May this inspire anyone seeking self-realization. This post made 18 hours ago so far has 379 upvotes and growing.

Posted byu/DerJogge
18 hours ago
I'm free - I'm no longer a slave to my mind

Hello humans out there,

I'm finally free. I'm finally free of all the pain, depression, misery, anxiety, hate, judgement, intolerance, worrying, etc. I'm having troubles to put into words but I try my best to describe it: I don't longer get disrupted by my own mind. I'm not longer identifying with the nagging voice inside me that is causing all the problems I had. I'm no longer addicted to my negative thought-patterns. I'm not longer forced to follow every thought that pops up. I can choose whether I want to follow that thought, I'm able to let the thought fade away.

Something about my story. I'm 24 years old and I'm struggled with depression, anxiety and the general lack of happiness and pure joy. I lost it through different factors that all came together at the same time and I was not able to get it back. For over 6 years ... I went through hell and back, literally. I was close to suicide several times but the action itself was never an option. I wouldn't have bailed out, never, not under the worst conditions. But I took so many drugs, it's a wonder I'm able to write this text right now.

Alcohol, cigarettes, amphetamines, MDMA, cocaine, weed, video gaming, porn/masturbation, coffee. I stopped it all since about 5 months and went cold turkey from everything. It got better to a certain point, I started taking responsibilities for my actions, I started doing things for my future, I moved out from my parents house, I started my drivers license, I picked up a job again, I signed up for university and started this October, I found a girlfriend (the best you could possibly imagine, in every aspect), I went to the gym 5 times a week and got a ripped body, I explored my city and started new hobbies. I basically did everything in my eyes to reach happiness - but I couldn't reach it. I always looked back into the past and ahead into the future. I was thinking that I will reach a point where all my symptoms get better and I thought I'm not happy because of my body's inability to produce and release enough neurotransmitters. I supplemented so many things because I thought my body was lacking some form of key element. I thought of so many things that could be the problem. I worried so much about my tinnitus and visual snow (optical disturbance that messes up your vision) - that these two things will stick to me my whole life. I was so stressed out by all my efforts to "feel happy" and I always thought that there is something extremely wrong with me. I was not able to concentrate on something longer then 5 seconds without pulling in so much effort, my memory was so bad, I felt so tired the whole time, I felt negatively overwhelmed by life and it started impacting my life to the point again where me and my girlfriend had a big argue that nearly cost me the relationship. But I just couldn't solve the problem why I was feeling and experiencing things like that. And the fear inside me grew that I will never reach a point of satisfaction in life. Pure joy, pure happiness, pure enjoyment.

Oh boy was I wrong. I found the solution to all my problems. I found the solution to the problems of so many people around me. I understood why everything is as it is. Everything started making sense.

On Thursday and Friday there was happening something inside me that I can't really explain in simple words, the importance of it is to huge and impactful: I had a realization, a deep lying understandment, a satisfaction inside me arrived and it's growing since then. I started feeling a deep love for myself, the people around me, for people I hated before, for things I didn't like, basically for everything. I developed a deep understandment and acceptance for the behavior and actions of so many humans. The pain went away. The anxiety and depression went away. The question towards the meaning of life went away. I became satisfied and happy with everything as it is and I know this feeling will never leave me again because I know its root.

My mind was hijacked. Since 6 years I wasn't the captain of my own ship. I wasn't able to control my mind. I wasn't able to stop the thoughts, especially the bad ones. They were playing in a loop over and over again. I got my mind back from my ego. The ego I fed. The ego that craved all the drugs and stimulation. The ego that desired the future and loved thinking about my miserable past. It reminded me that I wasn't happy. It reminded me of every negative aspect of my life. The ego that most of us people haves. The ego that creates so much pain in this world. And the more you feed it the more it grows. But I stopped it. I no longer listend to the nagging voice. I said fuck off to my ego. I literally told it to stay away from me. And it worked. I'm no longer identified with my thoughts. My thoughts are now just a tool that I can use to solve problem or to think about something useful and positive. I started to enjoy every second of my life. My girlfriend and I talked yesterday and she was so stunned by the fact of how insanely positive I was behaving and thinking. We talked about the argue and burried it. Since then she is so heavily more in love with me because I'm showing her my real love in such a purity that there is no other emotion to feel.

I felt so happy a few hours ago that I had so much energy I had to take my bike and take a tour through my rainy, dark city and I just drove around looking for a place to write this texted with a big smile on my face. I somehow landed in my universities library. Sunday nearly 00:00. I'm sitting here with a focus and clearance in mind. I feel the tiredness since I only slept 4 hours but it doesn't affect or bothers me. I'm no longer holding onto the thought of tiredness.

I hope you have slight feeling of how I'm feeling. I found what I was looking for since 6 years. My happiness. It was there the whole. My love was there to the whole time. Everything was there the whole time. I just was so busy with thinking the whole time that I couldn't feel anything else. That's all. Nothing more - nothing less. It's simple as that. My ego was shouting around inside my head. So the voice of love couldn't reach me. But this is over now forever - I know it deep down in my heart. I found the true me. The true I.

Don't identify with your thoughts, ego or whatever negative voice (thoughts) that is inside your head. Do this long enough and keep coming back to the present whenever you drift away. Do this for a few days and you set yourself free. Basically meditate the whole day while you're doing things

I started reading Eckhard Tolle's book: The power of now. I don't wanna advertise or praise but I can highly recommend it all. I only read 50 pages but those 50 pages put the puzzle and necessary informations I already had together.

I really don't know what exactly happened or caused the shift in conscious but I don't question it, I accept and enjoy it and go along with it.

I'm no longer a slave of my mind.

I'm so fucking hyped to explore this new wonderful world.

I'm free, it was about time.


