Also see: 

Soh wrote

Hi Mr B, 

Thanks for the links. I enjoyed reading your descriptions.

The awareness as nothing is what we would call the I AM realization, a crucial realisation but not the end, as you know.

The awareness as everything is nondual realization. However there is a distinction between stage 4 and stage 5 realizations, they are not the same. In Stage 5, there is clear realization that 'Awareness' is just name-only and not intrinsically existing by its own side like 'weather' and verbs, and even verbs are name only and not self-established. Just like there is no wind besides blowing, wind implies or is just another name for blowing, blowing implies wind, lightning implies flash and is not an agent behind or besides or producing flash but is synonymous with flash, weather is none other than a label for rain falling wind blowing clouds forming and so on and not some reality on its own that can be found, awareness too is just a label and none other than the whole display and process. There is no inherent existence to awareness of its own. Everything is luminous, vivid presence in dynamic manifestation. Or the Bahiya Sutta that led to my insight in October 2010, that hearing is merely sound, never a hearing existing on its own apart from sound, nor is there a hearer. In seeing, seeing is merely colors, never was there a seeing or seer besides self-luminous colors. Same goes for all senses including thought. 'Awareness' cannot be found besides manifestation, it has no intrinsic existence of its own as a background or even a source/substratum that is 'inseparable' from manifestation.

Stage 4 is instead like an unchanging space of awareness, or a mirror, that is nonetheless 'inseparable' from the changing dynamic display occuring in or as that unchanging source and substratum of manifestation. This is substantialist nondualism based on an essence view. But when the inherent view of a subject, agent, and inherently existing awareness is seen through in stage 5, that view would be dropped and seen as delusory as the notion that there is an unchanging wind being inseparable from blowing, or an unchanging lightning being inseparable or modulating as flash. 

I wrote this for someone else just a few days ago on the phase 5 insight:



“That which remains as that which is aware is not a problem, the problem is if that which is aware is reified into an independently or inherently existing source and substratum behind appearance, which turns into a view of dualism and inherency.


In truth, a quarter is 25 cents, 25 cents is simply a quarter. Quarter is not “one with” 25 cents but simply another name for the same “entity” of 25 cents. Hearing is only sound, never was there a hearer or a hearing besides sound. It is not hearing becoming one with sound, or hearing is inseparable with sound, but rather hearing is just a name for sound. In seeing, seeing is merely colors, never was there a seer or seeing besides self luminous colors. Not seer or seeing becoming one with colors or inseparable with colors, seeing is just another name for colors. This is the bahiya sutta that arose for me in october 2010.


Awareness likewise, is just a name like river or wind (as thich nhat hanh explained), being is another name for becoming, and so on. No nouns, just verbs, and verbs too are name only and not self-established. Then one no longer mistakes “that which is aware” to be something changeless, independent, self-established or intrinsically existing by its own side. That does not mean we negate or deny “that which is aware”, just like we do not deny “a quarter”, we simply no longer mistaken the name-only “a quarter” as referencing a real self existing entity besides “25 cents”. We no longer mistaken “weather” for anything besides the raining, wetting, wind blowing, lightning and so on, we no longer mistaken awareness as anything besides manifestation.


This leads to realization and actualization of awareness as the entire activity without subsuming subject into object or object into subject, but by releasing subject and object on spot through piercing through reifications.


The pure sense of existence even when all five senses are shut and concepts vanish is just another occurrence, another manifestation. It is not the source and or background behind manifestation.






…being is also none other than becoming.

I like what Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh said here (he’s the most famous Buddhist master right after the Dalai Lama, and he just passed away this year unfortunately):


Excerpts from

"When we say I know the wind is blowing, we don't think that there is something blowing something else. "Wind' goes with 'blowing'. If there is no blowing, there is no wind. It is the same with knowing. Mind is the knower; the knower is mind. We are talking about knowing in relation to the wind. 'To know' is to know something. Knowing is inseparable from the wind. Wind and knowing are one. We can say, 'Wind,' and that is enough. The presence of wind indicates the presence of knowing, and the presence of the action of blowing'."

