Mr S wrote to Z., “ Mr S wrote: 

“Hi Z. - Even the idea of an I that dies in to the light is still relating to an I that has agency and can die in to the light. The eogic "I"  can never wake up! And our True Nature is already awake.  At some stage there is a seeing that what we seek we already are (empty awareness that simply is)  and that the egoic mind is just a dynamic appearing in empty awareness (this essentially is what pointed out during a Dzogchen transmission if words are used) However, as part of your process, and as a temporary concession, you can let go and relax into the light and see what happens. It is mega important though to differentiate between awakening (and is happening to know one)  which is totally non personal and an awakening experience which is the egoic self having the experience of an awakening - the latter ends up being just another experience and will be short lived and full of the difficult "post awakening" experiences people often describe, when they mistake it as an actual awakening.”, “Z., notice simply until it crystal clear that the apparent I that has had an abusive past is merely and nothing more than concepts and therefore a story appearing in awareness - seeing that you are the empty awareness and not thought which is like "writing on water" is all that needs to be seen (deeply). The past too is merely a concept arising within awareness. Awareness - your true nature - is without time. Once this is seen clearly, thoughts of all kinds related to the apparent I continue to rise as an energetic unravelling takes place that may continue for many years. This is why in Dzogchen Trekchod is practised thoroughly before Thogal.””

 Soh wrote to Mr S:

Thanks for your sharing. But I would like to mention that seeing 'Awareness' as a container for thoughts and phenomena to arise in is still a form of subtle dualism. It was seen this way during my I AM phase, but further insights into nondual anatman removes this subtle dualism. On anatta and different phases of insights: , ,

Likewise, Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith points out in his teachings (and I cannot do direct quotation from him as this is in his private forum posts for Zangthal members, but I have also compiled some of his public forum posts here, worth reading -- ), and I paraphrase, that seeing rigpa, pristine consciousness and so on as a container is the problem. There is in truth no container. Radiance is appearances and appearances is radiance.. the issue comes when we reify cognizance (the appearance of diversity) and its radiance as two things, so Dzogchen practice is simply recognizing that cognizance and its radiance are nondual even though there's always appearance of diversity. There is no self, but there is empty cognizance and its radiance.

Furthermore the dualism between rigpa and dhatu that are characteristic of earlier phases of practice and the preliminary form of rigpa, collapses with further insights (what I call nondual anatman insight):

"...Also, as I said in DhO earlier, ""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 (in terms of bhumi map, Malcolm mentioned years ago that's 8th to 16th bhumi based on some text). 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: )."

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..."


Wrote to some people on reddit recently: "In the initial phase of practice, and even after the initial awakening into I AM/Eternal Witness, the Witnessing Presence seems to be behind all contents as an underlying background or ground of being.

That duality of context and content collapses in further realizations. In further realization, it is seen that there is never an Agent, a Watcher, an Observer, apart from moment to moment luminous manifestation.

Thought this might interest you, on the stages of spiritual awakening, nondual awareness and its nature and the subtleties of insight:

🙏 🙂 p.s. I'm Soh, and Thusness (John Tan) is my mentor... I've been through similar stages in my journey as the first link (7 stages) with some minor differences (e.g. I didn't go through stage 3)"

Also see: For the Benefit of All Beings

Our Duty to Parents

Mr C asked, “What does it mean for you to do things for the benefit of all sentient beings Soh?”

Soh replied, “There are all kinds of ways to do things for the benefit of sentient beings. Bill gates is doing a lot of good to the world in his philanthropy. Buddhists have an additional venue of working for sentient beings: sharing the dharma, which is the highest gift in buddhadharma because this gives other beings a chance to be totally free from suffering and samsara.

This is why I consider those who do not try to share dharma to others in a skillful appropriate way to be having a kind of stinginess. Of course, one has to be very clear in view first in order not to mislead others, and preferably have certain depths of experiential insight (but one can share in one’s capacity even before one has realizations), or one can just guide others to awakened teachers and masters. This applies not just for Mahayanists because the Buddha has instructed us to share his dharma widely, even in Theravada’s vinaya: 

“Go forth for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction. Teach the Dharma which is beautiful in the beginning, beautiful in the middle and beautiful at the end. Proclaim both the letter and the spirit of the holy life completely fulfilled and perfectly pure. — Buddha, Mahavagga, Vinaya Pitaka.”

"If we were to wear the countless kalpas as a crown, and our body spanned across three thousand realms, if we do not teach the Dharma to sentient beings, then we cannot be called repayers of kindness.

If we do not try to enlighten sentient beings, we are not repaying the Buddha's kindness. If we feel incapable of enlightening sentient beings, we should encourage others to listen to the scriptures." - Venerable Master Hui Lu

Original text: “假使頂戴恆沙劫,身為幢座遍三千,若不說法度眾生,是則不名報恩者。 


This does not mean we should neglect our meditation practice because we can only be of utmost benefit to other beings if we attain Buddhahood. So we should both help others and carry out our practice at the same time.

And when working for others, it should be free from delusional perceptions of self or others. Just like the threefold purity I shared earlier. (On threefold purity, see Supramundane Generosity / Threefold Purity)

It is related to this

Kyle Dixon wrote in the Dzogchen subreddit:

u/krodha avatar

The only way to truly engage in action that is legitimately free of attachment and aversion is to awaken and then act during the equipoise of an arya. That equipoise is free of the three spheres of agent, object and action.

Otherwise we are just normal sentient beings under the influence of our karmic vision and our conduct and activities are governed and influenced by mind (sems). Mind and mental factors are completely enveloped in attachment and aversion, subject and object, and so on.

In ati practice, we can sort of fake-it-til-we-make-it though. We can implement the "view" (tawa) to essentially mimic that equipoise, and perform activities while recalling the insubstantiality or absence of these three spheres. We do this ideally in dedicating merit for example. We dedicate merit, free of the three spheres so that it is inexhaustible.

The answer then is yes, there are methods, but you'd have to delve into this with the guidance of a teacher.



“ mr c:

From ren cheng magazine (venerable shen kai was my refuge master) but paraphrased and slightly edited from chatgpt:

“People learning and practicing Buddhist have often heard the need to lead sentient beings (to learn Buddhism). Some then become eager to persuade others to learn Buddhism. Despite their efforts, they realize that people are not always easy to lead (into Buddhism). Discouraged, they stop learning Buddhism themselves, ultimately failing to lead even themselves.

We first need to understand what a sentient being is. There are two types: inner sentient beings and outer sentient beings. The inner sentient being refers to our minds and the endless arising thoughts, while the outer sentient being includes everyone else, as well as any beings with emotional states. As ordinary people, we constantly experience various thoughts and opinions in different situations—these are our inner sentient beings. If we do not transform these inner sentient beings, allowing troubling thoughts and emotions to arise and react to situations, how can we expect to lead others (to Buddhism)? Thus, Master Shen Kai often emphasized: "Lead sentient beings, lead sentient beings, first lead inner sentient beings, outer sentient beings then can be led." Bodhisattvas transform themselves and benefit others, and as we learn from them, we too must first transform ourselves, then lead others.

For example, some people chant the Buddha's name, chant sutras, and bow to the Buddha daily but do not work to eliminate their negative habitual tendencies. They argue, bicker, and criticize others, causing their family members to become reluctant to learn Buddhism. These family members question if such behaviors are the result of learning and practicing Buddhism, unwilling to condone them. Some people are overly eager, failing to discern the right opportunities or conditions, talking about Buddhist concepts to everyone they meet, which causes others to distance themselves. Thus, as Buddhist practitioners, we need to first transform ourselves for the better, maintaining joy and clarity. When others see us and our behaviors, they are more inclined to be near us, and we can then naturally lead them to learn and practice Buddhism.

Sariputra and Maudgalyayana, originally practitioners of other teachings, became ordained Buddhist monks after encountering Bhikkhu Asvajit, whose dignified deportment and brief sharing of the Buddha's teachings led them to enlightenment. This story illustrates how one's demeanor and understanding can inspire significant spiritual transformations in others.

Many people have managed to eliminate negative habitual tendencies, like smoking, drinking, and unnecessary socializing, among others, after taking refuge in Buddhism. They began focusing more on their families and treating family members with respect, leading to a more joyous family environment. This positive change has often encouraged entire families and even friends and colleagues to take refuge in Buddhism, establishing a blissful Buddhist community. This exemplifies the principle of first transforming inner sentient beings, which then enables the guidance of outer sentient beings.

Some asked Venerable Master Shen Kai how it's possible to lead all sentient beings, given their vast number. He responded by emphasizing the importance of starting with the inner sentient beings, suggesting that once all inner sentient beings are transformed, one can attain Buddhahood. This advice highlights the foundational principle that personal transformation is a prerequisite for leading others effectively.”


