Showing posts with label Brad Warner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brad Warner. Show all posts


  • Awakening
    With awakening,
    Bliss in experiences,
    Hyperlucid bright beautiful appearances,
    Are givens.
    Joy springs up from no where,
    One laughs for no reason,
    Things look like crystals,
    One feels vast.
    These are not radical.
    The most radical thing is
    You wake up to the truth that:
    You are one with everything.
    Yet you are no where.
    Both are simultaneous and correct.
    You realise you have never done a thing for anyone else ever before,
    Because you did it all for yourselves.
    You help your grandma, you help yourself.
    You donate to the poor, you donate to yourself.
    You water the plants, you give water to yourself.
    Treat thy neighbour as you would treat yourself.
    How true is that!
    How strange that I could ever think I am this limited body!
    It’s like a schizophrenic identifying with another personality !
    Truth shows me I am actually this limitless, formless, luminous, wondrous, interconnected being-ness.
    I am the blade of grass, the trees, the air, earth, Mars,
    the luminous thoughts,
    the Ukrainians and the Russians and the Americans,
    the bombs, the planes, the victims.
    It’s all me.
    When the truth comes,
    It shocks, and it hurts so much,
    To see how we are hurting our own.
    And to see how I have been wrong all this while.
    Once I heard,
    The biggest compassion is awakening.
    When you realise you are all,
    Not a gap apart,
    How can compassion not arise?
    How would you not care for all these me-s?
    Isn’t this the most important work in life?
    I don’t believe if I don’t see.
    It is because I live this truth now,
    I cannot unsee it, and
    I feel abit lonely.
    This is the truth that all spiritual traditions speak of.
    If you look closely,
    They speak of the same thing.
    May this consciousness never be parted from the truth.
    May this consciousness never harm its own.
    May the whole world awakens from the dream,
    May they see their own true face.
    May we never have to suffer anymore.



    Soh Wei Yu
    Session Start: Saturday, 14 April, 2007
    (1:49 PM) AEN: brad warner says like zen is like seeing everything as wonderful.. like doing the dishes is great... mundane things are the 'activities of the universe'... this is what the universe is doing now.. the universe is cleaning the stain off the toilet.. etc
    (1:49 PM) AEN: lol
    (1:50 PM) AEN: as in after doing zen practise for sometime ur perspective shift
    (1:54 PM) Thusness: it is just like what he is describing.
    (2:12 PM) AEN: oic..
    (2:13 PM) AEN: u read about brad warner b4?
    (2:13 PM) Thusness: nope
    (2:13 PM) AEN: icic
    (2:13 PM) Thusness: but i like his description.
    (2:13 PM) AEN: oic
    (2:14 PM) Thusness: the universe cleaning the toilet...
    (2:14 PM) Thusness: and this is true. 😛
    (2:14 PM) AEN: hahaha
    (2:14 PM) AEN: icic
    (2:14 PM) Thusness: this is like what steven norquist said.
    (2:14 PM) AEN: oic..
    (2:15 PM) Thusness: in naked awareness, there is just the action...that is the action itself is the entire universe
    (2:15 PM) AEN: icic..
    (2:15 PM) Thusness: chewing apple
    (2:16 PM) Thusness: it is the entire activity of the universe. 🙂
    (2:16 PM) AEN: "I was walking to work, alongside the Sengawa river, just like every day, when in an instant I got it. Every damned thing I'd ever read in a Buddhist book was confirmed that day. The Universe was me and I was the Universe. I looked up at the sky and it was exactly like looking at a mirror. I don't mean that metaphorically either. You know the feeling of recognition you get when you look in a mirror? That's me, you say. Well I got that feeling no matter where I looked. There was no
    (2:16 PM) AEN: doubt that this state was true. I had no need to confirm it with anyone. And this state has stayed with me ever since then. Even if I want to put it down I can't. Sometimes it's painful. You know those assholes that rammed those planes into the World Trade Center? That was me. The people that died in the collapse. Me again. I don't mean I identify with them or sympathize with them. I mean I am them. It's impossible to explain, but this isn't a figure of speech or bad poetry. I mean it absolutely literally.
    (2:16 PM) AEN:
    "But the Universe is soooooo much bigger than any of that. The sky is me, and the stars too, chirping crickets and the songs they make, sparkling rivers, snow and rain, distant solar systems and whoever may live there, it's all me. And it's all you, too."

    Yin Ling
    Soh Wei Yu Ya, it is actually literal, not just metaphorical, I also love one by thich naht hant, I go find

  • May be an image of text

  • May be an image of text

  • May be an image of text

  • Adam Holt
    Soh, would you consider this an illustration of anatta realization? If not where would it fit in AtR? Thank you.

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Yin Ling definitely has realized anatta.
    Also, pretty sure Zen teacher Brad Warner has that realization too.
    What Yin Ling and Brad Warner described above is the non-dual aspect. You can't be sure if its substantial or insubstantial nonduality but what Brad Warner said in his book (and also what Yin Ling described elsewhere) clarifies that they don't hold an atman view or substantialist view (having an unchanging or independent essence)
    If you read his book Hardcore Zen, you can find that Brad Warner denied an unchanging soul or essence.
    "Five Skandhas
    Buddhists do not accept the existence of a soul, some unchanging thing that is
    somehow “the essence” of a person. Instead they see a human being as a
    composite of five skandhas. The word skandha literally means “heap.” Imagine
    a heap of junk: take away all the individual pieces of junk that make up the heap,
    and the heap is gone. There is no “heap essence” or “heap soul” aside from the
    pieces of junk on the heap. In Buddhism, the five “heaps” that make up a person
    are these: form, feelings, perceptions, impulses toward actions (and the actions
    themselves), and consciousness.
    The denial of the idea of a soul is central to Buddhist understanding. Gautama
    Buddha was responding to the Indian idea of atman. This idea says that a little
    piece of God, called the atman, exists within each one of us, and that this atman
    is eternally separate from the body. The Judeo-Christian idea of a soul is pretty
    much the same except that the soul is seen by Jews and Christians as being
    eternally separate not just from the physical body but from God as well. It can go
    hang out with God, but can never merge into God as can the atman in the Hindu
    Gautama Buddha looked carefully and exhaustively and could see no reason
    to accept the permanent existence of anything that could be called self or soul or
    atman. This is the basis of the teaching of anatman, “no self”—which has been
    verified by generation after generation of Buddhists for 2,500 years.
    Nothing in the universe is permanent—and the thing we call “self” is no
    Of course this characterization of Judeo-Christian idea is not so complete if we take the Christian mysticism perspective, which describes unitive and post unitive (bernadette roberts ), although the view of emptiness and dependent origination can be taken to be a unique point of Buddhism. Also the idea that soul and God must be forever separate in Christianity is also nonsense just from the four gospels in the Bible which did state unequivocally, ""I and the Father are one." and "I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one." and "“If you love me, keep my commands. … Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”" so on and so forth. Jesus was clearly a mystic. Though of course, not many mainstream Christianity preachers have that realization.

    • Reply
    • 2d
    • Edited

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Also by Brad Warner from the same book:
    "It’s very difficult to reach this kind of understanding when it comes to your
    sense of self. We’ve been taught implicitly since birth that our “self” is
    something fundamental and important and real. But our self-image is nothing
    other than the sum total of those particular things about universal human nature
    we’ve chosen to emphasize in our own lives. Some teachings like to differentiate
    between “self” spelled with a little s and “Self” with a big S, but this just
    obscures the problem with unnecessary complications. No matter how you spell
    it, self is an illusion."
    "It’s like when The Who were on The Russell Harty Show in 1973. Pete
    Townshend pushed over one of his Marshall stack amps which fell with a thud
    and a crash of cymbals onto Keith Moon’s drums, which in turn collapsed upon
    John Entwistle’s Ampeg amp stacks, which also crashed to the studio floor.
    “Now” is like Keith Moon’s drums. “The past” is Pete Townshend’s amp, which
    created the motion by which Keith’s drums now fall. “The future” is John
    Entwistle’s amplifiers. “Self” only exists as a collective name for that series of
    smashes, crashes, and bangs. That’s all."

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Basically all the religions do describe non-dual experiences and realizations. But in Buddhism the realization and view is based on the 3 dharma seals, as well as emptiness and dependent origination. That removes the trace and non-dual experience turns self-liberating. Hope that answers your question (which you deleted earlier).

