Best path to stream entry for the householder

Jason Gilbert, modified 4 Months ago.

Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 10 Join Date: 5/14/21 Recent Posts
Hello,

This is my first time posting, but I've followed this forum for a while now. I've been interested in both Vipassana and Non-dual practices like Shikantaza for years, and I've read Daniel's books. 

It seems like, with Mahasi noting, you're best bet is to go on retreat to get stream entry. However, I don't have that option, with a job and family responsibilities. As a householder who can't go on retreat, is Mahasi noting still the best/most efficient way to get stream entry? 

I also use Sam Harris's Waking up app, and he focuses on Non-dual Dzogchen/Shikantaza practices. It seems logical to me, since it's essentially practicing what it's like to be enlightened, as far as I know. And if you maintain that non-dual state as often as possible, it seems that you would eventually re-wire the brain to be that way all the time. So would this be more efficient for the person who can't go on retreat? Or is Vipassana still the best and most efficient route?

To give some background, I think I'm a Dark night yogi. I was doing Mahasi noting a couple years ago (about an hour a day and maintaining mindfulness as much as possible during the day), and I think I had an A&P experience after a few days of practice, and then I hit the dark night kinda hard for about year, then it feels like I've been fluctuating between dark night and equanimity for the last year or so. I'm just trying to figure out how to get to that point of stream entry. 

Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks!

Jason
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 2112 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Hi Jason and welcome to DhO! 

This forum is a mix of different approaches so be ready to get all sorts of replies and then do your own head count afterwards. emoticon 

I will give you my view on this; 
yes, Noting can be of benefit without retreats. Keep a daily practice of once to twice 45-60 minutes sit each and really keep noting without much laps in attention. If need be, you can, like many of us do, use noting aloud, to keep you away from being lost in scenario spinning. 

So when sitting today, you really make each second count! Try to get at least 1-5 sensations per second. It's ok to start slow and get faster as the clarity and concentration fire up. But really keep at it. 

Another important thing is "Forget about Stream Entry!!!" Imagine there is only 1 Stream Entry left in the Dhamma web shop and 1 billion people trying to get to it, same as you. Would you still want to grab it for yourself? 

Of course not! emoticon We take one for the team and we join the rest in this boiling pot of suffering and keep at those 1-5 sensations a second. We awake to This moment right now, and now, and now, and now, and now, and ... ... and we realize there is nothing else Here but This right Now. It seems to be rappidly changing its appearance but it's still nothing other but This. 
1-5 sensations a second. For the duration of the entire sit in a body relaxed manner. 

Consider starting a log here for people to give tips and tricks if necessary. 
Whatever technique you choose give it at least 6 months. Don't flip flop between techniques too much.

​​​​​​​This is just me rumbling. 
I hope you get more replies. 

May you choose that which is of most benefit to you and practice it well! 
Jason Gilbert, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 10 Join Date: 5/14/21 Recent Posts
Thank you for the response! This is so helpful! I appreciate the very specific advice. And the statement "We awake to this moment right now, and now, and now..."--really hits hard. So thanks again, I appreciate the instruction!
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Pepe, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 426 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Hi Jason and welcome to DhO!

I concur with what Papa Che said. A practice log here would help you order your ideas, experiences, etc, and get better tips & tricks from DhOers.  Me too a householder with limited time of practice and that can only have a week-end retreat as the best option.  Below some links that may be (very!) helpful:

Shargrol's best posts compilation 
Daniel Ingram's best posts compilation 

Added: regarding which is best, Vipassana or some kind of Self-Inquiry/Non-Dual practice, check:

Kenneth Folk's Three Speed Transmission and it's quick start guide
Jason Gilbert, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 10 Join Date: 5/14/21 Recent Posts
Awesome, thank you for the links!!
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Richard Zen, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

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Don't forget to note/acknowledge/recognize "analyzing" "strategizing" and "control." 
Jason Gilbert, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

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Oh damn...that's a good point!
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Jason,

Welcome to DhO! I meditated for 8 years and got no where because I did not choose one method and the right teacher. After meeting with Daniel, I switched tto his book MCTB and especially fast Mahasi njoting and I found a teacher who was expert in this area. My teacher was tough. I started in the Dukka-Nanas, got to Equanmity, the had my 2nd A+P, and worked with my teacher to wo4rk hard to get through the cycles including Equanimity and obtained Stream Enttry within 2 years. 

