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This is me- still holding a slight attachment
Soh Wei Yu
Aditya Prasad Doesn't mean there are tendencies towards one mind that his books are not worth reading. They are still good and worth reading and I even have some Tulku Urgyen excerpts in the AtR guide.
[23/11/19, 6:56:49 PM] John Tan: Urgyen vajra songs is quite good. But I thought he used to sound very I Mness?
[23/11/19, 6:57:29 PM] John Tan: Remember the 2 words I told u if one is free from inherency? Know I know what it meant in dzogchen...
[23/11/19, 7:02:52 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[23/11/19, 7:03:01 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Vajra? Space? Lol
[23/11/19, 7:05:44 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Got some parts sound like one mind
[23/11/19, 7:05:48 PM] Soh Wei Yu: image omitted
[23/11/19, 7:08:00 PM] Soh Wei Yu: image omitted
[23/11/19, 7:12:54 PM] Soh Wei Yu: urgyen_vajra-speech.pdf • 196 pages document omitted
[23/11/19, 7:13:42 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Do u think he is anatta and emptiness?
[23/11/19, 7:16:19 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Also elsewhere outside the book he said
[super long post snipped]
[23/11/19, 9:41:59 PM] John Tan: No
[23/11/19, 9:42:03 PM] John Tan:
[23/11/19, 9:43:51 PM] John Tan: Think but it is not easy to know...free from inherency, how will happen? Actually in the early phase u always like to talk about it I told u don't anyhow say until later part of ur journey
[23/11/19, 10:04:02 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Spontaneous presence?
[23/11/19, 10:04:14 PM] John Tan: LOL
[23/11/19, 10:04:22 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Lol
[23/11/19, 10:15:44 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Self liberating?
[23/11/19, 10:37:06 PM] John Tan: Spontaneous is correct
[23/11/19, 10:38:34 PM] John Tan: When u see through inherency, u must become natural and spontaneous, fully present and alive.
[23/11/19, 10:39:44 PM] John Tan: In the vajra songs I think, it is called togal
[23/11/19, 10:39:54 PM] John Tan: Spontaneous present
[23/11/19, 10:41:29 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[23/11/19, 10:41:33 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Togal is the practice
[23/11/19, 10:41:45 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Where u see visions and go through four stages
[23/11/19, 10:41:57 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Final stage is exhaustion of phenomena and attain rainbow bodt
[23/11/19, 10:41:59 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Body
[23/11/19, 10:42:07 PM] John Tan: U read the vajra songs
[23/11/19, 10:42:24 PM] John Tan: I think it is quite good and can be understood to anatta
[23/11/19, 10:43:01 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[23/11/19, 10:43:10 PM] Soh Wei Yu: But how about his other books some sound like one mind
[23/11/19, 10:43:18 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Like the ones i quote
[23/11/19, 10:43:40 PM] John Tan: Yeah
[23/11/19, 10:44:29 PM] John Tan: This base, ground, basis is a problem. The seeing through is important for experiential insight to arise.
[23/11/19, 10:45:15 PM] John Tan: I wonder y dzogchen like to emphasis these "conventional ground" as if they r real.
[23/11/19, 10:45:52 PM] John Tan: Dzogchen masters I mean.
[23/11/19, 10:46:09 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic..
[23/11/19, 10:47:28 PM] John Tan: Anyway enough have been said and emphasized, no point keep talking. Just read and see resonates with ur insights.
[24/11/19, 12:31:38 PM] Soh Wei Yu: I see everything as apparent absence.. actually the eight examples of illusions are a perfect illustration so i dunno why tulku urgyen de emphasize that while also mentioning it in the book
[24/11/19, 12:34:33 PM] John Tan: Because his emphasis is one mind
[24/11/19, 12:35:06 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic..
[24/11/19, 12:43:30 PM] John Tan: Absence implies "something" that was "there" but was realized to b "not there", that to me is along the path. So ultimate realization must b what? If it wasn't there but was thought to b there, then what is it?
Soh Wei Yu
Same for Tenzin Wangyal's dream yoga book. John Tan told me to re read it back in 2018 even if its not exactly anatta sort of understanding because there are many other important points in it.
It’s this book. Andre recommended so I downloaded.
So far so good.
Actually I think it’s vv good. A lot of advice and confidence I got from this book.
Haven’t find anything that doesn’t fit my insight or understanding
Soh Wei Yu
Yin Ling I also like that book.
Maybe this part I may not express it this way --
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: http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/index.php...
(11:52 PM) AEN: i go update the link
(12:01 AM) AEN: http://now-for-you.com/viewtopic.php?t=5593
(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
(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
(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: http://www.terebess.hu/english/oxherding.html
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.
Soh Wei Yu oh I get what u mean now.
When I read this sun and Sun ray description I didn’t see it this way, I see it as 2 truths like the sun is the emptienss while the ray is DO
And eventually he always go back to “there’s no rays without the sun”, no heat without fire, as in the unity of 2 truths as one.
Maybe thats my understanding so it doesn’t create any dissonance
Soh Wei Yu
I have seen many clearly substantialist dzogchen teachers but this is not a problem restricted to Dzogchen.
Privately I have ranted to people including but not limited to John Tan about how disappointed I am at the degenerate state of Buddhism today. I will leave out the unpleasant details.
But know that this is not limited to Dzogchen. Mahamudra, Zen, Theravada teachers (see http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../seven-stages-and... ), at least in modern times most only got as far as Awareness teachings (I AM and one mind)
This is also the case in ancient times.
See how Dogen criticise his contemporary Zen masters here: see second half of http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../my-opinion-on...
Also, i wrote in the AtR guide: “Dogen is really a difficult person with whom to practice. In a sense, he’s so stubborn and picky. Many Zen texts agree with this theory in these sutras and Zongmi’s. Dogen is a very unusual and unique Zen master. To be his student is a difficult thing." - Shohaku Okumura
“And it is not just I that would openly criticise the views of these teachers and practitioners. Zen Master Dogen was very open about criticizing his contemporary Zen masters that fall into such views. It was very common for Zen masters to get stuck at I AM and One Mind back then, as it is today. Zen Master Dogen was a rare beacon of clarity, although of course there are some other Zen masters that were also clear. Zen Master Dogen would not mince a word at critiquing his contemporaries or those who hold erroneous views, and would even use words that I would not use, like 'madmen' to describe holders of such view.
To point out how rare anatta and emptiness realisation is, I would also like to quote a passage from 'Introduction to the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara with Commentary by Jamgon Mipham',
"There is a story that once when Atisha was in Tibet, he received news of the death of the master Maitripa. He was deeply grieved, and on being questioned about the reasons for his sorrow, he replied that Buddhism was in decline in India and that everywhere there was syncretism and confusion. Until then, Atisha continued, there had been only two masters in the whole of India, Maitripa and himself, capable of discerning the correct teaching from the doctrines and practices of the reviving Hindu schools. The time is sure to come, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche commented, and perhaps it is already here, when there will be an analogous situation in the West. Only the correct establishment of the view will enable one to find one's way through the religious confusion of the modern West and to distinguish authentic Buddhism from the New Age "self-help" versions that are already taking hold.”
Just like it is rare today to find someone who is able to penetrate wrong views and distinguish between the views of I AM/One Mind and anatta & emptiness, it was rare even in ancient times.
Soh Wei Yu
Personally, I just find myself so fortunate to have come to know John Tan, otherwise I will 100% be stuck at I AM like so many other practitioners and teachers. It is rare now, just like it was rare back in the days to have someone with such clarity, to be able to distinguish clearly and have such deep comprehension.” - Soh, About whether XYZ teacher realised anatta, etc
If you find it is strange that there were only two masters in the whole of India that had realized anatta back then in the 11th century, a similar analogous situation is present today – I can only find two dharma teachers in the whole of India (a sub-continent with over 1 billion+ population) that is currently teaching from the experiential insight of anatman – the Dzogchen practitioners/teachers Prabodha Jnana Yogi* and Abhaya Devi Yogini. You’ll probably say, well, that’s to be expected because Buddhism largely died out in India, Hinduism being its current predominant religion, so of course the Atman view must be prevalent. However, I would also add that throughout China and Taiwan (where roughly 20% and 35% respectively are Buddhists), another subcontinent with currently over 1+ billion people, I can only find two dharma teachers that teaches with the experiential insight into anatman – Zen Master Hong Wen Liang （洪文亮禅师）and Zen Master Hui Lu （慧律法师）(update: September 2020, found the third one: 继程法师. Upate 2021: sorry, 继程法师 doesn’t live in China but in Malaysia.). The others, as I found, mostly teach from the realization of I AM and one mind. I believe this is largely due to the gradual evolution of doctrinal influences over hundreds/thousands of years that made the Chinese Mahayana teaching gradually deviate from the original doctrine of No-Mind/Anatman taught by the first Ch’an Patriarch Bodhidharma, as I discussed in Problem with Many Zen Teachings, and perhaps elucidated more clearly in scholastic books like How Buddhism Acquired a Soul on the Way to China (which I never read, but the synposis seems interesting). Interestingly, insight into anatman is somewhat more common in the west at the moment. Realization of anatman is seemingly more common in Soto Zen (a Japanese Zen sect that was derived from the Chinese Cao Dong school of Ch’an Buddhism) perhaps due to the emphasis on the study of its founder Zen Master Dogen’s teachings, but I have known people who realize anatman in all the three main Buddhist traditions – Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, and within Vajrayana I know of and can name people [currently alive] who realized anatta in basically all the subsects of Vajrayana, so I know that this insight is fundamental to all Buddhist traditions without exception, although not always commonly attained.
Arcaya Malcolm said in 2020, “While there are problems with Sino-Japanese concepts of self, as eloquently illustrated by the late Jungnok Park in his How Buddhism Acquired a Soul on the Way to China, the idea of all phenomena possessing buddhanature that we see frequently mentioned in Sino-Japanese Buddhism is not a problematic at all, if understood as Nāgārjuna states it in the MMK, "Whatever is the nature of the Tathāgata, that is the nature of the world. As the Tathāgata has no nature, the world has no nature."”
For Dzogchen, Dzogchen teachers Acarya Malcolm Smith and his student Kyle Dixon are very clear: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../clarification...
Prabodha Yogi and Abhaya Devi Yogini are also very clear: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2018/04/way-of-bodhi.html
When I was in California in 2019 I asked Kyle Dixon if he attended Dzogchen talks in San Francisco. He turned and looked and me, and told me, not really. I asked why? He said well.. like you, I wasn’t really impressed with the understanding of the Dzogchen teachers flying in and out of his town. He also mentioned previously that he was disappointed by some Dzogchen teachers talks he attended which taught substantialist view.
