Monday, August 18, 2014


Stefan Beyer
There is a somewhat alternative commentary on the Heart Sutra by Osho Rajneesh from a series of lectures of 1977. It is available free online. I wonder what you will think about it.
Btw., the former Lama Karmapa said about Osho (as quoted in Il Giorno, April 1988): "(Osho Rajneesh) is the greatest incarnation since Gautam Buddha in India. He is a living Buddha."
Giorgi Goguadze and 3 others like this. (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 3:28pm)
Siddha Babananda
By Lama Karmapa you mean 16th Karmapa?
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 5:12pm)
Giorgi Goguadze
Those commentaries are very interesting, goes deep
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 5:23pm)
Karmapa did not say that. A lot of false quotes floating around. Osho is speaking from the I AM and One Mind level of understanding.
3 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 5:59pm)
Giorgi Goguadze
Soh that is not true, I could quote tons of words, that does not speak I AM and One Mind point of view. His answers depended on people who were questioning him, so he sometimes speaks about I AM and sometimes no-self, annata and etc
2 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 6:01pm)
His understanding of no-self is more into non-doership and impersonality. I have read his stuff. It is not the same as anatta
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 6:02pm)
Giorgi Goguadze
What is his understanding and what he speaks to common people is different imho... the teaching is just different, not the truth
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 6:06pm)
I do not think so, what he expresses is just his experience and the way he see it. His understanding and view is of the substantialist kind. It would be misleading to introduce his stuff as representative of Buddhist/Emptiness teaching. But as a commentary of Vedanta stuff, his teachings are ok.
3 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 6:08pm)
Stefan Beyer
Soh, how can you know the Lama Karmapa did not say it? It was quoted in the Italian newspaper IL Giorno in April 1988, so why should they invent it? On Rajneesh's lectures: he has commented on the main texts of many spiritual traditions and has usually adapted his explanations to the sources. For instance in this commentary on the Heart Sutra he refers to the question "Who am I?" but he does not say that the answer is Awareness but that the ultimate answer is: no answer. Osho himself often said that he would have to constantly contradict himself, so if you read something on Vedanta you cannot generalize that as his view. Imo the many different perspectives Osho presented rather makes the whole of them together something like an emptiness teaching...
1 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 6:54pm)
The full quote includes mention of 'Akashic records', which is not a Buddhist concept.

“You may be feeling that he is speaking for you, but it is not only for you that he speaks. Osho speaks for the Akashic records also, the records of events and words recorded on the astral planes. Whatever is spoken is not forgotten. That is why you will find that he goes on repeating things and you will feel that he is doing this for you, but as a matter of fact, he speaks only for a few people. Only a few people realize who Osho is. His words will remain there in Akashic records, so that they will also be helpful to people of the future.”
2 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 7:03pm)
Osho sees 'shunyata' as a formless and changeless container of pure Presence:

'Shunya means void, void of everything. But
the void itself is there, with utter presence, so it is not just void. It is like the sky which is
empty, which is pure space, but which is. Everything comes in it and goes, and it remains.'
4 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 7:06pm)
A close disciple of the 16th Karmapa, Lama Ole Nydahl [his earliest and longtime Western emissary], commented on Swami Siddharth's claim: 'Disciples of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh... had just published a book with a few humble claims [—ironic use by Nydahl] that were new to us: that Karmapa had pronounced him the greatest Bodhisattva of all time, the man to bring Buddhist tantra to the West. Karmapa, who did not even know him [Rajneesh], was as diplomatic as possible [in denying that Karmapa had made such claims], but the guru's disciples [i.e., Rajneesh's disciples] were not very pleased with his [Karmapa's] reply. Once again I could only shake my head at the enormous naiveté of people in spiritual matters. It is shocking how readily they give up both discrimination and common sense.'" (Lama Ole Nydahl, Riding the Tiger: Twenty Years on the Road: The Risks and Joys of Bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West, Nevada City, CA: Blue Dolphin Publ., 1992, p. 127. Rajneesh sannyasin Siddharth’s fabricated account of the alleged message from the Karmapa is to be found at
5 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 7:15pm)
Giorgi Goguadze
I don't know the stories, and there are lot of controversy surrounding Osho. That is ok. However, imo his share in awakening human beings in 20th century and in the future to come is immense, what he has done is invaluable, and I am personally very grateful to him for all the flowers and joy _/\_
2 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 7:22pm)
This "Rajneesh sannyasin Siddharth" seems to be either delusional or a compulsive liar. And the fact that Osho seems to support him and even declared him enlightened right after his claims is quite telling.

In addition to his fabricated story about meeting up with Karmapa, here's another one:

"Rajneesh's latest claim to spiritual pre-eminence has occurred in connection with a vision allegedly experienced by a Bombay disciple, Swami Govind Siddharth. In Siddharth's vision, Lord Maitreya, the great Coming-Buddha, whose incarnation to inaugurate a new age is awaited by millions of Theravadin and Mahayana Buddhists, appears and announces that he is merging his 'third body' with Rajneesh's energy, 'without disturbing His (Rajneesh's) individuality'. Referring to Rajneesh, Maitreya purpotedly affirms: 'In Him all enlightenments - past, present and future have become alive and active; a unique event that has not happened before nor will happen again... From my third body, I address him as 'Bhagwan,' but from now onwards He will not only be 'Bhagwan Rajneesh' but He will be 'Bhagwan Rajneesh, the Buddha, Lord Maitreya...' (Rajneesh: The Newspaper 1986, 1:7, 1). Rajneesh's response to Siddharth's vision is most revealing: he acknowledged the vision's content to be 'absolute reality' and declared that the merging of souls would not affect his own individuality, nor keep him from 'criticising 'the old Buddha' [presumably Gautama] whenever his teachings are not right for the present and the future'. It hardly comes as a surprise to learn that a few days later, Rajneesh declared that Siddharth had become 'enlightened' (Rajneesh: The Newspaper 1986, 1:7, 1)." - - 'The Narcissistic Guru' - "My distinct impression, based on all the evidence I have examined both pro and con (and there is always the possibility that i and other critics could be wrong on certain things!), is that Rajneesh was another shooting star in the spiritual firmament, one of those strange fallen yogis who attain periods of a certain kind of "enlightened freedom." Such persons become a source or maybe a "channel" for unusual and palpable energies, which lead mesmerized disciples to think they are in the presence of Divinity. But then sooner or later the supposed "Divine energy" diminishes, goes away or turns sour, and such figures become imbalanced and egocentrically full of themselves—narcissistic, proud megalomaniacs, and/or disturbed by one or more other mental-emotional-psychic pathologies about which the Sacred Traditions have always cautioned. Numerous such "fallen" figures abound in the annals of literature."
3 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 7:29pm)
Yeah Giorgi Goguadze I have no problem in people finding value in what Osho teaches.
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 7:29pm)
Stefan Beyer
Wei Yu, I think there are some parts of the text that fit to your assumption that emptiness is understood in a Vedanta sense. I also found this one which fits to it:

"The christosphere is the fourth [level]. With the christosphere,
no-mind comes into existence -- the no-mind of a Buddha, of a Christ, not of a rock. With the fourth comes consciousness,
without a center, with no self in it; just pure consciousness with no border to it, infinite consciousness. Then you can't say "I am conscious." There is no 'I' to it, it is just consciousness. It has no name and no form. It is nothingness, it is emptiness."

But I also found this part of the text, which picks up the term christosphere but goes one step further:

"Buddha uses 'gone' four times. These are the four things that he uses 'gone' for: the geosphere, the biosphere, the noosphere,
the christosphere. 'Gone' -- gone from matter, gone
from the body, gone from the visible, the tangible. He again uses 'gone' a second time -- gone from life, the so-called wheel of life and death. 'Gone beyond', the third time he uses 'gone' -- now gone beyond mind, thought, thinking, self, ego. 'Gone altogether beyond' -- now he uses
it a fourth time... even gone beyond the beyond, the christosphere.
Now he has entered into the uncreated."
2 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 8:00pm)
Daniel Noreen
Osho was a cult leader, not a living Buddha.
2 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 8:22pm)
Daniel Noreen
I doubt that a fully awakened one would be walking around with harems, a dozen Rolls Royce, and millions of dollars. Pretty sure that's a tell tale sign that's somebody misleading a massive group of people. Don't drink the koolaid people.
3 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 8:25pm)
Actually that centerless, borderless, all-pervading Presence/Consciousness is just that I AMness realization/experience. It is only as an after-thought that it is reified into a Watcher. That is experiencing luminosity in one sense door, not the entirety of Presence/Consciousness. Effortless, uncontrived experience of Presence in all sense doors only occurs after realization of anatta.

As Thusness said in 2006, "The sense of 'Self' must dissolve in all entry and exit points. In the first stage of dissolving, the dissolving of 'Self' relates only to the thought realm. The entry is at the mind level. The experience is the 'AMness'. Having such experience, a practitioner might be overwhelmed by the transcendental experience, attached to it and mistaken it as the purest stage of consciousness, not realizing that it is only a state of 'no-self' relating to the thought realm."

Even then, the views of duality and inherency persists. Therefore deeper insights into anatta, emptiness and view must unfold.

Also, there are indications that Osho also had nondual experience, but his was by subsuming all things into Self. His description of non-dual is no different from my description of "One Mind". Osho: "So when you reach to the point where you feel, "this is my center," then start melting. Your June has come. Then start melting and disappearing. Your very disappearance is making you the whole universe. Buddha has said, "When I disappeared, I saw stars within me, sun rising, sunset, full-moon nights -- everything within me, not without me. It was my boundary that had been keeping them out. Now the boundary is no more; everything has fallen in. Now I am the whole."

Of course, that quotation is not from Buddha, just a made up quote by him.

In any case, I described what I meant in
3 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 8:33pm)
Giorgi Goguadze
Daniel Noreen See, the problem is you have already decided how a buddha should look like, what car he/she has to ride and so on... Should he go for a shopping to buy a tie, or he should not shop... This are all ideas, fixed ideas, how things SHOULD BE, how buddha should be :)... Whether he should go for pee or not:)
But there is the other side, what he is talking about and what is his presence, that is more real thing, but the most real is always hidden until one final reaches.. So in the end you actually never know, you just trust, because in some way his teaching is making you more loving, more joyful... or his presence has something far great than ordinary people...
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 9:01pm)
Laya Jakubowicz
Giorgi :"his presence has something far greater than ordinary people"
yes indeed !! I got caught by Osho in the 1970's in India, and because I had been in Gurdjieff's work before, when I entered the Ashram and I was told have a look there is a meditation, you'll like it… I was very perplexed and ready to leave, yet I met him some hours later… when I looked into his eyes, i felt I completely disappeared… then nothing had any more value, I had to stay there… in fact I have been to hundred of his talks in English or Hindi… it did not matter as the only thing I knew was that I was gone the all time… my only problem every day after his talks was to be able to gather myself to get up and be able to function… at least that was what I believed then… but I completely agree with Soh any subject he was touching was always bringing it back to One Mind...
10 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 9:26pm)
Daniel Noreen
No. You're defending nonsense. Osho was not a Buddha. Not at all. It's ridiculous for you to even claim that. The man was the leader of a cult that tool advantage of women and even was involved in the murder or people. He was a a heretic and a cult leader. Face the facts.
1 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:08pm)
Giorgi Goguadze
1 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:10pm)
Daniel Noreen
I do know what a Buddha does NOT look like though. And that is it.
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:14pm)
Giorgi Goguadze
If you have an idea you will never be able to see things as it is... Ideas distort the real
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:17pm)
I agree with Daniel that Osho is not a Buddha strictly speaking as defined in the Buddhadharma. A Buddha is defined by Buddha himself as someone who is the discoverer of the path and end of suffering that includes overcoming delusion and craving completely. Osho thinks craving, and so called afflictive emotions are ok, in the 'transcend and embrace' manner. This explains why Osho can have sex with plenty of female students, use drugs (and supposedly addicted to it at the end of his life), have 99 rolls royce, etc and still see it as perfectly ok activity.

In the Buddhadharma, liberated persons attaining arahantship or Buddhahood as defined by Buddha is incapable of storing up things for sensual pleasures or engaging in sex or indulging in intoxicants, and have no more lust, desires, whatsoever. Nirvana is defined as the total cessation of any sort of craving, anger/aggression and delusion.

Note: I'm just stating facts objectively, not trying to judge him here.

The fact is: different people have different ideas of awakening, and Osho's definition of full awakening or liberation simply isn't compatible with the Buddha. Osho's realization is also not the same as Buddha.

