I was asked what is the direct insight of emptiness.

I wrote:

The insight is how presence/appearance appears yet never truly exists (i.e. by way of inherent existence), like truly there... instead it's just mere substanceless appearance. Instead of essence, we see dependent origination.

It's an insight into seeing how 'essence' does not apply, not only to background/self but to foreground/presence/phenomena, therefore arising/abiding/ceasing also don't apply.

Because of this, there's no way to locate or pin down anything anywhere, therefore all the where, now, here, there don't apply, as pinning down something as 'there' requires the essence view.

It is not just an experience of all reality as 'dream-like' (this experience can arise by linking what appears to one's radiance) but a direct insight that overturns the wrong view of phenomena as having essence in the same manner as the direct insight into anatta overturns the wrong view of self or consciousness as having essence existing by its own side.
Samsara and freedom from samsara is defined differently in different traditions.

In the Direct Path, it is said that even the Witness stage is liberation from samsara. In Buddhadharma's point of view, this is just another subtler version of samsara, as all identities whatsoever are completely relinquished at the time of liberation. Bahiya Sutta defines liberation. Also in another sutta, the Buddha acknowledged that other religious traditions claim to reach liberation, and yet is different from his version of liberation due to his unique rejection of the doctrine of self. In his very own words in that sutta, he said, 'The doctrines of others are devoid [64] of recluses: that is how you should rightly roar your lion's roar.' - https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.011.ntbb.html

In the Direct Path, after the collapse of Witness, there is nondual awareness, and yet this nondual awareness still has a reification of awareness as a oneness. This is still a subtle reification and thus precluded from the Buddhadharma's definition of liberation from samsara. If there is still any sense at all of being an ultimate Self, or being an ultimate reality that is unchanging, substantial, inherent, and so forth, that is not what Buddhadharma defines as liberation but simply another form of subtle (formless) state and reification. Buddhadharma's liberation cannot be attained as long as there is still the sense of being "an inherently existing, unchanging awareness as ground" or any notion of "atman-brahman" as ultimate reality.

And then Direct Path goes one step further to dissolve the notion of "awareness". This is starting to get closer to Buddhism but I'm not sure how far it goes.

Greg Goode wrote before, "It looks your Bahiya Sutta experience helped you see awareness in a different way, more .... empty. You had a background in a view that saw awareness as more inherent or essential or substantive?

I had an experience like this too. I was reading a sloka in Nagarjuna's treatise about the "prior entity," and I had been meditating on "emptiness is form" intensely for a year. These two threads came together in a big flash. In a flash, I grokked the emptiness of awareness as per Madhyamika. This realization is quite different from the Advaitic oneness-style realization. It carries one out to the "ten-thousand things" in a wonderful, light and free and kaleidoscopic, playful insubstantial clarity and immediacy. No veils, no holding back. No substance or essence anywhere, but love and directness and intimacy everywhere..."

It will be interesting if the Direct Path leads to a similar insight. I just haven't seen followers of Advaita describe similar realizations, but if there is I'll be happy to read up more.

I have studied the doctrines of all major religions. I've read many of the Upanishads and I haven't found verses that describes something close to the Buddhadharma's version of liberation. I've also read the bible (I actually think Jesus's teachings are pretty close to Advaita and Kashmir Shaivism in some sense, based on the four gospels and especially if you take the gnostic gospel of thomas into consideration too), the quran, tao te ching, and so forth. I appreciate all of them. But I do not see them as leading towards the same goal.

In terms of non-Buddhists, there are a couple of non-Buddhists that are pretty close (yet not entirely similar) to the Buddhadharma's version of 'anatta insight'. Examples include: U.G. Krishnamurti, J. Krishnamurti, Actual Freedom, and so forth. Interestingly, all these guys rejected and refuted the "Atman-Brahman" concept. Their experiential insight is pretty close to what I call anatta. Particularly, Actual Freedom is also very clear in distinguishing itself from the True Self or One Mind realization as Richard has gone through these distinct phases. But even his teachings are quite problematic from the viewpoint of the Buddhadharma in various ways. But I think as far as experiential insight goes he comes closest to my insight of anatta, yet, I do not consider even his experience to be liberation. Also, the view of emptiness and dependent origination is lacking in these teachings. But if I have to approximate where I am in the framework of actual freedom teachings, I would say what I have attained holds similarities to 'actual freedom', and if I were to approximate where I am in the Advaita framework, I would say what I experience holds similarities with 'sahaja samadhi' as the experience of reality here is constant in life without needing to enter a special state of absorption or trance through meditation, yet it cannot really be equated that way.


