Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani

-- I bought this book from a neighbourhood bookstore and have only glanced through it. Would recommend it. Not about Buddhism, anatta or emptiness, rather it is about a fascinating account of how someone got stage 4 cancer, died, had NDE (near death experience) and paranormal experiences such as accurately witnessing and being aware of what was said in other rooms and locations, entering other realms and visiting dead relatives, realized I AMness during the NDE, came back alive and was in a PCE-like state afterwards, and talked about how she healed herself (from stage 4 cancer to cancer being undetectable in 2 weeks) with cosmic energy (similar to Reiki), etc etc. Like I said I have only glanced through but it is quite fascinating that I bought it.

This is a New York Times Bestseller book.

Oh I also bought the Chinese version for my mom. I know she will like it.

https://www.amazon.com/Dying-Be-Me-Journey-Healing/dp/1401937535?fbclid=IwAR2lonTvYEqcRJiRKFHzDhonIpzDSlWiYr6xZ48j_GDzzx8HY9qVAtM7zbI
Someone I know recently asked me for a suitable meditation method as that person is experiencing chronic pain and mindfulness of breathing and body have caused more awareness of that pain that is hard to bear. Although an advanced practitioner may choose to remain mindful of pain until one experiences a state of transcendence devoid of duality and fabrications, I do not think it is a suitable advice for beginners.

For someone with such conditions as chronic pain (and even those without may choose to practice this), I recommend that they practice Awareness Watching Awareness. Turn your attention away from body, mind and world towards Awareness being aware of itself as I AM alone. John Tan (Thusness) confirmed with me that this method is suitable for the person.

Basically, if one sense door is not suitable (say, bodily sensation) you may need to choose another sense door. The I AM door is the subtlest mind of clear light, formless and unperturbed by the pain and afflictions of other sense doors. It is therefore a suitable candidate for meditation and contemplation, for realization and developing mental stillness and stability.

Told that person to read this and get this book:

https://albigen.com/uarelove/

https://www.amazon.sg/Direct-Means-Eternal-Bliss/dp/1937995895/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?keywords=eternal+bliss&qid=1578027429&s=gateway&sr=8-5

This is also similar to the “turning the radiance around” of Shurangama Sutra and Zen Master Chinul, et al.


    Soh Wei Yu
    Soh Wei Yu Myriad Objects: "How conventional is the ATR progression through the 7 stages? Does it relate to any established Buddhist, (ex: Chan or Zen) training significantly?"

    Some correlation, maybe the details are different.

    For example, Dzogchen has many pointers to Awareness and descriptions that are no different from I AM. Which is not exactly 'bad', because IMO the I AM is important. Same for Zen. Same for Thai Forest. It is just that one should be pointed further than that in order not to get stuck there.

     For example, the Dzogchen teacher Malcolm Smith said that in the Dzogchen path, one is first introduced to recognise the clarity aspect of Rigpa, and realization of emptiness only comes much later. John Tan said more than 10 years ago that based on what he understands, Dzogchen practitioners also goes through the 6 phases. However it should be understood that this is just his opinion and may not apply to everyone. There are also some people who did not go through the I AM phase before anatta, as you know, people like Daniel M. Ingram, and Kyle Dixon ( https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/10/advise-from-kyle_10.html ).

