How did Gautama Buddha reach Enlightenment (Nirvana)?

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posted on Dec, 9 2012 @ 03:33 AM
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Originally posted by smithjustinb
You cannot seek that which you do not know what you are seeking. You can seek things, and may find them, but the seeking mechanism is what is driving you to seek, so once what you are looking for is found, you will find something new to look for. Object after object. The seeking is the suffering. Realize that which is but cannot be sought. Then you will know that you will never have to suffer again.


The seeker is like the prodigal son that leaves the father and goes out into the world of 'things'. Only when he is fed up with the 'things' of the world will he turn around, and return home, to the father.

What is right here, now looking, is what you look for. Look directly at what is looking. What you will find is not a thing, not an object but it is what will end the search.

“What we are looking for is what is looking.” ― St. Francis of Assisi




posted on Dec, 9 2012 @ 07:34 AM
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Originally posted by TauNorthwolf


Gautama did not reach enlightenment, he became enligtened. Enlightenment is not a process culminating in a final step. It is an event that takes no time.
reply to post by Observor
 

- Not really, traditionally speaking it's a process of many lifetimes and "a developmental process" that is stressed strongly, see Dhammapada. Forget the new age western reinterpretations proposed by D.T. Suzuki or Ken WIlber's popularizing the idea of insight being a timeless, transcendent reality. See also the Thervada's seven stages of purification which are a difficult process as well. Do read the Lotos Sutra or check here for a starter.

You are right about the traditional speak. However, I don't subscribe to it. Gautama's life itself bears no evidence of the traditional path to enlightenment, notwithstanding the stories invented about his past lives.

The OP asked what different participants thought about enlightenment and whether they considered it attainable. I shared my thoughts.



posted on Dec, 9 2012 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by byGRACE
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


I am slightly more present and aware. Working towards a more enlightened view.



The mistake we make is believing we are anything but present and aware. Present and aware is what you are. It just has not been 'realized' as yet. Everyone on the 'path' to enlightenment is trying to find awareness or trying to be more aware. The 'trying' is the problem, the 'trying' is seeking, wanting. We are seeking what is already the case, but have not as yet noticed it.
Awareness takes no effort, no effort at all, no trying is needed. Can you stop seeing or hearing? You can't because it is just happening. Just notice it.
It is all about what the awareness is attending, where the attention is. The mind talks and it seems as if it is you that is speaking because it seems very close and it sounds very important, so the attention (awareness) tends to get stuck there. But thought is just part of the scenery. Whatever appears presently (nothing can appear outside presence) is just scenery and the scenery is constantly changing, moving - this includes everything: Colours, sounds, smells, thoughts, feelings, sensations all appearing at once as one, presently.
The human condition is when the attention (awareness) is sticking to thoughts, awareness gets trapped in mind. When you are trapped in mind there is a contraction that is felt energetically. What you are is being restrained, contained in mind. This is why humans suffer.
However, it is not true that awareness (the real you) is contained in the mind. Awareness is aware of the mind, it is aware of each thought that arises. The awareness that you are can only be found presently.
Present and aware is what you are. Watch now as Maya plays.

Whatever arises arises.
edit on 9-12-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:37 PM
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On the topic of reaching Nirvana - I have a question and I am finding many contradicting answers and nowhere to ask specifically.

So I ask of you knowledgeable folks



If there is no self... how do you reach enlightenment? It would appear to me that your "self" would reach the level of understanding that is enlightenment... but if there is no "self"...?

Probably just my dumb westernized mind overthinking it, but can someone enlighten me? No pun intended.



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by samara11278
On the topic of reaching Nirvana - I have a question and I am finding many contradicting answers and nowhere to ask specifically.

So I ask of you knowledgeable folks



If there is no self... how do you reach enlightenment? It would appear to me that your "self" would reach the level of understanding that is enlightenment... but if there is no "self"...?

Probably just my dumb westernized mind overthinking it, but can someone enlighten me? No pun intended.

In the view where no-self exists, "enlightenment" is not an achievement of the body-mind (which is still real), it is merely the cessation of the illusion of self. Then what operates out of the "enlightened" body-mind is the universal consciousness.

Many have preached techniques where the illusory self, operating out of a body-mind, could self-terminate. However, I don't see any evidence of any of these technqiues having worked.

So my best guess is that "enlightement" is a gift/accident, not much point in wasting time on it. However, the "enlightened" people seem to have some pretty good advice for the rest on how to operate in the real world and it doesn't appear to be a bad idea to consider those ideas.



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 02:41 AM
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reply to post by samara11278
 


I'd say nirvana is when there is no self anymore. Still, I find it confusing sometimes. Can you be selfish with no self?



