Since I love my iPhone, and it can reliably guide me to earthly destinations, I figured that spiritual enlightenment also would be available via one of the many downloadable applications for this marvelous device.
And yes, it was. In the form of Guided Insight Meditation.
Buddha must have been looking out for me, because I came across this app on the very last day, October 17, that it was still free. (As of now, you'll have to fork out $2.99 for enlightenment. Plus the cost of an iPhone, if you've got bad karma and don't have one yet.)
I liked how most of the meditation lessons fit on a single iPhone screen. The introduction was a bit wordier, requiring some scrolling, but ended with an appealing offer.
Meditation is about developing your mind. It requires a significant amount of energy, determination, discipline and patience. The goal is awareness and concentration. The reward is real and unconditioned happiness, peace and a true understanding of what, why and how things are.
Cool. At least the reward part was.
I wasn't so wild about the significant amount part. Hey, this is an iPhone app! I assumed that Guided Insight Meditation should go as quickly and smoothly as everything else Apple'ish does.
So I was ready for instant enlightenment yesterday morning. I took my iPhone with me onto my meditation cushion, as I always do.
(Making my way past another level of Ragdoll Blaster each day is a big part of my spiritual path, for reasons that won't be understandable to anyone who hasn't experienced the mystic bliss of shooting ragdolls out of a cannon while figuring how to hit a target in a manner guided by immutable laws of physics.)
After dutifully spending five minutes or so reading about meditation misconceptions -- for example, I wouldn't be running away from reality, or, sadly, getting high -- and the correct attitude (accept yourself; experience everything; let go; and so on), I was ready for my guided meditation.
I pressed the "start session" button. A male voice led me through ten minutes of instruction.
I sent out loving feelings of kindness toward everyone and everything in existence (I wanted to make an exception for Fox News, but stifled the urge). I took three deep cleansing breaths. I followed my inhalations and exhalations. I was especially conscious of certain sensors in my nostrils (upper right corner of my right nostril seemed acutely breath aware).
Wanting to assure my rapid spiritual progress, I kept on meditating for ten minutes after the instruction stopped. Twenty minutes total. The timer on my iPhone chimed.
Yay! I was enlightened. Had to be! iPhone apps almost always work as promised.
It's difficult for me to convey what enlightenment is like. Just as Zen masters say, my life doesn't seem to have changed, in line with the adage "first there is a mountain, then there isn't, then there is."
Yet obviously I now have a true understanding of what, why and how things are. This is what the Guided Insight Meditation app promised, and so this is what I must have achieved.
I'll do my best to remain humble, though this is difficult for me now that I know so much more about the cosmos than almost everyone else. If you don't believe me, consider this:
I am so enlightened, I don't even feel any difference from my previous unenlightened state. This shows that I've been enlightened from birth, a Bodhisattva. All the iPhone app did was make me aware of my pristine awareness.
I'm not sure what to do next. Traditionally, I gather I'm supposed to help all sentient beings attain Buddha-hood.
I was in an Apple store today and got to play briefly with an iPhone 3Gs, the most powerful iPhone ever. Seemingly my enlightenment would be even more enlightened if it was transmitted over a 3Gs rather than a mere 3G.
Unfortunately for all sentient beings, I'm not eligible to upgrade at a reasonable price for nearly another year.