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Enlightenment in one lifetime

JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

Tibetans like to say that Tantra is the only vehicle that can allow you to attain enlightenment in a single life and that, otherwise, it would take a few eons of collecting merit.

Yet we've seen others in recent years attain enlightenment through "lesser practices" in one lifetime such as Ajahn Chah with Anapanasati and Vipassana, and I believe Thich Nhat Hanh with mindfulness practice and practicing looking deeply into the nature of things. Well, maybe they did spend a few eons collecting the right amount of merit. Who knows...

So... What's the truth?

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Comments

  • 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

    What gives rise in you to the indisputable fact they're enlightened?

    SocairBuddhadragon
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @federica said:
    What gives rise in you to the indisputable fact they're enlightened?

    I can only take Ajahn Chah at his word and TNH at his implication.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 29

    I don't think tantra is made out as the only and it isn't made out as a guarantee either. Tantra is actually difficult to define according to my teacher.

  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    I don't think tantra is made out as the only and it isn't made out as a guarantee either. Tantra is actually difficult to define according to my teacher.

    According to the Dalai Lama, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, and Je Tsongkhapa, tantra is the only way to attain enlightenment in one lifetime, but not a guaranteed way.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    I think the way Tibetans think about enlightenment is a little different. They have the bodhisattva path and one enters onto it officially with a small enlightenment of gaining a glimpse through the conventional world, what is called the path of seeing. There are then 9 more subsequent levels until one attains full enlightenment or Buddhahood.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhūmi_(Buddhism)

    JeffreyJaySonCarlitaSnakeskin
  • Also suffering ends at arhatship but Mahayanists believe that there are still 'knowledge veils'. The 'kleshas veils' are done at arhatship which kleshas are stains or 'suffering'. So then the path goes onwards from peace to become a complete Buddha. That's Mahayana though and not just tantra.

    personJaySonSnakeskin
  • @JaySon said:
    I can only take Ajahn Chah at his word and TNH at his implication.

    I knew I dun gone wrong again ...
    I don't even take myself or the Buddha at their word. Tsk, tsk ...

    Strangely and encouragingly, I find ones lifetime is best employed in personal unfolding. Unless one has a better plan. As for the means:

    • One can polish or put away the polish
    • One can behave well and better yet be well
    • One can not be two minded, not even for one moment

    As for levels ... we might say there are depths and spaces. Degrees of petal unfolding that wilt and die ...

    Not even sure that is helpful, that will have to wait ... for what you are waiting for ...

    JaySonSocair
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    I suppose I should clarify, and by clarifying I answer my own question. Omniscience is the goal of Mahayana buddhahood. The end of suffering of the individual is the goal of Theravada buddhahood. So maybe the Tibetans are right that tantra is the only way to omniscience in a single lifetime.

    @lobster I dunno but it sounds smart.

  • Omniscience is the goal of Mahayana buddhahood.

    No.

    CarlitaBuddhadragon
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @lobster said:

    Omniscience is the goal of Mahayana buddhahood.

    No.

    Omniscience is the best way to help free all beings from their suffering, so how is it not the ultimate goal of Mahayana?

  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    Enlightenment in one lifetime
    So... What's the truth?

    I'm reminded of this...
    "If you don't feel that you're Enlightened...You can always try to be!"

    ~A Hindu Sage~ (whose name I forgot :) )

    and this...

    "Practice is not separate from Enlightenment-Enlightenment and Practice are one ! "

    ~Dogen~

    In other words ...Be kind...Be mindful...Be content with what is...

    I love Zen. It seems to just skip to the end.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited January 30

    @JaySon said:
    Tibetans like to say that Tantra is the only vehicle that can allow you to attain enlightenment in a single life and that, otherwise, it would take a few eons of collecting merit.

    Yet we've seen others in recent years attain enlightenment through "lesser practices" in one lifetime such as Ajahn Chah with Anapanasati and Vipassana, and I believe Thich Nhat Hanh with mindfulness practice and practicing looking deeply into the nature of things. Well, maybe they did spend a few eons collecting the right amount of merit. Who knows...

    So... What's the truth?

    This is a perfect example of an "imponderable". You shouldn't waste time thinking about it. Just keep chopping your wood, and hauling water. Keep practicing.

