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Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/11/11 3:44 PM
Hey all

you probably all know the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, and Id like to kindly ask arhatas here to share their thoughts on the subject of Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi

Lets first take a look at the words of R. Maharshi:


Question : What is samadhi?
Ramana Maharshi : The state in which the unbroken experience of existence-consciousness is attained by the still mind, alone is samadhi. That still mind which is adorned with the attainment of the limitless supreme Self, alone is the reality of God.
When the mind is in communion with the Self in darkness, it is called nidra , that is, the immersion of the mind in ignorance. Immersion in a conscious or wakeful state is called samadhi. Samadhi is continuous inherence in the Self in a waking state. Nidra or sleep is also inherence in the Self but in an unconscious state. In sahaja samadhi the communion is con-tinuous.


Question : May I have a clear idea of the difference between savikalpa and nirvikalpa?
Ramana Maharshi : Holding on to the supreme state is samadhi. When it is with effort due to mental disturbances, it is savikalpa. When these disturbances are absent, it is nirvikalpa. Remaining permanently in the primal state without effort is sahaja.


Question : What are kevala nirvikalpa samadhi and sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi?
Ramana Maharshi :The immersion of the mind in the Self, but without its destruction, is kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. In this state one is not free from vasanas and so one does not therefore attain mukti. Only after the vasanas have been destroyed can one attain liberation.


Question : Is samadhi, the eighth stage of raja yoga, the same as the samadhi you speak of ?
Ramana Maharshi : In yoga the term samadhi refers to some kind of trance and there are various kinds of samadhi. But the samadhi I speak of is different. It is sahaja samadhi. From here you have samadhana and you remain calm and composed even while you are active. You realize that you are moved by the deeper real Self within. You have no worries, no anxieties, no cares, for you come to realize that there is nothing belonging to you. You know that everything is done by something with which you are in conscious union.

Sources: His books:
http://www.messagefrommasters.com/Ebooks/Bhagwan-Ramana-Books.htm



OK, so we have here 3 levels of samadhi, according to Ramana Maharshi:
1. Sabikalpa
2. Nirbikalpa and
3. Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi


The "...When these disturbances are absent, it is nirvikalpa...." notion means all mental disturbances including ahankara (the false ego, center of perception, non-self, you name it), obviously; otherwise, how would it be possible to be in the primal state without an effort (meaning: ahankara, the core of the mind, is a disturbance in itself).

Now, I have had a lot of sabikalpa samadhi experiences, and obviously no Nirbikalpa yet (or I wouldn't be posting this), and I think the Emptiness and the Self might as well be the same "thing".
At the moment, however, I am experiencing Emptiness pouring into my waking experience in real time, recognizing all perceptual phenomena to be Empty (not continuously, though), I still perceive a slight difference between this Emptiness and experiences of the Self (when in sabikalpa samadhi). It is like that the Self is more, well, full (I don't know how to describe this, sorry).

So, my questions for the experienced arhatas here (and for everyone else, of course) are:
1. What is your take on the subject of Emptiness (which you are experiencing continuously, I guess) and Self (which Ramana is describing), please? Might they be the same?

2. How would you, based on your experiences, compare niroda samapati with nirbikalpa samadhi or even with sahaja nirbikalpa samadhi, please?

3. Is ahankara permanently destroyed after niroda samapati?

Thank you.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/11/11 4:13 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Seraphis M.:
Now, I have had a lot of sabikalpa samadhi experiences,


Can you describe this, experientially?

Seraphis M.:
So, my questions for the experienced arhatas here (and for everyone else, of course) are:
1. What is your take on the subject of Emptiness (which you are experiencing continuously, I guess) and Self (which Ramana is describing), please? Might they be the same?


I think they are almost certainly not the same, as MCTB 4th path (in my experience) is not nearly so profound as what Ramana seems to describe as the goal of the spiritual path.

If I became a monk or sannyasin and spent some years practicing, only to attain MCTB 4th path and then be told that it was the end of the road, I would probably feel ripped off, and wonder why I gave up my "regular life" for it (as the desire for worldly things remains as strong as ever at MCTB 4th path), despite seeing the value of the attainment.

As for the rest, I am not familiar enough with the non-Buddhist terminology to offer an opinion.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/12/11 4:24 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

Can you describe this, experientially?


End in Sight hi,

the experience is way beyond my mind's capacity to describe, but I'll give it a go:

there is no body consciousness, emotions are far away (I am not aware of them, not even close) and mind along with its core is dead for the duration of the experience (it resurfaces again, stoned for a certain length of time).

It is as if the normal stream of conscious experience is completely shut down, the dual perception and
the subject <--> object relation is non-existing. It is as if someone would just shut down the projections on the screen of "my" awareness. And what remains?
The Absolute Truth remains, pure and complete, self sustaining, independent and Absolute, non-changing, eternal (here, words fail me, sorry). In such states, I do not experience what I am not (in truth) but what I am in absolute truth. (thats how the Self differs from the Emptiness as I perceive it now)
I am, Aham Brahmasmi.

The samadhi has its effect on the mental and astral bodies. For the first few times I experienced this state, after it subsided, I just couldn't stop crying: so much love, so much! And omnipresence in other beings and objects, complete sense of fulfillment in the heart and thorough and concrete knowledge of my own immortality (please, don't be fulled by this emotional description, it is just a material reaction to conscious Unity with the Source).

One of the first such experiences manifested when I was at retreat doing self-inquiry technique (much like what Ramana Maharshi taught):

"...I was not focusing on anything in particular; I only noticed a bug there in the grass
that was emitting some sound. At that moment, everything just seemed to stop. My
perception ceased to function. It was as though someone switched off the movie
projector that was projecting images on the screen of my consciousness. Everything
just stopped being-and then I knew. I knew that the sound the bug was producing; it
was the song of love. I knew that there are really no differences between that bug
and me, that there is only One Truth, One Existence. That Existence is living through
that bug and through me as well. There were no points of reference whatsoever,
only Love and the Awareness. No God up there in Heaven, no poor and insignificant
humans down below on Earth-it was just Me. "My" heart was completely fulfilled,
tears flowed without any control, "I" could not utter a single word. I only knew "I was."


Does that answer your question, please?



I think they are almost certainly not the same, as MCTB 4th path (in my experience) is not nearly so profound as what Ramana seems to describe as the goal of the spiritual path.

If I became a monk or sannyasin and spent some years practicing, only to attain MCTB 4th path and then be told that it was the end of the road, I would probably feel ripped off, and wonder why I gave up my "regular life" for it (as the desire for worldly things remains as strong as ever at MCTB 4th path), despite seeing the value of the attainment.

As for the rest, I am not familiar enough with the non-Buddhist terminology to offer an opinion.


OK, fair enough, thank you.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/12/11 5:58 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Seraphis M.:
End in Sight:

Can you describe this, experientially?


End in Sight hi,

the experience is way beyond my mind's capacity to describe, but I'll give it a go: (...)


So, to clarify: there is sensory perception, there are things that are "known" (the list of things you "knew" in the experience you described), but no "mind"? What is mind to you?

Also: is there no body consciousness at all, or is it simply minimized (due to the falling-away of the dualistic tension that one's body normally holds)?

Also, what of the effort that Ramana calls characteristic of it?

Ramana Maharshi:
Holding on to the supreme state is samadhi. When it is with effort due to mental disturbances, it is savikalpa.


My thoughts about what these states are, going purely from your quoted descriptions, and what I am familiar with based on my contemplative background:

Savikalpa: One perceives phenomena as luminous, wondrous, manifestations of the fundamental nature of the universe, not separate from 'you'...as if 'you' are touching God...the effort is the remaining tendency of the mind to conceive of 'you' in relation to the experience, in whatever form it happens ('you' touching God, 'you' amazed at the wondrousness of existence, a perception of 'Awareness' that can be described as distinct from phenomena, some other form of dualistic tension).

(Kevala) Nirvikalpa: The same thing, minus dualistic tension and 'you'...in context of normal experience, what we call a PCE; in context of concentration, jhana.

Sahaja: Final liberation, whatever it may be, perhaps surpassing nirvikalpa or perhaps equalling it (I wouldn't know).

For comparison, I was playing around with jhana today. I had what I believe are some full-on experiences of 6th jhana, each lasting for about 1/2 second. There was, as far as I can tell in retrospect:

* no seeing
* no hearing
* no smelling
* no tasting
* no touching / body experience
* no thinking
* no mood or anything akin to one
* no time
* no space
* no dualistic imposition on experience

The only phenomenon was "boundless consciousness", perceived in a way that is as tension-free and peaceful as anything else I have ever experienced. It appears to be absolutely still and unmoving. It gives the impression of being more "real" than normal sensory experience. One might (depending on their background) think that, in retrospect, the world is an illusion, this is the Absolute (or one face of it), or some form of unity with the unmanifest ground of existence. Even if one does not think that, one will still be very impressed by it (to say the least).

Having had PCEs, I would say that these experiences are variants of each other, despite the fact that the details are quite different (due to the contrast in the presence / absence of sense-experience and thinking).

Your experience sounds similar to this (if you are adamant that the emotional experiences you described were after-the-fact reactions), a momentary version of this with senses functioning (PCE) rather than without (formless jhana). Perhaps both are instances of nirvikalpa. So profound, that if full liberation was like that, you would think it worth it (apart from the fact that there would be no possibility of 'you' and no base dualistic experience of judging the state)? Do you see a tension or effort or mental disturbance in the experience that you described that would qualify it as savikalpa?

How long did the state you describe last?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/12/11 6:49 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
The only phenomenon was "boundless consciousness", perceived in a way that is as tension-free and peaceful as anything else I have ever experienced. It appears to be absolutely still and unmoving. It gives the impression of being more "real" than normal sensory experience. One might (depending on their background) think that, in retrospect, the world is an illusion, this is the Absolute (or one face of it), or some form of unity with the unmanifest ground of existence. Even if one does not think that, one will still be very impressed by it (to say the least).

Excuse my butting in emoticon

This is pretty much identical in description to something I've experienced also, although not at the same level as yourself i.e. "AF". I'm coming to see that I was accessing less stable versions of the sutta-style rupa jhanas long before 1st path and continued practice with "actualizing" the arupa jhanas, in this case the 6th, seems to bring about the same sort of thing. Interesting stuff, I'm going to play around with this as part of my practice and see what comes of it.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/12/11 7:06 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
I have had this experience "accidentally" in the past...you may be interested to know that there is literally no difference in it that I can see related to the difference in my development between now and then, except that in the past, I was very very confused by it in retrospect, whereas now it is easier to see clearly in retrospect. The main important characteristic is that it has no tension (insofar as I can discern), and there is no ability to reflect on it or analyze it in the moment it happens.

In general, I think that Kenneth is right when he insists that development is built bit-by-bit but "realization" can happen temporarily at any time. (This may not be the context he had in mind, but I think he would be inclined to agree anyway.)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/12/11 7:53 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:
I'm coming to see that I was accessing less stable versions of the sutta-style rupa jhanas long before 1st path


Also, tell us about it, as this subject (sutta jhanas) is close to my heart.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/13/11 2:13 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
The only phenomenon was "boundless consciousness", perceived in a way that is as tension-free and peaceful as anything else I have ever experienced. It appears to be absolutely still and unmoving. It gives the impression of being more "real" than normal sensory experience. One might (depending on their background) think that, in retrospect, the world is an illusion, this is the Absolute (or one face of it), or some form of unity with the unmanifest ground of existence. Even if one does not think that, one will still be very impressed by it (to say the least).


By the way, for anyone interested in aligning other traditions with each other, experiences like this may be the origin of some dualistic schools of yoga, as well as western dualistic mystical traditions (e.g. neoplatonism)...the dualism in question being the one between the (nondual-in-another-sense) transcendent reality and the illusory (or ontologically lesser) material world.

I suspect that one who is capable of sustaining these non-sensory mystical experiences and who makes that their sole practice will find that they begin with the impression that they are accessing some transcendent reality behind the veil, but will eventually discover that it is the perception of the veil, not the perception of the world, that ceases in the end.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/13/11 4:24 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
Kind EiS, thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom.
It is all already more clear to my mind, and I am looking forward to conversing with you further.

End in Sight:

So, to clarify: there is sensory perception, there are things that are "known" (the list of things you "knew" in the experience you described), but no "mind"? What is mind to you?


No, no sensory perception. Sensory input ceases to function, no mind functions are present, cognitive processes (memory, decision making, learning, thinking logically etc...) are stopped.

Yes, there are things that are known, but not through the mind. The Source of that Knowledge (Vidya in Sanskrit) is not the material mind, but the Self.
Mind cant even touch the Self, let alone comprehend it or duplicate Its Vidya.

What is mind to me?
Mental plane, mind with all of its cognitive abilities, only a material tool that has a tremendous power because it is given that power by consciousness. It is a subtle material domain, nothing more. It comes and goes, it is not absolute and hence illusory with all that it contains.

So the stuff that I described only kicked in after the Samadhi subsided. During the samadhi, only the Self is there/here. And precess-less experience of It, a non-dual one.


Also: is there no body consciousness at all, or is it simply minimized (due to the falling-away of the dualistic tension that one's body normally holds)?


For the duration of the Samadhi, there is no physical body consciousness, no emotional awareness and no mental functions. All of this just ceases to be a part of experience. Only Self is present, self manifesting and Absolute.


Also, what of the effort that Ramana calls characteristic of it?


The effort is only due the presence of the false ego, the non-self, the core of the mind, the I & Mine mental representation. As long as it is present, there is a will, an intent to surpass it, to go beyond it (sabikalpa - limited by time). Much like the ordeal anagami is going through: not continious awareness of Emptiness, something is still there, holding anagami "back".
Once it is gone (by nirbikalpa samadhi - not limited by time), no effort is needed anymore as spontaneous and natural state manifests itself (sahaja nirbikalpa samadhi).

Thats how I understand it all, having read most of the teachings of Ramana and also based on my experiences (up to sabikalpa thus far).


Ramana Maharshi:
Holding on to the supreme state is samadhi. When it is with effort due to mental disturbances, it is savikalpa.



My thoughts about what these states are, going purely from your quoted descriptions, and what I am familiar with based on my contemplative background:

Savikalpa: One perceives phenomena as luminous, wondrous, manifestations of the fundamental nature of the universe, not separate from 'you'...as if 'you' are touching God...the effort is the remaining tendency of the mind to conceive of 'you' in relation to the experience, in whatever form it happens ('you' touching God, 'you' amazed at the wondrousness of existence, a perception of 'Awareness' that can be described as distinct from phenomena, some other form of dualistic tension).

(Kevala) Nirvikalpa: The same thing, minus dualistic tension and 'you'...in context of normal experience, what we call a PCE; in context of concentration, jhana.

Sahaja: Final liberation, whatever it may be, perhaps surpassing nirvikalpa or perhaps equalling it (I wouldn't know).


Ok, tnx.



For comparison, I was playing around with jhana today. I had what I believe are some full-on experiences of 6th jhana, each lasting for about 1/2 second. There was, as far as I can tell in retrospect:

* no seeing
* no hearing
* no smelling
* no tasting
* no touching / body experience
* no thinking
* no mood or anything akin to one
* no time
* no space
* no dualistic imposition on experience



Well, all I can add to this is that in sabikalpa samadhi (as I experience and interpret it) all of the above is there (in short, mind with all its illusory phenomena and sensory perception, is gone) PLUS there is the powerful presence of the Self.
It is not only what there is NOT but also what there IS beyond what is NOT.
(what a mouth full LOL)


The only phenomenon was "boundless consciousness", perceived in a way that is as tension-free and peaceful as anything else I have ever experienced. It appears to be absolutely still and unmoving. It gives the impression of being more "real" than normal sensory experience. One might (depending on their background) think that, in retrospect, the world is an illusion, this is the Absolute (or one face of it), or some form of unity with the unmanifest ground of existence. Even if one does not think that, one will still be very impressed by it (to say the least).


Sounds familiar.



Having had PCEs, I would say that these experiences are variants of each other, despite the fact that the details are quite different (due to the contrast in the presence / absence of sense-experience and thinking).


Well, in sabikalpa samadhi (at least in my experiences), there in no sensory perception involved and no mind. It is like what you have described above plus the Self. The real One, above or beyond the no-nos.
Words fail me here, but I think you get what I mean.



Your experience sounds similar to this (if you are adamant that the emotional experiences you described were after-the-fact reactions), a momentary version of this with senses functioning (PCE) rather than without (formless jhana).


Yes, everything apart from the Self is only an interpretation and kicks in only after the samadhi is over and when mind resurfaces.



Perhaps both are instances of nirvikalpa. So profound, that if full liberation was like that, you would think it worth it (apart from the fact that there would be no possibility of 'you' and no base dualistic experience of judging the state)?


There is only the Self.
There is None Else Beside Him (with no reference to God - we can call Him the Self/Absolute/maybe even Emptiness)


Do you see a tension or effort or mental disturbance in the experience that you described that would qualify it as savikalpa?


No.
It is the same Truth, the same Self experienced, no effort in samadhi itself, all of the no-nos you enlisted above are included, no mind, no sensory input - only the Self.
But when I come out of it, sooner or later I want to go back. The "I" here is the basic notion of the I & Mine, relative self (which in my case has not been yet surpassed - hence the effort is needed to get in).


How long did the state you describe last?


The samadhi described above might have lasted for several seconds or minutes for all I know. When I came to, my mind was already stoned and tears rolled down my cheeks (such astral and mental reactions have become less intense later on in subsequent experiences).

On other instances of such samadhis, the experiences might have lasted from a portion of a second to several seconds for all I know. The thing is that such samadhi completely shuts down relative perception, including the notion of time and space. So I cant really say. And I have never timed it yet.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/14/11 9:10 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
This has been interesting so far. Let's see where it leads us.

Seraphis M.:

No, no sensory perception. Sensory input ceases to function, no mind functions are present, cognitive processes (memory, decision making, learning, thinking logically etc...) are stopped.


OK, it seems that I misunderstood you; I believed that what you had described regarding the sound of the insect (etc.) was during the experience, rather than immediately after it.

Seraphis M.:

Also, what of the effort that Ramana calls characteristic of it?


The effort is only due the presence of the false ego, the non-self, the core of the mind, the I & Mine mental representation. As long as it is present, there is a will, an intent to surpass it, to go beyond it (sabikalpa - limited by time).


Well, then I would like to know, where in the experience you described was this effort? What in that experience was conditioned by the false ego?

Seraphis M.:


For comparison, I was playing around with jhana today. I had what I believe are some full-on experiences of 6th jhana, each lasting for about 1/2 second. There was, as far as I can tell in retrospect:

* no seeing
* no hearing
* no smelling
* no tasting
* no touching / body experience
* no thinking
* no mood or anything akin to one
* no time
* no space
* no dualistic imposition on experience



Well, all I can add to this is that in sabikalpa samadhi (as I experience and interpret it)

1) all of the above is there (in short, mind with all its illusory phenomena and sensory perception, is gone)

2)PLUS there is the powerful presence of the Self.
It is not only what there is NOT but also what there IS beyond what is NOT.


I split what you wrote into two parts.

Regarding 1), it is worth keeping in mind that, given the Buddhist conceptual scheme, the experience I described is not “prototypical”, but is merely one among three other possible ways that the experience can vary ("formless jhana"):

* space, no sense-perception
* consciousness, no space, no sense-perception (what I described)
* nothingness, no consciousness, no space, no sense-perception
* no nothingness, no consciousness, no space, no sense-perception, but some residual perceptual activity

Further, these are not in any sort of hierarchy with respect to realization; later experiences are merely more refined than earlier experiences.

So, you should not immediately associate your experience with mine, as formless jhana could have manifested for you in three other ways and so could have varied subtly, even if all the manifestations are similar.

Further, there are four “material jhanas” which are similar to these, except they include sense-perception. I have not had so deep an experience with 1-3 as what I described originally, but I believe I have had one memorable experience of 4 which had:

* one sensory percept, no other sense-experience
* no mood or anything akin to one
* no time
* no dualistic imposition on experience

(EDIT: I asked myself whether this instance of jhana 4 had no body consciousness, or just minimized body consciousness, but don't remember anymore. Based on my theoretical understanding, I will assume the latter.)

What is interesting about it is that it is fundamentally the same experience as what I originally described, in that its core feature (no dualism / tension) appears to be identical, while the other features (sense experience or not) are incidental.

Based on that, I wonder: must savikalpa lack sense-experience? If so, I would say that none of these are savikalpa, as the formless jhanas are substantially identical to the ones that don’t, insofar as I have experienced them (and accurately matched my experiences to the Buddhist scheme).

Similarly, must nirvikalpa lack sense-experience? If so, the same applies.

Regarding 2), there is a large terminological gap which will impede communication, which I will make a first attempt at bridging. I will use the term “Absolute” to cover what we both may be talking about, but keep in mind that I may or may not be using it in the same way as you…my background is quite different from yours.

In the experience I described, the core feature (no dualism / tension) can be described in different terms: that the experience is not one in which there is a percept (“boundless consciousness”) as well as the Absolute, but one in which the Absolute is seen to be the percept. The Absolute is this moment, right now, whether this moment contains a formless percept or a sensory percept. In more colorful terms, the percept is the body of God.

There is another kind of experience, substantially similar to what I described, with this variation: the Absolute is the experiencer of the percept, or the Absolute is united with the percept, or the Absolute is separate from but manifests the percept, or the Absolute is united with the ego, or the ego is a manifestation of the Absolute, or (in other terms) subject and object are one, or Awareness is unified with that which it is aware of (etc.). This is different from the above, because it is a nondual experience with a dual “trailer”; to perceive a separate-but-united Absolute and percept, or a unified subject and object, or an Awareness that can be described as nonidentical to its object, is to project a dualistic confusion generated by the ego onto the experience.

The latter experience comes in different strengths (related to the grossness of the dual “trailer”), but is always fundamentally the same as I have seen it. The former experience seems to come in one strength only. I tentatively associate the former with nirvikalpa, and the latter with savikalpa, based on the quotes you provided.

If this distinction makes sense to you, I would ask, what is this “Self” that you perceive in the experience you had, in addition to “boundless consciousness”? Perhaps that is the effort and the activity of the false ego that qualifies it as savikalpa? In the experience I described, there was only the percept (insofar as I could discern), and that very absence of the perception of an Absolute is the revelation that whatever is perceived is the Absolute.


Seraphis M.:

Do you see a tension or effort or mental disturbance in the experience that you described that would qualify it as savikalpa?


No.
It is the same Truth, the same Self experienced, no effort in samadhi itself, all of the no-nos you enlisted above are included, no mind, no sensory input - only the Self.
But when I come out of it, sooner or later I want to go back. The "I" here is the basic notion of the I & Mine, relative self (which in my case has not been yet surpassed - hence the effort is needed to get in).


I am deeply skeptical that the only difference between savikalpa and nirvikalpa is in terms of one’s later behavior (that the ego remains afterwards). On the face of the quote you provided, Ramana is describing something very different. And yet, you seem to be claiming just that.

There is this quote from the Pali canon:

All phenomena gain a footing in the Deathless.
All phenomena have Unbinding (nibbana) as their final end.


Thanissaro Bhikkhu (a Theravadin monk) interprets this to mean that one who is wholly liberated perceives nibbana as the end of phenomena, but one who is not perceives nibbana as a phenomenon. I currently take this on faith. It implies that the perception of the Absolute changes over the course of one’s practice. Here is a tentative alignment of this with the three forms of samadhi in relation to my understanding of them and this interpretation:

Savikalpa…still not quite nibbana, as there is a dualistic residue (which is suffering)
Nirvikalpa…nibbana as a phenomenon, phenomena appear as the Absolute
Sahaja…nibbana as the absence of phenomena (NOT THE SAME AS THE "SELF" SEPARATE FROM PHENOMENA!)

“Phenomena appear as the Absolute” appears to me to be in line with the metaphor that the quote is based on, i.e. when one steps onto the shore, seeking refuge from the tides of suffering, until one makes it completely onto the shore, each further step will involve experiencing shore and water mixed up together…but eventually one will see that the water on the shore is not the refuge, but incidentally experienced on the way to refuge.

As an aside which might be interesting to you, there is a fellow at lovebliss.eu who writes about some issues that may be relevant to this conversation. He writes:

http://lovebliss.eu/Satsangs/08_Bliss_Lovebliss.htm:

Q: What's it (lovebliss) like? A tingling sensation in the body?

J: No, it is way beyond that. Every cell of the body screams in love of the Self. Every breath is a pulse of lovebliss. It is ecstasy without agitation. The Self experiences itself in itself and by itself. This is felt in every cell of the body as immense bliss, but it is calm and peaceful. And it just goes on and on and on.


This is a pretty good (if foreign-to-me) way of describing the Absolute. Every moment of experience is a moment of wonder, and that wonder is over itself, for itself, by itself.

You might be interested in looking over his site, because I have thought that what he describes as "nothingness-being" is an uncannily good characterization of MCTB 4th path. If what he says makes sense to you, perhaps this will help you understand what MCTB 4th path is about.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/14/11 3:26 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
This has been interesting so far. Let's see where it leads us.

Quite right.
Thank you.

Ehm, I have to say that the quotes and new texts are becoming increasingly difficult to read, so I cut down my comments to most essential ones.

OK, it seems that I misunderstood you; I believed that what you had described regarding the sound of the insect (etc.) was during the experience, rather than immediately after it.

No, no, no.
Sorry for being so vague.
That's my problem with describing these experiences, it takes a long time to get it seemingly right and even then it is only a dry description.
No, the insect entering the scene and singing its song was prior to the samadhi and all cognitive functions and the “enhanced knowledge” kicked in only after the samadhi. In between, blank, nothing, The Self (Emptiness?)


Well, then I would like to know, where in the experience you described was this effort? What in that experience was conditioned by the false ego?


Hahahahahaha. LOL
Roaring laughter !!
LOL

<longer pause>

(wasn't laughing at you, please)
Well, thank you for that, EiS, you have just been instrumental in helping me to experience IT again, right now.
Nothing is conditioned by false ego. Never was.



I split what you wrote into two parts.
Regarding 1), it is worth keeping in mind that, given the Buddhist conceptual scheme, the experience I described is not “prototypical”, but is merely one among three other possible ways that the experience can vary ("formless jhana"):
* space, no sense-perception
* consciousness, no space, no sense-perception (what I described)
* nothingness, no consciousness, no space, no sense-perception
* no nothingness, no consciousness, no space, no sense-perception, but some residual perceptual activity
Further, these are not in any sort of hierarchy with respect to realization; later experiences are merely more refined than earlier experiences.
So, you should not immediately associate your experience with mine, as formless jhana could have manifested for you in three other ways and so could have varied subtly, even if all the manifestations are similar.


I understand.
Thank you for explaining this to me.

Well, I don’t know where to point my finger on above list. There is NO sense-perception, no mind and thus no time, space, being here/there. There is this Presence, the Self, in my opinion best described by Ramana Maharshi. So, it probably was not what the last two types of experiences on your list describe.


Further, there are four “material jhanas” which are similar to these, except they include sense-perception. I have not had so deep an experience with 1-3 as what I described originally, but I believe I have had one memorable experience of 4 which had:

* one sensory percept, no other sense-experience
* no mood or anything akin to one
* no time
* no dualistic imposition on experience

What is interesting about it is that it is fundamentally the same experience as what I originally described, in that its core feature (no dualism / tension) appears to be identical, while the other features (sense experience or not) are incidental.


