1.​6The Blessed One said, “Padmaśrīgarbha, there is one quality that, if a bodhisattva great being possesses it, renders irreversible his progress to unsurpassed and completely perfect awakening, and grants him the five types of clairvoyance and the illusory absorption. Moreover, as soon as he attains that absorption, he emanates whatever bodies in whatever way will perfect sentient beings’ roots of virtue, teaches the Dharma according to sentient beings’ inclinations, and quickly awakens to unsurpassed and completely perfect buddhahood.
“What is that single quality? Padmaśrīgarbha, the bodhisattva must not abide anywhere in the three realms, neither abiding internally nor externally. As he does not abide, he will see reality. As he sees reality, he will unite with reality. As he unites with reality, nothing will impede his mind. As nothing impedes his mind, he will engage in authentic conduct.
1.​7“What does it mean to engage in authentic conduct? It is as follows. [F.212.a] All phenomena arise in dependence. There is no phenomenon that can remain constantly. All phenomena arise from circumstances. There is no phenomenon that arises without circumstances. Any phenomenon that arises in dependence is unborn. Therefore all phenomena are unborn. To realize that all phenomena are unborn is to know how to practice the bodhisattva’s path. In this way, one attains the basis for benefiting all beings and can proceed with a compassionate outlook. With such conviction, one comes to understand that all phenomena are illusory. All phenomena are magically manifest because they are imputed. Those imputations are also utterly empty. The realization that all phenomena are empty is the attainment of the illusory absorption.
“As soon as one attains this absorption, one emanates whatever bodies in whatever way will perfect sentient beings’ roots of virtue, and teaches the Dharma according to sentient beings’ inclinations. In this way, one quickly awakens to unsurpassed and completely perfect buddhahood.”
 (continued in link above)

Eric wrote:

This begs the question 'What is discriminating supreme knowledge?'. How does one look straight at appearance-emptiness, sound-emptiness, and awareness-emptiness in order to be directly released?

Thank you for sharing, and I hope to hear a reply from you.

My reply:

First realise anatta. No thinker or seer besides self luminous thought, sight and sound. Subject action object is seen through like rainer rains the rain is seen through.

In that moment of immediate and nondual perception of manifestation

Look at its nature, where has that appearance come from? Does it come from somewhere? Does it come from itself? Does it arise causelessly? And if not, what is the mechanism that allows for the appearing of appearances? If what arises, arises via dependencies, does it have any existence of its own? Does it arise, abide or subside?

By investing in such a manner the nature of vivid mind/appearances becomes clear

Staring into at the reflection of my face on the screen

It is obvious the reflection on the screen is dependent on my eyes, the lights, and the movement of my hands

It is obvious that the reflection does not amount to a truly existing face being created or arising inside the iphone

It is obvious that none of these elements exist separately or independently

Even though each of these do not meet, they are intimately connected in a seamless movement or activity

None of these domains have an independent existence in and of its own

Each appearance, being nondual and luminously clear, the vivid reality/display of pure presence/luminous mind, is at once in seamless connection as a seamless activity with all (conditions) that is

And yet although I said the reflection is dependent on eye and so on

I do not mean that the conditions such as The Eye has an independent existence

We are used to thinking of causes and effects as pre existing things that can effect or cause something else to come into existence

In truth the principle of conditionality is not compatible with such flawed and common understandings of causation

For example, have we considered the fact that an eye is not an eye? Or that The Eye is empty of eye or eye-ness of eye? And likewise consciousness is empty of consciousness?

For an eye (or, visual consciousness) is dependently designated on the function of seeing

On the vividness of red colour of the rose

And the vividness of the red colour of the rose makes eyes what it is

For what we call eye is simply a convenient label for an organ that makes sight possible

And what is an eye if not for its function of seeing?

So whatever we defined such as an eye cannot be understood apart from the other conventions that make the convention “eye” meaningful

It is not an entity which exists in and of itself apart from the conditions, parts and functionalities and other conventions that defines it

Whatever we refer to, such as an eye, a rose, and so forth cannot be found or pinned down as an entity besides its parts, functionality, dependencies, appearances, designating consciousness

There is not a (truly existing) originating cause or condition of an effect

For the cause defines the effect and the effect defines the cause

Cause is not before and effect is not after

The cause is cause because the effect is effect

The Son makes the Father a Father, it’s not that Father came first before Son, in the act of co-dependent origination, no originator nor origination can be found

nothing has truly originated, arisen, been created, nor is there a creator in an appearance and no true cause or condition can be found to exist in and of its own

Whatever appearance we encounter, meet, is a seamlessly (dependently originating) originating non-originated appearance

Just like reflections, mirages, dreams, nothing truly existing can be found in the reflections

