Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Nathan Bell, modified 1 Year ago.

Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 33 Join Date: 9/27/19 Recent Posts
I've spent a lot of time lately on some back-water discussion boards for the Dharma, and they all seem to have one thing in common: a blanket obsession with the "You Are Already There" school of thought, to the point they will tell people there's NO POINT to any sort of meditation practice. 

To me, this seems unproductive at best, and harmful at worst. Sure, at the end of the journey it's easy to say "oh yeah, okay, I was always here, nothing is that different", but it's such an incredibly unhelpful thing to say to anyone currently searching for the answers. I heard plenty of people say "you're already there" or "this is it" before I ever practiced, but it didn't make a lick of sense until I spent the time practicing.

Why does this view seem so prevelant these days? The people I'm talking to SEEM pretty awake, but for all I know they've learned some spiritual language and they're as messed up on the inside as anybody else. Are there major teachers around these days using this kind of teaching?
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 732 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
On DhO people actually do jhanas and get paths so you do not get much of this "You Are Already There" nonsense here emoticon

I would rather say that consensus is, especially among people who attained higher paths, that it is definitely worth it to put the effort effort required to develop meditative skills and own mind.
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 798 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
I for one have no interest in making paths if it just inflates my ego. Ego inflation can be dealt with on a daily basis but it doesn't fix it for the long term. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 732 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
I for one have no interest in making paths if it just inflates my ego. Ego inflation can be dealt with on a daily basis but it doesn't fix it for the long term. 
...and egos are wrong exactly why?

I do notice people cannot do meditation states and are forced through suffering their mind states and using them unskillfully bring. But at the same time people who remove their egos completely and despite meditation know nothing about how their brains actually work also suffer, just differently. Maybe it is better type of suffering or maybe the thought they broke something which cannot be unbroken is so unbearable they are forced to believe what they are forced to believe.

What brings freedom is not arificially removing ego so you do not experience it but learning how to use your brain so neither ego nor anything else becomes an issue for this body and universe which experiences it.

My spiritual idol Gautama Buddha did not seem like the person who had any issues with him having ridiculously inflated ego. You can be like "I will be better than Buddha and remove my ego" and all but if you go this path then do it skillfully at least.
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Zachary, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 199 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts
Relevant reading: The “Nothing To Do” and “You Are Already There” Schools

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/the-nothing-to-do-and-you-are-already-there-schools/

In some twisted paradoxical sense, I can see how the perception of "You Are Already There" is applicable. I can see why certain traditions and teachers say this, though I don't think it is a useful perception for practitioners to use as it leads to a lack of effort, ego inflation (identification with "Universal Perfection", Buddha Nature, Pure Consciousness or whatever) and probably worse things.

I think it is a popular thing for teachers to say as laziness and identification with omniscent and glowing concepts is a seductive and easily marketable thing. In a world where the Dharma is increasingly a commodity, it's not a surprise that this school of thought has become popular with both teachers and consumers. 

I will say that after certain insights into emptiness it was clear at the time that the whole attempt to get something or somewhere with practices of awakening is a total joke, cosmically laughable. 

However, the simple fact that you on on this forum, digging around other forums looking for answers, asking these questions, etc. points to the fact that you aren't done yet, that there are unconscious (and conscious) parts of you that simply don't believe that "This is it", that cannot accept that this could possibly be it, that reject this premise entirely, that think there is something else somewhere that will get you something. 

One way to look at it is that any good contemplative practice is a continued, gradual dissolving of all the different parts of "You" that can't accept that This Is It. The egoic identity needs some technique or practice through which it can dissolve itself, through which it can untangle, one-by-one, all of these knots of dualistic perception that prevent one from seeing that "This is It". Your ability to concentrate and gain insight needs to be developed and practiced in order to reach the deepest levels of these unconscious dualistic knots. I think a more accurate thing to say would be, "You are already there, but there's more work to do", which is irritatingly paradoxical, but there ya go.
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 253 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Zachary:


One way to look at it is that any good contemplative practice is a continued, gradual dissolving of all the different parts of "You" that can't accept that This Is It. The egoic identity needs some technique or practice through which it can dissolve itself, through which it can untangle, one-by-one, all of these knots of dualistic perception that prevent one from seeing that "This is It". Your ability to concentrate and gain insight needs to be developed and practiced in order to reach the deepest levels of these unconscious dualistic knots. I think a more accurate thing to say would be, "You are already there, but there's more work to do", which is irritatingly paradoxical, but there ya go.
     Decades of practice lead me to believe this is true. If this outlook is maintained consistently and progressively,  without the rush, and the pressure, to achieve supposedly enlightened states, the result will be a slate wiped clean.  Free of baggage and exaggerated emotional responses to ideation based on the past or present or fear of the future.  Of course, on the route to this there will be very exciting discoveries.  They are like seeing an eclipse for the first time. After you've seen it a thousand times the awe is somewhat tempered.
    I believe that science will eventually show that even for people that have no practice at all, or intention of practicing, "This is It" is a normal part of the function of consciousness.  We cycle all the time through different degrees of objectivity.  The disappearance of the egoic identity is part of the cycle.  Without this disappearance the weight of "I am" would crush the psyche. Practice just makes us aware of this process and more compliant with it.    






    

   
    
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Lewis James, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 155 Join Date: 5/13/15 Recent Posts
They're not entirely wrong, but it's just not useful advice for anyone and creates a lot of confusion. You could argue that the purification by insight that happens with mindfulness practice is stripping away something rather than adding it, and in that sense, yes, you were already "there", but you were so confused and deluded that you don't know it - and the point is knowing it, isn't it?
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 732 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Practice when done properly definitelly adds knowledge how to use your mind.
Normally intution and gathered life experience give some knowledge what to do but those things are of poor quality and do not all that well. Especially when we need them the most.

Not generating certain perceptions eg. of "doer" which then must make action in response to situations is just the part of this knowledge of how to use mind. Mind can work just fine without them and so even more efficently. Or knowing what cause suffering and what cause pleasure. These things are generally not that well knows without investigating them even if intuitively we have some idea. Intuition some times fail without checking how well it actually work comparing to eg. doing something else.

The scope of what is learned depends heavily on practices/investigations done and mileage may wary.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 983 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Nathan Bell:
I've spent a lot of time lately on some back-water discussion boards for the Dharma, and they all seem to have one thing in common: a blanket obsession with the "You Are Already There" school of thought, to the point they will tell people there's NO POINT to any sort of meditation practice. 

To me, this seems unproductive at best, and harmful at worst. Sure, at the end of the journey it's easy to say "oh yeah, okay, I was always here, nothing is that different", but it's such an incredibly unhelpful thing to say to anyone currently searching for the answers. I heard plenty of people say "you're already there" or "this is it" before I ever practiced, but it didn't make a lick of sense until I spent the time practicing.

Why does this view seem so prevelant these days? The people I'm talking to SEEM pretty awake, but for all I know they've learned some spiritual language and they're as messed up on the inside as anybody else. Are there major teachers around these days using this kind of teaching?
Maybe they misunderstand what it means?

I don't think means you don't have to practice. 

And it can mean different things.

Sometimes people are awakened and don't know it. (Shinzen Young has said this happens and other noted teachers have said so too).  

My opinion is that everyone has some level of enlightenment (freedom from the fetters) and anyone can increase their level of enlightenment by practicing meditation and mindfuilness, and (if you can be awakened and not know it) stream entry is an arbitrary milestone. Everyone is already "there" (has some level of awakening). 

Being attached to enlightenment can cause a lot of problems for people by distracting them from observing the cause and cessation of dukkha now by making them obsessed with getting enlightenment in the future. These people can be helped by breaking their obsession. But it doesn't mean they don't have to practice.

