Posted by: Wei Yu
Writing this article has been on my to-do list for a few months but I couldn't do it due to exams and workload. Now I'm having a short holiday so I think I should quickly get this typed out.

There is a kind of pathology or danger in various kinds of insights because they are partial and one may not have yet seen the complete picture. As you may have seen in my recent discussions, the pathology or danger in non-doership is that one will fall into a kind of extreme deterministic thinking - that somehow because there is no doer, nothing can/should be done about things. This leads to a very passive attitude to things, or rather, one is restricted to experiencing no-self in a passive way (of merely letting experience happen in non-doership), one which prevents the experience of non-dual in action/activities via complete non-dual engagement, involvement, incorporating intentions, and later going into total exertion. (Also non-doership does not imply one has arisen non-dual insight)

Furthermore, someone who had some insight into the non-division of subject and object can fall into the extremes of subsuming (either object into subject like certain forms of traditional and neo Vedanta, or subsuming subject into object like Actualism), and via subsuming all phenomena into pure subjectivity, end up with an extreme notion of solipsism (the view that there is no others, only me).

Then there is the often mentioned-by-me (and Thusness) "disease of non-conceptuality". And finally -- blindness to karmic propensities, the afflictive actions and conditioning arising out of delusional framework of inherency and subject/object.

As I pasted some days back an excerpt from Thusness from one year ago on the disease of non-doership:

"John Tan: Nihilistic tendencies arise when the insight of anatta is skewed towards the no-doership aspect. The happening by itself must be correctly understood. It appears that things are accomplished by doing nothing but in actual case it is things get done due to ripening of action and conditions.

So the lack of self-nature does not imply nothing needs be done or nothing can be done. That is one extreme. At the other end of extreme is the self-nature of perfect control of what one wills, one gets. Both are seen to be false. Action + conditions leads to effect.

June 1 at 11:32am · Unlike · 8"

And I just wrote:

"What you said is not completely wrong but can be misleading unless you understand 'nature' as 'dependent origination' (replying to a post about anger, killing, suffering being the expression of nature instead of a self). Which is to say, it is not fate, or some sort of outside determinism, nor is it spontaneous arising without causes, but simply dependencies playing out here.

For example, torturing people is the result of ignorance, aggression, etc etc. There are various causes and conditions as listed in the twelve links of dependent arising. And it is not something that is fixed. By engaging in dharma practice we deal with the afflictions and liberate them. Four noble truths are like what doctor does - diagnosis, cause, relief, cure. Four noble truths are completely in alignment with "no self, dependent origination". It would be erroneous if a doctor realizes there is no self, therefore, thinks that all diseases are 'just as it is' and should not or cannot be dealt with. They should be dealt with. But they are dealt with not via the attempting to exert control or hard will via by the false notion of agency (sickness can't be cured merely by trying to will or control it out of existence - there are so many dependencies involved). They are dealt with via seeing its dependent origination and treating its dependent origination in a non-inherent way.

Now in the case of 'torturing', if someone practices metta, it can help (or if you prefer, leave out the 'someone' -- 'practicing metta can help'). Then when fundamental delusion is cleared, aggression can no longer arise. There is nobody controlling anger, anger arise whether one wants to or not -- yet it can be treated by applying the right antidote (e.g. metta) or actualizing wisdom so that it releases (e.g. anatta, twofold emptiness), just like diseases happen whether one wants to or not -- yet there is medicine, cure. There is suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the path that ends suffering."

Thusness then added on:

"“There is nobody controlling anger, anger arise whether one wants to or not”

Maybe sees it this way:

There is no one controlling anger, anger arises due to dependent origination.

With ignorance comes attachment. When attachment meets its secondary conditions, anger arises. Without secondary conditions, anger does not arise. Although it does not arise, it will not cease to arise unless the primary cause is severed. Here the appearance of “spontaneous arising” is seen from the perspective of DO.

Seeing this way, there is anatta; there is dependent origination; there is mindfulness of the cause of anger, the conditions, the cure and the ending of it. There is no bypassing as in “nothing needs be done”, albeit no-self."


Now.. there is another pathology which actually is the main one I wanted to address in this post.

On solipsism, as pointed out by Thusness before based on his own experience (that is, he too faced this tendency of solipsism after an initial breakthrough to nondual over a decade ago), the danger of someone going into nondual or even emptiness without the taste of total interpenetration is that one can easily fall into the extremes of solipsism. If we are directly experiencing our reality like in Vipassana, what we see are endless dependencies - seamless and intricate, in such a case there is no danger of falling into the view of solipsism.

As I wrote in my article Dharma Body last year: "...(Note: Dharma as simply a unit of experience dependently originating - not implying any inherently existing material universe [as the universe/dharma body here is seen as marvelous activities/phenomena dependently originating seamlessly without center or boundaries], nor is this dharma body in any sense a subjective body at all [if it is subjectively self-existent then causes and conditions will not be incorporated nor necessary for any given manifestation])..." -

Also, as Piotr shared last month, "...what Soh told me in the past, if we apply Buddha's deconstruction from sound example from sutra, then clarity I call visual form right now of this laptop, letters is no more "mine" than any of secondary conditions right now, and Buddha's teaching about not-mine and other teachings sealed possibility of solipsism permanently for me. Somehow [solipsism] for me its non-issue lol "

He's referring to what I told him many months ago:

"Thusness wrote "you see, when we say there is no self or other, we can still not see in terms of DO."

I commented: this is very important.. and lately I'm seeing it more as well. To overcome all sense of I, me, and even mine, D.O. has to step in. Many people talk about no I, no background, but still there is sense of mine... and there are also those that say everything is 'the manifestation of my mind or my nature'.. that is subtly subsuming everything to mind. Even if there is no duality.

In dependent origination you totally see the entire formation of interdependencies... not in words but directly taste the totality of its workings forming every moment of experience. When the drum beat sounds you don't see it as just 'the manifestation of my mind' but you see it as the person hitting, the drum, the vibration, the ears etc... all in total exertion... how can that have anything to do with I or mine? It is not 'mine' anymore than it is the person hitting, the drum's, the vibration's... etc. It is not only that there is no hearer behind sound... not only no I but no mine at all.. the sound itself does not belong to anyone... it is the entire universe in total exertion so to speak.. but it is not understood in logic. You have to see the whole process and interdependencies directly. Breathing is like this... walking is like this... every action every experience is like this. This is the path to dissolve I, me, mine... only through D.O. is the release thorough.

Not 'everything is just consciousness' or 'everything is my consciousness'... consciousness isn't that special or important. It does not have a special, independent, ontological status. Rather it is the interdependencies the workings of D.O. through which that moment of consciousness/experience is in total exertion. The true turning point is when mind is completely separated from mine.. I, me, mine.. the dualistic and inherent tendency must be dissolved and replaced with the wisdom of D.O."

Some conversations with Thusness back in 2012 are quite illuminating on this subject:

10/22/2012 9:09 AM: John: To me is just is "AEN" an eternal being...that's all. No denial of AEN as a conventional self

10/27/2012 2:48 PM: John: All is just him is an inference too. There is no other is also an assumption
10/27/2012 2:48 PM: AEN: That's what I said lol
10/27/2012 2:48 PM: AEN: He didn't see it
10/27/2012 2:49 PM: John: But other mindstreams is a more valid assumption. Don't u think so?
10/27/2012 2:50 PM: John: And verifiable
10/27/2012 2:50 PM: AEN: Yeah

10/27/2012 6:21 PM: John: Whatever in conventional reality still remain, only that reification is seen through. Get it?
10/27/2012 6:23 PM: John: The centre is seen through be it "subject" or "object", they r imputed mental constructs.
10/27/2012 6:24 PM: John: Only the additional "ghostly something" is seen through
10/27/2012 6:26 PM: AEN: Ic..
10/27/2012 6:26 PM: John: Not construing and reifying. Nothing that "subject" does not exist.
10/27/2012 6:26 PM: John: Get it?
10/27/2012 6:28 PM: John: This seeing through itself led to implicit non-dual experience
10/27/2012 6:28 PM: AEN: "Nothing that "subject" does not exist." - what u mean?
10/27/2012 6:29 PM: John: Not "subject" or "object" does not exist.
10/27/2012 6:30 PM: John: Or dissolving object into subject or subject into object...etc
10/27/2012 6:30 PM: AEN: Ic..
10/27/2012 6:30 PM: John: That "extra" imputation is seen through.
10/27/2012 6:30 PM: AEN: Oic
10/27/2012 6:31 PM: John: R u clear? Conventional reality still remain as it is.
10/27/2012 6:34 PM: John: Btw focus more on practice in releasing any not keep engaging on all these.
10/27/2012 6:35 PM: AEN: Ic.. Conventional reality are just names imposed on non-inherent aggregates right
10/27/2012 6:35 PM: John: Yes
10/27/2012 6:37 PM: John: That led to releasing of the mind from subsuming of anything
10/27/2012 6:39 PM: John: What u wrote is unclear
10/27/2012 6:40 PM: John: Do u get what I mean?
10/27/2012 6:42 PM: AEN: Yeah
10/27/2012 6:43 PM: John: Doesn't mean AEN does not
10/27/2012 6:43 PM: John: Or I m u or u r me
10/27/2012 6:44 PM: John: Just not construing and reifying
10/27/2012 6:44 PM: AEN: Ic..
10/27/2012 6:45 PM: AEN: Nondual is collapsing objects to self, thus I am you
10/27/2012 6:45 PM: AEN: Anatta simply sees through reification, but conventionally I am I, you are you
10/27/2012 6:45 PM: John: Or collapsing subject into object
10/27/2012 6:45 PM: AEN: Ic..
10/27/2012 6:45 PM: John: Yes
10/27/2012 6:46 PM: John: U r still unclear abt this and mixed up
10/27/2012 6:47 PM: John: Seeing through the reification of "subject", "object", "self", "now", "here"
10/27/2012 6:48 PM: John: Get it?
10/27/2012 6:48 PM: AEN: Oic..
10/27/2012 6:48 PM: John: Seeing through "self" led to implicit non-dual experience
10/27/2012 6:49 PM: John: Coz experience turns direct without reification
10/27/2012 6:49 PM: John: In seeing, just scenery
10/27/2012 6:50 PM: John: Like u see through the word "weather"
10/27/2012 6:51 PM: John: That weather-ness
10/27/2012 6:51 PM: John: Be it subject/object/weather/...etc
10/27/2012 6:52 PM: AEN: ic..
10/27/2012 6:53 PM: John: That is mind free of seeing "things" existing inherently
10/27/2012 6:53 PM: John: Experience turns vivid direct and releasing
10/27/2012 6:55 PM: John: But I don't want u to keep participating idle talk and neglect practice...always over emphasizing unnecessarily
10/27/2012 6:57 PM: AEN: Oic..
10/27/2012 7:06 PM: John: What happens to experience?
10/27/2012 7:10 PM: John: I hv very important deal that should take place within this month hopefully they go through smoothly...we meet after that
10/27/2012 7:13 PM: AEN: Oic.. Ok..
10/27/2012 7:13 PM: AEN: U mean after anatta? Direct, luminous, but no ground of abiding (like some inherent awareness)
10/27/2012 7:15 PM: John: And what do u mean by that?
10/27/2012 7:20 PM: AEN: Means there are only transient six sense streams experience, in seen just seen, etc
10/27/2012 7:20 PM: AEN: Nothing extra
10/27/2012 7:21 PM: John: Six stream experiences is just a convenient raft
10/27/2012 7:21 PM: John: Nothing ultimate
10/27/2012 7:23 PM: John: Not only must u see that there is no Seer + seeing + seen...u must see the immerse connectedness
10/27/2012 7:26 PM: John: Implicit Non-dual in experience in anatta to u means what?


Then, there is another disease after one has some non-conceptual direct realization -- be it I AMness or some sort of non-dual insight, one has a direct taste of pristine, unsullied Awareness or Presence. One's practice then becomes based on that direct taste, that taste is only present when one is bare, naked and non-conceptual.

Furthermore, one may find that 'thoughts' is a source of much misery and confusion, and think that the goal of practice is therefore to completely strip off all thoughts. These practitioners could not find a resolution to these confusion and so they resorted to practice of non-conceptuality and naked awareness (however if they did realize anatta and emptiness, these confusions will dissolve but not via grasping to a state of non-conceptuality). Actually, suffering and confused thoughts are the result of a more fundamental underlying cause -- delusion, view of inherency, and so it is more important to resolve those fundamental underlying causes that causes grasping.

As I often quoted from Thusness in this article on the disease of non-conceptuality:

Excerpt: "In case 1 practitioners see ‘The seen is neither subjective nor objective.... it just IS....’
In terms of experience, practitioners will feel Universe, Life. However this is not anatta but rather the result of stripping off (deconstructing) identity and personality.

When this mode of non-conceptual perception is taken to be ultimate, the terms “What is”, “Isness”, “Thusness” are often taken to mean simply resting in non-conceptuality and not adding to or subtracting anything from the ‘raw manifestation’. There is a side effect to such an experience. Although in non-conceptuality, non-dual is most vivid and clear, practitioners may wrongly conclude that ‘concepts’ are the problem because the presence of ‘concepts’ divides and prevent the non-dual experience. This seems logical and reasonable only to a mind that is deeply root in a subject/object dichotomy. Very quickly ‘non-conceptuality’ becomes an object of practice. The process of objectification is the result of the tendency in action perpetually repeating itself taking different forms like an endless loop. This can continue to the extent that a practitioner can even ‘fear’ to establish concepts without knowing it. They are immobilized by trying to prevent the formation of views and concepts. When we see ‘suffering just IS’, we must be very careful not to fall into the ‘disease’ of non-conceptuality."

What these practitioners fail to understand that the key to release does not lie in trying to sustain a state of non-conceptuality or naked awareness, but in releasing the various bonds of consciousness that reifies self and phenomena. Very soon, non-conceptuality itself becomes one's new bondage and attachment. Non-conceptual experience isn't itself a problem, but attachment to it or treating as a be-all end-all of practice is problematic.

In fact, non-conceptual experience should be complemented with right view, and at the beginning even a conceptual understanding of right view can be very helpful, as it serves as a condition for direct realization of emptiness. As Thusness also wrote, "...The journey of emptying also convinces me the importance of having the right view of Emptiness even though it is only an intellectual grasped initially. Non-conceptuality has its associated diseases…lol…therefore I always advocate not falling to conceptuality and yet not ignoring conceptuality. That is, strict non-conceptuality is not necessary, only that habitual pattern of reification needs be severed..." -

Only after deepening of insights do we realize, it is the realization and actualization of twofold emptiness that is the definitive path of self-release/liberation. This is discussed more indepth in my previous article, "Self-Release".

Then comes the fourth pathology -- blindness to karmic propensities.

What is karmic propensities? Kyle Dixon wrote: "...the very act of 'holding' or grasping is another factor which reifies a subject relating to objects. For the very act of 'holding' presupposes something to be held and a subject to hold it, and that activity in and of itself implies these two. The action or activity literally creates the illusion of a subject-object dichotomy, and if that illusion is not seen for what it is, then the entire process runs away with itself, becoming an intricate and delusional structure of habitual tendencies which are conventionally referred to as a 'self'. Again, there is no self contained therein, within, or apart from that activity, but the delusion surrounding that activity cannot see that in the absence of insight which reveals it to be so.

For example, if we were to say there is only unpleasant emotions and no entity which is feeling those emotions; emptiness would argue that those emotions are still arising due to either accepting or rejecting. The very act of accepting and/or rejecting presupposes something to be accepted or rejected, and the very act itself (along with the presupposition the action is based upon) is precisely what the entity is. The entity cannot be found apart from that action, and ultimately the so-called entity cannot be found within that action either, but under the sway of delusion this is not apparent. That is what the notion of karma truly is: 'action', but it is delusional action which is predicated upon the misunderstanding that the apparent dependencies and relationships between subjects and objects, or objects and objects etc., is valid. So emptiness seeks to penetrate these subtle assumptions, presuppositions, conditioning behaviors and so on by revealing the unreality of the factors they are based upon. It is a very thorough and comprehensive process, which is also very liberating. If done skillfully it utterly exhausts these subtle tendencies and neuroses, and with the pacification of those tendencies, the illusion of the entity which can exist or not exist is also pacified..." -

Overwhelmed by a partial insight -- be it non-doership, or I AMness, or usually One Mind, one clings to the 'Absolute' and neglects the 'relative'. This can happen when one fails to see the total exertion of karmic propensities from moment to moment - manifest completely as traces of clinging and identification in various forms.

Zen priest/teacher Alex Weith also talks about the stagnating waters (emphasis added): "...The problem is that we still maintain a subtle duality between what we know ourself to be, a pure non-dual awareness that is not a thing, and our daily existence often marked by self-contractions. Hoping to get more and more identified with pure non-dual awareness, we may train concentration, try to hold on to the event of awakening reifying an experience, ***or rationalize the whole thing to conclude that self-contraction is not a problem and that suffering is not suffering because our true nature is ultimately beyond suffering. This explains why I got stuck in what Zen calls "stagnating waters" for about a year.***

This is however not seen as a problem in other traditions such as Advaita Vedanta where the One Mind is identified with the Brahman that contains and manifests the three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep within itself, yet remains untouched by its dreamlike manifestation..."

Also, others may also say things like "suffering is awareness, contraction is awareness" etc etc -- skewing towards the aspect of non-dual luminous clarity that is never lost. Sure -- luminous clarity is never lost, and is manifest in every single manifestation, but no matter how clear that clarity is, it will never release suffering. Your mindstream has always been luminously clear but still you have been lost in samsara for beginningless lifetimes undergoing tremendous and countless sufferings. What good is that? Realizing non-dual luminosity is not enough. As discussed earlier, it is not the definitive path of release. And although even suffering and emotions are by nature luminous and empty, if we do not realize and actualize this luminous yet empty nature (note: not just 'luminous clarity' but more importantly the 'empty' nature) which releases those afflictions, then we are simply mouthing high views and deluded concepts.

