Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Clayton
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by Clayton » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:29 am

Hey everyone. I guess I'll jump into the discussion... first of all Nick is a good friend and Dharma brother of mine... its easy to understand why he could get defensive in this thread. To be fair what our teacher proposes is different from the buddhist 'party line' so of course we are going to differ in opinions with a forum catering to relatively orthodox thereavada practitioners. However I think the point my friend was trying to make *if I may be so bold* is basically to encourage everyone to not let our pre-concieved notions stand in the way. To pursue spiritual insight with as much vigor as we can muster. Stream entry is certainly possible... Kornfield writes in After the Ecstasy the Laundry that Ajahn Chah once remarked that if you spent 6 months at his monastery and didn't get stream entry he didn't have any idea what you might doing. I think the 'hardcore dharma' movement is a natural reaction to people acting as if this stuff is unattainable. Sometimes it might be conducted in a way that seems (or is) abrasive... but I think for the most part intentions are good on all sides...

Metta,

Clayton

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tiltbillings
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:59 am

Clayton wrote:Hey everyone. I guess I'll jump into the discussion... first of all Nick is a good friend and Dharma brother of mine... its easy to understand why he could get defensive in this thread. To be fair what our teacher proposes is different from the buddhist 'party line' so of course we are going to differ in opinions with a forum catering to relatively orthodox thereavada practitioners.
"Relatively orthodox thereavada [sic] practitioners" who take seriously the teachings of the Buddha, seeing the suttas as the touchstone for what it is that the Buddha taught.
However I think the point my friend was trying to make *if I may be so bold* is basically to encourage everyone to not let our pre-concieved notions stand in the way. To pursue spiritual insight with as much vigor as we can muster.
Yes, well, that is to state the obvious.
Stream entry is certainly possible... Kornfield writes in After the Ecstasy the Laundry that Ajahn Chah once remarked that if you spent 6 months at his monastery and didn't get stream entry he didn't have any idea what you might doing. I think the 'hardcore dharma' movement is a natural reaction to people acting as if this stuff is unattainable.
Stream entry is, indeed, possible, but it need not - should not - become a credential, nor need we obsess over unusual experiences, reading into them more than they are. A story about Jack Kornfield:
After only a year and a half of practice at Wat Ba Pong, one American [Jack Kornfield] asked and received permission to travel and study with other Thai and Burmese teachers. A year or two later, he returned full of tales of his travels, of many months of extraordinary and intensive practice and of a number of remarkable experiences. . . .
Then the Western monk went to the cottage of Achaan Sumedho, the senior Western disciple of Achaan Chah, and told all his stories and adventures, his new understandings and great insights into practice. Sumedho listened in silence and prepared afternoon tea from the roots of certain forest plants. When the stories were completed and the insights recounted, Sumedho smiled and said, "Ah, how wonderful. Something else to let go of." Only that.
For all that has been said here, the best advice from an Ariya. Only that.
>> 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

5heaps
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by 5heaps » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:11 am

Clayton wrote:I think the 'hardcore dharma' movement is a natural reaction to people acting as if this stuff is unattainable.
hey, its more like, the things that are attained may not deserve the names being given.
there are hidden qualities and unpredictable logical reasonings built into anatta and anicca which if they are not mentioned or clearly ascertained and discussed when somebody brings them up only illustrates improper realization.

there are many excellent meditators and even scientists/mathematicians who can observe either directly or through inference very minuscule events. they then use this to eradicate the ordinary idea conditioned by ordinary perception of things being very substantial. when meditators in particular apply this with concentration to themselves and to their desires and aversions there will obviously be profound changes, which can themselves trigger old seeds from a long time ago.

realizing that things only last a moment and then die immediately is the classic realization that does not carry its scope nearly far enough. this is because that moment is itself still misunderstood. though coarse atta which is a mistaken belief is eliminated subtle atta which is a mistaken mode of being aware still persists, which is why it seems to the meditator that the dying out of that moment happens through the function/power/will of that moment even though this makes no sense (ie. the moment isnt around at the time of dying to have caused it, therefore it should be impossible for it to die immediately).
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.
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jcsuperstar
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by jcsuperstar » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:18 am

Clayton wrote:Hey everyone. I guess I'll jump into the discussion... first of all Nick is a good friend and Dharma brother of mine... its easy to understand why he could get defensive in this thread. To be fair what our teacher proposes is different from the Buddhist 'party line' so of course we are going to differ in opinions with a forum catering to relatively orthodox thereavada practitioners. ...
well that is the problem isn't it? to orthodox theravadins it would seem there is either
A. a lowing of the bar
or
B. a redefinition of terms
in regards to A, we would say what then is the point of such a claim? go further, do better unless "you" are in fact the one saying such states aren't possible?
and in regards to B, we've seen this before; Mahayana. so maybe we're not even on the same page in regards to what the path is, so there isn't even a way we can agree even if we wanted to?
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

PeterB
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by PeterB » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:57 am

bodom wrote:
PeterB wrote:So my advice re " stream entry" would be leave it, and find something more constructive to concern ourselves with.


