Someone wrote, "as for you(yr awakening) ,it just seems .....incredibly 'smooth'... why there doesnt seem to involve experiences of struggle,dealing with demons,darknight of soul ,ren7nciation etc... ?"
"The reason my progress is smooth is because I had guidance from Thusness.
Lengthy Dark Nights can happen when one gets stuck in a dissociative state after I AM. This is the case of Suzanne Segal - http://www.nonduality.com/suzanne.htm
She only solved it after getting to Non Dual realization [not yet anatta but one mind, more akin to Thusness Stage 4]. Being authenticated as the luminosity as all things, there was bliss instead.
However she was stuck in dark night after her first I AM breakthrough, for more than ten years. This is because no teacher could point out to her, even though she met many teachers. The teachers themselves were not clear.
So I have to say, it is my great fortune to meet a very clear eyed 'teacher', even though Thusness does not see himself as a teacher and does not want to teach. The only reason why he wrote is because he felt compelled to do something for Buddha/Buddhism, out of reverence and a sense of indebtedness to Buddha.
I can see why, as there is a lot of lack of clarity even in Buddhism nowadays. Not many know the true essence of Buddhadharma, not even the dharma teachers today. Very few.
But Thusness does not like teaching and he no longer engages in online discussions with others.
And as I said before, my favorite model is Vimalakirti and Layman Pang. I do not aspire for outward renunciation at the moment."
Those stuck at this kind of dark night should focus on the Four Aspects of I AM and Two Types of Nondual Contemplation after I AM.
Also, scroll to the end of this article for Daniel M. Ingram's comments on Depersonalization, Dissociation, and Derealization.
Article from http://www.nonduality.com/suzanne.htm:
Information and Excerpts taken from
Collision with the Infinite
Also read an excerpt here
In the Spring of 1982, Suzanne Segal, pregnant and 27, was living in Paris and waiting for a bus to take her home from a birthing class. As the bus approached, she took a place in line with other commuters. Suddenly she felt her ears pop, and was at once enclosed in a kind of bubble which cut her off from the rest of the scene, and left her acting and moving in the most mechanical way. She says,
"I lifted my right foot to step up into the bus and collided head-on with an invisible force that entered my awareness like a silently exploding stick of dynamite, blowing the door of my usual consciousness open and off its hinges, splitting me in two. In the gaping space that appeared, what I had previously called 'me' was forcefully pushed out of its usual location inside me into a new location that was approximately a foot behind and to the left of my head. 'I' was now behind my body looking out at the world without using the body's eyes."
Walking home from that bus ride, she felt like a "cloud of awareness" following the body. The cloud was a witness located behind and to the left of the body and completely separate from body, mind and emotions. The witness was constant and so was the fear, the fear of complete physical dissolution. The witnessing continued for several months, even during sleep, and Segal had to endure the fear and the accompanying stress, finding relief in long and frequent sleeps.
The 'benefit' of the presence of the witness was that it retained some sense of the personal self, the 'me'. But after a few months the witness disappeared, and with it all traces of a personal self,of the 'me'.
"When the personal self disappears, there is no one inside who can be located as being you. The body is only an outline, empty of everything of which it had previously felt so full."
Now there was no one who thought, felt or perceived, yet these functions continued smoothly and nobody noticed anything strange. Yet she struggled to understand who was living and why her body carried on its functions.
"Life became one long, unbroken koan, forever unsolvable, forever mysterious, completely out of reach of the mind's capacity to comprehend."
With the witness gone and, also gone, all vestiges of a familiar 'me', a heightened level of fear arose. She called it terror. She knew a continuous shaking of the extremities and constant and copious perspiration. Now sleep was not a blessed drug, for there was no one to sleep. It brought no relief. She could not identify anyone who gained rest by sleeping, just as there was no one who was awake.
"What had vanished was the reference point of a personal self that felt the feelings personally. Emptiness was consistently co-present with all emotional or mental states, and this co-presence precluded any personal quality from existing. No thoughts, feelings, or actions arose for any personal purpose anymore."
"The mind's hypervigilance was exhausting. Because it was constantly engaged in rejecting the experience of emptiness, there was very little attention available for anything else. My life was filled with seeing no-self, and raising questions about no-self. Even in sleep the emptiness of personal identity continued unperturbed. No mental activity ever changed the experience of no-self in any manner, and none of the attempts to figure out, organize, or evaluate it ever brought back a sense of an individual indentity."
Segal had sought out a variety therapists and teachers, and worked with them, to no avail. (As an aside, I can't help myself from telling you how humorous it was to catch her falling in love and having an affair with almost every therapist. The manner in which the book presents these romantic escapades is classically wooden and so bad they're good. Stephen Bodian, one of her editors, admits in the introduction to the book that he encouraged Suzanne to include such facets of her story in order to make it a more palatable read. What a pathetic decision, in my opinion. As if people interested in experiences of no-self need to hear details of her love life in order to keep their attention captured. Still, there is nothing wrong with demonstrating the challenges relationships posed; it's totally called for; I am commenting on the way those challenges were described.)
After ten years she began to explore the spiritual perspective on the emptiness of the no-self. She found volumes of material in Buddhism on anatta ( no-self) and shunyata (emptiness). Now she learned that not only was her experience understood, it was sought by those on the spiritual path.
Perhaps Segal's greatest the challenge the past ten years was day-to-day functioning without a 'me'. "(personality) functions floated in a vastness that referred to no one," she wrote. Buddhism, she found, explained this by describing the skandhas or "aggregates" as personality functions which remain when one is empty of the person or the 'me'. The five skandhas include form, feelings, perceptions, thoughts and consciousness. Their interaction creates the illusion of self. They do not actually make up the self. There is not self. When the truth of the skandhas is revealed, as suddenly happened to Segal at the bus stop, it is seen that there is no self, only the skandhas functioning as they function; the truth is that they are empty, they don't constitute a self, but their interaction creates the illusion of self.
Still, Segal could not find literary descriptions of the fear she had been knowing for ten years. She maintains that the language and assumptions that go into creating the notion of what real spiritual experience is, is a closed system, and that one who speaks of experiences beyond that closed system, is seen to be navigating their way to enlightenment with the use of highly questionable markers, of which one of them is fear.
"We have become convinced that the presence of particular thoughts, feelings, or actions is the only way we can really know if someone is enlightened. The checklist of enlightened attributes is both lengthy and complex. Is this really love, we ask, in the presence of a supposedly enlightened being? Or bliss? Do they still have thoughts, we want to know, since we have heard that a mind empty of thoughts is surely a sign of spiritual advancement? And what is this? Is fear present? Well, the presence of fear proves they couldn't possibly having a true spiritual experience. In fact, however, the presence of fear means only that fear is present, and nothing more."
