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OfflineMainlyMind
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Registered: 11/27/08
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Last seen: 15 years, 4 months
Enlightenment/Realisation
    #9397743 - 12/09/08 06:08 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Sorry about the length of this, I hope this might help to clear up at least some ideas about what enlightenment is and isn't. Note that I'm not here to defend the reality of enlightenment - if you don't consider it to be possible then I do understand - this is more for those who are trying to make sense of what they might have felt whilst on entheogens or in meditation, or even in daily life.

  I was going to tag it onto a couple of the existing threads on the subject, but I don't want it to seem as though I'm pointing this at anyone in particular, it's purely for reference. It's not meant as a criticism of those who think they have had such experiences, on the contrary, I hope that it might make their progress forwards easier. Just my background briefly: I'm a Buddhist in a Tibetan tradition (Nyingma) and write/lecture on states of enlightenment.

    Sadly, there are quite a few well known claimants to enlightenment who, it's very obvious from their descriptions of their event, aren't truly enlightened at all, which doesn't help those who are trying to find out about their own experiences.

    I've read some accounts of 'enlightenment' that were based on, say, an experience of having one or more bliss states, or periods of non-conceptuality, or even a dream that contains what the person feels is a meaningful esoteric understanding. Whilst wonderful and a hint of things to come, dreams are dreams, and bliss is just bliss (unless it also contains a direct intuition of the true nature of reality). Bliss is more an indicator that you've entered into a state of mental pliancy, rather than a transcendent experience. It can be triggered in countless ways: some mundane, some not, such as when generating metta; or just by becoming fully mindful. Do not be misled: enlightenment isn't about blissful experiences and feeling the freedom of non-conceptuality, but about an understanding of reality.

  There's a feeling amongst some that there is no concrete definition of what enlightenment is, that the experience is so ineffable that it can mean many different things, and, as such, is open to personal interpretation, but enlightenment has the same meaning in every eastern tradition. In the West we tend to misunderstand what those who defined the term in the East meant by it. We also confuse it with the Western connotations that have been attributed to the word, and now, commonly, it can mean anything from 'quite clever really', to someone who is 'spiritually advanced'. But there is only one real enlightenment, and it has been precisely graded into levels (the 'Five Degrees of Tozan' in Zen for example - or Hinduism's levels of 'Samadhi'), in every tradition for well over 2,000 years, in part at least, to avoid erroneous claims.

For Buddhists, Sufis and Hindus, the core of the experience, and the things which qualify it as first stage enlightenment, or 'Kensho', (literally, 'seeing into one's own nature', in Zen) is that:

a) the state should be based on the direct perception of reality as non-dual 'emptiness'. This is experienced literally from the point of view of the whole of reality itself. 

b) This POV is also experienced as what Tibetan traditions sometimes call 'Infinite Awareness', where all matter and even the mind of the meditator himself are discovered to be just facets of this greater consciousness. But be careful, this is not consciousness in the sense of being a mind that might belong to a person or deity, it is just pure, infinite, lucidity, and the terms I use here to describe the above are generalisations for the purpose of this post.

There are three experiences which can seem very similar to the above:

1) Having an experience where you understand the self as being a part of a single unity, a non-duality.
2) Having an experience where you feel yourself to be actually integrated in this one-ness.
3) Having an experience where you are non-duality in its entirety - the only one of the three which is Kensho.

  However, although just perceiving non-duality in this way is a great step, without also having the experience of self as 'awareness' it's incomplete. Also, as you move towards completion,it's no longer about reaching states of non-duality,  but about gaining various understandings IN these experiences concerning the true nature of reality too, which are sometimes called the 'super-knowledges'. This idea is very important, because enlightenment (realisation) can only be sustained and deepened with this knowledge.

  The journey from Satori to Kensho is usually made by entering into Mahamudra or Dzogchen Buddhist practises, to draw together all experiences of Kensho and understanding, so that the practitioner can remain in permanent awareness of number 3. Dzogchen in particular is termed the 'completion stage' because of this. This 'final' stage can take anywhere from months to many years to traverse, but many have done it successfully over the years.

  There are a lot of misconceptions about the kinds of practises that will allow you to reach enlightenment. What isn't obvious to outsiders looking at Buddhism for instance, is that its teachings are graded into levels of understanding appropriate to the student. So, if you were to look at basic Mahayana Buddhism you might think that it's all about not thinking, stopping desires and focussing strongly on morality. But this level is preparation for the next stage, where traditional focussing meditation is left behind in favour of using gained knowledge of reality as a means to reach deep states of awareness and further understanding. It isn't that Mahayana is wrong: it's like the difference between Newtonian physics and QM, they don't agree on everything, but neither is wrong, it's just 'expedient means' the best teaching for a student at any given level. Sitting in shamatha, year in, year out, may help you reach enlightenment, but it can be very slow. Using 'mind-only' (yogachara) methods instead, and it's something that can be reached in a single lifetime, if you're lucky.

  I know that what might happen at this point is that those who've long considered themselves to be enlightened, but now find that they might not be, can become very defensive. But please, don't shoot the messenger:) If you have any concerns or disagreements concerning the definition above I'm happy to point you to relevant Buddhist/Hindu texts (the source of the original meaning of the term) for confirmation.

  If anyone is hoping to move up a stage from where they are in meditation I would be happy to try to point them in the right direction where I can.

MM

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InvisibleChronic7

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 13,679
Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9397779 - 12/09/08 06:34 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Self inquiry?

:peace:

EDIT: i just saw you mentioned yogachara


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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Chronic7]
    #9397858 - 12/09/08 07:27 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Chronic777 said:
Self inquiry?

:peace:

EDIT: i just saw you mentioned yogachara




Sorry, I'm being dense - I'm not sure what you're asking? Do you mean where does self-inquiry (not in terms of Vipassana, that's a different approach) fit into the scheme of Yogachara?

MM

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InvisibleChronic7

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 13,679
Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9397885 - 12/09/08 07:41 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

at first i wondered why you didn't mention self inquiry as its the most direct path to Realization

but self inquiry comes under the yoga of knowledge, yogachara includes self inquiry & or vipasanna, it includes everything :wink:

its all the same to me, insight
learning about the myriad of systems taught in different countries is fruitless

'one need only know oneself if one seeks truth'


:peace:


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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Chronic7]
    #9397978 - 12/09/08 08:24 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Chronic777 said:
at first i wondered why you didn't mention self inquiry as its the most direct path to Realization

but self inquiry comes under the yoga of knowledge, yogachara includes self inquiry & or vipasanna, it includes everything :wink:

its all the same to me, insight
learning about the myriad of systems taught in different countries is fruitless

'one need only know oneself if one seeks truth'"

:peace:




Very true:)

I wonder if we might be talking at slightly different purposes though, as the term self-inquiry (in a Vipassana sense) is different from the Dzogchen approach, which is more focussed on what we might call 'reality-acceptance', not any form of inquiry, as Vipassana is. It's knowing reality to be 'X', and learning how to develop confidence in that, and resting in enlightened awareness, not meditating in the usual sense.
 
I'm not sure I'd agree that there's no sense in exploring other traditions than the one you may currently be following, the higher traditions are there to help you in a sequential way, and give very useful tools that aren't available in earlier practises.

I definitely agree with the gist of your post though:)

MM

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InvisibleChronic7

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 13,679
Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9398086 - 12/09/08 08:57 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

inquiry is definately about seeing reality
it brings the attention back to awareness each time

exploring traditions is good & fun for a while
as each place has pointers to that
but no teaching can really lead to awareness
as awareness is there already

alot of people tie themselves to teachings or practice to bring them somewhere
but when jumping into infinity there cant be a tether rope :wink:

thanks for making this post

:peace:


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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Chronic7]
    #9398193 - 12/09/08 09:26 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Ahhh, I see, we're on the same page:)


>> exploring traditions is good & fun for a while
as each place has pointers to that
but no teaching can really lead to awareness
as awareness is there already.

Yes, of course;  'The monk leaves home with the jewel he seeks already sewn into the hem of his coat'. Dzogchen and Mahamudra work on precisely the understanding you post above. They're not about reaching anywhere or changing your condition - or even ultimately having particular experiences - but knowing what you already are. Other approaches use this same understanding, but only these two traditions show you how to rest in what you already are in a way that brings very rapid progress.



MM

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InvisibleChronic7

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 13,679
Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9398239 - 12/09/08 09:35 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

im so happy to see someone who sees this :grin:

the tradition of Self inquiry does do the same though
theres nothing more rapid then looking directly as what you already are
through the inquiry 'who am i?'

even the teachings your referring to are pretty much this same method
getting the mind to stop & look at what is here

its all to see the essence of mind as voidness, empty awareness

we can share some links via PM....


:peace:


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InvisibleRoyal_Shroom
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9398427 - 12/09/08 10:18 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Doesn't Buddha define enlightenment as simply "the end of suffering." So in other words there's no plateau that one must reach but to stop any negativity right now. If you are happy and harming no one or yourself how are you not enlightened. Enlightenment as just being and appreciating everything around you and seeing the purpose and beauty of everything in the world? It seems we obviously put way too much into what enlightenment and in a way prevent ourselves from reaching it because we actually seem to put ego into it and it being some great accomplishment...


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Embrace your soul, color, and the light

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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Royal_Shroom]
    #9398438 - 12/09/08 10:21 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

It seems we obviously put way too much into what enlightenment and in a way prevent ourselves from reaching it because we actually seem to put ego into it and it being some great accomplishment...

Thank you for addressing the fact that most "spiritual" people (see above) are really religious people.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Royal_Shroom]
    #9398503 - 12/09/08 10:35 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Royal_Shroom said:
Doesn't Buddha define enlightenment as simply "the end of suffering." So in other words there's no plateau that one must reach but to stop any negativity right now. If you are happy and harming no one or yourself how are you not enlightened. Enlightenment as just being and appreciating everything around you and seeing the purpose and beauty of everything in the world? It seems we obviously put way too much into what enlightenment and in a way prevent ourselves from reaching it because we actually seem to put ego into it and it being some great accomplishment...




Nailed it


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Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:

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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #9398622 - 12/09/08 10:58 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

that's nirvana
i don't think enlightenment ever got defined
it has always been like a direction rather than a place
kinda more up


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InvisibleWhiskeyClone
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9398690 - 12/09/08 11:12 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

It has been defined many times.  "Enlightenment is the end of suffering" is the one I hear most.


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Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:

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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #9398735 - 12/09/08 11:19 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

The only one that makes any sense to me.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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InvisibleRecondicom
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9399423 - 12/09/08 01:09 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

The human mind does not perceived enlightment as actually existing, except through the ideas of the programming/sensations of its own body. That is if the mind is not in contact with enlightment, the mind will not perceive enlightment. So… it could only imagine enlightment because it does not know it.
  The clear mechanism is contact with absolute truth. Therefore; ideas we believe to be truth.


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #9399484 - 12/09/08 01:19 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

WhiskeyClone said:
It has been defined many times.  "Enlightenment is the end of suffering" is the one I hear most.



nirvana
or nibbanna
enlightenment can be achieved without nibbanna


--------------------
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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9399955 - 12/09/08 02:22 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

>>>Doesn't Buddha define enlightenment as simply "the end of suffering."

Hi:) Yes and no. The original word was 'dukha', which means 'unsatisfactoryness'. The word originally derived from the words that meant a wheel with an uneven rim. a state of unbalance and stress. The reason why enlightenment is 'the end of suffering' is for a couple of reasons: (briefly) one is that the state gives a deep state of contentment that makes you stop wanting things, you stop needing anything other than be where you are at any one second. But there are deeper effects than this too, which are inherent in the experience and together they give a profound contentment, and freedom from 'stress and dissatisfaction.'


>>So in other words there's no plateau that one must reach but to stop any negativity right now.

  The plateau is the actual experience of non-duality/samadhi, which is a well studied state that happens fairly frequently.

I know this will sound odd, but negativity, morality, good and bad have nothing to do with reaching enlightenment, though I do understand that that's the common image that it all has. Morality helps, it's a tool in the same way that meditation is, but it is just one tool of many. As I said in the OP, morality is certainly a part of basic Mahayana, so you're right, but it's not used by everyone by all means as a main route to realisation, nor in many cases is even the idea of being 'spiritual'. Even Hinduism began by being a non-theistic philosophy, derived from direct experience, and not a religion.

The Mahayana Buddhist approach has tended to get Buddhism as a whole branded as being purely about reaching a state of ultimate goodness. But that's purely because here in the west we don't see the full 'path' in Buddhism or Hinduism, we just see those small element that are made popular in modern literature, and of course we can only define things by what we're told of them, so I understand why you think like you do, you have no other frame of reference.

  >>>If you are happy and harming no one or yourself how are you not enlightened. Enlightenment as just being and appreciating everything around you and seeing the purpose and beauty of everything in the world?

No, unfortunately not, that's a western interpretation of the word. 'Enlightenment' is more accurately called 'realisation', meaning that it's a realisation of the true nature of reality in an experience of Kensho. You can certainly say that someone who acts as you say above is good and kind and doing the best they can with their lives, that is beyond doubt - but that doesn't make them enlightened. I do understand that the idea of a good, spiritually developed person being called 'enlightened' is popular here in the west, but it really does have a completely different meaning here than it does in Buddhism and Hinduism. There are very strict definitions on its meaning in these traditions, and obviously, understandably so.

Anyone can of course say here, 'I am enlightened', and mean it in whatever way they want, why not? But it would be regarded as a bit silly by those who actually invented the word in proper traditions, though again, if anyone wants to do that and is happy to pretend, why not do it?

>>It seems we obviously put way too much into what enlightenment and in a way prevent ourselves from reaching it because we actually seem to put ego into it and it being some great accomplishment...

That is very true, well said.

This is something that does stand in the way of people who are trying to 'reach' it. But luckily, as you rise through levels of meditation and have these experiences, you realise that it isn't necessary to strive, because as in our conversation above, we already are what many are trying to reach, which negates any need to become anything, and ego is no longer an issue. There is no barrier, there is no reaching, there just 'is'.


MM

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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9400930 - 12/09/08 04:30 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Pundit


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9404166 - 12/10/08 02:50 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Here are a few excerpts from a sutra (something said by the Buddha) regarding the state of Buddhahood:

The Demonstration of the Inconceivable State of Buddhahood Sutra

"...The Buddha said, "It is the state of emptiness, because all views are equal. It is the state of sign-less-ness, because all signs are equal. It is the state of wish-less-ness, because the three realms are equal. It is the state of non-action, because all actions are equal. It is the state of the unconditioned, because all conditioned things are equal."

Note the mention of the word 'emptiness' In the above as a requisite. 'Emptiness' does not mean non-existence, or that Buddhists are nihilists, it means that all of samsaric reality is an interconnected flow of unity which has no inherent self-existence, and is just an empty aspect of ultimate reality.

"...The Buddha asked, "Manjusri, where should the state of Buddhahood be sought?"
Manjusri answered, "It should be sought right in the defilements of sentient beings. Why, because by nature the defilements of sentient beings are inapprehensible. Realization of this is beyond the comprehension of Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas; therefore, it is called the state of Buddhahood."


The above means that (one of the ways) realisation can be found is to look at samsara and the acts of human beings and realise that they are all 'inapprehensible', i.e., they cannot be found, as they too are empty.

"...The Buddha asked further, "In what equality do you think the Tathágata abides?"

Equality has a number of aspects. Reality as a whole is equal in being empty, equal in being a non-duality, and equal in being 'awareness'.

"...The Buddha asked, "Manjusri, do you detach yourself from the defilements or abide in them?"
Manjusri said, "All defilements are equal [in reality]. I have realized that equality through right practice. Therefore, I neither detach myself from the defilements nor abide in them. If a sramaga or Brahmin claims that he has overcome passions and sees other beings as defiled, he has fallen into the two extreme views. What are the two? One is the view of Eternalism, maintaining that defilements exist; the other is the view of nihilism, maintaining that defilements do not exist.
World-Honored One, he who practices rightly sees no such things as self or other, existence or nonexistence. Why? Because he clearly comprehends all dharmas."

The Buddha asked, "Manjusri, what should one rely upon for right practice?"
"He who practices rightly relies upon nothing."
The Buddha asked, "Does he not practice according to the path?"
"If he practices in accordance with anything, his practice will be conditioned. A conditioned practice is not one of equality. Why? Because it is not exempt from arising, abiding, and perishing."

(The Buddhas asked:) "Why are you a Pratyekabuddha?" (someone who has become realised)
"Because I thoroughly comprehend the dependent origination of all dharmas."


Dependent origination is of course emptiness (properly called 'Sunyata')

(The Buddhas asked:) "Why are you a Worthy One, a Supremely Enlightened One?"
"Because I realize that all things are equal in the Dharmadhatu "


They are equal in unity, open-ness and emptiness.