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31 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    What is the main difference between I Am and 'I Am Everything' when it comes to end of sense of separateness(experience of oneness)? Does nondual manifest in the I Am stage ?

  2. Tao Says:

    First bhūmi, the Very Joyous. :)

    I hope he doesnt stop there.

  3. Soh Says:

    No, it is not the first bhumi. It is the I AM realization -- Thusness Stage 1.

    First bhumi is at least Thusness Stage 5 -- realization of anatman.

  4. Tao Says:

    And your arguments are?

  5. Tao Says:

    My arguments:

    - This realization is always the first (in the cases I know, as in me and you) and it's not easily reversible, so it fits as a first ground (bhumi). That's their meaning...
    - It's very, very joyous, as we all know, as it's the first glimpse of real espirituality. Real change in the mind. Real "seeing" of truth, even it's not final.
    - As the first bhumi is in the path of seeing (and the rest in the path of meditation), it also fits.
    - Tradition doesnt say that you realize Anatta in the 1st Bhumi, saya that there's the first glimpse of emptiness (sunyata). And certainly for the first time the meditator faces something without característics, some kind of "atman" or emptiness-I


  6. Soh Says:

    What are you asking -- whether the author is at I AM or whether first bhumi requires Anatta (Stage 5) realization?

    I'll answer both anyway --

    It is very clear from the text that he is describing I AM realization, being exactly how I would describe it as well, as I have been through the Thusness 7 Stages myself. Even if you have not gone through those 7 stages, if you just compare the description of Thusness Stage 1 (see ) with the redditor's description, you will find THAT it is similar.

    Examples from his writings -- "I found the true me. The true I."

    "Get aware of this worrying voice and manage not to identify with it anymore and every time you're aware of it you manage to make the gap bigger between you (the awareness) and the ego."

    His experience is very similar to Eckhart Tolle's description of the I AM awakening. Also as Longchen/Simpo wrote many years ago,

    "I think Eckhart Tolle may have been suffering alot and suddenly he 'let go' of trying to work out his problems. This results in a dissociation from thoughts which give rise to the experience of Presence.

    To me, 'I AM' is an experience of Presence, it is just that only one aspect of Presence is experienced which is the 'all-pervading' aspect. The non-dual and emptiness aspect are not experienced.. Because non-dual is not realised (at I AM stage), a person may still use effort in an attempt to 'enter' the Presence. This is because, at the I AM stage, there is an erroneous concept that there is a relative world make up of thoughts AND there is an 'absolute source' that is watching it. The I AM stage person will make attempts to 'dissociated from the relative world' in order to enter the 'absolute source'.

    However, at Non-dual (& further..) stage understanding, one have understood that the division into a relative world and an absolute source has NEVER occcured and cannot be... Thus no attempt/effort is truly required."

    Furthermore, I just wrote today as a comment to the redditor's post:

    "Yes. The post indicates I AM realization and shouldn’t be mistaken as finality though every realization does appear final in some ways. I AM realization also comes with doubtless certainty, this is why he speaks with such confidence.

    This is also why he resonated with The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, which is also speaking from the I AM realization. He will also like Ramana Maharshi, if he finds his book in future. He will not understand or resonate with Daniel Ingram or Actual Freedom at this stage as Daniel’s insight is more on anatta."

  7. Soh Says:

    Now -- as to why I said first bhumi requires the realization of anatta as in Thusness Stage 5, well, this is standard sutric criteria for the attainment of First Bhumi. You can find this information everywhere. It can also be argued that first bhumi is in fact Thusness Stage 5 and 6 (based on the descriptions in ) combined, in any case, all agree there must be at least the realization of Anatman (stage 5).

    I like Mipham Rinpoche's description of the first bhumi (first ground) too -

    "...The corpus of the doctrines of Maitreya and the scriptures of the great chariot, Asaṅga, both teach with a single intent that a person on the ground of motivated conduct184 first understands all phenomena to be merely mind, and then experiences that the mind has nothing to perceive. Then, at the time of the supreme quality on the path of joining,185 one realizes that since the perceived does not exist, neither does the perceiver. Right after this, the truth of suchness, which is free from dualistic fixation, is directly realized. This is said to be the attainment of the first ground.

    Duckworth, Douglas. Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings (p. 151). Shambhala. Kindle Edition."

  8. Soh Says:

    I just saw your arguments and they contain some misunderstandings.

    "- This realization is always the first (in the cases I know, as in me and you) and it's not easily reversible, so it fits as a first ground (bhumi). That's their meaning..."

    Not really. Many people (most people I know) go through the I AM and non dual first before anatta and emptiness, but not all. Daniel M. Ingram realized anatta but did not go through the I AM realization first. After his realization of anatta, he did stumble across a "post-8th-jhana/pure land jhana" state which he describes as the "all-pervading Watcher" or Presence, and that is similar to I AM. But he categorized it as a jhanic state and he only accessed it after anatta. It is not so important to him.

