In this podcast Professor Thurman teaches that enlightenment is not defined as awareness of space of light, which is somewhere else, not here, in some imagined opposition to this place of light and dark that is filled with all the world’s problems, from which one should escape. That is not the Mahayana definition of enlightenment. In the Mahayana, and therefore in the Buddha’s definition, enlightenment is expanding your sense of identification, in particular, of identifying oneself with others. Among animals, humans have a particular ability to identify with one another through love (mother and child, lovers or teams are good examples of that). The Buddha’s sense of identification expands to all beings, all life.
This episode was recorded on March 10, 2016 at the “Embracing the Sacred Feminine” Retreat at Menla Mountain Retreat, taught by Isa Gucciardi and Robert Thurman.