GG wrote:
    Soh, I also like Bodhidarma . Coincidentally I was reading him and I separated these two passages that somehow sounded strange to me. I am curious about how this is written in Chines. Both passages, indeed, reminds one of Advaita based ideas. From the Wake-Up Sermon:
    Here Bodhidarma is quoting (not criticizing): "And the Nirvana Sutra says, "All mortals have the buddha-nature. But it’s covered by darkness from which they can’t escape.Our buddha-nature is awareness: to be aware and to make others aware. To realize awareness is liberation," Everything good has awareness for its root. And from this root of awareness grow the tree of all virtues and the fruit of nirvana. Beholding the mind like this is understanding"
    "Worship means reverence and humility it means revering your real self and humbling delusions."
    • Soh Wei Yu 又《涅槃经》云:“一切众生悉有佛性,无明覆故,不得解脱。”佛性者,即觉性也。但自觉觉他,觉知明了,则名解脱。故知一切诸善,以觉为根;因其觉根,遂能显现诸功德树。涅槃之果德,因此而成。如是观心,可名为了。

      And The Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra says: "All sentient beings have buddha-nature, but due to being obscured by ignorance, they are unable to be liberated." What is termed Buddha-nature is the nature of
      awake-awareness,. Simply to be self-awakened and awaken others, to clearly comprehend awake-knowing, is named liberation. One should know that all virtues have awake-awareness, as its root; from this root of awake-awareness, thereupon it is able to manifest various trees of merits. The merit of nirvana is thus accomplished. By contemplating mind as such is understanding/knowing

      (My comments: It should be noted that the 'awareness' here is actually more like the sanskrit term 'vidya' or the Tibetan term 'rigpa', which means more precisely - the knowledge of one's nature, although often incorrectly or inadequately translated as 'awareness'. Rather than simply the plain clarity aspect of our nature, the full understanding of our nature, the full maturation and ripening of vidya/awakening/rigpa includes the understanding of the *empty* and lucid nature of mind (see 
      The Doctrine of No Mind by Bodhidharma (无心论)). Thus translating this as 'awareness' is a rather misleading way of translation that lends it towards Advaitic misinterpretations, and a better term would be 'knowledge' or 'awakeness' or something of that manner.

      Buddhi (Sanskrit: बुद्धि) is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit root Budh (बुध् ), which literally means "to wake, be awake, observe, heed, attend, learn, become aware of, to know, be conscious again".)


      Buddhi is a feminine Sanskrit noun derived from *budh, to be awake, to understand, to know. The same root is the basis for the more familiar masculine form Buddha and the abstract noun bodhi.)


      礼 (courteous) is respect, 拜 is to submit/surrender (礼拜 is usually meant bow in veneration). What is known as respecting true nature, giving up/submitting/surrendering ignorance, is called "bowing in veneration".
  • Soh Wei Yu The term real self (真我) does not occur in Bodhidharma's text

    Also, months ago:
    • Soh Wei Yu Geovani Geo: I am unable to find these quotes in any books:

      "(...) the empty expanse of the ground of all phenomena"

      "As the final stage of the gradual way, the practitioner unites with the Way by seeing the emptiness of Self and all phenomena and by recognizing the empty expanse of the ground of all phenomena."

      Seems to be from Wayofbodhi site. Can you provide the book reference and which quote you are referring to?
    • Geovani Geo Soh, I cant find the source from where I copied that quote either(???)

      But I found this one:

      "A Tathagata’s forms are endless. And so is his awareness." The endless variety of forms is due to the mind. Its ability to distinguish things, whatever their movement or state, is the mind’s awareness. But the mind has no form and its awareness no limit. Hence it’s said, "A Tathagata’s forms are endless. And so is his awareness." A material body of the four elements" is trouble. A material body is subject to birth and death. But the real body exists without existing, because a Tathagata’s real body never changes. (Bloodstream Sermon - translated by red pine)

      "(...)because a Tathagata’s real body never changes"
    • Soh Wei Yu 故云如来色无尽,智慧亦复然。色无尽是自心,心识善能分别一切,乃至施为运用,皆是智慧。心无形相,智慧亦无尽。故云如来色无尽,智慧亦复然。四大色身,即是烦恼,色身即有生灭,法身常住无所住,如来法身常不变异故。

      Most English translations are not precise.

      Here's my translation, as precise and word-for-word as possible:

      "The sutras say, Tathagata's forms are limitless, wisdom is likewise. The limitless forms are one's mind, mind-consciousness is able to distinguish everything, and even actions and functions are all wisdom. Mind is without form, wisdom is limitless, [and hence] the sutras say that that Tathagata's forms are limitless, wisdom is likewise. The form-body of the four great elements are suffering, form-body has birth and death, dharma-body [dharmakaya] eternally abides without abiding anywhere, as the Tathagata's dharmakaya never alters."

