To the Arahats

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Mike Knapp, modified 8 Years ago.

To the Arahats

Posts: 63 Join Date: 10/26/11 Recent Posts
Hi Folks,

To the forum members who claim to have attained "full enlightenment" - however you choose to define that term. Do you still meditate? If so, why? Have you tried stopping for any length of time after awakening? What happened? Is there such a thing as an arahat experiencing another awakening?

Just super curious and looking for a little info.
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Richard Zen, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 1631 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
Blurb about the 9 stages from Kenneth Folk and some other guy named Bill. I'm having trouble finding the old one since the site has changed:

Stages of Awakening

The following presentation is a synthesis of the stages of awakening as presented in Theravadan Buddhism, meditation teacher Kenneth Folk’s “A 9 Stage Map of Developmental Enlightenment”, my own experience and the experience of awakening as recorded throughout the ages by the those who have ventured into the deep territory of spirit. These stages are not events. They are not experiences. The positive effects of passing through these stages create permanent changes in the way the meditator experiences reality. Further, this is by no means the correct presentation.It is just the one that I am most familiar with and that lines up most succinctly with my own experience.

In the Buddhist tradition with which I’m most familiar, the first stage of awakening is known as “The Arising and Passing Away”. Sounds rather undramatic, but for most the experience is anything but. For those who have reached this stage life will never again be quite the same. In whichever way it occurs, the one who has experienced it knows that life is forever changed. Never again will the world be perceived in quite the same way and the meditator now understands the words of wisdom teachings in a direct rather than conceptual way. This is a time of increased clarity, joyfulness, hope and exuberance, and many find they need less sleep at this stage and that their mood is generally quite positive and optimistic. Where once meditation required effort practice now takes on a life of its own and the time spent practicing becomes a joy rather than a chore. Those at this stage typically become enthralled with the life of the spirit and dive headfirst into whatever tradition or practice brought them to this stage.

The second stage of awakening is known as “stream entry”. To move into this stage one must have arrived at the first stage and then progressed through what is known as “The Progress of Insight“, a series of meditative insights that a yogi passes through on the way to awakening. Some of the movements through the initial progress of insight can be difficult, but the process is necessary as one must confront one’s own negative habitual patterns in order to let them go. The good news is that this process need not be a big deal, and it is here that a meditator really learns to surrender to what is deeper than the temporary display of thoughts and feelings that we take to be reality. The even better news is that this process is followed by peace at a new and deeper level than the practitioner has ever previously experienced.

Following the initial run through these insights, and the deep peace that follows, one day a yogi has the experience that ushers them into the second stage. This experience is known as “fruition” and it is the instantaneous recognition of nirvana through which a doorway opens that can never be sealed again. To avoid the confusion that comes from arcane Buddhist terminology and subsequent interpretation, I will define nirvana as the recognition of the non-separate, unified, complete nature of reality. This second stage is arrived at in an instant when the stream of consciousness literally stops for the yogi, but awareness continues unblemished. The meditator may experience a sense of disorientation at this stage. Generally there is a feeling of great joy, rejoicing, relief, gratitude and contentment in the initial aftermath of this moment. Though at this stage the practitioner knows something deep and profound, to some extent their perception still tends towards the dualistic.

The third stage of awakening is arrived at once a practitioner once more moves through another full insight cycle like the one that came before. Two things can be said about this new insight cycle: It is generally much quicker, taking a small fraction of the time it took to move through the initial process and it is almost always much easier.

The next stage involves a signifigant shift in perception which occurs when following a fruition at the end of another insight cycle the practitioner begins to experience what my own teacher Vincent Horn referred to as “emptiness in real time”. Though emptiness has a negative connotation in the west and is often meant to signify a hollow sort of depressed feeling, the Buddhist meaning of emptiness is that it is the direct perception of reality undivided. Another way might be to say that it is reality free of the boundaries that cause us pain. The direct perception of reality in all its natural wholeness is received as a beautiful relief. This was a huge shift for many others and myself in the way I perceived reality. I remember feeling the most naturally content I’d felt in twenty years. From here the baseline way that one perceives reality is changed and the meditator’s baseline state is much calmer.

The next, or fifth stage, is the culmination of all the introductory phases that have come before. What can be said about it? At a certain point a dramatic change happens. This shift has been called “awakening”,“4th path”, “non-dual reality” or simply “a shift”. There seems to be a paradigm shift in the way that reality is perceived. This is the stage that meditation teacher Kenneth Folk referred to as “the happiness that is not dependent on conditions”. This stage is generally accompanied by a tremendous sense of relief and joy and a feeling of completion. This does not mean that this stage is a 24/7 bliss out or that the meditator is done. The practitioner may still experience the full range of emotions, thoughts and perceptions, but their experience of these things is signifigantly different and generally occurs at a much subtler and less bothersome level.

The sixth stage is the stage of emotional transformation. To reach this stage involves paying close attention to the body and the way that emotions are experienced in the body. After some time of this practice the meditator notices that the negative and egoic emotions are gaining less traction and being replaced by compassion, calm, contentment, and love. This transformation is not absolute and the meditator will still struggle at times with difficult emotions, but the general trend is away from the resistance to reality that breeds these emotions and towards the openness through which unified mind states like love, contentment and compassion are born. Once a meditator has reached this stage the egoic emotions are still in a much subtler for occurring, but the resistance to emotions that lead to painful mind states are generally recognized as bodily sensations rather than mind states and they are quick to heal.

A most crucial distinction should be made here. The meditator does not at this stage lose the ability to feel painful emotions. All of the emotions are still available, but there is a major attenuation in the resistance to the bodily sensations that lead the mind to resist a feeling and jump into a story about the feeling. Instead, one really feels what they are experiencing in a way that is much more honest, vulnerable and healing. I wrote in my own practice journal upon reaching this stage that I felt I had come home from a war I didn’t even realize I was fighting, such was the relief.

The seventh stage involves paying attention to the way that the mind contracts around identity. This is the stage of paying attention to the way that the mind fixates and tightens around self-referencing thoughts. To reach this stage it is useful to contrast the moments when the mind is involved with self referencing to those when it is not. The meditator sees that life progresses just fine without the added weight of self-referencing, and the painful tension of self-referencing fades in a major way.

