How common is stream entry?

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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby reflection » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:39 am

khlawng wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
divine wrote:I think I'll leave it at this. Take care, guys!

:focus:
Your "taking leave" is not surprising. I hope you take time on your "leave" to ask questions, listen and learn.


Brother, you are so angsty. Maybe you should come from the point of 2 monks standing side by side, one is false, how do you pay homage to the correct one? By paying homage to both, you are guaranteed to pay homage to the correct one.

Nevertheless, in the homage to the Sangha:

Supatipanno Bhagavato savaka sangho
...
Yadidam cattari purisa yugani Attha purissa puggala
(The Four pairs of persons, the Eight Kinds of Individuals)
...
(is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality..offerings..revenerential salutation).

What are the four pair of persons? Eight kinds of individuals?

The person on the path of stream entry and the stream enterer
The person on the path of once returner and the once returner.
The person on the path of non-returner and the non-returner.
The person on the path of arahantship and the arahant.

If there are the two monks: One a sotapanna and one deluded into thinking he is one, and you give them both a sneer saying they may be wrong, the genuine sotapanna would not care and the other may (hopefully) get the message.

For someone who is new to the path, barely having any meditation experience, it is highly unlikely to be a sotapanna. The chance of winning the lottery is bigger. And if also the signs are missing, I'd call it a virtual impossibility. And so, trying to get such people to see their experience in another perspective is worth the risk.

Even sotapannas are best to see their experience just as an experience, something that's actually worthless. And pointless to go claiming around. So even for them a sneer may be helpful.

We can bow to and respect everybody who claims to be a sotapanna but we can ask ourselves if we are actually helping anyone with that. We could just as well be strengthening their delusion.

With metta,
Reflection
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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby nowheat » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:The practices and beliefs are atman-theory and belief in the efficacy of rites and rituals (in contrast to kamma)... a broad-brush statement on exactly which rites and rituals are practiced isn't really relevant, as they may differ amongst individual brahmans.

I'm most interested in the distinction you make here -- that rites and rituals are contrasted to kamma, especially since the word kamma, at a time before the Buddha lived, and possibly, still, up to his time, could and often did mean the actions performed in rites and rituals. Do you see, anywhere in the suttas, a strong distinction being made between them? I recognize that the Buddha has said "kamma is intention" -- but in a sense the rites and rituals are intention, too (particular intent drives them). What I'm asking is actually whether you have seen the two specifically contrasted anywhere, rather than that we can infer from various scattered points made throughout the suttas, that they are distinct from each other, perhaps even in opposition.

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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:42 am

Greetings nowheat,

It's any instance where "other power" (as opposed to one's own efforts) is invoked.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby daverupa » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:15 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings nowheat,

It's any instance where "other power" (as opposed to one's own efforts) is invoked.

Metta,
Retro. :)


This sets up a false dichotomy, one which didn't exist in the ritual worldview of the brahmins in those days. Since "brahman = atman", self-power v. other-power doesn't apply. It was all Self, all one Power, which was the explanation for ritual efficacy in the first place. It was using "as above so below" to say that ritual enactment forced the cosmos to respond in the way that tugging on the near end of a rope forces the far end to move as well. In such rituals, precise verbal and physical acts were required.

It is in this sort of environment that the phrase "kamma is intention" - emphasizing mental acts, and training citta accordingly - first reverberated.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:28 am

Greetings,

Well, there you go. Thanks Dave.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby mirco » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:57 am

divine wrote:Are you or do you know anyone who believe to be, AND you too believe to be, a stream enterer?

Addition: Only tell, if confirmed by your/his/her higher level teacher. :-)

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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby khlawng » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:18 pm

reflection wrote:We can bow to and respect everybody who claims to be a sotapanna but we can ask ourselves if we are actually helping anyone with that. We could just as well be strengthening their delusion.


What about as a person on the path to stream entry then? As I will surely accord you the due respect and you reciprocate that back when we meet eventually. Would you not accord that to a peron on the path? What he claims in delusion is secondary. That he openly declares his faith in Buddhism, is he not one that is on the path to stream entry..eventually?
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:59 pm

reflection wrote:Even sotapannas are best to see their experience just as an experience, something that's actually worthless.

Where would we find support for that view?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby robertk » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:05 pm

Maybe you should come from the point of 2 monks standing side by side, one is false, how do you pay homage to the correct one? By paying homage to both, you are guaranteed to pay homage to the correct one.


Tilt:The issue is rather simple. . In this case one of the monks had his robes on backwards.

:clap: :anjali: :rofl:
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby reflection » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:00 pm

khlawng wrote:
reflection wrote:We can bow to and respect everybody who claims to be a sotapanna but we can ask ourselves if we are actually helping anyone with that. We could just as well be strengthening their delusion.


