Nibbana is often viewed as a place we go to when we achieve enlightenment... BUT it's actually a state of mind. This is because, when we become enlightened, it is only our PERCEPTION/outlook on things that differ - nothing actually HAPPENS.
When an ARHAT has achieve Nibbana, they have:
- perfected all factors of the 8 fold path
- destroyed the need for attatchment to objects/things in life
- destroyed the 3 poisons (greed/hatred/dillusion)
Because you can only understand Nibbana when you actually realise it, it could be hard to picture it/try to understand what it's like to experience. BUT...
- King Melinda's analogies help us to understand Nibbana. For example the analogy of the mountain top - no seeds can grow there, like no seeds of passion can grow in Nibbana.
- Arhats and the Buddha also help our understanding - they provide an EXAMPLE of what it's like to be Nibbanic - calm state of mind, peacfulness (etc).
- Meditation also helps us to understand Nibbana as Rinzai and Soto schools in Zen both experience moments of "satori" - a glimpse of enlightenment
Although there are possible ways for us to try and attempt to understand Nibbana, there are reasons why this is made extremely difficult:
- Because we're not Nibbanic, how can we possibly understand what it's really like? It's like explaining to a blind person the colour orange - until they have the ability to see it, they won't fully understand what it looks like,…