I would like to announce two things:

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

2) The Awakening to Reality Guide - Web Abridged Version by the joint effort of Pablo Pintabona and Nafis Rahman: 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


John tan commented “He is describing anatta but in Dzogchen language. Interesting to hear that Dzogchen said that once there is direct insight, there is no regress. Some of the terms I am unfamiliar.” Those who are interested in dzogchen should attend his teachings. His next series of teachings begins on 1st april. http://www.zangthal.com/registration Read dzogchen basis and view explanation by Malcolm here: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/02/clarifications-on-dharmakaya-and-basis_16.html

P.s. Just woke up from a dream.. i opened a book and read a page about mindfulness.. by jon kabat zinn. Although i never read any of his books in real life before. that page talked about presence, awareness, mindfulness and deep sense of bliss and peace that accompanies it. As i read it i entered into deep bliss of pure presence and i cld feel the bliss pervading the whole body like jhana for some time then i woke up.. and i had the wish that everyone i know and dont know could have this bliss and presence

 Someone asked, “ I think I’m just wondering in regard to this then like… does ignorance just happen dependent on conditions if it’s beginningless? 

Meaning “samsara” is something that the mind can sort of “fall into” depending on conditions even if it was in “nirvana” at some point, and then “samsara” before that too?”

Soh replied,

“ No, nirvana is not reversible. Nobody was in nirvana before samsara

Samsara had no beginning

See what kyle dixon wrote before:

“One of the characteristics of nirvana (and all unconditioned dharmas) is that it is "permanent" because it is defined as a total cessation of cause for rebirth in the three realms. Since there is no possibility of cause for "re-arising" nirvana is said to be "permanent".

As I wrote before on here:

Buddhahood is irreversible and permanent. Nirvāṇa is the total exhaustion of one's ignorance regarding the nature of phenomena, and for that reason nirvāṇa is described as a cessation. What ceases is the cause for the further arising and proliferation of delusion regarding the nature of phenomena, which is precisely the cessation of cause for the arising of the cyclical round of rebirth in the three realms we call "saṃsāra."

For this reason, nirvāṇa is said to be 'permanent', because due to the exhaustion of cause for the further proliferation of saṃsāra, saṃsāra no longer has any way to arise.

Tsele Natsok Rangdrol:

You might ask, 'Why wouldn't confusion reoccur as before, after... [liberation has occured]?" This is because no basis [foundation] exists for its re-arising. Samantabhadra's liberation into the basis [wisdom] itself and the yogi liberated through practicing the path are both devoid of any basis [foundation] for reverting back to becoming a cause, just like a person who has recovered from a plague or the fruit of the se tree.

He then states that the se tree is a particular tree which is poisonous to touch, causing blisters and swelling. However once recovered, one is then immune.

Lopon Tenzin Namdak also explains this principle of immunity:

Anyone who follows the teachings of the Buddhas will most likely attain results and purify negative karmic causes. Then that person will be like a man who has caught smallpox in the past; he will never catch it again because he is immune. The sickness of samsara will never come back. And this is the purpose of following the teachings.

and from Lopon Kunga Namdrol:

Buddhahood is a subtractive process; it means removing, gradually, obscurations of affliction and obscurations of knowledge. Since wisdom burns these obscurations away, in the end they have no causes for returning; and further, the causes for buddhahood are permanent leading to a permanent result.”


Yes and you remove afflictions and ignorance that causes cyclic rebirth through wisdom

"The process of eradicating avidyā (ignorance) is conceived… not as a mere stopping of thought, but as the active realization of the opposite of what ignorance misconceives. Avidyā is not a mere absence of knowledge, but a specific misconception, and it must be removed by realization of its opposite. In this vein, Tsongkhapa says that one cannot get rid of the misconception of 'inherent existence' merely by stopping conceptuality any more than one can get rid of the idea that there is a demon in a darkened cave merely by trying not to think about it. Just as one must hold a lamp and see that there is no demon there, so the illumination of wisdom is needed to clear away the darkness of ignorance."