I think I will stick with the Buddha's advice and strive for stream entry as if my hair were on fire the way he advised.

:anjali:
And if . just out of interest it could be adequately shown that the teachings on stream entry etc were a later insertion...or if it could be demonstrated that the Buddha meant it as a metaphor only..would your hair go out ?

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tiltbillings
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:09 am

Image
>> 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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bodom
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by bodom » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:55 am

PeterB wrote:
bodom wrote:
PeterB wrote:So my advice re " stream entry" would be leave it, and find something more constructive to concern ourselves with.


I think I will stick with the Buddha's advice and strive for stream entry as if my hair were on fire the way he advised.

:anjali:
And if . just out of interest it could be adequately shown that the teachings on stream entry etc were a later insertion...or if it could be demonstrated that the Buddha meant it as a metaphor only..would your hair go out ?
Isnt there a poll on this somewhere I voted for already? :tongue:

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Goedert
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by Goedert » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:34 am

Clayton wrote:Hey everyone. I guess I'll jump into the discussion... first of all Nick is a good friend and Dharma brother of mine... its easy to understand why he could get defensive in this thread. To be fair what our teacher proposes is different from the buddhist 'party line' so of course we are going to differ in opinions with a forum catering to relatively orthodox thereavada practitioners. However I think the point my friend was trying to make *if I may be so bold* is basically to encourage everyone to not let our pre-concieved notions stand in the way. To pursue spiritual insight with as much vigor as we can muster. Stream entry is certainly possible... Kornfield writes in After the Ecstasy the Laundry that Ajahn Chah once remarked that if you spent 6 months at his monastery and didn't get stream entry he didn't have any idea what you might doing. I think the 'hardcore dharma' movement is a natural reaction to people acting as if this stuff is unattainable. Sometimes it might be conducted in a way that seems (or is) abrasive... but I think for the most part intentions are good on all sides...

Metta,

Clayton
Body language and acts say so much. This hardcore thing is dangerous, maybe a counterfait?

People keep talk in achivements, in objectives, et coetera. Why this people don't talk in purity of heart, in purity of mind, in the paramis and brahma-viharas?

There is everything here [Theravada]. Is up to us purify ourselfs. It is so simple but we want to complicate.

Some people want to be wise. The fact is that we born ignorant and probably we die ignorant of the ultimate reality, so we have to be very honest in making statements and judge. If we have wrong view on something and start to show and explain this view to other people, they can believe us and we might put them in wrong view also, this is caos. Lets practice humilty and purification.

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jcsuperstar
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by jcsuperstar » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:39 am

Goedert wrote:
Why this people don't talk in purity of heart, in purity of mind, in the paramis and brahma-viharas?

.
good question
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Zom
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by Zom » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:44 pm

And the answer to this question is, perhaps, still that materialistic approach. People still want "to get", "to achive" and not "to drop", "to get rid of", "to let go". :reading:

So instead of letting go of views about self, they want to construct a new self that would be a stream-enterer =)

PeterB
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by PeterB » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:15 pm

I think Zom that you are probably scarily accurate...

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Vepacitta
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by Vepacitta » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:25 pm

Yeh, I think Zom's post is spot on!

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Virgo
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by Virgo » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:40 pm

RE: Adice for Stream-entry.

Simply follow the Visuddhimagga.

Be well,

Kevin

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tiltbillings
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:40 pm

Virgo wrote:RE: Adice for Stream-entry.

Simply follow the Visuddhimagga.

Be well,

Kevin
Excellent, but even better, the words of the Buddha himself:

He who has nothing
-- in front, behind, in between --
the one with nothing
who clings to no thing:
he's what I call
a brahman
. Dhp 421

Gone to the beyond of becoming,
you let go of in front,
let go of behind,
let go of between.
With a heart everywhere let-go,
you don't come again to birth
& aging.
Dhp 348

No need for adding on worldly dhammas of credentials: "I am this, I am that."
>> 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

nibs
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by nibs » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:18 pm

??
Last edited by nibs on Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:54 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Ben
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by Ben » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:33 pm

Hi nibs
I haven't had time to read your last post but wanted to say that you are welcome here.
Thanks for taking the time for sharing your perspective despite knowing that what Daniel Ingram and Kenneth Folk teaches is considered heretical by many mainstream Theravadins and by many of our members.
I'm sorry I haven't been more active in this thread as I've been somewhat preoccupied with working 12-hour days and dealing with a dying (and now dead) horse which was beloved by our family. Otherwise,I may have engaged with you more in discussion. Keep in mind that the vast majority of our members, while they may challenge Daniel Ingram's approach or your experiences, are very well-meaning.
Anyway, I'm glad you are still here.
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

nibs
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by nibs » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:50 pm

???
Last edited by nibs on Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

Kenshou
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by Kenshou » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:02 am

Hm, you know, besides some of the additional details and implications, I believe that there is a population of Theravadins that hold an idea of nibbana that is essentially the same as what you're talking about. And so therefore is not -entirely- divorced from what might be called traditional by some.