Sometimes people who have realized anatta say something along the lines that, "it is not something you didn't always have". To me it seems like most people have glimmers of anatta but don't recognize it for what it is - like not knowing an acorn grows into an oak tree. So maybe that is the cause of the confusion?
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 1269 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Before I came here this year, I spent 7 years among the Tibetans. How does their concept of everyone without exception having Buddha-Nature fit in here? The notion that everyone is already enlightened but those qualities are obscured by imperfections that have to be worked on? 
Nathan Bell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 33 Join Date: 9/27/19 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Before I came here this year, I spent 7 years among the Tibetans. How does their concept of everyone without exception having Buddha-Nature fit in here? The notion that everyone is already enlightened but those qualities are obscured by imperfections that have to be worked on? 


Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I always thought "Buddha Nature" referred to the spontaneous perfection of all things. People are perfect just as they are. This isn't the same thing as enlightenment though, where the spontaneous perfection of all things becomes your experiential reality. Again, I'm happy to be corrected, but that's how I see it.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 1269 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Nathan Bell:
Sam Gentile:
Before I came here this year, I spent 7 years among the Tibetans. How does their concept of everyone without exception having Buddha-Nature fit in here? The notion that everyone is already enlightened but those qualities are obscured by imperfections that have to be worked on? 


Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I always thought "Buddha Nature" referred to the spontaneous perfection of all things. People are perfect just as they are. This isn't the same thing as enlightenment though, where the spontaneous perfection of all things becomes your experiential reality. Again, I'm happy to be corrected, but that's how I see it.
You're right. People are said to have enlightened qualities though.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 983 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Before I came here this year, I spent 7 years among the Tibetans. How does their concept of everyone without exception having Buddha-Nature fit in here? The notion that everyone is already enlightened but those qualities are obscured by imperfections that have to be worked on? 


Above in this thread I wrote what I quote below. The parts I put in bold I think touch on your question: everyone is capable of being enlightened and after you realize anatta it is clearer that you were experiencing it before but didn't realize it. I included most of my post because I think the context helps explalin my views on the subject which are probably not 100% exactly the same as what the Tibetans believe.

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/c/message_boards/find_message?p_l_id=&messageId=21538929
Sometimes people are awakened and don't know it. (Shinzen Young has said this happens and other noted teachers have said so too).

My opinion is that everyone has some level of enlightenment (freedom from the fetters) and anyone can increase their level of enlightenment by practicing meditation and mindfuilness, and (if you can be awakened and not know it) stream entry is an arbitrary milestone. Everyone is already "there" (has some level of awakening).

Being attached to enlightenment can cause a lot of problems for people by distracting them from observing the cause and cessation of dukkha now by making them obsessed with getting enlightenment in the future. These people can be helped by breaking their obsession. But it doesn't mean they don't have to practice.

Sometimes people who have realized anatta say something along the lines that, "it is not something you didn't always have". To me it seems like most people have glimmers of anatta but don't recognize it for what it is - like not knowing an acorn grows into an oak tree. So maybe that is the cause of the confusion?
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 732 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
In presence of enlightened being everyone does experience anatta or whatever crazy thing they do.
People are even more than monkeys and we all know monkey see monkey do.
That doesn't make people know how mind technology works but if they ever wanted to know I have nothing against anyone copying anything off me and if they ask I will give free tips in language they do not know.

On similar note, I do copy mind states from other people too.
To make them in to proper mind technology process of reverse-engineering and is required but not to be more or less able to use it. In the latter case it is still good to at least check associated costs, especially when the source material is not Buddha who invented it.

To make any technology your own reverse engineering is needed and then creating analogous technology from scratch by writing all source code yourself and in case of supermundane technology not using pointers to non-free universe locations.

ps. replace "mind technology" with "dharma" to make language sound more Buddhist
ps2. or use non-free pointers if you actually want to pay the costs emoticon
nintheye, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 218 Join Date: 11/4/18 Recent Posts
Jazz Muzak:
I've spent a lot of time lately on some back-water discussion boards for the Dharma, and they all seem to have one thing in common: a blanket obsession with the "You Are Already There" school of thought, to the point they will tell people there's NO POINT to any sort of meditation practice. 

