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What does enlightenment feel like to you? - Dhamma Wheel

What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
rybak303
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What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby rybak303 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:04 am

I'm curious, has anyone here ever personally experienced enlightenment either momentarily or on a permanent level? I've been trying to find out what enlightenment is like on an emotional and spiritual level? What does it feel like? What kind of words come to mind when trying to describe it? And in what moment did it or does it come to you?

Yana
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Yana » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:12 am

Hi ...

yikes i was waiting for somebody much more advanced in Buddhist studies to answer this but well based on my own limited knowledge..please forgive me if it's very poor...

Enlightment or Nibbanna mean Cessation..you know like you just "stop" or "end"..."cease".You know like a candle when you extinguish the flame.That sort of ending.just stop.

If people do attain enligthement i think they won't tell you this.i'm not sure why myself.

I think you can try to imagine enlightment in an emotional,spiritual or intellectual level.You can imagine it as peace or bliss.You can imagine how it would feel like... how it would be ..you can think about it.

But when you Do reach the state of enlightment it is none of these things.Enlightment just can't be understood through words,concepts,perceptions..or descriptions.That's the thing it can't be "understood"..one must Experience it for oneself.

hope this helps. :smile:
Life is preparing for Death

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Jaidyn
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Jaidyn » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:17 pm

good post above. i would think of it as a negative of the distress of suffering which our habits of grasping brings. a freedom from suffering; a suffering we always experience but are too insensitive to perceive in terms of suffering.

Sarva
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Sarva » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:34 pm

“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86

Buckwheat
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:28 pm

To paraphrase Thich Nhat Hanh:

When you do not have a tooth-ache, how does that feel compared to when you do have a tooth-ache?

This is not a precise description of enlightenment, but it gives me good food for thought.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

Buckwheat
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:36 pm

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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ground
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby ground » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:17 pm


Sarva
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Sarva » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:50 pm

“Both formerly & now, it is only stress that I describe, and the cessation of stress.” — SN 22:86

befriend
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby befriend » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:19 am

i could be dead wrong but i thought ive heard that buddha almost equated mundane nibbana with the peace of nekhamma. again i could be wrong.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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Ben
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:29 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

befriend
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby befriend » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:25 pm

i mean the peace of nekhamma, would be likened to nibbana. i dont know ive heard the word mundane nibbana forgot where i heard it.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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robertk
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby robertk » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:23 pm


Buckwheat
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:12 pm

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Goofaholix
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:50 pm


John C. Kimbrough
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby John C. Kimbrough » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:28 pm

Enlightenment....To me it means many things, one being that I feel wiser, more mindful and more compassionate today then I did the day before......I think that once we embrace Buddhism and it's practice is very much a part of our life and how we are, we continue to work toward enlightenment..........

Michelle2k
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Michelle2k » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:57 pm

For the sake of discussion, I will say i. I experienced as two srages as part of a four week ego death, mystical Union drama. I say drama because the mind spills out into reality whic rings true as it shapes the dream of reality. I experienced the nirvana and divine Union but the awakening came as a shock when duality then collapsed. Reality looked so bizarre and surreal I thought I had been abducted into another realm... You immediately see that reality us a dream state, like a film set, where all of the characters and everything in it looks comical and false because you clearly see the same energy or consciousness behind it. All of your belief systems and concepts and attachments and dilutions are gone and you walk around at first in a daze just looking and laughing. No suffering but time hangs heavy at first because you are wide awake observer. Once that shock subsides and you get over the fact that you are wide awake without desire, ambition, attachment or super Hunan powers, you appreciate the genius of the illusion and plod on. The divine Union experience is bliss but the waking up is bizarre. You become a witness to it. You then know that even enlightenment is a concept within maya. Beyond this stage, no-one on earth can say more.

It will be different for you no doubt.

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lionking
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby lionking » Sat Jul 23, 2016 4:12 am

Well, you can get a glimpse of "Nirvana" every day.

You reach this state when you sleep. It's the moment you fall into deep slumber not even dreaming. At this state, all your senses have been completely shut down. You do not recall 2 things. You neither recall time passing by nor do you recall existing in a certain space. It's absolute nothingness.

So what are the mechanics involved here? What you are "witnessing" is Anatta - nothingness. It neither exists nor not exists - it is an undefined state. You did not even "witness" because it did not even exist. The consciousness was merely taking a break from projecting yourself via the senses. You "slept" peacefully because yourself was not active and creating ongoing suffering via the senses. Nirvana is a similar state albeit permanent.

The consciousness appears to have adopted certain laws - what we ordinary call laws of nature that determine you need to sleep for a certain length of time for a break. These laws are relative to the realm you are born. The more sophisticated conciseness in higher realms may have evolved different natural laws such as longer sleep spans.

The nothingness is what existed before the "Big-Bang" event. After the Big Bang, perhaps by a fluke of nature bubbles of energy emerged from the nothingness and created the universe or the time-space continuum. These bubbles of energy are the consciousness that emerged and began to evolve as living beings.

What is interesting here is because the time-space continuum was created in Anatta (or nothing) it must be discreet i.e. have a beginning and an end. So the time-space continuum or the universe is a virtual path created in nothing. That means the past, present and future exist right now. All our lifetimes and births occur concurrently. The consciousness is akin to a CPU in a computer giving a time-slice to each birth. This is perhaps what Buddha referred as being "conditioned" i.e. continuously rise and fall.

Nirvana is dropping out of this virtual timeline into "permanent" nothingness. It's only when you are in Anatta you can be truly liberated i.e. sleeping in peace "forever".
grr ..

chownah
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby chownah » Sat Jul 23, 2016 4:53 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:21 am

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Aloka
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Re: What does enlightenment feel like to you?

Postby Aloka » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:25 am

.

I'm not making any claims to enlightenment myself, nor to what I might imagine to be enlightenment experiences. Ajahn Sumedho has said in this excellent talk, that momentary freedom from delusion in meditation can make us think that we're enlightened.





:anjali:
Last edited by Aloka on Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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