(Note: this is still speaking from the perspective of one mind and no mind, but not the insight of anatta)

Taken from Facebook group, Transparent Being
Awareness is the fabric of the universe or Quantum Intelligence. Whatever we have "contact" with in any way is never outside of our awareness. Can we separate any color, sound, taste, smell or feeling from awareness or consciousness? Since we can't find a border separating colors, sounds, tastes, smells and feelings from awareness... we recognize that awareness IS color, sound, taste, smell, feelings and mental phenomena.
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  • Al Garcia, Grant Tyler and 9 others like this.
  • Ted Thompson Color, sound, etc are occurances within Awareness. Awareness can witness sensations or can be free of them. Awareness is self-existent and transcendental. All thoughts and perceptions are temporary experiences within awareness and consist only of awareness, yet awareness is not identical with thoughts and perceptions.

    Awareness is real, timeless and unbounded. Thoughts and perceptions have no reality. Awareness is real. Thoughts and perceptions are unreal. There can be no real relationship at all between what is real and what is unreal. Refer to Gaudapada and Shankaracharya.

    There is a very significant "border" between the real and the unreal.
  • Michael Orchard Aloha Ted...wld u say there is a "border" between the surface of a mirror and it's reflections...?
  • Ted Thompson Between Awareness and the objects of awareness is a gigantic conceptual gulf. There are 5 factors in experience - Being, Awareness and Bliss on the one hand and Name and Form (thoughts and perceptions) on the other. Being, Awareness and Bliss are absolutely real, identical and more subtle than any object. All objects in awareness are fleeting, temporary, unreal, totally dependent on Awareness for their spurious ephemeral appearance.

    Awareness is niralambaya, totally independent of objects. There is no way whatsoever that the permanent, timeless awareness is identical with thoughts and perceptions.

    There is no spacial distance between the mirror and its reflections. Yet, they are hardly identical. If you think the reflections in a mirror and the mirror are identical, then I would not want to sent you to a shop to buy a mirror.

    All thoughts and perceptions are appearances in awareness and dependent on awareness. Awareness is self-existent and dependent on nothing. Objects cannot appear without awareness. Awareness is singular. There is ONLY awareness. There is no way in which Awareness and its objects are identical.
  • Ted Thompson “Trust in awareness, in being awake, rather than in transient and unstable conditions” quoted from a Jackson Peterson post down below.
  • Jackson Peterson Ted Thompson, your description implies a fundamental dualism. In that model an awareness is a separate entity from experience: like purusha and prakriti. It seems there is an enduring "thing" called awareness. However the better example is the ocean and its waves. We can't separate the waves from the ocean. Waves are the ocean. Likewise colors, sounds, perceptions etc. are waves of awareness. All experience is essentially empty. That essential emptiness reveals the true subtle nature of all experience. Experience IS awareness not that which is perceived by awareness. It's all awareness, waves of awareness with no separation between experience and the awareness. Actually experience is the awareness of it. The problem with Advaita is the imputation of a changeless Self that appears like a witness. That's an illusion. Seeing the emptiness of the Self, reveals a completely undefined dimension that can't be conceptualized by any description. It is this empty dimension of Intelligence that manifests as everything. It's not that there is some Self that stands apart and transcendently apart. The ocean is the waves. Non-dual samadhi reveals this in consciousness.
  • Jackson Peterson You are the bird chirping in the tree. You are the wind blowing through the pines. You are the sunset's brilliant colors. You are all of it! All of It!
  • Ted Thompson My statement is clearly non-dual. There is only Awareness.
  • Ted Thompson A calm sea has no waves. Samadhi reveals consciousness without content.

    "The problem with Advaita is the imputation of a changeless Self that appears like a witness." This is a totally false charge.

    Awareness is not an appearance. Awareness does not appear at all. We can only know Awareness by being that.

    No advaitin has ever described Awareness as a "thing." If you want to criticise Advaita, you should first read Shankara and Gaudapada so you know what you are talking about. A good, easy simple place to start is with Shankara's Atma Bodha.

    "The ocean is the waves." Tell that to the creatures that live thousands of feet below the surface.
  • Jackson Peterson Ted Thompson, I have studied Advaita. The problem is the notion of Self. It implies a standing apart Divinity, Brahman that is untouched by experience. Because the concept Self is the referent, it implies a subjectivity that continues and persists beyond space and time, yet in it. Awareness IS appearance. Appearance is "emptiness". Awareness is emptiness. The emptiness of appearance is the presence of awareness. Empty-Form: like a vast and infinite hologram. Nagarjuna and Madhyamaka is a good place to start...
  • Ted Thompson Brahman is both trancendental and immanent. It is beyond the duality of subject and object, of subjectivity and objectivity.

    Brahman is untouched and has nothing to stand apart from. Brahman is singular.

    Names and form are empty. Awareness is beyond the duality of emptiness and fullness. Awareness is the witness of emptiness and fullness, and is transcendental beyond all changing phenomena. Awareness and emptiness are both useful pointers, but emptiness is not ultimate.

    I am quite happy with the Advaita of the rishis, Gaudapada, Shankara, Vidyaranya, Ramakrishna, Ramana, Atmananda, Swami Krishnananda and Dayananda. The only form of Buddhism that I have much interest is genuine Dzogchen.

    I would only read Nagarjuna and Madhyamaka out of a historical interest. Presently I find the Upanishads and the Ashtavakra Gita to be infinitely rewarding.

    My first teacher was Shunru Suzuki Roshi of the San Francisco Zen Center.
  • Ted Thompson Waiting for the edit button...

    of the SF Zen Center. I find Gaudapada and Shankara to be the most brilliant minds I have ever encountered and feel a deep sense of communion with the rishis.

