Showing posts with label Stages of Enlightenment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stages of Enlightenment. Show all posts

Post anatta advice:

John tan:

John Tan's advise:

As for those layman practitioners that for some reasons still prefer to go on their own asking for some general guides post anatta insights, I think they can focus on the 5 following points: 

1. Extend the insight of anatta, the de-reification process to all events and phenomena.  MMK comes handy here.  It will help one investigate most of the subtle assumptions we held to be "true" in a hypnotic way.

2.  Open up our body and go deeply into body-awareness. This is critical imo. Less intellectual activities and more body-awareness.   Post anatta and along the path, due to the de-construction process, the energy released from unconscious holding of our mental constructs can be quite overwhelming.   It may also be due to other reasons, for example, attachment to non-dual experiences and as a result it will cause discomfort to both our mind and body.

3.   So opening up our body is key at this phase.  The imbalance can be released by massage, non-inflammatory diet, qi gong, tai chi movements, yoga or any other body awareness exercises. Just open up our body and bring awareness to our body to complement the anatta insight and less intellectual activities.  

4.  If after that, the practitioner can intuit directly the relationship between mind, prana and body and wish to pursue his knowledge further on how the energy system works, they can then look for experienced teachers in this space to guide them.  U r not into this, hence, do not advise ppl on what u r unsure and have no experience. 

5.  Lastly, bring the insight of anatta into our daily activities, meet conditions and engage. 


[7:54 AM, 6/3/2021] John Tan: Not bad.  He should relook these insights and experiences and ask the following:

1.  If everything is me, then the sense of "me" must also disappear at that moment of experience.  Otherwise one must mature the experience into no-mind and then anatta as an insight.

2.  If later it is realized that there is no me/self/Self as an insight and experience (anatta), then one must refine the view and question how does the sense of me/self/Self arise in the first place?

3.  Then bring this insight from the refinement of view into all phenomena and all actions.  

4.  Therefore not only there is no seer in the seen just the seen, there is no seeing and nothing seen.  No self, no others and no aggregates.  

5.  If this is understood only as negations, then one is not free from extremes and all elaborations.

6.  Therefore conventionally, there is self, others, seer, seeing and seen. There are causes and effects.  There is arising, abiding and ceasing and the only valid mode of arising is dependent arising.

7.  Point 1, 2, 3 praxis is on samatha and vipassana. Direct experience and insights. To mature this insight of anatta, the path of analysis is needed.  

8.  Point 4-6 thorough reasoning and analysis is added to relinquish cognitive obscuration.  

9.  If he is interested, he should look into mmk (Nagarjuna's text Mūlamadhyamakakārikā), it will expose the many hidden nuances and subtleties of our cognitive obscurations.  Patience is needed to get used to the line of reasoning of Nagarjuna.  But no need to get involved in those polemics of the Tibetan schools.

[8:08 AM, 6/3/2021] John Tan: 10. Lastly one should understand the praxis of the 2 stanzas and mmk are different.  The 2 stanzas are using samatha and vipassana to directly see through mental constructs to realize one's nature (direct path) whereas mmk is via path of analysis and reasoning.  So when reading mmk, one must adhere strictly to the conventional 3 fold structure of seer-seeing-seen.  See through the structures and deconstruct step by step.  The ultimate purpose and result are the same except mmk exposes all the very subtle and hidden cognitives obscurations that we are unable even post anatta insight.  So if one is interested in bringing anatta insight to maturity and perfection, mmk is needed.


Yin ling:

What works for me to deepen realisation after the initial insight of Anatta (no-self)

1) Don’t chase the luminance and brightness.

Let go of the self slowly more and more by sensing deeply the senses non dually. Keep showing the mind in the seen only the seen, and keep showing the no self structure to the mind. It needs to learn.

It will naturally stabilise at a brilliant radiance without effort.

It is the self that blocks the radiance, not by intensely experiencing the radiance - this can cause energy imbalance.

2) sleep hours will drop but take it easy.

Have some sort of exercise to tire yourself out abit, go easy on caffeine,

if not insomnia can happen due to the brightness, luminosity, and the energy that breaks through from the dropping of self construct.

3) practice by sensing deeply the senses.

Let the intensity of senses become clear.

Be there with the sound. (You will know what I mean, when you hear the sound non dually, at first there will be some sort of vague background due to imprint, let go of that background more and more)

4) Sense deeply the body sensation one by one, sharpen the mind up like a satipathanna practice, this will drop the sense of body outline

5) open up. Let go of the Center in the body.

Let consciousness Spread out slowly, as much as you can, a little each day. Meditate that way, sense the senses in separate little fireflies like figure. See how confusion occurs by our mind collating and separating these dependently originated sensations.

6) shamatha is crucial. It will sharpen the insight and calm the mind. It helps with the letting go of self and calm the afflictions. Have a few good hours of pure shamatha a week will help greatly.

