Ted Biringer wrote:

"In sum, sudden awakening simply refers to the realization of what we are and have been all along. It is the essential first step to authentic Zen practice. Sit down and direct your attention [i]from[/i] what you are aware of [i]to[/i] the very essence of awareness itself - this mind is Buddha."

Soh replied:

I agree it is an important first step. But it is not the last and it is not what the Buddha came here to teach. Otherwise he would not be here -- the Vedas and Upanishads would have sufficed, and he would not have left his two Samkhya teachers.

First Mind is Buddha.

Then Seeing Form is Apprehending Mind, Hearing Sound is Realizing Dao. (见色明心,闻声悟道)

Then the realization of No Mind, No Buddha.

That is getting to Ma Tzu and Bodhidharma's message (especially his text The Doctrine of No Mind ), and Hui-Neng's and Dogen's 'Impermanence is Buddha-Nature'.

Ted wrote:

"To recognize that objects of mind (phenomena, forms, dharmas) arise and cease endlessly, while mind itself neither arises nor ceases is not to deny the reality (Buddha-nature) of such objects – just the opposite in fact. It is, in truth, the very coming and going of all transient forms that allows us to awaken to that which is ever and always free from coming and going"

Soh replied:

What you are describing is the Shrenika false view of eternalism which Dogen refuted.

From Bendowa, by Zen Master Dogen

Question Ten:

Some have said: Do not concern yourself about birth-and-death. There is a way to promptly rid yourself of birth-and-death. It is by grasping the reason for the eternal immutability of the 'mind-nature.' The gist of it is this: although once the body is born it proceeds inevitably to death, the mind-nature never perishes. Once you can realize that the mind-nature, which does not transmigrate in birth-and-death, exists in your own body, you make it your fundamental nature. Hence the body, being only a temporary form, dies here and is reborn there without end, yet the mind is immutable, unchanging throughout past, present, and future. To know this is to be free from birth-and-death. By realizing this truth, you put a final end to the transmigratory cycle in which you have been turning. When your body dies, you enter the ocean of the original nature. When you return to your origin in this ocean, you become endowed with the wondrous virtue of the Buddha-patriarchs. But even if you are able to grasp this in your present life, because your present physical existence embodies erroneous karma from prior lives, you are not the same as the sages.

"Those who fail to grasp this truth are destined to turn forever in the cycle of birth-and-death. What is necessary, then, is simply to know without delay the meaning of the mind-nature's immutability. What can you expect to gain from idling your entire life away in purposeless sitting?"

What do you think of this statement? Is it essentially in accord with the Way of the Buddhas and patriarchs?

Answer 10:

You have just expounded the view of the Senika heresy. It is certainly not the Buddha Dharma.

According to this heresy, there is in the body a spiritual intelligence. As occasions arise this intelligence readily discriminates likes and dislikes and pros and cons, feels pain and irritation, and experiences suffering and pleasure - it is all owing to this spiritual intelligence. But when the body perishes, this spiritual intelligence separates from the body and is reborn in another place. While it seems to perish here, it has life elsewhere, and thus is immutable and imperishable. Such is the standpoint of the Senika heresy.

But to learn this view and try to pass it off as the Buddha Dharma is more foolish than clutching a piece of broken roof tile supposing it to be a golden jewel. Nothing could compare with such a foolish, lamentable delusion. Hui-chung of the T'ang dynasty warned strongly against it. Is it not senseless to take this false view - that the mind abides and the form perishes - and equate it to the wondrous Dharma of the Buddhas; to think, while thus creating the fundamental cause of birth-and-death, that you are freed from birth-and-death? How deplorable! Just know it for a false, non-Buddhist view, and do not lend a ear to it.

I am compelled by the nature of the matter, and more by a sense of compassion, to try to deliver you from this false view. You must know that the Buddha Dharma preaches as a matter of course that body and mind are one and the same, that the essence and the form are not two. This is understood both in India and in China, so there can be no doubt about it. Need I add that the Buddhist doctrine of immutability teaches that all things are immutable, without any differentiation between body and mind. The Buddhist teaching of mutability states that all things are mutable, without any differentiation between essence and form. In view of this, how can anyone state that the body perishes and the mind abides? It would be contrary to the true Dharma.

Beyond this, you must also come to fully realize that birth-and-death is in and of itself nirvana. Buddhism never speaks of nirvana apart from birth-and-death. Indeed, when someone thinks that the mind, apart from the body, is immutable, not only does he mistake it for Buddha-wisdom, which is free from birth-and-death, but the very mind that makes such a discrimination is not immutable, is in fact even then turning in birth-and-death. A hopeless situation, is it not?

