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Stream Entry

RE: Report of my stream-entry

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RE: Report of my stream-entry tarin greco 7/31/10 11:22 AM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Nikolai . 7/31/10 12:50 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry ManZ A 7/31/10 12:56 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Nikolai . 7/31/10 1:32 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry tarin greco 8/1/10 1:14 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Nikolai . 8/1/10 1:49 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry tarin greco 8/4/10 6:56 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Nikolai . 8/4/10 5:45 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry tarin greco 8/5/10 3:38 AM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Nikolai . 8/5/10 8:18 AM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Jeffrey S 8/5/10 10:51 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Neil Hughes 8/6/10 12:49 AM
RE: Report of my stream-entry tarin greco 8/8/10 6:15 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry tarin greco 8/6/10 4:25 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Nikolai . 8/6/10 4:06 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Nikolai . 8/4/10 3:45 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry tarin greco 8/8/10 6:07 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 11/30/10 4:59 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Nikolai . 12/1/10 3:56 AM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Pål S. 12/1/10 5:11 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/1/10 6:05 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry tarin greco 12/1/10 9:07 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Pål S. 12/2/10 4:46 AM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Nikolai . 10/11/11 5:10 AM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 10/11/11 6:53 AM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/11/11 12:22 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry Daniel Johnson 10/13/11 6:47 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry April V 8/2/10 5:00 AM
RE: Report of my stream-entry tarin greco 11/30/10 5:28 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry April V 8/5/10 5:15 AM
RE: Report of my stream-entry tarin greco 8/6/10 1:34 PM
RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
7/31/10 11:22 AM
Nikolai S Halay:


Within the Goenka tradition there is the belief that one must "eradicate" sankharas/formations. What a misunderstanding!!! You dont eradicate sankharas. You see them for what they truly are, particularly in the 11th ñana with equanimity. There is no eradicating of them, but a shedding of light on them and a releasing of the clinging to them. An eradication of the "stickiness" if you will. Not of the sankharas themselves as they still can occur at 4th path. Just without the clinging. With the belief that one must eradicate sankharas there is also the belief that it will take a yogi a bloody longtime to eradicate ALL of the sankharas they seem to have. And seeing as "I" am so full of sankharas, It will take lifetimes to do it. So there is this non-negotiable mindset formed within that tradition that Stream Entry is not something that can be attained quickly. Sorry for saying this but it is my true sentiment... What a load of utter bullshit!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%85kh%C4%81ra (Ignorance is what is eradicated. Not sankharas!!! It is the clinging to them that causes misery.Without clinging, they arise and pass away like all phenomena)


hi nikolai,

i experience no sankharas (as u ba khin/goenka use the term); that is to say, i experience no craving or aversion whatsoever (and so there is no question of clinging or not clinging to them).

just because you (or your teachers) have not accomplished this does not mean it is not possible, and just because you have seen it fit (and convenient) to reject a traditional model of the matter (and its advocacy by your traditional former teacher[1]), does not mean it is no longer a worthy goal. having a diminished standard means receiving a diminished return.

tarin

[1] u ba khin (and goenka by extension) are certainly not traditional from an asian standpoint; what they call 'sankharas' (in order to explain the practice by means of the five aggregates), the vast majority of the theravadan buddhist world calls 'kilesas' (which is usually translated as 'defilements').

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
7/31/10 12:50 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:


just because you (or your teachers) have not accomplished this does not mean it is not possible, and just because you have seen it fit (and convenient) to reject a traditional model of the matter (and its advocacy by your traditional former teacher[1]), does not mean it is no longer a worthy goal. having a diminished standard means receiving a diminished return.

tarin

[1] u ba khin (and goenka by extension) are certainly not traditional from an asian standpoint; what they call 'sankharas' (in order to explain the practice by means of the five aggregates), the vast majority of the theravadan buddhist world calls 'kilesas' (which is usually translated as 'defilements').




Hi Tarin,

But then we are talking about AF, not the buddhist teachings. I have no doubt that you are sincere when you describe AF. I just don't think it works well with Goenka practioners (who most probably would poop all over the AF ideal anyway) to aim for the eradication of sankharas if they are aiming for "awakening/enlightenment" in the Theravadan sense. If they really wanted to "eradicate" their sankharas then they could go and practice getting a PCE and then get "Actually Free" and not bother with the practice of Vipassana.

At the moment I am very happy with how 4th path has worked out so far and no desire to 'eradicate" sankharas has arisen as there seems no need at the moment. I think it all boils down to what one desires as an outcome. A personal preference. I desired to get stream entry in this lifetime. Got it (thanks to some of your advice) and then some more so it's all just "extra" stuff on top of what I was looking for. I'm satisfied. You, if i am correct, were looking for an escape from "being" since 2005. I've perused the yahoo AF message lists. You got what you were looking for and I'm happy for you. I got what I was looking for and I'm happy. Plus I want to experience all the extra cool stuff like astral projection. In AF you don't seem to bother with nor be able to do all that. For now, I'm happy with how things have panned out ;).Plus being a baby 4th pather means I have lots of habitual tendencies to watch arise and pass away. I'm gonna see if they diminish and maybe disappear over the coming years/decades from lack of use. Maybe all that craving and aversion you talk about may also diminish and cease arising from lack of use too. Gonna see how it goes. There is a choice.

Each to his own.

Just a question though,

How long did you spend as a baby 4th pather before getting AF?

Nick

Edited to add, that my ideas and opinions are subject to evolve and change at the drop of a hat. I may be wrong I may be right.

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
7/31/10 12:56 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Hi Nickolai,

Just curious, but how long did it take you to get to fourth path from being "normal"? And how many retreats if any did you attend? And what was your daily meditation routine like (how long you sat, what kind of meditation object you used, etc.)?

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
7/31/10 1:32 PM as a reply to ManZ A.
ManZ A:
Hi Nickolai,

Just curious, but how long did it take you to get to fourth path from being "normal"? And how many retreats if any did you attend? And what was your daily meditation routine like (how long you sat, what kind of meditation object you used, etc.)?


By "normal" you mean pre-path?

I got stream entry on the 1st of January this year. I had been very immersed in the Goenka tradition for 9 years previous. 180 days worth of retreat time. 3 years of those 9 years were no meditation. I gave up on and off for that length of time being a chronic dark night yogi. I got introduced to the idea of stream entry being possible in the beginning of 2008 after reading Daniel's book. And slowly began to sit again off and on over 2 years switching to Mahasi noting AND being aware of the sublest vibrations on and in the body. Used a kasina for concetration on occasion but not continuously. I meditated on average maybe 4 hours a week. It was sporadic depending on when I felt inspired to sit. I started getting familair with the nanas and the 11th nana in particular. Not hardcore sitting at all until one month before a 10 day vipassana course in december last year. I put myself into 5th gear and meditated 2-4 hours a day and hit the course running, having already reached high equanimity and kept it going via noting till day 5 when I got 1st path.
Edited to add that the continued use of the noting technique AND dwelling in the Witness and riding the jhanic arc (non-manipulation of the jhanic arc) as taught by Kenneth Folk were the two main practices which I believe took me quickly through the paths.

Nick

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/1/10 1:14 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai S Halay:
tarin greco:


just because you (or your teachers) have not accomplished this does not mean it is not possible, and just because you have seen it fit (and convenient) to reject a traditional model of the matter (and its advocacy by your traditional former teacher[1]), does not mean it is no longer a worthy goal. having a diminished standard means receiving a diminished return.

tarin

[1] u ba khin (and goenka by extension) are certainly not traditional from an asian standpoint; what they call 'sankharas' (in order to explain the practice by means of the five aggregates), the vast majority of the theravadan buddhist world calls 'kilesas' (which is usually translated as 'defilements').




Hi Tarin,

But then we are talking about AF, not the buddhist teachings.


what i am talking about is the end of craving and aversion, by whatever name, and delivered by whichever methods which actually do deliver the concrete, practical, and down-to-earth result of their end. i am talking about the end of desire (and not merely a sublimation, transcendence, re-understanding, or dissociation therefrom), such that there is simply no more experience of either heaven or hell, ever. with the basis of desire extinguished, those experiences (and the experiential mode on which they depend) do not ever arise, period.

what are you talking about?

Nikolai S Halay:

I have no doubt that you are sincere when you describe AF. I just don't think it works well with Goenka practioners (who most probably would poop all over the AF ideal anyway) to aim for the eradication of sankharas if they are aiming for "awakening/enlightenment" in the Theravadan sense.


what goenka's students (who have crossed the arising and passing but not yet reached stream-entry) are taught to aim for is stream-entry. they are taught to mindfully and equanimously observe impermanence, such that when sankharas arise, dependent on vedanas, they pass away without doing further harm. they are taught that if they do this precisely enough, continuously enough, there will be a break in the stream of sankharas (which are defined as 'mental reactions', not as 'formations') - no sankhara will arise - and then a dip in nibbana will occur, which will serve as a permanent foothold in the path toward the eradication of sankharas.

can you tell me why you think most of goenka's students would 'poop all over the AF ideal'?

Nikolai S Halay:

If they really wanted to "eradicate" their sankharas then they could go and practice getting a PCE and then get "Actually Free" and not bother with the practice of Vipassana.

At the moment I am very happy with how 4th path has worked out so far and no desire to 'eradicate" sankharas has arisen as there seems no need at the moment.


before i reply further, would you explain why you have chosen to use scare quotes around the words 'eradicate' and 'actually free'? what meaning have you intended their usage to convey?

tarin

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/1/10 1:49 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hi Tarin,


I am not interested in nor feeling pulled to argue with you over what we all should be doing, which seems like you want us all to be A/F. Ok, your intentions are good. But I'll repeat again what I said. It is still a personal choice. It is not my preference to self-immolate, whatever that is. The ever present non-judgmental awareness that came about after 4th path is never dissatisfied. If it is someone else's preference to self-immolate, then the best of luck to them.

I am talking about "enlightenment" which A/F practioners or at least Richard seems to poop all over on his site. For me, my life couldn't be better. I am not dissatisfied with 4th path, my friend. It's the shiz-nit. I can't even imagine why you were dissatisfied with it. But you already had that mindset, no? To self-immolate before going on to get enlightened? It has not been my experience thus far that I wish to go in the direction you took yourself and eradicate "being". (I dont know what scare quotes are.)

Most Goenka practioners I know, and I am assuming here, are quite attached to their ideals of enlightenment. And so I assume they wouldn't be attracted to the A/F ideal. I am talking out my arse Tarin. Forget about it. Just assuming from my experience. Maybe they would love the A/F ideal as it seems a hell of a lot closer to the ideals of enlightenment they seem to hold on to.

