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Author Gertrude Stein is reported to have written " A rose is a rose is a rose." In keeping with that theme, Enlightenment is Enlightenment is Enlightenment. What do I mean by that? That Enlightenement knows no master. Soon you will come across a paper called "ENLIGHTENMENT: Can You Do It." The paper discusses how "at one end" the soon-to-be Sixth Patriarch of Zen, Hui-neng, overheard a stanza from The Diamond Cutter Sutra as a young boy and was Enlightened, of which Hui-neng wrote in the Sutra of Hui-neng:

I was selling firewood in the market one day, when one of my customers ordered some to be brought to his shop. Upon delivery being made and payment received, I left the shop, outside of which I found a man reciting a sutra. As soon as I heard the text of this sutra my mind at once became enlightened. Thereupon I asked the man the name of the book he was reciting and was told that it was the Diamond Sutra. I further enquired whence he came and why he recited this particular sutra. He replied that he came from Tung Ch'an Monastery in the Huang Mei District of Ch'i Chou; that the Abbot in charge of this temple was Hung Yen, the Fifth Patriarch; that there were about one thousand disciples under him; and that when he went there to pay homage to the Patriarch, he attended lectures on this sutra. He further told me that His Holiness used to encourage the laity as well as the monks to recite this scripture, as by doing so they might realize their own Essence of Mind, and thereby reach Buddhahood directly.

"ENLIGHTENMENT: Can You Do It" also discusses as well, the Buddha's brother, some say he was his cousin, Ananda, that served him twenty years and another twenty years under the Buddha's handpicked successor before having his own Awakening experience. Forty years!

In the Course Information section I make a strong personal case against Guru types, people who want money, that sort of thing. For me it has to do with intent. What is the intent of the person. For me the wrong intent colors the offer and thus then, any results thereof. True, an Enlightened person is free of the bounds of Karma, which infers inturn, no intent because there is no self. However I question the validity. On the other hand Enlightenment knows no master, which means basically that it doesn't matter who, what, when, where, or how the Experience unfolds. Hui-neng overheard a stanza, the Buddha's brother-or-cousin took forty years.

Somewhat into the course (Folder Seven) you will come across a suggested link titled SUDDEN OR GRADUAL ENLIGHTENMENT? that within it's text has the following:

Of course, the paradox of any pre-Enlightenment practice for Sudden Enlightenment is that, for those who pursue it, this means nothing short of going through the frustrating experience of seeking for what one already has, namely unconditional Buddha worthiness. This means that one is constantly asking one's self why am I doing this? Why can't my mind just let me experience my true nature? Maybe this whole thing is a lie. Maybe I'm just wasting time and energy, further deceiving myself? This doubt is a natural part of preparation for Sudden Enlightenment and it requires a faith equal to the doubt to keep the practice going. This is where a teacher and a spiritual community come in, for the teacher who has gone through the struggle can give hope and the community of like-seekers can function in a supportive capacity.

Neither the Gradualist nor the Suddenist approach can guarantee Enlightenment, but each in their own way can give one a chance at gaining it. For the person who can commit him or herself to a fully monastic life the Gradual way may offer more hope than the Sudden way. For those who can not make such a dramatic commitment it may be the Sudden way that offers the hope. Like all religious and philosophical views various rational arguments can be made to support either a Gradualist or Suddenist approach, but the bottom line is that neither can be logically proven nor disproven.

What I am getting at, in the end it doesn't matter: Enlightenment is Enlightenment is Enlightenment. If it comes from overhearing a stanza, hearing a pebble being swept striking bamboo, the offerings provided here, or someone offering something like The Sedona Method, CoreLight, or Enlightenment Intensives then so be it. For me, however, there is a bottom-line punchline that all the bells and whistles never quite reach. It is hoped what is offered here in AWAKENING 101 will carry for you the right escort in your endeavors, that the veil of Samsara dissipates, and that Sunyata be realized and remain your abode forever.


Silabbataparamasa is a term in Buddhism recorded in the scrpitures as "one of the Ten Fetters standing in the way of Enlightenment." Basically Silabbataparamasa means:

"Adherence to wrongful rites, rituals and ceremonies in the mistaken belief that purification (i.e., Enlightenment) can be achieved simply by their performance"

That is, by simply doing the rites, rituals and ceremonies. The keywords are "simply doing" and "wrongful" as in wrongful rites, wrongful rituals, and wrongful ceremonies. Zen master wanna-be's, Sangha leaders, and supporters of Buddhism would purport that in performing rites, rituals, and ceremonies they are more than "simply doing" and that THEIR rites, rituals, and ceremonies are NOT wrongful and thus then DO NOTstand in the way of, and by inference, actually enhance, the way or path to Enlighenment.

The history of the Zen tradition and the Buddha as well as my own opinion says otherwise and disagree with the tenents of the above last sentence. To wit:

The Buddha said that neither the repetition of holy scriptures, nor self-torture, nor sleeping on the ground, nor the repetition of prayers, penances, hymns, charms, mantras, incantations and invocations can bring us the real happiness of Nirvana. Instead the Buddha emphasized the importance of making individual effort in order to achieve our spiritual goals. (source)

IN THE WAY OF ENLIGHTENMENT: the Ten Fetters of Buddhism