Showing posts with label Emptiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Emptiness. Show all posts

Taken from Reddit

“Qn: I’m often wondering how understanding necessarily emptiness changes the way we relate to phenomena. For instance, how does this realization make my mind free from afflictions like anger, craving, clinging and so on?

Kyle (Krodha) replied:

Anger, craving and clinging are activities that in most cases, assume a subject-object duality. There is the assumption of a self that is interacting with objects, and that this self-entity as an agent can crave, cling, become angry at a foreign object or person that exists separately (from said self).

The experiential realization of emptiness collapses this subject-object duality so that there is no experience of a substantial inner reference point relating to external phenomena. The realization of emptiness also nullifies external entities, and reveals that outer phenomena are misconceptions, abstractions. Both sides of the dichotomy are uprooted, the self that can become angry, or crave, and the external phenomena to become angry at, crave or cling to... both sides are seen as a misconception or abstraction.

Emptiness is like awakening to realize that the appearance of a snake lying on the ground in a dark room is actually just a rope. Prior to recognizing the nature of that appearance, the alleged snake was capable of conjuring all sorts of emotions, fear, curiosity, worry, and so on. However, once the lights are turned on, and it is recognized that the snake was actually a rope all along, then the basis for fear, curiosity, worry and any other emotions or activities related to a snake are all evaporated instantly - because they were all predicated on a misconception.

In the same way, in realizing emptiness the basis for anger, craving and clinging would be evaporated instantly because they are also predicated on misconceptions.”

Kyle: “The Samādhirāja cited earlier says:

Young man, bodhisattva mahāsattvas who have become skilled in the wisdom of the nonexistent nature of all phenomena do not have desire for any form, sound, smell, taste, or touch. They do not become angry. They are never ignorant.

Why is that? It is because they do not see phenomena; there is no object to perceive. They do not see the phenomena of desire, the desire, or the desirer; that which angers, the anger, or one who is angry; nor that of which one is ignorant, the ignorance, or the one who is ignorant, and therefore there is no such object to perceive.

Because there is nothing to be seen and there is no object to perceive, they have no attachment to anything in the three realms and they will quickly attain this samādhi, and quickly attain the highest, complete enlightenment of perfect buddhahood.

On this topic, it has been said: All phenomena have no existence; They are all devoid of attributes and without characteristics, without birth and without cessation. That is how you should perfectly understand phenomena. Everything is without existence, without words, empty, peaceful, and primordially stainless. The one who knows phenomena, young man, that one is called a buddha.”


Translated from English to Chinese with the help of William, another friend, myself, and ChatGPT. 


Original English link:

請看:Thusness “真如”/PasserBy “過路人”開悟的七個階段 - Chinese Translation of Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment

請看:(Traditional Chinese) 佛性不是“我是/我在/本我” - Buddha Nature is NOT "I Am"

 On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection


Also see:


Two Types of Nondual Contemplation after I AM


+A and -A Emptiness


(Last Updated: 14th March 2009)

Article written by: Thusness/PasserBy

Wonder why but of late, the topic on anatta kept surfacing in forums. Perhaps 'yuan' (condition) has arisen. -:) I will just jot down some thoughts on my experiences of ‘no-self’. A casual sharing, nothing authoritative.


The 2 stanzas below are pivotal in leading me to the direct experience of no-self. Although they appear to convey the same stuff about anatta, meditating on these 2 stanzas can yield 2 very different experiential insights -- one on the emptiness aspect and the other, the non-dual luminosity aspect. The insights that arise from these experiences are very illuminating as they contradict so much our ordinary understanding of what awareness is.

下面的兩節詩在我體驗“無我”中,起了至關重要的作用。雖然他們傳達了一樣的意思,但是冥想這兩節詩會產生不同的體驗頓悟 -  一個是空性的角度,另一個則是無二元的光明。從這些體驗中所產生的頓悟是具有啟蒙性的,因為他們與我們通常理解中“什么是本覺”是相悖的。

There is thinking, no thinker

There is hearing, no hearer

There is seeing, no seer





In thinking, just thoughts

In hearing, just sounds

In seeing, just forms, shapes and colors. 




Before proceeding any further, it is of absolute importance to know that there is no way the stanzas can be correctly understood by way of inference, logical deduction or induction. Not that there is something mystical or transcendental about the stanzas but simply the way of mental chattering is a 'wrong approach'. The right technique is through 'vipassana' or any more direct and attentive bare mode of observation that allows the seeing of things as they are. Just a casual note, such mode of knowing turns natural when non-dual insight matures, before that it can be quite 'effortful’.