Soh: “ I message people everyday. I think it is important to share with people”

Mr M who went from I Am and one mind into anatman after Soh shared with him on reddit said, “ Yeah there’s something positive about evangelisation, even though I think some religions take it too far. I don’t think I would have come across ATR naturally, and there’s no other resource I’ve found that’s as forceful on what full realisation of anatta is and isn’t.”

Soh replied: “Yeah.. a few people on reddit just realised anatta after conversing with me the past few days

Yesterday just another one realised anatta, was at I AM

I personally try to share dharma to people around me even friends and family

But atr may be too deep for them

Usually i pass them the power of now

If there is a good dharma center its good to introduce to people who you think might be open

I have messaged thousands of redditors over the years, most seem positive with my sharing, only a minority seems averse (usually those that hold tightly to view of self) so i just leave them be

But i believe all will benefit as the tien tai teacher miao lo said

“Nichiren use of the word listen is significant. The passage from Miao-lo that Nichiren cites comes from The Annotations on “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra.” In that work, the Great Teacher Miao-lo goes on to say: “Whether one accepts or rejects the teachings, they have entered one’s ear and one has thus established a bond with them. And then, though one may comply with them or go against them, in the end one will because of this bond be able to achieve liberation [i.e., attain enlightenment]” (WND-2, 56). While keeping in mind the specifics of a person’s situation, to allow them to hear the Lotus Sutra plants the “seed of Buddhahood” in that person’s heart and activates the world of Buddhahood within them.”””

Several that were very averse to it at first realised anatta later””


Thusness wrote in Dharma Connection:

"Sometimes I wonder why must the topic frequently oscillate between emptiness and preserving an indestructible essence.

    Perhaps after experiencing the boundless brilliance, the aliveness, we feel deep down we must somehow exist in a true, solid and substantial way. The more we experience our radiance clarity, the more difficult for us to let go. This I understand. Maybe we should channel some bits of our time and energy towards understanding the relationship between compassion and emptiness.

    When watching Garchen Rinpoche movie that Piotr sent me, it seems that to Garchen Rinpoche, nothing matters more than sentient beings. Whether there “is or isn’t” an essence seems to be a non-issue; if there is, he would joyfully and generously sacrifice for the benefits of sentient beings when needed. This is what I gathered from the movie.

    I am beginning to see why Nagarjuna asserted that emptiness is the womb of compassion.

    I am beginning to understand without the awakening of Bodhichitta, there is no true realization of emptiness.

    I am beginning to see why Bodhichitta and wisdom are the causes of Buddhahood.

    May Bodhichitta be awakened in our authentic mindstreams.

    Homage to Bodhichitta."

    February 16 at 6:31pm · Edited · Unlike · 10


Also see: For the Benefit of All Beings

Our Duty to Parents


Someone wrote,

“Funny to even see assumptions of Bill Gates' contribution to the benefit of sentient beings. 

Especially in a group Awakening to Reality.”

Soh replied,

“regardless of bill gates’ controversies or even whether he is a nice person, i was referring to his philanthropic accomplishments:

“- **Global Health Initiatives**: Funding research, treatment, and prevention programs for diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.

- **Polio Eradication**: Major contributions towards global efforts to eradicate polio through vaccination campaigns.

- **Education**: Investing in U.S. and global education through scholarships, school reform initiatives, and support for online learning platforms.

- **Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene**: Supporting projects to improve access to clean water and sanitation in developing countries.

- **Agricultural Development**: Funding research and projects to increase agricultural productivity and food security in poor countries.

- **Financial Services for the Poor**: Promoting financial inclusion through support for mobile banking and microfinance.

- **Climate Change**: Investing in clean energy research and initiatives to mitigate climate change impacts.

- **COVID-19 Response**: Funding vaccine development, supporting equitable distribution, and enhancing healthcare systems.

- **Nutrition**: Addressing malnutrition and supporting efforts to improve health outcomes through better nutrition.

- **Family Planning and Maternal Health**: Supporting programs to provide family planning services and improve maternal health.

- **Neglected Tropical Diseases**: Funding efforts to combat and eliminate neglected tropical diseases.

- **Innovation in Education**: Supporting technological and pedagogical innovations to improve educational outcomes.

- **Global Libraries**: Initiatives to expand access to digital information through libraries.

- **Research and Development**: Funding R&D for new vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics.

- **Scholarship Programs**: Including the Gates Millennium Scholars program, providing scholarships for minority students in the U.S.

- **Health Systems Strengthening**: Working to improve health care systems and infrastructure in developing countries.

- **Emergency Relief**: Contributing to relief efforts following natural disasters and crises.

- **Gender Equality**: Supporting initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls.

- **Mental Health**: Investing in mental health programs and research to improve care and reduce stigma.

- **Data and Innovation**: Funding the collection and analysis of data to inform health and development policies.

- **Advocacy and Public Policy**: Engaging in advocacy to influence policy and raise awareness on critical global issues.””

as an alternative, these are some other similar organisations. Chatgpt:

Rating philanthropic activities, including those of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is subjective and depends on various criteria such as impact, transparency, effectiveness, and public perception. These ratings are not definitive but can provide a general sense of how these organizations are viewed in terms of their philanthropic efforts. Here's a hypothetical table rating the Gates Foundation and ten other notable philanthropic organizations, based on perceived impact and public reception:

| Organization                         | Rating (Out of 10) | Comments                                                                                                 |


| Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation      | 9                  | High impact on global health and education, though faces criticism for influence and approach.           |

| Ford Foundation                      | 8                  | Significant contributions to social justice but criticized for influence on policy and academic research.|

| Rockefeller Foundation               | 8                  | Pioneering philanthropic efforts with a broad impact, though not without its controversies.              |

| Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching | 7.5                | Major impact on education and peace, with a strong legacy, but less visible in recent years.             |

| Open Society Foundations             | 8                  | Prominent in promoting democracy and human rights, but faces criticism for political bias.               |

| Wellcome Trust                       | 8.5                | Significant contributions to global health, praised for research funding, but faces scrutiny for investment choices. |

| MacArthur Foundation                 | 7                  | Known for the "genius grant," innovative in arts and culture support, but impact sometimes questioned.   |

| The Howard Hughes Medical Institute  | 8.5                | Significant in biomedical research support, though its focus is very specialized.                        |

| The MasterCard Foundation            | 8                  | Impacts financial inclusion and education in Africa significantly, though its focus is relatively narrow.|

| The Walton Family Foundation         | 7.5                | Significant in education and environment, but its association with Walmart leads to mixed perceptions.   |

| The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation  | 7.5                | Focused on child poverty and education, with impactful programs, though less known than others.          |

This table reflects a combination of the organizations' perceived effectiveness, impact, transparency, and the controversies they might have faced. The ratings are illustrative and based on general perceptions rather than a rigorous evaluation framework. Actual assessments might vary significantly based on different criteria and personal perspectives.


Also see: For the Benefit of All Beings

Our Duty to Parents

From Dharmawheel - see Acarya Malcolm Dharmawheel Posts + Astus, Krodha (Kyle Dixon), Geoff (Jnana), Meido Moore

Also See: Madhyamaka, Cittamātra, and the true intent of Maitreya and Asaṅga self.Buddhism

Author: Astus

Date: Tue Feb 6, 2024 11:49 PM

Title: Re: Yogachara: Ontological or Epistemological Idealism?


They uphold the twofold emptiness. Again from Brunnhölzl (p 26):

'The perfect nature is emptiness in the sense that what appears as dependent false imagination is primordially never established as the imaginary nature. As the ultimate object and the true nature of the dependent nature, this emptiness is the sphere of nonconceptual wisdom, which is nothing other than phenomenal identitylessness.'

Author: Astus

Date: Tue Feb 6, 2024 5:00 PM

Title: Re: Yogachara: Ontological or Epistemological Idealism?


This practical clarification by Karl Brunnhölzl might help (, p 19-21):

'Cittamātra is not a metaphysical assertion of a transcendental reality consisting of “mind-only” but a description of our delusion — the dreams of this sleep from which the Buddha has awakened. If the dream-world saṃsāra is “merely mind,” freedom and the Buddhist path are possible because we can change our minds through creating a counter-dream within the dream of our delusion. Most important, we can wake up from this dream.

