Showing posts with label Karmic Tendencies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karmic Tendencies. Show all posts

Soh Wei Yu

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The Magical Hypnotic Spell of Convention

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- [ ] [18/12/15, 1:24:16 AM] Soh Wei Yu: It's like extending Anatta to everything.. When we see consciousness we see manifestation and release from subjectivity. When we see body we release from physicality and see dependencies and total exertion... When we see objects the same applies

- [ ] [18/12/15, 1:27:53 AM] John Tan: In anatta, u release the self.  In mind body drop, u release the understanding conventions and emptiness, u realized there r the anatta and mind-body drops rest on the same principle...

- [ ] [18/12/15, 1:30:04 AM] John Tan: But what is important is u must see the immense power of conventions leading reification...the magic power that hypnotized u feel when u r under the spell of conventions.

- [ ] [18/12/15, 1:38:26 AM] John Tan: U directly experience how the mind under the mind lives in spell ... U see how breaking through conventions and reification is different from non-conceptuality...that is not only experience becomes direct, non-dual, boundless and free, the center and background is also gone...which is unlike just being non-conceptual.  Almost non-dual awareness allows the pure sense of boundless presence, it cannot free one from the background.

- [ ] [18/12/15, 1:42:30 AM] John Tan: So when talking abt conventions, u must b able to point out how conventions has this special power that blinds and make our world feel so different ... Feel so solid and isolated and separated.

- [ ] [18/12/15, 1:43:13 AM] John Tan: U realized the "cause".

- [ ] [18/12/15, 1:50:58 AM] John Tan: If u cannot lead one to feel and see how "conventions" can make one feel  so "solid" and "real" in experience, then saying they r just conventions is not very helpful.

All reactions:1Yin Ling

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Soh Wei Yu

This is also why,

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

Napper, Elizabeth, 2003, p. 103"




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    How heavy are thoughts?
    Where are their roots?
    It is not uncommon to hear in the spiritual circle phrases like "the 'I' is just a thought" or "thought is empty and spacious, there is no weight or root to it".
    While the rootlessness and the space-like nature of "thoughts" should be pointed out, one must not be misled into thinking they have seen through "anything" much less up-rooted the deeply seated conceptual notions of "I/mine", "body/mind", "space/time"...etc.
    So emphasis must also be placed on the other side of the coin. "Thoughts" are astonishingly heavy like a black-hole (size of a pinhole, weight of a star); the roots of conceptual notions" they carry permeate our entire being and everywhere.
    The "roots" of thoughts are no where to be found also means they can be found anywhere and everywhere, spreaded across the 3 times and 10 directions -- in modern context, over different time-lines across the multiverse. In other words, "this arises, that arises".


    Yin Ling
    Need to hear this when so much thoughts 💭 popping up 😫🤦🏻‍♀️

  • Jace Min
    Sensing the weight of this wisdom. 🙏

  • Geovani Geo
    The weight is anchored as a pre-conceived centered ongoing entity called 'me'. It is pre-conceived because thoughts conceive it as being prior to the very thought that conceives it.

    • Reply
    • 3h
    • Edited

    John Tan
    Geovani Geo in fact any imagined notion reified as real takes up lots of energy.

  • Reply
  • 1h

 Someone wrote, "

Why five poisons.....why poisons at all.....aren't there schools of Buddhism which suggest that these "poisons" are actually doors to liberation/realization of emptiness. And (this is a rhetorical question)....what is this obsession with numbers in formal orthodox Buddhism...... the 5 poisons? Why not 3 1/2.....the 88 desires.....why not 87 .....or why not only 1 (the clinging to life)? What is this obsession Buddhism has with systemizing everything with numbers.....(orthodox Buddhism was probalgated by men, that's why)....... though I detest the Buddhism lite you see in bookstores, I appreciate people like Daniel Ingram who take such rigorous systematizing as metaphorical rather than literal (he may disagree with me here). Or am I mistaken and Buddhism is a coherent and precise science to liberation with quantifiable stages and steps and hindrances......who knows?"
 Soh replied:

“There are three traditional methods of dealing with emotions: abandoning them, transforming them, and recognizing their nature. All three levels of Buddhist teaching, all three yanas, describe how to deal with disturbing emotions. It is never taught, on any level, that one can be an enlightened buddha while remaining involved in disturbing emotions - never. Each level deals with emotions differently.
Just like darkness cannot remain when the sun rises, none of the disturbing emotions can endure within the recognition of mind nature. That is the moment of realizing original wakefulness, and it is the same for each of the five poisons.
In any of the five disturbing emotions, we do not have to transmute the emotion into empty cognizance. The nature of the emotion already is this indivisible empty cognizance.” - Vajra Speech, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
“Why would you accept afflictive emotions? They are afflictive and are the root cause of suffering.
Either you renounce them, transform them or self-liberate them. But you certainly don't accept them. That way just leads to further rebirth in samsara.
M” – Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith
“We do bad things, non-virtuous things, because we are afflicted. Afflictions are never a part of oneself but they do define us as sentient beings. If you want to stop being a sentient being and start being an awakening being you have to deal with your afflictions via one of three paths I mentioned.
Why am I a sentient being and not a Buddha? Because I am subject to afflictions. How do I become a Buddha? By overcoming afflictions and attaining omniscience. How do I begin? By setting out on one of the three paths, depending on my capacity.” – Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith
“Mr. JK said: What you're describing is the duality found in Christianity. saying we are impure and must better ourselves.
Kyle Dixon replied: Not at all, this is literally the teaching of Dzogchen, Śrī Siṃha one of the original Dzogchen masters, who was Padmasambhava’s guru, states:
This is acceptable since a so called “primordial buddhahood” is not asserted. Full awakening is not possible without being free of the five afflictions... It is not possible for wisdom to increase without giving up afflictions. Wisdom will not arise without purifying afflictions. (Bolded and emphasized by Soh)
Likewise, Khenpo Ngachung, one of the greatest luminaries of recent times states:
In any system of sutra or tantra, without gathering the accumulations and purifying obscurations, Buddhahood can never be attained. Though the system of gathering accumulations and purifying obscurations is different, in this respect [dzogchen] is the same.
Longchenpa states:
All phenomena of samsara depend on the mind, so when the essence (ngo bo) of mind is purified, samsara is purified... The essence of mind is an obscuration to be given up. The essence of vidyā is pristine consciousness (ye shes) to be attained... That being so, it is very important to differentiate mind and pristine consciousness because all meditation is just that: all methods of purifying vāyu and vidyā are that; and in the end at the time of liberation, vidyā is purified of all obscurations because it is purified of the mind.
Even Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche’s father, states:
Purification happens through training on the path. We have strayed from the basis and become sentient beings. To free the basis from what obscures it, we have to train. Right now, we are on the path and have not yet attained the result. When we are freed from obscuration, then the result - dharmakāya - appears... the qualities of the result are contained in the state of the basis; yet, they are not evident or manifest. That is the difference between the basis and the result. At the time of the path, if we do not apply effort, the result will not appear.
Thus there is still much for you to understand about how Dzogchen actually works. You are only speaking of the side of the nature, the state of Dzogchen, but the side of appearances, the side of the practitioner, is not pure and perfect just yet. The two sides meet when the practitioner recognizes that nature, which is not presently known, and trains in the method and view.
5” – Kyle Dixon, 2021, krodha (u/krodha) - Reddit
“Only Buddhas rest in prajñā at all times, because they rest in “samati” which is an unfragmented samādhi which directly cognizes the nature of phenomena at all times.
The rest of us do our best to cultivate concentration, dhyāna, which then will lead to samādhi, and after time we will awaken to have the awakened equipoise which comes about due to our samādhi being infused with prajñā. However due to latent obscurations that awakened equipoise will be unstable and our prajñā will be fragmented. The more we access awakened equipoise however, the more karma in the form of kleśa and vāsanā will be burned away, and as a result, the more obscurations will be removed and diminished. The path is precisely eliminating those obscurations, the afflictive obscuration that conceives of a self and the cognitive obscuration that conceives of external objects. Buddhas have completely eliminated these two obscurations and as a result their samādhi is samati, a transcendent state of awakened equipoise beyond the three times.” – Kyle Dixon, 2021
“No. Every liberated person has realized the absence of self, i.e., emptiness, and in so doing, has ceased being under control of afflictions. Degrees of liberation are determined by remainder of afflictive obscuration one must eradicate.
Dzogchen is simply one path among many to accomplish this aim. As the Self-Arisen Vidyā Tantra states:
If someone does not dwell in words and does not dwell in names,
that is Prajñāpāramitā,
the transcendent state of buddhahood itself;
it is obtained with wisdom
and is liberated from all affliction.” – Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith, 2018
“No, the difference between a buddha and and sentient beings is the presence or absence of adventitious afflictions, as the Buddha states in the Hevajra tantra:
Sentient beings are buddhas,
though obscured by adventitious afflictions.
When those are removed, they are buddhas.” – Dzogchen teacher Acarya Malcolm Smith, 2021