I'm sorry, i have no idea what scare quotes are, Tarin. I am a simple guy, mate. I don't think too much about things like that. So my apologies for any misunderstanding.

Like I said before, my opinions are subject to change at the drop of the hat. I do not wish to argue with you Tarin. Just help others come out of misery. Just like you. I am just aimed at helping people to "enlightenment". You are aiming for getting people to A/F. There is a difference, no? Are you anti-enlightenment?

Metta,

Nick

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/2/10 5:00 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Tarin,

Can I ask you why are you quoting S.N. Goenka and warranting his method? So you have dipped by following his instructions? Then you are the first person I know who did.

I used to reach Low Equanimity on Goenka's retreats, but never High Equanimity. The Low one is so slippery that it's not possible to see mental reactions/intentions/volitions clearly while you are scanning and sweeping.

The additional instructions after getting to 11th nana (to stop scanning and rest the attention on the chest with awareness of anicca) are given only on 30-day course. To attend a 30-day course and hear these instructions you have to complete a minimum of six 10-day courses, one Satipatthana Sutta course, one 20-Day course, give Dhamma Service at least one 10-day course, and to maintain daily practice for at least two years. Just curious how many years it took you the whole thing until you dipped?


when sankharas arise, dependent on vedanas, they pass away without doing further harm. they are taught that if they do this precisely enough, continuously enough, there will be a break in the stream of sankharas (which are defined as 'mental reactions', not as 'formations') - no sankhara will arise - and then a dip in nibbana will occur, which will serve as a permanent foothold in the path toward the eradication of sankharas.


What do you mean here? If someone dips not by observing vedana, then it does not serve ,,as a permanent foothold in the path toward the eradication of sankharas''? Again, is this your own experience or a theory or misunderstanding?

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/4/10 6:56 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai S Halay:
Hi Tarin,


I am not interested in nor feeling pulled to argue with you over what we all should be doing (...)


good, as that puts you in a better position to sensibly respond to my posts, which are certainly not aimed at making you feel pulled to argue with me over what we all should be doing.

Nikolai S Halay:

, which seems like you want us all to be A/F.


while i would like my fellow human being to see this perpetual paradise world we all share as it actually is, and thus to see the sense in never suffering afflictive feelings (nor afflicting them on others) ever again, and also to see that living this way is a realistic and practical possibility, i do not insist on it, no. what gave you that notion?

regardless, it is good that you do not feel pulled to argue with me, as presumably 'feeling pulled to argue' would mean 'feeling compelled to quarrel' .. which lends nothing useful to a sensible discussion.

Nikolai S Halay:

Ok, your intentions are good. But I'll repeat again what I said. It is still a personal choice. It is not my preference to self-immolate, whatever that is. The ever present non-judgmental awareness that came about after 4th path is never dissatisfied.


what makes you feel that this ever present non-judgemental awareness which is never dissatisfied is any more 'you' than the dissatisfaction you experience when, say, someone jumps the queue in front of you to get on a bus (as you recently reported on another forum)?

Nikolai S Halay:

I am talking about "enlightenment" which A/F practioners or at least Richard seems to poop all over on his site. For me, my life couldn't be better.


as you claim to be enlightened, are you really saying that your life couldn't better than getting angry at people who jump the queue in front of you to get on a bus?

Nikolai S Halay:

I am not dissatisfied with 4th path, my friend. It's the shiz-nit. I can't even imagine why you were dissatisfied with it.


can you not imagine why i was dissatisfied with getting upset at people for petty reasons... and why i was dissatisfied with a mode of experience in which getting upset, time and time again, felt entirely acceptable?

Nikolai S Halay:

But you already had that mindset, no? To self-immolate before going on to get enlightened? It has not been my experience thus far that I wish to go in the direction you took yourself and eradicate "being".


what i had the mindset to do, both before and after enlightenment, was to figure out how to never be petty ever again.

Nikolai S Halay:

Most Goenka practioners I know, and I am assuming here, are quite attached to their ideals of enlightenment. And so I assume they wouldn't be attracted to the A/F ideal.


it has actually been my experience so far that, of the buddhist meditators with whom i have spoken, those who have experience in the goenka tradition (or other theravadan traditions which use the ten fetter model) are better able to grasp the aim of actualism than those who only have experience with (or are aligned to) western teachers.

Nikolai S Halay:

I am talking out my arse Tarin. Forget about it. Just assuming from my experience. Maybe they would love the A/F ideal as it seems a hell of a lot closer to the ideals of enlightenment they seem to hold on to.


ok... then were you also talking out of your arse when you wrote, above, that there is no eradicating of sankharas[1]?

Nikolai S Halay:

I'm sorry, i have no idea what scare quotes are, Tarin. I am a simple guy, mate. I don't think too much about things like that. So my apologies for any misunderstanding.


had you taken a moment to google 'scare quotes', you would have quickly discovered - possibly in even less time than it took to write out the above apology - that scare quotes are 'quotation marks placed around a single word or phrase to indicate that the word or phrase does not signify its literal or conventional meaning' (as opposed to quotation marks placed around a word or phrase to indicate that the word or phrase has been quoted).

from the very first of the search results, wikipedia:


'Writers use scare quotes for a variety of reasons. When the enclosed text is a quotation from another source, scare quotes may indicate that the writer does not accept the usage of the phrase (or the phrase itself), that the writer feels its use is potentially ironic, or that the writer feels it is a misnomer. This meaning may serve to distance the writer from the quoted content.

If scare quotes are enclosing a word or phrase that does not represent a quotation from another source they may simply serve to alert the reader that the word or phrase is used in an unusual, special, or non-standard way or should be understood to include caveats to the conventional meaning.

Alternatively, material in scare quotes may represent the writer's concise (but possibly misleading) paraphrasing, characterization, or intentional misrepresentation of statements, concepts, or terms used by a third party. This may be an expression of sarcasm or incredulity, or it may also represent a rhetorical attempt to frame a discussion in the writer's desired (non-standard) terms (e.g. a circumlocution, an apophasis, or an innuendo).'


i asked you why you used scare quotes around the words 'eradicate' and 'actually free' because i presumed that it was to convey a special, non-standard meaning (else why use quotation marks for those words in particular?).

now that i have done your research for you and explained what scare quotes are, let me return to my original question: what did you mean to convey with your usage of them around the words 'eradicate' and 'actually free'?

Nikolai S Halay:

Like I said before, my opinions are subject to change at the drop of the hat. I do not wish to argue with you Tarin. Just help others come out of misery. Just like you. I am just aimed at helping people to "enlightenment". You are aiming for getting people to A/F. There is a difference, no? Are you anti-enlightenment?


no, i am not anti-enlightenment. i am, however, anti- people loudly proclaiming to others that the eradication of sankharas is 'a misunderstanding' and 'a load of utter bullshit', which is what you have done (and which was what i initially posted in order to respond to).

when you let me know what your scare quotes were for, i will be in a better position to sensibly reply to the portion of your earlier post which i have yet to address (and to answer your questions therein).

tarin

[1] (emphases added)
Nikolai S Halay:

Within the Goenka tradition there is the belief that one must "eradicate" sankharas/formations. What a misunderstanding!!! You dont eradicate sankharas. You see them for what they truly are, particularly in the 11th ñana with equanimity. There is no eradicating of them, but a shedding of light on them and a releasing of the clinging to them. An eradication of the "stickiness" if you will. Not of the sankharas themselves as they still can occur at 4th path. Just without the clinging. With the belief that one must eradicate sankharas there is also the belief that it will take a yogi a bloody longtime to eradicate ALL of the sankharas they seem to have. And seeing as "I" am so full of sankharas, It will take lifetimes to do it. So there is this non-negotiable mindset formed within that tradition that Stream Entry is not something that can be attained quickly. Sorry for saying this but it is my true sentiment... What a load of utter bullshit!!

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/4/10 5:45 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Edited!!!

Ok, Tarin. I can see you are on a mission. You want everyone to take A/F seriously. Ok, i get it. In the context of awakening and the 4 x path model of awakening (NOT A/F), I just don't think you need to eradicate sankharas. It's my opinion. It is subject to change when I learn more about the word sankhara and get a better idea of what it means. At the moment that is my opinion and my experience. I only think the clinging is taken care of. This opinion could change as I analyze my own experience. Sorry for making absolute claims. My bad!

There is a section for the A/F ideology and practice in this forum, right? It just seems like there is this big mixing up of ideals here and now the Dharma section is being infiltrated by yours and others' ideas on having to eradicate "being". And really they don't go together, or that is my and others' impression of A/F. I may be wrong. I didn't realize that it was now the accepted norm in this place. I thought we were still differentiating A/F and enlightenment. Richard does not seem to hold enlightenment in high regard (http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd16.htm) Do you not as well?

Tarin: > it is tragicomical how much more unnecessarily difficult they make it
to mine fool's gold (enlightenment) ... which difficulty, no doubt, makes its glory
and glamour and glitz (to borrow a phrase) all the more appealing,
even from afar.

Taken from here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/8964

This place was formed by Daniel Ingram and friends who were very pro-enlightenment. Has this changed? Is this the direction it's headed? Are you going to try and convince everyone that insight is not necessary and the A/F practice is best? This is the impression given. Also I really meant nothing by the scare quotes as you termed them. There is no need to be overly defensive. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Even though this is the internets, you come across as extremely patronizing. Maybe that is not your intent. But it sure comes across like that. You aren't selling A/F very well to me. I must say I find it hard to relate to the way you communicate. This is a reality for me and no doubt others who knew you from before. I once called you robotic for which I apologise. But I'm sorry, I just don't relate much. Too much feeling on my side , not enough or none on yours I guess.

Look Tarin, I am not interested in the A/F goal. I am not going to propagate it. I only want to help people in regards to enlightenment. Not A/F. If I can't do that here then i will leave it to you and others. My apologies for stepping on your toes!

I'm sorry mate. I'm really grateful to you for all you did for me. You gave some great advice which got me to stream entry and I hope you continue to give good advice to people. But you seem hell bent on making everyone accept A/F. I'm not trying to be argumentative nor this nor that. I'm just talking from where I am and what I see. I may be completely wrong. They are mostly assumptions and impressions taken from an internet forum.

I'm just being honest about what I think. It may be wrong. .

P.S. I feel like I want to give this 4th path thing a chance. I consider myself a baby 4thpather. I don't think you gave it a chance. Who says I can't witness a gradual disappearing of snkharas over time? We'll see how it goes.

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/4/10 3:45 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hi Tarin,
Since I got out all my feelings in the last post, I will try and answer honestly the other questions.

