Let's keep all discussions here, due to my account hacked (see the other post and screenshot below) I'm unable to post further comments so I may only respond next week. Meanwhile I welcome anyone especially those who have clear Right View or realised anatta or emptiness, please help me reply any responses, thanks. I am confident that the 40+ people who realised anatta through AtR are fully capable of answering posts (but are usually awefully quiet) and I hope they would step up. We need more keyboard spiritual warriors to spread the dharma. The Buddha taught his awakened disciples: "Go forth, o bhikkhus, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, for the good, for the happiness of gods and men. Let not two go by one way. Preach the doctrine that is beautiful in its beginning, beautiful in its middle, and beautiful in its ending. Declare the holy life in its purity, completely both in the spirit and the letter." ~ Mahavagga, Vinaya Pitaka.
Mr. A: "I think saying it's "wrong view" is a bit arrogant and extreme (unusual for you):"
No, it is not arrogant to call out what is wrong view as wrong view. The Buddha done it a thousand times (or more like million) throughout his teaching career. It would be irresponsible had he not been direct about it, beating around the bush to sound politically correct.
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Soh Wei YuAdmin
The Buddha clearly teaches there is what is called right view, and what is called wrong view. It's stated many times in his teachings and I would be surprised if you didn't knew it. Right View is the forerunner of the noble eightfold path according to Buddha.
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Soh Wei YuAdmin
Mr. A: "a) the understanding that there IS an individual awareness is the basis of an entire experiential spirituality: Hinduism"
There are different views within Hinduism about the nature of awareness. For example, Samkhya which serves as the philosophical basis of Yoga teachings posits that each person has a unique Purusa - the pure consciousness that is the true self of each being is unique for each individual, and also posits the duality between Spirit and Matter - Purusha and Prakriti. Advaita Vedanta on the other hand posits a monistic, universal consciousness - one without a second - so called the shared reality of all beings.
Buddhism refutes all notions of universal consciousness, positing [conventionally] only individual mindstreams.
Loppon Namdrol/Malcolm: "Buddhism is all its forms is strictly nominalist, and rejects all universals (samanya-artha) as being unreal abstractions."
And how is this different from Samkhya then? Because mindstreams are impermanent and dependently arisen. They are empty of an unchanging Self and thus is not the same as Samkhya.
Ven. Hui-feng: “Venerable Hui-Feng nicely explains the difference between the view of "atman" and "mindstream" (as taught by Buddha):
In short:
"self" = "atman" / "pudgala" / "purisa" / etc.
--> permanent, blissful, autonomous entity, totally unaffected by any conditioned phenomena
"mind" = "citta" / "manas" / "vijnana" / etc.
--> stream of momentarily arising and ceasing states of consciousness, thus not an entity, each of which is conditioned by sense organ, sense object and preceding mental states
Neither are material.
That's a brief overview, lot's of things to nit pick at, but otherwise it'll require a 1000 page monograph to make everyone happy.
You'll need to study up on "dependent origination" (pratitya-samutpada) to get into any depth to answer your questions.”
"What you are suggesting is already found in Samkhya system. I.e. the twenty four tattvas are not the self aka purusha. Since this system was well known to the Buddha, if that's all his insight was, then his insight is pretty trivial. But Buddha's teachings were novel. Why where they novel? They were novel in the fifth century BCE because of his teaching of dependent origination and emptiness. The refutation of an ultimate self is just collateral damage." - Acarya Malcolm Smith
“Buddhism is nothing but replacing the 'Self' in Hinduism with Condition Arising. Keep the clarity, the presence, the luminosity and eliminate the ultimate 'Self', the controller, the supreme. Still you must taste, sense, eat, hear and see Pure Awareness in every authentication. And every authentication is Bliss.” - John Tan, 2004
“Understand immense intelligence not as if someone is there to act and direct, rather as total exertion of the universe to make this moment possible; then all appearances are miraculous and marvelous.” - John Tan, 2012
“The Pristine awareness is often mistaken as the 'Self'. It is especially difficult for one that has intuitively experience the 'Self' to accept 'No-Self'. As I have told you many times that there will come a time when you will intuitively perceive the 'I' -- the pure sense of Existence but you must be strong enough to go beyond this experience until the true meaning of Emptiness becomes clear and thorough. The Pristine Awareness is the so-called True-Self' but why we do not call it a 'Self' and why Buddhism has placed so much emphasis on the Emptiness nature? This then is the true essence of Buddhism. It is needless to stress anything about 'Self' in Buddhism; there are enough of 'Logies' of the 'I" in Indian Philosophies. If one wants to know about the experience of 'I AM', go for the Vedas and Bhagavad Gita. We will not know what Buddha truly taught 2500 years ago if we buried ourselves in words. Have no doubt that The Dharma Seal is authentic and not to be confused.
When you have experienced the 'Self' and know that its nature is empty, you will know why to include this idea of a 'Self' into Buddha-Nature is truly unnecessary and meaningless. True Buddhism is not about eliminating the 'small Self' but cleansing this so called 'True Self' (Atman) with the wisdom of Emptiness.” - John Tan, 2005
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Soh Wei YuAdmin
Mr. A: "b) it is also the basis of the yogacara school of Buddhism, AFAIR"
Be that as it may, the mindstream of yogacara is a) an impermanent mindstream dependently originating that is empty of self/Self, and b) not universal but individual mindstream, i.e. not Brahman or universal consciousness or any sort of metaphysical essence or apophatic absolute.
Mr. A: " indeed, both dzogchen and mahamudra also posit Awareness. Are you going to deny the view of people who are capable of achieving the rainbow body at death?"
Dzogchen and Mahamudra does not deny on a conventional level individual mindstreams*1, because to do so would be to fall into nihilism**2. But on the ultimate level, they do in fact reject some inherently existing awareness***3, and even jnana or wisdom or awareness or whatever is exhausted at the end of the path****4.
* please read this based on Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith to understand Dzogchen (must read): http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../clarifications-on...
Malcolm wrote:
Yes, I understand. All awarenesses are conditioned. There is no such thing as a universal undifferentiated ultimate awareness in Buddhadharma. Even the omniscience of a Buddha arises from a cause.
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
isn't this cause, too, an object of awareness? Isn't there awareness of this cause? If awareness of this cause is awareness itself, then isn't this awareness of awareness? What causes awareness of awareness, if not awareness?
If awareness is the cause of awareness, isn't it its own cause?
Malcolm wrote:
Omniscience is the content of a mind freed of afflictions. Even the continuum of a Buddha has a relative ground, i.e. a the rosary or string of moments of clarity is beginingless.
Origination from self is axiomatically negated in Buddhadharma,
Each moment in the continuum of a knowing clarity is neither the same as nor different than the previous moment. Hence the cause of a given instant of a knowing clarity cannot be construed to be itself nor can it be construed to be other than itself. This is the only version of causation which, in the final analysis, Buddhadharma can admit to on a relative level. It is the logical consequence of the Buddha's insight, "When this exists, that exists, with the arising of that, this arose."
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
I am not referring to cognition, rather, the causes of that cognition.
Malcolm wrote:
Cognitions arise based on previous cognitions. That's all.
If you suggest anything other than this, you wind up in Hindu La la land.
Malcolm wrote:
There is no such thing as a universal undifferentiated ultimate awareness in Buddhadharma.
gad rgyangs wrote:
I dunno Malcolm, the basis is more like the backdrop against which any appearances appear, including any consciousness. Also, what sense would it make to say "rigpa is one's knowledge of the basis" if that basis was one's own continuum? the basis is pure no-thing as abgrund of all phenomena. Consciousness is always a phenomenon.
Malcolm wrote:
I prefer to put my faith in the guy whose father started the whole Nyinthig thing.And what is says is verified in many Dzogchen tantras, both from the bodhcitta texts as well as others.
The basis is not a backdrop. Everything is not separate from the basis. But that everything just means your own skandhas, dhātus and āyatanas. There is no basis outside your mind, just as there is no Buddhahood outside of your mind.
[Quoting gad rgyangs: Consciousness is always a phenomenon.] So is the basis. They are both dharmas.
Or as the Great Garuda has it when refuting Madhyamaka:
Since phenomena and nonphenomena have always been merged and are inseparable,
there is no further need to explain an “ultimate phenomenon”.
An 12th century commentary on this text states (but not this passage):
Amazing bodhicitta (the identity of everything that becomes the basis of pursuing the meaning that cannot be seen nor realized elsewhere than one’s vidyā) is wholly the wisdom of the mind distinct as the nine consciousnesses that lack a nature.
In the end, Dzogchen is really just another Buddhist meditative phenomenology of the mind and person and that is all.
gad rgyangs wrote:
Then why speak of a basis at all? just speak of skandhas, dhātus and āyatanas, and be done with it.
Malcolm wrote:
Because these things are regarded as afflictive, whereas Dzogchen is trying to describe the person in his or her originally nonafflictive condition. It really is just that simple. The so called general basis is a universal derived from the particulars of persons. That is why it is often mistaken for a transpersonal entity. But Dzogchen, especially man ngag sde is very grounded in Buddhist Logic, and one should know that by definition universals are considered to be abstractions and non-existents in Buddhism, and Dzogchen is no exception.
gad rgyangs wrote:
There is no question of the basis being an entity, thats not the point. Rigpa is precisely what it says in the yeshe sangthal: instant presence experienced against/within the "backdrop" (metaphor) of a "vast dimension of emptiness" (metaphor).
Malcolm wrote:
It's your own rigpa, not a transpersonal rigpa, being a function of your own mind. That mind is empty.
gad rgyangs wrote:
When all appearances cease, what are you left with?
Malcolm wrote:
They never cease....
gad rgyangs wrote:
In the yeshe sangthal you dissolve all appearances into the "vast dimension of emptiness", out of which "instant presence" arises. This is cosmological as well as personal, since the two scales are nondual.
rigpa is ontological not epistemic: its not about some state of consciousness before dualism vision, it is about the basis/abgrund of all possible appearances, including our consciousness in whatever state its in or could ever be in.
Malcolm wrote:
Sorry, I just don't agree with you and think you are just falling in the Hindu brahman trap.
Sherlock wrote:
Isn't the difference between transpersonal and personal also a form of dualism?
Malcolm wrote:
The distinction is crucial. If this distinction is not made, Dzogchen sounds like Vedanta.
**2: Even mindstreams cannot be established when subjected to ultimate analysis, yet it is certainly valid conventionally, and to state otherwise is to err to nihilism:
“Non-arising [anutpāda] is a synonym for emptiness [śūnyatā] and is the heart of Madhyamaka.
Nihilism [ucceda] is the negation of convention, the negation of appearance, or the reification of non-existence [abhāva].
Non-arising is not equivalent to any of those positions.
In his Madhyamakālaṃkāra, Śantarakṣita states:
"Therefore, the tathāgatas have said
‘All phenomena do not arise’ because this conforms with the ultimate. This ‘ultimate.’ in reality, is free from all proliferation. Because there is no arising and so on, nonarising and so on isn't possible, because its entity has been negated."
- Kyle Dixon
***3: Both Dzogchen and Mahamudra asserts that there is no awareness in the ultimate sense (that all things, including awareness, is empty of true existence).
Within self-emergent primordial gnosis,
there are no objects to be experienced,
There is nothing which has previously passed away,
Nor anything which will subsequently emerge,
Nor anything at all which currently appears.
There is no karma,
There are no latent karmic propensities,
There is no dimmed awareness,
There is no mind,
There is no psyche,
There is no insight,
There is no cyclic existence,
And there is no transcendence of misery -
It is not the case that even awareness itself exists.
There is nothing whatsoever which manifests within primordial gnosis.
- excerpt from The Tantra Of The Wordless Secret
(Absence Of Letters | yi ge med pa) or (Letterless Tantra | yi ge med pa'i rgyud)
Also Dzogchen:
"Further, there is no rigpa to speak of that exists separate from the earth, water, fire, air, space and consciousness that make up the universe and sentient beings. Rigpa is merely a different way of talking about these six things. In their pure state (their actual state) we talk about the radiance of the five wisdoms of rig pa. In their impure state we talk about how the five elements arise from consciousness. One coin, two sides. And it is completely empty from beginning to end, and top to bottom, free from all extremes and not established in anyway." - Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith, http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../dzogchen-rigpa-and...
Naturally manifesting appearances, that never truly exist, are confused into objects. Spontaneous intelligence, under the power of ignorance, is confused into a self.
By the power of this dualistic fixation, beings wander in the realms of samsaric existence.
May ignorance, the root of confusion, he discovered and cut.
It is not existent--even the Victorious Ones do not see it.
It is not nonexistent--it is the basis of all samsara and nirvana.
This is not a contradiction, but the middle path of unity.
May the ultimate nature of phenomena, limitless mind beyond extremes, he realised.
If one says, "This is it," there is nothing to show.
If one says, "This is not it," there is nothing to deny.
Looking at objects, the mind devoid of objects is seen;
Looking at mind, its empty nature devoid of mind is seen;
Looking at both of these, dualistic clinging is self-liberated.
3 points · 16 days ago · edited 16 days ago
How is this pristine consciousness not functionally transpersonal?
A “transpersonal” jñāna would be a single, universal instance of jñāna that is shared by all sentient beings.
Instead jñāna is a generic characteristic like the heat of fire or the wetness of water, indentical in expression in each unique conventional instance but since the mind it represents the nature of is personal, belonging to a discrete entity, we do not say that there is a single, transpersonal, universal jñāna as an entity itself that is collectively shared.
If the ultimate has no nature then why label it 'pristine consciousness that pervades'?
It “pervades” consciousnesses in the same way wetness, as an identical quality, pervades each and every instance of water.
Ultimately there are no minds, no sentient beings etc., but conventionally we say there are discrete instances. When we negate entities from the stand point if the way things really are, we don’t then assert that there is a single extant purusa that is established in their place.
level 3
1 point · 16 days ago
Ah o.k. So jñāna is a property of the individual. If you have a mind then you have jñāna. But then ultimately there are no minds? So ultimately there is no jñāna?
level 4
2 points · 16 days ago
So ultimately there is no jñāna?
Yes, ultimately there is nothing at all. This is the meaning of the exhaustion of dharmatā at the end of the Dzogchen path. Since all dharmas are realized to be non-arisen, their dharmatā or nature likewise cannot be said to remain. Jñāna [ye shes] is after all simply the dharmatā or nature of our mind. Our citta dharmatā or cittatā [sems nyid].
Nevertheless, at the time of the result there are still appearances that manifest as the non-dual expressions of one’s own primordial state. The exhaustion of dharmatā does not actually mean everything disappears into some blank void. It just means we are totally liberated from everything, even jñāna.
- http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../acarya-malcolm-on...

