Message Boards Message Boards

Claims to Attainments

Another claimant !

Toggle
Another claimant !
Answer
9/2/10 4:20 PM
Hello Everyone,

3 days back, while sitting in my couch and working on my assignment I had an experience which makes me feel that I have gained the stream entry. Describing the experience is very difficult but I will give it a shot.

Everyone on the forum talks about "blip". I have absolutely no idea what is this "blip". May be I experienced it, may be I did not. What exactly happened was that I was working on my laptop and all of a sudden there was this new level of consciousness, there was a realisation and this realisation has changed the whole world for me. Not in any measurable terms but in my perception of it. I had the realisation that "Holy shit ! all this time I had been subscribing to a convention and I was perceiving the world according to this convention, and that whole convention is baseless and senseless. There is a bigger deeper story behind my existence and this whole drama going on around me." The whole world has changed for me, and yet nothing has changed. Things feel different.

Sorry for being so vague, but its so difficult to put my experience into words.

What makes me very confident about my claim is that, in most of the literature i have read, it is written that one who attains the first path, ceases to be skeptic about this whole mediation process. And this has happened to me. Its like i have experienced it myself that things are fishy around here. Beware of your senses/perceptions/thoughts/mind . All is not what meets the eye. I have felt it first hand. Its as if someone had heard about/read ghost stories but has seen one for real with his own eyes.

One thing that makes me doubt about my attainment is that I have very poor concentration. My meditation practices are not longer than 5-10 minutes but there are many sessions in the whole day (5-10). Its like I will be waiting for my laptop to boot and in those 30 seconds i will meditate. I will be copying files from CD to hardrive. I will meditate then. I mean whenever i am waiting for something to happen, i meditate (noting technique).

I request the experienced members to help me resolve my doubts.

But, I must say, the way it feels - I think I hit the 1st base emoticon

Thank you,

Paul

RE: Another claimant !
Answer
9/3/10 6:46 AM as a reply to Paul K.
Wait a while, if the realisation is true, this change in perception will last, and develop in new and different ways. In any case, the answer is "keep practicing," and it will be until you have completed the thing.

You can test it a few ways. Can you connect to the three characteristics (impermanence, non-satisfactoryness and no-self)? I mean, can you look at the world with these knowledges? They are really clear modes of perception (e.g., if you do the no-self thing, it will really look as though there is no-one controlling your own gestures, intentions, thoughts, etc), and although they weren't so clear to me during most of the 1st path, they where in the days following stream entry.

RE: Another claimant !
Answer
9/3/10 1:09 PM as a reply to Paul K.
The trouble with asking such questions of amateurs on an Internet forum is, they abound, and often only offer misleading or misguided information, chiefly because they themselves were never properly informed about the subject matter. And so they pass on their misinformation for others to become misinformed by.

The only way to obtain a reliable answer to such questions is to be dealing with someone whom you trust knows what they are talking about, and that means having established a prior relationship with such a person. Yet, in order to get to know and trust such a person, one must first spend time with that person, observing them, getting to know how they act and react to life. One must be able to confirm the changes that one wishes to make in oneself, and be able to see those attributes in the person they have chosen to trust.

You don't know me, and, conversely, I don't know you. So, whatever I have to say may have absolutely no meaning for you whatsoever. Yet, in matters such as the one you have written and are asking about, there are certain markers that should be apparent in the matters the person has written about. I'm not seeing, however, any of those markers in what you wrote. This is not a game. And it is not an ego trip for people to gain recognition of for the levels of enlightenment they have attained to. So, posting on a public forum is the last place one should seek for such confirmation.

If you're really sincere about knowing where you are, you will seek out the guidance of an experienced practitioner, preferably one with whom you have personal contact and trust. That's the only way you can be relatively confident in another's opinion of where you are on the path. Especially, if you are a newbie. That personal contact with someone you personally know and trust is indispensable.

RE: Another claimant !
Answer
9/3/10 6:37 PM as a reply to Ian And.
I am neither taking it as a game nor as an ego trip. I have been tormented ceaselessly by existential angst and have run amuck to find some answers or atleast some cure. Fortunately this practice has helped immensely though still not enough. Having said that, I whole heartedly agree with your arguments.

