Link to Beacon of Certainty: https://www.amazon.com/Miphams-Beacon-Certainty-Illuminating-Perfection/dp/0861711572

[11:16 AM, 3/26/2021] Soh Wei Yu: Btw i told my mom its hard for lzls to realise anatta, she told me she believe master shen kai new incarnation will come back to guide ren cheng lol. I told her the reason why its hard is that lzls is focused on ren cheng teachings and unless she is willing to explore anatta, which so far i can see is only taught and realised by two teachers throughout taiwan/china - hong wen liang and ven hui lu, then how can one expect to breakthrough.. imo anatta is not say particularly difficult to realise (so many realised after encountering AtR) but requires willingness to explore and challenge one’s views etc
[11:20 AM, 3/26/2021] John Tan: I need to find a day to write abt mmk 2 truth model, the more I look at it the more beauty I see...lol
[11:21 AM, 3/26/2021] John Tan: It is fortunate that u have insight into anatta
[11:23 AM, 3/26/2021] John Tan: What u lack is a strong view to articulate the experiences and insights without falling into extremes.
[11:23 AM, 3/26/2021] Soh Wei Yu: Ic..
[11:24 AM, 3/26/2021] John Tan: So far I can't find a teacher or books that can beautifully blend the whole thing together.  Mipham is the closest I can get.
[11:26 AM, 3/26/2021] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. was actually planning to read mipham book during my reservist
[11:35 AM, 3/26/2021] John Tan: Read beacon of certainty, dialectics u need to have some background
[12:14 PM, 3/26/2021] Soh Wei Yu: Ok
[7:24 PM, 3/26/2021] Soh Wei Yu: Andre wrote:

This [in the link] is a good introduction and "meaning commentary" to the text. I'm intending to read Beacon's root text and commentary, I've just read the long introduction by Petitt.

Soh Wei Yu also consider reading Mipham's introduction to Shantarakshita's Adornment of the Middle Way. I'm always saying this, I think it's pretty good. There's a lot of overlapping between these 2 texts.

https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Certainty-Quintessence-Dzogchen-Exploration/dp/1614290091/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Journey+to+Certainty&qid=1616755380&sr=8-1
[7:34 PM, 3/26/2021] John Tan: Shantarashita adorenment is also good..and introduction to the middle way since u always like to talk about bhumis since the middle way is  also chandrakirti's commentary on the bhumis.  🤣

Andre:

One may think that a laptop is empty because it *arose* dependent on conditions, but *now that it has arisen* it's actually 'here in front of us and is made of matter, it's black, it has a certain weight and it's square-shaped'.

Ans by John Tan-->-->-->-->
Instead of "empty because it *arose* dependent on conditions", should also contemplate deeply the opposite : empty therefore dependent on conditions are possible.
End-->-->-->-->

But we're told that the laptop is empty in the sense that it has *never arisen*. What could it mean?

Ans by John Tan-->-->-->-->
When we use the term "non-arisen", we are talking about the traditional two truth model so we must look at both the ultimate and conventional nature.  In ultimate analysis the "laptop" is empty and non-arisen; conventionally the "laptop" arose and the only valid mode of arising is via causes and conditions.

We follow the view and its praxis until the nature of mind and phenomena is clearly understood analytically.  Until gnosis (prajna) is able to intuitive emptiness free from extremes/conceptualities/all elaborations.

Take note that the path of non affirmative negation is only part of the story and to Mipham without seeing coalescence of appearance  and emptiness, it is considered notional emptiness.  He  presents the 4 stages of Madhyamaka experiences as emptiness --> coalescence --> lack of elaborations --> equality.   

It is a gradual approach where the insight and experience of former phase will form the foundation for the next phase to arise until the non-conceptual gnosis of spontaneous presence is realized.

What lies after is the pure, unfabricated, uncontrieved view of spontaneous presence which is inexpressible since it is beyond all notions and elaborations.

I think these 4 phases r extremely helpful pointers for ATR ppl post anatta insight.  Before that, the nature of mind and phenomena is still unclear.  For u, the insights and experiences are there but the view is still very weak and needs lots of refinement.  This is not ur fault, me included (🤣) as we start from koan and contemplate on short stanzas.  However if u want to have firmed and stable progress, u got to keep refining Ur view.
End-->-->-->-->

I don't fully understand non-arising yet, but I'd say it means that the laptop isn't actually solid or made of matter, even as it's resting right in front of us and we touch it. If it was actually made of matter, then it wouldn't be empty - it would have an intrinsic characteristic. But we're told in the Heart Sutra that 'form is emptiness'. So, form itself is devoid of nature, so it isn't truly form - it only appears so. And if the form element is empty, no object can possess it as an intrinsic characteristic.

Since mind and matter originates in dependence, investigated mind instead of matter. Emptiness without

Moreover, the laptop being material depends on being perceived by a non-material consciousness, so its materiality doesn't stand alone; it must be cognized externally as to be established - it's not self-established. The same with its being square or 'in front of us'. Likewise, consciousness does not stand alone - it requires the laptop so as to be able to 'arise as perception of laptop'.

Ans by John Tan-->-->-->-->
One point to take note here is when Nagarjuna talked about dependency, it is not just nominal dependency but also existential dependency.  Like the comment I made on Andre previous post:-

This undeniable conviction of "in here" is real and "undeniably exist" WITHOUT conceptual constructs is the "inherentness" that must be deconstructed.  For without "externality", how does the sense of "internality" arise?  If they r dependent, how could they exist truly?

The seeing through of their dependent designations also renders the seeing through of their existence.
End-->-->-->-->

That the laptop is square-shaped is a notion imputed onto the vivid clarity of experience. That it's black likewise; that it's out there too.

