I would like to announce two things:

1) The Awakening to Reality Practice Guide by Nafis Rahman: https://app.box.com/s/zc0suu4dil01xbgirm2r0rmnzegxaitq

2) AtR Guide - abridged version by Pablo Pintabona [partially done, halfway done for Stage 5]: https://atr-abridgedguide.blogspot.com/2021/11/this-is-shortened-version-of-complete.html

I would like to thank these two individuals for their great and compassionate effort to make these compilations. I trust it will be of great benefit for spiritual aspirants who find benefit in the AtR materials.

Update: a Portugese translation is now available here http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2022/08/translation-of-awakening-to-reality.html



 Raphael Mächler

tonoedrpSs7f9l13u485uc514l7330a14485c1t0u3lghhghu0hu953f8clg  ·

Hey everyone,

After reading ATR's guide and quite a few books about self-inquiry, I've started wondering what kind of self-inquiry is more expedient. To further illustrate what I mean:

Imho there are two kind's of self-inquiry. One is more propagated by Adyashanti and Angelo DiLullo (True Meditation and Awake It's your turn). This is a very open and easy self-inquiry. It appeals to the natural curiosity of what is one's self. Adyashanti is here talking of an open awareness that let's go of everything and let everything be as it is. While letting go, one openly asks oneself "what am I?" and sees what's happening. Angelo's method is quite similar in that one watches one's thoughts and then isolates the I in that thought, to see where in the actual experience that I in the thought resides.

On the other side of the spectrum are the more forced methods of self-inquiry:

Ramana Maharshi's method is to isolate the I-thought which resides in the heart and concentrate on it. He goes as far as saying that only thinking "I", "I", "I", can lead one to the pure I-thought and then to dissolve even that. When used like a koan, self-inquiry is also taken to be a very wilful, even forceful inquiry. To never let go the question, to fully imbide one's self in that question is explained by most representatives of koan.

I've been practicing self-inquiry for quite a while now and for 7 month in a structured manner with about 1 hour sittings every day. I tended to use the second method of self-inquiry. This always makes me feel that thoughts become less and less the longer the session goes. But also that concentration builds, self-inquiry feels very one-pointed, very forced. There is a lot of "willing" involved. A willing to find, a willing to get to a pure sense of I. Because I've only recently finished reading Angelo's and Adyashanti's books I changed my meditation approach from the more "forceful" type to an open awareness approach asking openly "what am I" and then see what comes up. 

What is in your experience the "better" way to do self-inquiry? Which kind might hold results "quicker"? The open approach feels better for myself, but I do have a feeling that self-inquiry is not "strong" enough to really purge all the residing identifications in this way...

A funny observation I made: when using the "forceful" type of self-inquiry my heart rate is much higher.


Soh Wei YuAdmin

Self enquiry should not be taken as a technique but an inquiry. You are finding out what you are. You are not repeating a mantra or doing something repetitively, although in a sense you are investigating repeatedly with strong desire and curiosity (beyond intellectual, but an existential curiosity one could say) to find out what your true nature is, what one truly is. It is not something mechanical.

I do not see inconsistencies with adyashanti, angelo, and ramana, or hsu yun when it comes to self enquiry. It is all the same.



Soh Wei YuAdmin

“Something I always say when you are doing self enquiry or any other contemplations and meditations, this is crucial:

"We think it's all about like, again, because of our modern mind, we almost think everything can be solved through some sort of technology. Right, oh, I just need to do it different, there must be some secret trick to inquiry, that's our technological mind-set. Sometimes that's a mindset that is very useful to us. But, we don't want to let that dominate our spirituality. Because as I witnessed, the intensity of the living inquiry that's more important than all the techniques.

When somebody Just Has To Know. Even if that's kind of driving them half crazy for a while. And, that attitude is as important or more important than all the ways we work with that attitude, you know, the spiritual practices, the meditations and various inquiries and various different things, sort of practices. If we engage in the practices because they are practices, you know like, ok I just do these because this is what I'm told to do, and hopefully it will have some good effect. That's different than being engaged, when you're actually being deeply interested in what you're inquiring about, and what you're actually meditating upon. It's that quality of real, actual interest, something even more than interest. It is a kind of compulsion, I know I was saying earlier don't get taken in by compulsion, but there is/can be a kind of compulsion. And that's as valuable as anything else going on in you, actually."

- Adyashanti

This is related to Zen's great doubt, great faith and great perseverance. Especially the aspect of Great Doubt.” – Soh, 2020



Q: Bhagavan wanted to know the answer to the question 'Who am I?' He seemed to find the answer straight away. When I ask the question when I try to find out what the Self is, I can reject thoughts that arise as being 'not me’, but nothing else happens. I don't get the answer that Bhagavan did, so I am beginning to wonder why I am asking the question.

Annamalai Swami: You say that you are not getting the right answer.

--- Who is this 'you'? Who is not getting the right answer? ---

Question: Why should I ask? Asking has not produced the right answer so far.

Annamalai Swami: You should persist and not give up so easily. When you intensely inquire 'Who am I?' the intensity of your inquiry takes you to the real Self. It is not that you are asking the wrong question.

You seem to be lacking intensity in your inquiry. You need a one-pointed determination to complete this inquiry properly. Your real Self is not the body or the mind. You will not reach the Self while thoughts are dwelling on anything that is connected with the body or the mind.

Question: So it is the intensity of the inquiry that determines whether I succeed or not.

Annamalai Swami: Yes. If the inquiry into the Self is not taking place thoughts will be on the body and the mind. And while those thoughts are habitually there, there will be an underlying identification: ‘I am the body; I am the mind.' This identification is something that happened at a particular point in time. It is not something that has always been there. And what comes in time also goes eventually, for nothing that exists in time is permanent.

The Self, on the other hand, has always been there. It existed before the ideas about the body and the mind arose, and it will be there when they finally vanish. The Self always remains as it is: as peace, without birth, without death.

Through the intensity of your inquiry, you can claim that state as your own.

Inquire into the nature of the mind by asking, with one-pointed determination, 'Who am I?' Mind is illusory and non-existent, just as the snake that appears on the rope is illusory and non-existent.

Dispel the illusion of the mind by intense inquiry and merge in the peace of the Self. That is what you are, and that is what you always have been.

