Getting enlightened without practices?

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Thomas Ager, modified 5 Years ago.

Getting enlightened without practices?

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Hi guys, do you think that enlightenment/enlightenment experiences can happen to you without explicitly practicing anything?
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Kim Katami, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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Hi Thomas,

I know two (that I can remember) persons who were awakened spontaneously and neither of them did any practices but experienced a profound shift after which life for them was different than before. In both cases it took over a decade to get to know that what had happened to them was awakening. Prior to that they didn't know what it was even though they lived it.

Baba
Derek, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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Thomas Ager:
Hi guys, do you think that enlightenment/enlightenment experiences can happen to you without explicitly practicing anything?


Sure ... Ramana Maharshi, Eckhart Tolle, John de Ruiter ... and those are just the ones I can name off the top of my head.
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Kim Katami, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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I was going to add that I know about 60 awakened people in person. Those who awakened spontaneously are a marginal group among those yet existent one.

I wonder how many people awakened through Tolle or Ramana... I remember Ramana said that only his mother and his cow were awakened or enlightened (I'm not sure what he meant with these terms). In case if he meant awakening as in stream entry, that result is very weak, considering that he taught for several decades.

I once heard a guy who had gone to Tolle's live meetings several times, say that he was always elevated and felt the stillnes within him but eventually got bored of having to back to him again and again for that to happen. But that's just one case. If you know testimonials of Tolle's "students" or whatever they are called, please link. I am not aware he ever asked anyone to teach.
Derek, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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Kim Katami:
I wonder how many people awakened through Tolle or Ramana... I remember Ramana said that only his mother and his cow were awakened or enlightened (I'm not sure what he meant with these terms). In case if he meant awakening as in stream entry, that result is very weak, considering that he taught for several decades.


Yup. I was just reading Spiritual Warfare, where Jed McKenna critiques Ramana. He points out that Ramana is universally revered -- and yet had a success rate as a teacher of almost zero. (Incidentally, Jed McKenna's explanation for this lack of success is interesting, too.)
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Kim Katami, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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Hi Derek,

I'm not a Ramana specialist but I also have that overall impression, that he could and should have been more succesful. To me Robert Adams has felt like a proper heir of Ramana's, although he officially didn't leave heirs.
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Kim Katami, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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Happened to come by this text. It relates to the previous point about Ramana Maharishi's ability/disability to help his students get awakened. This text kind of gives the idea that Nisargadatta had the same problem.

Last teachings of Nisargadatta: http://sri-nisargadatta-maharaj.blogspot.pt/2014/11/the-last-days-last-teachings.html

Another morning, Maharaj started speaking though in a very weak voice.

"You people come here wanting something. What you want may be knowledge with a capital 'K' - the highest Truth - but nonetheless you do want something. Most of you have been coming here for quite some time. Why? If there had been apperception of what I have been saying, you should have stopped coming here long ago! But what actually has been happening is that you have been coming here day after day, identified as individual beings, male or female, with several persons and things you call 'mine'. Also, you think you have been coming here, of your own volition, to see another individual - a Guru - who, you expect, will give you 'liberation' from your 'bondage'.

Do you not see how ridiculous all this is ? Your coming here day after day only shows that you are not prepared to accept my word that there is no such thing as an 'individual'; that the 'individual' is nothing but an appearance; that an appearance cannot have any 'bondage' and, therefore, there is no question of any 'liberation' for an appearance.

Do you even now realize that if the very basis of your seeking is wrong, what can you achieve ? Indeed, is there anything to be achieved ? By whom ? By an appearance?"

Derek, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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David Conway reports that Nisargadatta had only one success in all his years:

One morning Maharaj seemed to be more-than-usually frustrated about our collective inability to grasp what he was talking about.

"Why do I waste my time with you people?" he exclaimed. "Why does no one ever understand what I am saying?"

I took my chance: "In all the years that you have been teaching how many people have truly understood and experienced your teachings?"

He was quiet for a moment, and then he said, "One. Maurice Frydman."


Nisaragadatta's case is different from Ramana's and Eckhart's, in that Nisargadatta had a guru, Siddharameshawar. Also the guru gave him a practice, namely repeatedly returning to the raw sense of "I am" throughout the day. And Nisaragadatta took the practice seriously.

Your list of factors contributing to success on the other thread is a good starting point:

1. theoretical explanation not being able to explain what awakening exactly is, what the anatomy of it is,
2. method in general not having particular technology for awakening,
3. technique aimed at generating awakening in particular being superficial or only vaguely relevant and
4. no guidance from an awakened specialist available.

