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    Good day dharma friends!
    I would like to summarize some of my assumptions and misunderstandings and get some feedback, if you would not be too lazy to read it all). I have a lot of knowledge/theories/answers on these topics, but I would love to hear what you say, to either confirm or refute myself. Maybe you can answer on some, not all of it). And you can answer very briefly and simply, as if you were asked by a beginner.) Or don't answer at all.)
    I-am realization
    1. Is this insight just an A&P stage in the Theravada context? Ingram described it as a very unitive experience. Also in one interview he said something like, "This is far from final, but get there first, and then we will talk about what to do next."
    2. If it is much more than A&P, why is this realization not mentioned at all in the Theravada, for example?
    3. What does this realization look like in the context of Dzogchen and Zen Buddhism?
    4. The realization of what/whom? Pure awareness is my true nature? Or nibanna my true nature?))
    5. How does this I Am correlate with Nibbana?
    6. Do I understand correctly that I-Am must be removed from the I virus, otherwise it will be an incomplete/distorted insight? So the full realization is just Am + Anatta?
    7. Is I-Am = Buddah Nature = Awareness = Dao = God = True Self = No Self = Absolute = Nibanna = Emptiness, or not? Is it just different understandings/sides of one big insight (like John Tan said somewhere) ?
    Cessation and Nibbana and jhanas
    1. Is cessation necessary for enlightenment?
    2. What difference between nirodha samapatti and nibanna?
    3. Lets say, If Ive master all the jhanas and get nirodha, does it mean Im enlightened and my self is also vanished?
    1. In vipassana I can just sit and watch everything arising and passing. But it dont trigger 3CH, so I sit and observe everything with a little intention to see impermanence (for example) or emptiness. So, its a more like inquiry without words. I use framework "is it phenomenon is permanent or no" And observe it with this view. It is right? Or need to just sit and observe without any conceptions?
    2. After 15+ of retreat my mind came to mode "observe without clinging". Attention just dont goes with phenomenons, eyes so relax, a little blissful state when you dont grasp on everything. So, is it Open Awareness/Do Nothing kind of technique? And I need to just continue stay in this mode and not clinging? Or I need to apply (like in previous question) some 3Ch inquiry? But it feels like tension when I try to DO something even thinking is painfull. Also I can do it only in sitting meditation.
    3. In most of my concentration/shamatha practice I combine different methods in my single session. For example I can count breaths for some time, then switch to focus on breath, then switch to count thoughts, then switch to open awareness, repeat. Even in 5 minutes it can be circle like this. So, my mind dont get bored and stay on its place. But does it work for more deep states, jhanas and I need to focus only on one thing to get there? Or this thing have like accumulation of silence and it works too?
    Thank you )


    Soh Wei Yu
    A little late here, I won't have time to answer to answer all now and others can probably answer equally well.
    1) no, A&P is not I AM, this is why Kenneth Folk places self enquiry and I AM on 'second gear' as opposed to 'first gear' which is the standard Mahasi progress of insights path,
    2), the I AM realization is very common in Thai Forest Theravada, but not common for Burmese and other forms of Theravada. Daniel Ingram's path did not go through I AM realization and I AM is only mentioned briefly as a pure land jhana of all pervading presence/watcher, which means Daniel probably only stumbled on it as a state (not a realisation or distinct phase) rather late in his practice, and also perhaps briefly mentioned in 'mctb 3rd path' territory.
    See: Seven Stages and Theravada (and other Buddhist traditions)?
    3) An issue is that I find in any given tradition, be it Buddhist or Non-Buddhist, Theravada, Zen or Tibetan, is that most practitioners and teachers are stuck at I AM. The estimate I give is that most practitioners and teachers do not have realizations, but of those that do, roughly 90% get stuck at I AM, maybe 10% at one mind and 2% realise anatta or emptiness.
    Having said that, the key insight of any given Buddhist tradition must be anatman and shunyata. Without realising anatta you cannot be considered a Buddhist arya [awakened being] even at the level of stream entry:
    However, stream entry from a more suttic perspective is understood in a different way from what is understood by many in the 'pragmatic dharma scene' or Daniel's community for example, which if you read the article above you will understand what I mean.