So, each to his own understanding. We can respect each other's view, or we can agree to disagree, without trying to impose one's idea of awakening on other (either Buddha's vision of awakening on Osho, or Osho's vision of awakening on Buddha).
6 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:32pm)
Daniel Noreen
I agree with Soh. Perfectly stated.
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:33pm)
Daniel Noreen
I'm not judging either, this is something of common knowledge. Most people I have met in Dharma don't take Osho seriously. That is more of the New Age movement. Also, by saying I have no place to put emphasis on an "Idea of what a Buddha is" you are only using that to justify your means of defending someone. I use my judgement on what is or what is not from the Sutras, and what the Buddha has said himself. As Soh has stated, Osho hasn't experienced the attainment of an Arahant. He was a teacher with limited understanding, and conned people into believing he was a living god, such as yourself. "Guru complex."
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 10:36pm)
Stefan Beyer
On the ideas of what an enlightened being should look like there are also a few paragraphs in Oshos text. I can't resist to quote again:

"Nobody can be a Buddha again! God does not permit any repetition! God does not allow secondhand people, he loves firsthand people. He loved Buddha. He loved so much that it is finished. Now there is no need for Buddha. It would not be a love affair anymore. (...) God is not dull and stupid, he never allows anybody to repeat anybody else: Christ only once, Buddha only once -- and so are you only once! And you are alone, there is nobody else like you. Only you are you. This I call reverence for life. This is really self-respect.
Learn from Zorba, learn the secret, but never try to imitate. Learn the climate, appreciate, go into it, sympathize with it, participate with Zorba, and then go on your own. Then be yourself."
1 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:07pm)
Yes, from the perspective of Buddhism, Osho is not speaking from the realization of anatta/emptiness, and have not attained the goal of Nirvana that is the extirpation of craving, aggression and delusion.

At the same time, Osho is probably not seeking for the Buddhadharma's ideal goal of Buddhism's Nirvana or enlightenment at all, since he probably sees what Buddhadharma calls afflictive emotions them as ok. He has his own vision or ideal of what the most awakened state should be. From the perspective of Osho, his enlightenment is way higher than that of the Buddha (yes he has stated this clearly) because supposedly, Buddha is still 'fighting with his mind' (see my attached picture below).

The Buddhists would absolutely disagree with that because Buddha, having overcome aversion, absolutely does not 'fight the mind', instead, the Buddha is simply mindfully aware of mental activities in and of themselves (as described in the Satipatthana Sutta) without desire or aversion, clearly comprehending their impermanence and non-self nature. Therefore, Osho is misinterpreting the Buddha.

At the same time, an arahant or a Buddha have terminated, extirpated, removed from its roots, any latent tendencies towards afflictive emotions like lust, desire, craving, aggression, fear, anger, etc etc. This is absolutely not the same as fighting them, but rather, the very seed for them have been removed from the roots, so that they do not even arise anymore to begin with. (Fighting them would be an aversive reaction to an arising affliction -- but afflictions simply do not arise for fully liberated persons)

4 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:10pm)
Daniel Noreen
:/ Sigh.
(Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:13pm)
Hi Stefan Beyer, actually, Buddha said he was not the first Buddha nor will he be the last. The next Buddha prophecised is Maitreya Buddha, however he will only appear when the current dispensation of Buddhadharma by Shakyamuni Buddha have disappeared completely from the face of earth. Which means a very, very long time, perhaps in terms of millions of years.

As for arahants -- those who learnt the dharma of the Buddha and attained full liberation from afflictions, it is recorded in the scriptures that they all have different characters and personalities, and this may affect their way of relating and interacting with others and training style while working with their students. Furthermore, some have the three knowledges and mastery of various powers, some have greater discernment and wisdom that helps in explaining and expounding dharma, etc.

However, they all have attained the complete eradication of afflictions and realized the nature of dharma. Having eradicated all afflictions, they will not have any desires or craving nor act out of desires or craving or aggression or delusion. On this front, all fully liberated persons are similar.
3 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:35pm)
Stefan Beyer
I think liberation means something like a Gestalt shift comparable to finding that instead of apparently living in the happening of a movie you find yourself sitting in the cinema watching the movie. Or comparable to finding that the life you were very serious about is like the acting of an actor. Let's take the latter metaphor. Knowing you are only an actor you can still do things which can appear to other people as if you are serious about them, but to you they mean only acting for aesthetic or didactic purposes. So just from seeing someone taking a pain-killing drug or driving in a Rolls-Royce or expressing anger about a thorn-bush (in Jesus case; btw. another convicted criminal at his time) you cannot infer anything about what is behind that.
1 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:50pm)
Actually after realizing anatta, there is absolutely no more sense of being a Watcher. There is absolutely no more dissociation. Instead there is full integration and opening -- in the seen just the seen, no you in terms of that. In hearing just sound, no hearer. Just sound alone shining as vivid gapless clarity. Full engagement and non-attachment at the same time.

Also, as I wrote in :

"Then again some may say, oh, actually I am an anagami, I so transcend these earthly desires but for some reason I am still having an active sex life. Again, I seriously would doubt such claims, because as the Buddha states, "“Bhikkhus, that one can engage in sensual pleasures without sensual desires, without perceptions of sensual desire, without thoughts of sensual desire—that is impossible." (Alagaddūpama Sutta) So in my mind, in accordance with the scriptures, all anagamis and arahants are celibates, and furthermore have no interest in pursuing the pleasures of the senses (not only sex). This is what the Buddha suggested in the suttas, and is also the position of the commentaries."
3 liked this (Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 11:53pm)
Alan Koek
I'm not sure who is Osho but i'm sure there's no such thing as a living Buddha
(Friday, August 15, 2014 at 12:08am)

…"And any monk who is an Arahant, whose corruptions are destroyed, who has lived the life, done what has to be done, laid down the burden, gained the true goal, who has completely destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is liberated by supreme insight, is incapable of doing nine things: he is incapable of (1) deliberately taking the life of a living being; (2) taking what is not given so as to constitute theft; (3) sexual intercourse; (4) telling a deliberate lie; (5) storing up goods for sensual indulgence as he did formerly in the household life; (6) acting wrongly through attachment; (7) acting wrongly through hatred; (8) acting wrongly through folly; (9) acting wrongly through fear. These are the nine things which an Arahant, whose corruptions are destroyed, cannot do …"

Digha Nikaya 29.26 (Pasadika Sutta)

"It is impossible for a monk whose mental fermentations are ended to intentionally deprive a living being of life. ….to take, in the manner of stealing, what is not given. ….to engage in sexual intercourse. …to tell a conscious lie. …to consume stored-up sensual things as he did before, when he was a householder ….. to follow a bias based on desire …. to follow a bias based on aversion…. to follow a bias based on fear… to follow a bias based on delusion.

"Both before and now I say to you that an arahant monk whose mental fermentations are ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis, cannot possibly transgress these nine principles."

Anguttara Nikaya IX.7 (Sutava Sutta)
4 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 12:40am)
David Vardy
I've read about half of the OP above. Osho appears to be very consistent in his view of Emptiness. It's substantial, 'present', in essence, the source of everything in potential. The view shows up throughout the document quite clearly.
5 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 2:15am)
David Vardy
This talk of talking one way to one disciple and another way to another disciple still doesn't hide how the teacher sees. The view will always show up as they see it. No one isn't transparent in this sense. In no way did he not believe what he said. His hand was always open from what I could tell. I have little respect for psychiatry in general but I don't think there are many psychiatrists out there who wouldn't say that Osho didn't have a 'personality disorder'. Personally, I enjoyed his translation of the Ashtavakra Gita a lot. Like Soh said, his work on Vedanta is quite respectable. Like many views, the Advaita view views itself as all encompassing. It gave Osho the green light to discuss all matters since the view encompasses them all.
6 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 2:43am)
Gabriel Rocha Ramirez
:) (Y)
(Friday, August 15, 2014 at 8:30am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Osho is not consistent and he doesn't care, nor it contradicts non-duality or madhyimika, or tantra.
1 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 9:09am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
"Osho is an enlightened master who is working with all
possibilities to help humanity overcome a difficult phase in developing
The Dalai Lama
1 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 9:01am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
"I've been charmed from reading his books."
Frederico Fellini
1 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 9:01am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
"He is the rarest and most talented religionist to appear this century."
Kazuyoshi Kino, professor of buddhist studies, Hosen Gakuen College, Tokyo, Japan
1 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 9:03am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
"Osho is the Wittgenstein of religions". Peter Sloterdjk
2 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 9:07am)
Brian Zey
Right off the dust cover?
2 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 9:40am)
David Vardy
Mardava Christian Palocz. Even Osho's inconsistencies were consistent with his view.
1 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 1:36pm)
Yor Sunyata
What is the source of the quote attributed to the Dalai Lama? I have found it on a few Osho websites, but it isn't referenced. Is it a direct quote? Is it a paraphrase?

It seems to me to be uncritically repeated again and again. If it is genuine, which I sincerely doubt, I would like to read the context.
2 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 1:48pm)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Yor Sunyata It might have been when the Dalai Lama visited Osho´s ashram in Pune; I don't really know. Actually, I am more impressed with Sloterdjk´s quote. I wonder what is the surprise and the fuss when Osho (Rajneesh) seem to have introduced more people to meditation than most of the popular gurus quoted so freely here.
(Friday, August 15, 2014 at 7:29pm)
Stefan Beyer
At least there is a photo of the Dalai Lama visiting the Rajneesh ashram in Poona. If this is not faked he was there in 1996, 6 years after Oshos death.
(Friday, August 15, 2014 at 8:27pm)
Albert Hong
At least he cracked some good jokes. =]
2 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 9:51pm)
Stefan Beyer
For those who haven't read the commentary on the Heart Sutra this is the joke at the end of the text:
There is this old Italian, see, who runs a pasta factory, and his three daughters work for him. One day they are all sitting around making the pasta, and he says to the eldest,"Agnesa, eef-a you were not here making the ravioli and the spaghetti,who-a in all-a the world-a you
would like-a to be-a?" "Oh Papa, I would like-a to be-a Sophia
Loren-a. She ees so beautiful! All-a the men are after her."

"Very good-a," says the father. "And you, Maria, tell-a your Papa,
eef you were not-a here, een steenking old Napoli, making the spaghetti,who-a in all-a the world-a you would like-a to be?"
"I would like-a to be-a Gina Lollobrigida. She ees so beautiful! All-a the men are after her. She has-a the Alfa Romeo and-a the

"Very good-a," says the father. Then he says, turning to the youngest, "Lucia! Bella! Well-a, tell-a your Papa, eef-a you were
not-a here-a up to your elbows een the raviolis, who-a in all-a the world-a you would like-a to be-a?" "I would like to be...Veectoria
Pepeleena!" "What?!" cries the father. "Who een the hell-a ees Veectoria

She pulls a newspaper cutting out of her bra and shows it to him: Victoria Pipeline to be laid by 400 Men in Two Weeks.
1 liked this (Friday, August 15, 2014 at 10:25pm)
Yor Sunyata
Mardava Christian Palocz, he was and is controversial for reasons already mentioned in this thread, and also how he disparaged other teachers. For instance he said some really nasty things about the Dalai Lama (google it if interested).

On the other hand, few spiritual teachers have made me laugh like I did when I first viewed this :)
1 liked this (Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 9:53am)
Stefan Beyer
1 liked this (Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 7:41pm)
Stefan Beyer
Osho is obviously systematically challenging identifications. For instance, if you are identified with Buddha and Buddhadharma, there is an opportunity to feel that identification when he makes fun about Gautam Buddha's "being a light unto yourself" (in the last mentioned video). If you are a German and he says "Germans are dangerous people" (in the commentary on the Heart Sutra) you can feel whether you are identified with your nation or not.
Can you not appreciate that as an element of an emptiness teaching?
If you are identified in such a way, that you can feel insulted, does this not mean that what you are identified with is "very solid" for you or "has an exaggerated existence", so that it is helpful to become aware of that?
4 liked this (Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 10:45pm)
Brian Zey
Neato, Sci fi set and an added laugh track!!
(Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 1:16am)
Amrita Nadi
LOL>>i thought that was great video! And a great message... i can relate... thanks.
1 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 2:03am)
Amrita Nadi
i read some of the Heart Sutra too. The Buddha within of course is an old, basic teaching.. but his take is, as always, refreshing. Look forward to reading the rest later on. Thanks again for the links.
2 liked this (Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 2:08am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
In his commentaries here about emptiness he is substancialist no doubt. In his commentaries on the Diamond Sutra he is not and its a beautiful read.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 1:15am)
It doesn't matter whether you don't call it 'soul' or 'self'. To see an intrinsic essence that is changeless, that is still an expression of substantialist view. Osho is pretty much Vedanta view of I AM and One Mind.

e.g. "When clouds come, do you think the sky has gone somewhere? When the clouds go, do you think the sky has come back? The sky remains. Your innermost nature remains." --
3 liked this (Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 2:13am)
Joel Agee
Wei Yu, do you see a significant difference between Osho's view in the passage you quoted and some Dzogchen texts on the nature of mind, for instance here Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:

"Whenever clouds gather, the nature of the sky is not corrupted, and when they disperse, it is not ameliorated. The sky does not become less or more vast. It does not change. It is the same with the nature of mind: it is not spoiled by the arrival of thoughts; nor improved by their disappearance."

To me this formulation seems to suggest a changeless intrinsic essence.

Further down in the same text he uses the image of a mirror to the same effect:

"Thoughts manifest themselves within emptiness and are reabsorbed into it like a face appears and disappears in a mirror; the face has never been in the mirror, and when it ceases to be reflected in it, it has not really ceased to exist. The mirror itself has never changed."

“Emptiness” is described as an unchanging ground “within which” appearances come and go.