    • Reply
    • 2d
    • Edited

  • Adam Holt
    Soh Wei Yu do you think it’s fair to say that this realization is not the same as the omniscience of a Buddha but, basically like how water in a stream will find its way naturally to the expanse of the ocean, this realization will ultimately result in the omniscience of a Buddha?

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Adam Holt you’re asking about the anatta realization?

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Adam Holt yes I would agree
    May be an image of text

  • Soh Wei Yu
    “[To attain Buddhahood], you must free [yourself] from 2 obscurations and 4 mara.” – John Tan, 2020
    “According to Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna there are two obscurations that prevent us from fully knowing the nature of phenomena. The first is called the afflictive obscuration, which is the fetter of an internal subjective reference point that the self is attributed to, and the second is called the cognitive obscuration, which is everything else that stands apart from our deluded sense of self, so all objects; persons, places, things.
    For some reason these obscurations can be uprooted at different times.” – Kyle Dixon, 2021
    Two obscurations (Tib. སྒྲིབ་པ་གཉིས་, dribpa nyi; Wyl. sgrib pa gnyis) — emotional and cognitive obscurations.
    ● Emotional obscurations are defined according to their essence, cause and function.
    In essence, they are the opposite of the six paramitas, as described in the Gyü Lama:
    "Thoughts such as avarice and so on,
    These are the emotional obscurations."
    Their cause is grasping at a personal ego, or the “self of the individual”.
    They function to prevent liberation from samsara.
    ● Cognitive obscurations are also defined according to their essence, cause and function.
    In essence, they are thoughts that involve the three conceptual ‘spheres’ of subject, object and action. The Gyü Lama says:
    "Thoughts that involve the three spheres,
    These are the cognitive obscurations."
    Their cause is grasping at phenomena as truly existent, or, in other words, the “self of phenomena”.
    Their function is to prevent complete enlightenment.”
    Rigpa Wiki
    Rigpa Wiki

    • Reply
    • Remove Preview
    • 1d

  • Adam Holt
    Soh Wei Yu what do you think about this?
    The heart of the first turning of the dharma is anatta. This essentially severs the root of the mundane mind and allows us to touch suchness beyond conceptual elaboration.
    The heart of the second turning is bodhicitta. Here there are two aspects - bodhi, which relates to the ultimate, to emptiness, and citta which relates to the relative, of form. Respectively these terms also relate to the accumulation of wisdom and merit, of dharma and vinaya, and of the realization of Dharmakaya and Rupakaya, among other poles such as the profound and vast aspects and the omnisciences of the nature and particulars. And then there is of course the fact that these two aspects are merged in one term.
    The heart of the third and final turning is basically tathagatagarbha, where it is shown that when obscurations are removed we are left not only with liberation but of complete, unsurpassed Buddhahood. This opens the door to a proper understanding of the fruitional vehicle where the fruition of Buddhahood is taken as the path.

  • Soh Wei Yu
    I do not really agree with placing tathagatagarbha as a separate turning and that was not how it was presented in any Buddhist sutras but is a later commentarial interpretation. As explained in
    The sutras including samdhinirmochana sutra were crystal clear that both second and third turning refers to the non-arising of all phenomena, as nagarjuna puts it “I pay respect to the best among speakers who, having attained Enlightenment, has taught relative origination (Pratītyasamutpāda) which is no-cessation, no-origination, no- annihilation, no-abiding, no-one-thing, no-many-thing, no-coming-in, no-going-out; being the termination of linguistic description (Prapañcopashamam), it is the good (Shivam)” - Nagarjuna [Ram Candra Pandey & Mañju, 1999, pp.1].
    As i explained before Tathagatagarbha is a teaching that is either provisional or definitive. The definitive meaning is the nature of mind is inseparable emptiness and luminous clarity. But if misinterpreted it becomes the sort of non buddhist atman view.
    The buddha did not only come to teach the luminous clarity aspect as that is already taught in upanishads and vedas long before the Buddha came. The Buddha attained self realization and deep meditative attainments under two samkhya teachers and left them as he remained unsatisfied.
    The wisdom of dependent origination and emptiness is Buddha’s unique contribution to humanity.
    That being said if one does not begin with the direct realization and taste of luminous clarity and then realise all appearances as mind and mind is none other than all appearances, without that as basis to further penetrate into the empty nature of vivid presence, the understanding of emptiness remains intellectual.
    So for those that did not begin with that realization, then the luminosity aspect must come in later otherwise the understanding remains intellectual and inferential rather than a direct realization into the nature of mind and all phenomena/appearance. This is explained in as illustrated in the examples of tsultrim tserri and pegembara. So perhaps that particular interpretation of the three turnings, although not taught by buddha himself, would make sense in this particular context.

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Adam Holt some quotes from atr guide:
    “Buddhism is nothing but replacing the 'Self' in Hinduism with Condition Arising. Keep the clarity, the presence, the luminosity and eliminate the ultimate 'Self', the controller, the supreme. Still you must taste, sense, eat, hear and see Pure Awareness in every authentication. And every authentication is Bliss.” - John Tan, 2004
    “Understand immense intelligence not as if someone is there to act and direct, rather as total exertion of the universe to make this moment possible; then all appearances are miraculous and marvelous.” - John Tan, 2012
    “The Pristine awareness is often mistaken as the 'Self'. It is especially difficult for one that has intuitively experience the 'Self' to accept 'No-Self'. As I have told you many times that there will come a time when you will intuitively perceive the 'I' -- the pure sense of Existence but you must be strong enough to go beyond this experience until the true meaning of Emptiness becomes clear and thorough. The Pristine Awareness is the so-called True-Self' but why we do not call it a 'Self' and why Buddhism has placed so much emphasis on the Emptiness nature? This then is the true essence of Buddhism. It is needless to stress anything about 'Self' in Buddhism; there are enough of 'Logies' of the 'I" in Indian Philosophies. If one wants to know about the experience of 'I AM', go for the Vedas and Bhagavad Gita. We will not know what Buddha truly taught 2500 years ago if we buried ourselves in words. Have no doubt that The Dharma Seal is authentic and not to be confused.
    When you have experienced the 'Self' and know that its nature is empty, you will know why to include this idea of a 'Self' into Buddha-Nature is truly unnecessary and meaningless. True Buddhism is not about eliminating the 'small Self' but cleansing this so called 'True Self' (Atman) with the wisdom of Emptiness.” - John Tan, 2005
    "What you are suggesting is already found in Samkhya system. I.e. the twenty four tattvas are not the self aka purusha. Since this system was well known to the Buddha, if that's all his insight was, then his insight is pretty trivial. But Buddha's teachings were novel. Why where they novel? They were novel in the fifth century BCE because of his teaching of dependent origination and emptiness. The refutation of an ultimate self is just collateral damage." - Lopon Malcolm
    In January 2005, John Tan wrote:
    “[19:21] <^john^> learn how to experience emptiness and no-selfness. 🙂
    [19:22] <^john^> this is the only way to liberate.
    [19:22] <^john^> not to dwell too deeply into the minor aspect of pure awareness.
    [19:23] <^john^> of late i have been seeing songs and poems relating to the luminosity aspect of Pure Awareness.
    [19:23] <^john^> uncreated, original, mirror bright, not lost in nirvana and samsara..etc
    [19:23] <^john^> what use is there?
    [19:24] <ZeN`n1th> oic...
    [19:24] <^john^> we have from the very beginning so and yet lost for countless aeons of lives.
    [19:25] <^john^> buddha did not come to tell only about the luminosity aspect of pure awareness.
    [19:25] <^john^> this has already been expressed in vedas.
    [19:25] <^john^> but it becomes Self.
    [19:25] <^john^> the ultimate controller
    [19:26] <^john^> the deathless
    [19:26] <^john^> the supreme.. etc
    [19:26] <^john^> this is the problem.
    [19:26] <^john^> this is not the ultimate nature of Pure Awareness.
    [19:27] <^john^> for full enlightenment to take place, experience the clarity and emptiness. That's all.”
    And in March 2006, John Tan said:
    <^john^> the different between hinduism and buddhism is they return to the "I AM" and clings to it.
    <^john^> always "I" as the source.
    <ZeN`n1th> icic
    <^john^> but in buddhism it is being replaced by "emptiness nature", there is a purest, an entity, a stage to be gained or achieved is an illusion.
    <^john^> there is none. No self to be found. No identity to assumed. Nothing attained.
    <ZeN`n1th> oic..
    <^john^> this is truly the All.
    <^john^> so for a teaching that is so thorough and complete, why must it resort back to a "True Self"?
    <ZeN`n1th> hmm but i got a question about just now you say impermanent... but mahayana texts also say tathagathagarbha is permanent right?
    <^john^> yes but for other reasons.
    <ZeN`n1th> what kind of reasons
    <ZeN`n1th> wat you mean
    <^john^> first you must know that there is really a very subtle difference between pure subjectivity and emptiness nature.
    <ZeN`n1th> icic
    <^john^> for one that has experienced in full emptiness nature, does he/she need to create an extra "True Self"?
    <ZeN`n1th> so wat difference
    <ZeN`n1th> no
    <^john^> he already knows and experiences and completely understand the arising cause and conditions of why the "true self" was created...
    <^john^> will he still be confused?
    <^john^> he knows exactly what is happening, the reality of the 'self'.
    <ZeN`n1th> icic..
    <^john^> i would say it is due to his compassion to let the other sects have a chance to understand the dharma that he said so.
    <^john^> this is what i think.
    <^john^> but there is no necessity to preach something extra.
    <ZeN`n1th> oic
    <^john^> in light of emptiness nature, "True Self" is not necessary.
    <ZeN`n1th> icic
    <^john^> the so called "purest" is already understood, there is no clinging.
    <^john^> there is hearing, no hearer...etc
    <^john^> is already beyond "True Self".
    <ZeN`n1th> oic
    <^john^> yet it exactly knows the stage of "True Self".
    <^john^> if there is no hearing...then something is wrong.
    <^john^> but there is hearing but no hearer.
    <ZeN`n1th> hahaha
    <ZeN`n1th> oic
    <^john^> put your time into practice and understanding of no-self and emptiness.
    <ZeN`n1th> ok
    Also related: - Thanissaro Bhikkhu explained how in this teaching Buddha refuted the teaching of a Source/Root based on Samkhya.
    MN 1  Mūlapariyāya Sutta | The Root Sequence
    MN 1  Mūlapariyāya Sutta | The Root Sequence
    MN 1  Mūlapariyāya Sutta | The Root Sequence

