On Your Way Home - A Road to Nirvana for the West

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:26 am The same experience of the Buddha as described in the texts.
How can you ever know that what is written down was the actual experience of the Buddha?
I am not questioning the personal truth of your personal experience. I was merely questioning your claims that your experiences are those described in the Buddhist texts, as you claimed.
Yeah but like I said earlier, I will never be able to proof this to you. Because even if I referred my writings to the buddhist texts, you will conclude it are only my interpretations. Just like you have your interpretations of the texts. How can you ever be sure that your interpretations are correct?

If one debates a teaching, he has interpreted the teaching wrong, or the teaching is wrong. If he has the right interpretation and the teaching is right, there is no need for debating, as one will experience it.

Insight goes one-way, so the trueness of the teaching will proof itself in your experience. I will try to explain this with an example. Let's say that what I wrote does not lead to the same Nirvana as mentioned in the Buddhist texts. Then either my writings are true, or the Buddhist texts are true. How can we then figure out which one is true?
For example, you wrote lots of things about sense experience, preferences, favouring & opposing, craving, expectation, ego, etc, and how these create suffering & dissatisfaction; which sound similar to many texts. I found these explanations very impressive & useful. But you didn't cite these texts nor did you reconcile your ideas about Dependent Origination with the suttas. In fact, often your TNH ideas about Dependent Origination were Mahayana & not related to what the Pali suttas appear to teach about Dependent Origination.
That is what I am trying to tell you, one can use information from different sources. You can use information from my texts and compare them with buddhist texts and see if they help you in your progress. I used information from many different Buddhist streams. I know it doesn't matter, as the path proved to be true.

One can also stick to one source or vehicle, but if your struggling to understand the teachings, it may help to look further. I am not trying to convince anyone here, everybody should do what they please.

I get the sense that you are scared that if you read something else than the sutta's, which you hold dear, you might stray from the path. However, the path is in your experience and not in the texts.

What you can do is compare my writings, or any other writing, to the sutta's and see if they help you in understanding them. I don't need this, so I am not going to do this for you.
See. Now you seem to have ceased to be a Buddhist altogether because you cannot reconcile your experience with the suttas. The above appears to demonstrate a lack of faith in the Triple Gem. The suttas say the Dhamma is verified by each introspective person individually. You appeared to claim you are an Arahant (but without conviction in the suttas) yet in the texts merely a Stream-Enterer has absolutely certainty the (verifiable) suttas are true. This is starting to sounds like plagiarists such as Krishnamurti, who was taught all different religions, who repackaged those religious teachings but claimed the religions themselves to be false. Often the mind can have experiences in meditation but often knowledge of the teachings is influencing or bending the mind see in that enlightened manner. Thus, I think we should try to have gratitude for the teachings when appropriate rather than make claims we did it all ourselves.
Oh but there is nothing I did by myself. I have every experience I ever had to thank for where I am today. Without the teachings in the texts I have read and the video's I watched, I would never have come this far. But this is not exclusive to the sutta's, even more so, I learned most from the explanations from others. But without the sutta's, these explanations would not be there.
Last edited by PeterC86 on Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 »

Aloka wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:24 pm
PeterC86 wrote:What would an answer on those questions give you?
Perhaps one could also ask: "What would an answer on the above question give you, Peter?"






.
Insight into the deeper questions behind his questions.
PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 »

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:09 pm
Hello,

It means:

The only proof of one's attainment is the indestructible & irreversible purity (appropriate to the specific level of four attainments) of one's actions, talks, and thoughts.
And, Buddha's teachings, when interpreted rightly, are there for one, to be used as a touchstone to test the authenticity and level of that purity, and accordingly, to test the attainments.

Because:
Fortunately, all real attainments are perceived as real experiences for one.
Unfortunately, all delusional attainments are perceived as real experiences for one, too.

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Metta,
Thanks for your elaboration, I understand your message now.
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

PeterC86 wrote: Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:07 pm I recently attained Nirvana.
Hello,

Such news should always be a source of mudita.

Would you please kindly elaborate on:
1) the moments immediately preceding your attainment of Nirvana
2) the exact moment of the attainment
3) the moments immediately suceeding the attainment
4) What are the changes in your views after that?
...?


🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
.


🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐

Self ...
  • "an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" :D ~ MN22
PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 »

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:46 pm
PeterC86 wrote: Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:07 pm I recently attained Nirvana.
Hello,

Such news should always be a source of mudita.

Would you please kindly elaborate on:
1) the moments immediately preceding your attainment of Nirvana
2) the exact moment of the attainment
3) the moments immediately suceeding the attainment
4) What are the changes in your views after that?
...?


🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Hello,

To you I ask the same; what will my answers to those questions give you?

Greets
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

PeterC86 wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:56 pm
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:46 pm
PeterC86 wrote: Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:07 pm I recently attained Nirvana.
Hello,

Such news should always be a source of mudita.

Would you please kindly elaborate on:
1) the moments immediately preceding your attainment of Nirvana
2) the exact moment of the attainment
3) the moments immediately suceeding the attainment
4) What are the changes in your views after that?
...?


🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Hello,

To you I ask the same; what will my answers to those questions give you?

Greets
It's simple.

It wll give me just another real life example of:

1) real attainments (in this case, mudita)
or
2) apparent attainments (in this case, to appreciate how deep the Dhamma is)



It would be quite easy for you after your unprovoked voluntary claim about nirvana; and with all those deep concepts elaborated on your website. I'm sure explaining what I asked is quite a piece of cake for you.

Would you please?

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
metta
.


🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐

Self ...
  • "an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" :D ~ MN22
PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 »

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:17 pm
PeterC86 wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:56 pm
Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:46 pm

Hello,

Such news should always be a source of mudita.

Would you please kindly elaborate on:
1) the moments immediately preceding your attainment of Nirvana
2) the exact moment of the attainment
3) the moments immediately suceeding the attainment
4) What are the changes in your views after that?
...?


🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Hello,

To you I ask the same; what will my answers to those questions give you?

Greets
It's simple.

It wll give me just another real life example of:

1) real attainments (in this case, mudita)
or
2) apparent attainments (in this case, to appreciate how deep the dhamma is)



It would be quite easy for you after your unprovoked voluntary claim about nirvana; and with all those deep concepts elaborated on your website. I'm sure explaining what I asked is quite a piece of cake for you.

Would you please?

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
metta
Hard to describe in words actually and I don't know how to describe feelings, but I will give it a go as you deem this important.
1. confusion, doubt, constant attempts to identify with something, small feeling of losing grip
2. feeling of emptiness/nothingness, vacuum, no identification, dissolving.
3. moment of 'aha', after that appeared multiple attempts to identify with something again, which didn't work of course. After that I went through a long review of the path.
4. I hold no view anymore.

How are you going to decide if the attainment is real or apparent, if I may ask?
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

PeterC86 wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:57 pm
Hard to describe in words actually and I don't know how to describe feelings, but I will give it a go as you deem this important.
1. confusion, doubt, constant attempts to identify with something, small feeling of losing grip
2. feeling of emptiness/nothingness, vacuum, no identification, dissolving.
3. moment of 'aha', after that appeared multiple attempts to identify with something again, which didn't work of course. After that I went through a long review of the path.
4. I hold no view anymore.

How are you going to decide if the attainment is real or apparent, if I may ask?
Thanks a lot.

I, personally, can't decide yet on that information.
But, I sense some interesting points.

Anyway, thanks again.

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
.


🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐

Self ...
  • "an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" :D ~ MN22
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Polar Bear »

PeterC86 wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:45 pm

Thanks for your reply. What would an answer on those questions give you?
It would allow me to compare and contrast your nibbanic experience and transformation with the kind of experience and transformation that ancient Indian renunciants in the Buddhist monastic tradition sought to attain, insofar as we can understand what they sought by reading the suttas.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
Calmoid
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Calmoid »

PeterC86 wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:45 pm
Polar Bear wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:44 am
PeterC86 wrote: Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:07 pm

I just joined this forum and I recently attained Nirvana.

Thanks in advance for your responses.
Well, I read the last section on nirvana. It mentions interdependence and a realization of Anatta based on that understanding. But there are other aspects to Nirvana as conceived in Theravada Buddhism. Of course, you’re free not to answer, but I’d like to ask: are you free of sexual desire and do you plan to be celibate for the rest of your life? Also, do you plan to hold a job and save up for retirement and are you concerned about having good health insurance? If anybody close to you died, would you feel sadness at their passing?

Thank you for your time.

:anjali:
Thanks for your reply. What would an answer on those questions give you?
Hi, they would give us some more insight into eg if your Nirvana is the same as described by many masters and in the scriptures or not. In other words if your Nirvana is the same Nirvana the people here are locking for. The Buddha told us certain characteristics of an arahant. Since your claim is very extraordinary, I guess you also don't know many arahants, people have questions to check your credibility to some extent as well. Also these questions help you to honestly check yourself.

As well please always remember you asked for help so don't you think it is fair enough and important for them to inquire more about your Nirvana etc before they invest their time and energy into editorial work of your book?

They were not my questions but I also like to read the answers.

