John Suler's Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors
One day the Master announced that a young monk had reached an advanced state of enlightenment. The news caused some stir. Some of the monks went to see the young monk. "We heard you are enlightened. Is that true?" they asked.
"It is," he replied.
"And how do you feel?"
"As miserable as ever," said the monk.
People's reactions to this story:
"The master was either lying or deceived, and the student was at the least lying to himself. As a wise man once said, 'Enlightened people take things lightly.'"
"To be enlightened doesn't mean to be lucky simultaneously. We all know why."
"Once achieving enlightenment the monk could see the state of the world and life with clarity. What he sees is not good. It is ironic that this wonderful achievement only brings him misery through the enlightened truth he now sees."
"It doesn't matter if your enlightened or not, you still have the same feelings as before. Only now things are much clearer. "
"Reality is reality whether you're enlightened or not."
"Knowledge is infinite. The more you learn, the more you will realize that you know nothing."
"Enlightenment changes nothing and everything. Nothing is solved! Enlightenment is not a goal but a state of being that has to be rediscovered on a continual basis."
"The reason I believe this being to say "miserable as ever" is because now the others will be expecting him to be a certain being and act in certain ways. One cannot be free if there are always expectations of him."
"the more you know, the less you know."
"After "enlightenment" the young monk finally understands the world, how it works, and all of its component parts. Now this feat is a large one, one that many do not achieve. The reason the monk is now more miserable is because he feels the situation that he now is "enlightened" upon is a helpless one. Unfortunately the monk is pessimistic, and cannot foresee a solution for all of the problems that he has just begun to understand. Maybe the monk is not truly enlightened."
"the journey is more important than the destination."
"Enlightenment is a state of consciousness beyond emotions, positive or negative. An enlightened person would be totally accepting of his state of mind at each moment, however miserable that might be. Ultimately however true enlightened would in time lead to a wholly positive emotional state which would reflect and express the bliss of transcendence."
"If enlightenment is the state of seeing things as they truly are, then it isn't necessarily going to make you happy...."
"We have no valid way of predicting how we shall feel once enlightenment is attained - although we all have presumptions and curiosity. The reality may (probably will?) be wonderful yet different from our assumptions."
"When a person is enlightened, they discover that they still know so much less, than ever they did."
"For monks to became enlightened doesn't require to change feelings."
"I think that the young monk told his peers that he was as miserable as ever so that they would not envy him or his enlightenment. If they were to envy him then it would hinder their own development because in order to reach this higher consciousness one is supposed to have let go of any desires. To want this enlightenment so much would just add on another 'want'".
"Many people believe that with enlightenment comes peace, power and a sense of knowing, but with each stage of enlightenment we must still chop wood and carry water."
"I used to be different, now I'm the same..."
|| Gutei's Finger || Holy Man || Searching for Buddha ||