Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 1 Month ago.

Entering the Stream- What Stream?

Posts: 281 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
     Most meditators are very concerned about knowing if they are progressing in their practice. Entering the stream, kensho, enlightenment, whatever it's called in the line of practice being used, is a valued goal.
Thanissaro Bhikkhu comments,
..DN 16 — also reports that the most backward of the monks present at the Buddha's passing away were stream-enterers. The fact that his last words to them stressed the need for heedfulness underlies the fact that even stream-enterers have to be wary of heedlessness. This is especially true in the present day, when many different meditation schools define the attainment of stream-entry in such different terms, raising the question of whose certification of stream-entry is valid and whose is not. The safest course of action for all meditators — whether certified as stream-enterers or not, and whether that certification is valid or not — is to maintain an attitude of heedfulness with regard to all mental qualities.

"Sariputta, 'The stream, the stream': thus it is said. And what, Sariputta, is the stream?" "This noble eightfold path, lord, is the stream: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration." "Very good, Sariputta! Very good! This noble eightfold path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration — is the stream."     
     This seems to point to a performance evaluation of who has entered the stream. Can they demonstrate adherence to the eightfold path? This is on the Buddhist side. The admonition repeats in other traditions as well, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?”
     But there is one event that draws all the attention. A definitive insight that cuts across all cultures and religions and can be pointed to as the originator of all the philosophical, psychological, and spiritual views of peak human development. In fact, it doesn't need any of the views to justify its occurrence, and when used as explanations they always fall short. As it has been said, “the consciousness alights on it”. It just happens. It then motivates a mad scramble to understand what has just been “seen”.
     It is a break from everything we consider to be ourselves. The “bodily and mental formations” we observe and latch on to are suddenly replaced with a complete absence, a complete stillness. And for the first time, we become aware of this. Then the work begins. Bringing this new knowledge into daily life is the real challenge. No rest for the heedful.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

Posts: 1014 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Angel Roberto Puente
...
     It is a break from everything we consider to be ourselves. The “bodily and mental formations” we observe and latch on to are suddenly replaced with a complete absence, a complete stillness. And for the first time, we become aware of this. Then the work begins. Bringing this new knowledge into daily life is the real challenge. No rest for the heedful.


According to Shinzen Young this "big change" is not the most common way of awakening.

https://www.lionsroar.com/on-enlightenment-an-interview-with-shinzen-young/
The sudden epiphany that’s described in many books about enlightenment, that has definitely happened to some of my students. And when it happens, it’s similar to what is described in those books. I don’t keep statistics, but maybe it happens a couple times a year. When someone comes to me after that’s happened I can smell it. They walk into the room and before they’ve even finished their first sentence I know what they’re going to say. You remember, right…? Your own case.

When it happens suddenly and dramatically you’re in seventh heaven. It’s like after the first experience of love, you’ll never be the same. However, for most people who’ve studied with me it doesn’t happen that way. What does happen is that the person gradually works through the things that get in the way of enlightenment, but so gradually that they might not notice. What typically happens is that over a period of years, and indeed decades, within that person the craving, aversion, and unconsciousness—the mula kleshas (the fundamental “impurities”), get worked through. But because all this is happening gradually they’re acclimatizing as it’s occurring and they may not realize how far they’ve come. That’s why I like telling the story about the samurai.

This samurai went to the Zen temple on the mountain and lived there for many years. He didn’t seem to be getting anything out of the practice. So he said to the Master, “I think I need to leave. Nothing’s happening as a result of this practice.” So the master said, “Okay. Go.” As he was coming down the hill one of his former comrades, a fellow samurai, saw him in the tattered robes of a Buddhist monk, which is equivalent to a glorified beggar from a samurai’s point of view, and he said, “How could you be so undignified to join the counter-culture of Buddhist beggars?” and he spit on him. Now in the old days the samurais were extremely proud. Any insult to their personal dignity meant a fight to the death. So the monk who had formerly been a samurai just walked on and after he’d walked a certain distance, it occurred to him that not only did he not need to kill this guy, he wasn’t even angry.

As the story goes he turned around and bowed toward the mountain three times where he had practiced. He bowed in his recognition of all that he had worked through. He recognized he no longer needed to kill someone that had offended his dignity. He noticed how fundamentally he had changed as a human being.

