Showing posts with label No Mind. Show all posts
Showing posts with label No Mind. Show all posts

Someone told me about mind not being an appearance.

I replied:

it is in this sense that mind is not an appearance: John Tan wrote before, “That light is just alaya, not the nature of mind (imo). There is no form whatsoever that can be grasped. Signlessness therefore appearances are possible.”

it does not mean that there is an objective appearance apart from mind

there is no mind apart from appearance and no appearance apart from mind

Likewise, Krodha also said in 2014, "'Self luminous' and 'self knowing' are concepts which are used to convey the absence of a subjective reference point which is mediating the manifestation of appearance. Instead of a subjective cognition or knower which is 'illuminating' objective appearances, it is realized that the sheer exertion of our cognition has always and only been the sheer exertion of appearance itself. Or rather that cognition and appearance are not valid as anything in themselves. Since both are merely fabricated qualities neither can be validated or found when sought. This is not a union of subject and object, but is the recognition that the subject and object never arose in the first place [advaya]. ", "The cognition is empty. That is what it means to recognize the nature of mind [sems nyid]. The clarity [cognition] of mind is recognized to be empty, which is sometimes parsed as the inseparability of clarity and emptiness, or nondual clarity and emptiness." - Kyle..."


there is also no mind apart from appearance

The cognizer perceives the cognizable;
Without the cognizable there is no cognition;
Therefore why do you not admit
That neither object nor subject exists [at all]?

The mind is but a mere name;
Apart from it's name it exists as nothing;
So view consciousness as a mere name;
Name too has no intrinsic nature.

Either within or likewise without,
Or somewhere in between the two,
The conquerors have never found the mind;
So the mind has the nature of an illusion.

The distinctions of colors and shapes,
Or that of object and subject,
Of male, female and the neuter -
The mind has no such fixed forms.

In brief the Buddhas have never seen
Nor will they ever see [such a mind];
So how can they see it as intrinsic nature
That which is devoid of intrinsic nature?

"Entity" is a conceptualization;
Absence of conceptualization is emptiness;
Where conceptualization occurs,
How can there be emptiness?

The mind in terms of perceived and perceiver,
This the Tathagatas have never seen;
Where there is the perceived and perceiver,
There is no enlightenment.

Devoid of characteristics and origination,
Devoid of substantiative reality and transcending speech,
Space, awakening mind and enlightenment
Possess the characteristics of non-duality.

- Nagarjuna"


No Mind, No Appearances and No Apparent Objects


[8:17 am, 07/11/2021] John Tan: Apparent objects are not mind, appearances are mind.
[8:26 am, 07/11/2021] John Tan: And then from that,
further exhaust mind, appearances, apparent objects.
No mind, no appearances and no apparent objects

Soh: no appearances as in not no appearances but presence is empty right

John Tan:
No appearances just mean the conceptual notions of mind, appearances and external objects are all deconstructed.
It doesn't mean a blank nothing.
Vivid Appearances will unfailingly manifest, that is what Mipham meant by coalescence of appearance and emptiness.

From the perspective of mind (alaya), negation is non-affirming and thorough.
From the non-conceptual gnosis standpoint, nothing is obstructed nor denied.
What appears is unconditioned, spontaneous, natural and beyond elaborations.
Labels: Emptiness |


All is Mind, No Mind, Dependent Origination
"All is mind must also be deconstructed by DO and emptiness.

Otherwise you end up subsuming.  When practitioners express all is mind, they are not to be taken literally, they are expressing a deep non-dual experiential taste.  Not as a view.

We go through all process of deconstructions and taste the luminous appearances then adopt the view of DO [dependent origination] and emptiness for the conventional world.

That is why DO and emptiness is the enlightened view."

"[9:09 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: I understand what dzogchen meant. Imo,  DO and emptiness is the spontaneous presence and natural perfection expression in the conventional world. (Soh: also related, Dzogchen, Rigpa and Dependent Origination )
[9:14 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: But I do not know dzogchen so no comment.

It is just how I see. The beauty of DO and emptiness in expressing the luminous appearance for the conventional world."

- John Tan, 2020

"[8:16 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: It is the direct taste that is important.
[8:18 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: In the direct taste freeing of the background, what is left is the obviousness.
[8:21 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: The luminous display is free from all elaborations.  Neither mind nor not mind, phenomena nor not phenomena.

So can one b free from all proliferations and see clearly this luminous display and how is this to b expressed comventionally?
[8:22 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: Post all these deconstructions, do u still need to talk about mind at all?  Do u still see object?"

"[8:25 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: That is not important imo
[8:26 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: It is how the mind is freed from all proliferated views or religions or any form of conditioning first.
[8:28 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: The freeing is most crucial but not discarding the validity of how they provide explanations for the functioning of the world.
[8:28 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: So first in anatta, the deconstruction of the background self. That perhaps is the most important deconstruction.
[8:31 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: Then we look at object, how do we even come to the idea that phenomena possess characteristics at all?  Why  redness seem to stick to a red flower?
[8:36 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: Then we look deeper into duality and look at how the dualistic structure is constructed...we see objectivity and subjectivity, do we clearly see and understand that the very feeling of objectivity can only arise because of an innate feeling of subjectivity?  Can we feel this understanding in our bone and marrow or just a knowledge?  The idea of self and other...this deep conditioning is often over look.
[8:37 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: Like no suffering, no no suffering...
[8:39 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: Then when we picks up all these conventions, views,  we have no issues with them for they provide a way of explaining and accounting how the world and universe functions.  How well they explain the world.
[8:41 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: U can see how the world is totally make up of energetic vibration also and practice accordingly as long the path can guide u and it works and functions, but ultimately empty."

"[10:32 AM, 7/25/2020] John Tan: The only truth is to see the emptiness of the conventional.  Equipoise strictly speaking is free from all elaborations.  That is exactly the experiential insight and taste of anatta, in the seen just the seen, therefore no seer, no seeing, nothing seen.

[10:38 AM, 7/25/2020] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[10:42 AM, 7/25/2020] Soh Wei Yu: like kalaka sutta

Labels: All is Mind, Dependent Origination |





Not mind or other than mind
[27/10/19, 1:14:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: All appearances are appearance of oneself in dzogchen but not cosmic consciousness
[27/10/19, 1:49:11 PM] John Tan: Quite good youtube. Who is he?
[27/10/19, 1:52:33 PM] John Tan: All appearances are one's radiance clarity. However since both object and subject are seen through, it cannot be said to be mind or other than mind.
[27/10/19, 1:53:56 PM] Soh Wei Yu: He is a quite famous dzogchen teacher i think
[27/10/19, 1:54:00 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[27/10/19, 1:54:07 PM] John Tan: What appears are neither in here nor out there.
[27/10/19, 1:54:53 PM] John Tan: The very idea of in or out, me and other are conceptually designated.
[27/10/19, 1:56:31 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. i think he is trying to point out non solipsism and non cosmic consciousness.. different mindstreams. In another video he said how his view is not solipsism
[27/10/19, 1:58:04 PM] John Tan: The "neither this nor that" of freedom from extremes is not the same as "neither this nor that" of non-conceptuality.
[27/10/19, 1:58:10 PM] Soh Wei Yu: _______
[27/10/19, 1:58:15 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[27/10/19, 1:58:22 PM] John Tan: Can provide the link.
[27/10/19, 1:58:47 PM] John Tan: He is ______?
[27/10/19, 1:59:01 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Yeah
[27/10/19, 1:59:26 PM] John Tan: His lecture seems to be better than his
[27/10/19, 1:59:32 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Lol
[27/10/19, 1:59:37 PM] Soh Wei Yu: you read his writings before?
[27/10/19, 1:59:50 PM] John Tan: But still a subtle sense of awareness
[27/10/19, 1:59:55 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic..
[27/10/19, 2:02:47 PM] John Tan: He is using simple mind is the creator which is no good
[27/10/19, 2:03:27 PM] Soh Wei Yu: you mean book or lecture
[27/10/19, 2:03:43 PM] John Tan: Both
[27/10/19, 2:04:31 PM] John Tan: His lectures link that you sent me but explanation is quite good.  However the taste of anatta is not there.
[27/10/19, 2:05:08 PM] John Tan: Means it can still be an explanation of non-dual.
[27/10/19, 2:09:03 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. ya i get the impression of one mind from his old writings
[27/10/19, 2:11:12 PM] John Tan: For anatta to be clear, that background is gone that is why experiences become direct. It has to because there is nothing there to dualify as simple as need li li loh loh (be longwinded)...
[27/10/19, 2:11:36 PM] John Tan: Grasper and grasped disappeared.
[27/10/19, 2:16:10 PM] John Tan: Now when there is no self, you are left with those aggregates.  What are those aggregates?
[27/10/19, 2:54:57 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Empty radiance in total exertion
Labels: Anatta |

 ChatGPT translation of an e-mail I wrote, from Chinese into English:

Translated by GPT4 (ChatGPT) engine, which is really fantastic and far supercedes all other translation services like Google.
On: I AM, One Mind, No Mind, Anatta, View vs Experience, etc

Dear Teacher XX,

May you be well and with the Buddha. I hope your health has improved and that you recover soon.
I understand that you prefer listening instead of reading from a computer, so I have added a computer-generated audio recording (from Free Text to Speech Online with Realistic AI Voices ( attached to this email for you to listen to. The technology is fantastic now, you just need to copy and paste the text into the software, and it can generate an audio file almost instantly.
First of all, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my experiences and insights in your class.

