Someone wrote "we are one"

I replied, "Very nice, though my experience nowadays is a dispersing out into the radiant and empty infinitude of seamless multiplicity rather than a collapsing into an undifferentiated oneness (although I've been through that phase before).

"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." - Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, Clarifying the Natural State

"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 primordially pure." - John Tan/Thusness, 2011, Realization, Experience and Right View and my comments on "A" is "not-A", "not A" is "A"

“All Buddhas and all things cannot be reduced to a static entity or principle symbolized as one mind, one nature, or the like. This guards against views that devaluate the unique, irreplaceable individuality of a single dharma.” - Hee-Jin Kim, Flowers of Emptiness, p.257"

Someone asked, "I would be interested in your perspective on Kashmir Shaivism. My understanding is that its view is not a reductive monism that makes everything undifferentiated (abheda), but one that integrates unity-in-diversity (bhedābheda) into what it calls the paramādvaya view. In that sense, are not Dzogchen and Kashmir Shaivism closer to one another than either is to Advaita Vedānta?"

I replied,


    Even in Advaita Vedanta, doctrinally Maya is considered the sport (lila) of Brahman. So it's not that different from Kashmir Shaivism fundamentally.

    Kashmir Shaivism teaches this - "element of Trika theology is the active and dynamic nature of consciousness, which is described as the spontaneous vibration or pulsation (spanda) of universal consciousness, which is an expression of its freedom (svātāntrya) and power (Śakti)."

    More: "All that exists, throughout all time and beyond, is one infinite divine Consciousness, free and blissful, which projects within the field of its awareness a vast multiplicity of apparently differentiated subjects and objects: each object an actualization of a timeless potentiality inherent in the Light of Consciousness, and each subject the same plus a contracted locus of self-awareness" -

    That description is like Thusness Stage 4. -

    It is still an undifferentiated, unchanging, inherently existing Consciousness (Shiva - the formless, limitless, transcendent and unchanging awareness) that is manifesting and being inseparable with, and subsumes, the temporary modulations and forms of that unchanging consciousness (Shakti - the dynamic energy). We call it "one mind" phase.

    This is different from Thusness Stage 5, where it is realized that consciousness never existed as an undifferentiated source and substratum, furthermore consciousness does not exist in and of itself besides the very fabric and textures and colors of manifestation. Even a moment of formless clear light presence (the aspect of Mind) is another foreground manifestation, a background simply does not exist. One completely relinquishes all notions of an ontological, metaphysical, ultimate existence of any sort.

    All the qualities once attributed to a metaphysical inherent existence -- empty-clarity, presence, perfection, purity, radiance, centerless and boundless infinitude, vitality, aliveness, intelligence, and so on, are now found as this infinitude of seamless exertion/activity/dynamic-functioning alone. The notion of a metaphysical inherent existence, or any inherent existence itself, can be seen through as a delusion.

    And this is where “In Dogen’s view, the only reality is reality that is actually experienced as particular things at specific times. There is no “tile nature” apart from actual “tile forms,” there is no “essential Baso” apart from actual instances of “Baso experience.” When Baso sits in zazen, “zazen” becomes zazen, and “Baso” becomes Baso. Real instances of Baso sitting in zazen is real instances of Baso and real instances of zazen – when Baso eats rice, Baso is really Baso and eating rice is really eating rice.”
    Ted Biringer,

    And Lopon Malcolm, who was asked to teach Dzogchen by Kunzang Dechen Lingpa, wrote:

    “Nondualism, as an ontological position, is foreign to all Buddhist teachings. Even the first verse of the rig pa khyu byug points this "The primal nature (prakṛti) of diversity is nondual." You cannot have a nondual nature of diversity if there is no diversity.

    The nonbuddhist nondualism asserts that all phenomena are just one thing, "one without a second," and that all perception of diversity is a product of false consciousness. This ontological substance is called brahman, or shiva, whatever.

