Discussion Forum Discussion Forum

Books and Websites

Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)

Toggle
Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Nick O 1/27/19 6:11 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Andromeda 1/28/19 5:41 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Kim Katami 1/28/19 6:23 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) J C 1/28/19 7:24 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 1/28/19 12:13 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) curious 1/28/19 12:24 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Kim Katami 1/28/19 3:13 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 1/30/19 9:53 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) shargrol 1/30/19 7:05 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Kim Katami 1/30/19 9:53 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 1/30/19 10:43 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 1/30/19 10:42 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) J C 1/28/19 8:49 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 1/29/19 1:13 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) lotb 1/30/19 12:51 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 1/30/19 10:29 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Griffin 1/31/19 9:35 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/2/19 12:08 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Griffin 2/2/19 1:46 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/7/19 12:22 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Griffin 2/3/19 7:21 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/7/19 12:34 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Kim Katami 1/28/19 2:13 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) T DC 1/28/19 5:08 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 1/29/19 11:45 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) T DC 1/31/19 1:30 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Kim Katami 1/31/19 3:58 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/7/19 2:38 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/7/19 2:23 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) curious 2/7/19 11:43 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Kim Katami 2/7/19 2:42 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/7/19 11:47 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/8/19 12:54 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/8/19 2:58 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Kim Katami 2/8/19 3:21 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/2/19 11:03 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/2/19 11:45 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 1/30/19 12:12 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) curious 1/30/19 12:59 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 1/30/19 2:55 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 1/30/19 6:56 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) curious 1/30/19 3:41 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/2/19 10:47 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) curious 2/2/19 9:20 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/7/19 12:35 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Kim Katami 2/7/19 10:02 AM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/7/19 1:17 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Kim Katami 2/7/19 1:46 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Barry D 2/3/19 1:23 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) Nick O 2/4/19 8:58 PM
RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen) An Eternal Now 2/9/19 11:01 AM
Just finished reading this book after it was recommended by someone on reddit as a good "pragmatic" Dzogchen resource.

My outlook on Dzogchen as been one of cluelessness, intimidation and mystery. I've held the impression that the teachings are complex, secretive and out of reach unless you have a lineaged guru. I was therefore surprised by how simple and straightforward the practice is conveyed in this book. I imagine it must be the reductionist teaching for pragmatic western types emoticon

Even so, I've found the practice to be tremendously refreshing and useful.

Has anyone read this book? Any thoughts?  Any further recommendations?  
 

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/28/19 5:41 AM as a reply to Nick O.
A Trackless Path by Ken McLeod.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/28/19 6:23 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Hi Nick,

I haven't read OC Rinpoche's book but joined a webcast with him. Other books of similar feel that I can recommend are from Tsoknyi Rinpoche and his father, Tulku Urgyen. It's all so simple, really simple... And that's where the trap lies.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/28/19 7:24 AM as a reply to Nick O.
I just got this book on Kindle and started reading. I like a lot of how he describes things, but then I came to this:

Orgyen Chowang:

there is nothing inherently bad or undesirable about having a sense of self; in fact, we need a sense of self in order to navigate our way through our day-to-day existence.

We need a coherent center of consciousness from which to observe our surroundings, manage our time, and take care of business. However, there is a difference between a healthy sense of self and an unhealthy sense of self.

When we are grounded in Pristine Mind, having realized that our sense of self is not who we really are, we can then use our sense of self properly, by thinking, speaking, and acting for the benefit of ourselves and others.

When our sense of identity is healthy, even if it involves the use of wealth, fame, or power, it’s not problematic but brings happiness and fulfillment for everyone.

But when our ordinary mind becomes dominated by a rigid identification with our mental events, or by a need to impose our own thoughts, feelings, and opinions on others, then our sense of self turns into an unhealthy sense of self, or ego.



These are not the words of an arahat!!

So much more is possible!

We do not need a sense of self or a center of consciousness! That is the illusion at the root of our suffering!

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/28/19 12:13 PM as a reply to J C.
J C:
I just got this book on Kindle and started reading. I like a lot of how he describes things, but then I came to this:

Orgyen Chowang:

there is nothing inherently bad or undesirable about having a sense of self; in fact, we need a sense of self in order to navigate our way through our day-to-day existence.

We need a coherent center of consciousness from which to observe our surroundings, manage our time, and take care of business. However, there is a difference between a healthy sense of self and an unhealthy sense of self.

When we are grounded in Pristine Mind, having realized that our sense of self is not who we really are, we can then use our sense of self properly, by thinking, speaking, and acting for the benefit of ourselves and others.

When our sense of identity is healthy, even if it involves the use of wealth, fame, or power, it’s not problematic but brings happiness and fulfillment for everyone.

But when our ordinary mind becomes dominated by a rigid identification with our mental events, or by a need to impose our own thoughts, feelings, and opinions on others, then our sense of self turns into an unhealthy sense of self, or ego.



These are not the words of an arahat!!

So much more is possible!

We do not need a sense of self or a center of consciousness! That is the illusion at the root of our suffering!

To be honest and I hope I don't offend too many people here:

Almost all the Dzogchen teachers, even well-known ones, that I've seen are talking about I AM (thusness stage 1), one mind (thusness stage 4), - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html - type of awareness teachings. The only exception is Prabodha Yogi and Abhaya Devi Yogini, teachers from the Dzogchen tradition that are very much about anatta and emptiness - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/way-of-bodhi.html - also Kyle Dixon who I've posted articles in my blog, he is not a teacher though but a Dzogchen practitioner, i.e. https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/10/advise-from-kyle_10.html . Prabodha 'liked' this article on my facebook - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/04/hakuun-yasutani-flowers-fall-commentary.html - and he personally wrote about 'no mirror' as well.

Actually it is rare to find MCTB 4th path attainers in any traditions - Theravada, Zen or Vajrayana/Dzogchen/Mahamudra. Generally I find Soto Zen producing more MCTB 4th path attainers, perhaps as Dogen was himself very clear. But Zen is also easily prone to being stuck at the I AM/One Mind level of realization. In Theravada, I can think of Ajahn Amaro's new book 'The Breakthrough' as being quite clear about anatta -- the chapter on Bahiya Sutta. But most other Thai Forest monks including famous ones like Ajahn Chah still fall into reifying Poo Roo - the Witness/I AM. (Ajahn Amaro's previous book is more on Thusness Stage 4 and reifies the poo roo aspect too, I think his latest book has less of this tendency) So this tendency is in all Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions.

But I often say, of those who attain spiritual realizations, 85% are I AM/Eternal Witness, 10% are One Mind, maybe 2% or less are really anatta realization and further. (i.e. reaching MCTB 4th path sort of realization) That is just from my impression and estimate from reading a great number of books, articles, websites from spiritual authors/teachers/masters. I think there is a 'pareto ratio' kind of thing going in terms of the subtleties of realizations (though I'm fully aware this can very well change as time goes by).

And this goes for all establish traditions even in Buddhism, whether Theravada, Mahayana or Vajrayana.

So if you read dharma books with expectation that the master must be MCTB 4th path, by pure statistics you have a very high chance of being disappointed no matter how famous or established the teacher is, so don't have too much high hopes... lol. But learn what you can. If he/she really realizes 4th path, great. Regardless, there are always things we can learn from genuine practitioners no matter what level of realization he/she is at.

I think going through I AM is important (it is important for my path i.e. http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html ) especially for Dzogchen and Zen. But it is not such an important part or jouney of the path if you are following MCTB strictly and the luminosity aspect comes later. In 3rd path and 4th path the luminosity must be brought out but goes along with nondual insight.

Even though I understood anatta and emptiness theoretically back in 2006, between 2006 to 2010 I was reading thousands of pages and dozens of Advaita, Self Inquiry and Awareness-teachings books. I attained I AM realization through self-inquiry on Feb 2010 as I wrote in my e-book: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html

So if one is aiming for the initial realization of Awareness or I AM, then all these books will be particularly helpful. Also I usually recommend Ramana Maharshi for that.

p.s. having said that I like some of the old Dzogchen texts like http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/self-liberation-through-seeing-with.html as well as the old Mahamudra poems and texts which are very much about anatta, emptiness and spontaneous perfection.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/28/19 12:24 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
I have been thinking recently that a lot of religious/dhamma authors express insights that are somewhere on the road to third path. There seems to be a subtle clinging to emotions throughout much of this kind writing, and a spaced-out or overly mystical aspect to the attainments.

Of course I have only read a fraction of everything written, but it is enough to make me wonder whether there is some kind of general principle at play.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/28/19 2:13 PM as a reply to J C.
J C:
I just got this book on Kindle and started reading. I like a lot of how he describes things, but then I came to this:

Orgyen Chowang:

there is nothing inherently bad or undesirable about having a sense of self; in fact, we need a sense of self in order to navigate our way through our day-to-day existence.

We need a coherent center of consciousness from which to observe our surroundings, manage our time, and take care of business. However, there is a difference between a healthy sense of self and an unhealthy sense of self.

When we are grounded in Pristine Mind, having realized that our sense of self is not who we really are, we can then use our sense of self properly, by thinking, speaking, and acting for the benefit of ourselves and others.

When our sense of identity is healthy, even if it involves the use of wealth, fame, or power, it’s not problematic but brings happiness and fulfillment for everyone.

But when our ordinary mind becomes dominated by a rigid identification with our mental events, or by a need to impose our own thoughts, feelings, and opinions on others, then our sense of self turns into an unhealthy sense of self, or ego.

These are not the words of an arahat!!

So much more is possible!

We do not need a sense of self or a center of consciousness! That is the illusion at the root of our suffering!

Not so hasty. What he says is spot on but cannot be understood but at a later stage. I didn't at least. Now it makes perfect sense.

Wei Yu being the specialist on scriptural sources... Have you ever seen other authors refer to self or center being grounded in pristine mind/natural state?

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/28/19 3:13 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:

To be honest and I hope I don't offend too many people here:

Almost all the Dzogchen teachers, even well-known ones, that I've seen are talking about I AM (thusness stage 1), one mind (thusness stage 4), - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html - type of awareness teachings. The only exception is Prabodha Yogi and Abhaya Devi Yogini, teachers from the Dzogchen tradition that are very much about anatta and emptiness - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/way-of-bodhi.html - also Kyle Dixon who I've posted articles in my blog, he is not a teacher though but a Dzogchen practitioner, i.e. https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/10/advise-from-kyle_10.html . Prabodha 'liked' this article on my facebook - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/04/hakuun-yasutani-flowers-fall-commentary.html - and he personally wrote about 'no mirror' as well.

Actually it is rare to find MCTB 4th path attainers in any traditions - Theravada, Zen or Vajrayana/Dzogchen/Mahamudra. Generally I find Soto Zen producing more MCTB 4th path attainers, perhaps as Dogen was himself very clear. But Zen is also easily prone to being stuck at the I AM/One Mind level of realization. In Theravada, I can think of Ajahn Amaro's new book 'The Breakthrough' as being quite clear about anatta -- the chapter on Bahiya Sutta. But most other Thai Forest monks including famous ones like Ajahn Chah still fall into reifying Poo Roo - the Witness/I AM. (Ajahn Amaro's previous book is more on Thusness Stage 4 and reifies the poo roo aspect too, I think his latest book has less of this tendency) So this tendency is in all Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions.

But I often say, of those who attain spiritual realizations, 85% are I AM/Eternal Witness, 10% are One Mind, maybe 2% or less are really anatta realization and further. (i.e. reaching MCTB 4th path sort of realization) That is just from my impression and estimate from reading a great number of books, articles, websites from spiritual authors/teachers/masters. I think there is a 'pareto ratio' kind of thing going in terms of the subtleties of realizations (though I'm fully aware this can very well change as time goes by).

And this goes for all establish traditions even in Buddhism, whether Theravada, Mahayana or Vajrayana.

So if you read dharma books with expectation that the master must be MCTB 4th path, by pure statistics you have a very high chance of being disappointed no matter how famous or established the teacher is, so don't have too much high hopes... lol. But learn what you can. If he/she really realizes 4th path, great. Regardless, there are always things we can learn from genuine practitioners no matter what level of realization he/she is at.

I think going through I AM is important (it is important for my path i.e. http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html ) especially for Dzogchen and Zen. But it is not such an important part or jouney of the path if you are following MCTB strictly and the luminosity aspect comes later. In 3rd path and 4th path the luminosity must be brought out but goes along with nondual insight.

Even though I understood anatta and emptiness theoretically back in 2006, between 2006 to 2010 I was reading thousands of pages and dozens of Advaita, Self Inquiry and Awareness-teachings books. I attained I AM realization through self-inquiry on Feb 2010 as I wrote in my e-book: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html

So if one is aiming for the initial realization of Awareness or I AM, then all these books will be particularly helpful. Also I usually recommend Ramana Maharshi for that.

p.s. having said that I like some of the old Dzogchen texts like http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/self-liberation-through-seeing-with.html as well as the old Mahamudra poems and texts which are very much about anatta, emptiness and spontaneous perfection.
I understand it might be a touchy feely for some to mention names but would you be willing to mention names of dz teachers who discuss Thusness 1-4, instead of more advanced stages? If not publicly, PM at FB? My impression is that there has been mahasiddhas recently, such Jigme Phuntsok (Orgyen Chowang's guru), Dilgo Khyentse and few others but with descriptions of few words, not having transmission, quite difficult to know who is talking what. With transmission easy.

You found more MCTB4 stage practitioners from soto zen than vajrayana? Really? Who? I agree that this stage is not common but reading "soto zen" raised my eyebrows.

I read your blog and Thusness's stages first time maybe 7 years and have gone back every year or so. Did he ever add bits into it? Reading it today was nice, never understood as much before as I do know. Thanks for your contribution Wei Yu.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/28/19 5:08 PM as a reply to J C.
JC and An Eternal Now - you guys seem to be taking issue with Orgyen Chowang's discussion of a 'healthy' sense of self.  I won't debate that there are many teachers out there, without significant attainment, but nevertheless teachings on high level topics such as dzogchen.  The real question is, is there a sense of self on awakening?

Personally I find it helpful to distinguish between the false, or conceptual sense of self, and the deeper felt sense of self, what we might call True Self, or atman.  On the path, we are certainly trying to overcome our limited sense of being a separately existing self, but we also shouldn't expect annihilation upon enlightenment.  The path is not one of absolute self-destruction - I think the number of people, on here and in Buddhism generally, discussing a healthy sense of self should make this clear.  Check out this Thanissaro Bhikkhu article for an example of a classically trained Buddhist monk's perspective on how Buddhism helps develop our 'self'.

The fact that Buddhism contains the strict anatman doctrine, versus Hinduism which believes in the atman complicates the discussion, but I look at Buddhism as a path most basically of skillful means, while Hinduism has thrown in a healthy dose of ultimate philosophy.  Buddhism seeks to uncover and deconstruct our conceptual belief structure, thus it highlights the doctrine of anatman; no self.  Hinduism focuses more on the manifestation of the enlightened state, in which one discovers an undying, core self of pure awareness. 

Both of these philosophies are true, they only appear to be contrasting - anatman refers to our false conceptual self, while atman refers to our core spiritual self, or soul, which exists, and is obscured under the false conceptual self structure.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/28/19 8:49 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
AEN - how do you correlate those 7 stages with the 4 paths?

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/29/19 1:13 AM as a reply to J C.
J C:
AEN - how do you correlate those 7 stages with the 4 paths?


The I AM realization are nowhere to be found in the MCTB insight stages *except* as being relegated as a pure-land jhana (Daniel seems to have accessed it as a state after his 4th path, but it is not a kind of Eureka realization that happen for me and others earlier on in the path):

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+Appendix,+The+Cessation+of+Perception+and+Feeling,+Nirodha+Samapatti

There is also a state somewhere in that territory that seems basically like pure presence, like being a super-pervading Watcher, with the quality of perceiving or awareness itself being the dominant quality. This has a very different quality from the sixth jhana, Boundless Consciousness, and in my opinion is far superior, more fundamental, and could be argued as the highest of the states that involve experience.

MCTB 1st and 2nd path are nowhere to be found on the Thusness stages, the closest thing perhaps being Thusness Stage 3 but I think not identical.

MCTB 3rd path is Thusness Stage 4. This is where nondual insights start to occur but not completely clear yet, and the pitfalls and golden chains of anagami also occurs in Thusness Stage 4.

MCTB 4th path is clearly Thusness Stage 5 realization. Actual Freedom is also into Stage 5, emphasizing more on the 2nd stanza of anatta (see: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html ).

MCTB also talks about some aspect of Stage 6, but more into the +A side of Emptiness. Daniel describes it as "formations" in MCTB and integrated volume in the AF article. The Soto Zen and Dogen keeps emphasizing the +A, but nothing much about -A. Tibetan Buddhism is more on empty-clarity, non-arising, -A, but nothing about +A. (see: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-and-emptiness_1.html ) Even AF talks about the Maha Total Exertion kind of taste, where ordinary activities and experience feel cosmic -- being the universe experiencing itself as a sensate body-mind and experiencing the infinitude of the universe simultaneously, though the +A comes for us comes from insight into the chain of dependencies, penetrating into the dependent origination of all phenomena like net of indra where the whole universe of interdependencies is seamlessly connected, involved and giving its best for this activity even as simple as breathing (but dependent origination is a Buddhism view and so lacking elsewhere in teachings like AF). You can integrate both +A and -A.

Whenever you reach 5 and 6 you will automatically or naturally enter into the natural state/spontaneous perfection of 7 in varying degrees. This is why teachings like Mahamudra resonates for us.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/29/19 11:45 PM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
JC and An Eternal Now - you guys seem to be taking issue with Orgyen Chowang's discussion of a 'healthy' sense of self.  I won't debate that there are many teachers out there, without significant attainment, but nevertheless teachings on high level topics such as dzogchen.  The real question is, is there a sense of self on awakening?

Personally I find it helpful to distinguish between the false, or conceptual sense of self, and the deeper felt sense of self, what we might call True Self, or atman.  On the path, we are certainly trying to overcome our limited sense of being a separately existing self, but we also shouldn't expect annihilation upon enlightenment.  The path is not one of absolute self-destruction - I think the number of people, on here and in Buddhism generally, discussing a healthy sense of self should make this clear.  Check out this Thanissaro Bhikkhu article for an example of a classically trained Buddhist monk's perspective on how Buddhism helps develop our 'self'.

The fact that Buddhism contains the strict anatman doctrine, versus Hinduism which believes in the atman complicates the discussion, but I look at Buddhism as a path most basically of skillful means, while Hinduism has thrown in a healthy dose of ultimate philosophy.  Buddhism seeks to uncover and deconstruct our conceptual belief structure, thus it highlights the doctrine of anatman; no self.  Hinduism focuses more on the manifestation of the enlightened state, in which one discovers an undying, core self of pure awareness. 

Both of these philosophies are true, they only appear to be contrasting - anatman refers to our false conceptual self, while atman refers to our core spiritual self, or soul, which exists, and is obscured under the false conceptual self structure.

No, healthy sense of self is not the issue I was dealing with.

I am talking about the I AMness realization, and Orgyen Chowang is certainly talking about this. Check out Thusness 7 Stages of Awakening  - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html - I added new comments and my own commentary on that recently.

Vast majority of Hindus when they talk about enlightenment are talking about the first two stages in that map. But this is also the case in Buddhism.

The I AMness realization is precious but should be complemented with deeper insights into nondual, anatta and emptiness in later progression.


Orgyen Chowang:

https://excellencereporter.com/2017/06/28/orgyen-chowang-rinpoche-the-meaning-of-life-and-our-pristine-mind/

So we need to look to our mind to find this meaning. In my tradition, we have a powerful, effective method of gaining this knowledge: we practice in letting all our ordinary experiences—all of our constantly changing thoughts, emotions, beliefs, observations, judgments, and habitual tendencies (our “mental events”)—dissipate and dissolve from our perception. Gradually, we are left with an astounding experience: nothing but our pure awareness, without subject, object, place, time, boundary, or any other limiting characteristics. This pure awareness is the actual true nature of our mind, who we really are, our Pristine Mind. Once we know our Pristine Mind, we realize that all our mental events are not who we really are; they are temporary distortions in our perception that hide our unchanging Pristine Mind, just like clouds temporarily hide the open, boundless, pure sky that always remains the same.

Therefore, what gives meaning to life is knowing our Pristine Mind.


RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 12:12 AM as a reply to T DC.
Also I just saw your 4th path description https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/6710711

Actually you are describing I AMness or Thusness Stage 1 as 4th path.

But this is different from Daniel's definition of MCTB 4th path which is Thusness Stage 5

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 12:59 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
I would see it slightly differently An Eternal Now. I think the author is generously describing part of their journey and their thinking, and promoting an interesting discussion in the context of that thread. It is potentially to the benefit of many, including me. It is fascinating to go back and read it now - I look at my own comments quite differently, and also read Shargol's comments in a completely different light.  (Yeah, Shargol!)

So I think these comments are from a particular context.  It may not be all that helpful to bring them in to a completely different context at a completely different time. Descriptions of phenomenology are tricky too - it is hard to communicate exactly what we mean to each other.

But then again, my views arise from a kind of conservative sutta approach.  I like what the Buddha said (paraphrased).  "All I teach is suffering and the end of suffering."

That is enough for me!  I'm not too worried about the other attainments.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 2:55 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:
I would see it slightly differently An Eternal Now. I think the author is generously describing part of their journey and their thinking, and promoting an interesting discussion in the context of that thread. It is potentially to the benefit of many, including me. It is fascinating to go back and read it now - I look at my own comments quite differently, and also read Shargol's comments in a completely different light.  (Yeah, Shargol!)

So I think these comments are from a particular context.  It may not be all that helpful to bring them in to a completely different context at a completely different time. Descriptions of phenomenology are tricky too - it is hard to communicate exactly what we mean to each other.

But then again, my views arise from a kind of conservative sutta approach.  I like what the Buddha said (paraphrased).  "All I teach is suffering and the end of suffering."

That is enough for me!  I'm not too worried about the other attainments.

My experience has been different.

As Thusness wrote in 2007,


(2:56 PM) AEN:    toni packer also clear about non dual rite
(2:56 PM) Thusness:    the factors of fearlessness and non-attachment must up to a sufficient depth before one can experience what i meant. emoticon
(2:56 PM) AEN:    icic..
(2:56 PM) Thusness:    toni packer is okie. emoticon
(2:56 PM) AEN:    icic..
(2:56 PM) Thusness:    i intro u because of ET (Eckhart Tolle). emoticon
(2:57 PM) Thusness:    i think she is more clear about non dual than ET.
(2:57 PM) AEN:    ya her style a bit like ET in some ways
(2:57 PM) AEN:    icic ya
(2:57 PM) Thusness:    emoticon
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    u c, there is a commonality about those entering and dwell in non dual state.
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    they don't tok about i am.
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    or I.
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    or a background.
(2:58 PM) AEN:    oic
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    absolutely nothing.
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    nothing about a witness.
(2:58 PM) AEN:    icic..
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    even tony parsons
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    and that nathan gill?
(2:59 PM) Thusness:    though he tok about it in his earlier realisation.
(2:59 PM) Thusness:    that 'sense of self' must be completely eliminated.
(2:59 PM) AEN:    what earlier realisation
(2:59 PM) AEN:    oh nathan gill
(3:00 PM) Thusness:    in fact when one goes deeper, there can be no trace.
(3:00 PM) AEN:    icic..
(3:00 PM) Thusness:    if there is a trace, then that practitioner retrogress.
(3:00 PM) Thusness:    longchen no more tok about 'I' and "I AM" now.
(3:00 PM) AEN:    oic..
(3:01 PM) Thusness:    so give him another 30 yrs and if he works hard....will be a good collection for some youngsters. emoticon
(3:01 PM) Thusness:    lol

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 6:56 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
And if someone is talking about the I AM realization as a provisional/not-final insight, they will certainly state so very clearly.

Example being: Ken Wilber, and Rupert Spira, who wrote about 'Provisional Acceptance of the Witness' ( http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/09/rupert-spira-on-provisional-acceptance.html )  as a way to non-dual.

But both also only reach as far as Thusness Stage 4/MCTB 3rd Path, not yet anatta/Thusness Stage 5/MCTB 4th path.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 9:53 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
An Eternal Now:

To be honest and I hope I don't offend too many people here:

Almost all the Dzogchen teachers, even well-known ones, that I've seen are talking about I AM (thusness stage 1), one mind (thusness stage 4), - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html - type of awareness teachings. The only exception is Prabodha Yogi and Abhaya Devi Yogini, teachers from the Dzogchen tradition that are very much about anatta and emptiness - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/way-of-bodhi.html - also Kyle Dixon who I've posted articles in my blog, he is not a teacher though but a Dzogchen practitioner, i.e. https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/10/advise-from-kyle_10.html . Prabodha 'liked' this article on my facebook - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/04/hakuun-yasutani-flowers-fall-commentary.html - and he personally wrote about 'no mirror' as well.

Actually it is rare to find MCTB 4th path attainers in any traditions - Theravada, Zen or Vajrayana/Dzogchen/Mahamudra. Generally I find Soto Zen producing more MCTB 4th path attainers, perhaps as Dogen was himself very clear. But Zen is also easily prone to being stuck at the I AM/One Mind level of realization. In Theravada, I can think of Ajahn Amaro's new book 'The Breakthrough' as being quite clear about anatta -- the chapter on Bahiya Sutta. But most other Thai Forest monks including famous ones like Ajahn Chah still fall into reifying Poo Roo - the Witness/I AM. (Ajahn Amaro's previous book is more on Thusness Stage 4 and reifies the poo roo aspect too, I think his latest book has less of this tendency) So this tendency is in all Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions.

But I often say, of those who attain spiritual realizations, 85% are I AM/Eternal Witness, 10% are One Mind, maybe 2% or less are really anatta realization and further. (i.e. reaching MCTB 4th path sort of realization) That is just from my impression and estimate from reading a great number of books, articles, websites from spiritual authors/teachers/masters. I think there is a 'pareto ratio' kind of thing going in terms of the subtleties of realizations (though I'm fully aware this can very well change as time goes by).

And this goes for all establish traditions even in Buddhism, whether Theravada, Mahayana or Vajrayana.

So if you read dharma books with expectation that the master must be MCTB 4th path, by pure statistics you have a very high chance of being disappointed no matter how famous or established the teacher is, so don't have too much high hopes... lol. But learn what you can. If he/she really realizes 4th path, great. Regardless, there are always things we can learn from genuine practitioners no matter what level of realization he/she is at.

I think going through I AM is important (it is important for my path i.e. http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html ) especially for Dzogchen and Zen. But it is not such an important part or jouney of the path if you are following MCTB strictly and the luminosity aspect comes later. In 3rd path and 4th path the luminosity must be brought out but goes along with nondual insight.

Even though I understood anatta and emptiness theoretically back in 2006, between 2006 to 2010 I was reading thousands of pages and dozens of Advaita, Self Inquiry and Awareness-teachings books. I attained I AM realization through self-inquiry on Feb 2010 as I wrote in my e-book: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html

So if one is aiming for the initial realization of Awareness or I AM, then all these books will be particularly helpful. Also I usually recommend Ramana Maharshi for that.

p.s. having said that I like some of the old Dzogchen texts like http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/self-liberation-through-seeing-with.html as well as the old Mahamudra poems and texts which are very much about anatta, emptiness and spontaneous perfection.
I understand it might be a touchy feely for some to mention names but would you be willing to mention names of dz teachers who discuss Thusness 1-4, instead of more advanced stages? If not publicly, PM at FB? My impression is that there has been mahasiddhas recently, such Jigme Phuntsok (Orgyen Chowang's guru), Dilgo Khyentse and few others but with descriptions of few words, not having transmission, quite difficult to know who is talking what. With transmission easy.

You found more MCTB4 stage practitioners from soto zen than vajrayana? Really? Who? I agree that this stage is not common but reading "soto zen" raised my eyebrows.

I read your blog and Thusness's stages first time maybe 7 years and have gone back every year or so. Did he ever add bits into it? Reading it today was nice, never understood as much before as I do know. Thanks for your contribution Wei Yu.


Thusness hasn't updated the article but I added my commentary to clarify it based on conversations with Thusness since it was written.

You mentioned 'never understood as much before as I do now', same for me too, even though I realized anatta almost 9 years ago, the 7 stages continues to reveal new subtleties and insights that I haven't previously penetrated, even as late as last year.

I realize I'm going to offend many people, but nonetheless, I'll just speak my mind honestly without holding back:

Generally all the (modern/living) Dzogchen books and teachers I've read are Stage 1-4 with the exception of the two teachers Prabodha and Abhaya Devi (who does not have books but has a website) + Kyle Dixon (who is not a teacher) that I mentioned above. Padmasambhava's text Self-Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness is great (some of the other Padmasambhava texts are great too) but I have a problem with the translator John Reynold's commentary as I mentioned below. Some of the old Dzogchen texts are great but should find a reliable translator like Lopon Malcolm (see below).

Most Dzogchen figures are talking about I AMness realization and Thusness Stage 4 kind of nondual, even authoritative teachers like Lopon Tenzin Namdak, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, and many others I've read. (But as I said, this is also an issue in Theravada, Zen, etc -- most people do not penetrate into 5)



Jackson Peterson:
Here is a brief quote that differentiates Dzogchen from the Theravadin view:

"To clarify the Dzogchen view: "We are just what we are, the Natural State which is like a mirror. It is clear and empty, and yet it reflects everything, all possible existences and all possible lifetimes. But it never changes and it does not depend on anything else."

Bon Master Lopon Tenzin Namdak
Like ·  · Unfollow Post · April 24 at 9:59am
Seen by 101
Steven Monaco likes this.

John Tan (Thusness): And definitely very different from anatta, the Anatta State is like reflections turn alive when the mirror disappears. Reflections are vividly clear yet empty. Everything, all possible existences and all possible lifetimes are simply reflections, they appear but are nothing real, ungraspable, un-originated, unborn.
April 24 at 3:24pm · Unlike · 7




Whereas Orgyen Chowang is describing the I AMness phase of realization. The I AMness realizers will describe Awareness as being behind all mental events and sensory phenomena, the formless background, source and substratum of phenomena. Stage 1.

The rest describe Awareness as being the unchanging space that subsumes all phenomena to be the temporary displays inseparable from that unchanging awareness. Subject-object division is dissolved but Awareness is still seen as a metaphysical, inherent, unchanging substance. That is thusness stage 4 or one mind. - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/10/differentiating-i-am-one-mind-no-mind.html , http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/09/difference-between-thusness-stage-4-and.html

I'll be most happy to be convinced otherwise but I think it is rare to find Dzogchen book describing anatta realization aka MCTB 4th path.

However, just because someone doesn't realize anatta and twofold emptiness doesn't mean the teachings are somehow less valuable. They can be very valuable and many insights and advice are very important (and even if you are already Thusness Stage 7 you can still learn many things from them), maybe just one aspect of insight that is different, that's all. Thusness told me to re-read Tenzin Wangyal's book on dream yoga last year as it has many good points and insights, just that the anatta realization is missing (more on I AMness and one mind). This aspect is different from my current experience and practice as I am more into anatta, total exertion and non-arising due to the insights I've undergone. Insight of anatta is just one point, albeit a crucial one, but there are many other things in spirituality than that. Another example: I'm now going into yoga practices.


As to Soto Zen, these are clearly about anatta (mctb 4th path) and total exertion:

Judith Ragir - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/06/the-emancipation-of-suchness.html
Steve Hagen - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/04/buddhism-is-not-what-you-think.html
Zen Master Hong Wen Liang - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2017/01/excerpts-from-jewel-mirror-samadhi.html
Hakuun Yasutani - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/04/hakuun-yasutani-flowers-fall-commentary.html
Barry Magid - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2016/05/being-one-with-our-moment-to-moment.html
Ted Biringer - thusness commented on one of his articles in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/03/realization-experience-and-right-view_13.html
John Daido Loori
Kubota Ji'un - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-ten-ox-herding-pictures.html


Thich Nhat Hanh is also into anatta and total exertion but he is not exactly Soto Zen - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2008/10/sun-of-awareness-and-river-of.html

etc (there are many other Soto Zen teachers that are into anatta and total exertion that I haven't mentioned)

That being said, there are also countless other (majority of) Zen authors and teachers that are very much about I AMness and one mind.


For the Mahamudra side, I think Thrangu Rinpoche has attained 4th Path, his experience is more on anatta and empty-clarity, and he is holding a Mahamudra teaching retreat on 'Clarifying the Natural State' in Nepal this year:

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/08/thrangu-rinpoche-on-nature-of-mind.html


I find the Mahamudra old texts and songs of the Mahamudra siddhas to be very much about anatta, emptiness and spontaneous perfection. But not all Mahamudra teachers today are talking about that. E.g. Mingyur Rinpoche seems to be more into I AMness.

Also, someone, I think the Dzogchen translator John Myrdhin Reynolds, wrote that the difference between Dzogchen and Mahamudra is that the Mahamudra teachings asserts all manifestation is mind and mind is just manifestation (not the slightest difference line of demarcation between mind and manifestation), while Dzogchen differentiates the nature of mind which is the unchanging mirror and impermanent manifestations which are its reflections, they are the manifestations of mind but are not mind itself. I think there is some basis on this view about the differences between schools because even the authoritative Dzogchen master Longchenpa is clearly holding this distinction in this book Practice of Dzogchen, and this is how he distinguishes his view from other schools. I'm pretty sure John Reynolds himself is at Thusness Stage 4.

For example Longchenpa wrote:

"
Longchenpa says: "Objective" appearances are vivid visions of absence, neither mind nor anything but mind, and should be understood as timelessly pure, baseless, brilliant emptiness. At the moment of release all potency and display, being groundless, dissolves by itself, like the waking from a dream, and thus since intrinsic rigpa never stirs from the original disposition of original changeless pure being, we should understand substance and attributes as immaculate. These days, no one but me (Longchenpa) seems to make these distinctions - either they argue that appearances are mental or they aver that they are something other than mind, but that is all. Even our own school (the Nyingma) is unsure, some proposing that the potency and display of rigpa appearing as ornamentation is the essence. In regard to that, potency is the energy of rigpa that manifests in the variable appearances of both samsara and nirvana, in the same way that the very same sunlight causes a lotus blossom to open and a white water lily to close. Display is the luminous expression of rigpa, which is like the incandescence of a candle-flame, or the display of the sun as light. Ornamentation is the adornment of the self-arisen face of rigpa, the momentary appearance of the complex structured gestalt imagery like a rainbow, or the sun, moon, stars and planets, in the sky.


""In Semde it is asserted that although various entities appear, they are not beyond the play of the mere Mind, like the arising of various shades of white and red in the single face of a mirror. The various appearances do not exist in reality as they are percepts (appearances) of the mind and are non-dual (in relation to the mind). The essence (Ngo-Bo) of the mind is Mind, which is clarity, and it is self-arisen primordial wisdom. Nowadays, foolish people say: "Dzogpa Chenpo asserts that the appearances are mind." That is totally wrong. (If it is so, then) mind should have color, be cognizable and have dimensions, because the appearances are the mysteries of the appearances of the mind and they are non-existent in reality like reflections in a mirror. They appear in the mind in the manner of delusions due to habituations (of the mind). One should understand that the Mind is the basis of arising (of appearances) and it is free from dimensions and partialities like the surface of a mirror, and it is the essence of discriminative intrinsic awareness, which transcends all the extremes of elaboration of postulations of plural and singular."

" Nowadays some people conceited in their knowledge of the Great Perfection, together with the adherents of some ordinary school, through lack of discrimination, loudly and ardently assert the egregious error that phenomenal appearances are our mind. Ordinary mind and pure mind, however, are not the same thing. Ordinary mind consists of triple-world beings' adventitious conditioned ignorance manifested as the eight types of consciousness with their different functions. "Pure mind" is self-sprung awareness of rigpa having no substances or attributes, the spaciousness of all samsara and nirvana. Since all outer and inner experience originates as the energetic potency, or display, of pure mind, we sometimes call it "pure mind" - which is a case of imputing the name of the cause to the effect. While all appearance as smasara or nirvana should be understood as the potency or rigpa, rigpa itself, established as neither samsara nor nirvana nor anything else, should be understood as the impalpable foundation of inexorable, uncrystallizing emanation."

The way Longchenpa describes in many instances sounds very much like one mind (elaborations on one mind in https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/10/differentiating-i-am-one-mind-no-mind.html )

However Longchenpa is also able to describe the taste of -A in some texts.

Thusness discussed this issue of 'mind' and 'manifestation of mind' and criticism of John Myrdhin Reynolds's views in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/just-manifestation-or-just-mind.html

And I prefer Dogen, Zen Master Hong Wen Liang, Hakuun Yastuani and a few others that clearly states no mirror - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2017/01/excerpts-from-jewel-mirror-samadhi.html , http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/04/hakuun-yasutani-flowers-fall-commentary.html , etc

(But as I mentioned, there are exceptions -- the two Dzogchen teachers and Kyle Dixon I mentioned above are clearly about anatta and emptiness, not stage 4.)

If this is a correct characterization of Dzogchen, then I would say Mahamudra teachings as a whole are more in line with Anatta and MCTB 4th Path than Dzogchen teachings, generally speaking. There cannot be any compromise in freedom, any sense of Mind as something unchanging (like an unchanging mirror beholding reflections) and distinct from manifestation (even if inseparable from manifestation) is not Anatta realization but a subtle form of reification and clinging and metaphysical view, i.e. getting trapped in the "golden chains of Anagami".

Having said that, Lopon Malcolm, authorized teacher of Dzogchen lineage's clarifications of Basis, Dharmakaya and Rigpa in Dzogchen makes it very compatible with anatta: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/02/clarifications-on-dharmakaya-and-basis_16.html , https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/05/color-sound-lights-and-rays_16.html , https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2013/03/rainbow-body-and-thusness-advice-to-me.html , http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/10/dzogchen-rigpa-and-dependent.html

Kyle Dixon's clarifications of the Dzogchen terms also makes it very "anatta" and "Empty clarity" - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2015/10/dzogchen-vs-advaita-conventional-and.html , http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/07/turiya-vs-dzogchen_30.html

Also Lopon Malcolm does much clarification on the difference between Dzogchen and Advaita view. And avoids extreme of eternalism in view. His translations of Dzogchen texts are highly recommended - most of the Dzogchen translations out there now are not good, and likely to fall into eternalist extreme. As Lopon Malcolm himself said, reading Dzogchen translations are like an exercise of hitting his head against the wall repeatedly.

