John Tan and I find this to be very well expressed

Comments by Soh: Provisionally tracing back all thoughts and perceptions to the Source via Self-Enquiry is important as the first step in one's practice to realise the I AM. This is taught in many direct path teachings, not only in AtR, not only in Advaita but also in various forms in Zen, Dzogchen, and other traditions of Buddhism, etc. But at a later phase, one moves on from self enquiry (see Flawed Mode of Enquiry) and realises the emptiness of source/awareness/mind/etc, empties and exhausts even source/awareness/mind/rigpa/etc (related: Exhaustion of All Phenomena, Acarya Malcolm on Dzogchen and Advaita Vedanta, The Degrees of Rigpa etc)

Session Start: Friday, 2 October, 2009

(Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Rainbow Painting: "All our thoughts come out of the buddha nature as its expression, like rays of sunlight emanate from the sun. It is not that the sun comes out of the rays.")

(7:53 PM) Thusness:    Tulku Urgyen makes a good statement but that is before understanding stage 5 and 6.
(7:53 PM) Thusness:    that is without the source, nothing happens
(7:55 PM) Thusness:    However in Buddhism, insight is to see, penetrate and investigate and become thoroughly clear that the idea of a source, an essence is unnecessary.  Once you experience and arise the insight of anatta, u begin open to happening without source, without the need of an essence.
(7:56 PM) Thusness:    This is then the beginning of Buddhism.

(11:51 PM) AEN:
still there
(11:52 PM) AEN:    i go update the link

(12:01 AM) AEN:
(12:04 AM) AEN:    oh ya btw vajrahridaya and some others think tulku urgyen writings is prone to advaita
u read the 'as it is' right? what u tink
(12:04 AM) Thusness:    yeah
i commented
(12:04 AM) AEN:    oic where
(12:05 AM) Thusness:    to u...i said that is only true when one after non-dual experience still rest in a subject-object view.
(12:07 AM) AEN:    oic...
(12:08 AM) Thusness:    however if one thoroughly eliminates the agent through the insight of anatta, then the practitioner will not make such a remark.  He will gradually move into the dependent origination and no-self.  To know the breadth and depth of no-self, be willing to drop also the view and replace it with DO.  Rest on a view that requires no source and essence.
(12:09 AM) AEN:    icic..
(1:03 AM) AEN:    i read that tulku urgyen rinpoche has a literal take of the shentong view.. his view is inclined to shentong
(1:03 AM) AEN:    btw it's fine to talk about source right? i mean The Supreme Source talks about it.... but i think its different from other non-buddhist views?
(1:04 AM) Thusness:    talking about the source is okie but ur understanding of how things are interdependent without a source.
(1:04 AM) Thusness:    when u hear sound
do u say awareness is the source?
(1:05 AM) Thusness:    or when u hit a bell, the bell is the source of the sound?
or the stick?
(1:05 AM) AEN:    the supreme source seems to state that consciousness is the source of everything but at the same time it says all manifestations are the display of me (consciousness)... so it doesnt dualify source/manifestation i think
(1:06 AM) Thusness:    there is no duality and there is no effort in the supreme source
(1:06 AM) AEN:    icic..
(1:06 AM) Thusness:    what i want u to know is to eliminate the entire idea of a source
(1:07 AM) Thusness:    but that comes after non-dual and u really feel like awareness is the source of everything even after non-dual realization, u felt that awareness is the source
(1:07 AM) Thusness:    experience is non-dual, even after realization, there is still an idea of a source
why is this so?
(1:08 AM) Thusness:    why can't we eliminate the idea of a source even after the experience of anatta?
(1:08 AM) Thusness:    clearly there is no agent
thought after thought without an agent
a thinker
(1:09 AM) Thusness:    in complete clarity we see this
yet the idea of a source still persist
(1:09 AM) Thusness:    this is why i meant desync of view and experience
therefore replace the view
(1:10 AM) AEN:    oic..
(1:12 AM) Thusness:    kok ur head...since when did i say dharma dan is an arhant
(1:12 AM) Thusness:    i said his insight is deep and profound
(1:13 AM) AEN:    icic..
(1:13 AM) Thusness:    and many practitioners are not his level
(1:13 AM) AEN:    oic..
(1:13 AM) Thusness:    i believe I nv said he is an arahat
(1:14 AM) Thusness:    even ajahn chah, i never said i think he is an arahat
(1:14 AM) Thusness:    i nv said anyone is an arhat. 😛
(1:14 AM) AEN:    lol
(1:16 AM) Thusness:    i am never interested in others attainment
i merely tell u, the depth of his insight
(1:16 AM) Thusness:    how will that help u in a practical sense
(1:17 AM) AEN:    oic..
(3:36 AM) AEN:    Come to think of it now, why didn't I become like a blind and deaf person right away? "Blind and deaf" here means a state of mind where there is nothing to see and nothing to hear. When you see, there's only the seeing, and the subject
that sees doesn't exist. When you hear, there's only the hearing, and the subject that hears doesn't exist. The objects which are seen or heard are, just as they are, without substance. But understanding the logic of this will not do. When this is realized as a fact, you become like a "blind and deaf" person.
...The point is why the person inside the hermitage (subject) cannot see the things "in front of the hermitage" (object). That's because there isn't anything in front of the hermitage. You may say that there is only the subject, there being no object at all. Yet, in actual truth, that "subject" doesn't exist either.
(3:36 AM) AEN:    
    The water flows of itself and the flowers are naturally red.