LWB, p. 41”



Soh Wei YuAdmin

quote from


5. Nāṉ Ār? paragraph 6: if or as soon as anything other than ourself appears in our awareness, we should simply turn our attention back towards ourself, the one to whom all other things (all thoughts, forms or phenomena) appear

Regarding your statement, ‘I keep doing the enquiry “to whom these thoughts arise?”, “to me”, “who am I?” but I don’t know what I should do more’, these words, ‘to whom does this appear?’, ‘to me’, ‘who am I?’, are a very useful pointer given by Bhagavan, but we should understand clearly what he meant by this pointer. He did not mean that we should repeat these words to ourself whenever anything appears, but that we should simply turn our attention back to ourself, the one to whom all other things (all thoughts, forms or phenomena) appear. That is, he did not say ‘ask to whom’ or ‘ask who am I’ but ‘investigate to whom’ and ‘investigate who am I’, as he wrote in the following portion of the sixth paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?:

பிற வெண்ணங்க ளெழுந்தா லவற்றைப் பூர்த்தி பண்ணுவதற்கு எத்தனியாமல் அவை யாருக் குண்டாயின என்று விசாரிக்க வேண்டும். எத்தனை எண்ணங்க ளெழினு மென்ன? ஜாக்கிரதையாய் ஒவ்வோ ரெண்ணமும் கிளம்பும்போதே இது யாருக்குண்டாயிற்று என்று விசாரித்தால் எனக்கென்று தோன்றும். நானார் என்று விசாரித்தால் மனம் தன் பிறப்பிடத்திற்குத் திரும்பிவிடும்; எழுந்த வெண்ணமு மடங்கிவிடும். இப்படிப் பழகப் பழக மனத்திற்குத் தன் பிறப்பிடத்திற் றங்கி நிற்கும் சக்தி யதிகரிக்கின்றது.

piṟa v-eṇṇaṅgaḷ eṙundāl avaṯṟai-p pūrtti paṇṇuvadaṟku ettaṉiyāmal avai yārukku uṇḍāyiṉa eṉḏṟu vicārikka vēṇḍum. ettaṉai eṇṇaṅgaḷ eṙiṉum eṉṉa? jāggirataiyāy ovvōr eṇṇamum kiḷambum-pōdē idu yārukku uṇḍāyiṯṟu eṉḏṟu vicārittāl eṉakkeṉḏṟu tōṉḏṟum. nāṉ-ār eṉḏṟu vicārittāl maṉam taṉ piṟappiḍattiṟku-t tirumbi-viḍum; eṙunda v-eṇṇamum aḍaṅgi-viḍum. ippaḍi-p paṙaga-p paṙaga maṉattiṟku-t taṉ piṟappiḍattil taṅgi niṟgum śakti y-adhikarikkiṉḏṟadu.

If other thoughts rise, without trying to complete them it is necessary to investigate to whom they have occurred. However many thoughts rise, what [does it matter]? Vigilantly, as soon as each thought appears, if one investigates to whom it has occurred, it will be clear: to me. If one investigates who am I [by vigilantly attending to oneself, the ‘me’ to whom everything else appears], the mind will return to its birthplace [namely oneself, the source from which it arose]; [and since one thereby refrains from attending to it] the thought that had risen will also cease. When one practises and practises in this manner, for the mind the power to stand firmly established in its birthplace increases.

The verb he used here that I have translated as ‘investigate’ is விசாரி (vicāri), which in some contexts can mean enquire in the sense of ask, but in this context means enquire only in the sense of investigate. Asking questions is a mental activity, because it entails directing our attention away from ourself towards a question, which is a thought and hence other than ourself, so as long as we are asking questions we are still floating on the surface of the mind by attending to things other than ourself, whereas investigating ourself means being keenly self-attentive, which causes the mind to sink deep within and thereby return to its ‘birthplace’, the source from which it had risen, namely our real nature (ātma-svarūpa), which is our fundamental and ever-shining awareness of our own existence, ‘I am’.

Therefore what Bhagavan is pointing out in this passage is the direction in which we should send our attention. Instead of allowing our attention to go out following whatever thoughts may arise, we should turn it back towards ourself, the one to whom all thoughts appear. ‘To whom?’ is not intended to be a question that we should ask ourself but is a very powerful pointer indicating where we should direct our attention. Asking the question ‘to whom?’ may sometimes be an aid if it helps to remind us to turn our attention back towards ourself, but self-investigation (ātma-vicāra) is not merely asking such questions but only fixing our attention on ourself alone.

Can self-investigation boost the mind or kuṇḍalinī or cause sleeplessness and other health issues?


Can self-investigation boost the mind or kuṇḍalinī or cause sleeplessness and other health issues?

Can self-investigation boost the mind or kuṇḍalinī or cause sleeplessness and other health issues?


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Soh Wei YuAdmin

Another point worth noting here is that what Bhagavan means by ‘thought’ is anything other than our fundamental awareness ‘I am’, so it includes all perceptions, memories, feelings, ideas and other mental impressions of any kind whatsoever. As he says in the fourth paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?, ‘நினைவுகளைத் தவிர்த்து ஜகமென்றோர் பொருள் அன்னியமா யில்லை’ (niṉaivugaḷai-t tavirttu jagam eṉḏṟu ōr poruḷ aṉṉiyam-āy illai), ‘Excluding thoughts, there is not separately any such thing as world’, and in the fourteenth paragraph, ‘ஜக மென்பது நினைவே’ (jagam eṉbadu niṉaivē), ‘What is called the world is only thought’, so when he says here ‘பிற வெண்ணங்க ளெழுந்தால்’ (piṟa v-eṇṇaṅgaḷ eṙundāl), ‘If other thoughts rise’, or ‘ஒவ்வோ ரெண்ணமும் கிளம்பும்போதே’ (ovvōr eṇṇamum kiḷambum-pōdē), ‘As soon as each thought appears’, he means that if or as soon as anything other than ourself appears in our awareness, we should turn our attention back towards ourself, the one to whom all such things appear.

6. If we are vigilantly self-attentive, as we should try to be, we will thereby ward off both thoughts and sleep, but when we are tired we are naturally less vigilant, so we may then fall asleep as a result of our trying to be self-attentive

You ask, ‘Should I keep doing Self-Enquiry all day for hours in seated position? Should I continue the enquiry in bed as well before sleep? Or should I stop the enquiry from time to time to give some rest to the body?’ Firstly, self-investigation has nothing to do with the body, so we can practise it whether the body is lying, sitting, standing, walking or doing anything else. For the same reason, we do not have to stop being self-attentive in order to give some rest to the body, because being self-attentive cannot strain the body in any way. In fact, when the body and mind are resting is a very favourable condition for us to be self-attentive.

Regarding your question about continuing the practice in bed before sleep, that is also good, but since we are generally very tired at that time, we usually subside into sleep soon after trying to be self-attentive. There is no harm in that, because when we need to sleep we should sleep. There is no time and no circumstance that is not suitable for us to be self-attentive, so we should try to be self-attentive as much as possible whatever the time or circumstances may be, but we should not try to deprive ourself of however much sleep we may need.

If we are vigilantly self-attentive, as we should try to be, we will thereby ward off both thoughts and sleep, but when we are tired we are naturally less vigilant, so we may then fall asleep as a result of our trying to be self-attentive. As Sadhu Om often used to say, when we are sleepy we should sleep, because when we wake up again we will be fresh, and we should then make use of that freshness by trying to be vigilantly self-attentive.

I do not know whether anything I have written here is of any use to you, but I hope some of it at least may help to point you in the right direction.

