Author[1:03 PM, 1/9/2021] John Tan: "John Tan did not consider the differences and distinctions as mere hairsplitting. (Maybe I'll write more later on)"? What u mean?[1:16 PM, 1/9/2021] Soh Wei Yu: i think you mentioned before that yogacara is more towards the nondual effortless radiance but madhyamika puts aside that emphasis and is more on presence is empty in nature[1:16 PM, 1/9/2021] Soh Wei Yu: something like that[1:16 PM, 1/9/2021] Soh Wei Yu: but i still dont really understand the differences lol havent studied them much[1:32 PM, 1/9/2021] John Tan: Yes. That is y I tell u don't anyhow comment. The reason y I tell u to focus on the 3 aspects of conceptualities is prevent u from wasting time on those tibetan polemics so that u don't lost track on what that is essential to practice. Some points r important and will trigger insights that bring abt greater release to mind attachments that r difficult and too subtle to detect while some r like what Tyler said "hairsplitting" or worst still, pure stereotyping and strawman agruments. I will go through with u later or write something about it. However at the rate u r sending me all these questions everyday, I dunno when can I even start to summarize as almost all my available free time r taken up by ur "haressments" .
I always want to ground scholastic debates in actual lived awakening, so I wonder, if a person gets non-dual (stage 4) and also actually perceives their mindstream as impermanent and momentary, would that automatically get them stage 5? If so that would mean all harisplitting debate about whether non-dual consciousness "inherently exists" in Yogcara would be unnecessary.
Tyler JonesIMO it should. Cittamatra is considered a step from Anatta to Emptiness of Phenomena. Its somewhat between Anatta and full Emptiness. Self is deconstructed by seeing the momentary nature of consciousness. In other words there is no lasting self but stream of moments.
Tyler JonesI do not think Yogacara is stage 4 kind of one mind.
Kyle shared months ago,
John Tan said,
This article is very well written and yogacara never really explicitly said that mind is ultimate. This idea privileging mind as ultimate over the relative phenomena was a later devleopment.
Robert Dominik TkankaEven Hinayana accepts consciousness as merely momentary stream of moments without Self. But unlike Hinayana, Yogacara refutes external phenomena (which Madhyamika may or may not conventionally refute depending on which type of Madhyamika). It talks about twofold emptiness as well.
Cittamatra to me is Anatta with extra "form is empty cause it has the same nature as mental objects". Actually if we ground the discussion in Skandhas then the only difference between Anatta of the Pali Canon and Cittamatra is that Cittamatra says that the Skandha of Form is not substantially different from the mental Skandhas. Or we could say that all the objects of senses are mental objects.
Soh Wei Yuspeaks about how Anatta on its own can have a taste of physicality. Cittamatra dissolves that. However the emptiness of mental objects and moments of consciousness is not fully realised in Cittamatra.
[1:08 AM, 8/4/2020] Soh Wei Yu: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=30336&start=20 - malcolm seems to say here that yogacara does not lead to 1st bhumi
[1:53 AM, 8/4/2020] John Tan: It depends. Yogacara doesn't really claim mind is real ontologically from Dan Lusthaus if I rem correctly, it is cittamatra that says that...but u better double check ... It is a later devleopment from what I read
Sure Sravakas see no self. They however see moments of consciousness and smallest particles of matter as ultimate. Pratyekabuddhas and Cittamatrins realise the emptiness of particles but not of moments. Svatantrika Madhyamaka realises the emptiness of all phenomena and Prasangika empties the emptiness itself.
Cittamatra explains the relative as mind-stuff while Madhyamaka does not take that stance.
At least thats how I understand it.
Now Shentongpas of Dolpopa sort backtrack to Thusness stage 4 while those like Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso seem to say Shentong is just there to remind that experiental presence/luminosity aspect is important and should not be denied.
Robertsure that's how it should work "according to the books", but who ever really directly realized anatman and momentariness per Shravaka Abhidharma and then when on realize that form is mind per Cittamatra and then realize moments and emptiness itself are empty per Madhyamaka? I strongly suspect the answer is no one, and the idea of ordering tenet systems like this is purely doxographical.
Tyler Jonesalso my friend went through the 5 stages of meditation on emptiness program based on the teachings of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. He relates that at each level his experience perfectly matched what the program was pointing to. His conclusion was that this shows how view and experience are connected.
