A sotapanna

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SDC
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by SDC » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:49 am

Virgo wrote:I don't feel like living with a bottled up "secret". That is my motivation.

It is not as easy as you think being totally different from every one else.

I'm a New Yorker buddy. I grew up as a graffiti artist in New York City spraypainting trains and rooftops, making my own rules. When I got a little older and became a Buddhist I wanted to be a monk so I traveled half way across the world, not knowing the language or anyone save for an internet contact that I had never met before and decided I would not leave the country without being ordained. I did exactly that. I don't follow rules like most people do. I've always had the New York brooklyn style. I make my own rules. If I feel like telling people I am a sotapanna, I just go ahead and tell the whole world rather than bottle it up and keep it inside. It's just my perogative. Also, it might inspire some people. If people have faith I can help guide them on the right path. I said I will answer peoples questions and I will, but I have not and will not set myself up to teach. Generally, I answer peoples questions and tell them that if they really want to learn dhamma they should read Ajahn Sujins and Nina Van Gorkoms books. Their books have everything in them they need to learn. There isn't any "room" for me to teach there. I wont accept gifts or money that people may wish to give to make money either, as I stated. I may be a city boy but I've also lived in the country for the past ten years and where I am from we are hard working people, we pull our own weight. Accepting things as a monk was different because it was part of the culture I was in. I just felt like sharing my experience with the world instead of walking around "hiding" it. I don't like that feeling at all. I felt great after I made the initial post in this thread and got it off my shoulders. That is it in a nutshell: I wanted to share my genuine experience of Buddhist realization with other people.

Kevin
I'm glad you are pleased and excited with your experience. I appreciate your explanation.

I truly hope that this thread causes minimal controversy. :smile:

Virgo
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:52 am

Tilt, I don't think you understand that I may still have a lot of lobha and dosa. I am a sotapanna. I am not a sakadagami, anagami, nor an Arahant.

There are many, many examples in the Tipitika of sotapanna that seemed to be driven by their attachment and aversion. For example, one female disciple of the Buddha who was one of his supporters was a sotapanna but she did not renounce the world, she continued to have her own business and went on to have I think ten children (yes ten) after becoming a sotapanna. There is another sotapanna that was so depressed that she could not find a husband that she stayed in bed and cried.

Kevin
Last edited by Virgo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Virgo
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 3:58 am

SDC wrote:
Virgo wrote:I don't feel like living with a bottled up "secret". That is my motivation.

It is not as easy as you think being totally different from every one else.

I'm a New Yorker buddy. I grew up as a graffiti artist in New York City spraypainting trains and rooftops, making my own rules. When I got a little older and became a Buddhist I wanted to be a monk so I traveled half way across the world, not knowing the language or anyone save for an internet contact that I had never met before and decided I would not leave the country without being ordained. I did exactly that. I don't follow rules like most people do. I've always had the New York brooklyn style. I make my own rules. If I feel like telling people I am a sotapanna, I just go ahead and tell the whole world rather than bottle it up and keep it inside. It's just my perogative. Also, it might inspire some people. If people have faith I can help guide them on the right path. I said I will answer peoples questions and I will, but I have not and will not set myself up to teach. Generally, I answer peoples questions and tell them that if they really want to learn dhamma they should read Ajahn Sujins and Nina Van Gorkoms books. Their books have everything in them they need to learn. There isn't any "room" for me to teach there. I wont accept gifts or money that people may wish to give to make money either, as I stated. I may be a city boy but I've also lived in the country for the past ten years and where I am from we are hard working people, we pull our own weight. Accepting things as a monk was different because it was part of the culture I was in. I just felt like sharing my experience with the world instead of walking around "hiding" it. I don't like that feeling at all. I felt great after I made the initial post in this thread and got it off my shoulders. That is it in a nutshell: I wanted to share my genuine experience of Buddhist realization with other people.

Kevin
I'm glad you are pleased and excited with your experience. I appreciate your explanation.

I truly hope that this thread causes minimal controversy. :smile:
Thanks a lot SDC.

