How common is stream entry?

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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:53 am

Reductor wrote:
divine wrote:
The problem with such a claim is that it is dependant on temporary experiences and not on a deepened wisdom.
And to add: these experiences can be very powerful.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby divine » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:14 am

I agree with tiltbillings when he says it's an open topic of discussion if it is put out there, but for those interested in that discussion, I would prefer if what I actually said was beeing discussed. Instead of demands for proof or this quote where Reductor's words are labelled as mine.

:namaste:

tiltbillings wrote:
Reductor wrote:
divine wrote:
The problem with such a claim is that it is dependant on temporary experiences and not on a deepened wisdom.
And to add: these experiences can be very powerful.
One should believe it could be beneficial to post information about attainment in a thread like "How common is stream entry?", but I had no idea you are regularly vitnessing these claims and often there are something else behind it. You have been great giving only kind advice and healthy scepticism. Metta!
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Reductor » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:22 am

divine wrote:One last thing guys, one reason to practise meditation is that when you experience the big nothingness you can keep your calm instead of shitting your pants!




Hey divine,

I'd give Tilt the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he simply wishes to show the context of my post, which is clearly attributed as mine (right under your name mine is also listed).

Above is a quote of yours where you mention big nothingness. In case you have forgot this statement.

EDIT: Oops! My mistake, there the quote is misattributed. I beg your pardon.
Last edited by Reductor on Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Ben » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:24 am

divine wrote:One last thing guys, one reason to practise meditation is that when you experience the big nothingness you can keep your calm instead of shitting your pants!


With respect divine, you would be well advised to take the time to learn about the Buddha Dhamma, Buddhist meditation and spend some time engaged in practice.
kind regards,

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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Reductor » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:28 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Reductor wrote:
divine wrote:
The problem with such a claim is that it is dependant on temporary experiences and not on a deepened wisdom.
And to add: these experiences can be very powerful.


The less right-understanding before attaining these states, the more likely craving will twist them and expand upon them until our thoughts are more product of personal-bias and delusion than they are of the experience itself.

This is not to say OP, or any other member here, is necessarily suffering this fate, although each of us should keep firmly in mind such things may happen to us, too, and not only to others.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:29 am

Just to clarify:

    Reductor wrote:
    The problem with such a claim is that it is dependant on temporary experiences and not on a deepened wisdom.
    And to add: these experiences can be very powerful.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:33 am

divine wrote:I agree with tiltbillings when he says it's an open topic of discussion if it is put out there, but for those interested in that discussion, I would prefer if what I actually said was beeing discussed.
The problem is that you really have refused to say much that warrants discussion.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:30 am

Hi Divine,
divine wrote:I agree with tiltbillings when he says it's an open topic of discussion if it is put out there, but for those interested in that discussion, I would prefer if what I actually said was beeing discussed. ...

Unfortunately, what you have actually said does not give much to discuss:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5352&p=193771#p193771
divine wrote:My stream entry experience is hard to put in words, when I try it all comes out so... un-worthy. It sounds pretentious and insane. I'd rather not convey, if that's all right.

You have said nothing about how your state compares with the descriptions of a stream entrant in the Suttas or Commentaries.

See, for example:
Into the Stream. A Study Guide on the First Stage of Awakening
by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... tream.html

:anjali:
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby isle21self » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:55 am

I feel that people who claim to have become ariyas yet can't describe what they know or came to understand a glaring contradiction.

If we want to know the conduct of ariyas in this area we need look no further than the suttas. Rarely did they ever come out and admit that they were ariyas to anyone even fellow monastics. However, most ariyas were known to be knowledgable about the dhamma. This idea of having experiences yet not being able to give any wisdom on dhamma seems to be opposite of what the suttas indicate an ariya to be.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:17 am

IF someone were to say: "I am an Ariya" - Would his audience believe him? What would the benefit thereof be?
Certainly, it is no crime for a lay person who is Ariyan to divulge their status, nor is it a crime for a monastic to do so to his fellow monastics. But honestly, beyond the confines of the student-teacher relationship there is really nothing to gain. You see - When one becomes an Ariyan there is no ego tripping involved, there's no pleasure found in bragging or boasting of attainments, all that stuff is seen for what it is and long since abandoned. The Ariyan's decision making process is rooted in Dhammic cost/benefit analysis. In these dark days when there are almost no Ariyans to be found, those who declare their status e.g. Ven. Nyanavira are met with doubt and scorn. (Even when he was alive the reaction was mostly incredulous. His fellow monastics almost wholeheartedly accused him of over estimating himself or going a wee bit batty with too much solitude, and even more so after his death, despite there clearly being suttas which support the notion that an Ariya is capable of such acts).

I think there are no more than a handful of Ariyans in the world today, I know there are a few that post on a certain forum (not this one mind you) but most of them are monks so I believe they would be keen to avoid the dukkata of telling you.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby divine » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:43 am

Guys, this thread didn't go excactly as I expected. But as it has went I feel it has turned out gradually to a point where it is appropriate to accept the challenge of writing something more indepth about the experience - in order to remove some of the shade for those of you who want to try to do what I have already written.