Basically he as me and others would like to know more about the state you call arahant. We want to know if it is the same state we heard about or something else. Simple as that.

1. Also I like to know how long is the attainment of your arahantship ago?
2. How much time passed between sotapanna and arahantship?
3. How does your daily life look like? Are you working, with what do you spend your time during the day, do you have a wife or girlfriend and kids?
4. How do other people see and react to you in your proximate surrounding?
5. How has the relationship between you and the people around you changed?
6. Do you notice any desire of any kind and degree , anger/agitation or delusion in your mind?
7. Are the 5 hindrances at times active or not?
8. Who are the people who have been your most influential teachers?
9. Do such questions make you worry or uneasy?
10. I think the person before asked about the 2 or 3 mind moments before enlightenment, the mind moment during enlightenment and about a few mind moments immediately after enlightenment.

Much merits for giving us the opportunity to ask
Last edited by Calmoid on Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PeterC86
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 »

Polar Bear wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:05 pm
It would allow me to compare and contrast your nibbanic experience and transformation with the kind of experience and transformation that ancient Indian renunciants in the Buddhist monastic tradition sought to attain, insofar as we can understand what they sought by reading the suttas.

:anjali:
I am happy to answer you question, but one should bear in mind that a comparison between what I tell you and what you have read or heard about the ancient Indian renunciants in the Buddhist monastic tradition, is the same as comparing my writings to buddhist texts; the proof is only in the experience. Besides this, questions will lead to more question, instead of self-inquiry. So my answers will not serve you on the path. Although I will answer them, as they seem important to you.
are you free of sexual desire and do you plan to be celibate for the rest of your life?
Love and sex is an interesting subject. Upon writing a reply to your question, I noticed that I can write a lot about it, but I will not. One should experience this for him or herself. What I will say is that I am in a 'relationship' with a woman, and I noticed that making love has a positive effects on our bonding. I however realized that it is important to not cling to someone else or a specific situation, as everything is impermanent. I just love her presence. I also notice that this body has a certain need to make love with this woman, as this urge becomes present without me actually desiring it. It's in our body and nature to mate, which seems logical as our libido is steered by hormones. But this need can easily become a desire.
Also, do you plan to hold a job and save up for retirement and are you concerned about having good health insurance?
I am not a famous monk who lives in a monestary and gets food from the people. :) At the moment I work to earn money, to be able to buy food, to keep this body healthy. I can already foresee that there will come a time where I am not able to work anymore, but probably will still be alive. So it would be smart to have some money by then, unless people are going to care for me.:) We have a pension and social healthcare system in the country where I live though.

But on a more general note; nothing that is going to happen is anything that we can control, so there is no need to worry, as we are nothing but awareness which we cannot truly know or measure.
If anybody close to you died, would you feel sadness at their passing?
If a loved one died, I will probably miss him or her. But I am also aware that the passing away of him or her was unavoidable. One finds comfort in that I think and sticking to the past serves no use, so I will probably try to focus on the now. But it has not happened since my attainment, up until now, so this is just speculation.
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 »

Calmoid wrote: Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:07 pm Hi, they would give us some more insight into eg if your Nirvana is the same as described by many masters and in the scriptures or not. In other words if your Nirvana is the same Nirvana the people here are locking for. The Buddha told us certain characteristics of an arahant. Since your claim is very extraordinary, I guess you also don't know many arahants, people have questions to check your credibility to some extent as well. Also these questions help you to honestly check yourself.
[edit]
I am still in the unknown about how many people attain Nirvana these days and indeed I don't know any arahant. Is it so extraordinary? I only used the word arahant since people who follow the Theravada stream seem to use this word for someone who has attained Nirvana. Although there is no need to check for myself, once you know, you know, and there is no doubt. Nirvana is very clear once you reached it; no identification with something anymore. On the path I constantly searched for teachings which could help me progress. If I didn't understood a teaching, after a short time contemplating on it, I looked for other teachings. There are so many helpful teachings these days.
As well please always remember you asked for help so don't you think it is fair enough and important for them to inquire more about your Nirvana etc before they invest their time and energy into editorial work of your book?

They were not my questions but I also like to read the answers.

Basically he as me and others would like to know more about the state you call arahant. We want to know if it is the same state we heard about or something else. Simple as that.
Hello, I say the same to you;
I am happy to answer you question, but one should bear in mind that a comparison between what I tell you and what you have heard about, is the same as comparing my writings to buddhist texts; the proof is only in the experience. Besides this, questions will lead to more question, instead of self-inquiry. So my answers will not serve you on the path. Although I will answer them, as they seem important to you.

