The permanence of enlightenment

Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
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Re: The permanence of enlightenment

Post by Astus » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:01 pm

Here is a Chan story discussing impermanence and permanence of enlightenment.
A monk asked Dasui: "When the great fire at the end of the aeon rages through, and the whole universe is destroyed, is this destroyed or not?" Dasui said: "Destroyed." The monk asked: "Then it goes along with that?" And Dasui said: "It goes along with that."
Later, a monk asked Longji the same question: "When the great fire at the end of the aeon rages through, and the whole universe is destroyed, is this destroyed or not?" Longji said: "Not destroyed." The monk asked: "Well, why is it not destroyed?" Longji said: "Because it’s the same as the universe."
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.

1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: The permanence of enlightenment

Post by dakini_boi » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:57 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:
The goal of most vehicles can be said to be aiming at a glimpse of cessation and/or total cessation. However the cessation is the cessation of ignorance which arises from identifying with a personalized view of reality. The fact that we take ourselves to be individuals who were born, exist in time and eventually die is ignorance(avidyā) according to buddhism. The proliferation and evolution of ignorance is the cycle of samsara, and the Dharma is the method to transcend samsara, thus reaching nirvana. So while I wouldn't call it a "cessation of existence" per se, it is the cessation of everything which could be considered "you". I suppose the absence of individual 'being' can be perceived/interpreted as some sort of non-existence to those unfamiliar and possibly intimidated by such a notion. But the state of cessation is in fact your natural and true state of being, beyond birth and death... abiding in this state is buddhahood a.k.a. wisdom(vidyā). That state is beyond the 4 extremes which are (i)existence, (ii) non-existence, (iii) both existence and non-existence, (iv) neither existence nor non-existence.
:good: Great synopsis. Thanks for posting those Namdrol quotes too.

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Re: The permanence of enlightenment

Post by Quiet Heart » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:21 am

Well, I don't want to get involved in a debate about whether "enlightenment" (whatever that is) is permanent or not.
So I'll just ask this question:
If you DO reach an "enlightenment" and find Nirvana/Nibanna...then where/when/what are you?

And more importantly, once you are "enlightened"..... What's the next step?

Personal opinion here....but if you or I ever did reach that state of "enlightenment"....I very much doubt our previous lives would suddenly end.
Nor do I ever epect (if I was ever to become "enlightened") to have roses strewn in my path, and people falling down to praise my "spiritual" virtue.
In fact, the next day...after our "enlightenment" would be it not seem to be very much like the day before?
Maybe WE would be different....but the world will still regard us as appearing to be exactly what we appeared to be the day before.
And living in that world....wouldn't we still be subject to impermanance and the emptiness of all "compound" objects?

So, I ask that crucial question again...."Okay, but WHAT NEXT?"

And no, I'm not claiming to even be close to enlightenment.
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach

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Re: The permanence of enlightenment

Post by Skywalker » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:53 am

Paul wrote:
phpBB [video]

By coincidence, I was just watching this video and it seems very relevant to the issues about nirvana being impermanent.
"Enlightenment is like recovering from smallpox!"


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Thomas Amundsen
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Re: The permanence of enlightenment

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:24 am

asunthatneversets wrote:This reminded me of another thread where the differences in Mahāyāna liberation and Dzogchen liberation were briefly discussed, Namdrol wrote:
Namdrol wrote: Parinirvana without any remainder.

This is another place where Dzogchen doctrine differs from common Mahāyāna -- the goal in common Mahāyāna is a non-abiding nirvana.

The ultimate result of Dzogchen is an abiding nirvana.

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Re: The permanence of enlightenment

Post by lobster » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:04 pm

Quiet Heart wrote: So, I ask that crucial question again...."Okay, but WHAT NEXT?"
:smile: .
You can if you so choose, for the sake of others, return to the world of limitations.
It does not mean you teach as the Buddha did, you may have other duties.
Do we understand compassion?

This is the vow of the Mahayana enlightenment

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