GAMPOPA & THE 1ST. KARMAPA, DÜSUM KHYENPA

Gampopa’s Instructions to the First Karmapa

Among the many oral instructions that the first Karmapa received from Gampopa was the mahamudra view that thoughts need not be artificially amputated during meditation. Gampopa said, “This co-emergent unification of ours is one of our key oral instructions. Whatever thought occurs in your conscious mind, no matter how much you may want it or not want it—you simply observe that thought as mind. Likewise, whatever arises as appearances is seen as mind. In this way, we take thoughts and appearances onto the path. Thoughts are not the problem; it is our discursive attachment to those thoughts that creates obstacles.” [Note: Dudjom Lingpa takes exactly the same approach in his dzogchen instructions. He calls it, “taking the impure mind as the path”.]

After Karmapa had practiced in retreat for a time, he felt he had a genuine experience of bliss, luminosity, and non-conceptuality, so, he told Gampopa about it. The teacher replied, "Ah, you looked directly at it; that’s good. Now tell me—where did the root of those experiences come from?" Dusum Khyenpa couldn’t answer that, so Gampopa said, "Well then, you need to continue to meditate just like that. Meditate often, but only for short sessions. Keep that up, and whatever else you do, make consciousness your servant!"

So Karmapa continued alternating like this, meditating in retreat and then discussing it with Gampopa. One night he dreamt that a monk appeared and explained a new dharma to him that he had not heard before. The dream was very lucid, so he hurriedly reported it to his guru. Gampopa asked him, "Did you like that dream?" Karmapa said yes indeed, he liked it a lot! Gampopa flew into a rage and rebuked his student, “Listen, you are going to have all sorts of marvels happening when you meditate, but you have to understand that they are all just illusory appearances. Treat them as illusory appearances, and they will turn into the path. But, if you hold those appearances to be real entities, they will remain obstacles! So, whatever comes up in mind, do not cling to any of it as good, and do not reject any of it as bad. Understand all of it to be non-dual. Whenever a thought arises, don’t let it spawn a discursive stream of analysis; know it simply as conditioned mind arising from latent karma, and let it go.”

So, Karmapa continued this sequence of retreats and interviews, and one day he came down and reported, “The rigpa that I have developed is usually clear during the day, but at night there is still distraction.” Gampopa answered, “Yes, you still have a fault. You have the fault that when the awareness is clear you like it, and when it is not clear, you don't! That is not the right approach. Put your rigpa in empty clarity as usual, and then whatever arises, know it as non-dual mind. During the day, the luminosity will mix rigpa with appearances, and at night the luminosity will mix with dreams. No matter what arises, remain in equanimity. When you are among crowds, regulate your speech and meditate! Whatever you are doing, be mindful of the stillness of your awareness in the midst of the movements of samsara.”

So, Karmapa continued on with his practice, and eventually he was able to report progress to Gampopa. He said, “Finally, my abiding has lessened. When I entrusted everything to pure rigpa, any discursive thought that arose also went into the state of pure rigpa. As each discursive thought arose, the experience was deepened by it. Then, when I let that rigpa go free as well, an experience of luminous emptiness remained in unfabricated equanimity. Even in post-meditation, the result was that nothing arising in the six sense consciousnesses was reified as inherently existing externally. Everything was present as mind.”

When Gampopa heard this, he replied, “Well… that’s it!”

***Adapted from the Complete Works of Gampopa, translated by Tony Duff in ‘Gampopa Teaches Essence Mahamudra’, 2011]
[5:58 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: Now as I told you, there are two level... one is seeing through conventional constructs as empty and non-arisen. As I always asked you, why not just say the constructs are non-existence?

[6:00 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: Is non-existence a more appropriate phrase than "emptiness" and why DO? why do we say whatever arises in dependent is empty and non-arisen? why brings in DO at all?

[6:01 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: Isn't non-existence I mean.

[6:04 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: I told you that the purpose of telling you that is to allow you to understand the nature of mind/phenomena. It is to train the mind so that when it comes face to face, it recognizes that is the nature of presence.

[6:11 PM, 10/28/2019] Soh Wei Yu: Emptiness is not non existence because emptiness is empty presencing/appearing, which is not the same as non existence but neither is it existent, rather empty presencing is like reflections that appear via dependencies but empty

[6:13 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: So what is the purpose of teaching us the idea of conventional constructs are empty and non-arisen? What is the purpose of teaching DO?

[6:16 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: For this recognition right?

[6:16 PM, 10/28/2019] Soh Wei Yu: Yeah

[6:17 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: So that when you come face to face this empty presencing you can directly recognize it...appears but not found..

[6:19 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: When you look at this empty display, you realize it cannot be said to be mind nor not mind, neither internal nor external, either here nor not here...

[6:19 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: Nothing to do with non-conceptuality

[6:19 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: But the nature of it.

[6:19 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: Get what I mean?

