Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Not-conditioned, Awareness and Transparency

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland
I'm reading the "Nibbana Sermons" by Nyanananda. It is so good I almost can't contain myself. Please have a read, no matter your school or tradition of preference



PDF (first 25 sermons)

There are other links floating around with varying quality.

Don't even check to see how much there is to read (there's a lot), just start reading and see if you can put it down!
Unlike · · November 16, 2013 at 7:48am · Edited

    You, Joel Agee, Laya Jakubowicz, JoHn Packer and 4 others like this.
    Joel Agee I agree. I just dipped in and am hooked.
    November 16, 2013 at 9:02am · Like · 2
    Jackson Peterson Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, in the second sermon: "Like the sea water parted by the blow of the iron bar, preparations part for a moment to reveal the very bottom which is 'unprepared', the asaṅkhata. Akata, or the un-made, is the same as asaṅkhata, the unprepared. So one has had a momentary vision of the sea bottom, which is free from preparations. Of course, after that experience, influxes flow in again. But one kind of influxes, namely diṭṭhāsavā, influxes of views, are gone for good and will never flow in again.
    Now how was it that some with keen wisdom like Bāhiya attained Arahant-ship even while listening to a short sermon from the Buddha? They had dealt four powerful blows in quick succession with the iron bar of the path-knowledge to clear away all possible influxes."

    This is the "EXACT" purpose and function of the "Direct Introduction" in Dzogchen. Its a blow that renders momentarily the complete "seeing" of the true nature of Reality. This is also the function of certain bizarre utterances or actions by Zen masters that cause an immediate complete "Seeing".

    Enjoying the read! Thanks for the link!
    November 16, 2013 at 8:42pm · Like · 2
    Stian Gudmundsen Høiland Nice, Jackson.

    There are so many passages like that, where it seems to me that Nyanananda is expertly weaving together the turnings of the wheel. Totally fantastic.

    There are so many treats like this. Keep reading!
    November 16, 2013 at 8:56pm · Edited · Like · 2
    David Boulter 712 pages in the PDF! Wow! I've uploaded it to my Kindle and will enjoy giving it some study. Thanks, Stian.
    November 16, 2013 at 9:05pm · Like · 1
    Jackson Peterson Love this!!! Especially the Bahiya reference and the "whirlpool" analogy! The sense of location and "thingness" being due to a localized activity of whirling... Great find!
    November 16, 2013 at 9:26pm · Like · 1
    Stian Gudmundsen Høiland Towards the end of the 6th sermon and for most of the 7th sermon, Nyanananda talks about "non-manifestive consciousness". It is a very interesting and timely discussion.

    I'm a little hesitant to post this comment, because it might lead people to jump past the preceding material. Don't do that. Read up till that point. Nyanananda very consistently uses his own analogies and by jumping ahead one risks missing a lot of very subtle clarification and the proper meaning of the analogies that he so often references.
    November 16, 2013 at 11:57pm · Like · 2
    Soh I read most of the chapters last year.. well written
    November 17, 2013 at 12:09am · Like · 2
    Jackson Peterson Reading the end of chapter six and all of seven, makes clear his view is identical to Dzogchen: there is a "consciousness" beyond the skandhas that is the blissful, non-dependent, non-established consciousness of a Buddha and Arahant in Nibbana.
    November 17, 2013 at 1:58am · Like · 1
    Kyle Dixon There's no consciousness beyond the skandhas in Dzogchen.
    November 17, 2013 at 3:00am · Like · 1
    Kyle Dixon And certainly no non-dependent consciousness in Dzogchen... Consciousness is always afflictive and arises in dependency in the eyes of Dzogpa Chenpo.
    November 17, 2013 at 3:15am · Like
    Jackson Peterson "Consciousness which makes nothing manifest, infinite and all lustrous. It does not partake of the earthiness of earth, the wateriness of water, the fieriness of fire, the airiness of air, the creature-hood of creatures, the deva-hood of devas, the Pajāpati-hood of Pajāpati, the Brahma-hood of Brahma, the radiance of the Radiant Ones, the Subhakiṇha-hood of the Subhakiṇha Brahmas, the Vehapphala-hood of the Vehapphala Brahmas, the overlord-ship of the overlord, and the all-ness of the all."
    The gist of this paragraph is that the non-manifestative consciousness which is infinite and all lustrous, is free from the qualities associated with any of the concepts in the list, such as the earthiness of earth and the wateriness of water. That is to say it is not under their influence, it does not partake of them, ananubhūtaṃ. Whatever nature the world attributes to these concepts, whatever reality they invest it with, that is not registered in this non-manifestative consciousness. That is why this consciousness is said to be uninfluenced by them."
    November 17, 2013 at 5:42am · Like
    Justin Struble there is cognizant emptiness, suffused with awareness. some may refer to this as an unconditioned "consciousness" .. which can be misleading if it is confused with the 5th skandha "consciousness" arising on condition of volitional formations, as discrete acts of conditioned cognizance.