"..The most universal verb is the verb 'to be'': I am, you are, the mountain is, a river is. The verb 'to be' does not express the dynamic living state of the universe. To express that we must say 'become.' These two verbs can also be used as nouns: 'being", "becoming". But being what? Becoming what? 'Becoming' means 'evolving ceaselessly', and is as universal as the verb "to be." It is not possible to express the "being" of a phenomenon and its "becoming" as if the two were independent. In the case of wind, blowing is the being and the becoming...."

"In any phenomena, whether psychological, physiological, or physical, there is dynamic movement, life. We can say that this movement, this life, is the universal manifestation, the most commonly recognized action of knowing. We must not regard 'knowing' as something from the outside which comes to breathe life into the universe. It is the life of the universe itself. The dance and the dancer are one."

---------------- Comments by Thusness/PasserBy: " a verb, as action, there can be no concept, only experience. Non-dual anatta (no-self) is the experience of subject/Object as verb, as action. There is no mind, only mental activities... ...Source as the passing phenomena... and how non-dual appearance is understood from Dependent Origination perspective."






Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh:

"When we say it's raining, we mean that raining is taking place. You don't need someone up above to perform the raining. It's not that there is the rain, and there is the one who causes the rain to fall. In fact, when you say the rain is falling, it's very funny, because if it weren't falling, it wouldn't be rain. In our way of speaking, we're used to having a subject and a verb. That's why we need the word "it" when we say, "it rains." "It" is the subject, the one who makes the rain possible. But, looking deeply, we don't need a "rainer," we just need the rain. Raining and the rain are the same. The formations of birds and the birds are the same -- there's no "self," no boss involved. 

There's a mental formation called vitarka, "initial thought." When we use the verb "to think" in English, we need a subject of the verb: I think, you think, he thinks. But, really, you don't need a subject for a thought to be produced. Thinking without a thinker -- it's absolutely possible. To think is to think about something. To perceive is to perceive something. The perceiver and the perceived object that is perceived are one.

When Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am," his point was that if I think, there must be an "I" for thinking to be possible. When he made the declaration "I think," he believed that he could demonstrate that the "I" exists. We have the strong habit or believing in a self. But, observing very deeply, we can see that a thought does not need a thinker to be possible. There is no thinker behind the thinking -- there is just the thinking; that's enough. 

Now, if Mr. Descartes were here, we might ask him, "Monsieur Descartes, you say, 'You think, therefore you are.' But what are you? You are your thinking. Thinking -- that's enough. Thinking manifests without the need of a self behind it."

Thinking without a thinker. Feeling without a feeler. What is our anger without our 'self'? This is the object of our meditation. All the fifty-one mental formations take place and manifest without a self behind them arranging for this to appear, and then for that to appear. Our mind consciousness is in the habit of basing itself on the idea of self, on manas. But we can meditate to be more aware of our store consciousness, where we keep the seeds of all those mental formations that are not currently manifesting in our mind. 

When we meditate, we practice looking deeply in order to bring light and clarity into our way of seeing things. When the vision of no-self is obtained, our delusion is removed. This is what we call transformation. In the Buddhist tradition, transformation is possible with deep understanding. The moment the vision of no-self is there, manas, the elusive notion of 'I am,' disintegrates, and we find ourselves enjoying, in this very moment, freedom and happiness."




The following link goes into some of the differences, it is good to read through the whole article for a clearer understanding but I will paste short excerpts below:

Partial excerpts:

"15/4/13 12:53:28 AM: John Tan: Anatta is a realization that there isn't a consciousness besides sound, scenery...etc

15/4/13 12:56:15 AM: John Tan: U c through reification of that agent and get in touch with the base manifestation  where the label rely upon

15/4/13 12:57:02 AM: John Tan: So sound is the actual consciousness is referring to

15/4/13 12:57:36 AM: John Tan: There is no consciousness other than that

15/4/13 1:01:13 AM: John Tan: When they see through reification, then phenomena has a different meaning

15/4/13 1:02:04 AM: John Tan: Seeing everything as awareness is not one mind

15/4/13 1:02:52 AM: John Tan: Seeing everything as the same unchanging mind is the problem

15/4/13 1:04:09 AM: John Tan: When u c through reification, u realized "awareness" is just a label point to these manifestations

15/4/13 1:04:32 AM: John Tan: So there is nothing wrong saying that

15/4/13 1:05:24 AM: John Tan: Only when we treat awareness to b of true existence then we r deluded because there isn't any

15/4/13 1:11:14 AM: Soh Wei Yu: I see..

