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Thread: You might not notice...

  1. #1

    You might not notice...

    ...your own enlightenment. :?:

    If i remember correctly this is mentioned in Hardcore Zen. I was just reading Sitting Buddha by Daishin Morgan, abbot of Throssel Hole and there is a part where he says the same thing.

    I don't get what they mean.

    Isn't it quite a thing to be enlightened?? Why would it not be noticable?

    Can anyone shed a little light on what this phrase is about and wether it is a term/idea that is specific to Soto folks.

    Did say I had a lot of stoopid questions :roll:

    Ta, Stu.

  2. #2

    Re: You might not notice...

    According to Dogen, when Buddhas are Buddhas, they may not necessarily notice they are Buddhas.

    And according to Shunryu Suzuki, Enlightenment is 'nothing special' :roll:

    In Soto, we all have Buddha Nature, and it's just about realising that nature. That itself is Enlightenment.

    Soto emphasises how enlightenment and practice can't be separated, hence the zen circle (Enso).

    Hope that helps in some way, although im sure one of the others can give you a better explanation.

    Namaste

  3. #3

    Re: You might not notice...

    Part of enlightenment comes, I think, when you can just drop the idea of enlightenment and just be what you are. Sometimes cranky, sometimes balanced. However, hopefully more balanced than cranky.

    It doesn't mean that we go around acting like an ass**les and treating everyone like s**t "because that's who I am" etc.

    Check out Big mind/No mind that Shunryu Suzuki talks about.

    Gassho

  4. #4
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    2,901

    Re: You might not notice...

    Just a quick one,

    Dogen has a great thing to say about this whole issue of noticing what you call enlightenment, in Genjo Koan he writes this:
    to carry yourself forward and experience ten thousand things is delusion. Ten thousand things coming forth and experiencing themselves is awakening.
    I often tell people that eyes do not see themselves but in the activity of seeing, brightness appears. How can anybody perceive the non-dual? The non dual can only be fully achieved when forgotten, when the world and the countless forms are seen from the non dual itself. In these days, as in the early days, people want a glimpse, a taste, an opportunity to enjoy the experience. Name it, you have lost it. Give it a taste, it's gone.

    We don't have Buddha nature, we ARE Buddha nature. We don't have to find it, just express it. And its expression is unseen, unoticed. All that happens is that people's awakening hits you in the face and your own delusions too. When you see others as Buddhas and are aware of your countless shortcomings, then it is a good start.

    Enlightemenment is like an itch. Scratch it on and on... generate the idea of a doer, a seeker, scratch further, make a teacher, find a holy place, a sacred source of fulfillment, scratch further...until, you are fed up with the scratching activity. You just stop scatching. And then, you realize there is no itch. Everything is fine, as it is from day one. Nothing lacking, nothing really. You needed all this frentic scratching to get to the point where you give up your expectations.

    Sorry to disappoint you. But that is what the path is about, to break your heart and make you loose every single string of hope. People might be willing to sell you enlightenment. Then go for it. You will just make a long journey longer and scratch on. The real stuff is not for sale. It is yours already. You are it already.


    Gassho


    Taigu


    Thank you Will. Very insightful.

  5. #5
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: You might not notice...

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu

    We don't have Buddha nature, we ARE Buddha nature. We don't have to find it, just express it. And its expression is unseen, unoticed. All that happens is that people's awakening hits you in the face and your own delusions too. When you see others as Buddhas and are aware of your countless shortcomings, then it is a good start.

    Enlightemenment is like an itch. Scratch it on and on... generate the idea of a doer, a seeker, scratch further, make a teacher, find a holy place, a sacred source of fulfillment, scratch further...until, you are fed up with the scratching activity. You just stop scatching. And then, you realize there is no itch. Everything is fine, as it is from day one. Nothing lacking, nothing really. You needed all this frentic scratching to get to the point where you give up your expectations.

    Sorry to disappoint you. But that is what the path is about, to break your heart and make you loose every single string of hope. People might be willing to sell you enlightenment. Then go for it. You will just make a long journey longer and scratch on. The real stuff is not for sale. It is yours already. You are it already.


    Gassho


    Taigu


    Thank you Will. Very insightful.
    Nothing to add.

    Chet

  6. #6

    Re: You might not notice...

    Thanks all for replying!

    Stu.

  7. #7

    Re: You might not notice...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkle
    ...your own enlightenment. :?:

    If i remember correctly this is mentioned in Hardcore Zen. I was just reading Sitting Buddha by Daishin Morgan, abbot of Throssel Hole and there is a part where he says the same thing.

    I don't get what they mean.

    Isn't it quite a thing to be enlightened?? Why would it not be noticable?

    Can anyone shed a little light on what this phrase is about and wether it is a term/idea that is specific to Soto folks.

    Did say I had a lot of stoopid questions :roll:

    Ta, Stu.
    HI Stu,

    I very much cannot speak for Soto folks, but I will speak for myself.

