are - Beings of the Light having a human experience. This remembering becomes a meditative experience. We remember, we forget. We bring our attention back to remembering, and we know that we are already enlightened. 
- Priscilla Anne Flynn 

Enlightenment: to be filled with light, to comprehend the light, to know the light, to function from the light, to have the light on all knowledge and to radiate the light. 
- Genevieve Lewis Paulson

Greetings, Blessing and light, Enlightenment is attained when we accept our soul's invitation to return to an infant-like state of mind and of guilt, free of fear and seperation, and back to our natural state of being... love, light and oneness." 
- Blanca Greenberg S.C., RMT

Historically, "Enlightenment" has had religious connotations. Enlightenment is something that occurs after much time has been spent cogitating an idea for goals or aspirations. This involves active awareness and the subconscious. Enlightenment occurs when one finally comes upon the answer. For the artist, maybe this process becomes their religion.
- Jessie Pollock Dawes 

Enlightenment is knowing that everything is perfect just as it is right now. EVERYTHING IS PERFECT JUST AS IT IS! The knowledge of this enables you to live in total serenity and peace of mind. 
- Valerie Raudonis

Enlightenment, to me, means entering into a loving relationship with a personal God, whom I call both brother and father. For me, Jesus Christ reveals most completely God's love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness. Knowing that God loves me, I can enter confidently into relationships with other to share that love. That love is my Light. 
- Fr. George Fitzgerald

Hi, Lonny - To me enlightenment is simply "following your bliss" doing in life what you really want to do - having fun in your work and in your play - enjoying nature and the "Universal play" - being guided by the Spirit Within. 
- Ted Sheola 

I like Charlotte Jacko Beck's idea in "Everyday Zen" that it is not about "finding" something but about losing things.
- Joella Hutchinson 

Enlightenment - looking for the best in someone else - not the worst - the mental will power to overcome negative projection and making someone else's life more buoyant - not dragging them further down. Living simply so others may simply live. 
- Michael Levine 

Enlightenment is a process of revealing how you are continually manifesting your experience of reality. By accessing the quiet peaceful still center in the heart of your being you will discover this truth. In the midst of this spiritual cyclone called life, within each chaotic moment there is a deep stillness. This is the center of your innermost being where true spiritual knowledge resides. Abide in this center & you will find yourself manifesting a rich life, full of meaning, clarity, depth and bliss in discovering your connection to an infinite source of love, intelligence & power.
- Jafree Ozwald

Trusting the discovery of one's own creative, intuitive imagination. 
- Jon Brooks

It has taken me 25 years to learn about enlightenment, and in all that time I've only seen one good description of it. Enlightenment is a force (of beyond infinity and real understanding)That comes upon you when your mind is still and clear. You do not have to be meditating - walking through the woods works just as well. You can feel the force coming towards you. You must remain open to it. It enters every single cell of your body. You will feel a slight vibration in the ear. You will feel totally engulfed in serenity and a form of pureness which is hard to describe. 
It will stay with you for a minute or if you are lucky 5 or 10. If it stayed with you for ever, I think you would be in heaven and not of this world. When it is gone you feel totally calm and happy in mind and body and with all of nature around you. You must cultivate your mind through meditation to clear it ready for the visit of this spiritual experience - this can be difficult, and at first a mantra must be used. I can not imagine any other form of enlightenment - there is only one way.

Dear Lonny, thanks for the question, "What does Enlightenment mean to you?" Still. Life. 
- Charlotte Bagley Brown

The state of acceptance of what is and ability to, with faith and an inquisitive spirit, see just where it goes..
- Dennis

It's freedom from fear & suffering, total presence. To be in bliss and amazement at all times. It's knowing without the slighest doubt that God is within us and that our fate and future are not in our control. 
- Mitch Russo

In even the most mundane of everyday activities the sense of anticipation, great joy, and discovery of precious treasures of consciousness is experienced, just by being. This is the great Tao, and the truth of Zen Enlightenment.
- Cynthia