Napper, Elizabeth, 2003, p. 103"

Nirvana is the permanent ending of ignorance and other mental afflictions that comes with it

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No-self (Anatta).
The most famous Buddhist doctrine of Anatta is actually not complicated, it is very obvious and very simple, and not religious. We don’t need faith, we can see it directly with our own being.
We need to realise no-self and not read and write scholarly articles about no-self. That’s a waste of time. Writing articles cannot end cyclic existence.
We have an obvious flaw in our perception that causes us to separate our physical body away from the rest of reality, and taking that as “me”.
We chop up a reality that has no boundaries into pieces and we isolate our “sense of knowing” into our little body, behind our eyes, which causes us to feel extremely claustrophobic, anxious and eventually depressed.
This fake sense of self is very harmful.
No-self is when you realise this flaw, there is no such contracted, singular, isolated, claustrophobic “self energy” hiding behind the eyes. Try to find it. You will not find it. Then your energy will open up.
You are the whole knowingness of reality.
Can you feel it? Slowly. It takes awhile to sense into that Knowingness. But once you sensed it, it’s obvious. Luminously bright.
Every single sensation, scenery, everything in reality has knowingness infused in it. Like a presence. A knowing. It is not separate from the sensation, it is infused into it, it’s the nature.
Just relax and feel into the “knowingness”. Every single part of reality has this same quality.
That’s mind. “Mu”. A closer step to your true nature.
Your body and other ppl’s body, cat, trees, sky, grass, have the SAME knowing quality. Check it out. Taste it.
Taste the whole interconnected expanse of knowingness without a solid sense of self. Taste Anatta.
Don’t need to go into jhana. It is right here. Reality is already no-self right from the beginning. It is a mark of existence. Realise it into your deepest consciousness and courageously rid off the fake self that causes so.much.problem!
Amritanshu Upadhyay
Is it the same as Nihilism emanating from scientific materialism ?

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Amritanshu Upadhyay It is not nihilism. It is not saying everything doesn't exist.. rather, what is refuted is the wrong views of existence and non-existence, or inherent existence. What is not rejected is dependent origination, and dependent origination is the correct way to understand all phenomena which is not inherently produced. When scientific materialism talks about causality, they do not go beyond notions of inherent production, production by others, and so on.
    Another point is that scientific materialism leaves out consciousness. Besides the subject of karma, rebirth and afterlife (which Buddhism accepts and is totally compatible with anatta), the anatta realization involves the realization and taste of consciousness as everything, (what Yin Ling calls "Knowingness" in her writing above) as this conversation between John Tan and AwakeningToReality-GPT reveals:
    May be an image of text that says '3:12 Facebook Done Edit What anatta? Anatta realization there never Mind, Awareness, Seeing, these for ongoing There simply seen. truly existing Reality conventions seer-s seeing- Anatta seeing through reified mental construct self". main insights relates construct, other the direct consciousness appearances correct. Anattal self that no ongoing itinvolves seeing through mental consciousness as merely negate reified construct "self" without then only conceptual understanding anatta. the Yes, that correct. Simply negating eified construct without gaining direct consciousness only conceptual anatta. anatta must through the reification consciousness direct taste as mere appearances. More'

    Soh Wei Yu
    Also see:
    John Tan
    snooSedtrh39f07a5lc8h1fu ·
    Listening to someone tutoring about "rainbow",
    The teaching of science came to my mind.
    The raindrops, the sunshine;
    The light that enters and exits the droplets;
    The reflection, refraction and light dispersion;
    All these formed the rainbow.
    But they missed the most important factor,
    The radiance of our own mind.
    1 Comment
    Jayson MPaul
    Rainbows need to have eyes in correct position, water droplets, light, radiant mind, all like so for rainbow to appear. Move slightly and rainbow is gone. Never came from anywhere, stayed anywhere, or went anywhere. The rainbow was insubstantial, but vividly displayed. All phenomena are like this.
    Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
    Look ahead and you see the table and your phone. Need "all like so" (tatha). Look behind you and that is gone, but now a new like so and not otherwise.
    Dragan Milojević
    What radiance of mind? Where is it, science needs proofs and evidence. Mind is only a perceptor and analyzer.
    John Tan
    Dragan Milojević Science can prove the sad tears of a mother are H2O but can't prove the "sadness". As human, we need both.
    But I like ur question, Where is this radiance?
    Yes where is it? Even Buddha cannot know it's whereabout.
    Labels: Dependent Origination, Emptiness, Jayson MPaul, John Tan, Luminosity, Non-Arising, Rainbow |

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    With the amount of challenges in my life, without the Dharma, I’m probably on high dose antidepressants, and chronic sleeping tablets now.
    Probably an anxious wreck as well.
    This life is precious because I have the Dharma.
    I practice very hard because I tasted the dharma and I know the value of it. Nothing compares, ever.
    If I ever lose my insights .. it’s really the end for me. Life is not worth living anymore.

