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Enlightenment in one lifetime

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Comments

  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @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.

    Hehe. I think it's all useful debate for untying knots of delusion such as the self and permanence. At the end of the day though, it's all just notions, ideas, concepts, signs, labels, not ultimate truth.

    Shoshin
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

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

    I dub thee Thich Nhat Hanh Junior.

    lobsterpegembaraHozanShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    The world could do with more Thich Nhat Hanh’s, he has a great handle on peace.

    HozanKundo
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    The world could do with more Thich Nhat Hanh’s, he has a great handle on peace.

    Because he knows where to look :)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Didn't finish all the comments, but TNH is not Tibetan...Ethnically or in his Buddhist practice. Nor has he ever suggested that he is enlightened. I believe when he's been asked he's simply said "I'm just a monk."

    I think it's a bit misleading to say "in a single lifetime" versus "in this lifetime." I've not once heard from any teacher in the Tibetan tradition that in one single human carnation/lifetime, enlightenment is possible. Of course, really, anything is possible and my experience doesn't mean others haven't said it. I just haven't heard it as a Tibetan Vajrayana practitioner. I have heard many times that the simplest of farmers could suddenly become enlightened, that it does not take book learning or monasticism but rather experience and wisdom which can be attained in many ways. Anyhow, it has always been taught to me in the form of "in this lifetime" and of course most of us cannot say how many lifetimes we may have lived prior.

    HozanDavid
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited February 2018

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

    It might be helpful to distinguish here between what happens functionally, and what we then superimpose onto the experience.

    Functionally we are always conscious of something, in other words consciousness always has an object, eg eye-consciousness has visible form ( sights ) as an object.

    The suttas seem to say that the sense of separation results from appropriating consciousness as "me" and "mine", ie "my consciousness" rather than just "consciousness".

  • @JaySon said:
    Beginning and end are just concepts, not reality.

    Really? That would make an interesting discussion. ;)

  • As Nichiren Buddhist (SGI), we can most assuredly attain enlightenment in this lifetime. It requires no secret mudras or mantra. our invocation is "Nam myoho range kyo" to which we give the honorific title of Daimoku. If a 50 year member and a 1 day member are sincerely chanting the invocation side by side, their benefit from that action in that moment is equal.

    Bunks
  • kandokando northern Ireland Veteran

    @JaySon said:

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

    It is the get out of jail free card :) and it begins and ends for me at least with Dogen. He literally wrote the book!

    Bunks
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    It is our birthright.

  • we are bound by ropes of our own making. We are fully capable of breaking those bonds. Happiness and enlightenment in this lifetime are reality. we are the authors of our own stories. life is an adventure. Make it a great one.

    lobsterBunkskando
  • Perfect expression of potential and activation from @Lionduck

    I can and I will and I do practice. Mindfulness is my main being but formal sitting and lately yoga is helpful. I aspire to be a pole dancer at Starfleet Academy ... Probably already a space cadet ...

    Who imprisons us? Who frees us? If not now, when?
    Happiness and enlightenment in this lifetime are reality

    Bunkskando
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It was Dakini who reminded me of what was said in Guy Fronsdal’s book on the athakavagga, that the path is for happiness in this lifetime, and that one shouldn’t worry too much about karma and future births. That makes perfect sense to me.

    What I find more interesting is the idea of attachment to the goal of enlightenment. On the one hand it’s unavoidable, on the other hand attachment is bad. And what to do with the idea of maximum effort? It’s a similar pickle.

    Bunkslobster
  • @JaySon said:
    Omniscience is the best way to help free all beings from their suffering, so how is it not the ultimate goal of Mahayana?

    B)
    Godhoodiness explained away by Hulk (warning: contains extreme teaching/violence)

    Buddha beyond the gold realm, over the rainbow bridge, is perhaps a Marvel Comic concept ...

    yagr
  • Enlightenment in one life?
    Of course.