1 liked this (Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 3:33am)
Yor Sunyata
Except that Dzogchen denies any changeless intrinsic essence and refutes such a view. The problem is taking meditation-techniques, sometimes intended as a provisional aid, pointers to the moon, out of their proper context and reading into them something that isn't there.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 3:53am)
Stefan Beyer
Yor Sunyata, I would not see a difference to Vedanta in this point. As I see it the reifying explanations of Awareness in Advaita are also only used in the first stage of the teaching. Later Awareness dissolves in the so-called phenomena and is a synonym for their being or "being manifest." (As I see it if one takes Awareness as a thing that would need to be corrected by seeing it is empty, but to Awareness as a no-thing the emptiness teachings do not apply. Btw., in Advaita Awareness is said to be ever-present, not eternal.)
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:10am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Certainly in this text Osho is being substancialist. I recommend you read his commentaries on the Diamond Sutra. If we judge Osho for a selection of texts would be like judging the buddha for his relative teachings too. As far as confusing him with a neoadvaitist I would remind you than in his over 600 books he has taught in many ways mostly according to his audience. In his last discourses he was certainly more radical and talking in absolute terms.
1 liked this (Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:15am)
Siddha Babananda
I wonder what is the point of the debate between the hindu and buddhist views. Both traditions have had and still have both liberated teachers as well as those who have attained even higher stage that is called "full buddhahood" or "paramukta". Right, from the buddhist philosophical pov liberation is not possible for hindus but that is not the case. Philosophy and view matters but exp and realisation matters more.

By this comment I don't refer to Osho in any way.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:16am)
Joel Agee
Christian, I think the passage Soh just cited is from a discourse Osho gave on the Diamond Sutra.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:17am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Hahhaha is true! In the same text there are absolute teachings!
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 4:53am)
Yor Sunyata
Stefan Beyer, awareness is an abstraction. Created from thinking "now I am aware of the object", then going someplace else "now I am not aware of the object". The thinking being that the object remains the same when you are not looking. It has color, shape, size, form, solidity, etc... And so there is something called awareness that is either present or not present.

In actuality the object has none of these as inherent properties, even when you look at it.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 5:08am)
Stefan Beyer
What you are describing is not the Awareness-teaching of Advaita. That teaching is about a first-person-perspective and therefore it denies the existence of objects that are not in awareness. An objective world "as such" has never been perceived by anyone, it is based on concepts or a model about the reality (a for many purposes useful model, though). Awareness is never not present. And I would agree with that. I have never experienced a moment when there was no awareness (experiencing implies awaring). These sentences of mine may sound as if Awareness was a separate thing but I don't mean it that way, I just don't know how to say it in a different way. The term "Awareness", the explanation of Advaita about it, and my heeding of the luminous aspect of things are all relative, dependently originated, empty. But there is something the term awareness refers to which seems to be uncreated and unborn.There is the finger pointing to the moon and the fiinger is relative, dependently originated and empty, and there is the moon.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 5:41am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Stefan Beyer emptiness as posed in buddhism goes further than neoadvaita and what Osho says in the heart sutra, and beyond all is consciousness teachings.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 7:02am)
Stefan Beyer
Christian, I think I know that. Emptiness is about the way something exists, not the "void" of the Awareness-teachings. Ok?
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 7:15am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Ok, but I was wondering if you were a little substantiavist when you say that "there is something the term awareness refers to...." this something cannot be uncreated and unborn, if it s a "something". I wonder what do you mean.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 7:40am)
Stefan Beyer
Yes, I mean it is not a something, it is an exception to the rule that "everything" is dependently originated. At least I am not convinced of the opposite. But I am in this group to learn. But it seems that some schools of Buddhism understand it the same way as I do (?)
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 7:47am)
"Right, from the buddhist philosophical pov liberation is not possible for hindus but that is not the case."

Buddhist and Hindus have different criterion and understanding of what constitutes enlightenment and liberation. So yes, we do not consider Hindu enlightenment to be liberation. This may not sound nice to those of perennialistic persuasions but that is just how it is. That said I still have great respect for Advaita masters, especially like Ramana Maharshi who was very influential at an earlier part of my path.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 1:14pm)
"I recommend you read his commentaries on the Diamond Sutra."

I took that quote out from the Diamond Sutra lectures
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 1:20pm)
Mardava Christian Palocz
yes, i know. i was going to get another quote from the same lecture where he is clearly nonsubstancialist. maybe i will if have time and the mood.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 1:21pm)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Here is one: "Between a master and a teacher what is transferred? Not truth, not knowledge -- then what is transferred? In fact, nothing is transferred". pg 112. Second, "Subhuti says, "But let me remind you, it is no perception because there is nobody to perceive it. It is pure cognition."
Knowing has arisen but there is nobody who knows and there is nothing that is known, only knowing has arisen." pg. 119. Both quotes from Osho´s commentaries on the Diamond Sutra lectures.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 1:48pm)
Mardava Christian Palocz
but I agree he tends to be a little substancialist in general.
(Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 1:56pm)
Yor Sunyata
Stefan Beyer, what does it mean to say that everything is awareness or in awareness? If it is absolutely everything, it loses all meaning. We conceptualize by implicit negation "this, not that". We can distinguish blue because of other colors, such as red, just like we can distinguish sound from silence, or one tone from another tone. Someone deaf has no idea what silence is and no idea what hearing is. If silence had had an inner essence, it would be recognizable. If an alien has the sense X, which we humans lack, he thinks we experience "non-x". We have no idea what the hell the alien is talking about, because we need both to distinguish them from one and other, and also other senses to distinguish X from hearing or seeing, etc...

The term awareness exists because it implies its negation "not not-aware". It has no inner essence. From the idea of not being aware, comes the idea of being aware. I didn't say objects exist as objects when nobody is looking. What I did say is that the idea of awareness comes from abstracting based on such reasoning. And not only objects, of course, but deep sleep or anesthesia, where others can observe your physical body while you are completely unaware of your surroundings, and possibly of anything at all.


Since anything we distinguish, whether conceptual as in language, or by means of the senses, is distinguished by contrasting with what it is not, awareness cannot have any meaning whatsoever without the idea of its negation. "not not-aware" is meaningless if there is no "not-aware". If the idea of "not-aware" is a delusion, so is the idea "aware". Seeing through the delusion then means the end of both awareness and non-awareness.
(Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 4:13am)
Stefan Beyer
Well, as you say: "From the idea of not being aware comes the idea of being aware." For me "not being aware" is an *idea* just as an "objective world as such" is an idea, but I have never experienced it. It is not experientiable because experiencing is the same as awaring. The idea, that I am sometimes not aware may arise if I take the perspective of other people superior to my own. Others tell me I am this body and they tell me they have seen this body existing in my bed at night, but I cannot remember that. This makes me think there must have been not-awareness for me at that time. In my first person perspective this time either does not exist or (according to the accounts of some people on their own first-person-experience) there may be an awareness of no or very, very subtle "content" that I just do not remember after waking up.
(Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 6:07am)
Yor Sunyata
Right, so the problem I have with Advaita, if it is taken to be the ultimate truth, and not merely a provisional teaching to help people overcome the self-identification with thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc., is that the thinking that one inherently existing thing is the stuff everything is made of, is deeply flawed. It is flawed in materialistic monism, and in idealistic monism. I am not an idealist. I am not a materialist. Co-dependently arising emptiness of inherent existence seems to be the best conceptual description of something that is ultimately ineffable. And emptiness as found in Buddhism is not something I have found taught in Advaita. Rupert Spira does not teach it. Francis Lucille does not teach it. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj did not teach it. Ramana Maharshi did not teach it. When they use the term "emptiness" they mean something completely different by it than Buddhists do. I do appreciate them, and have benefited from reading their books and watching videos. But how can they help you experience the moon if their finger isn't even pointing at it? And why are they content with a state of non-duality, as if it was supreme, unequaled enlightenment?
1 liked this (Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 6:24am)
Stefan Beyer
Well, to me many descriptions of Buddha-nature in Buddhism (clear light, sky etc.) sound rather similar to the Advaita-Self, but I also think you can get to the same non-dual experience as with Advaita (with a probably different flavor to it, at least initially) by seeing that the separate self is "not solid", that means anatta. The Advaita-teaching has two stages, and only in the first stage Awareness is described as if it was something separate from phenomena. In the second it sort of dissolves into what is given, so you can describe the experience as well as the suchness of what is given.
I may not have understood the Buddhist emptiness teaching in all its depth, but I take what I have understood at least as an interesting "philosophical perspective" with experiential effects.
(Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 6:58am)
Yor Sunyata
I am aware (no pun intended :) ) that Advaita has two stages. The first stage isn't properly non-dual, since there is still the subtle duality between awareness and what you are aware of. But the second is still awareness-monism. Awareness is still the stuff that everything is made out of, and it is the only thing that truly exists.

Yes, language that is superficially similar is used in certain Buddhist paths. But that language is provisional. The Buddha nature is not an inherently existing stuff that everything is made out of, because nothing has or can have that kind of existence. The Buddha nature is the pure potential in all sentient beings to attain Buddhahood, through the use of skillful means. It is intimately connected with emptiness and co-dependent origination, because without emptiness there would be no potential to become anything. If something truly existed, inherently, by its own essence, there would be no opportunity for change.

I think this kind of language was deliberately chosen because lots of people mistakenly thought of Buddhism as a bleak and nihilistic philosophy, and so deeply-enlightened beings constructed new language that would not drive these people away. But the price they had to pay for this, is that it may be misinterpreted in another direction, towards another extreme: inherent existence of a universal Brahman or inherently existing "big self."

At any rate, I don't want to continue discussing this forever. So I will end with mentioning that the people who wrote the texts you think are Advaita-like, were accused of falling back into vedic thinking by other Buddhists. They explicitly denied it and argued against such an interpretation of their words.
3 liked this (Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 8:30am)
If any teaching in Buddhism speak about Advaita-Self, it is to be understood as merely provisional and not the definitive meaning of the Buddhadharma.


"Any sūtrānta which explains in a variety of different terms a self, a sentient being, a living being, a personality, a person, an individual, one born from a human, a human, an agent, an experiencer — teaching an owner in what is ownerless — those sutras are called "of provisional meaning". Any sūtrānta which teaches emptiness, the signless, the wishless, the unconditioned, the non-arisen, the unproduced, the insubstantial, the non-existence of self, the non-existence of sentient beings, the non-existence of living beings, the non-existence of individuals, the non-existence of an owner up to the doors of liberation, those are called "definitive meaning". This is taught in the sūtrāntas of of definitive meaning but is not taught in the sūtrāntas of the provisional meaning."

Lankavatara Sutra:

"Similarly, that tathagatagarbha taught in the sutras spoken by the Bhagavan, since the completely pure luminous clear nature is completely pure from the beginning, possessing the thirty two marks, the Bhagavan said it exists inside of the bodies of sentient beings.

When the Bhagavan described that– like an extremely valuable jewel thoroughly wrapped in a soiled cloth, is thoroughly wrapped by cloth of the aggregates, ayatanas and elements, becoming impure by the conceptuality of the thorough conceptuality suppressed by the passion, anger and ignorance – as permanent, stable and eternal, how is the Bhagavan’s teaching this as the tathagatagarbha is not similar with as the assertion of self of the non-Buddhists?

Bhagavan, the non-Buddhists make assertion a Self as “A permanent creator, without qualities, pervasive and imperishable”.

The Bhagavan replied:

“Mahamati, my teaching of tathagatagarbha is not equivalent with the assertion of the Self of the non-Buddhists.

Mahamati, the Tathagata, Arhat, Samyak Sambuddhas, having demonstrated the meaning of the words "emptiness, reality limit, nirvana, non-arisen, signless", etc. as tathagatagarbha for the purpose of the immature complete forsaking the perishable abodes, demonstrate the expertiential range of the non-appearing abode of complete non-conceptuality by demonstrating the door of tathagatagarbha.

Mahamati, a self should not be perceived as real by Bodhisattva Mahasattvas enlightened in the future or presently.

Mahamati, for example, a potter, makes one mass of atoms of clay into various kinds containers from his hands, craft, a stick, thread and effort.

Mahamati, similarly, although Tathagatas avoid the nature of conceptual selflessness in dharmas, they also appropriately demonstrate tathagatagarbha or demonstrate emptiness by various kinds [of demonstrations] possessing prajñaa and skillful means; like a potter, they demonstrate with various enumerations of words and letters. As such, because of that,

Mahamati, the demonstration of Tathagatagarbha is not similar with the Self demonstrated by the non-Buddhists.

Mahamati, the Tathagatas as such, in order to guide those grasping to assertions of the Self of the Non-Buddhists, will demonstrate tathagatagarbha with the demonstration of tathagatagarbha. How else will the sentient beings who have fallen into a conceptual view of a True Self, possess the thought to abide in the three liberations and quickly attain the complete manifestation of Buddha in unsurpassed perfect, complete enlightenment?"

"O Mahāmati, with a view to casting aside the heterodox theory, you must treat the tathāgatagarbha as not self (anātman).
3 liked this (Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 9:18am)
Also as I wrote in -


Substantial Non-duality

- truly/inherently/independently existing awareness/Subject subsuming subject-object separation and phenomena and sees everything as a display of itself or one’s Self (as the truly existing, unchanging and independent One Awareness)

- Subject-object dichotomy collapses, and everything (the various diversity and multiplicity) is subsumed, into inherent oneness, into One Naked Awareness. In other words, subject-object duality collapses by deconstructing and subsuming all sense of objectivity into being mere modulations of a single inherent subjective reality (One Mind/One Naked Awareness). Instead of “awareness seeing a thing over there”, it is realized that there is no “thing” other than the one awareness itself. One Awareness aware of itself ‘AS’ all its own modulations.

