Soh Wei Yu
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Haven’t touched this book (a collection of many sutras and teachings of Zen masters, curated by Venerable Shen Kai) in years. Caught my eye and I opened it. The first page I opened to, it described the anatman insight. Wonderful. A passage by Bodhidharma.

Soh Wei Yu
From the first image:
My translation:

Language and behavior, perception and conception are all functions of the moving mind, seeing, hearing, cognizing are all the functions of a moving mind.


Motion is the motion of mind, motion is its function. Apart from motion there's no mind, and apart from mind there's no motion.


But motion isn't mind. And mind isn't motion. Motion is basically mindless. And mind is basically motionless.


There's no mind for motion to exist apart from, and no motion for mind to exist apart from. Motion is mind's function, and its function is its motion.


Motion is mind's function, and function is mind's movement. Movement is precisely mind's function, function is precisely mind's movement.


Without movement and without function, function is fundamentally empty of substance. Emptiness is primordially without movement, movement and function are both mind, and mind is primordially without movement.


Hence the sutras tell us to move without something moved, to come and go without ever having gone, to see without ever seeing, to laugh without ever laughing, to hear without ever hearing, to know without ever knowing, to be happy without ever being happy, to walk without ever walking, to stand without ever standing. And the sutras say, "annihilating the locus of mental functioning, cutting off the path of language". Fundamentally, seeing, hearing, and knowing are themselves completely quiescent [empty and non-arisen]. Your anger, joy, or pain is like that of a wooden dummy. You can search the pain and itches, but it's unfindable.


Soh Wei Yu
As Jayson MPaul wrote before:
“none of these things are about nihilism, although that is a real danger for those who misunderstand emptiness. No Mind is what is always already true. It has no existence of its own. No mind apart from phenomena, no phenomena apart from mind. This is what Soh Wei Yu meant when he said there is no true existence of mind."



  • Geovani Geo
    This is really very good - says my mind 🙂

  • Geovani Geo
    But I don't remember such passage in Bodhidharma's text. Probably a diference in interpretation of ideograms. BTW... this is a significant issue regarding ideograms.

    Soh Wei Yu
    Geovani Geo existing translations are really not so good.
    My translation is better. 🤪

  • Reply[0]=AZUH8TG5905_jyMwOwJLTX4Kl0qnEX9YaiPBxbvFavZd6JnTyfM6wyrYsanQdeIfHHOq2F43Fa4oHyXr6g7LWu__7aHhFSWAX5bCHnKNS3eBkv7TXM7mSTQI9JirK4gRFu5dKn_y3Izjm8Q8Yn5ptSNfKibaBctqXTtD8Cygz-0qYU4YKzXBKrSRS-qp9Avc7oA&__cft__[1]=AZUH8TG5905_jyMwOwJLTX4Kl0qnEX9YaiPBxbvFavZd6JnTyfM6wyrYsanQdeIfHHOq2F43Fa4oHyXr6g7LWu__7aHhFSWAX5bCHnKNS3eBkv7TXM7mSTQI9JirK4gRFu5dKn_y3Izjm8Q8Yn5ptSNfKibaBctqXTtD8Cygz-0qYU4YKzXBKrSRS-qp9Avc7oA&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R]-R

Soh Wei Yu

A blog post I made in 2014, I wanted particularly to share this comment by John Tan:


Piotr quoted something nice by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche:

"Nonduality does not mean that you dissolve into the world or that the world becomes you. It is not a question of oneness, but of zero-ness. No synchronization of the sense perceptions is necessary. Everything is reduced into zero, and the whole thing becomes one-pointedness—or zero-pointedness. That is moksha, or “freedom.” You do not have any hassles and no synchronization is necessary. Things just unfold by themselves."

Thusness also wrote:

The tendency to unify is the cause of reification. Consciousness always subsume into Oneness because the idea is so beautiful to the mind and fits so well to the inherent intellect. The very act of unification into oneness prevents the seeing of liberation at spot. Instant liberation at spot is realized by recognizing the very nature of appearances/phenomena and self is non-arising and empty, it is not resting in/as Awareness or space. The former is liberation via wisdom, the later is just Awareness teaching.

William Albert

Something I'm curious about... WHY is emptiness of inherent existence so liberating? Can anyone try to describe why? It's okay if it's not describable, but I've often wondered 🙂


Soh Wei Yu

William Albert The short answer is: It's like the difference between grasping something tightly with your fist and letting go.
As long as there is the trace of non-recognizing the nature of mind and appearance, there will be fixations rather than release.
Even if experience is nondual and boundless, as long as there is this subsuming into oneness or landing as awareness or space, it is not liberation, it is still fixating on something ultimate.

As John Tan said before in 2009,

"Hi AEN,

Yes not to be fixated but also not to objectify the “spaciousness” otherwise “spaciousness” is no less fixated. The ‘space’ appears appealing only to a mind that abstracts but to a fully participating and involving mind, such “spaciousness” has immediately sets itself apart, distancing itself from inseparable. Emptiness is never a behind background but a fully partaking foreground manifesting as the arising and passing phenomena absence of a center. Therefore understand ‘spaciousness’ not like sky but like passing clouds and flowing water, manifesting whenever condition is. If ‘Emptiness’ has made us more fixated and immobilized this innate freedom of our non-dual luminosity, then it is ‘stubborn emptiness’.

Nevertheless, no matter what said, it is always inadequate. If we want to fully realize the inexpressible, be willing to give up all centers and point of references that manifests in the form of ‘who’, ‘when’ and ‘where’. Just give up the entire sense of self then instantly all things are spontaneously perfected.
Just a sharing, nothing intense.
Happy New Year! 🙂"