    Great news. Two things I would like to announce today:

    1) The Awakening to Reality Guide - Web Abridged Version by the joint effort of Pablo Pintabona and Nafis Rahman: https://atr-abridgedguide.blogspot.com/2021/11/this-is-shortened-version-of-complete.html is finally completed.

    (Note that this is a different version from The Awakening to Reality Practice Guide by Nafis Rahman [PDF format] in The Awakening to Reality Practice Guide and AtR Guide - abridged version)

    2) AwakeningToReality-GPT, a chat bot based on the ChatGPT API trained by Winston Tg based on The Awakening to Reality Guide - Web Abridged Version. Scroll all the way down to the 'Nafis compilation guide' for a better trained chat bot. https://atrguider.blogspot.com/2023/03/chatbot.html

    I would like to commend Pablo Pintabona, Nafis Rahman, and Winston Tg for their great efforts, sacrifices and for performing a great job at compiling and creating the works above. May it be the cause for many awakenings in future.

    One more note about AwakeningToReality-GPT: this is purely an experimental project that still has much rooms for improvement. We do not guarantee that the answers produced by the bot is fully accurate or reflects the views entirely of John Tan or Soh. Sometimes it is not 100% reflective of the AtR blog and community or may not be totally accurate. That being said, John Tan and I (Soh) are pretty impressed by many of its answers. However, to be sure, do confirm any of the answers to your questions in Awakening to Reality Main Discussion Group and we can have some interesting discussions.

    Do note:

    Some of the gpt answers are good. Some are not good enough and failed to capture its essence (maybe lack of training data) like this one

     To someone transitioning from I AM to nondual (only begun talking with him yesterday), I pointed out anatta to him a few moments ago, I have a feeling he will breakthrough to anatta soon:

    Mr. C:
    “The transience itself rolls and knows”…that is awesome. It pulled me into a more clear state when I first read it and again just now. This was the right thing to resend:)


    yes and its always already so! like when we say.. fire is burning... its totally an illusion if you imagine fire is something 'behind' burning, or fire is the 'agent' or 'watcher' of burning. thats ridiculous isnt it?
    and yet we imagine 'awareness' was something behind 'transience'
    its the same

    fire is just the burning, fire is not 'doing' the burning

    lightning flash -- lightning is the flasher? no. lightning is just another word for flash. lightning is flashing is just another way of saying 'flashing is happening'.

    thunder roars -- thunder is the agent of roaring? no. thunder is just roar. wind blows? wind is just blowing. seeing sees scenery? seeing is just colors, no seer. hearing hears sounds? actually, hearing is only ever sound, never been a hearer. always already so.

    thats why realisation is so important, you must see through the delusion that it never was like that
    its not that you merge fire and burning, its not that you are trying to merge lightning with the flash, its not that you are trying to merge wind with the blowing. it is not that we are trying to merge knower and known. its to realise both are never valid in themselves in the first place, both poles are non-arisen.
    as i sent someone a few moments ago:

    "like how krodha/kyle dixon described:

    "'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.""


    • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
      This isn’t dependent arising AFAIK.

      Soh Wei Yu
      Stian Gudmundsen Høiland It's related to this part:
      Malcolm Smith
      Malcolm Smith [Participant 1] "The argument from chap 2 depends on natural functions (movement, burning of fire, seeing of the eye, etc.) being predicated on the moment of time which it takes place, and when the non obtaining of time is established it leads to the non happening of the function. This is not justified."
      Nāgārjuna shows two things in chapter two, one, he says that if there is a moving mover, this separates the agent from the action, and either the mover is not necessary or the moving is not necessary. It is redundant.
      In common language we oftren saying things like "There is a burning fire." But since that is what a fire is (burning) there is no separate agent which is doing the burning, fire is burning.
      On the other hand, when an action is not performed, no agent of that action can be said to exist. This is why he says "apart from something which has moved and has not moved, there is no moving mover." There is no mover with moving, etc.
      This can be applied to all present tense gerundial agentive constructions, such as I am walking to town, the fire is burning, etc.