Likewise, John Tan said, "

"Yes.  Subject and object can both collapsed into pure seeing but it is only when this pure seeing is also dropped/exhausted that natural spontaneity and effortlessness can begin to function marvelously.  That is y it has to be thorough and all the "emphasis".  But I think he gets it, so u don't have to keep nagging 🤣." - John Tan" - http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2018/10/differentiating-i-am-one-mind-no-mind.html

Mr. A: "d) It's simply commonsense that the ever-changing river of the six senses flows down a groove, has a container or better: MEDIUM"
That is just a wrong view. The I AM realization is actually nothing about a container or a background substratum, it is only misinterpreted that way due to Wrong View (again). There is never actually any container/background/medium and precisely this is the insight of anatta.
As John Tan puts it:
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”
"“The Absolute as separated from the transience is what I have indicated as the 'Background' in my 2 posts to theprisonergreco.
84. RE: Is there an absolute reality? [Skarda 4 of 4]
Mar 27 2009, 9:15 AM EDT | Post edited: Mar 27 2009, 9:15 AM EDT
Hi theprisonergreco,
First is what exactly is the ‘background’? Actually it doesn’t exist. It is only an image of a ‘non-dual’ experience that is already gone. The dualistic mind fabricates a ‘background’ due to the poverty of its dualistic and inherent thinking mechanism. It ‘cannot’ understand or function without something to hold on to. That experience of the ‘I’ is a complete, non-dual foreground experience.
When the background subject is understood as an illusion, all transience phenomena reveal themselves as Presence. It is like naturally 'vipassanic' throughout. From the hissing sound of PC, to the vibration of the moving MRT train, to the sensation when the feet touches the ground, all these experiences are crystal clear, no less “I AM” than “I AM”. The Presence is still fully present, nothing is denied. -:) So the “I AM” is just like any other experiences when the subject-object split is gone. No different from an arising sound. It only becomes a static background as an afterthought when our dualistic and inherent tendencies are in action.
The first 'I-ness' stage of experiencing awareness face to face is like a point on a sphere which you called it the center. You marked it.
Then later you realized that when you marked other points on the surface of a sphere, they have the same characteristics. This is the initial experience of non-dual. Once the insight of No-Self is stabilized, you just freely point to any point on the surface of the sphere -- all points are a center, hence there is no 'the' center. 'The' center does not exist: all points are a center.
After then practice move from 'concentrative' to 'effortlessness'. That said, after this initial non-dual insight, 'background' will still surface occasionally for another few years due to latent tendencies...
86. RE: Is there an absolute reality? [Skarda 4 of 4]
To be more exact, the so called 'background' consciousness is that pristine happening. There is no a 'background' and a 'pristine happening'. During the initial phase of non-dual, there is still habitual attempt to 'fix' this imaginary split that does not exist. It matures when we realized that anatta is a seal, not a stage; in hearing, always only sounds; in seeing always only colors, shapes and forms; in thinking, always only thoughts. Always and already so. -:)
Many non-dualists after the intuitive insight of the Absolute hold tightly to the Absolute. This is like attaching to a point on the surface of a sphere and calling it 'the one and only center'. Even for those Advaitins that have clear experiential insight of no-self (no object-subject split), an experience similar to that of anatta (First emptying of subject) are not spared from these tendencies. They continue to sink back to a Source.
It is natural to reference back to the Source when we have not sufficiently dissolved the latent disposition but it must be correctly understood for what it is. Is this necessary and how could we rest in the Source when we cannot even locate its whereabout? Where is that resting place? Why sink back? Isn't that another illusion of the mind? The 'Background' is just a thought moment to recall or an attempt to reconfirm the Source. How is this necessary? Can we even be a thought moment apart? The tendency to grasp, to solidify experience into a 'center' is a habitual tendency of the mind at work. It is just a karmic tendency. Realize It! This is what I meant to Adam the difference between One-Mind and No-Mind.” - John Tan, 2009, excerpt from Emptiness as Viewless View and Embracing the Transience https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../emptiness-as...
"What do you think it is that reincarnates? It is not ONLY (thought) conceptual energy that reincarnates (or really, CONTINUES).
THOUGHT is not capable of experiencing the senses. It is Awareness that experiences the senses."
Your question presumes that mind is an entity that reincarnates. That is wrong, there is no "who" or "what" that reincarnates, rather mind is simply the whole process that dependently originates (see Ven Hui Feng explanation above) based on various mental and karmic factors. That is how rebirth happens. Rebirth happens due to ignorance and karma, I and mine making, a process of proliferation and appropriation.
Soh Wei Yu As Thusness wrote in 2014: "If we continue to look for the carrying medium between 2 moment of thoughts, profound insight of anatta will not arise and non-locality will not dawn. Our mode of perception will be obscured by the inherent way of understanding things."
This also relates to many people asking the question of rebirth, since rebirth is taught by Buddha. In Hinduism the jivas (souls) are the medium which persists after death and reincarnates, until they are fully absorbed into and dissolved into Brahman through Self-Realization. But if in Buddhism there is no soul, no self/Self whatsoever, what is it that is reborn, if there is no 'carrying medium'?
Actually it's just action, tendencies, and the manifestation/reactions of these action (karma) and tendencies, both from moment to moment and life after life. It's no different from how rebirth is taking place moment by moment even in this lifetime.
Continuing consciousness after death is, in most religions, a matter of revealed truth. In Buddhism, the evidence comes from the contemplative experience of people who are certainly not ordinary but who are sufficiently numerous that what they say about it is worth taking seriously into account. Indeed, such testimonies begin with those of the Buddha himself.
Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that what’s called reincarnation in Buddhism has nothing to do with the transmigration of some ‘entity’ or other. It’s not a process of metempsychosis because there is no ‘soul’. As long as one thinks in terms of entities rather than function and continuity, it’s impossible to understand the Buddhist concept of rebirth. As it’s said, ‘There is no thread passing through the beads of the necklace of rebirths.’ Over successive rebirths, what is maintained is not the identity of a ‘person’, but the conditioning of a stream of consciousness.
Additionally, Buddhism speaks of successive states of existence; in other words, everything isn’t limited to just one lifetime. We’ve experienced other states of existence before our birth in this lifetime, and we’ll experience others after death. This, of course, leads to a fundamental question: is there a nonmaterial consciousness distinct from the body? It would be virtually impossible to talk about reincarnation without first examining the relationship between body and mind. Moreover, since Buddhism denies the existence of any self that could be seen as a separate entity capable of transmigrating from one existence to another by passing from one body to another, one might well wonder what it could be that links those successive states of existence together.
One could possibly understand it better by considering it as a continuum, a stream of consciousness that continues to flow without there being any fixed or autonomous entity running through it… Rather it could be likened to a river without a boat, or to a lamp flame that lights a second lamp, which in-turn lights a third lamp, and so on and so forth; the flame at the end of the process is neither the same flame as at the outset, nor a completely different one…
Emptiness and the Middle Way
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Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu In the //Milindapanha// the King asks Nagasena:
"What is it, Venerable Sir, that will be reborn?"
"A psycho-physical combination (//nama-rupa//), O King."
"But how, Venerable Sir? Is it the same psycho-physical
combination as this present one?"
"No, O King. But the present psycho-physical combination produces
kammically wholesome and unwholesome volitional activities, and
through such kamma a new psycho-physical combination will be
Visuddhimagga// :
"Mere suffering is, not any sufferer is found
The deeds exist, but no performer of the deeds:
Nibbana is, but not the man that enters it,
The path is, but no wanderer is to be seen."
Everywhere, in all the realms of existence, the noble disciple
sees only mental and corporeal phenomena kept going through the
concatenation of causes and effects. No producer of the
volitional act or kamma does he see apart from the kamma, no
recipient of the kamma-result apart from the result. And he is
well aware that wise men are using merely conventional language,
when, with regard to a kammical act, they speak of a doer, or
with regard to a kamma-result, they speak of the recipient of the
No doer of the deeds is found,
No one who ever reaps their fruits;
Empty phenomena roll on:
This only is the correct view.
And while the deeds and their results
Roll on and on, conditioned all,
There is no first beginning found,
Just as it is with seed and tree. ...
No god, no Brahma, can be called
The maker of this wheel of life:
Empty phenomena roll on,
Dependent on conditions all.
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Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu There's a relevant post that Malcolm just wrote.
Seeker12 wrote: ↑
Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:54 am
In verse 6, he says,
"Then, as for extremely subtle entities,
Those who regard them with nihilism,
Lacking precise and thorough knowledge,
Will not see the actuality of conditioned arising."
Can anyone explain this a bit? What is being referred to as extremely subtle entities that may be regarded with nihilism, lacking precise and thorough knowledge?
Thank you for input.
Malcolm wrote:
The extremely subtle existents are particles, paramanus.
A more precise translation would be:
Although the aggregates are serially connected,
the wise are to comprehend nothing transfers.
Someone, having conceived of annihilation,
even in extremely subtle existents,
is not wise,
and will never see the meaning of ‘arisen from conditions’.
The auto commentary states with respect to this:
Therein, the aggregates are the aggregates of matter, sensation, perception, formations and consciousness. Those, called ‘serially joined’, not having ceased, produce another produced from that cause; although not even the subtle particle of an existent has transmigrated from this world to the next.
The purpose of this is to point out that even though nothing transfers from this life to the next, the assertion that even a subtle particle is annihilated is false. Why? Because in Madhyamaka causes and effects are neither the same nor different.
Question about Nagarjuna's Heart of Dependent…
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Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu Verses on the Heart of Dependent Origination
by Ārya Nāgārjuna
In the language of India: pratītyasamutpāda hṛdaya kārikā
In the language of Tibet: རྟེན་ཅིང་འབྲེལ་པར་འབྱུང་བའི་སྙིང་པོའི་ཚིག་ལེའུར་བྱས་པ།, (rten cing 'brel par 'byung ba'i snying po tshig le'ur byas pa)
Homage to Mañjuśrī, the Youthful!
These different links, twelve in number,
Which Buddha taught as dependent origination,
Can be summarized in three categories:
Mental afflictions, karma and suffering.
The first, eighth and ninth are afflictions,
The second and tenth are karma,
The remaining seven are suffering.
Thus the twelve links are grouped in three.
From the three the two originate,
And from the two the seven come,
From seven the three come once again—
Thus the wheel of existence turns and turns.
All beings consist of causes and effects,
In which there is no ‘sentient being’ at all.
From phenomena which are exclusively empty,
There arise only empty phenomena.
All things are devoid of any ‘I’ or ‘mine’.
Like a recitation, a candle, a mirror, a seal,
A magnifying glass, a seed, sourness, or a sound,
So also with the continuation of the aggregates—
The wise should know they are not transferred.
Then, as for extremely subtle entities,
Those who regard them with nihilism,
Lacking precise and thorough knowledge,
Will not see the actuality of conditioned arising.
In this, there is not a thing to be removed,
Nor the slightest thing to be added.
It is looking perfectly into reality itself,
And when reality is seen, complete liberation.
This concludes the verses on ‘The Heart of Dependent Origination’ composed by the teacher Ārya Nāgārjuna.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2008.
"The Mādhyamika therefore has to explain how we can account for an object changing and persisting through time without having to assume that there is some unchanging aspect of the object which underlies all change. Nāgārjuna claims that this can indeed be done. Understanding how this can be the case becomes particularly important in the context of the Buddhist conception of the self when the temporal continuity of persons has to be explained without reference to the concept of a persisting subjective core (ātman)."
Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka Pg 126 by Westerhoff