Soh Wei Yusome of the earliest Yogacara texts explicitly accuse the Madhyamaka view of nihilism, that's something you don't see brought up much when people try to say that what the early Yogacarins really meant was the same as Madhyamaka. See Eckel's "Undigested pride: Bhaviveka on the dispute between Madhyamaka and Yogacara"
[8:31 PM, 6/2/2020] John Tan: The more vivid, more clear, more blissful, more convincing of effortless, non-dual luminosity, the more yogacara-like u become...lol
[8:32 PM, 6/2/2020] John Tan: Since u send me so many articles about madhyamaka...lol
[8:32 PM, 6/2/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Lol
[8:32 PM, 6/2/2020] John Tan: Madhyamaka, emptiness is to get rid of that.
[8:33 PM, 6/2/2020] John Tan: To uproot from that.
[8:33 PM, 6/2/2020] John Tan: Get it?
[8:33 PM, 6/2/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Get rid of what.. seeing the luminous display as real?
[8:34 PM, 6/2/2020] John Tan: That emphasis...
[8:34 PM, 6/2/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[8:36 PM, 6/2/2020] John Tan: Because of that uprooting, everything is an illusion despite vivid appearances.
[8:37 PM, 6/2/2020] John Tan: So presence is also empty.
[9:30 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: If u say it is not intrinsic essence, u r saying it conditioned.
[9:30 AM, 6/3/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Yeah clarity is conditioned, manifestation only
[9:30 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: U need to know what is conditioned...
[9:31 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: Mahamudra, zen, Dzogchen....direct pointing is to directly authenticate this unconditioned that is unmade.
[9:42 AM, 6/3/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Not sure what do u mean by unconditioned.. to me clarity is always manifestation and conditioned, but is unfabricated
[9:42 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: Unconditioned means unmade...
[9:43 AM, 6/3/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[9:43 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: So u must sort out all these issues when studying
[9:44 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: Now what exactly is mmk trying to cure...
[9:44 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: Otherwise one might err towards over negation
[9:45 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: That is y yogacara mmk and yogacara svatantrika mmk.
[9:45 AM, 6/3/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Its a bit like taoism.. tao is spontaneous and unfabricated, but at the same time not an ontological essence more like flow.. i see luminosity/manifestation/dharma as likewise. But in terms of D.O and emptiness
[9:45 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: When u say not an ontological essence, what do u mean?
[9:46 AM, 6/3/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Not an unconditioned undying Self or intrinsic essence
[9:46 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: When we use terms like this, we r using it loosely. But when studying mmk, we can't.
[9:47 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: So there r two schools of thoughts, one is the gelug and the rest.
[9:47 AM, 6/3/2020] John Tan: Means the purpose of mmk is to free one from conceptualities...or?
Doxographical but they reflect and meditate on each level for months. I've led an online retreat/course on emptiness and witnessed first hand that experience meditators can be brought to Anatta in the matter of weeks (not with 100% efficiency meaning but most of the group) provided they get the right tools and are dilligent. Of course that's nothing compared to Pali Canon where we have people bigger achievements like full Arhatship in similar or shorter spans of time.
Just to contribute to the discussion of “splitting hairs” about what realizations are achieved by different traditions & views:
here’s an interesting thread where Geoff Shatz and a few others discuss commentarial ideas on radical momentariness, mostly pointing towards not being able to justify such a “momentariness” teaching on the basis of the early Pāli texts in the first place...
Cittamatra doesn't lead to the bhumis, but its founder Asanga is traditionally claimed to had been on the 3rd bhumi. The 3rd Karmapa used both approaches (and apparently not hierarchically). Mahamudra is filled with "mind-only" pointers. Tenets are spiritual techniques reified into systems.
Svatantrika and prasangika are supposed to have the exact same ultimate view (freedom from extremes), only different approaches to both ultimate and conventional. All this mapping and staging may keep people away from very valid instructions.
Since I used the term "splitting hairs" in the first place, I'll clarify that what I meant was focusing on using just the right language to describe things rather than the realization that is pointed to. Actually, the Mipham quote on reddit
Soh Wei Yushared addresses exactly what I was thinking about: Yogacara texts say the dependent nature "exists" and Madhyamikas immediately cry "eternalism"! But there are two ways to interpret this, and one actually doesn't contradict the intent of Madhyamaka.