To me, this seems unproductive at best, and harmful at worst. Sure, at the end of the journey it's easy to say "oh yeah, okay, I was always here, nothing is that different", but it's such an incredibly unhelpful thing to say to anyone currently searching for the answers. I heard plenty of people say "you're already there" or "this is it" before I ever practiced, but it didn't make a lick of sense until I spent the time practicing.

Why does this view seem so prevelant these days? The people I'm talking to SEEM pretty awake, but for all I know they've learned some spiritual language and they're as messed up on the inside as anybody else. Are there major teachers around these days using this kind of teaching?
Yeah, it's a big problem. It's called neo-advaita. It takes an ultimate truth -- that you are in fact That already -- and translates it into an intellectual statement that you have to hypnotize yourself into believing. That ultimate truth is not actually a belief of this kind.

"There is nothing to do" or "You are already there" can be useful pointers to practice -- particularly for surrender-oriented practices. And in some very rare people such statements can trigger true enlightenment. 

But generally what happens is that people absorb a 'non-dual understanding,' learn to parrot the 'right way of thinking'  get some kind of superficial sense of certainty and peace from it, and then cling to it for dear life. 
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Andrew McLaren Lewis, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/8/17 Recent Posts
There's part of a chapter in Sam Harris's book Waking Up which explains these ideas. I don't believe in them myself. There are extreme nondualists like H.W.L Poonja (1910-1997) who say that meditation is part of the problem. Then there are less extreme nondualists who accept that there is value to meditation. They have something called pointing out instructions which supposedly lead to sudden as supposed to gradual enlightenment. Also if you read Ken Wilber especially Grace and Grit it explains a lot. They're a bit irritating these people because they seem to be contradicting themselves.
Sam Gentile, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 1269 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Andrew McLaren Lewis:
There's part of a chapter in Sam Harris's book Waking Up which explains these ideas. I don't believe in them myself. There are extreme nondualists like H.W.L Poonja (1910-1997) who say that meditation is part of the problem. Then there are less extreme nondualists who accept that there is value to meditation. They have something called pointing out instructions which supposedly lead to sudden as supposed to gradual enlightenment. Also if you read Ken Wilber especially Grace and Grit it explains a lot. They're a bit irritating these people because they seem to be contradicting themselves.
It's not just Sam Harris. Loch Kelly is a big proponent of these ideas that he calls "effortless mindfullness" and which he says he learned from the Tibetan master Talku Urygen Rinpoche as "sutra muhumudra." He talks about pointing out instruction but basically his work has these "glimpse practices" which involve somehow getting you to look back at the lack of self or to the nature of awareness. I can't do any of these practices.
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Andrew McLaren Lewis, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 33 Join Date: 4/8/17 Recent Posts
Sam Gentile:
Andrew McLaren Lewis:
There's part of a chapter in Sam Harris's book Waking Up which explains these ideas. I don't believe in them myself. There are extreme nondualists like H.W.L Poonja (1910-1997) who say that meditation is part of the problem. Then there are less extreme nondualists who accept that there is value to meditation. They have something called pointing out instructions which supposedly lead to sudden as supposed to gradual enlightenment. Also if you read Ken Wilber especially Grace and Grit it explains a lot. They're a bit irritating these people because they seem to be contradicting themselves.
It's not just Sam Harris. Loch Kelly is a big proponent of these ideas that he calls "effortless mindfullness" and which he says he learned from the Tibetan master Talku Urygen Rinpoche as "sutra muhumudra." He talks about pointing out instruction but basically his work has these "glimpse practices" which involve somehow getting you to look back at the lack of self or to the nature of awareness. I can't do any of these practices.
The way that Ken Wilber explains it it sounds quite simple. There is your awareness, and that's all there will ever be. You are not going to be aware of anything different like God or Brahman. All you will ever be aware of is your own awareness. Nothing that you can be aware of, apart from this awareness, is you. Your body isn't you. Your emotions aren't you. Your thoughts aren't you.