在繼續進行之前,絕對重要的是要知道這些詩節無法通過推理、邏輯演繹或歸納來正確理解。 并不是說它們有什么神秘或超然的地方,只是心理喋喋不休的方式是一種“錯誤的方法”。 正確的技巧是通過Vipassana(毗婆舍那,意思是觀察如其本然的實相)或更直接和更專注與存粹/裸露的覺知方式,允許觀察事物的本來面目。 順便說一句,當非二元的洞見成熟時,這種覺知方式會變得自然,在此之前它可能會非常“費力”。

On the first stanza


The two most obvious experiences from this initial glimpse of the first stanza is the lack of doer-ship and the direct insight of the absence of an agent. These 2 experiences are key for my phase 5 of the 7 phases of insights.

從第一節的最初一瞥中得到的兩個最明顯的體驗是缺乏作者和缺乏主體的直觀洞見。 這兩個經歷是我七個階段的洞見中第五階段的關鍵。

1. The lack of doer-ship that links and co-ordinates experiences.

Without the 'I' that links, phenomena (thoughts, sound, feelings and so on and so forth) appear bubble-like, floating and manifesting freely, spontaneously and boundlessly. With the absence of the doer-ship also comes a deep sense of freedom and transparency. Ironical as it may sound but it's true experientially. We will not have the right understanding when we hold too tightly 'inherent' view. It is amazing how 'inherent' view prevents us from seeing freedom as no-doership, interdependence and interconnectedness, luminosity and non-dual presence.


沒有“我”的聯系,現象(思想、聲音、感受等等)就會像泡沫一樣,自由地、自發/自然地、無邊無際地漂浮和顯化。 隨著作者的缺乏,同時也帶來了一種深刻的自由感和透明感。 當我們對“自性見”過于執著時,將無法正確的理解。這聽起來可能很諷刺,但從經驗上來說確實如此。 令人驚訝的是,“自性見”如何阻礙我們將自由視為無作者、相依和相互聯系、光明和非二元的臨在。

2. The direct insight of the absence of an agent.

In this case, there is a direct recognition that there is “no agent”. Just one thought then another thought. So it is always thought watching thought rather than a watcher watching thought. However the gist of this realization is skewed towards a spontaneous liberating experience and a vague glimpse of the empty nature of phenomena -- that is, the transient phenomena being bubble-like and ephemeral, nothing substantial or solid. At this phase we should not misunderstand that we have experienced thoroughly the ‘empty’ nature of phenomena and awareness, although there is this temptation to think we have. -:)


在這種情況下,有了一個“沒有主體”的直接認知。 只是一個念頭接著另一個念頭。 所以總是一個思想在觀察另一個思想,而不是觀察者在觀察思想。 然而,這種認識的要點偏向于一種自發/自然的解脫體驗和對現象空性本質的模糊一瞥——也就是說,暫時性/短暫的現象是泡沫狀的和暫時性/短暫的,沒有實體或固體。 在這個階段,我們不應該誤解我們已經徹底體驗了現象和意識的“空性”本質,盡管我們會有這種想法的引誘。 -:)

Depending on the conditions of an individual, it may not be obvious that it is “always thought watching thought rather than a watcher watching thought.” or "the watcher is that thought." Because this is the key insight and a step that cannot afford to be wrong along the path of liberation, I cannot help but with some disrespectful tone say,


For those masters that taught,

“Let thoughts arise and subside,

See the background mirror as perfect and be unaffected.”

With all due respect, they have just “blah” something nice but deluded.







See that there is no one behind thoughts.

First, one thought then another thought.

With deepening insight it will later be revealed,

Always just this, One Thought!

Non-arising, luminous yet empty!






And this is the whole purpose of anatta. To thoroughly see through that this background does not exist in actuality. What exists is a stream, action or karma. There is no doer or anything being done, there is only doing; No meditator nor meditation, only meditating. From a letting go perspective, "a watcher watching thought" will create the impression that a watcher is allowing thoughts to arise and subside while itself being unaffected. This is an illusion; it is 'holding' in disguise as 'letting go'. When we realized that there is no background from start, reality will present itself as one whole letting go. With practice, ‘intention’ dwindles with the maturing of insight and ‘doing’ will be gradually experienced as mere spontaneous happening as if universe is doing the work. With the some pointers from 'dependent origination', we can then penetrate further to see this happening as a sheer expression of everything interacting with everything coming into being. In fact, if we do not reify ‘universe’, it is just that -- an expression of interdependent arising that is just right wherever and whenever is.