However, I have recently been thinking about whether it is appropriate to share my insights in a layman's context (Soh’s comment: should be simplified manner rather than layman’s context). I originally intended to share my experiences and insights of my practice in a more straightforward and understandable way, including some of the following details:

Over the years, I have gradually realized that many people have misunderstood the concept of no-self (Anatta) in Dharma. I have observed that most people progress from realizing the true self/I AM, then to non-dual experiences, and finally to the state of no-mind, instead of directly realizing the original no-self insight/prajna wisdom of Dharma. My definition of "no-mind" here may be different from the terms in ZZ Buddhism. Specifically, I refer to a state where all subjectivity/self/ego/observer, etc., are completely forgotten, leaving only the pure world of phenomena, the pinnacle of non-dual experiences.
I regard "no-mind" as an experiential stage, which is different from the original no-mind wisdom of Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism. The latter refers to the inherent wisdom of Anatta, not just a peak experience. Those who have experienced no-mind (as an experience/stage, not prajna wisdom) know that such experiences exist and strive to achieve them again, trying hard to practice "forgetting the self" but not realizing the original no-self. The duality between the knower and the known disappears in the brilliance of colors, sounds, and scents, but this is an experience, not the realization of prajna wisdom.
There are two types of wisdom: "original wisdom" and "prajna wisdom." "Original wisdom" is the wisdom of the natural state of inherent purity and suchness, the true reality. "Prajna wisdom" is the wisdom of dealing with the emptiness of inherentness/inherent existence. Both types of wisdom are equally important. However, without a stable realization/insight of no-self, dependent origination, and emptiness, we will be unable to directly realize the true, suchness of the original wisdom that is beyond all elaborations. In the process of practice, practitioners need to balance these two types of wisdom to continually break through the view of self-nature and ultimately realize the freedom and purity of the mind.

Moreover, the prajna wisdom of no-self is a direct experiential realization that many people find difficult to understand. So this point is crucial; prajna wisdom/insight is different from merely non-dual experiences because it is a direct and experiential realization: "It has always been like this." (There is no knower or agent outside or behind the luminous phenomena; it has always been like this). The wisdom of no-self is critical for attaining/achieving a non-dual state where the background is completely irrelevant and inherently non-existent, without any tendency to subsume.

In the stage I call "the initial awakening" of what I call the "True Self", although awareness is nondual and nonconceptual at the moment of pure authentication, the understanding that follows is still dualistic— the nature is seen as (mistakenly believed to be) the formless aspect of the Witness behind all phenomena (including all other five aggregates), with the Witness and the witnessed being two separate entities. In daily life, awareness is seen as the ultimate background behind phenomena. However, even after the next stage, where the observer and the observed merge into a nondual state, it is far from the end. In fact, in my experience, there are several stages within nonduality (which I call One Mind, No Mind, and Anatta). Here, I will elaborate on my so-called experiences of One Mind, No Mind, and Anatta, and the differences between them. The unification of emptiness and form, as in One Mind, is not the same as the emptiness and selflessness of awareness. The complete absence of distinctions between thinker/thought or listener/sound, etc., is a stage of nondual experience and insight, which I call the nonduality of One Mind, but it is different from the nonduality of Anatta.

In the initial nondual or One Mind stage, although awareness is seen as inseparable from phenomena, it is still considered unchanging, independent, or having inherent existence. At that stage, you would feel that you are an unchanging, open, and empty field of awareness (as is the initial awakening of the True Self). However, by the time you reach One Mind, when you hear a sound, the sound and the (empty-like) field of awareness seem to be one and the same, difficult to distinguish, but you cannot fully experience the absence of a listener, with only the sound present. In the nondual stage of One Mind, you will find that awareness and all forms are inseparable, but even though at this point you would also experience that awareness and the objects of awareness are originally nondual, awareness is still considered unchanging, special, and essentially different from phenomena (for example, awareness is unchanging and independently existing, while phenomena are subsumed into a vast, boundless, empty-like unchanging awareness that rises and falls, although this awareness contains and is inseparable from all phenomena, and the objects and the subject are one). The former (sound and the (empty-like) field of awareness seeming to be one) is the nonduality of One Mind— everything is included in a larger, unchanging field of awareness that is indivisible, with all aspects of body and mind being part of this field, but the field is not all aspects of body and mind, and this is "One Mind". The latter (only sound, no listener) is No Mind to Anatta. No Mind is precisely when the listener disappears, and there is only the sound, the awareness at the moment when only the sound is present, but this is a stage of experience where the "One Mind" of "all unified field of awareness" is forgotten and only the luminous phenomena remain. Anatta (non-self) is the realization that has always been: sound is awareness, awareness is just sound, there has never been a listener, and there has never been a knower, apart from the luminous phenomena of sound, color, and so on. Like the wind and the act of blowing, awareness is not some unchanging basis but rather an alternative name for luminous and dynamic manifestations/appearances.

Even when one experiences the collapse of observer and observed duality into a single field where awareness and phenomena are not divided in "one mind", one still cannot overcome or break through the deeply ingrained pattern of treating awareness as more ultimate, special, unchanging, and independent than the fleeting, impermanent phenomena. When this insight and paradigm are not overcome, the experience of no-mind can only be intermittent/temporary, rather than an effortless, natural, and seamless state, because the insight is unclear. One cannot effortlessly and fully comfortably settle in the brilliant/momentary/impermanent dharma (as Master Huineng and Zen Master Dogen once said, "Impermanence is Buddha-nature") and will habitually revert to a view of an inherent/unchanging source or foundation. When this stage progresses to a certain extent, the experience of no-mind will also occur when the knower completely disappears, with no separation between mirror and reflection, there is only that. However, despite having this experience, one still insists that the reflection (phenomena) and the mirror (pure awareness) are not the same. It is like the sky (awareness) is not the flowing clouds (phenomena), because the view of inherent existence is still very strong-- one does not have the wisdom of prajna to see through and overcome the view that awareness is an unchanging and inherently existing source, substratum, and substance of all phenomena that is nevertheless inseparable from all phenomena. Therefore, a practitioner may have clear no-mind experiences but have a one-mind view: there is still a desynchronization between view and experience. One may feel that the reflections come and go, are inseparable from the mirror, but the mirror is unchanging and thus more special, with a subtle difference from the reflections. While everything is indeed awareness, this is correct; the problem lies in the view of "everything shares a single unchanging awareness body," which is a mistaken view. Therefore, no-self must be a realization and insight, not merely a "no-mind" experience; otherwise, the experience will be mistaken for prajna wisdom.

Crucially, it is the prajna wisdom of no-self (anatman) that helps us overcome this obstacle in view. The awakening and practice of Anatta (no-self) are not achieved by merely practicing non-grasping or non-identification (in the initial "original self" stage, also maintaining an unaffected mirror, the mirror does not grasp its reflections nor identify them as oneself) but through realization/awakening-- realizing that besides the constantly presenting brilliant reflections, there is no other mirror, and the reflections themselves are the mirror. Without the awakening of no-self, it is impossible to have a permanent, seamless no-mind experience. If there is still a view of inherent existence and belief in self, will the no-mind experience be intermittent or permanent? Clearly, it can only be intermittent. At this time, the practitioner will constantly shuttle back and forth between "original self", "one mind", and "no-mind". Without the clear insight/prajna wisdom and achieving complete, doubt-free understanding of the no-self Dharma Seal, how can there be a permanent, effortless, selfless experience of all the six senses? It is impossible, and only after the insight of prajna wisdom is inspired will it naturally become effortless to realize one's nature in everything, and one will naturally extend this prajna wisdom in all interactions, whether in daily activities or meditation.

Merely maintaining a state of no thought, no concept, or cultivating a non-dual experience is not enough to realize/awaken to the selflessness. Instead, one must explore and challenge the deeply rooted insights in experience, exploring and challenging the perception of being an independent observer or having an independent existence of the "perception" itself, and exploring and challenging them by deeply perceiving the essence of the phenomenon until these constructs are seen through, realizing that perception is just these sceneries, sounds, mountains, and rivers, and has always been so, originally without an "I," without the ability to perceive behind it, and without a subject-action-object structure. This wisdom is not just about a state without concepts or a state without a mind, but crucially, it is about seeing through the inherent existence/self-nature misconception. This is why I had some insights after deeply contemplating the Bahiya Sutta - it is not just about extending a state without thought, without concepts, and non-duality, but "in what is seen, there is only the seen," realizing that there has never been a seer, a listener, an observer, nor has there ever been a "you" in any way or form that could have existed outside or behind all that is seen and heard, so when seeing, there is only the seen, when hearing, there is only the sound, when thinking, there is only the thought, originally without self, just like this.

Therefore, the subject-action-object (subject-action-object) is considered an illusion. Selflessness is always the Dharma seal, and this wisdom can break through the self-nature misconception of awareness, allowing one to recognize: when seeing colors, seeing itself is just the brilliant colors, there has never been a seer. When listening to sounds, there is only sound, and listening is only sound, there is no listener, always so. No effort is needed, and there has never been an "I," always just like this, not just an experience, but to realize this inherent nature. Awareness is like "weather," merely a label attached to constantly changing phenomena such as lightning, rain, snow, wind, and sunlight, and there is no real entity that can be found anywhere outside of them. Just as awareness is a label for the brilliant scenery, sounds, tactile sensations, scents, and thoughts, because it is these that are Buddha-nature, nothing else - Buddha-nature is not an entity, and it is not inherently existing outside of the five aggregates (otherwise it would become the eternalism view of non-Buddhist traditions).

Selflessness is not only about the peak experience of non-duality, and it is not only about merging the perceiver and the perceived, just as it is not about merging fire and burning (there is no fire outside of burning from the beginning) or merging lightning and the flash (there is no lightning outside of the flash from the beginning, the two are just synonyms), or merging the perceiver and the perceived, but realizing that they have never existed in themselves - the perception and the phenomenon itself have never been able to exist in themselves, so this is not the union of subject and object, but the realization that subject and object have never been born, empty by nature and without birth. Knowing and the known are inherently empty, so the nature of mind is the inseparable clarity (luminosity) and emptiness.
Although realizing no-self is just the beginning of truly stepping into Buddhism and the path of liberation, and there are more insights and breakthroughs during the journey, without this key milestone, it is really difficult to delve deeper into the nature of mind and phenomena, and ascend to the emptiness of both person and phenomena. Here, I am only focusing on no-self and not discussing dependent origination emptiness in depth, because it is beyond the scope of a single email. The realization of no-self is crucial for all sects within Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana, and here Mahayana also includes Tibetan Buddhism), regardless of whether they are Theravada or Mahayana, and it is not only about the sudden enlightenment of Zen. Although practitioners initially go through a gradual process, they also need breakthroughs in wisdom (realizing the innate no-self and dependent origination emptiness). The bodhisattva's understanding of emptiness is deeper than that of Theravada because it encompasses the emptiness of both person and phenomena. Other (non-Buddhist) religions also lead people into a non-dual stage, but they concretize it as the unchanging Brahman and the Atman (they teach: the small self is illusory, the world is also false, only the cosmic self is the true self - Brahman is pure awareness, and ultimately realize that "the world is Brahman", without subject and object, so they also have the experience of the stages from the innate self to oneness and no-mind, but these are not the Dharma seals of no-self or dependent origination emptiness emphasized in Buddhism). In Buddhism, no-self as the emptiness of 'awareness' is crucial, which is different from other religions, but there is another important point: this emptiness is not about awareness as the all-encompassing void (this will be experienced in the 'innate self' or oneness stage, even if this "void" is completely "non-dual" with all phenomena, it can still remain at the level of oneness, without breaking through the view of inherent existence). The awareness-like void should not be interpreted as Buddhist emptiness but is just one aspect of spiritual awareness. This "emptiness" is actually just experiencing one aspect of spiritual awareness, and this void is almost always mistaken for having inherent existence (from the innate self to oneness), which is actually the opposite of Buddhist emptiness and falls into the common views of non-Buddhist paths. Buddhist emptiness refers to the consciousness empty of inherent existence.

