Brett Mavens of Nashville, Tennessee, who has been practicing Buddhist meditation for over ten years, explained that, while the effects of his spiritual practice may not be noticeable to the outside world, he has experienced a profound internal shift.
"My enlightenment has been more subtle," he said. "If that makes sense."
In other words, Mavens elaborated, although his Buddhist practice has not ostensibly altered his external behavior, what's going on inside is a different story. "These days, even when I'm blowing up at one of my employees, or surreptitiously sliding off my wedding ring when I meet an attractive woman, I'm aware of what I'm doing," he said. "Whereas, in the past, I would have been doing those things out of reactivity, with no consciousness whatsoever."
It is that mindfulness, says Mavens, that has been the key factor in his awakening. "Mindfulness is everything," he said. "Notice, don't judge."
He chuckled and added, "I think it's silly how some Buddhists act so serious all the time. There's no reason we can't have fun with this."
And, while some have challenged him on his purported enlightenment, insisting that there ought to be at least some detectable signs of spiritual growth, Mavens doesn't let the skeptics get him down.
"Doubt is the most insidious of all the hindrances," he said. "I just tell people, hey, no worries, you'll know it when you experience it for yourself. And metta to you."