Posted by: Soh
A continuation of Early Forum Posts by Thusness

Here are some early forum postings by Thusness back in 2006. (note: longchen = simpo, another friend from Singapore)

Longchen:

http://sgforums.com/forums/1728/topics/173915
There is one thing that puzzles me about the article though...

That is...

Is there really a perceiver of the mind? Could it be that there is no perceiver at all?

Perceiver seems to imply that there is something separate from the mind...watching it.

I think there is watching but no watcher.

There is doing but no doer.

Everything happens in the present moment... spontaneously. 'Sense of self' as a doer is just an illusion.

Thusness will have a better understanding... hmm... wonder...whether he can comment on the article or not.

Thusness:

Yes LongChen,

I agree with what you said. There shouldn’t be a separation. Smile There are 2 seeds that I sense lying deep in Galen’s Consciousness:

1. The meditative experience he gained on the aspect of 'No-Self'
2. The meditative experience of the 'ISness Presence, Knowingness Presence

However the imprint of the Knowingness Presence' is stronger than the understanding of 'No-Self' and serves as the seed that makes Galen remarked 'We are the Watcher, not the thinker, or the doer, or the experiencer', thus, creating separation.

The meditative experience of “AMness” is a very powerful one. It creates the impression of Certainty, Absoluteness and Realness. It creates the impression that we have touched the innermost reality of our own core being where thoughts play absolutely no role in that moment of experience. This is a very unique and sacred experience but is a double edge sword. It must be cleansed with the “Emptiness” truth otherwise there will always be separation.

What is the ultimate nature of this “ISness” Presence? Is the “ISness” Presence still the “Presence” when there is separation? When we are listening to a piece of music, where and what is this Ultimate Presence right at that moment? During meditation or when one is totally submerged in appreciating the piece of music, he might exclaim, “I become the music”, “I am the listening itself” or “I am the music itself”. The Presence is the Music is the Awareness is the ‘I’. Does it mean that the subject, the object and the action have suddenly become one? Or is there really no separation from beginning?

Separation is often the result of wrong identification, labeling and attachment. This is the problem of language and attachment. When one is free from labeling and experience is direct, there is really only listening, there is no ‘I’. This is what really is happening if we are not hypnotized and deceived by thoughts and labeling -- One complete co-arising emptiness flow, ever present and ever clear. There is no ‘ghost’ and ‘shadow’ in between, the ‘I’ is unnecessary and separation is illusionary.

Smile

There is no ‘Watcher’ apart from the watching. There is no doer apart from the doing and ‘own will’apart from the volition. The ‘watching’, ‘doing’ and ‘action’ refer to the same process. This same process flows and continues life after life. The process reaps its own fruit. There is no escape.

Thusness:
Hi paperflower,

The sensation of “lightening” is due to the falling away or loosening of the bond that “you are a physical self”. You sank into a state near oblivious as a result of letting go but the mental formation hasn’'t subsided (What is crucial is more on these mental formations).

“feel extremely fresh n energetic after that, I look fresh n radiant in mirror too”


This is the result of slowing down your thought process during meditation. Your senses become sharper and more alert as though you are beaming when you are out of meditation.

Do go into the Buddhism aspect of no-self and emptiness and as suggested by some forumers, look for a qualified teacher. Smile

True experience of our Pristine Awareness must come with complete clarity and vividness. There is no vagueness in realization. There is no dropping of senses necessary; rather all senses are experienced in full without a “doer”. When no-self and emptiness is realized, the entire sense of a “doer” and “body” completely dissolve without a trace and boundless freedom becomes a moment to moment experience.

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."

Happy Journey. Wink


Thusness:
Consciousness is/are states and mind is a flowing stream. However is there a direction of flow and does the movement take place in space? Cool

Thusness:
Hi Casino_King,

It is inadequate to use rational thought to understand spiritual matters. Logic is only that branch of philosophy that deals with reasoning. It does not deal with all types of thinking such as remembering (Recalling past life included), dreaming (Dream Yoga), day dreaming, neurosis, learning..etc. These other types of thinking are the job of psychology and parapsychology.

Although evidence is needed to serve as a base for inductive and deductive reasoning, full proof evidence to arrive at a certain conclusion is not necessary in logical analysis. In daily life, not all reasoning attempts to provide conclusive evidence for the truth of a given conclusion and more often than not, conclusive evidence cannot be produced. For pragmatic ground, we merely want the evidence we arrived at be 'well founded'.

As human, sleeping and dreaming took up pretty much percentage of our life. We are not just a rational being, to understand human, we have to deal with all these matters with spiritual issues included. Smile


Thusness:
Hi Casino_King,

‘Spiritual Matters’ is merely a term to denote paranormal phenomenon, it is not an assumption. However If I were to assert that ‘spiritual matters really exist’, then it is an assumption. I believe I have not done so. Similarly if anyone were to assert that “spiritual matters do not exist” then he/she immediately makes it an assumption. The fact is, paranormal phenomenons are neither proven nor disproved. Thus, we have to explore further. But which and what method of exploration should we adopt?

I have stated that mere logical analysis isn’t the correct approach -- “It is inadequate to use rational thought to understand spiritual matters”, I have given my reasons. If you disagree, you must, at least tell me why or how through inference or syllogism itself is sufficient to ‘understand’ spiritual matters. Or prove that -- “It is inadequate to use rational thought to understand spiritual matters” is an untrue statement through logic of syllogism. Otherwise it is only reasonable and logical to employ a different approach.

Till now I have not spoken anything about Buddhism. I certainly do not want to deviate too much from this forum but as what many forumers have pointed out, you might have to put in a little more effort towards understanding some of the main core concepts and teachings of Buddhism -- Buddhism certainly isn't what you have perceived it to be. Like you, I have made some studies and practices in other religions (add Taoism to your list), I still think Buddhism best. Wink

Lastly I do see some of your points. You might want to look into how man is defined by symbols for your gambler case. Again what I am going to say next might not be soothing to your ears but Buddhism truly teaches us how to go beyond these symbols. In whatever case, reserve an open for a fruitful discussion. We might not reach any conclusion but without an open mind, any form of discussion will eventually prove futile.
Smile


Thusness:
Yes, there is no ‘something’ coming into being and undergoing disintegration. When the mind attempts to understand the phenomenon existence through our current mode of knowing that works through comparison and measurement, the conclusion we derived seems paradoxical. When we choose to see the ‘arising’, the thinking mind cannot see the cessation. Neither ‘arising’ nor ‘cessation’ is before nor after the other. The sequence is caused by the mind. By choosing one, it has to give up the other. The thinking mind needs a base and the base becomes an ‘entity’, a ‘something’. That ‘something’, that ‘entity’ is required due to the poverty of our thinking mechanism, it is not the true face of reality. A lighting flash of moment exhibits the entirety of the Dharma seals and it is only in Buddhism that is pointed out. Not only that, Buddha also taught us the systematic way of developing the intuitive insight into reality.


Thusness:
Yes. In the first turning of the dharma wheel, Buddha taught the four noble truth and the lack of inherent existence of the self. In the second turnings, it was taught that all dharma lack inherent existence. To prevent over negation, the third turning was preached. Even in the third turning of the wheel, the Samdhinirmocana sutra of Yogacara, we also see the careful use of the word ‘Self’ and the clarification of the flow of perceptions without an enduring element. Similar emphasis can also be found in the Mahamudra teaching (some say that it is fourth turning), the emphasis of emptiness is pretty clear. What we witness is in each of the turnings, is the refinement on the idea of impermanence and prevention of people from falling into the nihilistic view that nothing exists but never the claim of the permanence of Buddha-Nature. As the great Zen master Dogen puts it, impermanence is Buddha’s Nature.

Nevertheless, any possible reasons why Mahaparinirvana Sutra and Tathagatagarbha sutras assertion for this ‘about-turn’?

Lastly, why is this emphasis of impermanence crucial and what has our pristine awareness got to do with it?
Smile


An Eternal Now:
I also don't know.. can explain? And I got a question - all the different turnings are supposed to lead to the same realisations right? Then why is there a need for so many turnings?


Thusness:

Yes Eternal_Now,

My sentiment exactly. Smile All teachings aim at the same goal (emancipation from samsara) but each turning of the dharma wheel refines our understanding of the true nature of reality during our journey towards enlightenment. Personally, I feel that practitioners should not ascribed ‘levels’ to the different turnings but should view the turnings of the Dharmachakra as arising due to the ripening of causes and conditions. The first turning focuses on the four noble truths and the emptiness of the self. The second turning is on the importance of the emptiness nature of all phenomenon existence (not only self), that is, the Prajnaparamita teachings. The third turning introduced the presence of Buddha-Nature in everyone. In whatever case, the validity of all discourses must not deviate from the authenticity of the ‘Dharma Seals’.

With regards to the bold assertion of certain tathagatagarbha sutras, some scholars ascribed the Hindu influence during the Gupta period where we see strong pressure of traditional Hindu culture. Another possible condition for the emergence of the tathagatagarbha sutras might be the result of over negation in certain practices that eventually led people to mistake Buddhism as nihilistic (On the surface, it is not uncommon that many misunderstood that Buddhism is nihilistic) and a positive language about Nirvana is needed for non-buddhist ascetics as well as buddhist-practitioners.

In my opinion, I feel that the teachings should be viewed as a single whole (Including the first two turnings). When we attempt to pick and drop and take only a part or a snapshot of the teachings and make comments, tathagatagarbha sutras will present as a problem and sound very similar to the non-buddhist ascetics’ doctrines. However when taken as a whole, the sutras glue and complement.

Very Happy

There truly exists a reality beyond conceptual fabrication. Its presence is abiding, the clarity unsurpassed, its action is natural and arising is spontaneous. However this reality should not be taken to mean a permanent unchanging entity. It is ultimate because it is non-dual. Conceptual fabrication categorizes and creates a subject and object division. It is the Tathagatagarbha when lost and Dharmakaya when enlightened. Wink


An Eternal Now:
Is tathagathagarbha and dharmakaya different?


Thusness:
Only from a conventional point of view. It is the term used to refer to the latent condition (do not see it as a ‘thingness’) which actually brings about enlightenment. Garbha means embryo.


An Eternal Now: Impermanence is crucial because it teaches on the ungraspable nature of reality... and only when the mind does not abides on anything will awareness be revealed. Also, the idea of 'permanence' comes with objectified reality, and awareness is not a 'thing'. If we say something is permanent, then we're splitting time into Past Present and Future, but in reality there is only the 'NOW moment', every moment is new. Is that right?
Yes...very well put. Smile The teaching of Emptiness of having no self, no core, no inherent existence, must not stay at an abstract level. It must be ‘felt’, ‘touched’ and intuitively experienced in everything and in all moments. If it stays at the abstract level, Ground Luminosity of our pristine awareness will not be experienced. Emptiness must cut away the extra layer of abstraction that we have imputed on a Reality-Without-Core. The experience must be intuitive, direct, transcendental, natural and effortless. Reality is dream-like, Ground luminosity is a 'happening'. It is just so. Let it happens. Smile


Sinweiy:
the last deep profound understanding of impermanence seems to turn the idea of impermanence into permanence, yet also not the normal permanence. the key word is simultaneous.

like they said, the meaning of unborn is actually born and death is so close and simultaneous, it seems like unborn.

/\


Thusness:


Yes and most important. But I would use the word ‘Spontaneity’. An unborn and non-dual luminosity that arises spontaneously. This is the ‘form’ of all emptiness and must come with the complete abeyance of the 'Self'. All at once, the full essence of all arising will be understood, from the rising sun, the sky, the trees and the grass...etc. It can only be intuitively understood.

Permanence is a strong word in 'Buddhism', I would refrain from using it to cause misconceptions (Though it is explicitly used in certain sutras). But the Presence is abiding. Smile


Isis:
hey im just wondering.. iamness.. is the state of having an identity, a label/concepts given by mind and sometime the norms... man-made and not our true self..

Having real peace happens when one does not aware of iamness

Egoless?


Thusness:

Hi Isis,

Not exactly so. I AMness is a transcendental experience where consciousness is directly perceived as a pure sense of Existence. The experience is intuitive and beyond the realm of thought. It is a non-dual and precious experience of pure consciousness. The problem lies in personifying this experience which is a mental state into an entity 'Self' with inherent existence.


Thusness:
Although science is the preferred mode of knowing in this modern era, it has its limitation. It is not equipped to deal with morals, aesthetics, wonder and the "face to face touch" of our pristine awareness. Thus, even if science is capable of proving what Buddha taught, every 'proof' remains as a form of external knowledge. It lacks the 'direct touch' of our buddha nature and in my view, it is this 'touch' that is most important. Smile


Isis:

It does not matter much whether this or there things really exist. Science has tried to prove time over time and this kind of things can take super- long time.


Thusness:

I agree with most of the points you said except this. Personally I think it does matter and our entire value system and the meaning of existence will change. Smile

My personal view:

If we are serious about life and the meaning of our own existence, we have to take steps into understanding it. It is not just about fear, it springs from the love of life and to find out more about what it is. Religion offers what science has not yet able to offer and we have the choice to choose the religion that suits us. Even if we have experienced the reality of the transcendental and rebirth, it is not final, we will soon realize how little we know about our own reality. There is no point over emphasizing anything and make objective claims about a subjective experience. Let science remains as it is and not over/under assert what it is not. The journey must still continue but walk with a truthful heart. To truly gain, the sincerity must be there.

Asking the reality of ‘rebirth’ and experiencing our luminous clarity is “unlocking” the mystery of life, we should not expect it to come easy. To unlock this mystery, seriously make all effort into understanding the meaning no-self and emptiness and practice with all our heart. It is already taught, we have to take the steps. It is the gate towards unlocking the doubt we have in mind. This has to be subjective, it has to be personal, it is an individual ‘touch’ and authentication of what that is being taught by Buddha. All the core teachings of Buddhism are to be found here, now and this moment, it is not else where, not even a moment of thought away. We will be convinced by this ‘touch’ even it is not proven objectively by science. Resting in our pristine awareness and being authenticated by everything without gap, doubt cannot arise and by this, we remain undisturbed. My 2 cents, happy journey to all. Smile


Thusness:

Hi neutral_onliner,

great effort. Smile

Originally posted by neutral_onliner:
Emptiness of the five skandhas
The Heart Sutra expresses the same idea by stating the emptiness of the five skandhas, i.e. the emptiness of the body, sensations, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness.
And the "Emptiness" of Heart Sutra extends to all mental and physical phenomenon....
This would mean that it has to take into account the 18 Dhatus as well. Before dwelling deeper into "Emptiness", it is also crucial to examine the relationship between the skandhas and the dhatus. Their relationships and the implication of Emptiness on them from a practitioner perspective.

Happy Vesak Day to all.


Thusness:

Hi Bohiruci,

I am not familiar with the Culavedalla Sutta so I will just share what is in my mind after reading it. Smile

First, I think it is unlikely that Visakha, who has attained the stage of Anagami, is confused with what Buddha meant by the term "self". I will take it that Visakha is seeking for the deepest level of understanding on the doctrine of ‘no-self’ from sravaka viewpoint -- progressing from a third stage of holiness to the final stage of Arahatship that Dhammadinna has attained.

