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The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 5/23/15 5:49 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry CJMacie 5/23/15 6:40 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 5/24/15 5:31 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Noah 5/24/15 1:04 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 5/24/15 4:23 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Noah 5/25/15 4:40 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 5/25/15 12:24 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry CJMacie 5/26/15 6:41 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry CJMacie 5/26/15 6:38 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 5/26/15 6:53 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Chris Marti 5/26/15 7:10 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 5/26/15 7:19 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Chris Marti 5/26/15 7:25 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry CJMacie 5/26/15 1:49 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 5/26/15 3:17 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Gareth 5/26/15 3:32 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 5/26/15 4:08 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Gareth 5/26/15 5:37 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 8/21/15 5:21 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Chris Marti 5/26/15 6:38 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry CJMacie 6/1/15 6:50 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry svmonk 6/2/15 12:53 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry CJMacie 6/3/15 9:07 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry svmonk 5/27/15 12:59 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 5/27/15 2:50 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry CJMacie 6/1/15 6:54 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry svmonk 6/2/15 1:15 PM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 6/6/15 10:09 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry CJMacie 6/1/15 7:18 AM
RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry Derek 6/1/15 8:35 AM
The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/23/15 5:49 PM
I've now gathered all my writings on meditation in one place:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y4PYM5G

The title is a nod to Tarin's rather more serious book.

You don't need to own a Kindle to read it. You can download the free Kindle reading app for Windows, Android, iPad, etc.

Amazon allows contributors to make their Kindle price zero for five days per quarter. I've asked Amazon to make mine free for the period Monday, May 25, through Friday, May 29.

I've also asked CreateSpace to make available a printed paperback, in case anyone wants one.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/23/15 6:40 PM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron
...
You don't need to own a Kindle to read it. You can download the free Kindle reading app for Windows, Android, iPad, etc.
...


Caveat -- possibly s/w misleading.

Specifically, one cannot download on an iMac the reading app to use on an off-line Windows PC and then transfer and install on the PC via flash card; nor similarly download and transfer the ebook itself.

At least in my experience. My only internet access is on this iMac (OS 10.6.8); my real work is done off-line on a PC laptop (Windows Vista SP2). A while back, I bought an ebook (Rob Burbea's), then downloaded app for PC and iMac, installing the iMac app and getting to the ebook -- access worked, for a brief while. The next day, and thereafter no access! Eventually did a return / refund. (And even later, after listening to more Rob Burbea youtube talks, was glad to have saved the money.)

It looks to me like the whole thing (Amazon ebook marketing) tries to tie one to being on line with Amazon as much as possible, where they're no doubt data-mining your activity to the sky's limit.

But maybe that's narrow-minded (unknowing) and paranoid rant.

If any 'geek' here would show me how to get the ebook reader app, and ebooks off-line to the Windows PC from downloading on the iMac, that would be appreciated, and I would eat crow.


RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/24/15 5:31 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hi, Chris,

I think that what you want to do is not going to be possible. When you download a Kindle book, it always asks you what device you want to read it on, so I think it has to "know" that you have the Kindle-reading app on that device. If you download the app on one device then manually transfer the app to a device that never connects to the Internet, Amazon would never know the device is a possibility.

In any case, I think you have to log in to your Amazon account when you first use the Kindle-reading app. Yesterday I installed the app on an Android tablet to read Silicon Valley Monk. Even though I download that book from Smashwords, I had to log in to my Amazon account from the Android before I could use the Kindle-reading app. That would not be possible if I never connected the Android to the Internet.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/24/15 1:04 PM as a reply to Derek.
Awesome, thanks.  I started Silicon Valley Monk as well... and I'll begin reading yours today.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/24/15 4:23 PM as a reply to Noah.
How are you enjoying Silicon Valley Monk so far? I think it's great. I am at the 14% mark. Reading it is like taking a trip to India, without the inconvenience of actually having to travel! Lots of interesting historical stories in there, too.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/25/15 4:40 AM as a reply to Derek.
SVM is very well written!  I've been a Stephen Batchelor fan for awhile as well, so that makes it all the more engaging.  The first few chapters of your book are very good as well.  I'm learning a ton about the history of Christian meditative traditions, which is a big gap in my knowledge.  Thanks, all.  