    but with the total extinguishing of all volitional formations, the 5th skandha consciousness is also stilled, yet there is recognition, awareness; "released" .. consciousness without basis, signless, boundless and beyond reckoning by conditions. the mind of the arahant. this is pointed to by the buddha in the suttas, in the visuddhimagga, and in the buddha nature doctrine of mahayana. this is precisely what the dharmakaya / sambhogakaya ; ie cognizant emptiness suffused with awareness refers to.. that boundless unconditioned element, empty yet cognizant, suffused with knowing. and this is also identical with rigpa, which both mahamudra and dzogchen lead to the realization of. of course this should not be confused and reified as a substratum or basis separate from phenomena, it is the very nature of phenomena!

    "It is not existent - even the Victorious Ones do not see it.
    It is not nonexistent - it is the basis of all samsara and nirvana.
    This is not a contradiction, but the middle path of unity.
    May the ultimate nature of phenomena, limitless mind beyond extremes, be realised."
    November 17, 2013 at 7:45am · Like · 4
    Piotr Ludwiński "The cognizer perceives the cognizable;
    Without the cognizable there is no cognition;
    Therefore why do you not admit
    That neither object nor subject exists [at all]?

    The mind is but a mere name;
    Apart from it's name it exists as nothing;
    So view consciousness as a mere name;
    Name too has no intrinsic nature.

    Either within or likewise without,
    Or somewhere in between the two,
    The conquerors have never found the mind;
    So the mind has the nature of an illusion.

    The distinctions of colors and shapes,
    Or that of object and subject,
    Of male, female and the neuter -
    The mind has no such fixed forms.

    In brief the Buddhas have never seen
    Nor will they ever see [such a mind];
    So how can they see it as intrinsic nature
    That which is devoid of intrinsic nature?

    "Entity" is a conceptualization;
    Absence of conceptualization is emptiness;
    Where conceptualization occurs,
    How can there be emptiness?

    The mind in terms of perceived and perceiver,
    This the Tathagatas have never seen;
    Where there is the perceived and perceiver,
    There is no enlightenment.

    Devoid of characteristics and origination,
    Devoid of substantiative reality and transcending speech,
    Space, awakening mind and enlightenment
    Posses the characteristics of non-duality.

    - Nagarjuna
    November 17, 2013 at 1:44pm · Like · 2
    Jackson Peterson Piotr Ludwiński, is your quote a refutation or a further elucidation regarding the conditioned consciousness of the fifth skandha?
    November 17, 2013 at 5:29pm · Like
    Jackson Peterson Sermon 14 and 15 discuss the Bahiya Sutta with incredible insights and instructions as how this "training" should be put into practice.
    November 18, 2013 at 5:50am · Like · 1
    Piotr Ludwiński it seems you fell in love with this sermons, Jackson
    November 18, 2013 at 5:52am · Like
    Jackson Peterson Indeed! So far, this Bhikkhu seems fully realized through the Buddha's earliest tradition.
    November 18, 2013 at 5:58am · Like · 1
    Jackson Peterson Sermon 33: "That one with discernment, that arahant, stops short at the seen, true to the aphorism diṭṭhe diṭṭhamattaṃ, "in the seen just the seen".[1036] He stops at the heard in the heard, he stops at the sensed in the sensed, he stops at the cognized in the cognized. He does not go on imagining like that deer, taking his stand on perception. He does not imagine a thing seen or one who sees. Nor does he entertain imaginings in regard to the heard, the sensed and the cognized."
    November 18, 2013 at 6:06am · Like · 3
    Piotr Ludwiński
    November 18, 2013 at 6:08am · Like · 1
    Jackson Peterson Justin Struble, I believe Soh, would not agree with your comments as he does not acknowledge any "consciousness" or awareness beyond the afflicted Fifth Skandha.
    December 7, 2013 at 5:28am · Like
    Kyle Dixon The traditions Jackson claims accept a consciousness or awareness 'beyond the 5th skandha' do not accept an unconditioned consciousness or awareness beyond the skandhas either.
    December 7, 2013 at 5:44am · Like
    Justin Struble http://luminousemptiness.blogspot.com/.../dharmakaya...
    Luminous Emptiness - a Mahamudra Blog: Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya
    It is not existent - even the Victorious Ones do not see it. It is not nonexiste...See More
    December 7, 2013 at 6:03am · Like · Remove Preview
    Justin Struble Jackson, beyond implies separation, how can our nature be separate from phenomena, when it is the nature of phenomena?
    December 7, 2013 at 6:05am · Like
    Jackson Peterson Justin Struble, not separate from but not originated from. One could say there is only waves and ocean. But water pervades all waves and ocean. Waves and ocean are water. Waves do not cause water. LIkewise, all phenomena are waves of Awareness, phenomena do not cause Awareness.
    December 7, 2013 at 6:34am · Like
    Justin Struble I agree that Rigpa is not conditioned by phenomena, it might be that some above were taking issue with "beyond" because it can be interpreted as implying separation, duality, or the reification of some quality as standing apart from phenomena.