Soh Wei Yu
* [8:44 AM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: Yogi Prabodha Jnana is very good and clear
[11:58 AM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. you just read something in it?
[12:20 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: I think he visited atr also
[12:20 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: Lol
[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Yeah from the start he already told me.. years ago
[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: He said the things i post are interesting, am i a teacher?
[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: I said no im not a dharma teacher lol
[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Then he liked the post i posted by Yasutani Roshi on no mirror
[12:52 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: you communicated with Yogi Prabodha Jnana years ago?
[12:54 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: He said your stages are in line with the essence of buddhism
[12:54 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Haha
[1:01 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: Yes I find his teachings very interesting also.
[1:02 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: His emphasis on anatta and no mirror especially.
[1:05 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. yeah
[1:11 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: his partner Abhaya Devi Yogini is also clear about it
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
Soh Wei Yu l dont have a problem with rant about the state of dharma. You mention Dogen, but also many other teachers have done this.
What l meant is that there are many paths, and in dzogchen l dont know if anatta as you see it is exemplified in the same way by all teachers and linages (maybe you can say something about this?).
Also, pointing out rigpa isnt synonym with l AM, l had the I Am long after pointing put, l can tell them appart now and they simply are not identical.
So Basically what l am saying is it is implicit if you have mastered these practices they use, if to make clear statements about them and their paths.
Another point l thought of is language used (like l saw you write about Longchenpa at one point, and here l think it was a language problem?).
Basically l think one are prone to misdiagnose few things taking everyone under the same scope of analysis(in your case the 7 atr steps). Its like confirmation bias. Does that make sense? If you master dzogchen then you are the person to comment on it, right? Hope it helps, would love to hear your thoughts on it
Imo the phases of insights are just aspects of realizations that is innate in awakening and should be paid attention to, it’s just somehow a lot of ppl will go through it in that sequence like a map but not all, of course
In Dzogchen even with my superficial understanding, Anatta and second fold emptiness is implicit . Perceiver and perceived both empty which is minds nature. So I don’t see much dissonance any where in the teaching be in ATR or Dzogchen or even zen. I can see they are pointing at the same moon.
Though I am not too sure where u see a huge difference , this is just imo
Soh Wei Yu
"Also, pointing out rigpa isnt synonym with l AM, l had the I Am long after pointing put, l can tell them appart now and they simply are not identical."
It's the same.
Is there doubtless certainty? It is very important.
Dzogchen teacher Sogyal Rinpoche taught, “Sometimes when I meditate, I don't use any particular method. I just allow my mind to rest, and find, especially when I am inspired, that I can bring my mind home and relax very quickly. I sit quietly and rest in the nature of mind; I don't question or doubt whether I am in the "cor-rect" state or not. There is no effort, only rich understanding, wakefulness, and unshakable certainty. When I am in the nature of mind, the ordinary mind is no longer there. There is no need to sustain or confirm a sense of being: I simply am. A fundamental trust is present. There is nothing in par-ticular to do… …If meditation is simply to continue the flow of Rigpa after the introduction, how do we know when it is Rigpa and when it is not? I asked Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche this ques-tion, and he replied with his characteristic simplicity: "If you are in an unaltered state, it is Rigpa." If we are not contriving or manipulating the mind in any way, but simply resting in an unaltered state of pure and pristine awareness, then that is Rigpa. If there is any contriving on our part or any kind of manipulating or grasping, it is not. Rigpa is a state in which there is no longer any doubt; there is not really a mind to doubt: You see directly. If you are in this state, a complete, natural certainty and confidence surge up with the Rigpa itself, and that is how you know.”
Soh Wei Yu
As John Tan also said in 2011:
“John: what is "I AM"
is it a pce? (Soh: PCE = pure consciousness experience, see glossary at the bottom of this document)
is there emotion
is there feeling
is there thought
is there division or complete stillness?
in hearing there is just sound, just this complete, direct clarity of sound!
so what is "I AM"?
Soh Wei Yu: it is the same
just that pure non conceptual thought
John: is there 'being'?
Soh Wei Yu: no, an ultimate identity is created as an afterthought
it is the mis-interpretation after that experience that is causing the confusion
that experience itself is pure conscious experience
there is nothing that is impure
that is why it is a sense of pure existence
it is only mistaken due to the 'wrong view'
so it is a pure conscious experience in thought.
not sound, taste, touch...etc
PCE (Pure Consciousness Experience) is about direct and pure experience of whatever we encounter in sight, sound, taste...
the quality and depth of experience in sound
has he truly experience the immense luminous clarity in the senses?
if so, what about 'thought'?
when all senses are shut
the pure sense of existence as it is when the senses are shut.
then with senses open
have a clear understanding
do not compare irrationally without clear understanding”
“...There is nothing underneath everything, in the state of I AM, it is just I AM. The rest of the 5 sense doors are shut. Everything else is excluded. It is called I simply because of the koan, nothing else.
What’s experienced is similar to hearing sound without the sense of hearer. So keep the experience but refine the view.” - John Tan to someone in Awakening to Reality Discussion Group, 2019
[5:24 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: What is the most important experience in I M?
[5:24 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: What must happen in I M?
[5:25 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: There is not even an M, just I... complete stillness, just I correct?
[5:26 PM, 4/24/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Realization, certainty of being.. yes just stillness and doubtless sense of I/Existence
[5:26 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: And what is the complete stillness just I?
[5:26 PM, 4/24/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Just I, just presence itself
[5:28 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: This stillness absorbs excludes and includes everything into just I. What is that experience called?
[5:29 PM, 4/24/2020] Soh Wei Yu: I am everything?
[5:29 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: That experience is non-dual.
[5:30 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: And in that experience actually, there is no external nor internal, there is also no observer or observed.
[5:30 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: Just complete stillness as I.
[5:31 PM, 4/24/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. yeah even I AM is nondual
[5:31 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: That is ur first phase of a non dual experience.
[5:32 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: We say this is the pure thought experience in stillness
[5:32 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: Thought realm
[5:33 PM, 4/24/2020] John Tan: But at that moment we don't know that...we treated that as ultimate reality.
[5:33 PM, 4/24/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Yeah
(9:12 PM) Thusness: you don't think that "I AMness" is low stage of enlightenment leh
(9:12 PM) Thusness: the experience is the same. it is just the clarity. In terms of insight. Not experience.
(9:13 PM) AEN: icic..
(9:13 PM) Thusness: so a person that has experience "I AMness" and non dual is the same. except the insight is different.
(9:13 PM) AEN: oic
(9:13 PM) Thusness: non dual is every moment there is the experience of presence. or the insight into the every moment experience of presence. because what that prevent that experience is the illusion of self and "I AM" is that distorted view. the experience is the same leh.
(9:15 PM) Thusness: didn’t you see i always say there is nothing wrong with that experience to longchen, jonls... i only say it is skewed towards the thought realm. so don't differentiate but know what is the problem. I always say it is misinterpretation of the experience of presence. not the experience itself. but "I AMness" prevents us from seeing.
“It is not the contemplations that are important, it is the view brought to contemplation that makes the difference. For example, there is no actual difference between the Hindu Nirvikalpa samadhi and Vajropama samadhi in terms of its content, but the fact that one is accompanied by insight and the other is not makes the difference between whether it is mundane or liberative.” – Dzogchen Teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith, 2014
“(10:49 PM) Thusness: by the way you know about hokai description and "I AM" is the same experience?
(10:50 PM) AEN: the watcher right
(10:52 PM) Thusness: nope. i mean the shingon practice of the body, mind, speech into one.
(10:53 PM) AEN: oh thats i am experience?
(10:53 PM) Thusness: yes, except that the object of practice is not based on consciousness. what is meant by foreground? it is the disappearance of the background and whats left is it. similarly the "I AM" is the experience of no background and experiencing consciousness directly. that is why it is just simply "I-I" or "I AM"
(10:57 PM) AEN: i've heard of the way people describe consciousness as the background consciousness becoming the foreground... so there's only consciousness aware of itself and thats still like I AM experience
(10:57 PM) Thusness: that is why it is described that way, awareness aware of itself and as itself.
(10:57 PM) AEN: but you also said I AM people sink to a background?
(10:57 PM) Thusness: yes
(10:57 PM) AEN: sinking to background = background becoming foreground?
(10:58 PM) Thusness: that is why i said it is misunderstood. and we treat that as ultimate.
(10:58 PM) AEN: icic but what hokai described is also nondual experience rite
(10:58 PM) Thusness: I have told you many times that the experience is right but the understanding is wrong. that is why it is an insight and opening of the wisdom eyes. there is nothing wrong with the experience of I AM". did i say that there is anything wrong with it?
(10:59 PM) AEN: nope
(10:59 PM) Thusness: even in stage 4 what did I say?
(11:00 PM) AEN: its the same experience except in sound, sight, etc
(11:00 PM) Thusness: sound as the exact same experience as "I AM"... as presence.
(11:00 PM) AEN: icic
(11:00 PM) Thusness: yes”
“"I AM" is a luminous thought in samadhi as I-I. Anatta is a realization of that in extending the insight to the 6 entries and exits.” – John Tan, 2018
Soh Wei Yu
“William Lam: It's non conceptual.
John Tan: It’s non conceptual. Yup. Okay. Presence is not conceptual experience, it has to be direct. And you just feel pure sense of existence. Means people ask you, before birth, who are you? You just authenticate the I, that is yourself, directly. So when you first authenticate that I, you are damn happy, of course. When young, that time, wah… I authenticate this I… so you thought that you’re enlightened, but then the journey continues. So this is the first time you taste something that is different. It is… It is before thoughts, there is no thoughts. Your mind is completely still. You feel still, you feel presence, and you know yourself. Before birth it is Me, after birth, it is also Me, 10,000 years it’s still this Me, 10,000 year before, it’s still this Me. So you authenticate that, your mind is just that and authenticate your own true being, so you don't doubt that. In later phase…
Kenneth Bok: Presence is this I AM?
John Tan: Presence is the same as I AM. Presence is the same as… of course, other people may disagree, but actually they're referring to the same thing. The same authentication, the same what... even in Zen is still the same.
