Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Ultimate Nature of Phenomena

Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb
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.
I love these lines. But what is "the ultimate nature of phenomena"? Is there an essence is Buddhism? If emptiness is not a thing, but the way things are, what are they made of?
6 people like this. (Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 7:56am)
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb
"Appearance is mind and emptiness is mind. " In this line of the same text, what does it mean to say emptiness is mind?
(Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 8:04am)
Kyle Dixon
I'm not sure what term is translated as "Ultimate nature of phenomena" in that quote (it is a common one I've seen attributed to a few individuals such as Jigme Lingpa), but in general the ultimate nature of phenomena is that they are non-arisen i.e. empty.

The essence of things is usually emptiness, however that is like saying "things are empty in essence", "the essential nature of X is that it is empty", it does not mean emptiness is an 'essence' in the sense of something substantiated.

Conditioned 'things' are the result of confusion, when seen for what they are they are known to be unreal. So they are not made of anything per se, since ultimately they cannot be found when sought. A 'thing' as such is a nominal designation, a mere inference, useful as a convention, but ultimately the object that the convention infers is unfindable.
7 liked this (Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 8:08am)
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb
May this simple secret, this ultimate essence of phenomena,
which is the basis of everything, be realised.

May the unconfused genuine self-nature be known by self-nature itself.


These 2 lines too seem to point to an essence, a clear light, or primordial mind. A kind of vedantic pure consciousness. It's this thing that has been itching a lot lately. I come from an Advaita background, where awareness is the ultimate essence of all appearances. But I feel pulled to the buddhist view of emptiness of all things, even consciousness. But I can't see how can pure consciousness itself be dependently originated...
(Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 8:16am)
Kyle Dixon
Not a Vedantic type consciousness, because Vedanta posits an uncaused. existent, transpersonal, ontological consciousness that subsumes everything.

Those lines do point to an essence or primordial mind, however just as your original quote states, it
is nothing truly established as existent or non-existent. The mind is luminous and cognizant, but it is also empty and non-arisen... when we are ignorant of its emptiness we reify the luminous cognizance into a personal reference point which is relating to conditioned objects (objects that can exist or not-exist).

'Consciousness' [skt. vijñāna, tib. rnam shes] in the context of the buddhadharma usually refers specifically to that species dualistic cognition, i.e. a subject relating to objects. Therefore consciousness is considered to be an afflictive cognition since it is influenced by ignorance [skt. avidyā, tib. ma rig pa].

The opposite of consciousness is 'wisdom' [skt. jñāna, tib. ye shes]. When one recognizes their nature as being empty and free from extremes, then that 'consciousness' is no longer a deluded cognition that is cognizing conditioned objects, it instead directly and experientially knows the emptiness of those objects. That is why the quote says "may the unconfused genuine self-nature be known by self-nature itself".

This is not pointing to a truly established cognition though, especially since that wisdom entails a collapse of the ignorance that mistakes itself as an abiding reference point in relation to objects. The wisdom knows its own nature, as empty; which is the "unconfused genuine self-nature". For instance in the same way consciousness knows a chair, wisdom knows the non-arising of that chair. But this is still just a conventional description, it is not pointing to something real or something established. This does not mean that everything is subsumed into awareness, it simply means that there is a genuine knowledge of one's nature.
5 liked this (Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 10:04am)
Kyle Dixon
It is important to understand the concept of 'conventional truth' in Buddhism, because you may ask why these texts are stating that there is a 'self-nature' and a 'basis' and so on, why would they be doing this if these things are in fact unestablished and ultimately unreal? It is because the ultimate truth of things is their non-arising or emptiness, and what are those 'things' that are ultimately empty? They are conventions which are mistaken to be real things. So these alleged conventional objects are precisely what are realized to be unreal, and this means that we can relate to conventions freely because they are never pointing to anything actually 'real' or established. All conventions are simply useful nominal designations, tools for communication. The problem arises when we mistake these conventions to be something more than just a convention.

Conventions are reliable as long as they are not subjected to keen investigation. That is how 'convention' is defined per buddhism, a correct convention [tathyasaṃvṛti] is, according to Śāntarakṣita; "something can be tacitly accepted as long as it is not critically investigated, that is characterized by arising and decay, and that has causal effectivity." So the validity of a convention is measured by its efficacy, if it appears to function correctly, then it can be accepted as a correct convention prior to its investigation. In the wake of investigating any convention it will fail, since conventions cannot withstand proper scrutiny.

So there is no problem stating that there is a 'self-nature', because when that convention is subjected to scrutiny that self-nature would be ultimately unfindable. Yet the term "self-nature" is a conventional designation that is pointing to the capacity of 'wisdom' mentioned above, which is completely free from the extremes of existence, non-existence, both and neither.

For instance, Longchenpa discusses that nature here:

"Mind itself [i.e., the nature of mind: tib. sems nyid] - naturally occurring timeless awareness [i.e., self-originated primordial wisdom: tib. rang byung ye shes] - has no substance or characteristics. Since it is empty yet lucid and free of elaboration, it cannot be conceived of as 'this' or 'that'. Although it can be illustrated by a metaphor - 'It is like space' - if one reflects on space as the metaphor, it proves to have no color, no shape, or anything about it that is identifiable. Therefore, if the metaphor being used does not refer to some 'thing', then the underlying meaning that it illustrates - mind itself, pure by nature - is not something that has ever existed in the slightest."
8 liked this (Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 10:14am)
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb
In buddhism how is reality seen? I mean, in the approach I come from (Krishnamenon's direct path - Rupert Spira, Greg Goode, etc.), visually speaking, for example, objects are known to be just colors. "Color" is just another name for seeing (meaning, the presence of color). Then seeing is just a form of awareness.

Object >> Color >> Seeing >> Awareness;
Object >> Sound >> Hearing >> Awareness;

So this approach has its basis in what they call Direct Experience. All that is experienced is colors, sounds, etc - no physical objects are given. Then not even colors or sounds, just the knowing of them, etc. So in the end reality becomes just pure experiencing, without a solid substance or reality, except for awareness, which is not physical nor possessing any characteristic whatsoever.

In this view, one could say that the objects are empty because they depend on the colors/sensations/etc., which depend on seeing/sensing/etc., which depend on awareness.

How does buddhism arrive at the view of emptiness? A car is empty because it is made of several parts, lacking inherent existence - there is no "car-ness" is the object conventionally named as car. There are only wheels, metal, plastic, rubber, etc. And in each of these, there are other components, etc., all the way down to molecules and atoms and particles and...(?)...

But this is the conventional view (atoms, etc.). None of this (atoms, particles, etc.) is given in direct experience. In direct experience, there is only colors, sounds, etc. Does buddhism believe in atoms and particles that are not given in direct experience?

For instance, the emptiness of an object rests in its being dependent on causes, right? But a cause is not verified in experience. An apple is supposedly dependent on many factors, but many of those are not present in experience - the sun, the rain, the soil, the farmer, etc. Where do all those abide as we experience the apple?
(Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 8:45am)
Kyle Dixon
Alleged objects being broken down into constituent factors such as color, shape etc., in the context of Buddhism is an example of exploring how things originate dependently, i.e., dependent origination [pratītyasamutpāda].

