Cao Khánh wrote in AtR group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AwakeningToReality/posts/25438496085765148/?__cft__[0]=AZW8JbPtGcnaNGO5rlSsT7lSKjoP9SU8e64eeY5Tx1k-TG8TLtnZS7Vys97Q5j1jFZegi24q7zx4S6uQmAYC0sSA4JgzGBehl8vCTMdqk_ypil0DyLw1Ax78HyfIw7xHsHPNdfE13EO3iiwlICPkEnR-F5f0LRjxNKoFvpfRPD6d7HqXUBCRVf7L5mOSc-2E7Yep49B9PZ2jt0ORZVCI2Q2uafSM7NB_hMzyaGE8GAks-A&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R]-R


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6 hours ago

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Recommending Lama Joe Evans (Jigme Rangdrol) for Practitioners Interested in Dzogchen

I believe there are many people here already knows about Lama Joe or have been actively learning from him. And I have talked to Soh about him and Soh thinks it's okay for me to share this here.

So if you're interested in Dzogchen teaching, I would recommend Lama Joe for the following reasons:

Malcolm Smith, a Dzogchen teacher endorsed by AtR, said: "Joe Evans is my student and I vouch for him 100%".

I've attended the Spring Retreat with Lama Joe and his Rangdrol Foundation sangha, and can attest that he is very attentive and takes his teaching responsibilities very whole-heartedly, while also being very chillaxing about it.

Lama Joe says if you're genuinely interested in Dzogchen then that is good enough to start learning and practicing Dzogchen.

He holds his teaching online and accepts dana, so location limitation and monetary limitation is not the problem

He has a very active Discord sangha for ongoing correspondence as well.

He is hosting another retreat coming this summer so you can have a chance to receive Direct Introduction if you haven't had one already.

There is surely more things to appreciate about Lama Joe, so I invite other members who have received his teachings to share their perspectives

If you want to check out Lama Joe Evans, here's a few links that I've found helpful:

The Rangdrol Foundation website: https://www.rangdrolfoundation.org/

Interview about his experience with his different teachers (Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche, Acarya Malcolm Smith, and Dungse Rigdzin Dorje Rinpoche) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOShiRbfHDI





YOUTUBE.COM

Praxis Behind The Obscure: Dzogchen w/ Jigme Rangdröl

In this episode, Joe Evans also known as Jigme Rangdröl joins the podcast to discuss his Buddhist journey, how to find a qualified teacher, and stories of ex...

Cao Khánh

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Some nice writings from Lama Joe

"gzhi (ground/basis) and zhi (peace)

The point of rushen and semdzin is really to bring distracting proliferations to a point of exhaustion so that you can observe the empty clarity of your mind, which is the nature of mind. In that moment of unfabricated consciousness you recognize your nature. If there’s no recognition of the presence you have slipped into dullness. If you’re grasping and labeling the experience you have slipped back into proliferation. The two diversion’s are fairly recognizable so in practice they are actually allies because they indicate when we have returned to distraction. Once you are familiar with rigpa then your thoughts are not a problem because you are now able to skillfully apply the three modes of liberation.

gzhi (ground/basis) and zhi (peace)

Chogyal Namhkai Norbu was very adamant about this particular pitfall as well. People mistakenly claim that a blank state of quiescence is the dharmakaya. One has to understand that such a state is not the great perfection and merely leads to the formless realm at best but likely rebirth as an animal since it is marked by dullness.

gzhi (ground/basis) and zhi (peace)

Sure, the main point is that rigpa is your rigpa, it is the naturally perfected cognizant aspect of the basis; which is in your body. It’s not outside, everyone has their own mind stream and thus their own rigpa.

gzhi (ground/basis) and zhi (peace)

Right, the nature of the individual, the basis."

