Yin Ling wrote,
“I was a happy child.
Had the best of everything.
In my early teens life showed me anxiety and stress. Showed me death, illnesses.
I didn’t understand why we have to suffer.
I have alot of existential angst inside.
I don’t understand why do ppl get leukemia and die.
I wake up almost everyday with anxiety for many years. I told my friend I am dysthymic (low grade depression).
I created a psychological barrier at work so that the cruel fact of life doesn’t come to me.
I chose a speciality that keep me away from the cruellest. But.
I see ppl hang themselves, and I have to resuscitate them while feeling so painful inside.
I have to hold my tears when I break bad news.
I see so much darkness.
The weight of the world.
Sometimes I couldn’t cope and I take a week off just not being at the hospital. I don’t even care for holidays.
I thought I was in the wrong profession.
I looked around and everyone doesn’t seem disturbed. How strange.
Many times I wish My job is to sweep the floor like the janitor in the hospital.
But it was all these that made me so disenchanted with cyclic existence.
When ppl talk about a better rebirth, I shudder in fear. No I don’t want to come back pls. I don’t want to be a doctor again. I joke about this but I’m serious.
This angst pushes me to question everything, to sit, to contemplate, to find a way out.
To me, living like that is a joke.
I can’t pretend the house is not burning.
I have only one thing to solve, I want to solve existence. I don’t know how but I need to do it, like NOW. Not later, NOW.
I want liberation from this crazy shit.
And man, Ppl who know me know how intense I can get. I was so focus.
I took all the energy I practised medicine to seek.
A whole year plus of 5-7 hours of sitting meditation without a day off and another 6-8 hours of reading. Thousand of hours a year.
I meditate more than a monk. Lol.
I was so crazy omg.
Then One day life showed me what I need to see.
What a cosmic joke. Holy shit.
I don’t know if anyone will believe what I see.
But I understnd now, we didn’t come here to suffer. It’s all wrong, we are seeing it wrongly.
The truth is so clear. Clearer than clear.
It’s like suddenly seeing something in a pixelated image. Ohmygod. I will never unsee this.
Everything adds up now.
Now I can continue with my mundane life.
I am not sure why I say this for.
I know there will be another anomalous person out there like me, and they need to hear this.
There is the truth, and we are not here to suffer.
There is liberation.
There is 2 parts to the noble truths,
Don’t stop at 1 and 2.
Look hard at 3 and 4.
I can’t show you. I wish I can, I would show everyone. The Buddha would have, he is so compassionate.
But when you see it, let me know, I will be so so happy for you.
It’s the most important work in my life, and I trust it will be the same for you.”
William Lim: So how does awakening resolve your suffering, and that of others?
How does awakening resolve your anxiety?
How do you now understand why do ppl get leukemia and die? How do you now see people who hang themselves?
Yin Ling replied:
I have never been happier. Experience is v blissful. I wake up very happy, the anxiety all gone. All experiences even sitting in the toilet is blissful. I ask JT recently, is this bliss going to go? He say nope as long as your are in touch with truth. That’s 30-40 years so I like that answer😂
I think the worldview change affect a lot. When one understnd all is dependently originated, it’s not so easy to blame and get angry. The afflictions drop. Well-being increase. Suffering probably drop from 8 to 1 for me.
I’m gonna be torn apart with compassion if I work with leukemia patients again, but now because I don’t see self, I understnd how it is all DO, there’s no one suffering, and my compassion is for that fake person who thinks it’s happening to him. I don’t know how to word. But I don’t ask “why can have leukemia!why?!”
But I understnd it is causal, but it happens to no one. But there is someone believing it’s happening to him, so the compassion is wanting to show him it’s not like that, but that it very hard. I can’t speak for my own illness and death yet . I still hope life be gentle with me bc my realizations is not deep, I am still gonna suffer.
For ppl who hang themselves they wanted to kil the psychological self, the fake self, it wasn’t about the body. I feel a lot for that bc I can see it’s not that way. And I have felt that pain before. But how do you tell someone? The delusion is deep, so there has to be lots of equanimity j guess . I guess there’s less anger towards what’s happening, more compassion, and more ready to comfort at human level.