    Certainly I disagree with a view that states that there is ONLY the skandhas, and dismisses the unconditioned. The buddha states very clearly:

    "There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, escape from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned."

    Nibbāna Sutta: Unbinding (3)
    I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at J...See More
    December 7, 2013 at 6:59am · Edited · Like · Remove Preview
    Soh It is not that there is no unafflicted consciousness/awareness, it is that unafflicted consciousness/awareness is also impermanent, empty, non-dual and dependently originated (but not arising due to afflictive causes).
    December 7, 2013 at 9:46am · Like
    Kyle Dixon The unconditioned is the emptiness of the skandhas.

    Recognition of the emptiness of the skandhas means that the skandhas are non-arisen, what has not arisen cannot be conditioned.
    December 7, 2013 at 9:52am · Edited · Like · 1
    Kyle Dixon Rigpa isn't itself conditioned or afflicted, but as Longchenpa puts it; it becomes 'endowed with stains' and 'enveloped in the seal of mind':

    "General delusion is caused by the stain of vidyā not recognizing the manifest ground, through which vidyā itself becomes polluted with delusion. Though vidyā itself is without the stains of cognition, it becomes endowed with stains, and through its becoming enveloped in the seal of mind, the vidyā of the ever pure essence is polluted by conceptualization. Chained by the sixfold manas, it is covered with the net of the body of partless atoms, and the luminosity becomes latent."

    He also states [Per Malcolm];

    "That being so, it is very important to distinguish mind and wisdom because all meditation is just that: all methods of purifying vāyu and vidyā are that; and in the end at the time of liberation, vidyā is purified of all obscurations because it is purified of the mind."
    December 7, 2013 at 10:06am · Edited · Like
    Soh Don't know why but recent changes in facebook made the group search very, very sucky. Never able to find what I want.
    December 7, 2013 at 10:52am · Edited · Like
    Soh Hi Justin Struble we have to be very careful in interpreting that Nibbana sutta. First of all we have to understand what 'Nirvana/Nibbana' means in context. As Ven Hui-feng puts it, "keep in mind the basic metaphorical meaning of the term nirvana, the extinguishing of a flame". The main analogy given by Buddha for nirvana is the extinguishing of a flame. As Ven Nanananda also pointed out,

    "Regarding this concept of Nibbàna too, the worldling is generally tempted to entertain some kind of ma¤¤anà, or me-thinking. Even some philosophers are prone to that habit. They indulge in some sort of prolific conceptualisation and me-thinking on the basis of such conventional usages as `in Nib­bàna', `from Nibbàna', `on reaching Nibbàna' and `my Nib­bàna'. By hypostasizing Nibbàna they de­velop a substance view, even of this concept, just as in the case of pañhavi, or earth. Let us now try to determine whether this is justifi­able.

    The primary sense of the word Nibbàna is `extinction', or `extin­guishment'. We have already discussed this point with reference to such contexts as Aggivacchagottasutta.[8] In that dis­course the Bud­dha explained the term Nibbàna to the wan­dering ascetic Vaccha­got­ta with the help of a simile of the ex­tinction of a fire. Simply be­cause a fire is said to go out, one should not try to trace it, wondering where it has gone. The term Nibbàna is essentially a verbal noun. We also came across the phrase nibbuto tveva saïkhaü gacchati, "it is reck­oned as `extinguished'".[9]"

    Extinction of what? Extinction of passion, aggression and delusion driving the whole mass of samsara. Extinction of the the whole mass of suffering/samsara in the twelve links from ignorance up to old age, sickness and death.

    Next is the terms 'unconditioned/death-free/etc' it is very easy to reify this in terms of a metaphysical entity. This is not the case.