Ans by John Tan-->-->-->-->
Vivid clarity isn't within the scope of mmk.  However Mipham has two models of two truth, one is the traditional madhyamaka 2 truth model and second is the authentic(non-dual non-inherent non-conceptual)/inauthentic experiential model.  Andre's previous poem of equating DO with spontaneous presence belongs more to the second model.
-->-->-->-->

I think the point is to empty all appearances of any notion that we might want to impute on them. Why? It reduces grasping and thus suffering. And, importantly, it opens the door to the transformation of experience. We're told that, in full enlightenment, experience sheds off its 'mortal skin' of ordinary body-mind and transforms into enlightened bodies and wisdom. That can't happen if experience is framed in confined structures of subject and object, mind and matter, limited and unlimited, space and time, etc. We can't wake up from a dream while still believing some aspects of it to be real, even if we've seen through the dream-character and some parts of the landscape.

Ans by John Tan-->-->-->-->
Relating grasping and suffering to imputations is more than a matter of logical deduction.  

We can deduced by asking:
how does the mind grasp at all when conditioned existence r seen through?

How does mind grasp when it is free from all fabricated notions and elaborations?  

We may also conclude that in fact mind comes to a total cessation when it's free from all elaborations.

But from practice point of view (imo), we must be thoroughly convinced and taste through experience that each conceptual construct has a set of emotional weights associated with it.  Be it "self", "phenomena", "arising", "production", "existence" ...etc.  Some releases r as powerful as anatta and mind-body dropped, some r like putting down a heavy load and often accompanied by a light sense of joy.  This point was very well described and articulated by Aditya Prasad.
-->-->-->-->

"Don't try to bend the spoon, it's impossible. Instead, realize the truth. What truth? There is no spoon."

Ans by John Tan-->-->-->-->
Tell Andre to eat his food with his "spoon"! 🤣
-->-->-->-->


At the time of his enlightenment, Zen Master Huangpo said, "When I hear the sound of the bell ringing, there is no bell, and also no I, only ringing-sound."

 
原文
 
当我听到钟响的声音,
没有钟,
也没有我,
只有响声。
 
出处
 
黄檗希运,号称黄櫱禅师,唐代靖州鹫峰(今江西省宜丰县黄檗山)大乘佛教高僧。
 
 

 The two truths meet everywhere.

- Dependent origination refutes

Both extreme views of is and is-not.

- Appearance and emptiness are united

As the scent that is experience.

- Clarity and limitlessness are inseparable

As the nature of mind.

.

Mind as clarity is nothing

But experience as appearingness.

Experience as emptiness is nothing

But limitlessness as mind.

.

Clarity-appearance is nothing but origination.

Empty-limitlessness is nothing but dependency.

The diving into the nature of mind is nothing

But the embracing of dependent origination.

.

A feather slowly floats its way towards the ground;

The breeze makes the trees sway;

A sound suddenly pierces the silence;

That itself is the nature of mind.

.

The very pulsing of dependent origination

Is the primordial face of the Tathāgata.

Like blood and veins and heart

- The two truths meet everywhere.

Soh, I think u should do a summary of ur understanding on the recent post by Andre.  The poem of expressing the meeting of two truth by realising dependent arising is beautiful. Like a sudden flash of insight that pierce through a koan, it clears the fog of dependent origination by directly leaping over all artificial definitions right into the heart, blood and veins of Tathāgata.  So what exactly is realized but was not recognized in the past? Put some effort into articulating this point clearly.


Appearance and emptiness are united

As the scent that is experience.

...

A feather slowly floats its way towards the ground;

The breeze makes the trees sway;

A sound suddenly pierces the silence;

That itself is the nature of mind.

 Imo that concisely expressed the heart to heart authentication of dependent origination as clarity natural radiance (arising).

That said, despite the non-conceptual heart to heart authentication, still the “in-between” de-construction process are extremely invaluable activities that cannot be bypassed and overlooked.  In fact, the missing key in sharpening and maturing one’s prajna lies precisely in these in-between process of connecting dots.  For mature and smooth integration of view, insights and experiences post anatta, we should not be simply skewed towards dwelling and deepening into non-conceptual taste of suchness.  So don’t end up like Héshang Móhēyǎn (和尚摩訶衍) in his debate with Kamalasila in Lhasa although in the Chinese sources, many claimed otherwise but that is beside the point.

Andre posted another good article today about how the 8 worldly concerns in daily engagements relate to agentless-action, dependent origination and emptiness and all these play their inevitable bits in wearing off our obscurations.  Habitual obscurations are exceedingly subtle like scent left behind a container hence there is no short-cut to liberation -- it’s all step by step and bit by bit erosion of the nuances and subtleness of “inherentness” in one’s ignorance.


Pam Tan shared this after meeting with AtR group and John in October 2020



[12:25 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: Hi Soh, just want to let you know, how John described anatta last night is already my moment to moment lived 'experience' since beginning of this year. I am 100% doubtless. Even though I shared with no one and do not really want to talk about it. All there is just this current display of shapes colours tactile feel smell thoughts. No conceptual overlay, NONE! Direct, immediate, gapless, intimate. Life continues to function lighter than a baby's breath. Thank you for bringing the meeting about. From deep depression and not having heard of spirituality in 2016 to direct glimpses coming fast and furious back to back this year. Culminating in John's and your presence last evening. His words are myself talking to myself, sealing my milestone.
[12:26 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: 🙏🙏🙏
[12:56 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: As John said, anatta realisation is nothing spectacular, it is just recognising this has always been the case. Very beautiful and simple recognition, mySelf meeting mySelf, saying hello mySelf. No more questions, just a smile of quiet understanding.
[1:13 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: Am open-handed now and seeing alot of deeply embedded old wounds surfacing without stopping them or reacting to them. They are just sensations and they free themselves and dissolve and I smile at how simple it is now, instead of me suppressing and suffering few years back. This purging is sometimes very intense and I have to take deep breaths. For as long as I have this body, there will continue to be old fears and habits based on mistaken beliefs of personhood and doership, I don't hope to exhaust all of them but see clearly that these present themselves as a chance to cleanse and clarify. A lifelong practice. So embrace everything, knowing we are all spotless, innocent, complete and life is very precious and beautiful Self-discovery journey!!!
[1:28 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: Some real-life egs:

Every morning upon waking, in sleep-wake state, for a flash moment, language is absent so that what is presented have no labels and I have no idea what I am looking at. Just an array of shapes and colours and aircon humming and sensations the contact of body with sheets but all as one tapestry. No sense of someone located somewhere looking and experiencing from the location of a body in bed.  Yet feel like I am everywhere.
[1:28 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: This morning when hanging out the laundry my hands on the poles appear not attached or belonging to myself yet all the clothes and pole and window and flats opposite ARE ME!