What about as a person on the path to stream entry then? As I will surely accord you the due respect and you reciprocate that back when we meet eventually. Would you not accord that to a peron on the path? What he claims in delusion is secondary. That he openly declares his faith in Buddhism, is he not one that is on the path to stream entry..eventually?

Hi,

You have a point. I respect everybody who is on the path (also everybody who is not by the way). You are right for correcting me on that one. But for me there is a difference in respect towards those I consider noble ones and those I consider not. It's not that I respect them more, but it is respect in another way.

So yes, everybody deserves respect, also who openly claim attainments. But for me it is a different sort of respect. If somebody gets their view acknoledged by others, it only gets stronger. This is not a risk I'm willing to take in somebody who in my eyes is mostlikely not a stream enterer. Not because of myself, but because of their protection.

Hope you can now see my point of view. Also hope you understand this is my personal take on it and I don't force you to do the same. Just put it out here for everybody to reflect on and consider. I can't speak for tilt, but I am quite sure he has the same attitude and that's why he responded as he did; to help.
:anjali:

With metta,
Reflection
Last edited by reflection on Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby reflection » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:02 pm

kirk5a wrote:
reflection wrote:Even sotapannas are best to see their experience just as an experience, something that's actually worthless.

Where would we find support for that view?

Suttas on non-self, for example. Everything is non-self, including the events of stream entry. Because a sotapanna still can have conceit, I think it is wise to keep reflecting on their experience as just an experience. Not an attainment, which it is called often, but gives the wrong impression.

This is another reason why it is not likely for a stream enterer to share purposely share their experience in public; it's such an impersonal thing that they will mostlikely not even feel like sharing it.

I know some suttas state noble ones openly declaring their attainments. But today you don't see it a lot; and I think that's not just because of the vinaya rule that forbids monks to do so. At least, that's my view.

:anjali:

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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby marc108 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:54 pm

divine wrote:@ marc108 Thanks for this advice, I have been asking some people I have met that have meditation experience and consider themselves buddhists. The thing is I can't get myself to claim anything, neither stream entry nor experiences, some of the reasons I'm sure you can imagine. I'm here talking to you because of the anonymity of the internet. But the bottom line is, I don't need it. But help with meditation, sure!


My personal opinion is that it would be unwise to go around claiming anything, but rather to try to find out exactly what your experience was from people who have already attained some stage of Enlightenment. I dont think there is any reason to be fearful of talking about your experiences as long as you approach it with humility, and a mind that is opened to hearing something which may not be what you want to hear. You may find opposition from people on forums, but it's unlikely a seasoned teacher is going to 'beat you up' if you're simply trying to figure out what happened to you.

If you want to maintain your anonymity I would suggest you give Taan Geoff (Thanissaro Bhikkhu, watmetta.org) a call... Taan Geoff is a great Master and if anyone will know whats going on with you he will. 6-7 PST, 619-813-8461
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:57 pm

reflection wrote:Suttas on non-self, for example. Everything is non-self, including the events of stream entry. Because a sotapanna still can have conceit, I think it is wise to keep reflecting on their experience as just an experience. Not an attainment, which it is called often, but gives the wrong impression.

What if you're conveying the wrong impression about stream entry, in regarding it as "just an experience" ? We have to consider what "the arising of the Dhamma eye" is.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:26 pm

kirk5a wrote:
reflection wrote:Suttas on non-self, for example. Everything is non-self, including the events of stream entry. Because a sotapanna still can have conceit, I think it is wise to keep reflecting on their experience as just an experience. Not an attainment, which it is called often, but gives the wrong impression.

What if you're conveying the wrong impression about stream entry, in regarding it as "just an experience" ? We have to consider what "the arising of the Dhamma eye" is.
That becomes an interesting lesson. No doubt sotapanna is a big deal, but then what? Do you come onto a forum like this a blab it about, where it become naught more than credential - ah, a posting by whatizname the sotapanna. If a sotapanna can still have conceit, should that conceit be fed? Or might we want to look at it all a bit differently.
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.

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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby reflection » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:02 pm

kirk5a wrote:
reflection wrote:Suttas on non-self, for example. Everything is non-self, including the events of stream entry. Because a sotapanna still can have conceit, I think it is wise to keep reflecting on their experience as just an experience. Not an attainment, which it is called often, but gives the wrong impression.

What if you're conveying the wrong impression about stream entry, in regarding it as "just an experience" ? We have to consider what "the arising of the Dhamma eye" is.