However when these appearan
ces are treated as ultimately being awareness in traditions like Śrī Atmananda's, this sets up a unilateral dependency where awareness is treated as an irreducible principle. This is due to the nature of those paths, but the Buddhist system does not uphold a view of that nature.

For example if X is dependent upon awareness, awareness would also be dependent upon X. Because both are dependent, neither can stand alone, they are both conditional principles and for that reason they are not something which has an independent, autonomous nature.

Not only that, but Buddhism states that because things only originate in dependence upon what defines them, they do not originate at all. For to legitimately originate and have existence, a 'thing' or capacity would have to manifest without cause and be unconditioned. However since such a thing cannot be found, there ultimately is no origination.

But every separate principle is essentially the implication of every other principle. When we search for an object as a 'thing' in itself apart from color, size, dimension, sensory cognition, location, texture, awareness, etc., we cannot find that object. Said object also cannot be found within those appearances. But this also goes for each of those appearances themselves, including awareness.

This view also leads to a lack of solid substance or reality, or any type of substance or reality apart from the nominal designation 'reality'.

Deconstructing things down to molecules and atoms is one way to approach emptiness however I personally do not like that approach because molecules and atoms are not things we can directly cognize without an instrument. It is better to work with one's direct cognition.

The most effective way to view 'cause' is as ignorance [avidyā]. When things arise due to causes they arise due to misconception. Like taking a mirage to be a real oasis, the oasis arises as a result of a cause, that cause is ignorance regarding its true nature as being devoid of any substance or reality. When we finally recognize that the oasis is a mirage, the misconception of an oasis is immediately liberated. And it is directly known that there never was an actual oasis from the very beginning. All things are like that. They appear due to the cause of ignorance and abide as long as the conditions of ignorance remain, when ignorance is dispelled, said object is known to be non-arisen.

For example, Nāgārjuna states:

"When the perfect vidyā sees
That things come from ignorance as condition,
Nothing will then be objectified,
Either in terms of arising or destruction...

...Since the Buddhas have stated
That the world is conditioned by ignorance,
Why is it not reasonable [to assert]
That this world is [a result of] conceptualization?

Since it comes to an end
When ignorance ceases;
Why does it not become clear then
That it was conjured by ignorance?"
6 liked this (Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 9:26am)
Kinkok Sin
I think it is akin to what is called a field of force in science. You can't see the field, but you can see the impact of the field. So the ultimate could be a field of force of consciousness. You cannot see that field but you can experience the impact of that field in the form of awareness. Starting with basic or raw awareness, consciousness can evolved (initiated by an initial misknowledge of duality) into what we now experience as ordinary consciousness. This is how I see it. I could be wrong, so take it with whatever dosage of salt you consider necessary for yourself.
(Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 10:28am)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
Great thread! Thank you Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb and Kyle! :)
1 liked this (Friday, September 12, 2014 at 12:32am)
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb
Thanks Kyle, for your insights in this and other posts.

The thing is that in the direct path approach right from the beginning "things" are seen as not existing. Even subtler objects like color or shapes are seen as nothing more than pure awareness or
experience. Experience, right from the beginning is known to be undivided, seamless, whole.

In such a context, I find it hard to explore emptiness, because in a way there are no things to be empty or not empty. One could say that things are empty because they depend on experience or on being known, but in doing so, one creates a division (experience vs objects in experience / knowing vs. objects known) that is not given in direct experience.

Another way would be to see that objects are empty because they are no where to be found when not being experienced - so they don't inherently exist. But if they are not being experienced, they are neither existent nor non-existent, so talking about their emptiness is moot.

In the context of this type of non-dual perception, where only undivided experience is seen, how is the emptiness understood?
(Friday, September 12, 2014 at 8:28pm)
Kyle Dixon
As you seem to know already, the direct path approach is simply a different path and view. In terms of the direct path, which is a teaching of Advaita Vedanta, things are seen to lack existence because they are in fact an undifferentiated pure consciousness [purusha], which is transpersonal, truly existent and unconditioned. Which means that consciousness is as you said: an "undivided, seamless, whole."

In such a context it would indeed be hard to explore emptiness, because that context contradicts emptiness by nature. According to Advaita, there may be no so-called 'relative' things to be empty or not-empty, but there is a truly existent purusha instead, which by Advaita's standards; is definitely not-empty.

In terms of Vedanta, 'things' are not empty but are unreal because they belong to prakṛti, and prakṛti is māyā. Only cit is real, which is the purusha or pure consciousness i.e. brahman. So things do not even depend upon experience or 'being known', because ultimately there is only a single undifferentiated, existent pure consciousness.

In the buddhadharma, things are empty not only because they depend upon being experienced or known, but for other reasons too. The apparent division is not a problem, because as I attempted to explain above with 'convention', these alleged divisions are simply conventional in nature, and are ultimately empty. This however does not mean there is a single undivided whole, for that would simply be another thing to be empty. The ultimate truth in the buddhadharma is simply the fact that the 'things' which are inferred by convention are ultimately unfindable. The realization is epistemic and not ontological like Adviata. The buddhadharma is not saying we cannot find these things because they are actually this undivided pure consciousness, it is saying we cannot find these things at all. They appear, yet are unreal and so they have never arisen in the first place.

As for the idea that "objects are empty because they are no where to be found when not being experienced - so they don't inherently exist", by the standards of the buddhadharma this would actually fail to overcome inherent existence because Advaita would state that these alleged objects are actually the single undivided purusha which does inherently exist.

Talking about the emptiness of said objects would be moot in the context of Advaita, because those objects are simply māyā and the only thing that exists is purusha, so objects are not being experienced either way (as there is only pure consciousness). In the context of the buddhadharma, said objects are ultimately unfindable whether they are allegedly being experienced or not, so the duality of 'experienced objects' versus 'unexperienced objects' is also inapplicable (yet because said division between experienced and unexperienced objects is merely conventional, in terms of the buddhadharma; one would be free to say there are experienced and unexperienced objects due to the fact that this is ultimately untrue, for ultimately everything is empty and lacks inherent existence).

As for your last question: "In the context of this type of non-dual perception, where only undivided experience is seen, how is the emptiness understood?"

In that context emptiness is not understood (and is not meant to be), because that single undivided experience is held to be inherently existent.
5 liked this (Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 6:59am)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
“Therefore it is said that whoever makes a philosophical view out of emptiness is indeed lost.” Nagarjuna
3 liked this (Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 7:24am)
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb

>>>>> The ultimate truth in the buddhadharma is simply the fact that the 'things' which are inferred by convention are ultimately unfindable. The realization is epistemic and not ontological like Adviata.<<<<<<

I can see how things are unfindable through the conventional route of "molecules, atoms & particles". There is just empty space in the end. But through direct experience, where there is merely colors or perception or experience, how are things unfindable? Experience seems pretty obvious and irreducible. But I'm open and willing to see through the apparent inherency of it (deep sleep seems to be a good example of experience's emptiness...).