The desire to know/confirm where I stand on this path has been fueled by the doubt, that is it my mind playing games with me or is this feeling for real and going to stay. Also a confirmation that I am heading in the right direction.

You talked about certain markers. It would be of great help if you could enumerate them. Maybe after you enlist them I can better judge my position.

Thanks for your reply.

RE: Another claimant !
Answer
9/3/10 10:27 PM as a reply to Paul K.
I think Shinzen Young has good modern descriptions of enlightenment. From what I gather you start with concentration until you can get enough habit that after the meditation it feels like it's still going even when you're not trying, meaning it's more automatic and easier to perform. When that is reached you move on to mindfulness (which requires good concentration) which involves very detailed and constant noting of all experience (thoughts, body sensations, emotions, etc). When that mindfulness becomes automatic (from doing so much practice) it's possible to feel as if the self is in that automation and just be with experience in non-dual awareness. There are many descriptions on this board of stream-entry (like a computer restarting, bliss wave, etc) but most likely it will be a very gradual rewiring of the brain after lots of work before you get there.

Shinzen Young

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i288Lnb7NOk
at 8:30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHUajtPXPDw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwOccTTAcVw

As you can see it's hard to explain and takes lots of training (as in years).

RE: Another claimant !
Answer
9/4/10 2:03 AM as a reply to Paul K.
Paul K:
I am neither taking it as a game nor as an ego trip. I have been tormented ceaselessly by existential angst and have run amuck to find some answers or at least some cure. Fortunately this practice has helped immensely though still not enough. Having said that, I whole heartedly agree with your arguments.

Okay. It's good to have a little more information about your situation. I can relate to "tormented ceaselessly by existential angst and have run amuck to find some answers or at least some cure." That confirms your sincerity and a level of dedication to finding a solution. This is good.

Paul K:

The desire to know/confirm where I stand on this path has been fueled by the doubt, that is it my mind playing games with me or is this feeling for real and going to stay. Also a confirmation that I am heading in the right direction.

That sounds like a reasonable request. But you know you're going to be playing with that old bugaboo "doubt" all the way through until you reach stream entry. Someone who has entered the stream no longer doubts the Dhamma that was taught by the Buddha. I know that's not what you are talking about (namely, trying to make sense of your mind and the tricks it may be playing with you), but there's one marker for you to consider. On the other hand, rest assured that you are indeed heading in the right direction. So far.

Paul K:

You talked about certain markers. It would be of great help if you could enumerate them. Maybe after you enlist them I can better judge my position.

There are any number of opinions these days about what constitutes "stream entry," not all of them approved or promoted here in this forum. I tend to stick closely to what is mentioned in the discourses of the Buddha, since it is his methodology that we are supposed to be learning and not someone else's. You'll have to make your own decision about what is best for you once you are able to see these opinions for yourself. I would recommend sticking with what the Buddha originally taught as it has served me very well and I know it will serve others well also.

Traditionally, stream entry entails the dropping of self-identification as a delusive view of the world and one's experience, seeing the attributes we attribute to "self" (namely, the five aggregates of form, feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness) as being without self. It also entails, as mentioned earlier, letting go of doubts about the Dhamma, seeing enough truth in it to have developed faith that what the Buddha has to teach will actually help to alleviate the dissatisfaction we have with life. A third factor involved is the dropping of clinging to religious rites and rituals, seeing that in most instances these have little to do with retraining and reconditioning the mind to be able to see things as they truly are, rather than as the delusions that we often take events to be.

You might want to check out the following link about stream entry and how it is viewed from a canonical standpoint. While it may seem a bit extreme in places, there are very good reasons why it is defined in this way. You actually have to have made some realizations to be considered as having entered the stream on the way to experiencing nibbana in your life.

You're well on your way to achieving stream entry if the description you wrote is any guide. The fact that you have begun to experience some relief from dukkha is evidence of that, and should be an encouragement for you to continue on in the direction you have already traveled. There's more to learn a little ways down the stream from where you're currently at, and you will be well pleased with yourself if you should keep following that path.