Of course, it’s not just samurai in sixteenth century Japan. The same things apply to twenty-first century North Americans. Maybe they’ve been practicing for ten, twenty, or thirty years and it doesn’t seem that much has changed. And then something big happens like a major bereavement, a major illness like cancer, a serious injury, or their life is somehow threatened. Then they notice how everyone around them is freaking out and how much less they’re freaking out.

In my opnion this view that experiencing a "big-change" is necessary for awakening creates an unnecessary and insurmountable obstacle for most people on the path. It's like a dirty trick intended to keep people from making progress. It does more to create attachments (obsessions over a "big change") than it does to free people from them. Instead of showing people the path to awakening it points them to a pool of quicksand. It's more like a locked door that only opens for a few than a gateway to progress open to everyone.

When Shinzen says "over a period of years, and indeed decades, within that person the craving, aversion, and unconsciousness—the mula kleshas (the fundamental “impurities”), get worked through". I interpret that to mean the work of bringing awakening into daily life can be done without the "big-change". To me the big change is an illusion or an epiphenomenon - it has no causative power. You still have to do / can do the same work whether you experience the "big-change" or not.

Sorry if anyone is offend by my views, you might find it useful to look at this thread: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/9570391
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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Jim Smith
It's more like a locked door that only opens for a few than a gateway to progress open to everyone.

It's such a freakin weird door to go through that I wouldn't be suprised if many of those who pass through it just keep quiet about it! To people who are focussed on making progress, you either come across as crazy, lazy or arrogant ...

For a start, the door vanishes the moment you pass through it ... because the other side is the same as this side (you never went anywhere and nothing really happened). It only gets interpreted as a "big change" within the dream of the individual, which weirdly continues even though you just woke up from it ... so most people who haven't been through it won't believe you (because it does indeed sound like a dirty trick!) From within the dream which most people take to be reality, the big change does indeed sound like an illusion. For the one who went through the door and has seen reality, the dream can no longer be seen as anything but a dream, and yet this can't be expressed in anything but the language of the dream, which makes it sound like nonsense.

The really big change is realizing that in reality nothing is changing at all, because change is just a creation of the grasping mind which fabricates objects/states and time for them to exist in, only to complain that they are always changing! (Huineng - it's neither the wind nor the flag that's moving, it's your mind that's moving.) Same reason it has no causative power - because causation is just another fabrication of the mind.

Finally, it doesn't magically fix any of your conditioning, so it looks like you are fraudulently claiming the "big prize" (lol) to avoid working on your issues.

Do you see the problem? It probably takes a fairly weird mind to read this kind of stuff and think 'hang on, maybe this person is not a fraudster, maybe there's something to this.' You can see why remaining quiet about it and continuing to do whatever you were doing before is an attractive option. Or diluting it with a more "progressive" teaching, which is what people want and are willing to pay for. Most people get into this stuff as part of a project of progressive self-improvement, not to have their minds completely turned inside out. Some cultures seem more amenable to uncomfortable truth telling, witness the chan/zen masters - 'nothing here to see you fools, go back the way you came!'

And then at the end of the day, since nothing changes, what's the point? Why not just let the chips fall where they may? It probably takes an even more peculiar kind of conditioning to go through the invisible door and then try to convince other people that's it's there at all! Maybe it would be better to just let people enjoy their samsara dream uninterrupted ...
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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Jim Smith
In my opinion, this view that experiencing a "big change" is necessary for awakening creates an unnecessary and insurmountable obstacle for most people on the path. It's like a dirty trick intended to keep people from making progress.
   
     “Big change” happens and it is attention-catching. Anybody that has had it knows what I'm talking about. But it's not the only way people come to understand the “change”. This is an age-old discussion, sudden vs. gradual awakening. The story of the sixth patriarch of Zen, Hui Neng is classical in this respect. This sudden awakening, which is much more common than realized, without a foundation to fall on accounts for most of the spiritual emergencies reported.    
      In early Buddhism also, it's considered a normal progression of practice. The experience of cessation, or as you call it “change” is in fact the cornerstone of true understanding. But there are degrees. It can come as a big bang or a whisper. But come it must.      
​​​​​​​     You can notice the change first and later articulate what changed your understanding. But knowing is the difference between wobbling on your feet or standing up straight. It's the breakaway from circling in the world of body/mind phenomena. There can be much progress in this world of phenomena but it's not sustainable without a lot of work and you never own it.
     True freedom is natural, organic. 
[Immediately after attaining the stream] Sariputta the wanderer went to Moggallana the wanderer. Moggallana the wanderer saw him coming from afar and, on seeing him, said, “Your faculties are bright, my friend; your complexion pure & clear. Could it be that you have attained the Deathless?” “Yes, my friend, I have….”Mv I.23.5
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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Sorry Angel, I didn't see your reply before I posted mine. Big up Huineng!
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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"it's such a freakin weird door to go through that I wouldn't be surprised if many of those who pass through it just keep quiet about it! To people who are focused on making progress, you either come across as crazy, lazy, or arrogant ..." 