I forgot to mention that I wasn't working and i had a lot of time daily to practice. Practice times have to get up there, above 45 minutes to make a dent. I can't over emphasize the role of a great teacher who PUSHES you to go forward  and not give up.
George S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 2017 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I have a family and couldn't go on retreat. I hit technical stream entry a few months after starting to meditate seriously. I had quite a lot of flexibility in my schedule though and was able to sit several hours a day (there were some intense periods where I would sit 3-6 hours, otherwise it was 1-3 hours per day). I was coming out of a suicidal depression and was very motivated! I felt like I didn't have much to lose so I was willing to really throw myself into it and take risks. I also had a strong intellectual interest in getting to "the truth" all my life and Daniel's book and the Mahasi style practice really seemed to gel with me. I just found it fascinating that you could deconstruct your entire sensory experience that way, including the intellect itself.

After reading MCTB, Mahasi’s Practical Insight Meditation gave me a real boost. It’s included as Chapter 5 (Practical Instructions) in his Manual of Insight. The instructions are very clear, it’s only 30 pages and it takes you step by step all the way through. My advice would be to throw yourself into that and ignore everything else. Noting is a catch-all practice – you can always do it however you feel and whatever is going on. Non-duality was very important for me during third path, however it’s a nothing-to-do practice which is the opposite of what you need to get insight into your sensory experience and “results” pre-SE. Good luck!

 
Jason Gilbert, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 10 Join Date: 5/14/21 Recent Posts
A lot of really great advice and resources here. I find the personal accounts very helpful and motivating. I think I really do need to throw myself into Noting and give it everything. Thanks very much to all for the warm welcome, and amazing help!
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Richard Zen, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

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Be careful of the "throw myself into Noting" etc. You want to notice pain, pressure, and effort that is not needed. You can probably skip some needless pain if you realize the danger of over-efforting at the beginning. The mistake can linger for years.

Adyashanti is good at reminding people of this:

"So just check in your mind, and also in your body to see if there's any attitude of trying to make anything happen, or any kind of waiting for something to happen, any kind of expectation. If you find anything, just see it. Don't try to get rid of it. Just see it. What I am talking about is the wisdom of non-interference."

Seeing through the habits of the mind: https://youtu.be/SPB8Ybf6PWw

Remind yourself that Nirvana is a non-experience, with no labeling or moving of the attention span. You gradually, over long periods of time, put just enough effort, not no effort, so you can pay attention to restfulness in between impulses of thoughts/feelings. The practice is to gradually relax the mind muscle by seeing unnecessary efforting and the mind will repeatedly surrender and relax.

Thoughts arise and pass away on their own, so no excessive effort is required. You can wait with mindfulness for it to pass. You put enough effort to not follow stories, and also to resist the temptation to finish stories, and then enjoy the rest in between. Enjoying the relief is what gets you further. A noting practice is very dangerous, and I'm serious about this, if you note with too much ferocity. It's good to remind yourself of Flow states you've gotten into in the past when you lost track of the sense of self and a sense of time. Those are very good experiences and you are developing similar ones with the breath because following the breath is a skill you are developing, just like in work, sports, or other recreational activities where you are in the moment for long periods of time. The sweet spot ihappens when skills begin to match challenges.

It's good to get into the habit of learning to let experiences flow through you like wind in trees, water in a stream, etc. Even further it's good to practice a welcoming practice, which roots up a lot of hidden clinging that again can take years unnecessarily for you to notice.

Rob Burbea: Welcoming: https://dharmaseed.org/talks/9813/

This will help protect your noting so that it does what it's supposed to do and catches those trap doors of over striving.

​​​​​​​Have fun!

EDIT: One more thing. A big part of development that is often missed is to purposefully look at drawbacks, disgust, and consequences to actions. So many waste years and only later realize that they have very little development in this area:

Mindfulness: Letting Go: https://youtu.be/iekCpuNqmek
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

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"Best path to stream entry for the householder"

It depends on the householder.