Also it should be noted that 'anatta' and 'emptiness teachings' do not reject or negate Awareness but clarifies its nature.

As Thusness puts it to me years back,

6/3/2012 9:27 PM: John: I do not see practice apart from realizing the essence and nature of awareness
6/3/2012 9:30 PM: John: The only difference is seeing Awareness as an ultimate essence or realizing awareness as this Seamless activity that fills the entire Universe.
6/3/2012 9:32 PM: John: When we say there is no scent of a flower, the scent is the flower....that is becoz the mind, body, universe are all together deconstructed into this single flow, this scent and only this... Nothing else.
6/3/2012 9:33 PM: John: That is the Mind that is no mind.
6/3/2012 9:38 PM: John: There is no an Ultimate Mind that transcends anything in the Buddhist enlightenment. The mind Is this very manifestation of total exertion...wholly thus.
6/3/2012 9:42 PM: John: Therefore there is always no mind, always only this vibration of moving train, this cooling air of the aircon, this breath...
6/3/2012 9:43 PM: Soh Wei Yu: oic..
6/3/2012 9:47 PM: John: The question is after the 7 phases of insights can this be realized and experience and becomes the ongoing activity of practice in enlightenment and enlightenment in practice -- practice-enlightenment.


"Every religion is talking abt consciousness. It is nature of consciousness that is important. It is like talking about "Soh" from different ppl. Of course all is pointing to "Soh" but when someone say he is an American, has 10 sisters and is now studying in India...we cannot say that he is correct and it is the same because ultimately we r talking about "Soh"."


I apologize if the way I wrote sound offensive to others. I'm sure there will be people who disagree with the Buddhadharma's views of things or my view of things, that's ok. There's always plenty of different views. We can simply agree to disagree.


I often distinguish dissolving subject/object division from dissolving the notion of inherency. For example I have gone through a phase where after realising Witness, the Witness collapse into one mind, a single field of awareness where manifestation is undivided from awareness. Only one awareness exists just as all shapes of necklaces are merely superimpositions on one gold. This roughly corresponds to the nondual awareness after collapse of witness in DP. Yet, this Awareness is still seen and felt as inherently existing — have its own substance, ultimate, unchanging, inherently existing. This is despite dissolving the sense of subject/object division.

If that sense of one awareness (inherent) too gets dissolved (which DP purports to), that is getting similar to what I call anatta. As for my anatta insight, it is how Greg describes it above, a dissolving of even the advaitic oneness into the intimacy and directness and clarity of the 10,000 things with no background. In my case it is directly seeing how there can be no seer or seeing besides colors and no hearer or hearing besides sounds (whereas DP collapses these to Awareness, now it’s also collapsing Awareness into the 10,000 things). But its not so much of collapsing but seeing through the structure. Here, Awareness/Presence is no longer seen to exist by its own side, only the thousand faces of Presence. Then comes dependent origination and emptiness in my later progression.


Geovani Geo what you describe seems similar to my “one mind” phase as I just described above. I no longer perceive Essence or (inherent) existence. No non temporal existence (Brahman) Nor even temporal existences. There is not even temporal existence because the illusory presencing appearance does not amount to something arising for even a flickering instant just like moon reflections or mirages of cities do not amount to existence or arising of any kind. Only empty, essenceless dreamlike and holographic display or appearing, vividly clear radiance, seamless(ly interconnected), non-arising. My insights and progression of insights corresponds with André A. Pais

I will leave you with something from Traktung Rinpoche:

No essence No existence This joy

by Traktung Rinpoche:

There is nothing more disturbing than dharma’s pure message that is the undoing of identity …. the concrete, existent identity of self, of things, of mind. There is a nexus of meanings; we call it our lives - adornment of nothingness’ luminosity across emptiness’ expanse. It is our ownmost authenticity without there being any being, or essence or even existence to it at all.

