Posted by: Wei Yu

"We must accept that all are mere imputations but from the insight of anatta, not from the insight of substantialist view. "Phenomena" is understood differently from our general English usage, "phenomenon" in Buddhism in general is object possessing identifiable characteristic and therefore having essence that is findable.

However in Prasangika it is said that phenomena r merely names and imputations. But "mere" imputation in Prasangika cannot be understood apart from its dependencies. This dependency is key and is what dependent arising and emptiness are about. When Prasangika says that things or phenomena are just mere labels, names, designations or imputations, it is not as we understood in common English terminology, rather, it is to be understood from the perspective of dependent designations, not just designations. Without understanding this dependencies, we are not understanding what is meant by "mere designations".

That is, it is mere name/designation/imputation because the designated referent as an entity when sought can never be found apart from its basis of designation. This basic understanding must be there and must go into our inmost mindstream. And only direct insight of anatta can understand the significance. Therefore the non-conceptuality is not simply non-conceptuality as in freedom from labeling but a freedom from the blinding spell of seeing things in terms of 4 extremes from reified designations.

This extends to all phenomena be it conditioned or unconditioned phenomena.

As for non-conceptuality, there are fierce debates between Gorampa and Tsongkhapa. There is also Mipham's view of non-conceptuality but these masters agree that the mode of non-conceptuality is a very specific and special mode of intuitive insight that relates to freedom of extremes, not just imageless bare mode perception."
Posted by: Wei Yu
Consciousness is implied by sensations, but really there are just sensations. You could say that they contain "consciousness" in them, or you could say something like, "In the seeing, just the seen," which is a lot cleaner, if you ask me.
It is on ignorance that there are volitional formations, and on volitional formations depend consciousness, etc.
Thus, with the dissolution of ignorance, sensations are just as they are.
Sensations are utterly transient, so there no substantial thing to awaken in ultimate terms.
Instead, a process of identification and delusion stops, such that no longer do empty, transient, simple sensations create a fundamental illusion of a permanent, continuous, separate, perceiving self that could be liberated.
So, the question is ill-formed: it is not right to ask, "What is liberated?", and it is better to say, "Liberation occurs when a process of delusion stops," or, "Liberation occurs when clear perception of the way sensations always were occurs."
This is also useful, as it points to method, the method being clear perception of sensations.

- Daniel Ingram

Posted by: Wei Yu
It is extremely difficult to express what is 'Isness'. Isness is awareness as forms. It is a pure sense of presence yet encompassing the “transparent concreteness” of forms. There is a crystal clear sensation of awareness manifesting as the manifold of phenomenal existence. If we are vague in the experiencing of this “transparent concreteness” of Isness, it is always due to that ‘sense of self’ creating the sense of division.

