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Has anyone here ever experienced an enlightenment?

  1. Jul 15, 2003 #1
    And of course I'm referring to a Buddhist enlightenment.
    Please share.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2003 #2


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    i am not sure about buddhist enlightenment, but i have felt confident in my purpose of being alive, which is the next best feeling to hugging my kids...
  4. Jul 16, 2003 #3
    I died and gave birth to myself so to speak, if you care to check out the following link ... http://www.dionysus.org/x0501.html
  5. Jul 16, 2003 #4
    I believe I had what would be called an enlightenment experience - kensho (at least by my school). This is a long way from being enlightened, being the experience cannot last long without a properly prepared mind (mine wasn't and still isn't). I have many, too many ego habits. These ego habits are really good at chasing the experience away.

    The experience included an extremely profound feeling of peace, a total cessation of mind chatter, a degree of clarity not even close to experienced prior or since, an extreme feeling of both contentment and painfully strong feeling of calm centeredness, and the strong intuitive understanding that all the divisions we tend to think of as real (me vs you, me vs the floor, etc.), which tend to seperate us, were artificial. There was an intense intimacy of experience - hard to describe, but it was as if all experience prior and since was from behind a thick pane of glass and at a distance, and that experience was without any separation from the senses. There was no sense of 'me' present. I had been in a distinct amount of physical discomfort. Though the pain was still there, it just didn't matter any more. As if it were of no more concern than the color of the walls. It was probably the only time in my life I've lived completely in the moment, with no worries or concerns from the past or fears, anticipations about the future having any emotional effect on the present.

    To say the experience was pleasant is both an strong understatement and misleading. It was as if I had been in intense pain all my life and suddenly the pain was completely gone. Very reminiscent of intense relief.

    Was it an experience of enlightenment, I can't say. It seems to fit descriptions I've heard in my school, but I don't know.
  6. Jul 16, 2003 #5


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    that would describe what i have felt before, especially the calm centerdness and the sense that my ego/identity was gone and didn't matter...
  7. Jul 16, 2003 #6
    That experience is called by some to be in the moment with the One of which we are all part. It is not that realitly is artificial, it isn't; but, compared to the spiritual plane it is the illusion. I have experienced it many times as you will if you care to. It is one of the first steps. Just quiet your ego, just as you did your mind. It is possible and one of the things we must learn. We must gain control over and be in charge of our egos instead of the other way around. It just takes practice, patients, and determination but not effort.
    Once you become more familiar with the experience you will became aware of your true self and otherselfs that are all part of the One.

    Sometimes, at least in christian meditation we are also suffused and bathed in intense light that is comforting and healing as well as joyful and awe inspiring. This is ,I believe what christians mean when they say that they have seen the light as in the song.
    My thinking is that you, we, are no longer affected by pain or ego because we are at that moment in our soul or spirit rather than mind and body.
    Try something for me when you get a chance, if you will. When in that state in that moment ask a question, a deep profound meaningful question of importance to you. See if the answer comes to you as it did and does to me.

    No I am not enlightened yet either and have a far way to go. We are fellow travelers all on our own path traveling at our own pace; but we are never alone. Good luck in your travels.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2003
  8. Jul 16, 2003 #7
    Hi Royce,
    I can't say I've found the replication of my experience to be at all easy. As I said, it occurred only once. I meditate daily and attend intense retreats three times a year (which was when this occurred), but have only experienced it once. I have experienced deep Samadhi (a deep meditative state where you are completely in the moment, having some of the other aspects, mentioned) a number of times, but Kensho only once. Others I know have experienced it more often, but I know extremely few that can experience it at will. If you can experience what I experienced, without great effort, I truly envy you.