The eighth stage involves a deepening of the sixth and seventh stages and is a major turning point. This stage is the end of the effort needed. With this stage comes the recognition of perpetual grace whereby the practitioner in a very sustained way experiences reality as whole, complete, perfectly peaceful and perfectly satisfactory on its own terms. Though this has been seen countless times before it becomes much more solidified and profound. At this stage any effort or striving becomes painful and it becomes most natural to allow the mind to rest in its natural state. This natural mind is referred to as buddha nature and the meditator has access to this sweet, simple clarity persistently throughout the day. As of January 2o12, I would put myself at this stage.

The ninth stage is marked by the near or total dissapearance of self-referential thinking so that a meditator’s daily experience involves little or none of the thinking that causes mental tension. What remains when this goes away is the experience of being continually present without resentment, fear, doubt or any of the other afflictive mind states occuring. Though I am aware of others at this stage, having not arrived here myself I can only guess at its implications.

The tenth stage could be conceived of as the resting place or complete enlightenment.It’s safe to assume that spiritual figures like Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddha, and Ramana Maharshi were/are at this stage. When the knowledge of the unified nature of reality has been brought to final perfection, this stage has been reached. In the realm of relationships at this stage love and compassion for other beings and the world has been brought to final perfection. This is the human being whose mind is silent and open at all times, and whose heart is constantly connected to the unconditional love that in theistic traditions is referred to as God.

Authors note* It’s probably safe to assume that there are a variety of changes that occur between the ninth and the tenth stage, and that there is a deepening the occurs even upon reaching the tenth stage. By my sights awakening is a continually deepening process that may never stop and it would be foolish to mark an end point. This information is my current estimation of how the process unfolds.
-Bill, May 2012
bob d, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Post: 1 Join Date: 5/1/13 Recent Posts
A reply to that extended quote. It is absurd to create a new 'map for enlightenment' every few weeks. The fact that these 'meditation teachers' who claim to know it all add a new stage at the end every five minutes undermines any use of what they have to say. First we have 4,5,7 now 10. And that's all before running into one supramundane power, which is meant to be the halfway point by vedic texts. Stop trying to teach people and just do the work...

And there's no use skirting round the issue, Daniel, of claiming arahantship, by saying it's not really full enlightenment anyway. Buddha's definition of arahant was always a bit wet, saying that anything after arahantship (liberation from rebirth) was icing on the cake. Buddha kept meditating in order to reach full realisation, which requires perfect control of the psychic powers. He didn't meditate because it was just some intrinsically good thing to do, like several of you suggest.

Buddha said the four jhanas were a worldy reward for attaining arahantship, since nirvana is only inferred, rather than experienced. This doesn't even mean quick access to the jhanas, as he calls those with instant access particularly skillful recluses.
So the bar for arahantship is rather low. I can enter the jhanas rather quickly with great intensity, but I find them highly gross, and take no pleasure from it. Does this mean I have destroyed the fetter of desire for heavenly birth?

Patanjali says the powers are definitely encountered, at least in part, and must be set aside before getting anywhere near cosmic union. You're fooling yourselves if you think otherwise. Patanjali said mental modifications were needed to attain this, such as what we would call jhana. Sleep is another mental modification. 'Actual freedom' is a mental modification which is tragic if it leads people away from the goal, thinking they are already done.

While I follow Patanjali as the best teacher, the insight cycles described in hardcore dharma are curious and I follow it, jhana or samadhi is a more positive way forward than pushing into the refresh rate of vision.
Please examine the sutras of Patanjali, you'll all be better off. It deals with the entire moral side of practise on one or two sentences, which is all it deserves. I'm glad to see this forum dying, it means people are following their own meditation.
bob
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
bob d:


And there's no use skirting round the issue, Daniel, of claiming arahantship, by saying it's not really full enlightenment anyway. Buddha's definition of arahant was always a bit wet, saying that anything after arahantship (liberation from rebirth) was icing on the cake. Buddha kept meditating in order to reach full realisation, which requires perfect control of the psychic powers. He didn't meditate because it was just some intrinsically good thing to do, like several of you suggest..


The difference between a buddha and an arahant according to the following sutta



SN 22.58 PTS: S iii 65 CDB i 900
Buddha Sutta: Awakened
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2005–2013
At Savatthi... "Monks, the Tathagata — the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one, who from disenchantment with form, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for form) is released — is termed 'rightly self-awakened.' And a discernment-released monk — who from disenchantment with form, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for form) is released — is termed 'discernment-released.'

"The Tathagata — the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one, who from disenchantment with feeling... perception... fabrication, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for feeling... perception... fabrication) is released — is termed 'rightly self-awakened.' And a discernment-released monk — who from disenchantment with feeling... perception... fabrication, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for feeling... perception... fabrication) is released — is termed 'discernment-released.'

"The Tathagata — the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one, who from disenchantment with consciousness, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for consciousness) is released — is termed 'rightly self-awakened.' And a discernment-released monk — who from disenchantment with consciousness, from dispassion, from cessation, from lack of clinging (for consciousness) is released — is termed 'discernment-released.'

"So what difference, what distinction, what distinguishing factor is there between one rightly self-awakened and a monk discernment-released?"

"For us, lord, the teachings have the Blessed One as their root, their guide, & their arbitrator. It would be good if the Blessed One himself would explicate the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from the Blessed One, the monks will remember it."

"In that case, monks, listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "The Tathagata — the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one — is the one who gives rise to the path (previously) unarisen, who engenders the path (previously) unengendered, who points out the path (previously) not pointed out. He knows the path, is expert in the path, is adept at the path. And his disciples now keep following the path and afterwards become endowed with the path.

"This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing between one rightly self-awakened and a monk discernment-released."


So, not much difference concerning end result. And this?

"An arahant should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Although, for an arahant, there is nothing further to do, and nothing to add to what has been done, still these things — when developed & pursued — lead both to a pleasant abiding in the here-&-now and to mindfulness & alertness."silavant sutta


Buddha said the four jhanas were a worldy reward for attaining arahantship, since nirvana is only inferred, rather than experienced. This doesn't even mean quick access to the jhanas, as he calls those with instant access particularly skillful recluses.


Where does he say this? Sutta reference? Nirvana inferred only?


So the bar for arahantship is rather low. I can enter the jhanas rather quickly with great intensity, but I find them highly gross, and take no pleasure from it. Does this mean I have destroyed the fetter of desire for heavenly birth?


In your own mind? In mine, the bar is quite high.

