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Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?

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Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Eric G 11/14/13 9:05 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Richard Zen 11/14/13 7:06 PM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Chuck Kasmire 11/15/13 2:20 PM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Banned For waht? 12/1/13 3:54 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Chris G 12/1/13 6:20 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? triple think 12/1/13 9:32 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Florian 12/1/13 10:26 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? triple think 12/3/13 1:05 PM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Eric G 12/24/13 9:28 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Richard Zen 12/24/13 10:25 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? x x 12/24/13 5:34 PM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Daniel M. Ingram 12/24/13 9:43 PM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Andrew Mayer 12/26/13 10:53 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Chuck Kasmire 12/30/13 1:32 PM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Eric G 1/24/14 9:08 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Daemon Shockley 1/24/14 2:16 PM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Anne Cripps 12/25/13 7:57 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Eric G 12/25/13 9:17 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Anne Cripps 12/26/13 5:48 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Eric G 12/26/13 11:43 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Eric G 2/2/14 12:21 PM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Anne Cripps 2/3/14 8:30 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Eric G 2/7/14 3:47 PM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Anne Cripps 2/8/14 7:57 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Eric G 2/9/14 4:07 PM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? (D Z) Dhru Val 2/8/14 10:57 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? Eric G 2/28/14 10:37 AM
RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it? (D Z) Dhru Val 2/8/14 10:58 AM
I've seen a lot of discussion on this, not sure it can be clarified or what is really known.

My own experience was with earnest Mahasi/Folk noting, blips eventually arrived exactly as described and seemed to mark a point where progress accelerated rapidly, so for me (and a couple of dozen others I am aware of) this seems like a really good definition. Then again, I also know of a couple people where it didn't seem to particularly mark a shift.

One of my main questions for the mainstream Buddhist community would be whether or not they experience cessations. Based on the basic similarities between people (experience of jhanas, etc.) it seems hard to believe that advanced people from other traditions aren't experiencing cessations, fruitions, blips. I suppose they can be easy to miss. I've noticed that the visual field in particular seems to want to paint everything as continuous, kind of like how we don't usually notice when we blink. So are people just missing them, not noticing them, not looking closely enough, or are they actually not having these neurological events? Anyone in contact with likely post SE non-Mahasi types who could shed some light on this?

Also in this community we have the Hurricane Ranch talk where Daniel mentions a 50% rate of stream entry for people on a 3 month retreat at the Mahasi center, vs. 10% for a 3 month IMS retreat. I could definitely see that, and the reasons for that, although admittedly I come from a Mahasi bias. Yet Jack Kornfield's estimate for the Mahasi retreat is that "using this method of practicing, perhaps three percent of the people who went to Mahasi’s monastery would have had such a stream-entry experience." So, what gives?

The Jack Kornfield quote comes from an article in BuddhaDharma 2007, This Fantastic, Unfolding Experiment, which I found to be good medicine for my Mahasi centric views. But yeah, I'd still vote Mahasi emoticon Git 'er done.


Some fodder from a few recent threads:

[Richard Zen]
Stream-entry in particular is about fading of perception and consciousness and seeing how clinging is connected with perception and how perception is connected with consciousness. When you let go enough (usually involving very consistent concentration) so that consciousness has no objects to cling to and the consciousness goes within itself and you lose experience briefly and come back, then that is more likely stream entry.


[.Jake.]
A broader definition that I employ, having interacted with folks who I judge to be partially awake at least (i.e., stream enterers) some of whose experience does not fit this mold and some whose experience does fit it, I think we can zoom out and identify more crucial factors which are definitive for a partial or initial awakening (stream entry). In this model, the EQ-blip-bliss wave model is not identical to stream entry but merely the para-stream-entry events which accompany stream entry for folks who practice in a particular way.

The essential things, in my opinion, are more like this: is there a basic shift in the experiencing of experience? Is the natural and always-already lack of a solid separate self more evident than it was? Is it now impossible to believe in a solid separate self in the way that you used to? As a consequence is there a natural and lasting increase in factors like sensory clarity and a lessening of resistance to experience?


[Rist Ei]
there is worlds of form, when you give them up then it's stream entry.
there is worlds of formless, when you give them up its arahat.

its done by getting insight into their empty nature or realizing these are illusions.
Insight can be attained by momentary concentration or full concentration.

Pick an object (any) and observe it. Get insight into how to do objectless concentration. Attain one pointed objectless concentration (insight of emptiness of formless realms sits there) = anagami, and let it go = arahat.

when you leave the object then you will sense that everything is one, it can be felt - its stream entry. That feeling of wholeness, oneness is empty too - anagami. You let go of it, everything is still the same as before, nothing changed (but now you have wisdom) - arahant.


[fivebells .]
The "I" is not destroyed completely at stream entry. "I" still comes up, but self-view is abandoned as a privileged or inviolable perspective on experience.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
11/14/13 7:06 PM as a reply to Eric G.
Just to clarify that my description of Stream-entry comes from Dan's descriptions mixed with Rob Burbea's. There are also other descriptions that say that you need to be detached from all five aggregates to achieve what stream-entry is aiming at. Secondly Rob Burbea says that some people get a cessation but don't benefit from it because they don't gain an understanding from it.

Here's Kenneth's opinion on Stream-entry vs Direct Path methods:

3rd gear equivalent to stream entry

"Is it possible to identify any equivalent turning point using an absolute awareness approach?"-ConfusedMaverick

Hi CM,

Your punctured tire analogy is excellent, and I agree that upon reaching stream entry as defined in Theravada Buddhism, that tire is destined to go flat; it's just a matter of time. Regarding your question as to "an equivalent turning point using an absolute awareness approach:"

1st Path as I understand it is a biological fact, similar to puberty for an adolescent. Any given human has either reached puberty or not. That person's (or any other person's) opinion about the situation has no bearing on the biology. In other words, puberty is not a social construct and neither is 1st Path. Much confusion can be overcome by embracing that single concept.

Accepting this, we can ask if there is a parallel attainment using an "absolute awareness approach." I would say that there is not. Dzogchen fruition, for example, is well understood to be available to anyone, at any level of development. This is the essential fact that makes it possible for Tulku Urgyen to teach that Ground, Path, and Fruit are the same. Since it is possible for anyone to experience Dzogchen fruition, it is NOT a developmental marker. Much better than a developmental marker, it IS enlightenment, in and of itself. Every moment of Dzogchen frution is a moment of complete and perfect buddhahood. This doesn't mean anyone has attained buddhahood. There isn't anyone there in that moment. There is just "buddha-ing."

