Attained stream entry or once returner?

Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/19/22 9:06 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Tao Te Kat 9/20/22 3:05 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Olivier S 9/20/22 4:44 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? George S 9/21/22 6:17 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/21/22 9:41 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? J W 9/21/22 11:29 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? George S 9/22/22 8:32 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/21/22 1:37 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? J W 9/21/22 1:53 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? T DC 9/21/22 11:27 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Adi Vader 9/22/22 8:58 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/22/22 11:25 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? J W 9/22/22 12:35 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/22/22 5:22 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? J W 9/22/22 9:57 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/22/22 3:17 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? K. Linares 9/23/22 4:23 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/23/22 10:44 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? J W 9/23/22 11:13 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? George S 9/24/22 3:10 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/25/22 8:29 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? George S 9/25/22 12:17 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/25/22 9:52 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? George S 9/25/22 3:26 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/27/22 10:37 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Adi Vader 9/27/22 11:04 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? George S 9/28/22 9:00 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 10/4/22 1:06 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? George S 10/5/22 6:31 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/23/22 2:15 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? J W 9/23/22 3:33 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/25/22 4:01 AM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/27/22 1:02 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Adi Vader 9/27/22 12:57 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Shivadasa Om 9/27/22 1:07 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Chris M 9/27/22 2:47 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? J W 9/27/22 5:28 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Chris M 9/27/22 3:18 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? J W 9/27/22 3:21 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? Chris M 9/27/22 3:41 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? J W 9/27/22 6:15 PM
RE: Attained stream entry or once returner? shargrol 10/4/22 5:47 PM
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/19/22 9:06 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/19/22 8:45 PM

Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
I was a USAF F-16 fighter pilot, airline pilot, and attorney. 3 combat tours, killed a lot of people. I was also a hard-core sex addict until 2019, ruining three marriages. I was in and out of psychotherapy for years.

Psychotherapy (and karma I know now) led me to an audio file on Spotify where Dr. Miles Neale explained the four noble truths. He was obviously talking a lot about suffering, and I had gotten to the point of being resigned to the inevitability of living the rest of my life in a cycle of continuously either having sex or craving it (fantasy and masturbation) and white-knuckling urges. I had realized that this was a cycle of misery, but I saw no way out. And it seemed to me that all of the men I met in 12-step groups and group therapy were resigned to the same fate. I was therefore immediately captivated by these ideas Dr. Neale was attributing to this Buddha guy, who declared suffering to have both a cause and an end. I resolved to find out more.

Because I tend to go fearlessly all in (helpful trait for a fighter pilot, very destructive trait for a sex addict, helpful trait for a spiritual aspirant), I ended up at Kopan Monastery in Nepal in the spring of 2018, for their "Introduction to Buddhism" course. There were 180 or so people there, and at the end about 8 of us took the refuge ceremony. But I came home from that and quickly stopped meditating, started back eating cheeseburgers, and also got back into some of the sexual stuff again. But I was extremely interested in the philosophical aspects of the Dharma, so I kept reading and studying, though not meditating much.

Through my psychotherapist (one of the leading sex addiction specialists in the country), I was introduced to the idea of psychedelic medicines. Without any experience at all with drugs, I participated in a ritualized ceremony in September 2019 and was given Bufo Alvarius (5 MEO DMT). The info sheet they sent out prior to the ceremony had suggested no drugs (not a problem for me, being military and all), no sex, no caffeine, etc., for as long as possible prior to the ceremony. So I told my then-girlfriend/sexual acting out partner in August 2019 that I would renounce sex for the next month leading up to the ceremony. That ended up being the last sex of any type that I would have for the next three years (up until just about three weeks ago).

I can't describe what happened in the ceremony, except to say that when I came out the other side of it I was convinced that I had become enlightened. I sat up on the sheet in the middle of the forest in north Georgia and blurted out, "All there is is love." And then I said, "You gotta stop thinking!" I remember saying the second thing; the first I do not remember saying, but rely on those who were there (7 others, including my therapist) who informed me.

Knowing something profound had happened, and intuiting that it was somehow connected with spirituality, I doubled down on my spiritual path. I became extremely interested in, and a student of, Advaita Vedanta. I completely lost any desire to have sex and maintained complete celibacy from August 2019 until just about a month ago. This means no sexual acting out, no fantasizing, and no masturbation. I had lost the desire.

This, in and of itself, was nothing short of a miracle. 

I recently had an opportunity to re-engage sexually with an old girlfriend who is 28 years younger than I and who is very attractive and very sexual. I felt like I was having to create some sort of form body to occupy in order to engage sexually, and physically it did not work very well. I was and remain completely equanimous with the "non-working of the equipment." (But she wasn't quite as equanimous about it!)

I was making a lot of money as a pilot for a major US airline and it was my karma to become a multi-millionaire. 

I quit doing that, having lost interest in seeing how much money I could make. Money became almost meaningless to me. I got out of the military. I ended all sexual and romantic relationships and essentially have lived at my home in west Georgia as a renunciate. I study and meditate, though not much of my meditation is formal sitting meditation. I did a Goenka course a year ago, and I think I reached some sort of Jhana a couple of times. Now they won't accept me back as an old student (or as a server, even though they desperately need servers!) because I have practiced other forms of meditation besides the specific type they teach.

I seem to be at a crossroads where I feel some sort of pull to re-engage with the world. I am divorced now (again), and have enough money to be secure without working. But based on the events of the past month, apparently going to Burning Man and having a lot of wild sex with a hot 28-year-old woman is not my calling. I really wasn't into any of it.