7) when emptiness of personal self stabilise, move this insight to the chair, table, bird, .. investigate how no-self happen to your body and now investigate if you can extend to phenomenas.

Take the time to stabilise personal self emptiness first, however if you have bad energy imbalance like me, you probably will need to extend this insight fast to empty phenomena for the energy to move. Or else it’s agony.

8. Talk to ppl with this insight to strengthen the confidence. It takes time to build that confidence and faith. Read the teachings again and again. Analyse why is it no-self.

Don’t participate with those who says “there is no self, so no worries and nothing to do”- they are clearly not in no-self lol it’s not like that.

9. Remember there’s still a long way and a huge amount of practice to do. Not to call yourself Arahant, not to think you are enlightened 🤣Hurry and practice hard. Try not to be a “teacher” too soon, take too many clients, and write too many books, before you are really clear and safely on the other shore 🤣

Will write if there’s more I can remember.! Wish to hear from others too!


Yin Ling

Yasmin El-Hakim it can be abit hard to understand dependent arising and emptiness via Nagarjuna and jay Garfield to be completely honest..

Just because the way they use “consequences” statements to bring out the lack of inherent existence suits a very high caliber person trained in this kind of logic. Usually we don’t speak like that. So we might not get it not bec we don’t understand Nagarjuna but we don’t understand what they are trying to point

I think better to study some modern book.

Guy newland emptiness is quite good.

Also how to see yourself as you truly are from his holiness is quite good and clear language for modern ppl.

(Soh: the books she mentioned are here:



 "Chapter 49

This chapter explains that the bhumis, or levels to surmount, do not exist because the true condition is beyond the concept itself of "levels." As we have seen, the Mahayana posits five paths and ten bhumis, or levels of realization of the Bodhisattva. In this case the accomplishment of enlightenment corresponds to the tenth bhumi, and until this level is achieved, there is not total realization. Some series of tantras add three more bhumis and reckon there are thirteen levels of realization: in this case, only the thirteenth bhumi corresponds to enlightenment. Other series of tantras consider that there are sixteen bhumis up to total realization. But how does Dzogchen explain this? The Kunjed Gyalpo says there are no bhumis because once we have properly understood what realization is, then everything depends on knowing or living in this condition: it is merely a matter of ripening. Once we have discovered the sun, the only thing that remains is to overcome the obstacle of the clouds. But just as clouds sometimes disappear slowly, and at other times all together all at once, there can be no limits to the levels of realization: one can traverse thousands of bhumis or none at all. Fundamentally, there are no bhumis, no levels in the condition of the "sun," so, in general, one says dzogpa chenpo sa chigpa, total perfection is the single bhumi, and it depends on knowing or not knowing, having or not having knowledge of the primordial state. This is the first and sole bhumi."

- Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, "The Supreme Source"

 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。

Was searching for something in Thusness chat logs two days ago. Thought of sharing this excerpt.

A conversation with John Tan during my I AM phase, early 2010:

(7:37 PM) Thusness: anatta is the thorough insight that the behind reality does not exist, only aggregates and that is the 'what is' of experiential reality.

(7:38 PM) AEN: oic..

(7:38 PM) Thusness: when we are unable to completely dissolve this background, we will not be able to truly understand Awareness.

because we are afraid of the transient.

(7:40 PM) Thusness: this prevents direct experience and how Presence can Presence be when we are unable to experience directly?

(7:40 PM) Thusness: The background is a form of 'subtle referencing', it is not the vivid Presence.

(7:41 PM) AEN: icic..

(7:41 PM) Thusness: so what is vivid Presence?

(7:42 PM) AEN: whatever is is vivid presence? there is no need to reference to something else

(7:42 PM) Thusness: if u cannot experience thoughts, sound..the aggregates directly, u r not experiencing presence.

(7:43 PM) AEN: oic..

(7:44 PM) AEN: what about the experience of the witness

(7:46 PM) AEN: john wheeler: Like anything else, the "sense of I am" is still an appearance, an experience. Realize that the "sense of I am " is not what you are. You are TO WHOM even that appears. What you are has no "I" sense at all. There is no "I" in non-conceptual awareness. It is not even looking at anything, because it is one without a second. The observer and the observed both appear in your non-conceptual reality. Do not confuse what you are with the "observer". That also is a limited thing, an appearance. You are beyond the observer also.

.... Reality, your true nature itself, has no center or reference point. It is not in the head, in the body, or anywhere else. All appearances arise in that which has no position, reference point or boundary and which is your natural condition. A subtle reference of what we are to a location still implies a specific "I" that is able to be located. But pure being or awareness is "no thing". It has no position, no time, no space, no location. All of those only apply to a thing. But your real nature is not an object, not a thing. The basis of the troubles is the separate "I" notion. If there is any subtle belief in the "I", the mind will attempt to give it some position,  definition, location or concept. Why? Because it has no substance. It

(7:47 PM) AEN: It needs to wrap itself in some clothing to have any semblance of being. One solution is to try to pull away all the landing zones. That is potentially an endless undertaking. It is so easy for the "I" notion to creep back into the proceedings. That is often the blind spot. The nature of a blind spot is that you cannot see it because you are looking through it and not recognizing that fact. It is like looking through your glasses to find the glasses you assume are lost. The clear and direct solution is to examine the validity of the "I" notion itself. Do not settle for pulling away the leaves and branches, but go for the root.

