What Is Enlightenment

8 Jan 2015  Posted in Mind and Body 

In 2012, more and more people were talking about spirituality.

The movie. The Secrete.

The book. The Flower Of Life.

The TV series. Super Soul Sunday.

By that time, I read a few books about awakening and enlightenment.


Now, it is the year of 2015.

Heat of spirituality seems fade away.

Last week, I read a blog.

A writer expressed that he wanted to awaken and reach enlightenment.

I asked myself again “What are the definitions of awakening and enlightenment?”

From the websites, I have found that the meanings between awakening and enlightenment are slightly different.

They seem to be correct.



I realize the truth of the Universal at that moment. 

The light is turned on but it lasts for a while.

There are different levels of awakening.



I realize the truth of the Universal at that moment.

The light is turned on forever and it never fades out.


In Asian countries, the explanation of enlightenment is slightly different but they are heading towards the same end.

I have found clear definitions about it given by Master Shingyen.

Here comes part of his speech about the explanation of enlightenment.


Enlightenment is the development of wisdom and a wholesome personality.

It can be said that worries are removed or eliminated after enlightenment.


Enlightenment may come gradually that worries will be eliminated gradually.

Enlightenment may come suddenly that all worries are removed at one time.


In general, do people likely have an enlightened experience?

Yes, there are.


Enlightenment is not generated from learning through words and language or from the books.

This is not called enlightenment.


Enlightenment is like something you never knew in the past and no one tells you about it.

However, you find it out.

Artists, philosophers or religionists have some new inventions, new discoveries and create new items.

You can say they have an enlightened experience.


However, the Zen enlightenment is not the same.

Zen enlightenment is a time someone who is all of a sudden makes self-centered, selfish, self-serving, self-attachments vanish.

Because people are self-centered, the emotions related to worries and troubles are triggered by the environment.

Your mind and body cannot be reconciled, so we will be worrying.


But if that is true Zen enlightenment,

all self-concepts and self-dedication, a shadow of psychological self, a kind of psychological certainty vanish.

By that time, he becomes a free man.

What is he free from? He is free from his own gains and losses.

This is the true enlightenment.


How could we reach enlightenment?

There are 2 types of Enlightenment in Zen, “little” and “large” enlightenments.

Little enlightenment is like a small bubble of water.

A bubble of water comes up and, suddenly disappears.

Large enlightenment is not a bubble of water only.

The entire universe, the whole self, and the entire environment are dismantling.

In his mind, one has no burdens.

All dependence and attachments are gone.

This is called enlightenment.

One does not attach to the body, reputation, the entire living environment or the universe.

What is the universe?

Vertically it is eternal history; horizontally it is infinite space.

Both of them are gone in the mind of the enlightened one.

Enlightenment transcends time and space.


Can everyone become enlightened?

You can say that anyone can do it.

You can say that it is very difficult to do it.

Why everyone can do it?

Because as long as we want, we can give up the concept of self.

If you let go of self, you do not take care over yourselves.

By that time, you're enlightened but it is not easy to let go of self.


What is self?

The body is not easy to be given up.

The old life is not easy to be given up

Self is not easy to be given up

Also, self-reputation is not easy to be given up.

A person cannot give up self so much.


When you are not experiencing adversity or stimulated by temptation,

You do not realize what worries you have and what you cannot give up.


However, when you face a thing you really crave for and you think “I am not greedy. I don’t want to get it.”

That is impossible.

When a thing that you are craving for appears, you will become greedy and want to get it.

You say “I will not angry with and not hate someone.”

When you say you will not hate someone, but in fact, you have already hated and will hate someone.

Therefore, it is not easy to be enlightened.


How to be enlightened?

One has to know that our self, the world, the universe are impermanent.

They are illusory, picturesque, like a dream and like a play.


Other methods to reach enlightenment are practicing meditation and Zen.

Zen is that someone gives you a hint and then you know and realize the truths suddenly.

We have to understand that everyone can become enlightened, but …

Do not think it is easy to be enlightened.

Do not think that you cannot become enlightened and give it up.

This is very important point one must remember.

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