A Definition of Enlightenment

Discussion of Zen Buddhism, Soto Zen, Rinzai Zen, Chan, Seon and Thien.

Moderator: Spiritual Do-gooder

User avatar
Larry
Posts: 422
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:17 am

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by Larry » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:36 pm

As long as they're not expecting my vacuum :lol:

User avatar
lindama
Posts: 254
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:20 pm
Location: Forestville, CA

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by lindama » Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:49 pm

:lol:

then put it down

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 705
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:28 am

boda wrote:
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:
Yes, Any. Test my statement. Otherwise, it isn't too cool to claim I'm misrepresenting.

--Joe

User avatar
boda
Posts: 528
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 am

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:46 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:28 am
boda wrote:
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:
Yes, Any. Test my statement. Otherwise, it isn't too cool to claim I'm misrepresenting.

--Joe
How would they know anyway, being practitioners themselves.

User avatar
Nothing
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:04 am
Location: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by Nothing » Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:53 am

KeithA wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:13 pm

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?
Hi Keith, thanks for the reply.

For me there is a difference it terms of having a sense of '"doer" and the thing that is "done" and only "doing", but could be wrong of course.

User avatar
clyde
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:08 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by clyde » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:40 pm

Keith's question,
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?
reminded me of this:
CASE 26.
TWO MONKS ROLL UP THE BLINDS

Hogen of Seiryo came to the hall to speak to the monks before the midday meal. He pointed with his finger to the bamboo blinds. At this moment two monks rose and rolled the blinds up. Hogen observed, "One has it, the other hasn't it."
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:19 am

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by KeithA » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:48 pm

clyde wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:40 pm
Keith's question,
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?
reminded me of this:
CASE 26.
TWO MONKS ROLL UP THE BLINDS

Hogen of Seiryo came to the hall to speak to the monks before the midday meal. He pointed with his finger to the bamboo blinds. At this moment two monks rose and rolled the blinds up. Hogen observed, "One has it, the other hasn't it."
Ha! Yes, yes!

And the "answer" perfectly illustrates my point. :)

_/|\_
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:19 am

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by KeithA » Sun Jul 01, 2018 3:52 pm

Nothing wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:53 am
KeithA wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:13 pm

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?
Hi Keith, thanks for the reply.

For me there is a difference it terms of having a sense of '"doer" and the thing that is "done" and only "doing", but could be wrong of course.
Sure, from the perspective of separate and distinct beings. But, in the end, picking up the cup is just picking up the cup. See the kong an that Clyde offered up. :117:
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 705
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:24 pm

KeithA wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:13 pm
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?
Maybe the question was rhetorical, but I'll have a go, anyway.

Here's a scenario; there could be many other similar ones. I contribute this one -- and one of this particular type -- because it shows not just the quality of the action for the awakened person him/her-self, but shows a value of the pure action also for others, or another:

When the awakened person picks up the cup, there are probably no thoughts going on at the same time. There is probably just the picking up of the cup. Because there are likely no thoughts going on at the same time, the awakened person notes clearly that someone to his right or left wants the cup, so he hands it to the person without hesitation, and without feeling attachment to the cup. The person says, "Wow, thanks!; it's almost as if you could read my mind! How'd you know I needed that cup?"

This emphasizes the factors of spontaneous natural Wisdom and spontaneous natural Compassion arising instantaneously and simultaneously in the awakened person, and becoming incorporated into action and actions, behavior and character. These factors are original and natural to the Human, but, earlier -- before awakening -- were just covered-up. Awakening uncovers them. And attachment decreases or ceases.

Now, for the awakened person him/her-self, the picking up of the cup is done against a background of a radically different, sensed, physiological landscape and mentality than when in the un-awakened state. In fact, there's almost no comparison, but only contrast. In the awakened state, all our original Human inheritances are freely in-play, and can be freely used, Wisely and Compassionately, without attachment.