That cittamātra is constantly referred to in Yogācāra texts as the delusional perception of what does not exist (these texts moreover abound with dreams, illusions, and so on as examples for it) hardly suggests that it exists in a real or ultimate way. Thus, the notion of “mere mind” refers only to the mistaken minds and mental factors of saṃsāra (the realities of suffering and its origin) but not to the realities of the path or cessation. Many Yogācāra works make it clear explicitly and repeatedly that not only external objects but also “mere mind” does not exist and is to be relinquished in order to attain the realization of the path of seeing and eventually buddhahood.

In this context, the four “yogic practices” (Skt. prayoga) in Yogācāra works are the following four steps of realization:

1. Outer objects are observed to be nothing but mind 

2. Thus, outer objects are not observed as such

3. With outer objects being unobservable, a mind cognizing 

them is not observed either

4. Not observing both, nonduality is observed

This means that stages (1)–(3) — and thus the notion of cittamātra — are progressively dealt with only up through the end of the path of preparation. Stage (4) marks the path of seeing (the first bhūmi), on which bodhisattvas have to let go of the notion of cittamātra as well. In other words, like so many other Buddhist notions, cittamātra is no exception to simply being an expedient pedagogic tool to realize a certain level on the path. However, it is neither the final realization, nor to be reified in any way (thus becoming an obstacle to this very realization), but to be discarded once its intended function has been accomplished.'

Author: Astus
Date: Wed Feb 28, 2024 6:12 AM
Title: Re: Was Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka an implicative negation?
Yogacara accepts the emptiness of both self and dharmas, and it denies ultimate reality to both mind and its objects. What foundation is left?

Note for those new to this blog: do read this article written previously by me (Soh) as it clarifies the differences quite clearly: 5) Different Degress of No-Self: Non-Doership, Non-dual, Anatta, Total Exertion and Dealing with Pitfalls)

Someone asked:

Soh, when you often make distinction that people have realized impersonalness (Soh: impersonality) but not anatta, is what you mean that they have realized a state of impersonality that is free from or empty of the idea of self, but that they have not realized anatta, because they dont see the emptiness of both the self they have "transcended" and the socalled impersonal space they are identifying with. That they do not see that egolesness is the case from thr very beginning.

Soh replied:

Impersonality can mean seeing through the small ego self. This has varying depths and can throw one into a sensation of impersonal or even universal space shared among everyone or deeper to a sense that everything is the spontaneous play or happening of intelligence, a divine happening, of being lived, and later to a sense of presence being universal pervading and being the innermost essence of everyone and everything.

This is related to dissolving the impersonal small self or ego

But there can still he a sense of a universal self or being that is watching or living life

In impersonality, Presence loses its centeredness in terms of a personal self and instead becomes universal source and everything becomes the play of divine life

I wrote in 2010 shortly after breaking through to anatta:

17th October 2010

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

Update: Oh and regarding 'On the othe hand, feeling ‘universe’ has to do with the deconstruction of ‘identity’ and ‘personality’. You have to have clearer insight of what ‘deconstructions’ leads to what experience.' - it's my experience that dropping personality leads to experiencing Awareness as not an individual or personal presence but a Universal Awareness sustaining and containing all lives and forms... There is a sense of an all pervading Awareness that does not belong to any particular person or object but sustains them. At this point, Awareness is still treated as a background, but it is now seen as the Source and Ground of all beings and things... not a personal presence.

However... the non-dual aspect is different as it is no longer 'Universal Awareness' but 'Awareness is the Universe'. There is simply the universe manifesting this moment as a pure nondual consciousness experience... Consciousness/Awareness is this arising sound, sight, thought, etc. Awareness AS Universe... no longer Universal Awareness. This part requires dissolving the sense of an ultimate background identity, the Big Self of Universal Awareness...


Great insight!

However you are still not clear about where exactly the questions are leading you. Think deeper and understand what I told you in msn. I got to go now. 🙂

I also wrote to someone last year:

"When I was in my true self (I AM stage), I also mentioned that there's observation without an observer. This means there's no 'small self' observing, but there's the 'greater self' or the 'cosmic entity' that perceives. I later realized this isn't the case either. So I think Mr. N perceives 'observation without an observer' as 'no small self observing, but there's the greater self/cosmic substratum that is the substance of awareness which is perceiving.'

The real selflessness, awareness is like the wind and the blowing, knowing and the known are just different names (conventional designations without real referents), only the dynamic display that is knowing but without a knower, dynamic process rolls and knows without knower."

(See: )

Soh: (anatta is) seeing through self/Self and also realise and actualise consciousness as all luminous appearances

Mr. A: "But of course it is obvious

As it cant be any other without background or foregroudn agent

But actualization takes deepening and enquiry

Paradoxially, what helped really make anatta totally obvious

For me

Was somr advaita practice

And consciously reifying background awareness

In order to make that aspect more clear

Which helped penetrate both the concept of awareness as background and identity


But it is clear that true anatta is rare

Even some people i spoke with in atr that believe they have attained anatta insight

Looking back doesnt seem like anatta

It is too subtle and too easily missed

Too simple

Most people it seems like tend to reify anatta, emptiness, into subtle experience or substance or state"


yes, thats why i always ask people this, send them this,

What is experiential insight


Yin Ling:

When we say experiential insight in Buddhism,

It means..

A literal transformation of energetic orientation of the whole being, down to the marrow.

The sound MUST literally hears themselves.

No hearer.

Clean. Clear.

A bondage from the head here to there cut off overnight.

Then gradually the rest of the 5 senses.

Then one can talk about Anatta.

So if for you,

Does sound hear themselves?

If no, not yet. You have to keep going! Inquire and meditate.

You haven’t reach the basic insight requirement for the deeper insights like anatta and emptiness yet!

Yin Ling: “Realisation is when

This insight goes down to the marrow and you don’t need even a minute amount of effort for sound to hear themselves.

It is like how you live with dualistic perception now, very normal, no effort.

Ppl with Anatta realisation live in Anatta effortlessly, without using thinking to orient. It’s their life.

They cannot even go back to dualistic perception because that is an imputation, it js uprooted

At first you might need to purposely orient with some effort.

Then at one point there is no need.. further along, dreams will become Anatta too.

That’s experiential realisation.

There’s no realisation unless this benchmark is achieved!”



what is important is that there is experiential realisation that leads

to an energetic expansion outwards into all the forms, sounds, radiant

universe... such that it is not that you are in here, in the body,

looking outwards at the tree, listening the birds chirping from here

it is just the trees are vividly swaying in and of itself, luminously

without an observer

the trees sees themselves

the sounds hear itself

there is no location from which they are experienced, no vantage point

the energetic expansion outward into vivid manifestation, boundless, yet

it is not an expansion from a center, there is just no center

without such energetic shift it is not really the real experience of no

selfxabir Snoovatar" -

and even that can just be nondual and not yet anatta

depends on depth of insight

And if you have time to read, this is relevant:

Session Start: Wednesday, July 05, 2006

(6:39 PM) AEN:    seen the new article?
(6:39 PM) AEN:    


Buddhi (Enlightenment) – I AM  THAT

Self Realization – I AM

Jnani – I

Satguru – no conceptualization
(6:39 PM) AEN:    posted by longchen
(6:39 PM) AEN:    i tink u're best to comment
(6:39 PM) AEN:    hehe
(6:39 PM) John:    :)
(6:40 PM) John:    what is the different between what they said and what i told u?
(6:40 PM) AEN:    wat u said has nothing to do with 'self'
(6:41 PM) John:    they also spoke about dissolving the me and the gradual dissolving of the 'I' then dissolving of the 'AMness'. :)
(6:41 PM) AEN:    anyway how u tink we shld reply casino king in his new thread? lol
(6:42 PM) AEN:    iicc..
(6:42 PM) AEN:    u saw the article already?
(6:42 PM) John:    read the articles is quite interesting. :)
(6:42 PM) AEN:    yea i also read finish
(6:42 PM) AEN:    its said in the last stage
(6:42 PM) AEN:    that the self also dissolves
(6:44 PM) John:    now there it becomes more and more subtle when u enter slowly into the deeper stage of consciousness.  Do read it carefully...and tell me what do u think is different from what i told u.   It is a great article to refine ur understanding. :)
(6:45 PM) AEN:    oic ok
(6:52 PM) AEN:    btw casino king's experience is it in any of the 4 stages? lol
(6:53 PM) John:    u read he is like what stage. :P
(6:53 PM) AEN:    still reading again
(6:53 PM) AEN:    lol
(6:53 PM) AEN:    i tink none of that
(6:53 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(6:54 PM) John: lah..
(6:54 PM) AEN:    1st stage then
(6:54 PM) AEN:    i tink something similar
(6:54 PM) John:    yeah...about there...near to it lah
(6:54 PM) John:    dun say ppl like no substance
(6:54 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(6:54 PM) AEN:    ok
(7:00 PM) AEN:    i tink they dont have emptiness teaching
(7:02 PM) John:    yes but in terms of actual experience?
(7:07 PM) AEN:    there is still an attachment to the 'purest state'?
(7:09 PM) John:    he has already attempted and tried his best to eliminate all attachment.  It is the actual experience. :)
(7:09 PM) AEN:    icic
(7:10 PM) AEN:    it is not extended to all the senses?
(7:10 PM) John:    and what else?
(7:11 PM) John:    what is the purpose of extending it to the rest of the six senses?
(7:12 PM) AEN:    to experience spontaneous self-arising?
(7:12 PM) John:    read the article, didn't it tok about spontaneous self-arising?
(7:13 PM) AEN:    maybe only the thought realm
(7:13 PM) John:    did u read the part regarding spontaneous arising?
(7:14 PM) AEN:    tink so
(7:17 PM) AEN:    ?
(7:21 PM) John:    u can ask casino_king can he know what God is?
(7:35 PM) AEN:    back
(7:35 PM) AEN:    ok
(7:36 PM) AEN:    hmm u seriously do not tink wat?
(7:36 PM) AEN:    that the woman is krishnamurti's heir?
(7:36 PM) John:    yes. :)
(7:36 PM) AEN:    oic how come
(7:38 PM) John:    that is just my personal opinion.  I think she follows K's teaching, but not as what you mentioned spiritual heir.  I read some of the written articles, I do not think so. :)
(7:43 PM) AEN:    oic.. okie
(7:46 PM) John:    big 3?
(7:46 PM) John:    :P
(7:47 PM) AEN:        quote:-Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