So, I do not know where I am or where to go. I feel like I might be ready for a non-virtual teacher, or coach, or a guru. The only things that would keep me from, for example, traveling to India or back to Nepal indefinitely are my two cats. 

The bottom line is, it is quite clear to me that I had some sort of spiritual awakening which was catalyzed by that 5 MEO DMT trip in September 2019. I do not know where I am or where to go from here. Any advice is greatly appreciated. 

Here are a few characteristics of this current personality body:
-Strong aversion to killing any living being, including fire ants. I live on 20 acres in west Georgia and it is extremely difficult for me to mow the lawn or "bush hog" because I perceive how many beings will be killed. 
-At the same time I feel no remorse for all that killing I did and saw in combat. I seem to understand it as an unfolding of karma. 
-Extreme compassion for all beings, and extreme awareness of the suffering of "others." I am actually conflicted because I realize that there are no others and there is no suffering.
-Money essentially meaningless
-Absolutely no interest in current affairs. I have no idea what's going on in the news, etc.
-Never watch any television.
-Content to stay at home, alone with my cats
-Only interested in spiritual topics
-No motivation to do anything unless I can connect it to how it will help someone besides "me." E.g., completing the renovation of my home.

Thanks in advance for any help or encouragement. 

​​​​​​​Shiva
Tao Te Kat, modified 1 Year ago at 9/20/22 3:05 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/20/22 2:57 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 8 Join Date: 5/24/22 Recent Posts
Nice breakthrough.

For sure you have an insight, a nice one. 

Problem with stream enterer is that is an insight on mainly the nature of mind.

And that's absent in your insight.

But of course what you relate is included in some buddhist insights, call it estream enterer, kensho, others or nothing.

I can relate to nearly all of them:

-Strong aversion to killing any living being, 
-Money essentially meaningless
-Absolutely no interest in current affairs.
-Content to stay at home, alone with my cats (I have cat too) emoticon
-Only interested in spiritual topics
-No motivation to do anything unless I can connect it to how it will help someone besides "me." 

But not others

- Sex is ok with my partner (no desire, but it's ok when it happens, could it be because I love her?)
- Realizing "Who am I?" (IAMness realization)
- Bliss 
- A new level of meditation.
- Understanding of the nature of mind as empty
​​​​​​​- Detaching from the though process
etc...

And some others...

Also the "method", being it drugs, can lead you for a different path, but who knows?

===
https://blogdetao.org
Olivier S, modified 1 Year ago at 9/20/22 4:44 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/20/22 4:44 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 942 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Hi Shivadasa,<br /><br />Thanks for your report !<br /><br />Have you read Daniel M. Ingram's book, mastering the core teachings of the buddha ?<br /><br />Contains a lot of good stuff that can be helpful for a dedicated practitioner wishing to deepen their practice.<br /><br />He also happens to be the person running this here forum.<br /><br />In fact, I would suggest getting in touch with him directly for a zoom conversation to talk about practice, which is something he also does for free : you can easily find his address on the internet if interested !<br /><br />All the best,<br /><br />Olivier<br /><br /> 
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 6:17 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 6:17 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Wild ride. The infatuation with spirituality will wear off.
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 9:41 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 9:40 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
Thanks for the words of advice. I started reading Mr Ingram's book and am really enjoying so far the "in your face" tone of it. It's interesting that he's declared himself an "Arahant" and received flack about it. I celebrate such an attainment and observe the arising of mudita on account of it. I suspect the resistance is from egos rising in opposition to such a claim. 

I'm not sure where an emphatic statement like "the infatuation with spirituality will wear off" comes from, other than perhaps a projection. We all walk our own paths and have our own experiences. I'm sure it "wears off" for some, but I'm equally certain that there are examples of people for whom it never wears off but rather reorients them permanently from worldly affairs to matters of the spirit.

It remains to be seen how it will shake out for this namarupa. 

Peace.
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J W, modified 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 11:29 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 11:28 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 684 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
"examples of people for whom it never wears off but rather reorients them permanently from worldly affairs to matters of the spirit."

What would be some examples of 'worldly affairs' and how do those differ from 'matters of the spirit'?
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 1:37 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 1:37 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
Thanks for this question about the difference between worldly affairs and matters of the spirit, which got me to thinking. 

Ultimately there is no difference between the two. Samsara and Nirvana are one blah blah blah.

Relatively I just notice that I would rather read the Bhagavad Gita than the news, for example. I would rather sit home and read and meditate on some stanza of Nagarjuna than go make $500k/year as an Airbus A350 captain. I have completely lost interest in travel, adventures, quite obviously sex, etc. A steady, progressive settling down seems to be taking place. 

It's an evolution. No one is doing anything. But it would appear that I am making these types of decisions versus those others. 

Peace. 
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J W, modified 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 1:53 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 1:52 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 684 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Hey, right there with ya! (Well, except for the travel, adventures, sex part... although any of these activities, in excess or with wrong intention, can be harmful of course)

But as far as finding your way, how or why to re-engage with society (or not), where to go, I can relate to the feeling of uncertainty there. I guess figuring that out is the path... best of luck... welcome to the DhO emoticon
T DC, modified 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 11:27 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/21/22 10:13 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 516 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Shivadasa Om
​​​​​​​
...based on the events of the past month, apparently going to Burning Man and having a lot of wild sex with a hot 28-year-old woman is not my calling. I really wasn't into any of it.


