Also see: Problem with Many Zen Teachings
My opinion on Shurangama Sutra

My last comment on this particular teacher after attending his second day of talks at the Zen center:

Today the teacher talked about no self and emptiness of all aggregates. However, this is the 'view' aspect (which can be intellectual), and although he did have some direct experiential insight into no-self (Thusness Stage 4 mirror bright, not Stage 5 of no-mirror), he affirms the self-luminous Mind to exist substantially (unchanging, eternal) as opposed to thoughts which are changing, arising and passing away. This is like I said, no different from the non-Buddhist views of Advaita. Sure, it's a good realisation to have but I would not equate this to Buddhadharma.

He also discusses how Buddhism differs from those of other religions through its unique teachings of no-self, but he doesn't realise that his own realisation is no different from Advaita Vedanta.

He then differentiates Hinayana vs Mahayana teachings in this way:

In Hinayana, the practitioner, through dissociating from phenomena as non-self, impermanent and suffering, finally realises Mind-Essence -- which is the unborn, non-arising, without sense of self -- basically he is referring to the I AMness realization. He equates the Arhat's nirvana with the formless absorption into the formless Mind-Essence.

In Mahayana, the practitioner realises Buddha-Nature, as defined in Mahaparinirvana Sutra. That Mahayana nirvana (which a Bodhisattva/Buddha realises) itself has the capacity for infinite functions, just like a clear lake is without moon in it but can reflect the moon clearly (like I said, Thusness Stage 4's Mirror Bright), just like electricity is unseen but can light up the lightbulb, our Mind is formless but can produce limitless functions, in ears it can hear and in eyes it can see. As such, birth and death is nirvana, suffering is bodhi, thoughts are not to be get rid of, green bamboos are dharmakaya and chrysanthemum is prajna, both the waves of the ocean and a waveless ocean are both made of water (and thus neither is to be preferred). This is no different from the One Mind phase of realization. Non-dual is experienced but the reification of Mind and view of inherency is still strong -- still reifying Brahman.

He is not the first Mahayana teacher I have seen making this false equation. This misunderstanding is in fact, common. Unfortunately, as they are not exposed to the teachings and teachers from other religions, they seem to be unaware that all these realisations do not go beyond Hinduism's Atman-Brahman realisation. In Advaita Vedanta, Brahman is not merely static and formless, as Maya is the sport (lila) of Brahman, and the universe is finally realised to be nothing but Brahman. This is no different from this venerable's explanation of Ti (substance) and Yong (function).

There is a complete misunderstanding of Mahaparinirvana Sutra on his part, a very common issue which needs context and clarification as I discussed in

Basically, this Venerable (and many other teachers) make the mistake of attributing Hinayana to I AMness level of formless realisation, and Mahayana to One Mind where the Substance can produce infinite functions and is nondual with its functions. They get stuck between Thusness Stage 1 to 4. They didn't realise that 'Hinayana'/Theravada teachers like Daniel M. Ingram can have an effortless, constant nondual experience of 'Bamboos are dharmakaya' WITH Right View and realization of anatta which makes nondual even more effortless. Other Theravadin masters/teachers/practitioners who realized non-dual anatta insights include but are not limited to Ajahn Amaro (See: The Breakthrough), (Phra) Kovit Khemananda, and so on. Hence, the notion that Theravada leads only to 'Causal/Formless/I AM' realization and do not have access to any nondual insights is unequivocally false. As Thusness also pointed out in the past, and anyone with any semblance of familiarity with the Pali Suttas (the original teachings of Buddha) will know, anyone who held any ideas about Consciousness as Self, or as a Source/Substratum of phenomena will get heavily admonished by the Buddha as holding wrong views (see: MN38 and MN1). We can thus know that Thusness Stage 5~6 is really where the true insight into Buddhadharma 'begins', and while Thusness Stage 1~4 may be enlightenment in non-Buddhist religions, they are not considered to be even entering the gate or 'stream-entry'/'first bhumi' in Buddhadharma.