    Can you know what God is?

According to whom? The big 3 think of God as Spirit.

So, according to Buddhist teaching, what is REAL?
(7:47 PM) AEN:    big 3?
(7:48 PM) AEN:    christianity, islam, hindu?
(7:48 PM) AEN:    no ideas.
(7:48 PM) John:    hahaah....why christianity, islam and hindu are the big 3. :P  Buddhism must be the small 4.
(7:48 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(7:52 PM) AEN:
(7:52 PM) AEN:    To tell you the truth , there was a duration of time where i can really see them in flashing images . Which means i can see them in flashing images like those flashes from cameras but not very clear though . So perhaps during that time i was too stressed and exchausted and always beside them so maybe sort of absorb their chi without knowing .
But during that time i really can see them a few times once when i was in a pub with my friend when i suddenly have this feeling of them being come to check on me n i can see them walking in through the door only to disappear after walking past me to the counter . The second time was i was in the middle of the session where i have a feeling the hei wu chang coming and even able to see him walking towards my direction . And not long afterwards the bai wu chang left the medium body and hei wu chang possed the medium body to tok .
So whats the conclusion ? Do i need to seek treatment although no i longer see them with my eye ?
(7:54 PM) John:    Don't have to answer him. :)
(7:54 PM) AEN:    haha ok
(7:54 PM) AEN:    y
(7:54 PM) John:    don't tell u. :P
(7:54 PM) AEN:    huh
(7:54 PM) AEN:    lol
(7:56 PM) John:    If I were to ask you to sort out the link that is posted by longchen what that is being stated is true experience and what are mere concepts, r u able to do it?
(7:57 PM) AEN:    i dunno leh cos i no true experience
(7:57 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(7:58 PM) John:    u should tell casino_king, u came in to join in and like him to ask question. :P
(7:58 PM) AEN:    huh?
(7:58 PM) John:    means like him only ask question lor.
(7:58 PM) John:    and asking the question is to guide him. :P
(7:58 PM) John:    lol
(7:59 PM) AEN:    so i change to 'i came to ask you to ask something'? :S
(8:00 PM) John:    nope...what i meant is, just like hiim, ur purpose is not to tell the answer, but to ask question so as to lead him to find out for himself. :P  This is what he said right?...hehee
(8:00 PM) AEN:    oic ok
(8:00 PM) AEN:    hehe
(8:04 PM) AEN:        quote:-Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

    I did not join in the discussion to answer your question.

    I came to ask something.

According to the big 3, God is spirit and in their scriptures, you have many desciptions of encounters with God.

The totality of these encounters do not make up God but it does show that God interacts with people. While nobody knows what God is (what is Spirit?) people do have a glimpse of God.

So what is REAL as taught by Buddhism?

Maybe this question is too difficult for the Buddhists here to answer as the "What is Empty?" question had shown.

