Q193. Today, I thought that trying to attain enlightenment in any way is not correct. It is dualistic. There is still an ‘I’ that is trying and an illusion of gaining something. Is this correct?

A. You are absolutely right. When we say ‘trying to attain enlightenment’, it can look and sound dual because there is ‘I’ and there is ‘enlightenment’ as you mentioned. However, I can’t help but explain it in this way because there is still enlightenment for you to attain until you realise that everything is empty and that there is nothing to gain or lose. Attaining enlightenment doesn’t mean that there is duality; ‘you’ and ‘enlightenment’ to be gained, but rather that you should realise everything is empty and there is no duality.

My Pictures0058a_thumb

 

I talk you into attaining enlightenment because you have not realised the truth of non-duality through experience even though you have a lot of knowledge about non-duality and emptiness, and say that everything is empty and there is no enlightenment to attain. Strictly speaking, only when you realise the truth that everything is empty can you say that there is no enlightenment to attain, because there is nothing to realise any more. The reason why I say that you should attain enlightenment is not that there is duality; ‘you’ and ‘enlightenment’, but that you should realise the truth that everything is empty and non-dual and so there is no enlightenment to attain.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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