Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Exploring modern Theravāda interpretations of the Buddha's teaching.
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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by aflatun » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:06 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Here's a recent interview with Bhikkhu Analayo on what he plans to do with the course (among other things):

https://www.bcbsdharma.org/article/the- ... 0Interview

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Mike
I love his answer to "Bhante, what is Nibbana?" Analayo is such an inspiration.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16


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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by Javi » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:05 pm

I'm checking daily and I will definitely be attending this if I can sign up :anjali:
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:43 am

Javi wrote:I'm checking daily and I will definitely be attending this if I can sign up :anjali:
mikenz66 wrote:Registration is now open...

https://www.bcbsdharma.org/resources/bh ... arn%20More
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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by Javi » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:48 am

Thanks Mike! Registered!
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:00 pm


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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by aflatun » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:24 pm

Thanks for the reminder Mike, I had forgotten to register, just did it now :thumbsup:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:02 am

Greetings,

I think I got about 2/3rd of the way through the first lecture before the connection dropped out...

There's some points being made by ven. Dhammadinna that would be worth considering by a certain ex-member who insisted that hard logical reasoning and debate was the bedrock of the Dhamma and truth. (roughly around the 35-45 minute mark, from memory).

Otherwise, there is no direct analysis of ven Nanananda' teachings yet, but I guess this introduction is still just scene setting and epistemology.

I'd recommend scanning the lecture notes first to see whether the present subject material is of interest, as if time is limited, it may be invested better in subsequent lectures.

EDIT: The final third focuses on ancient and traditional understandings of the meaning of the term "Theravada", presumably to soften any rigidity on what could or should reasonably be called Theravada, and the authority (or lack thereof) that it should yield. (Keep in mind here that his critics consider him to be heretical). This talk on the "shifting identity" of Theravada is set to commence again in the next lecture.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:52 pm

The introductory talk is certainly useful background, and I look forward to Ven Analayo's typically acute analysis.

I would encourage people to register to get access to the talks as they occur, the notes, and the discussion forum. In previous lecture series Ven Analayo summarised the discussions at the start of each lecture, so the content of the discussion has an influence on the direction of the talks.

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by mikenz66 » Tue May 02, 2017 9:19 am

Two lectures into Ven Analayo's talks I'm really enjoying this series. In particular some of the background that he brings to it.

In the first lecture, Ven Analayo pointed out that the monastery where Ven Nananada was living when these lectures were delivered was a strict forest meditation monastery, and used a variation on the Mahasi approach (which is, of course, obvious from Ven Nanananda's meditation manuals). These are, therefore, lectures designed to complement their practice. Nama-rupa comes up early in the first lecture. The understanding of nama-rupa is, as Ven Analayo points out, the first insight knowledge, so would be highly relevant to this audience.

Looking forward to the rest of the series. If you are not already registered I guess you'll have to wait to later to get access to the lectures.

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by Mkoll » Tue May 02, 2017 9:05 pm

Those who did not register (like me!) need not fear. From the link that Mike gave:
The last day to register was April 20. In late July/early August, we will publicly post all the content from this lecture series.
:woohoo:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by mikenz66 » Tue May 02, 2017 10:41 pm

Thanks Mkoll,

The style of the lectures has been that Ven Analayo reads Ven Nanananda's text, but adds some clarifying comments, and also gives more modern English translations (mostly from Bhikkhu Bodhi, including his upcoming Sutta Nipata translation).

At the start of each lecture, he has a brief discussion of points raised on the discussion forum for the previous lecture.

I went though these lectures several years ago, and made use of various extracts in some of our Sutta Study threads, particularly those on the last chapter of the Sutta Nipata. It's great to go through them again.

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by aflatun » Tue May 02, 2017 11:04 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Mkoll,

The style of the lectures has been that Ven Analayo reads Ven Nanananda's text, but adds some clarifying comments, and also gives more modern English translations (mostly from Bhikkhu Bodhi, including his upcoming Sutta Nipata translation).

At the start of each lecture, he has a brief discussion of points raised on the discussion forum for the previous lecture.

I went though these lectures several years ago, and made use of various extracts in some of our Sutta Study threads, particularly those on the last chapter of the Sutta Nipata. It's great to go through them again.