    Having said that, in Thai forest, Zen and Tibetan Dzogchen etc, they usually start with the I AM, unlike MCTB or 'pragmatic dharma' community in general. Based on what I learnt from Malcolm and Kyle Dixon, their initial unripened rigpa is what we call the I AM (Kyle Dixon confirmed this with me). It is later matured and ripened with the realisation of emptiness at the third vision. Having the initial unripened rigpa does not make you an arya, but it does allow you to begin to really practice Dzogchen as a Dzogchenpa. On this, see:
    John Tan, 2015: "Dzogchen, mahamudra and zen started from beginning the emphasis of luminous presence. In I M stage, I already told u to deepen the aspect of presence but it is always the natural state of releasing that is more crucial."
    [17/6/18, 6:53:49 PM] John Tan: Chariot analogy is next step of anatta
    [17/6/18, 6:54:32 PM] John Tan: It is THE view for practitioners that has arisen insight of anatta
    [17/6/18, 6:54:40 PM] John Tan: But there is a catch
    [17/6/18, 6:54:48 PM] John Tan: It is in the way it is presented
    [17/6/18, 6:56:00 PM] John Tan: In fact anatta is the most key and base insight after knowing dzogchen, mahamudra, madhyamaka, zen
    [17/6/18, 6:56:46 PM] John Tan: U need anatta to beam through dzogchen and mahamudra but to hv a stable base u need some further insight into mmk.
    3) I AM is the initial unripened rigpa in Dzogchen, and in Zen it is also sometimes mapped in various ways like the first of the five ranks of Tozan ( ) and the 3rd to 8th oxherding pictures covers I AM to one mind ( ), but generally Zen has many different styles of teachings and teachers have different approaches so there is no one standard map or teaching that all Zen teachers follow. It all depends on the teacher's skillfulness in pointing out one's nature as empty clarity.
    5) I AM is not Nirvana. Nirvana is the cessation of craving, anger, ignorance, or passion, aggression, and delusion, or the three and five poisons, kleshas, afflictions, etc. It is the end of all I, me and mine-making. Without the realisation of anatta (as in Thusness Stage 5) and the perfection of the three trainings of sila, samadhi and prajna, it will not be possible to attain Nirvana or Arahatship. Let alone Buddhahood which is the elimination of the two obscurations (afflictive and knowledge obscurations).
    But is it not uncommon for eternalists to make the mistake of equating I AM with Nirvana. It is wrong.
    Soh: Btw u saw my email regarding teacher chen summary
    Thusness: i do not know
    Thusness: i don't want to comment on teacher chen
    Thusness: it is disrespectful
    Thusness: what summary
    Thusness: the diagram?
    Soh: He says hinayana realise anatta, then mahayana arise the realization of emptiness
    Thusness: no
    Soh: Then finally the realization of equality arise
    Thusness: he sees hinayana as "I am"
    Soh: That's like what u said right I mean sounds like the process he went through
    Soh: Oic..
    Thusness signed in.
    Soh: The diagram sounds like a process he went through himself
    Thusness: Yeah
    Thusness: like polishing mirror
    Soh: What u mean
    Thusness: 证悟觉体 (realizing the substance of awareness) as the final destination of theravada practice (comments by Soh: I have seen more than one Mahayana teacher made this mistaken equation of theravada as I AM and mahayana as One Mind)
    Thusness: maybe that is the practice and realization in modern time
    Thusness: but not during Buddha's time i am sure.
    Soh: I see
    Thusness: for anyone talking about that will kena (get scolded) from
    Soh: Lol
    Thusness: Theravada is the realisation of anatta
    Thusness: that must be very clear
    Thusness: it is not substantialist non dual
    Soh: Oic..