If we were to ask what is ‘self’? A series of questions may follow like the case of Visakha. This form of enquiries will continue without end like a never ending samsaric cycle. It is analogous to rebirth where the previous question serves as the cause and the answer serves as condition for the next question to arise. We witness old mental tendencies in action, replacing one fragment of thought with another fragment where every fragment is unsatisfactory during the process of enquiry. How is it that we can't even know who we really are? What exactly is lacking? If we were to replace the question to “without using any languages, any symbols to represent ‘I’, how is ‘I’ experienced?” To answer such a question, the old chain-cycle habit of answering must come to a halt. To answer, the mind cannot continue its chats. The mind must be silent, raw, undefined, direct and attentive –- it must be mindful. A question arises, the answer isn'’t made up of words but rather a raw direct naked experience of what it is, i.e., using mindfulness as the way of knowing.

The entire teaching of Buddha is very much alive. When Buddha taught us ‘impermanence’ and ‘interdependence’, he does not only teach us the analytical and logical mode of knowing the seals but also the direct mode of knowing -- being participative and experiential in all moments. He taught us the four foundation of mindfulness that brings about clear knowing that eventually leads to nirvana. It is amazing to realise the immense clarity that arises in mindfulness, knowing that arises not out measurement and comparison. Apply mindfulness as the mode of knowing in all that can be experienced -– body, feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness. Leave nothing out. It is through this sort of concentrated mindfulness of phenomena that can give rise to the flow of clear knowingness that comes only with the absence of words, labels and perceptions. This signless clear knowingness is release, it is bliss, it is what that leads to the other side of unbinding:

"What lies on the other side of ignorance?"

"Clear knowing lies on the other side of ignorance."

"What lies on the other side of clear knowing?"

"Release lies on the other side of clear knowing."

"What lies on the other side of release?"

"Unbinding lies on the other side of release."

"What lies on the other side of Unbinding?"

-- Cula-vedalla Sutta


Thusness:
From a conventional point of view, it is. If we feel, see, hear and think in terms of ‘entity’, then it seems that there is a ‘self’ leaving the body. This is because all along, we experience all phenomenon appearances as ‘solid things’ existing independently. Such conventional mode of comprehending our meditative experiences masked the true character of these experiences.

If we treat consciousness to be an atomic-like-particle residing in our body somewhere, then we are making it as a self too. Do not do that. The true character of Consciousness is not a thing, it does not enter, leave, reside within or outside the body. Clear Luminosity is bonded by karmic propensities, causes and conditions. There is no need for a place ‘within’. Yes, there is a ‘mental phenomenon’ arising but the sensation of ‘entering’ and ‘leaving’ is the result of associating it with a ‘self’. Just like it is illusionary to see a ‘self’ succeeding from moment to moment, an ‘entrance’ and ‘exit’ is equally illusionary.

Mystical experiences are extremely crucial during the journey of enlightenment. Do not discard them unwisely but assign them correct places. These experiences loosen karmic bonds that latent deep down in our consciousness where it is almost impossible to break through ordinary means. It is an essential condition for the awakening of penetrating insight. The main different between non Buddhist and Buddhist practitioners is that transcendental and mystical experiences are not molded into a ‘self’ but correctly understood and purified with the wisdom of emptiness. This applies true to the Luminous Clarity Knowingness that is non-dual, it is not wrongly personified into Brahman. In perfect clarity, there are no praises for radiance bright, only the Dharma is in sight. The wisdom of emptiness is so deep and profound that even if one has entered the realm of non-dual, he/she will still not be able to grasp its essence in full. This is the wisdom of the Blessed One. The second level of Presence. Smile


Thusness:


Originally posted by longchen:
You see, ... at the Base all is meaningless. A face cannot see itself. The face can see itself only when there is a mirror to reflect. The reflections are karma.
Actually, base and reflection are not separated at all...it a matter of perception.
Yes Longchen,

All is meaningless because it is not in terms words, labels and symbols. These are for the 'herds' but that Presence is all. An unintented urge can arise as a result of karmic propensities but it is before the formation of perception. Smile

The result of certain situations can be altered with powerful thought forms, however the karmic propensities if being suppressed is not lost, if possible, let it arise naturally. Try not to over use it. Happy journey. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
In direct experience where one is totally absorbed, there is no 'self', only mere seeing/tasting/smelling/etc. There is no self but pure awareness. In direct experience a person also does not grasp on what he sees as a persisting entity, therefore empty, and is 'one with the flow'.
Yes but only serves as the condition for prajna wisdom to arise. The abeyance of the self might be understood merely as a state but not as a seal in Dharma. Even when absorption gathers strength, the wisdom of emptiness need not arise. However the mere strength of absorption will result in a state of bliss.


In direct experience a person also does not grasp on what he sees as a persisting entity, therefore empty, and is 'one with the flow'.
This is not necessary the case.



Thusness:
I am unable to express it in clarity. Razz.

Just want you to experience causes and conditions not from a conceptual point of view but from a sustained state of Presence. In that concentrated mode, there is no division drawn to separate ‘inner’ and ‘outer’. Sensing karmic pattern requires you to sense the process as a whole. Do not miss out the conditions. That whole activity flow is the Presence itself and only that Presence knows.


Thusness:



Hi paperflower,

I am seeing it more from the standpoint of a process before imposing the entire activity with a layer of symbols. This is similar to noticing the in and out of our breath in a raw and undefined mode. The intensity of the sensing can arise a form of knowingness without thought. This is possible. Smile


Thusness:


Originally posted by paperflower:
so to speak, fear can arise both either before or after the arisen of thought?
Hi Paperflower,

‘Fear’ is just like ‘Self’, is a process being molded into a label. What hides behind this label is a vivid process of involvement, interplay between the causes, conditions giving rise to all appearances. The activity is alive and vivid. The flow of blood, the pulsating of the heart beats, the humming of the aircon, the cold air touches the skin, awareness is all these. It is a mere knowingness without effort to recognize anything, it is one whole sensing. All true knowledge must evolve from the mere Presence.

Smile


Thusness:


Hi LongChen,

For example, eyes cannot see themselves."
Presence cannot see itself. Total non-duality does not know itself.

Presence has no ‘self’. It arises as that arises and no instant it remains identical. The pristine awareness is ungraspable; but the Blessed One out of infinite compassion taught the art of ‘seeing’ it wherever and whenever it arises through the profound teaching of emptiness. Smile


Thusness:

A deep joy arises when reading this message.

Just to add an additional point:

No watcher needed, the process itself knows and rolls as Venerable Buddhaghosa writes in the Visuddhi Magga. Wink



Thusness:


Originally posted by longchen:
I see. Thanks Thusness.

I will like to describe the karmic pattern sensing that I use and can you comment on it. Thanks.

There is actually no effort to actively seek the pattern recognition. The process is spontaneous as if the feeling suddenly know itself. With that intuitive knowing, the mind can at time momentarily still. This is as if thought acknowledge itself. At that moment, it loses its power of symbolism and meaning. Usually after this, the mind is calm and have very little content...After a while, breathe arises and awareness of it follows.

Actually, I do not allocate session saying that I want to do karmic pattern sensing now. This kind of activity can happen at any time of the day.

Thanks again
Hi LongChen,

Yes what you described is right. Without symbols and labels, the 'self' has no place to rest. The experience loosen the karmic propensities that bond, you will experience the sudden breaking loose if the 'self' dissolved.

Also, in the intuitive mode, it will not be right to treat the message to be conveyed as a single bit of information. It contains all information that are yet to be manifested. That single bit may contain our entire past histories. It is the intensity and concentrated penetration of that mode that makes the difference. The “AMness” experience when intensified might lead us to another path without knowing our ultimate emptiness nature. It is most crucial to study thoroughly what the Buddha taught about the doctrine of no-self and Emptiness even if the teachings challenge the most profound transcendental experiences we have. We may continue our path but at least let the teachings imprint deep into our consciousness. It is truly rare, do not waste the opportunity.


Thusness:

Originally posted by OCEANOS:Merry Meet To All,

Well personally i do not see a need to seek answers to any questions, as the answers might be just beside you all these while. Why seek for answers when they are already there. Perhaps in time you will see these so called answers you seek is nothing but sands of time... dust that scattered with winds of change...on your path to enlightenment...

Cool

Blessed Be,
Oceanos

A mind full of schemes is not lack of answers so questions are asked but no answers expected. The purpose is to lead us to the unfathomably deep and rest in the place empty of known. To be alive, we need to experience the wonder that arises out of silence. This is the path of the traceless. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
Is Reality like quantum physics?

In Quantum physics, subatomic particles can be immaterial waves as well.

Hi Longchen,

You may want to grab the book ‘The Spiritual Universe’ by Fred Alan Wolf, it is a good read. He is a Ph.D in theoretical physics and described matter as follows:

“…Matter seemingly solid when observed on a scale of inches and seconds, was mostly empty space with tiny bits of something call probability clouds filling that space. These clouds are fundamental particles’ ‘tendencies to exist’ to somehow pop out of nothing and become coherent matter…”

If quantum reality is as what he described, then yes. In terms of reality as a “flux”, “tendencies to exist”, “non-locality” and collapsing of quantum waves, it is in line with Buddhist thought. One additional point I need to stress, the process itself knows. This point is missing. Smile


Thusness:


Originally posted by longchen:
Likewise, form/thought/perception is pure awareness/presence. Form/thought is pure awareness in its 'manifestation stage'. Pure awareness is 'essense stage'. There is this continuous change from manifestion to essense and so on so forth. Continuous stream of moment and change. There is no separation, but this very everchanging-ness.
Yes Longchen,

All is the emptiness nature of this luminous everchanging-ness at work. From manifestation to manifestation, essence isn’'t lost. The manifestation itself knows; no knower needed. In both doingness and beingness, in activity or at rest, all is Presence with differing causes and conditions; but none is more superior to the other. When we impute no extra layer of abstraction and not label any states of experience as “purest”, then one truly enters the stream. The manifested and the un-manifest are one and inseparable, take out one and the other subsides. Analyze one without the other, and both are distorted. When the ‘self’ dissolves, outside and inside fuse, the mysterious connection of things is seen. How does the Presence arises? This is, that is. Experience the arising and the ceasing, zoom into the very heart of taste, smell, sight, touch, sound and thought and extend it beyond the six foot body, the trees, the sun, the light, the humming birds…. All is and are the IS that never remains. Still the experience of “Thou are That” but this time with an Empty nature.
My two cents. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Those questions sound very much like koans indeed.. Mr. Green
Be the big question mark and ride on the cloud of unknowing, without arbitrary thought, experience the immediate! At that moment whatever it is, it is entire. Wink


Thusness:

Hi Longchen,

While meditating, something came to my mind and I think it is necessary to just drop by to jot down some points to note when a practitioner is moving from an 'AMness' experience to the experience of No-Self. As the experience becomes more subtle, it gets more challenging to detail out the fine differences in terms of one's experience. I might not be the correct person to comment anything but just for the purpose of sharing.

The experience of the mirror bright flow is not an exchange between the divine and symbolic realm; not a divine play between the divine and symbols. For in this realm, thought already exists. The experience of no-self as the flux is taking place in a space without symbols. It is like widening the gap between 2 moments of thought and experiencing the moment to moment of transformation in this bardo gap. Here the practitioner moves into Presence forgetting Presence. When smell arises, there is no symbol at all. The odour is the experience of the air, nose, flower... It is the entire interaction, entire flow, entire 'sense', it is one whole unfathomable experience. It is not understanding the impermanence, not understanding interaction, it is the interaction, the impermanence itself telling what it is. This is the direct experience of anatta but due to defilement, it can still be mistaken as the Big Self. However when correctly understood it is also the experience that provides a practitioner the condition to understand the profound meaning of Emptiness before experiencing the Dharmakaya. Smile


Thusness:

Struggles, confusions, sufferings…. There is no escape. Before the arisen of unarisen factor of enlightenment, progress will not be stable. After that, wonder, bliss, and clarity will springs from nowhere to everywhere -- the fruition of simplicity and ordinariness.

The essence, the Presence can be hardly termed ‘Self’. The degree of clarity is the inverse function of Self:
Clarity = (1/Self).

Practice no-self and mindfulness, it is safest. It is difficult not to be egoistic when one attains.

Originally so, nothing attained nothing gained.

Don’t move, nothing within, nothing without, spontaneity everywhere.

Mysterious gate opens, valley spirit seen.

Self So.

Ant bites, ouch!


Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
Observer(me) and the being observed (other) is a hypnotic thought... creating the appearance of 'me and other'..
Yes Longchen,

the thought is hypnotic, it bonds and the entire world changes with that thought. It is in the flesh, the blood, the cell. Everything seems different. Let us be thoroughly aware and feel the full power of the bond.

Thusness:


Originally posted by longchen:
Emmm... am not so sure about describing it as a person. The function of existence is impersonal and without self.

Uncreated and no beginning, yes. No beginning because Nowness has no past and no future. Past and future are our memory...manifested realm. But, i think, we may not be able to categorise them as manifested or uncreated. Because the categorisation/labeling itself is a thought manifestation.
This is an interesting topic and since it is allowed to discuss more about God in a Buddhism forum, I would like to talk a little more about the experience of 'AMness" in all things. Razz

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

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


Thusness:
Originally posted by casino_king:
Oh I don't know about the doctrine of anatta... wil find out about it and get back to you. I come from "the other side" if you know what I mean. I like to think of myself as having crossed over to the other side, am now looking back at the people trying to cross over, without sounding too arrogant, using different methods like Buddhism or Hinduism or Christianity... and so on.
Not yet. "I am who I am" is still not enough. Smile


Thusness:
When in a quiet place where there is no disturbance, when all senses come to rest. Settle the mind and let it be utterly quiet. The mind enters into a thoughtless state, tranquil, pre-symbolic, touching itself as itself; experienced without any intermediary, the pure sense of existence, the only Real. Since it is pre-symbolic, painfully I named it “IT”.

When the mind is in activity, where is that IT? Only in analysis by subtly relating it back to that experience of “I AM”, extrapolating IT to the rest of all things, it is found. Sometimes in a flash of illumination, it is understood and experienced, but most of the time it is the mere product of memories. There is still this need of falling back to the silencing of the mind to experience the Presence. Seems there but in actuality it is lost in activities. Here the Reality is experienced, but still not experienced as a background for phenomenon to pop in and out.

Can the same experience take place in activity?

Listen! Be there. Be the process, be pre-symbolic, the flow, the SOUND - …no listener... the immense presence. IT is still IT but utterly different. What is its nature?

Look! Be there, no seer, the SCENERY, all, the presence, all the details that is, still IT but completely different, what is its nature?

Extend it to the rest of all the six senses and completely dissolved… - the nature is empty.


Thusness:
Hi Isis,

Feel deeply the full power of the bond, the strong frustrations, the block, the inability to know even our true identity, inability to fuse into everything, the helplessness. Feel the bond in the blood, the cell..etc.

Sense deeply the strength of the unseen and intangible.

