Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
Simon E.
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:04 pm

I haven’t quoted CTR on the subject of “our” Enlightenment for several weeks..so here goes again.. :smile:

“When we think of Enlightenment we see ourselves on a brightly lit stage some time in the future, surrounded by adoring disciples..There is just one problem with that little scenario. When Enlightenment happens “ we” won’t be there....
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

tkp67
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by tkp67 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 1:26 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:38 pm
I don't know if we're supposed to laugh at that, but when I first read it, I sure did.
:rolling:
The profound meaning of this encounter is the true proof of perfect enlightenment and without it we might as well scrap Buddhism all together because this is the true heart of Shakyamuni's enlightenment thus enlightenment for all humanity.

It is a premise that is so simple and reasonable that once understood it becomes impossible to question.

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Mantrik
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Mantrik » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:12 pm

Astus wrote:
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.
An awakening to Enlightrenment. Nice. Thank you. :)
http://www.khyung.com ཁྲོཾ

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

dharmafootsteps
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by dharmafootsteps » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:24 am

So you've had the traditional answer. One non-traditional one can be found in this blog though: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/

It's run by Soh Wei who used to post here, but hasn't in a few years, not sure if he still reads the forum. He claims to be enlightened, although acknowledges he's not yet a fully enlightened Buddha. He answers all the things you're asking about in great depth.

I'm not making any statements about the veracity of his claims. For me there are many giant red flags around him, however what he writes is compelling and appears informed. In addition he stands out as compared to some of the other people making similar claims - Daniel Ingram, Shinzen Young etc. - in that he has highly experienced, traditional Dharma students taking him seriously. Personally I was quite surprised to find it, but on his facebook groups for example you will find people from here, and elsewhere, who are long term practitioners and students of respected teachers, very well educated in the tantras and philosophy, and certainly not the type to typically believe quacks. So make of it what you may, I still don't know what to make of it myself yet...

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

Post by Simon E. » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:13 am

I could compile you just from memory a whole list of people who claim to be enlightened. Many of them have “endorsements” from Lamas etc.

Personally I will continue to advise finding a bona fide teacher who knows more than you..and sticking with it.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

xabir
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by xabir » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:31 am

dharmafootsteps wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:24 am
So you've had the traditional answer. One non-traditional one can be found in this blog though: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/

It's run by Soh Wei who used to post here, but hasn't in a few years, not sure if he still reads the forum. He claims to be enlightened, although acknowledges he's not yet a fully enlightened Buddha. He answers all the things you're asking about in great depth.

I'm not making any statements about the veracity of his claims. For me there are many giant red flags around him, however what he writes is compelling and appears informed. In addition he stands out as compared to some of the other people making similar claims - Daniel Ingram, Shinzen Young etc. - in that he has highly experienced, traditional Dharma students taking him seriously. Personally I was quite surprised to find it, but on his facebook groups for example you will find people from here, and elsewhere, who are long term practitioners and students of respected teachers, very well educated in the tantras and philosophy, and certainly not the type to typically believe quacks. So make of it what you may, I still don't know what to make of it myself yet...
Lol

Soh wei yu here

I am not sure what you mean by stands out compared to others

Actually i have great respect for daniel ingram. He trained in a serious vipassana lineage and his realisation was confirmed and was asked to teach by sayadaw u pandita jr. but he is a rather authoritative teacher despite the controversies for using the title “arahant”. But his path of practice is more gradual and not necessarily the one i followed

Interesting thing is daniel ingram was thoroughly impressed by “thusness” (john tan in my AtR blog, my mentor), and also said in interviews that he considered “thusness” an arahant

That said i/we do not agree that his term “arahant” necessarily coincides with the scriptural definition completely, although john tan has also spoken positively of daniel ingram’s insight and realisation. But john tan/thusness and i do not make claims to arahantship nor buddhahood. The john tan model which was written specifically for someone he knew was ripe for certain breakthroughs (which i later reposted in my blog without john tan’s permission Lol) who later had a breakthrough just by reading the stages that john wrote then, is based on experiential insights for the purpose of pointing out the subtle points regarding nature of mind, not for the purpose of claiming that one is an arahant, buddha or what stage of enlightenment. We would rather not map unnecessarily, also we are not in a position of teaching, we are not teachers, do not have students, nor do we claim to be authoritative figures that represent any lineages, although it is true that in the past multiple authoritative zen and other masters and teachers have sought for john tan’s/atr’s guidance and more than one of them broke through to anatta realisation such as http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/ ... sutta.html

I am curious as to what “red flags” you are referring to, though

dharmafootsteps
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by dharmafootsteps » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:30 pm

xabir wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:31 am
dharmafootsteps wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:24 am
So you've had the traditional answer. One non-traditional one can be found in this blog though: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/

It's run by Soh Wei who used to post here, but hasn't in a few years, not sure if he still reads the forum. He claims to be enlightened, although acknowledges he's not yet a fully enlightened Buddha. He answers all the things you're asking about in great depth.