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/25/15 12:24 PM as a reply to Noah.
You're welcome. If DhO has readers in the UK, the equivalent link to Amazon UK is http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00Y4PYM5G


RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 6:38 AM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:
Hi, Chris,

I think that what you want to do is not going to be possible. When you download a Kindle book, it always asks you what device you want to read it on, so I think it has to "know" that you have the Kindle-reading app on that device. If you download the app on one device then manually transfer the app to a device that never connects to the Internet, Amazon would never know the device is a possibility.

In any case, I think you have to log in to your Amazon account when you first use the Kindle-reading app. Yesterday I installed the app on an Android tablet to read Silicon Valley Monk. Even though I download that book from Smashwords, I had to log in to my Amazon account from the Android before I could use the Kindle-reading app. That would not be possible if I never connected the Android to the Internet.


Thanks for the info Derek.

I may try with the app on the iMac machine, that's internet connected, and just live with that. There's always the option of screen-capturing each visible page / frame of text to files (.TIFF, with the utility 'Grab') that I can port to the internet-free (liberated!) PC, though it's a bother.

I also downloaded SVM from Smashwords, but it's a PDF file that I have now; doesn't need kindle.

The Amazon kindle set-up bothers me, as (as I understand it) you never really 'have' the ebook, but just access to it on-line -- an instance of the new level of "disruptive" technology coming into vogue, that one doesn't really own or have anything anymore. (The media focus on this treend noted that John Deere -- maker farm tractors and other equipment -- is trying to institute this scheme with it's customers.)

(Sorry for all the OT stuff.)

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 6:41 AM as a reply to Noah.
re: Noah S (5/25/15 4:40 AM as a reply to Derek Cameron.)
"SVM is very well written!  I've been a Stephen Batchelor fan for awhile as well, so that makes it all the more engaging."
I've gotten a lot out of reading SVM (a couple of times) even being a decidedly non-fan of Stephen Batchelor.

Looking forward to the Christian mystic stuff.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 6:53 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:


you never really 'have' the ebook, but just access to it on-line -- an instance of the new level of "disruptive" technology coming into vogue, that one doesn't really own or have anything anymore. (The media focus on this treend noted that John Deere -- maker farm tractors and other equipment -- is trying to institute this scheme with it's customers.)

(Sorry for all the OT stuff.)
Yes, I've noticed that trend, too. You can't just buy Adobe InDesign or Acrobat Pro any more. They want you to pay a monthly fee in perpetuity. Microsoft seems to be headed that way with Office, too. And then there's this dubious business of wanting you to store your stuff in "the Cloud."

I don't have a problem with threads that go off-topic, but perhaps other people do. DhO seems to stay on-topic more than most Internet message boards.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 7:10 AM as a reply to Derek.
The conversation about getting this ebook is interesting. Derek has decided to sell the book for a small fee on Amazon.com as opposed to making it available for free to anyone as a PDF file that is downloadable. Yet here we are talking about how to circumvent Derek's decision by violating copyright law and getting the content for free anyway.

Just observin'   emoticon

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 7:19 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hi, Chris,

I'm not sure what you mean. The book is free on Amazon all this week, which is the maximum number of days they will allow it to be free.

Derek.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 7:25 AM as a reply to Derek.
My question is why not just make the book a free download outside of Amazon's tentacles? Again, just observing. No big deal either way.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 1:49 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
The conversation about getting this ebook is interesting. Derek has decided to sell the book for a small fee on Amazon.com as opposed to making it available for free to anyone as a PDF file that is downloadable. Yet here we are talking about how to circumvent Derek's decision by violating copyright law and getting the content for free anyway.

Just observin'   emoticon

Where was there talk of violating copyright law? ("... in the eye of the beholder"?)