Understand ‘karma’ and ‘defilement’ not in words, but with our entire being. This is the ‘Eye’ that will understand the teachings.

My 2 cents. Smile


Thusness:
Hi Casino_King,

There could not be change unless something changes. There must be someone there to think before thinking takes place. Most of us have molded ourselves to perceive Reality in accordance to the grammatical structure and tenses of languages. This takes place unknowingly and seems natural. So much so that when there is this illumination of Consciousness as a ceaseless stream, effort to describe consciousness correctly becomes a problem. Descriptions are presented in a manner that nouns become verbs; it becomes confusing and complex at times. This I believe, is not a problem peculiar to you alone but in fact to any serious seekers when they first came into contact with the profound teaching of the doctrine of No-Self and Emptiness.

Why all the fuss? Is No-Self and Emptiness that important? What that is most problematic is how consciousness works and what happened when we identify and get attached. The immense power of identification, I cannot help but to emphasize and re-emphasized. A mere “identification” has such amazing power. Fusing into all aspect of our experiences, mental, spiritual and physical - …The weight, the burden and the suffering, like holding on to a charcoal and unwilling to drop. How true is that? Again it is not in words, we have to experience the magical effect of identification and attachment ourselves.

Confusions can be quite frustrating and the degree of frustration differs according to one’s causes and conditions. For you, I think the frustration is understandable but I believe it is nothing compared to some that have undergone certain transcendental experiences like “I AMness” or disassociation of consciousness from body, this doctrine can be really difficult for them to swallow. Rare are those that have such experiences and still take patience to understand the profound teaching of the Blessed One. The karmic affinity is strong. I seriously do not want to make it a topic of argument; I do not have the capacity to do so. Smile I hope that you can put sincere effort into understanding the meaning it and make discussion fruitful. May patience be with us always.


Thusness:
I do not think that being ambitious is wrong. It can horn us and serves as a form of self-actualization that matures ourselves along the way. But sad to say, ambitions do cloud our mind (even though it is acceptable morally) and is a form of hindrance for clarity to arise. For me I think life is too precious to get ourselves lost in endless materialistic pursuits; at some point in time, if we are able to put things in place, it will be good to brush aside external concerns and devote more time towards cultivation and perfection of mental clarity.


Thusness:

Yes I do agree with most of what you said.

Originally posted by paperflower:
when we don't have an ambition or goal, it is like an aimless journey, where one is not sure where one is going. when one has ambition, one has focus in where one wish to go.
When in business, set our goals and go for it! We can’t afford to be flickered minded in business. I agree that the business world can serves as a good practice ground; just that it is easy to enter, difficult to get out when it grows.

There is this latent tendency of the mind to identify in a very subtle way that goes undetected until we are forced to confront our identifications and attachments. I always thought I have achieved certain level of detachment but Singapore’s past 3 major recessions revealed otherwise. Never in the past 3 recessions when attempting to save my businesses had I able to remain pure, calm and stable. In fact many evil and unwholesome thoughts surfaced (too shame to list them all). I am fortunate that I managed to survive these crises, they are nightmares but I do not want to roll in it till my last day; however settling these businesses can take many years. Like karma that rolls on, we never know whether we can stop it at the correct time.

In my opinion, spirituality is more than just being healthy psychologically and having a good life in the here and now. There is a deeper sense to it; a deeper conviction that this life is but a spark in a never ending stream. I would not call it an ambition but it definitely starts from a deep call within to understand who we truly are. Do leave some years for the bliss you mentioned, I wish you success. Smile

Thusness:

Originally posted by Isis:
To achieve some matters, we may need to sacrifice something. Sometime, can get too caught up with your ambition and neglect what is actually important to you for eg. family and friends unknowingly.

Personally, i feel achievement are all fleeting and meaningless after i died. I can't horde all the riches when im dead. Laughing Nevertheless, im still a lay person, i still need to work to feed myself.

Mmm i used to work so hard to earn something. In the end, i don't really feel happy when i got it. I can actually be happy doing something simple.
Yes, the more we commit, the more effort it takes to unwind. We should not be taken away by the fleeting. There is deep joy in clarity and being simple. Smile



Thusness:

Interesting site...

In most religions and mystical path, the dissolving of the 'Self' is necessary for the experience of the divine. The 'self' is always experienced as the ultimate block that prevents one from experiencing the transcendental. Glimpses of the beyond arise when we are able to go beyond labels and concepts.

I respect her experience but would just like to add some comments:

On the experience of “AMness”:
The key when the ‘I’ drops away lies in “fusing into everything”. Without this experience, it is still resting in “I AM”, there is no breakthrough. Even with the experience of “fusing into all things”, it remains as a stage having an entry and exit point. To experience pathless that is without entry and exit point is where the doctrine of anatta and emptiness steps in.

On the unchanging self:
It is strange that when people want to know their real self, they start looking at relative bunches of ever changing concepts. Reality is that which underlies relativity. Reality is unchanging.
We must ask ourselves: “What is the only unchanging reality of our life? What is the only phenomenon that has never changed since we were born?”
The answer can readily be experienced when we close our eyes and go introspective. It is our sense of BEING. Our I AM-ness. Everybody can always experience the sense that they exist. That inner sense never changes and is there if we are happy, angry, sad, drunk,- whatever. Further, it cannot be localized within any part of the body. It is limitless and experienced by everyone the same way. It is infinite REALITY!
When observing moment to moment changes, it is almost natural to conclude this way. There must be an unchanging observer observing change is a logical deduction. It is the result of the lightning flash changes, logical deduction and memories that create the impression of an unchanging entity. There is continuity, but continuity with an unchanging entity is not necessary.

On feeling lightness and experiencing ‘astral traveling’:
My own experience is that the density of the body seems to change. Years ago I experienced the phenomena of ‘astral traveling.’ During this experience you have the feeling of leaving the coarser body and floating. At some stage you have to return to the body, and the feeling is not very pleasant. You are going from a feeling of freedom and ‘lightness’ back into what feels like cold, dense, clay. This ‘clay’ is the collective emotions, experiences, and holding of the body. After some AMness has fallen away, the body feels lighter and less dense. You just keep feeling lighter and freer.
The “density” and “lightness” is the weight of “losing her identification with certain aspect of the self”. The power of this “identification” cannot be underestimated.
Next is her experience of ‘astral traveling’, if she is in a stage of absorption and then out of a sudden awareness, the eyes of awareness may allow her to witness something that is altogether different from the physical place but this does not necessary mean that ‘consciousness’ has left and re-enter the body. Consciousness is propelled by causes and conditions. According to her conditions of absorption and clarity, just IS.

But then everyone has their own experiences. Just my 2 cents. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by longchen:
This is a really an interesting question. It is something that I will like to hear from others as well.
from my understanding, ..

everything is in a constant state of change. Our thoughts, emotions, body are manifestation of essence (presence). However, presence and the manifestations are not 2 thing. They are the same thing, just in different states. The various states of consciousness are all different states of Presence.

The world that we perceive is an illusionary world(insubstantial) that is thought construct. Our 'sense of self' is also thought construct. The impression of a 'self' perceiving and interacting with the world and others is also a thought construct. However, this does not mean that others do not exist. Perhaps we can say that all that we perceive are various manifestation of Presence... your true 'self' so to speak.

I do not really understand 'emptiness'... but my take is that it is referring to the lack of object and solidity of reality. When we talk about objects we are defining something that is contained and with boundaries. Like a cup is the shape of a cup. However, in reality, boundary is a concept of the mind that say that this 'shape' is a cup. This is conceptual, in actuality the thinking mind defined this shape as cup. IMO, this conceptuality is also a though construct.

just my opinion. nothing definitive Smile
Hi longchen,

What you said is one aspect of emptiness -- the emptiness of self, you may want to explore into another aspect of emptiness, arising without a point of origination, without a point of centricity. However without certain stability in the experience of no-self (anatta) in all entry and exit points (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, mind), this aspect of Emptiness can only be appreciated conceptually; it will not be understood intuitively. Smile

Happy Journey. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
500 vehicles passed by, Buddha wasnt disturbed. meditation isnt escaping from 6 sense experience, but be fully aware (and thus undisturbed).
So i believe the point is whether you are shivering or just breathing what matters most is the level of mindfulness.

In terms of anapanasati, we must be so closely aware of the breathing, we must know the sensation, the coldness or warmness of the air, the 'touch' of the air... sense it fully. is there effort required to bring awareness? no... when you drop all labels and wandering thoughts, the breathing itself knows... this is the function of the buddha nature. it takes no effort to see, smell, touch, it takes place by itself, it is awareness itself. no effort to control anything at all...

We are bound to get physical and mental disturbance in meditation especially when we are still not trained in them... it's ok, do not resist them, accept them as it is and be aware. ultimately you're not seeking some kind of great experience in meditation, good or bad doesn't matter, but to remain conscious throughout. if thoughts has been creeping up in your mind, ignore them, dont be interested in them and they will pass. Do not treat as if the thoughts have anything to do with you and they will just fall away.

Anyway good u're starting to meditate.
Your description is getting clearer.

Do bear in mind that when we go beyond definition and become untouched by symbols, sound, touch, smell and even forms in meditative experience cannot be differentiated.

True naturalness has no centricity and no point of origination. With a center, there is no spontaneous arising.

Happy experiencing. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by la lapine blanche:
Sorry, I know I've asked this before but still not clear.
Is there a permanent part of us that connects us with our former and future lives? What exactly does it consist of? Is it a permanent, real thing that "holds" our karmic imprint or is it just the karma itself?

I have heard it referred to as the mental continuum. Is this the generally accepted name for it, and is it the same as "subtle mind"?

Thanx
Hi la lapine blanche,

It is called the Bhavanga in Abhidhamma and has caused a great deal of controversy. It often misunderstood as the "Concealed Atman" in Buddhism. Do study it with care as it can quite misleading if misinterpreted. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
There is no doer... there is only doing. So no doer... how can there be a 'who'?
This might seems like a puzzle or a riddle but it is not. Very few people will ever believe this... much less Mr CK.

However, under deep meditation, this can be seem or realised. It is the super fast referencing (cause and effect) of the sequence of thoughts that cause an impression of a 'self' observing and doing things. However, the 'sense of self or I' is just in the sequences of thoughts. There is no observer (self) of these actions => no doer of any action at all.
It is such a blessing after 15 years of "I Am" to come to this point . Beware that the habitual tendencies will try its very best to take back what it has lost. Razz Get use to doing nothing. Eat God, taste God, see God and touch God.

Congrats. Smile


Thusness:


Originally posted by longchen:
Still got some way to go before Emptiness and Dharmakaya in full can be experienced.

Must thank you for all the help, Thusness Very Happy
Smile

Just this happening is the Unmanifest. Be Mr. nobody and spend not even a thought moment for the source, just the manifestation that is empty. The arising and the ceasing have no point of origin, no where to be found, no a thing, nothing attained.


Thusness:


Originally posted by longchen:
Got it!
Thanks Thusness Very Happy
I know you have got it. Very Happy

Make no attempt to accept or reject anything, all are just this manifestation.

Lastly the teaching of no-self and emptiness is so profound and what that is experienced is but a figment. Though you are new age, know the affinity and with deepest sincerity and all respect, pay homage to the Blessed One for his compassion and teachings. Get connected and walk on!

Happy Journey. Wink


Thusness:


Originally posted by la lapine blanche:
I recently posted the post below but it's quite hard to get answers because everyone keeps getting distracted by CK's arguments ...
Nothing against CK at all, hope I'm not being rude, just hoping someone could answer my query
Thanks
Lapine Laughing

_____________________________________________________________
Thank-you all for taking the time to post replies.

To some extent I understand the whole "flow" thing of a mental continuum, how I am a different self every moment, etc. At one level that makes sense.

But at another level it doesn't fit with what I have been telling myself in order to encourage myself to practise the 5 precepts. When I am tempted to do stupid things like speak unkindly I tell myself "That's just my ego or whatever wanting to show off, whereas my mental continuum is the real, important bit, the bit I will carry over into the next life ... so it is more important to avoid accumulating negative karma". I have found this way of thinking helpful ... but am I ultimately wrong to think this way then?

I really still don't think I understand it because surely even if my self is just flow and ever-changing, it is still true that if what I do in one moment affects the subsequent moments/even lives then there is some permanency in that ... like for example if I accumulate some positive karma it is like a permanent investment because it increases the future likelihood of more positive karma/good rebirth/even Enlightenment eventually?
Hi la lapine blanche,

I might not be able to provide you the answer you want but I hope the aspect on the luminosity and the emptiness nature of consciousness can help.

The clear knowingness that creates the deeply rooted sense of ‘Self’, the agent before birth and after death, the sense of permanency will first be experienced. When a practitioner first experienced this ‘Self’, it is not uncommon to get overwhelmed by this/ experience and conclude this ‘Self as the ultimate core of our Beingness. The result of this experience is partly due to the luminous nature of consciousness and partly the habitual tendencies of our current mode of enquiry. First we must understand that Consciousness need not fit in nicely into the structure of “what, who, where, why and how” which is merely one particular system of enquiry that assumes reality is made up of isolated objects. Although this is currently the ruling mode of knowing the phenomenon world; it is by no means the only way or the best way. Imagine what if consciousness is not an object of anything and cannot be bounded within a space-time continuum? Will such mode of enquiry that is strictly based on grouping, categorization, measurement and comparison understand the essence consciousness? If not what other modes of knowing are available? In Buddhism, mindfulness is a preferred mode of experiencing reality as it is. It goes beyond symbols, labels, thoughts and ‘see’ reality in a raw and undefined mode. By going beyond this layer of abstraction, one is able to perceive without any in between intermediary leading to the gradual dissolving of illusionary categorization and division. ‘Self’ dissolves too as it can only lives in symbols. Only then we are equipped with the condition to understand more about our true nature. This is a pre-requisite.

Next, if we merely think that the flow is only a chain of thoughts, emotions, mental states in a series of self1, self2, self3 changing from moment to moment, we still missed something valuable. It is not just so.

When a mind reaches certain level of clarity, thoughts subsides and before perception arises, what happened to the series again? Does it cease to interact and stop becoming a flow, a flux of becoming or a stream of moments? Has each of the moment of the self series (self1, self2…, selfN) ever appear to us that it is the light of the sun, the blue color of the sky, the taste of the food?

The purpose of all teachings and all sutras are provisional means to bring us to the intuitive insight of the immediate moment. In lightning flash moment, the vividness, the color, the sound, the texture and the fabric of reality are manifested and instantaneously it is gone. All karmic propensities and the entire mystery of life and death are in this instantaneous moment of arising and ceasing. It is not else where, it is the depth of clarity that matters. It takes the perfect mental clarity of the Blessed One to penetrate to the deepest depth of this moment. Do not overlook it.

My 2 cents. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by longchen:
me 2 cents...
Time is illusory. We are like waves on a ocean. The waves are on the surface and it has lot of reflection(phenomonality). Attention clings onto reflection... believing them to be permanent at each moment...this causes the impression of time.
Ai yoo...why sink back to "Apparent in Real"....but anyway time to take a break….Razz

You may want to take leisure read on the 5 degree of Tozan. http://buddhism.sgforums.com/?action=thread_display&thread_id=198803

The doctrine of no-self cuts through everything and bring us face to face with emotion, impression, sensation, thoughts… and all mental states, directly ‘seeing’ no one there, just it!