Learning further about the fear, Segal came upon Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's assertion that the experience of cosmic consciousness was often a horrible experience, throwing a person into confusion and fear, and absolutely requiring the presence of a guru to verify the state, so that the experiencer could gain the proper perspective, accept it, settle into it, and allow Grace to bring the next stage of growth.
Verification and perspective came from many such gurus. The first solid verification came from Dr. Jean Klein, who told Segal, "You must stop the part of the mind that constantly keeps trying to look back at the experience... . Get that part out of the way, then joy will come."
Segal had realized that that is what she had been doing for ten years: looking within to her affective system (feelings, thoughts, emotions, will) and, finding nothing but emptiness, her reaction was fear. So as long as there was introspection or self-reflection, or 'looking within', there was a meeting with emptiness, which she had been conditioned to believe was a 'wrong' meeting point. For when one looks within one should find feelings, states of mind, emotions, the drive to act, not the absence of those, not emptiness.
Now Klein had verified her state as one of realization of the true nature of existence.
Others she came upon in books or in person, offered the same verification. She had correspondences with many.
(None by email, apparently. This was 1992, still the early days of the Internet, though there were nondual resources available on Usenet and a fledgling World Wide Web, and knowledgeable people to talk to via email. However, the World Wide Web didn't even begin to start to take-off until 1993.
By the way, folks, what if a Suzanne Segal entered an email forum, describing to us all she has described, and, along with her description she indicated she had a brain tumor. What would you say to her? How would you guide her? Some people seem to attribute her experiences to a tumor for which there is no proof she had at the time of her experience. So how would you deal with the human being -- not the book review -- that came into your midst? I'm not saying I wouldn't drop the ball, but how about you?) Anyway, read on...
Christopher Titmuss, a teacher of Buddhist vipassana meditation, assured her that she was not insane, but that insanity is the absence of experiences such as hers, whose absence leaves only the 'me' and the tragic consequences of limitation on personal, societal and global scales. Titmuss told Segal she need to be reassured of the spiritual significance of her experiences, and that a calm acceptance of her experiences would eventually quiet the thoughts and feelings giving rise to fear. And out of that quieting will come the full and deep understanding of the experience. She soon came to realize that her experience was neither insane nor wrong, only ungraspable.
Reb Anderson, abbot of Green Gulch Zen Center in San Francisco, helped her loosen a rigidity in the way her mind was interpreting the experience. He helped her to see that the experience of emptiness was bliss, but not relative bliss, rather the bliss of emptiness knowing itself. He imparted the knowledge that this absolute bliss cannot be known by the skandhas, thus the loosening of rigidity in her mind.
Jack Kornfield, a vipassana teacher, and well-known speaker and author Ram Dass, both offered words of support for the experience, and reassurance, reminding Segal that time was required in order to acclimate to the change in consciousness.
A.H. Almaas offered further support, recognizing her experience as similar in some ways to what he had gone through himself as part of an ongoing process. He assured her that the experience was "definitely not pathological," and that the fear and terror were common; also that she had done well without the guidance of a guru, but that extraordinary understanding is required to understand and transcend the experience and that a guru provides that.
Of all she had met and read of, Ramana Maharshi she felt was most clear, and she considered Ramana her spiritual father. Segal excerpts a portion of his talks, and states generally that, "He described my experience in such a direct and simple fashion that it left absolutely no room for doubt about what I was encountering." And also Segal says
"Reading more and more of Ramana's words led me to an astounding passage. When asked by a disciple if it was necessary to be associated with the wise (sat-sanga) in order for the Self to be realized, Ramana answered: 'association with the unmanifest sat or absolute existence (is required).... The sastras say that one must serve (be associated with) the unmanifest sat for twelve years in order to attain Self-realization...but as very few can do that, they have to take second best, which is association with the manifest sat, that is, the Guru.'"
What astounded her, of course, about the passage is that she was closing in on the twelfth year of her experiencing of no-self or the unmanifest sat.
Poonjaji, the well-known disciple of Ramana, validated Segal's experience, saying, "You have become liberation (moksha) of the realized sages."
Gangaji, another prominent teacher in the Ramana-Poonjaji lineage, said, "This realization of the inherent emptiness -- which is pure consciousness -- of all phenomena is true fulfillment. In the face of conditioned existence, much fear can be intitally felt. Ultimately , the fear is also revealed to be only that same empty consciounsess."
Segal's correspondence and eventual meeting with Andrew Cohen was fruitful.They spent several hours together talking about the emptiness of personal self, and Cohen imparted to Segal, in that time, the awareness that the emptiness "was full of exquisite infinity." In the month that followed, that awareness deepened and became her root awareness. Andrew Cohen had expressed and conveyed a tremendous excitement toward Segal's 'condition', for she was uncommon not only in having the experience of no-self, but in persisting to see it through to a stable resolution. Cohen said, "Your openness and receptivity is a sign of true humility, which alone makes all things possible."
Still, all the reassurance was yielding no joy, until an abrupt transition saw a change in knowledge from 'There is no personal self', to 'There is no other'. This occurred while Segal was driving to see some friends when
"I suddenly became aware that I was driving through myself. For years there had been no self at all, yet here on this road, everything was myself, and I was driving through me to arrive where I already was. In essence, I was going nowhere because I was everywhere already. The infinite emptiness I new myself to be was now apparent as the infinite substance of everything I saw."
So the emptiness she had known as a state of consciousness now became the vastness of all existence.
Soon afterward, while spending a weekend at a Buddhist retreat center in northern California, a new awareness arose. It was a fluidity of perception in which entities were perceived as the vastness itself, and all was pervaded by calm. Also she now came to know that she was the substance of the vastness. She knew this not through the sense organs, but through the substance that 'she was'. She describes this as a finger drawing in the sand, where the substance of vastness is the finger, the drawing and the sand.
And now she saw the fear for what it was. Previously she had assigned meaning to the fear, viewing it as an indication of the invalidity of the experience of no-self. Now she saw fear as fear without meaning. Fear was no different than form, emptiness, pain, enlightenment. Everything is made of the same substance as vastness. Seeing this, knowing this, the grip of fear broke and joy finally arose.
The remainder of Collision with the Infinite is straight nondual confession, so rather than summarize, I'll quote selections.
"This life is now lived in a constant, ever-present awareness of the infinite vastness that I am."
"The presence of any thoughts, feelings, or actions is never interpreted to mean anything other than that they are present."
"... no judgment about good or bad or right or wrong ever arises; everything is simply what it is."
"Once the mind admitted to the parameters of its own sphere and stopped pathologizing what lay outside it, the non-personal, indescribably joyful flavor of the vastness experiencing itself moved radically to the foreground forever."
"...life as usual continues to unfold; everything gets done, just as it did before the realization of the vastness occurred. Since there has never been a personal doer in any case, the realization of this truth does nothing to change how functioning occurs."
