What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Shanmugam P, modified 3 Years ago.

What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 32 Join Date: 3/4/17 Recent Posts
Hi guys,

 I had a teacher do Bhumi analysis with my pic and I was told that I have two bhumis open, 1 and 2... I am not familiar with such Buddhist terminilogy but I had been practising mindfulness and I went through an awakening in 2014.. Can you guys explain a bit more on what this means?
neko, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 756 Join Date: 11/26/14 Recent Posts
Hello Shanmugam!

Diagnosing Bhumis by looking at pictures is not a standard Buddhist technique. It is something that (as far as I understand) originates with Kim Katami, a user on this forum. He proposes some specific correspondences about how his ("open heart") bhumis line up with the traditional bhumis of Mahayana Buddhism and the paths of Theravada Buddhism. There's been some controversy and a few flamewars about Kim's model here, so the conversation might get heated in this thread too. 

Two things you could do:

1) You can find out more about Kim's own description of his model, as well as some some criticism of it, in this thread. Probably Kim will want to chime in in this thread too. (I am sending him a PM to bring this thread to his attention.)

2) You could describe your meditation experience in a bit of detail, particularly concerning your 2014 awakening, what it was like, and what happened since, to get an entirely independent discussion of "where you are", based on your practice, as opposed to your pictures. The answers you will get will probably be based on MCTB, and specifically upon Daniel Ingram's interpretations of what the paths of Theravada Buddhism actually mean in contemporary "meditation language", so you might want to read this book if you still haven't, so you will know what people mean (for the most part) when they use the word "path" on this forum.

The best thing for you is probably to do both (1) and (2), and then form your own opinion, in the spirit of practical dharma emoticon 
Shanmugam P, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 32 Join Date: 3/4/17 Recent Posts
Thank you neko... I had already posted about my experiences once but I can do it again here.. I have it in two parts, the first one is about before awakening and the 2nd one is about after awakening..

1. https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/the-journey-of-a-seeker-my-story/
2. https://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/spiritual-enlightenment-is-it-a-myth-or-real/

I still have to read his book...

Here is a short version about my awakening:

"I started practicing mindfulness in 2002. One day after about three to
four months of practice, when I was staring at the ceiling witnessing my
thoughts, there was a brief moment of stillness with no thoughts. There
was an absolute clarity and peace of mind that I had never encountered
before. For the first time, I realized that I can exist without
thoughts. It gave me a clear and firm knowledge that thoughts are not
me. This was like a Eureka moment. An immediate excitement followed that
gave me a new strength and peace which continued for the next six
months. I continued my practices for years but with less intensity.Then
in 2014, I made my mindfulness practice more intense and as a result I
started noticing larger gaps between the thoughts. I started
experiencing series of epiphanies in the next few days. One day I felt
like cool breeze of bliss was flowing all over my head.Gradually in two months,
psychological boundaries between 'me' and the world disappeared. Since
then, I experientialy perceive everything as one.. There is no feeling
of 'other'. I have been writing posts about it in my blog http://nellaishanmugam.wordpress.com
lately, explaining everything about it and also discussing how we can
create a scientific mode of enlightenment"
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 49 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
I read through your story and learned from it. Regarding your question about whether enlightenment has been exaggerated, I visited the Ramana Maharishi's ashram a few years ago when I was, mentally, quite messed up, and experienced a sense of peace and a force stilling my thoughts when I sat in that hall. The energy was much more intense in the cave up the hill.

The Ramana Maharishi said that the identifying mark of a seer was the sense of peace one felt in his presence. His attendants used to say that Bhagavan's body was like a furnace and people who saw him in person described the same feelings that I felt.

If I met you, or other self described arahants, would I feel that sense of peace and energy radiating from you?
Shanmugam P, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 32 Join Date: 3/4/17 Recent Posts
Edward Prunesquallor:
I read through your story and learned from it. Regarding your question about whether enlightenment has been exaggerated, I visited the Ramana Maharishi's ashram a few years ago when I was, mentally, quite messed up, and experienced a sense of peace and a force stilling my thoughts when I sat in that hall. The energy was much more intense in the cave up the hill.

The Ramana Maharishi said that the identifying mark of a seer was the sense of peace one felt in his presence. His attendants used to say that Bhagavan's body was like a furnace and people who saw him in person described the same feelings that I felt.

If I met you, or other self described arahants, would I feel that sense of peace and energy radiating from you?