Next one must go beyond the subtle imprints of words and labels and sees the essence of these sensations, impressions and all mental states. Just like laying a book on a patch of grass leaving a temporary imprint, words and labels create these subtle imprints that confuse the mind. It will take 2-3 years before the experience of “Real in the Apparent’ is stabilized. Dissolve completely (self and all views including your scientific views) into the incredible realness and vividness of the Apparent.

If we spend even a thought moment sinking back to the source, we immediately fall prey to the habitual energy and descend back to the “Apparent in the Real”. This makes no-self a dead “AMness”.

From the experience of the “Real in Apparent”, everything is the One Mind; there is nothing else. The non-inherent nature creates all manifestations in lightning flash moments and the Apparent becomes the ‘otherness’. Great mystics though experienced the ‘Apparent in the Real’ knows not the emptiness nature seek the invisible from the visible, hold tightly to the formless. Not knowing that neither the form nor formless are both notions of the marvelous activities of emptiness nature. Get used to this experience and don’'t waste your experience.....but it will take some years...happy journey... Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by la lapine blanche:
Just want to clarify this. Generally I understand the concept of living in the present moment, feeling current sensations and feelings, being aware of thoughts, etc. But there are a few examples that confuse me:
1. I am a teacher and I spend a large amount of my working time planning tomorrow's lessons or next week's lessons. This is necessary for my job. Does this mean I am not living in the present?

2. If you are an academic and your career involves researching abstract concepts, thinking about them, writing research on them, does this mean you are escaping from the present by doing this?

3. If you enter the "flow state" (popular term in American psychology, meaning losing all sense of time because you are so absorbed in what you're doing) would that be bad in Buddhism because you lost track of time passing and therefore the present reality? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

thanks
LB
Hi LB,

You may want to look more deeply into ‘non-action’, i.e., plan but not be attached to outcome. When engaging with conceptual models, just work within the laws and conditions of the model. This is analogous to our ‘buddha nature’ working day in and day out within the conditions of our five senses yet not limited by it.

Before stabilization of our experience of Presence, there will be confusion. No-self is a very distinct phase of our practices; without going through this phase, we will not be able to replace our conceptual mode of knowing with intuitiveness and directness. This is known as the ‘turning point’. From intuitive workings into spontaneity will take some time. Smile

Thusness:

Originally posted by la lapine blanche:
Thusness,
Thanks for the post, I'm really interested in what you said but not sure I've fully understood.

"Stabilization of our experience of Presence" - at the moment I only feel "present" sometimes, like when I can be bothered to meditate or when I remind myself to climb the stairs mindfully, etc. So I guess what you mean by "stabilization of experience of Presence" is when I come to feel this all the time?

You're quite right that I don't really go beyond conceptual thinking at all yet. I think that's why I'm struggling to understand a lot of things. Like emptiness - I kind of see the concept of "no inherent self" like I am just a collection of genes, cells, influences on my past, experiences, environment, etc. but I haven't really deeply grasped it because I still feel a strong sense of "me"!
Hi LB,

Not exactly. Continuous sustainability of Presence all the time is the result of the awakening of our prajna wisdom that will lead to the experience of all phenomenon manifestation as unconditional spontaneous arising. It is not the result of effort or the strength of habitual energy.

The beginning of clarity and stabilization starts when we begin to break loose a deeply held 'bond' in our consciousness -- A hypnotic bond that is like a magical spell bonding us to our thoughts, body and self. Feel the power of this bond. It is just a form of identification and nothing else yet it has such power over us. Realizing this will help loosen the power of symbols over us, thus bringing us one step closer to the natural state. We will realize that we are in the right track when we notice an acute sharpening of all our senses. We feel very clear, light and bright and thoughts will lessen naturally. Thought at this level begins to play a secondary role. We gather strength when Presence beams and radiates.

Lastly be thorough in no-self. We need not worry too much. The Presence experienced from the practice of mindfulness will prevent the over-negation. Instead, it will refine the understanding of our true nature. Smile

PS: 'Mindfulness in Plain English' is a good guide. You may want to grab it.



Thusness:
Originally posted by longchen:
Hmm... Thusness very 'chim'... dunno whether he meant i got it right or wrong. Heheh...

Anyway... no.. i am not referring to the intellect. what i propose is that..
awareness/knowingness is there...but we think that this awareness is a 'self, I or person'. We think that it is 'I' that knows... but it is really consciousness that knows. No person knowing... but just knowing. Because there is knowingness, the belief of 'a self' comes about.
Yes. There is a great difference between 'self' and our pristine awareness. One is an agent housing emotions, feelings, thinking...and so on and so forth...the other is the experience of empty phenomenon rolling on as described by Buddhaghosa. There is never a doer doing anything from start, a point of centricity and locality is not the way to understand this knowingness. We are molded and led to this idea of 'self' by our entire cultural, language and the manifold of phenomonal world. When we experience phenomenal world in raw, we find delight in no-self and dependent origination.

Next, going beyond symbols and labels, one experiences manifestation directly as the luminous presence of knowingness. Phenomenal arising is the result of emptiness nature manifesting from moment to moment. There is no one experiencing and therefore sinking back to a source is a subtle attachment and the result of our symbolic habitual energy. But this experience of presence can become an object of attachment that we must let go. The letting go must be very thorough in terms of mental detachment. We don't have to worry about Presence. What we have to worry is our attachment.

GTG...Makan time... Smile



Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
Awareness is not behind the mind. The mystics who describe this thinks that there is an observer(self) watching the mind(thoughts)... This is I AM. I also thought so too in the past... until Thusness probed me to re-investigate the dynamics in deep meditation again.

Truth is, there is no observer. Awareness and knowingness is in-built in Mind. There is no division...

my 2 cents
Yes Longchen,

With "I", knowing is always conceptual and thought bound. When we realised that there is really no one there from beginning, knowingness is one clear Presence that is really everything.

Spiritual journey begins when one first experienced the pure sense of existence. However when we are unable to fully understand the experience and the implication of dependent origination, we misinterpreted the experience as the “I AM”. The rest of our journey is the unfolding and the further refinement of our understanding of this “I AM”. It will take many years of practice and right conditions for one to come to this realization that the ‘I AM” is really a mistaken identity. In fact it is the ultimate block that prevents us from knowing our true nature.

When ‘I’ persists, reality is thought-like and conceptual. When the 'I' subsides, everything is realised as the one Reality. There is no crystal clear mirror reflecting anything, the manifestation itself is sufficient. Sinking back into an 'I', to a 'Witness' is problem of all problems. All along the clear mirror doesn't exist, all along there is just one hand clapping, there second hand doesn'’t exist.

Do put in all effort into mastering the art of letting go. If we can let go of the body, it will help lessen our thought. Let the body and thought die of their own nature, …just let go until a deep tranquil calm arise. This ‘tranquil calmness’ is the ‘strength’ for the sustained experience of total transparency.

Happy Journey. Smile


Thusness:
Hi Jon,

The Presence you experienced is the deepest essence of your being. There is nothing wrong calling it energy. The experience of tremendous Presence as manifestation of abundant life, as total vitality is not uncommon.

Any form of blockage for the free flow of this energy is due to identification. Any form of identification will result in the creation of a Witness sensing something. The Witness is a misidentification that never existed; this will be become clear as one progresses further.

The pain you suffer is due to a switch between ‘I’ and ‘Presence’ that resulted in a split. The constant switching is due to a very subtle bond that prevents you from seeing your true nature. It is like a hypnotic spell, it is not easy to break this ‘spell’. You must master the art of going beyond symbols to loosen this bond. You may want to look into insight meditation (mindfulness) for this. The purpose of going beyond symbols, labels and concepts is to experience the imageless reality and the veil that prevents us from experiencing this Presence is the layer after layers of conceptualization. The ‘key’ is to loosen the habitual propensities that bond us into seeing things with a layer symbols, it is karmic (Karmic in the sense that it is pre-conscious and sustained by the seed of attachment. It goes undetected at the conscious level). Once this bond is loosen, clarity and energy will flow more freely. Before that, division will cause pain.

When longchen said there is no observer apart from the observed, this is truth and all problems lie in not understanding this. But the experience must be direct and intuitive.

May you experience total Presence. Smile


Thusness:
I mean there is a clear transition from “I AM” to the experience of No-Self. Dissolving to a background, to the Silence that is the crystal clear mirror is close, but it is not quite there. True non-duality is the experience of Anatta. There is absolutely no-one there from beginning. This is a dharma seal. As for Pratyekabuddhahood, it is beyond me to comment. Razz


Thusness:
Originally posted by longchen:
I don't have the book with me now...

But... I think he said something like this...

1. Be the witnessing Presence... watching the thinker.
This should be I AM.

2. He also described a time that he has no thoughts for long periods of time.
This is like a state of gap between thinking.

3. Eternal, ever-present one life beyond forms
Possibly another state... The wording of 'beyond' implies that he sees a separation. There shouldn't be a 'beyond'.
Yes Longchen,

Very well said. There never was a gap, it can't be. It is one whole flow and nothing else. When there is one, there is two. When the one subsides, nothing isn't the one Reality.

Clear transparency of the One Reality also has its problem. An illumination into the non-duality without certain per-requisite can cause problems. There is always habitual propensities that will again make this experience an object of attachment. It can cause a person to go without sleep as the body is incapable of dealing with this new found experience. Many have mistaken this to be a heightening of awareness and took it as a natural progression. This is not true. Whenever this happens, know that it is due to attachment. Learn how to let go of everything until a tranquil calmness arise, it has got to do with our thought patterns, there must come this willingness to let go of our body completely, then our thoughts and the experience of presence...completely letting go from moment to moment...the senses and thoughts can be shut by this art of letting go and non-attachment. Total letting go and vivid Presence must fuse into one.

Practice during the waking state till there is no single trace of doubt that there is absolutely no one there, no inner and no outer, just the incredible realness and vividness of the manifestation. The experience of non-dual in the waking state. Witnessing dreams and there is no witness, just dreams is different. Dealing with the more subtle states and pre-conscious propensities require one to master this art of non-attachment, non-action. There is no conscious way of dealing with the more subtle states, just stabilized the experience and allow the momentum to carry us naturally into the dream and deep sleep. Sleep well. Smile


Thusness:


Hi JonLS,


Originally posted by JonLS:
By the way, my name JonLS is from the book and movie called Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Have you seen the movie?

If not it would be worth renting.

Wonderful story.
Thanks for sharing.


Another thing I would like to say is that all guidance is coming from within, the only thing necessary is to allow this to happen unimpeded by thought or by a "someone" who thinks he knows better. Cool

Very wise and true. Smile


And the very fact that I am still seeking presupposes there is a "problem" and in fact there is a knowing that there is not.

Though there is no 'I', there is karma rolling and karma is itself the same One Reality. Try not to underestimate its implication.

My 2 cents. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
I am now more into the process of 'letting go'... a subtle letting go brought about by spontaneous/intuitive self-recognition.

What i have noticed is that gripping and seeking is a most prevalent tendency of the human mind... both before and after the first awakening to Presence. In fact, suffering comes from the gripping and seeking...The human mind sticks to any experiences that it likes and rejects any experiences that it dislike... both are forms of attachments. So i guess the key is subtle letting go... that is uncontrived.

regards.. just my opinion though Smile
I fully agree with u and I believe all will go through the same process. Gripping and seeking is the entirety of the mind. Same manifestation of the one reality. By reacting we re-enforce the gripping unknowingly. This continues till we fully understand the essence of letting the great flux flows uncontrived. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by JonLS:
The mind and thoughts have had a frantic panicky feel to them today. This is not really a problem as there is an overall peace and calm that prevails somehow.

It is a peculiar situation because I watch myself behaving as a person and there is this constant knowing or insight that I am not. It's almost as if the insight is not available to ego/mind, it can't comprehend or benefit from it. I continue to act as a person and everyone else around me continues to reinforce this. The only benefit is that thoughts are no longer taken seriously and suffering is greatly attenuated. I can't say that suffering is over because if I were diagnosed with cancer tomorrow there would be a great deal of anxiety and fear emanating from the mind I'm sure.

And that leads up to a question. I have watched Longchen and Thusness give advice to people on these forums, telling them to practice this and that and wonder if you are actually helping them or are you deepening the delusion by treating them as individuals that can make a difference to the outcome of their lives.

Why not be blunt and bold about it: You do not exist. Get over yourself.

Their separateness is constantly reinforced out in the world and it continues here in the forums. Is this a worthwhile way to proceed?

Perhaps all should be reminded that there is actually nothing they can do to help themselves because there is no "one" who can be helped. And there is no "one" who can give advice. You are essentially talking to yourSelf on these boards with the dream of separation overlaid on this reality.

Since I am pure consciousness is there anything wrong with acting like it. What other way shall I act? Shall I pretend that "others" do exist and give them advice on illusory problems?


Hi JonLS,

Thanks for sharing.

Yes...living as pure consciousness. This reminds me of my experience 20 years back when I first experience Presence. My experience is that the struggle is unavoidable and necessary. It is not how people reinforced concepts into us but the depth of clarity of what consciousness really is. The experience of 'Pure Consciousness', the Eternal Seer, the Ultimate Witness or the center of all Source, what is fundamentally wrong that causes all these divisions, split, the sufferings that shouldn't exist in the first place?

Perhaps my deep respect for Buddha is due to his profound insight of no-self and emptiness that helps me to go beyond the bond of the Eternal Witness, the source that causes the split. Mindfulness to me is truly an ingenious technique of allowing us to experience the One reality in a right way. In fact (to me) it is the correct medicine for dissolving the division after the experience of the Eternal Witness. How it dissolves the division between inner/outer reality, subject/object dualism. How by observing the phenomenon existence in a raw and undefined mode can lead one to the clear insight of true non-duality. Not only is there no 'who', there is no 'where' in the realm of pure awareness. This is my personal opinion. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
From glimpses, there are times where it feels like the sense of 'distance' and 'seperation' dissolves, and as I have said before... it seems that I am not looking anymore, it feels as if I become the "looking", that there is just the scenery and no looker. Am I right to say that this 'bond' is then temporarily dissolved?
Yes...the dualistic mode of perception is temporary suspended.

But for one that experience the Eternal Witness, there is a constant problem of switching. Razz

The problem lies in on one hand we attempt to live as pure awareness and on the other hand, we are employing a dualistic mode of thought to experience the phenomenon existence. It is habitual and hypnotic. There are spiritual teachers that assume it is not necessary and that all habitual tendencies come to a complete stand still and cease. In whatever case, this is definitely not what I experience.

Instead what I learnt overtime is we must do away with this dualistic mode of thought and experience reality directly. Living as pure awareness is to live and speak its language. Mindfulness replace dualistic mode of knowing and enable us to experience directly. Emptiness is the language of not needing to have a ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’. It is the language of the One Reality. Lastly I believe if we start right, it can reduce a lot of unnecessary pains and sufferings. Smile



JonLS:

"Mindfulness replaces dualistic mode of knowing"

What does that mean?