    • Reply
    • Remove Preview
    • 10h

  • Soh Wei Yu
    If one still posits an unchanging ground of being of any sort, that is still dualism and means anatta is not yet realised. It is still the atman brahman understanding rather than anatta and emptiness.
    Buddha nature is the realisation of all aggregates and luminous and empty thats all.

    • Reply
    • 6h
    • Edited

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Rigpa and Aggregates
    (Also see: Dzogchen, Rigpa and Dependent Origination)
    From Dharma Overground, Dharma Dan (Daniel M. Ingram):
    Dear Mark,
    Thanks for your descriptions and analysis. They are interesting and relevant.
    I think of it this way, from a very high but still vipassana point of view, as you are framing this question in a vipassana context:
    First, the breath is nice, but at that level of manifesting sensations, some other points of view are helpful:
    Assume something really simple about sensations and awareness: they are exactly the same. In fact, make it more simple: there are sensations, and this includes all sensations that make up space, thought, image, body, anything you can imagine being mind, and all qualities that are experienced, meaning the sum total of the world.
    In this very simple framework, rigpa is all sensations, but there can be this subtle attachment and lack of investigation when high terms are used that we want there to be this super-rigpa, this awareness that is other. You mention that you feel there is a larger awareness, an awareness that is not just there the limits of your senses. I would claim otherwise: that the whole sensate universe by definition can't arise without the quality of awareness by definition, and so some very subtle sensations are tricking you into thinking they are bigger than the rest of the sensate field and are actually the awareness that is aware of other sensations.
    Awareness is simply manifestation. All sensations are simply present.
    Thus, be wary of anything that wants to be a super-awareness, a rigpa that is larger than everything else, as it can't be, by definition. Investigate at the level of bare sensate experience just what arises and see that it can't possibly be different from awareness, as this is actually an extraneous concept and there are actually just sensations as the first and final basis of reality.
    As you like the Tibetan stuff, and to quote Padmasambhava in the root text of the book The Light of Wisdom:
    "The mind that observes is also devoid of an ego or self-entity.
    It is neither seen as something different from the aggregates
    Nor as identical with these five aggregates.
    If the first were true, there would exist some other substance.
    This is not the case, so were the second true,
    That would contradict a permanent self, since the aggregates are impermanent.
    Therefore, based on the five aggregates,
    The self is a mere imputation based on the power of the ego-clinging.
    As to that which imputes, the past thought has vanished and is nonexistent.
    The future thought has not occurred, and the present thought does not withstand scrutiny."
    I really found this little block of tight philosophy helpful. It is also very vipassana at its core, but it is no surprise the wisdom traditions converge.
    Thus, if you want to crack the nut, notice that everything is 5 aggregates, including everything you think is super-awareness, and be less concerned with what every little type of consciousness is than with just perceiving them directly and noticing the gaps that section off this from that, such as rigpa from thought stream, or awareness from sensations, as these are golden chains.
    “ Karatzo wrote: ↑Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:00 pm
    Consciousness is compound and thus not self, so it is not this that transmigrates. So what is it? And what is Rigpa? Rigpa is not a part of the 5 aggregates. But the buddha declared that a being consists of the 5 aggregates and nothing more. That there is no-self in absolute reality...then how transmigration works?
    Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith replied:
    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’.”
    “Now we must understand not to confuse the dynamism of vivid appearances as the substrate itself and must avoid from taking it to be therefore this imputed substrate must too be exhausted to free oneself from extremes.
    Once this view is clear, the implications of mental constructs and conventions on how they confuse the mind will be understood clearly. What left is simply natural spontaneity of vivid appearance in obviousness.” – John Tan, 2020
    Rigpa and Aggregates
    Rigpa and Aggregates
    Rigpa and Aggregates

    • Reply
    • Remove Preview
    • 6h

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Also malcolm:
    Also, the Buddha was quite clear that phenomena, including minds, were momentary. The Buddha may not have elaborated in detail upon what a "moment" was, but in the end, the basic unit of time in Buddhism is number of moments it takes to form a thought. In reality, moments are partless. Partless moments that perish as soon as they arise have no observable duration and are immune from Madhyamaka critique.
    The notion that the mind is permanent (i.e. not momentary) is just a Hindu idea, Vedantic.

  • Adam Holt
    Soh Wei Yu perhaps I’m just too connected with nyingma.

    • Reply
    • 6h
    • Edited

  • Soh Wei Yu
    What I said is totally consistent with Longchenpa and Nyingma.
    An excerpt:
    Philosophical Foundations of Classical rDzogs chen in Tibet:
    Investigating the Distinction Between Dualistic Mind (sems) and
    Primordial knowing (ye shes)
    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
    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".
    Soh: Oh wow
    John Tan:Finally found one book that aligns anatta insight and dzogchen clearly.
    yeah i wonder why all (Correction: most of those I've read) the other
    books on dzogchen (Except malcolm's) including on longchenpa is always
    about mirror and reflection emoticon
    [12:05 am, 04/10/2021] John Tan: If I din read this chapter, I too would have mistaken it as another awareness teaching.emoticon
    am, 04/10/2021] John Tan: Yeah. I also agree with what longchenpa said
    how it is different and y "intellect" is not involved in just vivid
    Soh: oic..
    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
    John Tan:
    I believe his "Buddha Nature Reconsidered" will be interesting too.
    John Tan: Now all the terms and phrases seem so clear to me when they use it.
    A Letter to Almaas on Dzogchen and Longchenpa
    A Letter to Almaas on Dzogchen and Longchenpa
    A Letter to Almaas on Dzogchen and Longchenpa

    • Reply
    • Remove Preview
    • 5h

  • Adam Holt
    Soh Wei Yu what I am saying is consistent with nyingma as well.