Manjusri answered, "As an illustration, consider the empty space in the ten directions. People speak of the eastern space, the southern space, the western space, the northern space, the four intermediate spaces, the space above, the space below, and so forth. Such distinctions are spoken of, although the empty space itself is devoid of distinctions. In like manner, virtuous one, the various stages are established in the ultimate emptiness of all things, although the emptiness itself is devoid of distinctions "

Imagine that there is nothing here at all other than a single infinite sea. At times the water turns and moves, and if we look closely at the movements we might see faces, houses, people - but the movements have never been anything other than the sea that they have seemed to emerge from. Non-duality (the sea, a 'one-ness') still remains.

If waves appear on the surface of the sea, through convention, we say that there are waves and sea as though they're to different things, but non-duality still remains. In the same way, there is a non-duality 'here'. The sea is Ultimate Nature, the waves are samsaric reality. Samsara can not  exist in its own right, all is non-duality.

Subhuti said, "Manjusri, please tell me how they transcend the mundane world."
Manjusri said, "The five aggregates constitute what we call the mundane world. Of these, the aggregate of form has the nature of accumulated foam, the aggregate of feeling has the nature of a bubble, the aggregate of conception has the nature of a mirage, the aggregate of impulse has the nature of a hollow plantain, and the aggregate of consciousness has the nature of an illusion. Thus, One should know that the essential nature of the mundane world is none other than that of foam, bubbles, mirages, plantains, and illusions; ill it there are neither aggregates nor the names of aggregates, neither sentient beings nor the names of sentient beings, neither the mundane world nor the supra-mundane world. Such a right understanding of the five aggregates is called the supreme understanding. If one attains this supreme understanding, then he is liberated, as he [actually] always has been. If he is so liberated, he is not attached to mundane things. If he is not attached to mundane things, he transcends the mundane world.
"Furthermore, Subhuti, the basic nature of the five aggregates is emptiness. If that nature is emptiness, there is neither 'I' nor 'mine.' If there is neither 'I' nor 'mine,' there is no duality. If there is no duality, there is neither grasping nor abandoning. If there is neither grasping nor abandoning, there is no attachment. Thus, free of attachment, one transcends the mundane world.

"Furthermore, Subhuti, the five aggregates belong to causes and conditions. If they belong to causes and conditions, they do not belong to oneself or to others. If they do not belong to oneself or to others, they have no owner. If they have no owner, there is no one who grasps them. If there is no grasping, there is no contention, and non-contention is the practice of religious devotees. Just as a hand moving in empty space touches no object and meets no obstacle, so the Bodhisattvas who practice the equality of emptiness transcend the mundane world.

"Moreover, Subhuti, because all the elements of the five aggregates merge in the Dharmadhatu, there are no realms. If there are no realms, there are no elements of earth, water, fire, or air; there is no ego, sentient being, or life; no Realm of Desire, Realm of Form or Realm of Formlessness: no realm of the conditioned or realm of the unconditioned; no realm of samsara or realm of nirvana. When Bodhisattvas enter such a domain free of distinctions, they do not abide in anything, though they remain in the midst of worldly beings. If they do not abide in anything, they transcend the mundane world." When this Dharma of transcending the world was explained, two hundred monks became detached from all dharmas, ended all their defilements, and become liberated in mind. One by one they took off their upper garments to offer to Manjusri, saying, "Any person who does not have faith in or understand this doctrine will achieve nothing and realize nothing."
Then Subhuti asked these monks, "Elders, have you ever achieved or realized anything?"
The monks replied, "Only presumptuous persons will claim they have achieved and realized something. To a humble religious devotee, nothing is achieved or realized. How, then, would such a person think of saying to himself, 'This I have achieved; this I have realized'? If such an idea occurs to him, then it is a demon's deed."
Subhuti asked, "Elders, according to your understanding, what achievement and realization cause you to say so?"

"What is the nature of suffering? It is the very nature of non-arising. The same is true concerning the characteristic of the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path leading to the cessation of suffering. The nature of non-arising is sign-less and unattainable. In it, there is no suffering to be known, no cause of suffering to be eradicated, no cessation of suffering to be realized, and no path leading to the cessation of suffering to be followed. Those who are not frightened terrified, or awestricken upon hearing these Noble Truths are not presumptuous. Those who are frightened and terrified are the presumptuous ones."


This is a very important text in many tradition, again I hope it clarifies what enlightenment and Buddhahood are.

MM

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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation *DELETED* [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9404932 - 12/10/08 09:39 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Post deleted by Veritas

Reason for deletion: Let's keep it impersonal, please.



--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9405314 - 12/10/08 10:51 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

isn't that a personalism
how do you escape the monitor's heat?


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9406201 - 12/10/08 01:03 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

I just got an official warning. However I'm not sure why?

A pundit is a learned person in the teachings of others. So if someone is a pundit they are not speaking from personal experience but from something they book learned somewhere. It is not a negative. We are all pundits to some degree. I hope I don't get banned for saying that.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9406847 - 12/10/08 02:39 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Everyone seeks Enlightenment, but in seeking it, one surely prevents it.

Maybe we're all too afraid of truly becoming enlightened? :shrug:

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9406850 - 12/10/08 02:39 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
I just got an official warning. However I'm not sure why?

A pundit is a learned person in the teachings of others. So if someone is a pundit they are not speaking from personal experience but from something they book learned somewhere. It is not a negative. We are all pundits to some degree. I hope I don't get banned for saying that.




        Pundit:  In the age of internet and book stores… do we need company to enlight? No one will see my far-out look in armor suit… No one will bow to my original way of walking the path… No one to prompt for my heart desire… What kind of enlightment does not need that?
      No introduction to convoluted thought in the visual identity of the imagined archetype. Am I clear on that?
      No laughter either. Am I clear on that?
      Fright or fight. ( I mean write your own meaning of life)…(…lol)


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

Edited by Recondicom (12/10/08 02:57 PM)

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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Recondicom]
    #9406962 - 12/10/08 02:55 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

:lol:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9411029 - 12/11/08 04:20 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

>>>:"...I just got an official warning. However I'm not sure why?

Me neither? I didn't read your message, I'm sure it can't have been that bad? I've got no wish to see anyone banned for voicing their opinion about me - this is the internet, and by posting I do realise that I'm open to counter-posts.

Icelander, I've seen your posts and actually agree with your stance in most of them, because you're both objective and open. Anything you did or will say to me I will certainly take in the spirit of your previous messages.

>>>>"...A pundit is a learned person in the teachings of others. So if someone is a pundit they are not speaking from personal experience but from something they book learned somewhere. It is not a negative. We are all pundits to some degree. I hope I don't get banned for saying that..."

I see what you mean, (don't know about 'learned' though!:) but I'm a 'working' Buddhist, it's pretty much all I do. I base what I write about on those far more learned than myself, but also on personal experience of these states too, which is what led me to write about them.

As a former journalist (with a background in psychology and particulary the use of suggestion) nearly 30 years ago, I started out in meditation as a complete cynic, hoping to write an expose piece on the then blossoming western occult and New Age movements, to show 'enlightenment' to be not much more than a psychosomatic event. Along the way, things happened, and little by little my cynicism was eroded and I eventually became a Buddhist.

That I have experienced anything is neither here nor there really, tens of people have experienced non-duality (emptiness/Kensho)- at least two here have had the edges of it, and in the long run it's about as good as a 'blind cat bumping into a dead rat' until you can transform it into Satori. It's a beginning, that's all. I'm less than nothing in the scheme of things.

Anyway, the point being I'm really very happy to try to answer any criticisms or questions about these things from people who don't believe in them; and nothing you can personally say to me is going to make me feel like you're having a go unnecessarily. You're just doing what I would have done 30 years ago in your position. So please Mods, no problem my end with anything anyone can say here.

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Recondicom]
    #9411058 - 12/11/08 04:47 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

>> Everyone seeks Enlightenment, but in seeking it, one surely prevents it.

Yes, absolutely. But as I said earlier, once you move beyond basic practises, nobody seeks anything. We practise meditation for the ease it brings, if enlightenment (in terms of a 'state') comes along, great, if not,then we've lost nothing, because we have no expectations.

On a deeper level though, the point is to realise that there is no seeking to be done, which is why the higher traditions have an entirely different approach to meditation and show how and why stopping trying to be enlightened can help you 'reach' it.

Reaching isn't really a good word for what's being done - think of it more as recognising your current nature, not going somewhere else, or reaching some new spiritual realm.

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9411188 - 12/11/08 06:18 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

like seeking epiphany (aka satori)
does not work.
seeking absorption through concentration produces the epiphany side effect.

if you seek the middle way, you find elightenment as a side effect


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9411580 - 12/11/08 09:06 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

if you seek the middle way, you find elightenment as a side effect



Well at least you're not claiming one can have enlightenment.:thumbup::lol:

BTW what exactly is elightenment? Sounds like diet spirituality.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9411655 - 12/11/08 09:30 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

BTW what exactly is elightenment? Sounds like diet spirituality.




Nah, it's the internet version.


--------------------
Little left in the way of energy; or the way of love, yet happy to entertain myself playing mental games with the rest of you freaks until the rivers run backwards. 

"Chat your fraff
Chat your fraff
Just chat your fraff
Chat your fraff"

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Grapefruit]
    #9411805 - 12/11/08 10:00 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

I prefer Crystal Light-enment


--------------------
Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.  For him all doors are flung wide: him all tongues greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire.  Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it.

~ R.W. Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

:heartpump:

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: WhiskeyClone]
    #9411851 - 12/11/08 10:08 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

“Blessedness consists in love of God. Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself; not do we enjoy it because we restrain our lusts; on the contrary, because we enjoy it, we are able to restrain them. The power to restrain lusts arises from blessedness itself. For not only is the ignorant man troubled in many ways by external causes, and unable ever to possess true peace of mind, but he also lives as if he knew neither himself, nor God, nor things….The wise/enlightened  man is hardly troubled in spirit, but being , by a certain eternal necessity, conscious of himself, and of God , and of things, he never ceases to be , but always possesses true peace of mind.”


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Recondicom]
    #9411936 - 12/11/08 10:29 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

“Blessedness consists in love of God. Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself; not do we enjoy it because we restrain our lusts; on the contrary, because we enjoy it, we are able to restrain them. The power to restrain lusts arises from blessedness itself. For not only is the ignorant man troubled in many ways by external causes, and unable ever to possess true peace of mind, but he also lives as if he knew neither himself, nor God, nor things….The wise/enlightened  man is hardly troubled in spirit, but being , by a certain eternal necessity, conscious of himself, and of God , and of things, he never ceases to be , but always possesses true peace of mind.”




I like this one. It's one of the better ones I've heard. It seems some say you must meditate or travel to new heights of the mind to attain enlightenment. To that I say "phooey."
I think it's just about overall your findings in life and knowing everything is wonderful and beautiful and like you said being conscious of ones self and of God and everything in between. Life is beautiful and anyone at this moment can attain enlightenment by being happy and letting go of anything negative. Be happy, be positive, be in love.

:sun:


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9411965 - 12/11/08 10:36 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
>> Everyone seeks Enlightenment, but in seeking it, one surely prevents it.

Yes, absolutely. But as I said earlier, once you move beyond basic practises, nobody seeks anything. We practise meditation for the ease it brings, if enlightenment (in terms of a 'state') comes along, great, if not,then we've lost nothing, because we have no expectations.

On a deeper level though, the point is to realise that there is no seeking to be done, which is why the higher traditions have an entirely different approach to meditation and show how and why stopping trying to be enlightened can help you 'reach' it.

Reaching isn't really a good word for what's being done - think of it more as recognising your current nature, not going somewhere else, or reaching some new spiritual realm.

MM



"
  The origen of knowledge.
-kinds of certitude according to the objects (idealism,Scepticism,etc)
Anthropological discussions on prejudices.
Cognition must stand in a twofold relation to its object (if they can be termed rational). Either it may have to determine the conception of the object  (which must be supplied extraneously or it may have to establish its reality. The former is theoretical and the later is practical rational cognition."


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Recondicom]
    #9412467 - 12/11/08 12:19 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Recondicom said:
“Blessedness consists in love of God. Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself; not do we enjoy it because we restrain our lusts; on the contrary, because we enjoy it, we are able to restrain them. The power to restrain lusts arises from blessedness itself. For not only is the ignorant man troubled in many ways by external causes, and unable ever to possess true peace of mind, but he also lives as if he knew neither himself, nor God, nor things….The wise/enlightened  man is hardly troubled in spirit, but being , by a certain eternal necessity, conscious of himself, and of God , and of things, he never ceases to be , but always possesses true peace of mind.”




OH BABY! Preach at me.:hellfire:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9412697 - 12/11/08 01:12 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
Quote:

Recondicom said:
“Blessedness consists in love of God. Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself; not do we enjoy it because we restrain our lusts; on the contrary, because we enjoy it, we are able to restrain them. The power to restrain lusts arises from blessedness itself. For not only is the ignorant man troubled in many ways by external causes, and unable ever to possess true peace of mind, but he also lives as if he knew neither himself, nor God, nor things….The wise/enlightened  man is hardly troubled in spirit, but being , by a certain eternal necessity, conscious of himself, and of God , and of things, he never ceases to be , but always possesses true peace of mind.”




OH BABY! Preach at me.:hellfire:




      I’m still working on my first post in this thread. Absolute truth.
  If blessedness is about being in touch with the absolute truth then we are talking about enlightment.
  So…It is belief.
  In:
  God.
  Absolute truth.
  Blessedness.
  Enlightment.
 
  Since I’m a human…the enlightment will not come from me. But…by the above.
  Perhaps you require something more tangible. That is why we define things.
  Is your recursive point in the direction of other kinds of enlightment or a lesser meaning of enlightment?
  Does blessedness exists?... perhaps you like a lesser meaning as well.
  That leaves Absolute truth.
  What is absolute is true and I’m human(a reflexion/soul of the truth we seek.)


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Recondicom]
    #9412728 - 12/11/08 01:18 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

There is no God as far as I can tell. So it's like believing in Santa or fairy tales for me. It's just plain fucking silly and often destructive.:shrug:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9413064 - 12/11/08 02:27 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

make me write bad cheques


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9413258 - 12/11/08 03:07 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
There is no God as far as I can tell. So it's like believing in Santa or fairy tales for me. It's just plain fucking silly and often destructive.:shrug:




I do see where your coming from. But i think you have to evaluate your definition of God. Some peoples beliefs are destructive. Christianity especially. I do like some of the things christians are for but others do indeed seem destructive. I believe God just to the Creator. I am part of no religion. I practice my own beliefs and what i have acquired both by learning from say other religions and then what I believe myself. I find God to be the creator...and we are of God's essence and Gods world. IMO he is an artist. Grand storyteller and beautiful painter. Look at the world man...the true makings whether you call it God or just the creator...i think its all to complex for there to be no higher power.


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Royal_Shroom]
    #9413342 - 12/11/08 03:20 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Doesn't matter how you describe it if it doesn't exist.:shrug:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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InvisibleRoyal_Shroom
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9414680 - 12/11/08 06:19 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
Doesn't matter how you describe it if it doesn't exist.:shrug:




You Dick :wink:


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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9416595 - 12/12/08 04:46 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

For those who don't beleive in enlightenment as a state (if you haven't read a full definition, see the earlier post regarding how Buddha described it), what kind of 'illness' do you think that those who seem to experience it are having? This was the first question that interested me about it, as I didn't initially believe it myself as a real state, so I'm very interested to hear what the thinkers here might consider it to be.

I spent a lot of time trying to attribute it, amongst other things, to Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and self-suggestion for example, but neither fitted. TLE  has a well defined set of symptoms that don't match, self-suggestion would only work if Kensho only happened to those who meditated or believed such a thing was possible.

I couldn't really put it down to cultural expectation either, as the event is the same whether you're an Aryan Rishi having the experience 3,000 years ago, or a London businessman, the content is exactly the same.

If you believe that it is a mundane state, mistaken for something much more, what do you personally think is the cause?

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9416612 - 12/12/08 04:54 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
For those who don't beleive in enlightenment as a state (if you haven't read a full definition, see the earlier post regarding how Buddha described it), what kind of 'illness' do you think that those who seem to experience it are having? This was the first question that interested me about it, as I didn't initially believe it myself as a real state, so I'm very interested to hear what the thinkers here might consider it to be.





I was in an enlightened state on the bus yesterday evening, and the bus driver thought I was crazy and that I need to go to a mental hospital. Apparently being happier than the bus "conductor" isn't allowed......

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Poid]
    #9416708 - 12/12/08 06:00 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

>>I was in an enlightened state on the bus yesterday evening, and the bus driver thought I was crazy and that I need to go to a mental hospital. Apparently being happier than the bus "conductor" isn't allowed....."