How can you live and speak the language of pure awareness when interacting with individuals in the dualistic world???

Sorry for all the questions! Laughing LaughingLaughing


Thusness:

Hi JonLS,

I will try... Mr. Green
It will take some time to detail those stages that I deem crucial and the mistakes I made. Smile

Thusness:

Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi Thusness,

With regard to practicing mindfulness, I seem to have realized something this evening.

What you call practicing mindfulness, I would call being fully aware, which is my true nature as pure consciousness.

And so I feel that although there is no "practice" going on, since I interpret that to be something the ego/mind would effort at, at a deeper level your message has been heard and awareness is acutely aware that being fully aware is a priority.

Thank you.
Yes it is the natural radiance of the true nature of pure consciousness.
However I would like to bring out certain points in my next post. Smile


(The next few posts are what later evolved to become Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Enlightenment)

http://sgforums.com/users/97367/posts?page=17


Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
Oh i see.. Thanks. I do not fully understand part 6 yet. But will just let things unfold...
Thanks again Thusness.
It will help clear the last trace of the falling back to a source. Smile


Thusness:


Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi Thusness,

I see you are a 53 year old male and that you are married.
I am 39. Embarassed

The experience came when I was 18 and it continues to unfold till today. Yes I am happy with my marriage and my wife has been very supportive mentally during the financial crisis.

In the "no mirror reflecting" I did not write much about certain experiences, I do not know how to express it. I was in Korea with my family and my relatives, there is a sudden outburst of energy and the clarity was tremendous...It just came! The 'bond' must have broken loose, I thought I will just float...lol (The rapture was intense)

I experience incredible bliss over a period of 3+ months in total transparency. Much more intense than all other previous experiences.

I agree with you that Presence cannot be contained by any religion and there is no monopoly over truth. My deep respect for Buddha is the amazing depth of his clarity, insight and compassion and of course the 'missing link' that I most needed to live as pure consciousness. The rest are culture. Mr. Green

You mentioned that you went through a difficult financial situation a while ago. How did it turn out? Did you recover from it?
Yes...I managed to pull through and am planning to retire in 3 years. Been hinting to my wife that I want to spend time for my spiritual development...hahaha...I think she is mentally prepared. Just "no monk"! I do not want to waste my life in endless mundane pursue. Thanks. Very Happy

I'm a 55 year old bachelor from Canada. I was able to retire this year and am now living a life of leisure which is great because I can focus on my one true passion!
No wonder u can just 'drop' everything right in the immediate moment ExclamationMr. Green


Thusness:

Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi Thusness,
I'm sorry to bother you again but I just thought of something else.

As I was rereading your experiences and it occured to me that all the teachings I have read have said that experience is not "it".

That experience is just part of the story of becoming , it is part of ego, of appearance.

We are the clear radiant present moment awareness, that is completely free and unfettered NOW.

In your description of your beautiful experiences were you fully identified with the experiences?

I sense there is a point that you have arrived at where what I have just written above is not true. Such as when you mention no more witnessing presence.

So it seems to me that the experience of no "I" would be no experience at all, but just "being".

Could you clarify please?
Hi JonLS,

Whatever you experienced and whatever you said is right. It is the degree of clarity. Do not have doubt about these experiences. The way Presence is unfolding in you is amazing. …Perhaps your life experiences has helped in the rapid unfolding. It is the thoroughness of being nobody.

For the purpose of discussion, I would like to introduce you one concept, it is the "seed of pre-conscious propensities". It is a layer of ‘bond’ that prevents us from ‘seeing’ something…it is very subtle, very thin, very fine… - it goes almost undetected. What this ‘bond’ does is it prevents us from ‘seeing’ what “WITNESS” really is and makes us constantly fall back to the Witness, to the Source, to the Center. Every moment we want to sink back to Witness, to the Center, to this Beingness, this is an illusion. It is habitual and almost hypnotic.

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

There is no mirror reflecting
Manifestation alone IS.

There is no invisible witness hiding anywhere. Whenever we attempt to fall back to this “an invisible transparent image“, it is again the mind game of thought. It is the ‘bond’ at work. I wonder this make sense to you. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
on one hand, it is true as spiritual development unfolds, one becomes less caught up by thoughts. But the bondage that binds us - like a hypnotic bond - is subtle and pre-conscious (meaning it is there whether we think or not). In fact in john's stage one experience, the sense of 'i am' is a sense of self that is beyond thoughts. It is very subtle, like i said, 7th consciousness is pre-conscious. The rest of the journey is deepening the realisation, loosening the bond.
Not exactly so. For explanation sake, I will call it a ‘bond’ (7th consciousness).

That moment, that experience, that pure sense of existence is not 'Self', there is no 'Self'. That 'bond' is temporary suspended, it is not in operation for a while. Then very quickly recognition came, the act of recognition due to the subtle bond makes us think that it is a 'self'. It becomes "I AM".

It is pre-conscious but it is not unbreakable, it only blinds. It is just a seed. You can also plant other seeds through visualization, concentration...and so forth.

Don't have to worry too much about naturalness first. When the 'bond' loosens, it naturally shines. 'I' is the root cause of all artificialities.

The 'bond' operates through symbols and labels. Mindfulness is the technique of going beyond this layer. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by JonLS:
Dear Thusness,
I am completely overwhelmed with what you wrote here.

When I was reading this the first time, I read the phrase "the Appearance is the Source!" and all hell broke loose within. There was instant recognition of what was written and a simultaneous explosive expansion of energy. This was quite painful, but the pain was totally irrelevant. It took me at least 15 minutes to recover from the initial event, there was a great deal of crying and an overwhelming sense that there was a tremendous "letting go".

I knew before reading this that there was no witness, I had heard Tony Parsons speak of this, but your post somehow opened the floodgates and for that I truly thank you.

The witness is the appearance is the source.

All is One.

Nothing could be more simple.

Thank you again. Mr. Green

Ps: At one point today I had the distinct feeling/impression/insight that you and I are One.
Smile

That is no-mirror reflecting. Everything is unfolding! You are on your own!

From blinking your eyes, raising a hand...jumps...flowers, sky, chirping birds, footsteps...every single moment...nothing is not it! There is just IT. The instantaneous moment is total intelligence, total life, total clarity. Everything Knows, it's it. There is no two, there is one. Smile

Good Luck!

Help me to pay homage to the Blessed One.... Mr. GreenMr. GreenMr. Green

Thusness:

Originally posted by JonLS:
Ps: At one point today I had the distinct feeling/impression/insight that you and I are One.
Stage 6.

I drink the coffee, u get the taste.
Don't even think about it! It is for Total Presence to know. Smile


Thusness:


Originally posted by JonLS:

Could you add a little more sugar please! Rolling Eyes

Nope...I drink with little sugar... Mr. Green


Thusness:



Originally posted by JonLS:
Why are you resisting the present moment? Laughing LaughingLaughing
The 'bond' is greatly loosened after "no mirror reflecting". During the process of transition from 'Witness' to 'no Witness' some experience the manifestation as itself being intelligence, some experience it as immense vitality, some experience it as tremendous clarity and some, all 3 qualities explode into one single moment. Even then the 'bond' is far from being completely eliminated, we know how subtle it can be Wink . The principle of conditionality might help if you face problem in future (I know how a person feel after the experience of non-duality, they don't like 'religion'... Smile Just simply 4 sentences).

When there is this, that is.
With the arising of this, that arises.
When this is not, neither is that.
With the cessation of this, that ceases.

Not for scientists, more crucial for the experience of the totality of our Pristine Awareness. Smile
Thusness:
The 'who' is gone, the 'where' and 'when' isn't.

Find delights in -- this is, that is.


Thusness:

Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi everyone,

I have some great news today.

I'm totally lost.

I love it when that happens.

When the scaffolding is pulled out from under me.

Nothing to hang on to. Mr. Green

Enjoy the HAPPENING...Mr. Transparent. Mr. Green


Thusness:


Her experience is truly beautiful. Thanks...Surprised

"Less than two weeks after I entered the halfway house [for eating disorders], my life changed completely. What follows is a very approximate account.

One morning I woke up. I had been sleeping on the floor as usual. Nothing special had happened the night before; I just opened my eyes. But I was seeing without concepts, without thoughts or an internal story. There was no me. It was as if something else had woken up. It opened its eyes. It was looking through Katie's eyes. And it was crisp, it was clear, it was new, it had never been here before. Everything was unrecognizable. And it was so delighted! Laughter welled up from the depths and just poured out. It breathed and was ecstasy. It was intoxicated with joy: totally greedy for everything. There was nothing separate, nothing unacceptable to it. Everything was its very own self. For the first time I — it — experienced the love of its own life. I — it —was amazed!

In trying to be as accurate as possible, I am using the word “it” for this delighted, loving awareness, in which there was no me or world, and in which everything was included. There just isn't another way to say how completely new and fresh the awareness was. There was no I observing the “it.” There was nothing but the “it.” And even the realization of an “it” came later.

Let me say this in a different way. A foot appeared; there was a cockroach crawling over it. It opened its eyes, and there was something on the foot; or there was something on the foot, and then it opened its eyes — I don't know the sequence, because there was no time in any of this. So, to put it in slow motion: it opened its eyes, looked down at the foot, a cockroach was crawling across the ankle, and … it was awake! It was born. And from then on, it's been observing. But there wasn't a subject or an object. It was — is — everything it saw. There's no separation in it, anywhere.

All my rage, all the thoughts that had been troubling me, my whole world, the whole world, was gone. The only thing that existed was awareness. The foot and the cockroach weren't outside me; there was no outside or inside. It was all me. And I felt delight — absolute delight! There was nothing, and there was a whole world: walls and floor and ceiling and light and body, everything, in such fullness. But only what it could see: no more, no less.

Then it stood up, and that was amazing. There was no thinking, no plan. It just stood up and walked to the bathroom. It walked straight to a mirror, and it locked onto the eyes of its own reflection, and it understood. And that was even deeper than the delight it had known before. It fell in love with that being in the mirror. It was as if the woman and the awareness of the woman had permanently merged. There were only the eyes, and a sense of absolute vastness, with no knowledge in it. It was as if I — — she — had been shot through with electricity. It was like God giving itself life through the body of the woman — God so loving and bright, so vast — — and yet she knew that it was herself. It made such a deep connection with her eyes. There was no meaning to it, just a nameless recognition that consumed her.

Love is the best word I can find for it. It had been split apart, and now it was joined. There was it moving, and then it in the mirror, and then it joined as quickly as it had separated— — it was all eyes. The eyes in the mirror were the eyes of it. And it gave itself back again , as it met again. And that gave it its identity, which I call love. As it looked in the mirror, the eyes — the depth of them— were all that was real, all that existed — prior to that, nothing. No eyes, no anything; even standing there, there was nothing. And then the eyes come out to give it what it is. People name things a wall, a ceiling, a foot, a hand. But it had no name for these things, because it's indivisible. And it's invisible. Until the eyes. Until the eyes. I remember tears of gratitude pouring down the cheeks as it looked at its own reflection. It stood there staring for I don't know how long.

These were the first moments after I was born as it, or it as me. There was nothing left of Katie. There was literally not even a shred of memory of her —— no past, no future, not even a present. And in that openness, such joy. “There's nothing sweeter than this,” I felt; “there is nothing but this. If you loved yourself more than anything you could imagine, you would give yourself this. A face. A hand. Breath. But that's not enough. A wall. A ceiling. A window. A bed. Light bulbs. Ooh! And this too! And this too! And this too!”

(I love the way she expressed it Exclamation )

All this took place beyond time. But when I put it into language, I have to backtrack and fill in. While I was lying on the floor, I understood that when I was asleep, prior to cockroach or foot, prior to any thoughts, prior to any world, there is nothing. In that instant, the four questions of The Work were born. I understood that no thought is true. The whole of inquiry was already present in that understanding. It was like closing a gate and hearing it click shut. It wasn't I who woke up: inquiry woke up. The two polarities, the left and right of things, the something/nothing of it all, woke up. Both sides were equal. I understood this in that first instant of no-time .

So to say it again: As I was lying there in the awareness, as the awareness, the thought arose: It's a foot. And immediately I saw that it wasn't true, and that was the delight of it. I saw that it was all backward. It's not a foot; it's not a cockroach. It wasn't true, and yet there was a foot, there was a cockroach. It opened its eyes and saw a foot, and a cockroach crawling over the foot. But there was no name for these things. There were no separate words for foot or cockroach or wall or any of it. So it was looking at its entire body, looking at itself, with no name. Nothing was separate from it, nothing was outside it, it was all pulsing with life and delight, and it was all one unbroken experience. To separate that wholeness and see anything as outside itself, wasn't true. The foot existed, yet it wasn't a separate thing, and to call it a “foot,” or an anything, felt like a lie. It was absurd. And the laughter kept pouring out of me. I saw that cockroach and foot are names for joy, that there are no names for what appears as real now. This was the birth of awareness: thought reflecting back as itself, seeing itself as everything, surrounded by the vast ocean of its own laughter.

When I try to explain how The Work was born in that instant of realization, I can analyze the instant, slow it down, and tell it so that it takes on time. But this is giving time to an instant that wasn't even an instant. In that no-time, everything was known and seen as nothing. It saw a foot, and it knew that it wasn't a foot, and it loved that it was. The first and second of the four questions is like the slow-motion mechanics of the experience. “It's a foot” — is that true? Can I absolutely know that it's true? No. What was it like before the thought of “foot” appeared, before there was the world of “foot”? Nothing.

Then the third question: How do I react when I believe the thought? I was aware that there's always a contraction, that when I believe any thought I create a world separate from myself, an object that is apparently “out there,” and that the contraction is a form of suffering. And the fourth: Who would I be without that thought? I would be prior to thought, I would be —— I am —— peace, absolute joy. Then the turnaround: It's a foot / it's not a foot. Actually, all four questions were present in the first —— Is it true? — and everything was already released in the instant that the first question was asked. The second, third, and fourth questions were embedded in the inquiry that was there in the experience. There were no words for any of the questions— — they were not explicit, not thought, not experienced in time, but present as possibilities when I looked at my experience later and tried to make it available for people. With the fourth question the circle is complete. And then the turnaround is the grounding, the re-entry. There's nothing / there's something. And in that way people can be held without the terror of being nothing, without identity. The turnaround holds them until it's a comfortable place. And they realize that nowhere to go is really where they already are."

Thusness:

Hi JonLS,

Read some of Tony Parsons articles. Pretty thorough on the aspect of non-duality and with all due respect to him, I think he still misses some points. Smile But before that, what do you think is the factor that prevents one from seeing what 'Eternal Witness' is? Why initially there is a constant fall back to the Source?


Thusness:
Yes the deeper layer of consciousness...

However what that is deeply hidden in Consciousness is manifestated not only in dreams but also in everyday waking state. A 'seed' (metaphorical) that goes undetected and manifests almost without gap with our clarity nature like a shadow is the seed that bonds us to the belief of a 'self'. Even realisation came that 'everything is the one reality' (intuitively seen and directly experienced), the bond continues to operate subtlely though it is greatly loosen.