The same issue about 'mirror and reflections' also arises in the variously held positions in the different schools of Zen: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/different-levels-of-awakening-among.html

There are a couple of historical Zen masters that are very much about anatta, empty clarity and total exertion (including its founder Bodhidharma), but most of the Zen masters especially after late Tang dynasty got stuck in I AM and One Mind, also partly due to doctrinal shifts and influences which I discussed more in the articles. Luckily in Japan we have someone with exceptional depth of insight - Dogen Zenji. Even so, most other Japanese Zen Masters like Bankei were/are more into the I AM and One Mind sort of nondual.

Also, even after anatta, the firstfold emptying there can be further penetration into +A and -A of secondfold emptiness.

Dogen is very clear that 'Impermanence is Buddha-nature' and directly refuted the eternalist/Hindu kind of views: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/08/non-duality-of-essence-and-form_25.html , and is always talking about anatta and total exertion, so the Soto Zen teachers today are influenced by that.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 7:05 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Just wanted to say I really like the expression "total exertion", I hadn't come across that before. It has a nice way of communicating the unalterable vividness of experience... and doesn't imply supporting structures like mirrors or minds or a thing-which-is-emptiness. Neat!

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 9:53 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:

Thusness hasn't updated the article but I added my commentary to clarify it based on conversations with Thusness since it was written.

You mentioned 'never understood as much before as I do now', same for me too, even though I realized anatta almost 9 years ago, the 7 stages continues to reveal new subtleties and insights that I haven't previously penetrated, even as late as last year.

I realize I'm going to offend many people, but nonetheless, I'll just speak my mind honestly without holding back:

Generally all the (modern/living) Dzogchen books and teachers I've read are Stage 1-4 with the exception of the two teachers Prabodha and Abhaya Devi (who does not have books but has a website) + Kyle Dixon (who is not a teacher) that I mentioned above. Padmasambhava's text Self-Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness is good but I have a problem with the translator John Reynold's commentary as I mentioned below. Some of the old Dzogchen texts are great but should find a reliable translator like Lopon Malcolm (see below).

Most Dzogchen figures are talking about I AMness realization and Thusness Stage 4 kind of nondual, even authoritative teachers like Lopon Tenzin Namdak, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, and many others I've read. (But as I said, this is also an issue in Theravada, Zen, etc -- most people do not penetrate into 5)



Jackson Peterson:
Here is a brief quote that differentiates Dzogchen from the Theravadin view:

"To clarify the Dzogchen view: "We are just what we are, the Natural State which is like a mirror. It is clear and empty, and yet it reflects everything, all possible existences and all possible lifetimes. But it never changes and it does not depend on anything else."

Bon Master Lopon Tenzin Namdak
Like ·  · Unfollow Post · April 24 at 9:59am
Seen by 101
Steven Monaco likes this.

John Tan (Thusness): And definitely very different from anatta, the Anatta State is like reflections turn alive when the mirror disappears. Reflections are vividly clear yet empty. Everything, all possible existences and all possible lifetimes are simply reflections, they appear but are nothing real, ungraspable, un-originated, unborn.
April 24 at 3:24pm · Unlike · 7




Whereas Orgyen Chowang is describing the I AMness phase of realization. The I AMness realizers will describe Awareness as being behind all mental events and sensory phenomena, the formless background, source and substratum of phenomena. Stage 1.

The rest describe Awareness as being the unchanging space that subsumes all phenomena to be the temporary displays inseparable from that unchanging awareness. Subject-object division is dissolved but Awareness is still seen as a metaphysical, inherent, unchanging substance. That is thusness stage 4 or one mind. - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/10/differentiating-i-am-one-mind-no-mind.html , http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/09/difference-between-thusness-stage-4-and.html

I'll be most happy to be convinced otherwise but I think it is rare to find Dzogchen book describing anatta realization aka MCTB 4th path.

However, just because someone doesn't realize anatta and twofold emptiness doesn't mean the teachings are somehow less valuable. They can be very valuable and many insights and advice are very important (and even if you are already Thusness Stage 7 you can still learn many things from them), maybe just one aspect of insight that is different, that's all. Thusness told me to re-read Tenzin Wangyal's book on dream yoga last year as it has many good points and insights, just that the anatta realization is missing (more on I AMness and one mind). This aspect is different from my current experience and practice as I am more into anatta, total exertion and non-arising due to the insights I've undergone. Insight of anatta is just one point, albeit a crucial one, but there are many other things in spirituality than that. I'm now going into yoga practices.


As to Soto Zen, these are clearly about anatta (mctb 4th path) and total exertion:

Judith Ragir - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/06/the-emancipation-of-suchness.html
Steve Hagen - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/04/buddhism-is-not-what-you-think.html
Zen Master Hong Wen Liang - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2017/01/excerpts-from-jewel-mirror-samadhi.html
Hakuun Yasutani - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/04/hakuun-yasutani-flowers-fall-commentary.html
Barry Magid - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2016/05/being-one-with-our-moment-to-moment.html
Ted Biringer - thusness commented on one of his articles in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/03/realization-experience-and-right-view_13.html
John Daido Loori
Kubota Ji'un - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-ten-ox-herding-pictures.html


Thich Nhat Hanh is also into anatta and total exertion but he is not exactly Soto Zen - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2008/10/sun-of-awareness-and-river-of.html

etc (there are many other Soto Zen teachers that are into anatta and total exertion that I haven't mentioned)

That being said, there are also countless other (majority of) Zen authors and teachers that are very much about I AMness and one mind.


For the Mahamudra side, I think Thrangu Rinpoche has attained 4th Path, his experience is more on anatta and empty-clarity, and he is holding a Mahamudra teaching retreat on 'Clarifying the Natural State' in Nepal this year:

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/08/thrangu-rinpoche-on-nature-of-mind.html


I find the Mahamudra old texts and songs of the Mahamudra siddhas to be very much about anatta, emptiness and spontaneous perfection. But not all Mahamudra teachers today are talking about that. E.g. Mingyur Rinpoche seems to be more into I AMness.

Also, someone, I think the Dzogchen translator John Myrdhin Reynolds, wrote that the difference between Dzogchen and Mahamudra is that the Mahamudra teachings asserts all manifestation is mind and mind is just manifestation (not the slightest difference line of demarcation between mind and manifestation), while Dzogchen differentiates the nature of mind which is the unchanging mirror and impermanent manifestations which are its reflections, they are the manifestations of mind but are not mind itself. I think there is some basis on this view about the differences between schools because even the authoritative Dzogchen master Longchenpa is clearly holding this distinction in this book Practice of Dzogchen, and this is how he distinguishes his view from other schools. I'm pretty sure John Reynolds himself is at Thusness Stage 4.

For example Longchenpa wrote:

"
Longchenpa says: "Objective" appearances are vivid visions of absence, neither mind nor anything but mind, and should be understood as timelessly pure, baseless, brilliant emptiness. At the moment of release all potency and display, being groundless, dissolves by itself, like the waking from a dream, and thus since intrinsic rigpa never stirs from the original disposition of original changeless pure being, we should understand substance and attributes as immaculate. These days, no one but me (Longchenpa) seems to make these distinctions - either they argue that appearances are mental or they aver that they are something other than mind, but that is all. Even our own school (the Nyingma) is unsure, some proposing that the potency and display of rigpa appearing as ornamentation is the essence. In regard to that, potency is the energy of rigpa that manifests in the variable appearances of both samsara and nirvana, in the same way that the very same sunlight causes a lotus blossom to open and a white water lily to close. Display is the luminous expression of rigpa, which is like the incandescence of a candle-flame, or the display of the sun as light. Ornamentation is the adornment of the self-arisen face of rigpa, the momentary appearance of the complex structured gestalt imagery like a rainbow, or the sun, moon, stars and planets, in the sky.


""In Semde it is asserted that although various entities appear, they are not beyond the play of the mere Mind, like the arising of various shades of white and red in the single face of a mirror. The various appearances do not exist in reality as they are percepts (appearances) of the mind and are non-dual (in relation to the mind). The essence (Ngo-Bo) of the mind is Mind, which is clarity, and it is self-arisen primordial wisdom. Nowadays, foolish people say: "Dzogpa Chenpo asserts that the appearances are mind." That is totally wrong. (If it is so, then) mind should have color, be cognizable and have dimensions, because the appearances are the mysteries of the appearances of the mind and they are non-existent in reality like reflections in a mirror. They appear in the mind in the manner of delusions due to habituations (of the mind). One should understand that the Mind is the basis of arising (of appearances) and it is free from dimensions and partialities like the surface of a mirror, and it is the essence of discriminative intrinsic awareness, which transcends all the extremes of elaboration of postulations of plural and singular."

" Nowadays some people conceited in their knowledge of the Great Perfection, together with the adherents of some ordinary school, through lack of discrimination, loudly and ardently assert the egregious error that phenomenal appearances are our mind. Ordinary mind and pure mind, however, are not the same thing. Ordinary mind consists of triple-world beings' adventitious conditioned ignorance manifested as the eight types of consciousness with their different functions. "Pure mind" is self-sprung awareness of rigpa having no substances or attributes, the spaciousness of all samsara and nirvana. Since all outer and inner experience originates as the energetic potency, or display, of pure mind, we sometimes call it "pure mind" - which is a case of imputing the name of the cause to the effect. While all appearance as smasara or nirvana should be understood as the potency or rigpa, rigpa itself, established as neither samsara nor nirvana nor anything else, should be understood as the impalpable foundation of inexorable, uncrystallizing emanation."

The way Longchenpa describes in many instances sounds very much like one mind (elaborations on one mind in https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/10/differentiating-i-am-one-mind-no-mind.html )

However Longchenpa is also able to describe the taste of -A in some texts.

Thusness discussed this issue of 'mind' and 'manifestation of mind' and criticism of John Myrdhin Reynolds's views in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/just-manifestation-or-just-mind.html

And I prefer Dogen, Zen Master Hong Wen Liang, Hakuun Yastuani and a few others that clearly states no mirror - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2017/01/excerpts-from-jewel-mirror-samadhi.html , http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/04/hakuun-yasutani-flowers-fall-commentary.html , etc

(But as I mentioned, there are exceptions -- the two Dzogchen teachers and Kyle Dixon I mentioned above are clearly about anatta and emptiness, not stage 4.)

If this is a correct characterization of Dzogchen, then I would say Mahamudra teachings as a whole are more in line with Anatta and MCTB 4th Path than Dzogchen teachings, generally speaking. There cannot be any compromise in freedom, any sense of Mind as something unchanging (like an unchanging mirror beholding reflections) and distinct from manifestation (even if inseparable from manifestation) is not Anatta realization but a subtle form of reification and clinging and metaphysical view, i.e. getting trapped in the "golden chains of Anagami".

Having said that, Lopon Malcolm, authorized teacher of Dzogchen lineage's clarifications of Basis, Dharmakaya and Rigpa in Dzogchen makes it very compatible with anatta: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/02/clarifications-on-dharmakaya-and-basis_16.html , https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/05/color-sound-lights-and-rays_16.html , https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2013/03/rainbow-body-and-thusness-advice-to-me.html

Also Lopon Malcolm does much clarification on the difference between Dzogchen and Advaita view. And avoids extreme of eternalism in view. His translations of Dzogchen texts are highly recommended - most of the Dzogchen translations out there now are not good, and likely to fall into eternalist extreme. As Lopon Malcolm himself said, reading Dzogchen translations are like an exercise of hitting his head against the wall repeatedly.

The same issue about 'mirror and reflections' also arises in the variously held positions in the different schools of Zen: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/different-levels-of-awakening-among.html

There are a couple of historical Zen masters that are very much about anatta, empty clarity and total exertion (including its founder Bodhidharma), but most of the Zen masters especially after late Tang dynasty got stuck in I AM and One Mind, also partly due to doctrinal shifts and influences which I discussed more in the articles. Luckily in Japan we have someone with exceptional depth of insight - Dogen Zenji. Even so, most other Japanese Zen Masters like Bankei were/are more into the I AM and One Mind sort of nondual.

Also, even after anatta, the firstfold emptying there can be further penetration into +A and -A of secondfold emptiness.

Dogen is very clear that 'Impermanence is Buddha-nature' and directly refuted the eternalist/Hindu kind of views: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/08/non-duality-of-essence-and-form_25.html , and is always talking about anatta and total exertion, so the Soto Zen teachers today are influenced by that.
"I'll just speak my mind honestly without holding back". Love it! It's been a while since I've read DC but I don't recall you as fearless as now emoticon

I see now what you mean with I AMness in Orgyen Chowang's quote. Nevertheless I can't help wonder if that's where he actually is realisation-wise, having been so close to Jigme Phuntsok specifically (whom I consider mahasiddha through bhumi analysis). I recall OC was referred to by Malcolm Smith at DW. What if he wasn't being literal? What if others you've read weren't? What if they oversimplified their inner experience to make it more suitable to more people? Have you thought about this option? On the other hand your results of many teachers' attainments are roughly along the lines as mine through bhumi analysis.

The only instant bump is Thich Nhat Hanh. I wish him well in the final stages of his helpful life but to me it doesn't seem he would have much depth of insight. You have linked loads of texts. I will go through of them all, will probably take me a week!

Theory is my biggest lacking. It becomes more than obvious reading your blogs. Ha. I haven't felt a need for such in-depth theoretical analysis as yourself but then our paths and abilities are different. Hopefully your way helps people to forgive your directness. On top of that, even though I highly appreciate extensive and detailed verbal expositions, my English isn't good enough to be able to understand texts as I read them. I have to read and re-read to get what the words refer to but fortunately I get something out of it now, which I didn't before, thanks to my guru. Nevertheless it's like my brain is on fire reading this stuff. It's a very different wiring. In OH we would rely on shared experience (transmission) and simple pointers to point out differences of different stages, not necessarily talk about it much.

About mirror and reflections, and no-mirror and reflections turning alive. I think I get both now but I'd add that reflections aren't alive in any special way. There is no mirror, not to even mention a backdrop, nor are the reflections of phenomena alive in any special way. There is no flow but neither there is presence or spontaneity, forget naturalness. Honestly, total exertion, as lovely as it sounds, seems like a distant memory or a silly idea.

Talk to you later and thanks a lot Wei Yu.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 10:43 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:

"I'll just speak my mind honestly without holding back". Love it! It's been a while since I've read DC but I don't recall you as fearless as now emoticon

I see now what you mean with I AMness in Orgyen Chowang's quote. Nevertheless I can't help wonder if that's where he actually is realisation-wise, having been so close to Jigme Phuntsok specifically (whom I consider mahasiddha through bhumi analysis). I recall OC was referred to by Malcolm Smith at DW. What if he wasn't being literal? What if others you've read weren't? What if they oversimplified their inner experience to make it more suitable to more people? Have you thought about this option? On the other hand your results of many teachers' attainments are roughly along the lines as mine through bhumi analysis.

The only instant bump is Thich Nhat Hanh. I wish him well in the final stages of his helpful life but to me it doesn't seem he would have much depth of insight. You have linked loads of texts. I will go through of them all, will probably take me a week!

Theory is my biggest lacking. It becomes more than obvious reading your blogs. Ha. I haven't felt a need for such in-depth theoretical analysis as yourself but then our paths and abilities are different. Hopefully your way helps people to forgive your directness. On top of that, even though I highly appreciate extensive and detailed verbal expositions, my English isn't good enough to be able to understand texts as I read them. I have to read and re-read to get what the words refer to but fortunately I get something out of it now, which I didn't before, thanks to my guru. Nevertheless it's like my brain is on fire reading this stuff. It's a very different wiring. In OH we would rely on shared experience (transmission) and simple pointers to point out differences of different stages, not necessarily talk about it much.

About mirror and reflections, and no-mirror and reflections turning alive. I think I get both now but I'd add that reflections aren't alive in any special way. There is no mirror, not to even mention a backdrop, nor are the reflections of phenomena alive in any special way. There is no flow but neither there is presence or spontaneity, forget naturalness. Honestly, total exertion, as lovely as it sounds, seems like a distant memory or a silly idea.

Talk to you later and thanks a lot Wei Yu.

Yep I'm a little less reserved these days, I think.

Thusness and I weren't impressed by Thich Nhat Hanh's wisdom until we really read his book on The Sun My Heart, particularly that article I linked. Because previous books we read seem to be emphasizing on concentrative practices and mindfulness than direct insights. Which is not to say that they weren't good but we couldn't gauge his depth of insight from those alone.

Yes too much theory is not necessary. A less theoretical account of the insights of anatta and emptiness can be found in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html

Yes anatta is nothing special. It is most ordinary. Yet by penetrating anatta especially second stanza, deep aliveness is experienced everywhere. The intensity of Luminosity and Presence once reified as a background now comes to the foreground as all colors, all sounds, all sensations, all manifestations, vividly alive, intense, presencing, without a slightest trace of duality between a subject and object, perceiver and perceived.

I can say that for the past about 8 years of realizing anatta/MCTB 4th path/10th stage of the 10 oxherding pictures of Zen, I have not had a slightest trace of subject/object duality, agency, etc. But this does not in any way negate the luminous presence but in fact brings it to its peak intensity as the veil that prevents the direct effortless taste in all manifestation is lifted. As Thusness wrote a decade ago, "Here the highlight must not only be the empty nature of ‘sound’ alone, that luminosity as ‘sound’ must similarly be emphasized. When we stripped-off the symbolic representation of ‘bird’, ‘chirping’, ‘outside’, ‘eyes-organ’, ‘ears-organs’, ‘senate reality’ and merely experience in bare, this is the meditative state of intuitively knowing that quality of being luminous in oneness. Oneness as there is nothing to divide when devoid of these symbolic layering. The depth of the crystal clarity of that pure experience – ‘chirping’ is not what language can convey. The point here is not to bring about a scientific study on the topic of qualia but to have a direct feel of the full absorption in the delight of that clear-luminosity of ‘sound’. It is the ‘depth and degree’ of absorptive-clarity yet non-staying that is most important; not the symbolic understanding of meanings."




Division of subject and object is merely an assumption.

Thus someone giving up and something to be given up is an illusion.

When self becomes more and more transparent,

Likewise phenomena become more and more luminous.

In thorough transparency all happening are pristinely and vividly clear.

Obviousness throughout, aliveness everywhere!



Actual Freedom is also my natural state after anatta realization:

Actual Freedom and the Immediate Radiance in the Transience


I was having a conversation with someone today (he had some
history with various practices, vipassana, actual freedom, and recently
came across a famous Thai ajahn, etc) who shared about an experience of
dissolving into centerless space. I told him what I call anatta is not
just being centerless, it is the effulgence and radiance of the
transience. That is, regardless of any realization of no-self, and no
matter how centerless one feels or how centerless is one's experience of
awareness and so forth... still, anything short of direct realization
of the radiance or luminosity as the very stuff of transiency is still
not what I call the realization of anatta. (And that too is also just an
aspect of anatta, and furthermore not yet into the twofold emptying)


Was reminded of a conversation with Thusness back in Aug 2010 and found some excerpts from the Actual Freedom site:


"(12:22 AM) Thusness: for u, u will not be clear now... what Richard taught has some problem...that focus is in the experience
u should focus on the realization

(12:22 AM) Thusness: the pce is what i told u, bring what u experience into the foreground

(12:23 AM) Thusness: Richard has a very important realization.

(12:24 AM) Thusness: that is, he is able to realize the immediate radiance in the transience

(12:25 AM) AEN: this is like ur second point of anatta in the anatta article?

(12:25 AM) Thusness: yes

(12:26 AM) Thusness: there is nothing to argue, it is obvious and clear.

(12:27 AM) Thusness: however i do not want to focus on the experience

(12:27 AM) Thusness: u need to go through a period of frustration first"

....


