Showing posts with label Mipham Rinpoche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mipham Rinpoche. Show all posts

By Mipham Rinpoche from the Beacon of Certainty (see John Tan's book recommendation of this book here


 Topic 5

5.1 Which of the two truths is more important? Some claim the ultimate is most important.

"Deceptive reality is a deluded perception," they say,

Understanding it as something to be abandoned.

"Ultimate reality is not deluded, so that ultimate

Is the perfectly pure view," they say. If deceptive reality were not erroneous, were indeed true,

Ultimate reality could not be emptiness, so

They are expressed differently in this way. However, no ultimate can be established

Over and against the deceptive;

The two of them are method and methodical result.

Without depending on an entity for examination,

Its nonsubstantiality cannot be established—

Therefore both substance and nonsubstance

Are the same in being mere relativity.672 If that clinging to emptiness

Were to fully exclude appearance,


It would mess up Nagarjuna's fine system. If by cultivating the path by that seeing of emptiness,

One were only to realize the expanse of emptiness,

Then one would have to accept that the

Sublime equipoise on emptiness

Would be a cause for the destruction of substantial entities. Therefore, though things are empty from the beginning,

Appearance and emptiness are not separate things;

Adhering to the statement "Only emptiness is important"

• Is an unskilled approach to the final meaning. Some people put aside the ultimate

And from the perspective of mere conventionality,

Differentiate the levels of the view in the tantric classes. Viewing oneself as a deity conventionally

: Without complementing the view with the ultimate reality

of emptiness

And thus differentiating "higher" and "lower" teachings,

is incorrect.673 Without having confidence in ultimate reality,

Just meditating on deceptive reality as divinity

Is mere wishful thinking, not a view;

Just as some heretical awareness mantras

Involve visualizing oneself differently during recitation. Some say deceptive reality is more important;

They say you must integrate the two truths,

But then they heap praise on deceptive reality. At the time of maintaining the view of coalescence,

They desert coalescence and grasp a blank emptiness.

Thus the toddler of practice cannot keep up

With the mother of good explanations. Therefore, here in our early translation tradition,

Our Dharma terminology for the basis, path, and result

Does not fall into extremes or bias with respect to

Permanence, impermanence, the two truths, and so forth;

We maintain only the philosophical position of

coalescence. If deceptive and ultimate reality are separated,

One cannot posit the basis, path, or result on the basis of

either. Basis, path, and result are all

Without the distinction of abandoning one thing

or accepting another.

For if one abandons deceptive reality,


There is no ultimate; there is no deceptive

Reality apart from the ultimate. Whatever appears is pervaded by emptiness,

And whatever is empty is pervaded by appearance.

If something appears, it cannot be non-empty,

And that emptiness cannot be established as not appearing. Since both entities and nonentities should both

Be taken as bases for establishing emptiness,

All appearances are just designations,

And emptiness too is just a mental designation. For the certainly of rational analysis,

These two are method and methodical result;

If there is one, it is impossible not to have the other,

As they are inseparable. Therefore appearance and emptiness

Can each be conceived separately,

But in fact they are never different.

Therefore, they are called "coalescent,"

Since the confidence of seeing the nature of things

Does not fall to any extreme. In the perspective of the wisdom of authentic analysis

Appearance and emptiness are considered to be

A single essence with different aspects, for

If one exists, the other exists, and if

One does not exist, the other does not exist. Nonetheless, for beginners

They appear as negation and negandum;

At that time they are not combined as one.

When the nature of emptiness

Arises as appearance, one attains confidence.

Thus, everything is primordially empty,

And these appearances are empty,

Though empty, they appear; though apparent,

They are seen as empty—this is the birth of certainty. This is the root of the profound paths

Of sutra, tantra, and pith instructions.

This is the meaning of cutting off misconceptions

Through study and reflection;

It is the unmistaken, authentic view. By realizing that crucial point more and more profoundly,

Clinging to the characteristics of appearances of

Deceptive reality will gradually be abandoned.

The stages of the vehicles of the various tan trie classes


Appear in that way. Intellectual wishful thinking and

The view of certainty that finds confidence in the

Divine appearance of animate and inanimate phenomena

Cannot possibly be the same. The determination that phenomena are truthless

By Madhyamika reasoning is a view.