I do hope that as Buddhists you will discover the answer.
(8:06 PM) John:    Because you are contained within your own experience of spirit, i am unable to discuss with you, unless u do 3 things....I go makan first....
(8:07 PM) John:    first thing
(8:07 PM) AEN:    u post or i post
(8:07 PM) AEN:    lol
(8:08 PM) John:    r u able to forgot whatever is being discussed and go back to what that is born spiritually.
(8:08 PM) John:    not even a trace in ur mind. :P
(8:09 PM) AEN:    so i ask him "Are you able to forgot whatever is being discussed, not even a trace in ur mind, and go back to what that is born spiritually?"
(8:09 PM) AEN:    ok then?
(8:09 PM) AEN:    btw u post or i post
(8:09 PM) AEN:    u post la
(8:18 PM) John:    back
(8:18 PM) John:    :)
(8:18 PM) John:    lol
(8:18 PM) John:    buddhism like nobody. :P
(8:19 PM) John:    because of his condition, he will not be able to understand the profound teachiing of emptiness.
(8:19 PM) AEN:    icic..
(8:19 PM) John:    i have already taught u when emptiness should step in
(8:20 PM) John:    the 3 level of presence
(8:20 PM) John:    but u did not refine ur understanding.
(8:20 PM) John:    first all discussion must be forgotten
(8:20 PM) John:    it can start from anywhere if he is in the correct path
(8:21 PM) AEN:    icic
(8:21 PM) John:    tell him to seriously look into the link that longchen posted, that is the second thing he must do.
(8:22 PM) John:    3 and most important of all, he must be sincere and stop useless pretense
(8:22 PM) AEN:    pretense?
(8:22 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(8:22 PM) John:    :P
(8:22 PM) AEN:    ya tats wat longchen said also
(8:22 PM) AEN:    wat he pretending
(8:22 PM) John:    how can anyone tell him anything...
(8:22 PM) John:    isn't it a waste of time eh?
(8:23 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(8:24 PM) John:    a person that truly knows is completely clear.  He knows the stages and is thorough.
(8:24 PM) AEN:    icic..
(8:24 PM) John:    The depth of the clarity itself, how can one bullshit about ones clarity
(8:24 PM) AEN:    oic
(8:25 PM) John:    what that can be intuitively grasped when spoken worth not even a cent. :)
(8:25 PM) John:    it becomes knowledge and yet this form of knowledge is still precious for one that is truly sincere.
(8:26 PM) John:    but when one isn't sincere, he knows nothing
(8:26 PM) John:    till now, do u sense the condition that he will know?
(8:26 PM) AEN:    icic..
(8:26 PM) John:    it isn't right yet. :)
(8:26 PM) AEN:    sense the condition that he will start to understand?
(8:26 PM) AEN:    i tink dont tink so
(8:27 PM) John:    yes he is egoistic but he is putting all his effort to know something profound, he knows it.
(8:27 PM) John:    so some time i spoke a lil but only when the condition is right. :)
(8:28 PM) AEN:    icic..
(8:28 PM) John:    he attempted to understand
(8:28 PM) John:    emptiness but have no idea of the application
(8:28 PM) John:    do not know where to step in
(8:28 PM) AEN:    oic
(8:28 PM) John:    u must be able to see that
(8:28 PM) AEN:    icic
(8:29 PM) John:    why because he is only at the first level...close to it.
(8:30 PM) John:    unlike others, i never said he doesn't know anything....rather i told u he has some experiences.  :)
(8:30 PM) AEN:    oic...
(8:31 PM) John:    but at present i know he can't understand emptiness, only theoretically
(8:31 PM) AEN:    icic
(8:31 PM) John:    at least longchen is stepping into anatta
(8:32 PM) John:    and then he has to extend it the rest of the six senses that i always said though i did not explicitly emphasize. :)
(8:32 PM) AEN:    oic
(8:32 PM) John:    before the profound meaning of emptiness can be appreciated.
(8:32 PM) AEN:    icic
(8:32 PM) John:    i told u that is the second level right?going int
(8:32 PM) AEN:    ya
(8:33 PM) John:    before true spontaneous arising, the unconditioned can be known.
(8:33 PM) AEN:    icic
(8:33 PM) John:    isn't all at this first level and attempting to go beyond?
(8:34 PM) John:    most of those that are posted and links...they are so.
(8:34 PM) AEN:    oic
(8:34 PM) John:    u must feel it urself. :)
(8:34 PM) AEN:    u mean longchen's link?
(8:34 PM) John:    most links that are not really buddhist
(8:34 PM) AEN:    orh icic
(8:34 PM) AEN:    ok
(8:34 PM) AEN:    btw advaita got reach the longchen's link's 4th level?
(8:34 PM) AEN:    level
(8:35 PM) John:    what are the levels that are real and what are the levels that are extrapolated is important. :)
(8:36 PM) AEN:    oic..
(8:36 PM) AEN:    so its merely an extension
(8:36 PM) John:    when u hear ur master or chen ming an master teach, din he tok about the 3 level of presence?
(8:36 PM) AEN:    but hmm but isnt the 4th stage talking about no-self without falling back to 'I AM'? isnt it quite different from Advaita?
(8:36 PM) John:    i will tell u later the mistake. :P
(8:37 PM) AEN:    eh? teacher chen arh... not sure leh... maybe in indirect way
(8:37 PM) John:    but don't take my words, just take it as a form of knowledge.
(8:37 PM) AEN:    icic
(8:38 PM) John:    the 3 level of presence i told u is to allow you to understand exactly where it should step in.
(8:38 PM) AEN:    icic..
(8:39 PM) John:    what are the ppl so confused about the "I AMness" and exactly where it steps in and leading to what....this is for the convenience of explanation so that those non-buddhists can appreciate the Blessed One's teaching. :)
(8:40 PM) AEN:    oic..
(8:40 PM) John:    and when I tell u, i want u to experience it.
(8:40 PM) AEN:    oic
(8:40 PM) John:    so that u know when to apply what medicine. :P
(8:40 PM) AEN:    ok
(8:41 PM) John:    when i tell u the riddle of the zen master conversation, it is not meant to be told, but what i want is to let u know ur friends stage when he is not there.  So that u will not be confused.
(8:42 PM) AEN:    oic ok
(8:42 PM) John:    but the important aspect has not gone into ur mind yet. :P
(8:42 PM) AEN:    ?
(8:42 PM) John:    otherwise u would be able to answer me when i asked u what the link's lack.
(8:42 PM) John:    and where is the problem
(8:43 PM) AEN:    oic..
(8:43 PM) AEN:    so wats their problem
(8:43 PM) John:    when your friend writes poem and the poems of those that truly experience, what is the diff?
(8:44 PM) AEN:    eh brb
(8:44 PM) AEN:    back
(8:44 PM) AEN:    which friend?
(8:44 PM) AEN:    u mean from my dharma centre?
(8:44 PM) John:    the email u posted me
(8:44 PM) AEN:    'fei you fei kong' - 2 articles
(8:44 PM) AEN:    rite
(8:45 PM) John:    yeah
(8:45 PM) AEN:    u said he wasnt speaking in terms of ultimate reality
(8:45 PM) AEN:    or theoretical
(8:45 PM) John:    yes
(8:45 PM) John:    what are the poems of those of that truly experience like?
(8:46 PM) AEN:    erm.. u said... he will talk about things like... keyboard sounding
(8:46 PM) AEN:    lol
(8:46 PM) AEN:    hmm but i tink my friend has some kind of awakening experience?
(8:47 PM) AEN:    i never ask him la but i tink so
(8:47 PM) John: casino_king but more humble. :P
(8:47 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(8:47 PM) AEN:    icic
(8:48 PM) John:    read Soen-sa experience (Soh: see
(8:48 PM) AEN:    so u mean my fren experience the same 'life force' thing?
(8:48 PM) John:    yet his is not stable yet
(8:48 PM) AEN:    soen-sa? seung sahn?
(8:48 PM) AEN:    oic
(8:48 PM) AEN:    what is not stable?
(8:48 PM) John:    that level is already beyond 1 going into 2  (note by Soh: not referring to 7 thusness stages. In his earlier definition, 1 is I AMness, 2 is anatta and emptiness, 3 is unconditional spontaneous presence)
(8:49 PM) AEN:    oic
(8:49 PM) AEN:    which one
(8:49 PM) John:    the luminosity is clear and correct
(8:49 PM) AEN:    oic..
(8:49 PM) John:    yet his master told him to be silent for 3 years
(8:49 PM) AEN:    icic
(8:49 PM) John:    the mind that is pre-occupied cannot perceive his master's intention
(8:49 PM) AEN:    oic
(8:50 PM) John:    u know what is the problem of the link now?
(8:50 PM) AEN:    wat is it
(8:51 PM) John:    what is lacking...
(8:51 PM) John:    think...u should know
(8:53 PM) John:    what is the diff between what is posted and those zen masters' poems
(8:53 PM) AEN:    true experience, theoretical?
(8:53 PM) John:    yes but what is the true experience like?
(8:54 PM) AEN:    experiencing the presence in everything without self
(8:54 PM) John:    yes! fusing into everything....
(8:55 PM) John:    the tennis court....the drum beats of the foot step
(8:55 PM) AEN:    oic
(8:55 PM) John:    that clarity breaks the first level into the 2nd
(8:55 PM) AEN:    icic how come
(8:55 PM) John:    the luminosity of the mirror bright
(8:55 PM) AEN:    u mean by experiencing that one will immediately realise Emptiness?
(8:56 PM) John:    wait...what is the differences between that and emptiness?
(8:56 PM) John:    sorry i mean "AMness"
(8:57 PM) John:    the clarity of zen masters enlightenment and "AMness"
(8:57 PM) AEN:    amness is still attached to a state of purity? not completely fuse into everything?
(8:58 PM) John:    yes...has the zen master not demonstrated in their lives about the luminous clarity in all things that came into contact?
(8:59 PM) John:    is there a self?
(8:59 PM) John:    there is only the everything
(8:59 PM) John:    where is the 'Self'?
(8:59 PM) AEN:    oic..
(8:59 PM) AEN:    but hmm
(9:00 PM) AEN:    i tot u also said b4, when one experiences the 'i am' when 6 senses are widely open, one will experience it as 'i am all'. isnt that also sort of fusing into everything?
(9:00 PM) John:    yes....and zen masters might have the danger of that too....
(9:01 PM) AEN:    oic
(9:01 PM) John:    so luminosity is not nature
(9:01 PM) John:    what is it?
(9:01 PM) AEN:    emptiness?
(9:01 PM) John:    yes
(9:01 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:01 PM) John:    it is this, now that, always changing and ungraspable
(9:02 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:02 PM) John:    the ungraspable is anatta manifestation.
(9:02 PM) John:    it is seen in all
(9:02 PM) John:    in everything
(9:02 PM) AEN:    oic
(9:02 PM) John:    if u return and want to rest in the 'Self', instead of gaining, u lost everything
(9:02 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:03 PM) John:    the nature is anatta, there is no self
(9:03 PM) John:    understand?
(9:03 PM) AEN:    ya
(9:04 PM) John:    now when one understand this, he lays the foundation of stabilizing this in "everything" experience
(9:04 PM) John:    because he is not returning to the "AMness"
(9:04 PM) AEN:    oic
(9:04 PM) John:    he is not confused anymore
(9:04 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:05 PM) John:    he finds it in all things without returning...though ungraspable, it is always seized at the moment.
(9:05 PM) AEN:    oic
(9:05 PM) John:    and how it arise? this is, that is
(9:05 PM) John:    emptiness
(9:05 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:06 PM) John:    so i said extend it to the six senses, presence without self
(9:06 PM) John:    sound without hearer
(9:06 PM) John:    scenery without seer
(9:06 PM) AEN:    icic..
(9:06 PM) John:    everything to experience and understand anatta
(9:07 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:07 PM) John:    so that "AMness" presence is experienced in all moment without the need to fall back.
(9:07 PM) AEN:    oic
(9:07 PM) John:    how could there be movement then?
(9:08 PM) John:    it is just arising and ceasing
(9:08 PM) John:    because there is no moment that is not so.
(9:08 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:08 PM) AEN:    ya
(9:08 PM) AEN:    that is not wat?
(9:09 PM) John:    that is not arising and ceasing according to conditions and causes
(9:09 PM) John:    emptiness
(9:09 PM) John:    this must be understood after clarity
(9:09 PM) AEN:    oic
(9:10 PM) John:    but there cannot be any movement, because there is no moment that is not like that
(9:10 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:11 PM) John:    then from this complete clarity, emptiness, no movement, yet everything wonderfully arises and ceases, one experiences the spontaneous arising, the self-so, the unconditioned
(9:11 PM) John:    then there is true insight.
(9:11 PM) AEN:    icic..
(9:11 PM) John:    then karma will make sense
(9:12 PM) John:    because of arising without self
(9:12 PM) John:    arises with causes and condition without self
(9:12 PM) John:    therefore be serious about the deeds
(9:12 PM) AEN:    oic..
(9:13 PM) John:    in "AMness", how does karma step in?
(9:13 PM) John:    he will be confused because "AMness" in its ultimate sense is a controller.
(9:13 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:14 PM) John:    all these are words, it is the true experience that is most crucial.
(9:14 PM) AEN:    but hmm... i read dzogchen texts also speaks of the 'Source'
(9:15 PM) AEN:    but in that context it isnt meant to be 'controller' rite?
(9:15 PM) John:    i do not like to use the word source...ehehhe
(9:15 PM) John:    just like 'Self'...
(9:15 PM) John:    :P
(9:15 PM) AEN:    oic but dzogchen talks about it quite often
(9:15 PM) AEN:    lol
(9:15 PM) John:    depends on who tok also. :P
(9:15 PM) AEN:    haha why
(9:15 PM) AEN:    there is this famous dzogchen book 'The Supreme Source'
(9:16 PM) AEN:    i read a bit last time in bookstore
(9:16 PM) John:    ic....good?
(9:16 PM) AEN:    quite gd la but a bit deep hahah
(9:16 PM) AEN:
(9:17 PM) John:    just practice is enough :)
(9:17 PM) AEN:    okie
(9:21 PM) John:    have u heard of upasika kee?
(9:21 PM) AEN:    nope
(9:21 PM) AEN:    what about her
(9:21 PM) John:    she is a lay but masters of many monks and nuns.  Very dedicated practitioner
(9:22 PM) AEN:    oic..
(9:22 PM) John:    there is a book pure and simple, compiled by her disciple.
(9:22 PM) John:    quite good.
(9:22 PM) AEN:    icic..
(9:22 PM) John:    u might want to take a look.
(9:22 PM) AEN:    okie
(9:23 PM) John:    true practitioner experience is so hard to find nowadays.
(9:23 PM) AEN:    icic..
(9:24 PM) John:    what prevents the mirror bright consciousness?
(9:24 PM) AEN:    delusions..?
(9:24 PM) AEN:    ignorance, defilements, etc
(9:24 PM) John:    hehehe...i prefer individuality, personality, self
(9:25 PM) AEN:    oic
(9:25 PM) AEN:    haha
(9:25 PM) AEN:    personality is bad?
(9:25 PM) AEN:    wat do u mean by personality
(9:26 PM) John:    personality is the product of culture, education and traditions...etc
(9:26 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:26 PM) John:    it is not 'bad'
(9:26 PM) AEN:    oic
(9:27 PM) John:    to be enlightened, one has to do away even the conventional 'good'
(9:27 PM) John:    otherwise we cannot understand the reality of consciousness.
(9:27 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:27 PM) AEN:    how to do away
(9:28 PM) John:    do u know what is the biggest problem of consciousness so far?
(9:29 PM) John:    it just identify when it cannot feel its presence
(9:29 PM) AEN:    identification, self
(9:29 PM) AEN:    oic
(9:29 PM) John:    yes
(9:29 PM) John:    identification has tremendous power...u will not understand what i meant now.
(9:29 PM) AEN:    icic
(9:30 PM) John:    like a spell that prevents us from seeing
(9:30 PM) John:    take casino_king for example, why can't he see?
(9:30 PM) John:    something really strong is bonding right?
(9:31 PM) AEN:    yea
(9:31 PM) AEN:    btw he just replied
(9:31 PM) AEN:    hehehe
(9:31 PM) John:    lol
(9:31 PM) AEN:        quote:-Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

