A Definition of Enlightenment

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KeithA
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by KeithA » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:11 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:38 pm
hi, boda,
boda wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:24 pm
What is a Zen Buddhist theorist?
It's off-topic, but of course a mere theorist is someone who is not an experimentalist/practitioner.

Let's say it's somebody who's read tons of Suzuki, Watts, and others, who in fact have nothing to do with practice.... , but who may be nonetheless enthusiastic about the whole deal, as they've heard of it. Well, that's fine and dandy, when it comes to theory, or description, but it contains nothing of the sharing of practical experience. "Reporting" (or "hearsay", in the case of Watts' reiterating, e.g.) is not sharing of experience, but is third-person material.

--Joe
I once had a guy walk out of intro night because he just wanted to talk about zen. He told me he was "already there" and didn't need to sit and wanted nothing to do with it. Apparently, he felt that reading lots of Watts' work was how one gets there. And who knows, maybe he was "there". Wherever that is! :lol:

I guess that place is the topic. For me, I have always liked Suzuki's "strictly speaking, there are no enlightened beings, only enlightened action". That speaks to the direction of what Clyde wrote about enlightenment.

In the end, defining something that can't be defined seems like a bit of time-wasting to me. But I suppose that's what forums are for! :109:

_/|\_
You make, you get.

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boda
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:32 am

How about ‘realizing emptiness’, does that work better for anyone than the do no harm ethic?

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clyde
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by clyde » Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:47 am

As I responded to your initial inquiry,
Yes, it’s a definition of enlightenment (not the one and only definition). [emphasis added]
If it doesn’t work for you, move on.

If ‘realizing emptiness’ works for you, stay with it.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

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fuki
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by fuki » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:39 am

KeithA wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:11 am
I once had a guy walk out of intro night because he just wanted to talk about zen. He told me he was "already there" and didn't need to sit and wanted nothing to do with it. Apparently, he felt that reading lots of Watts' work was how one gets there. And who knows, maybe he was "there". Wherever that is! :lol:

I guess that place is the topic. For me, I have always liked Suzuki's "strictly speaking, there are no enlightened beings, only enlightened action". That speaks to the direction of what Clyde wrote about enlightenment.

In the end, defining something that can't be defined seems like a bit of time-wasting to me. But I suppose that's what forums are for! :109:

_/|\_
I've been watching the full moon for 4hr and 30 minutes, it's still above the sea horizon now at 05:30 am but fading in the blue while the sun has risen. Bathing in moonlight is such bliss, the plants like it too! Various birds sing their concerts and seagulls pass the moon, something a forum can't provide or transmit through words, really you should have been (t)here :D
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

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boda
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:11 pm

clyde wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:47 am
As I responded to your initial inquiry,
Yes, it’s a definition of enlightenment (not the one and only definition). [emphasis added]
If it doesn’t work for you, move on.
I don't get it, this is a discussion forum, isn't it?

Is your ideal forum a place where everyone is engaged in their own monolog and the only interactions are :hatsoff: of agreement?

If you don't want to explain your understanding or engage in a dialog that's fine. Just say so, or don't.

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clyde
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by clyde » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:03 pm

I was responding to your question:
boda wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:32 am
How about ‘realizing emptiness’, does that work better for anyone than the do no harm ethic?
By reminding you that David Brazier’s quote which began your topic was “a definition of enlightenment (not the one and only definition)” and that if the Brazier’s definition doesn’t work for you, use your definition.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:18 pm

boda wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:56 am
desert_woodworker wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:33 am
b.,
boda wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:24 pm
And what I mean is that claiming that there's no end to practice is like going down a road some distance and then claiming that the road just goes on and on forever. You can't know how far the road goes or where it ends unless you've traversed it.
Exactly.

And when you've traversed it, and seen it limits in the traversal, you know that there is "maintenance" involved, else all will revert to "before".

This is the continuing practice after awakening that teachers will tell you about, if you contact them and are in their care, say. Ask Meido, or others.

--Joe
If you’re maintaining something then you must know something about what you’re maintaining, otherwise you couldn’t maintain it. So is what you’re maintaining the ability to see what harm you are involved in and renouncing it?
Let's separate the topics. I propose no definition of "enlightenment" (un-darkening), no. All I did was quibble with Clyde's fine quotation from another fellow about it.

But when it comes to continuing practice, it's necessary because of the arising of the Three Poisons. Elementary. Any teacher can elaborate on this for you if you need it. This is not on-topic in this thread, so I'll leave it at that. Well, OK, let's say: Being well means Keeping well. That's what continuing practice is for.

--Joe

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boda
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:37 pm

clyde wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:03 pm
I was responding to your question:
boda wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:32 am
How about ‘realizing emptiness’, does that work better for anyone than the do no harm ethic?
By reminding you that David Brazier’s quote which began your topic was “a definition of enlightenment (not the one and only definition)” and that if the Brazier’s definition doesn’t work for you, use your definition.
No, that's not what you wrote. You wrote that if Brazier's definition doesn't work for me that I should "move on."

Clearly you're not interested in discussing the topic. That's fine, you don't have to. :558:
Last edited by boda on Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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boda
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:41 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:18 pm
when it comes to continuing practice, it's necessary because of the arising of the Three Poisons. Elementary. Any teacher can elaborate on this for you if you need it.
Any teacher? Many Buddhists believe in all four of the Noble Truths. You shouldn't misrepresent. It ain't cool. :114:

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clyde
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by clyde » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:13 pm

Boda;

Yes, I wrote “move on” AND “stay with it”, so I was talking about moving on or staying with what definition works for you. Your definition of enlightenment is excellent.