Kevin

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tiltbillings
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:04 am

Virgo wrote:Tilt, I think you don't understand that I may still have a lot of lobha and dosa. I am a sotapanna. I am not a sadakagami, anagami, nor an Arahant.
"I may still have a lot of lobha and dosa." So, if you act badly or act driven by the 8 winds, your response is you shrug your shoulders and say I am not perfect? In other words, a sotapanna may not only want gain and praise derived from the recognition that goes with the attainment, but he or she may actually seek it by broadcasting his or her attainment. I am thinking there is more virtue, however, in seeing stream-entry as just one more of which to let go; rather, one should merely live one's attainment with no gain or loss, no praise nor blame.
>> 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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Re: A sotapanna

Post by Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:23 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:Tilt, I think you don't understand that I may still have a lot of lobha and dosa. I am a sotapanna. I am not a sadakagami, anagami, nor an Arahant.
"I may still have a lot of lobha and dosa." So, if you act badly or act driven by the 8 winds, your response is you shrug your shoulders and say I am not perfect? In other words, a sotapanna may not only want gain and praise derived from the recognition that goes with the attainment, but he or she may actually seek it by broadcasting his or her attainment. I am thinking there is more virtue, however, in seeing stream-entry as just one more of which to let go; rather, one should merely live one's attainment with no gain or loss, no praise nor blame.
I think you are making judgements which are unfounded. I wanted to share my experience with like minded people and not gain praise and fame.

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Re: A sotapanna

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:17 am

Virgo wrote: I think you are making judgements which are unfounded. I wanted to share my experience with like minded people and not gain praise and fame.
Let me repeat and make it a bit more clear and note I am not offering any judgment as to why YOU are doing anything and also note the shift from the rhetorical "you" to a general "person" since I was - and am - speaking in general way based upon the info you gave me, trying to understand, from what you said, what a sotapanna can do and cannot do, since you are now the expert here on that:
"I may still have a lot of lobha and dosa." So, if a sotapanna person acts badly or acts driven by the 8 winds, that person's response is to shrug his shoulders and say "I am not perfect" - is that what you are saying? In other words, a sotapanna may not only want gain and praise derived from the recognition that goes with the attainment, but he or she may actually seek it by broadcasting his or her attainment.

I am thinking there is more virtue, however, in seeing stream-entry as just one more of which to let go; rather, one should merely live one's attainment with no gain or loss, no praise nor blame.
There is nothing here stating what YOUR motivations are. What you told us is that you wanted to share your experience because not doing do made you uncomfortable. You also stated that you may still have "a lot of lobha and dosa," and you indicated that you really have no clear understanding as to why you opted to give in to your discomfort.

Your "explanation" for broadcasting your attainment is at best unclear, but the point of the above is: you certainly have indicated that a sotapanna might act driven by the 8 winds and I stated that I think there is more virtue in letting go any identification with being a sotapanna, living without gain or loss, without praise or blame. Am I saying or implying that you are driven by the 8 winds? No, but there is nothing in what you have said that rules it out. Being a New York rule breaker, however, is a very weak explanation for making such an extraordinary claim about yourself, a claim that would bring praise or blame.
>> 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

Virgo
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:33 am

Is this thread locked? It seems as if my post won't go through.

Kevin

pt1
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by pt1 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:42 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote: I think you are making judgements which are unfounded. I wanted to share my experience with like minded people and not gain praise and fame.
Let me repeat and make it a bit more clear and note I am not offering any judgment as to why YOU are doing anything and also note the shift from the rhetorical "you" to a general "person" since I was - and am - speaking in general way based upon the info you gave me, trying to understand, from what you said, what a sotapanna can do and cannot do, since are now the expert here on that:
"I may still have a lot of lobha and dosa." So, if a sotapanna person acts badly or acts driven by the 8 winds, that person's response is to shrug his shoulders and say "I am not perfect" - is that what you are saying? In other words, a sotapanna may not only want gain and praise derived from the recognition that goes with the attainment, but he or she may actually seek it by broadcasting his or her attainment.

I am thinking there is more virtue, however, in seeing stream-entry as just one more of which to let go; rather, one should merely live one's attainment with no gain or loss, no praise nor blame.
There is nothing here stating what YOUR motivations are.

Hi Kevin and tilt,

I'd assume that a sotapanna still has conceit/pride, which is only eradicated by arahatship, so perhaps that could be an unwholesome reason for declaring one's own enlightenment (at least for a lay person). On the other hand, if one has experienced nibbana, I'd guess that would be a momentous and joyous occasion, and one would naturally want to share that joy - mudita in other words, so the motivation for sharing the news doesn't neccesarily has to be unwholesome.

Anyway, Kevin, congrats, I too would join in saying that the best is to go and have it verified by an elder, as I think I read somewhere that declaring an attainment believing it to be true, while it in fact is not, will also draw bad consequences.

