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Interesting video on SE attainment

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Interesting video on SE attainment
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9/6/17 6:17 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI2JfmIKb3U

RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/7/17 12:02 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Interesting.

Without passing value judgement on this testimony, I think it could be strengthened by more phenomenological adjectives.  The speakers uses a lot of conceptual & metaphorical language to convey his experience (examples are paraphrased): "It was like a mirage", "I saw emptiness & knew what the Buddha was talking about", "It's all just energy."  

I'd like to know exactly what colors, shapes, textures, frame rates of attention, vedanas, synesthesias (if any), nondual charactersistics, energetic fluctuations, body sensations, etc were occuring at each stage of this event.  

It is difficult to be sure whether these are his own words or whether they were drawn from a combination of book reading & imagination.  In addition, the powersy afterglow of this event smells more like the knowledge of arising & passing away.

I am choosing not to comment on his assessment of the first 3 fetters, or his self-diagnosis of 10 fetter 2nd path as well...

EDIT: Apparently Ajahn Punnadhammo provided a partial confirmation that his experience was stream entry.  As someone who places a high value on lineage, I'm not sure what to do with that information, except to say that Ajahn Punnadhammo is apparently in the lineage of Ajahn Chah.  If it is the case that his assessment of the first 3 fetters in the video represents the Ajahn Chah lineage, than I can say with some confidence that they differ in the lineage of Bhikku Buddhadasa.  Furthermore, having read "Arahattamagga Arahattaphala", I can say that Ajahn Maha Bua's explanation of the fetter transformations are much deeper & more pervasive than the 10 fetter first path described here.  Maha Bua & Chah shared a teacher (Ajahn Mun), which leads me to suspect a communication gap somewhere in this chain emoticon

RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/7/17 6:12 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Thanks for your commentary! I also felt I would have liked more phenomenological descriptions, in particular if there was a cessation. Phenomenological descriptions are typical of the Burmese lineages, particularly Mahasi of which this group is strongly influenced. It's also one of the many reasons why Mahasi is my favourite approach. Other lineages may not be used to focus on such descriptions and that's why their accounts may be more difficult to understand or assess. 

Incidentally, the founder of A. Punnadhammo's hermitage was a Mahasi style practitionner though he apparently later somewhat changed his approach. Punnadhammo's style is actually a combination of Mahasi and Thai forest lineage. He teaches anapanasati with Mahasi-style noting at the six sense doors. I have no clues how he asseses the paths and fetters though.

RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/7/17 8:28 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Ooo good call!  Pardon my knowledge gap I had just heard of him for the first time.  So digging a little deeper here,  one of Punnadhammo's teachers was Kema Ananada, who was Culadasa's teacher (http://www.arrowriver.ca/center.html#ce11).  I can say for sure that what the speaker in the video describes is not the SE Culadasa describes!  Interesting stuff, thanks.

Edit: Also, I do understand that the phenomenological language is specific to the Mahasi lineage, but I think it would be an improvement to all lineages in terms of filtering out worthy testimony, if they were to adopt it.  Also, the Tibetans are "not too shabby" at describing much higher stages of awakening through imagery & metaphor that is very vivid & points directly to the thing, so there is a reliance on description in that broad arena as well.  I guess my main point is that for about a year after coming upon the DhO I thought phenomenology was somehow "optional" or a specific cultural quirk or something along those lines.  I realized later that it is absolutely necessary to establish meaningful communication about awakening.

RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/7/17 9:17 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Can anyone explain how it is that there are multiple 'versions' of stream entry? Generally it is the first cessation, and it causes a permanant change, but the nature of the permanent change varies considerably. Is one correct and all the others mistaken? Or perhaps different practices lead to different stream entries?

RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/7/17 10:51 AM as a reply to Adam.
The best analysis of cessation I've read is in Culadasa's book on p.284 (How a Cessation Experience Becomes Transformative Insight). It explains the varying descriptions we hear about. The memory (or not) of the event depends on which practice was being done immediately prior, and the depth of transformation depends on how unified the mind is at that moment (how many sub-minds were tuned in).

RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/7/17 12:38 PM as a reply to Adam.
@Adam: They are just different standards.  Generally, the more traditional, the stricter the standard.  Ultimately, the method & the event(s) itself are not what makes it SE.  What makes it SE is the total uprooting of the first 3 fetters which means that they not only have their cores removed, but also any trace or ripple or shadow of them ever having been there at all.  This is the definition given in the Pali Canon.  Different commentaries & sub commentaries then go on to elaborate on the methods & event(s) that get one there.  There can be quite a few permanent transformations of perception & conduct that occur while one journeys to the destination of completely eliminating the first 3 fetters.  It can be easy to confuse many of these permanent reductions in suffering with the first stage of awakening.  

I do think there is one SE & it does not necessarily have to do with a cessation.  Also that it is much, much less common than a great majority think.  My comments about the different traditions earlier were moreso about the varying levels of stringency which different people might use.  I would assume that all traditions, at their core, do have the same definition, but that differnet individuals within these traditions may at times vary from this central definition.  Hope that makes sense.

RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/7/17 1:27 PM as a reply to Noah D.
@Adam, @Noah,

I've come to believe that stream entry is a concept with no exact definition, and although I'm certainly no expert in the Pali canon, my guess is the Pali Canon definition is not very clear either, which is why different traditions have debated for thousands of years over what stream entry entails. I've also heard there is variation in what stream entry is in  the discourses versus the commentaries.

Yes, a stream winner has abandoned the first three fetters, but what is the exact definition of having abandoned self-identity view?

Because stream entry is used differently, you have to evaluate claims of stream entry within the context of the tradition you are using and stream entry in one tradition is not necessarily stream entry in another traditions

RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/7/17 8:45 PM as a reply to Ben V..
Interesting video, thanks for the post!  It's interesting to see what seems to be a pure theravadan perspective on the attainment of stream entry, independant of MCTB. 

What sticks out to me however is that it was a temporary expereince.  Sure, he had the experience, in which doubt in the teachings and so forth were removed, but if it exists only as a memory, it doesn't qualify as attainment.  If I have a glimpse of enlightment, then return to baseline, I'm not enlightened.

RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/9/17 11:28 AM as a reply to T DC.
If I have a glimpse of enlightment, then return to baseline, I'm not enlightened.

So... what's enlightenment like? Is it permanent bliss? Is it a different state that others don't have access to? Pray tell...


RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/9/17 12:07 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris - My point is simply that attainment, by definition, involves a permenant shift in experience. 

So a temporary, glimpse-type experience, as described in the video, might be helpful or inpirational, but doesn't qualify as Stream Entry - an attainment. 

RE: Interesting video on SE attainment
Answer
9/9/17 12:13 PM as a reply to T DC.
I'll ask my question in another way -- are you saying experience changes when you are enlightened? Things look, feel, taste and smell different?