~ Thusness, 2007
Posted by: Wei Yu
Something I wrote in March 2012:
Mind, awareness, experience, sensations are synonymous. It is not “mind is aware of experience”. For what is mind? Seeing sight, hearing sound, all is mind. So, experience is mind is awareness. This is the truth of non-duality. The non-conceptual sense of beingness or am-ness is mind, the non-conceptual presence of seeing, hearing, etc too is mind, thoughts too is mind. To apply effort to sustain a particular state of mind as being “nature of mind” is thus irrelevant, since every state and manifestation is in fact not other than the nature of mind. There is no nature of mind apart from mind, and no mind apart from experience. But until this is experientially realized, there is no benefit.
There is nothing concrete, substantial or unchanging about mind, thus allowing for infinite potential of appearances. Emptiness, luminosity and energy co-emerge. Inseparable from the interconnectedness of causes and conditions, vividly present but empty, being a ceaseless flow, appearing as various shapes and forms and bubbles like an endless river flowing according to various conditions. Mind is not some pure potential behind manifestation, rather lacking an independent self-substance, mind points to this very manifestation itself, whatever it is for “you” at this moment (probably the sight of these words).
What about analogies that the nature of mind is like space? It does not mean there is a space behind phenomenon, but rather the mind is empty of a concrete identity, and being so is free from limitations, center or boundaries just like space, manifest as this very appearance. There is no noumenon behind phenomenon. At this point, “who is aware?” no longer applies. Nothing hiding, totally manifest! This is what Padmasambhava meant by “Since there is only this pure observing, there will be found a lucid clarity without anyone being there who is the observer; Only a naked manifest awareness is present.”, and what a cook told Zen Master Dogen, “Nothing in the entire universe is hidden.” This is what Thusness calls, “total transparency”.
Another point to “Nothing in the entire universe is hidden.” is that this manifestation is the activity of the entire universe, so this very manifestation is in fact not different from and not the same as the entire universe. The apple is the sun-apple, the farmer-apple, the air-apple, the universe-apple, the biting is the apple-biting-apple and the mouth-biting-apple, the universe biting apple. Nothing in the universe is hidden for the universe is totally manifest As this very activity. This activity is the manifestation of the whole universe of interdependency in a perfect and complete expression, just like this. The ever evolving process of an interdependent universe universing universe. All causes and conditions are incorporated in seamless interdependence in a single activity. (E.g. Hand, shaking, cup, water, ripples) What we call “universe” is simply this evolving process of interactivity made manifest in each unfolding moment, an interconnected process rolling on and on without an agent, nothing hidden whatsoever.
So in summary: when we talk about “intrinsic awareness” or “intrinsic mind”, we may also call it “intrinsic luminosity of experience”, for what is mind? Nothing whatsoever and yet nothing is not (totally manifest, nothing hidden), the words experience/mind/awareness all point to this very luminous-experience-mind. It points to the dynamic flow of mind-activities. Thus luminosity is not an attribute of a fixed unchanging entity hidden somewhere, but the essence of the manifesting mind/experience itself, unfabricated and unconditioned (not created by something, by effort or by contrivance). And yet manifesting as whatsoever due to an interconnected flow of activities, nothing independent and nothing lasting more than moment.
Experience can really be summed up this way:
Vividly present dependent on conditions
Utterly gone upon the cessation of conditions.
Thus come, thus gone!
One who sees the suchness of dependent origination sees the Dharma, one who sees the Dharma sees the Tathagata (Thus Come One).
Posted by: Wei Yu
I found this advise by Kyle to someone in 2012 which I think is well written. Posting this up with Kyle's permission.

That experience was fairly spontaneous, if I was to try to pin point what brought it on exactly I'm not sure if I could. But for about a year on and off prior to that I'd been practicing samatha or shine meditation which pretty much consists of just sitting quietly, eyes open looking at an object or space and not doing anything at all. If a thought arose I'd just let it pass and self liberate immediately without following it. From doing that my clarity and presence increased a lot. I had two smaller non-self experiences before the big one during the time I was meditating regularly everyday. I also was doing a lot of self inquiry. The day that happened though I was doing some inquiry into thought related to the present moment which was actually very forced so I'm not sure how it brought that anatta experience about. I just focused strongly on the present moment and took the attitude that there was only right here, and right now, that only what was being immediately experienced existed and it was all that ever had and ever would (which is true but felt opposite of how I usually had functioned). So I focused on that every thought that arose was the only thought there is, none before, none after. And there could only be one thought in that moment. Since there was only that one it wasn't like there was a thought waiting to arise and/or one that had left, there was no coming or going, just was was here now. And for some reason the present thought just became noise that didn't mean anything, like gibberish and it was all of a sudden apparent beyond a shadow of a doubt that there had never ever ever been anyone here at all. Thought stopped and seeing was happening but no one seeing, hearing happening but no one hearing etc.. There was only experiencing and my absence felt like I had died, or it was just seen that I had never existed which was crushing and upsetting in a way but at the same time it was beautiful.

So it was weird because I had been forcing an inquiry but the experience came on spontaneously. I'd actually deviated from dzogchen a little time before that because until this point I hadn't had any substantial experiences to validate the teaching at all. Right around that time I had been reading a lot of this guy nisargadatta who isn't even a Buddhist teacher but speaks really well about the non reality of the self... But after that experience I got more into dzogchen then I had been before and that's because it wasn't just a theory or idea anymore I saw that it was real. And I saw that it wasn't just that experience but that's how reality manifests at all times.

