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Question to all Arahants

Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/17/16 4:02 AM
Ive read alot of threads on dharma overground now and a common thing i here people say is that when they reached 4th path they had a strong feeling that theyve reached the end of awakening for the most part.
 
But ive been wondering if its possible that 4th path is just a stage or maybe even a small stepping stone to even deeper stages of awakening into the nature of reality.

Id be curious to hear everyones opinions especially those whove reached 4th path.

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/17/16 4:22 PM as a reply to billy bob joe.
... a common thing i here people say is that when they reached 4th path they had a strong feeling that theyve reached the end of awakening for the most part.

Nah, that's not what I'd say. A better way to state it is that the process that mind uses to construct phenomena is seen through. This leads to a  pretty dramatic reduction in the desire to see through the veils of self and other (the so-called "I'm done" feeling). It is not the end of awakening by any means. It's a really great start, however.

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/17/16 1:48 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Oh okay that makes sense. Would you think that there are other stages past 4th path that are yet to be discovered.

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/17/16 4:04 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Yeah, that's been my impression from reading, that there is a sense that something has been permanently shifted and changed and suffering is lessened and further away and "seen through."  Something is 'done.'  From there, some seem to think there is nothing further to do and some seem to think there IS something further to do, although granted the maps for what to do next seem rather vague from what I've seen so far.  Would be nice to see more detail on post 4th path endeavors. 

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/17/16 4:23 PM as a reply to billy bob joe.
Would you think that there are other stages past 4th path that are yet to be discovered.

There is clearly always more to do. The human mind is infinitely complex and inventive, and our accumulated habits are almost inifinitely great. I suspect that could be what the buddhist scriptures are getting at when they talk about it taking many lifetimes to get to the end. Which to me means there is no end.

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/17/16 6:59 PM as a reply to billy bob joe.
So it seems what you guys are saying is that this thing called awakening could go on forever. I wonder if someone will discover a another level of insight that is permenant and we'll see a 5th path added to our current model opt awakening.

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/18/16 12:22 AM as a reply to billy bob joe.
billy bob joe:
So it seems what you guys are saying is that this thing called awakening could go on forever. I wonder if someone will discover a another level of insight that is permenant and we'll see a 5th path added to our current model opt awakening.

Different traditions have different paths or models, some have no strict model, and then there's the fact that our pragmatic dharma circles include people who have attempted or are attempting to map post-fourth developments. And then there's the fact that people's minds vary, and we don't really have the data necessary to make claims about aggregates on a large scale. I have noticed for myself that there are shifts occurring post-fourth, even at times when my diligence on the cushion is not so hot. Some of them are significant and permanent, while others are more cyclic in nature. In the meantime life is happening, throwing other factors into the mix. 

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/23/16 12:34 AM as a reply to billy bob joe.
billy bob joe:
So it seems what you guys are saying is that this thing called awakening could go on forever. I wonder if someone will discover a another level of insight that is permenant and we'll see a 5th path added to our current model opt awakening.
Here are my most recent thoughts on this, subject to change.  Just playing with ideas for the fun of it.  Also, some of these are specifically not my ideas.  I got them from a fellow DhO'er recently:

1st path definitely exists.  2nd path definitely exists.  There is no such thing as 3rd, or 4th path.  However, the first permanent 'opening' that someone experiences, after 2nd path, is the easiest thing to label '3rd path.'  There will likely come a later 'opening' that has to do with making a certain type of peace with the present moment in such a way that an intuitive sense of completion arises.  While this could be called 4th path, there will likely be more 'openings.'  So what to do with those?

A true completion of this process means the brain has been hacked in such a way that it has lost the ability to get sucked into things.  It is operating at a level that is in synch with the full-spectrum environment.  Its selection/partializing mechanism has permanently weakened or disappeared.  Teachers who get horny and grope students would not be included in the 'true completion' group.  Their brains run partial-spectrum software under certain environmental triggers.  The idea of a Buddha would align with a brain that can not.  

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/23/16 12:31 PM as a reply to Noah.
There is no such thing as 3rd, or 4th path.  However, the first permanent 'opening' that someone experiences, after 2nd path, is the easiest thing to label '3rd path.'  There will likely come a later 'opening' that has to do with making a certain type of peace with the present moment in such a way that an intuitive sense of completion arises.  While this could be called 4th path, there will likely be more 'openings.'  So what to do with those?


For what it's worth, I found the path to be pretty much as advertised, with clear events that marked the crossing of all four Theravada/MCTB paths. People I know with similar experience (and I know quite a number of them) report the same. 

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/23/16 4:34 PM as a reply to billy bob joe.
billy bob joe wrote: I've read alot of threads on dharma overground now and a common thing i here people say is that when they reached 4th path they had a strong feeling that theyve reached the end of awakening for the most part.
 
