Thread: Unshakeable Well-Being

  1. #1

    Unshakeable Well-Being

    An article by Ajahn Amaro - abbot of Amaravati Monastery UK:

    Unshakeable Well-Being: Is the Buddhist Concept of Enlightenment a Meaningful Possibility in the Current Age?

    https://link.springer.com/article/10...71-019-01179-7

    There's also another link here:

    https://www.amaravati.org/a-dhamma-a...le-well-being/



    Any thoughts about the article?

  2. #2
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    An interesting article for anyone interested in the arguments around 'what is enlightenment, and how do you get there, and why bother anyway?' He concentrates on 'stream entry' because he is more comfortable in that territory and he does a good job in talking through the main arguments surrounding it. He says that stream entry is very possible for us all, not something out of reach except for the few. A stream entrant in this sense is someone who would find it hard to turn their back on their practice, because it is so much part of them that they would find it very difficult to not practice.

    My own definition would be along those lines, with the addition of a scenario. What if you woke up tomorrow and found you were the only person to remember Buddhism, all references to it gone and no person remembering it? Would you still be a Buddhist? I've asked myself this question and of course the answer is yes. I'd be a lone voice in the wilderness and nobody would listen, but so what? It's about what you are as a person and how you see reality, and can't be taken away from you, even you were ignored for the rest of your life.

    I've already mentioned that I only got into Buddhism through experimenting with meditation, and only them because I recognised what had happened to me as a result of meditating through Buddhist writings. More than any other religion, and I looked at most, it explained what had taken place. Other religions wanted you to trust their leaders who had gone through such experiences themselves and wanted you to have faith in their interpretation of what happened to them. Buddhism wants you to do it for yourself, apart from those who say things like, "Not in your lifetime" which has been said to me on many occasions.

    So what happens next? The article gives a few hints. I like another story of throwing away the raft you are on as a stream entrant. You are aiming to cross the stream so you have to let go of the raft once on the other side. There's a long hard slog if you want to then carry on along the path, especially if you want to go on dragging the raft behind you, but when was anything worthwhile easy?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by philg
    He concentrates on 'stream entry' because he is more comfortable in that territory and he does a good job in talking through the main arguments surrounding it. He says that stream entry is very possible for us all, not something out of reach except for the few
    Just as an aside, "stream entry" in the Theravada tradition is said to correspond to the first bhumi of the ten bodhisattva levels in the Vajrayana tradition. (See page 141 of the book "Path to Buddhahood - Teachings on Gampopa's Jewel Ornament of Liberation" by Ringu Tulku).




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