Enlightenment. What is it and how do we know when we have achieved it?

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posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 01:03 PM
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Just to add guys,

This afternoon I spent some time on a one to one with a Lama of Tibetan Buddhism of the Kagyu tradition.

He has spent over 3 years in total retreat, not speaking to any other human being, just meditating.

So on the issue where I said that Self Observation is not the answer I was more wrong than I thought.

I asked much about his main practise during that retreat, I may when my responsibilities to a family member end follow suit, will be Mischevious Lama Elf then lol


Kagyu Tradition

Anyhow he did say during this as I was enquiring about the difference between his mind before and after this extensive retreat, that "he Knew His own mind now" and further that only then was he able to merge as we talking into the "one" more, as it is "difficult to understand others very well, and how you can best help, until you know yourself more".

So just focusing on total altruistic Love and trying to find the One is in his learned opinion impossible until you totally know your self first, your motivation will be good, you will have a loving heart try your best, but never merge with the one as the illusion of your perceptions the ego will always keep coming up.

The gist was until you know where your own ego ends and starts, how on earth can you help guide others away from theirs?

I am doing a meditation practise with him tomorrow night and if I have the chance, as not one to one than to talk further on this i will let you guys know.

Kind Regards,

oh and love and Light to


Elf




posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by MischeviousElf
 
Hello again mischevious one! That is all I was trying to say! Did it seem more true coming from a monk! You know I did not come come upon ' self observation' lightly. There are various sufi ' schools of thought' that say the same thing. They just use different terms like 'Developing the second attention' or 'self remembering'. I just keep forgetting to remember! I will get back to you on 'love' I must for the moment turn my attention to Mr Green, I fear I have been neglecting him! Your post was very interesting! Thankyou.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by midicon
reply to post by MischeviousElf
 
Hello again mischevious one! That is all I was trying to say! Did it seem more true coming from a monk! You know I did not come come upon ' self observation' lightly. There are various sufi ' schools of thought' that say the same thing. They just use different terms like 'Developing the second attention' or 'self remembering'. I just keep forgetting to remember! I will get back to you on 'love' I must for the moment turn my attention to Mr Green, I fear I have been neglecting him! Your post was very interesting! Thankyou.



But as soon as we try to self understand and remember the self its so easy to get into some self exploration path of ego. I understand we need to find where our ego starts and ends, but how do you know where to stop with this?

Oh and its Ms, you say you've neglacted him, its her.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by Mr Green


But as soon as we try to self understand and remember the self its so easy to get into some self exploration path of ego. I understand we need to find where our ego starts and ends, but how do you know where to stop with this?



It ends when you realize that anything you think you are IS the ego, and that what is left over is conscious awareness prior to thought.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 03:47 PM
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reply to post by MischeviousElf
 


I think it's great that there are people here who think like you do, who actually would willingly submit themselves to isolation in pursuit of realization. It's been something I've wanted to do since I was an adolescent, but I'm waiting for SHTF situations to put more strain on my personal relationships, as I know they will, because my loved ones always freak about "bad times" at the same time that I get very excited about them. I'm physically isolated from anyone else who would dedicate themselves like this, and I'm tempted to try to find a way to Tibet some day. Or at least the Rockies. I'm nestled in the Appalachians, which are beautiful, but more populated.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by bsbray11
reply to post by MischeviousElf
 


I think it's great that there are people here who think like you do, who actually would willingly submit themselves to isolation in pursuit of realization.


This is almost impossible for most dont you think? Families, jobs, houses, all most can do is grab an hour to meditate most days and be glad of this time. I too think its great those that take the extra step to isolation.

This is why I said very early in the thread that enlightenment can become a very selfish pursuit. It seems to distance us from our loved ones in many ways.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 04:32 PM
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reply to post by Mr Green
 

Why should enlightenment mean that you have to live a lonely life?



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by cancerian42
reply to post by Mr Green
 

Why should enlightenment mean that you have to live a lonely life?


No not lonely, but others see a difference in you, you seem distant some times, just different I guess. Others speak of their new car, new house, new holiday and I find it hard to relate to them, do you understand? Sometimes Id rather just spend time alone and so I turn down invitations to go out. Its hard to stay in the now when most speak of yesterday or tomorrow or the fear of the credit crunch. If we try to say to others please dont fear anything, they look at you as if your strange and say oh yer you going to pay my bills then. Its just hard to combine the two. Being in this environment will not help enlightenment, is this not why monks spend years away from people?