Let's keep all discussions here, due to my account hacked (see the other post and screenshot below) I'm unable to post further comments due to Facebook restrictions [only can start posts] so I may only respond next week. Meanwhile I welcome anyone especially those who have clear Right View or realised anatta or emptiness, please help me reply any responses, thanks. I am confident that the 40+ people who realised anatta through AtR are fully capable of answering posts (but are usually awfully quiet) and I hope they would step up. We need more keyboard spiritual warriors to spread the dharma. The Buddha taught his awakened disciples: "Go forth, o bhikkhus, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, for the good, for the happiness of gods and men. Let not two go by one way. Preach the doctrine that is beautiful in its beginning, beautiful in its middle, and beautiful in its ending. Declare the holy life in its purity, completely both in the spirit and the letter." ~ Mahavagga, Vinaya Pitaka.
Mr. A: "What do you think it is that reincarnates? It is not ONLY (thought) conceptual energy that reincarnates (or really, CONTINUES).
THOUGHT is not capable of experiencing the senses. It is Awareness that experiences the senses."
In addition to my previous explanation on how there is absolutely no medium, agent, or soul behind the process of rebirth, I would also like to add this quotation from Dalai Lama, about how even the subtlest clear light is momentary and dependently originates.
But before that, let's see this quote by the Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith first:
Consciousness is Momentary
Malcolm posted:
"Life, personhood, pleasure and pain
— This is all that's bound together
In a single mental event
— A moment that quickly takes place.
Even the spirits who endure
For eighty-four thousand aeons
— Even these do not live the same
For any two moments of mind.
What ceases for one who is dead,
Or for one who's still standing here,
Are all just the same aggregates
— Gone, never to connect again.
The states which are vanishing now,
And those which will vanish some day,
Have characteristics no different
Than those which have vanished before.
With no production there's no birth;
With becoming present, one lives.
When grasped with the highest meaning,
The world is dead when the mind stops.
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.
The vanishing of all these states
That have become is not welcome,
Though dissolving phenomena stand
Uncombined from primordial time.
From the unseen, [states] come and go,
Glimpsed only as they're passing by;
Like lightning flashing in the sky
— They arise and then pass away.
Also, the Buddha was quite clear that phenomena, including minds, were momentary. The Buddha may not have elaborated in detail upon what a "moment" was, but in the end, the basic unit of time in Buddhism is number of moments it takes to form a thought. In reality, moments are partless. Partless moments that perish as soon as they arise have no observable duration and are immune from Madhyamaka critique.
The notion that the mind is permanent (i.e. not momentary) is just a Hindu idea, Vedantic."
And here, the Dalai Lama, who is also a Dzogchen and Mahamudra teacher in his own right:
"Question: Is the fundamental innate mind of clear light dependent on causes and conditions? If it is not dependent, how can it be empty of independent existence?
HHDL: This is a very good question. Often in texts we find mention of the fundamental innate mind of clear light being not produced by causes and conditions. Now here it is important to understand that in general when we use the term 'produced phenomena' there are different connotations. Something can be called 'produced' because it is a production of delusions and the actions they induce. Again, it may also refer to a production by causes and conditions. And there is also a sense of 'produced' as being cause by conceptual thought processes.
Certain texts speak of the activities of the Buddha as permanent and non-produced in the sense that they are continuous, and that as long as there are sentient beings, the activities of the buddhas will remain without interruption. So, from the point of view of their continuity, these activities are sometimes called permanent.
In the same manner, the fundamental innate mind of clear light, in terms of its continuity, is beginningless, and also endless. This continuum will always be there, and so from that specific point of view, it is also called 'non-produced'. Besides, the fundamental innate mind of clear light is not a circumstantial or adventitious state of mind, for it does not come into being as a result of the circumstantial interaction of causes and conditions. Rather, it is an ever-abiding continuum of mind, which is inherent within us. So from that view point, it is called 'non-produced'.
However, although this is the cause, we still have to maintain that, because it possesses this continuity, the present fundamental innate mind-this present instant of consciousness-comes from its earlier moments. The same holds true of the wisdom of Buddha-the omniscient mind of Buddha-which perceives the two truths directly and simultaneously, and which is also a state of awareness or consciousness. Since it is a state of awareness, the factor which will eventually turn into that kind of wisdom, namely the fundamental innate nature of clear light, will also have to be maintained to be a state of awareness. For it is impossible for anything which is not by nature awareness to turn into a state of awareness. So from this second point of view, the fundamental innate mind of clear light is causally produced.
From Dzogchen: Heart Essence of Great Perfection by The Dalai Lama. "
The Dalai Lama also said, "The fundamental mind which serves as the basis of all phenomena of cyclic existence and nirvana is posited as the ultimate truth or nature of phenomena (dharmata, chos nyid); it is also called the ‘clear light’ (abhasvara, ‘od gsal) and uncompounded (asamskrta, ‘dus ma byas). In Nying-ma it is called the ‘mind-vajra’; this is not the mind that is contrasted with basic knowledge (rig pa) and mind (sems) but the factor of mere luminosity and knowing, basic knowledge itself. This is the final root of all minds, forever indestructible, immutable, and unbreakable continuum like a vajra. Just as the New Translation Schools posit a beginningless and endless fundamental mind, so Nying-ma posits a mind-vajra which has no beginning or end and proceeds without interruption through the effect stage of Buddhahood. It is considered ‘permanent’ in the sense of abiding forever and thus is presented as a permanent mind. It is permanent not in the sense of not disintegrating moment by moment but in the sense that its continuum is not interrupted…"
-- this is also similar to what Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith said here,
Malcolm wrote:
Yes, I understand. All awarenesses are conditioned. There is no such thing as a universal undifferentiated ultimate awareness in Buddhadharma. Even the omniscience of a Buddha arises from a cause.
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
isn't this cause, too, an object of awareness? Isn't there awareness of this cause? If awareness of this cause is awareness itself, then isn't this awareness of awareness? What causes awareness of awareness, if not awareness?
If awareness is the cause of awareness, isn't it its own cause?
Malcolm wrote:
Omniscience is the content of a mind freed of afflictions. Even the continuum of a Buddha has a relative ground, i.e. a the rosary or string of moments of clarity is beginingless.
Origination from self is axiomatically negated in Buddhadharma,
Each moment in the continuum of a knowing clarity is neither the same as nor different than the previous moment. Hence the cause of a given instant of a knowing clarity cannot be construed to be itself nor can it be construed to be other than itself. This is the only version of causation which, in the final analysis, Buddhadharma can admit to on a relative level. It is the logical consequence of the Buddha's insight, "When this exists, that exists, with the arising of that, this arose."
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
I am not referring to cognition, rather, the causes of that cognition.
Malcolm wrote:
Cognitions arise based on previous cognitions. That's all.
If you suggest anything other than this, you wind up in Hindu La la land.
Malcolm wrote:
There is no such thing as a universal undifferentiated ultimate awareness in Buddhadharma.
Mr. A: "THOUGHT is not capable of experiencing the senses. It is Awareness that experiences the senses."
First of all, what you call 'I AM' is also just another thought. It is what John Tan and I calls non-conceptual thought.
Secondly, you have reified 'Awareness' into 'that which experiences manifestation'. This is wrong as there is just self-luminous manifestation, and that is being labelled 'awareness' conventionally (fine if understood to be merely an empty convention and not truly existing by its own side).
Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma on the Inseparability of Awareness and Conditions
The following blog entry is from a post made in my forum on 9th October 2008. It is about seeing awareness as manifestation instead of a mirror reflecting, and seeing the inseparability of awareness and conditions. This is also related to a previous blog entry Dependent Arising of Consciousness which contains a related text by Arya Nagarjuna.
Passerby/Thusness saw some inadequateness in one of the Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma translations, and translated himself a certain passage and commented on my forum:
Original Chinese text from Bodhidharma's Bloodstream Sermon (血脉论): 若智慧明了,此心号名法性,亦名解脱。生死不拘,一切法拘它不得,是名大自在王如来;亦名不思议,亦名圣体,亦名长生不死,亦名大仙。名虽不同,体即是一。圣人种种分别,皆不离自心。心量广大,应用无穷,应眼见色,应耳闻声,应鼻嗅香,应舌知味,乃至施为运动,皆是自心。
(I myself translated certain parts to fill in the gap): With the illumination of wisdom (prajna), mind is known as Dharma Nature, mind is known as Liberation. Neither life nor death can restrain this mind, no dharmas (phenomenon) can. It’s also called the King of Great Freedom Tathagata, the Incomprehensible, the Holy Essence, the Immortality, the Great Immortal. Its names vary but its essence is one. Sages vary, but none are separate from his own mind. The mind’s capacity is limitless, and its conditional functions are inexhaustible. With the condition of eyes, forms are seen, With the condition of ears, sounds are heard, With the condition of nose, smells are smelled, With the condition of tongue, tastes are tasted, every movement or states are all one's Mind.
Comments by Passerby/Thusness:
A better way to translate this should be:
With the illumination of wisdom (prajna), mind is known as Dharma Nature, mind is known as Liberation.
Comments: It is important to know that mind is itself liberation. That is why knowing the nature of our mind is the way of liberation. If Liberation is not experienced, then the clarity is still not there. There is no true understanding of what mind is.
Liberation is this Pristine Awareness itself in its natural state. That is why understanding this Pristine Awareness is the direct path towards liberation. If we cannot see that the 5 aggregates are themselves our Buddha Nature, then we will not understand there is nothing to shunt from the transience. Thought liberates, sound liberates, tastes liberates. The transience liberates. If we do not see that, then we are taking a gradual path. It is also not advisable to speak too much about spontaneous arising or self liberation. It can be quite misleading.
A better way to translate should be:
With the condition of the eye, forms are seen, With the condition of ears, sounds are heard, With the condition of nose, smells are smelled, With the condition of tongue, tastes are tasted, every movement or states are all one's Mind.
Thusness/Passerby's comments:
Here there are 2 important points to take note. First is that Buddha Nature is the transience. Second it is more of '应'. Means with the condition of the eye, forms arise. With ears, sound arises.
Awareness is not like a mirror reflecting but rather a manifestation. Luminosity is an arising luminous manifestation rather than a mirror reflecting. The center here is being replaced with Dependent Origination, the experience however is non-dual.
One must learn how to see Appearances as Awareness and all others as conditions. Example, sound is awareness. The person, the stick, the bell, hitting, air, ears...are conditions. One should learn to see in this way. All problems arise because we cannot experience Awareness this way.
Conventionally we experience in the form of subject and object interaction taking place in a space-time continuum. This is just an assumption. Experientially it is not so. One should learn to experience awareness as the manifestation. There is no subject, there is only and always manifestation, all else are conditions of arising. All these are just provisional explanations for one to understand.
Further comments:
What's seen is Awareness. What's heard is Awareness. All experiences are non-dual in nature. However this non-dual luminosity cannot be understood apart from the ‘causes and conditions’ of arising. Therefore do not see ‘yin’ as Awareness interacting with external conditions. If you see it as so, then it still falls in the category of mirror-reflecting. Rather see it as an instantaneous manifestation where nothing is excluded. As if the universe is giving its very best for this moment to arise. A moment is complete and non-dual. Vividly manifest and thoroughly gone leaving no traces.
Other comments:
Phrase like “everything arises from Emptiness and subsides back to Emptiness” is equally misleading. By doing so, we have made ‘Emptiness’ into a metaphysical essence; similarly not to make the same mistake for “causes and conditions”, not to objectify it into a metaphysical essence. All are provisional terms to point to our insubstantial, essence-less and interdependent nature.
Labels: Anatta, Dependent Origination, Zen, Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma |
Mr. A: "e) your view that there is no awareness principle is contradicted by both NDErs and people who have taken 5MEO and even NN DMT - all of which are likely to be far more deep experiences than any of your meditations.
These people experience the same vast all-encompassing awareness that I also experienced.
When you experience awareness just by itself as a pure white or dark void without any sense of body, senses and little or no thought, it just becomes obvious that there is Awareness.
Awareness is the room/host in which the guests of the six senses play. It is the sky in which the clouds of the six senses play."
All those do not go beyond I AMness. It is a phase I have been through, it is what John Tan and countless others here have been through. I AMness is not denied, it is simply the wrong view about it that is seen through in the realization of anatta. And that includes the false dualistic paradigm of 'host' and 'guest'. It is like I said earlier, the 'I AM' is not at all a background, it is a full foreground non-dual experience, only being mistaken as a background afterwards due to ignorance. Therefore the experience is never denied, but the delusional paradigm. That is the purpose of anatta insight. Additionally it is for the full effortless uncontrived unfolding of Presence/Heart as all manifestations/conditions without referencepoints.
“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 not to 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 in the transient appearances; zero gap and zero distance between presence and moment to moment of ordinary experiences and we realize separation has always only been conventional.
Then mundane activities -- hearing, sitting, standing, seeing and sensing, become pristine and vibrant, natural and free.” – John Tan, 2020
Session Start: Saturday, 27 March, 2010
(9:54 PM) Thusness: Not bad for self-enquiry
(9:55 PM) AEN: icic..
btw what do u think lucky and chandrakirti is trying to convey
(9:56 PM) Thusness: those quotes weren't really well translated in my opinion.
(9:57 PM) Thusness: what needs be understood is 'No I' is not to deny Witnessing consciousness.
(9:58 PM) Thusness: and 'No Phenomena' is not to deny Phenomena
(9:59 PM) Thusness: It is just for the purpose of 'de-constructing' the mental constructs.
(10:00 PM) AEN: oic..
(10:01 PM) Thusness: when u hear sound, u cannot deny it...can u?
(10:01 PM) AEN: ya
(10:01 PM) Thusness: so what r u denying?
(10:02 PM) Thusness: when u experience the Witness as u described in ur thread 'certainty of being', how can u deny this realization?
(10:03 PM) Thusness: so what is does 'no I' and 'no phenomena' mean?
(10:03 PM) AEN: like u said its only mental constructs that are false... but consciousness cant be denied ?
(10:03 PM) Thusness: no...i am not saying that
Buddha never deny the aggregates
(10:04 PM) Thusness: just the selfhood
(10:04 PM) Thusness: the problem is what is meant by 'non-inherent', empty nature, of phenomena and 'I'
(11:15 PM) Thusness: but understanding it wrongly is another matter
can u deny Witnessing?
(11:16 PM) Thusness: can u deny that certainty of being?
(11:16 PM) AEN: no
(11:16 PM) Thusness: then there is nothing wrong with it
how could u deny ur very own existence?
(11:17 PM) Thusness: how could u deny existence at all
(11:17 PM) Thusness: there is nothing wrong experiencing directly without intermediary the pure sense of existence
(11:18 PM) Thusness: after this direct experience, u should refine ur understanding, ur view, ur insights
(11:19 PM) Thusness: not after the experience, deviate from the right view, re-enforce ur wrong view
(11:19 PM) Thusness: u do not deny the witness, u refine ur insight of it
what is meant by non-dual
(11:19 PM) Thusness: what is meant by non-conceptual
what is being spontaneous
what is the 'impersonality' aspect
(11:20 PM) Thusness: what is luminosity.
(11:20 PM) Thusness: u never experience anything unchanging
(11:21 PM) Thusness: in later phase, when u experience non-dual, there is still this tendency to focus on a background... and that will prevent ur progress into the direct insight into the TATA as described in the tata article.
(11:22 PM) Thusness: and there are still different degree of intensity even u realized to that level.
(11:23 PM) AEN: non dual?
(11:23 PM) Thusness: tada (an article) is more than non-dual...it is phase 5-7
(11:24 PM) AEN: oic..
(11:24 PM) Thusness: it is all about the integration of the insight of anatta and emptiness
(11:25 PM) Thusness: vividness into transience, feeling what i called 'the texture and fabric' of Awareness as forms is very important
then come emptiness
(11:26 PM) Thusness: the integration of luminosity and emptiness
(10:45 PM) Thusness: do not deny that Witnessing but refine the view, that is very important
(10:46 PM) Thusness: so far, u have correctly emphasized the importance of witnessing
(10:46 PM) Thusness: unlike in the past, u gave ppl the impression that u r denying this witnessing presence
(10:46 PM) Thusness: u merely deny the personification, reification and objectification
(10:47 PM) Thusness: so that u can progress further and realize our empty nature.
but don't always post what i told u in msn
(10:48 PM) Thusness: in no time, i will become sort of cult leader
(10:48 PM) AEN: oic.. lol
(10:49 PM) Thusness: anatta is no ordinary insight. When we can reach the level of thorough transparency, u will realize the benefits
(10:50 PM) Thusness: non-conceptuality, clarity, luminosity, transparency, openness, spaciousness, thoughtlessness, non-locality...all these descriptions become quite meaningless.
(7:39 PM) Thusness: it is always witnessing...don't get it wrong
just whether one understand its emptiness nature or not.
(7:39 PM) Thusness: there is always luminosity
since when there is no witnessing?
(7:39 PM) Thusness: it is just luminosity and emptiness nature
not luminosity alone
(9:59 PM) Thusness: there is always this witnessing...it is the divided sense that u have to get rid
(9:59 PM) Thusness: that is why i never deny the witness experience and realization, just the right understanding
(2:58 PM) Thusness: There is no problem being the witness, the problem is only wrong understanding of what witness is.
(2:58 PM) Thusness: That is seeing duality in Witnessing.
(2:58 PM) Thusness: or seeing 'Self' and other, subject-object division. That is the problem.
(2:59 PM) Thusness: U can call it Witnessing or Awareness, there must be no sense of self.
(11:21 PM) Thusness: yes witnessing
not witness
(11:22 PM) Thusness: in witnessing, it is always non-dual
(11:22 PM) Thusness: when in witness, it is always a witness and object being witness
when there is an observer, there is no such thing as no observed
(11:23 PM) Thusness: when u realised that there is only witnessing, there is no observer and observed
it is always non-dual
(11:24 PM) Thusness: that is why when genpo something said there is no witness only witnessing, yet taught the staying back and observed
(11:24 PM) Thusness: i commented the path deviates from the view
(11:25 PM) AEN: oic..
(11:25 PM) Thusness: when u teach experience the witness, u teach that
that is not about no subject-object split
u r teaching one to experience that witness
(11:26 PM) Thusness: first stage of insight of the "I AM"