I'm not making any statements about the veracity of his claims. For me there are many giant red flags around him, however what he writes is compelling and appears informed. In addition he stands out as compared to some of the other people making similar claims - Daniel Ingram, Shinzen Young etc. - in that he has highly experienced, traditional Dharma students taking him seriously. Personally I was quite surprised to find it, but on his facebook groups for example you will find people from here, and elsewhere, who are long term practitioners and students of respected teachers, very well educated in the tantras and philosophy, and certainly not the type to typically believe quacks. So make of it what you may, I still don't know what to make of it myself yet...
Lol

Soh wei yu here

I am not sure what you mean by stands out compared to others

Actually i have great respect for daniel ingram. He trained in a serious vipassana lineage and his realisation was confirmed and was asked to teach by sayadaw u pandita jr. but he is a rather authoritative teacher despite the controversies for using the title “arahant”. But his path of practice is more gradual and not necessarily the one i followed

Interesting thing is daniel ingram was thoroughly impressed by “thusness” (john tan in my AtR blog, my mentor), and also said in interviews that he considered “thusness” an arahant

That said i/we do not agree that his term “arahant” necessarily coincides with the scriptural definition completely, although john tan has also spoken positively of daniel ingram’s insight and realisation. But john tan/thusness and i do not make claims to arahantship nor buddhahood. The john tan model which was written specifically for someone he knew was ripe for certain breakthroughs (which i later reposted in my blog without john tan’s permission Lol) who later had a breakthrough just by reading the stages that john wrote then, is based on experiential insights for the purpose of pointing out the subtle points regarding nature of mind, not for the purpose of claiming that one is an arahant, buddha or what stage of enlightenment. We would rather not map unnecessarily, also we are not in a position of teaching, we are not teachers, do not have students, nor do we claim to be authoritative figures that represent any lineages, although it is true that in the past multiple authoritative zen and other masters and teachers have sought for john tan’s/atr’s guidance and more than one of them broke through to anatta realisation such as http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/ ... sutta.html

I am curious as to what “red flags” you are referring to, though
Oops, I've probably opened a can of worms here, but hi Soh, thanks for dropping by in person. I will say I do appreciate your writing, or I wouldn't have mentioned it at all. I'm just hesitant about actually making a recommendation or passing judgement either way on someone else's realisation, especially outside of a traditional lineage where they were trained and acknowledged by known teachers (not that that is an indication of attainment either, obvious plenty of rather suspect teachers have emerged from traditional settings and lineages).

As far as 'standing out', I mean that in a positive way. Partly I'm just talking for me personally, I read your blog and posts with interest, however I'm not especially interested in most others who I see as having sort of modernised/new/adapted versions of the teachings, blending paths/traditions, and with self-proclaimed attainments. Again, not necessarily a judgement on them, they're just not for me. I also meant that (it seems to me) that you would stand out a little for the average type of practitioners here e.g. mostly Mahayana/Vajrayana and bit more traditional. As evidenced by people on your group like Kyle Dixon (and I think you have a relationship with Malcolm Smith too right), who are both clearly very well educated and experienced practitioners, and I would think of as the last sort to be associated with suspect unorthodox teachings.

As far as 'red flags', there's nothing that will be of particular interest to you. I'm sure you've heard it all before, and I'm sure aware of where your approach is rather different from the traditional.

For example many people here would have told me to run a mile if I had just said that there's a guy who claims high level attainments, not from a traditional lineage, not with a traditional teacher, who pulls pieces from all traditions, including a little Advaita stuff, and who's Dharma education has mostly come from reading and online interactions, rather than in-person interaction with teachers and sanghas (I think that's correct...my apologies if I'm mischaracterizing anything). This is how he's now passing his insights on. Oh and he's very good at judging the attainments of others, he has a map where can largely place people in terms of their realizations of anatta, sunyata and so on. He's able to tell that many of the big name Tibetan teachers, particularly Dzogchen ones, aren't actually that high on the map just from reading their writing.

Many of those things are big no-nos in traditional contexts, but as I say, I'm sure none of that is of interest to you since none of those things say anything concrete at all about your actual attainments, whether others find them concerning or not. When it comes to your writing about your experience and practice I have no criticism or particular 'reg flags'.

xabir
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by xabir » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:28 pm

dharmafootsteps wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:30 pm
xabir wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:31 am
dharmafootsteps wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:24 am
So you've had the traditional answer. One non-traditional one can be found in this blog though: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/

It's run by Soh Wei who used to post here, but hasn't in a few years, not sure if he still reads the forum. He claims to be enlightened, although acknowledges he's not yet a fully enlightened Buddha. He answers all the things you're asking about in great depth.

