This pointer is for those practicing self-inquiry. If you have already passed the I AM realization, there is no need to read this.


Sometimes during practice a state of deep stillness and silence is maintained for an extended period. In such a state, is it better to abide in it, or is it better to continue to invoke the "before birth.., who am I" inquiry with intention?

I replied:

Continue inquiring. Both silence and thoughts are just passing states and are not the point. What is aware of silence and thoughts? What is undeniably existing and present in thoughtlessness? Who am I?

Excerpt from

‘in the wrong direction. Nisargadatta Maharaj used to say, ‘Understanding is all’. In essence, Bob was saying, ‘Right now in your direct experience see what your real nature is. What are you right now? What have you always been?’ The thinking mind is useless for this because seeing or looking is not a conceptual function at all. It is more like seeing an apple in your hand. You just look, not think. Right now, as you read this, you exist and you are aware that you exist. You are undoubtedly present and aware. Before the next thought arises, you are absolutely certain of the fact of your own being, your own awareness, your own presence. This awareness is what you are; it is what you always have been. All thoughts, perceptions, sensations and feelings appear within or upon that. This awareness does not move, change or shift at any time. It is always free and completely untouched. However, it is not a thing or an object that you can see or grasp. The mind, being simply thoughts arising in awareness, cannot grasp it or know it or even think about it. Yet, as Bob says, you cannot deny the fact of your own being. It is palpably obvious, and yet, from the time we were born, no one has pointed this out. Once it is pointed out it can be grasped or understood very quickly because it is just a matter of noticing, ‘Oh, that is what I am!’ It is a bright, luminous, empty, presence of awareness; it is absolutely radiant, yet without form; it is seemingly intangible, but the most solid fact in your existence; it is effortlessly here right now, forever untouched. Without taking a step, you have arrived; you are home. No practice can reveal this because practices are in time and in the mind. Practices aim at a result, but you (as presence-awareness) are here already, only you don’t recognize it till it is pointed out. Once seen, you can’t lose it, and you don’t have to practice to exist, to be. This is, in essence, what Bob pointed out to me in the first conversation I had with him Once I saw this, I felt very clear and free immediately. Later, some thoughts came up, some old personality patterns, some old definitions of who I thought myself to be. I seemed to lose the clear understanding of my nature as presence-awareness. The next day, I talked to Bob about it. He said, ‘Let’s have a look. Do you exist? Are you aware? What is illumining the thought that you have lost it?’ Then I realized that thoughts of suffering were only passing concepts being illumined by the ever-present awareness. I hadn’t lost anything at all. The awareness that we are is never obscured! Suffering seems real because we don’t have a clear understanding of our true nature. Instead, we believe the passing thoughts, such as ‘I am no good,’ ‘I am not there yet,’ ‘I am stuck’ or whatever the thought may be. Eventually we understand that we are not those thoughts. Once our real self is pointed out, the suffering loses its grip. Bob pointed out that there is no person here at all. The person that we think we are is an imaginary concept. There are thoughts and feelings and perceptions, but they are ‘

- John Wheeler

I had a similar question actually because i listened to Adyashanti talk and he says to rest in the silence, that the silence is the answer to the question Who am I. So a little different. But the silence doesn’t seem bright luminous presence etc so I need to keep inquiring. 

I replied: 

Adyashanti said:
"...But whatever you are, you don’t disappear when you’re silent. The world doesn’t disappear when you’re silent. The glass of water doesn’t disappear when I stop thinking it’s a glass of water. The reality of life actually exists whether we’re thinking about it or not. I think it only takes those five seconds to see where most of us are actually living our whole life.
Does noticing silence mean we’re ignoring everything that doesn’t seem to exist when we’re in silence?
The silence I’m talking about is the natural silence of awareness before we go into a dreamy place, before we disconnect. It’s prior to all that movement of mind. One of the things that I often emphasize when teaching is that it has to be a vivid silence. If you feel spaced-out and dreamy internally, it’s like you’re leaning too far back. And if you just lean forward a little bit, it comes back into view.

There’s a website which speaks of silence this way.. or some people say space. Formless. But it’s the formlessness of the I AM and not just a silent state of mind

Excerpt from

'The Hebrew writer who penned this miracle of language, that that which is unknowable, unnamable, immeasurable is that which is beyond all and encompassing all, had a wonderful experience of Pure Silence in his or her awareness to have come to this conclusion. You see, the unknowable which is impossible to understand rationally or emotionally is being ness itself and this being ness is a present tense verb. "Am" is what it was and is called. Am is present, now, and since it is a verb it is not subject or object, but rather action, the action of am-ing, or be-ing. Our only semi-tangible way of imperfectly grasping this is by allowing our awareness very subtly to focus on being itself and the brain can only understand this as silent nothingness between and supporting everything.