Like a reflection, nothing truly arising (coming into existence) could be found despite the moon vividly showing on the surface of the lake

Neither the reflection of the moon nor the moon in the sky could be found to exist in and of itself apart from all the conditions, functions, and dependent designations that define it

None of them infers an entity that is created or arising anywhere Nor a “that which originates”

Vivid appearances ceaselessly manifest without amounting to something arising, abiding or ceasing

Like painting on the surface of the lake with your fingers, vividly appearing yet not leaving traces

Like the endless stream of images dependently originating with the fingers scrolling on the screen of this iPhone through Facebook, not ever amounting to something truly arising, coming into being, abiding somewhere and going somewhere. No cat has came from the top and left from the bottom of the screen on your iPhone nor exist inside your iPhone. It does not come into existence of its own accord and cannot be separated from your act of seeing it.

What does not arise from other, from itself, nor causelessly, does not truly arise or come into being. They are like reflections, mirages and dreams. Vividly present yet absent, and the whole field of experience is equal to empty space, not in the sense that nothing is seen but nothing is tangible, nothing seen or heard actually amounts to “something”.

Wisdom arise by getting acquainted with right view through learning and meditative contemplation, and it will be counter productive to fall into seeking a state of non conceptuality. Yet when the wisdom of the nature of appearance arises.. there is no longer a need to conceptualise emptiness and instead one simply rests in the flow of empty clarity in vivid appearance. Dependently originating appearance arises as unborn wisdom
H.H. The 8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje:
"From the perspective of both analysis and the seeing of noble ones, mere dependent origination and also the completely releasing liberation that is based on it are inexpressible as something other than perfect nirvana. Hence, neither something to be attained, nor the means to attain it, nor any attainment are established.
However, at this point, it is also not said that “these do not exist.” Nor are they expressed as being both existent and nonexistent or being neither.
Thus, without thinking or apprehending anything and without any effort, one evenly rests in just this uncontrived and relaxed great ease in which there is nothing to do. Then, no matter what inner and outer appearances of the six collections [of consciousness] and their objects (the bearers of the nature [of phenomena]) emerge, through discriminating supreme knowledge and mindfulness, all of them are realized as their true nature, the natural state of emptiness.
Just like snowflakes falling [and melting] on a hot stone, one looks straight at appearance-emptiness, sound-emptiness, and awareness-emptiness and is directly released."
Someone asked me for book recommendations.

Not in any particular order -

On Zen

The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing by Ted Biringer
Zen Cosmology by Ted Biringer
Living By Vow by Shohaku Okumura
Flowers Fall by Hakuun Yasutani
Infinite Circle: Teachings in Zen by Bernie Glassman
The Sun My Heart by Thich Nhat Hanh
Buddhism Is Not What You Think by Steve Hagen
Dropping Ashes on the Buddha by Zen Master Seung Sahn
Only Don't Know by Zen Master Seung Sahn

On Mahamudra

Clarifying the Natural State by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal  (some excerpts in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2008/11/few-excerpts-from-clarifying-natural.html)
Essentials of Mahamudra by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
The Royal Seal of Mahamudra by Khamtrul Rinpoche III (some excerpts in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2015/12/self-liberation-by-khamtrul-rinpoche-iii.html)

On Dzogchen

Buddhahood in This Life by Malcolm Smith
(also check out the interview at http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2017/11/podcast-with-malcolm-smith-on-dzogchen.html)

On Madhyamika

How to See Yourself As You Really Are by Dalai Lama
The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way by Nagarjuna/Jay Garfield
Introduction to the Middle Way: Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara with Commentary by Ju Mipham

On Jamgon Mipham (Madhyamika/Mind Only/Dzogchen/etc)
Jamgon Mipham by Douglas Duckworth

On Chittamatra/Yogacara

Distinguishing Phenomena from Their Intrinsic Nature with Commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham (The Dharmachakra Translation Committee)


A New Buddhist Path by David Loy


Image may contain: ocean, outdoor, water and nature

“Buddha - mind - *is* (not, ‘is like’) mountains, rivers, and the earth, the sun, moon, and stars. Mind *is* houses and streets, animals, guns, plants, thoughts, bombs, corpses, laughter, and cancers. Mind *is* all particular dharmas as they are; *particular* dharmas. All particular dharmas *are* this mind *as it is; this* mind. This tree *is* the mind *as it is*, the mind *as it is*, is all dharmas, hence *is* this tree. That this tree is mind ‘as it is,’ means mind only exists *as mind* by virtue of this tree existing *as this tree*. Because this tree *is* mind ‘as it is,’ it actually goes too far to say ‘is mind,’ and is more accurate to simply say ‘this tree.’ 

