The Map of Everyday Enlightenment

From Everyday Enlightenment


The Map of Everyday Enlightenment is a simple way of conceptualizing all the many different ways of pursuing meditative practices, and ultimately Enlightenment itself. All these conceptual terms were chosen to emphasize the thematic elements of The Map, in order to make it easy to navigate and think about.

What are we trying to accomplish?

Beacons provide focus and illumination of the concepts of enlightenment and the Credos give an overview of each Beacon's purpose.

Study Beacons for self-directed learning about specific enlightenment topics.

Where are we on our journey and where are we going next?

Realms organize Landmarks by difficulty and progression so that learners can effectively explore new and challenging ideas and practices.

Study Realms to understand what Landmarks indicate progression for different meditative practices.

How do we develop our practices to achieve real benefits?

Pathways are the different ways to go about learning and growing.

  • Landmarks are simple lessons about applying one topic to your everyday life. Browse these if you're unsure where you want to go next.
  • Trails are curated lessons made up of several Landmarks to follow all the way through to that Trail's destination, where you can look back and see what you've learned.
  • Guides are articles about a particular time and place for learning (such as Walking) that contain Landmarks that highlight how to do it.
  • Lenses are tied to Beacons and are articles about meditative concepts and the available Landmarks for those concepts.
The Map of Everyday Enlightenment
The Map of Everyday Enlightenment

The Beacons

The Beacons of Everyday Enlightenment point us towards Enlightenment and light the Pathways that we take through the Realms. The three Beacons are Attention, Adaptation and Association, each of which represent a major area of meditative practice and serve as a way of grouping together meditative concepts that are typically explored together. In the journey of Enlightenment, all three Beacons must be followed all the way through the Realms, however each person may choose their own way of learning and exploring.


Attention, one of the three Beacons of Everyday Enlightenment, illuminates the path to presence and mindfulness in our daily lives. The core of Attention is fostering a profound connection with the immediate unfolding of life, moment to moment. By developing skills centered on Attention, we endeavor to cultivate a mindful awareness that significantly reduces suffering, enhances mental clarity, and deepens our appreciation of life's inherent beauty.

One key aspect of Attention lies in learning to release the grip of distracting thoughts and emotions. These might lead us away from what we truly desire to focus on or, worse still, inflict undue pain and suffering. Engaging with the world through the lens of Attention allows us to remain centered, irrespective of the turbulence that might be unfolding around or within us.

Moreover, Attention invites us to anchor ourselves in the richness of the present moment, the home of authentic satisfaction. It is here, in the 'now', that we fully experience the breadth of our existence, basking in the pleasures that life offers, while also acknowledging and working through challenges with a clear and focused mind.

Attention brings into sharp focus the reality of our experience, stripping away the superfluous and illuminating the truth of our present moment. Through this beacon, we learn to savor the positive, navigate the negative, and above all, remain engaged and active participants in the tapestry of our lives. Attention, in essence, paves the way to a more mindful, aware, and fulfilling existence.


Adaptation, as a Beacon of Everyday Enlightenment, pertains to the acceptance and welcoming of life's impermanence. Adaptation focuses on key concepts like Impermanence, Non-Attachment, Non-Seeking and Non-Aversion, all revolving around our ability to flow harmoniously with life's constant shifts and changes.

The practice begins with understanding Impermanence, appreciating the transient nature of all phenomena, and gradually cultivating Non-Attachment to the desire for permanence in a world that's fundamentally transient. This naturally leads to Non-Seeking and Non-Aversion, attitudes that enable us to face life's fluctuations without craving desirable experiences or averting less pleasant ones.

Deeper exploration introduces us to concepts like Acceptance, Flexibility, and Resilience. These principles invite us to be comfortable amidst ambiguity, navigate life's changes smoothly, recognize the continuous movement in our experiences, acknowledge the ever-present evolution of all phenomena, and accept drastic changes as part of life.


Association, one of the three Beacons of Everyday Enlightenment, invites us to explore the interconnected nature of existence, recognizing that all phenomena are deeply interwoven and interdependent. This aspect of the path is about unlearning our default dualistic perspectives and embracing the wisdom of nonduality.