One of the challenges of postmodern spirituality is to be able to synthesize the various streams without muddying them. The most important thing to understand about direct path teachings is that any development that goes on is secondary to the direct experience of enlightenment in this moment.

Kenneth


I’d like to revisit CM’s original question, leaving out Dzogchen for the sake of simplicity and clarity: “Is there a 3rd Gear equivalent to 2st Path?”

3rd Gear, by definition, does not admit time. Using CM’s term, 3rd Gear is an “absolute awareness approach.” It is the recognition, in this moment, of that which is beyond time; it is not the past, nor the future, nor even the present. It is the Absolute. Where there is no time, there is no development. Each moment of recognition of the Absolute is complete unto itself. It has no need to develop and nowhere to develop to. There is no one here to develop. All talk of development belongs in either 1st or 2nd Gear, which are practices that work through time toward enlightenment. This is a very subtle point and may not make sense except to those who have surrendered to the Absolute, at least for a moment, but it is essential to understanding 3rd Gear and all true direct path teachings. Confusion arises because many systems of teaching, my own included, contain both developmental and direct approaches.

May all beings awaken in this lifetime,

Kenneth


ConfusedMaverick, you don't seem very confused to me, and you have grasped the "subtle point" clearly. Yes, development results from 3rd Gear practice once you admit the existence of time, which simply entails looking through any lens other than the Absolute (which is not a lens). And the reason direct path teachers often deny the possibility of development is because, as you point out, they don't want to muddy the waters; a student can only surrender to the timeless when s/he stops obsessing about development. It's very tricky to teach both time-bound and timeless approaches together, and sometimes I envy the teachers who have chosen to specialize in one or the other. When you do teach both, the ability to "turn it on and off at will" is one of the skills you try to teach. Context is everything here, and the rest is precision of language.

Kenneth


"Will dwelling in rigpa lead to stream entry?'"-IanReclus

Hi Ian,

This one is easy to answer. Any practice that leads to dis-identification of successive strata of mind will lead to stream entry and beyond. Rigpa, by almost any of the many definitions found on KFDh and elsewhere, can accomplish this if practiced diligently.

Stream entry doesn't belong to any tradition any more than puberty belongs to modern medicine. Both "stream entry" and "puberty" are just names applied by certain systems of thought. In both cases, the words refer to natural, organic, biological realities that arise spontaneously given the right conditions. The conditions for the arising of puberty have to do with the maturation of a healthy human body. As such, nearly everyone gets there. The conditions that lead to stream entry, on the other hand, have to do with consistently adopting a particular perspective in the mind. This usually requires training in a system specifically designed to foster such a perspective and therefore most people will not attain stream entry. We could say that stream entry is "optional human development," although some people do stumble upon it with no formal training.

I regularly work with people who have unwittingly attained stream entry and beyond through some training other than Theravada Buddhism, e.g., Jewish mysticism, Zen, or even poorly taught vipassana. In most cases, they were unable to diagnose themselves in terms of the 4 Paths of Enlightenment simply because they were unfamiliar with the map. There are also people who mistakenly diagnose themselves as stream enterers, again because they don't know the map. Such yogis are usually confusing A&P or jhanic attainments with stream entry. Bottom line, though, all of these "attainments" are normal, human, organic, biological developments and are not unique to any tradition.

Kenneth


Here's Shinzen's description:

Return to the Source

As you Note Vanishings, it can sometimes happen that a kind of figure-ground reversal occurs. Instead of observing the vanishing point, you become it! You become the nothing—the ground—and you “un-become” thoughts and body sensations, which are now like insubstantial figures continuously rising from and returning to the TRUE YOU.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
11/15/13 2:20 PM as a reply to Eric G.
In short, it's a term that is defined differently depending on who you ask.

It's just as hard for people from other traditions to believe that you do experience them. I never experienced them.

On the way to Paris I saw the White Cliffs of Dover. If someone says they went to Paris and did not see them - what does that imply about this other person, me, Paris, and the white cliffs of dover? There are more variables here than you might think.

As for the percentages: you would have to have a long talk with Jack, Daniel, and the people at the Mahasi center that Jack went to so as to understand how they are defining this term - what they look for - etc. then of course you would have to take a look at how they went about evaluating them - how much time they spent with them, etc. Then keep in mind that that definition(s) is within the context of the Mahasi teaching and that it may or may not (probably not) correspond with the definition(s) you would find in say the Thai Forest Tradition - making comparisons across traditions rather difficult.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/1/13 3:54 AM as a reply to Eric G.
there is blips also not related to the path.

I started working with the third eye and ever since had three or four cessations. But for now i don't lose awareness anymore when it happens.

Possibility is that blip is a cessation. For who hasn't settled in awarness its unknown event, something just have blinked out.

What i believe currently is that its self upgrade, because apparently greater understanding usually comes too with that. These cessations are involuntary, like a gift for your hard labour on the field.
There seems also to be i can go into cessation at will, it does not give nothing. There may be nothing upgraded cessations too.

As for the path there is three important blips, thought i remember only two were impressive enough to remember.

Technically i can also guess why no powers when attaining higher and higher paths. Because self knowledge is its power.

Also there is the little ones too(like when you read something and get insight,aha moment and you feel something changed), not well noticeable but i believe these are cessations too.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/1/13 6:20 AM as a reply to Eric G.
I've experienced "shifts" of various sorts but no cessations that I've seen. As a result of these shifts my mind is quieter, I experience less anxiety, and my sensory perception is clearer (I feel more present in the world). My chest area is much clearer and the emotions that I experience there have been greatly attenuated.

Some of these shifts resulted from observing the interplay of feeling (via body sensations), craving, and clinging -- i.e. the middle part of the chain of dependent origination. When I noticed, having done the Goenka technique for some number of days straight (on a retreat) that there is nothing in pleasant sensation worth clinging too, my mind would drop stressful processes that were based on those sensations, such as discursive thinking, generating emotions, & playing music in my head. These instances of letting go resulted in long-term shifts.

However, I do feel like I still have identity view so I don't consider myself a stream-enterer. I sometimes have access to jhanas 1-3 in a light form (without much one-pointedness).

Summary: Goenka technique (for less than 1 year, only two 10-day retreats so far) --> very helpful shifts but no cessations for me.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/1/13 9:32 AM as a reply to Chris G.
Having Seen for Oneself Directly and in Truth, The Eye to the nature Of the many splendoured Truth Is Opened, and can so never be made closed again, and becomes so ever after, more clear and complete in vision, strength and purpose, be it in this life or the next.