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by Mr Green
 

Yes, I have felt that way since birth, but I have learned to live around others regardless of their obsessions.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by cancerian42
reply to post by Mr Green
 

Yes, I have felt that way since birth, but I have learned to live around others regardless of their obsessions.


yes so its not lonely as such, just different.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 04:55 PM
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I would say the word enlightenment might give the wrong idea. Often the word is associated with meditating for long periods of time, or living in a cave or whatever, but those things don't really apply to someone living in the world today. There's a teen in Tibet or something that has been meditating for long periods of time reportedly without food or water, and he has developed a following of thousands of people. They think he's an incarnation of the Buddha. The thing is, what good does a person do for the world by sitting under a tree? Not much.

Gnostic author Timothy Freke says "enlivenment" is a more correct word and I agree with that. I think it is something that is can be sort of easily attainable, its not as mysterious and illusive as some think it is. I would say that it is not a single event or some far off goal, but a series of steps each with its own insights. Also, enlightenment or enlivenment is NOT physical actions, and it isn't about being kind or changes in people's personality ect. I would say it is working towards "loving thy neighbor as thyself" on an interior level.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 05:05 PM
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Originally posted by ghaleon12
I would say the word enlightenment might give the wrong idea. Often the word is associated with meditating for long periods of time, or living in a cave or whatever, but those things don't really apply to someone living in the world today. There's a teen in Tibet or something that has been meditating for long periods of time reportedly without food or water, and he has developed a following of thousands of people. They think he's an incarnation of the Buddha. The thing is, what good does a person do for the world by sitting under a tree? Not much.




Yes this boy has been covered in the thread a while back

uk.youtube.com...

What good does he do? Well I guess he shows the rest of us that it can be done, we need some to reach absolute enlightenment to show us it is achievable whilst alive.

It was reported that after several months he disappeared only to re appear after 1 1/2 years. He had found it hard to meditate under the constant attention.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 05:31 PM
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reply to post by bsbray11
 
Hello again Bsbray11, Thankyou for giving me your thoughts on god. Although I did ask that we leave him out of it! Of course I do realise that you were just giving me me an illustrative example of how some things cannot be communicated but you could have made it even simpler by just sticking to 'my god is beyond words' There you go, we have established something already! was that so difficult ? Now we know we can,t speak about god! Does communication presuppose words?Think!. "it can go inside of itself, which is the same thing" The same thing as what? what I just said? Well if your happy, I can live with it! Did I ask for an analogy or definition of transcendence? Do I need one? Seeing as you've brought it up, I will say this. Transcendence is not stepping back from TV program and realising you are just watching TV, and that it isn't real. This is just an analogy! and a pretty poor one at that. Shall I tell you what transcendence is? I dare not, you will seek to entrap me in an endless dance of words! Am I being 'harnessed' by the body? perhaps so! why do you think I practice 'self observation'? What is a 'contradiction'? Shall we debate it? Or shall I accept your assurance that it exists? I'll accept it of course, you seem so confident! We determine what is and isn't required by focusing our attention on the goal. What is the goal? In this case communication! Why are you trying to make me think like an infant? Why would I look down on a child? You make too many assumptions sir! Do I need some education with regard to how language is aquired and how it is facilitated and indeed at what speed? Why does it have to be magical? And don't get me started on documented psychology! and no, my mind hasn't been corrupted but you are correct in saying 'my cup is too full'! I know this now that the thirst has left me, I repeat why do you think I practice 'self observation'? I will give you this.. We start off in life with an 'empty cup' maybe, but if we do, we fill it up in order to empty it again!
We have to make sure there's enough in it of course otherwise we may just end up being a fool..some may say 'the fool is near to god' and that may be true but it may also be true that 'a fool is just a fool'. And no, before you think it! I'm not calling you a fool. I don't think you are I'm just being illustrative! Thankyou for you input!



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 05:44 PM
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[edit on 2-2-2009 by ghaleon12]



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 05:48 PM
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Originally posted by midicon
reply to post by bsbray11
 
Hello again Bsbray11, Thankyou for giving me your thoughts on god. Why are you trying to make me think like an infant? Why would I look down on a child? You make too many assumptions sir! Do I need some education with regard to how language is aquired and how it is facilitated and indeed at what speed? Thankyou for you input!


