Hey I just wondered: I met a high intensity theravadin meditator (who teaches it) and he defined the self enlightened as being meditators that no one had to teach. It came naturally, so to speak.

Is it possible to be practicing this untaught meditation but not be self enlightened?

  • and not have experienced "kensho" either - i mean !
    – user2512
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 3:34
  • 3
    A question can often be clarified by rephrasing it to include an explicit question mark: or two question marks, i.e. one question mark in the title and another in the text of the question.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 22:43
  • A person who attains nirvana without hearing the Dhamma, by his own efforts and trials, is generally called a [characterization-prefix]-Buddha ("self enlightened" is an overdose of ambiguities). It's a long jump from "not being taught nirvana" to "came naturally", specially when there is a long period of striving and a very special kind of dedication in between.
    – user382
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 3:02
  • @ThiagoSilva hello I think you are reading the wrong allusion into my term "naturally" I don't mean without effort I mean without the effort to learn it from others
    – user2512
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


Re. the first paragraph of your question, perhaps the teacher you met was talking about a so-called pratyekabuddha or paccekabuddha (it's useful to know the technical word if you want to read more about it, see also e.g. the 'external links' etc. at the end of that article).


I could tell you some pseudo zen wisdom that I have learned to spinoff after reading zen masters from the past. Study Dogen or Shunryu Suzuki. I especially like Zen Mind Beginners Mind the uses the term Beginners Mind in place of enlightenment. Enlightenent sounds like something that strikes like lightning. Beginner's mind is more like a sudden wind that stops you in your tracks, you look around, and nothing is there. But you experienced something without preconception. Maybe a glimpse of beginners mind


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