See below for comments by Thusness.

By Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava


Here is contained "Self-Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness," this being a Direct Introduction to the State of Intrinsic Awareness, From "The Profound Teaching of Self-Liberation in the Primordial State of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities."


Homage to the Trikaya and to the Deities who represent the inherent luminous clarity of intrinsic awareness.


Herein I shall teach "Self-Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness," which is a direct introduction to intrinsic awareness From "The Profound Teaching of Self-Liberation in the Primordial State of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities."

Truly, this introduction to your own intrinsic awareness should be contemplated well, O fortunate sons of a noble family!

SAMAYA! Gya! Gya! Gya!


It is the single (nature of) mind, which encompasses all of Samsara and Nirvana.
Even though its inherent nature has existed from the very beginning, you have not recognized it;
Even though its clarity and presence has been uninterrupted, you have not yet encountered its face.
Even though its arising has nowhere been obstructed, still you have not comprehended it.
Therefore, this (direct introduction) is for the purpose of bringing you to self-recognition.
Everything that is expounded by the Victorious Ones (Buddhas) of the three times
in the eighty-four thousand Gateways to the Dharma.
Is incomprehensible (unless you understand intrinsic awareness).
Indeed, the Victorious Ones do not teach anything other than the understanding of this.
Even though there exist unlimited numbers of scriptures, equal in their extent to the sky,
yet with respect to the real meaning, there are three statements that will introduce you to your own intrinsic awareness.
This introduction to the manifest Primordial State of the Victorious One
is disclosed by the following method for entering into the practice where there exists no antecedent or subsequent practices.


O my fortunate sons listen!
Even though that which is usually called "mind" is widely esteemed and much discussed,
still it is not understood or it is wrongly understood or it is understood in a one-sided manner only.
Since it is not understood correctly just as it is in itself,
there come into existence inconceivable numbers of philosophical ideas and assertions.
Furthermore, since ordinary individuals do not understand it,
they do not recognize their own nature,
and so they continue to wander among the six destinies (of rebirth) within the three worlds and thus experience suffering.
Therefore, not understanding your own mind is a very grievous fault.
Even though the Sravakas and the Pratyekabuddhas wish to understand it in terms of the Anatman doctrine,
still they do not understand it as it is in itself.
Also there exist others who, being attached to their own personal ideas and interpretations,
Become fettered by these attachments and so do not perceive the Clear Light.
The Sravakas and the Pratyekabuddhas are (mentally) obscured by their attachments to subject and object.
The Madhyamikas are (mentally) obscured by their attachments to the extremes of the Two Truths.
The practitioners of the Kriya Tantra and the Yoga Tantra are (mentally) obscured by their attachments to seva-sadhana practice.
The practitioners of the Maha-yoga and the Anuyoga are (mentally) obscured by their attachments to Space and Awareness.
And with respect to the real meaning of non-duality, since they divide these (Space and Awareness) into two, they fall into deviation.
If these two do not become one without any duality, you will certainly not attain Buddhahood.
In terms of your own mind, as is the case with everyone, Samsara and Nirvana are inseparable.
Nonetheless, because you persist in accepting and enduring attachments and aversions, you will continue to wander in Samsara.
Therefore, your active dharmas and your inactive ones both should be abandoned.
However, since self-liberation through seeing nakedly by means of intrinsic awareness is here revealed to you,
You should understand that all dharmas can be perfected and completed in the great total Self-Liberation.
And therefore, whatever (practice you do) can be brought to perfection within the Great Perfection.
SAMAYA! Gya! Gya! Gya!


As for this sparkling awareness, which is called "mind,"
Even though one says that it exists, it does not actually exist.
(On the other hand) as a source, it is the origin of the diversity of all the bliss of Nirvana and all of the sorrow of Samsara.
And as for it¡¯s being something desirable; it is cherished alike in the Eleven Vehicles.
With respect to its having a name, the various names that are applied to it are inconceivable (in their numbers).
Some call it "the nature of the mind" or "mind itself."
Some Tirthikas call it by the name Atman or "the Self."
The Sravakas call it the doctrine of Anatman or "the absence of a self."
The Chittamatrins call it by the name Chitta or "the Mind."
Some call it the Praj?¨¢p¨¢ramit¨¢ or "the Perfection of Wisdom."
Some call it the name Tathagata-garbha or "the embryo of Buddhahood."
Some call it by the name Mahamudra or "the Great Symbol."
Some call it by the name "the Unique Sphere."
Some call it by the name Dharmadhatu or "the dimension of Reality."
Some call it by the name Alaya or "the basis of everything."
And some simply call it by the name "ordinary awareness."


Now, when you are introduced (to your own intrinsic awareness), the method for entering into it involves three considerations:
Thoughts in the past are clear and empty and leave no traces behind.
Thoughts in the future are fresh and unconditioned by anything.
And in the present moment, when (your mind) remains in its own condition without constructing anything,
awareness, at that moment, in itself is quite ordinary.
And when you look into yourself in this way nakedly (without any discursive thoughts),
Since there is only this pure observing, there will be found a lucid clarity without anyone being there who is the observer;
only a naked manifest awareness is present.
(This awareness) is empty and immaculately pure, not being created by anything whatsoever.
It is authentic and unadulterated, without any duality of clarity and emptiness.
It is not permanent and yet it is not created by anything.
However, it is not a mere nothingness or something annihilated because it is lucid and present.
It does not exist as a single entity because it is present and clear in terms of being many.
(On the other hand) it is not created as a multiplicity of things because it is inseparable and of a single flavor.
This inherent self-awareness does not derive from anything outside itself.
This is the real introduction to the actual condition of things.


Within this (intrinsic awareness), the Trikaya (Triple Bodies) are inseparable and fully present as one.
Since it is empty and not created anywhere whatsoever, it is The Dharmakaya (Dharma-Body).
Since its luminous clarity represents the inherent transparent radiance of emptiness, it is the Sambhogakaya (Reward-Body / Utility-Body).
Since its arising is nowhere obstructed or interrupted, it is the Nirmanakaya.
These three (the Trikaya) being complete and fully present as one are its very essence.


When you are introduced in this way through this exceedingly powerful method for entering into the practice,
(You discover directly) that your own immediate self-awareness is just this (and nothing else),
and that it has an inherent self-clarity, which is entirely un-fabricated.
How can you then speak of not understanding the nature of the mind?
Moreover, since you are meditating without finding anything there to meditate upon,
how can you say that your meditation does not go well?
Since your own manifest intrinsic awareness is just this,
how can you say that you cannot find your own mind?
The mind is just that which is thinking:
And yet, although you have searched (for the thinker), how can you say that you do not find him?
With respect to this, nowhere does there exist the one who is the cause of (mental) activity.
And yet, since activity exists, how can you say that such activity does not arise?
Since merely allowing (thoughts) to settle into their own condition, without trying to modify them in any way, is sufficient,
How can you say that you are not able to remain in a calm state?
Since allowing (thoughts) to be just as they are, with out trying to do anything about them, is sufficient,
How can you say that you are not able to do anything with regard to them?
Since clarity, awareness, and emptiness are inseparable and are spontaneously self-perfected,
how can you say that nothing is accomplished by your practice?
Since (intrinsic awareness) is self-originated and spontaneously self-perfected without any antecedent causes or conditions,
How can you say that you are not able to accomplish anything by your efforts?
Since the arising of discursive thoughts and their being liberated occur simultaneously,
how can you say that you are unable to apply an antidote?
Since your own immediate awareness is just this,
how can you say that you do not know anything with regard to it?