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 02:58 AM
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Know that you create the universe one moment at a time. That is enlightenment.
edit on 12-12-2012 by smithjustinb because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 03:01 AM
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oreply to post by Observor
 


Your wisdom speaks not to the creation, but to the creator. Thank you.



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 04:12 AM
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reply to post by samara11278
 


Here is a talk by Alan Watts called 'Who is it that knows there is no self?' :
youtu.be...



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:49 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


Maybe it's the devil that holds that thought for some?



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:52 AM
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Originally posted by Angle
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


Maybe it's the devil that holds that thought for some?


What thought in particular are you speaking of?



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 08:43 AM
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When a dna constructed human is born upon this world, he is gifted with life.

Through the passing on of traditions, human responsibilities, moral and ethical guidelines, much is expected from him and he too expects much for himSELF.

It gives birth to ego, and thus often caused stress, worries an at times pain and sufferings when he or/and others are hurt and harmed.

Buddhism does not compell anyone. It is not a religion whereby you MUST worship or believe anyone. It is only a way of life, and Buddhism teaches the human to follow a path, so that one will have less stress, worries, etc. to find inner peace.

To find inner peace, one must get rid of the ego, thus the need to deny the 'self' who feeds off from ego.

Monks take the short cut, by denying the self entirely, the only way to get rid of ego, hurt and harm none, awaiting the end so that they may achieve final enlightenment - Nirvana.

But Buddhism, unlike many other indian renouncer gurus, did not teach all to become monks. It understood mankind has a role to play in the scheme of the Universe. Thus it teaches the path so that all mankind may suffer less, do good works and attain a better rebirth, through that cycle, finally attaining Nirvana.

And Nirvana meants emptiness.

It would seem strange if not insane for a human to strive for emptiness.

However, the 'emptiness' is something Holy. It is only a return to our origin, our souls back to our Creator. Within Him, whom are we but only His creations?

Water has many uses. It fills our thirst, cut across rocks, brings life to vegetation, etc. Yet water by itself is not eternal, for in time, it evaporates into gaseous state, seemingly of no use to anyone or anything.

Similarly, mortal dna lives are not eternal. It serves a purpose on Earth, and when the dna ages, our soul returns.

Some may ponder, what then are our human pruposes?

All I can say with certainty is that just look at monkeys. They have digits and limbs like us and yet they can only swing from tree to tree, under domination and more critically - management by humanity. Look at mankind, and you see us striving for the stars. The stars, plenty out there, are our destiny.



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by TauNorthwolf

According to the scriptures Gotama Buddha reached enlightenment after 49 days below the pipal tree. Before him there had been endless Buddhas and after him will be endless Buddhas. Everybody can develop the Buddha nature and become a Buddha after a certain time. What do you think about enlightenmend? Is it attainable? Or will it be like in the scriptures where it has been said that there will be as many lifes as leaves on a tree till freedom found? Siddhis are mystical powers but Buddha said they shouldn't be seeked for, still people try to attain them. Ego trip? Mara was apparently no real Demon like many people want to believe, but the final stance of the ego in the own mind. What are your thoughts?

Enlightenment


According to Buddha, to achieve enlightenment, you must be non attached. However, how did Buddha achieve enlightenment when he was so attached to achieving enlightenment? Ah a paradox, how lovely.

To answer your question about enlightenment being attainable, yes it is, but it starts with love, which I think the Buddha realized through the last remaining years of his life.

Remember the story of his death? Ah yes, when the Buddha ate bad mushrooms and pork knowing they were poisonous but still consumed them because being a caring, compassionate person was more important than following carnal rules such as a strict diet adhering only to vegetables.

By the way, I believe today's definition of enlightenment is way different from the true essence of enlightenment, another thing to ponder about.
edit on 12-12-2012 by DelayedChristmas because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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Many ignorant claimed that the buddhists 'desires for nothing yet seeking for enlightenment' is a paradox and laughed at the silliness of Buddhists. Unfortunately, it is the ignorant whom should be pitied.

Buddhism teaches not to seek for desires.

What it meant was earthly mortal desires stemming from the 7 deadly sins of mankind such lust,greed, pride, etc.

Thus when Buddhist desire for enlightenment, it is nothing extraordinary or against its teachings, for only by denying our mortal desires can we hope to reach enlightenment and ultimately Nirvana one day.

And that noble desire runs through every mainstream religion even today, as we aspire for closeness to our common Creator by rejecting the 7 deadly sins as taught by Divine Teachers sent through the course of our current human civilisation.

Even wise atheists knows better than to commit those sins, for it brings mortal consequences to even Man's constitutional rules.

Nothing earthly is forever. We came with nothing and will leave with nothing on this planet, except memories by the living of love we once gave to them and their love for us, with their hopes to progress and evolve on the right path.

