How common is stream entry?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby khlawng » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:14 pm

kirk5a wrote:
khlawng wrote:but i disagree that you need to be celibate to achive jhanic success.

I'll ask you the same question: is your opinion based upon your own personal attainment of jhana, or not?
for some, a sense of blissful and gladness in the heart that can carry on for weeks. others experience visions during samadhi. different individuals experience different things but the one thing that is common is that their confidence in the dhamma is unshakable.

How do you know that? What is you opinion based upon?


Yes

And base on my own personal experiences.
User avatar
khlawng
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:28 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:17 pm

Zom wrote:
So again, are you a jhana-attainer or not? It's a straightforward question. "Based on personal practice" is ambiguous. You have a definite opinion about jhana, I am interested to know whether this is based upon your own attainment of jhana, or not.


This does not matter, because whatever I say - this does not prove/disprove anything. Why so? Because:

a) I may tell a lie,
b) I may not tell a lie, but overestimate myself,
c) I may tell yes, but you still wont believe me,
d) You can have very different idea about what jhana is.

Because of that, this question should be put aside as irrelevent. What I will say - it that i'm not a beginner and I did and do practise a lot ,)

So, the only valuable argument here are the words of the Buddha himself. I already cited a sutta which confirms greatly what I've said. As I don't see objections to this argument, I see this current question closed -)

I'd believe you. All you'd have to do is answer. I'm not going to make you "prove it." But, when you are so ready to proclaim a strong opinion about under what conditions jhana is attainable, I think the forum has a right to know if that is based upon your own personal experience or not.So I think it does matter. Cagey answers to straightforward questions, my BS alarm goes off. No offense.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1784
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:18 pm

khlawng wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
khlawng wrote:but i disagree that you need to be celibate to achive jhanic success.

I'll ask you the same question: is your opinion based upon your own personal attainment of jhana, or not?
for some, a sense of blissful and gladness in the heart that can carry on for weeks. others experience visions during samadhi. different individuals experience different things but the one thing that is common is that their confidence in the dhamma is unshakable.

How do you know that? What is you opinion based upon?


Yes

And base on my own personal experiences.

You have personal experience with a variety of different individuals attaining stream entry?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1784
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Coyote » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:24 pm

Zom wrote:However, the only valuable argument here is the words of the Buddha himself. I already cited a sutta which confirms greatly what I've said. As I don't see objections to this argument, I see this current question closed -)


The text you quoted doesn't speak of Jhana or any attainment. Given that stream-entry is attainable without celibacy, there is no reason, given the direct evidence you quoted, not to say the same for jhana.

Sensual desire is an obstruction to the destruction of the higher fetters and final realisation of Nibbana, and a hindrance to Jhana.

Has anyone got any sutta examples of non-celibate people attaining Jhana?
Last edited by Coyote on Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26
Coyote
 
Posts: 542
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:42 pm
Location: Wales - UK

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Zom » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:27 pm

But, when you are so ready to proclaim a strong opinion about under what conditions jhana is attainable


I don't agree at all, because from my point of view, only the words of the Buddha are important. The words of all others is "just their humble personal opinion", which can be false because of the reasons I mentioned above.
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby khlawng » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:29 pm

kirk5a wrote:You have personal experience with a variety of different individuals attaining stream entry?


In a class setting, why not? Or are u picking on the language?
User avatar
khlawng
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:28 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:31 pm

khlawng wrote:
kirk5a wrote:You have personal experience with a variety of different individuals attaining stream entry?


In a class setting, why not? Or are u picking on the language?

In a class setting? What do you mean? Are you a meditation teacher, and you have first-hand experience with different individuals attaining stream entry? Or what?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1784
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Zom » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:32 pm

The text you quoted doesn't speak of Jhana or any attainment. Given that stream-entry is attainable without celibacy, there is no reason, given the direct evidence you quoted, not to say the same for jhana.