I see.
Well, what I am describing as Sabikalpa Samadhi, it is not what you have just said.


Based on that, I wonder: must savikalpa lack sense-experience? If so, I would say that none of these are savikalpa, as the formless jhanas are substantially identical to the ones that don’t, insofar as I have experienced them (and accurately matched my experiences to the Buddhist scheme).
Similarly, must nirvikalpa lack sense-experience? If so, the same applies.


I wouldn’t know the right answer to your right to the point questions, but from what I understand from Ramana’s teachings (not just above quotes), both is present in sahaja (natural) samadhi: the awareness of the Self (I still don’t know how to call this in your terminology, sorry) and sensory input at the same time.



Regarding 2), there is a large terminological gap which will impede communication, which I will make a first attempt at bridging. I will use the term “Absolute” to cover what we both may be talking about, but keep in mind that I may or may not be using it in the same way as you…my background is quite different from yours.


Tnx for that.
May we take Emptiness as a synonym for the Absolute in our context?

In the experience I described, the core feature (no dualism / tension) can be described in different terms: that the experience is not one in which there is a percept (“boundless consciousness”) as well as the Absolute, but one in which the Absolute is seen to be the percept. The Absolute is this moment, right now, whether this moment contains a formless percept or a sensory percept. In more colorful terms, the percept is the body of God.

There is another kind of experience, substantially similar to what I described, with this variation: the Absolute is the experiencer of the percept, or the Absolute is united with the percept, or the Absolute is separate from but manifests the percept, or the Absolute is united with the ego, or the ego is a manifestation of the Absolute, or (in other terms) subject and object are one, or Awareness is unified with that which it is aware of (etc.). This is different from the above, because it is a nondual experience with a dual “trailer”; to perceive a separate-but-united Absolute and percept, or a unified subject and object, or an Awareness that can be described as nonidentical to its object, is to project a dualistic confusion generated by the ego onto the experience.


I think that is very close (the second paragraph) to my experiencing of the Absolute in sabikalpa samadhi.

Let me have a go:
Absolute is the Source of everything, even the ego and mind and emotions and physical body. It is differentiated, manifested by itself as everything we perceive inside and outside of us. The duality is there, suffering also….
…until one realizes directly what Absolute really Is. And what it always turns out to be is something that is far beyond the material sensory perception, and way above (or beyond) even the most sublimely abstract thoughts in the refined mind. When experienced directly (sama(one with) adi (absolute)) it becomes Known as the Only truth, Eternal and the meditator identifies his own consciousness as being at-one with the Absolute. The “nature” of the Absolute is such that (when directly experienced) all perception is immediately shut down, for various lengths of “time”. Only the Absolute remains.
When meditatior exits the Samadhi (union with the Absolute), mind kicks in and his previous conditioning colors interpretations of the experience (in my case, tears flew etc…)


The latter experience comes in different strengths (related to the grossness of the dual “trailer”), but is always fundamentally the same as I have seen it. The former experience seems to come in one strength only. I tentatively associate the former with nirvikalpa, and the latter with savikalpa, based on the quotes you provided.

If this distinction makes sense to you, I would ask, what is this “Self” that you perceive in the experience you had, in addition to “boundless consciousness”? Perhaps that is the effort and the activity of the false ego that qualifies it as savikalpa? In the experience I described, there was only the percept (insofar as I could discern), and that very absence of the perception of an Absolute is the revelation that whatever is perceived is the Absolute.


Your stream of thoughts is blowing my mind away, EiS. Obviously you know what you are talking about. I am grateful for that, sir.

Again, here, just now, the "anagami like" insight manifested, after which all you just said made perfect sense:
There is no separation between the Self and boundless consciousness.

Let me take some time off, cant think straight right now.






I am deeply skeptical that the only difference between savikalpa and nirvikalpa is in terms of one’s later behavior (that the ego remains afterwards). On the face of the quote you provided, Ramana is describing something very different. And yet, you seem to be claiming just that.


Please, read above and below.



There is this quote from the Pali canon:

All phenomena gain a footing in the Deathless.
All phenomena have Unbinding (nibbana) as their final end

Thanissaro Bhikkhu (a Theravadin monk) interprets this to mean that one who is wholly liberated perceives nibbana as the end of phenomena, but one who is not perceives nibbana as a phenomenon. I currently take this on faith. It implies that the perception of the Absolute changes over the course of one’s practice. Here is a tentative alignment of this with the three forms of samadhi in relation to my understanding of them and this interpretation:



Exactly.
I am not liberated, I enter Samadhi at will, because something in me still distinguishes me form the Absolute and relative phenomena from the Absolute. I know that.

Savikalpa…still not quite nibbana, as there is a dualistic residue (which is suffering)
Nirvikalpa…nibbana as a phenomenon, phenomena appear as the Absolute
Sahaja…nibbana as the absence of phenomena (NOT THE SAME AS THE "SELF" SEPARATE FROM PHENOMENA!) .


Yes.
Sabikalpa (in Sanskrit B usually interchanges with V) is still not it, just as you said, there is still dualistic residue (which brings suffering/joy etc… along with it). That dualistic residue is why I still perceive as thought I have to enter Absolute.
I admit, the spontaneously manifestation of Absolute in real time is more and more frequent, every day in my day to day life.



As an aside which might be interesting to you, there is a fellow at lovebliss.eu who writes about some issues that may be relevant to this conversation. He writes:

Q: What's it (lovebliss) like? A tingling sensation in the body?

J: No, it is way beyond that. Every cell of the body screams in love of the Self. Every breath is a pulse of lovebliss. It is ecstasy without agitation. The Self experiences itself in itself and by itself. This is felt in every cell of the body as immense bliss, but it is calm and peaceful. And it just goes on and on and on."


This is a pretty good (if foreign-to-me) way of describing the Absolute. Every moment of experience is a moment of wonder, and that wonder is over itself, for itself, by itself.

You might be interested in looking over his site, because I have thought that what he describes as "nothingness-being" is an uncannily good characterization of MCTB 4th path. If what he says makes sense to you, perhaps this will help you understand what MCTB 4th path is about.


Will look into it, thank you.

I'd like to quote Ramana again, it is plainly clear why sabikalpa attainment in not there yet and what the "effort" and the "dualistic residue" means in this context :

Question : How can one function in the world in such a state?
Ramana Maharshi : One who accustoms himself naturally to meditation and enjoys the bliss of meditation will not lose his samadhi state whatever external work he does, whatever thoughts may come to him. That is sahaja nirvikalpa. Sahaja nirvikalpa is nasa [total destruction of the mind] whereas kevala nirvikalpa is laya [temporary abeyance of the mind].

Those who are in the laya samadhi state will have to bring the mind back under control from time to time. If the mind is destroyed, as it is in sahaja samadhi, it will never sprout again. Whatever is done by such people is just incidental, they will never slide down from their high state.

Those that are in the kevala nirvikalpa state are not realized, they are still seekers. Those who are in the sahaja nirvikalpa state are like a light in a windless place, or the ocean without waves; that is, there is no movement in them. They cannot find anything which is different from themselves. For those who do not reach that state, everything appears to be different from themselves.

(source the same as above)


My question, if I may:
where and how NS fits (if at all) into the above description in your opinion, please?


Thank you for your time, EiS.
Namaste.
s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/14/11 6:30 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
Also, tell us about it, as this subject (sutta jhanas) is close to my heart.

It was only upon reading your descriptions in another thread that it clicked, I never started experiencing absorptive jhana until after 1st path and even then it took me till 3rd to really get into them deeply. It was actually around that time that I stumbled across the same experience of 6th jhana as you describe, I think I mentioned it on a thread on KFD but essentially it was that awareness with nothing else going on, just that in this inexplicable way which really seemed like a deep, deep insight at the same time into what 6th jhana was all about.

Pre-paths, I practiced a variety of yogic stuff, mainly just from Jon Mumford's "Chakra & Kundalini Workbook" and Crowley's "Book 4" so not full-on Patanjali. Some of the breath stuff, which in retrospect was primarily concentration-based, got me into states similar to the descriptions you give and I also recall a very, very clear experience of what I now know to have been 4th jhana while doing yoga nidra.

I'll get back with something a bit more substantial, I find it quite difficult to describe this accurately so I'll work on it and let you know.

By the way, this thread is outstanding. Some serious dhamma going down on the boards...

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/15/11 8:08 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Seraphis, I will respond to the rest of your post when I have a little more time. However, this quote by Ramana is very interesting, and indicates that a strong case can be made that many traditions are pointing to the same end-goal. I thought this was worth a separate post.

Ramana Maharshi:
Those who are in the sahaja nirvikalpa state are like a light in a windless place, or the ocean without waves; that is, there is no movement in them. They cannot find anything which is different from themselves. For those who do not reach that state, everything appears to be different from themselves.


What is this "movement" that stands in the way of final liberation?

AFT movement of 'being' / the passions
Pali Buddhism craving-clinging-becoming
DhO attention wave
in miscellaneous traditions, lack of "stillness"

Jan (lovebliss.eu) says that the divine "throbs" or "vibrates". Although I do not like to comment on other people's attainments in this way (as I have never talked to Jan), Jan claims not to be fully liberated, and it occurs to me that this movement that he reports may be what will have to go, according to Ramana, if Jan is to attain that liberation.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/15/11 9:48 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Seraphis M.:
May we take Emptiness as a synonym for the Absolute in our context?


It depends. As some Mahayana schools use the term, I think so. But, I wouldn't say that MCTB Emptiness corresponds to it. It certainly wasn't involved in my experience of the various MCTB paths.

In fact, I realize now that during the time I spent practicing according to MCTB, my experiences of the Absolute were few and far between...during that time, in many ways I forgot why I ever became interested in spirituality (it was the Absolute, obviously, though I didn't understand it at all in the beginning)...it is very strange, because MCTB paths have been life-changing in various ways for me.

Seraphis M.:

Let me have a go:
Absolute is the Source of everything, even the ego and mind and emotions and physical body. It is differentiated, manifested by itself as everything we perceive inside and outside of us. The duality is there, suffering also….
…until one realizes directly what Absolute really Is. And what it always turns out to be is something that is far beyond the material sensory perception, and way above (or beyond) even the most sublimely abstract thoughts in the refined mind. When experienced directly (sama(one with) adi (absolute)) it becomes Known as the Only truth, Eternal and the meditator identifies his own consciousness as being at-one with the Absolute. The “nature” of the Absolute is such that (when directly experienced) all perception is immediately shut down, for various lengths of “time”. Only the Absolute remains.
When meditatior exits the Samadhi (union with the Absolute), mind kicks in and his previous conditioning colors interpretations of the experience (in my case, tears flew etc…)


Yes, sounds like what I have in mind with savikalpa.

Seraphis M.:

The latter experience comes in different strengths (related to the grossness of the dual “trailer”), but is always fundamentally the same as I have seen it. The former experience seems to come in one strength only. I tentatively associate the former with nirvikalpa, and the latter with savikalpa, based on the quotes you provided.

If this distinction makes sense to you, I would ask, what is this “Self” that you perceive in the experience you had, in addition to “boundless consciousness”? Perhaps that is the effort and the activity of the false ego that qualifies it as savikalpa? In the experience I described, there was only the percept (insofar as I could discern), and that very absence of the perception of an Absolute is the revelation that whatever is perceived is the Absolute.


Your stream of thoughts is blowing my mind away, EiS. Obviously you know what you are talking about. I am grateful for that, sir.


I am a regular person (or at least: a contemplative just like you), you should not address me in a unique way.

Seraphis M.:
Again, here, just now, the "anagami like" insight manifested, after which all you just said made perfect sense:
There is no separation between the Self and boundless consciousness.


Is there a separation between the Self and the sensory image of these words in front of you?

Seraphis M.:
I am not liberated, I enter Samadhi at will, because something in me still distinguishes me form the Absolute and relative phenomena from the Absolute. I know that.


How do you enter it at will?

Seraphis M.:

Savikalpa…still not quite nibbana, as there is a dualistic residue (which is suffering)
Nirvikalpa…nibbana as a phenomenon, phenomena appear as the Absolute
Sahaja…nibbana as the absence of phenomena (NOT THE SAME AS THE "SELF" SEPARATE FROM PHENOMENA!) .


Yes.
Sabikalpa (in Sanskrit B usually interchanges with V) is still not it, just as you said, there is still dualistic residue (which brings suffering/joy etc… along with it). That dualistic residue is why I still perceive as thought I have to enter Absolute.


I have no idea about Sanskrit. emoticon

If you think this way of dividing things up is helpful and accurate, then here is what would happen to go from savikalpa to nirvikalpa (I don't know if this can be implemented as a practice, but it might be interesting to think about):

The difference between what you described and what I described is that you perceive, in your experience, that there is a Self in it, or behind it. This means you believe there is an object called "Self" in your experience (whether or not you conceive of it as an object or subject). The belief in / perception of that object is dualistic residue that stands in the way of actually apprehending what you would call the Self. In the experience I described, there is no particular object called Self that is separate from manifestation, because the Self has infinite faces...whatever there is, that is it.

And to go from nirvikalpa to sahaja (speculation / theory based on what I previously wrote), now using my terminology:

Craving causes all dualistic experience and all existential suffering, and nibbana is sometimes referred to as the end of craving (e.g. Satta sutta). When one glimpses experience without craving, that is the most profound and inconceivable happiness...and yet, there is a tendency to see that happiness as either 1) inhering in the objects of the experience, or 2) inhering in the experience itself. Thus I would say: "This percept, free of craving, is the Absolute", or "This moment of perception, free of craving, is the Absolute". But the only happiness is the end of craving, and the end of craving is an absence rather than something with some positive reality. When there is no craving while seeing-hearing-smelling-tasting-touching-thinking is happening, that is one way of apprehending the Absolute. When there is no craving and no perception at all (as one fully liberated would experience after death), that is another way of apprehending the Absolute. This second way is literally empty of everything (including "boundless consciousness", including whatever nonsensory perception there is in savikalpa, etc.)...and yet, this non-thing, empty of everything, is profound and inconceivable happiness just the same. One who experiences sahaja understands this and sees no significant difference between these two ways of apprehending the Absolute.

I can't figure out how this makes sense, and yet it appears to be the position of the Pali suttas...hence, I am still a seeker.

Seraphis M.:
I admit, the spontaneously manifestation of Absolute in real time is more and more frequent, every day in my day to day life.


You mean, savikalpa (as you described it earlier)?

Seraphis M.:
My question, if I may:
where and how NS fits (if at all) into the above description in your opinion, please?


This is a multifaceted question.

To start off with, I will state that some people (e.g. Jan) say that nirvikalpa is unconsciousness. In that case, NS (as described in MCTemoticon is nirvikalpa, as is cessation / fruition. But, this doesn't seem to be what Ramana means, and is Jan's own personal usage based on whatever tradition he sees himself in.

NS, as described in MCTB, is unconsciousness, or at least is as far as I or anyone else can tell. If it isn't unconsciousness, no one seems to have access to whatever occurs during it. But it isn't unconsciousness in the sense of there being no mind in the way that there is in savikalpa. Whatever is experienced during savikalpa, isn't experienced during NS. Whatever is experienced during what I suggested was nirvikalpa, isn't experienced during NS either.

Is NS nibbana? There is no craving that I can see during it (as there is no anything that I can see during it), so, it would seem so. (In the sense that nibbana = cessation of craving, whether in context of experience or not.) Again, this is no different from cessation / fruition.

There is a complication, which is that there is another thing that vies for the title of NS (or sanna-vedayita-nirodha in the suttas)...let's call it 9th jhana. One attains it in a similar way, with the difference being, one seems to require MCTB 3rd path for NS, whereas one seems to require something that seems like it could be anagami (according to the suttas' comparatively extreme criteria) for easy access to 9th jhana.

"Sutta anagami" is probably closer to having the false ego destroyed, with vasanas continuing, than MCTB 3rd path is.

The suttas say that the faculties of one who experiences sanna-vedayita-nirodha "are clear", and there appears to be a difference between NS and 9th jhana in the sense that, in NS, there is no experience, whereas in 9th jhana, there is no normal experience, but still possibly something. (I find it impossible to say what. In some ways the question seems nonsensical to me. I could also be misperceiving things in some way, as I can only enter 9th jhana for a tiny fraction of a second, and may be mixing it together with something before / after it ) On the other hand, there could be a translation issue here regarding what "clear faculties" really means.

The suttas say that one makes contacts with "emptiness", "the signless", and "the undirected" coming out of sanna-vedayita-nirodha. I don't know what those are, but there is a very distinct uncommon experience when coming out of 9th jhana which I have not noticed after NS.

The suttas say that one "tends towards isolation" after sanna-vedayita-nirodha. NS has a narcotic hangover which seems to fit with that, whereas 9th jhana does not.

So, I don't know how to answer your question very well. I would say this is a very murky area, and my understanding is still evolving.

Seraphis M.:
(about Jan) I read the article, interesting.


You should read his whole site, including his relevant satsangs, for the full picture. He does not have all his ideas collected in one single place.

Seraphis M.:
According to that author, the bliss (I seem to experience in sabikalpa samadhi) can be brought to even a higher level.


Maybe, but also, maybe not in the way that you think.

My understanding of what Jan means is...imagine your experience of savikalpa, and then imagine the bliss of that occurring while you walk around in a normal state of consciousness.

What is the bliss? Not an emotion, not a body experience (though there may be pleasant sensations in your body)...the bliss is the Absolute experiencing itself. Seeing, hearing, etc. are all some kind of incomprehensible silent ecstasy. Every face of the Absolute, every little sensory thing, is bliss. They don't cause feelings of ecstasy, they *are* ecstasy.

And, it's all quite mundane and down-to-earth. Just seeing, hearing, etc.

Seraphis M.:
How would you describe the 4th tech path, in the light of our conversation thus far, please?


I am not sure. I suppose I would have to say that it's not quite related to what we've been talking about, but can be attained on the way to these things, and is helpful for attaining them. It's like a "cognitive" understanding of what enlightenment is supposed to be about, without actually experiencing it. (I got this from someone at KFD...it's very apt.) One understands that all the normal identifications with objects are confused, one feels "in their bones" that there can be no self (in the conventional sense), one attains some measure of freedom on account of that, but still, no appreciation of the Absolute need follow from it.

Jan's "nothingness-being" is potentially the same as MCTB 4th path. He says that there is no possibility of thinking that one is a "somebody" or "I", but one recognizes that one is pure Being...the entire ego-structure remains and causes all kinds of weird suffering, but neither the ego-structure nor the suffering is identified with, and, if left to itself, it slowly falls apart.

What does he mean by "pure Being"? He could mean all kinds of things, and (as I mentioned before) I haven't asked him. But he does seem to be capturing the flavor of the belief that many people have, that they have somehow transcended all self-identification and found an impersonal "Awareness", which is not a thing, which transcends the subject/object duality, to be the nature of reality. I'm not sure I had the same perspective on it that others did (and I'm not sure that everyone who attains it has the same perspective, either), but there is some core perceptual thing which changes that makes a perspective / interpretation like this very reasonable-seeming when one is hanging out at 4th path.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 1:10 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Hi Seraphis M.,

What you have experienced is Thusness Stage 1 (see http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html ). It is the experience and realization of I AM.

Many people (myself included, Thusness included) having realized the I AM would think that the final state/Nirvana is the state of effortless and permanent abidance in the Self, in other words moving from Savikalpa to Nirvikalpa samadhi.

However as we progress in the path, we realize that effortlessness comes not with abiding (that would still be effortful and has to do with your degree of mastery in concentration/abiding in what is deemed as the purest state of Presence) with the deepening of insights into non-dual, anatta, and shunyata. At that point, Presence-Awareness is felt everywhere, as everything, without center, circumference, point of reference, without any attempt needed to abide because it is seen that there is no 'purest state of Presence' to abide in/as. I AM is not more I AM (not more special or ultimate) than a sound! A scent! A sight! Transience reveals itself as non-dual (without subject-object, observer-observed dichotomy) presence-awareness. This is the beginning of non-dual insight and effortlessness - complete effortlessness comes with the maturation of this non-dual insight into anatta and shunyata.

So it is important to progress to further insights from I AM, is to first focus on the four aspects of I AM, then non-dual, ...etc. Even if you attain mastery of samadhi and achieve Nirvikalpa Samadhi (permanent abidance as Self), still, further insights that allows full effortlessness is not revealed, unless further investigations are undertaken.

I have discussed this in Kenneth Folk forum: http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/4757580/What+does+one+do+after+having+recognized+ones+own+%22true+nature%22%3F

Here's my e-book: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 1:13 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:


I think they are almost certainly not the same, as MCTB 4th path (in my experience) is not nearly so profound as what Ramana seems to describe as the goal of the spiritual path.

If I became a monk or sannyasin and spent some years practicing, only to attain MCTB 4th path and then be told that it was the end of the road, I would probably feel ripped off, and wonder why I gave up my "regular life" for it (as the desire for worldly things remains as strong as ever at MCTB 4th path), despite seeing the value of the attainment.

As for the rest, I am not familiar enough with the non-Buddhist terminology to offer an opinion.
I disagree. MCTB 4th path is equally profound, however it is describing a different insight. MCTB does not teach people to go from I AM, to non dual, anatta, etc.

It goes straight into anatta, but imo lacking emphasis in luminous presence. AF on the other hand emphasizes this aspect of anatta. I shall not go into more details as that would be off-topic.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 8:21 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
End in Sight:


I think they are almost certainly not the same, as MCTB 4th path (in my experience) is not nearly so profound as what Ramana seems to describe as the goal of the spiritual path.

If I became a monk or sannyasin and spent some years practicing, only to attain MCTB 4th path and then be told that it was the end of the road, I would probably feel ripped off, and wonder why I gave up my "regular life" for it (as the desire for worldly things remains as strong as ever at MCTB 4th path), despite seeing the value of the attainment.

As for the rest, I am not familiar enough with the non-Buddhist terminology to offer an opinion.
I disagree. MCTB 4th path is equally profound, however it is describing a different insight. MCTB does not teach people to go from I AM, to non dual, anatta, etc.

It goes straight into anatta, but imo lacking emphasis in luminous presence. AF on the other hand emphasizes this aspect of anatta. I shall not go into more details as that would be off-topic.


For the record, where does Ramana Maharshi's attainment fit into your 7-stage model?

I like your model quite a bit (I have grown to appreciate it more over time), but I think you have a tendency to underestimate the attainment of those in other non-Buddhist traditions.

Also, as far as I know, you have not practiced in the "MCTB tradition"...am I wrong about that?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 8:58 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
I've practiced very extensively using the MCTB methodology and I agree completely with this statement from An Eternal Now :

"I disagree. MCTB 4th path is equally profound, however it is describing a different insight. MCTB does not teach people to go from I AM, to non dual, anatta, etc.

It goes straight into anatta, but imo lacking emphasis in luminous presence. AF on the other hand emphasizes this aspect of anatta. I shall not go into more details as that would be off-topic."


(Bold typeface added by me).

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 9:21 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, are you by chance familiar with Bernadette Roberts? In order to get a better sense of the reasons for your assessment of MCTB 4th path via triangulation, would you offer a guess as to where her attainment falls on AEN / Thusness' model?

AEN suggests it is stage 4 (http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/07/bernadette-roberts-interview.html), which is to say, before MCTB 4th path (stage 5 if I am not mistaken), but, having read Bernadette Roberts' descriptions of the stage she associates with the Death of Christ, I find that unfathomable, as to me what Roberts is describing is beyond MCTB 4th path.

If I had to guess, I would associate the "Death of Christ" stage with Thusness' stage 5. And, for Roberts, that is far from the end (as she sees two more stages: "Resurrection of Christ" and "Ascension of Christ").

EDIT: As another data-point to for use in triangulating what we're talking about, I believe AEN associates Kenneth's 3rd gear / rigpa with stage 4. (AEN, you may correct me if I am mistaken.)

Mapping is hard, aligning is even harder!

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 9:54 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
My comment was not about mapping. It was about the differences in emphasis and thus result of the different practice methods. I was simply agreeing with AEN's comment based on my experience. Mapping gets to be a tiresome exercise (at least for me) because it takes what appear from my experience to be subtle and extremely complex and variable phenomena and tries to make them simple and linear.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 9:59 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
As this thread began with a post about mapping (specifically, about aligning maps), I was merely inviting you to participate more fully in it by asking for more specific thoughts on that subject.

No worries if you're not interested. emoticon

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 10:57 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
This is very interesting. When I read the first post in this thread it appears to me to be a question about practice experiences and comparing those, not about mapping per se.

Just sayin'

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 2:18 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:


I am a regular person (or at least: a contemplative just like you), you should not address me in a unique way..


I know, thank you.
But I can still respect you and express my gratitude, I think.



Seraphis M.:

Is there a separation between the Self and the sensory image of these words in front of you?


Now, at this moment there is.
There was none at the time when I first read your words. As per my memory, it all just stopped for a moment and there were no difference between, well, anything. There was no Self, Absolute, only Empty of I-dont-know-what and yet present.

These insights into Empty nature of phenomena, for the lack of a better word, are happening to me on a daily basis, several times a day now.




How do you enter it at will?.


I intend it.
Most of the times the samadhi happens when I am in meditation. Speaking about sabikalpa samadhi now and the experience of the Self, and of the I am Presence.

The Emptiness (I call it the non-dual as opposed to the high causal - wilber map) is happening more spontaneously, there is no Self present, no overwhelming bliss, nor the absolute sense of omnipresence (I am everywhere, only I am etc...). It happened just yesterday when I read your words about boundless-consciousness.

It is different from the sabikalpa as there is no Self present, no Me or I am. Empty and yet present.



The difference between what you described and what I described is that you perceive, in your experience, that there is a Self in it, or behind it. This means you believe there is an object called "Self" in your experience (whether or not you conceive of it as an object or subject). The belief in / perception of that object is dualistic residue that stands in the way of actually apprehending what you would call the Self. In the experience I described, there is no particular object called Self that is separate from manifestation, because the Self has infinite faces...whatever there is, that is it.

And to go from nirvikalpa to sahaja (speculation / theory based on what I previously wrote), now using my terminology:

Craving causes all dualistic experience and all existential suffering, and nibbana is sometimes referred to as the end of craving (e.g. Satta sutta). When one glimpses experience without craving, that is the most profound and inconceivable happiness...and yet, there is a tendency to see that happiness as either 1) inhering in the objects of the experience, or 2) inhering in the experience itself. Thus I would say: "This percept, free of craving, is the Absolute", or "This moment of perception, free of craving, is the Absolute". But the only happiness is the end of craving, and the end of craving is an absence rather than something with some positive reality. When there is no craving while seeing-hearing-smelling-tasting-touching-thinking is happening, that is one way of apprehending the Absolute. When there is no craving and no perception at all (as one fully liberated would experience after death), that is another way of apprehending the Absolute. This second way is literally empty of everything (including "boundless consciousness", including whatever nonsensory perception there is in savikalpa, etc.)...and yet, this non-thing, empty of everything, is profound and inconceivable happiness just the same. One who experiences sahaja understands this and sees no significant difference between these two ways of apprehending the Absolute.

I can't figure out how this makes sense, and yet it appears to be the position of the Pali suttas...hence, I am still a seeker.


It does make sense, it makes perfect sense.
Thank you.