    P.S. A LOT of Tibetans get derailed, taking the dangerous "quick path" to Enlightenment. Most lay Tibetans are well aware that it's dangerous, and don't attempt it, wisely.

    JaySonCarameltaillobsterShoshin
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @Dakini said:

    @JaySon said:
    Tibetans like to say that Tantra is the only vehicle that can allow you to attain enlightenment in a single life and that, otherwise, it would take a few eons of collecting merit.

    Yet we've seen others in recent years attain enlightenment through "lesser practices" in one lifetime such as Ajahn Chah with Anapanasati and Vipassana, and I believe Thich Nhat Hanh with mindfulness practice and practicing looking deeply into the nature of things. Well, maybe they did spend a few eons collecting the right amount of merit. Who knows...

    So... What's the truth?

    This is a perfect example of an "imponderable". You shouldn't waste time thinking about it. Just keep chopping your wood, and hauling water. Keep practicing.

    P.S. A LOT of Tibetans get derailed, taking the dangerous "quick path" to Enlightenment. Most lay Tibetans are well aware that it's dangerous, and don't attempt it, wisely.

    What do you think is dangerous about it?

    I know they say it is dangerous and you need to be initiated, but to me it seems more dangerous living in delusion and affliction. If tantra is the atomic bomb that blasts the self-cherishing "I" to smithereens, it's tough to see the downside.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 30

    The "I" is examined and not destroyed. "I" isn't here and never was. We just don't realize. Or maybe it is here but we don't understand.

    So where is the "I"? Body?

    Snakeskin
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    The "I" is examined and not destroyed. "I" isn't here and never was. We just don't realize. Or maybe it is here but we don't understand.

    So where is the "I"? Body?

    I just mean the concept of the I, the figment of the imagination that's responsible for all afflictions.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited January 30

    @JaySon said:
    Tibetans like to say that Tantra is the only vehicle that can allow you to attain enlightenment in a single life and that, otherwise, it would take a few eons of collecting merit.

    Yet we've seen others in recent years attain enlightenment through "lesser practices" in one lifetime such as Ajahn Chah with Anapanasati and Vipassana, and I believe Thich Nhat Hanh with mindfulness practice and practicing looking deeply into the nature of things. Well, maybe they did spend a few eons collecting the right amount of merit. Who knows...

    So... What's the truth?

    There is no "I". Since there isn't an "I" one cannot talk about a single life, let alone multiple lifetimes.

    1. "That person considers improperly thus: 'Did I exist in the past? Did I not exist in the past? Who was I in the past? How was I in the past?[15] In the past, who had been I and who was I [in the subsequent existence]? Will I exist in the future? Will I not exist in the future? Who will I be in the future? How will I be in the future? In the future, having been who, who will I be?'
      "Also as regards the present, uncertainty arises in him thus: 'Do I exist? Do I not exist? Who am I? How am I ? From where has this soul come? Where will this soul go?'

    2. "In a person who thus considers improperly there arises one of the six [wrong] views. The view 'I have self'[16] arises in him really and firmly. Or, the view 'I have no self' arises in him really and firmly. Or, the view 'I perceive self through self' arises in him really and firmly. Or, the view 'I perceive non-self[17] through self' arises in him really and firmly. Or, the view 'I perceive self through non-self' arises in him really and firmly. Or, he has the view thus: 'That self of mine speaks, knows and experiences the results of wholesome and unwholesome actions.[18] That self of mine is permanent, stable, durable, incorruptible and will be eternal like all things permanent.'

    "Bhikkhus! This wrong view is called a false belief, a jungle of false beliefs, a desert of false beliefs, a thorny spike of false beliefs, an agitation of false beliefs and a fetter of false beliefs. Bhikkhus! The ignorant worldling who is bound up with the fetter of false beliefs cannot escape rebirth, ageing, death, grief, lamentation, pain, distress and despair. I declare that he cannot escape dukkha.[19]

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.002.bpit.html

    Here is what Thich Nhat Hanh has to say about the matter

    When we say it’s raining, we mean that raining is taking place. You don’t need someone up above to perform the raining. It’s not that there is the rain, and there is the one who causes the rain to fall. In fact, when you say the rain is falling, it’s very funny, because if it weren’t falling, it wouldn’t be rain. In our way of speaking, we’re used to having a subject and a verb. That’s why we need the word “it” when we say, “it rains.” “It” is the subject, the one who makes the rain possible. But, looking deeply, we don’t need a “rainer,” we just need the rain. Raining and the rain are the same. The formation of birds and the birds are the same—there’s no “self,” no boss involved.

