Introduction

This book is about two things:

  • What ‘enlightenment’ and 5 other aspects of spiritual maturity are.
  • How to come to these states or facets for yourself.

Excepting the quotations, and passages clearly marked as conjecture, everything in this book is based on my own experiences, observations and reflections. I teach exclusively from my own experience and the conclusions I have drawn from it. I hold no unsubstantiated beliefs and do not belong to any tradition or organisation whatsoever.

I am well aware that what I have written reports my own experience, and how I intellectually integrated it into concepts. A concept is not the thing which it is trying to describe. That said, concepts may be of help. For example, if you had never seen a dog and I try to describe a dog to you, you will have some idea of what a dog may look and act like, but it is just an idea. Only when you meet a dog, or better a lot of dogs, will you have the knowledge of what they are. And if I write about what it’s like to play with a dog, it will be my experience of playing with dogs; yours might well be quite different.

The point is, after reading you may be curious to get to know dogs, and to experience playing with them for yourself. So throughout this book I have mentioned a number of types of exercises, and described a few in detail (see: DTFE – Example Exercises), to give readers a clear idea of the type of spiritual practice which has been of so great value to me. Please view them as tools to make your own experiences.

I have tried to make the reading as light as possible, using anecdotes, allegories and quotations. Yet it may moot a bit dry and theoretical in places, lacking the vibrancy of books which record the conversations of seekers with spiritual masters. My aim has been to provide a coherent and comprehensive distillation of spiritual teachings in one place – a framework for understanding and for practice.

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