Message Boards Message Boards

Claims to Attainments

An Enlightenment Experience

Toggle
An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/9/09 2:40 PM
I have had a clear and sustained direct conscious experience of not having a self, in fact not knowing who or what the event was being perceived by, nor being able to look at it. (?) However there is no perfection of sila here. I can't find a passage in the suttas saying that is a prerequisite, but it is highly desired.
p e a c e
h a n s e n
p.s. not a bhikkhu
no lineage
no robes
no transmission
no paperwork

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/9/09 4:20 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
not a bhikkhu
no lineage
no robes
no transmission
no paperwork


i like that. there should be a name for those of us who are trying to get it done but who aren't part of a lineage and have no intention getting some traditional "transmission."

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/10/09 4:18 AM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Mike: There is a precedent. Historically, inclusion of the upasaka community was slow in India, but it went better where ancestor worship was top priority.

In China, one of the patriarchs had no lineage or transmission, and did not establish one. There is a trade-off in this. Don't expect to teach in a transmission or lineage if you opt out.

As far as robes go, anyone can buy them, try Craig's list.

p e a c e
h a n s e n

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/10/09 11:14 AM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
There must be other examples of what I am talking about. You know, people who got it but just weren't connected or didn't want to be connected to a lineage. And I imagine there are people who've gotten stream entry or more and then just lived ordinary lives without becoming a teacher or staying with a sangha. It's possible, right? And then there are the Krishnamurti, Tolle, Adyashanti and/or all those "non-dual" people out there who have no affiliation with lineage or any sort of religious institutions (no priests or robes).

I can't imagine wanting to be a teacher if I ever got to a place where I was actually qualified -- way too much pressure and temptation for me.

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/10/09 3:39 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Mike - sure. Well all you need is a college degree to teach anything you want in our society. Since the Buddha insisted that the teaching be sinple, easy to access, and free of charge it is only logical to assume that there are many who don't get plugged into a lineage or transmission. But the sangha is as unavoidable as the dharma and the Buddha. You have to deal with. And I do have a little sangha, about 6 people who have gotten some of the dharma through me. And then there is cyber-sangha also, which although it is less immediate, in a way it is more direct.
h a n s e n

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/11/09 7:17 AM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Eric Alan Hansen:
I have had a clear and sustained direct conscious experience of not having a self, in fact not knowing who or what the event was being perceived by, nor being able to look at it. (?) However there is no perfection of sila here. I can't find a passage in the suttas saying that is a prerequisite, but it is highly desired.
p e a c e
h a n s e n
p.s. not a bhikkhu
no lineage
no robes
no transmission
no paperwork


Hello Eric,

Interesting, because I had the same experience a few weeks ago. In my case, everything was normal in the sense that thoughts and perceptions were present as usual, but there was no "me", no "self", apart from thoughts, sensations and perceptions present as a unified whole.

Do you know how to get back to it at will? Did you do anything special to get there?

Thank you,

Alex

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/11/09 4:14 PM as a reply to Alex W.
Alex Weith:
Eric Alan Hansen:
I have had a clear and sustained direct conscious experience of not having a self, in fact not knowing who or what the event was being perceived by, nor being able to look at it. (?) However there is no perfection of sila here. I can't find a passage in the suttas saying that is a prerequisite, but it is highly desired.
p e a c e
h a n s e n
p.s. not a bhikkhu
no lineage
no robes
no transmission
no paperwork


Hello Eric,

Interesting, because I had the same experience a few weeks ago. In my case, everything was normal in the sense that thoughts and perceptions were present as usual, but there was no "me", no "self", apart from thoughts, sensations and perceptions present as a unified whole.

Do you know how to get back to it at will? Did you do anything special to get there?