You asked: "What makes you feel that this ever present non-judgemental awareness which is never dissatisfied is any more 'you' than the dissatisfaction you experience when, say, someone jumps the queue in front of you to get on a bus (as you recently reported on another forum)? AND as you claim to be enlightened, are you really saying that your life couldn't better than getting angry at people who jump the queue in front of you to get on a bus?" Tarin

I don't know what you experienced at 4th path, but I seem to have access to an ever-present awareness that is aware of itself. There is no "you" nor "I" tagged to that awareness. It just is. Within it the formation of "I" arises and passes away as does the rest of phenomena. As does that anger I felt for several seconds but which had no where to land and evaporated quite quickly while waiting to get on a bus. There was no "Nick" who suffered that anger neither, as even this sense of self is just more phenomena that arises and passes away. You are painting a picture that I am suffering. There was really no "i" suffering. The whole experience was a pleasant surprise. I had good feelings after it.

I'm saying there is a feeling of "doneness" and I don't feel any pull to self-immolate when the self seems so transient anyway. Isn't this all about being happy and harmless? I have never felt so happy and harmless in my life these days. There is great freedom in seeing it from this vantage point.

You don't think the experience could change with the coming years and decades? With lack of use and no clinging, those sankharas could well lose their steam and dissipate and even not arise? I am patient enough to see if that will happen. Plus "I" am not suffering and feel no pull to look for something else. I still don't get how you were dissatisfied with 4th path, when those sensations of dissatisfaction would just arise and pass away for myself ... No biggie! Watch them as nothing more than transient phenomena. No clinging, just watch the show. No suffering involved. But honestly I don't feel dissatisfied at all. The complete opposite. So therefore none of the A/F ideals attract me.

Nick

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
11/30/10 5:28 PM as a reply to April V.
April V:
Tarin,

Can I ask you why are you quoting S.N. Goenka (...)


i quoted passages from s.n. goenka's day 7 audio discourse (which have been the same, almost word-for-word, on all his non-hindi 10-day courses worldwide since the '90s) in which he clearly states that it is the heaviest sankhara (as opposed to all of them) which must be eliminated in order to experience nibbana and that those are the sankhara which arise first in the practice of vipassana, in order to respond to what you wrote. as what you wrote was:

April V:

Doing Vipassana for the sake of clearing all defilements, surely may seem like a lifetime job and therefore discouraging for someone who is dark nighter.


...then let me ask you this: on all those courses that you sat and served, were you not paying attention to the discourses which all students (and most servers) are required to attend?


April V:

(...) and warranting his method?


as i did not quote goenka to 'to warrant his method', i can't answer this question.


April V:

So you have dipped by following his instructions?


i did not dip (experience nibbana; attain stream-entry) following his instructions, no.. what led you (incorrectly) assume this?


April V:

Then you are the first person I know who did.


while i did not attain stream-entry following goenka's instructions or on one of his retreats (i attained stream-entry on retreat with daniel ingram), i know several people who have, and one who did so on her very first 10-day course.


April V:

I used to reach Low Equanimity on Goenka's retreats, but never High Equanimity. The Low one is so slippery that it's not possible to see mental reactions/intentions/volitions clearly while you are scanning and sweeping.


after a few years, i used to reach high equanimity on goenka's retreats, but got no further myself. looking back, this was surely in no small part due to the fact that i largely ignored his instruction to pay attention to the impermanent nature of sensations (i was only paying attention to the sensations themselves, as most people with whom i've spoken about this seem to do, if even that).

were you giving full attention to the impermanence of sensations on all those courses you sat?


April V:

The additional instructions after getting to 11th nana (to stop scanning and rest the attention on the chest with awareness of anicca) are given only on 30-day course.


i am well aware of this, having only recently (within the last week) posted this information in another thread.


April V:

To attend a 30-day course and hear these instructions you have to complete a minimum of six 10-day courses, one Satipatthana Sutta course, one 20-Day course, give Dhamma Service at least one 10-day course, and to maintain daily practice for at least two years.


goenka's long course admission policy, from what i have heard from several different people within the organisation, was in the past nowhere near as strict and stringent as it is today. the reason that the requirements are so extensive now is because there have been many long-course retreatants who have flipped out during them. the policy serves the purpose of limiting long course participation to those who already have extensive, dedicated retreat experience (six 10-day courses, one Satipatthana Sutta course, one 20-Day course), have demonstrated an ability to combine meditation practice with a monastic lifestyle (dhamma service on at least one 10-day course), have demonstrated the ability to be consistent in their practice (daily practice for at least two years), and have their moral trip together (you neglected to mention that one requirement is that the applicant must have kept to the five precepts for householders over the past 1 year).

as organisations grow, the rules accumulate. for a comparison, you can be sure that the monks practising under the buddha in his early days as a teacher weren't compelled to follow 227 rules either.


April V:

Just curious how many years it took you the whole thing until you dipped?


nine years.


April V:


when sankharas arise, dependent on vedanas, they pass away without doing further harm. they are taught that if they do this precisely enough, continuously enough, there will be a break in the stream of sankharas (which are defined as 'mental reactions', not as 'formations') - no sankhara will arise - and then a dip in nibbana will occur, which will serve as a permanent foothold in the path toward the eradication of sankharas.


What do you mean here? If someone dips not by observing vedana, then it does not serve ,,as a permanent foothold in the path toward the eradication of sankharas''? Again, is this your own experience or a theory or misunderstanding?


this is not either my own experience, or theory, or misunderstanding, though i think i can see why you are confused about this, given that you have quoted me incompletely and out-of-context.

meanwhile, as the first sentence of the passage you have quoted (from my above discussion with nikolai), and the sentence which preceded it, actually reads (emphases added):


what goenka's students (who have crossed the arising and passing but not yet reached stream-entry) are taught to aim for is stream-entry. they are taught to mindfully and equanimously observe impermanence, such that when sankharas arise, dependent on vedanas, they pass away without doing further harm.


...then it is obvious that what i am saying here is that goenka teaches that sankhara arises dependent on vedana.

as to whether this notion is own experience, or theory, or his misunderstanding, or something else (such as a teaching point for explaining the roles the five aggregates play in causing suffering to arise), i don't know.

tarin

[edited improper formatting]

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/5/10 3:38 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai S Halay:

Edited!!!

Ok, Tarin. I can see you are on a mission. You want everyone to take A/F seriously. Ok, i get it.


hmm.. what was it that caused you to finally acknowledge that i am serious about what i write? (and why else did you think i was writing it?)

Nikolai S Halay:

In the context of awakening and the 4 x path model of awakening (NOT A/F), I just don't think you need to eradicate sankharas. It's my opinion. It is subject to change when I learn more about the word sankhara and get a better idea of what it means. At the moment that is my opinion and my experience. I only think the clinging is taken care of. This opinion could change as I analyze my own experience. Sorry for making absolute claims. My bad!


good, as what the theravada 4-path model of awakening constitutes clearly varies quite a bit, from tradition to tradition, and from person to person. for example, luangta maha boowa (who is foremost, of those currently living, in the dhammayut sect in thailand - popularly known as the thai forest tradition, and who openly calls himself an arahat) talks clearly about how the elimination of all sexual desire is a necessary condition for the attainment of third path (in the 'arahattamagga' section of his book, titled in english, 'the path to arahantship'). do you experience any sexual desire? if so, he would not even consider you an anagami (much less an arahat). are you willing to call ajahn maha boowa out and say he's that just blatantly incorrect? or are you willing to consider that what he is talking about with regards to arahatship (and even anagamihood) might be different from what you experience (and have experienced)?

i have also read one of mahasi sayadaw's discourses wherein he states, explicitly, that with arahatship all sankharas are destroyed. unfortunately, i no longer have access to that particular library and cannot cite you the reference.


Nikolai S Halay:

There is a section for the A/F ideology and practice in this forum, right? It just seems like there is this big mixing up of ideals here and now the Dharma section is being infiltrated by yours and others' ideas on having to eradicate "being". And really they don't go together, or that is my and others' impression of A/F.
i have found that whether or not they go together depends largely on what you understand each to mean and to be. there are 4th path people who understand actual freedom to be, in a sense, beyond 4th path. there is at least one 4th path person who understands (incorrectly, as far as i can tell) actual freedom to be synonymous with 4th path. and there are 4th path people who can't make any sense of actualism and actual freedom at all. interestingly enough, some people were in this last category are now in the first.



Nikolai S Halay:

I may be wrong. I didn't realize that it was now the accepted norm in this place.


the accepted norm in this place is, as stated on the front page, as follows (with the bits i find relevant emphasised in bold):

-pragmatism over dogmatism: what works is key, with works generally meaning the stages of insight, the stages of enlightenment, jhanas, etc.
-diligent practice over blind faith: this place is about doing it and understanding for yourself rather than believing someone else and not testing those beliefs out
-openness regarding what the techniques may lead to and how these contrast or align with the traditional models
-person responsibility: you take responsibility for the choices you make and what you say and claim
-a lack of taboos surrounding talking about attainments
-the assumption that the various aspects of meditative development can be mastered in this life
-the spirit of mutual, supportive adventurers on the path rather than rigid student-teacher relationships
-and the notion that the collective wisdom of a group of strong practitioners at various stages and from various traditions and backgrounds is often better than following one guru-type.

particularly worth emphasising is the part i've coloured in red, as within the hardcore dharma movement, the models which have been propogated by daniel ingram and kenneth folk, among others (who have favoured the non-dualistic/centreless models over the limited range models), are now the traditional ones, and deviations from these models in the places their followers congregate (including this very forum) have been frequently met with dogmatic scorn and reactionism.


Nikolai S Halay:

I thought we were still differentiating A/F and enlightenment.


hmm.. i thought we were differentiating between suffering and the end of suffering.


Nikolai S Halay:

Richard does not seem to hold enlightenment in high regard (http://actualfreedom.com.au/richard/listdcorrespondence/listd16.htm) Do you not as well?


i hold it in far higher regard than does richard, though i am also aware of its limitations and pitfalls, as the correspondence from which you have selected the below quotation demonstrates.


Nikolai S Halay:

Tarin: > it is tragicomical how much more unnecessarily difficult they make it
to mine fool's gold (enlightenment) ... which difficulty, no doubt, makes its glory
and glamour and glitz (to borrow a phrase) all the more appealing,
even from afar.

Taken from here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/actualfreedom/message/8964


indeed, it is fool's gold.. dissociating from the human that suffers affliction (and continuing to perpetuate the roots of its affliction) is not the same thing as simply ending this affliction.