You're right about that George. It's only on a forum like this that I would dare to talk. I remember many years ago I casually remarked in a conversation that I had no fear of death because I knew what it was. The reactions taught me to never speak about it again. But times have changed and now you have conversations like the one in the Guru Viking youtube channel between Shinzen and Leigh Brasington where the two, old in years, openly discuss it. And yes, it is related to the "big change".  You'll never understand it without it. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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What is Mu?
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terry, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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in response to jim



"from "purity of heart," thanissaro bhikkhu...

https://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Purity-of-Heart.pdf


Romantic ideas about religion alive in the West (...) have shaped humanistic
psychology and—through humanistic psychology—the expectations many
Americans bring to the Dharma.

However, when we compare these expectations with the original principles of
the Dharma, we find radical differences. The contrast between them is especially
strong around the three most central issues of spiritual life: What is the essence of
religious experience? What is the basic illness that religious experience can cure?
And what does it mean to be cured?

The nature of religious experience. For humanistic psychology, as for the
Romantics, religious experience is a direct feeling, rather than the discovery of
objective truths. The essential feeling is a oneness overcoming all inner and outer
divisions. These experiences come in two sorts: peak experiences, in which the
sense of oneness breaks through divisions and dualities; and plateau experiences,
where—through training—the sense of oneness creates as healthy sense of self,
informing all of one’s activities in everyday life.

However, the Dharma as expounded in its earliest records places training in
oneness and a healthy sense of self prior to the most dramatic religious
experiences. A healthy sense of self is fostered through training in generosity and
virtue. A sense of oneness—peak or plateau—is attained in mundane levels of
concentration (jhana) that constitute the path, rather than the goal of practice.

The ultimate religious experience, Awakening, is something else entirely. It is
described, not in terms of feeling, but of knowledge: skillful mastery of the
principles of causality underlying actions and their results, followed by direct
knowledge of the dimension beyond causality where all suffering stops.

The basic spiritual illness. Romantic/humanistic psychology states that the root
of suffering is a sense of divided self, which creates not only inner boundaries—
between reason and emotion, body and mind, ego and shadow—but also outer
ones, separating us from other people and from nature and the cosmos as a
whole. The Dharma, however, teaches that the essence of suffering is clinging,
and that the most basic form of clinging is self‐identification, regardless of
whether one’s sense of self is finite or infinite, fluid or static, unitary or not.

The successful spiritual cure. Romantic/humanistic psychology maintains that a
total, final cure is unattainable. Instead, the cure is an ongoing process of
personal integration. The enlightened person is marked by an enlarged, fluid
sense of self, unencumbered by moral rigidity. Guided primarily by what feels
right in the context of interconnectedness, one negotiates with ease—like a
dancer—the roles and rhythms of life. Having learned the creative answer to the
question, “What is my true identity?”, one is freed from the need for certainties
about any of life’s other mysteries.

The Dharma, however, teaches that full Awakening achieves a total cure,
opening to the unconditioned beyond time and space, at which point the task is
done. The awakened person then follows a path “that can’t be traced,” but is
incapable of transgressing the basic principles of morality. Such a person realizes
that the question, “What is my true identity?” was ill‐conceived, and knows from
direct experience the total release from time and space that will happen at death.

When these two traditions are compared point‐by‐point, it’s obvious that—
from the perspective of early Buddhism—Romantic/humanistic psychology gives
only a partial and limited view of the potentials of spiritual practice. This means
that Buddhist Romanticism, in translating the Dharma into Romantic principles,
gives only a partial and limited view of what Buddhism has to offer.  
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terry, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

Posts: 1770 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
'Jim Smith
It's more like a locked door that only opens for a few than a gateway to progress open to everyone.


George
It's such a freakin weird door to go through that I wouldn't be suprised if many of those who pass through it just keep quiet about it! To people who are focussed on making progress, you either come across as crazy, lazy or arrogant ...