RICHARD: Directly ... as splendour and brilliance are intrinsic to the properties of this actual world they present themselves openly where apperception is operating: everything is literally bright, shining, vivid, intense, sparkling, luminous, lustrous, scintillating and coruscating in all its vitality here in this actual world.

....


Having said that, and I am not inferring anything either way by what I am writing here, it may or may not be relevant to report that one must be most particular to not confuse an excellence experience with a perfection experience ... and the most outstanding distinction in the excellence experience is the marked absence of what I call the ‘magical’ element. This is where time has no duration as the normal ‘now’ and ‘then’ and space has no distance as the normal ‘here’ and ‘there’ and form has no distinction as the normal ‘was’ and ‘will be’ ... there is only this moment in eternal time at this place in infinite space as this flesh and blood body being apperceptively aware (a three hundred and sixty degree awareness, as it were). Everything and everyone is transparently and sparklingly obvious, up-front and out-in-the open ... there is nowhere to hide and no reason to hide as there is no ‘me’ to hide. One is totally exposed and open to the universe: already always just here right now ... actually in time and actually in space as actual form. This apperception (selfless awareness) is an unmediated perspicacity wherein one is this universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being; as such the universe is stunningly aware of its own infinitude.
In a PCE one is fully immersed in the infinitude of this fairy-tale-like actual world with its sensuous quality of magical perfection and purity where everything and everyone has a lustre, a brilliance, a vividness, an intensity and a marvellous, wondrous, scintillating vitality that makes everything alive and sparkling ... even the very earth beneath one’s feet. The rocks, the concrete buildings, a piece of paper ... literally everything is as if it were alive (a rock is not, of course, alive as humans are, or as animals are, or as trees are). This ‘aliveness’ is the very actuality of all existence – the actualness of everything and everyone – for one is not living in an inert universe.

It is one’s destiny to be living the utter peace of the perfection of the purity welling endlessly as the infinitude this eternal, infinite and perpetual universe actually is....
...
http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/…/selected…/sc-sensation.htm

RICHARD: Put simply: as there is no (subjective) experiencer there is no separation ... no ‘inner world’/‘outer world’.

RESPONDENT: If the images (presumably) are identical in quality, do you see them differently (e.g. in terms of clarity)?

RICHARD: Yes ... and just as the moving picture is visually brilliant,
vivid, sparkling, so too is the sound track aurally rich, vibrant,
resonant.


---------


Also it is not that the I AM is not important, the taste of Pure Presence as in I AM is important but the sense of a background is completely dissolved after Anatta and Presence is naturally foreground.

Anatta and Pure Presence

Someone told me about having been through insights of no self and then progressing to a realisation of the ground of being.
I replied:
Hi ____
Thanks for the sharing.
This is the I AM realization. Had
that realisation after contemplating Before birth, who am I? For two
years. It’s an important realization. Many people had insights into
certain aspects of no self, impersonality, and “dry non dual experience”
without doubtless realization of Presence. Therefore I AM realisation
is a progression for them.

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

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

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

Thusness also wrote:

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


RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 12:51 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
AEN,

Your posts here have been very fascinating and your website seems like an exceedingly great / rare resource at first blush. I'm interested in reading your e-book, however access to it requires sign-up for a Box account, which requires a business name, credit card, etc. Is there a more accessible means to obtaining it?

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 3:41 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
curious:
I would see it slightly differently An Eternal Now. I think the author is generously describing part of their journey and their thinking, and promoting an interesting discussion in the context of that thread. It is potentially to the benefit of many, including me. It is fascinating to go back and read it now - I look at my own comments quite differently, and also read Shargol's comments in a completely different light.  (Yeah, Shargol!)

So I think these comments are from a particular context.  It may not be all that helpful to bring them in to a completely different context at a completely different time. Descriptions of phenomenology are tricky too - it is hard to communicate exactly what we mean to each other.

But then again, my views arise from a kind of conservative sutta approach.  I like what the Buddha said (paraphrased).  "All I teach is suffering and the end of suffering."

That is enough for me!  I'm not too worried about the other attainments.

My experience has been different.

As Thusness wrote in 2007,


(2:56 PM) AEN:    toni packer also clear about non dual rite
(2:56 PM) Thusness:    the factors of fearlessness and non-attachment must up to a sufficient depth before one can experience what i meant. emoticon
(2:56 PM) AEN:    icic..
(2:56 PM) Thusness:    toni packer is okie. emoticon
(2:56 PM) AEN:    icic..
(2:56 PM) Thusness:    i intro u because of ET (Eckhart Tolle). emoticon
(2:57 PM) Thusness:    i think she is more clear about non dual than ET.
(2:57 PM) AEN:    ya her style a bit like ET in some ways
(2:57 PM) AEN:    icic ya
(2:57 PM) Thusness:    emoticon
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    u c, there is a commonality about those entering and dwell in non dual state.
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    they don't tok about i am.
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    or I.
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    or a background.
(2:58 PM) AEN:    oic
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    absolutely nothing.
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    nothing about a witness.
(2:58 PM) AEN:    icic..
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    even tony parsons
(2:58 PM) Thusness:    and that nathan gill?
(2:59 PM) Thusness:    though he tok about it in his earlier realisation.
(2:59 PM) Thusness:    that 'sense of self' must be completely eliminated.
(2:59 PM) AEN:    what earlier realisation
(2:59 PM) AEN:    oh nathan gill
(3:00 PM) Thusness:    in fact when one goes deeper, there can be no trace.
(3:00 PM) AEN:    icic..
(3:00 PM) Thusness:    if there is a trace, then that practitioner retrogress.
(3:00 PM) Thusness:    longchen no more tok about 'I' and "I AM" now.
(3:00 PM) AEN:    oic..
(3:01 PM) Thusness:    so give him another 30 yrs and if he works hard....will be a good collection for some youngsters. emoticon
(3:01 PM) Thusness:    lol

AEN - I agree with all of that.  :-)  There isn't a witness. There isn't even emptiness. There is no-thing, no self, and no suffering. Words cannot easily describe it because words immediately introduce evaluation - the grammar of existence.  Even saying it just IS adds a concept that isn't quite right.  No witness, no world, no emptiness, no form.  But extreme clarity, with a calmness and emotion that is hard to describe - joy without a subject or an object.  I like the translation of the Culavedalla Sutta that describes it as clear knowing (although that doesn't quite capture the spacious luminous quality),

Also, this phrase from the Culavedalla sutta has become very important to me in understanding how the experience arises "Neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling is pleasant in occurring together with knowledge, and painful in occurring without knowledge."

So one route is as as the Culavedalla sutta recomments - have an MCTB cessation, then later see through pain, then see through pleasure. Then finally see through ignorance. After that, the equanimious state of clear knowing becomes established with a pervading 'pleasant' feeling, and the stress of existence fades.

(Better cross post this to my practice log to keep a record).

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 10:29 PM as a reply to lotb.
lotb:
AEN,

Your posts here have been very fascinating and your website seems like an exceedingly great / rare resource at first blush. I'm interested in reading your e-book, however access to it requires sign-up for a Box account, which requires a business name, credit card, etc. Is there a more accessible means to obtaining it?


Oops, just realized I posted the wrong link. I updated the link.

You can access it here: https://app.box.com/shared/3verpiao63

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/30/19 10:42 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/31/19 9:35 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
AEN, where would you place the techings of Culadasa and those of Rob Burbea?

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/31/19 1:30 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
AEN - Thanks for the replies.  You state both that Hindu enlightenment and my 4th path description fall on the 1st few stages of the Thusness map.  I appreciate that you are so candid, and also so well versed in this particular map, but I feel like I need to point out the obvious here which is that you may not be 100% percent correct in its application.

Similar to how I am only cursorily familiar with the Thusness map, and am thus in no particular position to judge it, you also may not be fully informed on the nature of my experience.  Regarding Hindu enlightenment, or 'godhead', I find it challenging to believe that a mystical religious system thousands of years old only barely got started on a modern day attainment map.

There's certainly room for debate here, and it's interesting to hear what you're saying, but you might be cautioned to realize that there are many perspectives beyond the Thusness map.  As I noted in the post you linked, one issue I have seen with MCTB is that people attempt to fit the entirety of spiritual experience into what is, quite naturally, a limited meditative system.  This error can likewise apply to all attempts to fit diverse experience into a hyper-specific attainment map.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
1/31/19 3:58 PM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
AEN - ...You state both that Hindu enlightenment and my 4th path description fall on the 1st few stages of the Thusness map. 

I'm still reading through Wei Yu's and Thusness' materials, still learning new but seeing the above, I felt like dropping a line.

In my prev msg I asked few questions which I don't think AEN yet answered. Chrystallized, my question is: How are you so confident that verbal means alone tell you perfectly what the attainment of another person is?

I watched that Thich Nhat Hanh clip and couldn't see anything in it that would tell me that he would have the depth you think he does. What exactly in that clip tells you that he'd be Thusness 4 (I think that was the number in his case)? My bhumi analysis of him is far from your analysis of him. It crossed my mind that I would write a comparison of Open Heart Bhumi Model and Thusness' 7 stages.

T DC in the above post apparently re-makes AEN's and T's statement that hindu enlightenment would be placed on first few stages of T's map. Yes, I can see how someone solely focused on verbal-philosophical descriptions would come to the conclusion that enlightenment as understood in buddhism (buddhahood/mahasiddhahood) would not be possible for hindus because their view prevents them from getting there. However, such a way of measuring attainments or deciding how near or far some method goes, is to use the correct term, extremely limited. In my own experience, which I can in my own way try to explain, it simply isn't true. There is and there always has been mahasiddhas in hinduism, just like in buddhism, christianity and taoism.

Thanks for input AEN.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/2/19 10:47 AM as a reply to curious.
Words cannot easily describe it because words immediately introduce evaluation - the grammar of existence.  Even saying it just IS adds a concept that isn't quite right.  No witness, no world, no emptiness, no form.  But extreme clarity, with a calmness and emotion that is hard to describe - joy without a subject or an object.  I like the translation of the Culavedalla Sutta that describes it as clear knowing (although that doesn't quite capture the spacious luminous quality),

Also, this phrase from the Culavedalla sutta has become very important to me in understanding how the experience arises "Neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling is pleasant in occurring together with knowledge, and painful in occurring without knowledge."

So one route is as as the Culavedalla sutta recomments - have an MCTB cessation, then later see through pain, then see through pleasure. Then finally see through ignorance. After that, the equanimious state of clear knowing becomes established with a pervading 'pleasant' feeling, and the stress of existence fades.

(Better cross post this to my practice log to keep a record).
The clear knowing here is quite vague and different people have different ideas of what that means. So I'll elaborate further. Very often, the luminous knowing aspect of presence-awareness is experienced before liberative insight arises. It is then reified as a changeless independent Self.

Even in Thusness Stage 1 ( http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html ), the luminous Presence is experienced, but this is not yet the liberation of Buddhism. It might however be considered Moksha in non-Buddhist religions.

The luminosity of Buddhism must go along with clear insight into anatta and emptiness to be liberating. Nondual luminosity is blissful but emptiness liberates.

As Thusness wrote before,

"The key towards pure knowingness is to bring the taste of presence into the 6 entries and exits. So that what is seen, heard, touched, tasted are pervaded by a deep sense of crystal, radiance and transparency. This requires seeing through the center." - Thusness


Daniel also wrote,


https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/9383580

DhO questioner: What is Luminosity?
Daniel M. Ingram:

Luminosity is both a useful and possibly very misleading term.

Here's what it is doesn't mean: that a person will suddenly see things more brightly, that there will be more light in things than the standard amount, or anything like that.

Here's what it points to, said a number of equivalent ways:

1) In the seeing, just the seen. In the hearing, just the heard. In cognition, just the cognized. In feeling, just the felt... This standard line from the Bahiya of the Bark Cloth Sutta in the Udana is one of the most profound there is in the whole of the Pali Canon. It means that sensations are just sensations, simply that, with no knower, doer, be-er (not beer, as that is a beverage), or self in them to be found at all.

2) Point one, taken in its logical inverse, means that the "light" of awareness is in things where they are, including all of the space between/around/through them equally.

3) Said another way, things just are aware/manifest/occurring where they are just as they are, extremely straightforwardly.
Helpful?



curious:


There isn't a witness. There isn't even emptiness. There is no-thing, no self, and no suffering.
This needs to be clarified. No self and emptiness does not mean non-existence, or the non-existence of the four noble truths. That would be nihilism. Nor is emptiness a means to affirm some ultimate that transcends the relative, as a 'neti neti' approach that dissociates the relative to get to an absolute irreducible substrate of pure consciousness - that would be Advaita. Emptiness is a non-affirming negation, it penetrates the delusory images of substance or essence by revealing a diverse play of dependencies (like net of indra) fully involved in every diverse, empty-and-selfluminous-appearances rather than some undifferentiated oneness source/substratum as the ultimate. I do not see any kind of an ultimate that has the slightest distinction or hairwidth of difference from pure relativity.



"Mere suffering is, not any sufferer is found

The deeds exist, but no performer of the deeds:

Nibbana is, but not the man that enters it,

The path is, but no wanderer is to be seen."

- http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/search/label/Buddhaghosa

There is no hearer behind sound, hearing is just the sound, there is no seer behind scenery, seeing is just colors. Everything is vividly manifesting, nothing is denied. Dogen and Hui-Neng says "Impermanence is Buddha-Nature". He also said, “I came to realize clearly that the mind is not other than mountains, rivers, the great wide earth, sun, moon, stars”. So the absence of an agent, a self, actually reveals the splendid display of the diversity of appearances as one's radiance without center or duality. It is not the case that no self, therefore nothing, or that all the diversities and multiplicities of the entire display are subsumed into some undifferentiated oneness.

...According to Dogen, this “oceanic-body” does not contain the myriad
forms, nor is it made up of myriad forms – it is the myriad forms
themselves. The same instruction is provided at the beginning of
Shobogenzo, Gabyo (pictured rice-cakes) where, he asserts that, “as all
Buddhas are enlightenment” (sho, or honsho), so too, “all dharmas are
enlightenment” which he says does not mean they are simply “one” nature
or mind. (Ted Biringer)

Anything falling short of this realization cannot be said to be Buddhist's enlightenment and it is also what your Taiwanese teacher Chen wanted you to be clear when he spoke of the "equality of dharma" as having an initial glimpse of anatta will not result in practitioners seeing that phenomena are themselves primordially pure.

- Thusness, http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/03/realization-experience-and-right-view_13.html

It
looks your Bahiya Sutta experience helped you see awareness in a
different way, more .... empty. You had a background in a view that saw
awareness as more inherent or essential or substantive?

I
had an experience like this too. I was reading a sloka in Nagarjuna's
treatise about the "prior entity," and I had been meditating on
"emptiness is form" intensely for a year. These two threads came
together in a big flash. In a flash, I grokked the emptiness of
awareness as per Madhyamika. This realization is quite different from
the Advaitic oneness-style realization. It carries one out to the
"ten-thousand things" in a wonderful, light and free and kaleidoscopic,
playful insubstantial clarity and immediacy. No veils, no holding back.
No substance or essence anywhere, but love and directness and intimacy
everywhere...

- Greg Goode, http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/08/greg-goode-on-advaitamadhyamika_9.html
In many of your recent posts after the sudden realization of anatta from contemplating on Bahiya Sutta, you are still very much focused on the vivid non-dual presence. Now the everything feels ‘Me’ sort of sensation becomes a daily matter and the bliss of losing oneself completely into scenery, sound, taste is wonderful. This is different from everything collapsing into a “Single Oneness” sort of experience but a disperse out into the multiplicity of whatever arises. Everything feels closer than ‘me’ due to gaplessness
.
- Thusness, http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/02/putting-aside-presence-penetrate-deeply.html


And furthermore the nature of manifestation is to be dependently originating and thus nothing truly 'there' in and by/of itself (its nature is empty), thus it is non-arising and non-originated like the reflection of moon on the lake (moon is not created or residing inside the lake) yet undeniably and vividly appearing. Hence, suffering, four noble truths, colors and sounds are not denied but directly and vividly experienced but its nature is empty, non-arising.


As I wrote in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/06/how-experiential-realization-helps-in_22.html

Partial excerpt:


First of all we have to understand that taints, clinging, karmic
propensities are empty. But it is not empty in the sense of being
non-existent, rather, it is empty of inherent existence due to dependent
origination. For example we may think that craving exists somewhere in
our 'minds' that we must somehow 'get rid of it'. This is having an
inherent view. This is like looking into the mirror and trying to
destroy the person appearing in the mirror by punching the mirror and
cracking the mirror in order to "destroy the person inside the mirror"
(as if there is a person living inherently inside the mirror, where in
reality what's reflected is a dependently originating, non-arising
appearance). That would be totally silly, and likewise trying to destroy
afflictive emotions conceived as inherently existing somewhere "in us"
without discerning its causes and conditions would be totally silly. If
you want to remove the reflection, you have to discern the whole chain
of dependencies which leads to that, and those afflictive causes are to
be remedied. To have insight into the emptiness and dependent
origination of our afflictive condition is to realize the Total Exertion of Karmic Tendencies

Likewise,
thankfully our suffering is not inherently existing but arises due to
dependent origination, and what is arising is fundamentally non-arising
and free from extremes. Precisely because of this, we can discern the
whole chain of dependent origination whereby ignorance depends on
taints, taints depends on ignorance, setting the whole chain of
suffering. If we understand this, we don't focus our efforts on the
wrong place. Things don't exist inherently - they manifest due to
dependent origination, and when the causes and conditions are present,
no effort or will can prevent them from arising, that is the nature of
manifestation. If we fail to understand emptiness in the context of
dependent origination, we will fall into a non-Buddhist or nihilistic
version of emptiness, and it will not liberate us.

In the path of
Buddhadharma, since we understand dependencies, we do not attempt to
get rid of afflictive emotions by hard will, or by dissociation (which
strengthens the fundamental delusion of an inherently existing subject
and an inherently existing object), or other ways based on the view of
inherent existence - which is akin to punching the mirror to get rid of
the reflection. At the same time, we are not saying "they are purely an
illusion, nothing to work on" (let's try that tactic when your clothes
catch fire!). What we're saying is that by directly penetrating the
dependent origination and emptiness of taints, precisely because they
are illusory and not inherently existing, we can understand the
necessity to apply the right remedy which cuts the basis for suffering
(the 12 links from ignorance... to death). What path? The engagement in
right view and right practice, in which integral conduct allows the
arising of integral samadhi which allows the arising of integral wisdom,
which results in the cessation of ignorance and the chains. With the
arising of wisdom, the chain of afflictive dependent origination is
released.

As Nagarjuna pointed out, it is precisely because of
emptiness that the soteriological values of Buddhadharma can work at
all. This is nicely explained in http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/ew103934.htm :

(Excerpt)

Nagarjuna's Critique of the Dharma

In
chapter XXIV of the Karikas, NAgarjuna continues his attack on the
Abhidharma philosophers by analyzing the Four Noble Truths, and argues
that-like causality, impermanence, suffering, and bondage-they, too, are
"empty." The problem of this chapter needs to be seen against the
background of the preceding section. If the Abhidharma views of
causality are "empty," as Nagarjuna says they are, and if causality is a
central feature of Buddhist praxis, then Nagarjuna seems to undermine
everything that is vital to Buddhism. He begins chapter XXIV by
expressing the Abhidharma position in the following way:

If all of this is empty,
Neither arising nor ceasing,
Then for you, it follows that
The Four Noble Truths do ont exist.

