In the same way Christians desire to reach heaven, Buddhists aspire to achieve nirvana. This is the ultimate goal of all Buddhists, which is defined as the peaceful state of mind that is free from any desire or craving. Take note that the fundamental concept of Buddhism is letting go of any form of attachment. Buddhism acknowledges that there are pain and suffering in the world, but people are not required to feel this suffering. The pain, their canon states, is based on selfish desires and unrealistic expectations of how life should be. Nirvana, then, is the path to enlightenment defined by the cessation of suffering.
Image Source: greatist.com
There are many ways to achieve this. The most recommended path is to understand one’s relationship with the natural world and accepting the consequences of being a conscious mortal being. Buddhists believe that understanding the cognitive aspect of decision-making will help further the path to nirvana. By shifting one’s patterns of thought and behavior, a Buddhist can train their mind not to be controlled by a desire for fulfillment. Traditionally, nirvana is achieved through wisdom, mental discipline, and ethical conduct.
The fastest way to achieve this is through ascension meditation. This is basic meditation with an added element of wanting to achieve nirvana. This initially sounds strange, but the intent is a major part of any meditation. Remember that meditation can be performed for a variety of reasons. Some people use the practice to relax, others to transcend. Each person’s experience with meditation differs based on their own mental will power and what it is they want to achieve. With ascension meditation, the believer spends hours purifying their minds to attain a spiritual insight into the true nature of things. Often, believers are asked to somewhat “detach” themselves from their bodies to gain a critical observance of reality, and not just how it appears to be. These deep reflections should be practiced daily and regularly.
Image Source: artofliving.org
It can take several years to achieve nirvana, if at all. Buddhists though realize that the journey towards enlightenment is just as important as the goal itself.