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Is Arahantship what we're seeking?

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Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Wet Paint 2/20/09 8:29 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Kenneth Folk 2/20/09 8:56 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Chuck Kasmire 2/20/09 9:24 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? C4 Chaos 2/20/09 9:46 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Jackson Wilshire 2/20/09 10:41 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? John Finley 2/20/09 12:57 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Vincent Horn 2/20/09 5:53 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Wet Paint 2/21/09 3:43 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? C4 Chaos 2/21/09 7:11 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Kenneth Folk 2/21/09 10:44 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Wet Paint 2/23/09 7:35 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Hokai Sobol 2/23/09 10:51 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Kenneth Folk 2/23/09 3:01 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? tarin greco 2/24/09 1:20 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Hokai Sobol 2/24/09 2:33 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? tarin greco 2/24/09 2:40 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? tarin greco 2/24/09 2:47 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Kenneth Folk 2/24/09 3:34 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Daniel M. Ingram 2/24/09 9:34 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? triple think 2/24/09 11:53 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Wet Paint 2/26/09 8:17 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Kenneth Folk 2/26/09 12:23 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Jackson Wilshire 2/26/09 2:40 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? John Finley 2/26/09 2:58 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Jackson Wilshire 2/26/09 3:06 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Kenneth Folk 2/26/09 6:34 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? tarin greco 2/26/09 7:43 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Florian 2/26/09 10:21 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? John Finley 2/27/09 1:35 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Wet Paint 3/4/09 8:04 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Jackson Wilshire 3/4/09 8:56 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Wet Paint 3/4/09 9:41 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? tarin greco 3/4/09 10:06 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Jackson Wilshire 3/4/09 10:10 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? tarin greco 3/4/09 10:12 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Wet Paint 3/4/09 3:33 PM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Wet Paint 3/6/09 6:40 AM
RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking? Wet Paint 3/6/09 6:46 AM
Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/20/09 8:29 AM
Author: thittato
Forum: The Big Issues

Hello,

So as I've been reading about Daniel Ingram and Kenneth Folk's view about what an arahant actually is, as opposed to the more traditional myths, I'm wondering: Is Arahantship still "it"? Is the seeking over when it's attained? How impressive is it? Is it still the ultimate answer and satisfaction to ones spiritual quest even though it doesn't live up to the myths?

Thank you! :-)

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/20/09 8:56 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
"Is Arahantship still 'it'?"

Define "it."

"Is the seeking over when it's attained?"

Yes.

"How impressive is it?"

Define "impressive."

"Is it still the ultimate answer and satisfaction to ones spiritual quest even though it doesn't live up to the myths?"

Define "one's spiritual quest."

Kenneth

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/20/09 9:24 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
First, have you read Daniels essay on Arahats?
http://interactivebuddha.com/arahats.shtml

Is this not impressive? Stephen Jourdain calls it 'the infinite value' which I think is a good term and he also points out that it won't get you a cup of coffee (truth is, it depends who you know:-).

“Is the seeking over when it's attained?”

Yes, but there is the process of integration and I suspect that that goes on for the rest of ones life. Integration is not suffering – not a burden – it's more of a continual unfolding or deepening.

“Is it still the ultimate answer and satisfaction to ones spiritual quest even though it doesn't live up to the myths? “

I think when you go through this process you will find that the 'spiritual quest' as something that drives you will cease to cause you any suffering. I know this all sounds kind of cryptic. Finding the right language is very difficult, thus the myths.

One other point: Consider that Buddha spent the entire rest of his life focused on helping others reach this point or at least stream-entry.

-Chuck

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/20/09 9:46 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
@thittato

incidentally i was just reading this blog post from Bill Harris. read them up and it might answer some of your questions:

Part 1: The Five Stages of Enlightenment…
http://www.centerpointe.com/blog/2008/05/19/the-five-stages-of-enlightenment/

Part 2: So, there you are, enlightened…
http://www.centerpointe.com/blog/2008/06/10/so-there-you-are-enlightened/

in the above post, Harris narrates the Five Ranks of Tozan.
i think a lot of people associates arahatship with only the Third Rank.

as CheleK said, there is a continuous process of integration which leads to the Fourth and Fifth ranks (and who knows where else).

i'm not (yet) an arahat but going to the Five Stages of Enlightenment sounds impressive to me emoticon

~C

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/20/09 10:41 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
I don't know if everyone in this forum is seeking arahatship, but it's safe to say that I am. I wasn't always so sure if I wanted to go all the way to the completion of this path. I have "tasted" enough now to know that it's where I am headed. It will more than likely be a very long journey (i.e. many years, if not decades). But I think that it will be worth it in the end.