If the Four Noble Truths do not exist,
Then knowledge, abandonment,
Meditation and manifestation
Will be completely impossible.

p.571

If these things do not exist,
The four fruits will not arise.
Without the four fruits, there will be no attainers of the fruits.
Nor will there be the faithful.

If so, the spiritual community will not exist.
Nor will the eight kinds of person.
If the Four Noble Truths do not exists,
There will be no true Dharma.

If there is no doctrine and spiritual community,
How can there be a Buddha?
If emptiness is conceived in this way,
The three jewels are contradicted.
(Garfield 1995, p.67)

In
the passages above, the Abhidharma opponent is saying that if Nagarjuna
is right about "emptiness," then the very practices that make Buddhism
soteriologically efficacious will be destroyed. That is, if it is true
that the Four Noble Truths are "empty," then there is no such thing as
the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, no such thing as impermanence,
"non-self," and nirvana, and the practices that supposedly lead to
liberation will be destroyed. Nagarjuna responds to the opponent by
saying that he has misunderstood "emptiness":

We say that this understanding of yours
Of emptiness and purpose of emptiness
And of the significance of emptiness is incorrect.
As a consequence you are harmed by it.
(Garfield 1995, p.68)

Because
the opponent has taken "emptiness" to signify the nonexistence of the
Four Noble Truths, he is "harmed by it"-in other words, he sees
"emptiness" as destructive. But his reason for thinking of "emptiness"
in this way is that he thinks that a "correct" meditation on causality,
the aggregates, and the Four Noble Truths is necessary for liberation.

Nagarjuna
responds to this assumption by reversing the tables and saying, in
effect, that it is not "emptiness" that destroys practice, but the very
idea that such things as causality, the aggregates, and the Four Noble
Truths are "inherent," essential, or necessary:

If you perceive the existence of all things
In terms of svabhava,
Then this perception of all things
Will be without the perception of causes and conditions.

Effects and causes
And agent and action
And conditions and arising and ceasing
And effects will be rendered impossible.
(Garfield 1995, p.69)

p.572

Nagarjuna
goes on to say that the reason essences militate against causal
conditions, arising, ceasing, agency, and so forth is that the idea of
essence entails independence, and if things are by nature independent
then it is impossible for them to interact causally. If this is true
then there is no "dependent arising," and without "dependent arising" it
is impossible to make sense of the ability to cultivate a virtuous
life. In other words, without the process of change the whole idea of
cultivating the "fruits" of a Buddhist life is rendered nonsensical.
Nagarjuna responds by saying that Buddhist praxis must be "empty" if we
are to make any sense of the Four Noble Truths:

If dependent arising is denied,
Emptiness itself is rejected.
This would contradict
All of the worldly conventions.

If emptiness is rejected,
No action will be appropriate.
There would be action which did not begin,
And there would be agent without action.

If there is svabhava, the whole world
Will be unarising, unceasing,
And static. The entire phenomenal world
Would be immutable.

If it (the world) were not empty,
Then action would be without profit.
The act of ending suffering and
Abandoning misery and defilement would not exist.
(Garfield 1995, p.72)

Nagarjuna
has thus shifted the debate. Whereas the Abhidharma thinker begins with
the assumption that a "correct" meditation on the Dharma is a necessary
prerequisite for liberation, Nagarjuna undercuts this by saying that if
one takes the Dharma as essential, that is, as necessary, then the very
essence of Buddhism is undermined. Like the first chapter on causation,
Nagarjuna is reminding the Abhidharma philosophers here about
nonattachment. The Four Noble Truths are supposed to be medicinal
"rafts" that help specific sentient beings overcome their attachments,
but if one becomes attached to the practices of nonattachment then one
has missed the entire point of Buddhism. Thus, Nagarjuna says that the
Dharma-which includes causation, impermanence, suffering, bondage, and
liberation-is "empty."

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/2/19 11:03 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
AEN - Thanks for the replies.  You state both that Hindu enlightenment and my 4th path description fall on the 1st few stages of the Thusness map.  I appreciate that you are so candid, and also so well versed in this particular map, but I feel like I need to point out the obvious here which is that you may not be 100% percent correct in its application.

Similar to how I am only cursorily familiar with the Thusness map, and am thus in no particular position to judge it, you also may not be fully informed on the nature of my experience.  Regarding Hindu enlightenment, or 'godhead', I find it challenging to believe that a mystical religious system thousands of years old only barely got started on a modern day attainment map.

There's certainly room for debate here, and it's interesting to hear what you're saying, but you might be cautioned to realize that there are many perspectives beyond the Thusness map.  As I noted in the post you linked, one issue I have seen with MCTB is that people attempt to fit the entirety of spiritual experience into what is, quite naturally, a limited meditative system.  This error can likewise apply to all attempts to fit diverse experience into a hyper-specific attainment map.

Actually anatta and sunyata realization is not a 'modern day attainment map', it is 2500 years old, starting with Buddha himself.

It is different from Hindu/Vedantic realization and I don't think we need to compare them (except to establish the differences) or expect them to conform to the Buddhadharma system. Also we can integrate stuff from Hindu/Vedanta, no problem, (more on that later) though the view is somewhat different.

As Greg Goode said,

https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/three-paradigms-with-nondual-luminosity.html

Greg Goode: Oh,
another thing - Advaitins don't see (what we're calling)
susbstantialism or essentialism as a bad thing. For them, it is the only
thing. Since Brahman = truth, being and freedom from suffering, it
makes no sense to be without it. One needs it even to deny it, is the
thinking there. So even the standards of evaluation are different. Not
to mention the varna/caste system, which is defended on upanishadic,
doctrinal grounds. Oops, I just mentioned it!
February 10 at 12:33pm · Like · 3
Greg Goode:
I love the Mandukya Upanishad and the Gaudapada Karika. I think it is
effective and profound, and like many views, doesn't need to be
reconciled with other views. I know that some Advaitins shy away from
that Upanishad because of gossip about G's Buddhist influences. I
studied that text for a few years, and it never felt subversive to me...
February 10 at 12:43pm · Like · 4

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/2/19 11:45 AM as a reply to T DC.
Also I just saw one of your more recent post,


I think Noah is right on with his description of luminosity as 'objects possessed with your identical consciousness'.  Similarly, in the section on Tantra in Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa, he discusses luminosity as the perception of the basic energy behind phenomena.  Traditionally speaking, the term 'luminosity' is generally paired with 'emptiness' as these two terms describe the two sides of the coin for how phenomena appears at an ultimate level.  

Emptiness refers to the perceived lack of inherent existence of all phenomena, that the world is seen to be empty of any permanent, conceptually apprehensible form or substance.  Luminosity instead refers to the aspect of 'fullness', that although phenomena is understood to be empty of separable, inherent existence, it is nevertheless seen to be continuous with our own living awareness.  Essentially, at a very advanced level of the path, we perceive the world to be permeated with the light of awareness itself - this ultimate awareness permeating the world is the same ultimate awareness we have uncovered in our own mind. 

This is both highly advanced and technical, but the famous quote "I am everything and I am nothing.." sums it up well. With emptiness we see we are nothing, with luminosity we see that we are everything - luminosity is the living, energetic quality of awareness that permeates the world, and of which we ultimately realize our unity. (Emptiness in turn is simply the inability of this awareness to be contained, pinned down, or otherwise conceptually apprehended).  


This sounds more like Thusness Stage 4 and "One Mind", especially if this 'luminosity' is felt to be ultimate, permanent and changeless. In One Mind all diverse phenomena are subsumed to be within a single all-enveloping Awareness.

As Andre A Pais wrote his own progression from I AM to One Mind to Anatta,


So, not only there is no background to experience, there is also no
unity, consistency or “spreadness” of awareness in the foreground, like
the same awareness extends throughout all experience. It’s not that appearances arise in awareness (ONE MIND) or even that awareness arises as appearances (first
level of ANATTA). All there is, is the self-shining luminosity of
appearances, devoid of any central reference point or ground. This
liberates experience from the sense of being a single or unitary event
or from simply being “one thing”, as opposed to "other things".
Actually, this experience is merely the shape of the universe as it
unfolds here and makes absolutely no reference no any unitary owner,
container or experiencer. This is not “one experience”, but a naturally
occurring multiplicity of luminous activity. It’s not “this experience”, or “my experience”. It’s not even “experience”, as in a singular event. Every object is its own experience, its own luminosity.


- https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/11/beyond-awareness.html


At the anatta/emptiness level of realization, 'awareness' is seen to be like 'weather'. Weather is not some mysterious entity that is empty simply because it is a formless something that cannot 'be contained, pinned down, or otherwise conceptually apprehended', but rather it is merely labelled upon the basis of designation which is the rain, wind, sunshine, clouds, etc. No 'weather' can be found within or apart from any of those displays. Nor is 'weather' some unchanging entity that 'permeates' the rain, wind, sunshine and clouds. There is no 'weather' besides rain, wind, sunshine and clouds.


14/4/13 7:35:01 PM: John Tan: When u say "weather", does weather exist?
14/4/13 7:35:20 PM: Soh Wei Yu: No
14/4/13 7:35:42 PM: Soh Wei Yu: It's a convention imputed on a seamless activity
14/4/13 7:35:54 PM: Soh Wei Yu: Existence and non existence don't apply
14/4/13 7:36:02 PM: John Tan: What is the basis where this label rely on
14/4/13 7:36:16 PM: Soh Wei Yu: Rain clouds wind etc
14/4/13 7:36:25 PM: John Tan: Don't talk prasanga
14/4/13 7:36:36 PM: John Tan: Directly see
14/4/13 7:38:11 PM: John Tan: Rain too is a label
14/4/13
7:39:10 PM: John Tan: But in direct experience, there is no issue but
when probed, u realized how one is confused abt the reification from
language
14/4/13 7:39:52 PM: John Tan: And from there life/death/creation/cessation arise
14/4/13 7:40:06 PM: John Tan: And whole lots of attachment
14/4/13 7:40:25 PM: John Tan: But it does not mean there is no basis...get it?
14/4/13 7:40:45 PM: Soh Wei Yu: The basis is just the experience right
14/4/13 7:41:15 PM: John Tan: Yes which is plain and simple
14/4/13 7:41:50 PM: John Tan: When we say the weather is windy
14/4/13 7:42:04 PM: John Tan: Feel the wind, the blowing...
14/4/13 7:43:04 PM: John Tan: But when we look at language and mistaken verb for nouns there r big issues
14/4/13 7:43:22 PM: John Tan: So before we talk abt this and that
14/4/13 7:43:40 PM: John Tan: Understand what consciousness is and awareness is
14/4/13 7:43:45 PM: John Tan: Get it?
14/4/13 7:44:40 PM: John Tan: When we say weather, feel the sunshine, the wind, the rain
14/4/13 7:44:58 PM: John Tan: U do not search for weather
14/4/13 7:45:04 PM: John Tan: Get it?
14/4/13
7:45:57 PM: John Tan: Similarly, when we say awareness, look into scenery, sound, tactile sensations, scents and thoughts


........

luminosity is the living, energetic quality of awareness


Can't argue with this but this 'quality' is simply a way of describing manifest experience, as I wrote recently:


Soh Wei YuEven
though moment after moment, the different colors, sounds, sensations,
scents, and thoughts (both verbal/imagery as well as non-conceptual
sense of presence) are all equally vivid and alive and luminous, it
would be a conceptual abstraction to separate that luminosity into some
unchanging entity with such an attribute.

A useful
way to see this would be in terms of the analogy of saltiness and
seawater, heat and fire, wetness and water. In truth, there is no
saltiness of water anywhere other than the taste of seawater, no heat
without the burning of fire, therefore it makes no sense to distinguish
them into independent and separate entities, or extrapolate in terms of
one being unchanging and another being changing, and so on.

We
should see the 'luminosity of a manifestation' and 'manifestation' as
not two different things in the same way as 'wetness and water' can't be
found independently. This analogy deconstructs 'thing' and 'its
characteristics', or 'phenomenon' and 'its nature'. Therefore it makes
no sense to speak of some unchanging nature independent of
manifestation, in the same way as it makes no sense to speak of wetness
that remains unchanged or independent of the flow of water.

Lopon Malcolm:

The
idea that things have natures is refuted by Nāgārjuna in the MMK, etc.,
Bhavaviveka, Candrakīrti, etc., in short by all Madhyamakas.

A "non-inherent nature" is a contradiction in terms.

The
error of mundane, conventionally-valid perception is to believe that
entities have natures, when in fact they do not, being phenomena that
arise from conditions. It is quite easy to show a worldly person the
contradiction in their thinking. Wetness and water are not two different
things; therefore wetness is not the nature of water. Heat and fire are
not two different things, therefore, heat is not the nature of fire,
etc. For example, one can ask them, "Does wetness depend on water, or
water on wetness?" If they claim wetness depends on water, ask them,
where is there water that exists without wetness? If they claim the
opposite, that water depends on wetness, ask them, where is there
wetness that exists without water? If there is no wetness without water
nor water without wetness, they can easily be shown that wetness is not a
nature of water, but merely a name for the same entity under
discussion. Thus, the assertion that wetness is the nature of water
cannot survive analysis. The assertion of all other natures can be
eliminated in the same way.

...

Then
not only are you ignorant of the English language, but you are ignorant
of Candrakīrti where, in the Prasannapāda, he states that the only
nature is the natureless nature, emptiness.

Then, if
it is asked what is this dharmatā of phenomena, it is the essence of
phenomena. If it is ask what is an essence, it is a nature [or an
inherent existence, rang bzhin]. If it is asked what is an inherent
existence [or nature], it is emptiness. If it is asked what is
emptiness, it is naturelessness [or absence of inherent existence]. If
it is asked what is the absence of inherent existence [or
naturelessness], it is suchness [tathāta]. If it is asked what is
suchness, it is the essence of suchness that is unchanging and
permanent, that is, because it is not fabricated it does not arise in
all aspects and because it is not dependent, it is called the nature [or inherent existence] of fire, etc."

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/2/19 12:08 PM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
AEN, where would you place the techings of Culadasa and those of Rob Burbea?


Culadasa's book is a good guide to developing shamatha and jhana, also he briefly mentions about the I AM and no-self, however his I think rather short description of no-self is not sufficient for me to make a clear judgement about how it maps to other maps. If he truly realized the I AM and Witness followed by seeing through the Witness such that it is the action that knows, no knower, he should also see how No-Self leads to bringing the luminosity into/as the foreground (in the seen just the seen, in the heard just the heard, etc) by seeing through the illusion of awareness-as-background. (It is not merely dissolving sense of self by seeing the momentariness of consciousness) I don't think he talked about this, though admittedly I only managed to scan through the whole book in a short period of time due to lack of time and probably missed a huge chunk of his book.

Rob Burbea is very clear about many points of insights, but realization of non-dual anatta is missing. This is the reason for his practice turning into dissociation as stated in the third point on http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/09/realization-and-experience-and-non-dual.html

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/2/19 1:46 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
If he truly realized the I AM and Witness followed by seeing through the Witness such that it is the action that knows, no knower, he should also see how No-Self leads to bringing the luminosity into/as the foreground (in the seen just the seen, in the heard just the heard, etc) by seeing through the illusion of awareness-as-background.

AEN, thank you for your answer emoticon I would appreciate if you could place Culadasa's teaching on Thusness map, having in mind following extracts from his The Mind Illuminated. They seem in accordance with what you have talked about.

First something from a section talking about a type of meditation called “Finding the Still Point and Realizing the Witness”:
At the same time, you’ll become aware of an even greater stillness at the core of your moment-to-moment experience. This is called the Still Point. Find that Still Point, and make its stillness the focus of your attention. (...)

As you keep observing, you may also discover the so-called “Witness,” the subjective experience of a pure, unmoving, and unmoved observer who is unaffected by whatever is observed. A warning is in order here. You will likely feel that you have discovered the true Self, the ultimate ground of all experience. In a sense you have—but it’s not at all what you think! The Witness state is the ultimate ground of your personal experience, but it has arisen in dependence upon the body and the world, and it will disappear with the body. Its real value and significance is that it points toward a much more profound Insight, provided you don’t make the mistake of clinging to it as a Self. Doing so only nourishes the attachment we are all born with to the idea of being a singular, enduring, and separate Self. Mistaking the Witness state for a true Self is what leads some people to claim that Consciousness is the True Self.

To properly use the Witness experience, probe more deeply. Go to the Still Point, the place of the Witness, with a question: “Who or what is this witness?” “Who is watching?” “Who is experiencing?” Adamantly refuse to entertain any answers offered by your intellectual, thinking mind. Also, don’t be deceived by your emotional mind, which will try to make you believe you’ve found the answer when you haven’t. Just hold on to the question as you experience the Witness. If and when Insight arises, it will be a profound Insight into the truth of no-Self, and it will be so obvious that you’ll wonder why you never realized it before.
 
We are not disagreeing with non-dual (advaita) philosophies that speak of a “True Self.” It’s important to note that the True Self they refer to is not a separate Self, and indeed, advaita masters refute the very possibility of such separateness. Realizing the “true self” simply means having the Insight that everything in existence constitutes a single, interconnected whole. Advaita does recognize the Witness and clearly states that it is not the True Self.
 
Talking about cessation:   
    
With cessation, the tuned-in subminds simultaneously realize that everything appearing in consciousness is simply the product of their own activity. In other words, they realize that the input they’re accustomed to receiving is simply a result of their own fabricating activities. This has a dramatic effect. The sub-minds of the discriminating mind have the Insight that everything ever known, including the Self, was nothing but a fabrication of the mind itself (...) Realizing that all phenomenal experience, including the Self, are mere mental constructs, and therefore “empty” of any real substance, radically transforms how the mind functions.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/2/19 9:20 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Dear AEN, I am overwhelmed by your generosity in sharing so much of your time and insight with me.  Thank you.

On the vagueness of clear knowing and what is meant by luminousity.  Yes I had glimpses of luminosity on a few occasions before any liberating insight.  These were moments of beauty and intense clarity, where some things were shining with the light of their own existence.  But these were brief, and I was appreciating THEM.  Then after some liberating insights, as I started to traverse territory of emptiness and nonduality, I briefly had a different kind of clarity in which even the stain on the gutter in the road was luminous and joyous and fascinating. But I was appreciting IT. Then I progressed from seeing everything-as-my-mind, to briefly knowing that my-mind-was-just-everything.

But the clear knowing I refer to is none of these. It has the same beauty and intense clarity, and luminosity, but now without the subject/object distinction. There is only experience, and vividness, and mild joy. Also, instead of being a glimpse, it has recently become the baseline. It disappears with social interaction, but then pops right back. If I have an extra glass of wine at night or have to resolve a conflict during the day, it takes a bit more effort to re-establish. But 60 minutes of daily practice maintains it. Although from another point of view the whole thing is a kind of continuous practice, as it is ongoing mindful attention/awareness of existence.

On nihilism, you are dead right, I was flirting with nihilism until shargol gently pushed me back in the right direction late last year. Something you said in your post finally made it clear to me. It is not non-existence, but non-arising. That was really helpful, thank you.  Your other excerpts are also really useful - emphasising the conditioned/fabrciated nature of phenomena does not stop them being phenomena.

So ...  trying to understand this territory

1. The erasure of the fetters seems pretty ok to me, given the fetters are properly understood (e.g. not that it is no sex, but no grabbing at sex, and no arising from sex, so to speak).  Having almost no grabbing at phenomena and generating almost no new karma, and eliminating suffering all seem ok to me too. These all seem achievable at MCTB fourth path, albeit with karmic residues still to be dealt with.