One having become aware, As Such, "Of this deepest, highest, and the most expansive and all encompassing and Noblest Truth, which rules our days and nights, how at times one sees clearly and at times one sees not at all".

With this knowledge and understanding directly, firmly and correctly in mind then, one rests, sits, stands, stretches, or walks, thinks, speaks and acts from that moment and ever henceforth, mindful of this, one's partial, lesser, greater, or full and perfected knowledge and understanding; until such time as one has made that knowledge and understanding, in whatever senses or minds directly and truthfully thorough, full and complete, and no less so in every sense; in mind and body, speech and action.

So thereby in this good practice, to Become Thus within this brilliant and Perfected Truth, and within the perfect rest and perfected knowledge and understanding of all the great Buddhas,
or in walking forth towards the fullest and most profound perfection of it, as do the Great Wheel turners, who yet so walk onward, such as those now so anointed by the truth and in it appointed in it to leads us forth, and into ever better days henceforth to come, in heart, mind and body, as before and even now, then and no less so today, through whatever suffering and darkness may yet come, in any or all of these many floating worlds so set to turning on, within this vast and stellar dark, as then and even so today,
amen,

This Day of the Sun Henceforth to Come is said to be Mighty; and so be the journey to this day henceforth, be it brief or of great length, do not despair, even in the greatest of darkness and or suffering.
Sisters and Brothers in Truth, Knowledge and Understanding.
3b

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/1/13 10:26 AM as a reply to Eric G.
Hi Eric

like Buddhists like to say, "it depends".

If the blip is just another content of experience, so what?

Fruition is not experience-producing. That's why so many people do so many awkward verbal contortions to talk about "un-conditioned" "un-born" "un-created" "un-dead" (or "deathless" because they think "un-dead" is cheesy), and so on.

Fruition is wisdom-producing. But that's just another way of saying, that it produces nothing. Or that nothing is produced from it.

So as long as stram-entry is the chase for experience, even highly refined experience like the Three Doors, Discontinuities or "blips" in experience, and so on - by my understanding the chase for itself continues.

Expressing this tail-chaser in words is awkward. Assaji summarized it like this when pestered by Upatissa (who later was called Sariputta):

Whatever phenomena arise from cause: their cause and their cessation.


This is no more or less clever than all the other circumlocutions.

The stream is the four noble truths - arising, conditions, cessation, uncoditioning. Stream Entry is a bit of a misnomer, because the four noble truths are already true; so it is not a matter of going to or entering a place where they are true but understanding, observing, and realizing their truth.

Epicurus put it like this: Death is nothing to us, for when we are, death is not, and when death is, we are not. Same old, also no more or less clever.

But words like these, even well-chosen ones like Assaji's or Epicurus', are just contents of experience, like the blips.

That's why I'd recommend to be on one's toes and watch really hard for that unmotivated, uncaused, source-less increase in wisdom / insight / clarity - whatever you like to call it, which can come like the thief in the night, as Jesus put it. Really watchful and mindful and alert and all that, because it can be subtle and easy to overlook.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/3/13 1:05 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
Hi Eric

like Buddhists like to say, "it depends".

If the blip is just another content of experience, so what?

Fruition is not experience-producing. That's why so many people do so many awkward verbal contortions to talk about "un-conditioned" "un-born" "un-created" "un-dead" (or "deathless" because they think "un-dead" is cheesy), and so on.

Fruition is wisdom-producing. But that's just another way of saying, that it produces nothing. Or that nothing is produced from it.

So as long as stram-entry is the chase for experience, even highly refined experience like the Three Doors, Discontinuities or "blips" in experience, and so on - by my understanding the chase for itself continues.

Expressing this tail-chaser in words is awkward. Assaji summarized it like this when pestered by Upatissa (who later was called Sariputta):

Whatever phenomena arise from cause: their cause and their cessation.


This is no more or less clever than all the other circumlocutions.

The stream is the four noble truths - arising, conditions, cessation, uncoditioning. Stream Entry is a bit of a misnomer, because the four noble truths are already true; so it is not a matter of going to or entering a place where they are true but understanding, observing, and realizing their truth.

Epicurus put it like this: Death is nothing to us, for when we are, death is not, and when death is, we are not. Same old, also no more or less clever.

But words like these, even well-chosen ones like Assaji's or Epicurus', are just contents of experience, like the blips.

That's why I'd recommend to be on one's toes and watch really hard for that unmotivated, uncaused, source-less increase in wisdom / insight / clarity - whatever you like to call it, which can come like the thief in the night, as Jesus put it. Really watchful and mindful and alert and all that, because it can be subtle and easy to overlook.

Cheers,
Florian
Yes this is it!.

One sees little but the 4NT everywhere within and without, sees that this is always so in the U within and the U without, sees that all that comes into being has causes and conditions and that only this principle , so well stated by the Buddha - the Kamma Master (of his own kamma), can help us to discern also how to become Masters of this Kamma in any and all names and forms, so making an end to the whirlpool flying in the whirlwhind, and all of the conditions which thereby bind us in being and becoming which can then no longer master U s.


Round Over

Anyone?

birds and flowers

tag teaming,
kamma slamma
-3bird

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/24/13 9:28 AM as a reply to Eric G.
Just kind of re-stumbled on this which I thought was relevant

Kenneth Folk:
... in fact, it's common to miss both the cessation and the reset of the cycle. Many people who have not been indoctrinated into the Theravada system and are thus not trained to look for cessations or cycles do not report experiencing either, despite having attained one or more Paths. It's only later, upon learning about these phenomena, that they begin to experience them. In other words, these subtle phenomena can happen, but unless you are trained to notice them you may never see them. And even if you are trained to notice them, you may be tired or distracted and therefore miss them at times.


From: An Idiots Guide to Dharma Diagnosis

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/24/13 10:25 AM as a reply to Eric G.
Yeah I sometimes wonder about that. emoticon

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/24/13 5:34 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Great thread Eric.

I experienced a timeless, nothing blip while doing a non-Buddhist type of inquiry. The entire world and time disappeared and I came back, wondering what happened, but I couldn't remember anything. All I knew was my mind was completely bright, as if I had fallen asleep for hours and woke up again. But it seemed completely out of the domain of time. I was slightly psychic after that, had moments of "blacking out", and my body seemed a little more transparent.