1. Also I like to know how long is the attainment of your arahantship ago? Since 15 January 2019

2. How much time passed between sotapanna and arahantship? about 5 years

3. How does your daily life look like? Are you working, with what do you spend your time during the day, do you have a wife or girlfriend and kids? See also my answer on polar bear's questions. I spend most of my time working, housekeeping, cooking, sleeping, meditating, sports,a bit of yoga, writing. I don't have kids, yet.

4. How do other people see and react to you in your proximate surrounding? I get a positive vibe from most people I meet. I work in a organic foodstore, which probably attracts a certain kind of people.

5. How has the relationship between you and the people around you changed? I have a more open attitude, which seems to reflect.

6. Do you notice any desire of any kind and degree , anger/agitation or delusion in your mind? Desires can be very subtle, even identification something, before defining it, can be seen as a desire from the point of Nirvana. But I also define things to live this life and to write what I am writing. Most important for me is not to cling or avoid them. From a strict point, every definition could also be seen as a delusion, the same as with desires. However, I use them to live and I do not cling or avoid them. Anger/agitation ceased.

7. Are the 5 hindrances at times active or not? I prefer tasteful healthy food to untasteful healthy food, so I tend to make food which tastes nice. There is only a small difference between bodily needs and sensory desires. Tasteful food creates an appetite, which serves the intake of food. It is really about the middle way, which is much more than the mere balance between indulgence and mortification.

8. Who are the people who have been your most influential teachers? Alan Watts in the beginning, his clear down-to-earth explanations helped a lot in understanding the bigger picture, up until dependent arising. Although he couldn't help me no more in the last stages, as he didn't seem to have gone further than cessation of form. This is where his teachings on Buddhisms appeared to be incomplete to me, as my insights went further than what he could teach me. He is fun to listen to also, not too serious.

I learned a lot from Thich Nhat Hanh, his explanations are very clear. Although, he seems to speaks for an 'advanced' level, in my experience that is. I had trouble understanding him when I was a beginner. He also helped me attain Nirvana with this teaching; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms6EylTW-2o&t=2003s
Much merits for giving us the opportunity to ask
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Aloka
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Aloka »

PeterC86 wrote:Who are the people who have been your most influential teachers? Alan Watts in the beginning, his clear down-to-earth explanations helped a lot in understanding the bigger picture, up until dependent arising. Although he couldn't help me no more in the last stages, as he didn't seem to have gone further than cessation of form. This is where his teachings on Buddhisms appeared to be incomplete to me, as my insights went further than what he could teach me. He is fun to listen to also, not too serious.
Do you take recreational drugs and drink alcohol, Peter? Alan Watts did - and he became an alcoholic.



.
Calmoid
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by Calmoid »

Peter,
first of all it speaks for you that you are such honest which is an important base for an exchange and learning.

From my knowledge (according to the scriptures and masters) and experience, so far you definitely cannot be an anagami nor arahant since there is still welcoming for and delight in and aversion of certain sensory contact in your mind. If you still think you are an arahant and basically try to redefine the already predefined term "arahant" then you are simply ignorant.

Remember you can experience nibbana as an sotapanna as well. The stage of sotapanna matches more with the content of your writing. It is much more characteristic for a sotapanna than for an arahant to talk about identification, no-self and views hence the stated waymark of "letting go of self view" which is an extraordinary major change in life. It is also not seldom that a sotapanna thinks he is an arahant because of the tremendous change of experience. Especially for those who have not frequently come into contact with experienced teachers and have little scriptual knowledge. Also remember a sotapanna has still little wisdom and can't see yet the dukkha of Lust sex bonding sense desire etc..
Your wrong assessment is a frequent occurance for fresh sotapannas. Let a few Months or a year pass and you will come back to earth, start to see the dukkha which is left over. The big junk is gone already, but a lot of defilements still remain. Time and experience will tell the truth! :)
Anyway thumps up for the many insights and progress you made so far!

If you wonder what is sensuality, it is the delighting in/valuing of sensory contact like certain taste touch etc.. One is advised to contemplate about and eventually directly experience the drawbacks of sensuality to progress further. Not knowing the drawbacks of Lust sex sensory desire delight etc is another pointer of not being an anagami or arahant, nor a well versed person in the dhamma. Be happy, there is still room to significantly upgrade and explore/learn more than only uselessly (from a dhamma perspective) spending your time with a job and a woman etc..
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Re: Foundations of Human Life - A road to Nirvana for the West

Post by PeterC86 »

[quote=Aloka post_id=503903 time=1551390585

Do you take recreational drugs and drink alcohol, Peter? Alan Watts did - and he became an alcoholic.



.
[/quote]

I am aware of his life, at least of what I have read.
No I do not.
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