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For two years there has been daily meditation. For 10 months there has been the addition of satipathanna practice and present moment awareness. 4 months ago the self was seen as a creation of imagination. There followed two hours of laughter and joy. Later that day there were demon images in the mind. Inwardly smiling they disappeared then the body became electrified and there was a sense of being in the precise moment. One week later occured a formless jhana in the shopping centre. It appears three awakenings or major shifts happened in the space of one week.

It seems like an unknown force is guiding things now. Troublesome thoughts can be dismissed very easily. Suffering has reduced by about 60 percent. There has been strong desire for women and feeling bad towards family members. This is where the sense of self seems strongest.

After the unfolding of Sotapanna which is massively transformational, does the Buddha suggest a change in practice?

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No, the practitioner no need changing the practice.

The practitioner has to comprehends 3 characteristics of 5 aggregates, which cycling as the dependent origination, from being ordinary until arahatta-magga. But the teaching literature may be difference. See the description after the below quote.

So, in Sutta. Saṃ. Kha. Sīlavantasutta taught the same meditation for all people, ordinary and all noble one:

On one occasion Ven. Sariputta & Ven. Maha Kotthita were staying near Varanasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana. Then Ven. Maha Kotthita, emerging from seclusion in the late afternoon, went to Ven. Sariputta and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Sariputta, "Sariputta my friend, which things should a virtuous monk attend to in an appropriate way?"

"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. A virtuous monk should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. For it is possible that a virtuous monk, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would realize the fruit of stream-entry."

"Then which things should a monk who has attained stream-entry attend to in an appropriate way?"

"A monk who has attained stream-entry should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. For it is possible that a monk who has attained stream-entry, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would realize the fruit of once-returning."

"Then which things should a monk who has attained once-returning attend to in an appropriate way?"

"A monk who has attained once-returning should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. For it is possible that a monk who has attained once-returning, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would realize the fruit of non-returning."

"Then which things should a monk who has attained non-returning attend to in an appropriate way?"

"A monk who has attained non-returning should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. For it is possible that a monk who has attained non-returning, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would realize the fruit of arahantship."

"Then which things should an arahant attend to in an appropriate way?"

"An arahant should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Although, for an arahant, there is nothing further to do, and nothing to add to what has been done, still these things — when developed & pursued — lead both to a pleasant abiding in the here-&-now and to mindfulness & alertness."

But the teaching literature may be difference. Each enlightenment depend on each personal understanding-ability because each person has difference own understandable dhamma, i.e. Pañcavaggī were professional of aggregates before he meet buddha, but Dīghanakha were professional of six sense fields before he meet buddha, etc.

  • Dīghanakha enlightened nibbāna as sotāpanna by comprehending 3 characteristics of the dependent origination (nāma-rūpa) in Sutta. Ma. Ma. Dīghanakhasutta.
  • A thousand jaṭila enlightened nibbāna as arahanta by comprehending 3 characteristics of the dependent origination (six sense fields, six contacts, six feeling) in Sutta. Saṃ. Saḷa. Ādittapariyāyasutta.
  • Koñḍañña-pañcavaggī enlightened nibbāna as sotapanna by comprehending 3 characteristics of the fourth noble truth in Sutta. Saṃ. Ma. Dhammacakkappavattanasutta.
    • All pañcavaggī enlightened nibbāna as arahanta by comprehending 3 characteristics of five aggregates, which is continuous from the five clinging-aggregates suffering noble truth of Dhammacakkappavattanasutta above, in Sutta. Saṃ. Kha. Anattalakkhaṇasutta.
  • Thank you. This is very detailed and sheds light on a lot of dynamics for me. – user14082 Sep 10 '18 at 16:34
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THe path is the same for everybody at whatever stage. The stage of Sotapanna deals with views more than lusts, with the views being Sakkaya Ditthi and the usual obsessions of puthujjanas with rituals and symbolism that puthujjanas create generations after generations. THe remaining task after getting rid of Sakkaya Ditthi is to see the dependent origination, and for that you still need to make the citta serene (pasīdati), to get the citta into samadhi and then to find out the sources of each aggregate.

