where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

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where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby White Lotus » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:58 pm

actually i would prefer to use the term 'non'-attainment, since i have no conviction of being awake, nor do i have a conviction of being asleep. i know that i no longer have a personal self. the five khandas are broken up and so there is no longer anyone to be awake or asleep. so logically i feel that it would be right to ask for a critical statement about this state of no-attainment.

i have really begun to ask some serious questions about anatta, having previously being sam-atman. is there more to it than meets the eye? its obvious that if there is no self, then there can be no-one to come or to go, no-one to be enlightened, no-one to attach to any kind of enlightenment or notion of enlightenment. no-one to be aware, no-one to sit, walk or stand. no-action, no-non-action.

not having a self, still it can be said, not non-self... in that there is still the appearance of acting, still the appearance of coming and still the appearance of going. though on analysis "nothing" will do.

in London, i cant seem to find a master to go to for confirmation of this state or what it means, or doesnt mean. i went to the Seung Sahn Ch'an temple this morning and was told... "there is no master here! why do you want to see a master?" "i want to know where i am!" "your in London!" (big smile from the receptionst).

oh well, not sure what to do next. i cant be blamed for not trying!

love, flakey. xxx
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Virgo » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:41 pm

Hi Flakey,

When you have reached the first bhumi, or the first stage of Arya bodhisattvaship, you will be willing to given even your eyes or limbs away to someone who really needs them with out suffering regret over the action after you have comited it, and without wishing that you had not removed pieces of your body in order to give them to someone else after the fact.

At that level you may still become angered if someone takes your limbs or tortures you against your will, though.

That is your measure. Of course, one doesn't try and do such a thing just to guage how they will react. Nevertheless, if the opportunity arises that you automatically wish to give your flesh to someone that needs it and you feel completely compelled to do so you have to watch the chitta very carefully. If there is any doubt at all, or any thought or hint that you might ever regret it, even for a second, you have not reached the bhumis.

That is one who has realized Mahayana emptiness.

I hope this helps.

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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby ground » Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:57 pm

where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?


What attainment? Why confirmation? What for?

Strange things happen in the internet ...
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby RayfieldNeel » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:32 pm

I may be committing a bit of a faux pas to mention this, since the site I'm linking to is primarily involved with Theravadin methodologies, but you might go take a look around at http://www.dharmaoverground.org. There are people there that specialize in looking at where you are in your practice, and evaluating what you've attained...though it can really only be a bit of a guess. No one can "see into your head", right? :smile:

Again, it may be a waste of your time; I don't know what the nature of your practice is.
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Virgo » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:17 pm

RayfieldNeel wrote:I may be committing a bit of a faux pas to mention this, since the site I'm linking to is primarily involved with Theravadin methodologies, but you might go take a look around at http://www.dharmaoverground.org. There are people there that specialize in looking at where you are in your practice, and evaluating what you've attained...though it can really only be a bit of a guess. No one can "see into your head", right? :smile:

Again, it may be a waste of your time; I don't know what the nature of your practice is.


Confirmation on experiential wisdom of emptiness won't be necessary. Why? Because once someone is a first stage bodhisattva (ie. once they have realized emptiness) they will be part of the Three Jewels themselves. As a member of the Noble Sangha, they will be a proper object of refuge themselves and won't need any confirmation from outside. Likewise for a Hinayana stream winner. They will know.


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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby RayfieldNeel » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:29 pm

Very interesting, and clearly you have more knowledge about the path of a Bodhisattva than I!
Having said that, the site I linked is an interesting place...it never hurts to acquire new knowledge about the path to freedom. :)
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Virgo » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:35 pm

RayfieldNeel wrote:Very interesting, and clearly you have more knowledge about the path of a Bodhisattva than I!
I have very little. But I aspire to learn.
RayfieldNeel wrote:Having said that, the site I linked is an interesting place...it never hurts to acquire new knowledge about the path to freedom. :)


Absolutely. Anything connected with authentic Dharma is good.
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby kirtu » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:40 am

White Lotus wrote:actually i would prefer to use the term 'non'-attainment, since i have no conviction of being awake, nor do i have a conviction of being asleep. i know that i no longer have a personal self. the five khandas are broken up and so there is no longer anyone to be awake or asleep. so logically i feel that it would be right to ask for a critical statement about this state of no-attainment.


Seeking some sort of confirmation means that you aren't on the bhumi's yet (as noted by others). The thing is that when we have these little realizations (although they can still be life-changing) we have a tendency to think it is a big thing.

