It seems to me in certain sects of Buddhism enlightenment has become so esoteric that it is an experience so unique that in the entirety of Mankind only one person attained this state and that was the Buddha himself.

What are some sects of Buddhism where enlightenment has tenable and attained by it's practitioners over and over? And how do they define enlightenment?

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    One day in the monastery a monk became enlightened. His friend asked him what it's like to be enlightened. The newly enlightened one replied, "Just as miserable as ever."
    – user4894
    Aug 2, 2022 at 22:32
  • Lots of folks worldwide have experienced sudden or gradual awakening. Search for Nonduality. It is no particular sect or religion, it's just part of being human.
    – Scott Rowe
    Aug 3, 2022 at 0:36
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    Can enlightenment be defined by some mental state or spiritual experience? If so then enlightenment certainly cannot be copied over and over by its practitioners since everyone's mental state and spiritual experience must be necessarily unique as the old saying goes "there're no two exactly same leafs", and also enlightenment is just as common as any other state of affairs which is always in flux and changing. Indeed one hardly met a person who was happy at some time in the past but could keep this happy state forever. Or after drinking some water one is no longer thirsty... Aug 3, 2022 at 4:19
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    I like this question, it made me smile. Zen Buddhists think we can be Buddas in this life, but this is not a universal claim. You can look into the sudden-gradual debate in buddhism to get a feel for this, both contemporary and historical. Sudden-sudden exists in contemporary Korea, and is clear that their grand masters are fully Buddhas. Same in vajrayana Buddhism. Quite what Dogen means about "anuttara samyak sambodhi" idk
    – user61995
    Aug 3, 2022 at 16:07


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