"I admit, the spontaneously manifestation of Absolute in real time is more and more frequent, every day in my day to day life"

You mean, savikalpa (as you described it earlier)?


No, I am sorry, I keep using this word, Absolute, for every samadhi that manifests. I can enter sabikalpa at will (see above), but since a few weeks ago, things have changed, I am loosing the impulse to intend samadhi to happen, instead there is no one there anymore to intend it (sometimes). There is no process available anymore to go from point A (normal awareness) to point B (samadhi) - again, not constantly, only sometimes.

Since I have been here, reading about Insight paths, anagami etc... and especially since conversing with some of you 4th tech path (here and elsewhere), things are getting clearer.

So, no, not sabikalpa, but some sort of Emptiness without the Self there.



To start off with, I will state that some people (e.g. Jan) say that nirvikalpa is unconsciousness. In that case, NS (as described in MCTemoticon is nirvikalpa, as is cessation / fruition. But, this doesn't seem to be what Ramana means, and is Jan's own personal usage based on whatever tradition he sees himself in.

NS, as described in MCTB, is unconsciousness, or at least is as far as I or anyone else can tell. If it isn't unconsciousness, no one seems to have access to whatever occurs during it. But it isn't unconsciousness in the sense of there being no mind in the way that there is in savikalpa. Whatever is experienced during savikalpa, isn't experienced during NS. Whatever is experienced during what I suggested was nirvikalpa, isn't experienced during NS either.


OK, when you say "...But it isn't unconsciousness in the sense of there being no mind in the way that there is in savikalpa.." by mind you mean the non-sensory perception of the Self, I am, the Absolute?



Is NS nibbana? There is no craving that I can see during it (as there is no anything that I can see during it), so, it would seem so. (In the sense that nibbana = cessation of craving, whether in context of experience or not.) Again, this is no different from cessation / fruition.

There is a complication, which is that there is another thing that vies for the title of NS (or sanna-vedayita-nirodha in the suttas)...let's call it 9th jhana. One attains it in a similar way, with the difference being, one seems to require MCTB 3rd path for NS, whereas one seems to require something that seems like it could be anagami (according to the suttas' comparatively extreme criteria) for easy access to 9th jhana.

"Sutta anagami" is probably closer to having the false ego destroyed, with vasanas continuing, than MCTB 3rd path is.

The suttas say that the faculties of one who experiences sanna-vedayita-nirodha "are clear", and there appears to be a difference between NS and 9th jhana in the sense that, in NS, there is no experience, whereas in 9th jhana, there is no normal experience, but still possibly something. (I find it impossible to say what. In some ways the question seems nonsensical to me. I could also be misperceiving things in some way, as I can only enter 9th jhana for a tiny fraction of a second, and may be mixing it together with something before / after it ) On the other hand, there could be a translation issue here regarding what "clear faculties" really means.

The suttas say that one makes contacts with "emptiness", "the signless", and "the undirected" coming out of sanna-vedayita-nirodha. I don't know what those are, but there is a very distinct uncommon experience when coming out of 9th jhana which I have not noticed after NS.

The suttas say that one "tends towards isolation" after sanna-vedayita-nirodha. NS has a narcotic hangover which seems to fit with that, whereas 9th jhana does not.

So, I don't know how to answer your question very well. I would say this is a very murky area, and my understanding is still evolving.


OK, thank you.




You should read his whole site, including his relevant satsangs, for the full picture. He does not have all his ideas collected in one single place.


Oh well, lots of reading to do. The problem is that my mind is not as fast as it used to be.
More often than not, the aforementioned "insight" into Emptiness happens and then I cant think straight for a various periods of time.


Maybe, but also, maybe not in the way that you think.

My understanding of what Jan means is...imagine your experience of savikalpa, and then imagine the bliss of that occurring while you walk around in a normal state of consciousness.

What is the bliss? Not an emotion, not a body experience (though there may be pleasant sensations in your body)...the bliss is the Absolute experiencing itself. Seeing, hearing, etc. are all some kind of incomprehensible silent ecstasy. Every face of the Absolute, every little sensory thing, is bliss. They don't cause feelings of ecstasy, they *are* ecstasy.

And, it's all quite mundane and down-to-earth. Just seeing, hearing, etc.


I can intuitively understand what you mean, but I am not there yet.
At the moment, I am leaving the harsh intended sabikalpas behind and embracing more spontaneous Emptiness "insights", it seems.


I am not sure. I suppose I would have to say that it's not quite related to what we've been talking about, but can be attained on the way to these things, and is helpful for attaining them. It's like a "cognitive" understanding of what enlightenment is supposed to be about, without actually experiencing it. (I got this from someone at KFD...it's very apt.) One understands that all the normal identifications with objects are confused, one feels "in their bones" that there can be no self (in the conventional sense), one attains some measure of freedom on account of that, but still, no appreciation of the Absolute need follow from it.

Jan's "nothingness-being" is potentially the same as MCTB 4th path. He says that there is no possibility of thinking that one is a "somebody" or "I", but one recognizes that one is pure Being...the entire ego-structure remains and causes all kinds of weird suffering, but neither the ego-structure nor the suffering is identified with, and, if left to itself, it slowly falls apart.

What does he mean by "pure Being"? He could mean all kinds of things, and (as I mentioned before) I haven't asked him. But he does seem to be capturing the flavor of the belief that many people have, that they have somehow transcended all self-identification and found an impersonal "Awareness", which is not a thing, which transcends the subject/object duality, to be the nature of reality. I'm not sure I had the same perspective on it that others did (and I'm not sure that everyone who attains it has the same perspective, either), but there is some core perceptual thing which changes that makes a perspective / interpretation like this very reasonable-seeming when one is hanging out at 4th path.


I see.
Thank you.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 5:51 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
Chris, are you by chance familiar with Bernadette Roberts? In order to get a better sense of the reasons for your assessment of MCTB 4th path via triangulation, would you offer a guess as to where her attainment falls on AEN / Thusness' model?

AEN suggests it is stage 4 (http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/07/bernadette-roberts-interview.html), which is to say, before MCTB 4th path (stage 5 if I am not mistaken), but, having read Bernadette Roberts' descriptions of the stage she associates with the Death of Christ, I find that unfathomable, as to me what Roberts is describing is beyond MCTB 4th path.

If I had to guess, I would associate the "Death of Christ" stage with Thusness' stage 5. And, for Roberts, that is far from the end (as she sees two more stages: "Resurrection of Christ" and "Ascension of Christ").

EDIT: As another data-point to for use in triangulating what we're talking about, I believe AEN associates Kenneth's 3rd gear / rigpa with stage 4. (AEN, you may correct me if I am mistaken.)

Mapping is hard, aligning is even harder!
You need to provide the experiential description. So far, I have read her book but nothing of Stage 5. More of non-dual but stage-like.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 5:50 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
My comment was not about mapping. It was about the differences in emphasis and thus result of the different practice methods. I was simply agreeing with AEN's comment based on my experience. Mapping gets to be a tiresome exercise (at least for me) because it takes what appear from my experience to be subtle and extremely complex and variable phenomena and tries to make them simple and linear.
Yes I agree. Here's something related:

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/05/are-insight-stages-strictly-linear.html

Are the insight stages strictly linear?
Posted by: An Eternal Now
I wrote this based on what Thusness/PasserBy have said regarding his Thusness/PasserBy's Seven Stages of Experience on Spiritual Enlightenment - not to think of the 7 stages as strictly linear or having a hierarchy.

Some is able to understand the profound wisdom of emptiness from the start but have no direct experience of luminosity, then luminosity becomes a later phase. So does that mean the most pristine experience of "I AM" is now the last stage? On the other hand, some have experienced luminosity but does not understand how he got himself 'lost', as there is no insight to the karmic tendencies/propensities at all, therefore they cannot understand Dependent Origination adequately. But does that mean that one that experience emptiness is higher than one that experience luminosity?

Some people experience non-dual but did not go through the I AM, and then after non-dual the I AM becomes even more precious because it will bring 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.

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. Then one will be able to see all stages as flat, no higher.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 5:56 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
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. Then one will be able to see all stages as flat, no higher.


Yes!

No hierarchy, just insight. Very well spoken, An Eternal Now.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 6:04 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

For the record, where does Ramana Maharshi's attainment fit into your 7-stage model?

I like your model quite a bit (I have grown to appreciate it more over time), but I think you have a tendency to underestimate the attainment of those in other non-Buddhist traditions.

Also, as far as I know, you have not practiced in the "MCTB tradition"...am I wrong about that?
First of all, as I have said, it is best not to look at this in terms of linear stages. In some aspects, I find buddhism provides deeper insights, but in the aspect of mastery of samadhi, Ramana Maharshi is unparalled, and I don't think even me, or even Thusness, Kenneth, Daniel, etc can compare with him. Can you rest in Presence to the point that you are unshaken even if someone cuts off your limbs? Can you enter samadhi and abide for days without a slightest problem? This is the sort of mastery that Ramana Maharshi has. We cannot look down upon it. So in terms of practice there are some aspects that we cannot compare with R.M.

Secondly, R.M. exclusively focuses on Stage 1 I AM insight, however his personal insight is non-dual. But he focuses almost exclusively on leading his followers to I AM through self-inquiry. This is a matter of emphasis: for example if I were to start a tradition and teach, I would also lead my students to I AM first. Non-dual is rarely mentioned (apart from brief mentions like the three steps, 'The world is illusory, Brahman alone is real, Brahman is the world'). The last part is Thusness Stage 4:

"Bhagavan said, “It is said that Brahman is real, and
world an illusion; again it is said that the whole universe is
an image of Brahman. The question arises: how are these
two statements to be reconciled? In the sadhak stage, you
have got to say that the world is an illusion. There is no
other way, because when a man forgets that he is the
Brahman, who is real, permanent and omnipresent, and
deludes himself into thinking that he is a body in the universe
which is filled with bodies that are transitory, and labours
under that delusion, you have got to remind him that the
world is unreal and a delusion. Why? Because, his vision
which has forgotten its own Self, is dwelling in the external
material universe and will not turn inward to introspection
unless you impress on him that all this external, material
universe is unreal. When once he realises his own Self, and
also that there is nothing other than his own Self, he will
come to look upon the whole universe as Brahman. There is
no universe without his Self. So long as a man does not see
his own Self which is the origin of all, but looks only at the
external world as real and permanent, you have to tell him
that all this external universe is an illusion. You cannot help
it. Take a paper. We see only the script, and nobody notices
the paper on which the script is written. The paper is there,
whether the script on it is there or not. To those who look
upon the script as real, you have to say that it is unreal, an
illusion, since it rests upon the paper. The wise man looks
upon both the paper and script as one. So also with Brahman
and the universe.

“It is the same in the case of the cinema. The screen is
always there; the pictures come and go, but do not affect the
screen. What does the screen care whether the pictures appear
or disappear? The pictures depend upon the screen. But what
use are they to it? The man who looks only at the pictures on
the screen and not the screen itself, is troubled by the pains
and pleasures that occur in the story. But the man who views
the screen, realises that the images are all shadows and not
something apart and distinct from the screen. So also with
the world. It is all a shadow play,” said Bhagavan. The
questioner took leave and went away, happy at the reply."

This is also similar to what Bernadette says, all that is manifest of the unmanifest Christ, smile without a knower, etc. Total dissolution of a sense of an ultimate self behind the world by realisation of the non-duality of subject and object, but still clinging to an absolute (that is completely inseperable from the world).

Yes I have not practiced MCTB tradition (i.e. noting practice, etc)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 6:03 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=.'. Seraphis .'.]

It is different from the sabikalpa as there is no Self present, no Me or I am. Empty and yet present.

Can you provide a clearer experiential description of this? Do you experience the dissolving of self into all manifestation - trees, walls, sound, etc?

Or do you experience dissolving the self into an impersonal space (a space that is no more 'mine' than the 'walls', the birds, etc)?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 7:03 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
You need to provide the experiential description. So far, I have read her book but nothing of Stage 5. More of non-dual but stage-like.


Well, I am neither an expert on Bernadette Roberts nor an expert on Thusness' model, so if your interest in this subject continues after reading the following, you will have to look into it for yourself.

Roberts describes (regarding the "Death of Christ" stage) not just the end of subject / object duality, but the end of subject / object unity, i.e. the end of any conception of "self" or "other" or the experience of a Divinity that encompasses both. She explicitly describes a stage of unity with God, and then a long process of chipping away at the self / God complex until there is no more unity, no more self, and no more God. (In her balloon metaphor, when there ceases to be an inside and an outside of the balloon filled with divine air, there ceases to be any divine air, or anything divine...perhaps, as Thusness says, no more "grandeur of 'Brahman'".) She claims there is no more experience of a personal nature (anatta), and gives concrete, non-theoretical descriptions: no emotions, no personal "energy" / drive, no sense of agency, etc...things which, if you are willing to take as strictly literal descriptions, certainly *don't* happen at any point during the ascent from MCTB 1st path to MCTB 4th path. (Daniel has chapters disaffirming all the models of enlightenment in which such a thing would happen.)

As for the non-linearity of stages...can one experience stage 2 without stage 1? Can one experience stage 7 without stage 6? 5 without 4? I am curious.

As for Ramana Maharshi...perhaps the difference is that I (counting myself merely as a contemplative and not a Buddhist, albeit interested in the Pali suttas) think it likely that those who are highly realized may couch their realization in all kinds of language which need not match up in any way with the language I prefer, whereas you (counting yourself as a Buddhist) think it unlikely that such a thing could happen, and so you read Ramana's words in a different way than I would.

In any case, I find non-theoretical descriptions to be the most telling, as they are wrapped up in very little sociocultural baggage. Ramana says that one who is liberated has "no movement". The Pali suttas use the metaphors of "feeding" and "growth and proliferation" for the fundamental problem of becoming, i.e. action / movement. (The word "becoming" is itself one related to action / movement.) Dan Ingram talks about the way that the attention wave "wiggles", i.e. action / movement. A similarity underlying the apparent theoretical disagreement.

Similarly, Roberts' description of no-emotions, no-personal-energy, etc. for her "Death of Christ" stage is very telling to me. Compare to what the AFT says. Compare to what a large number of people here and at KFD have found.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/11 7:34 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..

To start off with, I will state that some people (e.g. Jan) say that nirvikalpa is unconsciousness. In that case, NS (as described in MCTemoticon is nirvikalpa, as is cessation / fruition. But, this doesn't seem to be what Ramana means, and is Jan's own personal usage based on whatever tradition he sees himself in.

NS, as described in MCTB, is unconsciousness, or at least is as far as I or anyone else can tell. If it isn't unconsciousness, no one seems to have access to whatever occurs during it. But it isn't unconsciousness in the sense of there being no mind in the way that there is in savikalpa. Whatever is experienced during savikalpa, isn't experienced during NS. Whatever is experienced during what I suggested was nirvikalpa, isn't experienced during NS either.


OK, when you say "...But it isn't unconsciousness in the sense of there being no mind in the way that there is in savikalpa.." by mind you mean the non-sensory perception of the Self, I am, the Absolute?


Just to be explicit: in NS, or in cessation, there is nothing whatsoever that I can talk about. Like anaesthesia. Like the way an atheist conceives of the afterlife. If there is something, I am either unable to discern it, or unable to remember it.


Maybe, but also, maybe not in the way that you think.

My understanding of what Jan means is...imagine your experience of savikalpa, and then imagine the bliss of that occurring while you walk around in a normal state of consciousness.

What is the bliss? Not an emotion, not a body experience (though there may be pleasant sensations in your body)...the bliss is the Absolute experiencing itself. Seeing, hearing, etc. are all some kind of incomprehensible silent ecstasy. Every face of the Absolute, every little sensory thing, is bliss. They don't cause feelings of ecstasy, they *are* ecstasy.

And, it's all quite mundane and down-to-earth. Just seeing, hearing, etc.


I can intuitively understand what you mean, but I am not there yet.


The transition between perceiving the Absolute as some kind of subject / object unity, and perceiving it as phenomena themselves, had some gradual aspects for me. (There is another sense in which it isn't gradual, but the sense in which it is tends to be more helpful in terms of practice, I think.)


At the moment, I am leaving the harsh intended sabikalpas behind and embracing more spontaneous Emptiness "insights", it seems.


If you can see that these are "harsh" then you are on the right track!

Keep in mind that there are at least two ways to approach the path:

1) Removing defilements, removing the things that stand in the way of further insight and realization. ("Push")

2) Seeing more advanced stages of the path temporarily, and using that for transformation. ("Pull")

Examples of "push" practices are what the Pali suttas recommend, what Adi Shankara recommends, etc.

Examples of "pull" practice are vajrayana, what the AFT recommends, etc.

(Of course, each has elements of the other.)

The point is, you should make a judgment about which is likely to help you more, given your own strengths and weaknesses...or, alternatively, you should see if there are practical bits from the opposite sort of practice than the one you have now which you could incorporate.

Have you described your current / recent practice history anywhere? I'd be interested in hearing about it.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/18/11 2:31 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

Well, I am neither an expert on Bernadette Roberts nor an expert on Thusness' model, so if your interest in this subject continues after reading the following, you will have to look into it for yourself.

Roberts describes (regarding the "Death of Christ" stage) not just the end of subject / object duality, but the end of subject / object unity, i.e. the end of any conception of "self" or "other" or the experience of a Divinity that encompasses both. She explicitly describes a stage of unity with God, and then a long process of chipping away at the self / God complex until there is no more unity, no more self, and no more God. (In her balloon metaphor, when there ceases to be an inside and an outside of the balloon filled with divine air, there ceases to be any divine air, or anything divine...perhaps, as Thusness says, no more "grandeur of 'Brahman'".) She claims there is no more experience of a personal nature (anatta), and gives concrete, non-theoretical descriptions: no emotions, no personal "energy" / drive, no sense of agency, etc...things which, if you are willing to take as strictly literal descriptions, certainly *don't* happen at any point during the ascent from MCTB 1st path to MCTB 4th path. (Daniel has chapters disaffirming all the models of enlightenment in which such a thing would happen.)
Yes I am aware of this description. Her description of subject/object unity is I AM, and the no subject and falling away of clinging at I AM is non-dual. Apart from insights, some stuff may be overclaimed. There are those even at I AM that claim no more sense of self, no more emotions and so on.
As for the non-linearity of stages...can one experience stage 2 without stage 1? Can one experience stage 7 without stage 6? 5 without 4? I am curious.
Yes you can experience 2 without 1: this is can be like impersonality, like being lived by a higher power. Stage 7 is describing the 'spontaneous perfection' of 4, 5, 6 and I do not really see it as a distinct stage. i.e. You should realise some aspect of spontaneous perfection even in stage 4, 5 or 6.
As for Ramana Maharshi...perhaps the difference is that I (counting myself merely as a contemplative and not a Buddhist, albeit interested in the Pali suttas) think it likely that those who are highly realized may couch their realization in all kinds of language which need not match up in any way with the language I prefer, whereas you (counting yourself as a Buddhist) think it unlikely that such a thing could happen, and so you read Ramana's words in a different way than I would.
It is not about the language. It is that when there is a vast difference between substantial non-duality and insubstantial non-duality. In the prior, the bond of duality is dissolved through the realization of non duality of subject and object, but still clinging to a metaphysical essence that is nevertheless non-dual with everything. The latter is the realization that 'Awareness', 'Self' is merely a label denoting the processes - nothing unchanging, absolute, independent - in seeing just the seen, no seer, in thinking just thought, no thinker, just the processes rolling on. No Brahman, Absolute, 'The Awareness'. This is a major insight that is far from just being 'linguistical difference'. It has vast implications. In One Mind, the tendency to sink back to a Source and cling to Awareness is great, even though experience is non-dual and sees all manifesations as 'manifestation of Awareness'. In No Mind and anatta, there is just scenery, sounds, thoughts, manifestation. In the latter, experience is non-dual, but without the clinging to an inherent essence/source/awareness.
In any case, I find non-theoretical descriptions to be the most telling, as they are wrapped up in very little sociocultural baggage. Ramana says that one who is liberated has "no movement". The Pali suttas use the metaphors of "feeding" and "growth and proliferation" for the fundamental problem of becoming, i.e. action / movement. (The word "becoming" is itself one related to action / movement.) Dan Ingram talks about the way that the attention wave "wiggles", i.e. action / movement. A similarity underlying the apparent theoretical disagreement.
The problem is that the things you use to compare can be described at any stage and are therefore not good criterias to gauge the level of insight: i.e. even at I AM, you experience no movement, needless to say Non-dual, anatta, etc. But there are still differences there.

There are many things that are similar from one stage to another. As Thusness rightly said before, sometimes most of the stuff are the same, like for example substantial non-dual and anatta is perhaps 85% the same, so a lot of the descriptions overlap, but only that 15% makes that major leap in insight - so it is very crucial to understand this.
Similarly, Roberts' description of no-emotions, no-personal-energy, etc. for her "Death of Christ" stage is very telling to me. Compare to what the AFT says. Compare to what a large number of people here and at KFD have found.
As said above.

By the way, if you can sustain Presence in the I AM stage to a level of mastery similar to what I said about Ramana, you too will experience 'no emotions, personal energy, etc'. It is similar to lock-in PCE in AF, except this is lock-in I AM, or lock-in non-dual awareness in substantial non-dual, etc. This is why Ramana distinguished savikalpa (realized I AM but 'emotions, personal energy, tendencies of mind' still present, and Nirvikalpa Samadhi which is still I AM but samadhi attained to the level of mastery where tendencies stops arising and even if someone cuts your limbs you're ok) But whether it is lock in PCE, I AM, non-dual, it still clinging to a purest state (though the 'Self' is more deconstructed in AF than in Advaita). IMO (based on my experience with an earlier part of my path and this happens to be the understanding of Thusness as well), even AF clings to a purest state and thus is not the liberation of Buddhism, there are still certain aspects missing, but no further comments here.

Also btw, a person at Anatta can still have a greater degree of attachment to personality (personal-energy) than someone at I AM but mastered impersonality to a far greater degree. At least, at the beginning phase. It depends on that person's practice. The realization of anatta dissolves the illusion and clinging to an agency, but that doesn't mean immediately the personal-sense energy is eradicated. On the other hand, someone at I AM can master impersonality, etc. The no-self of impersonality, the no-self of non-dual, and the no-self of anatta are different.

So the path is not as linear or straight forward as you think - it depends on each individual.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/18/11 8:15 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
Her description of subject/object unity is I AM, and the no subject and falling away of clinging at I AM is non-dual.


As I said, I think you underestimate the attainments of non-Buddhists. emoticon

No need to discuss this further.

As for the non-linearity of stages...can one experience stage 2 without stage 1? Can one experience stage 7 without stage 6? 5 without 4? I am curious.
Yes you can experience 2 without 1: this is can be like impersonality, like being lived by a higher power. Stage 7 is describing the 'spontaneous perfection' of 4, 5, 6 and I do not really see it as a distinct stage. i.e. You should realise some aspect of spontaneous perfection even in stage 4, 5 or 6.


As the Pali suttas state clearly there is an absolute end to the path, should I take this (about stage 7) to mean that you and Thusness disagree with them on that point?

In any case, I find non-theoretical descriptions to be the most telling, as they are wrapped up in very little sociocultural baggage. Ramana says that one who is liberated has "no movement". The Pali suttas use the metaphors of "feeding" and "growth and proliferation" for the fundamental problem of becoming, i.e. action / movement. (The word "becoming" is itself one related to action / movement.) Dan Ingram talks about the way that the attention wave "wiggles", i.e. action / movement. A similarity underlying the apparent theoretical disagreement.
The problem is that the things you use to compare can be described at any stage and are therefore not good criterias to gauge the level of insight: i.e. even at I AM, you experience no movement, needless to say Non-dual, anatta, etc. But there are still differences there.


Q: What is the dual "trailer" in samadhi that generates an experience of a palpable Self? A: Attention wave.

Q: What is the thought of a "mirror" in stage 4, which is later seen through? A: Attention wave.

Q: How does one cling to the Absolute in stage 5? A: Attention wave.

Q: What problem does Dan Ingram see remaining, untouched, after MCTB 4th path (stage 5, if I understand you correctly) A: Attention wave.

Q: How can the differences between various levels of attainment be understood? A: As variations in the way that the attention wave manifests.

Do you disagree? If so. I would love to talk about it (= the phenomenology of these experiences) on a different thread. FYI, my fundamental view is:

Q: How does the path absolutely end? A: I assume, with the final end of the attention wave.

In general, the various insights that are gained when moving through various stages are insights which I believe can be analyzed in simple phenomenological terms that relate to the experience of action / movement, rather than insights which must be left as alterations in experience which can't be analyzed down to a more fundamental level.

(EDIT: Another data-point with respect to the claim that no movement is experienced at very early stages on Thusness' map, I will point out that Bernadette Roberts very carefully states that her "unity" experience involved finding a still point which is still in relation to all the non-still activity going on around it! i.e. the whole experience, which you claim to be the experience of the I AM stage, cannot be described as unmoving.)

IMO (based on my experience with an earlier part of my path and this happens to be the understanding of Thusness as well), even AF clings to a purest state and thus is not the liberation of Buddhism, there are still certain aspects missing, but no further comments here.


Do you experience *any* vibrations or any flux of attention whatsoever? (I will clarify this if necessary.)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/18/11 5:06 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
There are many things that are similar from one stage to another. As Thusness rightly said before, sometimes most of the stuff are the same, like for example substantial non-dual and anatta is perhaps 85% the same, so a lot of the descriptions overlap, but only that 15% makes that major leap in insight - so it is very crucial to understand this.

On what do you base these percentages?

It is not about the language.

This is a major insight that is far from just being 'linguistical difference'.

Yes, the insight itself is "far from just being 'linguistical (sic) difference'" but the communication thereof is wholly dependent on clear linguistic description which usually necessitates a mutually understandable conceptual framework. Reading this thread and the subjects being discussed demonstrates this clearly and what happens when we start mistaking maps for the 'territory' they describe, and as far as I can see A.E.N.'s insistence on referring back to Thusness' map, one which, while seriously interesting and insightful, is foreign to most people who frequent this site, introduces yet more confusion due to the fact that it's very idiosyncratic and uses terminology in a very specific way.

I also agree with E.I.S.'s point about A.E.N.'s (anacronymtastic...ha!) underestimation of non-Buddhist attainments, this point in particular strikes me as ridiculous: "What you have experienced is Thusness Stage 1. It is the experience and realization of I AM."

Having practiced in the same traditions as Seraphis, I can tell you for a fact that this is not "the experience and realization of I AM". Exactly how this is mapped on Thusness' model, which I'm not familiar enough with to offer an opinion on, I have no idea but I do know from my own experience of both what Seraphis describes, and also past experience which seems to match Thusness' Stage 1, that they're not the same thing no matter how you cut it, although I can see how you could come to that conclusion based on the way you're reading the words on screen.