"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
Mr. A: "f) I think a far more balanced view than denying the existence of awareness entirely"
It is not the denial but the recognition of the true nature of awareness, as explained in https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../no-awareness... "9) No Awareness Does Not Mean Non-Existence of Awareness"
Thusness wrote in 2012,
"I do not see practice apart from realizing the essence and nature of awareness. The only difference is seeing Awareness as an ultimate essence or realizing awareness as this seamless activity that fills the entire Universe. When we say there is no scent of a flower, the scent is the flower.... that is because the mind, body, universe are all together deconstructed into this single flow, this scent and only this... Nothing else. That is the Mind that is no mind. There is not an Ultimate Mind that transcends anything in the Buddhist enlightenment. The mind Is this very manifestation of total exertion... wholly thus. Therefore there is always no mind, always only this vibration of moving train, this cooling air of the air-con, this breath... The question is after the 7 phases of insights can this be realized and experienced and becomes the ongoing activity of practice in enlightenment and enlightenment in practice -- practice-enlightenment."
Thusness, 2012:
"Has awareness stood out? There is no concentration needed. When six entries and exits are pure and primordial, the unconditioned stands shining, relaxed and uncontrived, luminous yet empty. The purpose of going through the 7 phases of perception shift is for this... Whatever arises is free and uncontrived, that is the supreme path. Whatever arises has never left their nirvanic state... ... your current mode of practice [after those experiential insights] should be as direct and uncontrived as possible. When you see nothing behind and magical appearances are too empty, awareness is naturally lucid and free. Views and all elaborations dissolved, mind-body forgotten... just unobstructed awareness. Awareness natural and uncontrived is supreme goal. Relax and do nothing, Open and boundless, Spontaneous and free, Whatever arises is fine and liberated, This is the supreme path. Top/bottom, inside/outside, Always without center and empty (2-fold emptiness), Then view is fully actualized and all experiences are great liberation."
Mr. A: "is to say that there is a functional awareness principle, but it does not have any content or form of its own.
This is similar to the crystal ball metaphor given in Dzogchen. The crystal ball itself is transparent and without its own content. This is what allows it to take on the colour of whatever surface it is on.
Or as pointed out in Mahamudra: it does not exist and yet it knows/cognises"
The analogy of the mirror is not a good one. It is good in the beginning in order to do self enquiry - rejecting transient forms to realise the ultimate Subject, the mirror, the Awareness, behind, etc. Such analogy have a provisional utility. It also conveys the aspect of clarity. But more often than not, it is taken literally and reifies the subject/object paradigm. It does not go beyond Thusness Stage 4 http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../thusnesss-six... "Stage 4: Presence as Mirror Bright Clarity" to realise "Stage 5: No Mirror Reflecting"
For example, the Dzogchen teacher Prabodha Jnana Yogi taught:
“It is not only about recognizing the reflections as reflections, but also recognizing that there is no mirror (no mind)!” - Yogi Prabodha Jnana (also his and his partner's articles in Way of Bodhi is great: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../way-of-bodhi... )
* [8:44 AM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: Yogi Prabodha Jnana is very good and clear
[11:58 AM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. you just read something in it?
[12:20 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: I think he visited atr also
[12:20 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: Lol
[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Yeah from the start he already told me.. years ago
[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: He said the things i post are interesting, am i a teacher?
[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: I said no im not a dharma teacher lol
[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Then he liked the post i posted by Yasutani Roshi on no mirror
[12:52 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: you communicated with Yogi Prabodha Jnana years ago?
[12:54 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: He said your stages are in line with the essence of buddhism
[12:54 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Haha
[1:01 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: Yes I find his teachings very interesting also.
[1:02 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: His emphasis on anatta and no mirror especially.
[1:05 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. yeah
[1:11 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: his partner Abhaya Devi Yogini is also clear about it
“[24/12/15, 10:42:07 PM] John Tan: when you say mind/clarity and sound/phenomenon...why mirror and reflection is a bad analogy?
[24/12/15, 10:43:12 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Because it can be mistaken as an inherent mirror reflecting inherent objects
[24/12/15, 10:45:16 PM] John Tan: Because a mirror is not feeling the reflection. Is awareness like that? hearing sound, there is just sound... the whole of sound... fully experienced... It is always the reflection. Fully felt and tasted... Separation is simply a mistaken view. So how can a mirror be a good example ... Instead it is misleading people turning away from realising what exactly is clarity.
What actually one wants to emphasize is the non-arisen unborn nature of sound... instead we created a mirror and mislead people to look at the mirror and neglect the reflection. Distancing further from directly and effortlessly experiencing what we called "awareness" and also misleading people from see non-arisen from DO [dependent origination] view.”
“[10:30 AM, 6/4/2020] John Tan: Issue about a mirror is always it gives people a sense of something is beyond. Instead of bringing people into the relative, conventional, day to day. Seeing the nature of the relative and conventional is the key and is where profound insights and wisdom lie.
[10:32 AM, 6/4/2020] John Tan: This is clear in Mahayana buddhism especially.”
“It's like MMK, mover and movement or fire and heat (Soh: see https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../06/choosing.html). There are no 2 parts. The purpose is the insight that sees through reification of mental constructs. Once it is seen through in real time experientially, all appearances become naturally pellucid, transparent, crystal and pure. No amount of effort can bring us to this natural luminosity, it is not man-made (unconditioned).
Mirror is precisely the abstraction and the cause of all the confusions. It is as clear as daylight once it is seen through. Not only that, the same insight must be applied to phenomena, cause and effect, production and cessation.
Imo, the analogy of mirror is a bad example and analogy, upon seeing one should stop emphasizing it.
The descriptions of zen master 洪文亮 (Soh: see https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../excerpts-from...) and 慧律 (see: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../zen-master... and https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../true-mind-and...) are much clearer as a lived experience.” – John Tan, August 2020
Zen Master Hakuun Yasutani taught (Dzogchen teacher Prabodha also liked this article):
"Next he points out in detail how to realize the Way, to intimately perceive. “it is not like the reflection in a mirror, nor like the moon in the water.” Here, by means of a metaphor, he clearly points out that realizing the way is completely different from the realm of intellect and understanding.
The simile of the reflecting of an image in a mirror and the reflecting of the moon in the water mean that the mirror and the reflection, the water and the moon, are two separate things that have become one, but the actual experience of enlightenment is a completely different matter. Therefore, even if one can conceptually understand the principle of Zen or intellectually comprehend the meaning of manifest absolute reality (genjokoan), that is not enlightenment.
Enlightenment means waking up to the world of oneness. Unenlightened people look at everything dualistically: self and other, subject and object, delusions and enlightenment, this world and the Pure Land, unenlightened persons and buddhas, form and emptiness. Even if one tries to get rid of that duality by mouthing the theory that “form is emptiness,” the seam of “is” remains. It’s not the seamless stupa.
The actual experience of enlightenment comes springing forth in the realm of true oneness. And with that, one sometimes cries out in astonishment. One becomes aware that the whole universe is just the single seamless stupa. It's not some simplistic kind of thing like a reflection in a mirror.
"Mountains and rivers are not seen in a mirror." It's not that mountains, rivers, and the earth are reflected in one's mind-mirror. That's okay when we are using metaphors for thoughts and consciousness. But what we are speaking of now is the realm of the actual experience of enlightenment. The self is the mountains, rivers, and earth; the self is the sun and moon and the stars.
The great earth has not
A single lick of soil;
New Year's first smile.
"Not another person in the whole universe." One side is all there is, without a second or third to be found anywhere. If one calls this subject, everything is subject and that's all. There is no object anywhere. It's the true mind-only. It's snatching away the objective world but not the person. If one calls this object, everything is object and that's all. There is no subject anywhere. It's snatching away the person but not the objective world. It's the true matter-only. Whichever one you say, only the label changes and it is the same thing. While Dogen Zenji calls this completely self, he also calls it completely other. It's all self. It's all other. This is the meaning of "when one side is realized the other side is dark." This is also called "one side exhausts everything." It's the whole thing, being complete with one, exhausting everything with one."
Also, another Zen Master Hong Wen Liang taught:
Excerpts from the Jewel Mirror Samadhi
Also see: Nonduality of Life and Death
The Path of Anatta
Fearless Samadhi
Here is a compilation of articles by Zen Master Hong Wen Liang, who is very clear: https://app.box.com/s/ceb9i7wsk0lkfl2sjex97ai56l1k52pf
Translated some excerpts from http://tradewhat.blogspot.sg/2013/12/blog-post_11.html - talk by Zen Master Hong Wen Liang on the Jewel Mirror Samadhi. I found this article recently and resonated well with it.
「苦樂 升沉」包括痛麻癢…這些都是,這表示不是特別有一個三昧,各位修了就可以進入,未修就不能進入;或是說有所成就的人才有寶鏡三昧,不是!不管是佛還是凡 夫,有情、無情、饅頭、鑽石、唱歌、走路…皆是,到底什麼意思?
"The rise and fall of suffering and joy" including pain, numbness and itch... these are all it, this means it is not that there is a special samadhi, in which everybody can practice to enter, or that those who have not practiced are unable to enter it. Nor is it the case that only someone accomplished is able to obtain the jewel mirror samadhi, not so! It does not matter if one is a Buddha or a sentient being, sentient or insentient, steam bun, diamond, singing, walking... all is it, what does this mean?
With accurate vision, the entire universe is a piece of Jewel Mirror Samadhi. Because it is one piece, there is no perceiver nor perceived.
If you interpret that as a mirror, then you'll enter straight into hell.
你把他當作一面鏡子 解釋,是解釋哦,一解釋的話,你就把他當作是對像去解說,那當然奇怪了,一面鏡子照的當然是影子,這樣分開來的話就完全錯了。
If you explain it as a mirror, you'll be treating it as an object, that would of course be odd. What a mirror reflects would of course be a reflection, it would be erroneous to delineate/separate in this way.
「入地獄如矢」就是馬上錯掉 了,不可以把他當作這樣去解釋。『不見言』是沒有聽說過嗎?『山河不在鏡中見,山河草木即鏡』,你聽到「全宇宙是一枚寶鏡三昧」,就把三昧當作是一副鏡 子,這樣就很容易錯掉了。所以他強調「山河草木不在鏡中見,山河草木就是鏡子」。千萬不要把你所看的、所覺受的當作是鏡中的影子,不可以這樣講,山河大地 本身都是鏡子,不是鏡中的影子。
"Entering straight into hell" means instantly falling into error, we cannot explain it that way. Haven't you heard of it? "Mountains and rivers are not seen within a mirror, mountains and rivers are themselves the mirror." When you heard "the whole universe is a piece of Jewel Mirror Samadhi", and you treat that as a mirror, it is very easy to err. Therefore he emphasizes, "mountains and rivers are not within a mirror, mountains, rivers, grasses and wood are the mirror." Never treat what you saw and sensed as being reflections of a mirror, we cannot explain it that way. Mountains, rivers, and the great earth are themselves the mirror, not the reflections of a mirror.
所以各位看到的、聽到的,你千萬不要以為是大圓鏡智所現,有一面法界法性的鏡子所現 的,隨你的因緣果報不同而現出的影子,這樣解說就完全錯掉了。看到、聽到、摸到、想到的通通都是鏡子,包括你自己,整個都是鏡子!這點不要誤會了。
Therefore, do not think that whatever you see and hear are the manifestations of the Great Mirror Wisdom, as if there is a universal mirror that is reflecting the reflections according to your causes and conditions/karma, such explanations are false. Whatever you see, hear, sense, think are entirely the mirror, including yourself - in their entirety they are all the mirror. Do not be mistaken on this point.
『能見所見雙泯,本應解釋為相容,恐被誤解為二元之說』。有一個能見的,有一個所見 的,有你和被你看見的山,兩個東西溶解在一起,很容易被誤解為二元,本來是兩個東西,後來變成是一個東西,融入了,不是這樣子。『故曰山隱,此為隱之道 理』,所謂「山隱」,眼睛對到山的時候,眼睛變成山,眼和山變成一個東西,能見所見沒有了。「山」是「我見」,你說「山」即是「我見」加進去了,思維一 動,我見有了,山和你就分開了。現在知道能見所見相容的關係,能見所見都是一張寶境的變化而已。
"Perceiver and perceived are both extinguished, that ought to be explained as interwoven, but I'm afraid it might be misunderstood in terms of a dualistic view." There is a perceiver, and something perceived, there is you and the mountain seen by you, the two things melt into one, this is easily mistaken as subject-object duality - originally there are two things, then later they fused into one thing. It is not like that. "What is known as mountain concealment, is to be regarded as the principle of concealment" - what is known as "mountain-concealment", when the eyes face the mountain, eyes become mountain, eyes and mountain become one thing, perceiver and perceived vanishes. "Mountain" is "self-view", when you say "mountain", the "self-view" is thereby inserted. Once conceptual proliferation begins, self-view emerges, then the mountain and you have separated. When you understood the interwoven relationship between perceiver and perceived, perceiver and perceived are merely the transformations of a Jewel Mirror.
The most important point is to always "sincerely and honestly experience fusing with conditions and thereby forgetting self", by continuously not deviating from this, that would be the practice after realization.
並不 是澈悟後就絕對不會跑掉、偏離,因此隨隨便變都可以,不是這樣,處處時時「與緣合一而忘己」都不偏離就對了。
It is not the case that after realization one will absolutely not be lost or deviate, and therefore we can let our guards down. That is not the case. Instead, at anywhere and at any time, never deviating from "being one with conditions and thereby forgetting self" is the correct (way).
弄清楚自己就是寶鏡,就是悟了,悟後還要修行 嗎?「修行沒有終止」,這就是曹洞宗最難使人瞭解的地方,使得學人轉學跑到臨濟宗或是淨土宗那裡去。「悟沒有開始,修行沒有終了」一聽就受不了!修行沒有 終止?那我要悟作什麼?我以為悟了就沒有事了,還要一直修行下去?悟沒有開始?那我就不要悟了,本來就是悟嘛。一下子就搞糊塗了,用思想去想佛講的正法, 佛傳的真正的東西,要命呀!
Being clear of oneself as the jewel mirror is already realization, why should there be practice after realization? "There is no end to practice", this is Soto Zen's hardest point to understand. It has led many learners to leave the school for the Rinzai Zen or Pure Land sect. Once a person hears "there is no beginning to realization, there is no end to practice", they cannot endure such a statement. Practice is without end? Then what is the point of realization? I thought after realization there is nothing else, but practice has to go on? Realization has no beginning? Then I shouldn't have gotten realization, since realization always already is. All of a sudden one gets utterly confused. Using one's conceptual thinking to conceptualize the Buddha's teachings - the real thing transmitted by the Buddha, very dreadful!
When dying, fearlessly die, never giving rise to the thought of (desire for) life-extension, that is liberation, peace and joy. It is also explained as "not experiencing", for there is no experiencer in the experience. How is this so? Sweet melons are sweet to the base, while even the roots are bitter in the bitter melon.
He explains "being one with conditions" in another way, "When dying, fearlessly die, never giving rise to the thought of (desire for) life-extension, that is liberation, peace and joy". At the time of death, fearlessly die, at this moment there is never a thought for life extension, a desire to live one more day, or two more days, otherwise there would be suffering. That is being one with conditions, that is liberation, peace and joy.
還有一個三昧翻譯成「不受」,因為沒有受與受者,寶鏡嘛!能受所受沒有的關係,所以 叫不受。三昧正受有時翻譯成不受,何以如此?『甜瓜徹蒂甜,苦瓜連根苦』,這上頭有沒有道理?苦瓜吃下去的時候,根也苦,葉子也苦;甜瓜整個都是甜,哪有 這裡甜,那裡不甜?或是這裡甜多一點,那裡甜少一點?有這事嗎?這是什麼意思?沒有能所的意思。本來沒有能所,為什麼?因為都是一枚寶鏡。
There is one more translation of "samadhi" as "not experiencing", because there is neither the experienced and the experiencer, as (it is just) a Jewel Mirror! Due to the absence of an experiencer and the experienced, therefore it is called "no experience". The true experience of samadhi is sometimes translated as the absence of experience, how is this so? "Sweet melons are sweet to the base, while even the roots are bitter in the bitter melon." Is this reasonable? When you are eating a bitter gourd, the roots are bitter, the foliage are also bitter. The sweet melons are entirely sweet, how can there be sweetness at this part but not at the other parts? How can it be sweeter at this point but a little less sweet at another point? What does this mean? There is no subject nor object. There never was a subject nor an object, why? Because it is just a single Jewel Mirror.
大家剛才聽到鐘響了,下課了,平常我們都是「我自己聽到鐘響」,有沒有分開來?有沒 有一枚寶鏡?不是嘛!處處都是分開來。我是我,鐘響是鐘響,這是不回互。因為徹底的不回互,所以是回互。
Everyone just heard the bell ringing, class has ended. Normally we are in the position of "I myself have heard the bell ringing", is there separation here? Or is there only a single jewel mirror? That is not the case! Always in a state of separation. I am I, bell ringing is bell ringing. ...
聲音在我這裡響,還是在那邊響?我這邊沒有響,聽 不見;如果只有我這邊響,那就不要鐘也可以響,我想要響就響就好了,不行!一定要鐘動才行,大家動起來才有,有緣才有。
Is the sound reverberating over here, or is it reveberating from over there? If there is no reveberation at my location, then it would not be heard. But if it is only reverberating at my location, then there would not have been a need for a bell for the sound to be. If I only wanted the reveberation itself, it wouldn't work! There needs to be the vibrating bell, along with all the conditions working/moving together. Only with those conditions can it manifest.
比方講,我在這裏照鏡子,鏡子上有沒有我的影子?有啊!如果沒有我,鏡子上有沒有顯 出我的影子?沒有!
As an example, I am using the mirror here, does the mirror contain my reflection? Yes! If I were not around, would the mirror display my reflection? No!
一定要有鏡子,也要有我。也許有人說拿鏡子的人把這個影子照出來的,那叫拿鏡子的人走開,鏡子擺在那裡就好了,行嗎?不是拿鏡子的人把 影子照出來的,那麼是虛空把影子照出來嗎?那影子是誰照的?不是鏡子照,也不是中間的虛空照,也不是拿鏡子的人照,但是,沒有我不行,沒有鏡子也不行,沒 有空間也不行。
There needs to be a mirror, and there also needs to be me. Perhaps some people may say that the person who carries the mirror is causing the reflection to appear on the mirror. In that case if you ask the person to go away and just let the mirror stand there by itself, would it work? Since it is not the person carrying the mirror that is causing the reflection, could it be the empty space that is causing the reflection to appear? In that case who is reflecting the reflection? Not the mirror, not the empty space in between, not the person carrying the mirror. And yet, it wouldn't work without me, it wouldn't work without the mirror, it wouldn't work without empty space.
像這樣用頭腦去 理解的話是這樣子,那麼實際的情況還是希望大家多多盤腿,盤腿放鬆六根,六根讓它放鬆,就是回到自然的規律。
This is the way of using one's brain to understand and talk about it. Then, in actual situations, I wish everybody still sits often in the lotus position, sitting in the lotus posture and relaxing all six senses, letting the six senses relax, that is to return to the natural law.
「哦!這是自然的規律…」,你不要又加進了自 己的意見了。擺在那裡,思想動來動去也不是你動的,也不是你趕走它,你不趕它,它也走掉啊。念頭動的時候,你不要再加一個「我在想」就好了嘛!飯田禪師整 個序言講了半天就是一個重點:整個都是一個寶鏡三昧在顯,上頭沒有你、我、她,實際的生活怎麼相應?就是和你所看到、所聽到、所接觸到的情景、情況合一, 「與緣合一」這是實際生活用功很好的方法。
"Oh! This is the natural law..." You should not insert your own views/opinions. Just assume your position there. If thoughts move they are not moved by you, neither is it chased away by you. Even if you do not chase them away, they will go away. When thoughts move, it will suffice if you do not add "I am the one thinking"! Zen Master Lida's whole lengthy preface is only about one important point: the entirety is the manifestation of a jewel mirror samadhi, in it there is no you, me, her. How do we actualize this in daily living? That is to be one with all scenes and situations that you see, hear, sense and encounter, "being one with conditions" is the best and most realistic/practical method to put your effort in daily living.
Labels: Anatta, Maha, Zen, Zen Master Hong Wen Liang (洪文亮禅师) |