[6:21 PM, 10/28/2019] John Tan: That is you see through conventionalities and recognize the nature of what appears...
[27/10/19, 1:14:30 PM] Soh Wei Yu: All appearances are appearance of oneself in dzogchen but not cosmic consciousness
[27/10/19, 1:49:11 PM] John Tan: Quite good youtube. Who is he?
[27/10/19, 1:52:33 PM] John Tan: All appearances are one's radiance clarity. However since both object and subject are seen through, it cannot be said to be mind or other than mind.
[27/10/19, 1:53:56 PM] Soh Wei Yu: He is a quite famous dzogchen teacher i think
[27/10/19, 1:54:00 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[27/10/19, 1:54:07 PM] John Tan: What appears are neither in here nor out there.
[27/10/19, 1:54:53 PM] John Tan: The very idea of in or out, me and other are conceptually designated.
[27/10/19, 1:56:31 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic.. i think he is trying to point out non solipsism and non cosmic consciousness.. different mindstreams. In another video he said how his view is not solipsism
[27/10/19, 1:58:04 PM] John Tan: The "neither this nor that" of freedom from extremes is not the same as "neither this nor that" of non-conceptuality.
[27/10/19, 1:58:10 PM] Soh Wei Yu: _______
[27/10/19, 1:58:15 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Oic..
[27/10/19, 1:58:22 PM] John Tan: Can provide the link.
[27/10/19, 1:58:47 PM] John Tan: He is ______?
[27/10/19, 1:59:01 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Yeah
[27/10/19, 1:59:26 PM] John Tan: His lecture seems to be better than his writings...lol
[27/10/19, 1:59:32 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Lol
[27/10/19, 1:59:37 PM] Soh Wei Yu: you read his writings before?
[27/10/19, 1:59:50 PM] John Tan: But still a subtle sense of awareness
[27/10/19, 1:59:55 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic..
[27/10/19, 2:02:47 PM] John Tan: He is using simple English...like mind is the creator which is no good
[27/10/19, 2:03:27 PM] Soh Wei Yu: you mean book or lecture
[27/10/19, 2:03:43 PM] John Tan: Both
[27/10/19, 2:04:31 PM] John Tan: His lectures link that you sent me but explanation is quite good.  However the taste of anatta is not there.
[27/10/19, 2:05:08 PM] John Tan: Means it can still be an explanation of non-dual.
[27/10/19, 2:09:03 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Ic.. ya i get the impression of one mind from his old writings
[27/10/19, 2:11:12 PM] John Tan: For anatta to be clear, that background is gone that is why experiences become direct. It has to because there is nothing there to dualify as simple as that...no need li li loh loh (be longwinded)...
[27/10/19, 2:11:36 PM] John Tan: Grasper and grasped disappeared.
[27/10/19, 2:16:10 PM] John Tan: Now when there is no self, you are left with those aggregates.  What are those aggregates?
[27/10/19, 2:54:57 PM] Soh Wei Yu: Empty radiance in total exertion
Labels: 4 comments | | edit post
Great articles as usual by James M. Corrigan - https://medium.com/@StillJustJames
[10:51 PM, 10/17/2019] Soh Wei Yu: malcolm (Arcaya Malcolm Smith) wrote:


https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=77&t=30365&p=479718&hilit=AGENT#p479718

There is no typing typer, no learning learner, no digesting digester, thinking tinker, or driving driver.

...

No, a falling faller does not make any sense. As Nāgārjuna would put it, apart from snow that has fallen or has not fallen, presently there is no falling.

...


 It is best if you consult the investigation into movement in the MMK, chapter two. This is where it is shown that agents are mere conventions. If one claims there is agent with agency, one is claiming the agent and the agency are separate. But if you claim that agency is merely a characteristic of an agent, when agent does not exercise agency, it isn't an agent since an agent that is not exercising agency is in fact a non-agent. Therefore, rather than agency being dependent on an agent, an agent is predicated upon exercising agency. For example, take movement. If there is an agent there has to be a moving mover. But there is no mover when there is no moving. Apart from moving, how could there be a mover? But when there is moving, there isn't a mover which is separate from moving. Even movement itself cannot be ascertained until there has been a movement. When there is no movement, there is no agent of movement. When there is moving, there is no agent of moving that can be ascertained to be separate from the moving. And since even moving cannot be ascertained without there either having been movement or not, moving itself cannot be established. Since moving cannot be established, a moving mover cannot be established. If a moving mover cannot be established, an agent cannot be established.

...

 Hi Wayfarer:

The key to understanding everything is the term "dependent designation." We don't question the statement "I am going to town." In this there are three appearances, for convenience's sake, a person, a road, and a destination.

A person is designated on the basis of the aggregates, but there is no person in the aggregates, in one of the aggregates, or separate from the aggregates. Agreed? A road is designated in dependence on its parts, agreed? A town s designated upon its parts. Agreed?

If you agree to this, then you should have no problem with the following teaching of the Buddha in the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa Sūtra:

This body arises from various conditions, but lacks a self. This body is like the earth, lacking an agent. This body is like water, lacking a self. This body is like fire, lacking a living being. This body is like the wind, lacking a person. This body is like space, lacking a nature. This body is the place of the four elements, but is not real. This body that is not a self nor pertains to a self is empty.

