In DharmaOverground:

Hibiscus Kid:
Hello svmonk,

It seems like you are describing some very advanced perceptual shifts. However, it seems sort of difficult given that I am not quite sure what definition of 'emptiness' that you or the Tibetans may be using. I've see that word thrown around in so many different contexts, that it has become unhlpful.

Some people here seem to be experiencing reality in such a way, that the Tibetans would say that they achieved the same results (Daniel mentions this on his essay in Actualism). It's pretty interesting. 

I replied:

MCTB 4th path and PCE (or rather the state of Actual Freedom as discussed in was my constant state before I dwelled more deeply into Emptiness. 4th Path actually deals with Emptiness as well but the emphasis is on the yogic realization/experience of the absence of a subject, self/Self, controller, agent, knower, doer, etc, and furthermore the complete stability of this insight such that it becomes the constant mode of perception in every moment of experience. However, there is also the emptiness of the 'objects' front, which is not merely the collapsing of subject and object dichotomy, but realizing the 'nature' of this non-dual presence (which is already emptied of any subject or background). It pertains to the non-arising of the foreground appearance, but not through deconstruction.

For example looking at the very solid vision of floor in a PCE mode with no self/Self/experiencer whatsoever just brilliant colors shining as its own vivid clarity, and we raise a question of how does 'emptiness' direct apply to this, it can suddenly become clear that there is no floor there at all, no floor to be found anywhere, only a shimmering appearance, flickering patches of luminous brown with nothing arising at all, and then the meaning of appearing yet non-arising, appearance negates existence as it relates to the nature of presence (by Presence I don't mean a Self, or a Being, etc, but whatever vivid appearance as it presents itself dynamically) became clear. This unfindability and non-arising nature of Presence/Appearance is its true nature. It is not "impermanent, flickering in and out" that is its emptiness but the very non-arising of the whole field of manifestation due to its lacking of any essence whatsoever by its sheer appearance, where the very mere appearance by its very fact of merely appearing negates existence.

It is not by deconstruction, and it is not by subsuming everything to some ultimate Mind/Consciousness/etc. That metaphysical illusion is completely gone by the time the self/Self illusion is dropped through anatta realization and actualization, as Actual Freedom teachings point out. There is no such thing as an unborn undying metaphysical substrate or consciousness behind phenomena, that belongs to the lower stages like Thusness Stage 1 to 4: -- in Advaita the illusoriness of phenomena is posited through the subsuming of phenomena to an ultimate source and substratum (which truly exists) in the manner of 'necklaces of different shapes being fundamentally only gold', this is not the same insight as Stage 5 and 6. At the peak of the subsuming or essentialist type of non-dual, the subject/object division collapses into a seamless field of awareness and yet awareness is felt to be ultimate, unchanging, having an Absolute metaphysical essence yet undivided with manifestation (Thusness Stage 4). The kind of Emptiness insight I'm talking about however is completely non-essentialist, non-substantialist, non-metaphysical, and non-referential.

By Emptiness and the Non-Arising of phenomena I mean the very appearance does not arise even for a flickering moment, does not arise/abide/subside for even an instant, but its very appearance itself rejects the illusion of the appearance existing by its own essence and undergoing (even a flickering moment of) arising/abiding/subsiding. Conventionally, appearance which does not exist inherently, appears only by way of interrelatedness/interdependence, and in yogic actualization of emptiness-appearance, everything appears as being equal to space and illusions like mirage, holograms, reflections, and the like in a seamlessly interconnected suchness (but not even the concept of 'dependent origination' remains in this actualization).

The as-it-isness or suchness of anatta becomes even more as-it-is in the manner of any subtle non-recognition of the non-arising, empty nature of presence (misperceiving presence as truly arising/abiding/ceasing or ‘truly there’) released into the as-it-isness/suchness of shimmering holographic illusions through the recognition of its non-arising, which leads to actualizing of emptiness as forms in a direct and non-conceptual manner. This illusion-like nature of aggregates is most often taught in Mahayana sutras, but you find similar teachings by Buddha in the Pali Canon such as Dhammapada, Phena Sutta on the illusoriness of the aggregates, and Kaccayanagotta sutta explains how dependent origination negates 'existence' and 'non-existence' as it relates to the 'world'.
For the emptiness part check out ,

Also recently I wrote:

Presence and the Nature of Presence

(Wrote this after a clear insight arose)

No behind, presence as form is anatta

Presence-as-form is merely appearing, nothing there, that's emptiness (the nature of Presence)


only no who, but truly no it, no there, no here, no now, no when, no where, no
arising, no ceasing, no abiding or place of abidance. Coming to rest in
the nature of presence with no place to rest, whole field of
spontaneous illusory display emerges as empty-clarity-bliss.