Mr. A

(PART THREE - Awareness as Weather, Profundity of Dharma)

Let's keep all discussions here, due to my account hacked (see the other post and screenshot below) I'm unable to post further comments so I may only respond next week. Meanwhile I welcome anyone especially those who have clear Right View or realised anatta or emptiness, please help me reply any responses, thanks. I am confident that the 40+ people who realised anatta through AtR are fully capable of answering posts (but are usually awfully quiet) and I hope they would step up. We need more keyboard spiritual warriors to spread the dharma. The Buddha taught his awakened disciples: "Go forth, o bhikkhus, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, for the good, for the happiness of gods and men. Let not two go by one way. Preach the doctrine that is beautiful in its beginning, beautiful in its middle, and beautiful in its ending. Declare the holy life in its purity, completely both in the spirit and the letter." ~ Mahavagga, Vinaya Pitaka.Part 3
Mr. A: "INDEED, I have found that if you try too hard to USE Awareness as some principle of liberation, it indeed is burdensome. This is partly because it is so hard to see compared to the ever-changing flow of form that is the six senses.
And I believe that's why the Buddha avoided discussing it. It could so easily become an obstacle and was hard to see.
But that doesn't MEAN it doesn't exist. Remember: he just didnt ANSWER."
Your statement here indicates you still have not seen that "At that level there is no inherint existence, even 'awareness'." even if you put it that way. Why? If you truly have seen that even 'awareness' is empty of inherent existence, then you cannot possibly have had the illusion that there is some 'Awareness' besides the changing flow of the six senses. Even the formless subtlest clear light is just another transient manifestation of the Mind door of the sixth sense, it is not beyond the six senses. It is not any more ultimate or special or unchanging in contrast to any other manifestation, they all have the same intense luminous yet empty taste and nature.
"When consciousness experiences the pure sense of “I AM”, overwhelmed by the transcendental thoughtless moment of Beingness, consciousness clings to that experience as its purest identity. By doing so, it subtly creates a ‘watcher’ and fails to see that the ‘Pure Sense of Existence’ is nothing but an aspect of pure consciousness relating to the thought realm. This in turn serves as the karmic condition that prevents the experience of pure consciousness that arises from other sense-objects. Extending it to the other senses, there is hearing without a hearer and seeing without a seer -- the experience of Pure Sound-Consciousness is radically different from Pure Sight-Consciousness. Sincerely, if we are able to give up ‘I’ and replace it with “Emptiness Nature”, Consciousness is experienced as non-local. There isn't a state that is purer than the other. All is just One Taste, the manifold of Presence." - John Tan, 2006, https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../mistaken...
The Transience
The arising and ceasing is called the Transience,
Is self luminous and self perfected from beginning.
However due to the karmic propensity that divides,
The mind separates the ‘brilliance’ from the ever arising and ceasing.
This karmic illusion constructs ‘the brilliance’,
Into an object that is permanent and unchanging.
The ‘unchanging’ which appears unimaginably real,
Only exists in subtle thinking and recalling.
In essence the luminosity is itself empty,
Is already unborn, unconditioned and ever pervading.
Therefore fear not the arising and ceasing.
There is no this that is more this than that.
Although thought arises and ceases vividly,
Every arising and ceasing remains as entire as it can be.
The emptiness nature that is ever manifesting presently
Has not in anyway denied its own luminosity.
Although non-dual is seen with clarity,
The urge to remain can still blind subtly.
Like a passerby that passes, is gone completely.
Die utterly
And bear witness of this pure presence, its non-locality.
~ Thusness/Passerby
And hence... "Awareness" is not anymore "special" or "ultimate" than the transient mind.
Labels: All is Mind, Anatta, Non Dual |
Mr. A: "However in my approach to spirituality, LIBERATION is just one path. ENLIGHTENMENT includes understanding all the riches that are your birthright. And that includes the wonderful Awareness 🙂"
It is clear that you are still attributing some special status to Awareness and have deep attachment to it as something inherently existing.
To me, 'Awareness' is just a convention like weather, empty of inherent existence.
From AtR guide:
~ Weather metaphor
There is no weather actively creating, as an independent agent, the activities of clouds, rain, sun, wind, etc. Weather is a designation conceptually established upon a multiplicity of events/activities which are seamlessly interconnected, dynamic, and conditionally-arisen.
It is important to realize these metaphors directly, as the empty nature of Awareness/Mind in one’s direct experience and not remain as an intellectual concept or ideation.
2010, John Tan:
I did not tell you that pure aggregates is awareness, that is non-dual. When you understand anatta, you realize awareness is like weather, it is a label to denote this luminous yet empty arising, that is pure aggregates.
2013 conversation with John Tan:
John Tan: When you say "weather", does weather exist?
Soh Wei Yu: No. It's a convention imputed on a seamless activity. Existence and non existence don't apply.
John Tan: What is the basis where this label rely on?
Soh Wei Yu: Rain clouds wind etc
John Tan: Don't talk prasanga. Directly see. Rain too is a label. But in direct experience, there is no issue but when probed, you realized how one is confused about the reification from language. And from there life/death/creation/cessation arise. And whole lots of attachment. But it does not mean there is no basis...get it?
Soh Wei Yu: The basis is just the experience right?
John Tan: Yes which is plain and simple. When we say the weather is windy. Feel the wind, the blowing… But when we look at language and mistaken verb for nouns there are big issues. So before we talk about this and that. Understand what consciousness is and awareness is. Get it? When we say weather, feel the sunshine, the wind, the rain. You do not search for weather. Get it? Similarly, when we say awareness, look into scenery, sound, tactile sensations, scents and thoughts”.
(Note that this is still understanding emptiness from the perspective of firstfold emptiness, in secondfold emptiness there is nothing to ground conventions on - to be elaborated in the chapter on Stage 6).
“24 Jun `06, 1:37PM
The weather as Pristine Awareness
Look! The formation of the cloud, the rain, the color of the sky, the thunder, all these entirety that is taking place, what is it? It is Pristine Awareness. Not identify with anything, not bounded within the body, free from defintion and experience what is it. It is the entire field of our pristine awareness taking place with its emptiness nature.
If we fall back to 'Self', we are enclosed within. First we must go beyond symbols and see behind the essence that takes place. Master this art until the factor of enlightenment arises and stablizes, the 'self' subsides and the ground reality without core is understood. 😊” – John Tan, 2006

Mr. A: "Lol saved...tho I dont know if I will be able to read it all."

Have some patience to read through and try to understand them. They are crucial. Nobody said it was easy. The Buddha said that the dharma is subtle and profound, not easy to understand.

Once the Buddha was staying among the Kurus. Venerable Ananda came to the Buddha, saluted him, sat down to one side, and said: 'It is wonderful, Lord, it is marvelous how profound this dependent origination is, and how profound it appears! And yet it appears to me as clear as clear!' (Venerable Ananda is clearly very pleased with himself for he thinks that he has comprehended the dependent origination totally).

Buddha replied: 'Do not say that Ananda, do not say that! This dependent origination is profound and appears profound. It is through not understanding, not penetrating this doctrine that this generation has become like a tangled ball of string (everything is infinitely inter-linked), covered as with a blight, tangled with like coarse grass, unable to pass beyond states of woe (unable to reach cessation of suffering), the ill destiny, ruin and the round of birth-and-death (samsaric rebirth). '

Also, Buddha: "This Truth that I have realised is profound, hard to see, hard to realize, harmless, sophisticated, more than just speculation, subtle, only really understood by the wise."