Or one could say that experience is empty because it depends on causes, like there being any perception or activity of any kind to appear as experience. Experience of nothingness is no experience at all, so experience depends on somethingness to appear.

And could you explain the ontological and the epistemic stuff? Philosophy is not my forte!


>>>>>The buddhadharma is not saying we cannot find these things because they are actually this undivided pure consciousness, it is saying we cannot find these things at all. They appear, yet are unreal and so they have never arisen in the first place.<<<<<<

Ok, this is serious stuff, imo. A car is not found as a car, but there is some experience, rather then nothing. Something appears, like you said - be it colors, knowing, perception, experiencing, etc... They appear, but are unreal - in the sense that they are not what they claim to be, right? A car is not a "car", it's a bunch of other stuff (its several pieces and components) or at least something else (a perception or experience). But the appearance is made of something right? The image of the Eiffel tower in my head is not made of metal, because it is not the Eiffel tower, but just an image. But as an image, it is made of "mental stuff" or consciousness (conventionally or neurologically speaking). What are things made of then? Or does Buddhism refuse to assume such explicit ontological positions? How come you're saying they've never arisen at all? What is it that exists as "this" right now?

I'm not disagreeing with you. On the contrary, I'm truly hungry for that depth of understanding.


>>>>> In that context emptiness is not understood (and is not meant to be), because that single undivided experience is held to be inherently existent.<<<<<<

This was probably asked above already, but how then can the emptiness insight be brought into this perspective? How can one pierce through the aparent inherency of experience or pure awareness? How can awareness, devoid of characteristics, be caused by something else?

Soh seems to have come from the Awareness teachings, but later moved through to the emptiness view. How can this be done?

Thank you!
(Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 9:56am)
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb
"If you would free yourself of the sufferings
of samsara, you must learn the direct way to become a
Buddha. This way is no other than the realization of your own Mind.

Now what is this Mind? It is the true nature of all sentient beings, that
which existed before our parents were born and hence before our
own birth, and which presently exists, unchangeable and eternal."

This was taken from the Three Pillars of Zen. What was Bassui talking about here? Was he pointing to the realization of I Am or One Mind? Was he falling victim to the view of inherency?
(Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 10:11am)
Kyle Dixon
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb you wrote:
"I can see how things are unfindable through the conventional route of 'molecules, atoms & particles'. There is just empty space in the end. But through direct experience, where there is merely colors or perception or ex
perience, how are things unfindable? Experience seems pretty obvious and irreducible. But I'm open and willing to see through the apparent inherency of it (deep sleep seems to be a good example of experience's emptiness...)."

You'll probably have to step away from approaching 'experience' or 'direct experience' as a reductive unity or a thing-in-itself. Doing so will probably mean you'd have to let go of the idea of a single consciousness or awareness that is cognizing phenomena as well. In Buddhism there is no single central consciousness that everything is appearing to, but instead many different consciousnesses (six to eight depending on the system). There is an eye consciousness which perceives shape, color and so on, and a olfactory consciousness which cognizes various aromas etc.

For example: the point of the "eye-consciousness" [cakṣurvijñāna] (and the other seven consciousnesses) is to propose a conventional model (for the purposes of upāya) in order to allow the aspirant a means to pierce the seeming inherency of consciousness in general. The eight-consciousness model (for example) is not a statement (or proposition) of ontological truth, when these models are presented they are not meant to say there is truly eight consciousnesses, those consciousnesses are conventional designations which are implemented as a skillful means. And that exclusively conventional nature is characteristically implied due to the fact that the buddhadharma contends that inherency (in general) is a figment of deluded cognition which is completely unreal. Therefore the label "eye consciousness" is a term which is implemented so that the visual faculty and all of its implied constitutional characteristics can be compartmentalized into a single grouping for the purposes of analysis or expeditious delineation (eye-consciousness accounting for (i) sensory organ [eye], (ii) sensory cognition [seeing] and (iii) sensory objects [sights]).

So in terms of 'direct experience' as such; the eight-consciousnesses [aṣṭavijñāna] is one example of a conventional model that is meant to be a tangible and empirical guideline for said experience. In applying a provisional model of this nature, and taking into consideration that nothing ultimately has inherent existence, we undoubtably already run into an issue as to how we are now choosing to define 'direct experience'. Is that experience singular? Are there eight different direct experiences corresponding to the eight different consciousnesses? If so, is there a hierarchy as to which experience is more valid or superior in comparison to the others? And so on. In this way we find that even the idea of 'experience' or 'direct experience' as such is really a "broad conceptual generalization" as Greg Goode once put it. How can we define such a notion, and what would the criteria be for that definition?

It's perfectly okay to use 'experience' as a conventional designation, but once we believe that said conventional experience transcends being a mere inference then problems begin to arise.

Conventionally we can say that appearances manifest ceaselessly, however the buddhadharma is not concerned with the fact that appearances manifest, but rather with how said appearances are related to, or are known. This is what it means for emptiness to be an epistemology rather than an ontology. Buddhism isn't trying to establish an ontological X, because ultimately, how is an ontological existent any different than an identity? If 'things' have an ontological status, then they exist, if they exist then they have an essence, to have an essence is to have something that X truly 'is', and that would be no different than having an identity, or a self. So buddhism objects to the idea that there is a global reductive X (be it consciousness or experience) because said X would be no different than an identity. Buddhism as a soteriological methodology is interested in freeing sentient beings from the mistaken notion of a fixed essential identity, and stating that there is an ultimate ontological X that we truly are (instead of being the so-called individual self we take ourselves to be) is simply trading one identity for another.

Therefore buddhism is epistemic because to realize emptiness is to know (or cognize) phenomena correctly. Presently, as afflicted sentient beings we relate to phenomena through invalid cognitions which perceive truly existent objects, persons, places, time, space etc. We mistakenly believe that there are things which have arisen, abide in time and can cease (or are born, live and die), and this causes suffering because we then grasp at phenomena. We cherish and cling to things or people, we suffer when those things are lost or destroyed, or when those we love leave or pass away. However this is all due to misunderstanding phenomena. When we know phenomena correctly, then we recognize that they have been in a state of perfection since beginningless time (or this is at least how Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna define this principle). Upon realizing that phenomena are non-arisen [empty] we directly know that they have never arisen, have never abided, and have never ceased at any point. Not only that but principles such as time, space, distance, coming, going, here, there, subject, object, presence, absence, dimension, life, death, consciousness, body, mind, senses, perception, etc., are all liberated. For someone who has a complete and unobstructed wisdom-knowledge of emptiness, such notions can be related to conventionally, but they know that those concepts do not refer to anything real.

