Also see:

Vipassana Must Go With Luminous Manifestation
Four Foundations of Mindfulness: The Direct Path to Liberation
Mindfulness as Remembrance

A note by Soh: "The problem is that most vipassana teachers are missing the anatta insight and the way they teach doesnt directly lead to insight.

Their anatta understanding is still inferential, even if they have peak experiences of some aspects of no-self. It is not the same as what we call the realisation of anatman.

It will be good that when doing vipassana, at the same time you contemplate experientially the two stanzas of anatta or bahiya sutta, that will lead to the anatman breakthrough "

Thusness, 2005~2007:

Ck: john, how to practise vipassana in daily life?
Thusness: just observe every sensation.
Thusness: until one day u are able to experience "emptiness as form".
Thusness: then it becomes effortless.
Thusness: Truthz u cannot imagine the bliss when one clearly experiences that.
Thusness: but there is no point to over stress anything.
Thusness: :)
Ck: Thusness just observe every sensation... give me an eg?
Thusness: when u breath, u don't have to care what is the right way of breathing, whether u breath hard or soft, smooth or fine...just experience as much clarity as u can...just that experience...regardless of what it is like.
Thusness: same for all other experiences.
Ck: wot abt sound? hows it?
Thusness: when u hear, just the sound...the totality of the sound. There is no how but just to do away with all abitary thoughts. Hear the sound as clear as u can be.
Ck: then wot abt thots?
Ck: thots r v sticky Sad
Thusness: thoughts seldom arise if the practice is correct. If it arises, then not to chase after its meaning. Not to answer urself what it means, not to dwell in 'what'...then u will resort to just the moment of awareness.
Ck: when i try to be just openly aware, i notice that i jump from sense to sense
Ck: like one moment hearing, then touch, etc
Thusness: that is okie.
Thusness: our nature is so.
Ck: wots the rite way to do it
Thusness: don't think that u should concentrate.
Thusness: ur only duty is to sense with as much clarity as possible.
Ck: and for all the sensations, i dun dwell in the 'what'?
Thusness: ur mind is looking for a way, a method
Thusness: but what that is needed is only the clarity.
Thusness: however because our mind is so molded and affect by our habitual propensities, it becomes difficult what that is direct and simple.
Thusness: just stop asking 'how', 'what', 'why'.
Thusness: and submerge into the moment.
Thusness: and experience.
Thusness: i prefer u to describe.
Thusness: not to ask how, what, why, when, where and who.
Thusness: only this is necessary.
Ck: ok
Thusness: if u practice immediately, u will understand.
Thusness: if u entertain who, what, where, when and how, u create more propensities and dull ur own luminosity.

Ck: i shuffle btw self inquiry, observing sensations n thots, being aware... its ok rite
Thusness: yes
Ck: means start work i'll hv even more propensities...
Thusness: that is when u do not understand what awareness, but it is true to certain extend. :)


(10:07 PM) Thusness: tell me what u think is awareness?
(10:07 PM) Thusness: in ur own words
(10:07 PM) Thusness: just say
(10:08 PM) AEN: just the knowingness, the sensation or thoughts etc
(10:09 PM) Thusness: look at the skin of ur hands
(10:09 PM) AEN: ok
(10:09 PM) Thusness: looks real?
(10:09 PM) AEN: yea
(10:09 PM) Thusness: touch it...feel it as much as u can
(10:10 PM) Thusness: can u don't think of a background
(10:10 PM) AEN: yea
(10:10 PM) Thusness: and know that, that is awareness?
(10:10 PM) AEN: ya
(10:10 PM) Thusness: that is all.