For a start, the door vanishes the moment you pass through it ... because the other side is the same as this side (you never went anywhere and nothing really happened). It only gets interpreted as a "big change" within the dream of the individual, which weirdly continues even though you just woke up from it ... so most people who haven't been through it won't believe you (because it does indeed sound like a dirty trick!) From within the dream which most people take to be reality, the big change does indeed sound like an illusion. For the one who went through the door and has seen reality, the dream can no longer be seen as anything but a dream, and yet this can't be expressed in anything but the language of the dream, which makes it sound like nonsense.

The really big change is realizing that in reality nothing is changing at all, because change is just a creation of the grasping mind which fabricates objects/states and time for them to exist in, only to complain that they are always changing! (Huineng - it's neither the wind nor the flag that's moving, it's your mind that's moving.) Same reason it has no causative power - because causation is just another fabrication of the mind.

Finally, it doesn't magically fix any of your conditioning, so it looks like you are fraudulently claiming the "big prize" (lol) to avoid working on your issues.

Do you see the problem? It probably takes a fairly weird mind to read this kind of stuff and think 'hang on, maybe this person is not a fraudster, maybe there's something to this.' You can see why remaining quiet about it and continuing to do whatever you were doing before is an attractive option. Or diluting it with a more "progressive" teaching, which is what people want and are willing to pay for. Most people get into this stuff as part of a project of progressive self-improvement, not to have their minds completely turned inside out. Some cultures seem more amenable to uncomfortable truth telling, witness the chan/zen masters - 'nothing here to see you fools, go back the way you came!'

And then at the end of the day, since nothing changes, what's the point? Why not just let the chips fall where they may? It probably takes an even more peculiar kind of conditioning to go through the invisible door and then try to convince other people that's it's there at all! Maybe it would be better to just let people enjoy their samsara dream uninterrupted ...

---------------------------------------------




​​​​​​​
WAKE UP!!!




as a representative of the weird minded...

you guys sound discouraged, which is discouraging...


   Accordinng to thanissaro bhikkhu there is a "western dharma gate" based on romantic notions, rooted in western philosophy, psychology and religion. William james' text on psychology and his "varieties of religious experience" gave a scientific veneer to methodist notions of conversion and sanctity. "Conversion" referring to experiences of oneness and "sanctity" to making these experiences continuous: the knowledge of virtue and its practice. Abraham Maslow also contributed to secularizing religious experiences, characterizing them as "peak" and "plateau" and extending them. Through the western dharma gate we might call them "stream entry" and "enlightenment."

He hearkens back to the impact of buddhism on taoism.  Through their long history of coexistence the two traditions remained separate. They ask and answer different questions. Taoism calls and does not call itself the way (of nondualism). Buddhism finds a middle way between the dualism of good and evil and its transcendence. The western dharma gate as the bhikkhu sees it misses the essence of buddhism and imprints itself on the outer shell, conditioning it in its own image. Another means of improving the ego experience, by making sweetness permanent. 

Interestingly, the bhikkhu translates dukkha as "stressful"  and anicca as "inconstant," with anatta referring to self-identification. The three characteristics disappear in the practical achievement of "skillfulness," nirvana. Not clinging, we are no longer stressed. Not desiring change, we are constant in the practice of compassion.

There is another western dharma gate, which bhikkhu thanissaro represents, along with bhikkhu bodhi and many others, one of pragmatic dharma. William james in fact represented a pragmatic trend in american thought that was resonant intellectually with the practical nature of buddhism. And in western romanticism there are many echos of mahayana. So the picture is not so clearcut, one boat or the other.

The buddha of history and the early texts was primariy practical. His dharma was a social one, a pragmatic one. The treasures of buddhism are the prophet (buddha), his message (dharma), and the community of the faithful (sangha). Those who did not follow the rules were expelled from the sangha.

Lets face the real issue: westerners dont believe in right and wrong, and don't want to be educated in morality. It is disheartening to expound on this so I'll leave it at that.

We need precepts and communities of monks openly demonstrating the principles of buddhism here in the west. More plum villages and the like, with supporting lay communities. People who find a way to be examples to us all in openly practicing compassion, reconciliation and ongoing harmony and peace. 

Insight is not enough, we need practice communities. Or at least, community practice.


terry



thanissaro bhikkhu, op cit


To go beyond space and time, you have to go beyond fabricating the producing
and consuming self, which is why the concluding insight of the path is: “All
dhammas”—constant or not—“are not‐self.”  