    There’s a mental formation called vitarka, “thinking.” When we use the verb “to think” in English, we need a subject of the verb: I think, you think, he thinks. But, really, you don’t need a subject for a thought to be produced. Thinking without thinker—it’s absolutely possible. To think is to think about something. To perceive is to perceive something. The perceiver and the object that is perceived are one.

    When Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am,” his point was that if I think, there must be an “I” for thinking to be possible. When he made the declaration “I think,” he believed that he could demonstrate that the “I” exists. We have the strong habit of believing in a self. But, observing very deeply, we can see that a thought does not need a thinker to be possible. There is no thinker behind the thinking—there is just the thinking; that’s enough.

    Thinking without a thinker. Feeling without a feeler. What is our anger without our “self”? This is the object of our meditation. All the fifty-one mental formations take place and manifest without a self behind them that’s arranging for this to appear, and then for that to appear. Our mind consciousness is in the habit of basing itself on the idea of self, on manas. But we can meditate to be more aware of our store consciousness, where we keep the seeds of all those mental formations that are not currently manifesting in our mind.

    When we meditate, we practice looking deeply in order to bring light and clarity into our way of seeing things. When the vision of no-self is obtained, our delusion is removed. This is what we call transformation. In the Buddhist tradition, transformation is possible with deep understanding. The moment the vision of no-self is there, manas, the elusive notion of “I am,” disintegrates, and we find ourselves enjoying, in this very moment, freedom and happiness.

    CarameltailKeromeBuddhadragonCromeYellow
  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Explorer
    edited January 30

    I don't see why enlightenment is something that carries like that.
    Even you are enlightened in one life doesn't necessarily mean you are the next. I mean yes it could make it easier for it to happen by doing good one life perhaps, but enlightenment is something very simple it is just the realisation of the nature of things not just in the intellectual sense, the only reason it is so hard to get or seems so is because so many distortions and blind spots people carry. Every human person has the potential for that theoretically. Besides thinking in that sense detracts from the present, you can't really determine what happens 'before or next' if you can define such a thing. What's more important is living well.

    JaySonSnakeskinDavidDhammika
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    Tibetans like to say that Tantra is the only vehicle that can allow you to attain enlightenment in a single life and that, otherwise, it would take a few eons of collecting merit.

    Yet we've seen others in recent years attain enlightenment through "lesser practices" in one lifetime such as Ajahn Chah with Anapanasati and Vipassana, and I believe Thich Nhat Hanh with mindfulness practice and practicing looking deeply into the nature of things. Well, maybe they did spend a few eons collecting the right amount of merit. Who knows...

    So... What's the truth?

    I think it is no surprise that different people end up teaching and embodying different paths. Your intuition guides you to that which speaks to you, the beginnings of paths that you need to explore to take a next step.

    My belief is that once you get to a certain level, your intuition knows what would help you. I think a lot of people would be helped by taking some more distance from material possessions, and many people avoid suffering.

    JaySonCarlitaSnakeskin
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @pegembara said:

    @JaySon said:
    Tibetans like to say that Tantra is the only vehicle that can allow you to attain enlightenment in a single life and that, otherwise, it would take a few eons of collecting merit.

    Yet we've seen others in recent years attain enlightenment through "lesser practices" in one lifetime such as Ajahn Chah with Anapanasati and Vipassana, and I believe Thich Nhat Hanh with mindfulness practice and practicing looking deeply into the nature of things. Well, maybe they did spend a few eons collecting the right amount of merit. Who knows...

    So... What's the truth?

    There is no "I". Since there isn't an "I" one cannot talk about a single life, let alone multiple lifetimes.