Only our soul is eternal and belongs to our Creator whom love us all, is where we all will return, where ultimate peace and bliss are, only if we are found worthy.
edit on 12-12-2012 by SeekerofTruth101 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 01:56 PM
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Movie: Neverending story. Anyone who saw it? I saw it a young age. Then it was good. Reading the post above I was reminded the part where the kid/boy needed to run through the pass where lasers/rays came out of the statues besides it. When he was worhty he could pass. He did. Great movie.



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:37 PM
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To enlightened people, Enlightenment does not exist. Any wise and honest sage will tell you It is impossible to describe enlightenment. One reason because, enlightenment, embodied as a concept, does not exist. No concept of enlightenment is true or achievable. It is not a mental experience, in fact, it's not an experience at all. Neither is it a state of mind, set of behaviors, morals, beliefs, ethics. It is also, not a realm of knowledge.

Since most of us are living in our minds, our concepts and ideas, we are stuck in the hamster wheel of pursuing ideas and thoughts. However, transcendence of the mind, is absolutely necessary to see and finally understand this.

The questioner is the one creating the concept called enlightenment. Enlightenment never answers the questioner, because the questioner IS the answer. When this is recognized, then both the questioner AND the question disappear. Also the concept of enlightenment disappears....


The mind does not want to hear any of this, because it wants to feel that it is capable of enlightening itself. It will even throw in time to keep you on the hamster wheel.
edit on 12-12-2012 by Visitor2012 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by Visitor2012
 


I like what you said. One question though. If the questioner is the answer, how can it dissappear?



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 07:36 PM
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Originally posted by SeekerofTruth101
Many ignorant claimed that the buddhists 'desires for nothing yet seeking for enlightenment' is a paradox and laughed at the silliness of Buddhists. Unfortunately, it is the ignorant whom should be pitied.

Buddhism teaches not to seek for desires.

What it meant was earthly mortal desires stemming from the 7 deadly sins of mankind such lust,greed, pride, etc.

Thus when Buddhist desire for enlightenment, it is nothing extraordinary or against its teachings, for only by denying our mortal desires can we hope to reach enlightenment and ultimately Nirvana one day.

And that noble desire runs through every mainstream religion even today, as we aspire for closeness to our common Creator by rejecting the 7 deadly sins as taught by Divine Teachers sent through the course of our current human civilisation.

Even wise atheists knows better than to commit those sins, for it brings mortal consequences to even Man's constitutional rules.

Nothing earthly is forever. We came with nothing and will leave with nothing on this planet, except memories by the living of love we once gave to them and their love for us, with their hopes to progress and evolve on the right path.

Only our soul is eternal and belongs to our Creator whom love us all, is where we all will return, where ultimate peace and bliss are, only if we are found worthy.
edit on 12-12-2012 by SeekerofTruth101 because: (no reason given)


The teachings of Buddhists, like the teachings of Christ, are largely misunderstood in the west. Westerner's view of Buddhism is to pretend to be someone you're not in order to become something you don't understand. And that "something" is supposed to replace all bad with good. That's the Westerner's understanding of enlightenment.

Buddhist or Christian "Commandments" weren't supposed to be a set of rules to obey. They are a set of practices or Koan's to be used as vehicles or aids to self-realization. If you are trying to rid yourself of desires, then the desire for enlightenment has to be gone as well. You fail before you start. The realization of this, is the purpose of the attempt. But most seekers, fail to realize this, so they stay on the hamster wheel, believing that they are holy, righteous and on the path to somewhere better. In reality, you can not travel to where you already are, if Buddhist teachings don't lead you to discover this on your own, then you are in for a long ride on the spiritual hamster wheel.

Trying to have no thought, is a similar yogic practice done to realize that thought can not be permanently stopped. Yet you have fools running around pretending to be a no thought holy person.

Enlightenment is the transcendence of the mind, once the mind is transcended... Enlightenment no longer exists, nor is it needed. However, enlightenment as a goal...a distant future achievement..is an illusion. True Buddhist teachings should lead you to discover that yourself. The koans, tricks, and impossible commandments were meant to lead you safely through the barrier of insanity into sanity. And to lead you into the profound realization that you ALREADY ARE that which you're seeking.
edit on 12-12-2012 by Visitor2012 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 08:01 PM
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Originally posted by smithjustinb
reply to post by Visitor2012
 


I like what you said. One question though. If the questioner is the answer, how can it dissappear?

The self that Identifies with being the questioner, does not actually exist. YOU exist, but the questioner that is asking the questions, exists only within the mind. From a point of profound and deep realization that You are life itself, the whole of Consciousness, this statement is very true.
edit on 12-12-2012 by Visitor2012 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 08:20 PM
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reply to post by Visitor2012
 


I agree, so what are we supposed to do?





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