In other words, when it comes to the conventional use of language, Buddha never rejected statements like "When I was a so and so in a past life, I did so and so, and served such and such a Buddha." Etc. But when it comes to what one can discern on analysis, if there is no person, no self, etc., that exists as more than a mere designation, the fact that agents cannot be discerned on analysis should cause no one any concern. It is merely a question of distinguishing between conventional use of language versus the insight into the nature of phenomena that results from ultimate analysis.



-------


[11:36 PM, 10/17/2019] John Tan: Yes should put in blog together with Alan watt article about language causing confusion.


-------

From other threads:

https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=26272&p=401986&hilit=agent#p401986

There is no "experiencer" since there is no agent. There is merely experience, and all experience is empty.

https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=102&t=24265&start=540


Why should there be someone upon whom karma ripens? To paraphrase the Visuddhimagga, there is no agent of karma, nor is there a person to experience its ripening, there is merely a flow of dharmas.


...

There are no agents. There are only actions. This is covered in the refutation of moving movers in chapter two of the MMK.

...

https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=116&t=26495&p=406369&hilit=agent#p406369

 The point is that there is no point to eternalism if there is no eternal agent or object.


...

https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=16306&p=277352&hilit=mover+movement+agent#p277352

 Things have no natures, conventionally or otherwise. Look, we can say water is wet, but actually, there no water that possesses a wet nature. Water is wet, that is all. There is no wetness apart from water and not water apart from wetness. If you say a given thing has a separate nature, you are making the exact mistaken Nāgārajuna points out in the analysis of movement, i.e., it is senseless to say there is a "moving mover." Your arguments are exactly the same, you are basically saying there is an "existing existence."

...

This is precisely because of the above point I referenced. Nagārjuna clearly shows that characteristics/natures are untenable.

Candrakīrti points out that the possessor does not exist at all, but for the mere purpose of discourse, we allow conventionally the idea that there is a possessor of parts even though no possessor of parts exists. This mistake that we indulge in can act as an agent, for example a car, we can use it as such, but it is empty of being a car — an agent is as empty of being an agent as its actions are empty of being actions. 



Thusness/John Tan: “Alan Watts is truly insightful. I like all his writings and lectures.”


  • Soh Wei Yu Elsewhere

    From "The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" by Alan Watts:

    As soon as one sees that separate things are fictitious, it becomes obvious that nonexistent things cannot “perform” actions. The difficulty is that most languages are arranged so that actions (verbs) have to be set in motion by things (nouns), and we forget that rules of grammar are not necessarily rules, or patterns, of nature. This, which is nothing more than a convention of grammar, is also responsible for (or, better, “goeswith”) absurd puzzles as to how spirit governs matter, or mind moves body. How can a noun, which is by definition not action, lead to action?

    Scientists would be less embarrassed if they used a language, on the model of Amerindian Nootka, consisting of verbs and adverbs, and leaving off nouns and adjectives. If we can speak of a house as housing, a mat as matting, or of a couch as seating, why can't we think of people as “peopling,” of brains as “braining,” or of an ant as an “anting?” Thus in the Nootka language a church is “housing religiously,” a shop is “housing tradingly,” and a home is “housing homely.” Yet we are habituated to ask, “Who or what is housing? Who peoples? What is it that ants?” Yet isn't it obvious that when we say, “The lightning flashed,” the flashing is the same as the lightning, and that it would be enough to say, “There was lightning”? Everything labeled with a noun is demonstrably a process or action, but language is full of spooks, like the “it” in “It is raining,” which are the supposed causes, of action.

    Does it really explain running to say that “A man is running”? On the contrary, the only explanation would be a description of the field or situation in which “a manning goeswith running” as distinct from one in which “a manning goeswith sitting.” (I am not recommending this primitive and clumsy form of verb language for general and normal use. We should have to contrive something much more elegant.) Furthermore, running is not something other than myself, which I (the organism) do. For the organism is sometimes a running process, sometimes a standing process, sometimes a sleeping process, and so on, and in each instance the “cause” of the behavior is the situation as a whole, the organism/environment. Indeed, it would be best to drop the idea of causality and use instead the idea of relativity.

    For it is still inexact to say that an organism “responds” or “reacts” to a given situation by running or standing, or whatever. This is still the language of Newtonian billiards. It is easier to think of situations as moving patterns, like organisms themselves. Thus, to go back to the cat (or catting), a situation with pointed ears and whiskers at one end does not have a tail at the other as a response or reaction to the whiskers, or the claws, or the fur. As the Chinese say, the various features of a situation “arise mutually” or imply one another as back implies front, and as chickens imply eggs—and vice versa. They exist in relation to each other like the poles of the magnet, only more complexly patterned.

    Moreover, as the egg/chicken relation suggests, not all the features of a total situation have to appear at the same time. The existence of a man implies parents, even though they may be long since dead, and the birth of an organism implies its death. Wouldn't it be as farfetched to call birth the cause of death as to call the cat's head the cause of the tail? Lifting the neck of a bottle implies lifting the bottom as well, for the “two parts” come up at the same time. If I pick up an accordion by one end, the other will follow a little later, but the principle is the same. Total situations are, therefore, patterns in time as much as patterns in space.