7. What the word ‘I’ essentially refers to is only what is aware, so if we are just being aware of what is aware, we are thereby meditating on ‘I’

In reply to my first reply (which I adapted as the previous six sections) my friend wrote again about how he was trying to practise self-enquiry and the problems he was facing, in reply to which I wrote:

When you say ‘The practice of Self-Enquiry, especially in seated position (just being aware of awareness itself, not meditating in any object or form etc, simply just being, not even “I” in the “I am”) boosted my kundalini’, it is not clear to me what you are actually practising, because you say you are ‘just being aware of awareness itself’ but then seem to say that you are not meditating even on ‘I’. Meditating on ‘I’ means attending only to yourself, or in other words, just being self-attentive, so if you are not meditating on ‘I’, what do you mean by saying that you are ‘just being aware of awareness itself’?

In this context ‘awareness’ means what is aware, and what is aware is always aware of itself as ‘I’, so what the word ‘I’ essentially refers to is only what is aware. Therefore if you are not meditating on ‘I’, what is the ‘awareness’ that you are being aware of? Unfortunately ‘awareness’ is a potentially ambiguous term, because it could be taken to mean awareness in the sense of awareness of objects or phenomena, so when you are ‘just being aware of awareness itself’, are you just being aware of what is aware, namely yourself, or are you being aware of your awareness of objects or phenomena?

If you are being aware only of what is aware, namely yourself, then you are meditating on ‘I’. That is, what you are meditating on is not the word ‘I’, but what the word ‘I’ refers to, namely yourself, who are what is aware. If you are not meditating on what the word ‘I’ refers to, then whatever ‘awareness’ you are being aware of is something other than what is aware.

This is why Bhagavan gave us the powerful pointer ‘to whom’, about which I wrote in my previous reply. If we understand this pointer correctly, it is directing our attention back towards ourself, the one to whom all other things appear. In other words, it is pointing our attention back to what is aware, away from whatever we were hitherto aware of.

If you are aware of any phenomenon, such as the boosting of your kuṇḍalinī, your attention has been diverted away from yourself, so you need to turn it back to yourself, the one to whom all phenomena appear. If you turn your attention back to yourself and hold firmly to yourself (that is, if you just remain firmly self-attentive), whatever phenomena may have appeared will thereby disappear, because no phenomenon can appear or remain in your awareness unless you attend to it at least to a certain extent.



Soh Wei YuAdmin

8. No matter what may distract us or seem a problem to us, let us not be concerned about them but just patiently and persistently continue trying to be self-attentive, unmindful of everything else

Regarding the boosting of your kuṇḍalinī you say, ‘By boosting I mean that I feel an energy in the spine passing through the chakras’, but the energy, the spine, the cakras and the energy’s movement are all objects or phenomena, so you should ignore all such things by trying to be keenly self-attentive. However much such things appear, they need not concern you. To whom do they appear? Only to you, so you should just persevere in trying to attend only to yourself.

Whatever may appear or disappear is other than ourself, so it should not interest or concern us. Such things distract us and become a problem for us only to the extent that we take interest in them or are concerned about them. Why should we be concerned about them? Our only concern should be to investigate and know what we ourself are. If we are not interested in or concerned about anything else, we will not attend to them, and hence they will not be a problem.

If we find ourself being concerned about such things and therefore distracted by them, that is due to the strength of our viṣaya-vāsanās, and the most effective means to weaken our viṣaya-vāsanās and thereby wean our mind off its interest in all other things is just to persevere in this simple practice of being self-attentive. Therefore, no matter what may distract us or seem a problem to us, let us not be concerned about them but just patiently and persistently continue trying to be self-attentive, unmindful of everything else.



Can self-investigation boost the mind or kuṇḍalinī or cause sleeplessness and other health issues?

Can self-investigation boost the mind or kuṇḍalinī or cause sleeplessness and other health issues?


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William Albert

Also the theme of balancing effort and effortlessness seems very central to this path. Find the right balance of intention and surrender. Trust your intuition, don't be afraid to make mistakes, proceed playfully and with love.



Soh Wei YuAdmin

Another point is this: adyashanti teaches two different methods in “true meditation”.

This is the same style as john tan. He told me to practice self enquiry morning and day and dropping at night.

They are two distinct methods. The dropping can counteract some of the side effects from self enquiry supposedly but i didnt have problems with self enquiry and post i amness (insomnia for example was minimal for me, i didnt face energy imbalances during i amness either due to correct guidance)

However i focused more on self enquiry in the two years before my i amness realization

Adyashanti’s two methods, self enquiry is no different from my self enquiry. His surrendering method is roughly similar to john tan’s “dropping” practice



Soh Wei YuAdmin

Ramana’s method is likewise to inquire into the source. The main method is not holding onto a thought or a mantra or a breath unless for those still incapable or not ready to practice pure inquiry.


The thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the funeral pyre, it will itself be burnt up in the end. Then, there will be Self-realization. When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them but should diligently inquire: ‘To whom do they occur?’ It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with alertness, “To whom has this thought arisen?” The answer that would emerge would be “to me”. Thereupon if one inquires “Who am I?” the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will subside.



Soh Wei YuAdmin

The main point is not the I thought, in fact it is not even to hold onto the thought “Who am I?” But to raise that question in a form of existential investigation into the Source, so that one direct one’s light of awareness around from objects unto yourSelf/itSelf, then all thoughts and questions will dissolve into the Source and one merely abides as the Source.


“Thereupon if one inquires “Who am I?” the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will subside.

With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the power to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear. Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called “inwardness”. Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as “externalisation”. Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the ‘I’ which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine.

Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means to make the mind permanently subside. If the mind is controlled through other means, it will appear to be controlled, but will rise again. Through regulation of breath, the mind will become calm; but it will remain calm only as long as the breath remains controlled. When the breath is no longer regulated, the mind will become active and start wandering.”





  • Soh Wei Yu
    Trained the AI a bit. Now it knows dependent existence is not right view
    May be an image of text that says '1:53 chat.openai.com Effort Required for Enlightenment Does nagarjuna accept dependent existence as the right view of emptiness? existence still Nagarjuna does not accept dependent the correct view of emptiness. According to his philosophy, dependent existence form of dualistic thinking, which clings the idea of self-nature or inherent existence. Nagarjuna teaches that ultimate reality beyond dependent existence and inherent existence, and can only be understood through the concept of emptiness or sunyată. In his famous work "Mülamadhyamakakärikă", Nagarjuna critiques the notion of dependent existence as show that all things are ultimately empty of inherent existence. way to morenatura improve. Yufeedkwill'

    Tan Jui Horng
    Soh Wei Yu How to train ChatGPT?

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Tan Jui Horng feed with better information and challenge it and ask it questions to see whether it understood lol

  • Anurag Jain
    Good that you corrected dependent existence as the final view on emptiness.
    But you still did not explain what is the emptiness. For that you have to explain the tetralemma.

    • Reply
    • 5h
    • Edited

    Soh Wei Yu
    Yes dependent existence is quite clearly refuted by Nagarjuna.
    John tan said before:
    This comment by Malcolm is really good.👍
    Session Start: Wednesday, August 09, 2006
    (11:32 PM) AEN: namdrol:
    While it is true that many non-Buddhist paths a reunciate and so on, the unique feature of the Buddha's path is understanding that phenomena are dependently originated. Dependent origination is critical in developing a correct view.
    Is the mere knowledge that phenomena dependently originated sufficient? No.
    It is possible to hold a view of dependent origination which is nevertheless realist or substantialist in nature-- a perfect example of this would the way Thich Nhat Hahn's "interbeing" is generally understood. Here, it is never questioned that the mutually depedendent phenomena exist in dependence because they all exist together. In general, this is also the naive understanding of dependent origination.
    (11:32 PM) AEN: Even so, this view of dependent orgination already marks the beginning of turning from a wrong or incorrect view, to a right or correct view.
    How do we move from a substantialist interpretation of dependent origination to a non-substantialist understanding?
    We need to first be open to having our existential assumptions undermined. Any clinging to existence and non-existence must be eradicated before we can properly appreciate the meaning of DO. Some people think this simply means clinging to inherent or ultimate existence. But this is not so. Whatever arises in dependence also must be devoid of mere existence as well.
    To understand this fully we must understand the perfection of wisdom sutras in their entirety and the thinking of Nagarjuna and his followers.
    (11:32 PM) AEN:
    When we have truly understood that phenomena are devoid existence and non-existence because they are dependently originated; we can understand that phenomena do not arise, since existence and dependence are mutually exclusive. Any existence that can be pointed to is merely putative and nominal, and does not bear any reasoned investigation.
    Since phenomena are dependently originated, and the consquence of dependent origination is that there are no existing existents, we can understand that existents are non-arising by nature. As Buddhapalita states "We do not claim non-existence, we merely remove claims for existing existents."
    Whatever does not arise by nature is free from existence and non-existence, and that is the meaning of "freedom from proliferation." In this way, dependent origination = emptiness, and this is the correct view that Buddhas elucidate. There is no other correct view than this.

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Kyle Dixon:
    Existence [bhāva] and dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda] are mutually exclusive. For something to actually "exist" it must do so independently of causes and conditions, but as luminaries such as Nāgārjuna point out, that is impossible.
    Many people conflate dependent existence [parabhāva], which is something existing with assistance from another, with dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda]. The two are radically different principles. Regarding Nāgārjuna's classification of "existence" [bhāva], he asserts rather damningly:
    “Whoever has a view of inherent existence [svabhāva], dependent existence [parabhāva], existence [bhāva] and non-existence [abhāva] do not see the truth of the Buddha's teaching.”
    Yet Nāgārjuna was one of the most major proponents of clarifying the inner workings of dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda], and states that there can be no existence established independently of inherent existence or dependent existence in the following inquiry:
    “Where is there an existent not included in inherent existence and dependent existence? If inherent existence and dependent existence are established, existence will be established.”
    This means that dependent existence [parabhāva] is actually a guise for inherent existence [svabhāva], and therefore is in direct contradiction to dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda]. Further, since we cannot extract any form of existence [bhāva] as separate from dependent existence [parabhāva] or inherent existence [svabhāva], existence in any form is contradictory to dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda].
    Buddhapālita comments on Nāgārjuna's damning assertion above:
    “Someone like that, who [has a] view of inherent existence, dependent existence, existence or non-existence does not see the truth in the profound and supreme teaching of the Buddha. Because we, in the correct way, see the nonexistence of the inherent existence of things which appear because of the sun of dependent origination arose, because of that, because we see the truth, liberation can be accepted only for us.”
    Nāgārjuna is stating that all views of existence contradict dependent origination.
    In order for something to exist, it must be independently originated, and conversely, for something to be independently originated it would have to be unconditioned, independent and uncaused, but as mentioned above, this is considered an impossibility in the eyes of the buddhadharma. The correct conventional view for emptiness is dependent origination, and so we see that in order to have objects, persons, places, things and so on, they must be possessed of causes and conditions. Meaning they cannot be found apart from those causes and conditions. If the conditions are removed, the object cannot remain.
    Regarding this, Nāgārjuna states the following:
    “That which comes into being from a cause, and does not endure without conditions, it disappears as well when conditions are absent - how can this be understood to exist?”
    Going on to say:
    “Since it comes to and end when ignorance ceases; why does it not become clear then that it was conjured by ignorance?”
    And so here we get to the actual meaning, and the heart of dependent origination, which is nonarising [anutpāda]. For an object to inherently exist it must exist outright, independent of causes and conditions, independent of attributes, characteristics and constituent parts. However, we cannot find an inherent object independent of these factors, and the implications of this fact is that we likewise cannot find an inherent object within those factors either.
    The object itself, as the core entity which possesses characteristics, is ultimately unfindable. We instead only find a designated collection of pieces, which do not in fact create any discrete object. In the absence of an object the pieces are likewise rendered as incapable of being "pieces" or "parts" and therefore they are also nothing more than arbitrary designations that amount to nothing more than inferences.
    This means that all entities, selves, and so on are merely useful conventional designations, their provisional validity is only measured by their efficacy, and apart from that conventional imputation, there is no underlying object that can be ascertained or found.
    Dependent origination is the apparent origination of entities that seem to manifest in dependence on causes and conditions. But as Nāgārjuna states above, those causes and conditions are actually the ignorance which afflicts the mindstream, and the conditions of grasping, mine-making and I-making which are the drivers of karmic activity that serve to reify the delusion of a self, or a self in objects, and so on.
    This is why many adepts are explicitly clear that dependent origination is synonymous with a lack of origination [anutpāda], because phenomena that originate in dependence on ignorance as a cause, never actually originate at all, for example, Candrakīrti states:
    “The perfectly awakened buddhas proclaimed, "What is dependently originated is non-arisen.”
    Or Mañjuśrī:
    “Whatever is dependently originated does not truly arise.”
    Nāgārjuna once again:
    “What originates dependently is non-arisen!”
    Thus dependent origination is incapable of producing existence of any sort, because dependent origination is incapable of producing entities. Entities and existence only appear because of the ignorance which afflicts your mind. When that ignorance is removed, all perceptions of existence are removed, all perceptions of selves are removed and all perceptions of origination are removed.

  • Anurag Jain
    Soh Wei Yu lol. Lot of words. Still does not explain what is emptiness...

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Anurag Jain it is explained above

  • Anurag Jain
    Soh Wei Yu ok. But not as clear as the tetralemma.

  • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
    > In the Lankavatara Sutra, the Buddha teaches: "All things are empty of self-nature. They are not produced from themselves, nor are they produced from other things, nor are they produced by both. They have no producer." (Lankavatara Sutra, Chapter 3)
    > The Lankavatara Sutra states: "By knowing that all things are empty, one can remove all clinging and attain final Nirvana." (Lankavatara Sutra, Chapter 4)

  • Reply
  • 1h

An online sharing with redditors yesterday.

Xabir = Soh, Me


User avatar
level 3
2 days ago

....I wouldn't describe it as the background. There's a viewer, like a mirror. Buddha nature. But a kind of hypnosis happens and the viewer gets lost in the action. There's an old analogy of a man dreaming he's being attacked by a tiger. Another man who's awake knows the tiger is not real, but awakens the dreaming man out of compassion. That's the role of the realized spiritual teacher.