My concern focused on getting content into off-line form, as I work mainly off-line (the internet is inherently untrustworthy, anicca).

This issue is orthogonal to whether the content is free or paid for. E.g. I paid for the Rob Burbea ebook, thinking I would be able to copy it into off-line form. That's like copyright law which permits, by and large, or at least formerly, copies for the owner's own use (as in backing-up), but proscribes selling copies.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 3:17 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:

Where was there talk of violating copyright law? ("... in the eye of the beholder"?).


Yes, that puzzled me, too. I understood that you wanted to do your reading on a machine that never connects to the Internet, for safety reasons. I do most of my browsing on Linux for precisely the same reason.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 3:32 PM as a reply to Derek.
Might Smashwords be an option?

Here's Silicon Valley Monk with a direct download in a number of formats (epub, mobi/kindle, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/495629

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 4:08 PM as a reply to Gareth.
Gareth:
Might Smashwords be an option?


Hi, Gareth,

In order to get five free days, I had to sign a 90-day exclusive distribution agreement with Amazon. I intend to honor that commitment.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 5:37 PM as a reply to Derek.
No worries, maybe something for once it has been out for a while, just thought I would mention it emoticon

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/26/15 6:38 PM as a reply to Derek.
Not to overdo this because it's really not that big a deal but Amazon.com's DRM (Digital Rights Management) agreement (especially for those who use the Kindle software) isn't at all the same as what applies when you buy a physical book. You are granted a very limited license to access content ONLY through Amazon's software. You can't do anything else with it:

https://www.defectivebydesign.org/amazon-kindle-swindle


I'm really suggesting the pursuit of more reader friendly options.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/27/15 12:59 PM as a reply to Derek.
Hi Derek,

Just to get back on topic again. emoticon

I read through part of your book and I had a question about a related topic.

In the process of writing SVM, I did some background research on Ashoka's Third Council. I briefly mention this in the Day 3 chapter. One of the outcomes of the Third Council was that Ashoka sent out missionaries, the most notable were to Sri Lanka. But another destination was to the Hellanistic colonies in Ghandara (present day Pakistan). From there, it seems the practice spread to the Anatolian colonies.

Out of that movement it seems a communal meditation tradition called the Therapeutae developed, which practiced a lifestyle very similar to Therevada community life (and the word is similar) but the residents were lay. They were especially known for their healing ability (another possible root for their name, e.g. "theraputic"), much better than the common technology of the time. Philo of Alexandria wrote a book about them, called "The Contemplative Life", which mainly concerned a community that lived near Alexandria, but they had communities widespread throughout the Greek colonies and other parts of the Middle East. This link has a pretty good description of the group: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapeutae

So I'm wondering if perhaps Jesus might not have had some training at a Therapeutae center prior to taking up his ministry, especially as his healing ability is one area which the Gospels spend a lot of text on? I believe he started teaching in his early 30's like the Buddha? I know there's been a long history of questionable scholarship in this area, including a book by Nicholos Notovich claiming that Jesus went to India when he was a young man, which I find fairly improbable, since people who traveled long distances in those days were very rare and usually had a very good reason for doing it. But maybe something closer? Naturally, this is pure speculation, kind of like Stephen Batchelor's contention that the Buddha studied at Taxila in Pakistan when he was in his early 20's.

What do you think?

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
5/27/15 2:50 PM as a reply to svmonk.
I actually got Philo of Alexandria out of the library and read the bits about the Therapeutae. In some ways, they sound exactly like a Theravada Buddhist community, but in other ways, they were quite different.

Since Alexandria was a major center of civilization in the ancient world, it does seem possible that Ashoka's missionaries might have reached it, and that the Therapeutae, indirectly, reflect Buddhist influcence. But as you note, all this is speculative.

In any case, all this was happening in urban Egypt, a comparatively long way from Jesus's rural Palestine. A much closer possible source of influence on Jesus was the Essenes. There are descriptions of the Essenes in Josephus.