"To live in the vastness of the naturally occurring state is to bathe in the ocean of non-personal pleasure and joy. This joy and pleasure, which belong to no one, are unlike any joy or pleasure that appear to refer or belong to a someone. The emptiness is so full, so total, so infinitely blissful to itself."
"In no way...am I suggesting that practices should not be done, only that there is no practitioner who is the doer behind them. This is true of every activity. ... Just because there is no practitioner (and never has been)) does not mean that practice will not take place. If it is obvious for a particular spiritual practice to occur, then it will."
"In fact, there is no individual 'I' who can figure out how to find the infinite again. More importantly, where would the infinite go? I mean, we aren't talking about something that could hide under the rug. If you could see things as only and exactly what they are, you would see that the 'you' that is seeing is the vastness itself."
"The 'character work' prescribed by psychotherapy, as well as by some spiritual traditions, including Zen Buddhism, leads to a similar trap created by not seeing things to be simply what they are. A relaxation of being naturally arises if one is not seduced into taking ideas to be truth. This relaxation is antithetical to 'character work', with its clear position about how we would be if our characters were worked on. When we knock on the door of 'character work', we are invited into the labyrinth of futurity. It is inherently impossible to arrive at a goal that is predicated on an 'I' that will get us there. Character work is based on the same erroneous belief that there is an individual doer who runs the show of life and can train itself to be a better 'I'.
"...I can no longer call what I do psychotherapy, since it in no way adheres to any standard principles of psychological theory or intervention. My goal for everyone is freedom -- total freedom. I don't want them to change how they feel, work through childhood trauma, or get symptoms to stop. I want them to be free by seeing that things are just what they are."
"Who distinguishes between the true and the false (self)? And true and false for whom? Thoughts, feelings, sensations, and energetic frequencies do not mean anything about some imaginary someone; they simply are what they are."
"We are the vastness, and we contain everything -- thoughts, emotions, sensations, preferences, fears, ideas, even identifications. Nothing has to go anywhere. In any case, where would it go?"
"The purpose of human life has been revealed. The vastness created these human circuitries in order to have an experience of itself out of itself that it couldn't have without them. "
"The substance of the vastness is so directly perceivable to itself in every moment that the circuitry at times requires another adjustment phase to get used to more infinite awareness. When asked who I am, the only answer possible is: I am the infinite, the vastness that is the substance of all things. I am no one and everyone, nothing and everything -- just as you are."
Suzanne Segal died of a brain tumor in 1997 at the age of 42. Many have stated explicitly or implicitly that her experiences were directly the result of cerebral trauma. In the spring of 1996, the present book had been completed and Suzanne was offering her teachings to the public through weekly dialogues and a training group for her fellow therapists.
Very soon thereafter, however, she began to experience bouts of 'vastness expansion' in which the vastness would expand greatly upon itself. These experiences sapped her life and energy and brought great fear upon her once again. It brought also doubt. She began to judge what she had been saying or claiming to know. She thought her talk about the vastness was perhaps a defence mechanism to protect her from feelings and childhood abuse memories.
She had lost her connection to the vastness, had become disoriented, experienced dizziness and a general decline in health In February of 1997 she was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor. She died on April 1.
In the Afterword, Stephian Bodian, her very close friend and the one who encouraged Suzanne to write this book, says
"Suzanne's example speaks to us of the importance of integration -- of the personal and the transpersonal, the psychological and the spiritual -- and raises questions about the relationship between dissociation -- in which parts of the psyche split off from one another -- and genuine, abiding awakening. By dying before this integration had occurred, Suzanne left each of us with the koan of discovering it for ourselves."
Segal, had she lived and integrated her vastness 'body' with the physical/emotional/mental/spiritual body, may have composed something like that which Adi Da composed below. Segal could only speak of the vastness; she had not yet made the return journey, that Adi Da speaks of, back to the body, back to unenlighenment.
I understand the problem of not coming to psychological integration, the unitive experience, in the way Bernadette Roberts clearly did. That is a gap in Segal's growth. I am viewing integration from the Adi Da dynamic of moving from the vastness back to the body. It's a different kind of integration.
By dying too early, Segal apparently did not have the opportunity to come back to her body, to reintegrate with the body she had left. Adi Da achieved un-Enlightenment and considers that event greater than any event that was "obviously spiritually auspicious." In The Knee of Listening (New Standard Edition, April 1992, pp. 533-534), Adi Da (using the name Sri Da Avabhasa) said
"You have heard the descripions of Yogis and other Spiritual figures that before Realization one tries to go beyond the world to Realize God, and then after Realization one comes down into the body just so far, down to the brain, down to the throat maybe, down to the heart maybe, but typically not any lower than the throat. I have until now invested My Self more profoundly than just down to the throat or heart, but not down to the bottoms of My Feet. I have remained a kind of shroud around this body, deeply associated with it and with all the ordinary human things, playing as a human being often in very ordinary ways, but, in My Freedom somehow lifted off the floor, somehow not committed to this sorrow and this mortality, expecting, having come as deep as I had, to perhaps teach enough, embrace enough, kiss enough, love enough to make the difference, as if through a single body I could indulge in intimacy with everything and everyone self-conscious.
"I have realized the futility of that expectation, even the futility of not being able, through a submission of my own, to utterly transform and liberate even those I could embrace and know intimately. That frustration is fully known by me now. Even the futility of liberating those most intimate with me is known by me. The kiss is not enough, even for those I know intimately, and I cannot know all intimately.
"In my profound frustration, this body died. I left this body. The I suddenly found my self reintegrated with it, but in a totally different disposition. And I achieved your likeness exactly, thoroughly, to the bottoms of my feet, achieved un-Enlightenment, achieved human existence, achieved mortality, achieved sorrow.
"To me this is a Grand Victory! I do not know how to communicate to you the significance of it. ...To me, it seems that through that will-less, effortless integration with suffering, something about my Work is more profoundly accomplished, something about it has become more auspicious, than it has ever been. I have not dissociated from my Realization or my Ultimate State. Rather, I have accomplished your state completely, even more profoundly than you are sensitive to it.. Perhaps you have seen it in my face. I do not look like I did last month, and I am never again going to look like that. Don't you know?
"I have become this body, utterly. My mood is different. My face is sad, although not without llumination. I have become the body. Now I am the Murti, the Icon, and it is full of the Divine Presence.
"The nature of my work at the present time and in the future is mysterious to me. It is a certainty, it is obvious, but on the other hand it has not taken the form of mind fully. But you will signs of it. You all must progressively adapt to something that has happened that even I cannot explain altogether."
I get the sense that Segal required a return journey. It is as though she went from the streets directly to the moon and needed to come back and see what rockets and the journey through space were all about.
