Home Discussion Forum If the definition of the 'Buddha' is the 'Awakened One' then what...

If the definition of the 'Buddha' is the 'Awakened One' then what are we awakened to?

Please no circular logic such as “We are awakened to the inner state of Buddhahood” or “We are awakened to the fact that we are enlightened”.
WHAT IS ‘enlightenment’. No Zen quotes either. Just your plain English perspective.


  1. Consciousness. Each level of consciousness is a higher state of being that we awaken to. Low consciousness = bad. High consciousness = good.

  2. I will give you my personal definition of the term awakened. I believe it to mean that when you hit that enlightened stage, you are more aware of all of the different things, smells, sights, beliefs, tastes and collective thoughts than you were before. Perhaps it is a sense of you becoming a bit less selfish with your ideals and allowing yourself a bit more tolerance and understanding that you are not alone.
    Probably sounds like rambling, but that is what I think of when I hear that term.

  3. understanding the truth about reality, the buddha never said what it is, just how to get there because its above words.

  4. Feeling enlightened is a state of mind.
    Just like when you asleep you’re in a different mental state.
    Zoning out, being 100% alert & problem solving, fear and etc are all examples of different mental states.
    It simply means that you don’t feel the greed to unnecessarily want something. You’re constantly happy and thankful. You actually feel balanced with your life. Your mind feels clear when you think.
    I’ve been in that state when i use to train heavily in martial arts, They use to teach philosophy based on Zen Buddhism.

  5. Being awakened means having the wisdom to fully understand what causes human suffering, and how to overcome it.
    Think of how many dollars are spent by those seeking peace, those troubled with anxiety and fear. The Buddha, it is believed, awakened to the causes of human suffering (including his own), gained true spiritual knowledge, and was able to understand how one could live in peace and compassion.
    Before we are awakened, it is taught, we humans are on the roller coaster ride of pleasure and pain, desire and stress. We occasionally might feel we can overcome the challenges of life, the fear of death, through ego and materialism, but this peace does not last. The Buddha taught that once you are awakened to how your desires and selfishness causes you to suffer, you can work to release yourself from pleasure and pain, and become a peaceful, compassionate person.
    All the best.
    “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.”

  6. Some folks just hate plain english.
    Some are even becoming aware of what is called circular jargon.
    One becomes totally aware of ones inner being.
    The inner working of the human mechanism.
    It is a most interesting exploration.
    There are those that fear it, because of the fear of ones own death.
    Buddha knew “himself”, and that within itself is not difficult to comprehend.
    The journey is the complicated portion to comprehend.
    “One becomes awakened to the very essence of their individual soul.”
    Soul, such an old word and so intimidating. It’s like saying, Lions and Tigers, and bears, Oh My!
    One must get used to it, if they wish to become awakened.
    How would one feel if one viewed everything through the clarity of a new and effulgent light?
    My dear companion, one that has been born with me, always strive to become more awakened, and finally one bright day it will happen.
    Clear enough in english?
    Peace be always with you.

  7. Enlightenment, as I understand it, is the direct experience of reality, free of the delusions that are so common to man, which are the cause of all suffering.
    Such wrong perceptions may include the belief in a independently existing self, misunderstood experiences, painful emotions, etc.
    To experience reality as it is one must cultivate the energy of mindfulness in order to dissolve their illusions.
    Once you have accomplished this, you will have fully recognized the divine spark within yourself and all things–the same creative force that created everything that has ever been. That spark is you and me.

  8. You awaken to other ways of perceving and understanding yourself and others and the realities around and within you.
    If I were your benefactor:
    First I would open your eyes and ears and understanding….
    This is awakening.
    Then, from this shifted perspective, I would explain the meaning of all existence to you in a way you could comprehend….
    Do you follow me?
    You have to look at life from both sides now…..with your inner and outer senses at the same time, otherwise what I say and do will not make sense…
    If your comprehension reached a critical mass tipping point you could be said to have reached enlightenment.

  9. *grins*
    Oh no you don’t!
    You can’t trick me into trying to define the indefinable ‘in plain English’.
    We can talk about Enlightenment till we’re blue in the face and we will still be talking ABOUT it.
    Enlightenment IS. And only first hand experience can show us just what that is-ness is.

  10. Theoretically, imo, a permanently awakened one would experience the emotions of Joy, Knowledge, Empowerment, Freedom, Love and Appreciation and never anything of a lower vibration. I have never met such a person and do not intend to hold my breath until I do. Actually I am not even sure if that would be desireable, due to the lack of contrast. I think contrast is necessary in order to promote the changes, growth, or evolution which lead to the expansion of the Universe. It may also be, though, that I am mixing levels of thought on that score

  11. We are awakened to absolute nothing. Enlightenment is a realization the self (ego) is an idea and there is only godliness without a God.

  12. LOL OK, I’ll play!
    When you’re washing the dishes and your head is full of shopping lists, . that’s not it. When you hear a bark and it becomes a ferocious dog in your mind, .. that’s not it.
    When you switch off the TV and go outside and realise the rain has a smell, .. getting warmer!
    Enlightenment is when you smell the rain without thinking ‘I’m smelling the rain’, eat an orange without thinking ‘I’m eating an orange’ .. when you can drop the watching TV and step onto the stage.. that’s it. (IMHO).

  13. I don’t know the correct answer, or what is common knowledge. I do know that for me being able at least a few times during my busy day to pause and feel.exsistence, the swell and breath of life around me. Looking and seeing the clouds, hearing what people have to say, feeling what they have to share, feeling my emotions and not labeling them good or bad. Knowing I’m not all that, but knowing that I am…all that. IDK! you tell me!

  14. You are awakened to your sense of mortality. You become aware of your limited existence and realize how precious your life is. You enjoy your life more and start to live it the way you think you should. If you thought you were going to die, you would be awakened. Buddha attempts to awaken you without the near death experience.

  15. For me, it started the moment that I knew there had to be more to life than the life I was living…I began to look for something better…I stumbled on Zen, and became willing to listen to what it was saying…Over time, I was able to look at myself more honestly… I felt differently about the people in my life and everything in the world around me…I read as much as I could in an effort to explain these new feelings, some of what I read, I actually understood…I began to meditate daily, because of the type of work I do, I was able to incorporate Quality into my daily experience…I was able to change a bad day into a good day at will…I learned to stay in the moment and that gave me a sense peace I had not known before…Then one day, like any other day, I realized what had taken place…I am sorry that I am unable to fully answer your question…keep looking

  16. What we will awaken to is the fact that we are living in a dream world
    that man, not God, created.
    God created man as a spiritual being and co creator to enjoy
    companionship. God was still Greater than His Creation. His
    creation is changeless, everlasting, wise, abundant, invulnerable.
    Part of His creation wanted to separate from God and live on earth.
    God did not will separation so it could not happen. But man did have
    enough power to make a dream world – the one we live in.
    When we awaken from the dream that we are mortal, fallible,
    and full of sin we will again enjoy the companionship of our Creator.
    Since we were created with the attributes of the Creator, it is
    impossible for us to, in any way, sin against an invulnerable Force.
    All the things that man considers sin are just part of the illusion we
    created. There is no sin. There is no punishment. Only Love.
    Jesus was probably the first to awaken and is now our
    way shower. He told us to Love God, and to Love each
    other, since we are all part of the whole energy called
    mankind. Forgiveness of everything and every body
    is the key to awakening from the dream


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