    1. "That person considers improperly thus: 'Did I exist in the past? Did I not exist in the past? Who was I in the past? How was I in the past?[15] In the past, who had been I and who was I [in the subsequent existence]? Will I exist in the future? Will I not exist in the future? Who will I be in the future? How will I be in the future? In the future, having been who, who will I be?'
      "Also as regards the present, uncertainty arises in him thus: 'Do I exist? Do I not exist? Who am I? How am I ? From where has this soul come? Where will this soul go?'

    2. "In a person who thus considers improperly there arises one of the six [wrong] views. The view 'I have self'[16] arises in him really and firmly. Or, the view 'I have no self' arises in him really and firmly. Or, the view 'I perceive self through self' arises in him really and firmly. Or, the view 'I perceive non-self[17] through self' arises in him really and firmly. Or, the view 'I perceive self through non-self' arises in him really and firmly. Or, he has the view thus: 'That self of mine speaks, knows and experiences the results of wholesome and unwholesome actions.[18] That self of mine is permanent, stable, durable, incorruptible and will be eternal like all things permanent.'

    "Bhikkhus! This wrong view is called a false belief, a jungle of false beliefs, a desert of false beliefs, a thorny spike of false beliefs, an agitation of false beliefs and a fetter of false beliefs. Bhikkhus! The ignorant worldling who is bound up with the fetter of false beliefs cannot escape rebirth, ageing, death, grief, lamentation, pain, distress and despair. I declare that he cannot escape dukkha.[19]

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.002.bpit.html

    Here is what Thich Nhat Hanh has to say about the matter

    When we say it’s raining, we mean that raining is taking place. You don’t need someone up above to perform the raining. It’s not that there is the rain, and there is the one who causes the rain to fall. In fact, when you say the rain is falling, it’s very funny, because if it weren’t falling, it wouldn’t be rain. In our way of speaking, we’re used to having a subject and a verb. That’s why we need the word “it” when we say, “it rains.” “It” is the subject, the one who makes the rain possible. But, looking deeply, we don’t need a “rainer,” we just need the rain. Raining and the rain are the same. The formation of birds and the birds are the same—there’s no “self,” no boss involved.

    There’s a mental formation called vitarka, “thinking.” When we use the verb “to think” in English, we need a subject of the verb: I think, you think, he thinks. But, really, you don’t need a subject for a thought to be produced. Thinking without thinker—it’s absolutely possible. To think is to think about something. To perceive is to perceive something. The perceiver and the object that is perceived are one.

    When Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am,” his point was that if I think, there must be an “I” for thinking to be possible. When he made the declaration “I think,” he believed that he could demonstrate that the “I” exists. We have the strong habit of believing in a self. But, observing very deeply, we can see that a thought does not need a thinker to be possible. There is no thinker behind the thinking—there is just the thinking; that’s enough.

    Thinking without a thinker. Feeling without a feeler. What is our anger without our “self”? This is the object of our meditation. All the fifty-one mental formations take place and manifest without a self behind them that’s arranging for this to appear, and then for that to appear. Our mind consciousness is in the habit of basing itself on the idea of self, on manas. But we can meditate to be more aware of our store consciousness, where we keep the seeds of all those mental formations that are not currently manifesting in our mind.

    When we meditate, we practice looking deeply in order to bring light and clarity into our way of seeing things. When the vision of no-self is obtained, our delusion is removed. This is what we call transformation. In the Buddhist tradition, transformation is possible with deep understanding. The moment the vision of no-self is there, manas, the elusive notion of “I am,” disintegrates, and we find ourselves enjoying, in this very moment, freedom and happiness.

    Conventionally there's an I, but not ultimately. The conventional I doesn't exist at all and doesn't go from life to life. The mind, which is not self, goes from life to life.

    So, there's a mental continuum that carries on, but it is empty.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited January 31

    @Carameltail said:
    I don't see why enlightenment is something that carries like that.
    Even you are enlightened in one life doesn't necessarily mean you are the next. I mean yes it could make it easier for it to happen by doing good one life perhaps, but enlightenment is something very simple it is just the realisation of the nature of things not just in the intellectual sense, the only reason it is so hard to get or seems so is because so many distortions and blind spots people carry. Every human person has the potential for that theoretically. Besides thinking in that sense detracts from the present, you can't really determine what happens 'before or next' if you can define such a thing. What's more important is living well.