- subject/perceiver/experiencer, experiencing, and experienced, or seer, seeing, and seen, are seen as One Awareness, they are seamless and without boundaries. In other words, it is not realizing the absence of an agent (watcher/perceiver) but more on the seamlessness and inseparability of subject and object, where Awareness is just undivided and seamless beingness: in hearing, hearer and sound are indistinguishably one

- due to the view of inherency (that reality must have 'existence' located somewhere and somewhen, even if it is Here and Now), the vivid 'realness' of non-dual luminosity is being treated as something Absolute, as having inherent, independent and unchanging existence, and is being reified into Noumenon (in contrast to illusory phenomenon), and as being the ultimate non-dual Self

- the intimacy experienced via the collapse of subject-object dichotomy is being referenced to a grandiose all-pervasive Self ("I am Everywhere and I am Everything")

- all phenomena are seen to be illusory projections of a single underlying source, such that all phenomena are self-expressions of the single nature of Awareness, as depicted by the analogy of the mirror and its reflections - reflections as such do not have an objective, independent existence outside the mirror - and in fact only the Mirror is seen to have absolute, independent, inherent existence - only the Mirror is Real, and the appearances are only Real as the Mirror

- appearances are inseparable from the Source, and yet the Source is independent of appearances
5 liked this (Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 9:28am)
Insubstantial Non-duality (The Emptiness of Self)

- effectively, in the steps above, the view of duality is progressively removed, but the view of inherency still remains, and this is where the Buddhist teachings of 'emptiness' comes in

- insubstantial non-duality is about the arising insight into anatta (aka emptiness of self, aka first-fold emptiness), it is seen that seeing, cognizing, awareness is precisely and only what is seen, heard, tasted, touched, manifesting

- view of inherently/independently existing awareness, awareness is deconstructed in direct experiential realization of mere manifestation without a Subject, thus without a basis for subject-object separation and all phenomena are seen as a non-referencing or self-referencing display of itself (as transient, self-luminous or self-knowing phenomena-ing/flowing, not subsumed to some source or substance)

- it is not merely the seamlessness and inseparability of subject and object where hearer/heard, seer/seen is indistinguishably one in Awareness, but that there is absolutely no subject, no seer, no hearer whatsoever. Without an agent, without a subject, there cannot be 'inseparability' or 'union' of subject and object, Awareness and content - it absolutely does not make sense to talk about the inseparability of an Awareness and its contents, such analogies break down when 'Awareness' is realized as empty of a self and completely deconstructed into its constituents of six consciousnesses (which dependently originate according to the the six sense faculties and six sense objects). If inseparability is being talked about, it must be understood like heat is to fire and wetness is to water or sweetness is to sugar, that kind of inseparability (and not the inseparability of an existing awareness with its reflections). As I paraphrase Jui, awareness is a quality of experience and does not exist independently or separately from each particular manifest sensation

- the intimacy experienced via the lack of separation has no frame of reference due to the lack of something inherent - in the seeing is just the seen, in the hearing is just the heard, there is no True Self of any sorts - the world of multiplicity and diversity only references itself without an agent, without a source or oneness - no more referencing back to 'One Naked Awareness' as if everything is the display or emanation 'OF' a common source - without a source from which things issue forth, there is no more reference as to 'where' or 'to whom' phenomena 'comes from' - awareness does not 'issue' or 'illuminate' phenomena but rather awareness is simply the phenomena itself, self-aware where they are without a source

- Awareness is simply understood to be a label, like the word 'weather' - it has no substantial inherent existence, but is simply a convention for a conglomerate of diverse ever-changing phenomena like raining, clouds forming and parting, wind, lightning, etc... likewise Awareness is simply mind's clarity in the various modes of manifestation (it arises in six modes via dependent origination: Dependent Arising of Consciousness) – as such, we free ourselves of views such as “everything is contained within awareness” or “everything comes from awareness” as if awareness is some inherently existing source or substratum, just as we understand awareness is a mere convention like weather (there is no ‘The Weather’ to contain, give rise to, things), we do not say the rain is inside the weather or comes from the weather

- There is no ‘The Awareness’ that remains independent and unchanging, existing in and of itself, even when everything else dissolves, for we understand that even if there is voidness or awareness is self-aware in voidness, that aware-voidness (or I AMness) itself is an arising experience and not some untouched experiencer, for that too is ‘being known’ - in effect everything is manifestation only, awareness is manifestation only, the so called potential for arising is itself an arising/being known rather than being some unaffected knower

- there is no grandiose, universal consciousness, only individual bodies and mindstreams totally exerted seamlessly and interconnectedly due to interdependent origination, without any conceived 'underlying oneness behind multiplicity' - absolutely no identity remains, even the notion that "I am you and you are me" is seen as absurd

- as mentioned, there is no such thing as 'seamlessness of awareness and contents' or 'inseparability of awareness and its contents' - for awareness IS the process and activities of cognizance only, there is no such thing as 'awareness + its contents'

- seeing, cognizing, awaring never exists as nouns pointing to a noumenon but as verbs collating various activities of cognizance - what is seen, heard, taste, touch, are activities manifesting on its own accord with the presence of requisite conditions and factors via interdependent origination, without an agent, perceiver, controller, doer

- further penetration into anatta reveals that all phenomena are disjoint, unsupported, unlinked, bubble-like, insubstantial, dream-like, and self-releasing - there is absolutely nothing, not even an Awareness that underlies two thoughts, two manifestations - in fact there is not even two thoughts as such, just this thought, which spontaneously self-releases upon inception leaving absolutely no traces

- there is absolutely no collapsing of subject-object dichotomy into a base or oneness existing somewhere, even as a Here/Now - there is no linking base, oneness or source at all, only the experience of dispersed-out and de-linked multiplicity

- all manifestations are intrinstically luminous and vivid yet insubstantial and vanishes without a trace upon inception like drawing pictures on water manifests vivid appearances that does not leave trace - no existence of any sorts can leave traces when reality is momentary, popping in and out like bubbles but leaving no traces.

(continued in the link)
6 liked this (Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 9:28am)
Stefan Beyer
Well, in a scholarly article on the Buddha-nature (by Peter Gäng, in German) among other texts this one was quoted (Mahaparinirvana-Sutra):

Chapter Twelve: On the Nature of the Tathagata
Kasyapa said to the Buddha:
"O World-Honoured One! Is there Self in the 25 existences or
not? " The Buddha said: "O good man! Self means Tathagatagarbha
"[Buddha-Womb, Buddha-Embryo, Buddha-Nature]. Every being has Buddha-Nature. This is the Self. Such Self has, from the very beginning, been under cover of innumerable defilements. That is why man
cannot see it."

In the article it is commented that the teaching in this text does not follow the common tendency to distinguish Buddha-nature from Atman, but that it explains the teaching of anatman as a skillful means to prevent people from being attached to a Self (atman). I would say that would be totally in accordance with Advaita.
(Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 7:19pm)
Stefan Beyer
The Sutra in English is here (go to chapter 12).
(Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 8:08pm)
Yes Mahaparinirvana Sutra is precisely an example of a provisional text -- provisional as in not to be taken at face-value but requires interpretation, as opposed to a definitive text which explains the core essence of dharma directly, and how a text is defined as 'provisional' or 'definitive' is as explained in the excerpt I posted according to
Āryākṣayamatinirdeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra and the Lankavatara Sutra.

Buddhist schools generally do not treat such a text talking about 'Self' as definitive, except perhaps for a minority of Shentong school (which is differentiated into a 'black' or more extreme form of Shentong, and a more moderate form of Shentong). So yes there are in fact atma-vadins in Buddhism, but the majority of Buddhists would say that they are misinterpreting the Dharma, taking a provisional text to be definitive, and not seeing the whole picture of dharma clearly -- taking one teaching (out of countless texts) out of context, completely confusing the Buddhadharma with a non-Buddhist view of eternalism and self-view.

The teaching of Tathagatagarbha is a late development teaching in Buddhism. It can be a good skillful means but misinterpreted at the hands of the unskilled or uninformed, it leads towards a non-Buddhist extreme.

Also, an excerpt from

"...As we know, the 'Mahaparnirvana-sutra' is one of the most important 'sutras' which articulate the concept of Buddha nature. Just as the Ratnagotravibhaga claims that all sentient beings possess the 'tathagatagarbha', so the 'Mahaparinirvana Sutra' teaches that sentient beings have the Buddha nature. In explaining what it means by sentient beings' having the Buddha nature, the 'Mahaparinirvana Sutra' distinguishes three different ways of understanding the term "to have":

- Good son, there are three ways of having: first, to have in the future, Secondly, to have at present, and thirdly, to have in the past. All sentient beings will have in future ages the most perfect enlightenment, i.e., the Buddha nature. All sentient beings have at present bonds of defilements, and do not now possess the thirty-two marks and eighty noble characteristics of the Buddha. All sentient beings had in past ages deeds leading to the elimination of defilements and so can now perceive the Buddha nature as their future goal. For such reasons, I always proclaim that all sentient beings have the Buddha nature.(31)

Since the above passage identifies sentient beings' ways of having Buddha nature with the third way of having, i.e., having in the future, it is again a proof that the teaching of the universal Buddha nature does not intend to assert the existence of substantial, entity-like self endowed with excellent features of a Buddha. Rather, Buddha nature simply represents the potentiality to be realized in the future.

Elsewhere in the 'Mahaparinirana Sutra', Buddha nature is defined as the ultimate emptiness and the Middle Way. It says:

- Good son, Buddha nature is the ultimate emptiness ,which is 'prajna' itself. [False] emptiness means not to perceive emptiness or non-emptiness. The wise perceive emptiness and non-emptiness, permanence and impermanence, suffering and happiness, self and non-self. What is empty is 'samsara' and what is not empty is great 'nirvana' ... Perceiving the non-self but not the self is not the Middle Way. The Middle Way is Buddha nature.(32)

The essential point of this passage is that true emptiness, or in this case Buddha nature, trancends any dictomony�wbeing and non-being, self and non-self, suffering and happiness, etc. Ordinary people and the heterodox see only the existence of self, while 'Sravakas' and Pratyekabuddhas perceive only the non-self, but not the existence of a self. Clinging to one extreme or the other, they cannot realize the ultimate, and true emptiness and consequently cannot realize the Middle Way. Without the Middle Way, they are not able to comprehend Buddha nature. Trying to lessen the monistic flavour of the Buddha nature, the 'Mahaparinirvana Sutra' interprets Buddha nature as both emcompassing and transcending the notions of self and non-self. It makes the doctrine of the Buddha nature adhere closely to the Buddhist teaching of non-duality and the Middle Way. Thus Buddha nature should not be treated as equivalent to the monistic absolute. If it does seemly indicate the presence of a substantive self, it is actually a positive expression of emptiness.

In conclusion, when we try to interpret the thought of the 'tathagatagarbha', we should keep several points in mind:

1) The 'tathagatagarbha' symbolizes the potential for enlightenment (a principle) rather than a material "essence" of ultimate truth,

2) the 'tathagatagarbha' is based on the framework of the 'Mahayana' doctrine of 'sunyata-pratitys-amutpada'.

3) The development of the 'tathagatagarbha' doctrine signifies the ability of a religious tradition to meet the spiritual needs of the masses aiming at a given time.

That is to say the 'tathagatagarbha' thought was formed as an positive soterio-logical approach to counteract the "'sunyam sarvam'" (all is empty) view. The 'tathagatagarbha' which strongly articulates a devotional and experiential approach to salvation provides much to the hope and aspiration of the people at large. It is this positive aspect that was taken up and strongly emphasized in Chinese Buddhism.

4) The 'tathagatagarbha' doctrine is employed as a skill-in-means ('upaya'). This does not necessarily mean that the theory of the 'tathagatagarbha' is neyartha, a teaching requiring further qualifications -- rather, it is a skill-in-means in that it is taught to suit the needs of a certain kind of people and circumstances. This is why it is said in the 'sutra' that in order to teach the emptiness of all dharmas, the Buddhas preach sometimes by the doctrine of the 'tathagatagarbha', and sometimes by that of emptiness. Thus it is better to take the 'tathagatagarbha / Buddha nature' as representing "profound existence" derived from "true emptiness" rather than as a monistic self./."
3 liked this (Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 8:27pm)
Loppon Namdrol:

Were the Buddha to teach such a doctrine, it might be so. However, in the Nirvana sutra is states quite plainly the following:

That is called ‘Buddha-nature’ because all sentient beings are to be unsurpassedly, perfectly, completely enlightened at a future time. Because afflictions exist in all sentient beings at present, because of that, the thirty two perfect marks and the eighty excellent exemplary signs do not exist”.

Here, the Nirvana sutra clearly and precisely states that buddha-svabhaava, the "nature of a Buddha" refers not to an actual nature but a potential. Why, it continues:

"Child of the lineage, I have said that ‘curd exists in milk’, because curd is produced from milk, it is called ‘curd’.

Child of lineage, at the time of milk, there is no curd, also there is no butter, ghee or ma.n.da, because the curd arises from milk with the conditions of heat, impurities, etc., milk is said to have the ‘curd-nature’."