I have been thinking about how to share all of the above content, especially about the realization of no-self, the differences between the innate self, non-duality, and no-self, etc., and I actually started designing a PowerPoint. But later I felt that it might not be suitable to share in the lecture because my views might be different from yours regarding the teachings of ZZ. Since the views are different, it is difficult to share, otherwise, I might inadvertently refute the teachings of ZZ during the sharing. I do not want my sharing to cause confusion or cognitive dissonance for your students, who may have learned different views from you. You may need to find another layperson to replace me on that day to share, and I am very sorry for my short notice. I also want to express my intention to withdraw from the Wonderful Sound Group.

With deep respect and gratitude,

In the Dharma,
Wei Yu
Posting here upon request from Yin Ling. Something for Chinese readers here. English version will be in a separate post.

Listen to A.I. generated audio recording of my e-mail below here:

On: I AM, One Mind, No Mind, Anatta, View vs Experience, etc

我明白您喜欢听而不是从电脑上阅读,因此我已经添加了电脑软件生成音频录音(从Free Text to Speech Online with Realistic AI Voices (附加到此电子邮件以供您收听。现在的科技非常棒,您只需复制粘贴文本到软件中,几乎立即就可以自动生成音频文件。
然而,我最近在思考是否适合在ZZ分享我的心得。 本来我是打算以比较浅白易懂的方式来分享我的修行体会和经历过的过程,也会包括以下的一些细节:
这些年来,我逐渐明白很多人都误解了(法印之)无我,我观察到大多数人是从体悟本我/我是(I AM)然后进展到非二元的体验、再来进入无心的境界,而不是直接领悟到法印之本来无我的体悟/洞见/般若智。我在这里 “无心” 的定义可能与ZZ佛教的术语有所不同,具体来说,我指的是一种所有主体性(subjectivity)/自我/小我/大我/观察者/等等都完全被忘记到只剩下纯粹光明的世界/现象,无能所二元体验之巅的状态。一个人可能有无心的经历/体验,了解有这种经历-只是现象或只有光明的世界,但它仍然是一个体验/阶段——还不知道其实是错误的知见在“蒙蔽”——一个错误的知见塑造/歪曲了我们的整个经历。
我在这里把“无心”作为一种经验阶段,与禅宗菩提达摩祖师所说的“本来就是/根本无心”有所不同,后者是指本无我的般若智慧,而不仅仅是一次(或多次)的顶峰体验(peak experience)。曾经历过无心的人(作为一种经验/阶段而非般若智慧)知道有这样的体验,并努力再次实现它,努力地修“忘我”但不代表体悟到本来无我。知者与所知之间的二元性消失在光辉的色彩、声音、香气等中,但这是一种体验,而非般若智的领悟。
有两种智慧:「本初智」与「般若智」。「本初智」是那摆脱所有阐述,本来清净如如、真如的自然状态的智慧;而「般若智」是处理自性见/固有存在的空性(emptiness of inherentness/inherent existence)的智慧。这两种智慧同等重要。话虽如此,如果没有稳定的无我、缘起和空性的觉悟/洞见,我们将无法不受扭曲地直接证悟那摆脱一切阐述的真如、如如的本初智。在修行过程中,修行者需要平衡这两种智慧,以便在深化实践中不断突破自性见,并最终实现心性的自由与清净。
此外,无我的般若智慧是许多人难以理解的直接体验性的觉悟。所以这一点很重要,般若智慧(prajna wisdom)/洞见(insight)与仅仅只是无二元的体验是不同的,因为它是一个直接的觉悟(direct and experiential realization):“从一开始就是如此。” (没有知者/knower或主体/agent在光明现象之外或背后存在,始终如此)。无我的般若智慧对于达到/实现那种非二元,背景(background)被完全视为无关紧要(irrelevant),而本来就不存在,也没有再次有纳入的倾向(tendency to subsume)是非常关键的。
在我所称之为“本我”的“初悟”阶段中,虽然在那纯粹认证的时刻(moment of pure authentication)觉性也是非二元和无概念的(nondual and nonconceptual),但在此之后的知见仍然是二元的——自性被视为(误解地认为)所有色法(包括其他一切五蕴)背后的无形相的目睹者(Witness),目睹者和被目睹者是两个,在日常生活中,觉知被视为现象背后的终极背景。但即使在下一个阶段,在观察者和被观察者合为一体的非二元状态之后,也远非结束。事实上,在我的经历中,非二元中还有几个阶段(我本身称之为一心、无心和无我)。在这里,我会详细说明一下我所谓的一心、无心的经验和无我的觉悟以及它们之间的区别。虚空和色相的统一,如一心,并不等同于觉知的空性和无我。思考者/思想或听者/声音等等之间的毫无区别也是一种无二元体验和洞见的阶段,这是我所谓一心的非二元...但和无我的无二元是不同的。在最初的非二元或一心中,虽然觉知被视为与现象不可分割,但仍被认为是不变的、独立的或实有自性(inherent existence)。在那个阶段,你会觉得自己是一个不变的、开放如虚空的觉体(初悟本我也是)。然而到了一心时,当你听到声音时,声音和(那如虚空般)的觉体似乎是一体的,难以区分,但你无法完全体会到只有声音,没有听者的那种经验。在一心的非二元阶段中,你会发现觉知和所有色相是不可分割的,但虽然在这时候也会体会到原来觉与所觉本来是不二的,觉知仍被认为是不变的、特殊的、本质上不同于现象(例如,觉知是不变的和独立存在的,现象就纳入在(subsume into)一个更广大无边、类似虚空的不变觉知之中起起落落,尽管这个觉知包含了并与所有现象密不可分,能所一体)。前者(声音和(那如虚空般)的觉体似乎是一体的)是一心类的非二元——一切都包含在一个更大的、不变的觉体中而不可分割,身心的一切也是觉体的一部分,但觉体不是身心的一切,这都是“一心”。而后者(只有声音,没有听者)是无心到无我。无心恰恰是在听者消失,只有声音的时候,无心正是在听者消失,只有声音时的觉知,但这是一种经验阶段,在这个阶段,“一心”的“一切同一体的觉体”被遗忘成了只剩光明现象而已。而无我(Anatta)是体悟一直以来都是:声音就是觉知,觉知就只是声音,从未有过一个听者,也从未有过一个觉知者,除了光明的声音、色彩等等的现象。就像风和吹动一样,觉知不是某种不变的基质,而是光明动态展示(luminous and dynamic manifestation/appearance)的别名。
即使当一个人体验到观察者和被观察者的二元性坍缩成一个领域,觉知和现象在“一心”中没有分裂(watcher and watched collapsed into a single field where awareness and phenomena are not divided in “one mind”),一个人仍然无法克服、突破把觉知当作比转瞬即逝的无常现象更终极、特殊、不变、独立等等的深层模式。当这种知见和范式没有被克服时,无心的经历只能是间歇/暂时性的,而不是一种毫不费力、自然、无出入的状态,因为知见是模糊的,一个人无法毫不费力地完全舒适地安住在光辉/璀璨的瞬间/无常法中(如六祖慧能大师和道元禅师曾说,“无常即佛性”)而会习惯性地回溯到一个视为固有/不变的源头或基础。当这个阶段进展到某个程度,无心的经验也会出现,当知者完全消失,没有分离镜子和倒影,就只有那。但尽管有了这种经验,一个人仍然坚持认为倒影(现象)和镜子(纯觉知)不是一回事。就像天空(觉知)不是流动的云彩(现象),因为固有存在的自性见(view of inherent existence)的邪见依然很强烈——一个人没有般若智来看破和克服那觉知被视为一个不变且固有存在的、所有现象的源、基质和实质的知见,尽管这些现象与觉密不可分,(one does not see through and overcome the view that awareness is an unchanging and inherently existing source, substratum and substance of all phenomena that is nevertheless inseparable with all phenomena) 因此一个修行者可能有无心的清晰经验,但却有一心的知见:知见和经验之间仍然不同步(desync between view and experience)。一个人会觉得倒影来来去去,与镜子密不可分,但镜子却是不变的,因此更特殊,与倒影有细微的不同。虽然一切的确都是觉知,这是正确的,但“一切都共同一个不变的觉体”那种自性见才是问题所在,这是一个错误的知见。 因此,无我必须是一种了悟和见地,而不仅仅是一种“无心”的体验,不然就把体验误认为般若智慧。
至关重要的是,让我们克服这种知见上的障碍的是无我(anatman)的般若智慧。无我(Anatta)的觉悟和实践并非通过仅仅练习不执着(non grasping)或不认别/认取(non identification)(在最初的“本我”的阶段,也会练习保持一个不受影响的镜子,镜子不会抓住它的倒影,也不认别倒影为自己),而是通过觉悟/体悟(realization)——觉悟到除了不断呈现的光明影子之外,根本不存在其他的镜子,影子本身即镜。如果没有无我的觉悟,就不可能有永久无出入的无心体验。如果内心仍存在自性见和有我的信念,那么无心的体验会是断断续续的还是永久的?很显然的,它只能是间歇性的。这时修行人会不断地在“本我”,“一心”和“无心”之间来回穿梭。如果没有清明的洞见/般若智,而达到对(法印之)无我完全无疑惑,又如何能有一种永恒的、毫不费力,没有我地体验一切六根?那是没办法做到的,而只有在般若慧的洞见启发之后,才会自然而然地变得毫不费力地在一切实现本性,一个人在所有的交往中自然地延伸这种般若智慧,无论是日常活动还是静坐。
若只是保持无念、无概念或培养无二元的体验是不足以实现/觉悟无我的,相反,一个人必须通过体验中地探究和挑战深深植根的知见,探究和挑战即觉知作为一个独立的观察者或有一个独立存在的“观”本身,除了颜色等等,探究和挑战它们并深观觉知/现象的本质,直到这些构造被看穿,直接认识到觉知正是这些景色、声音、山河大地,永远已经如此,本来没有我,没有背后的能觉,也本来没有主-动-宾。这种般若智慧并不仅仅是关于无概念的状态,也不仅仅是无心的状态,而关键是在于看穿那固有存在/自性见的误解。这就是我在婆酰迦经(Bahiya Sutta)上深观后有所体悟的原因——它不仅仅是为了延长一个无念,无概念和非二元性的状态,“在所见之中只是所见”,而是要认识到从来没有一个见者、听者、一个观察者,也从未有一个在任何方式、形式上的“你”,能在一切所见所闻之外或背后存在过,因此,在看见的时候,总是只有所见,在听见的时候,总是只有声音,在思考的时候,总是只有思想,本来无我,本就如此。因此,主体-动作-对象/主-动-宾(subject-action-object)被视为是幻觉。无我是始终如此的法印,而这种智慧能打破对觉知的自性见,才能体认:在看色相时,看本身只是辉煌的色相,从未有过一个观者。 在听声音时,只是声音,听就只是声音而已,没有听者,始终如此。不需要费力,也从来没有一个“我”,永远已经如此,不只是一种体验而是要“悟”这本来如此。觉知就像“天气”,仅仅是在不断变化的闪电、雨、雪、风吹、阳光等现象上贴上的一个标签,没有一个真实的实体可以在除它们之外的任何地方找到,就像觉知只是光辉的风景、声音、触觉感觉、香气和思想的一个标签,因为正是这些才是佛性,没有别的 - 佛性并不是一个实体,它不是固有地存在于五蕴之外(不然就变成了外道梵我的知见/常见)。
无我不仅仅是关于无二元的顶峰体验,也不仅仅是关于将觉知者和所知者合并,就像不是把将火和燃烧合并(从一开始就没有‘燃烧’之外的火),或将闪电和闪光合并(从一开始就没有在闪光之外有个闪电,两者只是别名),或将觉知者和所知者合并,而是觉悟到它们本身从未存在于自身过 - 觉知和现象本身从未能存在于自身,因此这并不是主体和客体的结合,而是认识到主体和客体从未生过,性空本无生。知与所知本就空无自性,所以心性的本质是清晰(灵觉)和空性的不可分离。尽管很深奥,以上无我的觉悟也只是深入佛法的第一步,为实践者指明了正确的道路。虽然无我也只是真正踏入佛法/解脱道的一个开始,而旅途中还有更多的体悟和突破,但是如果没有这个关键的里程碑,真的很难更深入地了解心性和现象的本质,而升入人法二空。我在这里也只不过专注在无我,不深入讨论缘起性空,因为它超出了单个电子邮件所能传达的范围。无我的觉悟对于所有佛教里的一切宗派(小乘、大乘,这里的大乘也包括藏传佛教)都至关重要,无论是大小乘,不仅仅是禅宗的顿悟而已,尽管修行人一开始有渐修的过程,也需要般若智慧的突破(体悟本无我、缘起性空),虽然菩萨对空性的觉悟比小乘更为深入,因为它涵盖了人法二空。其他(非佛教)的宗教也会引导人进入非二元的阶段,但将其具体化为不变的梵、梵我(他们教:小我是虚幻的,世界也是假的,只有宇宙同体的大我是真我-梵是纯粹的觉体,而最终也体悟到“世界皆是梵“,没有能所,所以他们也有经历本我到一心和无心阶段的体会,但这些都还不是佛教里强调的法印之无我或缘起性空)。在佛教里,无我作为‘觉’的空性是至关重要的,这一点就和其他宗教不同了,但还有重要的一点:这种空性不是关于觉知如同包罗万象的虚空(这在‘本我’或一心阶段都会体验到,即使这个“虚空”与所有现象完全“非二”,它仍然可以保持在一心的层面,还没突破自性见)。 如同虚空的觉不应该解释为佛教的空性,而只是灵觉的一方面而已,这种”空”其实只是体会到灵觉的一方面而已,而且这虚空几乎每次都会被错认为有自体性(从本我到一心),这其实是空性的相反而不是佛教里的空性,而是落入了外道的常见。 佛教的空性指的是无自体性(empty of inherent existence)的意识。
我有思考要怎么分享以上所有的内容,特别是关于无我的觉悟,本我、非二元和无我之间的区别等等,也其实开始在设计powerpoint。但是后来我觉得可能和您与ZZ的见解不同,不适合在讲堂里分享。因为观点不同,也很难分享,否则可能会在分享里无意中反驳了ZZ的教导,我也不希望我的分享与他们从您那里学到若有分差,给您的学生带来困惑或认知失调。 可能您会需要找另一个居士来代替我在那一天分享,我为我的临时通知表示非常抱歉。我也想表达我要退出妙音组的意向。