     In Mahamudra teachings, different masters give slightly interpretations of maps, but Dakpo Tashi Namgyal's description (source, recommended: Clarifying the Natural State) of the first Yoga of One Pointedness roughly corresponds to the I AM as it describes certainty of Mind, and the descriptions are roughly similar, although not very long descriptions in that book. The rest of the four Mahamudra yogas are about further penetration into the nondual and empty aspect of Mind into non-meditation and spontaneous perfection, therefore many parallels with the Thusness seven phases. I AM realization is precisely the first time you have certainty about what Mind is and thus go beyond mere experiences and glimpses, therefore it is a very important breakthrough -- it is a realization that puts you beyond all doubts. Many years after Thusness wrote the 7 stages (first six in 2006, seventh in 2009), I found that Mahamudra books describe the phases of insights "All is Mind, Mind is Empty, Emptiness is Spontaneous Presence". You can see some kind of similarities to the 7 phases there as well. Of course, these Buddhist traditions do not necessarily go through a phase of reifying a universal consciousness like Vedanta or Kashmir Shaivism (however you might be surprised -- many Zen/Ch'an masters I have seen are stuck at reifying universal consciousness, holding views no different from Brahman), nonetheless many still goes through the I AM, nondual anatta, emptiness to spontaneous perfection. The problem of being stuck at certain phases applies to all traditions, people of any tradition can get stuck anywhere, something I mentioned in https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/different-levels-of-awakening-among.html

    In the five ranks of Tozan of Zen ( http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2008/02/tozan-ryokais-verses-on-five-ranks.html ), the I AM is the first rank (roughly thusness stages 1 to 3), while second rank is nondual and mind body drop (thusness stage 4 to 5), but still on the passive perceptual level. Further stages correspond to spontaneous arising and integration of anatta into activity and total exertion, and entering the marketplace.

    Many modern Zen teachers have also distinguished two distinct phases of I AM realization then nondual-anatta realization, such as Phillip Kapleau Roshi (he calls it Formless Self/Witness realization, and then the collapse of that into nondual anatta, I can't remember which book), Charlotte Joko Beck also spoke of these two stages (see: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/search/label/Charlotte%20Joko%20Beck ), etc etc. However they do not write very elaborate maps.

    Soto Zen, due to influence of Dogen, is good at pointing to anatta and total exertion. However, most practitioners, even Buddhist practitioners, be it in Zen, Tibetan, or Thai Forest Theravada, are very often stuck at I AM stages, or up to one mind. Thai Forest Tradition's Ajahn Maha Boowa describes two distinct phase in his practice - the I AM/radiant center of being phase and the collapse of the Knower into nondual (One Mind), but still not quite anatta. My previous Buddhist teacher is very much I AM. But it is good that they have ways to point out, introduce Awareness in a direct way.

    Anatta and emptiness insights are rarer, but can be found in each tradition
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    Soh Wei Yu
    Soh Wei Yu Also, on the different classes of Zen koans:

    “...In Zen tradition, different koan were meant for different purposes. For example the experience derived from the koan “before birth who are you?” is not the same as the Hakuin’s koan of “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” The five categories of koan in Zen ranges from hosshin that give practitioner the first glimpse of ultimate reality to five-ranks that aims to awaken practitioner the spontaneous unity of relative and absolute.
    Similarly different techniques can also be devised to allow a practitioner to experience the different qualities of Awareness. The experience of “impersonality” is not the same as the experience of the “pristineness” of our nature; the experience of “oneness” is also not the same experience as spontaneity; the experience of non-dual without a subject and object split does not necessary result in the thorough insight of anatta; the experience of anatta is also not the same experience when a practitioner thoroughly sees the emptiness nature of phenomena. Thus, the master that prescribes the medicine must have deep clarity and wisdom of the view, path, fruition and conditions of the students. It is not a one for all sort of medicine...” - john tan/thusness 2009

     http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/01/syncing-of-view-path-and-fruition.html

    Strength of Bonds and the Syncing of View, Path and Fruition
    awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com
    Strength of Bonds and the Syncing of View, Path and Fruition
    Strength of Bonds and the Syncing of View, Path and Fruition
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    Soh Wei Yu
    Soh Wei Yu Alan Watts, Way of Zen, on the classes of koans:

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    Soh Wei Yu

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    Soh Wei Yu

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    Soh Wei Yu
    Soh Wei Yu

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    Soh Wei Yu
    Soh Wei Yu The ten oxherding pictures, I have also commented before previously on how it relate to the stages

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    Soh Wei Yu
    Soh Wei Yu Also I often recommend Ch'an Master Hsu Yun's writings for those practicing Self-Enquiry

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