Understanding this, practice is simply opening to whatever is.

For this mere happening is just right wherever and whenever is.

Though no place can be called home it is everywhere home.




When experience matures in the practice of great ease,

The experience is Maha! Great, miraculous and bliss.

In mundane activities of seeing, eating and tasting,

When expressed poetically is as if the entire universe meditating.


這些經歷是摩訶! 偉大、奇跡和極樂。



Whatever said and expressed are really all different flavors,

Of this everything of everything dependently originating,

As this moment of vivid shimmering.

By then it is clear that the transient phenomena is already happening in the perfect way; unwinding what must be unwinded, manifesting what must be manifested and subsides when it is time to go. There is no problem with this transient happening, the only problem is having an ‘extra mirror’, a reification due to the power of the mind to abstract. The mirror is not perfect; it is the happening that is perfect. The mirror appears to be perfect only to a dualistic and inherent view.




到那時,瞬態現象顯然已經以完美的方式發生; 展開必須展開的東西,展現必須展現的東西,并在該去的時候消退。 這種暫時性/短暫的發生沒有問題,唯一的問題是有一個“額外的鏡子”,由于念頭的抽象能力而具體化。 鏡子并不完美; 所發生的才是完美。 只有在二元和自性見的觀點下,鏡子才顯得完美。

Our deeply held inherent and dualistic view has very subtly and unknowingly personified the "luminous aspect" into the watcher and discarded the "emptiness aspect" as the transient phenomena. The key challenge of practice is then to clearly see that luminosity and emptiness are one and inseparable, they have never and can never be separated.

我們根深蒂固的二元知見已經非常微妙地、不知不覺地將“光明面”擬人化為觀察者,摒棄“空面”作為暫時性/短暫的現象。 修行的主要挑戰就是要清楚地見到光明與空性是一體的,是不可分割的,它們從來沒有也永遠不會分開。

On the second stanza


For the second stanza, the focus is on the vivid, pristine-ness of transience phenomena. Thoughts, sounds and all transient are indistinguishable from Awareness. There is no-experiencer-experience split, only one seamless spontaneous experience arising as thinker/thoughts, hearer/sounds, feeler/feelings and so on. In hearing, hearer and sound are indistinguishably one. For anyone that is familiar with the “I AM” experience, that pure sense of existence, that powerful experience of presence that makes one feel so real, is unforgettable. When the background is gone, all foreground phenomena reveal themselves as Presence. It is like naturally 'vipassanic' throughout or simply put, naked in awareness. From the hissing sound of PC, to the vibration of the moving MRT train, to the sensation when the feet touches the ground, all these experiences are crystal clear, no less “I AM” than “I AM”. The Presence is still fully present, nothing is denied. -:)

對于第二節,重點是瞬態現象的生動、清凈。思想、聲音和所有瞬態都與覺知無法區分。 沒有體驗者--體驗的分割,只有一種無縫的自發/自然體驗作為思想者/思想、聽者/聲音、觸覺者/感覺等出現。 在聽覺上,聽者和聲音是不可區分的。 對于任何熟悉“我是/本我”體驗的人來說,那種純粹的存在感,那種讓人感覺如此真實的強大臨在明覺的體驗,都是難以忘懷的。 當背景消失后,所有前景現象都顯現為臨在明覺。 它就像自然的vipassanic(毗婆舍那,意思是觀察如其本然的實相),或者簡單地說,在覺知中赤身裸體。 從電腦(PC)的嘶嘶聲,到移動中的捷運列車的振動,再到雙腳著地的感覺,所有這些體驗都非常清晰,如同“我是/本我”而不亞于“我是/本我”。 臨在仍然完全臨在,沒有什么是否認的。 -:)

Division of subject and object is merely an assumption.

Thus someone giving up and something to be given up is an illusion.

When self becomes more and more transparent,

Likewise phenomena become more and more luminous.

In thorough transparency all happening are pristinely and vividly clear.

Obviousness throughout, aliveness everywhere!







It will be obvious by then that only the deeply held dualistic view is obscuring our insight into this experiential fact. In actual experience, there is just the crystal clarity of phenomena manifesting. Maturing this experience, the mind-body dissolves into mere non-dual luminosity and all phenomena are experientially understood as the manifestation of this non-dual luminous presence -- the key insight leading to the realization that "All is Mind".