Patanjali says the powers are definitely encountered, at least in part, and must be set aside before getting anywhere near cosmic union. You're fooling yourselves if you think otherwise. Patanjali said mental modifications were needed to attain this, such as what we would call jhana. Sleep is another mental modification. 'Actual freedom' is a mental modification which is tragic if it leads people away from the goal, thinking they are already done.


What is the goal according to your own path? How far have you taken ptanjali's instructions? What is your current perceptual baseline/ongoing experience like these days?

While I follow Patanjali as the best teacher, the insight cycles described in hardcore dharma are curious and I follow it, jhana or samadhi is a more positive way forward than pushing into the refresh rate of vision.


What do you mean by 'refresh rate of vision'?

Please examine the sutras of Patanjali, you'll all be better off. It deals with the entire moral side of practise on one or two sentences, which is all it deserves. I'm glad to see this forum dying, it means people are following their own meditation.
bob


why do you think it is dying?

What do you mean by moral side of practice deserving only two sentences?

Nick.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:
The difference between a buddha and an arahant according to the following sutta

SN 22.58:
[...]The Blessed One said, "The Tathagata — the worthy one, the rightly self-awakened one — is the one who gives rise to the path (previously) unarisen, who engenders the path (previously) unengendered, who points out the path (previously) not pointed out. He knows the path, is expert in the path, is adept at the path. And his disciples now keep following the path and afterwards become endowed with the path.

"This is the difference, this the distinction, this the distinguishing between one rightly self-awakened and a monk discernment-released."


So, not much difference concerning end result.

Don't forget the Ten Tathagata Powers:
MN 12:
9. "Sariputta, the Tathagata has these ten Tathagata's powers, possessing which he claims the herd-leader's place, roars his lion's roar in the assemblies, and sets rolling the Wheel of Brahma.[5] What are the ten?

10. (1) "Here, the Tathagata understands as it actually is the possible as possible and the impossible as impossible.[6] And that [70] is a Tathagata's power that the Tathagata has, by virtue of which he claims the herd-leader's place, roars his lion's roar in the assemblies, and sets rolling the Wheel of Brahma.

11. (2) "Again, the Tathagata understands as it actually is the results of actions undertaken, past, future and present, with possibilities and with causes. That too is a Tathagata's power...[7]

12. (3) "Again, the Tathagata understands as it actually is the ways leading to all destinations. That too is a Tathagata's power...[8]

13. (4) "Again, the Tathagata understands as it actually is the world with its many and different elements. That too is a Tathagata's power...[9]

14. (5) "Again, the Tathagata understands as it actually is how beings have different inclinations. That too is a Tathagata's power...[10]

15. (6) "Again, the Tathagata understands as it actually is the disposition of the faculties of other beings, other persons. That too is a Tathagata's power...[11]

16. (7) "Again, the Tathagata understands as it actually is the defilement, the cleansing and the emergence in regard to the jhanas, liberations, concentrations and attainments. That too is a Tathagata's power...[12]

17. (8) "Again, the Tathagata recollects his manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many aeons of world-contraction, many aeons of world-expansion, many aeons of world-contraction and expansion: 'There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared elsewhere; and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared here.' Thus with their aspects and particulars he recollects his manifold past lives. That too is a Tathagata's power...

18. (9) "Again, with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, the Tathagata sees beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and he understands how beings pass on according to their actions thus: 'These worthy beings who were ill-conducted in body, speech and mind, revilers of noble ones, wrong in their views, giving effect to wrong view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, [71] after death, have reappeared in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, in perdition, even in hell; but these worthy beings who were well-conducted in body, speech and mind, not revilers of noble ones, right in their views, giving effect to right view in their actions, on the dissolution of the body, after death, have reappeared in a good destination, even in the heavenly world.' Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, he sees beings passing away and reappearing, inferior and superior, fair and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and he understands how beings pass on according to their actions. That too is a Tathagata's power...

19. (10) "Again, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, the Tathagata here and now enters upon and abides in the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom that are taintless with the destruction of the taints. That too is a Tathagata's power that a Tathagata has, by virtue of which he claims the herd-leader's place, roars his lion's roar in the assemblies, and sets rolling the Wheel of Brahma.

20. "The Tathagata has these ten Tathagata's powers, possessing which he claims the herd-leader's place, roars his lion's roar in the assemblies, and sets rolling the Wheel of Brahma.


EDIT: Also this passage from the Anguttara Nikaya (pdf link):
AN 4:34:
Monks, there are four best kinds of faith. What four?

Monks, among all living beings—be they footless or two-footed, with four feet or many feet, with form or formless, percipient, non-percipient or neither-percipient-nor-non-percipient—the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, is reckoned the best of them all. Those who have faith in the Buddha have faith in the best; and for those who have faith in the best, the best result will be theirs.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 3183 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
bob d:
A reply to that extended quote. It is absurd to create a new 'map for enlightenment' every few weeks. The fact that these 'meditation teachers' who claim to know it all add a new stage at the end every five minutes undermines any use of what they have to say. First we have 4,5,7 now 10. And that's all before running into one supramundane power, which is meant to be the halfway point by vedic texts. Stop trying to teach people and just do the work...


Certainly not everyone is adding stages and models every 5 minutes, though there are those who are revising what they previously thought due to having access to new and better information. Science does that also. The problem with revising models based on new and better data is?

It should be noted, as one who has spent a whole lot of time over about 18 years thinking really, really hard about the models and talking with a lot of people about them as well as living them: it is not easy to model these things. What is found in the world of meditators, the jungle if you will, is extremely diverse, and various people develop all sorts of interesting and transformative abilities, perceptual changes, and understandings in various sequences that don't all line up, don't all come in the neat packages people think they will, don't all conform to ancient maps and yet may be truly remarkable and produce profound benefits. The diversity of this continues to surprise me, but, given the complexity of the mind and the many, many innovations in meditation and large numbers of combinations that are happening these days, it is not really that strange, and probably should have been expected.

bob d:
And there's no use skirting round the issue, Daniel, of claiming arahantship, by saying it's not really full enlightenment anyway. Buddha's definition of arahant was always a bit wet, saying that anything after arahantship (liberation from rebirth) was icing on the cake. Buddha kept meditating in order to reach full realisation, which requires perfect control of the psychic powers. He didn't meditate because it was just some intrinsically good thing to do, like several of you suggest.