In my opinion the purpose of meditation is not to achieve some kind of breakthrough, it is to prepare the mind for investigating the origin of dukkha and the cessation of dukkha in daily life.  Understanding the origin and cessation of dukkha in your own mind is what causes change.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/04/my-views-on-gradual-awakening.html
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 1001 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
"Best path to stream entry for the householder"

It depends on the householder.

In my opinion the purpose of meditation is not to achieve some kind of breakthrough, it is to prepare the mind for investigating the origin of dukkha and the cessation of dukkha in daily life.  Understanding the origin and cessation of dukkha in your own mind is what causes change.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/04/my-views-on-gradual-awakening.html


1 Relax = deactivate the sympathetic nervous system = activate the parasympathetic nervous system.

2 Engage your mind something that does not involve letting your mind wander (deactivate the default mode network in the brain)  or problem solving. Do not suppress thoughts and emotions, observe them without getting carried away by them (stay lucid), let them come and go, notice the feelings in your body that may accompany them. In this way you will learn how dukkha arises and ceases.


Do this as a formal practice but also develop the habit of doing this in daily life when possible. When you practice in daily life you train your mind to be awakened (not attain awakening). Practicing in daily life does not mean you don't engage your mind in other things. You can allocate time to solve problems, think about your emotions, plan for the future etc these activities are not "bad" but you don't have to let them take over your mind.


How does this produce awakening?

As you learn how dukkha arises and ceases, you will become better at not producing it and letting go of it if you do produce it. If meditation elevates your mood, it make you more open to accepting that dukkha is produced by the mind and not by circumstances or events.
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Awakening = The process of letting go of attachments and aversions (including attachments to self, attachments to awakening, and attachments to pleasant feelings produced by meditation) = Ending dukkha. 

Attachments and aversions express themselves as unpleasant emotions such as disliking and craving.

When you are relaxed, you are not experiencing any unpleasant emotion ie you are not experiencing dukkha. You can develop the ability to relax as a skill that you can become better at with practice. This is equivalent to learning to let go upekkha is the seventh of the seven factors of awakening). One reason it is important not to suppress thoughts and emotions during meditation is because many attachments and aversions exist in the mind as faint mental impressions that have big impacts on our emotions and actions.  In order to let go of them you must be aware of them.

When your mind is not wandering, it is not thinking about attachments and aversions and not producing dukkha. Dukkha requires some type of cognition to arise in the mind.

(This does not apply to emotions due to purely organic causes such as some types of anxiety and depression but it could apply to a person's attitudes toward having to live with anxiety and depression.)
Jason Gilbert, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 10 Join Date: 5/14/21 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
Jim Smith
"Best path to stream entry for the householder"

It depends on the householder.

In my opinion the purpose of meditation is not to achieve some kind of breakthrough, it is to prepare the mind for investigating the origin of dukkha and the cessation of dukkha in daily life.  Understanding the origin and cessation of dukkha in your own mind is what causes change.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/04/my-views-on-gradual-awakening.html


1 Relax = deactivate the sympathetic nervous system = activate the parasympathetic nervous system.

2 Engage your mind something that does not involve letting your mind wander (deactivate the default mode network in the brain)  or problem solving. Do not suppress thoughts and emotions, observe them without getting carried away by them (stay lucid), let them come and go, notice the feelings in your body that may accompany them. In this way you will learn how dukkha arises and ceases.


Do this as a formal practice but also develop the habit of doing this in daily life when possible. When you practice in daily life you train your mind to be awakened (not attain awakening). Practicing in daily life does not mean you engage your mind in other things. You can allocate time to solve problems, think about your emotions, plan for the future etc these activities are not "bad" but you don't have to let them take over your mind.


How does this produce awakening?

As you learn how dukkha arises and ceases, you will become better at not producing it and letting go of it if  you do produce it. If meditation elevates your mood, it make you more open to accepting that dukkha is produced by the mind and not by circumstances or events.
​​​​​​​
Awakening = The process of letting go of attachments and aversions (including attachments to self and attachments to awakening) = Ending dukkha

Attachments and aversions express themselves as unpleasant emotions such as disliking and craving.