Then I found MCTB, kept a daily practice, went on retreat, had a mind blowing AP, got worried, worked with Kenneth, went through a prolonged period of third jhana coolness and nearly constant EQ-like demeanor, then had barely a hiccup... and had almost instantaneous access to jhanas 1-4.

The latter experience was diagnosed by Kenneth as stream entry.

I've always wondered what the former was. But the thing that was notable about the former was there wasn't EQ preceding it.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/24/13 9:43 PM as a reply to x x.
I have had plenty of Fruitions that I am pretty sure I only knew were Fruitions as I am so obsessive about phenomenology and trained so hard to clearly perceive the differences in state-shifts and the like. Otherwise, they would have just seemed like a blink or could have been written off as whatever or just ignored.

I agree with Kenneth: plenty likely have had them and didn't know it, but with specific techniques and focuses can come to have a better sense of them.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/25/13 7:57 AM as a reply to Eric G.
:-) Hi Eric!

I come from a non-Mahasi background. I've been thinking of posting a series of personal accounts on the DhO but the composing/writing/editing (and formatting!) takes some time; in view of present concerns about a shortfall of people willing to post for fear of custard-pie throwers and more merciless attackers, I’ll post below what I hope is relevant (it’s still in draft stage, and part of a longer screed, fore and aft). At the time of this awakening (also mentioned in the quote below) “I had no knowledge of Buddhism (other than that it was a religion), or instruction in meditation”. This event did not spring out-of-the-blue but after some years of largely reluctant soul-searching (I was 17 at the time, and not a practitioner of any religion). FWIW I think that the stages of awakening described in Buddhism are probably a general human blue-print.

GLOSSARY…

Illusoryself-grasping (Pali/Skt: ahamkāra ('I'-making); Skt: ātma-grāha), which is dependent upon illusoryself-view: of persons, the two types of illusoryself-grasping are 1) gross/intellectually-formed (Skt: parikalpita), meaning of a speculated 'I' independent of body and mind, and 2) subtle/innate (Skt: sahaja), meaning of an inherently-existing self imputed upon actual khandas/skandhas. Only the latter type is said to be innate with all sentient beings.
……..Gross illusoryself-grasping is abandoned during the path-stage of stream-entry (1st bhumi); and subtle illusoryself-grasping in respect of the form-skandha (own form plus objects of the physical senses) is eradicated during fruition (2nd bhumi). Subtle illusoryself-grasping occurs at a deep level of the mind-and-energy continuum and does not refer to conscious intent, but is dependent upon subtle illusoryself-view.

Patigha/Pratigha: enmity/fighting/opposition/wrath (source: Monier-Williams Sanskrit dictionary), 5th fetter; see also vyāpāda.

Self (Pali: atta; Skt: ātman): The third seal of Buddhist teaching states that all phenomena (i.e any object of the physical senses or mind) are “not selves”. This is a Buddhist technical use of the word “self”, for a specific purpose, and does not challenge or prevent other uses of the word, in Buddhism or elsewhere. In this technical use of the word, a “self” is true and actual (that is, not imaginary (which seems fairly obvious:-) and not a conceptual substitute for something, not an idea or mental image or representation, not a word or other label); also, a “self” is individual (separate, indivisible/uncompounded), constant, and independent of other causes and conditions.

Skandhas: My general use of this term (from my understanding of its use in my ‘Zen years’) may differ from the Theravadin khandas in respect of the third and fourth skandhas, namely saññā/samjñā and sankhāra/samskāra. Samjñā, in my usage, means thoughts (ideas/images/yatter/etc) as formations; samskāra means “putting together" or "compositional activity" (illusoryself-grasping is a 'compositional activity', 'I'-making). I found this usage has some relevance when referring to awakening-sequencing in the three consecutive Supramundane Paths/Big Cycles (the first being from stream-entry to ‘arhat’) covered by this and later accounts.

Vyāpāda: death/destruction/malice/ruin (source: Monier-Williams Sanskrit dictionary), 5th fetter; see also patigha/pratigha.

-o-O-o-


INTRODUCTION & DISCLAIMER…

… Mention of individuals in any unbecoming light is for narrative clarity, not revenge …
……..My assigning Theravadin and Mahayanist terms for stages is conjectural; I am not trying to requalify the original referents of those terms. However, some of my descriptions may differ from traditional formulae/ translations; thus I have used ‘single quotes’ for stages where I consider my use of these terms might be controversial. I have consulted with no one whom I consider experientially expert in both the stages of actual liberative insight I have described and in the use of these terms. I prefer to think and write of my liberative experiences in terms of what they did, but include references to traditionally-named stages for comparison …

-o-O-o-


BLAH...ERM, DEPRESSING SPIRITUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY STUFF (PART 2)
… [preceding depressing stuff omitted...but plenty followed :-)]