Often coming together with this pathology of blindness to karmic propensities is the "I got it syndrome", which is to say, they think whatever they realize is complete or is perfect. Every insight can have that effect -- the realization of I AMness may result in a deceptive thought "this is it, this is liberation, enlightenment" etc. The realization of One Mind, pure transparency, etc, can also result in that effect. In truth, one is still far from total release and realization. Even if one has realized twofold emptiness, one is far from full actualization, which explains for the relative difference between the 1st bhumi Bodhisattva (who realized emptiness) and the 11th/13th/16th bhumi corresponding to Buddhahood. I must say, I am far from full Buddhahood, and I doubt anyone I know is anywhere close to full Buddhahood yet (although a number of people I personally know have begun the definitive path of release). It is always good to keep this in mind and be humble about one's practice and achievements.

However, it is unfortunate that very often, people who have not even realized emptiness (but may have realized the aspect of unconditioned Clarity/Awareness) can often be tricked into thinking of himself as "I got it". Even the neo-Advaitin/Zen teacher Adyashanti have made a related remark, "Whenever you touch upon a deep truth, suchness of reality, your true nature, each aspect feels like it's total and complete and all-inclusive at that moment. So that's why teachers have a very hard time getting through to people when they have an initial experience of anything because if it's an initial experience of reality it feels totally complete and there is a certain innate confidence that arises within you. Not an egoic confidence but a confidence that comes from reality." I will also add, very often that experiential confidence does in fact translate into an egoic kind of confidence. The "I got it syndrome" translates into "I know it all syndrome", so one has effectively shut down from further learning and practice.

Yet another neo-Advaitin teacher Vishrant said in a talk where he described 'awareness of awareness' as merely a kindergarten stage of awakening, "the teachers that are flying in and out and telling people they are awake are actually misleading people. The terrible side of that is when somebody is told they are awake, the ego grasps it and says, 'I am awake', and then stop seeking, and then these people stop looking because they think they've already found. So it cuts off their chances for ongoing awakening. It's very sad."

If even these neo-Advaitin teachers are clear about this pitfall, so much more must Buddhists (and other traditions like traditional Advaita) take heed and be aware of our kleshas!

If we are clear about our many faces of karmic propensities, we will know the path ahead. If we are ignorant of them, or in denial of them, or cling to the Absolute, then there is no way we will ever experience its release. There is no way, no chance at all, for someone ignorant of their karmic propensities or the four noble truths to experience Nirvana. They are not even on the path towards its release because they do not even see the afflictions/propensities, nor the cause of the afflictions, nor the end or path that ends afflictions.

Very often if one is blind to karmic propensities, one can also fall into a nihilistic attitude -- a denial or rejection of a path, or a denial or rejection of suffering, afflictions, etc.

First we need to know the faces of self/Self, I, me, mine, inherency. Then we need to scan our entire body mind for any clinging and contraction and grasping... fully touch the dharma of clinging and afflictions. This is a moment to moment practice.. very often various afflictions only manifest in the presence of secondary conditions (the primary condition is ignorance). Get intimate with afflictions, with karmic propensities, with delusion. It's ok.. you won't be harmed as there never was a you separate from these afflictions anyway, so any sort of avoidance or dissociation is simply another form of delusion and affliction. But through wisdom into its true (luminous and empty) nature they are allowed to release.
Posted by: Wei Yu
By 'self-release', I'm not talking about a 'self' that is experiencing its own 'release'. On a conventional level we can talk about that -- for example, a Buddha or an arahant is one who experiences his own release. But at the same time a Buddha or an arahant already realizes that there is in fact no actually existing self behind anything. So what is release in that case? It is really just the release of clinging, of the sense of self, of mental afflictions (passion, aggression, delusion), and all thoughts, perceptions, experiences are released on the spot through lack of reification. Therefore it should be noted that 'self-release' is used here in that sense, not in the sense that there is a 'you' becoming liberated. Also because I do not represent Dzogchen teachings, but merely my own experience, I try to avoid using the term ‘self-liberation’.

This 'release' is actually felt in every cell of the body so to speak - for example, having walked 24km or 72km with a 20kg load on one's back and finally putting it down (perhaps only people who went through army like me knows how that feels but anyway...), what release! Just because there is no self doesn't deny the experience of release (even though that too is empty), it just means there is no self who is experiencing or doing the release.

Now, just like the example above, the Dharma as taught by the Buddha is meant for release, but in this case the release of the mind. In the MN30, the Culasaropama Sutta, The Buddha states: "So this holy life, brahmin, does not have gain, honour, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of virtue for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakeable deliverance of mind that is the goal of this holy life, it heartwood, and its end." Ven. Thanissaro translates 'deliverance of mind' as 'awareness-release'.

The big question then is, how does mind releases?

As a method of practice, many teachings/teachers teaches us to just let thoughts and perceptions come and go without grasping them. As a practice that is OK -- but that is not the fundamental, definitive path of releasing thoughts and perceptions, and the sense of self. Usually, because of our strong dualistic tendencies, at the beginning it would be impossible not to fall into a situation where we feel ourselves to be the perceiver of our thoughts, and so the practice here is still somewhat dissociative - there is someone who can watch thoughts come and go or let go of thoughts or remain unaffected by them. When we become 'aware' or 'mindful', we feel ourselves to be on the alert as the aware watcher. But all these are really just forms of clinging in disguise of letting go. There is dualistic action involved - either I try to dissociate or get rid of thoughts - which is a subtler form of dualistic aggression appearing as 'letting go', or I grab onto them, which is a form of craving, or I remain as some unattached observer unaffected by thoughts or ignoring the comings and goings of thoughts, which is a form of dualistic ignorance and is also by definition 'dissociation'.

But it is ok for one's practice to be dualistic at first, because there is no way we can be 'non-dual' at the beginning of our practice. Telling someone about emptiness and nondual at the beginning of one's path may help direct one towards wisdom at least on an intellectual level, but not so much experientially, because karmic propensities are strong. So at first we have no choice but to practice dualistically. No choice because our karmic propensities which manifest this dualistic situation is driven by afflictive dependencies and ignorance, and is not a matter of free will - like anything really, everything manifests dependently and not through agency or control.

However, although one may practice mindfulness this way, if at the same time we have the right pointers and right view -- no-self, emptiness, D.O., and through one's own contemplations, eventually when the conditions ripen we will experience a breakthrough into the definitive path of release. Otherwise, if we merely have a practice but lack the right view, even when we awaken to a non-conceptual direct taste of Presence or Aware-clarity, it is often moulded into an Eternal Witness or an ultimate source and substratum expressing itself in all forms, which are subtler forms of 'spiritual bondage' or sense of self, which is not the definitive sort of awakening or liberation in Buddhadharma. This is why in Buddhadharma, the Buddha says that Right View is the forerunner of the noble eightfold path, it is in some ways even more important than all the other practices.

The definitive path of release starts with the realization that a seer, perceiver, controller or even a seeing, awareness etc has never existed as a self residing as the background of perception. Then one sees the true face of awareness has always been just manifestation empty of being some hidden unmanifest hidden ghostly unchanging independent self existing in and of itself, that in seeing theres just the seen without seer, there is no consciousness or seeing besides manifestation, perception naturally reveals itself in a nondual, self-luminous, direct fashion via the release of a center/agent vantagepoint. The imputation of a self or subject or inherent awareness dissolves into direct taste of transient manifestation. One can have peak experiences of no mind even before realization of anatta as an always already so dharma seal, but it will not be effortless and perpetual until after realization. Practice turns from dissociation with thoughts and perception to endless opening and letting sound/sight/etc 'kill you', and this is bliss.

Then after anatta we look at the thought itself or sensation or sound and realize that like a reflection that dependently originates in fact never arose, never came into existence. Then presence/reflection is experienced as illusory uncreated and deathless via its lack of inherency. Then thought self releases as there is no chaining and no identity that succeeds from moment to moment. Everything self liberates from tasting all phenomena as unborn.

As I paraphrased Thusness many years ago, “On the most direct path, there is no one to let go and no-thing to be let go of and hence no 'how to let go'. Reality is 'letting go' at all moments. There is only what arises and subsides (self-liberates) every moment according to conditions, luminous-empty phenomena roll on with no one at the center that can seek nor distant himself (since there is no 'self') from the self-knowing transience.” This direct path of self-release via non-action is only suitable for those actualizing twofold emptiness in all perceptions, otherwise it becomes the path of self-deluded slackers wallowing in deluded thoughts thinking it is liberation, the worst possible path. This is where Longchenpa warned, “In Ati these days, conceited elephants [claim] the mass of discursive concepts is awakened mind (bodhicitta); this confusion is a dimension of complete darkness, a hindrance to the meaning of the natural great perfection.” I might add that this problem is not limited to ‘Dzogchen’ or ‘Ati’ practitioners.

Contrary to what the way it is often taught, what I and Thusness have experienced is that the key to release is not via resting in a state of naked Awareness/clarity. Nor is it by subsuming object into subject or subject into object, one may experience non-division of subject and object in this way but it is not the same as releasing the reification of inherency of subject and inherency of object through emptiness and non-subsuming. Therefore when we talk about the non-duality of subject and object, we should be mindful that there is a difference between non-division and noninherency of those poles, they are different insights and have different impacts in one's experience.

Clarity/manifestation self liberates through discerning empty nature otherwise one resorts to dissociation and attempting to abide in a deemed purest state due to view of inherency. Worse still some book I read mistook self liberation as residing as an unaffected background of awareness while waves of thoughts arise and subside back to the sea. That is bondage in disguise of liberation. In truth anatta liberates background (releases the sense of a self residing as the background of experience) and twofold emptiness liberates foreground (even our non-conceptual pure sensory experiences, and all other experiences). Otherwise what liberation is there?

Actually this is really just a beginning, not to be mistaken as some sort of pseudo-finality in one's practice. And I have merely summarized very shortly what is actually much more subtle. When we say "emptiness that releases"... we should not just limit our application of emptiness just to self, or to a particular aspect of phenomena. When we apply the deconstruction and emptiness to mind-body, we experience the release of mind-body drop. When we further apply emptiness and realize groundlessness or emptiness of a here/now, the here/now is released and the disjoint and releasing aspect becomes more apparent.
In fact, we can apply emptiness too all areas of life, for example, even in economics. As Thusness just wrote,

"Money is dependent on its parts -- coins and paper and in the broader definition of money, visas and cheques.
Money is dependent on relations when extending beyond national boundaries in exchanges rates and interest rates. Money is dependent on time, the time value of money. Money is dependent on its functionality as medium of exchange, purge of this functionality; it is just paper can serve as a “pretty paper boat”. Therefore money is empty!"


"Here is the essential meaning of resolution in openness:
Coming from nowhere, abiding nowhere and going nowhere,
External events, unoriginated visions in empty space, are ineffable;
Internal events, arising and releasing simultaneously,
Like a bird's flight-path in the sky, are inscrutable."


Question: “Thank you. Please could you explain further the non-arising of perception? What is meant by "never came to existence"?”

My reply: “We think that things we see are somehow created or comes into existence. But if we look into a mirror, is the reflection of a person implying that something or someone is created or born in the mirror? No, it is a dependently originated reflection, and what dependently originates is a momentary reflection without any core, substance, and has never arisen, will never abide (like a water-moon does not mean a moon is currently 'abiding' inside the water), will never cease. Appearances are unborn.

A monkey looking into the water may try to catch the moon inside the water. But in actual case it is a phantasm. For example when you walk across a pool of water, it seems like the reflection of the moon is 'following you'. The reflection therefore is a total exertion along with your movement and all other dependencies, and are fundamentally empty. This means it never resided in a single place in the first place, nor is there even an 'it'. A D.O. reflection never arises, never abides, never ceases.”
Posted by: Wei Yu
Thusness commented: "It is a good article... ...In the article there is no obsession or singling out clarity as independent and existing by itself. "Being" here is understood within/from the context of anatta, process, verb, no locus and without agent. His term of "being" is not to single out from the ever dynamics of appearance but rather understood from the standpoint of non-action. Would be better if there is integration of total exertion (dependent origination) into it; makes the article more complete."
[Evertype]  Some remarks on conceptualization and transcendent experienceHome

Some remarks on conceptualization and transcendent experience in the Theravāda tradition, with two notes on translation

Michael Everson

This paper, written originally in 1988, was an excursion into theology -- or perhaps “noetology”. It was an attempt at commentary proper, rather than at disinterested analysis.

It is a basic tenet of Buddhism that suffering arises from false notions of self. Individuals perceive themselves as separate entities, autonomous yet dependent on their world, experiencing change and continuity. The uniqueness of each moment of existence is distorted by the filter of a self which categorizes and interprets those moments, judging them good or bad and fighting a useless battle to keep the good and shun the bad. The nexus for the introduction of false notions of self into experience is the point at which experience is conceptualized. Enlightened consciousness results when these false notions are no longer imposed upon the perceptual process.
It cannot be said that the Buddhist description of conceptualization is without its difficulties. Indeed, a Buddhist description ofanything is much entangled in relationships: just as any event in the world depends on a nigh infinite series of causes, and engenders a nigh infinite series of effects, so does a light shone on any facet of Buddhist epistemology shine and reflect off of each other facet. It is difficult to pluck one string of the sitar without causing the sympathetic strings into resonance as well. Still, conceptualization, and its relation to conditioned and enlightened consciousness, is central to Buddhism -- both to its taxonomy of the problem of existence and to its soteriology. An investigation of that relation will suggest a reëvaluation of notions of action and being.
Buddhism might be described as a kind of cure to the disease of dukkha, of ‘suffering’ or ‘unsatisfactoriness’. Existence (bhava) is an ongoing process of becoming, manifest in its constituents (aṅga). The natural (or ideal) condition for the mind is a calm flow (bhavaṅga-sota), through which (around which, in which) the constituents of becoming interact harmoniously in an “experiential stream” of what is as it is. Nyanatiloka remarks that bhavṣaṅga-sota is explained in the Abhidhamma commentaries as the foundation or condition (kaṁraṇa) of existence (bhava), as the sine qua non of life, having the nature of a process, lit. a flux or stream (sota). [Nyanatiloka 1980:38]
Conceptualization impedes the harmonious flow of bhavaṅga-sota. It is a process for ordering stimuli to consciousness, convenient for interaction with the world, but, apparently, not essential once the world has been investigated. Bondage to concepts is considered to be an inevitable consequence of the process of conceptualization because of the fiction of the self, and that bondage to concepts leads to expectation and denial, the causes of dukkha. A review of the process leading up to conceptualization will be helpful here.
The immediate precursors to conceptualization have been classified as a purely impersonal, causal process. In the Madhupiṇḍika-sutta, the venerable Kaccaṁna sums up his understanding of the Buddha’s teaching:
    Manañ-c’ āvuso paṭicca dhamme ca uppajjati manoviññāṇaṁ, tiṇṇaṁ saṅgati phasso, phassapaccayā vedanā, yaṁ vedeti taṁ sañjānāti, yaṁ sañjānāti taṁ vitakketi, yaṁ vitakketi taṁ papañceti, yaṁ papañceti tatonidānaṁ purisaṁ papañcasaññāsaṅkhā samu-dācaranti atītānāgatapaccuppanesu manoviññeyyesu dhammesu. [Majjhima-nikāya 18 (Madhupiṇḍika-sutta) (1888: I:112)]

    ‘And, brothers, the mind and mental objects are the cause for the arising of mental consciousness. The meeting of the three is sense contact; feelings are the result of that contact; what one feels one perceives; what one perceives one reasons about; what one reasons about one differentiates; what one differentiates is the origin of the sign of perceptions and obstructions which assail a man with regard to mental objects to be comprehended by the mind, in the past, the future, and the present.’
Interaction between one of the sense-bases (the five senses and the mind) and an object gives rise to the attentive faculty of consciousness, that is, of awareness of objects. The meeting of the three is contact (phassa); from this contact arises sensation or feeling (vedanā). The living being with functioning sense organs must interact with objects, become conscious of them through contact, and feel or sense them. When the ego intrudes and makes the connection “I experience this object”, the process loses its impersonality, and becomes first a kind of deliberate and conscious, then a subconscious and automatic activity, conditioned by karmic predisposition. Kaccāna’s description points to this shift from impersonal to personal in his movement from a simple ablative construction to the inflected personal verb: “Phassapaccayā vedanā, yaṁ vedeti taṁ sañjānāti” ‘From the condition of contact [arises] feeling; what one feels, one perceives’. Suddenly it is an individual person (puggala) who experiences sensation; and when he does, he perceives, knows, or recognizes (compare sañjānāti with Latin cōgnōscit). A person has arisen here out of nonperson: attā out ofanattā. That ego, once established with its faculties of memory and volition, will evaluate its sensations in terms of itself; it will judge, and desire. That ego is a confluence of material and mental processes, and, apart from them, has no real existence.
Conceptualization arises from perception. “Yaṁ sañjānāti taṁ vitakketi” ‘What one perceives, one reflects on’. This is indicative of the insidious nature of the ego to take the original subjective experience and “objectivize” it. Though each object, contact, and sensation be unique, the ego takes them only in relation to itself and its past, present, and future experience and needs. The concepts (vitakkā) which arise through perception tend toward proliferation, for the ego becomes attached to them. Conceptions become preconceptions, and the whole scheme is filled with error.
The Buddha was concerned about the detrimental nature of attachment to speculative views of existence and of the Transcendent. The problem is not whether or not the views themselves have validity, for it is clear that they do, depending on, and with respect to, the particular point of view. “The fact that existence is a relative concept is often overlooked by the worldling.” [Ñāṇananda 1974:20] It is axiomatic that the frog knows what the tadpole cannot; but the question here is whether or not the tadpole’s point of view is wise, and the Buddhist approach would be to say that no point of view is worthwhile unless it is a view which encompasses reality as it is. That view is impersonal. From the Sutta-nipāta:
    “Mūlaṁ papañcasaṁkhāyā” ti Bhagavā
    “‘mantā asmī ’ti sabbam uparundhe,
    yā kāci taṇhā ajjhattaṁ,
    tāsaṁ vinayā sadā sato sikkhe.” [916 (1913:179)]

    ‘“He should”, said the Lord, “break up the root of these signs of obstruction,[1] the notion ‘I am the thinker’. Whatever his subjective desires, he trains himself to give them up, always mindful in his discipline.”’