Soh Wei Yu
William Albert
16/3/13 1:02:48 AM: John Tan: Ignorance is like an endless loop
16/3/13 1:04:21 AM: John Tan: U penetrated object with direct non-conceptual experience, it hides in subject
16/3/13 1:05:09 AM: John Tan: U destroy object, it hides in here/now, there/here, in/out
16/3/13 1:06:25 AM: John Tan: Becoz the fundamental ignorance is there
16/3/13 1:06:36 AM: Soh Wei Yu: I see..
16/3/13 1:07:04 AM: John Tan: With that view, there is no true overcoming
16/3/13 1:07:42 AM: John Tan: Objects will still appear to b external
16/3/13 1:07:58 AM: John Tan: Even after non-dual
16/3/13 1:08:37 AM: John Tan: A practitioner din really overcome it
16/3/13 1:09:45 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
16/3/13 1:11:13 AM: John Tan: U will hv to feel it with ur entire body-mind with that view to understand
16/3/13 1:12:34 AM: John Tan: And compare with the deconstruction of "emptiness"
16/3/13 1:14:05 AM: John Tan: If we hold substantial view, we will always feel something has changed to something
16/3/13 1:14:28 AM: John Tan: And we want to understand it that way
16/3/13 1:15:04 AM: John Tan: Therefore we r unable to overcome the source, appearances and apparent objects
16/3/13 1:15:48 AM: John Tan: How is something so solid and external is "mind"
16/3/13 1:19:24 AM: John Tan: Also when u realized there is no hearer behind sound and initially penetrated anatta, it does not mean u hv overcome appearances and apparent objects too
16/3/13 1:19:32 AM: John Tan: What is lacking?
16/3/13 1:19:55 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Insight that penetrates empty nature of objects ?
16/3/13 1:21:52 AM: John Tan: Yes only when one begin to "realize" emptiness and look into the experience of anatta and understand this "emptying"
16/3/13 1:23:27 AM: John Tan: Until it replaces that "inherent/dualistic" and apply it endlessly
16/3/13 1:23:57 AM: John Tan: When u look into Self/self it is empty
16/3/13 1:24:12 AM: John Tan: When u look into aggregates, it is empty
16/3/13 1:24:29 AM: John Tan: When u look at here/now, it is empty
16/3/13 1:25:15 AM: John Tan: When u look into in/out, it is empty then u begin to overcome appearances and apparent objects
16/3/13 1:25:51 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
16/3/13 1:27:17 AM: John Tan: R u denying Awareness?
16/3/13 1:27:30 AM: Soh Wei Yu: No
16/3/13 1:27:44 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Deconstruction is not denial
16/3/13 1:27:57 AM: Soh Wei Yu: But seeing inherent dualistic view
16/3/13 1:28:11 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Through
16/3/13 1:31:03 AM: John Tan: That is liberating it
16/3/13 1:31:21 AM: Soh Wei Yu: I see..
16/3/13 1:32:36 AM: John Tan: Life, death, here, now, this, that, subject, object...etc
16/3/13 1:32:57 AM: John Tan: Is there a substance?
16/3/13 1:33:33 AM: John Tan: Or the same substance being transformed into another
16/3/13 1:33:53 AM: John Tan: Is the current thought the same as previous thought
16/3/13 1:34:08 AM: Soh Wei Yu: Nope
16/3/13 1:34:10 AM: John Tan: The entire view has changed
16/3/13 1:34:20 AM: John Tan: It does not apply
16/3/13 1:35:03 AM: John Tan: All along we hv understood our immediate experience wrongly and treat that as ultimate
16/3/13 1:36:06 AM: John Tan: Then non-dual experience will turn liberating
16/3/13 1:36:46 AM: John Tan: Next look into total exertion


John Tan:

Not only that you cannot realize emptiness without the clarity, you cannot realize dependent origination without clarity, they are both talking about radiance and light.

Another important point is we do not realize that we are analysing and understanding from the perspective from essential view.  We "negate" from the standpoint of an essential view; we understand dependent arising from an inherent view without realizing it.  We do not understand from the perspective of light and radiance.

They understand "illusion" from an essential view and thought that because of illusoriness, it is inconsequential.

John Tan and I thinks this writing by Kyle Dixon is very good.

Often we hear people questioning what is the meaning of viewless view. Kyle explains well:

–]krodha [score hidden] 25 minutes ago 

On the “absence of views”:

An “absence of view” does not imply a refusal to engage in concepts, or choosing to remain indifferent and neutral, not taking a position so that one has “no views.”

The actual meaning of abandoning “all views” [sarvadṛṣṭi] is defined in the Ārya-mahāyānopadeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra, which states:

Abandoning all views is entering into the middle way, seeing all dharmas as equal.

The “equality of dharmas” is directly related to the absence of characteristics [alakṣaṇa] that is revealed in the realization of emptiness [śūnyatā]. 

The Āryākṣayamatinirdeśaṭīkā describes the interrelation of these aspects of awakened insight:

The descriptions from the element of self [atmadhātu] up to the element of all phenomena [sarvadharmadhātu] are the nature of one taste in the ultimate dharmadhātu, emptiness. Since individual characteristics do not exist, all phenomena said to be "equivalent" since they are undifferentiated.

Therefore to actualize the “abandonment of views” one must realize emptiness, and through realizing emptiness, the absence of characteristics is directly known due to the absence of a would be inherent nature or “svabhāva” to possesses said characteristics. At that time, because entities are realized to be non-arisen, the basis of imputation which was previously mistaken to be an object endowed with specific characteristics is recognized to be a heterogeneous array of appearances that do not actually constitute or create the entity they were previously misconstrued to characterize. In the absence of an entity, existence and non-existence, having no substantial referent, are undone and as a result all views (and characteristics) are exhausted.

In his Mūlamadhyamakakārika, Nāgārjuna clarifies that the pacification of views is contingent upon insight into emptiness whereby existent entities that are capable of existing and/or lacking existence are recognized to be unfounded. He likewise chastises those of “little intelligence” who assert otherwise:

Some of small intelligence, see existents in terms of “is” or “is not”; they do not perceive the pacification of views, or peace.

“Peace” here again is intended to illustrate an absence of characteristics, the Ārya-tathāgatācintyaguhyanirdeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra states:

"Nirvana is peace" denotes actualizing the absence of characteristics.

Candrakīrti concurs in his Madhyamakāvatāra:

The absence of all characteristics is peace.

We can understand “peace” and “pacification” in general to be the import of such statements. The pacification of characteristics and therefore the pacification of views, resulting from an awakened and experiential knowledge of the nature of phenomena, emptiness free from extremes, the Aṣṭasāhasrikā-prajñāpāramitā sūtra states:

What is called "knowledge of all things" is the result of knowing one thing: the true nature of phenomena, which has the attribute of peace.

The only means to obtain “peace” is via the awakened insight that ascertains the absence of a core entity which possesses characteristics, the untenability of selfhood and the associated implications of a self. The Samādhirāja Sūtra states:

If the selflessness of phenomena is analyzed, and if this analysis is cultivated, it causes the effect of attaining nirvana. Through no other cause does one come to peace.

One may ask, how is such an insight possible? It is possible because all phenomena are innately empty and devoid of a svabhāva that possesses characteristics, however ignorance and affliction obscure that fact. The purpose of applying the dharma is to discover that hidden nature of phenomena that is always already the case, but is concealed by our delusion. The Ārya-kāśyapa-parivarta-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra is clear that emptiness and an absence of characteristics are innate attributes which only need be recognized:

Kāśyapa, moreover, the true discernment into dharmas of the middle way is not making dharmas empty with emptiness, dharmas themselves are empty; it is not making dharmas without characteristics with the absence of characteristics; dharmas themselves lack characteristics.

It is only our affliction which causes us to perceive entities that are endowed with characteristics, when in actuality no such entities have ever originated in the first place. The realization of emptiness is simultaneously the antidote to those afflictions, and the means by which the absence of characteristics is ascertained. 

The Play of Noble Mañjūśrī Sūtra states:

Afflictions are temporary, they cannot simultaneous with the realization of emptiness; they cannot simultaneous with the knowledge of the absence of characteristics and the absence of aspiration; they cannot simultaneous with natural luminosity.

Nāgārjuna states in his Lokātītastava:

You [the tathāgata] taught that those who do not realize that characteristics do not exist are not liberated.

And in closing it is important to bear in mind that because the referent to lack characteristics is exhausted, even the absence of characteristics is ultimately absent as a characteristic.

The Ananta­mukhapariśo­dhana­nirdeśaparivarta states:

Although the teachings conventionally refer to “the essence and nature of all phenomena,” phenomena are actually devoid of an inherent essence or a nature. The inherent nature of things is that they are empty and lack an essence. All that is empty and devoid of an essence has a single [generic] characteristic: since phenomena are devoid of [specific] characteristics, their [generic] characteristic is complete purity, and thus by definition there is nothing to label as empty or essenceless. Since by definition there is nothing to label as empty or essenceless, no phenomena can, by definition, be labeled.

Bhāviveka states in his Tarkajvālā:

When that yogin dwells in the experience of nonconceptual discerning wisdom [prajñā] and experiences nonduality, at that time, ultimately, the entire reality of objects are as follows, of the same characteristics, like space, appearing in the manner of a nonappearance since their characteristics are nonexistent, therefore, there isn’t even the slightest thing that is not empty, so where could there be emptiness?