      It is misleading to translate dharmakaya (the body of phenomena) as 'real body'. For in truth dharmakaya refers to the nature of phenomena, empty and having never arisen. The nature of phenomena being non-arisen, how can there be abiding, change, and cessation? In direct taste it's just lucid appearance, but nothing there, nothing undergoing birth, abiding/change nor cessation, all phenomena are complete quiescence and illusory yet simultaneously a vivid brilliant luminosity. But the word 'real' often connotes something like substantial reality, so it is misleading. I do not like translations that change words at the whims and fancies of the translator.

      Even to speak of the nature of phenomena is also conventional. Dharmakaya is also unreal (the emptiness aspect), the sambhogakaya is also unreal (the luminous clarity aspect), the nirmanakaya is also unreal (the energetic manifestation aspect), and the three bodies are inseparable or three aspects of our experiential 'reality'.

      Thusness wrote in 2013:

      John Tan Haha Jackson, u never give up.

      This heart is the "space" of where, the "time" of when and the "I" of who.

      In hearing, it's that "sound".

      In seeing, it's that "scenery".

      In thinking, it is that "eureka"!

      In snapping a finger, it is seizing the whole entire moment of that instantaneous "snapping".

      Just marvelous such as it is on the fly.

      So no "it" but thoroughly empty.

      To u this "heart" is most real, to dzogchen it is illusory. Though illusory, it is fully vivid and brilliance. Since it is illusory, it nvr really truly arise. There is genuine "treasure" in the illusory.

      I think Kyle has a lot points to share. Do unblock him.

      Nice chat And happy journey jax!

      December 12, 2013 at 8:24am · Unlike · 10


      Also Thusness wrote way back:

      John Tan Hi Kyle, Actually I am saying instead of attempting to deconstruct endlessly, why not resolved that that pure experience itself is empty and non-arising. In hearing, there is only sound. This clear clean and pure sound, treat and see it as the X (treat and see it like an imputation/conventional designation as u explained), empty and non-arising. In seeing, just scenery, just this clear clean and lurid scenery. Where is this scenery? Inside, outside, other’s mind or our mind? Unfindable but nonetheless appears vibrantly. This arising thought, this dancing sensation, this passing scent, all share the same taste. All experiences are like that -- like mirages and rainbows, illusory and non-arising, they are free from the 4 extremes. Resolved that all experiences are non-arising then pure sensory experiences and conventional constructs will be of equal taste. Realize this to be the nature of experience and illusory appearances will taste magic and vajra (indestructible)! Groundless and naturally releasing! Just my 2 cents of blah blah blah in new year. Happy New Year Kyle. 2 minutes ago • Unlike • 1 February 6 at 1:50am · Edited · Like"
[1:59 PM, 12/6/2019] Soh Wei Yu: Kyle Dixon in Nonsectarian Dzogchen Atiyoga & Mahamudra:
"The real difference is that in Dzogchen, appearances are 'non-existent clear appearances' [med par gsal snang].

Not mind because they are ultimately unfindable, and then distinct on the level of convention."
[5:44 PM, 12/6/2019] John Tan: Meaning?
[7:15 PM, 12/6/2019] Soh Wei Yu: To dzogchen, mind and appearance are ultimately unfindable, but distinct conventionally
[7:15 PM, 12/6/2019] Soh Wei Yu: Therefore they are not same in dzogchen
[7:55 PM, 12/6/2019] John Tan: That is correct and accurate
[7:57 PM, 12/6/2019] John Tan: Actually when we say appearance is mind, it is an experiential taste.  Conventionally it should treated as distinct and DO [dependently originating].
[7:58 PM, 12/6/2019] John Tan: However even saying they r different is incorrect.
[7:59 PM, 12/6/2019] John Tan: Language cannot define this relationship appropriately ...
[7:59 PM, 12/6/2019] John Tan: Therefore 2 truth
[8:00 PM, 12/6/2019] John Tan: Also it is true to talk abt emptiness
[8:00 PM, 12/6/2019] John Tan: Appear and not-found
[8:01 PM, 12/6/2019] John Tan: Rather than to talk about it as if we r talking about One Mind.
Someone asked me if Toni Packer described Maha.

I said,

"This is maha

Toni Packer, The Wonder of Presence:

“When I talk about listening, I don’t mean just listening with the ear. Listening here includes the totality of perception—all senses open and alive, and still much more than that. The eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind are receptive, open, not controlled. A Zen saying describes it as “hearing with one’s eyes and seeing with one’s ears.” It refers to this wholeness of perception. The wholeness of being!
Another Zen saying demands: “Hear the bell before it rings!” Ah, it doesn’t make any sense rationally, does it? But there is a moment when that bell is ringing before you know it! You may never know it! Your entire being is ringing! There’s no division in that—everything is ringing.”"

Excerpt from Finding a New Way to Listen
Din posted:
“There is that sphere, monks, where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air, no sphere of infinite space, no sphere of infinite consciousness, no sphere of nothingness, no sphere of neither perception nor non-perception, no this world, no world beyond, neither Moon nor Sun. There, monks, I say there is surely no coming, no going, no persisting, no passing away, no rebirth. It is quite without support, unmoving, without an object,—just this is the end of suffering.”
~Nibbana Sutta - The first Discourse.