    I have been following Angelo DiLulo for quite some time. He extensively discusses achieving an awakened state where the perception of distance and space dissolves because they are ultimately mental constructs. I wonder if this phenomenon is common in Buddhist practices and if there are individuals within this community who frequently encounter such experiences. Personally, I believe I have had fleeting glimpses of this state, although nowhere near the profound level that Angelo describes in his works.


  • Aaron M Beck
    space is an unstable construct for me. stability seems real sometimes and elsewhen there is no direction nor distance nor time, just this infinite space of effortless luminosity.
    I do not identify as Buddhist but am heavily influenced by Buddhist and Gerangeloic practices

    Carter Spinks
    Top contributor
    Aaron M Beck I’m at a point where I recognize that I am identifying with self and when I notice it, the self dissolves. I am experientially seeing that “I” is a concept as well as time and it does not really exist. I can see the self and time are just constructs, but when it comes to space and distance it’s hard for me to see that.

  • Aaron M Beck
    Carter Spinks sounds like the process is unfolding fine. I often find a very subtle sticky self-thought connected to the semiconscious sense that there's something different or better I should be doing in practice -- that if I think a certain way, hold a certain mantra or allow conversely 'allow low-vibrational thoughts' then I will have an impact on the outcome -- that there is a 'right' and a 'wrong' way to live.
    To use the Buddhist Two Truths doctrine, there is relative right and wrong on relative matters. But in exploration of 'The Absolute', right and wrong are only concepts. The self is a concept. So by acknowledging again this conceptual self, I dissolve and unbind the sense that there is something different I should be doing. And then sometimes another practice spontaneously picks itself up anyway.

  • Aditya Prasad
    Angelo is a member of this group. There are others here who openly admit to essentially the same realization he talks about, and probably more who don't talk about it as openly.

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    In anatta, distance and space is deconstructed.
    I wrote this right after my anatta insight in 2010:
    My commentary on Bahiya Sutta
    Note: You can also see my complete journal of self-discoveries at
    Originally posted by simpo_:
    Hi Beautiful951,
    Firstly, I will like to state that I am still learning so can only share from my own opinion. Please read with a pint of salt.
    Emptiness is not a belief but an insight that can be borne from experience. It is better to experience it for oneself as before and after the insight, it can still be 'unbelievable' for the mind. Emptiness is quite hard to experience and usually the realisation of no-self comes before emptiness.
    As mentioned, no-self will be easier to realise. I will describe the insight of no-self/egolessness generally here. When doing insight meditation one may realise that the sensory experiences (including mental formation/thinking) are arising and passing away independently of one another. That is, seeing is seeing, hearing is hearing, thinking is thinking and they are all flowing independently. With that observation, one will realise that there is no self holding all these sensory experiences together. Self that we originally assumed, is just these sensory experiences arising and passing away and the attention focusing on them.
    As for emptiness, it requires a deeper penetration into consciousness. Emptiness reveals that everything is not physical and solid at all... but are 'holographically united'. There is no way to accurately describe it as it is not the way a mind unaware to it will think. Like the first insight of no-self, emptiness is a paradigm shift... towards ever clearer seeing of the truth of Reality.
    Please understand that seeing emptiness is not end of story. At least, not for my case. I am currently working on the remaining defilements. This doesn't meant that i will need to forcefully remove them. Forceful willing will only result in suppression. Rather, the 'method' is to be aware of and be equanimous to whatever that is arising in order for them to pass away naturally. This 'aware of' is not as easy as it sounds.
    Thanks for the sharing...
    I was reminded of Bahiya Sutta while you said 'seeing is seeing'...
    In the seen, there is only the seen,
    in the heard, there is only the heard,
    in the sensed, there is only the sensed,
    in the cognized, there is only the cognized.
    Thus you should see that
    indeed there is no thing here;
    this, Bahiya, is how you should train yourself.
    Since, Bahiya, there is for you
    in the seen, only the seen,
    in the heard, only the heard,
    in the sensed, only the sensed,
    in the cognized, only the cognized,
    and you see that there is no thing here,
    you will therefore see that
    indeed there is no thing there.
    As you see that there is no thing there,
    you will see that
    you are therefore located neither in the world of this,
    nor in the world of that,
    nor in any place
    betwixt the two.
    This alone is the end of suffering.” (ud. 1.10)
    My own comments:
    Non-duality is very simple and obvious and direct... and yet always missed! Due to a very fundamental flaw in our ordinary dualistic framework of things... and our deep rooted belief in duality.
    In the seen, there is just the seen! It is completely non-dual... there is no 'the seen + a perceiver here seeing the seen'.... The seen is precisely the seeing! There is not two or three things: seer, seeing, and the seen. That split is entirely conceptual (though taken to be reality)... it is a conclusion due to a referencing back of a direct experience (like a sight or a sound) to a centerpoint. This centerpoint could be a vague identification and contraction to one's mind and body (and this 'center of identification within the body' could be like two inches behind your eyes or on the lower body or elsewhere), or the centerpoint could be an identification with a previous nondual recognition or authentication like the I AM or Eternal Witness experience/realization. It could even be that one has gained sufficient stability to simply rest in the state of formless Beingness throughout all experiences, but if they cling to their formless samadhi or a 'purest state of Presence', they will miss the fact that they are not just the formless pure existence but that they are/existence is also all the stuff of the universe arising moment to moment... And when one identifies oneself as this entity that is behind and separated from the seen, this prevents the direct experience of what manifestation and no-self is.
    My commentary on Bahiya Sutta
    My commentary on Bahiya Sutta
    My commentary on Bahiya Sutta