Soh has commented his other writings to point that Lama Joe's view is "definitely not substantialist"

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Soh Wei Yu

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Cao Khánh its from his other posts that i knew his views are not substantialist, not these particular ones

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Cao Khánh

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Soh Wei Yu can you share them here as well? I'll correct the previous comment

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Soh Wei Yu

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Cao Khánh hmm i forgot, quite a number actually, i recommend people go through the whole pdf i posted if they are interested

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Cao Khánh

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damn 202 pages!!! nice one

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Soh Wei Yu

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Here is a compilation of his writings from reddit: https://app.box.com/s/eprptl38hilnznqk87kuif3vy62w7nkw

A%20Compilation%20of%20(Reddit)%20Joe%20Evans.pdf.pdf | Powered by Box

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I often say, self enquiry is not a mantra. It's not something you just repeat mentally "who am i.. who am i..." it's not that sort of practice. It is an investigation, an exploration, an inquiry into the true nature of identity and the true nature of consciousness.


The inquiry/koan "Before Birth, who am I?" has a dual purpose: the elimination of all conceptual identification (ego) and to discover one's underlying radiant Consciousness, or Pure Presence/Beingness.


During my journey of self-enquiry, which spanned over two years (2008-Feb 2010), involving meditative contemplations such as “before birth, who am I?” During the process, this line of questioning, we eliminate all the candidates for my self -- I am not my hands, my legs, my name, my thoughts. They come and go and are observed, they are not me. So what am I? As John Tan said before, “you cannot know the “Ultimate Source” without the process of elimination”. What does it eliminate? The conceptual identification of self with various mentally constructed and perceived objects. This is why "before birth" is asked, as it directs the mind to this elimination. And what does that elimination reveal? Who am I, what is this radiant Being that stands alone revealed after that process of elimination?


Ramana Maharshi said:


"1. Who am I ?


The gross body which is composed of the seven humours (dhatus), I am not; the five cognitive sense organs, viz. the senses of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell, which apprehend their respective objects, viz. sound, touch, colour, taste, and odour, I am not; the five cognitive sense- organs, viz. the organs of speech, locomotion, grasping, excretion, and procreation, which have as their respective functions speaking, moving, grasping, excreting, and enjoying, I am not; the five vital airs, prana, etc., which perform respectively the five functions of in-breathing, etc., I am not; even the mind which thinks, I am not; the nescience too, which is endowed only with the residual impressions of objects, and in which there are no objects and no functioning’s, I am not.


2. If I am none of these, then who am I?


After negating all of the above-mentioned as ‘not this’, ‘not this’, that Awareness which alone remains - that I am.


3. What is the nature of Awareness?


The nature of Awareness is existence-consciousness-bliss"


- continue reading at https://app.box.com/s/v8r7i8ng17cxr1aoiz9ca1jychct6v84


This line of questioning (before birth, who am I?) led me to a moment in silent meditation where everything subsided, leaving only a doubtless unshakeable certainty of pure existence and presence.

 

So eliminating concepts until none is left with some prompting like self enquiry or zen koan will allow one to reach a complete state of stillness (stillness of the conceptual mind) and authenticate presence/clarity/radiance directly. 


While this method effectively dissolves conceptual attachments and reveals the radiant core of Consciousness, it fails to address the view of inherency and the dualities of subject and object or the deeper insight of both self and phenomena as merely nominal and overcome views that reifies the four extremes. Sometimes we call it "inherentness" in short, and inherentness means concepts being reified and mistaken as real. But that requires deeper insights and realisations and is crucial for releasing the deeper afflictive and knowledge obscurations. Merely the pausing of conceptual thinking or even revealing one's Radiance is insufficient to realise its nature. 


At this point, after radiance is realized, as John Tan points out, "before we can hop into the next path and focus on radiance and natural state, without recognizing implication of conventional and seeing through them, there will be ongoing cognitive as well as emotional obscurations. How deep and far can you go? Much less talking about natural state when one can't even distinguish what is conventional and what is ultimate."


As John Tan said before,


“When we authenticate radiance clarity directly, we have a first hand experiential taste of what is called the "ultimate free from all conceptual elaborations" but mind is not "free from conceptual elaborations".”


