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enlightened story

ZendoLord84ZendoLord84 Veteran
edited April 2012 in General Banter
One day the Master announced that a young monk had reached an advanced state of enlightment. The news caused some stir. Some of the monks went to see the young monk. "We heard you are enlightened. Is that true?" they asked.

"It is," he replied.

"And how do you feel?"

"As miserable as ever," said the monk.

Comments

  • umm... elaboration?
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    umm... elaboration?
    Before enlightenment, fetch water, chop wood.
    After enlightenment, fetch water, chop wood.


  • "And how do you feel?"

    "As miserable as ever," said the monk.

    I don't get it - I thought enlightenment was freedom from suffering? :-/
  • So remind me again what the point would be in pursuing enlightenment (or whatever terminology you want to use), from this perspective, if one still feels miserable after?
  • So remind me again what the point would be in pursuing enlightenment (or whatever terminology you want to use), from this perspective, if one still feels miserable after?
    You're not attached to the emotions. You see them for what they are. Enlightenment is not bliss; some spaced-out trippy emotional state where you don't feel saddness, grief, tired, aches and pains along with happiness, joy, contentment. You continue to "feel" what is proper to feel in the situation, same as anyone.

    So the answer to the question, "How do you feel now?" is correct.

    From a Zen teaching perspective.


    lobster
  • AmeliaAmelia Veteran

    "And how do you feel?"

    "As miserable as ever," said the monk.

    I don't get it - I thought enlightenment was freedom from suffering? :-/
    So remind me again what the point would be in pursuing enlightenment (or whatever terminology you want to use), from this perspective, if one still feels miserable after?
    It is kind of a koan.

  • "And how do you feel?"

    "As miserable as ever," said the monk.
    I don't get it - I thought enlightenment was freedom from suffering? :-/
    Sorry. It's not
    lobster
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    Isn't enlightenment supposed to be experiencing no self? What basis is there for negative emotions to arise without a self as part of the basis?

    I thought it was supposed to mean that the monk simply thought he was enlightened and acted as such, but wasn't really.

  • No self is not loss of self :)

    you'll always stay human, humans have....not-wise thoughts....especially when they live in society, instead of a safe-heaven (monastery).

    this lifetime and maybe more to come I will stay.....amongst....
    We're the real work is.
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    No self is not loss of self :)
    I didn't think I said it was.

    How does sadness arise? There is an attitude of "I", then based upon this "I" craving for something other than what is arises, when that craving isn't met sadness arises. Anger or other negative emotions need an identification with the "I" as a part of the conditions for them to arise.

  • no-self does not exist,
    it's a figure of speech basically,
    it's kinda a empathic state of being,
    So 'YOU' is completely subdued by all around,
    However, you're still you,
    not some alien floating around humming all day
    but hey i'm just some regular bloke,
    don't take my word for it,
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    IDK, the enlightened people I've seen or met all seemed to be pretty happy to me.
  • yes they are LOL.
    lobster
  • Maybe it's semantic but I don't think if I had cultivated a distance from emotion and someone asked me how I was, even if I was aware of pain on some level, I would say miserable. Misery is a very deep level of pain. I don't think one can experience that depth of pain with any degree at all of distance from it... I guess I just don't like this enlightenment story...
  • IDK, the enlightened people I've seen or met all seemed to be pretty happy to me.
    They were not at a funeral, then.

    The truely enlightened people I've met struck me as nice people with all the baggage removed.

    Oh, and then there was Da Free John, met at a small group by the invitation of one of his followers. He struck me as a con artist with all that constant smiling and pretending to be happy all the time.
    lobster
  • Maybe it's semantic but I don't think if I had cultivated a distance from emotion and someone asked me how I was, even if I was aware of pain on some level, I would say miserable. Misery is a very deep level of pain. I don't think one can experience that depth of pain with any degree at all of distance from it... I guess I just don't like this enlightenment story...
    That's perfectly valid. Some of the old Zen stories I don't care much for, either, for one reason or another, but usually because of sloppy translating. I bet the original story in the original language doesn't really translate to our definition of "miserable", in fact. That does have connotations of an emotional attachment to pain in one definition now. Would it sound better to simply say, "Aches and pains, same as before."?
    lobster
  • IDK, the enlightened people I've seen or met all seemed to be pretty happy to me.
    They were not at a funeral, then.

    The truely enlightened people I've met struck me as nice people with all the baggage removed.

    Oh, and then there was Da Free John, met at a small group by the invitation of one of his followers. He struck me as a con artist with all that constant smiling and pretending to be happy all the time.
    it's not removed, the bagage,
    You're shoulders have become strong enough to bear it.

    “I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.”
    Jewish Proverb
    lobster

  • "And how do you feel?"

    "As miserable as ever," said the monk.
    I don't get it - I thought enlightenment was freedom from suffering? :-/
    Sorry. It's not
    Oh yes it is. :p
    But seriously, enlightenment equates to the cessation of dukkha, including mental suffering like being miserable.

  • "And how do you feel?"

    "As miserable as ever," said the monk.
    I don't get it - I thought enlightenment was freedom from suffering? :-/
    Sorry. It's not
    Oh yes it is. :p
    But seriously, enlightenment equates to the cessation of dukkha, including mental suffering like being miserable.
    life is all about perception

    :)

    metta,

  • life is all about perception

    For sure, but to say that nirvana means still being miserable is completely contradictory to Buddhist teaching:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana
    lobster

  • I never said it was being misarable.

    LOL.
  • In the mahayana enlightenment is great sukkha AND great dukkha. Liberation from nirvana too. And it's not a trick. You can't trick the dukkha to get the sukkha. It's not a game.
    lobster
  • In the mahayana enlightenment is great sukkha AND great dukkha. Liberation from nirvana too. And it's not a trick. You can't trick the dukkha to get the sukkha. It's not a game.
    yes.

  • ZendoLord84ZendoLord84 Veteran
    edited April 2012
    Maybe it's semantic but I don't think if I had cultivated a distance from emotion and someone asked me how I was, even if I was aware of pain on some level, I would say miserable. Misery is a very deep level of pain. I don't think one can experience that depth of pain with any degree at all of distance from it... I guess I just don't like this enlightenment story...
    it's not about 'liking'

    that's ego my friend,

    furthermore,

    it is VERY dangerous in my opinion, to create 'distance' ,
    (this is not about solitude)

    metta,





  • In the mahayana enlightenment is great sukkha AND great dukkha.
    Have you got a source for that? It's not an idea I'm familiar with.
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