    And, right now is the moment to say that I am not trying to smuggle in the “total situation” as a new disguise for the old “things” which were supposed to explain behavior or action. The total situation or field is always open-ended, for

    Little fields have big fields
    Upon their backs to bite 'em,
    And big fields have bigger fields
    And so ad infinitum.

    We can never, never describe all the features of the total situation, not only because every situation is infinitely complex, but also because the total situation is the universe. Fortunately, we do not have to describe any situation exhaustively, because some of its features appear to be much more important than others for understanding the behavior of the various organisms within it. We never get more than a sketch of the situation, yet this is enough to show that actions (or processes) must be understood, or explained, in terms of situations just as words must be understood in the context of sentences, paragraphs, chapters, books, libraries, and … life itself.

    To sum up: just as no thing or organism exists on its own, it does not act on its own. Furthermore, every organism is a process: thus the organism is not other than its actions. To put it clumsily: it is what it does. More precisely, the organism, including its behavior, is a process which is to be understood only in relation to the larger and longer process of its environment. For what we mean by “understanding” or “comprehension” is seeing how parts fit into a whole, and then realizing that they don't compose the whole, as one assembles a jigsaw puzzle, but that the whole is a pattern, a complex wiggliness, which has no separate parts. Parts are fictions of language, of the calculus of looking at the world through a net which seems to chop it up into bits. Parts exist only for purposes of figuring and describing, and as we figure the world out we become confused if we do not remember this all the time.



    ..............


    Arcaya Malcolm:

    There is no typing typer, no learning learner, no digesting digester, thinking tinker, or driving driver.

    ...

    No, a falling faller does not make any sense. As Nāgārjuna would put it, apart from snow that has fallen or has not fallen, presently there is no falling.

    ...


     It is best if you consult the investigation into movement in the MMK, chapter two. This is where it is shown that agents are mere conventions. If one claims there is agent with agency, one is claiming the agent and the agency are separate. But if you claim that agency is merely a characteristic of an agent, when agent does not exercise agency, it isn't an agent since an agent that is not exercising agency is in fact a non-agent. Therefore, rather than agency being dependent on an agent, an agent is predicated upon exercising agency. For example, take movement. If there is an agent there has to be a moving mover. But there is no mover when there is no moving. Apart from moving, how could there be a mover? But when there is moving, there isn't a mover which is separate from moving. Even movement itself cannot be ascertained until there has been a movement. When there is no movement, there is no agent of movement. When there is moving, there is no agent of moving that can be ascertained to be separate from the moving. And since even moving cannot be ascertained without there either having been movement or not, moving itself cannot be established. Since moving cannot be established, a moving mover cannot be established. If a moving mover cannot be established, an agent cannot be established.

    ...

     Hi Wayfarer:

    The key to understanding everything is the term "dependent designation." We don't question the statement "I am going to town." In this there are three appearances, for convenience's sake, a person, a road, and a destination.

    A person is designated on the basis of the aggregates, but there is no person in the aggregates, in one of the aggregates, or separate from the aggregates. Agreed? A road is designated in dependence on its parts, agreed? A town s designated upon its parts. Agreed?

    If you agree to this, then you should have no problem with the following teaching of the Buddha in the Vimalakīrtinirdeśa Sūtra:

    This body arises from various conditions, but lacks a self. This body is like the earth, lacking an agent. This body is like water, lacking a self. This body is like fire, lacking a living being. This body is like the wind, lacking a person. This body is like space, lacking a nature. This body is the place of the four elements, but is not real. This body that is not a self nor pertains to a self is empty.

    In other words, when it comes to the conventional use of language, Buddha never rejected statements like "When I was a so and so in a past life, I did so and so, and served such and such a Buddha." Etc. But when it comes to what one can discern on analysis, if there is no person, no self, etc., that exists as more than a mere designation, the fact that agents cannot be discerned on analysis should cause no one any concern. It is merely a question of distinguishing between conventional use of language versus the insight into the nature of phenomena that results from ultimate analysis.
    3
  • Soh Wei Yu Posted last year:

    Jun
    05
    Alan Watts: Agent and Action

    Just now I was reading an Alan Watts forum and noticed people were talking about anatta/anatman and it occurred to me that Alan Watts must have realised it himself. So I searched online and found a very clear description - beautiful description. Alan Watts does not see substance but formations, events, actions, operations, processes, relations and interconnectedness.

    Quote from his book “This is It: and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience“ :

    The general impression of these optical sensations is that the eyes, without losing the normal area of vision, have become microscopes, and that the texture of the visual field is infinitely rich and complex. I do not know whether this is actual awareness of the multiplicity of nerve-endings in the retina, or, for that matter, in the fingers, for the same grainy feeling arose in the sense of touch. But the effect of feeling that this is or may be so is, as it were, to turn the senses back upon themselves, and so to realize that seeing the external world is also seeing the eyes. In other words, I became vividly aware of the fact that what I call shapes, colors, and textures in the outside world are also states of my nervous system, that is, of me. In knowing them I also know my self. But the strange part of this apparent sensation of my own senses was that I did not appear to be inspecting them from outside or from a distance, as if they were objects. I can say only that the awareness of grain or structure in the senses seemed to be awareness of awareness, of myself from inside myself. Because of this, it followed that the distance or separation between myself and my senses, on the one hand, and the external world, on the other, seemed to disappear I was no longer a detached observer, a little man inside my own head, having sensations. I was the sensations, so much so that there was nothing left of me, the observing ego, except the series of sensations which happened---not to me, but just happened---moment by moment, one after another.