So one must be quite careful not to make an error. The Lanka states unequivocably that the tathagatagarbha doctrine is merely a device to lead those who grasp at a true self the inner meaning of the Dharma, non-arising, the two selflessnesses and so on, and explains the meaning of the literal examples some people constantly err about:

"Similarly, that tathaagatagarbha taught in the suutras spoken by the Bhagavan, since the completely pure luminous clear nature is completely pure from the beginning, possessing the thirty two marks, the Bhagavan said it exists inside of the bodies of sentient beings.

When the Bhagavan described that– like an extremely valuable jewel thoroughly wrapped in a soiled cloth, is thoroughly wrapped by cloth of the aggregates, aayatanas and elements, becoming impure by the conceptuality of the thorough conceptuality suppressed by the passion, anger and ignorance – as permanent, stable and eternal, how is the Bhagavan’s teaching this as the tathaagatagarbha is not similar with as the assertion of self of the non-Buddhists?

Bhagavan, the non-Buddhists make assertion a Self as “A permanent creator, without qualities, pervasive and imperishable”.

The Bhagavan replied:

“Mahaamati, my teaching of tathaagatagarbha is not equivalent with the assertion of the Self of the non-Buddhists.

Mahaamati, the Tathaagata, Arhat, Samyak Sambuddhas, having demonstrated the meaning of the words "emptiness, reality limit, nirvana, non-arisen, signless", etc. as tathaagatagarbha for the purpose of the immature complete forsaking the perishable abodes, demonstrate the expertiential range of the non-appearing abode of complete non-conceptuality by demonstrating the door of tathaagatagarbha.

Mahaamati, a self should not be perceived as real by Bodhisattva Mahaasattvas enlightened in the future or presently.

Mahaamati, for example, a potter, makes one mass of atoms of clay into various kinds containers from his hands, craft, a stick, thread and effort.

Mahaamati, similarly, although Tathaagatas avoid the nature of conceptual selflessness in dharmas, they also appropriately demonstrate tathaagatagarbha or demonstrate emptiness by various kinds [of demonstrations] possessing prajñaa and skillful means; like a potter, they demonstrate with various enumerations of words and letters. As such, because of that,

Mahaamati, the demonstration of Tathaagatagarbha is not similar with the Self demonstrated by the non-Buddhists.

Mahaamati, the Tathaagatas as such, in order to guide those grasping to assertions of the Self of the Non-Buddhists, will demonstrate tathaagatagarbha with the demonstration of tathaagatagarbha. How else will the sentient beings who have fallen into a conceptual view of a True Self, possess the thought to abide in the three liberations and quickly attain the complete manifestation of Buddha in unsurpassed perfect, complete enlightenment?"

Thus, the Lanka says:

All yaanas are included
in five dharmas, three natures,
eight consciousnesses,
and two selflessnesses

It does not add anything about a true self and so on.

If one accepts that tathaagatagarbha is the aalayavij~naana, and one must since it is identified as such, then one is accepting that it is conditioned and afflicted and evolves, thus the Lanka states:

Tathaagatagarbha, known as ‘the all-base consciousness’, is to be completely purified.

Mahaamati, if what is called the all-base consciousness were (37/a) not connected to the tathaagatagarbha, because the tathaagatagarbha would not be ‘the all-base consciousness’, although it would be not be engaged, it also would not evolve; Mahaamati, it is engaged by both the childish and Aaryas, that also evolves.

Because great yogins, the ones not abandoning effort, abide with blissful conduct in this at the time of personally knowing for themselves…the tathaagatagarbha-all basis consciousness is the sphere of the Tathaagatas; it is the object which also is the sphere of teachers, [those] of detailed and learned inclinations like you, and Bodhisattva Mahaasattvas of analytic intellect.


Although tathaagatagarbha
possesses seven consciousnesses;
always engaged with dualistic apprehensions
[it] will evolve with thorough understanding.

If one accepts that the tathaagatagarbha is unconditioned and so on, and one must, since it is identified as such other sutras state:

"`Saariputra, the element of sentient beings denotes the word tathaagatagarbha.
`Saariputra, that word ‘tathaagatagarbha’ denotes Dharmakaaya.


`Saariputra, because of that, also the element of sentient beings is not one thing and the Dharmakaaya another; the element of sentient beings itself is Dharmakaaya; Dharmakaaya itself is the element of sentient beings.

Then one cannot accept it as the aalayavij~naana-- or worse, one must somehow imagine that something conditioned somehow becomes conditioned.

Other sutras state that tathaagatagarbha is the citta, as the Angulimaala suutra does here:

"Although in the `Sraavakayaana it is shown as ‘mind’, the meaning of the teaching is ‘tathaagatagarbha’; whatever mind is naturally pure, that is called ‘tathaagatagarbha’.

So, one must understand that these sutras are provisional and definitive, each giving different accounts of the tathaagatagarbha for different students, but they are not defintive. Understood improperly, they lead one into a non-Buddhist extremes. Understood and explained properly, they lead those afraid of the profound Praj~naapaaramitaa to understanding it's sublime truth. In other words, the Buddha nature teaching is just a skillful means as the Nirvana sutra states

"Child of the lineage, buddha-nature is like this; although the ten powers and the four fearlessnesses, compassion, and the three foundations of mindfulness are the three aspects existing in sentient beings; [those] will be newly seen when defilements are thoroughly conquered. The possessors of perversion will newly attain the ten powers (44/B) and four fearlessness, great compassion and three foundations of mindfulness having thoroughly conquered perversion.

Because that is the purpose as such, I teach buddha-nature always exists in all sentient beings.

When one can compare and contrast all of these citations, and many more side by side, with the proper reading of the Uttataratantra, one will see the propositions about these doctrines by the Dark Zen fools and others of their ilk are dimmed like stars at noon.
3 liked this (Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 8:26pm)
Quite a number of us including myself in this group have went through the Advaitic realizations, first as the I AM/Witness, then later the collapse of Witness into a nondual field of awareness inseparable from everything (One Mind). But by investigating into anatta and emptiness, further realizations arose.

A few of us have narrated our experiences: Thusness/John Tan:

Joel Agee:

Zen Teacher/Priest Alex Weith:

Also, a friend Edmond who is the Director at Transpersonal Psychology Institute is writing his experiences which he will also send to Ken Wilber: - currently still in draft phase (his writings are also partially published in

There are many more I know who have gone through a similar journey but have not written that much.
4 liked this (Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 9:56pm)
Stefan Beyer
Thank you, Soh, for all the information. It is also a good idea to talk about our own experiences and discuss things on the base of that.

So how is it for me? Can I resonate with "in the seeing only the seen"? I would say, yes and no.

First, for me there are always *situations*. And the situations *are*, so one might say there are always luminous situations. But by situations I mean a united experiencing, one block so to speak. I don't think I put them together from prior pure sensory perception and thoughts, as many (for instance Jackson Petersen) assume.

For instance, with a very superficial description I might say I am right now looking at a tree in front of my window. Less superficial the situation is that I am writing this and that I am searching for an example and therefore I look out of the window. I see a landscape including a tree and many other things. I know in my situation that I can conceptually separate those things into a tree, three houses, five horses, a meadow etc. and knowing that I can separate them is part of my situation without explicitly thinking about it. But on first "sight" I usually don't separate things that way. I also know that I could heed the colors of the tree, and I am able to do that (with some strain). But that does not make the situation less intricate. When I heed the greenness of the tree the greenness implies everything I implicitly know about green: all the things that I know as green, the theories of chlorophyll and light waves, Luescher's psychological color test, which let's you say your favorite colors and infers you current mood, the fact, that if I am very hungry some green things are eatable etc. etc.
So heeding alleged pure perception does not take me out of intricate situations but is another intricate situation which implies many things. Since situations are ok for me, I don't try to reduce them to pure perception and meaning added by thought (If they were no implicit intricacy, thoughts would also be mere noises - if internally spoken - and not even that).

What I wrote so far should actually remind you of the emptiness teaching as described in Greg Goode's book. It is consistent with the philosophies of Heidegger and Wittgenstein (mentioned in that book), although I have it from Gendlin. Gendlin's term "implying" is very useful for understanding how something can be part of the situation without being explicitly thought or perceived.

Now it can be part of the situation that there is a heeded background of awareness, apparently as opposed to a foreground of phenomena. That kind of experience is - if at all - only intended in the first stage of Advaita, it is later to overcome and Advaita has the means for that. For instance Douglas Harding has an experiment of measuring the distance between "what I look out" of and the tree. For an external observer who locates my awareness in my head it may be 3 meters. But if I measure from my own perspective, the beginning and the end of the measuring device are at the same place for me. So there is no real distance, the relationship is not one of background and foreground. (I think Rupert Spira wants to express that with his "stuff"-metapher, he doesn't mean the essence-meaning, which the metapher can also induce. Btw. Douglas Harding's term "what I look out of" is also misleading, if one does not know the whole context.) But I would agree with Joel Agee, that even if one knows that there can be a habit of conceiving of Awareness as somehow distinct from so-called objects. I usually don't support thinking this distinction but sometimes I do, for instance I may deliberately think that an intense pain does not spoil Awareness. But whatever I take Awareness to be, this doesn't change the fact that there are *situations* and that situations *are*. A situation with a falsely imagined awareness-"background" is not in principle worse than a situation of only a heeded tree. So from this perspective I need not change anything about situations, but of course they can and will change by themselves. If I want the soteriological effect of that, I only need to remind myself that there are situations and that situations are.

I should add that I have a similar experience to Joel's one, insofar as Douglas Harding's teaching was a very good introduction but later something else was needed to overcome a certain limitation of what I had, to "go deeper". In my case that was a kind of nonverbal "influence" (sat-sang, if you want) by a "guru", who is not oriented at a single specific religious tradition.
1 liked this (Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 6:46pm)
David Vardy
Douglas Harding took the 'headless' position to be one in which seeing is a container, a background, Brahman. It's very much an Advaita position. "Two-way seeing" for example, denotes the notion of a seer, who is absent, but seeing the seen.
3 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 2:33am)
Joel Agee
Stefan, I really like your phenomenological approach. I too find myself, at any given moment, in a situation that is never static and entails some latent possibility or implication. You use the word “intricate.” For me, it’s intricate only in the description. Experience itself seems too simple for words.

You began your reflections with the question: “Can I resonate with ‘In the seeing, only the seen’?”

Here are some thoughts on the implications of that phrase. In the two translations of the Bahiya Sutta I know, the word “seeing” does not even appear in the Buddha’s teaching. In Thanissaro Bikkhu’s translation, it’s “In reference to the seen, there will only be the seen.” In John Ireland’s: “In the seen there is only the seen.” I don’t know if these are the most accurate translations. In any case, what is being pointed out is that there is no intermediary “seer” and activity of “seeing”(or “hearer” and “hearing”). There is only experience in its spontaneous immediacy and transience. I don’t think that excludes the intricacy of its content when examined, or the dynamic “implying” that are part of moment-to-moment experience.

A key sentence in the Sutta, for me, is when the Buddha says, “This, just this, is the end of stress.” I find that by simply experimenting with the directions given, stress falls away. In theseen there is only the seen. In the cognized there is only the cognized. Such a relief!

I agree that it’s not necessary to battle against situations in which “a falsely imagined awareness-‘background’” temporarily presents itself. It’s enough to recognize that it’s imagined.

I don’t know how I would respond to extreme physical or emotional pain – whether instinctively I would grasp at the idea of an unafflicted background awareness as a way to find relief. Maybe I’m kidding myself, but I can’t imagine it would work, simply because I wouldn’t believe in the construction. Relief could only be found (if at all) in complete openness to the experience.
4 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 6:41am)
Joel Agee
P.S.: Morphine would also help, of course!
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 7:03am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Doesn't "in the seen there is only the seen" imply and I..., and isn't it that "only the activity of seeing" looks so much like neoadvaita...? Can the "only experience in its spontaneous inmediacy" as you say Joel, be deconstructed? I don't want to imply a nihilistic view but can one rest in the seen there is only the seen, and not be falling into neoadvaita or pure awareness teachings, or a Bhavavivekan point of view?
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 9:17am)
Joel Agee
I didn’t say there is “only the activity of seeing.” I said the opposite: “There is no intermediary ‘seer’ and activity of ‘seeing’.”

I.e. “No seer and no seeing.” I.e. it doesn't imply an I.

So it’s different from “resting in awareness” or “as awareness,” which I think is what you’re referring to when you speak of neo-Advaita. I’m not familiar with Bhavaviveka.

The expression I used, “spontaneous immediacy of experience,” is an abstraction referring to sounds, sights, sensations, feelings, thoughts. They come and go. What's there to deconstruct?

Right now I’m hearing an airplane. That sentence is an inaccurate description, because a) "I" am not doing that, and b) no activity of hearing was involved ("was" because now it’s already in the past, a memory). In the heard there was only the heard.
2 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 10:12am)
Joel Agee
The point is, there's no "resting in experience." That word "experience" is another abstraction. What the word refers to is ungraspable, already gone even as it appears.
4 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 10:05am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
When you ask me what is there to deconstruct, well I would say the coming and the going. There was never any sound or seeing, there is just your description. When you describe it it is already gone, hence when you say in the seen only the seen etc, its just a description since "it" cannot be grasped, because of its emptiness. I hope I am becoming clear what has been my complain, if you will, to sentences as the ones I have quoted above. Before the sentence is said it has already gone.
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 10:54am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Your last sentence is such an obvious contradiction. You write "What the word refers to is ungraspable, already gone even as it appears". So, my question is, why even utter a word?
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:17am)
Descriptions are never a problem since they are just conventional, pointers are a problem as it implies a view of inherency.

