A sotapanna

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A sotapanna

Postby Virgo » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:58 pm

Hello. On March 18'th, 2010 shortly before 12:00 noon, the magga and phala path and fruit cittas arose in me and I became a sotapanna. I was sitting at my computer. They arose during an everyday activity. Immediately I understood what happened and I was aware that the three fetters had been cut. At that time I became an Aryan, someone who has touched the deathless state and who has defeated his enemy. That was over 100 days ago. At first I thought it would be better not to tell anyone because it might attract some negative attention. I took a drive down to the Hudson River and took a walk reviewing my mind and the experience that I had. There was no doubt and there reamins none at all. I was amazed. After the walk I decided to inform a friend from Thailand that had helped me a lot with my practice. I told him and told no one else. Since that time I have told no one else of what happened that day.

It has been a strange thing adjusting to life this way. Living without the three fetters is definitely different than living with them. However, it has been a good experience. I cling a lot less but still have a great deal of lobha and dosa. This is because of accumulations in the citta. The thing that has been most striking to me about the experience is the cutting of the fetter of silabbatupadana. Most people do not even know what that word is nevermind what it means. It is generally defined as the fetter that causes one to think that rites and rituals are efficacious; however, in my practice, I have realised that it goes much deeper than that. It is about not seeing things realistically for what they are because self view is normally so involved for the non-Ariyan disciple. Let me give you some examples. In the past, before this happened I used to try very hard to avoid things that I thought were "bad". For example, I work at a Home Improvement store where I sell things. From time to time, they might ask you to help out in another department. I always dreaded being asked to help in the Seasonal department because there is a large aisle there with bug sprays, poisons, traps to kill animals and so on. I always dreaded customers asking me where the bug sprays or traps were because I didn't want to be involved in the death of any creatures, in any way. I avoided that area as much as I could. To be honest, I even took a long way around sometimes if I had to go to that area of the building to avoid people near that section asking me where the bug sprays and so on were. On one occasion, in my own department, someone asked me where those things were and I actually lied. I told them I wasn't sure and that maybe they could ask someone else. I wanted no part in the death of living beings. Now, after the experience of nibbana, I realize the truth of anatta much more and that some things are just out of ones control. My attitude in these situations is much different now. For example, I still really don't want to direct anyone to a bug spray but if they ask me where they are I will be honest and direct them to it. I am not killing the bug and I know that. If they are going to do it, it is their decision. My protests cannot stop them. This is an example of silabbatupadana. In fact, there is a story from the Tipitika where there is a sotapanna who's husband is a hunter. The husband would hunt by bow everyday and kill animals. That is how he made his living. Every morning the wife, who was a sotapanna, would ready his bow, make sure it was in good working order and ready for him. This is an example of someone who would never kill herself, but who removed the fetter of silabbatupadana. This is a true story from the time of the Buddha and the Arahants. There are other such examaples too.

It has been over one hundred days now and I have really come to terms with the experience. More than coming to terms with the fact that I experienced nibbana, I have come to terms with the fact that the three fetters are permanently absent in my mind stream.

I am not sure how I will respond to the attention this might bring. I may or may not respond to response messages to this post. Questions specific to practice I will definitely answer; simply feel free to PM them to me here. Please do not call me at home or send me monetary donations or gifts. I will simply reject and may leave them on the floor as I did when I was a monk or send them back. I am sorry, but I will not accept them. I cannot.

Thank you.
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby bodom » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:05 pm

Congratulations.

Whether you have or haven't attained ariya status is of no concern to me and I am not here to refute your claim. When I read your post this quote from Ajahn Chah was the first thing that came to mind.

If the mind tries to tell you, "I'm a sotapanna now", go and bow to the sotapanna. He'll tell you himself, "It's all uncertain." If you meet a sakadagami go and pay respects to him. When he sees you he'll simply say "Not a sure thing!" If there is an anagami go and bow to him. He'll tell you only one thing . . . "Uncertain." If you meet even an arahant, go and bow to him, he'll tell you even more firmly, "It's all even more uncertain!" You'll hear the words of the Noble Ones . . . "Everything is uncertain, don't cling to anything."