You get to a state he calls 'The Witness'. Nothing else seems real. Then The Witness disappears. After that eveything seems to be part of you. Whatever you look at seems to be part of you. Anything you turn your attention towards seems to be part of you. This seems to be a form on Nonduality. He calls this 'One Taste'. He hints at another stage where perception isn't organised around a centre. I'd like to know if people think that this is Enlightenment. This is from his book One Taste.

"I had fully expected to lose all access to the Witness, given our vino schedule. And for the first night and day this happened. But floating in the water has not only brought back the Witness, it seems to have facilitated the disappearance of the Witness into the nondual One Taste, at least on occasion. (The Witness, or pure witnessing awareness, tends to be of the causal, since there is usually a primitive trace of subject/object duality: you equanimously Witness the world as transparent and shimmering object. But with further development, the Witness itself disappears into everything that is witnessed, subject and object become One Taste, or simple Suchness, and this is the nondual estate. In short: ego to soul to pure Witness to One Taste.) So I am utterly, pleasantly surprised, floating here in nature's blood, to be dipped into One Taste, which in this case, is nicely salty.

There is no time in this estate, although time passes through it. Clouds float by in the sky, thoughts float by in the mind, waves float by in the ocean, and I am all of that. I am looking at none of it, for there is no center around which perception is organized. It is simply that everything is arising, moment to moment, and I am all of that. I do not see the sky, I am the sky, which sees itself. I do not feel the ocean, I am the ocean, which feels itself. I do not hear the birds, I am the birds, which hear themselves. There is nothing outside of me, there is nothing inside of me, because there is no me - there is simply all of this, and it has always been so.

My ankle hurts from dancing last night, so there is pain, but the pain doesn't hurt me, for there is no me. There is simply pain, and it is arising just like everything else - birds, waves, clouds, thoughts. I am none of them, I am all of them, it's all the same One Taste. This in not a trance, or a lessening of consciousness, but rather an intensification of it - not subconcious but superconscious, not infra-rational but super-rational. There is a crystal-clear awareness of everything that is arising, moment to moment, it's just not happening to anybody. This is not an out-of-the-body experience; I am not looking down; I am not looking at all; and I am not above or below anything - I am everything. There is simply all of this, and I am that.

Most of all, One Taste is utter simplicity. With mystical experiences in the subtle and causal, there is often a sense of grandeur, of ominous awesomeness, of numinous overwhelmingness, of light and bliss and beatitude, of gratefulness and tears of joy. But not with One Taste, which is extraordinarily ordinary, and perfectly simple: just this.

I stay here, neck deep in water, for three hours. How much of it I spend as ego, as Witness, or as One Taste, I don't know. There is always the sense, with One Taste, that you have never left it, no matter how confused you get, and therefore there is never really the sense that you are entering or leaving it. It is just so, always and forever, even now, and even unto the ends of the world."
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Stirling Campbell, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
It's worth asking yourself, "What is the difference between the mind in open awareness (Zazen/Shine' meditation) and enlightened mind?". 

Enlightenment is not seeing the world with something EXTRA, it is seeing the world with something less. Shunyata/Emptiness/Anatta IS always here and present, even if your belief that things have intrinsic reality is in your way. This realization is precisely what you are looking for, and also exactly what you are ALWAYS looking at, not something new or different, but an understanding about what that is.

If you are being told this by someone who doesn't understand it experientially it could obviously be useless and confusing, but in the Dzogchen tradition, having it pointed out by Lama with insight could change everything.
An Eternal Now, modified 12 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Jazz Muzak:
I've spent a lot of time lately on some back-water discussion boards for the Dharma, and they all seem to have one thing in common: a blanket obsession with the "You Are Already There" school of thought, to the point they will tell people there's NO POINT to any sort of meditation practice. 

To me, this seems unproductive at best, and harmful at worst. Sure, at the end of the journey it's easy to say "oh yeah, okay, I was always here, nothing is that different", but it's such an incredibly unhelpful thing to say to anyone currently searching for the answers. I heard plenty of people say "you're already there" or "this is it" before I ever practiced, but it didn't make a lick of sense until I spent the time practicing.

