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Becoming enlightened as a lay person.

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  • Becoming enlightened as a lay person.

    Hi !!

    I am a bit new to Buddhism, but in the past few months I have become very interested, reading all I can about it, and listening to almost all talks by Ajahn Brahm and meditating.
    I have been feeling a bit distressed though about the whole enlightenment, because it seems like its the ultimate goal and the way out of here, but I find myself in a beautiful, stable, loving relationship which I had been looking for my whole life, and nice family. My mind has been playing with the idea of dropping everything and become ordained, but its not a decision to be taken lightly and its not easy.
    So basically, is there a way to keep my life and still achieve enlightenment? If so, how? If not, are they suggesting we should all become monks?

    It might sound very silly, but hope someone can help me out

    Thank you so much !!!

  • #2
    To answer your question: There is nothing stopping a lay person from becoming enlightened, but it is a very rare occurence. If that happens you will have no choice but to become a monastic.

    Enlightment is not something that happens easily, even if you become a monk it may take a couple of lifetimes. Before you rush to enlightment start building your understanding of things, practice keeping the precepts and practice meditation. The way to enlightement is part effort part natural occurence, if you try to rush towards it it will only get further away. There are steps you can achieve ... but as it is with enlightment I would not advise you to rush towards them as the same rules apply. What I'm trying to say here is that you should not set goals in Buddhism, they will come naturally as you learn mindfully. The path isn't easy, but it is fruitful and worth every step.

    Metta,
    Daniel

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    • #3
      Best not to stare at the top of the mountain. Best to look where you're putting your feet. It is known as the gradual training, so do it gradually.

      But it is okay to glance up at the heights occasionally! :-)

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      • #4
        hm well it's a difficult question because sure there's budha and his teaching, your mind might dwell on this 'ultimate goal' but what does the concept of 'enlightenment' actually mean to you? that's the real question while you live this life in the now because ... if budhism is right about rebirth and all then there's actually no need to hurry while you skillfully wander on the path of karma free of delusions ... who knows one of those delusions them might even be: rush into some ordination while you're not ready for such a leap of faith.
        what i'm saying is: get to know your own path so you can shape it.
        Last edited by Stefan Van Cappellen; 19th-April-2013, 05:13 AM.

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