I replied:
Actually what the Buddha taught here is easily misunderstood as formless awareness but that is not what he meant.
“‘He has been stilled where the currents of supposition do not flow. And when the currents of supposition do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.’ Thus it was said. With reference to what was it said? ‘I am’ is a supposition. ‘I am this’ is a supposition. ‘I shall be’ is a supposition. ‘I shall not be’ … ‘I shall be possessed of form’ … ‘I shall not be possessed of form’ … ‘I shall be percipient’ … ‘I shall not be percipient’ … ‘I shall be neither percipient nor non-percipient’ is a supposition. Supposition is a disease, supposition is a cancer, supposition is an arrow. By going beyond all supposition, he is called a sage at peace.
“And further, a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long? It was in reference to this that it was said, ‘He has been stilled where the currents of supposition do not flow. And when the currents of supposition do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.’ Now, monk, you should remember this, my brief analysis of the six properties.”
““Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress.”2
Through hearing this brief explanation of the Dhamma from the Blessed One, the mind of Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth right then and there was released from effluents through lack of clinging/sustenance. Having exhorted Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth with this brief explanation of the Dhamma, the Blessed One left.
Now, not long after the Blessed One’s departure, Bāhiya was attacked & killed by a cow with a young calf. Then the Blessed One, having gone for alms in Sāvatthī, after the meal, returning from his alms round with a large number of monks, saw that Bāhiya had died. On seeing him, he said to the monks, “Take Bāhiya’s body, monks, and, placing it on a litter and carrying it away, cremate it and build him a memorial. Your companion in the holy life has died.”
Responding, “As you say, lord,” to the Blessed One, the monks–placing Bāhiya’s body on a litter, carrying it away, cremating it, and building him a memorial–went to the Blessed One. On arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to him, “Bāhiya’s body has been cremated, lord, and his memorial has been built. What is his destination? What is his future state?”
“Monks, Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth was wise. He practiced the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma and did not pester me with issues related to the Dhamma. Bāhiya of the Bark-cloth, monks, is totally unbound.”
Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:
Where water, earth,
fire, & wind
have no footing:
There the stars don’t shine,
the sun isn’t visible.
There the moon doesn’t appear.
There darkness is not found.
And when a sage,
a brahman through sagacity,
has realized [this] for himself,
then from form & formless,
from bliss & pain,
he is freed.”
John tan/thusness, 2013:
To Jax:
The place where there is no earth, fire, wind, space, water…
is the place where the earth, fire, wind, space and water kills “You” and fully shines as its own radiance, a complete taste of itself and fully itself.
Lastly, it is interesting to get know something about Dzogchen however the jargons and tenets are far beyond me.
Just wrote due to a sudden spurt of interest, nothing intense.
Thanks for all the sharing and exchanges.
A monk asked Tozan, “When cold and heat come, how can we avoid them?”
Tozan said, “Why don’t you go to the place where there is no cold or heat?”
The monk said, “What is the place where there is no cold or heat?”
Tozan said, “When it’s cold, the cold kills you; when it’s hot, the heat kills you.”
This is not advice to “accept” your situation, as some commentators have suggested, but a direct expression of authentic practice and enlightenment. Master Tozan is not saying, “When cold, shiver; when hot, sweat,” nor is he saying, “When cold, put on a sweater; when hot, use a fan.” In the state of authentic practice and enlightenment, the cold kills you, and there is only cold in the whole universe. The heat kills you, and there is only heat in the whole universe. The fragrance of incense kills you, and there is only the fragrance of incense in the whole universe. The sound of the bell kills you, and there is only “boooong” in the whole universe…
~The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing, Ted Biringer
“In our bustling daily life we may feel that we have neither the time nor place to listen quietly, to look freshly. But if we are truly interested in a place and time to listen, an opportunity will present itself. It is one of the amazing graces of being alive that when there is a small flame of yearning to find out, we unexpectedly come upon a bench to sit on out in the open and realize that there is more space in this universe than the tight cocoon we have lived in all our life.

With renewed questioning comes new wondering and listening. Heaven and earth are open in simply being here as we are, breathing in and out with an airplane humming in the sky—the miracle of this moment! Nothing is separate. Everything is here as it is, utterly simple. No one is here to lay any claim to it.


Open listening embraces all the senses as one whole perception. There is no division between looking, listening, smelling, touching, or tasting—just undivided openness of all senses perceiving as one whole without a separate me at work. There is no doer and no recipient here—just spontaneous presence without fragmentation.