"Like a dream, an illusion, [or] seeing two moons: Thus have You seen the world, as a creation not created as real. Like a son who is born, established, and dies in a dream, the world, You have said, is not really born, does not endure, and is not destroyed."
- Acintyastavaḥ
3 liked this (Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 8:09am)
Kyle Dixon
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb you wrote:
"Ok, this is serious stuff, imo. A car is not found as a car, but there is some experience, rather then nothing. Something appears, like you said - be it colors, knowing, perception, experiencing, etc... They appear, but
are unreal - in the sense that they are not what they claim to be, right? A car is not a 'car', it's a bunch of other stuff (its several pieces and components) or at least something else (a perception or experience)."

Reducing something like a car to other pieces or components can be one form of emptiness analysis, however ultimately this can still potentially lend to the idea of an essence or a substance (so one would have to be mindful not to make that error). If we are saying that a car is truly made of other things, then we are not overcoming the perception of there actually being a true 'something' that the car is made of. The actual point is to effectively realize that there is no car to be found anywhere, within or apart from the aggregates which apparently constitute a car. Even in principle these notions carry certain implications which lend to the unreality of car; for if said aggregates no longer serve to construct a car, then what is maintaining a relationship between said aggregates in general? If there is no essence that those aggregates are serving to constitute, then there is nothing ultimately tethering one aggregate to another. If nothing is holding them together then we begin to lose structure and continuity, for what is maintaining the perception of said aggregates having a valid extension in time, or in space? Or how are we defining space or time themselves? Do they not themselves depend on the perception of an appearance which is manifesting as a single 'thing' in consecutive instances? So these are examples of questions and implications that arise due to investigating a given appearance. The car cannot be reduced to its aggregates because that would then give credence to the inherency of the aggregates themselves. The aggregates are also fallible, and never arise, abide or cease, they do not create anything, and possess no validity in and of themselves.

Overall though, in the example of a car the point is to attempt and find the 'car' in itself, or perhaps to find the 'self' in itself if we are relating to our own experience. We mistake these things to have a true inherent essence, and become deluded into believing that they actually exist (or that they can lack existence). The idea is to fail in finding that 'core' or 'essence' which makes a thing that 'thing', because when we fail to find that essence, we have the potential to realize that there never has been a thing in the first place, the 'thing' was only ever a misconception. And this goes for 'experience' too, for example if you experience something troubling in a dream, and are under the influence of that dream, then you have no discernment to say "this isn't real, this is just a dream" and so the apparent events that unfold in the dream can seem to effect you. You may be upset, or scared, or even very happy. But when you wake up that experience is immediately known to have been unreal, and so the emotions related to said dream events are immediately liberated. Realizing emptiness is like that, except one wakes up to this so-called waking experience and realizes it to be equally unreal. The point isn't whether appearances manifest, but how they are known. If you are lucid in a dream you simply know that everything that appears is an unreal display, nothing being created or destroyed, nothing coming or going, nothing actually 'there'... yet illusory appearance manifests. Likewise if you realize the non-arising of appearances then you simply know that everything that appears is an unreal display, nothing being created or destroyed, nothing coming or going, nothing actually 'there'... yet illusory appearance manifests.
3 liked this (Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 8:51am)
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb
>>>>>If you are lucid in a dream you simply know that everything that appears is an unreal display, nothing being created or destroyed, nothing coming or going, nothing actually 'there'<<<<<<

There is nothing actually there as it appears to be. But so
mething was experienced in the dream - colors, thoughts, emotions. What are those made of? I realize that if you say "they are ultimately made of X", then that will be an essence that escapes the seal of impermanence or emptiness.

But I'm having a hard time in seeing things as being made of nothing at all. I was comfortable with Advaita, because things were still transitory appearances - empty of being separate, objective or anything at all by themselves -, but ultimately there was a substance at their root - awareness itself, which is a void, but not non-existent.

Now here things are really shaky right now. Can't seem to even know how to inquire or investigate stuff...
(Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 9:12am)
अष्टावक्र शान्ति
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb ,you still have the conventional side of the Two Truths. Conventional attainments, releases,...
(Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 9:46am)
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb
What do you mean, अष्टावक्र शान्ति?
(Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 10:12am)
अष्टावक्र शान्ति
If you put emphasis on only one aspect of the two truths(ultimate truth) you go into nihilism!

"Of course, this Buddhist division of truths sounds dualistic. But it is not dualistic, because the two truths are identical. That is, the ultimate truth is that the conventional truth is the only truth there is." - Emptiness and Joyful Freedom - Greg Good, Tomas Sander
2 liked this (Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 10:33am)
Kyle Dixon
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb, Different systems give different explanations as to why appearance known in direct perception [pratyakṣa] manifests, each explanation ultimately corresponding to the nature of their praxis and methods. None of those systems state that appearances are "ultimately made of X" though. They may conventionally state they are made of any number of things; mind, traces, causes, energy, wisdom - but to state that phenomena is truly 'made' is to say said phenomena has an essence [svabhāva]. Phenomena do not have svabhāva because if they did indeed have an essence they would be fixed, undynamic and unable to appear, so they are not 'made'. Appearances are essenceless and free from extremes, ultimately never arising, abiding or ceasing.

These systems are soteriological in nature, and so the most important thing is a correct cognition of said appearances.

Overall though, why do they need to be made of something? And what would stop that description from being more fodder for the mind to grasp at? The idea is to ultimately remove notions of essence and substantiality.
2 liked this (Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 10:26am)
Kyle Dixon
Even in a system like Dzogchen, which does give an explanation on how something like color arises, the varying capacities and principles involved are ultimately nothing more than literary devices.
(Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 10:41am)
Kyle Dixon
AN 4.24 Kāḷakārāma Sūtra:

Thus, monks, the Tathāgata does not conceive an [object] seen when seeing what is to be seen. He does not conceive an unseen. He does not conceive a to-be-seen. He does not conceive a seer.

He does not conceive an [object] heard when hearing what is to be heard. He does not conceive an unheard. He does not conceive a to-be-heard. He does not conceive a hearer.

He does not conceive an [object] sensed when sensing what is to be sensed. He does not conceive an unsensed. He does not conceive a to-be-sensed. He does not conceive a senser.

He does not conceive an [object] known when knowing what is to be known. He does not conceive an unknown. He does not conceive a to-be-known. He does not conceive a knower.
1 liked this (Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 10:56am)
Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb
>>>>>>the Tathāgata does not conceive an [object] seen when seeing what is to be seen. He does not conceive an unseen. He does not conceive a to-be-seen. He does not conceive a seer. <<<<<<

This means there is only seeing, not a seen nor a seer? Not a
nything unseen nor yet to be seen? This makes sense to me.

But how can this seeing be understood as being empty? Seeing seems to be going on continuously and unobstructedly. It seems to be the nature of experience itself, thus reality's essential nature.
(Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 11:07am)
Kyle Dixon
Well, not 'just' seeing because that would be a reductionist view. Buddhism avoids reducing everything to one thing. Seer, seeing, seen are technically all purified through realizing emptiness. It is called threefold purity.