    There are also other cases who realize anatta and emptiness without going through the I AM phase. Take for example, this Mahamudra practitioner -

    2008 Conversation with Thusness:

    (4:15 PM) AEN: tsultrim serri:
    (4:15 PM) AEN: Initiated a file transfer
    (4:15 PM) AEN:
    (Mind has often been likened to a mirror, but the analogy goes only so far, because mirrors exist and mind doesn't, well let's say that one can touch mirrors. What existence means, particularly at these levels, would be a fruitful topic, but one that i will not cover. Also , mind doesn't really reflect phenomena, it is the phenomena themselves. This is covered further down in these 4 prajnas, but for clarity i thought i should mention that.
    (4:15 PM) AEN:
    "Thusness' or "suchness" is what one feels with the experience of emptiness. It is a solid sense of being (yes, emptiness has a solid or one could say rich feeling). The luminescence of mind can be compared the the surface of a mirror. If the mirror is dirty it doesn't have a bright surface, and if mind is filled with obscuration its awareness is dimmed. With the experience of emptiness, phenomena become more vivid. It is said in the post that this confirms one's entrance into Zen. In the vajrayana, this vividness of mind is called "osel" in Tibetan, and it is a sign that one has entered the vajrayana. In my experience, this is quite far along the path. To get to this point, one would have to experience egolessness of self, egolessness of other, nondualty, emptiness, and only then luminosity.)
    (4:16 PM) Thusness: very good.
    (4:16 PM) AEN: from another thread: "Exist is a tricky word in Buddhism. Mind does not exist in the sense of being a thing, but it does exist as well, otherwise how would we be able to see, hear etc.
    Having said that, for an individual, there is nothing "outside of awareness." Everything that happens to us happens in our awareness(it's not ours, but so what). Furthermore, we are literally everything that happens in our awareness. There is no self; we are simply the world. if we see a chair in our kitchen, that is what we are at that moment since there is no separation between phenomena and mind. Phenomena are mind and mind is phenomena. smile.gif
    (4:17 PM) Thusness: where u get this?
    (4:17 PM) AEN:
    (4:17 PM) AEN: an e-sangha poster
    (4:20 PM) AEN: u can go read Kensho in context of the first prajna
    (4:20 PM) AEN: he explains the four prajnas in his own words
    (4:20 PM) AEN: i think the first poster also have some experience but he mistook buddha-nature as a mirror reflecting, then tsultrim went to comment on the four prajnas himself
    (4:21 PM) AEN:
    (4:21 PM) AEN: four jnanas i mean

  9. Soh Says:


    (4:22 PM) Thusness: this tsultrim's insight is stage 6.
    (4:23 PM) AEN: oic..
    (4:23 PM) Thusness: truly good.
    (4:23 PM) AEN: icic..
    (4:23 PM) Thusness: not many can truly feel the differences.
    (4:23 PM) AEN: oic..
    (4:24 PM) Thusness: it is only until a certain phase of experience then that clarity comes.
    (4:24 PM) Thusness: and often in tremendous in the stability of thoughtlessness... thought almost seldom arise and one becomes the full vividness of arising phenomena.
    (4:25 PM) Thusness: is he a dzogchen practitioner?
    (4:25 PM) AEN: oic
    (4:25 PM) AEN: i think mahamudra
    (4:25 PM) AEN: he talks about the four yoga
    (4:25 PM) Thusness: ic
    (4:25 PM) AEN: "(Yes, this agrees, in my opinion, with "nonmeditation" in the 4 yogas of mahamudra, the last and most fruitional yoga of mahamudra."
    (4:25 PM) AEN: oh
    (4:25 PM) AEN: and he linked the 4 jnanas to the 4 yogas
    (4:26 PM) Thusness: where?
    (4:26 PM) AEN:
    (4:26 PM) AEN: tsultrim serri
    post Oct 15 2008, 11:36 PM

    (5:19 PM) Thusness: actually what he said about prajna and jhana is quite good. But u have to know that it is not the sort of jhana as in concentration.
    (5:20 PM) Thusness: it is the experience of effortlessness in non-dual luminosity.
    (5:22 PM) Thusness: There will come a time every day mundane activities, practice and enlightenment is just one substance.
    (5:24 PM) AEN: no he said jnana
    (5:24 PM) AEN: jnana is more like knowledge
    (5:24 PM) AEN: not jhana absorption :P
    (5:24 PM) AEN: icic..
    (5:25 PM) Thusness: ic
    (5:26 PM) Thusness: There will come a time when emptiness becomes so clear and the separation is no more then without the need to recall or remind. The last veil that separates is like permanently gone. Then there is no practice because all moments of arising phenomena is just one practice.
    (5:28 PM) AEN: oic..
    (5:28 PM) AEN: thats what he means by observing emptiness and 'being' emptiness rite
    (5:28 PM) AEN: i mean the difference between it
    (5:29 PM) AEN: Initiated a file transfer
    (5:29 PM) AEN:
    In a post above, i distinguished between the two. I know you asked Matylda, but until she replies, if she does, possibly i could be of help.
    Prajna is the tool that sees emptiness. It is actually an expansion of awareness, using awareness in the context of mindfulness/awareness. Awareness gets to a point where it discovers the nature of mind which includes emptiness. At that point, awareness transforms into prajna. There are lesser stages of prajna as well, but i would have to review them.
    Prajna has been likened to the mother of all the Buddhas, because through its activity the mind that becomes the Buddha mind is born. Actually, it has always been there, and is unborn, but let's not quibble.
    (5:29 PM) AEN:
    So, prajna sees emptiness. When first seen, however, one feels emptiness as separate from what has discovered it. There is still a slight trace of dualism. We experience this dualism as a seeking for emptinesss ie there is a seeker and something sought. At the realization of jnana, this duality melts, so to speak, and emptiness exists or doesn't exist without a sense of something observing it. Also, one attains wisdom when emptiness arises, not wisdom about anything, simply being in the state of wisdom. With prajna, one observes that wisdom; with jnana, one becomes it.