Why does this view seem so prevelant these days? The people I'm talking to SEEM pretty awake, but for all I know they've learned some spiritual language and they're as messed up on the inside as anybody else. Are there major teachers around these days using this kind of teaching?


Just posted yesterday:
    2009: (7:37 PM) AEN: namdrol says there cant be original enlightenment as that wld be the hindu teachingor atman(7:38 PM) Thusness: yes because they see non-dual as enlightenment(7:38 PM) AEN: oic(7:39 PM) Thusness: u mean e-sangha ban them?lol(7:40
    PM) AEN: yeah... alot of zen teachers and even moderators were banned
    during a period of time and e-sangha even received lawsuits thread etc(7:40 PM) Thusness: by the way, that is also not hindu teachings(7:40 PM) AEN: and membersoicthere were also other issues i think... some dun believe in rebirth etc... and some other things(7:40 PM) AEN: im not exactly sure what happened(7:40 PM) Thusness: that is neo-advaita teaching(7:40 PM) AEN: oic(7:41 PM) Thusness: because we are already enlightened so why practice?(7:41 PM) Thusness: yet this will arise another insightso this is also necessary(7:42 PM) Thusness: first of all if this is not true, how is it that so many practitioners are claiming that?(7:42 PM) AEN: they have the view of an inherent consciousness?(7:43 PM) Thusness: there must b certain experience or incomplete realization that led practitioners to such a conclusion(7:43 PM) AEN: oic..(7:43 PM) Thusness: it too is a koan.(7:44 PM) AEN: icic..(7:45 PM) Thusness: if one stops at One Mind, it will most likely end up concluding that way(7:45 PM) AEN: oic..(7:48 PM) Thusness: yet it is also important that u come to the same conclusion. just like I AMness(7:49 PM) AEN: icic..(7:49 PM) AEN: the original enlightenment is realised at non dual ?(7:49 PM) Thusness: yes(7:50 PM) AEN: icic(7:50 PM) Thusness: i think i told u we do not have a perfect nature right?(7:50 PM) Thusness: we have a dependent originated nature(7:50 PM) AEN: oic..(7:51 PM) AEN: but at the same time its spontaneously perfected?(7:51 PM) Thusness: however it is also important that u arrive at the same conclusion as those zen practitioners(7:51 PM) AEN: oic(7:52 PM) Thusness: that is different(7:52 PM) Thusness: i have already told u many times not to talk about spontaneous arising, liberation or perfection(7:52 PM) AEN: icic..(7:53 PM) Thusness: only after the direct insight of anatta and DO can u talk about that(7:53 PM) Thusness: this I have emphasized many times to uand written many times(7:54 PM) AEN: oic..(7:55
    PM) Thusness: this is because after the insight of anatta and DO, u r
    already purified and clear of the wrong understanding(7:56 PM) Thusness: ignorance is the cause of suffering, when it dissolves, u r naturally and spontaneously perfected(7:58 PM) AEN: icic..(7:58 PM) AEN: but even when there is ignorance, our nature is spontaneously perfected right, just not realised?(7:59 PM) Thusness: nope..(7:59 PM) AEN: oic what u mean(7:59 PM) Thusness: to me yes, to u nofor i know what it meant(8:01 PM) AEN: oic
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  • ....
    The Dzogchen master Śrī Siṃha also said the following (quoted from Kyle Dixon):“A
    so called ‘primordial buddhahood’ is not asserted. Full awakening is
    not possible without being free of the five afflictions... It is not
    possible for wisdom to increase without giving up afflictions. Wisdom
    will not arise without purifying afflictions.”

    ...