(7:49 PM) Thusness: yet that is still a referencing

(7:51 PM) Thusness: to be without reference is to realize that all there is always only Appearance.  When u realized that thoroughly, u r without reference, location, direct and vividly Present. 🙂

(7:51 PM) AEN: oic..

Session Start: Saturday, 17 April, 2010

(5:05 PM) AEN: while contemplating 'who is listening'... i noticed that consciousness doesnt seem like a localized witness but more like a field of knowing... and it feels impersonal and universal. feels like i am this universal consciousness and everything just emerges and subsides from this field of consciousness

(5:14 PM) AEN: the witness also seems universal

(5:25 PM) AEN: i notice the sense of self seems to dissolve just by resting in awareness.. previously theres a sense of self and locality tied to awareness.

(5:42 PM) AEN: i also notice that no matter how the mind appears to move they are still appearances of unmoving consciousness

(9:17 AM) Thusness: Yes

(9:17 AM) Thusness: now is to focus on this impersonal and universal aspect of consciousness. 🙂

(9:17 AM) Thusness: after direct experience of 'luminosity', focus on 'non-conceptual', impersonal and universal aspect and from there, understand how u r became 'conditioned'.  U will refine ur view at a later phase.   U will eventually realize how consciousness traps itself in views and interpretations. U must eventually walk out all these constructs and understand 'what is' directly.

(9:17 AM) Thusness: To me, the most challenging aspect is to 'see' the truth of anatta and emptiness nature of our luminous essence.  We will only see clearly when the tendency to 'reify' stuff dissolves.  U will then realize the 'permanent, unchanging witness' is the result of this tendency.

(3:05 PM) Thusness: Yes

(3:05 PM) Thusness: now is to focus on this impersonal and universal aspect of consciousness. 🙂

(3:23 PM) AEN: oic..

(3:25 PM) Thusness: element is not bad

(3:25 PM) Thusness: u always make this mistake of making samadhi into an insight

(3:26 PM) AEN: oic.. what u mean

(3:26 PM) Thusness: nvm

(3:27 PM) Thusness: anyway u know what is so convincing in the advaita vedanta experience?

(3:28 PM) AEN: hmm.. isit bcos as u said the directness gives rise to a sense of certainty?

(3:29 PM) Thusness: yes but with the dualistic paradigm, we cannot correctly understand such an experience

(3:29 PM) AEN: oic..

(3:29 PM) Thusness: after non-dual, oneness will be the natural progression

if our mode of understanding is still dualistic

(3:30 PM) Thusness: if however insight arises, then it is simply 5 aggregates

(3:30 PM) Thusness: u do not think of 'self', just the aggregates

u do not think of 'body', just sensations

(3:31 PM) AEN: icic..

(3:32 PM) Thusness: the sense of the center, locality will dissolve with practice with the arising insight of anatta

(3:34 PM) Thusness: anyway don't just keep arguing in a forum that does not understand or believe what u said

(3:35 PM) AEN: oic..

(3:35 PM) Thusness: practice until the insight of anatta arises

(3:35 PM) Thusness: it is very difficult to get into phase 5 of insight if u get stuck in non-dual and oneness

(3:36 PM) AEN: icic..

(3:41 PM) Thusness: currently, which phase of the 7 phases u have not directly experienced?

(3:56 PM) AEN: i dun think i experienced much of ur 7 phases yet.. lol. i mean especially regarding anattta and emptiness. and i think stage 3 i also dun think i experienced that

(3:57 PM) Thusness: yes

(3:58 PM) Thusness: is impersonality different from ur experience in the post u wrote about the certainty of being?

(4:02 PM) AEN: yeah i think so. the certainty of being has a vivid sense of luminosity but the sense of self and locality is not deconstructed?

(4:04 PM) Thusness: do not mix up non-dual and anatta

in anatta, the experience is implicitly non-dual

(4:05 PM) Thusness: but it is not treating 'Oneness' as ultimate

(4:06 PM) Thusness: therefore u must understand what is the cause that leads to such experience and progression

(4:07 PM) Thusness: locality is also not deconstructed in impersonality

(4:07 PM) AEN: oic..

(4:11 PM) AEN: what is the cause that leads to which experience? oneness or anatta

(4:12 PM) Thusness: all

(4:13 PM) Thusness: just remember now that non-dual does not imply the arising insight of anatta

(4:13 PM) Thusness: however it is a very important break-through

(4:14 PM) Thusness: anatta is like simply aggregates

(4:14 PM) AEN: oic..