  10. Soh Says:


    (5:35 PM) Thusness: jnana here does not refer to the type of concentration like it said. It is an effortless non-dual luminous experience due to the maturing of prajna.
    (5:35 PM) Thusness: I have often said clear until absorbed. Vividness of forms.
    (5:36 PM) AEN: oic..
    (5:37 PM) Thusness: It is the outcome of the clarity of insight due to the dissolving of that tendency to divide. It is natural, not a form of attention or concentration. This should not be misunderstood.
    (5:37 PM) AEN: icic..
    (5:38 PM) Thusness: He mentioned about luminosity is the last fruition stage and one must go through emptiness to realise this stage.
    (5:39 PM) Thusness: This is not exactly right. :)
    (5:39 PM) Thusness: Advaita Vedanta practitioner will experience the opposite. :)
    (5:39 PM) AEN: oic..
    (5:39 PM) AEN: but for mahamudra it is like that rite?
    (5:39 PM) AEN: theravada also?
    (5:39 PM) AEN: like dharma dan
    (5:40 PM) Thusness: yes
    (5:40 PM) AEN: cos rite
    (5:40 PM) Thusness: it is because of right view
    (5:40 PM) AEN: oic..
    (5:40 PM) Thusness: without the right view, u will experience luminosity aspect of awareness without knowing its empty nature.
    (5:40 PM) Thusness: that is more dangerous.

    (5:40 PM) AEN: oic..
    (5:41 PM) Thusness: therefore establishment of right view is most important. Seeds are planted.
    (5:42 PM) Thusness: It is better not to experience then to experience the wrong stuff and makes it more difficult to get out of the dualistic experience of Eternal Witness.
    (5:42 PM) AEN: icic..

    (Though in later years, Thusness and I agree that it's probably a good thing for people to go through the I AM phase first, it can shorten the path provided that there is good guidance, otherwise one can get stuck in I AM for their whole life)

  11. Soh Says:

    "- It's very, very joyous, as we all know, as it's the first glimpse of real espirituality. Real change in the mind. Real "seeing" of truth, even it's not final."

    Yes, even the I AM realization is blissful and joyous, but it is not the same as first bhumi. As Thusness said before, Luminosity is Blissful but not liberating. It is the realization of emptiness, or the union of luminosity and emptiness, that is liberating. It is the bliss of nirvana, not just a blissful state of Presence or Clarity.

    "- As the first bhumi is in the path of seeing (and the rest in the path of meditation), it also fits."

    It is different. In many Buddhist paths, one indeeds start from the direct realization of Presence-Awareness (similar to I AMness). As Lopon Malcolm (qualified and asked to teach Dzogchen by his guru Kunzang Dechen Lingpa) pointed out, in the Dzogchen path, one really starts practicing Dzogchen when one has a direct recognition of Rigpa as the clarity radiance aspect of Rigpa, but this is not yet the realization of emptiness. The realization of emptiness, and first bhumi, happens on the Third out of the Four Visions of Thodgal.

    You can read Malcolm (Lopon Namdrol/Malcolm)'s posts in Dharmawheel, I like to read his posts from time to time.

    Likewise in Mahamudra, the Luminosity aspect (unfabricated Clarity or Presence) is poitned out in the First Yoga of One Pointedness, yet the first bhumi is only starting from the Yoga of One Taste (where both perceiver and perceived are realized to be empty and the subject/object duality is severed) according to Clarifying the Natural State by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal and his other book Moonlight of Mahamudra.

    So on and so forth.

  12. Tao Says:

    > whether first bhumi requires Anatta realization?

    This one.

    > first bhumi requires the realization of anatta
    > You can find this information everywhere.

    Maybe, but I'll be very happy if you can cite a sutra about that point...

    For me, the First Bhumi equals to I am and to the capacity indicated in the text to abandone thoughts. Like when he says:

    > I can choose whether I want to follow that thought, I'm able to let the thought fade away.

    So this is first Bhumi, as Samdhinirmmorcana sutra states:

    They are able to abandon all thoughts that appear in their minds and, because they continually abide in such an activity, over a period of time they cultivate a mind to counteract all entanglements, obfuscations, and distractions. Afterwards, they internally engender penetrating discernment in regard to each of the seven suchnesses, for this is the path of insight. Because of this attainment they are said to have entered the assured status of a bodhisattva exempt from rebirth, for they are born into the household of the Tathagata and, entering into the first stage.

    Quite close to the description of the boy? More or less the same...

    No word about Anatman in this stage in that sutra, at least... but a good description of what happens at I AM as you call it.

    Anyway, not really important. But nice to talk to you again.

  13. Soh Says:

    Also in 2007, conversation with Thusness:

    (9:23 PM) Thusness: why i have stated 6?
    (9:23 PM) AEN: stated 6?
    (9:23 PM) AEN: u mean why have u stated that 6 is needed?
    (9:23 PM) Thusness: 6 stages
    (9:23 PM) AEN: oic
    (9:24 PM) AEN: erm bcos need to go through different level of understanding first?
    (9:24 PM) Thusness: because i want to include other religions and mysticism form of enlightenment
    (9:24 PM) Thusness: all are included
    (9:25 PM) AEN: oic..
    (9:26 PM) Thusness: in buddhism only stage 5 onwards is enlightenment
    (9:27 PM) AEN: icic
    (9:27 PM) Thusness: in christianity and mysticism and hinduism, stage 1 - 4 is enlightenment
    (9:27 PM) Thusness: stage 5 onwards is unknown to them

  14. Soh Says:

    "- Tradition doesnt say that you realize Anatta in the 1st Bhumi, saya that there's the first glimpse of emptiness (sunyata). And certainly for the first time the meditator faces something without característics, some kind of "atman" or emptiness-I"

    You are completely misunderstanding emptiness as defined by Buddhadharma here.

    I suggest reading this article:

    "For those who encounter emptiness teachings after they've become familiar with awareness teachings, it's very tempting to misread the emptiness teachings by substituting terms. That is, it's very easy to misread the emptiness teachings by seeing "emptiness" on the page and thinking to yourself, "awareness, consciousness, I know what they're talking about."