It should be noted that both E. M. Hare [Sutta-nipāta 1944:134] and Hammalava Saddhatissa [Sutta-nipāta 1985:107] have mistranslated mantā asmi as ‘all the thoughts “I am”’ and ‘all thought of “I am”’ respectively. A better reading would have mantā <mantar ‘thinker’ (< Sanskrit *mantṛ) and take the deictic ’ti as setting off the phrase mantā asmi as translated above. (Cf. Neumann’s translation “Ich bin’s, der denkt”, ‘I am the one who thinks’. [Sutta-nipāta 1911:299]) The Commentary to the Sutta-nipāta, however, explains this phrase by mantāya:

    ...tassā [papañcāya] avijjādayo kilesā mūlaṁ, taṁ papañcasaṁkhāya mūlaṁ ‘asmī’ ti pavattamānañ ca sabbaṁ mantāyauparundhe, yā kāci ajjhattaṁ taṇhā uppajjeyyuṁ, tāsam vinayāya sadā sato sikkhe upaṭṭhitasati hutvā sikkheyyā ti. [Paramatthajotikā II.iv.14 (1917:II:562)] {My emphasis.}

    ‘...from this [obstruction] comes the root, the impurities which begin with ignorance: this root of the signs of obstruction is ‘I am’, which results in pride, and he should break up all [this] by wisdom, whatever the subjective desires that should arise, for/of these he trains himself to give up, ever mindful, he should discipline himself, being one whose attention is firm.’

Here the dative mantāya would also prove difficult for Hare and Saddhatissa’s readings, where we should expect *manā asmi (formanāya asmi) ‘of the thought “I am”, since we have mano ‘thought’ opposed to mantā ‘wisdom’, as I think the Commentary has it, or even manta (< Sanskrit mantra) ‘charm, doctrine, Holy Scripture’. [Cf. Childers 1875:238-39, and Rhys Davids & Stede 1979:520-22] In any case, I find the present suggested reading more in keeping with the spirit and the sense of the intent of the text, and with the goals of the tradition generally.[2] It is the conceptual attachment of agent to action (yaṁ maññati taṁ mantar), resulting from the initial separation of agent from action, which the Buddha attacks in the Kālakārāma-sutta, not whether or not there exists a thinker at all.
It is true that identification with (or even the ‘real’ existence of) the personal ego is denied elsewhere by the Buddha:
    ...sutavato ariyasāvakassa avijjā pahīyati vijjā uppajjati. Tassa avijjāvirāgā vijjuppādā “Asmī” ti pi ’ssa na hoti, “Ayam aham asmī” ti pi ’ssa na hoti, “Bhavissanti, na bhavissanti, rūpī, arūpī, saññī, asaññī, n’eva saññī nāsaññī bhavissan” ti pi ’ssa na hoti. [Saṁyutta-nikāya XXII.47.6-7 (Atthadīpa-vagga) (1890:III:46-47)] {My punctuation.}

    ‘...for the noble learned disciple, ignorance is abandoned and knowledge arises. From this cleansing of ignorance and coming into existence of knowledge, his “I am” is no more, his “This I exists” is no more, his “I will be, I will not be, I will have form, I will not have form, I will be conscious, I will be unconscious, I will be neither conscious nor unconscious” is no more.’

Yet there is no suggestion that a universal (albeit Vedāntist) ontological interpretation of aham asmi ‘I am’ would be rejected, though such a rejection could be inferred, I think, in the readings of Hare and Saddhatissa. J. G. Jennings has remarked that “[t]he an-attadoctrine so strongly emphasized by [Gotama] declares the transience of individuality, yet insists upon an ultimate or fundamental unity”. [1974:571] While the Pāli commentarial tradition would doubtless reject a Vedāntist claim of an essential unity to Reality, I see no reason to think that a radically non-attached, Liberated notion of “I am” is instrinsically inconsistent with Buddhist teachings. Pure being is neither conceived nor attached, It just Is, and if there is for “me” only “being”, then, it seems, “I am”.[3] The conceptual attachment of agent to action results from an initial (erroneous) separation of agent from action.
The source of the delusion standing in the way of Liberation (papañcasaṁkhā) is the personal notion “I am a thinker” (mantā asmi). Mindfulness is the method by which one learns the process of letting go (vinaya); that process begins with the elimination of attachment to the things perceived (pleasure, pain, desire, dislike) and culminates in the elimination of attachment to the identification with the notion that there is in fact a perceiver apart from the perception. This process of detachment from ego is admittedly difficult to describe, and it may be fruitless to attempt to do so. What may be more fruitful is to investigate the effects precipitated by that process. By and large, they derive from a fundamental revision of the process leading up to conceptualization, and from the removal of the causes leading to conceptual proliferation and egoistic “ownership” of experience. The Sutta-nipātadescribes the one who has managed this:
    “Sa sabbadhammesu visenibhūto,
    yaṁ kiñci diṭṭhaṁ va sutaṁ mutaṁ vā,
    sa pannabhāro muni vippayutto
    na kappiyo nūparato na patthiyo” ti Bhagavā ti. 
    [914 (1913:178)]

    ‘“He who has discarded all theories about anything seen or heard or conceived is a monk who is enlightened and liberated; there is no rule, no abstention, no desire for himself”, said the Lord.’
He is ‘disarmed’ (visenibhūta) with respect to all views based on what has been seen, heard, or conceived; he is liberated, has laid down his burden (pannabhāro, having, perhaps, “enlightened” his load!), and is without desire. There is no self to be concerned for.
What is the character of the impersonal viewpoint? In the Kālakārāma-sutta, transcendent experience is characterized quite comprehensively:
    Iti kho bhikkhave Tathāgato daṭṭhā [diṭṭhā in Burmese MSS] daṭṭhabbaṁ diṭṭhaṁ na maññati adiṭṭhaṁ na maññati daṭṭhabbaṁ na maññati daṭṭhāraṁ na maññati, sutvā sotabbaṁ sutaṁ na maññati asutaṁ na maññati sotabbaṁ na maññati sotāraṁ na maññati, mutvā motabbaṁ mutam [sic] na maññati amutaṁ na maññati mottabaṁ [sic] na maññati motāraṁ na maññati, viññātvā viññātabbaṁ viññātaṁ na maññati aviññātaṁ na maññati viññātabbaṁ na maññati viññātāraṁ na maññati. [Aṅguttara-nikāya 4:24 (Kālakārāma-sutta) (1888: II:25)]

    ‘Thus, O monks, the Tathāgata, having seen whatever is to be seen, does not conceive of what is seen; he does not conceive of what has not been seen; he does not conceive of that which must yet be seen; he does not conceive of anyone who sees. Having heard whatever is to be heard, he does not conceive of what is heard; he does not conceive of what has not been heard; he does not conceive of that which must yet be heard; he does not conceive of anyone who hears. Having felt whatever is to be felt, he does not conceive of what is felt; he does not conceive of what has not been felt; he does not conceive of that which must yet be felt; he does not conceive of anyone who feels. Having understood whatever is to be understood, he does not conceive of what is understood; he does not conceive of what has not been understood; he does not conceive of that which must yet be understood; he does not conceive of anyone who understands.’
Bhikkhu Ñāṇananda’s translation of this passage proves problematic. [1974:9-11] For the sake of brevity and simplicity, I will make a neutral reconstruction of this passage using just the verb karoti ‘to do’ as an example, since it is first the construction which is in question. “Iti kho bhikkhave katvā kātabbaṁ kataṁ na maññati akataṁ na maññati kātabbaṁ na maññati kattaraṁ na maññati.”Ñāṇananda would translate this so: “A Tathāgata does not conceive of a thing to be done as apart from doing; he does not conceive of ‘an undone’; he does not conceive of a ‘thing-worth-doing’, he does not conceive about a doer.” This “thing to be done apart from doing” is offered by Ñāṇananda as an alternative to the sense given in Buddhaghosa’s Commentary to the Aṅguttara-nikāya, which, according to Ñāṇananda, takes the words

    ‘[katvā kātabbaṁ]’ in the text to mean ‘having [done], should be [done]’, and explains the following words ‘[kataṁna maññati’ as a separate phrase meaning that the Tathāgata does not entertain any cravings, conceits, or views, thinking: ‘I am [doing] that which has been [done] by the people’. It applies the same mode of explanation throughout. [1974:10 n.1]
(Buddhaghosa’s original reads

    Daṭṭhā daṭṭhabban ti disvā daṭṭhabbaṁ.
    Diṭṭhaṁ na maññatī
     ti taṁ diṭṭhaṁ rūpāyatanaṁ ahaṁ mahājanena diṭṭham eva passāmī ti taṇhāmānadiṭṭhīhi na maññati. [IV.iii.4 (1936: III:39)]

    ‘Daṭṭhā daṭṭhabbaṁ means “having seen what is to be seen”.
    Diṭṭhaṁ na maññati means “I see the thing seen which is even seen by the people”; one does not conceive {of it} by desires or conceits or opinions’ [i.e., he does not conceptualize about it].)
Ñāṇananda prefers to treat the formally ambiguous daṭṭhā/diṭṭhā as ablative of the past participle (so katā from kata) “giving the sense: ‘as apart from [doing]’; and, ‘[kātabbaṁ kataṁ]’ taken together, would mean ‘a [do-able] thing’.” He suggests that the absolutive forms sutvā, mutvā, and viññātvā are “probably a re-correction following the commentarial explanation”, and that the ablatives suttā, mutā, and viññātā evince the most correct reading. [Ñāṇananda 1974:10 n.1] I am not certain that his revision is necessary. F. L. Woodward’s translation seems to follow Buddhaghosa with respect to the verbs suṇāti, maññati, and vijānāti: “[Doing] what is to be [done], he has no conceit of what has been [done] or not [done] or is to be [done], he has no conceit of the [doer]”; but he readsdaṭṭhā as the nomen agentis: “[A] Tathāgata is a seer of what is seen, but he has no conceit of what is seen”. [1933:27] Following Buddhaghosa, I would suggest that “Tathāgato katvā kātabbaṁ kataṁ na maññati” etc. should read ‘Having done what is to be done, the Tathāgata does not conceive of what is done; he does not conceive of the undone; he does not conceive of that which must yet be done; he does not conceive of a doer’. ‘Conceive’ (maññati) here means ‘to make a concept of’. Important too is the translation here of kātabbaṁ. There is really no reason to suggest that Buddhaghosa would have the gerundive be taken in an obligatory sense ‘should be done’, or the valued (read judged!) sense of ‘a thing-worth-doing’, as Ñāṇananda has taken it. [1974:10-11, 10 n.1] The context does not require that the form be understood as a participium necessitatis, but only as a future passive participle. According to Manfred Mayrhofer, the meaning of the future passive participle “ist die des ‘in Zukunft getan werden müssenden’, ‘is that of “that which must yet be done”’. [1951:174] Ñāṇananda’s obligatory “should” is unnecessary, for the deed which “is to be done” comes about through the exigencies of causality. That the Tathāgata is beyond causality is not taken into consideration by the forms of Pāli grammar, but he is nonetheless certainly free from obligation and evaluation. The deeds of most individuals are causally effected, and the point of the text is that once a deed is done, the Tathāgata is no longer concerned with it, or with the deed undone, or the deed yet to do, or the doer. He is concerned only with the doing, and only in the moment in which it is done. It is fairly easy to see that Ñāṇananda’s “thing to be done as apart from doing” is an attempt at just such an understanding, though I think the textual revision of absolutive to ablative is unnecessary.
What is there, then? Just seeing, hearing, feeling, or understanding. There is no agent, no patient, no recipient, no locus: only the verb, the process, or rather, the proceeding. To be enlightened is not to be or to do any thing: it is only being, or doing. This is admittedly circular, and it is proverbial to any student of mysticism--and certainly recognized by the Buddhist tradition itself--that little can besaid which can give any real sense of what goes on in transformed consciousness. Buddhism offers nonetheless its own kind of description, always tending toward the practical, toward the causes which will bring about the Liberation itself: that is, toward the empiric. The path to Liberation is twofold: moving away from deluded action, and moving toward wise action.

It is all the more significant for its corollary that the entire process [of cause and effect] could be made to cease progressively by applying the proper means. Negatively put, the spiritual endeavor to end all suffering, is a process of ‘starving’ the conditions of their respective ‘nutriments’ (āhārā), as indicated by the latter half of the formula of Dependent Arising. However, there are enough instances in the Pāli Canon to show that it is quite legitimate to conceive this receding process too, positively as a progress in terms of wholesome mental states. [Ñāṇananda 1974:46-47]
The eradication of conceptualization and the cultivation of a dispassionate, impersonal observation is the key to Liberation. “Ever-becoming and ever-ceasing-to-be are endless action.... Ceaseless action is the Universe.” [Merrell-Wolff 1973:247] Since the being embodied must be a part of such action, his hope must be to loose himself from the bounds of causal action: he must seek Liberation. Perhaps it is not so ironic that in order to do so, he must realize that there is nothing but action; for then he is, so says the Buddha, free.


[1] I prefer here the reading of papañca as ‘obstruction’ or ‘hinderance’ to the commonly met with ‘obsession’. Here I follow Rhys Davies’ suggestion that papañca is at least semantically related to *papadya ‘what is in front of the feet’, where he compares Latinimpedimentum (though Sanskrit prapadya should give Pāli papajja). [Rhys Davies 1979:412] An obsession is an obstruction, but not all obstructions are obsessions. Cf. also above, in the passage taken from the Madhupiṇḍika-sutta, where papañceti is taken in its sense as derived from Sanskrit prapañcayati ‘to describe at length’, from prapañca ‘diversity’. Back to text.
[2] Robert Buswell has pointed out to me that Bhikkhu Ñāṇananda has arrived at the same conclusion. [Ñāṇananda 1971:31] Back to text.
[3] Without really trying to second-guess the Tathāgata, the argument here is simply that he might recognize a distinction in the semantics of aham asmi with respect to his own description of the Enlightenment, and that of the Vedāntists. (He would almost certainly reject the use of such metaphor for paedagogical purposes, however.) Jennings is right to point out that the Vedāntist schools and their concepts of, for example, māyā, contributed to the Buddha’s own teachings. [Jennings 1974:cix-cx] Certainly, it can be said that useful comparison can be made between the Buddhist and Vedāntist traditions if such semantic differences are reconciled. Fundamental unities are realized in the Buddhist tradition at least insofar as the alienation of attāand anattā are concerned (Cf. the remarks on bhavaṅga-sota above.). Back to text.


Aṅguttara-nikāya. 1888. Aṅguttara-nikāya. Vol. 2. Edited by Richard Morris. London: Henry Frowde for the Pali Text Society. 6 vols. (1885-1910).
Aṅguttara-nikāya. 1933. The book of the Gradual Sayings. Vol. 2: The book of the Fours. Translated by F.L. Woodward. London: Oxford University Press for the Pali Text Society.
Buddhaghosa. 1936. Manorathapūraṇī: commentary on the Aṅguttara-nikāya. Vol. 3. Edited by Hermann Kopp. London: Oxford University Press for the Pali Text Society. 5 vols. (1924-1956).
Childers, Robert Cæsar. 1875. A dictionary of the Pali language. London: Trübner & Co.
Jennings, J. G. 1974. The Vedāntic Buddhism of the Buddha: a collection of historical texts translated [and edited] from the original Pāli. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. [Reprint of 1947 ed.]
Majjhima-nikāya.. 1888. Majjhima-nikāya. Vol. 1. Edited by V. Trenckner. London: Henry Frowde for the Pali Text Society. 4 vols. (1888-1925).
Mayrhofer, Manfred. 1951. Handbuch des Pāli, mit Texten und Glossar: eine Einführung in das sprachwissenschaftliche Studium des Mittelindischen. 1. Teil: Grammatik. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag.
Merrell-Wolff, Franklin. 1973 The philosophy of consciousness-without-an-object: reflections on the nature of transcendental consciousness. New York: Julian Press.
Ñāṇananda. 1971. Concept and reality in early Buddhist thought. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society.
Ñāṇananda. 1974. The magic of the mind: an exposition of the Kālakārāma-sutta. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society.
Nyanatiloka. 1980. Buddhist dictionary: manual of Buddhist terms and doctrines. 4th edition, revised by Nyanaponika. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society.
Paramatthajotikā. 1917. Sutta-nipāta commentary: being Paramatthajotikā II. Vol. 2. Edited by Helmer Smith. London: Humphrey Milford for the Pali Text Society. 3 vols. (1916-1917).
Rhys Davies, T. W., and William Stede, eds. 1979. The Pali Text Society’s Pali-English dictionary. London: Pali Text Society. [Reprint of 1925 ed.]
Saṁyutta-nikāya. 1890. Saṁyutta-nikāya. Edited by Leon Feer. London: Henry Frowde for the Pali Text Society. 3 vols. (1888-1890).
Sutta-nipāta. 1911. Die Reden Gotamo Buddhos aus der Sammlung der Bruchstücke Suttanipāto des Pāli-Kanons. Translated by Karl Eugen Neumann. München: R. Piper & Co.
Sutta-nipāta. 1913. Sutta-nipāta. Edited by Dines Andersen and Helmer Smith. London: Henry Frowde for the Pali Text Society.
Sutta-nipāta. 1944. Woven cadences of early Buddhists. Translated by E. M. Hare. London: Humphrey Milford for the Pali Text Society.
Sutta-nipāta. 1985. The Sutta-nipāta. Translated by Hammalava Saddhatissa. London: Curzon Press.