“What is the use of a realization that fails to reduce your disturbing emotions?” ~ Padmasambhava/ Guru Rinpoche
“No. Every liberated person has realized the absence of self, i.e., emptiness, and in so doing, has ceased being under control of afflictions. Degrees of liberation are determined by remainder of afflictive obscuration one must eradicate.
Dzogchen is simply one path among many to accomplish this aim. As the Self-Arisen Vidyā Tantra states:
If someone does not dwell in words and does not dwell in names,
that is Prajñāpāramitā,
the transcendent state of buddhahood itself;
it is obtained with wisdom
and is liberated from all affliction.” – Acarya Malcolm Smith, 2018
“No, the difference between a buddha and and sentient beings is the presence or absence of adventitious afflictions, as the Buddha states in the Hevajra tantra:
Sentient beings are buddhas,
though obscured by adventitious afflictions.
When those are removed, they are buddhas.” – Acarya Malcolm Smith, 2021
· Reply
· 23w

My experience is similar to Kyle Dixon:
"...The anatta definitely severed many emotional afflictions, for the most part I don't have negative emotions anymore. And either the anatta or the strict shamatha training has resulted in stable shamatha where thoughts have little effect and are diminished by the force of clarity. I'm also able to control them, stopping them for any amount of desired time etc. But I understand that isn't what is important. Can I fully open to whatever arises I would say yes. I understand that every instance of experience is fully appearing to itself as the radiance of clarity, yet timelessly disjointed and unsubstantiated.." - Kyle Dixon, 2013
“The conditions for this subtle identification are not undone until anatta is realized.
Anatta realization is like a massive release of prolonged tension, this is how John put it once at least. Like a tight fist, that has been tight for lifetimes, is suddenly relaxed. There is a great deal of power in the event. The nature of this realization is not often described in traditional settings, I have seen Traga Rinpoche discuss it. Jñāna is very bright and beautiful. That brightness is traditionally the “force” that “burns” the kleśas.
The reservoir of traces and karmic imprints is suddenly purged by this wonderful, violent brightness. After this occurs negative emotions are subdued and for the most part do not manifest anymore. Although this is contingent upon the length of time one maintains that equipoise.” - Kyle Dixon, 2019
“Prajñā “burns” karma, only when in awakened equipoise. Regular meditation does not.” - Kyle Dixon, 2021
“Though anatta is a seal [Soh: i.e. a truth that is always already so, pertaining to the nature of mind/experience], it also requires one to arise the insight to feel liberated. When a practitioner realizes the anatta nature of manifestation, at that moment without the sense of observer, there is no negative emotions. There is only vivid sensation of all the arising as presence. When you are angry, it is a split. When you realized its anatta nature, there is just vivid clarity of all the bodily sensations. Even when there is an arising thought of something bad, it dissolves with no involvement in the content [Soh: i.e. mental contents like stories, imagination and conceptualization along with emotional involvement]. To be angry, a 'someone' must come into the content. When there is no involvement of the extra agent, there is only recoiling and self liberations. One should differentiate arising thought from the active involvement of the content a practitioner that realizes anatta is only involved fully in the vivid presence of the action, phenomena but not getting lost in content.” - John Tan, 2009