I can't explain why I'm seeking it. I guess I just want to experience the truth of things in the most direct way possible. This seems to be the way to go.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/20/09 12:57 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Fantastic discussion! I guess I'm from that old school that says, "if you're not going for the whole enchillada, then why bother?"

There are so many myths and misconceptions out there about what it means to reach the level of arahat. On one extreme is the "superman/woman" school, which is likely reflected and perpetuated here in the west in cinema via the martial arts movies showing samurai with unbelieveable superpowers.

I realized today that I probably fall into the other (equally misguided) extreme, fearing that, should I be fortunate enough to reach arahatship, will I look back and ask, after all thehard work and time invested - is THAT all there is?

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/20/09 5:53 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Hey C,

Though this is sort of besides the point a little and on a super-geeky map tangent, I want to make a strong case for arhantship absolutely being related to the 5th rank of Tozan's map. His 3rd rank is almost certainly related to seeing emptiness in real-time, which Daniel calls the 3rd stage of the 4 path model. The period between anagami and arhant is arduous, difficult, and all about accepting things just as they are (and not hiding in emptiness alone). This relates quite strongly with Tozan's 4th rank, as I've come to find out this past couple years. emoticon

Anyway, I just wanted to clarify that studying Tozan's ranks it seems quite clear (at least how Genpo and Harris describe it) that 5th rank is the arhant.

Word,

-V

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/21/09 3:43 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: msj123

There's no way to know before you get there, I suppose. I very much doubt anyone could ever answer this question to our satisfaction. My approach is to practice, and if I get there, I can worry about it then.

Matt

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/21/09 7:11 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
thanks for the clarification. i definitely agree with you. arahatship corresponds to the 5th rank -- real freedom (without attachment even to the Transcendent). in short, no stink of enlightenment emoticon

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/21/09 10:44 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Hey C,

Thanks for this link. What an excellent essay. Harris points out that many of the most popular teachers "live" at the third of the five levels. I would add that someone of the fifth level still has access to the third. In other words, if a teacher wants to reach a lot of people, and understands how attractive the "stink of enlightenment" is, he or she might deliberately manifest the third stage while teaching. This is really what satsang is all about: manifesting enlightenment so that other people can taste it and be inspired by it. It's quite an effective teaching technique, as evidenced by the success of Eckard Tolle and Adyashanti. And let's not delude ourselves into thinking that people aren't helped by satsang with those teachers. People are helped and people do "realize the truth" due to the efforts of those teachers. I think we should embrace the fact that different approaches work for different people. Here at DhO we focus on a more linear approach, but both ways have their strengths and weaknesses. I like to urge people to get the best of both worlds, and not to become too attached to one way of thinking.

Incidentally, it's tempting to imagine that you can go directly to the fifth level, and bypass the third and fourth. Alas, it doesn't work that way. Everyone has to go through the stinky phase and the fall from grace. It is what it is.

Kenneth

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/23/09 7:35 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: thittato

"Define "it.""

A good reason for why we're doing all this spiritual stuff.

Define "impressive."

More impressive than anything else that is impressive in life.

"Define "one's spiritual quest." "

This need to find some sort of answer/solution/understanding that one doesn't know what is, but which one knows is not what "normal" life has to offer.

In short, is it the answer to the questions people start asking, often after some existential crisis, when they start reading spiritual books, hang out in meditation groups etc, even if the questions one started out with wasn't all that precise?

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/23/09 10:51 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
@ thittato

Good, straightforward definitions. Now, arahatship may or may not be what YOU are seeking, depending on specifics behind those definitions. Let's not forget, in addition to arahathood, there's bodhisattvahood of Mahayana, and buddhahood of Vajrayana. But if your question specifically aimed at "is it STILL" part, then YES it is still, yet in a new, different way, most of which is being reformulated on these pages and elsewhere. An important, crucial element remains the same though, and that is the unraveling of the experiential knot, the fundamental taboo of "I" versus "reality". But what *exactly* these two mean continues to change. Actually, watched closely, this ongoing shift in meaning is quite exhilarating.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/23/09 3:01 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Yes.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/24/09 1:20 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
hokai,

what are the differences you see between those three -hoods?