I'm not making any statements about the veracity of his claims. For me there are many giant red flags around him, however what he writes is compelling and appears informed. In addition he stands out as compared to some of the other people making similar claims - Daniel Ingram, Shinzen Young etc. - in that he has highly experienced, traditional Dharma students taking him seriously. Personally I was quite surprised to find it, but on his facebook groups for example you will find people from here, and elsewhere, who are long term practitioners and students of respected teachers, very well educated in the tantras and philosophy, and certainly not the type to typically believe quacks. So make of it what you may, I still don't know what to make of it myself yet...
Lol

Soh wei yu here

I am not sure what you mean by stands out compared to others

Actually i have great respect for daniel ingram. He trained in a serious vipassana lineage and his realisation was confirmed and was asked to teach by sayadaw u pandita jr. but he is a rather authoritative teacher despite the controversies for using the title “arahant”. But his path of practice is more gradual and not necessarily the one i followed

Interesting thing is daniel ingram was thoroughly impressed by “thusness” (john tan in my AtR blog, my mentor), and also said in interviews that he considered “thusness” an arahant

That said i/we do not agree that his term “arahant” necessarily coincides with the scriptural definition completely, although john tan has also spoken positively of daniel ingram’s insight and realisation. But john tan/thusness and i do not make claims to arahantship nor buddhahood. The john tan model which was written specifically for someone he knew was ripe for certain breakthroughs (which i later reposted in my blog without john tan’s permission Lol) who later had a breakthrough just by reading the stages that john wrote then, is based on experiential insights for the purpose of pointing out the subtle points regarding nature of mind, not for the purpose of claiming that one is an arahant, buddha or what stage of enlightenment. We would rather not map unnecessarily, also we are not in a position of teaching, we are not teachers, do not have students, nor do we claim to be authoritative figures that represent any lineages, although it is true that in the past multiple authoritative zen and other masters and teachers have sought for john tan’s/atr’s guidance and more than one of them broke through to anatta realisation such as http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/ ... sutta.html

I am curious as to what “red flags” you are referring to, though
Oops, I've probably opened a can of worms here, but hi Soh, thanks for dropping by in person. I will say I do appreciate your writing, or I wouldn't have mentioned it at all. I'm just hesitant about actually making a recommendation or passing judgement either way on someone else's realisation, especially outside of a traditional lineage where they were trained and acknowledged by known teachers (not that that is an indication of attainment either, obvious plenty of rather suspect teachers have emerged from traditional settings and lineages).

As far as 'standing out', I mean that in a positive way. Partly I'm just talking for me personally, I read your blog and posts with interest, however I'm not especially interested in most others who I see as having sort of modernised/new/adapted versions of the teachings, blending paths/traditions, and with self-proclaimed attainments. Again, not necessarily a judgement on them, they're just not for me. I also meant that (it seems to me) that you would stand out a little for the average type of practitioners here e.g. mostly Mahayana/Vajrayana and bit more traditional. As evidenced by people on your group like Kyle Dixon (and I think you have a relationship with Malcolm Smith too right), who are both clearly very well educated and experienced practitioners, and I would think of as the last sort to be associated with suspect unorthodox teachings.

As far as 'red flags', there's nothing that will be of particular interest to you. I'm sure you've heard it all before, and I'm sure aware of where your approach is rather different from the traditional.

For example many people here would have told me to run a mile if I had just said that there's a guy who claims high level attainments, not from a traditional lineage, not with a traditional teacher, who pulls pieces from all traditions, including a little Advaita stuff, and who's Dharma education has mostly come from reading and online interactions, rather than in-person interaction with teachers and sanghas (I think that's correct...my apologies if I'm mischaracterizing anything). This is how he's now passing his insights on. Oh and he's very good at judging the attainments of others, he has a map where can largely place people in terms of their realizations of anatta, sunyata and so on. He's able to tell that many of the big name Tibetan teachers, particularly Dzogchen ones, aren't actually that high on the map just from reading their writing.

Many of those things are big no-nos in traditional contexts, but as I say, I'm sure none of that is of interest to you since none of those things say anything concrete at all about your actual attainments, whether others find them concerning or not. When it comes to your writing about your experience and practice I have no criticism or particular 'reg flags'.
I have no “relationship” with Malcolm like the way Kyle Dixon has been conversing with Malcolm to the point where basically Malcolm said something to the effect that Kyle Dixon was the first person to completely get his view at the dinner I went. The dinner I went at San Francisco was interesting, I think it is through some karmic connection that we manage to have such a meeting by coincidence at such a time and place despite us not living at SF but coming from distant places. I greatly respect Malcolm, have always found his dharma enlightening and have attended some Skype dharma talk by him years ago but I do not have a close relationship with him like Kyle. But I would definitely recommend anyone that has an interest in Dzogchen to learn from him and he has holding a small sangha lately, and he is an authoritative Dzogchen teacher (asked to teach by kunzang dechen lingpa) besides his arcaya status.