As Dogen puts it:

‘Mind as mountains, rivers, and the earth is nothing other than mountains, rivers, and the earth. There are no additional waves or surf, no wind or smoke. Mind as the sun, the moon, and the stars is nothing other than the sun, the moon, and the stars.’

Shobogenzo, Soku-shin-ze-butsu”

From Zen Cosmology: Dogen’s Contribution to the Search for a New Worldview by Ted Biringer


The quote above is useful for those who are stuck in 'One Mind'. The urge to retain an image of the luminescence of mind is dissolved by realizing that mind is none other than the self-luminosity of the ten thousand things. Therefore "Mind as mountains, rivers, and the earth is nothing other than mountains, rivers, and the earth." -- no more subsuming everything to be "contained by Mind" despite experiencing Mind as being nondual with everything (a subtle referencing back of non-dual experience to the source and substance underlying all), only ongoing actualization of myriad phenomena 'advancing into novelty'.

Before birth, I AM - mere conscious-existence-bliss. Before ten thousand things, I AM, but that too is later seen to be simply one aspect of the ten thousand things. If one holds onto one 'face of Presence' (the formless, shining void aspect of mind) you fail to see the manifold textures, forms and colors are simply different faces of Presence.
Wrote a comment to someone posting about non-meditation who emphasized the point "How ridiculous and deluded to think that practices, meditation, study or realizations can improve the perfect awareness that is always what you already are."

I wrote:

"On the one extreme is the view that through practices one can somehow reach Buddha-nature in the future, which comes with the sense of distance, time, separation, and sense of self. Buddha-nature is all-pervasive and whole in its immediacy, how can it be reached in the future through practice?

On the other extreme is of a static, immobile Buddha-nature separate from the ordinary activities of sitting, walking, sleeping, chopping wood and carrying water. Nothing is clearer and more direct than these simple activities when subject and object is severed. We walk not in order to achieve enlightenment but as a manifestation of our true nature.

When sitting, sitting is sitting, not me sitting. Recently I visited a Zen master. He asked a group of students, (pointing at a bell) what is this? Some said it's a bell, he replied you are attached to name and form. If you only hit the floor or remain mute, he says you are attached to emptiness. I simply picked it up and rang it. He said "Correct!" So, a "zen" answer will be just ring it -- there is just the ringing, no subject and object, only spontaneous action, only sound. Non-meditation and non-practice is not lazing all day doing nothing, but severing the delusion of subject and object. When the gap between actor and action is refined till none, that is non-action, non-meditation and that non-action is at the same time total action.

In that act of ringing, is the ringing, and mind two or one? Again if we say they are one or two, we fall into dualism or concepts. Just ring it - that's enough. That total action reveals the true face of mind, the true face of the bell, the true face of ringing. If there is still a sense of an actor achieving a goal through an action, that is not non-meditation or practice-enlightenment.


"Zen master Baoche of Mt. Mayu was fanning himself. A monk approached and said, "Master, the nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. When, then, do you fan yourself?"

"Although you understand that the nature of the wind is permanent," Baoche replied, "you do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere."

"What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?" asked the monk again. The master just kept fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply.

The actualization of the buddha-dharma, the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this. If you say that you do not need to fan yourself because the nature of wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent; because of that, the wind of the buddha's house brings forth the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river."


A monk said to Chao Chou, “I have just entered this monastery. Please teach me.”
Chao Chou said, “Have you eaten your rice gruel?”
The monk said, “Yes, I have.”
Chao Chou said, “Wash your bowl.”
The monk understood."
Labels: 0 comments | | edit post
Someone told me about having been through insights of no self and then progressing to a realisation of the ground of being.

I replied:

Hi ____

Thanks for the sharing.

This is the I AM realization. Had that realisation after contemplating Before birth, who am I? For two years. It’s an important realization. Many people had insights into certain aspects of no self, impersonality, and “dry non dual experience” without doubtless realization of Presence. Therefore I AM realisation is a progression for them.

Similarly in Zen, asking who am I is to directly experience presence. How about asking a koan of what is the cup? What is the chirping bird, the thunder clap? What is its purpose?

When I talked about anatta, it is a direct insight of Presence and recognizing what we called background presence, is in the forms and colours, sounds and sensations, clean and pure. Authentication is be authenticated by all things. Also there is no presence other than that. What we call background is really just an image of foreground Presence, even when Presence is assuming its subtle formless all pervasiveness.

However due to ignorance, we have a very inherent and dual view, if we do see through the nature of presence, the mind continues to be influenced by dualistic and inherent tendencies. Many teach to overcome it through mere non conceptuality but this is highly misleading.

Thusness also wrote:

The anatta I realized is quite unique. It is not just a realization of no-self. But it must have first have an intuitive insight of Presence. Otherwise will have to reverse the phases of insights
Labels: 1 comments | | edit post