Soh Wei Yu

Lewis Stevens

"Does the realization of groundlessness lead inevitably to liberation,..... Or perhaps liberation becomes superfluous with the realization that there is no one to be liberated!"


It does lead to liberation.

Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche:


"Why is it that all sentient beings think that there is a self? The self is not conceived of because it exists. In fact, although it does not exist, there is merely a conception that it exists because of an erroneous mind that is deluded and mistaken about its existence. This is similar to perceiving a rope to be a snake or like seeing a young lady [as real] in a dream.


It might be thought that if there is a self, then it is reasonable to be bound to samsara by afflictions and to become liberated when cutting through that bondage. However, if there were no self, who then becomes liberated? Therefore, it would be unreasonable to strive to liberate the self!


It is not the case that one strives to liberate an existent self. For instance, if you are frightened when mistaking a rope for a snake, you will feel relieved when you see that there is no snake. Similarly, by conceiving of a self where there is no self, you accumulate afflictions and karma and thereby continuously experience suffering in samsara. When realizing the lack of self through authentic insight, karma and afflictions will cease to be and you will be liberated. Therefore, what is called “liberation” is merely the cessation of a mistake in your mind-stream or the cessation of your deluded mind. There is no liberation of an existent self. If there were a self, then ego-clinging could never be turned away, and if this ego-clinging is not relinquished, then karma and afflictions do not cease. Thus, due to being attached to the self, you continuously enter samsara. —A FEAST ON THE NECTAR OF THE SUPREME VEHICLE, 102–3"


Duckworth, Douglas; Mipam, Jamgon. Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings (p. 145). Shambhala. Kindle Edition.

Soh Wei Yu

It is good and important to point out the aspect of clarity first, self-enquiry for realizing the I AM.

But without the anatta realization there can be no liberation.


(5:25 PM) John: For one that truly experience anatta and emptiness, he will know that there is no other way towards liberation. Dualistic view is itself suffering. There is no escape and

cannot be compromised. so though ET [Soh: Eckhart Tolle, who is at the I AM stage] talked about the silence, there is the experience but there is no liberation. There is constant struggle. do not be deceived.  though what he said about the experience is quite true.

(5:27 PM) AEN: non-effort can only come from longchen's sort of 'non doer' understanding am i right

(5:27 PM) AEN: oic why no liberation?

(5:27 PM) John: one cannot experience that blissful liberated experience in a dualistic mode.

(5:28 PM) John: yes....longchen is beginning to understand more... just beginning...

(5:28 PM) AEN: oic

(5:28 PM) AEN: eckhart tolle in dualistic mode?

(5:28 PM) John: there are just certain experiences that cannot be described in words.

(5:28 PM) AEN: oic

(5:29 PM) John: it is like what ken wilber say about the non-duality experience and absolutely no witness without the layer of separation... how is this possible. it is 'seeing', awaking of wisdom, awakening of anatta and emptiness nature.  no other way can lead us to liberation.

(5:30 PM) AEN: icic..

(5:30 PM) John: i mean maintaining it like every moment. I mean the description of ken wilber is there. but the depth of the experience...i got to read the simple feeling of being.

(5:31 PM) John: however by the title, i think he is still not there.  (comments by Soh: it became clearer later that Ken Wilber is at Thusness Stage 4 and have not reached Stage 5 clarity of anatta realization)

(5:31 PM) AEN: o icic

(5:31 PM) John: lol

(5:31 PM) AEN: the title? u mean the simple feeling of being. wrong?

(5:31 PM) John: i have to read first lah. the title cannot reflect out one that is fully authenticated in suchness.  nevertheless, none i have read can correctly describe it so far.

(5:33 PM) AEN: oic.. so how to correctly describe it

(5:33 PM) John: the next thing to look out is the stability.

(5:33 PM) AEN: oic

(5:34 PM) John: i think ken wilber has engaged too much in theoretical conceptualization after the experience of non-dual. Seems to retrogress....hehe

(5:34 PM) AEN: hahaha icic

(5:35 PM) John: must practice hard.


“He [XYZ Rinpoche] focused more on awareness as background. Without realizing the nature of mind and phenomena, karma continues to be generated.


When there is a background, one can't liberate actually but generates subtle karma IMO. Only through realizing the nature of mind and phenomena one can self liberates (karma).” – John Tan, 2018


“There is thinking, no thinker
There is hearing, no hearer
There is seeing, no seer


In thinking, just thoughts
In hearing, just sounds
In seeing, just forms, shapes and colors.”


Depending on the conditions of an individual, it may not be obvious that it is “always thought watching thought rather than a watcher watching thought.” or "the watcher is that thought." Because this is the key insight and a step that cannot afford to be wrong along the path of liberation, I cannot help but with some disrespectful tone say,

For those masters that taught,
“Let thoughts arise and subside,
See the background mirror as perfect and be unaffected.”
With all due respect, they have just “blah” something nice but deluded.


See that there is no one behind thoughts.
First, one thought then another thought.
With deepening insight it will later be revealed,
Always just this, One Thought!
Non-arising, luminous yet empty!

-        John Tan, 2009, the two stanzas of anatta in On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection


The most direct and succinct explanation of anatta is that there is no actual seer of sights, no actual hearer of sound, etc., there is no actual internal point of reference, or subject, that is apprehending alleged referents, or objects.” – Kyle Dixon, 2020


2 days ago · edited 2 days ago

Is it to say that all the things I use to identify myself are untrue? All my likes and dislikes? My personality traits? My beliefs?

Kyle Dixon: It is more so that there is ultimately no separate self as an entity which possesses those traits. The self is a mere construct which is only those traits, and so on. In actuality however, those traits do not truly construct an entity. The entity or self is inferred, and we use that inference as a tool for engaging with and navigating experience, but we mistake that inference to be a referent, meaning we become entrenched in the nexus of conditions and come to view the self as an inherently real entity.

The actual meaning of selflessness in these teachings revolves around the non-conceptual, direct realization that there in fact is no inherent self, or any self at all for that matter. This results from recognizing that there is no thinker of thought, no separate feeler of feelings, no seer of sights, no hearer of sound, and so on.

Here is Sera Khandro, a prominent 19th/20th century practitioner discussing the self:

A literal definition of the term “individual” is as follows: The two obscurations, along with habitual patterns, fill an individual’s stream of being; and the contaminated aggregation of attachment forms the foundation for the individual. What is called “the self” is the consciousness predisposed to assume the existence of a self: during the periods of waking life, dream, transitional states [bardos] between lifetimes, or in a future life, a self merely appears when none exists. That consciousness is what is called “an individual self.” Immediately thereafter, subsequent knowing and discursive thought give clarity to the consciousness predisposed to cling to an “I” where there is none, and a sense of self where none exists, and make them stable and solid.

What does Buddhism mean when they say there is no self

Kyle Dixon: Selflessness means there is ultimately no actual subject, which means there is no actual internal reference point that is apprehending sensory phenomena.

In describing this simply it means through your practice you will hopefully, eventually, awaken to recognize that there is no actual seer of sights, no hearer of sounds, and so on. The feeling of an internal seer or hearer, etc., is a useful but false construct that is created and fortified by various causes and conditions.

We suffer when we cling to this construct and think it is actually real. Recognition of the actual nature of that construct is liberating and freeing.” – Kyle Dixon, 2021

“Once I was a Body.

Later I became a Name.

Soon after I am merely I.

Then, there never was an I.


what else besides those words forming on the screen!” - John Tan, 2006

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