    Here are some quotations which should hopefully clarify:

    Nana/Geoff: "“Firstly, while the translation of asaṃskṛta as “the unconditioned” is fairly common, it’s a rather poor translation that all too easily leads to reification. The term asaṃskṛta refers to a negation of conditioned factors, and the meaning is better conveyed by “not-conditioned.” Secondly, for Sautrāntika commentators, and many mahāyānika commentators as well, an analytical cessation (pratisaṃkhyānirodha) is a non-implicative negation (prasajyapratiṣedha), i.e. a negation that doesn’t imply the presence of some other entity, and therefore nirvāṇa simply refers to a cessation that terminates the defilements and fetters that are abandoned by the correct practice of the noble path. It doesn’t refer to an entity or state that is substantially existent (dravyasat).” "

    Nana/Geoff: "One has to be careful with such descriptions which may seem to be pointing to some sort of truly existent "unconditioned ground." Nibbāna is the extinguishment of the mental outflows (āsavā). The liberated mind is measureless (appamāṇa). This is not a "state of oneness with all of existence." It's an absence of identification (anattatā). It's non-indicative (anidassana), unestablished (appatiṭṭha), and not-dependent (anissita). None of these adjectives entail any sort of metaphysical "ground of being" or "unconditioned absolute." They are all negations. An arahant has simply "gone out."

    tiltbillings: "There is no "deathless." That is a bad translation leading to an objectification/reification of the idea of awakening. With awakening, there is no more rebirth, one is free from death. (31 words.)""

    Loppon Namdrol/Malcolm: “When you have eradicated all afflictions which cause rebirth, this is all the deathlessness you need. No more birth, BAM! no more death.”

    Buddha: "And what, monks, is the not-fabricated (asaṅkhata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-fabricated. " .... "And what, monks, is the death-free (amata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the death-free." - SN 43 Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta - more in http://measurelessmind.ca/pariyosana.html

    I can provide many more quotations but this will suffice for now, I think. Nirvana is extinction, like the blowing out of a flame, it is simply and merely the end of suffering and afflictions and does not imply a metaphysical substantial existent as some may postulate. There is no "The Unconditioned" or "The Unborn" or "The Deathless" as some sort of metaphysical essence. There is an unconditioned dharma - analytical cessation (nirvana) - that is the end of birth and death (death-free), is not conditioned (by afflictive causes and manifestations) etc.

    All these are classic Nirvana stuff found in the earliest teachings in Pali suttas. In Mahayana emptiness, there is another understanding of "unconditioned" and that is as what Kyle said which I find to be very well said:

    "The unconditioned is the emptiness of the skandhas.

    Recognition of the emptiness of the skandhas means that the skandhas are non-arisen, what has not arisen cannot be conditioned."

    In any case, whether the classical nirvana understanding of the earliest text, or the emptiness understanding of unconditioned/non-arisen, there is no postulating of a truly existing metaphysical essence.
    The Holy Life Has A Specific Destination | Parāyana
    The noble eightfold path has a clearly defined and very specific final goal (par...See More
    December 7, 2013 at 11:26am · Edited · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Kyle Dixon Justin, to unpack the way rigpa relates to conditioning further:

    The knowing capacity of mind i.e. clarity is the most coarse form of rig pa [skt. vidyā]. Chögyal Namkhai Norbu calls it 'rigpa mistaken as illusory mind'. He also refers to it by the name Vimalimitra gave it, which is 'the vidyā that apprehends characteristics'...

    Defined by Vimalimitra here:
    "The vidyā that apprehends characteristics: 'the vidyā that imputes phenomena as universals and as mere personal names', is one’s mere non-conceptual self-knowing awareness defiled by many cognitions." [Per Malcolm]

    It's 'rigpa' because it's the same capacity which is refined with insight, but that coarse form of rigpa is simply the mere knowing of mind. Knowing which is associated with dualistic perception is a defiled cognition. As opposed to knowing associated with the kāyas, which is the rigpa which serves as the basis, path and result in Dzogchen.

    Until the clarity of mind is recognized as non-arisen, via recognition of the nature of mind [tib. sems nyid, skt. cittatā] the discerning vidyā of the path is not present. Once the nature of mind is directly ascertained, primordial wisdom [skt. jñāna, tib. ye shes] also becomes evident, and the discerning knowledge which subsequently results is the vidyā that serves as the foundation for liberation, because it knows the kāyas. Which is to say that there is no mistake about what one's nature is. That vidyā, is the antithesis of avidyā [delusion], and can effectively discern the ālaya (afflictive basis of mind) from the dharmakāya.

    For most, that (discerning) vidyā comes on as a flash of experiential insight, however due to karmic propensities it isn't stable and fluctuates. For that reason one's initial discernment is termed 'unripened vidyā'. Vidyā ripens via the dissolution of karmic traces which sustain delusion and obscure wisdom. The process of ripening is the path, and when afflictive traces are completely exhausted, one realizes emptiness and the path becomes the result i.e. vidyā as dharmakāya.