2. Non-agency also seems ok to me, with JC's definition of centrelessness being "any sense of free will, any sense of the possibility of multiple possible futures that you could freely choose between, any sense that there's a 'you' doing things or taking actions separate from the flow of cause and effect?" That also seems achievable at MCTB fourth. In contrast automaticity (being a passenger in your own body) looks dualistic and undesirable to me.

3. But the flavours of non-duality and emptiness are still confusing. I'm not sure why Daniel requires centrelessnees to be consciousness residing in the objects (unilocality?) as a criteria for the permanent release of suffering? I've glimpsed this phenomena, but it seems jhana-like and unimaginable to maintain in real time over the whole field of perception. For what matter, why promote the achievement of ongoing higher Bhumis/Thusness states, if suffering has already been eliminated?

Maybe it is just terminology, in that non-arising, non labelled, immediate luminous cognition is what Daniel means, as opposed to a more intense shift of consciousness into the entire field.  Or maybe unilocality is representative of Arhats who are released both ways.  Or maybe achieving unilocality is the way Arhats work through their remaining karmic residue. 

So there seem to be a series of states that may or may not be nearly the same.

1. Higher anagami with no grabbing, but residue of self belief that fuels a little bit of karma 
2. Arhat released one way, with residue of karma (same as self belief really, but seen for what it is so it no longer fuels karma) 
3. Arhat released both ways, with residue of karma, maybe a HUGE residue from racing through with dry insight and arupajhana
4. Arhat who has worked through all residues of karma (could this be Daniel's MCTB fourth path, with unilocality)?
5. Post-arhat development, being access to nicer states of transcendental existence, per the upper bhumi/thusness stages, but with suffering already having been fully eliminated. I guess these were not mentioned by Buddha because he didn't want to distract people.

Any thoughts on whether your stages align with any of this, or whether it makes any kind of sense?

Much gratitude,

Malcolm

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/3/19 7:21 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
AEN, I see that the quotes I provided may not be sufficient for you to make an estimate. Therefore, I will present few more quotes from various sources written by Culadasa. Sorry for the length, but I feel this can be informative.

(I also want to add that in one Q&A Culadasa mentioned that there are insights beyond those he mentioned in his book, such as an insight into non-existence of time, and the insight into luminosity.)
When we reflect on it logically, the “knowing” and the “known” seem to be two quite different concepts. Experientially, however, consciousness and the object of consciousness can never be separated. (...) Furthermore, not only is there no possible separation of the object from the mental process of knowing it, neither is there any separate “knower” that can be identified. (…) The knower is totally absent from experience, it is something added by the mind itself, and is a mere idea.
When the visual mind processes information from the eyes, an image is projected
into consciousness. But in this “seeing,” there is only the seen.
Both eternalism and annihilationism are wrong views that the Buddha repeatedly us warned against. The No-Self doctrine is far more radical, and ultimately far more appealing, than either of these mistaken views. It states that there is no Self either to survive or be annihilated at death, simply because no such Self exists now, ever has existed, or ever could exist.
The point is that there never has been either an actual ‘I’ or a constructed sense of ‘I’ behind any volition or intention. That is the illusion that is to be unmasked. Both the idea of a self and the inherent sense of an ‘I’ are generated independently of volition and intention, and the mind attributes intention and volition to the ‘I’ after the fact.
When you realize your ego-Self is as empty as any other mental phenomenon, you may be tempted to relocate your sense of personal identity to the mind, or even consciousness itself. However, if you keep practicing this meditation on the mind, you’ll eventually realize that your perception of the mind at rest is as much a construct as anything else. That is, your subjective experience of watching the mind—and therefore, the very idea of the mind as something self-existently real that can be watched—is no different than any other object created by the mind. The mind is as empty as the objects that arise within it. With this further Insight, it’s no longer possible to believe in your mind as the Self.
The Ultimate is known directly and non-dualistically as the illuminating Clear Light of Mind with obscurations eliminated by the (temporary) cessation of process of mental fabrication.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/3/19 1:23 PM as a reply to Nick O.
Thanks for the thread. I had been considering getting this, sounds like a mix of responses.

Can anyone comment on how it compares  with Reggie Rays stuff?

Thanks B

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/4/19 8:58 PM as a reply to Barry D.
I also would like to give thanks to those who contributed to this thread. By way of this conversation I think I finally intellectually understand coupled with perceptual experience what is meant by luminosity. The "Mirror Bright Clarity" aspect of the Thusness map was a bell ringer as well. Post-stream entry I began to start seeing this. 2nd path increased immediacy of perception with less "mirror reflecting". Practice seems to intuitively work towards steadily breaking down the illusion of the mirror. Occasionally there are quick yet deeply profound flashes of a more direct mode of perception. I playfully hypothesize that mode to be the permanent state post third-path.

It's interesting to find that these discussions of the more "advanced" end of attainments and insights are heavier on philosophy rather than practices. There was some said about the depth of wisdom in Orgyen Chowang's teachings but little to nothing about the practice.  May I ask if anyone is familiar with the practice taught in Orgyen Chowang's Pristine Mind? Would you recommend it for third path work? Thanks.     

  

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 10:02 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Hi again.

"The key towards pure knowingness is to bring the taste of presence into the 6 entries and exits. So that what is seen, heard, touched, tasted are pervaded by a deep sense of crystal, radiance and transparency. This requires seeing through the center."
- Thusness

In relation to this statement and the previous references to non-buddhists, I would suggest looking this video of the wonderful Paramahamsa Hariharananda, at least the first 5 minutes or so. I think he is talking about the very same thing as buddhism/Thusness, just using non-buddhist terminology. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-mO25s7-zA

This quote is excellent due to the simplicity of it =>

Andre A Pais wrote his own progression from I AM to One Mind to Anatta,
"So, not only there is no background to experience, there is also no
unity, consistency or “spreadness” of awareness in the foreground, like
the same awareness extends throughout all experience. It’s not that
appearances arise in awareness (ONE MIND) or even that awareness arises
as appearances (first level of ANATTA). All there is, is the self-shining luminosity of
appearances, devoid of any central reference point or ground. This
liberates experience from the sense of being a single or unitary event
or from simply being “one thing”, as opposed to "other things".
Actually, this experience is merely the shape of the universe as it
unfolds here and makes absolutely no reference no any unitary owner,
container or experiencer. This is not “one experience”, but a naturally
occurring multiplicity of luminous activity. It’s not “this experience”, or “my
experience”. It’s not even “experience”, as in a singular event. Every
object is its own experience, its own luminosity.
"

from https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/11/beyond-awareness.html
Nick O:
It's interesting to find that these discussions of the more "advanced" end of attainments and insights are
heavier on philosophy rather than practices. There was some said about the depth of wisdom in Orgyen Chowang's teachings but little to nothing about the practice.  May I ask if anyone is familiar with the practice taught in Orgyen Chowang's Pristine Mind? Would you recommend it for third path work? Thanks.    
Sutric or tantric vipashyana since this is a buddhist forum, right? emoticon

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 12:22 PM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
If he truly realized the I AM and Witness followed by seeing through the Witness such that it is the action that knows, no knower, he should also see how No-Self leads to bringing the luminosity into/as the foreground (in the seen just the seen, in the heard just the heard, etc) by seeing through the illusion of awareness-as-background.

AEN, thank you for your answer emoticon I would appreciate if you could place Culadasa's teaching on Thusness map, having in mind following extracts from his The Mind Illuminated. They seem in accordance with what you have talked about.

First something from a section talking about a type of meditation called “Finding the Still Point and Realizing the Witness”:
At the same time, you’ll become aware of an even greater stillness at the core of your moment-to-moment experience. This is called the Still Point. Find that Still Point, and make its stillness the focus of your attention. (...)

As you keep observing, you may also discover the so-called “Witness,” the subjective experience of a pure, unmoving, and unmoved observer who is unaffected by whatever is observed. A warning is in order here. You will likely feel that you have discovered the true Self, the ultimate ground of all experience. In a sense you have—but it’s not at all what you think! The Witness state is the ultimate ground of your personal experience, but it has arisen in dependence upon the body and the world, and it will disappear with the body. Its real value and significance is that it points toward a much more profound Insight, provided you don’t make the mistake of clinging to it as a Self. Doing so only nourishes the attachment we are all born with to the idea of being a singular, enduring, and separate Self. Mistaking the Witness state for a true Self is what leads some people to claim that Consciousness is the True Self.

To properly use the Witness experience, probe more deeply. Go to the Still Point, the place of the Witness, with a question: “Who or what is this witness?” “Who is watching?” “Who is experiencing?” Adamantly refuse to entertain any answers offered by your intellectual, thinking mind. Also, don’t be deceived by your emotional mind, which will try to make you believe you’ve found the answer when you haven’t. Just hold on to the question as you experience the Witness. If and when Insight arises, it will be a profound Insight into the truth of no-Self, and it will be so obvious that you’ll wonder why you never realized it before.
 
We are not disagreeing with non-dual (advaita) philosophies that speak of a “True Self.” It’s important to note that the True Self they refer to is not a separate Self, and indeed, advaita masters refute the very possibility of such separateness. Realizing the “true self” simply means having the Insight that everything in existence constitutes a single, interconnected whole. Advaita does recognize the Witness and clearly states that it is not the True Self.
 
Talking about cessation:   
    
With cessation, the tuned-in subminds simultaneously realize that everything appearing in consciousness is simply the product of their own activity. In other words, they realize that the input they’re accustomed to receiving is simply a result of their own fabricating activities. This has a dramatic effect. The sub-minds of the discriminating mind have the Insight that everything ever known, including the Self, was nothing but a fabrication of the mind itself (...) Realizing that all phenomenal experience, including the Self, are mere mental constructs, and therefore “empty” of any real substance, radically transforms how the mind functions.

Yes this is what I said is too brief for me to make any assertions. What is the experience like after No-Self is realized? How is awareness/luminosity now seen in relation to phenomena?

Unlike Daniel M. Ingram who dedicated pages to detailed description of his stages of realizations, insights, awakening. Culadasa's descriptions of shamatha and jhana are more elaborate.

As for Advaita's "True Self they refer to is not a separate Self", this is true, but even the I AMness of Thusness Stage 1 and 2 are not a separate Self. See the description -- sense of individuality is dissolved into the oceanic Ground of Being - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html

"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."  (Excerpt
from Buddha Nature is NOT "I Am")

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 12:35 PM as a reply to curious.
curious:


...

But the clear knowing I refer to is none of these. It has the same beauty and intense clarity, and luminosity, but now without the subject/object distinction. There is only experience, and vividness, and mild joy. Also, instead of being a glimpse, it has recently become the baseline. It disappears with social interaction, but then pops right back. If I have an extra glass of wine at night or have to resolve a conflict during the day, it takes a bit more effort to re-establish. But 60 minutes of daily practice maintains it. Although from another point of view the whole thing is a kind of continuous practice, as it is ongoing mindful attention/awareness of existence.

...

2. Non-agency also seems ok to me, with JC's definition of centrelessness being "any sense of free will, any sense of the possibility of multiple possible futures that you could freely choose between, any sense that there's a 'you' doing things or taking actions separate from the flow of cause and effect?" That also seems achievable at MCTB fourth. In contrast automaticity (being a passenger in your own body) looks dualistic and undesirable to me.

3. But the flavours of non-duality and emptiness are still confusing. I'm not sure why Daniel requires centrelessnees to be consciousness residing in the objects (unilocality?) as a criteria for the permanent release of suffering? I've glimpsed this phenomena, but it seems jhana-like and unimaginable to maintain in real time over the whole field of perception. For what matter, why promote the achievement of ongoing higher Bhumis/Thusness states, if suffering has already been eliminated?

Maybe it is just terminology, in that non-arising, non labelled, immediate luminous cognition is what Daniel means, as opposed to a more intense shift of consciousness into the entire field.  Or maybe unilocality is representative of Arhats who are released both ways.  Or maybe achieving unilocality is the way Arhats work through their remaining karmic residue. 

So there seem to be a series of states that may or may not be nearly the same.

1. Higher anagami with no grabbing, but residue of self belief that fuels a little bit of karma 
2. Arhat released one way, with residue of karma (same as self belief really, but seen for what it is so it no longer fuels karma) 
3. Arhat released both ways, with residue of karma, maybe a HUGE residue from racing through with dry insight and arupajhana
4. Arhat who has worked through all residues of karma (could this be Daniel's MCTB fourth path, with unilocality)?
5. Post-arhat development, being access to nicer states of transcendental existence, per the upper bhumi/thusness stages, but with suffering already having been fully eliminated. I guess these were not mentioned by Buddha because he didn't want to distract people.

Any thoughts on whether your stages align with any of this, or whether it makes any kind of sense?

Much gratitude,

Malcolm




You are having access to a state of No-Mind but for effortlessness you need to arise the insight of anatta as dharma seal. So rather than focusing only on the experience, you should try to do contemplation on Bahiya Sutta, the second point of https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/two-types-of-nondual-contemplation.html

See: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/11/no-mind-and-anatta-focusing-on-insight.html

Also,

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2008/01/ajahn-amaro-on-non-duality-and.html


PasserBy
Feb 6, 2009, 11:16:00 AM

Indeed Buddha Bra,

At first 'effort' to focus on experiencing on the vividness of 'sensation' in the most immediate and direct way will remain. It will be 'concentrative' for some time before it turns effortless.

There are a few points I would like to share:

1. Insight that 'anatta' is a seal and not a stage must arise to further progress into the 'effortless' mode. That is, anatta is the ground of all experiences and has always been so, no I. In seeing, always only seen, in hearing always only sound and in thinking, always only thoughts. No effort required and never was there an 'I'.

2. It is better not to treat sensation as 'real' as the word 'real' in Buddhism carries a different meaning. It is rather a moment of vivid, luminous presence but nothing 'real'. It may be difficult to realise why is this important but it will become clearer in later phase of our progress.

3. Do go further into the aspect of dependent origination and emptiness to further 'purify' the experience of anatta. Not only is there no who, there is no where and when in all manifestation.

Whatever said are nothing authentic. Just a sharing and happy Journey!


http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/04/emptiness-as-viewless-view.html

To be more exact, the so called 'background' consciousness is that pristine happening. There is no a 'background' and a 'pristine happening'. During the initial phase of non-dual, there is still habitual attempt to 'fix' this imaginary split that does not exist. It matures when we realized that anatta is a seal, not a stage; in hearing, always only sounds; in seeing always only colors, shapes and forms; in thinking, always only thoughts. Always and already so. -emoticon






Also, I'm not sure why Daniel requires centrelessnees to be consciousness residing in the objects (unilocality?) as a criteria for the permanent release of suffering? I've glimpsed this phenomena, but it seems jhana-like and unimaginable to maintain in real time over the whole field of perception. For what matter, why promote the achievement of ongoing higher Bhumis/Thusness states, if suffering has already been eliminated?


Consciousness does not "reside in the objects" as if there are objects and then there is some inner essence of those objects. Rather, consciousness (or consciousness-es, as there are six domains of consciousness that manifest transiently according to sense faculties and objects) never existed as anything besides the self-luminous manifesting/display/appearance. It is always already so, consciousness never truly existed in terms of the structures of perceiver-perceiving-perceived, seer-seeing-seen. Check this article out: https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-wind-is-blowing.html

There is no need to maintain anything once the realization of anatta-as-dharma-seal arises and stabilizes. Once insight stabilizes, the perception of subject/object duality and agency stops once and for all, as has been my case for about 8 years. Not even the slightest trace of duality and agency has arisen since, and my teacher Thusness reports the same to me. Daniel M. Ingram has said the same thing for his MCTB 4th path.

Twofold emptiness is simply extension of anatta to all phenomena once the view of emptiness is realised as described in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-and-emptiness_1.html , it is a rather natural progression, just like MCTB 4th path is a natural progression of MCTB 3rd path.



Different traditions have different maps. The Pali Suttas map, the Mahayana sutras map, the Mahamudra maps, the MCTB map, the Zen maps, the Dzogchen map, etc. Seeing how they correlate are messy stuff. Can be done, but more importantly you should just take what's valuable from each of the maps/traditions and see how it helps you.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 12:34 PM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
AEN, I see that the quotes I provided may not be sufficient for you to make an estimate. Therefore, I will present few more quotes from various sources written by Culadasa. Sorry for the length, but I feel this can be informative.

(I also want to add that in one Q&A Culadasa mentioned that there are insights beyond those he mentioned in his book, such as an insight into non-existence of time, and the insight into luminosity.)
When we reflect on it logically, the “knowing” and the “known” seem to be two quite different concepts. Experientially, however, consciousness and the object of consciousness can never be separated. (...) Furthermore, not only is there no possible separation of the object from the mental process of knowing it, neither is there any separate “knower” that can be identified. (…) The knower is totally absent from experience, it is something added by the mind itself, and is a mere idea.
When the visual mind processes information from the eyes, an image is projected
into consciousness. But in this “seeing,” there is only the seen.
Both eternalism and annihilationism are wrong views that the Buddha repeatedly us warned against. The No-Self doctrine is far more radical, and ultimately far more appealing, than either of these mistaken views. It states that there is no Self either to survive or be annihilated at death, simply because no such Self exists now, ever has existed, or ever could exist.
The point is that there never has been either an actual ‘I’ or a constructed sense of ‘I’ behind any volition or intention. That is the illusion that is to be unmasked. Both the idea of a self and the inherent sense of an ‘I’ are generated independently of volition and intention, and the mind attributes intention and volition to the ‘I’ after the fact.
When you realize your ego-Self is as empty as any other mental phenomenon, you may be tempted to relocate your sense of personal identity to the mind, or even consciousness itself. However, if you keep practicing this meditation on the mind, you’ll eventually realize that your perception of the mind at rest is as much a construct as anything else. That is, your subjective experience of watching the mind—and therefore, the very idea of the mind as something self-existently real that can be watched—is no different than any other object created by the mind. The mind is as empty as the objects that arise within it. With this further Insight, it’s no longer possible to believe in your mind as the Self.
The Ultimate is known directly and non-dualistically as the illuminating Clear Light of Mind with obscurations eliminated by the (temporary) cessation of process of mental fabrication.


That sounds more like anatta. Does he elaborate on what he meant by "illuminating Clear Light of Mind" and does he only experience this temporarily? And what is the 'ontological status' of this Clear Light of Mind? Is it permanent, unchanging? Independent? How is it related to phenomena?

If the non-duality of knowing and known are experienced only temporarily, it would be more of a peak experience. But the realization of anatta as dharma seal paves the way to effortlessness.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/9/19 11:01 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Nick O:
I also would like to give thanks to those who contributed to this thread. By way of this conversation I think I finally intellectually understand coupled with perceptual experience what is meant by luminosity. The "Mirror Bright Clarity" aspect of the Thusness map was a bell ringer as well. Post-stream entry I began to start seeing this. 2nd path increased immediacy of perception with less "mirror reflecting". Practice seems to intuitively work towards steadily breaking down the illusion of the mirror. Occasionally there are quick yet deeply profound flashes of a more direct mode of perception. I playfully hypothesize that mode to be the permanent state post third-path.

It's interesting to find that these discussions of the more "advanced" end of attainments and insights are heavier on philosophy rather than practices. There was some said about the depth of wisdom in Orgyen Chowang's teachings but little to nothing about the practice.  May I ask if anyone is familiar with the practice taught in Orgyen Chowang's Pristine Mind? Would you recommend it for third path work? Thanks.     