I also wrote some time back:


"Seeing selfness or cognizance as a subject and phenomena as objects is the fundamental elaboration that prevents the taste of appearances as radiance clarity.. then even after anatta, there are still the subtle cognitive obscurations that reified phenomena, arising and ceasing, substantial cause and effect, inherent production and so on.


So elaboration is not just coarse thinking like labelling but to me is like a veil of reification projecting and distorting radiant appearances and its nature.


Another way to put it is that the fundamental conceptual elaboration that obscures reality/suchness is to reify self and phenomena in terms of the extremes of existence and non existence through not apprehending the nature of mind/appearance.


...


If you mean just authenticate radiance clarity like I AM, then it’s just nonconceptual taste and realisation of presence.


That moment is nondual and nonconceptual and unfabricated but it doesnt mean the view of inherency is seen through. Since fundamental ignorance is untouched the radiance will continue to be distorted into a subject and object."


"The process of eradicating avidyā (ignorance) is conceived… not as a mere stopping of thought, but as the active realization of the opposite of what ignorance misconceives. Avidyā is not a mere absence of knowledge, but a specific misconception, and it must be removed by realization of its opposite. In this vein, Tsongkhapa says that one cannot get rid of the misconception of 'inherent existence' merely by stopping conceptuality any more than one can get rid of the idea that there is a demon in a darkened cave merely by trying not to think about it. Just as one must hold a lamp and see that there is no demon there, so the illumination of wisdom is needed to clear away the darkness of ignorance." - Napper, Elizabeth, 2003, p. 103"

It is important however to note that Gelug and non Gelug authors may have different definitions of conceptualities, as John Tan pointed out years ago: “Not exactly, both have some very profound points.  Mipham "conceptualities" is not only referring to symbolic layering but also self-view which is more crucial.  Mipham made it very clear and said the gelug mistake "conceptualities" as just symbolic and mental overlay, which is not what he is referring then he laid down 3 types of conceptualities.  Same for dharmakirti also...there is the gross definition and the more refine definitions.”


However, for the purpose of beginners trying to realize the I AM, just going through and focusing on self-enquiry and the process of elimination mentioned earlier is sufficient to result in Self Realisation. 


You should read this article https://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2018/12/the-direct-path-to-your-real-self.html as this author was able to bring several to the realization of I AM, and explains well the process of self enquiry and the process of elimination.



Question: “ Thank you Soh, much appreciated.


I'm familiar with some of the material but i'll work my way through it all again. 


Can you say anything more specifically about the quality of the question "what is aware of self" as opposed to "who am I"? If it leaves me in an "emptier" experience is it necessarily a better question for me, or is it important to keep trying to deconstruct that ickily shifting sense of self that "who am I" points at?”


Soh replied: “ Who am i doesnt point at sense of self, it lets you see that the sense of self is not in fact who you are. You are what is aware and prior to that sense of self. So all objects conceived or perceived that is mistaken as Self are naturally negated as neti neti - not this, not this. And so you revert back to the Source, or the pure Beingness prior to all concepts and sense of self.

Who am i points at the pure I-I prior to all conceived sense of self and perceived objects. In other words it points to the same thing as “what is aware” is pointing at.

The fact that the sense of self is as you put it, “ickily shifting” is already a hint to you that it is not in fact who you truly are at all, it is not your true self. So inquiring who am I naturally negates that shifting sense of self as being a possible candidate for who you are. And so seeing this you naturally deconstruct that and trace back to the Source in self enquiry.”


