Discover who you really are
If you have ever wanted to experience for yourself a moment of self-realization or awakening, or if you simply want to know who you truly are, then an Enlightenment Intensive may be for you.
Enlightenment Intensives are residential group retreats with a single aim: to help you find the answer to the question ~
"Who am I?"
But not just some 'answer' in the form of words or ideas.
The aim is to know the actual truth of who you are by directly experiencing of your true self, or what some call essence, true nature, or simply Truth.
In short, an experience of enlightenment.
What do we mean by "enlightenment"?
Looking for enlightenment on a short retreat may sound far-fetched. This is because the word itself - enlightenment - tends to conjure up images of extraordinary saints and famous gurus, apparently living in a state of non-stop bliss and god-like perfection.
Yet the pure and simple experience of "sudden enlightenment", although less well known, is very real and much more common.
In Zen, this sudden awakening is known as or kensho or satori. It is described as a sudden direct insight into reality. In the West, similar experiences have been referred to as epiphany, realization, gnosis, revelation and illumination.
All refer to a sudden knowing of, or awakening to, some kind of absolute Truth.
But it is not attained through reason and logic, nor through observation, nor emotion, nor any other physical or psychological process. Rather, it arises spontanseously within seeker's consciousness.
We do not need any knowledge of religion or philosophy to understand this experience. It is simply:
- A timeless moment in which you suddenly, spontaneously, know the way things actually are.
- A knowingness of Truth, the ultimate and absolute truth, that which is so regardless of anyone's ideas or opinions, including your own.
- A personal inner discovery - you discover this truth for yourself, within yourself.
- A direct experience -- the seeker and their truth are one and the same. They always are, in fact, but in ordinary life we are just not aware of it. Enlightenment is becoming aware of it.
Many ordinary people's accounts, both ancient and modern, describe just such an awakening.
"I laughed with sheer joy at the'rightness' of it... No doubt you know the jubilantly satisfying 'click' one experiences when one finds the solution to, for instance, a complicated mathematical problem. Well, the experience I had was of a similar kind but carried to the ultimate. A king-size, super-hyper-Click!!! And with the feeling that I had 'come home'. It included the blissful awareness of unity, of being in all, and all being in me."
(The Relevance of Bliss by Nona Coxhead)
On the morning of February 5, 1997, my life was changed, at a deep and fundamental level, by a completely unexpected and inexplicable experience.
To this day, I still do not fully comprehend, with my rational mind or intellect, exactly what happened. And yet, the validity and power of this incredible moment remain with me today, profoundly vivid and clear years after the fact.
It was a moment of intuitive revelation which arrived suddenly and without warning, and which I can only describe as an "epiphany," or an Awakening. In this timeless moment, my understanding and experience of the universe were completely and irrevocably transformed.
(Epihany: Gift of Light, by Metta Zetty)
Why seek an enlightenment experience?
Enlightenment Intensives have enabled thousands of ordinary people around the world to discover who they really are. What people discover in these moments of self-realization is both universal and, paradoxically, unique to each person. Common descriptions include:
- Knowing what is ultimately true of oneself (or life) with absolute certainty
- Profound feelings of joy, peace, fulfilment, love, awe, reverence, and/or gratitude
- Inspiring new insights into life and how to live it
Exactly what is experienced and how it affects you is unique to each person. For many people, simply knowing who and what they are brings a deep sense of relief and peace. Some people are surprised at the obviousness of it all, or amazed, or laugh hysterically at the cosmic joke involved. Some experience feelings of bliss; some a release of joy and energy that had been held back for years. It is not uncommon for people to recognise that this is what they always wanted but did not realise until they experienced it.
Often there is laughter and tears. But above all, enlgithenment gives a direct experience of reality that is absolute ... and hard to do justice with mere words!
The beauty of finding out for yourself
Finding one's own truth for oneself is one of the hallmarks of Enlightenment Intensives - they are purely about self-discovery.
- You are not required or expected to buy into any belief system whatsoever.
- There are no teachings, no philosophy, no religion.
- There are no discussions about what the "answer" is or might be.
The only thing you are taught is a simple contemplation technique and nothing else. It is purely and simply about you finding out for yourself through your own experience here and now.
The only prerequisites on your part are -
- a sincere desire for self-knowledge, and
- an openness to the possibility that you can know yourself directly, beyond your normal thoughts and perceptions, at an absolute level.
What difference does it make in life?
When you find something out for yourself, you are much more able to make use of it in your life.
Each person's journey of awakening is unique, however, and we cannot tell you exactly how it could affect your life. The difference it makes, ultimately, is entirely up to you.
Nevertheless, there are common themes which include:
- greater self acceptance
- ease in being oneself
- compassion for oneself and others
- authenticity in relationships
- trust in life
- clarity about life's direction
- an infusion of meaning in life
- a sense of inner certainty which isn’t dependent on how you feel or what anyone else says
- a deepening sense of spiritual connection
Note: A single enlightenment experience is not a magic bullet which will solve your outer life problems and ensure your happiness forever.
What you discover already ‘is’; you just didn’t know it before. But the effects of this, described by many people, are greater insight into why things are as they are, the inspiration to make certain changes, and a renewed sense of both freedom and responsibility.
We hope to inspire you with the very real possibility of discovering what enlightenment could mean for you.
Is it right for me?
Taking an Enlightenment Intensive may be right for you if any of these ring true:
- You want to discover the truth of who you are.
- You are drawn to seek greater depth, truth and meaning in life.
- You would like to discover something within yourself that is real and absolute.
- You prefer to find things out for yourself.
- You have read other people's stories of spiritual awakening and would like to experience it for yourself.
- You want to be more awake and more real.
- You want to live with greater authenticity and relate to others with more reality.
- You want to be more ‘yourself’ in life.
If so, then look next at our Further Information. It will tell you:
- How an enlightenment experience is possible in three days.
- What it's like to participate
- Where you would be staying and what the venue is like
Bath itself is one of the most beautiful cities in England, and easy to get to from mainland Europe.
For our next Enlightenment Intensives here in Bath, see the Dates page.
If you would like to book a place straight away, please use our online Registration Form.
Alternatively, you may have questions or you may simply want to get a better sense of who we are. We are always happy to answer any queries and to talk to people considering participating on an Intensive. Feel free to get in touch with us by email.