So what's the viewer or mirror? There's a limit to what we can know. You have to watch out for the tendency to want to establish empirical confirmation. This is beyond dualistic perception. What can we know for sure? There seems to be some kind of cognition happening. Some kind of curiosity takes the trouble to cognize. That's all we can say for sure. Realized masters tell us that the true nature of mind is emptiness and luminosity. Like a sunlit sky..... [long excerpt snipped, go to link to see the full message]
level 4
1 day ago

I rather like what Khamtrul Rinpoche said here:

"At that point, is the observer—awareness—other than the observed—stillness and movement—or is it actually that stillness and movement itself? By investigating with the gaze of your own awareness, you come to understand that that which is investigating itself is also no other than stillness and movement. Once this happens you will experience lucid emptiness as the naturally luminous self-knowing awareness. Ultimately, whether we say nature and radiance, undesirable and antidote, observer and observed, mindfulness and thoughts, stillness and movement, etc., you should know that the terms of each pair are no different from one another; by receiving the blessing of the guru, properly ascertain that they are inseparable. Ultimately, to arrive at the expanse free of observer and observed is the realization of the true meaning and the culmination of all analyses. This is called “the view transcending concepts,” which is free of conceptualization, or “the vajra mind view.”

"Fruition vipashyana is the correct realization of the final conviction of the nonduality of observer and observed."

From the royal seal of mahamudra part 1.

This is why buddha nature cannot be a background

1 day ago

Also in truth there is no mirror. Mirror too is conventional..

I can quote many teachers that said this when I am home
User avatar
level 5
1 day ago

Thanks. I didn't know about that book. I've heard of Khamtrul Rinpoche but never had any contact.

I'm hesitant about the idea of no mirror, though. This can get too cute and Zennie. I find the analogy of a mirror helpful because it's a way to see awareness as unaffected by objects of awareness, and that aspect seems important. A mirror or crystal ball are also common metaphors in Vajrayana generally.

I suppose if you demote buddha nature rangthong-style, then you might say there's no mirror. Personally I'm not much of an academic. Buddha nature makes sense to me. Mahamudra/Dzogchen make sense. If you demote buddha nature then you're back to an essentially Mahayana focus on emptiness. That, then, easily becomes conceptual or dogmatic. Too much ultimate truth. And even Huineng, in his famous poem contest, didn't reject mirror. :)

Bodhi originally has no tree.
The mirror has no stand.
The Buddha-nature is always clear and pure.
Where is there room for dust?

level 6
22 hr. ago
· edited 21 hr. ago

In the initial phase of practice, one discovers Clarity as being like a mirror that is untainted by reflections. It is the first glimpse of the Clarity aspect of our buddha nature, but this is not realizing its empty nature, or anatman. (And the analogy can be helpful for pointing towards the initial phases of realizing the Clarity aspect) The analogy usually only gets us that far. The tendency is to get stuck here and then fall into eternalist views like the Atman-Brahman of Hinduism, Samkhya and Advaita Vedanta.The realization of anatman allows us to realize what Khamtrul Rinpoche said in the quotation above, that there is no awareness besides movement and stillness and manifestations, no observer besides the observed, each pairs of opposites or no other than the other and so on. Each is merely conventional and does not exist in and of itself by its own side.

In other words, it is very much like wind and blowing. In delusion wind is being mistaken to be an independent agent of blowing. Lightning is flashing as if lightning is the inherent cause or agent of the action or manifestation called flashing. In truth each is merely a convention of the other, lightning is merely the flash, and wind is merely the blowing. I can cite many Zen teachers and Vajrayana teachers who have explained and elaborated about this point if you are interested.Likewise there is no viewer besides view/manifestation/appearance which are self-seen and luminous. There is no seer or even a seeing besides what's seen, in the seen just the seen (see Bahiya Sutta), in hearing just sound, no hearer, and so on.

/u/krodha explained well almost a decade ago:

"'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 Dixon, 2014

IMO at this point the mirror analogy fails us and isn't really helpful. Because a mirror is not feeling the reflection. Awareness is truly not like that, when anatman is realized. In hearing sound, there is just sound... the whole of sound... fully experienced... It is always the reflection. Fully felt and tasted... Separation is simply a mistaken view. So how can a mirror be a good example? Instead it is misleading people turning away from realising what exactly is clarity. There is in truth, not a hairbreadths of distinction between 'awareness' and 'appearance'.

What actually one wants to emphasize is the non-arisen unborn nature of sound... instead we created a mirror and mislead people to look at the mirror and neglect the reflection. Distancing further from directly and effortlessly experiencing what we called "awareness" and also misleading people from see non-arisen from DO [dependent origination] view.

To me, to be without dual is not to subsume into one and although awareness is negated, it is not to say there is nothing.

Negating the Awareness/Presence (Absolute) is not to let Awareness remain at the abstract level. When such transpersonal Awareness that exists only in wonderland is negated, the vivid radiance of presence are fully tasted in the transient appearances; zero gap and zero distance between presence and moment to moment of ordinary experiences and we realize separation has always only been conventional.

Then mundane activities -- hearing, sitting, standing, seeing and sensing, become pristine and vibrant, natural and free.

Lastly I wanted to quote several Zen masters, Dzogchen masters, and Mahamudra masters, Theravada, etc because ultimately they all agree on this point (at least those that have realised anatman -- although many do not), but I feel it will be too much, too long for a post and I do not know what is specifically relevant to you. Are you a Mahamudra practitioner? Do you know of Thrangu Rinpoche?

He said, among many excerpts, "... If we look for a perceiver, we won’t find one. We do think, but if we look into the thinker, trying to find that which thinks, we do not find it. Yet, at the same time, we do see and we do think. The reality is that seeing occurs without a seer and thinking without a thinker. This is just how it is; this is the nature of the mind. The Heart Sutra sums this up by saying that “form is emptiness,” because whatever we look at is, by nature, devoid of true existence. At the same time, emptiness is also form, because the form only occurs as emptiness. Emptiness is no other than form and form is no other than emptiness. This may appear to apply only to other things, but when applied to the mind, the perceiver, one can also see that the perceiver is emptiness and emptiness is also the perceiver. Mind is no other than emptiness; emptiness is no other than mind. This is not just a concept; it is our basic state.

The reality of our mind may seem very deep and difficult to understand, but it may also be something very simple and easy because this mind is not somewhere else. It is not somebody else’s mind. It is your own mind. It is right here; therefore, it is something that you can know. When you look into it, you can see that not only is mind empty, it also knows; it is cognizant. All the Buddhist scriptures, their commentaries and the songs of realization by the great siddhas express this as the “indivisible unity of emptiness and cognizance,” or “undivided empty perceiving,” or “unity of empty cognizance.” No matter how it is described, this is how our basic nature really is. It is not our making. It is not the result of practice. It is simply the way it has always been.Source: Crystal Clear ...",

"Next is pointing out the mind within appearances, which is the twenty-fourth topic, and this is a presentation of what is an authentic experience of the relationship between mind and appearances.When you are meditating and looking at the mind within appearances, then you may have the experience that, while the perceived objects and the perceiving mind do not seem in any way to disappear or cease to exist and are, in a sense, still present, when you actively look at them, you do not find anything in either that exists separate from the other. And in that way, when looking at the mind that experiences appearances, you find that there is nothing in that mind to fix upon as a truly existent subject or apprehender, yet the mind still appears to experience. And when you look at the perceived objects, while they do not disappear and while you are looking at them, they remain vivid appearances that are without anything in them anywhere that you can fix upon as existing separate from the experience of the nonduality of appearances and mind. This nonduality of appearance and mind is held to be the authentic experience or recognition of the mind within appearances.