: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: A sotapanna

Postby Reductor » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:21 pm

Congrats Virgo. Don't stop at this juncture. Keep going.

bodom wrote:
If the mind tries to tell you, "I'm a sotapanna now", go and bow to the sotapanna. He'll tell you himself, "It's all uncertain." If you meet a sakadagami go and pay respects to him. When he sees you he'll simply say "Not a sure thing!" If there is an anagami go and bow to him. He'll tell you only one thing . . . "Uncertain." If you meet even an arahant, go and bow to him, he'll tell you even more firmly, "It's all even more uncertain!" You'll hear the words of the Noble Ones . . . "Everything is uncertain, don't cling to anything."


:anjali:


:sage:
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: A sotapanna

Postby Moggalana » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:42 pm

:anjali: :twothumbsup: :anjali:
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:59 pm

Oh, dear. It looks one more of those things of which one should let go. The capacity for self-deception in one's religious life is great and greatest pitfall of all is certitude. There is a reason why monastics have to have such claims verified by others and then there is the question of why in the name of the Dhamma do you feel a need to tell anyone. That is a red flag. One's life well lived speaks far more eloquently than any proclamation that aggrandizes oneself. But as Chogyam Trungpa would say: Good luck to you, sir.
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: A sotapanna

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:05 pm

There's a part of me that believes it and a part of me that remains cautious to such claims. The part of me that believes says congratulations :hello:

What kind of practice were you undertaking before it happened?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby OcTavO » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:21 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Then there is the question of why in the name of the Dhamma do you feel a need to tell anyone. That is a red flag.


:goodpost:
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby cooran » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:30 pm

Hello virgo, all,

QUALITIES OF ARIYA PERSONS
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/ariyas4.htm

From Puthujjana to the Buddha
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/ariyacht.htm

1. Sotapanna or Sotapan
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mtinmon4.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby altar » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:35 pm

OcTavO wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Then there is the question of why in the name of the Dhamma do you feel a need to tell anyone. That is a red flag.


:goodpost:


Hrmm a red flag in fact it may be... But I'm not sure if we should ban red flags :). Maybe it's better to hear people out...
Also Virgo in my experience as well it is interesting not averting transgression completely, not supressing even the thoughts about it... Actually sort of allowing onself to do those things which are pseudo-transgressions (as in, the mind says "No no, don't do this, it's a trangression," but are in fact blameless) has been somewhat of a gateway into seeing defilements or tendencies to transgress more as they are instead of as I'd prefer them to be. Hope this last bit made sense... it's more straightforward than it sounds.
Zack
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:48 pm

altar wrote:
OcTavO wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Then there is the question of why in the name of the Dhamma do you feel a need to tell anyone. That is a red flag.


:goodpost:


Hrmm a red flag in fact it may be... But I'm not sure if we should ban red flags :). Maybe it's better to hear people out...
No one is saying anything about banning red flags. A person can claim what a person wants to, but if a person puts a claim out there, commemt on it is not out of place. Over 40+ years I have been a Buddhist I have seen, talked to, known individuals who have claimed some level or other of acheivement. I have always been far more impressed with those practitioners who have gone down the Path some who make no claims of themselves, but in whose lives the Dhamma is manifest.
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: A sotapanna

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:51 am

Hi Virgo

On March 18'th, 2010 shortly before 12:00 noon, the magga and phala path and fruit cittas arose in me and I became a sotapanna. I was sitting at my computer. They arose during an everyday activity. Immediately I understood what happened and I was aware that the three fetters had been cut. At that time I became an Aryan, someone who has touched the deathless state and who has defeated his enemy.


With great respect, how do you know what you experienced was the arising of magga and phalla citta and not an artefact of delusion? I say it with great respect because my understanding is that many people mistakenly believe that this or that meditative (or non-meditative) experience is the attainment of one of the four combinations of path and fruit.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:08 am

Ben wrote:Hi Virgo

On March 18'th, 2010 shortly before 12:00 noon, the magga and phala path and fruit cittas arose in me and I became a sotapanna. I was sitting at my computer. They arose during an everyday activity. Immediately I understood what happened and I was aware that the three fetters had been cut. At that time I became an Aryan, someone who has touched the deathless state and who has defeated his enemy.