Soh Wei YuI really like a statement by Tsongkhapa, “appearance negates existence”Manage
Like · Reply · 22h
Stian Gudmundsen HøilandSay some more about that Soh?

Like · Reply · 16h

Soh Wei YuIt
starts with the very vivid "Presence" (or you can call it Awareness or
Clarity) that is simply shining as the very vividness of forms, sounds,
thoughts, whatever appears, as the subject/object or perceiver/perceived
dichotomy has collapsed into a non-conceptual experience of the
vividness of whatever manifests with zero sense of distance. There is no
more standalone Presence or Awareness or Clarity in anatta. The
illusion of a background Self/Mind has been penetrated. Even so, the
very empty nature of 'foreground Presence' may not yet reveal itself

Let's say you're looking at the floor, or
a table, or whatever it is. It seems very solid and real, but then upon
some investigation it's realised to be merely appearing without
substance or essence, and that happens to be the very nature of Presence
-- vividly appearing according to conditions but completely empty of
anything 'there', empty of an 'it-ness' or 'floor-ness' or any sort of
substance. Basically it's sort of like suddenly an apparent figure
you've been looking at or talking to is suddenly realised to be literally a
hologram. The very nature of Presence as merely appearing without
substance basically negates the extreme of existence.

me the nature of Presence reveals in a more experiential sort of
examination rather than through analytical reasonings. Like what
Thusness wrote in his article "On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection",

we observe thought and ask where does thought arise, how does it arise,
what is ‘thought’ like. 'Thought' will reveal its nature is empty --
vividly present yet completely un-locatable. It is very important not to
infer, think or conceptualise but feel with our entire being this
‘ungraspability’ and 'unlocatability'. It seems to reside 'somewhere'
but there is no way to locate it. It is just an impression of somewhere
"there" but never "there". Similarly “here-ness” and “now-ness” are
merely impressions formed by sensations, aggregates of causes and
conditions, nothing inherently ‘there’; equally empty like ‘selfness’."Manage
Like · Reply · 1m · Edited
Soh Wei YuThat
said not everyone uses or likes the term "Presence". Tsongkhapa doesn't
use that term. You can substitute that for other terms like "dharma"
etc, it's just the empty and luminously clear nature of the display.

Foreground emptying has this taste where appearance negates existence.


I was asked what is the direct insight of emptiness.

I wrote:

The insight is how presence/appearance appears yet never truly exists (i.e. by way of inherent existence), like truly there... instead it's just mere substanceless appearance. Instead of essence, we see dependent origination.

It's an insight into seeing how 'essence' does not apply, not only to background/self but to foreground/presence/phenomena, therefore arising/abiding/ceasing also don't apply.

Because of this, there's no way to locate or pin down anything anywhere, therefore all the where, now, here, there don't apply, as pinning down something as 'there' requires the essence view.

It is not just an experience of all reality as 'dream-like' (this experience can arise by linking what appears to one's radiance) but a direct insight that overturns the wrong view of phenomena as having essence in the same manner as the direct insight into anatta overturns the wrong view of self or consciousness as having essence existing by its own side.

p.s More writings on Emptiness from the experiential yogic insight point of view:
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4 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Theres tibetan teaching that says in the moments after death of physical body, when the clear light appears ,thats the golden opportunity to realized the Self.Wat do u think?

  2. Soh Says:

    It's talking about nature of mind, not Self. I don't know what translation you're reading, it's certainly distorted. Don't read translations by Evans-Wentz, it is outdated and very inaccurate. Read the newer translations.

    You can realize the nature of mind and actualize it any moment, no need to wait for death. I am the living example and so are many other living masters and practitioners.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Mind is different from Self?

  4. Soh Says:

    Different. You only realize Nature of Mind of Buddhadharma after going through Thusness Stage 5 and 6.

    As Venerable Hui-Feng explains the difference between the view of "atman" and "mindstream" years ago:

    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.