Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Ervin
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Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Ervin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:30 am

Peace. I have a what I believe to be a very good question and that is are there any enlightened people in the world today. Are any people reading this message enlightened? If someone was to reach enlightenment and if he was willing to teach would you follow him if anything contradicted the traditional teachings.

And how do you know that what you have today really came from Budha. From what I know there is no physical evidence of Bhudas existence.

Don't take this post as an atempt for me to insult. Deists have taught me to question everything. I am a believer/knower my self!

Thanks

Tenzin1
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Tenzin1 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:41 am

This raises the question: does an enlightened person have to be a Buddhist? Your OP sounds like it assumes so. But there are hidden bodhisattvas everywhere. If they reached enlightenment in the previous life, they wouldn't necessarily chose to return as a Buddhist. They could be anyone. As the 16th Karmapa said, when asked if there are enlightened beings, bodhisattvas, among us, "They're all over the place. But they're not going to look like me."

My vote is for Harry Belafonte.

Josef
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Josef » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:47 am

I dont care if the Buddha ever existed or not.
Nor do I care if the teachings we have came from him if he did exist.
Yes, I think there are enlightened people alive today.

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ronnewmexico
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:05 am

Hmmm..in tibetan buddhism, generally there are various levels of bodhisattava and then there is buddhahood.

The buddha himself according to some traditions of buddhism did not have a formal teacher. That some describe as the path of experience and understanding or sutric path. More a trial and error learned type thing than a spiritual means thing such as tantra. But many in tibetan buddhism believe the buddha is not a real human but a emenation sent to teach us. Having achieved as much as possible as human but going to another realm to attain full buddhahood...so there is a bit of a differing opinion depending upon school.

Generally in mayahanan Buddhism peoples may become humanly enlightened and be not fully enlightened.Those are called solitary realizers. They may not all have formal buddhist teachings, but they may be somewhat limited. Not returning but not fully enlightened.
Many in tibetan buddhism think one comes as close to enlightened as possible as human(realized) and then gets furthur instruction in other realm to attain full buddhahood.

AS to humanly enlightened realized..perhaps there are presently. In a teaching context the teacher, ones guru, is considered as fully realized while teaching.
Bodhisattava's will generally return as human. Solitary realizers.......... some say they must to achieve final enlightenment or buddhahood spend some lives at the higher level of bodhisattava returning to the human realm. Or they will not achieve that.
Last edited by ronnewmexico on Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

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Quiet Heart
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Quiet Heart » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:10 am

:smile:
I don't know.
I can say, quite confidently, that if there are...I'm am not one of them.
But I do believe that just perhaps ....many years ago when I was not yet 21 and full of my self-assumed importance.... I may have met one.
I am now pushing 66 years...so you can see...if I did meet one...how rare they must be.
This person was a Vietnamese Buddhist nun...what tradition or sect she was I never did know....and she was revered by the local Vietnamese Buddhists. My Vietnamese girlfriend dragged me to a local Buddhist temple to meet this woman. That was down south of the then Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh city...in a place I knew as Vung Tau...but the French called Cap Saint Jaques.
Like I said before, I was not yet 21 at that time, and full of my assumed self-importance....so I had no time for old Vietnamese women in white robes then.
What I do remember is that she laughed a lot...and she seemed to glow from inside out (I don't know how else to describe that).
I never even bothered to learn her name then...and I still don't.
Even at 21 though, I saw she was something special...but I didn't know why...then or now.
But now, I do wonder.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach

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ronnewmexico
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:23 am

In a anthropological context there is evidence of the buddhas existance.
A competiting philosophy of the day, Jainism has reference within it of the existance of the Buddha and the principal founder of Jainism in this present age is also refered to in some buddhis tales. Both philosophies are present and contrasted.

If he had not existed certainly a opponant of philosophy back in the day would not have mentioned him.
There are other proofs but from a scientific standpoint that is proof.

Lineage is very important in buddhism and all recognized schools draw lineage from the buddha. Hence the term buddhist.
Essentially a unbroken line from the buddha to the present schools teacher is available to be drawn.
So people can not make up their own buddhism.
Initially this was all oral tradition but that it was not written does not imply that it is not reflecting what was said.
Eventually it was all written down. 2500 years ago many histories were kept in oral form in different places.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

Ervin
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Ervin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:27 am

Can some of you briefly tell me of what is the evidence available of Budha's existence and teachings? Any archeologists around?

Thanks

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gad rgyangs
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:44 am

Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.

"I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind."
- Descartes, 2nd Meditation 25

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ronnewmexico
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:44 am

Here is a link that references archeological evidence of the buddha from a BBD program...

If this for reason does not work or is not acceptable quary archeological evidence of the buddha and you will find quite a few links.
To assist with the above mentioned excellent source already provided.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

Ervin
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Ervin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:00 am

Isn't Dalai Lama allegedly enlightened? Isn't he like a Budha of compassion?

Thanks

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ronnewmexico
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:19 am

HHDL considers himself a simple monk, nothing more. He ardently denies the claim some such as some chinese have made, that he is a buddhist god of some sort, and finds that in fact funny.

His followers some consider him a emenation of the buddha of compassion.
He denies any enlightened state nor even a bodhisattava state...he states he vows to be a bodhisattava.... nothing more.
Many here hold that same vow.

As a teacher he assumes the role of the Buddha, so it may be a bit confusing. All buddhist teachers when teaching are the buddha considered in that context. So in a differing culture and religion is may mislead.
Not to mislead certainly many revere him pray to him and for him. That is their choice not his.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

plwk
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby plwk » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:30 am


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DarwidHalim
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:00 am

Definitely, they are still enlightened people out there. Only, we don't know how many.

When they pass away, we can still find all their relics through the news, photos, etc.

From our side, we can prove the validity of their teaching whether through meditation or whatever it is and see their effect to ourself, for example whether it really reduce our anger, attachment, and so on.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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Sönam
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Sönam » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:21 am

There is only enlightened peoples, but most of them do not know it ... only if you know it they can be recognized.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -

Acchantika
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Acchantika » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:40 am

"There are, strictly speaking, no enlightened people. There is only enlightened activity." ~ Shunryu Suzuki
...

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Beatzen
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Beatzen » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:39 am

"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji

Ervin
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Ervin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:03 pm

Peace. I believe that Eckhart Tolle is most likely enlightened! I am reading his book called "A new earth".

The book is brilliant.

Thanks

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Adamantine
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:07 pm

Image
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Sönam
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Sönam » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:23 pm

Image
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -

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Nemo
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Nemo » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:08 pm

There numbers do seem to be dwindling of late.


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