My deepest condolences. 

In all seriousness though, interesting post and sounds like a wild ride.  As far as where you're at or where to go from here - what does your current practice look like, and what are your interests as far as practice and progression goes? 

As many here can probably attest, regardless of your setting, home or India, doubling down on your practice while guided and inspired by a book such as MCTB can definately lead to progression in meditative insight.  It really just depends on what effort you're willing to put in and what you're seeking to get out of it.
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 8:32 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 8:32 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Sorry for being so emphatic. I think I saw something of myself in your story. In my experience (and others I’ve observed) awakening tends to collapse the artificial distinction between “worldly affairs” and “matters of the spirit”. I think it’s an appealing distinction though, for a couple of reasons. The first is that people who make a living out of spirituality have a vested interest in maintaining the distinction and over-inflating the value of spirituality, in order to attract business (away from worldly affairs, also competing with each other). The second is that spiritual aspirants are often running away from their worldly affairs and merely framing it to themselves as running towards the spiritual. (If that’s the case then awakening necessitates figuring out this dynamic.) They are two sides of the same coin really, supply and demand.
Adi Vader, modified 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 8:58 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 8:58 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 296 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Hi Shivadasa

I am offering some advice from my own vantage point, through my own experiences. Its not meant to discourage you in any of your current aspirations. It is shared in the spirit that you might parse through it and select from it that which makes sense to you and discard the rest.

1. The best way forward is to set up a formal meditation practice and to figure out how to take it off the cushion into daily life in order to make use of the off-cushion time

2. To do the above you don't need to make a pilgrimage. Use a well designed, thought through meditation program. Learn it through material and teach yourself, support this by meeting the teacher of that program in some reasonable frequency (maybe once every two to three weeks initially ... tapering down over a period of time .. to a as needed basis). Stay at home, learn at home, get a virtual meetup or text based sangha to share your progress

3. Advaita Vedanta is an extremely devotion based program, its very light on the 'tech' and heavy on the contact hours. The upshot of such a system in today's day and age is that teachers/gurus turn it into a dependency/culty kind of thing. Where the personality is worshipped and the Advaita Vedanta is set aside. This is a not a criticism of the system, but a criticism of the way it has evolved and spread. 

4. My recommendation to you would be to pick up a Buddhist origin system of practice where instructions are clear, crisp, precise and yet detailed enough to start acting on the program. And the culture around that system is mostly not culty - Avoid the Tibetan stuff. Two systems of practice that I have worked with personally are MIDL (Mindfulness in daily life) - midlmeditation.com. And TMI (The Mind Illuminated) - subreddit r/themindilluminated is moderated by someone I greatly respect. He goes by the name Abhayakara / Ted Lemon and has weekly online meetings for free

This kind of spiritual development involves using the available written materials / videos / teacher contact hours in order to learn how to read the mind. To understand how the mind works in order to create our experience of being alive. It is undertaken with the sole targeted objective of being free of suffering through developing experiential knowledge and wisdom. In parallel with such a hardnosed rigorous program of gaining experiential knowledge and wisdom - go ahead and do pilgrimages, retreats, meet people. Such things build faith and enthusiasm and keeps the practice at an important position.

I wish you great success in your spiritual journey.
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 11:25 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 11:06 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
I sincerely appreciate all the responses, advice and encouragement. 

It may be helpful for me to go into a little more detail about that 5 MEO DMT trip, and my reflections on it since then.

The shaman "opened a portal," cleansed us with sage smoke, tied a small wihte cotton string around each of our wrists, etc. (I realize now that all these things are useful hoaxes which serve to sort of trick egoic minds into just fucking relaxing a little.) So they did all that, and my egoic mind relaxed a little off its eons of programming.) I set an intention, which I remember was to state that I had absolutely no intention whatsoever. Everyone else had stuff like, "I want to heal this or that or whatever." Somehow I connected up the Buddhist concept of emptiness (which I had been studying) to having no intention. 

Stood there on the blanket, and the shaman advised me to empty my lungs and then inhale the frog venom, which was crystallized on the bottom of the pipe he was using, which he vaporized with a small blow torch lighter. 

I began to inhale this vapor, and almost at once I began to just fall backwards. They have assistants behind because this is normally what people do.) From that point I lost contact with anything that was going on around the blanket. 

My eyes were open and the trees become a kaleidoscope of collapsing greens and grays, continuously collapsing in on each other. At the same time, my mind seemed to be playing the movie of my thoughts at 1000 times speed: like a firehose of thought had just been turned on. I thought I might be about to go insane.

Then I seemed to push through all the collapsing color etc, into complete darkness. In this darkness faces began to appear and then fade out. All these faces appeared and seemed to shower me with their love (even some women who I had hurt very badly). The last face I saw was that of my wife (now my ex-wife), who had at one point attempted suicide on account of my out of control infidelity, etc. She seemed to bless me with a love that I could not possibly fathom. But then she faded away. She was the last, and I was all alone. And I thought, "Well so this is how it is. It was all just me this whole time." There was no felt emotion associated with this state of aloneness.

But then, from somewhere far away, an idea began to float into my awareness. And the idea was, I would now fade away. And that idea began to grow, and with it also a terror of a kind I had never experienced before even in the throes of combat missions with people shooting at me. I was going to become non-existent, I realized. And that meant that nothing ever really happened at all. 

Growing terror, like an infinitely huge tsunami looming over you and starting to curl. But for some reason the thought arose: "Looks like this is going to happen, so why not just let it?"