    To become the sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and release. For it implies that experience is not something in which one is trapped or by which one is pushed around, or against which one must fight. The conventional duality of subject and object, knower and known, feeler and feeling, is changed into a polarity: the knower and the known become the poles, terms, or phases of a single event which happens, not to me or from me, but of itself. The experiencer and the experience become a single, ever-changing self-forming process, complete and fulfilled at every moment of its unfolding, and of infinite complexity and subtlety. It is like, not watching, but being, a coiling arabesque of smoke patterns in the air, or of ink dropped in water, or of a dancing snake which seems to move from every part of its body at once. This may be a "drug-induced hallucination," but it corresponds exactly to what Dewey and Bentley have called the transactional relationship of the organism to its environment. This is to say that all our actions and experiences arise mutually from the organism and from the environment at the same time. The eyes can see light because of the sun, but the sun is light because of the eyes. Ordinarily, under the hypnosis of social conditioning, we feel quite distinct from our physical surroundings, facing them rather than belonging in them. Yet in this way we ignore and screen out the physical fact of our total interdependence with the natural world. We are as embodied in it as our own cells and molecules are embodied in us. Our neglect and repression of this interrelationship gives special urgency to all the new sciences of ecology, studying the interplay of organisms with their environments, and warning us against ignorant interference with the balances of nature.

    The sensation that events are happening of themselves, and that nothing is making them happen and that they are not happening to anything, has always been a major feature of my experiences with LSD. It is possible that the chemical is simply giving me a vivid realization of my own philosophy, though there have been times when the experience has suggested modifications of my previousthinking. (1) But just as the sensation of subject-object polarity is confirmed by the transactional psychology of Dewey and Bentley, so the sensation of events happening "of themselves" is just how one would expect to perceive a world consisting entirely of process. Now the language of science is increasingly a language of process---a description of events, relations, operations, and forms rather than of things and substances. The world so described is a world of actions rather than agents, verbs rather than nouns, going against the common-sense idea that an action is the behavior of some thing, some solid entity of "stuff." But the commonsense idea that action is always the function of an agent is so deeply rooted, so bound up with our sense of order and security, that seeing the world to be otherwise can be seriously disturbing. Without agents, actions do not seem to come from anywhere, to have any dependable origin, and at first sight this spontaneity can be alarming. In one experiment it seemed that whenever I tried to put my (metaphorical) foot upon some solid ground, the ground collapsed into empty space. I could find no substantial basis from which to act: my will was a whim, and my past, as a causal conditioning force, had simply vanished. There was only the present conformation of events, happening. For a while I felt lost in a void, frightened, baseless, insecure through and through Yet soon I became accustomed to the feeling, strange as it was. There was simply a pattern of action, of process, and this was at one and the same time the universe and myself with nothing outside it either to trust or mistrust. And there seemed to be no meaning in the idea of its trusting or mistrusting itself, just as there is no possibility of a finger's touching its own tip.
    2
  • Soh Wei Yu Upon reflection, there seems to be nothing unreasonable in seeing the world in this way. The agent behind every action is itself action. If a mat can be called matting, a cat can be called catting. We do not actually need to ask who or what "cats," just as we do not need to ask what is the basic stuff or substance out of which the world is formed---for there is no way of describing this substance except in terms of form, of structure, order, and operation. The world is not formed as if it were inert clay responding to the touch of a potter's hand; the world is form, or better, formation, for upon examination every substance turns out to be closely knit pattern. The fixed notion that every pattern or form must be made of some basic material which is in itself formless is based on a superficial analogy between natural formation and manufacture, as if the stars and rocks had been made out of something as a carpenter makes tables out of wood. Thus what we call the agent behind the action is simply the prior or relatively more constant state of the same action: when a man runs we have a "manning-running" over and above a simple "manning." Furthermore, it is only a somewhat clumsy convenience to say that present events are moved or caused by past events, for we are actually talking about earlier and later stages of the same event. We can establish regularities of rhythm and pattern in the course of an event, and so predict its future configurations, but its past states do not "push" its present and future states as if they were a row of dominoes stood on end so that knocking over the first collapses all the others in series. The fallen dominoes lie where they fall, but past events vanish into the present, which is just another way of saying that the world is a self-moving pattern which, when its successive states are remembered, can be shown to have a certain order. Its motion, its energy, issues from itself now, not from the past, which simply falls behind it in memory like the wake from a ship.

    When we ask the "why" of this moving pattern, we usually try to answer the question in terms of its original, past impulse or of its future goal. I had realized for a long time that if there is in any sense a reason for the world's existence it must be sought in the present, as the reason for the wake must be sought in the engine of the moving ship. I have already mentioned that LSD makes me peculiarly aware of the musical or dance-like character of the world, bringing my attention to rest upon its present flowing and seeing this as its ultimate point. Yet I have also been able to see that this point has depths, that the present wells up from within itself with an energy which is something much richer than simple exuberance.

