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#284058 - 09/13/06 04:11 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
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Registered: 11/25/04
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Quote:

Science depends on repeatable results. Legions of zennists have said 'sit and experience and it works'. Doesn't that make the process of enlightenment scientific?




Only if their enlightenment can be quantified in a way to be relatable/applicable to someone (everyone?) else.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#284059 - 09/13/06 04:16 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: MattJ]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Scientific studies are being done on it in various fields. Unfortunately, only about 1% of the population seems to experience absorbed, non-referential states spontaneously...and zen masters report that not all students will 'achieve' samadhi. So, the problem starts with a lack of subjects. Also, there is no agreement on whether or not there are 'levels' of realization (beyond the disagreement of gradual vs. spontaneous).

Perhaps, like becoming 'masters' in a the martial arts, enlightenment isn't possible for everyone? (WuXing...what is the Buddha's view on this?)

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#284060 - 09/13/06 06:01 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
WuXing Offline
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Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
Everyone is already enlightened. Time is an illusion.
Within the illusion, everyone will realize it eventually. Everyone is everyOne. In this lifetime or another, past present or future...the process of enlightenment is just as illusory as the defilements which keep us in the dark.

The last passage in the last chapter of the Lankavatara Sutra, which is the sutra that Bodhidharma favored and passed on to the subsequent patriarchs of Ch'an, says

Quote:

But no beings are left outside by the will of the Tathágatas; some day each and every one will be influenced by the wisdom and love of the Tathágatas of Transformation to lay up a stock of merit and ascend the stages. But, if they only realized it, they are already in the Tathágata’s Nirvana for, in Noble Wisdom, all things are in Nirvana from the beginning.



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#284061 - 09/13/06 06:20 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
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Quote by Harlan -

Quote:

Perhaps, like becoming 'masters' in a the martial arts, enlightenment isn't possible for everyone?




So we are back to degrees of enlightenment?
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#284062 - 09/13/06 08:59 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: WuXing]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Got it. Thanks!


Quote:

Everyone is already enlightened. Time is an illusion.
Within the illusion, everyone will realize it eventually. Everyone is everyOne. In this lifetime or another, past present or future...the process of enlightenment is just as illusory as the defilements which keep us in the dark.

The last passage in the last chapter of the Lankavatara Sutra, which is the sutra that Bodhidharma favored and passed on to the subsequent patriarchs of Ch'an, says

Quote:

But no beings are left outside by the will of the Tathágatas; some day each and every one will be influenced by the wisdom and love of the Tathágatas of Transformation to lay up a stock of merit and ascend the stages. But, if they only realized it, they are already in the Tathágata’s Nirvana for, in Noble Wisdom, all things are in Nirvana from the beginning.






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#284063 - 09/13/06 09:36 PM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: WuXing]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
Quote:


wisdom and love are both sudden and gradual.

sudden, by emotion and epiphany.

gradual, by understanding and awareness.

timeless, by not seeking them.

-anonymous, 7th century China.




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#284064 - 09/14/06 11:02 AM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
And how many people have experienced love by reading the word in the dictionary, or listening to other's explain their experiences to them? Wanting, learning about it, is not the same as experiencing it. All the scientific studies of hormones, the brain and the heart have yet to find the repository of the 'soul' or give the experience of 'love'. Yet...even without scientific 'proof' of love, with only discussions of hormones, no one denies that love exists once they experience it.

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#284065 - 09/14/06 11:45 AM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
discovery in the mind or in the heart is never static.

When we 'believe' to know something, the discovery stops or becomes corrupt.

but the security in that belief, outweighs the uncomfortable feeling of accepting the ever changing discovery.

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#284066 - 09/14/06 11:51 AM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
The same can be said of any 'realization'. The instant one clings to anything, it becomes a 'concept', a memory, a representation.

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#284067 - 05/04/07 09:31 AM Re: Gradual and Sudden Enlightenment [Re: harlan]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
bump

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