    I've often thought that certain experiences, within Christian practice, are likely the same as in Buddhist practice. With a different interpretation of the experience, no doubt, but the same basic experience.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2003
  9. Jul 16, 2003 #8
    Never said it was easy and I doubt that I have experienced the intensity, if that is the correct word, that you have more than a few times myself, if at all. I can only surmise that what we experienced was the same or nearly the same. I can't do it at that deep level at will but I did learn to quiet my ego and let it happen a number of times.
    Personally, I am sure that the individual interpets each experience differently requardless of their backgound. It depends on what the individual can relate to at that time and what his needs are at that time. It also has a lot to do with what they expect to see or experience from their cultural environment. This of course is my opinion only. I would like to hear yours.
    The first time I was bathed in the light was a total surprise to me and almost frightening as well as startling. If I had any expectations of seeing the light it was totally subconscious. It winked out almost immediately as my ego game charging to the forefront. The next time a few weeks or months later I was not quite so surprised and it came on more gradually so that I was able to welcome it and hold my ego in check. After a few more times I was able to sit and be bathed in the light for several minutes with no conflict until the real outside world forced me or required me to leave.
    As for the other I think it may be the Buddhist Void. I have been there only once or twice and only for a short while but enough to see my true self in link with the ring that is everyone else and the One at the same time. Again this my be pure sef delution or a dream due to previously having read about it, but I don't think so.
    Now when I meditate with any success at all, I am aware of my true self and at least one other constant companion whom I think of as Jesus or a part of the spirit of Jesus, my mentor as well as Lord and Master of the universe, Jesus Christ. This is hard to put into words with out sounding presumptuous or overbearingly egotistical. It relates to the idea of christians letting Jesus into their lifes. It is not the personification of Jesus himself but a part of his spirit that he sends to be with us, guide us, mentor us and support us.
    This is along with the spirit of God the Father that is within us all. If you prefer to call it the Buddha that is in all of us, okay, its the same thing or at least the same principle.
    Anyway, if you want to go back there again, find a nice quiet time and place where you can be alone and not interupted for a while to meditate. Then meditate with only the desire to return to that place. Expect it. expect to go there and attempt to keep your ego in check just as you learned to keep you mind quiet. Don't try, just sincerely humbily desire this. It will come. If not now later when you've got your ego more under control.
    You see our egos do not want to accept control nor accept something greater that itself so if left unchecked it will not let you go back.
    Its just a spoiled selfish brat, a child and it must be delt with in the same way with firmness and deternination. It must learn just like a puppy, who is in charge, who the boss is. Good luck.
  10. Jul 16, 2003 #9


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    Man, you guys try to hard. All you need is a 2 liter, a 3 liter, and, uhh, well, email me for details.


    I can agree that meditating is relaxing, and I think that if you can actually manage to quiet the million thoughts bouncing inside your skull, and focus on one important question, then yes, you'd definetly come up with a better answer as compared to sitting on the couch watching tv.

    But I mean if your expecting something magical to happen when you sit in a dark, quiet room with your eyes closed and almost in a dream state, and it does, whoopy doo. How are you so certain it is a connection to some supreme master and not just a more solid connection to your deeper mind? Are you sure its a real expieriance, or merely a half awake, half asleep expieriance?

    My guess, seeing as how meditation is usually quite a time consuming process, that you're probably in rem sleep by the time all the special feelings start to hit.

    I can't say I've meditated amd reached a state either of you described, but I've had lots of expieriances similar to that as I was dozing off or just waking up.
  11. Jul 17, 2003 #10
    Mg, It is not focsing that is part of the key. It is not trying that is the way. Focusing and trying defeat our purpose. Letting go and letting it happen is the way to do it.
    If you have not experienced anything like it then there is no way anyone can tell you what it is like because there are no common terms to discribe it. Its like trying to discribe color to one who has always been blind and never seen color.
    Getting in touch with your deeper mind is part only part of what it is all about. Once there then getting in touch with with our soul, spirit or the other reality is just one more step.
    Where there is no fear there is no danger. The door is open; walk through it.
  12. Jul 17, 2003 #11
    Yea, I think I used to do that type of meditation back in my late teens and twenties. :smile:

    I only speak for myself, MG, but I see nothing supernatural in the experiences I've had. They are only part of the functioning of the brain. While they may seem magical experientially, it doesn't mean that there is something supernatural going on outside of my consciousness.

    The experience I mentioned lasted about 20 minutes, including some walking and physical action, without the slightest bit of sleepiness involved. At the meditation retreats I've been on, we do get much less sleep that normal, and I have had near sleep hallucinations, near sleep dreams, and other sleep related experiences - these I'm very familiar with. The related experience was quite different.