Jesus's "lineage," if you will, comes from John the Baptist. And even Pope Benedict XVI thought there might be a connection between John the Baptist and the Essenes. In fact, on Holy Thursday 2007, Pope Benedict went so far as to say that he thought it likely that Jesus and his disciples used the Essene calendar.

What strikes me, reading about the Therapeutae and the Essenes, is that we don't see in the Old Testament a developing tradition of asceticism and communal religious life. There are bits here and there -- for example, John the Baptist in some ways resembles Elijah, and the Nazarite vow is a form of asceticism -- but not a sustained tradition. So did the Essenes, and hence Jesus, reflect some sort of Indian influence, albeit indirectly? Speculation, but intriguing speculation!

Here are the relevant passages about the Essenes from Josephus, Jewish War, Book 2, Chapter 8:

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/dead-sea-scrolls/josephus-on-the-essenes/

The rules around admission (8.7) do sound a bit like rules for admission to a Buddhist community of some sort. Other bits don't sound Buddhist at all, for example, where they put to death anyone who breaks the rules.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
6/1/15 6:50 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
re: Chris Marti (5/26/15 6:38 PM as a reply to Derek Cameron.)
"You are granted a very limited license to access content ONLY through Amazon's software. You can't do anything else with it"
As well as what Derek mentioned about 'the Cloud' –

(last of the OT stuff about Amazon)

Back during a career in computer s/w over 30+ years, I developed, on the basis of various unfortunate experiences, the habit of maintaining multiple copies of everything I might want later access too, in multiple media and on multiple machines in multiple locations.

This whole arena of Amazon-kindle and Cloud sort of stuff – the internet is more vulnerable than most would imagine. The capability of taking it out, for an indeterminate period of time, most likely exists, in the hands of multiple national security/military agencies (USA, Russia, China, Israel, etc. and eventually Iran, ISIS, India, etc.), in addition to various rogue entities. But, of course, such a major catastrophe can't happen (again) -- as they also were saying after WWI. So, one might do well to investigate alternatives, like ESP (supra-normal powers), carrier-pigeons, etc.

Note: An additional insidious aspect of Amazon-type ebook rendition is that one can not select and copy text, nor select and copy a graphic rectangle of text. Further more, one can't 'search/find' for words or phrases. They will also probably eventually sic their lawyers on things like 'Grab' (and Google similarly against 'Clipgrab').

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
6/1/15 6:54 AM as a reply to Derek.
re: Derek Cameron (5/27/15 2:50 PM as a reply to svmonk.)

(back to OT)

"The rules around admission (8.7) do sound a bit like rules for admission to a Buddhist community of some sort. Other bits don't sound Buddhist at all, for example, where they put to death anyone who breaks the rules."

On the other hand… There's a sutta passage (somewhere) where G.Buddha compares his teaching methods to a horse-trainer. Dealing with an impossible (unteachable) case, the trainer kills the horse. GB mentioned the equivalent remedy in his own case, in ejecting or banishing from the sangha, which he may have (not totally sure from memory) metaphorically compared to death (with respect to having access to the Dhamma).

Re the questions about various Hebrew sects, influences on Jesus, and possible Buddhist links – one might run this by Elaine Pagels. She has mentioned in some book that the evidence for Buddhist influence appears inconclusive, but that was a while ago. A couple of years ago (when her book 'Revelations' came out) I found her email address and posed some questions, which she graciously answered.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
6/1/15 7:18 AM as a reply to Derek.
Now having read the ebook through –great read! – and prior to any in depth sort of response, here are (1) a couple of related references from my prior study, and (2) a couple of possible 'typos' found.

(1a) In Chapter 5 -- Pseudo-Dionysios –aka "St. Dennis"? Someone once loaned me a book about/by him, where I first came across the term 'apophasis', which has proved usefull since (sutta descriptions of nibbana tend to be apophatic). It may have been:
Theologia Mystica: Being The Treatise Of St. Dionysius, Pseudo-Areopagite, On Mystical Theology, Together With The First And Fifth Epistles Paperback – October 15, 2011 Alan W. Watts (translator). (Alan Watts is well known on the topic of Zen Buddhism, but he actually ordained in the Episcopal (American Anglican) church.
 