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Soh Wei Yu
    Another passage that John Tan quoted is Longchenpa's blanket rejection of Yogacara.
    John Tan: Read it. Longchenpa reject yogacara view in toto and accept prasangika.
    From the book:
    Klong chen pa' s blanket rejection of the Yogacara
    svasaYflvedana . Of course, the main target of his sweeping critique, as he makes clear in his
    Yid bzhin mdzod 'grel, is the Y ogacara proclivity to treat consciousness as a real entity with
    real characteristics and to presuppose it in justifications of idealism: "It is eminently
    reasonable to claim that any objects that appear are unreal, but we refute the claim that mind
    is ultimately real.,,240 Klong chen pa is also patently opposed to allowing self-awareness a
    conventional existence so that it can then be used to buttress representational epistemologies
    that assume we can only know external objects (if indeed such are held to exist) through our
    internal representations of them. Interestingly, his thoroughgoing rejection of Y ogacara
    epistemology and his wholehearted endorsement of the *PrasaIigika stratagems · for
    undermining any and all forms of realism (from substance ontologies to subjective idealism)
    make his stance on svasaf!lvedana appear, for all intents and purposes, quite similar to the
    dGe lugs pa position that Mi pham was criticizing.
    What, then, are we left with when it comes to the rDzogs chen self-awareness? It
    must be acknowledged that the rDzogs chen conception of rang rig does concur with some
    elements of Santaraksita' s self-awareness, particularily its nondual and luminous character.
    · Reply
    · 2m · Edited
    Soh Wei Yu, modified 3 Months ago.
    RE: Longchenpa and Dzogchen is Anti Foundationalist
    Posts: 58 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
    [8:56 pm, 08/10/2021] John Tan: Read the foundation of dzogchen philosophy
    [9:13 pm, 08/10/2021] John Tan: It is in the book
    book "foundation" goes in extensively to define what is zhi and kun
    zhi, their histories and development...etc...both r termed as "ground"
    which I do not think it as appropriate for a praxis that rest entirely
    on abolishing "ground" even when talking abt "zhi". Malcolm is more
    cautious on this aspect.
    Malcolm translate it as basis
    this so-called "god" aka basis [gzhi] is just a nonexistent mere
    appearance, that is, our primordial potentiality also has no real
    existence, which is stated over and over again in countless Dzogchen
    For those whom emptiness is possible, everything is possible.
    For those whom emptiness is not possible, nothing is possible.
    -- Nāgārjuna.
    John Tan:
    Although David Higgins used the word "ground", he qualifies it as "insubstantial and unestablished in any sense".

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Also see: Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
      4:35:37 PM] John Tan: I wonder y there is a need for Dzogchen to
      emphasize so much on gzhi and kun gzhi. I do not see any real help in
      actual practice. In fact seeing through self-nature is sufficient.
      Direct and simple and straight forward emoticon. Although there r some
      important points in the praxis of dzogchen.
      [9/10/21, 4:39:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
      4:48:35 PM] John Tan: Also in early texts of Dzogchen and Nyingma
      scholars actually do not differentiate between gzhi and kun gzhi.
      [9/10/21, 5:20:19 PM] Soh Wei Yu: I see
      [9/10/21, 7:23:42 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Mahamudra also talk about “ground” but dunno what term they use
      The ground of purification is the mind itself,
      indivisible cognitive clarity and emptiness.
      That which purifies is the great vajra yoga of mahamudra.
      What is to be purified are the adventitious,
      temporary contaminations of confusion,
      May the fruit of purification, the stainless dharmakaya, be manifest.
      Resolving doubts about the ground brings conviction in the view.
      Then keeping one's awareness unwavering in accordance with the view,
      is the subtle pith of meditation.
      Putting all aspects of meditation into practice is the supreme action.
      The view, the meditation, the action--may there be confidence in these.
      All phenomena are illusory displays of mind.
      Mind is no mind--the mind's nature is empty of any entity that is mind
      Being empty, it is unceasing and unimpeded,
      manifesting as everything whatsoever.
      Examining well, may all doubts about the ground be discerned and cut.
      [9/10/21, 7:23:53 PM] Soh Wei Yu: I suppose dzogchen and mahamudra should be the same view
      7:57:53 PM] John Tan: Dzogchen is the path that starts from taking the
      view that anatta is a seal, always and already so.
      [9/10/21, 7:59:38 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. mahamudra is the same?
      [9/10/21, 8:09:09 PM] John Tan: I guessed so but I don't want to comment on this.
      9:23:43 PM] John Tan: Original face means to realize that appearances
      has always been one's radiance clarity, primordially luminous and
      naturallly free.
      [9/10/21, 9:23:56 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
      9:31:32 PM] John Tan: Problem is most ppl that engaged in the so called
      highest teachings r having a dualistic and substantialist view. If we
      do not recognize the nature of appearances and kept emphasizing on
      primordial knowing, taking the non-progressive is imo a great disservice
      than help.
      [9/10/21, 9:33:28 PM] John Tan: Just like when u r at I
      M, u already like to talk about spontaneous presence which I caution u
      don't talk about that until at least mature non-dual.
      [9/10/21, 9:37:43 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. lol yeah
      [10/10/21, 10:26:04 AM] John Tan: ‎
      "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."
      [10/10/21, 10:36:16 AM] Soh Wei Yu: Oh.. nice
      [10/10/21, 10:43:29 AM] John Tan: Reading it second time and still found many phrases that I like.
      [10/10/21, 10:43:43 AM] John Tan: Really a treasure
      ‎[10/10/21, 11:10:56 AM] Soh Wei Yu: ‎"That is interesting that it distinguishes what would be anatta and no mind
      I’m going to have to re-read the text"
      - Kyle Dixon
      [10/10/21, 11:16:44 AM] John Tan: Also in the very beginning
      [10/10/21, 11:18:58 AM] Soh Wei Yu: In the beginning it talked about anatta?
      11:20:14 AM] John Tan: ""In this sense, primordial knowing is both a
      vision of things as they are undistorted by reifications and a mode of
      being and living that is commensurate with this vision.""
      Knowing is not defined as an entity like an ultimate awareness but
      rather a vision of things undistorted by reifications and a lived
      experienced of perfection of anatta insight.
      [10/10/21, 12:07:14 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
      ‎[10/10/21, 1:12:07 PM] Soh Wei Yu: ‎‎Kyle Dixon:
      Is primordial knowing a gloss of ye shes?
      I assume so
      Dzogchen will even go as far as to say Buddhas do not even have ye shes
      Some Mahāyāna texts say this too
      Because if they really had jñāna it could be misconstrued as a subjective reference point
      Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
      Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm
      Clarifications on Dharmakaya and Basis by Loppön Namdrol/Malcolm

      • Reply
      • Remove Preview
      • 5h

    • Soh Wei Yu
      ‎[10/10/21, 1:57:18 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Kyle Dixon: Longchenpa:
      the [ultimate] perspective the meditative equipoise of the realised (sa
      thob) and awakened beings (sangs rgyas), there exists neither object of
      knowledge (shes bya) nor knowing cognitive process (shes byed) and so
      forth, for there is neither object to apprehend nor the subject that
      does the apprehending. Even the exalted cognitive process (yeshes) as a
      subject ceases (zhi ba) to operate.
      [10/10/21, 1:59:33 PM] John Tan: (thumbs up)

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Too long didnt copy all. More awesome quotes in that link

    • Soh Wei Yu
      That interpretation of three turnings is a late interpretation that did not originate from Buddha.
      Even so, that is still fine as long as buddha nature is understood properly like how Longchenpa clarified and explained in the link I provided
      Then it is not reified into something like atman brahman

    • Adam Holt
      Soh Wei Yu I don’t necessarily agree with your assessment of what originated from the Buddha, as we partly discussed with Mahāyāna history before. I tend towards a view closer to what Tulku Thondup presents. And in general on this topic I tend towards being more in accord with Dudjom Rinpoche, Longchenpa, etc than I do with Malcolm and others.
      Regardless, you are correct that it must be understood correctly, as is clear in the links I shared.
      Again, as does Dilgo Khyentse, I would include Vajrayana generally within the third turning, but not really within the second.
      I’ll probably be done here. I don’t think there’s likely a whole lot of use continuing unless, instead of just providing quotes, you write of your own accord freshly.