Will this fit? -)

"So it is, Ananda. So it is. Even I myself, before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened Bodhisatta, thought: 'Renunciation is good. Seclusion is good.' But my heart didn't leap up at renunciation, didn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace. The thought occurred to me: 'What is the cause, what is the reason, why my heart doesn't leap up at renunciation, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace?' Then the thought occurred to me: 'I haven't seen the drawback of sensual pleasures; I haven't pursued [that theme]. I haven't understood the reward of renunciation; I haven't familiarized myself with it. That's why my heart doesn't leap up at renunciation, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace.'

[1] "Then the thought occurred to me: 'If, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I were to pursue that theme; and if, having understood the reward of renunciation, I were to familiarize myself with it, there's the possibility that my heart would leap up at renunciation, grow confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace.'

"So at a later time, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of renunciation, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at renunciation, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace. Then, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Or, Ven. Bodhi version:

(1) “Before my enlightenment, while I was just a bodhisatta, not yet fully enlightened, it occurred to me too: ‘Good is renunciation, good is solitude.’ Yet my mind did not launch out upon renunciation and become placid, settled, and liberated in it, though I saw it as peaceful. It occurred to me: ‘Why is it that my mind does not launch out upon renunciation and become placid, settled, and liberated in it, though I see it as peaceful?’ Then it occurred to me: ‘I have not seen the danger in sensual pleasures and have not cultivated that [insight]; I have not achieved the benefit in renunciation and have not [440] pursued it. Therefore my mind does not launch out upon renunciation and become placid, settled, and liberated in it, though I see it as peaceful.’

“Then, Ānanda, it occurred to me: ‘If, having seen the danger in sensual pleasures, I would cultivate that [insight], and if, having achieved the benefit in renunciation, I would pursue it, it is then possible that my mind would launch out upon renunciation and become placid, settled, and liberated in it, since I see it as peaceful.’ Sometime later, having seen the danger in sensual pleasures, I cultivated that [insight], and having achieved the benefit in renunciation, I pursued it. My mind then launched out upon renunciation and became placid, settled, and liberated in it, since I saw it as peaceful.

“Sometime later, Ānanda, secluded from sensual pleasures … I entered and dwelled in the first jhāna.


http://www.palicanon.org/index.php/sutt ... at-chapter
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:40 pm

Zom wrote:
But, when you are so ready to proclaim a strong opinion about under what conditions jhana is attainable


I don't agree at all, because from my point of view, only the words of the Buddha are important. The words of all others is "just their humble personal opinion", which can be false because of the reasons I mentioned above.

There's a couple problems with that. You said
I tell you, just "temporal celibacy" (for some weeks or months) won't clean your mind enough so you could reach it.

But you haven't cited any words of the Buddha to that effect. So it seems you want to have it both ways. You want to express an opinion about when jhana is possible, refuse to answer whether that opinion is based upon personal experience or not (although you cagily hint hint, I guess) and then provide citations which don't actually prove one way or the other about whether "temporary celibacy" is sufficient to attain jhana or not. So what are we supposed to do with your strong opinion? Just chalk it up to something Zom of the Internet said, who knows whether there is any credibility to it or not. I mean, that's all typical behavior here on the internet, but once in awhile it would be nice to hear an opinion like that that comes with a bit more credibility attached.

Khlawng answered with a simple "yes" as to whether he/she personally attained jhana, and said
you can temporary suspend a certain amount of sense desire to develop the jhanas.


So maybe that's evidence against your opinion.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1784
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Zom » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:17 pm

But you haven't cited any words of the Buddha to that effect.


Yes, this is my personal opinion, ofc. Based on my experience and on suttas I read. Just like on those i cited above .)

So maybe that's evidence against your opinion.


Well, I dont know anyone who reached jhana while indulging in sex. Suttas also do not confirm this, and even give no single hint that at least it could be possible somehow. More than that - they say directly opposite thing, that sensual pleasures won't let the mind direct to renunciation (and mind non-directed to renunciation does not reach such sublime states as jhanas); that sensual pleasures is an "affliction" to jhana. For me - that is enough to see the full picture. If you do not agree - well - you are free to have sex and try to reach jhana at the same time -)
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:33 pm

Zom wrote:
But you haven't cited any words of the Buddha to that effect.