Yeah, the powers... I have spent a lot of time playing with the powers. To say they are the be all and end all, or even some serious marker of definite transformation and understanding, or to try to perfectly map them based on some very arbitrary model of awakening: all are a definite recipe for trouble and disappointment. I would consider revising your models.

bob d:
Buddha said the four jhanas were a worldy reward for attaining arahantship, since nirvana is only inferred, rather than experienced. This doesn't even mean quick access to the jhanas, as he calls those with instant access particularly skillful recluses.
So the bar for arahantship is rather low. I can enter the jhanas rather quickly with great intensity, but I find them highly gross, and take no pleasure from it. Does this mean I have destroyed the fetter of desire for heavenly birth?


Hard to say just based on one sentence. Weak jhanas actually? Just not much of a jhana fan? The notion of no pleasure from them and jhana is so nearly a contradiction that it makes me wonder what you call jhana, but then again, perhaps massive bliss, staggering peace, and other more exotic and wonderful experiences are not your cup of tea... To each their own. De gustibus non est disputandum. What does flip your skirt up if not great intensity of jhana? BTW: to say you have all the jhanas is probably a larger number than you think. How many do you have? What are they like? Why do you say great intensity and gross at the same time? To say that Neither Perception nor yet Non-Perception is gross somehow strikes me as odd if you are really getting it. Something doesn't add up, or perhaps I am misinterpreting you.

bob d:
Patanjali says the powers are definitely encountered, at least in part, and must be set aside before getting anywhere near cosmic union. You're fooling yourselves if you think otherwise. Patanjali said mental modifications were needed to attain this, such as what we would call jhana. Sleep is another mental modification. 'Actual freedom' is a mental modification which is tragic if it leads people away from the goal, thinking they are already done.


People with various "terminal" or seemingly terminal transformations have a lot of fun competing for whose is the best and whose is the most true, most terminal, highest, and the like. While I can on the one hand see the practical implications of this, yet, given that it is hard to be sure that even those who are doing what seem to be real A-B comparisons are, in fact, comparing the same things, and are you so sure that you personally can be sure that, given the ability to do a real A-B-C-D-etc. comparison between them (say you could put on, say, 5 hats, each of which would temporarily engender the feeling and perceptual abilities of one of them), are you sure you know which you would choose?

It is a difficult problem, and to be sure you have the one, true solution is an old notion. Perhaps you will derive skillful benefit from your true, exclusive, and zealous faith in that particular seemingly highest path of many possible highest paths, but as those who have been doing this a while usually realize, it ain't always so simple.

bob d:
While I follow Patanjali as the best teacher, the insight cycles described in hardcore dharma are curious and I follow it, jhana or samadhi is a more positive way forward than pushing into the refresh rate of vision.
Please examine the sutras of Patanjali, you'll all be better off. It deals with the entire moral side of practise on one or two sentences, which is all it deserves. I'm glad to see this forum dying, it means people are following their own meditation.
bob


I have read and examined the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, particularly when I was big into my power's phase in the mid-late 90's (not that I might not have another one at some point, not trying to say that I am done with them (as in, "Oh, Patanjali was sooo 1998") by saying that, as who knows when I might suddenly find them worth of further development for some reason again?). I found his writings interesting and enjoyable.

As to this forum dying, the whole world is dying and also being reborn, but at the moment, at least, there are more posts here than I can keep up with, and more to respond to that I have time for, and so, as least for this one person, it is more than meeting my needs and hopefully still meeting the needs of whoever else is looking for the sort of thing that happens here, and, rather than feeling it is dying, I find it more than I can keep up with, if that helps you perceive things from a different perspective.

Best of luck finding places that more fit with your particular style, interests and true faith in the one highest path. If you are interested in having an exclusively Patanjali-based community, let me know and I will create a new community on the DhO for you with its own forum, as Liferay (the platform this place runs on) is large, that is easily done, and perhaps it will be helpful.

Daniel
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katy steger, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
5/2/13 2:24 AM as a reply to bob d.

Hi bob d,

Welcome to the DhO.

'Actual freedom' is a mental modification which is tragic if it leads people away from the goal, thinking they are already done.
The vedic-roots traditions (e.g., buddhism, hinduism, jainism) all consider loooooong re-birth times. So if you more or less subscribe to one of these traditions is there really anything tragic about some practice that is burning through the fuel of someone's interests in a lifetime? Svaha, right?

While I follow Patanjali as the best teacher, the insight cycles described in hardcore dharma are curious and I follow it, jhana or samadhi is a more positive way forward than pushing into the refresh rate of vision.
Please examine the sutras of Patanjali, you'll all be better off. It deals with the entire moral side of practise on one or two sentences, which is all it deserves.
I love Patajali's four books. It'd be interesting if you brought that to the forum and take Daniel up on opening a new thread.


I'm glad to see this forum dying, it means people are following their own meditation.


Here is a useful quote from book one, verse 33:
maitri karuna mudita upeksanam sukha duhkha punya apunya visayanam bhavanatas citta prasadanam
(Chapter 1, v. 33).


Translations:
[indent]Mind becomes purified by cultivation of feelings of amity, compassion, goodwill and indifference respectively towards happy, miserable, virtuous and sinful creatures.

By cultivating attitudes of friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.[/indent]

Hmmm. Where's the judgement?

Svadhyaya, kimosabe,


NOTE: I only responded to this thread and Bob, not his subjected header. I certainly am no "4th path person" (aka: arahant)
Jeremy May, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 191 Join Date: 8/12/14 Recent Posts
I am beyond enlightenment.  I used no-self to attain a shallow enlightenment.  But my identity only shifted from the impermanent and conditioned, to the permanent.  I was 'that which was aware' and that was not so far from no-self.  I knew I had no qualities and that the awareness I claimed as my root was the very same permanent source that we all shared.  I saw myself as a focus. I have said it this way, "I am the void's awareness of this focus."  And I became ordinary.  I lived with this (I think you call it PCE?) new perspective and felt that there was no way to see more clearly.  There wasn't.  It is the purest state.  But I began to see all phenomenon, events, people, ideas in a way I did not expect.  I discovered that reality is much much more than what our minds told us.  Our delusion is not in being enchanted by mara for its grandiosity, but in our blindness to the truths that are radiant and obliterating.  The highest path in the chart is simply the place where one must begin in order to understand what is going on.  Without reaching this place and shifting your identity, it is impossible.  But after becoming arhat, one can see what purpose the delusion serves, why conciousness forms in the manner that it does, what impermanent things exist in momentariness and why they form in the manner they do.