Nikolai S Halay:

This place was formed by Daniel Ingram and friends who were very pro-enlightenment. Has this changed? Is this the direction it's headed?


as the dharmaoverground is, essentially, daniel ingram's community project, and while moderators, writers, and discussion forum participants have a say in what direction(s) it heads, ultimately the final decision lies with him (including the decision to sit back and let it go where it goes). as i am not daniel ingram, and as he is here and can read and answer these questions himself should he choose, i will do him the courtesy of refraining from commenting on his behalf and let him speak for himself should he wish to respond, as he is in a better position to answer those questions than i am. i do care a great deal about understanding other people as best i can and about refraining from misunderstanding (and misrepresenting) them as best i can (which, for instance, is why i ask you question after question seeking clarification when we correspond).

*

Nikolai S Halay:

Are you going to try and convince everyone that insight is not necessary and the A/F practice is best? This is the impression given.


perhaps you can provide some textual evidence that shows why you think this (which is presumably why you are asking me this question)? it may be well worth it to examine why you have the impression you do, seeing as nothing i have either written nor even alluded to here ought to have given it to you.

Nikolai S Halay:

Also I really meant nothing by the scare quotes as you termed them.


ok.. then while i am still puzzled as to why you used quotation marks (which are, in english, called 'scare quotes' when used in a manner other than to signify that the text referred to is a direct quotation) around the words 'eradicate' and 'actually free' in that previous post, i will nevertheless proceed to reply to the remaining portion of it (and to answer the questions you asked therein).

Nikolai S Halay:

There is no need to be overly defensive. I apologize for the misunderstanding.


thank you for your apology, which presumably was motivated by your desire for me to not feel unwell, but as i was not being defensive in the slightest, let alone overly defensive, the only misunderstanding here seems to have been in your imagining that i was. while no apology is necessary for this per se (i genuinely did not - and do not - mind), it might be interesting to know why you felt that i was being defensive, eh?

*

Nikolai S Halay:

Even though this is the internets, you come across as extremely patronizing. Maybe that is not your intent. But it sure comes across like that.


would you please tell me what exactly i have written which you feel to be patronising? as this has never been my intent (i have no interest in patronising you, or anyone else), i would be interested in going through your feelings with you, and in coming to understand why you feel the way you do.

Nikolai S Halay:

You aren't selling A/F very well to me. I must say I find it hard to relate to the way you communicate.


this may be a good opportunity to explain something.

i, too, used to try to understand other people by relating to them.. and though i often did a good job at this, and was often told so, nevertheless, i sometimes still found it difficult to accomplish with certain others. because i cared very much about being able to do this, i keenly observed the factors at play to understand what was going on, and what was going wrong. what i saw, time and time again, surprised me; i saw that it was that the attempt to relate to another person - to connect with them - in order to more closely understand them actually prevented much understanding from taking place (which would, arguably, have been otherwise possible), as well as caused substantial misunderstanding. i observed this process both on my part and on the parts of others, and of those others, i observed it in both those who were trying to relate to me and in those who were trying to relate to others still. i saw so much misunderstanding take place regularly, even between close family and friends.. and so much conflict as a result, in other cases. as this sort of outcome was so far opposite to what i presumed was my intention in attempting to relate to others in the first place (that is, my intention to understand the thoughts, feelings, and motives of the persons to whom i was attempting to relate), i thereby resolved to pay closer attention to what other people actually say, the things they actually do, and the ways they actually behave. i determined that i would understand other people more if i were to be more sensitive to how they genuinely are, and misunderstand them less if i gave less credence to my imaginings, projections, and assumptions about them.

however, i found that this was easier resolved than practised.. the urge to constantly relate to other people - to connect with them - when in contact with them revealed itself to be an integral part of a deeply-rooted tendency i held, which was the tendency to automatically form images about people based on past feelings and associations, to have feeling-biases about those images, and to react to those feeling-biases with further feelings and associations; as such, the habit was hard to break. yet, by choosing to make decisions based on the images and biases i got from this process of relating to others (or from failing to relate to others), i saw that i was perpetuating a very, very common and widespread process of fundamental misunderstanding, one that occasionally led to tragedy and disaster, and one i definitely did not want to help continue. and, i saw that i was missing out on a great degree of intimacy with other people (with what they actually are) because i was only getting to experience them through my images and feelings, and my feelings about their feelings, which, when done well, was satisfying to a high degree, but still lacked the true flavour of genuinely being sensitive and paying total attention, which i had known at times when the process of creating images/feeling-biases/reactions had been subdued or temporarily absent. therefore, i was determined to keep at it until i could find a way to stop this process completely. i eventually succeeded. now, i take other people only for what they say (including the words that they write), the things they do, and the ways in which they behave, and form my theory of mind (my assumptions about their wants, ideas, and intentions) from this and this alone. as a result, i now understand others better than ever.. and whatever misunderstandings i have happen only when i am unfamiliar with the language and gestures that others use and make (rather than because of unfamiliar language/gestures plus my images/biases/reactions).

if any of this reminds you of a particular discourse given on the 8th (or is it the 9th?) day of a particular meditation retreat, i would not be surprised. otherwise, you might really have had eyes like buttonholes after all..

your fellow human being,
tarin

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/5/10 5:15 AM as a reply to tarin greco.

Doing Vipassana for the sake of clearing all defilements, surely may seem like a lifetime job and therefore discouraging for someone who is dark nighter.

...then let me ask you this: on all those courses that you sat and served, were you not paying attention to the discourses which all students (and most servers) are required to attend?



I stated in my original post that I dropped out of tradition, because ,,the given goal to clear out some sankharas did not convince me'', not because I believed all of them had to be eradicated.
I used to get to Equanimity where the heaviest sankharas are left behind, they arise first and only the subtlest ones (intentions, volitions) remain.

That said, it is a very common belief between people I know in this tradition. It is so common that they don't go to retreats to get enlightened, but to get rid of their sankharas. Also it is believed that they must fulfill 10 perfections of Buddha. Most of them don't even believe that enlightenment is possible. They find it shocking if somoene openly claims it.

You started defending Goenka's method which is proved to be very inneficient to get stream-entry, therefore I assumed that you find it more beneficial to work on eradicatiion of sankharas than to get stream-entry, which you responded negatively.

But I don't think that it is innefective only because with time it drowns people's belief that enlightenment is possible, but also because full technique with additional instructions is given only for those who meet rigorous requirements to attend a 30-day course. It is over my head that someone has to wait maybe a decade to hear what to do after getting to 11th nana.


were you giving full attention to the impermanence of sensations on all those courses you sat?


I still think that it's more important to have 7 factors of enlightenment in harmony and I don't see it possible while the mind is busy with sweeping and scanning, but not because of not seeing impermanence.

My epilogue is that those who are stuck in Goenka's tradition should consider if what they practice brought them down-to-earth, practical results and accept to make changes if it hasn't.

And thanks Tarin for starting the discussion which hopefully somone will find useful.

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/5/10 8:18 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:


what the theravada 4-path model of awakening constitutes clearly varies quite a bit, from tradition to tradition, and from person to person. for example, luangta maha boowa (who is foremost, of those currently living, in the dhammayut sect in thailand - popularly known as the thai forest tradition, and who openly calls himself an arahat) talks clearly about how the elimination of all sexual desire is a necessary condition for the attainment of third path (in the 'arahattamagga' section of his book, titled in english, 'the path to arahantship'). do you experience any sexual desire? if so, he would not even consider you an anagami (much less an arahat). are you willing to call ajahn maha boowa out and say he's that just blatantly incorrect? or are you willing to consider that what he is talking about with regards to arahatship (and even anagamihood) might be different from what you experience (and have experienced)?

i have also read one of mahasi sayadaw's discourses wherein he states, explicitly, that with arahatship all sankharas are destroyed. unfortunately, i no longer have access to that particular library and cannot cite you the reference.

tarin


Ok, I'm interested in what you think here. Do think Maha Boowa is really free from passion? Does not passion at 3rd and 4th path lose a vital component ie clinging? My experience of what I considered 3rd path was that I did not "need" sex. I could have happily kept on living my life without the need to have sex. There was an aloofness to the phenomena that was arising and passing away within which included the formation of passion ie. thoughts of sex coupled with perhaps a heavy flow of vibrations at the heart area. This was very easy to just observe as there seemed to be no clinging to it.

However, I have a fiancee and she is not practicing any meditation so is very pre-path. In the spirit of being in a relationship, sex is a part of it. So I was able to make the choice to participate in expressing the passion. Still no clinging to it. Truthfully, though, it was more for her than myself as I could have not had sex at all and not batted an eyelid. The same now. That clinging element and "pull" to react and roll in the passion is not there. Without that clinging element and belief that a separate entity is experiencing it, is it still considered sexual passion? Is not the clinging a vital part of what we would call a difilement of the mind?

I'm interested in what you experienced at 4th path concerning passion etc. . To compare with my experience but also to understand why you seem to be behind the descriptions of arhatship/4th path my Maha Boowa, whose speeches I'm familiar with. I often wonder why an arhat monk would keep claiming such things. But perhaps it is more to do with past conditioning than the effect of the path moments have on the brain. A monk who has spent his life trying to rid or control or reducing the strength of passion, craving and aversion through charnel ground sits, or sitting in a forest full of tigers and some other technique could well reduce the feelings of passion and aversion etc that most people experience. So once they achieve 3rd path for example, the fact that the clinging process has been effected quite a bit by that stage, it could be what that monk believes to be his experience. He is free from passion as previous to 3rd and 4th path he had worked with the passion within himself for sometime. I believe we can change our habitual tendencies through being equanimous with sensations. My experience in the Goenka tradition tells me this is possible.

His past conditioning concerning the eradication of passion as well as the belief (which is still past conditioning) that it will be eradicated, plays a large part in his propagating that idea after having attained 3rd or 4th path. Someone who has attained 4th path will still be conditioned by habitual tendencies developed over their lifetime. Their personality will remain somewhat intact, with their beliefs and ways of being and relating to the world. So Western lay 4th pathers may have a differing take on their experience to say a forest monk who has spent a lifetime reigning in his own mind. I'm speculating.

All that is changed is their perceptual abilities. Their perceptual abilities and the changes that have been made in the brain from the whole awakening process could influence certain habitual tendencies, and perhaps would not influence other habitual tendencies. I have only 3 weeks of what I would call 4th path so my experience is obviously still ongoing. This is just a loose theory i'm running with for now. Like everything I say, it could be wrong. i'd be interested in knowing if you think they actually got A/F or something else , or they actually eradicated their sankharas through a mix of insight and something related to A/F? Would you call Maha Boowa actually free? Is he just conditioned by his past, or just playing the game of marketing the Buddhist teachings? I have no idea.