When this insight has done its work in overcoming any passion or delight for
the Deathless, full Awakening occurs. And at that point, even the path is
relinquished, and the Deathless remains, although no longer as an object of the
mind. It’s simply there, radically prior to and separate from the fabrication of
space and time. All consuming and producing for the sake of your own
happiness comes to an end, for a timeless wellbeing has been found. And
because all mind‐objects are abandoned in this happiness, questions of constant
or inconstant, stress or ease, self or not‐self are no longer an issue.    

This, then, is the context of Buddhist insight into change: an approach that
takes seriously both the potential effects of human effort and the basic human
desire that effort not go to waste, that change have the potential to lead to a
happiness beyond the reach of change. This insight is focused on developing the
skills that lead to the production of genuine happiness. It employs the Three
Characteristics—of inconstancy, stress, and not‐self—not as abstract statements
about existence, but as inducement for mastering those skills and as guidelines
for measuring your progress along the way. When used in this way, the Three
Characteristics lead to a happiness transcending the Three Characteristics, the
activities of producing and consuming, and space and time as a whole.

When we understand this context for the Three Characteristics, we can clearly
see the half‐truths contained in the insights on the production and consumption
of change that are commonly misattributed to the Buddha. 

With regard to production: Although it may be true that, with enough patience and persistence,
we can produce just about anything from the raw material of the present
moment, including an amazing array of self‐identities, the question is: what’s
worth producing? We’ve imprisoned ourselves with our obsession for producing
and consuming changeable pleasures and changeable selves, and yet there’s the
possibility of using change to escape from this prison to the freedom of a
happiness transcending time and space. Do we want to take advantage of that
possibility, or would we rather spend our spare hours blowing bubbles in the
sunlight coming through our prison windows and trying to derive happiness
from their swirling patterns before they burst?  
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terry, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

Posts: 1770 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
pcd asked:

"what is mu?"



mu means, all dharmas have no self nature...

buddha nature is not a dharma, not a thing which can be perceived or possessed...

mu is resistance to characterization...

reality needs no code...

empty of is and is not...

empty of empty


​​​​​​​mu
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terry, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

Posts: 1770 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Emptiness Poem

​​​​​​​Old P'ang requires nothing in the world:
All is empty with him, even a seat he has not,
For absolute Emptiness reigns in his household;
How empty indeed it is with no treasures!
When the sun is risen, he walks through Emptiness,
When the sun sets, he sleeps in Emptiness;
Sitting in Emptiness he sings his empty songs,
And his empty songs reverberate through Emptiness:
Be not surprised at Emptiness so thoroughly empty,
For Emptiness is the seat of all the Buddhas;
And Emptiness is not understood by the men of the world,
But Emptiness is the real treasure:
If you say there's no Emptiness,
You commit grave offence against the Buddhas.

:Layman P'ang (Essays in Zen Buddhism – Second Series 341)
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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If you say there's Emptiness, you go straight to hell.
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terry, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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from "purty of heart" by thanissaro bhikkhi


...Emptiness differs from the metaphysical definition of emptiness as “lack of inherent existence.” Whereas that view of emptiness doesn’t necessarily involve integrity—it’s an attempt to describe the ultimate truth of the nature of things, rather than to evaluate actions—this approach to emptiness requires honestly evaluating your mental actions and their results. Integrity is thus integral to its mastery. In this way, the highest levels of wisdom and discernment grow primarily not from the type of knowledge fostered by debate and logical analysis, nor from the type fostered by bare awareness or mere noting. They grow from the knowledge fostered by integrity, devoid of conceit, coupled with compassion and goodwill.   The reason for this is so obvious that it’s often missed: if you’re going to put an end to suffering, you need the compassion to see that this is a worthwhile goal, and the integrity to admit the suffering you’ve heedlessly and needlessly caused throughout the past. The ignorance that gives rise to suffering occurs not because you don’t know enough or are not philosophically sophisticated enough to understand the true meaning of emptiness. It comes from being unwilling to admit that what you’re obviously doing right before your very eyes is causing suffering. This is why awakening destroys conceit: it awakens you to the full extent of the willful blindness that has kept you complicit in unskillful behavior all along. It’s a chastening experience. The only honest thing to do in response to this experience is to open to release. That’s the emptiness that’s superior and unsurpassed. 
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terry, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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once more, with feeling...