But when a Brahmin recites a mantra over a sick person,

His imagining a lack of illness is not the view. By realizing the abiding nature of ultimate reality,

One grows confident in the divine appearance of deceptive


Otherwise, if one dwells on the manner of deceptive


How can divinity be established? Aside from this deluded appearance of subject and object,

There is no such thing as samsara;

The divisions of the path that abandons it

Are not only made from the perspective of ultimate reality,

Because ultimate reality has a unitary character. With respect to the mental ability gained

Through seeing and cultivating all phenomena

Of apparent deceptive reality, the subject (of qualities),674

With respect to ultimate reality, the action tantra,

Performance tantra, yoga tantra, and unexcelled yoga tantra

are taught. Therefore, the tantric classes are not differentiated as higher

Or lower with respect to either of the two truths


According to one's attainment of confidence

In the coalescence of the two truths,

The practice of [each of the tantric classes naturally] follows. Therefore, if one properly practices without mistakes

The peerless Vajra Vehicle,

The path that bestows liberation in a single life,

Then, just like the example of water seen

By several different types of sentient beings,

With respect to pure vision

It will be impossible for anyone not to see

Actual and potential phenomena as a manifested mandala. If you don't know things that way,

Meditating on deities while holding

The nature of samsara to be impure


Is like spraying a vomit-filled vase with perfume.

Alas! That sort of meditation on the Vajra Vehicle of


Is just like a drawing of a butter lamp. The way things appear is impure,

But that is the system of delusion.

We say that authentically seeing the nature of things

Is the meaning of the undivided Vajrayana system. Seeing the animate and inanimate universe

As lacking the nature of pure support and supported,

But meditating while imagining that they do—

This path evinces an obvious contradiction,

And is just a reflection of the Vajrayana path.

Coal cannot be whitened by washing; Likewise, a fabricated meditation that thinks

"It is not, but it is"

Attaining some kind of result

Would be like the heretical sun worshippers (nyi ma pa)—

Who have no confidence in the emptiness of true


Abandoning emotional afflictions through meditating

On an emptiness devoid of appearance, etc. What if the action, performance, and unexcelled tantric


Did not have different levels of view? If you have confidence in the view that realizes

The pure equality of actual and potential phenomena,

But fail to take advantage of the correct view,

Seeing yourself and the deity as superior and inferior

And discriminating things as pure and impure,

You will only harm yourself. And, if you are still attached to what is accepted and abandoned

in the lower tantras

But practice the equality of what is accepted and abandoned

in the unexcelled tantras,

Such as "union and liberation," eating meat, drinking

alcohol, etc.,

This is known as the "reckless behavior of


Isn't that despicable? The view is defined according to one's certainty

In the vision of the nature of things;

According to one's confidence acquired by the view,


One maintains the practice of meditation and conduct. "Because the vehicles are differentiated

By different levels of view, they are not necessarily nine in

number"— From the lowest of the Buddhist philosophical systems

Up to the ultimate vajra pinnacle of atiyoga,

There is a specific reason for positing

The enumeration of nine classes.

Of course there are many levels of vehicle,

But they are posited by necessity, as is the three-vehicle

system.675 Thus, according to the relative strength

Of inner gnosis, the animate and inanimate

Worlds are seen as pure or impure. Therefore, the basis of inseparable appearance and emptiness

Is realized as the inseparability of the two realities;

As you cultivate the path in that way,

You will see the gnosis,

The coalescence of the two buddha bodies.


[7/11/22, 1:26:14 AM] John Tan: Is this true in ur experience?

[7/11/22, 1:26:40 AM] John Tan: If yes y and is no y?

[7/11/22, 1:55:49 AM] Soh Wei Yu: lol so different

[7/11/22, 1:56:08 AM] Soh Wei Yu: anatta and twofold emptiness is direct insight into emptiness of inherent existence and duality simultaneously

[7/11/22, 1:56:26 AM] Soh Wei Yu: also why objectless awareness

[7/11/22, 1:56:30 AM] Soh Wei Yu: sounds like those awareness practice

[7/11/22, 1:56:36 AM] Soh Wei Yu: and very different from mahamudra also

[7/11/22, 1:56:59 AM] John Tan: Lol👍 so what r the issues?  Y is mipham saying that?