Perhaps there is something to the whole eradication of sankharas over time. Perhaps Goenka is on to soemthing. I know I gained a lot from my 9 years in that tradition. Many things changed in my personality. But perhaps one can bypass all that eradication of sankharas and get 4th path but then be in a better position to eradicate them as the clinging element is no longer there. I don't know. We'll see if that happens in my own experience.


Tarin asked:
"thank you for your apology, which presumably was motivated by your desire for me to not feel unwell, but as i was not being defensive in the slightest, let alone overly defensive, the only misunderstanding here seems to have been in your imagining that i was. while no apology is necessary for this per se (i genuinely did not - and do not - mind), it might be interesting to know why you felt that i was being defensive, eh?"

Your long explanation of what I I should have done concerning researching "scare quote" was what came across as overly defensive and patronizing. Perhaps i am reading into it too much. That can happen on an internet forum. If this was not the case then forget about it. There is no need to linger on it.

I appreciate your explanation and pointing to the specific discourse on the images and expectation we create of people that i remember clearly. After hearing it enough times, it is burnt into my memory. One thing I am finding now is that it is very easy to admit my own mistakes. There is no "Nick" who has a stake in arguing against it. In fact I will consider it a valuable lesson. Thank you. I also understand the mission statement of this place and appreciate your explanation of it. I will refrain from reacting to what I perceived as a mixing of ideals in future. This place is unique in that regard.

It might be a cultural thing, and internet thing, an A/F vs Dharma behavior thing or something I am not even considering, I am no psychologist, but you cam across much much nicer and compassionate in your last post. I'm too busy at the moment to analyse why. Just an observation and my feeling.

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/5/10 10:51 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Tarin said:
now, i take other people only for what they say (including the words that they write), the things they do, and the ways in which they behave, and form my theory of mind (my assumptions about their wants, ideas, and intentions) from this and this alone. as a result, i now understand others better than ever..


This is good! No doubt about it. However from reading Nickolai's comments on how he is receiving your posts I would say that you are not meeting his desires in a way he can accept easier (as he stated explicitly above). The point of the matter is that you do have to make assumptions about people's minds for when you react to them. I'm wondering if some of the problem is that you aren't conceptualizing his mind the right way? In my mind I would expect that Nickolai would like to hear some compassion in your posts, a bit of positive mirroring, and compromise; all of which are lacking from my point of view and his, even though we both find value in your posts anyway. Everybody will absorb information in different ways so you can't assume that by using rigid arguments about AF that everyone is understanding it the right way, so why not allow a bit of flexibility, by which I mean compromise? As far as I can tell Nickolai understands AF as good as his experience allows him.

In other words, can you relate and motivate others to AF in a way which is emotionally satisfying?

So this also raises a question for me. Because you don't have feelings, does that mean that you can disregard others people's feelings? Is it that because you no longer are sucked into them and see their uselessness that you can ignore them in others? I think this is a major concern for others because in their feeling state they don't want to hurt anyone they love.
And if you think you are conveying the a sense of compassion and understanding (using the terms vaugely) but Nickolai does not, isn't that a good reason to stop and think?


Also, as a side note, dicing apart somebody's post seems very intrusive and aggressive compared to a few of Nickolai's more spontaneous feeling 2-3 paragraph posts. This is a kind of thing that appeals to me on the emotional level. Take it or leave it.

EDIT: I don't want to be putting words in anyone's mouth, so feel free to correct me. Either way my points still stand.

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/6/10 12:49 AM as a reply to Jeffrey S.
Jeffrey S:

In other words, can you relate and motivate others to AF in a way which is emotionally satisfying?



If learning about and discussing the complete cessation of suffering in this lifetime isn't "emotionally satisfying", doesn't it suggest that the need for emotional satisfaction is part of the problem, not part of the solution?

AF is threatening to those of us who derive emotional comfort from disembedding / disidentification, but in that case the problem is the message, not the messenger.

Best,
Neil

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/6/10 1:34 PM as a reply to April V.
April V:

I stated in my original post that I dropped out of tradition, because ,,the given goal to clear out some sankharas did not convince me'', not because I believed all of them had to be eradicated.
I used to get to Equanimity where the heaviest sankharas are left behind, they arise first and only the subtlest ones (intentions, volitions) remain.


as you continue to make insight progress, you may find that the even what you now characterise as the subtlest sankharas are really quite heavy, relative to the ones you will deal with on later paths (which, it can be argued, have been there all along but simply do not prevent the stream-entry attainment).

you may also learn subtler ways of measuring subtlety.. if this does not right away make sense to you, consider carefully the things which are currently implied by your notions of 'heavy' and 'subtle' (or 'gross' and 'subtle', or 'coarse and refined'), and consider how even this metric itself (and the means of knowing it) can change in relation to what is being measured.




April V:

That said, it is a very common belief between people I know in this tradition. It is so common that they don't go to retreats to get enlightened, but to get rid of their sankharas. Also it is believed that they must fulfill 10 perfections of Buddha. Most of them don't even believe that enlightenment is possible. They find it shocking if somoene openly claims it.


having sat something in the vicinty of two dozen courses in the goenka tradition over the last decade, i am well aware of this. fortunately, i sat most of my early courses in a predominantly theravadan buddhist country with many strong practitioners and teachers from a variety of traditions (and resources which support them), and on them i met a few very clearly skilled practitioners, some of whom had ideas of their own as well as a habit of fostering, if only by example, an individualistic and independent approach to practice. therefore, the culture of goenka practitioners you describe above had very little influence on me (which it may have had anyway, as it is possible that i was already particularly inclined to such independence). regardless, even after i left that tradition, i felt no bitterness toward it or regret over the time i spent in it, as i clearly had benefitted much from my experience there, on top of which i saw that any antagonistic relationship i might have with the goenka tradition and the way they do things would only ever truly be one i was having with myself but was projecting onto external objects (funnily enough, i had actually come to understand much of how this process works because of those goenka courses). furthermore, i came to realise that there is much, much of value presented within that tradition that is lacking in other places, including this forum as well as others associated with the 'hardcore dharma movement' or 'pragmatic dharma movement' spearheaded by the book MCTB.



April V:

You started defending Goenka's method which is proved to be very inneficient to get stream-entry, therefore I assumed that you find it more beneficial to work on eradicatiion of sankharas than to get stream-entry, which you responded negatively.


would you please tell me what i have written which has given you the (erroneous) impression that i am, or have been, defending goenka's method? at this point, i am starting to wonder if you did read what i actually wrote.. and so i would like to ask you to please go back and carefully read (or re-read) our correspondence.

in the event that, having done this, you are still arriving to the same conclusion that i am 'warranting [goenka's] method' or 'defending Goenka's method', it may help for me to have here a summary, in order, of all the things i have written which were addressed to you in this correspondence thus far:

in my first reply to your first post which was addressed to me, i answered your question regarding whether my experiences of the respective benefits of pre-path practice and of stream-entry were different from yours; i said 'no', and asked you what made you think so.

i then replied to your following statement, which asserted that practising vipassana with the aim of eradicating all defilements entirely while still in the (pre-path) dark night could be discouraging, with clear agreement. next, i asked you what you thought, on the other hand, about 'doing vipassana for the sake of clearing away a sufficient amount of the coarse defilements, which then gives rise to the experience of nibbana?'. as i assumed your assertion (about the goal of practice you mentioned which a pre-path dark nighter would find discouraging) was meant to be indicative of what goenka teaches, i quoted a couple of passages from one of the recorded discourses played on all his basic 10-day retreats - noting that they are compulsory listening, usually repeatedly, for literally all of his students - in order to demonstrate what goenka actually teaches, and to demonstrate the disparity between 1- what you presented correctly as a likely discouraging teaching but incorrectly as what goenka teaches, and 2- what goenka actually teaches. i emphasised the lines which demonstrated this disparity most clearly in bold.

then, in my next response to you(r subsequent reply), i answered your question about why i had quoted goenka. i explained that i did so because 'he clearly states that it is the heaviest sankhara (as opposed to all of them) which must be eliminated in order to experience nibbana and that those are the sankhara which arise first in the practice of vipassana', and i explained that the particular quotation was relevant to your insinuation that goenka teaches his students to practise vipassana with the aim of eradicating all defilements entirely while they are still in the (pre-path) dark night (which is discouraging) because it demonstrates that he, in fact, teaches no such thing.

as the passages i quoted came directly from goenka's 10-day discourse summaries (which all his students are required to take several times before they are allowed to take any other courses), then you would have had to heard him repeat this again and again.. but as what you presented (that goenka teaches his students to practise vipassana with the aim of eradicating all defilements entirely while they are still in the pre-path dark night) indicated that you were not aware of this, i questioned if perhaps you were simply not listening to the discourses which you were required to attend.

i then proceed to answer your next question, about why i was warranting goenka's method, with the simple fact that i was not, and so could not answer the question (as it was based on a false premise).

i then answered your next question still, about whether or not i had attained stream-entry by following goenka's instructions, and i said no, and asked you why you assumed that i had.

to the following sentence, in which you stated that if i had (attained stream-entry by following goenka's instructions) i would be the first person you know who had done so, i replied that i myself actually know several people who have done just that, including one who did so on her first goenka retreat. i also included some autobiographical information (about the circumstances under which i did get stream-entry).

after that, i replied to your commentary about your having gotten to low (but never high) equanimity on goenka retreats [which, i neglected to mention in my post, is also very common for people to do on mahasi retreats] as well as your claim that it is not possible, for a practitioner in low equanimity, to see mental reactions/intentions/volitions clearly because of how one is instructed to scan and sweep on those retreats. here, i wrote that my experience was similar (though i was also regularly able to get further into high equanimity), but in retrospect, i realised that this was likely caused, to a great degree, by how i was simply not following the instructions that were given, which instructions were to observe the impermanence characteristic of sensations. i further noted that i was, instead, only paying attention to the bodily sensations i experienced (however i happened to be experiencing them), and that, as far as i could tell from conversations i had had with others, this mistake (of overlooking impermanence - 'anicca') is widespread in the tradition. with this context in place, i then asked you if you were 'giving full attention to the impermanence of sensations on all those courses you sat' (as i suspected that your lack of success in attaining a path - or at the very least, getting into high equanimity - on goenka courses may have been due to this all-too-common lack of conscientiousness).

i next affirmed that i am aware of the extra instructions given on goenka's 30-day courses which are oriented to help students navigate equanimity nana, and linked to another thread in which i had only recently posted that information myself [in a bid to help somebody else on this forum - who not long ago attended a 10-day retreat - get path, and possibly do this while practising at home].