  
I haven't read Orgyen Chowang's book but I can tell you in general:

The practice of I AMness is to dissociate from mental and sensory contents to realize/touch the innermost and formless Core Essence of Pure Being/Pure Presence-Awareness. That can be from Self-Enquiry (Who am I? coupled with neti-neti), or various forms of Meditation practice, but there is always the element of dissociating from phenomena to reside/realize the Source/Self/Pure Consciousness behind them all.

The practice of One Mind is to open up as boundless all-subsuming space such that all phenomena are subsumed to be merely the potency or fluctuations of that space-like-awareness. All phenomena, rather than dissociated from, are subsumed within that changeless space of awareness and indistinguishable from that.

The practice of No Mind is to dissolve all self/Self into the vividness of phenomena (also similar to PCE). Even the sense of awareness-as-container or subtle duality of 'phenomena are contained within awareness but awareness is not within phenomena' of any form is dissolved into vivid-luminous-manifestation. But this arise as a peak experience rather than realized to be always so (in seeing always only colors, in hearing always only sound, no seer or hearer besides), as in anatta realization.

The practice of Anatta and Emptiness is to actualize the corresponding insights such that all experiences are vivid, free and liberating, spacious and illusory.

On the difference between I AM, One Mind, No Mind and Anatta, see https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/10/differentiating-i-am-one-mind-no-mind.html


I AMness realization (the realization of unfabricated Presence-Awareness) is important and precious to me but is different from nondual, I usually ask people to get to I AM realization first, but it depends on one's inclination and aims. If you realize the I AM, the Luminous Presence-Awareness will be realized but will be seen as the background of all phenomena, and is dualistic - I am I, phenomena is distinct from the Witness (or as Ajahn Chah says, the oil and water don't mix). Then the next step will be to bring the taste of luminosity from the background to the foreground by practicing the intensity of luminosity and the other 4 aspects of I AM ( https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/four-aspects-of-i-am.html ) plus the two nondual contemplations (see below).

If you are on third path and trying to dissolve all center/duality/agency to get to 4th path, dissociation will not work. It will strengthen the duality in some sense as the aim is to dissociate from the contents (object pole) to realize the pure formless Witness. Rather, what works to realize 3rd and 4th path is to focus on practicing the intensity of luminosity and the nondual contemplations (bahiya sutta will be good) - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/two-types-of-nondual-contemplation.html , and refer to MCTB as I think Daniel has written quite a bit on 3rd/4th path territory.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 1:17 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:


In relation to this statement and the previous references to non-buddhists, I would suggest looking this video of the wonderful Paramahamsa Hariharananda, at least the first 5 minutes or so. I think he is talking about the very same thing as buddhism/Thusness, just using non-buddhist terminology. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-mO25s7-zA




Paramahamsa Hariharananda is describing the I AM. The I AM is all-pervading Presence. Also he describes the aspect of impersonality leads to sense of being lived by cosmic intelligence. This is another aspect to complement with I AM and is crucial for God-realization (as distinguished from Self-Realization).

https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/four-aspects-of-i-am.html

https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/good-for-different-phasesaspects-of-i.html

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 1:46 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
Kim Katami:


In relation to this statement and the previous references to non-buddhists, I would suggest looking this video of the wonderful Paramahamsa Hariharananda, at least the first 5 minutes or so. I think he is talking about the very same thing as buddhism/Thusness, just using non-buddhist terminology. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-mO25s7-zA
Paramahamsa Hariharananda is describing the I AM. The I AM is all-pervading Presence. Also he describes the aspect of impersonality leads to sense of being lived by cosmic intelligence. This is another aspect to complement with I AM and is crucial for God-realization (as distinguished from Self-Realization).

https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/four-aspects-of-i-am.html
https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/good-for-different-phasesaspects-of-i.html
All right. So you do base your analyses solely on verbal description. Saying that Ramana Maharishi (who wasn't a tantric) and Hariharananda (who was a tantric) are both in I AM is far off the mark, I think. It doesn't seem very reliable to detect stages or seals by words alone but each to his own. Thanks anyway.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 2:38 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:

T DC in the above post apparently re-makes AEN's and T's statement that hindu enlightenment would be placed on first few stages of T's map. Yes, I can see how someone solely focused on verbal-philosophical descriptions would come to the conclusion that enlightenment as understood in buddhism (buddhahood/mahasiddhahood) would not be possible for hindus because their view prevents them from getting there. However, such a way of measuring attainments or deciding how near or far some method goes, is to use the correct term, extremely limited. In my own experience, which I can in my own way try to explain, it simply isn't true. There is and there always has been mahasiddhas in hinduism, just like in buddhism, christianity and taoism.

Thanks for input AEN.

Vast majority of Hindus (and actually Buddhists as well) are talking about I AM as final enlightenment.

A very small minority are talking about One Mind. It is rare enough that Adi Da thought he was the first person in the world to realize One Mind when he looked around and found nobody talking about it. For three decades till his death, he never budged from his position that he is the first and only sole realizer of his "7th Stage" which actually is just One Mind, and proclaimed that every other sage and adepts only got as far as his 6th stage realization which is the I AM/Witness. And thus, he started his own religion. But even Adi Da never realized anatta. (This reminds me of the Actual Freedom situation, with Richard claiming to be the first in the world to attain his state except Actual Freedom is more towards anatta-ish sort of realization and experience) If these realizations were more commonplace, perhaps they will not be making such claims.

Sri Atmananda talks about the collapse of Witness into one mind. Kashmir Shaivism's doctrine, a form of nondual realism, should also lead to One Mind.

But more than that, Sri Atmananda's teaching is a bit unique. At the very end of the path even the notion of Awareness dissolves, but I don't think he elaborated on the realization and experience. Might not be similar to anatta. And I believe Greg said, this point that Atmananda teaches is no where else found in the Vedantic tradition, no where else do I see similar messages. Also he noted that if one is seeking after anatta realization, they should not take up Direct Path of Sri Atmananda as the whole path is from I AM to thorough deconstruction of objectivity to One Mind, with Anatta only perhaps briefly mentioned towards the end, and then recommending my approach instead for those so inclined. MCTB is also more focused on Anatta as goal.

There are a few modern teachers in India who rejected Atman-Brahman - including U.G Krishnamurti and J Krishnamurti, and both of these are more towards anatta-ish kind of experience and insights, but curiously and perhaps not surprisingly these two teachers rejected religious doctrines of scriptures as the Indian scriptures like Upanishads are all about Self and Brahman.

I am a pluralist and an integralist. I believe in integrating the best of all traditions. I also come to understand that all traditions have their own frameworks, views, paradigms, and there is no need to expect or assume that everyone is coming from the same perspectives. I do not suscribe to the perennial philosphy, I do not think all religious traditions are coming to the same ultimate something, same realizations, same perspectives, same experiences. And that's ok.

There is a Hindu Mahasiddha, Advaita Mahasiddha, a Kashmir Shaivism Mahasiddha, a Theravada, a Zen, a Mahamudra, a Dzogchen mahasiddha, and they may not be talking about the same realization. Each tradition has their own criterias of their own 'Mahasiddha' and definitions and views and realizations. Some may be more similar to another, some more different. And that's all fine. They are all respectable.

Even though Ramana Maharshi is not having the same type of realization, Thusness and I respect him, we have benefitted from his teachings in the past. Ramana resides in samadhi for days without leaving his seat. His insights may be different but his mastery and samadhi in Presence must be intense and strong. Same for the Buddha boy. These are certainly adepts that have attained certain mastery, and are worthy of respect in their own ways. There is no need to apply our criterias on them. We can integrate whatever we find useful from each tradition.


But it does not mean all traditions are having the same views and insights.



[23/4/18, 11:45:17 PM] John Tan: I respect everyone's insights and experiences.

...

John TanMonday, February 16, 2015 at 1:18pm UTC+08
Every religion is talking abt consciousness. It is nature of consciousness that is important. It is like talking about "Soh" from different ppl. Of course all is pointing to "Soh" but when someone say he is an American, has 10 sisters and is now studying in India...we cannot say that he is correct and it is the same because ultimately we r talking about "Soh".

John TanMonday, February 16, 2015 at 1:22pm UTC+08
U must know the meditative states of withdrawal into the state of pure presence into oceanic bliss maybe described as very intense but similarly anatta free from all attachments and elaborations too r beyond descriptions.

John TanMonday, February 16, 2015 at 1:23pm UTC+08
Just effortless living presence in the 6 entries and exits ... In all the same intensity. It depends on ones attachments.


...

John TanMonday, February 16, 2015 at 1:17am UTC+08

Buddhism is strongest in terms of depth of liberation imo but for energy practice, I prefer yoga. Taoism of course got their own energy practice like tai chi and others in movement.


--------------

“Joyful irony is our Western Way to describe the fruition of the emptiness teachings. You no longer think that your own values and goals are underwritten by the nature of reality. This insight enables a flexible, unattached attitude towards your one views and vocabularies, and fosters respect for the views of others”.

~ Greg Goode


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


Bernadette Roberts said:

"That
everyone has different experiences and perspectives is not a problem;
rather, the problem is that when we interpret an experience outside its
own paradigm, context, and stated definitions, that experience becomes
lost altogether. It becomes lost because we have redefined the terms
according to a totally different paradigm or perspective and thereby
made it over into an experience it never was in the first place. When we
force an experience into an alien paradigm, that experience becomes
subsumed, interpreted away, unrecognizable, confused, or made totally
indistinguishable. Thus when we impose alien definitions on the original
terms of an experience, that experience becomes lost to the journey,
and eventually it becomes lost to the literature as well. To keep this
from happening it is necessary to draw clear lines and to make sharp,
exacting distinctions. The purpose of doing so is not to criticize other
paradigms, but to allow a different paradigm or perspective to stand in
its own right, to have its own space in order to contribute what it can
to our knowledge of man and his journey to the divine.


Distinguishing
what is true or false, essential or superficial in our experience is
not a matter to be taken lightly. We cannot simply define our terms and
then sit back and expect perfect agreement across the board. Our
spiritual-psychological journey does not work this way. We are not
uniform robots with the same experiences, same definitions, same
perspectives, or same anything."

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 2:23 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
This will be my last post here for some time. I will get busier soon with work, and I just created a new online community based on my blog. Too many people finding me and I would like to lessen online participations.. lol

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 2:42 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
Kim Katami:

T DC in the above post apparently re-makes AEN's and T's statement that hindu enlightenment would be placed on first few stages of T's map. Yes, I can see how someone solely focused on verbal-philosophical descriptions would come to the conclusion that enlightenment as understood in buddhism (buddhahood/mahasiddhahood) would not be possible for hindus because their view prevents them from getting there. However, such a way of measuring attainments or deciding how near or far some method goes, is to use the correct term, extremely limited. In my own experience, which I can in my own way try to explain, it simply isn't true. There is and there always has been mahasiddhas in hinduism, just like in buddhism, christianity and taoism.

Thanks for input AEN.

Vast majority of Hindus (and actually Buddhists as well) are talking about I AM as final enlightenment.

A very small minority are talking about One Mind. It is rare enough that Adi Da thought he was the first person in the world to realize One Mind when he looked around and found nobody talking about it. For three decades till his death, he never budged from his position that he is the first and only sole realizer of his "7th Stage" which actually is just One Mind, and proclaimed that every other stage only got as far as his 6th stage realization which is the I AM/Witness. But even Adi Da never realized anatta. (This reminds me of the Actual Freedom situation, with Richard claiming to be the first in the world to attain his state except Actual Freedom is more towards anatta-ish sort of realization and experience)

Sri Atmananda talks about the collapse of Witness into one mind. Kashmir Shaivism's doctrine, a form of nondual realism, should also lead to One Mind.

But more than that, Sri Atmananda's teaching is a bit unique. At the very end of the path even the notion of Awareness dissolves, but I don't think he elaborated on the realization and experience. Might not be similar to anatta. And I believe Greg said, this point that Atmananda teaches is no where else found in the Vedantic tradition, no where else do I see similar messages. There are modern teachers in India who rejected Atman-Brahman - including U.G Krishnamurti and J Krishnamurti, and both of these are more towards anatta-ish kind of experience and insights, but curiously and perhaps not surprisingly these two teachers rejected religious doctrines of scriptures as the Indian scriptures like Upanishads are all about Self and Brahman.

I am a pluralist and an integralist. I believe in integrating the best of all traditions. I also come to understand that all traditions have their own frameworks, views, paradigms, and there is no need to expect or assume that everyone is coming from the same perspectives. I do not suscribe to the perennial philosphy, I do not think all religious traditions are coming to the same ultimate something, same realizations, same perspectives, same experiences. And that's ok.

There is a Hindu Mahasiddha, Advaita Mahasiddha, a Kashmir Shaivism Mahasiddha, a Theravada, a Zen, a Mahamudra, a Dzogchen mahasiddha, and they may not be talking about the same realization. Each tradition has their own criterias of their own 'Mahasiddha' and definitions and views and realizations. Some may be more similar to another, some more different. And that's all fine. They are all respectable.

Even though Ramana Maharshi is not having the same type of realization, Thusness and I respect him, we have benefitted from his teachings in the past. Ramana resides in samadhi for days without leaving his seat. His insights may be different but his mastery and samadhi in Presence must be intense and strong. Same for the Buddha boy. These are certainly adepts that have attained certain mastery, and are worthy of respect in their own ways. There is no need to apply our criterias on them. We can integrate whatever we find useful from each tradition.

But it does not mean all traditions are having the same views and insights.



[23/4/18, 11:45:17 PM] John Tan: I respect everyone's insights and experiences.
...

John TanMonday, February 16, 2015 at 1:18pm UTC+08
Every religion is talking abt consciousness. It is nature of consciousness that is important. It is like talking about "Soh" from different ppl. Of course all is pointing to "Soh" but when someone say he is an American, has 10 sisters and is now studying in India...we cannot say that he is correct and it is the same because ultimately we r talking about "Soh".

John TanMonday, February 16, 2015 at 1:22pm UTC+08
U must know the meditative states of withdrawal into the state of pure presence into oceanic bliss maybe described as very intense but similarly anatta free from all attachments and elaborations too r beyond descriptions.

John TanMonday, February 16, 2015 at 1:23pm UTC+08
Just effortless living presence in the 6 entries and exits ... In all the same intensity. It depends on ones attachments.
...

John TanMonday, February 16, 2015 at 1:17am UTC+08

Buddhism is strongest in terms of depth of liberation imo but for energy practice, I prefer yoga. Taoism of course got their own energy practice like tai chi and others in movement.

--------------

Bernadette Roberts said:

"That
everyone has different experiences and perspectives is not a problem;
rather, the problem is that when we interpret an experience outside its
own paradigm, context, and stated definitions, that experience becomes
lost altogether. It becomes lost because we have redefined the terms
according to a totally different paradigm or perspective and thereby
made it over into an experience it never was in the first place. When we
force an experience into an alien paradigm, that experience becomes
subsumed, interpreted away, unrecognizable, confused, or made totally
indistinguishable. Thus when we impose alien definitions on the original
terms of an experience, that experience becomes lost to the journey,
and eventually it becomes lost to the literature as well. To keep this
from happening it is necessary to draw clear lines and to make sharp,
exacting distinctions. The purpose of doing so is not to criticize other
paradigms, but to allow a different paradigm or perspective to stand in
its own right, to have its own space in order to contribute what it can
to our knowledge of man and his journey to the divine.


Distinguishing
what is true or false, essential or superficial in our experience is
not a matter to be taken lightly. We cannot simply define our terms and
then sit back and expect perfect agreement across the board. Our
spiritual-psychological journey does not work this way. We are not
uniform robots with the same experiences, same definitions, same
perspectives, or same anything."

Oh, of course. There are things we can learn everywhere, I completely agree, and the world is much more interesting when it has diversity.

When I say mahasiddha I mean a liberated being, as it is defined in buddhism. I wouldn't speak of mahasiddhas unless they are fully liberated... But my point is that I don't think one has to have correct theoretical view (which is what buddhists and especially scholars insist) and be able to verbally express one's mahasiddha attainment or even lesser attainments to be a mahasiddha. You see what I mean? (*) I never did bhumi analysis on Hariharananda, for example, who you say is Thusness 1 based on his words, but I have a hunch that if he is not liberated he is very close to it, like higher bodhisattva bhumis. I have done Ramana's analysis a few years ago and have gone back to review his photos and I simply think he was quite far from higher bodhisattva bhumis, not to mention mahasiddhahood. By saying this I am no way degrading Ramana... or buddhism. It's all good, and me also I am trying to learn and hone my know-how.

(*)I have met only one mahasiddha in the flesh. That is Amma, the hugging saint. I've spent hundreds of hours in her proximity, lived a few months at her ashram, received maybe about a hundred darshans (transmissions) and a mantra initiation from her. I am not her follower/student, just been around her a lot. If you have never met a mahasiddha/living buddha but just teachers who are at lower stages, it is very difficult for me to convey or convince you of her but anyway I think she is fully liberated. But then, when she opens her mouth and starts to give talks it hurts my ears! Even to me who am not theoretically inclined it is a pain because her talks are all over the place. So if you measure just by the means of words alone, you'll end up low... But the energy, blessings and sheer light emanating of her body tells the exact opposite and it does so with such power that I have never seen any other person in the flesh do the same... In terms of OHBM, she has her 10 bhumis (karmic body) clean and therefore is a mahasiddha.

AEN. You have done wonderful work with Thusness and I respect you guys a lot. I simply think that the point I am making here is something that you could look into to make your way of mapping more precise. Cheers. 

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 11:47 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Yes I do think analysis on verbal expressions is still the best gauge for a person's depth of insight. It is true, a practitioner can be fully awakened but very bad with words, lack a decent ability to express or teach his insight to others. But still I think it will be in the ballpark, but perhaps in a different and less effective or more unsophisticated, crude and primitive form of expression. The more you read (particularly spiritual books) the better (or refined) your expression will be, as the ability to express is in some way learnt and developed even after realisation. Also, a Mahasiddha with PhD might possibly write better or with more sophistication than an uneducated Mahasiddha. And it might have to do with one's talent, some people might be poetic by nature, I know I'm not. However, even at the most primitive, basic and straightforward level of expression, it should be no problem for me to tell. Just one example: someone who realise anatta wouldn’t talk about an unchanging Self -- a 180 degree diametrically opposite paradigm -- while describing their realisation.

And that's not to say that everyone who uses the term "True Self" is automatically excluded from the possibility of having anatta realization, that's not what I mean. Someone who realized anatta can be good at adapting to the language and framework of another paradigm, as a skillful means of communicating, as Daniel Ingram himself wrote a True Self/No Self article and used the "True Self" terminology in that particular article in the past, which I didn't have an issue with. As Thusness said before in 2007, "...till we know there is awareness, but there never was a 'Self/self'. isn't awareness 'self'? well, you can say so if u insist...ehehhe. if there is non-dual, no background, no mine and 'I', impermanence, not a form of entity and yet we still want to call it 'Self', so be it. emoticon its okie... lol". But such 'dangerous' terms require heavy qualifications/clarifications as all too often it lends towards reification, and furthermore when you converse with the person about what they mean by said "True Self"/"No Self"/"Awareness", and what the phenomenology of their experiential realization entails, it's not too difficult to seave out the details.

So my point is - they can be bad with words but still if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it's probably a duck, even if the pitch and variations of tone of their "quacking" varies. In other words, it's been my experience that once one gets familiar with those territories, you can sort of tell the kind/species of insights of experiential realization that another person is expressing after having a good conversation (or two) with him/her even if the way he/she expresses are quite different or if he/she is simply bad with words.