Pure Silence is simply experiencing being as a witness, not as controller or doer or thinker but as observer. There is tremendous freedom and peace in this. Where there is peace, there is certitude and order. From the order comes wisdom and inexplicable joy, which is the joy of discovery. The discovery is that your am-ness is no different from the Elohim, from the am of God itself. You are the chosen, we are the chosen because there is no choice to be made for ourselves. We simply are, choicelessly, purely, resoundingly.

The Psalmist calls us to be still and know that we are. Stop right now and recognize your true identity, your being ness which is being itself. No matter what you have done, thought or believed, all that is completely secondary to the fact that you are and what you are is God, which is Pure Silence itself.

Isn't that a comforting thought for a rainy, dark night?


M: It seems like when there is silence of thought and I keep inquiring then other phenomena start occurring like hearing loud hissing almost like locusts or feeling energetic phenomena. Can be distracting lol. I need to keep going. In a week I’m doing silent retreat with Adya. Hopefully will breakthrough to IAM then. That’s my goal.

I replied: (Thumbs up) 

Any phenomena can become another opportunity to inquire and isn’t a hindrance. I.e. Trace back the radiance (from a sound, a perception, a sensation, etc) by inquiring into its Source.

Tracing Back the Radiance
by Chinul

how to stop the waterfall Question: What is the mind of void and calm, numinous awareness?

Chinul: What has just asked me this question is precisely your mind of void and calm, numinous awareness. Why not trace back its radiance rather than search for it outside? For your benefit I will now point straight to your original mind so that you can awaken to it. Clear your minds and listen to my words.

From morning until evening, all during the 12 periods of the day, during all your actions and activities - whether seeing, hearing, laughing, talking, whether angry of happy, whether doing evil or good - utlimately who is it that is able to perform all these actions? Speak! If you say that it is the physical body which is acting, then at the moment when a man's life comes to an end, even though the body has not yet decayed, how is it that the eyes cannot see, the ears cannot hear, the nose cannot smell, the tongue cannot talk, the hands cannot grasp, the feet cannot run?

You should know that what is capable of seeing, hearing, moving and acting has to be your original mind; it is not your physical body. Furthermore, the four elements which make up the physical body are by nature void; they are like images in a mirror of the moon's reflection in water. How can they be clear and constantly aware, always bright and never obscured - and, upon activation, be able to put into operation sublime functions as numerous as the sands of the Ganges? For this reason it is said: "Drawing water and carrying firewood are spiritual powers and sublime functions."

There are many points at which to enter the noumenon. I will indicate one approach which will allow you to return to the source.

Chinul: Do you hear the sound sof that crow cawing and that magpie calling?

Student: Yes.

Chinul: Trace them back and listen to your hearing-nature. Do you hear any sounds?

Student: At that place, sound and discrimination do not obtain.

Chinul: Marvelous! Marvelous! This is Avalokitesvara's method for entering the noumenon. Let me ask you again. You said that sounds and discrimination do not obtain at that place. But since they do not obtain, isn't the hearing-nature just empty space at such a time?

Student: Originally it is not empty. It is always bright and never obscured.

Chinul: What is this essence which is not empty?

Student: Words cannot describe it.

Excerpted from Tracing Back the Radiance by Robert Buswell.
Phra Kovit Khemananda is the monk who drew the circle diagram taught by his teacher to the Zen teacher David Loy in the article Nondual Thinking

According to the biography here, he was ordained under Ven. Buddhadhasa:

An Extemporaneous Talk to the Singapore Zen Group
by (Phra) Kovit Khemananda

February 1981

I want to say that I am impressed when all of you turn to face the wall, to confront the wall, to confront your own doubt. When I flew to Singapore, I met a Slav on the plane and he said to me that he feels very deeply about Buddhism. And I asked him why he felt that way. He said, “Buddhism is close to life.” All of us here are interested in Buddhism I think, and I feel that without observing our mind, our own mind, there is no Buddhism. Please don’t look at me as a toy of culture. Now what do I mean, “a toy of culture”? It means that you want to hear me, a Buddhist monk, a Thai Buddhist monk who has come to talk to you about this and that — and I think that is not Buddhism. It is only culture. When we talk about Buddhism, we must talk about the mind. When we talk about the mind, can we find any person in the mind? It is very strange when we talk about the mind, it means we do not talk about anything else. A lot of you have probably experienced going abroad, crossing a mountain, or going to many countries. But can we cross our sensation, can we go beyond our senses? This is a problem of Buddhism. And I think it is a problem for mankind. Can we go beyond our sensation?