But ive been wondering if its possible that 4th path is just a stage or maybe even a small stepping stone to even deeper stages of awakening into the nature of reality.

I'd be curious to hear everyones opinions especially those whove reached 4th path.

Hi Billy Bob Joe,

I took a look back at the definitions of both the traditional theravada and Ingram's revised Four Path models from MCTB. It's clear enough, even though I am not a theravada-style practitioner.

Being a tantric meditator and quite devoted to studying the attainments of various schools and their teachers, while being adviced and guided by various masters of meditation, the distinct phases of the meditative path have become quite clear to me. And specifically so seen from the view point of what happens in the energetic body with these various levels of attainment. To a degree I've hinted to this in my posts concerning awakening and the consecutive stages of attainment. I will explain my model in short squeezing several different traditions into one model.

1. Awakening/stream entry/insight into the empty nature of me-ness, sense of subject.
2. Purity of mind/arhat/siddha/insight into the empty nature of the whole personal psychology.
3. Bodhisattva, 4 different stages.
4. Buddhahood/mahasiddha/spiritual master, 3 different stages.

1. Awakening. As I have written and talked about this on many occasion, I will keep this bit short. Seen energetically awakening, or insight into the non-solidity of me-subject, takes place at the area behind one's eyes inside the head. When the delusion of me as an independent separate entity drops off, this area opens up energetically and the eyes get a natural, relaxed bright look to them, especially right after the insight for some time. In the system I am involved with this initial attainment open the first (1.) ground or "bhumi" which refers to the energetic location at the level of the eyes in the spine. From awakneing onwards that chakra is open and will not close down except momentarily when strong emotions that have not yet been seen through arise from the subconscious mind.

2. Purity of mind. In the model that I use and have learned from the mahasiddhas, the next irreversible stage of attainment, is complete purity of mind. Seen energetically this refers to energy centers or chakras in the area of the whole physical body, including and especially all four limbs. This means that the energy systems, including channels and centers in the space inside the physical body are entirely purified. Me being a tantric, this is done by specific energy practices utilising mantras and other techniques, most important of which are tantric guru yoga and simple deity yoga. I say simple deity yoga because complex deity visualisation is not required here.
When energetic purification or in other words "insight" progresses and the limbs keep getting clearer energetically, steadily the "ground/bhumi keeps rising inside the head. There is a pile of six centers on top of each other between the eye level and the crown which become clear and open, when the energetic purification in the limbs progresses. When purity of mind is finished, the ground rests at the crown, at the top of the head which means ground number six (6.). Sometimes it has been said that the root chakra of a liberated saint (jivanmukta) is at the top of the head. That's how I have experienced it.
My observation is that very few yogis, teachers, gurus, swamis or zen masters get here. Every once in a while somebody who has gotten here comes across which to me is always a joyful occasion. Most teachers out there are somewhere between the first-second-third-fourth ground which means that they have energetic imprints in the extremities of their limbs, translating into dualistic illusion, in their subconscious mind. 

From here the ground keeps rising up. The area of the body has entirely and irreversibly been purified but there is more to go. The further progress (after the theravada Fouth Path) is possible because there is a system of seven centers above the crown which are yet to be tapped. And here is where the true maturation begins.

3. Bodhisattva, 4 stages. The first four centers or grounds above the crown are not yet grounds of mahasiddhahood or buddhahood. From my own experience I'd say, now on ground number eight (8.), that at this stage all the personal, me-based or me-coloured content is clear. And like Daniel Ingram has described from his own experience, it might not seem so different when observed from the outside but it feels very different to awakening and whatever it has felt duting the (arduous) process of mind purification. All that is done at this point. But, there is more to go and the first big task that has come along my way is what I call the "interface of the energetic mind-system with the collective subconsciousness". It seems that some Tibetans call this with the term "kun gzhi" but all them who use this term don't mean the same thing. I have also heard that the bodhisattvas encounter "subtle obstacles". To me it sounds like a fitting description.
This interface to the collective subconscious mind has to me brought along some interesting finds. It feels like the energy of the collective subconscious, which can be felt outside of the physical body space, especially under the feet, blows energy like a wind into my personal body space giving some twist for the dualities/impurities/samskaras that were active in my own mind before but are not so anymore because all that has stopped before. Being at this stage I've also had some other interesting experiences with beings external to my own bodymind but I won't go into those matters here. If someone is interested, email me. That's pretty much all I can say of the bodhisattva stages at this point of my progress.

