Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

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hkvanx
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Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by hkvanx » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:14 pm

Hello,

I am just curious if anyone has come close or reached enlightenment yet.

How long did it take to do so?
What is your meditation/study routine?
What does it feel like?
How do you know when you get there?
Did you have to live a certain lifestyle (monastery, vegetarian, etc)?

Any advice for the rest of us?

Thank you.

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Queequeg
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:48 pm

This line of questioning is a catch 22. If they answer you affirmatively, you can conclude they are delusional. Anyone who actually could answer in the affirmative would be wise enough to know that answering this question on Dharmawheel is not skillful. It would also be a violation of the Terms of Service.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Simon E.
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:20 pm

I strongly suspect that anyone who had Attained would not be found online.. :smile:
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Mantrik
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Mantrik » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:00 pm

Takes one to know one. No, really, it does. :namaste: :shrug: :tongue:
http://www.khyung.com ཁྲོཾ

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by DNS » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:12 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:20 pm
I strongly suspect that anyone who had Attained would not be found online.. :smile:
Why not? I thought buddhas, arahants, bodhisattvas like to help people. I've seen lots of good teachers online, answering questions, providing teachings, etc. What better way to reach a large number of people across countries, oceans, continents?

(note, in no way is my opinion suggesting or hinting that I am enlightened. It's just that I find the internet a valuable resource for reaching large numbers of people with the teachings.)

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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Simon E. » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:55 pm

8-)
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Dan74
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Dan74 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:00 pm

In Zen Buddhism, kensho, or a taste of enlightenment, is quite common. It is referred to as 'entering the gate of Zen' which is then followed by much more challenging practices involving grounding and integrating this insight into every aspect of life.

I think it is described by modern practitioners, like Philip Kapleau's Three Pillars of Zen. Kusan Sunim's Nine Mountains also mentions several enlightenment experienced he's had. As does Xu Yun's autobiography, Empty Cloud.

I think somewhere I might've described my version of this thing (not to compare to the masters above, or perhaps to bow my head in shame to them), but now it's only a memory and quite pointless to go into. Only a sense of regret that I didn't follow it up with proper practice at the time. But one wonderful thing that came out is the conviction that it is possible. That the stories are not made up.

_/|\_
Last edited by Dan74 on Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:10 pm

It’s not a place you go or a thing you do, we are already exceptionally close to it, and yet we don’t live there 99.999999999% of the time:)
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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KeithA
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by KeithA » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:46 pm

A old worthy was reported to have said:

"Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened beings, only enlightened activity"

So, there's that. :smile:

_/|\_
You make, you get.

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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:16 am

Clearly we would have to a consensus concerning what Enlightenment means. I suspect that there is great deal,of difference between a Zen teacher and a Vajrayana teacher and a Theravadin on the issue, and that in fact a consensus is conspicuously absent...
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:37 am

I actually don't think there is that much difference between a Zen or Vajrayana/Dzogchen teacher on this question, other than method.

Zen also sees enlightenment as something beyond effort and accumulation, and not something which cannot be attained or created. I mean really most Mahayana sees it this way after a fashion, it just doesn't come through sometimes.

There is a big difference between touching enlightenment/the deathless/whatever your nomenclature is and actually claiming to be " and enlightened person" though. The latter is quite the claim, and might indicate a lack of the former, judging from many of the examples we have.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

Simon E.
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:55 am

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:14 pm
Hello,

I am just curious if anyone has come close or reached enlightenment yet.

How long did it take to do so?
What is your meditation/study routine?
What does it feel like?
How do you know when you get there?
Did you have to live a certain lifestyle (monastery, vegetarian, etc)?

Any advice for the rest of us?