HTML Michael EversonEvertype, Cnoc na Sceiche, Leac an Anfa, Cathair na Mart, Co. Mhaigh Eo, 2002-10-20

Copyright © 1993-2006 Evertype. All Rights Reserved
Posted by: Wei Yu
Inspired by Kenneth Folk's "An Idiots Guide to Dharma Diagnosis". My attempt to summarize some of the insights and experiences I've gone through. Also do note that there is no strictly fixed linear way of progression - the insights/experiences can unfold in somewhat different order for different people.

(Realization+Experience) Non-doership: No control or doership over things, everything is spontaneously happening on its own without effort. Does serious damage to notions of free will. When one sees through the notion of 'self as doer', one realizes freedom does not lie in 'free will' but lies in releasing sense of doership/control which is a subtle aversion going against the flow of happening, contraction, sense of self, holding. One finds joy, freedom and release from 'let live' and 'surrendering'.

(Experience) I AM: I have a glimpse of myself as a sense of changeless Beingness or Awareness or Witness behind everything.

(Realization) I AM: I am EXISTENCE! Doubtless certainty. Sat-chit-ananda: beingness-consciousness-bliss. I am the ground of Being out of which everything emerges. Self-Realization.
(Deconstruction+Experience) Impersonality: I am the one divine life living myself in the body, no different from the life expressing in the trees, in the other human being, or spinning the planet. Dissolving 'self' into a state clean of ego/personal self, not-mine sort of sensation. God-Realization.
(Experience) Intensity of luminosity: Wow, amazing, the textures of touch, the taste of food, the colours and shapes so wonderfully alive and intense!

(Realization/Experience) One Mind: I am this boundless space of awareness, and all forms/thoughts/perceptions are indistinguishable from that field, no inside/outside. Subject-Object inseparability. All is Mind/Self/Awareness/etc.

(Experience) No Mind: Only sound. Only sight. Vividly manifest without background or any sense of self/Self. (Not even a greater 'awareness' being inseparable from forms) This state has the same effect as 'intensity of luminosity' except that all sense of a perceiver is obliterated, i.e. no 'you' looking out from your body at the 'scenery' but only brilliant scenery.

(Deconstruction+Realization+Experience) Anatta: There never is/was a Source/Awareness/Self/Agent/Perceiver/Controller apart from manifestation! In seeing just the seen, no seer. Not only no self but no Self (caps) exists behind phenomena. No Subject. After *realization* of Anatta as the Nature of experience (empty of background subject), the experience of No-Mind becomes an effortless natural state rather than peak experience. Then one sees that no-mind is both wonderful and yet nothing special, as it simply is the natural state of phenomena when released from the extra imputation of Self/observer behind it, it is experienced as the ordinary state of phenomena rather than the 'Wow' factor accompanied by peak No Mind experiences prior to Anatta.

(Deconstruction+Realization+Experience) Mind-body drop: No shapes/boundaries of body, just centerless boundless vibrating energies! Body/self/things as an imputation dissolves through deconstructive insight.

(Deconstruction+Realization+Experience) Groundlessness: No persisting ground, no Here/Now, no coordinating agent, disjoint bubble-like self-releasing thought!

(Deconstruction+Realization+Experience) Maha +A: Totality (dependencies) walking, breathing, seamless process. Mind-body drop transforms into Dharma Body. Six senses reconstruct into one suchness, whole universe in an atom, all nodes in one indra's node.

(Deconstruction+Realization+Experience) Karmic Propensities: Karmic propensities are never hidden, totally exerted! Feel the realness of the amazing creation of the Subject/Object fiction manifesting as one's given experiential reality. Realize the 12 afflictive links of dependent origination where ignorance manifests the whole mass of grasping and suffering.

(Realization+Experience) Emptiness -A: Directly tasting thought/perceptions as clarity without background as basis, further penetrate its nature, that very appearance which dependently originates has never arisen, like a dream or reflection, like a burning flame.
Posted by: Wei Yu
Also see: Early Forum Posts by Thusness, Part 2 of Early Forum Posts by Thusness

From the feedbacks I received I think quite a number of our blog visitors appreciate these postings! :) So here's part 3.


Passerby: Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:56 am    Post subject:

din wrote:
Hi Thusness, (or is it Longchen?)

I am resting, but I am also having fun.

Very happy you popped in!!!

I really enjoyed reading the stages of enlightenment that An Eternal Now provided.

Here is the link:

Happy reading!!!

I am Thusness.
Yes it is a joy to see everyone sharing their experiences about Presence.
I like the site too. Just to add in some sugar... Mr. Green
When the ‘I’ drops away, there must be this “fusing into everything”. Without this experience, it is still resting in “I ”, there is no breakthrough. Even with the experience of “fusing into all things”, it remains as a stage having an entry and exit point. True realisation comes when we realised that there never was an 'I' from start, separation is an illusion. All is and are the One reality. Smile
I can see that u r enjoying.

Passerby: Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:18 am    Post subject:

Chelsy wrote:
Hi Passerby,

"Isness is entire."

There is something appealing about this.

Can you share more?


The entirety comes from it being everything. Only a mind that is forever symbolizing seeks and has that sense of deficit. Who, what, where, when and why belongs to the thinking mind that seeks. Isness is the Presence in I, the presence in things, the presence in time, the presence in space, the presence in meaning. It is complete. Enjoy the manifold of Presence!
Chelsy: Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:17 am    Post subject:

Hello Thusness!
Wonderful name, (and great greeny face!)

True realisation comes when we realised that there never was an 'I' from start, separation is an illusion. All is and are the One reality.


Isness is the Presence in I, the presence in things, the presence in time, the presence in space, the presence in meaning. It is complete. Enjoy the manifold of Presence!

The Power of Now teaching has different terminology, perhaps.
This is from Eckhart on Presence.
Question- “Is presence the same thing as Being?”
“When you become conscious of Being, what is really happening is that Being becomes conscious of itself- that’s presence.
Since Being, Consciousness and life are synonymous, we could say that Presence means consciousness becoming conscious of itself, or life attaining self-consciousness. But don’t get attached to the words and don’t make an effort to understand this. There is nothing you need to understand before you can become present.”
How do you see this?
Eckhart speaks of “awareness aware of itself.” “consciousness conscious of itself.” He has said that “this is the message of liberation, freedom, freedom from suffering, salvation, enlightenment.”
Though you may use different words, does this ring true to you?
Passerby: Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:34 am    Post subject:

Hi Chelsy,
Yes, Presence is the beingness.
When one first experienced the pure sense of existence, we touched that which is before thought, the original, the unconditioned. This quality before conditioning is freedom.
However very quickly thoughts step in and we identify with that experience. It becomes 'I Am'. Identification is a form of grasping; without identification the mind cannot know; it is due to the poverty of the mind that it must know, must hold and must attain; but by so doing the essense is lost. Enlightenment has no attainment; it has no knowing, it is the utter willingness of the mind to let go of itself and die to be awakened.
My 2 cents.
Passerby: Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject:

I like the site too. Just to add in some sugar...

The coffee still tastes a bit too sweet for me!

... not clouded with a sense of self consciousness...

There is only This.

Yes din!
Isness cannot be contained. Neither this not that...The 'sweetness' in the coffee, fragrance of smell, blueness in the color, the beingness of all thing, the beingness is the thing!..more real than the real... The experience of no mirror reflecting. Good luck. Smile
Passerby: Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:50 pm    Post subject:

din wrote:
Before the experience of no mirror reflecting there is the experience of "I am" consciousness and being aware of Itself.

Hi Din,
Just for Sharing…
In between “I AMness” and no “Mirror Reflecting”, there is another distinct phase I would name it as “Mirror Bright Clarity”. The Eternal Witness is experienced as a formless crystal clear mirror reflecting all phenomenon existence. There is a clear knowledge that ‘self’ does not exist but the last trace of the karmic propensity of ‘self’ is still not completely eliminated. It resides in a very subtle level. In no mirror reflecting, the karmic propensity of ‘self’ is loosen to a great extend and the true nature of the Witness is seen. All along there is no Witness witnessing anything, the manifestation alone is.
There is no mirror reflecting
All along manifestation alone is.
The one hand claps
Everything IS!
There is only One. The second hand does not exist…
din wrote:

And "no mirror reflecting" is when all efforting is dropped with regard to understanding (interpreting) the present moment and the I am drops away also. And all there is "This".

And what is "This"?
One whole spontaneous divine happening.
Passerby: Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 11:04 pm    Post subject:

Chelsy wrote:
The experience of no mirror reflecting.

This is realization of who you are beyond form. You are formless, no content, space, emptiness, nothingness- but alive, intense, gentle, peaceful- this. Pure consciousness, awareness.

Here there is no mirror- as there is nothing here.

It reflects itself.

The world of the senses- is the surface. This world cannot see it isn't.

Beyond the mind- is seeing.

Before the experience of no mirror reflecting there is the experience of "I am" consciousness and being aware of Itself.

This is the "mirror reflecting".

You cannot figure this out. You cannot use logic, mind.
Be still and go beneath the mind to see this.

And "no mirror reflecting" is when all efforting is dropped with regard to understanding (interpreting) the present moment and the I am drops away also. And all there is "This".

No mirror reflecting is when there is no self to block space.

All is One.

Hi Chelsy,
I agree with most of the thing you said but just don't let the last trace of the karmic self propensity catch us...There is no need to sink back to a Source. The Appearance is really the Source. The Unmanifested is the Manifestation.
It is truly a wonderful exchange. I enjoy most!!!
But got to get back to work...slackz...
ps: Thanks Din for introducing me this great site.
Passerby: Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject:

Hi Chesy,
what is the karmic self propensity?

As much as I would not like too, I would like to introduce a concept – the idea of karmic self propensity (hope I will not be stoned to death by introducing a concept! Mr. Green). It operates at a very very deep level of our consciousness. What it does? It makes us identify; it is the tendency to identify. Even when the ‘Eye’ is opened, it still operates in a very subtle way. But it can be loosen when the mind is constantly put to still and ‘see’ that quality of beauty and joy that is far greater than the symbolic realm. Any loosening of this propensity is characterized by an expansion of vitality, intelligence and clarity; a sense of release and lightness because ‘weight’, is really that identification. Due to the power of momentum, it will arise. So let it arises and subsides by its own nature. Any form of effort will reinforce it; it settles on its own without being reinforced through a mere effortless ‘seeing’; otherwise just allow it to flow in its own course because it is really that flow itself at that moment. Smile
"The only absolutely important thing is knowing who you are beyond form."

Yes. All is the One Reality unfolding. It wants us to see all of IT but not through ‘knowing’. For to know is to limit and contain; to know is to measure, compare and divide. Only through being it is seen. Because in beingness, there is no otherness. Beingness merely IS and in that ISness, there is immerse intelligence, life and clarity. It is entire. Smile
Passerby: Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:31 am    Post subject:

din wrote:
I had another insight tonight.

It was much longer and more involved than the original insight I described at the beginning of this thread.

It was totally a different insight/manifestation than the original one and yet it was in essence the same and deepened my understanding of Reality.

What I "saw" was that all there is is this present moment.

But this manifestation that we call the present moment, is simply that, a manifestation.

There really is no "story" attached to the manifestation.

The manifestation is appearance only.

"The story" is what adds "meaning" to the manifestation, to the appearance.

"The story" is essentially conditioning, and it is amazing just how deep and pervasive conditioning is.

Let me give you an example.

Eckhart talks about looking at a tree without naming it, without putting a label on it.

That is what he is pointing to.

The fact that the tree and absolutely everything else is "God" is "It, is the manifestation.

We can't see this because the mind has put a label on everything, interprets everything.

We are living in sacredness, we just don't realize it.

We are sacredness, we just don't realize it.

Everything is "It" , is "God", is the manifestation, but we are too busy "interpreting" to realize this.

I am sitting at the computer posting this knowing that the appearance of the computer and the keyboard is essentially "God", and the fingers typing this post are God's fingers, not mine.

Me and mine is just another appearance, another part of manifestation within the whole.

I have always had the tendency to want to return to the source, to the heart center, to the seat of consciousness as Ramana Maharshi calls it, but this is just appearance also.

The whole of the manifestation is "It" , is "God" , is the manifestation.

There is not one part of "It" that is more "It" than any other part.

So what I am saying is that the heart center, the inner dimension is just another part of the manifestation, it is sacred as everything else is, but it is not special in any other way.

Except perhaps it appears to be the entry point of the unmanifested into the manifested.

Hi Din,
This is really very well put!!! The silence is no more purer or sacred than the manifestation. The manifestation has always been the source! Smile
Passerby: Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:25 pm    Post subject:

Claudia wrote:
Hi Passerby...can't sneak much past ol' Amadeus.

Welcome. Now that we have you in our clutches...who are you?


I'm looking thru you, where did you go?
I thought I knew you, what did I know?
You don't look different but you have changed.
I'm looking thru you, you're not the same!

Hi Claudia,
Once I was a Body.
Later I became a Name.
Soon after I am merely I.
Then, there never was an I.
what else besides those words forming on the screen!

Passerby: Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:19 pm    Post subject:

Phoenix wrote:
Welcome Passerby,

as a flower blown out by the wind
goes to rest and cannot be defined
so the wise man freed from individuality
goes to rest and cannot be defined.
gone beyond all images-
gone beyond the power of words

From: Sutra Nipata

Going beyond the subtle influences of thought
The wise rest neither in form nor formless
Not found in this or that
In the flow of perpetual becoming
Ever is and ever One
Completely free, utterly traceless.
Thank you, Phoenix.

Passerby: Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:09 pm    Post subject:

Amadeus wrote:
Drop this-

together with a desire to alleviate it.

Compassion itself will move one to action or not.

Alleviating it may or may not be the best action.

Dropping the desire- pure compassion, pure presence- sees- then acts or does not act

I know exactly what you're saying here.

But when I wrote the definition from the dictionary I was thinking more in line with the buddhist outlook on compassion. Wanting to free all sentient beings from samsara. ( I hope I said that right. Where is Passerby when you need him?)

Missed this.
Yes I agree with Phoenix. The essence of anything cannot be known in advance, where situation is, it arises. Naturalness is free of artificialities, when we define; it loses its marvelous workings.
The experience of pristine awareness also differs in depth as well as in its manifoldness. A formula I used for myself:
Clarity = 1/Self
It is the depth of clarity and the intensity of Presence experienced. It is almost natural that even after the experience of our pristine awareness, we tend to sink back to a source, a center. As much as I would not like to say, under careful scrutiny, it is still thought-like, it has all the properties of thoughts with the ingredients of luminosity and aliveness.
There is also a time when the center completely subsides, essence of arising and sinking is from ‘what is’ alone and only in otherness it is seen.

Passerby: Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: There never was a self

Amadeus wrote:
How deep does conditioning go?

This question is a hard candy.

You pop it in your mouth (consciousness).

And you suck on it (give it attention).

When I did this, I realized that everything I do is conditioning.

And then it followed that the whole world was conditioning, came from the mind.

But that wasn't quite right because events unfold that are totally random, wild, unaccoutable.

And then it dawned on me.

There's no such thing as conditioning.

When this sunk in, the thought came, "Where does that leave me?"

And there it was.

That pattern.

That pattern that repeats itself.

That pattern that repeats itself that I had always called "sense of self".

But there is realization that this pattern is just that, a pattern.

A pattern that repeats.

Thoughts that repeat.

There was the illusion that this pattern was a problem, was a sense of self.

Now it is realized that this pattern, this pattern that repeats, is simply a part of the Whole.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Excellent Amadeus! Couldn't put it better. The great insight of going beyond changing 'thing'. The 'thing' doesn't exist, only change.
Passerby: Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:05 pm    Post subject:

Amadeus wrote:
Now it is realized that this pattern, this pattern that repeats, is simply a part of the Whole.

What is at the center of your being?

Is there division?


Is there wholeness.

there is always wholeness, only assumed division.
The subtle effort leading to 'knowing' that creates the center, is offset by its own resistance. Smile
Passerby: Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:32 pm    Post subject:

Amadeus wrote:
Hi Passerby,
Excellent Amadeus! Couldn't put it better. The great insight of going beyond changing 'thing'. The 'thing' doesn't exist, only change.

I posted this on another thread:

.... so there is no attempt at being consistent, at holding a certain point of view.

Everything is very fluid, flowing continually, forever changing, manifesting as it will, whenever and however it will.

To identify with a certain truth, to hold a certain point of view (and then needing to let it go later on) is the illusion, is the illusion of self.

Stop identifying.

Stop grasping.

Let go.

With this insight, the momentum of the pattern continues but without re-enforement, rises and falls in its own accord (otherwise there is constant re-enforcement) until karmic pattern ends. On the other hand, the ruling mode of 'knowing' which is dualistic is replaced by 'beingness' and Presence continues its stream of Nowness.
Passerby: Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:33 am    Post subject:

sunsetbreak wrote:

How can ANY karmic patterns exist in the presence of beingness/presence?

Right now mindfully aware, a truck approaching...hitting!!!!

Not about thoughts though.

Good question, Thanks!
Passerby: Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:14 am    Post subject:

sunsetbreak wrote:
Passerby wrote:

Right now mindfully aware, a truck approaching...hitting!!!!

Lets say a lion in the wild is climbin a tree and slips and falls and cuts himself on a this karma?

That is another story. In the example that u raised, it is a topic that involves the mysterious working of karma; one of the 4 imponderables in Buddhism. Which requires a certain degree of faith.
Maybe the word 'karmic' is misleading. You can take it to mean a deep level of attachment and conditioning. For the case of truck, just that very moment, is the 'attachment' that lies deep in the consciousness experienced? That which challenges that 'we are pure awareness'...No answer is really necessary. Just the awareness that is.
If the intensity of Presence experienced is already that strong, the bliss one experiences will also be of different dimension.
Nice chat! 
Passerby: Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:17 pm    Post subject:

sidewinder wrote:
You are NOT just awareness, you are everything that is.