Why is it that you choose to underestimate the attainments of non-Buddhists?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/18/11 11:47 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:

On what do you base these percentages?
There is an article I wrote comparing substantial and insubstantial non-duality here: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/08/substantial-and-insubstantial-non.html

Yes, the insight itself is "far from just being 'linguistical (sic) difference'" but the communication thereof is wholly dependent on clear linguistic description which usually necessitates a mutually understandable conceptual framework. Reading this thread and the subjects being discussed demonstrates this clearly and what happens when we start mistaking maps for the 'territory' they describe, and as far as I can see A.E.N.'s insistence on referring back to Thusness' map, one which, while seriously interesting and insightful, is foreign to most people who frequent this site, introduces yet more confusion due to the fact that it's very idiosyncratic and uses terminology in a very specific way.
Yes I am aware of this. Unfortunately I was rushing (and am still rushing) due to limited time and internet availability (I'm overseas in Australia) so I may overlook and fail to elaborate on certain points or terms. If there is any terms or anything that I have not made clear that you (or others) wish to understand please state so. On a side note I may or may not have internet availability to reply further at least for the next couple of days.
I also agree with E.I.S.'s point about A.E.N.'s (anacronymtastic...ha!) underestimation of non-Buddhist attainments, this point in particular strikes me as ridiculous: "What you have experienced is Thusness Stage 1. It is the experience and realization of I AM."

Having practiced in the same traditions as Seraphis, I can tell you for a fact that this is not "the experience and realization of I AM". Exactly how this is mapped on Thusness' model, which I'm not familiar enough with to offer an opinion on, I have no idea but I do know from my own experience of both what Seraphis describes, and also past experience which seems to match Thusness' Stage 1, that they're not the same thing no matter how you cut it, although I can see how you could come to that conclusion based on the way you're reading the words on screen.

Why is it that you choose to underestimate the attainments of non-Buddhists?
First of all I do not understand why you would think of this as some kind of underestimation. I have read through all the posts more carefully this time upon your insistence that they are not I AM and they are clearly, without bias (why would I be), clear descriptions of the I AM realization and experience. I am never biased - I simply state according to my personal experiential insights, what I have seen, and whatever Sepharis said lines up clearly with my realization of I AM. So what is clear is clear - when there is a heart to heart recognition of what is being said, there is no doubts as what is being conveyed.

To me, the I AM insight is extremely profound and valuable. I prefer people to go through self-inquiry and realize this first. I would also like to reiterate that although Thusness list stages with numbers, they are not necessarily linear. In fact the AF classification of anything non-af or spiritual as "illusion" in contrast to sense-perception pce which are "actual" don't apply to me - I do not hold such stance. To me, I AM is not necessarily "lower" or "more illusory" than sense perceptions pce, for example. Some people only discover I AM (I.e. Pce of a nonconceptual thought) only after insight into anatta (for example Ruthlesstruth founder Ciaran). Daniel too for that matter, but he lists it as one of the sub-pure land jhanas (see his description of the all-pervading witnessing presence) in his Nirodha Samapatti chapter in MCTB. So the only difference is that with anatta insight, the same experience is not reified. So it is the reification and clinging that is removed, not the clear undeniable experience and realization of I AM. In fact if you realize I AM, you should know that That Existence-Presence-Consciousness is "one fundamental thing" that cannot be denied or doubted - you can doubt anything but Presence-Existence itself. If Sepharis had such realization he would understand what I mean.

Unlike AF which treats anything other than the physical world as illusion, I see I AM (the pce of non-conceptual thought) as of essentially one taste as the PCE of sense perceptions. It is just pure non-dual luminosity in different conditions and manifestation - none purer than another. I have elaborated more on this point previously in http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1631786

When all sense perceptions and conceptual thoughts shuts, what remains is the pce of non-conceptual thought, aka. The Presence of I AM. It is this undoubtable realization of this undeniable and intimate Existence-Presence-Consciousness.

The experience and realization is precious, and isn't denied even at anatta, only that the view and reification subsides, I.e. One does not cling to any form of purest identity and sees non-conceptual thought as another form of self-luminous manifestation, primordially pure like any other manifestation (sense perceptions, thoughts, etc).

Also, this is a beautiful description of impersonality, where it is felt that everyone and everything is the expression of the same impersonal source, aka Thusness Stage 2:

"...I was not focusing on anything in particular; I only noticed a bug there in the grass
that was emitting some sound. At that moment, everything just seemed to stop. My
perception ceased to function. It was as though someone switched off the movie
projector that was projecting images on the screen of my consciousness. Everything
just stopped being-and then I knew. I knew that the sound the bug was producing; it
was the song of love. I knew that there are really no differences between that bug
and me, that there is only One Truth, One Existence. That Existence is living through
that bug and through me as well. There were no points of reference whatsoever,
only Love and the Awareness. No God up there in Heaven, no poor and insignificant
humans down below on Earth-it was just Me. "My" heart was completely fulfilled,
tears flowed without any control, "I" could not utter a single word. I only knew "I was.""

So this means apart from I AM, Sepharis is pretty clear about the impersonality aspect as well.

I asked him another question which he said the Self dissolves, but he has not replied me. It could be a glimpse of non-dual experience with sense perceptions.

On a sidenote, there is a difference between the realization of I AM and merely experiencing I AM. The difference is being described in my e-book and is also well explained by Thusness in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/09/realization-and-experience-and-non-dual.html . That was written at a time when I had experiences and glimpses of I AM but not yet the realization (which occurred in Feb '10)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/19/11 12:29 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

As I said, I think you underestimate the attainments of non-Buddhists. emoticon

No need to discuss this further.
You have not explained why or backed your statements. I simply unbiasedly reply according to experiential descriptions (as well as based on my personal insights and experience), not based on theories, faith, etc. If this is I AM, this is I AM, no arguments about it. If it is talking about non-dual, it is non-dual. If it is anatta, it is anatta... etc. Spirituality to me is something factual and experiential - I do not say someone is at a higher stage just because he is someone I respect, a Buddhist, my teacher, or whatever. I have (Buddhist) teachers I respect and have learnt much from and yet I do not say they have realized anatta or shunyata. Spirituality is not about respect, lineages, labels, etc.
As the Pali suttas state clearly there is an absolute end to the path, should I take this (about stage 7) to mean that you and Thusness disagree with them on that point?
Yes I am aware of that. I take the classical stance: Arahantship is the end of the path for sravakas, Buddhahood is the end of the path of the Bodhisattvas. I and Thusness aims for Buddhahood.
In any case, I find non-theoretical descriptions to be the most telling, as they are wrapped up in very little sociocultural baggage. Ramana says that one who is liberated has "no movement". The Pali suttas use the metaphors of "feeding" and "growth and proliferation" for the fundamental problem of becoming, i.e. action / movement. (The word "becoming" is itself one related to action / movement.) Dan Ingram talks about the way that the attention wave "wiggles", i.e. action / movement. A similarity underlying the apparent theoretical disagreement.

.....

In general, the various insights that are gained when moving through various stages are insights which I believe can be analyzed in simple phenomenological terms that relate to the experience of action / movement, rather than insights which must be left as alterations in experience which can't be analyzed down to a more fundamental level.

(EDIT: Another data-point with respect to the claim that no movement is experienced at very early stages on Thusness' map, I will point out that Bernadette Roberts very carefully states that her "unity" experience involved finding a still point which is still in relation to all the non-still activity going on around it! i.e. the whole experience, which you claim to be the experience of the I AM stage, cannot be described as unmoving.)
There is no movement at all in ANY form of NDNCDIMOP (non-dual, non-conceptual, direct, immediate mode of perception) of any manifestatation: be it NDNCDIMOP of a thought, of a sense perception, of anything.

For those I AM experiencers: they experience no movement while abiding in the Self.

Actually what is meant by abiding in Self? It is simply abiding in the NDNCIDIMOP of a non-conceptual thought. However that is treated as the ultimate, the purest identity, etc. So to them, the non-conceptual thought is clung to as Self, and the Self has no movement, while all other manifestation has movement. So the Self may seem at this point to be a "still-point at the center of a turning world" (except that the 'point' is not a finite point but an infinite all-pervading presence)

But what happens when you experience PCE or NDNCIDIMOP in all other six sense entries? A sound? A sight? etc

Then you experience something amazing: Everything that you thought was 'moving', that is transient, in fact turns out to be not-moving. In other words, transience reveals non-movement. In seeing - just seen, in hearing - just heard. Each manifestation is complete, whole, in itself - there is no self or observer apart from the transience to measure movement.

So at this point 'non-movement' shifts from simply abiding in the Source, to every transient phenomenal manifestation.

One point remains however: your emphasis on phenomenal descriptions can lead to an over-emphasis on experience to the overneglecting of insights. Why? You can have countless non-dual glimses, and yet without the correct insights that lead to a complete overturning of views, in which the entire framework of viewing inherently and dualistically is resolved through a realization (i.e. anatta, shunyata), then no matter how you try to rest in NDNCIDIMOP, PCE, there remains a desync between view and experience. You may end up using dualistic terms to express non-dual experience, or you may still have a tendency to sink back to a base, a ground, etc. Without those insights, you can have many PCEs and still remain deluded and fail to experience true liberation.

The insights may sound theoretical, but I assure you it is not - it is an experiential seeing of a fact about reality.

For example, Alex Weith has expressed very well his recent insight into Anatta: http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/4765011/A+Zen+exploration+of+the+Bahiya+Sutta?offset=0&maxResults=20
Q: What is the dual "trailer" in samadhi that generates an experience of a palpable Self? A: Attention wave.

Q: What is the thought of a "mirror" in stage 4, which is later seen through? A: Attention wave.
No comments because I have no idea what attention wave means.

On a sidenote, the non-conceptual thought is simply the natural state of mind in its quiescent state. It is not fabricated or conceptual in any way. It is simply mind at rest in its purity. This is what Buddha meant in the suttas by 'O monks, luminous is the mind', etc. But it is in no way a purest identity, a self, a dualistic witness, etc - that is a fabricated experience due to clinging to inherent thought and false reification of a previous non-dual experience.

The thought of a 'mirror' or an 'essence' on the other hand arises through false reification due to the paradigm/framework at seeing an inherent substance/essence.

Therefore there are two bonds: the bond/view of duality - a subject/object division, removed at stage 4, and the bond/view of inherency - seeing an inherent self, awareness, essence, which is progressively removed at stage 5 (emptiness of self) and stage 6 (emptiness of objects, dependent origination).

Therefore it is not just a matter of 'attention' that 'dualifies' or 'solidifies' experience - it is rather, the inherent/dualistic framework or view, the deeply rooted ignorance that does so. This can only be eradicated through deepening insight and wisdom. Trying to sustain in non-dual experience without a fundamental realization will not lead to liberation of these views and clinging. In other words you can have non-dual experience, and yet the framework of viewing experience/consciousness is still based on inherent/dualistic thought.

So attention in and of itself is never the problem, as of course, attention is a useful tool necessary for daily functioning (such as paying close attention to what the lecturer is explaining, etc) and more. Sorry I may be talking something completely different to what you mean by attention wave as I honestly do not know what that term means.
Q: How does one cling to the Absolute in stage 5? A: Attention wave.
From your statement, it is apparent you do not understand Stage 5. There is absolutely no more clinging to any metaphysical Absolute in Stage 5. That would be Stage 4 and before.
Q: What problem does Dan Ingram see remaining, untouched, after MCTB 4th path (stage 5, if I understand you correctly) A: Attention wave.

Q: How can the differences between various levels of attainment be understood? A: As variations in the way that the attention wave manifests.

Do you disagree? If so. I would love to talk about it (= the phenomenology of these experiences) on a different thread. FYI, my fundamental view is:

Q: How does the path absolutely end? A: I assume, with the final end of the attention wave.
As above.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/19/11 8:00 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
End in Sight:

As I said, I think you underestimate the attainments of non-Buddhists. emoticon

No need to discuss this further.
You have not explained why or backed your statements.


Yes, I was merely sharing my opinion with you, for whatever it was worth. I was not looking to have a debate.

In general, you may consider that my position is that those in non-Buddhist traditions are not simply using different terminology (which could in principle be aligned with yours by substituting some words), but are using radically different ways of thinking about the path.

A person like Ramana Maharshi, for example, might have tried to explain Thusness' stage 7 using the terminology and viewpoint of Advaita. A very unnatural choice (to you). It would be difficult to understand his attainment without recognizing that a "linear" translation between his terms and your terms (concept by concept) would be grossly misleading in such a case.

As the Pali suttas state clearly there is an absolute end to the path, should I take this (about stage 7) to mean that you and Thusness disagree with them on that point?
Yes I am aware of that. I take the classical stance: Arahantship is the end of the path for sravakas, Buddhahood is the end of the path of the Bodhisattvas. I and Thusness aims for Buddhahood.


According to the Pali suttas, arahants are Buddhas (and Gotama was an arahant). Should I take your statement to mean that you disagree with them on that point?

But what happens when you experience PCE or NDNCIDIMOP in all other six sense entries? A sound? A sight? etc

Then you experience something amazing: Everything that you thought was 'moving', that is transient, in fact turns out to be not-moving. In other words, transience reveals non-movement. In seeing - just seen, in hearing - just heard. Each manifestation is complete, whole, in itself - there is no self or observer apart from the transience to measure movement.


With the cessation of the passions comes the cessation of their "stir", i.e. movement, revealing what you described.

To give you a very concrete example of the attention wave, which may be the basis for the beginning of a discussion...can you visualize something in your mind, with your eyes open? If so, can you see that in the split-second of visualizing it, what would have been seen with your eyes is tuned-out and not-seen?

If so, you may be able to discern that there is a phenomenologically similar process of tuning out seeing, which is happening constantly, i.e. the attention wave, i.e. movement.

Can you discern this?

One point remains however: your emphasis on phenomenal descriptions can lead to an over-emphasis on experience to the overneglecting of insights.


As my emphasis on phenomenal descriptions aims to understand what stands in the way of insights on a fundamental level (i.e. aims to analyze the insights into something more elemental rather than leaving them as unanalyzable atomic concepts in a model), I would not worry about this.

Talk with me about the attention wave, and see what you think.

Q: How does one cling to the Absolute in stage 5? A: Attention wave.
From your statement, it is apparent you do not understand Stage 5. There is absolutely no more clinging to any metaphysical Absolute in Stage 5. That would be Stage 4 and before.


As I said, I am not an expert on Thusness' model.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/19/11 3:32 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:

What you have experienced is Thusness Stage 1 (see http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html ). It is the experience and realization of I AM.

Many people (myself included, Thusness included) having realized the I AM would think that the final state/Nirvana is the state of effortless and permanent abidance in the Self, in other words moving from Savikalpa to Nirvikalpa samadhi.

However as we progress in the path, we realize that effortlessness comes not with abiding (that would still be effortful and has to do with your degree of mastery in concentration/abiding in what is deemed as the purest state of Presence) with the deepening of insights into non-dual, anatta, and shunyata. At that point, Presence-Awareness is felt everywhere, as everything, without center, circumference, point of reference, without any attempt needed to abide because it is seen that there is no 'purest state of Presence' to abide in/as. I AM is not more I AM (not more special or ultimate) than a sound! A scent! A sight! Transience reveals itself as non-dual (without subject-object, observer-observed dichotomy) presence-awareness. This is the beginning of non-dual insight and effortlessness - complete effortlessness comes with the maturation of this non-dual insight into anatta and shunyata.

So it is important to progress to further insights from I AM, is to first focus on the four aspects of I AM, then non-dual, ...etc. Even if you attain mastery of samadhi and achieve Nirvikalpa Samadhi (permanent abidance as Self), still, further insights that allows full effortlessness is not revealed, unless further investigations are undertaken.

I have discussed this in Kenneth Folk forum: http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/4757580/What+does+one+do+after+having+recognized+ones+own+%22true+nature%22%3F

Here's my e-book: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html


Greetings AEN,
thank you for joining the debate.

Em, I think my experiences this far (for the most part) speak about what you describe as 2nd stage (I am everywhere).


"it is important to progress to further insights from I AM, is to first focus on the four aspects of I AM, then non-dual, ...etc. "

Can you elaborate, please?



An Eternal Now:

Can you provide a clearer experiential description of this? Do you experience the dissolving of self into all manifestation - trees, walls, sound, etc?

Or do you experience dissolving the self into an impersonal space (a space that is no more 'mine' than the 'walls', the birds, etc)?


No, there is no dissolving of the false ego or even of the Self, there is just nothing there, as though the Form (anything, everything) is Empty.

No, in these spontaneous "insights" (I may as well call them samadhis, I think) there is no space, neither mine nor in the walls. ALL is empty, all Forms are Empty.

Example:
I was hugging my dear one and right there and then all just stopped in a sense and my love for her, and her love for me, the trees around us (we were in a park), our distance, her breath - all just lost its usual meaning to me and just went empty. Not empty as in empty shells but Empty. There was no one there to witness this, no center, no object / subject. Just this Empty emptiness.

Did I answer your question, pls?

s,

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/19/11 3:59 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:


Just to be explicit: in NS, or in cessation, there is nothing whatsoever that I can talk about. Like anaesthesia. Like the way an atheist conceives of the afterlife. If there is something, I am either unable to discern it, or unable to remember it.


Yes, I got that by now.

Em, I think I haven't experienced it yet; or maybe I did and did not pay any attention to it as I was always inspired to experience the Self, Bliss, the Absolute Presence. That is changing now.



The transition between perceiving the Absolute as some kind of subject / object unity, and perceiving it as phenomena themselves, had some gradual aspects for me. (There is another sense in which it isn't gradual, but the sense in which it is tends to be more helpful in terms of practice, I think.)


Yes, it is or it will be gradual for me as well.



If you can see that these are "harsh" then you are on the right track!


I think so too.
Maybe "harsh" is not the best term, but it is true that I perceive the I AM presence and the I AM Everywhere (not as in dyana/jhana), There is None Else beside Him (and I am Him) a bit lacking in I-dont-know-what.

Emptiness (Form is Empty) is more I-dont-know-what.



Keep in mind that there are at least two ways to approach the path:

1) Removing defilements, removing the things that stand in the way of further insight and realization. ("Push")

2) Seeing more advanced stages of the path temporarily, and using that for transformation. ("Pull")

Examples of "push" practices are what the Pali suttas recommend, what Adi Shankara recommends, etc.

Examples of "pull" practice are vajrayana, what the AFT recommends, etc.

(Of course, each has elements of the other.)


Sorry, lost me there.
Can you elaborate, pls.
In pragmatical terms, pls?



The point is, you should make a judgment about which is likely to help you more, given your own strengths and weaknesses...or, alternatively, you should see if there are practical bits from the opposite sort of practice than the one you have now which you could incorporate.


Thank you.


Have you described your current / recent practice history anywhere? I'd be interested in hearing about it.


Sure:
- had first deep sabikalpa samadhi in 1993 (the one I described above)
- kriya yoga for years, started in 1996,
- mantra yoga for even longer a time (lots of samadhis in that practice),
- mindfulness for years,
- Zen meditation (a modified form of Who am I inquiry),
- invoking and merging with various God forms (subtle transpersonal level, as per Wilber) for a few years now,
- entering sabikalpa samadhi at will since 2007 (causal transpersonal level, as per Wilber map),
- visiting the highest enochian aethyrs (zom, arn, lil),
- intending to attain non-dual level (final stage according to Wilber map),
- contemplation (insight paths) as presented in MCTB.

Currently I don't intend sabikalpas anymore, I just let Emptiness manifest on its own accord. And it does, several times a day. I do intend to go further, from Form is Empty to Emptiness is Form.
I contemplate a lot but I found out that even insight practice (or practice on dyanas) is not the same as when Emptiness spontaneous "manifests".
The Emptiness "occurs" usually due to some "interfering wave", a wind, a kiss, a sound or even a thought - and whamm, Form becomes Empty.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/19/11 4:26 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
In fact if you realize I AM, you should know that That Existence-Presence-Consciousness is "one fundamental thing" that cannot be denied or doubted - you can doubt anything but Presence-Existence itself. If Sepharis had such realization he would understand what I mean.


Well, Seraphis does understand what you mean and is also interested how you moved beyond the 1st and 2nd stages of your map, pls?




When all sense perceptions and conceptual thoughts shuts, what remains is the pce of non-conceptual thought, aka. The Presence of I AM. It is this undoubtable realization of this undeniable and intimate Existence-Presence-Consciousness.

The experience and realization is precious, and isn't denied even at anatta, only that the view and reification subsides, I.e. One does not cling to any form of purest identity and sees non-conceptual thought as another form of self-luminous manifestation, primordially pure like any other manifestation (sense perceptions, thoughts, etc).


That is interesting.

Ehm, is it even possible to lose or to deny the I am Presence?
It is Absolute, where can it go.





I asked him another question which he said the Self dissolves, but he has not replied me. It could be a glimpse of non-dual experience with sense perceptions.


Have already replied, sorry for a delay; and I think there were no sense perceptions, there was only Emptiness (Form is Empty).

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/19/11 5:37 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
I spent a few hours last night reading your journal and more of Thusness' stuff too (I intend to give it a more thorough reading as I get your way of talking about this much more and genuinely appreciate what you guys are doing there) but there is still no real basis for these statistics you quote. There's a joke about how 70% of statistics are made up on the spot...lol.

Yes I am aware of this. Unfortunately I was rushing (and am still rushing) due to limited time and internet availability (I'm overseas in Australia) so I may overlook and fail to elaborate on certain points or terms. If there is any terms or anything that I have not made clear that you (or others) wish to understand please state so. On a side note I may or may not have internet availability to reply further at least for the next couple of days.

I understand, I also appreciate you taking the time to respond so thoroughly. My point was not about your own communication style, it was just a general comment on the limitations of language when it comes to this stuff and the inherent confusion introduced when trying to map from model to model with no experience of how the other person has practiced. In the case of Seraphis, the traditions in which he and I have practiced in the past use terminology which can be interpreted very differently by someone not familiar with that conceptual model, there's a helluva lot of symbolism, allegory and metaphor expressed in a totally different way to any Buddhist maps I've encountered and this is why I question your diagnosis.

First of all I do not understand why you would think of this as some kind of underestimation. I have read through all the posts more carefully this time upon your insistence that they are not I AM and they are clearly, without bias (why would I be), clear descriptions of the I AM realization and experience. I am never biased - I simply state according to my personal experiential insights, what I have seen, and whatever Sepharis said lines up clearly with my realization of I AM. So what is clear is clear - when there is a heart to heart recognition of what is being said, there is no doubts as what is being conveyed.

Perhaps "underestimation" is the wrong word to use (more linguistic hilarity). I could also state that I am never biased and speak according to my personal experiential insights, but the fact that we're basing our diagnosis on the words on a screen, with no personal contact with the person describing it, means that any diagnosis any of us could make will only ever be a "best guess". As you know, the way we understand this stuff changes continually and at any point we're likely to gain new insight which leads to a change in the way we describe our experience. The way we describe it may use the same words we used beforehand but may very well be talking about a very different experience.

When it comes down to it, it's the insight that matters and not the description of it so it seems that we could go around in circles trying to clarify this to each other or talking conceptual frameworks with no benefit to anyone.

To me, the I AM insight is extremely profound and valuable. I prefer people to go through self-inquiry and realize this first. I would also like to reiterate that although Thusness list stages with numbers, they are not necessarily linear. In fact the AF classification of anything non-af or spiritual as "illusion" in contrast to sense-perception pce which are "actual" don't apply to me - I do not hold such stance. To me, I AM is not necessarily "lower" or "more illusory" than sense perceptions pce, for example. Some people only discover I AM (I.e. Pce of a nonconceptual thought) only after insight into anatta (for example Ruthlesstruth founder Ciaran). Daniel too for that matter, but he lists it as one of the sub-pure land jhanas (see his description of the all-pervading witnessing presence) in his Nirodha Samapatti chapter in MCTB. So the only difference is that with anatta insight, the same experience is not reified. So it is the reification and clinging that is removed, not the clear undeniable experience and realization of I AM. In fact if you realize I AM, you should know that That Existence-Presence-Consciousness is "one fundamental thing" that cannot be denied or doubted - you can doubt anything but Presence-Existence itself. If Sepharis had such realization he would understand what I mean.

This makes more sense now, particularly the non-linear aspects of Thusness' model and thus your own interpretation of what Seraphis describes. Would you mind describing "PCE of a nonconceptual thought" and "sense-perception PCE" a bit more when you get a chance? I get what you're saying but I interested in knowing more about your take on this.

The point about the experience of I AM and this sub-pure land jhana idea is very interesting too, it makes understanding your descriptions clearer and I can see now why you've come to this conclusion about Seraphis' descriptions.

Unlike AF which treats anything other than the physical world as illusion, I see I AM (the pce of non-conceptual thought) as of essentially one taste as the PCE of sense perceptions. It is just pure non-dual luminosity in different conditions and manifestation - none purer than another.

Right, I get you now. Personally, I see no value in the seemingly anti-spirituality stance of AF either, other than as a tool to focus someone on the matter at hand i.e. simply turning attention to the point of sense contact, and I only use the phrase "AF" to refer to the outcome as a matter of convenience. I actually appreciate your descriptions more now in light of this, although I still suspect that the linguistic and tradition-based differences happening here will continue to cloud the matter, or require considerable elaboration which may be of little practical value.

On a sidenote, there is a difference between the realization of I AM and merely experiencing I AM. The difference is being described in my e-book and is also well explained by Thusness in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/09/realization-and-experience-and-non-dual.html . That was written at a time when I had experiences and glimpses of I AM but not yet the realization (which occurred in Feb '10)

I'll check it out, definitely. I appreciate you taking the time to describe this more and I'm coming to a much better understanding of Thusness' model through your efforts, please don't construe my comments as any sort of criticism or questioning the validity of your insights and experience as it's clear from your writing that you, and Thusness, know what you're talking about. I really am interested in learning more about how you map this stuff but tend towards a certain amount of skepticism when it comes to communicating between maps and models.

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond and I have thoroughly enjoyed the conversation so far.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/19/11 11:44 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]

If you can see that these are "harsh" then you are on the right track!


I think so too.
Maybe "harsh" is not the best term, but it is true that I perceive the I AM presence and the I AM Everywhere (not as in dyana/jhana), There is None Else beside Him (and I am Him) a bit lacking in I-dont-know-what.

Emptiness (Form is Empty) is more I-dont-know-what.

Yes, the harshness is quite subtle, "harsh" may not be the best word.

I sort of agree with AEN that the difference between these two experiences is not as large as the descriptions make them seem (because it is only the dual "trailer" that differs, and it is only the "trailer" that is harsh).



Keep in mind that there are at least two ways to approach the path:

1) Removing defilements, removing the things that stand in the way of further insight and realization. ("Push")

2) Seeing more advanced stages of the path temporarily, and using that for transformation. ("Pull")

Examples of "push" practices are what the Pali suttas recommend, what Adi Shankara recommends, etc.

Examples of "pull" practice are vajrayana, what the AFT recommends, etc.

(Of course, each has elements of the other.)


Sorry, lost me there.
Can you elaborate, pls.
In pragmatical terms, pls?


You can make progress on the path by removing what stands in the way of more insight / experiences of emptiness / etc. (after which those things will spontaneously and effortlessly happen), or by figuring out how to have moments of insight / etc. directly (after which the things that previously stood in the way will be reduced to some extent), and it is good for each person to balance those two basic approaches in a way that suits their strengths and weaknesses.

What stands in the way? Defilements, dualistic thinking, however you conceptualize it. Ultimately it gets removed. The only question is, whether to work on it head-on, or indirectly.


Have you described your current / recent practice history anywhere? I'd be interested in hearing about it.