To hear about another experience of no-self, connect to the Bernadette Roberts web page.
photography & writings
The wind carves shapes into the beach sand
In DharmaOverground https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/11466292
i feel like im in a dream for 4 years now.
this shift has begun while i was meditating and noting "thoughts, sensations, thoughts, etc..."
i was new to it and didnt do it often but it happened very quickly.
suddenly while noting there was a shift as if my "I" went a step back into observermode. forever.
i couldnt find my sense of me anymore. and its gone until now. i feel like im a robot.
vitality of life has stopped. my sense of time, my sense of others has gone as well.
i feel stuck in empti-land.
i just cant stop believing that everything is an illusion. whats even real anymore?
Even this keyboard im typing on doesnt seem to exist. as if its made out a dream.
theres not a single positive thing about it although it sounds like enlightenment?
how can i justify to myself that the world is real? that i am real? especially when hearing nonduality folks talking about illusionary world all the time.
i wonder if its just a huge corebelief problem or a trauma.
Interestingly in those 4 years of emtpiness-land only 2 times i got my old sense of aliveness back for a very short period of time (some hours)
and those two moments were initiated by a big amount of relief concerning my life. so i wonder if its really a kind of psyche problem.
I really hope someone got a clue for me.
Read this, including all the links within and article and see if it resonates: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/dark-night.html
Daniel M. Ingram replied:
1/21/19 8:38 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Depersonalization, Dissociation, and Derealization are like the flip side of insight, the other dark side of the coin. Insight is about them, strangely, but sometimes, when they hit, it is not good, not good at all, and, sometimes, can be very bad. They are a piece of the puzzle, but key pieces are missing from them that make them more balanced, more complete, more functional, more enjoyable, more freeing, more what all of this was shooting for.
While this is not always true, they frequently arise in those with some trauma histories. There is a great book on this called Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness, by David Treleaven with Willoughby Britton which talks about how these can masquerade as deeper insights than they are. You should obtain that book and read or listen to it or both.
It is not that they might not have a profundity to them, as they can, and it is not that they might not have some wisdom in them, as they might, but they should not be mistaken for higher attainments.
How to address the 3 D's is complicated, but might reasonably begin by asking questions. Do you have a trauma history? Anything like this happen before, even for brief moments? How is the rest of your life going? How are you in relationships? How is your career or whatever you aspire to do with your life? What do those around you say about how you have been these last 4 years, particularly in comparison to before? Have you talked with any counselors or similar people with a mental health background about any of this, and, if so, what did they say? Have you talked with any competent meditators with sufficient skill to help you, and, if so, what did they say? What are your primary coping mechanisms for stress? What stressors are you under? Do you have adequate social support?
Soh, on how dissociation and derealization is not possible if anatta (as defined in this blog) is truly realized:
...Then there is no fear as this is realized to be always already the case. The notion that 'I' had existed at the center, experiencing and coordinating everything is unnecessary and unfounded. The absence of self and agent is also experienced positively as everything is brilliantly alive and self-luminous, the quality of 'witnessing' which was once seen as a background observer now is felt as a quality of everything revealing itself to itself. The seeing is seen-seeing, colors and sounds and sensations are just felt vividly where they are instead of being experienced from some vantagepoint of self. It is not a static state of detached uninvolvement in life, there is complete engagement and intimacy in all actions, chop wood, carry water.
What is called pure consciousness experience becomes effortless and natural: http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/pce.htm , and in this state there can be no dissociation. If you do not experience the aspect of intense luminosity then joy and liveliness will not be felt (see: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-importance-of-luminosity.html ) The intimacy is not the intimacy of two entities meeting each other but the sense of gaplessness, when hearing a sound the sound is as if 'you', closer than your breath, when seeing the blue sky the blue sky is as if 'you', closer than your heartbeat. Everything is alive and vivid. So how can there be dissociation and derealization?...
(commenting on some of Suzanne Segal's
descriptions) If someone draws a line
in the thin air and is able to plant a seed into a lay person’s inmost
consciousness that “he can’t go beyond this line”, that lay person will feel
that the so called ‘imaginary’ boundary is as solid as a physical wall. The way
we are ‘bonded’ to dualistic view of a ‘Self’ is similar. A strong sense of
Witnessing Presence without going beyond that "invisible line" is not
the experience of “no-self” in Buddhism and therefore I would not call her
experience an “insight” into no-self. The negative experiences she had seem
more like very strong ‘self/Self’ propensities, it is a form of split, a
Staying in no-self is to be fully authenticated by all things and as all things. Fear arises because of this lack of authentication. She sank too deeply into the 'content'. This is the case of "dark nights" where propensities rushed into manifestations. Her attempt to reason herself out will not work. Logical reasoning cannot break that 'bond' and she just couldn't help reacting to it.
One way out is to practice and develop the mental habit of "dissolving" every moment before "content" arise. The mental habit of dissolving will become a strength of it own to counter this problem.
In true no-self experience, the first aspect is the cognitive mind loses its charm and is replaced with intuitive and direct experience. Only the qualities of our nature are experienced (clarity, radiance, presence and vitality), nothing about symbols, labels and content. Second, the illusionary view of a "Self' on top of manifestation is dissolved; There is complete rest in appearance. Nothing needs be done and therefore there can only be the experience of liberation as that boundary, that separation disappeared. Nothing is obstructing anything in the experience of no-self.
Edited by Thusness 25 Jan `07, 11:57PM
Note: Soh is 'xabir'
2 days ago
Depersonalization and being Present - Tolle
I am finally reading through The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I have encountered problems with his technique of watching your thoughts and feelings and simply being. For most of my life I have been dissociated, in a state of depersonalization, and all I have known in this state is the observation of my thoughts and emotions. But instead of finding peace and just being in the now, I find emptiness and a lack of identity altogether. No joy, peace or harmony. And I definitely am not in the ”now”… I seem to be nowhere as the past and the future also bear little weight to me. I regularly describe my life as some dream, and no matter what I do I‘m just watching and going through the motions. It is strange, I have spent a decade in therapy, and many therapists have instead claimed that I need to return to a non-detached state; no longer an observer and instead become the emotions that I feel and the thoughts - the very opposite of his message.
Given that so many people have found his book useful, I am inclined to believe that I must be doing something wrong or misunderstanding something. Most of the early chapters I’m in agreement with his whole idea of that you are not your thoughts/mind nor feelings, and consequently they have no power over me - they are just there. Yet there is nothing in the absence of these - as if the conclusion to his technique is just not my experience. Could I be watching all of it from a distance, including watching this obscure presence/awareness that he identifies as the “self”? Or could this technique not work for people already dissociated? Many thanks
8 hr. ago
Do read this, something I wrote that relates to depersonalization and awakening:
Do read Suzanne Segal’s article and my comments there too:
3 hr. ago
edited 3 hr. ago
Well I read the first link completely, and for Suzanne Segal’s story I read most of it. I will say that I seem to be in this nondoer phase that has not experienced nonduality, as per the first link. As for Segal”s story, it seems like a mess honestly. She spent a decade in the dark, then may have found some nonself In Buddhism, only to later reject her very words and claim mental/childhood issues and then die early at 42. I‘m not sure what to make of that.
