Do I Need to Be a Monk or Nun to Become Enlightened?
In Buddhism, the goal of the Buddhist path is to reach enlightenment, a state free of mental suffering and characterized by bliss, peace and happiness. But what if enlightenment was only possible if you were willing to become a monk or nun? This would mean only a small minority of Buddhists could ever find happiness, since the vast majority of Buddhists are lay practitioners.
In this video, I explore whether lay people can become enlightened, and if so, what are some of the steps we need to do to ensure that we achieve it.
Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master by Amy Schmidt
This is an inspiring account of the life and teachings of a Dipa Ma, who went from being an ordinary housewife living in Calcutta, India, to an accomplished meditation master with significant spiritual abilities, as well as, a teacher to many of the great Western meditation teachers living in the West today.
Whenever I recommend reading biographies of Buddhist masters, Dipa Ma is always one of the first practitioners who comes to mind. I find her story so inspirational, especially since she didn’t start practicing meditation until her late thirties. It gives me hope that if I just knuckle down on my own practice, I can also achieve something great like her.
A quote from a great Tibetan Buddhist master, reinforcing that the goal in Buddhism is ultimately a state of mind:
“If you vanquish ego-clinging today, tonight you will be enlightened.” ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche