Question of the Week: Is Enlightenment Possible?


Each week we will ask a question related to Buddhism. Please share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment. We welcome your response to earlier comments, or you can post new ideas. Comments are moderated, please be supportive and respectful of others.

Do you think it’s possible to attain enlightenment? In this lifetime?

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5 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Is Enlightenment Possible?

  1. I think that enlightenment is possible if you define it has a process and not a state that is permanent. I have yet to meet someone that was fully enlightened, however, the Tibetan Book of the Dead tells us that attaining enlightenment in death is easier than in life because the mind is set free.

  2. Yes Enlightenment is possible because our stains of afflictions, kowledge obscurations, karmic tendencies, and the persistant mistaking of reality with ignorant superimposition, is unreal when analyzed. I and the apparent time sprouting world are lacking substance and exists only through imputation of dependent categories. The lineage abiding in the nature, our buddha-nature, is stainless and glows with wisdom and skillful means. As the prayer says; “Do not be discouraged Oh child of Buddha-nature, for at this singular opportunity you CAN attain the everlasting bliss of Nirvana.”

  3. Words – the building blocks of conceptual understanding, the “re-presentation” of suchness, are seldom adequate descriptors of ultimate reality.

    To me, nouns seem to be an illusory product of a discriminating mind, the result of our surgical minds cutting pieces from the whole of suchness.

    By their very nature, it seems to me that words, especially nouns, distort the reality described by any expression using them.

    In many cases, verbs may offer a more skillful means of describing the flowing nature of all that is. Even with verbs, however, great care is required to avoid implying the substantial existence either of subject or object.

    In my experience, the state of awakened mind described by the words “enlightenment” or “awakening” as nouns seems to exist, although in varying degrees and durations.

    May we, in our choice and use of words, be aware of the fundamental and inherent limitations with which they are marked, so as not to attach absolute meaning or significance to them, and may we become actively engaged in “awakening” as verb!

    Namaste,

    Bill

    • beautiful, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts…I try to think of phenomena as dynamic processes experienced by my ever-changing mindstream, and of sentient beings as transmigrating collections which are merely the manifestations of karma.

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