    One of these experiments was conducted late at night. Some five or six hours from its start the doctor had to go home, and I was left alone in the garden. For me, this stage of the experiment is always the most rewarding in terms of insight, after some of its more unusual and bizarre sensory effects have worn off. The garden was a lawn surrounded by shrubs and high trees---Pine and eucalyptus---and floodlit from the house which enclosed it on one side. As I stood on the lawn I noticed that the rough patches where the grass was thin or mottled with weeds no longer seemed to be blemishes. Scattered at random as they were, they appeared to constitute an ordered design, giving the whole area the texture of velvet damask, the rough patches being the parts where the pile of the velvet is cut. In sheer delight I began to dance on this enchanted carpet, and through the thin soles of my moccasins I could feel the ground becoming alive under my feet, connecting me with the earth and the trees and the sky in such a way that I seemed to become one body with my whole surroundings.

    Looking up, I saw that the stars were colored with the same reds, greens, and blues that one sees in iridescent glass, and passing across them was the single light of a jet plane taking forever to streak over the sky. At the same time, the trees, shrubs, and flowers seemed to be living jewelry, inwardly luminous like intricate structures of jade, alabaster, or coral, and yet breathing and flowing with the same life that was in me. Every plant became a kind of musical utterance, a play of variations on a theme repeated from the main branches, through the stalks and twigs, to the leaves, the veins in the leaves, and to the fine capillary network between the veins. Each new bursting of growth from a center repeated or amplified the basic design with increasing complexity and delight, finally exulting in a flower.

    From my description it will seem that the garden acquired an atmosphere that was distinctly exotic, like the gardens of precious stones in the Arabian Nights, or like scenes in a Persian miniature. This struck me at the time, and I began to wonder just why it is that the glowingly articulated landscapes of those miniatures seem exotic, as do also many Chinese and Japanese paintings. Were the artists recording what they, too, had seen under the influence of drugs? I knew enough of the lives and techniques of Far Eastern painters to doubt this. I asked, too, whether what I was seeing was "drugged." In other words, was the effect of the LSD in my nervous system the addition to my senses of some chemical screen which distorted all that I saw to preternatural loveliness? Or was its effect rather to remove certain habitual and normal inhibitions of the mind and senses, enabling us to see things as they would appear to us if we were not so chronically repressed? Little is known of the exact neurological effects of LSD, but what is known suggests the latter possibility. If this be so, it is possible that the art forms of other cultures appear exotic---that is, unfamiliarly enchanting---because we are seeing the world through the eyes of artists whose repressions are not the same as ours. The blocks in their view of the world may not coincide with ours, so that in their representations of life we see areas that we normally ignore. I am inclined to some such solution because there have been times when I have seen the world in this magical aspect without benefit of LSD, and they were times when I was profoundly relaxed within, my senses unguardedly open to their surroundings.

    Feeling, then, not that I was drugged but that I was in an unusual degree open to reality, I tried to discern the meaning, the inner character of the dancing pattern which constituted both myself and the garden, and the whole dome of the night with its colored stars. All at once it became obvious that the whole thing was love-play, where love means everything that the word can mean, a spectrum ranging from the red of erotic delight, through the green of human endearment, to the violet of divine charity, from Freud's libido to Dante's "love that moves the sun and other stars." All were so many colors issuing from a single white light, and, what was more, this single source was not just love as we ordinarily understand it: it was also intelligence, not only Eros and Agape but also Logos. I could see that the intricate organization both of the plants and of my own nervous system, like symphonies of branching complexity, were not just manifestations of intelligence---as if things like intelligence and love were in themselves substances or formless forces. It was rather that the pattern itself is intelligence and is love, and this somehow in spite of all its outwardly stupid and cruel distortions.

    ‪André A. Pais "The agent behind every action is itself action".‬

    ‪Great insight.‬
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    ‪John Tan Therefore it is the action that knows, no knower.‬
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    5
 
How to Practice to Realize I AM
 
Practice Self-Enquiry in seated meditation and in daily life (whenever not engaged in activities that require specific or full attention, such as walking, eating, etc). Keep asking “Before birth, Who am I?” or just “Who am I?” (ala Ramana Maharshi - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/search/label/Ramana%20Maharshi, Ch’an Master Hsu Yun - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/essentials-of-chan-practice-hua-touself.html). In Buddhism, many Zen masters advocate the practice of self-enquiry as a koan or hua-tou. In Dzogchen teachings, it is a part (although not the entirety) of the guru yoga method, at least according to what was taught by the Dzogchen teacher Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, and guru yoga is considered the primary Dzogchen practice. Lama Surya Das equates Dzogchen's rushan (separating rigpa from sems) practice with self-inquiry. According to the Dzogchen teacher Arcaya Malcolm, although unfabricated clarity is not the final realization of Dzogchen, it is the initial recognition of rigpa that serves as the basis for Dzogchen practice. In my experience, self enquiry is a potent method to discover unfabricated clarity. In Hinduism, we also have famous luminaries like Ramana Maharshi who advocate self-enquiry as the primary way to self-realization.
 