15/4/13 1:11:36 AM: John Tan: In hearing, there is only sound

15/4/13 1:11:57 AM: John Tan: Hearing implies the presence of sound

14/5/13 9:39:15 PM: John Tan: One mind is different

14/5/13 9:40:04 PM: John Tan: One mind as I told u is the witness is gone but subsume into an overarching Awareness

14/5/13 9:40:31 PM: Soh Wei Yu: Is there a distinct phase of one mind in your seven stages?

14/5/13 9:40:48 PM: John Tan: Phase 4

14/5/13 9:41:23 PM: Soh Wei Yu: But u said phase 4 u already realised anatta and experience no mind?

14/5/13 9:41:51 PM: Soh Wei Yu: So does that mean the insight already arise by tendency to sink back to one mind is still there

14/5/13 9:42:03 PM: Soh Wei Yu: But

14/5/13 9:42:17 PM: John Tan: All such gray area is put onto phase 4 insight when view isn't completely clear

14/5/13 9:42:44 PM: John Tan: There is no way to describe the grey scale

14/5/13 9:43:24 PM: John Tan: Even in anatta there r so many different degree of refinements

14/5/13 9:43:34 PM: Soh Wei Yu: I see

14/5/13 9:43:59 PM: John Tan: But it is not practical to talk abt all

14/5/13 9:44:44 PM: Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. U mean not describable

14/5/13 9:45:32 PM: John Tan: No...not that it is not describable but not practical to describe

14/5/13 9:46:48 PM: John Tan: Like AF is part of the deviation looking into purely physical flesh and blood of pure experience ... Some went into details some does not

14/5/13 9:47:51 PM: Soh Wei Yu: What do u mean by went into details

14/5/13 9:48:54 PM: John Tan: It is like I M, there r all those experiences u undergone but I do not say they r diff phases

14/4/13 7:35:01 PM: John Tan: When u say "weather", does weather exist?

14/4/13 7:35:20 PM: Soh Wei Yu: No

14/4/13 7:35:42 PM: Soh Wei Yu: It's a convention imputed on a seamless activity

14/4/13 7:35:54 PM: Soh Wei Yu: Existence and non existence don't apply

14/4/13 7:36:02 PM: John Tan: What is the basis where this label rely on

14/4/13 7:36:16 PM: Soh Wei Yu: Rain clouds wind etc

14/4/13 7:36:25 PM: John Tan: Don't talk prasanga

14/4/13 7:36:36 PM: John Tan: Directly see

14/4/13 7:38:11 PM: John Tan: Rain too is a label

14/4/13 7:39:10 PM: John Tan: But in direct experience, there is no issue but when probed, u realized how one is confused abt the reification from language

14/4/13 7:39:52 PM: John Tan: And from there life/death/creation/cessation arise

14/4/13 7:40:06 PM: John Tan: And whole lots of attachment

14/4/13 7:40:25 PM: John Tan: But it does not mean there is no basis...get it?

14/4/13 7:40:45 PM: Soh Wei Yu: The basis is just the experience right

14/4/13 7:41:15 PM: John Tan: Yes which is plain and simple

14/4/13 7:41:50 PM: John Tan: When we say the weather is windy

14/4/13 7:42:04 PM: John Tan: Feel the wind, the blowing...

14/4/13 7:43:04 PM: John Tan: But when we look at language and mistaken verb for nouns there r big issues

14/4/13 7:43:22 PM: John Tan: So before we talk abt this and that

14/4/13 7:43:40 PM: John Tan: Understand what consciousness is and awareness is

14/4/13 7:43:45 PM: John Tan: Get it?

14/4/13 7:44:40 PM: John Tan: When we say weather, feel the sunshine, the wind, the rain

14/4/13 7:44:58 PM: John Tan: U do not search for weather

14/4/13 7:45:04 PM: John Tan: Get it?

14/4/13 7:45:57 PM: John Tan: Similarly, when we say awareness, look into scenery, sound, tactile sensations, scents and thoughts

"(11:27 PM) Thusness: and see how one expresses these insights

(11:27 PM) AEN: oic..

(11:28 PM) Thusness: like joan tollifson

it is the direct experience

there is no view about it

(11:28 PM) AEN: icic..