Yes, this is my personal opinion, ofc. Based on my experience and on suttas I read. Just like on those i cited above .)

So maybe that's evidence against your opinion.


Well, I dont know anyone who reached jhana while indulging in sex. Suttas also do not confirm this, and even give no single hint that at least it could be possible somehow. More than that - they say directly opposite thing, that sensual pleasures won't let the mind direct to renunciation (and mind non-directed to renunciation does not reach such sublime states as jhanas); that sensual pleasures is an "affliction" to jhana. For me - that is enough to see the full picture. If you do not agree - well - you are free to have sex and try to reach jhana at the same time -)

:redherring:
"At the same time" is not what is under discussion.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1784
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Coyote » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:37 pm

Zom wrote:
Well, I dont know anyone who reached jhana while indulging in sex. Suttas also do not confirm this, and even give no single hint that at least it could be possible somehow. More than that - they say directly opposite thing, that sensual pleasures won't let the mind direct to renunciation (and mind non-directed to renunciation does not reach such sublime states as jhanas); that sensual pleasures is an "affliction" to jhana. For me - that is enough to see the full picture. If you do not agree - well - you are free to have sex and try to reach jhana at the same time -)


In your opinion, how long a period of celibacy is needed to attain Jhana? Is it something you have to give up entirely? What do you base this length of time on?
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26
Coyote
 
Posts: 542
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:42 pm
Location: Wales - UK

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:40 pm

By the way, if anyone wants to question or challenge anything I say, in the manner that I am putting others on the spot, go right ahead. I won't waste your time with cagey answers, cloaked in innuendo, with a wink and a nod. I'll tell you straight up, whatever you ask, as truthful and complete an answer as I am able to provide. I've had it with the "bombastic claim with the eel-wriggling follow up" on this forum. Not that i expect that to go away anytime soon. Just sayin, in case anyone is wondering - I can take what I dish out.
:focus:
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1784
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Zom » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:06 pm

In your opinion, how long a period of celibacy is needed to attain Jhana? Is it something you have to give up entirely? What do you base this length of time on?


Entirely? In my opinion - yes. Otherwise, as I said above, Buddha would never be so strict about that, establishing such strong rules and observances for monks. Though I had never been a monk, I did practised a lot keeping only 5 precepts and having sex, and keeping 8 precepts (for periods from 1 to 6 months). And I saw for myself how it affects the mind - having sex and being free from it for some prolonged period of time. Sexual desire is the strongest of all sensual desires and it severly muddles the mind, so I can't see how someone "reaches jhana not abandoning sexual activity", these are just two opposite things.

Concerning the period - it depends on a personality. Someone who is not "strongly proned to lust" can make it easier and quicker. For another one it will take more time to cleanse the mind with numerous important preliminary practices, mentioned, for example, in MN 107 and many suttas like this. Most people, probably, will never reach jhana in this very life because of poor indriyas and strong defilements. In this point I do agree with Visuddhimagga, which says that a few practitioners out of many thousands of them will make it to jhana. I think jhana state is strongly underestimated these days in the sense, that this is something easily done, easily practised and does not appear something special, being just like some "slightly changed ordinary mind with some quantity of peace and internal pleasure".
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:24 am

Zom wrote: Sexual desire is the strongest of all sensual desires

Hi Zom, Is that true? Across the board?
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1333
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Zom » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:58 pm

Hi Zom, Is that true? Across the board?


True .)

As one old buddhist, friend of mine, well said: "If you look, all the world revolves around "that"". I totally agree, and this is seen not only among humans, but even among insects and animals. Really, most of their life is devoted to that: have sex and produce posterity.

PS: Ow, btw, and this only confirms what I've said: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=17483#p251323
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:29 pm

Zom wrote:
Hi Zom, Is that true? Across the board?


True .)

As one old buddhist, friend of mine, well said: "If you look, all the world revolves around "that"". I totally agree, and this is seen not only among humans, but even among insects and animals. Really, most of their life is devoted to that: have sex and produce posterity.

