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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - If a stream-winner...

If a stream-winner...

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon May 03, 2010 6:27 pm

Well yes, you do hear this a lot. People experience a moment of clarity or bliss during meditation and all of a sudden think this experience is bodhi. This happened to me when I was seventeen or so. I thought I had glimpsed an Aleph (there's a term for some of you esotericists ) but it was just the product of a long period of meditation which led to a moment of clarity and happiness. This is why it's imperative to have a good teacher handy to smack the nonsense out of you and set you straight when you get carried away. :tongue:

But I do think there are Stream-winners in the world, probably more than many people assume.

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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 03, 2010 9:08 pm

Hi David,
David N. Snyder wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Though Steve Armstrong, in his Dhamma talks sometimes makes statements along the lines of: "You will believe you are englightened and that your teacher is just too dumb to see it..."


If only I had a dollar for every time I have heard that one or heard it said to a monk. :)

Some will come to a temple or Dhamma center and say something to the effect of, "I know I'm enlightened, but my teacher doesn't think so. My teacher is too dumb to see my enlightenment."

Just the fact that they are looking for certification and saying those things tells me right away that they are not enlightened. Not necessarily because stating the attainment means automatically that one is not, but rather because they are teacher shopping for one that will confirm their "enlightenment."

I agree this could happen, but Steve seemed to be saying that everyone falls into this trap, even those who are totally under the guidance of a teacher teacher (U Pandidta in his case).

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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby PeterB » Tue May 04, 2010 10:37 am

Perhaps this is a cultural thing, but I can put my hand on my heart and say that I have only once heard someone in a UK Buddhist setting claim Enlightenment. And as the claimee was clearly erm...."challenged"..this claim was just treated with kindliness and concern.
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby salmon » Tue May 04, 2010 11:39 am

Freawaru wrote:I think there would be only one reason for an aryan to claim "aryanship": if it would increase the effort of people.


All the more they wouldn't claim coz it would increase doubt and not effort. In this instance, I'm assuming the OP's supposition that it is a verbal claim and not one of action.

Virgo wrote:There could be a number of reasons that it could happen in a truthful situation. An ariyan could let another Buddhist know because he knows the other Buddhist would use it as an opportunity to amass a great deal of merit through paying respect or making some small offering (even a small offering goes a long, long, way when given to an Ariya). Or, perhaps, if he felt he was being treated unfairly or abused by another Buddhist who had no idea he was an Ariyan, he might let them know out of kindness for them.


In the case of merit making...if you were to make merit to a monk (or laity) BECAUSE he/she was an ariyan, then the merit you will accrue will be very much compromised (like in the case of the Buddha's stepmother).

An ariyan who wishes to allow others to accrue more merit through them will discreetly allow themselves to be in situation where the merit-maker can gain the most benefits. This is because they have already reached a level where they can understand the workings of a human mind (to which those of lower "enlightenment levels" are blind to).

As for the case about not letting others create more kamma...honestly, if the person you detest told you he/she was an ariyan, would you believe?? The ariyan would excuse himself from being caught in that situation by his wisdom and not claims (like in the case of Maha Moggallana and the bandits).
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 04, 2010 11:44 am

Greetings,

Zhalmed Pawo wrote:So, when has someone entered the path, and when has someone attained the fruit, of stream-entry? Is there any easy clear-cut answer to this? :reading:

Try this - http://nanavira.xtreemhost.com/index.ph ... &Itemid=51

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Virgo » Tue May 04, 2010 2:04 pm

salmon wrote:
Freawaru wrote:I think there would be only one reason for an aryan to claim "aryanship": if it would increase the effort of people.


All the more they wouldn't claim coz it would increase doubt and not effort. In this instance, I'm assuming the OP's supposition that it is a verbal claim and not one of action.

Virgo wrote:There could be a number of reasons that it could happen in a truthful situation. An ariyan could let another Buddhist know because he knows the other Buddhist would use it as an opportunity to amass a great deal of merit through paying respect or making some small offering (even a small offering goes a long, long, way when given to an Ariya). Or, perhaps, if he felt he was being treated unfairly or abused by another Buddhist who had no idea he was an Ariyan, he might let them know out of kindness for them.


In the case of merit making...if you were to make merit to a monk (or laity) BECAUSE he/she was an ariyan, then the merit you will accrue will be very much compromised (like in the case of the Buddha's stepmother).

