(above: artwork by Longchen/Simpo in 2004)
Here are some early forum postings by Thusness back in 2004 and 2005. (note: longchen = simpo, another friend from Singapore)
Besides the Jhanas, have you experience pure empty Presence in a state of no thought? That is the true state of a Being. It is beyond the mind, beyond concepts.
This pure Presence is all pervading, yet void at the same time. In my experience, the Jhanas are different. Jhana's are like 'looking outward' in a meditation, pure Presence is 'looking inwards'. I can't describe it very well.
Pure presence can best be felt when a person is at the moment free from desires. Pure presence is like the ray that emits its properties into the mind. The properties of the pure presence form your personality.
I am in no position to say whether Pure presence is nibbana. I can only write from my own experience and understanding.
This pure presence is called Rigpa in Tibetan Buddhism. I am not a Buddhist in this life, but I was a Tibetan Monk of Nyingma school several lifetimes ago. That is why I still have a lot of interest in Buddhism.
About Rigpa, when we experience it. It is formless and empty and at the same time infinite and all pervading. It is NOT BLISS. Bliss is a samadhi state but it is not the true nature yet, it is still a state in the mind. I have bliss experiences also, in fact i have then now quite often outside of meditation also.
Rigpa is a presence of 'yourself' that is connect to everything in the universe. That is probably why the Buddha say that there is 'no self'. All is connect to all in the Dharmakaya. Rigpa is a part of the Dharmakaya. When in the state, there is no separation into you or me... We are all one thing which cannot be described.
However, I must say that even now, while reading this, we are already the rigpa. We do not realise this is because we THINK we are just the mind/personality. The mind/personality is a REFLECTION from rigpa. It is not the true self. If you understand what I am write, you may get a sudden awakening/realisation. And if the realisation is deep enough, your viewpoint or way of seeing the world will change.
Just my 2 cents...
Even the "inner" and "outer" are production of the analytical mind. Only the mind requires such division, concepts and thoughts. The Presence has no room for all these. It works through naturalness and directness. Too short to have time and too simple to have thought.
However even when one experiences this pure sense of existence, due to latent karmic tendencies, the mind will still attempt to create a formless-transparent-like entity ('I') experiencing "things". In reality there is no 'I'.
The 'Blueness' of the blue sky isn't 'I'.
Remain Silence and in Presence, all things are in their entirety.
No 'I' is required.
This itself is sufficient.
Thank you for your profound explanation.
May I ask ... how do one remain in Presence all the time. Does it require the clearing of all karmic tendencies (samcaras/samskara).
I understand that the Presence is there all the time. Is it possible to be in presence even when engaged in say a conversation with another person?
Currently, switching to witness state is only possible when I am not engaged in any conversation.
Hi Long Chen,
Yes it is possible. But as much as I would not like to say, there is no what, where, when, why and how. Sounds senseless but it is true. These are what Naturalness is not.
Nevertheless, the mind will be stubbornly attached to this current mode of knowing because to the mind, it is all there is. It seems to be a destined journey that a sincere seeker has to continue penetrating its own depth, till it completely exhausts itself and meet its own DEATH. The death of the 'I'.
The giving up and full understanding of the poverty of the entire thinking and analytical mechanism will allow the mind to rest itself upon nothing. Here karmic tendency arises and ceases as it is, no effort to struggle is made.
This is the time effortless knowing arises. A complete clarity of ISness manifesting as pure Presence.
Seek deep into the depths of our own self, there is always this Will, Effort..etc. This Unwillingness to let go, to be.
Simply put, it is this that separates.
Lastly try not to find a sit in the body. The true nature fills all space. Creating a boundary for What that is neither within nor without will eventually prove futile. Presence finds itself in Otherness. The body has created the illusion of 'inward' and divides. We have engaged ourselves in too much analysis and lost our intuitiveness and directness. Since you have experienced the pure Presence, sense the 'I' that holds and let go immediately.
Presence always IS.
You are indeed enlightened.