To me, enlightenment means a flaring-up of the light within. The light (God, Higher Power, The Christ, The Truth - whatever) which is never extinguished and which engulfs one in peace with an awareness of oneness with all. 
- Anonymous

Enlightenment is the eighth stage of Kriya Yoga called Samadhi. It is the final segment of a three-step process in physiological, psychological and spiritual development where the individual sees himself or herself not only
as a separate entity but also at the same time as universal. Total consciousness is not magic it is physics.
- Kenneth Toy (Swami Jayananda) 

Enlightenment is the experience of becoming more conscious to our human condition through the natural process of receptivity to the life-force, Prana. This is known as Yoga, the union of mind, body and Spirit. Our nature as human beings, and our Divine right, is the ability to receive the healing energy known as Prana. Because we are Souls having a human experience, that is... we are energy beings that live in a body vehicle, our minds, bodies and Souls are healed by the inherent consciousness of the universe. In this experience, we become more awake to our human condition. Once awakened, we have the opportunity to feel compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and all of mankind. This is the process of Enlightenment. 
- Pamela Hollander, M.A., L.M.T. Indigo Yoga Healing Arts.

Enlightenment is the ongoing awakening and falling asleep and awakening and falling asleep and... until you recognize the "Aha!" of evolution. 
- Perry Garfinkel 

New and fresh insight and knowledge, usually from an external source.
- Paul Sullivan 

What I imagine it to be is complete understanding of ourselves and our world. 
- Lee Sullivan 

To me, enlightenment is acceptance and appreciation of everything that does or does not pass one's way in life. 
- Anon 

Enlightenment is a subjective experience entirely, arrived at by developing and following very specific pathways through the bodymind which connect the dots of life experience and reveal the way things really are. 
- Josef DellaGrotte, Somatic Training Institute

I'm going to give my therapist $65 and ask her to tell me what Enlightenment is. As soon as I find out, I'll let you know. 
- Suzette Banner

Enlightenment is so huge and so simple - like all of the mysteries, it is paradox and balance. Moving toward the light through the fear and the darkness, until they become one. Each holding each. Opening the heart to love of many different kinds. Making a journey. 
- Annie Graves 

I teach that enlightenment happens when one is totally aware of ones own Divinity. The veil is then so thin that there is no longer duality. It is then that one can walk in peace and be the light to everyone else. Its like turning on the light in a room; there is no darkness anywhere. When you open the door darkness does not come in, but light goes out. Our light illuminates where ever we go. We can change the world when we wake up to our divinity. 
- Carol Gader

Enlightenment is a realization in mind and body of the suffering that is at the heart of all existence. Nothing happens before this realization. When we come to this awareness we also come to a crossroads: We despair or we hope. If we despair, we may die short of our potential or continue in the loop of ignorance until we hope. If we hope, we then consent to participate in a life of compassion, a life of trial and error until in some millennium we become perfect hearts. 
- Peter W. Majoy 

Keep your mind open, but not so open that your brains fall out. - Steve Heller 

Enlightenment, the act of not acting, but being. When one knows, from an intrinsic place, that he or she IS the very same "stuff" of the lowest and the greatest of creatures, then that individual is enlightened and there is no need to be anything other that what one momentarily IS. 
- Sherry Healy

Enlightenment is being. - Cedar Blue Raven 

Y'r book is prob'ly already written by now, but I'll tell you anyhow. "Enlightenment: Remembering what you already know." 
- Beverly Antaeus 

Everything is Mind-Made, 
Therefore, you come in and change minds. 
You move through the halls of power 
with Heart. 
- Dawn June 

What Do You Think?

Dear Reader, 

 Having read this far, you must have some ideas of your own about Enlightenment. I’d love to hear them. Please use the Comments box below. Your contribution may even appear in the sequal to this book, Enlightenment Online – Email from Spiritual Cyberspace. 

Thanks for being there! 

                                                             - Lonny