Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby cooran » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:58 am

Hello all,

Does anyone know anything about this teacher Linda Clair, and claims of being enlightened?
http://simplemeditation.net/teacher/

With metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7798
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:09 am

cooran wrote:Hello all,

Does anyone know anything about this teacher Linda Clair, and claims of being enlightened?
http://simplemeditation.net/teacher/

With metta
Chris
Not a thing, but wouldn't it be nice. I' will, however, stick with Dipa Ma and the few teachers, while making no claims about themselves, seem to embody the Dhamma.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 20069
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:26 am

Hi Chris,
Let me ask you, what do you think?
Are you not deafened by the pealing of alarm bells?
Personally, I wouldn't touch "Simple Meditation" or Linda Clair with a ten-foot pole.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16342
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby cooran » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:41 am

Hello Tilt, Ben,

Yes, I always feel uncomfortable when someone claims enlightenment. It is just that just the group was listed on Meetups for Brisbane, is just starting up, and I was looking for a local meditation group which might meet close by.

I tend to agree with John Bullitt from ATI:

Are there any enlightened people in the world nowadays?
How can I tell who's really enlightened?


I wouldn't be a Buddhist if I didn't think enlightenment were possible. The Buddha himself observed that as long there are people practicing correctly in line with the noble eightfold path, there will continue to be enlightened beings in the world (DN 16).

Even better evidence of the reality of enlightenment lies in the "gradual" nature of the Buddha's teachings. In the suttas, the Buddha speaks again and again of the many rewards awaiting those who follow the Path, long before they reach nibbana: the happiness that comes from developing generosity; the happiness that comes from living according to principles of virtue; the happiness that comes from developing loving-kindness (metta); the happiness that comes from practicing meditation and discovering the exquisite bliss of a quiet mind; the happiness that comes from abandoning painful states of mind; and so on. These can be tasted for yourself, to varying degrees, through Dhamma practice. Once you've personally verified a few of the Buddha's teachings, it becomes ever-easier to accept the possibility that the rest of his teachings are plausible — including his extraordinary claim that enlightenment is accessible to us.

It's probably best not to spend too much time speculating on someone else's degree of enlightenment, simply because our own delusion and defilements are bound to cloud our vision and distort our assessment of others' attainments or lack thereof.

Our time is far better spent looking inwards and asking of ourselves: "Am I enlightened? Have I made an end of suffering and stress?" If the answer is negative, then we have more work to do.

Some lines of questioning regarding someone else's purity are, however, well worth pursuing — especially when deciding whether or not to accept that person as your teacher: "Does this person seem to be truly happy? Does he live by the precepts? Is her interpretation of Dhamma a valid one? Can I learn something of real value from him?" It can take a long and close association with someone before you can begin to answer these questions with any confidence (AN 4.192). But if you do find someone possessing this rare constellation of good qualities, stay with that person: he or she probably has something of lasting value to teach you.

Finally, one rule of thumb that I've found helpful: someone who goes around claiming to be enlightened (or dropping hints to that effect) probably isn't — at least not in the sense the Buddha had in mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... /bfaq.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7798
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:46 am

cooran wrote:Hello Tilt, Ben,

Yes, I always feel uncomfortable when someone claims enlightenment. It is just that just the group was listed on Meetups for Brisbane, is just starting up, and I was looking for a local meditation group which might meet close by.


I understand.

But something comes to mind that may prove useful to contemplate...
One whose mind
is enmeshed in sympathy
for friends & companions,
neglects the true goal.
Seeing this danger in intimacy,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.

-- Snp 1.3 Khaggavisana Sutta, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16342
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby Aloka » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:49 am

Is she actually claiming to be fully enlightened or is she just getting some meditational experiences which she's getting rather carried away by ? I didn't read all the links on the website.
User avatar
Aloka
 
Posts: 3810
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby cooran » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:58 am

Hello Aloka, all,

This is her description of enlightenment:
http://simplemeditation.net/articles/EN ... RIENCE.pdf

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7798
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:06 am

Hi Aloka

There's more if you want to go onto the 'teacher' tab on the website. You can read all about Linda's 'journey'

I couldn't resist this pearl from the document Chris linked to:
It’s a state of not knowing – that’s what enlightenment is. And when you’re really fully immersed
in not knowing and not wanting to know, there can’t be any experience. There’s no time for any
experience.