What Joel Agee is actually trying to avoid is using pointers that refer to (inherent) noumenons.

"10/19/2012 11:15 AM: Soh: He said
10/19/2012 11:15 AM: Soh: The same illusion as what? "This" is a word that points to what is. Would you prefer the term "vivid, clear, present"? Or "lemon-meringue-pie"?
10/19/2012 11:21 AM: John: Is "teaspoon bangs on a teacup, tings...Vivid, clear and present" a pointing to "anything" or simply a description?
10/19/2012 11:22 AM: John: Do u know what I mean?
10/19/2012 11:23 AM: Soh: Yes
10/19/2012 11:23 AM: Soh: Descriptions are phenomenal
10/19/2012 11:23 AM: Soh: Pointers imply hidden noumenons
10/19/2012 11:24 AM: John: Yes
10/19/2012 11:25 AM: John: And yet that is not all, that would b just anatta ... Not DO"
2 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:28am)
Joel Agee
I agree, "coming and going" is descriptive language (mine) that can be deconstructed. -- Why utter a word? Because we're on FaceBook and you asked for clarification.
2 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:34am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
You make a distinction between descriptions and pointers, which I agree, but would say the difference at the edges is quite unclear. I see that many times a description hides a pointer because what is there to describe? Aren't they similar or please tell me what I am not seeing. Why would you have no problem with descriptions but not with pointers, aren't both reifying something. The only difference in of degrees.
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:36am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
I asked for clarification...? I was clarifying I thought.
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:37am)
Joel Agee
Maybe you were, but your original post was a question. That's what I meant.
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:37am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Joel Agee all my posts have been original. I don't know which one do you mean by "your original posting". This has been quite a long thread.
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:41am)
Joel Agee
"Doesn't "in the seen there is only the seen" imply and I..., and isn't it that "only the activity of seeing" looks so much like neoadvaita...?"
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:43am)
Joel Agee
That was the prompt for my subsequent utterances.
1 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:45am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:50am)
"I see that many times a description hides a pointer because what is there to describe?"

For example, describing that you see red flower in a loose, conventional way may be taken to mean that there is inherently a you, an inherently existing flower, and that the flower has an intrinsic property called redness. But we know redness is not seen in many other species and is thus dependently arisen appearance, like everything else.

So descriptions can indeed be taken to contain pointers, or it can simply be taken to be mere conventional parlance describing the way appearance shows without viewing them in terms of inherent existence. Conventions are imputed on a basis of designation -- the various phenomena in experience, which dependently originates.

The same word can be used in a loose, conventional manner, or it can lead to the wrong view of inherency. So there is no need to avoid any word at all, but its usage can be revealing. The Buddha teaches anatta and yet sometimes uses the word 'I', but never does he use the word 'I' other than as mere conventional parlance, he does not use it as a pointer to an inherent self. But if the word is used in an ontological sense, as in pointing to a true existence of self, then that is to be rejected (You exist, You are, etc etc). It is in this sense that the Buddha says, " ‘I am’ is a conceiving; ‘I am this’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall not be’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be possessed of form’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be formless’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be percipient’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be non-percipient’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be neither-percipient-nor-non-percipient’ is a conceiving"

Would an arahant say "I" or "mine"?

Other devas had more sophisticated queries. One deva, for example, asked the Buddha if an arahant could use words that refer to a self:

"Consummate with taints destroyed,
One who bears his final body,
Would he still say 'I speak'?
And would he say 'They speak to me'?"

This deva realized that arahantship means the end of rebirth and suffering by uprooting mental defilements; he knew that arahants have no belief in any self or soul. But he was puzzled to hear monks reputed to be arahants continuing to use such self-referential expressions.

The Buddha replied that an arahant might say "I" always aware of the merely pragmatic value of common terms:

"Skillful, knowing the world's parlance,
He uses such terms as mere expressions."

The deva, trying to grasp the Buddha's meaning, asked whether an arahant would use such expressions because he is still prone to conceit. The Buddha made it clear that the arahant has no delusions about his true nature. He has uprooted all notions of self and removed all traces of pride and conceit:

"No knots exist for one with conceit cast off;
For him all knots of conceit are consumed.
When the wise one has transcended the conceived
He might still say 'I speak,'
And he might say 'They speak to me.'
Skillful, knowing the world's parlance,
He uses such terms as mere expressions." (KS I, 21-22; SN 1:25)
3 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 12:07pm)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Joel, Still you have not said clearly why or what is different in your reading of the Bahiya Sutta and neoadvaita (you know what i mean by neoadvaita!)?
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 12:17pm)
Joel Agee
I tried my best to say it clearly. Maybe someone else can do it better.
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 12:45pm)
What Joel Agee described has nothing to do with "pure awareness teachings". But neither does it deny 'awareness', but shows a non-substantialist view of Self, awareness, and everything. Substantialists posits pure awareness as a container, first as a background, then later that sense of a background/Witness collapses into substantial nondualism (One Mind) in which all phenomena are subsumed into it as an inseparable pure expression of that awareness. That Awareness is still seen as changeless and inherently existing but now 'inseparable' from everything without subject/object division, modulating as anything and everything.

In Bahiya Sutta, it is seen that there is no 'Awareness' existing in and of itself (or inherently existing 'inseparable with' or 'modulating as' everything) much less something changeless -- in seeing only the seen (no intrinsic seer or seeing), in hearing only sound (no intrinsic hearer or hearing), or more accurate in the seen just the seen -- which are momentary and fundamentally non-arising mere luminous appearance in shimmering suchness as described in Kalaka Sutta*. There is no knower behind, or even 'inseparable with', the self-luminous appearance.

You are right to say even the 'seen', 'heard' is fundamentally non-arising, however this non-arising is to be understood from dependent origination. That would be the secondfold emptiness insight after anatta. Whatever dependently originates never arise, never abides, never ceases, just as a reflection of moon is a mere dependently originated appearance that cannot be said to have come into existence inside the pond.

*"When cognizing what is to be cognized, he doesn't construe an [object as] cognized. He doesn't construe an uncognized. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-cognized. He doesn't construe a cognizer.

Thus, monks, the Tathagata — being the same with regard to all phenomena that can be seen, heard, sensed, & cognized — is 'Such.' And I tell you: There's no other 'Such' higher or more sublime." -- Buddha, Kalaka Sutta
2 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 12:56pm)
Mardava Christian Palocz
i believe is your incapacity to hold to your explanation that is tiring. you cannot hold that experience per se is like some sort of expression of anatta. I insist, and even following Soh example above, that even if I would see how wonderful is the music and how much I like it and it gives me great pleasure, or if there is only seen, both experiences are empty hence no one more holy than the other.
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 12:53pm)
In hearing only sound -- music is also only sound, no hearer. In thinking only thought, no thinker. Anatta is a dharma seal. Always already so.. so yes, both experiences are empty of self, empty of an agent, a hearer/seer/etc behind experience. And experiences are also empty.
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 1:05pm)
That being said, there can be delusion or wisdom, delusion of twofold emptiness and having wrong view. Even in delusion the twofold emptiness is fully exhibited in all phenomena as its nature but not realized, and because of not realizing and being ignorant, it makes all the difference -- i.e. grasping, suffering, etc. It's not a matter of which is more holy, but which has more suffering.
5 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 1:07pm)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Soh Soh as long as you keep on making such a difference you are on relative teachings I would say. When you say all experiences are empty, on your before to last post, that makes you not want one experience over the other and in that sense there is liberation because you are out of the world of samsara, without preference and not wanting one experience over the other. We are clear that this doesn't mean an absolute void where there is no discrimination, but you (and Joel) keep on coming back to relative teachings, and according to me reifying them. This is my critique on your insistence on realisation versus non realisation, or delusion and wisdom. From a definitive point of view and teachings there is no realisation because there is nothing to be realised. Would you agree with this statement? So, when you keep on going back to dual interpretations of reality like delusion and wisdom for example, I wonder what are you talking about when we had already agreed that all experiences are empty, and it is this realisation that frees. All posterior choosing and talk in dual terms is just relative.
(Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:17pm)
Denying or rejecting the path, wisdom, delusion, liberation, etc is just nihilism. That may be a kind of neo-Advaitin, non-Buddhist view, that eschews all convention and grasps at an ultimate. This is definitely not how Buddhists understand emptiness. The ultimate is simply the emptiness of the relative, it reveals the nature of conventions and is not a transcendent nature of any sort. Dependent origination is emptiness, emptiness is only truly understood from D.O.

Greg: "Refuting inherencies not only leaves conventional truths, but it (1) depends on them, and (2) liberates them. Structures are not abandoned, just liberated from conceptions of inherency."

Kyle Dixon: "Vidyā (knowledge/wisdom) and avidyā's (ignorance) lack of inherency does not negate their conventional validity, if you assert that their conventional application is negated (by the fact that they lack inherency) then this is nihilism and is grasping at the ultimate, which is just delusion."

"Ultimately there is 'no such thing' as anything, yet processes unfold and appearances manifest. This goes without saying, yet if this principle is grasped at then the ultimate is identified with by mind, which causes a negation of the system, specifically; the basis, path and result. This is called allowing the view to overtake the conduct, which is an error that the system warns against. On the flip side there is such a thing as allowing the conduct to overtake the view, so there must be a balance, and right view is the corner stone of that balance."" - "Nagarjuna emphasizes that everything--and this must include emptiness--is dependently arisen. So everything--including emptiness--lacks inherent existence. So nothing lacks the three coextensive properties of emptiness, dependent-origination, and conventional identity.

With this in hand, Nagarjuna can reply to the critic. He first points out (24: 20-35) that in virtue of the identity of dependent origination and emptiness on the one hand and of ontological independence and intrinsic reality on the other, such phenomena as arising, ceasing, suffering, change, enlightenment, and so on--the very phenomena the opponent charges Nagarjuna with denying--are possible only if they are empty. The tables are thus turned: it appears that Nagarjuna, in virtue of arguing for the emptiness of these phenomena, was arguing that in reality they do not exist, precisely because, for the reifier of emptiness, existence and emptiness are opposites. But in fact, because of the identity of emptiness and conventional existence, it is the reifier who, in virtue of denying the emptiness of these phenomena, denies their existence. And it is hence the reifier of emptiness who is impaled on both horns of the dilemma s/he has presented to Nagarjuna: contradicting the ultimate truth, s/he denies that these phenomena are empty; contradicting the conventional, s/he is forced to deny that they even exist! And so Nagarjuna can conclude (24: 36):

If dependent arising is denied,
Emptiness itself is rejected.
This would contradict
All of the worldly conventions. "


If dependent arising is denied,
Emptiness itself is rejected.
This would contradict
All of the worldly conventions.

If emptiness is rejected,
No action will be appropriate.
There would be action which did not begin,
And there would be agent without action.

If there is svabhava, the whole world
Will be unarising, unceasing,
And static. The entire phenomenal world
Would be immutable.

If it (the world) were not empty,
Then action would be without profit.
The act of ending suffering and
Abandoning misery and defilement would not exist.
(Garfield 1995, p.72)
1 liked this (Friday, August 22, 2014 at 11:58pm)
"makes you not want one experience over the other "

By the way, it is important to distinguish 'wisdom' from 'peak experience'. Wisdom is realizing the way things always already are, i.e. twofold empty in terms of subject and object. Wisdom once realized can never be unseen or lost, and can be quite effortlessly actualized (but complete actualization will take some training). Peak experiences is just an experience, nothing is realized, and usually it lasts only a few moments or sometimes even hours but eventually gone and no fundamental transformation takes place.

And as much as all the Neo-Advaitins are talking about 'dropping the search', this is certainly not what the Buddhadharma is asking its practitioners to do. The Buddha teaches and advices to take up the "noble search" ( and another sutta clarified how the right kind of seeking can eventually result in the end of craving. ( What the noble search is seeking however, is of course not just some transient wonderful peak experience, but the permanent end of suffering.
2 liked this (Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 12:12am)
On the topic of distinguishing view, realization, experience, etc I wrote a very long article -- and a much shorter one --
1 liked this (Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 12:17am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Did I make you believe I was reyifing emptiness? This we all know and I hope you have read my critiques on neoadvaitins, absolutists and emptyiests. We agree that the conventional is empty and the absolute, or definitive (emptiness) is empty too. This said, and to summarise all your quotes and explanations, I agree. Now, what I am saying is that the Bahiya sutra is a provisional text because it rest on an experience which I say is also empty. I say that you and Joel are reifying this experience. The theory of the two truths is also provisional, and if you read carefully the diamond sutra just to give an example it is written, "Subhuti, what do you think? Has the Tathaghata a teaching to enunciate? Subhuti replied to Buddha, World honored one, the tathaghata has nothing to teach. (Price translation). I am not reyifing emptiness and dissolving all conventions into an absolute voidness. What I am saying is that you and Joel are refying conventionality and basing your understanding on the Bahiya Sutta which I say is a provisional text. One cannot rest, and I say Joel and you do in a particular experience "in the seen there is only the seen". Actually, it is me who said this to me sounds a neoadvaita position. Now you blame me for what I am criticising you. This is funny.
(Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 7:22am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
The Last Passing of the Robe and Bowl

One day Hung-jen challenged his monks to compose a verse that expressed their understanding of the dharma. If any verse reflects the truth, Hung-jen said, the monk who composed it will receive the robe and bowl and become the Sixth Patriarch.