    • Soh Wei Yu
      What I mean is that the three turnings is clearly defined by Buddha in the Mahayana sutras, and anything else is a later commentary or definition. Unless you can provide me a direct citation from a scripture that shows the three turnings to be explained in the way you explained?
      This is the citation I provided you before:
      "In the country of Benares at Rsipatana in the Deer Park, the World-honored One first turned the wheel of doctrine, [teaching] the four holy truths for those setting out in the word-hearers' vehicle. This turning of the wheel was marvelous and wonderful, such as nobody, whether gods or men, had been able to turn in the world before. Nevertheless there were superior teachings, for [this first turning] had to be interpreted and occasioned controversy. Then the World-honored One with an underlying intent turned the wheel for the second time for the sake of those setting out in the great vehicle, [teaching] that all things have no-essence, no arising, and no passing away, are originally quiescent, and are essentially in cessation. This turning of the wheel was marvelous and wonderful indeed. Nevertheless there were teachings superior to this, for it also had to be interpreted and occasioned controversy. The World-honored One then with an explicit meaning for the third time turned the wheel of doctrine for those setting out in all the vehicles, [teaching] that all things have no-essence, no arising, and no passing away, are originally quiescent, and are essentially in cessation. This turning was the most marvelous and wonderful that had ever occurred in the world. It had no superior nor did it contain any implicit meaning nor occasion any controversy." (Samdhinirmocana Sutra, ch 5, p 49; tr. Keenan, BDK edition)
      So, to sum up the teachings of the three turnings:
      1. four holy truths for those setting out in the word-hearers' vehicle 2. all things have no-essence, no arising, and no passing away, are originally quiescent, and are essentially in cessation 3. all things have no-essence, no arising, and no passing away, are originally quiescent, and are essentially in cessation
      The definitions of the second and third turnings are identical.
      The same sutra also answers the question about the nature of the unconditioned.
      "Good son, the term 'unconditioned' is also a word provisionally invented by the First Teacher. Now, if the First Teacher provisionally invented this word, then it is a verbal expression apprehended by imagination. And, if it is a verbal expression apprehended by imagination, then, in the final analysis, such an imagined description does not validate a real thing. Therefore, the unconditioned does not exist." (ch 2, p 12)

    • Adam Holt
      Soh Wei Yu the samdhinirmocana does not use the word tathagatagarbha but it means the same. If one concludes that the second and third are the exact same after reading the samdhinirmocana one is basically stupid and unable to see.

    • Adam Holt
      Soh Wei Yu Soh Wei Yu I suspect there was/potentially is an oral pith instruction commentarial tradition connected with that Sutra that is either lost or it is hidden to the public, as such a thing would be.
      It obviously is quite silly to say, "There are the 2nd and third turnings. The 2nd is able to be misconstrued, and the third isn't, the third is unsurpassed, but the 2nd and 3rd are exactly the same in every way and actually there isn't a 2nd and third turning at all!"
      That's obviously quite silly from an analytical point of view, clearly there is a difference. Now, as for the phrases used, those do indeed apply to the 2nd and 3rd turnings.
      And I think basically you could say the difference is as follows - the first turning basically teaches the correct relative. Of course, for one that can see, the full scope of the dharma is found in all turnings, but nonetheless, the emphasis of the first turning is the correct relative, and it points at the ultimate.
      The second turning basically establishes the two truths and therefore establishes a proper understanding of the ultimate. But in terms of its emphasis, it is not free from subtle tendencies of the mind.
      As Mipham says in his text on the middle way,
      "Appearing yet unreal, like an illusion, dream,
      Reflected moon, echo, city in the clouds,
      Hallucination, mirage, and the like.
      Appearing yet empty, empty yet appearing—
      Meditate on the way empty appearances resemble illusions.
      This is the ultimate that is categorized conceptually.
      It has the confidence of a mind of understanding,
      And is indeed the stainless wisdom of seeing
      The illusory nature of post-meditative experience.
      Yet it is not yet free from focus on apprehended objects,
      Nor have the features of a subjective mind been overcome,
      And so, since it has not gone beyond conceptuality,
      The true reality of natural simplicity is not seen.
      Once this kind of certainty has arisen,
      Even clinging to mere illusion
      Can be understood as conceptual imputation."
      Generally by itself, as Longchenpa says, the 2nd turning sort of teaches a 'space-like emptiness'.
      The third turning, in terms of its emphasis, basically directly points out non-conceptual realization of the deathless. It is essentially a pointing out instruction. This points towards essentially this, which I imagine you're familiar with -
      Of note, in Dzogchen for instance the importance of the guru is paramount, and this is valid and true. But it can be considered that the guru can manifest in various forms. Kongtrul for instance talks about how a guru can be an ordinary being, a bodhisattva, a nirmanakaya, or a sambhogakaya guru. A nirmanakaya can be, for instance, a text. And for one who is suitable, teaching the tathagatagarbha is exactly a pointing out. The four terms self (atman), purity, permanence, and bliss all essentially point directly towards non-conceptual realization. But as Dudjom says in one of the links I provided above, these terms must be approached with the four reliances to be properly realized.
      When it comes to the Samdhinirmocana for instance, the bottom line is that people don't fuly understand the import of the four reliances. They cannot see properly, and approach it with the mundane mind, when they think the 2nd and 3rd are the same.
      As for how the tathagatagarbha is not explicitly mentioned in the Samdhinirmocana, again I think basically this is purposeful in terms of the exoteric spread of the text, but there are those who can actually see. This is why, for instance, Longchenpa is explicit in saying that the tathagatagarbha texts are the definitive ones. He understands properly. As does Dudjom, Dilgo Khyentse, etc.
      A scholar may not understand properly. Which is probably appropriate, because such a person probably should be primarily working with the intention of the 2nd turning.
      Basically speaking. FWIW.
      Now, I'm not necessarily saying you're wrong in much of what you're saying, or your thought within your scope.
      The Essence of Mind
      The Essence of Mind
      The Essence of Mind

      • Reply
      • 3h
      • Edited

    • Adam Holt
      Soh Wei Yu I think it may be that when you talking about starting with luminosity, basically you are talking about starting with the third turning which is not properly fully realized, and then sort of 'backfilling' it with the lower two turnings, at which point the third turning is properly realized. This is fair, but in this case, the third tuning was and continues to be unsurpassed and correct.
      If one sort of starts from the first turning conceptually, this leads conceptually to the second, and then that leads to the third.
      And, again, for one who is intelligent, all three are present in all three. As the Samdhinirmocana says more or less, it's not that one is wrong, it's that they can be misconstrued.
      The second tends to be misconstrued in that one develops an 'understanding' which is short of the nectar like ambrosial wisdom of the deathless. The third is free from this, as that's exactly what it points at.

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Regarding 'deathless' one has to be very careful as it can easily lead to the first level, something I wrote back in 2011:
      The Unborn Dharma
      A discussion with a friend in TheTaoBums, who himself has pretty deep insights.
      Sorry for the slow reply... Didn't really have much time last week - long shifts on duty in operations on an island and lack access to internet apart from my phone. (well I am still only using my phone now but have more time to reply). I'm back from the operation late saturday and just fired 115 rounds last night in a machine gun live firing exercise (from one hill to another hill with night vision, kinda fun). Not that I like military life in general tho - we are just told to "suck up" the two years of national service in Singapore. (It does suck to have your freedom taken away and have to stay in camp every weekday)
      There are different understandings about unborn... Related to different realisations.
      At the I AM (realization of luminosity but inherent and dualistic) and substantial nondual (nondual but inherent) level, unborn is understood in terms of an unchanging, inherent, birthless and deathless awareness. At this point, we discover ourselves as an all-pervading presence not bounded by the birth and death of this body-mind. As an analogy, you used to think you are one of the wave arising and subsiding in the ocean, but now you realize you are the whole ocean. Or you used to think you are the drop of water, until that drop of water sinks into the ocean and you can no longer find a separate identity or drop of water apart from the entire ocean. Or the outbreathe merges with the air in the environment, the air in the vase becomes inseparable from the air of the whole world when the vase breaks. These analogies should give you a sense of the 'all-pervadingness' of Pure Presence, and how 'deathlessness' is experienced when the sense of 'individuality' is overcome in the discovery of one's true identity as this all-pervading Presence. At this level of insight, the transience (the birth and death of waves on the ocean) in contrast is understood to be illusory, unlike the real, absolute unchanging awareness (the deathless oceanic Presence)... it should be understood that the lack of individual identity in the all-pervading Presence is not to be understood as the no-self of Anatta which will be explained further on.
      Even though it might be understood that the unchanging awareness is inseperable from illusory, transient experiences (nonduality of subject and object). This is understanding unborn from an inherent (albeit nondual) perspective. This is also the understanding of advaita vedanta (though a common understanding among some zennists, shentongpas, etc). This is understanding things from the substantialist non-dual point of view.
      Second is unborn from the perspective of anatta... Due to the insight of anatta it is seen that there is no inherent self anywhere, no subject, no substantiality to any phenomena including a superawareness of sorts... Seeing is the seen, scenery sees! Awareness is realized to simply be a label collating the various transient experiences in the same way that the word weather is a label collating the various diverse, dynamic and ungraspable manifestations like clouds, rain, lightning, wind, etc. Similarly awareness is not an unchanging essence located anywhere but is simply the self-luminous transient manifestations.
      So how is this anatta linked to unborn if there is no unchanging awareness? It is the absence of a self at the center that links and persists throughout experience - walking from point A to point Z, there is no sense that there is a self unchanged throughout point A to point Z - instead, experiences are experienced as disjoint, unsupported, self-releasing and spontaneous. In other words, point A is point A complete in itself, same goes to point B, C, to Z.
      Do take note that experience is effortlessly and implicitly non-dual, just a refinement of 'view' after this new found experience and realization. That is, from this implicitly and effortlessly non-dual experience and without having the need to reify and rely on a 'source', how is 'unborn' understood?
      If we keep on penetrating this, it will come a time that 'boom' we suddenly realized that why is there a need to do so? Why is the relying of the Source so persistent? It is because we have relied on a wrong view despite the right experience.
      Once the willingness to let go of the 'wrong dualistic and inherent view' arose, it suddenly it became clear that all along I am still unknowingly relying on 'wrong view'. For example, seeing the same 'mind' being transformed into the transience manifestation.
      In actuality there is in seeing just the seen, no seer, in hearing just sounds, no hearer. How is this deathless if there is just manifestation? Just as Zen Master Dogen puts it: firewood does not turn into ashes, firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood while ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash, while at the same time ash contains firewood, firewood contains ash (all is the manifestation of the interdependent universe as if the entire universe is coming together to give rise to this experience and thus all is contained in one single expression).
      The similar principle applies not just to firewood and ash but to everything else: for example you do not say summer turns into autumn and autumn turns into winter - summer is summer, autumn is autumn, distinct and complete in itself yet each instance of existence time contains the past, present and future in it. So the same applies to birth and death - birth does not turn into death as birth is the phenomenal expression of birth and death is the phenomenal expression of death - they are interdependent yet disjoint, unsupported, complete. Accordingly, birth is no-birth and death is no-death... Since each moment is not really a starting point or ending point for a entity - without the illusion and reference of a self-entity - every moment is simply a complete manifestation of itself. And every manifestation does not leave traces: they are disjoint, unsupported and self-releases upon inception. This wasn't dogen's exact words but I think the gist is there, you should read dogen's genjokoan which I posted in my blog.
      Lastly is understanding the unborn dharma from the perspective of shunyata. This perspective should complement with the perspective of anatta for true deep experiential insight (without realization of anatta, there will still be clinging to a base, ground, somewhere).
      The Unborn Dharma
      The Unborn Dharma
      The Unborn Dharma

