What then?

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What then?

Postby disjointed » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:42 am

Say you had entry level liberation (arhantship),
how do you think that would change how you act?
how would you see the world if you didn't need or want anything in it any longer?
what things would you do more of?
what things less?

I think if I had that kind of attainment I would make the intention to benefit beings and sit in meditation until I died so I could take on a more suitable kind of body. I'm not actually sure arhantship secures your ability to take on a light body or produce emanations though.

I can't even imagine what it would be like to be a Buddha right now so I didn't ask about that. :0
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Re: What then?

Postby Lindama » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:53 am

If you had that so-called attainment, you would receive your instructions and carry on .... just like mission impossible, you can always accept them, or not.

just say yes ... ofc, by then, the only answer is yes
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Re: What then?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:20 am

disjointed wrote:Say you had entry level liberation (arhantship),
how do you think that would change how you act?
how would you see the world if you didn't need or want anything in it any longer?
what things would you do more of?
what things less?

I think if I had that kind of attainment I would make the intention to benefit beings and sit in meditation until I died so I could take on a more suitable kind of body. I'm not actually sure arhantship secures your ability to take on a light body or produce emanations though.

I can't even imagine what it would be like to be a Buddha right now so I didn't ask about that. :0
Instead of wondering about it, get yourself a teacher and apply yourself so that you can realise this state.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: What then?

Postby disjointed » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:48 am

I was kind of hoping that the factors of rebirth would fall apart on their own.
It makes sense to put in more effort since my assessment warped by hope is so iffy.

It's so hard to find trust worthy teachers that aren't on a continual teaching circuit around the world.
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Re: What then?

Postby TheSpirit » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:52 am

This might sound like a heresy to Buddhist but I supposed this is why I am not a Buddhist...or completely. I might just be misled but to attain enlightenment to feel no attachment and desire seems like a very cold robotic life......I almost feel like the path of a Bosatsu is almost impossible if they are enlightened...because they have no attachment or desire...it seems rather impossible then to be compassionate toward other beings and motivated to save them......
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Re: What then?

Postby xabir » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:48 am

disjointed wrote:Say you had entry level liberation (arhantship),
how do you think that would change how you act?
how would you see the world if you didn't need or want anything in it any longer?
what things would you do more of?
what things less?

I think if I had that kind of attainment I would make the intention to benefit beings and sit in meditation until I died so I could take on a more suitable kind of body. I'm not actually sure arhantship secures your ability to take on a light body or produce emanations though.

I can't even imagine what it would be like to be a Buddha right now so I didn't ask about that. :0
Arahantship is not merely 'entry level liberation', it is the total and complete liberation from, the termination/elimination of all afflictions (passion, aggression and delusion) that causes further suffering and rebirth. Even in the Mahayana path, the Bodhisattva only gains this level of liberation or freedom from afflictions at the 8th Bhumi level. It is by no means an easy feat.

I have not known or met of anyone that I am convinced are arahants today (despite many claimants and rumours) by the Buddha's standards. Which means to say it is a pretty high level of attainment, and I cannot find any practitioners that have developed their practice to such an advanced stage today.

Perhaps by entry level you're referring to the lower levels of attainment like stream entry?

I do not believe that Arhants will be able to produce light body/emanations/and so on unless they also choose to take a particular path of development that leads to those attainments apart from the liberation they have already attained.

The arhant experiences the world in such a manner: http://majjhimanikaya.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/112/

1) unattracted (and without desire or delight) in the seen/sensed/cognized, 2) unrepelled, 3) independent, 4) completely free of any clinging, 5) completely free of the tendency towards I/mine-making

An arahant is incapable of these:

AN 9.7 Sutavaa Sutta [Excerpt]
translated from the Pali by Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi

"In the past, Sutavaa, and also now, I declare that a monk who is an arahant --
one with the taints destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done his task, laid
down the burden, attained his own goal, destroyed the fetters of becoming and
become liberated by final knowledge -- is incapable of transgression in regard
to nine things:

[1] "he is incapable of destroying life,
[1] "abhabbo khii.naasavo bhikkhu sa~ncicca paa.na.m jiivitaa voropetu.m,

[2] "he is incapable of committing theft,
[2] "abhabbo khii.naasavo bhikkhu adinna.m theyyasa"nkhaata.m aadaatu.m,

[3] "he is incapable of engaging in the sexual act,
[3] "abhabbo khii.naasavo bhikkhu methuna.m dhamma.m pa.tisevitu.m,

[4] "he is incapable of telling a deliberate lie,
[4] "abhabbo khii.naasavo bhikkhu sampajaanamusaa bhaasitu.m,

[5] "he is incapable of making use of stored up enjoyments as he did in the past
when he was a householder,
[5] "abhabbo khii.naasavo bhikkhu sannidhikaaraka.m kaame paribhu~njitu.m
seyyathaapi pubbe agaariyabhuuto,

[6] "he is incapable of taking a wrong course of action on account of desire,
[6] "abhabbo khii.naasavo bhikkhu chandaagati.m gantu.m,

[7] "he is incapable of taking a wrong course of action on account of hatred,
[7] "abhabbo khii.naasavo bhikkhu dosaagati.m gantu.m,

[8] "he is incapable of taking a wrong course of action on account of delusion,
[8] "abhabbo khii.naasavo bhikkhu mohaagati.m gantu.m,

[9] "he is incapable of taking a wrong course of action on account of fear.
[9] "abhabbo khii.naasavo bhikkhu bhayaagati.m gantu.m.