Thank you,

Alex


Alex: Well yes something special. First I realized that it was possible, that sitting around and waiting for a teacher to appear, or some other life event to lead me through was not what I really wanted in the first place. I decided to take what I had going on and investigate that. I looked at the "experiences" I was having during my sitting sessions especially the piiti and sukkha, and instead of dismissing them, instead regard them as worthy of as much attention as any other thoughts, feeling, etc. which may arise. So for some teacher that is breaking a taboo, but from the insight practice perspective, it is defensible and desireable. This is why there is a movement going on right now. So I did a google search and followed the lead to "jhana" which for some reason I had never heard of before. When I did that I began to experience meditative absorption, a strengthening of the piti and sukkha, and something more, it felt clearly with the mind-expanding enlightenment direction I was looking for, when I meditated. I explored this at about the same time the curious waking state experience happened, and I am sure they are related experiences. (1) Training the mind through concentration in meditative absorption states, this is a highly concentrated and disciplined state, but it arises on its own so to speak, not so easy to turn on and off. So what I am saying is the practice of samadhi, the practice of the jhanas, these lead to enlightened experiences. (2) But one has to have an education too. To understand that there is, in fact no self. One has to listen to what the Buddha says, and do it. And that takes some research as well as some discernment. In my case I new exactly what had happened when it happened, because I had some training in the 3 Characteristics. So dropping away of self was known of, but it was not like the mental picture we get of it in reading or studying about it. It was closer to a vivid dream because you could move around and explore it and know that it was really just a dream, a mental projection all along.

Another possible training that I haven't really followed in this regard but forms a parallel practice is is thought moments. I think there is a good lesson here in the archives on thought moment, but I can't remember where. I have a somewhat defective mind when it comes to short term memory. I'll look into it it maybe, but don't count on me. I might forget.
p e a c e
p.s. these jhanas are better than sitting down to a big piece of chocolate cake, with chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup. Nothing "dry" here!
h a n s e n

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/12/09 5:02 AM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Thank you Hansen for sharing this interesting experience.
I did just like you. I trained the jhanas and things started to kick in. This is in fact a traditional approach. In the Anapanasati Sutta, one is to first rise through the 4 Jhanas before switching to Vipassana.
What I did was then to look back and try to see the observer. Then bang! the "I" had vanished. All that was left was a field of impersonal awareness reflecting thoughts and perceptions.

Regards,

Alex

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/12/09 4:09 PM as a reply to Alex W.
@Mike,
You are right, there are many examples of this happening 'outside the teachings' as they say. And yes, I suspect there are some pretty awakened beings out there appearing to live very ordinary lives. Adyashanti studied zen for 14 years under the guidance of his Zen teacher Arvis Justi. Tolle was influenced by many teachings: Buddhist, Taoist, Krishnamurti, etc. and after his awakening, sought out teachers to help him better understand what was happening to him. Along a similar vein, check out Stephen Jourdain (book: 'Radical Awakening' – a Frenchman who went through the awakening process seemingly with almost no outside influences).

The value of a proven lineage is that they can keep you from getting totally lost in a lengthy and difficult process where one can easily get caught up in all kinds of interesting phenomena. They also provide you with a set of practices and understanding that allow you to help others in an effective way – this is important considering that Pratyekabuddhas are notorious for being just about useless when it comes to teaching others. Also, lineages are pretty hard to avoid: anyone reading Daniels book or gleaning information from this website is benefiting from many lineages.

I went through 14 years of weird experiences and am quite glad I had a lineaged teacher's help along the way.

I think it is really important to have a strong sense of “I can do this”, “This is possible”. But I also just want to keep people grounded. Lineages help keep us honest. They play an important role.

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/12/09 4:10 PM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
@Eric
“the Buddha insisted that the teaching be simple, easy to access”
-I think he said something like they were 'deep, profound, and hard to grasp'.

Traditionally, the Sangha was defined as 'the community of the awakened ones' and considered just about indispensable to ones practice. The term has lost some of its original meaning :-(

-Chuck

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/13/09 7:20 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
@Eric
“the Buddha insisted that the teaching be simple, easy to access”
-I think he said something like they were 'deep, profound, and hard to grasp'.

Traditionally, the Sangha was defined as 'the community of the awakened ones' and considered just about indispensable to ones practice. The term has lost some of its original meaning :-(

-Chuck


Well I stand corrected: Simple, deep, profound, easy to access, but hard to grasp. That sounds closer, hmm?

h a m s e n

RE: An Enlightenment Experience
Answer
9/13/09 10:33 AM as a reply to Eric Alan Hansen.
Eric Alan Hansen:

Well I stand corrected: Simple, deep, profound, easy to access, but hard to grasp. That sounds closer, hmm?


Hi Eric,
OK, I can go with that :-) As far as the practices go, I agree they are pretty simple - at least to describe to someone. There are some real cognitive shifts that have to take place that can be quite difficult for people to make. Having good concentration skills certainly doesn't hurt!