When you became a Buddhist or non-Buddhist, you became so by making sense. When you consider our sensation, it means that we try to observe a thing directly. From our opinions, we try to realize our own mind, and that means the world; we try to communicate our mind directly, and so communication is a tremendous problem. How can we take a look at a person, people, a Singaporean, a Thai? We look to a thing to follow the meaning and judge it. Now suppose you take a look a little farther: You take many, many things with you when you look at a thing; you memorize the name and so on...and so every moment we try to turn this little world into memorization. As soon as I take a look at a person, I just create, judging, “Is he a good man? Is he a Buddhist or not?” And that standard, that criteria, belongs to me. So when we take a look at a flower, or the sun and moon, or the electric lamp, I define myself as the observer of that thing….How can we observe our own sensation? And the method for observing our own mind or external objects is a problem. When I observe a thing, let's consider this deeply, closely...when I observe a cup of tea like this, is the cup of tea a specific object on its own? It’s only the name and form of it in my memory, right? Let us say I’m thinking about the cup of tea, but the pure essence is quite different isn’t it?...or the moon, the sun, or the flower...the flower is the flower in itself, or we memorize it to be a flower. So, for me, it is very important to realize this thing first.

Things are, everything is, because of the mind. If you have no mind, I mean if you die now, nothing exists, does it? It’s your world, because; this world is a world of perception, isn't it? Enjoy all the world, because after you die, the world belongs to the others. The sun and the moon are still the sun and the moon in my own perception and yours. And before we were born, was there any sun or moon in the world, the perception world? No. So the moon is the moon when I am a person who observes the moon, right? All of you must have studied about love or compassion (karuna), action and the reason for it. When you define a person who does anything, please take care of this, in every event we define a person who does something, a person is a consequence of a definition, doing something in some case in some time. But the self-nature does not depend on time, right? Most of the Buddhists that I have ever met, they act, they use themselves like the artist who wants to inspire himself in some time, in some place. I mean the artist is an artist sometimes, not all the time. When he picks up his brush and then he paints, he feels, “I am an artist,” but after that, maybe he turns to be a merchant or someone else. So the person depends on time, but self-nature can be beyond time. When you observe your breathing in and out, does the breathing in and out belong to you? Is there any person who breathes in-and-out? Can you say that the breathing in and out of the Prime Minister is quite different from you? It is just the breathing in and out, isn’t it? Have you ever observed your eye blinking naturally, beyond your desire, beyond your need, beyond your decision? The moment of time we move,,...breathing in and out, our mind grows every day and night, right? So when we say we are Buddhists, that is our person; we want to socialize, collectivize, or presume to be. Because of this action, because of this part, we can communicate with the other Buddhists. So the Buddhist and the one who realizes his own mind is quite different too. Some Buddhists can’t realize their own mind, but the non-Buddhist can. So what is Buddhism?

When we talk about Buddhism, we talk about the realization of our own mind. Without the realization of our own mind, for me, there is no Buddhism; it is only the toy of culture, the prey or culture. So, come closer to the point, most of the time when we talk about Buddhism, we point to sila (discipline), samadhi (meditation), or pañña (wisdom). When we talk about sila, what does it mean? Normally, it means the five precepts of the layman, or ten precepts of the novice, and 227 of the monk. That is not the real discipline. In the time of the Buddha, one monk couldn’t practice sila, because he mentioned to the Buddha that even though he tried to remember, he couldn’t — a lot of sila, a lot of vinaya. So he wanted to disrobe right away. But the Buddha mentioned, “Oh, Bhikkhu, can you observe just one thing?” The monk said, “Oh, if there is only one rule, I can stay in the monkhood.” So the Buddha himself said, “Bhikkhu, just observe your mind. This is the one discipline for you.”

Soon after that that monk gained enlightenment. So, what does it mean, sila or precepts? Let us consider five precepts very common to you, very familiar to you. I do not want to boast that I have a lot of sila, because I do not divide sila into categories one, two, three, four, or five. But let us consider “Do not kill.” Is it enough to be a Buddhist by not killing many people in this world? Many people never kill anything, even the ones who have no consciousness, or the one who stays in.a hospital for five or ten years and never kills anything. But all precepts, the essence of it is love. Love is an inner discipline. When you have love, you have the whole discipline, and the whole vinaya too. If I love you, then I do not fear you, and do not kill you nor do any harm to people or things. So the real vinaya is very wide, right?

You know samadhi, we talk a lot about samadhi, but some monasteries will teach you to stop your thought. And my master, my beloved teacher, mentioned that to stop your own thought is to kill yourself, because a stone does not think anything, right? That is very good for going into a trance, but if you take a look at the cup of tea, without thinking anything, that is a trance, but you have no wisdom. So, the master told his disciples to arouse sensation and thought by walking, just to see what is what. And meditation is not the way to control the mind. My opinion is not to control the mind. How can you control the mind? When you control your mind, you have a lot of problems. Why do you want to try and control it? What is your purpose for controlling your mind? A lot of students in Thailand come to me and ask me, “Please teach me how to control my mind, concentrate, and meditate.” And I ask them, “Why do you want to control your mind?” And actually they say, “I don't know…[laughter]...because everyone teaches us to control our minds.” Why do you want to control your mind, for what purpose? If you say you can’t study so well so you want to control your mind, do you think that by controlling your mind you will be able to increase your studying? And mostly — take a look — our common sense daily mind comes from the desire to control our mind.