    • Soh Wei YuAnother
      interesting post I saw by Malcolm recently about Dogen completely
      rejecting the concept of 'original enlightenment' later in life:"Another
      interesting thing they do is try to show is that Dogen had a change of
      heart and rejected hongaku and BNI late in his life. Noriaki cites this example, from the Shōbōgenzō shizen bhikkhu, as presented in Pruning the Bodhi Tree, pg. 123:
      Some people say that, because the enlightenment of the Buddhas and
      Tathagatas encompass the whole world, even a speck of dust manifests
      that enlightenment. Because that enlightenment encompasses both subject
      and the object, mountains, rivers, earth, sun, moon, stars, and the four
      illusions and three poisons express it as well. To see mountains and
      rivers is to see the Tathagathas, and the four illusions and three
      poisons are the Buddha-dharma. To see a speck of dust is to see the
      dharma-dhatu and each spontaneous act is a manifestation of supreme
      enlightenment. They say this is the great understanding and call it a
      Patriarchal transmission. In latter-day Sung China, those who subscribe
      to this view are as numerous as rice plants, hemp. bamboo, and reeds.
      Their lineage is unknown, but it is clear they do not
      understand Buddhism.All and all an interesting book, quite relevant to the present discussion...."
    • Soh Wei YuElsewhere,
      Malcolm also said with regards to hongaku ("original enlightenment"),
      "Definitely a wrong view, even in Dzogchen.", "Chinese Buddhism departs
      from Indian Buddhism in many respects. Still, the idea of "inherent
      awakening" is patently absurd and cannot be taken literally or seriously
      by any means." - -R&c[0]=AT2amOSPUyKQXhgMlKJeW8smVN9AP29GBXljOjMs0imioLf7negizG4ORE9iPH4bUdxhjIegciLRuyYkoO1dQuf1Ff49xnU7UT288VDhLuXWzxUkb4eyDle5D6LalnCKA9iIiw29VZDxWqO5EmnG9kj_OhLFS_kdmEwd0jFeAu8OvYvgOw2fjXFaeIODSGPsDhiZ95ahIg]https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=97&t=19453&p=283507&hilit=hongaku#p283507Now
      I do not say this because I have 'faith' in Malcolm in a guru devotion
      manner, in fact if anything I am more familiar or follow John Tan's
      views and thoughts more closely.But
      what Malcolm said here -- rejection of any substantialist views
      including 'original enlightenment' is in line with my insights. Anything
      inherent is a subtle atman view and would not tally with my insight.
    • ......
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 983 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
There are different definitions of enlightenment that people subscribe to.

Some are based on attainments in meditation like cessation/fruition, or realizations.

Other definitions involve living enlightenment rather than seeking enlightenment.

Living enlightenment means finding what ever glimmer or glimpse of enlightenment you can find within yourself and then cultivating that to grow it, over time, into a fuller enlightenment.

Here's an example of that:
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Articles/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_NIBBANA_FOR_EVERYONE.htm
NIBBANA FOR EVERYONE
 by 
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

...
The study of Nibbana in daily life is possible in order to have a better understanding of and a greater interest in Nibbana's meaning. When seeing a fire go out or something hot cooling down, look for the meaning of Nibbana in it. When bathing or drinking ice water, when a breeze blows or rain falls, take notice of the meaning of Nibbana. When a fever subsides, a swelling goes down, or a headache goes away, recognize the meaning of Nibbana as found in those things. When perspiring, sleeping comfortably, or eating one's fill, see the meaning of Nibbana. When seeing an animal with all its fierceness and danger tamed away, see the meaning of Nibbana. All of these are lessons to help us understand the nature of Nibbana in every moment. The mind will regularly incline towards contentment in Nibbana and this helps the mind to flow more easily along the path of Nibbana.
...