    Because you are contained within your own experience of spirit, I am unable to discuss with you, unless you do 3 things:

    1) Are you able to forgot whatever is being discussed, not even a trace in ur mind, and go back to what that is born spiritually?

    2) Seriously look into the link that Longchen posted. Interesting site about stages of progress

    3) Most important of all, you must be sincere and stop useless pretense.

If you do not know the answer or Buddhism does not have the answer than simply say so. I asked you a simple question and that is, what is REAL in Buddhism? Those who have touched reality, what did they say? Nobody had touched reality? Nobody knows? Nobody can say anything about it? Nobody can describe their experience?
(9:31 PM) John:    :)
(9:32 PM) John:    an experience that he can't understand. :P
(9:32 PM) AEN:    hahahah
(9:35 PM) John:    ahhaa...
(9:38 PM) AEN:    so how ? hahaha
(9:39 PM) John:    until the seed arises otherwise, even buddha can't help. :)
(9:39 PM) John:    if the mind can be seen, defined, anatta will have no meaning.
(9:40 PM) AEN:    icic

(9:43 PM) John:    i will be traceless in time to come.
(9:43 PM) AEN:    ?
(9:44 PM) John:    though i think buddhism presents the most profound teaching.
(9:44 PM) John:    i prefer taoist style. :)
(9:44 PM) AEN:    ?
(9:44 PM) John:    too much have already been said, taught, written.
(9:45 PM) AEN:    my shi fu say lao tzu is a pratyekabuddha.. haha
(9:45 PM) AEN:    tats y he din teach :P
(9:45 PM) John:    yes. :)
(9:45 PM) AEN:    so u wan to be pratyekabuddha arh
(9:45 PM) John:    don't think i am so sut. :P
(9:46 PM) John:    without Buddha's teaching, I will be stuck in "AMness and Everything"
(9:46 PM) AEN:    icic..
(9:46 PM) AEN:    sut = ?
(9:47 PM) John:    outstanding. :)
(9:47 PM) AEN:    orh kk
(9:48 PM) John:    i sincerely hope longchen can going beyond his experience and get true authentication.
(9:48 PM) AEN:    oic
(9:50 PM) John:    hahaha
(9:50 PM) John:    casino_king...blur liao
(9:50 PM) John:    already said ask only wat
(9:51 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(9:53 PM) John:    Only a genuine heart can attract genuine answers. :)
(9:54 PM) John:    If people sense his sincerity, there will definitely be contributors.  Even there is no consensus, there will be true gain.
(9:54 PM) AEN:    icic..

(10:11 PM) AEN:        quote:-Originally posted by An Eternal Now:


    I think you blur liao. See my previous post.

Like I said, you are trying to avoid the difficult questions.

Does Buddhism say anything about what is REAL?
(10:12 PM) John:    what is real is becoming. (Soh: also see Sun of Awareness and River of Perceptions -
(10:13 PM) John:    sinweiy replied....added additional condition
(10:14 PM) John:    he must struggle till sincerity arise
(10:14 PM) AEN:    added additional condition?
(10:14 PM) John:    casino_king's mind must be led to silence
(10:15 PM) John:    knowledge will only confuse him further.
(10:15 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:15 PM) John:    otherwise why u wouldn't have told him to empty all that he has learnt
(10:16 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:17 PM) John:    the understanding of the "spirit", the living force within must come to the challenge
(10:18 PM) John:    to fully understand what that is being experienced, let him say out this experience first...
(10:18 PM) John:    this life force that is working within him.
(10:18 PM) John:    it is so real.
(10:18 PM) John:    full of life.
(10:19 PM) John:    it is his entire beingness
(10:19 PM) John:    he must bring it out...
(10:19 PM) AEN:    icic...
(10:19 PM) John:    and be sincere and humble.
(10:19 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:20 PM) John:    Only a genuine heart can attract genuine answers.
(10:20 PM) John:    I hope he can reach this point.
(10:21 PM) John:    and let longchen lead him towards deeper understanding
(10:22 PM) AEN:    oic..
(10:22 PM) AEN:    then u leh? :P
(10:23 PM) AEN:    as in lead him towards deeper understanding
(10:23 PM) AEN:    haha
(10:23 PM) John:    u lead him. :)
(10:23 PM) AEN:    oh i lead him with ur words :P
(10:23 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(10:23 PM) John:    with those that i have told u, it is sufficent. :)
(10:24 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:25 PM) John:    seeds can be planted but there is no fruition, it can take many years
(10:26 PM) AEN:    oic..
(10:29 PM) John:    what is the difference between "no individuality and impersonality" and the way Buddhaghosa describe no-self?
(10:30 PM) AEN:    no individuality refers to the mind realm ceasing of self-perception but does not speak of the presence of fusing into everything
(10:30 PM) AEN:    ?
(10:31 PM) John:    not bad. :)  I will add a lil more.
(10:31 PM) AEN:    ok
(10:32 PM) John:    the idea of process, change isn't inside
(10:33 PM) John:    and how non-dual is understood as a flow, that in actuality there is no 'entity', only flow
(10:33 PM) John:    means there is no nouns but always verbs (Soh: see The Wind is Blowing, Blowing is the Wind, and also Choosing
(10:33 PM) John:    and how non-dual is linked to it
(10:33 PM) AEN:    icic..
(10:35 PM) John:    the misconception and individuality is of taking a process and 'identifying' it as an 'entity' through confusion of language and symbolic structures
(10:35 PM) AEN:    icic
(10:36 PM) John:    when one tries to losing individuality and say that consciousness is impersonal, there is just a snap shot of the is not a form of thorough understanding or a deep insight of the truth.
(10:37 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:38 PM) John:    so true non-dual must come from such insight as described in Buddhaghosa poem. :) (see: )
(10:38 PM) AEN:    icic
(10:39 PM) John:    i spoke many times about non-dual and said even one has entered non-dual does not necessary understand anatta and emptiness, this is what i meant.

