How common is stream entry?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
sshai45
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by sshai45 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:03 pm

But if this is so rare, then what happens if the most likely thing to happen happens: you practice Buddhism all your life but don't attain it. I take it one can look forward to eons more rebirths in the cycle of existence/cycle of pain, a depressing thought! Can one even comprehend an eon? This Buddhism seems like a downer religion if that's what it believes. How do you manage to not get down?

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tiltbillings
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:08 pm

sshai45 wrote:But if this is so rare, then what happens if the most likely thing to happen happens: you practice Buddhism all your life but don't attain it. I take it one can look forward to eons more rebirths in the cycle of existence/cycle of pain, a depressing thought! Can one even comprehend an eon? This Buddhism seems like a downer religion if that's what it believes. How do you manage to not get down?
While it may not be common, it is not rare.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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manas
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by manas » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:37 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
sshai45 wrote:But if this is so rare, then what happens if the most likely thing to happen happens: you practice Buddhism all your life but don't attain it. I take it one can look forward to eons more rebirths in the cycle of existence/cycle of pain, a depressing thought! Can one even comprehend an eon? This Buddhism seems like a downer religion if that's what it believes. How do you manage to not get down?
While it may not be common, it is not rare.
Greetings sshai, and all
Cakkhu Sutta: The Eye

At Savatthi. "Monks, the eye is inconstant, changeable, alterable. The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The mind is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.

"One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening."
Most of us here at DW would be able to place ourselves in one of the above groups of 'persons of integrity'. While I won't feel at ease until I too 'know and see', I have decided to drop the excessive angst about not being there yet, because it would appear that things are not quite as bad as we might think. Just because we have not attained full stream-entry, doesn't necessarily mean we are *just* worldly persons, either. We can take heart from this sutta, that we are indeed on the way. But we need to keep going... :hug:

Now: practice, practice, practice...

metta :anjali:
How often we regret having said too much, and how seldom, too little!

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retrofuturist
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:11 pm

Greetings Manas,

Good call. :thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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cooran
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by cooran » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:59 am

Hello all,

The Buddha taught that we have all been wandering in Samsara for uncountable aeons - and human rebirth rarely, if ever, happened - and even more rare than that, is a human rebirth when the Teachings of a Buddha are available to us.

Attaining Stream Entry is the hardest thing of all. The Buddha taught that after Stream Entry, Arahantship will inevitably occur in not more than 7 lifetimes.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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gerard
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by gerard » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:32 am

.
Last edited by gerard on Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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retrofuturist
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:35 am

Greetings,
gerard wrote:being all connected to one source: the spirit, Qi. An illusion that binds all things but beneath that there is one original pure, loving and still mind.
I don't know where this idea comes from, but it's hardly stock standard Theravada.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

danieLion
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by danieLion » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:21 am

cooran wrote:Attaining Stream Entry is the hardest thing of all.
Hi Chris,
Except for the other three "things" even harder.
Best,
Daniel

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cooran
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by cooran » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:55 am

Hello Daniel,

Achieving the first level, Stream Entry, can take uncountable lifetimes over aeons and aeons, with rebirth in many forms.
Daniel said: Except for the other three "things" even harder.

I assume you mean becoming a Once-Returner, Non-Returner and Arahant. These can occur very quickly after Stream Entry or, if taking a little longer, within not more than seven rebirths after becoming a Stream Enterer.

With metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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m0rl0ck
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by m0rl0ck » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:41 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
gerard wrote:being all connected to one source: the spirit, Qi. An illusion that binds all things but beneath that there is one original pure, loving and still mind.
I don't know where this idea comes from, but it's hardly stock standard Theravada.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Maybe its just the "insight into selflessness" thats being referred to, as in the post with which i started this thread. Semantics is a tricky thing, especially in territory where words and concepts cant easily be applied.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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gerard
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by gerard » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:52 am

.
Last edited by gerard on Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Polar Bear
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:47 am

gerard wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:I don't know where this idea comes from, but it's hardly stock standard Theravada.
Which is why I have chosen to practice over reading Buddhist texts.
I would suggest that doing both is better than doing just one or the other.

:namaste:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

mogg
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by mogg » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:12 pm

I have asked many monks and nuns this question (from a variety of different countries, both asian and western) and the answer is universal; Sotapanna are rare even within monastic communities.

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manas
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by manas » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:59 pm

i/think/that/some/of/the/anxiety
ive/had/myself/before,/and/sometimes
read/in/others/posts
worrying/about/
am/i/steam/entrant/or/not
is/useful/if/it/spurs/one/on
to/practice/with/more/determination.

but/if/it/doesnt/do/that
or/if/it/just/makes/one/feel/despondent
like/oh/if/this/Path/is/so/rare/to/attain
whats/the/point/in/trying
i/cant/do/it
etc
in/that/case
the/anxiety/is/unskilful
and/should/be/replaced
with/a/more/skilful/thought
because/any/practice/at/all
will/serve/us/well
in/both/the/present
and/in/the/future
every/time/we/train/the/mind
it/leaves/a/little/impression

if/we/are/honest
we/are/probably/more/awake
than/ever/before
it/could/even/be
that/we/are/progressing
but/we/cannot/notice
it/seems/so/long...
but/as/compared/with/previous/lives
and/even/looking/back/at/this/life
if/we/were/ignorant/of/Buddha/Dhamma/before
(which/I/was)
weve/come/a/long/way
so/lets/just/keep/going
even/if/it/does/take/lifetimes
if/we/are/heading/in/the/right/direction
it/is/worthwhile/effort

metta/ :anjali:
How often we regret having said too much, and how seldom, too little!

Feathers
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Re: How common is stream entry?

Post by Feathers » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:56 pm

manas wrote: . . . if/it/just/makes/one/feel/despondent
like/oh/if/this/Path/is/so/rare/to/attain
whats/the/point/in/trying
i/cant/do/it
etc
in/that/case
the/anxiety/is/unskilful . . .
I have to admit I got pretty despondent after looking over this thread.
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Dhammawheel thread on tools for managing depression

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