Here is another example of living enlightnemnt by Shodo Harada Roshi. He says he realized there was no self but I include the passage here because it illustrates the principle of living enlightenment rather than seeking it, and shows it can apply even at advanced stages of the path.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/occasionally-i-post-something-to.html#misc_zen_practice
That small narrow way in which I had been looking at my enlightenment, my thing to have to do. I have to do this for myself. That is what had been bothering me all along from the very beginning. Through that day on the mountain when I realized that there was no self to be bothered with it. I had been crushing myself and making myself miserable worrying about this problem of my enlightenment and realizing it for myself making my self come to a conclusion that was, in fact, found in the living of every single day. If I did nothing, if I didn’t even worry about my problems things always came to me. And those things that came to me in every single day, to accept those was my training and my way of expressing my enlightened mind. No matter what it was that came to me every day, the next thing that came, the next situation I found myself in, to live that totally as my training was what I had to do. Not to go isolate myself up on a mountain closed off from everyone, turning them all away and worrying about my own small state of mind. That wasn’t the point at all. But to go and be what every day brought to me that was my practice and my expression of my enlightenment. And ever since I realized that my whole life has been completely different.


What is the right definition of enlightenment? 

I don't know. 

It's hard to judge the results of different schools objectively.

The definition of awakening in the Pali Canon which is based on freedom from the fetters seems to me to be the most authoritative and least popular, so other than that, I think any definition is as good as any other. 

Even within the same school of Buddhism there are often different teachers teaching differently. I think that means people's brains can be wired very differently due to different life experiences and genetics. And, people also have different levels of commitment, expectations, and goals for their practice. Because of that, I think people ought to choose whatever form of practice appeals to them most.

If someone asked me what does "you are already there" mean, I would say it means wherever you are on the path now, you should stop seeking enlightenment and start living it. 

(I don't think it means you shouldn't practice sitting meditation.)

Is it good advice?  It might be for some, but not necessarily for everyone.

And it might be compatible with more traditional views too.

But I think it is a good attitude to go with my views on gradual enlightenment.
agnostic, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 1893 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
A full-bore nondualist would consider "you are already there" to be totally misleading, since ultimately there is no you or there to get to. emoticon

Obviously it's unproductive, but in this view productivity is for progressive paths which just serve to make the dualistic prison more comfortable. emoticon

Thinking you will get it "at the end of the journey" is the classic dualistic trap which keeps you searching for what is already HERE. emoticon
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Dream Walker, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 1333 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Well, I think that the obscurations that get deleted leads to awakening. So you are technically always already there but you need to get rid of these things that keep you from that.
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5800908

There is my list of things to delete.
~D
Ernest Michael Olmos, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 217 Join Date: 5/30/14 Recent Posts
A good comparison can be made with sports.

When you learn to play, your teacher teachs you the basics, but then you will have to find your own style, that is based on your own strengths.

There are many ways to learn a sport, with a teacher, without a teacher, playing a lot, playing less, watching others play. Some people are born with skill and play well the first time, others require more time, others a lot more time.

Some people have lots of determination and passion, others not.

When teaching a sport, there are many methods and teachers (with their own merits and faults). There are many kind of students. And many, many environments.

Learning is not about the teacher, the method, the student, or the environment individually.

It's about all of them, together.

And the endless discussion about what teacher, method, student or environment is better of course emoticon.
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 983 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
https://www.lionsroar.com/on-enlightenment-an-interview-with-shinzen-young/
On Enlightenment – An Interview with Shinzen Young
BY ANDREA MILLER| SEPTEMBER 10, 2009
...
The only difference between an enlightened person and a non-enlightened person is that when the feel-image-talk self doesn’t arise during the day, the enlightened person notices that and knows that to be a clear experience of no-self. The non-enlightened person actually has that experience hundreds of times a day, when they’re briefly pulled to a physical-type touch or an external sight or sound. For just a moment there is just the world of touch-sight-sound. For just a moment there is no self inside that person but they don’t notice it! But just because they don’t notice it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.

An enlightened person sees everyone as constantly experiencing brief moments of enlightenment during the day. So paradoxically being an enlightened person doesn’t make you that special. Now you can say, “Well, but they don’t realize it,” that’s one way to look at it, but it’s also undeniable that they are. From that perspective it’s very misleading to separate enlightened people from non-enlightened people.
agnostic, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Why the obsession with "You Are Already There"?

Posts: 1893 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
If enlightenment is having a clearer experience of no-self then "enlightened person" is a contradiction in terms. emoticon

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