Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Saints and Bodhisattvas

Enlightenment is difficult to understand and probably even more difficult to achieve. As they say – those who know, cannot say. At a talk by the Dalai Lama, during the question period, a man asked his holiness to just spit it out and explain enlightenment in clear terms. The Dali Lamas response was to cry.  I’m not sure why, but this answer seems completely right to me. However, I still don’t understand what enlightenment is or how to achieve it. Likewise, it is also impossible to define or say clearly how to achieve a union with God. So we do not know what it is but enlightenment is the highest achievement for practitioners in both religions – Saints in Christianity and Bodhisattvas in Buddhism. I realize these terms have a range of meaning across Christianity and Buddhism, but I will use them to mean enlightened persons, and it is in the writings and behaviors of these enlightened persons that we can see great similarities. 

The Saints' Guide to Happiness

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