(4:14 PM) Thusness: just thoughts

no awareness and thoughts

or thoughts in awareness

(4:15 PM) Thusness: or awareness as thoughts

get it?

(4:15 PM) Thusness: remember about the toni packer?

(4:15 PM) Thusness: the post about weather?

(4:16 PM) Thusness: when we say 'in' weather, is it correct?

(4:16 PM) Thusness: but conventionally we feel that is correct.

(4:16 PM) AEN: icic..

(4:16 PM) Thusness: therefore we cannot really understand

and this has profound implication on the way we experience the world

(4:17 PM) Thusness: the profound implication is very important

coz it tells us what we are

(4:17 PM) Thusness: what consciousness is like

(4:18 PM) Thusness: like being 'spell' bound

get it?

(4:18 PM) AEN: yeah

(4:20 PM) AEN: what we call 'awareness' is also just like 'weather', it cant be located but is just the stream of aggregates... therefore we cannot say 'things happen in awareness'

(4:20 PM) AEN: ?

(4:21 PM) Thusness: yes

(4:22 PM) AEN: ic..

(4:22 PM) Thusness: but because of the mind's capacity to abstract and reify, we are like living in a 'spell-like' condition

this also must be realized

(4:23 PM) Thusness: but u must directly experience aggregates

pure aggregates

directly experiencing thoughts


(4:23 PM) Thusness: sensations


vividly and luminously present

(4:24 PM) Thusness: the non-dual aspect

(4:24 PM) AEN: oic..

(4:24 PM) Thusness: it is from this implicitly non-dual experience that u refine ur experience from right view

with the help of right view

(4:26 PM) AEN: icic..

(4:27 PM) Thusness: so if u do not have such insight of non-dual experience, then it is still not a form of 'insight'

(4:28 PM) Thusness: in non-dual tradition, it is just the non-dual luminous awareness and the rest is literally illusion

(4:29 PM) Thusness: in actual practice, the tendencies..., ignorance...etc are as important conditions that create this moment of experience

(4:30 PM) AEN: oic..

(9:22 PM) AEN: S9: Representing Awareness as being super-awareness is an incorrect way to represent what is being talked about, or experienced as Awareness. Awareness is more like the Ocean, whereas manifestation, as in each

manifested mind object, is more like each and every wave. Is the wave separate from the ocean and is the ocean separate from the wave? No not really. But the ocean can be without any manifestation of a temporary phenomenon

called wave-ing, you will never see a wave without an ocean to support it and let it burrow its existent. This, my friend, is the difference between Awareness and every little manifestation imaginable.

(10:26 PM) Thusness: Isn't this what u r experiencing now. 🙂

(10:29 PM) AEN: yea

(10:29 PM) Thusness: it is just refining this experience

i told u about first the "I AMness"

(10:30 PM) Thusness: then the 4 aspects

what are the four?

(10:31 PM) AEN: impersonality, degree of luminosity, seeing through the need to re-confirm, and effortlessness

(10:32 PM) Thusness: u r beginning to experience this aspect of impersonality

what is it like?

(10:36 PM) AEN: it feels non personal like space... and theres no sense of self or locality to the witness, its not like someone 'in here' watching outside things. everything manifests from it

(10:38 PM) Thusness: not very good yet

(10:38 PM) AEN: ic..

(10:38 PM) Thusness: but that is about where s9 is.

(10:38 PM) AEN: oic

so s9 is experiencing impersonality now?

(10:39 PM) Thusness: nope

his is still very personal

(10:40 PM) AEN: oic

(10:40 PM) Thusness: however there is no point talking about it now. 🙂

(10:40 PM) AEN: icic..

(10:41 PM) Thusness: many practitioners will cling to this idea of the Self and is reluctant to give up

(10:42 PM) Thusness: this prevents them from progressing and the attachment to this Self limits their experience to the non-conceptual formless realm

(10:43 PM) Thusness: i kept saying to u that there is no denying of the witness but just the right understanding of it.  Remember that

(10:43 PM) AEN: oic..

(10:45 PM) Thusness: experience the 4 aspects first and refine ur experience of "I AMness"

non-dual is the next phase

(10:46 PM) AEN: icic..

(10:47 PM) Thusness: after that, u must mature the experience till insight of anatta arise.  

(10:48 PM) AEN: oic..

Session Start: Monday, 19 April, 2010

(5:12 PM) AEN: john wheeler: To know any experience, there must be a knowing that "I am". That is just the basic conscious knowing of being present. That is what first appears out of deep sleep. It is not a personal "I" or any other notion. Call it impersonal knowing. Subsequently, the mind begins operating and the separate "I" notion is created in thought.

Pure awareness, or non-conceptual reality, is non-dual. Upon or within this arises self-consciousness, which is the pure sense of "I am", but not yet individualized. Then follows the "I" concept, or the notion of separate individuality. Lastly, there appear notions such as I am this or that (body, mind, personality, etc.).  