    The term "nondual" in Buddhadharma refers to an absence of a pair, such as being and nonbeing, subject and object, pure and impure. Such pairs are not established. In absence of establishing existence, for example, there cannot be nonexistence. In absence of establishing a subject, there cannot be an object, and vice versa; and in absence of establishing purity, there cannot be impurity. But when we say these pairs are not established, we are not asserting there is some foundation or basis which itself established.” - Lopon Malcolm, 2019
    - taken from his facebook group Ask the Ācārya
    Loppon Namdrol/Malcolm: "Buddhism is all its forms is strictly nominalist, and rejects all universals (samanya-artha) as being unreal abstractions."

    "If you imagine there is really some transpersonal overmind, you are far outside the Buddha's teachings."

    "The difference between Buddhism and K. Shaivism (but not the only difference) is that in Dharma there is no apophatic absolute. This kind of absolute is completely absent in Buddhadharma, despite the fact that many people import their absolutist and theistic misconceptions into their understanding of Dharma."

    "There is no universal basis, as such. There is however a generic basis, which has three characteristics: essence, nature and compassion. Just as all instances of water are generically limpid, clear and moist, likewise the basis for each and every sentient being is the trio of essence, nature and compassion. Put in the simplest terms, all sentient beings possess a consciousness which has the nature being empty and clear. When examined from the point of view of reducing this to the most essential point, the basis is just one's unfabricated mind, nothing more, nothing less.

    The all-basis is of course the imputing ignorance."

    More explanations by Lopon Malcolm on the Dzogchen basis and how it differs from Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism:

    Löpon Tenzin Namdak states:
    "If you don't understand this clearly but think that one mind pervades everything, then that is what is kept and learnt in Vedanta; that is their very strong view. If you believe this then your damtsig is broken and you go against the meaning of Dzogchen.

    Is that clear? You must make sure (of this point). If you think that (Nature) is one without individual partitions, that this 'one' pervades everything, then that is breaking your Dzogchen damtsig and goes against the Dzogchen View. Hopefully you have understood clearly."

    John Tan/Thusness wrote:

    "I do not see practice apart from realizing the essence and nature of awareness. The only difference is seeing Awareness as an ultimate essence or realizing awareness as this seamless activity that fills the entire Universe. When we say there is no scent of a flower, the scent is the flower.... that is because the mind, body, universe are all together deconstructed into this single flow, this scent and only this... Nothing else. That is the Mind that is no mind. There is not an Ultimate Mind that transcends anything in the Buddhist enlightenment. The mind Is this very manifestation of total exertion... wholly thus. Therefore there is always no mind, always only this vibration of moving train, this cooling air of the air-con, this breath... The question is after the 7 phases of insights can this be realized and experienced and becomes the ongoing activity of practice in enlightenment and enlightenment in practice -- practice-enlightenment."
  • Soh Wei Yu More quotes:

    “Buddhism is nothing but replacing the 'Self' in Hinduism with Condition Arising. Keep the clarity, the presence, the luminosity and eliminate the ultimate 'Self', the controller, the supreme. Still you must taste, sense, eat, hear and see Pure Awareness in every authentication. And every authentication is Bliss.” - John Tan (Thusness), 2004

    “The Pristine awareness is often mistaken as the 'Self'. It is especially difficult for one that has intuitively experience the 'Self' to accept 'No-Self'. As I have told you many times that there will come a time when you will intuitively perceive the 'I' -- the pure sense of Existence but you must be strong enough to go beyond this experience until the true meaning of Emptiness becomes clear and thorough. The Pristine Awareness is the so-called True-Self' but why we do not call it a 'Self' and why Buddhism has placed so much emphasis on the Emptiness nature? This then is the true essence of Buddhism. It is needless to stress anything about 'Self' in Buddhism; there are enough of 'Logies' of the 'I" in Indian Philosophies. If one wants to know about the experience of 'I AM', go for the Vedas and Bhagavad Gita. We will not know what Buddha truly taught 2500 years ago if we buried ourselves in words. Have no doubt that The Dharma Seal is authentic and not to be confused.