Sure:
- had first deep sabikalpa samadhi in 1993 (the one I described above)
- kriya yoga for years, started in 1996,
- mantra yoga for even longer a time (lots of samadhis in that practice),
- mindfulness for years,
- Zen meditation (a modified form of Who am I inquiry),
- invoking and merging with various God forms (subtle transpersonal level, as per Wilber) for a few years now,
- entering sabikalpa samadhi at will since 2007 (causal transpersonal level, as per Wilber map),
- visiting the highest enochian aethyrs (zom, arn, lil),
- intending to attain non-dual level (final stage according to Wilber map),
- contemplation (insight paths) as presented in MCTB.

Currently I don't intend sabikalpas anymore, I just let Emptiness manifest on its own accord. And it does, several times a day. I do intend to go further, from Form is Empty to Emptiness is Form.
I contemplate a lot but I found out that even insight practice (or practice on dyanas) is not the same as when Emptiness spontaneous "manifests".
The Emptiness "occurs" usually due to some "interfering wave", a wind, a kiss, a sound or even a thought - and whamm, Form becomes Empty.


Is your current formal practice MCTB-style vipassana?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/19/11 11:50 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
An Eternal Now:
End in Sight:

As I said, I think you underestimate the attainments of non-Buddhists. emoticon

No need to discuss this further.
You have not explained why or backed your statements.


Yes, I was merely sharing my opinion with you, for whatever it was worth. I was not looking to have a debate.

In general, you may consider that my position is that those in non-Buddhist traditions are not simply using different terminology (which could in principle be aligned with yours by substituting some words), but are using radically different ways of thinking about the path.

A person like Ramana Maharshi, for example, might have tried to explain Thusness' stage 7 using the terminology and viewpoint of Advaita. A very unnatural choice (to you). It would be difficult to understand his attainment without recognizing that a "linear" translation between his terms and your terms (concept by concept) would be grossly misleading in such a case.

As the Pali suttas state clearly there is an absolute end to the path, should I take this (about stage 7) to mean that you and Thusness disagree with them on that point?
Yes I am aware of that. I take the classical stance: Arahantship is the end of the path for sravakas, Buddhahood is the end of the path of the Bodhisattvas. I and Thusness aims for Buddhahood.


According to the Pali suttas, arahants are Buddhas (and Gotama was an arahant). Should I take your statement to mean that you disagree with them on that point?
l.
Unlike what you think, I and Thusness are thoroughly familiar with Advaita terms and doctrine. I and him really dwelt into Advaita in the past, and Thusness collected all books available on Ramana he could get at an earlier phase of his path. I just told Beoman today,

"Anyway, on a sidenote, this is all part of the process - when I was in I AM phase, what really drew my attention (despite my being Buddhist and having taken formal refuge in Buddhism since I was 2 - I definitely do not limit my learnings to Buddhism) was really those Advaita teachings, Ramana Maharshi, modern teachers like John Wheeler, some Zen teachings like Ch'an Master Hsu Yun on self-inquiry and so on. Then when I got to non-dual, much of the neo-Advaita teachings, some Zen teachings and so on start to attract me a lot. When I initially got to Anatta (or even slightly before), the AF teachings really interest me a lot - I started reading a lot of their articles. Why? Because we are all drawn to different teachings based on our experience. When something we read resonates our understanding, experience, and so on, when we feel a heart-to-heart recognition of the message in it, we will naturally be drawn to it.

After undergoing more deeply the twofold emptiness, what draws me is the suttas, the sutras, the traditional teachings of the Buddha, etc. Who knows what may draw my attention or attract me in the future - I don't know. But right now, it seems that a lot of the traditional teachings are really clear, speaks to my heart, etc. I'm not saying you should start reading sutras (maybe you already had) - in fact if you want to realize I AM, I will not tell you to read Buddhism, for example I passed a friend all my Advaita books because he wanted to realize I AM. So that is where you start. So if you want to attain AF, then go for it and practice AF, but don't limit yourself to AF. As I hadn't limit myself to Hinduism, to AF, or even Buddhism, I am able to utilize whatever resonates with me at that moment, and that may change as my practice progresses and moves on."

A Buddha is arahant, an arahant need not be a Buddha, since Buddha confers qualities like perfection of ten paramis, omniscience, etc etc

Sorry no more time to reply the rest of the points and posts, will continue another time

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/20/11 6:11 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
I have been enjoying reading this quietly, just want to clarify a few things A.E.N...

Is the following a correct interpretation of what you mean by the I AM, and non-dual realization:

- I AM is dis-identifying "I" with everything (not my thoughts, feelings etc) other than awareness itself.
- Non-dual is an expansion of this awareness to include everything in the universe.
- Annata is different from non-dual because it is a breakdown of this awareness itself into sensate components.


Many people (myself included, Thusness included) having realized the I AM would think that the final state/Nirvana is the state of effortless and permanent abidance in the Self, in other words moving from Savikalpa to Nirvikalpa samadhi.


If I understand correctly-

Savikalpa is similar to what the MCTB would call the concentration Jhanas.
Shahaja Nirivikalpa samadhi refers to the ability to abide in this sort of state permanently not just temporarily and without effort.

If so it makes sense that Ramana Maharishi's teaching could be the I AM level of insight.

But might there be a chance that Ramana Maharishi et al do have an experiential understanding of Annata but are trying to reconcile their experiences with the philosophically limiting framework of the Vedas. And the resulting stuff comes off sounding non-dual ?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/20/11 7:42 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
D Z:
I have been enjoying reading this quietly, just want to clarify a few things A.E.N...

Is the following a correct interpretation of what you mean by the I AM, and non-dual realization:

- I AM is dis-identifying "I" with everything (not my thoughts, feelings etc) other than awareness itself.
- Non-dual is an expansion of this awareness to include everything in the universe.
- Annata is different from non-dual because it is a breakdown of this awareness itself into sensate components.


Many people (myself included, Thusness included) having realized the I AM would think that the final state/Nirvana is the state of effortless and permanent abidance in the Self, in other words moving from Savikalpa to Nirvikalpa samadhi.


If I understand correctly-

Savikalpa is similar to what the MCTB would call the concentration Jhanas.
Shahaja Nirivikalpa samadhi refers to the ability to abide in this sort of state permanently not just temporarily and without effort.

If so it makes sense that Ramana Maharishi's teaching could be the I AM level of insight.

But might there be a chance that Ramana Maharishi et al do have an experiential understanding of Annata but are trying to reconcile their experiences with the philosophically limiting framework of the Vedas. And the resulting stuff comes off sounding non-dual ?
Hi D Z, I AM is not just a state of dissociation, nor is it just a state of witnessing. It is a form of realization. Non-dual is the realization that there is no subject-object dualistic split, so everything in the universe is not apart from awareness, and in fact is not even 'in awareness' as if awareness is a container. At the phase of substantial non-dualism, it is seen that 'awareness is manifesting as this thought, AS this sense perception, AS ....' so everything is just One Mind, One Naked Awareness expressing itself as everything - so every mountain, tree, river, grain of sand, is all You/Mind.

Anatta is like you said, however it is important also to note that there is a difference between the experience of No Mind and the realization of Anatta - in No Mind, the Source/Awareness is forgotten and there is just the perception, the scent, sight, sound, etc, so this is like an experience of anatta, but the realization of Anatta is what breaks down the view of inherent self and the view of agency. Without the realization of anatta, No Mind/PCE can just be a passing peak experience.

I AM can be said to be a form of absorption, but more fundamentally it is a form of realization. It can be a question "Who am I" that leads one to the experience of the subject-object becoming one, i.e. attaining absorption. Till a point the practitioner simply experiences a pure sense of existence. This leads to a deep and ultimate conviction, that certainty beyond doubt of your very own existence -- "I AM". This is the realization of I AM.

Of relevance is something I just wrote to someone regarding I AM: "Hi,

I just saw your message today as I do not usually check my inbox in kenneth folk forum. You may want to communicate by email: x

I AM is the realization experience of Pure Existece-Presence-Consciousness. PCE is a good description: Pure Consciousness Experience, however it is not exactly just an experience but also a realization. Those Indian sages describe this as Sat-Chit-Ananda, which is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. Those who realize I AM realize that they are more than just a body - for in the absence, pause or interval between sense perceptions and conceptual thoughts, there is nevertheless Pure Presence-Existence-Consciousness. This is the 'pure luminosity of mind' that the Buddha talks about. This is realized as the innate essence of mind, and then reified into a purest identity/true self. You are not just an inanimate body, not just a machine, you are something that is undeniably present, existing, alive, conscious. But this is not arrived at through inference. It is a non-inferrential, non-conceptual, realization of something fundamental that goes beyond all doubt. When later at the non-dual and further phases one sees the 'same taste' in all other sense perceptions, then I AM no longer has a 'monopoly' or is no longer deemed as more special or ultimate than anything. Eventually the clinging to a purest identity is released through deeper insights.

So I AM is not just a shamatha state, it is not just a peaceful altered state, and it is not just a non-dual state, in fact it is not really a state, it is a realization of something fundamental about mind - the pure luminous essence of mind.

However this realization pertains only to the thought realm. HAIETMOBA is like the six sense version of self-inquiry, the inquiry into "how am i experiencing the moment of being alive" leads to the realization and experience of aliveness (similar as I AM but in differing manifestations and conditions) in all six entries.

As to jhana being dualistic - I do not think that is necessarily the case for all states of absorption (it depends), as absorption can lead to the falling away of subject/object dichotomy, which is what absorption means - the dissolving into the object of perception itself. However this remains a temporary state and need not lend itself to insight or any lasting transformation. I do not have mastery or much experience with jhanas (limited experience) but this is what I understand.

I AM is not just an altered state but an intuitive realization of something fundamental, so I am surprised Daniel would put it as a sub pure-land jhana. This is probably because he did not go through I AM realization etc (it only came to him after anatta) so he treats I AM as another experience just like any other. It is like if everything is self-luminous in anatta, then I AM is not more I AM (special, rather) than any other manifestation, so he classifies it under the jhana category."


Ramana is clear about non-dual, but with the substantialist understanding (as his analogy states: the paper/substratum, and the ink and words/the phenomena, are inseparable, therefore Brahman is the World. This is also the understanding of Advaitic non-dualism: the world under superimposition of name-and-form leads to delusion, but when the world is seen as Brahman it is the Real.). Nothing about anatta. The Vedas do not have anything about anatta - anatta would break down the Brahman thought and thus present a fundamental paradigm shift/difference that is fundamentally different and non-compatible with Vedic/Upanishadic thought which is based on the ultimate reality of Brahman.

Now, I am aware of many articles (such as those by David Loy, and even one by Daniel M. Ingram) that talks about 'There is no self and everything is the true self' as leading to the same thing because in the end, both breaks down the subject-object dichotomy.

This is true, however, what they failed to realize is that while the (nondual) experience is similar in both cases, there is a fundamental difference in view, one dissolves dualistic view but clings to inherent view (i.e. Brahman), the other dissolves both dualistic and inherent view. Maybe because Daniel, while having anatta insight, hasn't gone through the I AM, One Mind phases... etc, so he treats both perspective as similar.

Btw, anatta is not 'different from non-dual' (non-dual as the absence of a subject/object dichotomy) - in fact all experiences are implicitly non-dual in Anatta (nothing more direct and non-dual than 'in seeing only the seen, no seer, in hearing only sound, no hearer'). However I classify two types of non-dual: substantialist non-dual and insubstantial non-dual. The previous is One Mind, the latter is Anatta.

At I AM level, some mastery of samadhi is necessary to sustain the abidance in Presence. Some effort would be required even though at the I AM realization, people start to claim it is effortless - that it is your true self and cannot be lost, etc, the fact is that there is always effort to cling and abide to the (deemed) purest state of Presence. I wouldn't personally call it jhanic absorption, and anyway abidance in I AM can be carried into daily living or even through dream and deep sleep etc (what Ken Wilber call Constant Consciousness, what yoga nidra does, etc). I am however not saying that this is what you should do or that it is essential or necessary for further progress, just that it is possible.

However, when you realize non-dual, it starts to get more effortless - now it is no longer a matter of abiding in a purest state - for every sound, every sight, every perception has the same taste as I AM so you are no longer practicing to keep a precious, purest, special state of Presence, but find Presence in and as every manifestation.

At this point, you start to experience 'samadhis' (non-dual absorptions) of seeing, hearing, everything is intimate, non-dual, wonderful, delightful. But the difference between the practice of I AM and non-dual (and further) is this: after non-dual and anatta, there is no keeping of the mind on anything (such as the I AM) and by not resting on anything, it fuses into everything; therefore it cannot be concentrated; rather it is to relax into nothingness empty of self, empty of any artificial doing so that the natural luminosity can take its own course. There is no focusing, there is only allowing the mirror bright clarity to shine with its natural radiance. In essence there is no one there, only the phenomenon arising and ceasing according to conditions, telling their stories.

Ken Wilber (I don't know if Ramana follows the same scheme) defines Nirvikalpa samadhi as samadhi of I AM, while Sahaja samadhi is non-dual samadhi.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/20/11 9:53 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
Unlike what you think, I and Thusness are thoroughly familiar with Advaita terms and doctrine. I and him really dwelt into Advaita in the past, and Thusness collected all books available on Ramana he could get at an earlier phase of his path. (...)


On the contrary, I am not accusing you of ignorance. My sole point here is that understanding people in different traditions need not only be a matter of concept-by-concept translation, but may also involve having to adopt a radically different way of thinking about things. Depending on how that difference plays out, it can happen that what appears to be an explicit statement about one thing in your model will turn out to mean something completely different.

(EDIT: This is why I favor comparisons of things that are less theoretical or less enmeshed in cultural peculiarities in order to understand what others may have attained. For example, in Rashed's practice thread, I state that strong concentration requires that the mind be "paralyzed" so that it seems that there is no mind. In sahaja, this way of experiencing the world is apparently permanent. And yet, according to the Pali suttas, this "paralysis" during concentration is simply the absence of passion...further, full enlightenment is completely passionless. So, it stands to reason that full enlightenment would have this as a permanent way of experiencing the world as well. So, looking at things in this way, full enlightenment according to the Pali suttas may well be sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi according to Ramana. Thus, I have a higher estimation of Ramana's attainment than you do, based on what appears to be an experiential similarity behind the peculiarities of the worldviews of the Pali suttas and Advaita.)

However, as I said, I am not looking to have a debate about this, and you are under no obligation to take my opinion about this as anything more than an opinion.

A Buddha is arahant, an arahant need not be a Buddha, since Buddha confers qualities like perfection of ten paramis, omniscience, etc etc


As full enlightenment is the attainment of "bodhi", one who is enlightened (an arahant) is a Buddha.

According to doctrine, there is only one self-realized Buddha who teaches the way to enlightenment (sammasambuddha) per era, but the only differences between sammasambuddhas and other Buddhas concern their behavior and paramis and etc., but not their spiritual attainment.

Anyway, I am looking forward to hearing what you have to say about the attention wave.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/20/11 1:43 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:

Having practiced in the same traditions as Seraphis, I can tell you for a fact that this is not "the experience and realization of I AM". Exactly how this is mapped on Thusness' model, which I'm not familiar enough with to offer an opinion on, I have no idea but I do know from my own experience of both what Seraphis describes, and also past experience which seems to match Thusness' Stage 1, that they're not the same thing no matter how you cut it, although I can see how you could come to that conclusion based on the way you're reading the words on screen.


With numerous insights into the Emptiness I have had lately, I am beginning to wonder about one thing:

with all of the samadhis, each of them starting with complete mind blackout & sensory-perception shutdown, how is it possible that I have missed something like NS?!

I remember the early training, years back:
generally there are two types of samadhis, nirguna and saguna. The latter with attributes and nirguna without them. Is it possible that I experienc/ed the Absolute the way I am/did only due to my approach (Who am I, or What is other or What is life)?
What if I focused on the nirguna aspect? Would the samadhi yield the same Knowledge? Probably not.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/20/11 2:21 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

Yes, the harshness is quite subtle, "harsh" may not be the best word.

I sort of agree with AEN that the difference between these two experiences is not as large as the descriptions make them seem (because it is only the dual "trailer" that differs, and it is only the "trailer" that is harsh).


I agree.

I could have taken the different door in and came out with completely different experience.
How far can the Truth be from itself (Absolute from Emptiness and vice versa), anyway!?



You can make progress on the path by removing what stands in the way of more insight / experiences of emptiness / etc. (after which those things will spontaneously and effortlessly happen), or by figuring out how to have moments of insight / etc. directly (after which the things that previously stood in the way will be reduced to some extent), and it is good for each person to balance those two basic approaches in a way that suits their strengths and weaknesses.

What stands in the way? Defilements, dualistic thinking, however you conceptualize it. Ultimately it gets removed. The only question is, whether to work on it head-on, or indirectly.


Yes, I see.
I have been pushing thus far...although it seems that the Emptiness happens on its own accord.
I wouldn't mind having these experiences more often, on call so to speak, as I have the sabikalpas.

Can "you" "enter" the Emptiness when "you" will?
Or do "you" abide there permanently?
(you don't have to answer that, of course)

s.

Added:

Is your current formal practice MCTB-style vipassana?


Yes, it is....
...if and when I get to it. When I am moved to sit down and practice.
As I said, these last weeks have been extremely diverse from my past sadhana.
More often than not, Emptiness just manifests Itself, no need to push.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/20/11 2:16 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
with all of the samadhis, each of them starting with complete mind blackout & sensory-perception shutdown, how is it possible that I have missed something like NS?!

In Path terms, I'd have said you're at technical 3rd path based on the way you talk and describe things[1] and so there's a strong possibility that you're experiencing NS, as in the shutdown/reboot of the entire system, but perhaps framing it in a slightly different way. There's something really distinctive about the entry to NS and the exit from it which I haven't experienced elsewhere, although this may just be down to a lack of familiarity, but the best way I've found to describe it is like listening to the radio and then pulling the plug out; the signal (sense perception) continues for a second or so but you know for a fact that it's going to go fade out. Each sense door drops out in sequence and then comes back in in reverse order, it's difficult to explain it but there is no question left about there being anything 'beyond' this immediate moment of experience. It took me a while to fully understand what NS demonstrates, but the insights gained through that were really important to the way my practice progressed from that point.

Your point about nirguna and saguna samadhi is very interesting, I'll need to do some more reading on this to understand it more.

[1] The mention of this increase in insight into Emptiness and it's prevalence during daily life was a big part of 3rd path for me.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/20/11 5:51 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:

"Anyway, on a sidenote, this is all part of the process - when I was in I AM phase, what really drew my attention (despite my being Buddhist and having taken formal refuge in Buddhism since I was 2 - I definitely do not limit my learnings to Buddhism) was really those Advaita teachings, Ramana Maharshi, modern teachers like John Wheeler, some Zen teachings like Ch'an Master Hsu Yun on self-inquiry and so on. Then when I got to non-dual, much of the neo-Advaita teachings, some Zen teachings and so on start to attract me a lot. When I initially got to Anatta (or even slightly before), the AF teachings really interest me a lot - I started reading a lot of their articles. Why? Because we are all drawn to different teachings based on our experience. When something we read resonates our understanding, experience, and so on, when we feel a heart-to-heart recognition of the message in it, we will naturally be drawn to it.


an interesting point. i would qualify here that the message in what is read may resonate quite differently for one person than it does for another, such that one person's 'understanding, experience, and so on' of a text (or tradition) can be markedly different from another's .. and yet where they differ may be concealed by their agreements about the text.

an example of this is the variation found in the dho community's understandings of ingram's 4-path model; ingram's willingness to talk openly about and provide technically precise explications of this model (and what each part as he has meant it entails) in MCTB and throughout his participation in this community has not prevented widely divergent, and at some places even contradictory, understandings of it from occurring.. nor prevented disparate claims of allegedly same-same attainment from being made on its basis. an eye over the years to what people - myself included - have reported of their understandings of this model, and what they/we have made of its paths (perhaps most notably 1st and 4th), reveals plenty (the differing takes on 4th path contained in this very thread being but one example).

in fact, 'divergence' (as above) may here even be a charitable term, for it presumes that the (compared) readers began at the same place.. which assumption i do not always find useful to make. further, should two people not be coming from the same place, they may even be headed towards, and end up (for some time) in the places that each other previously had occupied (and perhaps which they themselves previously had been in contextual opposition) - i have referred to this phenomenon from a few years ago in my 'musical chairs' model. meanwhile, there is - and has generally historically been - considerable harmony among the people who have practised along the lines of ingram's path model, presumably because so long as people refer to their experiences by using his text (or by styles of description heavily influenced by his text), they are likely to find considerable commonalities within their experiences, and so there is far more reason to agree than quibble.

i see no reason why this would not be the same for other texts, maps, models, or traditions. in short, what a person understands about a text or tradition may definitively say very little about what that text or tradition is to anyone else (especially to other people who had not self-selectedly elected to talk to that first person on the basis of their agreement with his understanding in the first place).

tarin

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 4:56 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
To Seraphis:

If all senses are shut and there is no sense of self/Self, that would be similar to Thusness Stage 3. The non dual (as described by Ken Wilber, aka thusness stage 4) is vivid luminosity as all forms, manifestations, so you realize and experience awareness as the manifestation, that all manifestations are awareness manifesting as that, so all is just awareness. There is no seperate observer observing, yet the forms are vividly experienced As awareness, without a subject/object split. You realize there is no perceiver/perceived dualistic dichotomy and this is the nature of awareness: always already non-dual (with reference to all that is sensed and experienced).

As to how this insight may arise: it is my experience that the four aspects of I AM pave the way for nondual: impersonality, degree of luminosity, effortlessness, and seeing the innecessity and dropping the attempt to reconfirm or abide. For more info on these four aspects you may refer to this link in KFD forum ( http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/4757580/What+does+one+do+after+having+recognized+ones+own+%22true+nature%22%3F ), as well as my e-book
( http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html ). Particularly for non-dual realization, experiencing the intensity of luminosity is vital and important. While intensity of luminosity may not be PCE (intensity of luminosity can be experienced with or without the sense of self/Self; the sense of self/Self must go into abeyance as a criteria for it to be called PCE), practicing the intensity of luminosity serves as a condition for pces and also for nondual realization. Means whatever you do, wherever you are, paying attention, zooming in to the minutest details of the senses, such that everything becomes amazing and wonderful, even eating and walking is intense, luminous, vivid, alive and wonderful, and so on (more descriptions in KFD link). Even Eckhart Tolle's description in The Power of Now where he said the sunlight was amazing and rich, everything was wonderful (right after his awakening) is describing this intensity of luminosity experience.

Apart from this essential practice, you should engage in some form of contemplation. "In seeing just the seen (no separate seer), in hearing just the heard (no separate hearer)" is an extremely useful form of contemplation to me. You can also engage in some form of koan/inquiry practice, the inquiry of ""If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" is one such inquiry Thusness had recommended that would lead to "All Is Mind"/one mind nondual realization. For me personally, "where does awareness end and manifestation begin" also leads to the insight and experience of awareness as being nondual. It is a form of contemplation into the relationship of awareness and manifestation until the constructed boundary between awareness and manifestation breaks down and you realize that every manifestation shares the same taste of luminosity. Reading nondual articles (I like some of those in Joan Tollifson's websites and book - http://www.joantollifson.com/waking.html ) may also help: you may also want to purchase some of her books (there are many others in the neo-advaita circle that are great on the nondual aspect but you can start from there) for reading and contemplation - those are about nondual luminosity.

As to whether I AM is denied: no, it cannot be denied, you simply realize that every manifestation shares the same "taste" as I AM. The view of something more ultimate, special, and the view of duality, as well as the view of inherency are progressively deconstructed and removed as insight progresses, without denying any experience. As Thusness said, that there is no forgoing of this I AMness but "...it is rather a deepening of insight to include the non-dual, groundlessness and interconnectedness of our luminous nature. Like what Rob said, "keep the experience but refine the views".

An analogy given by Thusness is this:

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

Then later you realized that when you marked other points on the surface of a sphere, they have the same characteristics. This is the initial experience of non-dual. Once the insight of No-Self is stabilized, you just freely point to any point on the surface of the sphere -- all points are a center, hence there is no 'the' center. 'The' center does not exist: all points are a center.

After then practice move from 'concentrative' to 'effortlessness'. That said, after this initial non-dual insight, 'background' will still surface occasionally for another few years due to latent tendencies."

What this means is that there will come a time, resting in I AMness, if you then look at, say, a mountain, you might begin to notice that the sensation of the I AM or Pure Being and the sensation of the mountain are the same sensation. As Ken Wilber have said, when you "feel" your pure Self and you "feel" the mountain, they are absolutely the same feeling. (see Some Writings on Non-duality by Ken Wilber - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/05/some-writings-on-non-duality-by-ken.html ) And when this realisation arise, you cannot deny this as well, the non-dual Presence revealing As everything cannot be denied just as you cannot deny the I AMness. The I AM-Presence is no more I AM, no more real, non-dual, and vivid than the non-dual Mountain-Presence, so to speak, and there is no trace of separation between you and that Mountain-Presence just as you do not feel separate from the I AM Presence. Just pure mountain-presence, bird chirping-presence, without a hearer, feeler, seer, etc. You realize that Awareness is not the witness behind manifestation: rather, all manifestation is awareness, intimate, non-separate, 0 distance. Manifestation is the source. Eventually every manifestation is a whole, complete, nondual manifestation, ("all points is a center") there is no more referencing to something ultimate ("the center").

As Thusness wrote in his Stage 4:

"I was meditating the above stanza deeply…about its meaning until one day, suddenly I heard ‘tongss…’, it was so clear, there was nothing else, just the sound and nothing else! And ‘tongs…’ resounding…. It was so clear, so vivid!

That experience is so familiar, so real and so clear. It is the same experience of “I AM”….it is without thought, without concepts, without intermediary, without anyone there, without any in-between…What is it? IT is Presence! But this time it is not ‘I AM’, it is not asking ‘who am I’, it is not the pure sense of “I AM”, it is ‘TONGSss….’, the pure Sound…
Then come Taste, just the Taste and nothing else….
The heart beats…..
the Scenery…"

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 5:17 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
To end in sight:

W.r.t your example of attention wave:

And yet this applies equally for normal ordinary thinking (like right now as I am writing this post and pondering what words to type) in everyday lives isn't it? I do not think attention is some kind of hindrance and is something necessary for daily functioning. In fact after insight of anatta one sees that "this is always the case": in thinking just thought, in seeing just seen, no agent.

And because there is no self, agent, and all manifestations are implicitly nondual, then every manifestation be it sensation, sight, sound, thought, etc - are experienced to have no movement. Attention is similar. Your attention to thoughts, to the lecturer speaking, and so on are not a hindrance to the experience of anatta. Nor does attention necessarily mean movement if experienced from a nondual perspective (not a "someone" attending to "something", but attention as simply another complete, whole, non-moving manifestation/happening of the moment). I don't see removal of attention as something necessary.


W.r.t. "As my emphasis on phenomenal descriptions aims to understand what stands in the way of insights on a fundamental level (i.e. aims to analyze the insights into something more elemental rather than leaving them as unanalyzable atomic concepts in a model), I would not worry about this."

