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Recently I got to speak with an enlightened master and ask what enlightenment is.


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#97 Informer

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:01 AM

It's in my opinion that anyone who claims enlightenment is missing the fact that "you" don't become enlightened ever. So anyone who says that "I am enlightened" is not enlightened. Saying "I am enlightened" is not only arrogant by claiming some sort of superiority and even inferring it, it is simply not how it works or how it is ever described. Awakened is not equivalent to enlightenment, although to a common untrained observer, they would not know the difference between awakening and enlightenment because enlightenment is beyond preponderance until after awakening. Everything that I have seen and read seems to say that there is not something separate from the universe to be something other than the universe.

If a Buddha teach there is not a "self" then a self cannot be enlightened.
Buddha teaches there is not a self.
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Therefore a self can not be enlightened.

Edited by Informer, 08 May 2012 - 03:03 AM.


#98 styrofoamdog

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:00 PM

At that time, Mañjuśrī addressed the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān, I contemplate the true Dharma, unconditioned and without characteristics, without obtaining and without benefit, without birth and without death, without coming and without going, without one who knows, without one who perceives, and without one who acts. There is no perceiving Prajñāpāramitā, nor perceiving a realm of Prajñāpāramitā, being neither realization nor non-realization. It is not composing conceptual elaborations, and is without discrimination. All dharmas are endless, and apart from any end. There is no Ordinary Person Dharma, Śrāvaka Dharma, Pratyekabuddha Dharma, or Buddha Dharma. There is neither attainment nor non-attainment, neither abandoning birth and death, nor realizing Nirvāṇa. It is neither conceivable nor inconceivable, neither doing nor non-doing. Such is the characteristic of the Dharma. How then should one learn Prajñāpāramitā?” At that time, the Buddha said to Mañjuśrī, “If one is able to thusly know the characteristics of the Dharma, this is what is called learning Prajñāpāramitā. Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas who wish to learn the Bodhi Sovereign Samādhi, and having attained this samādhi, illuminate all extremely profound Buddha dharmas, as well as know the names of all buddhas, and in each case thoroughly understand the various buddha world realms without obstruction, should learn this Prajñāpāramitā spoken by Mañjuśrī.” Mañjuśrī addressed the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān, for what reason is it called Prajñāpāramitā?” The Buddha said, “Prajñāpāramitā is limitless and endless, nameless and without characteristics, not conceptualizing, neither taking refuge nor being an island, without offense and without merit, without darkness and without light, completely without division yet limitless in number. This is what is called Prajñāpāramitā, and it is also called the field of action of a bodhisattva-mahāsattva.”



#99 Mandrake

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:21 PM

:-) It has been a few years. I hope all is well with you...?

Amituofo!


All is well, lots of fruition in my practice. I hope to be able to visit you and learn some Wing Chun from you in the not too distant future.

My warmest regards
Mandrake

#100 林愛偉

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:56 PM

All is well, lots of fruition in my practice. I hope to be able to visit you and learn some Wing Chun from you in the not too distant future.

My warmest regards
Mandrake



Very good to hear! Wish you the best in cultivation.

As for Wing Chun, very cool! You know I left my Wing Chun teacher, resigned from his line, under him, due to lots of double-talk and behind the back problems he brought. So I do not claim his lineage, and though the manner of what is taught is similar, I did change much of the practice formats for the form and "re-disigned" the forms for more internal cultivation, as well as application.

You can check my updates on the website:
www.wix.com/jingxintang/jingxinyuan?ref=nf#!

Lin Ai Wei


归真哲文网上学会

Gui Zhen Philo-Cultural Online Society


#101 Thunder_Gooch

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:40 AM


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#102 Thunder_Gooch

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:40 AM




Why Not

Spiritual enlightenment sits next to an empty milk carton on an orange lunch tray in a grade-school cafeteria.

It's lying in the grass in a ditch beside a rusting hubcap.

It's on the button holding closed the left cuff of a somewhat important man's shirt.

Enlightenment can be found next to the elevator on the fourth level of the airport parking garage.

You can ask your dog for it, but he may not give it to you.

Look for it next to the pen in the pocket of the checkout girl's red vest. But only on Wednesdays.