LOL! Obviously based somewhere in the UK then?

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9416722 - 12/12/08 06:09 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

it can be toronto
the transit commission rules


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9417247 - 12/12/08 09:52 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
>>>Doesn't Buddha define enlightenment as simply "the end of suffering."

Hi:) Yes and no. The original word was 'dukha', which means 'unsatisfactoryness'. The word originally derived from the words that meant a wheel with an uneven rim. a state of unbalance and stress. The reason why enlightenment is 'the end of suffering' is for a couple of reasons: (briefly) one is that the state gives a deep state of contentment that makes you stop wanting things, you stop needing anything other than be where you are at any one second. But there are deeper effects than this too, which are inherent in the experience and together they give a profound contentment, and freedom from 'stress and dissatisfaction.'


>>So in other words there's no plateau that one must reach but to stop any negativity right now.

  The plateau is the actual experience of non-duality/samadhi, which is a well studied state that happens fairly frequently.

I know this will sound odd, but negativity, morality, good and bad have nothing to do with reaching enlightenment, though I do understand that that's the common image that it all has. Morality helps, it's a tool in the same way that meditation is, but it is just one tool of many. As I said in the OP, morality is certainly a part of basic Mahayana, so you're right, but it's not used by everyone by all means as a main route to realisation, nor in many cases is even the idea of being 'spiritual'. Even Hinduism began by being a non-theistic philosophy, derived from direct experience, and not a religion.

The Mahayana Buddhist approach has tended to get Buddhism as a whole branded as being purely about reaching a state of ultimate goodness. But that's purely because here in the west we don't see the full 'path' in Buddhism or Hinduism, we just see those small element that are made popular in modern literature, and of course we can only define things by what we're told of them, so I understand why you think like you do, you have no other frame of reference.

  >>>If you are happy and harming no one or yourself how are you not enlightened. Enlightenment as just being and appreciating everything around you and seeing the purpose and beauty of everything in the world?

No, unfortunately not, that's a western interpretation of the word. 'Enlightenment' is more accurately called 'realisation', meaning that it's a realisation of the true nature of reality in an experience of Kensho. You can certainly say that someone who acts as you say above is good and kind and doing the best they can with their lives, that is beyond doubt - but that doesn't make them enlightened. I do understand that the idea of a good, spiritually developed person being called 'enlightened' is popular here in the west, but it really does have a completely different meaning here than it does in Buddhism and Hinduism. There are very strict definitions on its meaning in these traditions, and obviously, understandably so.

Anyone can of course say here, 'I am enlightened', and mean it in whatever way they want, why not? But it would be regarded as a bit silly by those who actually invented the word in proper traditions, though again, if anyone wants to do that and is happy to pretend, why not do it?

>>It seems we obviously put way too much into what enlightenment and in a way prevent ourselves from reaching it because we actually seem to put ego into it and it being some great accomplishment...

That is very true, well said.

This is something that does stand in the way of people who are trying to 'reach' it. But luckily, as you rise through levels of meditation and have these experiences, you realise that it isn't necessary to strive, because as in our conversation above, we already are what many are trying to reach, which negates any need to become anything, and ego is no longer an issue. There is no barrier, there is no reaching, there just 'is'.


MM





    Death's Messengers

  'All they who thoughtless are, nor heed,
    What time Death's messengers appear,
    Must long the pangs of suffering feel
    In some base body habiting.

    But all those good and holy man,
    What time they see Death's messengers,
    Behave not thoughtless, but give heed
    To what the Noble Doctrine says;

    And in attachment frighted see
    Oh birth and death the fertile source,
    And from attachment free themselves,
    Thus birth and death extinguishing.
   
    Secure and happy ones are they;
    released from all this fleeting show;
    Exempted from all sin and fear,
    All misery have they overcome.'

    Anguttara-...

    [The introduction]
    At first, the preliminaries, THE GUIDE SERIES, for emancipating beings, should be mastered by practice.

    Follow by subject-matter (Virtue)

    and
    Conclusion (Overcoming Bardo fear)


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9418398 - 12/12/08 01:20 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
>>I was in an enlightened state on the bus yesterday evening, and the bus driver thought I was crazy and that I need to go to a mental hospital. Apparently being happier than the bus "conductor" isn't allowed....."


LOL! Obviously based somewhere in the UK then?

MM




Nope, SF Bay Area....

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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9418430 - 12/12/08 01:25 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
For those who don't beleive in enlightenment as a state (if you haven't read a full definition, see the earlier post regarding how Buddha described it), what kind of 'illness' do you think that those who seem to experience it are having? This was the first question that interested me about it, as I didn't initially believe it myself as a real state, so I'm very interested to hear what the thinkers here might consider it to be.

I spent a lot of time trying to attribute it, amongst other things, to Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and self-suggestion for example, but neither fitted. TLE  has a well defined set of symptoms that don't match, self-suggestion would only work if Kensho only happened to those who meditated or believed such a thing was possible.

I couldn't really put it down to cultural expectation either, as the event is the same whether you're an Aryan Rishi having the experience 3,000 years ago, or a London businessman, the content is exactly the same.

If you believe that it is a mundane state, mistaken for something much more, what do you personally think is the cause?

MM




What you call enlightenment I would call non neurotic behavior. Or Rational Emotive Behavior if you will. Nothing mystical or magical or spiritual. Just healthy skillful animal behavior.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9418443 - 12/12/08 01:27 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

It's magical to the neurotics out there......

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Poid]
    #9418490 - 12/12/08 01:33 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

for sure


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9434441 - 12/15/08 01:12 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9418398 - 12/12/08 01:20 PM (2 days, 11 hours ago)  Edit  Reply  Quote  Quick Reply 



Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MainlyMind said:
>>I was in an enlightened state on the bus yesterday evening, and the bus driver thought I was crazy and that I need to go to a mental hospital. Apparently being happier than the bus "conductor" isn't allowed....."


LOL! Obviously based somewhere in the UK then?

MM


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Nope, SF Bay Area.... 

So that settles it. Bus drivers the world over are a law to themselves...:)
MM

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9434688 - 12/15/08 02:24 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

quote: >>What you call enlightenment I would call non neurotic behavior. Or Rational Emotive Behavior if you will. Nothing mystical or magical or spiritual. Just healthy skillful animal behavior.

I would certainly agree that there's nothing magical/mystical/spritiual about it. I see it more as gaining fuller sight of what's already here, not of some 'other plane'.

As for REB - anyone with half an interest in behaviour could hardly do better than to read Ellis' work, he's up there with the best of them as far as I'm concerned. But is it a suitable canditate? To me (and others too, the University of Hull tried to give it a similar cause 7 years ago) it doesn't fit in with the type of 'illness' we're talking about. One problem being that, unlike REB, there are no prior or post-symptoms. It can happen whilst you're arguing, meditating, waiting for a bus, etc, with absolutely no precursors (particularly neuroses), trance, loss of consciousness or any other of the things you might expect.

REB is a theory/treatment regarding overcoming cumulative behavioural dysfunction against a background of say, on-going trauma or stress. It's not really an an explanation of why so many people, cross-culturally, have exactly the same content in experiences of so-called 'realisation' - but I may well be missing your point, so I'd definitely like to discuss this further. Can you explain how you see REB causing the initial hallucination? Do you think it's possible for an event like this to occur wihout a background of stress or neuroses to trigger it?

In many cases, what is experienced actually goes against say, long-held beliefs in Christianity that the subject might have, and actually turn them away from it. This isn't people having an experience and then trying to fit it into their existing world-view to rationalise it; this is counter-intuitive in that in many cases it goes against existing beliefs, so its hard to see the experience as being self-created by the Subject as some kind of 'comfort zone'.

The other problem too is the number of people having such experiences; according to polls, allegedly an average of 54% of us will have a small/large version of one at some point in our lives - though I disagree with some of the methodology used by people like Gallup who conducted the surveys as being too broad and including religious experiences of the kind that Theresa of Availa experienced, which have a totally different content.

Can so many people possibly all come up with exactly the same unreality in these events, right down to precise content? I seriously have to doubt it.

The point is that realisation isn't just a set of pretty lights and a funny feeling of connectedness that can be interpreted by the subject in whatever way he chooses. In pure versions it comes with precise knowledge concerning the nature of reality that is the same from person to person, regardless of culture, beliefs, era, or even expectation, which makes it very unusual. It would be like every person with TLE having exactly the same internal experience, say, seeing a red car, when they have an 'attack'.

I've got no axe to grind, if between us we can prove enlightenment to be mundane then that would be extremely interesting, so any ideas like the above that you have are welcome:)

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9436652 - 12/15/08 01:02 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
quote: >>What you call enlightenment I would call non neurotic behavior. Or Rational Emotive Behavior if you will. Nothing mystical or magical or spiritual. Just healthy skillful animal behavior.

I would certainly agree that there's nothing magical/mystical/spritiual about it. I see it more as gaining fuller sight of what's already here, not of some 'other plane'.

As for REB - anyone with half an interest in behaviour could hardly do better than to read Ellis' work, he's up there with the best of them as far as I'm concerned. But is it a suitable canditate? To me (and others too, the University of Hull tried to give it a similar cause 7 years ago) it doesn't fit in with the type of 'illness' we're talking about. One problem being that, unlike REB, there are no prior or post-symptoms. It can happen whilst you're arguing, meditating, waiting for a bus, etc, with absolutely no precursors (particularly neuroses), trance, loss of consciousness or any other of the things you might expect.

REB is a theory/treatment regarding overcoming cumulative behavioural dysfunction against a background of say, on-going trauma or stress. It's not really an an explanation of why so many people, cross-culturally, have exactly the same content in experiences of so-called 'realisation' - but I may well be missing your point, so I'd definitely like to discuss this further. Can you explain how you see REB causing the initial hallucination? Do you think it's possible for an event like this to occur wihout a background of stress or neuroses to trigger it?

In many cases, what is experienced actually goes against say, long-held beliefs in Christianity that the subject might have, and actually turn them away from it. This isn't people having an experience and then trying to fit it into their existing world-view to rationalise it; this is counter-intuitive in that in many cases it goes against existing beliefs, so its hard to see the experience as being self-created by the Subject as some kind of 'comfort zone'.

The other problem too is the number of people having such experiences; according to polls, allegedly an average of 54% of us will have a small/large version of one at some point in our lives - though I disagree with some of the methodology used by people like Gallup who conducted the surveys as being too broad and including religious experiences of the kind that Theresa of Availa experienced, which have a totally different content.

Can so many people possibly all come up with exactly the same unreality in these events, right down to precise content? I seriously have to doubt it.

The point is that realisation isn't just a set of pretty lights and a funny feeling of connectedness that can be interpreted by the subject in whatever way he chooses. In pure versions it comes with precise knowledge concerning the nature of reality that is the same from person to person, regardless of culture, beliefs, era, or even expectation, which makes it very unusual. It would be like every person with TLE having exactly the same internal experience, say, seeing a red car, when they have an 'attack'.

I've got no axe to grind, if between us we can prove enlightenment to be mundane then that would be extremely interesting, so any ideas like the above that you have are welcome:)

MM




    The trained runner releases endorphins into the brain. Then he/she goes and reads passages of obscure knowledge or visits the great masters of art.
My point is that changing the word enlightment to fit a pseudo Buddha could also apply to a fitted human being.
The old fashion word is about the definition of virtue. It could be soldier type or ninja type or Buddha type…etc.
  I’m trying to get your point as to whether realization follows enlightment or that is the same as enlightment. What is realization to you? Is it physical and therefore connected to the endorphins or is it connected to the metaphysical meditation?. There is a connection which is described in Buddhist literature. A straight line between the first stage and the last stage (overcoming Bardo fear)… Still, that involves meditation in front of the Buddha and I assume a strong belief.
  But it is possible (as in bus ride) that there is realization first and then enlightment. The release of a chemical in the brain for being in touch with the absolute truth. A chemical connection so much wanted we/humans still praying for it in the many different ways humans pray.
It may be possible to trick the mechanism… something that starts with I… then take some codeine.
Still; it is my point that the mechanism to enlightment has to do with belief. Anything else fades.


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9437930 - 12/15/08 04:12 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

hey
are you equating a state of "buddhahood" with enlightenment.
there may need to be more distinction there.
also things like "emptiness", "sunyata", may just be little signposts that crop up on the "way" like "bump ahead" and "deer crossing";
i.e. not so exclusive that there only is one of each,
or that there is a review board such as for "stigmata"


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Recondicom]
    #9437945 - 12/15/08 04:14 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Recondicom said:
...Still; it is my point that the mechanism to enlightment has to do with belief. Anything else fades.



belief fades quickly too.
I think enlightenment relies on less foundation rather than more.


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9438412 - 12/15/08 05:21 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

"What you call enlightenment I would call non neurotic behavior. Or Rational Emotive Behavior if you will. Nothing mystical or magical or spiritual. Just healthy skillful animal behavior."

:thumbup::grin:


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let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: mr_kite]
    #9441929 - 12/16/08 03:47 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Sorry about the following, my replies are becoming far too long, but you ask such good questions:)

>>>The trained runner releases endorphins into the brain. Then he/she goes and reads passages of obscure knowledge or visits the great masters of art.

  Kensho can happen to people lying in bed/meditating/watching TV, with no stress or endorphin release as a beginning. The problem is too that the state is triggered by understanding, not by doing, or reaching some kind of state of excitement. Certainly, a Mahayana practitioner might have a glimpse in any of the Dhyana's and, if this was the only source of realisation then we could easily say that it was a result of their control, or expectation - but it's triggered far more commonly by suddenly understanding certain aspects of reality.

There's no pre-requisite of any particular act of meditation. It doesn't require either a kind of state of awe or appreciation that you might get from looking at great art or an imposing view. It's a fallacy that beauty, virtue and love for the world are the keys to reaching it (though they can help), that's really just a western idea based on popular books and media. Buddhism isn't a religion

>>My point is that changing the word enlightenment to fit a pseudo Buddha could also apply to a fitted human being. The old fashion word is about the definition of virtue. It could be soldier type or ninja type or Buddha type…etc.

I'm not quite sure what you mean here: 'A fitted human being'? Why does the Buddha's definition of enlightenment need to be changed to a western concept?

>> I’m trying to get your point as to whether realization follows enlightment or that is the same as enlightment.

Yes, the two words are interchangeable. In the 'trade' wed use the word 'realisation' more than 'enlightenment', as it's a state of understanding, realising, set within an experience of non-duality.


>> What is realization to you? Is it physical and therefore connected to the endorphins or is it connected to the metaphysical meditation?.

Neither. Meditation in the usual sense is just a tool, and you'd surprised how small a part it plays in higher forms of contemplation. The best way to think of it is that meditation will increase the liklihood of someone having such an experience, but it's certainly not the only trigger by any means.

As for the physical, as I said above, I can't see a case for endorphins being present, except in the kinds of Bhakti (devotional) methods, where people are whipped into a state of excitement and expectation. As I say in the above, I can't see a case for anyone in other circumstances somehow generating endorphins when they're say, looking casually out of a window.

I hope you'll forgive all the generalisations I'm making here, it really needs much more explanation, but it would be a long read, so briefly: There are two levels of initial realisation: one where the subject experiences non-duality of mind and reality from 'their own side'; they understand their true nature as Empty, non-duality. The higher level (Satori) is to experience the whole of reality as the whole of reality, beyond time, as reality itself, and Empty and non-dual. But understand that this brief explanation is hardly a shadow of what you do feel and learn. Once it's over, everything is different, and, depending on how deeply you went and what practises you then enter into, the 'difference' can stay with you for weeks or the rest of your life. Once you reach Satori though, it stays, regardless of what you do.

>> There is a connection which is described in Buddhist literature. A straight line between the first stage and the last stage (overcoming Bardo fear)…

You're describing some forms of Tibetan Buddhism above, like Kagyu, not all forms have the same structure between a first stage (Kensho) and last (Satori - then later full Buddhahood) stage. There is this line in what are called the 'gradual' schools, but in later forms there are 'sudden' schools too, or even a mixture of sudden and gradual, like in Zen and Mahamudra. Dzogchen is usually sudden - in part because you have to have a certain amount of realisation to begin it - but more because it will tend to take you straight to Satori with no in-between states. As you can appreciate, there are schools that are keen to hold onto the idea that there can be no sudden realisation, and Mahayana says that using its methods one could become realised after many lifetimes of accumulating merit. But Dzogchen says that it can, and is, reached regularly in one lifetime. So there isn't really an overall set of 'rules' in Buddhism on how to reach it, or even the stages one must pass through, it depends on the school you follow.

>>>Still, that involves meditation in front of the Buddha and I assume a strong belief.