I guess the Buddha was wrong!
Ignorance, according to Linda Clair, is the highest bliss!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16342
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby chownah » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:14 am

I don't know anything about Linda Clair but I do have some views on claims of enlightenment....it means different things to different people....Buddhism does not have the copyright on the word and neither do any of the buddhist schools.....to point to a mundane meaning of enlightenment just think of the phrase "please enlighten me" which people use when asking for more information.....or how someone upon hearing an explanation of some unknown occurance will explain "how enlightening".....Almost for sure one could search and find uses of the word "enlightenment" to fill in an entire spectrum of meanings all the way from the mundane ones I"ve given to the nibanna experience of Buddhism. If you go to the link and read about her you will see that whoever is writing the text uses the term enlightenment very liberally and spreads it around freely. This kind of enlightenmet might not be the same as what the Buddha had or encourages us to pursue.
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 3014
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby Aloka » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:23 am

cooran wrote:Hello Aloka, all,

This is her description of enlightenment:
http://simplemeditation.net/articles/EN ... RIENCE.pdf

with metta
Chris


Thanks Chris have just read it.......oh dear !

.
User avatar
Aloka
 
Posts: 3810
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby plwk » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:28 am

I’ve heard people say I must have a huge ego to go around saying I’m enlightened, but the only reason I can say it is because there isn’t any ego there. It would be much easier in a lot of ways to just keep my mouth shut, but I can’t keep quiet about this - it’s too important.
Cooran, it's obvious isn't it? :lol:
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
VSM VMM WBB TBHT WTBT My Page
plwk
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby PeterB » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:34 am

Another denizen of the growing Non Duality Zoo I suspect...people, largely westerners, like Gangaji, Tony Parsons, Adyashani, Tolle etc etc...who have some kind of Peak Experience ( which are actually quite common and natural ) and get stuck there, and then set up shop.
It is a million miles from the ruthless radicalism of the Buddha who encountered many such teachers and exposed the relative shallowness of their attainment.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby Akuma » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:45 am

peter wrote:Another denizen of the growing Non Duality Zoo I suspect...people, largely westerners, like Gangaji, Tony Parsons, Adyashani, Tolle etc etc...who have some kind of Peak Experience ( which are actually quite common and natural ) and get stuck there, and then set up shop.
It is a million miles from the ruthless radicalism of the Buddha who encountered many such teachers and exposed the relative shallowness of their attainment.


I think some of those are mixing up psychological breakdowns with attainment which is kinda funny if you see that others follow in their footsteps to get the same "attainments" :tongue:
Akuma
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:56 pm
Location: NRW, Germany

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby Dhammabodhi » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:03 am

PeterB wrote:It is a million miles from the ruthless radicalism of the Buddha who encountered many such teachers and exposed the relative shallowness of their attainment.


Sadhu! :anjali:
-Samāhitam cittam yathābhutam pajānāti.

समाहितं चित्तं यथाभूतं पजानाती |

A concentrated mind sees things as they really are.

-Ujuko nāma so maggo, abhayā nāma sā disā.

उजुको नाम सो माग्गो, अभया नाम सा दिसा |

'Straight' is this path, fearlessness is its way.
User avatar
Dhammabodhi
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Rome, Italy

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:47 pm

cooran wrote:I tend to agree with John Bullitt from ATI:

John Bullit from accesstoinsight.org wrote:Are there any enlightened people in the world nowadays?
How can I tell who's really enlightened?


I wouldn't be a Buddhist if I didn't think enlightenment were possible.



My knee jerk reaction is also to assume someone is a crackpot or a manipulator if they claim to be liberated.

However, I think John Bullit has a point. If you are a Buddhist, that means to you that there are arahants *here* not just somewhere "out there".

How could a modern arahant reach out to people in modern times, with secular means without raising suspicions?


cooran wrote:
John Bullit from accesstoinsight.org wrote:

The Buddha himself observed that as long there are people practicing correctly in line with the noble eightfold path, there will continue to be enlightened beings in the world (DN 16).


One of the things that has been blowing my mind in reading the book "The Broken Buddha" by Ven Dhammika is his claim that many Asian monastics don't think it is possible for anyone to become liberated. This would seem to contradict the sutta reference above. A possible explanation is the authors claim that most Buddhists and most Asian monks have never read the Pali Canon.

cooran wrote:
John Bullit from accesstoinsight.org wrote:Even better evidence of the reality of enlightenment lies in the "gradual" nature of the Buddha's teachings. In the suttas, the Buddha speaks again and again of the many rewards awaiting those who follow the Path, long before they reach nibbana: the happiness that comes from developing generosity; the happiness that comes from living according to principles of virtue; the happiness that comes from developing loving-kindness (metta); the happiness that comes from practicing meditation and discovering the exquisite bliss of a quiet mind; the happiness that comes from abandoning painful states of mind; and so on. These can be tasted for yourself, to varying degrees, through Dhamma practice.