The Greeks felt essence preceded existence. The existentialists felt that existence preceded essence. Buddha’s great realization disentangles this non-question in the realization of the absence of essence or existence in the unutterable mystery of suchness. Existence and essence are co-emergent substanceless empty appearing / appearance emptiness.

Let the dharma unmake you, disrobe your habits – even the habit called “me”, unconstruct the suredness you call you. In authentic dharma there is no ground to stand on and that no-ground is the most disturbing fact imaginable. …. but the same fact which causes the existentialist nausea is unutterable playfulness to the yogi.

my dark unlearnings began
with the innocent speech of leaf fall.


snow melt.
mud. fallen tree.


spins, addled by secret scripts of
beetle track, patternings of
rainfall, diagrammatic log fire

listening.whole body. mitochondrial scholar stones.

i made a deal with moss and dirt a

e d about:

identity decomposed. about. little birds. about.
sky all over closer to here than when and this.

your lips. memory. how freedom is more
under than above. measureless.
complete love.

- t.k.

Soh Wei Yu

Soh Wei Yu " where is there an object to contrast against an awareness? For awareness to be inherent it would have to have something to contrast itself to, like a limited transient object."

At One Mind, there is no longer the sense that awareness is something aware of something else. All waves of the ocean are just the ocean. It is all just pure Being/Consciousness that is however changeless and existing as a changeless field of light. Everything is subsumed into One, there is no multiplicity and therefore no way of awareness being aware of multiplicity, and no subject-object division. This One is however still being reified and felt as existing changelessly and independently (not alterable by any kind of conditions).

All shapes of the necklaces are subsumed into gold, and yet that gold is held to be the truly existing, changeless substance of all reality, the sole reality. It is this kind of inherent existence not as a separate subject or object in contrast to other separate subjects or objects but as the sole Oneness of all reality.

· Reply · 30m · Edited
Soh Wei Yu

Soh Wei Yu When I say the collapse of Awareness, I do not mean collapse of Awareness into the reified concept of separate objects, which has already been dissolved previously. What I mean is seeing that 'Awareness' is really just another label like 'weather' on the everchanging display of colors, light, sounds, etc which we can also call rain, wind, clouds, lightning. It does not exist in and of itself with some unchanging, intrinsic essence besides these display. There is no seeing besides color, no hearing besides sound, no awareness besides manifestation.

· Reply · 25m · Edited
Neil Ji

NJ: Well that might be part of your business or part of the emptiness business but that's not how the DP progresses... and you seem to categorize these things according to your own system of progression, sort of as levels of realization... never really got that, doesn't make much sense to me.

To me you have to take each path from their own perspective and basis and judge it on if it gets the job done. Not compare it to your favorite path and subsumed it based on those values...

You seem to miss the ultimate value of the DP and the awareness teachings ...

· Reply · 23m
Soh Wei Yu

Soh Wei Yu DP progresses by getting to the Witness, dissolving all objectivity, dissolving Witness into nondual awareness (what I call One Mind), and finally even that one awareness dissolves. How that last part manifests is however crucial and interesting.

· Reply · 21m · Edited
Neil Ji

NJ: One way to say it is that Non dual awareness is not really even any "awareness" at all... there is nothing left.

· Reply · 20m


Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu GG:: "
This what you conceive as "one awareness lacking borders and indistinguishable from manifestation" is what existence per-se is. It is the only necessary and indispensable requirement needed for manifestation to manifest. Such general possibility is not dependent on the particular manifestations that may happen. Am I being able to make any sense? I am not using any known system of school language."

