AdvaitaJ wrote: I would almost certainly be skeptical of anyone who publicly claimed any level of attainment so I can't imagine ever "knowing" about a teacher.
Maybe he (I assume 'he' since you mentioned ordained in Thailand ) was a scholar monk? Scholar monks do great merit, but often don't have the time to spend on their own practice. Two great examples:The issue for me is that I now know the opposite. This means that despite years and years of practice and having been ordained in SE Asia, this particular teacher may have missed something along the way and could unintentionally cause my practice to likewise not progress as it might.
Buddhaghosa, author of Visuddhimagga and other commentaries only hoped to be reborn to a heavenly realm and later learn from the next Buddha, Metteyya. It was because he had spent so much time writing the commentaries and analyzing the Dhamma.
Bhikkhu Bodhi mentioned in an interview, years ago, that he had not advanced much in his own practice due to the time he had spent over the years translating texts and other writings.
Obviously the above two monks gained great merit with their works and were / are very proficient in the Tipitaka / Dhamma.
Stream entry is difficult to attain, even though listed as a 'first stage' of enlightenment. Perhaps a better question might be: has this teacher helped you and have you benefited from his teachings and guidance?
Mindfulness of death and our mortality is a good practice so it is good to realize the seriousness of practice.I am not elderly, but none of us has time to waste!
Perhaps a better analogy is: Is it okay to have a sports coach training you in a sport who never won a championship as a player? And based on numerous examples, including Vince Lombardi, John Madden, and others in the U.S., the answer appears to be; yes.It's probably a poor analogy, but would you want to take pilot lessons from someone who hasn't got their own pilot license?