As for going to sangha, I have taken refuge under a Chinese Mahayana master from the chan lineage who is into awareness teachings and conversed with the teachers of that lineage, and also while studying in Australia I frequent a soto zen center. I am grateful and have learned much from both lineage, although in my latter phase I would say that I resonated more with the soto zen teacher as he was expressing what I call anatta and total exertion, and the soto zen teacher likewise seems to resonate with my insights when I shared about them with him, tho of course it wasnt really a formal thing and i did not go through intensive zen training to become a roshi and so on. But I have had some interesting conversations with the zen master in the two year plus that I was in Brisbane, Australia.

But yes primarily my insights were from my interactions with John Tan who although taken refuge under HH Sakya Trizin in 1997, was not particularly guided by Buddhist teachers in the latter phase of his progression nor following any particular traditional path so I can definitely see where you are coming from, although he did have many interactions with buddhist monks, ajahns and lamas and various venerables and donated to many buddhist causes, although this is something he did not really publicize.

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Matt J
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Matt J » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:52 pm

If you hang out with teachers long enough, they will eventually give you tastes or hints of less ignorant states. However, most of the time, complete descriptions of realized beings are not that helpful given where most of us are. Of course, it is fairly common for people to claim some degree of enlightenment in this day and age, but most of these claims strike me as a bit of BS. Typically, people who claim some degree of realization have in my mind merely lowered the bar to a more convenient height.

Here is one snippet, from Mingyur Rinpoche's In Love with the World (which, incidentally, shares a lot from an experiential POV). This relates to the Karmapa XVI, and one of MR's older brothers listened in to a meditation problem he was having and consulting with another lama about:
The Karmapa reported that he could maintain his awareness throughout the entire day, and track the dissolutions [of the senses] right up to almost falling asleep. Once he was asleep, he would again recognize his awareness. But there were a few moments each night, just before slipping into sleep, when he lost his recognition of awareness, and he sought help on how to eliminate this interruption.


Now when he is speaking of awareness per MR, "he meant pure, non-dualistic awareness, awareness without an observer." So this will give one a general idea about the stability of an advanced practitioner. Yet how could the quality of his mind states ever be communicated, except to one who already shared them?

On another note, I have found Jack Kornfield's take on "enlightenments" as opposed to "enlightenment." The idea is that experiences of realization are varied and vast, so to speak of a unified "enlightenment" is off the mark. You can read his thoughts of it along with additional experiential hints:

https://www.inquiringmind.com/article/2 ... htenments/
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

haha
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by haha » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:09 am

This point somehow talked above. However, it is noteworthy to separate Bodhi (enlightenment) and Anuttara samyak sambodhi.

This enlightenment could be anything. People have all sorts of experience: boundless light, self, non-self, emptiness, clarity, divinity, teaching from divinities, impermanent, thoughtlessness, and so on. Even recognition from teacher is regarded as enlightenment. Definitely, they have deeper understanding or insight in some aspects. As long as someone does not claim that he or she is a Buddha. Or create confusion by mixing different traditions (i.e. buddhist and non-buddhist). There might be no problem. (just an opinion).



And thanks for Jack Kornfield's article.

Mirror
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Mirror » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:20 am

Simon E. wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:33 am
It took Shakyamuni hundreds of non mundane lifetimes of attainment to reach full Enlightenment..Sambuddhasa.
It depends on a tradition. In Vajrayana we believe that attaining enlightenment is possible in one lifetime.

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

Post by Simon E. » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:29 am

Mirror wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:20 am
Simon E. wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:33 am
It took Shakyamuni hundreds of non mundane lifetimes of attainment to reach full Enlightenment..Sambuddhasa.
It depends on a tradition. In Vajrayana we believe that attaining enlightenment is possible in one lifetime.
The Vajrayana does say that. Which doesn’t contradict my statement at all. Shakyamuni had not yet rediscovered the Vajrayana.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by Fortyeightvows » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:41 am

Simon E. wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:37 am
The teacher of Gods and men.
I was recently thinking about this - why only gods and men?

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

Post by Simon E. » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:24 pm

Many Suttas feature this particular form of address to the Buddha. I don’t think that it’s intended to exclude any forms of
being. But perhaps the scholars among us can give a more thorough explanation.. :smile:
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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jake
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Re: Anyone Come Close to Enlightenment Yet?

Post by jake » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:56 pm

The topic appears to have run its course. Further discussion on the "Gods and Men" would be a welcome as a new post. If you have a pressing addition to this discussion please PM a moderator

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