Wait a few months (or less) and see if you still get angry, does lust arise, impatience, etc. Basically do gross negativities arise in your mind? If they are really gone then perhaps you have gone beyond the Path of Accumulation. The other part to that is basically is your mind infused with relative bodhicitta like water poured into water (is your mind basically constantly abiding in relative bodhicitta for all beings)? If so then perhaps you have reached the pinnacle of the Path of Accumulation (the first of the five Mahayana paths: Path of Accumulation, Preparation (Joining), Seeing, Meditation, No More Learning: the first bhumi begins at the Path of Seeing).

Zen people have a different set of criteria based in part on the Ranks of Tozan. However Zen people also will not be interested in any kind of confirmation (neither will any other teacher actually). The general Zen advice will be to sit with it until it disappears or until you have gone beyond it.

Of course the real attainment would be if all sentient beings were already liberated. In this sense we can see that we haven't attained anything yet because the suffering world is still suffering.

Deep states of samadhi (and this can actually happen outside of deep meditation like during other practice) can produce deep states of calm and bliss that can suppress negativities. It's important to not be attached to these states and to continue practicing for all beings.

May we transform samsara into a Pure Land in beings' relative perceptions this very year.

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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby kirtu » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:45 am

kirtu wrote:
White Lotus wrote:actually i would prefer to use the term 'non'-attainment, since i have no conviction of being awake, nor do i have a conviction of being asleep. i know that i no longer have a personal self. the five khandas are broken up and so there is no longer anyone to be awake or asleep. so logically i feel that it would be right to ask for a critical statement about this state of no-attainment.


Seeking some sort of confirmation means that you aren't on the bhumi's yet (as noted by others). The thing is that when we have these little realizations (although they can still be life-changing) we have a tendency to think it is a big thing.

Wait a few months (or less) and see if you still get angry, does lust arise, impatience, etc. Basically do gross negativities arise in your mind? If they are really gone then perhaps you have gone beyond the Path of Accumulation.


Even this test can be deceptive. There was a monk in the Pali canon (or perhaps a canonical commentary) who really, honestly though he had attained Arhatship. He thought this for years until there was some incident and he realized that he had not actually attained Arhatship. So in the story he buckled down and through concerted effort really did attain Arhatship before he died.

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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Huifeng » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:38 am

Good advice from Kirtu.

I would just add: Drop whatever it is that you are doing (or "appear" to do be doing), and go and find a real master. Give all your possessions away, and say goodbye.

If you have difficulty in doing this, then chances are that the (non-)attainment isn't anything much worth the name. If you can do this, then you can ask that master the question, and follow their subsequent instruction.
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:48 am

:good:
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby White Lotus » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:31 pm

thanks this brings us back to the importance of the Master.
but, what if one is unable to attach to his teaching, there being no one to attach or to be attached to.
there being abscence of conviction and absence of doubt. if he said... you are enlightened, would you believe him? not being attached to his teaching and lacking any kind of conviction. yet... loving and respecting him... there is the certainty of no-certainty. everything my teacher says is empty. it means nothing to me, and yet i appreciate it.

i guess that giving up ones home and possessions is most noble, but giving up ones own self leaves one with nothing at all... since there is no-one to possess anything.

as for confirmation, i was informed that one who is awake should seek confirmation of his awakening in order not to be heterodox... since i am not convinced by the conviction of my teacher. and quite possibly will not be conviced by anyone. i would be happier if someone... other than my teacher, said there is no need to seek confirmation in order to be in accordance with the dharma.

could someone examine this poem...

no one to be enlightened, and yet something that is not.
at root all grandly empty, the branches no longer seem real.
anything at all will do just fine, the ignorance of the ignorant
is sublime wisdom. try to be good, and all will be just so.
perfect in every way, i see a glimpse of it all, the dharma
manifest is the dharma of reality, at root thoroughly empty.
things are just as they are, but i am happy if you say they are not.
compassion shines like the sun, wisdom like the moon.
we learn from them both, but fundamentally every one and everything
is already absolutely perfect. all being the same, there is no
difference between the dharmas. every form is at root empty.
in its appearance it is free to dance. but too much dancing makes
the heart sick.

this makes me think perhaps i am not ready yet. I am not pleased with this, but its sort of where i am at.

love, flakey. xxx :thinking:
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Virgo » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:44 pm

White Lotus wrote:thanks this brings us back to the importance of the Master.
but, what if one is unable to attach to his teaching, there being no one to attach or to be attached to.
there being abscence of conviction and absence of doubt. if he said... you are enlightened, would you believe him? not being attached to his teaching and lacking any kind of conviction. yet... loving and respecting him... there is the certainty of no-certainty. everything my teacher says is empty. it means nothing to me, and yet i appreciate it.