No, not really. I and many others have never meditated in front of an image of the Buddha in our lives. We venerate him, not worship him, so it's not a necessary part of practise to include him in meditation other than to thank him for his guidance. Again, there are very few set rules or practices which are across the board in all type of Buddhism. 'Strong belief' doesn't play a part really, particularly in spontaneous experiences of realisation.


  >>But it is possible (as in bus ride) that there is realization first and then enlightment.

The two are the same. But if you mean, first you understand the nature of reality, then you have an experience of it, in some cases yes, but not always; sometimes it literally just begins, regardless of what you're doing or thinking about.

>>>>The release of a chemical in the brain for being in touch with the absolute truth. A chemical connection so much wanted we/humans still praying for it in the many different ways humans pray.

Prayer isn't present in Buddhism, and in many cases, not even meditation or any kind of a special state, just pure and simple understanding. But, at this point we meet in our thinking - is there a chemical in the brain that causes it? I used to think so, but now I have to be honest and think not. I'm not sure what chemical could cause the same illusion - without any form of prior expectation - in every subject. I can't think either of a chemical that a subject could trigger the release of at will to produce these effects, as some can do.


>>It may be possible to trick the mechanism… something that starts with I… then take some codeine.

I agree. I think it could be possible too, and still continue to try to find chemical and psychological ways of inducing it.

>> Still; it is my point that the mechanism to enlightment has to do with belief. Anything else fades.

No, Kensho fades, if you don't know how to prolong it. But you have to realise that 'prolonging' it to reach Satori doesn't mean doing a set of actions (like meditating), then reach some state, then rise out of when you stop meditating, it isn't like that.

Satori is continual, there's no leaving it. In the condition between Kensho and Satori it comes and goes, certainly, depending on how far along you are, but with the right approach, even after Kensho it can be more or less permanent. Overall, you aren't talking about a state - although you could call your glimpses of Kensho 'states' - but acquired knowledge.You can't leave knowledge behind, you can only forget it. So in a sense, Mahamudra and Dzogchen are there to teach you how to have that knowledge continually uppermost in your mind.

But even the above is a gradual school approach really. If you were to go straight to Satori - as many do - there is no fading, or coming and going of a particular state. As an atheist, if it relied on belief or faith I can assure you I wouldn't have had the tiniest inkling of it:)

MM

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Bliss [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9441964 - 12/16/08 04:13 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

I know a few here have experienced bliss, so the below contains a few excerpts from Tibetan thought regarding its place in Vajrayana (tantric) Buddhism. Bear in mind that this isn't approached in quite the same way in all Buddhist traditions, bliss can play a much lesser role in some, but it's a good indicator of the basic ideas:

"...The three main components of the tantric path, the vajrayana, therefore, are these three - bliss, emptiness and compassion/bodhichitta. Bodhichitta [strong compassion] is required at the start of the path, in the middle and at the end. Bliss and emptiness, likewise, are required at all stages.

It is not to be achieved through abandoning the world or abandoning oneself as is often commonly believed and erroneously taught, but through transforming our perception of both - transforming this perception slowly, continuously, incrementally and very thoroughly.

The Buddha view is only attained through bliss and the bliss is only attained and maintained through deity yoga and seeing the world as mandala. This is the final step into Buddhahood - maintaining the unfading bliss. Rather than seeing the world as one big distraction from spiritual practice, we can then begin to use it as a source of bliss and use it continuously to generate bliss.

Once our body and senses become the source of continuous and unfading bliss, conjoined with emptiness etc then we are very close to seeing the world as mandala and of achieving the truth body, enjoyment body and emanation body of a Buddha.

Even the defilements become forms of bliss - anger bliss, hatred bliss, envy bliss, ignorance bliss, jealousy bliss, attachment bliss. The bliss must be welded with compassion or bodhichitta and tranquillity as this makes it warm, caring and powerful, radiant and supple. Ifthe compassion element is missing then it becomes selfish bliss, indulgent bliss and falls into hedonism. The non-attachment is also important or we become deeply attached to the bliss and the pleasure element. Similar arguments apply to the other required elements.

Bliss is a very important topic within Buddhism generally, and especially within the Vajrayana. This is because direct experience of bliss of all kinds can lead to profound states of tranquillity and become of great service in a spiritual path. It is especially important as an aspect of deity yoga within all the tantras.

2 forms of bliss exist:
1 - Conditional bliss which depends entirely upon non-empty forms, sense stimuli and concepts and feelings for its generation and experience.
2 - Non-conditional bliss which depends for its generation on empty forms or on the perception of emptiness in general, on imagined visualised forms and concepts, etc.

Most bliss is contaminated with feelings of desire, and actually arises from the sensations of pleasure that arise from proximity to desired forms and objects. The pleasure is elicited in the mind in response to contact with a desired form. Yet there are also karmic seeds in the mindstream that establish the object as desirable in the first place. All the pleasures we experience fall into this category and the pleasure is experienced in this manner, and are a distraction from mind development. However, with uncontaminated bliss, the pleasure is experienced as an aspect of oneself as a deity, as a precious emanation of emptiness and in a non-attached and compassionate way. Thus, commingled with these superior qualities, the bliss is a pure uncontaminated bliss that is an aid to practice, instead of a distraction from it.

Contaminated bliss is also subject to fading and loss which causes a sensation of grief, sadness or aversion. The loss of the pleasure is regarded as a form of inner loss. Uncontaminated bliss does not have these qualities as it is not subject to fading or loss. It does not involve attachment and so there is not a sense of loss as it is non-fading and self-regenerating..."

MM

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Re: Bliss [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9442050 - 12/16/08 05:09 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

I like that quote


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Re: Bliss [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9443187 - 12/16/08 11:33 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
I like that quote




    As I try to assimilate and find meaning to the extensive knowledge. I realize that is coming from a different source.
Here we have doctrines.
Doctrines are the different paths taken in Buddhism… so a path is a doctrine.
Doctrines of Buddhism. I’m not trying to define Buddhism and I see that MM does not concur in any of my observations. But looking closely I find a desire to use descriptions that closely resemble those of Jehovah witnesses. Only one way of telling the truth.
    So it is pleasure and not endorphins. So Buddha hood consciousness is different than Christian consciousness. Deity is not God- like it is Buddha- like different than Jesus- like. But it is the use of the word deity that makes Buddhism a religion and not a philosophy.
  So it is religion that have doctrines.
  “Contaminated bliss is also subject to fading and loss which causes a sensation of grief, sadness or aversion. The loss of the pleasure is regarded as a form of inner loss. Uncontaminated bliss does not have these qualities as it is not subject to fading or loss. It does not involve attachment and so there is not a sense of loss as it is non-fading and self-regenerating..."

  In Judeo-Christian I call that sin.
  Ultimate truth in the two truths doctrine from Buddhism. Bliss is derived from ultimate truth.
  In Judeo-Christian I find it easier to say being in touch with the absolute truth.
  And so: realization.
  Gratification for some is the truth to be found. The bliss is a side effect.
  And for enlighten… being rational is just enough. For I learn from anybody rational.

  I like mandalas. I meditate in front of the word demagogue.


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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Re: Bliss [Re: Recondicom]
    #9443624 - 12/16/08 01:00 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

>>>Doctrines of Buddhism. I’m not trying to define Buddhism and I see that MM does not concur in any of my observations.

I'm not aware of disagreeing with you really, I'm simply putting forward what the Eastern traditions, who defined the word and concept of realisation, say about it. What I'm doing isn't talking about a doctrine particular to one group or religion; whether you're a Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Sufi, or Christian, the experience of non-duality is the same. I'm just putting forward what 'we' think, I would hope never to supress someone else's view, this is an open forum.

If you have your own definition with its own criteria then who is to stop you? Explain it here by all means, it will probably be far more interesting than me writing endless pages!:)


>>>But it is the use of the word deity that makes Buddhism a religion and not a philosophy.  So it is religion that have doctrines.

No, sorry, that's not true. We use the term in a different way. You have to rememebr that this is translated from Tibetan, so there are many terms that english really isn't sutied for. In Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, there are a lot of Deities, and Daikinis and all kinds of 'beings', but they're just symbolic representations of abstract concepts, like emptiness, or states of mind, nobody believes in them as truly existing.

There are teaching stories where these 'beings' taunt humans or are overcome by enlightened monks, and inside these stories, written with 'veiled intent' are teaching cases on how to approach full understanding. Take the 'deity' Samantabhadra, the voice of a key text 'the Supreme Source', this is representative of Ultimate nature, not a real god that anyone believes in or worships. You see, there is no elements of worship in Buddhism (though southern Buddhism does take veneration a long way). Buddha said not to worship him, because he regarded himself in the same way that we all do, like a normal human being. I thank Buddha, I would never worship him.

>>  Ultimate truth in the two truths doctrine from Buddhism.

The two-truths doctrine is an intermediate teaching from Mahayana, it's superceded in later work.

>>  In Judeo-Christian I find it easier to say being in touch with the absolute truth.

If you are in touch with the absolute truth, of course you should say that. If a Buddhist is in touch with Absolute Truth, should he say the same?

>>  And for enlighten… being rational is just enough. For I learn from anybody rational.

Then you have found your own way, nobody can offer you more. Why should my path be any more gratifying or right than yours? It obviously can not be if you find pleasure and solace in it. I am happy for you:)

MM

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Re: Bliss [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9444770 - 12/16/08 04:18 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

MM:
>>>Doctrines of Buddhism. I’m not trying to define Buddhism and I see that MM does not concur in any of my observations.

I'm not aware of disagreeing with you really, I'm simply putting forward what the Eastern traditions, who defined the word and concept of realisation, say about it. What I'm doing isn't talking about a doctrine particular to one group or religion; whether you're a Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Sufi, or Christian, the experience of non-duality is the same. I'm just putting forward what 'we' think, I would hope never to supress someone else's view, this is an open forum.
  A: You are not aware.

If you have your own definition with its own criteria then who is to stop you? Explain it here by all means, it will probably be far more interesting than me writing endless pages!:)
A: So you said.

MM:
>>>But it is the use of the word deity that makes Buddhism a religion and not a philosophy.  So it is religion that have doctrines.

No, sorry, that's not true. We use the term in a different way. You have to rememebr that this is translated from Tibetan, so there are many terms that english really isn't sutied for. In Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, there are a lot of Deities, and Daikinis and all kinds of 'beings', but they're just symbolic representations of abstract concepts, like emptiness, or states of mind, nobody believes in them as truly existing.

A: Not true is too strong when the evidence to the contrary is much more. Perhaps,  I need clarification as to whether you mean the word Deity in the English language or the spirit of the concept you putting forth. Are we discussing then the capability of the English language to convey Buddhism.  Of course Deity is just one of the words I have problems with. Deity is derived from Deus (God)… 


MM: There are teaching stories where these 'beings' taunt humans or are overcome by enlightened monks, and inside these stories, written with 'veiled intent' are teaching cases on how to approach full understanding. Take the 'deity' Samantabhadra, the voice of a key text 'the Supreme Source', this is representative of Ultimate nature, not a real god that anyone believes in or worships. You see, there is no elements of worship in Buddhism (though southern Buddhism does take veneration a long way). Buddha said not to worship him, because he regarded himself in the same way that we all do, like a normal human being. I thank Buddha, I would never worship him.
  A: “beings’?  Angels and demons?

MM:

>>  Ultimate truth in the two truths doctrine from Buddhism.

The two-truths doctrine is an intermediate teaching from Mahayana, it's superceded in later work.

>>  In Judeo-Christian I find it easier to say being in touch with the absolute truth.

If you are in touch with the absolute truth, of course you should say that. If a Buddhist is in touch with Absolute Truth, should he say the same?

>>  And for enlighten… being rational is just enough. For I learn from anybody rational.
 

Then you have found your own way, nobody can offer you more. Why should my path be any more gratifying or right than yours? It obviously can not be if you find pleasure and solace in it. I am happy for you:)
A: And like you said my path is short and sweet…but an open imperfect path.  Peace and good luck to you in your search of Buddhist meaning.. I can offer some English meaning.


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Deities [Re: Recondicom]
    #9459931 - 12/19/08 01:59 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

No, sorry, that's not true. We use the term in a different way. You have to remember that this is translated from Tibetan, so there are many terms that english really isn't suited for. In Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, there are a lot of Deities, and Daikinis and all kinds of 'beings', but they're just symbolic representations of abstract concepts, like emptiness, or states of mind, nobody believes in them as truly existing.

A: Not true is too strong when the evidence to the contrary is much more. Perhaps,  I need clarification as to whether you mean the word Deity in the English language or the spirit of the concept you putting forth. Are we discussing then the capability of the English language to convey Buddhism.  Of course Deity is just one of the words I have problems with. Deity is derived from Deus (God)…

'Deity' is an english translation of a Tibetan word, it hasn't got the same meaning as its western use. The same is true for say, the words 'mind' and 'awareness' for example, they have different meanings for us than the European conventions. The word 'deity' means something that is symbolic of an aspect of practice, it's representative of things like sunyata, or the brilliance of ultimate nature, or ultimate nature itself.

I use the word 'beings' in inverted commas to show it's purely a relative term, in the same way as the word 'deity', with the understanding that nobody believes that they exist in the way described, they're simply representations of aspects of practice. These are a couple of good quotes showing how most schools feel about the word:

"....Why call them deities; why not gods?
Although the word deity was originally a synonym for god, experience has shown that some practices such as those performed by Buddhists consist of a type of address in which the intent is rather different from the usual ancient one.  That is, the general intention is not to propitiate; not to flatter, placate or enter into contracts.

There is another important difference between Buddhist deities and mythological gods or goddesses.  The latter are, or were once, considered real --  described as motivated by jealousy, power and other appetites and not very different from physical creatures such as people. The deities of Buddhism are ultimately regarded as manifestations of Emptiness.  Some practitioners eventually abandon deity devotion as a method for attaining an enlightened state when it has outlived its utility.

When deities are depicted in sexual union  (called yab-yum or father-mother) this symbolizes intimate union of another type -- that of skill and compassion, or Means and Method, or Wisdom and Emptiness..."

And:

"...The exact meaning of deity is not similar throughout Tibetan Buddhism, rather they differ in various Tibetan Buddhist Schools and lineage. However, what is common in all is that deities are perceived as means of liberation and enlightenment for one and all. The function of a deity varies from the point of view of practitioners. They are used as an aid for meditation or function as a protector of the dharma and/or of an entire class of being.

It is also important to know that the word deity itself has a very different connotation in Buddhism. In other religions, the term deity is synonymous with either god or goddess who are themselves very similar to the normal human beings living on earth. They are prompted in their actions by elements like jealousy and power. However, deities in Tibetan Buddhism generally denote emptiness..."

I'm happy to provide more quotes, I do understand that it must sound confusing.
MM

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Invisiblepsyka
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Icelander]
    #9460536 - 12/19/08 06:22 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
I just got an official warning. However I'm not sure why?

A pundit is a learned person in the teachings of others. So if someone is a pundit they are not speaking from personal experience but from something they book learned somewhere. It is not a negative. We are all pundits to some degree. I hope I don't get banned for saying that.




To some degree? Hahahaha. We are all pundits 100%

Vision (direct seeing) inevitably follows seeking (accumulation of knowledge), which is wisdom. So its ok to be a pundit. And likewise, it is ridiculous to ask for a consistent non-pundit answer; which is why it is dangerous to claim enlightenment in the first place.


--------------------
As the life of a candle,
my wick will burn out.
But, the fire of my mind
shall beam into infinite.


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: psyka]
    #9460561 - 12/19/08 06:32 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

I try my best not to come off as a pundit, but sometimes it's hard....:shrug:

I wasn't part of that conversation, I just wanted to add my $00.02.

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Re: Deities [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9461257 - 12/19/08 09:42 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
No, sorry, that's not true. We use the term in a different way. You have to remember that this is translated from Tibetan, so there are many terms that english really isn't suited for. In Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, there are a lot of Deities, and Daikinis and all kinds of 'beings', but they're just symbolic representations of abstract concepts, like emptiness, or states of mind, nobody believes in them as truly existing.

A: Not true is too strong when the evidence to the contrary is much more. Perhaps,  I need clarification as to whether you mean the word Deity in the English language or the spirit of the concept you putting forth. Are we discussing then the capability of the English language to convey Buddhism.  Of course Deity is just one of the words I have problems with. Deity is derived from Deus (God)…

'Deity' is an english translation of a Tibetan word, it hasn't got the same meaning as its western use. The same is true for say, the words 'mind' and 'awareness' for example, they have different meanings for us than the European conventions. The word 'deity' means something that is symbolic of an aspect of practice, it's representative of things like sunyata, or the brilliance of ultimate nature, or ultimate nature itself.