When you sit in meditation, you make a conflict suddenly, immediately, because when you sit in meditation you desire meditative effect. When you go to church you feel or you have the sense that I am a suffering person, I have suffering in my mind and I want to have some lesson so I can gain happiness. So you define the true person at the same time, and that is our problem, isn’t it? When we practice meditation, we define that I am the one who sits here and hopes to gain meditative effect. And after ten minutes, or half an hour, time takes place in your life. And what is time? Time is a person, right? When you stay in time for a certain duration, you have the feeling of a person who suffers, and you separate, discriminate, samsara from nirvana. In this case, as long as you discriminate, you increase your person. Some people desire emancipation or extinction of suffering. So when they sit in meditation, they let their mind be distracted and hope for something — and then they fear, right?

But let me come to the point; when the Buddha teaches you about no person in the Theravadin sect, the first time when I came to be ordained, the master told me (and actually he tells every monk who comes to be ordained) “You must observe that there is no person in you, just only a movement, an element, a pure element in you.” But we come to Buddhism, tradition, and we try to philosophize about the Buddha’s teachings. For ten years, I tried to philosophize and contain my mind with this, but when I met my beloved teacher, he proved that I was wrong. He said stop reading books and just observe your mind sitting passively — do nothing in meditation. Even though I sit in meditation to calm my mind for five minutes, he would come and he would walk and disturb my mind. At first, I still did not see anything....I was confused. Because he said in his teachings — and this was very strange — meditation in his sense means just to observe our own mind passively and vitality will come to us. What is vitality? When we discriminate a person in time, we lose vitality. You suffer and fear comes to you, doesn’t it? When we look at something, we sense something, actually we sense our personhood. We confirm and confirm, time to time, to one person who is the observer. And the observer is the one who does something in some time and some place, and speculates to the other person who must accept the fruit of action. And then the law of government takes place, and our sensation is fear.

It seems to me that fear is the result of sensation, especially sensuality or sensualism. When we make sense of something, we discriminate a person and then we fear missing something. Again, can we go beyond our sensation? If we can go beyond our sensation, we can go beyond fear. We can go beyond the person, we can go beyond discrimination, can’t we? So, for the arbitrator in this case we must turn to movement. Consider movement, and then we can come to the meaning of meditation and wisdom. What is movement? When you passively observe the pure functioning world of your sense organ, then you can store up vitality, and that is meditation. Because you can observe your mind, how it works, how thoughts come and go, but when you try to stop the thought, how can you see anything? How can you see the pure functioning world of the organism or sense organ? Most of the Buddhists in Thailand, as far as I know, think that meditation is to stop the sense organ. That is death, isn't it?
Once a brahmin came to the Buddha and asked him “How do you practice Dhamma?” And the Buddha himself said, “I practice dhamma by sitting, walking, standing, and lying down.” So the brahmins laughed at him, and said, “The layman practices like you; they walk and they sit and they lie down, and why do you say that you practice Dhamma in this way?” But then the Buddha said that, “By sitting, I know just sitting, and when I walk, I just walk, and when I lie down, I just lie down.” This seems to us very mystical. Once the Buddha taught a very special person, he put a question to the Buddha when the Buddha went collecting alms in the market near a village, “Oh, my Lord, please tell me the way to practice. Give me a very short saying about practice.” Buddha said, “It is not the time for teaching Dhamma, it is the time for collecting alms.” But when that person questioned him three times, the Buddha said, “Whenever you see, just see, whenever you hear, just hear, whenever you know, just know. You will never exist in this world, and the next world, and the half-world and the next.” That means that there is no person in seeing. Whenever you can observe pure movement, there is no person. And that is why Buddha himself mentioned, “Just sit, just hear, just speak or just walk.” It seems very absurd, doesn’t it? But I think this is the essence of practice. 
Transcribed by Grant Olson, used with permission.
Also see: No Self, No Doer, Conditionality

"This humankind is attached to self-production
Or holds to production by another.
Those who have not understood this
Have not seen it as a dart.

But one who sees (this as it is),
Having drawn out the dart,
Does not think, 'I am the agent,'
Nor does she think, 'Another is the agent.'

This humankind is possessed by conceit,
Fettered by conceit, bound by conceit.
Speaking vindictively because of their views,
They do not go beyond samsara."

- Tatiyananatitthiya Sutta


"With body steady and mind steady
Whether standing, sitting, or lying down,
A bhikkhu making this mindfulness firm
Shall obtain successive distinctions.
On obtaining distinctions in succession
He goes beyond sight of the King of Death."


"For one who mindfully develops
Boundless loving-kindness
Seeing the destruction of clinging,
The fetters are worn away.
If with an uncorrupted mind
He pervades just one being
With loving kindly thoughts,
He makes some merit thereby.
But a noble one produces
An abundance of merit
By having a compassionate mind
Towards all living beings.
Those royal seers who conquered
The earth crowded with beings
Went about performing sacrifices:
The horse sacrifice, the man sacrifice,
The water rites, the soma sacrifice,
And that called "the Unobstructed."
But these do not share even a sixteenth part
Of a well cultivated mind of love,
Just as the entire starry host
Is dimmed by the moon's radiance.
One who does not kill
Nor cause others to kill,
Who does not conquer
Nor cause others to conquer,
Kindly towards all beings —
He has enmity for none."