Allthough it is not so much the experience itself, that just removes doubt and sence of self and all that comes with it, but it is what the experience DID that should be of interest. The interesting thing is that your life have changed entirely, at large you know where to go and what to do, and the gift from the experience is that I encrease my level of understanding. But, I think it's a plus to have a high level of insight in the buddhist teachings and way of life. I believe many of the things I'm learning now, someone with prior knowledge to the scriptures would already attain at entry.

It comes and goes, sometimes the day after the other, sometimes weeks in between. But I just GET things, understands them in accordance to the experience. And the effect is that I am slowly drifting towards something big. Maybe that is why they call it the stream? Anyone?

And about my insight I think I have said enough already. I have gotten so many good advice here about what to do and what to read, and I can assure you, it has my priority - but there is as already said given to me a path. I will drop in here again within a months time to give an update about how things have went, and maybe comment on what has been said here as well. And as I said to tiltbillings:

divine wrote:@ tiltbillings: For all I know about you on the other end of the keyboard, you are a fairly dedicated and fairly diligent guy with quite alot of experience and knowledge. You have been the number one sceptic about this claim of attainment. And that is good, sceptic's are essential in a community. But may I ask you to provide information about what kind of experiences that mimickes the stream entry? Please also say something about how this experience of no self relates to the experience of loss of doubt.

If this misunderstood experience is so common, I think it would be useful to share it on the forum, so other people can be free of their illusion. Use me as your punching bag if that makes it easier. I'll take one for the team!


That is an offer for all of you, let's shed some doubt, and let's be honest. I can take it. Just remember that sutta story about when the Buddha was attacked with verbal daggers and asked to go away by a group of Bikkhus, that thought that when it was a crowd of people shouting the same, nobody could see the ignorance in their own, one voice. Isn't my memory on track here, guys? Wasn't the story something like that?

If anyone want to play the devils advocate, maybe is it a good place to start to look at what it could mean to create habitat for Dhamma and how that would fill a few pieces of the puzzle.

:namaste:
One should believe it could be beneficial to post information about attainment in a thread like "How common is stream entry?", but I had no idea you are regularly vitnessing these claims and often there are something else behind it. You have been great giving only kind advice and healthy scepticism. Metta!
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby James the Giant » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:12 am

Divine, I think a lot of this skepticism and doubt about your experience could have been avoided, if you had given a really clear detailed explanation of exactly what happened, exactly what you experienced, both on the physical and mental levels.
Then it would have been much more simple to refer to the ancient texts and compare "Ah yes, this fulfills all the criteria for Stream Entry", or "No, that was not Stream Entry because it lacked these aspects..." etc etc.
Instead you have kept it a secret for some reason, and maybe people have reacted to that.
Just my 2 cents.
Best wishes, and keep going!
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby divine » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:29 am

Yes, I accept that. But don't you think people would still be as sceptical? One thing we have learned by now is that stream entry appears to be very, very rare. And for the answers to the rest of your question, it is my intention to leave a lot left to hang when I already have mentioned something about it. It would no matter how clearly I would have written it, with perfect recollection of the buddhist terms in every level of insight, still would have been no match for scepticism. It is the things in between that matters. Just as in the true Dhamma.

I think I have said what is to be said at this point (this time as well).
One should believe it could be beneficial to post information about attainment in a thread like "How common is stream entry?", but I had no idea you are regularly vitnessing these claims and often there are something else behind it. You have been great giving only kind advice and healthy scepticism. Metta!
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:36 am

divine wrote:
divine wrote:@ tiltbillings: For all I know about you on the other end of the keyboard, you are a fairly dedicated and fairly diligent guy with quite alot of experience and knowledge. You have been the number one sceptic about this claim of attainment. And that is good, sceptic's are essential in a community. But may I ask you to provide information about what kind of experiences that mimickes the stream entry? Please also say something about how this experience of no self relates to the experience of loss of doubt.

If this misunderstood experience is so common, I think it would be useful to share it on the forum, so other people can be free of their illusion. Use me as your punching bag if that makes it easier. I'll take one for the team!


That is an offer for all of you, let's shed some doubt, and let's be honest.
I already did. The problem is you understand so little of this business, you do not see it. Also, you have written a lot, but said next to nothing, to be honest. It is starting to feel like you are jerking us around with this.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby khlawng » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:55 am

Hi Divine,

We each have our own path. What I hope you don't do is to get discourage by your experience here and give up.

Having said that, as I see it, most of the folks here are seniors and have quite a fair bit of years of dhamma experience and have much wisdom. In the monestary setting, regardless of age and experience, one pay respect to a senior base on the number of rain retreats he has been through. It is a similiar setting in our dhamma class. I pay respect to my seniors, regardless of their accomplishments and age simply because they have much more experience then I have. Maybe that is something you ought to take note.

Sometimes, our point of view may differ from one another but ultimately, all aspires to reach the same point. None of the posters here on this forum means you ill will or harm. They are merely tring to advise you base on their experiences although the way they put it across may differ. You need to take them all in and process this with the newly acquired wisdom and see what is best for yourself.