I use the word 'beings' in inverted commas to show it's purely a relative term, in the same way as the word 'deity', with the understanding that nobody believes that they exist in the way described, they're simply representations of aspects of practice. These are a couple of good quotes showing how most schools feel about the word:

"....Why call them deities; why not gods?
Although the word deity was originally a synonym for god, experience has shown that some practices such as those performed by Buddhists consist of a type of address in which the intent is rather different from the usual ancient one.  That is, the general intention is not to propitiate; not to flatter, placate or enter into contracts.

There is another important difference between Buddhist deities and mythological gods or goddesses.  The latter are, or were once, considered real --  described as motivated by jealousy, power and other appetites and not very different from physical creatures such as people. The deities of Buddhism are ultimately regarded as manifestations of Emptiness.  Some practitioners eventually abandon deity devotion as a method for attaining an enlightened state when it has outlived its utility.

When deities are depicted in sexual union  (called yab-yum or father-mother) this symbolizes intimate union of another type -- that of skill and compassion, or Means and Method, or Wisdom and Emptiness..."

And:

"...The exact meaning of deity is not similar throughout Tibetan Buddhism, rather they differ in various Tibetan Buddhist Schools and lineage. However, what is common in all is that deities are perceived as means of liberation and enlightenment for one and all. The function of a deity varies from the point of view of practitioners. They are used as an aid for meditation or function as a protector of the dharma and/or of an entire class of being.

It is also important to know that the word deity itself has a very different connotation in Buddhism. In other religions, the term deity is synonymous with either god or goddess who are themselves very similar to the normal human beings living on earth. They are prompted in their actions by elements like jealousy and power. However, deities in Tibetan Buddhism generally denote emptiness..."

I'm happy to provide more quotes, I do understand that it must sound confusing.
MM





      Just what I said. Truth.  So using the word Deity can only be confusing to a non Buddhist using the English language. Among Buddhist, one has to know the doctrine to know the meaning of Deity.
  I’m wondering what your specific doctrine said about ‘remembering’ past lives. In many doctrines a pre-requisite to attain Buddhahood. Following the line to the beginning to break free… Non-human forms… mostly reptiles… then jelly type organisms… then unicellular… then proteins… chemicals… chemicals…chemicals…A transcription of the guiding wave called: The Creation. One gets lost in the many spellings of sin. Although, knowledge call them species instead. I know my Judeo-Christian book Genesis.

Of interest
    ‘ The fourth chapter, "Retracing an Ancient Debate: How Insight Worsted Meditation in the Pali Canon," makes the case that the emphasis placed on certain key doctrines in the Pāli Canon is the direct result of a convoluted series of debates among those early disciples who preserved the canonical texts. Gombrich applies this approach to explain why current recensions of the Pāli Canon give precedence to insight (paññā) over meditation (samādhi) and faith (saddhā) as the most effective means for achieving religious liberation (nibbāna). The argument is extremely intricate and sometimes difficult to follow, but the general point seems to be that whereas the Buddha himself and the earliest formulations within the canon do not privilege insight, later scholiasts read finer distinctions into the canonical sources to justify their own conclusions.
    While Gombrich's book does not really tell us "how Buddhism began," it does give us valuable insights into early Buddhism and how the early doctrines developed into the institutionalized forms we find in the writings of Theravāda Buddhism. More than this, the book is a call for further scholarship that emulates its sound methods. How Buddhism Began is highly recommended reading for both the expert and novice in the field of Buddhist studies.’


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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Invisiblepsyka
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Re: Deities [Re: Recondicom]
    #9461405 - 12/19/08 10:23 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Interesting. Sort of obscure knowledge for a creationist (if that is indeed your label :P).

And I agree. The meditation taught today yields different results than if you follow the instructions of the Pali texts verbatim. To sum up the difference:

Vipassana (Insight) practitioners say that wisdom can only be gained through observing characteristics of phenomena and say that concentration (samadhi) only leads to inflationary states of mind. This conforms with the Visudhimagga (what most Theravadin Buddhist monks practice) and states that you must wait many years or even lifetimes to understand the practice correctly, which is a huge contrast to what the Pali texts say - that correct practice can be understood very quickly and liberation from suffering can be understood within 7 days (very rare, but possible).

When you read and follow the Pali suttas you see that insight and concentration must be practiced together at the same time to produce what the Buddha taught. Insight and concentration are different yet inseparable, like the radiance in dependence of its flame. "Right" concentration occurs very naturally when you stay on your meditation object through relaxation and you gain [insight] wisdom into craving mind (subtle and gross mental habits) by learning not to be distracted. It is a tight rope balancing act. With a balanced mind, everything begins to fall into place and your observation ability becomes very alert to the subtle movements of mind.

The differences between these practices cause very subtle mental barriers and one may go into a meditation state and fool himself that he is fully liberated from craving. Furthermore, this created a division line within the teachings that will never be mended unless people take a genuine interest into authentic Buddhist meditation (and not the Vedic brand of meditation being called Buddhism).

Thanks for the book reference, I'll be sure to check it out.


--------------------
As the life of a candle,
my wick will burn out.
But, the fire of my mind
shall beam into infinite.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Deities [Re: psyka]
    #9464525 - 12/19/08 09:43 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

i like less strict terms
have seen many different vipassanas and many different samathas
they come together in meditation.
they separate out in conversation, which is not like meditation.

i am still not too convinced that satori is the once and for all that MM suggests either.
a good healthy fall from grace is always round the corner. (shhh)
and an envigorating climb can follow closely.


--------------------
:confused: _ :brainfart:🧠  _ :finger:

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Deities [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9500885 - 12/27/08 03:21 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

>>  I’m wondering what your specific doctrine said about ‘remembering’ past lives. In many doctrines a pre-requisite to attain Buddhahood.

That's not quite the way it's taught to be honest. Remembering past lives is said to be one of the attributes of arrival at Buddhahood, not a pre-requisite to reach it.

For Tibetan Buddhists, 'past lives' doesn't have a Western meaning, where a 'soul' transmigrates from entity to entity. We believe in re-birth as opposed to Hindu reincarnation. The past lives a Buddha remembers are not him personally incarnating, but simply a part of the empty flow of interdependent events that led to his then current appearance. If Buddha were said to reincarnate, that would imply that he had a continuing form, and attributes of consciousness that could move from person to person, which Buddha himself said were not present.


Of interest
    ‘ The fourth chapter, "Retracing an Ancient Debate: How Insight Worsted Meditation in the Pali Canon," makes the case that the emphasis placed on certain key doctrines in the Pāli Canon is the direct result of a convoluted series of debates among those early disciples who preserved the canonical texts. Gombrich applies this approach to explain why current recensions of the Pāli Canon give precedence to insight (paññā) over meditation (samādhi) and faith (saddhā) as the most effective means for achieving religious liberation (nibbāna). The argument is extremely intricate and sometimes difficult to follow, but the general point seems to be that whereas the Buddha himself and the earliest formulations within the canon do not privilege insight, later scholiasts read finer distinctions into the canonical sources to justify their own conclusions.


I understand what you're saying but I have disagree with the conclusions. To say that Buddha didn't emphasise insight as much as anything else in Mahayana would be a complete misunderstanding of its nature. The key texts within the Pali canon and later works (The Heart Sutra/Diamond Cutter Sutra) are all about insight, not morality, whereas other texts are about morality and not insight. But, ALL texts are for the purpose of moving students closer towards gaiing a final understanding of the nature of reality.

Buddhism is not static and was never meant to be, it's simply guidance that will be added to for years to come. Nothing about what Buddha said about the nature of reality, or his main teachings, will change, just that there will always be those who can add a further method, or a newer approach to what already exists. It's addition, not alteration.

But there's a slight double-catch in the title of the piece "How Insight Worsted Meditation in the Pali Canon", because it hasn't. The balance between insight, morality and meditation is always present, and exactly why Mahayana is called the 'Middle Way'. Meditation in it isn't ousted in favour of insight.

There's no better or worse in Buddhism, just faster or slower, nothing has been 'ousted', every method of practise is 'expedient means', that which is most suite to the student. If someone wants to use traditional meditation because it suits their capacity for learning then why not? If someone else finds that they progress more quickly with insight, that's fine too.

As you move into higher forms above Mahyana/Therevada and the Pali canon, then certainly the emphasis is almost entirely on insight, but this isn't a bad thing, as insight is a faster way of reaching realisation - and those students who do move into insight (beyond Vipassana) will have almost certainly spent years practising traditional methods first before they're in a position to use it; again, it's all about what suits the individual practitioner.

MM

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OfflineMainlyMind
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Re: Deities [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9500917 - 12/27/08 03:32 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

>>i am still not too convinced that satori is the once and for all that MM suggests either.
a good healthy fall from grace is always round the corner. (shhh)
and an envigorating climb can follow closely.

:smile: Very true. But you can only fall from Kensho, not Satori. Satori is 'immovable and unshakeable' or it isn't Satori, that's its definition; whereas Kensho is purely an experience that may lead somewhere or nowhere. Unless Kensho is nurtured and developed (or it was extremely deep and already bordering on Satori) it will fade eventually, if left alone.

This is from Wiki', but still quite accurate as far as it goes:

"...Satori (悟 Chinesewù ; Korean oh) is a Japanese Buddhist term for enlightenment. The word literally means "understanding". It is sometimes loosely used interchangeably with Kensho, but Kensho refers to the first perception of the Buddha-Nature or True-Nature, sometimes referred to as "awakening". Distinct from kensho, which is not a permanent state of enlightenment but a clear glimpse of the true nature of existence, satori is used to refer to a "deep" or lasting state of enlightenment. It is therefore customary to use the word satori, rather than kensho, when referring to the enlightened states of the Buddha and the Patriarchs.

According to D. T. Suzuki, "Satori is the raison d'être of Zen, without which Zen is no Zen. Therefore every contrivance, disciplinary and doctrinal, is directed towards satori."


MM

Edited by MainlyMind (12/27/08 05:14 AM)

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InvisibleRecondicom
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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9502019 - 12/27/08 12:35 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

saddha (saddhaa): Conviction, faith. A confidence in the Buddha that gives one the willingness to put his teachings into practice.
 
      Less strict definitions of panna make reference to a whole banquet of virtues or attributes. Panna could mean any of the following:
    Insight; wisdom; common sense, etc, etc.
The whole definition of Satori involves a blind faith that is fixed. So if it breaks it is not Satori… is Kensho.
    What happens when Kensho fades:
  Options:
      Continue swimming down the river stream in darkness… not so much darkness because now you can hear friends voices, and they are going down the stream on boat.
      Join the boat of friends calling you.
      Get off the stream to review your options.
      Go back by land but you don’t know where you are.
      Go back anyhow
      Continue by land.
      Stay there… wait for daylight and look around. Since it is all in your head maybe you can catch-up with the friends on the boat… or enjoy nature… or look around for food or… join the research for a Gog (atheism) gene.


--------------------
Wave.
'And for this reason repentance (metanoia) is an elevating means. For he who feels impatience with the circunstances in which he finds himself, devises means of escape.
  Now the chief thing in purification is the will. For then both deeds and words lend a helping hand. But, when the will is absent, the whole purificatory discipline of initiation is...'

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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: Recondicom]
    #9516568 - 12/30/08 04:46 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

The whole definition of Satori involves a blind faith that is fixed.

No, not at all. There is no faith in Buddhism apart from a belief in the teachings that one must only accept after you have found them to be true. We are continually and expressly warned against accepting anything, even the words of the Buddha, at face value. Everything is a 'raft to be left behind at the other shore' - merely things that point the way. To accept blindly is pointless. We aren't a religion with a set of rules and a linear progression of practise that must be believed and followed to the letter.

The Kalama Sutra

"Rely not on the teacher/person, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but on experience. Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and
elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."
- the Buddha

Those who join any tradition with a closed mind will progress far faster than those who accept every word blindly.


So if it breaks it is not Satori… is Kensho.


Yes, absolutely. Satori can not 'break', and Kensho certainly can. Kensho is simply an experience, which can not help but fade unless you know the right things to do to turn it into Satori. Satori is an ongoing state of knowledge, which gives a particular state of mind that is never lost and can't be forgotten.


    What happens when Kensho fades: Options:
      Continue swimming down the river stream in darkness… not so much darkness because now you can hear friends voices, and they are going down the stream on boat.
      Join the boat of friends calling you.
      Get off the stream to review your options.
      Go back by land but you don’t know where you are.
      Go back anyhow
      Continue by land.
      Stay there… wait for daylight and look around. Since it is all in your head maybe you can catch-up with the friends on the boat… or enjoy nature… or look around for food or… join the research for a Gog (atheism) gene.


All of the above are options, but of course, none are going to help sustain Kensho, because to do any of them misses the point of the understanding that you should have gained in that Kensho. But luckily, these aren't the only options available.

The thing is that, understandably, most people tend to see Buddhism as being encompassed almost entirely by basic Mahayana and Therevada, when in fact these traditions are just expedient means, easier, 'watered down' techniques if you will, which are meant to eventually give you access to higher practises.  Mahayana isn't the central trunk of the tree, with traditions like Atiyoga being its branches and therefore somehow slightly skewed derivatives, it's the opposite way around. Mahayana is Buddhism101, with the Mind-only schools (that Buddha himself was taught) as the original source.

Any Buddhist who has had Kensho would, if it were deep enough, move immediately from Mahayana/Therevada into one of the mind-only schools, usually Mahamudra or Dzogchen where there are tens of methods of increasing the depth of understanding and on-going experience of Kensho until it becomes permanent and Satori.

MM

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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9516831 - 12/30/08 08:00 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

hi;
since you are using the wiki as your reference for whether satori is unbreakable or not, it would appear that you are actually going on faith, or trust that other persons' statements on the matter are final, as opposed to going on personal experience.

Alas, if that is the case, I have not ever been enlightened one bit (i never claimed so anyway), only some kensho maybe.

In any case, I strongly suggest that enlightenment (satori(?)) is not a (permanent) state, and I impute that from what has been written related to it and from the way meditating monks have dealt with the matter, as well as many direct personal experiences with states, all of which are changeable.

I also draw your attention to Bodhisattvas (again) who eschew nirvana, but regularly achieve enlightenment (as full as can be without nibbana) and will continue to do so until all beings are enlightened.

I don't question your scholarly-ness - the material that has emerged from centuries of writings from "non-meditating" or "ritual" monks has diluted the content of Buddhism - if you immerse in the literature, you will be wading through debris as well as gems.

I think the term we are disputing is "Nirvana" or "nibbana" which is supposedly the end of all suffering and can be selected as a cap to one's enlightenment experience, or not. (a Bodhisatva does not cap their enlightenment with nibbana by choice - he/she chooses to keep working in this corporeal existence.)
otherwise, I think enlightened beings are as fallable and silly as other beings, and really do not abide in any single state whatsoever, while the enlightenment experience, has touched much or all the rest of what they do and who they are, by virtue of their continued effort to "deepen their enlightenment" which is a phrase I do find a lot of in the literature - highly suggestive of this not being a quantum once or never thing.


--------------------
:confused: _ :brainfart:🧠  _ :finger:

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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9516881 - 12/30/08 08:30 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

MainlyMind,

A quick question. Where and with whom did you study these Eastern Traditions that you are talking about? When did your teacher recognize your attainment and ask you share your knowledge with others?



In deepest gasho,

A student of the way.

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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: thefarside]
    #9520925 - 12/30/08 10:09 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

MainlyMind,

<A quick question. Where and with whom did you study these Eastern Traditions that you are talking about? When did your teacher recognize your attainment and ask you share your knowledge with others?>


:shocked:















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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9555962 - 01/06/09 04:27 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
hi;
since you are using the wiki as your reference for whether satori is unbreakable or not, it would appear that you are actually going on faith, or trust that other persons' statements on the matter are final, as opposed to going on personal experience.




:smile: I used Wiki simply because it's use of the english language is better than mine, and Dr Suzuki is a far more authorative than me of course. I can give the same references actually from Buddhist texts if you'd like? It's a Zen term, but the idea of Kensho as an experience and Satori as an ongoing state is common to all forms.

I know what you're getting at, but for a Buddhist to seek even enlightenment (rather than letting it emerge), let alone have faith in it until he has actually experienced it is pointless. But, do I think there is a Satori from which people do not move? If I believe the Buddha and many others who have experienced it and have written about it as being something you can not descend from, then yes. Is that faith, blind belief, or anything else? Not really, it's just confidence in the word of people like the Buddha, and as I'm not actually seeking anything, what it is and isn't doesn't really matter.


Quote:

redgreenvines said:

Alas, if that is the case, I have not ever been enlightened one bit (i never claimed so anyway), only some kensho maybe.




I wasn't aware that we were debating your experiences? Am I meant to be refuting them? Sorry if that's the case, I've missed that.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
In any case, I strongly suggest that enlightenment (satori(?)) is not a (permanent) state, and I impute that from what has been written related to it and from the way meditating monks have dealt with the matter, as well as many direct personal experiences with states, all of which are changeable.