That One Mind is just another view superimposed on experience. It is just a presumption on your part that existence is required for manifestation. It needs to be questioned, and it can be refuted. The insight here is that no existence is required for manifestation/appearance. There is no awareness behind manifestation, in fact no awareness besides manifestation. And what manifests do not 'exist' by way of essence or existence, but merely appears via dependent origination, cannot be pinned down anywhere.
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· Reply · 52m · Edited
GG: Actually it can be quite a surprising and significant realization that there is no such thing as existence w/o awareness. How else could we discuss it? Or... how else could discussion about it occur?
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· Reply · 50m · Edited
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu What we call 'discussion' is just another appearing.. you can say it is vividly known, but that is descriptive. It does not assert that there is an 'it' which exists. Appearance does not imply existence. There is no 'that which knows' although you can say the appearance is qualitatively vivid or 'aware'.
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· Reply · 50m · Edited
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu In the same way there is no rainer that is raining, there is no that which rains, the raining does not imply the existence of some existent. The wind blowing does not mean there is a 'wind' besides blowing, the blowing does not imply the existence of something that is existent behind it, it does not imply that 'a wind exists'. In fact they are synonyms. Just saying "blowing" is sufficient, there is no wind besides that.
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· Reply · 44m · Edited
GG: "Appearance does not imply existence" makes absolutely no sense to me, Soh. Unless by "existence" you mean "existence as" as conventional existence.
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· Reply · 48m
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu I mean there is no inherent existence -- existence that stands alone by itself 'here'. Or something that stands alone 'there'. Instead it's just appearance.

Like a hologram does not imply a person exists there, just appearance.
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· Reply · 46m · Edited
GG: "The wind blowing does not mean there is a 'wind' besides blowing, the blowing does not imply the existence of something that is existent behind it,"

Why besides and why behind? Any event or thing in whatever manner it may appear, exists. The false as false. The illusion as illusion. Why are you bringing in the behind?
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· Reply · 44m
GG: Well then the hologram exists as mere hologram. No person of course.
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· Reply · 43m · Edited
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu Exist: "have objective reality or being." - dictionary

Appearance does not imply existence. For something to exist, that would imply there is substance to it, that there is an 'it' that exists independently by its own essence. That would also refute conditionality. Such an essence will be seen to exist changelessly, or perhaps changingly (existing for a short/long time). Either way, that is essence view.
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· Reply · 41m · Edited
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu I should add, even 'subjective reality' is refuted here because there is no 'subject' besides the display/experience like 'weather' and 'wind' analogy I gave
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· Reply · 42m
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu I gave the analogy of weather. Weather does not 'exist' and is merely labelled on the '....'
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· Reply · 40m
GG: I see... you are clearly referring to conventional existence. I agree with that.
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· Reply · 40m
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu Now, when the self/Self or awareness-as-background is seen through and awareness is realised to be none other than the display, the sense of One Awareness as the changeless existence/reality collapses into the radiance as ten thousand things. There is …See More
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· Reply · 37m · Edited
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu " I see... you are clearly referring to conventional existence. I agree with that."

What I mean is that the analogy of 'weather' and 'wind' is applied to 'Awareness' and 'Mind' and 'Self' (not just self as in the small capital self) so that it is seen to be empty of its own existence besides those myriad displays '...'

And even that is just the firstfold emptiness. That will collapse the 'one mind'. The secondfold emptiness is how this insight into essencelessness applies to the presencing/appearing.
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· Reply · 35m · Edited
DS: "For something to exist, that would imply there is substance to it"

Here is the evidence that existence for this fellow means form - and not consciousness.
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· Reply · 28m
DS: "the sense of One Awareness as the changeless existence/reality collapses into the radiance as ten thousand things"

Firstly, 'one awareness' is not a sense. It is the awareness by which a sense exists to be known.

Secondly, there is no "radiance as ten thousand things" without awareness. There can be nothing - ever - without the existence of formless consciousness.
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· Reply · 27m
GG: "Exist: "have objective reality or being." - dictionary"

That is objective reality, the conventional - as I said I understood you. The existence I am referring to is not objective. I mean, really, this is basic.
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· Reply · 27m
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu No, what I mean is consciousness as well. In fact seeing through the intrinsic existence of consciousness is crucial to my direct realization of anatta and I was contemplating along that line because I have gone through the phase of Self-Realization an…See More
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· Reply · 24m · Edited
DS: "My insight has penetrated this view of 'existence' or 'essence'."

