Showing posts with label Thought. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thought. Show all posts

My mom asked me how she should practice. I translated the following for her:

[11/1/24, 11:44:21 PM] Soh Wei Yu: ”For the purposes of contemplation for the first breakthrough awakening (the I AM), this pointer by Angelo Dillulo (author of Awake: It’s Your Turn, he also realised deep insights further than the initial awakening and his pointers are clear) is important:

“Inquiry for First Awakening

The inquiry that leads to first awakening is a funny thing. We want to know “how” precisely to do that inquiry, which is completely understandable. The thing is that it’s not wholly conveyable by describing a certain technique. Really it’s a matter of finding that sweet spot where surrender and intention meet. I will describe an approach here, but it’s important to keep in mind that in the end, you don’t have the power (as what you take yourself to be) to wake yourself up. Only Life has that power. So as we give ourselves to a certain inquiry or practice it’s imperative that we remain open. We have to keep the portals open to mystery, and possibility. We have to recognize that the constant concluding that “no this isn’t it, no this isn’t it either...” is simply the activity of the mind. Those are thoughts. If we believe a single thought then we will believe the next one and on and on. If however we recognize that, “oh that doubt is simply a thought arising now,” then we have the opportunity to recognize that that thought will subside on its own... and yet “I” as the knower of that thought am still here! We can now become fascinated with what is here once that thought (or any thought) subsides. What is in this gap between thoughts? What is this pure sense of I, pure sense of knowing, pure sense of Being? What is this light that can shine on and illuminate a thought (as it does thousands of times per day), and yet still shines when no thought is present. It is self illuminating. What is the nature of the one that notices thoughts, is awake and aware before, during, and after a thought, and is not altered in any way by any thought? Please understand that when you ask these questions you are not looking for a thought answer, the answer is the experience itself.

When we start to allow our attention to relax into this wider perspective we start to unbind ourselves from thought. We begin to recognize the nature of unbound consciousness by feel, by instinct. This is the way in.

At first we may conclude that this gap, this thoughtless consciousness is uninteresting, unimportant. It feels quite neutral, and the busy mind can’t do anything with neutral so we might be inclined to purposely engage thoughts again. If we recognize that “not interesting, not important, not valuable” are all thoughts and simply return to this fluid consciousness, it will start to expand. But there is no need to think about expansion or watch for it. It will do this naturally if we stay with it. If you are willing to recognize every thought and image in the mind as such, and keep your attention alert but relaxed into the “stuff” of thought that is continuous with the sense of I, it will all take care of itself. Just be willing to suspend judgement. Be willing to forego conclusions. Be willing to let go of all monitoring of your progress, because these are all thoughts. Be open to the pure experience. Just return again and again to this place of consciousness with no object or pure sense of I Am. If you are willing to do this it will teach itself to you in a way that neither I nor anyone I’ve ever seen can explain, but it is more real than real.

Happy Travels.

Art by: Platon Yurich””

[11/1/24, 11:44:23 PM] Soh Wei Yu: chatgpt translation:

[11/1/24, 11:47:56 PM] Soh Wei Yu: 为了第一层觉醒的冥想目的,Angelo Dillulo(《觉醒:轮到你了》的作者,他还实现了比最初的觉醒更深刻的洞察,他的指点非常清晰)的这个指点很重要:







艺术由:Platon Yurich 创作"

[11/1/24, 11:48:08 PM] Soh Wei Yu: you must have quality hours to meditate and practice the above everyday

[11/1/24, 11:48:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: full translation of the whole article, from very long ago:

[12/1/24, 12:17:21 AM] Soh Wei Yu: full article:
Gap Between Thoughts, Thought Between Gaps

Based on some conversations earlier this year and last year by Thusness/PasserBy which I have slightly edited:

First experience the Isness of the gap between 2 moments of thought, then the Isness of the thought between 2 moments of gap.

~ Thusness/PasserBy

On the realization of luminosity in the gap between thoughts, this conversation in 2005 is relevant:

[23:23] <ZeN`n1th> Dzogchen teacher Tenzin Wangyal (1997, 29) points out:

[23:23] <ZeN`n1th> The gap between two thoughts is essence. But if in that gap there is a lack of presence, it becomes ignorance and we experience only a lack of awareness, almost an unconsciousness. If there is presence in the gap, then we experience the dharmakaya [the ultimate].

[23:24] <ZeN`n1th> so presence is the awareness?

[23:24] <ZeN`n1th> nice quote , anyway

[23:24] <ZeN`n1th> anyway u were saying about the "i"... so what do u mean?

[23:24] <^john^> without presence, it is absorption

[23:25] <^john^> very well said, where u get this quote. 🙂

However, beyond that initial awakening, we must also understand the following.

When we discriminate between awareness from thoughts, awareness appears as the 'space' behind and between thoughts. And because of discriminating awareness and content thinking, the behind background reality is preferred over content, so background awareness appears as 'awakening' -- but it is really only treating a particular speck of dust as mirror and thus unable to see all as mirror... and so instead of being 'awakening' it is actually being 'lost'. That experience is just a dimension of Presence... but due to deeply rooted habitual tendencies to grasp dualistically, one tightly clings to the 'background subject'. That is, Presence is mistaken as a true Subject or True Self behind all objects, as some kind of unchanging background. Or it becomes the Eternal Witness perceiving (dispassionately) and untouched by all impermanent objects coming and going (where in reality the knowingness cannot be separated from the flow of phenomenality). (See Stage One of Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment) But it is not the entirety of Presence -- the aspect of non-dual, Anatta (no-self), Emptiness and Dependent Origination are not included. Because of this, it is difficult to see that the five aggregates (the 'heaps' of experiences that are designated as 'self': forms, feelings, perceptions, volition and consciousness) are Buddha-Nature.

When we talk about naked awareness it is not a state where not even a single thought arise. When it is taught about the gap between 2 moments of thought, it is to first have an experience of the nakedness of awareness. To touch just that aspect of awareness. When we extend the gaps, our thoughts become less and clarity becomes more obvious.

However it will come to a time that no matter what is done, how much effort is being invested, how long, the other aggregates do not subside. This then is the crucial moment whether one can break through into non-duality (of subject and object).

Awareness is a seamless experience that is non-dual in nature. In this seamless experience, there is no boundary whatsoever, no experiencer experiencing experience; whatever arises is experience, is awareness -- as the sound of birds chirping, as words appearing on the screen, as the thoughts itself. There is no separate hearer, seer, watcher, observer, thinker. Everything is shining, self-felt, self-knowing, self-luminous, without a center. It is always just spontaneous arising and ceasing. There is no center, agent, boundary, inside or outside... merely a seamless whole experience.

Whether perception or no perception, whether momentum or no momentum, whether there are thoughts or no thoughts, it doesn't matter. That is the arising of the non-dual wisdom, with the understanding that the transience are the Presence.

Then no thoughts and thoughts are thoroughly understood. When no thoughts and thoughts are clearly understood, it becomes Gap-less. That is true effortlessness and is the pathless path without entry and exit.

Going before the arising of thoughts and perception and have a glimpse of that luminous nature is simply just a glimpse. Here lies the importance of “concentration & absorption” in spiritual practices. It is also true that the strength of uninterrupted concentration may not be there even for one with insights, and it has to go hand in hand with their new found insight of nonduality for stability, and also move into various graduation of nonduality. In truth, there are no stages/appearances that are purer than any others – every state is equally pure and non-dual in nature. When the mind grasps pure awareness as ‘formless’, ‘thoughtless’, ‘attributeless’, and as the background reality.... the ‘fabric’ and ‘texture’ of pristine awareness as ‘forms’ is then missed. Nevertheless, for the first 3 (Thusness’s) stages of experience in Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment -, the problem would certainly be the lack of sustained meditation concentration as well as the tendency of trying to grasp intellectually... which is also why Thusness often emphasizes the importance of sitting. That is apart from the lack of clear and deeper insight into the nature of awareness which will lead to the effortless and self-liberating actualization of total presence or empty clarity.

The first 3 stages are before the arising of non-dual insight and the purpose of sustainability is to create sufficient gap between 2 moments of thoughts to allow the sensation of contrast between conceptual/non-conceptuality for the thinking mind to realize the possibility of going pre-symbolic thereby loosening its stubborn grips of a dualistic framework.

Sustained bare attention also gave rise to the realization that ‘inner’, ‘outer’, ‘space’, ‘time’ and even ‘body’ and ‘mind’ are all mere constructs. Freeing from these constructs, also give rise to the condition for non-dual insight to arise.

For the first 3 stages, practice takes the form of striving towards a certain stage of perfection whereas Thusness stage 4 onwards, practice moves from ‘efforting’ to natural luminosity and spontaneity. Even so, meditation is still very important as explained in Meditation after Anatta .

If a practitioner mistakes that initial glimpse (such as the I AM awakening of Stage 1) as the entirety of Buddha Nature by maintaining the mirror bright and attempt to go after that particular state, it will eventually proof futile. If we see only the realm of no-thought, then the gap between two moments will eventually becomes an obstruction.

Then the practice becomes the thought moment between two moments of gaps. To experience that luminous empty essence of that thought. It is in essence clarity, awareness itself, and is empty. The waves and the ocean are one and the same. All waves are One Taste. Experiencing Isness as an ocean and shunning away thoughts and manifestation is equally lost, the further insight (insight into non-duality) is the insight into everything as self-luminous awareness or Mind. smile.gif

However, start by practicing the gap between 2 moments of thought and expand it but with the right understanding of no-self/non-duality. Then when the luminosity shines, it will gradually understand because it knows what blocks. When it tries all its best to do away the transients and yet the transients persist, one will have to wait for the right condition to come, such as having someone to point out or some verses that serves as a condition for awakening.