The Venerable didn't realise that the 'Hinayana sutta', Bahiya Sutta, is clearly not only non-dual but in fact taught the peak of non-dual experience, with right view, and Bahiya attained arahantship instantly upon hearing Buddha speak of that teaching. Bahiya Sutta, Kalaka Sutta, and many other suttas are all about this. Without the direct realisation of right view (anatta, dependent origination, emptiness), whatever nondual realisations cannot be considered Buddhadharma, even at the Hinayana level, let alone Mahayana which further elaborates on the direct realisation of the non-arising of all phenomena that are dependently designated/dependently originated.
The realization of anatta allows us to see through/penetrate the false view of 'Awareness' as existing changelessly and independently (even if inseparable from) apart from transient manifestation by realising that in seeing, there's only colors, no seer -- seeing is only colors without seer, in hearing only sounds, no hearer, hearing is only sounds -- there is no unchanging 'seeing essence' or 'hearing essence' permeating and yet remaining unchanged from the transient functions/experiences. Furthermore 'Awareness' is just another label like 'weather' as I have said many times. The Shurangama Sutra is very often misinterpreted and needs clarification, which I have also done elsewhere. The realization of anatta is the realisation that 'Buddha-Nature is Impermanence' as Zen Master Dogen and Ch'an Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng taught. This will free one from substantialist, eternalist, non-Buddhist views.

This mistaken attribution of Hinayana and Mahayana is also similar to Ken Wilber's mistaken understanding, again, of equating Hinayana to the Causal (I AM) level realization and the Nirvana of the arhat with the formless Hindu absorption in Self of Nirvikalpa Samadhi while Mahayana as his Non Dual (One Mind) level. Therefore, he sees Buddhism as no different from Vedanta and other religions. I don't mind that equation if that were true (seriously, if all religions are preaching the exact same realisations, wouldn't it be great? I would love it and prefer that to be true), but unfortunately it is not true. I love and respect all religions, but let's not confuse them up and get into the perennial philosophy.

I'm glad we have Edmond Cigale's (director of a Transpersonal Psychology Institute)'s writing on the difference between I AM/Causal realization, the different kinds of Nirvikalpa samadhi, Nirodha Samapatti, non-dual insights, anatta realization and total exertion. In this thread in DhO back in 2012 on Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi, after some of my pointers on anatta he was able to breakthrough. He is also into integral theory.

Jui (who also went through I AM to One Mind to Anatta and was sitting beside me) also commented, "Disappointing man." 😂


Thusness wrote in 2014,

"Your Master Chen (Soh: not the same as the Venerable I'm referring to in this article) can say Theravada tastes 寂滅為樂 (cessation is bliss) but may not realize 諸法常寂 (all dharmas are always quiescent) instead of belittling Theravada."

"Bliss of presence and bliss of cessation... both are related to the emptying of self/Self. After anatta the sense of self/Self is realized to be fabrication and the entire chain of afflictive D.O. [dependent origination] can come to a rest by seeing how stressful, dis-satisfying and suffering the chain is. That is right intention in the Noble Eightfold Path. Taste this afflictive D.O. coming to rest in relation to the need to maintain the Self/self or beingness. When the mind let go this way seeing the dis-satisfactoriness... it is by way of renunciation, dispassion, dis-identification… the freedom and bliss that come from Atammayata is the bliss of cessation (寂灭为乐), it is understood to be many times more blissful than any form of pleasure and beingness. However cutting the cause of suffering at root in Mahayana is about seeing the emptiness of self and phenomena. The bliss of cessation of the Theravadins are replaced by tasting the non-arising of phenomena therefore 观法如化,三昧常寂, 见闻觉知,本自圆寂。(contemplating all dharmas as illusory, [always in] samadhi-quiescence, seen-heard-cognized-sensed, are by nature completely quiescent [nirvana])"


2009 conversation with John Tan:

