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Break or polish?

As a member of the Dharma Jihadhi, we yell, 'Death to Rebirth', 'Enlightenment for All[ah]' and other slogans not worth opening ones mouth for. Then with our mind bomb we sit quietly with the promise of Nirvana. Fundamentally we are radically ahimsa.

With gradual polishing we can improve or polish our awareness. There is also sudden awakening, which happened to me when nobody was looking.

Do you belong to the make or break school of dharma? Does one lead to tother?



  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited December 2016

    I'm with the suddens. My experience was swift, like a thunderbolt striking the crown of the head out of the blue nothing. And nothing I've so far experienced in the gradual way has moved the meter very much towards that feeling... although I reckon I went wrong in not allowing the ego or the self to die definitively.

    I'm also not sure it can be learnt. I was sitting in my chair and had a sudden feeling of tremendous urgency, as if I had forgotten something, and I leapt up, and in doing so I kind of leapt into the upper part of the body, that which is around the head and above it but which we usually don't notice, then all of a sudden things collapsed to a point above the sahasrara and bam! It was like being struck by lightning, I was back, but more me than I had ever been, super aware, overflowing with energy and blessings.

    The effect lasted about three days... it was very disinhibiting, a bit disorienting, and I ended up being quite a bother to my friends!

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    I've had a few profound experiences over the years, but mostly it's been a gradual unfolding. Appreciating the richness of the present moment is the best way I can put it.

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited December 2016

    I'm the polishing kind. Could change, though. * shrugs *

    Maybe it's just the way I learn...ahem....unlearn, hahaha...or maybe the teacher or situation just hasn't presented itself for the big bang....who knows?... I'm open...but until then polishing is all I know, and it's working pretty well for me. :)

    From the OP:

    So really, whereas the gradual and sudden paths share the same view regarding our true nature, you could say that the gradual path utilizes the skillful means of working deliberately, carefully and thoroughly with all the so-called “obstacles” to recognizing and abiding in pure natural un-obstructed awareness. The sudden path is oriented toward pushing the student into seeing that nature, that unconditioned awareness, and unplugging the mind from taking seemingly solid obstacles as having any kind of substantial reality.

    The debate between these two approaches has actually been going on for centuries. In some sense, the sudden path emphasizes emptiness and the gradual path emphasizes form. As usual, we end up painted into a corner if we solidify one and negate the other.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I don't think that one can escape the karmic forces are at work when it comes to either the bullet train or slow boat approach to glimpses of enlightenment...That is, dependant arising, sequence of events, causes and conditions which leads to effect....

    However I've found, the ego being the professional trickster that it is, can fool us into thinking all kinds of doubt, even creating a pseudo enlightenment experience...just for its own warped entertainment...a short lived pleasurable experience :)

    "I" know one thing for sure ..."I" won't be around when enlightenment happens and if "I" am present, enlightenment will be nowhere to be found :)

    Do you belong to the make or break school of dharma? Does one lead to tother?

    "I" break things "I" polish things... either way ,I'm not really fussed, I guess I'm in the go with the flow camp..."I" will just go about my practice patiently...What will be will be! :)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited December 2016

    Thanks guys,

    Appreciate the input. <3

    Perhaps an example. Who better than our resident newly ordained monk @BhikkhuJayasara who during his first Q&A video was doing so 'mindfully'. That is polishing, not awakening. If through practice he wakes up, then all that polish and good living will ensure a perfect environment to offer deeper teachings from. You can certainly email him for advice, tuition and support. It's his vocation. Check it out, he is one of the three jewels ...

    @Shoshin is right to warn of pseudo experiences. You are enlightened? Yeah, whatever, so what! Get over yourself ... (oh I iz so zen) B)

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @lobster said:

    @Shoshin is right to warn of pseudo experiences. You are enlightened? Yeah, whatever, so what! Get over yourself ... (oh I iz so zen) B)

    Yeah, the Dairy Lama is often approached in Tescos by people who claim to be enlightened, he just smiles and gives them an ice-cream. :p

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @DhammaDragon said:
    Those sudden glimpses of awakening, aha moments, don't just happen randomly, in my opinion.
    They are the product of years of practice, right effort, monitoring our behavioural patterns, choosing skillful actions moment to moment.
    There is some legwork that leads to the click, even if we could be fooled into thinking that it took place suddenly.

    I think this is true... for me, starting Buddhism was easy because I already adhered to quite a few of the factors of the path and the precepts, but the 'thunderbolt experience' was earlier, a few years before I started to get interested in Buddhism.

    I would say some people naturally have a good grasp on ethics, right speech, the importance of not killing or stealing, right livelihood, and are only lacking insight and wisdom and meditation to bring them closer to fruition. For me learning Buddhism has also involved taming some aspects of the mind and ambition, leading gradually to a deeper peace.

  • @Kerome deeper peace is the way to go.

    Both post and pre-awakening, polished and broken, can find practical and pragmatic movement towards that dukkha lessening ideal ... =)

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