      • Reply
      • Remove Preview
      • 2h

    • Soh Wei Yu
      I should say the realization of the unborn dharma (from shunyata) arose the day after you sent me this PM - the details of which can be found in the last ten to twenty pages of my ebook - new materials just added on sunday, in a new chapter called "shunyata". The realization arose spontaneously while simultaneously reading and contemplating an article from a highly experienced mahamudra practitioner/blogger, Chodpa, owner of the blog luminous emptiness.
      The realization of unborn from the perspective of emptiness is the realization that everything experienced - thoughts and sensate perceptions are utterly unlocatable, ungraspable, empty. In investigation where did thought arise from, where is thought currently located, and where will thought go to, it is discovered that thoughts are indeed like a magician's trick! No source can be located, no destination can be found, and the thought is located nowhere at all - it is unfindable, ungraspable... Yet "it" magically and vividly appears! Out of nowhere, in nowhere, to nowhere, dependently originated and empty... A magical apparition appears, vividly luminously yet empty. When this is seen, there is an amazement, wonder, and great bliss arising out of direct cognition of the magic of empty luminosity. So how is this linked to unborn? It is realized that everything is li
      terally an appearance, a display, a function, and this display i
      nowhere inherent or located anywhere - so like a dream, like a tv show, characters of the show may vividly appear to suffer birth and death and yet we know it is simply a show - it's undeniably there (vividly appearing) yet it's not really there. It has no actual birth, death, place of origin, place of abidance, place of destination, ground, core, substance.
      However in the insight of emptiness, this is different from substantial nonduality as there is no referencing of the manifestations and appearances as being part of an unchanging awareness. Awareness is the unborn display - not the display is appearing in/as an unborn, unchanging Awareness. This is the difference between unborn understood from a nondual and noninherent view, and unborn understood from a nondual but inherent view. Even though it is realised all is mind/experience, there is no substance to mind/experience. It is not the same as the subsuming of all experiences to a "one mind" like substantial nondualism. There is also no cosmic mind (this is actually a nonbuddhist view) but individual, unique and nondual mindstreams.
      Lastly if you are interested in dzogchen (oh and just wondering, are you more into mahamudra or dzogchen?) you might want to chat with loppon namdrol in dharmawheel (vajrahridaya informed me that namdrol has recently started posting in that forum, previously namdrol posted mostly in esangha before it was taken down), namdrol is very knowledgeable, has deep wisdom and is an experienced dzogchen practitioner under chogyal namkhai norbu rinpoche. He is a loppon which means he has like a phd in buddhism, and if memory serves he was asked by a lama to teach dzogchen though he rejected it.
      Finally just a note, whenever there is any mentions of permanence, it is not a permanent metaphysical essence of awareness or substance... But emptiness (the absence of inherent existence) is the permanent nature of everything.
      Also, as Loppon Namdrol pointed out, Mahaparinirvana sutra and other teachings on Tathagatagarbha on permanence, self etc shld be understood in terms of Emptiness and No-self - it is simply the subversion of Hindu concepts of atman and brahman into emptiness and noself - the true essence is lack of essence. And as Lankavatara sutra points out, the teachings of true self by Buddha is not the same as non-Buddhist teachings of an all-pervasive creator and Self but is simply a skillful means to lead those who fear emptiness to the profound prajna wisdom. It (true self, tathagatagarbha, etc) is not meant to be taken literally as pointing to an inherently existing metaphysical essence. It is a teaching device.
      Labels: Anatta, Emptiness, I AMness, Non Dual, Stages of Enlightenment, Unborn, Zen Master Dogen |

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Adam Holt Also, Dalai Lama actually puts it very well here:

