Hi, i think this will interest you on spiritual awakening :

Mr. E:

Thank you, I appreciate the link.

I am definitely in acknowledgement and aware of these understandings, I like some of the processes they explain though in regards to Emptiness.

There’s a stage of “true emptiness” that’s incomprehensible to an extent, because it seems to be absent of even the duality of Emptiness and Somethingness, because that sort of emptiness that is the counterpart of somethingness is still experiential by consciousness.

Whereas that “true emptiness” is consciousness turning into itself to the point that it transcends the duality and there’s only _____, but even then it’s incomprehensible and unnameable, so what I’m saying doesn’t do it justice besides being a sign post of some sort

What are your thoughts?


consciousness turning into itself nondually is what i call the I AM

it is a crucial and precious realization

excerpt from

In 2009:

“(10:49 PM) Thusness:    by the way you know about hokai description and "I AM" is the same experience?

(10:50 PM) AEN:            the watcher right

(10:52 PM) Thusness:    nope. i mean the shingon practice of the body, mind, speech into one.

(10:53 PM) AEN:            oh thats i am experience?

(10:53 PM) Thusness:    yes, except that the object of practice is not based on consciousness. what is meant by foreground? it is the disappearance of the background and whats left is it. similarly the "I AM" is the experience of no background and experiencing consciousness directly. that is why it is just simply "I-I" or "I AM"

(10:57 PM) AEN:            i've heard of the way people describe consciousness as the background consciousness becoming the foreground... so there's only consciousness aware of itself and thats still like I AM experience

(10:57 PM) Thusness:    that is why it is described that way, awareness aware of itself and as itself.

(10:57 PM) AEN:            but you also said I AM people sink to a background?

(10:57 PM) Thusness:    yes

(10:57 PM) AEN:            sinking to background = background becoming foreground?

(10:58 PM) Thusness:    that is why i said it is misunderstood. and we treat that as ultimate.

(10:58 PM) AEN:            icic but what hokai described is also nondual experience rite

(10:58 PM) Thusness:    I have told you many times that the experience is right but the understanding is wrong. that is why it is an insight and opening of the wisdom eyes. there is nothing wrong with the experience of I AM". did i say that there is anything wrong with it?

(10:59 PM) AEN:            nope

(10:59 PM) Thusness:    even in stage 4 what did I say?

(11:00 PM) AEN:            its the same experience except in sound, sight, etc

(11:00 PM) Thusness:    sound as the exact same experience as "I AM"... as presence.

(11:00 PM) AEN:            icic

(11:00 PM) Thusness:    yes”

“"I AM" is a luminous thought in samadhi as I-I.  Anatta is a realization of that in extending the insight to the 6 entries and exits.” – John Tan, 2018

after that key to its full blown effortless unfolding and maturity is to bring it to the foreground in all manifestations and contemplate to realise anatta

for me the crucial thing after I AM is by focusing on the two stanzas of anatta and the four aspects of I AM  as well as the two nondual contemplations

these brought me and many others to the next breakthrough

about 40+ people in the ATR community been through these phases and breakthroughts to anatta and emptiness

wrote to someone earlier:

The realisation of anatta is crucial to bring that taste of non-dual Presence into all manifestations and situations and conditions without any trace of contrivity, effort, referentiality, center, or boundaries... it is the dream come true of anyone that had realised the Self/I AM/God, it is the key that brings it into full blown maturity every moment in life without effort.

It is what brings the pellucidity and beyond measure brilliance bright of Pure Presence into everything, it is not an inert or dull state of non-dual experience.

It is what allows this experience:

"What is presence now? Everything... Taste saliva, smell, think, what is that? Snap of a finger, sing.  All ordinary activity, zero effort therefore nothing attained. Yet is full accomplishment. In esoteric terms, eat God, taste God, see God, hear That is the first thing I told Mr. J few years back when he first messaged me 😂 If a mirror is there, this is not possible. If clarity isn't empty, this isn't possible. Not even slightest effort is needed. Do you feel it? Grabbing of my legs as if I am grabbing presence! Do you have this experience already? When there is no mirror, then entire existence is just lights-sounds-sensations as single presence. Presence is grabbing presence. The movement to grab legs is Presence.. the sensation of grabbing legs is Presence.. For me even typing or blinking my eyes. For fear that it is misunderstood, don't talk about it. Right understanding is no presence, for every single sense of knowingness is different. Otherwise Mr. J will say nonsense... lol. When there is a mirror, this is not possible. Think I wrote to longchen (Sim Pern Chong) about 10 years ago.” - John Tan

“It is such a blessing after 15 years of "I Am" to come to this point . Beware that the habitual tendencies will try its very best to take back what it has lost.  Get use to doing nothing. Eat God, taste God, see God and touch God.