It's funny, Amadeus, because you hardly ever see that written. All you hear is "you are pure awareness." That's what I recall anyhow from reading all the texts.

It is written but in another form. Isn't it clearly -- Chop wood, Carry Water!

That's what held me in its grips for a long time. I couldn't get around it no matter how I "looked" at it. It never made any sense.

Just recently it all came together for me: I have realized my formlessness. I'm quite lucid that I am every 'thing' and no 'thing' simultaneously. This is what I was searching for. Everything is "transparent" - especially my body. Whatever happens from this point, who knows. I'm game, though!

This is the key -- transparent! Total transparency has no sinking back to a source. The true face is seen. There is only One. Nothing else.

John Wheeler and Sailor Bob are great, really really great. But they are just offering pointers. There is nothing 'special' about any teacher. I think a lot of these 'teachers' have a lot invested into the dream of being a teacher (Sailor Bob would be the exception); which is fine of course, life should be fun! But just don't take these teachers so literally. Words are dualistic... so you work with what you have to work with. There is not much that has to be "understand" before it's all said and done with.. we just end up splitting hairs.


Yes good pointers. Unfortunately liberation cannot be compromised.

There comes a point where one needs to drop all concepts.
There is only Oneness.

Da Da Da...keyboard sounds!
Passerby: Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:21 pm    Post subject:

Amadeus wrote:
I can't help but see the duality now in all of John Wheeler's and Sailor Bob's writing.

They have discovered that they are just awareness.

That is fine.

But they are grasping this with the mind, and it has turned into a belief.

Instead of letting go of All thought they are stuck at this level of thinking.

You are NOT just awareness, you are everything that is.

Well said but don't get whacked!
Good Luck!
Passerby: Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:33 pm    Post subject:

Amadeus wrote:
This evening attention was being powerfully redirected within.

There was a slight perception that I was doing it.

But it was much too easy and it was being done way too well for the effort put into it.

So, there is a reclamation of attention from within.

Attention is being redirected within to it's source.

The stream of consciousness is returning to it's source.

I remember something Ramana wrote about this.

He said a man is a fool who ventures out into the hot noonday sun.

Instead of staying in the cool shade of the tree.

Don't worry about the source! It can't be lost, not even for a thought moment!
In no mirror reflecting, there is no compromise! Directly right into the heart of everything...just Everything!

Originally posted by JonLS:
It means there is nothing we can do.

Because there is no "we" that can do anything.
Happy New Year JonLS!

Told u it will only lead to confusion.


Originally posted by JonLS:
When you can see that all experiences are equal expressions of the One...

and that feeling bound is just as much the One as feeling free, only then does the inner division,

better known as ego, fall away.

Yes JonLS, no one state is purer than the other and thus, a purest state does not exist. Discrimination creates the non-existence 'Self' and insight dissolves it.
Originally posted by longchen:
Hi Isis,

The Bright is the result of progressive non-duality. Or rather, brightness is the original state.

The way (that i know) that will lead towards it is through realisations. ... of which the major turning point realisation is:

"The sense of self (me, I) is not the doer of any action."
Before this realisation, we( and the rest of the human population) believe that the 'self' is in control of all the actions and activity. However, this is not so. This 'sense of self' is more like an additonal layer of mental activity that wants this or that. This is much like a child that throws tantrum but is quite powerless to do anything. This realisation allows us to willingly let go of the excessive mental grasping that is this 'sense of self'.

The progressive non-grasping will lead to a state of no-self... that is what is meant by non-duality. That is the activities are carried out without the sense of self. There are many tones/depths of non-duality... but they all have a vividness and clarity quality.
It is also important to note that preceding this realization, you have the intuitive experience of Eternal Witness and have been continuously seeking and refining this experience for many years. How Presence is being mistaken as the “Eternal Witness” and the eventual realization that “The sense of self (me, I) is not the doer of any action” cannot be underemphasized. The depth of insight and experience of a person having “Eternal Witness” to the experience of “The sense of self (me, I) is not the doer of any action” is of different dimension. This condition has profound implication that led to the eventual realisation of non-duality.

For Buddhists:
Perhaps (in my opinion), this is the condition that triggered the Blessed One to teach about the Tatagathagarba doctrines in Mahayana Buddhism. A teaching that sounded so much like the Atman in Hinduism. Obviously many practitioners are unable to have the deep insight into the truth of Anatta (no-self) that lead one to the realisation that all being the One Reality; otherwise the teachings of Tatagathagarba would be deemed redundant.

Also, this progressive non-duality will lead to a stage where the mystery of the world/existence is revealed. It is like psychology unknowingly leading one towards understanding the mystery about existence.
Well put!


Originally posted by marcteng:
Kamma being a form of energy is not found anywhere in this fleeting consciousness or body. Just as mangoes are not stored anywhere in the mango tree but, dependent on certain conditions, they spring into being, so does kamma. Kamma is like wind or fire. It is not stored up anywhere in the Universe but comes into being under certain conditions.

This is very well said. This is Emptiness. This is Buddhism. Smile

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Is this similar to what you said about mistaking karmic bondage with spontaneous arising?
All these 2 articles are very well written. He wrote with powerful experience of non-dual Presence. He does not mistake anything as there really is no separation. Just that discernment should not be misunderstood as identification. To discern is not to separate anything.

What is lacking is the 'nature' of spontaneous arising, it is still not understood as 'emptiness nature' is still not experienced. He will be able to rest in the bliss of Presence as he has already seen manifestation is really the source; but he will not be able to penetrate the workings of phenomena like past lives and karma. I would not have said there is a stage 6 if non-dual is the end.

Originally posted by JonLS:
Because we're too busy identifying with thoughts and feelings in the mind and body.
And also busy identifying with the "I Am". The worry has now come to it. Dissolve and passaway, fade out of existence! So be it!

Why can't we fully appreciate our perfection?
Fade away and appreciate "no where". Sleep well!


When we clung too deeply to the luminous presence, to that ‘pure sense of existence’, we fail to see the emptiness nature of that presence. Phenomena dances in and out of existence, arises and subsides according to conditions. When a practitioner does not ‘posit’ an ‘I’ and ‘see’ that there is really no one behind, then popping in and out of existence is not seen as any thing unusual, still the perfect expression of our pristine nature that is empty. Allow Presence to be, no who, no when and no where.

Originally posted by JonLS:
Embrace arising and subsiding. Embrace conscious, pre-conscious and unconscious. When we hold to the understanding at the conscious level, we cannot see the workings of pre-conscious and unconscious level. By so doing, we discriminate unknowingly. We divide the undivided.

There is no way to pin our nature into a certain state. Neither conscious, pre-conscious nor unconscious is it. To experience the beauty when the ‘conscious’ isn’t there, be it. To have insight into our nature is to ‘be’ whatever and whenever condition is – Just simply thus. The cognizing mind cannot know, only ‘Thus come and go’ alone knows. Mr. Green


Originally posted by JonLS:
Why is Eckhart's book called "The Power of Now"?

Because your true nature is always right now in the present moment.

That's all that really exists, is the present moment.

The past is just a bunch of memories that can only be recalled "now", and the future is just a bunch of thoughts projected into an imaginary future.

Let me ask you a question.

The awareness that is streaming through your eyes right now, that is taking in this post.

How old is it?

What sex is it, male or female?

Has this awareness changed at all since you were an infant?

Your thoughts about who you are and what the world is certainly have changed, but has awareness ever changed?

Could you say that the awareness is unchanging, always there, always present right now.

Does it have an eternal quality about it?

Let me ask you another question.

What do you think of this moment right now?

Is it particularly good? Or bad?

You will need to refer to your thoughts to answer this question because you are moving away from your true nature.

You are moving into the story of being a separate human being that has needs and wants and is always moving in time.

So, the present moment, which is your true nature, is glossed over, and you instead identify with the story of becoming, of solving the myriad problems you have as a separate individual, of moving forward in time hoping one day to finally "arrive" and find true happiness.

But you and I know that day will never come, because as soon as you solve one problem, another problem will pop up to replace it.

One could say that being a separate person is in fact a state of perpetual problem. Because it is "you" against the world.

However, if you rested in your true nature, which is awareness, which is pure consciousness, which is spirit, which is the present moment, then would there be any problems?

How can you have a problem when you are all that is?

How can you have a problem when you have let go of the story of what you thought you were?

What do you end up with then?

Just the simplicity of this moment.

Which is all there really is.

Which is everything.

Which is what you are.
The ‘Now’ has no identity, no image and no sameness. Not a background and is not a container for things to manifest. When free of concepts, free of the bondage and the need for a background, the ‘that’, the ‘it’, the arising and subsiding phenomena is the presence.

There is no changing thing, there is only change. Things are cognized.
The ever becoming has no end and does not begin. No one particular moment is all of it and yet, no moment isn’t it. Neither is there an ‘All’ to this stream as ‘All’ has no meaning in an endless stream of becoming.

Look, see and point to the mountain, listen to the drumbeats of footsteps, hear the chirping birds; without overlaying symbols, free of concepts, delimited not by a body, not affect by the imprints of senses, undefined by languages, all is and are the Pristine Awareness.

Yet the entire beauty, richness, fabric and texture of this so lucidly clear and real, does not remain even for a moment, instantaneously it is gone. Embrace "this instantaneously gone" and embrace “let arise”, this is its nature, simply so.


Not to mistake what I said with Yoga Nidra of what Swami Rama taught or what Ramana Marharishi said. And not to mistake the dreamless state of Samadhi with nirodha samapatti. “Witnessing” is not the only an aspect of our Pristine Awareness, not all of it. Smile
Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi Thusness,

This is a very interesting answer because something happened today that fits perfectly with what you have said.

I don't know if I can explain and describe it properly but I will try.

I was sitting quietly when a certain "knowing" was in consciousness, this "knowing" had a message for me.

The message was to "abandon that way of knowing".

"That way of knowing" is the conscious reality that I experience every day as the "dream".

I am to abandon it and just be.

I have no idea how to do this, but I don't feel a need to know.

I simply allow, I trust.
Yes JonLs,

There is no line of demarcation among the 8 consciousness (buddhist terms) or the 3 states of consciousness “conscious, pre-conscious, unconscious”, attachment creates that line. For the sake of discussion in a conventional sense and non-buddhist term, it is said there are “conscious, pre-conscious, unconscious”ness, but in essence it is an undivided whole. True clarity comes when there is a total ‘let be’ for manifestation to take place in all states when condition arises. The ‘conscious’ level knows the effect and in the right track through the intensity clarity and bliss during the waking state.

And yes initially it is trust and faith through the fruition of clarity and bliss, with stability it is understood as a working whole simply just so -- As One undivided flow.

Good Luck. Smile

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
What is Yoga Nidra of Swami Rama?

Also, the description of Ken Wilber's Constant Consciousness is not refering to Witnessing presence, isn't it?
What Ken Wilber said is the witnessing state of dreamless yoga - nidra yoga. Smile Thusness:

Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi AnEternalNow,

That is an absolutely fantastic quote by Ken Wilbur, I recognize the truth in it, now all that is left is to realize it!
Hi JonLS,

There is Presence but do not attempt to sustain the 'Witnessing', this is attempting to hold on to a "familiar state of being when the conditions of senses are functioning". Allow to be and completely let go. For what is"What Is" when the senses are suspended and perceptions, concepts and feelings come to a complete rest? Be Non-dual in dreamless, be non-dual in all 3 states and the energy u experienced will dance vibrantly with bliss to tell that you are on the right path during waking state.

Originally posted by JonLS:
Pure awareness, which I have experienced momentarily and then was gone, is not something that will become a permanent state?
There is continuity but there is no permanent changeless state. This distinction is important because it prevents us from experiencing the 3 most important aspects of our nature -- conditioning momentum, no-self (non-duality) and our emptiness nature.

What happen if the luminous clarity of our pristine awareness posses this quantum entanglement characteristic (Emptiness). Mr. Green


Pure awareness has no particular state. A permanent state is being cognized out due to the power of the mind to “abstract”. Direct experience requires no such postulation. The permanent state is the 'holding factor' that prevents the experience of the self-liberating nature of the mind. If we were to direct the experience to the manifestation and only the manifestation alone, the beauty of Presence is in its manifold will be experienced. It is needless to hold on to a 'changeless' source. In each moment of the flux, Be; all moments are equally pure, rich and identity-less.


Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Nathan Gill uploaded these two weeks ago:
Going beyond.

So there's an awareness of this room right now, but what about the unmanifest level?What unmanifest level? Isn't what's appearing enough?
The appearance is merely a pointer to what is beyond Consciousness.

Why do you want to go beyond?

Because that's where all the action is, for creating this manifestation.This manifestation isn't created - it spontaneously appears.

But ultimately there's nothing more important than what is beyond Consciousness.

When there's exclusive identification with the content of awareness, with the story of 'me' as an imagined entity, there's a tendency for the awareness aspect of Consciousness to be objectified as 'the beyond', a state or realm which once attained will offer oneness, lasting peace.But in actuality there is no beyond, nothing to be attained 'ultimately'. There's simply this as it is: simple presence. This is already that 'realm'. Consciousness (awareness and the presently appearing content of awareness) is already one or whole, and when the story of 'me' - of identification - is seen as just a play, a movie, then all pursuit of oneness, all pursuit of the beyond or whatever, quite naturally becomes obsolete.
Yes and very well said.
There is no beyond and therefore there is no "ultimate unchanging state".

Originally posted by longchen:
Insight is also very important... perhaps even more important than Jhana attainments. My point is... with the proper understanding and practice... realisations and progress along the enlightenment path is shorter than one usually expect. Certainly it is less than one kalpa Mr. Green
Indeed. Very true.

One of the major pitfall is in reading up and absorbing all kinds of informations, regardless of whether they are from religious sources or not. It must be understood that many informations maybe culturally bias. Even if the informations are true, those realised masters wrote from a state that is different from the average readers'. As such, these readers conjure up 'imaginations' and 'speculation' that impede progress. Yes, speculations impede progress. In fact, they are what constitute most of my obstacles.... I spend more time unlearning them instead Mr. Green

These are my experiences and I hope this is helpful.
Yes and very sincere advise. Very true in every sentence. Thank you. Smile


Originally posted by Isis:
i'm thinking of attaining first or/and second jhana then switch to insight...
to cultivate my mind to be more stable.

My mind is actually quite restless...
Yes Isis, more on the calmness. The key is not to dwell into "content". When "content" arises, develop the mental habit of letting go. Problems will only come when you entertain the content (including dealing with angry ppl).

Good Luck. Smile


Lastly JonLS,

Don't think linear and don't limit our nature to locality. All are artificial boundaries. The momentum has ‘conditioned’ our intrinsic nature the ‘physical limitations’, a boxed-up experience. A moment of manifestation need not be so; our emptiness nature is non-local.

Originally posted by longchen:
I am aware of the impulse that Adyashanti talks about. In the past, i identified it as the oversoul.

One of my teacher taught me a way to surface and bring it's 'content' into the conscious mind via a type of meditation.

This aspect seeks to evolve and seek 'fulfillment'...but its 'outward externalisation' becomes the 'sense of self or ego'. This very impulse is our deep subconscious mind that most of us are not aware of.

In my opinion only... (so pl don't take it too seriously)... is that this impulse must be seen for what it truly is. To me, it is the very root of our rebirth cycle. Because, to me, the impulse creates a continous movement via desire... if it is not 'seen' for what it is. All of us wants to be happy and live better life... this is the momentum of that impulse... but in ignorance... it creates the constantly seeking 'self'. Perhaps, it is this constant seeking for fulfillment that cause the rebirth... for we all feels that the rebirth can fulfill some of our desires.
Yes. Ignorance is a very very very deep form of "knowing" but dualistic knowing. "Knowingness" has all implications to Consciousness. Therefore liberation is not by will; only insight liberates. Mr. Green
(commenting on some of Suzanne Segal's descriptions) If someone draws a line in the thin air and is able to plant a seed into a lay person’s inmost consciousness that “he can’t go beyond this line”, that lay person will feel that the so called ‘imaginary’ boundary is as solid as a physical wall. The way we are ‘bonded’ to dualistic view of a ‘Self’ is similar. A strong sense of Witnessing Presence without going beyond that "invisible line" is not the experience of “no-self” in Buddhism and therefore I would not call her experience an “insight” into no-self. The negative experiences she had seem more like very strong ‘self/Self’ propensities, it is a form of split, a separation.

Staying in no-self is to be fully authenticated by all things and as all things. Fear arises because of this lack of authentication. She sank too deeply into the 'content'. This is the case of "dark nights" where propensities rushed into manifestations. Her attempt to reason herself out will not work. Logical reasoning cannot break that 'bond' and she just couldn't help reacting to it.
One way out is to practice and develop the mental habit of "dissolving" every moment before "content" arise. The mental habit of dissolving will become a strength of it own to counter this problem.

In true no-self experience, the first aspect is the cognitive mind loses its charm and is replaced with intuitive and direct experience. Only the qualities of our nature are experienced (clarity, radiance, presence and vitality), nothing about symbols, labels and content. Second, the illusionary view of a "Self' on top of manifestation is dissolved; There is complete rest in appearance. Nothing needs be done and therefore there can only be the experience of liberation as that boundary, that separation disappeared. Nothing is obstructing anything in the experience of no-self.

Edited by Thusness 25 Jan `07, 11:57PM

There are many repetitions and buddhist jargons. Don't get bored Mr. Green
First 2 chapters of lankavatara sutra:

There is one version that gives short but quite good commentary. I supposed the the website is down but a cache version can be found at the following url:

Yes JonLS.

Perception is formed when identification is made and a moment of experience is being assigned a label. Consciousness becomes a stream of perceptions.

In a state of continuous bare experience, neither is there an external world out there nor an internal world in here taking place within consciousness. Without symbols, there is no layering and nothing to divide. In direct experience, everything is really it!