For instance there is anot
her Sūtra where Śākyamuni is addressing Bāhiya and he states "in the seeing just the seen", so these are really just pointers and aren't meant to be absolute statements.

In describing the same type of insight Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche said; "Seeing no thing is the supreme sight."

So it isn't as it there is 'just seeing' or 'just seen'.

Maybe try reading chapter 3 of Nāgārjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika.
2 liked this (Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 12:50pm)
4 liked this (Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 1:02pm)
Bahiya Sutta is not 'only seeing' but 'in the seen only the seen' with 'no you in terms of that'. There's a difference. Seeing can still be a subtle subjective reference point.
4 liked this (Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 1:05pm)
The point of Bahiya Sutta is to realize there is absolutely no seer nor seeing behind/within/in-between/besides seen/heard/cognized. Then anatta is realized. But that is just the beginning.
4 liked this (Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 1:10pm)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
Beautiful and very clear article, Soh. :)
I thought i will not read all your article thinking that is long and i have no time.... but your right words, right speech, right view didn't let me to go away.... so much clarity ....with each paragraph your words became a soft and kind energy.... wisdom... true delight... Thank you so much!
3 liked this (Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 8:25pm)

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Self-Realization and Nirvikalpa Samadhi

•  Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω
Yesterday at 5:25am
Anyone realized here?
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Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω, you're really on a hunt, aren't you?
Yesterday at 8:20am • Like
Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb Yes, I'm looking for people who can beat my jnana in traditional way.
Yesterday at 2:25pm • Like
Viorica Doina Neacsu Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω, what do you mean by "my jnana"?
Yesterday at 2:31pm • Like • 1
Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω My knowledge and experiences, insight.

Soh about spiritual experiences they are like something to talk about and gossip, it's not really enlightenment and do not comes from the bliss of experience of what we call Self. This who wrote about these experiences it's just opening the gates for ego so it can close it, it waste because it's not about experience something but staying there so opening much gates to experience but not going into it it's just a waste. (I can related to these experiences which he wrote about it because I had mostly the same or very similar stuff but there is one stage lacking of the heart, which is not written anywhere and that is indication of enlightenment.)
Yesterday at 2:41pm • Edited • Like
Viorica Doina Neacsu Yes, only a Self can look around for people who can beat his jnana...
Yesterday at 2:47pm • Like • 5
Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω Do not get it literally otherwise you will miss the point because of attachment to different concept you will only receive people thru them not the way they are.
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Soh Those are Realizations, not experiences.

As Thusness indicated to me in 2009 (where I had experiences) before my Self-Realization in 2010:


So what is lacking? You do not lack the experience, you lack the realization. You may have the blissful sensation or feeling of vast and open spaciousness; you may experience a non-conceptual and objectless state; you may experience the mirror like clarity but all these experiences are not Realization. There is no ‘eureka’, no ‘aha’, no moment of immediate and intuitive illumination that you understood something undeniable and unshakable -- a conviction so powerful that no one, not even Buddha can sway you from this realization because the practitioner so clearly sees the truth of it. It is the direct and unshakable insight of ‘You’. This is the realization that a practitioner must have in order to realize the Zen satori. You will understand clearly why it is so difficult for those practitioners to forgo this ‘I AMness’ and accept the doctrine of anatta. Actually there is no forgoing of this ‘Witness’, it is rather a deepening of insight to include the non-dual, groundlessness and interconnectedness of our luminous nature. Like what Rob said, "keep the experience but refine the views".

Lastly this realization is not an end by itself, it is the beginning. If we are truthful and not over exaggerate and get carried away by this initial glimpse, we will realize that we do not gain liberation from this realization; contrary we suffer more after this realization. However it is a powerful condition that motivates a practitioner to embark on a spiritual journey in search of true freedom.


Furthermore, even after I AMness is realized, further insights continue to unfold.



Like a river flowing into the ocean, the self dissolves into nothingness. When a practitioner becomes thoroughly clear about the illusionary nature of the individuality, subject-object division does not take place. A person experiencing “AMness” will find “AMness in everything”. What is it like?

Being freed from individuality -- coming and going, life and death, all phenomenon merely pop in and out from the background of the AMness. The AMness is not experienced as an ‘entity’ residing anywhere, neither within nor without; rather it is experienced as the ground reality for all phenomenon to take place. Even in the moment of subsiding (death), the yogi is thoroughly authenticated with that reality; experiencing the ‘Real’ as clear as it can be. We cannot lose that AMness; rather all things can only dissolve and re-emerges from it. The AMness has not moved, there is no coming and going. This "AMness" is God.

Practitioners should never mistake this as the true Buddha Mind! "I AMness" is the pristine awareness. That is why it is so overwhelming. Just that there is no 'insight' into its emptiness nature. Nothing stays and nothing to hold on to. What is real, is pristine and flows, what stays is illusion. The sinking back to a background or Source is due to being blinded by strong karmic propensities of a 'Self'. It is a layer of ‘bond’ that prevents us from ‘seeing’ something…it is very subtle, very thin, very fine…it goes almost undetected. What this ‘bond’ does is it prevents us from ‘seeing’ what “WITNESS” really is and makes us constantly fall back to the Witness, to the Source, to the Center. Every moment we want to sink back to Witness, to the Center, to this Beingness, this is an illusion. It is habitual and almost hypnotic.

But what exactly is this “witness” we are talking about? It is the manifestation itself! It is the appearance itself! There is no Source to fall back, the Appearance is the Source! Including the moment to moment of thoughts. The problem is we choose, but all is really it. There is nothing to choose.

There is no mirror reflecting
Manifestation alone IS.

There is no invisible witness hiding anywhere. Whenever we attempt to fall back to an invisible transparent image, it is again the mind game of thought. It is the ‘bond’ at work.

Awakening to Reality: Realization and Experience and Non-Dual Experience from Different Perspectives
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω You are not in bliss so you are not realized. Experiences come and go, realization stays because it's something which is already there but you was not aware of this like the going in car and not feeling the breeze of air but when you open window there ...See More
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Viorica Doina Neacsu Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω
"Do not get it literally otherwise you will miss the point because of attachment to different concept you will only receive people thru them not the way they are."
I think you are talking about yourself and to yourself. If i take out your assumptions your comments vanish.
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Soh Who said 'I am not in bliss'? Bliss is definitely a characteristic of self-realization and abiding in Self. The bliss can be incredibly intense and 'intoxicating', no doubt. Sometimes I smile suddenly because it is so blissful. Sometimes I wake up from the intense bliss of Presence in sleep. (yes, even in sleep, the bliss can be super intense)

In any case, your question "who is witnessing" presumes a 'Subject' who is witnessing, but Buddhadharma leads us to a realization that 'witnessing is merely manifestation' without a background Subject. The background Subject is seen through... dropped. But there is no denial of the 'witnessing' or 'pure awareness'. It's only the wrong view of duality and inherency that is seen through.

I'm very busy this week so I will not be replying any more for some time, I'm sure others can have a nice discussion with you.