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Mike
I'm glad you pointed that! Are the comments on the audio/video more substantive than those on the written transcripts? I clicked on a lecture transcript this morning and was confused when all I saw was an original Nibbana Sermon with some alternative translations. I probably missed something as I was in a hurry.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by mikenz66 » Wed May 03, 2017 3:12 am

I'm pleased to see that he has inserted the translation into the written material. In the lectures he does make other comments. Most of these are relatively short, but I did find many of them very helpful.

In several cases he refers to other works briefly, but gives the material on the site. For example, he mentions Jurewicz' paper on parallels between Vedic thought and the first few links in dependent origination, and makes the paper available. See: https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=7464

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 05, 2017 12:32 am

The question of whether nibbana is experienced at each of the four paths came up over here: https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=29519

This interpretation (that each path is an experience of nibbana) appears to me to be a crucial part of Ven Nananada's discussion (starting, in particular, in #2).

Like the Classical Commentaries, Ven Nanananda describes Nibbana as something that is experienced at each path, and that experience removes the appropriate fetters. Like the Commentaries, he rejects the idea that the nibbana experiences before death are continuous.

Perhaps others have a different take on the Sermons?

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 05, 2017 12:54 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:Nibbana as something that is experienced at each path, and that experience removes the appropriate fetters. He rejects the idea that the nibbana experiences before death are continuous, just like the Commentaries.

Perhaps others have a different take on the Sermons?

The idea that the "[nibbana] experience removes the appropriate fetters" is to approach the matter back-to-front, as is common amongst meditative traditions which prioritise "the practice" over understanding what the Buddha taught to actually be the practice. Out of interest, does ven. Nanananda actually say that the "[nibbana] experience removes the appropriate fetters", thereby making the experience of nibbana a necessary pre-condition for stream-entry? (Which begs the question, how does a puthujjana bring about nibbana?)

Rather, the arising of the Dhamma-eye (which is actually associated with stream-entry in the Buddha's Dhamma) can come about simply through hearing a Dhamma sermon on the arising and cessation of sankharas, and by comprehending its applicability (see: The Arising of the Dhamma-Eye for examples). In contrast, the experience of nibbana is the experience of the cessation of sankharas. That is the true and constant theme throughout Nanananda's Nibbana Sermons, and why so much attention is given to paticcasamuppada, which is founded upon that principle of idappaccayatā enshrined in the stock description of the Dhamma-Eye.

Even commentaries inspired by the Abhidhamma which get the sequencing of path and fruit in the correct order fall into error by unnecessarily asserting that the fruit moment occurs immediately after the path moment. (This is discussed in Nibbana Sermon 1). It is difficult to fathom how the act of comprehension at such times (which includes thoughts/sankharas pertaining to concepts, relational logic etc.) could simultaneously be all those sankharas, yet also within a nano-second, be the absence of all of them too. Rather, for the attainment of nibbana, sankharas need to be consciously and deliberately removed through a blend of samatha and vipassana, which is different to, but leverages, the pre-existing wisdom which gives rise to the Dhamma-eye...
“A learned monk, Koṭṭhita, should wisely attend to the 5 aggregates as being impermanent, as suffering [unsatisfactory], as a disease, as a tumour, as a dart, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as breaking up, as void, as non-self
If someone can attend to this instruction and achieve nibbana within the space of a nano-second, then I salute them! However, it is not for no reason that the Sangha is classified as "four types [of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types". This distinction deliberately separates those who have attained to the path, from those who have attained to the commensurate fruit associated with that path. Here's evidence to support that...
AN 11.12 wrote:"The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well... who have practiced straight-forwardly... who have practiced methodically... who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types [of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types — they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world."
Ud 5.5 wrote:"Just as the ocean is the abode of such mighty beings as whales, whale-eaters, and whale-eater-eaters; asuras, nagas, and gandhabbas, and there are in the ocean beings one hundred leagues long, two hundred... three hundred... four hundred... five hundred leagues long; in the same way, this Doctrine and Discipline is the abode of such mighty beings as stream-winners and those practicing to realize the fruit of stream-entry; once-returners and those practicing to realize the fruit of once-returning; non-returners and those practicing to realize the fruit of non-returning; arahants and those practicing for arahantship... This is the eighth amazing and astounding fact about this Doctrine and Discipline."
It is the dubious artefact of faith coming from some quarters that a certain meditative "experience" (brought about through the application of some external technique never taught by the Buddha) will in and of itself bring about the liberating knowledge of the Buddha, which encourages some people to approach the Noble Eightfold Path in reverse order. Fruit does not precede path, and for this reason, any approach which endeavours to do so is doomed to frustration.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 05, 2017 4:12 am

