Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

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Ervin
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Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by Ervin » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:43 am

Are there any people who have reached enlightenment? If not, then why not? We have Buddhist teachings available these days, we have monasteries, everything.

Would maybe an enlightened person keep quiet these days because the teachings are available?

Thanks

smcj
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by smcj » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:46 am

I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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skittles
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by skittles » Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:44 am

Yes.

Earth is not the only planet and beings are not limited to planets. Even if there were not enlightened people living here currently, there are uncountable beings across the universe.

All you need to know to know there are enlightened ones is that enlightenment is possible and there are uncountable beings where the conditions for enlightenment inevitably coincide.

It's like how I can say with confidence that somewhere in the world, someone stepped in shit right now. You could probably fill a football stadium with people who just stepped in shit. Day and night people are stepping in shit. And the universe is full of enlightened beings.
"My main teacher Serkong Rinpoche, who was one of the teachers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, explained that having a protector is like having a very strong and vicious dog. If you are a strong person, you could go sit and guard your own gate every night to make sure that thieves don’t attack, but usually people wouldn’t do that. It’s not that we don’t have the ability, it’s just: why bother? You could post a dog there instead." - Alex Berzin http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... rs_ab.html

Ervin
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by Ervin » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:29 am

I think that after Sakyamuni Buddha there have been many people who have reached enlightenment. But, I think that most likely they didn't say that because people mmaybe wouldn't believe them, or because there is no need since Sakyamuni Buddha has left the teachings( the way) for everyone.

Someone on this forum once mentioned, I think what's called Shastras. Maybe those writing them where at least close to enlightenment. Or maybe they go of to the cave and don't come back. I mean why not?

Someone once posted on my facebook how psychiatrists diagnosed a man because of his spiritual experience. And medication would be good to avoid only if you don't need it.( I take medication for scizhoeffective disorder) and it's better when you don't need it because of the side effects.

Thanks
Last edited by Ervin on Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jundo cohen
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by jundo cohen » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:59 am

Yes, many many many ...

... a key aspect of which is piercing what is all along, in each step and all around, and thus nothing to reach.

Gassho, Judno
Priest/Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha. Treeleaf Zendo was designed as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or work, childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. The focus is Shikantaza "Just Sitting" Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen. http://www.treeleaf.org

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Taco_Rice
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by Taco_Rice » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:54 am

skittles wrote:It's like how I can say with confidence that somewhere in the world, someone stepped in shit right now. You could probably fill a football stadium with people who just stepped in shit. Day and night people are stepping in shit.
:namaste:
:buddha2:
When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others. When the eye is not set on any one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit. But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there. One who has understood this is no different from Kannon with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.
— Takuan Sōhō, the Unfettered Mind

Jeff H
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by Jeff H » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:16 pm

I think the question is only important for you because you have some doubt. If you find the ideal of enlightenment plausible and inspiring that is enough. Some doubt is reasonable.

But don’t waste time daydreaming about how great it would be if you were enlightened, or scanning the infinitesimal scope of living beings you can see for examples of enlightened beings. Instead focus on the teachings that give credence to the possibility of enlightenment.

Find those aspects of the teachings that are less in doubt for you and work on them consistently and persistently in your life. That method will produce short term positive affects leading to ever more subtle understanding and practice.

The urgency of Buddhist practice is to fully utilize whatever time and advantages you have; not to get quick results. Settle your mind on the long journey then focus on each step.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by Monlam Tharchin » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:47 pm

Speaking for myself, one of my challenges is perceiving self-centered or ineffective spiritual practice in others. The whole "follow your bliss" or "savor every mindful moment" type stuff that sells big.
But lambasting this in others is basically defaming the Three Treasures, one of the things we should avoid.
In looking at the faults of the community of practitioners, I get swept away from my practice and vows of helping others.
"Are there any people who have reached enlightenment" to me is a tricky question.
It can be an honest inquiry into whether the Dharma can truly alleviate our suffering, or it can lead to viewing Buddhism or the Sangha as failing to measure up to our ideals.
It's important to put the Buddha dharma to the test in the intimacy of your own mind and experience. Don't try to see for others.
namu amida butsu
OṂ  HRIYADHE  SARWA  TATHĀGATA  HRIDAYA  GARBHE / DZOLA  DHARMADHATU  GARBHE  /  SANG  HARANA  ĀYUḤ  SANGŚHODHAYA  /  PĀPAṂ  SARWA  TATHĀGATA  SAMENDRA  UṢHṆĪKHA  BIMALE  BIŚHUDDHE  SWĀHĀ

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have unobstructed vision in all directions.
Everything is in their presence; and I stand in front of them. -- Shantideva

dreambow
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by dreambow » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:08 am

Of course there must be people who have reached enlightenment. With that said the truly awakened would be very few. There are too many people proclaiming their enlightment...so it becomes a business with many with an eye on raking in the 'mullah' money. Any teacher asking for any thing more then donations at the door is bogus...just profiteering. There are no exceptions to this rule of thumb.

smcj
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:22 am

dreambow wrote:Any teacher asking for any thing more then donations at the door is bogus...just profiteering. There are no exceptions to this rule of thumb.
I'm not contesting your objection to commercializing Dharma, but you do need to take some things into consideration. For instance, back when I was involved with Dharma we were a bunch of broke hippies. I personally was working as a busboy at a coffee shop. We did not have the money to cover the expenses ourselves. I remember one time having to pawn some food stamps so that we would have gas money to pick the lama up at the airport. If people didn't pay their fair share at events it would have bankrupted us.