So first experience the Isness of the gap between 2 moments of thought, then the Isness of the thought between 2 moments of gap.

Excerpt from Pointing Out Innate Thinking:

"Is it an aware emptiness after the thought has dissolved? Or is it an aware emptiness by driving away the thought from meditation? Or, is the vividness of the thought itself an aware emptiness?"

If the meditator says it is like one of the first two cases, he had not cleared up the former uncertainties and should therefore be set to resolve this for a few days.

On the other hand, if he personally experiences it to be like the latter case, he has seen identity of thought and can therefore be given the following pointing-out instruction:

"When you look into a thought's identity, without having to dissolve the thought and without having to force it out by meditation, the vividness of the thought is itself the indescribable and naked state of aware emptiness. We call this seeing the natural face of innate thought or thought dawns as dharmakaya.

"Previously, when you determined the thought's identity and when you investigated the calm and the moving mind, you found that there was nothing other than this intangible single mind that is a self-knowing, natural awareness. It is just like the analogy of water and waves."

~ 14th Century Mahamudra Master, Dakpo Tashi Namgyal

"When you vividly perceive a mountain or a house, no matter how this perception appears, it does not need to disappear or be stopped. Rather, while this perception is experienced, it is itself an intangible, empty awareness. This is called seeing the identity of perception."

"Previously you cleared up uncertainties when you looked into the identity of a perception and resolved that perceptions are mind. Accordingly, the perception is not outside and the mind is not inside. It is merely, and nothing other than, this empty and aware mind that appears as a perception. It is exactly like the example of a dream-object and the dreaming mind.

"From the very moment a perception occurs, it is a naturally freed and intangible perceiving emptiness. This perceiving yet intangible and naked state of empty perception is called seeing the natural face of innate perception or perception dawning as dharmakaya.

"This being so, 'empty' isn't something better and 'perceiving' isn't something worse, and perceiving and being empty are not separate entities. So, you can continue training in whatever is experienced. When perceiving, in order to deliberately train in perception, there is no need to arrest it. When empty, in order to deliberately train in emptiness, you do not need to produce it.

- Clarifying the Natural State, Dakpo Tashi Namgyal

Dzogchen Master Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche:

Even if those who begin to practice this find it difficult to continue in this state for more than an instant, there is no need to worry about it. Without wishing for the state to continue for a long time and without fearing the lack of it altogether, all that is necessary is to maintain pure presence of mind, without falling into the dualistic situation of there being an observing subject perceiving an observed object. If the mind, even though one maintains simple presence, does not remain in this calm state, but always tends to follow waves of thoughts about the past or future, or becomes distracted by the aggregates of the senses such as sight, hearing, etc., then one should try to understand that the wave of thought itself is as insubstantial as the wind. If one tries to catch the wind, one does not succeed; similarly if one tries to block the wave of thought, it cannot be cut off. So for this reason one should not try to block thought, much less try to renounce it as something considered negative. In reality, the calm state is the essential condition of mind, while the wave of thought is the mind's natural clarity in function; just as there is no distinction whatever between the sun and its rays, or a stream and its ripples, so there is no distinction between the mind and thought. If one considers the calm state as something positive to be attained, and the wave of thought as something negative to be abandoned, and one remains thus caught up in the duality of accepting and rejecting, there is no way of overcoming the ordinary state of mind.

Shurangama Sutra:

"Ananda, you have not yet understood that all the defiling objects that appear, all the illusory, ephemeral phenomena, spring up in the very spot where they also come to an end. Their phenomena aspects are illusory and false, but their nature is in truth the bright substance of wonderful enlightenment. Thus it is throughout, up to the five skandhas and the six entrances, to the twelve places and the eighteen realms; the union and mixture of various causes and conditions account for their illusory and false existence, and the separation and dispersion of the causes and conditions result in their illusory and false extinction. Who would have thought that production and extinction, coming and going are fundamentally the eternal wonderful light of the Tathagata, the unmoving, all-pervading perfection, the wonderful nature of True Suchness! If within the true and eternal nature one seeks coming and going, confusion and enlightenment, or birth and death, one will never find them."



"You still have not realized that in the Treasury of the Tathagata, the nature of form is true emptiness and the nature of emptiness is true form. That fundamental purity pervades the Dharma Realm. Beings’ minds absorb itaccording to their capacity to know. Whatever manifests does so in compliance with karma. Ignorant of that fact, people of the world are so deluded as to assign its origin to causes and conditions or to spontaneity. These mistakes, which arise from the discriminations and reasoning processes of the mind, are nothing but the play of empty and meaningless words."

Lama Surya Das:

I think this five skandha scheme is a very interesting one, in the sense that it can begin to raise some very interesting questions and help us dig deeper, rather than just having a vague, amorphous kind of understanding. We are individual. We are each responsible for ourselves and our karma and our relations. Our individuality is comprised of these five aggregates or skandhas. We can work with that. It is actually an expression of the Buddha-nature.

Now, doesn't anybody want to say, "I didn't hear anything about Buddha-nature in the five skandhas. Where's the Buddha-nature? Who made that up?" That's the right question. What Buddha-nature? I never said anything about it. Who made that up? What enlightenment? What nirvana? Who made all that stuff up? Is it in us or elsewhere? How to get from "here" to "there"?

We're all looking for something to hang our hopes on, but when we really get down to the present moment, to our own experience, to clear seeing, we come to what Buddha said: "In hearing there is only hearing; no one hearing and nothing heard." There is just that moment, that hearing. You might think, "Oh, a beautiful bird." How do you know it's a bird? It might be a tape recorder. It might be bicycle brakes squeaking. In the first moment, there is just hearing, then we get busy, our minds and concepts get involved. The Buddha went through all the five senses. "In seeing there is just seeing; no one seeing and nothing seen." And so on, with tasting, touching, smelling, and thinking. Thoughts without a thinker. In thinking there is just thinking. There is just that momentary process. There is no thinker. The notion of an inner thinker is just a thought. We imagine that there is somebody thinking. It's like the Wizard of Oz. They thought there was this glorious wizard, but it was just a little man back there behind the screen, behind the veil. That's how it is with the ego. We think there's a great big monkey inside working the five windows, the five senses. Or maybe five monkeys, one for each sense; a whole chattering monkey house, which it sometimes feels like. But is there really a concrete individual or permanent soul inside at all? It seems more like that the lights are on, but no one is home!
Labels: I AMness, Non Dual, Thought |

[12/1/24, 12:17:28 AM] Soh Wei Yu: chatgpt translation:

[12/1/24, 12:29:50 AM] Soh Wei Yu: 思想间隙与间隙中的思想



~ Thusness/PasserBy


[23:23] <ZeN`n1th> 大圆满老师Tenzin Wangyal(1997,29)指出:

[23:23] <ZeN`n1th> 两个思想之间的间隙是本质。但如果在那个间隙中缺乏临在明觉,就变成无知,我们只体验到缺乏本觉,几乎是无意识。如果间隙中有临在明觉,那么我们就体验到了法身[终极]。

[23:24] <ZeN`n1th> 所以临在明觉是本觉?

[23:24] <^john^> 没有临在明觉,就只是定境

[23:25] <^john^> 说得很好,这引用哪里来的?🙂

为了第一层觉醒的冥想目的,Angelo Dillulo(《觉醒:轮到你了》的作者,他还实现了比最初的觉醒更深刻的洞察,他的指点非常清晰)的这个指点很重要:







艺术由:Platon Yurich 创作"








走在思想和感知产生之前,瞥见那光明的本质只是一个瞥见。这就是“专注与修定”在灵性实践中的重要性所在。也确实,即使对于有洞见的人,不间断的专注力可能也不在那里,它必须与他们新发现的非二元洞见并行以获得稳定,并且还要进入非二元的各种毕业阶段。实际上,没有任何阶段/表象比其他更纯净——每个状态都同样纯净,本质上是非二元的。当心灵把纯净的本觉视为“无形态”、“无思想”、“无属性”,作为背景现实时......纯净本觉作为“形态”的“织物”和“质地”就被忽略了。尽管如此,对于Thusness/PasserBy的“觉悟的七个阶段”中的前三个阶段 -,问题肯定是缺乏持续的冥想专注力以及试图理智把握的倾向......这也是为什么Thusness经常强调打坐的重要性。这是由于对本觉本质缺乏清晰和更深的洞察,这将导致临在明觉或空明的无功夫和自我解放的实现。



对于前三个阶段,实践采取的形式是努力达到某种完美的阶段,而Thusness第四阶段以后,实践从“努力”转向自然的光明性和自发性。即使如此,冥想仍然非常重要,正如在《无我之后的冥想》 中所解释的。











~ 14世纪大手印大师,Dakpo Tashi Namgyal





澄清自然状态,Dakpo Tashi Namgyal

大圆满大师Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche:









A conversation that took place in Facebook, "Dharma Connection". Thusness commented that Kyle's posts are very well thought, structured and clear.

Kyle Dixon: "When you rest your attention in naturalness without thinking anything whatsoever and maintain constant mindfulness in that state, you may experience a vacant and blank state of mind which is neutral and indifferent. If no vipashyana of decisive knowing is present, this is exactly what the masters call 'ignorance'. It is also called 'undecided' from the point of being unable to express any means of identification, such as 'It is like this!' or 'This is it!' Being unable to say what you are remaining in or thinking of, this state is labelled 'ordinary indifference'. But actually, it is just an ordinary and nonspecific abiding in the state of the all-ground [Skt. ālaya, Tib. kun gzhi].

Although nonconceptual wakefulness has to be developed through this method of resting meditation, to lack the wisdom that sees your own nature is not the main part of meditation practice. This is what the 'Aspiration of Samantabhadra' says:

'The vacant state of not thinking anything

Is itself the cause of ignorance and confusion.' ...."