From the perspective of reality, there is NO appearance to speak of, because the seeming appearance is the appearance of THAT. It is all THAT.

(5:12 PM) AEN: All phenomena appear in consciousness. That consciousness is NOT personal. It is the primordial or first experience in duality. It is the pure sense of "I am" with no other content, just knowing "I am" without words, or being self-consciously aware. But that is still an experience. You are the space in which even that comes and goes.

Session Start: Monday, 19 April, 2010

(10:51 PM) Thusness: John Wheeler recent para is not bad.

(11:08 PM) AEN: oic..

he's talking about non dual?

(11:11 PM) Thusness: not just that

(11:13 PM) Thusness: John Wheeler seems to be able to outline the different phases of "I M" i told u

(11:14 PM) Thusness: however that is only up till non-dual level

(11:15 PM) AEN: icic..

Session Start: Wednesday, 21 April, 2010

(8:02 PM) AEN: Steve Hagen:

(8:03 PM) AEN: ...All things are like this. Indeed, it's impossible for any conceived object not to be like this. Nothing stands on its own. Nothing has its own being. Each thing is inseparable from, and inter-identical with, all that it's not.

(8:03 PM) AEN: Thus perception is an objectless Awareness since, when we just see, what is truly seen involves not objects but the Whole. Nothing actually forms as an object; nothing stands apart. No matter where we look, there's just this.

(8:04 PM) AEN: Here's another example of a foolish-sounding Zen question that is actually an expression of just seeing: What is the sound of one hand clapping?

When we conceive of a hand, it's just a single, isolated hand, and we're puzzled at the question. To clap, we need two hands. But this is approaching the question in our ordinary way - that is, conceptually.

(8:05 PM) AEN: With naked perception however, we see that a hand is not a separate and distinct hand. Everything is included with it. One hand clapping is the sound of two hands clapping is the sound of ten hands clapping. it's the sound before and after two hands clap. it's also the sound before and after one hand claps.

(8:05 PM) AEN: Conceptually, we think that sound is sound and silence is silence. The two seem neatly separated and distinct - in fact, opposite of each other. But this is only how we think, how we conceptualize. This is not how Reality is perceived, before we put everything into neat, nicely labeled (but deceptive) little packages.

(8:06 PM) AEN: We think there only has to be sound for there to be sound. We overlook that there must also be silence for there to be sound. And because of sound, there is silence. Were there no sound, how could there be silence?

(8:06 PM) AEN: Before you strike a bell, a sound is already here. After you strike the bell, the sound is here. When the sound fades and dies away, the sound is still here. The sound is not just the sound but the silence, too, And the silence is the sound. This is what is actually perceived before we parse everything out into this and that, into "myself" and "what I hear."

(8:07 PM) AEN: The sound of the bell is inseparable from everything that came before and that will come after as well as from everything that appears now. This includes your eardrum, which vibrates in response to it. It includes the air, which pulses with varying waves of pressure in response to it.

(8:07 PM) AEN: It includes the stick that strikes the bell. It includes the metallurgists, past and present, and those who learned to extract metal from ore and those who fashioned the bell. And it includes that ancient furnace, that supernova obliterated long ago in which this metal formed.

(8:08 PM) AEN: Remove any of these - indeed, remove anything at all - and there can be no sound of the bell. The sound of the bell is thus not "the sound of the bell." It is the entire Universe.

(8:14 PM) AEN: .....What Nagarjuna is pointing to is that believing things are impermanent involves a contradiction. First we posit separate, persisting things (in effect, absolute objects); and then we refer to them as impermanent (that is relative). What we fail to see is that we are still holding to a view of substance. We

(8:14 PM) AEN: don't really appreciate the thoroughgoing nature of change, the thorough-going nature of selflessness. Nagarjuna makes it abudantly clear that impermanence (the relative) is total, complete, thoroughgoing, Absolute. It's not that the universe is made up of innumerable objects in flux. There's Only flux. Nothing

(8:15 PM) AEN: is (or can be) riding along in the flux, like a cork in a stream; nothing actually arises or passes away. There's only stream. ..... That forms appear to come and go cannot be denied. But to assume the existence of imaginary persisting entities and attach them to these apparent comings and goings is delusion.

(8:22 PM) Thusness: This is very good.

(8:23 PM) Thusness: many practitioners stop at the phase of non-dual, few penetrates indepth and see clearly the meaning of anatta and DO.

(8:24 PM) AEN: oic..

(8:27 PM) AEN: he also seems to talk about universe as having no time and locality, "einstein showed us that if we could somehow get ourselves up to the speed of light, time would slow down as our velocity increased, until finally at the speed of light, time would cease to elapse at all. From the standpoint of someone traveling at the speed of light, it would appear that all the space being traversed - every inch or light year of it - would pass by at once, no matter how long the journey might be.