(1:21 AM) Thusness: since Buddha is so clear about non-dual and anatta, why said DO (Dependent Origination) is so important.
(1:22 AM) Thusness: Many higher vehicles do not know that the basic teachings is all about non-dual.
that is Buddhism is not about non-dual.
(1:23 AM) Thusness: not only about non-dual, it starts from non-dual.
(1:23 AM) Thusness: that is, the entry level is non-dual otherwise there is no true understanding of what that is being taught.
(1:24 AM) Thusness:
DO (Dependent Origination) is not talking about non-dual, no division between phenomena and self.
(1:25 AM) Thusness: It is not talking about the observer and the observed and how to get into that.
(1:25 AM) Thusness: it is talking about what that is already no-self, non-dual and conditions.
that is non-dual appearance and conditions.
get it?
(1:27 AM) Thusness: means Buddha is not talking about phenomena and self, observer and observed in Dependent Origination.
(1:27 AM) Thusness: There is already anatta, no self, never was there a division. This is the entry level to understand Dependent Origination.
(1:28 AM) Thusness: It is about non-dual appearance and conditions.
(1:29 AM) Thusness: There must already be some stability in non-dual experiences and the experience of anatta before one can truly understand Dependent Origination.
(1:29 AM) Thusness: What seen is awareness, what heard is awareness...
(1:31 AM) Thusness: there is no division in experience or in awareness. Subject/Object division has always been an assumption. There is no agent, no-self. So Buddha has already spell this out clearly in anatta.
it is talking about appearances and conditions.
Get it?
(1:31 AM) AEN: icic..
(1:31 AM) Thusness: So know the basic is already the deepest.
But only misunderstood.
(1:32 AM) AEN: oic..
(1:34 AM) Thusness: What dependently originates does not arise nor subsides nor is anything created nor destroyed.
merely appearances.
(1:35 AM) Thusness: Dependently originates implies effortlessness and spontaneity.
(1:35 AM) Thusness: However appearances though spontaneously arises, does not arise without a cause or condition.
(1:36 AM) Thusness: though appearances arises, it is not a product of causes or conditions.
(1:36 AM) Thusness: all appearances are always non-dual.
(1:37 AM) AEN: does nathan know DO?
(1:38 AM) Thusness: it is always tempting after the experience of effortlessness in non-duality to by-pass this phase.
(1:38 AM) Thusness: I wrote in stage 5 to jonls saying it very clearly not to be too happy and spoke of stage 6.
It is to point out the importance of this.
(1:39 AM) Thusness: many Zen masters also fail to understand the important of this.
(1:40 AM) Thusness: and some practitioners are so engrossed in the ordinariness of activities and attempt to imitate the masters -- trying to be ordinary and missed all the important insights.
(1:41 AM) Thusness: that is why all the 6 phases of insights must be thoroughly seen first before one talks about spontaneous arising.
(1:42 AM) Thusness: That is why I told u not to talk about spontaneous arising or self liberation before you have thorough insight experience of anatta and emptiness or DO.
(1:43 AM) Thusness: spontaneous arising is not a good phrase, spontaneous perfection or self-liberation are better phrases. :)
but i do not know about these practices that time when i told u.
(1:43 AM) Thusness: not into vajrayana.
(1:43 AM) AEN: oic..
why is spontaneous arising not a good phrase and spontaneous perfection of self liberation better
(1:44 AM) Thusness: it is actually okie also...ahhaha
(1:44 AM) Thusness: just remember all six phases of insight must arise before u talk about that.
(1:45 AM) Thusness: imagine this, can u talk about self-liberation to one that has not even experience 'I AMness'?
(1:46 AM) AEN: no
(1:46 AM) Thusness: if someone has experienced "I AMness" yet know nothing about non-dual, can he talk about spontaneous perfection?
(1:46 AM) AEN: no
(1:47 AM) Thusness: so how is it possible for anyone to start practicing what that is being said in the videos?
(1:47 AM) Thusness: even one has reached that sort of insight in anatta, there is still a desync of view... and maturity of insight need time to stabilize.
(1:48 AM) Thusness: even after that, one may disregard 'conditions' like in stage 5.
(1:48 AM) AEN: icic..
nathan didnt talk about conditions rite
(1:48 AM) Thusness: like arising without cause and conditions.
(1:49 AM) Thusness: or 'things' are the product of causes or conditions.
there is no creation nor destruction of anything.
(1:49 AM) Thusness: merely dependently originates.
(1:49 AM) AEN: icic..
(1:49 AM) Thusness: nothing is the product of anything.
(1:49 AM) AEN: its everything simultaneously in one moment rite, and not a causal interaction of things in time and space
(1:50 AM) Thusness: yes
(1:50 AM) Thusness: u have to experience step by step.
(1:51 AM) Thusness: there is no short cut. If u practice and understand correctly, u will not deviate and have all wrong views.