When you are relaxed, you are not experiencing any unpleasant emotion ie you are not experiencing dukkha. You can develop the ability to relax as a skill that you can become better at with practice. This is equivalent to learning to let go upekkha is the seventh of the seven factors of awakening).

When your mind is not wandering, it is not thinking about attachments and aversions and not producing dukkha. Dukkha requires some type of cognition to arise in the mind.

(This does not apply to emotions due to purely organic causes such as some types of anxiety and depression but it could apply to a person's attitudes toward having to live with anxiety and depression.)


Jim, this is really great, thank you for putting this together, and including resources. The straightforward terminology, is super helpful, and I will keep coming back to this thread and your blog as well for instruction, reminders, and motivation. Thank you!
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 1001 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jason Gilbert

Jim, this is really great, thank you for putting this together, and including resources. The straightforward terminology, is super helpful, and I will keep coming back to this thread and your blog as well for instruction, reminders, and motivation. Thank you!


Thanks Jason. Very often what I post in this form (and on other forums) ends up in my blog, so I am grateful for the questions folks like you ask.
Jason Gilbert, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 10 Join Date: 5/14/21 Recent Posts
Richard and Jim, thank you both for taking the time to put together these thoughtful posts with supporting resources. And Richard--so many good points. It's funny you mention being aware of the relief--that actually has been a recent thing I have noticed in myself--whenever I "wake myself up" out of thought and into the present, I notice an immediate sense of relief, as if every thought or everytime I'm lost in thought causes tension. Good to know that that noticing is on the right track. 
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Richard Zen, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

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Jason Gilbert
Richard and Jim, thank you both for taking the time to put together these thoughtful posts with supporting resources. And Richard--so many good points. It's funny you mention being aware of the relief--that actually has been a recent thing I have noticed in myself--whenever I "wake myself up" out of thought and into the present, I notice an immediate sense of relief, as if every thought or everytime I'm lost in thought causes tension. Good to know that that noticing is on the right track. 
Exactly. It's okay to enjoy yourself. Western Meditation is starting to learn this now, but it wasn't always the case. You can actually condition misery because many people have huge psychological problems and like with most psychology, meditation has to be nuanced, tuned, balanced and particular for there to be success. So many get lost and it's probably why they don't get far. Most effort is really just to keep doing it for long periods of time without quitting too soon. The nuanced gentleness will keep the mind from overheating and getting stressed about "getting somewhere."

Have fun!
George S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 2017 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Richard and Jim make essential points. If you do go the route of “energetic noting” then you also need to note/deconstruct everything to do with energy, effort, striving, ambition, expectation, results, etc.

I’m used to thinking of nirvana as already being here and figuring out what obstructs my experience of nirvana, but since the blocks are invariably thought/feeling patterns then that probably comes down to much the same thing as learning to enjoy the rest space between thoughts/feelings.

Partly it comes down to personality type. Certain types pursue insight at the expense of “relaxation” (samatha/jhana, emotional/psychological purification). The insights can come fast but then there’s a sharp release of the repressed stuff which can be dramatic (or even dangerous) and has to be worked through. Other types work through their stuff first and then the insights tend to be much smoother (assuming they don’t get stuck in interminable stuff-work). The ideal is to find the right balance between those two approaches which works for you. It sounds like an impossible decision, but when you look backwards you realize that things happened for you the way they had to happen given your conditioning. So again, it’s important to let go of the illusion of control and follow your instincts, or go with the flow :-)
Trevor Beach, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 7 Join Date: 4/15/21 Recent Posts
Jason, the Two-Part Formula for Awakening is the most successful practice for stream entry that I've ever come across.  It worked wonders for me as well as many of my fellow practicioners.  