I've got to be honest, I've tried to play down my advancing years here, but I've studied, experienced, and written about meditative states for nearly thirty years. I'm also a Buddhist with friends who are monks from 2 traditions, but I don't know of any monk, or even active Buddhist, who does not understand the difference between Satori and Kensho, or think that these states are interchangeable.




I also draw your attention to Bodhisattvas (again) who eschew nirvana, but regularly achieve enlightenment (as full as can be without nibbana) and will continue to do so until all beings are enlightened..




The idea of Bodhisattvas and the ten Buhmis isn't common to all traditions, and again it's simply an intermediate teaching based on cause and effect, so a piece of guidance - which is even refuted as a path by many. However, if any Buddhist feels that they need to go through the Bhumis to 'purify' themselves then that's up to them, and practise, high or low, is valid if you think that you personally need it. It's not something that everyone has to go through by any means.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
I don't question your scholarly-ness - the material that has emerged from centuries of writings from "non-meditating" or "ritual" monks has diluted the content of Buddhism - if you immerse in the literature, you will be wading through debris as well as gems...




I agree:) The only works I read are from traditional texts, not modern works from the western occultism from people who don't meditate, because as you say, most are worthless. What would be the point of reading outside the traditions when there's so much accurate material within Buddhism, Hindusim and Sufism to go on? Tolle is good, so is Brunton and a handfull of others, but that's pretty much it.

I do get the impression that you feel that I'm just someone who learns about Buddhism and meditation without having done it myself? Or am I getting the wrong idea?

Quote:

redgreenvines said:I think the term we are disputing is "Nirvana" or "nibbana" which is supposedly the end of all suffering and can be selected as a cap to one's enlightenment experience, or not. ..




Not really. What I'm discussing is the difference between Kensho and Satori, and whether the latter is permanent.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:(a Bodhisatva does not cap their enlightenment with nibbana by choice - he/she chooses to keep working in this corporeal existence.)
otherwise, I think enlightened beings are as fallable and silly as other beings, ..




:smile:Again, very true. Being enlightened doesn't turn you into a wise and infallible being who never betrays negative emotions - even Buddha lost his temper with people on ocassion. Knowing the true nature of reality and abiding in permanent perception of it can't make anyone clever who wasn't that way initially. Are we all fallible and silly, at all levels, enlightened or not? Of course:)


Quote:

redgreenvines said:
and really do not abide in any single state whatsoever, while the enlightenment experience, has touched much or all the rest of what they do and who they are, by virtue of their continued effort to "deepen their enlightenment" which is a phrase I do find a lot of in the literature - highly suggestive of this not being a quantum once or never thing.




As I've said, to deepen enlightenment means to turn it from Kensho to Satori, from temporary to permanent. Some traditions see Kensho as meaning enlightenment, but it can't really be when it is impermanent.

What you're saying is that none of the traditional texts, written by people such as the Buddha concerning the nature of enlightenment are true, and that there is no state of full enlightenment or Buddhahood? This is pretty much the point I began from, so I can't knock that belief in any way, but I'm sure you understand that I can't agree with it now, and can bring any number of supporting texts to show that the nature of Satori is well documented as unshakeable within Buddhism. So, what do we do? I'm happy to keep the conversation going as I think it does bring up interesting points - or do we agree to differ?

MM

PS Happy New Year!:)

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Re:Satori and Faith. [Re: thefarside]
    #9556065 - 01/06/09 05:11 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

thefarside said:
MainlyMind,

A quick question. Where and with whom did you study these Eastern Traditions that you are talking about?




I think it's a bit pointless talking about length of experience when someone of greater skill can reach realisation in a day and others meditate for a lifetime and get nothing. But, I've been a meditator for about 30 years. I practised Hatha and Raja for a couple of years with a Hindu teacher, for a time in Jodhpur. I enjoyed the work, but eventually felt that it wasn't for me and began studying Buddhism as an 'outer' student, visiting a variety of Sanghas here and in Scandinavia. I eventually became a Buddhist and moved from Mahayana to Dzogchen after a couple of years with Vajrayana. My teachers are the same as most students of Dzogchen, the traditional texts and living teachers such as Norbhu.

When I entered into Vajrayana I was luckily in a position where I was able to stop working for about seven years and devote my time entirely to meditation. Although I work now, it's usually writing or teaching, so I spend most of my time at home.

Most people - who've been with Dzogchen for any length of time -aren't monks living in Sanghas, and don't have teachers in quite the way that you would imagine, where we all visit someone every week and are given instructions. Dzogchen is something that you either get or don't, and we practise alone for the most part. It's a case of, once you've been told where the road is, just buckling down and doing what you know you have to do. Of course we do retreats and all the rest of it, but it's not quite the same as a Hindu or Zen approach with rules and etiquette.


Quote:

thefarside said:
When did your teacher recognize your attainment and ask you share your knowledge with others?






Well, as far as teaching is concerned, we don't have someone telling us what to do and not to do, our teachers are our guidance, not 'rulers'. If someone amongst us is able to teach at a lower or higher level then they do. I've taught meditation (from basic Shamatha on) for 18 years.

I don't have any 'attainment', I was simply lucky enough to experience Kensho a couple of times, the first 13 years ago. Was it validated? Yes. Does it mean I've reached anything special? Not in the slightest:) Aren't we all still boiling rice?

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9556363 - 01/06/09 07:28 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
Sorry about the length of this, I hope this might help to clear up at least some ideas about what enlightenment is and isn't. Note that I'm not here to defend the reality of enlightenment - if you don't consider it to be possible then I do understand - this is more for those who are trying to make sense of what they might have felt whilst on entheogens or in meditation, or even in daily life.

  I was going to tag it onto a couple of the existing threads on the subject, but I don't want it to seem as though I'm pointing this at anyone in particular, it's purely for reference. It's not meant as a criticism of those who think they have had such experiences, on the contrary, I hope that it might make their progress forwards easier. Just my background briefly: I'm a Buddhist in a Tibetan tradition (Nyingma) and write/lecture on states of enlightenment.

    Sadly, there are quite a few well known claimants to enlightenment who, it's very obvious from their descriptions of their event, aren't truly enlightened at all, which doesn't help those who are trying to find out about their own experiences.

    I've read some accounts of 'enlightenment' that were based on, say, an experience of having one or more bliss states, or periods of non-conceptuality, or even a dream that contains what the person feels is a meaningful esoteric understanding. Whilst wonderful and a hint of things to come, dreams are dreams, and bliss is just bliss (unless it also contains a direct intuition of the true nature of reality). Bliss is more an indicator that you've entered into a state of mental pliancy, rather than a transcendent experience. It can be triggered in countless ways: some mundane, some not, such as when generating metta; or just by becoming fully mindful. Do not be misled: enlightenment isn't about blissful experiences and feeling the freedom of non-conceptuality, but about an understanding of reality.

  There's a feeling amongst some that there is no concrete definition of what enlightenment is, that the experience is so ineffable that it can mean many different things, and, as such, is open to personal interpretation, but enlightenment has the same meaning in every eastern tradition. In the West we tend to misunderstand what those who defined the term in the East meant by it. We also confuse it with the Western connotations that have been attributed to the word, and now, commonly, it can mean anything from 'quite clever really', to someone who is 'spiritually advanced'. But there is only one real enlightenment, and it has been precisely graded into levels (the 'Five Degrees of Tozan' in Zen for example - or Hinduism's levels of 'Samadhi'), in every tradition for well over 2,000 years, in part at least, to avoid erroneous claims.

For Buddhists, Sufis and Hindus, the core of the experience, and the things which qualify it as first stage enlightenment, or 'Kensho', (literally, 'seeing into one's own nature', in Zen) is that:

a) the state should be based on the direct perception of reality as non-dual 'emptiness'. This is experienced literally from the point of view of the whole of reality itself. 

b) This POV is also experienced as what Tibetan traditions sometimes call 'Infinite Awareness', where all matter and even the mind of the meditator himself are discovered to be just facets of this greater consciousness. But be careful, this is not consciousness in the sense of being a mind that might belong to a person or deity, it is just pure, infinite, lucidity, and the terms I use here to describe the above are generalisations for the purpose of this post.

There are three experiences which can seem very similar to the above:

1) Having an experience where you understand the self as being a part of a single unity, a non-duality.
2) Having an experience where you feel yourself to be actually integrated in this one-ness.
3) Having an experience where you are non-duality in its entirety - the only one of the three which is Kensho.

  However, although just perceiving non-duality in this way is a great step, without also having the experience of self as 'awareness' it's incomplete. Also, as you move towards completion,it's no longer about reaching states of non-duality,  but about gaining various understandings IN these experiences concerning the true nature of reality too, which are sometimes called the 'super-knowledges'. This idea is very important, because enlightenment (realisation) can only be sustained and deepened with this knowledge.

  The journey from Satori to Kensho is usually made by entering into Mahamudra or Dzogchen Buddhist practises, to draw together all experiences of Kensho and understanding, so that the practitioner can remain in permanent awareness of number 3. Dzogchen in particular is termed the 'completion stage' because of this. This 'final' stage can take anywhere from months to many years to traverse, but many have done it successfully over the years.

  There are a lot of misconceptions about the kinds of practises that will allow you to reach enlightenment. What isn't obvious to outsiders looking at Buddhism for instance, is that its teachings are graded into levels of understanding appropriate to the student. So, if you were to look at basic Mahayana Buddhism you might think that it's all about not thinking, stopping desires and focussing strongly on morality. But this level is preparation for the next stage, where traditional focussing meditation is left behind in favour of using gained knowledge of reality as a means to reach deep states of awareness and further understanding. It isn't that Mahayana is wrong: it's like the difference between Newtonian physics and QM, they don't agree on everything, but neither is wrong, it's just 'expedient means' the best teaching for a student at any given level. Sitting in shamatha, year in, year out, may help you reach enlightenment, but it can be very slow. Using 'mind-only' (yogachara) methods instead, and it's something that can be reached in a single lifetime, if you're lucky.

  I know that what might happen at this point is that those who've long considered themselves to be enlightened, but now find that they might not be, can become very defensive. But please, don't shoot the messenger:) If you have any concerns or disagreements concerning the definition above I'm happy to point you to relevant Buddhist/Hindu texts (the source of the original meaning of the term) for confirmation.

  If anyone is hoping to move up a stage from where they are in meditation I would be happy to try to point them in the right direction where I can.

MM





I also am Buddhist of Nyingma tradition having followed a not well known terton from Assam, and hanging locally with a lama.

Enlightenment is finding balance where others fall down.  Liberation is freedom from moral uncertainty. Awakening is finding stillness as the source of thought and yet motion as the basis for all things, thus change is the base, and yet change itself displays permanence.

Thus when one is certain about nothing, able to remain free from mental states altogether, able to maintain bliss enough to function well for others. This is pretty much it. One is not making definitions and trying to make life fit them, this is part of the mind of liberation.

The liberated are very comfortable with uncertainty and all knowingness is very close if not identical to complete ignorance, save for the awareness of the sameness of essence of both states of mind - knowledge and ignorance. They do not fall from any element of existance or nonexistance.  The liberated can't be pointed out. Nobody can see who they are and who they aren't or where they hang out or where they don't.

That dude pissing on your front porch may be very well realized. Stumbling around looking like a dumb ass. 

At the very least a liberated person has seen as much of divinity in shit as in a smile or a sunset. The liberated are liberated because they are not able to be anything else any longer. The mind has found a crux in freedom from mental constructs, which cannot be undone.


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: eve69]
    #9556391 - 01/06/09 07:41 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Uh, finally, I do not lecture on enlightenment as the very idea makes me rather ill. I will discuss it with people such as yourself who are questing as I have done. In some senses all religious traditions are based in fraud and nonrecognition of ones own nature. When once known is not able to be given or taken thus no tradition can own awakening or liberation, only the lonely practitioner can.

What one who quests should look to are records of past liberated who left their cliffnotes. Longchenpa is a jewel.

People in this world are of two sorts really. Those who bullshit others and so cannot see anything but bullshit, and those who desire truth and who rest in it.  It's hard to tell the two apart. So even in spiritual studies having some street smarts is beneficial.


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: eve69]
    #9556761 - 01/06/09 09:38 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

MM;
I am happy to differ
my premise remains that there is no permanent enlightenment,
even if other languages, and historical figures are brought into the equation;
but you can develop some pretty good habits using the practices.

separate from this, and from my habit (good or bad) of questioning authorities, I postulate that both the issues of re-incarnation and Nirvana have wended their way into Buddhism from the lineage with Hinduism.
they have wormed their way in to the extent that one often expects an enlightened person to remember past lives clearly, and anyone who cannot demonstrate that type of fluency is of lesser rank.

rank goes with authority, and i have some difficulty with that mystic angle as well as the rest of many mythologies.

are you comfortable with talking about past lives?


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Edited by redgreenvines (01/06/09 09:52 AM)

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: eve69]
    #9557163 - 01/06/09 11:12 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

eve69 said:
Uh, finally, I do not lecture on enlightenment as the very idea makes me rather ill. I will discuss it with people such as yourself who are questing as I have done. In some senses all religious traditions are based in fraud and nonrecognition of ones own nature. When once known is not able to be given or taken thus no tradition can own awakening or liberation, only the lonely practitioner can.

What one who quests should look to are records of past liberated who left their cliffnotes. Longchenpa is a jewel.

People in this world are of two sorts really. Those who bullshit others and so cannot see anything but bullshit, and those who desire truth and who rest in it.  It's hard to tell the two apart. So even in spiritual studies having some street smarts is beneficial.




Very nice to meet you:) I agree with almost every word of your two excellent posts - though of course I don't find talking, writing, or lecturing about enlightenment to be in any kind of conflict with the Path at all, and those I work with don't either. It's only through discussion that we can propagate the Dharma of any tradition and just as you say above, the truth is being lost, especially in the west.

As for Longchenpa, there are truly no others like him.
Emaho!:)

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9557271 - 01/06/09 11:38 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
MM;
I am happy to differ
my premise remains that there is no permanent enlightenment,
even if other languages, and historical figures are brought into the equation;
but you can develop some pretty good habits using the practices.




So we canjust agree to differ? Excellent, no sense in letting a point of difference stop this, this is a good discussion:)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
separate from this, and from my habit (good or bad) of questioning authorities, I postulate that both the issues of re-incarnation and Nirvana have wended their way into Buddhism from the lineage with Hinduism. .




I don't think anyone would disagree, the line between Buddhism and Hinduism is, at times, very thin, simply because Buddhism came out of Hinduism. Tantra fed from India to Tibet and became the essence of Vajrayana, etc. There's no doubting the connections. Another interesting thing is the fact that originally Hinduism was the same as Buddhism, and a non-theistic philosophy, which developed over time into what it is now. In a sense, Buddhism is almost a return to the early simplicity of Hinduism. So yes, you're right.

Things have developed in a lot of basic ideas along the way; Hindu reincarnation is just that, whereas in Buddhism it's re-birth and a different thing altogether - but there's no doubt that the idea of re-birth developed from an attempt to rationalise reincarnation.

In terms of Nirvana, yes, the same again. Buddha didn't claim to have invented the state or have had the world's first access to it, he just gave a new method of reaching it. His teachers will have been Hindu practitioners, describing their 'nirvana' as cosmic consciousness and merging with Brahman (iniitially as an ultimate essence rather than a god). That same idea is pretty much what having a full experience of non-duality (Kensho) is.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
they have wormed their way in to the extent that one often expects an enlightened person to remember past lives clearly, and anyone who cannot demonstrate that type of fluency is of lesser rank.




The ablity to remember past lives is something that a Buddha alone is able to do. I'm not sure of any other ranks where this would be possible.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
rank goes with authority, and i have some difficulty with that mystic angle as well as the rest of many mythologies.




I have quite a dislike of the 'mystical' myself, and authority too:) As I've said, I came to Buddhism as a cynic hoping to prove it all nonsense. I think it always pays to stay objective and not swallow anything word for word until you're satisfied that it's the truth.

Quote:

redgreenvines said:are you comfortable with talking about past lives?




Yes, of course, it could be interesting. I don't believe in Hindu reincarnation, just re-birth, but, yes, happy to. What do you have in mind?

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9557361 - 01/06/09 12:02 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

well,
if only Buddha is considered enlightened (therefore anyone else discussing it is being speculative),
and since he is not here as such,
would you say that nobody really remembers past lives (i.e. that such stories are  all speculative or delusional, or more aptly metaphorically descriptive of some other process, such as the procession of citta in the stream of consciousness (i.e. continuous rebirth))?


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9562406 - 01/07/09 03:05 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

well,
if only Buddha is considered enlightened (therefore anyone else discussing it is being speculative),
and since he is not here as such, would you say that nobody really remembers past lives (i.e. that such stories are  all speculative or delusional, or more aptly metaphorically descriptive of some other process, such as the procession of citta in the stream of consciousness (i.e. continuous rebirth))?