Any suffering feels stronger with no self bc of loss of boundaries. Hence there’s a need to see emptiness and cultivate equanimity, I hope to this in my job soon. 🙂 thanks for the Q. You always push me to contemplate 🙂 so nice . Haha
Soh Wei Yu
… is impt. More ppl need to know whats possible!
The Red Pill Dispensery is open for business!
Soh Wei Yu
About john tan 30-40 years:
been around 38 years since he realised I AM, and he realised anatta in
1997 thats about 25 years. And then it took another 2-3 years for him to
stabilize the anatta insight and experience in year 2000
Soh Wei Yu
Once seen and stabilized its just stable and doesnt wobble. Which alone is something v incredible as daniel ingram also remarked
Soh Wei Yu
it took even shorter than 2-3 years for me.. but then anatta is not the
end and there is then progression into total exertion and emptiness
which i said was more gradual
As for anatta: No more subject-object split or agent-action or self/Self
Soh Wei Yu
I cant give you exact date as my memory is murky.
i remember a few months down the road from initial anatta breakthrough i
already thought it was pretty effortless and stable.
one day i realise this subtle tendency to ground into Here/Now and
reference back to mind. Took another deepening of insight into first
stanza to dissolve even that subtle tendency. Thats maybe 5 months after
5 months is really fast! Really nice. Coz things are shifting every day
seem abit differnt so hard to tell what is a mature insight.
Soh Wei Yu
There is a way to measure actualization of insight. Later i write after dinner
Soh Wei Yu
Probably you already know all these but I'll just write as a sharing for others as well.
insight of anatta dissolves huge chunk of self/Self and you're
basically naturally so in daily waking experience.. but there is the
latent deep tendencies that wouldn't surface or get triggered unless
there were specific secondary conditions. So progress is always not just
on the surface (that is, the consistent non-dual, centerless and
boundless radiance as everything in daily living post-anatta) but also
more fundamentally in the release, dissolution and liberation of the
latent deep. The way to deepen is always deepening the practice in terms
of the view, realization and experience.. also correlated with insight
and shamatha. Yogic/energy practice can also help. There are also
various kinds of psychotherapy and even shamanic, new age, and other
kinds of practice that deal with latent deep and bringing them to the
surface (like ways of healing deep seated trauma and so on) and so on
which can help... but the way Buddhism deals with them is at a more
fundamental level by undercutting the ignorance that fuels afflictions
with more wisdom, vipashyana and shamatha. It has nothing to do with
suppressing the tendencies when they surface but everything to do with
maturing this insight of the empty and luminous nature of everything
into all situations and all states so that whenever tendencies arise due
to secondary conditions, they can be naturally seen in their true face
or true nature and can self-liberate.
basically what John Tan said 2 days ago in the meeting... not his words
as I have no recording but I just paraphrase roughly:
how much you overcome your afflictions and are unperturbed by the ups
and downs of life. If some situation triggers the habitual old ways of
relating in terms of self and other, I-me-mine, even if momentarily,
that is karmic tendencies in action.
2) How much your wisdom has entered into the three states of not just waking, but dreaming and deep sleep.
If you haven't already, you will eventually start to experience this equipoise seeping into sleep state.
Back to myself (Soh) I'll give you a bit of example about the sleep part.
you will also notice you get lesser and lesser dreams with karmic
contents. For me after anatta, I never really get nightmares anymore. It
is always sweet and blissful and relaxing. But there are still karmic
dreams from time to time, which means there is a story to it which are
activated by the traces of the mind.
next step and this started maybe around 1 or 2 years after my initial
anatta breakthrough... you will start to experience that same bliss of
nondual clear light / radiance and transparency not only in waking but
in deep sleep. At first usually it is more of a dreamless or contentless
state, much like the I AM experience. In other words, just pure
formless Presence. But incredibly intense and blissful, even more
intense than waking experience of it. Then you realise what the Tibetans
say that in the sleep and bardo state your clarity is 7 times more than
normal is actually quite true, if you can experience that clear light
later on you start to experience this clear light sleep even when there
are subtle contents arising. For example for me I used to have sleep
paralysis and when it happens, its always this feeling of doom and a
sense of a intruder/monster/ghost there that is watching and causing my
being stuck and unable to wake up. After anatta, each time it happens I
was able to dissolve into fearless openness and bliss of clear radiance
and transparency. I wrote about these in http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/.../fearless-samadhi.html
That is how you liberate even these situations in sleep. Because if
you don't have anatta insight, you will fall into self-other duality and
the 'others' will 'appear as enemy' as the Tibetans put it, and that is
samsara. Otherwise with insight and actualization all appearances are
self-liberating as just one's empty radiance, one's own state.