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/24/09 2:33 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Great question. So far we've had plenty of sectarian answers to it. Apart from differences in methods and doctrines found in each of vehicles - which are not insignificant - the goal of individual liberation is common to all three. However, the nature and ideal of this liberation is viewed in accordance with the View of each vehicle, and thus the very process is felt and held differently by practitioners in each. Specifically the treatment of "poison" and "negativity" and "obstacle" differs greatly, insofar that negativity can be (1) uprooted, (2) transformed, or (3) transmuted into essential energy.

In addition, bodhisattvahood emphasizes the importance of universal compassion as the flip side of insight into the non-relative domain. To cut a long story short, the bodhisattva is reminded to practice out of love for everyone, and there are standard ways to unpack and apply this injunction. Furthermore, a post-streamentry bodhisattva should cultivate virtues that both make eventual realization more complete, and allow the realizer to be of better service to others.

Finally, tantric methods stem from teachings of the third turning of the wheel, namely the buddha-nature of everyone (and even of everything), and employ a series of special methods. The variety of tantric lineages makes a general statement very difficult. Due to innovative and creative methods, the body (not just as object), speech (not just conceptual) and mind (not just bare witnessing) are viewed as EQUAL portals to/from primordial awareness, while wisdom and compassion of Mahayana are supplemented with power/energy. All are seen as capable of participating in buddhahood, even the most debased, while simultaneously care is given to post-awakening cultivation and integration.

In short, the liberation is equal, it's employment different. Useful?

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/24/09 2:40 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
yes, VERY VERY useful.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/24/09 2:47 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
so hey, this is what im seeing now: body is what it really is (not just an object), speech is a kind of body, and mind is a kind of speech. they all have very real real-world existences and effects. and that's where they really shine through and thats where their signifance of existence is self-evident.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/24/09 3:34 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Hi Thittato,

My teacher, Bill Hamilton used to say, "Highly recommended. Can't tell you why."

It's not that he wasn't willing to tell me. He was. He tried to explain it to me. But whenever he said something, I heard something else. He knew that the best thing he could do for me was to encourage me to find out for myself. There aren't any shortcuts. You just have to find out for yourself.

I never try to sell this to anybody. I just work with the energy people bring. If you are asking this question, you are probably already hooked. There's no point in fighting it. Find out for yourself what all the fuss is about. Maybe you'll find out right now, as you read this. Maybe it will take you twenty years. So what? Do you really have a choice?

Kenneth

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/24/09 9:34 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Thanks for all the above posts. I think this is a great discussion.

To weigh in: regardless of what you call it, it is at least one of the things people are looking for. Everyone I have met who has done it has agreed on that. It does the most fundamental thing the mind wanted to do, which is stop the painful process of artificial duality creation.

As to the hinayaya/mahayana/vajrayana take on things, these also correlate to various aspects of the natural progression of wisdom, and these three contain points that progressively apply to those who are moving through the process of awakening. I find the ideals therein beautiful, particularly as they apply both to practice and as standards for how we should try to live, so long as they are married to something very immediate, real-world and practical.

I agree with Kenneth's point about already being in it so you might as well finish, as it is doable and more straightforward that might be suspected.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/24/09 11:53 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
This is what I seek. I feel, much more so, than the arrival of the full awakening. There is a deep expression of the desire to fully understand the universe that I observe in my nature and I have not much cultivated very directly in this life but it expresses itself nonetheless. This is what I think compels me to investigate very thoroughly not only internally but externally as well. It is a fuller understanding that I seek. I have taken a Theravada path as this should resolve the issue more expediently in due course. For instance, I feel the urge to seek the catupatisambhida understanding, the fourfold analytical knowledge detailed as a potential development with or subsequent to Arahat Awakening within Theravada literature. I would be curious to hear the awake members views on how feasible such a capacity for understanding would be from that perspective.

catupatisambhida
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/catu/catu07.htm

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/26/09 8:17 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: thittato

"I never try to sell this to anybody. I just work with the energy people bring. If you are asking this question, you are probably already hooked. There's no point in fighting it. Find out for yourself what all the fuss is about. Maybe you'll find out right now, as you read this. Maybe it will take you twenty years. So what? Do you really have a choice?"

