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Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...

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How is this possible?

The man's been meditating for 70 years. What's he doing wrong?

Or does he have a different definition of enlightenment that what we talk about here (stream entry)

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/12/12 2:31 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
How is this possible?

The man's been meditating for 70 years. What's he doing wrong?

Or does he have a different definition of enlightenment that what we talk about here (stream entry)


Um, yup. As far as I can tell from listening to various Tibetan teachers, reading some of their accounts of their practice and hearing them talk about practice, the few instances in which there is explicitly something going on that seems similar to MCTB 1st-4th path, not necessarily all the way to 4th mind you but following the basic themes of this category of practice (realizing impermanence and emptiness of all phenomena and indivisibility of phenomenal field, to the extent of changing basic perceptual processes but not necessarily removing or otherwise mitigating emotional "poisons") it is considered something very basic that gets hammered out in the early phase of practice and then functions as more of a base for other kinds of practices. What the Dalai Lama considers Enlightenment is way way way down the line from there.

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/12/12 2:39 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
How is this possible?

The man's been meditating for 70 years. What's he doing wrong?

Or does he have a different definition of enlightenment that what we talk about here (stream entry)


I don't think he is doing anything wrong and I'd say he is quite accomplished at what he practices. Being of the Mahayana persuasion means practicing to be or being a bodhisattva which means working towards a version of 'enlightenment' which may be a bit more refined and lofty than MCTB's version of 'enlightenment'. For all we know, he probably already has gotten to what is often referred to as 4th path around here, and then some, BUT it may not be considered as 'enlightenment and merely a stage on the way to 'enlightenment'. I think they call 'enlightenment' full buddhahood or soemthing in mahayana circles.

Nick

Edit: Jake beat me to it.

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/12/12 3:04 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai :


Edit: Jake beat me to it.


lol... I was trying to think if I could remember a good reference that might clarify the issue. If i can find one I'll post it here in case anyone stumbles on this post in the future. It's tough because the ethos of really open descriptions of personal practice has mostly blossomed in the modern Theravada world so far, like here at DhO. But there might be some descriptions along the lines we were pointing to in some of the Danish Lama Ole Nydhal's autobiographical books about studying with the 16th Karmapa (considered by many to be one of the most advanced Tibetan masters of the 20th century) and other lamas in the 70's. If I remember right he describes a whole physioenergetic/insight process culminating in something that sounds an awful lot like 4th path while on his first retreat. It was probably a pretty long retreat though ;-)

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/12/12 4:30 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
what differentiates arahat from bodhisattva?

And why aren't people here trying for it if it is so much better?

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/12/12 4:43 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
1) Lots of differences, a little googling and wikipedia-ing would provide a nice introduction and 2) this site arose from cultural and social conditions that weren't much influenced by Mahayana, simple as that, and furthermore, from the Tibetan mahayana point of view at least the "best" approach is the one that YOU can actually DO. Having multiple approaches is seen as common sense given different temperaments and lifestyles of people who become practitioners.

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/13/12 2:29 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
The Dalai Lama is enlightened, regardless of what he says. I know strong realized practitioners who know him and have had real conversations about his practice, that, and things he says, writes and does, all point in the same direction.

However, the Bodhisattvas Bhumi map has serious problems, and really heavy accomplished Tibetan senior monks have said things like, "I know no one who has reached beyond the first bodhisattva bhumi as found in the old texts," and the reason for this is that the criteria in those old texts are so preposterous and involve strange things like being able to make 10 duplicates, or 100, or 1000, etc to insane numbers, of one's self to go throughout the universe spreading the dharma, and there are other problems.

The Tibetan tradition is quite effective and produces plenty of very realized practitoners, but owing to traditional cultural factors that haven't caused a public climate conducive to a revision of some of the old myth-heavy texts, this exacerbated by the serious modern threats to traditional Tibetan culture that create the understandible wish to preserve old things at all costs. This to a slightly lesser degree is a problem that also exists in the Theravada and other traditons.

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/13/12 6:47 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I like Mahamudra's four yogas map in terms of insight. (See: "Mahamudra" [longer, more technical], "Clarifying the Natural State" [shorter, more concise] by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, and Thrangu Rinpoche's commentary books like Essentials of Mahamudra)

It can be roughly correlated with the bhumis, yet without the 100 or 1000s. The reason is something like it is a 'more direct path to Buddhahood' that does not require aeons of perfect paramis but allows Buddhahood in 1 life, yet somehow the realizations are the same and they will attain all the qualities after death (the afterlife claims that you may attain to all the powers and qualities of a full Buddha may never be proven, so I have some reservations about this).