屆時將很明顯,只有根深蒂固的二元知見模糊了我們對這一經驗事實的洞見。 在實際體驗中,只有現象顯現的水晶般清晰。 成熟這種經驗,身心溶解為純粹非二元的光明,所有現象都被體會為這種非二元的光明臨在的表現——這是導致“一切即是心”的關鍵洞見。

After this, not to be too overwhelmed or over-claimed what is more than necessary; rather investigate further. Does this non-dual luminosity exhibit any characteristic of self-nature that is independent, unchanging and permanent? A practitioner can still get stuck for quite sometimes solidifying non-dual presence unknowingly. This is leaving marks of the 'One mirror' as described in the stage 4 of the 7 phases of my insights. Although experience is non-dual, the insight of emptiness is still not there. Though the dualistic bond has loosened sufficiently, the 'inherent' view remains strong.

在此之后,不要過于應接不暇或過度要求什么是不必要的; 而是進一步調查。 這種非二元的光明是否表現出任何獨立、不變和恒常的自性特征? 修行者有時仍會在不知不覺中固化非二元臨在而陷入困境。 正如我見解的 7 個階段的第 4 階段所描述的那樣,這留下了“一面鏡子”的痕跡。 雖然經驗是不二的,但空性的洞見仍然沒有。 盡管二元關系已經充分松動,但“固有”知見(自性見)仍然很強烈。

When the 'subject' is gone, experience becomes non-dual but we forgotten about the 'object'. When object is further emptied, we see Dharmakaya. Do See clearly that for the case of a ‘subject’ that is first penetrated, it is a mere label collating the 5 aggregates but for the next level that is to be negated, it is the Presence that we are emptying -- not a label but the very presence itself that is non-dual in nature.

當“主體”消失時,經驗變得不二,但我們忘記了“客體”。 當對象被進一步清空時,我們見到了法身。 一定要清楚地看到,對于第一次被穿透的“主體”,它只是一個整理 5蘊的標簽,但對于要被否定的下一個層次,我們正在清空的是臨在——不是標簽 而是本質上不二元的臨在本身。

For sincere Buddhist practitioners that have matured non-dual insight, they may prompt themselves why is there a need for Buddha to put so much emphasis on dependent origination if non-dual presence is final? The experience is still as Vedantic, more 'Brahman' than 'Sunyata'. This 'solidity of non-dual presence' must be broken with the help of dependent origination and emptiness. Knowing this a practitioner can then progress to understand the empty (dependently originated) nature of non-dual presence. It is a further refining of anatta experience according to the first stanza.

對于已經成熟非二元的洞見的虔誠佛教修行者,他們可以提醒自己,如果非二元在是最終的,為什么佛陀還需要如此強調緣起? 這種體驗仍然是吠檀多(印度教的不二論)式的,更像是大梵(印度教的梵我)而不是“空性”。 必須借助緣起和空性來打破這種“非二元臨在的穩固性”。 知道了這一點,修行者就可以進一步了解非二元臨在的空性(緣起)本質。 根據第一詩節,它是對無我體驗的進一步提煉。

As for those "I AMness" practitioners, it is very common for them after non-dual insight to stay in non-dual presence. They find delight in 'chop wood, carry water' and 'spring comes, grass grows by its own'. Nothing much can be stressed; the experience do appear to be final. Hopefully 'yuan' (condition) can arise for these practitioners to see this subtle mark that prevent the seeing.

至于那些“我是/本我”的修行者,他們在非二元洞見之后停留在非二元臨在中是很常見的。 他們樂于“砍柴挑水”和“春來草自生”。 沒有什么可以強調的;這經驗視乎是終結 。 希望“緣”(條件)能夠讓這些修行者看到這個阻止見識的微妙痕跡。

On Emptiness


If we observe thought and ask where does thought arise, how does it arise, what is ‘thought’ like. 'Thought' will reveal its nature is empty -- vividly present yet completely un-locatable. It is very important not to infer, think or conceptualise but feel with our entire being this ‘ungraspability’ and 'unlocatability'. It seems to reside 'somewhere' but there is no way to locate it. It is just an impression of somewhere "there" but never "there". Similarly “here-ness” and “now-ness” are merely impressions formed by sensations, aggregates of causes and conditions, nothing inherently ‘there’; equally empty like ‘selfness’.