And so I just let go and accepted it. There seemed to be some sort of immense bliss and peace and it was like an orgasm times a million except with none of the sexual stuff associated with it. Or something like that.

Maybe the bliss was felt just before entering the singularity?

Then I was sitting there, on the carpet, looking slowly around at the small group sitting around me. I perceived that they all knew everything about me, and they all had such a lovely countenance and radiance, especially my therapist. I am told that I blurted out, "All there is is love." And I remember saying, "You gotta stop thinking!"

The shaman smiled six inches from my face and said: Happy Birthday!

For a while after that--at least a week or two--I radiated some sort of energy. Some people around me would get like a high or something. A small number of people seemed to be repulsed by this energy and would immediately seek to get away from it. I felt high myself, all the time. (Looking back I can say it was the equivalent of being on about a half tab of LSD all the time. But I had not used LSD at that time.) I shouldn't have been driving and was lucky to only have caused one small fender bender and nothing more serious.)

On the dark side I had to lock all of my guns up (Before that, I loved guns and would usually be carrying one.) Because I was having dreams, and in those dreams I was getting into sexual situations that were extremely shameful (some involving my own daughter). And I woke up one night from one of these dreams with the intention to commit suicide, and went looking around for a gun. So during a more lucid period I decided to lock the guns up.

To make a longer story shorter, it took a few weeks for this energy to settle out. I didn't want it to settle out, but I could feel it happening. That was September 2019, and basically all I've been doing since then is trying to sort it out.

I study Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, and gnostic Christianity. (Boy the Christians really did fuck up Christianity!)

Anyway, I digress. Thank you all for your compassion. 
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J W, modified 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 12:35 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 12:35 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 684 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
So what is your daily sitting practice like?  If you are looking for advice from a meditation technique perspective, describing your current practice will probably be the best way to get the kind of feedback you are looking for.
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 5:22 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 1:57 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
I'm lazy when it comes to formal sitting practice. I guess I'm just lazy in general. 

Basically I meditate whenever I feel like it, which is usually at least once a day. I sit on a meditation bench, or sometimes just wherever I happened to be, and just anchor to the breath and try to hold my attention there. I do this for at least an hour a day, and sometimes more. But some days I don't sit on the bench at all. 

The vast majority of the meditations we did at that course at Kopan were contemplative meditations: metta meditations, the interconnectedness of all things, meditation on death, etc. A nun would be talking most of the time, guiding us what to think about and how to think. I meditate a lot like that--thinking about something like emptiness. I will read something like, "Neither from itself nor from another, nor from both, nor without a cause, does anything whatever, anywhere arise." And I will just meditate thinking about the implications of that. This may go on for hours, as I just move about my house or while sitting. I'm not even sure what that is, if it's meditation at all. 

I seem to be always in a state of awareness about what's going on in my mind and body, so sometimes sitting down on the meditation bench just feels like I'm not doing anthing different from what I'm always doing, only now I'm sitting here on this bench doing it. 

I do not have the ability at this point to visualize anything. I found about about this candle thing a few days ago so I lit a candle and sat down and found that I could not hold a clear image of the flame in my mind for even a few seconds after closing my eyes. If I were to find out what the value is in this, or what its purpose is, maybe that would motivate me to practice it more and get better at it. Maybe I'll find out in this book. 

At the Goenka course the point of it seems to have been to have an actual experience of impermanence and non-self. I had those experiences and perceive impermanence and non-self all the time or nearly all the time. Is it necessary to keep practicing this formally in order to further refine and clarify it?

I do some japa with beads and mantra. I use just mantra quite often, either Om namahshivaya or "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me." I will use mantra instead of the breath sometimes, just to spice things up.

I had to gain the ability to notice the first arising of sexual energy. I knew that was the only way to get free from the sex addiction. Otherwise the energy arises, thoughts get connected to it, and without any awareness I would be off to fantasy land or hookup land. Now I'm able to recognize the first sexual thought (I do not recognize the bodily sensation, only the first ensuing thought, which then triggers awareness of the sensation.) I shut down the thought train immediately by just recognizing it as a thought and going back to awareness. Within a few seconds the sensation is gone. And that's basically how I'm not a sex addict any more. That and the realization that none of it is real. 

I've meditated (or contemplated?) quite a bit on the filthiness of human bodies, which actually seems to be closer to the truth than whatever conceptual overlays we use to make them objects of craving and desire. That type of meditation (or is it contemplation?) must have really rewired my brain, because it was a huge reason why I just was not into this sexual stuff with my ex girlfriend recently. I just kept perceiving it as two rotting corpses embracing, etc.

I'm hoping this dialogue and Daniel's book will allow me to get some idea of where I am on the path, and from that point maybe figure out how to concentrate my spiritual energy, which seems to be all over the place.

​​​​​​​On the other hand maybe things are all right just as they are and I don't need to do anything. 

Thanks.
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 3:17 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 2:55 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
Thanks for your suggestions Adi Vader.

The Advaita Vedanta I studied was almost singularly a jnana practice--a practice of study and contemplation in ways that lead to the arising of intellectual certitude regarding the non-dual ultimate reality, which they call Brahman. I have understood that Brahman alone is real, that the world is a projection, and furthermore Aham Brahmasmi--I am that Brahman. I've spent hundreds of hours studying and contemplating this, and this is actually what helped me start to be able to correlate the experience of what I think was a non-dual samadhi (courtesy of that toad venom) to spiritual concepts. 