~ Buddha, "The Udana and the Itivuttaka: Two Classics from the Pali Canon, translated by John D. Ireland"

Dalai Lama: We need an education of the heart
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets people in Huy, Belgium on May 29, 2006. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert / Associated Press)
When the president of the United States says "America first," he is making his voters happy. I can understand that. But from a global perspective, this statement isn't relevant. Everything is interconnected today.
The new reality is that everyone is interdependent with everyone else. The United States is a leading nation of the free world. For this reason, I call on its president to think more about global-level issues. There are no national boundaries for climate protection or the global economy. No religious boundaries, either. The time has come to understand that we are the same human beings on this planet. Whether we want to or not, we must coexist.
History tells us that when people pursue only their own national interests, there is strife and war. This is shortsighted and narrow-minded. It is also unrealistic and outdated. Living together as brothers and sisters is the only way to peace, compassion, mindfulness and more justice.
The time has come to understand that we are the same human beings on this planet. Whether we want to or not, we must coexist.

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Religion can to a certain degree help to overcome division. But religion alone will not be enough. Global secular ethics are now more important than the classical religions. We need a global ethic that can accept both believers and nonbelievers, including atheists.
My wish is that, one day, formal education will pay attention to the education of the heart, teaching love, compassion, justice, forgiveness, mindfulness, tolerance and peace. This education is necessary, from kindergarten to secondary schools and universities. I mean social, emotional and ethical learning. We need a worldwide initiative for educating heart and mind in this modern age.
At present our educational systems are oriented mainly toward material values and training one's understanding. But reality teaches us that we do not come to reason through understanding alone. We should place greater emphasis on inner values.
Intolerance leads to hatred and division. Our children should grow up with the idea that dialogue, not violence, is the best and most practical way to solve conflicts. The young generations have a great responsibility to ensure that the world becomes a more peaceful place for all. But this can become reality only if we educate, not just the brain, but also the heart. The educational systems of the future should place greater emphasis on strengthening human abilities, such as warm-heartedness, a sense of oneness, humanity and love.
I see with ever greater clarity that our spiritual well-being depends not on religion, but on our innate human nature — our natural affinity for goodness, compassion and caring for others. Regardless of whether we belong to a religion, we all have a fundamental and profoundly human wellspring of ethics within ourselves. We need to nurture that shared ethical basis.
Ethics, as opposed to religion, are grounded in human nature. Through ethics, we can work on preserving creation. Empathy is the basis of human coexistence. It is my belief that human development relies on cooperation, not competition. Science tells us this.
We must learn that humanity is one big family. We are all brothers and sisters: physically, mentally and emotionally. But we are still focusing far too much on our differences instead of our commonalities. After all, every one of us is born the same way and dies the same way.
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet and a Nobel laureate for peace. He wrote this op-ed with Franz Alt, a television journalist and bestselling author. This piece is adapted from their new book, "An Appeal to the World: The Way to Peace in a Time of Division."

GG Soh, so abiding as awareness is not entirely wrong. Actually it is fact. All is mind, mind is empty and aware.

"But the mind is not just empty; while being empty, its characteristic, its defining characteristic, is awareness. Therefore, when the mind is described, terminology like the unity of cognitive lucidity and emptiness or the unity of awareness and emptiness is used. Unity here is meant very strongly. The nature of awareness is emptiness, and the nature of the mind's emptiness is awareness."

GGDeleted a few post of mine.

Soh Wei Yu GG, Since Awareness is empty, anything to abide in is delusion. Just the transience flows and knows without a knower, what is there to abide in?

"Awareness" is empty in the same way "weather" is empty and imputed (merely labelled) on the everchanging patterns of clouds, wind, rain, etc.



Soh Wei Yu  GG suddenly got reminded of a conversation I had with Seraph Tai (Edmond Cigale) in 2011:

I wrote back then:

What you have experienced is Thusness Stage 1 (see ). It is the experience and realization of I AM.

Many people (myself included, Thusness included) having realized the I AM would think that the final state/Nirvana is the state of effortless and permanent abidance in the Self, in other words moving from Savikalpa to Nirvikalpa samadhi.

However as we progress in the path, we realize that effortlessness comes not with abiding (that would still be effortful and has to do with your degree of mastery in concentration/abiding in what is deemed as the purest state of Presence) with the deepening of insights into non-dual, anatta, and shunyata. At that point, Presence-Awareness is felt everywhere, as everything, without center, circumference, point of reference, without any attempt needed to abide because it is seen that there is no 'purest state of Presence' to abide in/as. I AM is not more I AM (not more special or ultimate) than a sound! A scent! A sight! Transience reveals itself as non-dual (without subject-object, observer-observed dichotomy) presence-awareness. This is the beginning of non-dual insight and effortlessness - complete effortlessness comes with the maturation of this non-dual insight into anatta and shunyata.