Hardly the case that I can see.
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· Reply · 24m
GG: Your insight penetrated the existence as peer the dictionary - the conventional
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· Reply · 23m
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu "
That is objective reality, the conventional - as I said I understood you. The existence I am referring to is not objective. I mean, really, this is basic."…See More
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· Reply · 21m · Edited
GG: OK, lets swap to the one mind view. I like that.
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· Reply · 21m
DS: Anatta (no-self) or no subject - is a realization of the illusory nature of the manifest individual identity - and not a removal of conscious existence.
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· Reply · 20m
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu "Hardly the case that I can see."

Yes because you are seeing formless awareness as primary. To me, I have directly realized "formless awareness" but I now see that as just one face of presence/awareness, which does not exist in and of itself besides t…See More
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· Reply · 18m · Edited
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu "OK, lets swap to the one mind view. I like that."

You're already at One Mind. The next step is really the collapsing of one mind. It is much more freeing.

I, Thusness, and our blog have helped more than 25 people realise anatta directly for themselves. Anyone who realises this will not swap it for any other previous realizations.

E.g. Joel Agee wrote:


Joel Agee Simple but profound and ongoing: a deconstruction of an unconscious habit of locating awareness anywhere else than in the moment-to-moment transient phenomena. Whoosh! No observer, no witness. No location!
September 2, 2012 at 1:44pm · Unlike · 10

Joel Agee I will try to describe what it is that rings true for me in Thusness’s words. I don’t have a theoretical preference for the early Buddhist teachings over the later ones, including Dzogchen. In fact I know very little about the Pali Canon. My approach isn’t conceptual or theoretical at all. I look directly into the nature of my own consciousness in silent, objectless sitting meditation – shikantaza if you will. Whatever doesn’t meet the test of direct experience holds no lasting interest for me.

Until fairly recently, the metaphor of the mirror and its reflections seemed a fitting image of my contemplative experience: that there is an unchanging, ever-present, imperturbable awareness that is the absolute ground and the very substance of phenomena, and that while this motionless, contentless awareness-presence is inseparable from the ceaseless coming and going of appearances, it also transcends everything that shows up, remaining untouched, unstained, absolute and indestructible.

A couple of years ago I discovered Soh’s blog, Awakening to Reality, and in it Soh’s account of his exploration of the Bahiya Sutta and the Zen Priest Alex Weith’s report on his realization of Anatta through practical application of the Bahiya Sutta. I saw then that Anatta was not fully realized in my experience. The illusory nature of a separate unchanging personal self had been seen through, but an unconscious identification with “Awareness” or “rigpa” had taken its place.

Since then, an unstoppable deconstruction of that impersonal background identity has been happening in my contemplation and in my daily life. There is still a noticeable attachment to the memory of that subtle Home Base. It shows up as a tendency to "lean back" from the unpredictable brilliance and dynamism of the moment into a static, subtly blissful background presence. But there is no longer a belief in an Awareness that is anything other than, or greater than, or deeper than, THIS sound, THIS smile or stirring of emotion, THIS glance of light. There is no Mirror that is not the reflections.

So the shift in my experience and practice is not a preference for one teaching over another. It’s an ongoing realization that direct contact with the grain and texture of moment-by-moment experience is what Dogen meant by “being awakened by the ten thousand things.”
January 2 at 3:20am · Unlike · 6

Thusness wrote years back:

Yes u should learn slowly and safely...no need to rush...half a year u will see the effect. My sensations r very powerful now...I want to focus my this technique for few months ... Anatta is very strong nowadays ... Wonder y...lol In addition to insights, the body has some serious obstruction that prevents full blown experience of no-self. When the intensity of sensation is strong, the transparency + insights of Anatta become very powerful and obvious...the natural intensity of sensations helps one to lose all sense of self too... Soh Wei Yu 9/14, 3:22pm Soh Wei Yu Intensity of sensations come from energy practice? Thusness: Yes
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Just some random short notes I have been wanting to jot down, reflecting my current understanding as experiential insight deepens in my practice.


Many people mistaken letting go and dispassion in terms of dissociation (a subject 'letting go' and 'standing back' from object). This is not true letting go or dispassion.