Yes. I'm hooked. It's sort of like a curse, and at the same time a great adventure.

It's interesting what Kenneth is writing in his essay 'What is an arahat?' about the spiritual journey being like being on a ride and needing to see it through to it's conclusion.

In some ways it sounds ironic to be on the ride if you're only going to get to the end of it in order to not be on it anymore. Well, I'm sure that's not the only reason, and that there's a lot of good reasons to be on it and see it through to its end compared to never having been on it at all.

But if you're already on it it seems like it's already too late to step off, so this is where the curse part of it comes in.

I wonder if this is a drive everybody has, only that most people are more successful at suppressing it, or if there actually is a pretty clear turning point somewhere that most people don't meet at all.

Sounds like Daniel's theory is that most of us are Dark Nighter's who at some point crossed the A & P Event, and that was the point of no return.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/26/09 12:23 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Most people will never get on this ride. People that haven't crossed the A&P don't have to suppress the desire to awaken, because they don't have it, at least in the sense that we are talking about here. Prior to that, it's possible to have an interest in awakening, but it's more of a casual or academic interest. I suppose one could even take a kind of greedy orientation toward it and "want" enlightenment based on some idea of how pleasant it must be. But such people aren't really on the ride. You know you're on the ride when it begins to take over your life. You find yourself making life decisions that support awakening, often to the detriment of other aspects of your life. As you say, it's a curse and an adventure. This is "insight disease," as Daniel calls it. Have you listened to the Hurricane Ranch 09 Dharma Discussion? It's very relevant to what you are talking about.

http://dharmaoverground.wetpaint.com/page/Hurricane+Ranch+09+-+Dharma+Discussion

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/26/09 2:40 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Very well stated, Kenneth. Crossing the A&P is a pivotal moment that tends to really "flip the switch" in one's practice. Once the switch is flipped, there's really no turning back. At that point, "insight disease" will more than likely be a part of the person's life until the whole thing is resolved (i.e. when one attains arahatship, fully awakens to the truth of things, succeeds in completely untangling the knot of perception, or whatever else we want to call it).

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/26/09 2:58 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Here's what concerns/confuses me: I don't remember crossing A&P - but the "switch" seems to have most definitely beem flipped. I think about this stuff, day and night; busy or bored, etc., etc., ad nauseum. I try to take advantage of everly opportunity to meditate that presents, whether it's just a few minutes, or a "windfall" of several hours, but I never stop thinking about it..

I feel the switch has been flipped, but I don't recall ever having passed t he A&P....maybe earlier in my life, and I didn't recognize it for what it was?

Just wonderin'.....

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/26/09 3:06 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Don't let it concern or confuse you too much. If you have the pull, there's a good chance you crossed it at some point, even if you don't remember. I spoke with Daniel recently about a time when I crossed the A&P back in July, and he said, "and there's a good chance that it wasn't the first time." It can and does happen many, many times on the path. In fact, once you get stream-entry, you'll naturally cycle through this territory very regularly.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/26/09 6:34 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
John,

Here is a direct quote from my teacher, Bill Hamilton:

"The Arising and Passing is like a fart. Sometimes you only know it happened because you smell something. Other times it's an explosion."

The ability to penetrate an object of mind is, ipso facto, the A&P. In the thread, "Spasms while meditating," you described penetrating an object.

You wrote: "the muscle cramps that simply felt like a solid lump of pain to me were perceived as a cluster of pinpointed sensations arising and passing rapidly all over the area."

http://dharmaoverground.wetpaint.com/thread/2423953/Spasms+while+meditating

Do you smell what I smell?

It doesn't matter when it happened. The question is, where do you want to go from here?

Kenneth

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/26/09 7:43 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
hi n8sense,

two paths down and i still cant recall either the first time i crossed the a&p, or even a clear and singular a&p event on the second path. however, i do clearly recall spending most of a 2 1/2 month retreat worrying about, among other things, whether or not i had crossed the a&p yet or was crossing it or what. then i wanted to kill myself shortly after i got out. ;)

another story: about 5 minutes before i finished first path, i was completely convinced i had only just crossed the a&p for the first time *ever* in the previous sit, and that all those years of hard hard work were done improperly, incorrectly, and insufficiently, and that everything that had come before that seemed to align so well with the maps, well, i must have just been imagining and scripting all of it in order to wishfully believe i was getting somewhere.

i hope i've driven home two points, which are:
1- be careful about worrying about this stuff
2- worrying about this stuff isn't really a problem

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/26/09 10:21 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Kenneth,
that Bill Hamilton quote is spot on, and it describes my experience very ... graphically.

