“In other words, there isn’t just one end all “awakening experience”. There are many, with many different shades and levels of intensity. This is precisely why the word “enlightened” is a bit inappropriate. Awakened implies waking up from a dream, and truth be told, there are many dreams to wake up from and many truths to uncover (or many shades of the one truth or one reality).
Lastly, I think poetry is one of the best vehicles for getting a feel for the feeling of that awakening moment. Mainly because they’re all about feeling and they’re subtle and they make you think. I think Han-Shan Te-Ching’s poem is all too fitting:
“Clouds release the hillsides and wake the scenes of spring,
Where is the plum tree that wafts that subtle scent?
I grab my staff intending to search secluded valleys,
Then find a single branch against my eastern wall.”
And I submit a poem that might give you a feel for an awakened person. Moments before his death Master Ta-Hui was asked to compose a poem, without a second thought he whipped out his brush:
”Birth is thus,
Death is thus,
Verse or no verse,
What’s the fuss?’”
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