But in later phase, I conceive that as just the thought realm. Means, in the six, I always call the six entries and six exits, so there is the sound and there’s all these… During that time, you always say I’m not sound, I’m not the appearance, I AM the Self that is behind all these appearances, alright? So, sounds, sensations, all these come and go, your thoughts come and go, those are not me, correct? This is the ultimate Me. The Self is the ultimate Me. Correct?
William Lam: So, is that nondual? The I AM stage. It’s non-conceptual, was it nondual?
John Tan: It’s nonconceptual. Yes, it is nondual. Why is it nondual? At that moment, there is no duality at all, at that moment when you experience the Self, you cannot have duality, because you are authenticated directly as IT, as this pure sense of Being. So, it’s completely I, there’s nothing else, just I. There’s nothing else, just the Self. I think, many of you have experienced this, the I AM. So, you probably will go and visit all the Hinduism, sing song with them, meditate with them, sleep with them, correct? Those are the young days. I meditate with them, hours after hours, meditate, sit with them, eat with them, sing song with them, drum with them. Because this is what they preach, and you find these group of people, all talking about the same language.
So this experience is not a normal experience, correct? I mean, within the probably 15 years of my life or 17 years of my life, my first... when I was 17, when you first experienced that, wah, what is that? So, it is something different, it is non conceptual, it is non dual, and all these. But it is very difficult to get back the experience. Very, very difficult, unless you're in when you're in meditation, because you reject the relative, the appearances. So, it is, although they may say no, no, it is always with me, because it's Self, correct? But you don't actually get back the authentication, just pure sense of existence, just me, because you reject the rest of that appearances, but you do not know during that time. Only after anatta, then you realize that this, when you when you hear sound without the background, that experience is exactly the same, the taste is exactly the same as the presence. The I AM Presence. So, only after anatta, when the background is gone, then you realize eh, this has the exact same taste as the I AM experience. When you are not hearing, you are just in the vivid appearances, the obvious appearances now, correct. That experience is also the I AM experience. When you are even now feeling your sensation without the sense of self directly. That experience is exactly the same as I AM taste. It is nondual. Then you realize, I call, actually, everything is Mind. Correct? Everything. So, so before that, there is an ultimate Self, a background, and you reject all those transient appearances. After that, that background is gone, you know? And then you are just all these appearances.
William Lam: You are the appearance? You are the sound? You are the…
John Tan: Yes. So, so, that is an experience. That is an experience. So after that, you realize something. What did you realise? You realise all along it is the what, that is obscuring you. So… in a person, for a person that is in I AM experience, the pure presence experience, they will always have a dream. They will say that I hope I can 24 by 7 always in that state, correct? So when I was young, 17. But then after 10 years you are still thinking. Then after 20 years, you say how come I need to always meditate? You always find time to meditate, maybe I don't study also meditate, you give me a cave last time I will just meditate inside.
So, the the thing that you always dream that you can one day be pure consciousness, just as pure consciousness, live as pure consciousness, but you never get it. And even if you meditate, occasionally probably you can have that oceanic experience. Only when you after anatta, when that self behind is gone, you are not 24 by 7, maybe most of your day, waking state, not so much of 24 by 7, you dream that time still very karmic depending on what you engage, doing business, all these. (John mimics dreaming) How come ah, the business…
So, so, in normal waking state, you are effortless. Probably that is the, during I AM phase, what you think you are going to achieve, you achieve after the insight of anatta. So you become clear, you are probably in the right path. But there are further insights you have to go through. When you try to penetrate the… one of them is, I feel that I become very physical. I am just narrating, going through my experience. Maybe that time… because you experience the relative, the appearances directly. So everything becomes very physical. So that is how you come to understand the meaning, how concepts actually affect you. Then what exactly is physical? How does the idea of physical come about, correct? That time I still do not know about emptiness, and all these kind of things, to me it is not so important.
So, I start going into what exactly is physical, what exactly is being physical? Sensation. But why is sensation known as physical, and what is being physical? How did I get the idea of being physical? So, I began to enquire into this thing. That, eh, actually on top of that, there is still further things to deconstruct, that is the meaning… that, just like self, I’m attached to the meaning of self, and you create a construct, it becomes a reification. Same thing, physicality also. So, you deconstruct the concepts surrounding physicality. Correct? So, when you deconstruct that, then I began to realize that all along, we try to understand, even after the experience of let’s say, anatta and all these… when we analyze, and when we think and try to understand something, we are using existing scientific concepts, logic, common day to day logic and all these to understand something. And it is always excluding consciousness. Even if you experience, you can lead a spiritual path you know, but when you think and analyze something, somehow you always exclude consciousness from the equation of understanding something. Your concept is always very materialistic. We always exclude consciousness from the whole equation.
Soh Wei Yu
“What l meant is that there are many paths, and in dzogchen l dont know if anatta as you see it is exemplified in the same way by all teachers and linages (maybe you can say something about this?).”
There is no doubt that Dzogchen as original taught by the original Dzogchen masters, Garab Dorje, Padmasambhava ( e.g. http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../establishing-inner... , http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../self-liberation... ), Longchenpa ( e.g. http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../a-letter-to-almaas... ), and so on, have clearly realised anatta and emptiness and in fact matured in actualization to its peak. Some other more recent time masters like Mipham are also very clear.
The same way there is no doubt that the founder of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma, has realized the same insights. (See: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2018/04/way-of-bodhi.html , http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../the-doctrine-of-no... , etc )
That doesn't mean all the Dzogchen or Zen teachers of today have realised it. Many have not. The realisation of anatta and emptiness proper is quite rare.
But what John Tan, I, Kyle Dixon and many others I discussed with will agree is this: you need to realise anatta to get into the core essence of each of these Buddhist traditions.
How does it relate to Rigpa? In Dzogchen, the initial rigpa is the recognition of unfabricated clarity. In AtR terms it is the I AM realization. That initial rigpa is not the same as the full maturation of rigpa but rather is the unripened rigpa. Full maturation of rigpa happens later on in the path when you realize emptiness at the third vision if you are practicing thodgal (but you can also realize it through other means like trekchod and other practices, in which case the four visions label may not apply).
Do read this article in full to have an understanding on the nuances and degrees of rigpa: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../the-degrees-of...
As John Tan told me in 2008, Dzogchen also goes through his 6 stages (later he expanded to 7 stages for clarification), starting with 1 then progress into 6. Much later after reading Malcolm and conversing with Kyle Dixon I can agree that this is indeed the case.
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu
[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.
[17/6/18, 6:57:01 PM] John Tan: But don't go post it ard...lol
[17/6/18, 6:58:34 PM] John Tan: I m thinking how to write
[17/6/18, 6:58:39 PM] John Tan: Lol
[17/6/18, 6:59:03 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[17/6/18, 8:10:23 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Pam sent me this
[17/6/18, 8:10:27 PM] Soh Wei Yu: http://www.robinacourtin.com/.../Wisdom-Understanding...
[17/6/18, 8:11:46 PM] John Tan: Yeah I read b4
[17/6/18, 8:12:18 PM] John Tan: Not suitable for ppl with anatta insights
[17/6/18, 8:14:10 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic
[17/6/18, 8:14:31 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Any article suitable for anatta? lol
[17/6/18, 8:14:31 PM] John Tan: And the points r not so imp
[17/6/18, 8:14:56 PM] John Tan: Mipham insights r imp
[17/6/18, 8:15:06 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[17/6/18, 8:15:50 PM] John Tan: But there is a point that he made though valid concerns r not important from the perspective of one that sees through
Soh Wei Yu
Btw I am really furthest from an expert on Dzogchen, but Kyle Dixon (who Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith told me over dinner in 2019 was his first student that fully understood his teachings) somehow made me an admin of the Dzogchen subreddit in reddit.com lol
But I am not the go to person for Dzogchen questions, for that should discuss with Malcolm (although he might be busy as he has hundreds of students) and Kyle Dixon. The most I can do is to refer you to existing writings, articles or compilations of what Malcolm and Kyle wrote that I posted in my blog.
Soh Wei Yu
Anyway those quotes on I AM I have pasted from AtR guide so you can refer to it for more information as well as on other phases of insights.
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
Soh Wei Yu l cant keep track on all your quotes, will take all day sorry
Is it doubtless? I had this insight that awarness had always been there, before birth and death l Am, or before Abraham l am. No doubt whatsoever its the same thing. I remember even thinking this is the I Am thing l have read about (and talked to you about at one point) and feeling slightly dissapointed as l thought l was past that point lol.. l used other ways to strengthen deepen this confidence later, f.ex buddhahood without meditation as l mentioned on another thread.
In reg to stillness and other points l cant say, as mentioned it happened long after many other insights.
Reg what Sogyal write l have to say l dont trust that guy, and l dont think its the same either. He doesnt mention vipashyana, or uprooting afflictions. There are few common things but not very impressed to be honest, and doesnt sound like emptiness.
Pointers in Dzogchen is the mind of a buddha, litterarily, they are meant to take you all the way, so you intergrate them according to how the teacher instruct you. In this way you gradually see the true nature of all phenomena and uproot afflictions untill there is no difference between you and the buddha.
Soh Wei Yu
Whether Dzogchen, Zen or Mahamudra, the direct introduction to Mind is important, the I AM, the preliminary rigpa. So that is an important insight. Just that later must be matured with nondual anatta insight and emptiness Then it is mature rigpa.
Sogyal's description is just the preliminary unripened rigpa.
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
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
Soh Wei Yu l would love to see where dzogchen goes through the 7 stages, or what are the common traits. To me its clear that sometimes you see the same thing, but not always, simple as that (see different lineages etc.. what is alike and what is not).. Again point is that of taking everyone under the same scope that l react to, and also language barrier.
Soh Wei Yu
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas For example this one: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../the-degrees-of...
Likewise in Mahamudra it is the same.
Based on Dakpo Tashi Namgyal scheme, the yoga of one pointedness contains a similar realization to I AM. Anatta and emptiness is yoga of one taste and above.
Khamtrul Rinpoche calls the initial rigpa 'baby vipashyana' （or was it beginner vipashyana or something I forgot) and then later the fruitional vipashyana is the anatta and emptiness insight.
I have some nice excerpts from him on anatta etc here: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../self-liberation-by...
Soh Wei Yu
"dzogchen goes through the 7 stages, "
If you read Malcolm's explanation of Dzogchen basis you will also see it is totally in line with anatta, emptiness, spontaneous perfection insight.
