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Claims to Attainments

Can I claim an attainment?

Can I claim an attainment?
Answer
4/5/18 12:47 PM
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

In the following paragraphs, the word "I" refers to the culmination of experience. There is only experience. When I say experience, I mean thought, sight, hearing, taste, touch. There are no longer thoughts present that echo experience. Experience unfolds causally as it always has.

This perspective shift has become the cause of many different changes in experience.

The word “I” has become solely a concept. It is not something that can be identified with. It is just as impossible for the concept of a chair to be self as it is for the concept of I to be self. It is an idea that can be used to convey the only experience I have access to. It is not something that can be harmed or helped. It is not something that possess or can be possessed. It is not something that can do or have things done to.

All experience is only experience. Previously, experience was followed by stories. Stories of how future experiences should play out. Stories of how past experiences should have played out. These stories were fixated on and lead to a seemingly never ending chain of experiences. Now, when a thought arises, its story holds no weight. It is only a thought. The concept implied by the thought is seen as only a concept. This perspective halts many things from becoming. All experience has this property, being empty of meaning or implication.

The confined nature of experience is an illusion. The relative nature of experience is constructed through the muddling and cross-referencing of the different sense doors. When there is no experience, there is the ever expansive presence of god. All experiences are born from and die through the presence of god.

The only thing that is not the effect of a cause is the presence of god. All experiences are the results of experiences that came before. The understanding that all experience is causal leads to a sense of ease as everything unfolds naturally and without effort. It is the knowing that this understanding was destined to be reached through the experiences that came before.

Could the concept of this new perspective be permanent? Of course not. Could it last until the end of experience? Only time will tell. I won’t hinge my bets on the two weeks experience has presented itself in this way. I have heard stories of many people living without a sense of self for a period and then reverting back to identifying as experience.

With this clarity of experience, causing the halting of the arising of many experiences, it is clear things have changed. But how can a concept claim an attainment?


RE: Can I claim an attainment?
Answer
4/5/18 1:07 PM as a reply to Alexander Price Maricich.
The knicks really suck this year.  Can you do anything about that? 

RE: Can I claim an attainment?
Answer
4/5/18 2:01 PM as a reply to Alexander Price Maricich.
Claiming attainments is seductive, as it seems to make sense of our experiences and give a map for progress that propels us forward. But I have learnt that seeking or claimining attainments is often a hindrance, as it diverts us from more important things and feeds the ego.

You do seem to be having a good experience.  Explore that state, maintain it, observe it closely. See if you can keep it going during mundane activities, or summon it back at will.  Expect that it will fade or go through cycles. Meanwhile, maintain your current practice and if you want to expand it then keep thinking about how sensation and the mind arise, about causation, and about the nature of selfhood. Try to keep unifying the mind and boost concentration. Attainments will come because you have prepared the ground, not because you crave them.

Also, attainments are ultimately empty. What is, just is. Their main benefit is to stop you from twising yourself into knots - for example when the Knicks lose again.

 

  

RE: Can I claim an attainment?
Answer
4/5/18 2:49 PM as a reply to Alexander Price Maricich.
How did these posts make you feel ?

RE: Can I claim an attainment?
Answer
4/5/18 6:08 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
I got a great chuckle about your sports ballers! I almost felt it was the perfect response to my post. =]

As for the second response, it filled me with joy that there are such kind people willing to respond and help me along the path.

How did my post make you feel?

RE: Can I claim an attainment?
Answer
4/5/18 9:44 PM as a reply to Alexander Price Maricich.
I was a little conflicted about what the most useful response would be.   Sometimes people are just looking for validation - i know I have.  Sometimes people are subconsiously identifying with a new and improved self and validation might sink the hook deeper - I know I thats happened to me. 

RE: Can I claim an attainment?
Answer
4/5/18 10:46 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
I wish this forum had Like buttons. I really liked this thread. Thank you!

RE: Can I claim an attainment?
Answer
4/5/18 9:42 PM as a reply to Alexander Price Maricich.
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita

perceived that all five skandhas are empty

and is saved from all suffering.
Shariputra,
form does not differ from emptiness,

emptiness does not differ from form.
That which is form is emptiness,
that which is emptiness form. The same is true of feelings,
perceptions, impulses, consciousness. Shariputra,
all dharmas are marked by emptiness;
they do not appear or disappear,
are not tainted or pure,

do not increase or decrease.
Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings,
perceptions, impulses, consciousness.
No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind;
no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,

no object of mind;
no realm of eyes
until no realm of mind consciousness.
No ignorance and also no extinction of it,
until no old age and death

and also no extinction
of it. No suffering, no origination,
no stopping, no path, no cognition,
also no attainment with nothing to attain t
he Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita
and the mind is no hindrance;

without any hindrance no fears exist.

Far apart from every perv
erted view they dwell in Nirvana. In the three worlds
all Buddhas depend on Prajna Paramita
and attain Supreme Perfect Enlightenment.
Therefore know that Prajna Paramita
is the great transcendent mantra,
is the great bright mantra,
is the utmost mantra, is the supreme mantra which is able to relieve all suffering
and is true, not false.
So proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra,
proclaim the mantra which says:

gate gate paragate, parasamgate bodhi svaha!

lightly edited from the "Heart Sutra in English text" copyright Kwan Um School of Zen.