The ignorance that gives rise to suffering occurs not because you don’t know enough or are not philosophically sophisticated enough to understand the true meaning of emptiness. It comes from being unwilling to admit that what you’re obviously doing right before your very eyes is causing suffering. 

~thanissaro bhikkhu
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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Stream of dharma is the correct meaning of the origin of term stream entry.
Person is SE when there is knowledge of what 'dharma' means.
That doesn't happen when there is more insight about emptiness of dharmas than meaning of the term ;)

Knowing what dharma means I developed perception. Not because the best dharma is the perception but because having perception give easy access to more dharma than there is specks of sand on all beaches in the universe.

It is fun to experience how people experience. Some shared ideas are completely different between people yet they use the same words. Even though different experiences with different things being taken as proof of validity of these experiences they do more often than not have the same function and things people point to thinking about terms are the same.

Then there are fetters and understanding of them.
There is a fetter called identity view. What does that mean when this fetter exists?
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terry, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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yo ni,

if you meet an identity, kill it...

t
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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You mean something like THIS? emoticon
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terry, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

Posts: 1770 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
moses as the prototypical stream enterer:



Excerpt From: Toshihiko Izutsu, Sufism And Taoism

The following is a very important passage in which Ibn ‘Arabl explains to us his concept of the Perfect Man on the cosmic level. He takes the prophet Moses as an illustration. Moses, when he was born, was put into a chest, and was thrown into the Nile. Ibn ‘ Arabi, by explicating the symbolic meaning of this story, develops it into a theory of the Perfect Man.

As regards the wisdom of Moses’ being put into a chest and thrown into the great river, we must notice that the chest (tabut) symbolizes the ‘human aspect (of man)’ (nasut, i.e., the body) while the ‘great river’ (yamm) symbolizes the knowledge which he acquires by means of this body. This Knowledge is acquired by him through the power of thinking, and representation. These and similar powers of the human soul can only function when the physical body is in existence.

So, as soon as the soul is actualized in the body and is commanded (by God) to use and govern the body freely, God produces in the soul all the above-mentioned powers as so many instruments by which the soul might achieve the purpose - according to the Will of God - of governing this ‘chest’ containing the invisible Presence (sakinah) of the Lord.

Thus (Moses) was thrown into the great river so that he might acquire by means of these powers all kinds of knowledge. (God) let him understand thereby the fact that although the spirit (riih) governing (the body) is the ‘king’ (i.e., the supreme commander of the human body), yet it cannot govern it at will save by means of the body. This is why God furnished the body with all these powers existing in the ‘human aspect’ which He called symbolically and esoterically the ‘chest”
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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And when Moses asks God his name, he replies 'I AM THAT I AM' - existence itself, isness, thisness, thusness ... the one thing that everyone has always known.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

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Angel Roberto Puente
But times have changed and now you have conversations like the one in the Guru Viking youtube channel between Shinzen and Leigh Brasington where the two, old in years, openly discuss it. And yes, it is related to the "big change".  You'll never understand it without it.

​​​​​​​I thought the most insightful part came from Leigh at the end when he said something like - a sotapanna is ok with the thought of dying tomorrow and that being it. Shinzen on the other hand seemed to be preoccupied with how many years he has left and various kinds of “immortality projects” (as Leigh tactfully put it!)
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terry, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

Posts: 1770 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
george said:

And when Moses asks God his name, he replies 'I AM THAT I AM' - existence itself, isness, thisness, thusness ... the one thing that everyone has always known.

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I always thought that, if you could see god in a creosote fire, you could see her anywhere...


in the metaphor of the chest, in which moses was thrown into the nile, we have the consciousness of the names enclosing the spirit (microcosm) and mediating knowledge of the world, of god (macrocosm)...

consciousness is only of names, not of reality, and thus consciousness is a barrier to knowing truth...

the nameless is truth...


ibn 'arabi sees the hierarchy of life as the reverse of how it is usually conceived...
at the bottom is man, whose consciousness of reality is entirely through names, and thus mere shadows...
next up we have animals, with less ego and more knowledge..
then plants, which express god's will with less resistance and less selfishness, and feed all of life...
then the highest are the minerals, which are self-evidently god's will and never have theit own ideas...

so we aspire to be more like animals, plants, and then minerals, to come to perfection...
humans, lowest of the low, may aspire and rise...

