Friday, August 22, 2014

NDE Not From Brain Activities

Justin Struble, Joel Agee, James O'Neill and 10 others like this. (Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 5:20pm)
Rakesh Sandhu
Everything we experience is from brain activity from my understanding.
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 12:05am)Soh
That is a very materialistic understanding... very common understanding needless to say, but nonetheless not one that is accepted in Buddhadharma. (Not that we posit Mind as absolutely disconnected from body or that it is somehow metaphysical) Have you read the article? It would throw some doubts on the materialist worldview I think..
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 12:07am)
Rakesh Sandhu
Maybe but from my observations and research.It's the only one that has been proven.I've heard about this case before.
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 12:11am)
Chriss Pagani
"...from my observations and research.It's the only one that has been proven." Not proven. Widely believed by materialists, yes. If such proof existed we wouldn't even be having these discussions. But what you are calling proof are really only very limited indications of how the brain functions. The source of consciousness is called "the hard problem" for a good reason: It remains unsolved - and it will remain unsolvable as long as one clings to materialism.
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 3:52am)
Rakesh Sandhu
it will be unsolvable in my view since we are matter what a person believes or understands.since we are limited (knowledge and experience on how things are) but materialism is the only view that makes sense to this limited mind.consciousness for me doesnt need explaining and cannot be explained or understood by us.
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 4:45am)
Joel Agee
Setting aside the criterion of scientific proof, how do you make sense of details like the first woman's describing the apparatus on her ears and reproducing the words exchanged by two technicians at a time when her physical senses were shut down?
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 5:21am)
Rakesh Sandhu
Never agreed on her claims :-)
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 5:37am)
Yor Sunyata
"History is littered with examples of mainstream science deliberately overlooking 'new and unfamiliar' things. It's worth pausing to consider the record. The French Academy of Sciences in the eighteenth century scoffed at meteorites because: how could rocks fall from the air? Museum curators across Europe jettisoned the meteorites they had in their collections, as a result, embarrassed that they could have been seduced by something so fanciful. In the late nineteenth century, Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Semmelweis demonstrated that, if doctors washed their hands before delivering babies, the rates of infection in mothers went down, but this proposition was deemed absurd and he was ridiculed into obscurity, eventually dying, unhinged, in an insane asylum. John Snow was belittled for proposing the existence of germs.

My favorite example is the one that novelist Hilary Mantel pointed out a few years ago in the London Review of Books: 'From 1904, the Wright brothers made flights over fields bordered by a main highway and railway line in Ohio; but though hundreds of people saw them in the air, the local press failed to publish reports because they didn't believe the witnesses, and didn't send their own witnesses because it couldn't be true. Two years after their first flight, Scientific American dismissed the feats of the flying brothers; If there had been anything in it, the journal said, would the local press not have picked it up?'" - Patricia Pearson, Opening Heaven's Door: Investigating Stories of Life, Death and What Comes After, location 946, Kindle edition.
5 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 6:41am)
Joel Agee
"Never agreed on her claims" even though they were confirmed by the medical records?
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 7:01am)
Stefan Beyer
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 6:51pm)
Stefan Beyer
In the Journal of Consicousness Studies, No.1-2,2013 there is an article by Pit van Lommel, who is mentioned in the article that Soh linked and also appears in the video above. He collected accounts of NDEs. I found this one very remarkable:

g my cardiac arrest I had an extensive experience(...) and later I saw, apart from my deceased grandmother, a man who had looked at me lovingly, but whom I did not know. More than 10 years later, at my mother's deathbed, she confessed to me that I had been born out of an extramarital relationship, my father being a Jewish man who had been deported and killed during the second World War, and my mother showed me his picture. The unknown man that I had seen more than 10 years before during my NDE turned out to be my biological father."

How can one explain that?
3 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 6:59pm)Soh
Ajahn Brahmavamso:

"The evidence proved to those hard nosed doctors that out of body experiences do happen. But how could they happen? If we agree that the mind can be independent of the body, then we have a plausible explanation. The brain doesn’t
need to be functioning for a mind to exist. The scientific facts are there, the evidence is there, but a lot of scientists don’t like to admit those facts. They prefer to close their eyes – because of dogmatism.

Come and See for Yourself

If you had just one person who had been confirmed as medically dead who could describe to the doctors, as soon as they were revived, what had been said, and done during that period of death, wouldn’t that be pretty convincing? When I was doing elementary particle physics there was a theory that required for its proof the existence of what was called the ‘W’ particle. At the cyclotron in Geneva, CERN funded a huge research project, smashing atoms together with an enormous particle accelerator, to try and find one of these ‘W’ particles. They spent literally hundreds of millions of pounds on this project. They found one, just one ‘W’ particle. I don’t think they have found another since. But once they found one ‘W’ particle, the researchers involved in that project were given Nobel prizes for physics. They had proved the theory by just finding the one ‘W’ particle. That’s good science. Just one is enough to prove the theory.