- Mipham Rinpoche

10 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 4

Kyle Dixon: There's a difference between non-thought (or the suspension of thought) and recognizing primordial wisdom. Discerning vidyā and sems is a vital aspect of the teaching, however it's important not to fall into a trap where sems is rejecting sems (thought is rejecting thought), all that accomplishes is sustaining distraction (meaning breathing life into the delusion that a point of reference [subject] stands apart from thoughts [objects] which sequence consecutively in a given span of time and can be either accepted and/or rejected).

9 hours ago · Unlike · 3

Din Robinson: so how does the idea of present moment awareness fit in to this, since it's your nature as awareness itself that is present and still that notices all ideas and perceptions for what they are

9 hours ago · Like

Kyle Dixon: If awareness is held to be the 'stillness' which abides prior to (or behind) the 'movement' of thoughts, ideas, perceptions etc., then this is still upholding duality. Stillness and movement must be recognized to be non-dual, meaning awareness is only ever precisely the forms, thoughts, etc.

There's no thoughts/forms that are the same nor different than awareness, and no awareness that is the same nor different from thoughts/forms.

9 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 4

Din Robinson: so how does the process (idea) of withdrawing identification with thoughts fit into this?

btw, the withdrawal of identification with thoughts is the same as withdrawal of identification with form, for me

9 hours ago · Like

Din Robinson: Kyle wrote:

"If awareness is held to be the 'stillness' which abides prior to (or behind) the 'movement' of thoughts, ideas, perceptions etc., then this is still upholding duality."

if awareness is held to be anything other than "what is" then there may be some IDEA or PERCEPTION of what awareness is, and then there is identification with ideas about what awareness is and this movement in tandem with thought, is identification with thought, it is making the content of thought (the meaning of thought) reality, instead of what already simply "is"

9 hours ago · Like

Kyle Dixon: It's a preliminary and tentative practice that aids in curbing habitual tendency. So practices like śamatha [shiné] help the individual to withdraw or 'step out' of the habit of identifying, grasping, clinging at thought. 99.999% of people are very caught up in thought and habits of grasping, so the withdrawal helps the individual to see that there is a wakefulness which is present whether the thought is there or not. It helps to begin the scrutinization of experience, evaluating the processes, cultivating discernment and discrimination.

However the point isn't to cling to the wakefulness either, so after that wakefulness has been identified, it's important to evaluate and scrutinize that wakefulness too. The wakefulness (or awareness) is 'stillness' which appears to abide apart from the forms and thought which move before it. The thoughts and forms are the 'movement'.

Once both stillness and movement have been successfully identified, it's then time to discover how stillness and movement are non-dual, by seeing how stillness and movement are imputations. If that is done correctly then the background substratum (stillness) is recognized to have been always empty, and the luminous forms of experience (movement) are also found to be empty. There is no duality, no dichotomy (apart from conventionality). Everything becomes the total exertion of the immediacy appearing to itself (not that there is an 'itself' the empty display is appearing to, 'appearing to itself' is just a way to designate the general state of affairs from the standpoint of that wisdom).

9 hours ago · Unlike · 4

Piotr Ludwiński: "IDEA or PERCEPTION of what awareness is" and that is preciesly the case in way you reify stillness to be inherent awareness. "since it's your nature as awareness itself that is present and still that notices all ideas and perceptions for what they are". Reifying non-conceptual thought aka "crystal clear stillness" as "Awareness" is still ignorance from buddhist point of view.

9 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 1

Piotr Ludwiński: Unfortunately these golden chains... I mean that imputation and reification of non-dual experience of stillness in thought realm into nonumenon/subject/static mirror makes one unable to truly realize "three marks of existence"; impermanence, selflessness, unsatisfactoriness. Why it makes one unable to realize them? Since as soon as imputation of "awareness" is projected upon crystal clear stillness it serves as condition for golden chains; clinging to it as self, permanent, satisfactory. This is just exchanging one bondage for another. That non-dual experience of thoughtlessness is mistakenly clung to as "stillness" due to dualistic framework. Conceiving reality in polarities (stillness vs movement) we reifiy it as unmoving point of reference for all experience... Due to inherent and dualistic framework it is reified into Divine Presence/God, unmoving witness/mirror etc... Whiile that experience of stillness is like flow of a river... Unsatisfactory... Selfless... Impermanent. // "Ananda, you should know that this state of clarity is not real. It is like rapidly flowing water that appears to be still on the surface. Because of its rapid speed, you cannot perceive the flow, but that does not mean it is not flowing. If this were not the source of thinking, then how could one be subject to false habits?"

8 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Piotr Ludwiński: To sum it up: what is entirely conditioned and what is ignorance, imputation, an arrow in heart, cancer, bondage... is mistaken as unconditioned freedom. Sad situation; we are happy because we managed to exchange our rusty chains for golden ones! Identification/disidentification with thoughts is still in realm of dissociation and dualism, conceiving an agent, a being, self that is to identify or disidentify. Thoughts themselves must be embraced by vipassana and seen for what they are; substanceless self-aware activities without any observer, subject, agent, doer behind them. "Crystal clear stillness" too must be recognized as mere interdependently originated self-aware activity. In this way there is no more holding to stillness vs movement; "stillness" and "movement" are forgotten into naked non-dual experience without referencing to mirror /subject/source

8 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Piotr Ludwiński: We were lost in delusion of "movement" for so long that as soon as non-dual experience of non-conceptual thought takes place we instantly grasp this delusion of "stillness" as purest state and "true nature". From one deluded polarity to another deluded polarity. That is the "freedom" of abiding as imputed mirror. From bondage of person/emotions/thought/little self to bondage of "the presence"/dissociation/non-thought/Self. I wouldn't call this false liberation "our true nature".

8 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 2

Din Robinson: yes, I see what you're saying Piotr, what our true nature is, is all of it, without any need to focus in on any particular aspect of it, nor needing not to, also!

8 hours ago · Like

Din Robinson: Kyle wrote:

"Once both stillness and movement have been successfully identified, it's then time to discover how stillness and movement are non-dual, by seeing how stillness and movement are imputations. If that is done correctly then the background substratum (stillness) is recognized to have been always empty, and the luminous forms of experience (movement) are also found to be empty..."

I tend to describe things from my own experience using as few concepts as possible, so would you agree that i am saying the same thing when i say that seeing all my "imputations" or thoughts for what they are, that is bringing all previously unconscious beliefs/perceptions into the clear light of present moment conscious awareness, is their "release" and all that's left is "what is" without any definition or interpretations clouding the "view"

or do you mean something different when you use the word "empty", because "empty" to me, just means "with no true reality to begin with"

8 hours ago · Like

Jackson Peterson: It's important to realize as these Dzogchen masters point out: that the thinking process is itself ignorance. Realizing this breaks the back of reliance upon thought. As Norbu and Dudjum Rinpoche both point out, between thoughts, the Dharmakaya as rigpa is shining nakedly. Tulku Urgyen teaches the exact same as Choki Nyima in the OP. Samsara is thinking or conceptualizing. If there is thinking the split between subject and object are always split. In absence of conceptualizing all that remains is non-dual awareness. What is not understood is that all experience is pure awareness. Experience is empty. The essential nature of emptiness is pure awareness. Emptiness is pure awareness and awareness is luminous emptiness. Thinking is also empty, recognizing the empty nature of thinking, is pure awareness. There is only pure awareness appearing, hence all experience being known.

7 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1

Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon:, no one is recommended a "blank state". Chokyi Nyima is not advocating that at all. He is just pointing out the cause of samsara. Actually samsara is itself the thinking process. Outside of the thinking process there is no suffering or samsara. Samsara is a day dream, that's all.

7 hours ago · Edited · Like

Din Robinson: Jackson wrote:

" In absence of conceptualizing all that remains is non-dual awareness."

all that remains before and after is "what is"

let's not put any other label on it other than that

otherwise the mind (thought process) may come in and want to attach some other meaning on it

7 hours ago · Like

Din Robinson: trying to nail this down feels like a dog chasing it's own tail

7 hours ago · Like

Jackson Peterson: From the relative side as created by thought, we wake from the dream of thinking. From the absolute side there is nothing the matter, but then dualism has already vanished. The absolute is self-manifesting as the relative, and this is done via the thought process. The Buddha plays in the relative via thought. Without thought the samsara vanishes.

7 hours ago · Like

Kyle Dixon: One's condition becomes afflicted with latent traces, karmic propensities and habitual tendencies which result from grasping and clinging. Imputation is indeed the third ignorance which forms the ālaya, however it takes the full force of authentic recognition to dispel that ignorance. Thought is only a support and driving force.

7 hours ago · Unlike · 3

Kyle Dixon: The dharmakāya being the 'space between thoughts' is only a preliminary pointer which serves the sole purpose of engendering confidence in the practitioner that wisdom will not be found elsewhere. That being said, it's true the dharmakāya can be found there, but the illusion of space between thoughts is still the ālaya. That is why ignorance cannot be dispelled simply by suspending thought.

Thinking and conceptualization are driving forces behind delusion, however it is much more subtle than samsara simply being 'thinking and conceptualization'.

Thinking does cause the subject-object dichotomy to arise, however in the absence of conceptualization that latent proclivity to grasp is still present. So even though 'non-dual awareness' is indeed one's basic condition, and therefore it's presence is implied in the absence of conceptualization, unless recognition of one's nature has occurred the 'underlying non-dual' condition is not fully apparent. Only prajñā can reverse or undo that affliction, without that wisdom, the mind's nature remains buried under subtle habits of perception and clinging even in the absence of thinking and conceptualization.

