Thursday, 16 December 2010

Is enlightenment possible for laypeople?

Often we feel our everyday secular lives are in conflict with our pursuit of the teachings. How possible is it really for one who goes to work every day, has demanding familial obligations, lives among countless distractions?...

If somebody renounces the world, lives in a monastery, and studies the Buddhist teachings, they become learned and a very gentle, accomplished person; that’s... not very surprising. That’s their job; that’s what they spend all their time on. But if a layperson receives the pithy instructions on how to be able to practice the heart of the Buddha’s teachings during daily life situations, and then with sincerity and perseverance practices that, in every single moment, with mindfulness and with some kind of real integrity, and then achieves awakening while taking care of obligations, one’s duties, and one’s family, and so forth, that is truly surprising, because that’s difficult. And yet there are the profound instructions of Mahamudra and Dzogchen that are designed in such a way so that this is possible. As a matter of fact, there have been a huge number of laypeople in India and in Tibet who not only attained levels of enlightenment, in other words, became really accomplished, but also some who, at the time of death, left behind what is called the “rainbow body” as a manifest sign of complete enlightenment.

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, "Keeping a Good Heart"

Received as
Daily Dharma from on the 14th of December 2010


Good news then for all lay practitioners, it's hard work but it's possible. Keep on practicing
with sincerity and perseverance, mindfulness and integrity.

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