i then addressed your mention of the goenka tradition's long course admissions policy, and explained that those requirements did not used to be anywhere near as demanding as they now are, as well as why they now are (which is because sufficient experience has shown the organisation that unwanted things happen to a sufficient number of meditators who undetake long courses before they are sufficiently prepared). i explained, to the best of my ability, what the rationale now in place behind the various requirements for admitting a student to a long course is.

in the following section of my reply, i addressed your questions to me concerning a passage of my writing which you selected from my correspondence with nikolai earlier in this thread, a passage which you quoted incompletely (by leaving off the crucial first part of the first sentence of the selection) and out of its proper context and apparently misunderstood. i indicated what i thought was the likely cause of the misunderstanding, and demonstrated how a proper understanding can be achieved by quoting the selected passage in a way that includes its entire sentences as they were written (thereby maintaining the integrity of the passage's meaning which had been lost by your abridgedment). further, in quoting again the passage in question, i emphasised, in bold, the parts which indicate, in no uncertain terms, how the matter with which you took issue (that sankharas arising dependent on vedana) - which you suggested may be, inter alia, a product of my own misunderstanding - is something that goenka teaches, in order to demonstrate that i was clearly presenting the topic in that context (as was relevant to my correspondence with nikolai).

i then stated, in an attempt to be helpful by providing information possibly relevant to your queries (so long as you are interested in why someone (anyone) would think the things which you questioned, rather than only why i would think them), that while i ultimately did not know the reason whereby goenka teaches that sankhara arises dependent on vedana, i could speculate that, in addition to the possibilities you presented (of experience, theory, and misunderstanding), he may consider it an appropriate teaching point for his students.

*

having read the above summary, do you still think that i have been 'warranting [goenka's] method' or 'defending Goenka's method'? if so, would you please explain exactly what it is that you mean by this?



April V:

But I don't think that it is innefective only because with time it drowns people's belief that enlightenment is possible, but also because full technique with additional instructions is given only for those who meet rigorous requirements to attend a 30-day course. It is over my head that someone has to wait maybe a decade to hear what to do after getting to 11th nana.


while i am understanding of the reasons behind the rigorous standards to which the goenka tradition now requires their students adhere in order to qualify for admission to the 30-day courses, i, too, cannot fathom why the equanimity nana instructions are not given at all on earlier courses, and think that whatever harm might come of doing so would surely be outweighed by the benefits.



April V:

were you giving full attention to the impermanence of sensations on all those courses you sat?

I still think that it's more important to have 7 factors of enlightenment in harmony and I don't see it possible while the mind is busy with sweeping and scanning, but not because of not seeing impermanence.


while i agree that getting the seven factors of enlightenment in harmony is a valid and possibly very effective means for inducing stream-entry, this matter is tangential, and is ultimately irrelevant to my question, which is as yet unanswered, and still stands: were you giving full attention to the impermanence of sensations on all those courses you sat?

if your answer is 'no', then here is something you may wish to consider: you were not following the instructions.

if you were not following the instructions, then your ability to sensibly discern their efficacy in getting practitioners (who do follow them) to stream-entry is rendered null by the fact that you do not actually know of what you speak.

if, however, your answer is 'yes', then that is another matter entirely.

which is it?



April V:

My epilogue is that those who are stuck in Goenka's tradition should consider if what they practice brought them down-to-earth, practical results and accept to make changes if it hasn't.


indeed, those whose practices have not, after a period of diligent and scrupulous application, brought them down-to-earth, practical results should consider making changes to their practices.

here, it may be pointful to note that I have been told, by a monk in the mahasi tradition (who has spent most of his time living at their retreat centres), that practitioners who do not attain path after 6 months' continuous retreat are discouraged from thereupon continuing (to which he added that he would personally advise them to consider trying another tradition).



April V:

And thanks Tarin for starting the discussion which hopefully somone will find useful.


you're welcome, and i thank you likewise for your engagement. however, in saying 'hopefully someone will find it useful', are you indicating that you, yourself, do not find this discussion useful? please correct me if i misunderstand. (not that i would mind, of course, i'm just asking for clarity's sake and to better know the person with whom i am corresponding)

tarin

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/6/10 4:25 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
hi nikolai,

here is my reply to the rest of your post to which i most recently partially replied:

Nikolai S Halay:

Even though this is the internets, you come across as extremely patronizing.


are you suggesting that if we were not communicating via the internet, you might not find me patronising? if so, would you like to talk to me on the phone, or meet in person, in order to find out?


Nikolai S Halay:

Maybe that is not your intent. But it sure comes across like that. You aren't selling A/F very well to me. I must say I find it hard to relate to the way you communicate. This is a reality for me and no doubt others who knew you from before.


would you please clarify what you mean here - others who knew me from before what, specifically?


Nikolai S Halay:

I once called you robotic for which I apologise.


do you apologise because you meant it perjoratively? if so, why do you find it an insulting term.. and why did you insult me?

i didn't take offence in the slightest, by the way, and even found it funny that someone whose life's routines involve blindly perpetuating self-inflicted suffering, in the form of afflictive feelings, upon himself (and sharing their effects with others) would call me 'robotic' .


Nikolai S Halay:

But I'm sorry, I just don't relate much. Too much feeling on my side , not enough or none on yours I guess.


yup.. no images/biases/reactions over here, whatsoever. don’t relate to you in that way whatsoever.

fortunately, as per your response to the explanation i gave in my previous reply (in which you averred to clearly remember the (topically related) discourse to which i referred), you may now understand that you don't have to relate to me to understand the words that i write.. and that you may be in a better position to understand what i write if you don’t attempt to relate to me at all (so that you don’t end up unintentionally distorting what you read by filtering it through only-seemingly relevant images, feelings about those images, and reactions to those feelings).

if we take each other’s meanings from the words we actually say (or write), and we are willing to seek clarification when we do not understand (rather than opt to impulsively misunderstand), we can definitely communicate clearly and sensibly.


Nikolai S Halay:

Look Tarin, I am not interested in the A/F goal. I am not going to propagate it. I only want to help people in regards to enlightenment. Not A/F. If I can't do that here then i will leave it to you and others. My apologies for stepping on your toes!


my toes are not stepped on, you can certainly help people as regards enlightenment here, and i will not contradict you so long as you do not make foolish and untrue statements such as (paraphrased), 'the notion that one can eliminate sankharas is utter bullshit!!'

Nikolai S Halay:

I'm sorry mate. I'm really grateful to you for all you did for me. You gave some great advice which got me to stream entry and I hope you continue to give good advice to people.


you're welcome, and i probably will continue to.

Nikolai S Halay:

But you seem hell bent on making everyone accept A/F.


i am no such thing (that is, hell bent on making everyone accept actual freedom.. though, i have to admit, i’m not even sure exactly what that means). what i am interested in, however, is informing those who inaccurately profess its impossibility here of otherwise.

Nikolai S Halay:

I'm not trying to be argumentative nor this nor that. I'm just talking from where I am and what I see. I may be completely wrong. They are mostly assumptions and impressions taken from an internet forum.


and yet, if we are very, very careful about making sure that the assumptions and impressions we take from an internet forum (or anywhere else) and the ways we use them are warranted and are supported by things and situations that actually exist, then we can definitely communicate in a way that is useful and mutually beneficial.


Nikolai S Halay:

P.S. I feel like I want to give this 4th path thing a chance. I consider myself a baby 4thpather. I don't think you gave it a chance.


no, i didn't. but then again, neither did i give 1st path a chance.. nor 2nd path.. nor 3rd.


Nikolai S Halay:

Who says I can't witness a gradual disappearing of snkharas over time? We'll see how it goes.


i don't know, who says you can't? dependent origination, perhaps? but anyway, not me. yet, if precedence is anything to go by, i don't think it is likely to ever happen completely by continuing the track you're on. dan ingram, for example, who has now been 4th path for 7 years and counting (and to whom the training in morality is of far greater significance than it appears has been popularly recognised[1]), is far from exhausted of those reactions to his feeling-biases.. and he was on a similar track until only recently. the problematic links of dependent origination seem to have a way of continuing to operate, even in those who are 4th path..

tarin

[1] this is likely due to daniel's interest in the training in morality having been considerably overshadowed by his emphasis on the training in insight, which was the primary topic of MCTB.

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/6/10 4:06 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
TARIN: are you suggesting that if we were not communicating via the internet, you might not find me patronising? if so, would you like to talk to me on the phone, or meet in person, in order to find out?

NICK: I've found your pointing to the specific discourse by Goenka on how we creat images and projections about the people we talk tp, regardless of medium, very insightful for me. There is a lot I have not considered. I think i am still very new to the recent change in me. Thank you for that. It has been valuable in seeing how I actually still do project a lot of nonsense onto others. Your pointng out has made it obvious to me. There is no need for phone conversations. I see you on FB and you appear ver normal. Another projection? Yes, but it shows that I am projecting all over the place.

Nikolai S Halay:

Maybe that is not your intent. But it sure comes across like that. You aren't selling A/F very well to me. I must say I find it hard to relate to the way you communicate. This is a reality for me and no doubt others who knew you from before.


TARIN: would you please clarify what you mean here - others who knew me from before what, specifically?

NICK: Again, My mistake is to not take in all the ideas and jump to conclusions . More projections. Again, apologies. My bad. If I read your posts from 2 years ago for example, you come across as slightly different. The manner in whihc you wirte now is quite different to then. I don't wish to analyse you. So I will just say, all this is related to projecting crap again.

TARIN: do you apologise because you meant it perjoratively? if so, why do you find it an insulting term.. and why did you insult me?

i didn't take offence in the slightest, by the way, and even found it funny that someone whose life's routines involve blindly perpetuating self-inflicted suffering, in the form of afflictive feelings, upon himself (and sharing their effects with others) would call me 'robotic' .


NICK: It wasn't meant as an insult. It was just another projections again. I posted it in that A/F related thread at KFD. I then deleted it. I gathered from your referring to it in a FB post later on, that you had read it before I deleted that. i deleted that as I regretted saying it. It sounded insulting and for that I apologize. This was all pre-4th. I would not repeat such a thing. But it was related to the feeling I had about not being able to relate to your way of communicating. Again, more projections. I apologize once again. My bad.


Nikolai S Halay:

But I'm sorry, I just don't relate much. Too much feeling on my side , not enough or none on yours I guess.