7 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 4

Din Robinson: Kyle, I just saw this comment on another thread and think it fits perfectly here with your idea of imputation being the third ignorance:

"It's so interesting how meditators spend so much time thinking about thought. I've heard that Gautam Buddha up in heaven wishes he had never brought it up. Everyone wants to transcend and somehow having no thoughts is a popular goal. If you ever really touch the Emptiness, then you'll see what the Buddha really meant, and it has nothing to do with what you thought. It's more akin to fairies and comedians than to the holy seriousness a lot of people have. Rodney Dangerfield is spying on you!"

~John Levin

7 hours ago · Like · 1

Din Robinson: great comment Kyle

you wrote:

"Thinking does cause the subject-object dichotomy to arise, however in the absence of conceptualization that latent proclivity to grasp is still present."

yes, the need to grasp or grasping itself needs to leave the shadows of the unconscious and be seen in the clear light of conscious awareness, this is how prajna arises

is it not?

7 hours ago · Like

Kyle Dixon: Jackson, I wrote this before in a different thread on here in response to this same conversation:

That assumes that thoughts sequence consecutively in a linear fashion and that they arise and fall. The gap isn't Dharmakāya. Dharmakāya is recognizing the non-arising of thoughts and gaps.

Achieving a stable śamatha is important to sever (or decrease) the compulsory habit of conceptualization, but simply increasing that space between thoughts is nothing more than a stable śamatha. Yes you marry the śamatha with vipaśyanā but whether it is wisdom or ignorance makes all the difference. The true vipaśyanā is resting in vidyā (as you know because I've seen you mention it).

Thoughts sequencing consecutively with gaps in between is still a subtle structuring of ignorance. The illusion of a space abiding between apparent occurrences is partly responsible for the idea of an entity (or capacity) which exists in time and is subject to experiences in the first place. When mentation is recognized to be the immediate and disjoint clarity itself, then it's suddenly realized there was never a space between thoughts (beyond conventionality) and the foundation for the chain of conceptualization and cyclic existence is undone. Only then does the primordially non-arisen display of wisdom become fully apparent.

"Were that which is apprehended through the intoxicated conceptual-constructions of sentient beings factually true, then they would be on a par with the liberated Arhats who conceive not of this 'Existence.' Since, however, they are tormented by suffering and slain by time, it is obvious that they are [caught up] in something false."

- Mañjuśrīmitra

7 hours ago · Unlike · 3

Kyle Dixon: Din, I agree with that John Levin quote, although I would say it does have to do with what we think, it's just that what we think isn't the entire crux of the issue. It gets subtler, but addressing thinking and conceptualization is important.

7 hours ago · Like · 1

Din Robinson: the way i see it Kyle, is that if we never touched another thought, we could laugh our way into eternity

7 hours ago · Like

Kyle Dixon: Right but what is it that would never touch another thought? This whole issue comes about because thought is objectifying thought, so if we say never touching another thought would resolve the problem, this still assumes there is something that can accept or reject thought. The idea is to see that 'thought objectifying thought' is the culprit, along with the various implications, tendencies, proclivities, habits, propensities etc., which arise as a direct result of that error.

7 hours ago · Like · 4

Jackson Peterson: Kyle thought is the manifestation of karma,and karma is the result of thought, its a loop. Thinking is the software language of samsara. Without thinking, the software can't function. Rigpa or the Original Mind is the operating system.

7 hours ago · Edited · Like

Din Robinson: Kyle, I really like your last post, it shows that my personal experience is still just a "story" being told, and that "what is" is totally free whether i realize it or not

7 hours ago · Edited · Like

Din Robinson: no matter how hard i try, i still feel better not doing anything at all, it just feels right!

7 hours ago · Like

Kyle Dixon: The underlying substratum that seems to abide apart from thought is actually an illusion created by the supposition that thoughts are relating to each other in time. So thought B is supposing that it follows thought A etc., and then thought B will even suppose it can refer to thought A, but by the time that's occurring it's thought C. None of them ever touch, no two thoughts are ever present together in the immediacy, so a thought isn't referencing anything, it's an illusion. Even the idea that there is more than one thought! That very idea creates the notion that there is a space between them etc. Only ever the immediacy, the thought phenomena is the full exertion of clarity in the moment and is never located anywhere.

6 hours ago · Unlike · 1

Din Robinson: "This whole issue comes about because thought is objectifying thought, so if we say never touching another thought would resolve the problem, this still assumes there is something that can accept or reject thought. The idea is to see that 'thought objectifying thought' is the culprit, along with the various implications, tendencies, proclivities, habits, propensities etc., which arise as a direct result of that error"

is this your own experience Kyle?

6 hours ago · Like

Din Robinson: btw, i really like this:

"The idea is to see that 'thought objectifying thought' is the culprit, along with the various implications, tendencies, proclivities, habits, propensities etc., which arise as a direct result of that error"

6 hours ago · Like

Kyle Dixon: Din, it's everyone's experience, it just isn't apparent. The line of reasoning behind that is what I just wrote above though, with the thought A, B, C, and how they are creating the illusion of time and an enduring substratum etc. Time itself is one of the thoughts, but more so than an imputing thought (i.e. concept), 'time' is an illusion supported by the phenomena we'd refer to as 'memory' as well. So our notion of time also depends on memory, or thought-images, (I'd say mental images but there's truly no psyche or mind that these are belonging to, they themselves create the illusion of psyche and mind).

6 hours ago · Edited · Unlike · 2

Jackson Peterson: What is being ignored in your model Kyle as described is brain function and how thoughts connect through various neural pathways in the brain and how these pathways become patterns of thought and behavior. Every thought has a corollary in brain activity. Our actions originate in subconscious processes that "reveal" the intention in consciousness along with the soft-ware program that makes the surface consciousness believe it is "originating" or "thinking" these thoughts and intentions itself. No one is choosing thoughts or actions to do or not do. Its all just happening without a "controller", based on conditioning and sensory perception being driven by the overall urge to survive and reproduce. There is actually a very complex "mind" in place that operates through many hierarchies of programming. Its called the human brain.

6 hours ago · Edited · Like

Kyle Dixon: Din, These types of subtle evaluative gymnastics are actually what brought about one of my more intense peak experiences which revealed anatta. That is why (in addition to being a proponent of non-analytical meditations) I'm a big proponent of analytical investigations, because they too can bring about cessation. And the thing is that dzogchen is as well, if you read some of the main texts that are implemented such as the Yeshe Lama etc., attempting to pinpoint the place of arising, abiding and ceasing of a thought is one of the practices taught to induce recognition of the mind's nature.

I myself actually followed what Greg Goode, had suggested with evaluating thought. His line of reasoning went like so: if there can only ever be one thought at any given moment, then there cannot be two. If there cannot be two thoughts in any given moment, then how can there even be one? I grokked that deeply and in addition to understanding that there was no thinker of thoughts, no feeler of feelings etc. And by the good graces of other merit I had been accumulating through regular practices at the dzogchen center I go to, and regular śamatha along with the blessings of my guru Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and guidance of my mentor Rangjung Rigdzin, plus Greg for that investigative practice... I was fortunately able to bring that recognition about.

6 hours ago · Unlike · 5

Kyle Dixon: Jackson, I don't put too much weight in the whole 'brain' and neural pathway model, it's a little too materialist for me, but if it works for you then that's wonderful!

6 hours ago · Like

Jackson Peterson: Your brain did it Kyle... with a little help from your friends...

6 hours ago · Like

Jackson Peterson: We can't ignore the brain model when we see how certain drugs can completely effect our thought processes, moods, actions or brain injuries or tumors.

6 hours ago · Like

Jackson Peterson: The real practice of becoming free of thinking is simply seeing the emptiness of thoughts as they arise, that emptiness is itself the Nature of Mind.

6 hours ago · Like

Joel Agee: Kyle: "I myself actually followed what Greg Goode had suggested with evaluating thought. His line of reasoning went like so: if there can only ever be one thought at any given moment, then there cannot be two. If there cannot be two thoughts in any given moment, then how can there even be one? I grokked that deeply . . ." -- I don't get this. Can you help me understand it?

57 minutes ago · Like

Kyle Dixon: Joel, for me it had to do with examining the immediate moment very thoroughly and keeping a steady focus on the immediate now, now, now, and what constitutes the immediacy. So the direct experience of the moment is only ever precisely what is immediately apparent. The notion that anything did (or didn't) come prior is only ever a thought in the direct immediacy. Likewise the notion that anything does (or doesn't) come after is only ever a thought directly occurring. The thought which is directly occurring never points outside of itself, it may appear to suggest any number of things, but in truth the thought is precisely what is occurring now and the now is not different than the thought.

So if the thought is only what is occurring now, and now is only the thought, the immediate thought has no access to any other thoughts, because there are none, nothing is occurring except for what is presently occurring and since the present is only exactly what is occurring, it cannot get outside of itself. In order for a thought to be a thought (a singular entity) it would need a reference point to gauge it against and it would need multiple manifestations or versions of itself for it to be established in anyway. But that is impossible due to the fact that the full exertion of the direct immediacy is only the immediately apparent thought. The immediate thought may point to (or suggest) the existence (or non-existence) of other thoughts, but in truth, because no two thoughts ever meet in the immediacy, the present thought which suggests the existence of another thought, points nowhere and to nothing, not even itself.

If there can't be two thoughts in the immediacy, because of the fact that thought never sequences in a consecutive line of thoughts, the immediate exertion can tentatively be treated as the only occurrence, nothing has ever come prior, nothing ever comes after, there is no history, there is a thought that is simply primordial exertion, there is primordial exertion that is simply a thought. For there to be one, there must be more (or less) than one, but there is no reference point. For the syllables which even create the idea of 'one' meaning 'one' or 'thought' meaning 'thought' another thought must be referenced, but the 'other' thought which is referenced is nowhere because it is precisely the immediate exertion.