I will leave you with a few more quotes from Thusness:

84. RE: Is there an absolute reality? [Skarda 4 of 4]
Mar 27 2009, 9:15 AM EDT | Post edited: Mar 27 2009, 9:15 AM EDT
Hi theprisonergreco,

First is what exactly is the ‘background’? Actually it doesn’t exist. It is only an image of a ‘non-dual’ experience that is already gone. The dualistic mind fabricates a ‘background’ due to the poverty of its dualistic and inherent thinking mechanism. It ‘cannot’ understand or function without something to hold on to. That experience of the ‘I’ is a complete, non-dual foreground experience.

When the background subject is understood as an illusion, all transience phenomena reveal themselves as Presence. It is like naturally 'vipassanic' throughout. From the hissing sound of PC, to the vibration of the moving MRT train, to the sensation when the feet touches the ground, all these experiences are crystal clear, no less “I AM” than “I AM”. The Presence is still fully present, nothing is denied. -:) So the “I AM” is just like any other experiences when the subject-object split is gone. No different from an arising sound. It only becomes a static background as an after thought when our dualistic and inherent tendencies are in action.

The first 'I-ness' stage of experiencing awareness face to face is like a point on a sphere which you called it the center. You marked it.

Then later you realized that when you marked other points on the surface of a sphere, they have the same characteristics. This is the initial experience of non-dual. Once the insight of No-Self is stabilized, you just freely point to any point on the surface of the sphere -- all points are a center, hence there is no 'the' center. 'The' center does not exist: all points are a center.

After then practice move from 'concentrative' to 'effortlessness'. That said, after this initial non-dual insight, 'background' will still surface occasionally for another few years due to latent tendencies...

86. RE: Is there an absolute reality? [Skarda 4 of 4]
Mar 27 2009, 11:59 AM EDT | Post edited: Mar 27 2009, 11:59 AM EDT
To be more exact, the so called 'background' consciousness is that pristine happening. There is no a 'background' and a 'pristine happening'. During the initial phase of non-dual, there is still habitual attempt to 'fix' this imaginary split that does not exist. It matures when we realized that anatta is a seal, not a stage; in hearing, always only sounds; in seeing always only colors, shapes and forms; in thinking, always only thoughts. Always and already so. -:)

24. RE: The mind and the watcher
Apr 7 2009, 5:46 PM EDT | Post edited: Apr 7 2009, 5:57 PM EDT
Gozen wrote: "I AM: Paradoxically, one feels at the same time that one is both essentially untouched by all phenomena and yet intimately at one with them. As the Upanishad says "Thou are That."

1.a. Body and Mind as Constructs: Another way to look at this is to observe that all compound things -- including one's own body and mind -- are **objects to awareness.** That is to say, from the "fundamental" point of view of primordial awareness, or True Self, even body and mind are **not self.**"


Ha Gozen, I re-read the post and saw **not self**, I supposed u r referring to anatta then I have to disagree.... However I agree with what that u said from the Vedanta (True Self) standpoint. But going into it can make it appears unnecessary complex.

As a summary, I see anatta as understanding the **transience** as Awareness by realizing that there is no observer apart from the observed. Effectively it is referring to the experience of in seeing, only scenery, no seer. In hearing, only sound, no hearer. The experience is quite similar to “Thou are That” except that there is no sinking back to a Source as it is deemed unnecessary. Full comfort is found in resting completely as the transience without even the slightest need to refer back to a source. For the source has always been the manifestation due to its emptiness nature.

All along there is no dust alighting on the Mirror; the dust has always been the Mirror. We fail to recognize the dust as the Mirror when we are attached to a particular speck of dust and call it the ”Mirror”; When a particular speck of dust becomes special, then all other pristine happening that are self-mirroring suddenly appears dusty.

Anything further, we will have to take it private again.


Awakening to Reality: Emptiness as Viewless View and Embracing the Transience
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Viorica Doina Neacsu Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω, are you from HoM cult? Just curious....
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω Viorica Doina Neacsu yes. I'm talking to myself if you would realize it truly as it is not as just ego-concept to put wall between consciousness you would know the truth of what I'm speaking here, just do not get to personal otherwise this talk will sn...See More
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Viorica Doina Neacsu Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω, in all respect i notice that your comments are contradictory. First you suggest "Do not get it literally otherwise you will miss the point" and then " just do not get to personal otherwise this talk will snowball into ugly ways so keep this in mind".
Those are the only two ways to read a comment, literally or personal. Please decide what you expect from me. Thank you and have a great day!
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Soh Anatta realization is the most direct, non-conceptual touch of awareness as manifestation, anything else is indirect.

You may have non-conceptual glimpse of Awareness, or even rest stably in Self in nirvikalpa samadhi, but the path of directness and effortlessness only begins with anatta realization.
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Soh Even "abiding as Self" is indirect because it postulates a state to get back to.

As Thusness wrote in 2009:

"Many like to talk about the Natural State and direct path. I am a non-sectarian and I do not believe in monopoly over truth but still I see Buddhism's Dependent Origination most profound. Over the years, I have enough conversations, discussions and mail correspondences. It has come to a point that I retract from all these and resort to being a “”PasserBy” . My advice to those attempting to engage in the direct path is not to take it as a short cut as in one of my reply to AEN:


I do not usually reply people about spiritual stuff but I sense the confusion in Mikael's mail to you.

It is advisable to correctly point out to him that there is no short cut to direct path.

In the most direct path, Awareness is already and always at rest. In the most direct path, whatever manifests is Awareness; there is no "in Awareness" and there is no such thing as going deeper in Awareness or resting in Awareness. Anything "going deeper" or "resting" is nothing direct. Nothing more than the illusionary appearances of 'hierarchy' caused by the inherent and dualistic tendency of understanding things. It is more 'gradual' than 'direct'. Therefore have the right view first before we talk too much about the direct path so that we do not fall into such views. Next clearly understand the cause that blinds us then have direct authentication of our pristine nature so that we will not be misled.

By the way, non-discrimination does not deny us from clear discernment. An enlightenment person is not one that cannot differentiate 'left' from 'right'.

When we say 'rest in the natural state', we must not postulate as if there is 'state' where the mind can access and rest. There is no such state. There is no entry and exit point nor is there a behind background for us to rest our mind. We are talking about a direct realization of our luminous yet empty nature. It defies all subject-object and inherent view. If we want to bypass 'this step of firm establishment of right view', just make sure we are able to correctly understand our pristine nature when glimpses of our nature dawn; it is easily distorted and misinterpreted and that is why dependent origination is taught.

Dependent Origination demolishes hierarchy; brings the absolute to the same level as the transience. See the absolute as nothing more special than an arising thought ,a subsiding sound, a passing scent. It opens up all sense doors and see all moments, any time and anywhere as entry point to our Buddha Nature. It flattens the 3 states of waking, sleeping and dreaming and see movement and stillness as one.