Likewise the books of Dzogchen tantras he translated goes in depth in explaining the view. Too long to elaborate
Soh Wei Yu
Besides Sogyal Rinpoche, here are a bunch of other Dzogchen masters describing I AM insight, the preliminary rigpa:
Tenzin Wangyal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNK7g5xZu7w
Lopon Tenzin Namdak: "To clarify the Dzogchen view: "We are just what we are, the Natural State which is like a mirror. It is clear and empty, and yet it reflects everything, all possible existences and all possible lifetimes. But it never changes and it does not depend on anything else."
Dzogchen teacher James Low: "I am a non-entity English
I am a non-entity French
I am a non-entity German
I am a non-entity Spanish
The basic ground of my presence is undefinable, never constrained, restricted or contaminated. I am open, ungraspable, naked, ever fresh – the always already integrated empty presence.
Without change or effort this state is also the infinite richness of all possible appearances. Open and empty is not other than rich and full. This is the open field within which gestures arise: gestures of identity, of connection, of control, of limitation, of welcome, of conflict. All of samsara and nirvana is just the play of possibilities of this field of becoming.
When fear, attachment and self-cherishing arise, they are the empty radiance of the ungraspable nature. Relax and see that they go free by themselves. Identity, intention, hope, fear, lostness, despair, all are moments devoid of enduring essence. Without trying to change the experience be present as the experiencer, the source; presence inseparable from space.
I am open, I am everything, I am just this, I am nothing. Whatever is said or thought is mere play; nothing is nothing, everything is nothing, nothing is everything.
I am a non-entity. Our presence, this amazing, ungraspable facticity of awareness is also an illusion. Nothing, something, everything, anything, just this thing, nothing – these moments are not separate and other, they are the non-dual ungraspable richness of the open ground.
I am, a non-entity. I am a non-entity. I, am a non-entity. Problems are mere parsing and punctuation. Start with ‘I am’, awaken to ‘I am’, relax as ‘I am’."
Soh Wei Yu
I wasn't having ChNN particularly in mind, but really, all Dzogchen teachers I've seen and come across lead students to I AM. (not necessarily as a final stage)
But yes, ChNN is included. It isn't even controversial. Kyle Dixon would agree with me, in fact, he told me himself that Malcolm Smith points to I AM as initial rigpa and is the said instant presence.
There's an important aspect to the guru yoga taught by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu which brings out the aspect of I AMness or Pure Presence.
I wrote previously, quoting a text from ChNN:
"...We sound another A and from that moment we are no longer working with visualization, thinking, or judging, but are only being in that presence. In particular, we notice who is doing this visualization, who is being in this white A at the center of the gakhyil. We are not looking at something in a dualistic way; we are being in that state, and that is instant presence and our real condition."
-- this is a self-enquiry instruction pointing to the same realization, exactly the same, even if you do not want to call it by those name.
ChNN pointing out the I AM (note that I am not suggesting that I AM is the limit of his insight):
5/12/2012 6:29 AM: Soh Wei Yu: "If you are in the state of instant presence, and compare this sensation with the experience of emptiness, or clarity, or in a different way you compare one with another, you discover that presence is unique, that it always remains the same. But before we are able to be in the state of presence, experiences are all different. So that is the meaning of tsed la pheb:
5/12/2012 6:30 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Maturing: you discover really that the state of instant presence or rigpa is unique. In our lives everything is an experience, and there are not only three experiences."
5/12/2012 8:54 AM: John: What does he meant by not only three experiences
5/12/2012 9:43 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Emptiness (in the gap between thoughts that is emptiness but there is nonetheless someone noticing that, a presence, sounds like I AM), clarity (like movement, manifestation) and sensation (sensation of pleasure incl sexual contact)
5/12/2012 9:45 AM: Soh Wei Yu: He said
5/12/2012 9:47 AM: Soh Wei Yu: "...when we are dissolving everything into emptiness, in that moment we are discovering instant presence because we are not only lost in emptiness, there is also someone noticing that, there is a presence. So this is called instant presence. And you can also have this instant presence with the experience of clarity and with the experience of sensation, even with a strong sensation like sexual contact. Of course, at this moment you can feel a very strong sensation of pleasure and maybe you are generally distracted by it, but
?5/12/2012 9:48 AM: Soh Wei Yu: If you are a good practitioner you also notice the instant presence. That is, you are not only enjoying the strong sensation but at the same time
5/12/2012 9:48 AM: Soh Wei Yu: you are in instant presence.
5/12/2012 9:48 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Then followed by the ""If you are in the state of instant presence, and compare this sensation with the experience of emptiness... Etc
ChNN also said before,
"Ranxin minis means one does not simply remain in the condition of the experience, but uses the experience as a method to find oneself in the state of contemplation. In these experiences there is a presence. It is not as if one has fainted or lost consciousness. There is somebody who remains in it. There is no difference whatsoever whether this presence is found in the experience of the person who is smiling or in the experience of the person who is frightened, even though the experiences are completely different. Minis does not mean that two things are united, or that we think that they are the same. If we just say that the nature of those things is not real, thus they are the same, then it will remain as a mental construction. But if one goes through the diverse experiences and hence finds that the true state of presence has no difference, then the real state of nacog is one, and the presence is called rigba (rig.pa.) If we say different experiences are not equal, this is what we mean.
"Whether it is calm, movement, or any one of hundreds of experiences, the important thing is to know the difference between experience and presence. When we know what is meant by rigba, we ought to know how to integrate with all these aspects in our presence."
"So, ugly or beautiful, positive or negative conditions, heavens or hells or transmigration do not in any way affect the underlying nature of the consciousness that is the state of the mirror itself." "that which is noticing thoughts and that which is noticing no thoughts, that which notices both conditions is Rigpa"
Soh Wei Yu
Based on something I said before, ""Another interesting 'technical' point since this is DhO. There was a point in his retreat where Arcaya Malcolm Smith described how at the mature phase of Dzogchen practice, the 'vidya'/'rigpa' (the knowing/knowledge) is exhausted where the vidya and dhatu (something like knowing and field of experience) totally collapsed in a 1:1 synchrony (and he gestured two circles coming together), whereas before that point [the exhaustion of vidya] there is a sort of out of phase issue between vidya and dhatu. That's said to happen in the fourth vision. Somehow it really reminded me of one of Daniel's descriptions in MCTB on fourth path. His student Kyle did inform me that it is the same as what I call anatta realization [which I realised almost 10 years ago, it is the same as MCTB's fourth path]. Also, Malcolm mentioned many people have the wrong idea that Vidya/Rigpa is some eternal thing that just goes on forever, but it too is exhausted later along with all other phenomena [although this is not annihilation as appearances/pure vision still manifest] (elaboration: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../acarya-malcolm... )."
Likewise, Kyle Dixon, that Malcolm told me over dinner was the first student of his that totally understood his teaching, also said in 2014, "'Self luminous' and 'self knowing' are concepts which are used to convey the absence of a subjective reference point which is mediating the manifestation of appearance. Instead of a subjective cognition or knower which is 'illuminating' objective appearances, it is realized that the sheer exertion of our cognition has always and only been the sheer exertion of appearance itself. Or rather that cognition and appearance are not valid as anything in themselves. Since both are merely fabricated qualities neither can be validated or found when sought. This is not a union of subject and object, but is the recognition that the subject and object never arose in the first place [advaya]. ", "The cognition is empty. That is what it means to recognize the nature of mind [sems nyid]. The clarity [cognition] of mind is recognized to be empty, which is sometimes parsed as the inseparability of clarity and emptiness, or nondual clarity and emptiness." - Kyle
Soh Wei Yu
Just yesterday, also I was pasting something Dalai Lama wrote to someone else:
Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā
According to Sūtra, meditation on the clear and cognizant nature of the mind or on the transforming buddha nature alone will not eradicate afflictions. However, it does lead us to have more confidence that afflictions are not an inherent part of the mind and therefore that becoming a buddha is possible. This, in turn, leads us to question: What defiles the mind and what can eliminate these defilements completely? Seeking the method to purify the transforming buddha nature, we will cultivate the wisdom realizing the emptiness of inherent existence and eradicate ignorance.
According to Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā, meditation on the clear and cognizant nature of the mind could lead the coarse winds to dissolve and the subtlest clear light mind to become manifest. When this happens, practitioners who have previously cultivated a correct understanding of emptiness then incorporate that understanding in their meditation and use the innate clear light mind to realize emptiness and abolish afflictions. It is important to understand the Sublime Continuum correctly from a Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā point of view.
Some people take it literally, leading them to incorrectly believe that primordial wisdom is permanent, inherently existent, independent of any other factors, and does not rely on causes and conditions. They then make statements such as, “If you unravel this secret, you will be liberated.” Dodrup Jigme Tenpai Nyima (1865–1926) and his disciple Tsultrim Zangpo (1884–c.1957), who were great Dzogchen scholars and practitioners, said that the mere presence of this primordial wisdom within us alone cannot liberate us. Why not? At the time of death, all other minds have dissolved, and only the primordial mind remains. Even though it has manifested in all the infinite number of deaths we have experienced in saṃsāra, that has not helped us attain buddhahood. These two sages say that in order to attain buddhahood, it is necessary to utilize the primordial wisdom to realize emptiness; only that will liberate us. This is consistent with Tsongkhapa’s view.
Some commentaries on Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā say: This wisdom that abides in the afflictions is the true wisdom, and on this basis every sentient being is already a buddha. Although we have been buddhas from beginningless time, we have to be awakened again. The wisdom that we have now is the omniscient mind of a buddha, and the three bodies of a buddha exist innately in each sentient being. Sentient beings have a basis of essential purity that is not merely emptiness but is endowed with three aspects. Its entity is the dharmakāya — the mode of abiding of pristine wisdom; its nature is the enjoyment body — the appearance aspect of that mind; and compassion is the emanation bodies — its radiance or expression. In short, they say that all three buddha bodies are present, fully formed in our ordinary state, but since they are obscured we are not aware of their presence. Such statements taken literally are fraught with problems.
Soh Wei Yu
While some people are partial and unfair in their criticism and refute misconceptions in only some traditions, Changkya Rolpai Dorje (1717–86) was unbiased and pointed out incorrect interpretations in all four Tibetan traditions, including his own Geluk tradition. In his Song of the Experience of the View, he says, “I say this not out of disrespect to these masters, but perhaps they have had less exposure to rigorous philosophical investigation of the great treatises and were unable to use certain terminology appropriately.” That is, the difficulty in their assertions lies in a broad use of terminology that is not grounded in the authority of the great treatises. Of course, Changkya’s comments do not apply to Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā masters such as Dodrup Jigme Tenpai Nyima and his teacher Awa Pangchu, who have done serious philosophical study and examination of the great treatises and who ground their understanding of Dzogchen in them. Their interpretations and writings are excellent. All four Tibetan traditions teach practices that search for the mind — where it came from, where it goes, what its shape and color are, and so forth. Speaking of this shared practice, Changkya said that after searching in this manner, we find that the mind is not tangible, lacks color and shape, and does not come from one place or go to another. Discovering this, meditators experience a sensation of voidness. However, this voidness is not the emptiness of inherent existence that is the ultimate reality of the mind; it is the mere absence of the mind being a tangible object.