John,
Until about half a year ago, I used to worry about whether and when I'd crossed the A&P. That doubt fell away after a picture-perfect 3-doors-like dream last year, and I recognized many similar experiences as far back as childhood. As Kenneth puts it, penetrating a mental object is *it*. My earliest memory of penetrating a mental object is when I was in first grade at school: I used to mentally take apart and play with the letters and sounds of a word, until one day the word "broke" (lost its meaning) and hung "out there" all by itself. I had an impressive 3-doors-like dream at about the same time, which I still remember vividly.

Maybe this will help you dispel the doubt surrounding the A&P. If you feel driven, if you experience "the call", if the switch has been flipped, and if you're on the ride, then there's really no point in worrying about this (though I found that the doubt and worry about the A&P, when it arises, is worthy of being recognized and noticed for what it is, or even of investigation in its own right - what sensations is it made of?).

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
2/27/09 1:35 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Thanks to all of you - this information is very helpful and clears up a lot of questions for me. I can't thank you enough!

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
3/4/09 8:04 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: thittato

Okey, thank you all so much for your contribution to this thread. It has helped me a lot clearifying and understanding this ride I'm on. I'm pretty sure now that I'm a so-called "chronic dark night yogi", and I'm really glad that I have such a clear conceptual framework for understanding what is going on, and what to do about it.

As far as I've understood the whole thing will be less painful when one stops fighting it, and just does what it requires of oneself.

And is the experience among people who've done it that it will certainly ease up somewhat at the attainment of stream-entry?

I'd be happy for any comment on this.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
3/4/09 8:56 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Definitely. After stream-entry, and prior to starting another Path of insight, the Dark Night really poses no problem at all, at least in my experience. Whereas I remained in the Dark Night for 6 or 7 months after crossing the A&P prior to stream-entry, I found that after stream-entry I was able to breeze through it one to many times each day if I was paying attention (it took a bit longer if I wasn't paying attention). The cycles occur naturally, without a whole lot of effort. Though, in my experience, applying sustained attention really sped the thing up.

I understand from others that the Dark Night stages of later Paths can still really kick your ass (I'm in the midst of one right now), but there's something about knowing how the process works from first hand experience that makes it less of a big deal.

If you find that you're really stuck in the Dark Night and are unable to get out in to Equanimity, PLEASE read, and re-read, the following chapter of Daniel's book… http://tinyurl.com/5eoe8f (The Progress of Insight: Stages 5-10, The Dark Night).

The information provided in that chapter, along with Mahasi Sayadaw's book Practical Insight Meditation, is what got me through.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
3/4/09 9:41 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: thittato

@awouldbehipster

Hmm...

I don't think that I'm like formally in the Dark Night. I'ts just that I've been on this spiritual quest for quite a long time now (for 7 years) and it hasn't really given me much to show for yet, except much better mental health, since I've had to find ways to deal with all this existential fear, paranoia, depression, angst, etc that has been part of the deal, and which started the quest. I've been mostly practicing various forms of concentration and energy techniques, but a month ago I decided to switch to noting practice and follow the approach laid out in Daniel's book (since I decided the path I've follow up to that point doesn't really lead anywhere). The noting practice I've been doing so far has generally been quite pleasent, but maybe I'll hit a fullblown dark night further down the road, once I start to intensify my practice, or maybe I've gotten so much experience wallowing in that crap that it doens't really have the same power over me. I don't know.

What is bothering me the most is just this nagging sense of having to find something I haven't found yet, I don't know if that counts as dark night, especially not since my meditations are pleasant these days, but yeah, I'm really longing for that sense of, as you mention "knowing how the process works from first hand experience that makes it less of a big deal", that it sounds like will come with stream-entry.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
3/4/09 10:06 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
hahahaha lol

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
3/4/09 10:10 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
@thittato:

Without knowing the specifics of your practice it would hard to say whether or not you're in a dark night stage.

You mention that your noting practice has been pleasant. Just out of curiosity, in what way is it pleasant? There's no right or wrong answer here. I'm just curious about your experience.