Is it our task to find out whether or not there is total and complete enlightenment like the Buddha proclaimed? I always liked the Buddha’s saying: “I truly attained nothing from complete, unexcelled enlightenment, and that is why it is called complete, unexcelled enlightenment.” No-thing, no one to attain it, spaceless space, no one there to occupy it. Just alive presence with the evening star in the sky. Dying to all the stuff imagined and clung to about oneself—what I am, what I was, what I will be, what I could be, should be . . . Can we see all concepts as concepts with deepening clarity and wisdom? Not immediately lurching toward something promised in the future that has its sole existence in thought? Can we clearly discern what constitutes thinking and what is actually present right here without needing to think it? Can we discern it effortlessly? The open windows, fresh air touching the skin, bright sunshine everywhere, all kinds of twittering sounds, crows calling and breathing, pulsating life! Caw, caw, caw, caw . . . Sensations throughout the body, breathing, beholding it, not the words, but the aliveness of it all. Can we realize now that “complete unexcelled enlightenment” is a concept?”

~ Toni Packer, The Wonder of Presence

Do you see now that Buddha is not speaking about formless awareness but the insight into the absence of self/Self thus putting an end to the deluded sense of Being that drives craving and rebirth in samsara?
The place where the five elements do not land is simply the place where the earth, fire, wind, space and water kills “You” and fully shines as its own radiance, a complete taste of itself and fully itself.

  • Din Robinson is this also called "The Great Cessation"?
  • Soh Wei Yu Din Robinson


    The Recognition of Cessation (Nirodhasaññā)

    For whom there is neither a far shore,
    Nor a near shore, nor both,
    Who is free from distress, without ties,
    Him I call a brāhmaṇa.

    — Dhammapada 385
    When the recognition of dispassion is fully developed and realized, and with no self to be found, nothing to be identified with, one realizes the gnosis and vision of liberation (vimuttiñāṇadassana). This is non-referential inner peace (ajjhattasanti). This is the full recognition of cessation. AN 10.60 Girimānanda Sutta:
    Now what, Ānanda, is the recognition of cessation? Here, Ānanda, a monk, gone to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, discriminates thus: ‘This is peace, this is excellent, that is: the calming of all fabrications, the release of all acquisitions, the elimination of craving, cessation, nibbāna.’ This, Ānanda, is called the recognition of cessation.
    This is the complete absence of agitation (calita natthi). Ud 8.4 Nibbāna Sutta:
    There being no agitation, there is tranquility. There being tranquility, there is no inclination. There being no inclination, there is no coming or going. There being no coming or going, there is no passing away or arising. There being no passing away or arising, there is neither a here nor a beyond nor a between-the-two. Just this is the end of unsatisfactoriness.
    This is the calming of all specific fabrication and volitional intention. MN 140 Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta:
    One does not form any specific fabrication or volitional intention towards either existence or non-existence. Not forming any specific fabrication or volitional intention towards either existence or non-existence, he does not cling to anything in this world. Not clinging, he is not excited. Unexcited, he personally attains complete nibbāna. He discerns that, ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, done is what had to be done, there is nothing further here.’
    This is the freedom of absence which is revealed through the complete recognition of selflessness. Ud 1.10 Bāhiya Sutta:
    ‘The seen will be merely the seen, the heard will be merely the heard, the sensed will be merely the sensed, the known will be merely the known.’ This is how you should train, Bāhiya.

    When, Bāhiya, for you the seen will be merely the seen, the heard will be merely the heard, the sensed will be merely the sensed, the known will be merely the known, then Bāhiya, you will not be that. When, Bāhiya, you are not that, then Bāhiya, you will not be there. When, Bāhiya, you are not there, then Bāhiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor between-the-two. Just this is the end of unsatisfactoriness.
    This is noble liberation which is the elimination of craving and clinging. MN 106 Āneñjasappāya Sutta:
    This is death-free, namely, the liberation of mind through not clinging.
    This is the effortless clarity of consciousness which is non-abiding and not established (appatiṭṭha viññāṇa). SN 22.53 Upaya Sutta:
    When that consciousness is not established, not increasing, not concocting, it is liberated. Being liberated, it is steady. Being steady, it is content. Being content, he is not excited. Unexcited, he personally attains complete nibbāna. He discerns that, ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, done is what had to be done, there is nothing further here.’
    There is no more seeking of any kind. There is no more personal agenda. There is no identifying with any phenomena or turning anything into a fixed reference point. There is no “here” nor “beyond” nor “between-the-two.”
    The awakened mind is measureless (appamāṇacetasa), free from any sort of measuring (pamāṇa). In evocative terms, an awakened one is deep (gambhīra), boundless (appameyya), and fathomless (duppariyogāḷha). Utterly free from any reference to specifically fabricated consciousness (viññāṇasaṅkhayavimutta). “Gone” (atthaṅgata), the measureless mind is untraceable (ananuvejja) even here and now. It doesn’t abide in the head, or in the body, or anywhere else for that matter. It doesn’t have size or shape. It’s not an object or a subject.
    Just as the sky is formless and non-illustrative, the measureless mind is non-illustrative and non-indicative (anidassana). This effortless clarity is unmediated by any specific fabrication or volitional intention. It is unaffected knowing: The seen is merely the seen (diṭṭhamatta). The heard is merely the heard (sutamatta). The sensed is merely the sensed (mutamatta). The known is merely the known (viññātamatta). But there is no you there. Of course, this liberating gnosis and vision can’t adequately be pointed out or indicated by words alone. It is to be individually experienced (paccatta veditabba).