Although someone may think this voidness is ultimate reality and meditate in that state for a long time, this is not meditation on the ultimate nature of the mind. There are two ways to meditate on the mind. The first is as above, examining whether the mind has color, shape, location, tangibility, and so forth. This leads to the sense that the conventional nature of the mind lacks these qualities. The second is meditation on the ultimate nature of the mind, in which we examine the mind’s ultimate mode of existence and discover its emptiness of inherent existence. People who confuse these two ways of meditating on the mind and think that the mind’s absence of tangibility, color, and so forth is the mind’s ultimate nature may criticize masters such as Dignāga and Dharmakīrti for their precise expositions on debate, logic, and reasoning, saying these only increase preconceptions. Gungtang Konchog Tenpai Dronme (1762–1823), another master who was impartial in his critical analysis of Tibetan Buddhist traditions, said he found this amazing.
Some people believe there is no need for reasoning or investigation on the path, that simply by having faith and receiving the blessing of a guru primordial wisdom will arise. In this light, I have been very happy to see the establishment of more shedras — academic institutes — that teach the classical philosophical texts from India and Tibet. Some Westerners similarly do not value Dharma study and investigation, perhaps because Buddhadharma is relatively new in the West. Without a comprehensive understanding of the Buddhadharma, people tend to seek the easiest and shortest path to awakening, a path that does not require giving up their attachments. Such an attitude exists among Tibetans as well. Tsongkhapa said that many people think that the Buddha’s qualities are wonderful, but when a spiritual mentor explains through reasoning and scriptural citations how to attain them, they become discouraged and say, “Who can actually achieve such realizations?”
Soh Wei Yu
In other words, the same thing. Dalai Lama is saying first recognise the unfabricated clarity aspect (which he also said elsewhere is found in Hindu teachings as well), but that is not the end, but further proceed into emptiness realization. He said that in the context of Dzogchen and Mahamudra, so he understood that this should also be the progression for all these paths.
Similar to the Thusness 7 stages.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
"Out of phase" reminded me of an aspect of a realization and experience some years ago, where among other things I wrote:
> With the reversion of the nuclei of ignorance—the nexus of thinking—the contradiction discovered—what is our mind in the absence of a mind-independent, objective realm?
> With the ceasing of slicing which divides and twists into polarity, Dogen declares: "I came to realize clearly that my mind is nothing other than rivers and mountains and trees, the sun and the moon and the stars."
> It straightens out. Broadens, flattens. Not one, not two. Simple. Straight. Thus! Tada!
> How come we don't have a word for
Soh Wei Yu there is an interesting connection between something in your early and late posts in this subthread. You mentioned the Surangama Sutra not being translated into Tibetan, but actually it was translated from Chinese to Tibetan by the very same Changkya Rolpai Dorje the Dalai Lama quotes, who doubtlessly had emptiness realization. For a Gelug master to translate a sutra from Chinese to Tibetan can only mean he greatly venerated it. As it does indeed seem to point to pure consciousness rather than anatta and emptiness, why would this be? Likely because it deals with so many other aspects of the path in detail. For instance I have even heard Theravada teachers praise the quality and detail of it's meditation instructions.
Also, perhaps he found value in the pointing to pure consciousness. After all, so many who get anatta do so by first touching the non-conceptual experience of pure consciousness, and then refining that. His Gelug training would have prevented him from mistaking pure consciousness for emptiness realization.
I am of the opinion that if it because taboo in all Buddhist groups to point to pure consciousness because it is "un-Buddhist", the frequency of anatta realization would not go up, but down, because anatta pointers, not to mentioned emptiness and total exertion pointers, would just become something conceptual and/or nihilisitic for people if they were not clearly pointed through the non-conceptual pure consciousness gate first.
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas Royal Seal of Mahamudra:
"The essence of one’s mind is an unidentifiable void; it is the primordial cognizance that has not been fabricated. In the mind that is aware of itself and lucid by itself, these two, void and cognizance, are inseparable. To gain the experience that the mind has ascertained that it is so is a beginner’s vipashyana."
This is I AM. Some Dzogchen teachers call it "baby rigpa":
"The moment we recognize undivided empty cognizance, that is rigpa itself. But it is not fully grown -- it is not an adult state of rigpa -- it's baby rigpa. The level of recognition we are at now is called baby rigpa."
Then there is unmistaken vipashyana / rangjung rigpa:
"By sustaining just that much at the beginning, we are confident that unmistaken vipashyana will gradually arise. ... All phenomena of subject and object are unoriginated, nonabiding, and unceasing. To know this crucial point and to have the experience and conviction born from deep within that they are devoid of true essence or nature is what, at this point, should be defined as vipashyana."
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
Soh Wei Yu I am trying to read all this stuff, I just have to say its too much, I am sorry I am not that technical or have time. Read some of it before, and certainly will check out Prabodha Jnana Yogi and Abhaya Devi Yogini, they are new to me.
Will focus here on I AM, to just clear that out and see if we can agree or not (can do anatta another time lol )
What I realized was the unchanging quality, making it clear that birth and death isn’t “real” from rigpa point of view. It happened after other shifts and insights. If I am being technical, it doesn’t longer make sense to talk of “I” or “AM”, so not sure where that puts me by your standards.
If you are talking only about the doutbless aspect if being etc.. this to me is much more prone to as you say, fall into substantialist view. I would not call this dzogchen as all kinds of people happens to notice this. Maybe some dzogchen teacher emphasise it as a preliminars, I dunno but think its good to differentiate still.
How I see it. Being Dzogchen pointed to this doubltess "ground" have the quality of cognizant (without a perciever), this is the empty cognizant of dharmakaya, meaning the emptiness that is already inherent in all phenomena. Non-buddhist doesnt point to this I think (maybe using a “witness” instead), and thus would get stuck in beingness etc.. so this is the main difference as I see it between I AM and rigpa pointers. If you see Delson Armstrong interview he talks about all kinds of states, and rigpa was quite close to some other states he had experienced, but still different. That really underlines my point here, it is some similarities, but also not.
This also refers to Aditya’s point, quote said void (empty) and cognizant. If it had just the aspect of being or certainty, I think it would be close to impossible to get to “all phenomena of subject and object are unoriginated, nonabiding, and unceasing”, right? This is how everything initially is inherent in the view, but needs to be realized properly too.
So that’s what I have to say about I AM and rigpa, maybe you have other thoughts (and pls dont post five articles I have to read, sorry!).
Soh Wei Yu
" Being Dzogchen pointed to this doubltess "ground" have the quality of cognizant (without a perciever), this is the empty cognizant of dharmakaya, meaning the emptiness that is already inherent in all phenomena. Non-buddhist doesnt point to this I think "
This is precisely and exactly what we call I AMness and all religions point to it.
Do read this: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../mistaken...
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. Nothing stays and nothing to hold on to. What is real, is pristine and flows, what stays is illusion. The sinking back to a background or Source is due to being blinded by strong karmic propensities of a 'Self'. It is a layer of ‘bond’ that prevents us from ‘seeing’ something…it is very subtle, very thin, very fine…it goes almost undetected. What this ‘bond’ does is it prevents us from ‘seeing’ what “WITNESS” really is and makes us constantly fall back to the Witness, to the Source, to the Center. Every moment we want to sink back to Witness, to the Center, to this Beingness, this is an illusion. It is habitual and almost hypnotic.
But what exactly is this “witness” we are talking about? It is the manifestation itself! It is the appearance itself! There is no Source to fall back, the Appearance is the Source! Including the moment to moment of thoughts. The problem is we choose, but all is really it. There is nothing to choose.
There is no mirror reflecting
All along manifestation alone is.
The one hand claps
[continued in link]
Soh Wei Yu
It must be emphasized that the term we use doesn't matter, it is what you characterize it as. Based on what you said -- an unchanging ground of being, that is precisely and no different from I AMness.
Session Time: Thu May 18 00:00:00 2006
<John> Consciousness or Self, it is just a label. If we treat Consciousness as Self-like,
<John> it doesn't make a difference.
And likewise if you have truly realized anatta and you wish to call it 'Self' due to catering for a specific audience, that is also ok. Because the 'Self' will be merely conventional to you and not referring to an inherent existence.
John Tan, 2007: “No-self does not need observation. No-self is a form of realisation. To observe is to track the 'self': where is it, what is it - that 'sense of self', who, where and what... till we thoroughly understood it is an illusion, till we know there is awareness, but there never was a 'Self/self'. Isn't awareness 'self'? Well, you can say so if you insist...ehehhe
(1:59 PM) Thusness: if there is non-dual, no background, no mine and 'I', impermanence, not a form of entity and yet we still want to call it 'Self', so be it.
(1:59 PM) Thusness: its okie...
(1:59 PM) Thusness: lol”
John Tan, 2020: “Brahman or not doesn't matter as long Brahman is not any transpersonal being in a wonderland, but is the very relative phenomena that we misunderstood.”
Soh Wei Yu
Then as for Dzogchen, Acarya Malcolm Smith has emphasized how in the teachings of Dzogchen, there is no such thing as a "ground of being". This is just a mistranslation of many Dzogchen translators, a bad one.