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Also, some other excerpts from the AtR guide: 

From Dharmawheel, Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith says Madhyamaka is not a simple minded “I have no view” proposition:

“gad rgyangs wrote:

He clearly says in the VV that he has no view to defend. Do you think he was wrong about himself?

Malcolm wrote:

He states in the VV that he has no propositions/thesis concerning svabhāva as defined by his opponents. He does not say he has no views at all. For example, he clearly states in the MMK that he prefers the Sammitya view of karma.

Your claim is similar to the mistaken assertion made by some who claim that Candrakirti never resorts to syllogisms, which in fact he clearly does in the opening lines of the MAV. What Candra disputes is not syllogistic reasoning in its entirety, but rather, syllogistic reasoning applied to emptiness.

Likewise, he clearly asserts the view in the VV that there is no svabhāva in phenomena. Madhyamaka is not a simple minded "I have no view" proposition.


"Madhyamaka is not a simple minded "I have no view" proposition."


gad rgyangs wrote:

then why does the MMK end thusly? MMK 27.30:

I salute Gautama, who, based on compassion,

taught the true Dharma for the abandonment of all views.

Malcolm wrote:

"All views" here is summarized as two in chapter fifteen: i.e. substantial existence and nonexistence.”

“The purpose of the view is to open the mind up fully without background, duality and inherency. So that experience is fully open, direct, immediate and without boundaries. Chariot and its basis are not a cause and effect relationship, they originate in dependence.” - John Tan, 2019

“The truth of the matter is that “pacification of views” is directly related to the realization of emptiness. If you have not realized emptiness, then you have no business talking about a lack of view, because you still perceive conditioned phenomena and are therefore cognitively endowed with “views.” Those views can only be pacified through directly realizing non-arising.

For some reason you mistakenly believe that “no view” means something like withholding a view, but it has nothing at all to do with that.” – Krodha/Kyle Dixon, 2021


"You have a mindstream, which is a continuum of consciousness, but this mindstream is an aggregated, causal proliferation of discrete instances, much different than a fixed “soul” as an abiding entity.

The fetter of selfhood is the root of samsara, and as such, the conviction that you have a real self or soul is an obscuration. We do have a conventional identity or self that we can use in everyday life, but we suffer when we mistake this identity as something truly real.

“Right view” does involve a correct understanding of selfhood, the Ratnakūṭa Sūtra states:

Right view (samyagdṛṣti) is the abandonment of the view of that the aggregates are a self (satkāyadṛṣti).

And regarding the prospect of a self or soul apart from the aggregates, Vasubandhu states:

There is neither direct perception nor inference of a soul [ātman] independent of the aggregates [skandhas]. We know then that a real soul does not exist." - Krodha/Kyle Dixon,


[10:43 PM, 6/6/2020] John Tan: There are two folds to it.  Any view is ultimately empty... But freeing one from constructs and conceptualization has a different meaning to me. Like when see through self, we realized anatta. It is not the freeing, but must also involves the arising insight and wisdom.


I think I mentioned I am not into without view. The freeing from seeing through self is not a form of "not knowing", contrary it is deep wisdom that allows one to understand our nature directly.”[0]=AZX8rQFZh8aYXPDYQOtOpBamVF2Hn1SYQrBYd8l-J5aSGO70Y0Bis-29ZBJ_BMSbZR5e9K309clz5uAzVwm0JumSYaJvPA-CchgZ53dnSHg9usa9w8QDL5MQuPlapSvUbc5mD-IbK41V103l-MPThChW_Cjy5yHJ6C3PPUPuKeSUOzgb2k5R7CpfoRVv2LsMeIs&__cft__[1]=AZX8rQFZh8aYXPDYQOtOpBamVF2Hn1SYQrBYd8l-J5aSGO70Y0Bis-29ZBJ_BMSbZR5e9K309clz5uAzVwm0JumSYaJvPA-CchgZ53dnSHg9usa9w8QDL5MQuPlapSvUbc5mD-IbK41V103l-MPThChW_Cjy5yHJ6C3PPUPuKeSUOzgb2k5R7CpfoRVv2LsMeIs&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R]-R

Mark's Post

Top contributor
So I investigated that feeling. Asking myself who is feeling it? Is it solid like a normal ruler 📏 or just a feeling that can stretch and contract like a bendy ruler? And I played with this feeling. Seeing if I could bend it at all. And suddenly, it was like someone pushed water out of my ear, but it was my mind out of my entire head. Like a blockage had been removed inside my head and everything could flow through my head unobstructed. I felt light. Also, I sincerely requested earlier that Green Tara come grant me blessings of wisdom (I go to a Tibetan Gelug temple) and I had a sense of having received help, like a parent pushing you from behind on your bike with training wheels lol. Cant really describe it in any other way.
On my drive back, I also realized that “hearing is only the sound”. There was no such thing as hearing or hearer, the only thing that was perceived and UNDENIABLE was the PRESENCE of the sound of the wind. It was like the hearing/hearer vanished into thin air, or had never been there at all more accurately. This knowledge was a bit strong and overwhelming, like when you are in a dream and realize you’re flying, and keep expecting to wake up. Like its too good to be true and you are just in awe of this. But like I said this perception/knowledge has stayed atleast through several days, and I have confirmed it with sights, sensations, and even thoughts (this was the trickiest one for me before, I had a very quick active mind good at maintaining the illusion of seer/seeing/seen).
Soh Wei Yu encouraged me to investigate and challenge the seer-seeing-seen structure and over the last few days it has only been reconfirmed over and over again that this structure was always deluded. Looking back, there was a sort of murkiness/lack of clarity about experience that gave rise to the assumption that there was a separation between “I” and “everything else”. But now, everything feels clear, immediate, instantaneous, direct, and uncluttered.


  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Sounds good but you have to discern for yourself if both stanzas are thoroughly clear as experiential insight. Some may skew to second stanza before first matures or vice versa.
    On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection
    On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection
    On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection

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    Mark Lopez
    Top contributor
    Soh Wei YuI think previous nondual experiences/insights helped me see first stanza. There was thinking, seeing etc. but no “I” behind it. But I still lacked realization of second stanza due to a subtle separation of awareness/manifestation. Even though I knew there was no “I” behind doing the hearing, there was still not enough clarity to understand “hearing” was no different than “sound”. I was still subtly conceiving of something called “hearing” which was doing itself without an I. But after my recent breakthrough there is clarity, no more hearing. Just undeniable, immediate, instant sound.

    Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Mark Lopez How about intensity of luminosity? And did you go through I AM phase before?

  • Mark Lopez
    Top contributor
    Soh Wei YuBy luminosity do you mean the undeniable fact that each object is present/known by itself (not by a perceiver/mind)? If so, that is very evident and bright. The presence of objects is strong. It’s funny because in a way, there is not a sense of “being alone”.
    I am not sure if I ever went through a long “I AM” stage. I had some intense experiences of subject/object dissolution and strong sense of being. In those experiences, it felt like everything was undeniably happening, like extreme presence/more real than real life. Like the polar opposite of the feeling in a dream/derealization. But these were short experiences followed by unstable phases of impersonality, then unstable nondual. Not sure if that counts as I Am phase.