Congrats.” – John Tan to Sim Pern Chong after his initial breakthrough from I AM to no-self in 2006,

“An interesting comment Mr. J. After realization… Just eat God, breathe God, smell God and see God… Lastly be fully unestablished and liberate God.” - John Tan, 2012

"The purpose of anatta is to have full blown experience of the heart -- boundlessly, completely, non-dually and non-locally. Re-read what I wrote to Jax.

In every situations, in all conditions, in all events. It is to eliminate unnecessary contrivity so that our essence can be expressed without obscuration.

Jax wants to point to the heart but is unable to express in a non-dual way... for in duality, the essence cannot be realized. All dualistic interpretation are mind made. You know the smile of Mahākāśyapa? Can you touch the heart of that smile even 2500 yrs later?

One must lose all mind and body by feeling with entire mind and body this essence which is 心 (Mind). Yet 心 (Mind) too is 不可得 (ungraspable/unobtainable).. The purpose is not to deny 心 (Mind) but rather not to place any limitations or duality so that 心 (Mind) can fully manifest.

Therefore without understanding 缘 (conditions),is to limit 心 (Mind). without understanding 缘 (conditions),is to place limitation in its manifestations. You must fully experience 心 (Mind) by realizing 无心 (No-Mind) and fully embrace the wisdom of 不可得 (ungraspable/unobtainable)." - John Tan/Thusness, 2014


John TanThursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:24am UTC+08

Transmission of the "dharma eye"
Soh Wei YuThursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:25am UTC+08

As in direct realization of luminosity?
Soh Wei YuThursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:25am UTC+08

Or of anatta etc
Soh Wei YuThursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:26am UTC+08

What do u mean by seal
John TanThursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:26am UTC+08

It is seeing it alive....that is passed from lineage.
Soh Wei YuThursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:26am UTC+08

and how is it different from awareness aware of itself
Soh Wei YuThursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:26am UTC+08

John TanThursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:27am UTC+08

Awareness aware of itself soon becomes
John TanThursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:29am UTC+08

The measure of one's depth is in the ineffability and marvelous manifestation in activity. Anatta and emptiness cannot b dead.
Soh Wei YuThursday, December 12, 2013 at 9:30am UTC+08

I see..
John TanFriday, December 13, 2013 at 9:13am UTC+08

Everytime I go tour, my Awareness just heighten
Soh Wei YuFriday, December 13, 2013 at 9:14am UTC+08

Cool lol ur anatta breakthrough also in korea
John TanFriday, December 13, 2013 at 9:14am UTC+08

Going back tmr
John TanFriday, December 13, 2013 at 9:14am UTC+08

Yeah and Australia


i love this quote by JT

"Awareness aware of itself soon becomes

The measure of one's depth is in the ineffability and marvelous manifestation in activity. Anatta and emptiness cannot b dead."

(JT = Thusness, my mentor. I went through same stages as him. I'm Soh btw, co-author of the blog :) )

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5 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Soh. I've been reading your fantastic blog for a while. I wanted to know if I AM has to be realized before Anatta and Emptiness. Do you know anyone who realized emptiness first (let's say, by reading Nagarjuna) without delving into substantial dualism or non-dual experience of subject and object (or one mind and all is mind)? Also, is the realization of the initial stages of Rigpa or Kensho indispensable to emptiness? As far as I've read, the initial stages of either Rigpa and Kensho are Advaita-like at first but become full-blown emptiness later.

  2. Soh Says:

    Usually what happens for those who go through emptiness first is that they need to undergo another phase later on to bring out the aspect of luminosity.


    As Thusness also wrote in 2011:

    Thusness: now what pegembara said is more like sunyata
    Thusness: and emptiness
    Thusness: but that is understand
    Soh: Ic..
    Thusness: understanding
    Thusness: it is like dharma dan
    Thusness: the intensity of luminosity is not fully appreciated
    Soh: Oic but dharma dan does have realization right
    Thusness: u don't get what i mean
    Soh: Ic
    Soh: U mean like the insight is there but not the depth of experience
    Thusness: no
    Thusness: i mean luminosity
    Soh: Oic
    Thusness: u r too worried about who is realized and who is not
    Thusness: and completely missing the essence of what that is being conveyed
    Soh: Ic
    Thusness: if no one is there to point out to u, then u can get stuck for a very long period
    Thusness: so u must be pay more attention to this
    Soh: Stuck in what
    Thusness: pegembara lacks the luminosity
    Thusness: get stuck in 'not seeing'
    Soh: Ic
    Thusness: means no penetration in insight
    Thusness: pegembara is like having phase 6 understanding
    Thusness: but lack the intensity of luminosity
    Thusness: and phase 6 direct insight
    Thusness: yet u r talking about dharma dan
    Thusness: r u going to help dharma dan now?
    Soh: Oic..
    Thusness: is he writing the blog?
    Thusness: u r not attending
    Thusness: coz u r so caught up on who has realized what even it is not here
    Soh: Ic..
    Thusness: so if there is no one to point out to u, how are u to progress with this sort of mindset
    Soh: Oic..
    Thusness: what must be ur advice to pegembara?
    Soh: To look into the intensity of luminosity?
    Thusness: in this case, he must have direct pce
    Thusness: coz he lacks this
    Thusness: for the pces, u must point out what pegembara said
    Thusness: but in a skillful way
    Thusness: for tarin case, u must penetrate the difference between the agent and the sense of self
    Soh: What u mean by point out what pegembara said
    Soh: Oic
    Thusness: then there is depth of insight of the immediate moment
    Thusness: otherwise u r always just pouring out from memory
    Soh: Oic
    Thusness: means u r not practicing in daily activity
    Thusness: u r staying at the conceptual level
    Thusness: this is the actual situation and conditions
    Thusness: and u apply skillful means accordingly
    Soh: Ic
    Thusness: also from what pegembara said, u must also realized that from what he said, he has great potential
    Thusness: for he brought out several important points
    Thusness: i am very busy these few days
    Thusness: but think will answer him
    · Reply · 20h

  3. Soh Says:

    Soh Wei Yu In 2008:
    (4:15 PM) AEN: tsultrim serri:
    (4:15 PM) AEN: Initiated a file transfer
    (4:15 PM) AEN:
    (Mind has often been likened to a mirror, but the analogy goes only so far, because mirrors exist and mind doesn't, well let's say that one can touch mirrors. What existence means, particularly at these levels, would be a fruitful topic, but one that i will not cover. Also , mind doesn't really reflect phenomena, it is the phenomena themselves. This is covered further down in these 4 prajnas, but for clarity i thought i should mention that.
    (4:15 PM) AEN:
    "Thusness' or "suchness" is what one feels with the experience of emptiness. It is a solid sense of being (yes, emptiness has a solid or one could say rich feeling). The luminescence of mind can be compared the the surface of a mirror. If the mirror is dirty it doesn't have a bright surface, and if mind is filled with obscuration its awareness is dimmed. With the experience of emptiness, phenomena become more vivid. It is said in the post that this confirms one's entrance into Zen. In the vajrayana, this vividness of mind is called "osel" in Tibetan, and it is a sign that one has entered the vajrayana. In my experience, this is quite far along the path. To get to this point, one would have to experience egolessness of self, egolessness of other, nondualty, emptiness, and only then luminosity.)
    (4:16 PM) Thusness: very good.
    (4:16 PM) AEN: from another thread: "Exist is a tricky word in Buddhism. Mind does not exist in the sense of being a thing, but it does exist as well, otherwise how would we be able to see, hear etc.
    Having said that, for an individual, there is nothing "outside of awareness." Everything that happens to us happens in our awareness(it's not ours, but so what). Furthermore, we are literally everything that happens in our awareness. There is no self; we are simply the world. if we see a chair in our kitchen, that is what we are at that moment since there is no separation between phenomena and mind. Phenomena are mind and mind is phenomena. smile.gif

    (4:22 PM) Thusness: this tsultrim's insight is stage 6.
    (4:23 PM) AEN: oic..
    (4:23 PM) Thusness: truly good.
    (4:23 PM) AEN: icic..
    (4:23 PM) Thusness: not many can truly feel the differences.
    (4:23 PM) AEN: oic..
    (4:24 PM) Thusness: it is only until a certain phase of experience then that clarity comes.
    (4:24 PM) Thusness: and often in tremendous in the stability of thoughtlessness... thought almost seldom arise and one becomes the full vividness of arising phenomena.
    (4:25 PM) Thusness: is he a dzogchen practitioner?
    (4:25 PM) AEN: oic
    (4:25 PM) AEN: i think mahamudra
    (4:25 PM) AEN: he talks about the four yoga
    (4:25 PM) Thusness: ic
    (4:25 PM) AEN: "(Yes, this agrees, in my opinion, with "nonmeditation" in the 4 yogas of mahamudra, the last and most fruitional yoga of mahamudra."
    (4:25 PM) AEN: oh
    (4:25 PM) AEN: and he linked the 4 jnanas to the 4 yogas

    (5:19 PM) Thusness: actually what he said about prajna and jhana is quite good. But u have to know that it is not the sort of jhana as in concentration.
    (5:20 PM) Thusness: it is the experience of effortlessness in non-dual luminosity.
    (5:22 PM) Thusness: There will come a time every day mundane activities, practice and enlightenment is just one substance.
    (5:24 PM) AEN: no he said jnana
    (5:24 PM) AEN: jnana is more like knowledge
    (5:24 PM) AEN: not jhana absorption
    (5:25 PM) Thusness: ic
    (5:26 PM) Thusness: There will come a time when emptiness becomes so clear and the separation is no more then without the need to recall or remind. The last veil that separates is like permanently gone. Then there is no practice because all moments of arising phenomena is just one practice.
    (5:28 PM) AEN: oic..

