thank you Khalil. am interested in therevadan theories about level of attainment. i have gone quite far with zen and other mahayana forms however they are not concerned primarily with extinction of all difficulties in this life... in Therevada there is an emphasis for the Arahant that such a one is 'arahant', free of all difficulties... this goes beyond the zen and mahayana ideal. so, it is interesting to me.
Ajahn Chaa speaks seeing nature or dhamma, this is also spoken of in Zen, however with a slightly different angle. zen would argue that there are no defilements in the fundamental nature of all things, and having awareness of that nature is satori/enlightenment. with Theravada however, seeing nature is the entry of the stream... Sotapanna. i would argue that you cannot see nature unless you are nature, you cannot see dhamma without realising that you are dhamma... however, what does this seeing mean if there are still difficulties... fear, craving and blemish?
in Zen difficulties are part of enlightened existence. in Therevada there is an extinction of difficulties. Arahant... the one who is free of all difficulty.
thanks again for getting back to me Khalil, i wish that you received great merit,
best wishes, Tom.