Central to this practice is the process of Unlearning the Self, which involves deconstructing our habitual perception of the self as a separate, independent entity. By observing the transient nature of thoughts, feelings, and sensations that constitute our sense of self, we begin to understand our identities as dynamic processes, not static entities. This shift in understanding can liberate us from the confines of self-centered concerns and anxieties, promoting a sense of peace and interconnectedness.

In addition, Association encompasses a range of related concepts, including "Nonduality," "Nonself," "Decentering," "Witnessing," and "Interconnectedness." Each of these concepts further elaborates on the understanding of reality as nondual, highlighting different aspects of this profound wisdom.

By incorporating these insights into our daily lives, we can gradually awaken to the truth of nonduality, developing a more harmonious and comprehensive understanding of our existence. The ultimate goal of this practice is to realize the profound interconnectedness of all things, leading us to a state of deep peace, empathy, and understanding.

The Realms

The Realms of Everyday Enlightenment are a conceptual way to organize the Landmarks by their complexity and difficulty. Landmarks each have a Realm they are assigned to, which makes it easy to group them and think about how to progress. As you move from one Realm to the next, you will discover a deeper richness to your meditative practices, and will find greater peach and clarity.


Being within the Realm of Enrollment in the context of Everyday Enlightenment means someone is trying to find out about meditative practices and have achieved some sort of initial Awakening where they will start to observe some of the phenomenon of the mind and existence that bring us suffering and confusion. As they move past the Realm of Enrollment, they will begin to have a basic understanding of what they have observed and experienced and will likely feel a desire to continue the journey.


Most people that are pursuing Meditative practices daily will be in the Realm of Engagement, which simply means they learned enough foundational methods and theory and made a shift to an active and regular practice.


The Realm of Enrichment represents a significant level of personal development and commitment to meditative practices and the pursuit of Enlightenment. The majority of extremely advanced practitioners would find themselves within the Realm of Enrichment. Being within this Realm means you have dramatically shifted from a life of suffering and confusion to a life of peace, joy, and mental and emotional clarity.


Arriving at the Realm of Enlightenment is the theoretical culmination of the journey of Everyday Enlightenment. Throughout history, there have been many people that have described their own journey to Enlightenment, and their own experience of being Enlightened, and often these people will impart their wisdom and teachings to all that will listen. This journey is a personal journey, and anyone pursuing meditative practices and Enlightenment should simply focus on moving forwards through the Realms, making use of the appropriate Trails, Guides and Landmarks to continue to find greater peace in their life and greater clarity of mind.

The Pathways

The Pathways of Everyday Enlightenment are the routes through which we travel through the Realm while being guided by the Beacons. Different pathways are useful for different ways to explore.


Guides are a Pathway in The Map of Everyday Enlightenment which are typically articles about a particular time and place for meditative practices. Guides contain Landmarks that highlight examples of how this could work for you, as well as other explanations of how to make use of certain concepts or techniques. The Landmarks in Guides can be reviewed in the context of progress through the Realms of Everyday Enlightenment, and when used in that way, Guides become another way to decide where to go next.


A Trail in the context of Everyday Enlightenment is a curated journey of self-discovery and personal growth. It is a structured way of traveling through concepts and practices and is designed to guide you towards mindfulness and deeper understanding. Using a Trail helps you systematically navigate and explore the vast landscape of meditative insights, providing you with achievable goals and practical techniques to integrate these insights into your everyday life.


Lenses, in the context of the Beacons of Everyday Enlightenment represent more specific concepts and practices through which we can understand the rich meaning of each Beacon. There are Primary Lenses, which are the most commonly understood and most robust meditative concepts, and there are Other Lenses which are a collection of other closely related ideas for that Beacon.


The Realms of Everyday Enlightenment each have some noticeable Landmarks which show the likely alignment someone within that Realm has with each of the Beacons and their various Lenses. These Landmarks are things that need to be noticed and explored in the context of those Lenses and Beacons. And then through working on the Trails and Guides these Landmarks will serve as markers toward the next Realm where new Landmarks await.