Presence is ever natural and spontaneous with or without realisation otherwise existence would cease to be. No effort is needed to improve its clarity, vitality and intelligence! But 'right effort' is needed to break this 'bond'.
Even surrendering and letting go are effort because there is a detection of the bond coming into manifestation otherwise ithere will be no blockage, there is nothing to surrender and let go!

When one realises that there is really no one there, who is doing? The bond is doing...() put this to challenge right at this moment! Experience the full power of the bond! Seeing that there is no one there without seeing this bond at work will lead to confusion. Right effort needs to be done to eliminate this bond. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi again Longchen,
I took this from the John Wheeler's talk I posted:

So he is saying here that you are the awareness but that thoughts, feelings and external objects are separate.

Is this what you are pointing to?

And the truth of the matter of course is that there is no seperation, absolutely everything within the present moment, everything that is, is It! It is all One. No separation. Separation is appearance only!

And Thusness will explain why this appearance of separation of awareness from everything else occurs.

That was his question to me.

Why we fall back into trying to be just the awareness, when in fact we are everything.
Longchen explains how the "Witness" becomes the great constant in the in a stream of ever becoming. Only the being witnessed is sufficent. There is change, there is no changing 'thing'. Smile

Thusness:


Hi JonLS,

Presence will find its way and it is not necessary to go through a period of intense suffering and depression like Katie and Eckhart Tolle in order to break the bond and get in ‘touch’ with Reality. Right effort is the effort leading one to the experience of the Presence before the birth of names and labels. The way towards imagelessness Reality. (e.g. Mindfulness). When the mind realises the quality of beauty and joy is far greater than the symbolic realm that it stubbornly holds, it begin to lose it grips and the 'bond' loosen.

The Power of Now; Eckhart Tolle, Excerpt

Use your senses fully. Be where you are. Look around. Just look, don't interpret. See the lights, shapes, colours, textures. Be aware of the silent presence of each thing. Be aware of the space that allows everything to be. Listen to the sounds; don't judge them. Listen to the silence underneath the sounds. Touch something - anything - and feel and acknowledge its Being. Observe the rhythm of your breathing; feel the air flowing in and out, feel the life energy inside your body. Allow everything to be, within and without. Allow the "isness" of all things. Move deeply into the Now.



Yes, this is the ever-flowing stream, the constant becoming which we define as the present moment. Is that what you are saying?
Yes. Smile


Thusness:
A friend came to pass me some cheques to sign and saw me reading this forum... Mr. Green

IT triggered a short conversation and I asked:

"Without the using the thought of I, how do you experience I?"

He closed his eyes for a while...

Open his eyes and said "Everything!"

and his eyes like Shocked

Try it!

Surprised

Thusness:
Originally posted by JonLS:
A few weeks ago I had a split second insight, it's really amazing how an insight only lasts that long and is gone after that. But it's not really gone, somehow it remains and not quite in memory either because the mind/memory could never understand or "hold onto" this insight.

I had an insight into what I will call "pure presence" or another name for it could be "no mind".

It would be impossible for me to truly describe this state.

But I can give a few adjectives for it.

It is completely free, very immediate and absolutely pristine.

There is complete "not knowing" because the mind is completely quiet, one could say it's a state of "no mind".

I recognize that this state of "no mind" is here right now, but of course there is mind also which is "superimposed" on top of it somehow.
In complete stillness...the silence...That very Silence is the absolute pristine.
In manifestation, see...the scenery...The incredible realness and vividness of the scenery… is also the absolute pristine.
Neither stillness nor manifestation is purer or clearer than the other. It is the chattering of the mind that creates the differentiation. When no mirror reflecting is stabilized, all things are absolutely pristine. They are the Absolute Pristine itself under differing conditions.


Thusness:

Saw Din working hard in telling ET forum that their mirrors are reflecting. Told you that the bond is very subtle... Mr. Green
Don't give up! Wink


Thusness:



Originally posted by JonLS:
I had another insight tonight.
It was much longer and more involved than the original insight I described at the beginning of this thread.

It was totally a different insight/manifestation than the original one and yet it was in essence the same and deepened my understanding of Reality.

What I "saw" was that all there is is this present moment.

But this manifestation that we call the present moment, is simply that, a manifestation.

There really is no "story" attached to the manifestation.

The manifestation is appearance only.

"The story" is what adds "meaning" to the manifestation, to the appearance.

"The story" is essentially conditioning, and it is amazing just how deep and pervasive conditioning is.

Let me give you an example.

Eckhart talks about looking at a tree without naming it, without putting a label on it.

That is what he is pointing to.

The fact that the tree and absolutely everything else is "God" is "It, is the manifestation.

We can't see this because the mind has put a label on everything, interprets everything.

We are living in sacredness, we just don't realize it.

We are sacredness, we just don't realize it.

Everything is "It" , is "God", is the manifestation, but we are too busy "interpreting" to realize this.

I am sitting at the computer posting this knowing that the appearance of the computer and the keyboard is essentially "God", and the fingers typing this post are God's fingers, not mine.

Me and mine is just another appearance, another part of manifestation within the whole.

I have always had the tendency to want to return to the source, to the heart center, to the seat of consciousness as Ramana Maharshi calls it, but this is just appearance also.

The whole of the manifestation is "It" , is "God" , is the manifestation.

There is not one part of "It" that is more "It" than any other part.

So what I am saying is that the heart center, the inner dimension is just another part of the manifestation, it is sacred as everything else is, but it is not special in any other way.

Except perhaps it appears to be the entry point of the unmanifested into the manifested.
Yes JonLS,

The way it is unfolding in you is truly amazing!!! You have put it so well! Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by longchen:
There is something to do... That is the gradual relinquishing of all endeavours.
For example, you cannot wish to be very rich and yet be liberated. The wish to be rich is an attachment. So liberation and many of the activities of normal society must be mutually-non exclusive. We cannot have all and yet want to liberate.

We cannot be engaged in certain activities and still thinks that we are liberated. The activities that is being engaged is always due to certain desires...and/or fear. Fear is also a form of desire...negative desire.

Perhaps, we live life to discover the karmic patterns that binds us to certain activities and relationship. And we must take the additional step to clear these patterns... resulting in transformation. In the process of transformation, the old activity will become incompatible to the newer state of being. One either gets ejected from the prior situation or move out on their own accord.

For example, your job requires you to perform certain things and the driving factor of you performing these thing at this speed is fear. But in the newer state of being, your performances will suffer because you are less fear driven. So... in the end you leave the job or gets fired. In either situation, you get ejected out of the old situation.

Perhaps... in the final stage, the yogi have to leave behind normal everyday life and live in solitude.

This is my opinion...please correct me if i am wrong.
Hi Longchen,

Fear is the painful emotion that arises from the act of resisting separation. It is usually triggered by the apprehension that what we treasure deeply is in jeopardy. Fear is a manifestation of a deep latent tendency of attachment (seed) in consciousness when conditions are there, it emerges. The seed may also manifest as pleasure. The seed is the cause and depending on conditions, it manifests differently. The manifestation can be radically different, therefore we should not mistake the seed as the manifestation. When conditions aren'’t there, fear does not exist. Fear is not simply a thought; it is a whole movement of flow taking place not only in thoughts, but in the forms, in the heart beats, in the blood circulation, in our breath…. The entire process is not something mechanical; it is extremely organic, alive and vivid.

How does the seed get created? Through constant identification and attachment, patterns and tendencies are formed and they sank deep beyond the layer of our ordinary consciousness. It is these latent tendencies that are difficult to overcome when they meet conditions. It is good to gain strength in a form of virtuous practice as the practice goes through the same process and manifests positive qualities of the mind that helps to dissolve negative tendencies.

Once, I was meditating at night, the conditions for dream took place but I was well aware that I was still meditating. In the dream, someone pass me a piece of cake to try (sounded really delicious)…I took the cake, look at it and in the midst of putting it into my mouth in the dream, I open my physical mouth!...heehee

Don’t underestimate what that is latent deep in our consciousness. Smile


Thusness:


Originally posted by longchen:
[b]There is something to do... That is the gradual relinquishing of all endeavours.
This is very true, longchen. Ultimately all have to go.


For example, you cannot wish to be very rich and yet be liberated. The wish to be rich is an attachment. So liberation and many of the activities of normal society must be mutually-non exclusive. We cannot have all and yet want to liberate.
This is also true. To live adequately is wisdom. Ceaseless external pursuit is always due to lack of life, vitality and clarity within us. As long as this deficit continues, pursuing continues. If we experience these qualities innerly, we will not be swayed.

Having said so, opportunities will still arise as long as we are in a society. Engaging these opportunities with a non-attachment in non-action is the way.


Perhaps, we live life to discover the karmic patterns that binds us to certain activities and relationship. And we must take the additional step to clear these patterns... resulting in transformation. In the process of transformation, the old activity will become incompatible to the newer state of being. One either gets ejected from the prior situation or move out on their own accord.
This is most important. Feel the effect of it.
Of late I have been reading some non-dual sites. Though the experience of non-duality is there, it is just the entry towards the pathless, there is still a long way to go. Many got lost in the clarity, vitality and intelligence aspects of Presence but fail to acknowledge how karmic propensities work and take place. This is not spirituality; to some extents it is ignorance. Know conditions, know that these propensities exist and continue to manifest in lives and activities (for Buddhists if we do not have the sufficient insight and experience to penetrate the present life, we have to take faith), then correct advice can be given. Going beyond conditioning requires deep level of clarity of how the nature of consciousness works.

We must acknowledge that although the bond of 'self' is greatly loosen; it is far from being totally eliminated. When our bodies are in great danger, we will realize how much attachments we still have for them though there is the constant awareness that awareness is the reality. Clarity can only come with the bond breaks. The letting go must be genuine, total openness and receptivity is required to experience our true nature.


Perhaps... in the final stage, the yogi have to leave behind normal everyday life and live in solitude.
Possibly but not conclusively. I do not deny that there are just certain aspects of consciousness that require us to work undisturbed diligently. Sufficient level of clarity is required to serve as the condition and momentum for deeper level of insight to take place. For this, one might have to leave behind normal everyday life and live in solitude for a period of time. But in the final stage, one's action is totally indeterminable. Smile

Thusness:


Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

Wow.. what a wonderful post on Fear Very Happy Anyway was just wondering... during the time where conditions of your dream manifests, how would you know that you are meditating and opening your mouth? Does the 5 sense consciousnesses continue to function?

The key is in stilling the physical body into a state of complete rest if we want to practice meditation over night. When the 'conditions' of sleep begin to manifest, the body begin to paralyse and the senses dim down but the awareness is still there. When the physical body is stil, we enter into 'thought body' phase. When thought is still, the state of bliss is experienced. It is true that after the experience of certain fruition, there is the temptation to extend it beyond sleep but this is highly not recommended. Though some spiritual teachers spoke of mantaining awareness throughout the waking, dreaming and deep sleep phases, do not do that if not under the guidance of highly experience meditators. More often than not, it will upset the body mechancism, almost without fail. Bear this in mind. This is my advice.


Anyway I was reminded of something Teacher Chen mentioned when reading your post... he taught that our everyday reactions to the external world can be summarised in four steps.

1) I see a mass of things

Because the 'thing' you saw is still distant away and you cannot see clearly, you also do not know that you are looking at. There is just the Sight, and it is the functioning of our Buddha Nature, Pristine Awareness. There is no mental reactions whatsoever (yet), nor labeling.

2) "Wah, Money!"

When we got closer to the object at the distant, we instantly recognised what it is - money. The reason why we recognised it as money is because we have seen and used the money before and many times, the currency is also familiar to us, we have planted the 'seed' of 'money' in our 8th consciousness and therefore, when the conditions are present, we spontaneously recognised it as "money".

3) "I came first, this is mine"

Due to our ignorance and habitual defilements, we 'personalise' the situation by making a stance that the money belongs to me, I came first, etc. Also known as 7th consciousness. There starts to be grasping and seeking, desire and lust.

4) Sin committed, resulting in either landing up in jail or rebirth in hell

You took away the money you are not supposed to take away and share with those around you, thereby committing a very heavy karma. The money could be used to save other people's life or for other important reasons, but somehow out of ignorance you cannot resist the temptations, and for that you will suffer karmic effects by ending up with a jail term and a horrible afterlife.

----------

So moral of the story is... do not wait until Step 4, it is too late. When 'Step 2' happens, we must instantly recognise it with mindfulness, and the thought is self-liberated. Otherwise we will go on seeking and grasping, leading to step 3, and step 4. Step 2 is the Cause/Seed, and Step 4 is the Effect. Step 1 is merely the functioning of our pristine awareness, buddha nature.

Interesting analogy. That will provide insight to the ever grasping mind that there is a way beyond thought. When the ability to sustain gathers strength, the bliss and beauty of clarity is experienced. The grasping mind will be more willing to let go of itself for this higher mode of insight to replace its dualitic knowing nature. Mindfulness must go hand in hand with the understanding that there is no-self apart from the continuous arising and ceasing. In fact there is only the momentary manifestation. The mirror reflecting must go as it too is an illusion. Only no-self and emptiness nature of reality is seen. its ultimate goal is to realise that there is really only One Reality. Smile


Thusness:


Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
One example is Ramesh Balsekar. His understanding of karma is a perfect example of 'linear mode analysis' of conditionings and becomes a model of fatalism. I remember Thusness having bad comments on how Ramesh Balsekar taught that humans are something like mechanical and programmed mind-body organism. Not too sure of Tony Parsons. May Thusness comment on this.
No not exactly so. More on the part that he said we are here out of randomness. Short circuited and somehow, here!

Is it possible that on one hand there is this great witness constant and on the other hand there is this ever changing manifestation and still there is the experience of non-duality? Impermanence is a dharma seal. Explore further.

Thusness:
Maybe just a simple sharing of how Lankavatara Sutra can help and serve as a guide for an individual like myself in understanding more about our nature. I think this would be beneficial. Do inform me of the date. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Just found an article. This article supports that Net of Indra is the Mahayana way of understanding Dependent Origination. It seems that Mahayana is more heavy on the 'metaphysical side' of dependent origination, stressing that dependent origination is about emptiness nature.
Not bad but when studying DO or Emptiness, try not to not make it too mechanical. When we say Reality, what exactly is the Reality we are toking about? Leave out the ultimate nature of reality first. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Awareness?
And what has DO and Emptiness got to do with this Awareness?


Thusness:
Originally posted by Cenarious:
ya and he told me to concentrate on just this sutra
Like it doesn't mean I know a lot on Lankavatara sutra. I am not really that well verse in lankavatara sutra. Nothing really intense. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Awareness, the buddha nature functions on the arising of conditions through the eyes and sees the lizard, no mental reaction or labeling yet. (stage one)
A seed of your fearful experiences or memories or somehow tricked in the into believing that lizards and cockroaches are scary or harmful arises from your 8th consciousness, and thus you recognised what you saw as 'cockroach' or 'lizard'. (stage two).

Due to ignorance and habitual energies the seventh consciousness (self-sense) starts fearing for himself, fears that he will get hurt, aversion arise, disgust, etc due to activities of the discriminating mind. (stage three) You kill the cockroach or lizard, creating karma (stage four).