But to me the end result of AV--that Brahman alone is real--is incomplete because it posits an eternal subject with no objects. Nagarjuna says that there cannot be a subject without any object because they arise dependent on each other, and I tend to agree with him.

There are definitely Bhakti/devotional aspects to AV. And interestingly I, as a body mind complex, am well-suited psychologically, emotionally and intellectually to engage in a devotional spiritual practice, in spite of the fact of also knowing that anything like a God of love that might be posited would be just another object arising and then passing away in awareness (or emptiness).

So am a Buddhist who prays a lot. I pray every day, multiple times a day. Sometimes to Shiva (to destroy my remaining samskaras and ignorance, no matter how painful the process), other times to Jesus (prayers of thanks), other times to some sort of concept of a God who is nothing but love. 

I think the non-dual Buddhists and the Advaita Vedantans are using two different words to talk about the same...whatever it is/not.

​​​​​​​Peace
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J W, modified 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 9:57 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/22/22 9:57 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 684 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
You might like Michael Taft's guided meditation videos on youtube, they are fun.  Though they are not devotional for the most part.  Also, unrelated but keep in mind a lot of the MCTB mapping stuff is based on repeatability of experiences during meditation, and baseline experience (sitting or not sitting).
K Linares, modified 1 Year ago at 9/23/22 4:23 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/23/22 4:23 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 9/27/12 Recent Posts
>I seem to be always in a state of awareness about what's going on in my mind and body, so sometimes sitting down on the meditation bench just feels like I'm not doing anthing different from what I'm always doing, only now I'm sitting here on this bench doing i

That's very interesting as it fits with Mahamudra non-meditation stage (fourth stage) or last stages of one-taste (third stage), in case you want to check. That's my actual experience too (but after a long road, years and many stages). emoticon 

But it lacks some others characteristics, probably because of your fast and non traditional method.

Best wishes
===
https://blogdetao.org
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/23/22 10:44 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/23/22 7:33 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
I think I am at some level of post awakening, and I've figured out how I think it happened.

This is the formula: Jnana + Samadhi = Awake

Jnana means obliterating as much ignorance as is possible through studying whatever dharma you are into. Ignorance means not having the first clue about impermanence, non-self, and dukkha. Modern science confirms impermanence, so that one should be easy. And it's fairly easy to convince people who are suffering about dukkha. The non-self thing is impossible to understand intellectually, but there are awesome things which can be learned to cut down on the intellectual resistance to the idea.

Samadhi means an "experience" of dissolution of self. I think it's Nirvikalpa Samadhi, where the loss of the "I" has occurred. That seems to be what happened to this "I" during that drug experience.

I sort of did this in a weird order, by having some knowledge of the dharma (but hardly a firm conviction about anything), then being forced into samadhi by the Toad. Then came back and did the follow-up jnana practice to finish up the awakening.

I find myself not looking so much at what I may need to do in my spiritual practice to get further along the path or whatever. I may or may not be reborn, and frankly I don't care. My concern seems to be all this suffering of the people on this planet.

So I have been looking backwards and outwards from all of this, wondering if more people could have a spiritual awakening without the need to sit meditating for decades. What if we are at the point in our spiritual evolution where we can take a short cut? Haven't we been coming up with shortcuts ever since this whole thing got started, as we evolved both biologically and spiritually?

How awesome would it be if more people would wake up, and this process accelerated.

The bottom line is, I am extremely interested in how psychedelic drugs may fit into a serious spiritual practice and provide a catalyst to awakening. And I believe I have profound insight here as well. But this makes me persona non grata in every religion, plus Buddhism, as far as I can see.

I appreciate all the kind words and suggestions. I will look into each and every one of them, in addition to continuing to read Mr. Ingram's book.

Peace
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J W, modified 1 Year ago at 9/23/22 11:13 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/23/22 11:13 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 684 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
"The bottom line is, I am extremely interested in how psychedelic drugs may fit into a serious spiritual practice and provide a catalyst to awakening."
Same here

"This makes me persona non grata in every religion, plus Buddhism, as far as I can see."

Maybe, but maybe not so much as you think.  Lots of people (like myself) look at their psychedelic experiences as an entry point to awakening and view them as part of a spiritual journey.  Including Bill Hamilton, one of Daniel Ingram's teachers, as well as one of Bill Hamilton's teachers, Ram Dass (who you have probably heard of). 

from Saints and Psychopaths:
"My first experience with LSD was profound. During it, I had two insights that changed the course of my life. One insight was a transcendent experience of time and space, during which I briefly touched the stream of my unconscious mind. This was the basic seed that inspired my spiritual journey."

Have you checked out MAPS?  https://maps.org/
Also the EPRC does some research into psychedelics, though not sure to what extent.
If you're interested in Psychedelics+Buddhism specifically, I've seen a good amount of psychedelics related content over on the Buddhist Geeks network, even more so than here.  
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/23/22 2:15 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/23/22 2:09 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
I know about MAPS. They were posted around Burning Man to hold space for folks on bad trips.

All the secular people I'm familiar I with are very excited about using psychedelics to solve problems in relative reality--mostly psychological problems. And that's great. They also spend a lot of time and resources advocating for legal and political reform. 

But I'm more interested in information, insights, and ideas on the how/when/where/why psychedelics can or should be used for the benefit of a serious seeker on something like a traditional spiritual path, particularly Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. So I'll definitely head over to the Buddhist Geeks.

