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Validating Sotapatti Without Means of a Ariya/Noble One

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  • Validating Sotapatti Without Means of a Ariya/Noble One

    Namasakan Krup!
    I'm Tom Green & live in Denver, CO USA. Here we don't have the wonderful monastic community you enjoy in WA (The Thai wat here serves as a Thai community center only.) I've been compelled to practice largely alone. By deeply reading and listening to Ajahm Brahm's meditation instructions, then diligently applying them, I feel I've attained sotapatti. I know to validate sotapatti, the "words of another" must come from an ariya. I've requested help from all USA Theravadan monasteries, including Thanissaro Bhikkhu's Wat Metta (& beyond). I still have been unable to find an ariya willing to help me. If I could, I'd ordain as an anagarika at Bodhinyana but for numerous reasons I cannot. Your wonderful BSWA Pres. Dennis Shepard referred me to you. Can you offer any suggestions? Any help will be deeply appreciated. With Maha Metta, tom

  • #2
    Dear Tom,

    One can never get an attainment of sotāpatti validated with absolute certainty, even if one finds an ariya to ask. In any case, you never really know whether a particular person is an ariya. These things are very difficult to know.

    As a general guideline, the vast majority of people who think they are sotāpannas overestimate themselves. There are lots of profound insights and deep samādhi to be had before one reaches the stage of sotāpatti. It is very easy to think one has penetrated non-self fully, when in fact one hasn't.

    I would suggest you consult the suttas to get a clear idea of the qualties of sotāpanna. MN48, the Kosambiya Sutta, is good place to start. Otherwise you may wish to attend a retreat with Ajahn Brahm. You can then ask him questions in greater detail during private interviews.

    With metta.

    Comment


    • #3
      Follow up to Attainment of Sotapatti Without Means of an Ariya

      Dear Ajahn Brahmali,

      Thanks for your kind response to my question on "Validating Sotapatti." I deeply appreciate it. I WISH I COULD ATTEND A RETREAT WITH AJAHN BRAHM! IT WOULD BE A WONDERFUL ASPIRATION. Unfortunately, I live in Denver, CO USA (as indicated in my first message). I will consult MN48 DIRECTLY. However, it is covered in the excellent "Stream Entry" Study Guide by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Please see http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/stream.html

      I have studied and DILIGENTLY practiced the 4 factors of "Stream Entry" discussed by Ajaan Geoff. In addition, I have practiced meditation and Dhamma in accordance with Ajahn Brahm and other ajahns who share the Dhamma via BSWA. I consider Ajahn Brahm my Dhamma teacher "from afar." Sadly, we, in the USA, lack an English-speaking Sangha/Parisa such as you enjoy in WA. I deeply resonate with Ajahn Brahm's "Stream Winning" in Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond (pp. 218-229). I FEEL all he describes in those pages. In my original message, I was referring to p 224 of Ajahn Brahm's meditation book: "More profoundly, the 'words of another'--spoken or written--must come from a noble one [ariya] if they are to be effective." Unfortunately, here in Denver (and the USA in general), we lack access to monastic communities devoted to a wholehearted commitment to the complete [with Jhana] 8-Fold Path. Due to present conditions here in Denver, even kalyana mittas are difficult to find. IMS and the Thai wat here teach Mahasi Sayadaw-based "insight meditation." Unfortunately, I can no longer (morally) visit the Denver Thai wat due to the monks' attitudes and treatment of women--both Western and Thai. I've searched long and hard for a competent (ideally Jhana-based) meditation teacher here in the USA--unsuccessfully. Consequently, out of necessity, I practice the Dhamma using the "skillful means" of Ajahn Brahm's meditation instructions on MP3, his book, and other resources BSWA (and a few others) have given me. ANY SUGGESTIONS on practicing, ALONE, without a Sangha, Parisa or kalyana mittas?

      Metta wishes to you on Vesak!
      Tom

      Originally posted by Ajahn Brahmali View Post
      Dear Tom,

      One can never get an attainment of sotāpatti validated with absolute certainty, even if one finds an ariya to ask. In any case, you never really know whether a particular person is an ariya. These things are very difficult to know.

      As a general guideline, the vast majority of people who think they are sotāpannas overestimate themselves. There are lots of profound insights and deep samādhi to be had before one reaches the stage of sotāpatti. It is very easy to think one has penetrated non-self fully, when in fact one hasn't.

      I would suggest you consult the suttas to get a clear idea of the qualties of sotāpanna. MN48, the Kosambiya Sutta, is good place to start. Otherwise you may wish to attend a retreat with Ajahn Brahm. You can then ask him questions in greater detail during private interviews.

      With metta.

      Comment


      • #4
        Dear Tom,

        I understand that you have been in direct contact with Ajahn Brahm, and I assume you have therefore got a satisfactory reply to your question.

        With metta,
        Ajahn Brahmali

        Comment

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