    Pellucid No-Self, Non-Doership
    Pellucid No-Self, Non-Doership
    Pellucid No-Self, Non-Doership

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    It's the purpose of vipassana practice accompanied with anatta insight
    Thusness's Vipassana
    Thusness's Vipassana
    Thusness's Vipassana

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  • Mark Lopez
    Top contributor
    Soh Wei YuI asked my teacher (Gelug) what should I do if I have had strong insight and some calm abiding, but these two are separate? For example, I am able to have strong insights outside of formal sitting, just experiencing the world and investigating the senses walking around or sitting idly. And also I am able to sit calmly in formal meditation, but insight is not sharp. Insight and calm are separate for me.
    He said as a beginner you will have trouble uniting calm and insight. As a beginner, if you try to introduce insight too early, it will take you away from your concentration into the object (like breath sensation) and away from your calm abiding. He recommended working on investigation and calm separately, until the point where calm abiding is joyful and effortless, like you can do it for like 3,4,5 hours at a time if you wanted to (right now I can only do max one hour sitting in calm). Then you can try incorporating insight into it. Do you think it would make sense to try to use all sensations/vipassana as an object to develop calm abiding further, or I should just focus on those related to breath?

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Mark Lopez When sitting, good to do anapanasati. That can also be vipassana and good way to actualize anatta and calm abiding.
    What do you mean by insight is not sharp when sitting calmly? The sense of a center returns?
    In 2013, Thusness said, "Anapanasati is good. After your insight [into anatta], master a form of technique that can bring you to that the state of anatta without going through a thought process." and on choiceless awareness Thusness further commented, "Nothing wrong with choice. Only problem is choice + awareness. It is that subtle thought, the thought that misapprehend (Soh: falsely imputes/fabricates) the additional "agent"."
    “A state of freedom is always a natural state, that is a state of mind free from self/Self. You should familiarize yourself with the taste first. Like doing breathing meditation until there is no-self and left with the inhaling and exhaling... then understand what is meant by releasing.”
    “When we practice zazen our mind always follows our breathing. When we inhale, the air comes into the inner world. When we exhale, the air goes out to the outer world. The inner world is limitless, and the outer world is also limitless. We say “inner world” or “outer world,” but actually there is just one whole world. In this limitless world, our throat is like a swinging door. The air comes in and goes out like someone passing through a swinging door. If you think, “I breathe,” the “I” is extra. There is no you to say “I.” What we call “I” is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. It just moves; that is all. When your mind is pure and calm enough to follow this movement, there is nothing: no “I,” no world, no mind nor body; just a swinging door.” - Shunryu Suzuki
    (10:31 PM) AEN: clarity is like breathing meditation but extending to everything isnt it
    (10:32 PM) Thusness: clarity is not like a form of awareness that is crystal clear.
    (10:32 PM) AEN: hmm ya i mean awareness of breathing
    (10:33 PM) Thusness: if it is crystal clear, then there is only breathing but it is not object and subject fusing into one.
    (10:33 PM) Thusness: It is breathing itself alone exist. There is no other and this is perfectly clear. 🙂
    (10:34 PM) AEN: icic..
    (10:34 PM) Thusness: then this is awareness.
    (10:34 PM) AEN: when i am doing meditation i just feel the breathing lor.. i didnt tink of subject or object
    (10:34 PM) Thusness: when u have the slightest sense of self, then the kung fu isn't there yet.
    (10:34 PM) AEN: icic
    (10:35 PM) Thusness: it must be in the form of realisation that there is really no such thing at all. Even a non-dual experience will find it difficult to to make it unless there are few years of diligent practice. This is then true progress.
    [22:34] <^john^> samadhi is not experience pure awareness. 🙂
    [22:34] <^john^> experiencing.
    [22:34] <ZeN`n1th> icic then wats the difference
    [22:35] <^john^> the only difference is the 'I'.
    [22:35] <^john^> Buddha is so serious and has spoken so much, we have taken it too lightly.
    [22:35] <^john^> 🙂
    [22:36] <ZeN`n1th> oic..
    [22:37] <^john^> so far what do u understand about awareness?
    [22:38] <ZeN`n1th> hmm like u say lor... awareness is never lost
    [22:39] <^john^> what is awareness right now?
    [22:39] <^john^> when u say thought arises, is thought awareness?
    [22:41] <ZeN`n1th> thought is not awareness, but there is awareness of thought
    [22:41] <ZeN`n1th> lol
    [22:41] <^john^> so what is thought?
    [22:42] <^john^> and where is awareness?
    [22:42] <^john^> same like taste, is the taste awareness?
    [22:45] <ZeN`n1th> i think u cant define awareness to a 'thing' 😛
    [22:45] <^john^> so is taste or thought a thing? 🙂
    [22:47] <^john^> u practice meditation now right?
    [22:47] <^john^> 🙂
    [22:47] <ZeN`n1th> never practise for quite some time 😛
    [22:47] <ZeN`n1th> taste or thought is not a thing
    [22:47] <ZeN`n1th> lol
    [22:49] <^john^> so do u think awareness is a party behind thinking thought or experiencing taste?
    [22:49] <^john^> 🙂
    [22:49] <^john^> lol
    [22:49] <ZeN`n1th> no
    [22:49] <^john^> taste is not a thing, then what is it?
    [22:50] <ZeN`n1th> just the awareness
    [22:50] <ZeN`n1th> lol
    [22:50] <^john^> experience this awareness with totality. 🙂
    [22:50] <ZeN`n1th> ok
    [22:53] <^john^> what meditation is peculiar to buddhism?
    [22:54] <ZeN`n1th> hmm... dunnu leh
    [22:54] <ZeN`n1th> i dunnu much about other religion s meditation
    [22:55] <^john^> insight meditation. Mindfulness
    [22:55] <ZeN`n1th> oic
    [22:55] <ZeN`n1th> they dont practise mindfulness?
    [22:56] <^john^> nope...most is concentration. 🙂
    [22:56] <^john^> not so much on awareness.
    [22:56] <ZeN`n1th> then how come they can have a glimpse on buddha nature/pure awareness
    [22:57] <^john^> why not, every moment we can have glimpse of awareness.
    [22:58] <^john^> if u do not get trapped in concepts and label and start to feel ur breath now
    [22:58] <^john^> what is breath actually without concepts
    [22:58] <^john^> feel it
    [22:58] <^john^> 🙂
    [22:59] <^john^> experience the movements, the details and tell me like a layman.
    [23:02] <ZeN`n1th> movement like slow or fast ??
    [23:02] <ZeN`n1th> lol
    [23:03] <^john^> anything. 🙂 The only thing that buddha doesn't even know is ur very awareness that is pure and not contaminated by thoughts. It can be as simple as breathing. 🙂
    [23:04] <^john^> What IS has no intention.
    [23:04] <^john^> there is no past nor future.
    [23:04] <^john^> there is no anticipation.
    [23:04] <^john^> how could anyone know. 🙂
    [23:06] <^john^> actual texture, shape, and form of sensations.
    [23:06] <^john^> u must be able to touch the actual texture, shape and form of awareness.
    [23:07] <ZeN`n1th> icic
    [23:07] <^john^> luminosity is in these forms, colors, texture, shape. 🙂
    [23:08] <^john^> when we say Awareness is formless.
    [23:08] <^john^> it doesn't mean is something somewhere but is formless.
    [23:08] <^john^> means completely nothing at all. 🙂
    [23:08] <^john^> lol
    [23:08] <ZeN`n1th> hahaha
    [23:08] <ZeN`n1th> icic
    [23:09] <^john^> do not even create an image.
    [23:09] <^john^> NOTHING. 😛
    [23:09] <^john^> but in all it arises. 🙂
    [23:09] <^john^> and instantaneously gone.
    [23:09] <^john^> and rises.
    Quotes of Shunryu Suzuki
    Quotes of Shunryu Suzuki
    Quotes of Shunryu Suzuki