TARIN: yup.. no images/biases/reactions over here, whatsoever. don’t relate to you in that way whatsoever.

fortunately, as per your response to the explanation i gave in my previous reply (in which you averred to clear remember the (topically related) discourse to which i referred), you may now understand that you don't have to relate to me to understand the words that i write.. and that you may be in a better position to understand what i write if you don’t attempt to relate to me at all (so that you don’t end up unintentionally distorting what you read by filtering it through only-seemingly relevant images, feelings about those images, and reactions to those feelings).

if we take each other’s meanings from the words we actually say (or write), and we are willing to seek clarification when we do not understand (rather than opt to impulsively misunderstand), we can definitely communicate clearly and sensibly.

NICK: Yes, I agree with you now. I was projecting my own shit on to your way of communicating. I am grateful for this as I have learnt that I actually still do that. Now I can rectify it. Thank you!


Nikolai S Halay:

Look Tarin, I am not interested in the A/F goal. I am not going to propagate it. I only want to help people in regards to enlightenment. Not A/F. If I can't do that here then i will leave it to you and others. My apologies for stepping on your toes!


TARIN: my toes are not stepped on, you can certainly help people as regards enlightenment here, and i will not contradict you so long as you do not make foolish and untrue statements such as (paraphrased), 'the notion that one can eliminate sankharas is utter bullshit!!'

NICK: Point taken.To clarify though, I was talking specifically in the context of awakening and enlightenment. Not the end result of the A/F practice. I should have added that it is my opinion that in the context of the 4 path model of awakening, sankharas are not eradicated. I was not saying it was not possible in all contexts even though i have no idea from lack of experience if what you say about A/F is true or not. My bad. In future I will not make absolute claims about stuff like that. My opinion is always subject to change with my changing experience.

Nikolai S Halay:

But you seem hell bent on making everyone accept A/F.


TARIN: i am no such thing (that is, hell bent on making everyone accept actual freedom.. though, i have to admit, i’m not even sure exactly what that means). what i am interested in, however, is informing those who inaccurately profess its impossibility here of otherwise.

NICK: More projecting and assuming on my part. My bad.


Nikolai S Halay:

I'm not trying to be argumentative nor this nor that. I'm just talking from where I am and what I see. I may be completely wrong. They are mostly assumptions and impressions taken from an internet forum.


TARIN: and yet, if we are very, very careful about making sure that the assumptions and impressions we take from an internet forum (or anywhere else) and the ways we use them are warranted and are supported by things and situations that actually exist, then we can definitely communicate in a way that is useful and mutually beneficial.

NICK: Point taken.

Nikolai S Halay:

Who says I can't witness a gradual disappearing of snkharas over time? We'll see how it goes.


TARIN: i don't know, who says you can't? dependent origination, perhaps? but anyway, not me. yet, if precedence is anything to go by, i don't think it is likely to ever happen completely by continuing the track you're on. dan ingram, for example, who has now been 4th path for 7 years and counting (and to whom the training in morality is of far greater significance than it appears has been popularly recognised[1]), is far from exhausted of those reactions to his feeling-biases.. and he was on a similar track until only recently. the problematic links of dependent origination seem to have a way of continuing to operate, even in those who are 4th path..

NICK: Well, I'll still give a bit more than 7 years if I live that long and see how it turns out. Then we have more data as you once said in the Huriccane Ranch discussions.

Thank you Tarin!


Nick

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/8/10 6:07 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai S Halay:

Hi Tarin,
Since I got out all my feelings in the last post, I will try and answer honestly the other questions.


hi nick,

as i have no feelings to get out first, i will right away go into honestly replying to this post.

Nikolai S Halay:

You asked: "What makes you feel that this ever present non-judgemental awareness which is never dissatisfied is any more 'you' than the dissatisfaction you experience when, say, someone jumps the queue in front of you to get on a bus (as you recently reported on another forum)? AND as you claim to be enlightened, are you really saying that your life couldn't better than getting angry at people who jump the queue in front of you to get on a bus?" Tarin

I don't know what you experienced at 4th path, but I seem to have access to an ever-present awareness that is aware of itself. There is no "you" nor "I" tagged to that awareness. It just is. Within it the formation of "I" arises and passes away as does the rest of phenomena. As does that anger I felt for several seconds but which had no where to land and evaporated quite quickly while waiting to get on a bus. There was no "Nick" who suffered that anger neither, as even this sense of self is just more phenomena that arises and passes away.


ok, let me re-phrase my questions then:

1- what makes you feel that this ever present non-judgemental awareness which is never dissatisfied is more important than the dissatisfaction you experience when, say, someone jumps the queue in front of you to get on a bus (as you recently reported on another forum)?

2- as you claimed that your life couldn't be any better than it is now ('For me, my life couldn't be better'), do you really think that not getting angry at people who jump the queue in front of you to get on a bus is no better than getting angry in that situation is (as you are currently do now)?

Nikolai S Halay:

You are painting a picture that I am suffering. There was really no "i" suffering. The whole experience was a pleasant surprise. I had good feelings after it.
 

the several seconds of anger was pleasant, eh?

Nikolai S Halay:

I'm saying there is a feeling of "doneness" and I don't feel any pull to self-immolate when the self seems so transient anyway. Isn't this all about being happy and harmless? I have never felt so happy and harmless in my life these days. There is great freedom in seeing it from this vantage point.


i agree, there is great freedom in seeing it from that vantage point (i remember it).

yet, there is an even greater freedom in being completely happy and harmless, with no self to even seem transient.


Nikolai S Halay:

You don't think the experience could change with the coming years and decades? With lack of use and no clinging, those sankharas could well lose their steam and dissipate and even not arise?


no, i don't think so.. because if they are arising at all, there is a still a 'you' arising concomitant with them. (hint: it's fortified by prioritising the ever present non-judgemental awareness over what the feeling can tell you)

just as getting stream-entry changed what 'i' means (by referring to a more subtle process of identification).. and just as getting arahatship ended that new 'i' too (the end of that process of identification, which wasn't even clear until after stream-entry)... so too does seeing how an actual freedom is achieved use another, deeper, meaning of 'i'.


Nikolai S Halay:

I am patient enough to see if that will happen. Plus "I" am not suffering and feel no pull to look for something else. I still don't get how you were dissatisfied with 4th path, when those sensations of dissatisfaction would just arise and pass away for myself ... No biggie! Watch them as nothing more than transient phenomena. No clinging, just watch the show. No suffering involved. But honestly I don't feel dissatisfied at all. The complete opposite. So therefore none of the A/F ideals attract me.


i was dissatisfied with 4th path because i saw how, being as i was even then, i was still implicitly part of the process by which anger, fear, and sorrow arise (a process which, in total, led to far greater suffering the world over than was in merely the momentary arising and passing of those ails as they occurred in my rarefied enlightenment). seeing this, i cared to go further.

there are new things under the sun.. you can change human nature.

tarin

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
8/8/10 6:15 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai S Halay:
tarin greco:

what the theravada 4-path model of awakening constitutes clearly varies quite a bit, from tradition to tradition, and from person to person. for example, luangta maha boowa (who is foremost, of those currently living, in the dhammayut sect in thailand - popularly known as the thai forest tradition, and who openly calls himself an arahat) talks clearly about how the elimination of all sexual desire is a necessary condition for the attainment of third path (in the 'arahattamagga' section of his book, titled in english, 'the path to arahantship'). do you experience any sexual desire? if so, he would not even consider you an anagami (much less an arahat). are you willing to call ajahn maha boowa out and say he's that just blatantly incorrect? or are you willing to consider that what he is talking about with regards to arahatship (and even anagamihood) might be different from what you experience (and have experienced)?


Ok, I'm interested in what you think here. Do think Maha Boowa is really free from passion?


no, i dont think maha boowa is entirely free from passion (i think it is far more likely that his passion has been sublimitated in order to support the 'purified' citta he exalts).


Nikolai S Halay:

Does not passion at 3rd and 4th path lose a vital component ie clinging?


does passion lose a certain component without clinging? yes.
is that component vital (to sustain passion itself)? definitely not.

have you noticed how you still experience desire?


Nikolai S Halay:

My experience of what I considered 3rd path was that I did not "need" sex. I could have happily kept on living my life without the need to have sex. There was an aloofness to the phenomena that was arising and passing away within which included the formation of passion ie. thoughts of sex coupled with perhaps a heavy flow of vibrations at the heart area. This was very easy to just observe as there seemed to be no clinging to it.


yes, path-attainment does indeed provide an aloofness to phenomena which arises and passes away.


Nikolai S Halay:

However, I have a fiancee and she is not practicing any meditation so is very pre-path. In the spirit of being in a relationship, sex is a part of it. So I was able to make the choice to participate in expressing the passion. Still no clinging to it. Truthfully, though, it was more for her than myself as I could have not had sex at all and not batted an eyelid. The same now. That clinging element and "pull" to react and roll in the passion is not there. Without that clinging element and belief that a separate entity is experiencing it, is it still considered sexual passion?


yes, it is. there is still a pull which causes it (passion) to arise in the first place, regardless of whether it is then clung to or not.


Nikolai S Halay:

Is not the clinging a vital part of what we would call a difilement of the mind?


'clinging' is indeed a part of what we are here calling defilements of the mind. but by no means is 'not clinging' the end of such defilement.

are you familiar with the term 'craving'?


Nikolai S Halay:

I'm interested in what you experienced at 4th path concerning passion etc. . To compare with my experience but also to understand why you seem to be behind the descriptions of arhatship/4th path Maha Boowa, whose speeches I'm familiar with.


i am no more behind maha boowa's descriptions of his arahatship/4th path than i am behind yours, in that i do not find either to be endorsable as a final goal for a human who wants to do everything he can to ensure that he never needlessly suffers again as well as minimises the suffering of others as much as possible.


Nikolai S Halay:

I often wonder why an arhat monk would keep claiming such things. But perhaps it is more to do with past conditioning than the effect of the path moments have on the brain.


i think that your notion that he is incorrect in what he claims is due to your own (western) conditioning rather than the effects your path moments have had on your brain.


Nikolai S Halay:

A monk who has spent his life trying to rid or control or reducing the strength of passion, craving and aversion through charnel ground sits, or sitting in a forest full of tigers and some other technique could well reduce the feelings of passion and aversion etc that most people experience. So once they achieve 3rd path for example, the fact that the clinging process has been effected quite a bit by that stage, it could be what that monk believes to be his experience. He is free from passion as previous to 3rd and 4th path he had worked with the passion within himself for sometime. I believe we can change our habitual tendencies through being equanimous with sensations. My experience in the Goenka tradition tells me this is possible.


does your experience also tell you that it is a worthwhile thing to do?