When it comes to things we don’t like to believe, they call just one experience, one clear factual undeniable experience, an anomaly. Anomaly is a word in science for disconcerting evidence that we can put in the back of a filing cabinet and not look at again, because it’s threatens our worldview. It undermines what we want to believe. It is threatening to our dogma. However, an essential part of the scientific method is that theories have to be abandoned in favour of the evidence, in respect of the facts. The point is that the evidence for a mind independent of the brain is there. But once we admit that evidence, and follow the scientific method, then many cherished theories, what we call ‘sacred cows’ will have to be abandoned.

When we see something that challenges any theory, in science or in religion, we should not ignore the evidence. We have to change the theory to fit the facts. That is what we do in Buddhism. All the Dhamma of the Buddha, everything that he taught, if it does not fit the experience, then we should not accept it. We should not accept the Buddha’s words in contradiction of experience. That is clearly stated in the Kālāma Sutta. (AN III, 65) The Buddha said do not believe because it is written in the books, or even if I say it. Don’t just believe because it is tradition, or because it sounds right, or because it’s comforting to you. Make sure it fits your experience. The existence of mind, independent of the brain, fits experience. The facts are there.

Sometimes, however, we cannot trust the experts. You cannot trust Ajahn Brahm. You cannot trust the scientific journals. Because people are often biased. Buddhism gives you a scientific method for your practice. Buddhism says, do the experiment and find out for your self if what the Buddha said is true or not. Check out your experience. For example, develop the method to test the truth of past lives, rebirth and reincarnation. Don’t just believe it with faith, find out for yourself. The Buddha has given a scientific experiment that you can repeat." -

"I used to be a scientist. I did Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University, hanging out in the same building as the later-to-be-famous Professor Stephen Hawking. I became disillusioned with such science when, as an insider, I saw how dogmatic some scientists could be.

A dogma, according to the dictionary, is an arrogant declaration of an opinion. This was a fitting description of the science that I saw in the labs of Cambridge. Science had lost its sense of humility. Egotistical opinion prevailed over the impartial search for Truth. My favourite aphorism from that time was: "The eminence of a great scientist, is measured by the length of time that they OBSTRUCT PROGRESS in their field"!

To understand real science, one can go back to one of its founding fathers, the English philosopher Francis Bacon (1561 - 1628). He established the framework on which science was to progress, namely "the greater force of the negative instance". This meant that, having proposed a theory to explain some natural phenomenon, then one should try one's best to disprove it! One should test the theory with challenging experiments.

One must put it on trial with rigorous argument. When a flaw appears in the theory, only then does science advance. A new discovery has been made enabling the theory to be adjusted and refined. This fundamental and original methodology of science understood that it is impossible to prove anything with absolute certainty. One can only disprove with absolute certainty.

Some misguided scientists maintain the theory that there is no rebirth, that this stream of consciousness is incapable of returning to a successive human existence. All one needs to disprove this theory, according to science, is to find one instance of rebirth, just one! Professor Ian Stevenson, as some of you would know, has already demonstrated many instances of rebirth. The theory of no rebirth has been disproved. Rebirth is now a scientific fact! " -
4 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 8:20pm)
James O'Neill
(Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 1:40pm)
Daniel Noreen
I myself can attest that these experiences are not in fact false.
(Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 2:14pm)
Joel Agee
Can you say more, Daniel?
1 liked this (Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 11:09pm)
Stuffs RedTurtle
I looked up the w particle and came across a very interesting interview with Fred Alan Wolf
(Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 12:01am)
Brian Zey
Gary Weber is awesome!
(Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 9:44am)

See original post

The Source?

LikeLike · · Stop Notifications · Share · August 15

  • Raan Joseph and 7 others like this.
  • David Vardy When you're standing at the sea shore do you wonder where the waves come from? Only when we wonder where the ocean comes from do we begin to imagine a source.
  • Raan Joseph The ocean does not reduce to one giant wave nor do all things reduce to one absolute.
  • Empty Set This type of thinking could lead you to cling to the Absolute, couldn't it? My understanding of Buddhism is that it's about dropping clinging.
  • Soh Something I wrote before: "...this is a dualistic view that posits the reality of time, posits a beginning and end, as well as the separation between 'awareness' and 'manifestation'. To me I see that both 'awareness' and 'phenomena' (I'm just tentatively speaking of them as separate for now) have 'existed' from beginningless time, are co-arising, and neither can be said to be the source of another, neither are the first of another. But due to this view of inherency, duality, and time, it appears that there is a source of manifestation, that one came (or existed eternally) before another, and this view is later seen to be extraneous. Timelessness is experienced in the very instant of manifestation, not merely by residing at 'the Source'.

    Furthermore, I say 'Awareness' and 'Manifestation' are both labels for the same thing - nothing hidden, fully manifest - and never was there a time when 'Awareness' exist without 'Manifestation' (which would be an view of inherent existence pertaining to awareness)..."