And one thing in particular I'd like to ask - so nibbana is actually experienced as a dhamma, it's not just absence of greed, hate and delusion?

Best wishes

Virgo
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote: I think you are making judgements which are unfounded. I wanted to share my experience with like minded people and not gain praise and fame.
Let me repeat and make it a bit more clear and note I am not offering any judgment as to why YOU are doing anything and also note the shift from the rhetorical "you" to a general "person" since I was speaking in general way based upon the info you gave me, trying to understand, from you said, what a sotapanna can do and cannot do, since are now the expert here on that:
"I may still have a lot of lobha and dosa." So, if a sotapanna person acts badly or acts driven by the 8 winds, that person's response is to shrug his shoulders and say "I am not perfect" - is that what you are saying? In other words, a sotapanna may not only want gain and praise derived from the recognition that goes with the attainment, but he or she may actually seek it by broadcasting his or her attainment.

I am thinking there is more virtue, however, in seeing stream-entry as just one more of which to let go; rather, one should merely live one's attainment with no gain or loss, no praise nor blame.
There is nothing here stating what YOUR motivations are. What you told us is that you wanted to share your experience because not doing do made you uncomfortable. You also stated that you may still have "a lot of lobha and dosa," and you indicated that you really have no clear understanding as to why you opted to give in to your discomfort. Your "explanation" for broadcasting your attainment is at best unclear, but point of the above is: you certainly have indicated that a sotapanna might act driven by the 8 winds and I stated that I think there is more virtue in letting go any identification with being a sotapanna, living without gain or loss, without praise or blame. Am I saying or implying that you are driven by the 8 winds? No, but there is nothing in what you have said that rules it out. Being New York rule breaker, however, is a very weak explanation for making such an extraordinary claim about yourself, a claim that would bring praise or blame.
Tilt, I will try to sum it up for you. I have been keeping this to myself for a period of time now. Granted 100 days is not an incredibly long period of time, but neither is it a completely insubstantial amount of time either. I don't have many Buddhist friends at all. My main friends are non-Buddhists. The only Buddhist friends I have any physical contact with where I live are of the Tibetan order. Their understanding is much different because the presentation in those schools is different. They don't really understand about sotapanna even if I told them what it was. My only Theravada Buddhist friends live in Thailand. I rarely speak to them now. I stay in contact via e-mail but there is not a lot of exchange between us. I don't have any one around to share this with. My main interaction with Buddhists has been internet forums such as this one and e-sangha for a long time. Every day I think about being a sotapanna. I have no one to share this experience with. I have no companions in this lifestyle. I have no one to talk about it with or express it to. After a while it started feeling like it was getting "bottled up" somehow due to lack of interaction with other Buddhists and lack of telling people about my experience. The final result? I told the people here on the internet which is where I am accustomed to talking about Buddhism. I don't see it as a big deal. It's taken some time but I have really come to terms with my situation as a sotapanna. I am no longer "amazed" by my situation. The experience has integrated with my life well now. It's not a "big shocker" for me now, although I am sure it holds a degree of "shock value" to others. Nonetheless, I got to the point where I just felt like I had to communicate this, let it out and so on. And that is exactly what I have done here. I am happy I did so. People may form all different opinions, but that is alright.

Just to be clear. I did not express this earlier because I thought it wiser to keep it to myself, but after a while of doing so I feel a strong need to express it. The lack of having regular real life conversations about Buddhism with people in my life probably added to my need to express this.

Again, lobha and dosa are realities for a sotapanna. That is the truth.

As far as negative motivations are concerned, I have not and will not accept gifts or money from others simply because I am a sotapanna. That doesn't fit well in todays society and culture, and I won't go for it. I have explicitly stated that I don't want any such offerings and that I will reject them. As far as teaching is concerned, I won't do that either. As I stated, there is a ton of good material out there already that is amazingly complete should any one want to learn Buddhism, in my opinion. I basically direct people to it when they have questions for me although I don't mind answering a Buddhist question here and there of course. That is about the extent of "Buddhist teaching" I will probably ever do.

I don't have any motivation except those born of unwholesome accumulations of attachment and aversion manifesting in my wanting to express my experiences to others like me (Buddhists). This is perfectly normal, I feel. Perhaps announcing it on the internet is a bit "over the top" in some ways but again, it is not like I have a group of close Buddhist friends or Theravada Buddhists or even a teacher nearby that I can express this with, and online communities have been my mainstay in Buddhism for long periods of time aside from when I lived in a Buddhist temple in America and when I lived in Thailand for a few months. The point about the "New York attitude" that I have is that this adds an element of me throwing caution to the wind and just saying what I feel no matter what. Anyway, I hope that explains things a little better. That is about the sum of it. Of course I also want to help people and hope people will ask me about dhamma. Again though, I will probably just direct them to material that has helped me.

