Buddhists/Questions about enlightenment
Please take the time to respond to me. I'm having trouble finding someone willing to answer my questions who has experience and I would very much appreciate it if you could spare a moment to listen to my thoughts.
I have a few simple questions for you (or perhaps, not so simple, I am uncertain):
1. Is ego-death required to reach enlightenment?
2. If ego-death is required to reach enlightenment, does this mean I will lose attachment to the people I love (like my girlfriend?), or will I continue to love her just as equally? Will I be able to maintain a relationship with her? I feel like attachment is a part of the ego, and is a requirement for keeping the relationship. Am I wrong about this?
3. This is a tricky question. What purpose to people seek enlightenment? I have heard from many teachers that thinking of enlightenment as 'gaining' something is wrong. It is simply a way of being. However, if it is not gaining anything, then what drives these people to become enlightened in the first place?
Thank you very much.
I call enlightenment samadhi:
samadhi (Skt.) total or perfect concentration (of the mind, cf. enstasy); non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object; total absortion in the object of meditation; transcendence of the relationship between mind and object; merging of subject and object; to contemplate the world without any perception of objects; suspension of judgement; turiyatita; satori; bodhi; rigpa; realization of the sameness of the part and the whole, of the identity of form and emptiness, of samsara and nirvana, of the immediate and the ultimate; mystic oneness; perfect dynamic attunement with wondrous overall existence; oceanic feeling; wonder, awe, rapture; essential purity; deep love and compassion; awareness of our common ground and the innocence of sex.
I don't think your girlfriend would have any problem with this, would she? :-)
Best regards and have a wonderful 2013.