Dzogchen and Realizing Emptiness

James O'Neill
To Kyle and So
It seems like all your hard work Kyle and So is having an effect LOL
From Jackson Peterson
10 hrs
Its key at this level that the mind has already realized twofold emptiness. The subconscious is projecting an imaginary "seeker/practitioner" that is busy managing "their enlightenment project". Dzogchen makes no sense if there is still such a "practitioner" "doing" all this and is trying to realize and stabilize rigpa. Rigpa only is vividly present when that subconscious self-entity has ceased being projected into consciousness. In other words there is a complete absence of all daydreaming AND the lead character ie "me".
There is no "you" entity there except an imaginary one. When the mind ceases creating that "me-self" then there is only rigpa present as itself knowing itself.
It's not that there is "someone" to realize rigpa, but that that someone doesn't exist and never has. The seeker is a phantasm arising as the creative expression of rigpa itself.
It's assumed by the time Dzogchen is being introduced this realization of "anatta" or no-self has arisen clearly. If not then one should focus on realizing twofold emptiness first.
4 people like this. (Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 5:46am)
James O'Neill
Its a must to read all the responses to this post in Dzogchen Discussion Group
(Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 6:05am)
Kyle Dixon
Though I disagree that realizing emptiness is an essential prerequisite for practicing Dzogchen. If it was then really no one would be able to practice Dzogchen.

Realization of emptiness as a prerequisite also doesn't make sense because Dzogchen pract
ices are meant to lead to realizing emptiness.

Jackson and I disagree on various principles, and there are quite a few things in his statement I can't say I agree with, but that is just me.
8 liked this (Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 8:40am)
What Jackson meant by anatta is also different. He sees it in terms of impersonality and non-doership. His view is still substantialist -- One Mind.
6 liked this (Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 1:09pm)
James O'Neill
(Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 2:51pm)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
Jackson just posted in one of his groups Twofold Emptiness. doc, sharing his view which is definitely another view than emptiness teachings has ... it is a blend...

"Twofold Emptiness refers to these two aspects of experience: subjects and objects and
our seeing the empty nature of our beliefs regarding them. By
“empty” we don’t mean that the subjects and objects don’t exist, but that our concepts and beliefs that we overlay and apply to our sensory contacts are no more than mentally conceived names, labels and imputations.

For instance we can say we are ugly or other people are ugly. “Ugly” is an example of an empty belief. It’s purely relative and has no basis in the actual objective universe. The universe doesn’t do ugly, only our mind does. What we don’t notice is how much our world of experience is made up of such empty concepts that do not correlate to any actual reality, yet our mind insists and believes these labels and conceptions are reality. That’s the problem. "
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 9:01pm)
Din Robinson
as lovers of truth it seems more useful to me to seek the truth of the matter and speak of that rather than compare and criticize what others have written, find the kernel of truth that all share rather than the differences in the details
(Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:19am)
Kyle Dixon
Ah, yeah that is not emptiness in the way the buddhadharma and Dzogchen mean 'emptiness'.
2 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:19am)
Din Robinson
as Soh has said below:

"The path of anatta and emptiness is truly the path of total uncontrivance."
(Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:20am)
Kyle Dixon
Yes but uncontrivance doesn't mean one just gives up and doesn't do anything. It means that through direct experiential insight the factors that could be contrived are pacified.
4 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:23am)
Din Robinson
Yes but uncontrivance also means that the one that would need to give up is seen for the ghost that it is and includes all other ideas about that one, which would also include holding opinions as to what others are posting or not, it's really a matter of moving beyond all ideation into the realm of the here and now, peace and clarity and that is what is passed on or radiated to all around you
(Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:27am)
David Vardy
That be so Din, Chances are FB would collapse spontaneously.
1 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:32am)
Din Robinson
my previous post apparently says differently David, since it's an intricate part of facebook :)
(Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:40am)
Kyle Dixon
These systems work with causes and conditions, Din. Even if one has genuinely cut through ignorance there is still habitual tendencies which remain. Only Buddhas are completely free of obscuration.
(Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:41am)
David Vardy
Jackson didn't suggest that it's a 'poof all gone thing'. He described the process as a peeling away of the onion, whether you agree or disagree with the basis of what he's saying.
(Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:52am)
"to give up is seen for the ghost that it is and includes all other ideas about that one"

The 'ghost' is simply the inherent view about self and things. It does not mean one becomes undiscerning, as discerning wisdom, delusion, path, grasping, release
, causes and conditions, etc is to discern conventional reality. Realizing emptiness reveals conventional truths as conventional rather than inherently existing, but it does not eschew conventional truth.

