Seven hurdles to enlightenment

Published Nov 28, 2013, 5:20 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 8:47 pm IST

The goal of all spiritual thinking is to seek enlightenment. In other words, it is the discovery of one’s true nature. Although the truth exists within each and every one of us, it is not always easy to draw our attention away from the external world to the light that lies within. However, there are certain ways of thinking that, if cultivated, can draw us closer to this light.

To move into a space of peace, love and enlightenment we must be ready to overcome the following hurdles:

A closed mind: It is the biggest hurdle to enlightenment. When you free your mind and become the observer, you will discover the truth of oneness, and each experience will become an enlightening experience.“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” – Eckhart Tolle

Lack of trust: Being open and receptive comes from an unshakable trust in the perfection of this universe. It is an understanding and realisation that the ego is not real, and you are beyond it. Treat each experience as the exact lesson that you need to learn for your growth and freedom. Break free from the victim mode and trust in the benevolence of the universe.

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for you to stand upon, or you will be taught how to fly.” –Patrick Overtone

Unforgiveness: It is inevitable that there will be times when we will be hurt by our loved ones, causing us deep pain. But holding on to a grudge is unhealthy for the mind and body. When you decide to forgive, you tend to have better relationships, feel a sense of freedom and enjoy an overall physical and psychological well-being.

Lack of gratitude: Adopting an attitude of gratitude will bring in higher levels of contentment and peace in your life. The more you acknowledge and recognise the gifts you are blessed with, the more you will receive. Each morning, you can make a choice to look at everything with a positive attitude. Appreciate that you have the gift of life, you breathe, you see, you smell, you eat. If you look around, the list can go on.

Non-acceptance: Our lives constantly bring in new experiences, and being in acceptance of our reality and responding to the need of the present is the most enlightening experience we can bring within ourselves.“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

So instead of trying to stop the rain, if we arrange an umbrella, we would be more comfortable. Flow with the universe for it is believed that change is the only permanent thing in life. This can be difficult to start with, but once achieved, it helps us transcend suffering. Very often what may have seemed negative to start with, may be the beginning of creating a better future for us.

Limiting beliefs: Our limiting beliefs are the biggest hindrance to our growth, freedom and enlightenment. Most of our beliefs about the world and people are not necessarily true, but we hold them because of our conditioning. If all of us believe that making mistakes leads to failures, then none of us will take up new learning skills and experiences which would actually take us to our success. We must move away from judgments and drop our beliefs of how things should be based on our own limited beliefs.

Living in the past: Your “now” actions determine your future. Do not remain burdened by your past and learn to move forward. Cherish old memories and happy times, giving full respect to past challenges for they were the lessons for  your growth. But do not give your past the power to govern your present and future. Live in the now, continue to flow and grow.

The writer is a bach flower expert and a healer. You can write to her at



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