However there is another aspect of consciousness, it is its incessant habit of recording. This aspect has profound implication on our daily experiences. Even after the experience of no-self, a mind is not free from the imprints of ‘physical limitations’. Just like science needs highly precise equipment to penetrate and understand the quantum behavior of sub-atomic particles, sharp and deep clarity is necessary to experience “out-of-the-box” of our emptiness nature, the propensities must subside to a great degree.

To have a full picture of pure pristine nature, the luminous radiance, the workings of propensities and our emptiness nature must all be experienced. Smile

Wow….i missed this part (see: I read it a few items. It is really very very good. Superb!


Originally posted by JonLS:
An innocent mind

In the sense of original innocence and original sin, an innocent mind is one which is quiescent (quiet, still, surrendered).

This means that the mind is no longer searching for it's true nature.

It is no longer making efforts to "know" or "understand" something.

Instead, there is resting in one's true nature, in being.

This is about letting go of the need to know.

And trusting.

And just being.

True freedom lies in surrender and acceptance.
To find one that can completely surrender and totally be is extremely rare. Not even one in millions. Yet in deep sleep, all has to let go. How can one be denied such a precious state of beingness.

For a person that has experienced no-self (non-duality), deep sleep is even more important. It is the completion of a full cycle of non-duality and natural beingness.

But this may not be the case for one that clings to the "Eternal Witnessing". There is a very subtle holding in them for maintaining this witnessing subconciously thereby denying them from naturally going into deep sleep. If it reaches a point that presents itself as a problem, it is a signal to the practitioner that it is time to let go and dissolve the holding of the Witness, the center. It will be tough to simply try just "let go" of the center and if this is the case, an insight into our "emptiness nature" may help.

Only after going through a full cycle of natural non-duality and beingness in all three states will a practitioner sleep be shortened. I called this the second cycle of non-duality.
Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi Thusness,

Thank you for that reply.

There is something else I would like to share with you.

There is an experience that is ongoing.

It involves the center of my being.

The center of my being opens up and an energy comes flooding in (arises).

This energy is pure, it is undifferienciated, it is pure consciousness, pure isness.

It is breaking through the dream of "my life" as a separate "person" in time.

It is pure isness.

Bringing me back to the present moment.

All else is just appearance.

All else is just a dream, just manifestation.

Do you recognize what I am saying?
Yes JonLS, I know what you meant. It is also this vitality aspect of Presence that took over the main role during deep sleep. For me it has been ongoing till now, powerfully presence. When the mind is not making interpretations and the pure energy felt directly in its raw state, it is felt as vibrational, continuously dancing. In a pool of saliva, at the back of forehead, at crown center, on top of your head, tongue, all cells seem dancing vibrantly everywhere. It is as if you have touched 'pure life' and brings whatever in contact to life. The 'beingness' is charged powerfully by this vitality. It forms part of the clarity, bliss and joy. It is one of the core aspects of Presence, not just the knowingness. When the aspects of clear knowingness, vitality and self propensity are fused, Presence is shaped and seemed to come from a 'center', that 'center' in actual case it is rather a sensation of a 'mysterious depth', it should not be localized. Drop that ‘center’, allow the flow to arise from the mysterious deep of nowhere, from the beingness of the arising phenomena itself, no attempt is made to sink back to a center; there is no need to; it connects All.

ps: knowingness and vitality cannot be separated, it is for discussion sake that i separate them.

Edited by Thusness 29 Jan `07, 11:48AM

Hi JonLS,

There is nothing wrong with the Isness experienced as “I AM” except that it is skewed towards the ‘thought’ realm. The cognitive mind is overwhelmed by the transcendental experience and wants to monopolize the entirety of Presence. As such the purity is distorted. Full and equal authentication of Isness as experienced in “I AM” must also be fully experienced in all appearance and to all moments of manifestation. When the ‘center’ is dissolved, no preference can be made between “Amness” and Appearances”, nothing can be more clear, All is it!
Originally posted by JonLS:
I know what you are saying here!

I have experienced, for more than a day, the fact that all there was, was the appearance and that's all of it!

It is one complete whole!Mr. Green
Yes! Thusness:
By the way, over the years I have refined the term "naturalness" into "spontaneously arise due to conditions". When condition is, Presence Is. Not bounded within a space-time continuum. It helps to dissolve the centricity. See whether it syncs in you...Mr. Green


Hi JonLS,

Dwell a lil on religion Embarassed :

Since appearance is all there is and appearance is really the source, what gives rise to the diversities of appearances? “Sweetness” of sugar isn’t the “blueness” color of the sky. Same applies to “AMness”…Mr. Green all are equally pure, no one state is purer than the other, only condition differs. Conditions are factors that give appearances their ‘forms’. In Buddhism, pristine awareness and conditions are inseparable.

Although there is non-dual in Advaita and no-self in Buddhism, Advaita rest in an “Ultimate Background” (making it dualistic Question ), whereas Buddhism eliminates the background completely and rest in the emptiness nature of phenomena; arising and ceasing is where pristine awareness is. In Buddhism, there is no eternality, only timeless continuity (timeless as in vividness in present moment but change and continue like a wave pattern). There is no changing thing, only change.

Originally posted by longchen:
This is really good. Sure spell out the different subtle attachments.
It also in a way explain why there can so many different types of mystical or transcendental experiences. All are but the various types of subtle attachments giving rise to different understandings and experiences.

Thanks so much. It is helpful for me
Hi Longchen,

Not only that. This work by Padmasambhava is truly deep and profound; it discloses the self-liberating aspect of our intrinsic nature. It is especially important for you now.

At that time when you posted the thread of non-dual and karmic pattern,, the condition is only right for understanding 'the strength of karmic propensities’, as such, this aspect was not disclosed. Instead, the second door of impermanence was introduced and it was introduced with the purpose to complement the no-self experience you had in order to give rise to this insight of “Self-Liberation”. The sole purpose of the practice of the second door of impermanence is for this insight to arise.

I was reading some commentaries about this work, I was disappointed; and with all due respect, I must say it is terribly distorted. The commentator has transformed this great work of Padmasambhava to an Advaita or neo-Advaita teaching. Self Liberating nature of our pristine nature is not to posit naked-awareness as a background where “all thoughts arise and subside’ and the background is not affected by this transient nature of thoughts, it remains constant, changeless and unmoved. ‘Self liberation’ should never be taken to mean this.

There is no Awareness apart from the arising and ceasing of thoughts and yet thought spontaneously arise and subsides in its own accord (self-liberating). It liberates at that very moment of ‘passing away’ (the practice of second door) without the need of effort, simply so. From moment to moment it is so. Thus comes and thus goes. This is its emptiness nature. The emptiness nature liberates instantaneously. By simply so, it is spontaneously self-perfected.

Sentient mind however posit a ‘self’ and holds. Whether the “thought” is good or bad, it attempts to do something to change, whatever direction it goes either good or bad, all is ‘doing’ (karma) and prevents the liberating nature. However without the experience of no-self (Buddhism non-duality not Advaita non-dual), one can never understand this intuitively.

Do read with a reverent heart. Homage to Padmasambhava.

How can you say that you cannot find your own mind?

The mind is just that which is thinking:
(My opinion is it should be translated to “The mind is just the thinking” but I do not have the original text.)

And yet, although you have searched (for the thinker), how can you say that you do not find him?

With respect to this, nowhere does there exist the one who is the cause of (mental) activity.

And yet, since activity exists, how can you say that such activity does not arise?

Since merely allowing (thoughts) to settle into their own condition, without trying to modify them in any way, is sufficient,

How can you say that you are not able to remain in a calm state?

Since allowing (thoughts) to be just as they are, with out trying to do anything about them, is sufficient,

How can you say that you are not able to do anything with regard to them?

Since clarity, awareness, and emptiness are inseparable and are spontaneously self-perfected,

How can you say that nothing is accomplished by your practice?

Since (intrinsic awareness) is self-originated and spontaneously self-perfected without any antecedent causes or conditions,

How can you say that you are not able to accomplish anything by your efforts?

Since the arising of discursive thoughts and their being liberated occur simultaneously,

How can you say that you are unable to apply an antidote?

Since your own immediate awareness is just this,

How can you say that you do not know anything with regard to it?

It is certain that all of the diverse characteristics of things are liberated into their own condition,

Like clouds in the atmosphere that are self-originated and self-liberated.

You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not.

Originally posted by _wanderer_:
Yup, people talk too much about Dzogchen and conceptualize the non-conceptual. And even "non-conceptual " becomes a concept. And even "conceptualizing the non-conceptual " becomes a on and so forth.

The more the commentaries make sense, chances are the more distorted they are.
Yes young one. Very true.

P/S AEN: Perhaps I have not expressed myself clearly in the past. I am not having issues with people posting on Dzogchen texts by Guru Padmasambhava. I am only concerned about readers practicing Dzogchen without guidance, or readers who think they know/understand, because it is a Vajrayana pith instruction that requires proper initiation, permission and guidance in the practice.

Furthermore, people would be mistaken to think that Dzogchen is learnt through reading such a text. Dzogchen is not a text, it is a pith instruction, from an authentic teacher, to a qualified student (one of the best qualities of such a student is being someone like a perfect idiot), under the appropriate circumstances.

In the stories of past enlightened masters, some of them gave Dzogchen instructions just by bringing the student out to the field to look at the stars and not saying anything. After that, the master just said, "This is it". That's all. That's the instruction.
Your concern is most valid.

In actual fact, Dzogchen is not at all necessary for enlightenment. The View of the 4 Dharma Seals, and the Meditation of Shamatha & Vipassana are the most fundamental and reliable methods of attaining enlightenment.
This is most valuable.

Finally, since we all have the merits to hear about the word "Dzogchen" and seems like so many people are so fascinated by, inspired by, or aspire towards Dzogchen, here is a video link for you, by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Dzogchen. It may delight you, it may disappoint you. Just know that whatever arises or ceases are but fleeting illusions.
Thank you for the site.
Originally posted by longchen:
I do find the impermanence door very helpful. No-self is easier for me to be now... however the self-liberation aspect is still quite tricky. ..for me.
Yes, let the understanding takes its own course. It is similar to the case of non-dual where there is a sudden 'insight' that there is really no-self and a sudden expansion of releasing takes place on its own accord.

In fact practice now becomes moment to moment of meeting conditions and let arise of whatever outcome. There is no choosing and grasping. The 'self-liberation is deeply felt and thoroughly understood, not just a glimpse of the truth. I am still far from that. It is a path for those with utmost sincerity. Not as excuse to laze idle.

It is like what i have said before there is various depths to non-duality. There appears to be 2 distinct 'levels' of me.

In the first level, mental thoughts are still quite active. Here thoughts arises but there is no thinker. Here no subject-object split is clearly understood.
At this level there is the ‘insight’ of no-self but momentum continues. However momentum stops being re-enforced.

And there is another distinct level that mental thoughts loses it attraction all together. In this level, there feels like cognitions have been de-constructed.
There are several reasons:

1. Here most of the propensities that resulted from holding to the illusion view of a background begin to subside.

2. When background subsides, Natural awareness takes place and there is natural tendency to feel everything directly, the burden is being more equally distributed to the rest of the five senses instead of being skewed to just ‘thinking’ alone.

3. A subtle “insight” is about to take place or has already taken place. It is the ‘insight” that ‘content’ is the problem of all problems. It is what that conjured out all sorts of illusions, fears and worries.

4. The practice of the second door is gaining strength at the pre-conscious level.

This is a blissful level and it feels like resting on 'nothing'.
It is resting on ‘nothing of content’ but it is resting on ‘peace, clarity, blissfulness, vitality’. Here focus is gradually shifting from "content" of the mind to "qualities" of the mind. The qualities of mind has nothing to do with "content".

But without the first level non-duality, the second level cannot be moved into.
This need not be the case. The first level of ‘insight’ is more important from my point of view. It is what that leads to Oneness. A person that practices mindfulness may enter the second level u mentioned without first having that ‘non-dual’ insight of the first level, this in fact has been my case for many years. It is due to the ability to sustain for a prolong period of bare attention or non-conceptuality. The understanding of no-self here can still remain as 'no-personal self' or as a form of mirror bright clarity that is free of labels but the mirror still exist in a dualistic form. In the second level, the sense of ego diminishes but the attachment of a background is still strong and insight into "non-dual" has not really aroused.
Edited by Thusness 31 Jan `07, 9:33PM

Originally posted by longchen:
Hi Thusness,

Wow... your explanation is so clear. Thanks so much

Indeed, i am beginning to realise that 'content' is a problem. And to be free of it's grasp is so good.
Yes! But too instense practice can have its adverse effect too....hehehe ...stay away from it for a while and after some time, it seems to become natural and everything becomes let be before even 'content' arises
Originally posted by longchen:
Reading the news nowadays about global warming and its effects, sets me pondering...

Global warming and Earth changes perhaps are our collective karmas.

I think we must seriously do our part in reducing the effects... like use less aircon, etc. All of us are guilty of it. Embarassed

I forsee a future that may not be as comfortable or luxurious as we wanted to be... as we live the collective karmic effect of humanity's action.

I alway believe that we humans are not that special and are not the centre attraction of this planet. If we don't wake up, nature will sobber us through its brute power. We always think that science and inventions are so all powerful... but we have greatly underestimated the complexity of co-habitating with the rest of the planet.

Sorry for the preaching...
Hi Longchen,

I don’t think you are preaching; your message is timely; the weather is getting so erratic. It is quite alarming to realize that at the rate we are consuming the earth resources, it may only last for another few hundred years. It won’t take long for us to destroy our own habitats and that, is just few generation away; although we may not live to see the disastrous, we have to think a little for the future generations. We are abusing the natural systems.

I believe many are not aware of the harm and educations do play a role. Prior to taking environmental science decades back, I had absolutely no idea about the impact and consequences of pollutions. The idea that ‘resources will come to an end’ never existed.

Even with adequate education, developing nations are so helpless due to their poverty. Developed nations lure these nations into commitments. I shall not dwell deeper into it but the rapid disappearance of forests in many parts of the world is what caused the extra half carbon dioxide to be added to the atmosphere. Reducing the CO2 emissions is not just getting rid of CFCs, land use change is a major issue.

Locally, a taxation policy driven towards pro-green policies may help. At present the economic penalties are so small that it hardly drives people away from the demand of CFC sources. Internationally certain sorts of agreements are also necessary for nations to adhere to policies that will slow down greenhouse gases emission. Global warming is an international issue, If China, for example, continues to double their coal consumption every decade, it would do little help even all other countries put in effort.

Lastly we must be careful of futuristic renewable energy. I think very soon the world will turn to nuclear as an alternative source of energy. Is using nuclear is viable solution? I hope we are not replacing “flu with cancer”. I hope we do not replace ecological insecurity with nuclear threat. Neutral


Originally posted by JonLS:
Is global warming really a problem?

Or are we all under the hypnotic illusion of a collective thought called "global warming"?
Even the enlightened respects all illusions.


Originally posted by AndrewPKYap:
and recognising also that some people that claim to be in front of you are in reality, way behind or not even walking the same path!
On the aspect of grounding to reality, you did a great job. It is also good to stress on taking up personality and be this or that, in reality nothing can be deviated, not even for a moment. Nevertheless, an innocent and sincere mind to share one's experience is most crucial for all practitioners, not to take it to heart.


Originally posted by longchen:
Hmmm... although i have fully understood that existence is non-dual and can at times goes into the bliss of no one, physical pain still hurts like hell.

I think we should not negate pain and suffering. For those who have suffered losses in the recent floods, the pain is real.

The subject-object split is false... but the pain created
by causes and conditions is real.
And that is what non-dual is all about. There is no-self to obstruct the experience, it is as real and as clear as it can be.

Side Message:
The deep dreamless sleep is a very precious state of being, a natural samadhi of its own, a measure of accomplishment in the first complete cycle of non-dual. If conditions are understood along with our pristine nature, all 3 states flow as a single whole.


The intent of the post was not to negate anything. But to affirm that nothing is known, nothing is believed.
I know Mr. Green

All I can really say is "I don't know if it's real or not".
It is this that I am referring. Not knowing should not immobilize "knowingness".

There is a complete "not knowing" which feels like an emptyness in the mind.
No thoughts or beliefs that are being grasped.
“Knowingness” has no mine or I; a clarity is merely clarity of ‘what is’. “I do not know whether JonLS is at the other side responding” is also buying “into content” to ascertain an “I-cognition” experience. Just be authenticated that “knowingness knows” and always so. Other than that is meddling of content to disturb that clarity. Mr. Green


Originally posted by AndrewPKYap:
I am therefore "I say" and I can say or explain because "I understand". I understand because I am.

"I understand" does not mean that "I am".

That is to say, I can "say" and explain all I want and help another to understand, but even if the other person understands it, he is still not "it".

He cannot say "I am"; he can only say "I understand". For another person to come to the point where he will be able to say ""I am", I do not just understand"; he needs to practice.

This is crucial for practitioners to know. In other words, the knowledge must transform you or it will forever be head knowledge. The internet is good when in your practice, you encounter questions. The answers that make sense, you will be to use to help you in your practice. You still need to practice.
The pure sense of existence, that "I AM", though vividly clear relates only to the thought realm. This is what I can say for now. Happy journey.
Originally posted by JonLS:
This sounds very good to me.

Are you saying that "not knowing" is part of the "I-cognition"?

They appear to be on the same level to me, the level of form, of thought. (of needing to know) (of grasping)
Yes. The "I do not know" is a part of the "I-cognition", it is still thought acting upon itself to establish a dualistic fact. It is not the form of "knowingness" that you experienced in "I AM". That experience is "contentless", be free from a background. forget about the source and touch the heart of every arising directly.


Originally posted by longchen:
I still have some way to go. I am no way near what that you have described.
You are humble. Smile

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

So there are countless universes and each is interlinked. It is not in the form of a subjective and objective world. Now if we say you drop something, it is being reflected in all, and that is what Master Tu Shun is saying. "I do not know how you feel" is subjective and objective division. According to Master Tu Shun, there is no difference. It is a reflection in you and in all, no difference at all. "I feel" and "you feel" are all nodes reflecting. There are nodes, but knowing is true. Wink
ps: Though so, it is still a model.