Shen-hsiu (Shenxiu), the most senior monk, accepted this challenge and wriote this verse on a monastery wall:

Our body is the bodhi tree
And our mind a mirror bright.
Carefully we wipe them hour by hour
And let no dust alight.

When someone read the verse to the illiterate Huineng, the future Sixth Patriarch knew Shenxiu had missed it. Huineng dictated this verse for another to write for him:

There is no bodhi tree
Nor stand of a mirror bright.
Since all is void,
Where can the dust alight?

Hung-jen recognized Huineng's understanding but did not publicly announce him the winner. In secret he instructed Huineng on the Diamond Sutra and gave him Bodhidharma's robe and bowl. But Hung-jen also said that, since the robe and bowl were desired by many who didn't deserve it, Huineng should be the last to inherit them to keep them from becoming objects of contention.
(Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 7:24am)
Kyle Dixon
The insight of anatta is a dharma seal though, it is not an experience that is grasped at. It is empty like everything else but that doesn't negate the nature of anatta as an insight.

Anatta isn't a 'thing' or 'experience' but rather is a cessation of the cause for the arising of what we'd interpret as a subjective point of reference.

Hence why Śākyamuni is attempting to communicate that species of insight to Bāhiya.
6 liked this (Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 10:40am)
David Vardy
Mardava. In reference to the Bahiya Sutta, how can a verb be reified in the absence of a subject? Functionality itself cant be reified without the subject/object duo.
1 liked this (Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 1:06pm)
Its important to note that at the time Hui-neng wrote the no-mirror-stand (not no-mirror) quote, he has not yet attained great enlightenment. It is more like a realization of the formless I AM, and how the I AM is fundamentally void of sensory/mental obscurations. But this is still way better than Shenxiu, who was still talking from the viewpoint of purifying the mind through shamatha, without any realization of his Mind. Hui-neng's great enlightenment occurred later on.

A better translation (by me):

Bodhi (Awareness/Mind/Self) is originally without tree
The Clear Mirror (Awareness/Mind) is not a Stand
Originally (in the Source) there is not one phenomena
Where does dust alight?
3 liked this (Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 4:58pm)
""in the seen there is only the seen" is not a position of neoadvaitins. I have not seen neo-advaitins talking about realization of anatta. They may have experiences of one mind or no mind, they may talk about impersonality, non-doership or even realized non-dual, but not insight of anatta.

'In the seen just the seen' is definitely not about 'resting' in experience, experience cannot be rested in. As Kyle said, anatta is a dharma seal. Anatta is simply realized, and once realized it cannot be unseen, it is not about an experience to rest in. The realization of which is simply about liberating any delusion of a background self or seeing, leading towards gapless, self-luminous taste of everything. Further insights into the emptiness and D.O. of phenomena can later arise. But first, anatta must be realized.

As Greg Goode wrote in -- "In Middle Way teachings, it is said that without realizing the selflessness of persons, it is not possible to realize the selflessness of phenomena.[2] So the meditative reasonings are done first on persons."

Conventionality is reified when it is seen to be have intrinsic existence. But it is not, when it is not. However, by denying or rejecting them one will fall into the worst kind of view that Buddha has always rejected and warned against -- the view of nihilism. That is precisely what nihilism is about.

In the article I posted yesterday explaining the two truths:

"Prāsaṅgika Madhyamaka, however, rejects both these positions, and argues only what is conventionally non-intrinsic reality (niḥsvabhāva) is causally effective, for only those phenomena, the conventional nature of which is non-intrinsic, are subject to conditioned or dependent arising. Conventional truth (here treated as dependently arisen phenomenon), given it is causally effective, is therefore always intrinsically unreal, and hence lacks any intrinsic reality even conventionally. Hence that which is conventionally (or dependently) coarisen is always conventionally (or dependently) arisen and strictly does not arise ultimately."

"Nevertheless to assert that all things are empty of any intrinsic reality, for Nāgārjuna, is not to undermine the existential status of things as simply nothing. On the contrary, Nāgārjuna argues, to assert that the things are empty of any intrinsic reality is to explain the way things really are as causally conditioned phenomena (pratītyasamputpaṅhā).

Nāgārjuna's central argument to support his radical non-foundationalist theory of the two truths draws upon an understanding of conventional truth as tied to dependently arisen phenomena, and ultimate truth as tied to emptiness of the intrinsic nature. Since the former and the latter are coconstitutive of each other, in that each entials the other, ultimate reality is tied to being conventionally real. Nāgārjuna advances important arguments justifying the correlation between the conventional truth vis-à-vis dependent arising, and emptiness vis-à-vis ultimate truth. These arguments bring home their epistemological and ontological correlations (MMK 24.14; Dbu ma tsa 15a). He argues that wherever applies emptiness as the ultimate truth, there applies the causal efficacy of the conventional truth and wherever emptiness does not apply as the ultimate truth, there does not apply the causal efficacy of the conventional truth (Vig.71) (Dbu ma tsa 29a). According to Nāgārjuna, ultimate truth's being empty of any intrinsic reality affords conventional truth its causal efficacy since being ultimately empty is identical to being causally produced, conventionally. This must be so since, for Nāgārjuna, “there is no thing that is not dependently arisen; therefore, there is no such thing that is not empty” (MMK 24.19, Dbu ma tsa 15a)."
5 liked this (Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 1:49pm)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Kyle Dixon, I agree with you. What I am saying is that I see the "description" in the Bahiya Sutta as a reified state. I would say this (anatta) dharma seal applies to what is written in the Bahya Sutta ""Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."[2]." All my critique is that one has to be careful in making in the seen there is only the seen a "state", or as Soh writes, not even a realisation, since a realisation in this form is a reified state. Moreover, if you read well it says "train" in this manner and no where doest it say it is a way things are. In any case, I am not denying anatta. Emptiness of self is not just a special experience not having an I but just mere experience. I repeat, this would sound just like a neoadvaitin description.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 1:42am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
David VardyI think it is a very smiler to the neoadvaitins of one consciousness. I see here a reification too. And, a verb can also be a reification, process can be reification, a reification of process.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 1:43am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Soh, from where do you say Huinengs realisation came later on? I thought that by then he was already realised and that is why the 5th patriarch gives him the title. Here you make the distinction between the formless and emptiness....I agree. I wouldn't translate ´bodhi´as self/mind/self, in sanskrit at least it would mean more like wisdom/awakeness. I wonder what you say that Huineng was not enlightened. I read it as Huineng gave an absolute view rather than a relative as Shen-hsiu (Shenxiu) had done in the first poem.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 1:52am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Soh, you put this quote which I agree and think I understand, "According to Nāgārjuna, ultimate truth's being empty of any intrinsic reality affords conventional truth its causal efficacy since being ultimately empty is identical to being causally produced, conventionally. This must be so since, for Nāgārjuna, “there is no thing that is not dependently arisen; therefore, there is no such thing that is not empty” (MMK 24.19, Dbu ma tsa 15a)."" Conventional and ultimate are dependent on one another but one cannot rest on what the Bahiya sutta states since that is also empty and not an experience or a view of emptiness. It is just another nice experience, but not emptiness. This is why, I say and told Joel Agee, that he was resting in this experience. I see you and Joel in this case reifying an experience. I hear from you and Joel that because I criticise, and say what I am saying, that I am reifying a void or the formless. I think this is where we are at. We seem to both agree that the two realities exist and actually depend on one another. We try by not negating the relative, not to make a reified ultimate of emptiness in similar vein as the neoadvaitin, and I say that by not negating the emptiness of all things you are reifying "in the seen only the seen".
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 2:02am)
David Vardy
The concept of the "Emptiness of all things" is negated by virtue of "in the seen only the seen".
2 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 2:46am)
David Vardy
"And, a verb can also be a reification, process can be reification, a reification of process." Reification requires the assumption of a subject. Without it, the assumption that is, nothing which happens sticks, leaving functioning free of a subject and an object as in "in the seen only the seen".
2 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 3:48am)
Kyle Dixon
Mardava, is "negating the emptiness of all things" supposed to be a reference to the emptiness of emptiness?
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 4:53am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
It certainly includes it. Emptiness is empty of itself.It is not a reference to the emptiness of emptiness, but it certainly includes not to make of emptiness another "thing". In this manner we can say that in the seen only the seen is also empty. Hence, having a cappuccino, me having a cappuccino, or in tasting only the tasting, both are empty and have equal relative value. When one experience is compared to another I become suspicious. Especially when the experience of the Bahiya Sutta seems to reveal anatta. As far as I am concerned, it is the knowledge of all things empty that is the understanding rather than preferring one experience over another. Me tasting a cappuccino or in the tasting only the tasting have the same value if we see that both experiences are empty.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 5:35am)
Kyle Dixon
What would another reason for negating the emptiness of all things be?

The emptiness of emptiness does not negate emptiness, it means the emptiness of X pertains to X. So emptiness depends upon that which is empty and therefore is not something independent or separate which can be reified. That does not negate the emptiness of X though, or the fact that X lacks essence or substantiality.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 6:15am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
David Vardy, one can also reify a process, a verb, even a void. Even if there is no subject, which I doubt but don't want to go there, in the experience of "in the seen only the seen" there can be a reification.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 6:16am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Let me be clear, I am not negating the emptiness of all things. I am affirming the emptiness of all things.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 6:17am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
including emptiness....and "in the seen only the seen.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 6:17am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
The emptiness of things depend on their being there in a relative way. This can be said to be the understanding of two truths theory. We could also apply Nagarjuna´s cathurti argument and say it is not A, it is not the negation of A, it is not A and B, and it is not the negation of A and B. This said I still find unconceivable how and why Joel and Soh defend so much the Bahiya Sutta.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 6:24am)
Kyle Dixon
The emptiness of things just depends on said thing that is empty. Not on those things being there in a relative way.

"Relative" is simply ones experience from the standpoint of a deluded cognition which perceives existents and non-existents.

A deluded cognition is one that lacks knowledge that things are empty and therefore is ignorant of the fact that existence, non-existence, both and neither are ultimately impossibilities.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 6:53am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
What you just said is Nagarjuna's cathurti argument which I also wrote just above your post. I would say as a comment to your first sentence on your last post that emptiness does depend on things being there on a relative way. Things are there in no other way than a relative way, and only because there are things that are relative does emptiness is. Certainly to say that emptiness is is an error because one cannot say emptiness is, or that is not. So again, how does in the seen only the seen reflect anatta? Maybe as a first step, but to say that view is the view of emptiness or even of anatta I find it erroneous. Is there not a reification on the Bahiya Sutta and hence cannot be taken as a definitive text? Just this is my comment. I am not trying to convince anyone how deep is my understanding nor question Nagarjuna. I am
just questioning the definitiveness of the Bahiya sutta. So, Kyle Dixon can you comment on your understanding of those sentences of the Bahiya sutta...? Do you find them definitive? I dont.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 7:38am)
"Hence, having a cappuccino, me having a cappuccino, or in tasting only the tasting, both are empty and have equal relative value. When one experience is compared to another I become suspicious. Especially when the experience of the Bahiya Sutta seems to reveal anatta."

You are still confusing a realization with a peak experience. Realizing anatta is not 'the experience of Bahiya Sutta seems to reveal anatta'. It is absolutely not 'using an experience' to reveal anatta. It is simply realizing that always already, there never is/was/will be a me having a cappuccino, becausing in tasting there is always already only taste, never a taster, in seeing always already only seen, no seer. This fact of anatta is always already the case. This is seeing through a specific misperception and a realization of the nature of all experiences as empty of a self/Self, not a particular experience revealing something. That being the case, how is it that this is about resting in any experience? It is definitely not. Every experience reveals anatta to already be the case, and every experience is ungraspable and cannot be rested in. But it must be realized (not just 'experienced' as in a peak experience)
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 9:42am)
"I thought that by then he was already realised and that is why the 5th patriarch gives him the title. Here you make the distinction between the formless and emptiness....I agree. I wouldn't translate ´bodhi´as self/mind/self, in sanskrit at least it would mean more like wisdom/awakeness. I wonder what you say that Huineng was not enlightened. I read it as Huineng gave an absolute view rather than a relative as Shen-hsiu (Shenxiu) had done in the first poem."