It is certain that the nature of the mind is empty and without any foundation whatsoever.
Your own mind is insubstantial like the empty sky.
You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not.
Being without any view that decisively decides that it is empty,
It is certain that self-originated primal awareness has been clear (and luminous) from the very beginning,
Like the heart of the sun, which is itself self-originated.
You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not.
It is certain that this primal awareness or gnosis, which is one's intrinsic awareness, is unceasing,
like the main channel of a river that flows unceasingly.
You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not.
It is certain that the diversity of movements (arising in the mind) are not apprehend-able by memories,
they are like insubstantial breezes that move through the atmosphere.
You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not.
It is certain that whatever appearances occur, all of them are self-manifested,
like the images in a mirror being self-manifestations that simply appear.
You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not.
It is certain that all of the diverse characteristics of things are liberated into their own condition,
Like clouds in the atmosphere that are self-originated and self-liberated.
You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not.


There exist no phenomena other than what arises from the mind.
Other than the meditation that occurs, where is the one who is meditating?
There exist no phenomena other than what arises from the mind.
Other than the behavior that occurs, where is the one who is behaving?
There exist no phenomena other than what arises from the mind.
Other than the samaya vow that occurs, where is the one who is guarding it?
There exist no phenomena other than what arises from the mind.
Other than the fruition that occurs, where is the one who is realizing (the fruit)?
You should look at your own mind, observing it again and again.


When you look upward into the space of the sky outside yourself,
If there are no thoughts occurring that are emanations being projected,
And when you look inward at your own mind inside yourself,
If there exists no projectionist who projects thoughts by thinking them,
Then your own subtle mind will become lucidly clear without anything being projected.
Since the Clear Light of your own intrinsic awareness is empty, it is the Dharmakaya;
and this is like the sun rising in a cloudless illuminated sky.
Even though this light cannot be said to possess a particular shape or form, nevertheless, it can be fully known.
The meaning of this, whether or not it is understood, is especially significant.


This self-originated Clear Light, which from the very beginning was in no way produced by something antecedent to it,
is the child of awareness, and yet it is itself without any parents--amazing!
This self-originated primordial awareness has not been created by anything--amazing!
It does not experience birth nor does there exist a cause for its death--amazing!
Although it is evidently visible, yet there is no one there who sees it--amazing!
Although it has wandered throughout Samsara, it has come to no harm--amazing!
Even though it has seen Buddhahood itself, it has not come to any benefit from this--amazing!
Even though it exists in everyone everywhere, yet it has gone unrecognized--amazing!
Nonetheless you hope to attain some other fruit than this elsewhere--amazing!
Even though it exists within yourself (and nowhere else), yet you seek for it elsewhere--amazing!


How wonderful!
This immediate intrinsic awareness is insubstantial and lucidly clear:
Just this is the highest pinnacle of all views.
It is all encompassing, free of everything, and without any conceptions whatsoever:
Just this is the highest pinnacle among all meditations.
It is un-fabricated and inexpressible in worldly terms:
Just this is the highest pinnacle among all courses of conduct.
Without being sought after, it is spontaneously self-perfected from the very beginning:
Just this is the highest pinnacle among all fruits.


Here is the teaching of the four great vehicles that are without error:
(First) there is the great vehicle of the unmistaken view.
Since this immediate awareness is lucidly clear,
and this lucid clarity is without error or mistake, it is called "a vehicle."
(Second) there is the great vehicle of the unmistaken meditation.
Since this immediate awareness is that which possesses clarity,
and this lucid clarity is without error or mistake, it is called "a vehicle."
(Third) there is the great vehicle of the unmistaken conduct.
Since this immediate primal awareness is that which possesses clarity,
and this lucid clarity is without error or mistake, it is called "a vehicle".
(Fourth) there is the great vehicle of the unmistaken fruit.
Since this immediate awareness is lucidly clear,
and this lucid clarity is without error or mistake, it is called "a vehicle."


Here is the teaching on the four great unchanging (essential points called) "nails."
(First) there is the great nail of the unchanging view:
This immediate present awareness is lucidly clear,
because it is stable in the three times; it is called "a nail."
(Second) there is the great nail of the unchanging meditation:
This immediate present awareness is lucidly clear,
because it is stable in the three times; it is called "a nail."
(Third) there is the great nail of the unchanging conduct:
This immediate present awareness is lucidly clear,
because it is stable in the three times; it is called "a nail."
(Fourth) there is the great nail of the unchanging fruit:
This immediate present awareness is lucidly clear,
because it is stable in the three times; it is called "a nail."


Then, as for the secret instruction, which teaches that the three times are one:
You should relinquish all notions of the past and abandon all precedents.
You should cut off all plans and expectations with respect to the future.
And in the present, you should not grasp (at thoughts that arise) but allow (the mind) to remain in a state like the sky.
Since there is nothing upon which to meditate (while in the primordial state), there is no need to meditate.
And since there does not exist any distraction here, you continue in this state of stable mindfulness without distraction.
In this state, which is without meditation and without any distraction, you observe everything with a naked (awareness).
Your own awareness is inherently knowing, inherently clear, and luminously brilliant.
When it arises, it is called the Bodhicitta, "the enlightened mind".
Being without any activity of meditation, it transcends all objects of knowledge.
Being without any distraction, it is the luminous clarity of the Essence itself.
Appearances, being empty in themselves, become self-liberated; clarity and emptiness (being inseparable) are the Dharmakaya.
Since it becomes evident that there is nothing to be realized by means of the path to Buddhahood,
at this time you will actually behold Vajra-sattva.


Then, as for the instruction for exhausting the six extremes and overthrowing them:
Even though there exist a great many different views that do not agree among themselves,
This "mind" which is your own intrinsic awareness is in fact self-originated primal awareness.
And with regard to this, the observer and the process of observing are not two different things.
When you look and observe, seeking the one who is looking and observing,
since you search for this observer and do not find him,
At that time your view is exhausted and overthrown.
Thus, even though it is the end of your view, this is the beginning with respect to yourself.
The view and the one who is viewing are not found to exist anywhere.
Without it¡¯s falling excessively into emptiness and non-existence even at the beginning,
At this very moment your own present awareness becomes lucidly clear.
Just this is the view (or the way of seeing) of the Great Perfection.
Therefore understanding and not understanding are not two different things.


Although there exist a great many different meditations that do not agree among themselves,
your own ordinary present awareness is directly penetrating.
The process of meditation and the one who meditates are not two different things.
When you look for the meditator who is meditating or not meditating,
since you have searched for this meditator and have not found him anywhere,
at that time your meditation is exhausted and overthrown.
Thus, even though it is the end of your meditation, this is the beginning with respect to yourself.
The meditation and the meditator are not found to exist anywhere.
Without it¡¯s falling under the power of delusion, drowsiness, or agitation,
your immediate un-fabricated awareness becomes lucidly clear;
and this unmodified state of even contemplation is concentration.
Therefore remaining in a calm state or not remaining in it are not two different things.