Enlightenment is in the trunk, behind the jack.

You can hear it in the squeak of a hinge on the door at the local library.

It's in the breeze blowing unheard through an unseen tree.

It's in the space after the exhale and before the inhale.
You can find enlightenment in church, in that scratch on the back of the pew in front of you.
You can find it in the desert, just before the wind picks it up again.

Enlightenment is nothing.
Delusion is the greatest wonder.

Enlightenment was in your coffee cup before you poured in the coffee.
Now it's in your coffee cup.
Two point two billion years before your coffee cup was created, Enlightenment was in your coffee cup.
An hour and fifteen minutes after time swallows the universe, Enlightenment will be in your coffee cup.


You've always known where it is because it's exactly where you left it.

How can you not return to a place you never left?
You are dreaming that you are unenlightened.
You are dreaming that you are awake.

The question is: Why?
The answer is: Why not?


-Jed McKenna


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#103 Thunder_Gooch

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:37 AM

"Truly speaking, nothingness is what we want to talk about when we talk about the spiritual only it’s all been ignored, it’s been put down, saying oh, bleah! nothingness! Heaven preserve us from that! But… that’s where the secret lies! And obviously the secret always lies in the place you never think of looking for it!” -Alan Watts



The essence of your mind is intrinsically pure. Pure means clear, void.

See? If you think of this idea of nothingness as mere blankness, and you hold onto this idea of blankness then kind of grizzly about it, you haven't understood it. Nothingness is really like the nothingness of space, which contains the whole universe. All the sun and the stars and the mountains, and rivers, and the good men and bad men, and the animals, and insects, and the whole bit. All are contained in void. So out of this void comes everything and you are it. What else could you be?"

-Alan Watts




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You will find that when Buddhists use the word 'mind' they mean space. See, space is your mind. It's very difficult for us to see that because we think we're IN space, and look out at it." -Alan Watts


Edited by More_Pie_Guy, 16 May 2012 - 08:38 AM.

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#104 flowing hands

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 10:43 AM

Enlightenment has substance and form, it is this that separates it from emptiness and nothingness!
www.life-in-crisis.info

The world is coming to an end, lets give love and life a chance and unite all peoples in belief in nature and the way.

