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As the storm rages on within and without, take refuge in knowing that the investigation into your true identity carries with it a power far beyond the physical and the ethereal.
Sim Pern Chong


  • Soh Wei Yu
    "take refuge in knowing"
    Although I often post about anatman and emptiness, it is crucial in the beginning to "take refuge in knowing" to realize the "knowingness"/"I AM" first. So for beginners, it is good to have the first direct realization of that Knowingness/Pure Presence/Pure Awareness (whatever terms you use - different people have different terms) first, otherwise all the thinking and intellectualizing about anatman and emptiness will remain theoretical still rather than an insight into the nature of mind or consciousness. So I am glad Angelo is pointing out the different insights and posting videos on youtube and sharing posts about them. Further investigation after the doubtless realisation of Presence will further clarify anatman (no self or emptiness of self) and emptiness (twofold emptiness: self and phenomena are empty).
    Just today I sent a message to someone who shared a post on reddit indicating 'I AM' as stream entry. This is a very common mistaken understanding of what stream entry mean but has no basis in Buddhist scriptures (another common misunderstanding of stream entry is a 'blackout cessation', but I digress). I had to point out that stream entry is the realisation of anatman, not I AM.
    Kyle Dixon also said in reddit maybe two years ago, "As your practice progresses you should begin to familiarize with that knowing capacity. Even with bipolar, in the height of happiness, the depths of depression, in the intensity of anger, that knowing capacity is always the same, stable, bright, clear. Like the surface of a mirror.
    Anger, sadness, happiness and everything else are like reflections that appear in the surface of the mirror but don’t affect it.
    Be the mirror and don’t get caught up in the reflections.
    This is not yet stream entry. But it can be a basis for practice that will help you get there."
    The above practice, along with contemplations like self-enquiry, will lead to the realisation of the aspect of Clarity, and with dedicated practices, it usually does not need a long time to have an initial glimpse or realisation -- likely in months or a few years (it took me about two years of inquiring from 2008 to February 2010 to have the first self-realization). An example of self-enquiry is asking "Before birth, who am I?" or just "Who/What am I?" or this one: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2020/11/what-is-your-very-mind-right-now.html
    Even this is an important realisation, the beginner's rigpa which serves as basis for practice. Kyle: "Vidyā as the gnas gyu shes pa or knower of stillness and movement is also one’s “own present awareness, left as it is, in natural ease, beyond qualities and flaws to be added or removed, accepted or rejected,” as this is just describing the clarity of your mind, which we call “vidyā” for beginners, left in its unmodified condition.", "When you begin your vidyā is just the knower of stillness and movement as he mentioned, just the clarity of mind being called “vidyā” because it has a knowing capacity."
    Yet, if we stop here, it is no different from non-Buddhist schools which emphasize the clarity aspect, from Samkhya to Vedanta and contemplative traditions of all other religions. Even the Dalai Lama said, "Nature - there are many different levels. Conventional level, one nature. There are also, you see, different levels. Then, ultimate level, ultimate reality... so simply realise the Clarity of the Mind, that is the conventional level. That is common with Hindus, like that. So we have to know these different levels...."
    Perhaps the only difference with the non-Buddhists is that if you are trained in Buddhist view, you 'intellectually' know that there is still a step further, that you need to realise its empty nature, but intellectual or inferential view is very different from direct realisation. Clarity will still appear very real to you, unchanging, ultimate and inherently existent (like a background or ground of being out of which everything emerges) even if you intellectually understand anatta, as I did even at (in fact long before) my I AM phase. This is because the Clarity aspect is the aspect of consciousness which will be experienced as "More Real than Real" and under prevailing ignorance, it will certainly be reified as ultimate reality rather than empty and illusory and will be perceived as self-existent/independent rather than empty of its own existence besides presencing appearances.
    Why is discovering you are the mirror not yet stream entry? What is stream entry? Kyle Dixon said recently, "The simplest explanation is that stream entry is an instance of awakening where it is experientially realized that there has never actually been a self at any point in time.
    Like tasting sugar for the first time, after that insight dawns you will have unerring confidence in the dharma because the teachings are no longer just a theory, it becomes a lived and embodied truth.", "Anātman is a dharma seal that is only experientially knowable by either stream entrants [srotapannis] or first bhūmi āryas. It is essentially the realization of emptiness as related to the mind." - Kyle Dixon's reddit posts compilation https://docs.google.com/.../2PACX.../pub...
    Hence the initial rigpa/vidya, which is knowledge of the aspect of unfabricated clarity, must be ripened further into the realisation of anatman/emptiness as the nature of mind and all appearances, only then can one's vidya/rigpa be considered "mature" (traditionally speaking).
    And what is the realisation of anatman? Kyle [Krodha] also wrote recently, "The Buddhist view is that there is no actual seer of sights, no hearer of sounds, no feeler of feelings, no knower of known. When this is experientially recognized in a nonconceptual way, that is “awakening.”" Kyle also clarified, "The looking does indeed change though. Right now it seems like there is a stable looker who abides as thoughts arise and pass, etc., but this too is a total delusion."
    Clarifying the anatman, dependent origination and empty nature of self and all phenomena [awareness included] is a crucial emphasis of Buddhadharma even after unfabricated clarity is discovered.
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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Another nice description by Kyle Dixon on realising the nature of mind / anatman, back in 2014:
    "'Self luminous' and 'self knowing' are concepts which are used to convey the absence of a subjective reference point which is mediating the manifestation of appearance. Instead of a subjective cognition or knower which is 'illuminating' objective appearances, it is realized that the sheer exertion of our cognition has always and only been the sheer exertion of appearance itself. Or rather that cognition and appearance are not valid as anything in themselves. Since both are merely fabricated qualities neither can be validated or found when sought. This is not a union of subject and object, but is the recognition that the subject and object never arose in the first place [advaya]. ", "The cognition is empty. That is what it means to recognize the nature of mind [sems nyid]. The clarity [cognition] of mind is recognized to be empty, which is sometimes parsed as the inseparability of clarity and emptiness, or nondual clarity and emptiness." - Kyle Dixon, 2014
Soh Wei Yu
"We don’t have any misunderstanding. Again this is rhetoric versus reality, up until the third vision, “emptiness” is obscured and therefore at the time of direct introduction it is merely rhetorical. The nature of mind, as non-dual clarity and emptiness is not truly known until the third vision, again per Longchenpa, per Khenpo Ngachung, etc., not something I have made up. What do we generally recognize in direct introduction? We recognize clarity [gsal ba], and the aspect of vidyā that is concomitant with that clarity. Vidyā is then what carries our practice, but vidyā is not the citta dharmatā, the nature of mind.
This is why the first two visions are likened to śamatha, and the last two are likened to vipaśyanā."
- Kyle

(note: third vision is also correlated with first bhumi and above)
The Degrees of Rigpa
The Degrees of Rigpa
The Degrees of Rigpa
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