Although there exist a great many different kinds of behavior, which do not agree among themselves,
your own self-originated primal awareness is the Unique Sphere.
Behavior and the one who behaves are not two (different things).
When you look for the one it is who behaves with action or without action,
Since you have searched for the one who acts and have not found him anywhere,
At that time your behavior is exhausted and overthrown.
Thus, even though it is the end of your conduct and behavior, this is the beginning with respect to yourself.
From the very beginning neither behavior nor the one who behaves have existed (as separate realities).
Without its falling under the power of errors and inherited predispositions,
your immediate awareness is an un-fabricated inherent clarity.
Without accepting or rejecting anything, just letting things be as they are without trying to modify them,
such conduct or behavior alone is pure.
(Therefore) pure and impure action are not two (different things).


Although there exist great many different fruits that do not agree among themselves,
the nature of the mind that is inherent awareness is (none other than) the spontaneously perfected Trikaya.
What is realized and the one who realizes it are not two (different things).
When you look for the fruit and for the one who has realized it,
since you have searched for the realizer (of the fruit) and have not found him anywhere,
at that time your fruit is exhausted and overthrown.
Thus, even though it is an end to your fruition, still this is the beginning with respect to yourself.
Both the fruition and the one who has attained the realization are found to not exist anywhere.
Without its falling under the power of attachments or aversions or of hopes and fears,
your immediate present awareness becomes spontaneously perfected inherent clarity.
Understand that within yourself the Trikaya is fully manifest.
(Therefore) this itself is the fruition of primordial Buddhahood.


This intrinsic awareness is free of the eight extremes, such as Eternalism and nihilism, and the rest.
Thus we speak of the Middle Way where one does not fall into any of the extremes,
and we speak of intrinsic awareness as uninterrupted mindful presence.
Since emptiness possesses a heart that is intrinsic awareness,
therefore it is called by the name of Tathagata-garbha, that is, "the embryo or heart of Buddhahood."
If you understand the meaning of this, then that will transcend and surpass everything else.
Therefore, it is called by the name of Praj?¨¢p¨¢ramit¨¢, that is, "the Perfection of Wisdom."
Because it cannot be conceived of by the intellect and is free of all (conceptual) limitations from the very beginning,
therefore it is called by the name of Mahamudra, that is, "the Great Symbol."
Because of that, in accordance with whether it is specifically understood or not understood,
Since it is the basis of everything, of all the bliss of Nirvana and of all the sorrow of Samsara,
Therefore it is called by the name of Alaya, that is, "the foundation of everything."
Because, when it remains in its own space, it is quite ordinary and in no way exceptional,
this awareness that is present and lucidly clear
is called by the name of "ordinary awareness."
However many names may be applied to it, even though they are well conceived and fancy sounding,
With regard to its real meaning, it is just this immediate present awareness (and nothing else).


To desire something other than this
Is just like having an elephant (at home), but searching for its tracks elsewhere.
Even though you may try to measure the universe with a tape measure, it will not be possible to encompass all of it.
(Similarly) if you do not understand that everything derives from the mind, it will not be possible for you to attain Buddhahood.
By not recognizing this (intrinsic awareness for what it is), you will then search for your mind somewhere outside of yourself.
If you seek for yourself elsewhere (outside of yourself), how can you ever find yourself?
For example, this is just like an idiot who, going into a crowd of many people,
And having let himself become confused because of the spectacle,
Does not recognize himself; and, even though he searches for himself everywhere,
He continually makes the error of mistaking others for himself.
(Similarly) since you do not see the natural condition of the real disposition of things,
you do not know that appearances come from mind, and so you are thrust once again into Samsara.
By not seeing that your own mind is actually the Buddha, Nirvana becomes obscured.
With respect to Samsara and Nirvana, (the difference is simply due) to ignorance or to awareness respectively.
But at this single instant (of pure awareness), there is in fact no actual difference between them (in terms of their essence).
If you come to perceive them as existing somewhere other than in your own mind, this is surely an error.
(Therefore) error and non-error are actually of a single essence (which is the nature of the mind).
Since the mind-streams of sentient beings are not made into something that is divided into two,
the unmodified uncorrected nature of the mind is liberated by its being allowed simply to remain in its own (original) natural condition.
If you are not aware that the fundamental error or delusion comes from the mind,
you will not properly understand the real meaning of the Dharmata (the nature of reality);


You should look into what is self-arising and self-originated.
With respect to these appearances, in the beginning they must arise from somewhere,
In between they must remain somewhere, and at the end they must go somewhere.
Yet when you look (into this matter), it is, for example, like a crow gazing into a well.
When he flies away from the well, (his reflection) also departs from the well and does not return.
In the same way, appearances arise from the mind;
they arise from the mind and are liberated into the mind.
The nature of the mind which (has the capacity) to know everything and be aware of everything is empty and clear;
As is the case with the sky above, its emptiness and its clarity have been inseparable from the very beginning.
Self-originated primal awareness becomes manifest,
And becoming systematically established as luminous clarity, just this is the Dharmata, the nature of reality.
Even though the indication of its existence is all phenomenal existence (which manifests externally to you),
You are aware of it in your own mind, and this latter is the nature of the mind.
Since it is aware and clear, it is understood to be like the sky.
However, even though we employ the example of the sky to indicate the nature of the mind,
this is in fact only a metaphor or simile indicating things in a one-sided fashion.
The nature of the mind, as well as being empty, is also intrinsically aware; everywhere it is clear.
But the sky is without any awareness; it is empty as an inanimate corpse is empty.
Therefore, the real meaning of "mind" is not indicated by the sky.
So without distraction, simply allow the mind to remain in the state of being just as it is.


Moreover, as for this diversity of appearances, which represents relative truth,
not even one of these appearances is actually created in reality, and so accordingly they disappear again.
All things, all phenomenal existence, everything within Samsara and Nirvana,
Are merely appearances (or phenomena) which are perceived by the individual's single nature of the mind.
On any particular occasion, when your own (internal) mind-stream undergoes changes,
then there will arise appearances, which you will perceive as external changes.
Therefore, everything that you see is a manifestation of mind.
And, moreover, all of the beings inhabiting the six realms of rebirth perceive everything with their own distinct karmic vision.
The Tirthikas who are outsiders see all this in terms of the dualism of Eternalism as against nihilism.
Each of the nine successive vehicles sees things in terms of its own view.
Thus, things are perceived in various different ways and may be elucidated in various different ways.
Because you grasped at these various (appearances that arise), becoming attached to them, errors have come into existence.
Yet with respect to all of these appearances of which you are aware in your mind,
Even though these appearances that you perceive do arise, if you do not grasp at them, then that is Buddhahood.


Appearances are not erroneous in themselves, but because of your grasping at them, errors come into existence.
But if you know that these thoughts only grasp at things which are mind, then they will be liberated by themselves.
Everything that appears is but a manifestation of mind.
Even though the entire external inanimate universe appears to you, it is but a manifestation of mind.
Even though all of the sentient beings of the six realms appear to you they are but a manifestation of mind.
Even though the happiness of humans and the delights of the Devas in heaven appear to you, they are but manifestations of mind.
Even though the sorrows of the three evil destinies appear to you, they are but manifestations of mind.
Even though the five poisons representing ignorance and the passions appear to you, they are but manifestations of mind.
Even though intrinsic awareness, which is self-originated primal awareness, appears to you, it is but a manifestation of mind.
Even though good thoughts along the way to Nirvana appear to you, they are but manifestations of mind.
Even though obstacles due to demons and evil spirits appears to you, they are but manifestations of mind.
Even though the gods and other excellent attainments appear to you, they are but manifestations of mind.
Even though various kinds of purity appear to you, they are but manifestations of mind.
Even though (the experience) of remaining in a state of one-pointed concentration without any discursive thoughts appears to you, it is but a manifestation of mind.
Even though the colors that are the characteristics of things appear to you, they are but manifestations of mind.
Even though a state without characteristics and without conceptual elaborations appears to you, it is but a manifestation of mind.
Even though the non-duality of the one and the many appears to you, it is but a manifestation of mind.
Even though existence and non-existence, which are not created anywhere, appear to you, they are but manifestations of mind.
There exist no appearances whatsoever that can be understood as not coming from mind.