如果我們觀察念頭并問念頭在哪里生起,它是如何生起的,“念頭”是什么樣的。 “思想”將揭示其本質是空的——生動地呈現但完全無法定位。 非常重要的是不要推斷、思考或概念化,而是用我們的整個存在來感受這種“不可得”和“不可定位”。 它似乎位于“某處”,但無法找到它。 它只是“那里”的某個地方的印象,但從來沒有“那里”。 類似地,“這里”和“現在”只是由感覺、因緣聚合形成的印象,沒有任何事物是有自體性地在“那里”;就和“自我”同樣是空的。

This ungraspable and unlocatable empty nature is not only peculiar to ‘thought’. All experiences or sensations are like that -- vividly present yet insubstantial, un-graspable, spontaneous, un-locatable.

這種不可得、不可定位的空性不僅是“思想”所特有的。 所有的體驗或感覺都是如此——生動地呈現但無實體、不可得、自發/自然、不可定位。

If we were to observe a red flower that is so vivid, clear and right in front of us, the “redness” only appears to “belong” to the flower, it is in actuality not so. Vision of red does not arise in all animal species (dogs cannot perceive colours) nor is the “redness” an inherent attribute of the mind. If given a “quantum eyesight” to look into the atomic structure, there is similarly no attribute “redness” anywhere found, only almost complete space/void with no perceivable shapes and forms. Whatever appearances are dependently arisen, and hence is empty of any inherent existence or fixed attributes, shapes, form, or “redness” -- merely luminous yet empty, mere appearances without inherent/objective existence.

如果我們觀察一朵如此鮮艷、清晰、就在我們面前的紅色花朵,“紅色”只是看起來“屬于”這朵花,實際上并非如此。 紅色的視覺并非在所有動物物種中出現(狗無法感知顏色),“紅色”也不是心靈的固有屬性。 如果給予“量子視力”來觀察原子結構,則類似地在任何地方都找不到屬性“紅色”,只有幾乎完整的空間/空隙,沒有可感知的形狀和形式。 任何相都是因緣而生的,因此沒有任何自性存在或固定的屬性、形狀、形式或“紅色性”——只是光明而空性,只是沒有固有/自性存在的表相。

Likewise when standing in front of a burning fire pit, the entire phenomena of ‘fire’, the burning heat, the whole sensation of ‘hotness’ that are so vividly present and seem so real but when examined they are also not inherently “there” -- merely dependently manifest whenever conditions are there. It is amazing how dualistic and inherent views have caged seamless experience in a who-where-when construct. 

同樣,當站在燃燒的火坑前時,整個“火”的現象、燃燒的熱量、整個“熱性”的感覺如此生動地呈現,看起來如此真實,但當檢查它們時,它們也不是固有的“在那里” ——只要有條件,就隨緣顯相。 令人驚訝的是,二元和自性見把無縫的體驗被困住成一個誰-何在-何地的構念。

All experiences are empty. They are like sky flowers, like painting on the surface of a pond. There is no way to point to a moment of experience and say this is ‘in’ and that is ‘out’. All ‘in’ are as ‘out’; to awareness seamless experience is all there is. It is not the mirror or pond that is important but that process of illusion-like phenomenon of the paint shimmering on the surface of the pond; like an illusion but not an illusion, like a dream but not a dream. This is the ground of all experiences.

所有的經驗都是空的。 它們就像空中花,就像池塘表面的畫。 沒有辦法指出經驗的某一時刻,說這是“入”,那是“出”。 所有的“進”都是“出”; 對于覺知/意識而言,無縫的體驗就是一切。 重要的不是鏡子或池塘,而是顏料在池塘表面閃爍、如幻的現象的過程; 如幻而不是幻境,如夢而不是夢境。 這是所有經驗的根基。

Yet this ‘ungraspability and unlocatability’ nature is not all there is; there is also this Maha, this great without boundaries feeling of 'interconnectedness'. When someone hits a bell, the person, the stick, the bell, the vibration of the air, the ears and then the magically appearance of sound -- ’Tongsss…re-sounding…’ is all a seamless one happening, one experience. When breathing, it is just this one whole entire breath; it is all causes and conditions coming together to give rise to this entire sensation of breath as if the whole of universe is doing this breathing. The significance of this Maha experience is not in words; in my opinion, without this experience, there is no true experience of 'interconnectedness' and non-dual presence is incomplete.