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Dalai Lama on Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Emptiness and Buddha Nature
      Also see: Dalai Lama on Anatta and Emptiness of Buddha Nature in New Book
      While discussing with Yin Ling just now I re-read a passage in Dalai Lama's book. Pretty good so wanted to share.
      Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā
      According to Sūtra, meditation on the clear and cognizant nature of the mind or on the transforming buddha nature alone will not eradicate afflictions. However, it does lead us to have more confidence that afflictions are not an inherent part of the mind and therefore that becoming a buddha is possible. This, in turn, leads us to question: What defiles the mind and what can eliminate these defilements completely? Seeking the method to purify the transforming buddha nature, we will cultivate the wisdom realizing the emptiness of inherent existence and eradicate ignorance.
      According to Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā, meditation on the clear and cognizant nature of the mind could lead the coarse winds to dissolve and the subtlest clear light mind to become manifest. When this happens, practitioners who have previously cultivated a correct understanding of emptiness then incorporate that understanding in their meditation and use the innate clear light mind to realize emptiness and abolish afflictions.
      It is important to understand the Sublime Continuum correctly from a Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā point of view. Some people take it literally, leading them to incorrectly believe that primordial wisdom is permanent, inherently existent, independent of any other factors, and does not rely on causes and conditions. They then make statements such as, “If you unravel this secret, you will be liberated.”
      Dodrup Jigme Tenpai Nyima (1865–1926) and his disciple Tsultrim Zangpo (1884–c.1957), who were great Dzogchen scholars and practitioners, said that the mere presence of this primordial wisdom within us alone cannot liberate us. Why not? At the time of death, all other minds have dissolved, and only the primordial mind remains. Even though it has manifested in all the infinite number of deaths we have experienced in saṃsāra, that has not helped us attain buddhahood. These two sages say that in order to attain buddhahood, it is necessary to utilize the primordial wisdom to realize emptiness; only that will liberate us. This is consistent with Tsongkhapa’s view.
      Some commentaries on Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā say: This wisdom that abides in the afflictions is the true wisdom, and on this basis every sentient being is already a buddha. Although we have been buddhas from beginningless time, we have to be awakened again. The wisdom that we have now is the omniscient mind of a buddha, and the three bodies of a buddha exist innately in each sentient being. Sentient beings have a basis of essential purity that is not merely emptiness but is endowed with three aspects. Its entity is the dharmakāya — the mode of abiding of pristine wisdom; its nature is the enjoyment body — the appearance aspect of that mind; and compassion is the emanation bodies — its radiance or expression. In short, they say that all three buddha bodies are present, fully formed in our ordinary state, but since they are obscured we are not aware of their presence.
      Such statements taken literally are fraught with problems. While some people are partial and unfair in their criticism and refute misconceptions in only some traditions, Changkya Rolpai Dorje (1717–86) was unbiased and pointed out incorrect interpretations in all four Tibetan traditions, including his own Geluk tradition. In his Song of the Experience of the View, he says, “I say this not out of disrespect to these masters, but perhaps they have had less exposure to rigorous philosophical investigation of the great treatises and were unable to use certain terminology appropriately.” That is, the difficulty in their assertions lies in a broad use of terminology that is not grounded in the authority of the great treatises. Of course, Changkya’s comments do not apply to Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā masters such as Dodrup Jigme Tenpai Nyima and his teacher Awa Pangchu, who have done serious philosophical study and examination of the great treatises and who ground their understanding of Dzogchen in them. Their interpretations and writings are excellent.
      All four Tibetan traditions teach practices that search for the mind — where it came from, where it goes, what its shape and color are, and so forth. Speaking of this shared practice, Changkya said that after searching in this manner, we find that the mind is not tangible, lacks color and shape, and does not come from one place or go to another. Discovering this, meditators experience a sensation of voidness. However, this voidness is not the emptiness of inherent existence that is the ultimate reality of the mind; it is the mere absence of the mind being a tangible object. Although someone may think this voidness is ultimate reality and meditate in that state for a long time, this is not meditation on the ultimate nature of the mind. There are two ways to meditate on the mind. The first is as above, examining whether the mind has color, shape, location, tangibility, and so forth. This leads to the sense that the conventional nature of the mind lacks these qualities. The second is meditation on the ultimate nature of the mind, in which we examine the mind’s ultimate mode of existence and discover its emptiness of inherent existence. People who confuse these two ways of meditating on the mind and think that the mind’s absence of tangibility, color, and so forth is the mind’s ultimate nature may criticize masters such as Dignāga and Dharmakīrti for their precise expositions on debate, logic, and reasoning, saying these only increase preconceptions. Gungtang Konchog Tenpai Dronme (1762–1823), another master who was impartial in his critical analysis of Tibetan Buddhist traditions, said he found this amazing.
      Some people believe there is no need for reasoning or investigation on the path, that simply by having faith and receiving the blessing of a guru primordial wisdom will arise. In this light, I have been very happy to see the establishment of more shedras — academic institutes — that teach the classical philosophical texts from India and Tibet.
      Some Westerners similarly do not value Dharma study and investigation, perhaps because Buddhadharma is relatively new in the West. Without a comprehensive understanding of the Buddhadharma, people tend to seek the easiest and shortest path to awakening, a path that does not require giving up their attachments. Such an attitude exists among Tibetans as well. Tsongkhapa said that many people think that the Buddha’s qualities are wonderful, but when a spiritual mentor explains through reasoning and scriptural citations how to attain them, they become discouraged and say, “Who can actually achieve such realizations?”
      Dalai Lama on Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Emptiness and Buddha Nature
      Dalai Lama on Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Emptiness and Buddha Nature
      Dalai Lama on Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Emptiness and Buddha Nature

      • Reply
      • Remove Preview
      • 2h

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Are We Already Buddhas?
      In the Tathāgatagarbha Sūtra, the Buddha explained that each sentient being possesses a permanent, stable, stable, and enduring tathāgatagarbha that is a fully developed buddha body (kāya) replete with the thirty-two signs of a buddha. Questions arise: If an already realized buddha existed within us, wouldn’t we be ignorant buddhas? If we were actual buddhas now, what would be the purpose of practicing the path? If we were already buddhas and yet still needed to purify defilements, wouldn’t a buddha have defilements? If we had a permanent, stable, and enduring essence, wouldn’t that contradict the teachings on selflessness and instead resemble the self or soul asserted by non-Buddhists? Mahāmati expressed these same doubts to the Buddha in the Descent into Lanka Sūtra:
      The tathāgatagarbha taught [by the Buddha in some sūtras] is said to be clear light in nature, completely pure from the beginning, and to e
      xist possessing the thirty-two signs in the bodies of all sentient beings. If, like a precious gem wrapped in a dirty cloth, [the Buddha] expressed that [tathāgatagarbha] — wrapped in and dirtied by the cloth of the aggregates, constituents, and sources; overwhelmed by the force of attachment, animosity, and ignorance; dirtied with the defilements of conceptualizations; and permanent, stable, and enduring — how is this propounded as tathāgatagarbha different from the non-Buddhists propounding a self?88
      Some Tibetan scholars accept the teaching on a permanent, stable, and enduring buddha nature literally, saying it is a definitive teaching. Sharing the doubts expressed above by Mahāmati, Prāsaṅgikas say this is an interpretable teaching. They say this, not on a whim, but by examining three points.
      (1) What was the Buddha’s final intended meaning when he made this statement? When speaking of a permanent, stable, and enduring essence in each sentient being, the Buddha’s intended meaning was the emptiness of the mind, the naturally abiding buddha nature, which is permanent, stable, and enduring. Because the mind is empty of inherent existence and the defilements are adventitious, buddhahood is possible.
      (2) What was the Buddha’s purpose for teaching this? The Buddha taught a permanent, stable, enduring essence complete with the thirty-two signs, in order to calm some people’s fear of selflessness and to gradually lead non-Buddhists to the full realization of suchness. At present, these people, who are spiritually immature, feel comfortable with the idea of a permanent essence. The idea of the emptiness of inherent existence frightens them; they mistakenly think it means that nothing whatsoever exists. They fear that by realizing emptiness, they will disappear and cease to exist. To calm this fear, the Buddha spoke in a way that corresponds with their current ideas. Later, when they are more receptive, he will teach them the actual meaning. This is similar to the way skillful parents simplify complex ideas to make them comprehensible to young children.
      (3) What logical inconsistencies arise from taking this statement literally? Accepting this teaching on a permanent, stable, and enduring buddha nature at face value contradicts the definitive meaning of emptiness and selflessness explained by the Buddha in the Perfection of Wisdom sūtras. In those sūtras, the Buddha set forth many reasonings that refute this view. Furthermore, if this statement were accepted literally, the Buddha’s teachings would be no different from those of non-Buddhists who assert a permanent self.
      The emptiness of inherent existence — which is the ultimate reality and the natural purity of the mind — exists in all sentient beings without distinction. Based on this, it is said that a buddha is present. But the ultimate reality of a buddha does not exist in sentient beings. While buddhas and sentient beings are the same in that the ultimate nature of their minds is emptiness, that ultimate reality is not the same because one is the ultimate reality of a buddha’s mind — the nature dharmakāya — and the other is the ultimate reality of a defiled mind. If we said that the nature dharmakāya existed in sentient beings, we would have to also say that the wisdom dharmakāya, which is one nature with it, existed in sentient beings. That would mean that sentient beings were omniscient, which certainly is not the case! Similarly, if the abandonment of all defilements existed in ordinary sentient beings, there would be nothing to prevent them from directly perceiving the natural purity of their minds. They would directly realize emptiness. This, too, is not the case.
      Some people say the dharmakāya with the two purities — the natural purity and the purity of the abandonment of all defilements — exists in the mindstreams of sentient beings, but because sentient beings are obscured, they don’t perceive it. If that were the case, then whose mind is purified and who attains the freedom that is the purity of all defilements? If sentient beings already possess the dharmakāya, there is no need for them to practice the path and purify their minds, because from beginningless time their minds have been free of adventitious defilements.
      The assertion that a buddha complete with the thirty-two signs exists within the continuums of all sentient beings echoes the theistic theory of an eternally pure, unchanging self. If the thirty-two signs were already present in us, it would be contradictory to say that we still need to practice the path to create the causes for them. If someone says that they are already in us in an unmanifest form and they just need to be made manifest, that resembles the Sāṃkhya notion of arising from self, because even though existing, this buddha would need to be produced again in order to be made manifest. Nāgārjuna and his followers soundly refuted production from self.
      The sūtra continues with the Buddha’s response:
      Mahāmati, my teaching of the tathāgatagarbha is not similar to the propounding of a self by non-Buddhists. Mahāmati, the tathāgatas, arhats, the perfectly completed buddhas indicated the tathāgatagarbha with the meaning of the words emptiness, limit of complete purity, nirvāṇa, unborn, signless, wishless, and so forth. [They do this] so that the immature might completely relinquish a state of fear regarding the selfless, [and to] teach the nonconceptual state, the sphere without appearance.89
      Here we see that the Buddha skillfully taught different ideas to different people, according to what was necessary at the moment and beneficial in the long term to further them on the path. We also learn that we must think deeply about the teachings, exploring them from various viewpoints and bring knowledge gained from reasoning and from reading other scriptures to discern their definitive meaning. The purpose of learning about buddha nature is to understand that the mind is not intrinsically flawed and that, on the contrary, it can be perfected. It is not just that the mind can be transformed; there is already part of the mind that allows it to be purified and perfected. Understanding this gives us great confidence and energy to practice the methods to purify and perfect this mind of ours so that it will become the mind of a fully awakened buddha.
      What does it mean to say that pristine wisdom abides in the afflictions?
      Are we already wise buddhas but just don’t know it?
      Do buddhas have afflictions?
      The Buddha said there is a permanent, stable, and enduring buddha nature in each of us. What was his final intended meaning in saying this? What was his purpose for teaching this?
      What logical inconsistencies arise from taking this statement literally?
      Lama, Dalai; Chodron, Thubten. Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature (The Library of Wisdom and Compassion Book 3) (p. 372). Wisdom Publications. Kindle Edition.

