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Click here for the AYP Enlightenment Bar Chart
Enlightenment Time Line (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
426.1 - Enlightenment
Bar Chart (Audio)
Assigning Enlightenment Status (Audio)
August 13, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: Has following the AYP program led anyone to enlightenment?
If so, how long will it take for the average person to achieve the same?
A: This question keeps coming up, and perhaps rightfully so. If we
are considering undertaking a journey, it is natural to ask where we are
going to end up, and how long it will take. These considerations are within
the realm of time and space. There are many factors that impinge on the
answer, including the fact that the journey we are talking about here is
beyond time and space, in the realm of That which is beyond all
destinations and time measurements. It is the infinite eternal, possible to
be lived here and now in our every day life. When we find ourselves entering
this realm, life continues in the ordinary, even while we enjoy
extraordinary freedom and the spontaneous power to quicken the awakening in
everyone around us.
But to answer your question directly, has anyone
arrived in that state while utilizing the AYP approach? Well, yes, I think
so. There is mounting evidence in the community of practitioners. But not
necessarily because of AYP alone. Each of us must bring our own bhakti
(spiritual desire) to the table. Furthermore, many who have made good use of
the AYP system have been involved with other approaches in the past, and
also in the present, particularly with variations of self-inquiry, which are
driven largely by personal choice. So who can say exactly how much AYP has
contributed? Nevertheless, there is little doubt that many are making much
progress utilizing AYP, whether they have a background with other systems or
It depends so much on the person. Not only their bhakti and
prior background in practices, but also on the condition of the nervous
system at the deepest level. A few are born to become enlightened in this
life, while for the rest of us it may be only a possibility. Yet, for all of
us the possibility is clearly there, and that is very significant. Where
there is the possibility, there will be ways that can be devised to bring it
into manifestation. It is a matter of having good tools available, and
having the desire and willingness to put forth the effort toward the goal
through daily practice.
The factors affecting our journey have been
discussed throughout the lessons. As these relate to enlightenment
specifically, Lesson 390 provides a pretty good
summary, including some of the cautions associated with proclaiming
enlightenment. What each of us is doing about it in the here and now is
infinitely more important than what someone else claims to have done. This
is why discussions about "the attainment" of others are largely a
distraction. Likewise, so is proclaiming our own attainment (real or
imagined) a distraction to ourselves and others. Enlightenment never
proclaims itself. It only does, in a perpetual divine outpouring for the
benefit of others in ordinary living.
Regarding the time line for
enlightenment, this is greatly affected by the factors mentioned above, and
as further discussed in Lesson 390. AYP is still a
young approach, about seven years old as an open source teaching at this
writing, though tested here for several decades beforehand. At this
still-early stage, we can say that a few years of practice yields noticeable
results, in some cases dramatic, approaching a "ripeness" of inner silence
and ecstatic awakening, and their joining, paving the way for relational
self-inquiry (see Lesson 328). Beyond a few years of
practice, up to 5 or more years (approaching the limit in time of AYPs
public availability), we are seeing clear evidence of some practitioners
going beyond ripeness, falling from the tree so to speak, into a life
experience in unity/non-duality.
This is not a guarantee that
everyone will become ripe in a few years, and fall into a full time
experience of unity/non-duality in 5 or so years. What it does indicate, is
that anyone who is consistent in practices with prudent self-pacing, while
keeping active in the world between sittings, is going to make a lot of
progress. How far that goes is a function of our sincere bhakti in relation
to inner karmic obstructions to be dissolved/transformed. Our bhakti will
surely overcome the karmic obstructions. AYP provides a useful tool set to
aid in that.
So it isn't mainly about the practices, though it
certainly helps to have good ones. It is about our earnestness in
approaching our own spiritual journey, and our prudent management of our
practices over the long term.
In the old days, the quest for
enlightenment was measured in lifetimes, sometimes thousands of them. In the
20th century, it became clear that with applied effort, at least
for a few, the journey could be traversed in several decades. Now, in the 21st
century, we are looking at the same being accomplished in a few years. Or at
least putting a major dent in it. The applied technologies of yoga and
spiritual practices continue to improve, becoming openly available for
millions. Times are changing.
Is this level of acceleration in human
spiritual transformation realistic? Well, there is no promise of instant
enlightenment, not coming from this corner anyway. And neither is there a
promise that AYP will deliver all of us into the enlightened state in a few
years, though there have been some encouraging accounts. What is promised is
steady progress for those who are earnest and apply themselves in the manner
It will be interesting to see where this open source
approach to spiritual practice leads in 10-20 years, and more. It is still
very early in the game, and there is much yet to be discovered, both on the
individual practitioner's level, and in relation to the ongoing process of
human spiritual transformation occurring in the global family of humanity.
Everyone is welcome to join in the experiment. Just sit down and
meditate twice each day, diving deep into stillness, and enjoy the results.
The guru is in you.
here for more on enlightenment timeline and assigning "enlightenment
Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
For detailed discussion on the development of bhakti (spiritual desire), see
Bhakti and Karma Yoga book. For
detailed discussion on the practical
utilization of relational self-inquiry (in ripeness),
and the Liberation book. For detailed instructions on
building and maintaining a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga book. Also see and AYP Plus.