[7/11/22, 1:57:00 AM] Soh Wei Yu: "At that point, is the observer—awareness—other than the

observed—stillness and movement—or is it actually that stillness and

movement itself? By investigating with the gaze of your own awareness,

you come to understand that that which is investigating itself is also

no other than stillness and movement. Once this happens you will

experience lucid emptiness as the naturally luminous self-knowing

awareness. Ultimately, whether we say nature and radiance, undesirable

and antidote, observer and observed, mindfulness and thoughts, stillness

and movement, etc., you should know that the terms of each pair are no

different from one another; by receiving the blessing of the guru,

properly ascertain that they are inseparable. Ultimately, to arrive at

the expanse free of observer and observed is the realization

of the true meaning and the culmination of all analyses. This is called

“the view transcending concepts,” which is free of conceptualization,

or “the vajra mind view.”

"Fruition vipashyana is the correct realization of the final conviction of the nonduality of observer and observed."

Khamtrul Rinpoche III. The Royal Seal of Mahamudra: Volume One: A

Guidebook for the Realization of Coemergence: 1 (p. 242). Shambhala.

[7/11/22, 1:57:49 AM] Soh Wei Yu: I think he is distinguishing the nominal ultimate and non nominal ultimate.. forgot the term

[7/11/22, 1:59:54 AM] John Tan: He is but y he can't get that "absence" of inherent existence can also dissolve "duality"?

[7/11/22, 2:00:25 AM] John Tan: In fact much easier.

[7/11/22, 11:13:02 AM] Soh Wei Yu: Im not sure why.. why do you think?

[7/11/22, 11:14:32 AM] John Tan: Use ur experience to see through and tell me.

[7/11/22, 11:15:22 AM] John Tan: How is it diff from ATR approach?

‎[7/11/22, 3:01:18 PM] Soh Wei Yu: ‎image omitted

[7/11/22, 3:01:37 PM] Soh Wei Yu: To me this part is emphasizing reverting to the I AM to have initial realization of nondual presence

[7/11/22, 3:14:39 PM] John Tan: Not exactly

[7/11/22, 10:52:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: mipham sees inherent existence as negated through analytical reasoning path

[7/11/22, 10:52:47 PM] Soh Wei Yu: whereas AtR begins with stanzas, so inherent existence is seen through in direct path like mahamudra:

[7/11/22, 10:53:31 PM] Soh Wei Yu:

Thrangu Rinpoche:

In the Vajrayana there is the direct path to examining mind. In everyday life we are habituated to thinking, "I have a mind and I perceive these things." Ordinarily, we do not directly look at the mind and therefore do not see the mind. This is very strange because we see things and we know that we are seeing visual phenomena. But who is seeing? We can look directly at the mind and find that there is no one seeing; there is no seer, and yet we are seeing phenomena. The same is true for the mental consciousness. We think various thoughts, but where is that thinking taking place? Who or what is thinking? However, when we look directly at the mind, we discover that there is nobody there; there is no thinker and yet thinking is going on. This approach of directly looking in a state of meditation isn't one of reasoning, but of directly looking at the mind to see what is there.

Source: Shentong and Rangtong

[7/11/22, 10:53:57 PM] Soh Wei Yu: to me analytical path alone wont have the sort of sudden awakening like anatta

[7/11/22, 10:54:32 PM] Soh Wei Yu: maybe like what you said "Actually anatta is a good direct method of pointing, analysis can later be used to support this direct experiential insight.  Not easy for the path of analysis to trigger such insight.  It will have to have a sudden leap or break-through much like koan"

[7/11/22, 10:55:09 PM] Soh Wei Yu: without that sudden leap of breakthrough, the understanding of emptiness is still inferential and wont be able to breakthrough duality in a direct realization of the nature of consciousness

[8/11/22, 1:21:33 AM] John Tan: Very good.  U must see the difference.  The method of pointing is the issue, not the view.

[7:58 pm, 25/04/2022] John Tan: Imo it is different insight, different emphasis and and different praxis, but result is the same. Both will clear certain obscurations that r not easy to c.