Originally posted by Isis:
I was meditating and my right leg started to ach. I had then focused on the unpleasant feeling.The funny thing is that the pain went away and disappeared as if it is not there in the first place.
Your focusing and willingness to face the unpleasant feeling eliminate unnecessary resistance and that helps your brain and body to adjust more readily to the unpleasantness. The pain is no more there not because of your focusing, it will subside even if you did not focus on it; it subsides naturally when the body adapts to it.

Secondly, my breathe become shorter and faster as the meditation coming to an end. I thought i couldn't control my breathing but I was still rather awared of the surrounding.
Think it is due to expecation that the meditation is coming to an end. You await the meditation to end subconsciously... Mr. Green
Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Sadly, Ian Stevenson has passed away. This link provides a useful overview of the man and his research into children's past lives....
This is sad
I respected him so much.


Originally posted by longchen:
Our existence has ALWAYS been non dual. There is NEVER a moment that one is out of non-duality.

It is just that when thoughts are grasped... a 'self' is experienced... creating the perception of observer and the being observered.

There is really no entering into non-duality or getting out of it. Every moment is non-dual... but less grasping makes it more obvious...
Yes it is a seal. A dharma seal in buddhism. Happy Chinese New Year. Smile


Originally posted by JonLS:
So to all of you I would say, if you are seeking, it's that very seeking that is hiding the fact that you have arrived!!!

You have arrived because you never left.

As Tony Parsons says: "Liberation Is".
Even the damn monkey told the leopard the truth, the leopard will still run away!

Even the truth of non-seeking is told, the seeking continues without a seeker.

For both cases, the "Self/self' prevents the seeing. Mr. Green

Originally posted by JonLS:
If you are seeking, it is the seeking itself you should be looking at.

Are you totally identified with "seeking"?

Are you a "seeker"?

What would you be without "the search".

I could tell you to drop the search.
But I know you won't because you're much too busy seeking.
Maybe changed it to:

But I know you can't because you couldn't help it. Mr. Green

Before the arising of non-dual (anatta) insight, non-seeking is still seeking.


Yes the description of non-dual is very good but read with care. Here are my 2 cents.

Many friends and family have been after me for some time to write about my experience and understanding of this topic. I have hesitated to write about it not because enlightenment itself is so hard to describe, but because enlightenment tends to make one quite lazy. Before my change I was a busy beaver, reading and writing and playing music and sports and really actively getting out there. But after “the change” as I call it, there was a clear vision of how silly all this activity was and how much incredible effort is required to perform it.
The first level non-dual will normally result in this and knowing such danger, the seven factors of enlightenment are outlined to serve as a guide so that we would not fall prey to our own karmic propensities and misinterpreted non-action as lazing around after the initial experience of non-duality.

After about three years of this I had my first experience of “nonduality” as it is called. I had just read a passage in Ken Wilber’s “The Spectrum of Consciousness” where he points out that ordinary awareness is ultimate awareness. This struck a chord in me, I set the book down and stared at a paper that was sitting on the table in front of me, after about a minute or two an exciting and frightening thing happened, I disappeared! By that I mean the middle fell right out of the equation. Normally there would be Steve over here looking at the paper on the desk over there, now there was only the experience, "paper" but no Steve over here seeing it. It was clear that the middle that normally separated the paper from Steve did not really exist, there was only the experience, "paper."

Now let me try to make this more clear by giving an illustration.

Imagine as clearly as you can that you enter a large house that you have never been in before. You feel strange and kind of scared, there is furniture and drapes but no people. You wander around feeling the creepiness of being alone in this big house. You go from room to room not knowing what you will find. You start to get nervous and a little fearful being alone in this big house. You wonder how long it has been empty like this. In time the sense of the bigness and emptiness of the house starts to weigh heavily on your nerves. Finally, when you can not stand it any longer a shocking realization occurs to you, your not there either! Only the experience, "house" exists.

This is how nonduality feels and is the real truth of existence. Remember the question, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Now you know the answer.

You see, with enlightenment comes the knowledge that even though there is much activity in the world, there are no doers. The universe is in a sense, lifeless. There is no one, only happenings and the experience of happenings. Enlightenment reveals that the universe emerges spontaneously.
Now lets summarize so far, the universe is perfect, no one exists, yet the experience "universe" persists. How can this be? Consciousness. Consciousness is aware. If it were not, then there would be no universe. The very nature of existence implies consciousness. One can not exist without the other.

There can never be a universe that does not involve consciousness. There are no universes or dimensions where there is no consciousness. Matter and form would never arise without consciousness. Universe/Consciousness, Mind/Matter, Wave/Particle, call it what you will, the reality is that the manifestation, the very appearance we call the universe, is consciousness.

Now don't mistake me here, there is no observer. There are no persons in existence experiencing the universe, but more than that there is no Ultimate Person, God, Mind, or anything else observing the universe. There is only the experience of the universe being there with no experiencer.

This seems like a paradox but who cares, this is the way it is. Experience "is," that is all, that is the way the universe is, an experience by no one. The universe spontaneously arises out of consciousness yet at the same time is itself consciousness. We must lose the idea of matter being observed by something we call consciousness, that is not true. Some teachers talk of the Witness, the ultimate passive mind that observes all things moment to moment. This implies some level of separation, a witness over here watching the universe over there. It's not like this, there is only the experience, universe. There is no observer. Even if there were no manifestation the feeling would be the same. Once again let me make this clear: consciousness is not aware "of" the universe, consciousness is aware "as" the universe.

Now don't mistake that last sentence. Don't think, "Oh yeah Steve, I get it now, consciousness is not aware of the universe from a vantage point separate from it, like a disembodied soul, consciousness is instead aware of the universe as one of the billions of beings in it, like man, or dog, or fish." No! Such thoughts are false. When I say consciousness is aware "as" the universe I mean the very act of existence is consciousness. A carrot is itself consciousness, is itself awareness. There is not carrot aware of itself as carrot nor disembodied invisible consciousness aware of carrot as carrot, there is only the experience "carrot" and that is consciousness and that is enlightenment. There is no observer.

Enlightenment is the feeling/knowing that no one exists including you and that everything that happens does so spontaneously and perfectly. Enlightenment is the feeling/knowing that what exists is Universe/Consciousness, they are the same, U=C. Existence is itself consciousness and that is why there is something rather than nothing. This is the real state of things and because it is so natural, so simple and so obvious, we miss it daily.
Describe very well the experience of non-duality!


People meditate today because it is popular or because they want to have a mystical experience or just relax. The latter reason may actually be the most legitimate for the average person. But no one I know says they meditate because they are deliberately engaging in an actless act, or attempting to resolve a false sense of being into a beingless existence. And of the many meditators out there, I suspect that the majority would be shocked if I told them the guy flipping them off in traffic is more enlightened than they.

The point I'm trying to make and have been trying to make is that enlightenment is so natural and so easy that any attempt at deliberate practice towards it will get you farther from it, yet paradoxically, you have never once not been enlightened and no matter how strained and deliberate your efforts towards it, you never once acted!
This is an overstatement. Meditation can only be deemed unnecessary when a practitioner has completely dissolved the illusionary view of a self. If a person is able to totally dissolve the self in his first experience of non-duality, he is either the cream of the crop among the enlightened… or he is overwhelmed and got carried away by the non-dual experience. More often than not the latter is more likely. It is a pity if a person has experienced non-duality and yet is ignorance of the strength of his karmic propensities. Just be truthful and practice with a sincere heart, it will not be difficult to discover the deeper layer of consciousness and experience the workings of karmic momentum from moment to moment.

Having said so, it is also true that there will come a time when sitting meditation is deemed redundant and that is when the self liberation aspect of our nature is fully experienced. By then one would be completely fearless, crystal clear and non-attached. The practice of the 2 doors of no-self and impermanence will prepare us for the true insight of the spontaneous and self liberating aspect of our nature to arise.

To make it more clear, stuff is happening but no one is doing it. Emergence proceeds and consciousness is aware. The unawake person, the person that doesn’t know what's going on believes that they are acting, that the human them exists. The reality is, the body exists, the thoughts exist, the memories exist and that is consciousness and that is all.
Manifestations/Appearances are all consciousness. Consciousness is experienced directly but not the “nature” of consciousness. The nature of consciousness is empty.
Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Some comments... Regarding David Loy's book "Non Duality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy", Thusness says This a very good book. correctly describe what non-duality is and how vedanta and buddhism can come together as one."

However he also said that the implications of failure to understand Emptiness and Dependent Origination intuitively will lead to being stuck at early-middle stages of non-dual experience, but one may fail to understand the emptiness nature of non duality and how spontaneous manifestation arise.. and other systems of contemplation outside Buddhism may neglect this aspect.

Perhaps Thusness would like to comment...
Ai Yooh...

Don’t get the idea that I know anything about self liberating aspect of our nature. What I meant is we have underestimated the implications and impacts of ‘the sense of Self’ can have on the quality of non-dual experience. There is no division in non duality, there is only the 'sense of self' that prevents one from fully experiencing our nature.

Forms are merely that ‘thingness’ and that ‘thingness’ is tightly bonded by propensities. It is these propensities that create and give the solidness and boundaries but in reality, it is empty. We mistaken these ‘thingness’ as real, material as real and not know that what is real is empty, unborn, uncreated, without a center and non local. This is taking the illusionary as real. It is easy to understand what that is being said in terms of knowledge, but to understand dissolution of ‘thingness’ as a bond from intuitive experience is entirely different. The quality of a non-dual experience will be greatly enhanced when:

1. That ‘thingness’ of ‘Self as background’, as container is eliminated. There is only one, not two. Thoughts and perceptions continue to hover but the background is gone.

2. That ‘thingness’ of ‘Body’ is eliminated. Thoughts and perceptions reduced tremendously. The background is clearly gone, the body is also gone. The ‘thingness’ in the inmost consciousness is greatly loosen. This is the experience of crystal transparency without a center, not only without a who, there is also no where. There is crystal clarity, realness in phenomenal manifestation.

3. That ‘thingness’ as subtle personalities of beginningless past is eliminated.

There can be no compromised for the dissolution on 'the sense of self'.

It is good to learn something about self-liberating aspect of our nature from this David Loy article and he did outline some important points. However we should not be misled to think that we have understood the gist of self-liberation. I have many times emphasized that self-liberating aspect of our nature is easily and mostly misunderstood. A person who cannot feel the ‘strength’ of these bonds cannot be said to know what consciousness is all about from a practitioner point of view, much less self-liberation. I must emphasize that if one has not eliminated the bond level 1 and 2, there is no way he can understand what self-liberation is all about. After bond level 1 and 2 are stabilized, non-locality aspects of our nature will somehow manifest. It is also due to the manifestation of these non-local qualities of our nature that help clear some very subtle propensities, without these non-local experiences, breaking and loosening these propensities can be difficult.

Normally self-liberated aspect of our nature is disclosed by fully enlightened sages as they really seen the truth of their nature, unborn, uncreated and lucidly clear. There are people of great caliber, great bodhisattvas taking birth will little propensities and bonds, cream of the crops among the enlightened, these people after the initial non-dual experience due their lack of attachments are able to attained fearless Samadhi and transformed consciousness into wisdom immediately. For propensities are the results of subtle attachments and without attachments, all is realized at once. But it is not for everyone. So without attachments, we are already liberated!

But for normal lays like us, we cannot truly understand self liberating aspect of our nature when we are still slave to our own attachments and preys of our own karmic propensities. We can’t even move one step away from the 3 bonds stated above that create the sense of self. Delegate time to practice hard; have enough quality time to experience the non-duality during meditation (walking, standing or sitting), otherwise it would be just empty talks.


Originally posted by JonLS:
Before I was involved in a story of becoming, of needing to know, of needing something other than what is arising in this present moment.

But now I realize that, in my essence, I am this present moment including the emptiness out of which it arises and all appearances also.

It all emanates somewhere from within my gut area.
'Now' is an impression. 'Here' is an impression. The 'place where it emanates' is also an impression. If we attempt to find a 'where', we are reacting to our dualistic momentum. This will create a 'split' and the sense of self will arise.

Isness is the vivid and crystal clarity of a moment of phenomenal manifestation. It is awareness as 'things' and awareness as 'forms'. All of what awareness is, is the phenomenal manifestation right there and then and it subsides instantaneously. If the 'sense of self' as a background, as body and as momentum hasn't dissolved thoroughly, there will be vagueness in the experience of Isness and the timelessness of an instant will not be appreciated.


Originally posted by JonLS:

My own experience is that I've found that the Isness of the present moment is It.

There is nothing needed beyond this.

Rest in just "this".

I open myself up to the vastness that is this present moment.
Yes there is no beyond and everything is merely 'This'. When we tok about awareness it has to be only One, this is what Awareness is and it has to be so, non-dual by nature. Therefore opening up is to give up all and everything relating to 'self'. No-self and just 'the everything', clarity and Self is an inverse relationship. The mathematical formula for it:

Clarity = 1/Self
 Mr. Green


Many advaita masters have advised ppl to experience the 'Self' but the essence of liberation is not in experiencing the ‘Self’. One can experience the “I AMness”, the pure sense of existence a million times yet does not help in any aspect of enlightenment regardless of how mystical and transcendental the experience can be.

More harms are done if such experience enhanced our dualistic thought. In fact the wrong conclusion that awareness is a changeless, permanent entity is the result of distorting a non-dual experience due to the inability of our mind to go beyond its habitual dualistic thinking mechanism. When the dualistic mind attempts to understand this experience, it projects this ‘Self’ as the background to fit the non-dual experience into its dualistic framework. Such experience cannot lead to liberation because it is dualistic in nature. Any form of separation is non-liberating.

Therefore emphasis must be placed correctly on the 'no-self' aspect of awareness. Awareness is by nature non-dual. Being non-dual it is impermanent, ceaselessly and spontaneously manifesting as All. This is the clarity that must come from direct experience. There is no compromise regarding these aspects of our pristine nature. It must be thoroughly clear to experience the self-liberating nature of awareness.

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

How is Non-duality like?
Yes the non-dual article longchen wrote is of very good quality. Unfortunately not all can appreciate the essence of it.


Originally posted by Isis:
Mmm when i was listening to Avril Lavigne - Keep Holding On, a thought stuck into me.. im wondering.. when the karmic condition is right, it is okay and something even beneficial to hold on to something?

But we all know that things and karmic conditions changes and before we realise that the condition is there for us to let go... so if we still hold on to it.. it becomes an [b]attachment

so this is how attachment came about...

All sorts of attachment to pain ( as in u can't forget the things that they have done or someone ), pleasures ( ur fav pastimes ) all distracted the mind from living in the present moment.

I find out it is very true.. esp when im mugging now for the exam.. im attached to utube now. Give me some pleasures but ultimately fleeting


eh sorry AEN, i re-edit it before reading ur posting..[/b]
IMO and from a spiritual practice point of view, any form of holdings is pain.

Many times attachments are not obvious and we never realized how strong our attachments are until we are hit by crisis. This is what I experienced during financial crisis in 1997. Before that I thought I was not that attached to $$$ but when threaten by bankruptcy all sort of thoughts arose, including very evil ones. Embarassed

To live in present moment from a practice perspective is to be in naked awareness, where awareness is completely clear, non-dual and unmolested. It is not seeking anything and awareness rest in its originality. Putting this mind state into daily activities is known as non-action and does not carry karma and this is the difficult part. This is different from those '1 second manager' sort of concepts that train one to be effective and efficient in achieving goals.

With regards to ur exams and utube example, it is a matter of being focus that requires u to 'jing and ding' in order to concentrate. In this case both are still attachment. If u study with ur best effort yet not affected by the the outcome, you are non-attached. Smile


Originally posted by Isis:
What if u need to hold on such as " to fight sleeplyness".. it couldn't be bad?
It depends on what you meant by “fighting sleepiness”, if genuine conditions for sleep arise, you should sleep. However if you are referring “sleepiness” as a result of unstable and distracted mind then it is one of the five hindrance (sensual desire, ill-will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, doubt.) that should be overcome with right effort of meditation. These hindrances denied us from experiencing the joy of raptures and tranquility.

Where does attachment arises? It is from ignorance -> where the notion of this "self" arises?
This is a very difficult question although it may sound simple. At the face value, attachment is an emotional cling to an object. It is the cause of repeated miseries and in Buddhism it is what that turns the wheel of rebirth. We are attached because of ignorance. We may take ignorance as the inability to see thing as it is, that is, we fail to ‘see’ deep enough the 3 universal characteristics of phenomenal existence.

However if we were to dwell deeper, a more subtle question exists here -- why must the mind be attached at all? why does a lack of insight into the 3 universal characteristics of phenomena resulted in attachment? This also links to your next question of what is ‘Self’ and how does it arise. It is a very complex issue as it links directly to the nature of our pristine awareness.
As a matter of fact, training ourselves to be ‘bare’ in attention in insight meditation is to understand the essence of the seals and our pristine nature. We may wonder why must we be ‘bare’ in attention? Why must one go beyond symbols and why did Padmasambhava teach Self Liberation through ‘seeing’ with 'naked' awareness? Unfortunately, this is a case that cannot be understood through logical deduction. To have real insight into this issue requires an experiential and phenomenological approach.

Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi Thusness,

Thank you for your great replies.

I must admit I don't understand some of what you posted.

But as I was reading your answers I was too peaceful to care.

The point is, I suppose, I would rather just "be" than continue looking for something.
The sensation of Isness 'as it is' is a feeling of clarity. It is an expression that the mind is not adding or subtracting anything from that clarity. But in most cases, Isness is to some extend very much mixed up with thoughts (dualistic). There are varying degree of clarity to this experience of Isness.

There will come a time where the mind/body just dropped completely. There is absolutely no sensation of a background and a body. Then the vividness and clarity is only just the 'things' as the layering that divides disappear.