    So it's the same rigpa all along, refined through insight and integration, however the rigpa as mere knowing isn't equivalent to the full measure of rigpa as dharmakāya. Not due to being two separate rigpas, but due to the former being mind and the latter being completely emancipated from mind.
    December 7, 2013 at 11:46am · Like · 2
    Justin Struble nibbana is the extinguishing of ignorance, craving & aversion. unbinding from clinging, the cessation of stress / dukkha. which also happens to be the extinguishing / cessation of the obscurations. in my experience the true experiential realization of this, is not some sort of nihilistic extinction, but instead, there is the cessation of the skandhas, which is discerned by awareness / cognizant emptiness / rigpa.

    in other words, in my view the full realization and also my interpretation of the sutta, is that it is because our nature is unconditioned, that we can attain unbinding / liberation. our nature is also empty. but that emptiness is inseparable from cognizance / knowing / awareness. so there is no ambiguity: during nibbana / cessation there is still rigpa. rigpa does not undergo cessation, rigpa is that which discerns the cessation of the skandhas.

    the kayas are the unconditioned. the kayas are the basis of samsara and nirvana / nibbana. the realization of nibbana isn't a lapse into unconscious-lack of knowing or cessation of experience. actually realizing nibbana is an experience. the basis of that experience is the kayas, when revealed by the cessation of the obscurations.
    December 7, 2013 at 11:51am · Like · 2
    Justin Struble that's my take on it, based on my own practice. i do appreciate very much you guys responding and your take on it, and i am thankful to hear your perspectives.
    December 7, 2013 at 11:52am · Like
    Justin Struble And Kyle, everything in your last post seems spot on to me. thanks.
    December 7, 2013 at 11:55am · Like
    Kyle Dixon I don't think anyone ever suggested nirvana entails a lapse into unconscious lack of knowing or a cessation of experience. The emptiness of consciousness, awareness, knowing, rigpa etc., doesn't suggest a nihilistic void.

    Our nature is innately unconditioned because our nature is empty. Conditioning arises as a result of being ignorant of that emptiness.
    December 7, 2013 at 12:42pm · Edited · Unlike · 2
    Soh Realizing "That which discerns" is what I call the I AM realization. It is the direct apprehension of unfabricated Awareness, or clarity, however, that direct apprehension may not be properly understood and with a lack of understanding its nature it can later be reified into something like a changeless Self or the Eternal Witness. That is, the mind grasps onto an image of a previous direct non-dual apprehension of Awareness, but reifying it in terms of dualistic and inherent view. Then, Awareness is mistaken as a background Witness or a container (like a screen) or ground of being from which phenomena manifest. This is forming a dualistic and inherent view about Awareness.

    It is not unfabricated Awareness or clarity that is the problem but our persistent views of duality (subject-object duality) and inherency (seeing true existence of Self and objects/phenomena) that distorts perception and even a transcendental experience is being molded by our wrong views and ignorance.

    Therefore, it is advisable to "keep the experience, refine the view". I have gone through a series of insights that refines the view of that Awareness. As I described in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../my-e-booke... , and as Thusness described in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/.../thusnesss-six...

    The realization of "Awareness" or direct realization of "I AMness" is just the beginning. As Thusness puts it,

    "When consciousness experiences the pure sense of “I AM”, overwhelmed by the transcendental thoughtless moment of Beingness, consciousness clings to that experience as its purest identity. By doing so, it subtly creates a ‘watcher’ and fails to see that the ‘Pure Sense of Existence’ is nothing but an aspect of pure consciousness relating to the thought realm. This in turn serves as the karmic condition that prevents the experience of pure consciousness that arises from other sense-objects. Extending it to the other senses, there is hearing without a hearer and seeing without a seer -- the experience of Pure Sound-Consciousness is radically different from Pure Sight-Consciousness. Sincerely, if we are able to give up ‘I’ and replaces it with “Emptiness Nature”, Consciousness is experienced as non-local. No one state is purer than the other. All is just One Taste, the manifold of Presence.

    The ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’, the ‘I’, ‘here’ and ‘now’ must ultimately give way to the experience of total transparency. Do not fall back to a source, just the manifestation is sufficient. This will become so clear that total transparency is experienced. When total transparency is stabilized, transcendental body is experienced and dharmakaya is seen everywhere. This is the samadhi bliss of Bodhisattva. This is the fruition of practice.

    Experience all appearance with total vitality, vividness and clarity. They are really our Pristine Awareness, every moment and everywhere in all its manifolds and diversities. When causes and conditions is, manifestation is, when manifestation is, Awareness is. All is the one reality."

    - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com.au/.../mistaken...
    Awakening to Reality: My e-book/e-journal
    This updated version has twelve more pages than my current copy. Sharing your Wi...See More
    December 7, 2013 at 12:57pm · Edited · Like · 2 · Remove Preview
    Soh When realizing anatta, our view of Awareness changes from "being a Subjective knower seeing the arising and ceasing of experience/manifestation", we realize that "in the seeing always just the seen, never a seer. In the hearing always only sound, never a hearer". Everything is self-luminous and self-knowing as such without a knower. Whether experience manifest as afflicted skandhas or as unafflicted play of Dharma, there is always just manifestation without a subjective agent, knower, seer, observer, apart from experience. And there is no other "Awareness" besides the ongoing play of experience that is "in seeing only the seen". This is the truth of Anatta.
    December 7, 2013 at 12:53pm · Edited · Like
    Justin Struble "The ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’, the ‘I’, ‘here’ and ‘now’ must ultimately give way to the experience of total transparency. Do not fall back to a source, just the manifestation is sufficient. This will become so clear that total transparency is experienced. When total transparency is stabilized, transcendental body is experienced and dharmakaya is seen everywhere. This is the samadhi bliss of Bodhisattva. This is the fruition of practice."
    December 7, 2013 at 1:06pm · Like · 1
    Stian Gudmundsen Høiland "Consciousness is not something substantial and absolute, like the so-called soul. That is precisely the point of divergence for Buddhism, when compared with those religious systems which rely on soul theories."

    ~ Nibbana Sermons, 24, Nyanananda
    December 7, 2013 at 1:13pm · Unlike · 1
    Soh This total transparency is very important indeed... there cannot be such experience without the complete relinquishment of self/Self. As Thusness explained in 2006,

    "Just brought out total transparency because it is a distinct phase and experience along the journey of experiencing no-self. It is just a pointer that one should have this experience and this experience must be stabilized.

    Total transparency is <b>NOT</b> about seeing awareness as an invisible, formless, pure, divine and real or experiencing oneself as total life. This can result in wrongly identifying oneself as the Eternal Witness, the Atman.

    Total transparency is the true experience of anatta. That apart from the phenomena arising and ceasing, there is no 'self' or 'Self' to be found anywhere. That 'I' and 'Self' completely disappear. It is not something theoretical or conceptual. It is the truth that has been distorted by dualistic perception. It is a very distinct phase of transiting from dualistic experience"

    "So direct until no overlay is needed on top of forms. There is no such images really. When there is complete clarity, there is complete transparency. When there is complete transparency, awareness shines as forms. "
    December 7, 2013 at 1:17pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Stian Gudmundsen Høiland That is some dynamite quotes from Thusness.

    So good posts, guys. Thank you Kyle, Soh, John and Justin. What a delight it is to see the diverse expressions of Dhamma converge in my mind.
    December 7, 2013 at 1:17pm · Edited · Unlike · 1
    Kyle Dixon Yes the coarsest vidyā is the mere knowing of mind i.e. clarity. Clarity is 'that which discerns' in the relative sense, and can indeed be mistakenly reified into a changeless self or witness. This is why one of the three deviations in Dzogchen is grasping to clarity. This discernment is merely provisional.

    The vidyā which results from recognizing the nature of mind [cittatā] is the definitive discernment which voids the subjective knowing reference point and results in experience being 'self-luminous' and 'self-knowing', though Dzogchen terms this self arising [tib. rang byung] and self liberation [tib. rang grol].
    December 7, 2013 at 1:22pm · Unlike · 3
    Stian Gudmundsen Høiland Kyle said:
    > I don't think anyone ever suggested nirvana entails a lapse into unconscious lack of knowing or a cessation of experience.

    I beg to differ, but with an absolutely crucial change in premise: Consciousness is *not* clarity/knowing/awareness, but a structural, perceptual blueprint or mould.

    I'm bringing this up not to contest what you have said, because I see that these two expressions are compatible. It is a different (but compatible) and therefor potentially skillful means for investigation.
    December 7, 2013 at 1:25pm · Like
    Jackson Peterson Justin Struble, your eloquent description of rigpa, experience and nirvana is exactly as its known here... The "knowingness" is changeless, infinite and empty of all possible reification,affliction, imputation and substance, but is not empty of the Buddha attributes of compassion, wisdom and power. If one doesn't "know it" directly then all these arguments arise based on partial glimpses and speculation. There are no levels in "this", its all pervading,changeless transparency...rangjyung yeshe: "self-originated wisdom-knowing" or rigpa.
    December 7, 2013 at 7:03pm · Like · 1
    Jackson Peterson Its not that there is no "consciousness or awareness", but rather the "seen", "heard", and "perceived" is itself only Consciousness or Dharmakaya. Dharmakaya is pure Consciousness or Awareness. What's happening is: Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya. Its all the play of Conscoiusness.
    December 7, 2013 at 7:07pm · Like
    Justin Struble Hey there Jackson, thanks .. my language in this thread has been fairly lacking in retrospect .. not so clear, left open to being misinterpreted ... does appear some recognize the experiential realization I'm attempting to point to though.

