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Have you ever experienced the numinous?

 
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Dec, 2002 09:45 pm
There was some discussion earlier about trying to live a Buddha-like life. While skimming around the 'net I found myself on Beliefnet and an interesting article that speaks to this and the discovery of the numinous within oneself... here are some excerpts:

(Lama Surya Das)
"Since the Buddhist viewpoint is that each of us is essentially a Buddha, and walks the same path that the Buddha walked, we feel that at this time of the year, more than any other, we metaphorically sit down under the Bo tree and--emulating Buddha's example--vow not to arise until full liberation dawns. For Buddhism propounds that everyone is capable of that spiritual illumination called enlightenment, satori, awakening.

"I did return to the Himalayas and the relatively cushy life at my Tibetan teacher Kalu Rinpoche's monastery in the mountains near Darjeeling, where I was happy and involved in the kind of Vajrayana Buddhist practices where my impatience, irreverence, existential angst, and inner irritation eventually would produce some kind of pearl.

"It is difficult to explain exactly what enlightenment is, but I can say that I have discovered part of what Buddha discovered. I call this the Pearl Principle: if there is no irritation, there can be no pearl. It is the very suffering and difficulties of life that compel us to seek another world, salvation, deliverance; this is what drove Buddha to seek enlightenment. In that light, all of life's challenges and tragedies can become fertilizer upon our spiritual fields, effecting growth and transformation.

"Everything changes, yes; but in reality, nothing really happens. That is, nothing essentially affects our true nature. We are all Buddhas by nature--we only have to realize and recognize that fact. Thus, enlightenment simply means to awaken to who and what we really are. The question is less how to get from here to there than how to get from here to right here; and this is the riddle of our existence. How to become what we are?

"Spiritual awakening brings illumination--realization of the inherent perfection and completeness of our original, innate nature. This frees us from being taken in by the delusion of worldly life, revealing a vast panorama of freedom, possibilities and bliss.

"According to Tibetan masters, Buddha's own enlightenment is possible for any of us, through following the Eight-fold Noble Path--comprised of ethical self-discipline, meditative mindfulness, wisdom, generosity and love--to the end. Many people have experienced enlightenment through reproducing the Buddha's experiment."

from "Each of Us is a Buddha"
(12/13/02 - front-page of Beliefnet.com/index/index_10000.html)
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Fri 13 Dec, 2002 10:04 pm
numinous experiences
Piffka. Thanks. The paragraph that enjoins us to be "become what we are" and "to get from here to right here" are clues to the subtlety of zen (and all good) meditation. Letting go, giving up all desire to bring about something other than the Reality of what is now. Satori, enlightenment, salvation, liberation are no more than "hooks" to motivate one to embark on the impossible task of seeking them. Until one day one quits, and then truly meditates having "become" what one is and "arriving" where one already was. I do not pontificate because I have enlightenment (I don't even know what that means), but because after 25 years of continuous meditation, I now longer need it. Yet I continue to meditate. Why?
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Piffka
 
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Reply Fri 13 Dec, 2002 10:08 pm
I don't know. I don't know why you say you don't pontificate either. According to the Lama, it is important to learn when to start teaching. He ends:

"It is beautiful to be a seeker. But seekers should one day become finders, elders, teachers. Why postpone that? A new world awaits."
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Asherman
 
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Reply Fri 13 Dec, 2002 11:04 pm
There are certain signs that mark those who have experienced enlightenment and Enlightenment. Be skeptical of those who claim the experience, for those who have are generally reticent in making claims. Folks sometimes fool themselves. Hmmnn, usually fool themselves. Enlightenment means seeing one's face truely.

Too much talk, not enough practice. Tend to your own garden.

Pay attention!
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Piffka
 
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Reply Fri 13 Dec, 2002 11:22 pm
Asherman, I have noticed that you yourself have acted very sure about enlightment.

Can you tell me how can we have a discussion if you don't think we should talk about it? Or do you think we should not have a discussion about this?

I am sceptical of people who vehemently claim they are correct.
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JoanneDorel
 
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Reply Fri 13 Dec, 2002 11:36 pm
My favorite Thomas Merton quote; "If you ever think you are enlightened, do your laundry"
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Asherman
 
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Reply Sat 14 Dec, 2002 09:51 am
I agree, "do your laundry".

I seldom initiate these sort of conversations, and try not to get too "gabby". The Buddha taught not to prostilitize, but when asked transmit the teachings as well as you are capable of. I do try.