Because of the unobstructed nature of the mind, there is a continuous arising of appearances.
Like the waves and the waters of the ocean, which are not two (different things),
Whatever arises is liberated into the natural state of the mind.
However many different names are applied to it in this unceasing process of naming things,
With respect to its real meaning, the mind (of the individual) does not exist other than as one.
And, moreover, this singularity is without any foundation and devoid of any root.
But, even though it is one, you cannot look for it in any particular direction.
It cannot be seen as an entity located somewhere, because it is not created or made by anything.
Nor can it be seen as just being empty, because there exists the transparent radiance of its own luminous clarity and awareness.
Nor can it be seen as diversified, because emptiness and clarity are inseparable.
Immediate self-awareness is clear and present.
Even though activities exist, there is no awareness of an agent who is the actor.
Even though they are without any inherent nature, experiences are actually experienced.
If you practice in this way, then everything will be liberated.
With respect to your own sense faculties, everything will be understood immediately without any intervening operations of the intellect.
Just as is the case with the sesame seed being the cause of the oil and the milk being the cause of butter,
But where the oil is not obtained without pressing and the butter is not obtained without churning,
So all sentient beings, even though they possess the actual essence of Buddhahood,
Will not realize Buddhahood without engaging in practice.
If he practices, then even a cowherd can realize liberation.
Even though he does not know the explanation, he can systematically establish himself in the experience of it.
(For example) when one has had the experience of actually tasting sugar in one's own mouth,
one does not need to have that taste explained by someone else.
Not understanding this (intrinsic awareness), even Panditas can fall into error.
Even though they are exceedingly learned and knowledgeable in explaining the nine vehicles,
it will only be like spreading rumors of places, which they have not seen personally.
And with respect to Buddhahood, they will not even approach it for a moment.
If you understand (intrinsic awareness), all of your merits and sins will be liberated into their own condition.
But if you do not understand it, any virtuous or vicious deeds that you commit
will accumulate as karma leading to transmigration in heavenly rebirth or to rebirth in the evil destinies respectively.
But if you understand this empty primal awareness, which is your own mind,
the consequences of merit and of sin will never come to be realized,
just as a spring cannot originate in the empty sky.
In the state of emptiness itself, the object of merit or of sin is not even created.
Therefore, your own manifest self-awareness comes to see everything nakedly.
This self-liberation through seeing with naked awareness is of such great profundity,
and, this being so; you should become intimately acquainted with self-awareness.
Profoundly sealed!


How wonderful!
As for this "Self-Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness" which is a direct introduction to one's own intrinsic awareness,
It is for the benefit of those sentient beings belonging to the later generations of those future degenerate times
That all of my Tantras, Agamas, and Upadesas,
Though necessarily brief and concise, have been composed.
And even though I have disseminated them at the present time, yet they shall be concealed as precious treasures,
So that those whose good karma ripens in the future shall come to encounter them.
SAMAYA! Gya! Gya! Gya!

This treatise which is an introduction to one's actual intrinsic awareness or state of immediate presence
Is entitled "Self-Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness."
It was composed by Padmasambhava, the Master from Uddiyana.
Until Samsara is emptied of living beings, may this Great Work of liberating them not be abandoned!

(On the full moon day of the eight-month of the Wood-Ox year, this Terma text entitled the Rig-pa ngo-sprod gcer mthong rang-grol, belonging to the Zab-chos zhi-khro dgongs-pa rang-grol cycle of Rigdzin Karma Lingpa, was translated by Vajranatha in the hope that it will enlighten and benefit all beings.

Sarva Mangalam!

(Translated into English by John Myrdhin Reynolds)
Comments by my friend, Thusness, at


Originally posted by longchen:
This is really good. Sure spell out the different subtle attachments.
It also in a way explain why there can so many different types of mystical or transcendental experiences. All are but the various types of subtle attachments giving rise to different understandings and experiences.

Thanks so much. It is helpful for me Very Happy

Hi Longchen,

Not only that. This work by Padmasambhava is truly deep and profound; it discloses the self-liberating aspect of our intrinsic nature. It is especially important for you now.

At that time when you posted the thread of non-dual and karmic pattern,, the condition is only right for understanding 'the strength of karmic propensities’, as such, this aspect was not disclosed. Instead, the second door of impermanence was introduced and it was introduced with the purpose to complement the no-self experience you had in order to give rise to this insight of “Self-Liberation”
. The sole purpose of the practice of the second door of impermanence is for this insight to arise.

I was reading some commentaries about this work, I was disappointed; and with all due respect, I must say it is terribly distorted. The commentator has transformed this great work of Padmasambhava to an Advaita or neo-Advaita teaching. Self Liberating nature of our pristine nature is not to posit naked-awareness as a background where “all thoughts arise and subside’ and the background is not affected by this transient nature of thoughts, it remains constant, changeless and unmoved. ‘Self liberation’ should never be taken to mean this.

There is no Awareness apart from the arising and ceasing of thoughts and yet thought spontaneously arise and subsides in its own accord (self-liberating). It liberates at that very moment of ‘passing away’ (the practice of second door) without the need of effort, simply so. From moment to moment it is so. Thus comes and thus goes. This is its emptiness nature. The emptiness nature liberates instantaneously. By simply so, it is spontaneously self-perfected.

Sentient mind however posit a ‘self’ and holds. Whether the “thought” is good or bad, it attempts to do something to change, whatever direction it goes either good or bad, all is ‘doing’ (karma) and prevents the liberating nature. However without the experience of no-self (Buddhism non-duality not Adviata non-dual), one can never understand this intuitively.

Do read with a reverent heart. Homage to Padmasambhava.


How can you say that you cannot find your own mind?

The mind is just that which is thinking:
(My opinion is it should be translated to “The mind is just the thinking” but I do not have the original text.)

And yet, although you have searched (for the thinker), how can you say that you do not find him?

With respect to this, nowhere does there exist the one who is the cause of (mental) activity.

And yet, since activity exists, how can you say that such activity does not arise?

Since merely allowing (thoughts) to settle into their own condition, without trying to modify them in any way, is sufficient,

How can you say that you are not able to remain in a calm state?

Since allowing (thoughts) to be just as they are, with out trying to do anything about them, is sufficient,

How can you say that you are not able to do anything with regard to them?

Since clarity, awareness, and emptiness are inseparable and are spontaneously self-perfected,

How can you say that nothing is accomplished by your practice?

Since (intrinsic awareness) is self-originated and spontaneously self-perfected without any antecedent causes or conditions,

How can you say that you are not able to accomplish anything by your efforts?

Since the arising of discursive thoughts and their being liberated occur simultaneously,

How can you say that you are unable to apply an antidote?