(10:39 PM) AEN:    oic..
(10:40 PM) John:    otherwise it remains as a stage that can be entered and exit.
(10:40 PM) AEN:    icic
(10:40 PM) John:    instead of a gateless gate (See: Anatta is a Dharma Seal or Truth that is Always Already So, Anatta is Not a State - )
(10:40 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:41 PM) John:    u see the diff?
(10:41 PM) AEN:    ya
(10:42 PM) John:    so u understand why pure consciousness is not really a correct description eh?
(10:42 PM) AEN:    ya
(10:42 PM) John:    like the blessed one described, it is named after its condition and organs (Soh: See )
(10:42 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:43 PM) John:    until the entire trace of self subsides, one begin to experience emptiness
(10:43 PM) AEN:    icic
(10:43 PM) John:    if the self does not subside, we will not understand why there isn't entry and exit.
(10:44 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:44 PM) John:    consciousness is wherever conditions and causes are. (Also see: Zen Patriarch Bodhidharma on the Inseparability of Awareness and Conditions )
(10:45 PM) AEN:    icic
(10:45 PM) John:    how could a 'Self' understand and experience such profound experience. :)
(10:45 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:45 PM) John:    though it is mentioned by ur master chen ming an, the true experience is not that easy to understand...there are different depth and no ending to it. :)
(10:46 PM) AEN:    icic
(10:46 PM) John:    it all links to the degree of clarity
(10:46 PM) John:    the miraculous manifestation is not easily understood.
(10:46 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:47 PM) John:    and the depth of experience is beyond explanation and has no bottom.
(10:47 PM) AEN:    icic..
(10:49 PM) John:    what i told u is just the beginning, when one thought that he has fully experienced emptiness, immediately he is misled by his own experience.
(10:50 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:50 PM) AEN:    how come
(10:50 PM) John:    it is difficult to tell u in words. :)
(10:50 PM) John:    my experience is but a figment.
(10:50 PM) AEN:    oic
(10:51 PM) John:    :)
(10:51 PM) AEN:    shall i post the 3 dharma seals to casino king?
(10:52 PM) John:    no...wait for the seed to arise...he will not be able to appreciate.  He will think that it is sort of low standard and too simple. :)
(10:52 PM) AEN:    hahaha
(10:52 PM) AEN:    ok



Seung Sahn Soen-sa was born in 1927 in Seun Choen, North Korea. His parents were Protestant Christians. Korea at this time was under severe Japanese military rule, and all political and cultural freedom was brutally suppressed. In 1944, Soen-sa joined the underground Korean independence movement. Within a few months he was caught by the Japanese police and narrowly escaped a death sentence. After his release from prison, he and two friends stole several thousand dollars from their parents and crossed the heavily-patrolled Manchurian border in an unsuccessful attempt to join the Free Korean Army. 

In the years following World War II, while he was studying Western philosophy at Dong Guk University, the political situation in South Korea grew more and more chaotic. One day Soen-sa decided that he wouldn't be able to help people through his political activities or his academic studies. So he shaved his head and went into the mountains, vowing never to return until he had attained the absolute truth. 

For three months he studied the Confucian scriptures, but he was unsatisfied by them. Then a friend of his, who was a monk in a small mountain temple, gave him the Diamond Sutra, and he first encountered Buddhism. "All things that appear in this world are transient. If you view all things that appear as never having appeared, then you will realize your true self." When he read these words, his mind became clear. For the next few weeks he read many sutras. Finally, he decided to become a Buddhist monk and was ordained in October, 1948. 

Soen-sa had already understood the sutras. He realized that the only important thing now was practice. So ten days after his ordination, he went further up into the mountains and began a one-hundred-day retreat on Won Gak Mountain (the Mountain of Perfect Enlightenment). He ate only pine needles, dried and beaten into a powder. For twenty hours every day he chanted the Great Dharani of Original Mind Energy. Several times a day he took ice-cold baths. It was a very rigorous practice. 

Soon he was assailed by doubts. Why was this retreat necessary? Why did he have to go to extremes? Couldn't he go down to a small temple in a quiet valley, get married like a Japanese monk, and attain enlightenment gradually, in the midst of a happy family? One night these thoughts became so powerful that he decided to leave and packed his belongings. But the next morning his mind was clearer, and he unpacked. A few days later the same thing happened. And in the following weeks, he packed and unpacked nine times. 

By now fifty days had passed, and Soen-sa's body was very exhausted. Every night he had terrifying visions. Demons would appear out of the dark and make obscene gestures at him. Ghouls would sneak up behind him and wrap their cold fingers around his neck. Enormous beetles would gnaw his legs. Tigers and dragons would stand in front of him, bellowing. He was in constant terror. 

After a month of this, the visions turned into visions of delight. Sometimes Buddha would come and teach him a sutra. Sometimes Bodhisattvas would appear in gorgeous clothing and tell him that he would go to heaven. Sometimes he would keel over from exhaustion and Kwan Se Um Bosal would gently wake him up. By the end of eighty days, his body was strong. His flesh had turned green from the pine needles. 

One day, a week before the retreat was to finish, Soen-sa was walking outside, chanting and keeping rhythm with his moktak. Suddenly, two boys, eleven or twelve years old, appeared on either side of him and bowed. They were wearing many-colored robes, and their faces were of an unearthly beauty. Soen-sa was very surprised. His mind felt powerful and perfectly clear, so how could these demons have materialized? He walked ahead on the narrow mountain path, and the two boys followed him, walking right through the boulders on either side of the path. They walked together in silence for a half-hour, then, back at the altar, when Soen-sa got up from his bow, they were gone. This happened every day for a week. 

Finally it was the hundredth day. Soen-sa was outside chanting and hitting the moktak. All at once his body disappeared, and he was in infinite space. From far away he could hear the moktak beating, and the sound of his own voice. He remained in this state for some time. When he returned to his body, he understood. The rocks, the river, everything he could see, everything he could hear, all this was his true self. All things are exactly as they are. The truth is just like this. 

Soen-sa slept very well that night. When he woke up the next morning, he saw a man walking up the mountain, then some crows flying out of a tree. He wrote the following poem: 

The road at the bottom of Won Gak Mountain
is not the present road.
The man climbing with his backpack
is not a man of the past.
'fok, tok, tok - his footsteps
transfix past and present.
Crows out of a tree.
Caw, caw, caw. 

Soon after he came down from the mountain, he met Zen Master Ko Bong, whose teacher had been Zen Master Mang Gong. Ko Bong was reputed to be the most brilliant Zen Master in Korea, and one of the most severe. At this time he was teaching only laymen; monks, he said, were not ardent enough to be good Zen students. Soen-sa wanted to test his enlightenment with Ko Bong, so he went to him with a moktak and said, "What is this?" Ko Bong took the moktak and hit it. This was just what Soen-sa had expected him to do. 

Soen-sa then said, "How should I practice Zen?" 

Ko Bong said, "A monk once asked Zen Master Jo-ju, 'Why did Bodhidharma come to China?' Jo-ju answered, 'The pine tree in the front garden.' What does this mean?" 

Soen-sa understood, but he didn't know how to answer. He said, "I don't know." 

Ko Bong said, "Only keep this don't-know mind. That is true Zen practice." 

That spring and summer, Soen-sa did mostly working Zen. In the fall, he sat for a hundred-day meditation session at Su Dok Sa monastery, where he learned Zen language and Dharma-combat. By the winter, he began to feel that the monks weren't practicing hard enough, so he decided to give them some help. One night, as he was on guard-duty (there had been some burglaries), he took all the pots and pans out of the kitchen and arranged them in a circle in the front yard. The next night, he turned the Buddha on the main altar toward the wall and took the incense-burner, which was a national treasure, and hung it on a persimmon tree in the garden. By the second morning the whole monastery was in an uproar. Rumors were flying around about lunatic burglars, or gods coming from the mountain to warn the monks to practice harder. 

