Enlightenment. Enlightenment.

That is a debatable subject. I mean, I can talk about enlightenment.  I can talk about the concept of enlightenment. However, many people will not relate to that. Or they will not understand or accept it because it is nothing that we can prove.

So, for me, enlightenment would be more like the perfect… the most advanced version of a human being.  Do you know what I mean? It would be the best version of the human being. This would be, for me, in my case, it would be like His Holiness the Dalai Lama or Lama Zopa Rinpoche.  There are many amazingly qualified teachers like that.

For me, at least when it comes to my gurus, I will visualize them as buddhas. So, this is useful if we want to simplify the concept of a buddha.  We can see the Buddha as an illuminated person. Then, this would mean we are considering the Buddha to be the best version of a human. Right?

At least everybody can relate to that. I do not have to prove that Buddhas exist. It is not my job.

I am here just to give you a little bit of a taste of my experience of how I was able to maybe overcome a lot of difficulty in my life, through the tools that were offered as Dharma. So, that is what I am here to do. I am here to share.

I am not here to preach. I am not here to tell you what to do or not to do. Nor will I tell you what is good for your life. I will not tell you what is not good for your life. That is up to you to decide. Okay? 

I mean, everybody has their path.  Everyone has their vision or perspective. I cannot come here and say, “This is the truth”. Do you understand? 

That may be my experience.  It may be my truth but it has nothing to do with your truth or your experience. That is something, also, that creates a lot of confusion.  People can generalize a lot about this.

One thing is the institution. The other thing is the actual religion.  Do you see the difference? The science of the mind, the practice of everyday lifestyle is very different.

Then, of course, you have one aspect of the institution which is traditionally based. Then you have the other parts of the institution that are the ones who guard the teachings of the Buddha and keep them intact. Those, are, also, different parts of an institution.  So, we have to, also, be able to differentiate between all these things. We should generalize not all the time.

That is, also, something we initially do a lot.  We try to connect all the dots. Then, we just put it in a box…

Boom! ‘That is it. That is how it is’.   

“So, now, I can feel comfortable because I think I know.”

Do you see what I am saying?  That is the thing…Plato said that the wisest person is the one who knows that he does not know anything.

From my point of view, it makes sense. We are learning every day. We are learning every moment. We are receiving a lot of information. We are making sense of the information based on our memory.

This memory, who knows if it is real or not…I mean, it could be put in my brain when I was in an alien spaceship somewhere.  Right? Then, I believe, ‘Oh, this is what I have been doing the past 20 years!’

Maybe it is not real.  It is just a memory. Yet my whole reality is based on that memory.  For me, that memory is so real. Do you understand? Like, if I have some trauma from my childhood, it will still affect me today, right?

If somebody would say something, it could trigger something.  I will have to deal with it. It would take me a couple of hours to work on it.

So, I do not know.  Memory is a big thing in our life. We give it a lot of importance but we have to be aware that memory just like thoughts that pass in a second.  They are ephemeral.  They are not there. 

It is like a dream. You have a dream. You wake up from the dream. Then, you realize the dream, right? While you are living the dream, while you are in the dream, you have that concept of ego, of me. You are scared or attracted to something, or you are indifferent… So, we are still conditioning and reacting to all the changes we perceive, the sensations that we perceive even within the dream.

Then, when we wake up, oh, the dream is just… oh, a nice story. It is not that important. We do not get stressed about it.

Unless, of course, you are paranoid.  Then, you may think the dream has some meaning. I mean, you give it the meaning. 

Some people are into having people interpret their dreams.  I believe you are the only one to interpret your dream.  Nobody else can understand your dream.

Maybe for some people, “Oh, this is auspicious.” 

Other people may say, “This is not auspicious.”

People say this…  People say that….  Perhaps from their perspective, from their point of view, it could be one way or the other.

I mean, I have to interpret my dreams. Otherwise, it just creates confusion.

If there is someone I trust deeply, then, maybe I would believe they can help me interpret something from my dreams but this is not usual.  Normally, I do not give so much importance to dreams.   Do you understand?   They are just a beautiful thing.

I use dreams more like a metaphor.  They help me to relate to everyday life… to the here and now.

Then, again,  in the Dharma, they talk about life being like a dream, also. I am sure you have heard the example that our so-called reality is like a dream. 

Our reality is like a dream.  Please, you need to think about this one.  This is your homework.  What does this mean to you?