So the phenomena which is thought then says nothing, the sound is a series of syllables, they signify nothing, they point to nothing, no more meaningful than any other sound, if the thought speaks, the car door shutting speaks, if the thought communicates, the white noise of the fan in the background communicates. Where is 'one'? Where is 'two'? The totality of the timeless immediacy never reaches outside itself, and within it's unborn exertion nothing ever occurs.

There's a book by Mark Twain called the Mysterious Stranger, which explores the experience of Satan. And there is a quote by Satan that is very fitting to this:

"Life itself is only a vision, a dream. Nothing exists except empty space and you, and you, are but a thought."
May 12 at 2:15pm via mobile · Edited · Unlike · 7
Joel Rosenblum: I remember having the realization, while attempting to find the beginning to samsara, that the beginning was thought. And thought was like a an explosive virus. However, Buddha was right to admonish against such investigations, because it did drive me temporarily insane.
May 12 at 3:06pm · Like · 1
Joel Rosenblum: Kyle, I never had a class in logic and if I had I probably would have failed it, but the very fact that I don't have the working memory space to understand what you are saying seems to disprove your point that only one thought can exist in consciousness at a time. Psychology has proven that we can hold an average of 3-4 thoughts in consciousness simultaneously. If you could only hold one thought at a time you would not be very functional. But perhaps I misread you.
May 12 at 3:46pm via mobile · Like
Serge Sönam Zaludkowski: @Joel, "Psychology has proven that we can hold an average of 3-4 thoughts in consciousness simultaneously"
That's not what Abhidharma says. I would be curious to have a short explanation about the way to hold more than one thought at the same instant? There is only one continuum.
May 12 at 4:09pm · Like
Jackson Peterson: The Dalai Lama commented recently that "Brain science has proven that the descriptions in the Abhidharma are wrong. We have to be open to what science teaches as the Buddha would recommend."
May 12 at 5:36pm · Like
Jackson Peterson: During a thought, there is always something present beyond the thought itself. The total exertion is not just the thought being presented, but rather an open or empty cognitive aspect from which the exertion is itself just a representation. Missing the depth of that cognitive aspect is to assume there are just "thoughts happening in emptiness" which is a nihilistic view. When that open emptiness is fully explored it is known to be the Ground of Being that can't be reified beyond our "current thought" which is itself empty.
May 12 at 5:42pm · Like
Kyle Dixon: What aspect of brain science is proving what aspect of abhidharma wrong? That begs the question though of what suppositions or paradigms may be influencing that notion? Brain science as a science does nothing to explain how consciousness functions, if anything brain science is restricted to the confines of the brains functioning as it's interpreted within the mechanical paradigm that dominates science this day in age. Abhidharma in and of itself has never claimed to be an exact concrete science, it's merely a methodology which has been formulated around the efficacy of the dharma and it's goal of liberating beings. I don't see how the two could even begin to conflict. And further, since the dharma is constructed to self-implode it leaves no residue other than liberation, emptiness is empty, nothing's left to hold onto. If you lay that aside and decide modern western science is going to somehow compensate for that (or improve upon it) you are most likely selling yourself short in my opinion. Science is a great supplement, but can't be a replacement.
May 12 at 5:49pm via mobile · Like · 5
Kyle Dixon: Jackson, if that's the interpretation you came away with after reading that explanation; (thoughts happening in emptiness at the expense of cognizance), then you've completely misunderstood.
May 12 at 5:58pm via mobile · Like
Greg Goode: Joel writes, "Psychology has proven that we can hold an average of 3-4 thoughts in consciousness simultaneously."

Joel, you also mention logic, and yes, what Kyle is talking about here is the process of a few logical grokkings. It is powerful for those with affinities to this approach. But it certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea. Isn't it good that there are many other ways to come to peace?

Anyway, in psychology, the mental activity is divided into several supposedly simultaneous thoughts based on the supposed simultaneous presence of different objects of thought.

For example, it seems like you can see something, hear something and smell something at the same time. It seems like the objects are all out there, sending signals, and the data is streaming in over 3 or 4 different channels into the central receiver at one time.

I have some pretty detailed experiments about this in my book called The Direct Path, including what happens when you are sitting down drinking coffee while watching a fireworks display. In direct experience, what is really happening?

That exercise takes place in the book after it is already deeply understood that there are no "external" objects whatsoever directly experienced to exist apart from awareness. And there are no sense organs to serve as conduits of transmission either, since they are merely additional physical objects.

When that is the case, then it makes no sense to individuate thoughts by the external objects they supposedly have. In the direct path, a thought is never experienced to have a true object. (a thought may claim that there are objects, but separate objects are never experienced.) It's quite radical - the very idea that vision sees something external such as a color is itself merely a thought. But in direct experience, it is not that way. You never have independent access to any color apart from seeing. And yet you would need independent access in order to certify that vision is actually "seeing" the object. Otherwise, how can you be sure that vision, and the object, are matching up the way we think? We never have more than a thought that says so. We can't stand between vision and colors and prove the link.

So then the question becomes,

Is it four simultaneous thoughts?


One thought claiming "four simultaneous objects"?
May 12 at 6:09pm · Like · 5
Serge Sönam Zaludkowski: Impression of simultaneity is not simultaneity. If you (are able to) isolate "instant", only one thought take place in it ... but instant after instant may let the impression of simultaneity.
@Jax, dont throw the water with the baby, SSDL did'nt say precisely to do so.
May 12 at 7:35pm · Edited · Like
Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon:, HHDL didn't expound further...
May 12 at 7:32pm · Like
Jackson Peterson: I think for balance, it is good to not be too focused on just the phenomena of thought as being THE hot topic regarding liberation and insight etc. The nature of the cognitive presence ever-present is really most important, don't you think?
May 12 at 7:35pm · Like
Serge Sönam Zaludkowski: it happens so ...
May 12 at 7:36pm · Like
Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon:, you are creating an unnecessary dichotomy between the mind and the brain. Slight changes in brain chemistry or through magnetic resonance, can inhibit the ability to think, to think clearly or to be inundated with overwhelmingly strange thoughts and hallucinations. We also know through MRI that there are approx. nine typical centers in the brain that simultaneously become active and inter-communicate during the sense of "egoistic selfing". Interrupting that pattern effects the degree of sense of self present. So the brain is involved with all cognitive processes. We need to realize that the Dharmakaya expresses what we are through the dependently arisen electro-chemical changes in the brain. However there is an even higher functioning brain within the brain. I call it the quantum brain. It is this mind that interfaces between the classically functioning brain and the spiritual dimension as concretely experienced as ESP: telepathy, clairvoyance and radical moments of synchronicity on the macro level. The quantum brain most likely is embedded in the brain tissue, within cell structures within each neuron known as micro-tubules. Each brain cell has over a million of these. Research is showing that "quantum" processes are involved in how certain processes like information sharing required during mitosis occur. Further, cells throughout the body may be co-communicating via this quantum signaling completely outside of neural pathways. Japanese researchers have found that certain hair-like cilia in lung tissue may actually be acting as antennae for sending and receiving these quantum signals. These quantum antennae may even receive quantum signals from other organisms.

It is through the quantum brain the brain signals are converted into what we call conscious thoughts and come into "consciousness" through the main quantum brain system: our chakra system and Light Channels. By enhancing and activating the chakras and "inner lamps", we completely transform our consciousness into the non-local quantum state and likewise download quantum signals downward into the physical brain hence modifying its operating system. When we die the quantum system detaches from the physical brain and we enter the non-local quantum dimension that some call the bardo. You know the rest of the story. Do understand the role of the brain, its hugely involved in all conscious and subconscious processes.
May 12 at 10:36pm via mobile · Like
Joel Rosenblum: I just want to know Kyle how you can explain that only one thought can be attended to or "known to exist" at one time and yet explain working memory. I think you are looking at the attentive process in a limited way. True, you can do vipassana and notice the "mind moment waves" one at a time, but here we are producing the effect by our will. Just as in the dual nature of light, so too are all things both discrete and continuous depending on how we choose to perceive them. When you perceive each mind moment individually, disjoint from all other mind moments, you gain dispassion for identifying with the mind stream's moments. But you aren't very functional within duality unless you can also see the mind moments as fluid and grouped.
Monday at 9:42am via mobile · Edited · Like
Greg Goode: Joel, you ask how Kyle (or anyone?) can explain functional memory if it's only one thought at a time. Or how a person can function... Kyle's model comes from the direct path. These things aren't explanations or theories according to the direct path. They are a matter of direct experience, which is global awareness itself. In fact, when ex platoons and persons have been seen through and experienced for what they really are, then explanations are no longer needed, and no longer possible either. Functioning is better than ever before. I was able to learn to ride a brake less bike in the city, and rollerblade with no brakes also - after these deep insights. And this is saying way too much, because this sounds like an explanation and it's not.

In fact, one of the most powerful realizations in the direct path is that memory is absolutely unverifiable.

But this deep realization does not prevent one from going along with psychological theories in the collegial sense. Just like Sri Atmananda had no belief in events or people or laws, but he functioned in law enforcement by say and taught the direct path in the evenings.