That is why I highly recommend you spend some time to go through this article because it clarifies a lot of misconception about Dzogchen view:
Ok, well, you have to understand that everything in Crystal came from an early period in ChNN's career, when he was not teaching in English. At this time, he used various English translators such as John Shane, Barry Simmons, and so on, before ChNN switched over to teaching in English directly around 1988, the same year Crystal came out. So we cannot regard it as a definitive representation of ChNN's intent, since it is an edited transcript of translation from his original Italian. It broadly served as a introduction to his teachings, but was never intended to be a definitive statement of them. But more importantly, there is no such term in Dzogchen as "the fundamental ground of existence." The term "gzhi" refers to your own nature which you have failed to recognize. That's it. It is not a "ground of being" as in Paul Tillich's theology, where the term originates:
For Tillich, God is being-itself, not a being among other beings. To describe the relationship between being-itself and finite beings, Tillich takes the word, "ground." For Tillich, God is the ground of being, the ground of the structure of being. God as being itself is the ground of the ontological structure of being. In other words, every ontological being has its power to be in being itself, participate in the ground of being. All accounts of God are expressed through what we comprehend. Can we know God? For Tilich, the answer is clear: we can. Adopting the theory of analogia entis (analogy of being), that is, "that which is infinite is being itself and because everything participates in being itself" (239), The theory of analogia entis explains the possibility of knowing and saying anything about God. However, for Tillich, the analogia entis justifies our ways of saying about God only under a fact that "God must be understood as being itself" (240). Thus, existential approach to God through the category of finitude must be described symbolically. God is the ground of being, being-itself; who concerns us ultimately. Thus, God is our ultimate concern.
There is no such ground of being in the whole length and breadth of buddhadharma, including Dzogchen teachings.
gad rgyangs wrote:
I dunno Malcolm, the basis is more like the backdrop against which any appearances appear, including any consciousness. Also, what sense would it make to say "rigpa is one's knowledge of the basis" if that basis was one's own continuum? the basis is pure no-thing as abgrund of all phenomena. Consciousness is always a phenomenon.
I prefer to put my faith in the guy whose father started the whole Nyinthig thing.And what is says is verified in many Dzogchen tantras, both from the bodhcitta texts as well as others.
The basis is not a backdrop. Everything is not separate from the basis. But that everything just means your own skandhas, dhātus and āyatanas. There is no basis outside your mind, just as there is no Buddhahood outside of your mind.
[Quoting gad rgyangs: Consciousness is always a phenomenon.] So is the basis. They are both dharmas.
Or as the Great Garuda has it when refuting Madhyamaka:
Since phenomena and nonphenomena have always been merged and are inseparable,
there is no further need to explain an “ultimate phenomenon”.
An 12th century commentary on this text states (but not this passage):
Amazing bodhicitta (the identity of everything that becomes the basis of pursuing the meaning that cannot be seen nor realized elsewhere than one’s vidyā) is wholly the wisdom of the mind distinct as the nine consciousnesses that lack a nature.
In the end, Dzogchen is really just another Buddhist meditative phenomenology of the mind and person and that is all.
gad rgyangs wrote:
Then why speak of a basis at all? just speak of skandhas, dhātus and āyatanas, and be done with it.
Because these things are regarded as afflictive, whereas Dzogchen is trying to describe the person in his or her originally nonafflictive condition. It really is just that simple. The so called general basis is a universal derived from the particulars of persons. That is why it is often mistaken for a transpersonal entity. But Dzogchen, especially man ngag sde is very grounded in Buddhist Logic, and one should know that by definition universals are considered to be abstractions and non-existents in Buddhism, and Dzogchen is no exception.
gad rgyangs wrote:
There is no question of the basis being an entity, thats not the point. Rigpa is precisely what it says in the yeshe sangthal: instant presence experienced against/within the "backdrop" (metaphor) of a "vast dimension of emptiness" (metaphor).
It's your own rigpa, not a transpersonal rigpa, being a function of your own mind. That mind is empty.
gad rgyangs wrote:
When all appearances cease, what are you left with?
They never cease....
gad rgyangs wrote:
In the yeshe sangthal you dissolve all appearances into the "vast dimension of emptiness", out of which "instant presence" arises. This is cosmological as well as personal, since the two scales are nondual.
rigpa is ontological not epistemic: its not about some state of consciousness before dualism vision, it is about the basis/abgrund of all possible appearances, including our consciousness in whatever state its in or could ever be in.
Sorry, I just don't agree with you and think you are just falling in the Hindu brahman trap.
Isn't the difference between transpersonal and personal also a form of dualism?
The distinction is crucial. If this distinction is not made, Dzogchen sounds like Vedanta.
And this so-called "god" aka basis [gzhi] is just a nonexistent mere appearance, that is, our primordial potentiality also has no real existence, which is stated over and over again in countless Dzogchen tantras.
For those whom emptiness is possible, everything is possible.
For those whom emptiness is not possible, nothing is possible.
"One, whoever told you rig pa is not part of the five aggregates? Rig pa is knowledge of your own state. In its impure form one's own state manifests as the five aggregates; in its pure form, it manifests as the five buddha families.
“The relative is not "reliant" on the ultimate, since they are just different cognitions of the same entity, one false, the other veridical.
There is no separate entity called "buddhanature" that can be established to exist in a sentient being composed of the five aggregates. If one should assert this is so, this position will be no different than the atman of the nonbuddhists.”
Soh Wei Yu
It is a bad translation issue. Many translations have this issue.
Longchenpa did not talk about ground of being, ground of being is a Christian term.
Longchenpa did talk about gzhi which is correctly translated as basis, but this basis is also taught by him to be empty and unestablished, in the manner as Malcolm explained:
"And this so-called "god" aka basis [gzhi] is just a nonexistent mere appearance, that is, our primordial potentiality also has no real existence, which is stated over and over again in countless Dzogchen tantras.
For those whom emptiness is possible, everything is possible.
For those whom emptiness is not possible, nothing is possible.
In my next post I will be posting quotes from Longchenpa to clarify my point:
Soh Wei Yu
To longchenpa self-awareness "is simply a vivid auto-manifestation, a process lacking any reality whatsoever".
According to the viewpoint of this system, he says, all phenomena
are self-luminous in the state of great primordial knowing like light in the sky, having
always been the very essence of this self-occuring primorial knowing which remains
naturally free from causes and conditions .263
is possible, Klong chen pa suggests, to simply recognize this nondual
selfoccuring primordial knowing in its pristine nakedness (rjen pa sang
nge ba) - both as it
in its naked clarity and as it continuously manifests as myriad objects
- without hypostatizing it.273 For so long as "one thinks of the
abiding and manifesting of cognition as two different things and talks
about [the experience of] 'settling in the nonconceptual essence' [but
also of] 'preserving the expressive energy as being free in its arising'
, one's practice goes in two directions and one fails to understand the
The Practice Of Dzogchen: Longchen Rabjam's Writings on the Great Perfection https://www.amazon.com/Practi.../dp/155939434X/ref=sr_1_1...
The Philosophical Foundations of Classical rDzogs chen in Tibet: Investigating the Distinction Between Dualistic Mind (sems) and Primordial knowing (ye shes)
The Philosophical Foundations of Classical rDzogs chen in Tibet: Investigating the Distinction Between Dualistic Mind (sems) and Primordial knowing (ye shes)
Soh Wei Yu
Exactly what I am searching"
IDENTIFICATION (OF THE BASIS) THROUGH (UNDERSTANDING THE) VIEW The External Apprehended Objects Are Non-Existent Emptiness
(i) The appearances are unreal reflections like the eight examples of illusion.
aspect of the five objects, such as form, included in the phenomena of
the world and beings, are mere appearances with no true existence. All
the appearances which have appeared to both the pure perceptions of the
Buddhas and the impure perceptions of deluded beings are the percepts of
wisdom and the mind. While the appearances are appearing to both
perceptions, they are appearing with no inherent existence (Rang-bZhin),
like a reflection in a mirror and rainbow rays in the sky. To the pure
perception of wisdom the (appearances) transcend the extremes of
existing and non-existing as there are no stains of apprehender and
apprehended. As there is no creating, ceasing, and changing, all are
free from the characteristics of compounded phenomena, the appearances
of uncompounded emptiness-form, and are totally free from
conceptualizations. To the perception of the deluded mind, (the
appearances) merely appear as the object of apprehension of self
(bDag-'Dzin), which have fallen into the extreme (concepts) of existing
or non-existing, are detached from the characteristics of uncompounded
(nature), and have strengthened the habituations of adventitious and
circumstantial self-perceptions. So, here, one will understand that the
objects, the delusory appearances of the mind, are unreal. Various
external appearances, such as white and red, are merely the percepts of
rigid habits, like a dream created by the drunkenness of ignorant sleep.
There is not the slightest existence (in them) as the object in the
(true) meaning. Also, those appearances are not mind from the very point
of their arising, because their substantial characteristics, such as
color, size, and distinctions, negate the character of the mind. At the
same time, they are not other than the mind, because, in addition to
their being merely the delusory perceptions (of the mind), no other
object has ever been established as such. The appearances to the mind
are just types of experience of rigid habits continuing from
beginningless time. It is like dreaming last night about a magic show
one has seen yesterday. Therefore, one should think that whatever
appears are appearances of non existence, and are without foundation,
abiding place, natural existence, and recognizable (entity). They are
merely a clear appearance of the empty nature like a dream, magical
display, mirage, echo, shadowy view (Mig-Yor), water-moon (reflection),
miracle, and the city of smell-eaters (a spirit world). Whatever
appears, self or others, enemies or friends, countries or towns, places
or houses, food or drink or wealth, and whatever one does, eating or
sleeping, walking or sitting, one should train in seeing them as unreal.
One should devote oneself to this training in all its aspects: the
preliminary, actual, and concluding practices. (ii) The objects, if
analyzed, are emptiness. If the appearances are examined from gross to
subtle down to atoms, they are partless and non-existent. So form is
emptiness. (Likewise,) by examining color and recognition of sound, it
(will be found to be) emptiness. By examining the form and essence of
smell, it (will be found to be) emptiness. By examining the aspects of
taste, they (will be found to be) emptiness. Especially, by examining
the sources (sense-objects), the emptiness of touch will be reached.
Although they are different in appearance, they are the same in their
nature in being emptiness, so the emptiness of various objects are not
separate categories. Their nature, like pure space, transcends being
either separate or the same. So the nature of objective appearances is
emptiness in its essence.
The Apprehender Has No Foundation and No Root
(i) The consciousnesses are self-clarity without foundation.
are eight consciousnesses.) The five sense-consciousnesses; arise as
the five objects such as form, the mind-consciousness cognizes the
general impression (of the appearing objects) and designates them as the
objects, the defiled mind-consciousness is the sense of negating,
accepting, hating and disliking (etc.), the mind-consciousness arises
after the six consciousnesses (five senses and universal ground
consciousness), ...and the consciousness of universal ground is
self-clarity (Rang-gSal) and no thought and is unrelated to the objects:
these are the eight or six consciousnesses. At the (very) time of
(functioning of any of) those consciousnesses themselves, whatever
consciousness it is, it is clear, vivid, and self-clarity with no
foundations. Although they appear clear, there is no substantial entity.