 I am still skeptical about feeling enligtened one's energy... Could it be because of placebo and wishful thinking?  I have gone to Ramana Mahirishi's ashram many times and I have meditated in the cave as well.. Yes, the place has the ability to calm one's mind, but it can be also happening due to environmental factors: a beautiful hill, a mysterious cave that can provoke a lot of emotions which are connected to Ramana as well as one's own spiritual search and the music of chanting that is played in the cave. The silence and the sight of other people meditating also plays a role.. It is very difficult to determine if the calming of mind comes from the environmental/psychological factors or really from the energy... 
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 49 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
There was no quiet or meditation going on when I went there. It seemed like a popular pilgrimage site with lots of people visiting and loudspeaker noise blaring from some place nearby. I didn't know how to meditate back then and did not spend more than a few minutes in these places. And there was nothing particularly lovely about that hill.

You just didn't experience the energy, possibly due to karmic obscurations. Many people don't. I wouldn't describe it as just a sense of peace. Just by sitting there, the mind would seemingly be pulled inward, with the tongue pressing itself against the roof of the mouth, as happens when you enter a state of concentration.

Ofcourse, the ability to affect others is not really a criteria to see where one is. Just pointing out what is possible. 
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Kim Katami, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 698 Join Date: 2/5/13 Recent Posts
Edward Prunesquallor:
I read through your story and learned from it. Regarding your question about whether enlightenment has been exaggerated, I visited the Ramana Maharishi's ashram a few years ago when I was, mentally, quite messed up, and experienced a sense of peace and a force stilling my thoughts when I sat in that hall. The energy was much more intense in the cave up the hill.

The Ramana Maharishi said that the identifying mark of a seer was the sense of peace one felt in his presence. His attendants used to say that Bhagavan's body was like a furnace and people who saw him in person described the same feelings that I felt.

If I met you, or other self described arahants, would I feel that sense of peace and energy radiating from you?

Ramana Ashram is situated right next to a huge spiritual engine called Arunachala Mountain which by some is considered the second Mt. Kailash (which is located in Tibet and revered by both hindus and buddhists). I think people often confuse his energy to the mountain's.

Ramana's life was well documented on camera and there are loads of photos of him throughout his life. In some photos he looks as distressed as any samsaric person.
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 49 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
I felt the energy only in the places he frequented. The hall, skandasramam, the cave. I felt nothing special outside of these enclosures.
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Kim Katami, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 698 Join Date: 2/5/13 Recent Posts
Aha, ok.
Edward Prunesquallor, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 49 Join Date: 10/11/14 Recent Posts
Kim Katami:
Aha, ok.


Ramana Maharishi's advice to you;

"D: some say Sri Sankaracharya was only an intellectual and not realised. Is it so?

M.: Why worry about Sankaracharya? Realise your own Self. Others 
can take care of themselves."

The Buddha would consider your enlightenedornot photo rating BS, contentious speech, not conducive to unbinding.
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Kim Katami, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 698 Join Date: 2/5/13 Recent Posts
I'm sure he would, Edward, I'm sure he would.
Chi, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 36 Join Date: 4/23/16 Recent Posts
Probably the most important thing for you is to forget about the idea of enlightenment or somebody getting enlightened all together.

I find learning to laugh and smile at pride and ideas of where I think I am on the path to be most beneficial. I've seen so much suffering both in myself and others in trying to see how enlightened we are. It's like, what are we trying to prove? Who cares?

The most important questions to gauge how we've progressed are, how much mental suffering is there? How real do I take phenomena to be? How seriously do I take myself as a separate, independent entity that is the center of all experience?

Just some quick notes from an unenlightened beginneremoticon
C P M, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 219 Join Date: 5/23/13 Recent Posts
I like your reply Pawel.

The whole gradation of attainments reminds me how martial arts is taught to the west.  Lots of coloured belts.  It's the only way to keep students going.
Shanmugam P, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 32 Join Date: 3/4/17 Recent Posts
The whole concept of Bhumis is something new to me... I went through an irreversible awakening in 2014 and the life completely changed after that. So, I just wanted to know where I was at, hence I checked with a teacher who did Bhumi analysis and told me that 1 and 2 are open.

Regarding any openings, the only thing I feel sometimes when I am mindful is a pleasant sensation behind my forehead..
Change A., modified 3 Years ago.

RE: What does it mean to have Bhumis 1 and 2 open?

Posts: 793 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
"That foreign germ is not particularly heretical belief, or anything of that nature; but it is a very simple matter that where we actually wanted to attain enlightenment on the spot on existence and we want to be witnessed by ourselves and also we want to be witnessed by our friends and watched over so that we can actually celebrate our attainment of enlightenment, on the spot." - Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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