Do watch this: https://youtu.be/ZYjI6gh9RxE?si=6M4zn5tHE7fQlJcr




Also watch this: https://youtu.be/MTvyLfCd9jI?si=9sUAHomIpD76iQn-




From: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AwakeningToReality/posts/25468433356104754/?__cft__[0]=AZWn5BcNlBzxvadefdYZz8QD_yc5YjBCRi6VEIqVXLAUO2ejTQ-qOKDIVdeXzqXJBHh6CLZFEW-aZdj5LQojucGiR94JITsvvRSqcpwMF7zGvat8_lNiwlAt6aL1Wf6e9MxlnrPeU33-K731izBSRLMSGaR8R9e5lXMmsg6C0xhS1A&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R



Preston Putzel
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If they all were under the same post criticizing ATR, then probably that post alone is the issue. Nobody but Soh was allowed to post there by the filter. BTW I also tried to criticize carbon dating lol. It's a very naive idea.
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Alexander Samarth
I guess the algorithm had a point there...
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Chris Jones
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Preston Putzel see the following comment from krodha regarding the carbon dating of Mahayana sutras: https://www.reddit.com/.../comments/1ckgcux/comment/l2xh5ot/
Carbon dating isn't a guarantee that the oral traditions originated at similar times, but then again, it also doesn't guarantee that the oral tradition the Pali suttas were based on came before Mahayana. So it is pointless to discuss. Carbon dating is the best evidence we have.
Further, in Mahayana the historical Buddha is not the only Buddha, so it doesn't actually matter. What's important is that a text corresponds to the views of Buddhadharma.
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Mike King
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Chris Jones Agreed that carbon dating is pointless, but a rough chronology can be worked out from the content. The suttas that are likely memorized by Ananda (in the four major Nikayas, the Udana and the Itivuttaka) have an authentic character to them as based on actual events. None of the Mahayana sutras, whatever their merits, have that quality.
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Alexander Samarth
Yeah, I don't think the dating is disputed much, and carbon dating was never really part of it.
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Preston Putzel
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Kyle's arguments about carbon dating are very weak. He basically refuses to use any tools of early buddhist studies, besides the one he likes, carbon dating. He says all the techniques are bad, but his technique is the best we have. This is just cherry picking the evidence. It's easy to win an argument when you take off the table all methods that disagree with you by dismissing them as speculative nonsense. Relying on carbon dating actually is speculative nonsense. You simply can't judge the age of content transmitted orally (pali canon) by the time it was written down.
The reality is that carbon dating is less reliable than the other methods used in early buddhist studies which focus on analysis of content, comparison between agamas and sutta, analysis of the language, analysis of metre, analysis of structure of the texts etc etc.
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Chris Jones
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What are these indisputable, non-speculative methods that he dismisses?
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Preston Putzel
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Chris Jones Those aren't my words at all.
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Chris Jones
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Mike King I didn’t mean that carbon dating was pointless, what I meant was that we simply don’t have any definitive evidence about when the oral traditions began, the only thing we have to go on is what’s been written down and when. Carbon dating is one way of determining that.
So your argument boils down to the idea that the suttas have an “authentic character” to them, which is entirely subjective. Hopefully you are aware that we can’t definitively determine the authenticity of a text from its content. What makes the content of the Pali suttas any more “authentic” than the content of the Mahayana sutras? The fact that it describes events relating to Gautama Buddha’s life? They just have a different presentation, context, and purpose.
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Preston Putzel
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Anyways, to be clear all the method of analysis in early buddhism are not absolutely certain mathematical proofs. They all involve some degree of uncertainty. This doesn't mean that they are bullshit. For instance, the foundations of science and engineering often depend on probabilistic reasoning. These are not bullshit either.
There is a difference between a valid argument which has some uncertainty about it and a very poor argument which has no grounded evidence for it. In fields like early buddhist studies most arguments have some degree of uncertainty.This doesn't mean 'anything goes', and it certainly doesn't mean carbon dating can be applied to an oral tradition to determine it's age.
Some arguments in early buddhism are bullshit though, not denying that. But more grounded approaches exist. As for what they are I already listed 4 examples of different kinds of approaches. I don't really feel like going into detail here about them, but for one example-we can analyze the metres deployed in a text to date them since some forms of poetic metre simply don't exist until after a certain date. Another more welll-known example-we can compare the content of different schools an see what is the same and what is different. What is the same is more likely to be earlier and presectarian. We can also compare content-if a doctrine in one text is described briefly but in another we get a long elaboration then it's more likely the elaboration comes later as a commentary or an expansion of the shorter text.