Thanks. 
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J W, modified 1 Year ago at 9/23/22 3:33 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/23/22 3:33 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 684 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
 Yeah check it out... I mean it's not their "main thing" but there are lots of folks interested in that kind of thing over there.  If you're looking for something purely psyche-oriented, well maybe ... the Psychedelic Sangha or something similar? emoticon

https://psychedelicsangha.org/
 
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 9/24/22 3:10 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/24/22 3:10 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
There aren't any shortcuts to awakening
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/25/22 8:29 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/25/22 2:55 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
George S
There aren't any shortcuts to awakening

Oh sure there are. Or would you prefer to call them "refinements of previously taught techniques which lead to faster progress along the path'? 

Viewed in this way, the entirety of all of the Buddha's teachings is a "shortcut" as compared to the spiritual tactics, techniques and procedures which were available prior to the turning of the first wheel of Buddhist dharma. 

The spiritual evolution of humanity from pantheism to monotheism was a shortcut which moved us collectively inside the event horizon of non-dual awareness.

Direct insight, pith instructions, direct transmissions--all shortcuts in this sense.

The translation of Pali and Sanskrit texts to English is a shortcut--now I don't have to travel to India and learn new languages in order to have access to this dharma. 

The availability and proliferation of spiritual material online represents a shortcut.

Daniel Ingram's book itself may be considered a shortcut, to the extent that he is enlightened and shares his wisdom in English and from a cultural perspective that closely mirrors my own.

Unless your practice involves animal sacrifice, ritualistic cannabilism, and ancestor worship, it must represent a shortcut as compared to how you were probably running your personal spiritual trip 500,000 years ago. Furthermore, unless humans have always been meditating, meditation itself must be understood as a shortcut!

(At some point in our evolutionary history it seems likely that somone invented meditation. Human nature being what it is, that person probably became the subject of the next sacrifice.)

So, to assert flatly and without any support whatsoever that "there aren't any short cuts to awakening" strikes me as dogmatic and entirely dismissive of hundreds of thousands of years of human biological and spiritual evolution. 

Peace
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/25/22 4:01 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/25/22 4:01 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
J W
 Yeah check it out... I mean it's not their "main thing" but there are lots of folks interested in that kind of thing over there.  If you're looking for something purely psyche-oriented, well maybe ... the Psychedelic Sangha or something similar? emoticon

https://psychedelicsangha.org/
 
Yeah, so when the very first pop up at psychedelic sangha asks, "Are you a spiritual misfit?" I know I'm getting closer to home. Thanks for pointing me there JW.
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 9/25/22 12:17 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/25/22 12:17 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
You'll see
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/25/22 9:52 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/25/22 12:33 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
George S
You'll see
I'm wondering if your motivation to post cryptic and mysterious responses which are completely unsupported by reference to any dharma teachings or your own experience is in the nature of trying to help a fellow struggling being (me) or in the nature of your own ego trip. 

Such decrees--you've issued three of them so far--are not helpful, in case you're wondering. 

​​​​​​​Peace
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 9/25/22 3:26 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/25/22 3:26 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I mean, for there to be a shortcut to awakening it would have to be a different destination from where you already are.
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 10:37 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 10:09 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
George S
I mean, for there to be a shortcut to awakening it would have to be a different destination from where you already are.

I realize intellectually that we are all already awakened, there is no Buddha, no Dharma, and absolutely no need to do anything. Is this what you mean by a different destination from where I already am?

In that case, what's the point of doing anything such as reading this forum, Daniel's book, sitting, or anything else?

I'm actually getting quite good at doing nothing unless and until some forcing function comes along. For example I will not file an income tax return--even though on some I have been owed tens of thousands of dollars in refunds--until just before the time the refund will be forfeited unless a return is filed, or unless the IRS threatens me. I've been living for the past nine years in a home with no drywall on the walls, the master bathroom completely gutted, etc. I have failed to keep the kudzu from overrunning my property. I have no interest in playing music--I am a multi-instrumentalist and used to play guitar and sing in working bands and my basement is full of guitars, keyboards, and sound equipment.

I may be in (another?) A/P-dark night cycle, now that I know what that is, which I had no idea about prior to a couple of weeks ago when I came across Daniel's book and this forum. 

I don't enjoy engaging with the world, and I avoid it whenever possible. I did go to someone's birthday party last weekend, and from my perspective people are trying to be intimate with each other but they cannot (at least these that I hang around with, who are involved in the New Age spirituality/psychedelic community). Everything seems contrived, and I feel like I am having to inhabit a made-up personality body and play some kind of game with them which I do not enjoy playing. (The only reason I ever played it before was to try to meet and seduce women.) But I never was that good at social interaction, small talk, etc. So on the rare occasion when I do interact like this, I show up trying to radiate love to everyone and basically play a game of trying to be perceived as some kind of shaman or spiritual person. But I do really love them all. I can feel that in my heart. 

The last 5 MEO DMT experience I had was in January 2021, and I remember when I reappeared in the world, my first thought was, "Here I am, back in the show again." And there was no happiness associated with the thought or the experience of being back. 

My egoic self went from completely identified as a hard-drinking, hard-charging, womanizing destroyer of enemies, to something that seems to want to reconstitute itself now as a former hard-drinking, hard-charging womanizing destroyer of enemies turned enlightened mystic. I may be more egotistical and pathetic and hypocritical now that I was when I was hardwired into the fighter pilot persona. Except that there is a genuine motivation to help people.