The third night, Soen-sa went to the nuns' quarters, took seventy pairs of nuns' shoes and put them in front of Zen Master Dok Sahn's room, displayed as in a shoe store. But this time, a nun woke up to go to the outhouse and, missing her shoes, she woke up everyone in the nuns' quarters. Soen-sa was caught. The next day he was brought to trial. Since most of the monks voted to give him another chance (the nuns were unanimously against him), he wasn't expelled from the monastery. But he had to offer formal apologies to all the high monks. 

First he went to Dok Sahn and bowed. Dok Sahn said, "Keep up the good work." 

Then he went to the head nun. She said, "You've made a great deal too much commotion in this monastery, young man." Soen-sa laughed and said, "The whole world is already full of commotion. What can you do?" She couldn't answer. 

Next was Zen Master Chun Song, who was famous for his wild actions and obscene language. Soen-sa bowed to him and said, "I killed all the Buddhas of past, present, and future. What can you do?" 

Chun Song said, "Aha!" and looked deeply into Soen-sa's eyes. Then he said, "What did you see?" 

Soen-sa said, "You already understand." 

Chun Song said, "Is that all?" 

Soen-sa said, "There's a cuckoo singing in the tree out- side the window." 

Chun Song laughed and said, "Aha!" He asked several more questions, which Soen-sa answered without difficulty. Finally, Chun Song leaped up and danced around Soen-sa, shouting, "You are enlightened! You are enlightened!" The news spread quickly, and people began to understand the events of the preceding days. 

On January 15, the session was over, and Soen-sa left to see Ko Bong. On the way to Seoul, he had interviews with Zen Master Keum Bong and Zen Master Keum Oh. Both gave him inga, the seal of validation of a Zen student's great awakening. 

Soen-sa arrived at Ko Bong's temple dressed in his old patched retreat clothes and carrying a knapsack. He bowed to Ko Bong and said, "All the Buddhas turned out to be a bunch of corpses. How about a funeral service?" 

Ko Bong said, "Prove it!" 

Soen-sa reached into his knapsack and took out a dried cuttlefish and a bottle of wine. "Here are the leftovers from the funeral party." 

Ko Bong said, "Then pour me some wine." 

Soen-sa said, "Okay. Give me your glass." 

Ko Bong held out his palm.

Soen-sa slapped it with the bottle and said, "That's not a glass, it's your hand!" Then he put the bottle on the floor. 

Ko Bong laughed and said, "Not bad. You're almost done. But I have a few questions for you." He proceeded to ask Soen-sa the most difficult of the seventeen-hundred traditional Zen kong-ans. Soen-sa answered without hindrance. 

Then Ko Bong said, "All right, one last question. The mouse eats cat-food, but the cat-bowl is broken. What does this mean?" 

Soen-sa said, "The sky is blue, the grass is green." 

Ko Bong shook his head and said, "No." 

Soen-sa was taken aback. He had never missed a Zen question before. His face began to grow red as he gave one "like this" answer after another. Ko Bong kept shaking his head. Finally Soen-sa exploded with anger and frustration. "Three Zen Masters have given me inga! Why do you say I'm wrong?!" 

Ko Bong said, "What does it mean? Tell me." 

For the next fifty minutes, Ko Bong and Soen-sa sat facing each other, hunched like two tomcats. The silence was electric. Then, all of a sudden, Soen-sa had the answer. It was "just like this." 

When Ko Bong heard it, his eyes grew moist and his face filled with joy. He embraced Soen-sa and said, "You are the flower; I am the bee." 

On January 25, 1949, Soen-sa received from Ko Bong the Transmission of Dharma, thus becoming the Seventy-Eighth Patriarch in this line of succession. It was the only Transmission that Ko Bong ever gave. 

After the ceremony, Ko Bong said to Soen-sa, "For the next three years you must keep silent. You are a free man. We will meet again in five hundred years." 

Soen-sa was now a Zen Master. He was twenty-two years old. 

From Dropping Ashes On The Buddha: The Teaching of Zen Master Seung Sahn
edited by Stephen Mitchell (Grove Press, New York, NY, 1976) 

Zen Master Seung Sahn, founder of the international Kwan Um School of Zen, died on November 30, 2004, at Hwa Gye Sah temple in Seoul, Korea. He died peacefully, surrounded by his students. He was 77.


p.s. on Zen Master Seung Sahn:

I wrote to Mr. J a week ago:

Positing consciousness to be an unchanging substance modulating into many forms is the view of one mind, it is a view of inherent existence, it is an essentialist and substantialist view. Anatta realization puts an end to such delusions.

Unfortuantely many practitioners, even well known Zen masters, hold this erroneous view, for example Zen Master SS said, "Electricity is none of these things, and yet it is all of them. Similarly, rain, snow, fog, vapor, river, sea, sleet, and ice are all different forms of the same substance. They are different thing. But H2 0 is unchanging, and composes all of them according to their situation. They are all water. The same is true of Dharma-nature. It is not one and not two. That is a very important point."

[24/6/18, 3:03:07 PM] Soh Wei Yu: My mom ask me something about a Seung Sahn poem so I went to search
[24/6/18, 3:03:22 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Seung Sahn is having view of one mind but experience of no mind? (See: 5) Differentiating I AM, One Mind, No Mind and Anatta)
[24/6/18, 3:03:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Like one inherent substance manifesting as many
[24/6/18, 3:03:47 PM] John Tan: Many
‎[24/6/18, 3:04:37 PM] Soh Wei Yu: ‎image omitted
‎[24/6/18, 3:04:38 PM] Soh Wei Yu: ‎image omitted
[24/6/18, 3:04:45 PM] Soh Wei Yu: So actually Seung Sahn is not yet anatta (Comments by Soh: we actually thought Master Seung Sahn realised anatta previously, see . Having said that, even now I still resonate very much with a lot of what Zen Master Seung Sahn teaches and would certainly recommend people to read his writings if you're interested.)
[24/6/18, 3:04:47 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic
[24/6/18, 3:05:37 PM] John Tan: To me yes
[24/6/18, 3:06:11 PM] John Tan: Mistaken experience due to lack of view. That is Zen’s problem imo
[24/6/18, 3:07:54 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic
[24/6/18, 3:08:04 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Yeah some analogy by Seung Sahn is still substantialist
[24/6/18, 3:08:13 PM] Soh Wei Yu: I think he is describing no mind but not so much anatta
[24/6/18, 3:08:29 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Unlike dogen is clearly anatta or the Hong wen Liang
[24/6/18, 3:08:32 PM] John Tan: No mind is an experience
[24/6/18, 3:09:27 PM] John Tan: Insight of anatta must arise then refine one’s view
[24/6/18, 3:11:03 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. I think Seung Sahn has non dual realisation but maybe not anatta
[24/6/18, 3:11:17 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Maybe that’s why he still talks about mirror analogy
[24/6/18, 3:11:18 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Lol
[24/6/18, 3:11:50 PM] John Tan: Lol
[24/6/18, 3:28:29 PM] Soh Wei Yu: So for modern Chinese so far I never see anyone clearly anatta besides Hong wen Liang who has Soto Zen lineage (update by Soh: another Chinese master I like is Ven Hui Lu - , . Also the ancient, first Ch'an/Zen Master in China, Bodhidharma, was explicitly clear about anatman as a key realization of Zen - see The Doctrine of No Mind by Bodhidharma (无心论) but many subsequent Zen masters after him had fallen into substantialist/essentialist view similar to Advaita Vedanta, however, many Zen Masters throughout the ages have also gone beyond that and realised the truth of anatman, as seen in Some Zen Masters’ Quotations on Anatman)
[24/6/18, 3:28:39 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Teachers I mean
[24/6/18, 3:28:53 PM] John Tan: I would say so.
[24/6/18, 3:29:38 PM] John Tan: Through anatta then emptiness is easily accepted and the beauty of 2 truth will b appreciated.
[24/6/18, 3:30:03 PM] John Tan: But no need to go through the unnecessary
[24/6/18, 3:30:35 PM] John Tan: However “emptiness” as I said to Andre is a more subtle insight.
[24/6/18, 3:31:40 PM] John Tan: 2 truth essentially is just 1. It can never b separated. Appears and empty.
[24/6/18, 3:33:15 PM] John Tan: There is a very interesting paradox, go read at my profile.
[24/6/18, 3:34:35 PM] John Tan: There emptiness and appearance must b understood as inseparable union.