While asking Who am I?, do not dwell in conceptual answers but trace the radiance (of thoughts/sounds/sights/etc) back to the formless and luminous source, the Self (See: Chinul - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/search/label/Zen%20Master%20Chinul)
In Self-Enquiry - while asking Who am I?, everything you observe - the objects of five senses (vision, sounds, sensations, smells, tastes) as well as thoughts, feelings, emotions, mind, body, etc, are seen to be not me, not this, not this (neti-neti). What remains when all objects seen are dissociated is the realization of the Seer, the formless Presence-Awareness, the doubtless pure Being which remains.
 
“I am aware of my feelings, so I am not my feelings – Who am I? I am aware of my thoughts, so I am not my thoughts – Who am I? Clouds float by in the sky, thoughts float by in the mind, feelings float by in the body – and I am none of those because I can Witness them all.”
  • Ken Wilber, Some Writings on Self-Enquiry and Non-duality by Ken Wilber - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/05/some-writings-on-non-duality-by-ken.html
“2. If I am none of these, then who am I?
After negating all of the above-mentioned as ‘not this’, ‘not this’, that Awareness which alone remains - that I am.
3. What is the nature of Awareness?
The nature of Awareness is existence-consciousness-bliss”
  • Ramana Maharshi, partial excerpt from Who Am I? (Nan Yar?) - https://app.box.com/file/378610020345
Zen master Xu Yun said:
 
“There are many hua t’ous, such as: ‘All things are returnable to One, to what is (that) One returnable?’ 1 ‘Before you were born, what was your real face?’2 but the hua t’ou: ‘Who is repeating Buddha’s name?’ is widely in use (today).
 
What is hua t’ou? (lit. word-head). Word is the spoken word and head is that which precedes word. For instance, when one says ‘Amitabha Buddha’, this is a word. Before it is said it is a hua t’ou (or ante-word). That which is called a hua t’ou is the moment before a thought arises. As soon as a thought arises, it becomes a hua wei (lit. word-tail). The moment before a thought arises is called ‘the un-born’. That void which is neither disturbed nor dull, and neither still nor (one-sided) is called ‘the unending’. The unremitting turning of the light inwards on oneself, instant after instant, and exclusive of all other things, is called ‘looking into the hua t’ou’ or ‘taking care of the hua t’ou’.
 
When one looks into a hua t’ou, the most important thing is to give rise to a doubt. Doubt is the crutch of hua t’ou.3 For instance, when one is asked: ‘Who is repeating Buddha’s name?’ everybody knows that he himself repeats it, but is it repeated by the mouth or by the mind? If the mouth repeats it, why does not it do so when one sleeps? If the mind repeats it, what does the mind look like? As mind is intangible, one is not clear about it. Consequently some slight feeling of doubt arises about ‘WHO’. This doubt should not be coarse; the finer it is, the better. At all times and in all places, this doubt alone should be looked into unremittingly, like an ever-flowing stream, without giving rise to a second thought. If this doubt persists, do not try to shake it; if it ceases to exist, one should gently give rise to it again. Beginners will find the hua t’ou more effective in some still place than amidst disturbance. However, one should not give rise to a discriminating mind; one should remain indifferent to either the effectiveness or ineffectiveness (of the hua t’ou) and one should take no notice of either stillness or disturbance. Thus, one should work at the training with singleness of mind.
 
(In the hua t’ou): ‘Who is repeating the Buddha’s name?’ emphasis should be laid upon the word ‘Who’, the other words serving only to give a general idea of the whole sentence. For instance (in the questions): ‘Who is wearing this robe and eating rice?’, ‘Who is going to stool and is urinating?’, ‘Who is putting an end to ignorance?’, and ‘Who is able to know and feel?’, as soon as one lays emphasis upon (the word) ‘Who’, while one is walking or standing, sitting or reclining, one will be able to give rise to a doubt without difficulty and without having to use one’s faculty of thought to think and discriminate. Consequently the word ‘Who’ of the hua t’ou is a wonderful technique in Ch’an training. However, one should not repeat the word ‘Who’ or the sentence ‘Who is repeating the Buddha’s name?’ like (adherents of the Pure Land School) who repeat the Buddha’s name. Neither should one set one’s thinking and discriminating mind on searching for him who repeats the Buddha’s name. There are some people who unremittingly repeat the sentence: ‘Who is repeating the Buddha’s name?’; it would be far better merely to repeat Amitabha Buddha’s name (as do followers of the Pure Land School) for this will give greater merits. There are others who indulge in thinking of a lot of things and seek after everything here and there, and call this the rising of a doubt; they do not know that the more they think, the more their false thinking will increase, just like someone who wants to ascend but is really descending. You should know all this.” - https://buddhismnow.com/2009/12/22/hua-tou/
 
Soh’s e-book has a chapter on Self-Inquiry: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html
Also read: The Direct Path to Your Real Self - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-direct-path-to-your-real-self.html , A Fan in Winter, A Straw Dog - http://diamondsutrazen.blogspot.com/2019/05/a-fan-in-winter-straw-dog.html , https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/01/awakening-to-natural-state-guest.html , https://youtu.be/1wMHiPqSYt0 , https://youtu.be/tiIYI2i_CGs
 
The Sixth Ch’an/Zen Patriarch’s Instructions to Hui Ming in the Platform Sutra
 
Hui Neng said, "Since you have come for the Dharma, you may put aside all conditions. Do not give rise to a single thought and I will teach it to you clearly." After a time, Hui Neng said, "With no thoughts of good and with no thoughts of evil, at just this moment, what is Superior One Hui Ming's original face?" At these words, Hui Ming was greatly enlightened.
 