STREAM-ENTRY


IN early 1968, relations with my father worsened after his recent return from six months’ business in Africa. He seemed to regret being again in England, a place he had never liked; and I seemed to provide him with no end of dissatisfaction and annoyance just by being myself! Being exposed to a frequent heavy hail of concepts and opinions over weeks, I realised that I too had many ideas and opinions about what was or was not true, and saw my own obligation to know Truth directly, not through ideas and opinions, others’ or mine.
……..Wanting to give my full, uninterrupted attention to this enquiry, I decided to wait until the school’s Easter holidays. I was heartened to remember my successful experience of two years before when I had initially felt up against an impenetrable wall, and was certain I could resolve the present issue. By the time the holidays began I felt great urgency about my enquiry, and reflecting on how long I'd already lived (in this life), not wanting to delay longer than necessary.
……..For some reason, I sat in our dining-room to contemplate the matter; the room was used almost only for dining with guests. I formulated my question, “What is Truth?”; but then I had to understand what I meant by it. I wanted directly to know, “What is, before I stick my words and labels on it, or substitute my concepts and opinions for it?” I had no knowledge of Buddhism (other than that it was a religion), or instruction in meditation at this time, so I did the only thing that seemed obvious to me…in silent concentration I suppressed thoughts. I do not recall how hard I had to work at this; I remember it being physically stressful, so I probably had to apply myself a few times, but I was resolute.
……..At some point something suddenly switched...and nothing looked the same any more; instead, an extraordinary spaciousness and seeing a unified field of forms (of which my body-form was part). In wonderment I looked at my hands: they were not my hands; this physical form was not ‘me’. Everything (i.e visual form) was ineffable…beyond anything words and concepts could reach. Amazing...astonishing...miraculous. All seamless... arising together. Who could not but feel awed, humbled, and with immense gratitude? ...In this spaciousness something else had changed; I didn’t know what it was, but when I observed my thoughts they seemed more like some faint yattering at distance and (faintly perturbingly) less graspable as ‘me’.
……..Unfortunately I do not recall all details, or necessarily in actual sequence. Looking at the forms in this unified field I saw their seamlessness in space, intervening spaces also part of the field; their compoundedness, and seemingly infinite divisibility yet simultaneous dimensionlessness as points; and their indefinability and ungraspability by concept and word. I considered the far sweep of possible consequences of any event (these days, called the ‘butterfly effect’). Together these raised the question, “Why should event B follow event A?” What had appeared ‘logical’ was not ‘logical’, as I had understood it, at all; what I had thought of as ‘logic’ seemed to be an act of faith or will from start to end, a series of premises, which might (or not) coincide with events. I saw how self-importance concerning ones likes and dislikes could lead to many kinds of judgement that blind one to reality; one could live ones whole life barely glimpsing or acknowledging the world beyond these projections. I saw that mistaking words and concepts for the reality to which they referred could do the same.
……..I felt humbled and deeply grateful for what I had seen, and vowed to try to live by it and to deepen my understanding. Having glimpsed beyond the opposites, I was aware of need to free myself from blinkers of like and dislike, concepts and words. Spontaneously I began to refer to Truth devotionally as “Lord”, and to “the Absolute”. Nonetheless, I suffered from a dualistic view of Absolute versus relative, ‘the Absolute’ seeming to exist as separate and elsewhere from the relative. Lacking knowledge of mindfulness training, and fearing that to feel/think something meant that I believed it, thereafter I exerted great effort to suppress internal responses that seemed inappropriate or untruthful, a practice both anxiety-provoking and physically stressful.
Notes: I understand the above-described awakening in Buddhist shravakayana terms as entry to stream-winner stage (first stage of the Supramundane Path), at which the experient is said to be released from the three fetters of 1) Pali: sakkāyaditthi; Skt: sakāyadrishti, often translated as “false view of a ‘self’” (i.e a fixed, unconditionally arising or independently existing, indivisible entity imputed as, in, or separate from the kandhas); 2) doubt about the reality of spiritual training and awakening; and 3) holding rituals and ceremonies as alternatives to, or substitutes for, awakening. However, explanations of sakkayaditthi may be exceedingly ambiguous, and might lead readers to suppose that elimination of this fetter refers to all the kandhas and is the full overcoming of innate illusoryself-grasping (see glossary); this would actually be a case of arhat-fruition. Kāya means “body” or “group”; my understanding is that, at stream-winner stage, it is the body (and other forms in ones environment), and not the entirety of the kandhas, that is deeply realised as not-self (not-selves), innate illusoryself-grasping in respect of the form skandha (which includes ones body-form plus forms in the environment) being eradicated. This is also the explanation given by Theravada teacher Ajahn Chah, tucked away in Opening the Dhamma Eye, re Kondañña. This impacts very subtly on the appearance of a fixed, unconditionally or independently arising, indivisible, substantial ‘self’ as other kandhas; but in 1968 I did not understand the basis of this effect.
……..I have read that people can leap over individual stages of the Supramundane Path in their awakenings: thus, for example, someone who had sufficiently weakened the two fetters of kāmachanda/kāmarāga (ardour/fervour for sense-desires; 4th fetter) and patigha/vyāpāda (see glossary) might first awaken directly to not-self at once-returner stage (or even non-returner stage), leaping over stream-winner stage in the process.
……..In terms of the bodhisattvayana, I understand the above-described awakening to equate to the wisdom aspect of the first and second bhumis. My mind was not that of a bodhisattva wishing to liberate all beings out of great compassion; sorting out my own act was my aspiration!:-) Equating entries to stream-winner stage and the first bodhisattva bhumi, Vajrayana teacher Geshe Kelsang Gyatso wrote in Ocean of Nectar that only the “intellectually-formed view of the transitory collection ”, and not the “innate view” (associated with innate illusoryself-grasping), is abandoned on this bhumi, but that the second bhumi starts with abandoning/eradicating grossest actual innate illusoryself-grasping. I did not have the wherewithal by myself to arrive at conscious intellectual understanding of no ‘self’ in all the skandhas; had I encountered śūnyatā (emptiness) teachings at this time, I would have recognised the truth of them (with great relief...phew!:-) although certainly not fully understanding them.
……..Concerning "logic", my reflections above were from a perspective of the unconditioned nature of the conditioned, which was rather confusing to me at the time!
……..My awareness of "need to free myself from blinkers of like and dislike" echoes the requisite for gaining 'once-returner' stage, namely lessening the fetters of kāmachanda/kāmarāga and patigha/vyāpāda; which suggests to me that a common process unfolds in further awakening.

I have seen mentioned elsewhere (viz, Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana and Sitting Buddha by Daishin Morgan) that people may experience this awakening gradually…I'm not sure what would be noted there. You asked about “blips”…I think my memory ‘blackout’ about what happened just before “nothing looked the same any more” was probably such a ‘blip’ or rapid serial blips. Certainly I experienced fruitions with recollected blackouts/kinda-blackouts since, outside of a Mahasi framework; but my conscious familiarity with fine detail of all sixteen insight-stages has been less acute than experienced vipassaniks’.

[quote=You (Eric) wrote]I’ve noticed that the visual field in particular seems to want to paint everything as continuous, kind of like how we don't usually notice when we blink.
If you mean that the visual field looks different since stream-entry, I would suggest this results largely from the eradication of innate illusoryself-grasping in respect of the form skandha (which includes ones body-form plus environmental forms). I am not sure what would be particularly noted for someone who lacks physical sight, but “form” covers external sensory-objects in general.

Blessings (-:

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/25/13 9:17 AM as a reply to Anne Cripps.
Anne Cripps:

I have seen mentioned elsewhere (viz, Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana and Sitting Buddha by Daishin Morgan) that people may experience this awakening gradually…I'm not sure what would be noted there. You asked about “blips”…I think my memory ‘blackout’ about what happened just before “nothing looked the same any more” was probably such a ‘blip’ or rapid serial blips. Certainly I experienced fruitions with recollected blackouts/kinda-blackouts since, outside of a Mahasi framework; but my conscious familiarity with fine detail of all sixteen insight-stages has been less acute than experienced vipassaniks’.