when you have dreams, they also start to take on the same, in fact 7
times intensity bliss and clarity of anatta.. like one day you will
experience a dream, lets say you are walking down a garden... the same
as you are walking down a garden in waking life. And just like in waking
life anatta experience is so deeply blissful, radiant, boundless,
centerless, transparent and intense... that same quality is experienced
in that dream-scene except perhaps much more intense even. That is
called clear light dream. That too I started experiencing about 2 years
after the anatta breakthrough.
I seldom have memorable dreams or karmic content dreams.. but just
by coincidence yesterday I did have one, and at first I noticed this
slight contraction tendency but it quickly transformed into one of
fearless openness. It was not a lucid dream but I felt super fearless
and "come what may, so be it", then I woke up. But the fact that the
traces still occur in sleep even if rarely should tell you I am still
far from Buddhahood. Also with your earnestness in practice I'm also
sure you will progress much faster and further than me so keep it up.
you know after anatta you will naturally to want to experience this
fearless openness without self/Self/i-me-mine in all situations, people,
events, phenomena... where there is no you facing it but the universe
is meeting itself in total exertion and liberation.
ultimate test is of course death. Can we be liberated. I think Dalai
Lama and probably many other masters said my whole practice is a
preparation for death. Sort of a trial run.
A convo between Sim Pern Chong and John Tan in 2007:
How to experience it? Don't try to escape to anywhere or wait for some
becoming. Stay 'unmoving' to the present even if it is unpleasant... and
see what happens...
John Tan: Even when fainting, when passing out, when death dawns, experience completely, experience experience!
Sim: I sincerely hope that I can be that 'zai' at the time of death (grins)
Super nice thanks Soh appreciate it loads.
Definitely an extremely high standard u guys set as an example there.
completely stop after Anatta for me for past 4-5 months idk why. Only
notice Sleep shortened to 5-6 hours then I automatically wake up without
needing to nap. I exercise so I can sleep more
I needed 7-8 hours before. Since I’m not tired I just let it be,
probably not stress from working too. Apart from that I never notice
anything already except sleep like dead
Soh Wei Yu Yin Ling
That is also normal.. also do you still have capacity to visualise anything? Like imagine and have mental pictures.
Yin Ling Soh Wei Yu
I’m not sure, I just tried visualising sthg, very blurry, then sensations took over , cannot stay focus for long
Soh Wei Yu Yin Ling
Same. After anatta, this faculty of imagination diminishes and for some
even disappear completely. Same for dreams. Swapped away by the direct
mode of anatta equipoise.
Yin Ling Soh Wei Yu
but I realise don’t daydream anymore. Like I can sit there one hour in the park with v little thoughts, last time I daydream
do this la do that la, now it’s just .. sit there mindlessly
Soh Wei Yu
and what's the fun of daydreaming when you're living in wonderland and
paradise already. Even if you can have it back, it wouldn't really
interest us. Anything besides this direct mode just no longer appeal.
Yin Ling Soh Wei Yu
ohh I thought it’s bec i do vipassana so much , whenever there is a
thought it got catch quite fast so it didn’t have chance to proliferate.
The direct mode make sense too, there’s too much sensation so no
capacity to create new visuals I thjnk.
Soh Wei Yu
I have known a few people who lost that imaginative and dream faculty even at the I AM phase
used to have v crazy dreams every night lol in mid stage a year ago.
Then suddenly it stops. Maybe 2-3 dreams one is bec energy so Imbalancd I
dreamt I got a clot in my head
Soh Wei Yu
really.. my job doesn't really require visualisation or imagination
lol. It does require pondering and a lot of problem solving.
Soh Wei Yu
More like solving maths problem (in my case programming) than visualising fine art.