    You pretty much summed up how I feel on the matter as well.

    I really do prefer the term "awake" over enlightened when talking about a goal. To be enlightened is to "get" the truth but that part is theoretically the easy part. It's not like we would have to know every variance of every answer to every question that could ever be asked. We'd just have to have a proper understanding of how things work or right/harmonious view.

    Ok, so you're enlightened, big deal. Does that mean you're aware 24/7 and completely awake?

    I'm not so sure.

    I think digging the truth is easier than living according to that same truth.

    Almost as if enlightenment is just the first long step to waking up.

    Just thinking out loud, not forming a belief.

    Carameltail
  • Ok, so you're enlightened, big deal. Does that mean you're aware 24/7 and completely awake?

    I'm not so sure.

    <3

    Tee Hee.
    You can be sure you are right. B)

    My teacher was enlightened and more completely awake all the time I spent with him. For the average person this was not of much conscious use or even noticeable. In fact he thwarted so many norms, the muggles were keen to keep their comfortable snooze button on replay ... Sometimes the awake are hidden ...

    Being awake all the time does not make one complete. We are already complete, perfectly or imperfectly complete. Realised? Ahhh ... Thus has even the herd, heard ...

    Socair
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited February 1

    @JaySon said:

    Conventionally there's an I, but not ultimately. The conventional I doesn't exist at all and doesn't go from life to life. The mind, which is not self, goes from life to life.

    Question is - What is mind? And from whose life to whose life? What is it that carries on?

    Bhikkhu Sati held the wrong view that there is this "mind" that carries on.

    As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.038.than.html

    David
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @lobster said:

    Ok, so you're enlightened, big deal. Does that mean you're aware 24/7 and completely awake?

    I'm not so sure.

    <3

    Tee Hee.
    You can be sure you are right. B)

    My teacher was enlightened and more completely awake all the time I spent with him. For the average person this was not of much conscious use or even noticeable. In fact he thwarted so many norms, the muggles were keen to keep their comfortable snooze button on replay ... Sometimes the awake are hidden ...

    Being awake all the time does not make one complete. We are already complete, perfectly or imperfectly complete. Realised? Ahhh ... Thus has even the herd, heard ...

    I'd agree there. Nobody can be you more than you can so you are the perfect example of you there could ever be. And of course being unique isn't very "special" but it is what makes you useful.

    You know what makes us even more useful though?

    Being ever more aware.

    I don't think that means omniscience or knowing everything.

    lobster
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @pegembara said:

    @JaySon said:

    Conventionally there's an I, but not ultimately. The conventional I doesn't exist at all and doesn't go from life to life. The mind, which is not self, goes from life to life.

    Question is - What is mind? And from whose life to whose life? What is it that carries on?

    Bhikkhu Sati held the wrong view that there is this "mind" that carries on.

    As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.038.than.html

    The same way a candle flame can light another candle flame. The flame doesn't have a self and it's always changing. The new flame is neither the same nor different. Mind is like that. It's not a self and it gets passed to the next life by dependently arising conditions.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    Tibetans like to say that Tantra is the only vehicle that can allow you to attain enlightenment in a single life and that, otherwise, it would take a few eons of collecting merit.

    Yet we've seen others in recent years attain enlightenment through "lesser practices" in one lifetime such as Ajahn Chah with Anapanasati and Vipassana, and I believe Thich Nhat Hanh with mindfulness practice and practicing looking deeply into the nature of things. Well, maybe they did spend a few eons collecting the right amount of merit. Who knows...

    So... What's the truth?

    my personal opinion is that tibetan buddhism is university stuff.i would flunk out.to each his/her own.im ok with theravada with sprinkle of my personal-not-doing-it-right-idiot doa-zen.

    another opinion we all are en-lighten by dharma.so issue is about merit?my attitude , do what you can.little by little-it adds up.being of service is the enlighten way.awaken masters such as buddha is most who serves the least--upon his awakening.the suttra suggest his choice to teach or noble silence.he taught--on the basis of compassion--hence we are enlighten through the exposure of suttas and suttras. imo.