So it is important to progress to further insights from I AM, is to first focus on the four aspects of I AM, then non-dual, ...etc. Even if you attain mastery of samadhi and achieve Nirvikalpa Samadhi (permanent abidance as Self), still, further insights that allows full effortlessness is not revealed, unless further investigations are undertaken.

I have discussed this in Kenneth Folk forum:

Here's my e-book:

Soh Wei Yu He later realised anatta after my pointing out and wrote:

Seraph Tai wrote:

I had, what I think you refer here to as anatta insight, a month or so ago, and it is still maturing.
It was as if one step further or deeper was performed, it was as if the Nondual experiences from before "expanded" even further and left "me" completely and utterly without the Self (anatma or anatta). Liberating as two hells. LOL

I can enter almost at will now into this state, usually via some koan or sutra (heart sutra for example).

Question, if I may:
when is this insight mature, when to go on? (ok, I know, it is a strange question to ask, but I would love to hear your experiences, please)
How and what did you do to go from Nondual to Anatta to Sunyata insights, please?

AEN, thank you. I appreciate your posts, they speak to me very intimately. Tnx.

Anatta insight:

I was reading the text on integral psychotherapy and transpersonal identity development, and while reading the notions about the Nondual, it happened.
Those notions are worth mentioning, I think:
in Kashmir Shivaism, they outline ancient guidelines about obstacles to ultimate reality, so called malas (impurities):
- anava mala (belief that any given person occupies particular space, i.e. I am here not there, and certainly not everywhere)
- mayiya mala (belief that there are other objects outside of us, i.e. Jane is out there, not here where I am located)
Basically that is the root perception of false ego, the illusory center of reference.

By that time, Nondual was already here (only seeing the seen, hearing the sound etc...), it seems the first two malas were recognized as false straight away.

It is important to note that I was at that point able to switch back to "I am" presence, perceiving the well known Omnipresence of my True self. For years I entered this state at will, hence falling back to the "I am" presence was happening, I guess.

It was different this time, however: I realized with the so called aha! moment, that the I am presence is exactly the same as the "sensory input" I was experiencing. The seen, sensed, cognized AS the "I am" presence - only that "I am" presence was not there anymore. I was however, able to switch, back and forth, so to speak. Maybe it is worth mentioning that the Nondual was/is (still is) more liberating and peaceful than "I am" presence insight.

What sealed the deal, so to speak LOL, was:
- karma mala - belief that a person must perform an action, do something to remedy any given situation, say "I need to meditate to get enlightened"
It happened few moments after I read that notion, and everything just became crystal clear, no switching back to "I am" presence, there was no one here, there, anywhere to switch to!! And I am not talking only about the little false ego, I am also talking about the ultimate "I am" presence! For years, I was happy to abide as a Witness, Omnipresent and liberated, free from mental/emotional/physical bullshit.

But now, the "I am" presence was gone!! Even the so called Unmanifested "I am" was nowhere to be found (the Causal level has two sub-levels, lower (I am presence, the Witness) and higher (No "I am", just the Unmanifested, latent absolute potential), according to Wilber).

It seems that after years of entering satori at will, I was allowed to move on.
Only there isn't anyone to give the permission, or anyone to be allowed to move on. No one is here, it never was, it can not exist, because events are unfolding by their own, on their own. Phenomena is free, separated from every other phenomena, not touching but liberating as they come and go.

I can enter into Nondual at will now, especially after the shared experience. Driving the car, eating, looking out the window - it seems that these situations are easy and do not require much mental effort on my part, so I can easily let go.
What I also notice now is that I can discern the Advaita texts from the Nondual ones.

To my saddness, I realized that my favorite master, Sri Ramana Maharshi, is not speaking about Anatta, or not even about Nondual (as far as I can see), He mentions that even in Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi (the ultimate state, according to Him) there is "something" there which mediator is at One with. Well, He must be talking about something different, not about Anatta or Nondual.

Anatta I can enter almost at will now, but it usually just slips back to the Nondual insight, with slight resemblance of something here, traces or tendencies from years of "I am" presence samadhis, I guess.

"An Eternal Now:
What is your view about what consciousness is now? Does consciousness have any characteristics of being unchanging, independent or etc and if not what is it?"

Well, now I view consciousness as non-local, not centered in the "I am presence" anymore, there is no split between samadhi and everyday life, in a sense that there is no one to make that distinction. I am more at peace now, more at ease, laid back so to speak.

Yes, at the moment, I see the consciousness as something free, liberating in itself, "changing" by itself: events come and go by themselves, no one is in control, so to speak, no one to instigate coming and going, not even God.
And, I promise you, for me this notion ( there is no God, as a separate entity or Absolute Self etc... )is rather dramatic change.