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    [21:08] <ZeN`out> hi.. is it conducive to practise anapanasati in an environment with some smell or i should go to a place without any smell?
    [21:09] <^john^> at first without, later when u r clear, it doesn't matter.
    [21:09] <^john^> u will experience that the smell is You. From a relative truth perspective.
    [21:11] <ZeN`out> icic...
    [21:11] <^john^> from absolute truth, smell is Thus.
    [21:11] <ZeN`out> oic..
    [21:11] <^john^> the practice should be first someone is aware of the breath
    [21:12] <^john^> then focused
    [21:12] <^john^> but be extremely clear of the breath
    [21:12] <^john^> means no thoughts of the breath
    [21:12] <ZeN`out> icic..
    [21:12] <^john^> then know that only the breath.
    [21:12] <ZeN`out> can thoughts and focus co-exist? or isit that when we are focused no thoughts can exist?
    [21:13] <^john^> if one gets into absorption, then it becomes samatha
    [21:13] <^john^> yes
    [21:13] <^john^> but it is subtle.
    [21:13] <ZeN`out> yes to ?
    [21:13] <^john^> only when a person reaches certain stage then he understands.
    [21:13] <^john^> it seems to be mutually exclusive but it isn't
    [21:14] <^john^> but if one enters into absorption, then different thing.
    [21:14] <ZeN`out> oic... so what happens when one enters absorption
    [21:15] <^john^> that is self-forgetting, it is not pure awareness.
    [21:15] <^john^> in pure awareness, there is merely the process, there is no subject nor object
    [21:16] <ZeN`out> so what i am practising is leads to absorption?
    [21:17] <^john^> not exactly depending on u. 🙂
    [21:17] <^john^> but first build the strength of focus first.
    [21:17] <^john^> concentration
    [21:17] <ZeN`out> icic..
    [21:17] <^john^> but feel the breath, the realness, the presence, the clarity
    [21:18] <^john^> without thought
    [21:18] <^john^> just the breath
    [21:18] <^john^> if u can do that, then tell me
    [21:18] <ZeN`out> icic
    [21:18] <^john^> don't worry about whether the speed of ur breath
    [21:18] <^john^> whether it is thick or thin
    [21:18] <^john^> not about that
    [21:18] <^john^> don't worry about that at all.
    [21:18] <ZeN`out> hmm ya i know 😃
    [21:18] <^john^> show no concern
    [21:19] <^john^> u can breath as hard as u can, it doesn't matter
    [21:19] <ZeN`out> my dharma teacher told us not to be concerned even if a person completely stops breathing ... thats y i was curious and i check on my breathe 😛 lol
    [21:19] <^john^> as long as u can feel the vividness, the clarity
    [21:19] <^john^> when the breath stops it is different
    [21:19] <^john^> 🙂
    [21:20] <^john^> if u r able to do it, then it is different.
    [21:20] <ZeN`out> icic
    [21:20] <^john^> or if it is so subtle that u can't really feel it, it is different
    [21:20] <ZeN`out> icic
    [21:21] <^john^> when happened when u r so concentrated on ur breath, then there is no breath?
    [21:22] <ZeN`out> huh me?
    [21:22] <^john^> yeah
    [21:23] <^john^> i mean what if there is no breath and u r concentrating on the breath.
    [21:23] <^john^> what will happen?
    [21:23] <ZeN`out> then just continue to focus? lol
    [21:24] <^john^> if the seed is there, then u will know. 🙂
    [21:25] <ZeN`out> oic
    [21:25] <ZeN`out> when there is no object to focus on, just remain mindful?
    [21:26] <^john^> don't think of how.. just do it. There should be no anticipation.

  • Mark Lopez
    Top contributor
    Soh Wei YuOkay good, I will focus on breathing sensations to develop calm abiding further then.
    No, I wasnt trying to say that the center returns. What I was trying to say is that investigation/inquiry/insight practice is how I achieved the strong experiences of nonduality, and later on resulted in realization/insight. But this requires activity, fulll effort, challenging seer-seeing-seen, investigating, trying to actively challenge and cut through wrong conceptual thinking. This is how I made progress and got results.
    On the other hand, my calm abiding practice feels separate from this insight practice . It is NOT about effort, challenging seer-seeing-seen, or investigating. It is simply resting and dropping all effort and investigating.
    So my question for my teacher (and also you) was, why are they separate practices for me, if we are supposed to have a unity of calm and insight? Have I been doing it wrong/inefficiently? It seems like the answer is no, that is okay. I need to develop calm abiding further through focusing on breath sensations, and then eventually I will be able to do calm abiding and investigation simultaneously. My insight will be more powerful and deeper, and I will be able to actualize DO/emptiness. Is this accurate?

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Mark Lopez Yes that sounds good. After some time, anatta will be very clear and stable throughout without needing much thought or contemplation, be it sitting or even in daily life. It will just be naturally anatta. Get to that stability first, through consistent daily practice, anapanasati, etc.
    Then the next challenge is what Yin Ling said:
    Shared with Your friends
    Yin Ling
    To me, the most difficult part of meditation is not non-dual, not anatta, not luminosity, those are straight forward, once the understanding and view is there the experience arises quickly and stabilises with practice.
    Experience is always hyper HD and vivid for me like nothing I have ever seen before insight. So I don’t get v excited over ppl describing the non dual states; psychedelic hyper sensory states; it’s like a given for myself, and I believe others who are stable here in non dual. No big deal.
    Personally , The aspect that I spent most of my time and effort (and still working on) is..
    Fusing the “arising” , the vivid luminosity of each senses with its emptiness, its release.
    Cultivating the ability of mind to see presence at the same time seeing absence.
    fusing the two extremes into the Middle Way.
    The actualise Tsongkhapa last verse in 3 principle aspects.
    Actualising luminosity of “in the seen only the seen” and its empty taste - ”in the seen nothing is seen” together at once.
    When I first taste the fusing of both after a lot (a lot) of practice, it tasted like a huge release, like many lifetimes of karmic build up now release, feels like liberation, feels like the sticks of fire burning off. Immense relief. One actually can feel it especially if you have a lot of energy.
    I believe this is the fusion of dependent origination and emptiness into Middle Way experientially.
    So when someone speaks about it experientially, it makes me sit up ! 🤪😁
    What is mind?
    Rub your hand together,
    feel that?
    That is mind!
    Mind is luminous, bright, and knowing.
    Mind is empty of stains, stains of inherent existence.
    Every arising is the mind,
    Each touch,
    Each sound,
    Each taste,
    My hands rubbing each other,
    All my mind.
    So clear, so vivid, so luminous.
    Each arising is empty of stains,
    Each arising is a dependent arising,
    Each arising is a release all conditions into a display of emptiness,
    Nothing there, yet so vivid.
    Each arising is my true nature. Vivid and empty. Intimate as ever, I express myself as no-thing.
    The trees, cars, babies, mothers, ward,
    Speaks the dharma again and again,
    But they are not separate from me,
    We are not separate,
    Yet we are not apart.
    Yet there’s no we, as there’s no them?
    There’s no others!
    How else to describe with words?
    I do not know.
    My body and mind understands it intimately,
    The dharma, it speaks a language
    Of love and magic🥹