You should ponder this deeply: since the Buddha Dharma has always maintained the oneness of body and mind, why, if the body is born and perishes, would the mind alone, separated from the body, not be born and die as well? If at one time body and mind were one, and at another time not one, the preaching of the Buddha would be empty and untrue. Moreover, in thinking that birth-and-death is something we should turn from, you make the mistake of rejecting the Buddha Dharma itself. You must guard against such thinking.

Understand that what Buddhists call the Buddhist doctrine of the mind-nature, the great and universal aspect encompassing all phenomena, embraces the entire universe, without differentiating between essence and form, or concerning itself with birth or death. There is nothing - enlightenment and nirvana included - that is not the mind-nature. All dharmas, the "myriad forms dense and close" of the universe - are alike in being this one Mind. All are included without exception. All those dharmas, which serves as "gates" or entrances to the Way, are the same as one Mind. For a Buddhist to preach that there is no disparity between these dharma-gates indicates that he understands the mind-nature.

In this one Dharma [one Mind], how could there be any differentiate between body and mind, any separation of birth-and-death and nirvana? We are all originally children of the Buddha, we should not listen to madmen who spout non-Buddhist views.









    Yin Ling
    Awareness of awareness is so tiring and quite contrived. I wonder why ppl keep teaching this. Easier to hold on to a god.

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Yes more for realizing the first phase. Problem is when people think it is ultimate and final.
    As John Tan said before:
    “Awareness aware of itself soon becomes The measure of one's depth is in the ineffability and marvelous manifestation in activity. Anatta and emptiness cannot be dead.” – John Tan, 2013
    (12:58 AM) Thusness: there is no essential nature
    (12:58 AM) AEN: oic..
    (12:58 AM) Thusness: when we say 'Self', it is learnt
    (12:59 AM) Thusness: we say permanent, is just an abstraction
    there is luminosity but it is empty
    (12:59 AM) AEN: icic..
    (1:00 AM) Thusness: what is meant by Awareness watching Awareness?
    (1:00 AM) Thusness: it is for the beginner to first discard discursive thoughts and direct realized what Awareness is like.
    it is just a first glimpse
    (1:01 AM) Thusness: when we see that and think that we can rest in awareness, we are deluded.
    (1:01 AM) Thusness: awareness always manifests
    (1:01 AM) AEN: we cannot rest in awareness?
    (1:01 AM) Thusness: there is nothing to rest
    what is there to rest
    (1:02 AM) AEN: oic
    (1:02 AM) Thusness: true resting is the practice of vipassana
    is to open to whatever is
    (1:03 AM) Thusness: Awareness watching Awareness is for the Realisation
    not for the development
    (1:03 AM) Thusness: once realized, there is nothing to watch
    (1:03 AM) AEN: icic..
    (1:04 AM) Thusness: anything further is mistaking a stage as Realisation
    all is empty.
    (1:05 AM) Thusness: a meditator meditating into absorption is also empty.
    if attached, he will be equally confused.
    (1:05 AM) Thusness: just like a flower, where is the redness?
    only dependently originates
    (1:06 AM) Thusness: if u are attached, when in other realms, u still seek for flower, then u will be confused.
    (1:06 AM) Thusness: still seek for redness
    when without the body, what is the experience of absorption?
    (1:06 AM) Thusness: is it still the same?
    (1:07 AM) Thusness: is there any absorption that is inherently 'there'
    get it?
    (1:07 AM) AEN: ic..
    btw absorption can be sustained without body rite
    (1:08 AM) Thusness: it depends
    it is the mind state
    (1:08 AM) Thusness: what sort of tendencies
    if it is strong enough, yes.
    (1:09 AM) Thusness: if u have emptiness realisation and is strong enough, u will also see whatever in whatever state, realize emptiness.
    (1:10 AM) Thusness: there is no difference.
    (1:11 AM) Thusness: for example with the experience of "I AM", just sound, though completely different phenomena, it is immediately understood as "I AM:
    get it?
    (1:11 AM) Thusness: it depends on the degree and intensity of the realization.
    I see "I AM" everywhere.
    (1:12 AM) Thusness: means non-dual
    i see sound as I AM.
    I see taste...etc
    (1:12 AM) Thusness: then I AM is deem unnecessary
    (1:13 AM) Thusness: that path the base for the next stage.
    I am not more bothered by "I AM"
    (1:13 AM) Thusness: just like 1 to 12 timetable
    (1:13 AM) Thusness: once mastered, u r no more bothered by it.
    (1:14 AM) Thusness: u can make use of it to understand more complex mathematics
    (1:14 AM) AEN: oic..
    (1:14 AM) Thusness: then u c DO
    again till u see DO everywhere
    (1:14 AM) Thusness: then u progress to spontaneous perfection
    get it?
    (1:15 AM) AEN: ic..