I frequently have what I think are profound insights on the nature of "reality" and mind, and apparently I have gotten attached to that part of this ego trip. I have discovered that when I use a little bit of cannabis, this stuff really opens up, along with my heart of compassion. So now I basically sit around and use cannabis every day, post stuff on my blog which hardly anyone reads, write in my journals, read Dharma stuff, and do a lot of contemplation. Because I perceive myself to be in a some sort of meditative state (mindful, watching thoughts, feelings and emotions come and go) most of the time, I sit very little.

After reading the relevant parts of Daniel's book (and from there branching off into reading other things such as Sayadow's instruction manual for insight meditation, etc.), my best guess is that I am in some stage of the Dark Night. But I don't know. I did not arrive here through a strict and diligent insight meditation practice of the kinds being discussed here and in the book. 

I have sort of a serious heart condition--a blockage in a major artery--which I feel totally unmotivated to do anything about. I seem agnostic as to whether this body continues to live or whether it dies and falls away.

I feel burdened under the weight of old present lifetime karma. I'd probably be diagnosed with depression by a clinician. 

But it seems counterintuitive to just continue to sit here and do nothing or close to nothing. 
Adi Vader, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 11:04 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 11:02 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 296 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Hi.
looking at your comment made me think. Its possible that you are in a spiritual experience.
But the things that you described regarding ignoring life stuff, including your heart problem, it sounds like a depressive episode.

Different people experience depression differently, for some it presents as mainly sadness, for some it may present as extreme apathy. Please see a doctor. Life in all its forms has to be respected, including our own. This means having mudita or an active dynamic interest in wellbeing of ... ourselves ... as well as others. This too is spiritual practice.

​​​​​​​Take care of yourself.

​​​​​​​P.S. The far enemy of equanimity is apathy. The two seem alike but they are not.
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 1:02 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 12:46 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
Thanks for the advice to see a doctor--which I assume means a psychiatrist or a therapist. I know that comes from a place of compassion in your heart.

The one thing that I am most definitely not is suicidal. I figure I'll go see someone if it comes to that. Otherwise I had just decided to ride out the storm and try to gain insight into all of this from my perspective (which always remains) as an impassive observer, or witness consciousness. 

Psychiatrists and therapists will try to help me deal skillfully with relative reality, and I'm not necessarily interested in dealing skillfully with relative reality as long as I can stay a half step ahead of the jailer and the IRS.

If I could find a way to get plugged back into the world helping people, then I would be motivated to go get this heart problem looked into further.

I feel like I'm on a ship that is slowly pulling away from the harbor of all that I knew and was. Because I am still looking at my former world, I have no idea which direction the ship I'm on is headed, and its destination may not exist at all. Yet I am on it, and the decision to board was irrevocable. I can reach back toward that world in a desperate attempt to recapture it, but I cannot touch it. I believe my foray to Burning Man and back into sexual activity was one of these unfruitful reaches.

I know that this is spiritual, and my plan is to deal with it spiritually, as long as I can remain here without any suicidal ideation. And suicide is like sex and Burning Man: it's part of a world to which I no longer have access.

I think the apathy or whatever it is about this heart thing comes from just not being afraid of death any more. Yet here, at this time, with access to the Dharma and a safe comfortable space to practice. I can actually observe some arising motivation to deal with the heart problem based purely on the fact that I'm only 57 and have nothing else to do with the rest of my life except walk my spiritual path. An idea arises that it would be worth making every reasonable attempt to keep the body going, if only for that reason. I am actually seeing a cardiologist and doing what she recommends (nuclear stress test, changed meds, take an aspirin every morning, etc.) and will continue to do so. If I conveyed the idea that I'm just totally ignoring this, I'm sorry. That's not the case. I'm just not proactive. I'm letting things take their course. 

​​​​​​​Peace
Adi Vader, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 12:57 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 12:57 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 296 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
I meant see a cardiologist. For the arterial blockage thing emoticon

​​​​​​​I am happy to know that the motivation is arising to take care of your physical body.
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 1:07 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 1:07 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
Yeah I'm seeing a cardiologist and doing what she says. I'm just not proactive. I'm letting things take their course.

​​​​​​​Thanks.
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 2:47 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 2:36 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 5238 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Shivadasa --

Have you been tested for PTSD? Your comments here are, for me, hard to pin down. Sometimes your comments appear very egocentric and then, as Adi suggested, as if from a depressed place, then from a sort of "fuck it all" kind of place. It's not normal for advanced spiritual practitioners to just give up and wait for shit to happen, as it appears you may be thinking of doing with your heart condition. Like everyone else, those of us with long-standing, effective spiritual practices need to take care of ourselves before we can worry about others. It makes little sense to help anyone else if you're not in a good place. That should be great motivation for you to do something quickly.

So, yeah, I, too, suggest you take care of that clogged artery immediately. I recently had a cancer scare. I'm 66. I didn't really want to deal with it, and I knew the exams and tests would be painful. But I did it anyway because I'm not suicidal and I know there are lots of people who I can help and support in various ways  - family, friends, and others.

Take care of yourself! Life isn't just a game. If you have the insight you claim then the world needs you to be alive and actively pursuing something worthwhile.
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J W, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 5:28 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 3:08 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 684 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
"I don't enjoy engaging with the world, and I avoid it whenever possible. I did go to someone's birthday party last weekend, and from my perspective people are trying to be intimate with each other but they cannot (at least these that I hang around with, who are involved in the New Age spirituality/psychedelic community). Everything seems contrived, and I feel like I am having to inhabit a made-up personality body and play some kind of game with them which I do not enjoy playing. 