That is what 'Natural State', 'No Mind' and 'One Taste' are about. We do not on one hand talk about natural state, naked awareness and on the other hand talk about a resting state or access to a higher samadhi. There is no resting place and no deeper samadhi to access. All states are equally pure, pristine and empty, therefore no preference, no movement and nothing gain. Such is the direct path, anything other than that is 'gradual'. "
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω Viorica Doina Neacsu I suggest not picking up about "me" and "I" because you creating more karma and suffering by that. Just face it what I'm saying and do not attach to much ego-opinion to it to defense it but drop your coins to the conversation. I'm looking for realized person not chit-chat about ignorance so that what I expect from you if you ask me, but do whatever you wish to do.

Soh I realized Anatta when I was teenage and it was like steroids, it's true. I realized emptiness, fullness, atman, open bindu on the right side of my head (I do not found explanation for that experience but this is where from my jnana/knowledge of reality comes of Truth) but still these kinds of realization stay with me but they are not blissful (or only for some time). Once I attained savikalpa samadhi in between of sohaja, but now I'm seeking method/pointers so I can stabilize that bliss and not slick out from it. If someone realized can help me with it I would be glad. I experienced all states that are possible to experience by yogis, sounds, visuals, god's appearing in different states etc. but this is mere illusion of mind and I always detached for that things. Three states only stay with me, first is anatta, no self as gate but anatta experience gone only that it left me with "something" which I'm always conscious and it's pleasant, after emptiness which I go thru anatta i realized myself and energy moved to ajna. Now I understand all knowledge about life and different worlds (lokas) but it's still nothing. After that I realized that I'm everything and nothing which leave me blissful and fulfilled it was it for sure and no doubt moment of enlightenment, but after sometime somehow I slipped away from it not because it's was come and go but I unattached myself from this to different form - like in reincarnation but still in the body. For me being in bliss is indivertible with enlightenment because you directly know and see maya and thru maya and you are happy because of that as person who woke up from bad dream which thought it was real. As you can understand my background compare nad point me out if you can to push me into that or so I can push myself into that dissolution when I and no-I do not exists and when I say bliss I'm not saying about jumping and being happy or on heroine, if you know the bliss of enlightenment you know it's beyond bliss.
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Viorica Doina Neacsu Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω, thank you for all your suggestions. I don't use to have suggestions if no one is asking for but when it is the case i remind members to be polite if loving-kindness is too much.
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Soh As Thusness said in 2012 in a meeting with other like minded spiritual aspirants which I translated and transcribed, "...when I experienced the I AMness, then I AM Everything. At that time I very much wanted to become a monk. When I first experienced, it lasted for many days, not just (hours?) Then when it rained, I suddenly strip off all my clothes, then I go out and get drenched, and kept laughing and smiling. Because I think I am everything – I like being (dripped) by the rain. Then I thought, if there is a waterfall, I can just sit there and how nice that will be! Then I saw a dog, I really wanted to go and touch it. That was when I was 17 years old, suddenly I had this... (?) intoxicated. So when the bond of the consciousness is being released, (?). Then when I meditate, you will not believe the kind of bliss that I undergo. That kind of intoxication, it is just like taking drugs.... ....and you yourself is like melted like that, into a state of clear bliss... there is this total presence, and this pure presence must be able to maintain and sustain for a substantial period for you to understand the bliss."

I have experienced similar bliss. He too shared his many experiences about seeing other realms, Buddhas, recalling past lives, etc. But those are side effects of samadhi and not the main point of spirituality.

I agree the Nirvikalpa samadhi is incredibly blissful... and certainly one can train in abiding in samadhi. However it later came to me that samadhi (though important) is not the entirety of the path to liberation.. samadhi can be blissful but other bonds of consciousness is dissolved through deeper insights and leads to greater release and effortlessness.

We have another member here Seraph Tai, director of the institute of transpersonal psychology, he too had Self-Realization since 1993 filled with incredibly bliss and after many years he attained mastery of Samadhi. But he also had further realization into anatta and further more recently which helped a lot. What you described is the formless Causal Self-realization, however, 'Emptiness' in Buddhism have a different meaning.

His article documents his experience of Nirvikalpa samadhi and insights you may want to look into it: (his description of Samadhi starts with 'Part One: the Causal')

SeraphDraft.pdf - File Shared from Box
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω It's funny because some people are going other-side of the stick, my first spiritual experience Anatta, someone realized samadhi then anatta it's very weird. For me samadhi is ultimate, because they is nothing beyond. What are methods to push myself deeply into that state? Control of samadhi would be very good. In my tradition sohaj samadhi is ultimate enlightenment when you are into natural state of bliss but still active and liberated from death and brith and that how this state is.
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Soh There are many degrees of no-self. Some are talking about impersonality, some nondual, some anatta, we have different meaning for the terms here. Maybe you can describe your experience?
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω I thought I explained them. You mean Anatta experience or samadhi? I weird because I never found people who wrote about opening the right heart and being absorbed and guess it's going too fast but you can't really miss it, I only found it in ramana maharshi book.

My problem is that there is suffering (even more because regular joe do not have experience how deep existence can be) but there is a lot of experience but I'm not being absorbed by it thinking that I'm something else then that which absorbed me into the endless bliss and I could not figure it out who to get absorbed here and now.
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Soh I wrote in my e-book before it is similar to what you experience:

"...its totally formless except sheer presence and bliss, sort of like deep sleep state where all contents and dreams have dissolved... there may also be a sense of becoming absorbed into the heart center. At first I was curious about this and later found out that in tibetan texts it is described that in state of sleep and death, the winds enter the heart chakra followed by the revelation of clear light."

My friend John Ahn who had similar realizations (I AM, non dual, anatta, total exertion etc) spoke of similar experiences.

I discussed this with him last year:

John Ahn
8/11, 9:50pm
John Ahn

pure stable awareness where everything is seen as illusion spontaneously manifesting??

actually i enter this like weeks ago

not fully of course

but i can now just sit and dissolve everything into the heart awareness

this is very much similar to kunlun practice

kunlun is awakening this heart awareness
8/11, 9:52pm

i see..
John Ahn
8/11, 9:52pm
John Ahn

total heart bliss

its really beautiful and evreything is total unity presence but you and thusness are always anatta anatta anatta

but in many ways this does continue

the heart bliss but more subtly and more effortless with anatta
8/11, 9:54pm

heart awareness - does it really mean centered in the heart, or?

just nondual awareness
John Ahn
8/11, 9:54pm
John Ahn

8/11, 9:54pm

yeah = ?
John Ahn
8/11, 9:54pm
John Ahn

at least thats my experience

its in solar plexus region
8/11, 9:54pm

ah yes. i experienced that
John Ahn
8/11, 9:54pm
John Ahn

pure awareness explodes there

ok yeah so i think in practice like maintaining pure awareness

*its to remain in this pure bliss consciosness and dissolve all karmic momentum

so they say go to cave and do meditation just in this state for years

like ramana did

John Ahn
Studied at New York University
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Soh With regards to Anatta, I wrote before long ago:

"First I do not see Anatta as merely a freeing from personality sort of experience as you mentioned; I see it as that a self/agent, a doer, a thinker, a watcher, etc, cannot be found apart from the moment to moment flow of manifestation or as its commonly expressed as ‘the observer is the observed’; there is no self apart from arising and passing. A very important point here is that Anatta/No-Self is a Dharma Seal, it is the nature of Reality all the time -- and not merely as a state free from personality, ego or the ‘small self’ or a stage to attain. This means that it does not depend on the level of achievement of a practitioner to experience anatta but Reality has always been Anatta and what is important here is the intuitive insight into it as the nature, characteristic, of phenomenon (dharma seal).