This is why Thusness said in the quote I pasted earlier: "By the way, non-discrimination does not deny us from clear discernment. An enlightened person is not one that cannot differentiate 'left' from 'right'. "
4 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 2:58am)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
Din, you said
"as lovers of truth it seems more useful to me to seek the truth of the matter and speak of that rather than compare and criticize what others have written, find the kernel of truth that all share rather than the differences in the detai

My dear Din, first of all read the OP, please.
Second, i think anyone can google and find out what Anatta or twofold emptiness is, no secrets.
We are here in DC because we trust Buddha's teachings and few of us are the proof that really works.
I like and admire Jackson and that doesn't mean to agree with him when he is inventing or blending his teachings with Buddha's teaching....
Many members of DC are members in his groups too and for sure they are confused reading his posts about Anatta and Twofold Emptiness.
Out of good intentions and because James O'Neill's OP i comment on this thread.
I respect your opinions and that doesn't stop me to share my opinion too. :)
(Monday, August 18, 2014 at 3:11am)
Din Robinson
Soh, to add to what you said there is no discernment when there is no stimulus to discern, discernment arises with the stimulus, with the thoughts or perceptions
(Monday, August 18, 2014 at 3:50am)
Din Robinson
Viorica Doina Neacsu, as soon as I read "My dear Din", I knew I was in trouble! ;)
1 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 3:55am)
Din Robinson
but what i'm really saying is to not necessarily go with any one teaching but to simply see the kernel of truth in all them, because that's what you really are :)
1 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 4:02am)
Kyle Dixon
The kernel of truth in them all is a bit too perennialistic for my taste, but to each their own.
1 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 4:15am)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
hahahahahahahaha Din! :) <3
"I", the "ghost", is always in trouble and loves that! hahahaha
1 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 6:37am)

See original post

The Path of Uncontrivance

The path of anatta and emptiness is truly the path of total uncontrivance. Isn't it so? If in our mind we have an image of what awareness, or what our practice should be like, there will be contrivance -- trying to get back to a supposed inherent space of awareness, background, etc, or what we think awareness is or should be based on a captured memory -- we will unconsciously contrive to get back to a 'state', except we don't see it as a state, we don't see the contrivance involved -- we see it as inherently existing changeless Self -- inherently so.
In anatta, truly there is zero movement -- the zero movement is not to rest in a state of immutable 'Being' which is still a form of grasping and caging of clarity. The zero movement is from not moving a step away from the spontaneous manifestation of transience, not holding back, no essence or substance hiding anywhere. Because there is absolutely no changeless self/Self behind anything, there is absolutely no fixed manner awareness/experience is, everything is absolutely fluid and vanishing and there is constant renewal. Every moment is utterly new and completely unpredictable, therefore naturally there is resting in the unpredictable spontaneity of appearance/manifestation/activity rather than with something familiar -- holding back to something familiar is merely clinging to a reification based on memory. We don't fixate on something transcending waking, dream and deep sleep, we simply let waking be waking, dream be dream, deep sleep be deep sleep, in its actual condition or luminous-wisdom-display. The qualities of deep and intense clarity, transparency, bliss, naturally manifest without contrivance in spontaneous manifestation without any trace of self/Self. If we try to contrive a state of clarity, if we try to contrive the spaciousness, the transparency, the bliss, that won't do -- we are merely caging clarity, holding back to a self.
And we don't let the luminous-wisdom-display blind us from afflictive dependent origination. What is this karmic propensities? It is really just your very face -- experience -- as it is! There is nothing beyond, behind, or within karmic propensities -- the very delusionally shaped experience. It's like seeing those picture puzzles, at first it seems like black random shapes, yes? And then suddenly you saw "aha! there's a cow in there" and from then on, you cannot unsee that cow anymore. It's no longer black random shapes, there's clearly a cow very prominently shown in the picture. Now, this analogy has been used as representing 'awakening' -- a sudden shift of perception from ignorance to wisdom, seeing things as it is. However, this analogy is also perfect for the total exertion of karmic propensities. Whereas previously you see a rope, suddenly rope becomes 'meaningful', now you see it as a snake, and it seemingly can't be unseen. Your mental conditioning has shaped the way you perceive and experience those 'black, random colours' into something truly solid and inherently existing in a certain manner. It is a magical 'creation' of a new experiential reality, the total exertion of our mental conditioning. That is like our delusional vision of self and inherent existence. It is our very experience itself shaped by karmic propensities into our very apparent reality. That is how delusion and karmic propensities manifest in our experience -- there is nothing hiding behind our experience influencing experience (some people may believe there is a hidden 'subconscious' pulling the strings on experience) or inside the very delusional appearance -- and just that is the total exertion of our afflicted conditionings. And this is no different from emptiness of self, the subject, where it is seen there is no inherent self/awareness/subject behind or within or beyond the very manifestation... but emptiness of self can be applied to all other things including 'karmic propensities'.
And likewise there is nothing behind, beyond, nor arising, abiding, and ceasing in the pure luminous-wisdom-display of our pure sensory experience. All things are ultimately empty of inherent existence, or real arising, and simultaneously its emptiness of inherent existence allows us to see its conventional reality that is the total exertion of all conditions. The two truths are inseparable, what dependently originates is fundamentally non-arising, and the emptiness of something reveals its conventional reality. When we have the view of the inseparability of two truths, to see the total exertion of appearance is also to see its non-arising, to see its fundamental non-arising is to see the very appearance as mere appearance of total exertion without anything created or existing behind/beyond/within the appearance. Though sometimes we skew towards one side of the two truths.
John Tan, Logan Truthe, Machiel van Dijk and 18 others like this. (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 12:02am)
Laya Jakubowicz
Thank you !! 'everything is absolutely fluid and vanishing and there is constant renewal…' I could quote many sentences as it is so nice to read it expressed .. :)
4 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 12:15am)
Stuffs RedTurtle
That's very true of subconscious projection, the cow analogy, in everything with relations with other people and how we see the world through our perceptions
3 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 12:24am)
Eric Bause
That's a wonderful piece you've written Soh. Thank you!
4 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 12:50am)
David Vardy
What's preventing us from seeing clearly? Firstly, the insistence that there's someone who isn't (seeing clearly). Secondly, the insistence that there's something which isn't being noticed. Thirdly, not noticing the futility of the first two points.
6 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 2:43am)
There's never somebody who isn't seeing clearly, but there is clearly delusional seeing without a seer. The seeing through of somebody seeing should allow us to see the total exertion of delusion :)
5 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 2:53am)
David Vardy
1 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 2:54am)
Geovani Geo
"but there is clearly delusional seeing without a seer."? How is that? If there is no seer why the delusion?
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 3:36am)
There is no inherently existing seer nor inherently existing delusion, but there is conventional reality which includes delusion. Two truths are one.
3 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 3:39am)
Stuffs RedTurtle
The mind projects qualities onto things, people, experiences
That's my opinion I may be wrong but that's been my experience
Layers of projection come off and then you see things in a way you never have
1 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 3:39am)
Geovani Geo
If there is no seer who is adhering to conventions?
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 3:40am)
It is not a matter of adhering, but a matter of awakening to conventional reality. The awakened sees conventional reality as conventional reality, the deluded treats convention as inherently existing.