I think that's pretty much in line with most people, i.e. awakening gradually in an overall sense (not that there aren't moments along the way that are quite clear). Also I think relatively few people have distinct knowledge of 16 insight states, or even the basic 11.

[quote=You (Eric) wrote]I’ve noticed that the visual field in particular seems to want to paint everything as continuous, kind of like how we don't usually notice when we blink.
Anne Cripps:

If you mean that the visual field looks different since stream-entry, I would suggest this results largely from the eradication of innate illusoryself-grasping in respect of the form skandha (which includes ones body-form plus environmental forms). I am not sure what would be particularly noted for someone who lacks physical sight, but “form” covers external sensory-objects in general.


I wasn't drawing a distinction between pre- and post-SE vision, not sure what I would say there, perhaps the field is seen as somewhat more granular and impermanent now. I meant that in general a lot of visual processing assumes that things are likely to be constant and we tend to miss things like blinks or blips, and we have selective attention, etc.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/26/13 5:48 AM as a reply to Eric G.
:-) Hi Eric!

Commenting on “path” and “fruition” phases in Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English, Henepola Gunaratana wrote, “I feel that each phase may take a moment, a lifetime, or anywhere in between”…but on re-reading that section (since reading your comment), I think that in some cases he must be using the terms differently to vipassana, these path and fruition “phases” containing several vipassana-stages.

Referring initially also to his own experience, Zen teacher Daishin Morgan wrote…
Many of those who practise long-term and with great sincerity do not experience kenshō [“seeing into ones essential nature”] as a sudden flash of awakening but as a deep inner change that happens over time. This may be so gradual that one is not even aware of it at the time it is taking place. But then, quite without drama, one realises what has been there from the beginning. For others, a sudden experience plays a significant role in this process and a lot of what has been written about zen is from their perspective.
(The "sudden" experiences mentioned above would also tend to occur within a gradual process of awakening.)

Thank you for clarifying for me what you meant about vision, i.e including blinks and other changes often overlooked.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/26/13 10:53 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I agree with Kenneth: plenty likely have had them and didn't know it, but with specific techniques and focuses can come to have a better sense of them.


Having gone through what I can only describe as a polyglot of traditions over the last 30 years, I'd love to get your thoughts on which techniques can bring the most clarity to these experiences.

I'm currently experiencing powerful motions forward in my practice based on what I'm reading here and from the MCTB, but I really have no *context* for what I'm experiencing a lot of the time. I suppose I don't *need* that sense of comfort that comes from believing I'm on the right path since I'm in "taking the one seat" mode at present, but it might be useful.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/26/13 11:43 AM as a reply to Anne Cripps.
There was a mention of some kind of Advaitic stream entry or something on a thread recently, I could kind of see that. I experienced something along those lines, a sudden and complete insight kind of thing, pre MCTB stream entry, and I had nondual experiences for a couple of weeks after, but then it faded. What I'm calling MCTB stream entry didn't particularly fade. I suppose we could try to wedge the Advaitic thing it into an A&P experience, but I'm not sure that fits. It seems more along the lines of seeing that Wile E. Coyote isn't real.

Maybe the hardcore meditation stuff is more of a specific kind of neurological development that correlates real well with, or overlaps, an axis pointing to "enlightenment". And for a lot of people that development seems to speed up around the time that they start experiencing those blips. But it seems like people get to the understanding without that development, or that degree of development. Or without noticing the blips.

I would think the best way to notice/get to the blips would indeed be something like a detailed noting practice, i.e. practicing noticing.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
12/30/13 1:32 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I have had plenty of Fruitions that I am pretty sure I only knew were Fruitions as I am so obsessive about phenomenology and trained so hard to clearly perceive the differences in state-shifts and the like. Otherwise, they would have just seemed like a blink or could have been written off as whatever or just ignored.


I'm trying to understand my confusion over these things. Are these blips?

Stream Entry (my emphasis):

Letter 49
Now I have had another experience extremly difficult to describe. I meditated for about 1 1/2 hours and had reached a good state of Samadhi. The next thing I realized was that I had got out of Samadhi, but not before I had experienced an extraordinary level of Peace and Rest, never before experienced. I had been transformed into the quality of Peace and completly unconscious of myself - It was a subtle and immaterial experience. All the other experiences I have had so far
( of dissolving and disappearing into a mist etc,) seemed gross and material in comparision. I was not sure if I was asleep when I experienced this, (but I never fall asleep)
Time did not seem to come into this experience (In earlier experiences I had always known roughly how long the experience lasted) Now time did not seem to function.

The Peace was of the quality of that found in sleep - Perhaps that was why I thought I had been asleep.
All other experiences I could describe clearly - but this was of a new order. Completely intangible to both senses and mind - Was I awake or asleep when it occurred and what was it?

Letter 50
The Venerable Nayaka Thero is in receipt of your letter of the 19th. When I had translated it to him, he announced that at last you have reason to be happy that your endeavours are 'Fruite'-ful. That 'extraordinaty level of Peace and Rest never before experienced' in which you 'had been transformed into the quality of Peace' ....... etc. is the Fruit of Stream - winning ( Sotapattiphala) . It is the taste of Bliss of Nibbana - the true awakening ("was I awake of sleep?" you were more awake than asleep )
The fact that "Time did not seem to come into this experience" shows that it is a supermundade level. ("All other experiences I have had so far .... seemed gross and material in comparision").

Second Path (my emphasis):

Letter 71
I found myself dissolve completely and became one with all (space). Duality no more. It was like salt dissolved in water - ( a statement I had read some where some time ago. Now I knew what was meant). There was no thought , no judgment, no self. Just a supreme oneness of all. This was followed by the Phala which lasted a long time - I cannot say how long. Here was in truth Nibbanic Bliss perfect complete intangible, inexpressible.
When I regained normality, my joy was boundless - The Phala was of a quality difficult to describe as it seemed to emanate from the All, into which I had dissolved. Its qualities seemed touched by enveloping expansiveness - The quality of this Bliss cannot be described.

Letter 74
The Venerable Nayaka Thero has received your letter dated 30/4. He was glad to hear its contents, and said that you are right in your assumption ( which you have already tested ) . It is the 'Sakadagami Phala '


Thanks to Natasha Smith that linked to this series of letters in a recent post.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
1/24/14 9:08 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
You've got one human being, a monk, saying that is stream entry. Which I think in the context is a communication that the person is on the right track, etc. And, um, yeah, it sounds like good stuff. Maybe those kind of things would be good markers for a non-technical stream entry or something.