As far as trying to create that experience that's the trouble, which it seems you already see... That any effort to "get there" is effort by the self and therefore spoils it from being seen. This is why dzogchen speaks of "doing nothing" or "effortlessness", so that meditation you're doing where you rest in awareness is good... and adding the insight of "in the seeing just the seen" etc.. Is good too. Adding the timelessness aspect to that is also key, (which is also effortless because it's always only now, but that isn't always apparent). The feeling that there's an individual that spans time is a big part of it. What helps is understanding that it's only thought that says "I".. The "me" is just a thought, the thought isn't commenting on a "me" which is actually present apart from the thought. It's just a thought. So unless a thought is arising to claim authorship, it's already just seeing, just hearing. And the seeing, hearing etc.. Isn't inside or outside, it's just present. Just 'right here'.. immediate. Experience is just that. Seeing doesn't see objects, the objects are the seeing. Hearing doesn't hear sounds, the sound is the hearing... no separation.

But in trying to understand it like that, it's still the same old problem of the self trying to get it. Any effort made is blocking it from being made apparent when set up as 'you' trying to 'get there' in time. And this aspect of the teaching is where (for example) Jax was right (although he took it to an extreme and I ultimately didn't agree with his view).

Understand that 'you' are just a thought. The self is merely thoughts commenting on each other but thought A is never there at the same time as B so there is no consecutive chain of thoughts.

So luckily being that the 'self' is only a thought(idea, concept), when thoughts aren't being reified as belonging to a self they are just merely thoughts.. Just noise.. No one is thinking them, they just appear and vanish in the same moment. And for this reason merely resting in "awareness" or your "wakefulness" is actually allowing these faculties to arise in their suchness. If you rest in that unfabricated and uncontrived natural wakefulness and allow everything that arises to self liberate, the goal is to see that there is only this flow of arisings. The second part of your meditation where that element of pre-conceived forcing of the no-self view is taking place can actually go either way. It is conceptual and can be a potential trap but it all depends on how it's related to; if as the meditation is going on and the "no-self view" is being forced the seemingness of the forcing comes across as "you" doing the forcing, then it becomes a trap.. because only "you" could force the view of "no-you"... it's a trick of the self and actually keeps the illusion of self solidified and alive through that forcing. On the other hand, if while the forcing is going on, a recognition that in the forcing the forcing itself is simply spontaneously appearing itself and is spontaneously self-liberated then that is maintaining the view. The relaxed aspect of dzogchen is very key and is meant to reveal that the sum of these "aggregates" don't create a self as an entity, but that the self IS simply these aggregates. I saw a talk the other day where someone put it like this; in a water molecule there is 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen. The atoms don't bond to form this 'thing' called a water molecule.. the water molecule IS these constituent atoms. I don't really do the analogy justice but here is a link to the mans talk

Another thing that I noticed in your message above is where you're saying that the 5 senses produce their respective objects without a self to be found. This statement is actually stacking too much on top of the natural state as it is... if you can notice in immediate experience; the 5 senses as faculties are not present... the '5 senses' designation is merely a convention, which is useful for communication but lacks existence apart from it's conventionality... likewise objects are designations implemented merely for conventional purposes(not to be denied, but seen for what they are as merely conventions). You're already stepping toward trying to see the absence of the self in experience, but it would be helpful to see the senses and objects as empty as well. So what this means is that in your immediate experience there is no evidence of the self and there is no evidence of the senses and their respective objects. In immediate experience it is "just this" no self, no senses, no objects, just the natural state which is beyond designation. If you try to hard to "see it", this is again the self trying to "see it", it needs to be understood that it is already always the case. The senses don't apprehend objects... the objects ARE the senses, the senses ARE the objects, and they are not two... but even this is saying too much.... it's just BOOM right there, happening now. In the seeing just the seen, doesn't imply that there are "things" which are seen... it just implies that it all contracts into a zero dimensional suchness... there's no objective happening... it's full union.

