How common is stream entry?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:55 pm

Zom wrote:
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.

Neither do people who have been chemically castrated. It also naturally wanes over time.
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..
Yes but it also doesn't mean that that it is necessarily appropriate reflection for all people in all scenarios at all times.
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.
Is it common for all? I'm not sure. Maybe to some degree. But also maybe it can be overstated. Ideas develop like "progress cannot be made because I am so full of lust". We make small things into big ones and miss what is right in front of us.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby danieLion » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:12 pm

The chapters by Luang Por Pasanno in The Island are all about stream entry.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby david.sojourn » Tue May 06, 2014 4:55 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:This is motivated by a discussion i had in chat the other day. Some seem to hold stream entry in very high regard, almost to the point of its being out of human reach except for a very lucky few.

Going by this definition:

* Stream-enterer: The first direct insight into selflessness is often the most powerful because it's unlike anything you've ever experienced before. For a timeless moment (which may last just an instant), no one is there — that is, there's no trace of a separate self anywhere. A feeling of tremendous relief, often accompanied by joy and bliss, generally follows the experience: At last, you've had the insight you've been seeking for so long. At last, you've "entered the stream" of realization.

When you become a stream-enterer, you can never again believe that you're really a separate self that lives inside your head and looks through your eyes. Your experience forever eliminates this illusion. When you look within, you can't find a self anywhere. In everyday life, however, you may still feel like a separate somebody and may still get caught up by greed, anger, ignorance, and various other negative feelings and patterns. Fortunately, the stage of stream-enterer also brings an unshakable confidence and dedication to the Buddhist spiritual path, so you're motivated to keep deepening and refining your realization.



http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/r ... rvana.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


There is nothing mystical or special about this, this is an experience many people have had, its basic to being human. If you look at other traditions and religions, its interpreted differently, in zen / chan for instance, i believe it would be looked at as a first kensho, the beginning of the real work, christians would probably call it being born again. Those with no particular framework or preparation might express it in any number of ways or eventually just forget it.

Its about how you interpret the experience and follow it up that defines its value and meaning. After having had such an experience, my guess is that one must necessarily objectify the experience in order to talk about it and share it. And its all about the interpretation and follow thru, an experience like this can imo be used to inflate the ego, as in the case of cult leaders, inspire a lifes work etc or be the ground of a disciplined and thorough follow through (which is afaik unique to buddhism).

Anyway, whether you are a buddhist or not, i dont think this experience is all that special or uncommon, what do you all think?


To answer this question with an Equation:

Take the number of people in the world, subtract from that number, everyone who is trying to achieve stream entry, trying to get to heavenly realms, and trying to get "ahead" of the world through conventional means. Subtract everyone who chooses to follow the notions in the mind, versus those who follow the "feeling" of destiny in the heart. Subtract anyone whose fear, doubt, ill will, worry, guilt, regret, and despair, outweighs their Compassion, harmony, love, faith, trust, and ability to investigate the natural world they have presented, presently, before them.

Divide that number in half.

Divide it in half again.

That is how common Stream Entry is.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby someguysomeguy » Thu May 08, 2014 6:29 am

Simile:

In a box having 10,000 flies only one is of white color (9,999 are Black in color). There is a small hole. Someone is asked to pick a fly. What is the probability that the fly picked will be White in color?.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu May 08, 2014 8:22 pm

david.sojourn wrote:To answer this question with an Equation:

Take the number of people in the world, subtract from that number, everyone who is trying to achieve stream entry, trying to get to heavenly realms, and trying to get "ahead" of the world through conventional means. Subtract everyone who chooses to follow the notions in the mind, versus those who follow the "feeling" of destiny in the heart. Subtract anyone whose fear, doubt, ill will, worry, guilt, regret, and despair, outweighs their Compassion, harmony, love, faith, trust, and ability to investigate the natural world they have presented, presently, before them.

Divide that number in half.

Divide it in half again.

That is how common Stream Entry is.