Since your own immediate awareness is just this,

How can you say that you do not know anything with regard to it?



It is certain that all of the diverse characteristics of things are liberated into their own condition,

Like clouds in the atmosphere that are self-originated and self-liberated.

You should look at your own mind to see whether it is like that or not.

Note: the following article is written by a moderator at my forum, "Longchen", who is a friend of mine and Thusness, on his and experience of non-duality (no subject-object split) as the nature of reality that is Always So (and hence not as a passing experience). However, there are further insights into the nature of consciousness.
At the time of his writing, it is realised that Manifestations/Appearances are all consciousness. Consciousness is experienced directly, but not the “nature” of consciousness. The nature of consciousness is empty.
This article also corresponds to Stage 4-5 of Thusness's Six Stages of Experience. Stage 6 is the realisation of Emptiness/Dependent Arising. Longchen has more recently written an article about his insight of Emptiness/Dependent Arising (see The non-solidity of existence).

Update, August 2009: Please note that the author of the site has taken down all his spiritual growth articles. The links below will not work anymore, however I have uploaded an archive of all his articles at Longchen/Simpo's Articles

Non duality is really the same experience as no-self state. It is also the same as no subject-object split. 'No subject-object split' means the illusion of an observer and the being observed is being understood and removed.
Below is a description of how non-duality feels like.

I have noticed that non-duality (or non dual experience) has various depths and degrees.

Certain times there are more mental thoughts, certain times less and this give rise to different degrees of vividness and sense of Oneness.
At times, sense of being at a location can be greatly diminished... instead what is being felt are all the sensations that made up 'here-ness'... For in truth, 'here-ness' is really made up of perceptions and sensations... For example, the sensations of pressure of the feet against the floor... they are just that..sensations. Likewise, the visual perceptions and hearing and so on so forth are just that.
For in truth, 'location-space', 'individuality-self', ' inner-outer', etc are impressions.
There is also a spacious or all-pervading quality to the experience of non-duality and this is what was meant as a sense of Oneness. At times, objects and surroundings can be 'de-cognated' ( that is ... freed from being perceived as such) and a free-ing joyful and vitalising feeling can be felt. This feels like the mind has finally comes to a must-needed rest from its incessant mental activities.

Also, in the deeper range of non duality, brightness becomes stronger. This brightness is the result of mind's deconstruction which allows for intense penetration into consciousness. The Brightness can be so intense that it is truly stunning.
Please understand that all along our existence has been non-dual. There is no attaining to non-duality... It is only the 'sense of self' that created the impression of duality. Even when the 'sense of self' is there, existence is still non-dual. We never live out of non-duality.

Also, there is another point to add...

Non-duality is NOT the same as a state of Witnessing Presence observing Phenomenality. An Eternal Witnessing Presence that is apart from Phenomena cannot be said to be non dual as there are two components here (witness and phenomena). This experience is characterised by a non-judging watcher observing the world and mind. I had this experience before. And now, I must say that true non-duality is distinctively different from this. The witness/watcher is really not separated from the rest of the world . It (this witness) is not unchanging, but is simply a knowingness that is not apart from the flow of phenomenality.

Non duality can only be stably experienced when the 'sense of self' and the 'Eternal Witness' are correctly understood for what they are.
For your necessary ponderance. Thank you for reading.
Please also read the following articles from the same author at
self growth, healing, enlightenment, meditation______________________________
These are articles dealing with self-growth, healing and discovery systems or paths
General Information on self-discovery
Why is spiritual truth so elusive?
Why is spiritual truth so elusive?... This article attempts to find the causes.
A system of self-discovery
The path that I am walking upon... This article describes a system for self growth and discovery.
What is the Higher Self
Who and what is the higher self? Is there a way to contact it?
Enlightenment is a gradual process
Many people has the notion that enlightenment is one state. Many also believe that when it is attained, a person is forever in that state. My opinion is that enlightenment is not just one state but is a gradual and progressive establishing of states of consciousness..
Can the Source of existence be an Object?
Can the Source of existence be a thing? Can IT be an tangible object? Can we even can IT it? ...
Paradox of perception...
Ripples on the surface of the Source
The impression of there being a 'me/self' interacting with the environment and others can be compared to the ripples on the surface of Being. The ripples can be liken to individuals/selves. The ripples are the perceptions of sensorial and thought experiences. Different beings/individuals will have different experiences that are dependent on their sense characteristics. Being/Absolute can be liken to the entirety which is the vast ocean. ...
The limitation of Science in dealing with Reality
This article describes why science may not be the right tool for dealing with Reality. ...
Is there really an Eternal Witness?
This articles explains why no Eternal Witness exist...
How does Non-duality feels like?
A description of how non-duality feels like from my experience...
Clearing of karmic patterns and habits
Beside having insights and realisations, karmic pattern clearing is equally important for effective transformation to occur.....
Are we supposed to get rid of unwholesome thoughts?
Many spiritual teaching say that one must get rid of unwholesome stuffs in one's life. So does that include getting rid of unwholesome thoughts that one is having? This article is related to karmic pattern clearing ....
Misconceptions surrounding the term Non-duality
An essay about the misconceptions surrounding the term Non-duality...
The non-solidity of existence
An essay about the non-solidity of existence...
Series of realisations and self-discoveries
Below is a list of realisations that I had. They are arranged sequentially with the earliest realisation on the top. What was being discovered is that a latter realisation can over-ride or modify upon an earlier one. This listing is not a definitive guide, but a documentation of the process based on my own personal experience.
The description of the self-discovery path that I use can be found here.
Who are we?
Are we just the personality?
Self-arised impressions?
When we interact with the world and others, are we really engaging the external environment
or are we really just interacting with our thoughts and ourselves?
Can a face see itself without a mirror?
Likewise, can the Absolute Source percieve itself without a mirror?
Doer and the being done
Who is the doer of action? ...
Symbolism and Presence
Our world seems 'solid' when we externalise experiences...
Entering Present Moment
Entering Present Moment cannot be a contrive activity. It happens when it wants to and is without any active intention on the part of the mind. ...
The impression of self and others
When the hypnotic impression of there being an observer (self) and the being observed(others and environment) is being discovered and recognised, the world suddenly appears illusionary....
Knowingness and Self
Knowingness is in-built into consciousness. But this knowingness is being mistaken for a doer or a self.....
All is the Universal Mind
Click to find out... Please understand that there is a difference between a conceptual understanding and an experiential realisation...
When meditation can be a hinderance
Meditation is a useful practice for one on a spiritual path. However, at a certain stage it can actually be a hinderance. This article is an essay on when meditation becomes a hinderance to experiencing Oneness Presence.....
Non-dual conversation
Is it possible to maintain non-duality when talking to someone? Yes it is possible ...
A new phase
Description of a new phase ...
Below is a list of spiritual transmission example.
These are some psychic transmissions that I had some years ago. They represented an intermediate stage of my spiritual development.
Transmission example 1
A query on reincarnation...
Transmission example 2
An explanation on consciousness...

Also see: Wrong Interpretation of I AM as Background

(Article last updated: 25th June 2019 - added some excerpts by Gil Fronsdil and Thusness towards the end)

(Much of the following are a compilation of what Thusness/PasserBy wrote from a few sources with minimal editing.)

Like a river flowing into the ocean, the self dissolves into nothingness. When a practitioner becomes thoroughly clear about the illusionary nature of the individuality, subject-object division does not take place. A person experiencing “AMness” will find “AMness in everything”. What is it like?