    When you have experienced the 'Self' and know that its nature is empty, you will know why to include this idea of a 'Self' into Buddha-Nature is truly unnecessary and meaningless. True Buddhism is not about eliminating the 'small Self' but cleansing this so called 'True Self' (Atman) with the wisdom of Emptiness.” - John Tan (Thusness), 2005

    "What you are suggesting is already found in Samkhya system. I.e. the twenty four tattvas are not the self aka purusha. Since this system was well known to the Buddha, if that's all his insight was, then his insight is pretty trivial. But Buddha's teachings were novel. Why where they novel? They were novel in the fifth century BCE because of his teaching of dependent origination and emptiness. The refutation of an ultimate self is just collateral damage." - Lopon Malcolm

    "Rig pa
    The most important word in the intimate instruction section (man ngag sde) of the teaching of the great perfection is "rig pa". It is a word that has no effective equivalence in English, and within the last few years many translators have ceased to try and translate it at all when it is used as a noun in great perfection teachings and not as a verb (where it means "to know").

    Today while translating a section from the Self-originated Self-arisen Original Purity revelations of Rigzin Godem (1337-1409), I came across a definition given by Padmasambhava that I feel is instructive for those with some doubts as to what "rig pa" is. He states:

    “Rig pa” does not follow delusion after deluded appearances are consciously known (shes par rig) to be false

    The operative term here is "consciously known" or "shes par rig". Rig pa is in fact a specific type of knowledge. Nevertheless, the word "knowledge", like the word "awareness", is a word too fraught with other connotations to be used to accurately translate the term "rig pa" in this context.

    These days there is a real danger of people conflating Dzogchen teachings with the teachings of other so-called "non-dual" traditions such as Advaita, Kashmir Shaivism and so on. It is important to understand that "rig pa" is not some sort of over-arching uber-consciousness like the cit of sat cit ananda in Vedantic teachings.

    Instead, rigpa is just the accurate knowledge of our own state, that deepens as we become more accustomed to the Dzogchen view."

    Rigpa II
    One can have many misunderstandings about rigpa. For example, on the internet the other day, I saw a definition of rigpa that is very strange indeed:

    I'm defining rigpa as consciousness without dualistic thought.

    This sort of idea is very prevalent among those with no training in Dzogchen, in the "tradition" of those who conflate the so-called non-dualist traditions together, based on mere reading of texts in translation.

    Now, depending on whether this consciousness without dualistic thought is defined as fundamental and over-arching, or unique and personal, we have the distinction between Hindu Vedanta and the mind-only position of Indian Buddhist Cittamatrins. It could even be the svasamvedana of the Buddhist logicians, the non-conceptual self-knowing mind.

    Such definitions of vidyā above bear no resemblance to the definitions of vidyā stated by Indian masters such as Vimalamitra. He defines vidyā very simply:

    ...acute because of moving, subtle, and apparent, vidyā is knowing, clear and unchanging

    Further, in another text Vimalamitra writes:

    The nature of the mind is not free from traces, so it is called “mind”. That knowledge of the dharmakāya as empty is called “vidyā". That also gives rise to recognition of great clear emptiness. Remaining in that stage is called “wisdom”. Remaining without concepts, free from the errors of lethargy, agitation and so on, is called “dharmakāya”.

    Reflect on these five sentences. By reflecting on them, one will have a clearer idea of what one's vidyā is. ""
2 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:


    Thank you for all the insights here on this site. Would you mind clarifying this sentence contained within the last Vimalamitra quote please? Thank you!

    The nature of the mind is not free from traces, so it is called “mind”.


  2. Soh Says:

    According to Arcaya Malcolm, it is talking about consciousness in a state of delusion.

    Also, Malcolm pointed out, vidyā is the basis of mind. It is just another name for mind. When we talk about distinguishing mind and vidyā, what we really mean is concepts and knowledge.