Path attainments occurring in novel situations

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Path attainments occurring in novel situations

Postby manas » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:06 pm

A topic which a new member recently posted has raised a question for me. Although along with (I suspect) most who commented on it, I believe the member has overestimated as a result of a striking experience that has had a lasting emotional impact (something that a few others here might also be able to relate to - it can happen in the course of practice). But as I reread this post (in particular the bolded part):

Tachibana wrote:Ok I finally understood your question... sorry for keeping you wait.

I reached the Sotaapana's stage at the moment I saw my beloved protagonist disappear.

But that wasn't my goal, I just wanted to end up sadness, so after about 7 hours of vipassanaa practice I finally reached the Sakadaagaami's stage.

It took me some time and I indeed consider that I was wrong all the time until I realized the true vipassanaa, the true insight, the Path and the Fruit.
And still now I'm wrong because I'm not an Arahant.


Could we end up with this now ?


I reflected on a few novel Path moments from the suttas. Just from memory, there was a monk who held a white cloth in the hot sun until it became soiled with sweat. There was a monk who was watching bubbles arise and disappear in a stream. One monk was walking down a road, when he heard a woman laugh, and he attained arahantship. I recall reading how one monk (according to the commentary on the Dhammapada) was disgusted with his condition and was about to commit suicide, then had a Path awakening. So there are many examples of practitioners attaining a Path or Fruit in unexpected situations. And I then thought...why not anime?

Don't get me wrong, having read the entire topic I do think that the particular member concerned has overestimated, and urgently needs to come back down to earth (as much because of the pride displayed in his parting shot as anything else), but if one was mindful and alert to one's mental / emotional state while watching even a movie, maybe a realization could happen in that situation? Just wondering what others think. I mean, why should it only happen while sitting by a stream, or looking at a decayed corpse, or sitting in meditation (or any number of scenarios we might be more open to accept, having read about them previously)? Did our immediate skepticism spring from an inbuilt prejudice, regarding the possible situations in which enlightenment moments might occur?
Last edited by manas on Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Path attainments occurring in novel situations

Postby Ben » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:46 pm

Greetings Manas,

I have no doubt that very many ariyas had attained magga and phala in unusual situations. In fact, the Vism says at one point that there was not one out-house in Sri Lanka that was not the site where someone had become an arahant. The fact of the matter is that a genuine ariya will not announce their attainment on a discussion board with his or her first, second, third and subsequent posts and then go on to tell others that they are "failures" at practice and insulting other members when that purported ariya is asked pointed questions as to the veracity of their claims.
kind regards,

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Re: Path attainments occurring in novel situations

Postby manas » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:07 pm

Ben wrote:Greetings Manas,

I have no doubt that very many ariyas had attained magga and phala in unusual situations. In fact, the Vism says at one point that there was not one out-house in Sri Lanka that was not the site where someone had become an arahant.


Thank you for telling me that one. That isn't the situation I would choose given the preference, but if it ends all dukkha forever, well I guess best to at least remain open to it :lol:

Ben wrote: The fact of the matter is that a genuine ariya will not announce their attainment on a discussion board with his or her first, second, third and subsequent posts and then go on to tell others that they are "failures" at practice and insulting other members when that purported ariya is asked pointed questions as to the veracity of their claims.
kind regards,

Ben


Yes and of course I agree with you on that. I was referring only to an immediate kind of inbuilt reaction, which I noticed in myself (and I daresay in others), that because of the situation (ie watching a movie) it was at once less believable, even before the poster had displayed the pride and touchiness that confirmed our suspicions.

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Re: Path attainments occurring in novel situations

Postby reflection » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:29 pm

Attainments, attainments.. isn't it nice to talk about attainments..

I agree they can happen in all sorts of situations. Either way, it simply can't hurt to warn people not to overestimate themselves. Those who are mistaken may reconsider and noble ones will not take it personally anyway - and surely won't jump into defense.
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Re: Path attainments occurring in novel situations

Postby dagon » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:16 am

Why not in that situation? Ok, anime is a cartoon, entertainment that rely on the suspension of disbelief – that is what defines (at a mundane level) whats good fictional production is. While I have not seen that particular production they do tend to rely on violence and sexual attraction
.
Yesterday I was doing my own research (out side of the cannon) trying to sort out in my head why there was a difference between killing animals and eating meat.

…The people that we've spoken to, if they have killed someone, those images in particular are the most haunting, which I thought was a little bit counterintuitive. I thought that seeing your buddy die, or seeing other horrible things that you could imagine happening [would be the most traumatic image], but it is really the act of actually taking another person's life that in the long run had the most emotional strain on them. Have you found this?
I think it is a very important thing to understand that when your friends are wounded or dead, it's a real loss. It's a loss of your friend that you trusted and you loved in a very intense way. When you personally take another life and you go up to that lifeless body with a hole in it and you look down on it, and you say, "I did that," I think it is a loss of yourself at the same time. And I think that [once] they understand that, they can't go back again. They can't say that it didn't happen, or [that] maybe somebody else did it.


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... /prep.html

so what is the effect of watching violence

In a PET study performed on healthy adult volunteers, visual evocation of unrestrained aggression was significantly correlated with focal reductions in blood flow to the ventromedial frontal lobe compared with an emotionally neutral scenario (15). Although violent media was not evaluated in this experiment, this study does implicate frontal lobe alterations with aggressive emotion or imagery.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792685/

Researchers found that those who played the violent video games showed less activity in areas that involved emotions, attention and inhibition of our impulses. “Behavioral studies have shown an increase in aggressive behavior after violent video games, and what we show is the physiological explanation for what the behavioral studies are showing,” says Matthews. “We’re showing that there are changes in brain function that are likely related to that behavior.


Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/02/h ... z2afpWOXQj

Obviously they is a lot more links that could be provided. What my conclusion was is that (setting aside the issue of karma) that killing affects the brain chemical balances and the functionality of part of the brain – primarily that part associated with emotion. If we put our brain out of normal balance we are in effect intoxicating out selves.

To kill requires arousal and the border line between arousal from violence and sex is blurred. Consider the occurrence of sadomasochist fantasies and the motivation of rapists. Coming under the heading of what your father did not tell your mother when he came back from the war – many men experience erections in close combat.

This is very different to a situation of a monk who has followed the rules and has meditated finding that final piece of realization to move to a higher level of realization by looking at white cloth or bubbles in a stream.

I think that what Buddha taught use and gave use the training rules for so that we could detox or minds so that we could see the truth within.

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Re: Path attainments occurring in novel situations

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:05 am

I was taught there are at least two Paths to enlightenment; the slow path, which is more recommended and reliable, and the quick path, which is really fast but has the side effect of often driving the meditator crazy, too much in too short a time. I even studied quick path with one Thai Lao teacher, made some remarkable achievements but ended up 5150'd in the psych ward of the hospital, so I can testify to the risk or danger of the quick path. Even going crazy and recovering, the quick path did teach me how to reduce my level of suffering, so it wasn't wasted effort at all.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Path attainments occurring in novel situations

Postby Crazy cloud » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:55 am

All of my previous minor enlightenments has been very powerful indeed - almost as powerful as the speed down from my exellent enlightened horse, when i discovered that it wasnt the real light, bur rather a little flashlight in my own potatohead ... :anjali:

But, it gives great insight, and a few laughs

:)
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