For freedom of all elaborations is like insight of anatta extended to all phenomena where not only conceptual notion of self is deconstructed but also phenomena, events, cause and effect...etc. One comes face to face to primordial suchness (pure appearances). In order words, the full maturity of anatta therefore it is most intuitive and direct to ATR ppl and why I like Mipham in the first place.
But I when I started studying Tsongkhapa I realized empty of self-nature is different. Both conceptual and non-conceptual, imagined appearances and pure appearances share a single space-like taste of emptiness (essencelessness). Whereas for freedom from all elaborations, they r "irreconcilable".
Therefore followers of Tsongkhapa, they will have no such issue about Andre first point (and there r other issues):
"It feels odd, right? How can conceptuality or lack thereof have anything to do with the way things arise or manifest?"
Y? Because it is precisely this essencelessness that manifestion is possible. It is because of corelessness the dependent arising is possible.
Like what I wrote to u and yin ling:
In addition to having this taste, u may want to explore "empty of self-nature" from an experiential angle rather than analysis.
Be in anatta and while in the bliss of non-dual, see how radically different is the music and the vivid scenery; how thought is markedly different from sensations and smell; how a "shopping mall" can "transmute" into a "carpark"?
Ask urself how all these are even possible? So seamless and instantaneous is the "morphing", simply miraculous!
Ask urself again, how is this possible at all if there is essence? Let the insight of "essencelessness" permeates ur entire being and heal all ur clogged up energies.
Then look at thoughts and conceptualities. See how malleable thoughts and conceptual ideas are and see how they freely manifest. How are all these even possible if there is "essence"?
Next look at dependent arising. How is it possible to even originate in dependence so seamlessly? Feel the "essencelessness" and feel the "magic" and wonder. U must feel "essencelessness", not think essencelessness.
Then u will understand the intent of Nagarjuna. There will be no arguments. U will realize that only because of "essencelessness" are all these possible. U will understand it is precisely that there is no self-nature, there is causal efficacies; because it is dream-like, there is all these vivid appearances and happenings.
Anyway that is just my opinion.
[8:05 pm, 25/04/2022] John Tan: Don't go argue and over emphasize for each has their own path.
[8:07 pm, 25/04/2022] John Tan: One is like horizontal breadth to all phenomena of anatta while the other is like vertical depth of anatta.
-->>This can perhaps be summarized by saying that dependent arising and the 'aproximate ultimate' (emptiness as nisvabhava) are indeed synonymous (since they are conceptual equivalents), while the actual ultimate (emptiness as nisprapanca or 'freedom from elaborations') has no synonyms whatsoever, since it is not a conceptual object at all.
Yes. Only spontaneous presence and natural perfection. There is not even knowingness or apprehension.
  • Jayson MPaul
    Yes, realizing that everything has no core is exactly why it can even dependently originate at all was a key insight. This is how it is possible for the buddha to blossom under the bodhi tree and all beings liberated at once. This is how Dogen writes about rowing the boat and someone realizes total exertion is the same movement. If any essence or core was there, it would totally block this. This is non-obstruction

    Yin Ling
    Jayson MPaul yes it is a radical insight
    I feel that getting this point correct really facilitate insight.
    It’s like the mind is allowed to “sync” haha

    Jayson MPaul
    Yin Ling when it dawned on me I was ohhhh that's why these insights seemed hard to see. I was coming from a completely essence view.

  • Yin Ling
    Jayson MPaul me too. I could totally understand hence I also understand why John keep talking about it . Truly mind changing

  • André A. Pais
    "Shopping mall turning into carpark" reminded me of this thing I wrote some time back:
    May be an image of text

    André A. Pais
    And more recently:
    May be an image of text that says 'André A. Pais 31 de março às 04:56 If there was the slightest thing There couldn't be any appearance Since there is appearance There can't be the slightest thing'

  • Yin Ling
    André A. Pais very well written and relatable to my xp 🙂

  • André A. Pais
    The issue with 'essence'lessness is that it is dependent on the notion of essence - it's a negation that is intrinsically linked and dependent upon what it negates. To say that things only function because they are "devoid of essence" is to say that they only work because they are empty of our delusions, which makes it seem that things, somehow, are dependent on our delusions (their absence) to function. Which is nonsensical, of course. To say that things function because they are "not-X" makes their functioning indirectly dependent upon "X."
    So, instead of essencelessness (which is a valid temporary pointer), spaciousness is a better pointer, imo. Curiously, according to Dowman's translation, spaciousness is the definition of Dharmadhatu and the single most important principle in Longchenpa's view.
    We could perhaps say that 'spaciousness' is the lived experience of the conceptual insight "essencelessness."