Should anyone listen? Some will and some won't. Does it matter to me? Not much. Will it matter to the potential listerner? Not much, fruit ripens pretty much at its own pace. Am I RIGHT? You should be skeptical. Why speak on these matters at all? Our goal is not the experience of enlightenment, but the conquest of suffering. When we see someone drowning, should we not try to save them? Even if we are poor swimmers, we can extend a branch.

With what authority do I speak? Well, I've been a Soto Sect Buddhist for over forty years. I was a student of one of the most famous American Zen Masters, a man generally known for his enlightenment and ability to nurture students. I've formally studied Asian philosophy and religion at the graduate level. Over the years a large number of people have come to me to learn the principles of Buddhism. I seek no money, nor fame, nor power from whatever I can do to advance the cause of Buddhism. I live a relatively modest, stable life with little suffering, though I must work sometimes very hard pulling the weeds. My ego is always a threat, so I pay especial attention to keeping it in harrnass that it not run away with me. "Me" -- LOL, ROFLAMO.

Do I have anything to offer you? Will you accept a gift?
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Piffka
 
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Reply Sat 14 Dec, 2002 10:27 am
I do not equate the numinous with Buddhism. It is only a religion, but as I think I said very early on... the numinous goes beyond a religion or sect.

There are many paths. One who has learned a lot knows he has learned nothing maybe because one cannot be taught to feel the numinous.
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Sat 14 Dec, 2002 11:08 am
the numinous
I should not have mentioned my 25 years of effort (and it was only 23 years; I miscalculated). But I HAVE tried to avoid doctrinal platitudes: The external side of this practice which misses its spirit altogether. Indeed, I've TRIED to approach such matters--as best I could--in the spirit of Roshi Susuki (Asherman's teacher who I never met) who never spoke of things like Satori. Anyway, this is the last I will say about such matters. They are SO BORING.
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Asherman
 
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Reply Sat 14 Dec, 2002 05:34 pm
Agreed
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Ruach
 
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Reply Wed 13 Aug, 2003 11:19 pm
I have experienced the numinous.
So, so so many times.
One time God wanted to ask me questions and he wore me out. I got tired of asking things.
Other times when sailing.
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maliagar
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2003 10:48 pm
Yes I have. And it is an experience that can be mocked only by those who haven't had it.
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Ophelias Ponderings
 
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Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 01:14 pm
Numinous - maybe, Otto-yes!
I'll talk about my personal numinous experiences later, but I definetly know I've experienced Otto.

Shocked

Not sure about the "awe" part, but reading Otto intensely for three weeks will give you a sense of "daemonic dread."
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skeptic
 
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Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2003 05:16 pm
Quote:
Yes I have. And it is an experience that can be mocked only by those who haven't had it.


I couldnt have said it better. And the same statement goes for UFO abductions, ghost sightings, out-of-body experiences, lepricaun sightings, unicorn rides, Elvis sightings, etc, etc......you get my point.
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maliagar
 
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Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2003 06:37 pm
skeptic wrote:
Quote:
Yes I have. And it is an experience that can be mocked only by those who haven't had it.


I couldnt have said it better. And the same statement goes for UFO abductions, ghost sightings, out-of-body experiences, lepricaun sightings, unicorn rides, Elvis sightings, etc, etc......you get my point.


And the same can be said of those who experience love, compassion, sadness, oppression, etc. and those who don't.

You get my point.
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JoanneDorel
 
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Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2003 06:54 pm
Yes, about four or five times. But the experience was not goddess like not voices or religous just knowledge or a feeling. Very brief but very distinct.
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Mon 22 Sep, 2003 06:54 pm
Does numinous have anything to do with numbers?
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 02:46 am
Yes if you experience it numinous times
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maliagar
 
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 07:52 pm
There are numerous human experiences that may open one's mind and heart to "the other".

A near-death experience...

Getting married (for those who really take it seriously)...

Having a son...

Experiencing the strength of the terminally ill or the joy of the destitute...

A sunset...

The night sky filled with stars...

Wondering about the purpose of living...

A flower...

The goodness of a stranger who goes out of his way to help us...

A true work of art...

The love of two elderly people who have been married for 50 years...

Unfortunately, there are those who do not stop to ponder events like these... who have no interior silence to assess these experiences... and who try with all their strength to turn meaningless what is meaningless only to them.

They have rendered themselves blind, and try to guide others into blindness.

Rolling Eyes
existential potential
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2008 02:31 pm
@maliagar,
what is it about those kind of people, who do not seem to stop and think about the sublime nature of nature? it is almost like "we" see and experience something that they do not, and saying that I personally do not mean God, but I understand that that is the case for some people.
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