From the front page of twopartformula.com

"The Two-Part Formula (2PF) is a simple and effective method for bringing about a permanent awakening, that is, a dropping off of the illusion of self. It's about being aware of one's sense of self and observing it systematically. Applying the 2PF doesn't differ from the way a scientist carries out a careful examination. It's about examining the mind, looking into one's own psychology in a particular way.When you really immerse yourself in applying the 2PF, it can bring about awakening. Awakening happens on the level of your mind and is a permanent state, not a temporary experience.The 2PF is a spiritual-psychological technique, which can produce a significant shift in one's mind and thereby in one's life as well. It's about illuminating the most significant cause of dissatisfaction from one's mind stream. Overall, awakening is a central theme in all time-tested spiritual traditions."
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These links are two separate guided introductions to the formula and how to practice it. The first one is by my teacher and the second one is by me.  I hope that you find them helpful!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnTOL76KDY0&t=1s

https://youtu.be/Jlq9xwC9YYY

Adi Vader, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

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My suggestion would be to continue with your Vipashyana practice. Supplement it with concentration TMI style and jhanas. That would be my suggestion. You can always practice ... being enlightened ... once you get enlightened emoticon Sorry didnt mean to ding you emoticon

Generally a PoI map tends to create a potential for scripting, but it does help to know whats happening, also what needs to be done at various points. Often times people experience dukkha and mistake it for the dukkha dnyans or knowledge of how dukkha arose, how it can be ameliorated. The dukkha one experiences in meditation leads nowhere ... it has to be the knowledge of dukkha
I am copy pasting a conversation I had with a friend. It is out of context but might help perhaps or atleast entertain emoticon.

Regarding the Progress of Insight. (The easy topic first!) I will try and explain how the PoI plays out for me. I will do it ..... deliberately .... without using the traditional presentation of the 16 odd stages and talk more about what is happening when the PoI tumbles around inside my head. This by the way is not 'phenomenology' I have a lot of disdain for phenomenology, or rather the worship of phenomenology, and later I will explain why. To detail how this particular PoI unfolding of insights 'work' and how they are connected with Sid's teachings. It is a tall order to do this, but a very interesting conversation topic to take forward.
1. It begins with training awareness to fully engage with 'objects'. Please note that I am using awareness and not attention. Attention is essentially a concept which represents a particular presentation of awareness - blasphemous in terms of our bible but none the less a defensible position - and this presentation is absolutely crucial
2. Awareness initially engages with objects clumsily but as skills develop it starts to engage with objects fully, tracking them. This is the first time that awareness fully engages with 'zero', 'Shunya', nothing-ness. The mind groks that what ever it experiences has no inherent existence, it literally materializes out of nothing and goes back into nothing. This is the first time that the mind realizes that what it experiences as 'stuff' is really a creation of the mind itself. The mind doesn't care whether the stuff exists in the outside world, it has at this point in practice fully engaged itself with the fact that it never engages with the outside world, it always engages with its own representations, its own projections, its own constructions. It sees these constructions getting created and falling apart. This is the insight into emptiness or 'shunyata'. Its simple description is 'All experience is created by the mind' The outside world is .. well .. outside the scope of the mind.

3. As awareness becomes very very conversant in tracking objects from their inception to their demise, there is a shift in the 'target' of awareness. Awareness starts to engage with the underlying nature of objects, the fact that they change, the fact that they appear out no where, shimmy and shake, do a little dance, and dive back into the nothing ness that they emerge from. The object at this point is no longer the object of meditation, the mind is now meditating on the characteristic of change.
4. But So what! things change! Big deal! I already knew that shit, If I sit in front of an anthill for an hour, I will see all the change that I ever need to see .... why am I not awakened .. yet! Why?
5. This is the point at which pashyana or the process of seeing can take a yogi .... this point and not beyond
6. The mind pulls a magnificent contortion at this point .... it starts to do 'vi' pashyana. A radically different way of seeing, so radical that we almost never know that the mind can do this unless we apply ourselves in meditation
7. Awareness at this point becomes bi-directional. Attention which is till this point simply a presentation of awareness takes on a very important role. The arrow of attention which is always uni-directional pointed outwards in mindfulness meditation, inwards in self inquiry becomes bidirectional. The mind knows two things simultaneously. It 'knows' the object's nature and it knows its own nature .... at the same time

8. Things change, yes, but the mind realizes that it seeks things that are 'nitya' or reliable and understands its own expectation and through close observation of impermanence realizes that everything, absolutely everything is 'anitya' or unreliable. Through meditation thus far, the mind has grokked that it is now engaging with the building blocks of everyday ordinary human experience, the unreliability or 'anityata' of a sound, a smell, a touch, an itch, a thought, a memory, an attitude is projected by the mind to encompass all of everyday human experience. People are unreliable, relationships are unreliable, identities are unreliable, personal histories are unreliable, group memberships are unreliable, nationalities are unreliable, day and night are unreliable, lunch appointments are unreliable, romance is unreliable, the love of a parent for their child is unreliable, every fucking thing is unreliable.