You ask seriously interesting questions:)

To give an answer that would be suitable for all branches of Buddhism would be hard unless I rambled on yet again for pages, but I'll try to explain briefly. I think the best bet is to put 'depending upon which branch we're talking about', before each of my statements:)

Buddha isn't considered to be the only enlightened being, there are those before and after him who have had the same attainments. Nagarjuna for instance was considered to be the second Buddha by many, Hui Neng was fully realised, etc., - tens of people in various traditions have reached 'full' enlightenment. But now the goalposts move slightly, because in say, Tibetan Buddhism, the final attainment is not just full enlightenment, but the gaining of the Rainbow Body as well (I wont go into what that is just now). In other traditions purely reaching Kensho is enlightenment, and in Hinduism the pinnacle is a Kensho-like experience of Cosmic Consciousness, which, although it does fade if you do nothing about it, the residual effect of such an experience can last for years. So we can only define full enlightenment within the context of the tradition we're talking about.

The effects of Buddhahood: some of the attributes of an enlightened person - like deep compassion - will appear on realisation and have risen in many people, other attributes only appear upon attainment of Buddhahood, so yes, certainly talking about former lives is, for we people down the bottom end, very speculative. Do we believe the Buddha when he said that he recalled past lives? As above in the Kalama Sutra, the Buddha asks us to believe nothing until it's proven to us, even his word, so it's a purely personal call. Bearing in mind though that I don't know what definition of re-birth you're using.

For me, even as an arch cynic, I used to think that it was purely metaphorical. But now I can certainly see the mechanism for it being real and I'm about 70% on-board, but it is nothing more than speculation. BTW, on this 'mechanism', as you seem very well read, are you aware of the Buddhist view of the 'basic' essence of reality as being awareness (a very loose term I'm using just for ease of explanation)?

Just as a matter of interest, this is regarding attainments.

"...The Kevatta Sutta (or Kevaddha) is a Buddhist scripture, one of the texts in the Digha Nikaya (long discourses collection)of the Pali Canon. The scripture takes its name from the householder Kevatta, who invites the Buddha to display various miraculous powers in order to show his spiritual superiority. The Buddha responds by expressing his belief that supernatural powers are not a valid measure of spiritual development, because they can be falsified through the use of charms and spells.

He goes on to deliver a discourse on virtue, expressing the belief that it is virtuous conduct, rather than supernatural developments, that display the superiority or spiritual development of a teacher. He also states that such practices will give rise to powers greater than those available to practitioners of traditional magic and austerities.

The scripture is significant to the study of Buddhism because it constitutes one of the clearest statements in the scriptures of the Buddha's opposition to the notion of magical power and supernatural abilities as the best indicator of truth or virtue. In setting out such a belief, the Buddha placed himself in opposition to much of the popular religious traditions derived from the Vedas, which often focused on the acquisition of supernatural powers as an ends unto itself, and as a means of measuring spiritual worthiness...."


Enumerations of special knowledges
In the Pali Canon, the higher knowledges are often enumerated in a group of six or of three types of knowledge.The six types of higher knowledges are:

"Higher powers", such as walking on water and through walls;
"Divine ear", that is, clairaudience;
"Mind-penetrating knowledge", that is, telepathy;
"Remember one's former abodes", that is, recalling ones own past lives;
"Divine eye" (dibba-cakkhu), that is, knowing others' karmic destinations; and, "Extinction of mental intoxicants", upon which arahantship follows

The attainment of these six higher powers is mentioned in a number of discourses, most famously the "Fruits of Contemplative Life Discourse". The first five powers are obtained through meditative concentration while the sixth is obtained through insight. The sixth type is the ultimate goal of Buddhism, which is the end of all suffering and destruction of all ignorance.

Similarly, the three knowledges or wisdoms are:
"Remembering one's former abodes"
"Divine eye"; and,
"Extinction of mental intoxicants"

While such powers are considered to be indicative of spiritual progress, Buddhism cautions against their indulgence or exhibition since such could divert one from the true path of obtaining suffering's release.
Buddha describes the following as siddhi powers.

Multiplying the body into many and into one again
Invisibility
Passing through solid objects as if space
Ability to rise and sink in the ground as if in the water
Walk on water as if land
Levitation
Touching anything at any distance (even the moon or sun)
Traveling to other worlds with or without the body

Parallels in other cultures
The first five types of Abhijna, are similar to the siddhis of yoga, mentioned in the Srimad Baghgavatam and by Pantanjali:

Knowing the past, present and future;
Tolerance of heat, cold and other dualities;
Knowing the minds of others;
Checking the influence of fire, sun, water, poison, and so on;
Remaining unconquered by others.

Sorry, I was determined this wouldn't be too long - but now compare the Buddhist list with the Hindu version:

Vibhuti Pada
Patanjali in the Vibhuti Pada of the Yoga Sutras, mentions many different vibhutis:
Knowledge of the past and future
Understanding the sounds (language) of all beings
Knowledge of previous existences
Knowing the minds of others
Invisibility
Suspending the ability of the body to be heard, touched, tasted, or smelled
Foreknowledge of the time of death
Strength of any attitude (such as friendliness)
Super strength (such as the strength of an elephant)
Knowledge of subtle, hidden, remote things
Knowledge of worlds, realms, universes, etc.
Knowledge of the arrangement of stars, planets, etc.
Knowledge of the movement of stars, planets, etc.
Knowledge of the arrangement of systems in the body
Freedom from hunger and thirst
Attainment of steadiness or immobility
Visions of Siddhas (perfected beings)
Knowledge of anything and everything
Knowledge of the mind
Knowledge of pure consciousness (purusha)
Psychic hearing, touch, vision, taste, and smell
Entering and controlling the bodies of others
Ability to float or walk on water, swamps, thorns, and other such objects
Ability to glow or radiate light around the body
Super hearing (hearing at vast distances)
Ability to fly
Mastery over the elements (earth, water, fire, air, space)
Making the body atomically small, indestructible, perfect
Perfection of the body in beauty, strength, grace, and brilliance
Mastery over the senses
Quickness of the mind, perception with the senses
Supremacy over all states of existence, omnipotence
Higher knowledge
Discriminating knowledge
Absolute freedom (kaivalyam)

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9562628 - 01/07/09 05:27 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
....As above in the Kalama Sutra, the Buddha asks us to believe nothing until it's proven to us, even his word, so it's a purely personal call. Bearing in mind though that I don't know what definition of re-birth you're using.

For me, even as an arch cynic, I used to think that it was purely metaphorical. But now I can certainly see the mechanism for it being real and I'm about 70% on-board, but it is nothing more than speculation. ....




this ties back to the comment about belief.

it establishes that even though it has not been proven to you, you are 70% in aggreeance (is this a word yet?) that there may be a mechanism of rebirth that only the Buddhas can tap into. (for consistency, let us say that a Buddha recalled rebirth is the only "kind" of birth under review and that a Buddha is an enlightened (is this still a word?) person).

regardless of the sects of Buddhism, we should consider, as in the thread title, that enlightenment among all sects philosophies and religions is actually the same issue (i still refuse to say STATE) which may be enjoyed by few, and speculated upon differently by many, to the degree that the speculation becomes sectarian (blind leading blind), which extends to the observation that living Buddhas are not core to any of these sects.

However, due to meditation and a kind of ascension (samadhi and integration - kensho?) among each sect are very charismatic individuals who's physical presence supports the "belief in scripture" and satisfies the "need to be led" and "tell me what I should think" aspects of the followers.

is this scenario more speculative than your "mechanism of rebirth"?

anyway you can answer off the cuff, I would encourage it, just exchanging personal ideas here.


--------------------
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9569086 - 01/08/09 03:33 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

RGV,

If at death everyone experiences parinibbana (unbinding), then the practice is pointless entertainment.


--------------------
As the life of a candle,
my wick will burn out.
But, the fire of my mind
shall beam into infinite.


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: psyka]
    #9569309 - 01/08/09 06:30 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

I find it very hard to accept any theories about after death experience, or rewards.
I strongly recommend turning away from making life decisions that are based upon those kinds of ideas:

for example,
Muslim suicide bombers believe a special martyr's welcome awaits them after their "noble" act.
aside from huge gaps in credibility,
and an unsuitable application of dubious "mystic" knowledge
(written or muttered by well meaning ignoramuses for hundreds of years),
everything else points to immense value in making this existence better.
even if there is an existence beyond this - more or less significant than this one - what we do here is relevant on its own terms and in its own context.
poetry also is of lasting value in this living context.

the practice is not about after death rewards, but about improving the character of events inside and outside of our limited sphere.
the work is here and now.

if you need to enable a meaning to words like perinibbana, I think you would do best to find their poetry in this life.

maybe between the dream states you will find your metaphors, but without simple meditation, you may not have the clarity to see it.


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: psyka]
    #9569333 - 01/08/09 06:52 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Thank you MainlyMind for your nice comments on my words. That alone was as rare as jewels.

And such a beautiful subject. I remember reading Patanjali when I was young and especially vibhuti pada wondering if I could do that. 

Reality however set in. I have met loads of spiritual aspirants from every stream and they all have no obvious sidhis.

Now as for special sidhis. You simply cannot know about that.  For instance when I recently discovered the song, "Moonlight Mile" by the Stones I played it a hundred times in a row as I drove around, and then it snowed here in New Orleans. And if you know the lyrics.  So that was quite a weird 'sidhi' if you will.  Maybe some others have sidhis that would blow your mind out of the water like the ability to simply change the trends of history.  And so on....

Uh, my main sidhi is I am able to work really fucked up and put out good food at the same time. But then we chefs strive all our lives for that ability.

So as we say in Vajrayana you go for mahasidhi of jnana primarily as a Buddhist.  We are not attaining sidhis for personal benefit and not for show in yogaolympics.

Since we all are sexual beings you should check to the sexual current of the teacher when you are with them, where it flows, up or down. Yes? This is the basis of shakti too yes? Sexual current can be made to flow to stimulate the mind of oneself and others. Shakti. We all know how it feels physically during sex. Some others have refined sight and see the natural flow of sexual energy which itself, as desire, directs the entire mind. Some of these who see that can open that sexuality up to the ultimate inner levels of perception and begin to represent, even sexually, very advanced spiritual realities. Maybe what I am discussing is particular to Buddhist tantras. At this level one isn't really interested in sidhis any longer. Mahamudra is itself enough. Quite simply.

Right now you mind is like that of a spiritual bachelor. In mahamudra you get hooked up.  May you be fortunate to meet spiritual tantric master who gives you permissions and consort.

Yama and Yami, may they be yummy.


--------------------
...or something






Edited by eve69 (01/08/09 07:05 AM)

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9570869 - 01/08/09 01:16 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

That all depends if you believe that calculation (thought) has form and thus location as its origin.


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my wick will burn out.
But, the fire of my mind
shall beam into infinite.


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: psyka]
    #9571028 - 01/08/09 01:42 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

yes thought forms are forms
calculation is a subset of that


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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9575405 - 01/09/09 02:48 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
Quote:

MainlyMind said:
....As above in the Kalama Sutra, the Buddha asks us to believe nothing until it's proven to us, even his word, so it's a purely personal call. Bearing in mind though that I don't know what definition of re-birth you're using.

For me, even as an arch cynic, I used to think that it was purely metaphorical. But now I can certainly see the mechanism for it being real and I'm about 70% on-board, but it is nothing more than speculation. ....




this ties back to the comment about belief.

it establishes that even though it has not been proven to you, you are 70% in aggreeance (is this a word yet?) that there may be a mechanism of rebirth that only the Buddhas can tap into.


No, we are all a part of the system of re-birth, it's not exclusive to Buddhas. Some would say that a very advanced being has more of himself reborn, in a similar way to reincarnation, but that again is a personal belief based on tradition. Remember that re-birth isn't a person themselves being re-born, or a spirit, returning to the earth in another form. All re-birth means is that the subtle tendencies that someone - or many someones - may 'kick-start' the character of another being after death.

That I've gone from being a non-believer to a 70%-er:) is based purely on things that I've experienced which have surprised me, and the fact that if reality is as we Buddhists believe, in a sense, awareness that transcends time and is everything, then to some extent you can appreciate that someone remembering aspects of former existences would not be that strange. 'Former existences' is really a bad term to use - think of it more that say five people's former propensities have helped create the emergence of a new being. That was a particularly awful explanation, but I hope you'll understand what I mean:) Some Buddhists don't beleive in it at all,some 100% - the point being that all Buddhists have free will and aren't honour bound to believe everything that our texts say until we ourselves are satisfied that it's true.


(for consistency, let us say that a Buddha recalled rebirth is the only "kind" of birth under review and that a Buddha is an enlightened (is this still a word?) person).

regardless of the sects of Buddhism, we should consider, as in the thread title, that enlightenment among all sects philosophies and religions is actually the same issue (i still refuse to say STATE)


Do you know, I think we've actually been arguing from the same side all along? :smile: I must have been putting this all very badly, because you're stance is mine and that of Buddhism too. Sorry for number-listing, it's a short way of replying:

1: Because I'm a Buddhist, I don't think that Buddhism holds sway over what is 'real' re-birth and what isn't. We share the same truth.

2) Sufism, Hinduism, etc., etc., are all talking about the same 'realisation', we are all in agreement that there is no other. Through translation, some Upanishads give the impression that merging with Brahman is merging with a god of some kind and therefore different, but the word 'god' is used in the context of an ultimate, impersonal reality that, by it's constant action (in the way that a field of energy radiates) leads to the apparent formation of our reality.

3) The place that Eastern realistion differs from Western ideas of it is where the problems arise, and the reason for me posting. As many here believe erroneously, Enlightenment is not just reaching a  state of bliss, or having a special dream, or becoming remarkably moral or wise. The East - all traditions - are using different terminology and methods to describe an experience of non-duality (see my next post:), not a level of wisdom.

4) I have little belief in the list of alleged siddhis I posted above either, it was purely for interest and to show the Hindu/Buddhist comparisons.

Overall I think we're both trying to say the same things.

which may be enjoyed by few, and speculated upon differently by many, to the degree that the speculation becomes sectarian (blind leading blind), which extends to the observation that living Buddhas are not core to any of these sects.

Not quite. The only place where it's speculated upon is in the West (there's even a magazine in the US called 'What Is Enlightenment?') - and TBH this will be a constant source of wonder and amusement to many in the East.:) As I said above, we all agree on what realisation is, and what Kensho is, even though say, in Hindusim the words Kensho and Satori don't appear as they're Japanese terms, but are instead labelled levels of Samadhi. Terminology differs for us all, but as we're all (Zen, Tantra, Ati, Raja, etc.)ultimately based on the Vedas, what we're 'looking for' is exactly the same.

Are there any cases of the blind leading the blind? Certainly, far too many, and in all traditions:) 

However, due to meditation and a kind of ascension (samadhi and integration - kensho?) among each sect are very charismatic individuals who's physical presence supports the "belief in scripture" and satisfies the "need to be led" and "tell me what I should think" aspects of the followers.

That attitude is definitely present in some forms of Buddhism, but it's more of a Hindu thing really. I hate to keep pointing a finger at we Westerners, but we encourage the kind of attitude you write about above and are all to eager to be led by the nose by every loon who claims to be able to help one get closer to god. I can think of lists of supposed 'gurus' - many commonly known as 'superior beings' -who have achieved massive fame and fortune over the last 100 years with no attainment whatsoever.

Meditation is unfortunately big business, and of course there are hundreds, of people taking advantage of the mentality of western seekers. It's sad, and the only way to counter it is to do what I'm hoping to do here, and show that anyone who claims to be realised has to have had a particular experience - or if fully enlightened, rest in a particular way. If they haven't, they have nothing.

The whole point of me being here is to try to clarify what 'realisation' is and isn't, so that if anyone should have the misfortune to meet such a Guru, then they will be forearmed to question him or her in the right way to assess their attainment- then run the other way if necessary, money and mentality intact:)

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9575423 - 01/09/09 03:00 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
I find it very hard to accept any theories about after death experience, or rewards.
I strongly recommend turning away from making life decisions that are based upon those kinds of ideas:




Again, my feelings exactly, and the reason I moved from Hinduism to Buddhism. Buddhism as about here and now, not some alleged future reward. Nirvana is an intermediate term used to illustrate the two truths, no Buddhist believes in it as a place, but as an understanding of this present reality. Paranirvana at death isn't something we're all happily galloping towards as a goal. This life for us is a great opportunity, and something we're admonished to experience and enjoy, despite its ultimate nature as a relative illusion.