I dont think he was saying you are a child, I took it that we all need to wipe our learning mind clean, let our minds return to that of an infant and re learn everything we have been taught. Cast aside what we've been told and re learn, learn a fresh just as a child does.

Do I look down on a child? no I do not, I look at them in wonder at how they are fresh and open to learning all that can be learnt without the prejudice of time.

You asked me do I think love is an emotion? I replied no I think its a universal energy with its own unique frequency from the universal source. What are your thoughts on this, you have not said.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by midicon
 


I think we have a lot in common, we just come at it from different positions. If you've found an orientation, you're fine, we'll both see how it goes.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by Mr Green
 
Hello Ms Green, I apologise for not responding sooner, but I have indeed had my attention fixed on you! you really, are the reason I'm here! or to be more precise the 'now' is the reason I'm here! It has drawn me like a moth to a flame! and captured my attention!
But sadly now that I have 'arrived' I have to leave on an errand! Let me just say this. We do not need to find out where our 'ego' starts and ends! It is of no consequence.There is nothing to find out! and worse still there is knowing where to stop!There is only observation! It is so simple yet fiendishly difficult! I have a free day tomorrow and hope to spend more time here! thank you for your insights



posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 02:57 AM
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Originally posted by midicon
reply to post by Mr Green
 
Let me just say this. We do not need to find out where our 'ego' starts and ends! It is of no consequence.There is nothing to find out! and worse still there is knowing where to stop!There is only observation! It is so simple yet fiendishly difficult! I have a free day tomorrow and hope to spend more time here! thank you for your insights


Hello, I see that the ego has no consequence but observation...? Now I am confused! How can we observe yet ignore the ego? Are you just saying observe as in the now? Become your own silent watcher where the matters of ego are really of no consequence? Isnt this what has been said? The problem of language is indeed a difficult one, maybe we are talking of the same thing.



posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 04:00 PM
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Okay an easy and classic one for you all, that many know, but it may be new to many as well.

What is meditation anyway?

Is it focusing intently on a feeling?

Is it visualising a Lotus at a chakra?

Is it chanting a word or saying a prayer?

Is it perceiving emptiness?

Is it just being earthed and Mindful aware of how you breath and your feet on the ground as you walk?

All of these, but in a group of 4 a few hours ago with the Lama I mention above we practised a different one for 30 mins that is part of the oneness and merging I was talking about,

Okay so cross legged, hands on knees thumb and forefinger together, or classic Buddha Mundra with one palm on top of another thumbs touching into a upside down V by your naval.

So now back straight, tongue touching tip of mouth just behind the teeth, head bent slightly forward, gaze focused on just past the tip of your nose at nothing or even a flame or picture, object, as Lama said laughing could be a Mcdonalds Box does not matter.

This posture in Tibetan Buddhism is known as the "7" pointed Vajrahana as it through the chi or energy/wind bodies in your subtle body allows the right energies to flow to your mind and reduces distraction, ego, ignorance etc.

Breath and just don't think, just be, don't gaze through what you are looking at, don't analyse it just keep your focus intently on it, one place, when mind wanders let it go, come back and just focus again, just keep doing this, if you start going fuzzy or spaced out again focus on the object awake, look but don't analyse or give any meaning to it.

As your thoughts and focus drift, appear just come back and be there not thinking "ive got to meditate on nothing just look" allow that to go away just look again.

Eventually you will merge with the object or the barriers between you and it will break down

The observer becomes the observed.

A very good meditation according to Lama for breaking seperation of "this" "that" "there" "here" "me" "you"

As even if you have the right emotions and compassion to want to help others and see them as equal, if you don't teach your senses this, or break the habits and pathways of conditioned there and here, you will never get to the place where automatically in everything you see "one".

Which as many have said and supported here is the answer to the OP's Question.

Kind Regards,

Elf

[edit on 3-2-2009 by MischeviousElf]



posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by MischeviousElf
The observer becomes the observed.


I try to conjure this experience in "normal" life, while doing the most mundane things (certainly not while driving a car), and in public I can hardly help from bursting into laughter. Some day I might like to live there, if I can saddle it, and then I can only imagine how little sense I will make.





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