然而,這種“不可得和不可定位”的性質并不是全部。 還有這種摩訶,這種偉大、無邊界的“相互聯系”的感覺。 當有人敲響鈴鐺時,人、棍子、鈴鐺、空氣的振動、耳朵和神奇的聲音出現——“咚……重新響起……”都是個無縫一體的發生,一體的體驗。 呼吸時,就是這全體/一整個呼吸; 是所有的因緣結合在一起,產生了整個呼吸的感覺,好像整個宇宙都在做這一呼一吸。 這種摩訶經驗的意義不在于語言; 在我看來,沒有這種體驗,就沒有真正的“互聯”體驗,而且非二元臨在是不完整的。

The experience of our empty nature is a very different from that of non-dual oneness. ‘Distance’ for example is overcome in non-dual oneness by seeing through the illusory aspect of subject/object division and resulted in a one non-dual presence. It is seeing all as just ‘This’ but experiencing Emptiness breaks the boundary through its empty ungraspable and unlocatable nature.

我們空性的體驗與非二元一體的體驗非常不同。 例如,“距離”在非二元一體中通過看穿主客體劃分的虛幻方面而被克服,并導致一體非二元的臨在。 它把一切都看成是‘這個’,但體驗空性是通過它的空性不可得和不可定位而打破界限。

There is no need for a ‘where-place' or a ‘when-time' or a ‘who-I' when we penetrate deeply into this nature.


When hearing sound, sound is neither ‘in here’ nor ‘out there’, it is where it is and gone!


All centers and reference points dissolve with the wisdom that manifestation dependently originates and hence empty.


The experience creates an "always right wherever and whenever is" sensation.


A sensation of home everywhere though nowhere can be called home.


Experiencing the emptiness nature of presence, a sincere practitioner becomes clear that indeed the non-dual presence is leaving a subtle mark;


seeing its nature as empty, the last mark that solidifies experiences dissolves.


It feels cool because presence is made more present and effortless.


We then move from "vivid non-dual presence" into "though vividly and non-dually present, it is nothing real, empty!".


On Maha and Ordinariness


The experience of Maha may sound as if one is going after certain sort of experience and appears to be in contradiction with the 'ordinariness of enlightenment' promoted in Zen Buddhism.


This is not true and in fact, without this experience, non-dual is incomplete.


This section is not about Maha as a stage to achieve but to see that Sunyata is Maha in nature.


In Maha, one does not feel self, one 'feels' universe; one does not feel 'Brahman' but feels 'interconnectedness'; one does not feel 'helplessness' due to 'dependence and interconnection' but feels great without boundary, spontaneous and marvelous.


Now lets get back to 'ordinariness'.


Ordinariness has always been Taoism’s forte.


In Zen we also see the importance of this being depicted in those enlightenment models like Tozan’s 5 ranks and the The Ten Oxherding Pictures.


But ordinariness must only be understood that non-dual and the Maha world of suchness is nothing beyond.


There is no beyond realm to arrive at and never a separated state from our ordinary daily world; rather it is to bring this primordial, original and untainted experience of non-dual and Maha experience into the most mundane activities.


If this experience is not found in most mundane and ordinary activities then practitioners have not matured their understandings and practices.


Before Maha experience has always been rare occurrence in the natural state and was treated as a passing trend that comes and goes.


Inducing the experience often involves concentration on repeatedly doing some task for a short period of time.


For example, if we were to breathe in and out, in and out…till there is simply this entire sensation of breath, just breath as all causes and conditions coming into this moment of manifestation.


If we were to focus on hearing someone hitting a bell, the stick, the bell, the vibration of the air, the ears all coming together for this sensation of sound to arise, we will have Maha experience.


However ever since incorporating the teaching of dependent origination into non-dual presence, over the years it has become more ‘accessible’ but never has this been understood as a ground state.


There seems to be a predictable relationship of seeing interdependent arising and emptiness on the experience of non-dual presence.


A week ago, the clear experience of Maha dawned and became quite effortless and at the same time there is a direct realization that it is also a natural state.


In Sunyata, Maha is natural and must be fully factored into the path of experiencing whatever arises.


Nevertheless Maha as a ground state requires the maturing of non-dual experience; we cannot feel entirely as the interconnectedness of everything coming spontaneously into being as this moment of vivid manifestation with a divided mind.


The universe is this arising thought.


The universe is this arising sound.


Just this magnificent arising!


Is Tao.


Homage to all arising.


On Spontaneous Perfection


Lastly, when these 2 experiences inter-permeate, what is really needed is simply to experience whatever arises openly and unreservedly.


It may sound simple but do not underestimate this simple path; even aeon lives of practices cannot touch the depth of its profundity.


In fact all the subsections -- “On Stanza One”, “On Stanza Two”, “On Emptiness”, there is already certain emphasis of the natural way.