An ariyan who wishes to allow others to accrue more merit through them will discreetly allow themselves to be in situation where the merit-maker can gain the most benefits. This is because they have already reached a level where they can understand the workings of a human mind (to which those of lower "enlightenment levels" are blind to).

As for the case about not letting others create more kamma...honestly, if the person you detest told you he/she was an ariyan, would you believe?? The ariyan would excuse himself from being caught in that situation by his wisdom and not claims (like in the case of Maha Moggallana and the bandits).

EAch situation is unique, and there are no hard and fast rules about how or why a stream enterer may act a certain way or what his or her reasoning may be. All we can really say is that they will not break the five precepts (they are incapable), and they will not teach non-Buddhist doctrines to others, because they have removed all doubt in the Buddhas teachings, so if they have no doubt in the Buddha's teachings and won't lie, then why would they teach non-Buddhist doctrine?

You said that the merit wouldn't be the same if you know they are a stream-winner. But that doesn't mean you may not have a good motivation to really give to that person. Also, if given with saddha, a great deal of goood kamma can be made.

You said a stream-winner would renounce a situation where some person or persons treated him badly. But with all due respect I think that is overly idealistic. If the stream winner has a renunciate lifestyle, such as that of a monk, or a white robed lay person that is one thing. But what about a stream winner in 2010 who is a layperson? One with a job and even some family ties? They may not always be in situations that they can just leave. Also, there may be other factors. Each situation is very unique. So I don't think we can say there and many hard and fast rules about this.

Just my thoughts

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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Zom » Tue May 04, 2010 2:16 pm

It seems to me that sotapanna level is not so high (for a buddhist) as some may think..

At this, a number of the Sakyans, whenever they met each other or came together in company, were indignant and angry, and said scornfully: "A fine thing, a marvelous thing! Nowadays anyone can become a Stream-Winner, if the Blessed One has proclaimed Sarakaani who died to be Stream-Winner... assured of enlightenment! Why, Sarakaani failed in his training and took to drink!"
...
"Why, Mahaanaama, if these great sal trees could distinguish what is well spoken from what is ill spoken, I would proclaim these great sal trees to be Stream-Winners... bound for enlightenment, how much more so then Sarakaani the Sakyan! Mahaanaama, Sarakaani the Sakyan fulfilled the training at the time of death.'


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

By the way, Sotapanna is a pair, not a single person. So there are those sotapattimaggas and sotapattiphalas. Former didn't even remove 3 lower fetters, but even with that they head for nibbana for sure, like, as it seems, in a case with Sarakani. At the moment of death, as it seems, they will drop 3 fetters, and that is why they also can be called Sotapannas.


And more closely to this topic.. ;)

"When, for a disciple of the noble ones, these five forms of fear & animosity are stilled; when he is endowed with these four factors of stream-entry; and when, through discernment, he has rightly seen & rightly ferreted out this noble method, then if he wants he may state about himself: 'Hell is ended; animal wombs are ended; the state of the hungry shades is ended; states of deprivation, destitution, the bad bourns are ended! I am a stream-winner, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening!'"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Anicca » Tue May 04, 2010 8:39 pm

Zom wrote: sotapanna level is not so high (for a buddhist) as some may think..

It may be the 'lowest' level of awakening - but Dhp 178 doesn't make it sound too shabby either:
Sole dominion over the earth,
going to heaven,
lordship over all worlds:
the fruit of stream-entry
excels them.
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 04, 2010 11:22 pm

Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:All we can really say is that they will not break the five precepts (they are incapable)

Do you have any references from the Sutta Pitaka or Vinaya Pitaka to support this?

Metta,
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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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Kenshou » Tue May 04, 2010 11:53 pm

If I remember correctly, a sotapanna is capable of breaking the more minor restrictions, but of course they then realize it and don't feel glad about it. I'd have to get back to you on the source, though, unless someone finds one before I do.
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby bodom » Tue May 04, 2010 11:59 pm

Licchavi Sutta: To the Licchavi
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Vesali in the Gabled Hall in the Great Forest. Then Nandaka, the chief minister of the Licchavis, went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there the Blessed One said to him: "Nandaka, a disciple of the noble ones endowed with four qualities is a stream-winner, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening. Which four?

"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones is endowed with verified confidence in the Awakened One...in the Dhamma...in the Sangha.