8. The teaching by the Buddhas of the dharma has recourse to two truths:

The world-ensconced truth and the truth which is the highest sense.
9. Those who do not know the distribution (vibhagam) of the two kinds of truth
Do not know the profound "point" (tattva) in the teaching of the Buddha.
10. The highest sense of the truth is not taught apart from practical behavior,
And without having understood the highest sense one cannot understand nirvana.



Now, this doctrine of the emptiness of emptiness emerges directly from 24:18.

Whatever is dependently co-arisen
That is explained to be emptiness.
That, being a dependent designation
Is itself the middle way.

For the emptiness of emptiness, as we have just seen, simply amounts to the identification of emptiness with the property of being dependently arisen, and with the property of having an identity just in virtue of conventional, verbal designation. It is the fact that emptiness is no more than this that makes it empty, just as it is the fact that conventional phenomena in general are no more than conventional, and no more than their parts and status in the causal nexus that makes them empty.[10]

So the doctrine of the emptiness of emptiness can be seen as inextricably linked with Nagarjuna's distinctive account of the relation between the two truths. For Nagarjuna, as is also evident in this crucial verse, it is a mistake to distinguish conventional from ultimate reality--the dependently arisen from emptiness--at an ontological level. Emptiness just is the emptiness of conventional phenomena. To perceive conventional phenomena as empty is just to see them as conventional, and as dependently arisen. The difference--such as it is--between the conventional and the ultimate is a difference in the way phenomena are conceived/perceived. The point must be formulated with some delicacy, and cannot be formulated without a hint of the paradoxical about it: conventional phenomena are typically represented as inherently existent. We typically perceive and conceive of external phenomena, ourselves, causal powers, moral truths, and so forth as independently existing, intrinsically identifiable and substantial. But though this is, in one sense, the conventional character of conventional phenomena--the manner in which they are ordinarily experienced--to see them this way is precisely not to see them as conventional. To see that they are merely conventional, in the sense adumbrated above and defended by Nagarjuna and his followers, is thereby to see them as empty, and this is their ultimate mode of existence. These are the two truths about phenomena: On the one hand they are conventionally existent and the things we ordinarily say about them are in fact true, to the extent that we get it right on the terms of the everyday. Snow is indeed white, and there are indeed tables and chairs in this room. On the other hand, they are ultimately nonexistent. These two truths seem as different as night and day--being and nonbeing. But the import of 24:18 and the doctrine we have been explicating is that their ultimate nonexistence and their conventional existence are the same thing. Hence the deep identity of the two truths. And this is because emptiness is not other than dependent-arising, and hence because emptiness is empty. -
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 3:45am)
1 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 3:46am)
Geovani Geo
I would call conventinal reality the field where karmic-ego-thoughts are issuing. Once such ego-thoughts are seen through are you still calling it conventional reality?
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 3:51am)
Geovani Geo
OK... I read the text. Alright. Just that I would not call a self-less reality as conventional.
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 3:54am)
Geovani Geo
I'll explain. There is a table. If that table is "mine" of "hers" or nice or ugly...that I would call one level of reality - conventional. W/o self-thoughts the table is still there with its color, texture, smell, etc... but its not nice or ugly or mine table. This is another level of reality (less-conventional). And then the emptiness of the table - even less conventional. I guess we are establishing conventions :)
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 4:09am)
David Vardy
Don't drink too much at the convention
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 4:17am)
Because you hold a metaphysical view of 'emptiness' or 'ultimate reality', therefore you are 'eschewing' conventionality.