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Alexander Samarth
A lot more than you seem to think can be determined from text, there's a lot that goes into that...
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Chris Jones
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Preston Putzel feel free to correct it as you see fit, I believe your words were “take off the table all methods that disagree with you by dismissing them as speculative nonsense”, so it seemed like you were implying there were other methods, which are not speculative, that you had in mind? Otherwise I suppose we would be in agreement that carbon dating is just as effective as any other method.
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Chris Jones
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Alexander Samarth I didn’t say we can’t determine anything from text, I said that we can’t definitively determine the authenticity of the Pali (or Mahayana sutras) from their content alone. Otherwise, this debate would have been over a long time ago.
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Alexander Samarth
I agree, but we can determine there's like a thousand year difference between the bulk of the two, a century give or take.
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Mike King
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Chris Jones Agreed that my approach is "subjective." It is based on meeting living enlightened ones, and reading the lives of far more others. They all speak in a certain way, have teachings in common, and above all interact with their interlocuters in a certain way. In addition there is contextual detail, such as descriptions of places, persons and events. Even the fact that the Buddha coughs politely before entering a bikkhus hut. The Pali suttas I list all ring true on those counts.
In contrast the Mahayana sutras are lacking in contextual detail, have teachings that contradict what is in the Pali suttas, are heavily mythologised and full of archetypal imagary entirely lacking in the Pali serious suttas.
So agreed, all of this is "subjective". So let us be content to identify our thinking as "Pali" on the one hand and "Mahayana" on the other, as we engage in dharma talk. We will still gain by it.
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Chris Jones
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Preston Putzel I think you are putting words in my mouth because I didn’t call these methods bullshit, nor did I say that carbon dating can be used to determine the age of an oral tradition. They just have to be taken in context and their respective purposes understood.
Even if we know one text is a commentary of another, we can’t say that the “original” text comes from the Buddha in the first place. It could be one witness of an event describing it in detail, and another witness of the same event describing it briefly. We still can’t determine from this *when* the original text was written, nor the commentary, and this says even less about the oral tradition. The text and it’s commentary could have been written at the same time, for all we know. Unless of course we use carbon dating.
Also hopefully you can see the problem with “grouping” texts from different schools based on their content and then using this to make assumptions on the age or authenticity of said schools. If we have two groups of similar texts, they could just be from different authors (disciples of the Buddha, for example) from around the same time who have their own unique writing styles. They could be similar for all kinds of reasons. This is by no means proof of authenticity or age.
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Alexander Samarth
I think we should be speaking of "evidence" rather than "proof".
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Preston Putzel
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Chris Jones I wasn't implying you said anything was BS, but Kyle does seem to dismiss these things. Anyways, at the end of the day I really don't care that much about this topic. If people want to believe prajnaparamitra is the same age as the suttas, fine. That's definitely an extreme minority view among academics afaik, but my concern really is practice and liberation.
I only responded to Kyle's stuff at all out of irritation that such unfair reasoning was being repeated again and again. This argument from carbon dating is being used to combat 'pali canon fundamentalism'. I can be on board with criticizing that at least, but I would prefer better arguments were used.
So that's all from me.
Preston Putzel
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Chris Jones
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Mike King I am of course happy to make the distinction between Pali/Theravada and Mahayana views, and do.
Unrelated, but this group primarily consists of Mahayana and Vajrayana practitioners, FWIW. You may have met people you believed were “enlightene… 
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Chris Jones
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Preston Putzel If you mean the written sutras and not the oral tradition, there’s not much debate about when they were written down. The margin of error for radiocarbon dating is about 2-5%. That’s what I was trying to point out. But I don’t really need to labour the point further.