As the Buddha said upon his death, "O Ananda, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Seek salvation alone in the truth."
JAMES: Enlightenment is found within, regardless of your guru. He/she can point the way, but no one will give it to you. Full-realization isn't a title to brandish, or a piece of paper to display--it has to come from within. Monks are vital to knowing where to find the path, and guide us along the path but they can not realize enlightenment for us. In some Zen traditions, enlightenment happens suddenly after a profound, internal realization. It's very intimate and personal. I don't say this because I'm enlightened--far from it. I'm merely passing on the knowledge of my teachers. Be weary of those who would tell you that enlightenment can be had via patronage (donations). Anyone promising enlightenment after you give them money is neither enlightened, nor living the Dharma.
~i bow to the buddha within all beings~