'In the seen just the seen' with no 'you in terms of that' is true dispassion. It is the state where each sound, each color, each sensation is happening on its own, manifests on its own as its own radiance, and yet there is completely no additional fabrication, or whatever kind of identity in relation to that. This complete emptiness of any kind of identity and clinging or subject-object relation in relation to 'in the seen just the seen', 'in the heard just the heard' is true dispassion.

A dissociated state is just another form of grasping, attachment. It is attaching at 'something' or 'someone' being more true and real than the rest of the field.


There's absolutely no need to attempt to bring anything whatsoever, presence, witnessing, whatever, into sleep or any states (waking, dreaming, and deep sleep). Any dualistic effort is a form of doing. Bringing in a watcher is karma. All dharmas, all phenomena, are fundamentally quiescent as nirvana, fundamentally non-arising and naturally manifesting as one's own state of radiance. Therefore true practice is resting in the natural, spontaneous perfection of luminosity and emptiness. Practice becomes dynamic rather than technique-bound as the spontaneous unfolding or self-arising of all displays, activities, sounds, colors, sensations, gets auto-actualized as the wisdom of luminous-emptiness. Everything arises as the state of meditation, which is non-meditation. Yet this requires anatta and emptiness as pre-requisite.

Therefore, it is always the eventuality of every practitioner to discover that spontaneous perfection is the only course of liberation. Yet one must also be wary of falling into a nihilistic extreme of interpreting non-action as not needing practice or effort. We still have to meditate, but this meditation becomes directionless (or more accurately, aimlessness and wishlessness -- one of the three doors of liberation) and without subject-object (I'm here, trying to get 'there') but immediate practice-enlightenment or instant actualization in every encounter or activity, sitting, walking, working, encountering people. This effort is not the same as the dualistic effort of trying to attain a result in the future, or trying to sustain a subject/object structure by bringing in a dualistic form of watching.

There can and should be effort and focus in practice, but this effort and focus is applied in a way that completely dissolves the subject/object structure rather than retain or strengthen it, for example when being mindful of the breathing, the breathing is its own attention and awareness, there is no dualistic attempt to 'shine the spotlight of awareness on an object or a subject'. Effort and focus, and effortlessness becomes one. This is why Dogen's teachings are very useful here to counteract the nihilism of the wrongful understanding of non-action.  The kind of "doing" or "action" we should be rid of is not "don't have to make any effort" but "not being affected by results/gain/loss", for it is the attachment to the results that are karmic. Each step, each breath, becomes the ends rather than the means -- it is the actualization of enlightenment/Buddha-nature rather than a means to get enlightenment in the future.

And this, also happens to be true non-meditation and non-action, beyond the sense of there being a meditator-meditation and actor-action.

"If you regard things as existent by virtue of (a reified) intrinsic reality, you thereby regard them as bereft of causes and conditions. And thereby you are condemning effects, causes, agents, actions, activities, originations, cessations, and even fruitional goals. Whatever is relativity we proclaim that emptiness. Nothing whatsoever is found which is not relativistically originated. Therefore, nothing whatsoever is found which is not empty. So if all things were not empty, there would be no origination and no destruction.