Thank you.
No. I am nowhere near Enlightenment. The greatest teacher of the age imo Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, stated that HE was not Enlightened. I do not expect to approach Enlightenment for many births. It’s like looking at Mount Everest from the foothills when you have no oxygen and limited equipment.
But I can put one foot after another...
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Mantrik
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Mantrik » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:31 am

Simon E. wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:55 am
No. I am nowhere near Enlightenment. The greatest teacher of the age imo Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, stated that HE was not Enlightened.
My scriptural knowledge is very very sparse, but I don't think Buddhas ever have. Didn't Shakyamuni only say 'I am Awake' ?
http://www.khyung.com ཁྲོཾ

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Ayu
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Ayu » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:04 am

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:14 pm
Hello,

I am just curious if anyone has come close or reached enlightenment yet.

How long did it take to do so?
What is your meditation/study routine?
What does it feel like?
How do you know when you get there?
Did you have to live a certain lifestyle (monastery, vegetarian, etc)?

Any advice for the rest of us?

Thank you.
I met some people, friends, who had kind of strange clear thoughts. I believe they achieved something. But if this achievement was enlightment already, I cannot know.
BTW, it is embarrasing to answer your question directly personally. Why? As soon as you say "I got it" you lost it. Enlightment is not a thing you can catch and hold.
E.g. my teacher seems to have many powers and deep insight. But he never gets tired to claim that he is the lowest and most stupid person compared to the bodhisattvas of past and future. I believe, this behavior is important for his own security. It comes along like a joke, but I think it's not funny but a kind of insurace for him.
Last edited by Ayu on Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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Astus
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Astus » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:07 am

hkvanx wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:14 pm
I am just curious if anyone has come close or reached enlightenment yet.
There are several stages of enlightenment. First, for people who begin to learn about the Dharma, an important step - that divides ordinary beings from noble ones - is the experiential confirmation of the validity of the teachings.

'the initial realization of the nature of the mind is the first breakthrough. It’s a very important point in all Buddhist schools. At that moment, you cease to be an ordinary person. You become in Buddhist parlance an arya, a noble one. It doesn’t mean you are finished. It doesn’t mean you are a high level bodhisattva. We can fall back from this. But still, this is a big breakthrough. We now understand what is true and what is not true. We don’t have to take it all on faith any more. It is a direct nondual experience. The point is that it is very easy. It’s not difficult, and it’s not something that can only be attained after years and years of practice.'
(Reflections on a Mountain Lake by Tenzin Palmo, p 191)

The one who attained the initial breakthrough is also called a stream-entrer (srota-āpanna).

“Subhūti, what do you think? Does a practitioner who has attained the level of srota-āpanna think: ‘I have attained the realization of the srota-āpanna?’”
Subhūti said, “No, World-honored One. And why not? Because the name srota-āpanna means ‘stream-enterer,’ and there is in fact no stream to be entered. One does not enter form, sound, odor, taste, touch, or concepts. Therefore one is called a srota-āpanna.”

(Diamond Sutra, ch 9)
How long did it take to do so?
What is your meditation/study routine?
What does it feel like?
How do you know when you get there?
Did you have to live a certain lifestyle (monastery, vegetarian, etc)?
For all those topics and more you should look into teachings on the path. How the path is delineated, however, varies between traditions, because it is often modified according to the techniques used. Nevertheless, the basics are the same, as it's always about the elimination of afflictions. So instead of focusing on mystical and supernatural experiences, look at how greed, anger, and delusion diminish and disappear, while generosity, compassion, and wisdom grow and blossom.

"When — by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is followed as of essential worth — one's unskillful mental qualities increase while one's skillful mental qualities decline: that sort of precept & practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitless. But when — by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is followed as of essential worth — one's unskillful mental qualities decline while one's skillful mental qualities increase: that sort of precept & practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitful."
(Silabbata Sutta)
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: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:37 am

Mantrik wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:31 am
Simon E. wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:55 am
No. I am nowhere near Enlightenment. The greatest teacher of the age imo Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, stated that HE was not Enlightened.
My scriptural knowledge is very very sparse, but I don't think Buddhas ever have. Didn't Shakyamuni only say 'I am Awake' ?

Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Siddhartha) described himself as Samyak Sambuddhasa. One who has attained complete unexcelled Enlightenment. The teacher of Gods and men.
...
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Mantrik
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Mantrik » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:24 am

Simon E. wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:37 am
Mantrik wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:31 am
Simon E. wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:55 am
No. I am nowhere near Enlightenment. The greatest teacher of the age imo Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, stated that HE was not Enlightened.
My scriptural knowledge is very very sparse, but I don't think Buddhas ever have. Didn't Shakyamuni only say 'I am Awake' ?

Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Siddhartha) described himself as Samyak Sambuddhasa. One who has attained complete unexcelled Enlightenment. The teacher of Gods and men.
...
I thought he had taught about it, but not directly attributed it to himself. Do you have a source?

It would be interesting to know if those called Buddhas all attributed Enlightenment to themselves, rather than it being referenced by followers, or in a reference by one (who is called a) Buddha to other Buddhas.
http://www.khyung.com ཁྲོཾ

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Astus
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Astus » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:24 am

Mantrik wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:24 am
Do you have a source?
In the Buddha's very first discourse:

“So long, bhikkhus, as my knowledge and vision of these Four Noble Truths as they really are in their three phases and twelve aspects was not thoroughly purified in this way, I did not claim to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with its devas, Mara, and Brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans. But when my knowledge and vision of these Four Noble Truths as they really are in their three phases and twelve aspects was thoroughly purified in this way, then I claimed to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with its devas, Mara, and Brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans. The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Unshakable is the liberation of my mind. This is my last birth. Now there is no more renewed existence.’”
(Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta; see also the following sutta)

Another good example: The Great Discourse on the Lion's Roar.
See also: The Shorter Elephant Footprint Simile.
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"

Simon E.
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:33 am

I think we take the goal of Buddhism far too lightly. That’s not to say that insights and glimpses might not arise in this life...satori no doubt exists...”pointing out” instructions show us what our potential can be. But full Enlightenment is far beyond what any of us can even imagine with our afflicted minds. Let’s not sell ourselves short.


It took Shakyamuni hundreds of non mundane lifetimes of attainment to reach full Enlightenment..Sambuddhasa.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:38 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:24 am
Simon E. wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:37 am
Mantrik wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:31 am


My scriptural knowledge is very very sparse, but I don't think Buddhas ever have. Didn't Shakyamuni only say 'I am Awake' ?

Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Siddhartha) described himself as Samyak Sambuddhasa. One who has attained complete unexcelled Enlightenment. The teacher of Gods and men.
...
I thought he had taught about it, but not directly attributed it to himself. Do you have a source?

It would be interesting to know if those called Buddhas all attributed Enlightenment to themselves, rather than it being referenced by followers, or in a reference by one (who is called a) Buddha to other Buddhas.
There is kind of a funny episode after the Buddha awakens and he tells a brahmin that he's awakened. Its appropriate to recall in this thread:
Between the Place of Enlightenment and Gaya the monk Upaka saw him on the road. He said: "Your faculties are serene, friend; the colour of your skin is clear and bright. Under whom have you gone forth? Or who is your teacher? Or whose Dhamma to you confess?

When this was said, the Blessed One addressed the monk Upaka in stanzas:

I am an All transcender, an All-knower
Unsullied by all things, renouncing all,
By craving's ceasing freed. An this I oew
To my own wisdom. To whom should I concede it?

I have no teacher, and my like
Exists nowhere in the world
With all its gods, because I have
No person for my counterpart.
I am the Teacher of the world
Without peer, accomplished, too,
And I alone am quite enlightened,
Quenched, whose fires are all extinct.
I go to Kasi's city now
To set the Wheel of Dhamma
In motion: in a blindfold world
I go to beat the Deathless Drum,

"By your claims, friend, you are a Universal Victor."

The victors like me, Upaka,
Are those whose taints are quite exhausted;
I have vanquished all states of evil;
It is for that I am a Victor.

When this was said, the monk Upaka remarked: "May it be so, friend"; shaking his head, he took a side track and departed.
I don't know if we're supposed to laugh at that, but when I first read it, I sure did.
:rolling:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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