Most people who show symptoms of depressed mood or irritability are probably not in a Dark Night stage, unless they happen to have crossed the arising and passing away at some point. My guess is that you have, even if you don't remember it happening. It's just a hunch, but that pull toward insight practice gets really strong after crossing the A&P, as was stated above by my self and other DhO members. And just because you may have crossed the A&P at some point without knowing it, it's possible to slide back in regards to the stages of the Progress of Insight. Anyways...

Ultimately, what matters the most is that you want to gain insight, and that you're practicing techniques to get you there. Regardless of the context, the advice is always the same: practice well and often, and use the maps when things need clarification.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
3/4/09 10:12 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
yes, certainly. the suffering kind of drops out of it.

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
3/4/09 3:33 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: GhostLLP

On the topic of "what we are seeking" I can't help but recall this Rumi poem:

The wakened lover speaks directly to the beloved,
"You are the sky my spirit circles in,
the love inside of love, the resurrection-place.

Let this window be your ear.
I have lost consciousness many times
with longing for your listening silence,
and your life-quickening smile.

You give attention to the smallest matters,
my suspicious doubts, and to the greatest.

You know my coins are counterfeit,
but you accept them anyway,
my impudence and my pretending!

I have five things to say,
five fingers to give
into your grace.

First, when I was apart from you,

* this world did not exist,

* nor any other.

Second, whatever I was looking for

* was always you.

Third, why did I ever learn to count to three?

Fourth, my cornfield is burning!

Fifth, this finger stands for Rabia,

* and this is for someone else.

* Is there a difference?

Are these words or tears?
Is weeping speech?
What shall I do, my love?"

So he speaks, and everyone around
begins to cry with him, laughing crazily,
moaning in the spreading union
of lover and beloved.

This is the true religion. All others
are thrown-away bandages beside it.

This is the sema of slavery and mastery
dancing together. This is not-being.

Neither words, nor any natural fact
can express this.

I know these dancers.
Day and night I sing their songs
in this phenomenal cage.

My soul, don't try to answer now!
Find a friend, and hide.

But what can stay hidden?
Love's secret is always lifting its head
out from under the covers,
"Here I am!"

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
3/6/09 6:40 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: thittato

@awouldbehipster

It's pleasent in the sense that the noting speeds up, which makes my mind and body energized, and most of the time it's easy to note the "hindrances", thoughts and unpleasent emotions away, it usually just takes a few notes and they're gone, and that leaves room for at pleasant and calm mood.

These effects might be a carry-over from the concentration practice I've been doing up until now, since my practice has been to cultivate a sense of wellbeing in body and mind that's what I quickly encounter as I sit down on my cushion, even if I don't activly try to cultivate it anymore.

Regarding the Dark Night. How does it sound experiementing with hashish because of the enhancing effects it had my philosophical abilties, and then really trying to bend my mind around, not just intellectualize, but really trying to taste, touch and feel the implications of questions like these:

the concept of time, the relativity of perception (would something that looked green to my senses look red to someone else’s senses, except we called it the same name, so we would never really find out), do I exist, do I only exist in this realm or do I exist in multiple realms, what is awareness and what does it mean to be aware, does cause and effect really allow any room for free will, is what I see around me really there and real, interdependence, what is my self, are we all one, if there’s no life after death what is it going to really be like not existing, solipsism (am I the only one existing and all I see around me only projections of my mind), does everybody have the same conscious experience of looking out of their eyes as I have looking out of mine or does everybody have their own unique thing going, subjectivity VS. objectivity, etc, you get the picture.

(continued)

RE: Is Arahantship what we're seeking?
Answer
3/6/09 6:46 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: thittato

So that sort of questioning really catapulted me into brutal episodes of my sense of having a foothold in reality being ripped apart, causing intense episodes of fear, existential angst, paranoia, depression, death wish, intense existential loneliness, desire for freedom, etc.

There was also a lot of kind of passionatly manic episodes of exploring and questioning reality going on at the same time, sort of a strong thrill going on about pushing the envelope of what kind of questions I had been asking up until then, mixed in with all the confusion that came from seeing all these unquestioned assumptions I had had about reality falling apart and not leaving me anything to replace those with.

Well. I can only speculate so much... :-)

As you're saying, I want to gain insight, and that's what matters.