There is no necessary problem unless a thought says so.... And even then, it's just the claim of a thought....
Monday at 11:01am via mobile · Like
Greg Goode: iPhone autocorrect. - not ex platoons, but explanations!
Monday at 11:02am via mobile · Like · 1
Joel Rosenblum: Greg, your post itself is interesting because you talk about how great your functioning is now that you are awake and yet you fail to directly address the question that you at first seemed to be attempting to address. So although you may be more functional in some ways, the way I see it, you are not fully integrated. And of course what I say may sound equally absurd to you. But since you and Kyle are both trying to awaken others, and to teach awakening, it may be useful for you to consider how what you say is perceived by those you are trying to teach. I understand that reality is infinite paradox. Adyashanti says that one can gauge one's level of awakening by the degree of comfort they have with paradox. Perhaps my role here in this convo was simply to offer the other side of things, the dualistic side, to remind you that dualism is just as real as non-dualism. Can you dig that or does it make you uncomfortable?
Monday at 11:55am via mobile · Like
Greg Goode: I can dig it, and love paradox. I would be the last to try to privilege one way or view over another. If it comes across that way, I apologize! Can you ask your question again in a different way?
Monday at 11:58am · Like
Joel Rosenblum: Well, honestly when I re-read my question it almost sounds like I am just trying to pick a fight. Perhaps it is I who needs to let go here. I don't like to read what I consider nonsense (ie we can ONLY hold one thought at a time), but then again, this isn't about me. If you believe you we can only hold one thought at a time, why should I argue? Probably I am making you and Kyle into straw men, anyway. This is all so tangential. Sorry.
Monday at 12:12pm via mobile · Like
Greg Goode: You know, there is one interesting thing about this "one-thought" idea that I find a bit remarkable. Advaita and Buddhism when they get into their psychology and stuff actually agree about one-at-a-time. In the midst of disagreeing about so much else!

But then they go deeper into their inquiries, and neither path really maintains a serious commitment to thought. It is sort of left behind by their realizations. Thought is seen through as anything that happens in an objective, truly real way. So their teachings about thought functioned at a stage of explication only.

Other teachings have other things to say about thought.

These days, more Buddhists and a few Advaitins seem to be talking to psychologists and brain scientists. People seem open to learning from each other. I like this, and if folks don't end up in agreement and there seems to be incommensurability and paradox, that is OK too. I find a sort of pluralistic joy in that diversity.....
Monday at 1:25pm · Edited · Like · 6
Kyle Dixon: Joel, I can dig it too, I enjoy the skeptic approach and I enjoy my point of view being challenged, evaluated, taken apart etc., so kudos to you. And see it's hard for me to grasp how there could be more than one thought at a time so I find the proposition intriguing.

The last thing I want is for someone to agree with me though, I value the diversity in views. And there's so many great ways to approach these topics how can we ever insist one way is the 'truth'? The teachings need to be flexible to work with the individual. Formulating a rigid structure and insisting that's the only way is a death sentence for these teachings. Not everyone is the same. If clothing or shoe companies only made one size for everyone they would fail, it's the same with these practices and teachings, the route needs to match the capacity, interest, passion of the individual otherwise the passion will die and the interest will be lost.
Monday at 1:06pm via mobile · Edited · Like · 4
Joel Rosenblum: Amen, Kyle and Greg. I bow to you.
Monday at 2:03pm · Like · 1
Ville Räisänen: Good thread! isn't this one-thought-at-time a matter of concentration? I remember that in my zen days (that might not be over) I used to count breaths and watch the other thoufhts same time? And I didn't loose the count. Then I asked about this for the teacher and there was no real understanding. So if you concentrate to have only one thought, you can find it. Where it leads? To one-pointed samadhi. Otherwise there actually can happen simultaneous thoughts that can be regocnized like "brain acts like different windows in your computer screen".
Monday at 10:10pm · Like
Ville Räisänen: Not brain. maybe say consciousness or awareness that regocnizes.
Monday at 10:11pm · Like
Jackson Peterson: When we realize the empty nature of thoughts we realize no single thought or multiple thoughts have ever arisen. The single thought is beyond thought and contains the totality of experience. The luminous nature has no edge or border, and cannot be divided up in any way anymore than we can divide the sky or space into this single space and that multiple space.
Monday at 11:00pm via mobile · Like · 1
Ville Räisänen: What is the single thought beyond thought? makes no sense to me at all
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Tuesday at 7:29am · Like · 2 · Remove Preview
Jackson Peterson: This "single thought" is symbolic of all appearance.
Tuesday at 9:15pm · Like · 1
Viorica Doina Neacsu: Great thread! Thank you
Tuesday at 11:15pm · Like · 1
Joel Agee: Kyle, thanks a lot for your very clear explanation regarding Greg’s “never-more-than-one-thought” experiment. I contemplated it in a sustained way during a long flight from L.A. to NY, and have done it again in shorter sessions several times since. I can see how keeping it going would result in a profound release of the habit of “thought reifying thought.”

You ended your post with the words of Mark Twain’s Satan: “Life itself is only a vision, a dream. Nothing exists except empty space and you, and you are but a thought.” Maybe I’m missing something, but to me, the exercise reveals life as a constant flashing-forth of vital unforeseen instants, disjoint in their particularity, yet miraculously coherent and ordered. If the last were not the case, Greg wouldn’t be able to sail through New York City traffic on brakeless rollerblades -- as a body, not just a thought -- and you would not be able to write such a lucid series of sentences.
17 hours ago · Like
Greg Goode: Who says that Greg or Kyle are really doing that stuff?? What is "really" going on - that's precisely part of the point... How can any description or object be taken wholly literally, even for things with high degrees of "reality effect" such as streets and rollerblades? The "thought" discourse is self-deconstructing, it's a teaching device which doesn't make the final cut....
17 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
Joel Agee: I understand that Greg and Kyle aren't doing that stuff. I'm just saying that that stuff is not adequately described by "empty space and an I-thought." Again, am I missing the point? Sorry I'm so dense!
16 hours ago · Like · 1
Greg Goode: Well Joel Agee:, there are a few steps in between ! The lvicabulary of space and thought doesn't have the purpose of adequately describing the actives of everyday life. For that kind of adequate description, we have the vocabulary of ... everyday life!

That brings up the question, "OK, so how does one come to experience (what some people call) rollerblading as nothing other than awareness?

That's what the direct path is so good at doing. One proceeds openly, sincerely, via direct experience. One looks at a set of rollerblades, or a teacup, or the hard, asphalt street, and comes to experience deeply that there is no street present apart from an exapnse of color and a feeling of hardness or whatever sensations seem to represent a street. Apart from the sensations, there is no street directly experienced.

Here is a radical realization: because there is no getting between the sensation and the street to see that one points to the other, one realizes that there is no sense in which one is sensing the street. That street-object is simply not present in direct experience.

Similarly for the texture, hardness and color. They are not experienced directly apart from the modalities of touch and vision. So there is no experienced separate object that vision SEES. Vision isn't directly experienced as having an object.

Then for vision itself. Vision is never experienced independently from witnessing awareness. There is no other access to vision. So it isn't directly experienced that we witness vision. Vision IS witnessing awareness.

One does this for each sense in turn, then for supposed combinations of senses, then for movement, then for different objects, then for other "body"-type physical objects, then one's "own" body.

After this is thoroughly investigated, there is no more independent physicality. No more material with which to separate or partition bubbles of awareness.

Then one begins to look at the mind and the subtle worlds...

You see where this is going - to awareness, the sum and substance of all experience.

This becomes one's living experience. This is why it isn't so simple to conclude that One is rollerblading!
15 hours ago via mobile · Like · 3
Kyle Dixon: Joel, and the other half of that investigation would be what Greg is discussing here. You would turn to the rest of experience and evaluate it the same way you did thought. And in addressing experience you may take each sensory experience gradually, for example; object-to-sensory modality, the sensory modality-to-awareness. Or you may not it just depends. You may be able to intuit how the display is the full exertion in the immediacy.

In evaluating phenomena, see that objects are merely shape, color etc., as Greg mentioned, and that those shapes and colors do not actually create anything apart from appearance. Coupling that with the insight you gain from the thought-investigation, you'll see that there is no object which endures through time, simply an empty display which is only ever the exertion of the immediacy. We conventionally attribute origination and substance to the display as objects etc., but upon scrutiny they are unfounded. So full exertion, nothing coming nor going, in being disjoint; spatiality, distance, movement etc., are simply translating fluctuation in pattern etc., nothing underlies the sheer appearance.

Greg has said that the direct path does allow awareness to self-destruct after one has reached that point, allowing for a total collapse. But whether it collapses via it's own accord or you take a different route it must be addressed in one way or another. If an alternate route is implemented, it is important to be sure that awareness is approached the same way as thought and other phenomena. Recognize that it cannot be found or located apart from the empty display of the immediacy's exertion. It's important to allow for a freedom from extremes, so no remainder should be left over. No awareness is established within or beyond the display.

And so therein lies the metaphor in that quote. In the absence of extremes and reference points, when the entirety of the moments timeless display is unable to reach beyond itself. There is an ungraspability, no way to cling or pin anything down. In the absence of extremes there is no coming nor going, here nor there, up nor down, and then the emptiness of even those extremes just mentioned. Just like space. So there is empty space and you, and 'you', 'I', 'me' etc., is just a thought, so not even that applies beyond conventionality.
14 hours ago via mobile · Edited · Unlike · 2
Greg Goode: One more thing - the direct path works best if it is done in order, from the gross to the subtle. People love to begin with thought ane feeling. But if one enters there before investigating the body, then it will be felt as though thoughts are arising in the body. This will place a stumbling block in the way of realizing the higher witness and later nondual awareness, since it will seem as though awareness is limited to this body only. That is where you get lots of the psychology-sounding nondual teachings. The insight and discourse is stuck at the "mind" level and has no way of transcending that implicit, unacknowledged, separative and dualistic structure.