Search for it, loses it and cycle within the mind
Let things be.... rest in presence.
When things are "be"? What is it?
Time doesn't exist
Thusness:This topic is so much to my liking that I have to say something.
"Time" does it exist first of all? Science has viewed time as a dimension that can be manipulated if "we are able to travel faster than the speed of light." According to Einstein, a photon traveling at the speed of light does not experience time, because time halt at the speed of light!
So where is "Time" according to Science? It is another "space" far from
"here" and can be reached if we are able to travel faster than light.
The moment ceases as it arises, what the mind grasped is but an image
of the ever changing Present. It catches the "Form", the "Entity", the "I"
which is illusionary and misses the Essence. In reality there is no changing "thing", there is merely change.
Right at this moment is the display of the three Dharma Seals: impermanence, non-self, and nirvana, the emptiness nature all existence.
This is the basis that every authentic teaching of Buddhism must bear.
It is here that even the greatest mystic must take bow to Buddha. Such penetrating insight amid all kinds of lightning-fast changes to differentiate "I AM" from "Thusness".
The ever Presence of all cannot be something secondhand, it cannot
be the object of observation. It remains original, new, clear and ungraspable.
To enter into the profoundest source of our true nature, -to "know" Now.....Got to work NOW...
All there is is Presence
All there is are actually the all-pervading Presence. Our sense of self (ego) is actually attentions focused (very rapidly) on many layers of thoughts and sensations. This is the matrix.
The layers are as follows:
Physical layer- attention/belief put to physical sensations(thought)
Mental layer- attention to mental thoughts
Emotional layer- cause by judging the mental thoughts
In addition, there is a storehouse where all images/belief of oneself is stored.
For example: we may have this image:
'I am smart.'
If the external world validates that this is true, the person feels happy.
If the external world appears to show that he is not, then he will not be happy and thus suffer.
Actually in the 'external world' nothing real happens, the response is totally within the person's mind.
Beyond the encasement of all these layers of thoughts and sensation is just Pure consciousness/Presence. Actually everything is the Pure consciousness. It is just that many rapid attentions to thoughts and sensation create the sense of self.
An Eternal Now:
I've spoken to Thusness about this.
There is no point saying all is/are You, Presence, Reality.
It is only in the direct experience that you know it is true nature.
When you said sensation, images..etc, there is separation and division. Precisely because the experiences and theories you created are derived, therefore the moment to moment of existence are not experienced in full, and pure consciousness as a separate layer is created, not experienced directly. If you can experience yours directly and see condition arising, then you have entered the stream.
It is not that it is pointless to experience all as pure presence.
Your experience of "All there is are actually the all-pervading Presence" is most valuable and sacred.
Nothing is more real and clear than IT -- The reality of All.
There is no doubt about it.
I am sure you have experienced 'Pure Presence' but I am equally sure that it escapes you in daily life experiences.
Why is this so?
Because during the process of analysis we have unknowingly divided 'Pure Presence' from sensation, thoughts, images, taste and forms..etc
and worst still we have made this a blueprint for us to 'see' and 'experience' the phenomenon existence.
This unintentional re-enforcement of our karmic forces will prevent us from experiencing our nature in full
and 'Pure Consciousness' will become a transparent like-substance hiding somewhere waiting forever to be found.
This Pure Consciousness as a 'transparent-formless-light' is an image created by thought, it is not the true face of Pure Consciousness.
Do explore into the concept of Emptiness and Conditional Arising of Buddhism in detail if you have time.
Thank you for your advice... it is most valid and helpful and I can see that 'habit' that you have described.
I do have experiences of presence in the daily waking life... but there are also habitual patterns as well. It will take time and fearlessness to fully stabilise. You know what i mean.
Also, I have psychically 'read' you and Xabir (i.e. AEN/Soh) and are intuitively factored.
Thanks for the help.
When the pure, formless, clear, brilliance bright, boundless and luminous enters
the sphere of thoughts, the mind transforms the Presence into an 'ENTITY' that is pure, formless,
clear, brilliance bright, boundless and luminous.
