Soh Wei Yu
Comments by Soh: This is also the First Stage of the Five Ranks of Tozan Ryokai (a Zen Buddhism map of awakening), called "The Apparent within the Real". This phase can also be described as an oceanic Ground of Being or Source devoid of the sense of individuality/personal self, described here by Thusness in 2006:
"Like a river flowing into the ocean, the self dissolves into nothingness. When a practitioner becomes thoroughly clear about the illusionary nature of the individuality, subject-object division does not take place. A person experiencing “AMness” will find “AMness in everything”. What is it like?
Being freed from individuality -- coming and going, life and death, all phenomenon merely pop in and out from the background of the AMness. The AMness is not experienced as an ‘entity’ residing anywhere, neither within nor without; rather it is experienced as the ground reality for all phenomenon to take place. Even in the moment of subsiding (death), the yogi is thoroughly authenticated with that reality; experiencing the ‘Real’ as clear as it can be. We cannot lose that AMness; rather all things can only dissolve and re-emerges from it. The AMness has not moved, there is no coming and going. This "AMness" is God.
Practitioners should never mistake this as the true Buddha Mind! "I AMness" is the pristine awareness. That is why it is so overwhelming. Just that there is no 'insight' into its emptiness nature." (Excerpt from Buddha Nature is NOT "I Am")
Soh Wei Yu
Many people will realise I AMness during death. Many also come back from near death experience having that life changing awakening, I've spoken to one such person. I've also read many such accounts, such as those by Anita Moorjani (I recommend her book Dying To Be Me as it is quite fascinating). Although, it is not the end of the path. Also I've never seen anyone realised anatta or emptiness through such a near death experience, although theoretically possible especially for dharma practitioners who received pointing out instructions in their lifetime.
John Tan wrote in 2008:
Must be having a challenging time sustaining the vivid presence of non-dual experience. Just to share with you some of my thoughts:
When we die, the thoughts and emotions that are karmically linked to the body are temporarily suspended. The contrast in experience that resulted from the dissolution of the ‘bond of a body’ gives rise to a more vivid experience of Presence; although the experience of Presence is there, the insight into its non-dual essence and emptiness nature isn’t there. This is similar to the experience of “I AM”. Thoughts and emotions will continue to arise and subside with the bond of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ after death.
Awareness is always non-dual and all pervading; obscured but not lost. In essence all manifestation, transient (emotions, thoughts or feelings) is really the manifold of Presence. They have the same non-dual essence and empty nature. All problems lie not at the manifestation level but at the fundamental level. Deep in us we see things inherently and dualistically. How the experience of Presence can be distorted with the ‘bond’ of dualistic and inherent seeing maybe loosely categorized as:
1. There is a mirror reflecting dust. (“I AM”)
Mirror bright is experienced but distorted. Dualistic and Inherent seeing.
2. Dust is required for the mirror to see itself.
Non-Dualistic but Inherent seeing. (Beginning of non-dual insight)
3. Dust has always been the mirror ( The mirror here is seen as a whole)
Non-Dualistic and non- inherent insight.
In 3, whatever comes and goes is the Rigpa itself. There is no Rigpa other than that. All along there is no dust really, only when a particular speck of dust claims that it is the purest and truest state then immediately all other arising which from beginning are self- mirroring become dust.
Soh Wei Yu
"Soh Wei Yu is this different than brahman or the mother/child luminosities mixing?"
Beginning yes. Stage 1 to 4 is the Brahman sort of understanding.
"In terms of awakening to reality rhetoric, is it said that this level of insight is foundational for deeper insight in that it is necessary to have this insight prior to deeper insight?"
Yes. It is also foundational in many Zen teachings, Dzogchen, etc. http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../the-degrees-of...
Soh Wei Yu
You can read some of their accounts on the blog, but for example,
Soh Wei Yu so to be clear would you say that what is said in the above video is an appropriate starting point for AtR?
I’m asking because frankly I’m somewhat disillusioned by a lot of basically intellectuals out there who do not have what I might call a sort of foundational mystical insight. If this is considered to be basically foundational and not rejected out of hand as being ‘Hindu’ or whatever, and then it is understood that there are progressive levels of insight from that foundation, basically, that makes me feel better about AtR.
Put briefly another way, it seems to me that a lot of modern Buddhists take great pains to distinguish buddhism from Hinduism and in doing so they reject much of what Hinduism might say that has merit but maybe is not complete. And then they end up with wrong understandings that are essentially intellectual and apart from a sort of mystical experiential basis.
Soh Wei Yu
You are absolutely right. Personally I do think it is important to read texts from other religions, I have done that myself. For many reasons.
1) wisdom is wisdom, and there are always things that even buddhists can learn from the mystics of hindus, christians, muslims, taoists, judaist, new age, and so on. Tao te ching is on my to-study list as advised by john tan.
2) i am personally drawn to hindu teachings early on and any awareness teachings. They can have good pointers. Even I AMness is a precious and important realisation, also some non buddhists have gone even further than that.
3) although there are many similarities, certain buddhist insights are indeed unique and therefore i am not a perennialist. In understanding other religions, it also helps us to understand the unique points and differences between buddhism and other religions.
It is done, as acarya shridhar rana rinpoche said, not for the purpose of criticising other systems but to understand each system better.
Achaya Mahayogi Shidhar Rana Rinpoche: “"I must reiterate that this difference in both the system is very important to fully understand both the systems properly and is not meant to demean either system."
