Someone wrote,

"Dependent Origination only applies to the reflections, but not to the mirror. The reflections are dependent upon the mirror. The mirror is not dependent upon anything."

Thusness replied,

"When mundane reflections are realized to be always free from extremes and non-arisen,
Why the special interest in mirror?

Dependent arising is taught so that the nature of phenomena can be realized to no different from nirvana. Whatever arises in dependence is empty and non-arisen.

Where then is the need for movement and preference from here to there, from reflections to mirror?

And how is even movement possible?

Confusion is the only movement. Ultimately nothing ever arose.

Gassho and good luck!


Mind is skin, flesh, bones and marrow. Mind is taking up a flower and smiling. There is having mind and having no mind... Blue, yellow, red, and white are mind. Long, short, square, and round are mind. The coming and going of birth and death are mind. Year, month, day, and hour are mind. The coming and going of birth and death are mind. Water, foam, splash, and flame are mind. Spring flowers and autumn moon are mind. All things that arise and fall away are mind.
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Quoted from Kyle:

    The Āryākṣayamatinirdeśa-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra sets out the criteria for a sūtra of definitive meaning:

    'Any sūtrānta which explains in a variety of different terms a self, a sentient being, a living being, a personality, a person, an individual, one born from a human, a human, an agent, an experiencer — teaching an owner in what is ownerless — those sutras are called "of provisional meaning". Any sūtrānta which teaches emptiness, the signless, the wishless, the unconditioned, the non-arisen, the unproduced, the insubstantial, the non-existence of self, the non-existence of sentient beings, the non-existence of living beings, the non-existence of individuals, the non-existence of an owner up to the doors of liberation, those are called "definitive meaning". This is taught in the sūtrāntas of of definitive meaning but is not taught in the sūtrāntas of the provisional meaning.'

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
Essentials of Mahamudra by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
The Royal Seal of Mahamudra by Khamtrul Rinpoche III (some excerpts in

On Dzogchen

Buddhahood in This Life by Malcolm Smith
(also check out the interview at

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