--Joe

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 705
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:36 pm

boda wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:46 am
desert_woodworker wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:28 am
boda wrote:
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.
Yes, Any. Test my statement. Otherwise, it isn't too cool to claim I'm misrepresenting.
How would they know anyway, being practitioners themselves.
You ask how Teachers would know that continuing practice is needed after awakening, to mitigate or dispel the effects of the arising of the Three Poisons.

Well, because they ARE practitioners. ;) AND, because they are continuing their practice after awakening.

I.e., they know because of experience.

By the way, it's encoded and expressed in the second of the Four Great Universal Bodhisattva Vows.

--Joe

User avatar
boda
Posts: 528
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 am

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:44 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:36 pm
boda wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:46 am
desert_woodworker wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:28 am
boda wrote:
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.
Yes, Any. Test my statement. Otherwise, it isn't too cool to claim I'm misrepresenting.
How would they know anyway, being practitioners themselves.
You ask how Teachers would know that continuing practice is needed after awakening, to mitigate or dispel the effects of the arising of the Three Poisons.

Well, because they ARE practitioners. ;) AND, because they are continuing their practice after awakening.

I.e., they know because of experience.

By the way, it's encoded and expressed in the second of the Four Great Universal Bodhisattva Vows.

--Joe
You're equating awakening with enlightenment, if that matters to you. What do you call the cessation of suffering as described in the 4NTs? or do you not believe?

User avatar
Nothing
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:04 am
Location: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by Nothing » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:17 pm

KeithA wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:13 pm

Not arguing, because in a sense I agree with most of this. But it begs the question: If, for example, an "unenlightened"

Sure, from the perspective of separate and distinct beings. But, in the end, picking up the cup is just picking up the cup. See the kong an that Clyde offered up. :117:
As I understand, seeing through the perspective of separate and distinct beings/phenomena or seeing through duality is what defines awakening or enlightenment.

Joe already said enough about the difference, but i will try to say more if possible. :)

And for the picking up the cup, although outwardly it may look the same, it is not the same in terms of quality, same as with the practice before and after awakening. Not only that the notion of subject vs object is not present, neither the mental chatter, also the notion of picking up the cup is not there and therefore there is no beginning nor end of the "action".

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:19 am

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by KeithA » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:25 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:24 pm
KeithA wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:13 pm
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?
Maybe the question was rhetorical, but I'll have a go, anyway.
Nope...I offered it up for discussion.


Here's a scenario; there could be many other similar ones. I contribute this one -- and one of this particular type -- because it shows not just the quality of the action for the awakened person him/her-self, but shows a value of the pure action also for others, or another:

When the awakened person picks up the cup, there are probably no thoughts going on at the same time. There is probably just the picking up of the cup. Because there are likely no thoughts going on at the same time, the awakened person notes clearly that someone to his right or left wants the cup, so he hands it to the person without hesitation, and without feeling attachment to the cup. The person says, "Wow, thanks!; it's almost as if you could read my mind! How'd you know I needed that cup?"
Maybe. Maybe not. We all have ideas and even fantasies about what an awakened person may or may not be thinking or not thinking. But, I was just talking about the act of picking up the cup, but I do appreciate the "for others" addition. :)
This emphasizes the factors of spontaneous natural Wisdom and spontaneous natural Compassion arising instantaneously and simultaneously in the awakened person, and becoming incorporated into action and actions, behavior and character. These factors are original and natural to the Human, but, earlier -- before awakening -- were just covered-up. Awakening uncovers them. And attachment decreases or ceases.

Now, for the awakened person him/her-self, the picking up of the cup is done against a background of a radically different, sensed, physiological landscape and mentality than when in the un-awakened state. In fact, there's almost no comparison, but only contrast. In the awakened state, all our original Human inheritances are freely in-play, and can be freely used, Wisely and Compassionately, without attachment.

