The word enlightenment means to reach spiritual knowledge. Enlightenment in itself doesn't indicate that the person has reached the top level of spiritual knowledge as many people may think, it only means they have elevated their consciousness to a level higher than it was before.
The ways to reach enlightenment are limitless and unique to each one of us. However, on a larger scale, we can summarize that the path to enlightenment can be attained in 4 different ways.
This summary doesn't mean someone can't attain enlightenment in any other ways, this only means that these are 4 ways in which it's generally attained:
1. Mental Expansion:
One of the most common ways of reaching enlightenment is when our mind changes and expands. This is the equivalent to a change in perception, mindset or vision.
When your mind changes the direction of your perception changes from limited to permissive.
2. Physical Expansion:
Some people are more aware of their physical body than other aspects of themselves. The physical body can serve as a vehicle of conscious expansion when we develop an awareness of our internal processes and we adjust our lifestyle to be the most nourishing and least damaging of these processes.
That means that we respect our body, we exercise, eat live foods like fruits and vegetables, we don't ingest substances that can damage our body, we get proper rest, practice self-care, and we learn how to maximize our physical potential.
In the same way, an integral physical development cannot be reached unless there's also awareness of other aspects of being: Mental, emotional, and spiritual.
3. Emotional Expansion:
Our emotions are the nexus between the mind and body, they are physiological reactions to mental processes. They can also be originated directly from the body through the senses.
Emotions can limit our body, mind, and senses when we experience trauma and don't heal it properly.
Emotions are necessary for our human experience, they need to be understood as tools for inner awareness. They help you become aware of processes happening consciously or subconsciously that require your attention.
When you release trapped emotions that are limiting your body, mind, or senses, you experience conscious expansion.
4- Spiritual Expansion:
We can expand spiritually when we allow the other three aspects mentioned above to rest and remain still while we place all of our awareness in the spiritual plane.
Spiritual awareness is often reached during meditation or in conscious breathing practices, which are ways to draw our focus to the spiritual plane.
It's also important to say that there are other internal processes that can help us reach enlightenment that can bypass all of the processes described above and which are not in our control to trigger or suppress. Many people have spontaneous awakenings without having done anything consciously to achieve it, they simply start remembering information. Another scenario in which we reach conscious enlightenment and that is beyond our control is the experience of death.
A more intense enlightenment will be achieved when we observe and develop these 4 aspects with equilibrium, not leaving any of them out of the context of our personal development practice.
I hope this information brings you light and expansion,