  • Yin Ling
    Top contributor
    Mark Lopez just saw this, have been busy.. , thought of chiming in.
    You are generally doings right imo and slowly the two practices will converge and there is something call a spacious samadhi or samadhi borne of insight which abit like jhana but not exactly because in jhana the mind freeze and cannot analyse at all (for me) whilst in samadhi borne of insight the mind is very clear sharp and aware.
    It can last in this state for a long time, hours even. mind is v still with the right view in place.
    You don’t necessarily need to use breath unless you want to, you can meditate on the mind itself for samadhi. Just the knowing. Post anatta you will know what I’m saying.
    I prefer this as mind is spacious and more suitable for my energy .. I have energy imbalance when I do any focusing on small area like breath because my energy follows my mind.
    So I meditate on mind for awhile, analyse the insights of anatta, emptiness, dependent arising, luminosity , interrelation etc .. to clear the mind up, then rest in this view for as long as samadhi allows.
    If it starts getting chaotic.. with mundane thoughts coming up, I push up the intensity of concentration again, turn towards settling the mind, catching thoughts carefully .. meditate on the knowing mind… abit like tighten the string of my violin. thoughts hardly can arise if I do that .Once it’s stable, I let it go very slowly and check in often to see how’s the mind like.
    Then you will find yourself going into samadhi very rapidly .. a few breaths and you are in samadhi and insight conjoined. It is powerful.. the view of emptienss and dependent arising can carry into the day powerfully for up to half the day or even more until ur next sit depending on how high quality the meditstion is.
    That’s from my personal experience

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  • Mark Lopez
    Top contributor
    Soh Wei YuAwesome. It’s funny, I had an intuition that anatta is just the start. Like before you were handcuffed (self) and now your hands are free (anatta). But you still have to do the work of plowing the field! Gotta stabilize anatta and then go deeper. Because right now I still have that feeling of needing to reconfirm anatta, like you feel the need to check if reality is still anatta. Like the habit of pushing up your glasses when you first start wearing contact lenses. You keep confirming the glasses aren’t there anymore!

    Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Mark Lopez “To be more exact, the so called 'background' consciousness is that pristine happening. There is no a 'background' and a 'pristine happening'. During the initial phase of non-dual, there is still habitual attempt to 'fix' this imaginary split that does not exist. It matures when we realized that anatta is a seal, not a stage; in hearing, always only sounds; in seeing always only colors, shapes and forms; in thinking, always only thoughts. Always and already so. -:)” - JT
    Buddha Nature is NOT "I Am"
    Buddha Nature is NOT "I Am"
    Buddha Nature is NOT "I Am"

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Also since you are into gelug, I wanted to share this with you:
    [5/7/19, 1:44:49 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Sonam Thakchoe (The Two Truths Debate: Tsongkhapa and Gorampa on the Middle Way):
    "Tsongkhapa regards the nondual realization of ultimate truth as an epistemic event... ...Tsongkhapa does not hold the achievement of nondual wisdom as equivalent to the cessation of cognitive activity...
    Tsongkhapa's description of the way the meditator arrives at nondual understanding is as follows. The cognitive agent experiences a fusion of subjectivity and its object, which refer here not to self and outside world but rather to elements within the meditator's own psychophysical aggregates. The meditator remains introspective, not engaging the outside world, but the outside world as such does not disappear. What occurs is instead a total cessation of the dualities between subject I and object mine, between thinker and thought, between feeler and feelings, between mind and body, between seeing and seen, and so forth. Initially a meditator perceives, for instance, that in each act of seeing, two factors are always present: the object seen and the act of seeing it. While each single act of seeing involves dissolution, the object seen and the act of seeing actually consist of numerous physical and mental processes that are seen to dissolve serially and successively. Eventually, the meditator also notices the dissolution of the dissolution itself.
    In other words, the meditator first realizes the fluctuating and transitory character of the five aggregates, which is then followed by further realization of the aggregates as empty and selfless, and finally by the realization of the emptiness of even the empty and selfless phenomena. Nondual knowledge is thus arrived at, in Tsongkhapa's view, through the direct experience of seeing the truths within one's own aggregates, rather than being convinced of the truth of certain abstractions through rational argument or persuasion. Since the process here is a cognitive experience that operates entirely within the domain of one's psychophysical aggregates, it is therefore an epistemic but not a metaphysical nonduality.
    This is how, according to Tsongkhapa, an arya has direct nonconceptual and nondual access to the transcendent nature of his own five psychophysical aggregates during meditative equipoise. In the wake of meditative equipoise, an arya engages with dualistic worldly activities, such as taking part in philosophical discourse, practicing different social conventions, and so on. The arya will thus make use of socio-linguistic conventions, but since the arya has eradicated all reifying tendencies, even these worldly dualistic engagements will be seen as consistent with nondual wisdom. Both non-dual and dual wisdoms, especially in the case of a buddha, Tsongkhapa argues, are fully commensurate."
    "Both Tsong khapa and Go rampa describe non-dual knowledge as being like a process of mixing water. They argue that the fusion between subjectivity and objectivity, from the meditator's point of view, reaches its climax in their non-dual state in a way that is like mixing clean water from two different jars by pouring it all into one jar. Tsong khapa for example argues: "from the vantage point of the wisdom that directly realises ultimate reality, there is not even the slightest duality between object and the object-possessing consciousness. Like mixing water with water, [yogi] dwells in the meditative equipoise".' Tsongkhapa insists, however, that this metaphor should not be taken too far or too literally. It refers only to the cognitive process that occurs in total dissolution, and to the experience associated with that process, and must not be taken to represent the achivement of a metaphysical unity."
    “So, as far as Tsong khapa is concerned, there is no contradiction in claiming that, from the empirical standpoint, on the one hand, non-dual wisdom constitutes the subjective pole of consciousnesses with ultimate truth as its objective counterpart; from the ultimate vantage point, on the other hand, non-dual wisdom and ultimate truth, "are free from the duality of act (bya ba) and object acted upon (byed pa)".
    In the non-dual state, even the cognitive interplay between subject and object appears, from the meditator's point of view, completely to cease. This is because, as Tsong khapa points out, "duality of act and object acted upon is posited strictly from the perspective of empirical cognition".