(8:28 PM) AEN: So from the viewpoint of a photon going to Andromeda, the journey takes literally no time at all. In other words, to the photon, Adromeda is right here, since it takes no time whatsoever to get "there". And the fact that the message is there and here simultnaeously makes "there" indistinguishable from "here".

This would be equally true for any two "locations" in the universe that you could point to. In other words, the universe doesn't appear to have any intrinsic size or duration at all.

(8:35 PM) AEN: anyway just bought a book from steve hagen, 'Buddhism is not what you think'

(8:41 PM) Thusness: where u get these para from?

(8:42 PM) AEN: the book 'Buddhism is not what you think'

(8:42 PM) Thusness: icic

(8:48 PM) AEN: he also used rose to describe emptiness i think.. lol. but he talk about fragrance. - "The Song of the Jewel Mirror Awareness," a poem by the great Chinese Zen teacher Tung-shan, speaks of the very same Awareness that the Buddha pointed to. This image of a jewel mirror was used as a way to express the source from which all things issue. All the myriad things, thoughts, and feelings we experience appear like images in a mirror: vivid yet insubstantial. The ungraspable mirror is what's Real, while the seemingly isolated things that appear in it are not.

(8:48 PM) AEN: Consider for example, the simple act of smelling a rose. We see the rose, feel the rose, bring it close, breathe in through our nose. We "smell the rose," as we say, though this refers more to how we conceptualize our experience than it does to what is actually experienced. To say we smell a fragrance would be closer to the actual experience.

(8:49 PM) AEN: But where does the act of smelling a fragrance takes place? If we attend carefully, we can see that all of our usual accounts of the experience start to break down.

(8:49 PM) AEN: Is the fragrance in the rose? If it was, how could you smell it? you're here while the rose is "out there" somehwere. On the other hand, if the rose were removed, you surely wouldn't smell the fragrance. But if you were removed - or if the air in between you and the rose were removed - you also wouldn't smell it.

(8:50 PM) AEN: So is the fragrance in the rose? Is it in your nose? Is it in the air in between? Is it in the air if no one is around to smell it? If so, how could we tell?

Is the fragrance in your brain, then? And if it's in your brain, then why is the rose necessary at all?

(8:50 PM) AEN: Ultimately, the simple act of "smelling a rose" - or any other act involving a subject and object - becomes impossible to pin down and utterly insubstantial.

(8:51 PM) AEN: Gradually, however, we can begin to appreciate what the experience of smelling a rose actually entails. It's of the nature of the mirror itself - that is, that the source of all experience is Mind. As such, the act of smelling - or seeing or hearing or touching or thinking - literally has no location. This non-locality is the very essence of Mind.

(8:52 PM) Thusness: When is it written?

it is very well written.

(8:53 PM) AEN: oic.. the book is made of collection of articles between 1999 to 2003

published in 2003

(8:54 PM) Thusness: first experience non-dual essence of luminosity

(8:54 PM) Thusness: then understand that even this non-dual luminous essence is also empty

(8:55 PM) Thusness: without having direct experience of our non-dual essence, u will not be able integrate this emptiness nature as a form of direct insight.

(8:56 PM) AEN: oic..

(8:57 PM) Thusness: do not understand it like a form of knowledge

(8:57 PM) AEN: icic..

(9:00 PM) Thusness: going to get this book

(9:00 PM) AEN: joan tollifson highly recommends this book 😛 "These are all outstanding and very highly recommended books, especially Buddhism Is Not What You Think. Steve is one of the clearest and most articulate living Zen teachers I've come across. I recommend him for his subtle understanding of emptiness, impermanence, and true nonduality, and also for his intelligent approach to meditation and "practice.""


(9:01 PM) Thusness: yes

(9:01 PM) Thusness: how u come to know about this book?

it is very well written

(9:01 PM) AEN: i was at Times just now, then i saw this book


(9:02 PM) Thusness: icic

(9:14 PM) AEN: oh ya btw

(9:15 PM) AEN: i forgot... buddha bra asked a qn we haven replied him 😛

(9:15 PM) Thusness: ic

u reply him can liao

(9:15 PM) Thusness: busy these days.  i will be away in may and june

(9:16 PM) AEN: oic..

(9:16 PM) Thusness: but i will get the book buddhism is not what u

what is the color of the book?

(9:17 PM) AEN: mine is grey and orange... website show is grey and white.

but i think it may not be in all bookstores, better check first

(9:17 PM) AEN: just now was last copy in times

(9:17 PM) Thusness: what is the url of the website?

(9:18 PM) AEN: his website?

click Books at Store

(9:21 PM) Thusness: what are the contents?

(9:22 PM) AEN:

(9:24 PM) AEN: alot of stuff about nonduality, anatta and emptiness

(9:25 PM) Thusness: the para u quoted is from which chapter?

(9:26 PM) AEN: the one on D.O. is from 'Just Seeing' the rest from 'Elixir of Immortality'

(9:27 PM) Thusness: it has all the seven phases of insight

(9:27 PM) AEN: oic

u mean even I AM?