[22:37] <^john^> so far what do u understand about awareness?
[22:38] hmm like u say lor... awareness is never lost
[22:39] <^john^> what is awareness right now?
[22:39] <^john^> when u say thought arises, is thought awareness?
[22:41] thought is not awareness, but there is awareness of thought
[22:41] lol
[22:41] <^john^> so what is thought?
[22:42] <^john^> and where is awareness?
[22:42] <^john^> same like taste, is the taste awareness?
[22:45] i think u cant define awareness to a 'thing' Razz
[22:45] <^john^> so is taste or thought a thing? :)
[22:47] <^john^> u practice meditation now right?
[22:47] <^john^> :)
[22:47] never practise for quite some time Razz
[22:47] taste or thought is not a thing
[22:47] lol
[22:49] <^john^> so do u think awareness is a party behind thinking thought or experiencing taste?
[22:49] <^john^> :)
[22:49] <^john^> lol
[22:49] no
[22:49] <^john^> taste is not a thing, then what is it?
[22:50] just the awareness
[22:50] <^john^> experience this awareness with totality. :)


(12:21 AM) Thusness: what is the role of insight meditation?
(12:22 AM) Thusness: why bare attention?
(12:22 AM) Thusness: why naked awareness?
(12:22 AM) Thusness: when insight meditation is taught and buddha said when hearing jsut the sound...this and that...
(12:23 AM) Thusness: what buddha wanted is to experience directly what awareness is, the arising, the ceasing, the clarity, the non-dual nature
(12:23 AM) Thusness: in DO
(12:24 AM) AEN_____: icic..
(12:24 AM) Thusness: not to note it with thought or place any conclusion on any experience.
(12:25 AM) Thusness: "this is impermanence" is not about noting and place any conclusion about an phenomenon arising.
(12:26 AM) Thusness: but experience impermanence directly, not in words
(12:26 AM) AEN_____: icic.. yea
(12:26 AM) Thusness: be impermanence and know what is it really...
(12:26 AM) Thusness: see what clarity is, not what it should be
(12:27 AM) Thusness: it is luminous and yet empty...experience it is so.
(12:27 AM) AEN_____: icic..
(12:27 AM) Thusness: break the solidity until there is no holding simply thus.
(12:28 AM) Thusness:    don't watch...there is no watcher...there is just momentary manifestation and that is already luminosity and emptiness
(12:31 AM) AEN:    but in conventional saying we say often say watching mah haha
(12:31 AM) AEN:    easier to understand
(12:31 AM) Thusness:    yeah but i am not toking about conventional or ultimate
(12:31 AM) Thusness:    if it is just a form of expression there is nothing wrong with it.
(12:32 AM) Thusness:    but the fact is we are really experiencing it as if there is a watcher...that is the problem.



(10:03 PM) Thusness:    lately i have been experiencing more vividly "Emptiness as form". insight meditation (vipassana) like what buddha taught is very important. when seeing, just the seen. when hearing, just the heard
(10:04 PM) AEN:              oic isn't this non duality 
(10:04 PM) Thusness:    yeah… but the depth of clarity. it is difficult for me to tell you. just train yourself into that.. if you didn’t, your life will be wasted. even with all the things i tell you. :) after non duality, you must experience until at least this level, "Emptiness as form"
(10:06 PM) AEN:              btw emptiness as form is not form as emptiness? it's like the dharma dan heart sutra model
(10:06 PM) AEN:              first is form as form, then emptiness is emptiness, then form is emptiness, then emptiness is form ?
(10:06 PM) Thusness:    just the manifestation until tremendous clarity.
(10:06 PM) Thusness:    no need… just non-dual and the depth of non-duality


Reply part 1:

Is Absorption not aware of other things?  This is difficult to say.  Although many articles and books about mindfulness seem to suggest that it is so, this is not necessarily true when we progress towards the more subtle experience. Clarity can come a time where it is so clear that it is an absorption, it is a sort of Insight-Absorption but It is different from absorption derived from concentration.  It is clarity absorption where it touches the heart of 'things', that is itself.  For example being taste itself, it is absorbed yet completely clear.  This is truly blissful and beyond description.  I have not come across any book touching this yet and I hope Toni's new book can write something about it. :)
Reply part 2:

The AMness can be said to be a form of absorption where the object of concentration is the Self.  It can be a question "Who am I" that leads one to the experience of the subject-object becoming one.  Till a point the practitioner simply experiences a pure sense of existence.  However such mode of experience has no understanding of its luminous clarity and its nature as anatta.  The key point about mindful awareness is there is no keeping of the mind on anything and by not resting on anything, it fuses into everything; therefore it cannot be concentrated; rather it is to relax into nothingness empty of self, empty of any artificial doing so that the natural luminosity can take its own course.  There is no focusing, there is only allowing the mirror bright clarity to shine with it natural radiance.  In essence there is no one there, only the phenomenon arising and ceasing telling their stories." - John Tan, 2006


Session Start: Monday, April 13, 2009


(8:54 PM) AEN:           s4bnw: Let's do some inference. The direct path provides a direct way of realising our buddha nature, which is in effect, directly helping one to progress faster, spiritually-wise compared to those who take the gradual path, which means they take more time and more round-about way to see buddha nature, isn't it?