But true emptiness teaching is not about eschewing conventionality nor reaching into a metaphysical non-phenomenal truth. And it
is definitely not about subsuming everything into an ultimate X -- brahman, awareness, etc. This is why Greg Goode calls emptiness teaching a 'non-reductive non-duality'.

"We can thus summarize our discussion of nonduality as follows. Tsongkhapa’s
account of nondual knowledge rests largely on the unity of the two
truths and therefore of emptiness and dependent arising. The attainment
of nondual knowledge, according to his view, requires an eradication of
ignorance and other reifying tendencies, and does not require any metaphysical
shift. More specifically, such attainment does not require the establishment
of a metaphysical unity between subject and object, nor the
eschewal of conventionalities."
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 4:27am)
Geovani Geo
Do I hold a concept of emptiness? An idea of some "ultimate"? Did not know about that.
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 4:40am)
David Vardy
"Transcendent wisdom still operates entirely within the range of the conditioned world—it is itself dependently arisen and does not imply a shift to a metaphysically unconditioned sphere. Only reality as it is given within their own five aggregates is accessible to yogis and knowable directly through their personal experience."
1 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 4:57am)
Kyle Dixon
Geovani has that Jaxchen in full swing!
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 5:05am)
David Vardy
"And then the emptiness of the table - even less conventional"....a table is empty because there isn't a table apart from what it depends on to be a table. A table is conventional in that respect. There isn't an emptiness underlying the table, nor is there an inherent awareness/absence which is the subject of the table. Chairs are a whole other story, however.
4 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 5:21am)
Geovani Geo
Of course we are not going over all this again. You are projecting stuff that i never said or implied. Just one simple question to you ((plural), as it is Saturday afternoon). Is there anything that is not a perception? (this "is" should not be considered in the conventional sense)
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 5:58am)
David Vardy
What if being and not being are only attributed to the conventional?
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 6:09am)
Geovani Geo
And UN-conventionally? To the post above yours
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 6:11am)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
Thank you Soh! :)
I always had a hard time to translate the word "exertion" in my language, even if intuitively i know what it means. Can you tell me another english word which has the same meaning, please? Thank you.
3 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 6:15am)
Action, activity :)
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 12:34pm)
"The entire earth and the entire sky are both the undivided activity of the boat"

"While going, the boundless sky goes, and while coming, the entire earth comes."

“the bird flies the sky and the sky flies the bird.”

- Dogen

You can call it total exertion -- the exertion (effort, action) of you seamlessly exerts the entirety, and the entirety exerts you (your experience/action/condition).
4 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 12:59pm)
Geovani Geo: Basically, you are suggesting that emptiness is non-conceptual reality. But emptiness is not about being non-conceptual, it is the nature of all things including non-conceptual experience and conceptually constructed experience. Realizing emptiness is about seeing through that false view of inherency, while conventions, concepts are still valid on that level. I am I, you are you, there is no subsuming of you and I into "one brahman" or "one consciousness" -- but there is no changeless, inherently existing self/selves. The ultimate truth does not eschew the conventions but only rejects the view of true/intrinsic existence (of being, of things), revealing the conventional as merely conventional (rather than intrinsic).
1 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 1:31pm)
Emptiness is not non-conceptuality, it is simply the emptiness of inherent existence, and it addresses a specific misconception.

"…The process of eradicating avidyā is conceived… not as a mere stopping of thought, but as the active realization of the
opposite of what ignorance misconceives. Avidyā is not a mere absence of knowledge, but a specific misconception, and it must be removed by realization of its opposite. In this vein, Tsongkhapa says that one cannot get rid of the misconception of 'inherent existence' merely by stopping conceptuality any more than one can get rid of the idea that there is a demon in a darkened cave merely by trying not to think about it. Just as one must hold a lamp and see that there is no demon there, so the illumination of wisdom is needed to clear away the darkness of ignorance."
Napper, Elizabeth, 2003, p. 103
6 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 1:32pm)
Excerpt from :