The water runs smoothly, the flowers are colored scarlet. This line seems to imply that there are only the objects and there's no subject at all. However, as a matter of fact, those objects do not exist at all.
It's simply that the water is running smoothly, and flowers are scarlet. Everything is just as it is [tada korekore], and everything is void as it is
now [arugamama no aritsubure]. The fact that there is no distinction between self and others simply continues without end - "The water flows of itself and the flowers are naturally red.".
(3:47 AM) AEN:

Session Start: Saturday, 3 October, 2009

(3:03 PM) AEN:    i asked namdrol "Just to clarify: in your understanding, all Mahayana and Vajrayana sutras/tantras come from realized masters other than Buddha?" he replied "Yup."
(10:32 PM) Thusness:    That is zen enlightenment. 🙂
stage 5.
(10:34 PM) AEN:    icic..
(10:38 PM) AEN:    my mom said lzls hopes i can discontinue posting in forum cos she scared my guan nian (concept) not v clear yet 😛 and she wants to know who is john (you) lol... cos that guy i brought to ren cheng last time told her about it
i mean lzls wants to know who r u
(10:38 PM) AEN:    now i dun feel like meeting her 😛 dunnu what to say haha
(10:39 PM) Thusness:    lol
(10:41 PM) Thusness:    she wants to meet u then u don't want to meet her?
(10:41 PM) AEN:    no la
but i mean i dunnu how to explain
(10:41 PM) Thusness:    ahahah
(10:41 PM) Thusness:    go get a phd.
(10:44 PM) Thusness:    u can start pursuing a diploma first then step by step so that u know what is true and right understanding.
(10:44 PM) Thusness:    her understanding is advaita sort of understanding
(10:44 PM) AEN:    yeah
(10:47 PM) Thusness:    at present, her knowledge is not there to guide u into correct understanding
(10:47 PM) Thusness:    and u already have some experiences of non-dual and right views, it is better u pursue ur own in the right direction.
(10:48 PM) AEN:    icic..
(10:48 PM) AEN:    anyway i dun feel like going hahaha... some more she is asking that my mom and dad come along also
(10:50 PM) Thusness:    u told ur parents?
(10:50 PM) AEN:    i told my mom i dont feel like going 😛 but i din say i wont go la
(10:50 PM) Thusness:    i mean is ur parent worried?
(10:51 PM) AEN:    my mom told me she's not worried about u haha... she more worried about my link with truth 😛 lzls dunnu say something like truth caused some trouble at the vihara side
and i tink not v into ren cheng or something... din get what she said
(10:52 PM) AEN:    weird lor i dun even know anything about it
(10:52 PM) Thusness:    meaning about the teaching?
(10:53 PM) AEN:    i also dunnu what happen. i dunnu what 'trouble' he caused la
he's still quite into ren cheng but now he is v into vipassana also
(10:53 PM) Thusness:    yes i told him to practice vipassana
(10:53 PM) AEN:    icic
he went to goenka vipassana retreats many times
and said he is v impressed
(10:53 PM) Thusness:    yeah
that is good
it is important to have the right understanding
(10:54 PM) Thusness:    with the right practice
(10:54 PM) AEN:    icic
(10:55 PM) Thusness:    u must have clear understanding and confidence first
(10:56 PM) Thusness:    in ur view, r u confident with ur understanding?
(10:56 PM) AEN:    yea
(10:57 PM) Thusness:    can u see clearly the various phases of experiences and insights?
(10:57 PM) AEN:    yah guess so
(10:58 PM) Thusness:    do u see how buddha is not talking about Eternal Witness?
(10:59 PM) AEN:    yea
(10:59 PM) Thusness:    even non-dual
(10:59 PM) AEN:    ya
(11:00 PM) Thusness:    what buddha is talking is have direct experience of non-dual and with the right view, so that insight can arise
(11:01 PM) Thusness:    anatta and DO is most important
(11:02 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:03 PM) Thusness:    understand the 3 characteristics, understand dispassion, arise insight of anatta and DO and go on with ur life. 🙂
(11:03 PM) Thusness:    many teachers do not have clear understanding
(11:03 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:04 PM) Thusness:    same goes for ur lzls, she worries too much
but is not exactly wrong
(11:04 PM) Thusness:    however it is difficult for her to guide u now
(11:04 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:06 PM) Thusness:    but good and bad
(11:06 PM) AEN:    the reason why lzls worries is also bcos i v seldom talk with her
(11:07 PM) Thusness:    i do not know whether u can find one person that satisfy ur understanding of insight now
(11:07 PM) AEN:    u lor 😛 hahahaha
(11:07 PM) Thusness:    so u must experience urself directly
(11:07 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:08 PM) Thusness:    i am not an authoritative teacher, so at best as a friend that share with u my experiences
(11:09 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:09 PM) Thusness:    so u have to have ur own experience and find a good teacher that has gone through the various phases of insights
(11:09 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:10 PM) Thusness:    at least until phase 5 of insight
(11:10 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:10 PM) Thusness:    however one might still miss certain point
why do i stressed ignorance
(11:11 PM) Thusness:    normally those Advaita or Zen practitioners disregard DO.
(11:11 PM) Thusness:    disregard ignorance
but ignorance is DO
(11:11 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:12 PM) Thusness:    wisdom is DO
(11:12 PM) Thusness:    if u do not understand, then u r thinking of an essence
(11:12 PM) Thusness:    u will not know how manifestation dependently originates
(11:13 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:15 PM) Thusness:    there will be many that reads my phases of insights but will not understand
(11:15 PM) Thusness:    they will not be able to correctly discern non-dual from anatta
just like u 2 yrs back
(11:15 PM) Thusness:    u r not clear about phase 4 and 5
(11:16 PM) AEN:    icic..
(11:16 PM) Thusness:    mike is not clear too
(11:16 PM) AEN:    yea he tot its same haha
(11:17 PM) Thusness:    but the past few posts u wrote, i can see that u r understanding with clarity the difference now
(11:19 PM) Thusness:    then u must be able to rest ur view entirely on DO so they u r able to see the 'logic' of DO, without a source, an essence together with ur experience from the arising insight of anatta, u will be able to appreciate the teaching of Buddha better.
(11:20 PM) AEN:    oic..
(11:21 PM) AEN:    btw do u think D.O. without source is contradictory with the stuff written in The Supreme Source? as long as the source is understood as individual and not a universal essence that's fine right?