Source: Pointing out the Dharmakaya"

Lastly, Hui-Neng's mirror is without a stand poem does not reflect great awakening. It only reflects the initial awakening to Clarity.

I wrote this before:

Huineng's initial poem only expresses I AM, which was why 5th patriarch was still unimpressed. This is the point made by John Tan, and my Taiwanese teacher, and a few Mahayana teachers I've seen.

I explained in 2014:

Nope. Huineng simply realized the I AM at that time. The 5th patriarch rubbed his no-mirror-stand poem off with his feet saying that too is not an expression of great realization, told him to go meet him at midnight with a cryptic message from his staff. Upon meeting, the 5th patriarch explained the Diamond Sutra, and upon hearing the verse "giving rise to an unsupported mind" he realized "great awakening". This is written in chapter 1 of Platform Sutra

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Its important to note that at the time Hui-neng wrote the no-mirror-stand (not no-mirror) quote, he has not yet attained great enlightenment. It is more like a realization of the formless I AM, and how the I AM is fundamentally void of sensory/mental obscurations. But this is still way better than Shenxiu, who was still talking from the viewpoint of purifying the mind through shamatha, without any realization of his Mind. Hui-neng's great enlightenment occurred later on.

A better translation (by me):


Bodhi (Awareness/Mind/Self) is originally without tree


The Clear Mirror (Awareness/Mind) is not a Stand


Originally (in the Source) there is not one phenomena


Where does dust alight?

.... long excerpt snipped. more citations in following post.
level 7
21 hr. ago

“It is not only about recognizing the reflections as reflections, but also recognizing that there is no mirror (no mind)!” - Yogi Prabodha Jnana, teacher from the Dzogchen lineage

* [8:44 AM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: Yogi Prabodha Jnana is very good and clear

[11:58 AM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. you just read something in it?

[12:20 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: I think he visited atr also

[12:20 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: Lol

[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Yeah from the start he already told me.. years ago

[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: He said the things i post are interesting, am i a teacher?

[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: I said no im not a dharma teacher lol

[12:43 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Then he liked the post i posted by Yasutani Roshi on no mirror

[12:52 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: you communicated with Yogi Prabodha Jnana years ago?

[12:54 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: He said your stages are in line with the essence of buddhism

[12:54 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Haha

[1:01 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: Yes I find his teachings very interesting also.

[1:02 PM, 11/15/2020] John Tan: His emphasis on anatta and no mirror especially.

[1:05 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. yeah

[1:11 PM, 11/15/2020] Soh Wei Yu: his partner Abhaya Devi Yogini is also clear about it
“「苦樂 升沉」包括痛麻癢…這些都是,這表示不是特別有一個三昧,各位修了就可以進入,未修就不能進入;或是說有所成就的人才有寶鏡三昧,不是!不管是佛還是凡 夫,有情、無情、饅頭、鑽石、唱歌、走路…皆是,到底什麼意思?
"The rise and fall of suffering and joy" including pain, numbness and itch... these are all it, this means it is not that there is a special samadhi, in which everybody can practice to enter, or that those who have not practiced are unable to enter it. Nor is it the case that only someone accomplished is able to obtain the jewel mirror samadhi, not so! It does not matter if one is a Buddha or a sentient being, sentient or insentient, steam bun, diamond, singing, walking... all is it, what does this mean?
With accurate vision, the entire universe is a piece of Jewel Mirror Samadhi. Because it is one piece, there is no perceiver nor perceived.
If you interpret that as a mirror, then you'll enter straight into hell.
你把他當作一面鏡子 解釋,是解釋哦,一解釋的話,你就把他當作是對像去解說,那當然奇怪了,一面鏡子照的當然是影子,這樣分開來的話就完全錯了。
If you explain it as a mirror, you'll be treating it as an object, that would of course be odd. What a mirror reflects would of course be a reflection, it would be erroneous to delineate/separate in this way.
「入地獄如矢」就是馬上錯掉 了,不可以把他當作這樣去解釋。『不見言』是沒有聽說過嗎?『山河不在鏡中見,山河草木即鏡』,你聽到「全宇宙是一枚寶鏡三昧」,就把三昧當作是一副鏡 子,這樣就很容易錯掉了。所以他強調「山河草木不在鏡中見,山河草木就是鏡子」。千萬不要把你所看的、所覺受的當作是鏡中的影子,不可以這樣講,山河大地 本身都是鏡子,不是鏡中的影子。
"Entering straight into hell" means instantly falling into error, we cannot explain it that way. Haven't you heard of it? "Mountains and rivers are not seen within a mirror, mountains and rivers are themselves the mirror." When you heard "the whole universe is a piece of Jewel Mirror Samadhi", and you treat that as a mirror, it is very easy to err. Therefore he emphasizes, "mountains and rivers are not within a mirror, mountains, rivers, grasses and wood are the mirror." Never treat what you saw and sensed as being reflections of a mirror, we cannot explain it that way. Mountains, rivers, and the great earth are themselves the mirror, not the reflections of a mirror.
所以各位看到的、聽到的,你千萬不要以為是大圓鏡智所現,有一面法界法性的鏡子所現 的,隨你的因緣果報不同而現出的影子,這樣解說就完全錯掉了。看到、聽到、摸到、想到的通通都是鏡子,包括你自己,整個都是鏡子!這點不要誤會了。
Therefore, do not think that whatever you see and hear are the manifestations of the Great Mirror Wisdom, as if there is a universal mirror that is reflecting the reflections according to your causes and conditions/karma, such explanations are false. Whatever you see, hear, sense, think are entirely the mirror, including yourself - in their entirety they are all the mirror. Do not be mistaken on this point.” - Zen Master Hong Wen Liang (洪文亮老師) (my longer translation here: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2017/01/excerpts-from-jewel-mirror-samadhi.html)


“The actual experience of enlightenment comes springing forth in the realm of true oneness. And with that, one sometimes cries out in astonishment. One becomes aware that the whole universe is just the single seamless stupa. It's not some simplistic kind of thing like a reflection in a mirror.

"Mountains and rivers are not seen in a mirror." It's not that mountains, rivers, and the earth are reflected in one's mind-mirror. That's okay when we are using metaphors for thoughts and consciousness. But what we are speaking of now is the realm of the actual experience of enlightenment. The self is the mountains, rivers, and earth; the self is the sun and moon and the stars.

The great earth has not

A single lick of soil;

New Year's first smile.