  • Zazen1Zazen1 London Explorer

    Enlightenment in one life?
    Yes please.

    Shoshin
  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    I prefer to focus on cessation of dukkha rather than attaining Enlightenment.
    They might sound synonymous to some, but cessation of dukkha seems to me more attainable and focused on the practice, the path, this moment, the here and now.
    I can now choose actions and frames of mind that momentarily put dukkha on hold and keep choosing this attitude on an ongoing basis.

    Attaining Enlightenment, as a goal, is too focused on an end in sight.
    I can only think of the Buddha continuously stating that he only taught of dukkha and cessation of dukkha.
    He did not say "I teach of attaining Enlightenment," implicit in his teaching as it might me.
    He also encouraged us to strive on with diligence and be a light onto ourselves...
    Again, practice-focused phrasing...

  • Enlightenment in one lifetime? Is there any other way? Seriously?

    Fosdick
  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    @yagr said:
    Enlightenment in one lifetime? Is there any other way? Seriously?

    Hi, @yagr
    In fact, you can't know how often you have tred this path before.
    Enlightenment might take several rounds of samsaric revisitation.
    But here and now, at least, you can work on your cessation of dukkha.
    That much you know.

  • @Buddhalotus said:

    @yagr said:
    Enlightenment in one lifetime? Is there any other way? Seriously?

    But here and now, at least, you can work on your cessation of dukkha.

    Is there any other time or place?

    Many lifetimes ago, @Shoshin said, In a past life I didn't like mushrooms...Now I love em :)

    Enlightenment in one lifetime - to quote a crustacean I've had the virtual pleasure of meeting...

    Iz plan.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @yagr said:
    Enlightenment in one lifetime? Is there any other way? Seriously?

    Well there is always the option of becoming enlightened between lifetimes in the Bardo, as the Tibetans call it. Supposedly there are several clear lights and if in their presence you can realise that it is all a projection of your mind then enlightenment happens there...

  • techietechie India Veteran

    It's not a matter of choice. Enlightenment happens when it will. One cannot 'choose' to become enlightened in one life-time or multiple life-times. Choice in this regard is an illusion.

    ShoshinlobsterfedericaKerome
  • It's not a matter of choice.

    We can choose to enable the conditions under which the choiceless is more likely to unmanifest ...

    The choice is ours.

    yagrZazen1BuddhalotusKundo
  • @lobster said:

    It's not a matter of choice.

    We can choose to enable the conditions under which the choiceless is more likely to unmanifest ...

    The choice is ours.

    As the lottery commission sez, "You can't win if you don't play!"

    That might not have been the most wholesome example....lol

    lobsterZazen1Buddhalotus
  • 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

    @techie said:
    It's not a matter of choice. Enlightenment happens when it will. One cannot 'choose' to become enlightened in one life-time or multiple life-times. Choice in this regard is an illusion.

    Of course it's a matter of choice. The problem is, we're too ignorant to make it.

    BuddhalotusZazen1Kundo
  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    @lobster said:

    It's not a matter of choice.

    We can choose to enable the conditions under which the choiceless is more likely to unmanifest ...

    The choice is ours.

    In a nutshell, this is what I meant.
    Except that rather than focus on "aiming to attain Enlightenment" I call it "ongoing working on cessation of dukkha."
    For some reason, the latter gives me the impression that I am focusing on my practice, here and now, on a daily basis, rather than running after a carrot at some end point of the race.

    lobster
  • 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

    I have arranged that if I should have a tombstone, it will read:

    "Work in progress. To be continued..."

    Zazen1BuddhalotusyagrKundo
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @techie said:
    It's not a matter of choice. Enlightenment happens when it will. One cannot 'choose' to become enlightened in one life-time or multiple life-times. Choice in this regard is an illusion.

    @lobster said:
    We can choose to enable the conditions under which the choiceless is more likely to unmanifest ...

