The Stream Enterer
“Some people may have heard my definition of Buddhism that it is not a religion but rather an educational curriculum. Buddha came to a great liberation from suffering through a certain method or set of methods, which made him realize that other beings could come to a similar freedom and happiness themselves. He then developed a curriculum to help them with this process. Different forms of Buddhism have developed in history. They involve ceremony and rituals and have some religious trappings, but at the core is an educational system, a curriculum. I define this kind of curriculum as an engaged realism. This kind of curriculum is Sacred Stream’s great forte.
Engaged realism involves a process of reeducating yourself and unlearning your distorted and unreal perceptions in order to learn to perceive things more realistically. In this way, it is possible to penetrate more deeply into reality, recognize what is really going on, and get out of the delusory experience of an unsatisfactory world. When you do this, you enter into a realistic experience of the actual world – a world made of pure bliss energy, love, connection, interconnection, and no separation.
Someone who enters that educational system in Buddhism is called a “stream enterer,” or srota̅panna. Someone who enters the srota, the stream or the flow, is entering an internal process, not just an external one. So in a way, when you enter the stream, you are entering the stream of a life path where you are becoming aware of your own reality in a deeper way. This is not some kind of gimmick where you just do some small thing and then you are more realistic about your own life. It is a matter of deepening your understanding and critically removing your misunderstandings, which is an educational process – that is entering the stream. Of course, it is sacred because it has been such a huge benefit to so many millions and tens of millions and perhaps hundreds of millions of people over the course of history.
The Sacred Stream is another version, and it is a good version for America and for the 21st century, where religious denominations tend to be competitive with each other, causing conflicts and problems. So just enter the sacred stream, and be a stream enterer, a srota̅panna, and you are entering the path of raising consciousness for a more realistic and therefore a more satisfying life. For this reason, I heartily recommend and align myself with the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, and its curriculum.“
– Dr. Robert Thurman