    Early in my own investigations I began with this substitution in mind. With this misreading, I found a lot in the emptiness teachings to be quite INcomprehensible! So I started again, laying aside the notion that "emptiness" and "awareness" were equivalent. I tried to let the emptiness teachings speak for themselves. I came to find that they have a subtle beauty and power, a flavor quite different from the awareness teachings. Emptiness teachings do not speak of emptiness as a true nature that underlies or supports things. Rather, it speaks of selves and things as essenceless and free. "

    • Emptiness is not a substance
    • Emptiness is not a substratum or background
    • Emptiness is not light
    • Emptiness is not consciousness or awareness
    • Emptiness is not the Absolute
    • Emptiness does not exist on its own
    • Objects do not consist of emptiness
    • Objects do not arise from emptiness
    • Emptiness of the "I" does not negate the "I"
    • Emptiness is not the feeling that results when no objects are appearing to the mind
    • Meditating on emptiness does not consist of quieting the mind"

  15. Tao Says:

    There's not an accepted translation bhumis-to-4 yogas.

    Quoting Astus from Dharma Wheel here we have some options:

    Tsele Natsok Rangdrol (Lamp of Mahamudra):

    some say: 3 stages of simplicity and arriving at one taste - first bhumi and path of cultivation
    most say: post-meditation after attaining simplicity - first bhumi / path of sseeing

    first stage of simplicity - 1-3 bhumi
    medium stage of simplicity - 4-5 bhumi
    greater simplicity - sixth bhumi
    first stage of one taste - seventh bhumi
    medium one taste - eighth bhumi
    higher stage of one taste - ninth bhumi
    lesser and medium stages of nonmeditation - tenth bhumi

    greater nonmeditation - buddhahood/vajradhara, 11-13 bhumi

    Dakpo Tashi Namgyal (Mahamudra: The Moonlight):

    based on Drelpa Dönsal:
    [path of virtuous absorption - one-pointed yoga
    path of insight - non-discrimination yoga]
    path of meditation (bhumi 2-10) - one taste yoga
    buddhahood - nonmeditation yoga

    based on Je Gyare:
    path of spiritual merit - preparatory practices
    path of virtuous absorption - one-pointed yoga
    path of insight - nondiscrimination yoga
    path of meditation - one flavor yoga
    9-10 bhumi - lower-middle nonmeditation
    buddhadhood - greater nonmeditation

    Tashi Namgyal's own:
    path of spiritual merits and first ground - preparatory practices and three levels of one-pointed yoga
    path of virtuous absorpation and ground of joy - three levels of nondiscriminatory yoga
    path of insight and meditation, 1-10 grounds - 1-3 levels of one flavor and 1-2 levels of nonmeditation
    buddhahood - greater nonmeditation

    Of all the quoted options, mi favorite is relating the first bhumi to I AM and to the culmination of One-pointness and beginning of Simplicity.

    But, who really knows?

  16. Soh Says:

    Please refer to page 101 of Clarifying the Natural State, quote:

    "The three meditation stages of One Taste and the lesser
    and medium Nonmeditation corresponds to the duration
    from the level of the first bhumi and the path of seeing, as
    well as to the path of cultivation from the second to the
    tenth bhumi."

    Clearly Dakpo Tashi Namgyal is stating the first bhumi starts with One Taste.

    In any case, the Yoga of Simplicity does have some insight into emptiness, yet somehow the anatta nondual sort of realization is missing and only comes in the Yoga of One Taste in the Mahamudra system.

    I'm 100% confident that I AM cannot be equated with First Bhumi. Why? First Bhumi is like the Mahayana equivalent of Stream Entry.

    All views of Self (or inherent existence) are eliminated in that direct realization of emptiness. Therefore Thusness Stage 1 and 4 are automatically excluded as possible candidates of both first bhumi and stream entry, as all of them have not yet overcome various gross and subtle views of eternalism and essentialism.

    You cannot possibly hold the view of an eternal Self, source and substratum, and still claim to be free from views of Self.

    If I have time I will try to find some sutra quotations of first bhumi.

  17. Tao Says:

    >You are completely misunderstanding emptiness as defined by Buddhadharma here.

    It's just an opinion. I think my understading of buddhist emptiness is quite solid.

    Remember I said "some kind of emptiness-I"... I didnt meaning sunyata.

    If the first bhumi was realizing Anatta, why would they say that "it's the first glimpse of emptiness"?

    Samdhinimorcana sutra speaks a lot about bhumis, and never says something even close to that...

    If we all realize first I AM, and it's a ground, how could it not be the first ground?

    Descriptions of this first ground, are not super clear, but they're not in contradition with my point.

    Anyway, it not really important, we have to walk all of them :)

    Sorry, I couldnt read all you posted, too much. Buy I thank you the effort.

  18. Tao Says:

    >Clearly Dakpo Tashi Namgyal is stating the first bhumi starts with One Taste.

    True, but other Mahamudra masters say different thing. So it's not clear at all.

    >First Bhumi is like the Mahayana equivalent of Stream Entry.

    Not clear about that. Any sutric support for this affirmation? Anyway it's a nice point. A good one.

    But all the Mahamudra yogas, are somekind of "ground".

    Anyway I agree Anatta is realized across one-taste. And that's the important part... :)

    As T. says: Have a nive journey!

  19. Soh Says:

    "According to Tsong Khapa, first level bodhisattvas directly understand that persons do not exist by way of their own nature. Due to this, they overcome the false idea that the five aggregates constitute a truly existent person. They also eliminate predispositions toward corrupted ethics so completely that they will not arise again.[6]"

    - John Powers, Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism

    Also, from a Buddhist Glossary -

    Two emptinesses (二空) include (1) emptiness of self, the ātman, the soul, in a person composed of the five aggregates, constantly changing with causes and conditions; and (2) emptiness of selves in all dharmas—each of the five aggregates, each of the twelve fields, and each of the eighteen spheres, as well as everything else with no independent existence. No-self in any dharma implies no-self in a person, but the latter is separated out in the first category. Realization of the emptiness of self in a person will lead to attainment of Arhatship or Pratyekabuddhahood. Bodhisattvas who have realized both emptinesses ascend to the First Ground on their Way to Buddhahood.