I just don’t know what I’m supposed to take away from this. I am very aware that people find meaning in spirituality, in religion, in experience, in love, and even in money and material possessions. When I began analyzing and observing myself many years ago, I read many books. I read on religion, I read on philosophy, I read on science, I read just on general with or without direction. I also sought help. And everyone has advice, everyone has recommendations on how this book, or doing this or that has been life transformative for them. And so I tried. I did several months of Christian intensive self-help therapy-like programs. Some of it in complete silence for 6 days out of 7.
I did regular therapy (CBT, psychanalytic, and other), I took meds (Effexor, Wellbutrin, abilify), I took recreational drugs and psychedelics (if you visit the psychnaughts sub you will see how it has awakened many people there). I studied physics and other sciences.
I travelled to Jerusalem and spent time living all 3 religions there. I took trips to various parts of the world to discover new things. I read so many self-help books. So many books on depersonalization, and more. Many recommended to me. The last one I’ve read (or currently reading) is Tolle‘s The Power of Now book, highly recommended. And yet, still I can’t understand or get deeper insight; always stuck perhaps in this “dark night of the soul”.
I write this with slight frustration not at you but at the the path and process, that I am again just told to read something else. What is the idea here? Read a book until one of them finally clicks? Christians will think their books are the ones, buddhists theirs, atheists their, and so on and so forth. Is their no truth to any of this? Is everything so subjective and devoid of greater meaning than just seeking self in what ever form it can take?
It‘s like I recognize that all of you posting here are trying to help me in some way or another. I come here saying “I am trying to get help, it‘s not working; I can’t grasp XYZ book, what do I do?” And I’m told to read another book… I apologize, and I do know you are all kind and I should be thankful. I just don’t get it. I read the links you (OP) linked me and I‘m just observing it. Just reading it. None of it is affecting me. Just words; someone else’s story. There are no guide lines, no instructions telling me what to do. What am I missing that I was supposed to understand? Should I go buy books on Anatta and non-duality and ask different questions?
I know people will say I am not ready. And that’s a truism. I’ve been dissociated for probably 15 years now (unsure start time), and still have no end in sight. I will keep reading, but if I keep reading from the outside, I am unsure how anything will ever change my inside.
3 hr. ago
The key takeaway for you should be this:
Practice luminosity in a totally nondissociative but rather nondual opening to mere manifestation way. Rather than stand back from the world, dissolve into the intense vividness and realness of the vibrantly luminous world. By world I mean everything - sensate, mental and emotional world. The blue sky, green trees and everything you see and hear included too. Don’t escape, just sense and feel fully.
Anatta realisation is not stand back from manifestation but in hearing only sound, no hearer, therefore sound kills “you” and stands out as vivid radiance — sound hears, sight sees, everything wonderful, luminous and bliss. Same goes for all senses and even thoughts.
As Thusness wrote before:
“When anatta matures, one is fully and completely integrated into whatever arises till there is no difference and no distinction.
When sound arises, fully and completely embraced with sound yet non-attached. Similarly, in life we must be fully engaged yet non-attached” - John Tan
3 hr. ago
Feel the intense luminosity and aliveness of the world.
Eckhart Tolle said in The Power of Now,
“I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such a sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all.
That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world.
For the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss. After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had.”
1 hr. ago
Yes I believe I read that last week :)
I will say that I have had such an experience. Many years ago I remember being very unhappy and in darkness (different than the emptiness), riddled with negative emotions. And at one point it became too much, and something just let-go, and for the first time in many years I felt this (I presume) peace and stillness. I walked outside and sat on a park bench, which I did regularly, and for the first time I heard the birds, felt the wind on my skin. My thoughts were clear. I recall it being nice and finally being able to rest. This is a very distant memory now. Unlike like Tolle however, nothing profound or lasting happened. I got up from the bench to go home, and in that 1 hour bus ride I had somehow reverted back to my former state -and definitely not by choice. I have never been able to let-go like that again, although I have tried many different things at one point or another, and I have definitely suffered more than I did on that one day.
I don’t know why I’m stuck in a dream state, I don’t know why I broke out of it temporarily, and I don’t know why Tolle was able to stay in that state and see more than I can. I don‘t know why Tolle‘s technique doesn’t help me, and I don’t know what I’m misunderstanding.
50 min. ago
edited 46 min. ago
The problem with Tolle's teachings is that his teachings are centered on the I AM and Eternal Witness (Thusness Stage 1 and 2 of http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html ). There is still subject and object duality there, so even though he had experiences of nondual, he is not able to consistently bring out a nondual teaching nor teach you how to realise nondual and anatta as a natural effortless state. At the I AM phase there will still be dissociation.You need to practice the intensity of luminosity, and at the same time you keep in mind the two stanzas of anatta rather than go into a state of sense withdrawal or dissociation (where you feel distanced out or separate from the world) Once you contemplate the two stanzas of anatta, always keep the two stanzas of anatta in mind while practicing mindful awareness, after some time, you can breakthrough to anatta realization and it becomes an effortless and natural state:http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html
There is thinking, no thinker
There is hearing, no hearer
There is seeing, no seer
In thinking, just thoughts
In hearing, just sounds
In seeing, just forms, shapes and colors.
Also this link is good for practice: http://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2018/12/thusnesss-vipassana.html
Also here's another tip I wrote many years ago but relevant here,
According to Buddha, the direct path to full liberation is the practice of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness found in the Satipatthana Sutta (which I highly recommend everyone to read) which is according to Wikipedia the most popular Buddhist text. In that technique, one is mindful/aware of every sensation. You may think ‘oh this is probably some typical Witnessing technique found even in common self-help books to dissociate from all forms and experiences in order to transcend to the formless Self or Watcher’, BUT notice that the Watcher is nowhere mentioned in the sutta (and any other Pali sutta for that matter) and more importantly: the Buddha’s repeated expression in the sutta of "observing the body in the body," "observing the feelings in the feelings," "observing the mind in the mind," "observing the objects of mind in the objects of mind." Why are the words, body, feelings, mind, and objects of mind repeated? Why ‘observe the … IN THE ….’? It means you are living and experiencing IN and AS the sensations, and not observing the sensations in and as an observer/watcher and the sensations are not meant to be disassociated from in order to get to an ultimate reality or transcendental Self!
The Buddha's method of contemplating anatta therefore is for practitioners to have direct experience and contemplation of pure sensations as in Bahiya Sutta, 'in seeing just the seen, in hearing just the heard'* WITHOUT the filtering of the conceptual mind, the false sense or conception of a self... ...so that insight and realization can arise, so that true liberation and abandonment can take place, and it is only in this context that contemplating anatta can be understood. And this is the insight meditation taught by Buddha himself, which, at least in the Pali canon, is considered as the most direct path to liberation (however note that the term 'direct path' is used differently by me in my e-book).