With great respect, how do you know what you experienced was the arising of magga and phalla citta and not an artefact of delusion? I say it with great respect because my understanding is that many people mistakenly believe that this or that meditative (or non-meditative) experience is the attainment of one of the four combinations of path and fruit.
kind regards

Ben

Hi Ben,

First of all thanks for the positive and kind comments.

These three cittas (one path and two fruit) are unlike any other cittas ever experienced before. They have the deathless, non-arising dhatu as their object (nibbana). Every other citta, without fail, has an arising dhamma as it's object. The effect of this on the consciousness is unmistakable. What has never been known before is seen. This eradicates defilements. Directly afterwards, there is knowledge of the absence of the fetters and then one is living with the absence of those fetters so not only is there a definite experience that is recognized, but ones day to day consciousness and life is also different: one is missing three fetters that were always there before. The citta is rocked at its core.

I hope this helps.

Kevin
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:19 am

Thanks Kevin for your explanation
I'm just wondering - if I had such an experience i would consult my teacher and in the absence of my teacher, there are a couple of people who i consider spiritual mentors that i speak to on the odd occassion regarding practice.
I know you've spoken to a friend about your experience but have you thought about discussing it with someone whom you have a student/teacher relationship to or perhaps a spiritual mentor in whom you have confidence? Perhaps your ordained friend is such a person?
Thanks again

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby cooran » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:20 am

Hello Virgo, all,

Maybe you could discuss it with Ajahn Sujin - who I believe you have met (??). She is thought to be a Sotapanna.

For those of us still with no attainments whatsoever, this thread may prove of assistance, especially the resource links provided by rowyourboat:

Sotapanna Issues
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1677

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:30 am

Ben wrote:Thanks Kevin for your explanation
there are a couple of people who i consider spiritual mentors that i speak to on the odd occassion regarding practice.

I am my spiritual mentor. But Ajahn Sujin is also my spiritual mentor. And sure, I might speak to her about it if I get the chance (or I might not).

kevin
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby SamKR » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:35 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:There's a part of me that believes it and a part of me that remains cautious to such claims. The part of me that believes says congratulations :hello:

I also want to say the same. Congratulations Virgo.
What kind of practice were you undertaking before it happened?


...and I want to ask the same question.
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:37 am

cooran wrote:Hello Virgo, all,

Maybe you could discuss it with Ajahn Sujin - who I believe you have met (??). She is thought to be a Sotapanna.

For those of us still with no attainments whatsoever, this thread may prove of assistance, especially the resource links provided by rowyourboat:

Sotapanna Issues
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1677

with metta
Chris

Thanks Chris.

Yes, I know Ajahn. I attended talks with here every week in Bangkok for a few months. She is a wonderful teacher and I recommend her works.

I am not sure if she is an Ariya or not. She never told me.

Kevin
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:39 am

SamKR wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:There's a part of me that believes it and a part of me that remains cautious to such claims. The part of me that believes says congratulations :hello:

I also want to say the same. Congratulations Virgo.
What kind of practice were you undertaking before it happened?


...and I want to ask the same question.


Thanks Sam. I wasn't doing formal techniques.

Kevin
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Yundi » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:41 am

...if I had such an experience i would check my own mind to observe if it is free from 'I making' and 'mine making' & check of it regards all things, all experiences, as simply sense phenomena.

In the suttas, it is reported whatever state Venerable Sariputta experienced, his mind did not regard 'him' as experiencing that state because his mind was free from 'I making' and 'mine making'.

see Upatissa Sutta: About Upatissa (Sariputta)

with metta

:heart:
Last edited by Yundi on Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:45 am

Virgo wrote:Thanks Sam. I wasn't doing formal techniques.

Kevin


You mentioned you attained stream entry while at the computer. So you weren't doing any formal practice then. But weren't you practicing something in a daily basis, and if so, what?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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