Soh Wei Yu
your point about not just focusing on 1 and 2 noble truths, was just
reminded of this because of a common misunderstanding that 1st noble
truth means life is suffering.
Appropriated Aggregates are Suffering
common misunderstanding is that Buddha taught "life is suffering". As
Alan Smith pointed out, there is often an overemphasis on suffering,
but actually in Buddhism, there is only suffering when there is
appropriation and clinging. To be clear: Buddha has never said "life is
suffering", however, he did teach right from the beginning in his first
discourse on the four noble truths that "appropriated aggregates are
suffering", and by appropriated I mean tainted with I-making and
In the Pali suttas, clinging and appropriation are not equated with the sheer aggregates ( https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN44.html
), and as Stian mentioned, he thinks aggregates are almost never
mentioned in the sense of 'sheer aggregates' in the Pali canon. I think
you get glimpses of how are 'sheer aggregates experienced by
Buddha/arahants' in scriptures like Bahiya Sutta and Kalaka Sutta. In
any case, the appropriation is what causes suffering, and the end of
appropriation is the end of suffering.
when we come to the Mahayana teachings, all aggregates are taught to be
primordially pure and luminous. Does this negate the Pali suttas which
says appropriated aggregates are suffering? No, it does not, if
understood correctly in context.
Here's some nice clarifications on Dhammawheel:
The Buddha sums up his definition of dukkha with: "aggregates subject to clinging are suffering" (pancupadanakkhandha).
What is the meaning and what are the implications?"
"Since "upadana" means "appropriation",
accurate translation would be "appropriated aggregates are suffering".
This implies that suffering continues as long as the aggregates are
appropriated, identified with.
Post by vinasp » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:10 am
I intend to quote some discourses which speak of the cessation of the clinging aggregates, using the alternative term 'sakkaya.'
One problem with this term is that every translator seems to use a different word for it.
Bhikkhu Bodhi uses 'identity', Ven. Thanissaro uses 'identification'.
However, I first need to show that 'identity' does indeed mean the five aggregates subject to clinging, this is stated in MN 44
"Lady,'identity, identity' is said. What is called identity by the Blessed One?"
"Friend Visakha, these five aggregates affected by clinging are called identity by the Blessed One..."
[Bhikkhu Bodhi, MLDB,- MN 44.2]
I looked on suttacentral I found that they were not using BB's
translation for MN 44, but the one that they are using is very good, it
is by Anandajoti Bhikkhu.
“ ‘Embodiment, embodiment,’ is said, Noble Lady. What, Noble Lady, is said to be embodiment by the Gracious One?”
five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment,
friend Visākha, are said to be embodiment by the Gracious One, as
constituent that provides fuel for attachment, the feelings constituent
that provides fuel for attachment, the perceptions constituent that
provides fuel for attachment, the (mental) processes constituent that
provides fuel for attachment, the consciousness constituent that
provides fuel for attachment...." [suttacentral.net
- MN 44]
is a mistranslation of 'upadana', fuel or nutriment is much better, I
prefer 'sustain' because this sustaining is the cause of 'bhava'
(becoming or existence), the continuation of the existence of the
“These five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for attachment ..."
Should be understood as: “These five constituents (of mind and body) that provide fuel for becoming (bhava).."
also SN 12.11 where the 'four nutriments' are said to have craving as
their source or origin. This is Dependent Origination with the four
nutriments replacing clinging (upadana).
“Yes, upadana-khandha means 'object of clinging' ('aggregate of clinging').
It does not mean a potential object of clinging but it means an object of actual clinging.
Therefore, a lamp is not an upadanakhandha until there is attachment to the lamp as 'my lamp'.
It follows the word compound 'upadanakhandha' can be translated as 'aggregates subject to clinging' or 'aggregates of clinging'.
[11:32 AM, 8/2/2020] John Tan: Tsongkhapa spoke about appropriated aggregates in his lam-rim chen-mo.
[11:32 AM, 8/2/2020] John Tan: Mmk [Mūlamadhyamakakārikā] also
Soh Wei Yu
Re: The 3 marks of what, exactly?