I feel like I'm on a ship that is slowly pulling away from the harbor of all that I knew and was. Because I am still looking at my former world, I have no idea which direction the ship I'm on is headed, and its destination may not exist at all."

This is a familiar state that I can relate to in my own experience - where you have had insight into no-self and impermanence, and yet there still exists a separation between self and the external (the world, society, etc) - even though we know there is not such separation in reality, there is still clinging, aversion, etc.  This can result in weirdness - feelings of depersonalization and isolation, though it's not always unpleasant, it can be.  Social rituals and interactions can seem contrived or fabricated because, well, they are!  This is a world of appearances, always has been, always will be.  But so what?   

You said -  "If I could find a way to get plugged back into the world helping people, then I would be motivated to go get this heart problem looked into further."

And so it sounds like there is a desire to help, to put forth some positivity into the world.  Figuring out how to do that is the journey for everyone.  For me what helped me through a depressive episode most recently was reaching out to old friends, writing music (you mentioned you play music - me too!), planning some time to spend with my family, but also just the most basic day to day stuff. Getting my car fixed, going to the grocery store, etc.  Meditation can help, maybe, but depends.  What I've found most helpful recently is just 'letting go/relaxing into the natural state' type meditations, Michael Taft does a lot of good ones in that vein.  If it's emotions that you're working with, just feeling and accepting them is the best way to go.

But what's interesting about your 'if... then' statement... "if I can find a way to help someone, then I would help myself"... again, the separation.  But if there is a separation, maybe it should go in the other direction - first help yourself, then you will be in a better place to help others.

Hope this helps in some way - like I mentioned, I'm still figuring it out myself emoticon 
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 3:18 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 3:18 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 5238 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
JW, in the spirit of returning to the world and helping others, I've fixed the quoted segment of your post. I hope you don't mind. If it's a problem I can un-fix it.

- Chris
DhO Mod
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J W, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 3:21 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 3:21 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 684 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Thanks emoticon

(I may have inadvertently un-fixed your fix, as I also just edited a typo...)
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Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 3:41 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 3:38 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 5238 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Well, yes, you did indeed un-fix it. If you want it re-fixed let me know.

Also, you might want to Google "Zen sickness."
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J W, modified 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 6:15 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/27/22 3:48 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 684 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Oops- if you wouldn't mind re-fixing it that would be great.

Googling zen sickness, thank you for the tip!

edit:
After reading about this now I feel the need to clarify - my depressive episode that I mentioned - not really caused by meditation as far as I can tell, but rather by life circumstances. To put it briefly, when this mood episode first occurred a few months back, I had the opportunity to do some traveling but the conditions were not great- lots of overnight flight delays, etc etc, combine that with lack of sleep due to jetlag, other personal stuff going on, etc etc, I was not in a good place.  I wasn't meditating much at all though.  In general I find it harder to meditate when depressed or in these states for whatever reason. When I am able to it generally seems to be helpful. But I can certainly see how, if one was meditating for hours and hours a day without proper guidance and whatnot, that could lead to issues.

In any case, for me, as the depression was mostly a result of extreme life conditions, getting myself out of those conditions and into more stable ones seems to have had a positive effect.
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 9/28/22 9:00 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 9/28/22 9:00 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
I agree with what others are saying about needing to take care of yourself. Maybe your motivation to help others is partly about wanting to help yourself.

I realize intellectually that we are all already awakened, there is no Buddha, no Dharma, and absolutely no need to do anything. Is this what you mean by a different destination from where I already am?
Intellectual understanding is helpful but there’s a whole other level of working with emotions and defenses which goes beneath the rational mind. Awakening itself is a definite realization. Doing nothing won’t get you there, even if there is here.
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Shivadasa Om, modified 1 Year ago at 10/4/22 1:06 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/4/22 1:06 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/19/22 Recent Posts
I think I am at some level of enlightenment. The reason I don't want to do anything is because I've realized that there is nothing to be done. I am perfectly happy sitting home with my cats, reading, meditating, and contemplating.<br /><br />I am perfectly happy, that is, until I go out and witness suffering. Or until I start thinking about the world's pervasive suffering and wondering if I shouldn't get involved helping make this world--which I know is illusory--a better place instead of staying here on my peaceful 20 acres beside the lake, blissed out in non-dual awareness or "God mad."<br /><br />Out making the world a better place is indulgence of the illusion of creation and existence and separateness. But why not indulge the illusion in fun and creative ways that do actually help others? I can't see any reason why not.&nbsp;<br /><br />The thorny question is, how to engage? It seems to me that any action motivated by a desire that suffering should be reduced or eliminated for all beings is still an action on desire with karmic potentiality.<br /><br />I'm going to meet with Shinzen Young this weekend. I am hoping he can provide some guidance.<br /><br />Thanks.<br /><br /><br /><br /> 
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 10/4/22 5:47 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/4/22 5:47 PM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 2476 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Let us know how it goes with Shinzen. I'm always curious about how meetings with well known teachers goes.
George S, modified 1 Year ago at 10/5/22 6:31 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 10/5/22 6:31 AM

RE: Attained stream entry or once returner?

Posts: 2722 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Yeah karma is the ultimate trip. I used to have big spiritual ambitions to help others, but in retrospect it was pretty narcissistic and my hands are more than full working through my existing karma! Good luck!

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