Thusness wrote to me in 2012:

Although you see how precise Theravada teaching is, your current mode of practice should be as direct and uncontrived as possible. When you see nothing behind and magical appearances too are empty, awareness is naturally lucid and free. Views and all elaborations dissolve, 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 (2fold emptiness),
Then view is fully actualized and all experiences are great liberation.
Hopefully, ByPasser (Thusness) could comment on this ongoing discussion taking place in Dharma Connection :)

Justin Chapweske

20 hrs · Bozeman, MT, United States

I'd like to discuss "Maha Experience" that Thusness talks about.

Is the purpose of the Maha Experience simply that it feels good?

Is it correct that this experience is heavily based on view?

Is it the combination of thorough experience of non-dual luminosity and a strong view of dependent origination / utter interconnectedness?

For a while now, non-dual luminosity and emptiness as aspects of experience are something I can re-confirm very simply and immediately.

Dependent origination, however, has always seemed more abstract to me and falls more into the realm of "view" than "experience". I cannot say that I experience time, so I cannot say that I experience causality, so I must say that dependent origination is a view.

Now that I am contemplating dependent origination, I am noticing a somewhat interesting state where everything becomes more precious and wholesome in its immediacy. Often, I will feel disconnected from others because I feel I cannot pierce the bubble of their subjectivity and omnisciently know what they are experiencing. However, with this dependent origination view and a view of luminosity, I see that there is no bubble of subjectivity since all phenomena is self-known and arising together in this moment as the full awesome expression of everything.

The basis of everything is everything else and only exists as this current expression, this experience. Everything that is feels so special and precious, because its all sharing in this expression together, even if its ignorant of it.

So, this feels like a state or a feeling, like gratitude or compassion is a feeling, and it seems to be heavily based on this dependent origination view. Its not something that can be confirmed as intrinsic to experience in any given moment, since it seems dependent on this view.

Is this the "Maha Experience" that Thusness is talking about, or am I experiencing something different?

Unlike ·

    You, Michael Zaurov and Viorica Doina Neacsu like this.

    Nicholas Mason It is "nyam" (tibetan), and is to be disregarded as far as ultimate liberation is concerned as it is conditioned and impermanent.

    19 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1

    Nicholas Mason Who is it that experiences this?

    19 hours ago · Like · 1

    Albert Hong Well side stepping the blatant forms of Nihilism.

    I think thats a good description of Maha interpenetration.

    But its been an on and off experience for me.

    So maybe Soh can talk about it some more.

    17 hours ago · Like · 1

    Albert Hong

    "The experience of Maha may sound as if one is going after certain sort of experience and appears to be in contradiction with the 'ordinariness of enlightenment' promoted in Zen Buddhism. This is not true and in fact, without this experience, non-dual is incomplete. This section is not about Maha as a stage to achieve but to see that Sunyata is Maha in nature. In Maha, one does not feel self, one 'feels' universe; one does not feel 'Brahman' but feels 'interconnectedness'; one does not feel 'helplessness' due to 'dependence and interconnection' but feels great without boundary, spontaneous and marvelous. Now lets get back to 'ordinariness'.

    Ordinariness has always been Taoism’s forte. In Zen we also see the importance of this being depicted in those enlightenment models like Tozan’s 5 ranks and the The Ten Oxherding Pictures. But ordinariness must only be understood that non-dual and the Maha world of suchness is nothing beyond. There is no beyond realm to arrive at and never a separated state from our ordinary daily world; rather it is to bring this primordial, original and untainted experience of non-dual and Maha experience into the most mundane activities. If this experience is not found in most mundane and ordinary activities then practitioners have not matured their understandings and practices.

    Before Maha experience has always been rare occurrence in the natural state and was treated as a passing trend that comes and goes. Inducing the experience often involves concentration on repeatedly doing some task for a short period of time for example,

    If we were to breathe in and out, in and out…till there is simply this entire sensation of breath, just breath as all causes and conditions coming into this moment of manifestation.

    If we were to focus on the sensation of stepping, the sensation of hardness, just the sensation of the hardness, till there is simply this entire sensation ‘hardness’ when the feet touches the ground, just this ‘hardness’ as all causes and conditions coming into this moment of manifestation.

    If we were to focus on hearing someone hitting a bell, the stick, the bell, the vibration of the air, the ears all coming together for this sensation of sound to arise, we will have Maha experience.

    However ever since incorporating the teaching of dependent origination into non-dual presence, over the years it has become more ‘accessible’ but never has this been understood as a ground state. There seems to be a predictable relationship of seeing interdependent arising and emptiness on the experience of non-dual presence.

    A week ago, the clear experience of Maha dawned and became quite effortless and at the same time there is a direct realization that it is also a natural state. In Sunyata, Maha is natural and must be fully factored into the path of experiencing whatever arises. Nevertheless Maha as a ground state requires the maturing of non-dual experience; we cannot feel entirely as the interconnectedness of everything coming spontaneously into being as this moment of vivid manifestation with a divided mind.

    The universe is this arising thought.
    The universe is this arising sound.
    Just this magnificent arising!
    Is Tao.
    Homage to all arising."

    Awakening to Reality: On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous...

    Simple brilliance~thank you for this insightful sharing that is mirrored innerly...See More

    16 hours ago · Like · 3 · Remove Preview

    Stian Gudmundsen Høiland When I focus on, or rather, relax into bare sensate thusness, without any concern for 'what' it is, gradually there unfolds a kind of intelligence that is different from the usual rut of thinking in terms of stories.

    What unfolds or uncovers are the inter-causal conditions that flows from the initial focus and reveals unity-by-interdependence.

    An example:

    My friend is playing the piano and I'm sitting and listening to him play. I stop and really listen to the texture of what we call sound, and let my my whole awareness fill with that modulating thusness.

    Then, gradually, without effort, the texture of the present moment stops being an isolated event and instead a natural intelligence opens up to penetrate the present moment as a nexus of conditions: the sound, the piano keys, the fingers, my friend, the electrical signals pulsing through his body and his brain as he is present right now and performs the piece.

    Suddenly, by virtue of the naturally occurring, effortless listening to the sound of the piano, I am so intimately connected with my friend, even his brain, and great compassion arises. Me, over here, listening, and him, over there, playing: An integral unity by means of the all-encompassing interpenetration and connectedness that is now so apparent.

    7 hrs · Edited · Like · 1

    Justin Chapweske Based on your description Albert, it sounds like over time for Thusness it has settled into something more natural and less dependent on "forcing" the view. This is interesting. I can see over time how a view can settle in and become always obvious and apparent.

    7 hrs · Like

    David Vardy It's simply This View absent the notion there's someone looking. It's 'unquestionably' vibrant, alive, pulsating, harmonious and energetic.

    4 hrs · Like