Thanks, Paul,

I don't have time to comment much, other than that what I explained is how I understand Ven Nanananda's sermons, both from studying them in detail a few years ago, and by recently reading the first two again rather carefully. I gave some quotes in the other thread, which should allow readers to easily locate the Pali passages he discusses in Sermon 2.
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 19#p424328

You seem to be a little dismissive of the effort that Ven Nananada, and the monks in the audience, were putting into their practice. As Ven Nananda says in the first Sermon:
Nanananda wrote:t occurred to me that it would be best if I
could address these sermons directly to the task before us in this Nissarana
Vanaya, and that is meditative attention, rather than dealing
with those deep controversial suttas in academic isolation.
retrofuturist wrote: The idea that the "[nibbana] experience removes the appropriate fetters" is to approach the matter back-to-front, as is common amongst meditative traditions which prioritise "the practice" over understanding what the Buddha taught to actually be the practice. Out of interest, does ven. Nanananda actually say that the "[nibbana] experience removes the appropriate fetters", thereby making the experience of nibbana a necessary pre-condition for stream-entry? (Which begs the question, how does a puthujjana bring about nibbana?)

I think the answer to your question is "yes", based on what I quoted, and other passages, such as:
Nanananda wrote:So this string of epithets testifies to the efficacy of the realization
by the first path. It is not a mere glimpse of Nibbāna from a distance.
It is a reaching, an arrival or a plunge into Nibbāna.
Nanananda wrote:Like the sea water parted by the blow of the iron bar, preparations
part for a moment to reveal the very bottom which is ‘unprepared’,
the asankhata. Akata, or the un-made, is the same as asankhata, the
unprepared. So one has had a momentary vision of the sea bottom,
which is free from preparations. Of course, after that experience, influxes
flow in again. But one kind of influxes, namely ditthāsavā, influxes
of views, are gone for good and will never flow in again.

Exactly what combination of "meditative attention" (as Ven Nananda puts it) and other knowledge is necessary to get to that state is, of course, up for debate...

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 05, 2017 4:31 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:You seem to be a little dismissive of the effort that Ven Nananada, and the monks in the audience, were putting into their practice.
Not at all. Where did I say or infer anything of the sort?

Rather, ven. Nanananda presented to these bhikkhus in order to give them an opportunity to focus on what needed to be learned of the Dhamma about sankharas, dependent origination etc. ... all the Dhamma knowledge that is required in order to actually make their meditation a productive use of their time, and to re-orient it towards nibbana. As he has said about his sermons, he didn't expect his audience to necessarily get it, and many thought his words were heretical because of how it undermined classical understandings rooted in Abhidhammic thought. Whilst some people find comfort in their ruts and do not like them to be disturbed, it certainly didn't hurt for ven. Nanananda to try to at least expose these people to this wisdom (... other than that he eventually felt compelled to leave them to it and form his own monastery).
mikenz66 wrote:As Ven Nananda says in the first Sermon:
Nanananda wrote:t occurred to me that it would be best if I
could address these sermons directly to the task before us in this Nissarana
Vanaya, and that is meditative attention, rather than dealing
with those deep controversial suttas in academic isolation.

Well, of course. Nanavira Thera said much the same thing when he said that his words would be of no interest to the academic scholar. Such bhikkhus do not pursue these goals because they value scholarship in and of itself - they pursue these goals in the pursuit of liberation.

mikenz66 wrote:Exactly what combination of "meditative attention" (as Ven Nananda puts it) and other knowledge is necessary to get to that state is, of course, up for debate...

It's the knowledge that drives the meditative attention. You may consider it "up for debate", but the dynamic is clearly explained in the suttas...

MN 117 wrote:"One makes an effort for the abandoning of wrong view & for entering into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.

...

"Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? In one of right view, right resolve comes into being. In one of right resolve, right speech comes into being. In one of right speech, right action... In one of right action, right livelihood... In one of right livelihood, right effort... In one of right effort, right mindfulness... In one of right mindfulness, right concentration... In one of right concentration, right knowledge... In one of right knowledge, right release comes into being. Thus the learner is endowed with eight factors, and the arahant with ten.

There is no sugar-coating from the Buddha on the reality that Wrong View leads only to Wrong Mindfulness...
SN 45.1 wrote:The Blessed One said, "Monks, ignorance is the leader in the attainment of unskillful qualities, followed by lack of conscience & lack of concern. In an unknowledgeable person, immersed in ignorance, wrong view arises. In one of wrong view, wrong resolve arises. In one of wrong resolve, wrong speech... In one of wrong speech, wrong action... In one of wrong action, wrong livelihood... In one of wrong livelihood, wrong effort... In one of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness... In one of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration arises.

... but just as the monks in question were not convinced by ven. Nanananda's words, neither are some convinced by the Buddha's words. Hence, we continue to see meditative traditions attempt to invert the path for some reason. This prospect you introduce of the puthujjana doing some practice that was not prescribed by the Buddha and magically stumbling upon nibbana doesn't sound much like the Dhamma expounded in the Sutta Pitaka. Rather...

SN: Dutiya Paṭipadā Sutta wrote:The Exalted One said:
"Monks, whether in householder or recluse,
I praise no wrong practice.
If a householder or recluse practise perversity,
then in consequence of
and because of
his practice of perversity
he is no winner of the Method,
the Norm
and the good.
And what, monks, is wrong practice?
It is as follows:
Wrong view,
wrong aim,
wrong speech,
wrong action,
wrong living,
wrong effort,
wrong mindfulness
wrong concentration."
This, monks, is called 'wrong practice'.
Whether in householder or recluse, monks,
I praise not wrong practice.
For if a householder or recluse practise perversity,
then in consequence of
and because of
his practice of perversity
he is no winner of the Method,
the Norm
and the good.

Such 'wrong practice' is a long, long, way from nibbana.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 05, 2017 5:27 am

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your views about ruts and whatnot. Clearly one needs the right preparation for these meditative attainments, and I'm not sure why you think anyone would dispute that.

Could we return to the question of nibbana, which is, after all, what the sermons are about? I have explained how I read Ven Nananada's sermons, which seem quite clear that it is the "experience" (any word one chooses is imperfect, hence the quotes) of nibbana that destroys the fetters at the various path levels, including stream entry.

Perhaps you could point out where he is mistaken (or where I am mistaken about his statements, such as the quotes in my last post).

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Re: Bhikkhu Anālayo’s e-learning course on the Nibbana sermons by Bhikkhu Katukurunde Ñāṇananda

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 05, 2017 5:40 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:Could we return to the question of nibbana, which is, after all, what the sermons are about? I have explained how I read Ven Nananada's sermons, which seem quite clear that it is the "experience" (any word one chooses is imperfect, hence the quotes) of nibbana that destroys the fetters at the various path levels, including stream entry.

Perhaps you could point out where he is mistaken (or where I am mistaken about his statements, such as the quotes in my last post).
I pointed out where it appears ven. Nanananda's over-reached somewhat here in a different recent topic.

I pointed out where you were mistaken about your "nibbana that destroys the fetters at the various path levels" theory here. (Whether this mistaken perspective is truly reflective of ven. Nanananda's teaching, or simply your interpretation of it, remains to be seen. The quotes you've provided haven't convinced me that this is his meaning.)

Is there even one sutta you can put forth to support your model for the attainment of a "nibbana that destroys the fetters at the various path levels"? Or is this simply an article of faith on your part? What is its origin? How does it account for the classification of the Sangha into the 8 types of individuals? By your inverted logic of the fruit preceding the path there would only be 4. Are you certain you wish to commit to that perspective?

For the time being I have nothing much else to say other than to reiterate that there are suttas galore in the Sutta Pitaka that explain the correct path of Dhamma practice, and its logical sequencing. None of this voluminous wealth of wisdom correlates with the radical hypothesis of a puthujjana fantastically attaining nibbana without having already attained to Right View, merely by following mindfulness techniques not even taught by the Buddha. Are you certain you wish to commit to that perspective? Life is short.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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