*Bahiya Sutta said, "Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."
The most famous Buddhist teacher (right after Dalai Lama), Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, often emphasized this point about Satipatthana Sutta to bring out the nondual and non-dissociative aspect of mindfulness.
Likewise you also hear this in many Zen and other Buddhist expressions:
Excerpt by Dr John Welwood:
We can only perceive the suchness of things through an awareness that opens to them nonconceptually and unconditionally, allowing them to reveal themselves in their as-it-is-ness. As the poet Basho suggests:
From the pine tree
Learn of the pine tree
And from the bamboo
of the bamboo.
Commenting on these lines, the Japanese philosopher Nishitani (1982) explains that Basho does not mean
That we should ‘observe the pine tree carefully.’ Still less does he mean for us to ‘study the pine tree scientifically.’ He means for us to enter the mode of being where the pine tree is the pine tree itself, and the bamboo is the bamboo itself, and from there to look at the pine tree and the bamboo. He calls on us to betake ourselves to the dimension where things become manifest in their suchness. (p. 128)
In the same vein, Zen Master Dogen advises: “You should not restrict yourselves to learning to see water from the viewpoints of human beings alone. Know that you must see water in the way water sees water” (Izutsu, 1972, p. 140). “Seeing water in the way water sees water” means recognizing water in its suchness, free of all concepts that spring from an observing mind standing back from experience.
(More in my comments/reply to this):
42 min. ago
I wrote in 2011 on the anatta insight and the practice of intensity of luminosity,
“Good insight. Stability of experience has a predictable relationship with the unfolding and deepening of insights. For example how seamless and effortless can non-dual experience be, if in the back of one's mind, subtle views of duality and inherency and tendencies continue to surface and affect our moment to moment experience - for example conjuring an unchanging source or mind that results in a perpetual tendency to sink back and referencing experience back to a source.
For example even after it is seen that everything is a manifestation of awareness or mind, there might still be subtle tendencies to reference back to a source, awareness or mind and therefore the transience is not appreciated in full. Nondual is experienced but one sinks back into substantial nonduality - there is always a referencing back to a base, an "awareness" that is nevertheless inseparable from all phenomena.
If one arises the insight that our ideas of an unchanging source, awareness or mind is just another thought - that there is simply thought after thought, sight after sight, sound after sound, and there isn't an inherent or unchanging "awareness", "mind", "source". Non-dual becomes implicit and effortless when there is the realisation that what awareness, seeing, hearing really is, is just the seen... The heard... The transience... The transience itself rolls and knows, no knower or other "awareness" can be found. Like there is no river apart from flowing, no wind apart from blowing, each noun implies its verb... Similarly awareness is simply the process of knowing not separated from the known. Scenery sees, music hears. Because there is nothing unchanging, independent, ultimate apart from the transience, there is no more sinking back to a source and instead there is full comfort resting as the transience itself.
Lastly do continue practicing the intensity of luminosity... When looking at tennis ball just sense the tennis ball fully.... Without thinking of a source, background, observer, self. Just the tennis ball as a luminous light. When breathing... Just the breathe... When seeing scenery, just sights, shapes and colours - intensely luminous and vivid without an agent or observer. When hearing music... Sound of bird chirping, the crickets… Just that - chirp chirp. A zen master noted upon his awakening... When I am hearing the bell ringing, there is no I and no bell... Just the ringing. The direct experiencing of no-mind and intensity of luminosity.. This is the purpose of the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness that is taught by the Buddha.” - Soh, 2011
Also these Dzogchen texts are nice and relevant:
"Joyfully Delight in Uninterrupted Vision
Joyfully delight in the uninterrupted vision of the objects of the six senses!
Whatever you enjoy, bodhi will blaze more and more.
When one has obtained the power of the supreme presence and become familiar with it,
Meditating means leaving the six sense consciousness free and relaxed!
It is thought that creates the duality of mind and object;
It is wisdom that perceives them as non-dual.
Meditation means understanding there is nothing to enter into or exit from.
Not grasping what appears is the state of self-liberation!
~ Dzogchen book The Supreme Source"
Here's another summary of thw two stanzas of anatta:
"There is only sound
Geovani Geo wrote:
We hear a sound. The immediate deeply inbuilt conditioning says, "hearing ". But there is a fallacy there. There is only sound. Ultimately, no hearer and no hearing. The same with all other senses. A centralized, or expanded, or zero-dimensional inherent perceiver or aware-er is an illusion.
Means both stanza is clear.
In hearing, no hearer.
In hearing, only sound. No hearing."
Lastly, you must be clear that anatta is a dharma seal, not a state or stage or peak experience. This is the *key* and cannot be underemphasized enough, it is the key to breakthrough into anatta as always already so and natural state. Even so it may take patience and time to contemplate and breakthrough.
I wrote years ago:
First I do not see Anatta as merely a freeing from personality sort of experience as you mentioned; I see it as that a self/agent, a doer, a thinker, a watcher, etc, cannot be found apart from the moment to moment flow of manifestation or as its commonly expressed as ‘the observer is the observed’; there is no self apart from arising and passing. 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 put further emphasis on the importance of this point, I would like to borrow from the Bahiya Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.1.10.irel.html) that ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’ as an illustration. When a person says that I have gone beyond the experiences from ‘I hear sound’ to a stage of ‘becoming sound’, he is mistaken. When it is taken to be a stage, it is illusory. 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 seal of no-self. Therefore to a non dualist, the practice is in understanding the illusionary views of the sense of self and the split. Before the awakening of prajna wisdom, there will always be an unknowing attempt to maintain a purest state of 'presence'. This purest presence is the 'how' of a dualistic mind -- its dualistic attempt to provide a solution due to its lack of clarity of the spontaneous nature of the unconditioned. It is critical to note here that both the doubts/confusions/searches and the solutions that are created for these doubts/confusions/searches actually derive from the same cause -- our karmic propensities of ever seeing things dualistically.
John Tan adds: "This is the seal of no-self and can be realized and experienced in all moments; not just a mere concept."
3 hr. ago
If you practice what I said here you will start to glimpse and eventually realise permanently the totally wonderful and blissful world I reside in.
I wrote this years ago:
Why awakening is so worth it From time to time, people ask me why should they seek awakening. I say, awakening will be the best thing that happen in your life, I guarantee it. It is worth whatever effort you put into it. You won't regret it. Or as Daniel M. Ingram said, "Would I trade this for anything? Maybe world peace, but I would have to think about it. Until then, this totally rocks, and missing out on it would be barking crazy from my point of view."
