“Enlightenment is Simple: the Synchronization of Body, Speech & Mind, Harnessed to the Present Moment.”

Via Waylon Lewis
on May 21, 2012
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Enlightenment is Simple. If not easy. That’s why we call it “practice.” 


is not some other, perfect, or higher state to be attained. It is here, and now. It is ordinary—extra-ordinary.


is skin deep. But true beauty, lasting beauty, is to be found through humor, depth of insight, an open, still mind, compassion. And these qualities arise from within, from here and now—not from the plastic surgeon’s scalpel.

Here are four quotes on the synchronization of body, speech and mind from Buddhist meditation teacher Chogyam Trungpa. ~ ed.


“The ideal state of tranquility comes from experiencing body and mind being synchronized. If body and mind are unsynchronized, then your body will slump—and your mind will be somewhere else.”

“When mind and body are synchronized, that, because of your good posture, your breathing happens naturally; and because your breathing and your posture work together, your mind has a reference point to check back to. Therefore your mind will go out naturally with the breath.”

“This method of synchronizing your mind and body is training you to be very simple and to feel that you are not special, but ordinary, extra-ordinary.”

“Synchronizing body and mind is not a concept or a random technique someone thought up for self improvement. Rather, it is a basic principle of how to be a human being and how to use your sense perceptions, your mind and your body together.”

Quotes: Trungpa via Shambhala. Image: Whoa Tumblr.




About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


24 Responses to ““Enlightenment is Simple: the Synchronization of Body, Speech & Mind, Harnessed to the Present Moment.””

  1. […] meditation really just means being totally present, totally aware with whatever is happening. It is being with ourselves completely as we are. If the […]

  2. Elaine says:

    “Enlightenment is Simple: the Synchronization of Body, Speech & Mind, Harnessed to the Image of a Nubile, Beautiful Pubescent Girl….er…I mean… um.”

    Nothing against beautiful images – but am I not mistaken in seeing Elephant Journal articles become slanted toward sexuality, intense orgasm, and other such in-your-face provocative imagery and subject matter? C'mon guys! I enjoy the five hour orgasm as much as anyone..and have daughters as 'beautiful' as these images.. but the "erotic slant" on elephant journal seems that someone ought to start paying attention to brachmachariya (appropriate use of vital sexual energy) or go get laid, already! This is all becoming one big distracting eye candy / fluff theme forum. Purpose?

  3. elaine says:

    Purpose: O yeah! Sex sells!
    Forgot myself for a moment….

    Sorry, guys…..

  4. Huh. Didn't see it that way at all.

    I like the dichotomy of the railroad tracks and the young woman practicing in such an unusual place. It's rugged beauty offset by more traditional beauty. That paired with the discussion of beauty and body-mind synchronicity is powerful to me.

    I'll grant you—we do discuss sex. That's part of being alive, no? An enjoyable part. But this piece isn't about that, for me anyway.

    • MeruTaxiDelhi says:

      "discussing sex" is "part of being alive"?? what a tiny little world you occupy. and i suppose by saying that you deem anyone who doesn't agree with you as repressed or unenlightened. americans. fucking idiots with a superiority complex that is sheer entertainment for the rest of the enlightened world. get a life you dumb sad little nobody.

    • Jean says:

      Don't believe you. It's about sex and an ideal of beauty very very few can attain. Why even
      strive for it. Plus I think you have an odd take on"enlightenment".

  5. Joe Sparks says:

    The essence of humanness is creativeness, and our ability to synthesize new responses.

  6. Guher says:

    Asana is just ONE of the EIGHT limbs what about all the other. Yoga is not about being elastic, having a beatiful body or being soo healthy that swami vivekananda says : You may have a very healthy, beautiful body but that does not make you enlightened that makes you a healthy animal in Raja Yoga I guess he is a swami and more close to enlightenment

    • MeruTaxiDelhi says:

      Guher, these weirdos on this site wouldn't know "enlightenment" if it ran them over in a fucking yellow taxi. so goddamned stupid it's embarrassing.

