Looking Forward to Your Own Excellent Adventure to Nirvana?

by | Apr 23, 2024 | Buddhism for All

(Context: Susan’s excellent adventure, Part I, Part II, and Part III.)

Steps 6 through 8 might jump out at you.  Those steps best illustrate why it is important to work with a qualified teacher.  This is a challenging path, and like all challenging paths, you are likely to meet unexpected roadblocks.  A lot of times, those roadblocks are highly individualized, which means it is hard to learn about them in books, and often times, only a qualified teacher who knows your practice intimately can help you untangle yourself.

Another way to look at it is with a sports analogy.  You cannot become an Olympian just by reading a book.  A book can show you how to train and what the process looks like to become an Olympian, and it can even teach you all you need to know about exercise physiology and the science of peak performance, but to become an Olympian, you have no choice but to go through the training.  In a training regime challenging enough to make you an Olympian, you really should be guided by a qualified coach.  A good coach knows how best to optimize the training to specifically suit you, she knows what training you need when you hit a roadblock, and perhaps most importantly, she knows how you can avoid training injuries and, if you do get injured, how best to recover.

That is not to say that you can never become an Olympian without a coach or reach enlightenment without a teacher.  People have indeed done it.  But having a good coach or a good teacher can help a lot.

You may be wondering how long it takes somebody to complete the entire training to stream-entry if they do it full time.  There is no way to predict for each individual, because you never know in advance where they will get stuck and how long it will take to unstuck them, but Susan walked the path you read about in under three years.  Three years!  That’s even less time than it takes to earn a college degree.  Yeah, I’m very impressed.

The reason we shared Susan’s story is to give you an informed idea of what the process may entail.  More importantly, we want to de-mystify the enlightenment process.  There is nothing mysterious about it, it is essentially letting go, and the intense training to learn how to let go.  Even more importantly, we want to drive home the understanding that stream-entry is achievable within a single lifetime.  Yes, it is hard work, and yes, it very likely requires some change in lifestyle, but it is achievable.  Anybody committed enough, and with the right guidance, can do it.  Yes, that means you.  We hope this inspires you towards nirvana.


  • Reflect on this post with Angela:
    • We honor anyone who has put in effort sincerely to walk the path towards full, complete liberation. 
    • We also honor that we ourselves are also sincere in putting effort to walk this path towards full, complete liberation. 
    • We honor all our teachers, and all their teachers.  
    • Most importantly, we honor our dear Teacher, the fully enlightened, unsurpassed, Bhagavan, Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, the blessed one, perfect, fully awakened, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.
    • What stood out to you from this article? Why?

Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa 
Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa

Homage to the Blessed One, the Exalted One, the fully Enlightened One
Homage to the Blessed One, the Exalted One, the fully Enlightened One
Homage to the Blessed One, the Exalted One, the fully Enlightened One

Chade-Meng Tan

Meng is an award-winning engineer, international bestselling author, movie producer and philanthropist. His work has been nominated eight times for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Read Meng's story)

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