    Thusness: only the clarity of anatta and clearly seeing what it means is not clear
    Thusness: into the second fold emptiness
    Thusness: that is 'seeing' the true meaning of the view
    Thusness: one can realize anatta and experience no-mind, no agent
    Thusness: but not depth in the view
    Soh: Oic.. Btw pegembara is from theravada and the phena sutta which he quotes is also from pali canon... I think the clarity of phena sutta on the secondfold emptiness is on par with the prajnaparamita sutras
    Thusness: yet there is no direct insight of anatta
    Soh: Also I'm not sure about this but apparently different arhats can have different degree of insight into emptiness. Sariputra is known as "jie kong di yi" (foremost in understanding emptiness).. But I guess its true that arhats mostly stress on anatta
    Soh: Oic
    Thusness: of course.
    Soh: I see..

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    6) I wouldn't put it that way. You have to understand that there are subtleties of no-self or faces of self/Self. Read this: and
    7) I AM is the clarity aspect of Buddha-Nature, but it is not the full picture. The definitive meaning of Buddha-Nature is the union or inseparability of clarity and emptiness.
    But I usually advise to start with self enquiry and I AM realization.
    As for what is the definitive meaning of Buddha-Nature, the Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith wrote:
    The term bdag nyid, atman, just means, in this case, "nature", i.e. referring to the nature of reality free from extremes as being permanent, blissful, pure and self. The luminosity of the mind is understood to be this.
    There are various ways to interpret the Uttaratantra and tathāgatagarbha doctrine, one way is definitive in meaning, the other is provisional, according to Gorampa Sonam Senge, thus the tathāgatagarbha sutras become definitive or provisional depending on how they are understood. He states:
    In the context of showing the faults of a literal [interpretation] – it's equivalence with the Non-Buddhist Self is that the assertion of unique eternal all pervading cognizing awareness of the Saṃkhya, the unique eternal pristine clarity of the Pashupattis, the unique all pervading intellect of the Vaiśnavas, the impermanent condition, the measure of one’s body, in the permanent self-nature of the Jains, and the white, brilliant, shining pellet the size of an atom, existing in each individual’s heart of the Vedantins are the same.
    The definitive interpretation he renders as follows:
    Therefor, the Sugatagarbha is defined as the union of clarity and emptiness but not simply emptiness without clarity, because that [kind of emptiness] is not suitable to be a basis for bondage and liberation. Also it is not simple clarity without emptiness, that is the conditioned part, because the Sugatagarbha is taught as unconditioned.
    Khyentse Wangpo, often cited as a gzhan stong pa, basically says that the treatises of Maitreya elucidate the luminosity of the mind, i.e. its purity, whereas Nāgarjuna's treatises illustrate the empty nature of the mind, and that these two together, luminosity and emptiness free from extremes are to be understood as noncontradictory, which we can understand from the famous Prajñāpāramita citation "There is no mind in the mind, the nature of the mind is luminosity".
    “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, 2004
    “Understand immense intelligence not as if someone is there to act and direct, rather as total exertion of the universe to make this moment possible; then all appearances are miraculous and marvelous.” - John Tan, 2012
    “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, 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
    This is Impersonality Aspect, Not Anatta Realization
    This is Impersonality Aspect, Not Anatta Realization
    This is Impersonality Aspect, Not Anatta Realization

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    In January 2005, John Tan wrote:
    “[19:21] <^john^> learn how to experience emptiness and no-selfness. 🙂
    [19:22] <^john^> this is the only way to liberate.
    [19:22] <^john^> not to dwell too deeply into the minor aspect of pure awareness.
    [19:23] <^john^> of late i have been seeing songs and poems relating to the luminosity aspect of Pure Awareness.
    [19:23] <^john^> uncreated, original, mirror bright, not lost in nirvana and samsara..etc
    [19:23] <^john^> what use is there?
    [19:24] <ZeN`n1th> oic...
    [19:24] <^john^> we have from the very beginning so and yet lost for countless aeons of lives.
    [19:25] <^john^> buddha did not come to tell only about the luminosity aspect of pure awareness.
    [19:25] <^john^> this has already been expressed in vedas.
    [19:25] <^john^> but it becomes Self.
    [19:25] <^john^> the ultimate controller
    [19:26] <^john^> the deathless
    [19:26] <^john^> the supreme.. etc
    [19:26] <^john^> this is the problem.
    [19:26] <^john^> this is not the ultimate nature of Pure Awareness.