    Also, from Chinese commentary on sutras:

    1. The Joyous Ground: The Bodhisattva's initial entrance into sainthood, breaking through the confusion of views, realizing the principle of twofold emptiness of person and dharma. (The Bodhisattva) gives rise to great joy, therefore it is called The Joyous Ground. At this ground, (one) accomplishes the Paramita of Dana (generosity) among the Bodhisattva Ten Paramitas.
    Commentary: View-Confusion - the various forms of delusional and deviant views, extreme views (e.g. eternalism/nihilism, existence/non-existence), self views, etc.
    Dana - Generosity, has the meaning of 'relinquishment'.
    Paramita - has the meaning of 'to the other shore'.

    (Chinese: 一、欢喜地:为菩萨初得圣性,破见惑,证人法二空之理,生大欢喜,故名欢喜地。于此地成就菩萨十波罗蜜中之檀波罗蜜。(注:见惑──种种妄见、邪见、边见、我见等之妄惑。檀──布施,即舍义。波罗蜜──乃到彼岸的意思。) )

    Also, ask any Lamas/Rinpoches/Teachers and they can affirm that the first Bhumi Bodhisattva has direct realization of Sunyata (Emptiness). Not anything like Atman-Brahman.

    You will never find any sutras that state the first bhumi Bodhisattva realizes Atman-Brahman, on the contrary, they will state that the first bhumi Bodhisattva realizations Emptiness - Sunyata.

    Also "ground" just means a stage of attainment. It has nothing to do with an Atman-Brahman.

    "The Sanskrit term bhūmi literally means "ground" or "foundation". Each stage represents a level of attainment, and serves as a basis for the next one. Each level marks a definite advancement in one's training, that is accompanied by progressively greater power and wisdom."

  20. Soh Says:

    Also I am quite doubtful you have personally realized Anatta. Do note that non-dual has different phases -- One Mind, No Mind, and Anatta realization. More often than not one is in One Mind and No Mind phase, and has not realized Anatta. The aspect of the realization of view will become very clear after realization of anatta.

    I discussed the differences in:

  21. Soh Says:

    I tend to agree with Dakpo Tashi Namgyal's mapping of Four Yogas with Bhumis, but even if the other Mahamudras are right it still affirms my position -- since the Yoga of Simplicity is described as the realizing of the non-arising (sunyata, emptiness) of all phenomena. As I said, certain insights of emptiness has arisen but not yet non-dual anatta. But you will not see them describing the earlier stages as I AMness.

    This is the case of Tsultrim -- his insights of emptiness has arisen before nondual anatta luminosity.

  22. Soh Says:


    The Vijñāptimātratāsiddhi or Discourse on the Perfection of Consciousness-only states: "Of the ten bhumis, the first is the Joyous ground. The initial attainment of Saintliness, realizing Two Emptinesses (of Self and Phenomena), being thus able to benefit oneself and others, great joy arises."

    (My translation)

  23. Soh Says:

    I just read a translation of your blog. My impression is that you might be still in Thusness Stage 4 rather than what I call "anatta"

    Session Start: Saturday, March 14, 2009

    (11:50 PM) AEN: 'Nevertheless it is a very key phase'
    u mean very important key phase?
    (11:51 PM) Thusness: yeah
    (11:52 PM) AEN: icic..
    btw wats the difference between stage 4 and 5 other than stabilizing non dual
    (11:54 PM) Thusness: u need to face the problem to know
    it is not in words
    (11:55 PM) Thusness: because u have not experienced non-division
    (11:55 PM) Thusness: so u do not know what is non divison
    (11:55 PM) Thusness: what is no-doership and what is no agent in experience
    (11:56 PM) Thusness: and it is difficult to know what is that 'marks' that prevent the experience of spontaneity
    (11:56 PM) AEN: oic..
    (11:58 PM) Thusness: there is a difference seeing thinker/thoughts as one
    (11:58 PM) Thusness: and hearer/sound as one
    then sound is awareness, no hearer
    (11:58 PM) Thusness: stage 4 is more like hearer/sound as one
    (11:59 PM) Thusness: that is why i said one thought, then another thought
    just like u, u said u feel like an open space
    (11:59 PM) Thusness: then u hear sound
    sound and awareness seem to be one
    (11:59 PM) AEN: oic..
    (12:00 AM) Thusness: indistinguishable but u cannot have that experience that there is only sound
    only in logic u have but not in experience
    (12:00 AM) Thusness: until one day u mature that experience
    (12:01 AM) AEN: icic..
    just now i saw a website from truthz's blog lists
    i mean not truthz's blog but the blog link appeared in his
    (12:02 AM) AEN:
    Correct Understanding - the first of the eight aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path - arises out of noticing the impermanent, unsatisfactory, and impersonal nature of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile objects. When all these phenomena are realized to be not self, the mind will turn inwards, seeking out what it might cling to as ‘me’. But if it looks with absolute clarity it will find emptiness. Behind sensations, feelings, thoughts, and consciousness, there lies clear, endless space. I sometimes call it ‘Buddha Space’.
    (12:05 AM) Thusness: yeah
    that is wrong view.
    (12:05 AM) AEN: oic..
    (12:06 AM) Thusness: it is very difficult to see the truth of this until our insight matures
    even at stage 4, it can be difficult but it is already the first steps towards anatta