(11:46 PM) Thusness:    Does ken (Ken Wilber) talk about anatta
(11:46 PM) AEN:    no
(11:47 PM) Thusness:    Or Advaita sort of understanding
(11:47 PM) AEN:    advaita (Ken Wilber is at Thusness Stage 4)
(11:47 PM) Thusness:    Then y u kept asking me.
(11:47 PM) Thusness:    What is anatta?
(11:48 PM) AEN:    ya but wat i mean is nondual experience is not as in stage 2 type of passing experience, but as everpresent reality?
(11:48 PM) AEN:    anatta is no agent and dependent origination?
(11:48 PM) Thusness:    Didn't I tell u understanding non-dual experience as verb. (Soh: refer to my article The Wind is Blowing, Blowing is the Wind)
(11:48 PM) AEN:    icic
(11:49 PM) Thusness:    Not an entity that is independent and unchanging?
(11:49 PM) AEN:    but ken wilber say "You are that, and there is no you – just this entire luminous display spontaneously arising moment to moment. The separate self is nowhere to be found."
(11:50 PM) AEN:    *oic
(11:50 PM) Thusness:    Non-dual experience is there is clarity of no separation (As in Thusness Stage 4)
(11:51 PM) Thusness:    Stage 2 is there is merging
(11:51 PM) Thusness:    As if I dissolved and merge..
(11:51 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:52 PM) Thusness:    There r two, dual
(11:52 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:52 PM) Thusness:    Non-dual is there never was a separation
(11:52 PM) Thusness:    No split
(11:53 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:53 PM) Thusness:    There is no separate I.
(11:53 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:53 PM) Thusness:    But this awareness is still very much constant, permanent and unchanging
(11:54 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:54 PM) Thusness:    Anatta goes further and understand exactly what is non-dual experience
(11:55 PM) Thusness:    This is a break-through in insight
(11:55 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:55 PM) AEN:    its about discerning it as DO?
(11:55 PM) Thusness:    There is thinking, no thinker
(11:55 PM) AEN:    icic
(11:55 PM) Thusness:    Seen no seer
(11:56 PM) Thusness:    Sound no hearer
(11:56 PM) AEN:    oic
(11:56 PM) Thusness:    Understood becoming no being
(11:56 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:57 PM) Thusness:    Understand that object@
(11:57 PM) AEN:    wat u mean
(11:59 PM) Thusness:    Object/subject is the result of compartmentizing 'verb'
(11:59 PM) Thusness:    Action
(11:59 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:59 PM) Thusness:    Thinking becomes thinker and thoughts
(11:59 PM) Thusness:    That is anatta
(12:00 AM) Thusness:    It is the direct experience that there is no thinker, just thoughts
(12:01 AM) Thusness:    In seeing, always only the seen.
(12:01 AM) AEN:    is this wat u mean by nondual yet permanent (for ken wilber):

