As mentioned earlier, Awareness state = Good Karma + Right Meditative Methods.
To keep nurturing and strengthen ones’ Awareness states, they must continue their practice in kowtowing and paying homage to Buddha, continue to do a lot of good deeds, and always remain the humble and respectful attitudes for everyone. In meditational practice, one can achieve the Awareness state solely by practicing Body and Breath Awareness. However, that is the development of Meditation’s fruitions, not Sainthood. To also achieve results in Sainthood, ones must also carefully contemplate their body’s impermanence, Selflessness goal, and diligently nurturing their virtues.
When practitioners have achieved the Right Mindfulness stage, if there is enough conditions and good karma, they can also achieve the First stage in Sainthood, which is Sotapanna. When attaining the Right Mindfulness stage, ones will begin to break down the 5 Hindrances, which are Sensual Desire, Ill-will, Sloth-and-torpor, Restlessness, and Doubt. If they also attain the Sotapanna, they have already gotten rid of the first Three Fetters of Selfishness, Doubt, and Stubbornness in Rules.
We may ask ourselves that why there are two different kind of Doubts (Doubt Hindrance versus Doubt Fetter). Because these two “Doubt” are totally different from one another. We have to understand this difference to see the great wisdom of Buddha.
When Doubt is eradicated, whether it is a Fetter or Hindrance, it will create the feelings of “confidence.” However, the expression of this “confidence” is different from one another
* When the Fetter of Doubt is destroyed (Sainthood), ones will suddenly have:
– An absolute faith in Buddha, His Teaching, and His Saintly Disciples
– Having much greater understanding of the rights and the wrongs in life. Though they haven’t had any supernatural powers yet, they are mush wiser and have explicit attitudes towards good things and bad things.
– That explicit and greater understanding and attitudes in morality make them become a “honorable person” in this life. They can never compromise with the wrong things and always wholeheartedly do and follow and protect the right things.
– They also become more intelligent and wiser. They can know and understand things more deeply and correctly, and also being able to discover many new philosophies on their own but still compatible with Buddha’s teachings.
A Sotapanna – without Doubt Fetter, is what people call “an honorable person” that has the qualities to be a teacher and moral figure of the society. However, their levels of meditation are might not be as advanced as those who is already destroyed the Hindrance of Doubt (in meditation)
* After destroying the Hindrance of Doubt, ones will have these characteristics:
– Extremely high and even inflated self-confidence, because they surely know that they will never lose the powerful Mindfulness stage that they possess. Even if they are burn on fire or in great a danger, their mind will still be extremely peaceful and calm.
– Their inflated self-confidence can make them become arrogant and conceited. They can be disrespectful to others, and some even have the audacity to criticize to Buddha and their Teachers. That will severely damage their Good Karma and they will lose their meditative results in the next life (but not this life).
– They are able to quickly understand many enigmatic meditation phrases, statements (koan) and able to answer those statements as fast as lightning.
A person that already destroyed the Doubt Hindrance must achieve a very high level in Right Mindfulness Stage.
Comparing the two kinds of Confidence, we see that the Confidence of a Sotapanna is all about morality. They are confident in the right things, confident in the right path they have chosen. On the other side, the Confidence of those who have destroyed their Doubt Hindrance (Right Mindfulness stage) is more about confident in themselves and in their meditative results.