(shine on, crazy diamond)
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

Posts: 2064 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
No worries, in about a billion years the oceans will have evaporated and the earth will be free of all lower life forms.
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terry, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Entering the Stream- What Stream?

Posts: 1770 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
a billion years from now, perhaps something like humans will arise again after being extinct 999,999,950 years...


but what is time? time is a stream into which we are thrown...

thrown into a world of changing bodies in which we too are a body, we cling to whatever seems to be most stable in providing for our happiness and well-being, and so we and our possessions come to exist...

temporality is a feature of the thinking process, which ceases when thinking ceases...

we are caught in time, we make effort to improve through time which only catches us more, but we need to exert ourselves to be free of time...

time is like gravity and we are falling...

time is sequencing...in time, nothing really exists because every thing is instantaneously changing into something else with all new relations...nothing can be discovered, nothing can emerge as chronos consumes all his children...the entire human race has a lifespan and faces old age, sickness, and death...

time is a trap...we can get free...not through effort in time but through exertion to become free of the trap of thinking in words and identifying with them...words have their own reality overshadowing the real...like a painting which covers the surface of a carefully stretched piece of pure white canvas...not everyone is an old master but we are all essentially pure...

t




from "impermanence is buddha-nature; dogen's understanding of temporality" by joan stambaugh:



EPILOGUE

Our discussion of thinking in the last chapter touched upon a matter that is so important and has such far-reaching implications that it might have appeared to lead away from or even usurp our main concern—temporality But both Dogen and Heidegger conceive of thinking so broadly that it becomes almost another word for temporality. Temporality is, so to speak, the occurrence,the taking place of thinking. If for Dogen everything is being-time, the appropriate kind of thinking is what realizes this being-time.

When Dogen says that a thing obstructs or impedes itself, he is describing the thing not as inert or static, but as an occurrence— or better, an occurring. This occurring, this "movement," transcends the dichotomy of stasis and flowing. It neither stays still nor does it flow past. It is inconceivable for ordinary experience. As stated earlier, it is not a "movement" that goes from one place to another. It does not go anywhere but gathers itself into a dharma-situation.

To say that a thing obstructs itself is to say what it "does," how it presences. When something obstructs itself, we can also say that it exerts itself. Most translators of Dogen have favored "exertion" or "sustained exertion" as a rendering of gujin. A brief look at the etymology of the word "exertion" might prove at least suggestive in an attempt to gain some concrete, fresh understanding. Admittedly it can do no more than that. Sometimes etymology is helpful, sometimes not.

The Indo-European root of "exert" is the Latin serere, to attach one after the other, tie together, arrange, fasten together. This is perhaps most clearly seen in the noun "series." Now a series of any kind, a linked continuity, is precisely what Dogen emphatically denies. Exserere means to pull from (ex, from, and serere, a place of attachment) and has the "eased" variant exertus. Accordingly, to exert oneself could mean to pull oneself free from any attachment that causes a spurious continuity to build up, linking itself in a series. To exert oneself is to pull free of attachment, to collect oneself into a simultaneous totality. What is important here is not so much the element of strain and effort, although some of that must often be involved, but the experience of penetration, totality and ultimacy. Ultimacy is, so to speak, the temporal dimension of totality.

Searching for examples—which, again, are always woefully inadequate and at best suggestive, since there is no universal or genus here of which examples could be the exemplars—one might take spring or fall as the seasons in which nature "exerts itself" most intensely. In the budding and blooming of spring and in the blazing splendor of fall, nature exerts itself to the utmost. Spring and fall are also seasons of transition; they lack the relative stasis of summer and winter. Here nature's presencing is overwhelming in the most striking way. To say this, however, is not to diminish the less striking presencing of a muted rainy November day, as it might be depicted in a Chinese landscape painting. That is a different, more subtle way of self-exertion.

When I look at a flower, I see it completely; the flower is exerting itself and I am exerting myself. That I exert myself does not mean in this case that I make an effort, but that I let the flower presence as it is. I pull myself—better, I let myself be pulled by the presencing of the flower, pulled from the spurious continuity whose static persistence stubbornly precludes any presencing. In that spurious continuity no wholeness, no ultimacy is possible. Spurious continuity just persists on and on; nothing can truly occur, or presence, in it. Oddly enough, this spurious continuity is what many people imagine "eternity" to be. The experience of presencing pulled free of spurious continuity may well be very "strenuous," but when it actually happens I am not making an effort.

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