My opinion is that as far as the experience being the kind of technical Mahasi blip that I am familiar with, I would tend to say no. A blip is just a blip, there's nothing in it at all, nothing to talk about. Although maybe some people could get a big afterglow or something, maybe that is what was being talked about.

Anyway, the descriptions from those letters seem to involve experiences of self and time, even if they are using language that is sometimes otherwise. You could have experiences where there is a certain "timelessness", etc., but in a blip there is absolutely nothing, the computer has been switched off. You hit reboot and the screen goes blank for a moment. No inputs.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
1/24/14 2:16 PM as a reply to Eric G.
Note: I haven't read the majority of this thread.

I have a friend who is very into philosophy. Particularly Absurdist philosophy. On a regular basis, he 'attempts to prove to himself that things he thinks are important aren't Absurd, and fails.' Based on a wikipedia knowledge of Absurdism, it sounds like its basically talking about Emptiness. When I described my SE experience, he confirmed that he has had similar experience, he gets repeat fruitions and had been considering seeing a doctor, as he thought they might be some sort of seizure.

I talked to another friend who meditates regularly, and was taught meditation by a chiropractor as a way to get her to relax her muscles so he could work on her. At the time, she was expected to be tripalegic (spelling is possibly wrong, but where three of her limbs were disabled). The chiropractor was able to straighten her out, fortunately. She's meditated since then, but has no connection to buddhism or the terminology used in MCTB. I assumed she would have achieved jhanas, and after describing them she confirmed that she has gone from 1-8. She described 8 as 'like her mind being trapped in a block of ice', and that sometimes 'the ice cracks'. After further discussion, I'm certain she is describing fruitions. I believe she is third path. She has told me that the 'ice crack' terminology is something she used during discussions at a camp with Quakers who meditate several times a day, as several of them had similar experiences.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
2/2/14 12:21 PM as a reply to Eric G.
So I had the opportunity to sit down with a couple of advanced Zen practitioners, they've been on the scene at least 20 years that I know of, they are ordained, they run a sangha and a retreat center. So I asked them about cessations, described them, they didn't know what I was talking about. Just kind of a not surprising sample of two at this point. They asked about my practice and they had not heard of Mahasi.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
2/3/14 8:30 AM as a reply to Eric G.
:-) Hi again Eric

Though perhaps the two Zen priests simply did not recall cessations that they experienced (or maybe just did not understand the description), possibly they have not yet entered the Supramundane Path (i.e stream-entry and later stages). In the world of Zen Dharma heirs, all may not be as one might suppose or believe ideal.

Stuart Lachs, a long-term Zen practitioner, has written of the current gulf that may exist between idealised descriptions of "Zen masters" and actuality as may exist 'on the ground'. I have a Soto Zen background, and without intending to tar all Zen teachers or sub-lineages with the same brush (as some may adhere to particular standards of accreditation as far as possible), from Dressing the Donkey with Bells and Scarves (2006)...
According to Zen mythology, for the past 2500 years, starting with Sakyamuni Buddha giving mind-to-mind transmission to Mahakasyapa, the master recognizes that his student understands the wordless teaching which has been passed down from the Buddha. This has been institutionalized as Dharma transmission. In the traditional view, this bestows upon the new master the authority one would accord the Buddha.

However, in practice, Dharma transmission is a much more ambiguous and flexible concept than the mythology would have us believe. Historically, it has been given for many reasons besides spiritual insight: for raising money to sustain a monastery, to establish and expand social connections, to spread a lineage and enhance the teacher’s prestige by having more Dharma heirs, to maintain the continuity of the lineage, to enhance the authority of a missionary, to acknowledge managerial skill, and so on ... What’s more, though Zen, in general, makes superhuman claims for the master based on his spiritual attainment, in Soto Zen, the largest Zen sect in Japan, enlightenment is not at all a prerequisite for receiving Dharma transmission. Rather, only personal initiation between a master and disciple is required. Zen’s mythology notwithstanding, Dharma transmission is only an institutional sanctioning of a teacher bestowing membership in a teaching lineage and may be no more than, as Buddhist scholar Holmes Welch said, “like a Flash Gordon pin.” It tells us actually nothing of spiritual attainment or character, and it was designed that way from the beginning.
(In similar vein, see also Means of Authorization (1999))

From a 2010 interview with Stuart Lachs in Non-Duality Magazine...
... I think at times certain masters/roshi pass someone with a "oneness" experience, which by my view is not a Chan/Zen experience. A “oneness’ experience is where a practitioner may feel a oneness of their own body and mind, and/or as if they are unified with their immediate surroundings or even with the entire universe. Telling someone they have seen the nature may be given for other reasons as well. For instance, I have seen a master tell a disciple he had "seen the nature," that is, had a Chan experience, when the master knew he did not. In this case the master told the student that he had "seen the nature" because the teacher wanted to give this disciple a "present" and to "encourage him to continue practicing" as the student, after many years and much work for the Center, was moving away. It struck me as a rather strange "present" and hardly the only way to encourage some one to continue in their practice. But that is what I was told by the master when I questioned him about his public acknowledgement of "seeing the nature" for this person. Another reason may be to empower someone for whatever reason, or because they are making them a leader or a roshi. In a word there can be a number of motives for "approving" someone's Zen experience; the same goes for giving Dharma transmission. Perhaps close to this, but slightly different, is moving the student along going through the koan course ...

... It is NOT necessary for someone to have seen their Buddha nature to become a roshi or to teach. I know all the classical Zen stories lead one to believe this, but it is simply not true across the Zen board. This is especially so in Soto Zen at least since the 17th century or so and probably way earlier, probably always. The Rinzai tradition in Japan maintains that all their roshi had kensho (seen their Buddha nature [this seems to suggest stream-entry or further, but not necessarily to the degree of arhat -- Anne]) but I do not think that is a hard and fast rule. I believe Soen Nakagawa roshi was made a roshi before he had kensho. Unfortunately I do not have the source for this now. On the other hand, someone who sees the nature may not become a master/roshi for any number of reasons.

According to the recently deceased Taiwanese Chan master Shifu Sheng Yen it is not necessary to have "seen the nature" to become a Dharma heir, which is to say, a Zen master in his lineage. He had three pre-requisites for giving Dharma transmission: first is to have a correct understanding of Buddha Dharma, second is to have a stable life, to live a life of purity (this has to do with a stable character and their emotional life), and third is to have the vow to deliver and help sentient beings, There are a number problems with Sheng Yen’s pre-requisites, not the least being that his disciples lived far away from him and saw him mostly on retreats so he had little idea about the purity of their life. What seemed important to him though not stated, was that the person, especially so for his foreign heirs, had a group of people practicing with them.