    I don't meditate with that experience being the goal. I meditate because it has and is changing me. The way I relate to the world and other people has changed significantly. And these changes occurred, initially without me realizing it. A specific incident occurred, where I would normally have gotten really pissed, (and as was my habit stayed ticked off for a few hours), and didn't. That started me asking family members and friends about changes in my behaviour. They had all noticed it, though I hadn't. When I started looking, I noticed it too - I didn't get upset with folks cutting me off on the highway, the patience I have with my kids has gotten a lot better, I find I don't mull over past injustices the way I used to. I've noticed I can be much more in the present in social situations that would normally have me constantly socially over thinking things. The clarity in my life has increased. All of the above factors are much more pronounced (even compared to normal) for about two weeks following returning from a retreat.

    Are these due to meditation? I can't say for certain, but the fact that forty plus years of mental and emotional habits have started to change, in only a few years, with no other apparent explanation. Perhaps you can see why I attribute it to the meditation.

    To be somewhat accurate, meditation, though easier in a quiet room, isn't necessarily just done in a quiet,dark room. I've entered meditative states during Aikido practice, while being attacked by four people (randori). When I'm able to do this I do much better. This meditative state is called Samadhi, and it's occurance is not uncommon in extremely good athletes during games - they refer to it as 'being in the zone'. There are also types of meditation that aren't quiet - chanting meditation, walking meditation, just to name a couple of the common ones. At meditation retreats, all actions are meant to be meditative, whether in seated meditation, serving meals, cleaning, or using the rest room.
  13. Jul 18, 2003 #12
    Glen, I agree that there is nothing magical, mystical or supernatural about meditation despite the impressions that my previous post gave. I was only trying to relate my personal deepest and most profound experiences. The majority of the time I get out of it exactly what you discribe with much the same results.
  14. Jul 18, 2003 #13

    While I'm not sure what you mean by an enlightenment experience, I think I've had one. I'm not sure if there was anything I realized specifically as a result of it. Later in life I found that this was even a standard exercise in some religions.
    When I was quite young, I started wondering late at night in my bunk 'What if there there wasn't an earth?'. I attempted to actually visualize this and after many minutes, something completely unexpected happenned. I found myself looking at the universe or something like a galaxy full of stars as though I was outside of it somehow and I had a feeling of complete peace and omniscience. Then I was back. It was like visiting Shangri-la and I've always wanted to return.
  15. Jul 20, 2003 #14
    Dont Drink and Drive, Smoke and FLY!
  16. Jul 21, 2003 #15
    Don't you have to be old enough to get a drivers licence, first?

    Aside from that, it's Bloody dangerous to do. (Years of driving experiance, trucks, cars, snow plows, tractors, motorcycles, heavy equipment, etc.)

    EDIT PS depends upon just what you mean by enlightenment, but probably yes!
  17. Jul 21, 2003 #16
    In the UK you only have to be 17 to drive, and i do have a valid drivers license with no convictions of any kind not even a parking ticket on my license, and i have been driving for about 4 months now about 10 months if you include lessons.

    PS, i dont fly that often, but i never drink and drive.
  18. Jul 22, 2003 #17
    Yes and I have more then 260** months of driving experiance, and your in the highest inssurance bracket available, but neither of these two facts have anything to do with enlightenment, so back to that?

    Of that time lots of it is professional time driving snow plows and salt trucks in the winter, having to go to work in the worst of possible WINTER weather, and not leaving till the weather breaks, sleet, freezing rain, snow, cold, and blowing cold days, cause of wind drifting, seen way more accidents then most people will ever know.

    (SLOW DOWN!)

    EDIT ** Oooooops, thirty years, lets see thats thirty time 12, that equals 360 months, Ooooops so sorry!
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2003
  19. Jul 22, 2003 #18
    Who said anything about speeding, this is another thread where you have taken a comment far too seriously, and what was wrong with that comment anyway? "dont drink and drive (fine so far) smoke and fly!" whats wrong with smoking a bit of weed to get yourself high, obviously dont smoke and drive either.
  20. Jul 22, 2003 #19
    Perhaps, you take yourself, just a little bit too seriously? Ya figure?
  21. Jul 22, 2003 #20
    If youve got no money, how comes you can still drive, surely if you had no money then you wouldnt be able to afford the petrol (gas)?
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