#105 Thunder_Gooch

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 01:31 PM

Nothingness

by Alan Watts



When I consider the weirdest of all things I can think of, do you know what it is? Nothing. The whole idea of nothing is something that has bugged people for centuries, especially in the Western world. We have a saying in Latin, Ex nihilo nihil fit, which means, "Out of nothing comes nothing." In other words, you can't get something out of nothing. It's occurred to me that this is a fallacy of tremendous proportions. It lies at the root of all our common sense, not only in the West, but in many parts of the East as well. It manifests as a kind of terror of nothing, a putdown on nothing, a putdown on everything associated with nothing such as sleep, passivity, rest, and even the feminine principle which is often equated with the negative principle (although women's lib people don't like that kind of thing, when they understand what I'm saying I don't think they'll object). To me, nothing—the negative, the empty—is exceedingly powerful. I would say, not Ex nihilo nihil fit, but, "You can't have something without nothing."
How do we basically begin to think about the difference between something and nothing? When I say there is a cigar in my right hand and there is no cigar in my left hand, we get the idea of is, something, and isn't, nothing. At the basis of this reasoning lies the far more obvious contrast of solid and space. We tend to think of space as nothing; when we talk about the conquest of space there's a little element of hostility. But actually, we're talking about the conquest of distance. Space or whatever it is that lies between the earth and the moon, and the earth and the sun, is considered to be just nothing at all.
But to suggest how very powerful and important this nothing at all is, let me point out that if you didn't have space, you couldn't have anything solid. Without space outside the solid you wouldn't know where the solid's edges were. For example, you can see me in a photograph because you see a background and that background shows up my outline. But if it weren't there, then I and everything around me would merge into a single, rather peculiar mass. You always have to have a background of space to see a figure. The figure and the background, the solid and the space, are inseparable and go together.
We find this very commonly in the phenomenon of magnetism. A magnet has a north pole and a south pole— there is no such thing as a magnet with one pole only. Supposing we equate north with is and south with isn't. You can chop the magnet into two pieces, if it's a bar magnet, and just get another north pole and south pole, another is and isn't, on the end of each piece.
What I am trying to get into basic logic is that there isn't a sort of fight between something and nothing. Everyone is familiar with the famous words of Hamlet, "To be or not to be, that is the question." It isn't; to be or not to be is not the question. Because you can't have a solid without space. You can't have an is without an isn't, a something without a nothing, a figure without a background. And we can turn that round, and say, "You can't have space without solid."
Imagine nothing but space, space, space, space with nothing in it, forever. But there you are imagining it and you're something in it. The whole idea of there being only space, and nothing else at all, is not only inconceivable but perfectly meaningless, because we always know what we mean by contrast.
We know what we mean by white in comparison with black. We know life in comparison with death. We know pleasure in comparison with pain, up in comparison with down. But all these things must come into being together. You don't have first something and then nothing or first nothing and then something. Something and nothing are two sides of the same coin. If you file away the tails side of a coin completely, the heads side of it will disappear as well. So in this sense, the positive and negative, the something and the nothing, are inseparable—they go together. The nothing is the force whereby the something can be manifested.
We think that matter is basic to the physical world. And matter has various shapes. We think of tables as made of wood as we think of pots as made of clay. But is a tree made of wood in the same way a table is? No, a tree is wood; it isn't made of wood. Wood and tree are two different names for the same thing.
But there is in the back of our mind, the notion, as a root of common sense, that everything in the world is made of some kind of basic stuff. Physicists, through centuries, have wanted to know what that was. Indeed, physics began as a quest to discover the basic stuff out of which the world is made. And with all our advances in physics we've never found it. What we have found is not stuff but form. We have found shapes. We have found structures. When you turn up the microscope and look at things expecting to see some sort of stuff, you find instead form, pattern, structure. You find the shape of crystals, beyond the shapes of crystals you find molecules, beyond molecules you find atoms, beyond atoms you find electrons and positrons between which there are vast spaces. We can't decide whether these electrons are waves or particles and so we call them wavicles.
What we will come up with will never be stuff, it will always be a pattern. This pattern can be described, measured, but we never get to any stuff for the simple reason there isn't any. Actually, stuff is when you see something unclearly or out of focus, fuzzy. When we look at it with the naked eye it looks just like goo. We can't make out any significant shape to it. But when you put it under the microscope, you suddenly see shapes. It comes into clear focus as shape.
And you can go on and on, looking into the nature of the world and you will never find anything except form. Think of stuff; basic substance. You wouldn't know how to talk '' about it; even if you found it, how would you describe what it was like? You couldn't say anything about a structure in it, you couldn't say anything about a pattern or a process in it, because it would be absolute, primordial goo.
What else is there besides form in the world? Obviously, between the significant shapes of any form there is space. And space and form go together as the fundamental things we're dealing with in this universe. The whole of Buddhism is based on a saying, "That which is void is precisely form, and that which is form is precisely void." Let me illustrate this to you in an extremely simple way. When you use the word clarity, what do you mean? It might mean a perfectly polished lens, or mirror, or a clear day when there's no smog and the air is perfectly transparent like space.