"He/she is endowed with virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration.


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 05, 2010 12:06 am

Greetings Kenshou,

There's this...

MN 115: Bahudhatuka Sutta
http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=149

‘Venerable sir, saying it rightly how is the bhikkhu clever in the possible and impossible.’

‘Aananda, the bhikkhu knows, it is impossible, that one come to right view should take any determination as permanent. It is possible that an ordinary person should take any determination as permanent.It is impossible, that one come to right view should take any determination as pleasant. It is possible that an ordinary person should take any determination as pleasant.It is impossible, that one come to right view should take any thought as his. It is possible that an ordinary person should take any thought as his. It is impossible, that one come to right view should deprive the life of his mother. It is possible that an ordinary person should deprive the life of his mother..It is impossible, that one come to right view should deprive the life of his father. It is possible that an ordinary person should deprive the life of his father.It is impossible, that one come to right view, should cause hurt to the body of the Thus Gone One with a defiled mind. It is possible that an ordinary person should cause hurt to the body of the Thus Gone One, with a defiled mind. It is impossible that one come to right view should cause a breach in the Community. It is possible that an ordinary person should cause a breach in the Community.It is impossible that one come to right view should go to another Teacher. It is possible that an ordinary person should go to another Teacher..


"Ordinary person" refers to a puttujjana, and therefore the opposite number is a "sekha" (incl. stream-entrant) or "asekha" (arahat). On the other hand, I'd be interested to see sutta substantiation for Virgo's claims.

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: If a stream-winner...

Postby bodom » Wed May 05, 2010 12:15 am

Kenshou wrote:If I remember correctly, a sotapanna is capable of breaking the more minor restrictions, but of course they then realize it and don't feel glad about it. I'd have to get back to you on the source, though, unless someone finds one before I do.


From Stream Entry Part 2: Stream-entry and After by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:

Virtue,as practiced by the stream-winner, is also a function of a deep trust in the principle of kamma, and of a sympathy for others that arises from that trust. Although stream-winners may still break the minor rules of training, the depth of insight that informs their virtue ensures that their adherence to the basic principles of morality is unshakable.


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby bodom » Wed May 05, 2010 12:21 am

Also Bodhi's note to the sutta i quoted above, he states that the passage

"He/she is endowed with virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration.


refers to "firm adherence to the five precepts". In the Buddhas Words pg 378

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 05, 2010 12:28 am

Greetings bodom,

First things first, is that intepretation explicit in the suttas, or the intepretation of a later commentator (either old-school, or someone like Bhikkhu Bodhi himself)? For those interested in Buddhavacana, these distinctions are significant.

Furthermore, I find this interpretation hard to accept given Venerable Channa's blameless suicide in MN 144, just to give one example.

Nanavira Thera commented on this subject as follows (I've bolded two instances of clear violation of the five precepts)...

I venture to think that if you actually read through the whole of the Vinaya and the Suttas you would be aghast at some of the things a real live sotāpanna is capable of. As a bhikkhu he is capable of suicide (but so also is an arahat—I have already quoted examples); he is capable of breaking all the lesser Vinaya rules (M. 48: i,323-5; A. III,85: i,231-2); he is capable of disrobing on account of sensual desires (e.g. the Ven. Citta Hatthisāriputta—A. VI,60: iii,392-9); he is capable (to some degree) of anger, ill-will, jealousy, stinginess, deceit, craftiness, shamelessness, and brazenness (A. II,16: i,96). As a layman he is capable (contrary to popular belief) of breaking any or all of the five precepts (though as soon as he has done so he recognizes his fault and repairs the breach, unlike the puthujjana who is content to leave the precepts broken).

There are some things in the Suttas that have so much shocked the Commentator that he has been obliged to provide patently false explanations (I am thinking in particular of the arahat's suicide in M. 144: iii,266 and in the Salāyatana Samy. 87: iv,55-60 and of a drunken sotāpanna in the Sotāpatti Samy. 24: v,375-7).


Source: http://nanavira.xtreemhost.com/index.ph ... &Itemid=50

Unfortunately I don't know how to convert from PTS references to the other increasingly common format, so post this mainly in the hope that someone who can, is able to provide references to the above suttas.

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: If a stream-winner...