And you’re correct, I’m not interested in debating what I said or meant.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

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boda
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:41 pm

clyde wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:13 pm
Boda;

Yes, I wrote “move on” AND “stay with it”, so I was talking about moving on or staying with what definition works for you. Your definition of enlightenment is excellent.
This is what you wrote:
clyde wrote:If it doesn’t work for you, move on.

If ‘realizing emptiness’ works for you, stay with it.
Basically, if you don't like Brazier's definition then move on (don't question it) AND stay with your own definition.

I don't claim that you were intentionally communicating my interpretation.

ol' spikey

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by ol' spikey » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:47 pm

fuki wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:39 am

I've been watching the full moon for 4hr and 30 minutes, it's still above the sea horizon now at 05:30 am but fading in the blue while the sun has risen. Bathing in moonlight is such bliss, the plants like it too! Various birds sing their concerts and seagulls pass the moon, something a forum can't provide or transmit through words, really you should have been (t)here :D
At about 8:30 PM as the sky darkens, the fireflies come out. As kids we called them "lightning bugs". As a retired professional conservationist after 21 years, I know they are endangered. From my three-story condo with woods on the side and back, the fireflies start at patio level, where I join them, and eventually rise into the canopy, floating just a few feet (meter) away on the gentle night wind from my last vantage on the third floor deck. They number about one hundred, blinking and streaking against the dark tree/sky background, something "a forum can't provide or transmit through words", but can trigger your imagination nonetheless.

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fuki
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by fuki » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:39 am

ol' spikey wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:47 pm
At about 8:30 PM as the sky darkens, the fireflies come out. As kids we called them "lightning bugs". As a retired professional conservationist after 21 years, I know they are endangered. From my three-story condo with woods on the side and back, the fireflies start at patio level, where I join them, and eventually rise into the canopy, floating just a few feet (meter) away on the gentle night wind from my last vantage on the third floor deck. They number about one hundred, blinking and streaking against the dark tree/sky background, something "a forum can't provide or transmit through words", but can trigger your imagination nonetheless.
Thanks, no fireflies here, your story brought back a memory from the age of 8 approx seeing fireflies in Spain for the first time. :)
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

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KeithA
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by KeithA » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:58 am

fuki wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:39 am
ol' spikey wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:47 pm
At about 8:30 PM as the sky darkens, the fireflies come out. As kids we called them "lightning bugs". As a retired professional conservationist after 21 years, I know they are endangered. From my three-story condo with woods on the side and back, the fireflies start at patio level, where I join them, and eventually rise into the canopy, floating just a few feet (meter) away on the gentle night wind from my last vantage on the third floor deck. They number about one hundred, blinking and streaking against the dark tree/sky background, something "a forum can't provide or transmit through words", but can trigger your imagination nonetheless.
Thanks, no fireflies here, your story brought back a memory from the age of 8 approx seeing fireflies in Spain for the first time. :)
We get them in our back yard. They are far less plentiful these days. Seeing one hundred of them would be a beautiful sight!

Boda asked:
How about ‘realizing emptiness’, does that work better for anyone than the do no harm ethic?
I have been thinking about that one. It feels incomplete to me.

First, mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers
Second, mountains are rivers, rivers are mountains
Finally, mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers


Realizing emptiness seems to me to be the second step. One more step is needed.

Of course, originally, there are no steps!

_/|\_
You make, you get.

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Nothing
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by Nothing » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:59 pm

David Brazier wrote:Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.
To me that definition tells more about the practice (before enlightenment or awakening) than the awakening itself.

Not that one stop practicing after awakening, but the practice has different quality as I know.

And although there is only enlightened action and not beings, "enlightened" action before awakening and after awakening is not same imo ;)


Gassho

Viktor

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KeithA
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by KeithA » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:13 pm

Nothing wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:59 pm
David Brazier wrote:Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.
To me that definition tells more about the practice (before enlightenment or awakening) than the awakening itself.

Not that one stop practicing after awakening, but the practice has different quality as I know.

And although there is only enlightened action and not beings, "enlightened" action before awakening and after awakening is not same imo ;)


Gassho

Viktor
Not arguing, because in a sense I agree with most of this. But it begs the question: If, for example, an "unenlightened" person picks up a cup and an "enlightened" person picks up a cup, how is the action different?

It isn't, so then it comes back to what Clyde was talking about. Some actions are not performed by an enlightened person.

I do happen to think much of this based on deluded perception. So, perhaps we can add "seeing through delusion" to pile of the definition of enlightenment.

Just noodling...
You make, you get.

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Larry
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by Larry » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:29 pm

KeithA wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:13 pm
If, for example, an "unenlightened" person picks up a cup and an "enlightened" person picks up a cup, how is the action different?

It isn't
Some Roshis may disagree :)

How can you tell I've just been dipping into Meido's book again :D

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KeithA
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by KeithA » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:34 pm

Larry wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:29 pm
KeithA wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:13 pm
If, for example, an "unenlightened" person picks up a cup and an "enlightened" person picks up a cup, how is the action different?

It isn't
Some Roshis may disagree :)

How can you tell I've just been dipping into Meido's book again :D
I am happy to be corrected. I will read my post some time down the road and just roll my eyes at my stupidity anyway. :116:

Hence, the use of Adam's "just noodling". :112:
You make, you get.

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Larry
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by Larry » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:51 pm

KeithA wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:34 pm
I will read my post some time down the road and just roll my eyes at my stupidity anyway.
I know the feeling :lol:

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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by lindama » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:24 pm

Knock on any door .... someone will answer
Larry wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:51 pm
KeithA wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:34 pm
I will read my post some time down the road and just roll my eyes at my stupidity anyway.
I know the feeling :lol:

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