(1b) apropos Chapter 7 -- (this is a real gem) -- A talk by Ayya Khema* (http://dharmaseed.org/talks/audio_player/334/7613.html), reading St.Teresa of Avila's description of the '4 degrees of prayer' (aka 'the ascent of the soul in 4 stages'), where Ayya Khema shows that Teresa is unequivically describing the 4 jhanas, but can do so hesitatingly and with some uncertainty of expression, because there's no background of teaching this in Teresa's tradition. Ayya Khema provides some background, as she has also studied some of Meister Eckhart (who she says more clearly describes path stages, but much more difficult to understand his ancient form of the German language) and also Jakob of Boehme (somewhat later). She emphasizes that this know-how is found hidden deep in Christian mystical tradition, but can't be understood unless one already knows the jhanas, where it's then obvious. She also talks about a certain openness in Catholic circles in recent decades to accepting and investigating this area, led by a couple of Popes. She also mentions, in the context of various 'eucumenical' meetings she's been involved with in the USA, that the Protestants don’t' seem to want to have anything to to with it (perhaps her limited experience here).

* That's Ayya Khema the German-Jewish Theravadan nun (said by Leigh Brasington to have been his teacher, and has a wealth of talks on dharmaseed). NOT the 'Sister Ayya Khema' of the Vimalaramsi circle, whom I would term 'Pseudo Ayya Khema'.

(2) Suspected typos in the text:

Chapter 9  (location 579)
"Our contemporaries in the Western world would have a special problem [with?] discursive meditation."

Chapter 10  (location 621)
"After our triple-sit, we had a discussion comparing different translation[s?] of the beatitudes."

Chapter 14 (location 952)
"This is the case of someone who has plenty of time, and who goes away [on?] their own, so that they do not have to deal with other people"

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
6/1/15 8:35 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hi, Chris,

(1a) Yes, I've seen spellings such as "Denys" and "Denis" in old books (not to be confused with the St. Denis who was bishop of Paris, of course).

(1b) That's a great find. I once had an email correspondence with Leigh, who told me that Ayya Khema was pretty certain that Teresa of Avila had come across the jhanas, but I didn't know her detailed findings were available online.

(2) Thanks for finding these typose. These 99-cent self-published masterpieces are famous for their lack of copyediting! emoticon

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
6/2/15 12:53 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hi Chris,

I share your concerns about Amazon, which is why I released Silicon Valley Monk on Smashwords as the primary platform. Smashwords redistributes to Apple iBooks, Kibo, Barnes and Noble, and some smaller ebook stores, but also maintains a full selection of formats (mobi, epub, PDF) for people who want to read on different readers. They also distribute to Amazon, but only if you charge for the book and only if it has a certain volume. Amazon on the other hand only allows you to distribute free for a week and only if you make them the sole distributor for that period. Independently, I also released on Google Play and Amazon too. Smashwords gives good statistics, through a much better GUI than Google Play, and the Amazon's statistics GUI is fine too.

As publishing moves more and more online, I think it is important to have a variety of choices where you can buy or find a book, and especially, that you have choices which not only have the author's interests in mind, but also the reader's. Amazon does a lot for its authors, but it does its readers no service by soft grey listing books (making them unavailable for a time because the publisher won't accept their business terms, making exceptions for books by certain politicians when they are involved in a business dispute with a publisher, etc.) and using other forms of high pressure business tactics, such as Microsoft used to use with software publishers in the 1990's.

Sorry to get off topic here, but I spent a lot of time research epublishing before I released Silicon Valley Monk, and I wanted to share my opinion.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
6/2/15 1:15 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hi Chris,

I wonder if you could ask Elaine what the current academic/scholarly opinion is about the possibility of Jesus having trained with a contemplative sect prior to undertaking his ministry? I read her book Revelations and, although I am not very familiar with the Bible, the thesis in it - that many of the images and stories are about political themes washing around the Levant during the 1st century Roman Empire, rather than the apolyptic prophacy that fundamentalist Christans make it out to be - resonated with me as having a sense of truth.

