A Definition of Enlightenment

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bokki
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by bokki » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:55 pm

Also, a note to my future self: stop saying dumb shit!! :114:
LOL, Keith, Sir, please do not stop!
i find every post of yours very,..ugh, ..should i say
enlightening?
yes,
please never stop!
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:03 pm

hi b.,
boda wrote:
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.
Sure, that much can be just silently presupposed, and goes for you too. But, it's off-topic.

Now, do you disagree that awakening is the end of suffering, at least for the interval in which awakening persists and is supported by ongoing practice?

tnx,

--Joe

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desert_woodworker
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:55 pm

b.,
boda wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:42 pm
How can it be considered off-topic when we seem to have so much trouble defining enlightenment.
That too is off-topic.

'Enlightenment' is just a mis-translation about 175 years old. Hmm, see Rick Fields' book, in its early chapters, where he discusses early errors in the transmission of Buddhism to the West by errant "translators" (we cut them some slack, I hope; nice tries, they had no "practice" under their belts, until pioneering teachers came to the West about 150 years later).

I note that you do not answer whether you deny or disagree that awakening is the end of suffering, at least for the interval in which awakening persists and is supported by ongoing practice. It's OK; we'll let it go.

_/\_ ,

--Joe

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desert_woodworker
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:38 pm

To return to the topic of the OP, my definition is "awakening".

I claim that the word "enlightenment" is misconstrued, and mistranslated, and has been mistranslated to English for some 175 years.

Buddha said, "I am AWAKE". So, I'm for awakening, when it comes to a title or name for what happens to end suffering... at least for the interval of time in which awakening lasts, and during the time when awakening is and can be supported by continuing practice (usually awakening erodes or evaporates, after months, but can be gotten back down-to, afterwards, given cooperating causes and conditions, again). Hail!

:namaste: , All,

--Joe

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KeithA
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by KeithA » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:03 pm

bokki wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:55 pm
Also, a note to my future self: stop saying dumb shit!! :114:
LOL, Keith, Sir, please do not stop!
i find every post of yours very,..ugh, ..should i say
enlightening?
yes,
please never stop!
That's very kind of you to say, Bokki. :bow2:
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

Caodemarte
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:49 pm

A number of off topic, insulting, and inappropriate posts deleted. Please keep the discussion civil and on topic.

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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by Caodemarte » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:57 pm

Yet more off topic meta-discussion deleted.
Caodemarte wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:57 pm
A number of off topic, insulting, and inappropriate posts deleted. Please keep the discussion civil and on topic.

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boda
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:04 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:55 pm
I note that you do not answer whether you deny or disagree that awakening is the end of suffering, at least for the interval in which awakening persists and is supported by ongoing practice. It's OK; we'll let it go.
Let me try it this way and see if it will stick (I don't know why it hasn't before).

A) There are beginnings, brief intervals, and then endings.

B) There are beginnings, brief intervals, and then continuations.

Are you suggesting that A & B are equivalent?

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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:37 pm

b.,

"enlightenment" is just a misconstrual. Buddha said he is awake.

Awakening occurs, given good causes and conditions, and "given" correct practice. Awakening is not permanent, but may persist for weeks or months before it erodes or is covered-up again. Practice after awakening is important, and may be of a changed character than before awakening. One's teacher will guide us in all of this.

--Joe
boda wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:04 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:55 pm
I note that you do not answer whether you deny or disagree that awakening is the end of suffering, at least for the interval in which awakening persists and is supported by ongoing practice. It's OK; we'll let it go.
Let me try it this way and see if it will stick (I don't know why it hasn't before).

A) There are beginnings, brief intervals, and then endings.

B) There are beginnings, brief intervals, and then continuations.

Are you suggesting that A & B are equivalent?

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boda
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:44 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:37 pm
b.,

"enlightenment" is just a misconstrue. Buddha said he is awake.
So getting back to the topic, are you suggesting that David Brazier's definition misconstrues awakening and perhaps correctly interprets enlightenment?
Awakening occurs, given good causes and conditions, and "given" correct practice. Awakening is not permanent, but may persist for weeks or months before it erodes or is covered-up again. Practice after awakening is important, and may be of a changed character than before awakening. One's teacher will guide us in all of this.
If you wish to discuss this you will be required to start another topic on it, in compliance with new moderation policy.

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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:58 pm

boda wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:44 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:37 pm
"enlightenment" is just a misconstrual. Buddha said he is awake.
So getting back to the topic, are you suggesting that David Brazier's definition misconstrues awakening and perhaps correctly interprets enlightenment?
The reverse; I hope you are reading closely. And, his is not a definition.
Awakening occurs, given good causes and conditions, and "given" correct practice. Awakening is not permanent, but may persist for weeks or months before it erodes or is covered-up again. Practice after awakening is important, and may be of a changed character than before awakening. One's teacher will guide us in all of this.
b. wrote:If you wish to discuss this you will be required to start another topic on it, in compliance with new moderation policy.
No, it's just enough, what I've said. This is a way to distinguish the correct notion of awakening from the misconstrued notion of a sort of 'enlightenment', and so it is germane here, well, as all get-out.