9.These things aren't discursively known during the meditation. But they show up off the cushion and become the mythical 'Dark Night of the Soul' .... and the mind experiences fear for the first time without any explanation, a fear associated not with an object but in fact associated with the mental model of reality that the mind carries within itself. At this point the mind is so deeply enmeshed in its mental model that this fear is understood as arising from the simple act of being alive, of being conscious.
10. Fear, misery, disgust these are the RGB of Dukkha. Like three dials which determine how dukkha presents itself to us as we go about our business. And each segues on to the other not automatically. The experience of fear has to become the knowledge of fear ..... the mind has to have been fully present, very very very mindful of how this fear actually arose, where did this fear come from ... then the mind has to let go of a very key aspect of itself, something so subtle that the only appropriate words ... dont even do it justice. Then and only then does fear move on to misery ... and so on and on till the dark night ends
10. Scripting warning: The mind holds expectations from conscious experience ... 'we' hold expectations from the story line interpreted from conscious experience and therefore there is fear. The mind learns that holding expectations leads to fear. And its not about whether expectations are towards positive or negative outcomes ... if you hold an expectation .... you are fucked! I am writing this 'write-up' .... it will be read and appreciated ...... Fucked! I am writing this 'write-up' .... nobody will understand it ..... Fucked! My government will deal with the pandemic ..... fucked! my government will not deal with the pandemic ... fucked! I will be alive tomorrow.... fucked! I will probably be dead tomorrow .... fucked! Fucked! Fucked! Expect something good ... fucked! Expect something bad ... fucked!

11. The mind learns to operate without expectations, and the mind gives up the very need to hold expectations from 'objects' ... we learn to give up expectations from the story of our lives and we simply give up the very need to hold expectations from our lives
12. We learn to give up expectations, we learn to give up animosity and dislike, we learn to give up rejection, we learn not to say stupid shit like .... not me! not mine!
13. At the end of this process when the yogi emerges successfully out of the dukkha nanas having seen how dukkha comes about, and how it ceases, how the cessation of dukkha requires one to let go of 'Satkaya drishti', 'Kama Raag', 'Vyapad', Rupa raag, Arupa raag, Maan, and Avijja (Personality view, Lust, Adversarial - ness, passion for form, passion for the formless, pride / Self respect/ assertiveness, compulsion not to challenge mental models) .... The yogi isnt even a yogi .... He is no longer a father, a son, a husband, a citizen, a friend .... The very mechanism through which these roles get created are simply let go of .... there is no choice ..... The mind rejoices ..... All of reality is simultaneously projected on the screen ... Its a visual screen, an olfactory screen, a tactile screen, a conceptual scree, an emotional screen, a formed screen, a formless screen .... The whole screen is simply dumped!!! Gone ... Gone for ever .... well .... not for ever ... but poetic license?

And it happens many times ..... 'Gate' 'gate' 'gate' 'gate' .... and some more 'gate' .... until finally ..... 'paragate' ... 'parasamgate' ..... Bodhi! ...... Mother fucking Svaha!

This entire process gives you a detailed tour of the Dharma ... you dont need the words, the conceptual scaffolding on which the Dhamma hangs ..... But what happens is what is represented by those words which are wrapped around stupid, meaningless concepts ... And you realize the meaninglessness, the shunyata of the 'Dharma' itself

My contention is that one single cycle of the PoI done with elan and finesse can finish this entire project. the raft can be abandoned.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