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    But in direct experience it is simply not like that: there is nothing like subject-object duality in direct experience.... only This - seen, heard, sensed, cognized. Prior to self-referencing, this is what exists in its primordial purity.
    So, in the seen, there's just That! Scenery, trees, road, etc... but when I label these as such, instead of putting a more subjective term such as 'experiencing'.... they tend to conjure images of an objective world that is 'out there' made of multiple different objects existing in time and space separated by distances.
    But no, the Buddha says: in the seen, just the seen! There is no thing 'here' (apart from the seen).... nor something 'there' (as if the seen is an objective reality out there). From the perspective of the logical framework of things, the world is made of distance, depth, entities, objects, time, space, and so on, but if you take away the reference point of a self... there is simply Pure Consciousness of What Is (whatever manifests) without distance or fragmentation. You need at least two reference points to measure distance... but all reference points (be it of an apparent subjective self or an apparent external object) are entirely illusory and conceptual. If there is no 'self' here, and that you are equally everything... what distance is there? Without a self, there is no 'out there'...
    The seen is neither subjective nor objective.... it just IS....
    There is pure seeing, pure hearing, everything arising without an external reference other than the scenery being the seeing without seer, the sound being the hearing without hearer (and vice versa: the hearing being just the sound, the manifestation).
    But even the word 'hearing', 'seeing', 'awareness' can conjure an image of what Awareness is.... As if there is really an entity called 'hearing' or 'seeing' or 'awareness' that remains and stays constant and unchanged.
    But.... if you contemplate on "How am I experiencing the moment of being alive?", or, "How am I experiencing the moment of hearing?", or "How am I experiencing the moment of seeing?" or "How am I experiencing the moment of being aware?"
    All the bullshit concepts, constructs and images of an 'aliveness', a 'hearing', a 'seeing', an 'awareness' simply dissolves in the direct experiencing of whatever arises... just 'seeing is seeing, hearing is hearing, thinking is thinking and they are all flowing independently', with 'no self holding all these sensory experiences together'.
    If readers find my explanation a bit too hard to grasp, please read Ajahn Amaro's link because he explains it much better than me.
    Labels: Buddha, I AMness, Non Dual |
    6 Responses
    Jul 18, 2012, 12:43:00 AM
    Thank you, AEN. I'm seeing this ever more clearly.
    It comes in flashes -- whoosh! No one here, no thing there, just "this"! It's thrilling and so obviously true. Yet the habit of reification still operates.
    Jul 22, 2012, 1:46:00 AM
    Hi Cyclops, sounds like good progress.
    At this point, Thusness/PasserBy's advise in the comments section of may be helpful:
    "Indeed Buddha Bra,
    At first 'effort' to focus on experiencing on the vividness of 'sensation' in the most immediate and direct way will remain. It will be 'concentrative' for some time before it turns effortless.
    There are a few points I would like to share:
    1. Insight that 'anatta' is a seal and not a stage must arise to further progress into the 'effortless' mode. That is, anatta is the ground of all experiences and has always been so, no I. In seeing, always only seen, in hearing always only sound and in thinking, always only thoughts. No effort required and never was there an 'I'.
    2. It is better not to treat sensation as 'real' as the word 'real' in Buddhism carries a different meaning. It is rather a moment of vivid, luminous presence but nothing 'real'. It may be difficult to realise why is this important but it will become clearer in later phase of our progress.
    3. Do go further into the aspect of dependent origination and emptiness to further 'purify' the experience of anatta. Not only is there no who, there is no where and when in all manifestation."
    Jan 8, 2013, 8:13:00 PM
    Just perfect
    May 13, 2014, 5:41:00 PM
    Hi An Eternal Now!
    Could you define "seal" in:
    "Insight that 'anatta' is a seal and not a stage must arise to further progress into the 'effortless' mode"
    Very, very thankful in advance as this is the step needed now for further progress as far as "I" am concerned...
    May 13, 2014, 5:43:00 PM
    Means it is always so, it is the nature of mind/experience to be empty of an agent, subject, I, sensor, seer, feeler, hearer - in seeing always only the seen, no seer, in hearing always just sound, no hearer.
    It is not the case that at a certain point in time you experience no-self. That dissolution of sense of self is merely a peak experience. It is another thing to realize the 'always so' case of anatta as a seal.
    May 13, 2014, 5:44:00 PM
    "That dissolution of sense of self"
    to clarify:
    Dissolution of sense of self before realizing anatta is a temporary peak experience. After realization it becomes quite effortless and natural.
    The Buddha on Non-Duality
    The Buddha on Non-Duality
    The Buddha on Non-Duality

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    But anatta is also not finality, and as John Tan said in
    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.
    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!".
    John Tan Hi David,
    Nice meeting you too and thanks for sharing your experiences…felt a little nostalgic after knowing your Taoist background.
    Your description of the little girl’s stare is beautiful. The stare cuts through not only one’s discursive thoughts but also pierces through the living Presence (the first level of koan of one’s original face) and right into the fundamental essence of anatta. Even from your mere description, there is still the wordless transmission of headlessness that penetrates deep into one’s bone marrow and boils the blood. The stare preserves the lineage that is beyond words. Thank You.
    For me, the initial insight of anatta was mainly what I have stated in scenario 2 -- seeing through the center that the center has always been assumed, it is extra. In reality it does not exist.
    Up until this point of anatta, I was very much a non-conceptual advocator, less words more experience. I have heard of the word “Kong 空”(Emptinesss) numerous times but never exactly know what it truly meant. The idea of Emptiness struck me probably “2 years later when I came across the chariot analogy of the Buddhist sage Nāgasena. There was an instant recognition that the analogy is precisely the insight of anatta and anatta is the real-time experiential taste of the “Emptiness” in relation to self/Self except that it is now replaced with “chariot” in the example.
    The insight was huge and I began to re-examine all my experiences from the perspective of "Emptiness". This includes mind-body dropped, the impression of hereness and nowness, internal and externality, space and time...etc. Essentially a journey of deconstruction, that is, extending the same insight of anatta from the perspective of emptiness to all phenomena, aggregates, mental constructs and even to non-conceptual sensory experiences. This led to the taste of instant liberation at spot of not only the background (self) but also the cognized, seen, heard, tasted, smelled and sensed without the need to subsume either subject into object or object into subject but liberates whatever arises at spot.
    The deconstruction process reveals not only the taste of freedom from freeing the energy that is sustaining the constructs (in fact tremendous energy is needed to maintain the mental constructs) but also a continuous formation of a perceptual knot that blinds us in a very subtle way and that relates to scenario 3 -- Seeing through the fundamental nature of the perceptual knot itself. Seeing the nature of perceptual knot involves in seeing clearly certain very persistent and habitual patterns that continues to shape our mode of knowing, analysis and experience like a magical spell. The perceptual knot is the habitual tendency to reify and Emptiness is the antidote for this reifying tendency.
    The journey of emptying also convinces me the importance of having the right view of Emptiness even though it is only an intellectual grasped initially. Non-conceptuality has its associated diseases…lol…therefore I always advocate not falling to conceptuality and yet not ignoring conceptuality. That is, strict non-conceptuality is not necessary, only that habitual pattern of reification needs be severed. Perhaps this relates to the zen wild fox koan of not falling into cause and effect and not ignoring cause and effect. A koan that Hakuin remarked as "difficult to pass through".
    Not falling, not ignoring.
    A word different, a world of difference.
    And the difference causes a wild fox for five hundred lifetimes!
    A long post and time to return to silence.
    Nice chat and happy journey David!
    June 26 at 1:33am · Edited · Unlike · 9
    On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection
    On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection
    On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection

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  • Yin Ling
    Top contributor
    Distance and space can only be tenable if you have a reference point.
    You need point A and B for distance.
    Likewise you need a form and formless to call the formless “space”.
    It’s a construct/concepts like everything else, money, books, here, now, past, future, female, male..
    Once you have the insight of emptiness of personal self, you become the whole space so there’s not really a space so to speak.
    When you have the insight of emptiness of phenomena, the lost of the essence makes everything feels like space too, so when it’s all space, it’s hard to call it “space” anymore.
    When there’s not really a space there’s no moving about from A to B.
    when you are both A and B, so you can understand why ppl say “no distance”. There’s no ref point left.
    Relatively, distance and space is tenable to relate to others.
    Ultimately, everything, everythingggg is a construct. 🙂 imo it is profound but not too hard to conceptualise, it is just how reality is, for the very beginning. 🙂

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  • Nicolas Benau
    Here’s my perspective, as someone who hasn’t realized anything. So, not claiming that this is congruent with others’ experience here:
    When your mind is relaxed, but you’re present, and/or you look to see if there’s a perceiver of experience, you won’t find one. You won’t find the color, shape, location, or borders and edges of a perceiver. If you can stabilize on this insight, you’ll recognize that subject/object duality collapses. That is, if there’s no perceiving subject, there can’t be any independently existing objects that are perceived.
    If there’s no “here”, there’s no “there”, either.

  • Chris Jones
    Top contributor
    Short answer, yes it’s quite a common insight taught in Mahayana Buddhism. You might find Seeing That Frees by Rob Burbea a good read, there are chapters on emptiness of time and space along with practical exercises you can do. I would focus on anatta realization though, after that emptiness of space/time becomes easier to see, as there is no longer a subject/object dualistic split (which gives the illusion of distance) and there are no objects to persist through time

    Nicolas Benau
    Chris Jones Off-topic, but when you were doing self-inquiry, did you have the experience that your sense of being an independent subject was progressively thinning? And did your experience of phenomena change as your inquiry progressed?
    Just curious how things played-out for you.

    • Chris Jones
      Top contributor
      Nicolas Benau I had experiences of being the witness / pure consciousness even before doing any formal self-inquiry, but at the time I didn’t know the significance of those experiences. These weren’t yet the full I AM realization. For a while I was going back and forth between these pure consciousness experiences, and being the “ordinary” self. They became very frequent after I started properly doing self inquiry. Eventually I came to a certainty that I was this consciousness, it became clear that the idea of being the body or inside the body was just an illusion and that all appearances arise “inside” consciousness, including the body (of course, this later got clarified further). That doubtlessness is what I would call I AM realization and it came with a great sense of relief, a very quiet mind, heightened sense of clarity in the senses for a while, etc.

