Is it still possible to get enlightened?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Viscid » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:44 pm

We should maintain a pragmatic attitude toward the views we hold:

If we cannot know if it is possible to become an arahant, we should act, regardless, as if it were. Any belief that full enlightenment isn't possible will only introduce doubt into our minds, and serves no other purpose than to limit ambition.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Aloka » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:36 pm

Talking About Enlightenment (Ajahn Jayasaro 7.26 minutes)


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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Kabouterke » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:50 pm

lewis454 wrote:
Yes, why would it not be possible?


I'm not sure, but I've heard some people say it's not.


You wouldn't be the first Buddhist to say this. Historically speaking, the question, "Is it still possible to become enlightened?" has been debated for centuries in Buddhism. This is a distinctly Mahayana theory, but the "Mappo" period of Buddhist history, also known also the "degenerate age of the Dharma" was predicted to be a preiod of unrest, famine, disease and corruption of people's minds and understanding of the Dharma. The world would be in such a terrible state that humanity would no longer be capable of enlightenment. In medieval Asia, this theory was so popular and so widely beleived that entirely new sects popped up using this idea as its foundation, such as the Pure Land School. Instead of working diligently towards enlightenment on this Earth, Pure Land says it is more productive to devote yourself to Amitabha Buddha and beseech him to help you be reborn in a Pure Land where those corrupting forces did not exist. Then you could work on Enlightenment. Pure Land Buddhism is one of the most popular and influential sects in East Asia nowadays.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Ages_of_Buddhism

However, these ideas have been also historically debated in Theravada traditions which also predicted the decline of the Dharma.

How does this help you with you and your own life? Maybe I could make a parallel with your life and Buddhsim. ...Who on this forum can answer that question, when Buddhism itself can't even figure it out?

Idk. :shrug: Buddhist history is just good fun :)
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Aloka » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:40 pm

Why worry about it ? This is from some questions and answers with Ajahn Chah:

Question: I'm trying very hard in my practice but don't seem to be getting anywhere.

Ajahn Chah: This is very important. Don't try to get anywhere in the practice. The very desire to be free or to be enlightened will be the desire that prevents your freedom.

You can try as hard as you wish, practise ardently night and day, but if it is still with the desire to achieve in mind, you will never find peace. The energy from this desire will be a cause for doubt and restlessness. No matter how long or how hard you practise, wisdom will not arise from desire.

So, simply let go. Watch the mind and body mindfully but don't try to achieve anything. Don't cling even to the practice of enlightenment.

http://www.buddhanet.net/bodhiny2.htm



:anjali:
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:47 pm

lewis454 wrote:In the way the Buddha talked about? Yes or no? Is there any 'evidence'? It also seems like a lot of different people mean a lot of different things by enlightenment.


How can we know for sure that anyone is or ever was Enlightened?
How can we know for sure that Enlightenment is possible?

I guess that we need to practice correctly in what we believe.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:49 am

26. The Visible Nibbāna
Once the brahmin Jāṇussoṇi approached the Blessed One … and said to him:44
“It is said, Master Gotama, ’Nibbāna is directly visible.’ In what way, Master Gotama, is
Nibbāna directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, worthy of application, to be
personally experienced by the wise?”
“When, brahmin, a person is impassioned with lust … depraved through hatred …
bewildered through delusion, overwhelmed and infatuated by delusion, then he plans for his
own harm, for the harm of others, for the harm of both; and he experiences in his mind suffering
and grief. But when lust, hatred, and delusion have been abandoned, he neither plans for his
own harm, nor for the harm of others, nor for the harm of both; and he does not experience in
his mind suffering and grief. In this way, brahmin, Nibbāna is directly visible, immediate,
inviting one to come and see, worthy of application, to be personally experienced by the wise.
“Since he experiences the complete destruction of lust, hatred, and delusion, in this way,
brahmin, Nibbāna is directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, worthy of
application, to be personally experienced by the wise.”45

http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf1/wh155An ... ikaya1.pdf
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:54 am

Sutta wrote: when lust, hatred, and delusion have been abandoned, he neither plans for his own harm, nor for the harm of others, nor for the harm of both; and he does not experience in his mind suffering and grief. In this way, brahmin, Nibbāna is directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see, worthy of application, to be personally experienced by the wise.


I hope that it is possible (despite having no proof and despite that it is impossible to prove this) and it is a beneficial to have faith in.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby PadmaPhala » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:33 am

no, we are not lightbulbs. it is however possible to awake to the highest dharma.
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