Now as for the "awareness"... the awareness aspect can be solidified as a substantiated 'thing-ness' as well... which was my beef with Jax's insight again to use an example. The problem with the awareness is that due to certain kinesthetic sensations approximate to what we take as our body, we feel that awareness is seated 'here' experiencing surrounding phenomena. So awareness is considered to be stationed or localized 'here' instead of 'there'. But this feeling of 'hereness' is just this kinesthetic sensation coupled with the illusion of time. In truth the feeling of looking out from the vantage point of 'here' is just a non-local "presence", there is no here or there... here and there are merely thoughts. When the feeling of presence is felt, it doesn't claim to be here or there or anywhere... if this can be intuitively understood then it can be seen that what appears, appears to itself and no distance from itself.

Coming back to the stabilization of "thought-flow" and clarity in samatha or shine meditation... this stabilization reduces the projection of designations by thought so experience can be rested in nakedly without too much distraction and for this reason it is very helpful. From there, resting in this "presence" you see that the "presence" IS the "appearances" and vice versa. Also, mere mindfulness will help stabilize this, even if it's contrived or forced.... just remain present at all times... ChNN says to do it like you're driving a car... just remain aware and focused at what's happening around you, just be here. Even if it feels like there's a "you" attempting to "be here" just let it be. In time this will also dawn true insight and the point is to have that innate and true insight apart from all of this intellectual crap i'm talking about... in just remaining present the meditation will start to work for itself and true insight will dawn on it's own accord... so try not to be distracted, and practice that non-distraction like you're doing it to save your life... like if you become distracted you'll be killed, make it of utmost importance... maintaining that flow. Now when ChNN and dzogchen talk about remaining undistracted they don't mean merely remaining present, they're talking about not separating from the non-dual natural state once that becomes apparent. But luckily since the self and the senses and objects are mere imputed conventions, in the act of remaining present, the natural state is already implied... and the contrived mindful presence will just strengthen the connection with the natural state... it's also almost like a process of reconfiguring, removing habits and tendencies to reify dualities which make a subject-object experience seem real. In time with being present, it will just happen... the feeling of being a subjective entity will just go. The "all-ground" or feeling of substantiated awareness happening here will melt into the natural state. Don't be too contrived in your mindfulness, just be present, be relaxed, allow appearances to self-arise and self-liberate and remove the notion of time and space, know that this is indeed it right here, right now, but "feel" that... don't convince yourself intellectually, be in the flow, be the flow.
Posted by: Wei Yu
Taken from

Delma (Thassa) wrote:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Now Appearing: Everything, EveryWhere, and EveryWhen. Ta-Da

In addition to the paradigm-shifting realization that there was no separate me to carry around containers called 'memories', 'hurts', 'accomplishments', or 'regrets, there were two more shifts I wanted to tell you about, dear reader.  Why do I feel the need to document it?  I'm not certain.  It feels like it's time to let folks know what's happened here, especially those seekers who've come to me for pointers on anatta realization.  I mean, this whole business of guiding people, whether for money or on a volunteer basis, is just pretty weird when viewed from a conventional perspective.  Where are the credentials?

At any rate, I'll tell you about a second shift.  It had everything to do with the Bahiya Sutta and contemplation of each line.  I'd been reading Soh Wei Yu's AwakeningtoReality blog and followed a rabbit trail of links to Alex Weith's journal on his own progress in working with the sutta.  (I've since been unable to find the journal).  In addition, I'd continued reading on in Wei Yu's blog, especially the sections where he'd gotten into ideas about realizing emptiness and interdependence.... although at the time I didn't realize it was called emptiness.
The story:
Relaxing by the side of a pool, I read and contemplated for hours, then glanced up to notice a snail sitting on the very edge of the lip, the place where water in motion rolls into a very sudden interruption, causing a wave.  The snail seemed, in my mind anyway, to be struggling against what must have seemed like a relentless series of tsunamis.  He teetered on the edge, each moment threatening to send him into the depths.  (that's three feet of water to you and me). 
When I looked across to pool to find the source of this epic disturbance, I saw a woman sporting a sublime but bright smile brought about from basking in the glow of Sunshine and Saturdays.  Despite her generous size, she appeared to delicately occupy her perch at the deep end.  Thoroughly enjoy her afternoon, she lazily and delicately swished her feet back and forth, then sighed.  It was then that the thunder of interdependence struck.  Like some sort of special effects movie, I 'saw', all at once, the woman, the water, the sun, the breeze, the weather, her parents, her grandparents and ancestors, the earth, the universe.  And from the other end of the spectrum there was the snail, his ever-growing shell, and every movement that had led him to the moment of finding himself at his poolside ledge.  Then there was the pool, the workers who'd constructed it, the water which filled it, and the rain and evaporation that moved the water.  Everywhere I looked, Everything appeared.   For lack of a better way to express this, what I saw could be expressed as a complete and whole view of anything at all that ever existed.  Not only that, but that it had to exist PRECISELY as it had in order for this very moment to be as it was. 