This is good. However what I am trying to say is that when comparing descriptions there should be clarity what is experience and what is realization and the relation between them. Therefore my emphasis is not only on experiential descriptions, but description of the insight or realization (which are far from being concepts). So it is important to delineate experience from realization.

you are using criterias that does not reflect the particular state of insight. You are looking for phenomenological descriptions which are not necessarily indicative of a particular insight. In terms of experience it is very similar or might even be completely similar (but without deepening insights, traces of clinging to view can occur). For example the NDNCDIMOP of non-conceptual thought (I AM) also lacks movement, also lacks emotions, passions, etc.

So even those at I AM who have experienced lock-in in this, and have mastered impersonality, would also make the claim of having freed himself from tendencies, emotions, sense of personal-energy etc.

Also when you experience nondual in all six entries, you can also experience the same thing. In fact focusing on pure non-dual luminosity, you can "lock-in" in non-dual luminosity, and experience freedom from emotions, passions, movement, etc.

This does not mean the latent tendencies are removed, only that you are lock-in in that state so the tendencies are forgotten (and so are other states like dreams, visualization and so on, states that are outside waking bare sense percept PCE).

But having experienced I AM or even nondual or no mind does not mean that realization of anatta have arisen. Even for those who have trained very hard in mindfulness but without any sort of insight will be able to experience some transformation or freedom from emotions, let alone one who is lock-in in those states of NDNCDIMOP. This however is not indicative of realization of anatta.

The realization of anatta is this: in seeing just the seen, no seer, same for hearing, thinking, etc. An important note is that this is not a temporary state of pce where the sense of self temporarily goes into abeyance. Rather, this is a permanent realization of the way things have always been: always already, there is no self, no agent, no "the awareness", etc - self, awareness, is merely a label collating the six modes of dependently originated processes of consciousness. Without the realization that dissolves self-view, there cannot be true effortlessness and freedom, even if you were to achieve lock-in in a particular mode such as PCE. This is subtle because in terms of nondual experience, it is similar, but it is the fundamental shift of view or freedom from inherent view that has a deep implication.

So while you can experience no subject/object, no separate observer, no inside and outside, pure nondual luminosity as all forms and shapes and colours, freedom from emotions and so on, yet these experiences are not necessarily indicative of insight into anatta.

Sure, anatta experience too contains or consists of these things, yet it is not merely these things. Sure, many things overlap between the different phases of insights, and that is why I said they can be 85 percent similar and yet it is that 15 percent that is the criteria or indication of a major leap in insight. Tommy asked if it is just a figurative number, yes it is, but there is some truth to it. Thusness came up with that number. You can give it any percentage I personally also think 85 percent is just about right. It is not easy to discern the subtlety and the experience is too similar.

Also, I have read some books (e.g. Daryl Bailey) and seen some other practitioners who are at the No Mind phase of non-dual - and their descriptions are very close to anatta but their realization of anatta has not arisen. So their practice is to experience the bare, naked, non-conceptual, sensate, to sustain and experience no-mind. So know that having experiences does not indicate realization.

So some insight/experience having certain attributes, qualities that seems similar (or is shared), need not be indicative of a particular state, or may not be the correct criteria to "diagnose" a particular insight. You don't say a fruit must surely be apple just because it is red, or just because it appears to have a similar shape, etc. Yet you don't doubt whether it is apple, it is pear, or orange when you see one. Like I said regarding arahant and buddhahood: buddha is (consist of) arahant/arahantship but is not merely that. I often said Buddhahood is Arahant++ (But the issue of buddha and arahant is a different or unrelated topic, one that perhaps a Mahayana or Vajrayana master would be more knowedgeable in) The difference between Arhant and Buddhahood is well elucidated in this article: http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/study/comparison_buddhist_traditions/theravada_hinayana_mahayana/intro_comparison_hinayana_mahayana.html

As a note, that article (as well as being classical understanding in Mahayana) states that Sravakas aryas (starting from stream entry) realize the emptiness/selflessness of soul/persons (as in a self) while Mahayana aryas (starting from 1st bhumi) realize the twofold emptiness/selflessness of person + dharmas (as in all perceived objects). This can be correlated clearly to Thusness Stage 5, and Stage 6 respectively. The other are many other differences (at least in accordance to Mahayana understanding of these issues)

Also, Arahantship is defined as having eradicated fetters and defilements, but I do not see that Arahantship in traditional sense is the same as AF or lock-in in PCE. That would simply be one aspect of anatta. I spoke to Beoman recently about this and wld not reiterate.

Lastly imo, when you first realized I AM, it does not mean you achieved "lock-in I AM" (like what Seraphis would tell you), and when you first realized nondual and anatta it does not necessarily mean you achieve "lock-in PCE". (But neither does merely the experience of I AM or merely the experience of PCE indicate the insight or realization)

However, when insights deepen you no longer see a lock-in state as being so important. It is like when you realized I AM the natural tendency is to think of the ultimate goal as 24/7 lock-in I AM state (NDNCDIMOP in non-conceptual thought), but when you realized non-dual you see that oh actually that isn't necessary and you move on to experience NDNCDIMOP in all six entries without attempting to lock-in some kind of purest I AM state.

Similarly when insight into twofold emptiness arise or deepens, you start to see that lock-in PCE is not the true liberation you sought after either (despite its benefits) and so you move on. This does not mean PCE is unimportant (it is very important, and after anatta there is still a need to transform/purify five skandhas into eighteen dhatus or the pure sensate experience) but you no longer see PCE of waking state as the purest, ultimate, and thereby becoming another subtle object of clinging (despite those practitioners may see that there is no clinging at all, just as those in I AM may think there is no more clinging), and furthermore you see that there are other aspects of anatta and shunyata that are just as important for true liberation. This is also why I said the AF actual/illusion dichotomy don't apply to me.

But this is going too far and I do not wish to discuss and debate further on this issue and perhaps it is best we focus this thread on Seraphis's experience and concerns.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 4:59 AM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:

In Path terms, I'd have said you're at technical 3rd path based on the way you talk and describe things[1] and so there's a strong possibility that you're experiencing NS, as in the shutdown/reboot of the entire system, but perhaps framing it in a slightly different way. There's something really distinctive about the entry to NS and the exit from it which I haven't experienced elsewhere, although this may just be down to a lack of familiarity, but the best way I've found to describe it is like listening to the radio and then pulling the plug out; the signal (sense perception) continues for a second or so but you know for a fact that it's going to go fade out. Each sense door drops out in sequence and then comes back in in reverse order, it's difficult to explain it but there is no question left about there being anything 'beyond' this immediate moment of experience. It took me a while to fully understand what NS demonstrates, but the insights gained through that were really important to the way my practice progressed from that point.


Yes, thank you, Tommy.
I might have experienced NS before, I only did not pay all that attention, as the reboot happens in a tiniest portion of a second, I think. It all sounds awfully familiar, though.

How would you compare 4th tech path with the 3rd one, please (in your experience)?


s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 5:13 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
An Eternal Now:

"Anyway, on a sidenote, this is all part of the process - when I was in I AM phase, what really drew my attention (despite my being Buddhist and having taken formal refuge in Buddhism since I was 2 - I definitely do not limit my learnings to Buddhism) was really those Advaita teachings, Ramana Maharshi, modern teachers like John Wheeler, some Zen teachings like Ch'an Master Hsu Yun on self-inquiry and so on. Then when I got to non-dual, much of the neo-Advaita teachings, some Zen teachings and so on start to attract me a lot. When I initially got to Anatta (or even slightly before), the AF teachings really interest me a lot - I started reading a lot of their articles. Why? Because we are all drawn to different teachings based on our experience. When something we read resonates our understanding, experience, and so on, when we feel a heart-to-heart recognition of the message in it, we will naturally be drawn to it.


an interesting point. i would qualify here that the message in what is read may resonate quite differently for one person than it does for another, such that one person's 'understanding, experience, and so on' of a text (or tradition) can be markedly different from another's .. and yet where they differ may be concealed by their agreements about the text.

an example of this is the variation found in the dho community's understandings of ingram's 4-path model; ingram's willingness to talk openly about and provide technically precise explications of this model (and what each part as he has meant it entails) in MCTB and throughout his participation in this community has not prevented widely divergent, and at some places even contradictory, understandings of it from occurring.. nor prevented disparate claims of allegedly same-same attainment from being made on its basis. an eye over the years to what people - myself included - have reported of their understandings of this model, and what they/we have made of its paths (perhaps most notably 1st and 4th), reveals plenty (the differing takes on 4th path contained in this very thread being but one example).

in fact, 'divergence' (as above) may here even be a charitable term, for it presumes that the (compared) readers began at the same place.. which assumption i do not always find useful to make. further, should two people not be coming from the same place, they may even be headed towards, and end up (for some time) in the places that each other previously had occupied (and perhaps which they themselves previously had been in contextual opposition) - i have referred to this phenomenon from a few years ago in my 'musical chairs' model. meanwhile, there is - and has generally historically been - considerable harmony among the people who have practised along the lines of ingram's path model, presumably because so long as people refer to their experiences by using his text (or by styles of description heavily influenced by his text), they are likely to find considerable commonalities within their experiences, and so there is far more reason to agree than quibble.

i see no reason why this would not be the same for other texts, maps, models, or traditions. in short, what a person understands about a text or tradition may definitively say very little about what that text or tradition is to anyone else (especially to other people who had not self-selectedly elected to talk to that first person on the basis of their agreement with his understanding in the first place).

tarin
Yes, indeed, I too have noticed the divergent understandings among different practitioners of a similar text or tradition or model or map or teaching. Your observations and notes are well made.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 8:46 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
To end in sight:

W.r.t your example of attention wave:

And yet this applies equally for normal ordinary thinking (like right now as I am writing this post and pondering what words to type) in everyday lives isn't it? I do not think attention is some kind of hindrance and is something necessary for daily functioning.


1) This phenomenon (of attention moving) is gone during a PCE, which suggests that it is not necessary for everyday lives.

2) As the previous point is true, this implies that it is not attention (which is required for functioning), but 'attention'...something that appears as attention, but is incidental.

Anyway, as you can see that attention (or 'attention') is constantly fluctuating, and constantly tuning out sensory experience, when you look at the experience of seeing --> tuning out --> seeing, can you break the "tuning out" part down any further? Can you discern what that "tuning out" part consists of? What kind of experience or experiences?

And because there is no self, agent, and all manifestations are implicitly nondual, then every manifestation be it sensation, sight, sound, thought, etc - are experienced to have no movement.


Including defilements?

Attention is similar.


If 'attention' (as in the attention wave) is similar, I would say that we mean different things by "movement".

Your attention to thoughts, to the lecturer speaking, and so on are not a hindrance to the experience of anatta. Nor does attention necessarily mean movement if experienced from a nondual perspective (not a "someone" attending to "something", but attention as simply another complete, whole, non-moving manifestation/happening of the moment). I don't see removal of attention as something necessary.


Let's analyze the experience further and see what happens.

W.r.t. "As my emphasis on phenomenal descriptions aims to understand what stands in the way of insights on a fundamental level (i.e. aims to analyze the insights into something more elemental rather than leaving them as unanalyzable atomic concepts in a model), I would not worry about this."

This is good. However what I am trying to say is that when comparing descriptions there should be clarity what is experience and what is realization and the relation between them. Therefore my emphasis is not only on experiential descriptions, but description of the insight or realization (which are far from being concepts). So it is important to delineate experience from realization.

you are using criterias that does not reflect the particular state of insight. You are looking for phenomenological descriptions which are not necessarily indicative of a particular insight.


Now I see and understand your point.

My response is, let's analyze the attention wave and see whether that sheds any light on this.

Like I said regarding arahant and buddhahood: buddha is (consist of) arahant/arahantship but is not merely that. I often said Buddhahood is Arahant++ (But the issue of buddha and arahant is a different or unrelated topic, one that perhaps a Mahayana or Vajrayana master would be more knowedgeable in)


An arahant has the same realization as the historical Buddha according to the Pali suttas, although perhaps not according to the Mayahana / Vajrayana traditions.

Taking those traditions as authoritative with respect to material in the Pali suttas is probably not the best idea. emoticon

(EDIT: i.e., one should not assume that what other traditions mean by "arahant" is definitive with respect to what the Pali suttas mean. They could mean quite a different thing.)

My main concern in talking about the arahant vs. Buddha distinction was simply to clarify that the view that there is a spiritual difference between them is a view that stands outside the Pali suttas. In terms of a contemplative guide, the Pali suttas seem complete-in-themselves, and I am keen to ensure that contrary views are generally understood to be held by those who have not taken the Pali suttas as a guide and not practiced according to them.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 7:55 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
in fact, 'divergence' (as above) may here even be a charitable term, for it presumes that the (compared) readers began at the same place.. which assumption i do not always find useful to make. further, should two people not be coming from the same place, they may even be headed towards, and end up (for some time) in the places that each other previously had occupied (and perhaps which they themselves previously had been in contextual opposition) - i have referred to this phenomenon from a few years ago in my 'musical chairs' model.


Do you have a link to a place where you discussed this model?

In any case, as a general point with respect to MCTB and attainments, the first step towards ensuring that practitioners are discussing the same experiences is not to attribute MCTB attainments to anyone who does not explicitly describe the things that would qualify one for them.

For example, in the case of Tommy suggesting that Seraphis may have attained MCTB 3rd path, such an attribution should require that Seraphis be able to satisfy MCTB's technical criteria. (In this case, the bare minimum requirement is three path-like cessations.)

It is possible that Seraphis has an attainment or insight or mode of perception that is similar to MCTB 3rd path, but to qualify for MCTB 3rd path per se, the technical criteria spelled out in MCTB should be satisfied.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 8:01 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]

You can make progress on the path by removing what stands in the way of more insight / experiences of emptiness / etc. (after which those things will spontaneously and effortlessly happen), or by figuring out how to have moments of insight / etc. directly (after which the things that previously stood in the way will be reduced to some extent), and it is good for each person to balance those two basic approaches in a way that suits their strengths and weaknesses.

What stands in the way? Defilements, dualistic thinking, however you conceptualize it. Ultimately it gets removed. The only question is, whether to work on it head-on, or indirectly.


Yes, I see.
I have been pushing thus far...although it seems that the Emptiness happens on its own accord.
I wouldn't mind having these experiences more often, on call so to speak, as I have the sabikalpas.

Could you describe what a typical session of concentration-style meditation is like for you?

You may be able to use what you already know in service of your goal.

Can "you" "enter" the Emptiness when "you" will?
Or do "you" abide there permanently?
(you don't have to answer that, of course)


The way things are for me is hard to describe in a way that would be useful or informative.

However, as I said before, I am still a seeker.

Is your current formal practice MCTB-style vipassana?


Yes, it is....
...if and when I get to it. When I am moved to sit down and practice.
As I said, these last weeks have been extremely diverse from my past sadhana.
More often than not, Emptiness just manifests Itself, no need to push.


A relaxed attitude can be helpful, but complacency is not.

You can let things manifest when they do (pull). When they don't, you can either do nothing (complacency) or remove what stands in the way of further manifestation (push).

I am not accusing you of complacency (as only you know the gory details of your situation and practice at this point), just offering a general perspective which may or may not be useful to you.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 2:15 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

Could you describe what a typical session of concentration-style meditation is like for you?

You may be able to use what you already know in service of your goal.


I think so, too.
Well, I just surrender, open up, let the Self/Absolute become evident, sometimes I intend this (on the other occasions I intend to surrender, to open up), and it always happens.
It is very very near, the Absolute; after years of getting in at will, it is almost non-stop there.
I take advantage of any "disturbance" that shows up after I intend things to happen, be it a sound, a tree, a play of sun and shadows, your words here, or a thought even. It works.

The details A.E.N. shared (the nondual stuff), for example, it doesn't take much time or effort to get in, so to speak.
It is all very very familiar to me, I have done that before, it seems.

I have no formal or much structured method, not any more for some time now, especially for the last few weeks. The Emptiness is, well, taking away much of the effort and dualistic bulls**t from my life.

But the vipassana is great, when I focus, the results are quickly forthcoming.



The way things are for me is hard to describe in a way that would be useful or informative.

However, as I said before, I am still a seeker.


I hear you, tnx.



A relaxed attitude can be helpful, but complacency is not.

You can let things manifest when they do (pull). When they don't, you can either do nothing (complacency) or remove what stands in the way of further manifestation (push).

I am not accusing you of complacency (as only you know the gory details of your situation and practice at this point), just offering a general perspective which may or may not be useful to you.


Your support has indeed been helpful thus far.
Thank you.

I am relaxed, laid back, so to speak, but the lure of the Emptiness and/or Absolute is way too strong to just sit and wait. My practice, sadhana, is not structured by some step-by-step procedure, however. I go with the flow, I seldom prepeare in advance and say, ok, now I will meditate. It happens anyway, no planing. It works, it has so far and see where it got me to: learning from you way more experienced souls here.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 3:49 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

For example, in the case of Tommy suggesting that Seraphis may have attained MCTB 3rd path, such an attribution should require that Seraphis be able to satisfy MCTB's technical criteria. (In this case, the bare minimum requirement is three path-like cessations.)

It is possible that Seraphis has an attainment or insight or mode of perception that is similar to MCTB 3rd path, but to qualify for MCTB 3rd path per se, the technical criteria spelled out in MCTB should be satisfied.


Interesting, I have to admit.

if and when I get to the point of wanting to assume a certain position on any given map, I will be happy to broadcast the news all over the DhO emoticon

In the meantime, I will try to learn as much as possible and put that into "the earth is my witness" scenario.

s

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 5:42 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Yes, thank you, Tommy.
I might have experienced NS before, I only did not pay all that attention, as the reboot happens in a tiniest portion of a second, I think. It all sounds awfully familiar, though.

As E.I.S. says, my offhand diagnosis of MCTB 3rd path, based on what you've written here, would require some other factors for it be confirmed such as three Path-like cessations. This would be purely to confirm MCTB 3rd path as the suttas don't appear to make any reference to cessation, although I stand to be corrected on this as my knowledge of the suttas isn't that great at present.

What you've said about how quickly the reboot happens is the same in my experience too, it takes strong concentration skills to get it in the first place so just fine tune the attention and resolve to experience as much of the entry/exit as possible. It's very distinctive and always happens in the same way, in my experience at least.

How would you compare 4th tech path with the 3rd one, please (in your experience)?

To describe this I'll need to say a wee bit about 1st path[1] as what went away at that point, the belief that there was even a self in the first place amongst other things, didn't eradicate the misreading of sensations which still allowed a sense of self to arise however illusory I knew it to be; that sense of "I" being the observer still continued. This was gradually weakened and became less obvious at 3rd path in particular as the emptiness of phenomena presented itself effortlessly, the luminosity of the entire field of experience became more and more obvious but there was still that fundamental misreading. There would be extended periods where there would only be the perception of sensation with no sense of an observer, but not in the same way that this occurs in PCE as there was still an affective element, which I'm assuming is similar to what you're talking about when you say that emptiness is becoming more prevalent.

At MCTB 4th path, that perceptual knot which allowed a sense of "I" as observer to happen unraveled in this really peculiar way and that center point vanished completely. By seeing that nothing I could observe could possibly be that which is observing, and having learned through the previous paths that there was nothing whatsoever outside of this, as in having seen that even space, time or anything else were no more or less important than any other patterns of sensations, the entire insight problem was gone. The major differences are the unification of the entire sense field, no automatic distinction happening, the lack of a center point, the lack of "stickiness" of emotions, although they do still arise hence the continued practice, and a very different experience of those emotions when they do arise. It's difficult to describe it in any major detail for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I'm all too aware of how easily these words can be misinterpreted.

For a few months after getting it I thought that it really was the end point, but then another cycle through Dark Night left me wondering what the point was if I could still get pissed off! And so the adventure continues. Whether or not my description lines up with what other describe isn't a big deal to me, I'm no longer convinced that this is what the Pali canon describes as Arahatship, much as I would have liked it to be after it happened and much as I tried to convince myself that it was.

Hope that's of use to you.

[1] E.I.S. has suggested that some people may be experiencing what he's calling MCTB 1st path, however my own experience, and the way in which it happened for me, seems to fit more closely with the traditional descriptions of 1st path, fetters and all. I don't know enough about E.I.S.'s reasons for making this distinction but I respect his opinion and believe that there's something to what he's saying since a lot of people are self-diagnosing, or at most receiving a diagnosis based purely on the descriptions they give on this site so there's plenty of room for error, wishful thinking or misrepresentation, however good the intention may be. This applies to me as much as anyone else.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/11 11:30 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:
[1] E.I.S. has suggested that some people may be experiencing what he's calling MCTB 1st path, however my own experience, and the way in which it happened for me, seems to fit more closely with the traditional descriptions of 1st path, fetters and all. I don't know enough about E.I.S.'s reasons for making this distinction but I respect his opinion and believe that there's something to what he's saying since a lot of people are self-diagnosing, or at most receiving a diagnosis based purely on the descriptions they give on this site so there's plenty of room for error, wishful thinking or misrepresentation, however good the intention may be. This applies to me as much as anyone else.


Some people claim MCTB 1st path and qualify based on technical criteria (cessation) but do not report a major change in the way they understand the world, just a sense that "something is different, things are clearer". I have no idea why this is (as when I attained MCTB 1st path, it was quite profound), but it does occasionally happen, so it suggests that MCTB 1st path may not be the same thing as stream entry in the suttas.

On the other hand, the suttas say that one who has attained stream entry realizes "whatever arises is subject to cessation", which does sound like how MCTB 1st path occurs.

(I have found it very interesting to contemplate along these lines: "What if MCTB 4th path is stream entry in the suttas? What if "early" AF is stream entry in the suttas?" The value is not just theoretical; I have analyzed my experience in very piercing ways in the process of going through these thought-experiments, and I believe it has given me a deeper appreciation of what the fetters are...but, in terms of theory, it has also made me less certain about how various attainments correspond to the suttas' stages.)

By the way, your description of 4th path is rather close to what I would say, if I were going to describe what it was like in-itself for me.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/22/11 3:54 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

Some people claim MCTB 1st path and qualify based on technical criteria (cessation) but do not report a major change in the way they understand the world, just a sense that "something is different, things are clearer". I have no idea why this is (as when I attained MCTB 1st path, it was quite profound), but it does occasionally happen, so it suggests that MCTB 1st path may not be the same thing as stream entry in the suttas.


Wet vs Dry? I'm guessing your entry was desert-dry, as always ;)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/22/11 8:55 AM as a reply to Pål S..
Actually, when I got to High Equanimity I spontaneously had a very strong concentration experience that ended with cessation.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/22/11 4:14 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
Some people claim MCTB 1st path and qualify based on technical criteria (cessation) but do not report a major change in the way they understand the world, just a sense that "something is different, things are clearer". I have no idea why this is (as when I attained MCTB 1st path, it was quite profound), but it does occasionally happen, so it suggests that MCTB 1st path may not be the same thing as stream entry in the suttas.

On the other hand, the suttas say that one who has attained stream entry realizes "whatever arises is subject to cessation", which does sound like how MCTB 1st path occurs.

I had an inkling that this is what you were getting at and always meant to ask. Given the roundabout, not-strictly-insight way I ended up getting 1st path, and having never heard of MCTB or had any interest whatsoever in Buddhism too, I agree with you about the profundity of it, my life was so completely and utterly different after that point that I can barely remember what it was like beforehand anymore. Comparing my previous experience to what happened after that point, it was only upon reading about what's supposed to happen in terms of the fetters a while back that it really hit me; rituals, of the magickal or psychological type, held no interest anymore, the belief in a self was gone completely, and more importantly I lost every bit of skepticism or doubt about the dharma I ever held, bearing in mind that I thought "Buddhism", in inverted commas, was either an impossible thing for someone like me or a load of self-help book shite, vanished never to return. Of all the benefits of attaining Paths, that last point is the one I am most grateful for.

I've recently been going over what was going on leading up to 1st path for me (oddly enough, in a similar sort of thought exercise to the one you mention!) and that quote from the suttas is pretty much 100% on the money. The focus was on impermanence, although I didn't realize it at the time, which led to that very same insight!

(I have found it very interesting to contemplate along these lines: "What if MCTB 4th path is stream entry in the suttas? What if "early" AF is stream entry in the suttas?" The value is not just theoretical; I have analyzed my experience in very piercing ways in the process of going through these thought-experiments, and I believe it has given me a deeper appreciation of what the fetters are...but, in terms of theory, it has also made me less certain about how various attainments correspond to the suttas' stages.)

Interesting indeed! That last sentence is a real beauty, I'm also inclined to think along those lines especially with the whole NS (super-cessation?)/SVN (PCE?)-MCTB 3rd path/fetter-model 3rd path (speculatively, early AF) stuff[1] 'cause there's always been something about that which didn't sit right at all. I don't have the knowledge of the suttas to really get deeper into it but it's definitely an intriguing way to go...

Thanks for describing this more, I wondered about it when you mentioned it on KFD but didn't think that "my" stream entry was any different from anyone else's and so didn't get where you were coming from.


[1] What is it with us pragmatic crowd and acronyms, it's worse than working for the Ministry of Defense!

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/23/11 2:38 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
@ Tommy:
thank you for your description of the 4th tech path.

@EiS
tnx for your guidance, it is already yielding results.

@AEN:
thank you for your post, it is all very very familiar to me (the non-dual stuff), been there done that but not fully aware that that was it (thought it was a part or extension of what you would describe impersonality; Avidya in all of its glory LOL).

I have a 4 days seminar starting tomorrow, and will be offline for the most part, unfortunately. I will be able to read, however. Will elaborate on the subjects in question on Monday next week.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/23/11 8:38 PM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:
Given the roundabout, not-strictly-insight way I ended up getting 1st path, and having never heard of MCTB or had any interest whatsoever in Buddhism too, I agree with you about the profundity of it, my life was so completely and utterly different after that point that I can barely remember what it was like beforehand anymore. Comparing my previous experience to what happened after that point, it was only upon reading about what's supposed to happen in terms of the fetters a while back that it really hit me; rituals, of the magickal or psychological type, held no interest anymore, the belief in a self was gone completely, and more importantly I lost every bit of skepticism or doubt about the dharma I ever held, bearing in mind that I thought "Buddhism", in inverted commas, was either an impossible thing for someone like me or a load of self-help book shite, vanished never to return. Of all the benefits of attaining Paths, that last point is the one I am most grateful for.


What was your understanding of the dharma (in relationship to which there was no more skepticism or doubt) at the time?

I was chatting with Claudiu about this a little while ago, and he pointed out that it is hard to align the traditional fetter-model with MCTB 1st path (or MCTB anything) because those who attain it do not always lose skeptical doubt concerning the "fundamental" issues that the dharma speaks to. In my estimation, in brief, these issues are

* suffering is caused by craving, desire, passion, etc.
* those things themselves are what produce "self-experience"
* the end of "self-experience", the end of craving / desire / passion, and the end of non-physical suffering are all the same thing

In reflecting on this issue recently, however, I realized that in some ways I understood the dharma much better at MCTB 1st path than at MCTB 4th path. Around MCTB 1st path, I had some experiences that were very "open" and fresh and blissful and comparatively dispassionate (not sure how to classify them apart from stating these characteristics), and it occurred to me: "Yes, this is what the dharma is about; if I keep meditating and keep pursing the dharma, this kind of experience will get stronger, until there is no perception of self, and no more suffering." Whereas at MCTB 4th path, I thought: "Aha! Self-y experiences and non-self-y experiences are all on the same footing! And that's the only way that insight will reduce suffering!"