    It is all Brahman.
  • Jackson Peterson Suzuki Roshi was my teacher, at Bush St. in 1968... My Soto Dharma name is Honshin. We can leave our discussion for now. But Dzogchen is my expertise... Are you in the Dzogchen Discussion group?

    There is no concept like Brahman in Dzogchen.


23/10/2013, Jackson Peterson: "there is no sense here of an awareness "behind" appearances. The empty nature of appearances IS awareness, not to be found in a separate "behind" or "within". Appearances ARE awareness glowing. The aware quality of appearances is their emptiness. There is no separate "viewer" behind as an observer. If there was we would have dualism. Knowing appearance/emptiness/awareness as one piece that includes everything in all moments is the gnostic insight. Please share this with John for his comments.,, thanks!""


10/27, 1:37am

Dogen: "When you see forms or hear sounds fully engaging body-and-mind, you grasp things directly. Unlike things and their reflections in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illumined the other side is dark."


Xue Feng said, “To comprehend this matter, it is similar to the ancient mirror – Hu comes, Hu appears; Han comes, Han appears.” Xuan Sha heard this and said, “Suddenly the mirror is broken, then how?” “Hu and Han both disappear.” Xuan Sha said, “Old monk’s heels have not touched ground yet.” Jian says instead, “Hu and Han are actualized/manifest.”



Seppo: “My concrete state is like one face of the eternal mirror. When a foreigner comes, a foreigner appears. When a Chinaman comes, a Chinaman appears. Gensa: If suddenly a clear mirror comes along, what then? Seppo: The foreigner and the Chinaman both become invisible. Gensa: I am not like that. Seppo: How is it in your case…If a clear mirror comes along, what then? Gensa: Smashed into hundreds of bits and pieces.” Dôgen comments: “…the truth should be expressed like that.”


Ven Sheng Yen

This is not the ultimate state, because if you have nothing but awareness of the environment and there is no self apparent, there must still be a self to be aware of the environment. Someone who is in this state is certainly in a unified state, because there seems to be no self and only the environment seems to exist. This is called the state of "one mind," but still it is not Ch'an. There must be "no mind' if it is to be Ch'an.

A true Ch'an state should not be compared to an all-reflecting mirror. All things exists without the mirror. In this state everything is seen very clearly, but there is no concept of outside or inside, existing or not existing, having or not having.
Jackson Peterson
10/27, 8:34am
Jackson Peterson

Ah... I see! It can never be found as other than this. It has no shape or form or existence of its own other than "this". There is not something appearing in a knowing awareness. Rather the knowing awareness has no other "private" existence other than as this. This moment is always its best shot!
Jackson Peterson
10/27, 6:45pm
Jackson Peterson

Interesting... its clear there is no "perceiver" or "experiencer" there just vivid experience. The idea of a "mirror like awareness" is placing an intermediary in the middle. The "intermediary" actually is a projection of mind: the witness or self. There is only direct experience as what It is. There is no observer of it. There is no awareness of it. It's completely direct. I see now what you have been trying to point out. Your Shen Yen link was instrumental in pointing this out.

Jackson Peterson
10/28, 4:14am
Jackson Peterson

Just posted this on your blog:

I think Soh makes a valid point: there is no reason to impute "awareness" to be an ontological entity that perceives. The Buddha Nature is a perception complete in its moment. Awareness is the vividness of experience not a perceiver or observer of it. There is no middle man perceiving, other than the one imagined by the the mind. Otherwise we still have a subtle empty self called "awareness" that "has" experiences. Awareness should be used as a descriptive term not one implying a subject that is aware. This fortunately or unfortunately shatters the mirror that was only believed to be there....


Jackson Peterson Two points if I may, and I don't mean to be pedagogic nor nit picky: Dharmadhatu appears as all phenomena not as a welcomer, enjoiner, embracer etc. Also rigpa is not a host to guests but is the wisdom present as both. All appearances are equally: empty essence, vivid arising and energetic form. Rigpa is this "knowledge" present in all phenomena including itself. We have to be careful not to lean into the eternalistic model of a separate Brahman which is like the host to appearances as guests. The relationship between the host and the guest is much more incestuous! 3 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 2

Jackson Peterson 11:46pm Jackson Peterson
I like this quote from the Buddha: ""If a monk abandons passion for the property of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no landing of consciousness. Consciousness, thus not having landed, not increasing, not concocting, is released. Owing to its release, it is steady. Owing to its steadiness, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he (the monk) is totally unbound right within. He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

Jackson Peterson Maryrose D'Angelo, I mean a memory is not the naked self-knowing moment itself. I'm not sure what you mean by "unified consciousness". I don't notice a unified consciousness, but rather an absence of a consciousness that could be unified or not. Does that make sense? 3 hours ago via mobile · Like

2 Responses
  1. Jackson Says:

    I think Soh makes a valid point: there is no reason to impute "awareness" to be an ontological entity that perceives. The Buddha Nature is a perception complete in its moment. Awareness is the vividness of experience not a perceiver or observer of it. There is no middle man perceiving, other than the one imagined by the the mind. Otherwise we still have a subtle empty self called "awareness" that "has" experiences. Awareness should be used as a descriptive term not one implying a subject that is aware. This fortunately or unfortunately shatters the mirror that was only believed to be there....

  2. Anurag Jain Says:

    People have a "wrong" concept of Advaita. Perhaps it would be better to say, a "limited" concept of Advaita. Advaita talks about "non-dual" nature of reality which is both "nirguna" and "saguna" or "nirguno-guni". That means reality is both "no attributes" and "infinite attributes".