 An article I posted to Syl Via, reposting as a separate topic as I thought it might be of benefit and useful pointers to others. Reflection and Presence: The Dialectic of Awakening

I just discovered that this book by John Welwood is currently selling at $1.99 in Amazon on the Kindle format:


 “Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: in the seen will be merely what is seen, ... in the cognized will merely be what is cognized. Practising in this way, Bāhiya, you will not be 'because of that'. When you are not 'because of that', you will not be 'in that'. And when you are not 'in that', you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering."

What does it mean "you will not be 'because of that'"? The Pāli is na tena. Tena is the instrumental of the word for 'that'. Na is the negative. It means, literally, "not because of that, not through that, not by that". It means in essence, you will not assume that there is a self, a soul, a me; because of, through, or by; the seen or the heard or the sensed or the cognized. The Buddha is saying that once you have penetrated the truth of sensory experience, by suppressing the Hindrances through Jhāna, you will see that there is no 'doer', nor a 'knower', behind sensory experience. No longer will you be able to use sensory experience as evidence for a self. Descartes' famous "I am because I think" is refuted. You will not be because of thinking, nor because of seeing, hearing or sensing. In the Buddha's words, "You will not be because of that (any sensory experience)".

When the sensory processes are discarded as tenable evidence for a self, a soul or a me, then you are no longer located in the sensory experience. In the Buddha's words, "You will not be 'in that'". You no longer view, perceive or even think that there is a 'me' involved in life. In the words of the doctor in the original series of Star Trek, "It is life, Jim, but not as we know it"! There is no longer any sense of self, or soul, at the centre of experience. You are no more 'in that'.

Just to close off the loophole that you might think you can escape non-existence of a self or soul by identifying with a transcendental state of being beyond what is seen, heard, sensed or cognized, the Buddha thunders, "and you will be neither here (with the seen, heard, sensed or cognized) nor beyond (outside of the seen, heard, sensed or cognized) nor in between the two (neither of the world nor beyond the world). The last phrase comprehensively confounded the sophists!