Hi Kirk,

I'm not trying to convey some right or wrong impression. I'm trying to convey a point of perspective. From one perspective sotapannaship is a high goal, an worthy attainment. From another perspective it is nothing, it is worthless because it is all non-self. Nomatter how grand, it's just an experience. It has some nice results, but still; a sotapanna will not feel like being a sotapanna. This is why Ajahn Chah called it "fish sauce" here.

I personally consider this perspective to be one the sotapanna is more likely to float towards him/herself, because seeing non-self is intrinsic to it. The "arising of the dhamma eye" is exactly this, as I see it.

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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby Sokehi » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:25 pm

better never talk about it imho.

If you are, that's fine and you are blessed. but your way doesn't stop there. I've came to know some teachers... well if those "teachers" had told me I'd be a sotapanna I'd really doubt about the usefulness of my previous efforts.
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Re: ...---... How common is stream entry?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:48 pm

I remember a story about the early days of chithurst.

There was a man who had a conversation with Ajahn Sumedho and in the coarse of him telling Luang Por about his experiances he thought Luang Por had told him he was a sotapanna, in fact Luang Por had said that he had experianced what is known as a Blissful mind (can not remember the pali term) which he misheard as sotapanna.
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Viscid » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:53 pm

Why does the sotapanna classification exist, anyway? Does a stream enterer practice the Dhamma differently after stream-entry? And why did it become less emphasized in later Buddhist schools?
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby James the Giant » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:39 pm

Viscid wrote:Why does the sotapanna classification exist, anyway?

The path of progress goes in cycles, which contain stages. Stream Entry is the end of one cycle.
Also because it's a clear and startling point on the path, and brings with it fruit, great benefit, merit, insights. One's very self (self?) is irreversibly changed at that point.
It is also said to be the point of no return. Once you've passed that point there's no going back. Woohoo!

Viscid wrote: Does a stream enterer practice the Dhamma differently after stream-entry?

I read that they practise no differently, but they now know clearly how to practise correctly. From there it's just a matter of, uh... practise.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby khlawng » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:14 pm

tiltbillings wrote:That becomes an interesting lesson. No doubt sotapanna is a big deal, but then what? Do you come onto a forum like this a blab it about, where it become naught more than credential - ah, a posting by whatizname the sotapanna. If a sotapanna can still have conceit, should that conceit be fed? Or might we want to look at it all a bit differently.


Hi Tilt,

I am not specifically addressing what you say on a personal level since this view that "a sotapanna is such a big deal" is shared by and large by the community here. However, I don't believe being a sotapanna is a big deal!

I have stated my arguments before in my previous post and to summarize:

1) You cannot tell someone who is ripe to become a stream enterer apart from another common person.
2) You can hardly tell a stream entrant apart from another common person.
3) That out of the 3 qualifications, one needs to work on only 1 i.e. eradication of the concept of self and with just minimal moderate effort in guided concentration, gain supramundane knowledge to breakdown the concept of self, couple with enough mundane knowledge, you have awaken the dhamma eye.

Here is another thing I would like to add

In the homage to the Sangha, it states, 8 individuals to be respected. To recap:

The person on the path of stream entry and the stream enterer
The person on the path of once returner and the once returner.
The person on the path of non-returner and the non-returner.
The person on the path of arahantship and the arahant.

Remember, this was recorded down from the Buddha's time. If a stream enterer is such a big deal, then he surely is already on the path of once returner, automatically. So why 8 individuals? Why not just 5 and collapse it down to once returner, non-returner and arahant after stream enterer? He eventually, base on this common notion that he has reached such a lofty level, he should be able to stream right up or seen the light enough to just drop everything and work towards arahantship? Why choose to continue to remain a stream enterer?

It is my believe a stream enterer has choices like any normal person. When he reach that points, he has the choice of

1) continuing his domestic life like everyone else including continuing indulging in sense desire, as he has not EVEN BEGIN to weaken it. He naturally keeps the precept but not perfectly.
2) Paring down responsibility in his domestic life to continue his effort to becoming a once returner i.e. he lives simply and works merely for sustenance
3) Drop out of domestic life and pursue the ulitmate goal

The problem I see here is, there is a perpatual self-doubt running around the community that becoming a sotapanna is such a lofty goal, so impossible by you and I, that we might want to consider whether we are putting up a self-impose barrier and whether we are allowing others to put a barrier on us, on the pre-condition of "eradication of doubt" to become a stream entrant. Are we to believe that after years and years of service, chanting, reading the sutta, meditating, that we, the lay buddhist is confined to, at best, as a person on the path of stream entry until death and decay?! If that is the case, then there is generally something wrong with our community and the Sangha (my I be forgiven if I have offended the Sangha). Shouldn't the minimal goal, of any Sangha and Buddhist community, be to churn out stream entrters like a factory. If not, then why not! Why is it so difficult? Where has this technique dissapeared to since the Buddha's time?
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