I am still not clear why events or phenomena are perceived as coming and going. What is condition ("yuan" as per Thusness) for events to occur? What is yuan?

"An Eternal Now:

How stable is your non dual experiencing now? Also I presume you have read Thusness's articles in our blog? One more thing: any changes in your sleep and dream?"

I have read most of Thusness' articles at your blog, yes. But I don't get everything yet, especially about the Sunyata insights.

How stable is my Nondual experiencing now? I don't know what is the criteria for stability, but I can enter Nondual at will, it is easiest to do, as there is no effort needed (apart from letting go) or something gained. When everything is let go of, the Nondual remains, not as a state or level, but as base reality. No need to do anything, as it already and alone is.
All of this, it is not spontaneous yet, though.

It is interesting you should mention sleep (dreamless one, I suppose) and dreams.

Lucid dreaming is an important part of my sadhana, I have been dreaming lucidly (on and off) for years.
The change I am noticing for a few years is that all three states (waking, dreams and dreamless sleep) are happening to Me, the base Reality, they are happening in Me, so to speak (actually, everything else, everything, is happening in Me, as a part of my Being). Even in dreaming I am aware of this, not as in classic lucid dreaming sense but more profound. It is like common denominator, silver lining in all three states, so to speak.
Does that make any sense, pls?

But now even this has changed as I know beyond the shadow of the doubt that there is no Me as the base reality.
It is a process, I think, so I look forward to experiencing new insights.

Thank you.



Soh Wei Yu I replied:

Good insights there Seraphis! You seem able to actualize the living experience of anatta without dwelling much into view. Your insights unfold from recognizing "the same taste" of I AM in all six entries and exits, into seeing that the very idea of abiding is a hindrance, to the doubtless realization that there never was a "This I" to abide in, and whatever arises is already free and liberating.

There are similarities with my experience but somewhat different triggers. I had an intense non-dual experience (Aug '10) when dancing at a nightclub that totally dissolved the Witness for a few days (after which I was switching between I AM and non-dual for a period of time due to previous practice tendencies like you until clearer insights), before this event non-dual glimpses was occassional, few, short and intermittent but after this event I was able to 'switch' into non-dual mode with relative ease as my insight into Awareness/Existence was refined from "I AM pure Existence" to "Existence is the very stuff of whatever arises". Soon I was also contemplating and challenging the sense of subject-object, inside-outside, border and boundaries of awareness and manifestation, etc until it was all seen as seamless awareness (one mind). Then non-dual was pretty clear to me. Later during October 2010 I wrote two articles in reference to my insights, first on One Taste and then it was contemplating on the Bahiya Sutta about a week later that triggered the clear insight into anatta/"No I": and .

For now, you should not be distracted with stages of insights (sunyata or whatever) but be thorough and leave no trace of "I" for the willingness to let go completely (the I) has arisen. Check this out if you haven't:

Next step is not to stagnate in no-self and engage wholly and completely into actions and activities then "satori" has no entry or exit; when the thunder claps, the whole of "satori" is actualized!

Soh Wei Yu He wrote an article comparing Nirvikalpa Samadhi, Sahaja Samadhi, Nirodha Samapatti, Anatta and Total Exertion, quite well written:
GG Right now, Soh, i would put it this way:

I am not in any perceived. There is no perceiver. All of the perceived is no other than me. Sounds paradoxal, I know. Its like the dream of appearances is never other than the dreamer, but there is no dreamer either.



Soh Wei Yu But it's not a collapsing into a single oneness yes?

"In many of your recent posts after the sudden realization of anatta from contemplating on Bahiya Sutta, you are still very much focused on the vivid non-dual presence. Now the everything feels ‘Me’ sort of sensation becomes a daily matter and the bliss of losing oneself completely into scenery, sound, taste is wonderful. This is different from everything collapsing into a “Single Oneness” sort of experience but a disperse out into the multiplicity of whatever arises. Everything feels closer than ‘me’ due to gaplessness. ...."
GG Yes. If I look at it, it is a single oneness. I have to mature this insight. Will read the above now.
GG Soh. But you seem to be suggesting that such "sense of single oneness" is still a kind of holding into a view. Is that so? Perhaps the view of appearances being subsumed into a "dream"?

Soh Wei Yu Hi GG yes, the anatta insight should lead to this:


Therefore to see that all dusts are primordially pure from before beginning is the whole purpose of maturing the insight of anatta. The following text succinctly expresses this insight:

...According to Dogen, this “oceanic-body” does not contain the myriad forms, nor is it made up of myriad forms – it is the myriad forms themselves. The same instruction is provided at the beginning of Shobogenzo, Gabyo (pictured rice-cakes) where, he asserts that, “as all Buddhas are enlightenment” (sho, or honsho), so too, “all dharmas are enlightenment” which he says does not mean they are simply “one” nature or mind.