To put further emphasis on the importance of this point, I would like to borrow from the Bahiya Sutta ( that ‘in the seeing, there is just the seen, no seer’, ‘in the hearing, there is just the heard, no hearer’ as an illustration. When a person says that I have gone beyond the experiences from ‘I hear sound’ to a stage of ‘becoming sound’, he is mistaken. When it is taken to be a stage, it is illusory. For in actual case, there is and always is only sound when hearing; never was there a hearer to begin with. Nothing attained for it is always so. This is the seal of no-self. Therefore to a non dualist, the practice is in understanding the illusionary views of the sense of self and the split. Before the awakening of prajna wisdom, there will always be an unknowing attempt to maintain a purest state of 'presence'. This purest presence is the 'how' of a dualistic mind -- its dualistic attempt to provide a solution due to its lack of clarity of the spontaneous nature of the unconditioned. It is critical to note here that both the doubts/confusions/searches and the solutions that are created for these doubts/confusions/searches actually derive from the same cause -- our karmic propensities of ever seeing things dualistically"

Bahiya Sutta: About Bahiya
Thus have I heard. At one time the Lord was staying near Savatthi in the Jeta Wo... See More
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω Yes, it's like a death excatly like you first post about it said. It's like sleep and death, you are dead then but yet alive that why you see that there is no death at all and you are immortal and can do everything you want because you already dead in the body but body still have karma to workout so that why it's called jivamukti - soul that is liberated yet in his body but totally free.
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Soh "I could not figure it out who to get absorbed here and now."

You mean 'how'?
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω Yes, I mean how to do it and stay here to resolve all karma. That is the aim of advaita of ramana maharshi to be in sohaja samadhi in atma-loka which is that the same but samadhi is more pointer to experience and atma loka mean that blissful space and just live liberated immortal life like these ones in satya yuga.
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω I forgot true sadhana which now I realize if you can't accept - forgive, know it may sound cheezy but forgive is the way of dissolving mind which is hiding true nature of ourself, but do not say I forgive you or something because it's big ego, just forgive and let it act thru forgivness. If you not forgive you will not dissolve.
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David Vardy Anatta extinguishes the question of 'how' in recognizing the absence of the agent. Who is asking "how to do it and stay here to resolve all karma"?
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Jody Radzik Drop all the conceptualizations about what realization is and about what it is like as an experience, and you'll be way ahead of most folks.
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Jody Radzik The mind does not hide the "true nature of ourself," the mind IS our true nature. It's the conceptual objects that are carried in the mind that are the problem, and the conceptual objects that the mind carries about realization are the biggest problem in nonduality spirituality.
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Jody Radzik For instance, the idea that the mind can hide the "true nature of ourself" is precisely one of those occluding conceptual objects.
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Jody Radzik Thinking about realization and what it is like as an experience does more to prevent realization than all the drug dens and brothels in the world combined.
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Roy Arne What he describes is ‘I AMness’ and not Anatta.
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Soh I'm going to meditate... and sleep. Just curious Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω how old are you (relatively)?
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω I experienced Anatta, It's just recognition that you are not what you think you are so you regonition that you are not, you are not that "I" but it will not liberate you because your energies become very feeble they will attach to the subtle bodies, An...See More
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Roy Arne Read this article

Awakening to Reality: On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous...
Simple brilliance~thank you for this insightful sharing that is mirrored innerly... See More
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David Vardy I AMness includes seeing 'you aren't who you think you are', cuts through the mistaken identity of a person, but reestablishes the identity as a background, a witness. Anatta cuts through the illusion of identity, not only the mistaken identity.
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω So any of this gates and ways should annihilte the mind but it's not doing it permanetly. Anatta cannot kill pure awarness which you are mistaken to be a little "I".
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Roy Arne The mind is not annihilated. The perception is changing. As David said, anatta cuts through the illusion of a background, a witness and it is realized that that was always the case.
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Roy Arne Ramana is guiding to ‘I AMness’.
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω I agree but when you realize Anatta is not end itself because you will anyway create another ego couple days later to month with a bit space between mind and body.
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Albert Hong There is a distinction made here between a realization and say an experience.

And it would be wise to distinguish the two. As this solves your basic question.
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω You are realized when experience appears otherwise you just thinking about it.
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Albert Hong Alright. Have fun in the sophistic cave.
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω Sophistic way is when content of your mind change but experience of reality do not. How do you know you are realized without experience?
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Albert Hong They are all interdependent. View, realization and experience.

It's a common theme in spiritual mumbo jumbo to segregate experience from concept.

But they all play into each other.

But we can emphasize one over the other and form a loop.

Realization cuts the underlying assumptions. If we focus say on experience then we can have a no mind experience where we are liberated for brief moments or days and then find ourselves in bondage. This results because we are focusing on experience rather than the underlying momentum of ignorance.

If we cut the ignorance or the assumption that there was a self to begin with then there is no going back or losing. Because its seen that there was no self to gain or lose to begin with. That can be a pretty view. Or nice sounding words. And one can even use that view into experience to have the actualization.

It's all a made up solution for a made up problem.

Like even me expressing this. I'm expressing as such because there is a certain posturing of views present within the writing above.
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Bdcrtgb Rcnrcrrdfvnb "Anatta cuts through the illusion of identity, not only the mistaken identity." David Vardy, I loved that one!!
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Soh Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω you don't seem to understand anatta... to be clearer of the terms we use (especially it can be quite confusing since there are in fact different degrees of no-self) I'll share an article I wrote before:

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Awakening to Reality: Insight Diagnosis Simplified
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Soh Once anatta is realized, it cannot be unseen, and the experience of No-Mind becomes effortless and natural.. definitely not some mere peak experiences.
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Ἡσυχαστής ἡσυχάζω It's cuts only of false identity because there is neither true or false identity. No-I it's the same as I'm in true from. Anatta do not make you no-mind , maybe for a while. You are talking no-mind but you think about past or the future so better let we see experience the way they are. I agree that Once anatta is realized it cannot be unseen which true I or no-I experience and sees cleary.
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Soh You are talking about an experience, right now Anatta is actualized all the time here, all the time, in seeing just the vivid self-luminous colours (even saying that is too much) without an observer, just the total exertion, action of typing, sound of 'da da da' keyboard typing... (not the words)... no doer.
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