And this is why in it is said by the arahant in Theragāthā - https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/KN/Thag/thag1_61.html , "One who sees sees who sees, sees who doesn’t. One who doesn’t see doesn’t see who sees or who doesn’t." And likewise, Thusness wrote in 2008, "If you know, you will be able to know are they there."

This is not to say that there is no merits in facial analysis, however I personally think it can be quite limited and not as accurate compared to good analysis of the contents of inner realization by having a conversation with that person.

Why I say there are some *limited* merits to facial analysis:

The looks do change after realization. But this is so even at I AM or One Mind level. When non-dual is experience even at One Mind, one becomes radiant looking. As Rob Burbea has said.

My aunt, who is not in any way a meditator or practitioner nor in any way religious, but is attentive to people's looks and sometimes make comments... was quite surprised when she met Thusness. She excitedly remarked to me about how radiant Thusness looked. This is also what the bible meant when Jesus was said to be "transfigured", "His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light."

As I wrote to someone,

If you're talking about non-verbal cues.. If you meet a genuine practitioner, you will notice that their face is beaming with radiance. Their whole body-mind-universe is luminous radiance in direct experience, and it is quite obviously reflected in how they look. Even my aunt (who does not practice meditation) told me that Thusness's face was beaming with radiance, when he came to our house.

However that should not be how we judge a person's insight or attainment.

As Rob Burbea said,

"And in that, there’s an incredible beauty, an incredible sense of mystery, that the being opens to. A person who practices in that way a lot, who practices at that level a lot, who cultivates that and looks to cultivate that and learns, develops the skill, the art of really hanging out there a lot, if you meet a person like that, they are going to be really radiant. Very shiny. Very big aura. Very free. And they will feel very free, at quite a deep level quite a lot of the time. They will also probably be quite compassionate. A lot of love there.

The Buddha makes a very marked point on one occasion, I think it was to Ananda, which is never judge someone’s awakening or non-awakening, enlightenment or non-enlightenment by how radiant they seem, by how shiny they seem, by how glowing. Absolutely not the way you discern where someone’s really at in the practice. But to practice at that level will bring that, and to learn people do they develop it as kind of what they’re going for, we’re talking about Buddhists and non-Buddhists, and they learn to hang out there. Incredibly beautiful and incredibly powerful."

- http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/07/realizing-nature-of-mind.html

And Thusness himself mentioned this before a couple of times, like in 2007,

https://app.box.com/s/325e5kqixjrqu7gdd9d1 - Lankavatara Sutra Discussion Transcript 2007

"Thusness: The initial aspect is this. The initial aspect is that there is a sudden realisation of non-duality. Then you will be in a stage of probably 60 to 90 days of bliss, of joy, or rapture. These things will happen first. Then, you will suddenly feel {inaudible} the momentum is coming to work. Now, this sudden {inaudible} of non-duality or the experience of non-duality will come again probably in {inaudible} even with practise. Because it will not just stop, but it will not just continuously surface. I mean it will continue to surface, but it will take place with the momentum, that you feel a bit confused. Can you get what I mean? But, if after certain time about two, three years of continuous practise and continuous experiencing it becomes stabilised. Then it becomes very clear. Then the experience of transparency will {inaudible}. And when you experience, a person will feel radiance bright. Means when you see him, you will find radiance bright, you know?

Participant 1: You mean this person see other person, radiance bright?

-------------------

There are also some people, a guy in Facebook called Amir Mourad, who as Thusness said in the past was very high in energy and his experience is quite similar to anatta and total exertion. But his realization of anatta is lacking. The experience is very similar, and through his practices his energy level is very high. Experience is not realization. These are examples of why analyzing the "energy" and facial expressions of the practitioner is IMO not such a good way to gauge the person's realization.

As for Hugging Saint Amma, I am pretty sure she is at Thusness Stage 1 & 2 based on her expressions. But I have noted that in some sense her fearlessness may be more than me, even though my practice has allowed certain degree of fearlessness - https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/08/fearless-samadhi.html

Also in 2007, Thusness wrote:


(12:37 AM) Thusness:    nope
(12:38 AM) Thusness:    but i think nisargadatta is quite deep in terms of practice as in dissolving other aspect of self.
(12:38 AM) Thusness:    much deeper than of course me. emoticon
(12:38 AM) Thusness:    like fearlessness
(12:38 AM) Thusness:    and other fetters.
(12:39 AM) Thusness:    but in terms of insight, i would say non-dual (buddhism form) is not experienced


(And since 2007, Thusness has had several progressions)

In Cula-sihanada Sutta (MN 11) -- The Shorter Discourse on the Lion's Roar {M i 63} [Ñanamoli Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi, trans.] - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.011.ntbb.html , the Buddha declares that only through practicing in accord with the Dhamma can Awakening be realized. His teaching is distinguished from those of other religions and philosophies through its unique rejection of all doctrines of self.


What's interesting though is that the Buddha affirmed that the aspirants of other religions are able to remove various kinds of fetters and attachments. They can certainly be, as Thusness said, more fearless, even when compared to a Buddhist practitioner who have had an initial realization of anatta. Those (non-Buddhist 'mahasiddhas') may be more unattached to certain things. And their samadhi may be stronger. Their development may be higher in various fronts than someone who realized anatta, with the exception of the insight front. As Thusness said, he respects Ramana Maharshi and thinks that if someone chops off his legs or hands, it will not matter to Ramana. He is just absorbed in Self/Presence, the world doesn't affect him that much.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/7/19 11:43 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Thank you so much AEN.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/8/19 12:54 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
One more thing I forgot to mention. In Sri Atmananda's teachings, even the I AM/Witness is considered Moksha and liberation from samsara. According to this map, one is freed from suffering and the rounds of rebirths after I AM. I think the same goes for all of Advaita. (To be more precise: Sri Atmananda distinguishes two stages of Witness - the Opaque Witness and Transparent Witness, with the latter being Moksha)

Once Self-Realization is there and doubtless and unshakeable (and not just intermittent experiences and peak samadhi), you are considered liberated. All further progressions are based on one's natural desire to investigate further and not out of a need to resolve one's suffering as one is considered freed from suffering at that point and no longer identified as a doer, a mind and a body. But it is still dualistic - Witness and witnessed, subject and object. But according to Sri Atmananda, you do not need to practice anymore after I AM (but he does not use the same term as me - he calls it Transparent Witness) as you are considered 'liberated' and 'done', the rest will naturally follow in time, or you can contemplate the subject/object dichotomy to resolve it into what he calls the "collapse of the Witness" into nondual awareness if you are so inclined.

In Buddhadharma, we don't buy into this criteria for 'awakening'. We do not ascribe liberation or Nirvana with the I AM/Witness stage. So you can see that the different traditions have different criterias, maps, definitions.

p.s. Incidentally, my Mahayana teacher (the Taiwanese lineage holder of a tradition that is from Ch'an, and I used to frequent the dharma center that my mom goes to) actually thinks Arahants only get to as far as I AM/Witness (a 24/7 state of I AM/Witnessing even into sleep -- the same criteria as Jhanananda for 'arahantship'). Mahayana to him is One Mind. And many other teachers I've seen make this (what I think is inappropriate/naive) correlation: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/11/a-common-wrong-explanation-of-hinayana.html

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/8/19 2:58 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Also on the bhumi system, I wrote:

https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/12/definition-of-first-bhumi.html

p.s. was just reminded of something I wrote in the past:

...Some people experience non-dual but do not go through the I AM, and then after realizing non-duality the I AM becomes even more precious because it brings out the luminosity aspect more. Also, when in non-dual, one can still be full of thoughts, therefore the focus then is to experience the thoroughness of being no-thoughts, fully luminous and present... then it is not about non-dual, not about the no object-subject split, it is about the degree of luminosity for these non-dualist. But for some monks that is trapped in luminosity and rest in samadhi, then the focus should be on refining non-dual insight and experience.For non-dualists, depending on the level of understanding, one can move forward and backward, there is no hierarchy.
 
So just see the phases as different aspect of insights of our true nature, not necessarily as linear stages or a 'superiority' and 'inferiority' comparison. What one should understand is what is lacking in the form of realization. There is no hierarchy to it, only insights, all of which are important. Understanding this means that one will be able to see all stages as flat, no higher.
 
And as I told my friend: There is no order of precedence how the phases of insight can unfold for people. Some experience/realize I AM after non-dual, some before. Just like Joan Tollifson puts it: rather than a linear stage progression, sometimes it is more like a spiral going back and forth, even though that is also just a relative perspective of things. The spiralling continues until one sees with utter conviction that all phenomena shares the same taste, that everything in its primordial purity is Dharmakaya itself.
 
That being said, although there is no strict order of precedence of insight (i.e. not everyone starts with the realization of I AM), of late, I and Thusness realized that it is important to have a first glimpse of our luminous essence (i.e. the I AM realization) directly before proceeding into understanding non-dual, anatta and dependent origination. Some times understanding something (e.g. emptiness/dependent origination) too early will deny oneself from actual realization as it becomes conceptual. Once the conceptual understanding is formed, even qualified masters will find it difficult to lead the practitioner to the actual ‘realization’ as a practitioner mistakes conceptual understanding for realization.
 
Therefore, if I were to make an advice to ‘beginners’ reading this, my advice would be to start with the practice of self-inquiry (though this is by no means the only method, it is one which is very direct and one which I am familiar with), realize the certainty of Being (the I AMness), then progress from there to investigate the non-dual, anatta, and empty nature of Presence. However it also depends on the person’s interests and inclinations and he/she should discern for themselves.
                                            
One thing that is unique about this book is that it covers such a wide range or spectrum of insights - I AM, the aspects of I AM, Non-Dual, Anatta, Emptiness and Maha/Dependent Origination, etc. Thusness once told me that there are no books currently available that he knows of, that actually covers all his 7 stages of enlightenment. My journal perhaps is unique in covering many of those insights he mentioned, all in one single book. However, how relevant each section is to a person would highly depend. If you are reading this, I recommend getting some basic understanding of what is I AM, non-dual, anatta and emptiness, but if for example, you still do not realize what is I AM, I would suggest that you focus more on the I AM and self-inquiry section first, in terms of practice.

Lastly, I see enlightenment as nothing mystical. It is simply the lifting of veils by practice and insightto reveal subtler aspects of reality. Once we lift conceptual thoughts, we discover I AM. Once we lift the bond of duality, we experience and discover non-dual awareness. Once we lift the bond of inherency, we experience and discover the absence of agent and a wonderfully luminous yet empty universe occuring via dependent origination.

RE: Pristine Mind by Orgyen Chowang (Dzogchen)
Answer
2/8/19 3:21 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
AEN: Yes I do think analysis on verbal expressions is still the best gauge for a person's depth of insight. It is true, a practitioner can be fully awakened but very bad with words, lack a decent ability to express or teach his insight to others. But still I think it will be in the ballpark, but perhaps in a different and less effective or more unsophisticated, crude and primitive form of expression. The more you read (particularly spiritual books) the better (or refined) your expression will be, as the ability to express is in some way learnt and developed even after realisation. Also, a Mahasiddha with PhD might possibly write better or with more sophistication than an uneducated Mahasiddha. And it might have to do with one's talent, some people might be poetic by nature, I know I'm not. However, even at the most primitive, basic and straightforward level of expression, it should be no problem for me to tell. Just one example: someone who realise anatta wouldn’t talk about an unchanging Self -- a 180 degree diametrically opposite paradigm -- while describing their realisation.

Kim: I appreciate your view, and all the time and hard work you have put into your dharma work. I understand perfectly what you're saying but honestly, it seems leaky. Reg. Amma I'll continue below. I highly recommend book study and honing of one's information-based knowledge and expression of the dharma. This is highly useful but if one becomes too fixed of certain choice of words, even ”in the ballpark”, one is simply projecting one's own information-based fixations and drawing conclusions from there. Here, the mere verbal analysis fails.

Soto Zen and Dogen was mentioned earlier and AEN gave a list of teachers of this tradition whom he feels have attained anatta/emptiness of Thusness' model. Let me ask: What do these teachers say differently than rest of those who merely parrot Dogen's view? See my point? If the view is verbally sound, you can just copy the words, and someone who has been around Dogen's lines for a few decades can slightly alter the word choices without the actual experience. Many of them do exactly that... This may or may not say anything about the actual state or attainment of the persons mind. For this reason, I don't share the same confidence wih AEN about the reliability of verbal expressions.

Personally, I think I am at the advanced stages of Thusness' model but like I said I am not skillful with words nor the least bit scholarly inclined. But I can openly admit that being able to express oneself well is beneficial. I'm working on it but even if my prior or present words are/were bad, I still think that I am at one of the advanced stages. My words alone would probably condemn me to lower stages...

Just for amusement, I wonder how the illiterate teacher of Namkhai Norbu who attained rainbow body might have done in this verbal test...

AEN: And that's not to say that everyone who uses the term "True Self" is automatically excluded from the possibility of having anatta realization, that's not what I mean.

Kim
: Any examples other than Ingram's article? Any actual hindus, christians...?

AEN: So my point is - they can be bad with words but still if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it's probably a duck, even if the pitch and variations of tone of their "quacking" varies. In other words, it's been my experience that once one gets familiar with those territories, you can sort of tell the kind/species of insights of experiential realization that another person is expressing after having a good conversation (or two) with him/her even if the way he/she expresses are quite different or if he/she is simply bad with words.

Kim
: Duly noted.

AEN: This is not to say that there is no merits in facial analysis, however I personally think it can be quite limited and not as accurate compared to good analysis of the contents of inner realization by having a conversation with that person. Why I say there are some *limited* merits to facial analysis: The looks do change after realization. But this is so even at I AM or One Mind level. When non-dual is experience even at One Mind, one becomes radiant looking.

As Rob Burbea has said.
My aunt, who is not in any way a meditator or practitioner nor in any way religious, but is attentive to people's looks and sometimes make comments... was quite surprised when she met Thusness. She excitedly remarked to me about how radiant Thusness looked. This is also what the bible meant when Jesus was said to be "transfigured", "His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light."

As I wrote to someone,
If you're talking about non-verbal cues.. If you meet a genuine practitioner, you will notice that their face is beaming with radiance. Their whole body-mind-universe is luminous radiance in direct experience, and it is quite obviously reflected in how they look. Even my aunt (who does not practice meditation) told me that Thusness's face was beaming with radiance, when he came to our house.

However that should not be how we judge a person's insight or attainment.

Kim: Oh, brilliant! My playground. Let's see... Bhumi analysis is not facial analysis, i.e. analysis of mere facial features. That'd be cosmetics emoticon To give a nut shell definition of what bhumi is, a quote from Acarya Malcolm Smith:

There is a correspondence between between levels of realization, the thirteen bhumis,and the location at which the prana vayu remains stably within the central channel. This is attendant with the realization of emptiness through completion stage practice.”

The condition of bhumis, their openness or closedness, are read from the subtle body, more specifically from the central channel through the eyes, not merely from the physical face, skin and eyes. Also, what is meant with radiance can be something very general or something very specific, as in this case. Someone untrained could take the radiance of gross blissful intoxication of a Hare Krishna as radiance. Someone could mistake momentary energy generated on a meditation retreat, healing event or spiritual initiation as radiance. Also, someone untrained could take lack of vitality of the physical body as an indication of lack of radiance and spiritual attainment. However, none of these are indications of prana vayu remaining in the central channel and the radiance coming from that, from the insight of the empty nature of mind.

So when we are talking about radiance due to bhumis, we are talking about a particular kind of radiance, not just any, which to anyone who has met and spent some time with yogis with some insight is already familiar. Everyone with insight has it to a degree... It's the vibe emanating from someone's bodymind. As I mentioned, I plan to do a comparison of Thusness' model and Open Heart Bhumi Model once I get some more familiarity with the former to get some direct correlations.

It is commonly said that the eyes are the window of the soul. A dzogchen teacher told me that too but knew not how to go further from there. When I do and the way how I teach bhumi analysis is through both reading the subtle body as well as considering verbal description. It is not either or.

AEN: As Rob Burbea said,
"And in that, there’s an incredible beauty, an incredible sense of mystery, that the being opens to. A person who practices in that way a lot, who practices at that level a lot, who cultivates that and looks to cultivate that and learns, develops the skill, the art of really hanging out there a lot,  if you meet a person like that, they are going to be really radiant. Very shiny. Very big aura. Very free. And they will feel very free, at quite a deep level quite a lot of the time. They will also probably be quite compassionate. A lot of love there.

The Buddha makes a very marked point on one occasion, I think it was to Ananda, which is never judge someone’s awakening or non-awakening, enlightenment or non-enlightenment by how radiant they seem, by how shiny they seem, by how glowing. Absolutely not the way you discern where someone’s really at in the practice. But to practice at that level will bring that, and to learn people do they develop it as kind of what they’re going for, we’re talking about Buddhists and non-Buddhists, and they learn to hang out there. Incredibly beautiful and  incredibly powerful."

-
http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/07/realizing-nature-of-mind.html

Kim
: Saying that about shinyness and big aura, Rob Burbea is not discussing bhumis/stages of attainment/dharma seals, but generated
energy/aura, as I mentioned above. Again, this is not the radiance I'm talking about. Doesn't of course mean it wouldn't be beneficial. But yeah, Buddha was right. A lot of people fall for strong or impressive energies coming from personal charisma or pranic charge but this is not indicative of buddhist insight. It is yucky, unpleasant and feel suspicious to someone who is used to clear mind be it through sutric or tantric practice.

AEN: There are also some people, a guy in Facebook called Amir Mourad, who as Thusness said in the past was very high in energy and his experience is quite similar to anatta and total exertion. But his realization of anatta is lacking. The experience is very similar, and through his practices his energy level is very high. Experience is not realization. These are examples of why analyzing the "energy" and facial expressions of the practitioner is IMO not such a good way to gauge the person's realization.

Kim
: Yeah, I've seen the guy. Also folks like Massaro, Osho and Muktananda fall into this category.

AEN: As for Hugging Saint Amma, I am pretty sure she is at Thusness Stage 1 & 2 based on her expressions. But I have noted that in some sense her fearlessness may be more than me, even though my practice has allowed certain degree of fearlessness -
https://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2018/08/fearless-samadhi.html

Kim
: I highly recommend that you go check her out in person. She comes to your part of the world (Singapore?). I am sure that if you go and take her in, you will change your mind. If you have ability you can also tune into her from distance and (for example) compare her bodymind with yours. I say she is fully liberated, that is Thusness 7. For this reason your mind should become clearer than it usually is, if you meet or tune in with her.

AEN: Thusness said, more fearless, even when compared to a Buddhist practitioner who have had an initial realization of anatta. Those
(non-Buddhist 'mahasiddhas') may be more unattached to certain things. And their samadhi may be stronger. Their development may be higher in various fronts than someone who realized anatta, with the exception of the insight front. As Thusness said, he respects Ramana Maharshi and thinks that if someone chops off his legs or hands, it will not matter to Ramana. He is just absorbed in Self/Presence, the world doesn't affect him that much.

Kim
: I recall a story of a hindu yogi called Madhusudandas whose hand was smashed between car door. His demeanor didn't change, he just kindly asked the person who slammed the door to open it to release his hand...

I am sure you are right about the power of samadhi but still, in OHBM, we don't measure samadhi but vayu in bhumis. I don't wish to talk
publicly about the attainment of famous gurus because it bit me in the butt (fiercely!) the last time I did it but I'll just say that my impression of Ramana is akin to yours, beginning stages, few centimeters. With Amma, for example, the vayu is several meters higher... Free as a bird!