    The Recognition of Cessation and the Seven Factors of Awakening (Satta Bojjhaṅgā)

    Sustained, dedicated practice of the recognition of cessation will gradually create the optimal conditions for the arising of all seven factors of awakening. SN 46.76 Nirodha Sutta (abridged):
    Here monks, a monk develops the awakening factor of mindfulness accompanied by the recognition of cessation, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of dhamma-investigation accompanied by the recognition of cessation, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of energy accompanied by the recognition of cessation, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of joy accompanied by the recognition of cessation, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of tranquility accompanied by the recognition of cessation, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of meditative composure accompanied by the recognition of cessation, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops the awakening factor of equanimity accompanied by the recognition of cessation, dependent upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, resulting in letting go.

    It is in this way that the recognition of cessation is developed and cultivated so that it is of great fruit and benefit. It is in this way that the recognition of cessation is developed and cultivated so that one of two fruits is to be expected: either final gnosis in this very life or, if there is a residue of clinging, the state of nonreturning. It is in this way that the recognition of cessation is developed and cultivated so that it leads to great good. It is in this way that the recognition of cessation is developed and cultivated so that it leads to great security from bondage. It is in this way that the recognition of cessation is developed and cultivated so that it leads to a great sense of urgency. It is in this way that the recognition of cessation is developed and cultivated so that it leads to dwelling in great comfort.
    The Recognition of Cessation | Nirodhasaññā
    The Recognition of Cessation | Nirodhasaññā
  • Great Resource of Buddha's Teachings
    Great Resource of Buddha's Teachings
    Great Resource of Buddha's Teachings
  • Din Robinson Soh Wei Yu I actually asked the same question of Jackson Peterson and he told me no, said there was never anything there to begin with that could "cease"
  • Soh Wei Yu Din Robinson

    In the early tradition of Buddhism as taught by Buddha, the emphasis is on 'Cessation'. But this cessation is not about ceasing sense perception, rather Nirvana is precisely defined by Buddha as having these characteristics: 1) Cessation of all clinging 2) Cessation of all identity - I Am, I shall be, I have been, I am the Witness, etc - the Buddha listed all possible ways of identification and refuted them all 3) Cessation of passion (craving), aggression (anger), delusion 4) With the cessation of the three poisons in number 3., comes the cessation of rebirth in samsara, as rebirth in samsara is predicated upon the three poisons. The cessation of these delusions occur even while one is fully aware in waking state - therefore 'in the seen only the seen' -- in fact there is only seeing, no seer, and also no seeing as seeing is just colors. No you.

    All these characteristics of Nirvana are interlinked.

    Then about 500 years after the passing of Buddha, the Mahayana teachings developed and emphasized Bodhicitta - the compassionate aspiration for not only one's personal liberation but the attainment of full awakening of Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. In this tradition, the emphasis is that samsara - the world of experience - is fundamentally non-arisen, quiescent and equal to cessation, fundamentally no different from nirvana as it is non-arising, non-abiding and unceasing. This is because whatever originates in dependence is fundamentally non-arisen, an example would be a reflection of moon on water or a rainbow. Due to various conditions a reflection appears but we cannot say that a moon has truly arisen or been created in the water. Whatever originates in dependence are free of the extremes of existence or non-existence, arising and ceasing. The nature of appearance is merely empty clarity, free of extremes. The nature of conventions is such that they are dependently designated and fundamentally empty of essence/substance and unfindable when sought, just like the analogy of chariot and parts.

    So there are three parts to emptiness 1) conventions are empty of essence and substance, entities and mental constructs are empty and unfindable when sought, non-arisen, 2) the nature of all appearance are empty-clarity free from the extremes of existence and non-existence, 3) whatever originates in dependence are fundamentally non-arising and non-ceasing.

    Now, the early and later traditions do not contradict each other. I would say they are complementary. The Mahayana tradition simply expands upon the insight of emptiness that the Buddha already taught in the Pali canon (like Phena Sutta, Kaccayanagotta Sutta, Dhammapada, etc) with greater emphasis and clarification because it tends to be misunderstood and misinterpreted by some 'Hinayana' commentators.
  • Soh Wei Yu In the Mahayana tradition ala Lankavatara Sutra, it is taught that the Arahat of the early tradition is equivalent to the 8th bhumi stage of the Mahayana Bodhisattva in terms of eliminating all emotional obscurations (passion, aggression, delusion) through realizing and actualizing the emptiness of person (subjective self), while the end of the 10th bhumi culminates in the end of not only emotional obscurations but also all cognitive obscurations that misapprehends that there is true existence of phenomena by clearly realizing the right view of emptiness of all subject-action-object and the empty nature of phenomena. Then one attains Buddhahood, when all emotional + cognitive obscurations are eliminated through the eye of omniscience that apprehends the nature of all phenomena completely without hindrance. Emptiness of subjective person/self clears away emotional obscuration, while emptiness of phenomena clears away cognitive obscuration.

