The first example is a fictional about a husband who arrives home upset from work and then commutes home when he opens the door that has the mail slot in it and finds the mail all over the floor. The house seems a mess with things all over the floor in the living room. When the wife comes in and explodes at her complaining about the mess saying that she does nothing all day but watch soap operas while he slays away at work. She naturally reacts to defend herself and screams back at him with nothing but screaming between them, each pushing the buttons of the other to cause them pain hoping that they will hurt enough to stop pushing their buttons. This becomes a habit and they cycle downward until they cannot stand one another. Eventually, this leads to divorce with “irreconcilable differences” as the cause of the divorce.
OR, a second scenario where when the husband arrives home and starts screaming, the wife, who has learned the superpower of not reacting or being honest with herself, listens quietly as he vents his frustrations not taking anything personally until his frustrations are spent. Then, she reaches up, touches his shoulder, and says, “Did you have a rough day? To which he replies as his shoulders drop, “Yes, it was a rough day.” He goes on to explain how his boss got angry with him and how he was cut off by a careless driver on the way home. When he is done talking his wife quietly reminds him that their colicky baby was crying all day and she didn’t have time to do anything but take care of the baby. The husband apologizes and they console one another and start to work together to solve their problems.
The second example of transformation is about the guy who gets on the subway on a Sunday morning. The car is nearly empty and the few people there are reading their paper (or cell phones) quietly. Then the car comes to a stop and a man with two kids gets on. The man sits next to the other man and hangs his head down just looking at the ground while his two young kids start running up and down the car screaming and annoying everyone else. After a couple of minutes of this disruption to the morning peace, the first man becomes noticeably irritated that the father does nothing to calm his children down, so he speaks up suggesting that he control his kids. To which the second man looks up, sees his kids, then just hangs his head and begins to mutter to the first man, “I don’t know what to say to them. You see, we just came from the hospital where their mother just died. I don’t know what to tell them.”
As you read this story I am sure you could identify with the first man who was enjoying his quiet Sunday morning ride on the subway and then how he and everyone else was annoyed by the noisy kids. But then I am sure you experienced a transformation when you learned the circumstances of the second man and his kids, where your heart was filled with compassion for them all.
A third example would be my transformation one day as I was driving out of town on the freeway and I saw a police officer who had pulled over someone. At the time I had nothing but contempt for authority figures and I was filled with anger if not rage at the idea that this police officer was “harassing” someone. I even drove closer to the edge of the road to scare the officer, but then all of a sudden I became aware of what I was doing to myself with my emotional reaction of hate. Upon that awareness, I stopped what I was doing and started to project love toward the officer. The transformation of my experience from a living hell to a living heaven was so profound that within a mile or so driving down the road, I had to pull over to the side of the road and balled my eyes out, for this was the first time in my life I had caught myself and my extremely unhealthy and painful behaviors and turned myself around.
I didn’t catch myself again for six months and the next time was about three months and each time after that it happened quicker and quicker.
That is what enlightenment or Heaven is, a transformational experience that opens one’s heart allowing them to feel and experience a much richer life.