You seem pretty certain that its very rare. Whats your source for this beleif?
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu May 08, 2014 8:46 pm

david.sojourn wrote:Take the number of people in the world, subtract from that number, everyone who is trying to achieve stream entry,


You are assuming that pursuit of stream entry is a barrier to stream entry. It is not, see the Unnabha Paradox:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... mana_Sutta

Ananda wrote:"So it is with an arahant whose mental effluents are ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis. Whatever desire he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular desire is allayed. Whatever persistence he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular persistence is allayed. Whatever intent he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular intent is allayed. Whatever discrimination he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular discrimination is allayed. So what do you think, brahman? Is this an endless path, or one with an end?"
SN 51.15
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby SarathW » Fri May 09, 2014 4:34 am

And this from DN22:

“Let alone half a month. If anyone would develop these four
establishings of mindfulness in this way for seven days, one of two
fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here-&-now, or—if
there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance—non-return.”

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... 120810.pdf
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby waterchan » Fri May 09, 2014 4:55 am

SarathW wrote:And this from DN22:

“Let alone half a month. If anyone would develop these four
establishings of mindfulness in this way for seven days, one of two
fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here-&-now, or—if
there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance—non-return.”

http://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Writ ... 120810.pdf


The commentary states that the Satipatthana Sutta was delivered to a group of very advanced practitioners well consummate in sila and samadhi. So most of us shouldn't expect enlightenment in 7 days or bust.

Furthermore, there is strong evidence to suggest that the sutta itself is not just one discourse, but an amalgamation of several individual discourses in the Satipatthana Samyutta of the Samyutta Nikaya.

You can read more about the development of the Satipatthana Sutta in Ven Sujato's A History of Mindfulness, available for free.
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby SarathW » Fri May 09, 2014 5:26 am

Doubt is a hindrance!
Thanks for the link.
:)
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Mirdad » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:33 pm

As stated before in this thread, there are a whole lot of misconceptios about awakening. The way it's often presented, many people feel it's something way beyond their reach. In fact it's not THAT incommon or even special. For an individual though, it's a life-changing experience. A modern awakened guru came up this year with a technique for awakening / stream-entry, when he felt after his own awakening that there could be a much easier way for this experience of no-self than countless years of meditation and contemplating information which is often unspecific or misleading.

This method, instead of meditating for hours, is more of a scientific, analytic, approach to the nature of "I".
1. Pay attention to any object, watch it intensively. Don't think anything, just watch. What is the nature of this direct cognition? When the eyes see, seeing happens. No effort is needed. No separate seer is needed. Is this so, or is it not? Examine.

2. Say to yourself: "I, I, I" or "my, my, my"). How does this feel? Do you feel a sense of freedom or a lack of freedom when you reinforce your feeling of I? Examine in what situations you have reinforced / continue to reinforce this feeling of I. When you search for this I, can you find it? Does it exist? Examine.

Examine according to phase 1 in all sorts of different situations, don't add any philosophy / spiritual teachings to this. Examine for yourself as if you've never heard anything about spirituality. Take a scientific approach to this. Is it so, or is it not?

Phase 2, this reinforcing the sense of "I", haven't you done it throughout your life? Whether it's in an earthly way or in a spiritual way, still it has been reinforced or it hasn't been examined yet. Is this sense of "I" a solid, unchanging fact that is always independent and separate? Is "I" something that is always a concrete base in your experience? Or is it just something in which you've always believed and taken as granted? Examine!

Put the work in! Who/what is this "I"? Is it?

Take this seriously, as if you're working on a master's thesis (I do recommend using writing/paper in this process). Many people have written down different situations where their "I" gets reinforced, then systematically examined WHAT this "I" is - is not. This will take many, many hours and days to come to a realization (but significantly less time than with other means one does by oneself, like awareness meditation). And obviously will be significantly more rewarding than getting any degree. :)

So put in the work!

:namaste:
Last edited by Mirdad on Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Mkoll » Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:04 pm

Mirdad wrote:A modern awakened guru came up this year with a technique for awakening / stream-entry, when he felt after his own awakening that there could be a much easier way for this experience of no-self than countless years of meditation and contemplating information which is often unspecific or misleading.

Who is this person? What is his/her book, website, or other publication?
Peace,
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:27 pm

someguysomeguy wrote:Simile:
In a box having 10,000 flies only one is of white color (9,999 are Black in color). There is a small hole. Someone is asked to pick a fly. What is the probability that the fly picked will be White in color?.


But who do the black flies represent?
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
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