The vivid colours of the clothes on the poles are nameless and not seen by the eyes but they are just KNOWN!
[1:30 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: Colours and sounds are KNOWN immediately by themselves...they are Self-knowing, no need for any agent making an effort to bring info to the brain.
[1:33 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: Last night watching John at no distance, his shape and voice just ARE. Not even to say "appearing in consciousness"...saying this is saying too much. JUST ARE! Shining vividly by themselves!
[1:39 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: And every moment is not a linear progression from a previous moment. Just one, the current one, the most updated one,. Updated not as if there was a continuity from previous moment. It is just a compete moment by itself! It presents as a whole package complete with story/memory of the previous moments. So this tricked the brain into thinking there was a past. Giving illusion of time. While in fact they are disjointed, each a complete current display.
[1:42 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: I used to drag my past into my present when it is just a story etched into the current configuration. There is no way to verify that the story even happened. It is just assumed due to 'evidences' of what others collaborate to confirm back to us.
[1:44 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: When people talk about there is just the NOW I was so frustrated. Now it is so obvious. What is right now infront of the face and under the feet is all the reality there is. All else are contrivance, hearsay, imagination, assumptions.
[1:47 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: Regarding substantiality of a background, this is a thought, a concept appearing now.
[1:48 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: If there are no joined moments how can there be continuity?
[1:48 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: How can there be a permanent background?
[1:51 PM, 10/29/2020] Pam: Of all illusions, the illusion of a background holding all illusions together is itself the most persistent illusion!!!
[2:32 PM, 10/29/2020] Soh Wei Yu: 👍 wonderfully expressed. Thanks for sharing

[11:23 PM, 3/13/2021] Soh Wei Yu: by the way just wondering if it's ok to share what you shared above? i can remove any specific details if you wish
[7:37 AM, 3/14/2021] Pam: Hi morning Soh, yes can always share if you feel may benefit others

[11:23 PM, 3/13/2021] Soh Wei Yu: by the way just wondering if it's ok to share what you shared above? i can remove any specific details if you wish
[7:37 AM, 3/14/2021] Pam: Hi morning Soh, yes can always share if you feel may benefit others
[1:40 PM, 3/14/2021] Pam: I don't have reservations, you can use the above as you wish
[1:40 PM, 3/14/2021] Soh Wei Yu: thanks!
[1:40 PM, 3/14/2021] Pam: thanks for all the work you do!

[1:40 PM, 3/14/2021] Pam: I don't have reservations, you can use the above as you wish
[1:40 PM, 3/14/2021] Soh Wei Yu: thanks!
[1:40 PM, 3/14/2021] Pam: thanks for all the work you do!

A lil reflection:
Reality is naturally untainted by the three spheres of subject, object and action. As Maitreya said:
"Any thought of ‘subject’, ‘object’ and ‘action’
Is held to be a cognitive obscuration."
There is no knower, known or knowing; no seer, seen or seeing; no perceiver, perceived or perception.
There is no knowing, seeing or perception, and yet appearances spontaneously radiate with a light of their own. This vivid clarity is the mind's nature arising as dependent origination. So, don't look inside seeking the nature of awareness - it is the moon itself, rising from behind the clouds.
It's like this that Dōgen is able to drop body and mind, and become actualized by the myriad things. Free from knower, known and knowing itself, there is no trace of awakening - for there is no sentient being to become awakened, nor insentient rock to remain asleep. And yet, this no-trace unfolds endlessly, for it is the nature of the natural state that its radiance spontaneously manifests.

 

[1:42 AM, 3/13/2021] John Tan: 👍


[6:29 AM, 3/13/2021] John Tan: I would say:

If there is no knowing, seeing or perception and yet appearances spontaneously radiates, then it should not be dependent origination, should be spontaneous presence.

If there is name and form (namarupa), there is consciousness then there is dependent origination.

 

    Comments


    John Tan
    I wonder exactly what the difference is between DO and spontaneous presence. In a way, DO seems more intellectual, inferential and more into the aproximate ultimate (emptiness as negation). That's been part of my difficulty with the term "total exertion" - it seems to invite a conceptualization of a whole web of causality that arises as "this moment."
    On the other hand, lately DO (and by extension total exertion) is taking the shape of "vivid radiance," or "spontaneous clarity." DO means that there is clarity (origination), but it is spontaneous (dependent and thus empty - initially as negation, but finally as non-referentiality, beyond notions and "pure").
    I've been trying to connect the dots between "nature of mind" - which feels rather sujective and "in here" - and the whole Madhyamaka enterprise of emptiness and DO - which feels rather objective and "out there." When investigating the nature of mind, one usually tries to look within, kind of turning the attention backwards; when investigating DO, one may knock on a table, drop a pen, etc., checking the inexorable "law of causality" - when this is, that is.
    But what's coming up to me is that the "nature of mind" - as inseparable clarity and emptiness/unobstructedness - is nothing but the dependently arisen nature of experience/appearances. From the openness and referencelessness of mind, vivid appearances "naturally" manifest - and this is nothing but DO ("naturally" paradoxically means "when conditions are present").
    Madhyamaka, when stressing the union of the two truths as inseparable union of appearance and emptiness, seems to be opening the same door that Mahamudra and Dzogchen seem to be opening with the nature of mind as inseparable emptiness, clarity and responsiveness/ expression/ compassion.
    This is what I was trying to convey in a recent post in AtR:
    The two truths meet everywhere.
    .
    - Dependent origination refutes
    both extreme views of is and is-not.
    - Appearance and emptiness are united
    as the scent that is experience.
    - Clarity and limitlessness are inseparable
    as the nature of mind.
    .
    Mind as clarity is nothing
    but experience as appearingness.
    Experience as emptiness is nothing
    but limitlessness as mind.
    .
    Clarity-appearance is nothing but origination.
    Empty-limitlessness is nothing but dependency.
    The diving into the nature of mind is nothing
    but the embracing of dependent origination.
    .
    A feather slowly floats its way towards the ground;
    The breeze makes the trees sway;
    A sound suddenly pierces the silence;
    That itself is the nature of mind.
    .
    The very pulsing of dependent origination
    is the primordial face of the Tathāgata.
    Like blood and veins and heart
    - the two truths meet everywhere.

