[Buddha-l] What is enlightenment?

curt curt at cola.iges.org
Wed May 11 13:56:06 MDT 2005

Jim Peavler wrote:

> Many folks who spend hours and hours meditating often have earth 
> shattering visions and revelations of "truth". I have had them myself. 
> In fact, I may have seen the absolute reality of "delusion" vs 
> "enlightenment". However, it is not an idea that one tells to one's 
> teacher necessarily. One of the very first signs of delusion in 
> meditation is to be absolutely convinced of the existence or 
> non-existence of something. If I were to suddenly validate "delusion" 
> or "enlightenment" during a sesshin, I would meditate on it until it 
> went away. There are some demons I will not follow.

There is another way of dealing with those kinds of demons - to truly 
in them to the extent that you actually expect them to live up to their 
There is a story from Hakuin's autobiography in which he went through a
period of worshipping an Ox God (or something like that) when he was a
child (about 8 or so). Anyway, he was really sold on this Ox God until one
day he was playing with his older brother's toy bow and arrow inside the 
He accidentally destroyed his parents favorite calligraphy - so he prayed to
the Ox God to save his little behind. When his parents punished him he 
the Ox God, because, in his words (more or less), "if He couldn't save 
me from
this minor problem what good will He be on the day of my death?"

In my opinion the biggest problem that people have with their delusions 
is that
they are too wishy-washy with them. If you really believe in something 
then you
will expect results. If you get results - well, then you are on to 
something. If you
don't - then you should do as Hakuin did and move on to something else. 
But if
you are just dilly-dallying - hoping that something might be true, but 
unwilling to
really and truly believe in it because you are too chicken-sh*t to put 
your faith in
something that you might be wrong about - then you're screwed.

Btw - it looks to me like Hakuin was one screwed up little kid. The 
reason he
was fishing around for deities to worship was because he was convinced 
that he
was going to Hell - unless he could find the right Deity to save him!

- Curt

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