Being freed from individuality -- coming and going, life and death, all phenomenon merely pop in and out from the background of the AMness. The AMness is not experienced as an ‘entity’ residing anywhere, neither within nor without; rather it is experienced as the ground reality for all phenomenon to take place. Even in the moment of subsiding (death), the yogi is thoroughly authenticated with that reality; experiencing the ‘Real’ as clear as it can be. We cannot lose that AMness; rather all things can only dissolve and re-emerges from it. The AMness has not moved, there is no coming and going. This "AMness" is God.

Practitioners should never mistake this as the true Buddha Mind!
"I AMness" is the pristine awareness. That is why it is so overwhelming. Just that there is no 'insight' into its emptiness nature. Nothing stays and nothing to hold on to. What is real, is pristine and flows, what stays is illusion. The sinking back to a background or Source is due to being blinded by strong karmic propensities of a 'Self'. It is a layer of ‘bond’ that prevents us from ‘seeing’ something…it is very subtle, very thin, very fine…it goes almost undetected. What this ‘bond’ does is it prevents us from ‘seeing’ what “WITNESS” really is and makes us constantly fall back to the Witness, to the Source, to the Center. Every moment we want to sink back to Witness, to the Center, to this Beingness, this is an illusion. It is habitual and almost hypnotic.

But what exactly is this “witness” we are talking about? It is the manifestation itself! It is the appearance itself! There is no Source to fall back, the Appearance is the Source! Including the moment to moment of thoughts. The problem is we choose, but all is really it. There is nothing to choose.

There is no mirror reflecting
All along manifestation alone is.
The one hand claps
Everything IS!

In between “I AMness” and no “Mirror Reflecting”, there is another distinct phase I would name it as “Mirror Bright Clarity”. The Eternal Witness is experienced as a formless crystal clear mirror reflecting all phenomenon existence. There is a clear knowledge that ‘self’ does not exist but the last trace of the karmic propensity of ‘self’ is still not completely eliminated. It resides in a very subtle level. In no mirror reflecting, the karmic propensity of ‘self’ is loosen to a great extent and the true nature of the Witness is seen. All along there is no Witness witnessing anything, the manifestation alone is. There is only One. The second hand does not exist…

There is no invisible witness hiding anywhere. Whenever we attempt to fall back to an invisible transparent image, it is again the mind game of thought. It is the ‘bond’ at work. (See Thusness's Six Stages of Experience)

Transcendental glimpses are misled by the cognitive faculty of our mind. That mode of cognition is dualistic. All is Mind but this mind is not to be taken as ‘Self’. “I Am”, Eternal Witness, are all products of our cognition and is the root cause that prevents true seeing. 

When consciousness experiences the pure sense of “I AM”, overwhelmed by the transcendental thoughtless moment of Beingness, consciousness clings to that experience as its purest identity. By doing so, it subtly creates a ‘watcher’ and fails to see that the ‘Pure Sense of Existence’ is nothing but an aspect of pure consciousness relating to the thought realm. This in turn serves as the karmic condition that prevents the experience of pure consciousness that arises from other sense-objects. Extending it to the other senses, there is hearing without a hearer and seeing without a seer -- the experience of Pure Sound-Consciousness is radically different from Pure Sight-Consciousness. Sincerely, if we are able to give up ‘I’ and replace it with “Emptiness Nature”, Consciousness is experienced as non-local. There isn't a state that is purer than the other. All is just One Taste, the manifold of Presence.

The ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘when’, the ‘I’, ‘here’ and ‘now’ must ultimately give way to the experience of total transparency. Do not fall back to a source, just the manifestation is sufficient. This will become so clear that total transparency is experienced. When total transparency is stabilized, transcendental body is experienced and dharmakaya is seen everywhere. This is the samadhi bliss of Bodhisattva. This is the fruition of practice.

Experience all appearance with total vitality, vividness and clarity. They are really our Pristine Awareness, every moment and everywhere in all its manifolds and diversities. When causes and conditions is, manifestation is, when manifestation is, Awareness is. All is the one reality.

Look! The formation of the cloud, the rain, the color of the sky, the thunder, all these entirety that is taking place, what is it? It is Pristine Awareness. Not identified with anything, not bounded within the body, free from definition and experience what is it. It is the entire field of our pristine awareness taking place with its emptiness nature. 

If we fall back to 'Self', we are enclosed within. First we must go beyond symbols and see behind the essence that takes place. Master this art until the factor of enlightenment arises and stabilizes, the 'self' subsides and the ground reality without core is understood.

Very often it is understood that beingness is in the experience of "I AM", even without the words and label of "I AM", the 'pure sense of existence', the presence still IS. It is a state of resting in Beingness. But in Buddhism, it is also possible to experience everything, every moment the unmanifested.

The key also lies in 'You' but it is to "see" that there is no 'You' instead. It is to 'see' that there is never any do-er standing in the midst of phenomenal arising. There is just mere happening due to emptiness nature, never an 'I' doing anything. When the 'I' subsides, symbols, labels and the entire layer of conceptual realm goes with it. What is left without a 'doer' is a mere happening.

And seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling and not only that, everything appears as purely spontaneous manifestation. A whole Presence of the manifold.

Up to a certain stage after insight of non-duality, there is a hurdle. Somehow the practitioner cannot really "breakthrough" the spontaneity of non-duality. This is because of the latent deep 'view' cannot sync with non-dual experience. Hence, the realisation/insight into the Viewless View of Emptiness is necessary. (more on Emptiness later)

Over the years I have refined the term “naturalness” into “spontaneously arise due to conditions”. When condition is, Presence Is. Not bounded within a space-time continuum. It helps to dissolve the centricity.

Since appearance is all there is and appearance is really the source, what gives rise to the diversities of appearances? “Sweetness” of sugar isn’t the “blueness” color of the sky. Same applies to “AMness”… all are equally pure, no one state is purer than the other, only condition differs. Conditions are factors that give appearances their ‘forms’. In Buddhism, pristine awareness and conditions are inseparable.

Although there is non-duality in Advaita Vedanta, and no-self in Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta rest in an “Ultimate Background” (making it dualistic), whereas Buddhism eliminates the background completely and rest in the emptiness nature of phenomena; arising and ceasing is where pristine awareness is. In Buddhism, there is no eternality, only timeless continuity (timeless as in vividness in present moment but change and continue like a wave pattern). There is no changing thing, only change.

Thoughts, feelings and perceptions come and go; they are not ‘me’; they are transient in nature. Isn’t it clear that if I am aware of these passing thoughts, feelings and perceptions, then it proves some entity is immutable and unchanging? This is a logical conclusion rather than experiential truth. The formless reality seems real and unchanging because of propensities (conditioning) and the power to recall a previous experience. (See The Spell of Karmic Propensities)

There is also another experience, this experience does not discard or disown the transients -- forms, thoughts, feelings and perceptions. It is the experience that thought thinks and sound hears. Thought knows not because there is a separate knower but because it is that which is known. It knows because it's it. It gives rise to the insight that isness never exists in an undifferentiated state but as transient manifestation; each moment of manifestation is an entirely new reality, complete in its own.