I never desired further attainment. Yet, I began to understand so much.  I did not know I was attaining anything as I did not think anything would have further influence in my life.  I let the body be a body and the mind be a mind and was successful in every endeavor for years.  But what within me could delight?  I cannot explain all the subtle movements that occured since enlightenment.  I can't put into words what is ineffable.  If I could It wouldn't be believable.

 But over the years (7 so far) it seems that my focus achieved another level of strength, but that is only the best way I can put it.  The constant meditation that comes from that shift in identity began to produce spontaneous powers.  Real powers.  I've walked up to strangers and told them everything about them.  I've made grown men cry by telling them their dark secrets and calling them liars when they denied it at first.  What is the use of this?  They were times I did not know such things were possible, but I don't know if that would have made a difference.  Truth is, I don't make many decisions anymore.  They are made by love and usually I find out later why I did something.  Sometimes I never find out.  

It is all true.  The powers are incredible.  The love is perfect.  There comes complete understanding of the universe, its mechanics.  Each moment contains all past and future.  Manipulating the future by the smallest act in the present moment is amazing. Telepathy is beautiful.  Though, I have only had glimpses of three past lifes.  I can't see auras or lucid dream.  There are many things I can't do yet and I can't even put in effort to learn because I don't care. 

I can't delight in any of it.  Who would be delighting? But the path has become something else.  It is no longer a path.  The best way to describe it now is to say I am an avatar.  I have had to change how I lived  I can't plan into the future at all.  I can't care about anything but the moment, and I don't have to decide how to act.  It is the need that determines the act in each moment.  There is no self to express.  

It is too hard to believe that someone like me, the most unworthy of students, has truly gone beyond enlightenment and developed siddhis.  But what is important is to know that I may be telling a clear and genuine truth and it is very possible for enlightenment to transform you into a portal, an avatar.   
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 3183 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Sounds interesting. Where is sawfoot when you need him?
Jeremy May, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 191 Join Date: 8/12/14 Recent Posts
I will go ahead and try to explain better.  If I am deluded, then there will be wrongness.  But I am implying in what I say that the religious part of buddhism is freshly viable.

Finding the place within you of pure awareness is Enlightenment.  It is the most difficult thing in the world, but the most simple of all shifts. Knowing that all things are given form through interpretation, Knowing that what one called 'self' and 'soul' are impermanent and merely the result of interacting constituents, is ultimate.  This truth gives one a refuge from suffering.  All the world is an illusion and nothing exists.
Awareness, alone, clings to nothing, and so being shifts identity to the only permanent constituent of what was thought of as 'self'.

One loses all volition, motivation, and passions.  Yet, Life goes on.  One believes it is simply the mind going on and the body going on and sees all phenomenon clearly.  Karma becomes quite clear and understandable.  How can one more purely experience thusness?  There is no greater clarity.  Even The highest of Buddhas use this same clarity.  What changes?

This is Enlightenment.  It is the most shallow of enlightenments because there is no faith.  But of all enlightenment before and after, this is the important one because it gives refuge from suffering forever, and even more importantly, provides Right View, the only necessary requirement of full attainment.  One can end their understanding here, very easily.

No-self no longer applies.  We can't let any unenlightened know this because the identity shift must occur.  But there is no desire for attainment, so the monastic life must be abandoned, and Right View must be practiced as one allows the body to be a body, the mind a mind, and the ego to be an ego.  They will act by habit, but you have new perspective.

Remember to ask the questions that we forgot we had, long ago.  Why does the world appear the way it does ?  Why is there delusion?  Why is there suffering?  With Right View one can explore pure Awareness and find that 'all things hold the awareness of themselves' and omniscience was, all along, a feeling too familiar to know.  Everyone has Inner Knowing.  Only Right View can explore this knowing.  

Investigate why sentient beings bubble out of the void.  Investigate the void.  You do not have to believe in inner knowing to begin experimenting with inner knowing.

Once you grasp a knowing of some matter or other, it will be constant eruption of understanding of all phenomenon.  All siddhis spontaneously arise.  And the Tathagatha Powers begin.  I am not a buddhist, but I have had to consume Mahayana for terms in order to communicate it precisely.  I have found many secrets while doing so, and I know the answers to many riddles that confuse all the scholars.  

From where comes the Affect?  When I know the aim of God, I am the aim of God.
John Wilde, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Jeremy May:
... and omniscience was, all along, a feeling too familiar to know. 


Wow... what an intriguing expression.
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Richard Zen, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 1631 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
You also have to be a little careful. Arhats usually don't make claims they are Arhats precisely to avoid ego impulses. So I don't know how many responses you'll get. emoticon
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 3183 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I don't know anyone here who actually uses those the term "full enlightenment" to describe their practice or claims that. Various people here claim various things that are in some ways seemingly definite to them, some have claimed things they feel are somewhat terminal (of which plenty have later changed their minds).

I personally still meditate: I think it is good for the brain and body to do so and it just seems a natural, skillful thing to do, as well as it also being basically unavoidable past a certain point.

If you like the technical dogma: arahatship is not quite full awakening: Buddhahood is. Even the Theravada is very clear on this.

I personally see so many avenues or axes of development that the term "full awakening" sort of misses some basic point about human growth and progression on various fronts.
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Mike Knapp, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 63 Join Date: 10/26/11 Recent Posts
@ Richard: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me the other day (again, sorry I had to jump off) and thanks very much for the blurb above. In particular, I was really glad to see the description of what it calls the "Third Stage of Awakening". I just passed through that territory and the experience was so profoundly different (in terms of speed and difficulty) from everything before it that I was a little unsure what the heck happened, and if I was fooling myself. So that was unanticipated and highly useful - thanks!

The rest of the blurb was pretty eye-opening too - I had been operating under the misapprehension(?) that Fourth Path was the end of the line . . . but apparently its the half-way point (at least on this model). I've read a little of the MCTB chapter "So WhatS Full Enlightenment", as well as the chapter on integration, and I guess I am (or was (or still am)) confused, because the above model kind of departs from the Progress of Insight and the various path models and starts getting into more amorphous emotional/identity territory without the clearly defined events and stages of the Progress of Insight (which I kind of miss, since they provide a (fairly easy to understand) nice road-map).

And I guess that's what I'm asking about ultimately. What does the future hold - at least potentially? The model above talks about emotional transformations and the cessation of self-referential thinking. In my experience, those happen to some extent upon attainment of Paths 1 and 2. So I'm wondering - does this Happen with a capital "H" at these higher levels - as in completely and permanently? Its implied in the blurb, but not expressly stated, that FURTHER MEDITATION AFTER FOURTH PATH is required to reach these higher "stages" - is that an accurate understanding?