    Soh Wei Yu Din Robinson to clarify further, all traditions of Buddhism including even Dzogchen teaches cessation/nirvana, cessation here does not contradict the “non arising, non abiding and non ceasing” nature of all dharmas that dependently originate, rather it simply means the cessation of afflictions and cognitive obscurations/delusions.

    For example in Dzogchen it is taught:

    “There are three traditional methods of dealing with emotions: abandoning them, transforming them, and recognizing their nature. All three levels of Buddhist teaching, all three yanas, describe how to deal with disturbing emotions. It is never taught, on any level, that one can be an enlightened buddha while remaining involved in disturbing emotions - never. Each level deals with emotions differently.

    Just like darkness cannot remain when the sun rises, none of the disturbing emotions can endure within the recognition of mind nature. That is the moment of realizing original wakefulness, and it is the same for each of the five poisons.

    In any of the five disturbing emotions, we do not have to transmute the emotion into empty cognizance. The nature of the emotion already is this indivisible empty cognizance.” - Vajra Speech, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

    The Dzogchen master Śrī Siṃha also said the following:

    “A so called ‘primordial buddhahood’ is not asserted. Full awakening is not possible without being free of the five afflictions... It is not possible for wisdom to increase without giving up afflictions. Wisdom will not arise without purifying afflictions.”
  • Soh Wei Yu Buddha: "And what, monks, is the not-fabricated (asaṅkhata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-fabricated. " .... "And what, monks, is the death-free (amata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the death-free." - SN 43 Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta
[2:13 PM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: Kūkai (e.g. in his Sokushinjôbutsugi, ch.3) discusses Dainichi as a “body of the six great elements” (rokudaishin, rokudai-taidai), which are the five universal material elements (godai) of earth, water, fire, wind/air, and space, representing the “known,” plus the universal mental element (shindai) of consciousness, representing the “knower.” Ultimately the five material elements make up the body of Dainichi and the sixth element designates the mind of Dainichi. Their dynamic but harmonious interplay constitute the “timeless yoga” or samadhi (Jpn: jô) of Dainichi’s body-and-mind. But since Dainichi is equated with the cosmos, all things comprising the whole world are generated and perish through the interplay — “non-obstruction” and “interfusion” — of these elemental constituents. Kūkai then is definitely not an idealist taken in its western philosophical significance, and Shingon thought in this aspect is distinct from the teachings of the “mind-only” (Yuishiki; Skrt: Vijñapti-mâtratâ) school of Buddhism. For the mental and the material, for Kūkai, are two non-dualistic (interpenetrating and mutually non-obstructing) aspects of the same Dharma — as depicted in the two mandalic embodiments, which we shall discuss below. In other words Kūkai does not reduce reality to either mind or matter; his perspective is neither merely idealist nor merely materialist.

The interrelationship amongst the elements signifies their non-substantiality, i.e. the fact that they are not ontologically independent, and in Buddhist parlance this means “emptiness” (śûnyatâ, kû). Hence all elements and things they constitute, including the entire cosmos is empty. Dainichi’s body, as the hosshin that embodies the Dharma, is an embodiment of emptiness, analogically understood as a vast empty space — it is in part analogical but also exemplary of emptiness. Rather than obstructing the emergence of things, this emptiness permits it through their interdependent origination, which is the meaning of emptiness. Their materiality is then just as real as their emptiness, and emptiness and matter are non-dualistic. True to the “middle way” of Buddhism, Kūkai treads a path that avoids reifying substantialism on the one hand as well as utter nihilism on the other hand. And in the non-dualistic interrelationships between body and mind, matter and emptiness, known and knower, the Dharma itself, as the truth of non-duality in interdependent origination qua emptiness is revealed in every physical and mental process of the cosmos as the embodiment of the Dharma.

The “horizontal” interpenetration between the elements, i.e., the interdependence and mutual non-obstruction amongst the immanent phenomena of the cosmos, also translates into the “vertical” interpenetration between the whole and its parts, that is, between Dainichi as embodied in the cosmos and all thing-events within. The implications of such cosmic non-duality for the practitioner is immensely significant. In non-duality with the cosmic Buddha, one’s unenlightened self in both mind-and-body is thus an expression of the hosshin, an embodiment of the Dharma. That is, as one’s mental states express the samadhi of Dainichi, so also one’s body along with the bodies of all living and non-living things, in every bodily movement, manifests Dainichi’s body and its movements. Dainichi is preaching the Dharma through all phenomena of the cosmos. But as we ourselves are the bodies through which Dainichi preaches, we are enabled to realize the cosmic samadhi that our bodies-and-minds express. This points to the non-dualistic significance between the two exemplary concepts of Shingon Buddhism: hosshin seppô and sokushinjôbutsu, both of which we shall examine in detail in the following sections.