This entity, this something is the 'Self' added by a divided mind.
Without creating this 'center', this base, this something, a divided mind does not know how to function. Because the thinking mind understands through measurement and comparison.
In Buddhism, this 'Self' is extra and created. In reality it does not exist.
This is the wisdom to be awaken in order to see reality in its nakedness.
When this is clear, the stream always IS.
What happens when presence is eliminated. No thought, no presence... then could this be a blank?
I do have a time when i meditated into a blank. No perception. it was when the mind 'moves' again that i realise that i was in the blank.
The blankness is a form of absorption where the knowing faculty of consciousness is temporarily suspended. Complete clarity and Presence without a 'Self' is more crucial.
The 'Self' that is created over countless lives of attachment cannot be underestimated.
We are in almost helpless bondage that our perceptions are shaped and held in a sort
of hypnosis that we feel, think, experience and deduced our understandings from the
perspective of an 'I'. Thus analytical understanding derived from the glimpse of
the Pure Presence Reality will very quickly get distorted.
When Presence is experienced with the six sense doors shut,
Presence is experienced as a form of "I AMness".
When Presence is experience with six sense doors widely open,
Presence is experienced as a form of "I AM All".
However neither experience tells us the TRUE NATURE of Pure Presence.
Even the very sense of Realness, of Existence, of Life and Vividness is so strong,
due to the sense of 'I' there will be a sense of location somewhere,
and the true face of Pure Presence remains hidden.
The mind is just not used to knowing the absolutely nothing, non-local,
nowhere to be found yet pure, brilliance bright and ever luminous.
It will locate, it will find, it will grasp.
There must come a time for the mind to let go of itself completely.
If we are bold enough to let go and enter into the world that is wordless,
labelless and thoughtless, and if this is sustained, wisdom and insight will arise.
This wisdom is the extraordinary Clarity, Vividness and Realness, wholeness whole.
It is crystal clear filling all spaces and places.
Both in silence and in noise, in blankness and somethingness.
Those that experience the Pure Presence will appreciate this crystal clear reality.
This re-visiting of Pure Presence will be thorough and entire.
There will be no doubt.
Buddhism Emptiness is deep and profound. Do go into it.
Your message feels of truth. Thanks for it. I will do as you advice.
It is ungraspable not because the Ultimate Object cannot be the subject of observation; but rather there is really no such ultimate object hiding behind anywhere. A someone inside somewhere is from the very beginning a mistake. True authenticity comes when we realized that any form of centricity is illusionary.
To experience the Pure Presence of Isness, I AMness must completely dissolve. The Pure Presence you experienced is non-local and has no-center. It becomes an I AM due to linear mode of analysis. If you have time do explore into insight meditation and the essence of Emptiness
OK. Will do so.
I have a question that hopefully you can answer... if I Amness completely dissolves won't we have difficulty relating to normal society?
BTW, nice to hear from you again.
Hi Long Chen,
Nice to see you and Eternal Now too. As to your question whether one's enlightenment will hinder oneself from relating in a normal society, I supposed not. For one that has arrived at the fundamental ground, whatever role he assumes, whether as a monk, teacher, businessman or a beggar, he remains free. When it comes to practical application, he will naturally know how to harmonize and fuses completely with everything.
In Buddhism, No-Self is not a question of morality; it is a question of the true nature of the phenomenon reality. From the macro universe to the quantum world of quarks, from time to space, from body to consciousness, all exhibit this characteristic. Emptiness prevails everywhere. Even right now at this moment, we witness the Emptiness truth in action -- the moment ceases as it arises. There is no changing thing (Self), only change. Viewing things as solid entities and categorizing them as 'this' or 'that' is due to the poverty of our thinking mechanism, it is not reality.