Postby bodom » Wed May 05, 2010 12:45 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings bodom,

First things first, is that intepretation explicit in the suttas, or the intepretation of a later commentator (either old-school, or someone like Bhikkhu Bodhi himself)? For those interested in Buddhavacana, these distinctions are significant.

Furthermore, I find this interpretation hard to accept given Venerable Channa's blameless suicide in MN 144, just to give one example.

Metta,
Retro. :)


He doesnt give a source. Was Channa an arahant before taking his life? Was he even an stream entrant? There seems to be some controversy over this.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 05, 2010 12:50 am

Greetings Bodom,

I could respond to that, but I think I'd merely be repeating what I said in this post of the earlier topic...

Suicide and Re-birth
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3411&p=49548

... perhaps it would be better for us to follow up that specific line of enquiry in that established topic, if we wish to pursue the matter of Channa further?

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: If a stream-winner...

Postby bodom » Wed May 05, 2010 1:11 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Bodom,

I could respond to that, but I think I'd merely be repeating what I said in this post of the earlier topic...

Suicide and Re-birth
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3411&p=49548

... perhaps it would be better for us to follow up that specific line of enquiry in that established topic, if we wish to pursue the matter of Channa further?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Meh, no need. To my mind its pretty simple, no virtue results in no concentration results in no wisdom. I dont need anymore excuses to break the precepts. I have a hard enough time already. The precepts are laid down for a reason. I dont want the idea in my head I can break the precepts and still achieve stream entry. Im confident in the stream entrants qualifications and defining characteristics as stated by the suttas and commentaries.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 05, 2010 1:20 am

Greetings Bodom,

bodom wrote:I dont want the idea in my head I can break the precepts and still achieve stream entry.


Fair enough, but on the flipside, its also worth paying heed of the caveat provided in that aforementioned reference (http://nanavira.xtreemhost.com/index.ph ... &Itemid=50 )

Nanavira Thera wrote:Why am I glad that you are shocked to learn that a sekha bhikkhu can be fond of talk (and worse)? Because it gives me the opportunity of insisting that unless you bring the sekha down to earth the Buddha's Teaching can never be a reality for you. So long as you are content to put the sotāpanna on a pedestal well out of reach, it can never possibly occur to you that it is your duty to become sotāpanna yourself (or at least to make the attempt) here and now in this very life; for you will simply take it as axiomatic that you cannot succeed. As Kierkegaard puts it,

Whatever is great in the sphere of the universally human must...not be communicated as a subject for admiration, but as an ethical requirement. (CUP, p. 320)


This means that you are not required to admire a sotāpanna, but to become one.

Let me illustrate the matter in a different way. It is possible that you were living as a young man in India in the Buddha's day, and that at the same time there was a young girl of a neighbouring family who had been with her parents to hear the Buddha teach. And she may have understood the Buddha's Teaching and become sotāpanna. And perhaps she might have been given to you in marriage. And you, being a puthujjana, would not know that she was a sekha (for remember, a puthujjana cannot recognize an ariya—an ariya can only be recognized by another ariya). But even though she was sotāpanna she might have loved you, and loved being loved by you, and loved bearing your children, and enjoyed dressing beautifully and entertaining guests and going to entertainments, and even been pleased at the admiration of other men. And she might have taken a pride in working to keep your house in order, and enjoyed talking to you and to your friends and relations. But every now and again, when she was alone, she would have called to mind her sotāpanna's understanding of the true nature of things and been secretly ashamed and disgusted at still finding delight in all these satisfactions (which she would see as essentially dukkha). But, being busy with her duties and pleasures as your wife, she would not have had the time to do much practice, and would have had to be content with the thought that she had only seven more human births to endure at the most.

Now suppose that one day you had gone to see the Buddha, and he had told you that your wife was not a puthujjana like yourself, but an ariya, one of the Elect—would you have been content to put her out of reach on a pedestal (where she would, no doubt, have been very unhappy), saying to yourself 'Ah, that is too difficult an attainment for a humble person like me'? Or would not rather your masculine pride have been stung to the quick and be smarting at the thought that your devoted and submissive wife should be 'one advanced in the Dhamma', while you, the lord and master of the household, remained an ordinary person? I think, perhaps, that you would have made an effort at least to become the equal of your wife.

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: If a stream-winner...

Postby bodom » Wed May 05, 2010 1:32 am

Good article Retro, thank you. :thumbsup:

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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