  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    @JaySon Can you link me a quote to where Ajahn Chah ever claimed to be enlightened? I've studied his teachings for the past seven years and haven't found one yet. I've come across some of his students who believed he was an arahant but no direct reference from the great man himself.

    Socair
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @Traveller said:
    @JaySon Can you link me a quote to where Ajahn Chah ever claimed to be enlightened? I've studied his teachings for the past seven years and haven't found one yet. I've come across some of his students who believed he was an arahant but no direct reference from the great man himself.

    I'll post it when I come across it again.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @Traveller said:
    @JaySon Can you link me a quote to where Ajahn Chah ever claimed to be enlightened? I've studied his teachings for the past seven years and haven't found one yet. I've come across some of his students who believed he was an arahant but no direct reference from the great man himself.

    You stole the words out of my mouth, @Traveller❤
    I never read any statement from Ajahn Chah nor Thich Nhat Hanh nor any of our great teachers on which they even slightly imply that they are enlightened.

    As to paths leading to enlightenment, all is pure speculation.
    There are the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.
    Whatever works for you in helping you attain inner peace and bring about cessation of suffering, just do that.
    And do not label it Enlightenment nor anything.
    Just keep chopping wood happily away.
    💕🐉🌹

    SocairTraveller
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @JaySon said:

    @Traveller said:
    @JaySon Can you link me a quote to where Ajahn Chah ever claimed to be enlightened? I've studied his teachings for the past seven years and haven't found one yet. I've come across some of his students who believed he was an arahant but no direct reference from the great man himself.

    I'll post it when I come across it again.

    Hmmmm🤔

  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    I'm at work right now. Will post it when I can.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Enlightenment in one lifetime?
    Theoretically possible.
    Practically most unlikely.

    Certainly, there are old stories in Tibetan Buddhism about someone gaining enlightenment in a flash. But most (not all) of these stories of then go on to talk about the countless lifetimes of prior practice which led up to this seemingly-instant enlightenment.

    As for most if not all of us, my teacher (an old Tibetan monk with a Geshe degree), tells us that it is "little-bit-by-little-bit". In fact, he tells us that our "goal" should be to set firm imprints (karmas) within us by DOING our practice, so that in our next life we will be drawn to the Dharma and therefore be able to continue our work towards enlightenment.

    Remember, too, that Buddhism is a process, not a goal. Focus on what you are doing in this moment, rather than on where you hope to go in the future. Be persistent and patient. And compassionate with your flaws and failings, since until enlightenment we are all flawed.

    Quite frankly, you can still be very UN-enlightened and yet begin to reap the benefits and inner peace that your practice develops within you.

    Traveller
  • @JaySon said:

    @pegembara said:

    @JaySon said:

    Conventionally there's an I, but not ultimately. The conventional I doesn't exist at all and doesn't go from life to life. The mind, which is not self, goes from life to life.

    Question is - What is mind? And from whose life to whose life? What is it that carries on?

    Bhikkhu Sati held the wrong view that there is this "mind" that carries on.

    As I understand the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One, it is just this consciousness that runs and wanders on, not another.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.038.than.html

    The same way a candle flame can light another candle flame. The flame doesn't have a self and it's always changing. The new flame is neither the same nor different. Mind is like that. It's not a self and it gets passed to the next life by dependently arising conditions.

    That flame is impermanent and doesn't get passed on to another candle when it is extinguished. What is impermanent has no real essence and is not self. There is no "thing" to get passed. Just empty phenomena/processes.

    When this is, that is.
    From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
    When this isn’t, that isn’t.
    From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.

    idappaccayata [idappaccayataa]: This/that conditionality. This name for the causal principle the Buddha discovered on the night of his Awakening stresses the point that, for the purposes of ending suffering and stress, the processes of causality can be understood entirely in terms of forces and conditions that are experienced in the realm of direct experience, with no need to refer to forces operating outside of that realm.

    person
  • Here are the arguments for coming back until enlightened:
    http://www.skepticreport.com/sr/?p=466

    ... Meanwhile, I agree with @Shoshin and others about making the most of our time by:

    • Being reasonably or if up for it, exemplary and illustratively virtuous (I can just about manage reasonably)
    • You gonna have to practice unless enlightened, then it is just example
    • Be Kind, look after yourself, stop arguing over improbables imponderables ... well with yourself really through the proxy of others

    @DhammaDragon said:
    Just keep chopping wood happily away.
    💕🐉🌹

    Now that is a plan. Suitable for beginners, cushion junkies :3 the zenith (also a fire path - enlightenment in this life) and the enlightened.