I was brought up in a particularly Christian household, studied Theology (and still do), and even entertained my parents ideas that I should join the cloth for a while. But to base one's life on the vague hope that there is a divine purpose and a happy ending struck me as being ludicrous. Expect nothing, live in this moment, and do your best to make the existence of those around yourself joyous - to speculate beyond this is foolish.

>>the practice is not about after death rewards, but about improving the character of events inside and outside of our limited sphere.
the work is here and now.


if you need to enable a meaning to words like perinibbana, I think you would do best to find their poetry in this life.

maybe between the dream states you will find your metaphors, but without simple meditation, you may not have the clarity to see it.


Sorry, I'm not quite sure if this is intened towards me, as obviously I do meditate?

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: eve69]
    #9575433 - 01/09/09 03:06 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

eve69 said:
Thank you MainlyMind for your nice comments on my words. That alone was as rare as jewels.




But well deserved:)

Quote:

eve69 said:Right now you mind is like that of a spiritual bachelor. In mahamudra you get hooked up.  May you be fortunate to meet spiritual tantric master who gives you permissions and consort.

Yama and Yami, may they be yummy.




LOL! Yes, my time with Vajrayana was most interesting...:)

I passed through Mahamudra as an introduction to Dzogchen, I do wish more people were aware of it as a tradition. It's - and Dzogchen's - secrecy have in some respects led to our current misunderstanding of lower forms as being somehow the sole paths. Anyone with the vaguest ideas of heading towards realisation, I implore you to look at these traditions. I'm happy to help point anyone towards the basic texts.

MM

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Testing Attainment [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9575449 - 01/09/09 03:12 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Last post today, I promise:)
The following is useful guidance to help test a student's level of 'attainment', showing the 2 different ways that basic realisation can manifest. Although this is from a Tibetan perspective, the same will be found in Zen, Tantra, Ati, Hinduism, etc., using pretty much the same basis.

"...The Questions of the Contemplative Nyimo Gomchen and the Responses of Sakya Pandita

I reverently bow at the feet of the Holy Guru! The glorious Sakya Pandita wrote the following lines to Nyimo Gomchen, a contemplative filled with faith and spiritual aspiration, applying himself earnestly to his practice: In response to your questions:

In realizing the nature of the mind (Realisation), is there a complete grasp of the meaning of the Three Collections of Teachings and the Four Classes of Tantras?


There are two realizations: Realizing the emptiness of the mind, and realizing the union of apparent reality and the emptiness of mind. In realizing the emptiness of the mind, one does not fully grasp the meaning of the Three Collections of Teachings and the Four Classes of Tantras. With such realization one may fully comprehend the Cessation of a Listener (Shravaka), but since that cessation falls to the extreme of emptiness alone, one would not grasp the meaning of the Mahayana teachings. This is stated in all the Mahayana Sutras and Tantras. In realization of the union [of apparent reality and emptiness], there is no blemish of even the most subtle faults. It therefore holds the basis of morality, and the Collection of Vinaya is complete. Since the Heroic Samadhi and all other states of concentration arise [from such realization], the collection of Sutras is complete. Since it cognizes all knowable things, from form to the Omniscient Mind, the collection of Abhidharma is complete. And due to its comprehension of the special outer and inner dependently-related events, the Four Classes of Tantra are complete.

Are the Three Jewels complete in one's own mind? In the mere emptiness of the mind and the understanding of that emptiness, the Three Jewels are not complete. In the union of the cognition and emptiness of the mind, the seeds of the Three Jewels are complete. If one properly realizes the meaning of that union, the Three Jewels are manifestly complete.

Is a person who realizes the emptiness of the mind a Buddha?

One who has realized emptiness alone is not a Buddha. If one comprehends all knowable things, one is fully enlightened. Furthermore, there are two modes of comprehension, the comprehension that there is no realization of an ultimately (i.e. inherently) existent phenomenon; and the comprehension of all distinct, conventionally existent phenomena.

If one does not ascertain the mind, even though one accumulates merit, doesn't that [just] lead to temporary happiness?

If one does not realize the mode of existence of the mind - the meaning of emptiness - one cannot attain the joy of Liberation by means of one's collection of merit. Although that may act as a cause for the joys up to the Peak of Cyclic Existence, the collection of merit is not perfected, And, on the other hand, if one does not have knowledge of knowable objects but only realization of the emptiness of the mind, how can one be a Buddha? If that were possible, there would be Buddhas in the Nirvana of Listeners, for which there is realization of emptiness alone, and there would also be Buddhas in empty space. But how could there be Buddhas there? Thus the assertion of all the Sutras and Tantras is that Buddhahood occurs through knowledge of all knowable objects and through realization that there is no inherent nature to be realized, i.e. knowing that of which there is nothing to be known,

At what point does one have the certainty of attaining Enlightenment?

Some people realize the emptiness of the mind alone, but have not perfected the qualities of the Method aspect of the training. Some have such qualities, but do not realize the emptiness of the mind. Some have both, but they are not able to guide their practice of the Method with their knowledge. Some have the other qualities, but since they lack the lineage of blessing, they are unable to generate the Clear Appearance. Thus, I fear that Buddhahood is far from them. Since I have a number of these attributes, I hope to attain Enlightenment, but not by the swift means.


This concludes my responses to the questions of the contemplative Nyimo Gomchen.

(This unedited translation was prepared under the guidance of Lama Tashi Namgyal by B. Alan Wallace (Gelong Jhampa Kelsang) at ©Sakya Thubten Kunga Choling in Victoria, B.C., August 1984).

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9575620 - 01/09/09 05:23 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
Quote:

redgreenvines said:
I find it very hard to accept any theories about after death experience, or rewards.
I strongly recommend turning away from making life decisions that are based upon those kinds of ideas:




Again, my feelings exactly, and the reason I moved from Hinduism to Buddhism. Buddhism as about here and now, not some alleged future reward. Nirvana is an intermediate term used to illustrate the two truths, no Buddhist believes in it as a place, but as an understanding of this present reality. Paranirvana at death isn't something we're all happily galloping towards as a goal. This life for us is a great opportunity, and something we're admonished to experience and enjoy, despite its ultimate nature as a relative illusion....

Sorry, I'm not quite sure if this is intened towards me, as obviously I do meditate?

MM



no, it was [Re:  psyka] (you can tell to whom the replies are in the small title bar to each comment - sometimes it gets confused)
but you excised my compelling illustration about the suicide bombers, ahh.. me...


Quote:


MainlyMind said:....
Is a person who realizes the emptiness of the mind a Buddha?

One who has realized emptiness alone is not a Buddha. If one comprehends all knowable things, one is fully enlightened. Furthermore, there are two modes of comprehension, the comprehension that there is no realization of an ultimately (i.e. inherently) existent phenomenon; and the comprehension of all distinct, conventionally existent phenomena.
....



In this gem of a summation, the comprehension of all things knowable is added as a qualification to "enlightenment".

Contextually, one would need to impute that all things knowable means all things knowable to the being in question via means available, which means in human living terms:
sustainable awareness or the middle way.
and this is always an open(ing) file.

so enlightenment is not a state,
and since it is not a state thing - but a path thing,
it cannot be attained, but it can be pursued or followed.


--------------------
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Offlinethefarside
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9578120 - 01/09/09 04:56 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

MainlyMind said:
Anyone with the vaguest ideas of heading towards realisation, I implore you to look at these traditions. I'm happy to help point anyone towards the basic texts.

MM




I have not heard that anyone with ideas of heading towards realisation should be encouraged. Us Western ¨seekers¨ bring a strong habit energy of materialism to everything we do, and I think it is helpful not to spend any time thinking about Enlightenment as something special or outside ourselves. Just practice with patience, without trying to gain anything at all.

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: thefarside]
    #9612528 - 01/15/09 01:37 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


MainlyMind said:....
Is a person who realizes the emptiness of the mind a Buddha?

One who has realized emptiness alone is not a Buddha. If one comprehends all knowable things, one is fully enlightened. Furthermore, there are two modes of comprehension, the comprehension that there is no realization of an ultimately (i.e. inherently) existent phenomenon; and the comprehension of all distinct, conventionally existent phenomena.
....


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In this gem of a summation, the comprehension of all things knowable is added as a qualification to "enlightenment".

Contextually, one would need to impute that all things knowable means all things knowable to the being in question via means available, which means in human living terms:
sustainable awareness or the middle way.
and this is always an open(ing) file.

Sorry, I'm not quite getting your meaning here or your conclusion below? Would you mind saying it in another way? Nothing needs to be sustained once realisation is reached, that's the point. Also, I'm not sure about your reference to the Middle Way here? This path is a preliminary, where meditation and cause and effect methods are used. At higher levels there is no cause and effect mediation.

>>so enlightenment is not a state,
and since it is not a state thing - but a path thing,
it cannot be attained, but it can be pursued or followed.

I think I may be seeing where you're coming from, but I don't want to jump to any conclusions.

On one hand there's the state of Kensho, which may lead one to a state of Satori, which is an ongoing understanding of 'self-nature' which does not come or go or need to be propagated, which leads to an actual state of continual self-arising Samahdi. The experience of 'knowledge of all things' may be restricted in some (as the text above says) to arising within that first experience of enlightenment alone; but in others it continues to arise randomly after the state has come and gone. As an experience that certainly comes and goes, but as knowledge, and the ongoing effect that it has on you with no further application, it can't leave.

Yes, there are 'states' that come and go, but the main aspects of enlightenment aren't restricted to happening just within the confines of a single or multiple experience of a state, but are ongoing and unsought, and at this point the practitioner is not actually meditating in the normal sense any more. There is no meditation and some special state to enter, then leave, as you remain in it through the means of 'no more meditation'.

You're right in one way - enlightenment isn't one 'state' (implying something that needs to be enter and thusly can be left or lapse), but all states.

Can you tell me what part of the above you don't agree with? I'm not quite sure anymore, as I think I may have misunderstood you:)

MM

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: thefarside]
    #9612559 - 01/15/09 01:49 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

thefarside said:
Quote:

MainlyMind said:
Anyone with the vaguest ideas of heading towards realisation, I implore you to look at these traditions. I'm happy to help point anyone towards the basic texts.

MM




I have not heard that anyone with ideas of heading towards realisation should be encouraged. Us Western ¨seekers¨ bring a strong habit energy of materialism to everything we do, and I think it is helpful not to spend any time thinking about Enlightenment as something special or outside ourselves. Just practice with patience, without trying to gain anything at all.




I would agree. Practice meditation without hope or fear and solely for the benefits it brings, not permanently seeking a goal of realisation that may or may not come about, thus leading to more of the unhappiness that people are trying to transcend. Enlightenment, beyond 'experiences' is understanding the true nature of self and reality (usually only fully gained within such an experience), and simply living that knowledge, with no need to move from the very spot you occupy right now.

However, what I am saying is that for those interested in what enlightenment is then it will pay to read particular texts and treatises - and I'm very happy to encourage people to do so. No matter how ultimately flawed 'seeking' realisation may be, there are thousands of people trying to do just that, and until they have read the right works regarding what it is they will not know how to progress correctly, or why, ultimately trying to find realisation is flawed. They have to gain that level of understanding themselves, initially through seeking, and it's not our place to say don't do it, don't think about or try for it. They have to be allowed to have the excitement of potential and exploration to give them the impetus to begin practice, and allowed to begin the Path as seekers and make mistakes in an effort to understand what enlightenment is.

Don't 'try' for enlightenment, no, but it will certainly pay to discuss it and understand it:)

MM

Edited by MainlyMind (01/15/09 02:53 AM)

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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: MainlyMind]
    #9612834 - 01/15/09 03:59 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

understanding mind, one can understand real things that clearly happen in mind
abhidhamma helps
all the parts that go into a mind moment are discussed and the procession of mind moments are also discussed which helps unveil a stream of consciousness.
on the other hand
psychedelics, and dreams as well as neurophysiology teach us what states are, the passing phases that can be experienced:
we can see that states of mind which occur in dreams,  meditative absorptions, and psychedelics are very much the same (the citta - content, and state shift cause are different, but the state (additional vibrancy from slower fading) is the same thing):

the compelling distractions and visions from meditation (mara) are made of the same mind material as those in dreams and psychedelic visions and they are dependent upon the state of mind.

through analysis, state of mind is revealed to be only about how layered mind is:
normally each citta fades within 1/15th of a second, but if encouraged to linger (by emotional experience, meditative absorptions, psychedelic, or dreaming) they can fade more slowly and mind moments stack up over eachother, enriching experience.

the amount of stacking relates to the degree of stonedness, the order and type of visioning, this is the STATE of mind, how stacked it is.


the linkage between citta is association, things that happen together are associated, and things that are similar are associated.
citta can be largely memory based or largely sensory based, and usually a large component of each is involved.
this is the sticky aspect of mind, the degree of attachment that can never be escaped (sangsara in a nutshell), but it can be worked with (the way).

you can have a procession of citta (mind moments) in any state of mind, although in the most layered states the procession is difficult to follow, and the sense of time is obstructed, forms are indistinguishable and a sense of self is obliterated, with memory formation defeated as well - amnesia.

all of that is part of the human condition (many other beings as well including dogs etc.).

you can have an enlightened being who has a stream of consciousness like all the rest of us experiencing states of mind like all the rest of us: emotions, meditative absorptions, intoxication, dreams etc.

I have difficulty listening to either Buddhists, Hindus or drug users declare that enlightenment is a STATE or a state of mind which you can achieve (spiritual materialism or spiritual basketball);
or that it is any one particular thing, not only because I know what a state is,
but because at the next turn they will use the same terms contradictorily to their own satisfaction to mean something else.

changing the rules like that engenders a kind of schizophrenia, and, naturally that in turn will lead to a state of mind with more layering, and it may quickly produce a kind of reward to the forked tongued speaker enriching their experience of the world.

its a little bit nuts.
word meanings that conflict bring up really weird communication problems.

{note: except for the basics about citta etc. I think abhidhamma, which was the best psychological science at the time (500 years back or more), goes flakey, and the parts about stream returning etc. could be called a bit speculative, again this is the part where they talk about buddhas and bodhisattvas}


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:confused: _ :brainfart:🧠  _ :finger:

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Offlineeve69
--=..Did Adam and ...?=--
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Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 3,910
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Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: redgreenvines]
    #9613133 - 01/15/09 06:55 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Thanks again for kind words. 

Enlightenment is very difficult, also, not very difficult, however it has nothing to stick to so one somehow works with the path. The instantaneous blessing of Buddhism is lack of abstraction to some future time and direct observation of the moment.  Of course this also is difficult, the more so as one gets older and more materialized.

As said, we westerners tend to materialize our energies and I must somehow agree. Thus in sadhanas I chose one with absolutely no purpose but to celebrate life. I figured if karma lends our mind its stability I would stabilize in celebration. Thus some think I am a wastrel. In Nepal I would go over fairly well. But my main point was to maintain absolute clarity I chose a sadhana of perfect clarity with no purpose. 

Thus some would say I have completely dropped out and lost touch, while within I have entirely found the celestial palaces and their tenants and they play harmonies that compete until I have to shut it all out and just get back to living again.  That sounded really pompous and spiritual, and while true it's also false as my spiritual realizations as many as they were were pretty useless as far as this material world goes. I have attained no help, success, or anything else from my sadhana. 

But I remain pure in utter pointlessness and I have time to serve others if I choose. Or just to sit at a fucking bar.  Don't be surprised if when you come to NOLA you meet me and a lama drunk as skunks somewhere. That still sounded really pompous and I am sorry. I wonder if this cup of coffee is raising my blood pressure?  I feel sort of hyper.

Jesus, I watched that Benjamin Buttons movie and I wanted to kill myself. That was the most depressing movie in history.  I'm scared to watch The Wrestler. I have been depressed lately so I am watching movies to death. Just like a mawkish old woman.


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...or something






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OfflineDiaboleros
Devil's spawn

Registered: 07/20/08
Posts: 1,856
Last seen: 7 years, 20 days
Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: eve69]
    #9613874 - 01/15/09 11:10 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Isn't the process to enlightenment infinite? Or is there actually a point where the process stops, and you can say, "ok I'm enlightened, I'm done"? I always thought, no matter how enlightened you are, you can always get more enlightened? Or is this not true?

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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 38,608
Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Diaboleros]
    #9614094 - 01/15/09 11:46 AM (15 years, 4 months ago)

seems the way of it


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InvisibleIndigenous
Stranger

Registered: 01/08/09
Posts: 814
Loc: Celestial Realm
Re: Enlightenment/Realisation [Re: Diaboleros]
    #9614316 - 01/15/09 12:17 PM (15 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Diaboleros said:
Isn't the process to enlightenment infinite? Or is there actually a point where the process stops, and you can say, "ok I'm enlightened, I'm done"? I always thought, no matter how enlightened you are, you can always get more enlightened? Or is this not true?




I would say there is a long process to get to enlightenment. Once you are there, you are there. Just ask the Buddha.

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