In summary, the Buddha advised both Bāhiya and Venerable Mālunkyaputta to experience the Jhānas to suppress the Five Hindrances. Thereby one will discern with certainty the absence of a self or a soul behind the sensory process. Consequently, sensory experience will never again be taken as evidence of a 'knower' or a 'doer': such that you will never imagine a self or a soul at the centre of experience, nor beyond, nor anywhere else. Bāhiya's Teaching put in a nutshell the way to the realization of No-Self, Anattā. "Just this", concluded the Buddha "is the end of suffering".” – Ajahn Brahmavamso, , also, he explained anatta from 56 minutes onwards in this video (prior to 56 minutes mark, the explanation focuses on cultivating samadhi):


Geovani Geo wrote:

Causes and effects do apply to the eddies in the flow. Cultivating equipoise is to imerse wholly into the stream. All eddies are water. No need to go back into thoroughly analyzing eddies and the flow. Once the insight has been introduced, the slightest intent is enough. Not even that.


John Tan wrote:

Geovani Geo

, I think it is still necessary. Even after anatta insight and experience, the line of reasoning of dependent origination and emptiness need not be clear.


It is not easy for the mind to realize how negative emotions and attachments are related to thoughts of production, origination and existence -- "dualistic and inherent" view; but if we keep refining and get used to the line of reasoning, we will be able to release and relief the mind from all these notions. That said the process of freeing is a very gradual and slow process unlike the sudden flash of insights as in the case of koan, self enquiry of I AM or anatta.


For firm progress, integration of these experiences, insights and the right view is needed -- how anatta insight and experience are related to the seeing through of the mental construct and convention of "self/Self" and extending such realization to all phenomena to the eventual freedom of the mind from all conceptualities.



   · 16m



John Tan just said: This comment by Malcolm is really good.👍

Session Start: Wednesday, August 09, 2006
(11:32 PM) AEN: namdrol:
While it is true that many non-Buddhist paths a renunciate and so on, the unique feature of the Buddha's path is understanding that phenomena are dependently originated. Dependent origination is critical in developing a correct view.
Is the mere knowledge that phenomena dependently originated sufficient? No.
It is possible to hold a view of dependent origination which is nevertheless realist or substantialist in nature-- a perfect example of this would the way Thich Nhat Hahn's "interbeing" is generally understood. Here, it is never questioned that the mutually depedendent phenomena exist in dependence because they all exist together. In general, this is also the naive understanding of dependent origination.
(11:32 PM) AEN: Even so, this view of dependent orgination already marks the beginning of turning from a wrong or incorrect view, to a right or correct view.
How do we move from a substantialist interpretation of dependent origination to a non-substantialist understanding?
We need to first be open to having our existential assumptions undermined. Any clinging to existence and non-existence must be eradicated before we can properly appreciate the meaning of DO. Some people think this simply means clinging to inherent or ultimate existence. But this is not so. Whatever arises in dependence also must be devoid of mere existence as well.
To understand this fully we must understand the perfection of wisdom sutras in their entirety and the thinking of Nagarjuna and his followers.
(11:32 PM) AEN:
When we have truly understood that phenomena are devoid existence and non-existence because they are dependently originated; we can understand that phenomena do not arise, since existence and dependence are mutually exclusive. Any existence that can be pointed to is merely putative and nominal, and does not bear any reasoned investigation.
Since phenomena are dependently originated, and the consequence of dependent origination is that there are no existing existents, we can understand that existents are non-arising by nature. As Buddhapalita states "We do not claim non-existence, we merely remove claims for existing existents."
Whatever does not arise by nature is free from existence and non-existence, and that is the meaning of "freedom from proliferation." In this way, dependent origination = emptiness, and this is the correct view that Buddhas elucidate. There is no other correct view than this.
Someone wrote:
(Soh's translation:
Sitting Zen is not Dao [the Way]
Sitting Zen is not other than Dao [the Way]
What is Dao [the Way]?
Katz is also not Dao [the Way])
Zen Master reply:
(Soh's translation:
Sitting Zen is the Dao [the Way]
Sitting Zen is not the Dao [the Way]
What is Is Dao [the Way]?
Katz is Katz Katz Dao [the Way])
John Tan reply in 2018:
“Sometimes I wonder why a master write in such a
(Soh's translation:
So much unnecessary Is and Is Not
So much unnecessary Dao this, Dao that
[All these are] still not as good as
[In] action only action, [in] sleeping is only sleep
[In] the seen only the seen, [in] the heard is only the heard
If it is possible to be like this, there is none who ask about Dao)”