After reading Dereks' book, I have a sense that Jesus must have had some formal meditative training, but the text from the Synoptic Gospels seems in some cases to be very truncated and cryptic. Unfortunately, Jesus didn't have someone around like Ananda who was able to recite discourses where he was present from memory. I think Jesus also had the misfortune to be from a working class family, so the Romans had no problem with torturing him to death. If he had been from a high class family, say from the family of the mayor of Nazarath, like the Buddha was, being from the family of the mayor of Kapilavastu, the Romans would have thought twice before executing him. If you believe Stephen Batchelor's hypothsis, the kings of Magada and Kosala were college buddies of the Buddha, and after he met enlightenment, they became followers.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
6/3/15 9:07 AM as a reply to svmonk.
re: svmonk (6/2/15 12:53 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)
(OT)
Thanks for all that practical information about e-publishing aspects and options. Underlying my negative suspicions is the s/w natural tendency for the various enterprises to pursue monopoly, which, from a business perspective, is quite understandable. For the rest of us, it's a sort of slavery, a form of 'taxation without representation,' which rouses a revolutionary impulse.

(back to the topic)

re: svmonk (6/2/15 1:15 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)
"… ask Elaine what the current academic/scholarly opinion is about the possibility of Jesus having trained with a contemplative sect prior to undertaking his ministry…"
First I'd better check out her writings more closely (I have 3 or 4 of the books) to see what she did say – the indexes are pretty good in covering mentions of the Buddha. I've begun reading a couple of her books, but s/h couldn't stick with it (other than 'Revelations', which was spell-binding).

"… Jesus also had the misfortune to be from a working class family…"

That's a good hypothesis that hadn't occurred to me; having often wondered at his rashness, which didn't bother the Romans that much, but riding into Jerusalem allowing himself to be adulated as 'King of the Jews' (Palm Sunday), then violently attacking the 'money-changers' in the temple and the dominent political parties (e.g. the Pharasees) – little wonder he ended that week in a tomb. We'd have a lot more to go on if he'd had the smarts, like G. Buddha, to survive another 45 or so years, to spell-out in more detail, refine by trial and error, his teachings. What was he doing that couple of decades between turning water to wine (as a teenager, at the wedding in Canaa), and taking up with John the Baptist? Just helping his 'father' doing wood-working?

Stephen Batchelor's hypothesis about university study abroad is a bit far-out for my historical sensibilities, but I can well imagine that he was, in his youth, well-schooled in his family traditions – politics and martial arts -- considering all those vivid and gory descriptions of means of torture scattered throughout the sutta-s. (Which, by the way, suggests a likely mythical character to the story of his being so sheltered all those years that sickness, aging and death (and homeless people) surprised and shocked him.)

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
6/6/15 10:09 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:

In the process of writing SVM, I did some background research on Ashoka's Third Council. I briefly mention this in the Day 3 chapter. One of the outcomes of the Third Council was that Ashoka sent out missionaries, the most notable were to Sri Lanka. But another destination was to the Hellanistic colonies in Ghandara (present day Pakistan). From there, it seems the practice spread to the Anatolian colonies.

In Afghanistan, there are Aśokan inscriptions in Greek and Aramaic (the language of Jesus) and also in Prākrit and Aramaic. Presumably Aśoka's audience included people who spoke Aramaic, though what they were doing in Afghanistan, I do not know. Also, the Wikipedia article cites another inscription, which describes the extent reached by Aśoka's emissaries. This included Egypt and the Seleucid Empire, the eventual locales (three centuries' later) of the Therapeutae and the Essenes. It's impossible to draw any definite conclusions from all this, but it does suggest possibilities.

RE: The Slacker's Guide to Stream-Entry
Answer
8/21/15 5:21 AM as a reply to Gareth.
Gareth:
Might Smashwords be an option?


Hi, Gareth,

It is now available as a free download from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/567671