With regards to the natural way, I must say that spontaneous presence and experiencing whatever arises openly, unreservedly and fearlessly is not the 'path' of any tradition or religion -- be it Zen, Mahamudra, Dzogchen, Advaita, Taoism or Buddhism.


In fact the natural way is the 'path' of Tao but Taoism cannot claim monopoly over the 'path' simply because it has a longer history.


My experience is that any sincere practitioner after maturing non-dual experiences will eventually come to this automatically and naturally.


It is like in the blood, there is no other way than the natural way.


That said, the natural and spontaneous way is often misrepresented.


It should not be taken to mean that there is no need to do anything or practice is unnecessary.


Rather it is the deepest insight of a practitioner that after cycles and cycles of refining his insights on the aspect of anatta, emptiness and dependent origination, he suddenly realized that anatta is a seal and non-dual luminosity and emptiness have always been ‘the ground’ of all experiences.


Practice then shift from ‘concentrative’ to ‘effortless’ mode and for this it requires the complete pervading of non-dual and emptiness insights into our entire being like how “dualistic and inherent views” has invaded consciousness.


In any case, care must be taken not to make our empty and luminous nature into a metaphysical essence.


I will end with a comment I wrote in another blog Luminous Emptiness as it summarizes pretty well what I have written.


The degree of “un-contrivance”, is the degree of how unreserved and fearless we open to whatever is.


For whatever arises is mind, always seen, heard, tasted and experienced.


What that is not seen, not heard and not experienced, is our conceptual idea of what mind is.


Whenever we objectify the “brilliance, the pristine-ness” into an entity that is formless, it becomes an object of grasp that prevents the seeing of the “forms”, the texture and the fabric of awareness.


The tendency to objectify is subtle, we let go of 'selfness' yet unknowingly grasped ‘nowness’ and ‘hereness’.


Whatever arises merely dependently originates, needless of who, where and when.


All experiences are equal, luminous yet empty of self-nature.


Though empty it has not in anyway denied its vivid luminosity.


Liberation is experiencing mind as it is.


Self-Liberation is the thorough insight that this liberation is always and already is; Spontaneously present, naturally perfected!




We should not treat the insight of emptiness as 'higher' than that of non-dual luminosity.


It is just different insights dawning due to differing conditions.


To some practitioners, the insight of our empty nature comes before non-dual luminosity.


For a more detailed conceptual understanding of Emptiness, do read the article "Non-Dual Emptiness" by Dr. Greg Goode.

要更深入地理解空性的概念,請閱讀Greg Goode博士的文章"非二元空性"。

Labels: Anatta, Emptiness, Luminosity, Maha, Non Dual, Spontaneous Presence |

標簽:無我,空性,光明,摩訶,非二元,自發臨在 |

“As a start it is almost not possible not to feel dualistic.


An observer observing the observed is our ordinary experience and it will appear that this is an experiential fact.


Therefore we should not rush into anything but just simply recognize the ‘cause’.


The cause that made us see in such a way is termed ‘ignorance’. Try to understand ‘ignorance’ not as not knowing but a form of knowing instead.


See it as a very deep form of ‘dualistic knowing’ that we have taken it to be truth.


We then proceed to overcome this wrong view in 2 steps; one by strongly and firmly establishing the right view to replace our existing ‘dualistic and inherent view’ and second, practice seeing in bare attention to lessen the grip of views.


Practice being bare in bodily sensation till there is a very strong clear mirror feeling in bodily sensation.


Then with the right view, non-dual will dawn.


Without the right view, it will most likely turn into a mirror reflecting phenomena experience.


Practices can take decades and often quite frustrating and challenging during the journey.


But have faith, be patient and have confidence, all effort will prove worthwhile eventually.


A simple summary I use to help my practice:-


When there is simply a pure sense of existence;


When awareness appears mirror like;


When sensations become pristine clear and bright;


This is Luminosity.


When all arising appear disconnected;


When appearance springs without a center;


When phenomena appears to be on their own without controller;


This is No Doer-ship.


When subject/object division is seen as illusion;


When there is clarity that no one is behind thoughts;


When there is only scenery, sounds, thoughts and so forth;


This is Anatta.


When phenomena appears pristinely crystal;


When there is merely one seamless experience;


When all is seen as presence;


This is Non-dual Presence.


When we feel fully the unfindability and unlocatability of phenomena;


When all experiences are seen as ungraspable;


When all mind boundaries of in/out, there/here, now/then dissolve;


This is Emptiness.