Early on, I got many of the details wrong, but the basic thrust (less perception of self = less suffering, no perception of self = no suffering) is more in-line with the suttas than what I believed at MCTB 4th path.

(Regarding the second bullet-point, here is a pithy sutta I found, which you may enjoy reading so as to familiarize yourself with more of the Pali canon: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.036.than.html)

(I have found it very interesting to contemplate along these lines: "What if MCTB 4th path is stream entry in the suttas? What if "early" AF is stream entry in the suttas?" The value is not just theoretical; I have analyzed my experience in very piercing ways in the process of going through these thought-experiments, and I believe it has given me a deeper appreciation of what the fetters are...but, in terms of theory, it has also made me less certain about how various attainments correspond to the suttas' stages.)

Interesting indeed! That last sentence is a real beauty, I'm also inclined to think along those lines especially with the whole NS (super-cessation?)/SVN (PCE?)-MCTB 3rd path/fetter-model 3rd path (speculatively, early AF) stuff[1] 'cause there's always been something about that which didn't sit right at all. I don't have the knowledge of the suttas to really get deeper into it but it's definitely an intriguing way to go...


Reflecting on this further, it seems to me that the great strength of the Pali suttas is *not* the maps, but the explicit analyses and the practices.

The 4-path fetter model in the suttas adds almost no practical value to what the suttas say. If all those passages were cut out, a person could read everything else and work out how to follow the path just as easily as before (as far as I can see). How strange! If we can't line specific attainments up with the 4-path template, it makes little / no difference!

(The progress of insight is a pretty useful map, but that comes to us courtesy of Theravada, not the suttas.)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/23/11 8:42 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]@ Tommy:
thank you for your description of the 4th tech path.

@EiS
tnx for your guidance, it is already yielding results.

@AEN:
thank you for your post, it is all very very familiar to me (the non-dual stuff), been there done that but not fully aware that that was it (thought it was a part or extension of what you would describe impersonality; Avidya in all of its glory LOL).

I have a 4 days seminar starting tomorrow, and will be offline for the most part, unfortunately. I will be able to read, however. Will elaborate on the subjects in question on Monday next week.

s.What is familiar to you? The intensity of luminosity? Can you describe it?

The practice of I AM and practice of non-dual is different, while the former is very much focused on experiencing luminosity as the Background, the Source, the latter is bringing non-dual into the foreground as explained here: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/08/bringing-non-dual-to-foreground.html

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/23/11 9:51 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

1) This phenomenon (of attention moving) is gone during a PCE, which suggests that it is not necessary for everyday lives.

2) As the previous point is true, this implies that it is not attention (which is required for functioning), but 'attention'...something that appears as attention, but is incidental.

Anyway, as you can see that attention (or 'attention') is constantly fluctuating, and constantly tuning out sensory experience, when you look at the experience of seeing --> tuning out --> seeing, can you break the "tuning out" part down any further? Can you discern what that "tuning out" part consists of? What kind of experience or experiences?

Including defilements?
Just came back to Singapore.

Movement is perceived when it is falsely perceived that there is some unchanging self-entity that links two moments together.

For example as a bystanding observer on the roadside, it appears that a car quickly moves through your field of vision. So it appears that you, as an observer, observed an object moving across. What if however, you are on a vehicle moving at the same speed as the other vehicle, do you perceive movement of another vehicle? No. Why? Because the observer is now at the same speed as the observed object, and movement only occurs as a contrast between the unmoving subject and a moved object.

But what if there is no observer at all (which is what we realised to have been always the case in the insight into anatta - the observer being merely a constructed illusion) - with no reference point, is there movement? No. Because movement requires a dualistic contrast, and without a perceiving subject, perceptions have no reference point to compare with. In fact there is no 'perceived object' either - there is just disjoint, unsupported, self-releasing images that has no link to each other. Without a self and an object, only unsupported and disjoint images, each manifestation being complete and whole in itself with no dualistic contrast, transience reveals itself to be non-moving. You don't say "You" walked from Point A to Point Z. Because there is no 'You' there to link or observe movement. Instead, Point A is Point A, Point B is point B, and so on... Z is Z, whole and complete in itself. Each moment, ever fresh, whole, complete, and leaving no trace the next moment.

As for defilements: defilements only arise along with the sense of self. If the sense of self arise, there is reference points, (sense of self itself being merely a clinging to a falsely constructed reference to a person, a self) and so there can be a perceived movement. If there is no sense of self/Self, then also there is no sense of movement (such as during a PCE, even though PCE is just experience and need not imply realization). We realise that any sense of a movement is merely a dualistic referencing and contrasting, a referencing that asserts an entity (a subjective observer) that links the process and sees movement. It is not attention in and of itself (which as you agreed is necessary for daily normal functioning) that causes perception of movement, but the delusion of an inherent self and of dualistic perception.
An arahant has the same realization as the historical Buddha according to the Pali suttas, although perhaps not according to the Mayahana / Vajrayana traditions.

Taking those traditions as authoritative with respect to material in the Pali suttas is probably not the best idea. emoticon

(EDIT: i.e., one should not assume that what other traditions mean by "arahant" is definitive with respect to what the Pali suttas mean. They could mean quite a different thing.)

My main concern in talking about the arahant vs. Buddha distinction was simply to clarify that the view that there is a spiritual difference between them is a view that stands outside the Pali suttas. In terms of a contemplative guide, the Pali suttas seem complete-in-themselves, and I am keen to ensure that contrary views are generally understood to be held by those who have not taken the Pali suttas as a guide and not practiced according to them.
I don't recall Pali suttas ever stating that the Arahant's realization must be exactly the same as the Buddha, or that the Buddha could not have realized more than an arahant. Of course, some of the basic core realizations, the three seals, the four noble truths, the end of suffering and defilements, should be understood as being the same with regards to an Arahant and a Buddha. This does not mean the Buddha could not have realized things more deeply. Buddha, being omniscient, is known in the suttas to have known things to the very end in contrast to arahants who have simply seen things as they are.

Also, regarding Mahayana Shunyata, this is what I told Beoman a week ago:

Beoman:
did the pali canon buddha talk much about shunyata? (in buddhist terms i only look at the pali canon. mahayana sutras don't really appeal to me...) i would be interested to read some suttas talking about it if you know some.


My reply: Yes he does. Phena Sutta and Kaccayanagotta Sutta of the Pali Canon described the emptiness of dharmas.*

The arhats however do not realize this, they realize emptiness of persons/atman/soul but not the emptiness of dharmas, so they posit the svabhava or existence of dharmas in the commentaries (Abhidhamma).


Mahayana arose partly in reaction to this by emphasizing not only the emptiness of persons but also emptiness of dharmas. The first Mahayana sutras belong to the prajnaparamita category, which deals with emptiness. Mahayana teaches that arhats realize the first emptiness but bodhisattvas realize both emptinesses.


You should be open to Mahayana Sutras as many of them contain deep wisdom. At least when an insight into Shunyata arose, the Prajnaparamita and Mahayana sutras start to make a lot more sense and appeal. Maybe it is part of the process - something that didn't appeal to you as much before might appeal to you at another time, so just be open to it. Also, the Mahamudra teachings (those I read from Thrangu Rinpoche) has a lot on experiential investigation of emptiness so after anatta you might want to look into it. Some of the Mahamudra pointers is what led to my insight.


*Pegembara, a Theravadin practitioner with a good view/understanding of emptiness informed me recently about a number of pali suttas regarding shunyata: "
As for emptiness teachings, it occurs in spades in the Pali canon.
Phena and Kaccayanagotta suttas has been mentioned.
Kalakarama Sutta Whatever is seen, heard, sensed or clung to, is esteemed as truth by other folk,Midst those who are entrenched in their own views being 'Such' I hold none as true or false.
Loka Sutta: The World Dwelling at Savatthi. There the Blessed One addressed the monks: "I will teach you the origination of the world & the ending of the world. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."
Madhupindika Sutta: The Ball of Honey
"Now, when there is no eye, when there are no forms, when there is no eye-consciousness, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of contact. When there is no delineation of contact, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of feeling. When there is no delineation of feeling, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of perception. When there is no delineation of perception, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of thinking. When there is no delineation of thinking, it is impossible that one will delineate a delineation of being assailed by the perceptions & categories of objectification.

"When there is no ear...

"When there is no nose...

"When there is no tongue...

"When there is no body...

Dharmapada 13.170 –
The World : See it as a bubble, see it as a mirage: one who regards the world this way the King of Death doesn't see.

Mogharaja's Question

View the world, Mogharaja,
as empty —
always mindful
to have removed any view
about self.

This way one is above & beyond death.
This is how one views the world
so as not to be seen
by Death's king."

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/23/11 10:02 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
We will not be able to bridge any conceptual or terminological divide between us unless you are willing to tell me more about the attention wave, as you experience it.

End in Sight:
Anyway, as you can see that attention (or 'attention') is constantly fluctuating, and constantly tuning out sensory experience, when you look at the experience of seeing --> tuning out --> seeing, can you break the "tuning out" part down any further? Can you discern what that "tuning out" part consists of? What kind of experience or experiences?


Except perhaps for this point...

AEN:
But what if there is no observer at all (which is what we realised to have been always the case in the insight into anatta - the observer being merely a constructed illusion) - with no reference point, is there movement? No. Because movement requires a dualistic contrast,


By "movement" I mean "an experience that feels as if it's moving".

Pointing-out instructions that make the definition clear: look at the attention wave.

As you state that you experience the attention wave, you are not "free of movement" in the sense that I understand it.

As Dan Ingram experiences the attention wave (I believe he was the one who coined the term), even with his attainment of MCTB 4th path, and as you consider such an attainment to be insight into anatta, it follows that insight into anatta (in Thusness' model) does not eliminate the experience of movement in the sense that I understand it.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/23/11 10:11 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
We will not be able to bridge any conceptual or terminological divide between us unless you are willing to tell me more about the attention wave, as you experience it.

End in Sight:
Anyway, as you can see that attention (or 'attention') is constantly fluctuating, and constantly tuning out sensory experience, when you look at the experience of seeing --> tuning out --> seeing, can you break the "tuning out" part down any further? Can you discern what that "tuning out" part consists of? What kind of experience or experiences?


Except perhaps for this point...

AEN:
But what if there is no observer at all (which is what we realised to have been always the case in the insight into anatta - the observer being merely a constructed illusion) - with no reference point, is there movement? No. Because movement requires a dualistic contrast,


By "movement" I mean "an experience that feels as if it's moving".

Pointing-out instructions that make the definition clear: look at the attention wave.

As you state that you experience the attention wave, you are not "free of movement" in the sense that I understand it.

As Dan Ingram experiences the attention wave (I believe he was the one who coined the term), even with his attainment of MCTB 4th path, and as you consider such an attainment to be insight into anatta, it follows that insight into anatta (in Thusness' model) does not eliminate the experience of movement in the sense that I understand it.
MCTB 4th path only realizes one aspect of anatta (perhaps partially), which has more to do with the 1st stanza of Anatta. Actualism is more about the 2nd stanza. - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html

I do not perceive movement, I do not perceive a 'self' tuning out things. There is just pure perception - clear, vivid, luminous as they are, whether or not attention is focused on lecturer speaking, on thoughts, or on the smell of roses.

p.s. do you consider falling asleep as 'tuning out'?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/23/11 10:09 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
I do not perceive movement, I do not perceive a 'self' tuning out things. There is just pure perception - clear, vivid, luminous as they are, whether or not attention is focused on lecturer speaking, on thoughts, or on the smell of roses.


I did not ask if you perceive a 'self' tuning out things.

Let's step back a bit, and return to my previous questions....

EIS:

To give you a very concrete example of the attention wave, which may be the basis for the beginning of a discussion...

1) can you visualize something in your mind, with your eyes open?
2) If so, can you see that in the split-second of visualizing it, what would have been seen with your eyes is tuned-out and not-seen?

If so, you may be able to discern that there is a phenomenologically similar process of tuning out seeing, which is happening constantly, i.e. the attention wave, i.e. movement.

3) Can you discern this?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/24/11 1:59 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
An Eternal Now:
I do not perceive movement, I do not perceive a 'self' tuning out things. There is just pure perception - clear, vivid, luminous as they are, whether or not attention is focused on lecturer speaking, on thoughts, or on the smell of roses.


I did not ask if you perceive a 'self' tuning out things.

Let's step back a bit, and return to my previous questions....

EIS:

To give you a very concrete example of the attention wave, which may be the basis for the beginning of a discussion...

1) can you visualize something in your mind, with your eyes open?
2) If so, can you see that in the split-second of visualizing it, what would have been seen with your eyes is tuned-out and not-seen?

If so, you may be able to discern that there is a phenomenologically similar process of tuning out seeing, which is happening constantly, i.e. the attention wave, i.e. movement.

3) Can you discern this?
1) I can recall images briefly but without much details. I cannot do detailed visualization in waking state except in some special setting (like half-dream half-awake) where thought becomes vivid 'real' images and sounds in a lucid fashion, e.g. the place I want to go becomes seen vividly as if I was there, the song I want to hear (strangely even if I could no longer remember the notes and lyrics in waking state) becomes heard even in strangely clear details in that state, all the while lucid and knowing that they are projected intentionally (according to my intents). This is an interesting state (I believe some form of lucid dreaming state) however I have not experienced it for a long time. Thusness told me this is the state where visualization is accomplished by Vajrayana practitioners. Instead of putting down such states like AF, Vajrayana wants to integrate their realization into all states, and have exceptional understanding of bardo states. I don't practice Visualization however.

2) Attention is focused on the thought/image for a moment, in the same way that attention is focused on something in ordinary life: whether on a thought, on a lecturer, etc. This is why I asked you earlier, how is this any different from attention on an ordinary thought or attention on a lecturer or attention on a rose or a dog or ... (which are all necessary in waking life). I am aware that AF/lock-in PCE prevents states like 'visualization' from arising, but I do not see lock-in waking PCE as necessary (I also do not see waking pce experience as being purer than anatta experienced in states outside waking), and also cannot understand why do you think attention to a visualized thought is any different from attention to a normal (waking life, 'necessary') thought, or to a lecturer speaking.

The rest of the details are not tuned out completely as would happen in sleep, but focus is on the thought. (I'm still vagely aware of surroundings and able to respond to danger or reply someone if someone calls my name)

3) I still do not perceive movement and do not consider attention as movement (no perceivable movement unless attention is experienced dualistically), i.e. attention of thought still doesn't change the fact that the manifestation of thought (or anything else) is a complete, whole, manifestation without movement, without a observer observing the thought. In thinking, always just thought. In seeing, always just sight. Never a seer, feeler, thinker.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/24/11 7:02 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Thanks for the responses.

To state this explicitly, I'm not sure why you keep bringing up AF/AFT. I am interested in talking about what you think about a certain phenomenon, as in my opinion it is relevant to a lot of things that we've talked about. It came up in a conversation about whether Ramana Maharshi or Bernadette Roberts are highly attained or not (not a subject that AFT approves of!). I'm interested in the phenomenon and what can be learned from it, and interested in what you think of it, how you experience it, and how it relates to Thusness' model, but not interested in the AFT's theory.

1) I can recall images briefly but without much details. I cannot do detailed visualization in waking state except in some special setting (...)


OK.

Out of curiosity, has it always been this way for you, or is it some practice-related change?

2) Attention is focused on the thought/image for a moment, in the same way that attention is focused on something in ordinary life: whether on a thought, on a lecturer, etc. This is why I asked you earlier, how is this any different from attention on an ordinary thought or attention on a lecturer or attention on a rose or a dog or ... (which are all necessary in waking life).


OK, except, I discern two different ways to "notice" in ordinary life:

1) Seeing something. One just sees it.

2) Noticing via attention wave. One sees it, and then one shuts out other objects in order to do something further with the noticing (as if one places mild "tunnel vision" around the noticed object).

In the first case, nothing is tuned out, in the second case, something is.

The style of noticing in the first case is necessary in ordinary life, the style in the second is not. One can experience ordinary life without the perception of attention focusing on different things or without tuning-out some things as others are experienced.

and also cannot understand why do you think attention to a visualized thought is any different from attention to a normal (waking life, 'necessary') thought, or to a lecturer speaking.


I can experience a normal thought without tuning anything out, and the same for experiences in the other five senses, but I do not believe that imagination can be experienced without tuning things out; further, this tuning-out has a very peculiar phenomenology (= the attention wave, which we will talk about in more detail soon); this is the difference, and the reason for it is interesting to explore (whether you ultimately accept my understanding of the cause or accept some other understanding).

The rest of the details are not tuned out completely as would happen in sleep, but focus is on the thought. (I'm still vagely aware of surroundings and able to respond to danger or reply someone if someone calls my name)


What does this mean? Are there split-seconds when the other details are simply not present in experience, but become present shortly after, or would become present if someone called your name? Or, are they distorted somehow so that they are murky? Or, some other alternative? What is the phenomenology?

3) I still do not perceive movement and do not consider attention as movement (...)


To restate and clarify my question...suppose you stare at a blank wall. Do you perceive that the experience of tuning-out seeing, which occurs during visualization, is occurring for split-seconds even when you're not actively visualizing?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/24/11 7:51 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
Thanks for the responses.

To state this explicitly, I'm not sure why you keep bringing up AF/AFT. I am interested in talking about what you think about a certain phenomenon, as in my opinion it is relevant to a lot of things that we've talked about. It came up in a conversation about whether Ramana Maharshi or Bernadette Roberts are highly attained or not (not a subject that AFT approves of!). I'm interested in the phenomenon and what can be learned from it, and interested in what you think of it, how you experience it, and how it relates to Thusness' model, but not interested in the AFT's theory.
Ok.


OK.

Out of curiosity, has it always been this way for you, or is it some practice-related change?
While I never had any mastery of visualization to begin with, there is some relation to my practice, since anatta insight makes NDNCDIMOP (aka PCE) my predominant waking mode, I simply live intimately 'as' the senses (that is, without an 'I' as a separate experiencer), rather than in a symbolic world of images, etc. As a result of 'getting used to this mode', it is not easy for me to visualize again. Maybe with training I can, but right now nope, and I don't do any visualization practice at the moment.

Thoughts and focused-attention on particularities can arise for normal functioning (like right now my attention is predominantly on thoughts of verbal nature coming up followed by actions by the fingers to type), but they generally don't stick - rather, they are experienced as vividly manifesting in clarity, yet dissolving without traces. The 1st stanza of anatta makes you experience/realize the 'insubstantiality, unsupported, bubble-like, disjoint, self-releasing' nature of experience without an agent, while the 2nd stanza of anatta makes you (just a figure of speech, there is no 'you' apart from those experiences) fascinated and delighted by the wonder of the details, 'textures', luminosity and aliveness of the colours, shapes, forms, sounds, sensations, such that the conceptual and symbolic realms do not 'allure' your attention so much anymore. These two stanzas, plus a deeper insight into Shunyata, all make experience, thoughts, much less sticky or graspable, yet do not deny their normal functional usage as when necessary.
OK, except, I discern two different ways to "notice" in ordinary life:

1) Seeing something. One just sees it.

2) Noticing via attention wave. One sees it, and then one shuts out other objects in order to do something further with the noticing (as if one places mild "tunnel vision" around the noticed object).

In the first case, nothing is tuned out, in the second case, something is.

The style of noticing in the first case is necessary in ordinary life, the style in the second is not. One can experience ordinary life without the perception of attention focusing on different things or without tuning-out some things as others are experienced.
IMO, attention is happening at each moment, however it can be a form of fixated awareness (clinging) or it can be an unbound awareness (which does not stick or stay in any experience).
I can experience a normal thought without tuning anything out, and the same for experiences in the other five senses, but I do not believe that imagination can be experienced without tuning things out; further, this tuning-out has a very peculiar phenomenology (= the attention wave, which we will talk about in more detail soon); this is the difference, and the reason for it is interesting to explore (whether you ultimately accept my understanding of the cause or accept some other understanding).

What does this mean? Are there split-seconds when the other details are simply not present in experience, but become present shortly after, or would become present if someone called your name? Or, are they distorted somehow so that they are murky? Or, some other alternative? What is the phenomenology?
Oh I see. It is like the difference between attention on a thought (normal, functional, ok) or attention fixated on imagination, daydreaming, etc, so you sort of zone out of what's happening around generally? I understand the danger in attention fixated on imagination (or fixated on anything at all), but imo the zoning-out is not necessarily problematic (such as when you fall asleep, attention 'zones out' of everything and sleep (or dreams, depending) sets in) but the clinging to any sort of experience is the problem.

p.s. when attention is focused on listening to and trying to understand the lecturer, instead of the sound of baby crying outside, do you consider that is zoning out?

To restate and clarify my question...suppose you stare at a blank wall. Do you perceive that the experience of tuning-out seeing, which occurs during visualization, is occurring for split-seconds even when you're not actively visualizing?
Staring at blank walls don't make me tune out.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/24/11 8:04 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
(Double post?)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/24/11 8:01 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
An Eternal Now:
Thoughts and focused-attention on particularities can arise for normal functioning (like right now my attention is predominantly on thoughts of verbal nature coming up followed by actions by the fingers to type), but they generally don't stick - rather, they are experienced as vividly manifesting in clarity, yet dissolving without traces.


What is the phenomenology of attention being "on" something, as you discern it?

IMO, attention is happening at each moment, however it can be a form of fixated awareness (clinging) or it can be an unbound awareness (which does not stick or stay in any experience).


Please clarify:

Which, if either, is happening in a PCE?
Which, if either, is happening in maximally-concentrated jhana?

My experience: neither is happening in those cases, as it cannot be said merely that attention does not stick or stay, but that there was no perception of attention in the first place...and so nowhere for it to be in the first place, and so nowhere for it not to stick or stay.

Oh I see. It is like the difference between attention on a thought (normal, functional, ok) or attention fixated on imagination, daydreaming, etc, so you sort of zone out of what's happening around generally?


Yes and no. "Zoning out" is a gross version of the attention wave. The attention wave is a kind of constant split-second zoning out...a momentary lapse into murkiness which happens behind-the-scenes unless one actively discerns it. But, there is much more to say about its qualities than that it is "murky".

I understand the danger in attention fixated on imagination (or fixated on anything at all), but imo the zoning-out is not necessarily problematic (such as when you fall asleep, attention 'zones out' of everything and sleep (or dreams, depending) sets in) but the clinging to any sort of experience is the problem.


I do not have any significant experience of "zoning out" (in the way that one would zone out in a daydream) when I fall asleep. Do you?

Staring at blank walls don't make me tune out.


How is your experience of staring at a blank wall different from a PCE?
How is your experience of staring at a blank wall different from a maximally-concentrated jhana?

I would ask that you try staring at a blank wall for some time, and explicitly discern the phenomenology of the experience.

EDIT: Specifically, you describe a kind of tuning-out of experience when you notice one thing rather than another, so when you notice a blank wall, in what sense is there a tuning-out of experience?

EDIT2:


p.s. when attention is focused on listening to and trying to understand the lecturer, instead of the sound of baby crying outside, do you consider that is zoning out?


If it is experienced as one thing being noticed while others are tuned-out, then yes, if it is experienced as free of the perception of "attention" differentially attending, then no.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/24/11 10:03 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
Not sure if I get what you mean, but here's a try:

There is no perceivable thing called attention, which 'attends' to 'things', just the experience, whatever it is. Attention, something, etc, are simply labels or descriptions for that self-luminous percept.

Everything is interacting and coming together for this particular, complete, and whole manifestation. So in that moment, the universe is manifesting as just that - attention/experience/thought/sense, the entire universe is just that sound, sight, experience. There is no movement.

The perception of attention attending something is dualistic, and if one clings to an 'attention' which can 'move' from object to object, movement is delusorily perceived.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/24/11 10:13 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
For the purposes of this part of our discussion, I deal only in descriptions of experiences (so we can be as sure as possible that we are communicating well).

When you stare at a blank wall, there are different sorts of experiences you could have. A simplified way of looking at it is this:

1) You stare at the wall, and there is nothing else in experience besides the perception of the wall. (No thinking about it or anything else, no re-instatement of attention on it, etc.)

2) You stare at the wall, and, besides the perception of the wall, there are other things in experience.

Is your perception like 1) or like 2)?

If your perception is like 2), what sorts of things are in experience that are not the perception of the wall? In the moment you perceive them, do you perceive the wall?

If your perception is like 1), how is the experience different from maximally-concentrated jhana (assuming that it is)?

This is related to the MCTB "impermanence characteristic".

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/24/11 7:21 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
For the purposes of this part of our discussion, I deal only in descriptions of experiences (so we can be as sure as possible that we are communicating well).

When you stare at a blank wall, there are different sorts of experiences you could have. A simplified way of looking at it is this:

1) You stare at the wall, and there is nothing else in experience besides the perception of the wall. (No thinking about it or anything else, no re-instatement of attention on it, etc.)

2) You stare at the wall, and, besides the perception of the wall, there are other things in experience.

Is your perception like 1) or like 2)?

If your perception is like 2), what sorts of things are in experience that are not the perception of the wall? In the moment you perceive them, do you perceive the wall?

If your perception is like 1), how is the experience different from maximally-concentrated jhana (assuming that it is)?

This is related to the MCTB "impermanence characteristic".
When I stare at the wall, attention relaxes to a more open awareness inclusive of all details of the room.

Maximally-concentrated (pure shamatha) jhana is fixated awareness as it solidifies experience, but jhana can be a base for insight (means experiencing the 3 seals) so it need not always be the case that jhana requires fixated awareness.

p.s. I forgot to mention earlier, PCE is less fixated than 'maximally-concentrated jhanas', however without the 1st stanza of anatta combined, PCE itself may not end all fixations (There can be subtle clinging to a grounding to Here/Now, instead of experiencing everything as insubstantial, disjoint, unsupported, bubble-like)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/11 2:12 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
I am just going to add a few things to this quite interesting conversation, as a few terms I had used had come up:

The attention wave is illusory and can be seen through (which is one of my most interesting ways of getting a PCE or EE), and yet, when functioning, to use paradoxical language, it is the thing that allows ñanas to be different, for different widths of perspective to be present during certain insight stages or jhanas (samaths or vipassana jhanas), allows for the occurrence of such things as the formless realms, allows different frequencies of attention and perception to arise at different stages, and allows the sense of practicing at all to occur.

Thus, without the attention wave: no jhanas, no ñanas, no stages, no states, none of that, as well as no practice, as practicing would inherently involve it.

I am glad conversations like the one you all are having can happen here.

Daniel

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/11 5:45 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I am just going to add a few things to this quite interesting conversation, as a few terms I had used had come up:

The attention wave is illusory and can be seen through (which is one of my most interesting ways of getting a PCE or EE), and yet, when functioning, to use paradoxical language, it is the thing that allows ñanas to be different, for different widths of perspective to be present during certain insight stages or jhanas (samaths or vipassana jhanas), allows for the occurrence of such things as the formless realms, allows different frequencies of attention and perception to arise at different stages, and allows the sense of practicing at all to occur.

Thus, without the attention wave: no jhanas, no ñanas, no stages, no states, none of that, as well as no practice, as practicing would inherently involve it.

I am glad conversations like the one you all are having can happen here.

Daniel
Thanks Daniel for the clarification.

Is attention wave as you term it any different from "attention" as normal people usually understand it?