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    • Reply
    • 2h

  • André A. Pais
    To me when spontaneous presence is expressed conventionally, it is expressed as dependent origination and emptiness.
    I m glad that u have understood total exertion this way. In seeing for examples, it is not only the eyes that sees, the ears, the hairs, the entire body-mind-enviroment are fully exerted and participating into the act of seeing. How is this possible if eyes, ears, nose, environment...everything r not conventional? If their conventionalities r not seen through, going beyond their designated boundaries into just the "seen" as the "lurid scenery" will just be another experience, not an insight.
    Although integration of two truth is crucial, I think a difference must still b made on spontaneous presence from freedom of conceptual notions and DO and emptiness before integration. At least until certain experiential insights arise:
    One is the supreme purity that relinquishes both pure and impurity, freedom from both notions. Without going through this process, it is difficult to "see" how notions create "things" and "existence".
    When we affirm "internal", we are in fact affirming "externality" at the same time. This is what the mind can't see easily. Surely the mind thinks " 'internal and private and in here' r still undeniably true even without designated conceptual constructs". This undeniable conviction of "in here" is real and "undeniably exist" is the "inherentness" that must be deconstructed. When the relationship of conceptual notions aren't clear, distinguishing mere appearances from added imputation on mere appearance will not be easy for the mind. Like why is the plant growing instead of decaying? At which point is exactly is it growing and decaying? Same applies to cause and effect. like the plant that grows and decays, the designated consciousness determines that a cause has ceased and effect has come into "existence".
    This emphasis of the thorough understanding of conceptual notions to be negated instead of creating "inherent existence" on top of the conventional is y Mipham said abt Tsongkhapa notional emptiness. We do not empty the "inherent existence" of the vase, the entire conventional notion of "vase" is the "inherent existence" to be emptied, there is no "extra" inherent existence of something to be emptied. U can't retain the conventionality of vase and talk abt emptiness.
    Next is the freedom from all notions will lead one into another taste -- unmade, unconditioned, natural spontaneity in contrast to artificially man-made mind constructs.
    Once natural clarity, supreme purity, unconditioned natural spontaneity r realized via seeing through conventionalities, then I think integrating the two truth will b more fruitful.
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Nice meditation app by Angelo Gerangelo

‎Simply Awake on the App Store (apple.com)

  • John Tan
    When Dogen was still a monk in Tendai School, he was puzzled and couldn't understand the teaching of "original enlightenment". If we were originally enlightened, how can we be lost? Unsatisfied he traveled to China in search for answers and when he returned back to Japan, he began promoting "practice-enlighthment". What did Dogen realize from this koan of "original enlightenment" into "practice-enlightenment"?
    Those that went for the ATR gathering don't answer ah🤣.
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         · 22h · Edited

    Robert Dominik Tkanka
    John Tan
    anatta is a seal. Its permament in the sens it is always already so, originally so. Its not permament substance but more like - impermanence is permament.
    Not seeing that however one suffers like a beggar who sleeps on a rock with precious stone inside. He is free of poverty altough his ignorance covers that. Or like water. Water is pure, limpid and clear. It can look though as if water is unclear due to the mud of obscurations. Practice is resting (samatha) so the mud settles down and seeing (vipassana) so one recognises the natural state of water.
    Also koan about wind being permament and penetrating everywhere comes to mind. One still practises fanning to cool the suffering and refresh the mind distracted with it.
    Just some ramblings that came to me when I saw your comment 🙂
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         · 22h · Edited

    John Tan
    Robert Dominik Tkanka
    is this the first time u hear this koan and and has an intuitive immediate direct recognition? Or u have heard of this koan and had contemplated it before?

         · Reply
         · 22h · Edited

    Robert Dominik Tkanka
    John Tan
    about your comment its the first time I see it worded like that.
    Though Ive contemplated similar themes and pointers. I think most of all your pointer of Anatta being a seal has triggered the recognition.
    Post-anatta Ive came to see Buddha nature teachings as hinting at that.