3.6 Hosshin Seppô: The Buddha’s Cosmic Preaching of the Dharma
As the hosshin, the Buddha Dainichi preaches the Dharma via his omnipresencing, that is, through every sensible media of the cosmos. Kūkai called this, hosshin seppô (literally: “the dharmakâya’s expounding of the Dharma”), and used its concept (e.g. in his Benkenmitsu nikkyôron) as an important criterion for distinguishing esoteric Buddhism from exoteric Buddhism. In his work Shôjijissôgi, this concept of hosshin seppô serves as the starting point. The seppô (“preaching,” “expounding”) therein is equated with the phenomena of the cosmos as comprising shôjijissô, that is, sound, sign, reality, and their meanings. (We will discuss the linguistic or semiological significance of this idea in the following section.) The point is that every thing and every event in the universe, as objects of our six senses, are the Buddha’s preaching of the Dharma. Each phenomenon manifest serves to explain (setsu) the truth, the Dharma. The hosshin in its omnipresencing throughout the cosmos, permeating every aspect of it, is perpetually informing all things of the Dharma. This cosmic omnipresencing of the Dharma via hosshin seppô entails a dynamism of continuous activity that accounts for the movements within the universe — both physical and mental.

Since everything to which Dainichi preaches, is itself his manifestation as an embodied part of the cosmos, the sermon is ultimately a monologue. The expounding of the Dharma is in one sense then really the Buddha’s monologic expression of his own self-enjoyment in samadhic bliss. And yet simultaneously it expresses Dainichi’s compassion for the unawakened (though ultimately they are non-dualistic with the Buddha) so that they may also enjoy the fruits of the Dharma. Through the help of Dainichi’s compassionate con-descension or kaji (more on this in a later section), the practitioner is enabled to inter-resonate with the sermon of the cosmos.

The idea of hosshin seppô also expresses a universalization in Shingon of the Mahâyâna Buddhist notion of expedient (or: skillful) means. The Shingon doctrine of hôben kukyô (“ultimacy of expedient means”) means that any phenomenon or thing-event of the cosmos can serve as a means to enlightenment, entailing a gradation of understanding, hinging on how the event speaks to the person relative to the time, place, and situational context. This also corresponds to the levels of mental states discussed in Kūkai’s Jûjûshinron (which we will examine in a further section below). The key to immediate and complete enlightenment however is to understand the comprehensive (or holistic) sense of the truth being spoken by the cosmos as a whole even if through the medium of a particular thing-event.

Kūkai’s claim was that only through the Buddhism of esoteric teachings can one attain to an experiential recognition of hosshin seppô, i.e. that the cosmos itself is describing the immediate enlightened body-and-mind state of the Buddha. By contrast exoteric truths preached by other forms of Buddhism are meant for a specific audience in a specific place and time, and hence are conditional, relative, and provisional. Moreover exoteric truths are limited by human language, which is inadequate to describe the state of enlightenment and the absoluteness of the Dharma. The esoteric truth revealed in hosshin seppô on the other hand unfolds through a non-human language, that is, a cosmic and esoteric language originating in the hosshin itself. This is the language of the mantra or in Japanese, shingon, literally meaning “the word of truth,” and from which Kūkai’s brand of Buddhism derives its name. Mantra (shingon) is the language of the cosmos involving all mental and physical-sensible phenomena. The esoteric truths expressed in this mantric language of the Buddha/cosmos reveal themselves only in accordance with the reader’s capacity to attune himself to, and read, this cosmic (con)text of the mantric universe.

3.7 Mantra: Cosmic Sound and (Con)Text
[2:23 PM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: -
[2:29 PM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: 👍
[2:34 PM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: Interesting they have such a view.
[3:11 PM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: “The cosmos as such is a text articulating the Dharma within the empty space of the vast limitless and formless body of the hosshin. The cosmos as mantra is hence hosshin seppô.”
[3:11 PM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: Using mantra to experience maha
[3:14 PM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: “
It should be remembered however that while Kūkai thus links the hosshin’s preaching to the mantric sound and letter of A, this same preaching, symbolized in A, in fact encompasses all movements of the cosmos, involving colors, shapes, silence, bodily movements, etc., not just the explicitly vocal. Dainichi preaches the Dharma via all phenomenal means through the three media, the “three mysteries,” of body, speech, and mind, omnipresencing himself through all objects of the six senses (the five physical senses plus thought). The entire cosmos is hence the language of the Buddha, inseparable from the Buddha’s body that is in fact the embodiment of the Dharma (i.e., hosshin, dharmakâya). We now turn to the mandalic aspect of the embodiment of the Dharma and of Dainichi’s preaching of the Dharma.”*
[3:43 PM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: This hosshin is good...all about total exertion and maha...also anatta