    [19:27] <^john^> for full enlightenment to take place, experience the clarity and emptiness. That's all.”
    And in March 2006, John Tan said:
    <^john^> the different between hinduism and buddhism is they return to the "I AM" and clings to it.
    <^john^> always "I" as the source.
    <ZeN`n1th> icic
    <^john^> but in buddhism it is being replaced by "emptiness nature", there is a purest, an entity, a stage to be gained or achieved is an illusion.
    <^john^> there is none. No self to be found. No identity to assumed. Nothing attained.
    <ZeN`n1th> oic..
    <^john^> this is truly the All.
    <^john^> so for a teaching that is so thorough and complete, why must it resort back to a "True Self"?
    <ZeN`n1th> hmm but i got a question about just now you say impermanent... but mahayana texts also say tathagathagarbha is permanent right?
    <^john^> yes but for other reasons.
    <ZeN`n1th> what kind of reasons
    <ZeN`n1th> wat you mean
    <^john^> first you must know that there is really a very subtle difference between pure subjectivity and emptiness nature.
    <ZeN`n1th> icic
    <^john^> for one that has experienced in full emptiness nature, does he/she need to create an extra "True Self"?
    <ZeN`n1th> so wat difference
    <ZeN`n1th> no
    <^john^> he already knows and experiences and completely understand the arising cause and conditions of why the "true self" was created...
    <^john^> will he still be confused?
    <^john^> he knows exactly what is happening, the reality of the 'self'.
    <ZeN`n1th> icic..
    <^john^> i would say it is due to his compassion to let the other sects have a chance to understand the dharma that he said so.
    <^john^> this is what i think.
    <^john^> but there is no necessity to preach something extra.
    <ZeN`n1th> oic
    <^john^> in light of emptiness nature, "True Self" is not necessary.
    <ZeN`n1th> icic
    <^john^> the so called "purest" is already understood, there is no clinging.
    <^john^> there is hearing, no hearer...etc
    <^john^> is already beyond "True Self".
    <ZeN`n1th> oic
    <^john^> yet it exactly knows the stage of "True Self".
    <^john^> if there is no hearing...then something is wrong.
    <^john^> but there is hearing but no hearer.
    <ZeN`n1th> hahaha
    <ZeN`n1th> oic
    <^john^> put your time into practice and understanding of no-self and emptiness.
    <ZeN`n1th> ok
    John Tan's reply on something Malcolm wrote in 2020:
    “This is like what I tell you 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 are 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 you go through the depth and nuances of our mental constructs, you will understand how deep and subtle the blind spots are.
    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 latter 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 are equally profound so do not talk nonsense and engaged in profane speech as in terms of result, ultimately they are the same (imo).”
    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...." - Dalai Lama on Anatta and Emptiness of Buddha Nature in New Book
    8 ) The three questions on "Cessation and Nibbana and jhanas"
    You'll find your answer after reading these articles:
    [insight] [buddhism] A reconsideration of the meaning of "Stream-Entry" considering the data points of both pragmatic Dharma and traditional Buddhism
    [insight] [buddhism] A reconsideration of the meaning of "Stream-Entry" considering the data points of both pragmatic Dharma and traditional Buddhism
    [insight] [buddhism] A reconsideration of the meaning of "Stream-Entry" considering the data points of both pragmatic Dharma and traditional Buddhism

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Excerpt from above two links:
    Nibb�na is a negation. It means extinguishment. With the fruition of each of the four paths one knows the termination of the fetters which are eliminated by that path. This termination is nibb�na appropriate to that path. The Paṭisambhid�magga:
    How is it that the discernment of the termination of continuance in one who is fully aware is gnosis of full extinguishment (parinibbÄ�na ñÄ�ṇa)?
    Through the stream-entry path he terminates identity view (sakk�yadiṭṭhi), doubt (vicikicch�), and mistaken adherence to rules and duty (sīlabbatapar�m�sa).... This discernment of the termination of continuance in one who is fully aware is gnosis of full extinguishment....
    He causes the cessation of identity view, doubt, and mistaken adherence to rules and duty through the stream-entry path.