"Not another person in the whole universe." One side is all there is, without a second or third to be found anywhere. If one calls this subject, everything is subject and that's all. There is no object anywhere. It's the true mind-only. It's snatching away away the objective world but not the person. If one calls this object, everything is object and that's all. There is no subject anywhere. It's snatching away the person but not the objective world. It's the true matter-only. Whichever one you say, only the label changes and it is the same thing. While Dogen Zenji calls this completely self, he also calls it completely other. It's all self. It's all other. This is the meaning of "when one side is realized the other side is dark." This is also called "one side exhausts everything." It's the whole thing, being complete with one, exhausting everything with one." - Zen Master Hakuun Yasutani, "Flowers Fall"

"When you see forms or hear sounds fully engaging body-and-mind, you grasp things directly. Unlike things and their reflections in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illumined the other side is dark." - Zen Master Dogen

Xue Feng said, “To comprehend this matter, it is similar to the ancient mirror – Hu comes, Hu appears; Han comes, Han appears.” Xuan Sha heard this and said, “Suddenly the mirror is broken, then how?” “Hu and Han both disappear.” Xuan Sha said, “Old monk’s heels have not touched ground yet.” Jian says instead, “Hu and Han are actualized/manifest.”

- http://www.yogichen.org/cw/cw45/b0050ch04.html

Seppo: “My concrete state is like one face of the eternal mirror. When a foreigner comes, a foreigner appears. When a Chinaman comes, a Chinaman appears. Gensa: If suddenly a clear mirror comes along, what then? Seppo: The foreigner and the Chinaman both become invisible. Gensa: I am not like that. Seppo: How is it in your case…If a clear mirror comes along, what then? Gensa: Smashed into hundreds of bits and pieces.” Dôgen comments: “…the truth should be expressed like that.”

- http://www.milwaukeezencenter.org/final/Newsletters/mzc_news_9-07.pdf
level 7
21 hr. ago

On Dzogchen and Longchenpa, etc:

John Tan: He goes on to point out that self-occuring primordial

knowing lacks most of the qualities associated with the Yogacara svasaf!1vedana - its

alleged reality, internality, reflexivity, self-evidence, and accessibility to introspection - but

then cautions that "should one become attached to these [rDzogs chen gnoseological] terms

as denoting something real, you won 't find any difference from the Cittamatra conception of

svasaf!1vedana, that is, the cognition which is devoid of subject-object duality and which is

simply auto-illumination.,,247 In highlighting the many drawbacks of reifying the mental,

Klong chen pa rules out any basis for confusing the gnoseological and mentalist conceptions

of self-awareness : for the idealist, self-awareness is a real entity having real characteristics,

whereas for the rDzogs chen pa, it is simply a vivid auto-manifestation, a process lacking

any reality whatsoever.

Soh: What book is this?

John Tan: The Philosophical Foundations of

Classical rDzogs chen in Tibet

Investigating the Distinction Between Dualistic Mind

(sems) and Primordial knowing (ye shes)

David Higgins

( Soh: https://app.box.com/s/1xps30kdq31p0ljfmjvdlh5oiutzc6a8 )


Tan:I like this book. Clarifies most of the dzogchen terms and clear

lystates that longchenpa rejects self-reflective awareness

distinguishing dzogchen from yogacara. And in line with anatta

insight. To longchenpa self-awareness "is simply a vivid

auto-manifestation, a process lacking any reality whatsoever".

John Tan: According to the viewpoint of this system, he says, all phenomena

are self-luminous in the state of great primordial knowing like light in the sky, having

always been the very essence of this self-occuring primorial knowing which remains

naturally free from causes and conditions .263


"It is possible, Klong chen pa suggests, to simply recognize this

nondual self­occuring primordial knowing in its pristine nakedness (rjen

pa sang nge ba) - both as it

abides in its naked clarity and as it

continuously manifests as myriad objects - without hypostatizing it.273

For so long as "one thinks of the abiding and manifesting of cognition

as two different things and talks about [the experience of] 'settling

in the nonconceptual essence' [but also of] 'preserving the expressive

energy as being free in its arising' , one's practice goes in two

directions and one fails to understand the key point."

Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, Dzogchen teacher:

“…In the cycle of teachings of Maitreya and the writings of the great charioteer Asaṅga, whose thinking is one and the same, it is taught that individuals on the level of earnest aspiration first understand that all phenomena are simply the mind. Subsequently they have the experience that there is no object to be apprehended in the mind. Then, at the stage of the supreme mundane level on the path of joining, they realize that because there is no object, neither is there a subject, and immediately after that, they attain the first level with the direct realization of the truth of ultimate reality devoid of the duality of subject and object. As for things being only the mind, the source of the dualistic perception of things appearing as environment, sense objects, and a body is the consciousness of the ground of all, which is accepted as existing substantially on the conventional level but is taught as being like a magical illusion and so on since it appears in a variety of ways while not existing dualistically. For this reason, because this tradition realizes, perfectly correctly, that the nondual consciousness is devoid of any truly existing entities and of characteristics, the ultimate intentions of the charioteers of Madhyamaka and Cittamātra should be considered as being in agreement… …So, if this so-called “self-illuminating nondual consciousness” asserted by the Cittamātrins is understood to be a consciousness that is the ultimate of all dualistic consciousnesses, and it is merely that its subject and object are inexpressible, and if such a consciousness is understood to be truly existent and not intrinsically empty, then it is something that has to be refuted. If, on the other hand, that consciousness is understood to be unborn from the very beginning (i.e. empty), to be directly experienced by reflexive awareness, and to be self-illuminating gnosis without subject or object, it is something to be established….”


User avatar
level 2
Op ·
2 days ago

How is the background for the film--the thing that's able to perceive it--always there?
level 3
1 day ago

Buddha nature should not be mistaken as a background, that is the atman view of non Buddhists.

As Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith explained,

Excerpts from https://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2014/02/clarifications-on-dharmakaya-and-basis_16.html

gad rgyangs wrote: I dunno Malcolm, the basis is more like the backdrop against which any appearances appear, including any consciousness. Also, what sense would it make to say "rigpa is one's knowledge of the basis" if that basis was one's own continuum? the basis is pure no-thing as abgrund of all phenomena. Consciousness is always a phenomenon.

Malcolm wrote: I prefer to put my faith in the guy whose father started the whole Nyinthig thing.And what is says is verified in many Dzogchen tantras, both from the bodhcitta texts as well as others.

The basis is not a backdrop. Everything is not separate from the basis. But that everything just means your own skandhas, dhātus and āyatanas. There is no basis outside your mind, just as there is no Buddhahood outside of your mind.

[Quoting gad rgyangs: Consciousness is always a phenomenon.] So is the basis. They are both dharmas.

Or as the Great Garuda has it when refuting Madhyamaka:

Since phenomena and nonphenomena have always been merged and are inseparable, there is no further need to explain an “ultimate phenomenon”.

