catlady2112 wrote:This may sound like an provocative (or stupid) question to ask, but after 30 years of study and practice, this question comes up more and more with me.
Hi Catlady! After 50 years, I find that don't give a flying fish about it. I am no longer in conflict with my stupidity, and I find that not knowing or caring to know is much less stressful than bothering myself over other people's concepts.
"If you can learn to be as if stupid, then no matter what Dharma door you cultivate you will attain samadhi and gain some realization. It's just because you are unable to be stupid that you cannot properly enter into samadhi and don't get any response from your cultivation."
~The Shurangama Mantra--The Efficacious Language of Heaven and Earth
Lectures by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
I must admit I first got into Buddhism for self-centered reasons (not because of Enlightenment), but because I was tired of dealing with my mind run amok. I believe Buddhism saved my life at some level. I have complete confidence in the practices.
All human motives are self-centered -- it's pre-loaded software.
Now, what keeps me going is that I have a heartfelt compassion for people who suffer and live in mental turmoil. My heart goes out to them spontaneously.
Thank you for your generous spirit, kindness is a truly rare and precious quality!
But Enlightenment still seems like a far off conceptual and unachievable goal.
Then maybe better to set the whole matter aside for now and just live the best life you can. Sometimes letting go is the most liberating thing we can do, including letting go of enlightenment enigmas.
It's hard for me to believe the Buddha expects us to feel this way or that we should struggle to attain it.
A Buddha has no expectations.
And then again, what does "attaining" mean? If it is not a thing, how can it be attained? Isn't having a "goal" defeating the whole purpose? But then if we don't have a goal, why are we doing the practice? Lots to ponder...
Liberation includes freedom from the burden of trying to figure out the mind by using the mind. Imagine what it would feel like if those questions of yours could be experienced as mere passing breezes. Really, that's all they are anyway. Why postpone your own peace?