It would increasingly come to me that this is seen not just in that moment, but all the time, everywhere, and in every 'thing'.  Total exertion, and I do mean Total, is what This is.  The simultaneous complexity and simplicity of this is absolutely mind blowing in the best sort of sense.  What's more, it's not static and not inherent.  It's what it appears to be right now, but not a thing there at all.

Forget the nihilistic teachings that say there are no things for a second and just look at the experience of what appears.  The Total Exertion still applies.  That this blog post is being typed is It.  The whole shebang.  It's the apperance that contains the appearances of 'my entire history' which includes the history of existence.  That it's being read by a you is the whole thing too.  Everything that is normally thought of as "YOU" is right here. This also means that EveryWhen and EveryWhere is appearing too.
Very much like examining a fractal, zoom in at any point, and it's All there.

Amazing, isn't it?

Posted by: Wei Yu
Kyle Dixon:

The buddhadharma never states that there is some 'thing' that transmigrates. All that is ever occurring are causes and conditions which proliferate ceaselessly.

"Therein, the aggregates are the aggregates of matter, sensation, ideation, formations and consciousness. Those, called ‘serially joined’, not having ceased, produce another produced from that cause; although not even the subtle atom of an existent has transmigrated from this world to the next."
-- Pratītyasamutpādakarikavhyakhyana


"Empty [insubstantial and essenceless] dharmas [phenomena] are entirely produced from dharmas strictly empty; dharmas without a self and [not] of a self. Words, butter lamps, mirrors, seals, fire crystals, seeds, sourness and echoes. Although the aggregates are serially connected, the wise are to comprehend nothing has transferred. Someone, having conceived of annihilation, even in extremely subtle existents, he is not wise, and will never see the meaning of ‘arisen from conditions’."
-- Pratītyadsamutpādakarika
Posted by: Wei Yu

Taken from Dharmawheel:


"In the country of Benares at Rsipatana in the Deer Park, the World-honored One first turned the wheel of doctrine, [teaching] the four holy truths for those setting out in the word-hearers' vehicle. This turning of the wheel was marvelous and wonderful, such as nobody, whether gods or men, had been able to turn in the world before. Nevertheless there were superior teachings, for [this first turning] had to be interpreted and occasioned controversy. Then the World-honored One with an underlying intent turned the wheel for the second time for the sake of those setting out in the great vehicle, [teaching] that all things have no-essence, no arising, and no passing away, are originally quiescent, and are essentially in cessation. This turning of the wheel was marvelous and wonderful indeed. Nevertheless there were teachings superior to this, for it also had to be interpreted and occasioned controversy. The World-honored One then with an explicit meaning for the third time turned the wheel of doctrine for those setting out in all the vehicles, [teaching] that all things have no-essence, no arising, and no passing away, are originally quiescent, and are essentially in cessation. This turning was the most marvelous and wonderful that had ever occurred in the world. It had no superior nor did it contain any implicit meaning nor occasion any controversy." (Samdhinirmocana Sutra, ch 5, p 49; tr. Keenan, BDK edition)

So, to sum up the teachings of the three turnings:

1. four holy truths for those setting out in the word-hearers' vehicle 2. all things have no-essence, no arising, and no passing away, are originally quiescent, and are essentially in cessation 3. all things have no-essence, no arising, and no passing away, are originally quiescent, and are essentially in cessation
The definitions of the second and third turnings are identical.
The same sutra also answers the question about the nature of the unconditioned.
"Good son, the term 'unconditioned' is also a word provisionally invented by the First Teacher. Now, if the First Teacher provisionally invented this word, then it is a verbal expression apprehended by imagination. And, if it is a verbal expression apprehended by imagination, then, in the final analysis, such an imagined description does not validate a real thing. Therefore, the unconditioned does not exist." (ch 2, p 12)


Lopon Namdrol (Malcolm Smith):

While it is certainly true that many people have understood it this way, for example, the Korean master Wan tshig (sorry, did not dig up his actual Korean name):
    Indeed that Dharma of the Buddha is profound, nevertheless because there are many methods of guidance and ways of introducing it, not only one, the Sovereign of the Dharma taught three Dharma wheels. Among those the first the demonstration of cycling in the forests where wild animals roam who constantly perish and the causes and results of nirvana to those who are to enter into the Śrāvakayāna. This is called “The Dharmawheel of the four truths”. Second, is teaching the Ārya-prajñāpāramita to sixteen gatherings at Vulture Peak and so on to those who are to enter the Bodhisattvayāna. This is called the Dharmawheel of characteristiclessness. The third is the teaching of the Saṃdhinirmocana and so on to those in the pure buddhafields such as Padmagarbha, and the impure ones to those are to enter all vehicles called the “Mahāyāna of the definitive meaning”.

This is not completely certain. There is no record in any other sutra or commentary of where these sites may be. In any case, even if we accept Wan tshig's statement at face value, it still means that the Mahāyāna arose at the same time as the Śravakayāna because it was taught during the lifetime of the Buddha.

Moreover, there is no certain statement in the citation itself that this is the case. In his General Division of Tantras, Loppon Sonam Tsemo responds to the above assertion:

    If it is true those three Dharmawheels were turned for different inclinations, to claim “…they were turned in stages in different countries’” is not reasonable. If it is asked how it is not reasonable, it is because scripture and reason are contradicted, the objections of the srāvakas will not be rejected, the Sugata will come under criticism and so on. Because there will be many such faults, it is not reasonable.

He ultimately answers this qualm with the citation from the Sutralaṃkara:

    Not predicted earlier, arising at the same time.

    As the Sandhivyākarana-tantra too states:

    Non-conceptual, undisturbed,
    ...the pleasing single vajra word
    becomes many different [words]
    from the perspective of the mentalities of the trainees.

    A single statement of the Bhagavan’s will appear as many different Dharmas to many different trainees at the same time. That also does not contradict the citation of the Samdhinirmocana-sūtra explained above. Although that citation does state different Dharmas, it does not state different locations or different times. Since that is so, teaching different Dharmas to trainees with one statement made at the same time is called “the array of speech,” and demonstrating many different bodies in different locations at the same time are the beneficial deeds with an array of bodies.


There is really only one reference to the three turnings of the wheel in a single sutra. The Samdhinirmocana. The way I read the Samdhinirmocana is that it confirms the teaching found in the second turning and renders it indisputable.

The Bhagavan, well disclosing the correct entry into all vehicles, beginning from the nonexistence of the inherent existence of all phenomena, beginning from their absence of arising, absence of ceasing, being peaceful from the beginning, being parinirvana by nature, turned a third very amazing wheel of Dharma. This wheel of Dharma is unsurpassable, not circumstantial, of definitive meaning and indisputable.

This is hardly a smoking gun that confirms that you are basing your opinions on the so called third turning. Frankly, there is virtually no attention this teaching in the Indian canon, though a big deal about it is made in Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism. The idea that the three turnings are based on three distinct historical epochs is rejected out of hand by such India scholars as Dharmamitra in his Abhisamayālaṃkārakārikāprajñāpāramitopadeśaśāstraṭīkā prasphuṭapadā.