  7. Ben_Ralston says:

    The image just distracts from the piece. It's not suitable or relevant if you ask me.
    Tired of seeing images of overflexible ballet dancers posing as Yogis.
    Yoga and ballet or dance are merging into one in the global consciousness, and I'd really like to see Elephant NOT play a part in that, personally.

  8. […] Beautiful? Debatable. Cute’s probably more accurate. But then, I believe everyone is beautiful in some way. […]

  9. MeruTaxiDelhi says:

    anyone who thinks enlightenment is "simple" is an idiot. period. and like Ben_Ralston notes, what has this image got to do with anything? big deal, she can flex. wtf has "flex" got to do with "enlightenment." the fact that you joined that word and this image shows how far down you are on the scale of understanding. sorry. what a shame ej has become such a scuzzy little online rag.

  10. Mike Smith says:

    Thanks Waylon, Always so nice to read a few quotes from CTR. Gave me a little burst of windhorse and I'm sitting up straight now.

  11. Mike says:

    Also the reason I clicked on this article from your newsletter was because of the "totally hot" image. That was even before I saw what it was about 🙂

  12. Kathy Burton says:

    Gosh, I'm disappointed too. The most enlightened being I know has a body crippled with arthritis. She's not capable of good posture but she's more enlightened than this post.

  13. […] Meditate, and increase the frequency with which body, speech and mind come together in the present moment (that’s a layman’s definition of enlightenment). […]

  14. Sharon Cormier says:

    A beautiful body fades and ages but a beautiful heart, filled with compassion and kindness, holds its beauty. My thought? Let go of aiming for a beautiful “outside” – go for the inner glow.

  15. I was also distracted by the image, but not for 'hot girl' or 'sex' reasons. I clicked on it to get a better look, thinking… how the heck do I become flexible enough to master this particular pose such as this gal?! Didn't even read the article below it until after pondering the pose. ha.

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  17. […] “Enlightenment is Simple: the Synchronization of Body, Speech & Mind, Harnessed to the Pre… (elephantjournal.com) […]

  18. Natalie Baginski says:

    It's a shame that the word "enlightenment" is tossed around in the yoga community so much that honestly, I don't know if any of us know what it is! But, I am glad that what accompanies this picture are quotes from someone who dedicated his life not only the pursuit of enlightenment, but also to sharing it's definitions, it's qualities and it's possibilities with others. I always go back to the Gita or key vedic expressions when I get lost in the warm fuzzies of our waking state definitions. We have vedic definitions of enlightenment, from which stem all forms of eastern spirituality (or we can just say spirituality) since the time of Shankara. Then there are the verbs used when we read of people who have had enlightened experiences. A Christian would talk about the "light of God" and a Muslim might talk about the "death of fana" (ego) while a "yogi" might say something about the Self. I recently took a graduate physics course on consciousness and enlightenment. Someone in the class asked the professor what enlightenment is. After quoting something from the vedic literature that referenced the whole ocean in a drop and the drop containing the ocean he said, "Enlightenment is like an individual wave riseing up out of the ocean, it turns and looks back on itself, sees the other waves and takes in the scope of the whole ocean, then returns to the ocean." Given the amount of ocean-drop-ocean passages in the vedic literature, I absolutely love that description. I think what he was talking about was Vedanta. What this article is referencing, in my opinion and done well, is Cosmic Consciousness. When Krishna talks about "right action" in the Gita, he is talking about the effortless, spontaneous, natural perfection that comes with every action when one is "established in Self". Like the quote from above, it's what happens when a human being is functioning perfectly and the ego, intellect, body, mind and senses are all coordinated. This happens with a settled, stress-free nervous system (hense the importance of asana and pranayam, before meditation). With all the recent talk about "fraud" gurus and "what is yoga…really", and "is my yoga class just exercise or something more", etc., we need to be talking about enlightenment because it's the goal of Yoga. It's actually the goal of evolution, indivdually and cosmically, according to the literature. Thanks for starting the discussion!

  19. laila says:

    Enlightenment is simple… go back to your junior high dance class wearing your swimsuit.

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