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Sorry for the long paste but I think it is very well written. By HHDL.
      Here he is not over emphasizing the 'wisdom' or aspect of clarity. There is not denial of it but emphasis here is to give rise to the prajna wisdom of emptiness that liberates.
      Rather than treating the aspect of clarity or wisdom as ultimate or highest.

    • Soh Wei Yu
      This is also why as John tan said,
      In January 2005, John Tan wrote:
      “[19:21] <^john^> learn how to experience emptiness and no-selfness. 🙂
      [19:22] <^john^> this is the only way to liberate.
      [19:22] <^john^> not to dwell too deeply into the minor aspect of pure awareness.
      [19:23] <^john^> of late i have been seeing songs and poems relating to the luminosity aspect of Pure Awareness.
      [19:23] <^john^> uncreated, original, mirror bright, not lost in nirvana and samsara..etc
      [19:23] <^john^> what use is there?
      [19:24] <ZeN`n1th> oic...
      [19:24] <^john^> we have from the very beginning so and yet lost for countless aeons of lives.
      [19:25] <^john^> buddha did not come to tell only about the luminosity aspect of pure awareness.
      [19:25] <^john^> this has already been expressed in vedas.
      [19:25] <^john^> but it becomes Self.
      [19:25] <^john^> the ultimate controller
      [19:26] <^john^> the deathless
      [19:26] <^john^> the supreme.. etc
      [19:26] <^john^> this is the problem.
      [19:26] <^john^> this is not the ultimate nature of Pure Awareness.
      [19:27] <^john^> for full enlightenment to take place, experience the clarity and emptiness. That's all.”

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Likewise HHDL also said
      Dalai Lama - "Nature - there are many different levels. Conventional level, one nature. There are also, you see, different levels. Then, ultimate level, ultimate reality... so simply realise the Clarity of the Mind, that is the conventional level. That is common with Hindus, like that. So we have to know these different levels...." - (Part 2)
      His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Hyon Gak Sunim: A Conversation - Part 2
      His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Hyon Gak Sunim: A Conversation - Part 2
      His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Hyon Gak Sunim: A Conversation - Part 2

      • Reply
      • Remove Preview
      • 2h

    • Soh Wei Yu
      More wonderful quotes by HHDL on anatta and emptiness here in his new book:
      Dalai Lama on Anatta and Emptiness of Buddha Nature in New Book
      Dalai Lama on Anatta and Emptiness of Buddha Nature in New Book
      Dalai Lama on Anatta and Emptiness of Buddha Nature in New Book

      • Reply
      • Remove Preview
      • 2h

    • Adam Holt
      Soh Wei Yu FWIW, for now or later, essentially all I am interested in when discussing anything with you is fresh responses, not old posts or citations from others, unless those citations fit particularly well into a fresh response from you. In all of your responses above since my last message, essentially none of it was fresh, except for you cautioning against using the term the deathless. You may think I'm foolish for this, which is fine, you're welcome to think as you like. Best wishes.

    • Adam Holt
      Soh Wei Yu To be honest this is largely why I avoid interacting with you at all, although for whatever reason(s), whenever I do significant Dorje Drolo practice I seem compelled to connect with you and I can't quite resist.

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Adam Holt Please read what I posted as they are very important points. By HHDL. If you understand that point, then what is there to argue with me at all?

    • Soh Wei Yu
      HHDL: "Dodrup Jigme Tenpai Nyima (1865–1926) and his disciple Tsultrim Zangpo (1884–c.1957), who were great Dzogchen scholars and practitioners, said that the mere presence of this primordial wisdom within us alone cannot liberate us. Why not? At the time of death, all other minds have dissolved, and only the primordial mind remains. Even though it has manifested in all the infinite number of deaths we have experienced in saṃsāra, that has not helped us attain buddhahood. These two sages say that in order to attain buddhahood, it is necessary to utilize the primordial wisdom to realize emptiness; only that will liberate us."
      Same message as me, John Tan, Yin Ling, Dzogchen teacher Malcolm Smith, many other Dzogchen teachers, HHDL, and countless others

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Nothing to argue here.

    • Adam Holt
      Soh Wei Yu The significant majority of what you write is not directly relevant to my thought, FYI. You seem to not understand my thought, which is partly why unless there are fresh responses it is not compelling to me to engage with you. As of now, I will simply stop. Take care, and best wishes.

    • Soh Wei Yu
      For us, spontaneous presence is natural state immediately after anatta realization. Anything short of spontaneous presence is not what we call anatta realization but an intellectual or inferential understanding. This is what is also explained in

      • Reply
      • 2h
      • Edited

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Adam Holt Also Mipham is one of the favourite Tibetan teachers/authors of John Tan (but he equally likes others like Tsongkhapa and is unbiased toward any particular tradition)
      John Tan also wrote this before:
      “Hi Tao, the 2 stanzas of seeing through self/Self led to the direct face to face authentication of mere appearances as one's radiance clarity and accompanying the anatta insight are these following experiences and realisations:
      1. Non-conceptual
      2. Non-dual
      3. Non-inherent-ness
      4. Coalescence emptiness and appearance
      5. Purity and equality
      6. Direct authentication of one's clarity as the dynamism of mere appearances.
      7. Effortlessness and natural spontaneity
      In fact all of what Mipham spelled out in the 4 experiences of mmk are all present and more in terms of direct experiential taste 🤣 but in terms of relinquishing the 2 obscurations it is still inadequate imo. Why?
      Because the flaw logic of "inherent-ness" is not thoroughly seen through from all angles and depth of the union of emptiness and dependent arising has not been fully understood by the conceptual mind that rest upon a paradigm of "inherent-ness and duality". This point that sutra and tantra compliment each other is emphasized by Mipham which is unique and crucial imo.
      Sometimes it is good and advisable to step backward and look. A backward step does not necessarily mean retrogression; contrary it can make one see much more clearly. Imo what ATR lacks is the missing dots that link the 2 stanzas through mmk analysis in which I m too lazy to write...haha 😜

      • Reply
      • 2h
      • Edited

    • Soh Wei Yu
      On the 4 experiences of mmk: "When we use the term "non-arisen", we are talking about the traditional two truth model so we must look at both the ultimate and conventional nature. In ultimate analysis the "laptop" is empty and non-arisen; conventionally the "laptop" arose and the only valid mode of arising is via causes and conditions.
      We follow the view and its praxis until the nature of mind and phenomena is clearly understood analytically. Until gnosis (prajna) is able to intuitive emptiness free from extremes/conceptualities/all elaborations.
      Take note that the path of non affirmative negation is only part of the story and to Mipham without seeing coalescence of appearance and emptiness, it is considered notional emptiness. He presents the 4 stages of Madhyamaka experiences as emptiness --> coalescence --> lack of elaborations --> equality.
      It is a gradual approach where the insight and experience of former phase will form the foundation for the next phase to arise until the non-conceptual gnosis of spontaneous presence is realized.
      What lies after is the pure, unfabricated, uncontrieved view of spontaneous presence which is inexpressible since it is beyond all notions and elaborations.
      I think these 4 phases are extremely helpful pointers for ATR ppl post anatta insight. Before that, the nature of mind and phenomena is still unclear. For you, the insights and experiences are there but the view is still very weak and needs lots of refinement. This is not your fault, me included (🤣) as we start from koan and contemplate on short stanzas. However if you want to have firmed and stable progress, you got to keep refining your view."

    • Reply
    • 2h