(11:30 PM) Thusness: means a practitioner will only experience hardness, softness, intentions, scenery, sound

no self

(11:30 PM) Thusness: action


(11:31 PM) Thusness: but conventionally, u r still u, i am still me

(11:31 PM) Thusness: there is no such thing as u r me

get it?

(11:32 PM) Thusness: or there is an awareness that is sound

or all is just this awareness

there is no such concept

(11:32 PM) AEN: oic..

(11:33 PM) Thusness: there is sound, sight, thoughts

(11:33 PM) Thusness: and what u call awareness are just that"

"ession Start: Saturday, March 14, 2009

(11:50 PM) AEN:    'Nevertheless it is a very key phase'

u mean very important key phase?

(11:51 PM) Thusness:    yeah

(11:52 PM) AEN:    icic..

btw wats the difference between stage 4 and 5 other than stabilizing non dual

(11:54 PM) Thusness:    u need to face the problem to know

it is not in words

(11:55 PM) Thusness:    because u have not experienced non-division

(11:55 PM) Thusness:    so u do not know what is non divison

(11:55 PM) Thusness:    what is no-doership and what is no agent in experience

(11:56 PM) Thusness:    and it is difficult to know what is that 'marks' that prevent the experience of spontaneity

(11:56 PM) AEN:    oic..

(11:58 PM) Thusness:    there is a difference seeing thinker/thoughts as one

(11:58 PM) Thusness:    and hearer/sound as one

then sound is awareness, no hearer

(11:58 PM) Thusness:    stage 4 is more like hearer/sound as one

(11:59 PM) Thusness:    that is why i said one thought, then another thought

just like u, u said u feel like an open space

(11:59 PM) Thusness:    then u hear sound

sound and awareness seem to be one

(11:59 PM) AEN:    oic..

(12:00 AM) Thusness:    indistinguishable but u cannot have that experience that there is only sound

only in logic u have but not in experience

(12:00 AM) Thusness:    until one day u mature that experience

(12:01 AM) AEN:    icic..

just now i saw a website from truthz's blog lists

i mean not truthz's blog but the blog link appeared in his

(12:02 AM) AEN:

Correct Understanding - the first of the eight aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path - arises out of noticing the impermanent, unsatisfactory, and impersonal nature of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile objects. When all these phenomena are realized to be not self, the mind will turn inwards, seeking out what it might cling to as ‘me’. But if it looks with absolute clarity it will find emptiness. Behind sensations, feelings, thoughts, and consciousness, there lies clear, endless space. I sometimes call it ‘Buddha Space’.

(12:05 AM) Thusness:    yeah

that is wrong view.

(12:05 AM) AEN:    oic..

(12:06 AM) Thusness:    it is very difficult to see the truth of this until our insight matures

even at stage 4, it can be difficult but it is already the first steps towards anatta

(12:06 AM) AEN:    difficult to what

see anatta?

(12:06 AM) Thusness:    yeah

(12:06 AM) AEN:    oic

(12:07 AM) Thusness:    u must see the no agent

not only no division

(12:07 AM) Thusness:    like i told u there are 3 stages

(12:08 AM) Thusness:    later into just this non-dual luminosity

(12:09 AM) Thusness:    if u ask non-dualists, they will not realise that they are an arising thought

(12:09 AM) Thusness:    like what jeff foster said

(12:09 AM) AEN:    oic..

(12:10 AM) Thusness:    they will feel damn ultimate

(12:10 AM) AEN:    ic..

like brahman

(12:11 AM) Thusness:    yes so they see self

not events, process phenomena

(12:12 AM) AEN:    oic..

(12:12 AM) Thusness:    they see brahman, not sunyata

(12:12 AM) Thusness:    even the experiences are very similar

the insight has not matured into anatta"


(11:46 PM) Thusness:    Does ken (Ken Wilber) talk about anatta

(11:46 PM) AEN:    no

(11:47 PM) Thusness:    Or Advaita sort of understanding

(11:47 PM) AEN:    advaita (Ken Wilber is at Thusness Stage 4)

(11:47 PM) Thusness:    Then y u kept asking me.

(11:47 PM) Thusness:    What is anatta?

(11:48 PM) AEN:    ya but wat i mean is nondual experience is not as in stage 2 type of passing experience, but as everpresent reality?

(11:48 PM) AEN:    anatta is no agent and dependent origination?