My advise, and in accordance with most views here, is for you to start engaging someone in the real world to guide you along.

All the best and may you achieve your goal this lifetime.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Reductor » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:53 am

divine wrote:Yes, I accept that. But don't you think people would still be as sceptical? One thing we have learned by now is that stream entry appears to be very, very rare. And for the answers to the rest of your question, it is my intention to leave a lot left to hang when I already have mentioned something about it. It would no matter how clearly I would have written it, with perfect recollection of the buddhist terms in every level of insight, still would have been no match for scepticism. It is the things in between that matters. Just as in the true Dhamma.

I think I have said what is to be said at this point (this time as well).


Hey divine,

There is a sutta where the Buddha speaks about knowing other people's qualities. In it he states that a person's virtue is known only after long association, while their wisdom is known only after much discussion with him or her. (pardon me for not offering a link -- I'm terrible for finding these things online )

It is the lack of long association and the lack of much discussion that arouses scepticism on my part. I just don't know you at all, either in the physical world or online. How can you expect me to accept that your statements point to some genuine quality of yours otherwise not discernible?

:shrug:

With respect, you haven't earned any trust from me or anyone else here. I emphasis "with respect", because this is not a slight against you. It is a fact I can say about most people who post here.

Consider that I've read thousands of Tilt's posts, and thousands of posts from other members here. Among those posters there are a handful who I think may be ariya. That is, if they said that they were, I'd take them at their word simply because I have come to know a bit about them. I know that they are upright with truth, to the point, knowledgable, and many other things besides. (but I'm an internet baby, so to speak -- the net is almost totally real to me, while it may seem to others to be an insubstantial foundation for such confident assessment.)

Likewise, Tilt has met people that he strongly believes to by ariya, yet they hadn't, so far as I'm aware, claimed themselves as being such. Yet, he feels confident because he has come to know them to some degree.

See what I mean?

Perhaps you can request from the mod-staff a reset on your membership, and then begin to delve into the community here. Certainly you'll find there is much here for you to learn in terms of dhamma theory, if nothing else.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby reflection » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:37 am

divine wrote:Guys, this thread didn't go excactly as I expected.

It's always good to get something you didn't expect. The people here are generally very kind and compassionate. So consider that. Maybe the replies here were with a reason. As said, people here have a lot of experience; including (indirect) experience of overestimation of our place at the path and the consequences it can bring if one gets stuck in that view.

My advice: Don't get sucked up in your experience. Don't even regard it as having attained stream entry. Just practice. There is nothing to be gained and there is nothing big to float towards. Seeing the dhamma will make you float away from everything.

I don't say this to disprove you. I don't care if you are right or wrong; as I've said; stream entry is worthless, stream entry is "fish sauce". I'm just trying to help because it seems very unlikely you are sotapanna. It's much more probable that you are mistaken.

And to be honest, I don't really see what better you could get out of this discussion.

Metta, Reflection
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby mirco » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:38 pm

Read what Ajahn Maha Boowa (Bhikkhu Ñānasampanno) said about the ariyan states.

Chapter "Ariya Bhumi" (127 ff.) in the book "Kammatthana - Tha Basis of Practice", specially a lot info about being Sotapanna in there.

Whole book (pdf-scan) : http://www.mediafire.com/?to4dyw1lmmz

Peace&Metta,
:-)
I get what I give
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby danieLion » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:54 am

If I had just this Bhikkhu Bodhi lecture

http://bodhimonastery.org/sutta-nipata.html, lecture 3

to go by, I'd say stream entry is EXTREMELY COMMON.

Regarding the passage in Sn 2.1:

An Indra pillar, planted in the earth,
that even the four winds cannot shake:
that, I tell you, is like the person of integrity,
who — having comprehended
the noble truths — sees.
This, too, is an exquisite treasure in the Sangha.
By this truth may there be well-being.


Ven. says that making this breakthrough to the four noble truths is Nikaya "code" for stream entry, and at 20:15, states,

"Now what, exactly, does this mean? You might think it means that the sotapanna must have a mind of perfect equanimity, a mind that can't be shaken by gain and loss, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. If that's what you think, your'e wrong...."
He then goes on to enumerate several ways sotapannas may misbehave, including having sex.

This, in addition to Retro's points above lead me to believe that while attaining stream entry might be difficult it is by no means impossible; and--probably most importantly--that the degree of difficulty usually attributed to attaining stream entry is largely exaggerated.
Best wishes,
Daniel
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby khlawng » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:20 pm

danieLion wrote:This, in addition to Retro's points above lead me to believe that while attaining stream entry might be difficult it is by no means impossible; and--probably most importantly--that the degree of difficulty usually attributed to attaining stream entry is largely exaggerated.
Best wishes,
Daniel


I am beginning to wonder, if this difference in view, is dependant on whether the tradition is base on Thai Theravada or Sri Lanka Theravada. It seems to me that the Thai Theravadians generally view Sotappana attainment as a extremenly difficult attainment, closer to perfection wheras the Sri Lankans don't view it as such.

Any takers?
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