So in all my years of helping people with the direct path, I've found the investigation into thought to be much easier and straightforward for people than the investigation into physicality and the body. It's only the body or something very like it that could serve as an imagined container or separator for awareness. Even the mind is usually understood in subtle physical and spatial terms most of the time. One must get past this in the inquiry. So even if one deconstructs thought into awareness but hasn't deconstructed physicality, then one doesn't really transcend solipsism. And that can be a very frightening and nihilistic place. I'm afraid that a lot of awareness-style nondual teachings end up there.....
13 hours ago · Edited · Like · 5
Jackson Peterson: I really like that Greg Goode:, what a great summary! I am going to share that! However, I fear what Kyle added may be misunderstood that only a "thought" of a "me" is what defines what "you" actually are, that appears in empty space. We can come to a "non-being" as actually an imputation stemming from "no self" insights, especially intellectually. This is a type of "nihilism" which in itself is an "extreme".
Rather I have found that, that "space" is itself "Being", the Being of Non-Being. Being and Non-Being are always one reality. When the exertion of Non-Being moves in the bias of "Being" it can easily evolve into "being a something". If right at this point the "exertion" self-releases its materializing dynamic, a relaxing back into the bliss of Non-Being occurs and the transparent unity of Being as Non-Being comes into balance energetically. This release of the materializing dynamic exertion, is the result of the awareness present as Being, self-recognizes its "empty nature" as Non-Being. To get to this level of very subtle practice one first passes through the lower harmonic of realizing "no-self" and the unity of self and no-self as both being empty. A huge and vast openning can occur at this point that reveals the higher harmonic of Being in Non- Being. But the error can occur where the aspect of "Non-Being" can be latched unto. In such a case one feels the only possible "beingness" would be simply a thought of "identity" as a "me" or an "I" appearing in the empty space of Non-Being. When seen fully we see that "awareness" is itself the Light of Being/Non-Being, not something that can be further deconstructed.
6 hours ago · Edited · Like
Kyle Dixon: I clearly said a freedom from extremes, and you therefore misinterpreted what I wrote. As for the rest, you're substantiating and clinging to awareness as usual and your argument doesn't make sense.
6 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
Jackson Peterson: Kyle Dixon:, my argument doesn't make sense to you because its not yet seen that the primal Clear Light state is a condition of Being/Non-Being in total transparency and that the vividness of experience is itself awareness self-shining as the experience. This is the dynamic exertion of Being/Non-Being as Clear Light Awareness and is what is "Knowing". That ever present "Knowing Awareness" is the "Being" side of emptiness and is irreducible as basic Luminosity Clarity. You can't deconstruct it! That very effort at deconstruction is the action of "Knowing Awareness" itself. Not knowing this you miss the whole point of the Third Turning of the Wheel and reduce Dzogchen to a hinayana attachment to a nihilistic "no self" view.
6 hours ago · Like
Kyle Dixon: It actually doesn't make sense because it's just word salad about 'being' and 'non-being'.
6 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
Kyle Dixon: Emptiness isn't a capacity, or a something which 'knows' or has 'a being side'. Knowing and 'having a being side' are empty, and emptiness is empty.
6 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
Jackson Peterson: Yes, indeed Kyle Dixon:, it is just "word salad" until "Seen" and that "Seeing" only is served after the salad and main course, as the dessert. It seems you are still nibbling on "word salad" instead of seeing that what you think is just the salad, is actually already the "dessert"!
6 hours ago · Like
Kyle Dixon: Your argument is simply reifying awareness and then sticking an 'unestablished being/non-being' label on the package in hopes that people will buy it.
6 hours ago via mobile · Edited · Like · 1
Also see: Who Am I? 

Taken from a great blog

Quietening the Inner Chatter - Part 1

The inner chatter in our minds is something we are all familiar with.  While we may have good and sometimes bad experiences in our lives that may move us to ponder life's deeper meanings or to seek out answers it is this inner chatter, more-so out of it's insistent and consistent barrage on our minds, that we are finally driven to seek out someway to quieten it down.  It gets so unrelenting and so persistent that once we have decided that we have had enough of it and we want to quieten it down, there doesn't appear to be any way to stop it.  We can't even go to sleep because the mind just keeps going and going!!  It's like torture "Okay, I'm over this noise in my head now.  I think you should stop now.  Okay, stop.  No no, I mean stop .... now!  Shhh!  I really mean it.  Come on now, stop!!! STOP!!!"

We quickly realise as much as we want it to stop it just seems to keep going.  We try frantically to find ways to quieten the mind but none of it seems to make the slightest bit of difference. We'll typically at this point turn to all kinds of external means to find some peace and we'll drown it out with social activities, making ourselves busy, through entertainment media like TV, radio, music, x-box or even alcohol and drugs.  These only serves as a means of distracting us from the noise.  As soon as we remove the distraction the noise and inner chatter is back as loud as ever.  Actually over time doing these distraction techniques just make the inner chatter worse by perpetuating the cycle.  So how do we stop it?  Well really the secret is not to stop it, I'll explain more as we go.

If we are lucky, in our search for a solution, we may eventually stumble across meditation.  The common problem is people try it and think that meditation is about stopping the thoughts.  It's a very common misconception and unfortunately leads a lot of people to try it and then walk away thinking it didn't yield any results.  This is why I'm writing this article, to help bring some understanding to what is happening here. People often read a few blogs, a website or two, a book maybe or chat to someone about the basics of meditation and then sit down to try meditation only find it doesn't work.  Or so they think!

In talking to people about meditation I find lots of people have tried it. This is really heartening to see. You can see they too are seeking some peace and along the way have tried meditation as a means of finding this peace.  One of the main recurring themes I hear is that people say "Oh I tried meditation but it didn't work" or "I couldn't do it".  My immediate response is usually "This is like water saying, I just don't know how to be wet".  It's impossible for meditation not to work!!  It has to work because it is by it's very fabric the nature of all things, including ourselves, our minds and consciousness.  I'll explain this below as we go.

It is important to take a step back and ask ourselves first "What has lead me to have this mind and all this inner chatter?" and to really evaluate what is going on.  It is through wanting, conceptualising, grasping, categorising, judging, pushing away, and thinking about everything we experience in life that our minds become busy.  In our day to day we have a thought arise about every thing little, every teeny tiny thing and what we think about it, how we feel about it, what it means to us and how we can get more of it or get away from it. Through this there is a perpetuating cycle of mind busyness which over times results in a momentum all of it's own. It's like a freight train that's been gathering more carriages along its journey.  The heavier it gets the harder it is to stop.  After a while it has so much momentum that even when the train driver sticks on the brakes the train will just keeping on skidding and take a long time to come to a stop!!!  Our minds are just like this.  We stick on the brakes expecting it to stop and, "Holy crap! It's still going!"

What is Meditation About?

So we have to be very clear, meditation is not about stopping thoughts.
 We cannot approach meditation with another "want", but often this is exactly what we do.  "I want to do meditation to find some peace" or "I want to do meditation to be happy" or "I want to do meditation to stop this inner chatter in my mind".  Again however this is the same cycle we just stated above.  In doing so we've just approached meditation in the same way we've approached everything else in our lives, and in trying it like this we continue to perpetuate the cycle of inner chatter.  So of course we walk away thinking "Well that stinks, it doesn't work".  Meditation is not about getting what you want, meditation is about letting go.  As you do this thoughts stop by themselves!

Ajahn Chah's has a little book of quotes called No Ajahn Chah: Reflections in which he says:
Remember you don’t meditate to "get" anything, but to get "rid" of things. We do it not with desire but with letting go. If you "want" anything, you won’t find it.
By this he doesn't mean to get rid of something we don't want or we remove something that we want to get away from. He's not saying to get rid of the inner chatter or noise.

I'll explain exactly how that works in Part 2 and then in Part 3 what we can do to quieten the inner chatter, the common trap and how to apply this.  Check back tomorrow for Part 2.

Quietening the Inner Chatter - Part 2

Continuing on from yesterday's article Quietening the Inner Chatter - Part 1, we were saying that meditation is not about getting what we want but out letting go of what it is that is supporting the existence of the inner chatter. This is a very important point.

The Builder and the House

There is good metaphor which will help explain this. Our minds are like little construction workers, always building building building. We build ideas and thoughts about everything, over time we construct this big house called "me". At some point we start to not like the house we are in so we think "Okay, I'm not enjoying this any more, I want out of this house!!". So we immediately get to work on building another house in hope that moving into it will somehow make us happier.  "I can't stand this house any more, I want a new house"  or we think "If I can just change this thing room here, add this modification on there, then I'll be happy". We mistakenly think happiness will be bought about by changing something external to us. So we get busy, thinking, building, analysing the past, thinking about our future, complaining about what we don't like about our current house, thinking about how we want life to be, trying to think our way out of our current situation and how we can get the house to be just like we want it to be.  Then we focus desperately on how we can get into the new house.  So eventually we think we've found the answer, we abandon the current house, move in and for a few days or weeks we think it's perfect.  Then looking around we realise we moved all our crap into this house too and it's full of the same junk we had in the last house!!  It just moved with us!  Then after a while we begin looking at the new house and start thinking "You know, this house really could do with ...." and it all starts again.

This clearly isn't the answer but interestingly we'll repeat this process in all areas of our life for many, many, many years in hope that it will eventually yield some results.  Holding onto hope keeps us stuck, we hold out hope that eventually it will work, in this way we stay stuck. We are like a car stuck in the mud, with our foot constantly on the accelerator spinning our wheels getting more and more bogged.

So when approaching meditation we do the same "I want to stop these thoughts that are driving me nuts", so we sit down but we can't get the thoughts to stop.  Why is this?  It's because life does not work like this.  Just look at the clouds, can more wind make the clouds go away?  No, its just makes more clouds.  This isn't a metaphor, I'm talking directly and literally about the very nature that drives the existence of things like wind and clouds and rain are the same forces that drive our minds and thoughts and pain. To break through the clouds the sun has to come out. Why is this? Let us go back to the house building metaphor for the answer.