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         · 22h · Edited

    John Tan
    Robert Dominik Tkanka
    well said. When I heard of this koan shortly after anatta insight, I too have a direct immediate recognition and I was telling the ATR gathering yesterday that Soh Wei Yu
    was too lazy to contemplate when I asked him abt this koan post his anatta insight 🤣🤣🤣.
    Indeed this is similar to anatta insight. When no self/Self is seen through, seen is just seen and heard is just heard. When original enlightenment is seen through, sitting is just sitting, walking is just walking, and sleeping is just sleeping -- practice enlightenment!
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    Soh Wei Yu
    John Tan
    I can't remember when I first read about practice-enlightenment, but it has resonated with me from the very early years... I also like this one:
    No Buddha is Conscious of its Existence [of having a Perfect-nature]
    "By his fifteenth year one burning question became the core around which his spiritual strivings revolved: "If, as the sutras say, our Essential-nature is Bodhi (perfection), why did all Buddhas have to strive for enlightenment and perfection?" His dissatisfaction with the answers he received at Mount Hiei led him eventually to Eisai-zenji, who had brought the teachings of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism from China to Japan. Eisai's reply to Dogen's question was: "No Buddha is conscious of its existence [that is, of this Essential-nature], while cats and oxen [that is the grossly deluded] are aware of it." In other words, Buddhas, precisely because they are Buddhas, no longer think of having or not having a Perfect-nature; only the deluded think in such terms. At these words Dogen had an inner realization which dissolved his deep-seated doubt."
    -- recommended reading, Yasutani-roshi's Introductory Lectures on Zen Training (it's a practical text on Zazen and Koan training)
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    Soh Wei Yu
    My journal entry 25th February 2012
    I see Shikantaza (The Zen meditation method of “Just Sitting”) as the natural expression of realization and enlightenment.
    But many people completely misunderstand this... they think that practice-enlightenment means there is no need for realization, since practicing is enlightenment. In other words, even a beginner is as realized as the Buddha when meditating.
    This is plain wrong and thoughts of the foolish.
    Rather, understand that practice-enlightenment is the natural expression of realization... and without realization, one will not discover the essence of practice-enlightenment.
    As I told my friend/teacher 'Thusness', “I used to sit meditation with a goal and direction. Now, sitting itself is enlightenment. Sitting is just sitting. Sitting is just the activity of sitting, air con humming, breathing. Walking itself is enlightenment. Practice is not done for enlightenment but all activity is itself the perfect expression of enlightenment/buddha-nature. There is nowhere to go."
    I see no possibility of directly experiencing this unless one has clear direct non-dual insight. Without realizing the primordial purity and spontaneous perfection of this instantaneous moment of manifestation as Buddha-nature itself, there will always be effort and attempt at 'doing', at achieving something... whether it be mundane states of calmness, absorption, or supramundane states of awakening or liberation... all are just due to the ignorance of the true nature of this instantaneous moment.
    However, non-dual experience can still be separated into:
    1) One Mind
    - lately I have been noticing that majority of spiritual teachers and masters describe non-dual in terms of One Mind. That is, having realized that there is no subject-object/perceiver-perceived division or dichotomy, they subsume everything to be Mind only, mountains and rivers all are Me - the one undivided essence appearing as the many.
    Though non-separate, the view is still of an inherent metaphysical essence. Hence non-dual but inherent.
    2) No Mind
    Where even the 'One Naked Awareness' or 'One Mind' or a Source is totally forgotten and dissolved into simply scenery, sound, arising thoughts and passing scent. Only the flow of self-luminous transience.
    ....
    However, we must understand that even having the experience of No Mind is not yet the realization of Anatta. In the case of No Mind, it can remain a peak experience. In fact, it is a natural progression for a practitioner at One Mind to occasionally enter into the territory of No Mind... but because there is no breakthrough in terms of view via realization, the latent tendency to sink back into a Source, a One Mind is very strong and the experience of No Mind will not be sustained stably. The practitioner may then try his best to remain bare and non-conceptual and sustain the experience of No Mind through being naked in awareness, but no breakthrough can come unless a certain realization arises.
    In particular, the important realization to breakthrough this view of inherent self is the realization that Always Already, never was/is there a self - in seeing always only just the seen, the scenery, shapes and colours, never a seer! In hearing only the audible tones, no hearer! Just activities, no agent! A process of dependent origination itself rolls and knows... no self, agent, perceiver, controller therein.
    It is this realization that breaks down the view of 'seer-seeing-seen', or 'One Naked Awareness' permanently by realizing that there never was a 'One Awareness' - 'awareness', 'seeing', 'hearing' are only labels for the everchanging sensations and sights and sounds, like the word 'weather' don't point to an unchanging entity but the everchanging stream of rain, wind, clouds, forming and parting momentarily...
    Then as the investigation and insights deepen, it is seen and experienced that there is only this process of dependent origination, all the causes and conditions coming together in this instantaneous moment of activity, such that when eating the apple it is like the universe eating the apple, the universe typing this message, the universe hearing the sound... or the universe is the sound. Just that... is Shikantaza. In seeing only the seen, in sitting only the sitting, and the whole universe is sitting... and it couldn't be otherwise when there is no self, no meditator apart from meditation. Every moment cannot 'help' but be practice-enlightenment... it is not even the result of concentration or any form of contrived effort... rather it is the natural authentication of the realization, experience and view in real-time.
    Zen Master Dogen, the proponent of practice-enlightenment, is one of the rare and clear jewels of Zen Buddhism who have very deep experiential clarity about anatta and dependent origination. Without deep realization-experience of anatta and dependent origination in real time, we can never understand what Dogen is pointing to... his words may sound cryptic, mystical, or poetic, but actually they are simply pointing to this.
    Someone 'complained' that Shikantaza is just some temporary suppressing of defilements instead of the permanent removal of it. However if one realizes anatta then it is the permanent ending of self-view, i.e. traditional stream-entry.
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    John Tan
    Soh Wei Yu
    din know u wrote this. Means u did put in some effort🤣.
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  •  Anurag Jain
    Thanks Geovani Geo
    I get your point. Was the original face not manifest then is the point I was making 😉
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    Geovani Geo
    I wrote "original self" instead of "original face". Corrected.