5 Comments

  1. Rosalyn Williams

    Dear Osel La
    I have only just figured how to answer your last post . My understanding was that we should look at instances where the ego appears strongly.
    Looking at dreams can’t help me as I don’t dream much.
    But my initial attitude to men is a bit like having a perception of the earth being flat, like taking a photograph of an event and carrying that image around with me suitable as a generalisation of the way men behave, as a way to protect the ego -my ego which is looking very dodgy as a put up job created by myself.
    I was linking it with ‘scorched earth policy’ another one dimensional event to erase people’s livelihoods, destroy homes and businesses, kill a few hundred or thousands like in Vietnam.
    When I think of Buddhism how things are built up actions words feelings , dependent arisings having substance but cannot point a finger at this or that.
    I just wanted to add something I have discovered about pigeons. How do they know where I live? I live in a block of flats and go outside to feed them yet they sit on my windowsill everyday more or less.
    They can recognise their own reflection. The pigeon is only one of six species to have this ability and the only non mammal. They can recognise all 26 letters of the alphabet and can conceptualise. Harvard university proved that pigeons could discriminate people’s photographs. Have outstanding navigational abilities, use the sun, internal magnetic compass, use landmarks as a compass and even changing direction at junctions. Sorry Lama I think I am hooked on pigeons for the time I have left – especially during lockdowns !
    My ego
    Of course so one dimensional, so blaming of the other person

  2. Andy Wistreich

    Wow, Ros! This is such an amazing answer to Osel’s homework question, “Our reality is like a dream. Please, you need to think about this one. This is your homework. What does this mean to you?”
    Scorched earth – one-dimensional thinking, fixed ego-mind – so destructive of precious life. Then, we do pigeon-hole pigeons as rather stupid limited creatures, when actually they have certain mental faculties way beyond our own capacity. As William Blake said, “How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way, is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?”
    Just want to say also how much I appreciate the photo at the top of your blog, Osel. At first I thought it was just a hooded jacket with nobody inside, and then I saw a child’s black face in the hood, and then I realised that this is the invisibility of the black face in our white-privileged culture, and this is also an example of the one-dimensional thinking that can lead to another scorched earth policy, such as slaver, colonisation and racism.
    And scorching the earth with wildfires in the Amazon, the Arctic and Australia, all the result of the one-dimensional thinking that has brought us to the climate disaster.
    As Osel says, ‘enlightenment. that is a debatable subject.’ Let’s just try to be real where we are.
    Thank you to one-big-love.com for giving us a space to have these discussions/debates. It’s refreshing.

  3. Rosalyn Williams

    Spurred on by Andy ‘“ Our reality is like a dream – you really need to think about this one what does it mean to you” ?
    I can’t take it seriously it makes me laugh. But I missed sleep reading about the Middle Way last night and I listened to Lama Zopa Rinpoche discuss labelling self and phenomena this morning.
    ‘Our reality is like a dream’
    How ones own self concept is very dependent on one’s present view.
    I like the 8 worldly dharma’s and they can act like flashing light signals when the I comes up as solid either as enhancing self or diminishing the self.
    And negative thoughts that might come up about other people are like bricks building a wall one brick at a time , all the faults and hurts of others which are interpreted as real happenings and we do not see their own interdependent natures that brought it about.
    Of course the I which is ignorance affects me, due to perceived losses, shame , pain , criticism and missed opportunities such as making progress, acquiring fame , wanting praise and seeking pleasure it can all come up though it usually focuses on one or two .

    Rinpoche says don’t repudiate the appearance but see it’s nature and you will find it is independently appearing from its own side and this is the essential practise what is called Gatcha . Appearing as real but empty of any foundation, just imputed by our body and mind – nobody else’s mind!
    Nevertheless Osel’la mentioned ‘paranoid ‘meaning having no reality what’s so ever. I do think if you have strong fear like in Guantanamo detention camps it could cause the physical experience of pain such as electric shock treatment before anything has happened. As the body and mind are very interconnected.

  4. Adriana Barre

    Hola Lama!
    Y que pasa con los sueños premonitorio ? Es parte de esta mismo sueño en el cual vivimos?

    Reflexionando su texto , sobre que la vida es un sueño y no se tienen más que recuerdo que ni siquiera estamos seguros si son reales o no , entonces todo lo que acabo de leer , este blog es parte de un sueño también ?

    Sin embargo no tengo duda que deja una huella en mi mente.

    Esto me recuerda a qué nada de lo que mis sentidos perciben puedo tomarlo como real como algo fijo. Dos personas pueden tener la misma experiencia y ver la y sentirla de manera distinta, entonces es ahí cuando puedo darme cuanta que todo viene de la mente .

    Me parece que aplica también al momento de juzgar , si un fenómeno es “malo” o “bueno”. Realmente lo es ? Me ayuda a pensar que soy demasiado ignorante para saber la diferencia. Que lo único que podría juzgar son mis propias acciones , la intención con las que las realizo.

    Acaso tener sueños lúcidos , ¿es como estar conscientes de este sueño ?

    Me es difícil a veces recordar todo el tiempo que todo lo pasa es una ilusión, es como ser un pez en el agua sin saber distinguir el agua .

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