The mind likes to categorize and is quick to identify. When we think that awareness is permanent, we fail to 'see' the impermanence aspect of it. When we see it as formless, we missed the vividness of the fabric and texture of awareness as forms. When we are attached to ocean, we seek a waveless ocean, not knowing that both ocean and wave are one and the same. Manifestations are not dust on the mirror, the dust is the mirror. All along there is no dust, it becomes dust when we identify with a particular speck and the rest becomes dust.

Unmanifested is the manifestation,
The no-thing of everything,
Completely still yet ever flowing,
This is the spontaneous arising nature of the source.
Simply Self-So.
Use self-so to overcome conceptualization.
Dwell completely into the incredible realness of the phenomenal world.

-------------- Update: 15/9/2009

The Buddha on 'Source'

Thanissaro Bhikkhu said in a commentary on this sutta Mulapariyaya Sutta: The Root Sequence -
Although at present we rarely think in the same terms as the Samkhya philosophers, there has long been — and still is — a common tendency to create a "Buddhist" metaphysics in which the experience of emptiness, the Unconditioned, the Dharma-body, Buddha-nature, rigpa, etc., is said to function as the ground of being from which the "All" — the entirety of our sensory & mental experience — is said to spring and to which we return when we meditate. Some people think that these theories are the inventions of scholars without any direct meditative experience, but actually they have most often originated among meditators, who label (or in the words of the discourse, "perceive") a particular meditative experience as the ultimate goal, identify with it in a subtle way (as when we are told that "we are the knowing"), and then view that level of experience as the ground of being out of which all other experience comes.
Any teaching that follows these lines would be subject to the same criticism that the Buddha directed against the monks who first heard this discourse.

Rob Burbea said regarding that sutta in Realizing the Nature of Mind:
One time the Buddha to a group of monks and he basically told them not to see Awareness as The Source of all things. So this sense of there being a vast awareness and everything just appears out of that and disappears back into it, beautiful as that is, he told them that’s actually not a skillful way of viewing reality. And that is a very interesting sutta, because it’s one of the only suttas where at the end it doesn’t say the monks rejoiced in his words.
This group of monks didn’t want to hear that. They were quite happy with that level of insight, lovely as it was, and it said the monks did not rejoice in the Buddha’s words. (laughter) And similarly, one runs into this as a teacher, I have to say. This level is so attractive, it has so much of the flavor of something ultimate, that often times people are unbudgeable there.
-------------- Update: 21/7/2008

Is Awareness The Self or The Center?

The first stage of experiencing awareness face to face is like a point on a sphere which you called it the center. You marked it.

Then later you realised that when you marked other points on the surface of a sphere, they have the same characteristics. This is the initial experience of non-dual. (but due to our dualistic momentum, there is still no clarity even if there is the experience of non-duality)

Ken Wilber: While you are resting in that state (of the Witness), and “sensing” this Witness as a great expanse, if you then look at, say, a mountain, you might begin to notice that the sensation of the Witness and the sensation of the mountain are the same sensation. When you “feel” your pure Self and you “feel” the mountain, they are absolutely the same feeling.

When you are asked to find another point on the surface of the sphere, you won't be sure but you are still very careful.

Once the insight of No-Self is stabilized, you just freely point to any point on the surface of the sphere -- all points are a center, hence there is no 'the' center. 'The' center does not exist: all points are a center.

When you say 'the center', you are marking a point and claim that it is the only point that has the characteristic of a 'center'. The intensity of the pure beingness is itself a manifestation. It is needless to divide into inner and outer as there will also come a point where high intensity of clarity will be experienced for all sensations. So not to let the 'intensity' create the layering of inner and outer.

Now, when we do not know what is a sphere, we do not know that all the points are the same. So when a person first experiences non-duality with the propensities still in action, we cannot fully experience the mind/body dissolution and the experience isn't clear. Nevertheless we are still careful of our experience and we try to be non-dual.

But when the realisation is clear and sank deep into our inmost consciousness, it is really effortless. Not because it is a routine but because there is nothing needed to be done, just allowing expanse of consciousness naturally.

-------------- Update: 15/5/2008

An Elaboration on Emptiness

Like a red flower that is so vivid, clear and right in front of an observer, the “redness” only appears to “belong” to the flower, it is in actuality not so. Vision of red does not arise in all animal species (dogs cannot perceive colours) nor is the “redness” an attribute of the mind. If given a “quantum eyesight” to look into the atomic structure, there is similarly no attribute “redness” anywhere found, only almost complete space/void with no perceivable shapes and forms. Whatever appearances are dependently arisen, and hence is empty of any inherent existence or fixed attributes, shapes, form, or “redness” -- merely luminous yet empty, mere Appearances without inherent/objective existence. What gives rise to the differences of colours and experiences in each of us? Dependent arising... hence empty of inherent existence. This is the nature of all phenomena.

As you've seen, there is no The Flowerness seen by a dog, an insect or us, or beings from other realms (which really may have a completely different mode of perception). ‘'The Flowerness' is an illusion that does not stay even for a moment, merely an aggregate of causes and conditions. Analogous to the example of ‘flowerness’, there is no ‘selfness’ serving as a background witnessing either -- pristine awareness is not the witnessing background. Rather, the entire whole of the moment of manifestation is our pristine awareness; lucidly clear, yet empty of inherent existence. This is the way of ‘seeing’ the one as many, the observer and the observed are one and the same. This is also the meaning of formlessness and attributelessness of our nature.

Because the karmic propensity of perceiving subject/object duality is so strong, pristine awareness is quickly attributed to 'I', Atman, the ultimate Subject, Witness, background, eternal, formless, odorless, colorless, thoughtless and void of any attributes, and we unknowingly objectified these attributes into an ‘entity’ and make it an eternal background or an emptiness void. It ‘dualifies’ form from formlessness and attempts to separate from itself. This is not ‘I’, ‘I’ am the changeless and perfect stillness behind the transients appearances. When this is done, it prevents us from experiencing the color, texture, fabric and manifesting nature of awareness. Suddenly thoughts are being grouped into another category and disowned. Therefore ‘impersonality’ appears cold and lifeless. But this is not the case for a non-dual practitioner in Buddhism. For him/her, the ‘formlessness and attribute-less’ is vividly alive, full of colors and sounds. ‘Formlessness’ is not understood apart from ‘Forms’ – the ‘form of formlessness’, the texture and fabric of awareness. They are one and the same. In actual case, thoughts think and sound hears. The observer has always been the observed. No watcher needed, the process itself knows and rolls as Venerable Buddhaghosa writes in the Visuddhi Magga.

In naked awareness, there is no splitting of attributes and objectification of these attributes into different groups of the same experience. So thoughts and sense perceptions are not disowned and the nature of impermanence is taken in wholeheartedly in the experience of no-self. ‘Impermanence’ is never what it seems to be, never what that is understood in conceptual thoughts. ‘Impermanence’ is not what the mind has conceptualized it to be. In non-dual experience, the true face of impermanence nature is experienced as happening without movement, change without going anywhere. This is the “what is” of impermanence. It is just so.

Zen Master Dogen and Zen Master Hui-Neng said: "Impermanence is Buddha-Nature."