Nikolai S Halay:

His past conditioning concerning the eradication of passion as well as the belief (which is still past conditioning) that it will be eradicated, plays a large part in his propagating that idea after having attained 3rd or 4th path. Someone who has attained 4th path will still be conditioned by habitual tendencies developed over their lifetime. Their personality will remain somewhat intact, with their beliefs and ways of being and relating to the world. So Western lay 4th pathers may have a differing take on their experience to say a forest monk who has spent a lifetime reigning in his own mind. I'm speculating.


and yet, when the only known alternative to reigning in the mind in thus fashion is to let it run muck-wild (such that one gets upset when another person jumps the queue in front of one to board a bus), then reigning in the mind doesn't seem like such a bad idea, does it?


Nikolai S Halay:

All that is changed is their perceptual abilities. Their perceptual abilities and the changes that have been made in the brain from the whole awakening process could influence certain habitual tendencies, and perhaps would not influence other habitual tendencies.


and yet, changes in habitual tendencies are what have allowed those changes in perceptual abilities to occur.

has it occurred to you that there may be certain perceptual abilities which can arise only when feelings can no longer be conditioned?


Nikolai S Halay:

i'd be interested in knowing if you think they actually got A/F or something else , or they actually eradicated their sankharas through a mix of insight and something related to A/F? Would you call Maha Boowa actually free?


no, i don't, and no, i wouldn't.


Nikolai S Halay:

Is he just conditioned by his past, or just playing the game of marketing the Buddhist teachings?


probably both... just as you are.


Nikolai S Halay:

Perhaps there is something to the whole eradication of sankharas over time. Perhaps Goenka is on to soemthing. I know I gained a lot from my 9 years in that tradition. Many things changed in my personality. But perhaps one can bypass all that eradication of sankharas and get 4th path but then be in a better position to eradicate them as the clinging element is no longer there. I don't know. We'll see if that happens in my own experience.


oh, i think i was in a far better position to eradicate them after i was 4th path (and the clinging element was no longer there as it was before). even then, however, i was only able to actually do it because of one other thing: i wanted to.

*

Nikolai S Halay:

Tarin asked:
"thank you for your apology, which presumably was motivated by your desire for me to not feel unwell, but as i was not being defensive in the slightest, let alone overly defensive, the only misunderstanding here seems to have been in your imagining that i was. while no apology is necessary for this per se (i genuinely did not - and do not - mind), it might be interesting to know why you felt that i was being defensive, eh?"

Your long explanation of what I I should have done concerning researching "scare quote" was what came across as overly defensive and patronizing. Perhaps i am reading into it too much.


as i was merely explaining that you could have done the basic google research and found out what scare quotes are in just as much time as you spent apologising for not knowing what my question means, you were/are definitely reading into it too much. the question - which i thought might be interesting (and beneficial) to raise is as to why you read into it the way you did?


Nikolai S Halay:

That can happen on an internet forum. If this was not the case then forget about it. There is no need to linger on it.


while imagining defensiveness and a patronising tone in what another person writes can certainly happen on an internet forum (as well as in a book, a magazine, a text message, etc) ... just as imagining defensiveness and a patronising tone in what another person says on the phone (or in person or on television) can, the interesting question is.. why does it?

would the answer to this question not be worth a little lingering?


Nikolai S Halay:

I appreciate your explanation and pointing to the specific discourse on the images and expectation we create of people that i remember clearly. After hearing it enough times, it is burnt into my memory. One thing I am finding now is that it is very easy to admit my own mistakes. There is no "Nick" who has a stake in arguing against it. In fact I will consider it a valuable lesson. Thank you. I also understand the mission statement of this place and appreciate your explanation of it. I will refrain from reacting to what I perceived as a mixing of ideals in future. This place is unique in that regard.


it is certainly unique (to my knowledge) in that regard, and you're welcome.


Nikolai S Halay:

It might be a cultural thing, and internet thing, an A/F vs Dharma behavior thing or something I am not even considering, I am no psychologist, but you cam across much much nicer and compassionate in your last post. I'm too busy at the moment to analyse why. Just an observation and my feeling.


well, this when you are not too busy to reflect on why (i come across to you as much much nicer and compassionate in my - at that time - last post), i would be interested in knowing your thoughts.

me, i have been nice (as in pleasant and agreeable) this entire time.. including right now.

tarin

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
11/30/10 4:59 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Heh this would be a good commercial for AF. Tarin is saying with AF you eliminate such feelings. Nikolai, you say they don't affect you and you don't cling to them, so what's the difference? Then:

Nikolai H.:
Since I got out all my feelings in the last post, I will try and answer honestly the other questions.


So clearly they still influence you somehow. Tarin just believes one is better off without them arising at all.

I'm unsure yet. I'm going to get stream entry first as that seems really useful either way, and go from there.

RE: Report of my stream-entry
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12/1/10 3:56 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hey Boeman,

Stream entry is a good idea. And 4th path talked about here and at KFD is NOT the 10 fetter model of arahatship. Emotions still arise. Things are different though. 4th path is just a beginning. It seems AF may be but one route one could take. Another is the 10 fetter model of arahatship. According to Kenneth Folk, this is very possible. We'll see if it is.

Nick


From KFD:

Kenneth Folk:
"There are two distinct attainments that come after 4th Path as we define it in this community. One is the transformation of the emotions and the other is the end of self referencing. I assert this from my own very recent experience, so I have not yet amended the maps published here to include this information. But I am already teaching it to my advanced students.

The two attainments I am referring to are natural, organic changes that follow 4th Path. In other words, just as 2nd Path follows 1st and just as 3rd Path follows 2nd, etc., these two attainments are a natural consequence of continuing to practice post-4th Path. None of this changes the map up to 4th Path, it just adds to it. Think of it as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree black belt. :-)

One way to model all of this together is to nest the technical 4 Path model within the ten fetters model. If you then add the A&P as the first stage (thanks Owen for the A&P suggestion), you get a detailed and comprehensive map of awakening in 7 stages. This avoids the weaknesses of both the technical model (ends too soon) and the ten fetters model (lack of detail). The KFDh map of the Seven Stages of Enlightenment looks like this:

1) A&P
2) 1st Path by the technical model
3) 2nd Path by the TM
4) 3rd Path by the TM
5) 4th Path by the TM
6) Emotional transformation
7) End of self-contraction

The emotional transformation means that you no longer glom together a specific set of mental and physical phenomena, invest it with self and call it an emotion. The information still comes in the form of raw materials (5 physical senses and mental impressions) but is no longer mistaken for a "thing" called my emotion.

The end of self-contraction is similar, but more subtle: the group of phenomena that was previously seen as the "I" is no longer recognized as "I". There is only object."

Kenneth Folk http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/4354442/4th+Pathers+Unite!

RE: Report of my stream-entry
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12/1/10 5:11 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
I was looking forward to Tarins reply to Jeffrey S post, unfortunately there wasn't one.

I think it's interesting how ordinary people relate to AF people and vice versa.

From the AF perspective offending someone is not really possible because it's the offended that has a 'problem', that is being emotional. But for the ordinary person it's still feels offending, although this would not occur if both were AF.

I does seem strange though that after a person becomes AF he (apparently) forgets how other people interpret reality in an emotional way, after all it should still be possible to intellectually foresee how others may respond emotionally when interacting with them. Why not be overly nice and compassionate, in an apparent way, towards everyone? You have nothing to loose from it (emotionally), but then again, nothing to gain from it either, which might be the reason not to?

This is poor advertising for AF since everyone who wants to become AF initially approaches it from an emotional viewpoint. People don't want (as far as I know) to feel alienated from their fellow (non-AF) human beings [emotional viewpoint] even though it doesn't matter once your AF [non-emotional viewpoint].

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
12/1/10 6:05 PM as a reply to Pål S..
Paul S.:
Why not be overly nice and compassionate, in an apparent way, towards everyone? You have nothing to loose from it (emotionally), but then again, nothing to gain from it either, which might be the reason not to?


I would like to add to this question: why do anything at all once you are AF? I can understand sleeping because of lack of sleep, eating from lack of food (such that your body does not die). But even then - why does it matter? What is the actual point of not just sitting down in one spot until your body rots away? Why does the desire to live not count as one of the desires that are eradicated upon being Actually Free?

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
12/1/10 9:07 PM as a reply to Pål S..
Paul S.:
I was looking forward to Tarins reply to Jeffrey S post, unfortunately there wasn't one.

as that post from jeffrey s began: 'This is good! No doubt about it. However from reading Nickolai's comments on how he is receiving your posts I would say that you are not meeting his desires in a way he can accept easier (as he stated explicitly above)...', and as nikolai ended up sufficiently addressing his desires in our correspondence after all, i found the proximate matter resolved and saw no need for response. additionally, neil hughes' post succinctly conveyed the general idea i would have communicated in a reply. further, jeffrey s went on to conduct his own investigation shortly afterwards (as he revealed here) and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, he posts regarding his findings when he returns to the internet (around the end of next january according to his announcement). if you would like information on approaching actualism emotionally, see that post and my reply (including the link contained in my text).

tarin

ps in general, i am most inclined these days to reply to posts which are about courses of action or methods of practice and their immediate implementation or exercise.

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
12/2/10 4:46 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Fair enough Tarin. I will try for a PCE, that way I can experience for myself first hand what being AF would be like, and as a result I will (hopefully) be able to answer all my own questions.

RE: Report of my stream-entry
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10/11/11 5:10 AM as a reply to Pål S..
Interesting turn of events, wouldn't you say?

:-)

Nick

RE: Report of my stream-entry
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10/11/11 6:53 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Hehe, very.

Very wordy thread, this. Text is clearly an inefficient way of communication.

Nikolai .:
Plus I want to experience all the extra cool stuff like astral projection.

This points to something very important for 'me'. That sentence might exemplify my whole basis for seeking enlightenment in the first place. I'm currently investigating this.

Might it be craving for formlessness?

What is that quote again, of the Buddha, where he lists forms of cravings that are ended at the end of the path?

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
10/11/11 12:22 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
Nikolai .:
Plus I want to experience all the extra cool stuff like astral projection.

This points to something very important for 'me'. That sentence might exemplify my whole basis for seeking enlightenment in the first place. I'm currently investigating this.

Might it be craving for formlessness?


hehe awesome... i think that's a good way to categorize it

RE: Report of my stream-entry
Answer
10/13/11 6:47 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Interesting turn of events, wouldn't you say?


Yeah, totally. I really enjoyed this thread the first time through. I was following it closely and found it incredibly useful. So, thanks to both you and tarin for that. I remember a few times thinking to myself "jeez, Nikolai is out of his gourd" and I just wanted to slap some sense into you, and then I would just chill out and figure that probably in a few months you'd be all about AF. Life is quite a bowl of surprises, eh?

- Daniel