What's the next thing clarity makes you think of? You think of form in clear focus, all the details articulate and perfect. So the one word clarity suggests to you these two apparently completely different things: the clarity of the lens or the mirror, and the clarity of articulate form. In this sense, we can take the saying "Form is void, void is form" and instead of saying is, say implies, or the word that I invented goeswith. Form always goeswith void. And there really isn't,, in this whole universe, any substance.
Form, indeed, is inseparable from the idea of energy, and form, especially when it's moving in a very circumscribed area, appears to us as solid. For example, when you spin an electric fan the empty spaces between the blades sort of disappear into a blur, and you can't push a pencil, much less your finger, through the fan. So in the same way, you can't push your finger through the floor because the floor's going too fast. Basically, what you have down there is nothing and form in motion.
I knew of a physicist at the University of Chicago who was rather crazy like some scientists, and the idea of the insolidity, the instability of the physcial world, impressed him so much that he used to go around in enormous padded slippers for fear he should fall through the floor. So this commonsense notion that the world is made of some kind of substance is a nonsense idea—it isn't there at all but is, instead, form and emptiness.
Most forms of energy are vibration, pulsation. The energy of light or the energy of sound are always on and off. In the case of very fast light, very strong light, even with alternating current you don't notice the discontinuity because your retina retains the impression of the on pulse and you can't notice the off pulse except in very slow light like an arc lamp. It's exactly the same thing with sound. A high note seems more continuous because the vibrations are faster than a low note. In the low note you hear a kind of graininess because of the slower alternations of on and off.
All wave motion is this process, and when we think of waves, we think about crests. The crests stand out from the underlying, uniform bed of water. These crests are perceived as the things, the forms, the waves. But you cannot have the emphasis called a crest, the concave, without the de-emphasis, or convex, called the trough. So to have anything standing out, there must be something standing down or standing back. We must realize that if you had this part alone, the up part, that would not excite your senses because there would be no contrast.
The same thing is true of all life together. We shouldn't really contrast existence with nonexistence, because actually, existence is the alternation of now-you-see-it/now-you-don't, now-you-see-it/now-you-don't, now-you-see-it/now-you-don't. It is that contrast that presents the sensation of there being anything at all.
Now, in light and sound the waves are extraordinarily rapid so that we don't hear or see the interval between them. But there are other circumstances in which the waves are extraordinarily slow, as in the alternation of day and night, light and darkness, and the much vaster alternations of life and death. But these alternations are just as necessary to the being of the universe as in the very fast motions of light and sound, and in the sense of solid contact when it's going so rapidly that we notice only continuity or the is side. We ignore the intervention of the isn't side, but it's there just the same, just as there are vast spaces within the very heart of the atom.
Another thing that goes along with all this is that it's perfectly obvious that the universe is a system which is aware of itself. In other words, we, as living organisms, are forms of the energy of the universe just as much as the stars and the galaxies, and, through our sense organs, this system of energy becomes aware of itself.
But to understand this we must again relate back to our basic contrast between on and off, something and nothing, which is that the aspect of the universe which is aware of itself, which does the awaring, does not see itself. In other words, you can't look at your eyes with your eyes. You can't observe yourself in the act of observing. You can't touch the tip of a finger with the tip of the same finger no matter how hard you try. Therefore, there is on the reverse side of all observation a blank spot; for example, behind your eyes from the point of view of your eyes. However you look around there is blankness behind them. That's unknown. That's the part of the universe which does not see itself because it is seeing.
We always get this division of experience into one-half known, one-half unknown. We would like to know, if we could, this always unknown. If we examine the brain and the structure of the nerves behind the eyes, we're always looking at somebody else's brain. We're never able to look at our own brain at the same time we're investigating somebody else's brain.
So there is always this blank side of experience. What I'm suggesting is that the blank side of experience has the same relationship to the conscious side as the off principle of vibration has to the on principle. There's a fundamental division. The Chinese call them the yang, the positive side, and the yin, the negative side. This corresponds to the idea of one and zero. All numbers can be made of one and zero as in the binary system of numbers which is used for computers.
And so it's all made up of off and on, and conscious and unconscious. But the unconscious is the part of experience which is doing consciousness, just as the trough manifests the wave, the space manifests the solid, the background manifests the figure. And so all that side of life which you call unconscious, unknown, impenetrable, is unconscious, unknown, impenetrable because it's really you. In other words, the deepest you is the nothing side, is the side which you don't know.
So, don't be afraid of nothing. I could say, "There's nothing in nothing to be afraid of." But people in our culture are terrified of nothing. They're terrified of death; they are uneasy about sleep, because they think it's a waste of time. They have a lurking fear in the back of their minds that the universe is eventually going to run down and end in nothing, and it will all be forgotten, buried and dead. But this is a completely unreasonable fear, because it is just precisely this nothing which is always the source of something.
Think once again of the image of clarity, crystal clear. Nothing is what brings something into focus. This nothing, symbolized by the crystal, is your own eyeball, your own consciousness.