What is it like? I can only give a little preview, an excerpt of what I wrote taken from the AtR guide: "Personally, I can say from direct experience that direct realization is completely direct, immediate, and non-intellectual, it is the most direct and intimate taste of reality beyond the realm of imagination. It far exceeds one’s expectations and is far superior to anything the mind can ever imagine or dream of. It is utter freedom. Can you imagine living every moment in purity and perfection without effort, where grasping at identity does not take hold, where there is not a trace or sense of 'I' as a seer, feeler, thinker, doer, be-er/being, an agent, a 'self' entity residing inside the body somewhere relating to an outside world, and what shines forth and stands out in the absence of a 'self' is a very marvellous, wondrous, vivid, alive world that is full of intense vividness, joy, clarity, vitality, and an intelligence that is operating as every spontaneous action (there is no sense of being a doer), where any bodily actions, speech and thoughts are just as spontaneous as heart beating, fingernails growing, birds singing, air moving gently, breath flowing, sun shining - there is no distinction between ‘you are doing action’/’you are living’ and ‘action is being done to you’/’you are being lived’ (as there is simply no ‘you’ and ‘it’ - only total and boundless spontaneous presencing). This is a world where nothing can ever sully and touch that purity and perfection, where the whole of universe/whole of mind is always experienced vividly as that very purity and perfection devoid of any kind of sense of self or perceiver whatsoever that is experiencing the world at a distance from a vantagepoint -- life without ‘self’ is a living paradise free of afflictive/painful emotions, where every color, sound, smell, taste, touch and detail of the world stands out as the very boundless field of pristine awareness, sparkling brilliance/radiance, colorful, high-saturation, HD, luminous, heightened intensity and shining wonderment and magicality, where the surrounding sights, sounds, scents, sensations, smells, thoughts are seen and experienced so clearly down to the tiniest details, vividly and naturally, not just in one sense door but all six, where the world is a fairy-tale like wonderland, revealed anew every moment in its fullest depths as if you are a new-born baby experiencing life for the first time, afresh and never seen before, where life is abundant with peace, joy and fearlessness even amidst the apparent chaos and troubles of life, and everything experienced through all the senses far surpasses any beauty previously experienced, as if the universe is like heaven made of glittering gold and jewels, experienced in complete gapless directness without separation, where life and the universe is experienced in its intense lucidity, clarity, aliveness and vivifying presence not only without intermediary and separation but without center and boundaries - infinitude as vast as an endless night sky is actualized every moment, an infinitude that is simply the vast universe appearing as an empty, distanceless, dimensionless and powerful presencing, where the mountains and stars on the horizon stands out no more distant than one’s breath, and shines forth as intimately as one’s heartbeat, where the cosmic scale of infinitude is actualized even in ordinary activities as the entirety of the universe is always participating as every ordinary activity including walking and breathing and one’s very body (without a trace of an ‘I’ or ‘mine’) is as much the universe/dependent origination in action and there is nothing outside of this boundless exertion/universe, where the purity and infinitude of the marvellous world experienced through being cleansed in all doors of perception is constant. (If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern. - William Blake) You know all the Mahayana Sutras (e.g. Vimalakirti Sutra), old Zen talks about seeing this very earth as pure land and all the Vajrayana talks about the point of tantra as the pure vision of seeing this very world, body, speech and mind in its primordial unfabricated purity as the Buddha field, palace, mandala, mantra and deity? Now you truly get it, you realise everything is really just like that when experienced in its primordial purity and perfection, and that the old sages have not been exaggerating at all. It is as much a literal and precise description of the state of consciousness as it is a metaphor. As I told John Tan before, Amitabha Sutra’s description of pure land resembles my living experience here and now. “To me it just means anatta. When what’s seen, tasted, touched, smelled are in clean purity, everywhere is pure land.” - John Tan, 2019. "If one is free from background self, all manifestations appear in clean purity in taste. Impurities from what I know come from mental constructions." – John Tan, 2020
3 hr. ago
This is a freedom that is free from any artificially constructed boundaries and limitations. And yet, this boundlessness does not in any way lead to the dissociation from one’s body, instead one feels more alive than ever as one’s very body, one grows ever more somatic, at home and intimate as one’s body. This is not a body normally conceived of, as the boundaries of an artificially solidified body that stands separated from the universe, dissolve into energetic streams of aliveness dancing and pulsating throughout the body in high energy and pleasure, as well as sensations of foot steps, movement, palm touching an object, where the body is no longer conflated with a constructed boundary of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, ‘self’ or ‘other’, where no trace of an ‘inside’ and an ‘outside’ can be found in one’s state of consciousness - there’s only one indivisible, boundless and measureless world/mind - only this infinitude of a dynamic and seamlessly interconnected dance that we call ‘the universe’. This is better than any passing peak experiences be they arisen spontaneously, in meditation or through the use of psychedelic substances. And yet, despite experiencing life to it fullest every moment without any veils, in complete openness and utter nakedness, nothing gains a foothold in consciousness, for as vivid as they are, they leave no trace just as a bird leaves no tracks in the sky, an empty and lucid display such as a gust of wind and the glittery reflections of moon on the ocean waves - appearing but nothing ‘there’ or anywhere. All these words and descriptions I just wrote came very easily and spontaneously in a very short time as I am simply describing my current state of experience that is experienced every moment. I am not being poetic here but simply being as direct and clear as possible about what is immediately experienced. And this is only a figment that I am describing. If I were to tell you more of what this is like, you would not believe it. But once you enter this gateless realm you shall see that words always pale in comparison." Labels: Anatta |
48 min. ago
There was maybe no effort made to be poetic, but it was nonetheless. It reads quite lovely, and I would gladly accept awakening if such a thing could be gotten. In a way it is what I seek; not directly because what is written is too concrete. I am open to anything, whether it is less or more or simply different than what has been written above. I don’t know what to expect, but I do tire of this stagnation of being a zombie.
15 min. ago
"Should I go buy books on Anatta and non-duality"
Yes. Books on nondual anatta will be good. But imo just focus on this first: by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh:
More suitable for you than The Power of Now, especially with your conditions. And also practical.
Practice it with the two stanzas of anatta in mind until breakthrough.
One more sharing:
You must experience and realise anatta and vivid nondual luminosity and aliveness not only in blue sky and trees etc (sensate world), but also in thoughts, emotions, etc. They are all your buddha-nature.
Yes, thoughts will lessen in meditation, but absolutely no dissociation involved. No need to push them away or attempt to stop them deliberately. If they quieten, that happens on its own in due process of practice.