A friend shared this recently, from HHDL. I think AtR would consider these "two levels" to map more-or-less onto I AM and anatta. I'm not entirely sure, however, since even the first level is communicated (both here and elsewhere) as perhaps easier to realize than AtR's I AM.
The true nature of the mind, a clear experience of our knowing, is obscured in our normal experience. When meditating on the mind, you must try to remain focused on the present moment. You must prevent recollections of past experiences from interfering with your reflections. The mind should not be directed back into the past, nor influenced by hopes or fears about the future. Once you prevent such thoughts from interfering with your focus, what is left is the interval between the recollections of past experiences and your anticipations and projections of the future. This interval is a vacuum. You must work at maintaining your focus on just this vacuum.
Initially, your experience of this interval space is only fleeting. However, as you continue to practice, you become able to prolong it. In doing so, you clear away the thoughts that obstruct the expression of the real nature of the mind. Gradually, pure knowing can shine through. With practice, that interval can get larger and larger, until it becomes possible for you to know what consciousness is. It is important to understand that the experience of this mental interval — consciousness emptied of all thought processes — is not some kind of blank mind. It is not what one experiences when in deep, dreamless sleep or when one has fainted.
At the beginning of your meditation you should say to yourself, “I will not allow my mind to be distracted by thoughts of the future, anticipations, hopes, or fears, nor will I let my mind stray toward memories of the past. I will remain focused on this present moment.” Once you have cultivated such a will, you take that space between past and future as the object of meditation and simply maintain your awareness of it, free of any conceptual thought processes.
Mind has two levels by nature. The first level is the clear experience of knowing just described. The second and ultimate nature of the mind is experienced with the realization of the absence of this mind’s inherent existence. In order to develop single-pointed concentration on the ultimate nature of the mind, you initially take the first level of the mind — the clear experience of knowing — as the focus of meditation. Once that focus is achieved, you then contemplate the mind’s lack of inherent existence. What then appears to the mind is actually the emptiness or lack of any intrinsic existence of the mind.
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Aditya Prasad
The last paragraph is similar to what John Tan said here. Of course, exactly what those realisations are need to be elaborated. For example, I AM is not just experience but confers some doubtless realisation. As for emptiness there are also a few kinds of insights. But I think HHDL should be pointing to the same things. I think I quoted something from the recent HHDL book that is very much about anatta and emptiness. I would think that HHDL should be having similar understandings.
Dalai Lama - "Nature - there are many different levels. Conventional level, one nature. There are also, you see, different levels. Then, ultimate level, ultimate reality... so simply realise the Clarity of the Mind, that is the conventional level. That is common with Hindus, like that. So we have to know these different levels...." - (Part 2)
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Hyon Gak Sunim: A Conversation - Part 2
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Hyon Gak Sunim: A Conversation - Part 2
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Hyon Gak Sunim: A Conversation - Part 2

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What John Tan said:

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John Tan's reply on something Malcolm wrote in 2020:
This is like what I tell u and essentially emphasizing 明心非见性. 先明心, 后见性. (Soh: Apprehending Mind is not seeing [its] Nature. First apprehend Mind, later realise [its] Nature).
First is directly authenticating mind/consciousness 明心 (Soh: Apprehending Mind). There is the direct path like zen sudden enlightenment of one's original mind or mahamudra or dzogchen direct introduction of rigpa or even self enquiry of advaita -- the direct, immediate, perception of "consciousness" without intermediaries. They r the same.
However that is not realization of emptiness. Realization of emptiness is 见性 (Soh: Seeing Nature). Imo there is direct path to 明心 (Soh: Apprehending Mind) but I have not seen any direct path to 见性 (Soh: Seeing Nature) yet. If u go through the depth and nuances of our mental constructs, u will understand how deep and subtle the blind spots r.
Therefore emptiness or 空性 (Soh: Empty Nature) is the main difference between buddhism and other religions. Although anatta is the direct experiential taste of emptiness, there is still a difference between buddhist's anatta and selflessness of other religions -- whether it is anatta by experiential taste of the dissolution of self alone or the experiential taste is triggered by wisdom of emptiness.
The former focused on selflessness and whole path of practice is all about doing away with self whereas the later is about living in the wisdom of emptiness and applying that insight and wisdom of emptiness to all phenomena.
As for emptiness there is the fine line of seeing through inherentness of Tsongkhapa and there is the emptiness free from extremes by Gorampa. Both r equally profound so do not talk nonsense and engaged in profane speech as in terms of result, ultimately they r the same (imo).
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