“Not creating an idea of a self frees us completely from anger. You cannot have anger unless there is a self. There is no boundless and omniscient self somewhere in the sky that created the whole universe, and there is no tangible and limited self that inhabits this bag of skin. All of reality is simply infinite dharmas that arise and disappear in accord with the laws of karma. There is not one thing standing against another.” - Zen Master John Daido Loori
“I am only interested in the way to free from worries, fear, anger, greed and ignorance.” - John Tan, 2018
“After realization of anatta, I have found that negative emotions dissolves or are attenuated.” - Soh, 2018
Richard: "Can you begin to imagine what it is like to live in a world without fear, for example? It is the extinction of ‘me’ in ‘my’ entirety that results in a total and utter dissolution of fear itself. There is no fear here, in this actual world where I live. Not even disquietude, uneasiness, nervousness or apprehension, let alone anxiety, angst, fear, terror, horror or dread. There is no fear in a flower, a tree, an ashtray, an armchair, a rock ... only sentient beings experience fear. Fear is affective; it is an emotion, a passion, and as such is not actual. Fear is a feeling, not a fact.
It is an eminently sensible way to live."

Actual Freedom Richard:
This is my position: we are all fellow human beings who find ourselves here in the world as it was when we were born. We find war, murder, torture, rape, domestic violence and corruption to be endemic ... we notice that it is intrinsic to the human condition ... we set out to discover why this is so. We find sadness, loneliness, sorrow, grief, depression and suicide to be a global incidence ... and we gather that it is also inherent to the human condition ... and we want to know why. We report to each other as to the nature of our discoveries for we are all well-meaning and seek to find a way out of this mess that we have landed in. Whether one believes in re-incarnation or not, we are all living this particular life for the very first time, and we wish to make sense of it. It is a challenge and the adventure of a life-time to enquire and to uncover, to seek and to find, to explore and to discover. All this being alive business is actually happening and we are totally involved in living it out ... whether we take the back seat or not, we are all still doing it.
I, for one, am not taking the back seat.

Soh Wei Yu

Lewis Stevens

"Does the realization of groundlessness lead inevitably to liberation,..... Or perhaps liberation becomes superfluous with the realization that there is no one to be liberated!"


It does lead to liberation.

Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche:


"Why is it that all sentient beings think that there is a self? The self is not conceived of because it exists. In fact, although it does not exist, there is merely a conception that it exists because of an erroneous mind that is deluded and mistaken about its existence. This is similar to perceiving a rope to be a snake or like seeing a young lady [as real] in a dream.


It might be thought that if there is a self, then it is reasonable to be bound to samsara by afflictions and to become liberated when cutting through that bondage. However, if there were no self, who then becomes liberated? Therefore, it would be unreasonable to strive to liberate the self!


It is not the case that one strives to liberate an existent self. For instance, if you are frightened when mistaking a rope for a snake, you will feel relieved when you see that there is no snake. Similarly, by conceiving of a self where there is no self, you accumulate afflictions and karma and thereby continuously experience suffering in samsara. When realizing the lack of self through authentic insight, karma and afflictions will cease to be and you will be liberated. Therefore, what is called “liberation” is merely the cessation of a mistake in your mind-stream or the cessation of your deluded mind. There is no liberation of an existent self. If there were a self, then ego-clinging could never be turned away, and if this ego-clinging is not relinquished, then karma and afflictions do not cease. Thus, due to being attached to the self, you continuously enter samsara. —A FEAST ON THE NECTAR OF THE SUPREME VEHICLE, 102–3"


Duckworth, Douglas; Mipam, Jamgon. Jamgon Mipam: His Life and Teachings (p. 145). Shambhala. Kindle Edition.

Soh Wei Yu

It is good and important to point out the aspect of clarity first, self-enquiry for realizing the I AM.

But without the anatta realization there can be no liberation.


(5:25 PM) John: For one that truly experience anatta and emptiness, he will know that there is no other way towards liberation. Dualistic view is itself suffering. There is no escape and

cannot be compromised. so though ET [Soh: Eckhart Tolle, who is at the I AM stage] talked about the silence, there is the experience but there is no liberation. There is constant struggle. do not be deceived.  though what he said about the experience is quite true.

(5:27 PM) AEN: non-effort can only come from longchen's sort of 'non doer' understanding am i right

(5:27 PM) AEN: oic why no liberation?

(5:27 PM) John: one cannot experience that blissful liberated experience in a dualistic mode.

(5:28 PM) John: yes....longchen is beginning to understand more... just beginning...

(5:28 PM) AEN: oic

(5:28 PM) AEN: eckhart tolle in dualistic mode?