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    • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
      Like I said, this isn't dependent arising. The nature Nagarjuna is pointing out is not just applicable "to all present tense gerundial agentive constructions"--it's applicable to all causal relations, conceptions of arising, conceptualizations and thought-forms. When the domain of applicability is different like this (from "all present tense gerundial agentive constructions" to "all causal relations, conceptions of arising, conceptualizations and thought-forms"), the understanding must be different, too. Hence why I say, what's being demonstrated here is not dependent arising.

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Yes anatta is not the same as the realization of D.O. and non-arising.

    • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
      Although the fuel is not what is doing the burning of the fire, fire and fuel are dependent arisings, just like a supposed agent of the action of burning.

    • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
      Does that make sense to you?

    • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
      Like Malcolm is saying in that comment, the understanding demonstrated here is something dependent on that the constructs under investigation are "agentive constructions". That is a limited understanding, and not a proper understanding of dependent arising.

    • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
      Because: "Although the fuel is not what is doing the burning of the fire [i.e. that is not an "agentive construction"], fire and fuel are dependent arisings, just like a supposed agent of the action of burning [which is an agentive construction. Hence the understanding at display here does not comprehend fuel and fire as dependent arising, since these are not agentive constructions, but are instead a different form of conceptualization.]"

    • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
      > fire is just the burning, fire is not 'doing' the burning
      > lightning flash -- lightning is the flasher? no. lightning is just another word for flash. lightning is flashing is just another way of saying 'flashing is happening'.
      > thunder roars -- thunder is the agent of roaring? no. thunder is just roar. wind blows? wind is just blowing. seeing sees scenery? seeing is just colors, no seer. hearing hears sounds? actually, hearing is only ever sound, never been a hearer. always already so.
      The terms of conceptualization must be retained, not removed, if one is to see the dependent arising. Otherwise it's called over-negating. I would never eliminate the agent of roaring or blowing, nor its object, not its action. This would violate the terms of the everyday, and eliminate the possibility of ever grasping emptiness.

    • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
      It is *BECAUSE* these are dependently designated that they are empty. If there would be thunder without an agent, there would be fruit of action without any action done. This is how Nagarjuna explains it.

    • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
      From elsewhere (link below):
      So, in these texts I see Nagarjuna & Chandrakirti doing something over and over again. Andrè mentioned it:
      > Also mutual dependency - the desirous one requires desire, and vice-versa.
      So on one hand we have things figuring in the texts, like mover and movement, agent and action, seeing and eye, etc. Chandrakirti gives a list:
      > Hypostatizing thought springs from the manifold of named things (prapanca), ie., from the beginninglessly recurring cycle of birth and death, which consists of knowledge and objects of knowledge, words and their meanings, agents and action, means and act, pot and cloth, diadem and chariots, objects and feelings, female and male, gain and loss, happiness and misery, beauty and ugliness, blame and praise.
      There are more than these, and these are not necessarily strict dualities of two; there are also for example trinities, like eye form seeing, mover moved movement, etc.
      On one hand we have these things. They are mentioned in the texts. And I see something happening in the texts: So on one hand we have these things, but then on the other hand it is being "dredged up", explored, exposed, _that these things appear almost as if under the guise of certain mental models or relations_.
      These *relations* are sort of "hidden" and yet they are also in plain sight in the texts. These relations almost aren't really emphasized or made much of, except the whole text is about them.
      The texts explore how, not only are these things (like form, eye, appropriator, agent, etc.) defined by their (let’s call it:) "common characteristics/qualities" (like color, capabilities, and other concepts), _but they are also defined by very important models/modes/relations_. In fact, outside of these relations, _we can't define those things._
      So, for example, not only is a seed something brown, small, round-ish, hard, breakable, etc.,—these are its "common characteristics”…
      … a seed is also dependent on "sprout”—and first of all, a sprout is not precisely the same nor precisely different from a "seed".
      So, the definition of a seed does not only come from ascribing common characteristics like size and hardness and color, but the definition also unavoidably contains some kind of model or relation to something else.
      These models or relations are almost "meta-cognitions”. For example, we have seed and sprout. And when it comes to common characteristics, seed and sprout seem to be independent.
      _But seed and sprout also have a meta-definition as cause and effect._
      Now "cause and effect" is a kind of "abstract relation"—a meta-model almost. We take the cause-and-effect relation and apply it to many things, not just seeds and sprout. This relationship is sort of abstracted or, better yet, "general". I.e., we use this relation not just for seed and sprout, but for all kinds of things.
      And it is *these* relations or meta-models or meta-cognitions, upon which our definitions depend (!), that are as if being dredged up from our mind and investigated in the texts.
      First there is mention of things like seed and sprout. And these have common characteristics, like size, solidity, color, etc.
      But then it is revealed that a definition of something is *in no way* complete or sufficient _without these meta-models_. If we did not cast these things in the relations of these meta-models, then we simply _do not_ get a sufficient definition at all. We *must* account for these meta-models—they are completely required—, but they are at first subconscious.
      Nagarjuna blows through one meta-model or “relational schema” after another, and points out that what characterizes all of these meta-models or relations, is that at least *some* aspect of them always has *reciprocity* or mutuality (or, even, "duality"—but understood in a different way than usual, more as "complementarity”).
      A little side note is that our definitions of things also "interface" or "reflect" with the meta-model that it is placed in.
      For example, an eye can be defined by its characteristics, but at some point we *have* to say that at least *something* that irreducibly, unavoidably makes an eye an eye is that it sees (form). So we have some kind of meta-model or relation *in* the definition of an eye: It acts upon or appropriates an acted-upon or appropriated. And if we took away this *type of relationship* (and it is these various “relationship types” that are being investigated in the texts), we can't define an eye (or form, or self, or...). Some meta-model is actually part of what an eye is; it supplies some necessary section of its definition.
      Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti *extremely strongly* insist on this fact: That we *muuuust* have these relations to define and make sense of things. But after that has been established (that we *must* have/infer/model these relations to define and make sense of things)—and they do this over, and over, and over again; they don't just establish it once, say, at the beginning of the text; instead they insist on it every single time they do any specific reasoning—after it has been established that we must have these relations, they show that *since we need these relations* and *since the relations have an aspect of reciprocity*, therefore things, as defined—and there are no things outside of what they are (ie. outside of definition)—first of all do not have svabhava—does not self-exist—and then therefore are not things to which arising or ceasing, existing or not, nor indeed any other character, is ascribable.
      There are "loose definitions", but the imputation of (independent) existence makes no sense. And the crux is that that sort of reclassifies everything: To be something independently existing is such a *massively* different thing or condition than what it turns out that those things really are—which is peaceful—which we see when we understand the reciprocal aspect of dependent co-arising.

    • Joel Taylor
      Wow, this really turns Krishnamurti's phrase: "The observer is the observed" inside out. I don't know how to describe the experience of that. Maybe "There's no observer and no observed, only observing." but that feels too much.

    • John Tan
      Stian Gudmundsen Høiland I agree with what u said but the following point needs to be clearer:
      "It is *BECAUSE* these are dependently designated that they are empty. If there would be thunder without an agent, there would be fruit of action without any action done. This is how Nagarjuna explains it."
      Nagarjuna IS NOT communicating "anatta nor non-inherent understanding" to his opponents. If he is doing that, he would be communicating with his opponents using different language like using japanese language to talk to Indians. Instead, Nagarjuna is using consequential syllogistic reasoning.
      What does this mean? It means he is using inherent pattern of reasoning to demonstrate to his opponents that their inherent logic is untenable and leads to absurd consequences like "cause and effect" can never meet so how do they work (according to opponent's logic and premise)?
      In other words, he is saying to his opponents, if ACCORDING to their inherent pattern of reasoning, "effect happens when cause is not there, then thunder can happen without an agent and fruit of action can be without bearer" -- which is unacceptable to his opponents because their model is based on "agency-action" construction.
      This SHOULDN'T be taken to mean that Nagarjuna is promoting or refuting action without agency. He is simply allowing the opponent to see the consequences of their own logic. From chapter 1-23 of mmk, Nagarjuna is not presenting any view except on chapter 24 onwards.
      Do take not that the above demonstrated consequences is perfectly fine for anyone with anatta insights. If Nagarjuna wants to talk to ppl that base their understandings on anatta and non-inherent existence, then autonomous syllogistic reasoning will be more appropriate.

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