Melvyn Wartella 


Melvyn Wartella had an awakening experience some 28 years ago. Had the pleasure of communicating with him on and off for about one year. Then he suddenly passed away May 7, 2011. I never got to meet him even though we had tried several times to make plans to do so. After Melvyn's passing, had offered his family to keep Melvyn's website going by transferring all his writings to my web hosting service but for some reason, that did not come to pass. Am sorry to say that it seems his website, along with it his essays, is no longer available. Had copied a few excerpts from his site back in 2007 which you'll find below. Click here to visit Melvyn's memorial site. 

Question:  What grounds us after the ego is gone?  

Answer:  Life, reality, sanity, and wholeness. It is the ego that is ungrounded.

Excerpts taken from essay Enlightenment which described Melvin's enlightenment experience

Enlightenment has been an important subject for many people for a very long time. Those who are deeply interested in the meaning of life, the spiritual search, and religious teachings, have been questioning what it is all about. Centuries of trying to understand what those who seemed to be enlightened have had to say about it, has led most people to totally misunderstand what it is. It cannot be understood with the conditioned mind.  It has to be experienced directly to have any real understanding of it. 


To say I had an enlightenment experience is misleading. There is no one to have such an experience, there is just reality seen clearly without the illusion of self in the way. Our language is dualistic and not very helpful in expressing that which is whole and complete.


When the eyes opened the next morning I was Awake! The person who went to bed was dead, the ego that is. In its place was Life Itself, Awareness Itself. This was not a momentary insight that left a deep understanding, as had happened eight years prior. It was a total revolution. The ego was dead; I had become nothing, yet that nothing was everything in the Universe. Every moment was a powerful insight. The brain did not have to work at all. In fact, when thinking did take place it was as though it was a ghost image off in the far distance and was rarely paid any attention. Unlike the first awakening that only lasted a few moments with two weeks of transformation, this was every moment from the time the eyes opened early in the morning until they closed in bed late that night.


There is a lot of misunderstanding about enlightenment. There, understandably, are too many people thinking about cosmic and mystical experiences connected to their ideas of what enlightenment is. This misunderstanding has been perpetuated by would be gurus and writers on the subject who have not awakened themselves. It is like the carrot on a string in front of the donkey pulling the cart, while the gurus ride the cart at their student's expense. There are many so-called mystical experiences one can have but they have little or nothing to do with enlightenment.

Many people tend to put all sorts of psychic experiences into the same box with enlightenment. This, too, is a mistake. Just as the ones who try to fit the latest findings of physics into it. I have been very psychic both before and after awakening, but it clearly has no relationship with enlightenment.


Chanting, praying, or following some religion is meaningless to enlightenment. Meditation of the Zen flavor can help quiet the mind so it can see more clearly, which may be of some aid to awakening. I did not meditate, chant and certainly did not follow any religion. Religion is a part of the ego dream and has nothing to do with reality. 

I also never had a teacher. Throughout history there have only been a few really good teachers. Today we have more claiming to be teachers who clearly have not awakened unless you call a spiritual hiccup awakening. For the most part they are so-called Moon Buddha's; reflecting what they have read or heard but with no real experience. It seems like many, too many, of the teachers today are what I call Conclusionists. They have a mental picture of what it is all about and plant these images into the minds of their students. Then the students come to a conclusion, which makes them high for a moment, and they think they are awake. Enlightenment is never a conclusion. It has nothing to do with the thinking mind. Except the clear need to go beyond it.


Enlightenment has no words. It is never an image of any kind. It is not in time, it has to be now. It is a direct seeing into Reality as Reality Itself. It can never be named or expressed in anyway. It is in a totally different category than anything the mind is used to. It is Pure Awareness, Pure Wisdom, Pure Simple Life, with out the shadow of the conditioned mind. It is not other than what you see before you, yet it goes beyond all objectivity and subjectivity. It is a clear seeing of how the mind has separated itself into fragments of images, ideas, concepts, beliefs, and dreams. That is what dies, that is ego.


Too often people believe all sorts of nonsense about those who have become Enlightened. They think that somehow these "Awakened Ones" are so holy and beyond the normal human being. This is not true. An Enlightened person is just a person who has awakened to the facts, as they have always been, no more. People seem to think the Enlightened are infallible and perfect in every way. Not so. They are whole and complete but they are just human beings, no better and no worse than anyone else. They make mistakes, make fools of themselves, and most of the things all people do from time to time. They cannot see anything as being outside of their Being. They cannot hate or cause harm to anyone, they do have more compassion than most other humans, they do not get lost in mindless dreams or beliefs, they are secure, and for the most part happy. I have a page out of a Zen calendar that reads, "When the ordinary man attains knowledge, he is a sage; when a sage attains understanding, he is an ordinary man." Enlightened people are ordinary people. Not perfect, but who cares?