Having the correct insights is indeed crucial for liberation, as John Tan said to me in 2009 http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../difference-between...
(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
See what John Tan said here in 2011:
(12:48 AM) Thusness: lasttime comment is quite good but used in wrong situation
many wants to come into buddhism and talk about simplicity and try to advice ppl not to over complicate matter
(12:50 AM) AEN: oic..
(12:50 AM) Thusness: this is a wrong approach
simplicity is only realized after true certain realization
(12:51 AM) AEN: ic..
(12:51 AM) Thusness: do not come into Buddhism with this sort of mindset
when our we see things with dualistic and inherent mind, there is no simplicity
Have u seen any sutra that can be easily understood?
(12:53 AM) AEN: generally sutta that expounds prajna and insight cannot be understood easily.... thats why buddha said the dharma is only understood by the wise
(12:57 AM) Thusness: from Avatamsaka sutra, heart sutra, lankavatara sutra, lotus sutra, Vimalakirti sutra, diamond sutra, perfect enlightenment sutra...
i never come across any that is easy to understand
so i just focus on one...lol
heart sutra
and it is already a big headache
a sincere and serious practitioner should not come with a wrong mindset
there is no easy way to overcome the inherent and dualistic view
as much as we would like to...
as for beacom, advice him not to see it that way
Mr. A: "I'd put it to you that if you're a practitioner who is most interested in anatta, then sure: you can skip to that higher view.
However I regard my way of approaching it as more openminded, inclusive and ultimately more useful, because the Awareness principle is:
a) useful for people to understand
b) comforting to them
c) impossible to disprove
d) and in essence: a real thing, even if it is UTTERLY without form
Moreover as I said: saying it doesn't exist goes against the lived experience of hundreds of thousands of people who have experienced the all-pervading bodiless void that is their base, the ground of being."
The experience of formless Being is not denied but the wrong view of something unchanging and inherent must be seen through.
To be continued

(PART FOUR - on Nirvana and Theravada, etc)
Let's keep all discussions here, due to my account hacked (see the other post and screenshot below) I'm unable to post further comments [can only create starting post] so I may only respond next week. Meanwhile I welcome anyone especially those who have clear Right View or realised anatta or emptiness, please help me reply any responses, thanks. I am confident that the 40+ people who realised anatta through AtR are fully capable of answering posts (but are usually awfully quiet) and I hope they would step up. We need more keyboard spiritual warriors to spread the dharma. The Buddha taught his awakened disciples: "Go forth, o bhikkhus, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, for the good, for the happiness of gods and men. Let not two go by one way. Preach the doctrine that is beautiful in its beginning, beautiful in its middle, and beautiful in its ending. Declare the holy life in its purity, completely both in the spirit and the letter." ~ Mahavagga, Vinaya Pitaka.Part 3
Mr. A:
Not entirely wrong:
Acarya Malcolm Smith:
"The term bdag nyid, atman, just means, in this case, "nature", i.e. referring to the nature of reality free from extremes as being permanent, blissful, pure and self. The luminosity of the mind is understood to be this.
There are various ways to interpret the Uttaratantra and tathāgatagarbha doctrine, one way is definitive in meaning, the other is provisional, according to Gorampa Sonam Senge, thus the tathāgatagarbha sutras become definitive or provisional depending on how they are understood. He states:
In the context of showing the faults of a literal [interpretation] – it's equivalence with the Non-Buddhist Self is that the assertion of unique eternal all pervading cognizing awareness of the Saṃkhya, the unique eternal pristine clarity of the Pashupattis, the unique all pervading intellect of the Vaiśnavas, the impermanent condition, the measure of one’s body, in the permanent self-nature of the Jains, and the white, brilliant, shining pellet the size of an atom, existing in each individual’s heart of the Vedantins are the same.
The definitive interpretation he renders as follows:
Therefor, the Sugatagarbha is defined as the union of clarity and emptiness but not simply emptiness without clarity, because that [kind of emptiness] is not suitable to be a basis for bondage and liberation. Also it is not simple clarity without emptiness, that is the conditioned part, because the Sugatagarbha is taught as unconditioned.
Khyentse Wangpo, often cited as a gzhan stong pa, basically says that the treatises of Maitreya elucidate the luminosity of the mind, i.e. its purity, whereas Nāgarjuna's treatises illustrate the empty nature of the mind, and that these two together, luminosity and emptiness free from extremes are to be understood as noncontradictory, which we can understand from the famous Prajñāpāramita citation "There is no mind in the mind, the nature of the mind is luminosity"."
Mr. A: "I believe parinirvana is awareness experiencing only awareness."
Wrong. You are making it as if Parinirvana is merely the experience of I AM. That cannot be further from the truth. On the wrong understanding some people made that arahats and pratyekabuddhas only realise the I AM, John Tan criticised such wrong understanding and said in 2006, "if pratyeka buddha is at the first stage, they know not a single trace of nirvana."
Theravada liberation requires the realization of anatta at least. See:
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 Buddha...lol
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..
Mr. A: "Do you think nirvana is THOUGHT experiencing itself?"
Nirvana is when thought thinks, scenery sees, music hears, everything self-arises and self-liberates. In the seen is just the seen, in the heard is just the heard, with no you existing in any way in terms of it (in it, behind it, in between, etc). (Bahiya Sutta) No seer, no seeing and nothing seen (Kalaka Sutta). Anything short of this is far from Nirvana.
Mr. A: "No, it is awereness experiencing itself."
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 dead...lol
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 multifold...lol
Mr. A: "This is an experience reported by a range of people including meditators, but also NDErs (with no experience of Buddhism), and DMT-takers. It's also mentioned in the Tibetan Book of the Dead."
You are mistaken if you think I AM is liberation. This is what John Tan said in 2008:
"Hi Longchen,
Must be having a challenging time sustaining the vivid presence of non-dual experience. Just to share with you some of my thoughts:
When we die, the thoughts and emotions that are karmically linked to the body are temporarily suspended. The contrast in experience that resulted from the dissolution of the ‘bond of a body’ gives rise to a more vivid experience of Presence; although the experience of Presence is there, the insight into its non-dual essence and emptiness nature isn’t there. This is similar to the experience of “I AM”. Thoughts and emotions will continue to arise and subside with the bond of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ after death.
Awareness is always non-dual and all pervading; obscured but not lost. In essence all manifestation, transient (emotions, thoughts or feelings) is really the manifold of Presence. They have the same non-dual essence and empty nature. All problems lie not at the manifestation level but at the fundamental level. Deep in us we see things inherently and dualistically. How the experience of Presence can be distorted with the ‘bond’ of dualistic and inherent seeing maybe loosely categorized as:
1. There is a mirror reflecting dust. (“I AM”)
Mirror bright is experienced but distorted. Dualistic and Inherent seeing.
2. Dust is required for the mirror to see itself.
Non-Dualistic but Inherent seeing. (Beginning of non-dual insight)
3. Dust has always been the mirror ( The mirror here is seen as a whole)
Non-Dualistic and non- inherent insight.
In 3, whatever comes and goes is the Rigpa itself. There is no Rigpa other than that. All along there is no dust really, only when a particular speck of dust claims that it is the purest and truest state then immediately all other arising which from beginning are self- mirroring become dust."
Maren Springsteen
I love this, Soh Wei Yu! Was just posting a poem yesterday "One without a Second~Radiance" about center-less Suchness. Have a great day!
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Soh Wei Yu
Maren Springsteen Thanks, I read your beautiful poem, and thank you for sharing.
I will just add... even when everything subsides into deep sleep, even when all the coarse elements subside into the subtlest mind of clear light at death, still... just vibrantly alive and self-luminous manifestation alone flows 🙂 Or as John Tan puts it before, there's nothing 'unmanifest'...
Anatta is the realization of the centerless radiance-suchness as the entire unfolding luminous empty yet vivid and luminous appearance/manifestation alone, nothing else.
Wrote in 2014:
Formless presence is also perception, manifestation. Awareness is empty of an enduring, hidden, unmanifest, intrinsic, in-and-of-itself substance/essence/existence hiding behind/beyond/or even within manifestation. e.g. We think that the wheels are mere manifestations or extensions or attributes of an unmanifest core of a 'car'. But no matter how we dissect the car into its parts, what we find are all manifestations, and no intrinsic unmanifest core essence is there. The manifestations are conventionally called 'car', they are not manifestations 'of a car', those appearance are precisely what's conventionally called 'car' and no 'car' stands behind/apart from those appearances -- empty of a hidden/inherent/intrinsic core. This is the case for 'Awareness'/'Self'.. and can be directly realized. But due to strongly rooted view of inherency, Self/Awareness/etc seem to be have an intrinsic core essence that is enduring beyond all appearances. There is nothing besides those appearances. There is no unmanifest/manifest side of awareness, to even speak of their inseparability. Even formless presence in the gap between thoughts or when five senses are shut, a pure Mind presence-awareness, that too is fully manifest and empty of intrinsic existence. As the cook told Dogen that made a lasting impression on him, there is nothing hidden in the universe... fully manifest.
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Soh Wei Yu
This realization then allows to 'taste' what we call 'Source' or Presence as everything moment to moment without sinking back to a 'Source'..
“Unmanifested is the manifestation,
The no-thing of everything,
Completely still yet ever flowing,
This is the spontaneous arising nature of the source.
Simply Self-So.
Use self-so to overcome conceptualization.
Dwell completely into the incredible realness of the phenomenal world.” – John Tan, 2006
“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 God...lol. 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.
.” – John Tan to Sim Pern Chong after his initial breakthrough from I AM to no-self in 2006, http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../part-2-of...
“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
Part 2 of Early Forum Posts by Thusness
Part 2 of Early Forum Posts by Thusness
Part 2 of Early Forum Posts by Thusness
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Jayson MPaul
Soh Wei Yu reading these words about what is there when all the elements subside into clear light brought forth a recognition of this happening before and this experience of this subtlest state arose. Radiant, luminous, empty knowingness alone before grasping for a new life has begun. This radiance recognizing what it has always been. Nothing in the infinite lifetimes could ever touch this radiant empty knowingness. This entire life was let go of from the root. The whole universe has no basis. Everything has always been okay. What was all the worry about in the first place. 🙏
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Soh Wei Yu
Jayson MPaul
You might like to read Maren Springsteen’s book, it’s very nice. She awakened to that during a near death experience with no prior spiritual practice. That was later followed by the collapse of the witness into nonduality.
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Soh Wei Yu
Spun Gold ~ Poetic Reflections of Pure Luminosity
Spun Gold ~ Poetic Reflections of Pure Luminosity
Spun Gold ~ Poetic Reflections of Pure Luminosity
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Jayson MPaul
Thanks I'll check it out
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Maren Springsteen
Soh Wei Yu You are sweet! Namaste!
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Soh Wei Yu
Jayson MPaul
That taste of the Heart essence is important. And the intensity. Then integrate into anatta
"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
"Thusness also wrote:
The anatta I realized is quite unique. It is not just a realization of no-self. But it must have first have an intuitive insight of Presence. Otherwise will have to reverse the phases of insights"
After the maturity of anatta insight and twofold emptiness (which will be discussed later in this document), eventually there is effortless, ongoing and intense experience of "everything as Self", "As in that experience of I AM powerfully present at this moment", "As if like Awareness clear and open like space, without meditation yet powerfully present and non-dual. Where the 4 Aspects of I AM are fully experienced in this moment. This experience will become more and more powerful later yet effortless and uncontrived. How so? If it is not correct insights and practice, how is it possible for such complete and total experience of effortless and uncontrived Presence be possible?". "Indeed and this is being authenticated by the immediate moment of experience. How could there be doubt about it. The last trace of Presence must be released with seeing through the emptiness nature of whatever arises. After maturing and integrating your insights into practice, there must be no effort and action.... The entire whole is doing the work and arises as this vivid moment of shimmering appearance, this has always been what we always called Presence." "Yes and you should in all moment of 6 entries and exits experience all coming together for this moment to arise....this will dissolve all senses of holdings and will lead you effortless and maha experience of suchness effortlessly", "interpenetration, open, boundless, effortless and uncontrived." (John, 2012)
- AtR guide
The Transient Universe has a Heart
The Transient Universe has a Heart
The Transient Universe has a Heart
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Jayson MPaul
Yes! Exactly that. This seems like a maturation/integration of I Am insight post-anatta. Except it is not dualistic this time. More like, there is only that nature of suchness and all manifestion is just so. When reaching the subtlest mind states, it is just the most obvious there.
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Mr. A: "Now check out these canonic descriptions of nirvana and tell me that they exclude an interpretation that nirvana is empty awareness experiencing empty awareness:
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Mr. A
PALI CANON descs of Nibbana:"
Eternalists like to misquote these suttas and interprete them as some kind of Brahman or apophatic absolute. It is completely misunderstanding what Buddha meant by those terms.
You have to read this, I sent you before but it appears you did not see it:
The Deathless in Buddhadharma?
Also see:
The Meaning of Nirvana
Great Resource of Buddha's Teachings
What is Nirvana?
From a post I wrote years ago:
Hi Justin Struble we have to be very careful in interpreting that Nibbana sutta. First of all we have to understand what 'Nirvana/Nibbana' means in context. As Ven Hui-feng puts it, "keep in mind the basic metaphorical meaning of the term nirvana, the extinguishing of a flame". The main analogy given by Buddha for nirvana is the extinguishing of a flame. As Ven Nanananda also pointed out,
"Regarding this concept of Nibbàna too, the worldling is generally tempted to entertain some kind of ma¤¤anà, or me-thinking. Even some philosophers are prone to that habit. They indulge in some sort of prolific conceptualisation and me-thinking on the basis of such conventional usages as `in Nib­bàna', `from Nibbàna', `on reaching Nibbàna' and `my Nib­bàna'. By hypostasizing Nibbàna they de­velop a substance view, even of this concept, just as in the case of pañhavi, or earth. Let us now try to determine whether this is justifi­able.
The primary sense of the word Nibbàna is `extinction', or `extin­guishment'. We have already discussed this point with reference to such contexts as Aggivacchagottasutta.[8] In that dis­course the Bud­dha explained the term Nibbàna to the wan­dering ascetic Vaccha­got­ta with the help of a simile of the ex­tinction of a fire. Simply be­cause a fire is said to go out, one should not try to trace it, wondering where it has gone. The term Nibbàna is essentially a verbal noun. We also came across the phrase nibbuto tveva saïkhaü gacchati, "it is reck­oned as `extinguished'".[9]"
Extinction of what? Extinction of passion, aggression and delusion driving the whole mass of samsara. Extinction of the the whole mass of suffering/samsara in the twelve links from ignorance up to old age, sickness and death.
Next is the terms 'unconditioned/death-free/etc' it is very easy to reify this in terms of a metaphysical entity. This is not the case.
Here are some quotations which should hopefully clarify:
Nana/Geoff: "“Firstly, while the translation of asaṃskṛta as “the unconditioned” is fairly common, it’s a rather poor translation that all too easily leads to reification. The term asaṃskṛta refers to a negation of conditioned factors, and the meaning is better conveyed by “not-conditioned.” Secondly, for Sautrāntika commentators, and many mahāyānika commentators as well, an analytical cessation (pratisaṃkhyānirodha) is a non-implicative negation (prasajyapratiṣedha), i.e. a negation that doesn’t imply the presence of some other entity, and therefore nirvāṇa simply refers to a cessation that terminates the defilements and fetters that are abandoned by the correct practice of the noble path. It doesn’t refer to an entity or state that is substantially existent (dravyasat).” "
Nana/Geoff: "One has to be careful with such descriptions which may seem to be pointing to some sort of truly existent "unconditioned ground." Nibbāna is the extinguishment of the mental outflows (āsavā). The liberated mind is measureless (appamāṇa). This is not a "state of oneness with all of existence." It's an absence of identification (anattatā). It's non-indicative (anidassana), unestablished (appatiṭṭha), and not-dependent (anissita). None of these adjectives entail any sort of metaphysical "ground of being" or "unconditioned absolute." They are all negations. An arahant has simply "gone out."
tiltbillings: "There is no "deathless." That is a bad translation leading to an objectification/reification of the idea of awakening. With awakening, there is no more rebirth, one is free from death. (31 words.)""
Loppon Namdrol/Malcolm: “When you have eradicated all afflictions which cause rebirth, this is all the deathlessness you need. No more birth, BAM! no more death.”
Buddha: "SN 43 Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta (1-44 combined & abridged):
And what, monks, is the not-fabricated (asaṅkhata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-fabricated.
And what, monks, is the not-inclined (anata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-inclined.
And what, monks, is the outflowless (anāsava)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the outflowless.