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

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

10/27/2012 6:21 PM: John: Whatever in conventional reality still remain, only that reification is seen through. Get it?
10/27/2012 6:23 PM: John: The centre is seen through be it "subject" or "object", they r imputed mental constructs.
10/27/2012 6:24 PM: John: Only the additional "ghostly something" is seen through
10/27/2012 6:26 PM: AEN: Ic..
10/27/2012 6:26 PM: John: Not construing and reifying. Nothing that "subject" does not exist.
10/27/2012 6:26 PM: John: Get it?
10/27/2012 6:28 PM: John: This seeing through itself led to implicit non-dual experience
10/27/2012 6:28 PM: AEN: "Nothing that "subject" does not exist." - what u mean?
10/27/2012 6:29 PM: John: Not "subject" or "object" does not exist.
10/27/2012 6:30 PM: John: Or dissolving object into subject or subject into object...etc
10/27/2012 6:30 PM: AEN: Ic..
10/27/2012 6:30 PM: John: That "extra" imputation is seen through.
10/27/2012 6:30 PM: AEN: Oic
10/27/2012 6:31 PM: John: R u clear? Conventional reality still remain as it is.
10/27/2012 6:34 PM: John: Btw focus more on practice in releasing any not keep engaging on all these.
10/27/2012 6:35 PM: AEN: Ic.. Conventional reality are just names imposed on non-inherent aggregates right
10/27/2012 6:35 PM: John: Yes
10/27/2012 6:37 PM: John: That led to releasing of the mind from subsuming of anything
10/27/2012 6:39 PM: John: What u wrote is unclear
10/27/2012 6:40 PM: John: Do u get what I mean?
10/27/2012 6:42 PM: AEN: Yeah
10/27/2012 6:43 PM: John: Doesn't mean AEN does not
10/27/2012 6:43 PM: John: Or I m u or u r me
10/27/2012 6:44 PM: John: Just not construing and reifying
10/27/2012 6:44 PM: AEN: Ic..
10/27/2012 6:45 PM: AEN: Nondual is collapsing objects to self, thus I am you
10/27/2012 6:45 PM: AEN: Anatta simply sees through reification, but conventionally I am I, you are you
10/27/2012 6:45 PM: John: Or collapsing subject into object
10/27/2012 6:45 PM: AEN: Ic..
10/27/2012 6:45 PM: John: Yes
10/27/2012 6:46 PM: John: U r still unclear abt this and mixed up
10/27/2012 6:47 PM: John: Seeing through the reification of "subject", "object", "self", "now", "here"
10/27/2012 6:48 PM: John: Get it?
10/27/2012 6:48 PM: AEN: Oic..
10/27/2012 6:48 PM: John: Seeing through "self" led to implicit non-dual experience
10/27/2012 6:49 PM: John: Coz experience turns direct without reification
10/27/2012 6:49 PM: John: In seeing, just scenery
10/27/2012 6:50 PM: John: Like u see through the word "weather"
10/27/2012 6:51 PM: John: That weather-ness
10/27/2012 6:51 PM: John: Be it subject/object/weather/...etc
10/27/2012 6:52 PM: AEN: ic..
10/27/2012 6:53 PM: John: That is mind free of seeing "things" existing inherently
10/27/2012 6:53 PM: John: Experience turns vivid direct and releasing
10/27/2012 6:55 PM: John: But I don't want u to keep participating idle talk and neglect practice...always over emphasizing unnecessarily
10/27/2012 6:57 PM: AEN: Oic..
10/27/2012 7:06 PM: John: What happens to experience?
10/27/2012 7:10 PM: John: I hv very important deal that should take place within this month hopefully they go through smoothly...we meet after that
10/27/2012 7:13 PM: AEN: Oic.. Ok..
10/27/2012 7:13 PM: AEN: U mean after anatta? Direct, luminous, but no ground of abiding (like some inherent awareness)
10/27/2012 7:15 PM: John: And what do u mean by that?
10/27/2012 7:20 PM: AEN: Means there are only transient six sense streams experience, in seen just seen, etc
10/27/2012 7:20 PM: AEN: Nothing extra
10/27/2012 7:21 PM: John: Six stream experiences is just a convenient raft
10/27/2012 7:21 PM: John: Nothing ultimate
10/27/2012 7:23 PM: John: Not only must u see that there is no Seer + seeing + seen...u must see the immerse connectedness
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 1:36pm)
Din Robinson
you can spend a lifetime of learning and insights to learn that the best way to be is without anything you learned at all?

complete uncontrivance? :P

(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 1:49pm)
In my experience, yes indeed, uncontrivance is impossible without those insights :) All forms of holding are contrivance... and the only way to unhold, to undo one's karmic conditionings, is to deepen one's insights into anatta and emptiness. Of course people can harp about being uncontrived and 'resting in being' or 'resting as awareness' and so forth, but all these forms of 'resting' are still unconscious contrivance.

Toni Packer: "Until the effortless state presents itself, we can't help effort-ing"
3 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 1:53pm)
Din Robinson
"All forms of holding are contrivance"

yes, agreed....

bringing all those unconscious ways of holding, grasping, into the clear light of awareness...
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 1:55pm)
Which brings to mind something 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:

"Hi 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'. :-)
9 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 1:55pm)
Din Robinson
love it, it's really about not being involved with ANY thought about the need for this or that, including any need to discriminate this from that, but of course one needs to do the work to see this! ;)
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 2:02pm)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
Thank you Soh! :)
I thought "exertion" is totally extension of an activity.