by Mipham Rinpoche

Namo Mañjuśrīye!
Once you have gone through the training in analysis
And developed confidence in the crucial point
Of how the individual is devoid of self,
Then consider how, just as the so-called “I” is
An unexamined conceptual imputation,
All phenomena included within
The five skandhas and the unconditioned are the same:
Labeled conceptually as this or that.
Although we apprehend all these various phenomena,
When we investigate and search for what's behind the labelling, it cannot be found.
And when we reach the ultimate two indivisibles,
Even the most subtle and infinitesimal cannot be established.
It is the same for all that appears through dependent origination:
Entities themselves arise dependently,
And ‘non-entities’ are dependently imputed.
So, whether an entity or non-entity,
Whatever is conceived of uncritically,
Once it is analyzed and investigated,
Is found to be without basis or origin —
Appearing yet unreal, like an illusion, dream,
Reflected moon, echo, city in the clouds,
Hallucination, mirage, and the like.
Appearing yet empty, empty yet appearing—
Meditate on the way empty appearances resemble illusions.
This is the ultimate that is categorized conceptually.
It has the confidence of a mind of understanding,
And is indeed the stainless wisdom of seeing
The illusory nature of post-meditative experience.
Yet it is not yet free from focus on apprehended objects,
Nor have the features of a subjective mind been overcome,
And so, since it has not gone beyond conceptuality,
The true reality of natural simplicity is not seen.
Once this kind of certainty has arisen,
Even clinging to mere illusion
Can be understood as conceptual imputation.
There is apprehension, but no essential nature to the perceived,
And even the perceiving mind cannot be found,
So, without clinging, one is brought to rest in natural ease.
Remaining like this, all perceptions,
Both external and internal, are not interrupted.
Yet within this fundamental nature, free from grasping,
All projections imposed upon phenomena,
Have never arisen and never ceased to be.
So, free from the duality of perceiver and perceived,
We rest in the all-pervading space of equality.
This is beyond any assertions, such as ‘is’ or ‘is not’.
And, within this inexpressible state of true and natural rest,
An experience dawns that is free from the slightest trace of doubt.
This is the actual nature of all things,
The ultimate that cannot be conceptualized,
And can only be known individually —
The non-conceptual wisdom of meditative equipoise.
Once you become familiar with this state,
In which emptiness and dependent arising are an inseparable unity,
The ultimate condition in which the two truths cannot be separated,
That is the yoga of the Great Middle Way.
Those who wish to realize this swiftly
And make evident non-dual, primordial wisdom
Beyond the domain of the ordinary mind,
Should meditate on the pith instructions of Secret Mantra.
This is the ultimate profound and crucial point
Of the progressive meditations on the Middle Way.
So, begin by thoroughly refining your conduct,
And then arrive at certainty, experientially and in stages.
With confidence in the illusory nature of empty appearance,
This is what it means for nothing to be removed or added on the path.
And, within the equality of the all-pervading space of perfect wisdom,
There is complete liberation.
In a place where people suffer drought and dehydration,
Hearing that there is water does not dispel thirst;
It is only by drinking that relief is found.
And this is how it is for learning and experience — so the sūtras say.
Someone with only dry, theoretical understanding,
Who is worn out by all kinds of reasoning and ideas,
Does not need sporadic practice; but, when meditating in proper stages:
Will swiftly gain acceptance of the profound.
Jampal Gyepe Dorje
wrote down whatever came to mind,
On the twenty-ninth day of the eleventh month of the Water Dragon year (1892).
Through this, may all beings realize the meaning of the profound Middle Way!

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2006.

"People that have gone into the nihilistic understanding of 'non-doing' ended up in a mess. You see those having right understanding of 'non-doing' are free, yet you see discipline, focus and peace in them.

Like just sitting and walking... ...in whatever they endeavor. Fully anatta."

~ Thusness

"Peace is every step.
The shining red sun is my heart.
Each flower smiles with me.
How green, how fresh all that grows.
How cool the wind blows.
Peace is every step.
It turns the endless path to joy."

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

"Oprah Winfrey: Already just being in your presence for a short time, I feel less stressed than I did when I started out the day, because you have such a peaceful aura that follows you and that you carry with yourself. Are you always this content and peaceful?

Thich Nhat Hanh: This is my training, this is my practice, to live every moment like that. Relaxed, dwelling peacefully in the present moment, and respond to events with compassion."

"This is most difficult as it is actualization. Insight is just (the) beginning. If you simply just base on insight and do not actualize your insight in practice meeting situations, you will not have genuine and deep understanding."
~ Thusness


Richard Cooper I think nihilistic beliefs need to explored like any others in order to find how they mislead and are belief rather than actuality.

I don't really understand why there is a need for actualisation unless insight hasn't really penetrated and is still intellectual/abstract. Is it to do with habitual responses ?
· Reply · 38m
Soh Wei Yu
Soh Wei Yu You see all the nihilistic beliefs spouted by people that advocate no practices since 'you are already what you seek', etc, usually in the neo-Advaita circle but not limited to it. There's a bunch of unhelpful bullshit out there and this article by Daniel M. Ingram illustrates the problems and limitations with such views succinctly - a must read: https://www.mctb.org/.../the-nothing-to-do-and-you-are.../

As for actualization, Daniel also wrote this -- despite stating this his realization of MCTB 4th path since 2003 has withstood all trials and challenges and remains completely stable since (same as my experience for almost 8 years now), in his own words: "any sense of a this-and-that is fundamentally completely uprooted at the perceptual level (not that ordinary discrimination doesn’t function as before), and that this holds up over the long-haul, meaning off-retreat and for years in the face of the strongest vicissitudes of life, across insight cycles, across jhanas and other shifts, and is the only and default perceptual mode at all times when there are any sensations of any kind occurring."