Here's another convo with my mentor, before I realised anatta in late 2010:
(12:47 AM) Thusness: To buddhist practitioner, thought is awareness
(12:48 AM) Thusness: One thought arises
(12:48 AM) Thusness: Next one
(12:48 AM) Thusness: Like what Ajahn Amaro said
(12:48 AM) Thusness: There is no worry abt no thought, no conceptuality
(12:49 AM) Thusness: All will be experienced in their most vivid forms
Session Start: Monday, September 22, 2008
(12:31 PM) AEN: hi i replied u just now
(12:31 PM) AEN: i mean forum
(12:54 PM) Thusness: don't talk about effortless and spontaneity
(12:54 PM) Thusness: if we look at Isis question, why is it so?
(12:54 PM) Thusness: why is there fear and phobia?
(12:55 PM) Thusness: What is mind?
(12:56 PM) AEN: bcos of past experiences right
(12:56 PM) AEN: like something happened before
(12:56 PM) AEN: and so when he/she experience something (like dog)
(12:57 PM) AEN: then he/she will react through conditioned thinking
(12:57 PM) AEN: so give rise to fear
(12:57 PM) Thusness: u r using logical reasoning
(12:57 PM) AEN: its like habitual reaction
(12:58 PM) AEN: or karmic propensity?
(12:58 PM) Thusness: all experiences that resulted has just one impact, they becomes imprints
(12:58 PM) AEN: oic
(12:58 PM) Thusness: so what is mind?
(12:58 PM) AEN: imprints and mental activities?
(12:58 PM) Thusness: u must feel it
(12:59 PM) Thusness: it is not an entity...
(12:59 PM) Thusness: it is a tendency
(12:59 PM) Thusness: that is not as an entity...u still have that sensation as if it is a Witness, an entity because u cannot feel this truth yet.
(1:00 PM) Thusness: can u see that mind As an arising tendency
(1:01 PM) AEN: the other day when meditating i had a sense suddenly that my entire mind is just tendencies arising, and there is like no thinker
(1:01 PM) Thusness: yes
(1:02 PM) Thusness: u must first feel this truth with ur entire being
(1:02 PM) Thusness: like what Jeff Foster said, 'YOU' r just an arising thought
(1:02 PM) AEN: oic
(1:02 PM) Thusness: don't worry too much how it arises and how it subsides
(1:03 PM) Thusness: for now, u must see 'what is'
(1:03 PM) Thusness: a thought arises, then subsides
(1:03 PM) Thusness: then sound, then subsides
(1:03 PM) Thusness: then another thought arises
(1:04 PM) Thusness: what is thought?
(1:04 PM) AEN: just thought lor
(1:04 PM) AEN: awareness?
(1:04 PM) Thusness: no good
(1:04 PM) AEN: its like a kind of phenomena just like sound, sight, etc
(1:05 PM) AEN: but a different kind
(1:05 PM) Thusness: very good
(1:05 PM) Thusness: very good. :)
(1:05 PM) Thusness: what sort of phenomena?
(1:05 PM) AEN: dunnu how to describe it leh
(1:05 PM) AEN: mental phenomena?
(1:05 PM) Thusness: haha...
(1:05 PM) Thusness: yes what is it like?
(1:06 PM) AEN: images recalled, mental reasoning, arising in the mind?
(1:07 PM) Thusness: yes
(1:07 PM) AEN: words, etc
(1:07 PM) Thusness: but what that is more important, it is a 'knowing' or 'luminous' phenomenon
(1:07 PM) AEN: icic..
(1:08 PM) Thusness: an arising thought, then another arising thought
(1:08 PM) AEN: oic..
(1:08 PM) Thusness: each thought is 'luminous'
(1:08 PM) Thusness: first u must know this
(1:08 PM) Thusness: but if u see it from all previous experiences, u 'see' differently.
(1:09 PM) Thusness: what is seen is 'An Eternal Witness' sort of experience.
(1:09 PM) Thusness: is it not true?
(1:10 PM) AEN: yea
(1:10 PM) AEN: and theres a subtle tendency to push away all thoughts rather than simple see everything as it is
(1:10 PM) AEN: or rather
(1:10 PM) AEN: attempt to be the background awareness
(1:10 PM) Thusness: yes the tendency to push, to relate to a 'center' a source
(1:10 PM) Thusness: to be a container, a background
(1:11 PM) Thusness: u must feel the differences
(1:11 PM) AEN: icic..
(1:12 PM) Thusness: it is just a tendency to relate back to a source and refuses to 'see' what is.
(1:13 PM) Thusness: every arising of a thought carries with it deeply rooted imprints
(1:13 PM) Thusness: that 'blinds'
(1:13 PM) AEN: oic..
(1:14 PM) AEN: and the eternal witness is the thought of what is and what isnt awareness right, then becomes a tendency
(1:14 PM) AEN: to sink back to a center
(1:14 PM) Thusness: yes
(1:14 PM) Thusness: but first u must understand 'thought'
(1:14 PM) AEN: icic..
(1:15 PM) Thusness: a thought is luminous
(1:15 PM) Thusness: a luminous arising mental phenomena
(1:15 PM) AEN: oic..
(1:15 PM) Thusness: isn't it?
(1:16 PM) AEN: yes
(1:16 PM) Thusness: besides that what else? Isn't it always so?
(1:16 PM) Thusness: 'You r just an arising thought'
(1:17 PM) Thusness: a luminous thought at this moment 'looking' back, relating
(1:17 PM) Thusness: pondering
(1:17 PM) Thusness: in thinking, there is only thoughts
(1:17 PM) AEN: oic..
(1:17 PM) Thusness: now meditate on the stanza
(1:18 PM) Thusness: in thinking there is only thought
(1:18 PM) Thusness: in hearing, there is only sound
(1:18 PM) Thusness: just this two lines is enough
(1:19 PM) AEN: icic..
(1:21 PM) AEN: so whenever thoughts, tendency arise, we should just experience the thought as it is
(1:21 PM) AEN: as luminous
(1:21 PM) Thusness: no
(1:22 PM) Thusness: u must first understand clearly what is meant by no-self
(1:23 PM) Thusness: but know what is thought first.
(1:23 PM) Thusness: then understand anatta
(1:23 PM) AEN: oic..
(1:31 PM) Thusness: What is the different between in 'thinking, no thinker' and in thinking, only thoughts?
(1:31 PM) AEN: the luminosity of the thought is not thoroughly experienced even though there is insight into no split?
(1:31 PM) AEN: i dunno
(1:32 PM) Thusness: until u understand, then tell me.
(1:32 PM) Thusness: :P
(1:32 PM) AEN: lol ok
(1:35 PM) AEN: in thinking, only thought, means each thought is discrete and complete?
(1:35 PM) AEN: no linking
(1:37 PM) AEN: before that there is still chaining of one thought with another?
(1:39 PM) Thusness: okie..so so only...anyway u have not understood the real essence of being unsupported, discrete and complete yet.
(1:40 PM) AEN: icic..
(1:40 PM) Thusness: just meditate on the first 2 lines : in thinking, just thoughts and in hearing, just sound