When it comes to the citta, the only thing to do before liberating it, cittaVimutti, is to make it into samadhi. THere is a famous sutta where 4 samadhis are listed. The most famous samadhi is the jahnas. http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/anguttara/04/an04-041.html

Of course, the most important samadhi is the one where mano is used as yoniso manasikara, instead of mano being used as vitakka+vicara+papanca, ie for daydreaming, creating views and intellectualizing like so many puthujjanas love to do and claim there are virtuous for doing so. This Yoniso manasikāra is what stops a puthujjana becoming further a puthujjana. So as usual, it is to see each 5 aggregate as it is but, and this is the most important point of all the dhamma, you must see for yourself what is the condition of each aggregate and the cessation of each aggregate. Indeed, so far, a phuttjana only knows the condition of an aggregate by memory of some sutta, but this does not get anybody to become an ariya, just like reading and memorizing a user manual for a lawnmower does not mow your lawn....

THe samadhi right before that is the most important one since it is the usual one to prevent the development of lusts. https://suttacentral.net/sn36.3/en/bodhi This samadhi is the the famous satisampajanna. This satisampajanna is the pinnacle of what a few puthujjanas call stupidly ''doing vipassana''. THis practice is about watching the ''thoughts'' as they come and go and watching 2 aggregates, sanna and vedena, but not finding out their condition and their cessation (therefore the practice does not lead to the vipassanas).

satisampajanna has nothing to do with finding out the nature of sankharam of the 5 aggregates. But satisampajanna is the best basis to do Yoniso manasikāra. With satisampajanna you know easily the arising of a thought, the establishing of a thought and the fall of a thought, before a new thought pops up and replaces it and it starts all over again. Same thing for pleasant vedenas, following a non-pleasnt non-displeasnt vedena which follows another vedena and so on. http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/anguttara/08/an08-009.html

With good sati, go further and you remember to try to see all the conditions that the buddha talks about. Once you see for yourself the conditioned nature of the aggregates, you see that they are anicca, which makes you see them as dukkha, which makes you see them as anatta, which makes you dispassionate (nibidda) towards them, which makes the citta liberated. All those insights called Aniccānupassī, dukkhānupassī, anattānupassī, Virāgānupassī, Nirodhānupassī, Paṭinissaggānupassī follow from ''seeing for yourself'' the dependent origination. Like the buddha said, ''seeing the dependent origination is seeing the dhamma'' and the usual first step to do that is to calm down and get the citta in samadhi. Theway to kill desire, lust, greed is to train to see and to see the 5 aggregates as anicca dukkha anatta https://suttacentral.net/sn22.55/en/sujato The source of this desire is ignorance.the way to kill the desire is to kill the ignorance. For instance, to cultivate the perception of impermanence https://suttacentral.net/sn22.102/en/sujato /sn22.59/en/sujato

More explicitly for a sotapanna, the recommendation is to live ''heedfully'', which just means again getting the citta into samadhi which creates a good basis for Yoniso manasikāra:

"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones is endowed with verified confidence in the Dhamma... verified confidence in the Sangha... virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration. Not content with those virtues pleasing to the noble ones, he exerts himself further in solitude by day or seclusion by night. For him, living thus heedfully, joy arises. In one who has joy, rapture arises. In one who has rapture, the body becomes serene. When the body is serene, one feels pleasure. Feeling pleasure, the mind becomes centered. When the mind is centered, phenomena become manifest. When phenomena are manifest, he is reckoned as one who dwells heedfully.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn55/sn55.040.than.html here is a little sutta with more details for stapipathana http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samyutta/maha/sn47-040.html

If you fail to get the citta into samadhi, then you can fall back on giving to contemplative, with he proper ''state of mind'', because a sotapanna knows that calming the citta is crucial and that giving to contemplatives who strive for sense restrains is a good thing: the citta is serene (pasīdati) when giving is done https://suttacentral.net/an7.52/en/thanissaro

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