(9:44 PM) Thusness:  yes

(9:45 PM) Thusness:  in general yes. it also depends on a practitioner dedication. Buddha said b4 if one can be fully vipassanic for 7 days, one can reach full enlightenment right? if a person can have that sort of crystal clarity like "I AMness" in all arising sensations for day and night 7 days, I believe he will reach enlightenment

(9:48 PM) AEN:           oic..

(9:50 PM) Thusness:  like I hear sound, till it becomes "I AMness", crystal clarity...till it burns away all labels, all divisions, just crystal clear SOUND.  If all whatever arises can have that sort of clarity, pristineness, then I can't imagine...if the concentration is that great. :)

(9:51 PM) Thusness:  actually it is crystal clarity and effortlessness. to me it can only be done when a practitioner already penetrate the deepest nature of non dual awareness.  That is why he knows why and how deep within him.

(9:52 PM) Thusness:  it is this non-dual clarity

(9:52 PM) AEN:           icic..

(9:55 PM) AEN:           btw then gradual path is what

You mean what you said is direct path?

(9:55 PM) Thusness:  gradual

then it is the same. like do vipassana till one is able to do that.

(9:55 PM) AEN:           oic..

(9:56 PM) Thusness:  realisation is only one knows the how and why... but that is already quite a deep realisation

(9:56 PM) Thusness:  after stabilizing non-dual then one knows why

why buddha taught vipassana. that crystal clear mirror presence yet empty.

(9:58 PM) AEN:           icic..

(10:00 PM) Thusness:            actually if we can have the fullest and effortless experience of this non-dual mirror presence, then nothing matters. whether DO or Brahman, it is the same.

(10:01 PM) AEN:         wat do you mean

(10:02 PM) Thusness:            means at the greatest clarity and completely effortless experience of our non-dual mirror presence, there is no difference. at that point, there are no concepts, labelling, self, views... it is just complete oneness and reality. so no difference

(10:03 PM) AEN:         but non dual is not yet emptiness insight rite

(10:03 PM) Thusness:            emptiness or DO are also raft... if one can completely dissolve the last trace without any views, then there is no difference. just simply naked awareness, that is sufficient. however we don't know what is naked awareness. we have only a very very vague idea of what non-dual awareness is.


For those that experience Eternal Witness, they thought they know...but in truth, only a glimpse... therefore one undergo non-dual, anatta, emptiness and then spontaneous perfection. if we can fully experience non-dual mirror like Awareness in full effortlessness, then we have to be empty, centerless and traceless. otherwise there is no true effortlessness and spontaneity. most likely it will be a contrived experience

(10:07 PM) AEN:         u mean through concentration?

(10:08 PM) Thusness:            without understanding of DO and emptiness. because our existing dualistic and inherent views is the cause of that contrivance

(10:10 PM) AEN:         oic..

(10:17 PM) Thusness:            what s4bnw said is quite true. don't argue for nothing. direct path is not for everyone and u have not face the problem yet.






(10:50 PM) Thusness:

at the more refine level of non dual experience, when the sense of self is gone to a great level, there is absolutely nothing but only everything...what does that mean? many though said so but is still not there even he is already at the level of non dual.

(10:51 PM) AEN:

not where?

(10:51 PM) Thusness:

he must feel completely nothing and only the 'concreteness', 'solidness', realness... must feel the 'solidness' and that is things.... that is awareness

(10:51 PM) AEN:

Oic. Thusness says:

many though said so but is still not there even he is already at the level of non dual. --> huh not where?

(10:52 PM) Thusness:

there are different level of non-dual experience. feeling crystal clarity and 'no one there' is the same as only the solidness, hardness, sound, vividness, realness. that 'sense of self' must be completely gone. :) you must remember this.