Again, the Brazier line gets at just a single facet of awakening (though mis-called 'enlightenment' by that author), and is not a definition of awakening by any means, since it is deficient. See below:

The awakened state includes the free and spontaneous, simultaneous, arising of true Wisdom and true Compassion, in seamless response to events just as they occur. In this empty state, these original Human inheritances and others arise, once they are uncovered, at awakening, and can all be used freely.

Again, awakening may not be a final state, it depends on its strength, and on one's practice following awakening.

Again, I deny that Brazier's comment is a definition of awakening, but is a comment about one thing which is missing in the awakened state, which is any tendency to do harm. The quote from Brazier does not include the necessary reference to true Wisdom and true Compassion, and therefore it is not a definition of the characteristics of the awakened state. And I think that no one at this forum claims it is a definition of anything at all, except perhaps for you.

Yet, it's an interesting thread all the same. Maybe just so that these points can be made clear.

--Joe

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boda
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:29 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:58 pm
I deny that Brazier's comment is a definition of awakening, but is a comment about one thing which is missing in the awakened state, which is any tendency to do harm.
So harm can be done, there's just not a tendency to do harm.

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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by clyde » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:13 pm

I agree with Joe that “awakened” is the correct term, but “enlightened” is a generally accepted synonym.

Regarding Brazier’s quote,
Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.
I agree with Joe,
desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:38 pm
I'd quibble with Clyde's quotation as follows: In the awakened state, there is no doing of harm, and no need to renounce anything.
I understood Brazier’s quote this way: seeing harm and renouncing it leads to awakening. This seems in accord with the Buddha’s teaching; first, understand (see) suffering, then abandon (renounce) the cause of suffering, experience the end of suffering (awaken), and develop (cultivate/live) the path.
“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 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:33 pm

b.,
boda wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:29 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:58 pm
I deny that Brazier's comment is a definition of awakening, but is a comment about one thing which is missing in the awakened state, which is any tendency to do harm.
So harm can be done, there's just not a tendency to do harm.
No harm. No tendency. Just no harm at all. It's not even possible. Nor conceivable. What a state!, What a condition! And so, we practice... . :namaste:

--Joe

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boda
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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by boda » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:39 pm

clyde wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:13 pm
Regarding Brazier’s quote,
Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.
I understood Brazier’s quote this way: seeing harm and renouncing it leads to awakening. This seems in accord with the Buddha’s teaching; first, understand (see) suffering, then abandon (renounce) the cause of suffering, experience the end of suffering (awaken), and develop (cultivate/live) the path.
By "the path" you mean the Noble Eightfold path, right? If so, you seem to be compressing the entire Buddhist path into this one sentence by Brazier.

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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by clyde » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:04 pm

Yes, the Fourth Noble Truth is Eightfold Noble Path (or “the path”).
“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 boda » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:36 pm

clyde wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:04 pm
Yes, the Fourth Noble Truth is Eightfold Noble Path (or “the path”).
The Eightfold Path has threefold divisions basically categorized: moral, meditation, and insight.

The Brazier line only relates to the moral dimention.

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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:57 pm

boda wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:36 pm
clyde wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:04 pm
Yes, the Fourth Noble Truth is Eightfold Noble Path (or “the path”).
The Eightfold Path has threefold divisions basically categorized: moral, meditation, and insight.

The Brazier line only relates to the moral dimention.
I wouldn't say it's "moral".

I'd say that the inability to do harm when in the awakened state is simply the way that things are. "Moral" disappears, as "Moral" is one of the facets of the Relative, not the Absolute.

And I'd say that the way that things are is informed by true Wisdom, prajna, and that this way is expressed and couched in every interaction, via true Compassion, (karuna).

True Wisdom and true Compassion are uncovered (they manifest themselves... ) as a result of awakening, through the practice of correct Zen Buddhist practice (meditation; etc.).

Thus, indeed, the Eightfold Path is complete in Awakening.

--Joe

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Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by clyde » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:00 am

My understanding is that the Eightfold Path has no beginning or end, and the three categories are for our convenience.

In any case, one cannot see the harm one is doing without understanding suffering, and one cannot understand suffering without the insight that arises from meditation.
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

ol' spikey

Re: A Definition of Enlightenment

Post by ol' spikey » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:26 am

clyde wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:00 am
. . . one cannot understand suffering without the insight that arises from meditation.
This statement reflects Buddhist orthodoxy, but it is just an hypothesis. Similarly, I was taught that Catholic orthodoxy posits that you can't be with God in heaven unless you are baptized.

Buddhism is just a path, a way, that uses meditation. That doesn't mean it is the only way.

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