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Although the dual appearances of subject and object completely dissolve from the perspective of non-dual wisdom, and thus the meditator does not experience the mutual interaction between distinct and separate elements—between the seer and the seen—the meditator nonetheless engages in an act of 'mere seeing'. As the Buddha explains to Bahiya:
    In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the
    heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In
    reference to the cognised, only the cognised. That is how you should
    train yourself [Ud I. 10]... then Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that.
    When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there
    is no you there, you are neither here not yonder nor between the two.
    This, just this, is the end of stress [Ud I. 101.
    The experience of 'mere seeing' in a non-dual form is valid only when it is empirically grounded and when there is cognitive activity occurring between non-dual wisdom and non-dual ultimate truth.”
    "Although all empirically given truths such as the aggregate of form, feelings etc., are contingently produced and have diverse conventional characters, all of them, according to Tsong khapa, are ultimately empty of the inherent arising. They share the universal characteristic (ro gcig, eka-rasa), literally, the same 'taste'. The Buddha, for example, makes this statement: "just as the great ocean has but one taste, the taste of salt, even so does this dharma and discipline have but one taste, the taste of release" [AN VIII.19].
    The Samadhirajasatra (ting nge 'dzin rgyal po'i mdo) tells us: "By knowing one all are known. And by seeing one all are seen. Despite many things are said about [ultimate truth] in the conventional terms, no haughtiness should arise from it",' and furthermore, "Just as you have recognised ('du shes) personality, even so you should apply the same insight with respect to all [phenomena]. All phenomena are of the [same] nature like a clear space".
    In the Gaganagamjasamadhi (Nam mkha'i mdzod kyi ting nge 'dzin), it is stated that: "Whoever by meditating on one phenomenon knows all phenomena as apprehensible like illusions and mirages, and knows them as hollow, false and ephemeral will before long reach the summum bonum (snying po) of enlightenment".
    And Aryadeva also tells us that "whosoever sees one is said to see all. That which is emptiness of one is the emptiness of all" [VIII:191].
    Referring to this last passage from Aryadeva, Candrakirti has this to say:
    The emptiness of the essence of form is itself the emptinesses of the essences of aggregates such as feeling. Similarly, the emptiness of the essence of eye-source is itself the emptinesses of the essences of all twelve sources. Likewise, the emptiness of the essence of eye-constituent is itself the emptinesses of the essences of all eighteen constituents. Equally so are [the emptinesses of the essences of] the infinite categories of things due to the distinct divisions in things, spaces, times and references. For whatever is the emptiness of the essence of one thing, is itself the emptinesses of the essences of all things. In spite of the fact that jars and bowls for example are distinct, space is not distinct. While things such as form are distinct, insofar as they all lack of essential arising of the form etc., they are not distinct. By understanding the lack the essential arising of merely one phenomenon, one understands the lack of the essential arising of all phenomena.'
    Since all phenomena are empty of any substance or essence, they are all dependently arisen and relational entities. Tsong khapa agrees.' Yet to endorse the claim that the ultimate nature of all phenomena is fundamentally the same does not, in Tsong khapa's view, make one a monist. While accepting this account of the ultimate nature of things, Tsongkhapa remains committed to a pluralistic view. "A pluralistic view of the world", as Kalupahana puts it, "is not incompatible with dependent arising (pratityasamputpada).
    Pluralism in the context of dependent arising does not imply the existence of self-contradictory truths. It need not necessarily lead to a notion of an Absolute that transcends such self-contradictory truths. As far as Tsong khapa is concerned, the ultimate reality of, for instance, the table in front of my eyes, cannot be treated as simply identical with the ultimate reality pertaining to the chair that I am sitting on. The empty table cannot be the taken as identical with the empty chair since the emptiness of the table is constitutive, not only of the empty table, but of the empty conceptual-linguistic conventions imposed upon it as well. Those conventions belong exclusively to the ultimate truth of the table and are not present in the chair.
    According to Tsong khapa, however, conceding this much does not prevent one from arguing for the universality of ultimate truth. Just as different objects occupy different spaces, and yet the space those objects occupy has the same 'non-obstructive' characteristic, so the ultimate realities of both table and chair are different, notwithstanding the fact that two ultimate realities have identical natures—they share 'the same taste'. Both of these emptinesses imply insubstantiality and essenceless in the negative sense, as well as dependently arisen and relational nature in the affirmative sense."

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Also this is by John Tan from 2012:
    Last year, a forummer from the NewBuddhist forum (Albert Hong a.k.a. Taiyaki) penetrated within a year the realization of I AM to non dual and anatta. He is an avid reader of this blog.
    Thusness wrote the following pointers for him:
    "There are several points that maybe of help to Taiyaki:
    1. First there must be a deep conviction that arising does not need an essence. That view of subjective essence is simply a convenient view.
    2. First emptying of self/Self does not necessarily lead to illusion-like experience of reality. It does however allows experience to become vivid, luminous, direct and non-dual.
    3. First emptying may also lead a practitioner to be attached to an 'objective' world or turns physical. The 'dualistic' tendency will resurface after a period of few months so it is advisable to monitor one's progress for a few months.
    4. Second emptying of phenomena will turn experience illusion-like but take note of how emptying of phenomena is simply extending the same "emptiness view" of Self/self.
    5. From these experiences and realizations, contemplate what is meant by "thing", what is meant by mere construct and imputation.
    6. "Mind and body drop" are simply dissolving of mind and body constructs. If one day the experience of anatta turns a practitioner to the attachment of an 'objective and actual' world, deconstruct "physical".
    7. There is a relationship between "mental constructs", energy, luminosity and weight. A practitioner will experience a release of energies, freedom, clarity and feel light and weightless deconstructing 'mental constructs'.
    8. Also understand how the maha experience of interpenetration and non-obstruction is related to deconstructions of inherent view.
    9. No body, no mind, no dependent origination, no nothing, no something, no birth, no death. Profoundly deconstructed and emptied! Just vivid shimmering appearances as Primordial Suchness in one whole seamless unobstructed-interpenetration."
    On another occasion, Thusness wrote (not to Taiyaki):
    ...Like after anatta, as I have said many times the sense of externality and physicality can still be very strong. My deconstruction process of "externality" and "physicality" is actually based few questions: 1. Why is mind which is "mental" is able to "interact" with something "physical"? 2. Why does consciousness need conditions for its arising? 3. What is interaction? All these questions help stabilized my experiences when I penetrated them in my own way.
    Illusion like realization (arose) when I contemplated "hereness" and "nowness" until my mind was able to intuit the logic behind all these, then experience becomes stable. However one can enter by experience to have a taste of it...
    Advice for Taiyaki
    Advice for Taiyaki
    Advice for Taiyaki