The Laws behind Inner Chatter

Going back to our house building metaphor the answer isn't to move into another house, the answer is to deconstruct the current house we live in .... completely. We need to stop building and let the current house get old and collapse.  If we stop building and improving on a house what happens?  It slowly cracks, the wood rots, it gets weathered, things fall off and eventually it falls down. So, asking again, why is this?  This is very important and the heart of this entire article.  It is because the conditions that support the survival of the house are removed, so eventually it dies.  All things in life are exactly like this.

Clouds require a certain condition. Certain moisture content in the air and certain temperature creates the conditions for them to exist. When the sun comes out the conditions that supports the existence of the clouds passes and so too do the clouds. When a flower doesn't get enough water, or gets too much sun, or gets uprooted from the soil it too dies. It's conditions cease, so it ceases. If our body doesn't get food or water eventually it will die. Look around you, everything, absolutely everything you can see or experience or think are exactly like this and all exist due to the dependent conditions that support their existence. There is not a single thing in the universe that does not obey this law. Not one! I'm not asking you to believe me, investigate yourself, look around. Is there anything you can find that doesn't obey this law?

Your mind and thoughts are exactly the same.  They require a certain conditions to exist and certain conditions to keep them going.  The cycle of inner chatter requires certain conditions too.  Through repeating the same process we just perpetuate their existence and in fact make them stronger.  This is why when we approach meditation and want to stop the inner chatter it doesn't work. We don't realise, by approaching it in this way, that we are just running the same old patterns that creates and supports the very existence of the inner chatter. 

Slowing Down Takes Time

The other thing to consider, like the momentum of the heavy freight train, is that it is going to take time to stop. If you’re 20, 30, 40 or 50 years old, then you’ve been supporting and building a world of inner chatter over all those years. You can’t just sit down to try meditation and expect it to stop right away. Again, life just doesn’t work like this. For example, think of the flower again. If we stop watering a flower it doesn’t die straight away, it will take a week or two. All things are like this, they take time to cease.  We are the same with our inner chatter.

So typically we approach meditation with the same incorrect assumption we hold about life, that things will just stop instantly.  We want instant results and so we expect life to be the way we want it to be.  In doing this we ignore and don’t respect these laws that all things are bound by, and in doing so we create conditions that support the perpetuation of inner noise. The process is so obvious, so inherent in our nature, that we simply just don’t notice it. In reality you could say it is so obvious that in growing up with it since a baby we don’t notice the obviousness of it any more. However, all it requires is for us to look around and observe the way everything works.  You can see this truth right there in everything around you.So in Part 1 I explained how inner chatter is a problem and what the effects are like.  In Part 2 we talked how that problem functions and in Part 3 I’ll discuss what we can do to quieten the inner chatter, how that healing process works, a common trap to look our for and how to apply this.  Check back tomorrow for Part 3.

In Quietening the Inner Chatter - Part 1, we were saying that meditation is not about getting what we want but about letting go of what it is that is supporting the existence of the inner chatter. This is a very important point.

Continuing on from yesterday's article Quietening the Inner Chatter - Part 2, we were saying that the inner chatter is reliant on certain conditions that support it's existence and that it, like everything else, obeys natural laws that all things abide by.

So How Does Meditation Work?

This is why I said earlier that meditation has to work, because it inherently obeys and works on these same rules of nature that everything else works on.  When we sit and do meditation practice we focus the mind on an object, typically the breath.  In doing this we remove the conditions that support the perpetuation of inner chatter.  It's like the flower suddenly not getting water any more, over time it slowly dies.  Our inner chatter is the same.  Don't think thought that just because you've removed the conditions through meditation that the chatter will cease straight away.  If we stop drinking water it takes a few days before we really start to feel it, and a week or two before we die.  Our inner chatter is the same.  In sitting meditation we aren't stopping thought, we are removing certain conditions that support the existence of problems in our lives.  In doing this things naturally quieten down on their own and our life naturally feels more alive, more radiant and vibrant.  So it's a constant process of letting go whatever house or structure you have around you at that point in time and letting it naturally pass. Peace, happiness and silence therefore aren't things we acquire, this is why we can't go out and seek after them and acquire them, they are the natural properties of our existence when the noise of our lives quietens down.

So if you want peace of mind, don't focus on getting peace. If you want happiness, don't focus on getting happiness. You have to focus on meditating diligently and letting go of the house you've build up around you. As the house decays and dies and collapses peace and happiness is revealed.

One Step Further Down the Rabbit Hole

While the above focuses on how meditation breaks down the structure, as we meditate we start to notice something interesting.  
The letting go happens all by itself.  If we try to let go, it doesn't seem to happen.  "Okay, let go now.  No no, I mean, I'm over this, you can let go!"  It doesn't work.Why is this? Letting go isn't something we do, it's something that occurs when there is mindful awareness.  As soon as there is awareness, letting go occurs because we start to see clearly the very nature of things.  In this awareness we see them for what they are, in doing so they freed from the condition that kept it perpetuating and that kept us bound to it.  Examine any regular life example you've had in which you later let go of what bothered you and you'll discover this was the process.  This is because awareness itself is condition-less, is empty and has no enduring substance. It is the true nature of existence. Going back to the above we said that in doing meditation we remove the conditions that supports the existence of the inner chatter. This is because awareness itself is condition-less and in meditating and being aware the things in our lives (like inner chatter) cease to have anything to interact with, that is, their conditions for existence are removed.

The awareness itself is like pulling the rug out from underneath everything.  So all we need to do to reveal peace and happiness is return as often as possible to this mindful awareness.  In doing that our life transforms all by itself.  Simply by placing awareness on anything it is eventually seen for what it truly is and it passes.  It quite remarkable really.  Another way to say this is, in seeing anything clearly it ceases to exist, it is let go, and to see things clearly you need to be aware.

The Common Fear

In reading this the common fear that immediately arises is "This sounds like I have to destroy or sacrifice who I am to find peace!", and fear arises in us. We unnaturally feel that in approaching meditation we lose that sense of who we are.  While the process does require us to learn to let go of the things in our lives that are unfruitful it doesn't mean we have to become zombies to find peace, and it also doesn't mean we have to be completely boring either.  We must remind ourselves it is actually the unfruitful things in our lives that creates our pains, it is these things that obscure our life and stop us from actually understanding who we are.  It is these conditions that support the unfruitful results in our lives that we seek to heal.  Admittedly doing meditation can be a tough process at times but through it we actually open ourselves up to a greater sense of who we are, who we are without a big smelly dung heap piled on top.  So we uncover a new "me". This next section contains a metaphor that explains why.

The Common Trap

Now typically after reading the above we'll go "Okay so if I do X then I'll get Y" and we'll race out and do  meditation with vigour in the hope that doing it will result in the peace of mind we seek.  Again, this is a problem because we are just approaching meditation with a mutated desire - "In doing this, I'll get that". The builder in us jumps out and wants to try and build another house.  It's the same problem that supports the conditions of inner chatter.  This is not good, not bad, it's just where you are at now.  It is better at least that you are doing meditation because as I've described above in simply returning to this awareness our lives change. Just be aware in yourself and know that eventually you are going to have to let go of this desire towards meditation, you'll have to let go of this attachment to meditation being a tool to bring about change. Keep meditating and keeping letting go, when the time is right you'll come to see it's time to let go.  It therefore requires you to acknowledge what the current structure you've built up that you call "me", and it requires the willingness to let go of it.  This takes courage and honesty.

At every stage in life what you are experiencing is supported by a set of conditions. Even this one right now!  Even this very consciousness and experience you are having as you read this.  Once you've let go of one set of conditions, another more subtle set becomes apparent through mindfulness.  It is therefore a constant process of letting go, of seeing more clearly. You must constantly remind yourself "This too shall pass" and sit and watch the next structure pass away.  As you do peace and happiness reveal themselves on their own, kind of like the sun revealing itself from behind the clouds.  It's not that the sun went away, it was just obscured by clouds.  Our lives are exactly like this.  Meditation in this way is about revealing the true nature of what we are and becoming the same as this very nature.

How to Apply This

While all the above helps understand how we create the inner chatter, what supports it and how to break it down, when it comes to our time on the meditation mat, how do we apply this? After all this dialogue this isn't going to be a long discourse because it's really quite simple. Go back to basics. When you sit meditation just focus on your breath and be aware, and keep returning over and over to being mindfully aware. That is all.

If you notice a desire for something then acknowledge it and know it has a supporting set of conditions to it's existence. Don't act out the desire, just simply notice it and return to the focus of the meditation. In doing this, without consciously knowing it at first, we remove the underlying conditions of the desire itself. Over time the desire passes. We say "time heals" but really it's the awareness that heals, time just ticks over as the problem itself dissipates because it's conditions for survival are removed.

If you are meditating and have inner chatter then notice the inner chatter and acknowledge that there is a supporting set of conditions to it's existence. Don't engage in the chatter no matter how convincing it seems, just simply notice it and return to the meditation. Again, in doing this we remove the underlying conditions of the chatter itself. Over time the chatter quietens down.

This same process applies from the first day we sit on the meditation mat through to the advance stages, and finally through to complete enlightenment. We aren't gaining anything, we are letting go of the conditions that support a false way of experiencing the world and we are ultimately returning to this very awareness that is condition-less.  The meditation technique itself therefore is incredibly simple - be aware, that is all -  however it is all the false structures we've build up and the chatter about this process of letting go that is our challenge. This is what makes up the path we travel through to eventual realisation and enlightenment.

I hope this article has helped to clarify why we have inner chatter and helped to bring some understanding to the process of quietening it down and how meditation helps.

If you have any comments or questions please feel free to add them below.