@ Daniel: Thanks for chiming in. What are attainments and who has attained them really do tend to vary depending upon who is talking, and who they've been talking to before hand. I guess that's natural. As I said above, I've read MCTB chapter "So WhatS Full Enlightenment" and walked away basically still wondering what it is. Essentially, I'm feeling very optimistic about my personal practice, and am just curious what there is "to do" as my practice progresses. Hence all these questions. The best I've come up with so far is a synthesis between the the Progress of Insight (terminating at the end of Fourth Path) and the blurb Richard posted above.

So an Arahat is one who has completed Fourth Path? Is the difference between an Arahat and a Buddha the difference between one who has done that, but not gone further, and one who has done that AND the emotional and "self-work" called stages 5-10 in Richard's post? Do you have experience with this post-Fourth Path territory?

I guess the take away question here is (acknowledging that there will likely be as many answers as there are posters on this thread): what is Post-Fourth Path Practice?
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Not Tao, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

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Daniel M. Ingram:
If you like the technical dogma: arahatship is not quite full awakening: Buddhahood is. Even the Theravada is very clear on this.


I've never heard this before. Is this supported by the suttas, or by Theravada tradition?

EDIT: That was confusing, haha. What I mean to say is, does the Buddha say this anywhere, or is this something that is just part of Theravada tradition, like the progress of insight and such that comes from commentaries? I remember a lot of people referring to the Buddha as an arahant in the suttas. It was my impression that it was just a word they used to refer to "someone who had been perfected," and it was what all of the monks were seeking at that time period in India.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 3183 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
It is definitely supported by the Suttas.

Consider MN 1 The Root of All Things, where the Buddha says that arahats understand something, but Buddhas (the Tathagata, as he often referred to himself) understand it "to the end".

Consider MN 4 Fear and Dread, where he goes on and on about all the stuff he accomplished.

Actually, the number of places where Buddhas are distinguished as arahats-plus-lots-more is extensive, from their past-life training and purification (Buddhas going through many, many lives to get the necessary learning and purification to become a Buddha), to the fact that Buddhas are supreme teachers of gods and humans beyond just being arahats, as well as having all the powers, having purified all behavioral traits, etc. etc.
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Not Tao, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 997 Join Date: 4/5/14 Recent Posts
Interesting... In the cosmology, were arahants released from samsara, or did they all have to, eventually, become buddhas to be free?
J J, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 225 Join Date: 3/31/14 Recent Posts
According to the Pali Canon arahats do not take birth anywhere.

Re:



From the Sankharaupapatti Sutta, http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/3.4-Sankharupapatti-S-m120-piya.pdf

The sutta describes how monks accomplished in certain qualities can take birth where they wish, a monk who wishes to realize the influx-free-consciousness (destruction of the asavas) here and now, and who realizes that liberation of mind and liberation of wisdom, does not take birth anywhere.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 3183 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Unless you read the Tibetans, who claim that bodhisattvas must wake sleeping arahats so they will go on to become Buddhas. Ah, Buddhisms...
Jeremy May, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 191 Join Date: 8/12/14 Recent Posts
A way to put it:

The cycle of Rebirths refers to the cycle of the rebirth of the 'ego'.  That is what is said to reincarnate as a self-perpetuating illusion into cycle after cycle of suffering due to the ego being, essentially, interconnected karmic chains of desire.  It is desire that is illusion as Truth clearly reveals that there is nothing that is 'real' enough to desire.

But Energy goes on!  Energy is not a substance but an action.  It is Karma.  Just as objects with mass carry momentum, desire also carries momentum.  It is simply the progression of states from imbalance to balanced.  It is the law of Entropy at work.  So even when The Arahant sees the truth and can understand all things clearly, He reincarnates.  But the ego does not.  The Arahant is born in his next life as someone who naturally has little or no ego and effortlessly reaches enlightenment again in their youth, and carry on in cultivation of his karmic bodies until either reaching Union and/or Self-Annihilation.

But it cannot be said that the Arahant has not escaped the cycle of rebirth.  What is reincarntated?  It is not the ego.  It is not anything that can be called a 'self'.  The Arahant reincarnates not as a deluded ego, but simply as the strings of karma that continue after extinguishing the Great Confusion.  He reincarnates as a light in the world of darkness.  He guides others, even before re-enlightenment, because without the ego, our focus of our karmic momentums naturally turn toward the Divine Desire of the Reconciliation of All Things.

After enough lifetimes, the focus on the karmic momentums has caused such purity of awareness that we must call that bundle of energy something other than Arahant.  The string of energies has united so well with the Karma of the World while at the same time in complete Union with the Divine Desire, that it can teach the WAY in any set of terms, ideas, or religion that is useful to the moment.  We call this a Buddha.  

Don't worship the Buddha.  There's nobody there emoticon
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Ian And, modified 8 Years ago.

From a non-arahat

Posts: 782 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Disclaimer: I don't cotton to titles, and I make no claims whatsoever. I know what I know. Period. And someone would have to know me and spend some physical time with me in order to be able to determine whether or not what I know has any validity or value to themselves.

Man-made religions throw around terms and titles as though they were the Vatican handing out dispensations. If you want to put your mind in the hands of a man-made religion, then that is your choice. As for myself, I prefer not!

Daniel M. Ingram:
Mike Knapp:
Do you still meditate? If so, why?

I personally still meditate: I think it is good for the brain and body to do so and it just seems a natural, skillful thing to do, as well as it also being basically unavoidable past a certain point.

It never ceases to amaze me that people, even experienced practitioners (present company excluded), still do not get the significance of the teaching on anicca. Sabbe sankhara anicca. Somewhere along the line they yet seem to persist in thinking that permanency can still be established in some arena or other. The mind is a dynamic instrument. This is a fact that cannot be disputed. Can its basic foundation be changed for the better (in wholesome ways) or the worse (in unwholesome ways)? Of course it can, and this includes even after one has reached the pinnacle of one's endeavors beyond which he views no possibility of improvement.

As long as there remains a physical body of some sort or other (be it in gross matter or fine material matter), there will be the requisite of maintaining that body (and therefore the mind) in the optimum condition that one has striven to achieve. Hence the importance of sati (mindfulness) at ALL TIMES.