You are not the one who experiences liberation; you are the clearing, the opening, the emptiness, in which any experience comes and goes, like reflections on the mirror. And you are the mirror, the mirror mind, and not any experienced reflection. But you are not apart from the reflections, standing back and watching. You are everything that is arising moment to moment. You can swallow the whole cosmos in one gulp, it is so small, and you can taste the sky without moving an inch.
(12:01 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:03 AM) Thusness:    Yes what I called desync of view and non-dual experience
(12:04 AM) Thusness:    When insight arises, there is no desync
(12:04 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:05 AM) Thusness:    Non-dual experience is clearly understood because there never was one.
(12:05 AM) Thusness:    It is always only manifestation
(12:06 AM) AEN:    there never was what?
(12:06 AM) Thusness:    DO is the operation mechanism of the Transience
(12:06 AM) Thusness:    A self
(12:06 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:10 AM) Thusness:    It is very difficult to have such clarity
(12:11 AM) Thusness:    Only Buddha has it
(12:11 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:12 AM) Thusness:    Even buddhist practitioners have so much mis-conceptions
(12:12 AM) Thusness:    They can't see how consistent and precise the teaching is
(12:13 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:14 AM) AEN:    btw this is not yet nondual experience rite, more like I AM?:
(12:14 AM) AEN:    "the world moves forward as it is..... but instead of seeing the diversity as the ulitmate the One underneath it all is rested in..... Like the ocean reality or maya is simply the surface waves of moving consciousness.... shakti which manifests the underlying Ocean of Consciousness into a limited visible form..... But what is beneath and around and within that form is simply the same consciousness which comprises the Whole of the Ocean.... But in the calm of the depths you know the vastness instead of the limited......"
(12:16 AM) Thusness:    Yes
(12:16 AM) AEN:    icic
(12:17 AM) Thusness:    Under the influence of the 'bond' without knowing it
(12:17 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:17 AM) Thusness:    Stage 1 to 6 cannot be skipped
(12:17 AM) AEN:    wat do u mean
(12:18 AM) Thusness:    Best experienced that way.
(12:18 AM) AEN:    oic
(12:18 AM) Thusness:    A practitioner cannot skip stages
(12:18 AM) AEN:    but buddhist path skips some rite
(12:18 AM) AEN:    like dharma dan never go through 'i am'
(12:18 AM) Thusness:    Yes
(12:19 AM) Thusness:    the depth of clarity will not be there
(12:19 AM) Thusness:    Like grimnexus see 4 same as 5.
(12:20 AM) Thusness:    But a person that undergone knows clearly.
(12:21 AM) AEN:    oic
(12:21 AM) AEN:    ya he tot its the same
(12:21 AM) AEN:    btw grimnexus at stage 4 rite
(12:21 AM) Thusness:    Like ken and Ajahn amaro, seems the same but even Ajahn Amaro thought it is the same.
(12:21 AM) AEN:    long time nv see him online liao, he like never came online for many months
(12:21 AM) AEN:    oic
(12:21 AM) Thusness:    Why u worry so much abt others ppl stage?
(12:22 AM) AEN:    lol
(12:23 AM) Thusness:    Rather pray hard that u will not be misled and go through countless lives of rebirth again
(12:23 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:23 AM) Thusness:    What u must have is to correctly discern
(12:24 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:25 AM) Thusness:    If u want to hv clarity of the essence of the six phases, discern and understand correctly.
(12:25 AM) Thusness:    What if I m no more around?
(12:25 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:26 AM) Thusness:    If Ajahn Amaro cannot know the diff, much less is others
(12:26 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:26 AM) AEN:    dharma dan leh
(12:26 AM) Thusness:    Rather ask urself have u correctly understood then abt others
(12:27 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:27 AM) Thusness:    How I know?
(12:27 AM) AEN:    oic
(12:27 AM) Thusness:    U kept asking abt others, I worry more abt u.
(12:27 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:28 AM) Thusness:    If u know, u will be able to know r they there.
(12:28 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:29 AM) Thusness:    Like ken and Ajahn Amaro clearly have same experience but different understanding
(12:29 AM) Thusness:    David loy treat them the same too.
(12:29 AM) Thusness:    Not realizing the differences
(12:30 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:30 AM) Thusness:    So have the right understanding
(12:31 AM) Thusness:    One is abiding, the other is non-abiding
(12:32 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:32 AM) Thusness:    One is still efforting, the other is effortless
(12:32 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:33 AM) Thusness:    One is Brahman, the other is DO
(12:34 AM) Thusness:    One is mirror, the other is pure manifestation
(12:34 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:36 AM) Thusness:    'Self' is grasped unknowingly because it is independent, changeless
(12:36 AM) Thusness:    Therefore they can't treasure the Transience
(12:37 AM) Thusness:    They can't c conditions
(12:37 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:37 AM) Thusness:    The Transience and conditions are most sacred
(12:38 AM) Thusness:    How can Self c this?
(12:38 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:39 AM) Thusness:    But one must know the emptiness nature of Transience, unfindable and ungraspable
(12:39 AM) Thusness:    And rises when condition is
(12:40 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:40 AM) Thusness:    When we say attributes, we r referring to the empty nature of awareness
(12:41 AM) AEN:    wat u mean
(12:41 AM) Thusness:    But awareness is full of colors
(12:41 AM) AEN:    u mean attributelessness?
(12:41 AM) AEN:    icic
(12:41 AM) Thusness:    Like 'redness' of a flower
(12:42 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:42 AM) Thusness:    But to advaitins, it is absence
(12:42 AM) Thusness:    Nothing to do with awareness
(12:43 AM) AEN:    u mean they see awareness as formless?
(12:43 AM) Thusness:    yes
(12:43 AM) AEN:    icic
(12:44 AM) Thusness:    Means absence of attributes as colorless, formless
(12:44 AM) Thusness:    But what buddhism is referring is its emptiness nature
(12:45 AM) Thusness:    Not that there is a real formless entity
(12:45 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:45 AM) Thusness:    Awareness is appearances appearing when condition is
(12:46 AM) AEN:    icic..
(12:46 AM) Thusness:    awareness is not free of thoughts
(12:46 AM) Thusness:    To advaitins, it is.
(12:47 AM) Thusness:    To buddhist practitioner, thought is awareness
(12:48 AM) Thusness:    One thought arises
(12:48 AM) Thusness:    Next one
(12:48 AM) Thusness:    Like what Ajahn Amaro said
(12:48 AM) Thusness:    There is no worry abt no thought, no conceptuality
(12:49 AM) Thusness:    All will be experienced in their most vivid forms
(12:49 AM) Thusness:    I got to go now.
(12:49 AM) AEN:    oic..
(12:49 AM) AEN:    ok gd nite
(12:49 AM) Thusness:    Nite  