  24. Soh Says:


    (12:06 AM) AEN: difficult to what
    see anatta?
    (12:06 AM) Thusness: yeah
    (12:06 AM) AEN: oic
    (12:07 AM) Thusness: u must see the no agent
    not only no division
    (12:07 AM) Thusness: like i told u there are 3 stages
    (12:08 AM) Thusness: later into just this non-dual luminosity
    (12:09 AM) Thusness: if u ask non-dualists, they will not realise that they are an arising thought
    (12:09 AM) Thusness: like what jeff foster said
    (12:09 AM) AEN: oic..
    (12:10 AM) Thusness: they will feel damn ultimate
    (12:10 AM) AEN: ic..
    like brahman
    (12:11 AM) Thusness: yes so they see self
    not events, process phenomena
    (12:12 AM) AEN: oic..
    (12:12 AM) Thusness: they see brahman, not sunyata
    (12:12 AM) Thusness: even the experiences are very similar
    the insight has not matured into anatta
    (12:13 AM) Thusness: like shingon sort of practice, the experience can be said to be maha like
    but it is not the maha sort of experience i am talking about
    (12:13 AM) Thusness: it is oneness sort of experience
    but it is a stage
    (12:14 AM) Thusness: what i said is oneness is always there
    (12:14 AM) Thusness: when one realises that presence is always a manifestation and full embodiment of interconnectedness
    (12:15 AM) Thusness: no effort needs to be done to induce a maha experience

    (12:23 AM) Thusness: there are few conditions to experience maha as a ground
    (12:23 AM) Thusness: 1. mature in non-dual experience
    2. DO (dependent origination)
    (12:24 AM) Thusness: 3. experience and understand that 'interconnectedness' is the universe itself
    then 'self' and even non dual becomes quite irrelevant
    (12:25 AM) Thusness: in fact now presence is not understand as non-dual to me.
    (12:26 AM) Thusness: but as DO
    (12:26 AM) Thusness: where non-dual is already included

  25. Soh Says:

    As for your quoting Samdhinirmochana Sutra,

    "They are able to abandon all thoughts that appear in their minds and, because they continually abide in such an activity, over a period of time they cultivate a mind to counteract all entanglements, obfuscations, and distractions."

    --> Actually this is not yet realization. This is the Yoga of One Pointedness, where one cultivates samadhi and abandon thoughts.

    Realization - Path of Seeing - happens here:

    "Afterwards, they internally engender penetrating discernment in regard to each of the seven suchnesses, for this is the path of insight. Because of this attainment they are said to have entered the assured status of a bodhisattva exempt from rebirth, for they are born into the household of the Tathagata and, entering into the first stage."

    There is nothing indicative of I AMness here.

    In fact one should realize what "Suchness" in Buddhism means.

    Vasubandhu states in the Treatise on Buddha Nature -

    "Buddha-nature is the suchness (tathatā) revealed through the two emptinesses of person and phenomenon. Due to suchness there is no ridiculing or ridiculed. Penetrating this principle one is free from delusional attachments."


    It is not just Yogacara that states so, the Buddha in the Pali Canon explains Suchness in similar fashion (in fact this is a good description of the actualization of both Thusness Stage 5 and 6):

  26. Soh Says:

    AN 4.24 PTS: A ii 23
    Kalaka Sutta: At Kalaka's Park
    translated from the Pali by
    Thanissaro Bhikkhu
    © 2002
    The updated version is freely available at

    This version of the text might be out of date. Please click here for more information

    On one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Saketa at Kalaka's park. There he addressed the monks: "Monks!"

    "Yes, lord," the monks responded.

    The Blessed One said: "Monks, whatever in the cosmos — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & brahmans royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That do I know. Whatever in the cosmos — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & brahmans, their royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That I directly know. That has been realized by the Tathagata, but in the Tathagata[1] it has not been established.[2]

    "If I were to say, 'I don't know whatever in the cosmos... is seen, heard, sensed, cognized... pondered by the intellect,' that would be a falsehood in me. If I were to say, 'I both know and don't know whatever in the cosmos... is seen, heard, sensed, cognized... pondered by the intellect,' that would be just the same. If I were to say, 'I neither know nor don't know whatever in the cosmos... is seen, heard, sensed, cognized... pondered by the intellect,' that would be a fault in me.

    "Thus, monks, the Tathagata, when seeing what is to be seen, doesn't construe an [object as] seen. He doesn't construe an unseen. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-seen. He doesn't construe a seer.

    "When hearing...

    "When sensing...

    "When cognizing what is to be cognized, he doesn't construe an [object as] cognized. He doesn't construe an uncognized. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-cognized. He doesn't construe a cognizer.

    Thus, monks, the Tathagata — being the same with regard to all phenomena that can be seen, heard, sensed, & cognized — is 'Such.' And I tell you: There's no other 'Such' higher or more sublime.

    "Whatever is seen or heard or sensed
    and fastened onto as true by others,
    One who is Such — among the self-fettered —
    wouldn't further claim to be true or even false.

    "Having seen well in advance that arrow
    where generations are fastened & hung
    — 'I know, I see, that's just how it is!' —
    there's nothing of the Tathagata fastened."

    Reading tathagate with the Thai edition.
    I.e., the Tathagata hasn't taken a stance on it.

  27. Soh Says:

    " no ridiculing or ridiculed"

    i.e. subject and object

  28. Soh Says:

    Since you have read the Samdhinirmochana sutra, you should also know what the sutra is very clear about what the definitive meaning of Buddhism is.