(PART FIVE - on Self-Liberation, etc)
Let's keep all discussions here, due to my account hacked (see the other post and screenshot below) I'm unable to post further comments [can only create starting post] so I may only respond next week. Meanwhile I welcome anyone especially those who have clear Right View or realised anatta or emptiness, please help me reply any responses, thanks. I am confident that the 40+ people who realised anatta through AtR are fully capable of answering posts (but are usually awfully quiet) and I hope they would step up. We need more keyboard spiritual warriors to spread the dharma. The Buddha taught his awakened disciples: "Go forth, o bhikkhus, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, for the good, for the happiness of gods and men. Let not two go by one way. Preach the doctrine that is beautiful in its beginning, beautiful in its middle, and beautiful in its ending. Declare the holy life in its purity, completely both in the spirit and the letter." ~ Mahavagga, Vinaya Pitaka.Part 3
Mr. A: "It doesn't matter whether the reason that FORM self-liberates is:
a) just because it does
b) because Awareness itself does not hold onto anything and is an empty space through which things flow
The point is the transience of form."
On the contrary, it is absolutely crucial. This is because it is precisely the illusion that Awareness inherently exists that there is a deeply held grasping to a background as reality. In other words: without the anatta realization that sees through and dismisses this illusion, there is no liberation at all. Because liberation is precisely liberating this delusion and grasping at a 'self/Self'. And this is why those at the I AM stage experience not a trace of Nirvana. They are not liberated even if they have mastery of Nirvikalpa Samadhi, which has nothing to do with Nirvana. This is why Hindu and Buddhist attainments are different as much as we are respectful for other teachings.
As John Tan said in 2018,
[8/7/18, 9:33:17 PM] John Tan: When there is a background, one can't liberate actually but generates subtle karma imo. Only through realizing the nature of mind and phenomena one can self liberates (karma).
In this seminal article John Tan said in 2009, http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../on-anatta-emptiness...
Depending on the conditions of an individual, it may not be obvious that it is “always thought watching thought rather than a watcher watching thought.” or "the watcher is that thought." Because this is the key insight and a step that cannot afford to be wrong along the path of liberation, I cannot help but with some disrespectful tone say,
For those masters that taught,
“Let thoughts arise and subside,
See the background mirror as perfect and be unaffected.”
With all due respect, they have just “blah” something nice but deluded.
See that there is no one behind thoughts.
First, one thought then another thought.
With deepening insight it will later be revealed,
Always just this, One Thought!
Non-arising, luminous yet empty!
Hi Longchen,
Not only that. This work by Padmasambhava is truly deep and profound; it discloses the self-liberating aspect of our intrinsic nature. It is especially important for you now.
At that time when you posted the thread of non-dual and karmic pattern,
http://buddhism.sgforums.com/?action=thread_display..., the condition is only right for understanding 'the strength of karmic propensities’, as such, this aspect was not disclosed. Instead, the second door of impermanence was introduced and it was introduced with the purpose to complement the no-self experience you had in order to give rise to this insight of “Self-Liberation”
. The sole purpose of the practice of the second door of impermanence is for this insight to arise.
I was reading some commentaries about this work, I was disappointed; and with all due respect, I must say it is terribly distorted. The commentator has transformed this great work of Padmasambhava to an Advaita or neo-Advaita teaching. Self Liberating nature of our pristine nature is not to posit naked-awareness as a background where “all thoughts arise and subside’ and the background is not affected by this transient nature of thoughts, it remains constant, changeless and unmoved. ‘Self liberation’ should never be taken to mean this.
There is no Awareness apart from the arising and ceasing of thoughts and yet thought spontaneously arise and subsides in its own accord (self-liberating). It liberates at that very moment of ‘passing away’ (the practice of second door) without the need of effort, simply so. From moment to moment it is so. Thus comes and thus goes. This is its emptiness nature. The emptiness nature liberates instantaneously. By simply so, it is spontaneously self-perfected.
Sentient mind however posit a ‘self’ and holds. Whether the “thought” is good or bad, it attempts to do something to change, whatever direction it goes either good or bad, all is ‘doing’ (karma) and prevents the liberating nature. However without the experience of no-self (Buddhism non-duality not Adviata non-dual), one can never understand this intuitively.
Do read with a reverent heart. Homage to Padmasambhava.
How can you say that you cannot find your own mind?
The mind is just that which is thinking:
(My opinion is it should be translated to “The mind is just the thinking” but I do not have the original text.)
And yet, although you have searched (for the thinker), how can you say that you do not find him?
With respect to this, nowhere does there exist the one who is the cause of (mental) activity.
And yet, since activity exists, how can you say that such activity does not arise?
Since merely allowing (thoughts) to settle into their own condition, without trying to modify them in any way, is sufficient,
How can you say that you are not able to remain in a calm state?
Since allowing (thoughts) to be just as they are, with out trying to do anything about them, is sufficient,
How can you say that you are not able to do anything with regard to them?
Since clarity, awareness, and emptiness are inseparable and are spontaneously self-perfected,
How can you say that nothing is accomplished by your practice?
Since (intrinsic awareness) is self-originated and spontaneously self-perfected without any antecedent causes or conditions,
How can you say that you are not able to accomplish anything by your efforts?
Since the arising of discursive thoughts and their being liberated occur simultaneously,
How can you say that you are unable to apply an antidote?
Since your own immediate awareness is just this,
How can you say that you do not know anything with regard to it?
It is certain that all of the diverse characteristics of things are liberated into their own condition,
Like clouds in the atmosphere that are self-originated and self-liberated.
You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not.
Mr. A: "3. BTW, UNLESS one is trying to continually SEE or HOLD ONTO or USE Awareness-in-itself, knowing that it exists is in no way an obstacle to Buddhist practice.
The key to Buddhist practice and understanding anatta is to understand ALL arisings/form and not to be attached."
But unfortunately you cannot be non-attached without the correct insights.
"...it seems that lots of effort need to be put in -- which is really not the case. The entire practice turns out to an undoing process. It is a process of gradually understanding the workings of our nature that is from beginning liberated but clouded by this sense of ‘self’ that is always trying to preserve, protect and ever attached. The entire sense of self is a ‘doing’. Whatever we do, positive or negative, is still doing. Ultimately there is not-even a letting go or let be, as there is already continuous dissolving and arising and this ever dissolving and arising turns out to be self-liberating. Without this ‘self’ or ‘Self’, there is no ‘doing’, there is only spontaneous arising. "
~ Thusness (source: Non-dual and karmic patterns)
"...When one is unable to see the truth of our nature, all letting go is nothing more than another from of holding in disguise. Therefore without the 'insight', there is no releasing.... it is a gradual process of deeper seeing. when it is seen, the letting go is natural. You cannot force urself into giving up the self... purification to me is always these insights... non-dual and emptiness nature...."
(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?
Session Start: Monday, October 09, 2006
(8:01 PM) John: the idea of 'flux' is deeply rooted initially, u must not see it as a noun but as a verb. As action.
(8:02 PM) John: as a continuous becoming.
(8:02 PM) John: otherwise letting go will not be taught.
(8:02 PM) John: surrendering will not be necessary.
(8:02 PM) AEN: icic..
(8:03 PM) John: what will be taught instead?
(8:03 PM) AEN: ?
(8:03 PM) John: if reality is not a flux, what should be taught instead?
(8:03 PM) AEN: holding onto a constant?
(8:04 PM) John: yes. Grasping will be taught.
(8:04 PM) AEN: lol
(8:04 PM) John: seeking will be taught. 🙂
Session Start: Friday, October 20, 2006
(5:17 PM) John: In future should be more careful in saying that witnessing consciousness is enlightenment.
(5:19 PM) John: As long as there is still this dualistic experience, there is no liberation. Everything is effort and karma and every action is conditioned. This experience of true no duality must come with intuitive experience of no-self and emptiness. Don't tok anything about self. 🙂
(5:19 PM) AEN: icic..
(5:20 PM) John: and even after the non-dual and emptiness understanding, one truly gain only a few years of stabilization. That few years can still be quite painful.
(5:20 PM) John: till one is able to be totally non doing and effortless.
(5:20 PM) John: but not to worry about effort or non effort.
(5:20 PM) AEN: oic..
(5:21 PM) John: before stabilization and the (real) intuitive experience and emptiness wisdom of our pristine awareness, there is no way to be effortless and true spontaneity.
(5:21 PM) John: can't be...everything is effort.
(5:25 PM) John: For one that truly experience anatta and emptiness, he will know that there is no other way towards liberation. Dualistic view is itself suffering. There is no escape and
cannot be compromised.
(5:25 PM) AEN: oic
(5:26 PM) John: so though ET (Soh: Eckhart Tolle) talked about the silence, there is the experience but there is no liberation. There is constant struggle.
(5:26 PM) John: do not be deceived.
Mr. A: "YET, one can also be overly attached to 'seeing' anatta also."
On the contrary, Anatta direct realization does not lead to attachment at all. It is completely effortless here without grasping. That's just how anatta is naturally actualized. If there is any grasping, it is due to not fully actualizing anatta.
Mr. A: "It was about whether your aim in 'actualising anatta' was for deeper realisation of anatta or attaining some state in daily life. "
"There is the self that arises from conceptual reification, seeing through that with anatta insight is entry point.
There is the self that arises in marketplace, in day to day activities, anatta of that is graduation." - John Tan, 2018
“the degree of openess and effortlessness are a matter of wisdom in seeing through... and this seeing through is only actualized in moment to moment engagement.
We do not know how much residue is left until we meet conditions" - John Tan
Mr. A: "And in this way, there is an awareness, but it has no inherent existence by way of FORM."
You are misunderstanding what inherent existence means. Inherent existence means it has an existence of its own independent of parts, aggregates, function, conditions, designation. Your view of Awareness is precisely inherent existence -- Awareness has an existence of its own independent of form, and yet can assume or appear in certain forms. That is a view of inherent existence. And it is precisely this essence view that is seen through in anatta realization.
Mr. A: "The speaker clearly understands that there is a GROUND.
You don't use words such as centre-less and non-local when referring merely to transient conceptual energy (thought) and the other five senses 🙂"
No. What is centerless and non-local is simply all self-luminous and empty appearances. There is no beyond, nor behind. There is also no center and no boundaries.
Mr. A: "Everything is already natural, nothing is ever contrived. "
Be careful of transcendental blindness.
(9:54 PM) Thusness: i think this is an important chapter. For even toni packer said she din understand it initially. For a person thorough in non-duality and yet not understand this...tells us how important it is. This is closely linked to the self-liberating aspect of our nature.
(9:55 PM) AEN: oic
(9:55 PM) AEN: maybe that time she havent understand non dual?
(9:55 PM) AEN: lol
(9:55 PM) Thusness: so don't think that u can understand it. 😛
(9:55 PM) AEN: hahahaha
(9:55 PM) Thusness: no lah...
(9:56 PM) Thusness: to deepen the experience of non-duality, one has to break the more subtle bonds...
(9:56 PM) Thusness: sometimes these bonds are so subtle that they are difficult to detect.
(9:56 PM) Thusness: i have told u several factors
(9:56 PM) Thusness: one is the background
(9:56 PM) Thusness: one is the body
(9:57 PM) Thusness: that is why u hear dogen said the dropping of mind and body
(9:57 PM) AEN: back
(9:57 PM) AEN: oic..
(10:00 PM) Thusness: u will hear sankara (founder of advaita) said there is no body...so no need to drop.
(10:00 PM) Thusness: this is what i called transcendental-blindness
(10:01 PM) AEN: lol
(10:01 PM) Thusness: means being too attached to the liberating aspect of our nature that blinded him to see other aspects of consciousness.
Mr. A: "Nevertheless, you can also say, 'sound is infused with awareness' 🙂
Awareness is non local, it infuses EVERYTHING.
It's not like an over-seer."
No, this is what I call non-dual experience but having inherent view. This does not go beyond Thusness Stage 4. You still see Awareness as some inherently existing essence that permeates and infuses everything. In Stage 5, it is realised that 'Awareness' is just a label just like weather. This is mentioned in the other post and also in https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../differentiati...
Mr. A: ""Thusness: yeah but your mind is thinking some awareness, or all are just this awareness. this is a dualistic way of understanding. though experience is non-dual, that is phase 4. that is treating winter as spring and spring as autumn. that is treating fire as becoming ashes. get it? although you said that sound is awareness, you are still treating it as that. as if winter becomes spring, or winter is spring. get it?"
No, I don't! Utterly incomprehensible and I would challenge the most advaned practitioner to make sense of WTF he is talking about.
This is an example of something that could be cut.
...further to my appeal for concision and selectivity, bodhisattva !"
It is actually very simple to understand. You know the word 'weather'? It's not a thing in itself, right? It's just a label for the everchanging patterns of clouds forming and departing, wind blowing, sun shining, rain falling, so on and so forth, a myriad and conglomerate of everchanging dependently originating factors on display.
Now, the correct way is to realise 'Awareness' is no other than weather, it is just a word for the seen, the heard, the sensed, everything reveals itself as Pure Presence and yes at death the formless clear light Presence or if you tune into that aspect, it is just another manifestation, another sense door that is no more special. 'Awareness' just like 'weather' is a dependent designation, it is a mere designation that has no intrinsic existence of its own.
The wrong way of viewing it is as if 'Weather' is a container existing in and of itself, in which the rain and wind comes and goes but Weather is some sort of unchanging background which modulates as rain and wind. That is pure delusion, there is no such thing, such a 'weather' is purely a mentally fabricated construct with no real existence at all upon investigation. Likewise, 'Awareness' does not exist as something unchanging and persists while modulating from one state to another, it is not like 'firewood' that 'changes into ashes'. Firewood is firewood, ashes is ashes.
Dogen said:
"When you ride in a boat and watch the shore, you might assume that the shore is moving. But when you keep your eyes closely on the boat, you can see that the boat moves. Similarly, if you examine myriad things with a confused body and mind you might suppose that your mind and nature are permanent. When you practice intimately and return to where you are, it will be clear that nothing at all has unchanging self.
Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again. Yet, do not suppose that the ash is future and the firewood past. You should understand that firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood, which fully includes past and future and is independent of past and future. Ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash, which fully includes future and past. Just as firewood does not become firewood again after it is ash, you do not return to birth after death."
Mr. A: "Yet there is plenty of evidence that Awareness exists and one can do the above without denying it.
For me, truth is the most important thing.
I am not going to say there is no awareness because my experience strongly shows there is, and so does the experience of NDERs and DMT-takers."
Again, all these points are addressed very thoroughly in this article so please do read it: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../no-awareness-does...
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:02pm UTC+08
Why is he talking abt 靈妙覺體 [spiritual and marvellous body of awareness]
Soh Wei YuWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:03pm UTC+08
its just the luminosity?
Soh Wei YuWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:03pm UTC+08
what do you mean
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:04pm UTC+08
there is no deny of clarity or luminosity, it is the singling out of luminosity that is the problem.
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:04pm UTC+08
Y is luminosity luminous?
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:05pm UTC+08
Is an irrelevant question
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:09pm UTC+08
There is no such [inherently existing] clarity
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:11pm UTC+08
Because of inherent thought, we understand 靈妙覺體 [spiritual and marvellous body of awareness] as standalone, singled out from DO (Dependent Origination) or otherwise we r understanding it as "interaction".
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:12pm UTC+08
Or if conceptuality is a problem then non-conceptuality must b the solution.
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:13pm UTC+08
Or subsuming object into subject or subject into object...
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:13pm UTC+08
It is addressing this way of thinking, of understanding is a misperception.
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:15pm UTC+08
It is not to imply that there is no clarity...but what is clarity when it is not understood using this flawed mode of perception.
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:21pm UTC+08
In Buddhism, it is not how. It's always under what conditions such phenomena arises. So when this cause & condition persists, the phenomena will arise.
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 7:35pm UTC+08
First is to bring out the point to ask why appearances "arises" in Awareness is the same as asking why is awareness aware in awareness teaching. Why so? For the convention we call awareness is only ever appearances.
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 7:36pm UTC+08
Then address what is flaw mode of perception...
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 7:36pm UTC+08
As I hv given above.
John TanWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 7:37pm UTC+08
So why does appearances appear to arise in Awareness? Because of ignorance
John TanFriday, September 19, 2014 at 10:12pm UTC+08
If Buddha ask ananda, where is mind...if mind is not outside, not inside, not in the middle, not within the body...then is he ananda going to think that Buddha doesn't dare to affirm where is the mind?
John TanFriday, September 19, 2014 at 10:12pm UTC+08
Then ananda will nvr know the meaning of DO.
John TanFriday, September 19, 2014 at 10:14pm UTC+08
And the problem of how inherent thought blinds one from seeing and having direct experiential insight of what is meant by freedom from extreme.
John TanSaturday, September 20, 2014 at 10:10am UTC+08
When u present to 不思, u must not deny 觉 (awareness). But emphasized how 覺 (awareness) is effortlessly and marvelously manifests without the slightest sense of referencing and point of centricity and duality and subsuming ...be it here, now, in, out...this can only come from realization of anatta, DO and emptiness so that the spontaneity of 相 (appearance) is realized to one's radiance clarity.
(11:42 PM) Thusness: i have always said it is not the denial of eternal witness.
(11:42 PM) Thusness: but what exactly is that eternal witness?
(11:42 PM) Thusness: it is the real understanding of eternal witness.
(11:43 PM) AEN: yeah i tot so
(11:43 PM) AEN: so its something like david carse right
(11:43 PM) Thusness: without the 'seeing' and 'veil' of momentum, of reacting to propensities.
(11:43 PM) AEN: emptiness, yet luminous
(11:43 PM) AEN: icic
(11:43 PM) Thusness: however when one quote what buddha said, does he understand first of all.
(11:43 PM) Thusness: is he seeing eternal witness as in the advaita?
(11:44 PM) AEN: he's probably confused
(11:44 PM) Thusness: or is he seeing free from propensities.
(11:44 PM) AEN: he never explicitly mention but i believe his understanding is something like that la
(11:44 PM) Thusness: so there is no point quoting if it is not seen.
(11:44 PM) AEN: icic
(11:44 PM) Thusness: otherwise it is just saying the atman view again.
(11:44 PM) Thusness: so u should be very clear by now...and not to be confused.
(11:44 PM) AEN: icic
(11:45 PM) Thusness: what have i told u?
(11:45 PM) Thusness: u have also written in ur blog.
(11:45 PM) Thusness: what is eternal witness?
(11:45 PM) Thusness: it is the manifestation...moment to moment of arising
(11:45 PM) Thusness: does one see with the propensities and what is really it?
(11:45 PM) Thusness: that is more important.
(11:46 PM) Thusness: i have said so many times that the experience is correct but the understanding is wrong.
(11:46 PM) Thusness: wrong view.
(11:46 PM) Thusness: and how perception influence experience and wrong understanding.
(11:46 PM) Thusness: so don't quote here and there with just a snap shot...
(11:47 PM) Thusness: be very very clear and know with wisdom so that u will know what is right and wrong view.
(11:47 PM) Thusness: otherwise u will be reading this and get confused with that.
(3:55 PM) Thusness: it is not to deny the existence of the luminosity
(3:55 PM) Thusness: the knowingness
(3:55 PM) Thusness: but rather to have the correct view of what consciousness is.
(3:56 PM) Thusness: like non-dual
(3:56 PM) Thusness: i said there is no witness apart from the manifestation, the witness is really the manifestation
(3:56 PM) Thusness: this is the first part
(3:56 PM) Thusness: since the witness is the manifestation, how is it so?
(3:57 PM) Thusness: how is the one is really the many?
(3:57 PM) AEN: conditions?
(3:57 PM) Thusness: saying that the one is the many is already wrong.
(3:57 PM) Thusness: this is using conventional way of expression.
(3:57 PM) Thusness: for in reality, there is no such thing of the 'one'
(3:57 PM) Thusness: and the many
(3:58 PM) Thusness: there is only arising and ceasing due to emptiness nature
(3:58 PM) Thusness: and the arising and ceasing itself is the clarity.
(3:58 PM) Thusness: there is no clarity apart from the phenomena
(4:00 PM) Thusness: if we experience non-dual like ken wilber and talk about the atman.
(4:00 PM) Thusness: though the experience is true, the understanding is wrong.
(4:00 PM) Thusness: this is similar to "I AM".
(4:00 PM) Thusness: except that it is higher form of experience.
(4:00 PM) Thusness: it is non-dual.
Session Start: Sunday, October 19, 2008
(1:01 PM) Thusness: Yes
(1:01 PM) Thusness: Actually practice is not to deny this 'Jue' (awareness)
(6:11 PM) Thusness: the way u explained as if 'there is no Awareness'.
(6:11 PM) Thusness: People at times mistaken what u r trying to convey.but to correctly understand this 'jue' so that it can be experienced from all moments effortlessly.
(1:01 PM) Thusness: But when a practitioner heard that it is not 'IT', they immediately began to worry because it is their most precious state.
(1:01 PM) Thusness: All the phases written is about this 'Jue' or Awareness.
(1:01 PM) Thusness: However what Awareness really is isn't correctly experienced.
(1:01 PM) Thusness: Because it isn't correctly experienced, we say that 'Awareness that u try to keep' does not exist in such a way.
(1:01 PM) Thusness: It does not mean there is no Awareness.
(12:02 AM) Thusness: it is not that there is no awareness
(12:02 AM) Thusness: it is understanding awareness not from a subject/object view
(12:02 AM) Thusness: not from an inherent view
(12:03 AM) Thusness: that is dissolving subject/object understanding into events, action, karma
(12:04 AM) Thusness: then we gradually understand that the 'feeling' of someone there is really just a 'sensation' of an inherent view
(12:04 AM) Thusness: means a 'sensation', a 'thought'
inherent view
(12:06 AM) Thusness: how this lead to liberation requires the direct experience
(12:06 AM) Thusness: so liberation it is not freedom from 'self' but freedom from 'inherent view'
(12:07 AM) AEN: icic..
(12:07 AM) Thusness: get it?
(12:07 AM) Thusness: but it is important to experience luminosity"
Lastly, on psychedelics, and I personally tried all kinds before many years ago while studying overseas (and am warned by some fellow Singaporean not to mention this because these things are very sensitive in our country and it is likely I will get tracked for comments like these, so I will add a disclaimer that I am neither for nor against psychedelics just to be clear and am not some advocate for it):
Session Start: Friday, 9 February, 2007
(11:40 AM) AEN: hi.. wats that book about? anyway that guy took LSD and became enlightened? lol
(11:41 AM) Thusness: he is pro-LSD. 🙂
(11:41 AM) Thusness: but anywhere mentioned he took LSD?
(11:41 AM) Thusness: it is an interesting topic though.
(11:41 AM) Thusness: maybe a lil on that aspect.
(11:41 AM) AEN: huh
(11:44 AM) Thusness: i mean maybe i will discuss about a bit on that aspect. I did a lil study on LSD when Ram Dass someone I respected a lot was dismissed from Havard. 🙂
(11:44 AM) AEN: oo icic..
(11:47 AM) Thusness: did u summarized what i told u to do yesterday?
(11:47 AM) AEN: lol still remember this guy came to #buddhism last time and said something like hemp helps in enlightenment? lol
(11:47 AM) AEN: some hinduistic guy
(11:47 AM) AEN: oh haven yet 😛
(11:47 AM) Thusness: go do it. 🙂
(11:47 AM) AEN: ok
(11:48 AM) Thusness: and relate global warming with the first para in the booklet. 🙂
(11:48 AM) Thusness: what do u think?
(11:48 AM) Thusness: be critical and state ur own view.
(11:48 AM) AEN: first para?
(11:48 AM) AEN: oh ok i go read
(11:48 AM) AEN: first para as in chapter one's first para ?
(11:48 AM) AEN: ok
Session Start: Friday, 9 February, 2007
(1:16 PM) AEN: oops haven quoted the website... lol later
Session Start: Saturday, 10 February, 2007
(11:44 PM) AEN: oh yes u said u wanted to share something about LSD
(12:00 AM) AEN: btw ask u ah... u said shamatha can lead to samadhi (subject object fuse into one) rite? but what is the relationship between samadhi and jhana? can u enter into jhana without samadhi, or enter into samadhi without jhana?
Session Start: Sunday, 11 February, 2007
(1:08 PM) Thusness: hmm...don't think i want to write about LSD in a forum.
(1:09 PM) AEN: o haha how come
(1:09 PM) Thusness: the reason is that it might mislead one into seeking altered state of consciousness by taking psychoactive drugs.
(1:09 PM) AEN: oic..
(1:10 PM) Thusness: even if I said we shouldn't, but some might not be able to resist the temptation and opt for a try.
(1:10 PM) Thusness: this is dangerous.
(1:10 PM) AEN: icic..
(1:11 PM) Thusness: jhana is a form of samadhi.
(1:11 PM) AEN: but actually these kind of psychedelics can lead to a state of witnessing?
(1:11 PM) AEN: oic
(1:11 PM) Thusness: yes.
(1:11 PM) Thusness: it is an altered state of consciousness
(1:11 PM) Thusness: i would say similar to astral plane
(1:12 PM) Thusness: not so much enlightenment.
(1:12 PM) Thusness: but very similar form of experience.
(1:12 PM) AEN: oic..
(1:12 PM) Thusness: as in the phase of "I AMness".
(1:12 PM) Thusness: the insight is restricted to that level.
(1:12 PM) AEN: icic..
(1:12 PM) Thusness: not the form of buddhist enlightenment
(1:12 PM) Thusness: but very intense.
(1:13 PM) AEN: hmm but alot of LSD users never realise 'I Amness' rite?
(1:13 PM) AEN: loo
(1:13 PM) AEN: *lol
(1:13 PM) AEN: oic..
(1:13 PM) Thusness: yeah...went high.
(1:13 PM) Thusness: but there is a group of users that use LSD for spiritual purpose.
(1:14 PM) AEN: icic..
(1:14 PM) Thusness: and some use it to enter a state of trance.
(1:14 PM) AEN: oic..
(1:14 PM) AEN: yea heard of it
(1:14 PM) Thusness: those tribes.
(1:14 PM) AEN: like shamans also ?
(1:14 PM) AEN: ya
(1:14 PM) Thusness: even those sheng2 da3
(1:14 PM) AEN: dharma dan also suggested its possible to use drugs
(1:14 PM) Thusness: and medium
(1:15 PM) Thusness: is it?
(1:15 PM) AEN: but he warned must be under guidance of an experienced teacher
(1:15 PM) Thusness: it is better not to mention.
(1:15 PM) AEN: and not really recommend
(1:15 PM) AEN: oic
(1:15 PM) Thusness: i think ppl will just try.
(1:15 PM) AEN: lol
(1:15 PM) Thusness: i hv no problem if it is use for one to experience the reality of consciousness.
(1:16 PM) AEN: oic
(1:16 PM) Thusness: seriously. I think it is okie in fact.
(1:16 PM) AEN: lol
(1:16 PM) AEN: icic
(1:16 PM) Thusness: to have a glimpse of the deeper essence is worth.
(1:16 PM) AEN: u try b4? 😛
(1:16 PM) Thusness: many do not understand.
(1:16 PM) AEN: oic
(1:16 PM) Thusness: of course not. 🙂
(1:16 PM) Thusness: i don't need to. 🙂
(1:17 PM) AEN: lol icic
(1:17 PM) Thusness: many of the states that are described are being experienced by me.
(1:17 PM) AEN: oic
(1:17 PM) AEN: but anyway how can lsd help?
(1:17 PM) AEN: and also u said many ppl went high? if went high then cannot enter witnessing?
(1:17 PM) Thusness: just to allow one to understand the further dimension of consciousness.
(1:17 PM) AEN: oic
(1:17 PM) Thusness: they can.
(1:18 PM) Thusness: if they have certain background and understanding, it can lead to illumination.
(1:18 PM) AEN: icic
(1:18 PM) AEN: but only to stage 1-2?
(1:18 PM) Thusness: yeah
(1:18 PM) AEN: icic
(1:19 PM) Thusness: no way into stage 4 or 5.
(1:19 PM) Thusness: it is unlikely.
(1:19 PM) AEN: oic
(1:19 PM) Thusness: that has to do with insight.
(1:19 PM) AEN: icic
(1:19 PM) Thusness: and seen the illusoriness of background.
(1:19 PM) Thusness: without this, the pronounce state of clarity rest at the level of "I AM".
(1:20 PM) AEN: oic
(1:20 PM) Thusness: that is why non-dual is a very precious state.
(1:20 PM) Thusness: and one should work hard to thoroughly experience clarity of non-dual.
(1:20 PM) AEN: icic..
(1:20 PM) Thusness: by second door and emptiness.
(1:20 PM) AEN: oic
Mr. A: "I can accept that 'this is what you call' anatta 🙂
I agree with it as a practice principle for Buddhist liberation based on anatta.
But if I were describing Being, I could not say in good conscience that Awareness is not existent.
It's like the sky: empty of its own content but not utterly non existent.
Of course the words cannot capture it. But this is obvious in experience. "
You are having experience of no-mind but view of one-mind.
15/4/13 12:50:31 AM: John Tan: No mind is like the mirror becomes transparent and there is just that
15/4/13 12:51:22 AM: John Tan: But the view is the reflection and the mirror is not the same
15/4/13 12:52:09 AM: John Tan: Like sky is not the flowing cloud
Mr. A: "Meanwhile the mahayanists happily make up suttas and attribute them to the Buddha...
...a small sin if they still arise from someone with attainment...
...but to me the ends do not justify the means and I don't like the lies
...it destroys faith in the whole of Buddhism.

I see otherwise. I find Mahayana teachings deep, profound, beautiful and a natural extension of the insight of anatta found in Theravada to all phenomena (twofold emptiness). Prajna + Bodhicitta is important and is the mother of all Buddhas and our being able to encounter and discuss the dharma now.

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