A sotapanna

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Re: A sotapanna

Postby SamKR » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:51 am

Dear Virgo,

I am inclined to believe that you are a sotapanna. Now please strive towards being Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahant asap!!!

But it would be better if you do not make public of your attainments, being compassionate towards we Anariya people who can become very confused because of the claims.

SamKR
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:54 am

SamKR wrote:Dear Virgo,

I am inclined to believe that you are a sotapanna. Now please strive towards being Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahant asap!!!

But it would be better if you do not make public of your attainments being compassionate towards we Anariya people who can become very confused because of the claims.

SamKR

Hi Sam. There is no reason to feel confused. The attainments are possible. The important point is the development of wisdom, no matter how long it takes to acquire.

Thanks a lot for your input.

Kevin
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:48 am

Virgo wrote:Tilt, I will try to sum it up for you. . . . I don't see it as a big deal. It's taken some time but I have really come to terms with my situation as a sotapanna. . . . I have not and will not accept gifts or money from others simply because I am a sotapanna.. . . .
But it is a big deal, obviously. It is an extra-ordinary accomplishment which you have claimed for yourself and for which you are now gifted with praise, which is far more meaningful than money.

In the 40+ years that I have been a Buddhist, those that I have met, known and with whom I have practiced who were beyond doubt in their insight would never have thought of broadcasting their attainments in such way as have you. They lived the Dhamma, manifested in their lives, some of which were as, if not more, isolated than what you describe of yourself.

From the OP on, for you, Kevin, sotapanna is coming across as an identity - I am a sotapanna you say of yourself-, a thing by which you are now known, for which you are now praised. It strikes me all as a bit wan, but to you I hope in time you can come to see the wisdom of the Buddha's injunction to let go of what is in front, let go of what is behind, let go of what is between. With a heart everywhere let-go, you coming not again to birth & aging. And as someone who was unquestionably ariya said:
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."
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 SamKR » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:59 am

Virgo wrote:
SamKR wrote:Dear Virgo,

I am inclined to believe that you are a sotapanna. Now please strive towards being Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahant asap!!!

But it would be better if you do not make public of your attainments being compassionate towards we Anariya people who can become very confused because of the claims.

SamKR

Hi Sam. There is no reason to feel confused.


Will it benefit you (in dhamma) or other people, if you declare your attainment? Or will it harm? Or neither?
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:31 am

Hi Kevin,
Virgo wrote:it is not like I have a group of close Buddhist friends or Theravada Buddhists or even a teacher nearby that I can express this with, and online communities have been my mainstay in Buddhism for long periods of time aside from when I lived in a Buddhist temple in America and when I lived in Thailand for a few months.


I think this is where many of us are at - practicing in isolation and coming together on Dhamma Wheel or elsewhere on the internet for inspiration and companionship. In many ways I think its good for many practitioners to be on their own and having to develop the motivation to continue practicing. The downside is that when we have exotic experiences we may find, like yourself, bereft of close Dhamma friends to communicate what we've experienced.
I do think it would be very beneficial for you to communicate with Sujin and/or Nina - however tenuous you think your past relationship is. They are obviously people who you have great confidence in.
kind regards

Ben
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:31 am

SamKR wrote:
Virgo wrote:
SamKR wrote:Dear Virgo,

I am inclined to believe that you are a sotapanna. Now please strive towards being Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahant asap!!!

But it would be better if you do not make public of your attainments being compassionate towards we Anariya people who can become very confused because of the claims.

SamKR

Hi Sam. There is no reason to feel confused.


Will it benefit you (in dhamma) or other people if you declare your attainment? Or will it harm? Or neither?
Will it benefit the declarer? I am not sure why it would, but the harm is easily imagined for the declarer. It is nice to hear stories of awakening that inspire such Dipa Ma: http://www.thebuddhadharma.com/issues/2 ... pa_ma.html
http://www.amazon.com/Dipa-Ma-Legacy-Bu ... 059&sr=1-2

Such declarations, especially in such a context as this, seem far more fraught with problems than inspiration, which is enough of a reason to remain silent.
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 jcsuperstar » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:44 am

so are you gonna give ordination another try?
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby cooran » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:27 am

Hello all,

This excerpt is not aimed at Virgo - but rather as additional information and caution for anyone wondering about their own or anothers' level of achievement.