    Soh and Kyle Dixon have used more precise language, better qualified to avoid misunderstanding, more encompassing .. this is positive but it also necessitates some "disclaimers" ... sometimes to the detriment of simplicity.

    Some attempts at clarification:

    Yes, Dharmakaya is empty:

    "The ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’, the ‘I’, ‘here’ and ‘now’ must ultimately give way to the experience of total transparency."

    It is empty in the sense of primordial freedom from grasping. It is empty from all imputed qualities, and all "dependently originated impressions" .. It is the primordial freedom from and emptiness of grasping / reification / identification / attachment / aversion / ignorance.

    Dharmakaya is the primordial freedom of emptiness and that emptiness is necessarily inseparable from the wisdom / vidya / knowledge - the clear seeing and knowing of that very emptiness, as the sambhogkaya & nirmanakaya.

    When I suggest rigpa is "that which discerns" .. I do not mean to imply something separate, a reified watcher / witness or any identification or subjectivity whatsoever. Rather what I am trying to point to is that emptiness or Dharmakaya, cannot be separated from the wisdom / knowledge / clear knowing / of that emptinesss .. this wisdom / knowledge is primordial and non-arisen, non-originated, unconditioned. What I am pointing to is that it is by virtue of the capacity of the kayas for cognizance / knowing / clear seeing / vidya / wisdom / prajna / gnosis / knowledge .. that liberation is possible, that experience is possible, that our nature is realized.

    Emptiness is the linchpin, it is a key realization in tandem with anatta for unbinding, liberation .. but the realization of emptiness is inseparable from the knowledge of rigpa, when emptiness is clearly realized, it is by virtue of the capacity for clear knowing / knowledge of the kayas.

    These facets are of equal importance, over emphasizing certain facets to the exclusion of others can be misunderstood. Also to reinforce what Jackson mentioned, yes I agree the kayas are not void of the Brahmavihara's .. but we must recognize that sunyata applies to them as well .. there is emptiness in the sense of non-arisen-ness .. mirage like, ungraspable, the primordial freedom of emptiness, that applies to all facets of buddha nature, including the unconditioned, sublime "attributes".
    December 8, 2013 at 4:42am · Like · 2
    Kyle Dixon Dharmakāya is two-fold emptiness as the result. The wisdom of the Buddhas. It has nothing to do with pure consciousness. Consciousness arises in dependency.

    Awareness is also an inappropriate term to denote Dharmakāya. The trikāya are not the play of consciousness.

    In fact, even the Sanskrit term for consciousness [vijñāna] entails and suggests the opposite of wisdom [jñāna].
    December 8, 2013 at 4:50am · Like · 2
    Justin Struble "The vidyā which results from recognizing the nature of mind [cittatā] is the definitive discernment which voids the subjective knowing reference point and results in experience being 'self-luminous' and 'self-knowing', though Dzogchen terms this self arising [tib. rang byung] and self liberation [tib. rang grol]."

    I am not claiming buddhahood or anything here, to be clear but, I experienced a realization while practicing with eyes open, where the body completely vanished / dropped away, where the emptiness of the entire visual field and all other sense doors was evident, where 3-dimensionality / the sense of separation / duality / observer / observed collapsed entirely. In short, what I call two-fold emptiness & anatta, non-duality. There was a total cessation of the skandhas. And this revealed the kayas free from the distortion of delusion clearly. It was a sort of path moment / fruition. It was very liberating. Not sure how one would map it.
    December 8, 2013 at 4:50am · Like · 1
    Kyle Dixon Justin, Instances of that nature arise in practice, and are only impermanent because karmic propensities continue to arise and seem to obscure that nature. As practice develops those flashes of prajñā will occur more often, and as long as that oscillation back and forth between mind and wisdom occurs you are on the path. When karmic propensities are completely exhausted then mind will be exhausted and only that wisdom remains, that is the result i.e. buddhahood.
    December 8, 2013 at 5:04am · Edited · Like · 2
    Justin Struble Kyle, I agree. But I think it is more accurate to say that it is the obscurations that are impermanent, rather than that wisdom. I would definitely not call such wisdom permanent, or impermanent, but rather, unoriginated / unconditioned / primordial. Another aspect of that realization is that you realize the nature of experience has always been that way all along .. just distorted through ignorance / reification / grasping / etc..

    So there is a sort of knowledge where from that point on you can't help but recognize that appearances are mirage like, illusory, dream like .. appearances seem luminous.. they don't really seem like they can obstruct luminosity any longer.. after a certain point of realization .. you can't help but penetrate appearances.