*Similar to:
Zen master Bernie Glassman on chanting and maha:…/no-yellow-brick-ro…
Some people say it's not necessary to read the Heart Sutra in its English translation, that the essence of this Wisdom literature can be achieved by just chanting it in the original Sanskrit. Before I review the meaning of the title, let me say that when you truly just chant the Heart Sutra, all of it is contained in the act of just chanting. When we chant in such a way that nothing else is happening, that all our concentration, all our mental and physical energies are condensed into just being the sound A (the first syllable of the original text, from "Avalokitesvara"), that is all that exists. Just A! Just the elimination of any trace of separation between subject and object, which is nothing but our zazen itself. If we put all our energy into just chanting in this manner, there is no separation, and that state of no separation is the state of sunyata, or "emptiness," or what I also call not-knowing. That is the state of 100 percent action; everything is fully concentrated in this very moment. This is the heart of our practice, to be totally in this moment, moment after moment. It doesn't matter what words are being chanted; when you are totally A, it is not even A anymore; it is the whole universe, it is everything.
This is the essence of the first word of the Sanskrit title of the Heart Sutra: Maha.
[11:37 AM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: 🌺 ~Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche🌺

E Ma Ho!

When we say 'Emaho' ('Wonder')(in german : 'Wunderbar') it is the wonder or surprise that comes from realizing the unborn nature. Phenomena have never been born in the past, they do not dwell in the present, and they will never cease in the future. They neither come nor go. This is the real meaning of the absolute truth, the primordial nature.

Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche – (Zurchungpa's Testament Commentaries – on Wisdom –Collected Works, Vol III – pg 291, Shambhala)
[11:38 AM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: "What we call ‘Buddha Mind’ is synonymous with the three temporal worlds of past, present, and future. This Mind and the three temporal worlds are not separated from each other by so much as one single hair’s breadth. Even so, when we are discussing the two as things that are distinct and separate from each other, then they are farther apart than eighteen thousand breadths of hair. Thus, if I were asked what the phrase “This is the mind of the past” means, I would have to say in response, “This cannot be grasped.” If I were asked what the phrase “This is the mind of the present” means, I would have to say in response, “This cannot be grasped.” If I were asked what the phrase “This is the mind of the future” means, I would say in response, “This cannot be grasped.”

As to the mind of which I am speaking, if I say that there is Mind, which at the present moment is described as ‘Mind that cannot be grasped,’ then I say, “At the present moment, It cannot be grasped.” I do not say, “The mind cannot be grasped,” I say in all earnestness, “It cannot be grasped.” I do not say, “The mind can be grasped,” I say in all earnestness, “It cannot be grasped.” Further, should you ask me, “What is the mind of the past which cannot be grasped?” I would say, “It is synonymous with being born and dying, going and coming.” Should you ask, “What is the mind of the present which cannot be grasped?” I would say, “It is synonymous with being born and dying, going and coming.” Should you ask, “What is the mind of the future which cannot be grasped?” I would say, “It is synonymous with being born and dying, going and coming.”

In sum, there is Buddha Mind, which is the fences and walls, tiles* and stones, and all the Buddhas in the three temporal worlds directly experience It as something that cannot be held onto. There are only the fences and walls, tiles and stones, which are Buddha Mind, and all Buddhas directly experience It in the three temporal worlds as ungraspable. What is more, That which is ungraspable within the great earth with its mountains and rivers exists there by Its very nature. That which is ungraspable in grasses and trees, wind and water, accordingly, is Mind. Also, It is what is ungraspable in “Letting our mind abide nowhere and giving rise to the Mind.” 3  And also, the Mind Beyond Grasping, which gives voice to the eighty thousand Gates by means of all the Buddhas throughout all generations everywhere, is the same as this."

- Dogen (Shin Fukatoku)
[11:38 AM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: Seems contradictory but i think both are impt lol
[11:40 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: ?
[11:40 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: Which one u r talking about?
[11:40 AM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: Dilgo khyentse and dogen quote
[11:41 AM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: One talks about no three times, no coming and going. The other talks about buddha mind as three times, coming and going
[11:41 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: It's the same
[11:42 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: But for one to understand Buddha mind as the 3 times is to understand anatta.
[11:43 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: There is no mind beyond 3 times. There is no beyond.
[11:44 AM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: Ic..
[11:45 AM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: One is talking about non arising the other is anatta right
[11:48 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: Dunno never read the below 2 articles.
[11:50 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: Dogen is clear... non-arisen frees one from the extremes of existence and non-existence...
[11:51 AM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[11:51 AM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: I think if people dont realise what dogen said, mind will be substantiated
[11:51 AM, 11/19/2019] Soh Wei Yu: But if they dont realise what dilgo said then phenomena may be substantiated
[11:52 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: Yes
[11:53 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: Like I said, there is nothing wrong using Awareness.
[11:53 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: However one should see that it is only a conventional expression.
[11:55 AM, 11/19/2019] John Tan: But the teaching of DO, emptiness and non-arisen about the chariot analogy is pointing more to the actual taste of what appears in a conceptual way. To get us familiarised and understand in the right way.
Meditation tip:
If you are sleepy, you can try chanting the Oooommmmmm mantra slowly and many times. This will raise your vibrational and energy frequency and bring you to a state of wakeful and alert pure Presence. It can also be a doorway to Maha total exertion, where the chanting vibrates as the universe.
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