Christian mystic Bernadette Roberts: “"That everyone has different experiences and perspectives is not a problem; rather, the problem is that when we interpret an experience outside its own paradigm, context, and stated definitions, that experience becomes lost altogether. It becomes lost because we have redefined the terms according to a totally different paradigm or perspective and thereby made it over into an experience it never was in the first place. When we force an experience into an alien paradigm, that experience becomes subsumed, interpreted away, unrecognizable, confused, or made totally indistinguishable. Thus when we impose alien definitions on the original terms of an experience, that experience becomes lost to the journey, and eventually it becomes lost to the literature as well. To keep this from happening it is necessary to draw clear lines and to make sharp, exacting distinctions. The purpose of doing so is not to criticize other paradigms, but to allow a different paradigm or perspective to stand in its own right, to have its own space in order to contribute what it can to our knowledge of man and his journey to the divine.
Distinguishing what is true or false, essential or superficial in our experience is not a matter to be taken lightly. We cannot simply define our terms and then sit back and expect perfect agreement across the board. Our spiritual-psychological journey does not work this way. We are not uniform robots with the same experiences, same definitions, same perspectives, or same anything."
Soh Wei Yu
On the similarities part, i have shared this before:
Soh Wei Yu what do you think of the following:
““Everything comes down to how you hold phenomena.” Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
Light pours down from the sky. Tumbles down like a waterfall of tender hearted affection. More simply, lets just call it Love. It is like the sun in the sky, but that is not the sky I am talking about.
I am talking about an uborn light, uncaused, atemporal. It tumbles down from NowhereEverywhere of Divine Mysterium. Tumbles down and enters the crown of my head making everything into deathlessness.
One day that light is made of Love.
One day it is made of brilliance.
One day it is made of a mother’s caring.
One day it is made of Love’s fury.
One day it is made of unflinching compassion.
One day it is made of gratitude. (Yes, the divine is ever more grateful, filled with gratitude, overflowing with gratitude than we have ever imagined being - even in our most thankful moment.)
Really it is all one flavor. In the Heart’s prism it splays into infinite colors. Our lives are made from this light. Our lives, trees, cars, every being, every appearance, every phenomena.
If you set aside preoccupation then mind, body, feeling all are the manner in which this beauty and wonder is held. And in turn they are how phenomena are held.
It is what is held, what holds, where it is held. It is giver, receiver and the gift given. These words are, perhaps, easy enough when phenomena seem to agree with us. The test is their knowing when it does not”
Soh Wei Yu
Yes good. It is important to realize and actualize this non-dual luminosity, and then realise and actualize its empty nature so that the non-dual luminosity is effortless, uncontrived, non-referential and self-liberating.
Was reminded of something John Tan wrote in 2010 to me during my nondual phase (one month before anatta realisation):
o 12 Sep `10, 12:44PM
Hi Simpo and AEN,
Yet we cannot get carried away by all these blissful experiences. Blissfulness is the result of luminosity whereas liberation is due to prajna wisdom.
For intense luminosity in the foreground, you will not only have vivid experience of ‘brilliant aliveness’, ‘you’ must also completely disappear. It is an experience of being totally ‘transparent’ and without boundaries. These experiences are quite obvious, u will not miss it. However the body-mind will not rest in great content due to an experience of intense luminosity. Contrary it can make a practitioner more attach to a non-dual ultimate luminous state.
For the mind to rest, it must have an experience of ‘great dissolve’ that whatever arises perpetually self liberates. It is not about phenomena dissolving into some great void but it is the empty nature of whatever arises that self-liberates. It is the direct experience of groundlessness and non –abiding due to direct insight of the empty nature of phenomena and that includes the non-dual luminous essence.
Therefore In addition to bringing this ‘taste’ to the foreground, u must also ‘realize’ the difference between wrong and right view. There is also a difference in saying “Different forms of Aliveness” and “There is just breath, sound, scenery...magical display that is utterly unfindable, ungraspable and without essence- empty.”
In the former case, realize how the mind is manifesting a subtle tendency of attempting to ‘pin’ and locate something that inherently exists. The mind feels uneasy and needs to seek for something due to its existing paradigm. It is not simply a matter of expression for communication sake but a habit that runs deep because it lacks a ‘view’ that is able to cater for reality that is dynamic, ungraspable, non-local , center-less and interdependent.
After direct realization of the non-dual essence and empty nature, the mind can then have a direct glimpse of what is meant by being ‘natural’, otherwise there will always be a ‘sense of contrivance’.
My 2 cents and have fun with ur army life.
Edited by Thusness 12 Sep `10, 12:56PM
Soh Wei Yu
The key insight is the anatta insight as elucidated in the two stanzas https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../on-anatta...
The emptiness of awareness makes non-dual presence-awareness 'full blown' and all appearances are pellucid, radiant, pure, perfect and divine
“Geovani Geo to me, to be without dual is not to subsume into one and although awareness is negated, it is not to say there is nothing.
Negating the Awareness/Presence (Absolute) is not to let Awareness remain at the abstract level. When such transpersonal Awareness that exists only in wonderland is negated, the vivid radiance of presence are fully tasted in the transient appearances; zero gap and zero distance between presence and moment to moment of ordinary experiences and we realize separation has always only been conventional.
Then mundane activities -- hearing, sitting, standing, seeing and sensing, become pristine and vibrant, natural and free.” – John Tan, 2020
Soh Wei Yu
Adam Holt I haven't read that. But as I was just saying yesterday, Rongzom (on Establishing Appearances as Divine) is very resonating for those who go through anatta, and John Tan completely agreed with me.
Malcolm also said this year, "Rongzom’s view is the real Nyingma View. It is followed by both Longchenpa and Mipham."
If u watch the series, which admittedly is very slow paced, this scene appears twice. Once in Ep 4 and once in the last Ep - each giving a very different perspective to the question. Great writing.