The act of labeling will make 'things' appear solid and separated, to the extent that even when we are dealing with the very essence of ourselves -- the pure awareness, we make it an 'I AM'. 'I AMness' is perhaps the furthest the Thinking-Mind can give way and it is never meant merely as an expression for communication. We seek, find and attempt to locate it as if it is a solid entity hiding somewhere. As long as this wrong way of 'seeing' persists, there will be attachments and sufferings. This is the way it is; you cannot eliminate attachment with an 'I'. Therefore the capacity to see by awakening the emptiness wisdom is especially important in Buddhism.
Bare attention that is taught in insight meditation trains one to see without labeling, without a layer of words. It presents us a new mode of experiencing reality as an ever changing inseparable flux. Without this layer of thought, 'I' has no place to reside and slowly the bond of 'I' will loosen and subside. If the karmic condition ripens, the mysterious relationship between the pure awareness and the phenomenon world will be revealed.
The experience of I AM is an intuitive experience of our naked consciousness. It is seeing Consciousness face to face and touching Consciousness directly without in between thoughts. But its Emptiness nature must be understood to progress further. I got to go now....do take care.
Thank you very much for your explanation. It is most important. I am most grateful.
After reading, what you wrote... I went to meditate.
Observing the thoughts that arises, there appears to be a relationship between
each thoughts. Occasionally, a desire to recall arises, a new thought will arise that does a recall. But each moment seems to be a fresh moment. .. with no second and no past.
The continuity and the recall of thoughts and memories arises one after another... but there appears to be NO ONE observing the thoughts. The observer is an impression... there is no observer. The impression of a self appears to be due to the continuity and the recalling of memories.
If this is correct... then the 'I' is but the impression caused by the continuity and recalling ability.
This is accurate?
Kind regards and respect.
There is thinking but there is no thinker. Succession from one moment to another does not require an I. The I prevents direct perception. This must be extended to the rest of the 5 senses (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body). The experience of no-self must be thorough.
Thank you so much.. Will do so.
For Buddha to spot the difference, his perception must have been razor-sharp and fast.
Yes indeed. Buddha is so clear, precise and accurate. Such penetrating insight and clarity must come from a mind that is completely free.
After experiencing the Emptiness nature of consciousness in all the six senses without labeling and words (directly felt and intuitively experienced as in the case of "I AM" that you experienced), do explore into the 18 dhatus and authenticate your intuitive experience with the 4 dharma Seals.
It is difficult to comprehend the mystery of life. Just like there is no half-infinity, the Movement is really the Source. The nature of Consciousness is without self, it is the very otherness that we experience, not to distant itself from itself. The hidden unmanifest is ever manifesting, in the movement everything IS.
There are more workers and warriors then we imagine. Some plant the seed of luminosity, some plant Emptiness. Not all are aware of their designated roles but knowingly or unknowingly they carry out their tasks. The tasks carried out might appear conflicting as if enlightened beings battling among themselves. Thus battling is not only dark against light.
From the perspective of the source, there is no conflict, not even in the minuteness moment of arising a lost balance does not exist in reality but only in forms. Birth is the beginning of life and yet it is also the beginning of Death. The wise therefore look beyond the appearance of forms and works on cause, condition and effect and understands the emptiness nature of reality.
Thusness:Originally posted by An Eternal Now:Quite a good article I found from a quite well known Western Dzogchen teacher, Lama Surya Das.
Why chase after thoughts, which are superficial ripples of present awareness?
Rather look directly into the naked, empty nature of thoughts; then there is no duality, no observer, and nothing observed.
Simply rest in this transparent, nondual present awareness.
Make yourself at home in the natural state of pure presence, just being, not doing anything in particular.
Present awareness is empty, open, and luminous; not a concrete substance, yet not nothing.
Empty, yet it is perfectly cognizant, lucid, aware.
As if magically, not by causing it to be aware, but innately aware, awareness continuously functions.
These two sides of present awareness or Rigpa-its emptiness and its cognizance (lucidity)-are inseparable.
Emptiness and luminosity (knowing) are inseparable.
They are formless, as if nothing whatsoever, ungraspable, unborn, undying; yet spacious, vivid, buoyant.