Excerpt from "Sotapattimagga - The Path of the Sotapanna" ~ The Teachings of Ajahn Anan Akincano. p 38 - p 40 . 2008. (Thai language http://www.watmarpjan.org/ )

"FALSELY ASSUMING THE FRUITS OF SOTAPANNA

We have to keep on guard. Sometimes when the mind is luminous and bright we think we see it all totally clearly. Maybe we will think, "Hey, now I am a sotapanna! I've been watching over the mind and I'm free of sensual craving and there are only minimal thoughts arising."

There are some centres where the students go to ask about their meditation and the teacher will approve, saying, "The mind in this state has reached the level of sakadagami." There are a lot of these places.

There was once a layman who was practicing in the forest tradition. When he meditated he couldn't get any peace at all. So he went and visited another teacher who taught, instructed and guided him in the practice. At first this man couldn't even sit still for one hour, but when he went and sat with this other teacher he could sit six or seven hours, maybe even all night.

After that, this layman was pleased with the results and went to consult this teacher who declared that the layman had seen the Dhamma. From then on he thought he was an ariya-puggala. He couldn't restrain himself from boasting about it. Wherever he went he would loudly broadcast to others that he knew and saw, that he had the Dhamma firmly in his heart. But it was merely on the level of sanna (memory).

Later this man, with the help of one of Luang Pu Mun's disciples, was able to correct this view and backed off from his position. With a view that has become firmly ingrained, it's hard to straighten out. It's hard, but it's not beyond the capacity of some teachers.

This is the very reason Luang Pu Chah would never answer any questions like this and say, "This monk is at this level, this monk is at that level." He would never say what level of attainment someone had achieved. He would always teach about those things with wisdom. He would say that it's paccattam - one knows and experiences for oneself.

Sometimes Luang Pu Chah would teach using similes. Some monks would say, "This monk is an arahant, he's this and that, he has no sexual craving and he has no more wanting or liking for anything." Then they would go and ask Luang Pu Chah. He would say, "If a frog stays down in a hole for many months, does that make it an arahant? Is it really an arahant now?" That's how he would answer, enabling us to contemplate and understand the matter clearly.

It's wrong to jump to conclusions when special experiences arise from the practice and we label and interpret them as an attainment of one level or another. This is the reason a lot of delusion arises. In some monasteries there are many "sotapannas" and "sakadagamis," but as time passes they all seem to disappear. We see this in some places.

But in our Wat Nong Pah Pong lineage, those who have practiced well don't talk about levels of achievement, because those that have achieved know for themselves. They understand the various ways and methods of practice. Luang Pu Chah emphasised this a lot."


with metta
Chris
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:42 pm

:goodpost:
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Zom » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:24 pm

Sotappana? Check yourself again on this lets say so.. after 40 years -)
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby nitthuracitta » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:35 pm

cooran wrote:Hello all,

This excerpt is not aimed at Virgo - but rather as additional information and caution for anyone wondering about their own or anothers' level of achievement.

Excerpt from "Sotapattimagga - The Path of the Sotapanna" ~ The Teachings of Ajahn Anan Akincano. p 38 - p 40 . 2008. (Thai language http://www.watmarpjan.org/ )

"FALSELY ASSUMING THE FRUITS OF SOTAPANNA

We have to keep on guard. Sometimes when the mind is luminous and bright we think we see it all totally clearly. Maybe we will think, "Hey, now I am a sotapanna! I've been watching over the mind and I'm free of sensual craving and there are only minimal thoughts arising."

There are some centres where the students go to ask about their meditation and the teacher will approve, saying, "The mind in this state has reached the level of sakadagami." There are a lot of these places.