Hui Ming asked further, "Apart from the secret speech and secret meanings just spoken, is there yet another secret meaning?"
 
Hui Neng said, "What has been spoken to you is not secret. If you turn the illumination inward, the secret is with you."
 
Hui Ming said, "Although Hui Ming was at Huang Mei he had not yet awakened to his original face. Now that he has been favored with this instruction he is like one who drinks water and knows for himself whether it is cold or warm. The cultivator is now Hui Ming's master."
 
"If you feel that way," said Hui Neng, "then you and I have the same master, Huang Mei. Protect yourself well."
 
Zen Master Bassui on Finding Your True Nature
 
“What is the master [within you] who at this very moment is seeing and hearing? If you reply, as most do, that it is Mind or Nature or Buddha or one’s Face before birth or one’s Original Home or Koan or Being or Nothingness or Emptiness or Form-and-Color or the Known or the Unknown or Truth or Delusion, or say something or remain silent, or regard it as Enlightenment or Ignorance, you fall into error at once. What is more, if you are so foolhardy as to doubt the reality of this master, you bind yourself though you use no rope. However much you try to know it through logical reasoning or to name or call it, you are doomed to failure. And even though all of you becomes one mass of questioning as you turn inward and intently search the very core of your being, you will find nothing that can be termed Mind or Essence. Yet should someone call your name, something from within will hear and respond. Find out this instant who it is!
 
If you push forward with your last ounce of strength at the very point where the path of your thinking has been blocked, and then, completely stymied, leap with hands high in the air into the tremendous abyss of fire confronting you — into the ever-burning flame of your own primordial nature — all ego-consciousness, all delusive feelings and thoughts and perceptions will perish with your ego-root and the true source of your Self-nature will appear. You will feel resurrected, all sickness having completely vanished, and will experience genuine peace and joy.” –Bassui
At work, at rest, never stop trying to realize who it is that hears. Even though your questioning becomes almost unconscious, you won’t find the one who hears, and all your efforts will come to naught.
 
Yet sounds can be heard, so question yourself to an even profounder level.
At last, every vestige of self-awareness will disappear and you will feel like a cloudless sky. Within yourself you will find no “I,” nor will you discover anyone who hears. This Mind is like the void, and yet it hasn’t a single spot that can be called empty.
 
This state is OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR Self-realization. (Comments by Soh: mistaking experience for realization, as I explained the difference between experience and realization above)
Cast off what has been realized. Turn back to the subject that realizes, to the root bottom, and resolutely go on.
 
What is this mind? Who is hearing these sounds? Your physical being doesn’t hear, nor does the void. Then what does?
 
Keep asking with all your strength, "What is it that hears!?" Only when you have completely exhausted the questioning will the question burst; now you will feel like a man come back from the dead.
 
This is true Realization.
 
-- Rinzai Zen master Bassui Tokusho, 1327-87
Geovani Geo wrote:

We hear a sound. The immediate deeply inbuilt conditioning says, "hearing ". But there is a fallacy there. There is only sound. Ultimately, no hearer and no hearing. The same with all other senses. A centralized, or expanded, or zero-dimensional inherent perceiver or aware-er is an illusion.

Thusness/John Tan:

Very good.

Means both stanza is clear.
In hearing, no hearer.
In hearing, only sound.  No hearing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDJSCBuFhzY



John Tan You as "flow of phenomenality" vs "phenomena is empty", any difference?



Soh Wei Yu as flow of phenomenality is absence of division and agent, anatta, absence of identity

Phenomena
is empty is that the flow of phenomenality is unfindable like chariot,
without any essence undergoing arising/abiding/ceasing, just like
reflections and dreams. Therefore the view of phenomena fluxing and
flowing with momentary arising/abiding/ceasing is also dissolved
1

深入观行, 婆酰迦经。
了悟经旨, 直指无心。
无执能所, 忘却身心。
方知见性, 只需明相。
明相见性, 见色明心。
真心空性, 随缘显相。
迷时幻相, 悟时真心。
山河大地, 原是法身。
色声香味, 尽是妙心。

Deeply contemplating Bahiya Sutta.
Realizing the quintessence of the sutta, directly pointing to No Mind.
Without grasping at subject and object, body and mind are forgotten.
Thereby know that seeing one’s nature, only requires comprehending appearances.
True mind is empty by nature, appearances manifests according to conditions.
While under confusion deluded appearances are apprehended, during realization appearances dawn as true mind.
Mountains, rivers and the great earth, are originally dharmakaya.
Forms, sounds, smells and odors, are entirely the marvellous mind.