If you are seeking an opinion, I would think that Daniel's stance (indicated in his reply) is more wide spread and enduring than may be speculated about by people who do not yet understand. If you read the discourses there is little there to suggest that even Gotama gave up the practice of meditation/contemplation after his awakening. (And people called him "a Buddha"! He called himself "tathagata" – which means "one who has thus gone." The implication being that the tathagata is beyond all coming and going – beyond all transitory phenomena. But that doesn't mean that he can relax his mind – or mindfulness – for even one second. If you doubt me, try it yourself and see how far you get before you recognize you have fallen off the path.)

On a personal level, I find those times spent in contemplation to be the most valuable time spent during the day. I would even venture to say that Gotama, were he alive, would agree. (But that is only a speculation, based upon my reading of the discourses and endeavoring to discover the actual man Gotama – based upon my direct knowledge of human nature and behavior – within those readings.)


If you like the technical dogma: arahatship is not quite full awakening: Buddhahood is. Even the Theravada is very clear on this.

That is, if one accepts that the man-made religion of "Theravada" has any authority to make claims about what Gotama taught (which I do not) without backing it up with reference to anything that has been recorded which can be verified as being free of corruption. And even then, there could be differences in interpretation based on points of view about intended meaning. Which is another way of saying that "context is everything" when attempting to interpret meaning.
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Mike Knapp, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: From a non-arahat

Posts: 63 Join Date: 10/26/11 Recent Posts
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. It appears there's some controversy in this area I wasn't aware of, but the various viewpoints are educational and I appreciate everyone's patience with my curiosity. For those that are interested, Kenneth Folk gives a really nice talk on what he considers are the "7 Stages of Enlightenment" in the following talks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqYUNHrLFq0&list=UU-FfMq3cwJ2RGQrDYJG-5Rw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3xEwxOkilw&list=UU-FfMq3cwJ2RGQrDYJG-5Rw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mSj3KysrVk&list=UU-FfMq3cwJ2RGQrDYJG-5Rw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4XGns3ftVg&list=UU-FfMq3cwJ2RGQrDYJG-5Rw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4XGns3ftVg&list=UU-FfMq3cwJ2RGQrDYJG-5Rw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvMkZu2wfCg&list=UU-FfMq3cwJ2RGQrDYJG-5Rw

Something these talks don't really address (at least explicitly), is what methods of practice yogis use post-Fourth Path. The focus seems to be on describing what the stages are like post-Fourth Path, not HOW THE YOGI GETS THERE. For reasons that are probably painfully obvious, I would like to know how the yogi gets there.
Adam . ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: From a non-arahat

Posts: 613 Join Date: 3/20/12 Recent Posts
If you are interested in KFs perspective, here is a video of his on how to get from 5th stage to 6th:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WiCXn87BF4

From 6th to 7th I believe a practice he has mentioned is 'binary noting' wherein one notes only the presence or absence of self-referential thought.

My favorite description of post-4th practice is from a post on this thread by Daniel Ingram: "paying an outrageous amount of attention to everything all the time"
Rist Ei, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 500 Join Date: 7/14/13 Recent Posts
Mike Knapp:
Hi Folks,

To the forum members who claim to have attained "full enlightenment" - however you choose to define that term. Do you still meditate? If so, why? Have you tried stopping for any length of time after awakening? What happened? Is there such a thing as an arahat experiencing another awakening?

Just super curious and looking for a little info.
When you get full enlightenment then the real meditation starts.
Full enlightenment is you know how to transend your reality because you have actually transcended your reality, you have been through it. You will get this knowledge gradually where's 3rd path is almost mature and at 4th it comes mature and at the same time you transcend it.

Whats reality? Reality is a delusion. Drunk people has their own reality, sober person is offworldy to them.
Same way arhats are offworldy to the humans.

But now arhat can also open top of the head and bring higher and higher realities down. Top of the head is not possible to open unless you are arhat, because arhat gets into reality where its possible, there is that kind of knowledge.
When you open top of the head you can bring new self down and then work your way up again to aquire next level self reality.

Full enlightenment means you know the Way.

First 3 paths are dry wisdoms they are close to the first irreversible breakthrough.
Viran Shaminda Kariyawasam, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 9 Join Date: 8/20/14 Recent Posts
Dear Friends,

An Arahat can claim arahatship as per buddha. buddha has said that a person can claim it for 5 reasons. even buddha has said that he's SAMMA SAMBUDDHA (1st arahat)  to 5 monks before he preached dhamma chakka. i have met an arahat in my life. to recognize an arahat you need to have a luck and you need to have wisdom att he same time.and you need to stay with that person for a long time (please refer THANA SUTTA). below monk is beleived to be an arahant. you can download the pdf and read it. 

www.shakyamunidhamma.jimdo.com
Jeremy May, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 191 Join Date: 8/12/14 Recent Posts
Rist Ei, I see you.  Namaste!

Rist Ei is right.  I have seen several enlightened beings speak in just a few threads.  I may go through all the threads and greet them all, if I ever have time.  Daniel ingrams has gone past Enlightenment to a point of teaching.  Though an enlightened being that can teach is rare,  enlightened beings are not as rare as people seem to think.

Enlightenment, in the context I generally use, means freedom from suffering.  It is a mastering of Jhanas.  It does not take away unpleasant sensations, but it does give escape when desired.  It can be tested when pain comes, whether it is the pain of a severe toothache, the grief of a dead lover, or even the pain of despair when life becomes obviously meaningless (this despair arises from the last of the ego.  Nothing is actually meaningless).

That is it!!!  That's what so many people work for.  But never realizing that it is this simple, so many seekers become bitter when heaven does not explode into being all within them and around them.  They walk around grumbling that 'enlightenment is beyond all but the most disciplined and gifted', when all the time they just need to see that they have seen the bottom.  Enlightenment is seeing that You have no-self.  That the Jhanas are all.  When you realize this, you see the world clearly.  Enlightenment is seeing clearly.

Anytime someone says 'I am Enlightened', they very well have been enlightened in some way.  They may see clearly in one way or about one matter or another.  But the one that is needed to be a Buddha, to be an avatar, to be Born Again Saint, to be a prophet, to be a better human, is the enlightenment that allows escape from suffering through Right View, the view of no-self.