And while I don't agree with that conception of nibbana, I do like the motivation to talk about things more openly. Though it can cause tension, having lots of people with different perspectives all together makes some good opportunities to learn.

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AdvaitaJ
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by AdvaitaJ » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:52 am

Nibs,

I just wanted to add my thanks for your willingness to share your thoughts and ideas...and for your perseverance. I believe your advice to (paraphrasing here) not place limits on our personal possibilities to be quite practical and sound.

Regards: Jim
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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Ben
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Re: "advice for stream entry"

Post by Ben » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:21 am

nibs wrote:Hi Ben,

Thanks for the welcome. Sorry to hear about your beloved family horse. I'm sure it was loved a lot. Lot's of metta for your family!
Thanks. I started a thread in the personal experience forum. Its titled 'if you are in the habit of practcing metta' or smething like that.
nibs wrote:I understand the view here is more traditional and I'm not here to make waves at all. I'm not interested in arguing about anything.
I understand.
nibs wrote:I saw I was referenced in a thread and decided to join in. And thus this thread popped up because of the other one. I am really only about helping others get what I consider "stream entry" done. I was hoping that this thread would be more aimed at practice rather than claims.
No problem. Many of our members are very much practice oriented. What you might be discovering is that they consider the wisdom recorded in the canon and post-canonical commentarial literature to be an extraordinarily valuable as illumination for the path. The wisdom recorded in the Pali Canon and commentarial literure has been 'product testd' and the result of hundreds,if not thousands of peoples experiences over 2,500 years. Some of our members do get into long and involved debates regarding interpretations but for the vast majority of our members, debate offers a means for them to challenge their own intellectual understanding which then conditions the development of their bhavana-maya-panna (wisdom derived from direct penetration/practice). And debate is something that has traditionally been a part of Buddhist praxis. Another thing I wanted to mention is something I touched on over at DhO. In response to you, or perhaps another member there, I mentioned the message of the Brahmajala Sutta in which the Buddha warns us against the wrong view that can inadvertantly develop as a result of our perceptions of meditative experiences. For me, having come from a tradition which is very much practice oriented, it had a sobering effect. Just as you are practice oriented, I am too,but I am very cautious when ascribing any value on any experience I have had. I use the suttas and later works such as the Abhidhamma commentaries and the Vism as valuable guides that assist me in keeping a very high degree of self-reflexivity, self awareness and analysis of my own perceptual processes.
If you have the inclination and interest,I would like to recommend the following book: Satipatthana: the direct route to realization by Venerable Analayo. It is both a scholastic treatise and meditation manual. It draws from many contemporary and ancient sources and is regarded as a landmark modern commentarial work. You will find in Satipatthana a lot that is very consistent with Daniel Ingram's work, but you'll also find material that is a little different.
nibs wrote: On hindsight, not really understanding the culture of this place, I made a mistake. I'd do it differently if I could.
No problem. Its a little different from DhO!
nibs wrote: Anyway, hopefully someone can come away from this thread with the idea that they can go for what I call stream entry (a blip in consciousness where all the senses shut down briefly. Nothing is remembered in that brief moment. Just the entrance through one of the three doors and exit with some bliss waves), that seriously changes your perception and suffering levels and certainly NOT jhana related (Although jhanas are surprisingly easier to access afterwards). So if that is what one wants to go for,then know it can be done. If one is after something else, I wish that yogi all the best.
It sounds like something that I experiencd,though I would not call it stream entry. Just another experience to observe objectively and let go of (as Tilt so eloqently puts it here and elsewhere!)
nibs wrote: Metta,
nibs

Edited to add: Btw Ben, with all your years of practice, if you haven't already done it yet, you are so, so very primed to get it done. I don't think it would take long. I was a Goenka yogi for 9 years. How long have you been one? Since the 80's? I write my stuff for yogis who are clearly ready to get it done (if you havent already) as most of my dhamma friends are the same.
I've been a student of SN Goenka for 25 years actually! As I mentioned on DhO, I'm very comfortable with my teacher and the method I am using. Having said that, I would also like to point out that its not out of blind attachment. During the long courses Goenkaji says that the job of the teacher is to make the student indendent and self reliant. During my last long course I had the experience of turning the lazer-like gaze of objective introspection on my relationship with my teacher and the method of vedananupassana as a vehicle for awakening. It was an excoriating experience but one that has given me greater insight into the efficacy of the practice and my own progress on the path.
But thank you anyway. I am deeply touched by your sincere desire to share your method with me and your genuine interest in my and our spiritual development.
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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