This is what i found:

Definitions of exertion
physical or mental effort.
"she was panting with the exertion"
synonyms: effort, strain, struggle, toil, endeavor, hard work, labor, travail
the application of a force, influence, or quality.
"the exertion of authority"
synonyms: use, application, exercise, employment, utilization
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 7:25pm)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
Intelligent way to define DO... " Like u see through the word "weather" "... Thank you Soh and John Tan ! :)
Amazing thread... <3
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 8:10pm)
Din Robinson: What you said is true. But it is not just a matter of dropping thoughts and discrimination per se (as in via practicing 'non-conceptuality'). It is that the discrimination in terms of a subject and object is released, through investigative insight contemplation/vipassana, and seeing through subject/object through anatta and emptiness releases reification and the need for a this or that.
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 8:40pm)
Viorica Doina Neacsu: quite right, however, total exertion is not so much a 'self' exerting :) It is an effortless actualization of one's view of anatta and D.O. As Thusness and I discussed in early 2011:

(10:05 PM) Thusness: i mean 'total exertion'

u must later move from anatta into this interconnectedness
after bring anatta to the mind-objects as i have explained in the article
(10:08 PM) AEN: oh icic..
but if its the interconnectedness that 'exerts', and not an agent, there is no 'too much' exertion right?
it shldnt be an effortful thing?
(10:09 PM) Thusness: yes and it cannot be.
therefore it is not a concentrative mode
this u will understand only much much later
4 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 8:49pm)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
Yes, of course :)
I just shared what i found about "exertion" before asking you.
In the seeing just the seen, in total exertion just causes and conditions in action...
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 9:15pm)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
Thank you so much for explanations, not all the english words i can translate in romanian and vice versa... :)
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 9:18pm)
Laya Jakubowicz
Yes Viorica, I have the same with French, if I want to translate :)
1 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 10:14pm)
Din Robinson
Soh wrote:

"What you said is true. But it is not just a matter of dropping thoughts and discrimination per se (as in via practicing 'non-conceptuality')."

you don't drop thoughts and discrimination, they drop "you", the "you" that can or would need to do anything :)
(Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:52am)
Stuffs RedTurtle
Oh that was clever Din :)
1 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:53am)
Din Robinson
not really Stuffs RedTurtle, it's personal experience
1 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:54am)
Viorica Doina Neacsu
Yeah...clever non-dual bullshit! hehehehehe
(Monday, August 18, 2014 at 1:54am)
This is not yet twofold emptiness but nonetheless a useful investigation.


Direct Experience

by Neil Jalaldeen

The most important catalyst for triggering Awakening to no-self is to investigate our Direct Experience. Direct Experience is what is noticed, here and now.
We can skilfully divide d.E., for the purposes of investigation, into 3 main aspects:

1) thought

2) sensations
feeling [tactile + kinesthetic)

3) an unmistakable sense of Aliveness
(presence, being)

The illusion of separation is maintained by a stream of self referencing thoughts that are based on past conditioning. The most common reference point is a thought-created center referred to as “I” / “me” / “self”. There is no such center, and those self-labels refer only to other thoughts, or to some aspect of Experience.

By referring to d.E., one is able to deconstruct any assumptions of separation or self, and see that there is just an Experience. There may be thoughts about Experience that conceptually divide certain aspects of Experience into a “me” and other aspects into “the outside world”, yet those thoughts are also just a part of Experience, and as such there is ONLY Experience.

There is an assumption that there is an experience-er that experiences. This is propagated by a belief, as expressed by a thought such as “I experience”. We investigate this in d.E. by looking for this “I”. Is there a separate “I”, or is there just an Experience that thought conceptually divides as such: “I” + “what is experienced”?

There is an assumption that there is a perceive-er that perceives. This is propagated by a belief, as expressed by a thought such as “I am the perceiver”. We investigate this in d.E. by looking for this perceiver. We can see that there is no such thing as a perceiver, just a perception and thought dividing it in to an “I” + “body” + “perception through the senses”.

A sound is heard, then there is a thought “I hear a sound”. We can investigate and see that there is no hearer of sounds, just sound. If there is something felt and assumed to be the hearer, or self, is it anything more than some other sensations? or that sense of Aliveness? or another thought?

“I feel my body against the chair” a thought says. So, we investigate d.E. and see that there are sensations that are habitually labelled “body” and other sensations we refer to as “feeling of chair against body”. When we investigate where this “I” is that claims these sensations, it cannot be found, as there is either another self-referencing thought, some sensations or another aspect of Experience.

We can pick up an object, and look at it. We might say “I am looking at the object”. We then test this conclusion to see if it correlates with d.E., and what we find is that there is a sensation of seeing, and maybe some sensations that we usually label ‘head’ or ‘eyes’, or even other feeling-sensations labelled “body”. A thought may arise with the conclusion that these are inherently separate, and that one is “self” and the other is “what is observed”. When we test this out we see that there is never an “I” looking, never a watcher, never a seer. There is only seeing, only feeling, only Experiencing. We can say that it is simply Experience experiencing itself.

We look deeply in to Experience, and see that the assumptions of separation, self, “I”, perceive-er or an experience-er are just references to Experience. There is never an actual separate object, just the perception of such, and thoughts labeling it. We deconstruct all these assumptions of there being a watcher, or a looker, or a hearer, and find that there is only Experience, never an actual separate self.

Is it possible there is just Experience, with no separate experience-er?
2 liked this (Monday, August 18, 2014 at 1:55am)
Stuffs RedTurtle
If the above is true, also means there is no thinker
If there is no thinker , control is an illusion..

Relax is on my mind
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 5:27am)

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