In his inimitable style, Gary Weber has an information dense, extensively linked post about different spiritual paths. I check his blog about once a month, and the name Daniel Ingram caught my eye, because Daniel has written some interesting stuff about meditation, chiefly his MCTB book (Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha) — a very practical, hands on guide to meditation.
If you find Buddhism too complicated, you might find something of interest there. He also touches upon a point that I’m curious about — that much of contemporary American Buddhism ignores, neglects or outright denies the possibility of enlightenment. Many reasons for this, not the least of which is probably not wanting to scare people off, I suppose. But perhaps also something is getting lost?
What I enjoy about Gary’s posts, is he’s so matter-of-fact and down-to-earth.
Here’s a little quote from the post:
MCTB’s/KFD’s open sharing of experiences about enlightenment was important for many traditional Buddhists. In the US, the teaching in traditional Buddhist centers was that enlightenment was so unlikely/impossible for lay folk, that it was not worth talking about. Daniel gave a talk on this @ Brown. This is, i am told, still true at major centers like the Insight Meditation Society, Spirit Rock and Naropa.
That was not the case in Zen, as they do enlightenment “for a living”, which is what drew me there. Direct Path and the Zen folk w/whom i worked, discouraged any focus on, or attachment to, experiences, states or levels as they feed the “ego/I”, the principal obstacle to be dealt with in achieving “no self” or “nonduality”. Attachment creates suffering here just as the Buddha said it would.