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Adding on to what I said before, you can read what the last two months was like for me to Stream Entry here. As Jim says it depe3nds on the type of the householder but this is definetly can be done without going to a pile of retreats. If you listen to people like IMS it can never be done. But lots of people have done it here. If you haven't already,  start reading Daniel's MCTB, and try Mahasi style noting. Look at the 3Cs. Look for impermeanece rising and ceasing. And then I ihink its super important, get a qualified teacher who is enlightened themselves who knows the territory when you get stuck. Also pick up Rob Burbea's Seeing That Frees an amazing book on Emptiness in a meditative format. And stay on one path for at least 6 months! 
Jason Gilbert, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 10 Join Date: 5/14/21 Recent Posts
Thanks for the continued advice and responses! This is more than I expected, and I'm amazed at how helpful everyone is. I know I have the intellectual knowledge--I've been reading about Buddhism since I was a teenager (I'm 31 now), reading authors like Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Bhante G, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Chah, and some other Zen stuff, and I received a bachelors in Relgious studies with an emphasis on Eastern religions. It was within the last 5 years, however, that I learned about Daniel (and read both versions of MCTB and Mahasi style noting and the progress of insight). It was wonderful to learn that stream entry is possible, I just wish I had learned it earlier when I had fewer/no responsibilities. And it is nice to get confirmation as well that it can be done without retreat. So at this point it's about practice instead of theory. Anyway, I'm grateful for all the advice, and will be continuing with Noting exclusively, and save the non-dual stuff for later on, perhaps. 
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Brandon Dayton, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 496 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
Just another householder here that hasn't hit Stream Entry yet...

From my experience, I would recommend getting clear about why you want Stream Entry and awakening in general. As MCTB and many others on DhO have stated, maps have their place, but we also need to balance that out with warmer, more felt ways of approaching practice. In other words, why do we want something (Stream Entry) that we have no direct experience with? Because the maps or others say it's what we should shoot for? For me, when I discovered the concept of Stream Entry, it seemed like the next logical step, but with time (and some humbling experiences) I realized that I needed something more intuitive and embodied that I could aspire to. I needed a reason to work towards awakening that was connected to the here and now, that connected to the suffering, and the noble desires I experience in the present moment. I think setting a direct, personal aspiration like this helps to transform practice from trying to obtain some distant object in the future to getting intimate with your mind right now, it also allows you to see and celebrate the incremental progress that is happenning all the time.

The milestones you hit along the way are fun and a great way to stay motivated, but it doesn't much matter if it isn't making your life better in some way. Considering how much time you'll inevitably be spending on the cushion, it makes sense to spend some time contemplating what you are aspiring to.

I've found the attached talk by Christopher Titmuss to be a particualarly nice expression of that intuitive approach to awakening. Hope it helps!

link: https://dharmaseed.org/talks/4564/
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Stirling Campbell, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
Jason,

I'm a householder that had success with a wife and 2 teenagers... it is entirely possible.

Your ideas for how to proceed are great. If you are drawn to that path DON'T think that some other practice is going to be better - it isn't any individual practice that cracks it. It isn't really even complicated... be wary of any set of practices that over-complicate it, or bury it in conceptual nonsense.

​​​​​​​Sitting in open awareness IS actualizing enlightenment. Bring awareness to EVERY moment of your life you can. Relax.  

​​​​​​​I would just add - find a teacher if you can, and let go of ideas of success or failure.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I would echo everything Stirling said and he really knows his stuff. I am aso a householder that reached SE with a wife and 2 children. It is entirely possible.

I would echo that you find a teacher that can get you there. I can recomend my teacher who is all the way there and many people  use here.
Jason Gilbert, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 10 Join Date: 5/14/21 Recent Posts
Brandon, Stirling, and Sam--all excellent points, and it's really relieving to know that Stream Entry is possible without retreat, and to hear it from those who have been through it, along with the additional instruction. I will definitely look into getting a teacher--Sam if you don't mind sharing, I would be interested to know who your teacher was, and if he/she is taking on students. I thought I saw a thread on here a while ago with teacher recommendations...
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Brandon Dayton, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 496 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
Yes, get a teacher! Sam and I use the same one.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 1344 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Brandon Dayton
Yes, get a teacher! Sam and I use the same one.
Jason, you can send me email at <removed since he already used it>
Jason Gilbert, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: Best path to stream entry for the householder

Posts: 10 Join Date: 5/14/21 Recent Posts
Thank you!

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