In Rinzai Zen, and in the newer Sanbo Kyodan sect of Zen founded by Yasutani roshi in the 20th century, which is popular in the West, people have to go through, that is, complete the koan course of that particular lineage before receiving Dharma transmission. Ideally after kensho, the roshi would watch his disciple and continually be teaching and watching to see that he/she internalizes and makes alive, that is, lives whatever experience(s) the disciple had as he/she goes through the koan course. In the Rinzai sect in Japan, the teacher would have the student prepare talks on the koans that he would judge. Part of this would be so the disciple learns to talk like a Rinzai roshi. But keep in mind that is the ideal. Soen Nakagawa roshi seems to have been a counter example to the rule. He had not finished the koan course when he was made abbot of Ryutaku-ji. Soen's Dharma heir Eido Shimano roshi who was given Dharma transmission in 1972 has been implicated in scandals from the 1960's into the present. Philip Kapleau took the title roshi himself, only later admitted that he did not finish Yasutani roshi's koan course, though he still maintained the self-taken title roshi. That was in the Sanbo Kyodan line started by Yasutani roshi who has a somewhat tarnished image himself because of his strong militaristic and right-wing thoughts. Kapleau was disowned by his teacher Yasutani, so in reality he started his own line. This is not to say that Kapleau was more or less qualified than others with the title roshi. There are many other examples like the above ...

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
2/7/14 3:47 PM as a reply to Anne Cripps.
I'd like to engage those two Zen folks some more but I'm not entirely sure what to say. I'd be curious for them to describe something like their average "internal experience" and maybe how that has changed thru practice.

Or something like maybe to what percent/extent would you agree with the following?
* everything is okay all the time
* everything is just happening in a field of awareness

Or maybe ask for some discussion around some of Daniel's pointers for 4th path like agency, centerlessness, doneness.

When I mentioned Mahasi and described it for them, one said, "or you get to the point where there is nothing left to note" which could possibly be profound. Or not emoticon

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
2/8/14 7:57 AM as a reply to Eric G.
:-) Hi Eric!

If you want to check whether you're on the 'same page' (and they don't go hush-hush about replying;-) you could try asking if they've had any direct liberative insights into the voidness of self imputed upon the skandhas. (I've read that if people have sufficiently weakened the 4th and 5th binding-actions (i.e kāmarāga (ardour/fervour (or similar) for sense-desire/sense-pleasure, including for ideas, opinions, views as mental-objects); and patigha (enmity/fighting/opposition/wrath)/vyāpāda (death/destruction/malice/ruin), both including self-directed) before entering the Supramundane Path, they may enter it at the degree of the second stage ('once-return'); and if they have done the foregoing and also have mundane jhana, they may enter it at the degree of the third stage ('non-return'), though I imagine this would be yet more unusual.)

Practice along the lines of the four close placements of mindfulness, without labelling, should be familiar to them; I'm not sure if by "noting" you mean "labelling", which (if used at all) would tend to be dropped once attention is better engaged.

Good luck with your interBuddhist investigations! (-:

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
2/8/14 10:57 AM as a reply to Eric G.
Though MCTB style stream entry did mark a very significant turning point for me. But as far as I can tell the blips simply stopped coming at some point.

I don't think I am missing them, thought that might be a possibility.

I think the cesation sort of relates to a build up of 'energy' that is then released spontaneously. If that buildup doesn't happen or the release of energy doesn't result in a momentary loss of consciousness then there is would be no blips.

Before I used to have the energy build up in the head, and then could trigger a 'blip' style release.


Now sometimes I have this weird grasping energy build up in the solar plexus rather than the head and the release doesn't result in a blip.

Sometimes there is fabrication of body heat that dissipates the energy, sometimes the grasping just sees its own futility and resolves it self.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
2/8/14 10:58 AM as a reply to Eric G.
Though MCTB style stream entry did mark a very significant turning point for me. But as far as I can tell the blips simply stopped coming at some point.

I don't think I am missing them, thought that might be a possibility.

I think the cesation sort of relates to a build up of 'energy' that is then released spontaneously. If that buildup doesn't happen or the release of energy doesn't result in a momentary loss of consciousness then there is would be no blips.

Before I used to have the energy build up in the head, and then could trigger a 'blip'. And the energy would be released.

Now sometimes I have this weird grasping energy build up in the solar plexus rather than the head and the release doesn't result in a blip.

Sometimes there is fabrication of body heat that dissipates the energy, sometimes the grasping just sees its own futility and resolves it self.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
2/9/14 4:07 PM as a reply to Anne Cripps.
Anne,

I'm not really thinking most people in the Westernized Buddhist cultures would have the skandas and such on the tip of their tongue, and I haven't really geeked out on that stuff too much myself. I might lean more towards injecting a bit of humor with the hippie angle like, dude, so are you like really faded out or what? emoticon

In looking up your terms I came across Leigh Brasington's nifty table for the 4 stages of awakening. He has the term "Mind Blink", so I'd say he's pretty down with the blip.

Some around here (like me) would recognize binding-actions as fetters and four close placements as four foundations. The fetters I guess are pointers, but easy to weasel out of. No good Buddhist is actually going to admit having dropped a fetter, right?

Can't really imagine how that conversation should go, but I'm curious about whether people are having the same overall experience, or what. There's a huge component of tranquility for me that seems kind of more important than the "wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world" angle, so I'd probably ask about tranquility, just for me. Now I'm getting beyond stream entry though.

The tricky thing is that (as you suggested) people seem to be trained away from such questions, they seem to kind of want to change the subject. I guess one day we'll have the neuroscience, and we'll know.

RE: Stream Entry: if not a blip, then what is it?
Answer
2/28/14 10:37 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
[quote=(D Z) Dhru Val]Though MCTB style stream entry did mark a very significant turning point for me. But as far as I can tell the blips simply stopped coming at some point.

So far, I haven't heard of the blips stopping permanently. But there is the interval of no blips maybe on an early cycle when one is back into another cycle, working up to equanimity, say.

***

Also wanted to post this from another thread somewhere, letters between a monk and a student progressing thru the paths, I finally read/skimmed thru all this:
Freed Freedom
I found it a bit hard to map out as the monk did, but it was interesting. Some pretty far out experiences.