    As Malcolm (Lopon Namdrol) pointed out before, if Buddha taught the aspect of Clarity as definitive, then there is nothing special about Buddhadharma, and will be no different from the Atman-Brahman of other religions. Instead it is the teachings of anatman, dependent origination and shunyata and the non-arising of whatever dependently originates that is the unique and definitive teaching of Buddhadharma.

    Samdhinirmochana Sutra:

    "In the country of Benares at Rsipatana in the Deer Park, the World-honored One first turned the wheel of doctrine, [teaching] the four holy truths for those setting out in the word-hearers' vehicle. This turning of the wheel was marvelous and wonderful, such as nobody, whether gods or men, had been able to turn in the world before. Nevertheless there were superior teachings, for [this first turning] had to be interpreted and occasioned controversy. Then the World-honored One with an underlying intent turned the wheel for the second time for the sake of those setting out in the great vehicle, [teaching] that all things have no-essence, no arising, and no passing away, are originally quiescent, and are essentially in cessation. This turning of the wheel was marvelous and wonderful indeed. Nevertheless there were teachings superior to this, for it also had to be interpreted and occasioned controversy. The World-honored One then with an explicit meaning for the third time turned the wheel of doctrine for those setting out in all the vehicles, [teaching] that all things have no-essence, no arising, and no passing away, are originally quiescent, and are essentially in cessation. This turning was the most marvelous and wonderful that had ever occurred in the world. It had no superior nor did it contain any implicit meaning nor occasion any controversy." (Samdhinirmocana Sutra, ch 5, p 49; tr. Keenan, BDK edition)

  29. Soh Says:

    Now to answer Anonymous's question:

    "What is the main difference between I Am and 'I Am Everything' when it comes to end of sense of separateness(experience of oneness)? Does nondual manifest in the I Am stage ?"

    My reply will be too long to post here.

    Refer to my new blog post:

  30. Soh Says:

    p.s. I just suddenly remembered a conversation I had with Thusness in 2008 on One Taste:

    Session Start: Sunday, August 31, 2008

    (2:08 PM) Thusness: wah u wrote so much about one taste. :P
    (2:08 PM) Thusness: kok ur head!
    (2:10 PM) AEN: huh where
    (2:10 PM) AEN: lol
    (2:10 PM) AEN: i just updated my post
    (2:10 PM) AEN: removed some part and added some part
    (2:10 PM) Thusness: every place. :P
    (2:11 PM) Thusness: next time must do a constant check on the url awakeningtoreality. :P
    (2:11 PM) Thusness: One Taste here and there...kok ur head
    (2:11 PM) AEN: orh u mean google haha
    (2:11 PM) AEN: i tot u mean sgforums
    (2:11 PM) Thusness: yeah. Although ken wilber experience is non-dual, it is not exactly One Taste yet.
    (2:11 PM) AEN: oic y
    (2:11 PM) AEN: one taste include emptiness?
    (2:12 PM) Thusness: yes din i tell u?
    (2:12 PM) AEN: icic..
    (2:13 PM) Thusness: The non-duality of advaita sort of understanding is different from buddhism.
    (2:13 PM) Thusness: how could one reaches the phase of One Taste without understanding the emptiness nature?
    (2:14 PM) Thusness: The One Taste realisation is of 2 parts: No object/subject split and both object/subject are empty of any inherent existence.
    (2:15 PM) AEN: oic..
    (2:15 PM) Thusness: Penetrating these 2 aspects, insight arises of the One Taste.
    (2:15 PM) Thusness: Since when did i tell u about Advaita sort of understanding is non-dual of Buddhism?
    (2:15 PM) AEN: icic..
    (2:16 PM) Thusness: So many times I told u it is the empty nature that Buddha came to teach us, not only the luminosity aspect.
    (2:16 PM) Thusness: The non-dual luminous nature is described all over the Vedas
    (2:17 PM) AEN: oic..
    (2:17 PM) Thusness: kok ur head!
    (2:18 PM) Thusness: Anyone not talking about the 3 seals, understanding the anatta sort of non-duality is not talking about Buddhism.
    (2:19 PM) Thusness: anyone that lead to the understanding of Brahman is deluded in Buddhist perspective. The One Mind, the One Reality is the non-inherent in nature.
    (2:19 PM) Thusness: it should not be understood from a dualistic and inherent perspective.
    (2:19 PM) AEN: oic but ken wilber talk about brahman meh :P
    (2:20 PM) Thusness: Yes.
    (2:20 PM) AEN: oic
    (2:21 PM) Thusness: Therefore the experience is non-dual but the insight isn't.

  31. Soh Says:

    Chandrakirti states that the first bhumi has direct realization of the nonexistence of the self:

    "b. The five additional qualities of lineage, elimination, realization, ability, and progression 6 (1) The first bodhisattva ground transcends the levels of ordinary beings, Shravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas. The Bodhisattvas who enter this ground become members of the family of the Tathagatas; they will never more stray to other paths, for their lineage is now irreversible. (2) The Bodhisattvas on this ground have a direct realization of the nonexistence of the self. This enables them to abandon the three fetters:

    the view of the transitory composite, the belief in the superiority of their ethical discipline, and doubt—together with all the obscurations eliminated on the path of seeing. (3) Because they have attained the sublime qualities of realization and have eliminated all defects, the Bodhisattvas experience an extraordinary happiness, which is why this ground is called Perfect Joy. (4) At the same time, the Bodhisattvas acquire one hundred and twelve powers, such as the miraculous ability to cause a hundred different worlds to tremble. 63 These are the qualities of their extraordinary, indeed sublime attainment. 7 Finally, (5) the Bodhisattvas’ quality of progression means that they joyously proceed to the higher grounds, from first to second and so forth.

    c. Birth in the lower realms is no longer possible"

    Etc etc

    From Introduction to the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara with Commentary by Ju Mipham