Based on teacher chen's analogy, different story. You just have to stop seeking to avoid whatever you are experiencing at that moment. Even if you experience fear (stage three), experience the fear directly as it is and make no more mental reactions to it. Then stage 3 ceases.

We have to be completely vulnerable and willing to experience directly what we usually perceive as hurtful, not only cockroach but also death, loss, etc. It can only be possible when your entire self (seventh consciousness) is completely annihilated/let go, you become 'mr transparent' Smile
This is well written!

Do know the relationship between name, labels and self. Total transparency is the experienced of full presence without this layer symbols. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
Wow... very well said.

There is no escape... In life, there is no escape from unpleasant occurrences... However, all of us (including myself of course) naively behave like perfection and something better is just around the corner. The world is simply too diversified for every occurrence and interaction to harmonise at a conceptual and mental level.

Run not, avoid not, feel every sensation and perception and the moment is as it is.

This is very well said too!
"Run not, avoid not, feel every sensation and perception and the moment is as it is."

This is the key. Just this flow of sensation, impression and perception. When without any extra layer of symbols being superimposed upon them, it will unlock all mysteries of life. It is that simple. With the symbols, names, labels and concepts coming into play, we cannot fully experience the nature of this One Reality. Be no witness, full presence can be experienced.

Unpleasant occurrences are unavoidable. Even with all the wisdom of Buddha, it can't be avoided. Not so much of pessimism and it becomes more obvious when our insight is able to span across multiple life times.


Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
No.. she's not.

I dunno whether her ability to receive such information is a necessity for consideration as enlightenment. But the very fact that there are still much that is not fully understood (to me)... is humbling. ... and therefore i should respond as such.

In any case, perhaps such abilities may not be fully necessary for achieving simple peace.

just my opinion Smile
The presence of certain psychic abilities though isn't necessary for enlightenment, is also extremely important. It is not just a sweetener along a practitioner spiritual quest. However more often than not, due to our egoic patterns, such abilities will disturb our blissfulness nature. But with the strength of wisdom, it can help in breaking certain karmic propensities that latent deep in us and speed up our spiritual progress tremendously. Smile


Thusness:


Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Original topic: Hi everyone
Originally I posted this post in that topic but I decided to open a new topic because the topic is too big.

--------------

Someone asked me this question, which I found v good.

Knowing ur experience (from stage 1 to 6), how u think a buddhist shld cultivate to avoid the pitfalls that u encountered, and to directly cultivate towards true enlightenment?
In Buddhism what that is most important is the no-mirror reflecting (stage 5). That is entry towards pathless and effortless. Without it, all rest is the bond at work and continual creation of wholesome actions to counter unwholesome action.

Many non-dual fail to realize the deep latent propensities in our consciousness. Not knowing that the progressive stages that one undergone are nothing but mere working of these tendencies. This is a pity. Failure to realize this, one fails to see how consciousness works.

Constant identification itself will create this pattern that sinks deep into consciousness. Take note. No one can escape, not even the Blessed One. There always has been no-self, there is only One Reality but the propensities over countless lifetimes will continue to take place through mere momentum. This is what we are all facing.

Knowing this, right and firm establishment of view of the dharma seals is most crucial. Through diligent practice of mindfulness and together with the right views from start will help to prevent unnecessary pitfalls. Any transcendental experiences and insights that occurred during our journey will then be correctly understood. The experiences will in turn re-enforce our understanding instead of misleading us into the sense of 'Self' and further strengthen the bond.

Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
Dunno about the quantum physics part Laughing
But if you can get to the point of an initial total bare mind...that is... no sensory perception and no thoughts...you will experience that the sense of being at a location (here-ness) is no more....

You will experience the amazing experience of infinity and all pervading-ness. that is being everywhere at the same time. And when you come back to your senses... you will say 'wow!'. The truth is so different from the everyday consciousness....

No point thinking too much.... it doesn't help. Get a first hand experience.

Very Happy
Yes Longchen,

Transcendental glimpses are misled by the cognitive faculty of our mind. That mode of cognition is dualistic. All is Mind but this mind is not to be taken as ‘Self’. “I Am”, Eternal Witness, are all products of our cognition and is the root cause that prevents true seeing.

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

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


Thusness:
Originally posted by longchen:
Hi Cenarious,

It is better to practice the meditation first.

Actually conceptually understanding these concepts is not helpful at all. I am not saying these out of arrogance... but this has been my experience.

In fact, i have wasted many years reading too much and getting mislead by all kinds of informations. It is much more helpful to practice. From my experience, most of all spiritual informations available are misleading...

Let the direct experiences and your intuition be your guide. Even the first transcendental glimpses are not totally clear. Even until now... I am far from completing my path. ... It is with hope that it be completed in this lifetime.

The spiritual path may be the most demanding and difficult project that one can ever undertake.

Never underestimate the extreme subtleness...

Great advice! There is no short cut in spiritual practice.

May this life be your last life. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by Isis:
Hi Thusness,
May i ask what is a Transcendental glimpses ? can give an example.
They are moments of insights or experiences into something pure, real and divine. Telling us that we are more than a body. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Am i right to say that to experience total presence is to experience total transparency/dharmakaya?
No... not the dharmakaya. Just brought out total transparency because it is a distinct phase and experience along the journey of experiencing no-self. It is just a pointer that one should have this experience and this experience must be stabilized.

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

Total transparency is the true experience of anatta. That apart from the phenomena arising and ceasing, there is no 'self' or 'Self' to be found anywhere. That 'I' and 'Self' completely disappears. It is not something theoretical or conceptual. It is the truth that has been distorted by dualistic perception. It is a very distinct phase of transiting from dualistic experience of reality into non-dual. In terms of Presence, yes. When the 'self' or 'Self' is gone, deep Presence is felt everywhere. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by Isis:
Hi Thusness,

mm what form of practice and cultivation ( sufferings =P ) did you undergo to experience this? hehe

I could say it takes one to walk the path to truly understand what you had said..

and strangely speaking, i couldn't understand what you had said initially but the more i read and re-read over a few times.. it feels familiar..

Hi Isis,

My practice starts after the experience of the deep joy of Presence and there after practice is always in the form of finding more about myself and the experience, i.e, who we really are. Suffering is inevitable in the beginning because our mind is so accustom to think in a dualistic mode. The challenge becomes more intense when we delve deeper till a point that we are completely confused. Smile This is all because we are engaging a wrong approach towards understanding our true nature. Employing our current system of enquiry asking ‘who’, ‘when’ and ‘where’ will end us up into experiencing our true nature as Eternal Witness, Soul or God. That is the best the thinking mind can go. This is because the way we cognize is through employing symbols and labels and God, logos is the ultimate symbol. But this is not what our true nature is. To truly experience our boundless, limitless nature, I have come to the conclusion that Buddha's way is the most appropriate way.

If we were to practice mindfulness from start and learn to experience things in bare. We develop this intuitive mode of directly experiencing things as they are. Together with firm understanding of the basic teaching of Buddha, we will be able to break this habitual energy of seeing things in a dualistic mode. Buddha never taught about ‘who’ instead he made Anatta a Dharma Seal; nothing about inherent existence, instead impermanence and oneness. Never about first cause but about Dependent Origination that will eventually lead us into seeing things as unborn, no coming and going. He taught mindfulness as the preferred way of meditation and said that it will lead us into enlightenment. All these can be experienced right here and now. We should take it seriously. It will eliminate a lot of unnecessary sufferings. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by Isis:
ic...
Frankly speaking, my mind and emotion was rather unsettled after reading this thread since yesterday... quite confounded with your description of the pristine buddha nature... as it is not within the grasp of my intellectual understanding, experience and the wisdom to comprehend it yet.

Do you think... As i process your information, my mind is in a form dualistic mode? as im trying to understand it..

i feel familar cos it seem possibly real...

Im confused with what i had already know and had just known.. Perhpas the best way is by starting to practising and slowly understand it...

Guess i have to start practising mindfulness from here onwards on... first..

Thank for the replying Smile
Like what Longchen said,

"The spiritual path may be the most demanding and difficult project that one can ever undertake.

Never underestimate the extreme subtleness... "
Challenging the limits of our thinking mechanism is quite an achievement.
Be patient and good luck. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by neutral_onliner:
Yes..how true.Sadly this is the flaw in human logic thinking. For example if one take a look at God based religions all have similar concepts like concept of god, soul theory, eternal hell or eternal heaven. All this concept are produced by such dualistic thinking mode.
Indeed. Smile

To think is to dig into our memory bank for similar experiences. It is to categorize, associate and relate from a known pool of data. Asking what is anything is similar to asking what and which group it belongs to. To know is to infer, deduce, measure and compare. We got so attached to this mechanistic mode of knowing that we are hypnotized to believe that reality is in accordance to this pattern. But this is just merely a system of enquiry created by the mind to make sense of the universe. It is not the only way towards knowledge. When we attempt to understanding our own true nature, we are lost. Such mode of enquiry cannot cope with the dynamics, timelessness and boundless characteristic of our nature. When we examine mindfulness, we will realise that it is a technique that has the quality to deal with these characteristics. It is pointless to do nothing and complain and yet want to understand the mystery of life. There truly exist a way towards unlocking this mystery of life. The Blessed One is compassionate, he has shown us the way. To quench the thirst, we have to be sincere with our practice and experience it ourselves. Smile

Thusness:

Followers of Ken Wilber will find it hard to swallow...but then I must still say...

He honours too much of stage 5. Though non-duality is experienced, it is not thorough. He sank back to a source and ding dong in between. Is there Witness without conditions? Are there moments of manifestation without conditions where Witness is experienced? If there is, then it is a game. If not, then know the truth of Dependent Origination. There is a stage 6. The nature of Presence is empty.

(Note by Soh: later he clarifies that Ken Wilber is more of 'One Mind' closer to Stage 4 rather than Anatta of Stage 5)


Thusness:
Hi all,

Just some clarifications about Dharma Dan...

I came to know about Dharma Dan only few days from AEN. I do not know much about him. I have no comments about him declaring himself as an arahat. I read a little about the exchanges between him and other forumers in E-Sanga, pretty sad as what AEN mentioned but what I want to remark is his deep intuitive insight. Like what he said, there are just too many myths surrounding what an Arahat should and shouldn't be like. As to whether has he attained arahatship, what i think is, unless we already have achieved certain level of insight into our true nature, lets not create unnecessary karma by discrediting his achievement. I believe he clearly knows where is he heading. Smile

I truly appreciate his effort on the e-book he wrote. It is free and is a valuable asset to insight meditators about the nature of reality and non-duality. He wrote it out of his own authentic experience. I just printed out the entire e-book, it is of a great help to me but read with ur own discernment. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Here are some meditation advises which I found useful, by Dharma Dan:

If you can perceive one sensation per second, try for two. If you can perceive two unique sensations per second, try to perceive four. Keep increasing your perceptual threshold in this way until the illusion of continuity that binds you on the wheel of suffering shatters.
When we have an initial taste of our luminous nature, we will want to zoom into the minutest detail of the moment.
Next, 'sensation' is just a word. Do realise that when it is experienced in bare, it is free from all definitions and its imprint and it conveys the luminous-empty nature. The moment subsides instantly as it arises and apart from this, there is no-self to be found anywhere.


In short, when doing insight practices, constantly work to perceive sensations arise and pass as quickly and accurately as you possibly can. With the spirit of a racecar driver who is constantly aware of how fast the car can go and still stay on the track, you are strongly advised to stay on the cutting edge of your ability to see the impermanence of sensations quickly and accurately.

When the gap is gone, there is no image. That is experiencing impermanence without images, without a layer of symbols. Just impermanence alone and nothing else. It is like the first phase of experiencing "I AM", just "I AM" and nothing else. Here, it is just impermanence, clearly and accurately. Nothing else.


Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:

I will like to share my current experience... I have more time in non-dual state now.
That is, there is no-self in the experiencing of things aka no subject-object split.
… Also, i have noticed that non-duality has various depths and degrees.

Certain times there are more mental thoughts, certain times less and they give different degrees of vividness and sense of oneness. At times, sense of being at a location is greatly diminished... what is being felt are all the sensations that made up 'here-ness'... For in truth, 'here-ness' is made up of perceptions and sensation... Like the sensations of pressure of the feet against the floor... they are just that..sensations. Likewise, the visual perceptions and hearing and so on so forth are just that….

Yes LongChen, very very well said. What you described is very true about the experience of non-duality and no-self is really referring to the illusionary view of a subject-object split. In actual case, there is no such split and like what you said, there are varying depths and degrees to this experience of non-duality. It will be good to find out more about the 7 factors of enlightenment and five wisdoms in Buddhism.

Sensation is just a word. However when we named it as ‘sensation’, there are whole lots of imprints and definitions that come along with it and that makes seeing it in ‘raw’ difficult. So what is ‘sensation’ in its raw state? It is what we called Presence, our Pristine Awareness. And yes they are all just THAT, that ‘sensation in raw’ and the purpose of why Buddha taught mindfulness will become clear; it is to experience “all is just that”, the One Reality. This has to be experienced intuitively and directly. There is no other way.

Next, we must experience more clearly about its emptiness nature. Awareness is a luminous presence with emptiness as its nature. Its nature is empty in the sense that there is no way you can point to a who, or a place or a moment in time and say “here it is”. It subsides as it arises and never remains. It is symbol-less and therefore we should not rest ourselves in either form or formless. It is neither this nor that and not even an ‘IT’. Simply empty of a ‘self’! A Source that cannot be pinned down is purely an ever manifestation of phenomena that rolls on. Its arising and ceasing is best described in the following:

When there is this, that is.
With the arising of this, that arises.
When this is not, neither is that.
With the cessation of this, that ceases.
(Dependent Origination – DO)

Do not even ask where it comes from and where it goes. To ask is to satisfy our cognitive thirst. In actual case it is no where to be found, only mere arising and ceasing in raw. The profundity of DO has no depth, zoom deeply into it. Sense the entirety of the moment, the manifolds of Presence, the vividness, texture and fabric of the raw, experience earnestly the luminous and emptiness truth of our nature.

The experience of this is the awakening of the mirror-like wisdom. This is important because it is the base that prevents us from falling into lower realm. But contrary to what that is being commonly explained as a clear mirror reflecting the phenomenon which is again dualistic (by now u will not be able to accept such view Razz), it is a wisdom that transformed totally the wrong view of phenomena as “out there or in here” to all as the manifestation of our pristine awareness due its emptiness nature. It is the experience of Dharmakaya.


What i have noticed is that much of the karmic patterns and habits still arises...but this time they arises without the agent of a self…. The karmic patterns that were diminished are mainly those pertaining to the 'sense of a self'. Apart from these, many habits are still largely intact. However, the awareness of this habits is clearer... but without the 'willing/forceful intention' of the false sense of self...