    • Chris Jones
      Top contributor
      Nicolas Benau As for the experience of phenomena, I wouldn’t say it gradually changed over time but during these glimpses and after realization phenomena felt more vivid / “luminous” and for me it was the beginning of seeing that reality isn’t solid / made of physical matter

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    Yin Ling explained well.
    "fleeting glimpses of this state"
    Most likely you're referring to a state of no mind or PCE. This is more of a peak experience than an insight. I had those many years before any realizations. Anatta realization is what makes no mind into a natural state without entry or exit.
    An excerpt from , a description of PCE:
    In my first peak experience (PCE), I saw the perfection with my bodily senses, as this body. The cloud of ‘human’ superstition was momentarily lifted; no Authority, no Power, no Love and no Faith was playing a role in this perfection ... for there was no need for them. There was no lack, no want, no desires, no longing whatsoever. I saw that they only belonged inside ‘me’, as a psychological entity, and ‘my’ world-view. Nothing was wrong anywhere in this physical, earthly perfection. All what had ever been thwarting this wondrous purity, were ‘my’ ‘human’ misconceptions and prejudices. I saw instantly that I, as this body, was actually meant to live like this all the time ... like all people could. This perfection of the universe itself has never ordained that human life should be playing an exceptional role of imperfection and ignominy. There is no outside to perfection. This whole planet is perfectly situated in this infinite universe which is characteristically propelled to the best it can grow into. ‘One of my peak experiences happened on the fore-shore. All of a sudden, unpremeditated, ‘I’ and ‘my’ world-view had disappeared and an immediate intimacy became apparent. Although I had lived in this village before and had grown very fond of it and its residents, there had always been a distance between me and other people, which had to be bridged by temporary feelings of love and affection which were never satisfying for long. Now a shift in seeing had occurred, and looking at the people around me, I noticed that the distance between me and others had miraculously vanished. Not only between me and other people but equally between me and the trees, me and the houses on the boulevard, even between me and the ocean. Nowhere was there a boundary. Another dimension had taken its place, which I initially experienced as a closeness closer than my own heartbeat, yet it was certainly not love for all or oneness with everything. It was another paradigm than the one in which the opposites play their major role ... and to depict it I needed another vocabulary than words like distant and close, separation and oneness.
    Opposites can only be used when there is a stationary benchmark to judge them by. When ‘I’, the standard from which everything was measured, ceased to be, a pure appraisal of the situation could take place. I saw everybody, including me as-this-body, and everything else, in its own proper place ... and nothing was wrong in any way. ‘The atmosphere of the peak experience, which I can best describe as the peace that supports everything from underneath, is the calm that makes undeniably clear that all is well after all. All is still and at rest, but not as the result of sitting in silence or being static. An all pervading and utterly pure atmosphere makes everything at once understood. It differs from intellectual understanding even though this is not precluded from it and can be activated in a crystal clear way, if so chosen. This is seeing the world as-it-is in all its wondrous grandeur. With grandeur I mean the vastness of all diversities happening simultaneously.
    The most outstanding thing is the ordinariness of it all, normally so easily overlooked and drowned by plans, schemes and dreams usually attracting so much attention. Here is no need for ‘me’ and ‘my’ problems, ‘me’ and ‘my’ solutions. ‘I’ only make that which does not need improvement unnecessarily complicated for oneself and all concerned. Everything is simply correct, perfectly harmonized according to only what is happening; no thing, no sound, no person is out of place. To think otherwise would take time away from here as-it-is. I cannot possibly object to any of what is going on, because I have no reason to do so ... all is achieved already when ‘I’ as a separate on-looker, am no longer keeping myself apart from this actuality. ‘Many people have experienced this peace in moments of exquisitely ordinary perfection; the ‘normal’ and ordinary things – like sitting at the table, walking in the street, doing the dishes – have all of a sudden taken on a glance, a shine of immense purity that surpasses the culturally determined aesthetics and the self’s feeling of beauty. This perfection is completely immune to emotions and thoughts, the ‘normal’ arbiters used for judging the quality of one’s life. This is a pure consciousness experience, which Richard calls apperception. Apperception is when ‘I’ cease perceiving and perception happens of itself ... which the brain with its sense organs is patently capable of doing. And as for the feelings – the emotions and passions – the concept of bonding, belonging and relationship simply cannot be applied, not even with my partner, as there is nobody inside to do the relating. This perfect intimacy is everywhere at once, not generated somewhere specific and then diffused to other locations as is the case with love. Previous Companion, Richard’s Journal
    Various Descriptions of PCE's
    Various Descriptions of PCE's
    Various Descriptions of PCE's

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    "In the ASC I could only gape in (psychological) wordless wonder at vast, empty (psychological) space. Asleep, there was only vast empty (psychological) space – no dreams. Awake, my attention was riveted to the vast empty (psychological) space in my head. I could think and function but I was awestruck (very impressed with – hint, hint) by the vast empty space. But a vast empty psychological space is still psychological space (a self) and still creates a feeling/distance barrier.
    In the PCEs this emotion/ feeling distance barrier (the self) dissolved and affected the way I (physically) experienced time, space and objects. In the PCEs the security or confidence instilled by (physical) location in eternal time and infinite space is unmistakable. Everything exists in an absolute stillness and deep purity. Visually, the contrast of light and dark is heightened, colours are richer. Hearing is unrestricted, sounds are welcome. I could feel the nubbly fabric of the chair on my skin and I remember thinking I was in forbidden territory, that I was breaking a big taboo because everything was so easy and o.k. So those are the differences as I experienced them.
    As for the kind of impression left by a PCE – yes it is enormous. When the invisible boundary drops away, everything looks bigger and closer and the world is deeply pure in all infinite directions and the unshakeable stillness of it always having been, always being, and always going to be here and now makes me immediately, wonderfully and finally (as in for all time), Home Free.
    You asked me to elaborate on the ambience of ‘Home Free’ in a PCE. Well, even though it reads sequentially this is not in any order. I notice the disappearance of some invisible barrier, which makes everything seamless, no dirty distance between me and everything else. I notice that load off the nervous system we talked about which has to do with feeling pressured for time somehow, as being the weight and force of believing I am responsible, of being charged with knowing how it is supposed to happen and making it happen. But with that gone I feel so here, so relaxed and aware. Time is one big, long eternal moment of stillness. All the time in the universe is available for me to operate in.
    There is a purity penetrating everything and the very air in the room looks clearer and purer. And without me knowing what is supposed to happen, I do not know what is going to happen so in about two seconds life has turned into such a gas! All of a sudden life is physical ease in a huge, magic, endless wonderland that is, pure, still and miraculously my home. And I am off the hook. I don’t ‘have’ to do anything so my activity, or just sitting there, is playful. Whatever I do and wherever I go is or would be agreeable. I don’t have to ‘work’.
    There is a flavour of intrigue or taboo or something in there, too. But maybe that’s affect coming in at the end, or now that I look at it, maybe that’s the feeling of power and cunning ‘ I’ get by being able to stand in the way of actuality. Ooo, that’s sick. AF No 50
    I recently remembered a PCE, which was helpful because before this I could only go on how much practical sense actualism made, and take other’s word for it that this grand experience was possible. Thus I was unable to connect with ‘pure intent’ and unable to have a marker to compare various other experiences by. The distinct quality in the experience for me was not having to look into my surroundings – no piercing awareness of it was necessary, because, as I have heard described before, there was absolutely no distance between what I saw and my eyes. The experience occurred during a boring lecture, in a bland, almost empty lecture-hall, and it all made no difference because all I saw was fascinating. I have no recollection of other sensory experiences, hearing, feeling, and such though, and I do not have a distinct memory of what type of thoughts were occurring, or whether ‘I’ was there. But nevertheless, it was good enough for me. List AF No 55""

  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    That being said it is more crucial to focus on contemplating to give rise to the insight of anatman.
    Session Start: Sunday, 29 May, 2011
    (7:17 PM) Thusness: anatta is often not correctly understood
    it is common that one progress from experience of non-dual to no-mind instead of direct realization into anatta
    (7:19 PM) Thusness: many focus on the experience
    and there is a lack of clarity to penetrate the differences
    so u must be clear of the various phases of insights first and not mistake one for the other
    at the same time, refine your experience
    these few days...have deeper sleep and exercise more
    balance your body energies
    Conversations with Thusness 2009-2013 on I AM, One Mind, No Mind and Anatta:
    (9:12 PM) Thusness: no mind is an experience, it is not an insight
    (9:14 PM) Thusness: ppl that have experienced no-mind knows there is such experience and aims towards achieving it again.
    (9:14 PM) Thusness: but insight is is a direct experiential realization.
    (9:14 PM) AEN: icic..
    (9:14 PM) Thusness: that all along it is so.
    (11:19 PM) Thusness: u may have no-mind as an experience and understood that there is such an experience as simple manifestation or just the radiant world
    (11:19 PM) Thusness: but still it remains as a stage
    (11:19 PM) Thusness: u have no idea that it is a wrong view
    (11:20 PM) Thusness: we do not 'see' that it is the wrong view that 'blinds'
    a mistaken view shaping our entire experience
    (11:22 PM) AEN: icic..
    (11:23 PM) AEN: dharma dan calls it the knot of perception rite
    (11:23 PM) Thusness: yes
    (11:23 PM) AEN: so no mind is a strage?
    (11:24 PM) Thusness: no-mind is the peak of non-dual, the natural state of non-dual
    (11:24 PM) AEN: oic
    (11:24 PM) Thusness: where the background is completely gone
    (11:25 PM) Thusness: very often a practitioner in an advance phase of non-dual and One Mind, will naturally knows the importance of no-mind.
    And that becomes the practice
    they know they have to be there
    (11:26 PM) Thusness: however, to come to this natural state of non-dual where the background is deemed irrelevant, it requires insight of anatta.
    (12:09 AM) Thusness: and say yes, u realized ur mistake. wrote too fast.
    Awareness is just a label...
    (12:11 AM) Thusness: some of the texts u quoted are also misleading
    (12:12 AM) Thusness: when one spoke to others in longchen forum, some is to lead one into non-dual from "I AM" coz they can't accept anatta insight but is able to penetrate non-dual.
    (12:13 AM) Thusness: when anatta insight arises, one realizes there is no background
    (12:14 AM) Thusness: when insight of emptiness arise, then all is just sharing the same taste, luminous yet empty
    (12:14 AM) AEN: icic..
    (12:15 AM) Thusness: that is, i do not see Awareness, just a luminous manifestation
    there is no sense of Self/self
    or Awareness
    (12:16 AM) Thusness: there is always only sound, forms, smell...sweetness....hardness...thoughts...
    effortlessly manifesting
    (12:16 AM) Thusness: non-dually experienced
    (12:18 AM) Thusness: in terms of actual experience, what that is written in the forum is not enough
    (12:18 AM) Thusness: the intensity of luminosity isn't there.
    (12:19 AM) Thusness: first u go through the "I AM" for a period first
    later u will understand what i mean
    (12:12 AM) Thusness: not by way of non-identification.
    (12:13 AM) Thusness: by realization -- the arising insight there the mirror does not exist
    (12:15 AM) Thusness: if at the back of one's mind, there is this belief of a self, then will experience of no-mind be intermittent or permanent?
    (12:16 AM) AEN: intermittent
    (12:17 AM) Thusness: so how is one without the realization have a permanent experience of no-mind? There is no clarity, no doubtlessness of no-self, is it possible that there is a permanent and effortless experience of all sensate experiences without self?
    Thusness: ...To be more exact, the so called 'background' consciousness is that pristine happening. There is no a 'background' and a 'pristine happening'. During the initial phase of non-dual, there is still habitual attempt to 'fix' this imaginary split that does not exist. It matures when we realized that anatta is a seal, not a stage; in hearing, always only sounds; in seeing always only colors, shapes and forms; in thinking, always only thoughts. Always and already so. -:)
    Differentiating I AM, One Mind, No Mind and Anatta
    Differentiating I AM, One Mind, No Mind and Anatta
    Differentiating I AM, One Mind, No Mind and Anatta