    Yin Ling
    Soh Wei Yu true lah. It’s inevitable I think, to go through the awareness phase. I can’t see how one can jump to anatta straight, maybe super wisdom haha.

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Yin Ling yes an important realisation. Otherwise might have to do reverse insights later:

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Anatta and Pure Presence
    Someone told me about having been through insights of no self and then progressing to a realisation of the ground of being.
    I replied:
    Hi ____
    Thanks for the sharing.
    This is the I AM realization. Had that realisation after contemplating Before birth, who am I? For two years. It’s an important realization. Many people had insights into certain aspects of no self, impersonality, and “dry non dual experience” without doubtless realization of Presence. Therefore I AM realisation is a progression for them.
    Similarly in Zen, asking who am I is to directly experience presence. How about asking a koan of what is the cup? What is the chirping bird, the thunder clap? What is its purpose?
    When I talked about anatta, it is a direct insight of Presence and recognizing what we called background presence, is in the forms and colours, sounds and sensations, clean and pure. Authentication is be authenticated by all things. Also there is no presence other than that. What we call background is really just an image of foreground Presence, even when Presence is assuming its subtle formless all pervasiveness.
    However due to ignorance, we have a very inherent and dual view, if we do see through the nature of presence, the mind continues to be influenced by dualistic and inherent tendencies. Many teach to overcome it through mere non conceptuality but this is highly misleading.
    Thusness also wrote:
    The anatta I realized is quite unique. It is not just a realization of no-self. But it must first have an intuitive insight of Presence. Otherwise will have to reverse the phases of insights
    Labels: Anatta, Luminosity |
    Anatta and Pure Presence
    Anatta and Pure Presence
    Anatta and Pure Presence

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    (1:15 AM) Thusness: u must understand that Eternal Witness is a Realization
    (1:16 AM) Thusness: u must understand that anatta is also a realisation
    (1:16 AM) Thusness: one may experience non-dual but insight need not arise...this is what i always emphasized.
    emptiness is also a realization
    spontaneous perfection is also a realisation
    (1:17 AM) Thusness: all these requires a quantum leap in perception
    (1:18 AM) Thusness: then these realization will gradually burns away those latent deep tendencies.
    get it?
    (1:18 AM) AEN: oic..
    (1:18 AM) Thusness: i got to go now.
    (1:18 AM) AEN: ok
    (1:22 AM) Thusness is now Offline
    (1:26 AM) Thusness: By the way, don't always argue
    (1:27 AM) AEN: lol
    (1:27 AM) Thusness: when u want to lead, it must be gradual.
    (1:27 AM) AEN: icic
    (1:27 AM) Thusness: nobody can understand at one go.
    (1:28 AM) Thusness: if i straight away tell u from day one spontaneous arising, u will run away
    or think that i m mad
    instead it took 6-7 years
    (1:28 AM) Thusness: similarly when in dharmaoverground, i first talk about "I M"
    (1:29 AM) AEN: lol
    (1:29 AM) Thusness: and even until One Mind, there is already problem
    (1:30 AM) Thusness: u don't go talk here and there about no need to do this and all is already perfected
    kok ur head
    u know all already perfected ah
    (1:31 AM) AEN: oic.. lol
    (1:32 AM) AEN: btw my post got problem? u mean i wrote about all perfected?
    (1:32 AM) Thusness: for ur own practice it is okie but with guidance
    (1:33 AM) Thusness: for writing post in forum, it is better to stress the essenceless nature of awareness
    (1:33 AM) Thusness: because when there is no one to guide, it is easy to fall into the advaita understanding
    (1:34 AM) AEN: oic..
    (1:35 AM) Thusness: for u, ur theoretical understanding runs ahead of ur experience
    u already understand non-dual
    (1:35 AM) Thusness: but u r now experiencing dual awareness
    (1:36 AM) Thusness: means u experience awareness but distinctly different from phenomena arising
    (1:37 AM) Thusness: so it is okie to continue experience this Awareness, it voidness, its clarity, its luminosity, its presence
    as vivid as possible
    till u have "I AM" sort of experience
    (1:37 AM) Thusness: then u proceed to non-dual
    (1:38 AM) Thusness: in fact up to a certain phase, i will tell u to do bodily sensation
    (1:39 AM) AEN: back

  • Soh Wei Yu
    <-- John Tan wrote this one year before I broke through to I AM and then anatta

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