    And so on for the fetters which are terminated on the remaining three paths. The once-returner path terminates the gross fetters of desire for sensual pleasure (k�macchanda) and aversion (vy�p�da/by�p�da). The non-returner path terminates the secondary fetters of desire for sensual pleasure (k�macchanda) and aversion (vy�p�da/by�p�da). The arahant path terminates the fetters of passion for form [existence] (rūpar�ga), passion for formless [existence] (arūpar�ga), conceit (m�na), restlessness (uddhacca), and ignorance (avijj�).
    All the best,
    Firstly, nibb�na isn't a "state." Secondly, nibb�na is the cessation of passion, aggression, and delusion. For a learner it is the cessation of the fetters extinguished on each path. The waking states where "suddenly all sensations and six senses stop functioning" are (1) mundane perceptionless sam�dhis, and (2) cessation of apperception and feeling. Neither of these are supramundane and neither of these are synonymous with experiencing nibb�na.
    All the best,
    This type of blackout cessation is experienced by all sorts of yogis including those practicing non-Buddhist systems. Thus, it has nothing to do with the correct engagement of vipassan�. The cessation of unsatisfactoriness (dukkhanirodha) is the cessation of craving (taṇh�), not the cessation of phenomena. DN 22:
    And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress? The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.
    What craving? Craving sensual pleasure (k�mataṇh�), craving existence (bhavataṇh�), and craving non-existence (vibhavataṇh�). The cessation of unsatisfactoriness is the cessation of very specific fetters pertaining to each of the four noble paths. There is no canonical support for your interpretation of nibb�na or saup�disesa nibb�nadh�tu (nibb�na element with fuel remaining).
    The suttas define and describe the goal in sufficient terms. The difficulty in this discussion relates to whether one accepts what the canon states about the fruition of the path, or alternatively, accepts much later commentarial interpretations of the "path-moment" and "fruition-moment" as re-interpreted by a few 20th century Burmese monks. Without sufficient common ground for discussion there isn't much possibility of meaningful dialogue.
    I was just paraphrasing the professor's own words. Karunadasa's The Dhamma Theory: Philosophical Cornerstone of the Abhidhamma:
    What emerges from this Abhidhammic doctrine of dhammas is a critical realism, one which recognizes the distinctness of the world from the experiencing subject yet also distinguishes between those types of entities that truly exist independently of the cognitive act and those that owe their being to the act of cognition itself.
    He goes on to say that "a dhamma is a truly existent thing (sabh�vasiddha)." This is a completely realist view. And the inevitable consequence entailed by this realist view, wherein all conditioned dhammas are "truly existing things," is that path cognitions and fruition cognitions of each of the four paths and fruits must occur within an utterly void vacuum state cessation, which is considered to be the ultimately existent "unconditioned." This is described by Jack Kornfield:
    In Mahasi’s model, enlightenment—or at least stream-entry, the first taste of nirvana—comes in the form of a cessation of experience, arising out of the deepest state of concentration and attention, when the body and mind are dissolved, the experience of the ordinary senses ceases, and we rest in perfect equanimity. We open into that which is unconditioned, timeless, and liberating: nirvana.... But there are a lot of questions around this kind of moment. Sometimes it seems to have enormously transformative effects on people. Other times people have this moment of experience and aren’t really changed by it at all. Sometimes they’re not even sure what happened.
    This notion of path and fruition cognitions is not supported by the P�li canon. Moreover, there are now numerous people who've had such experiences sanctioned by "insight meditation" teachers, and who have gone on to proclaim to the world that arahants can still experience lust and the other defiled mental phenomena. Taking all of this into account there is no good reason whatsoever to accept this interpretation of path and fruition cognitions. Void vacuum state cessations are not an adequate nor reliable indication of stream entry or any of the other paths and fruitions.
    All the best,
    SN 43 Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta (1-44 combined & abridged):
    And what, monks, is the not-fabricated (asaá¹…khata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-fabricated.
