To reach enlightenment I assume would be the end of the suffering and the struggle/journey to find it.
What happens after you find it?
MM: You either keep quiet, or you become of service. Actually the two do not exclude each other. Even if you just keep quiet you are serving. But this serving is not the self-sacrificing service we usually think of because there is no self left to sacrifice. It is just sharing at that point - of bliss, joy, peace, wisdom. It is like sharing an inner wealth the way you would share your outer wealth.
It is true that we have to become bored with all of our regular pursuits in life first before this would be bliss instead of boredom. That is why so many masters recommend to live life to the fullest first, like a bright fire. Then, when disillusionment sets in we are ripe for the teachings and the alternative of meditation. Then we have to also burn that candle down to Nothing.
After that we share the light that needs no candle.
Q2: What does it mean to live life by the fullest?
MM: When you breath - breath deeply, and say Thank You. When you dance - dance with abandon, and say Thank You. When you love - don't try to protect yourself from heartbreak, and say Thank You. When you are in the sun - close your eyes and feel it on your face....and say, Thank You! When you meditate - disappear completely...
I think you get the idea.
It is not what you do - as in "get married", "race cars" or "climb mountains" - the details are different for everyone, and often are quite simple and mundane - it is just that whatever you do, do it whole-heartedly and stay grateful. Then even the hardships become stepping stones across the river of illusion into nirvana.
Q2: That's a lovely explanation there. I realized that that is in fact the direction I have been starting to head recently. It also allows me to feel less hurt by the suffering I see in others, when you look at it as the start of their journey to first feel the disillusionment.
MM: You make a very good point - that a compassionate person suffers just as much from seeing others suffer, if not more, as from their own suffering, and that through deeper understanding, especially understanding of Buddhist teachings - BOTH of those kinds of suffering get reduced, and eventually eliminated through liberation. I am happy to hear that this is starting to happen in your life - proof you are indeed heading in the right direction.
(The whole conversation between all parties lives here (http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055375769) on Boards.ie