What is Buddhist enlightenment?

Have you wondered what is enlightenment? It is the final goal of Buddhist spirituality. Unlike many religion, enlightenment happens in this very life. We do not need to wait for death or the afterlife to experience it.

The group of people who managed to attain it, is known as the Sangha. In another word they are living proof that enlightenment is a fact.

However, enlightenment cannot be described because it is like tasting something new. Unless you tasted it, listening to a description of that taste will result in a mistaken notion.

But there is no lacking of Buddhist trying to get masters to describe it.

I came across the following narration by a Thai meditation monk recently. Since he is much alive and started his spiritual journey during our time, he tried to use modern objects to help his students get a rough idea of what we are trying to realise. Again the emphasis is realisation. Unless we actually experience it, the following descriptions only help us imagine what it is like.

The remote control plane.

Foremost, this body is not you. There is no “I” or an invisible entity residing in this body.

This body is similar to a remote control plane or car or boat. It provide sensory feedback to the everlasting mind.

The mind is somewhere else.

Like an operator of a remote control vehicle sitting in a safe place. Monitoring and engrossed with the sights,sounds,taste,touch,smell that is relayed back to it.

When you realise that and see your mind. See your true nature. Fear no longer arise, whether the remote control vehicle crash or runs out of battery.

I am astounded by this new narrative of the mind and hope you do too.

Furthering on his example, I think virtual reality may also provide a good narrative.

Imagining that we are like virtual reality game player. Fitted with virtual imaging goggles and earphone. Wearing sensory suites. We are transported to an illusionist world. We believe the virtual experience to be real.

Addicted to the game, we refuse to take off our equipment. This game is wicked because the content of our next game is based on the current. Depending on our actions in this game, our next game will be shaped accordingly.

For those who have started experiencing discomfort with the game, they are trying their best to wake up from it. Pull off all the gear that lock us in this dreamlike state.

That’s all folks.

Back to the meditation cushion to practice. To wake up to everlasting happiness.

May all be well and happy.

Categories: Articles

Tagged as: , ,

4 replies »

    • That will be a yes and no answer for me. In the context of this teaching, acharn was trying to help the students let go of the notion that an entity is residing in our body. Therefore, his usage of somewhere else is appropriate. (I think) Continuing from his sermon, one needs to enter the state of jnana to understand where is this ‘somewhere else’. To enter jnana, one needs to focus the mind and ‘centre in’. To go out, it is thru going in. That will bring the mind to where you are describing. The knower, The pervasiveness etc. Words cannot really define. But when teaching, words are pointer. In this context, the somewhere else is appropriate. I think.
      In another setting, teaching another group of students. Your narration will be effective.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.