Edited by More_Pie_Guy, 16 May 2012 - 01:36 PM.

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#106 Thunder_Gooch

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 02:25 PM

"Your body is empty; emptiness is your body. Emptiness
is nothing but your body, and your body is nothing but emptiness."

"Every existing thing is emptiness."


"There are no eyes; no ears; no nose; no tongue; no body; no mind; nothing to see; nothing to hear; nothing to smell; nothing to taste; nothing to touch; and nothing to think of."


"There is no part of you that sees. There is no part of you that is aware of what you see; and this is true all the way up to the part of you that thinks, and the part of you that is aware that you are thinking."

-Buddha (quoted from The Heart Sutra)


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#107 Mokona

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:42 AM

Does anyone consider enlightenment to be a biological phenomina?
Reality is awesome.

#108 Randy M.

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:23 PM

Does anyone consider enlightenment to be a biological phenomina?


The path to enlightenment, or the practice of meditation, has biological consequences to the practitioner, as measured by brain and body chemistry. .....and brain electrical output. Lots of research has established that phenomenon and I won't rehash all of that.

Also, I believe that there are inductive changes in the energy fields of people surrounding realized beings, leading to unconscious learning and biological changes as well. This is where the teacher teaches without teaching. This phenomenon is also called transmission. Regarding remote influencing of people's biology by masters, Lynne McTaggert has written a book documenting much of that research called The Field.

#109 Wayfarer

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:05 AM

Hi Guys,

Just some points:

1) I have heard a lot of people who say that if a person says they are enlightened then that means they are not - well Buddha said he was Awakened (as you know same thing) hence the name Buddha. So the person at the core of this religion thinks it's okay to admit to being enlightened.

2) When you experience enlightenment it is not something you work out intellectually but something you notice about the world you have always overlooked. If you are not Awake the world is different than how it appears to you - this is the ignorance and delusion Buddha spoke of and is why he explained the 4 Noble Truths as his first teaching because central to that teaching and all of his teachings (as they are in fact a single teaching) is RIGHT VIEW. You either have it or you don't. How did Buddha Awaken? He noticed something different about the planet Venus in the morning sky and then saw that 'presence' alight in all things because all things are a single thing.

3) There is no Karma, no cause and effect, nothing changes. Nothing is impermanent. Only our deluded mind thinks the world changes. This is how a Buddha steps off the wheel of Cause and Effect and ends Karma because such a person notices there is only ONE. There can't be both Oneness and Cause and Effect.

4) The word Emptiness is used because an Awakened person is 'empty' of distinctions. There is not a Void and a You, or a Universe you are part of. What you ARE is Buddha-Nature. Jesus saw Buddha-Nature in the sky while being baptised and called it God, Lao Tsu noticed it in trees and named it Tao, Moses saw it alight in a bush and called it Yahweh (or something like that), Mary Magdelene noticed Christ in the cave after the death of Jesus, Boddhidharma saw Christ in a cave after 9-years of practice and called it Zen and is why Soto Zen practitioners sit facing a wall - not to have their eyes closed in meditation but to notice something about the wall they are currently overlooking.

5) When you are enlightened you know neither enlightenment or you exist. For you to exist is to see you as other when this cannot be. There is only One, so what calls it the One? When there is only One there is in fact nothing. Empty of distinctions as to make something distinct more than one thing is required. When enlightened you know no enlightenment exists because this is also a distinction. All that happens is you notice the presence of True-Essence, God, Buddha-Nature, True-Self, Tao whatever name you give it, only one thing is being referred to. Whether enlightened or not, you are no different. What is sought after is everywhere you look.

The person who thinks of himself as Enlightened sounds to me like they are. I have experienced the same state of Oneness. This Truth is not true at all. What makes it True is the fact mankind is blind to what is within and without him and therefore is left making distinctions. It is found in silence and stillness (as what is holy colours everything with the same hue - that of being settled) - this is why we meditate and have silent contemplation. To Notice.

Hope this helps

Heath

Edited by Wayfarer, 22 May 2012 - 11:14 AM.

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#110 Informer

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:21 PM

1) I have heard a lot of people who say that if a person says they are enlightened then that means they are not - well Buddha said he was Awakened (as you know same thing) hence the name Buddha. So the person at the core of this religion thinks it's okay to admit to being enlightened.


It is semantics, but you might find something of interest.