"In the past, Sutavaa, and also now I declare that a monk who is an arahant is
incapable of transgression in regard to these nine things."
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Re: What then?

Postby disjointed » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:19 am

It's refreshing to see a Buddhist support what they say with sutras.

I meant arhantship. I did have the bhumi's in mind when I said entry level. While the 8th ground is where a Bodhisattva gains arhantship, a person could gain arhantship without having attained any ground. Entry level was just a way of giving recognition to samyaksam and pratyeka Buddhahood and distinguishing from those.

I do think there are arhants in the world today. I don't know any personally, but I'm confident in the Buddha's teachings and know a lot of people are making a huge effort.

These are good relevant passages you've posted.
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Re: What then?

Postby xabir » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:26 am

disjointed wrote:It's refreshing to see a Buddhist support what they say with sutras.

I meant arhantship. I did have the bhumi's in mind when I said entry level. While the 8th ground is where a Bodhisattva gains arhantship, a person could gain arhantship without having attained any ground. Entry level was just a way of giving recognition to samyaksam and pratyeka Buddhahood and distinguishing from those.

I do think there are arhants in the world today. I don't know any personally, but I'm confident in the Buddha's teachings and know a lot of people are making a huge effort.

These are good relevant passages you've posted.
In the Hinayana path, there are four stages: Stream Entry (Sotapanna) --> Once Returner (Sakadagami) --> Non Returner (Anagami) --> Arahant.

Entry level of awakening in the Hinayana path is thus Stream Entry, not Arahantship. These stages could also be correlated to the bhumi systems in some ways, but I digress.

In the Mahayana path, there are 10 bhumis, or 13, or 16, depending on which tradition. (10 in general Mahayana, 13s and 16s scheme are in Tibetan Buddhism)

I am open to the idea that there are arahants now, just that I have not met or known of one that completely fulfills the Buddha's criteria - yet.
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Re: What then?

Postby xabir » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:31 am

Even at a rather entry level of awakening, there can be profound changes. Life can still go on in a very ordinary way (as in daily ordinary routines, so it does not mean that an awakened person will immediately renounce, give up his/her day job, alienate from close friends and family etc) yet some unwholesome patterns behaviours are just not there anymore. Other than that there is nothing much that differentiates you from others in the eyes of others and friends and relatives may not even notice difference unless they get to know you on a daily basis. That awakened person will also become incapable of intentionally injuring or killing other beings and the harm done to others will be largely reduced. (Minor mistakes can be made but not major ones)

Perception will be non-dual, non-conceptual, direct, immediate, and liberating. There will be crystal bright clarity and lucidity and purity in everything that is gaplessly experienced free from the reifications of a subjective self an an objective world. That person will also see a disappearance and severing of afflictive emotions, will definitely become more calm, happy, joyful.

A friend of mine in this forum shared elsewhere:

Jeremiah, yeah I used to get angry or at least capable of strong wrath, even towards others. I also used to have a lot of frustration build up over time and would have to cry it out every six months or so to have a release. But that experience of anatta or whatever it was totally eradicated those emotions. The only remnants I have now is that I'll get frustrated sometimes, but it never escalates into full blown emotion and it doesn't collect or build up. I don't know why that is. It's one of the things I find really interesting about emptiness insight.

Since then I've seen it mentioned from teachers though. I recall one statement which was commenting on individuals who had claimed to have realized emptiness, yet still exhibit strong negative emotions, and so the statement was that they obviously had not (authentically realized emptiness). Another was from the Dalai Lama, he mentioned that emptiness realization severs negative emotions. Another I saw said that after one realizes anatta; they no longer take lower rebirths (meaning they no longer have lower mental states and emotions). My teacher Namkhai Norbu also has said that emptiness results in the removal of negative emotions. So yeah, I don't know. All I know is that these statements have rung true in my experience.


Another friend and mentor of mine also wrote years ago:

Though anatta is a (dharma) seal, it also requires one to arise the insight to feel liberated. When a practitioner realizes the anatta nature of manifestation, at that moment without the sense of observer, there is no negative emotions. There is only vivid sensation of all arising as presence.

When you are angry, it is a (subject-object) split. When you realized its anatta nature, there is just vivid clarity of all the bodily sensations. Even when there is an arising thought of something bad, it dissolves with no involvement in the content. To be angry, a 'someone' must come into the content. When there is no involvement of the extra agent, there is only recoiling and self liberations. One should differentiate arising thought from the active involvement of the content. A practitioner that realizes anatta is only involved fully in the vivid presence of the action, phenomena but not getting lost in content.
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