    [long quote snipped]
    18 Feb 12, 22:21
    Geoff: As do I. When fellows like U Paṇ�ita and Kearney understand nibb�na to be a momentary blip of nothingness it's clear that the soteriological significance of nibb�na and the foundational structure of the four noble truths has been misunderstood by this community. It's little wonder then, when someone like Ingram comes along, who has trained in this same Mah�si tradition, and claims that the full realization of nibb�na doesn't result in the complete extingishment of lust and anger. Why is this not surprising? Because the soteriological significance of nibb�na and the foundation of the four noble truths has been forgotten by this community.

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    From AtR guide:
    “Regarding arahant, John Tan thinks perfection of wisdom is not necessary, but dispassion and experience of cessation [of passion, aggression and delusion] are crucial:
    John TanSaturday, November 1, 2014 at 6:58pm UTC+08
    Perfection of wisdom is not necessary IMO.
    John TanSaturday, November 1, 2014 at 6:59pm UTC+08
    Dispassion and experience of cessation are crucial factors.
    John TanSaturday, November 1, 2014 at 7:00pm UTC+08
    That is why I thought of reading autonomy school of thoughts
    John TanThursday, October 23, 2014 at 11:02pm UTC+08
    Cessation imo is not just the ability to shut down consciousness ... It is consciousness coming to a complete rest due to dispassion...genuine calming down of the mind 贪嗔痴 (passion, aggression, delusion)...the fruition of a mind in total peace...
    John TanTuesday, August 26, 2014 at 12:29am UTC+08
    In later phase, you will prefer dispassion, letting go than concentration
    John TanTuesday, August 26, 2014 at 12:30am UTC+08
    You will find you know very little of how to let go despite strong attainment in concentration. Then you will revisit whatever you learnt and realized.
    John TanSunday, July 13, 2014 at 9:59pm UTC+08
    Dispassion will grow with time if you practice. When you experience the truth of 成住坏空 (formation, existence, destruction and emptiness) in life, together with your practice...dispassion will eventually arise.
    “John TanFriday, January 23, 2015 at 6:04pm UTC+08
    Cyclical existence ends when selflessness of person is actualized because that is the cause of cyclical existence. However in mahayana and vajrayana if i am not wrong, anatta ends cyclical existence and led to liberation whereas further realization and actualization of selflessness in phenomena resulted in omniscience Buddhahood.”
    John TanWednesday, January 28, 2015 at 12:08pm UTC+08
    I don't think the Theravada teaching is about that [annihilation]. In the lower tenet of the great exposition and sutra systems, they are very careful not to fall into the extremes of annihilation. When you get up the ladder be it yogacara, middle way up to Dzogchen and mahamudra, it is imo just a matter of refining the view of selflessness with direct experiential insights but still a sort of "middle path" from top to bottom...nvr a skewed towards the extreme of annihilation.
    John TanWednesday, January 28, 2015 at 12:25pm UTC+08
    Cessation is imp and once cessation is actualized, attachment to experiences of whatever samadhi is "cool down", so any form of promotion towards annihilation is unnecessary and extra (imo). Even shutting down of senses into an oblivious state is not exactly an extraordinary state, we enter in deep sleep every night anyway. The seeing through of any form of experience as dis-satisfactory that led to the direct taste of dispassion, dis-identification and atammayata should be the focus. Peace and liberation is directly related to this taste, so is the non-arisen of dharma. This is a state of evenness, calm and peace...and consciousness as well as senses can come to a shut down. Shutting down is not a secret or some exalted state for one that has gone through deep letting go in meditation but the cause that let one into it is. Anyway that is just my opinion.
    John TanMonday, January 26, 2015 at 8:36am UTC+08
    You must also understand a state of oblivion like deep sleep too is a landing ground, an escape into the cessation of experience. A movement from experience into non-experience and therefore it is driven by the same cause. It is not extinguishing the cause. The cessation is not to be understood as a shut down of senses and consciousness but disenchantment and dispassion that led to the ending of grasping. The mind no more chases anything and everything settles down, gone cool and is seen to be in a state of rest and peace.
    John TanMonday, January 26, 2015 at 8:40am UTC+08
    But it can and will lead to the shut down of senses and consciousness like deep sleep which is a natural consequent. So do not chase of the state of oblivion but the gradual extinguishing of grasping and into 寂静 (quiescence).
