Yes these are the central questions and we can define these things according to the texts and teaching traditions. It may be helpful to do so here. When it comes to how and what we perceive I think the questions do not center here. For instance, on the one hand we have very accomplished monks who have been practicing for many long years and according to our teachings they should have become Arahants within seven of those years. So Arahants of this sort should therefore be quite abundant, even now. However, even the slightest expression of emotion or personality by some of these people is regarded as evidence of their still not having become Arahants. Is this really true? Is this an accurate interpretation of dispassion? And again, we have those who have practiced very well, who have profound insight and who are willing to express a complete openness about these processes and who are willing to bring much clarity to many things. But they can also often be difficult to accept as fully enlightened when their lives seem to overstep what we may think is possible for Arahants. According to the tradition, arahants cannot engage in worldly activities to the extent of maintaining marital relations, worldly employment and so on. So the challenge here is to make certain about what is sound doctrine and what is mere dogma and delusion.tiltbillings wrote:Non-dualism is a funny thing. I personally think it is not something one should in step in, because then one will track it all over, stinking up the place. Also, there is nothing more dualistic than someone going on about non-dualism.
More importantly to this thread, an experience of what one might think is non-dual can lead to all sorts of assumptions about what one experienced and about one's level of attainment.
So, the questions are, I think, what is awakening, who has it and how do we know?
nathan said: For instance, on the one hand we have very accomplished monks who have been practicing for many long years and according to our teachings they should have become Arahants within seven of those years.
Certainly. I take the following as the assurance of the Buddha that those who are diligent in this occupation will see the fruits of their labor. Note the use of the terms "any person".Chris wrote:Hello Nathan,nathan said: For instance, on the one hand we have very accomplished monks who have been practicing for many long years and according to our teachings they should have become Arahants within seven of those years.
Could you point out the Sutta where the Buddha taught this please?
I don't think it is the time involved that is of particular concern so much as one's assurance that a committed practice will bear fruit in due course, that it will be efficacious work because it is work. "This manner" is clear and well outlined. It is elsewhere presented in great detail in many ways throughout the dhamma/vinaya. One may set to it immediately and without difficulty at any time. If one can maintain themselves in any manner, they can maintain themselves in this manner.Chris wrote:Hello Nathan,
Thank you. I don't think there is anywhere else in the Canon where the Buddha seems to talk specifically about Time.
I think the clue is in the words "in this manner" - which refers back to the whole of the preceding Sutta. MN 10. The fact that the Buddha goes down in a sequence to "Should any person maintain these Four Arousings of Mindfulness in this manner for a week, then by him one of two fruitions is proper to be expected: Knowledge here and now; or, if some form of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning."
~~~ so ... it is not an easy thing to do, and this would seem to mean that very few can maintain practice "in this manner" for even two weeks.
And, of course, the Sutta really means that Time doesn't come into it .... for those who extinguish the Three Poisons by practising in the proper manner, Liberation takes just a second.
nathan wrote:I find it difficult to accept that the traditional understanding regarding the taints can simply be set aside in favor of stages of doing away with an internal perception of duality and little else.
I was not trying to suggest nonsense but roughly indicate two polarities in thinking about our understanding of awakening and the awakened. Actually, I didn't write 'for a moment' but rather 'stages of doing away' with misperception and by implication the underlying degrees of ignorance. Characterizing this on the one hand as little more than entirely non-dualistic perception and the end of dualistic misconceptions and on the other hand as a restrictive inhuman stoicism were more like caricatures. A use of imagery for common polarities in our attitudes about awakening and the nature of the awakened. Sometimes the comments I read about how arahants are conceived of as being seem very much like cartoons to me. I might have attempted some more complex or accurate description but I would have to think long and hard about how to phrase the question in some sort of technically precise way and it is largely about attitudes and how our thinking about doctrine informs these. We must include what we know about human beings, even in a mundane sense to be rational as well. The two kinds of truths about our existence, the mundane wisdom and the supermundane wisdom are not in opposition but complements, understanding of both kinds is complete understanding.retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Nathan,nathan wrote:I find it difficult to accept that the traditional understanding regarding the taints can simply be set aside in favor of stages of doing away with an internal perception of duality and little else.
I agree with you - this is nonsense. All this is, is seeing things clearly (i.e. without ignorance) for a moment... the taints need to be uprooted totally otherwise there will be many moments in the future where one still has moments of delusion.