    So how would one describe the experience of a fully realized buddha... does a buddha experience having a body? 3-dimensionality? Does a buddha experience waking reality like a lucid dream? Could be an interesting line of enquiry. Does a Buddha experience ongoing two-fold emptiness / non-duality / anatta? Could be an interesting line of enquiry...
    December 8, 2013 at 5:18am · Like · 1
    Jackson Peterson Justin Struble... Most profound and masterfully articulated! The presenting of Buddhas like Lonchenpa, Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra in Light Bodies as they continue to teach within the lineage are Sambhogakaya manifestations. They have localization, memory and continuity as well as Buddha attributes. So the individual continuum is ceaseless, only the afflictions cease... I am not sure how Soh views this last vital aspect of the continuing lineage.
    December 8, 2013 at 5:22am · Like · 1
    Kyle Dixon Oh I never said the wisdom was impermanent. Wisdom is free of such partialities. What is impermanent (or fluctuates) is your knowledge [rig pa] of wisdom. When your rigpa reaches its full measure, emptiness is realized, and your rigpa is indistinguishable from that wisdom.
    December 8, 2013 at 5:28am · Like · 1
    Kyle Dixon Right, 'it's always been that way' i.e. Buddhahood is an innate quality, only ever obscured by delusion.
    December 8, 2013 at 5:29am · Edited · Like · 1
    Jackson Peterson Rigpa is a primordial shes pa or consciousness like a changeless context. Its energies appear within it, like waves or a mirror's reflections: empty-forms or holograms as "content", yet never conditioning Original Dharmakaya Mind. Dream like subjects and objects appear and disappear. Never was there a traveller of the path nor was "one" ever afflicted. No one ever became identified with reifications or a self or Self belief. And there is no substantial Dharmakaya: its completely empty of all possible reifications or identity. Seeing this directly, it's as though one is a transparent window without a frame... It's known here as such..
    December 8, 2013 at 5:38am · Like · 1
    Kyle Dixon Jackson's 'content' vs. 'context' dichotomy is quite questionable in my opinion.
    December 8, 2013 at 6:10am · Like
    Piotr Ludwiński l
    December 8, 2013 at 6:21am · Like
    Kyle Dixon To address Jax's post: 'Primordial shes pa' would be 'ye shes' [skt. jñāna, eng. primordial wisdom]. Consciousness is 'rnam shes' [skt. vijñāna]. Rigpa [skt. vidyā] is more closely related to shes rab [skt. prajñā], because it is knowledge of ye shes.

    Neither rigpa nor primordial wisdom are containers that appearances appear 'within' as content. Rather, appearances are known to be wisdom from the standpoint of rigpa.

    From the standpoint of primordial wisdom there is no 'traveller of the path' nor affliction, nor identification etc. but latching onto such notions without directly resting in wisdom is pointless and breeds nihilism.
    December 8, 2013 at 6:41am · Unlike · 1
    Soh Hi Justin, in that experience of " a realization while practicing with eyes open, where the body completely vanished / dropped away, where the emptiness of the entire visual field and all other sense doors was evident, where 3-dimensionality / the sense of separation / duality / observer / observed collapsed entirely."

    Is there an intensity of luminosity/awareness? And is there the experience of "Awareness as forms"? Do you consider that as a peak experience or was there a realization involved and what was that realization?

    p.s. not sure if you read my article before, http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com.au/.../experience...
    Awakening to Reality: Experience, Realization, View, Practice and Fruition
    It should be noted that this is not the same as anatta realization.
    December 8, 2013 at 7:23pm · Edited · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Justin Struble Hey there Soh, yes there was / Is an intensity of luminosity / awareness. "awareness as forms" .. yes there was / is that as well. It was a realization and I've described it mostly as best I can above. I have read most of your articles including that one, and I have found most of them very helpful, thank you.
    December 8, 2013 at 12:38pm · Unlike · 1
    Jackson Peterson This is spot on: ""The ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’, the ‘I’, ‘here’ and ‘now’ must ultimately give way to the experience of total transparency. Do not fall back to a source, just the manifestation is sufficient. This will become so clear that total transparency is experienced. When total transparency is stabilized, transcendental body is experienced and dharmakaya is seen everywhere. This is the samadhi bliss of Bodhisattva. This is the fruition of practice." This was John Tan's descirption, correct Soh?
    December 8, 2013 at 5:37pm · Like
    Soh Yup
    December 8, 2013 at 5:42pm · Like
    Neony Karby When the witness collapses, all conceptual explanations are/becomes just shadows of the messenger carrying a torch (of pure light) behind his back.
    December 8, 2013 at 10:08pm · Edited · Like · 1

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