Mostly things are on a better financial footing these days. The people involved are usually grown-ups. So although I agree in general, I think the hard and fast rule is a little overly strident.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

steve_bakr
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by steve_bakr » Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:45 am

This brings up the question, "What exactly is enlightenment?" The answer is not necessarily all that clear. Some equate enlightenment to an experience of Satori. You have enlightenment stories that focus on hearing the words of a master, or a Sutra, or having a Satori resulting from the release of tension as a result of, for example, the building up of a tremendous amount of tension through working on the Koan "Mu." All of this could be discussed at great length.

I once heard that a master who was universally regarded as enlightened said the death of millions was of no account to him.

The Buddha said that he attained absolutely nothing from "unexcelled enlightenment." Others have said that there is no such thing as enlightenment. There is also the teaching that all of us have enlightened natures. Still others have said that the Buddha-mind is our everyday awareness. This also could be discussed at length.

I estimate that truly enlightened beings could be counted on one's fingers, perhaps of only one hand. I don't see such a being laying claim to his enlightenment, so as not to make himself the subject of either a cult or criticism. It might be a very counterproductive claim to make.

I consider Enlightenment to be the permanent breaking out from the encased "I-sense" and complete identification with not only the Absolute but the entire phenomenal existence as well.

smcj
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:07 am

steve_baker wrote:
I consider Enlightenment to be the permanent breaking out from the encased "I-sense" and complete identification with not only the Absolute but the entire phenomenal existence as well.
I'll buy that as one working hypothesis. There are others too, but that can work for now. :thumbsup:
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

dreambow
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by dreambow » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:19 am

I think folks get confused with a teacher who's erudite, articulate and explains the sutra clearly. Let them charge at the door and flog their merchandise. ...well and good. I repeat, an enlightened being is not interested in name and fame and couldn't give a toss about money. Think about it.... really its not rocket science.

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kirtu
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by kirtu » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:23 am

steve_bakr wrote:This brings up the question, "What exactly is enlightenment?" The answer is not necessarily all that clear. Some equate enlightenment to an experience of Satori.
This brings up the fact that the definition of enlightenment differs from tradition to tradition.

So if satori (a Japanese Zen term) is the standard , a fair number of people are enlightened.
I consider Enlightenment to be the permanent breaking out from the encased "I-sense" and complete identification with not only the Absolute but the entire phenomenal existence as well.
Then lots of people are enlightened (lots of people in various systems, not just Buddhist, would ascent to this, btw).

In our truly degenerate times, people who are just universally kind to others will appear to be enlightened by some and as threats to others. People who just outwardly follow the precepts well will appear to be enlightened by many.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

smcj
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by smcj » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:07 am

dreambow wrote:I think folks get confused with a teacher who's erudite, articulate and explains the sutra clearly. Let them charge at the door and flog their merchandise. ...well and good. I repeat, an enlightened being is not interested in name and fame and couldn't give a toss about money. Think about it.... really its not rocket science.
The actual translation of the 8 worldly dharma reads something like:
praise/blame, gain/loss, high position/low position, pleasure/pain.

However the shorthand that conveys the idea a little more forcibly--but with less precision--is:
(plus or minus of) money, sex, power and prestige.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

Saoshun
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by Saoshun » Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:35 am

There are not many people who are enlightenment, but there are many people who believe they are. I know one person who realized fruit enlightenment. I never found any other people in public teachings as enlightenment people. Some obviously have courage to say "I'm not enlightenment" like Ringu Tulku which obviously comes from insight, some teachers touch little prajna accomplishment but it still not much. So there are any people who reached enlightenment? Yes, in whole world you may find maybe one, two, but if you add to "any" letter "m", are there many people who have reached fruit? No. Only few.

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Nosta
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by Nosta » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:30 pm

Masters that died and reached the rainbow body arent enlightened? If so, in the XX century we had some people reaching the Enlightenment.

I tought also that master Acaryia Mun, after reading his biography, reached enlightenment too. At least he reached a very high level of realisation.

Saoshun
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by Saoshun » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:37 pm

From what I read, Master Nan Hui Chin said that rainbow body is not enlightenment, but I think returnable one is great achievement and very useful for bodhisattva.

We must know first what is enlightenment? Enlightenment is knowing your own original nature (mind ground) and being absorbed into it on the level of conscious experience. In that experience there is no suffering nor life or death etc. so if person is in that experience permanently rooted he can be consider realized if this experience of course generate great prajna wisdom other wise is just samadhi/dhyana which is experience of bliss is similar but the level of wisdom and insight is like day and night.

The best to look at people who you consider enlightenment is to ask yourself "How this person my enhance me?" "Is person like this help me to fulfill my desire for realization?"

so for me the OP question is wrongly stated it should be "Are there any enlightenment beings who can help me realize fruit of buddhahood?" This how they should be look rather then souvenirs and topics to gossip about in "spiritual parties"

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Nosta
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Re: Are there any people who have reached enlightenment?

Post by Nosta » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:48 pm

I know that rainbow body per se is not enlightenment, but I tought that it was a sign that the master was entering paranirvana.

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