4. Buddhahood. Obviously I am not yet there so I cannot say much about it, except what has been transmitted to me by the mahasiddhas that I've had the pleasure to work with for several years. In case there are people here who have received introduction and initiation to tantric guru yoga connecting them to some or few mahasiddhas like Shakyamuni, Padmashambhava, Jesus, Machig Labdron or others, and have practiced it skillfully and in-depth, and/or if you have practiced Sky/Space Gazing as is done in Tibetan dzogchen, then you already know that there are very subtle yet significant differences to the clarity that the clear and empty mind has. A simple analogy for this is to consider a row of clean windows next to each other. All of them are clean but the quality of the glass is consecutively better in the next glass. That's how I have experienced it through numerous guru yoga sessions and special pointing out sessions with my masters.
I've also had some pre-taste, momentary experiences of the buddha/christ-state in relation to the energy channel system expanding beyond the personal field/aura. In these couple of expereinces which were transmissions of specific experience from particular mahasiddhas, I felt all the numerous numerous channels, nadis, extend outwards and beyond my personal aura. There these tubes actuallu meet all other beings. Through these experiences I figured the importance and relevance of the bodhicitta-motivation in many religions and practices.
What I have been told by the mahasiddhas is that one becomes a mahasiddha, a living buddha, when one's ground/bhumi reaches the fifth center above the crown. It is at the height of about 3 meters above the crown. When one hits and becomes grounded in that, then one is eligible to be called a mahasiddha or a buddha. Having (energetically) studied different teachers, gurus, lamas and His Holinesses for years, on the basis of many many special teachings and transmissions from real masters (mahasiddhas) I have become
disillusioned about 99% of gurus and "masters" around. I don't use this title lightly which reminded me...

That of all those teachers who I've met in person, only one in my view is fit to be called a living buddha. That is Amma, the Hugging Saint. I've met her many times throughout the last 13 years and have used her as a comparison in my practice and studies. I also received a mantra from her years ago but never was her follower or a "student". Anyway, she is the only one in physical form who has been able to transmit the same clarity of mind as the non-physical masters that I am particularly connected with. I am sure there are a couple of other such masters around, like Chatral Rinpoche who left his body recently, but I have never met any other living buddha in the physical form. I will probably write a lengthy explanation about Amma, the Hugging Saint in some time, but I will just add that even though she clearly is a mahasiddha, her teachings are not meant or designed to bring people to any of the insights or realisations that I have mentioned above.
I've also received some teachings and transmissions about the process after the attainment of buddhahood but about that sometime later.

I'm sure I forgot to say something that I intended to but this post is already a mile long that nobody will read anyway, so I'll sign off here.

Cheers,
Baba

Open Heart,
www.openheart.fi

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
1/30/16 8:13 AM as a reply to billy bob joe.
first 6 months I had of trying to meditate, nothing happened. Then I had a year and a quarter of very intense experiences, great bless, being terrified half to death, and great peace and fruitions.  This wound down to nearly nothing. since september 2013 I have hardly had any experiences at all. practically nothing.I've alternated between egging a new 'path' to appear and just forgetting about it all, and still nothing's happened. Logically that leads me to think I've finished it all but I can't see into the worlds of devas and asuras and all that.... so make of that what you will

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
2/19/16 6:43 PM as a reply to josh.
josh:
first 6 months I had of trying to meditate, nothing happened. Then I had a year and a quarter of very intense experiences, great bless, being terrified half to death, and great peace and fruitions.  This wound down to nearly nothing. since september 2013 I have hardly had any experiences at all. practically nothing.I've alternated between egging a new 'path' to appear and just forgetting about it all, and still nothing's happened. Logically that leads me to think I've finished it all but I can't see into the worlds of devas and asuras and all that.... so make of that what you will


Still holding on to some idea of what "enlightenment" is supposed to be. There seems to be a state of waiting going on. There's you and then there's this "nothing" that is being perceived. It's still an imaginary split. And yeah eventually all the techniques stop working. And at some point you just give up, and not as a strategy. The "you contraction" just releases by itself and so do all the wonderings about attainments etc. There won't be anybody left to identify with being an "arhat" or having arrived either.. Then the perceived "nothing happening" stops being perceived as well. The perception of it and the perceiver is just a thought.

RE: Question to all Arahants
Answer
2/20/16 7:42 PM as a reply to josh.
josh:
first 6 months I had of trying to meditate, nothing happened. Then I had a year and a quarter of very intense experiences, great bless, being terrified half to death, and great peace and fruitions.  This wound down to nearly nothing. since september 2013 I have hardly had any experiences at all. practically nothing.I've alternated between egging a new 'path' to appear and just forgetting about it all, and still nothing's happened. Logically that leads me to think I've finished it all but I can't see into the worlds of devas and asuras and all that.... so make of that what you will
Things tend to go in cycles and some cycles do last years or longer.  Just because there has been little that is flashy lately does not logically suggest by itself that you are 'done' with the cycles. 
-Eva