--Joe
Thanks for that, Joe. I guess in the end, I prefer to keep things much more open ended, regarding awakened and non-awakened beings. Let's face it, the record isn't great when it comes to organized Buddhist groups deciding that one. There was a teacher from Korea that came over to NY to give a talk and I couldn't help but cringe over the words "enlightened master" they plastered all over the announcement. Maybe he was, maybe not.

I see enlightenment as a direction, plain and simple. If it could be defined in a way us lowly un-awakened folks could understand, I suspect someone would have done so already. In our tradition, we say "get enlightenment, help others". If I ever get enlightenment, I will be sure to try help others understand it. As for now, I will just keep practicing and see what happens. :bow2:

_/|\_
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:19 am

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by KeithA » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:31 pm

Nothing wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:17 pm
KeithA wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:13 pm

Not arguing, because in a sense I agree with most of this. But it begs the question: If, for example, an "unenlightened"

Sure, from the perspective of separate and distinct beings. But, in the end, picking up the cup is just picking up the cup. See the kong an that Clyde offered up. :117:
As I understand, seeing through the perspective of separate and distinct beings/phenomena or seeing through duality is what defines awakening or enlightenment.

Joe already said enough about the difference, but i will try to say more if possible. :)

And for the picking up the cup, although outwardly it may look the same, it is not the same in terms of quality, same as with the practice before and after awakening. Not only that the notion of subject vs object is not present, neither the mental chatter, also the notion of picking up the cup is not there and therefore there is no beginning nor end of the "action".
I certainly have heard of what it might be like and maybe had an experience here and there that confirm the direction, but lets face it, we are all just speculating. I am enjoying the speculating, though!!

_/|\_
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

User avatar
KeithA
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:19 am

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by KeithA » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:27 am

I guess what it all boils down to is this:

Ultimately, there is no before and after enlightenment. That's a very big mistake. In fact, there is no bigger mistake, in my view.

And yet, there is still something to do. To think that there isn't is also a mistake.

Also, a note to my future self: stop saying dumb shit!! :114:

_/|\_
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

User avatar
desert_woodworker
Posts: 705
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 am
Location: Southern Arizona desert, USA

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:47 am

boda wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:44 pm
You're equating awakening with enlightenment, if that matters to you. What do you call the cessation of suffering as described in the 4NTs? or do you not believe?
I can't say that I am, no. I'm not really taking on the word enlightenment as an adequate or even appropriate bit of vocabulary. I think that what people are trying to refer to is "undarkening", or awakening.

You bring in the Four Noble Truths. I'd say that awakening is the cessation of suffering, at least for the time that awakening lasts, and while supported by the kind of practice that's natural following awakening.

--Joe

User avatar
bokki
Posts: 333
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:31 pm

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by bokki » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:07 am

LOL
how many posts do you have now?
666?
nice 1!

LOL
im sry, just jesting, senior.
luv you.

B
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
- Linda Anderson

User avatar
boda
Posts: 528
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:27 am

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:44 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:47 am
I'd say that awakening is the cessation of suffering, at least for the time that awakening lasts, and while supported by the kind of practice that's natural following awakening.
The major point that I'm trying to get across to you is that you know only what you know and there's more to heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your limited experience, knowledge, capacity, etc.

User avatar
Nothing
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:04 am
Location: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by Nothing » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:06 pm

KeithA wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:31 pm
I certainly have heard of what it might be like and maybe had an experience here and there that confirm the direction, but lets face it, we are all just speculating. I am enjoying the speculating, though!!
_/|\_


Of course we are just speculating, thanks for your speculations Keith :hatsoff:

User avatar
Nothing
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:04 am
Location: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by Nothing » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:17 pm

KeithA wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:27 am
I guess what it all boils down to is this:

Ultimately, there is no before and after enlightenment. That's a very big mistake. In fact, there is no bigger mistake, in my view.

And yet, there is still something to do. To think that there isn't is also a mistake.

Also, a note to my future self: stop saying dumb shit!! :114:

_/|\_
Yes, true that there is not, when I said before or after i meant that experientially from the perspective of the individual.

What future self? :P

Post Reply