Nope. Huineng simply realized the I AM at that time. The 5th patriarch rubbed his no-mirror-stand poem off with his feet saying that too is not an expression of great realization, told him to go meet him at midnight with a cryptic message from his staff. Upon meeting, the 5th patriarch explained the Diamond Sutra, and upon hearing the verse "giving rise to an unsupported mind" he realized "great awakening". This is written in chapter 1 of Platform Sutra
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 9:46am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
You are right. I had read it but forgot that he was realised at having the transmission of the Diamond sutra "Next day the Patriarch came secretly to the room where the rice was pounded. Seeing that I was working there with a stone pestle, he said to me, "A seeker of the Path risks his life for the Dharma. Should he not do so?" Then he asked, "Is the rice ready?" "Ready long ago," I replied, "only waiting for the sieve." He knocked the mortar thrice with his stick and left.
Knowing what his message meant, in the third watch of the night I went to his room. Using the robe as a screen so that none could see us, he expounded the Diamond Sutra to me. When he came to the sentence, "One should use one's mind in such a way that it will be free from any attachment," I at once became thoroughly enlightened, and realized that all things in the universe are the Essence of Mind itself" (
2 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:39am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
I am not sure why you say that I confuse peak experience with realisation, or station with state, as the sufis would put it. When you speak of realisation aren't you reifying your realisation? Can a realised being say he is realised? I say that any realisation, which you could say is a peak experience, is relative, and your realisation is also conventional at the moment it has a coming. In this manner it would be also fair to say that there is no realisation. One cannot say there is one, and we cannot say there is no realisation...etc. Hence, when you insist on realisation and beginning a series of dual vocabulary, it just proves to me that what is said in the Bahiya sutta is merely conventional.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:49am)
"I say that any realisation which you could say is a peak experience is relative, and your realisation is also elate the moment it has a coming."

Not sure I get what you meant. Can you rephrase?

Realisation is not a peak experience. Realisation once seen cannot be unseen, like one day you realize santa claus isn't real and never from then on will you be deluded and misconceive a santa claus. That's just a very gross example but the point is in realization you realize something and a form of delusion is then lost. In a peak experience you don't realize anything and the delusion comes back again in full force.

"When you speak of realisation aren't you reifying your realisation?"

Speaking of realization isn't reifying realization -- the Buddha had spoke of his realisation.

"Then, having stayed at Uruvela as long as I liked, I set out to wander by stages to Varanasi. Upaka the Ajivaka saw me on the road between Gaya and the (place of) Awakening, and on seeing me said to me, 'Clear, my friend, are your faculties. Pure your complexion, and bright. On whose account have you gone forth? Who is your teacher? In whose Dhamma do you delight?'

"When this was said, I replied to Upaka the Ajivaka in verses:
'All-vanquishing, all-knowing am I, with regard to all things, unadhering. All-abandoning, released in the ending of craving: having fully known on my own, to whom should I point as my teacher? [4] I have no teacher, and one like me can't be found. In the world with its devas, I have no counterpart. For I am an arahant in the world; I, the unexcelled teacher. I, alone, am rightly self-awakened. Cooled am I, unbound. To set rolling the wheel of Dhamma I go to the city of Kasi. In a world become blind, I beat the drum of the Deathless.'

"'From your claims, my friend, you must be an infinite conqueror.'
'Conquerors are those like me who have reached fermentations' end. I've conquered evil qualities, and so, Upaka, I'm a conqueror.'

"When this was said, Upaka said, 'May it be so, my friend,' and — shaking his head, taking a side-road — he left.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:55am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
i already edited. its clearer now
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:56am)
"Hence, when you insist on realisation and beginning a series of dual vocabulary, it just proves to me that what is said in the Bahiya sutta is merely conventional."

Conventionality is not a problem, if it is a problem then Buddha would not have spoke
n what he spoken above. Reifying conventionality with the view of intrinsic reality is a problem. In any case, never have anyone implied an intrinsic self, realization, dharma, etc. Emptiness allows conventional to be conventional rather than intrinsic.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:56am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
even Osho spoke of his realisation. i was going to ask you not to quote me autobiographies of realisations.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:57am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
please, lets assume i get the difference between peak experience and realisation and move on.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:58am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
The experience, realisation if you will, in the Bahiya sutta is not definitive according to me. For me you have failed to say why it is definitive. I insist you reify what is written in the Bahiya sutta, and talk around about peak experience and realisation. I am saying realisation never happens. To understand this is the realisation.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:01am)
You are somehow seeing emptiness as eschewing all conventions. Realization has its conventional validity, so does four noble truths.

There's something I wrote that is somehow related to what we're discussing.

This post is written to address the blog comment above in the topic My Thoughts on The Four Noble Truths. Readers should look into that post first to get the context for this posting.

First of all we have to understand that taints, clinging, karmic propensities are empty. But it is not empty in the sense of being non-existent, rather, it is empty of inherent existence due to dependent origination. For example we may think that craving exists somewhere in our 'minds' that we must somehow 'get rid of it'. This is having an inherent view. This is like looking into the mirror and trying to destroy the person appearing in the mirror by punching the mirror and cracking the mirror in order to "destroy the person inside the mirror" (as if there is a person living inherently inside the mirror, where in reality what's reflected is a dependently originating, non-arising appearance). That would be totally silly, and likewise trying to destroy afflictive emotions conceived as inherently existing somewhere "in us" without discerning its causes and conditions would be totally silly. If you want to remove the reflection, you have to discern the whole chain of dependencies which leads to that, and those afflictive causes are to be remedied. To have insight into the emptiness and dependent origination of our afflictive condition is to realize the Total Exertion of Karmic Tendencies

Likewise, thankfully our suffering is not inherently existing but arises due to dependent origination, and what is arising is fundamentally non-arising and free from extremes. Precisely because of this, we can discern the whole chain of dependent origination whereby ignorance depends on taints, taints dependents on ignorance, setting the whole chain of suffering. If we understand this, we don't focus our efforts on the wrong place. Things don't exist inherently - they manifest due to dependent origination, and when the causes and conditions are present, no effort or will can prevent them from arising, that is the nature of manifestation. If we fail to understand emptiness in the context of dependent origination, we will fall into a non-Buddhist or nihilistic version of emptiness, and it will not liberate us.

In the path of Buddhadharma, since we understand dependencies, we do not attempt to get rid of afflictive emotions by hard will, or by dissociation (which strengthens the fundamental delusion of an inherently existing subject and an inherently existing object), or other ways based on the view of inherent existence - which is akin to punching the mirror to get rid of the reflection. At the same time, we are not saying "they are purely an illusion, nothing to work on" (let's try that tactic when your clothes catch fire!). What we're saying is that by directly penetrating the dependent origination and emptiness of taints, precisely because they are illusory and not inherently existing, we can understand the necessity to apply the right remedy which cuts the basis for suffering (the 12 links from ignorance... to death). What path? The engagement in right view and right practice, in which integral conduct allows the arising of integral samadhi which allows the arising of integral wisdom, which results in the cessation of ignorance and the chains. With the arising of wisdom, the chain of afflictive dependent origination is released.

As Nagarjuna pointed out, it is precisely because of emptiness that the soteriological values of Buddhadharma can work at all. This is nicely explained in :

(continued in URL)
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:05am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
Thanks, I will read it.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:08am)
Emptiness of X is not about non-existence of X but realizing the emptiness of intrinsic existence and realizing dependent origination... thus allowing for the soteriological values of path, realization, fruition.. not viewed in an intrinsic way but a loose, conventional way
1 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:09am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
before i read it, I send you this: When you color "realisation" in the "poetry" of the Bahiya sutta as if me drinking the cappuccino and in the tasting there is only tasting where two different experiences, I am saying you are reifying one and preferring one over the other and in this not seeing the emptiness of both. hence there is no choosing and i read you reifying, I would quote you here the 3rd patriarch.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:10am)
You speak as if there can be a 'me drinking the cappuccino', but realizing anatta means realizing that it is impossible to have a 'me drinking the cappuccino' to begin with, never was there an actual agent or 'me drinking the cappucino' -- there is never anyone hiding behind or within the cappucino, there is just the appearance/taste of the drinking of cappucino with no one behind/within/in-between it. This is realized to be always already the case.

Therefore, for me, there is no choosing of one experience over another, simply because anatta is not 'one particular experience' but the nature of all experiences always already the case.
3 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:14am)
This is about seeing through a delusion conclusively rather than chasing after an experience neverendingly.
2 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:16am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
I think you reify because you describe a state of affairs. in the hearing only the hearing...with no subject i can understand, but the experience of hearing is also empty. it has a beginning and has an end, a moment of realisation, and I sincerely question this "new" view. This is what I say there is no realisation. I would be very Nagarjunic and say one cannot sustain there is realisation, one cannot deny there is, we cannot affirm there is realisation and there is not, and we cannot deny both at the same time. I say you rest on the description of the Bahiya sutta.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:17am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
you realise the emptiness of me drinking the cappuccino but as you have said this relative experience is empty, but nevertheless experience it as such. in the tasting only the tasting is also empty. realising the emptiness of both is liberation.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:19am)
" it has a beginning and has an end, a moment of realisation"

Yes and no. The moment of realisation happens, and from then on the realisation becomes effortlessly actualized moment by moment. It is quite easy. In all my waking life nowadays, the delus
ion of an agent is gone... now it is still so. This realization is actualized in a non-conceptual manner.

As Thusness posted before,

...As what Joan Tollifson once asked Toni “if she'd ever had one of those big awakenings where life turns inside out and all identification with the body-mind ceases.

Toni replied, "I can't say I had it," she replied. "It's this moment, right now." ...
2 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:20am)
The fact that realization is empty does not mean we deny it. The point is not about denying it, or affirming an intrinsic existence. In fact if realization was truly existent, then it would be impossible, it would be static, substantial, or what some Advaitins might say "you are always already enlightened". That is not how we see realization.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:22am)
Realizing the emptiness of phenomena is important, but does not in any way negate realizing the emptiness of self, but sort of builds onto it.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:23am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
this "from then on" I am questioning. the delusion of the agent you say gone, but in my case I continue savouring cappuccinos and when i am an agent or not, it is the same since both i consider empty. I cannot even see enlightened and ignorant people. You keep making a distinction that separates heaven and earth for me between the realised and the ignorant. I would say no enlightened person would make such a sin. Please ask yourselves, why do you assume me in a neoadvaitin position? i have never said that. Actually, if you read the Vimalakirti sutra it says it is inconceivable and impossible to attain. That is why it is called the great attainment. Realising that there is nothing to attain is the great attainment.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:34am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
from the vimalakirti sutra ch. 3 ""'Reverend Mahamaudgalyayana, how could there be a teaching in regard to such a Dharma? Reverend Mahamaudgalyayana, even the expression "to teach the Dharma" is presumptuous, and those who listen to it listen to presumption."
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:35am)
"the delusion of the agent you say gone, but in my case I continue savouring cappuccinos and when i am an agent or not, it is the same since both i consider empty."

Nope. Seeing the emptiness of X and Y does not mean seeing X and Y as the same, in fac
t, seeing X and Y as insubstantial reveals them to be quite different -- it allows the the diversity of conventional phenomena. But this is quite different from a substantialist view, where all the conventions are eschewed/subsumed/reduced into a monist ultimate reality. "Everything is only Brahman/This/Awareness" they say.
1 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:36am)
Also you will never "be in agent"... after realization that is just gone... there can be a sense of agent but never any actual agent (this is the case for all), but in my experience and many others, that's gone after the insight is stabilized.
1 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:36am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
please stop it assuming a neoadvaita view. read well what I have written and don't put words on my mouth.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:38am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
your experience of the Bahiya sutta is as empty as me drinking a cappuccion. your selfless cappuccino is as empty.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:39am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
you can be in agent if you know it is empty. actually you can be in agent and play.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:39am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
I say you have reified non agency. you are making the same fault you criticise me. you are denying the existence of an agent when what is denied is not its existence but just its substantiality.
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:41am)
First of all, there never ever will be a me drinking a cappucino -- a me drinking cappucino is assumed, never actual. Which is why when analyzed, it can be seen there never actually was a me drinking cappucino.

There can be a delusion or false sense o
f a me, but that is naturally dropped once realization of emptiness manifest. That realization is empty, but undeniable, and precisely because it is empty is realization/suffering/etc all made possible...
1 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:41am)
Mardava Christian Palocz
and, i am not denying realisation or understanding.
1 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:42am)
Yeah. Ok, so you're saying realization is as empty as suffering, or anything, and I am also not denying that. But it would also be erroneous to say that "they are the same".
3 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:47am)
"I say you have reified non agency. you are making the same fault you criticise me. you are denying the existence of an agent when what is denied is not its existence but just its substantiality."

Because the existence of an agent is one of the imposs
ible ways a self could exist. Like one of the 7 rejections of 'self' by Candrakirti.

In the end, we could say the self is conventional in a loose way, but not in an inherent way -- that it exists apart from experience, within experience, or anyway in between or both. That would be to see it as truly and inherently existing.
2 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:56am)
Sabbasava Sutta: "...As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress." -
(Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:57am)
Was conversing with John Tan. He mentioned "Mardava is saying "training" oneself to see in the seen, just the seen is not realization but a "state". But in seeing, there is only always realization. Do u see the difference?". I said yes, that part seems to be suggestive of a form of training and the realization aspect may not be very explicitly stated. John said, "So bringing this point out isn't wrong. In fact it is a good point. However he should not look at Bahiya Sutta this way.

"When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."[2]"---> This part is realization. So if u merely emphasized "in reference to the seen, there will only be the seen", it may be mistaken as a "state" and become a path of shamatha practice. However there is no reification. It is also important that Buddha relates a description similar to consciousness without features in Bahiya sutta. This is what I told jax abt allowing the five elements to "kill u" when he asked me abt how I understand consciousness without features."
2 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 12:23pm)
Kyle Dixon
No doubt a thread for the blog.
1 liked this (Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 1:18pm)

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