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  • Soh Wei Yu
    Top contributor
    3) No-Self in terms of what I call realization of Anatta
    But then there is b), where one realizes that not only is it the case that all forms are merely modulations of consciousness, in actual fact 'Awareness' or 'Consciousness' is truly and only Everything -- in other words, there is no 'Awareness' or 'Consciousness' besides the very luminous manifestation of the aggregates, whatever is seen, heard, sensed, touched, cognized, smelled...
    Anatta is not merely a freeing of personality sort of experience; rather, there is an insight into the complete lack of a self/agent, a doer, a thinker, a watcher, etc, cannot be found apart from the moment to moment flow of manifestation. Non-duality is thoroughly seen to be always already so: here is effortlessness in the non-dual and one realizes that in seeing there is always just scenery (no seer or even seeing besides the colors) and in hearing, always just sounds (never a hearer or even a hearing besides the sounds). A very important point here is that Anatta/No-Self is a Dharma Seal, it is the nature of Reality all the time -- and not merely as a state free from personality, ego or the ‘small self’ or a stage to attain. This means that it does not depend on the level of achievement of a practitioner to experience anatta but Reality has always been Anatta and what is important here is the intuitive insight into it as the nature, characteristic, of phenomenon (dharma seal).
    To illustrate further due to the importance of this seal, I would like to borrow a quote from the Bahiya Sutta (…/ajahn-amaro-on-non…)
    ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’…
    If a practitioner were to feel that he has gone beyond the experiences from ‘I hear sound’ to a stage of ‘becoming sound’ or takes that ‘there is just mere sound’, then this experience is again distorted. For in actual case, there is and always is only sound when hearing; never was there a hearer to begin with. Nothing attained for it is always so. This is the main difference between a momentary peak experience (lasting minutes or at most an hour) of non-duality, and a permanent quantum shift of perception that makes that peak experience become a permanent mode of perception.
    This is the seal of no-self and can be realized and experienced in all moments; not just a mere concept.
    In summary, after the realization of anatta of b), and even a), non-dual no longer becomes a passing peak experience that comes and goes, as the entire paradigm of consciousness, knot of perception, mental proliferation -- the continuous activity of projecting a 'self' or 'subject/object dichotomy' is severed at a more fundamental level as the delusional framework through which one perceives the world is undermined. What I can say is that for me personally, for the past 9+ years after realizing anatta, I have not experienced the slightest sense of subject/object duality or agency at all, not even the slightest trace. That is gone for good and is not merely a peak experience here.
    Different Degress of No-Self: Non-Doership, Non-dual, Anatta, Total Exertion and Dealing with Pitfalls
    Different Degress of No-Self: Non-Doership, Non-dual, Anatta, Total Exertion and Dealing with Pitfalls
    Different Degress of No-Self: Non-Doership, Non-dual, Anatta, Total Exertion and Dealing with Pitfalls

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    • Carter Spinks
      Top contributor
      Soh Wei Yu Soh Wei Yu my next question was going to be why am I able to recognize and experience no self and impersonality, but not experience the dissolution of space and distance like so many others have described.
      According the post you submitted the nondoer stage of no self precedes the stage that dissolves the subject/object perception. So thank you for answering my question.
      My next question is, does getting to the stage where space and distance is dissolved happen on its own? Does this require more self enquiry to reach that stage?

      Soh Wei Yu
      Top contributor
      Carter Spinks The anatta realization requires specific way of practicing and contemplation.
      If you follow AtR guide and Angelo, you may do self enquiry to realize I AM first. Realizing Luminosity/Pure Presence is important.
      But if you go through a path that skips I AM, like purely vipassana, then just focus on these instructions and contemplate two stanzas of anatta and bahiya sutta until it is realised.
      Way of practicing vipassana:
      When practicing vipassana like above, go along with the two stanzas of anatta and bahiya sutta, keep them in mind and contemplate them:
      Also as I wrote recently:
      What has been important for me is contemplating on Bahiya Sutta. Focusing your contemplations on the two stanzas of anatta, on Bahiya Sutta, etc, will help you breakthrough.
      Bahiya sutta: (this is the article I wrote right after I had my anatman realization back in 2010. Prior to that I also went through the I AM/Eternal Witness to Substantialist Nondual/One Mind phases of insight)
      Also see:
      Nice advice and expression of anatta in recent days from Yin Ling and Albert Hong.
      Nice advice and expression of anatta in recent days from Yin Ling and Albert Hong.
      Nice advice and expression of anatta in recent days from Yin Ling and Albert Hong.

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    • Soh Wei Yu
      Top contributor
      But if you are doing self enquiry or inclined towards that path (like myself, John Tan, etc), to realise I AM first, then it is a different way of practice at least until the I AM realization.
      “On a related topic, John Tan wrote in Dharma Overground back in 2009,
      “Hi Gary,
      It appears that there are two groups of practitioners in this forum, one adopting the gradual approach and the other, the direct path. I am quite new here so I may be wrong.
      My take is that you are adopting a gradual approach yet you are experiencing something very significant in the direct path, that is, the ‘Watcher’. As what Kenneth said, “You're onto something very big here, Gary. This practice will set you free.” But what Kenneth said would require you to be awaken to this ‘I’. It requires you to have the ‘eureka!’ sort of realization. Awaken to this ‘I’, the path of spirituality becomes clear; it is simply the unfolding of this ‘I’.
      On the other hand, what that is described by Yabaxoule is a gradual approach and therefore there is downplaying of the ‘I AM’. You have to gauge your own conditions, if you choose the direct path, you cannot downplay this ‘I’; contrary, you must fully and completely experience the whole of ‘YOU’ as ‘Existence’. Emptiness nature of our pristine nature will step in for the direct path practitioners when they come face to face to the ‘traceless’, ‘centerless’ and ‘effortless’ nature of non-dual awareness.
      Perhaps a little on where the two approaches meet will be of help to you.
      Awakening to the ‘Watcher’ will at the same time ‘open’ the ‘eye of immediacy’; that is, it is the capacity to immediately penetrate discursive thoughts and sense, feel, perceive without intermediary the perceived. It is a kind of direct knowing. You must be deeply aware of this “direct without intermediary” sort of perception -- too direct to have subject-object gap, too short to have time, too simple to have thoughts. It is the ‘eye’ that can see the whole of ‘sound’ by being ‘sound’. It is the same ‘eye’ that is required when doing vipassana, that is, being ‘bare’. Be it non-dual or vipassana, both require the opening of this 'eye of immediacy'.”
      In 2009, John Tan wrote:
      "Hi Teck Cheong,
      What you described is fine and it can be considered vipassana meditation too but you must be clear what is the main objective of practicing that way. Ironically, the real purpose only becomes obvious after the arising insight of anatta. What I gathered so far from your descriptions are not so much about anatta or empty nature of phenomena but are rather drawn towards Awareness practice. So it will be good to start from understanding what Awareness truly is. All the method of practices that you mentioned will lead to a quality of experience that is non-conceptual. You can have non-conceptual experience of sound, taste...etc...but more importantly in my opinion, you should start from having a direct, non-conceptual experience of Awareness (first glimpse of our luminous essence). Once you have a ‘taste’ of what Awareness is, you can then think of ‘expanding’ this bare awareness and gradually understand what does ‘heightening and expanding’ mean from the perspective of Awareness.
      Next, although you hear and see ‘non-dual, anatta and dependent origination’ all over the place in An Eternal Now’s forum (the recent Toni Packer’s books you bought are about non-dual and anatta), there is nothing wrong being ‘dualistic’ for a start. Even after direct non-conceptual experience of Awareness, our view will still continue to be dualistic; so do not have the idea that being dualistic is bad although it prevents thorough experience of liberation.
      The comment given by Dharma Dan is very insightful but of late, I realized that it is important to have a first glimpse of our luminous essence directly before proceeding into such understanding. Sometimes understanding something too early will deny oneself from actual realization as it becomes conceptual. Once the conceptual understanding is formed, even qualified masters will find it difficult to lead the practitioner to the actual ‘realization’ as a practitioner mistakes conceptual understanding for realization.
      “The anatta I realized is quite unique. It is not just a realization of no-self. But it must first have an intuitive insight of Presence. Otherwise will have to reverse the phases of insights.” - John Tan, 2018

    • Soh Wei Yu
      Top contributor
      Carter Spinks For more details and pointers you can also read:
      1) The Awakening to Reality Practice Guide by Nafis Rahman:
      2) The Awakening to Reality Guide - Web Abridged Version by the joint effort of Pablo Pintabona and Nafis Rahman:
      ATR-Practice-Guide-v1.00.docx | Powered by Box
      ATR-Practice-Guide-v1.00.docx | Powered by Box
      ATR-Practice-Guide-v1.00.docx | Powered by Box

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      • Carter Spinks
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        Soh Wei Yu thank you. Just skimming through it, and seeing a lot about the necessity of realizing the I AM. I started out with that with Adyashanti’s teachings but I moved away from it because I assumed that I was not going to recognize true anatta because I assumed “I Am” was from Advaita Vedanta. But from reading the guide you posted it seems that recognizing “I Am” is a necessary step and not necessarily Advaitan.