When the Buddha started to wander around India shortly after his enlightenment, he encountered several men who recognized him to be a very extraordinary being. They asked him: "Are you a god?" "No," he replied. "Are you a reincarnation of god?" "No," he replied."Are you a wizard, then?" "No." "Well, are you a man?" "No." "So what are you?" They asked, being very perplexed. Buddha simply replied: "I am awake."

http://college.uchic...tory/i-am-awake


Buddha only said "I AM AWAKE." and very humbly to the onslaught of wayfarers. (He was not claiming a label for himself to wear like a gold chain.)

There is not knowing if someone is enlightened, you can only believe. If they offer belief over truth, then you should decide which is more important to your path. Awakening has various meaning to various traditions, I consider one to be awaken once realization of third eye for instance. Some consider Nirvana awakening, which is also achieved from the same relative point of activation as third eye. This also coincides with the same point that is used in self inquiry and to realize true-self.

Over the past several decades (dating back to at least 1939),[10] a controversial movement of monks and meditation masters, later called the "Dhammakaya Movement", has developed in Thailand. The Dhammakaya Movement teaches that it is erroneous to subsume nirvana under the rubric of anatta (non-self); instead, nirvana is claimed to be the "true self" or dhammakaya. This teaching is strikingly similar to that of the tathāgatagarbha sutras. Professor Paul Williams[11] explains the views of this movement:

[Dhammakaya] meditations involve the realization, when the mind reaches its purest state, of an unconditioned “Dhamma Body” (dhammakaya) in the form of a luminous, radiant and clear Buddha figure free of all defilements and situated within the body of the meditator. Nirvana is the true Self, and this is also the dhammakaya.
http://en.wikipedia....tman_(Buddhism)


That was all in regards to awakening, so lets see what they say about Enlightenment.

The English term "enlightenment" has commonly been used to translate several Sanskrit, Pali,[3] Chinese and Japanese terms and concepts, especially bodhi, prajna, kensho, satori and buddhahood.

Buddhahood is the attainment of full awakening and becoming a Buddha. According to the Tibetan Thubten Yeshe,[5] enlightenment

"[means] full awakening; buddhahood. The ultimate goal of Buddhist practice, attained when all limitations have been removed from the mind and one's positive potential has been completely and perfectly realized. It is a state characterized by infinite compassion, wisdom and skill."[6]

According to U. G. Krishnamurti there is no such thing as enlightenment, and "there is nothing to understand".[7]
http://en.wikipedia....ent_(spiritual)


There is a lot more after awakening . . . an infinite amount more.

#111 Wayfarer

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 04:38 AM

Hi Informer,

Yep agreed. Awakening is the start of practice really as what has been noticed needs to be made part of the everyday which takes time to nurture and develop. I don't particularly agree with the Dhammakaya points as what we call pure mind and mind are not different - there is nothing to purify as such - so hence the dust and the mirror are not distinct from one another. And Krishnamurti, I've come across a little of this man's teachings and whatever he says seems to be the truth. How wonderful!

Thanks for the quotes.

Heath

It is semantics, but you might find something of interest.



Buddha only said "I AM AWAKE." and very humbly to the onslaught of wayfarers. (He was not claiming a label for himself to wear like a gold chain.)

There is not knowing if someone is enlightened, you can only believe. If they offer belief over truth, then you should decide which is more important to your path. Awakening has various meaning to various traditions, I consider one to be awaken once realization of third eye for instance. Some consider Nirvana awakening, which is also achieved from the same relative point of activation as third eye. This also coincides with the same point that is used in self inquiry and to realize true-self.



That was all in regards to awakening, so lets see what they say about Enlightenment.



There is a lot more after awakening . . . an infinite amount more.


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#112 Informer

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:56 AM

I think this is what your guy was referring to, yet does not understand it really:

Posted Image

The little guy viewing the screen inside your head, that you "think" you are, is not what you are. You are the awareness that the little guy arises in. The little guy is a construct built by you. It doesn't mean You don't exist, it means that idea of you isn't you. Emptiness does not equate to non-existence.

So can you see how "you" doesn't exist but you do exist?

(P.S. realizing you are not the image that guy has in his head is not enlightenment, but it is a step in the right direction.)

Edited by Informer, 24 May 2012 - 10:59 AM.





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