[8:39 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: In 2017:

Astus wrote:
    Similarly, as in the Lankavatara Sutra, there is the argument that shravakas do not know that there is no grasping and no grasped, but that is again refutable once we consider that without attachment to the aggregates there is no basis any more for such a duality. Hence what is called the shravakayana in Mahayana scriptures refers practitioners who misunderstood things, and not what is actually found in the Hinayana works.

Malcolm replied:

 Hahaha, this is again a very poor argument. Becoming free from the clinging to the aggregates is possible merely through understanding they are impermanent. There is no need for a nondual understanding to attain arhatship, much less stream-entry.
[8:40 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: 2020:

Acarya Malcolm:  The same three fetters are abandoned on the first bhumi, hence first stage bodhisattvas are Mahayana stream entrants.

Someone asked: The topic has another question hidden in it: How does the śrāvaka stream-entrant differ in his realization from the bodhisattva stream-entrant other than the former theoretically missing the foundations of bodhicitta?

Acarya Malcolm: The answer, according to Candrakīrti, is that their realization of emptiness is the same, in so far as they both realize the absence of inherent existence.
[8:49 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: The quote where lankavatara states sravakas never overcome duality:


I checked the sutra in question in the Tibetan translation. It is not exactly the six and fifth bodhisattva bhumi. Here is another passage which clarifies things:

It is talking about equivalent stages of the eradication of afflictions in this case.

Other than the view of the abhisamaya of the śravakas abandoning fully the afflictions on the sixth or fifth stage, the latent afflictions are not abandoned and they have inconceivable deaths and transmigrations. They proclaim My births are finished, I abide in brahmacarya, my work is finished", uttering the lion's roar. Having said that, after they become throughly familiar with the absence of self in persons, their minds turn a period of nirvana.

What is here being stated is that that śravakas abandonment of active afflictions is equivalent to that of the fifth or sixth bhumi, but that they do not abandon latent afflictions and are thus subject to inconceivable deaths and transmigrations.

Another section, dealing with bhumis, states:

Beginning with the sixth stage, bodhisattva mahasattvas, śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas enter into the concentration on cessation. On the seventh stage, mental moment by mental moment, the bodhisattva mahāsattvas enter into a concentration that eliminates the characteristics of all things, but the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas do not. The śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas' concentration on cessation falls into the characteristics of an apprehended object and apprehending subject through possession of ideation. That being the case, if the characteristic of the absence of the different dharma's they obtain and the characteristic of diversity were to become non-existent, it would not be proper — on the seventh bhumi one is to concentrate on one mental moment after another. They enter into concentration without comprehending the intrinsic characteristic of the virtue and nonvirtue of all phenomena. That being the case, such a one who enters into concentration is not skilled in entering into concentration on one mind moment after another.