Nothing whatsoever, yet Emaho!, everything is magically experienced.
Simply recognize this.
Look into the magical mirror of mind and appreciate this infinite magical display.
With constant, vigilant mindfulness, sustain this recognition of empty, open, brilliant awareness.
A very enlightening article.
Just a point to add, the pristine awareness "...is formless, as if nothing whatsoever, ungraspable, unborn, undying;..."
These characteristics aren't attributes peculiar only to pure awareness, all phenomenon existence possess this seemingly unknowable and ungraspable nature. It simply is how reality is where pure awareness has no monopoly at all.
As Ridzin Jigme Lingpa said Experience is like a mist, it vanishes instantaneously. But in lightning flash moment, it reappears with perfect lucidity and vividness. Still nothing lost and nothing attained.
Yes very true. A True experience is better than a thousand words but it is also the very true experience of the Brilliance Bright that has blinded Mystics of all ages. The Brilliance Bright is more vivid then we can imagine. In All IT is seen and In All IT is experienced. Being vividly bright it also serves as the condition that obscures its very own Emptiness nature.
Lastly, there is a question, but No-One is there to answer.
Buddha picks a flower, Mahakashyapa smiles.
Thusness hits the keyboard, keyboard-sounds.
Da Da Da, how CLEAR. Luminosity smiles.
Well said and well quoted sinweiy.
Now, can luminosity arise without conditions? Is there a time where there is a bright, true, essential, magnificent mind without conditions?
Yes Sinweiy,Originally posted by sinweiy:True/bright/luminous mind is like a source sun with an ability of shining, and all conditions are like sunlight which are emitted from the sun. Sun and sunlight come spontaneously together.
Just like we say Sunyata is form/existence; form/existence is sunyata (sound better in chinese), w/o form there's no sunyata, w/o sunyata there's no form.
sunyata can be associated with True mind while form/existence can be associated with conditions. they are although two yet they are not two per se.
that say in an similie, i recalled also in Shurangama Sutra, that the Light is already switched on, we thought it's not On, when we seek enlightenment, and we go and turn the switch, unnoticely we are actually turning it Off instead.
The Buddha out of infinite compassion spoke the lucid luminosity, the unconditioned Obviousness, the pure. But the self-luminous awareness from beginningless time has never been separated and cannot be separated from its conditions. They are not two -- This is, That is. Along with the conditions, Luminosity shines without a center and arises without a place.
No where to be found. This is the Tatagatha Nature.
Please allow 'me' to say something and correct 'me' if I am wrong...
We believe the 'I' or 'me' is the doer of all our actions and decision-making. This is really a false belief. The idea that a 'self' that is controlling and making decision is an illusion. Things gets accomplished nevertheless, with or without the 'sense of self'.
The 'I/sense of self' cannot will or control anything at all. The 'I' is inserted into the sequence of thoughts and is just a sequence of thoughts.
'I' is not the doer, for most, it is the 'being done.'
Yes Long Chen,
But for penetrating insight to arise there must be the willingness to let go of false beliefs. Not to create any sort of beliefs first, give up everything and see and feel from this raw state. Not to say there is a doer, a controller, not to react to your thoughts and memories, just merely feel and see the process. Not to immediately jump into conclusion and create a Source to fill the in-between gaps to satisfy the thinking mind. Just conquer it with utmost sincerity. Allow being done and understand the meaning of doing without a doer non doing. Do not separate pure-awareness from the being done. Do not create a Source and separate it from the Movement. Instead be Still and simply Feel the being done with totality. The experience is like knowing without thought and yet dwelling into even the minuteness details of every immediate experience with complete clarity. If you say I am IT, the clarity is lost. Any separation prevents True Seeing. Why is this I necessary? Awareness is a stream of clear luminosity without a center to be found anywhere. If we continue to try contain awareness as Self hiding somewhere, clear luminosity will not be experienced and the QUANTUM empty nature will not be known.