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    Geovani Geo
    I think everything is always manifested but mind fabrications stir and infuse mud into de clean pure water making one believe that the clean water has disappeared.
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    John Tan
    Geovani Geo
    If original face is always manifested, then there is no orignal face other than the zillions of manifested faces. Each face is is neither same nor different, pure in every manifestion.
    All along there is no dust on the mirror, all dusts r mirrors; only when a particular speck of dust claimed to b special and pure, all other mrriors suddenly become dusts.
    Also to answer ur below post since it is related:
    👇👇👇
    Take everything away, strip it empty. No colors, no taste, no sensations, so that colors, tastes and sensations can arise. Empty of knowing, so that knowing can abide. Empty it from everything imaginable or not. Empty it even from the idea of no-thingness that is still there: nothing. That is the Ground. So, is there a Ground? If yes, than its not yet empty enough. If no, how come we are talking? Good morning children... 😉
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  • Also see: Original Enlightenment and Original Nature is a wrong view / How did Ignorance originate etc


  • Geovani Geo
    "You keep coming back to justify your belief in long term practice which can eventually be quite a limiting factor. "
    Generally, it is true for most people, almost everybody.
    Buddha sat for 6 years before final awakening, Bodhidharma for 9 years, and so on.
    Malcolm said it is possible to attain rainbow body/Buddhahood in one life if one is doing thodgal practices in a retreat setting, and even then it takes years, I think up to 12 years if I can remember correctly. He said most Dzogchen practitioners are never going to attain full Buddhahood in their lifetime, but can attain liberation at the time of bardo.
    Zen Master Dogen:
    Consider the Buddha: although he was wise at birth, the traces of his six years of upright sittingcan yet be seen. As for Bodhidharma, although he had received the mind-seal, his nine years of facing a wall is celebrated still. If even the ancient sages were like this, how can we today dispense with wholehearted practice?
    Therefore, put aside the intellectual practice of investigating words and chasing phrases, and learn to take the backward step that turns the light and shines it inward. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will manifest. If you want to realize such, get to work on such right now.
    Zen
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  • On the duration it takes to attain Buddhahood:
    [1:21 AM, 10/8/2020] John Tan: Have you listened to the Dan brown? [Soh: this is referring to another video -- https://www.fitmind.co/.../dan-brown-phd-meditation-great... ]
    [1:21 AM, 10/8/2020] Soh Wei Yu: havent yet.. is it good?
    [1:21 AM, 10/8/2020] John Tan: From I AM to non-dual to one mind to no mind
    [1:22 AM, 10/8/2020] Soh Wei Yu: oic.. but not anatta?
    [1:22 AM, 10/8/2020] John Tan: To dzogchen, the view is the practice or view includes practice. You listen tomorrow, you will understand. Hale must be thinking that it is quite similar with the phases of insights But I deleted that away in the comment
    [1:25 AM, 10/8/2020] Soh Wei Yu: oic.. why delete
    [1:27 AM, 10/8/2020] John Tan: I dunno about dzogchen much, so I will stay with what I know and experience...lol. Instead of saying phases of insights are similar, will cause unnecessary issues...and I am not trying to come out some version of jaxchen or soh-chen...
    [9:23 AM, 10/8/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. you said it talks about no mind but it didnt mention about anatta realization?
    [9:29 AM, 10/8/2020] John Tan: Yeah
    [2:09 PM, 10/8/2020] John Tan: Frankly I like Dan brown video but the timeline is unrealistic.
    [2:11 PM, 10/8/2020] John Tan: The steps are however clear.
    Nauli for example. Even doing the centre extrusion will take few months of practice and to really churn the will take about 2 years. To churn and have sufficient control will take much more time. Even if you practice diligently as an exercise will take you probably 4-5 years to master.
    [2:13 PM, 10/8/2020] John Tan: As for insights, it is not a matter of pointing out, the stability will take probably 10-25 years post anatta to even have stability and that is practicing quite diligently. Resting in appearances without observer and observed will take probably more time. Into 3 states IMO and experiences require another understanding and that is important. The key is in the message I told andre and asked you what are the other ways beside anatta and do for active mode of no-agency.
    [2:16 PM, 10/8/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. but buddha said you can attain arahant between 7 days to 7 years just by practicing four foundations of mindfulness.. but i guess that timeline is for monks and often in retreat
    [2:17 PM, 10/8/2020] John Tan: That is not Buddhahood
    [2:17 PM, 10/8/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. but should have cleared the ten fetters right
    [2:17 PM, 10/8/2020] John Tan: Yes. That is why I told you to ponder on the no agency part. You need to have that insight, otherwise it is just half done. In other words it is no self in active mode. Why is it half done? Because it is normally in passive mode. So your dreams will normally remain karmic.
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      André A. Pais
      Any other ways..? I'm not sure. Contemplating conditionality perhaps? It's less conceptual and more experiential.
      Yes, seeing non-duality is not the same as seeing no-inherency. The former is more about seeing through the characteristics of subject-object, while the latter seems to be more about seeing through all types of characteristics.
      What do you suggest to see through "thingness"? I may tend to fall into PCE's.
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      · 21w
      John Tan
      I think u have explored and r familiar with the different deconstruction methods and yes DO (general dependent origination) is an excellent tool for deconstruction. It deconstructs without ignoring diversities. In DO, one feels the deep intimacy and connectedness with the diversities, yet everything dissolves into a seamless formation of a total situation. Everything includes the sense of self and others, hereness and nowness, time and space, mind and body, physical and materiality and so and and so forth.
      But I m not looking at DO. In the Taoism YouTube that Soh
      posted, Jason Gregory provides another perspective to look at the agency-action issue. The emphasis is more on habitual repetition into elimination of the agent from the action/activity.
      But I m not referring to that as well. I m looking more on the non-attachment aspect, the freedom from gain/loss, success/failure, pride and fear in any endeavour. Practicing that way, the gap between the agent and action will also be gradually reduced to none, into the flow of actionless action.
      As for falling into PCEs, there is nothing wrong falling into PCEs imo; just how uncontrived and effortless, how natural and spontaneous the PCEs are. More importantly, are the PCEs endow with deep wisdoms that sees through:
      1. self (anatta)
      2. phenomena (chariot analogy)
      3. characteristics (redness of a flower). The lurid redness that appears to stick to a red flower seems to b an inherent part of the flower. But is it? There is neither redness out there nor in here. at the flower, nor on the mind, nor...
      4. the sematics/meanings of conventionalities
      5. appearances (experienctial emptiness). Appears but not found.
      To me over-emphasis of non-conceptualities (too early) is an extreme and can be a great disservice as it "bypasses" those valuable insights that see through reifications and semantic/meaning of conventionalities.
      But seeing through "thingness" moderates this extremity, it is like the middle path between conceptual and non-conceptualities.
      Eventually and gradually, everything too will b de-constructed; no thoughts and concepts, calmly and evenly into transparent pristine appearances in natural spontaneity.
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      · 21w · Edited
      André A. Pais
      I don't understand why can't redness be in the mind - not intrinsically so, of course.
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      · 21w
      Geovani Geo
      I guess its because "redness" would be another "thing".
      · Reply
      · 21w · Edited
      John Tan
      Yes André
      , I m referring to intrinsically and inherently.
      That said, u may also want to look deeper into point 4 and compare it with the de-construction of "thingness/inherent-ness" of my earlier message:
      1. The very idea of "in", the very idea of "from" or the idea of "produce" r all sematics of conventionalities. We have mistaken "meanings" of these conventions as undeniable "reality" but they too r imputed. The mind thinks surely even without labels and designations, there is still the actuality of being "in" something, somewhere but this is not true. "In-ness" too is a formation formed from "mental constructions + sensations". They can similarly b de-constructed.
      If a mind free from all these sematics of conventionalities or total exhaustion of conceptualities, what is experience like?
      It is not "knowingness" nor a "not knowing mind", but just liberating all sematics of conventions and simply resting as mere clean, pure, pellucid sense of vivid radiance (in absorption)?
      2. Seeing through "inherent-ness/thingness" which is what I said in my earlier message.
      If u r interested, u can explore into them otherwise just treat it as some blah blah blah..🤣
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      · 21w · Edited
      André A. Pais
      Yes, redness as a concept is totally imagined. And yet, a mere appearance is present. We can't say, of course, where it appears, or what it is, etc. Those would all be designations. But conventionally, it is indeed an appearance in mind. And I've seen John and Soh talking about such example, but how they get to the "unarisen" insight always eludes me.
      · Reply
      · 21w
      John Tan
      All appearances r like a finger drawing a circle in thin air, mere occurrences. Even the solid vivid sensations of "hardness", appears (in zero dimension) but r no where to b found - unarisen.
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      · 21w · Edited
      Geovani Geo
      The ultimate fairer is the free empty heart. And I am not being romantic but purely "technical". Where else are all burdens shed?
      · Reply
      · 21w
      André A. Pais
      John Tan
      I resonate very much with the investigation of our sense of localization, embodiment (feeling to be inside a body), physicality, direction / perspective ("I am here looking there"), etc. You seemed to touch it, when talking about "in-ness", "from" and existing "somewhere".
      These are sensitive topics to me, as they relate to notions of space, solidity, etc. I like very much the line of inquiry "is experience happening anywhere?", for example.
      Can you explore it a bit?
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      · 21w · Edited
      Geovani Geo
      At this point I find it quite useful to resort to "being awareness" (I think u call it PCE?). Such awareness is seeing through the luminosity of "things". But this is still a "doing", right? The "problem" with this is that there is a subtle duality awareness/stuff-being-awared. Then some may come up with the notion that awareness is not other then what is being awared. That there is only awareness. And here, I guess, is where inherency comes in. Fundamentally, is there an awareness at all? Or such awareness was also jsut a skillful means, a pointer?
      If there is not such inherent awareness, then what is here? Is there any kind of measurable dimension that could be established? etc...
      · Reply
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    • John Tan
      André
      , what I m talking abt is the phenomelogy of day to day mumdane experiences, nothing transcendental.
      I'm merely looking at how mental constructs created by our language structures and social conventions define and shape our moment to moment of experiences.
      When we say our body is having such and such sensations, the mind really thinks in terms of containment. When we try to search for the referent we called "body", we realized there is no "body" apart from the dancing and fluxing sensations. So again, there r no two parts -- body and sensations; what we designate as "body" is just these sensations.
      Once the mind sees through this "body construct", the sense of "in-ness" also dissolves. Sensations r simply present, no where, zero dimension. Same for "self/Self" as a background.
      Just this experiential taste of thorough deconstruction is enough to take up my whole life. 🤣
      As a side note, in Taoism there is the art of "sit and forget" 坐忘. To sit and forget the "body" is difficult, to see through mental constructs is much easier once we get a hang of it and it is more penetrating and insightful.
      Ok André, been chatting too much. Thks for the exchanges.
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      · 21w · Edited
      John Tan
      Geovani Geo
      to me, to be without dual is not to subsume into one and although awareness is negated, it is not to say there is nothing.
      Negating the Awareness/Presence (Absolute) is to not let Awareness remain at the abstract level. When such transpersonal Awareness that exists only in wonderland is negated, the vivid radiance of presence are fully tasted as the transient appearances; zero gap and zero distance between presence and moment to moment of ordinary experiences and we realize that "presence" has always only been a convention for these vivid ordinary experiences.
      Then mundane activities -- hearing, sitting, standing, seeing and sensing, become pristine and vibrant, natural and free.
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      · 21w · Edited
      Geovani Geo
      John
      , yes. Any single atom is it. And even all atoms of all universes together are not it. Tx!!
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    • TAOISM | The Philosophy of Flow and Wu Wei
      YOUTUBE.COM
      TAOISM | The Philosophy of Flow and Wu Wei
      TAOISM | The Philosophy of Flow and Wu Wei