An 12th century commentary on this text states (but not this passage):

Amazing bodhicitta (the identity of everything that becomes the basis of pursuing the meaning that cannot be seen nor realized elsewhere than one’s vidyā) is wholly the wisdom of the mind distinct as the nine consciousnesses that lack a nature.

In the end, Dzogchen is really just another Buddhist meditative phenomenology of the mind and person and that is all.

gad rgyangs wrote: Then why speak of a basis at all? just speak of skandhas, dhātus and āyatanas, and be done with it.

Malcolm wrote: Because these things are regarded as afflictive, whereas Dzogchen is trying to describe the person in his or her originally nonafflictive condition. It really is just that simple. The so called general basis is a universal derived from the particulars of persons. That is why it is often mistaken for a transpersonal entity. But Dzogchen, especially man ngag sde is very grounded in Buddhist Logic, and one should know that by definition universals are considered to be abstractions and non-existents in Buddhism, and Dzogchen is no exception.

gad rgyangs wrote: There is no question of the basis being an entity, thats not the point. Rigpa is precisely what it says in the yeshe sangthal: instant presence experienced against/within the "backdrop" (metaphor) of a "vast dimension of emptiness" (metaphor).

Malcolm wrote: It's your own rigpa, not a transpersonal rigpa, being a function of your own mind. That mind is empty.

gad rgyangs wrote: When all appearances cease, what are you left with?

Malcolm wrote: They never cease....

gad rgyangs wrote: In the yeshe sangthal you dissolve all appearances into the "vast dimension of emptiness", out of which "instant presence" arises. This is cosmological as well as personal, since the two scales are nondual.

rigpa is ontological not epistemic: its not about some state of consciousness before dualism vision, it is about the basis/abgrund of all possible appearances, including our consciousness in whatever state its in or could ever be in.

Malcolm wrote: Sorry, I just don't agree with you and think you are just falling in the Hindu brahman trap.

Sherlock wrote: Isn't the difference between transpersonal and personal also a form of dualism?

Malcolm wrote: The distinction is crucial. If this distinction is not made, Dzogchen sounds like Vedanta.


Malcolm wrote: Yes, I understand. All awarenesses are conditioned. There is no such thing as a universal undifferentiated ultimate awareness in Buddhadharma. Even the omniscience of a Buddha arises from a cause.

PadmaVonSamba wrote: isn't this cause, too, an object of awareness? Isn't there awareness of this cause? If awareness of this cause is awareness itself, then isn't this awareness of awareness? What causes awareness of awareness, if not awareness?

If awareness is the cause of awareness, isn't it its own cause?

Malcolm wrote: Omniscience is the content of a mind freed of afflictions. Even the continuum of a Buddha has a relative ground, i.e. a the rosary or string of moments of clarity is beginingless.

Origination from self is axiomatically negated in Buddhadharma,

Each moment in the continuum of a knowing clarity is neither the same as nor different than the previous moment. Hence the cause of a given instant of a knowing clarity cannot be construed to be itself nor can it be construed to be other than itself. This is the only version of causation which, in the final analysis, Buddhadharma can admit to on a relative level. It is the logical consequence of the Buddha's insight, "When this exists, that exists, with the arising of that, this arose."

PadmaVonSamba wrote: I am not referring to cognition, rather, the causes of that cognition.

Malcolm wrote: Cognitions arise based on previous cognitions. That's all.

If you suggest anything other than this, you wind up in Hindu La la land.

Malcolm wrote: There is no such thing as a universal undifferentiated ultimate awareness in Buddhadharma.


"One, whoever told you rig pa is not part of the five aggregates? Rig pa is knowledge of your own state. In its impure form one's own state manifests as the five aggregates; in its pure form, it manifests as the five buddha families.

Nagārjuna resolves this issue through using the eight examples. There is no substantial transmission, but there is serial continuity, like lighting a fire from another fire, impressing a seal on a document and so on. See his verses on dependent origination:

All migrating beings are causes and results. but here there are no sentient beings at all; just empty phenomena entirely produced from phenomena that are only empty, phenomena without a self and what belongs to a self, [like] utterances, lamps, mirrors, seals, lenses, seeds, sourness and echoes. Although the aggregates are serially connected, the wise are understand that nothing transfers. Also, the one who imputes annihilation upon extremely subtle existents, is not wise, and will not see the meaning of ‘arising from conditions’."


“The relative is not "reliant" on the ultimate, since they are just different cognitions of the same entity, one false, the other veridical. There is no separate entity called "buddhanature" that can be established to exist in a sentient being composed of the five aggregates. If one should assert this is so, this position will be no different than the atman of the nonbuddhists.”


Continued below
level 4
1 day ago


There is no "experiencer" since there is no agent. There is merely experience, and all experience is empty.


Why should there be someone upon whom karma ripens? To paraphrase the Visuddhimagga, there is no agent of karma, nor is there a person to experience its ripening, there is merely a flow of dharmas.


There are no agents. There are only actions. This is covered in the refutation of moving movers in chapter two of the MMK.



The point is that there is no point to eternalism if there is no eternal agent or object.

Lukeinaz wrote: ↑Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:39 pm

"In non dual contemplation there is neither experience or experiencer. This itself is real experience."


Yes, and this is just the message of the Prajñapāramitā Sūtras, since of course, the meaning of the Great Perfection is exactly the same as the Prajñapāramitā Sūtras, the only difference is the method of arriving at that meaning.


  • Soh Wei Yu
    (6:01 PM) Thusness: when u r toking about mindfulness, it can range from stage 4 - 5.
    (6:01 PM) Thusness: din i write about stage 4 as mirror bright?
    (6:01 PM) AEN: ya
    (6:01 PM) Thusness: i have written so clear 😛
    (6:01 PM) Thusness: ehehehhe
    (6:01 PM) AEN: icic..
    (6:01 PM) AEN: actually stage 1 and 2 no mindfulness ah
    (6:01 PM) Thusness: yes
    (6:02 PM) Thusness: but there is experience of Presence. [Soh: Even at Thusness Stage 1 to 2]
    (6:02 PM) Thusness: a mirror but not attached to the reflection. [Soh: Thusness Stage 1 to 4]
    (6:02 PM) Thusness: to there is no mirror! [Soh: Thusness Stage 5]
    (6:03 PM) Thusness: only manifestation alone is. [Soh: Thusness Stage 5]
    (6:03 PM) AEN: oic
    (6:03 PM) Thusness: completely break that mirror.
    (6:03 PM) AEN: icic..
    (6:03 PM) Thusness: then that is non-dual.
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    • Soh Wei Yu
      I also said, "that particular [long] message about mirror is because i wanted to explain in details with citations
      'regular bee' is vedantin in view.. its sad that many Buddhists are following teachers that are vedantins in disguise
      so I hope to provide them with more quotes from other teachers that show the true buddhist view
      im personally not some famous teacher, so its unlikely they will believe my words unless they see that all those other masters are agreeing with me"
      Vedanta's great and was helpful in my earlier years, but confusing it with Buddhism is doing Buddhadharma a great disservice. Buddha was known to repudiate his students strongly like Bhikkhu Sati for holding wrong eternalist views about consciousness.
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      • 15m
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