There is a paradox inherent in pursuing the goal of realizing that enlightenment isn’t a goal. Nonetheless, there are different approaches to reaching this realization.

For some, meditation (see Tools 4.1 and 4.8) can do the trick. Meditation helps you see through your thoughts and stories, bring you to the present, and experience the realization that there is no “you” inside your mind that needs to be enlightened. For others, psychedelic experiences can offer this insight. Still others can reach that state simply by taking a walk in nature, or through repeated sessions with a teacher or meditation group (sangha).

A better way to view enlightenment might be as a trait we always possess, but of which we aren’t always aware. There is no one path to access enlightenment. And once you do, sooner or later you are likely to forget this realization and return to your usual goal-oriented mind, with enlightenment as one of your goals. However, once you have had the experience that all goals in life are made up, it will be easier for you to remember and re-experience this in the future.