PS: Ow, btw, and this only confirms what I've said: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=17483#p251323


I don't know if I would say that reproduction amongst insects and animals is governed by sensual desires. And how would the desire for sex compare to the desire to eat or the desire for constant mental activity. Where does the idea that sexual desire is the strongest of all sensual desires come from?

I also don't think that the return to lay life of Mitsuo Gavesako (with the details presented through this forum) in anyway supports the idea that sexual desire is the strongest of all sensual desires. Do you think it was purely desire for sexual intercourse that caused him to disrobe?
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1333
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Zom » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:14 pm

I don't know if I would say that reproduction amongst insects and animals is governed by sensual desires. And how would the desire for sex compare to the desire to eat or the desire for constant mental activity. Where does the idea that sexual desire is the strongest of all sensual desires come from?


It depends. The desire to eat can be physiological and psychological. The last one is based purely on craving (tanha). The first one - not, because even Buddhas and arahants eat food when they feel hungry. And the idea comes just from observation of life of living beings, from particular Vinaya rules establishments, from suttas, for example, short ones from AN1, where Buddha does say, for example, that there is no such form as woman that coould obsess the mind so strong; or where Buddha does say that, for example, craving for tactile sensations is the strongest among sensual desires. You can look here for some of such short suttas > http://www.palicanon.org/index.php/sutt ... f-the-mind

Do you think it was purely desire for sexual intercourse that caused him to disrobe?


What else, if he disrobed to be with a woman? The desire for woman IS sexual desire.
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:37 pm

Zom wrote:
It depends. The desire to eat can be physiological and psychological. The last one is based purely on craving (tanha). The first one - not, because even Buddhas and arahants eat food when they feel hungry. And the idea comes just from observation of life of living beings, from particular Vinaya rules establishments, from suttas, for example, short ones from AN1, where Buddha does say, for example, that there is no such form as woman that coould obsess the mind so strong; or where Buddha does say that, for example, craving for tactile sensations is the strongest among sensual desires. You can look here for some of such short suttas > http://www.palicanon.org/index.php/sutt ... f-the-mind

I'm not sure if the drive for reproduction is purely psychological. There are also physiological aspects to it. With regard to the sutta that you have linked to. That is a teaching given to a specific group of monastic's at a specific occasion. I wouldn't take it to be the final word that "sexual desire is the strongest of all sensual desires".
Do you think it was purely desire for sexual intercourse that caused him to disrobe?

What else, if he disrobed to be with a woman? The desire for woman IS sexual desire.

Well people get and want more than sexual intercourse from relationships generally. I wouldn't like to over speculate on this particular monk but it is also possible that the relationship was a means to an end or a symptom of a deeper disquiet. I think it is highly improbable that he left purely out of a desire to indulge in sex.
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1333
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Zom » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:31 pm

I'm not sure if the drive for reproduction is purely psychological. There are also physiological aspects to it.


It is. Buddhas and arahants do not have it. So it is a question of a defiled mind. But, of course, mind acts in this world with the help of the body, it is strongly tied with the body, and so, defilements manifest through body.

With regard to the sutta that you have linked to. That is a teaching given to a specific group of monastic's at a specific occasion. I wouldn't take it to be the final word that "sexual desire is the strongest of all sensual desires".


Well, 95% of all suttas are given to monks. But that does not mean that this truth is applied to monks only..

Anyway, you can also consider this - different people have different interests and pursue different sensual pleasures. But sexual desire is common for all of them. This is the "base" desire. And certainly it is very powerful.

Well people get and want more than sexual intercourse from relationships generally. I wouldn't like to over speculate on this particular monk but it is also possible that the relationship was a means to an end or a symptom of a deeper disquiet. I think it is highly improbable that he left purely out of a desire to indulge in sex.


Yes, its hard to say, we dont know what is in the mind of this or that person. But I would not dismiss the desire for sex. More than that, as I see it, sexual desire is not just a narrow lust for some tactile pleasure. I see it as much wider idea of "being with a woman" (well, with the object of sexual desire).
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

PreviousNext

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alex123, Anagarika, Bing [Bot] and 7 guests