Wrote to someone:

View of self (the view that an inherently existing self/Self in any way, shape and form, not only as an agent, doer, perceiver, even the illusion of a great Self, an unchanging Awareness and so forth is seen through and penetrated as illusory) is gone, subject-object duality and agent-action and agency can be gone after anatta realization but subtle appropriation in terms of mine-ness can arise. It manifests as an activity of appropriation and grasping

If you feel the slightest sense of being sad or unhappy if “your house” has burned down, or “your wife” leaves you, or “you get late stage cancer and has 3 months left” and so on, it means subtle appropriation of aggregates in terms of mine-ness still manifest. Otherwise no mental afflictions, sadness, fears and so on arises.

This is related to the Khemaka Sutta where an anagami basically implied realised there is no I yet the lingering traces of appropriating aggregates continues like the residual smell of a jug where contents have been poured away. While explaining the dharma he and others had a breakthrough where they attained arahantship and purified the last traces.

John Tan wrote to me in 2007,

“(6:58 PM) Thusness: Now at the phase 3 and 4 there is a constant re-enforcing of the thought that all is really the ‘True Self’. The non-dual experience is the experience of ‘True Self’ and is made more vivid when the lucidity of “Self as Forms’ or “Emptiness as Forms” is made more obvious.

(6:58 PM) Thusness: Conventionally speaking this is true, but just like the experience “AMness” that failed to penetrate the insight of “non duality and spontaneity” of our nature, the ‘non-dual’ experience of “Everything as Self’ fail to address ‘one point’.

What is that ‘one point’?

(6:58 PM) Thusness: That ‘one point’ is the differentiation between ‘I’ and ‘Mine’. This may not sound logical as if there is no ‘I’, how could there be ‘mine’ and it may ‘seem’ only natural that no ‘I’ will naturally lead to ‘no mine’, which in my experience is far from being true.

(6:58 PM) Thusness: This from my understanding remains true even when the experience of “Awareness as Forms” is vividly clear, ‘mine’ is not eliminated. :) There is indeed a difference and a new level of insight that may not be obvious now will need to surface later.

(6:59 PM) AEN: this para to who? longchen?

(6:59 PM) Thusness: Therefore the unknowing referencing back to ‘Self as everything’ is indeed a very very subtle propensity of what Buddhism call the ‘bonds in 7th and 8th Consciousness’ in action. The egoic structure is still lingering there in consciousness. That is, it is not only true that the ‘sense of self is not the doer of action’ but the entire idea of ‘mine’, ‘I own’, is a wrong view.

(6:59 PM) AEN: phase 3 as in the article's phase 3?

(6:59 PM) AEN: oh

(6:59 PM) AEN: ur stage 3 and 4 experience?

(6:59 PM) Thusness: That is when a ‘thought arise’, it is not ‘mine thought’ or ‘your thought’, in fact any arising has no mine or I, but arising is due to our dharma nature according to conditionality, the experience of Dharmakaya.

(7:00 PM) Thusness: It is quite hard to express but there is in fact some truth about the 4 immeasurables of Bodhisattva path in relation to our nature and its relations with regards to the experience of higher bliss and liberation; but then I am not advocating as what Dharma Dan put it, to groom oneself into an altruistic superstar.

(7:00 PM) Thusness: If you encounter any blockage in your future experience, you may want to think along this line. It can help you break-through some karmic hindrances. My 2 cents. :)”

He also wrote to someone back then,

“For the purpose of discussion, you can treat as yes, that agent is gone, the 'bond' in consciousness that there is an agent is gone. But the “bond' of 'mine' is still lingering there in consciousness. Many mistaken that if

there is no ‘I', then there is no 'mine'? This is a logical deduction of the mind. Far from true in terms of practice. It has to do with how consciousness functions.”

A dharma friend of mine, Yin Ling once wrote:

“Just a sharing, and see if my xp resonates with others.

I receive a kind message asking about how I “see” my emotion world and thought world as opposed to others?

There is always a continuum of thoughts for this being and we are not privy to another’s thought, that is for sure.

So the person ask, does that not affect how the whole “no self” experience?

I gave that a serious contemplation this morning’s meditation and look into my xp.

I realise there is two parts of the no self insight.

First part is like in the first few sentences of the Bahiya Sutta, “in the seen only the seen” and etc.

Manifestation and awareness arise in and of itself, without a seer, doer, hearer. That is clear when initial no self insight arise.

However xp always seen to be appropriated somewhere - like “my thoughts”, “my emotions” “my cognized” “my music” becusse we can’t see other ppls thoughts and emotions and we can’t hear what the hear.

There is this subtly “mine-ness” in xp, which is still an attachment.

Suddenly this morning the last part of Bahiya sutta sprung forth into attention - there is no you here, there is no you there, there is no you in between.. this is the end of suffering.

For all experience, there is no appropriation to a “you” or “mine”. Just that itself is all.

Imo, The Buddha was trying to teach us to dis-identified with “mine” in the second part, less of an I , as the I should be seen through in the first part of Bahiya sutta.