I would add to these a location for carrying out the practice (if necessary) and one-one-one oversight/accountability for practicing.

What's missing from Nisargadatta's teaching, I think, is an insistence on people doing the practice. Certainly, according to I AM THAT, we just see a continual stream of short-term visitors. There's no commitment to practice. They just ask their questions and then disappear.
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Kim Katami, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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Derek:
David Conway reports that Nisargadatta had only one success in all his years:

One morning Maharaj seemed to be more-than-usually frustrated about our collective inability to grasp what he was talking about.

"Why do I waste my time with you people?" he exclaimed. "Why does no one ever understand what I am saying?"

I took my chance: "In all the years that you have been teaching how many people have truly understood and experienced your teachings?"

He was quiet for a moment, and then he said, "One. Maurice Frydman."


Nisaragadatta's case is different from Ramana's and Eckhart's, in that Nisargadatta had a guru, Siddharameshawar. Also the guru gave him a practice, namely repeatedly returning to the raw sense of "I am" throughout the day. And Nisaragadatta took the practice seriously.

Your list of factors contributing to success on the other thread is a good starting point:

1. theoretical explanation not being able to explain what awakening exactly is, what the anatomy of it is,
2. method in general not having particular technology for awakening,
3. technique aimed at generating awakening in particular being superficial or only vaguely relevant and
4. no guidance from an awakened specialist available.

I would add to these a location for carrying out the practice (if necessary) and one-one-one oversight/accountability for practicing.

What's missing from Nisargadatta's teaching, I think, is an insistence on people doing the practice. Certainly, according to I AM THAT, we just see a continual stream of short-term visitors. There's no commitment to practice. They just ask their questions and then disappear.

Derek,

Interesting, I have to look more deeply into Nisargadatta when I have time.

Short-term visitors huh? Well, that is unfortunate. I've listened to a couple of his talks. It could also be that his pedagogy had something to do with it along with his personal character.
Darrell, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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I would have to seriously debate Eckhart Tolle. I've had the strong sense for a long time that he's something of a fraud. I'm not saying something didn't happen to him, But I think it is more along the lines of sotapanna, as opposed to actual enlightenment. I believe he really believes he's enlightened, although I find it hard to imagine he doesn't know about the stages of awakening. So there's a possibility he does know and is being dishonest, or at least disingenuous.

What concerns me is that it seems when anyone comes along who claims they are enlightened, most everyone within the larger spiritual community here in the west just takes it as true. It doesn't seem to be questioned, except by the CSICOP/skeptic types. I think many have and will continue to achieve liberation, but I have serious doubts about all of these Oprah show types.
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Thomas Ager, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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I don't have anything to add but I'd like to say I appreciate what ya'll said so far.
Eva M Nie, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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Thomas Ager:
Hi guys, do you think that enlightenment/enlightenment experiences can happen to you without explicitly practicing anything?
If you mean someone not practicing meditation or any official techniques that are similar, seems to me it should be doable.  After all, there were probably enlightened people before meditation was invented.  ;-P  But I would bet most of them are practicing some kind of mental exercises and improvement and self analysis.  They are probably not just mindlessly watching the Kardashians while chomping on beer and potato chips all day.  ;-P 

As far as the later subjects of guru success, IMO, teaching is a specific skill.  Even if enlightened, that does not mean teaching is going to be every enlightened person's strong skill set.  Just because someone got there does not IMO mean he/she fully understands how and even if he/she fully understands how, that does not mean that route will work for a large number of others or that he/she will be good at teaching it.  I suspect the more successful often have some or all of what others have mentioned here, like methods established and refined over the centuries that have been found to work for a larger percentage of people, personal charisma and an extroverted personality to attract many students, a natural ability at teaching, a strong interest in helping others (ie not on an ego trip), a strong ability to understand the perspectives of a wide variety of other people, etc. 
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Kim Katami, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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Eva Nie
Even if enlightened, that does not mean teaching is going to be every enlightened person's strong skill set.  Just because someone got there does not IMO mean he/she fully understands how and even if he/she fully understands how, that does not mean that route will work for a large number of others or that he/she will be good at teaching it.  
It certainly seems so.


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tom moylan, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: Getting enlightened without practices?

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phowa is the tibetan teaching of ejecting ones conciousness at the moment of immanent death.  while it is sold as a way to enlightenment without meditation, oyu gotta learn how to do it and it is not a certainty.

there are cases of people becoming "enlightend" without formal or even informal practice.  one modern famous example is eckart tolle but there are many more.  many of these people are really confused as to what happened to them and have difficulty placing the change in any bucket other than "insanity".

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