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Also from my iphone notes:
    Post anatta advice:
    John tan:
    John Tan's advise:
    As for those layman practitioners that for some reasons still prefer to go on their own asking for some general guides post anatta insights, I think they can focus on the 5 following points:
    1. Extend the insight of anatta, the de-reification process to all events and phenomena. MMK comes handy here. It will help one investigate most of the subtle assumptions we held to be "true" in a hypnotic way.
    2. Open up our body and go deeply into body-awareness. This is critical imo. Less intellectual activities and more body-awareness. Post anatta and along the path, due to the de-construction process, the energy released from unconscious holding of our mental constructs can be quite overwhelming. It may also be due to other reasons, for example, attachment to non-dual experiences and as a result it will cause discomfort to both our mind and body.
    3. So opening up our body is key at this phase. The imbalance can be released by massage, non-inflammatory diet, qi gong, tai chi movements, yoga or any other body awareness exercises. Just open up our body and bring awareness to our body to complement the anatta insight and less intellectual activities.
    4. If after that, the practitioner can intuit directly the relationship between mind, prana and body and wish to pursue his knowledge further on how the energy system works, they can then look for experienced teachers in this space to guide them. U r not into this, hence, do not advise ppl on what u r unsure and have no experience.
    5. Lastly, bring the insight of anatta into our daily activities, meet conditions and engage.
    [7:54 AM, 6/3/2021] John Tan: Not bad. He should relook these insights and experiences and ask the following:
    1. If everything is me, then the sense of "me" must also disappear at that moment of experience. Otherwise one must mature the experience into no-mind and then anatta as an insight.
    2. If later it is realized that there is no me/self/Self as an insight and experience (anatta), then one must refine the view and question how does the sense of me/self/Self arise in the first place?
    3. Then bring this insight from the refinement of view into all phenomena and all actions.
    4. Therefore not only there is no seer in the seen just the seen, there is no seeing and nothing seen. No self, no others and no aggregates.
    5. If this is understood only as negations, then one is not free from extremes and all elaborations.
    6. Therefore conventionally, there is self, others, seer, seeing and seen. There are causes and effects. There is arising, abiding and ceasing and the only valid mode of arising is dependent arising.
    7. Point 1, 2, 3 praxis is on samatha and vipassana. Direct experience and insights. To mature this insight of anatta, the path of analysis is needed.
    8. Point 4-6 thorough reasoning and analysis is added to relinquish cognitive obscuration.
    9. If he is interested, he should look into mmk (Nagarjuna's text Mūlamadhyamakakārikā), it will expose the many hidden nuances and subtleties of our cognitive obscurations. Patience is needed to get used to the line of reasoning of Nagarjuna. But no need to get involved in those polemics of the Tibetan schools.
    [8:08 AM, 6/3/2021] John Tan: 10. Lastly one should understand the praxis of the 2 stanzas and mmk are different. The 2 stanzas are using samatha and vipassana to directly see through mental constructs to realize one's nature (direct path) whereas mmk is via path of analysis and reasoning. So when reading mmk, one must adhere strictly to the conventional 3 fold structure of seer-seeing-seen. See through the structures and deconstruct step by step. The ultimate purpose and result are the same except mmk exposes all the very subtle and hidden cognitives obscurations that we are unable even post anatta insight. So if one is interested in bringing anatta insight to maturity and perfection, mmk is needed.
    Yin ling:
    What works for me to deepen realisation after the initial insight of Anatta (no-self)
    1) Don’t chase the luminance and brightness.
    Let go of the self slowly more and more by sensing deeply the senses non dually. Keep showing the mind in the seen only the seen, and keep showing the no self structure to the mind. It needs to learn.
    It will naturally stabilise at a brilliant radiance without effort.
    It is the self that blocks the radiance, not by intensely experiencing the radiance - this can cause energy imbalance.
    2) sleep hours will drop but take it easy.
    Have some sort of exercise to tire yourself out abit, go easy on caffeine,
    if not insomnia can happen due to the brightness, luminosity, and the energy that breaks through from the dropping of self construct.
    3) practice by sensing deeply the senses.
    Let the intensity of senses become clear.
    Be there with the sound. (You will know what I mean, when you hear the sound non dually, at first there will be some sort of vague background due to imprint, let go of that background more and more)
    4) Sense deeply the body sensation one by one, sharpen the mind up like a satipathanna practice, this will drop the sense of body outline
    5) open up. Let go of the Center in the body.
    Let consciousness Spread out slowly, as much as you can, a little each day. Meditate that way, sense the senses in separate little fireflies like figure. See how confusion occurs by our mind collating and separating these dependently originated sensations.
    6) shamatha is crucial. It will sharpen the insight and calm the mind. It helps with the letting go of self and calm the afflictions. Have a few good hours of pure shamatha a week will help greatly.
    7) when emptiness of personal self stabilise, move this insight to the chair, table, bird, .. investigate how no-self happen to your body and now investigate if you can extend to phenomenas.
    Take the time to stabilise personal self emptiness first, however if you have bad energy imbalance like me, you probably will need to extend this insight fast to empty phenomena for the energy to move. Or else it’s agony.
    8. Talk to ppl with this insight to strengthen the confidence. It takes time to build that confidence and faith. Read the teachings again and again. Analyse why is it no-self.
    Don’t participate with those who says “there is no self, so no worries and nothing to do”- they are clearly not in no-self lol it’s not like that.
    9. Remember there’s still a long way and a huge amount of practice to do. Not to call yourself Arahant, not to think you are enlightened 🤣Hurry and practice hard. Try not to be a “teacher” too soon, take too many clients, and write too many books, before you are really clear and safely on the other shore 🤣
    Will write if there’s more I can remember.! Wish to hear from others too!
    Yin Ling
    Yasmin El-Hakim it can be abit hard to understand dependent arising and emptiness via Nagarjuna and jay Garfield to be completely honest..
    Just because the way they use “consequences” statements to bring out the lack of inherent existence suits a very high caliber person trained in this kind of logic. Usually we don’t speak like that. So we might not get it not bec we don’t understand Nagarjuna but we don’t understand what they are trying to point
    I think better to study some modern book.
    Guy newland emptiness is quite good.
    Also how to see yourself as you truly are from his holiness is quite good and clear language for modern ppl.
    (Soh: the books she mentioned are here:
    How to See Yourself as You Really Are
    How to See Yourself as You Really Are
    How to See Yourself as You Really Are

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Did you talk about your experiences and insights with your temple?

  • Putting aside Presence, Penetrate Deeply into Two Fold Emptiness
    Putting aside Presence, Penetrate Deeply into Two Fold Emptiness
    Putting aside Presence, Penetrate Deeply into Two Fold Emptiness

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Have quality time and hours to sit and meditate everyday post anatta (although meditation is 24/7 and should go beyond sitting, discipline to sit is still important)
    “When you are luminous and transparent, don't think of dependent origination or emptiness, that is [the contemplative practice for] post-equipoise. When hearing sound, like the sound of flowing water and chirping bird, it is as if you are there. It should be non-conceptual, no sense of body or me, transparent, as if the sensations stand out. You must always have some quality time into this state of anatta. Means you cannot keep losing yourself in verbal thoughts, you got to have quality hours dedicated to relaxation and experience fully without self, without reservation." - John Tan, 2018
    “The only truth is to see the emptiness of the conventional. Equipoise strictly speaking is free from all elaborations. That is exactly the experiential insight and taste of anatta, in the seen just the seen, therefore no seer, no seeing, nothing seen.” – John Tan, 2020

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Also how intense is your luminosity now and is your no mind state* stable? And what is it like experientially. Did you go through I AM phase before?
    A monk asked Tozan, “When cold and heat come, how can we avoid them?”
    Tozan said, “Why don’t you go to the place where there is no cold or heat?”
    The monk said, “What is the place where there is no cold or heat?”
    Tozan said, “When it’s cold, the cold kills you; when it’s hot, the heat kills you.”
    This is not advice to “accept” your situation, as some commentators have suggested, but a direct expression of authentic practice and enlightenment. Master Tozan is not saying, “When cold, shiver; when hot, sweat,” nor is he saying, “When cold, put on a sweater; when hot, use a fan.” In the state of authentic practice and enlightenment, the cold kills you, and there is only cold in the whole universe. The heat kills you, and there is only heat in the whole universe. The fragrance of incense kills you, and there is only the fragrance of incense in the whole universe. The sound of the bell kills you, and there is only “boooong” in the whole universe…
    ~The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing, Ted Biringer

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Do read these three books recommended by Yin Ling and Kyle:
    All Thrangu Rinpoche 58 Books at $35 (only 60 cents per book!)
    All Thrangu Rinpoche 58 Books at $35 (only 60 cents per book!)
    All Thrangu Rinpoche 58 Books at $35 (only 60 cents per book!)

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  • Soh Wei Yu
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    Read the first link. Print out the second and third link and read many times. Most crucial insight post anatta
    Equation between Emptiness and Dependent Origination -
    Equation between Emptiness and Dependent Origination
    Equation between Emptiness and Dependent Origination
    Equation between Emptiness and Dependent Origination

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  • Book Recommendations for Post-Anatta
    Book Recommendations for Post-Anatta
    Book Recommendations for Post-Anatta

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Although i shared a lot on DO and emptiness, have some time exploring anatta first until thoroughly clear and stable.

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