They are appearing without existence, like clear space and a breeze
with no dust. Their clarity is present naturally like the sky without
clouds. Their movements are like wind, not in distinguishable
substances. From the (very) time of appearing, (the consciousnesses) as
the apprehenders are self-clarity and unrecognizable. Watch them when
they are arising and when they are abiding. Relax naturally and watch
the manner of appearing of the apprehender. Thereby one will realize the
apprehenders as having the nature of merely an appearance of clarity
with no existence, emptiness with no bias, and self-clarity with no
foundation. (ii) (The subject), if analyzed, is emptiness without root.
By analyzing (whether) the self-clear, baseless mind (exists) in the
external appearances, inner physical body, or intermediate movements, or
if the entity of the self-dwelling mind itself (can be) recognized in
(its) design, color, birth, cessation, and abiding, one will realize
that its nature is non-existence, baseless and free from the extremes of
either existence or non-existence. In this training the devotion to the
Lama is the only important thing.
Soh Wei Yu
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas If you truly have realised I AMness, it is better to focus on breaking through to anatta.
The general advise in AtR is the four aspects of I AM and the two nondual contemplations and two stanzas of anatta:
And it will not help to get confused by faulty translations of Dzogchen texts. I have to say Acarya Malcolm Smith's translations are much trustworthy... not that other translations are without merit, but just be careful and don't get confused.
I rather you read this Mahamudra book because it clearly pointed to anatta:
Soh Wei Yu
Basis is not ground of being, as Malcolm said, it is just your nature that has been unrecognised. Malcolm: "there is no such term in Dzogchen as "the fundamental ground of existence." The term "gzhi" refers to your own nature which you have failed to recognize. That's it. It is not a "ground of being" as in Paul Tillich's theology, where the term originates"
I also like Mahamudra's explanation here by Karmapa, notice the word 'basis' is also used here but clearly it is pointing to the anatta and emptiness insight like Malcolm rather than a substantial ground of being:
All phenomena are illusory displays of mind.
Mind is no mind--the mind's nature is empty of any entity that is mind
Being empty, it is unceasing and unimpeded,
manifesting as everything whatsoever.
Examining well, may all doubts about the ground be discerned and cut.
Naturally manifesting appearances, that never truly exist, are confused into objects. Spontaneous intelligence, under the power of ignorance, is confused into a self.
By the power of this dualistic fixation, beings wander in the realms of samsaric existence.
May ignorance, the root of confusion, he discovered and cut.
It is not existent--even the Victorious Ones do not see it.
It is not nonexistent--it is the basis of all samsara and nirvana.
This is not a contradiction, but the middle path of unity.
May the ultimate nature of phenomena, limitless mind beyond extremes, he realised.
If one says, "This is it," there is nothing to show.
If one says, "This is not it," there is nothing to deny.
The true nature of phenomena,
which transcends conceptual understanding, is unconditioned.
May conviction he gained in the ultimate, perfect truth.
Not realising it, one circles in the ocean of samsara.
If it is realised, buddha is not anything other.
It is completely devoid of any "This is it," or "This is not it."
May this simple secret, this ultimate essence of phenomena,
which is the basis of everything, be realised.
Appearance is mind and emptiness is mind.
Realisation is mind and confusion is mind.
Arising is mind and cessation is mind.
May all doubts about mind be resolved.
Looking at objects, the mind devoid of objects is seen;
Looking at mind, its empty nature devoid of mind is seen;
Looking at both of these, dualistic clinging is self-liberated.
May the nature of mind, the clear light nature of what is, be realised.
Free from mental fabrication, it is the great seal, mahamudra.
Free from extremes, it is the great middle way, madhyamika.
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
Soh Wei Yu Again, I dont read all of this, sorry. And you have not read what I have sendt you so it makes it hard to converse really.
If someone use the word "ground of being" that doesnt authomatically put him/her in substantialist cathegory, like this is a good example of how you can get astray simply relying on words. Its not a Good word, but it isnt automatically wrong either.
Soh Wei Yu
Once you establish an unchanging ground of being that serves as a ground of all appearances to arise and sink back to like an unchanging ocean giving rise to waves, that is automatically I AMness.
Anatta is the realization that there is no unchanging ground of being, just the five aggregates, which is spontaneous presence in its pure state. There is no background underlying the appearances / aggregates. Just the aggregates in its purity is buddha-nature.
It is this realization that is crucial:
There is only sound
Geovani Geo wrote:
We hear a sound. The immediate deeply inbuilt conditioning says, "hearing ". But there is a fallacy there. There is only sound. Ultimately, no hearer and no hearing. The same with all other senses. A centralized, or expanded, or zero-dimensional inherent perceiver or aware-er is an illusion.
Means both stanza is clear.
In hearing, no hearer.
In hearing, only sound. No hearing.
Labels: Anatta, Geovani Geo 0 comments | |
Soh Wei Yu
Good writings from John Tan from 2007 that will be helpful for you:
The arising and ceasing is called the Transience,
Is self luminous and self perfected from beginning.
However due to the karmic propensity that divides,
The mind separates the ‘brilliance’ from the ever arising and ceasing.
This karmic illusion constructs ‘the brilliance’,
Into an object that is permanent and unchanging.
The ‘unchanging’ which appears unimaginably real,
Only exists in subtle thinking and recalling.
In essence the luminosity is itself empty,
Is already unborn, unconditioned and ever pervading.
Therefore fear not the arising and ceasing.
There is no this that is more this than that.
Although thought arises and ceases vividly,
Every arising and ceasing remains as entire as it can be.
The emptiness nature that is ever manifesting presently
Has not in anyway denied its own luminosity.
Although non-dual is seen with clarity,
The urge to remain can still blind subtly.
Like a passerby that passes, is gone completely.
And bear witness of this pure presence, its non-locality.
And hence... "Awareness" is not anymore "special" or "ultimate" than the transient mind.
Labels: All is Mind, Anatta, Non Dual |
Soh Wei Yu
“I came to realize clearly that the mind is not other than mountains, rivers, the great wide earth, sun, moon, stars”
“Mind as mountains, rivers, and the earth is nothing other than mountains, rivers, and the earth. There are no additional waves or surf, no wind or smoke. Mind as the sun, the moon, and the stars is nothing other than the sun, the moon, and the stars.”
“For Dōgen, Buddha-nature or Busshō (佛性) is the nature of reality and all Being. In the Shōbōgenzō, Dōgen writes that “whole-being (Existence itself) is the Buddha-nature” and that even inanimate things (grass, trees, etc.) are an expression of Buddha-nature. He rejected any view that saw Buddha-nature as a permanent, substantial inner self or ground. Dōgen held that Buddha-nature was “vast emptiness”, “the world of becoming” and that “impermanence is in itself Buddha-nature”. According to Dōgen:
Therefore, the very impermanency of grass and tree, thicket and forest is the Buddha nature. The very impermanency of men and things, body and mind, is the Buddha nature. Nature and lands, mountains and rivers, are impermanent because they are the Buddha nature. Supreme and complete enlightenment, because it is impermanent, is the Buddha nature.
As John Tan said in 2007 about Dogen, “Dogen is a great Zen master that has penetrated deeply into a very deep level of anatman.”, “Read about Dogen… he is truly a great Zen master… ...[Dogen is] one of the very few Zen Masters that truly knows.”, “Whenever we read the most basic teachings of Buddha, it is most profound. Don't ever say we understand it. Especially when it comes to Dependent Origination, which is the most profound truth in Buddhism*. Never say that we understand it or have experienced it. Even after a few years of experience in non-duality, we can't understand it. The one great Zen master that came closest to it is Dogen, that sees temporality as buddha nature, that see transients as living truth of dharma and the full manifestation of buddha nature.”
Soh Wei Yu
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas Take your time. Would just like to add that after the I AM realization, one tends to take pure consciousness as unchanging. This is one of the false views refuted by Buddha in the Brahmajala sutta, belonging to partial eternalism: all observed phenomena comes and goes, but mind or consciousness is unchanging, unalterable and eternal. That is no different from Advaita or Samkhya or Hinduism. Without eradicating this false view of eternalism through realization of anatman, there is no way to attain stream entry or 1st bhumi as per standard Buddhist traditional criterias, which includes the realization of anatman / emptiness and the eradication of all forms of self-view including the 84 wrong views set out in the Brahmajala Sutta.
So those who talk of attaining stream entry when they have only realized I AMness, or not even that but lower levels of no-self like impersonality, are just misleading themselves and others. (On this topic, also see https://www.reddit.com/.../insight_buddhism_a... and http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../different... )
Then how can we take into account some teachers who teach dharmata or the nature of mind as permanent? We have to understand what they mean by that. Do they mean that consciousness is unchanging and eternal and permanent? Then they are holding eternalist wrong views, which is very common even among Buddhist masters, teachers and practitioners. Or do they mean the empty [no self-nature] nature of mind is always already so? Then that is correct view. It is the natureless nature, which is the absence of any nature. Since it is simply an absence or negation, it is not some hidden or unchanging essence of everything. So that is the context we should also consider. Yes, we are not denying clarity or presence, but its nature is empty of self-nature must be understood, instead of reifying consciousness into an unchanging substratum. Inseparable clarity and emptiness is the definitive understanding of Buddha-Nature. Otherwise we fall into faulty views like non-Buddhist view of eternalism / atman.
Malcolm also clarified in the Basis article on the momentary nature of consciousness:
Omniscience is the content of a mind freed of afflictions. Even the continuum of a Buddha has a relative ground, i.e. a the rosary or string of moments of clarity is beginingless.
Origination from self is axiomatically negated in Buddhadharma,
Each moment in the continuum of a knowing clarity is neither the same as nor different than the previous moment. Hence the cause of a given instant of a knowing clarity cannot be construed to be itself nor can it be construed to be other than itself. This is the only version of causation which, in the final analysis, Buddhadharma can admit to on a relative level. It is the logical consequence of the Buddha's insight, "When this exists, that exists, with the arising of that, this arose."
I am not referring to cognition, rather, the causes of that cognition.
Cognitions arise based on previous cognitions. That's all.
If you suggest anything other than this, you wind up in Hindu La la land.
There is no such thing as a universal undifferentiated ultimate awareness in Buddhadharma.
Also, the Buddha was quite clear that phenomena, including minds, were momentary. The Buddha may not have elaborated in detail upon what a "moment" was, but in the end, the basic unit of time in Buddhism is number of moments it takes to form a thought. In reality, moments are partless. Partless moments that perish as soon as they arise have no observable duration and are immune from Madhyamaka critique.