    I'll join. 😌💗🌈

    Socair
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    Don't chop too much wood though. We still need that stuff to breathe.

    SocairShoshin
  • 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

    @David said: Don't chop too much wood though. We still need that stuff to breathe.

    Fortunately, there are many naturally-fallen twigs, branches, limbs and full trees that are able to keep nature-loving woodcutters busy. These already-dead sources will keep those interested busy, and actually it can do much to help clear debris and put the dead wood to good use.

    Of course, if you're not there to hear the sound, how will you know it's fallen....?

    CarameltailDavid
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited February 2

    @David said:
    Don't chop too much wood though. We still need that stuff to breathe.

    The irony being ...People chop down trees or pick up twigs and branches to make a fire which produces smoke which pollutes the air which we breathe... and so the cycle of ignorance continues .......so it would seem :)

  • @JaySon said:

    So... What's the truth?

    Referring to these practices / modes of being as "lesser practices" is wrong.

    Ahem, that's my opinion, I often confuse it for the truth! Apologies! Here's the truth:

    lobsterSocair
  • Very well said @wojciech - sometimes our opinions are less skilful, which is not wrong, it is just less skilful ...

    Our practice involves a movement towards more skilful/right speech. As long as our motivation and intention develops our speech is always wrong/opinion/ignorant/dukkha BUT flowering, opening, seeding and new growth always present ...

    Socair
  • 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

    Nerium Oleander. Or Chamaenerion angustifolium (Rosebay willow herb). Can't quite tell... I suspect the former.

    Very pretty, either way... :)

    Socair
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @pegembara said:
    That flame is impermanent and doesn't get passed on to another candle when it is extinguished. What is impermanent has no real essence and is not self. There is no "thing" to get passed. Just empty phenomena/processes.

    Consciousness/the mind. That's what goes from life to life. It is empty, like everything else.

  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @JaySon said:

    @Traveller said:
    @JaySon Can you link me a quote to where Ajahn Chah ever claimed to be enlightened? I've studied his teachings for the past seven years and haven't found one yet. I've come across some of his students who believed he was an arahant but no direct reference from the great man himself.

    I'll post it when I come across it again.

    So @JaySon did you come across that quote? Am very interested in learning it.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited February 6

    @JaySon said:

    @pegembara said:
    That flame is impermanent and doesn't get passed on to another candle when it is extinguished. What is impermanent has no real essence and is not self. There is no "thing" to get passed. Just empty phenomena/processes.

    Consciousness/the mind. That's what goes from life to life. It is empty, like everything else.

    Is consciousness/subject separate from its objects ie. sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, feelings, thoughts?

    Is there a thinker without the thoughts? Isn't it just an assumption that the thinker exists independent of those thoughts? There is simply no way the "thinker" knows what thoughts are coming next until they appear. Thinking/thinker/thoughts are dependently arisen. They are one and the same. No separation.

    Or experiencer without the experience?

    So which consciousness is it that passes on? Is it the eye, ear, nose, tongue or mind(feeling, perception, volitional formations)?

    "It's good, monks, that you understand the Dhamma taught by me in this way, for in many ways I have said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness.'

    "Consciousness, monks, is classified simply by the requisite condition in dependence on which it arises. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the eye & forms is classified simply as eye-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the ear & sounds is classified simply as ear-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the nose & aromas is classified simply as nose-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the tongue & flavors is classified simply as tongue-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the body & tactile sensations is classified simply as body-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the intellect & ideas is classified simply as intellect-consciousness.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.038.than.html

    Perhaps it's the experiences that ceases at the very end.

    "Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with no residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant... completely released through final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all that is experienced, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbana-element with no residue left.
    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/iti/iti.2.042-049x.irel.html

    lobster
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @Socair said:

    @JaySon said:

    @Traveller said:
    @JaySon Can you link me a quote to where Ajahn Chah ever claimed to be enlightened? I've studied his teachings for the past seven years and haven't found one yet. I've come across some of his students who believed he was an arahant but no direct reference from the great man himself.

