The term Bodhi, in the language of ancient Buddhist scriptures, is usually rendered into English as enlightenment, awakening, lofty or liberating knowledge. Awakening implies a waking up from being lost in distorting perceptions and unknowing, to see and know experience exactly as it is actually occurring. The term awakening is quite appropriate, given how much of the day can be spent sleep-walking through life, letting the mind wander lost in thoughts of past and future, unaware of what is real. Essentially, one awakens from the delusion that interprets impermanent encounters as a potential source of happiness.
Have you have gained lasting satisfaction from anything that you have seen, heard, smelled, tasted, touched, thought, or possessed? Most readers will answer, “no.” But do you still find yourself turning to sensory experiences for happiness?
An important question is not if someone is enlightened or not, but enlightened about what?
We awaken to the fact of suffering. And we awaken with the realization of the end of suffering. The cultivation of mindfulness develops the ability to be present, mindful, and awake in all activities. Mindfully we observe the arising and perishing of sensory contacts. The Buddha encouraged awareness not only while sitting in the cross-legged posture, but also while reaching, bending, eating, dressing, and urinating. Nothing is too mundane or low to awaken with.
You can wake up to what is right here now!