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is not something you attain.
It is something that happens to you.
Active vs passive.
What we do, we do with our minds, whereas enlightenment is no-mind. Therefore, there is no question of using the mind to go beyond the mind.
So you don't 'become' enlightened. Enlightenment happens to you.
This is the zen line, basically.
I think to be enlightened is to know or realise something. To no longer be in the dark or ignorant about something.
I think it is an important step on the journey to becoming ever more aware but I see it more as a means to an end rather than the goal itself.
I am using the word in a Buddhist context only, what the Buddha attained. This, I feel, is something that happens rather than something you do. Why? Because many conditions may have to come together to cause enlightenment ... we can't control all of them.
There is no such thing as truth?
Is that true ???
I can't say it's true. Can't say it's not. Can't say it's both, can't say it's neither. It is not all of the above, nor is it none of the above.
See, I just became the Nagarjuna of Nagarjunas. Lol.
In Buddhism, there is no such thing as permanence.
No entity has an independent existence.
Even ideas evolve over a period of time.
What we think or feel changes over time.
In this context, consider happiness or virtue, love or creativity, or the good things in life. Are they not subject to DO (dependent origination) and therefore have no intrinsic worth?
Consider happiness, for example. It does NOT exist as a permanent, unchanging entity somewhere that we can go and grasp. It is the result of various conditions. When those conditions are fulfilled, we are happy. If not, we are unhappy.
So wouldn't DO/impermanence render our search futile?
For me it goes back to my teenage years in the Osho communes, at the tail end of the flower power movement. Osho once hung a banner up at one of his meditation camps which said “come to me and I will transform you,” and there was certainly some truth to that - the people who came to his communes were transformed by love, openness, and a transcendent attitude towards work, meditation and togetherness.
Love was a very central theme back then, in several different forms and often accompanied by letting go gracefully when it ended. The ideal was to be total in it while it was there, and to recognise that for some people that was longer than others. My mother and stepfather met there and have been together ever since in a loving relationship, 35 years and counting.
Buddhism after that experience seems somewhat solipsistic and individual. It doesn’t encourage close relationships, it instead sets as an ideal the life of a monk, and it gives monks these rules which encourage celibacy. Given that many monks go on to become teachers, it is not unexpected that these attitudes trickle down, from the celibate monk to the lay public who try to learn a lay version of Buddhism.
With all due respect, most people in this world know only the love that comes from playboy. Not real love, AGAPE love. So maybe that's why B doesn't encourage 'love'.
What is the meaning of life?
I don't know.
No, seriously, I don't know.