    I'll post it when I come across it again.

    So @JaySon did you come across that quote? Am very interested in learning it.

    I've been studying Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra, but will post when I'm studying Chah again and find it.

  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @pegembara said:

    @JaySon said:

    @pegembara said:
    That flame is impermanent and doesn't get passed on to another candle when it is extinguished. What is impermanent has no real essence and is not self. There is no "thing" to get passed. Just empty phenomena/processes.

    Consciousness/the mind. That's what goes from life to life. It is empty, like everything else.

    Is consciousness/subject separate from its objects ie. sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, feelings, thoughts?

    Is there a thinker without the thoughts? Isn't it just an assumption that the thinker exists independent of those thoughts? There is simply no way the "thinker" knows what thoughts are coming next until they appear. Thinking/thinker/thoughts are dependently arisen. They are one and the same. No separation.

    Or experiencer without the experience?

    So which consciousness is it that passes on? Is it the eye, ear, nose, tongue or mind(feeling, perception, volitional formations)?

    "It's good, monks, that you understand the Dhamma taught by me in this way, for in many ways I have said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness.'

    "Consciousness, monks, is classified simply by the requisite condition in dependence on which it arises. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the eye & forms is classified simply as eye-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the ear & sounds is classified simply as ear-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the nose & aromas is classified simply as nose-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the tongue & flavors is classified simply as tongue-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the body & tactile sensations is classified simply as body-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the intellect & ideas is classified simply as intellect-consciousness.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.038.than.html

    Perhaps it's the experiences that ceases at the very end.

    "Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with no residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant... completely released through final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all that is experienced, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbana-element with no residue left.
    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/iti/iti.2.042-049x.irel.html

    Nothing is separate from anything. The 3,000 chiliocosms aren't separate from the mind and the mind is not separate from the 3,000 chiliocosms. Everything is part of everything else.

    Nonetheless, there is a mental continuum that passes from life to life. But it too is empty of inherent existence. It doesn't exist by itself.

    Consciousness depends on the other aggregates to manifest life to life.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited February 7

    @JaySon said:

    Nonetheless, there is a mental continuum that passes from life to life.

    Until? Or is it forever and ever without beginning or ending?

  • 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

    @pegembara said:

    @JaySon said:

    Nonetheless, there is a mental continuum that passes from life to life.

    Until? Or is it forever and ever without beginning or ending?

    who knows? Does it matter? All we know - and focus on - is Now, and improving our lot.

    Socair
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited February 7

    @federica said:

    @pegembara said:

    @JaySon said:

    Nonetheless, there is a mental continuum that passes from life to life.

    Until? Or is it forever and ever without beginning or ending?

    who knows? Does it matter? All we know - and focus on - is Now, and improving our lot.

    That's a great plan. Pay attention to the present. The past is merely a memory and the future a fantasy happening right here and now.

    HAVE A GREAT DAY

    You shouldn't chase after the past
    or place expectations on the future.
    What is past
    is left behind.
    The future
    is as yet unreached.
    Whatever quality is present
    you clearly see right there,
    right there.
    Not taken in,
    unshaken,
    that's how you develop the heart.
    Ardently doing
    what should be done today,
    for — who knows? — tomorrow
    death.
    There is no bargaining
    with Mortality & his mighty horde.

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.131.than.html

    lobsterSocair
  • So... What's the truth?

    The truth is Tibetan Buddhist talk all kinds of superstition/irrelevance/ignorance and general purpose delusion. You can find equal nonsense in the sutras from more ancient god talking super yogis. Sorry Buddha, you only knew what can be expected from your time and culture ... :p

    However there is also gold and precious jewels in the same sources ... <3

    @pegembara has provided two excellent posts based on being in the present/mindful being not some imagined cosmic super-sentient future life/realm.

    The truth is very simple. :)

    Socair
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @pegembara said:

    @JaySon said:

    Nonetheless, there is a mental continuum that passes from life to life.

    Until? Or is it forever and ever without beginning or ending?

    Beginning and end are just concepts, not reality.

    Shoshin
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