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/13/12 6:27 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
I like Mahamudra's four yogas map in terms of insight. (See: "Mahamudra", "Clarifying the Natural State" by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, and Thrangu Rinpoche's commentaries)

It can be roughly correlated with the bhumis, yet without the 100 or 1000s. The reason is something like it is a 'more direct path to Buddhahood' that does not require aeons of perfect paramis but allows Buddhahood in 1 life, yet somehow the realizations are the same and they will attain all the qualities after death (which may never be proven, so I have some doubts about this).
p.s. something unrelated which I wrote some time back:

Had an interesting meeting with Thusness a couple of days ago, and he brought up a point which accords with my own understanding and experience as well.

There are two insights and experiences pertaining to anatta, dependent origination and emptiness - the Maha experience (integrating anatta with dependent origination) described above, which Zen and Zen Master Dogen and also Theravada emphasizes, and the 'dependently originated is empty of a locatable core and thus illusory, dream-like' which Mahamudra and Dzogchen emphasizes.


We should integrate these two insights, then we will understand these two traditions. A pure Zennist may not understand Mahamudra, and Mahamudra person may not understand a Zennist because their emphasis and practice is different. Thusness also emphasized to me not to confuse these two distinct realization and experience, don’t mix them up. It is important to have clarity about them. He said he had the Maha sort of experience for about a decade, but the ‘empty, illusory and thus self-liberating’ nature only became clear to him after he started reading Mahamudra texts in 2008. However it should be understood that it does not mean one insight is less valuable than another, therefore we should integrate them.
In two SMSes I wrote to Thusness:


“I am at the KMSPKS library. Their library is very big, all kinds of dharma books, awesome place. I meditated there also, haha. I realized even the thought to remove defilements is delusional since defilements are also empty. The mere recognition of appearance-emptiness liberates all trace of clinging.”


“I used to sit meditation with a goal and direction. Now, sitting itself is enlightenment. Sitting is just sitting. Sitting is just the activity of sitting, air con humming, breathing. Walking itself is enlightenment. Practice is not done for enlightenment but all activity is itself the perfect expression of enlightenment/buddha-nature. There is nowhere to go. Defilements can arise due to latent tendencies but without a slightest delusion of a true existent whatsoever, there is no clinging at anything. So, there is no trace.”


Thusness replied, “This is Dogen’s state and the essence of Zen, but it is different from what you previously SMS-ed me. They are of different insights.”



Note: those unfamiliar with the terms 'Maha, Anatta, Emptiness' as defined by me or Thusness should read Thusness's article On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/13/12 10:58 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
“I used to sit meditation with a goal and direction. Now, sitting itself is enlightenment. Sitting is just sitting. Sitting is just the activity of sitting, air con humming, breathing. Walking itself is enlightenment. Practice is not done for enlightenment but all activity is itself the perfect expression of enlightenment/buddha-nature. There is nowhere to go. Defilements can arise due to latent tendencies but without a slightest delusion of a true existent whatsoever, there is no clinging at anything. So, there is no trace.”


*sigh* I want that...

Just today, I was reading your latest posts and thought I'd post a link to the Experience, Realization, View, Practice and Fruition article because I think it deserves some mention on this forum. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it!

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/14/12 2:26 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
Defilements can arise due to latent tendencies but without a slightest delusion of a true existent whatsoever, there is no clinging at anything. So, there is no trace.”


Do the defilements arise less number of times with the passage of time or do they arise at approximately the same number of times as before?

Addendum: What do you think are the "latent tendencies"?

RE: Dalai Lama says he's not enlightened...
Answer
2/14/12 4:22 AM as a reply to Change A..
Aman A.:
An Eternal Now:
Defilements can arise due to latent tendencies but without a slightest delusion of a true existent whatsoever, there is no clinging at anything. So, there is no trace.”


Do the defilements arise less number of times with the passage of time or do they arise at approximately the same number of times as before?

Addendum: What do you think are the "latent tendencies"?
Hi,

They dwindle until barely manifesting, yet I cannot claim to be free from defilements. Incidentally I think my preference for music, snacks and so on are a form of craving even though they do not manifest as strong feelings, tensions and so on. I do not think real fetter free arhat listens to music, etc

Latent tendencies means a potential, habitual, conditioned, way of thinking, perceiving, behaving, and so on. They remain dormant until conditions show up. For example: someone may not experience anger for one year, but one day suddenly he felt angry. This means dormant, latent defilements are still present. Or a habitual pattern to cling to a sense of self, due to latent wrong views, ignorance, etc.