When there is no you/mine-ness in these emotions and thoughts, and they arise just dependently from conditions, not being appropriated to any person, all xp becomes equal and there is no worries of other ppls emotions and thoughts because even the emotions and thoughts that feels to be for this person here are not even “mine”. Xp sync!

I do love the Bahiya sutta. 😁😬”

Even after all traces of self-clinging and appropriation is obliterated completely along all traces to cling and any traces and tendencies towards any mental afflictions, which is a rare achievement, that is still like arahantship or eighh bhumi. There is still some ways to Buddhahood as the famous Tibetan Dzogchen Master Jamgon Mipam explained.


What follows is a short explanation of the way Mipam presents the structure of the Buddhist path to awakening. According to him, we can only go so far in the Lesser Vehicle, realizing the lack of a personal self based on its path, but without the Great Vehicle, we will not come to fully realize the lack of self (that is, emptiness) with respect to all phenomena. In other words, those in the Lesser Vehicle realize only part of emptiness (the lack of a personal self) but do not realize the entire scope of emptiness. They hang on to an ultimate foundation of reality (the fundamental elements of reality, or dharmas), whereas there is actually no such foundation. Therefore, according to Mipam, one cannot become a buddha based solely on the Lesser Vehicle path; becoming a buddha is the result of the Great Vehicle. Nevertheless, realizing the lack of a personal self is enough to free us from samsara, because in doing so, we relinquish the obscurations of the afflictive emotions. The afflictive emotions can be included within the “three poisons” of attachment, aversion, and delusion.

These afflictive obscurations function to prevent liberation, and they are tied in with the apprehension of a personal self. Based on the notion of such a self, we become attached (to me and mine) and averse (to what is other). This notion of self keeps the wheel of samsara rolling, because it perpetuates the distorted framework through which we selfishly act out attachment and aversion, thus sowing the seeds of suffering. Afflictive obscurations have two aspects: a gross, imputed aspect and a more subtle, innate aspect. According to Mipam, the imputed aspects are relinquished on the first “ground” (Tib. sa, Skt. bhūmi) when you directly perceive the suchness of reality. This experiential realization is called “the path of seeing.”

The imputed aspects of the afflictive obscurations are learned and not inborn like the innate aspects. Imputed aspects involve distortions that are explicitly conceptual, as opposed to the perceptual distortions that comprise the innate aspects. The difference between the imputed and innate aspects can be understood as something like the difference between software and hardware: the innate aspects are embedded more deeply in one’s mind-stream and are thus more difficult to eliminate. Imputed ego-clinging refers to imputing qualities to the self that are not there—namely, apprehending the self as a singular, permanent, and independent entity. This is overcome on the first bodhisattva ground in a direct, nonconceptual experience of reality that is the culminating insight of analysis. Nevertheless, the more subtle, innate aspect of ego-clinging hangs on.

The innate ego-clinging, as the bare sense of self that is imputed on the basis of the five aggregates, is more difficult to remove. Rather than construing qualities to the self such as singularity or permanence, it is a more subtle feeling of simply “I am” when, for instance, we wake up in the morning. This innate sense of self is a deeply rooted, instinctual habit. It thus involves more than just imputed identity; it is a deeper experiential orientation of distorted subjectivity. Although analysis into the nature of the self paves the way for it to be overcome, it cannot fall away by analysis alone. Rather, it has to be relinquished through cultivating the path of meditation. According to Mipam, there are no innate aspects of the afflictive obscurations left on the eighth ground. However, the afflictive emotions are only one of two types of obscurations, the other being cognitive obscurations.

Cognitive obscurations are nothing less than conceptuality: the threefold conceptualization of agent, object, and action. Conceptuality is tied in to apprehending a self of phenomena, which includes mistaking phenomena as real, objectifying phenomena, and simply perceiving dualistically. Such conceptualization serves to obstruct omniscience. Based on the Great Vehicle, these cognitive obscurations can be completely relinquished; thereby, the result of the Great Vehicle path culminates in not merely escaping samsara, as in the Lesser Vehicle, but in becoming an omniscient buddha. According to Mipam, up to the seventh ground, the realization (of the twofold selflessness) and abandonment (of the twofold obscurations) are the same in the Great and Lesser Vehicles.

As with the Great Vehicle, he maintains that accomplishing the path of the Lesser Vehicle entails the realization of the selflessness of phenomena, to see that phenomena are empty. Those who accomplish the Lesser Vehicle path also realize the selflessness of phenomena, because their realization of emptiness with respect to a person is one instance of realizing the emptiness of phenomena. The final realization of the Lesser Vehicle path, however, is incomplete. Mipam compares it to taking a small gulp of the water of the ocean: we can say that those who realize emptiness in the Lesser Vehicle have drunk the water of the ocean, just not all of it.150 The final realization of the bodhisattva’s path in the Great Vehicle, however, is the full realization of emptiness, like drinking the entire ocean.

- Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings"

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