If the mind/body drop-experience is stabilized, all experiences become shifted to the experience of awareness as 'Forms'. Seeing it as the 'Things', as everything. Experiencing Awareness is the same as experiencing the crystal clarity of 'things'. As long as there is 'things', existence, awareness IS. Awareness, IS and 'Things' are One. If this experience is stabilized, there is really no need to find 'where' it emanates from since everywhere merely IS. If the center is truly gone, emanation is right at the 'sound' heard, there and then. So we felt a ‘center’, a ‘place’, what we are feeling is an impression that is ‘thought-bound’. It is really the feeling of the ‘idea’ in a more subtle form rather than awareness in its nakedness.

Next when the mind is free of definitions and symbols, it loses all its 'quantitative' characteristics. Eternality for example, is not an endless duration from past to future; instead it is right in/at this instant; how deep, beautiful, real and clear it is in this instantaneous moment. All attributes (Realness, Luminosity, Unborn, Uncreated...etc) of Awareness are manifested instantly. How much we know about our pristine Awareness is determined by the quality of this moment of experience. In Buddhism it is what can be experienced in a speck of dust and all these have to do with the thoroughness of dropping the 'Self', every aspect of the 'Self' (as a container, as body, as habitual momentum). Do not place any limit on the experience of 'Isness', there is no depth to it...

Edited by Thusness 16 Apr `07, 9:42AM

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
A forum friend told me about Russel Targ just now, it's quite interesting how he explains non-locality and links it with these psychic phenomena. He is looking forward to getting the book 'The End of Suffering', which contains many Buddhist teachings as well. Here's an interview with him, it doesnt answer your questions you asked, but anyway thought you might be interested...
I have briefly gone through the book. It is a good read. The author is a reputable scientist as well as an authority in the field of psychical research; a figure powerful enough to thrust conviction in readers of his research theories. I enjoy reading the book very much though it does not have what I want – the missing link between non-duality and non-locality. I also sense that in his attempt to demystify the non-local possibilities, he may have unknowingly relaxed his scientific objectivity so do read with an unbiased mind.
Edited by Thusness 22 Apr `07, 6:10PM

Some Comments:

I think what your master did is to provide a path towards experiencing the ‘nakedness’ of awareness. It is to allow one to have a first glimpse of what awareness is like, i.e, to have a direct experience of awareness as luminous clarity. Here due to our habitual propensities, awareness is most likely experienced like a mirror reflecting phenomenon. It is unlikely that the non-dual nature will be understood.

It will not be obvious that when we talk about awareness, it has to be no-self, that all along, awareness has never been dual. This is its nature. This understanding comes only when the teaching of Dharma has sunk sufficiently deep to create the condition for the arising of this insight or when we have go through hell lot of effort to ‘keep’ this ‘nakedness’ until we realized that there is no way to keep this nakedness unless there is no-self. I must say that it is a process of trial and error and diligent practice. Through this process, there is a gradual understanding of the importance of being ‘effortless’ to have the sustain clarity. The process continues till the ‘Ah Ha’ sort of insight dawn upon us, that truly this has along been the way, that awareness has always been non-dual, there is no-self from start, it is truly a seal.

It should not be a straight jump into the non-dual aspect and the direct experience of 'Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form'. I think to for explanatory purposes, the phases, causes and conditions must be expounded more clearly.


Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
So I think you are putting too much 'FORCE' in concentrating on a static point and blocking out any 'extras'... so some balancing may be needed..
The msn conversation is a topic about efforting leading effortless realisation. Why was not mentioned so that we would not just brush through conversations making it meaningless unless we sincerely want to understand how consciousness works.

Why ‘efforting’ is necessary towards understanding the ‘effortless’?
This is just the way it is when the mind is in a dualistic mode and the reason lies in propensities, another function of consciousness, it creates imprints naturally. A teaching that does not include this aspect is not knowing enough of how consciousness works. Effort always creates imprints unless spontaneity of our nature is experienced due to the dissolution of self. Smile

Although the world may appear dualistic,

In reality it is all manifestation of the One Awareness.

Even though in essence Awareness never loses its non-dual nature,

We are lost in dualism by the made-belief of our perceptual bond.

What we called understanding, thinking and analysis,

Is nothing more than the busy business of fitting known facts into a dualistic framework.

How we came to see the world as dualistic is astonishing,

It is all due to the amazing reaction of consciousness to symbols.

Not to underestimate the incessant function of consciousness to form imprints upon itself,

This is the amazing power that makes illusions appear real.

It is a magical spell that cannot be broken easily.

-- Thusness

Place equal importance to this function of consciousness. Smile


Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Erm.. so are you saying we need to employ effort to create some sort of imprints? What imprints?
No. I am saying we are always creating imprints as long as we are dualistic. This means 'efforting', 'doing' is the way it is as long as there is 'self'. 'Efforting' is like placing anything on a patch of grass that causes a figure being impressed on it. There is no 'why', this is how it is. However don't misinterpreted non-doing as "idling doing nothing", it has to do with the dissolution of 'Self/self' and spontaneity.


Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
I see... so if I'm right here, spontaneity is completely beyond 'reach' of those without insights into non duality right?

Next just to clarify some points of the previous MSN discussion..(10:51 PM) Thusness: when we practice, we are not practicing to attain the ultimate
(10:51 PM) Thusness: there is nothing to attain
(10:52 PM) Thusness: we only attempt to create conditions to experience certain aspect of our pristine awareness
(10:52 PM) Thusness: when we put attention into mindfulness, into 'bare' attention
(10:53 PM) Thusness: 'seeing' bare, we actually give up other aspect of our pristine awareness
(10:53 PM) Thusness: that is the effortless spontaneity
(10:53 PM) Thusness: so when someone teach mindfulness
(10:54 PM) Thusness: he said put in effort to be bare in attention....he is not wrong
(10:54 PM) Thusness: when some one said no no no, gentle effort in being mindfulness and be bare in attention
(10:54 PM) Thusness: he is also not wrong
(10:55 PM) Thusness: for all these paths are truly pathless
(10:55 PM) Thusness: one that think he knows what is pathless doesn't really know.

So bare attention leads to? As you said previously the first glimpse of pristine awareness? Then what about other aspects like you said... what other aspects? There are other forms of practice?
Other aspects includes the effortless spontaneity as mentioned above. Non-locality is another but at present I do not want to go into it.


Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Ok... but there is no way to 'practise' to 'build the conditions' for spontaneity right? Which comes back to the question you havent answered me "so if I'm right here, spontaneity is completely beyond 'reach' of those without insights into non duality right?"
Gosh...this comes to another one of our discussions, oneness, paradox and polarity. Paradox makes something stands as opposite whereas polarity complement each other. Sometimes giving up itself entirely for the other pole to arise is also Oneness. 


Originally posted by Isis:
i should give up clinging to this sense of self and having no expectation to achieve something and just meditate.. mm am i right?
Hi Isis,

You can treat non-duality as a form of experience without an object and subject split. Experience of non-duality results in bliss or jhanic states. We may enter non-dual mainly through:

1. Concentration
Here object and subject fused into one through the sustain power of concentration. One enters into a state of absorption and samadhi. This is the way of ‘efforting’ that has an entry and exit point. Self is temporary suspended by ‘forget it through absorption’.

2. Wisdom
This is the experience of non-duality through realization and insight. In this case, non-duality is experienced as our nature. It is always so. This is the effortless and spontaneous way. There is no entry and exit at all. All dualism are but ignorance of our non-dual nature. Self is realized as an illusion. There is no self apart from the manifestation.

In both cases, non-duality is all about the dissolution of ‘self/Self’. The sense of self is caused either by:

1. The illusionary view of an agent. The view of ‘I’ or
2. Attachment to objectives and possession, that is, objective action. The view of ‘mine’.

What is said is more on the second aspect but realisation that there is no agent is equally important. Smile

Passerby: « Reply #14 on May 9, 2007, 7:15pm »

Quote (simpo wrote):

Just a sharing...

From my experience, non-duality cannot be 'induced'. It is only the 'sense of a self' that caused the experience of subject-object division. Therefore, there is really no entering into a state of non-duality or getting out of the state. With this realisation, one will not strive for non-dual state... because we are already that state.

Paradoxically, the 'subtle striving' will create an expereince of the 'Witness'. This Witness is also known as the I AM Presence. This is the mind constantly striving to verify the expereince of non-duality. 'I am in Non-duality or not". This is one of the cause of the Witness or I AM presence... it is like there is a desire for the expereince to be recorded. However, in non-duality, there is no two thing... Amazingly the flow of manifestation knows.

After some period, we will also discover that everything is just spontaneously manifesting. This is the expereince of Isness. All is really as it is. This is another major transformation. Basically, it is understood that any modification to the moment as it is ... will be futile. However, this is not a static state. And a person in Isness can appear extraordinarily normal... as there is no modification of behaviour.

Good Stuff!

Passerby: « Reply #15 on May 9, 2007, 7:20pm »

Quote (xabir wrote):

Hi, what I meant by transcending Witness is as Ken Wilber puts it, "at some point, as you inquire into the Witness, and rest in the Witness, the sense of being a Witness “in here” completely vanishes itself, and the Witness turns out to be everything that is witnessed. The causal gives way to the Nondual, and formless mysticism gives way to nondual mysticism. “Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form.” It is the realisation that the Manifestation is the Source, the Witness, they are not separate. Awareness is the words that form on the screen, the sound of typing, that's it.. no static witness behind our experiences, no 'background'.

Transcending Witness and realising Non-Duality is not through effort or will... it is not something 'attained', it is about insights and realisation. What Simpo and Ken Wilber is saying is about a deep realisation of No-Self and Non-Duality... it is the realisation that all along, there never was a self, a doer, a watcher, apart from the moment to moment flow of manifestation... and everything is spontaneously arising. Non-Duality is not a state, it is not just an experience, it is the nature of reality, of all states. At this level it is not subject-object becomes one, it is realising that there never was subject-object separation. This is 'entry' into the pathless with no entry and exit.

Even before this deep insight of non-duality occurs, non-dual experience and total presence can occur time to time, as a form of 'fusing' of subject and object. However this will not last long as the basic ignorance of duality has not been seen through... one will eventually return to the usual dualistic mode of perceiving and then long for another 'unity' experience, which as Simpo says, strengthens the sense of self and duality even more.

Very well said!

Passerby: « Reply #16 on May 9, 2007, 8:57pm »

Some times to retrogress a lil is progress.

Retrogress to improve the degree of clarity, the vividness of the fabric and texture of manifestation. Uncontrived spontaneity is in total clarity and they meet when there is completely no one. 
Passerby: « Reply #18 on May 10, 2007, 8:49am »

Hi Passerby,




After some period, we will also discover that everything is just spontaneously manifesting. This is the expereince of Isness. All is really as it is. This is another major transformation. Basically, it is understood that any modification to the moment as it is ... will be futile. However, this is not a static state. And a person in Isness can appear extraordinarily normal... as there is no modification of behaviour.

Just for sharing:

'Isness' carries different meanings depending on the conditions that give rise to its realisation. The 'Isness' that you experienced arises out of the conditions of 'no-self' and 'spontaneity'. So much so that when 'sense of self' arises due to karmic propensities at work, nothing needs be done at all, this 'doing nothing' is already the clearing of the karmic patterns -- self-liberates. However it is not the case of Isness that arises out of "I AM". It is similar to the case of discarding meditation...

My 2 cents.

Passerby: « Reply #20 on May 11, 2007, 5:42am »

Hi Passerby

You say......
However it is not the case of Isness that rises out of "I Am"

What Isness rises out of "I Am" ? Thanks.

Isness that arises from “I AM” is a sensation of not wanting to add or subtract anything from present moment but still with a strong sense of object and subject split intact. It is the act of letting things be as it is. However as the experience has not dissolved the subject-object split, there is still a clear separation of “I AM” and object and that
already is not as it is. For in truth reality is always non-dual so when there is a split, it is already not "as it is".

Passerby: « Reply #23 on May 12, 2007, 1:50am »

Thats cool, Thanks Passerby...What you have said here..

This is what I'm understanding now- Thanks
Sometimes I don't understand what I'm feeling.
Then sometimes I do....

The smallest unit of experience is known as a thought moment in buddhism. It is simply a matter of how liberating this moment is. We just have to learn how to lessen our 'efforting that is filled with bonds' and improve clarity of the moment.

Sometimes thinking too much makes us more mechanical and less human. Just let it be according to your own comfort level. We will be happier if we are more flexible, spontaneous and natural if we think lesser.

Passerby: « Reply #31 on May 16, 2007, 12:00pm »

Quote, simpo wrote:

An afterlife also exist in non-duality. Every experience is non-dual. During the transition, there is an opportunity for one to experience 'obvious' non-duality... when the physical mind cease before the afterlife mind quickly comes online. However, it is too short for most people to gain much insight.

Yes whether after or before life, when we talk about awareness, it has to be non-dual. Awareness is by 'nature' so. This is the truth of every experience.

For those that have experienced non-duality, be thorough in being no-one. Be brave to forgo 'the sense of self'. Practice till complete tranparency. Do not be misled by arbitrary thoughts, be simple and direct. Allow full experience of the crystal clarity in the flow of manifestion without the background, the witness. Allow the joy and bliss of naked awareness of no-self to carry us through effortlessly.

I cannot help but to express this joy out...

Passerby: « Reply #34 on May 17, 2007, 9:52pm »

Your joy is shared passerby.

I have disappeared into this transparency feeling of no-self.
Once tasted it is not lost in my experience.
It is a feeling of perfection among no perfection.
Joy and graceful living. However my mind still struggles with this afterlife idea what it means, and what it is, and how do we make sense of it, or how we experience it, I've heard someone saying it is a mind trick.

thanks anyone.


Hi Star,

You have loosen the ‘bond’ of a background, no-self is experienced; but the propensity of ‘attempting to understand through seeing things as object and subject’ is still there. “What it means, what it is, how do we make sense of it’ is a struggle. It is a struggle of the dualistic mind attempting to understand something from measurement and comparisons. This propensity must also be deconstructed until you are so comfortable of being naked in awareness. This mode of gaining knowledge from deduction, induction, measurement and comparison is ‘learnt’, it is not the natural state of awareness. There must be a clear understanding that the depth of spirituality cannot be known through such mode of ‘understanding’. This is also a 'seed' that creates the ‘sense of self’. A unit of experience is ‘blocked’ by all these propensities that we are unable to intuitively know the unborn nature of awareness. It is not a 'mind trick' as what some said although wisdom practitioners do not tok about non-local issues.

Conventionally, to experience non-local aspect of pristine awareness is through concentration. It is the job of concentration. Concentration till one enters into a deep stage of absorption and object-subject becomes one, a state of transcendence. Non-local experiences in such a practice are reached through the power of ‘focus’. So the key towards non-local experiences is absorption and transcendence.

Non-duality on the other hand is a form of realization, a realization that all along there never was a split. Its clarity and level of transcendence come from dissolving the ‘seeds’ that prevents the ‘seeing’. Very seldom we hear people talk about the non-local aspect in the practice of wisdom but non-duality do meet non-locality at the point of transcendence (phase 4). It is some sort of absorption as in the case of concentration but it is more of 'clarity till the point of absorption'. It may sound paradoxical, but this is true. This is the way of wisdom.

There are many layers of consciousness and the truth of non-duality must first sink deep down into the inmost consciousness. It is important to reach the phase of ‘turning point’ as at this phase, the realization of no-self has sunk sufficiently deep into consciousnesses till there is no retreat. Otherwise that joy and experience of no-self will be lost in few months time (This is my experience) and re-surface again until "Emptiness as forms' is deeply experienced. In phase 2-3, non-local experiences may be experienced for some people and mostly with the help of concentration (like asking a question of our past lives) it can be experienced after 6-9 months of practices especially after deeply experiencing ‘Emptiness is Form’. Non-local aspect is triggered at the point of transcendence.

Below is some sort of summary of what I think a insight practitioner will go through. What I outline is far from being authentic, it is just for communicating and sharing purposes.

1. Perception still lingers but there is a clear understanding that there is no-self apart from manifestation. Practice clarity from insight meditation will help. Clarity from all 6 doors – eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, consciousness.

2. Perception is dropped. Mind/body dropped. A very important phase. ‘Body’ is but a ‘mental construct’. When that ‘imprints’ and ‘meanings’ of ‘body’ is dropped, division between inner and outer is gone. All divisions of senses are also gone. All is One Taste. Just Isness. Manifold of presence experienced clearly.

3. Emptiness as Forms and Spontaneous manifestation.
Submerge oneself into spontaneous manifestation yet there is crystal clarity of the texture and fabric of awareness as ‘forms’. Dualistic cognition is replaced by directness, naturalness and spontaneity. Spontaneity, naturalness and flow took over all dualistic perceptions. Conscious, sub-consciousness and unconsciousness function as a whole without division. There is no need to hold on to a conscious knowing; there is no need to understanding anything. Whether one understands is no more important, all knowingness comes from flow of wholeness. There is no attempt to deviate from what is as a whole. Here, there is a danger of skewing towards spontaneity. Not to miss out the luminosity aspect, Emptiness as Forms. These 2 aspects must is one. Luminosity is conscious level and spontaneity is unconscious level, the 2 as one.
True spontaneity is in luminosity. Psychological death is overcome. Turning point.

4. Only one tremendous spontaneous clarity flows, there is no differentiation between what that spins the earth or what that pumps your heart beats or what that makes the plants grow. When you eat an apple, it is the entire universe that eats the apple. Just one whole clarity spontaneity flow. Continual experience of transcendence joy and bliss.

How the 'seeds' bond us is amazing...Ultimately nothing gain!

Good Luck!
Star: « Reply #35 on May 18, 2007, 10:00am

Xsurf thank-you for your info very helpful.


Thankyou for your time and your beautiful explanation.
Your input has been a delight to read and has put things
into perspective I understand what you say.
When it is spoken in laymans terms I am able to digest the point.

It's all good stuff and I'm full of joy.
thanks to you all xx

love star