(10:55 PM) AEN:

oic.. this is like mindfulness rite

(10:56 PM) Thusness:

so now you know why buddha teach mindfulness? and why advaita din. :) this is important. it is the direct way. you c, the teaching and the practice is in line.

(10:57 PM) AEN:


(10:57 PM) Thusness:

so non-dual as in no-self. into impermanence and just the manifestation and DO and authenticate this with insight meditation. however it is taught wrongly. :P

(10:58 PM) AEN:


(10:58 PM) Thusness:

but when one experience deeper and understand better, why buddha taught and said those things will become clear. you will realise that advaita always tok about the Self. but when a person tat is enlightened, he doesn't like to use this word. Self is a by-product. it is the production of thought.


(11:00 PM) Thusness:

even if you call it Brahman, it is still sinking back to a source. but when one gets clearer and clearer, and know more about manifestation. there is only arising and ceasing of phenomenon according to conditions. that is dharmakaya. it is understood in crystal clarity.


(11:02 PM) Thusness:

just understand that there is no self until it sinks to the inmost consciousness. and know the different layers of consciousness but do not think that it is different type of consciousness




“It is extremely difficult to express what is ‘Isness’. Isness is awareness as forms. It is a pure sense of presence yet encompassing the ‘transparent concreteness’ of forms. There is a crystal clear sensations of awareness manifesting as the manifold of phenomenal existence. If we are vague in the experiencing of this ‘transparent concreteness’ of Isness, it is always due to that ‘sense of self’ creating the sense of division… must stress the ‘form’ part of awareness. It is the ‘forms’, it is the ‘things’.” - John Tan, 2007
Someone asked, "A quick question about Thusness Vipassanaa.

It's about clarity right?

Like when I focus on sound, I can see that mind sort of created a visual to describe sound and "color" it, but even without the mind there is clear knowing. The sound without mind's coloring is borderless."
Soh replied:
You must experience the intensity of luminosity:

“Good insight. Stability of experience has a predictable relationship with the unfolding and deepening of insights. For example how seamless and effortless can non-dual experience be, if in the back of one's mind, subtle views of duality and inherency and tendencies continue to surface and affect our moment to moment experience - for example conjuring an unchanging source or mind that results in a perpetual tendency to sink back and referencing experience back to a source.

For example even after it is seen that everything is a manifestation of awareness or mind, there might still be subtle tendencies to reference back to a source, awareness or mind and therefore the transience is not appreciated in full. Nondual is experienced but one sinks back into substantial nonduality - there is always a referencing back to a base, an "awareness" that is nevertheless inseparable from all phenomena.

If one arises the insight that our ideas of an unchanging source, awareness or mind is just another thought - that there is simply thought after thought, sight after sight, sound after sound, and there isn't an inherent or unchanging "awareness", "mind", "source". Non-dual becomes implicit and effortless when there is the realisation that what awareness, seeing, hearing really is, is just the seen... The heard... The transience... The transience itself rolls and knows, no knower or other "awareness" can be found. Like there is no river apart from flowing, no wind apart from blowing, each noun implies its verb... Similarly awareness is simply the process of knowing not separated from the known. Scenery sees, music hears. Because there is nothing unchanging, independent, ultimate apart from the transience, there is no more sinking back to a source and instead there is full comfort resting as the transience itself.

Lastly do continue practicing the intensity of luminosity... When looking at tennis ball just sense the tennis ball fully.... Without thinking of a source, background, observer, self. Just the tennis ball as a luminous light. When breathing... Just the breathe... When seeing scenery, just sights, shapes and colours - intensely luminous and vivid without an agent or observer. When hearing music... Sound of bird chirping, the crickets… Just that - chirp chirp. A zen master noted upon his awakening... When I am hearing the bell ringing, there is no I and no bell... Just the ringing. The direct experiencing of no-mind and intensity of luminosity.. This is the purpose of the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness that is taught by the Buddha.” - Soh, 2011

And you must give rise to insight of anatta: Vipassana Must Go With Luminous Manifestation
Therefore contemplating on the two stanzas of anatta (see: On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection ) and bahiya sutta (see: The Buddha on Non-Duality ) is important as part of vipassana contemplation to guide the mind to penetrate view of self/Self and realise anatta

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