Full Enlightenement is so rare that I have not found one person with such attainment in 3 years of searching.  I do know, though, that attainment is cultivated effortlessly as the arhat works to alleviate suffering in the world with his new ability to eat his own pain.  It is called 'Noble Wisdom', 'inner knowing', 'christ-nature'.  It is a gradual cultivation that uses all your impermanent constituents as tools.  The feeling of "I" becomes one with the force of love itself.

Full Attainment should not be a goal.  It cannot be pushed through effort.  It is not of the mind or body, though it uses mind and body.  Enlightenment, once achieved, is enough as it allows you to save the world, take on all filfth, pain, and Hellfire, swallowing them as all phenomenon can be swallowed.  Enlightenment, is the beginning of True Life.
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Colleen Karalee Peltomaa, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 401 Join Date: 6/19/14 Recent Posts
Jeremy May:
Rist Ei, I see you.  Namaste!

Rist Ei is right.  I have seen several enlightened beings speak in just a few threads.  I may go through all the threads and greet them all, if I ever have time.  Daniel ingrams has gone past Enlightenment to a point of teaching.  Though an enlightened being that can teach is rare,  enlightened beings are not as rare as people seem to think.

Enlightenment, in the context I generally use, means freedom from suffering.  It is a mastering of Jhanas.  It does not take away unpleasant sensations, but it does give escape when desired.  It can be tested when pain comes, whether it is the pain of a severe toothache, the grief of a dead lover, or even the pain of despair when life becomes obviously meaningless (this despair arises from the last of the ego.  Nothing is actually meaningless).

That is it!!!  That's what so many people work for.  But never realizing that it is this simple, so many seekers become bitter when heaven does not explode into being all within them and around them.  They walk around grumbling that 'enlightenment is beyond all but the most disciplined and gifted', when all the time they just need to see that they have seen the bottom.  Enlightenment is seeing that You have no-self.  That the Jhanas are all.  When you realize this, you see the world clearly.  Enlightenment is seeing clearly.

Anytime someone says 'I am Enlightened', they very well have been enlightened in some way.  They may see clearly in one way or about one matter or another.  But the one that is needed to be a Buddha, to be an avatar, to be Born Again Saint, to be a prophet, to be a better human, is the enlightenment that allows escape from suffering through Right View, the view of no-self.

Full Enlightenement is so rare that I have not found one person with such attainment in 3 years of searching.  I do know, though, that attainment is cultivated effortlessly as the arhat works to alleviate suffering in the world with his new ability to eat his own pain.  It is called 'Noble Wisdom', 'inner knowing', 'christ-nature'.  It is a gradual cultivation that uses all your impermanent constituents as tools.  The feeling of "I" becomes one with the force of love itself.

Full Attainment should not be a goal.  It cannot be pushed through effort.  It is not of the mind or body, though it uses mind and body.  Enlightenment, once achieved, is enough as it allows you to save the world, take on all filfth, pain, and Hellfire, swallowing them as all phenomenon can be swallowed.  Enlightenment, is the beginning of True Life.

OKAY!  I can live with that (smile).   I too did some searching for beings who have left this universe and found two possibilities.   One of them is Lester Levenson and the other is the being commonly known as Lao Tszu.  There may possibly be others but they leave no energy signature for me to pick up on in my current spiritual condition.  I think most of them just go quietly.... they walk in beauty like the night.
Jeremy May, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 191 Join Date: 8/12/14 Recent Posts
"There may possibly be others but they leave no energy signature for me to pick up on in my current spiritual condition. "

Your inner knowing has picked up on more than you mentally know.  But it is true that those who have left this universe (the constraints of your universe- though there is no other place) can not be seen for what they are except for by each other.  

But they pick up on your energy clearly.  They see you for what you are.  They are in love with you and they rejoice in the power of your path, both for the benefit of your present temporal self (You have worked for lifetimes to achieve your present practice) and for the benefits that will follow you forever onward (Forever and ever in your future incarnations) as they transform every blessed creature that is pulled into your life.

When the awakening for this temporal life is complete, your hermitage will naturally be completed, and your life will be a busy, busy work overflowing with beautiful people who are pulled to the light in you.  The ones that are meant to learn from you will naturally, magnetically come.  

Know that you are never alone!  There are mighty forces behind you, guiding you.  It is a stage in the awakening process that necessitates the perception that "I am unknown to the buddhas.  They will never notice me.  I must continue on alone.  This practice I have achieved, I achieved alone".  Those who have left the universe know that they must let you think this.  When it is no longer useful for you to think this, you will see the Great Attention that has been given to you.  Perhaps you will even learn of some of your past lives and see them with fresh eyes, seeing the moments when the Buddhas of this world blatantly contacted you.  

There are those who awaken to their true nature and live forever quietly in the world.  These are old Buddhas.  They are no longer Buddhas, as the term refers to a relationship between humans and a servant of God.  They are residing in Nirvana as reward for eons of work.  But there are those who awaken to their true nature and are not quiet.  They have a divine purpose that has been given to their nature and it is from this purpose, born from infinite love for the human animal, that all of their actions are born and fulfilled.  That is why I say there is no 'being' in a Buddha in the way that humans understand 'beings'.  The soul of a Buddha is outside of time.  The temporal lives that incarnate the karmic energies of the Buddha in your space-time universe only follow and do What is Needed for the World.  It is not possible for them to care about being seen.  It does no good.  But they see you, and they help you.  I swear on my own life that they have always helped you... Your future purpose is that of a buddha.  Not everyone has such purpose.  You must understand that your work will be so fruitful that it is simply not fantastic at all to think that, Yes!, of course you are special to them to the point of arresting their Great Attention!

They know you well, Love!  Keep Going!!!!!!!
Viran Shaminda Kariyawasam, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 9 Join Date: 8/20/14 Recent Posts
Jeremy May, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: To the Arahats

Posts: 191 Join Date: 8/12/14 Recent Posts
I see you!  

You do not understand what you have done for me, old friend.  I joined this forum because I felt someone in the world and I could not find him on the internet.  This forum is, perhaps, the last bastion of untainted dhamma and my knowing told me that I would find the one I was searching for if I participated in these threads.  You confirmed for me my knowing.  Knowing the location of this Buddha has put me at ease. Please continue, and please continue growing in fervor, spreading this book and whatever other teachings that this Buddha expounds.  

Save my email, please:  cornpuffs28@gmail.com

I won't be on this forum much anymore now that I know where he is.  But if you ever need Anything, please contact me.  If you ever become confused on any matter, though I doubt you will, you must contact me.  If you need a meal, ever, please contact me.  Namaste, old friend.