Anything falling short of this realization cannot be said to be Buddhist's enlightenment and it is also what your Taiwanese teacher Chen wanted you to be clear when he spoke of the "equality of dharma" as having an initial glimpse of anatta will not result in practitioners seeing that phenomena are themselves primoridally pure."

Soh Wei Yu Mahamudra has a similar teaching as Dogen on 'multiplicity':

"The medium One Taste is when this tarnish has dissolved:
the conviction of savoring and clinging to multiplicity
as being one taste. You have actualized the resplendent
indivisibility of perceptions and mind in which the
perceived is not held as being outside and mind is not held
as being inside.

The greater One Taste is when you realize multiplicity
as being of one taste and you experience one taste as being
multiplicity. Thus, everything subsides into the original
state of equality."

"You have perfected the strength of One Taste if whatever
you encounter is experienced as the expression of this
original state of equality. You have not perfected its
strength if one taste isn't experienced as multiplicity because
of retaining the bind of a remedy."



GG Those diagrams up there are very illuminating.

Dogen's text makes all the sense. If one holds into a view of oneness, one will probably be caught by surprise by multiplicity (or one aspect of it) sooner of later.


André A. Pais
André A. Pais GG what's the referent of the word "me" when you say it's all me?

If it is a single oneness, how can stuff disappear without collapsing the "whole"?
· Reply · 11h
GG I cant refer to "it". Its meaning is close to "tasting the temperature of the water". Probably similar to "one taste".

Good point. Also stuff appear without altering the whole, although one could say that empty forms dont alter anything. But that is too intellectual.
· Reply · 8h
GG Strictly speaking any "me" should inherently bring with it some "no-me", so it just doesnt make sense indeed. How could such no-me coexist with a "all-is-me"?
· Reply · 8h · Edited
GG But now I can counter argument my own statement and say that arisings and desapearings in a dream does not alter the wholeness of the dream. Likewise, with empty forms and what is. What will you say to that?
· Reply · 7h · Edited
André A. Pais
André A. Pais GG the wholeness of the dream is likewise imputed. There is no single, whole or unified dreaming mind, but mere scattered luminous appearances, causally interdependent, but "free-flowing".
· Reply · 12m
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu There is no "one weather" or even a "weather" besides the everchanging patterns, which does function seamlessly in interdependence and dynamic and boundless activity/functioning (not as one 'substance' -- there is no unchanging or independent substantial essence).

Just like there is no "one whole Chariot" -- "Chariot" is merely designated in dependence on parts, conditions/conditionality, function, designating consciousness.

Therefore "one mind" collapses (or rather is simply 'seen through') into multiplicity in a similar fashion as the 'weather' and 'chariot' analogy - into the five aggregates, the eighteen elements. This is the insight that must arise.

Zen priest Alex Weith:

"...The next step that I found very practical is to push the process of deconstruction a step further, realizing that all that is experienced is one of the six consciousness. In other words, there is neither a super Awareness beyond phenomena, not solid material objects, but only six streams of sensory experiences. The seen, the heard, the sensed, the tasted, the smelled and the cognized (including thoughts, emotions, and subtle thougths like absorbtion states, jhanas)..."
· Reply · 1m · Edited
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu And this is also why a universal consciousness does not exist.

Loppon Namdrol/Malcolm: "Buddhism is all its forms is strictly nominalist, and rejects all universals (samanya-artha) as being unreal abstractions."
· Reply · 4m
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view? This is a heap of sheer constructions: Here no being is found. Just as, with an assemblage of parts, The word 'chariot' is used, So, when the aggregates are present, There's the convention 'a being.' It's only suffering that comes to be, Suffering that stands and falls away. Nothing but suffering comes to be, Nothing but suffering ceases.

Vajira Sutta: Vajira
· Reply · Remove Preview · 1m
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu 
“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the All. Listen, attend carefully to it and I will speak.

“Now what, Bhikkhus, is the All? It is just the eye and visible objects, the ear and sounds, the nose and odors, the tongue and tastes, the body and tangible objects, the mind and objects of mind. This, Bhikkhus, is called the All.

“Now whoever should speak thus: ’Setting aside this All I will proclaim another All,’ it would be mere talk on his part and on being questioned he would be unable to proceed and in addition, vexation will befall him. For what reason? It would not be within his scope, Bhikkhus.

- Buddha
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· Reply · 8m

Soh Wei Yu It is the seamless, boundless, interdependence of dharmas that some Zen masters talk about 'one body' but not as an unchanging substance independent of conditionality.

Zen Master Bernie Glassman:

"In the same way, we usually see the body as a limited, bound thing, yet we know that it has many features -- hands, toes, numerous hairs and pores (all different), skin, bones, blood, guts, an assortment of organs, many feet of intestines. But they're all just one body with many, many features and characteristics. Hit one part and the whole feels it; the entire body is affected. Eat some food and what part is not affected? Breathe, what part is not affected?"

Thusness, 2012:

"In primordial suchness, mind-body-universe is one and act as one flow but not one substance"

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