The point is the comparison with the concentrations, abandonments and so on of śravakas and pratyekabuddhas with bodhisattvas on the stages. It is not an assertion that śravakas and pratyekabuddhas are traversing the stages.
[8:50 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: Lanka says sravakas have apprending subject and apprehended objects
[8:50 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: Means that is overcome only at the seventh bhumi
[8:50 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: No wonder kagyus say arahats are equal to sixth bhumi (as stated in lanka)
[8:51 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: And many masters other than dakpo tashi alone, states that the yoga of one taste begins at seventh bhumi
[8:51 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: Means below that level their understanding of emptiness and anatta does not overcome subject and object or lead to a nondual taste
[8:52 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: This is something i dont understand as i have never been through any phase of anatta where subject and object is not overcome... anatta has been nondual for me from the start
[8:53 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: Also there are many like daniel ingram, ajahn amaro and some others that describe nondual within the theravada system... so i dunno haha

Other Theravadins that realise nondual anatta includes:
Ajahn Nyanamoli Thero
Phra Kovit Khemananda
A Theravadin monk in AtR group, although admittedly through influence of AtR
And some others)
[8:57 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: Also this explains why for example, cognitive obscurations are defined as subject-action-object structure.. so they are saying mahayana leads to nondual gnosis besides eliminating afflictions
[9:12 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: my guess is that, i think arahat should have nondual taste like bahiya sutta [and kalaka sutta, etc], but maybe not necessarily realize the emptiness of the subject-action-object structure, or realize emptiness of characteristics... but by right shouldnt have apprehending subject and apprehended object
[9:13 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: but even padmasambhava seems to say sravakas are dual lol
[9:23 PM, 1/10/2021] John Tan: Stereotyping.
[9:23 PM, 1/10/2021] Soh Wei Yu: ic.. yeah i guess so
[9:25 PM, 1/10/2021] John Tan: Cognitive obscurations is more than subject-action-object imo.




Update 2021:


  • I may have misread you. I pasted above explaining why anatta and D.O. and emptiness is crucial to "liberation", but if you are asking why is John Tan and myself correct about the definition of "arahantship", then the answer is clear: having read thousands of pages of scriptures myself, I have seen Buddha criticised the view of a metaphysical, infinite Self multiple times (see ), and would even use harsh words to criticise/rebuke his monks who held a Self view with regards to consciousness (see sutta on Bhikkhu Sati)
    Anatta: Not-Self or No-Self?
    Anatta: Not-Self or No-Self?
    Anatta: Not-Self or No-Self?

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    • 1w

  • Anything lesser than Thusness Stage 5 does not even meet the criteria of scriptural 'stream entry', let alone Arahantship.

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  • More pasting to come:

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  • 2011:
    Soh: Btw u saw my email regarding teacher chen summary
    Thusness: i do not know
    Thusness: i don't want to comment on teacher chen
    Thusness: it is disrespectful
    Thusness: what summary
    Thusness: the diagram?
    Soh: He says hinayana realise anatta, then mahayana arise the realization of emptiness
    Thusness: no
    Soh: Then finally the realization of equality arise
    Thusness: he sees hinayana as "I am"
    Soh: That's like what u said right I mean sounds like the process he went through
    Soh: Oic..
    Thusness signed in.
    Soh: The diagram sounds like a process he went through himself
    Thusness: Yeah
    Thusness: like polishing mirror
    Soh: What u mean
    Thusness: 证悟觉体 (realizing the substance of awareness) as the final destination of theravada practice (comments by Soh: I have seen more than one Mahayana teacher made this mistaken equation of theravada as I AM and mahayana as One Mind)
    Thusness: maybe that is the practice and realization in modern time
    Thusness: but not during Buddha's time i am sure.
    Soh: I see
    Thusness: for anyone talking about that will kena (get scolded) from
    Soh: Lol
    Thusness: Theravada is the realisation of anatta
    Thusness: that must be very clear
    Thusness: it is not substantialist non dual
    Soh: Oic..
    Thusness: only the clarity of anatta and clearly seeing what it means is not clear
    Thusness: into the second fold emptiness
    Thusness: that is 'seeing' the true meaning of the view
    Thusness: one can realize anatta and experience no-mind, no agent
    Thusness: but not depth in the view
    Soh: Oic.. Btw pegembara is from theravada and the phena sutta which he quotes is also from pali canon... I think the clarity of phena sutta on the secondfold emptiness is on par with the prajnaparamita sutras
    Thusness: yet there is no direct insight of anatta
    Soh: Also I'm not sure about this but apparently different arhats can have different degree of insight into emptiness. Sariputra is known as "jie kong di yi" (foremost in understanding emptiness).. But I guess its true that arhats mostly stress on anatta
    Soh: Oic
    Thusness: of course.
    Soh: I see..

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  • On a proper scriptural exposition of the view, realization and experience of an arahant based on scriptures, see the article at


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