(11:48 PM) Thusness:    Didn't I tell u understanding non-dual experience as verb. (Soh: refer to my article The Wind is Blowing, Blowing is the Wind)

(11:48 PM) AEN:    icic

(11:49 PM) Thusness:    Not an entity that is independent and unchanging?

(11:49 PM) AEN:    but ken wilber say "You are that, and there is no you – just this entire luminous display spontaneously arising moment to moment. The separate self is nowhere to be found."

(11:50 PM) AEN:    *oic

(11:50 PM) Thusness:    Non-dual experience is there is clarity of no separation (As in Thusness Stage 4)

(11:51 PM) Thusness:    Stage 2 is there is merging

(11:51 PM) Thusness:    As if I dissolved and merge..

(11:51 PM) AEN:    icic..

(11:52 PM) Thusness:    There r two, dual

(11:52 PM) AEN:    oic..

(11:52 PM) Thusness:    Non-dual is there never was a separation

(11:52 PM) Thusness:    No split

(11:53 PM) AEN:    icic..

(11:53 PM) Thusness:    There is no separate I.

(11:53 PM) AEN:    oic..

(11:53 PM) Thusness:    But this awareness is still very much constant, permanent and unchanging

(11:54 PM) AEN:    icic..

(11:54 PM) Thusness:    Anatta goes further and understand exactly what is non-dual experience

(11:55 PM) Thusness:    This is a break-through in insight

(11:55 PM) AEN:    oic..

(11:55 PM) AEN:    its about discerning it as DO?

(11:55 PM) Thusness:    There is thinking, no thinker

(11:55 PM) AEN:    icic

(11:55 PM) Thusness:    Seen no seer

(11:56 PM) Thusness:    Sound no hearer

(11:56 PM) AEN:    oic

(11:56 PM) Thusness:    Understood becoming no being

(11:56 PM) AEN:    icic..

(11:57 PM) Thusness:    Understand that object@

(11:57 PM) AEN:    wat u mean

(11:59 PM) Thusness:    Object/subject is the result of compartmentizing 'verb'

(11:59 PM) Thusness:    Action

(11:59 PM) AEN:    icic..

(11:59 PM) Thusness:    Thinking becomes thinker and thoughts

(11:59 PM) Thusness:    That is anatta

(12:00 AM) Thusness:    It is the direct experience that there is no thinker, just thoughts

(12:01 AM) Thusness:    In seeing, always only the seen."

Another very good article by Andre A. Pais clarifies:

I think Andre clarifies the distinction between 1, 4 and 5 really well. (Not so much 6 but he got into it in the following years)

In fact, once you read this, it can be hard to see how anyone who has read this can still be unable to distinguish between stage 4 and 5. I think Andre made it very clear.

Also, stage 6 is not a re statement of stage 3. It is a very different realisation. In short, while 5 is the emptiness of a subjective self, 6 pertains to the dependently origination and emptiness/unfindability of a real essence in phenomena.

And as to the nature of this prajna/gnosis/wisdom of emptiness, my dharma friend with similar realisations Kyle Dixon wrote:


"Raw awareness is called vijñāna in unrealized sentient beings, which is dualistic and comprised of a threefold division of sensory faculty [eye], sense function [sight] and sensory object [visual appearances].


In everyday people, even if conceptualization is absent, vijñāna is still experienced as dualistic because we feel we remain in an internal reference point and that objects are “over there” at a distance.


Through practice however we have the opportunity to experientially realize emptiness, and when emptiness is realized, vijñāna reverts to its natural state as jñāna. Jñāna is a non-dual modality of cognition where the inner reference point and external objects are realized to be false."


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


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


We suffer when we cling to this construct and think it is actually real. Recognition of the actual nature of that construct is liberating and freeing."

“According to Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna there are two obscurations that prevent us from fully knowing the nature of phenomena. The first is called the afflictive obscuration, which is the fetter of an internal subjective reference point that the self is attributed to, and the second is called the cognitive obscuration, which is everything else that stands apart from our deluded sense of self, so all objects; persons, places, things.

For some reason these obscurations can be uprooted at different times.” – Kyle Dixon, 2021

There is more to Stage 6 but I think this much will suffice for now.. but if you wish to read more you can refer to and

Thank you for your sharing and have a nice day ahead!



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