The notion that the mind is permanent (i.e. not momentary) is just a Hindu idea, Vedantic.
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
Reg anatta and I AM in dzogchen practitioners.
I know you have loads of stuff on anatta vs I AM, but I think if you differentiate I AM from Rigpa, then its less likely to state that Tulku Urgyen etc.. might be stuck at I AM.
My point originally was that due to practices, lineage etc.. its simply might be different how people express their state of realization, and if you always put the bar at anatta realization you can end up in confusion, like Tulku Urgyen being a substantialist (I dont know if you think that, but its an example of where it can stray).
I still like that one measure stages, etc.. its good. Maybe one should check out other ways of measuring too?
Soh Wei Yu
The point isn’t to judge people. However as for measuring stages, I have to say, there can be no compromise for liberation. There can be no liberation without realizing anatta.
(9:02 PM) Thusness: except there need to be some refinements of the 5th stage.
(9:03 PM) AEN: oic how come?
(9:03 PM) Thusness: I think that is an important stage.
(9:04 PM) Thusness: that truly determine whether a person has realised the meaning of what is meant by liberation or not.
(9:05 PM) Thusness: and exactly at which level of non-dual can a person be considered stabilized in non-duality.
(9:05 PM) Thusness: This I think i will write something about it.
(9:05 PM) AEN: icic..
(9:05 PM) Thusness: later.
(9:05 PM) AEN: oic
(9:05 PM) Thusness: because many masters really bullshit a lot.
(9:05 PM) Thusness: and dunno what they are toking about.
(9:05 PM) Thusness: especially some zen masters.
(9:06 PM) AEN: huh how come
(9:06 PM) AEN: regarding what
(9:06 PM) Thusness: regarding what liberation is about.
(9:06 PM) Thusness: sometimes I think there is a need to say something.
(9:07 PM) Thusness: coz it can be very misleading.
(9:07 PM) AEN: icic..
(9:27 PM) Thusness: what are the most important factor determining whether a person is enlightened or not?
(9:28 PM) AEN: his insights? lol
(9:28 PM) Thusness: what sort of insights?
(9:29 PM) AEN: like 3 dharma seals, non dual, etc?
(9:29 PM) Thusness: precisely!
(9:29 PM) AEN: icic
(9:29 PM) Thusness: experiencing the Self and say that all is Self does not lead us anywhere.
(9:30 PM) AEN: but tats an expression of non duality isnt it
(9:30 PM) Thusness: worst still, such experience may led us into further enhancing our dualistic mode of thought.
(9:30 PM) AEN: oic
(9:30 PM) Thusness: so how liberation take place?
(9:31 PM) AEN: its always taking place but the insight may or may not be there?
(9:31 PM) AEN: and the qualities of enlightenment, self-liberation, etc must also be there
(9:32 PM) Thusness: what sort of intuitive experience will lead us towards liberation?
(9:32 PM) AEN: erm like the 7 qualities?
(9:33 PM) Thusness: no...
(9:33 PM) AEN: or u said the 3 qualities of self liberation?
(9:33 PM) Thusness: no...
(9:34 PM) AEN: then non-dual insights?
(9:34 PM) Thusness: yes...
(9:34 PM) AEN: oic
(9:34 PM) Thusness: there is no self
(9:34 PM) Thusness: this is the insight that must arise.
(9:34 PM) AEN: icic..
(9:34 PM) Thusness: for true enlightenment to take place.
(9:35 PM) Thusness: and this insight must be stabilized. Stability is measured in terms of the extent it sank into our consciousness.
(9:36 PM) AEN: oic..
(9:36 PM) Thusness: why do i keep stressing no-self
(9:36 PM) Thusness: because this is the determining factor.
Soh Wei Yu
(9:37 PM) Thusness: why not "I AMness", samadhi...etc
(9:37 PM) AEN: oic..
(9:37 PM) Thusness: these have nothing to do with liberation.
(9:38 PM) Thusness: u cannot tok about liberation yet remain dualistic.
(9:38 PM) AEN: icic
(9:38 PM) Thusness: because any form of division is suffering and bonded.
(9:38 PM) AEN: oic..
(9:39 PM) Thusness: So saying I am the Self. I am the ultimate reality... I am the formless, identityless, changeless Self. All these are useless.
(9:39 PM) AEN: oic
(9:40 PM) AEN: yea but 'all is self' is different already rite hehehe
(9:40 PM) Thusness: the experience though transcendental is not liberating.
(9:40 PM) AEN: oic..
(9:40 PM) Thusness: all is self is a subtle propensity...
(9:40 PM) Thusness: though it may sound it is the same.
(9:41 PM) Thusness: as what david loy said.
(9:41 PM) AEN: oic
(9:41 PM) Thusness: if your non-dual is thorough, u will know that non-dual and impermanence are identical.
(9:41 PM) AEN: icic...
(9:42 PM) Thusness: buddha nature are all the conditions
(9:42 PM) Thusness: buddha nature are all these phenomenon
(9:42 PM) AEN: oic..
(9:42 PM) Thusness: this should be the realisation.
(9:42 PM) AEN: icic..
(9:43 PM) Thusness: It is not why must there be this experience...it is awareness is always so!
(9:43 PM) Thusness: its nature is non-dual.
(9:43 PM) AEN: oic..
(9:46 PM) Thusness: u mentioned that toni packer spoke about dogen?
(9:46 PM) Thusness: the summer is not winter..etc?
(9:46 PM) AEN: oh ya hehe
(9:46 PM) Thusness: what about it?
(9:49 PM) AEN: she describe how she once didnt understand the verse then later the time quality fell away and she realise that just being there there is no change from fire to ashes; it was just what was: fire, then sometimes it collapses, and there are some sparks, and it seems to turn black. but when u're really there, timlessly, it is not a process of time that is observed but presence: eternal, everlasting, without time. then she say something like our response will become spontaneous and intelligent.. if there is a timeless quality in one's perception, then it's not that one sees something is changing from this to that. one simply sees what is and responds.. etc etc
(9:51 PM) Thusness: not bad.
(9:51 PM) Thusness: but not good enough.
(9:51 PM) Thusness: heehehe
(9:51 PM) AEN: oic how come
(9:51 PM) Thusness: but that is a major break through.
(9:51 PM) AEN: icic y
(9:51 PM) Thusness: how many pages?
(9:52 PM) AEN: that chapter has 4 pages
(9:53 PM) Thusness: ic.
(9:54 PM) Thusness: i think this is an important chapter. For even toni packer said she din understand it initially. For a person thorough in non-duality and yet not understand this...tells us how important it is. This is closely linked to the self-liberating aspect of our nature.
(9:55 PM) AEN: oic
(9:55 PM) AEN: maybe that time she havent understand non dual?
(9:55 PM) AEN: lol
(9:55 PM) Thusness: so don't think that u can understand it.
(9:55 PM) AEN: hahahaha
(9:55 PM) Thusness: no lah...
(9:56 PM) Thusness: to deepen the experience of non-duality, one has to break the more subtle bonds...
(9:56 PM) Thusness: sometimes these bonds are so subtle that they are difficult to detect.
(9:56 PM) Thusness: i have told u several factors
(9:56 PM) Thusness: one is the background
(9:56 PM) Thusness: one is the body
(9:57 PM) Thusness: that is why u hear dogen said the dropping of mind and body
(9:57 PM) AEN: back
(9:57 PM) AEN: oic..
(10:00 PM) Thusness: u will hear sankara (founder of advaita) said there is no body...so no need to drop.
(10:00 PM) Thusness: this is what i called transcendental-blindness
(10:01 PM) AEN: lol
(10:01 PM) Thusness: means being too attached to the liberating aspect of our nature that blinded him to see other aspects of consciousness.
Oskar Melkeraaen Aas
Soh Wei Yu I dont have a problem with "judging" or making analysis of peoples realization, I think it is good and even necessary at times. Question is if your premise is correct, right?
So first point was to clearify rigpa from I AM. I think this is really important for starters. Maybe some teachers use it along the way, and because they know what they are doing they get you to progress into further insights, but initially they are not the same.
Second point reg anatta is necessary for liberation. I agree, it is. But not all verbal descriptions are identical to how it was for you, that is my point.
Some might have reached liberation, but they dont use same terminology, references etc.. this might be one of the reasons you only have found two dzoghcen people in india continent who have reached this realization.
That is what I meant.
Soh Wei Yu
It is not a matter of expression but whether the view is correct or not and whether there is direct realization of it. If they do, I will know. Even if they have different style of writing.
[23/3/19, 8:08:42 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic yeah I made clear in a post this morning that all the Buddhist traditions are in line with anatta and emptiness even though most of the modern Teachers are not... lol
[23/3/19, 8:09:30 PM] John Tan: Yeah I read
[24/3/19, 11:17:05 PM] John Tan: From the perspective of clarity, it is true that Buddhism anatta and emptiness is more profound and deep… lol. But still good to caution about respecting all religions and practice. Why empty clarity is only pointed out in buddhism. So although it is true about all points to pure consciousness, it is realizing the emptiness that is the prajna eye to allow us to clearly see the empty nature of clarity. Otherwise we will most likely land in alaya or [be] required to still in deep stillness of samadhi.
(On this point, I was reminded of something John Tan said back in I think 2012:
"Every religion is talking about consciousness. It is the nature of consciousness that is important. It is like talking about “Soh'' from different people. Of course all is pointing to "Soh" but when someone say he is an American, has 10 sisters and is now studying in India… we cannot say that he is correct and it is the same because ultimately we are talking about "Soh".")”
“Yes sahaja samadhi but that remain as "experience". Just like in taoism, it is all about naturalness 自然 and non-action (action without agent) though there are overlaps but they are different in praxis and view essentially. There is no need to forcefully integrate the various religions into one, that is just more attachment.
Although there is no monopoly over truth as ultimately all is/are talking about one's primordial nature but there are those that much clearer and precise in their system of practice. If the views and philosophies are 90% inherent and dualistic, the result from such a system will at best be a stage to be achieved abiet the emphasis of" natural state.
As I said before, if someone were to say "Soh is a malay, a speckie, used to be a c# programmer, 1.9m tall and has a sister", obviously some informations are correct and some are misleading. Even if you were to stand right in front of him, he will not be able to recognize you. Therefore although all are talking about the natural condition of pristine consciousness, some are exceptionally clearer than others.” – John Tan, 2020