    The choice is ours.

    We can choose to meditate and do other things to facilitate the practice, but I think it is an illusion to think we can force the issue, all you are likely to do is create some visions of coloured lights.

    I have heard it said that enlightenment comes to those in the moments they stop looking...

    Zazen1BuddhalotusKundo
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I think @techie is making a good point....

    It's not a matter of choice. Enlightenment happens when it will. One cannot 'choose' to become enlightened in one life-time or multiple life-times. Choice in this regard is an illusion.

    Choosing to follow and adhere to the path is no guarantee that one will achieve enlightenment in this life time ....

    But I guess this will all depend on what school of thought one follows ..... :)

    Zazen1lobsterBuddhalotus
  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    Right Effort is one of the branches in the Noble Eightfold Path.

    Wisdom is the primary tool for deliverance.
    But wisdom does not happen spontaneously.
    According to the teaching of the Buddha, it is mainly attained in a mind that has been stilled by Right Concentration and steadied by the discipline of Right Effort.

    All along the Dhammapada and in the Buddha's last words, emphasis is laid on the fact that it is through continuous discipline and training that we can work out our own salvation:

    "Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you.
    All component things in the world are changeable.
    They are not lasting.
    Work hard to gain your own salvation"

    So while there is no guarantee that despite practising hard we will attain Enlightenment, Enlightenment may never be attained by someone who has not done the homework.

    ShoshinZazen1lobster
  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer

    @federica said:
    I have arranged that if I should have a tombstone, it will read:

    "Work in progress. To be continued...".

    I am entertaining either of two possibilities.
    This one...

    Or this one...

    lobsterShoshinKeromeZazen1
  • Enlightenment in one lifetime

    In a moment, like the Buddha, I will sit.
    Enlightenment in a moment.

    BuddhalotusZazen1
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Buddhalotus said:
    So while there is no guarantee that despite practising hard we will attain Enlightenment, Enlightenment may never be attained by someone who has not done the homework.

    There is a famous Zen story where a student, a young man, asks his master, “how long will it take me to reach enlightenment?” The master replied “ten years”. Then the student said, “and if I really work hard at it?” The master replied “twenty years.”

    BuddhalotusZazen1lobsterShoshin
  • techietechie India Veteran

    @federica said:

    @techie said:
    It's not a matter of choice. Enlightenment happens when it will. One cannot 'choose' to become enlightened in one life-time or multiple life-times. Choice in this regard is an illusion.

    Of course it's a matter of choice. The problem is, we're too ignorant to make it.

    We can choose to follow the noble path. But we can't choose to become enlightened within a certain time frame such as one year or one life-time, which is what the OP is asking. For some people, even to break a small habit takes a life time (despite the effort). All I am saying is, there are too many variables, so it would be better to focus on the effort alone (noble path) and not worry about the result (enlightenment).

    ShoshinZazen1lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @techie said:
    For some people, even to break a small habit takes a life time (despite the effort).

    Certainly. The season of New Year’s resolutions will soon be upon us, and many people will again try to stop smoking, or become regular gym visitors.

    All I am saying is, there are too many variables, so it would be better to focus on the effort alone (noble path) and not worry about the result (enlightenment).

    Well said. In a way it is about being receptive to enlightenment, to put in some effort to stay ready, but not to over-focus and set deadlines.

    Zazen1Shoshin
  • Think of it this way: Enlightenment is an ongoing process. It come/arises from or efforts as we grow. Of course, we are always growing.

    paulyso
  • herbieherbie 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?

    Hi JaySon,

    please keep in mind that exactly because buddhism posits rebirth it is inappropriate to say that a person has attained enlightenment in one lifetime. How could you know how many lifetimes of practice preceded the present life?
    Also, if what the Tibetans say is valid, then how many lifetimes of non-tantric practice must precede before one finally meets a suitable tantric guru and is able to practice tantra correctly?

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