Unread post by vinasp » Sun May 21, 2017 11:55 am
form is impermanent, feeling is impermanent, perception is impermanent,
volitional formations are impermanent, consciousness is
impermanent....." SN 22.12
form is suffering, feeling is suffering, perception is suffering,
volitional formations are suffering, consciousness is suffering....." SN
is nonself, feeling is nonself, perception is nonself, volitional
formations are nonself, consciousness is nonself....." SN 22.14
may appear to be talking about the five aggregates, but I think that
the five clinging aggregates are meant. All three continue in this way:
thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple experiences revulsion
towards form, revulsion towards feeling, revulsion towards perception,
revulsion towards volitional formations, revulsion towards
consciousness. Experiencing revulsion, he becomes dispassionate. Through
dispassion his mind is liberated. When it is liberated there comes the
knowledge: ‘It’s liberated.’ He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the
holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no
more for this state of being.’”
Clearly, the aggregates mentioned at the start are those of an unliberated individual.
possibility is that 'form is suffering', and the rest, are not meant to
be understood as ontological statements, but as how these things should
be regarded. This explains 'seeing thus' as what leads to liberation.
form is experienced, but the 'form aggregate' may mean a habit of
regarding form in the wrong way, as permanent, a source of pleasure, and
in relation to a self. If so, then the form aggregate will vanish when
seen in the right way.
It seems that the discourses do not always make an explicit distinction between the aggregates and the clinging aggregates.
Bhikkhu Bodhi, while not entirely rejecting the distinction, follows
the Abhidhamma and Commentaries, arguing that the Arahant is still
described by clinging aggregates.
Perhaps we should assume that almost all teaching on the aggregates is about the five clinging aggregates.
A. From MN 44, the Culavedalla Sutta, The Shorter Series of Questions and Answers
Scene: Householder Visakha has a Q&A with Bukkhuni Dhammadina
2. “Lady…What is called identity by the Blessed O
Visakha, the five aggregates affected by clinging are called identity
by the Blessed One; that is, the material form aggregate affected by
clinging, the feeling aggregate affected by clinging, the perception
aggregate affected by clinging, the mental formations aggregate affected
by clinging, and the consciousness aggregate affected by clinging.”
7. “Lady, how does identity view come to be?”
friend Visakha, an untaught person regards …material form as self, or
self as possessed of material form…..feeling as self, or self as
possessed of feeling…. He regards perceptions as self or as self
possessed of perceptions…. mental formations as self, or self as
possessed of mental formations…. consciousness as self, or self as
possessed of consciousness….”
8. “Lady, how does identity view not come to be?”
friend Visakha, a well-taught noble disciple, who has regard for the
noble ones and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma….does not
regard feeling as self or self as of possessed of feeling…. He does not
regard perceptions as self or self as possessed of perception….He does
not regard material form as self or self as possessed of material
form….he does not regard mental formations as self…..does not regard
consciousness as self….”
eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye.
Whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them:
That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds... The
nose is not the fetter of aromas... The tongue is not the fetter of
flavors... The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations... The
intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the
intellect. Whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two
of them: That is the fetter there." -- Buddha, SN 35.191 (PTS: S IV
"My son, we are not bound by appearances; we are bound by our clinging to them." - Tilopa to Naropa
"The five senses arising with their objects are unimpeded radiance.
What is born from not grasping at objects is the unborn basic state.
Attachment to appearances may be unceasing but reverse it: meditate naturally settled.
Empty appearances arising free from the intellect is the path of natural expressions.
Do not see appearances as problems, let go of clinging.
There will come a time when you will arrive in the valley of one taste meditation." - Yang Gönpa
Labels: Anatta, Buddha, Suffering |
Yes I was just telling someone ytd that when Buddha says
“Clinging is the cause of suffering”.
He is talking about the self.
Clinging = self-ing= appropriating
It’s not the aggregates that are they problem, it’s the appropriation rather. The selfing.
usually traditionally will teach clinging to this and that causes
suffering. But that kind of teaching is very dissociative and treat the 5
aggregates as problematic
Buddha didn’t say that. He just say one word. Clinging . It is us who
are trying to simply elaborate without insight. He just say clinging
Appropriation causes suffering.