There is an apparent paradox here. Most of us uses the 'false sense of self' to will ourselve from doing certain things. Without the sense of self, the habits are still there and experienced. I think absolute trust must be given that the habits dissolves away in due time through non-willing.
It is a matter of how deep the experience of non-dual has penetrated into our consciousness. At the coarser level of non-dual experience, we will only be able to experience it at the conscious level but not at the pre-conscious level. That is, the ‘Self’ consciousness does not surface that frequently and there are gaps in between experiences but the stronger afflictions are still there. The afflicted consciousness is the habitual propensities of ‘self’ that is deeply rooted and works at the pre-conscious level. The experience of non-duality will not be able to overcome and eliminate these stronger afflictions until we have habituated ourselves to this understanding at the deeper level of our consciousness.

At this juncture, a practitioner will experience the first 4 factors of enlightenment quite clearly, that is, there will be mindfulness, investigative, joy and rapture but tranquility, concentration and equanimity isn'’t strong yet. The first 4 factors will result a sense of radiance bright, lightness, free, clear, vivid and energetic feeling but the settledness, sereneness and calmness will not be that obviously felt. It is here where one will experience the dark night of what Dharma Dan described. Contrary to what that is being thought, one may even feel more lustful due to the new found energy. But somehow the non-dual experience also has the strength to pull us back from falling further (you may experienced it in some synchronic events that serve as reminders) and eventually lead us to the experience of equanimity. You may want to find out why…? Mr. Green

Lastly hee…Having said that much, it seems that lots of effort need to be put in -- which is really not the case. The entire practice turns out to an undoing process. It is a process of gradually understanding the workings of our nature that is from beginning liberated but clouded by this sense of ‘self’ that is always trying to preserve, protect and ever attached. The entire sense of self is a ‘doing’. Whatever we do, positive or negative, is still doing. Ultimately there is not-even a letting go or let be, as there is already continuous dissolving and arising and this ever dissolving and arising turns out to be self-liberating. Without this ‘self’ or ‘Self’, there is no ‘doing’, there is only spontaneous arising. Smile


Thusness:

Hi January,

U got to differentiate between hard science, soft science and what is meant by being scientific. You may want to ask is the approach adopted by hard science appropriate to deal with qualitative and non-material phenomenon (Although we witness some improvement in this aspect for the past few decades, it is hardly mature).

If you sincerely wish to know about the scientific approach towards past lives, do put it effort to find out more about the research made by Ian Stevenson. Find out more about him, he is well respected. Being a scientist, he knows the limits of science and yet has to work within its constraint to account for these phenomena. Not to brush past lives phenomena away with word like “bullshit” without making adequate studies, that is irresponsible and immature. By doing this and in a Buddhist forum, you are mocking others people faith. The sacredness of life cannot be made objective, do not become too mechanical. Smile


Thusness:

Hi January,

I re-read my post. Though it may not sound soothing to the ears, take it positively. I have no ill intention. Smile

Trying to forcefully account for non-material phenomenon by hard science is analogous to casting an1-inch-knitted net into an ocean and concludes that no species in the ocean has a size smaller than 1 inch. We have to know the limitation of hard science as we know the limitation of the net. If one chooses to remain blind to these limitations then we have made science into a blind-faith religion. It is the spirit of science that is laudable. What Buddha taught is systematic and the results are clearly stated but an effort to walk the first step must be made to witness the result and that includes past lives experiences. Have an open mind so that you will not miss something valuable. Good luck. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by longchen:
Very true...indeed.
January... even if you do not believe in past life... it is fine.

Buddhism, is in fact, very very advanced psychology. It is so advanced that current scientist and researcher have not even scratched what Buddha has found.

If you do not believe in all the mystical stuff... Buddhism can still be seem from a very practical psychological approach.
Haha...the intuitive experience of non-duality must have made u appreciate deeply the profound teaching of anatta and emptiness. Mr. Green
The joy and bliss of total transparency will make us drop from our chairs (it can take few years)...

Happy Journey. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
Time & Date: not confirmed. Early January.
Whoever is interested may PM me or post your Skype details here Smile

P.s Please tell me which day would be the best -- I will try my best to choose a time to suit as many people as possible.

All are welcome! Very Happy
Wah...
It is also good. Force me to look into it. Smile
I have always wanted to spend more time into this sutra but just couldn't do it. Jan 6 2007, you should be back by then. Safe and Happy Trip. Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by longchen:
Yah... I really appreciate Buddha's depth...
I must thank you too... otherwise I may still be stuck at 'I AM' stage now. Mr. Green

regards.
Yes, the thinking mind will mistake the “Eternal Witness” as the ultimate. Smile If without the correct insight and understanding of our emptiness nature, somehow the thinking mind is able to ‘sway’ the experience into thinking ‘No-Self’ as the absence of personality and ego. It is this ‘personality’ or Ego, the totality of all our cultural makeup, that does not exist; but that Reality behind all forms, thinking, mental formations and feelings is very real; it is the ultimate background of all existence. This is false and in Buddhism, this is the “big Self” that should be eliminated through the experience of non-duality (anatta). Our pristine nature is not what the linear mode of reasoning can understanding. However “seeing in raw” does not necessarily lead to the experience of true non-duality; the experience of “AMness” is also a very crucial condition. Together with the realization of 'the sense of self is not the doer of action' , then the conditions are ready. They are all part of the progress. Smile

The dark nights described by Dharma Dan are very real for many reasons but then it still depends on one’s conditions. I experienced most of the problems. It took me more than 9 months to overcome them. This self-claim Arahat is truly experience, he has all my respects! All is still due to the propensities of the “Self’, they are working at a very subtle level. It is not detectable at the conscious level and it is for this that I must commend you for not being misled by the non-dual experience. You are mindful that the karmic patterns still hover around. This is very important. Deeper insight must come from understanding how consciousness works. It is not at the conscious level alone. So deep are these propensities then even with the non-dual experience that is so clear and vivid, the propensities still persist and manifest from moment to moment. They do not go even after death. It is these patterns that we must be aware. Once rooted, they cannot be easily overcome. The antidote is to habituate the non-dual insight deep down into our consciousness. Do not push yourself too hard but make more regular meditations. It is not easy to submerge entirely into the luminous-bliss of arising and dissolving from moment to moment in day to day working life. Though you can’t completely fuse the experience into daily working life, you will still be authenticated.

Saw some of your posts in other forums. Not many will understand your experience even in the mystic circle, just let it be. Happy Journey. Smile


Thusness:

Hi JonLS,

Merry X'Mas!



.
. (stories)
.
All there is, is This—there’s nothing else! (Period.)

The rest are stories.

There's nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to become.

This is all there is.

All there ever was is This.

All there ever will be is This.

There is nothing else—just This.

Nothing mystical. Nothing mundane.

Just This.

And You are This. (Biger stories.)
.
. (stories)
.

Right into the deepest depth of beingness,
Beyond concious and and pre-conscious layer,
Deeper than the depth of karmic momentum.
No words and no justifications.
Completely Free , nothing undone! Mr. Green


Thusness:

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:
...At the coarser level of non-dual experience, we will only be able to experience it at the conscious level but not at the pre-conscious level. That is, the ‘Self’ consciousness does not surface that frequently and there are gaps in between experiences but the stronger afflictions are still there. This level is depicted in the 3 diagrams that I have drawn in Longchen's topic, the second one with a dotted circle, after the cracked mirror.

One must soon come to realisation of the deeper layer of consciousness, the more subtle aspects that continue to manifest when conditions are there. Once we are sincere and not fall into the trapped of no-self (not attached to it) and go further, we will soon realise the latent tendencies and the strength of it. A practitioner who knows how consciousness works knows the difficulties of uprooting these afflictions from the deeper layer and is always careful of what is being planted.

What is described in Nathan Gill's story is similar to the 'dark nights'...
Yes understanding of pre-conscious momentum is as important as the intuitive experience of no-self. To have a complete picture, this must be understood. Smile


Thusness:


Hi JonLS,

Even letting go, surrendering or let be are all stories. In actual case this cannot be done as the 'I' never existed. Like mindfulness, they too are skillful means. Mr. Green

Ultimately there is only the complete awaking in the deepest sense that all is the One Reality spontaneously and ceaselessly manifesting. Liberation is this spontaneity and natural happening. Nothing needs be done. All else are skillful means. Smile


Thusness:


Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi Thusness,
I know what you talking about here, because I had a moment of complete clarity a few day ago.

I saw that all there really is is awareness.

Just awareness.

Everything else is just stories.

It was a wonderful liberating insight.

I recognized what was being said by Nathan Gill, when he said that all words are not "it". And have nothing to do with "it".

Unless you have the insight, the experience yourself, it is quite useless to talk about it.

So I encourage everyone to go after the insight and stop spending so much time with words.
Yes sounds good. Not about words, nothing conceptual, no fabrications, it's all about insights. Smile

Thusness:


Originally posted by JonLS:
Hi AnEternalNow,
Should you be trying to learn from Thusness or should you be letting go of all learning?

Why are you taking yourself so seriously?

Is there anything really that needs to be learned???

Who is it that needs to do all this learning???

Where is this "you" that you are taking so seriously???

Do you really think Zen teachings are all that necessary???
This sounds great too...it is an unlearning process. Mr. Green Eliminate until none!


Thusness:

Originally posted by JonLS:
When you "know" this with every fibre of your being, then you've got it!!! Rolling Eyes
The "knowingness" must vitalize and make alive all phenomena arising as all are actually it. There is no ending. "Got it" is an illusion! Smile


Thusness:
Originally posted by JonLS:
It is solid, steady, changeless, beginningless and endless, ever new, ever fresh.

It is solid, steady, pervading, beginningless, endless, ever new, ever fresh...

Changeless kills all the above. The flow and renewing is perpetual and ceaseless. Assigning an extra 'changeless' simply sounds good to the mind that reacts to "momentum" and only in dualistic perception a changeless entity is needed to link the chain of ever becoming. Just the obviousness that never remains and clarity will be most vivid.

Edit: Forgot to wish u Merry Christmas! Mr. Green



Thusness:

Hi JonLS,

Of all ways, the direct way is toughest. Sound simplest but is the most difficult path to walk as it is pathless. When one not only 'sees' the non-duality aspect of awareness but also the 'momentum' aspect, the workings of consciousness will become clearer. Skillful means are devised to suit ppl with differing conditions and all skillful means is to generate enough conditions to lead one to the ultimate understanding of our pristine nature. Effort can still lead to the understanding effortless. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by JonLS:Hi Thusness,

Eckhart has said that the new consciousness is emerging directly now.

I would have to agree with him since this seems to be what is happening.

[b]It is difficult as long as you consider yourself to be the ego, when this is seen through, then it is smoother sailing.

It requires constant surrender and tremendous desire for truth.

Happy holidays!!! Mr. Green[/b]

Yes JonLS, very well said! It is the path for those that have seen the non-dualistic aspect of reality -- the condition for smooth sailing. Mr. GreenBefore that, for those that attempt to take this path, it is hell lots of confusions. Razz


Thusness:

Originally posted by JonLS:
Rather, the fact that your utmost desire is to know the truth of your being is simply a sign that awareness is ready to awaken to itself.

But of course this is all appearance, because nothing really awakens.

Enlightenment simply is.

It is a misinterpretation of "an expression" into "desire to do something" when 'I' is there.


Thusness:


Originally posted by JonLS:
Yes, so there is confusion within the present moment.

And there is sense of self that identifies with this confusion.

Does this, in any way, take away from the perfection of the present moment???

Are you really the confusion?

Are you really the sense of self that is identifying with it?

Or are you beyond both of these???

No JonLS,

There is no 'Self' that is identified with the 'confusion' at the present moment.
The 'Self' is the entire whole of identification. The process of identification to particularize is the confusion itself. There is no beyond, there is only 'insight' that clears the illusion and all merely 'what is'.

As Eckhart Tolle would say, the confusion and the sense of self are the "content" of the present moment.

You are not the content.

You are the present moment.

You are the space in which it all happens.[/b]

The 'space' is another story. This ‘Space’ is the problem of all problems. The subtlest stories told. The cognitive thirst creates that 'Space'. Things taking place requires no background, without it nothing is taking place. There is only One, not two. Nothing within or without, just it! In direct path there is no compromise. There is no room for a 'space'. Mr. Green



Thusness:


Originally posted by longchen:
Yah... space is another illusion. It is the conventional mind that cognate the 'space'.
Yes...dissolving, dissolving and still dissolving... Mr. Green


Thusness:
Originally posted by JonLS:
Tony Parsons has mentioned that preceding or during enlightenment there is an apparent release of energy outward.

I have experienced and am still experiencing this phenomenon.

Have you experienced this, what is it like for you?

What does Buddhist teaching say about this?

Yes JonLS and the intensity differ. For a non-dual experiencer, u must also feel light and radiance bright with ever renewing joy. If the 'sensation' is felt in its raw state with the practice of mindfulness, it can be very strong as if beaming out from no where to everywhere. They are the 7 factors of enlightenment. For now only the first 4 factors will be quite vivid. Do read about it.

You may want to read about non-dual and karmic patterns by longchen.
http://buddhisim.sgforums.com/?action=thread_display&thread_id=225462


The contraction that is the separate sense of self is the cause of this.
Indirectly. It is due more to the breaking lose of the an illusionary bond of 'self' at the pre-coscious level. There are few other such bonds that are equally strong. Smile


Thusness:

Originally posted by _wanderer_:
You have raised a very important question.
.
.
.
Something like that. Hope this explanation helps to clarify some things for u. Best wishes for your search. Smile
Good explanation, young one. Smile

I would like to add:

Life is like a passing cloud, when it comes to an end, a hundred years is like yesterday, like a snap of a finger. If it is only about one life, it really doesn'’t matter whether we are enlightened. The insight that the Blessed One has is not just about one life; countless lives we suffered, life after life, unending…. Such is suffering.

It is not about logic or science and there is really no point arguing in this scientific age. Take steps in practice and experience the truth of Buddha’s words. Of the 3 dharma seals, the truth of ‘suffering’ to me is most difficult to experience in depth.

May all take Buddha’s words seriously.


Thusness:

Originally posted by Eric Cartman:
ban men nong fu
It is good that u edited it. As for your post about Dharma Dan:


what he described for the jhanas is so brief! i think i got the 3rd jhana according to dharma dan but when i look at buddha's description and my friend's description i realised that i am far from even the first jhana or even nimita! and he calls himself an arhat?!
It is better to take it that ur thirst for spiritual and psychic power have led u gone astray.


and he calls himself an arhat?!
This part is not necessary.

Eric,
There many stages of realisations but none is about mental interpretations. Do not let these mental chatterings confuse u further. The correct path will only bring u insight, clarity, vividness, joy and bliss. I sincerely hope you walk the correct path. May you uproot the thirst for spiritual powers. Happy new year!


Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
Yesterday, I had the brightest non-dual experience ever.
As the mental activities continues to dissolves away and i was staring into the blank space in front... The most penetrating brightness occurs... It was so bright that 'me' gets stunned back to 'self'.

I never thought that Reality is so incredibly Bright! It is truly stunning!
Smile
It needs fearlessness to face it. The propensity is still there. The second door is important. Good luck. Smile

Thusness:

Originally posted by longchen:
Yah... fearlessness is what i need. Mr. Green
Thanks Thusness.

Coz i faced it too.... Mr. Green