Adyashanti dispels the common misconception that Enlightenment is an altered state of consciousness, an “unending awakened experience.”

IT’S A FANCY word that, Enlightenment. I think it’s safe to say that most people, when hearing this word, think of some monk in a blissed out state. In a way I suppose that’s true, but what it boils down to, according to Adyashanti in the above video, it is “not perceiving through the lens of ego.” And what does that mean?

It’s happiness; it’s peace. It’s the end of your search. Not that you find anything, except sanity. Not that you attain anything, except seeing things exactly as they are. And that’s what Nirvana is, seeing things as they actually are.

Perception is everything. We may think of someone who is enlightened as being in an altered state of consciousness, but an interesting point that Adyashanti makes is that from the point of view of someone who is enlightened, everything else is an altered state of consciousness. The ego “gets you to perceive things that aren’t there, it gets you to see enemies where there aren’t any…it gets you to have a self-image when there isn’t a self there to begin with.” Jokingly, but seriously, he goes on to say, “so if you want an altered state of consciousness, I’d stick with ego…Enlightenment is the unaltered state of consciousness.”