    There are two aspects to enlightenment. One is that we are all inherently buddhas, in fact all phenomena are buddha. This in itself is a fundamental koan. But then there is the question of being able to LIVE this enlightenment, to manifest it, to full 100% consciously experience it, without just giving it lip service. For me, my buddhist life is about finding out what this "Enlightenment" is.

    As for the "enlightenment is not enlightenment". This is an example of a common event in zen writings, that of using a word twice but it having two meanings. It means that if one carries an idea of enlightenment (and therefore concurrently carries the idea of unenlightenment), this is still carrying a delusion (similar to "sacred/mundane").

    thank you for your time,
    gassho,
    rowan
    (ps - FYI - gassho is a bow with palms together)

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Rochester, NY, USA
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    Re: You might not notice...

    Hey Stu,

    This question comes up a lot and I always think of Joseph Heller's Catch 22. Not to compare enlightenment to insanity, but if folks who are enlightened don't spend much time considering whether or not they are enlightened then how would they ever know if they are enlightened?

    End result? It doesn't matter. Fetch water, chop wood as Jundo always says.

    Gassho,
    Scott

  9. #9
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: You might not notice...

    Thanks, Dosho.

    Like the archer that became so proficient that he forgot what a bow was.

    Chet

  10. #10

    Re: You might not notice...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jinho
    But then there is the question of being able to LIVE this enlightenment, to manifest it, to full 100% consciously experience it, without just giving it lip service. For me, my buddhist life is about finding out what this "Enlightenment" is.
    I agree.

    But does one need to "fully 100% consciously experience and manifest", 100% of the time of life, that one is already fully 100% enlightened beyond time? I do not think so and, anyway, few if any of us can. It might even get in the way of life sometimes were we like that all the time (a world full of only "perfect Buddhas" is not necessarily a world I'd care to live in).

    Is not one fully 100% enlightened from the outset even if one merely experiences that fact 50% of the time, 25%, 10% or no percent of the time? We are Buddhas, even if we do not act or feel that way much or most of the time. Only a Buddha might, it is said, experience that fact 100% of the time, and that is not any of us (because we are not Buddhas).

    Thus, since we may see clearly (or even only catch a slight glimmer of) our Buddhahood sometimes ... we should seek to live as best as we can as if it were true all the time ... dropping greed, anger, piercing ignorance, seeking not to do harm (as best we can, because for now we cannot do so 100% of the time). We should continue to do so until we eventually become Buddhas, when we just will do so without possibility of anything else. (That's assuming, of course, that the whole story about a "Buddha" being able to live such way 100% of the time is not a made up fiction of some ancient writer who sought to exaggerate the idea of a "Buddha" beyond all human failings)

    In any case, we should pretend to see it even when we don't, and act as if we did ... and that may help our seeing sometimes that we are Buddha all along.. I promise you that, if you continue this Practice, you will come to see it clearly sometimes. What the Buddha teaches, and a Buddha's perspectives, are no fiction.

    BOTTOM LINE: Whether a "Buddha" can live like a "Buddha" 100% of the time or not (and even if the whole thing about Buddhas being able to do so is a made up fairy tale), we should still try to live in a Buddha way as best we can, dropping greed, anger, ignorance and harm ... for it makes a good life, is a good way to live (and anyway, as a human being, that is the best I can do). In doing so, we will sometimes taste and experience what it is to be a Buddha ... the liberation of a Buddha.

    Anyway, for now, I just like living as me ... who tries to act as a Buddha would act, best as I can, when I can.

    And that is all possible only because we are Buddha all along.

    Something like that.

  11. #11

    Re: You might not notice...

    Right, that's good. I get it better now. I am a bit dumb and really need things spelling out :?

    It links into something that I've been thinking about for a while. Living by the precepts even if it goes against what "I" would rather do. A phrase I picked up at AA comes to mind - fake it til you make it. Make the effort to do that which is good to do until no effort is required.

    Thanks.

    Stu.

  12. #12

    Re: You might not notice...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkle
    Right, that's good. I get it better now. I am a bit dumb and really need things spelling out :?

    It links into something that I've been thinking about for a while. Living by the precepts even if it goes against what "I" would rather do. A phrase I picked up at AA comes to mind - fake it til you make it. Make the effort to do that which is good to do until no effort is required.

    Thanks.

    Stu.


    "Fake it till you make it" may be the best advice I've ever had...

    Gassho
    Tobiah

  13. #13

    Re: You might not notice...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobiah
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkle
    Right, that's good. I get it better now. I am a bit dumb and really need things spelling out :?

    It links into something that I've been thinking about for a while. Living by the precepts even if it goes against what "I" would rather do. A phrase I picked up at AA comes to mind - fake it til you make it. Make the effort to do that which is good to do until no effort is required.

    Thanks.

    Stu.


    "Fake it till you make it" may be the best advice I've ever had...

    Gassho
    Tobiah
    For sure!!! it comes naturally, eventually.
    Sorry nothing to add but a Ditto :C

    Gassho, Shohei

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