    John TanMonday, January 26, 2015 at 8:45am UTC+08
    This is no different from deep sleep...what is important is the cause that led a practitioner into that any case if seen from the perspective of the cause, the shutting down of senses and consciousness become quite irrelevant and should not be presented that way.
    John TanSunday, January 25, 2015 at 8:47am UTC+08
    This is what must be tasted as an experience ... The experience of cessation...everything coming to a complete rest...relax and rest...relax and let go of whatever completely into cessation. Even to the extent of cessation of more nihilistic than nihilist… are you able to do that?
    John TanSunday, January 25, 2015 at 8:53am UTC+08
    Not as what Kenneth said as a "realization" but as a taste until the ending of that taste...everything comes to an is like what you wrote the other time...Arahat happily waiting for death...terminating all passions...extinction...all your so called grand beauty of lsd experiences into extinction… are you able to do that?
    [Soh: This is referring to this text:
    Ven. Sañkicca:
    I don’t delight in death,
    don’t delight in living.
    I await my time
    as a worker his wage.
    I don’t delight in death,
    don’t delight in living.
    I await my time
    mindful, alert. — Thag 11]
    Soh Wei YuSunday, January 25, 2015 at 9:22am UTC+08
    Don’t think so yet..
    John TanSunday, January 25, 2015 at 9:51am UTC+08
    Should paste it in is a good realization of 寂...寂靜 (quiescence) is often overlooked and presence is often over-emphasized. As such even non-arising nature is understood analytically, it is not appropriately tasted. There are blissful experience but there is no peace and there is no liberation without 寂. As for 万法无生,本自寂静 (all dharmas are non-arising, fundamentally quiescent) is a realization. To actualize it, we must be able to have some taste of 寂静 (quiescence) first then we can recognize it when insight dawn.

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    John TanSunday, November 16, 2014 at 9:10am UTC+08…
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    Pam Tan's Anatta Realisation and Purging of Conditionings
    Pam Tan's Anatta Realisation and Purging of Conditionings
    Pam Tan's Anatta Realisation and Purging of Conditionings

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    "So, is it Open Awareness/Do Nothing kind of technique?"
    If you are doing Awareness practice, might be good to try second gear and self enquiry. Do nothing by Shinzen Young is also a means to realize I AM. For me my way if self enquiry, that led to my I AM realization.
    In 2009, John Tan wrote:
    "Hi Teck Cheong,
    What you described is fine and it can be considered vipassana meditation too but you must be clear what is the main objective of practicing that way. Ironically, the real purpose only becomes obvious after the arising insight of anatta. What I gathered so far from your descriptions are not so much about anatta or empty nature of phenomena but are rather drawn towards Awareness practice. So it will be good to start from understanding what Awareness truly is. All the method of practices that you mentioned will lead to a quality of experience that is non-conceptual. You can have non-conceptual experience of sound, taste...etc...but more importantly in my opinion, you should start from having a direct, non-conceptual experience of Awareness (first glimpse of our luminous essence). Once you have a ‘taste’ of what Awareness is, you can then think of ‘expanding’ this bare awareness and gradually understand what does ‘heightening and expanding’ mean from the perspective of Awareness.
    Next, although you hear and see ‘non-dual, anatta and dependent origination’ all over the place in An Eternal Now’s forum (the recent Toni Packer’s books you bought are about non-dual and anatta), there is nothing wrong being ‘dualistic’ for a start. Even after direct non-conceptual experience of Awareness, our view will still continue to be dualistic; so do not have the idea that being dualistic is bad although it prevents thorough experience of liberation.
    The comment given by Dharma Dan is very insightful but of late, I realized that it is important to have a first glimpse of our luminous essence directly before proceeding into such understanding. Sometimes understanding something too early will deny oneself from actual realization as it becomes conceptual. Once the conceptual understanding is formed, even qualified masters will find it difficult to lead the practitioner to the actual ‘realization’ as a practitioner mistakes conceptual understanding for realization.
    “The anatta I realized is quite unique. It is not just a realization of no-self. But it must first have an intuitive insight of Presence. Otherwise will have to reverse the phases of insights.” - John Tan, 2018

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