"Today I was enlightened"

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"Today I was enlightened"

Postby disjointed » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:42 am

I think this is a worthwhile topic because it seems that everyone at some point is sure they've become an arhant or something only to find out later they were just in a really good mood.

Once I thought I had become an arhant. I hadn't been angry or upset in a while and I was equanimous. I remember telling someone in my vajra family and they didn't say anything either way. I assume it was because they knew that time would reveal my miscalculation better than their saying something. And it wasn't long before more suffering rolled in and showed that I hadn't yet reached that accomplishment.

Back then, I didn't feel so bad about misrepresenting myself because I had been inculcated with stories of other people doing the same thing. If I hadn't had that "well everyone makes this mistake" I might have isolated myself out of embarrassment and avoided family.

Anyone else have stories?
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby lobster » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:04 am

Today I am enlightened. To me Nothing. Everyone else? Song and dance time . . . :woohoo:

:hi:
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby Alfredo » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:53 am

Then congratulations on your newfound omniscience. How many fingers am I holding up?
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby Seishin » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:44 am

disjointed wrote:...everyone at some point is sure they've become an arhant or something only to find out later they were just in a really good mood...


:rolling: I LOVE this! :twothumbsup: I think we could turn it into "Yesterday I thought I was enlightened, turned out I was just in a really good mood"! :rolling: I think there's a facebook meme in there :tongue:

But anyway, I haven't ever thought myself enlightened, but I have had moments where I thought I knew what I was talking about. Sooner or later I came crashing back to earth! :smile:

Gassho,
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby plwk » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:26 am

Right... continues sweeping the floor
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby invisiblediamond » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:56 pm

plwk wrote:Right... continues sweeping the floor

Humblebrag
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:16 pm

Basically it is the common mistake, made by most beginners, of taking a flash of realisation/insight to be permanent enlightenment.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby Jikan » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:44 pm

lobster wrote:Today I am enlightened. To me Nothing. Everyone else? Song and dance time . . . :woohoo:

:hi:


So... you're buying the next round for the rest of us, but not for yourself? :cheers:
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby Adamantine » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:13 pm

What about those who have a lifetime of experience who make that mistake?

Maybe outside of the precise "Buddhist" framework
but I think there's a bunch of teachers in the USA right now who
claim enlightenment without a consistent, precise or meaningful
definition of what "enlightenment" even means..and often using
Buddhist stories or references to help support their own claims to special
states..
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:20 pm

I've never thought I was enlightened..but i've had meditative experiences that I put too much stock in. Maybe not too much stock in, it's more like assuming a short experience in meditation would somehow lead to a permanent day to day change.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby disjointed » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:05 pm

Adamantine wrote:What about those who have a lifetime of experience who make that mistake?

Maybe outside of the precise "Buddhist" framework
but I think there's a bunch of teachers in the USA right now who
claim enlightenment without a consistent, precise or meaningful
definition of what "enlightenment" even means..and often using
Buddhist stories or references to help support their own claims to special
states..


I have seen that also. Too many times.
Usually these people do, like you said, build up to their private proclamations and hints to students who don't know any better with inconsistent, vague, and meaningless definitions of what enlightenment is.

I invested a few hours in polite debate with a Dzogchen teacher before that ended with his conceding his definition of enlightenment was incorrect and accepting mine. This happened with 3 of his students witnessing. And I thought this would result in him and his students renewing their effort because they now acknowledged there was something greater that they had not yet attained. Later however I found out that their teacher had really gone off the deep end and the students began defending everything their teacher said with an explanation that he was a Buddha. And that was the end of my attempt to repair the hole in their teacher's understanding left by the lack of a strong relationship with his lama and vajra family.

I'm not trying to single out Dzogchen with this story. It's not hard to find an example of this same thing occurring with a teacher of any major school.

I know of one Gelug lama that went off the deep end. Even though he is Gelug he often goes on and on with stories about Tilopa, Naropa, Milarepa, etc. and then he ends the talk with the warped moral of the story. "The guru is always right no matter what he does and pleasing the guru is the way to becoming enlightened." I'm paraphrasing, this particular lama actually speaks in broken English.
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:25 pm

Adamantine wrote:What about those who have a lifetime of experience who make that mistake?
"A lifetime of experience of what?" would be my question. Coz if it is a lifetime of experience of ego centred, ignorant, dualism and delusion, well...
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby justsit » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:28 pm

disjointed wrote:... his definition of enlightenment was incorrect and accepting mine.


So would you please share your definition with us?
Not being smartypants here, am genuinely interested.
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby Simon E. » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:37 pm

For anyone on this forum to claim any knowledge of Enlightenment, as opposed to some verbal formula, is like ants on an anthill..... In front of a backdrop of Everest.....
The degree of effort required and the conditions necessary for its arising is comically underestimated by westerners.
Last edited by Simon E. on Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby disjointed » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:39 pm

I defined enlightenment as having the characteristic of totally and permanently ending suffering.

This of course would not be a working definition for debate with someone who did not acknowledge rebirth.
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby Simon E. » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:46 pm

disjointed wrote:I defined enlightenment as having the characteristic of totally and permanently ending suffering.

This of course would not be a working definition for debate with someone who did not acknowledge rebirth.

And that cliched reply ( even though correct as far as verbal formulae are concerned ) defeated a Dzogchen teacher you say.
Right... 8-)
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:33 pm

disjointed wrote:I defined enlightenment as having the characteristic of totally and permanently ending suffering.

From the Mahayana POV that would be a good start. I'm still working on it.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby seeker242 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:47 pm

Simon E. wrote:For anyone on this forum to claim any knowledge of Enlightenment, as opposed to some verbal formula, is like ants on an anthill..... In front of a backdrop of Everest.....
The degree of effort required and the conditions necessary for its arising is comically underestimated by westerners.


It's often overestimated too. Like when people say "Well, I just know that I won't ever get it". Which unfortunately prevents them from even trying to begin. "Enlightenment is easy" can be a danger. "Enlightenment is really hard" can be one too!
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby Simon E. » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:50 pm

A fair point.
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Re: "Today I was enlightened"

Postby disjointed » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:24 pm

Simon E. wrote:
disjointed wrote:I defined enlightenment as having the characteristic of totally and permanently ending suffering.

This of course would not be a working definition for debate with someone who did not acknowledge rebirth.

And that cliched reply ( even though correct as far as verbal formulae are concerned ) defeated a Dzogchen teacher you say.
Right... 8-)


Simon. I presume you assume this Dzogchen teacher was well taught and fluent in the teachings of Dzogchen. He was not.
He was hardly familiar with Buddhism and resorted to making things up as he went along.
His version of enlightenment had the characteristic of intermittent suffering.
And so I focused on the characteristic of enlightenment having a total and permanent end of suffering; which various descriptions from various Buddhist schools agree is the defining characteristic of enlightenment.
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