Kevin

Virgo
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:48 am

pt1 wrote: And one thing in particular I'd like to ask - so nibbana is actually experienced as a dhamma, it's not just absence of greed, hate and delusion?

Best wishes
Hi pt, yep. =)

Best,

Kevin

SamKR
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by SamKR » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:51 am

Dear Virgo,

I am inclined to believe that you are a sotapanna. Now please strive towards being Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahant asap!!!

But it would be better if you do not make public of your attainments, being compassionate towards we Anariya people who can become very confused because of the claims.

SamKR
Last edited by SamKR on Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Virgo
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by Virgo » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:54 am

SamKR wrote:Dear Virgo,

I am inclined to believe that you are a sotapanna. Now please strive towards being Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahant asap!!!

But it would be better if you do not make public of your attainments being compassionate towards we Anariya people who can become very confused because of the claims.

SamKR
Hi Sam. There is no reason to feel confused. The attainments are possible. The important point is the development of wisdom, no matter how long it takes to acquire.

Thanks a lot for your input.

Kevin

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tiltbillings
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:48 am

Virgo wrote: Tilt, I will try to sum it up for you. . . . I don't see it as a big deal. It's taken some time but I have really come to terms with my situation as a sotapanna. . . . I have not and will not accept gifts or money from others simply because I am a sotapanna.. . . .
But it is a big deal, obviously. It is an extra-ordinary accomplishment which you have claimed for yourself and for which you are now gifted with praise, which is far more meaningful than money.

In the 40+ years that I have been a Buddhist, those that I have met, known and with whom I have practiced who were beyond doubt in their insight would never have thought of broadcasting their attainments in such way as have you. They lived the Dhamma, manifested in their lives, some of which were as, if not more, isolated than what you describe of yourself.

From the OP on, for you, Kevin, sotapanna is coming across as an identity - I am a sotapanna you say of yourself-, a thing by which you are now known, for which you are now praised. It strikes me all as a bit wan, but to you I hope in time you can come to see the wisdom of the Buddha's injunction to let go of what is in front, let go of what is behind, let go of what is between. With a heart everywhere let-go, you coming not again to birth & aging. And as someone who was unquestionably ariya said:
If the mind tries to tell you, "I'm a sotapanna now", go and bow to the sotapanna. He'll tell you himself, "It's all uncertain." If you meet a sakadagami go and pay respects to him. When he sees you he'll simply say "Not a sure thing!" If there is an anagami go and bow to him. He'll tell you only one thing . . . "Uncertain." If you meet even an arahant, go and bow to him, he'll tell you even more firmly, "It's all even more uncertain!" You'll hear the words of the Noble Ones . . . "Everything is uncertain, don't cling to anything."
>> 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

SamKR
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by SamKR » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:59 am

Virgo wrote:
SamKR wrote:Dear Virgo,

I am inclined to believe that you are a sotapanna. Now please strive towards being Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahant asap!!!

But it would be better if you do not make public of your attainments being compassionate towards we Anariya people who can become very confused because of the claims.

SamKR
Hi Sam. There is no reason to feel confused.
Will it benefit you (in dhamma) or other people, if you declare your attainment? Or will it harm? Or neither?
Last edited by SamKR on Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Ben
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Re: A sotapanna

Post by Ben » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:31 am

Hi Kevin,
Virgo wrote: it is not like I have a group of close Buddhist friends or Theravada Buddhists or even a teacher nearby that I can express this with, and online communities have been my mainstay in Buddhism for long periods of time aside from when I lived in a Buddhist temple in America and when I lived in Thailand for a few months.
I think this is where many of us are at - practicing in isolation and coming together on Dhamma Wheel or elsewhere on the internet for inspiration and companionship. In many ways I think its good for many practitioners to be on their own and having to develop the motivation to continue practicing. The downside is that when we have exotic experiences we may find, like yourself, bereft of close Dhamma friends to communicate what we've experienced.
I do think it would be very beneficial for you to communicate with Sujin and/or Nina - however tenuous you think your past relationship is. They are obviously people who you have great confidence in.
kind regards

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.
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