      • Soh Wei Yu
        Top contributor
        Carter Spinks Do read the section "Why Realize the I AM (Can I skip straight away to more “advanced stages” like anatta?)" in the AtR guide abridged.
        Many Buddhist teachers do lead to I AM realization first before subsequent or further insights, though not all.
        For those practitioners that did not go through I AM, as John Tan said in 2010, "
        (4:39:30 PM) Thusness: if you do not see the cause of 'division', can there be non-dual and anatta experience? without the experience of "I AMness", your experience of non-dual and anatta will be different.
        (4:40:37 PM) AEN: oic
        (4:40:38 PM) AEN: how different
        (4:40:58 PM) Thusness: very different in terms of intensity and realization. most will skew towards first stanza. the directness and immediacy is also different. the experience will re-surface if you practice non-dual dropping, but not by way of one-pointedness concentration" -- and they will skew towards non doership aspect and miss out the luminosity, which is crucial for the true anatta realization. Also as John Tan wrote in 2009, it is important to have “an effective way to allow practitioners to have adequate experience of the vividness, realness and presence of Awareness and the full experience of these qualities in the transience. Without which it will not be easy to realize that "the arising and passing sensations are the very awareness itself." A balance is therefore needed, otherwise practitioners may experience equanimity but skew towards dispassion and lack realization."
        For those practitioners that 'skipped' the I AM realization first, nondual Luminosity must then come at a later phase of their practice, like this guy Tsultrim Serri
        Soh Wei Yu In 2008:
        (4:15 PM) AEN: tsultrim serri:
        (4:15 PM) AEN: Initiated a file transfer
        (4:15 PM) AEN:
        (Mind has often been likened to a mirror, but the analogy goes only so far, because mirrors exist and mind doesn't, well let's say that one can touch mirrors. What existence means, particularly at these levels, would be a fruitful topic, but one that i will not cover. Also , mind doesn't really reflect phenomena, it is the phenomena themselves. This is covered further down in these 4 prajnas, but for clarity i thought i should mention that.
        (4:15 PM) AEN:
        "Thusness' or "suchness" is what one feels with the experience of emptiness. It is a solid sense of being (yes, emptiness has a solid or one could say rich feeling). The luminescence of mind can be compared the the surface of a mirror. If the mirror is dirty it doesn't have a bright surface, and if mind is filled with obscuration its awareness is dimmed. With the experience of emptiness, phenomena become more vivid. It is said in the post that this confirms one's entrance into Zen. In the vajrayana, this vividness of mind is called "osel" in Tibetan, and it is a sign that one has entered the vajrayana. In my experience, this is quite far along the path. To get to this point, one would have to experience egolessness of self, egolessness of other, nondualty, emptiness, and only then luminosity.)
        (4:16 PM) Thusness: very good.
        (4:16 PM) AEN: from another thread: "Exist is a tricky word in Buddhism. Mind does not exist in the sense of being a thing, but it does exist as well, otherwise how would we be able to see, hear etc.
        Having said that, for an individual, there is nothing "outside of awareness." Everything that happens to us happens in our awareness(it's not ours, but so what). Furthermore, we are literally everything that happens in our awareness. There is no self; we are simply the world. if we see a chair in our kitchen, that is what we are at that moment since there is no separation between phenomena and mind. Phenomena are mind and mind is phenomena. smile.gif
        (4:22 PM) Thusness: this tsultrim's insight is stage 6.
        (4:23 PM) AEN: oic..
        (4:23 PM) Thusness: truly good.
        (4:23 PM) AEN: icic..
        (4:23 PM) Thusness: not many can truly feel the differences.
        (4:23 PM) AEN: oic..
        (4:24 PM) Thusness: it is only until a certain phase of experience then that clarity comes.
        (4:24 PM) Thusness: and often in tremendous in the stability of thoughtlessness... thought almost seldom arise and one becomes the full vividness of arising phenomena.
        (4:25 PM) Thusness: is he a dzogchen practitioner?
        (4:25 PM) AEN: oic
        (4:25 PM) AEN: i think mahamudra
        (4:25 PM) AEN: he talks about the four yoga
        (4:25 PM) Thusness: ic
        (4:25 PM) AEN: "(Yes, this agrees, in my opinion, with "nonmeditation" in the 4 yogas of mahamudra, the last and most fruitional yoga of mahamudra."
        (4:25 PM) AEN: oh
        (4:25 PM) AEN: and he linked the 4 jnanas to the 4 yogas
        (5:19 PM) Thusness: actually what he said about prajna and jhana is quite good. But u have to know that it is not the sort of jhana as in concentration.
        (5:20 PM) Thusness: it is the experience of effortlessness in non-dual luminosity.
        (5:22 PM) Thusness: There will come a time every day mundane activities, practice and enlightenment is just one substance.
        (5:24 PM) AEN: no he said jnana
        (5:24 PM) AEN: jnana is more like knowledge
        (5:24 PM) AEN: not jhana absorption
        (5:25 PM) Thusness: ic
        (5:26 PM) Thusness: There will come a time when emptiness becomes so clear and the separation is no more then without the need to recall or remind. The last veil that separates is like permanently gone. Then there is no practice because all moments of arising phenomena is just one practice.
        (5:28 PM) AEN: oic..
        (5:28 PM) AEN: thats what he means by observing emptiness and 'being' emptiness rite
        (5:28 PM) AEN: i mean the difference between it
        (5:29 PM) AEN: Initiated a file transfer
        (5:29 PM) AEN:
        In a post above, i distinguished between the two. I know you asked Matylda, but until she replies, if she does, possibly i could be of help.
        Prajna is the tool that sees emptiness. It is actually an expansion of awareness, using awareness in the context of mindfulness/awareness. Awareness gets to a point where it discovers the nature of mind which includes emptiness. At that point, awareness transforms into prajna. There are lesser stages of prajna as well, but i would have to review them.
        Prajna has been likened to the mother of all the Buddhas, because through its activity the mind that becomes the Buddha mind is born. Actually, it has always been there, and is unborn, but let's not quibble.
        (5:29 PM) AEN:
        So, prajna sees emptiness. When first seen, however, one feels emptiness as separate from what has discovered it. There is still a slight trace of dualism. We experience this dualism as a seeking for emptinesss ie there is a seeker and something sought. At the realization of jnana, this duality melts, so to speak, and emptiness exists or doesn't exist without a sense of something observing it. Also, one attains wisdom when emptiness arises, not wisdom about anything, simply being in the state of wisdom. With prajna, one observes that wisdom; with jnana, one becomes it.
        Pellucid No-Self, Non-Doership
        Pellucid No-Self, Non-Doership
        Pellucid No-Self, Non-Doership

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      • Soh Wei Yu
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        (5:35 PM) Thusness: jnana here does not refer to the type of concentration like it said. It is an effortless non-dual luminous experience due to the maturing of prajna.
        (5:35 PM) Thusness: I have often said clear until absorbed. Vividness of forms.
        (5:37 PM) Thusness: It is the outcome of the clarity of insight due to the dissolving of that tendency to divide. It is natural, not a form of attention or concentration. This should not be misunderstood.
        (5:38 PM) Thusness: He mentioned about luminosity is the last fruition stage and one must go through emptiness to realise this stage.
        (5:39 PM) Thusness: This is not exactly right. 🙂
        (5:39 PM) Thusness: Advaita Vedanta practitioner will experience the opposite. 🙂
        (5:39 PM) AEN: oic..
        (5:39 PM) AEN: but for mahamudra it is like that rite?
        (5:39 PM) AEN: theravada also?
        (5:39 PM) AEN: like dharma dan
        (5:40 PM) Thusness: yes
        (5:40 PM) Thusness: it is because of right view
        (5:40 PM) Thusness: without the right view, u will experience luminosity aspect of awareness without knowing its empty nature.
        (5:40 PM) Thusness: that is more dangerous.
        (5:41 PM) Thusness: therefore establishment of right view is most important. Seeds are planted.
        (5:42 PM) Thusness: It is better not to experience then to experience the wrong stuff and makes it more difficult to get out of the dualistic experience of Eternal Witness.
        (Comments by Soh: Regarding whether it is important to go through I AM realization or can we skip to anatta -- John Tan and I and Sim Pern Chong have had differing and evolving opinions about this over the years (I remember Sim Pern Chong saying he thinks people can skip it altogether, John also wondered if it is possible or advisable as certain AF people seem to have skipped it but experience luminosity), however after witnessing the progress of people it seems to us that those who went into anatta without the I AM realization tend to miss out the luminosity and intensity of luminosity. And then they will have to go through another phase. For those with I AM realization, the second stanza of anatta comes very easily, in fact the first aspect to become more apparent. Nowadays John and my opinion is that it is best to go through the I AM phase, then nondual and anatta..
        There was also the worry that by leading people into the I AM, they can get stuck there. (As John Tan and Sim Pern Chong was stuck there for decades)
        But I have shown that it is possible to progress rather quickly (in eight months) from I AM to anatta. So the being stuck is due to lack of right pointers and directions, not inherently an issue with I AM.
        And the way to progress quickly is to be aware of the pitfalls of the I AM as I wrote in the AtR guide, and going along the four aspects of I AM and then nondual contemplations or two stanzas of anatta. If I kept reinforcing the pitfalls of I AM with wrong view, maybe I can get stuck there. Likewise for other phases, there are other pitfalls as well. Even after anatta, John Tan has at times told me to revisit the aspect of I AM. It is possible, even important, to integrate that quality and taste.)

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      Mark Scorelle
      Thank you for this much needed clarification. I can understand more of what insight is and how it differs fro a glimpse. I had wondered what a Dharma Seal was and this is helpful.

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