(9:27 PM) Thusness: and it is linked to the One Mind

(9:27 PM) AEN: oic what u mean

(9:28 PM) Thusness: this mean that it is all the seven phases of insight

anyway don't quote what i said if u want to recommend others to read

(9:28 PM) AEN: lol ok

(9:29 PM) Thusness: means many do not know how to link One Mind to Emptiness

(9:29 PM) Thusness: the All is Mind due to its empty nature and luminous essence

(9:30 PM) Thusness: that is All is Mind but due to DO and anatta...get it?

that is the difference between Buddhism and other religions.

(9:30 PM) AEN: oic..

(9:31 PM) AEN: ya the behind chapters are alot on One Mind

(9:32 PM) Thusness: yes i was reading through the contents

(9:32 PM) AEN: icic..

(9:49 PM) Thusness: all is talking about this moment of manifestation

(9:50 PM) Thusness: yet many cling to Oneness and cannot see the DO nature.

(9:58 PM) AEN: oic..

Session Start: Friday, 23 April, 2010

(5:00 PM) Thusness: u know how to comment on richard's reply?

(5:14 PM) AEN: hmm

(5:14 PM) AEN: i think what he said is valid as karmic propensities continue to surface after some insights... but then again the way to resolve that is not by efforting but by seeing/insight?

im not sure how to comment

(5:16 PM) AEN: its not about effort to get rid of 'self' but by seeing that there is no 'self'

(5:31 PM) AEN: how wld u comment

Session Start: Friday, 23 April, 2010

(10:27 PM) Thusness: what richard asked is the essence of practice

(10:28 PM) Thusness: u have to put in more effort and thoughts

what is the difference between non-dual and anatta?

(10:29 PM) Thusness: this u must be very clear

(10:30 PM) AEN: back

(10:31 PM) AEN: non dual is just the non division of subject object... but anatta is seeing through the sense of an inherent one mind/consciousness by seeing consciousness as just manifestation and insubstantial?

(10:31 PM) Thusness: u r just memorizing words

(10:32 PM) Thusness: give me experiential insight

(10:34 PM) AEN: non dual before anatta still has some referencing back or clinging to something permanent... but anatta is just seeing consciousness as the transience, no referencing?

im not sure

(10:35 PM) Thusness: in non-dual, there are obsessed with behind reality

(10:36 PM) Thusness: in anatta, u realized that such an 'inherent ultimate reality' does not exist.  U directly experience phenomena

(10:37 PM) AEN: oic..

(10:37 PM) Thusness: a practitioner cannot experience directly phenomena if in his inmost consciousness he still believe an inherent self

(10:39 PM) Thusness: there is no vivid, present, direct experience of thoughts, no vivid, present, direct experience of sound, no vivid, present and direct experience of taste

or simply just aggregates

(10:41 PM) Thusness: once a practitioner thoroughly seen through this and have direct perception of the transient, he realizes both the essence and nature of so called 'phenomena'

the aggregates

(10:42 PM) Thusness: the functioning of DO.

(10:42 PM) AEN: icic..

(10:42 PM) Thusness: it is not about the behind reality

(10:43 PM) AEN: oic..

(10:44 PM) Thusness: it is the pure, vivid experience of the aggregates directly as that layer called 'self' isn't there to 'blind' him

(10:44 PM) Thusness: the second important point is what is 'wu' (realization)?

(10:44 PM) Thusness: ?

(10:45 PM) Thusness: Richard is not seeing '?' (wu; realization)

(10:46 PM) Thusness: and its implication to Consciousness and Awareness

(10:46 PM) AEN: oic..

(10:46 PM) Thusness: ? (realization) is what that brings about a 360 degree change

(10:47 PM) Thusness: ur entire view, life...ur entire experiential reality

(10:47 PM) Thusness: the impact of ? (realization) is transformational

(10:47 PM) Thusness: that is why i say 'seeing' arising insight

deeper seeing

(10:48 PM) Thusness: that is what that will result in powerful and transformational change

(10:48 PM) AEN: icic..

(10:48 PM) Thusness: that is practice

(10:48 PM) AEN: practice?

(10:48 PM) Thusness: to wu

(10:50 PM) AEN: dun really understand

(10:51 PM) Thusness: u must understand the impact of 'wu' or arising insight

otherwise nothing change

(10:51 PM) Thusness: nothing really transformational

get it?

(10:51 PM) AEN: ic.. yah

so u mean the whole purpose of practice is to give rise to insight

(10:52 PM) Thusness: we think that we must do this or that

(10:52 PM) Thusness: but we do not know it is the 'insight' that brought about the 360 degree transformation

(10:52 PM) Thusness: suffering too is to bring about such insight

(10:53 PM) Thusness: therefore it is not do nothing

it is about deeper seeing

(10:53 PM) Thusness: get it?