When interconnectedness of everything is wholly felt;


When arising appears great, effortless and wonderful;


When presence feels universe;


This is Maha.


When arising is not caged in who, where and when;


When all phenomena appear spontaneous and effortless;


When everything appears right every where, every when;


This is Spontaneous Perfection.


Seeing these as the ground of all experiences;


Always and already so;


This is Wisdom.


Experiencing the ground in whatever arises;


This is Practice.


Happy journey."


"Now over the course of hundreds [or thousands] of years, there are voluminous scripts about this and that…


what is important is just the essence…


Meaning, if you go into emptiness teaching and dependent origination, just [focus on] the essence...


treat it just like koan…


there is no Zen koan like Madhyamaka that can allow us to penetrate so deeply. There is no koan like Dogen’s total exertion that can convey the experience of this immensity of being "connected" in such a magical way…


To me, just these 4 pointings are sufficient: direct pointing to awareness, to anatta, to total exertion and emptiness. The rest is deepening your insights and realizations through encounter and devoted practices.”


• John Tan, 2017


請看:Thusness “真如”/PasserBy “過路人”開悟的七個階段 - Chinese Translation of Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment

請看:(Traditional Chinese) 佛性不是“我是/我在/本我” - Buddha Nature is NOT "I Am"

 Also see: Transcript of Lankavatara Sutra with Thusness 2007

Transcript with Thusness 2012 - Group Gathering

Second transcription done! Read at ChatGPT's summary: Synopsis and Timeline of AtR Meeting, March 2021

Introduction and Initial Discussions (00:00 - 10:00)

  • John Tan reflects on a young practitioner's understanding of emptiness and the concept of inherent existence​​.

Phases of Insight and Emptiness (10:00 - 35:00)

  • Discussion on the phases of insight, emphasizing the difficulty in articulating advanced Buddhist concepts.
  • John Tan explains the different schools of thought in Mahayana Buddhism, particularly Yogacara and Nagarjuna's emptiness, and how they approach the understanding of constructs and inherent existence​​.

Experience and Interpretation of Anatta (35:00 - 1:10:00)

  • John Tan elaborates on the experience of anatta (no-self) and how it is understood through seeing the emptiness of constructs and the dependent nature of phenomena​​.
  • He contrasts the non-dual experience in Buddhism with Advaita Vedanta, explaining the pitfalls of solipsism and the importance of understanding inherent existence and non-duality​​.

Detailed Analysis of Consciousness and Awareness (1:10:00 - 1:45:00)

  • John Tan discusses the differences between awareness, consciousness, and self in Buddhist philosophy compared to Western interpretations​​.
  • Exploration of the concept of "presence" and how it differs in various spiritual traditions​​.

Practice and Insight (1:45:00 - 2:20:00)

  • The conversation shifts to the practical aspects of meditative practice, specifically the use of Vipassana and the development of wisdom through seeing constructs​​.
  • John Tan shares personal experiences and insights on integrating practice into daily life and the role of continuous practice in refining one's understanding​​.

Discussion on Yogacara and Its Philosophical Nuances (2:20:00 - 2:50:00)

  • John Tan provides a detailed explanation of Yogacara, including the three natures (imagined, dependent, and perfect) and their significance in understanding the nature of experience and emptiness​​.
  • The challenges in interpreting Yogacara's teachings and the varying interpretations across different schools and stages of development​​.

Reflections on Different Spiritual Traditions (2:50:00 - 3:20:00)

  • Comparison between Buddhism, Taoism, and Advaita Vedanta, highlighting the unique aspects and commonalities in their approaches to spirituality and practice​​.
  • Discussion on the role of cultural context in shaping the interpretation and practice of these traditions​​.

Advanced Meditative and Dream Practices (3:20:00 - 3:50:00)

  • John Tan shares personal anecdotes about experiences in meditation and dreams that contributed to deeper insights and understanding, such as spontaneous clarity and experiences of non-dual presence​​.
  • The importance of recognizing and integrating these experiences into one's practice and understanding​​.

Concluding Remarks and Final Thoughts (3:50:00 - 4:00:00)

  • Reflections on the importance of continuous practice, the challenges of integrating insights into daily life, and the necessity of maintaining an open and inquisitive mind in spiritual practice​​.
  • John Tan emphasizes the need to avoid dogmatism and cult-like tendencies in spiritual communities, advocating for a balanced and practical approach to learning and teaching​​.


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