There was once a layman who was practicing in the forest tradition. When he meditated he couldn't get any peace at all. So he went and visited another teacher who taught, instructed and guided him in the practice. At first this man couldn't even sit still for one hour, but when he went and sat with this other teacher he could sit six or seven hours, maybe even all night.

After that, this layman was pleased with the results and went to consult this teacher who declared that the layman had seen the Dhamma. From then on he thought he was an ariya-puggala. He couldn't restrain himself from boasting about it. Wherever he went he would loudly broadcast to others that he knew and saw, that he had the Dhamma firmly in his heart. But it was merely on the level of sanna (memory).

Later this man, with the help of one of Luang Pu Mun's disciples, was able to correct this view and backed off from his position. With a view that has become firmly ingrained, it's hard to straighten out. It's hard, but it's not beyond the capacity of some teachers.

This is the very reason Luang Pu Chah would never answer any questions like this and say, "This monk is at this level, this monk is at that level." He would never say what level of attainment someone had achieved. He would always teach about those things with wisdom. He would say that it's paccattam - one knows and experiences for oneself.

Sometimes Luang Pu Chah would teach using similes. Some monks would say, "This monk is an arahant, he's this and that, he has no sexual craving and he has no more wanting or liking for anything." Then they would go and ask Luang Pu Chah. He would say, "If a frog stays down in a hole for many months, does that make it an arahant? Is it really an arahant now?" That's how he would answer, enabling us to contemplate and understand the matter clearly.

It's wrong to jump to conclusions when special experiences arise from the practice and we label and interpret them as an attainment of one level or another. This is the reason a lot of delusion arises. In some monasteries there are many "sotapannas" and "sakadagamis," but as time passes they all seem to disappear. We see this in some places.

But in our Wat Nong Pah Pong lineage, those who have practiced well don't talk about levels of achievement, because those that have achieved know for themselves. They understand the various ways and methods of practice. Luang Pu Chah emphasised this a lot."


with metta
Chris


:thumbsup: :goodpost:
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:09 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:Tilt, I will try to sum it up for you. . . . I don't see it as a big deal. It's taken some time but I have really come to terms with my situation as a sotapanna. . . . I have not and will not accept gifts or money from others simply because I am a sotapanna.. . . .
But it is a big deal, obviously. It is an extra-ordinary accomplishment which you have claimed for yourself and for which you are now gifted with praise, which is far more meaningful than money.

In the 40+ years that I have been a Buddhist, those that I have met, known and with whom I have practiced who were beyond doubt in their insight would never have though of broadcasting their attainments in such way as have you. They lived the Dhamma, manifested in their lives, some of which were as, if not more, isolated than what you describe of yourself.

From the OP on, for you, Kevin, sotapanna is coming across as an identity - I am a sotapanna you say of yourself-, a thing by which you are now known, for which you are now praised. It strikes me all as a bit wan, but to you I hope in time you can come to see the wisdom of the Buddha's injunction to let go of what is in front, let go of is behind, let go of is between. With a heart everywhere let-go, you coming not again to birth & aging. And as someone who was unquestionably ariya said:
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."

You can think whatever you like Tilt. A lot of it is your own projection I think. I don't know how you even begin to think you know my mind state or what runs through it.

Kevin
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby beeblebrox » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:13 pm

Virgo wrote:It is not as easy as you think being totally different from every one else.


Sorry if I'm mistaken, Virgo... but isn't that fetter #1?
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:29 pm

beeblebrox wrote:
Virgo wrote:It is not as easy as you think being totally different from every one else.


Sorry if I'm mistaken, Virgo... but isn't that fetter #1?