i guess that giving up ones home and possessions is most noble, but giving up ones own self leaves one with nothing at all... since there is no-one to possess anything.

as for confirmation, i was informed that one who is awake should seek confirmation of his awakening in order not to be heterodox... since i am not convinced by the conviction of my teacher. and quite possibly will not be conviced by anyone. i would be happier if someone... other than my teacher, said there is no need to seek confirmation in order to be in accordance with the dharma.

could someone examine this poem...

no one to be enlightened, and yet something that is not.
at root all grandly empty, the branches no longer seem real.
anything at all will do just fine, the ignorance of the ignorant
is sublime wisdom. try to be good, and all will be just so.
perfect in every way, i see a glimpse of it all, the dharma
manifest is the dharma of reality, at root thoroughly empty.
things are just as they are, but i am happy if you say they are not.
compassion shines like the sun, wisdom like the moon.
we learn from them both, but fundamentally every one and everything
is already absolutely perfect. all being the same, there is no
difference between the dharmas. every form is at root empty.
in its appearance it is free to dance. but too much dancing makes
the heart sick.

this makes me think perhaps i am not ready yet. I am not pleased with this, but its sort of where i am at.

love, flakey. xxx :thinking:

Even if you have realized emptiness one can still fall off the bhumis. That is why the Bodhisattva path is a long path. One is not a Mahayana stream-entrant until higher on the bhumis. That is why accumulation of merit is needed. Once you see that beings are empty but they suffer because they don't realize it, compassion may arise. Then one has to fulfill the merit and wisdom accumulations in order to be able to help beings realize their empty nature on a grand scale. That is the Mahayana path. Realization of emptiness is just the beginning of the path in a real sense. After that, there are 9 more bhumis to go.


There are many good teachers available. One does not have to travel to Asia, for example, to find a teacher. Further, one can have more than one teacher.
I hope this helps.

Kevin

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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby White Lotus » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:55 pm

dear Kevin, thank you... is there any way you could list the nine bhumis for me... not knowing what they are, or what their respective qualities are.
cheers,

flakey. xxx

am going to look for them on the search engine now. ;)
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Virgo » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:58 pm

White Lotus wrote:dear Kevin, thank you... is there any way you could list the nine bhumis for me... not knowing what they are, or what their respective qualities are.
cheers,

Hi Flakey :)

Try these talks online by Venerable Gyume Khensur Rinpoche. To receive a teaching like this is extremely rare:
http://www.thubtenchodron.org/OtherArticlesAudio/paths_and_grounds_of_the_bodhisattva.htm

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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby watercarrier » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:57 am

when we are aware of nothing
we are unaware of nothing
everything is the opposite of what it is
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby White Lotus » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:00 pm

Thank you Virgo, i have listened to the last talk on the bhumis, it seems that they are about ''relinquishing'' delusion with the aim of seeing and eventually becoming emptiness.
thanks!
love White Lotus. xxx :)
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:51 pm

Hi White Lotus,

Sometimes in meditation we can have insights. It may not mean realiation or attainment, but insights are very useful! Keep up the good work, meditation on emptiness is meritous activity :)

Kind wishes,
Laura
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Paul » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:37 pm

RayfieldNeel wrote:I may be committing a bit of a faux pas to mention this, since the site I'm linking to is primarily involved with Theravadin methodologies, but you might go take a look around at http://www.dharmaoverground.org. There are people there that specialize in looking at where you are in your practice, and evaluating what you've attained...though it can really only be a bit of a guess. No one can "see into your head", right? :smile:

Again, it may be a waste of your time; I don't know what the nature of your practice is.


I was just going to suggest Daniel Ingram and pals. Maybe read his book if you've not come across it yet.

You might just have had some temporary experience but then again, why shouldn't you have had some kind of attainment? It's certainly very possible to do so with the right kind of effort and insight meditations, and unless you've suddenly attained complete buddhahood then there may indeed be some needless doubt.
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Re: where to go to seek confirmation of attainment?

Postby Dexing » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:59 am

White Lotus wrote:in London, i cant seem to find a master to go to for confirmation of this state or what it means, or doesnt mean. i went to the Seung Sahn Ch'an temple this morning and was told... "there is no master here! why do you want to see a master?" "i want to know where i am!" "your in London!" (big smile from the receptionst).

oh well, not sure what to do next. i cant be blamed for not trying!


:applause:

you met a master, asked your question, and got the answer... with a great teaching to boot, but you didn't understand any part of the experience.

what to do next? more practice.

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...
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