For further readings on Emptiness, see
The Link Between Non-Duality and Emptiness and The non-solidity of existence


Noumenon and Phenomenon

Zen Master Sheng Yen:

When you are in the second stage, although you feel that the "I" does not exist, the basic substance of the universe, or the Supreme Truth, still exists. Although you recognize that all the different phenomena are the extension of this basic substance or Supreme Truth, yet there still exists the opposition of basic substance versus external phenomena.
One who has entered Chan (Zen) does not see basic substance and phenomena as two things standing in opposition to each other. They cannot even be illustrated as being the back and palm of a hand. This is because phenomena themselves are basic substance, and apart from phenomena there is no basic substance to be found. The reality of basic substance exists right in the unreality of phenomena, which change ceaselessly and have no constant form. This is the Truth.

------------------ Update: 2/9/2008

Excerpt from sgForums by Thusness/Passerby:

AEN posted a great site about what I am trying to convey. Do go through the videos. I will divide what that are being discussed in the videos into the method, the view and the experience for ease of illustration as follows:

1. The method is what that is commonly known as self enquiry.
2. The view currently we have is dualistic. We see things in terms of subject/object division.
3. The experience can be further divided into the followings:

3.1 A strong individual sense of identity

3.2 An oceanic experience free from conceptualization.
This is due to the practitioner freeing himself from conceptuality, from labels and symbols. The mind continuous disassociates itself from all labeling and symbols.

3.3 An oceanic experience dissolving into everything.
The period of non-conceptuality is prolonged. Long enough to dissolve the mind/body ‘symbolic’ bond and therefore inner and outer division is temporarily suspended.

The experience for 3.2 and 3.3 are transcendental and are precious. However these experiences are commonly misinterpreted and distorted by objectifying these experiences into an entity that is “ultimate, changeless and independent”. The objectified experience is known as Atman, God or Buddha Nature by the speaker in the videos. It is known as the experience of “I AM” with differing degree of intensity of non-conceptuality. Usually practitioners that have experienced 3.2 and 3.3 find it difficult to accept the doctrine of Anatta and Emptiness. The experiences are too clear, real and blissful to discard. They are overwhelmed.

Before we go further, why do you think these experiences are distorted?

(hint: The view currently we have is dualistic. We see things in terms of subject/object division.)


The following writings are from another forummer who posted in another forum:

As I walked away from the computer, into the kitchen, and then the bathroom, I noticed that I can't make a distinction between the air out here, and me or the air and the sink. Where does one end and the other begin? I'm not being silly here. No, I'm saying, do you see the interplay. How could one be without the other?

I'm taking air into my lungs right now, and noticing the interplay. This keyboard is just at the end of my fingertips, like an extension of me. My mind says "No, that is a keyboard, and these are your fingers. Very different things, " but the awareness doesn't make that distinction so cut and dry. Sure, there is a seeing that my fingers look this way, and the keyboard looks different. But again, the interplay.

Why does the mind make such a distinction between silence and sound. Are we sure these are separate? I just said "yes" into the air. I noticed that there was silence, then the word came into the air, then silence again. These two "things" are married aren't they. How can one be without the other? And so are they separate? Sure, the mind says "yes" they are separate. It might even say something the teachers have said which is "you are awareness." But am I? What about these words, what about this desk. Is that awareness? Where is the distinction.

We make this stuff up as we go don't we? Whatever we want to believe. "it's all one." "I am awareness." "Jesus Christ is my savior." "Peanut butter and jelly is gross." I'm being silly now. But how would I know if these things are separate, form and formlessness if I don't look here now, at this relationship, at how they interact. Again, this feels like an open question. I could say "it's all One" or whatever as I said above and miss the chance to look again at this interplay, and see how my fingers, the keyboard, the air, the space in front of the screen, and the screen play together.


There are two forms of knowing that come into play in mindfulness. One form of knowing has to do with sensing. Sensing  our experience. Then the question is, where does sensing occur? So if you sense your hand right now. Where does the  sensing occur in your hand. Does it occur in the foot, where does it happen? Does the sensing happen in the mind?
...In your hand. Of course. Something happens in your hand, that gives you the sensations right, and I call that sensing. Sensing the hand in the hand. The hand is having its own experience of the hand. Your foot is not experiencing your hands. But that hand is having its own experience of the hand. The mind can know what that experience is, but the
hand is sensing itself. Vibrations, tension, warmth, coolness. The sensations happen right there in the hand. The hand is sensing itself. There is a kind of awareness that exists in the location of where we are experiencing it. Does that make some sense? Any of you are confused at this point?

...Part of what mindfulness practice involves is relaxing into the sensing of the experience. And just allowing ourselves to become the sensations of experience. Bringing a sense of presence or involvement... allow ourselves to really kick in that sensory experience... whatever happens in life, whatever experience we are having, has an element of also being sensory. "Awakening beckons us within everything" is a suggestion - Go in, and dive in to the immediacy of how it is being sensed. That's a nondual world. There is no duality between the experience and the sensation, the sensation and the sensing of it. There is a sensation and sensing of it right there, right? There is no sensation

without a sensing, even though you might not be paying attention to it, there is a kind of sensing that goes on there.  So part of Buddhist practice is to delve into this non-dualistic world... this undivided world of how the sensing is happening in and of itself. Most of us hold ourselves distinct from it, apart from it. We judge it, measure it, define
it against ourselves, but if we relax and delve into the immediacy of life... then there is something in there that the Buddha-seed can begin to blossom and grow.

~ Gil Fronsdal on Buddha Nature, 2004

(another part)... And as that gets kind of being settled and dealt with in practice, in order to get deeper and more  fully into our experience, we also have to somehow deal with [inaudible] very very subtle, which the traditions call a  sense of I Amness. That I Am. And it can seem very innocent, very obvious, that I'm not a doctor, I'm not this and I'm  not that, I'm not going to hold onto that as my identity. But you know, I am. I think, therefore I am. I sense, there I  am. I am conscious, therefore I am. There is some kind of Agent, some kind of Being, some kind of Amness here. Just a  sense of presence, and that presence that kinds of vibrates, that presence kinds of knows itself... just a kind of sense of Amness. And people say, well yeah, that Amness just IS, it's non-dual. There's no outside or inside, just a sense of  amness. The Buddhist traditions says if you want to enter this immediacy of life, enter into the experience of life  fully, you also have to come to terms with the very subtle sense of Amness, and let that dissolve and fall away, and then that opens up into the world of awakening, of freedom.

~ Gil Fronsdal on Buddha Nature, 2004

"Gil Fronsdal (1954) is a Buddhist who has practiced Zen and Vipassana since the 1970s, and is currently a Buddhist teacher who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Center (IMC) of Redwood City, California. He is one of the best-known American Buddhists. He has a PhD in Buddhist Studies from Stanford University. His
many dharma talks available online contain basic information on meditation and Buddhism, as well as subtle concepts of Buddhism explained at the level of the lay person."  he also received dharma transmission from a zen abbot."

Thusness, 2009:
"...moment of immediate and intuitive illumination that you understood something undeniable and unshakable -- a conviction so powerful that no one, not even Buddha can sway you from this realization because the practitioner so clearly sees the truth of it. It is the direct and unshakable insight of ‘You’. This is the realization that a practitioner must have in order to realize the Zen satori. You will understand clearly why it is so difficult for those practitioners to forgo this ‘I AMness’ and accept the doctrine of anatta. Actually there is no forgoing of this ‘Witness’, it is rather a deepening of insight to include the non-dual, groundlessness and interconnectedness of our luminous nature. Like what Rob said, "keep the experience but refine the views"." - Realization and Experience and Non-Dual Experience from Different Perspectives