Still, there is still lots of integration in life --

"Accurately qualifying and quantifying depths of realization is a perpetually difficult business. In my own practice, I have noticed that realizations which occurred many years ago continue to percolate, continue to change how this Daniel operates, continue to benefit from cushion time and attention to dharma teachings and other practices, continue to benefit from interaction with other dharma practitioners and other social interactions, and seem to have no obvious endpoint in terms of how far they can go to gradually transform this organism. I have also mostly lived the life of a householder, being in graduate school and working at a professional job for most of my adult life except when on retreat. While caring for patients clearly has dharmic aspects to it, providing many opportunities to learn about suffering and to try to do something about it, there are those who have chosen lives dedicated to meditation and the reclusive life, and that causality can be significant." - https://www.mctb.org/.../depths-of-realization-and.../
Richard Cooper
Richard Cooper Thanks. It sounds to me like the difficulty those people have is an inability to recognise, question and explore their beliefs.

Seems like having the right attitude helps with actualisation too. I hope I am fortunate enough to have the right attitude !
· Reply · 3m

On a short break from winterizing greenhouses t.k. was asked. Q: “What is central to spiritual realization?. Spontaneously he answered:  "Foremost know this: if realization, by whatever name, non-dual wisdom, Buddha Nature, Truth, Reality, Tao, the kingdom of heaven …….  does not set the heart alight with tender hearted great compassion, if it does not cause the body to swoon in great exaltation perception of all appearance as divinity, if it ever changes in waking or sleeping …. then it is not realization.

What is central to realization? Well its depth and vastness cannot ultimately be described in words but there can be pointers as to its mystery. I will speak from this body mind’s own experience and understanding for what it is worth.

The mind untouched by any stain of birth or death - this is central.

A heart imbued with tender hearted compassion for every being seemingly friend or enemy, relative or stranger – this is central.

That body, speech and mind experience, without contrived concepts, all appearance as a pervasion of divinity, mysterious, utterly beautiful – the wondrous magical illusion of Buddha Nature – this is central.

To be free of any concern with worldly possessions whether impoverished or wealthy – this is central.

That the cells of the body be constantly inspired by the longing and radiance of prayer, even in the midst of stable realization of emptiness – this is central.

That the very notions status, high or low, is laughable – this is central.

That one is steadfastly occupied with the benefit of beings – this is central.

That one is free from all interest in Dharma politics – this is central.

That no trace of phenomena can any longer be found – this is central.

Realization is not an experience. In realization both poles of experience – perceiver and perceived – have dissolved, resolved, disappeared in the luminous ground whose essence is unutterable mystery and whose nature is clear light divinity. Anything that can in any way be described as experience, as involving a subject or an object – falls short of profound realization.

Realization does not come and go – once entered with authentic totality it never changes, ceases, comes or goes in the so-called waking or sleeping states.

Realization does not give one status – realization is not status but rather it is the death of even the possibility of thinking or feeling that appearances participate in the anxious ugliness of higher and lower.

Take refuge in the most profound wisdom compassion. Take up the way and follow with earnest care and sincerity. Don’t fret to much about what realization is or isn’t because any idea about it is based in confusion and falls far far short of the reality. Instead purify obstacles and hindrances to seeing things exactly as actually are, cultivate tender hearted and active compassion with a profound concern for cause and effect while practicing the view and meditation which transcend cause and effect.

Do not rely on others for no one can do your work for you and no one will enjoy or suffer the karmic consequences of your actions other than you. At the same time as this do not be shy about binding yourself to the sublime sources of wisdom that ceaselessly manifest in myriad ways. Realization cannot be bought or sold with money or other bartered goods. Day by day, step by step and the result is assured." - t.k., recent teachings