This quote is golden for listing what Buddhism can do for you if you are agnostic about rebirth, agnostic about kamma and if you are agnostic about the possibility of you ( or anyone else ) achieving nibbana.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby PeterB » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:22 pm

And one of the things which is also "golden" might be refraining from lecturing those who are gnostic about those issues.

None of which is anything to do with the topic of this particular person Linda Clair...
There are plenty of places for the confused or uncertain to explore their saddha or lack of.
:offtopic:
PeterB
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:25 pm

Jhana4 wrote:One of the things that has been blowing my mind in reading the book "The Broken Buddha" by Ven Dhammika is his claim that many Asian monastics don't think it is possible for anyone to become liberated.
As with other views, one has to keep to the middle way.

One extreme is that its impossible, the other is that its relatively easy.

From my experience of those who seemed to have gained the genuine nibbāna, and who behaved appropriate to that attainment, I would say that it is certainly still possible, but that it requires a lot more effort than most of us are willing to make. It requires a "do or die" effort, not just a lot of effort, and then it would also require the necessary potental (pāramī). No one could say that failure was due to lack of potential unless they had failed in spite of striving throughout their entire life with the utmost effort. By making strenuous efforts, even weak potential gets stronger, and may later be sufficient while it is not yet good enough at the moment.

When the Venerable Mahāsī Sayādaw started teaching in Rangoon in 1949, the schedule was from 3:00 am to 11:00 pm — allowing only four hours for sleep. When I was there, it had been relaxed to 4:00 am until 10:00 pm — allowing six hours for sleep.

Most meditators I have taught are neither willing nor able to undertake even that less strict schedule for one day, let alone for one month or longer. One of my students went to Asia and practised for a month or so, then decided that the method was wrong and gave up. Maybe that was due to an unskilled teacher or a lazy student — it is hard to know the truth of the matter in such cases.

The method of cutlivating mindfulness is undoubtedly the right method, but attaining the right method (ñāyassa adhigamāyo) is synonymous with attaining the path and its fruition. Prior to that point, while developing the preliminary path of insight, the method is not yet quite right. Many do not get beyond the basic path, which means dispelling wrong views, a prerquisite to even beginning to strive for the goal.

As said above, if you don't think its possible to attain enlightenment, why would you bother? Giving up sensual pleasures for months at a stretch, the loss of income, separation from loved ones, tolerating the pain and discomfort entailed by long hours of meditation. All of these require faith and mundane right view as a necessary condition.
AIM WebsitePāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)
User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
 
Posts: 2097
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby chownah » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:37 pm

I hadn't seen the link to her definition of enlightenment when I made my last post....now that I've read it I'm glad that there is one thing that she and I agree on...she wrote, "Enlightenment is a word that is bandied about quite a bit, and different people seem to have different definitions of it"
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 3014
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby PeterB » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:42 pm

True. But the Buddha had a very clear and consistent view of it. And Dhamma Wheel exists to promulgate HIS view.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Linda Clair - claims of being enlightened?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:40 pm

Enlightenment is such a poor fit to Nibbāna really. Not that anything about her claim resonates as particularly 'Buddhist' other than in the New Age, psychobabble eclectic sense.

For what its worth, it may be interesting to look at Patrick Kearney’s mention of the confusion over the term “enlightenment”, the link to the article here.

“…I have never been able to find any Pâli or Sanskrit word which corresponds to the English word "enlightenment." This word was selected some time late last century by English translators as a label for the goal of Buddhist practice because of its resonance with the 18th century ideal of the Enlightenment. The European Enlightenment was a movement which idealised progress, science and reason - the "light" in "Enlightenment" refers to the light of reason. In Victorian Britain, sympathetic English scholars wanted to present Buddhism in as favourable a light as possible, and they did so by portraying the Buddha as the perfect Victorian gentleman. He was presented as rejecting the priestly mumbo-jumbo of the brahmins (who for the Victorian English corresponded to the Roman Catholic clergy) in favour of a religion of reason and morality (Almond: 70-4). The only thing that spoiled this picture was undeniable evidence in the Buddhist texts that the Buddha taught and practiced some kind of bizarre self-hypnosis or cultivation of trance states - what we today call meditation. The word "enlightenment" referred to a state of enlightened reason attained by the Buddha which, however, existed only in the imagination of Victorian scholars. Unfortunately the word has stuck, and with it the confusion.”

…not to stir the Kearney squabble again please
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves
User avatar
ancientbuddhism
 
Posts: 686
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm
Location: Cyberia

Next

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bundokji, clw_uk and 14 guests