No it's not. A sotapanna still has the conceit "I am" but does not identify with any thing as me or myself. There is still lobha and dosa. This means one can like ones job and fear losing it, like ones body and not want it to be hurt, feel the need for comradery and so on. This is because of accumulations in the citta. However, when it comes down to it, he never takes any thing as self. That is why he cannot kill or be jealous for example. He cannot put his "self" (since he knows there isn't one there) above someone else. If I have a snack in front of me I will want it and want to eat it myself. If someone asks I will share. I will go and buy food because I will want it. I may even day dream about eating it. The point is I will want food and pursue it and I will definitely eat it and not just give it away because I don't take any dhamma as me or my own. This is because of accumulated lobha and dosa. So I won't just give my food away every day since there is "no self there". I will want food and I will want to eat it. But, if it really comes down to it, and someone is hungry there is no way that I cannot give them the food if they really need it, even if it will cause me to starve to death instead. There is an absence of the fetters, but there is still lobha and dosa very, very much at play. To really understand how these cetasikas work I would suggest studying some Abhidhamma if you can. A sotapanna still has conceit. In fact all Ariyas save for Arahants do. So even though there is a conceit, there is no recognitions that any "thing" is the self. It is complex my friend.

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Re: A sotapanna

Postby beeblebrox » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:41 pm

Alright, I see now, thanks for the clarification.

:anjali:
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Aloka » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:54 pm

.

Interesting public announcement.

I recalled this earlier thread: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4241
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby Mukunda » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:04 pm

Virgo wrote:A lot of it is your own projection I think. I don't know how you even begin to think you know my mind state or what runs through it.


That seems to happen a lot around here.

It also seems to me that some people have a vested interest in believing such accomplishments as sotapanna aren't really possible. :shrug:
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Re: A sotapanna

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:15 pm

Virgo wrote:You can think whatever you like Tilt. A lot of it is your own projection I think. I don't know how you even begin to think you know my mind state or what runs through it.
No projections, and I make no claim to know your mind. All I know is what you tell us here, and one of those things is that you think you are something special: "It is not as easy as you think being totally different from every one else."

You are the one here who has made a claim of being extraordinary, of belonging to an elite group that should be gifted with praise and honor, and you are the one accepting those gifts of praise - in other words, a claim that is driven by the 8 winds. A claim driven, by your account, by discomfort, which is to say driven by aversion to the discomfort since you acted to get rid of it, and a claim that smacks of self-identity and what looks like conceit: "I am a sotapanna."

Really, why would anyone feel a need to make such a claim of themselves, of wanting to be seen as - to use your words -"being totally different from every one else" other than that is exactly how they want to be seen, as unique, as something special, someone to be looked up to? What else would be the result of such a claim?

A sotapanna still has conceit.
Which is to say that a sotapanna - according to you - may want to be gifted with the praise of being someone unique. A sotapanna, however, from my experiences, would also have the wisdom and the strength to not act on such an unskilful conceit, which is why I do not find your claim and your defense of it at all convincing.
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 tiltbillings » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:22 pm

Mukunda wrote:It also seems to me that some people have a vested interest in believing such accomplishments as sotapanna aren't really possible.
Oh, no. There are most definitely, in my experience, as I undetstand the Dhamma, ariya in this world, both lay and monastic.
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 Virgo » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:19 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:You can think whatever you like Tilt. A lot of it is your own projection I think. I don't know how you even begin to think you know my mind state or what runs through it.
No projections, and I make no claim to know your mind. All I know is what you tell us here, and one of those things is that you think you are something special: "It is not as easy as you think being totally different from every one else."

You are the one here who has made a claim of being extraordinary, of belonging to an elite group that should be gifted with praise and honor, and you are the one accepting those gifts of praise - in other words, a claim that is driven by the 8 winds. A claim driven, by your account, by discomfort, which is to say driven by aversion to the discomfort since you acted to get rid of it, and a claim that smacks of self-identity and what looks like conceit: "I am a sotapanna."

Really, why would anyone feel a need to make such a claim of themselves, of wanting to be seen as - to use your words -"being totally different from every one else" other than that is exactly how they want to be seen, as unique, as something special, someone to be looked up to? What else would be the result of such a claim?

A sotapanna still has conceit.
Which is to say that a sotapanna - according to you - may want to be gifted with the praise of being someone unique. A sotapanna, however, from my experiences, would also have the wisdom and the strength to not act on such an unskilful conceit, which is why I do not find your claim and your defense of it at all convincing.

Fine Tile. Whatever.

Kevin
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