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    Yin Ling
    André A. Pais yes the experience feels “spacious” and also “light” like some core has been dug out from the whole experience lol.
    To me essencelessness also describe the emptienss xp- when my xp turns light and shimmery. Probably those are more affirming words

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Not against the term spaciousness or anything
    But malcolm and kyle seem to prefer other translations than dowman as dowman took too much linguistic and poetic liberties in his translations

  • Soh Wei Yu
    John Tan:
    I would say this is not an issue peculiar to "essencelessness". For any "X" there is always a corresponding "-X" being implied when expressed in language. This is due to the "poverty" or our thinking mechanism and language, not the "moon" that essencelessness" is pointing. Similarly we see the same issue issue surfacing in "freedom from all elaborations/conceptualities" as they are equally dependent on "elaborations and conceptualities" for it's valid functioning despite that the actual message is to convey a freedom that involve no conceptual construct. Same applies to "no-self", it is dependent on the notion of "self". So as long as the essence of message is transmitted, then the raft must also be dropped.

  • André A. Pais
    I just think it's important to keep in mind that the nature of things is *not* emptiness. Emptiness just means that things lack any nature whatsoever. By lacking any nature, there is nothing that can be said about reality and this invites freedom from reference points, and a profound relaxation that makes the nature of mind more "visible." Emptiness as lack-of-nature is more easily mistaken as "the nature of being empty," thus my point of highlighting referencelessness.

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    John tan asked
    1. "When space is added to space, does it amount to nothing?"

    Yin Ling
    If there’s space, surely there’s a knowing ..
    If not how to call it space
    So can’t be nothing.
    Don’t understand context tho

  • André A. Pais
    One can't add space to space, since space is not graspable or movable.

  • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
    An oldie but a goodie:
    Formless, non-particular, non-phenomenal, shapeless, unspecified, measureless function-activity.
    My breathing of the air is what makes "it"->"air". Air being breathed is what makes "it"->"breathing". Air entering the breathing body: What separates the air, the body and breathing? Where is the separating, dividing, demarcating line?
    A double bind.
    Consciousness and nama-rupa.
    A tangle within and a tangle without.
    What comes first, the thing or the name?
    What is it before it has a name, before it has a shape?
    Oh, so empty, so nothing, but yet, it is expressive.
    When the mind mixes with the vast expanse of nothing(-in-particular), a reality is invoked. By becoming entangled in the pregnant vacuum—by measuring, relating, weaving and spinning—samsaric relativity arises.
    The mind enters into the empty expanse and immediately there is specificity: By becoming involved, entangling itself in relativity—an intricate web of relation—a "what is "this" in the context of this very observation of "it"?"—and there ensues limitation—a closing and clamping down on, a narrowing of view.
    By disentangling, ungrasping, unclinging; Unmeasured and measureless, unspecified: The ground-of-reality.
    Why is this so... releasing?
    Why is this such utter relief?
    It's so un-grand, so pedestrian:
    The dependence of this on that.
    The dependent nature of phenomena.
    Why so?
    If two "empty spaces" crash into each other, what damage is caused? What tumultuous unease transpires there? None. Where is the conflict, then?
    What divides? What is the nature of separation?
    Like water poured into water: What difference does it make? Completely compatible.
    At ease in the midst of it all.

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  • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
    As I draw in air, breathing, the boundary of the air vanish and I can no longer sharply distinguish the air from my body and its muscles contracting and expanding.
    So, then, I'm curious: What makes this very experience the experience of "air" when air is no longer defined by boundaries of its own which distinguish it from everything else?
    And the answer is found in the mutual dependency of consciousness and name-and-form: Through inter-action, function and activity. When experienced through a mesh/web/net of inter-relations/relativity, then this very experience is the experience of "air" and nothing else; When "this very experience" is experienced in relation to a breathing body it is "air".
    Air, like this, depends on—for its very definition—how it functions in relation to a set of other phenomena; In this case, the breathing body.

  • Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
    Breath is not itself breath. Air is not itself air. Body is not itself body. Self-nature—svabhava—and its lack.

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