  4. Soh Says:

    (5:28 PM) AEN: thats what he means by observing emptiness and 'being' emptiness rite
    (5:28 PM) AEN: i mean the difference between it
    (5:29 PM) AEN: Initiated a file transfer
    (5:29 PM) AEN:
    In a post above, i distinguished between the two. I know you asked Matylda, but until she replies, if she does, possibly i could be of help.
    Prajna is the tool that sees emptiness. It is actually an expansion of awareness, using awareness in the context of mindfulness/awareness. Awareness gets to a point where it discovers the nature of mind which includes emptiness. At that point, awareness transforms into prajna. There are lesser stages of prajna as well, but i would have to review them.
    Prajna has been likened to the mother of all the Buddhas, because through its activity the mind that becomes the Buddha mind is born. Actually, it has always been there, and is unborn, but let's not quibble.
    (5:29 PM) AEN:
    So, prajna sees emptiness. When first seen, however, one feels emptiness as separate from what has discovered it. There is still a slight trace of dualism. We experience this dualism as a seeking for emptinesss ie there is a seeker and something sought. At the realization of jnana, this duality melts, so to speak, and emptiness exists or doesn't exist without a sense of something observing it. Also, one attains wisdom when emptiness arises, not wisdom about anything, simply being in the state of wisdom. With prajna, one observes that wisdom; with jnana, one becomes it.

    (5:35 PM) Thusness: jnana here does not refer to the type of concentration like it said. It is an effortless non-dual luminous experience due to the maturing of prajna.
    (5:35 PM) Thusness: I have often said clear until absorbed. Vividness of forms.
    (5:37 PM) Thusness: It is the outcome of the clarity of insight due to the dissolving of that tendency to divide. It is natural, not a form of attention or concentration. This should not be misunderstood.
    (5:38 PM) Thusness: He mentioned about luminosity is the last fruition stage and one must go through emptiness to realise this stage.
    (5:39 PM) Thusness: This is not exactly right. :)
    (5:39 PM) Thusness: Advaita Vedanta practitioner will experience the opposite. :)
    (5:39 PM) AEN: oic..
    (5:39 PM) AEN: but for mahamudra it is like that rite?
    (5:39 PM) AEN: theravada also?
    (5:39 PM) AEN: like dharma dan
    (5:40 PM) Thusness: yes
    (5:40 PM) Thusness: it is because of right view
    (5:40 PM) Thusness: without the right view, u will experience luminosity aspect of awareness without knowing its empty nature.
    (5:40 PM) Thusness: that is more dangerous.
    (5:41 PM) Thusness: therefore establishment of right view is most important. Seeds are planted.
    (5:42 PM) Thusness: It is better not to experience then to experience the wrong stuff and makes it more difficult to get out of the dualistic experience of Eternal Witness.

  5. Soh Says:

    (Comments by Soh: Regarding whether it is important to go through I AM realization or can we skip to anatta -- John Tan and I and Sim Pern Chong have had differing and evolving opinions about this over the years (I remember Sim Pern Chong saying he thinks people can skip it altogether, John also wondered if it is possible or advisable as certain AF people seem to have skipped it but experience luminosity), however after witnessing the progress of people it seems to us that those who went into anatta without the I AM realization tend to miss out the luminosity and intensity of luminosity. And then they will have to go through another phase. For those with I AM realization, the second stanza of anatta comes very easily, in fact the first aspect to become more apparent. Nowadays John and my opinion is that it is best to go through the I AM phase, then nondual and anatta..

    There was also the worry that by leading people into the I AM, they can get stuck there. (As John Tan and Sim Pern Chong was stuck there for decades)

    But I have shown that it is possible to progress rather quickly (in eight months) from I AM to anatta. So the being stuck is due to lack of right pointers and directions, not inherently an issue with I AM.

    And the way to progress quickly is to be aware of the pitfalls of the I AM as I wrote in the AtR guide, and going along the four aspects of I AM and then nondual contemplations or two stanzas of anatta. If I kept reinforcing the pitfalls of I AM with wrong view, maybe I can get stuck there. Likewise for other phases, there are other pitfalls as well. Even after anatta, John Tan has at times told me to revisit the aspect of I AM. It is possible, even important, to integrate that quality and taste.)