Enlightened masters?

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Enlightened masters?

Postby dyanaprajna2011 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:31 am

Are there any enlightened masters today, of any school? Who are those you feel are masters, bodhisattvas, arhats, etc.? Myself, I would have to say Thich Nhat Hanh would be at the top of my list.
"If you want to travel the Way of Buddhas and Zen masters, then expect nothing, seek nothing, and grasp nothing." -Dogen
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby jeeprs » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:07 am

From experience, the 'who's enlightened?' game is not useful and usually leads to a lot of arguments about people's favourite spiritual teachers. So it is probably better not to get into 'who is' as this invariably leads to 'who isn't'.

Notice that in the Buddhist texts the Buddha is nearly always referred to as 'Tathagatha'. This is not a personal name but the description of the state of being of the Buddha. It means both 'thus-gone' (where 'gone' means 'gone to Nirvana' or 'extinguished') and 'thus come'. But the point is, it is not the name of a person, but the condition of the realized being.

Teachers might also embody and be able to convey that state of being. But consideration of who does and who doesn't is rarely edifying.
He that knows it, knows it not.
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby shel » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:30 am

For what it's worth, there's another topic about what a Zen master is and isn't here: http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=12285

Long (14 pages to date) story short, a Zen master is someone who's had a glimpse of Buddha nature, in addition to knowing some measure of Buddhist teachings and rituals, etc. A glimpse of Buddha nature essentially means having had a kensho experience.

So for the Zen tradition, "mastery" doesn't appear to necessarily mean enlightenment. In other words, a Zen master is not necessarily enlightened. No one seems to know exactly what a Zen master has mastered.
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby Jikan » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:58 am

I'm confident I've met people with real attainment.

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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby oushi » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:41 am

Depends on the definition of enlightenment.
Everyone is enlightened to some degree. What is your threshold?
I do not know how enlightenment can be seen in others. If you see Tathagata, it is your enlightenment. If your don't see it, it's your view. Thus, I think that views have no power to grasp enlightenment, or to see it in others. As mentioned TNH said, "all views are wrong views". :smile:
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby randomseb » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:51 pm

If someone calls themselves an "enlightened master", they are most probably no where close to being so.. Hope that helps :twothumbsup:
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby seeker242 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:41 pm

dyanaprajna2011 wrote:Are there any enlightened masters today, of any school?


I can't see why there wouldn't be.

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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby NIRMAL2 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:53 pm

We are an unknown and quiet group practicing in East Malaysia.Recently, a newly Enlightened member of our group wrote an article about our Guru.I'm taking an extract of what he wrote about our Guru.


"that firstIy, on the 15th day of 12th Moon in 2012 during an early morning puja, I saw my Master attaining the Rainbow Dharma Body and watch with awe the immense benefits of achieving this level of highest liberation. The seven colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet with each color representing its individual meaning and function that can manifest into countless ways of helping sentient beings so many that I unable to record. There are the main ones which I cannot reveal openly in tantric practice."
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby Son of Buddha » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:33 am

randomseb wrote:If someone calls themselves an "enlightened master", they are most probably no where close to being so.. Hope that helps :twothumbsup:


Shakyamuni said he was Enlightened :twothumbsup:
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby Simon E. » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:14 am

randomseb wrote:If someone calls themselves an "enlightened master", they are most probably no where close to being so.. Hope that helps :twothumbsup:

Any chance of you producing evidence for your statement ?
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby seeker242 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:17 pm

Simon E. wrote:
randomseb wrote:If someone calls themselves an "enlightened master", they are most probably no where close to being so.. Hope that helps :twothumbsup:

Any chance of you producing evidence for your statement ?


Diamond Sutra Chapter 9 I would think. Something along those lines.

http://www.diamond-sutra.com/diamond_su ... page9.html
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby Simon E. » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:13 pm

That describes the objective status. It does not address assumed titles. Which may in some instances be assumed for the benefit of others.
Or so it seems to me.
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby Jikan » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:39 pm

The 2009 translation of the Surangama Sutra presents the 50 demonic states in such a way as to suggest that they all share the same root: assuming one is accomplished (or asserting that one is accomplished), when one is actually not. This is near to randomseb's comment but precisely the same.
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:04 pm

I took from randomseb's comment the idea that in the west, especially in the United States, we have seen our fill of self-described "Zen Masters" and "enlightened" adepts, who turned out to be profiteers and charlatans. Buy a copy of Shambhala Sun and you'll see ads selling DVDs, seminars and empowerments. I'm still not quite over seeing ads some years ago for Genpo, Wilbur and Bernie posing like the "Three Amigos" selling Big Mind for thousands of $$ a pop.

As Jikan observed, there are some individuals with attainments beyond description. I watch the youtubes of the Kaihigyo monks and have a sense that these men exist and practice in a realm to which I could only aspire. I suspect that in all serious traditions there are men and women who quietly exist in each day in a fully liberated state.
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby Simon E. » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:04 pm

Jikan wrote:The 2009 translation of the Surangama Sutra presents the 50 demonic states in such a way as to suggest that they all share the same root: assuming one is accomplished (or asserting that one is accomplished), when one is actually not. This is near to randomseb's comment but precisely the same.

I guess the issue for me Jikan, is what about allowing titles that imply accomplishment to those that actually are ?
The default position seems to be that any such appellation is seen to be indicative of falsity, but that seems draconian surely ?
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby Jikan » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:25 pm

Surely. I think there's a strong cultural bias among contemporary convert Buddhists against self-promotion. Some of this may be warranted...

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=12188
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=12400

...but at the same time we see few Westerners hesitate to refer to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Which suggests to me that even the most cynical attitudes toward the recognition of mastery has its limits.

I think this will be a sticky issue moving forward regardless. There will be instances in which one person's master will inevitably be another person's megalomaniac. "Sky flowers" in the language of the Surangama...
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby randomseb » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:00 am

The word I got is that there is generally only a few actual fully enlightened beings around at any given time, because it actually is very difficult, and most people who think they are enlightened only reached a certain level and stopped, instead of going all the way.. You know.. "Oh wow, this state of being is awesome! This must be it!!"

And so they lose their way :tongue:
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby greentara » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:14 am

Shel, 'A Zen master is someone who's had a glimpse of Buddha nature' Is kensho enough to gather students around you and claim you can show them the way? A master would be permanantly established in the awakened state otherwise it's the blind leading the blind.
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby randomseb » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:31 am

The Threefold Lotus sutra has a good parable explaining the "temporary abode", where many apparently pitch a tent and settle in

:cheers:
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Re: Enlightened masters?

Postby Quiet Heart » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:24 am

:smile:
Re: Enlightened Masters.

Before enlightenment:
Drawing water, Chopping Wood.
After enlightenment:
Drawing water, Chopping Wood.

(by which it means ..... there is no change in your life).
(Hint: if you don't understand, look down below at my signature and read that little poem).
:smile:
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in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
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