(5:28 PM) John: there are just certain experiences that cannot be described in words.

(5:28 PM) AEN: oic

(5:29 PM) John: it is like what ken wilber say about the non-duality experience and absolutely no witness without the layer of separation... how is this possible. it is 'seeing', awaking of wisdom, awakening of anatta and emptiness nature.  no other way can lead us to liberation.

(5:30 PM) AEN: icic..

(5:30 PM) John: i mean maintaining it like every moment. I mean the description of ken wilber is there. but the depth of the experience...i got to read the simple feeling of being.

(5:31 PM) John: however by the title, i think he is still not there.  (comments by Soh: it became clearer later that Ken Wilber is at Thusness Stage 4 and have not reached Stage 5 clarity of anatta realization)

(5:31 PM) AEN: o icic

(5:31 PM) John: lol

(5:31 PM) AEN: the title? u mean the simple feeling of being. wrong?

(5:31 PM) John: i have to read first lah. the title cannot reflect out one that is fully authenticated in suchness.  nevertheless, none i have read can correctly describe it so far.

(5:33 PM) AEN: oic.. so how to correctly describe it

(5:33 PM) John: the next thing to look out is the stability.

(5:33 PM) AEN: oic

(5:34 PM) John: i think ken wilber has engaged too much in theoretical conceptualization after the experience of non-dual. Seems to retrogress....hehe

(5:34 PM) AEN: hahaha icic

(5:35 PM) John: must practice hard.


“He [XYZ Rinpoche] focused more on awareness as background. Without realizing the nature of mind and phenomena, karma continues to be generated.


When there is a background, one can't liberate actually but generates subtle karma IMO. Only through realizing the nature of mind and phenomena one can self liberates (karma).” – John Tan, 2018


“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.”


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!

-        John Tan, 2009, the two stanzas of anatta in On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection


The most direct and succinct explanation of anatta is that there is no actual seer of sights, no actual hearer of sound, etc., there is no actual internal point of reference, or subject, that is apprehending alleged referents, or objects.” – Kyle Dixon, 2020


2 days ago · edited 2 days ago

Is it to say that all the things I use to identify myself are untrue? All my likes and dislikes? My personality traits? My beliefs?

Kyle Dixon: It is more so that there is ultimately no separate self as an entity which possesses those traits. The self is a mere construct which is only those traits, and so on. In actuality however, those traits do not truly construct an entity. The entity or self is inferred, and we use that inference as a tool for engaging with and navigating experience, but we mistake that inference to be a referent, meaning we become entrenched in the nexus of conditions and come to view the self as an inherently real entity.

The actual meaning of selflessness in these teachings revolves around the non-conceptual, direct realization that there in fact is no inherent self, or any self at all for that matter. This results from recognizing that there is no thinker of thought, no separate feeler of feelings, no seer of sights, no hearer of sound, and so on.

Here is Sera Khandro, a prominent 19th/20th century practitioner discussing the self:

A literal definition of the term “individual” is as follows: The two obscurations, along with habitual patterns, fill an individual’s stream of being; and the contaminated aggregation of attachment forms the foundation for the individual. What is called “the self” is the consciousness predisposed to assume the existence of a self: during the periods of waking life, dream, transitional states [bardos] between lifetimes, or in a future life, a self merely appears when none exists. That consciousness is what is called “an individual self.” Immediately thereafter, subsequent knowing and discursive thought give clarity to the consciousness predisposed to cling to an “I” where there is none, and a sense of self where none exists, and make them stable and solid.

What does Buddhism mean when they say there is no self

Kyle Dixon: Selflessness means there is ultimately no actual subject, which means there is no actual internal reference point that is apprehending sensory phenomena.

In describing this simply it means through your practice you will hopefully, eventually, awaken to recognize that there is no actual seer of sights, no hearer of sounds, and so on. The feeling of an internal seer or hearer, etc., is a useful but false construct that is created and fortified by various causes and conditions.

We suffer when we cling to this construct and think it is actually real. Recognition of the actual nature of that construct is liberating and freeing.” – Kyle Dixon, 2021

“Once I was a Body.

Later I became a Name.

Soon after I am merely I.

Then, there never was an I.


what else besides those words forming on the screen!” - John Tan, 2006