(10:53 PM) AEN: how does suffering bring such insight

(10:54 PM) Thusness: don't just write for the sake of if u r rushing to answer someone

go through it and clearly understand its implication

(10:54 PM) AEN: oic..

(10:55 PM) Thusness: For awareness practice, 'insight' is all that matters.

(10:55 PM) Thusness: u never c ppl writing so much, it is all talking about this deeper seeing

(10:56 PM) Thusness: any other thing?

it is not about 'chi' or practicing 'chi gong'

(10:56 PM) Thusness: or mudra or visualization...

get it?

(10:56 PM) AEN: oic.. yah

(10:57 PM) Thusness: so u must know from the perspective of awareness practice, what matters

and what is meant by non-doing

(10:57 PM) Thusness: it is the arising insight that brought about the change and that is all that matters to Awareness

(10:58 PM) Thusness: so the insight of anatta and DO...what do these insights bring?

get it?

(10:58 PM) AEN: travise: "

in my experience you cannot simply let go until you have seen what you are. Until you know you, and the lie that you are something other than you is dissolved the you not continuing will be the wrong you. Knowing what you are is not done by letting go, or by simply being, but only by looking at you."


(10:59 PM) AEN: -

(10:59 PM) Thusness: in awareness practice, it is all about 'seeing', about arising insight, about ?

(11:00 PM) AEN: oic..

(11:04 PM) Thusness: if ur insight matures, naturally everything is transparently clear and obvious

(11:05 PM) Thusness: only and purely aggregates and function like DO.

(11:05 PM) AEN: icic..

(11:05 PM) Thusness: u no more look and reference to a behind reality

(11:06 PM) AEN: oic..

(11:10 PM) AEN: btw

(11:11 PM) AEN: how shld i reply richard... shld i also explain the diff between anatta and non dual?

(11:12 PM) Thusness: non-dual is an experience of no subject-object division

(11:12 PM) Thusness: it is the degree of clarity

(11:14 PM) Thusness: when we are still not free from the influence of the dualistic and inherent tendencies, it is difficult to experience the 'aggregates' directly

(11:15 PM) Thusness: when u realized it is also been so, no behind reality, then aggregates, thoughts, sound...etc are vividly clear

(11:16 PM) AEN: oic..

(11:18 PM) AEN: richard herman seems to suggest he lose non dual awareness when he's stressed:

There is the unobstructed quality I described in the earlier post. It is not continuous, there are moments of eclipse.

Most of the time I dont believe the story, but sometimes under certain circumstanced there is a lapse. It may be a case of old deep conditioning. For instance not long ago my son was kicked in the groin at school because he has mild tourettes, and the other kids were amused. By kicking him in the groin his anxiety and fear made his tourettes worsen to the delight of the bullies. On being called to the school there were moments when the situation, the story, was ....compelling, for me. so much so that equinimity did not come easy. This is very different than say buying fruit at the market and walking slowly home.

In my experience there are times when awakeness lapses . With practice the karmic triggers that would close things up before do not close things up as easily now.. "Awakeness" when it is truly clear isnt acknowledged as such, There is no checking back,,,"yes I am awake". Complete eclipse or seeming eclipse rarely occurs now.

Once again this is my experience, it may be different for you.

(11:40 PM) AEN: btw what do u mean by suffering too is to bring about such insight

(11:41 PM) Thusness: i go sleep liao. think through

(11:43 PM) AEN: posted:

(11:45 PM) AEN: updated

(11:50 PM) Thusness: "it is the degree of clarity" of what?

(11:50 PM) Thusness: din'


don't just cut and paste

tink through

(11:50 PM) AEN: oic..

degree of clarity on the non-dual and anatta nature of consciousness?

(11:51 PM) Thusness: non-dual and anatta is a matter of degree of clarity

of what?

(11:52 PM) AEN: of awareness?

of the transience

(11:52 PM) Thusness: of the relationship between awareness and transience

(11:52 PM) AEN: oic..

(11:54 PM) Thusness: one is truly existing behind reality somehow having a 'non-dual' experience.

(11:54 PM) Thusness: one is realizing that awareness is a DO manifestation

(11:55 PM) AEN: icic..

(12:02 AM) Thusness:  it is the degree of clarity of the relationship between awareness and transience.

what r u talking abt?

(12:03 AM) AEN: hmm... rephrasing it: Non-dual is an experience of no subject-object division, it is the degree of clarity of the relationship between awareness and transience that matters.

(12:04 AM) Thusness: why don't u just say 'between anatta and non-dual, it is just the degree and depth of clarity between Awareness and the Transience'

(12:05 AM) AEN: oic..


(12:06 AM) Thusness: i go sleep liao


(12:06 AM) AEN: ok.. nite

(12:19 AM) Thusness:  only and purely aggregates, only the 18 dhatus, 'only the world referencing itself'.  The tendency to reference back to a 'Self/self' is replaced by the thorough insight of anatta and DO.

and write in proper english...