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    • Also related:
      [11:43 PM, 9/30/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Beyond subject-action-object
      [11:45 PM, 9/30/2020] Soh Wei Yu: The other day i just intuitively understood that tremendous merits and the perfections of paramitas comes from the actualization of anatta in practice and action.. like in generosity etc
      [11:45 PM, 9/30/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Beyond or empty of the three spheres
      [12:01 AM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: Better, what else?
      [12:01 AM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: So what do u understand from it?
      [12:02 AM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: Paramitas and fear....what have u understood and how is it different from just losing the background?
      [12:41 AM, 10/1/2020] Soh Wei Yu: If for example one does an act of generosity with a self or giver in mind, a gift in mind and a receiver in mind, or the idea of a self creating merit in mind, then the merits accrued from such an act is very limited and the action can hardly be a perfection.
      When one is actualizing anatta in that action of giving with giver, gift and recipient, the action of generosity is naturally perfected and the merits accrued is immense.
      Also there is the actual mental qualities to be cultivated but the key is in the state of equipoise or actualization of anatta otherwise the quality cannot be perfected also. For example one can practice a kind of tolerance but this is different from completely dissolving the self in actualization and equipoise, then “patience” and “equanimity” arise untainted by self even when confronted with situations.
      Just losing the background can remain an inactive perceptual level but all the paramitas are qualities of mind that are perfected when anatta beyond three spheres are actualised when facing situations and people
      Likewise for fear
      [12:42 AM, 10/1/2020] Soh Wei Yu: *without giver,...
      [12:46 AM, 10/1/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Like just chanting..
      [12:46 AM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: Much better, but the relationship is still not clear. And it is not so correct to say that if anatta insight doesn't arise, u can't perfect paramitas. In fact it goes both ways.
      So the passive and active mode of anatta. How does the gap between the actor and action being eliminated to none in activity?
      [12:47 AM, 10/1/2020] Soh Wei Yu: If one is in chanting samadhi no chanter or chanted.. not just samadhi but actualising one’s insight where self and objects are exhausted in equipoise, then that is most meritorious. Although one is not thinking of merits
      [12:47 AM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: No good.
      [12:47 AM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: This is not the key of anatta.
      [12:49 AM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: So do u have a better understanding of Wu Wei in Taoism? Effortless action, action without the sense of agent?
      [12:50 AM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: Insight of anatta is not primary for them though it is the missing key....however still, one can enter in actionless action...by what way?
      [12:51 AM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: If u do not have insight of anatta, how r u to practice?
      [9:33 AM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: Yes André, I agree with most of what u said, just 3 points:
      1. Primordial state, original face.
      What does it mean to to be without the imagined and imputed? It is simply one's primordial state, always and already so despite non-recognition.
      So the path can be directly pointing to one's original face or to rid from all imputed imagined artificialities.
      But the direct leap out of the imputed layer is often not exhaustive and thorough, many blindspots and hindrances. Therefore a short cut can often turns out to be a longer cut.
      2. Unmade, natural and spontaneous
      I agree that without imputations, there is no boundaries. Therefore all experiences is open and spacious and without the layer of imagined, whatever appears is pristine and pellucid, transpar…
      [12:42 PM, 10/1/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
      [4:05 PM, 10/1/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Lol
      [4:08 PM, 10/1/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Like zuo wang.. forgetting and dissolve self into the experience and activity
      First time i had no mind in 2006 was when i was practicing mindfulness then i forgot self into tree
      In 2008 was pondering “how is it to die and fade out of existence” then it triggered intense nondual experience but only for a short while
      [4:12 PM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: That is one way, more on no mind.
      [4:12 PM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: This is not what I m looking at.
      [4:14 PM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: 坐忘 (zuo wang/sitting and forgetting [self]) will not b unfamiliar to u. It is the direct day to day, down to earth aspect u need to look into it. U should see in terms of the paramitas, what exactly is actionless action.
      [4:16 PM, 10/1/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
      [4:20 PM, 10/1/2020] John Tan: This is imp. But the other way is equally true. Look into that direction. What if u have totally no insight at all. Does that mean u wont be able to overcome agency-action issue?
      [8:56 AM, 10/2/2020] John Tan: I wrote to Andre:
      I think u have explored and r familiar with the different deconstruction methods and yes DO (dependent origination) is an excellent tool for deconstruction. It deconstructs without ignoring diversities. In DO, one feels the deep intimacy and connectedness with the diversities, yet everything dissolves into a seamless formation of a total situation. Everything includes the sense of self and others, hereness and nowness, time and space, mind and body, physical and materiality and so and and so forth.
      But I m not looking at DO. In the Taoism YouTube that Soh posted, Jason Gregory provides another perspective to look at the agency-action issue. The emphasis is more on habitual repetition into elimination of the agent from the action/activity.
      But I m not referring to that as well. I m looking more on the non-attachment aspect, the freedom from gain/loss, success/failure, pride and fear in any endeavour. Practicing that way, the gap between the agent and action will also be gradually reduced to none, into the flow of actionless action.
      As for falling into PCEs, there is nothing wrong falling into PCEs imo; just how uncontrived and effortless, how natural and spontaneous the PCEs are. More importantly, are the PCEs endow with deep wisdoms that sees through:
      1. self (anatta)
      2. phenomena (chariot analogy)
      3. characteristics (redness of a flower). The lurid redness that appears to stick to a red flower seems to b an inherent part of the flower. But is it? There is neither redness out there nor in here. at the flower, nor on the mind, nor...
      4. the sematics/meanings of conventionalities
      5. appearances (experienctial emptiness). Appears but not found.
      To me over-emphasis of non-conceptualities (too early) is an extreme and can be a great disservice as it "bypasses" those valuable insights that see through reifications and semantic/meaning of conventionalities.
      But seeing through "thingness" moderates this extremity, it is like the middle path between conceptual and non-conceptualities.
      Eventually and gradually, everything too will b de-constructed; no thoughts and concepts, calmly and evenly into transparent pristine appearances in natural spontaneity.
      [11:00 AM, 10/2/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
      [11:33 AM, 10/2/2020] John Tan: No. Magical is not empty illusory nature.
      [11:34 AM, 10/2/2020] John Tan: Magical because the radiance is unmade...not mechanical, not artificial.
      [11:36 AM, 10/2/2020] John Tan: U feel it is of a totally different dimension from the artificial. Intense radiance and wondrous manifestation r all parts of being magic.
      [11:37 AM, 10/2/2020] John Tan: Or magic by being empty and luminous.
      [11:40 AM, 10/2/2020] John Tan: His [Tinh Panh] description is quite good. Brahman or not doesn't matter as long Brahman is not any transpersonal being in a wonderland, but is the very relative phenomena that we misunderstood.

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