I don't think its necessary that there cannot be attention in pce, but rather there is no illusion of a tangible thing called "attention" that could move from one object to another, such a sense of attention is utterly illusory. Rather in whatever experience there is just the shapes, colours, textures, and attention is merely a quality of experience rather than a separate thing moving and attending to things.

I for one know from experience that it is not possible to function normally in daily life without at least some mastery of attention (as normal people understand attention) - for example if a person has attention deficit disorder he would have trouble functioning normally (I was being asked by my teacher when much younger to seek psychiatric treatment for attention deficit disorder since I can't seem to pay attention to the teacher more than 5 minutes), much less someone who does not have attention at all.

I do not think attention (as in normal attention) has some kind of distorting effect. It simply amplifies certain details of an experience and is especially necessary in certain tasks, including but not limited to things like listening to teacher, trying to thread the needle, etc

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/11 6:56 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
The attention wave is illusory and can be seen through (which is one of my most interesting ways of getting a PCE or EE), and yet, when functioning, to use paradoxical language, it is the thing that allows ñanas to be different, for different widths of perspective to be present during certain insight stages or jhanas (samaths or vipassana jhanas), allows for the occurrence of such things as the formless realms, allows different frequencies of attention and perception to arise at different stages, and allows the sense of practicing at all to occur.


Though the attention wave may be responsible for the MCTB jhanas and the formless realms in MCTB, there is another way of practicing concentration that does not depend on the attention wave, and leads to different experiences which are nonetheless very clearly rupa / arupa jhanas.

If you are interested in hearing more about this, there have been a few threads in which I've mentioned my observations, but we can also start another.

In brief, the way to attain these independent-of-the-attention-wave jhanas is to concentrate while ignoring the attention wave (and its width of perspective, etc.)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/11 7:06 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
If your perception is like 2), what sorts of things are in experience that are not the perception of the wall? In the moment you perceive them, do you perceive the wall?
When I stare at the wall, attention relaxes to a more open awareness inclusive of all details of the room.


I do not know why you are apparently unwilling to answer my question as I asked it. Perhaps you have some private reason; perhaps I have not explained the question clearly; perhaps you have answered it but I am simply unable to understand how what you have said constitutes an answer.

One more try, after which (if it is not successful) I will simply assume that we are destined not to be able to communicate about this issue due to personal factors.

MCTB:
All things are impermanent. (..) We can experience this, because the first set of vibrations we have access to isn't actually that fast. Vibrations. That's right, vibrations. That's what this first characteristic means: that reality vibrates, pulses, appears as discrete particles, is like TV snow, the frames of a movie, a shower of vanishing flower petals, or however you want to say it. (...) We are typically quite sloppy about what are physical sensations and what are mental sensations (memories, mental images, and mental impressions of other sensations). These two kinds of sensations actually oscillate back and forth, a back and forth interplay, one arising and passing and then the other arising and passing, in a somewhat quick but quite penetrable fashion. Being clear about exactly when the physical sensations are there will begin to clarify their slippery counterpart that helps create the illusion of continuity or solidity: flickering mental impressions.

Coming directly after a physical sensation arises and passes is a separate pulse of reality that is the mental knowing of that physical sensation, here referred to as “consciousness” (as contrasted with “awareness” in Part III). By physical sensations I mean the five senses of touch, taste, hearing, seeing, and smelling. This is the way the mind operates on phenomena that are no longer there, even thoughts, intentions and mental images. (...)


This mental impression of a previous sensation (often called “consciousness” in Buddhist parlance) is like an echo, a resonance. The mind takes a crude impression of the object, and that is what we can think about, remember and process. Then there may be a thought or an image that arises and passes, and then, if the mind is stable, another physical pulse.

Each one of these arises and vanishes completely before the other begins, so it is extremely possible to sort out which is which...


This is not the most thorough description of the phenomenon possible (one can examine the attention wave with great precision and discover that it has a more detailed internal structure than this), but aside from that...is this a phenomenon ever present in your experience, or is this not a phenomenon ever present in your experience? Under what conditions?

If it is not ever present in your experience, was it ever present in your experience, and if so, when did that change?

(As you have stated that when you visualize, sensory experience is tuned out, it seems that this phenomenon is present in your experience at least in that situation.)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/11 7:55 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
For the purposes of this part of our discussion, I deal only in descriptions of experiences (so we can be as sure as possible that we are communicating well).

When you stare at a blank wall, there are different sorts of experiences you could have. A simplified way of looking at it is this:

1) You stare at the wall, and there is nothing else in experience besides the perception of the wall. (No thinking about it or anything else, no re-instatement of attention on it, etc.)

2) You stare at the wall, and, besides the perception of the wall, there are other things in experience.

Is your perception like 1) or like 2)?

If your perception is like 2), what sorts of things are in experience that are not the perception of the wall? In the moment you perceive them, do you perceive the wall?

If your perception is like 1), how is the experience different from maximally-concentrated jhana (assuming that it is)?

This is related to the MCTB "impermanence characteristic".
Let me try again:

When I stare at the wall, attention relaxes to a more open awareness inclusive of all details of the room. Nothing is tuned out in the sense that the wall is definitely still perceived as before, it is rather that there is a de-focusing on any particular details.

By focusing, I mean the necessary function in everyday life - for example while taking a busy train ride, you perceive a sea of undifferentiated noise/sound. But if you wish to listen to what the particular guy to your right side is saying to his friend, you have to pay attention or concentration in a special way, you have to amplify a particular detail of your experience in order to pick up what he (and not the countless others in the sea of sound) is actually saying. Without this form of concentration, everything arises as before - just that there is no distinguishing or differentiation between what Person A, and Person B, and countless others are saying - it is just a mixed undifferentiated noise like what you hear in a busy marketplace.

So going back to this 'mixed undifferentiate sight, sound' is what happens when I mean 'attention relaxes'. If there is a complete de-focusing like what happens when I stare at the wall, everything still arises self-luminously like before, but I'm sure I can't function in a normal way without attention or concentration (especially in situations like, but not limited to, attending classes).

The same form of attention applies to the mental image I said (I don't recall saying that I did visualization though), or any form of thought, including mental commentary (I generally don't have much mental commentary unless something very special or perculiar strikes my attention - for example while walking home just now, I saw a striking advertisement of a man wearing very fanciful colours clothes, and there was this spontaneous mental commentary "perhaps these clothes suit women more").

As for impermanence characteristic: this is present in all sensations, be it physical or mental, whether or not there is concentrated attention or not.

p.s. if by attention wave you mean something like being so engrossed in daydreaming until you fall into a trance and become oblivious of the surroundings, then nope I don't think this is whats happening.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/11 9:44 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Please excuse me if this comes across as pedantic, but I want to make sure that I understand your answer completely.

AEN:
When I stare at the wall, attention relaxes to a more open awareness inclusive of all details of the room. Nothing is tuned out in the sense that the wall is definitely still perceived as before, it is rather that there is a de-focusing on any particular details.


MCTB:
These two kinds of sensations (sensory experiences and mental impressions) actually oscillate back and forth, a back and forth interplay, one arising and passing and then the other arising and passing, in a somewhat quick but quite penetrable fashion. (...) Each one of these arises and vanishes completely before the other begins...


Yes, there is this oscillating arising-and-passing, or no, there is not?

If you imagine something, in the exact moment that you are imagining it (i.e. in that fraction of a second), do you simultaneously perceive a static wall rather than a wall that vibrates or fluxes (or a tuned-out visual field, or the perception of a wall that occurs slightly before or after the imagining)? Yes, there is an oscillating arising-and-passing of the wall and the imagining, or no, there is not?

Is your understanding of the impermanence characteristic of sensations that all sensations vibrate, or is it something else?


AEN:

p.s. if by attention wave you mean something like being so engrossed in daydreaming until you fall into a trance and become oblivion of the surroundings, then nope I don't think this is whats happening.


This is the the attention wave, but you are describing one of the grossest manifestations of it, whereas I am asking you about a very subtle manifestation of it.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/11 11:31 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
Please excuse me if this comes across as pedantic, but I want to make sure that I understand your answer completely.

AEN:
When I stare at the wall, attention relaxes to a more open awareness inclusive of all details of the room. Nothing is tuned out in the sense that the wall is definitely still perceived as before, it is rather that there is a de-focusing on any particular details.


MCTB:
These two kinds of sensations (sensory experiences and mental impressions) actually oscillate back and forth, a back and forth interplay, one arising and passing and then the other arising and passing, in a somewhat quick but quite penetrable fashion. (...) Each one of these arises and vanishes completely before the other begins...


Yes, there is this oscillating arising-and-passing, or no, there is not?

If you imagine something, in the exact moment that you are imagining it (i.e. in that fraction of a second), do you simultaneously perceive a static wall rather than a wall that vibrates or fluxes (or a tuned-out visual field, or the perception of a wall that occurs slightly before or after the imagining)? Yes, there is an oscillating arising-and-passing of the wall and the imagining, or no, there is not?

Is your understanding of the impermanence characteristic of sensations that all sensations vibrate, or is it something else?


AEN:

p.s. if by attention wave you mean something like being so engrossed in daydreaming until you fall into a trance and become oblivion of the surroundings, then nope I don't think this is whats happening.


This is the the attention wave, but you are describing one of the grossest manifestations of it, whereas I am asking you about a very subtle manifestation of it.
There is no movement at all, I don't know what "vibrates or fluxes" mean (they sound like some kind of movement of an object, but there is no movement at all in my perception). Hopefully what I'm saying here clarifies: Impermanence as I experienced it is that they are insubstantial, bubble-like, disjoint, unsupported, spontaneously-arising and self-releasing/traceless, like the second diagram here:

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-JOCP/jc26559.htm

The image of a worm hesitant to leave its hold was used in a personal conversation I had in 1981 with a Theravada monk from Thailand, a meditation master named Phra Khemananda. This was before I discovered the passage from Ramana Maharshi; what Khemananda said was not prompted by any remark of mine, but was taught to him by his own teacher in Thailand. He began by drawing the following diagram:



Each oval represents a thought, he said; normally, we leave one thought only when we have another one to go to (as the arrows indicate), but to think in this way constitutes ignorance. Instead, we should realize that thinking is actually like this:



Then we will understand the true nature of thoughts: that thoughts do not arise from each other but by themselves.


Basically this is what Diamond Sutra says: Therefore then, Subhuti, the Bodhisattva should produce an unsupported thought, a thought which is nowhere supported, which is not supported (apratisthiti) by forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables, or objects of mind. [23]



No, my understanding of impermanence is not that attention shifts between physical and mental objects (if I understand what you mean), but rather whatever perceptions there is, are insubstantial, bubble-like, disjoint, unsupported, spontaneously-arising and self-releasing/traceless, like the second diagram

However I do not deny that attention can occur - and when they occur, the entire sense-field or field of perception is still insubstantial, bubble-like, disjoint, unsupported, spontaneously-arising and self-releasing/traceless, like the second diagram

Impermanence is the natural characteristic of all experiences whether or not attention is focused or unfocused.

Attention simply amplifies a particular detail of an experience (such as focusing attention on the voice of Person A among the sea of sound to catch what he's saying) Attention happens: One moment the attention may be focused on breathe, the other moment attention may be focused on Person A's voice, another moment on a thought, etc. I don't see attention focused on thought, or on physical sensations, as different in anyway.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/11 11:30 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
There is no movement at all, I don't know what "vibrates or fluxes" mean (they sound like some kind of movement of an object, but there is no movement at all in my perception).


"Fluxes or vibrates" describes the impermanence characteristic according to MCTB...and, one of the major thrusts of MCTB is that one ought to observe this characteristic as precisely as possible in order to become enlightened.

As you have talked about MCTB 4th path and what one who practices in the tradition of MCTB realizes, I can't say that I understand how you are confused about this issue, as I expected that someone who was familiar with MCTB would understand this issue (which is fundamental to the MCTB practice tradition).

Your diagram does not clarify anything for me, because it could well describe how one sees experience after MCTB 4th path (in which circumstance the attention wave persists), or it could describe something else.

So, I can only re-quote MCTB, and ask you again for a yes or no answer with respect to whether you recognize this phenomenon happening in a consistent and repetitive fashion in your experience or not:

MCTB:
These two kinds of sensations (sensory experiences and mental impressions) actually oscillate back and forth, a back and forth interplay, one arising and passing and then the other arising and passing, in a somewhat quick but quite penetrable fashion. (...) Each one of these arises and vanishes completely before the other begins...


However, I think we are destined not to be able to communicate about this issue, so please do not respond, and consider the discussion to be adjourned, unless you can answer in a way that you think I will understand, using either my terminology or MCTB's terminology, but not using your terminology (since I don't know how to translate it into something that I understand as precisely as I want to).

I will say that, if you have done away with this mode of experience, that is pretty cool (and it seems you may be trying to describe that); but, in that case, I do not understand why what I am describing would not be familiar to you from the time before you did away with this mode of experience, and so I have some skepticism about that interpretation.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/11 7:30 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

EDIT: As another data-point to for use in triangulating what we're talking about, I believe AEN associates Kenneth's 3rd gear / rigpa with stage 4. (AEN, you may correct me if I am mistaken.)
Yes the description of non-dual in 3rd gear seems to be from the substantialist non-dual perspective. I don't see traditional definition of 'Rigpa' (which consists of three wisdoms, but this is another topic) as being substantialist non-dual, so Rigpa as defined by Kenneth in 3rd gear may not be Rigpa as defined in Dzogchen teachings.

However 3rd gear is not just about the realization, as 3rd gear (the practice of surrendering) is an important way from one from I AM to non-dual, as the focus now moves from background to foreground. 3rd gear can be practised in any level of insight, it is an important method. The 3 gears are more about the way of practise, while his more recent 7 (or 8) stages model of enlightenment is more about attainments and realizations. The more recent insight into the 7th stage of enlightenment in Kenneth's model is a clear description of anatta insight (he is also clear that the notion of an 'Awareness' like in substantialist nondual don't apply in anatta):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-r6L8NWJ_o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvMkZu2wfCg&feature=related

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/11 6:56 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
An Eternal Now:
There is no movement at all, I don't know what "vibrates or fluxes" mean (they sound like some kind of movement of an object, but there is no movement at all in my perception).


"Fluxes or vibrates" describes the impermanence characteristic according to MCTB...and, one of the major thrusts of MCTB is that one ought to observe this characteristic as precisely as possible in order to become enlightened.

As you have talked about MCTB 4th path and what one who practices in the tradition of MCTB realizes, I can't say that I understand how you are confused about this issue, as I expected that someone who was familiar with MCTB would understand this issue (which is fundamental to the MCTB practice tradition).

Your diagram does not clarify anything for me, because it could well describe how one sees experience after MCTB 4th path (in which circumstance the attention wave persists), or it could describe something else.

So, I can only re-quote MCTB, and ask you again for a yes or no answer with respect to whether you recognize this phenomenon happening in a consistent and repetitive fashion in your experience or not:

MCTB:
These two kinds of sensations (sensory experiences and mental impressions) actually oscillate back and forth, a back and forth interplay, one arising and passing and then the other arising and passing, in a somewhat quick but quite penetrable fashion. (...) Each one of these arises and vanishes completely before the other begins...


However, I think we are destined not to be able to communicate about this issue, so please do not respond, and consider the discussion to be adjourned, unless you can answer in a way that you think I will understand, using either my terminology or MCTB's terminology, but not using your terminology (since I don't know how to translate it into something that I understand as precisely as I want to).

I will say that, if you have done away with this mode of experience, that is pretty cool (and it seems you may be trying to describe that); but, in that case, I do not understand why what I am describing would not be familiar to you from the time before you did away with this mode of experience, and so I have some skepticism about that interpretation.
I do not perceive any form of oscillation between sensation and mental impression, other than the normal usage of attention which can focus on any detail of experience according to situations for practical/functional purposes.

p.s. I had tried to contact Thusness with regard to this thread for his opinion, but he has been busy for a long time and has no time to reply me. While looking through at my old chat logs, I found this small piece of discussion on attention wave dated 5 June 2010 when I was still at the I AM phase, and now that I realized anatta, I am inclined to agree with whatever he said here:

(11:52 AM) AEN: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/600967;jsessionid=A7F678436686FDCFCBC234DAF745A7D9
(11:52 AM) AEN: daniel ingram:
As I am sort of in and out of two modes of perceiving reality and it is not always easy to tell exactly when the one has faded and the other returns, I will post with hesitancy and an inability to draw definite conclusions, but a few of my many possibly transient impressions at this point having experimented with what Tarin and Trent and Ricky are talking about are:
(11:55 AM) AEN: daniel ingram is now practicing actual freedom apart from vipassana
(11:59 AM) AEN: he seems to suggest vipassana is v different actual freedom, what u think
*from
(11:17 PM) Thusness: I do not know about actual freedom...but i think it is a waste of time.
(11:18 PM) Thusness: daniel ingram should be able to understand what that is being written in actual freedom if there is no more doubt about our anatta and empty nature.
(11:19 PM) Thusness: what is the advantage of the update?
(11:19 PM) AEN: hmm daniel ingram say PCE is purer than the vipassana cycling, and he is trying to get permanent PCE (which means AF) but right now he is still cycling between PCE and vipassana cycles
did u read his post?
u mean blog update?
(11:20 PM) Thusness: nope..
what u mean by purer than vipassana cycling?
(11:21 PM) AEN: daniel said

a) PCE mode is remarkable in its simplicity, poise, richness, directness. When in it, anything else seems like an absurdity, coarse, crude, distorted, while the PCE mode seems full and complete in itself. Words like dignity and completion come to mind. It seems free of cycles and stages and stages, but as it fades at this point for me, exactly how true that is is hard to be sure of, as the tendency is to explore it in a way that causes it to regress to Cycle Mode.

b) Cycle mode is the other mode, and it involves ñanas, jhanas, changing perspectives, highs, lows, emotions of some seemingly-empty-yet-still-happening sort and an attention wave of some sort that causes a perceptible distortion, however empty, subtle and centerless. Now, some of those cycles and stages and states are quite good, Pure Land jhanas are still great, NS is amazing, and there are other interesting and compelling phenomena, but the downside is that things that are not good can also at times arise in some way that is different before I was at this level of practice but not clean like PCE mode is. In short, cycle mode possesses an inherent quality of vulnerability that arises dependent on that quality of perceiving things.
so he said
the vipassana cycle still got 'bad' things and is 'vulnerable'
(11:22 PM) AEN: but PCE is like full and complete and independent of the cycles.. im not exactly sure as well
(11:23 PM) Thusness: PCE means
(11:24 PM) AEN: u asking me?
(11:24 PM) Thusness: yeah
(11:25 PM) AEN: i think its just pure sensate perfection... only sensations without a self. he said its free from 'attention waves' but im not sure what he means by that
he said "Turn into the sensuous nature of this moment, "tripping" on the textures and qualities of the visual field, the auditory field, the contact of anything with the skin, in an open, really engaged way that attempts to lose one's self in the beauty and perfection and satisfying simplicity of just this in the most profound and yet direct way. This really is the advice to stop and smell the roses taken to the highest degree one is capable of. This is the most pleasant of the ways in. It is much easier with the eyes open than eyes closed, so far, though this is getting easier eyes closed.

I have spent a lot of time when not in PCE mode reflecting on its vipassana correlations, but none really work as they are different. Vipassana stages and stages are the result of the attention wave causing the various phase aspects and selective focusing and tuning that results from an attention wave. PCE mode, having either no or a very subtle attention wave in that way, seems free of the cycles and stages and states and tuning in that regard, which is remarkable in and of itself and seems at
at this point to point to something very important and useful.

As I am still in the middle, trying to get PCE mode to stick and stay, I am probably not in the best place to draw firm conclusions, but I submit this as some notes from the path such that perhaps people later will draw something useful from them or reject aspects of them as being idiosyncratic or confused and thus help my own practice."
(11:27 PM) AEN: i think
PCE is more like wide open without focus?
(11:27 PM) AEN: vipassana still got focusing?
im not sure if i get what he means
(11:27 PM) Thusness: what does pce mean?
pure consciousness
(11:28 PM) AEN: just pure sensations... like seeing, hearing, etc without a sense of self
according to what is described.. i think
(11:29 PM) Thusness: that requires the arising insight of anatta
and vipassana should be practice to arise this insight
(11:30 PM) Thusness: or once the insight of anatta arises, the true purpose of vipassana meditation becomes clear
(11:32 PM) Thusness: what daniel said i don't think is correct becoz that seeing, hearing without the sense of self (O)bserver is not possible without attention cycle because there the mind does not know how...
(11:33 PM) Thusness: the mind realizes that there isn't an observer and the way things are, there is no effort, just in seeing, only forms and colors and in hearing, only sounds.
(11:33 PM) Thusness: when the veil is gone, there is naturally no obstruction
and everything becomes most direct and clear without gap.
(11:33 PM) Thusness: i think i told u before.
(11:34 PM) AEN: oic u mean
the anatta insight shld be integrated into attention waves?
(11:34 PM) AEN: btw daniel ingram says even during attention cycles he still experience 'centerless' and 'emptiness'
(11:34 PM) Thusness: no
(11:34 PM) AEN: but yet its still somehow different from PCE
(11:35 PM) Thusness: i mean attention wave is only needed when u do not know what anatta really means
(11:35 PM) AEN: what do u mean by attention wave
daniel ingram is trying to say the cycle of insights right
the nanas, the jhanas
(11:42 PM) AEN: daniel ingram says
(11:42 PM) AEN: a) Notice the attention wave itself and how looking at anything distorts the thing itself. Notice how attention itself filters out substantial portions of the field of what manifests. Doing this long and well enough at a high level taking it to the level of seeming like a spacial distortion eventually can cause
PCE mode to arise. This is the least pleasant but the most revealing and has resulted in the longest duration of PCE-like mode when I can pull it off.
(11:43 PM) AEN: so daniel ingram is trying to let go of 'attention'?
(11:44 PM) Thusness: i do not know what exactly daniel is trying to 'let go'.
(11:44 PM) Thusness: to me...i would consider that a form of efforting
(11:45 PM) Thusness: think mentioned b4 in anatta article that such mode becomes effortless when anatta insight arises.
(11:46 PM) AEN: dharma dan says in PCE mode there is either no or very subtle attention wave, in other words no selective focusing and tuning that results in attention waves, and the subsequent cycling of vipassana stages and insights.
(11:46 PM) AEN: do u experience the cycling or attention waves?
or u just experience something like PCE without attention waves
(11:46 PM) Thusness: no idea what attention waves mean.
(11:46 PM) AEN: oic..
(11:50 PM) AEN: btw daniel ingram had anatta insight right. actually he said he experience empty and centerless even during attention waves, but that experience is still not as 'clean' as PCE which has little/no attention waves or distortions, only sensate perfection
(11:50 PM) Thusness: i do not know what he meant
(11:50 PM) AEN: icic..
(11:51 PM) Thusness: to me anatta is not a state as i told u
so to me, that is quite meaningless as such question does not arise to me.
(11:52 PM) AEN: oic..
(11:53 PM) Thusness: when u realize what anatta is, u realize there isn't an observer behind anything... then how does the question about sensate imperfection arise?
(11:53 PM) Thusness: it is like asking questions of where is Self/self when there is no-self.
(11:54 PM) Thusness: and you insisting a way to become no-self.
and say that this is more perfect than that...
(11:54 PM) Thusness: this only happens to a particular state of attainment
it does not refer to insight
(11:55 PM) AEN: icic..
(11:56 PM) Thusness: when u see that the rope is not the snake, u don't ask question like how to tame the snake...what happen when the snake bites u...etc
(11:56 PM) AEN: oic..
(11:56 PM) Thusness: or treat the snake like a rope
misleading isn't it
(11:57 PM) Thusness: all questions relating to 'snake' becomes irrelevant
do u continue to ask such a question?
(11:57 PM) Thusness: and expect an answer to tell u how to treat a snake like a rope?
u realize and u stop asking
u just use the rope as a rope
(11:58 PM) AEN: icic..

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/11 1:44 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
I must say reading through that post of your exchange with Thusness was fascinating but doesn't seem to really help anyone, which is too bad.

My descriptions are the best I can come up with based on my current impressions of things, and clearly somehow it doesn't resonate at all with Thusness, and I don't really know if there is any great solution for that, as reading my descriptions again still seems as clear as I can make it from a phenomenological point of view.

I would add this: the PCE has a naiveté that a non-PCE mode doesn't, to borrow a term popular in AF circles, but it applies.

Incidentally, as I probably posted that thread a year ago or so, can't remember, and I have no particular way to tell if I am any closer to resolving the thing than before, it may be that my descriptions, emphases, and particular way of conceptualizing this thing are unhelpful in some way, regardless of them still being accurate to describe the thing in its various manifestations.

Daniel

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/11 4:28 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I agree with every part of what Thusness said and I think the 'non-resonance' has to do with the cycle mode not being part of our practice to begin with. I told Thusness once that I don't see any correlation between my practice/progress/insights based on the 7 Thusness stages and the cycling of MCTB nanas or jhanas, and neither do I experience any of those cycling. He agrees. So this whole attention wave/cycle mode thing didn't make a lot of sense to us.

Also, the cycle mode thing sounds effortful while in Anatta there is no effort at all or attempt to get anywhere or modify the experience at all - just the intimate gapless experience of aliveness as the "shapes, colours, textures of the sensate qualities, tactile sensations, sounds of bird chirping, etc" without any sense of a feeler, seer, hearer, thinker.

More importantly anatta is realized to be always already the case, so this is not the same as being merely a temporary PCE, but a fundamental change in view (more precisely it is not gaining a new view but a permanent dropping away of self-view), a realization that seeing is always just the colours, shapes, scenery, hearing is always just the sounds, never a hearer/seer/experiencer, (2nd anatta stanza) and furthermore that there is no agent behind experience and everything is just an agentless process that is insubstantial, disjoint, unsupported, bubble-like, spontaneous, self-releasing, (1st anatta stanza) and after arising anatta insight, PCE becomes an effortless mode of experience.

I searched for 'naivete' and found this description which I think is beautiful:

• : ‘In a nutshell it is where one is walking through the world in a state of wide-eyed wonder ... simply marvelling at it all. Naiveté is that intimate aspect of oneself that one usually keeps hidden away for fear of seeming foolish ... it is like being a child again, but with adult sensibilities, which means that one can separate out the distinction between being naïve and being gullible.
Some synonyms of naiveté are: guileless, artless, simple, ingenuous, innocuous, unsophisticated, artless, frank, open.
What ensues when one walks through the world in a state of wide-eyed wonder and amazement – simply marvelling at the magnificence that this physical universe actually is – is a blitheness (being carefree, happy, merry, amiable and so on) and a gaiety (jollity, joviality, cheeriness, delight, fun, and so on) as the inevitable result ... cynicism can no longer get a look-in.
One can easily enter into the magical fairy-tale-like paradise that this verdant and azure earth actually is’.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/11 4:38 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
just the experience of aliveness as the "shapes, colours, textures of the sensate qualities, tactile sensations, sounds of bird chirping, etc" without any sense of a feeler, seer, hearer, thinker.


Interestingly, this same thing applies to both modes I am describing equally. One has ripples, fluxing, and one doesn't in the same way. One is highly tunable in very unusual and amazing ways, one is just this sensate world straightforwardly.

An Eternal Now:
an agentless process that is insubstantial, disjoint, unsupported, bubble-like, spontaneous, self-releasing.


From this side that set of descriptions would apply much more to the non-PCE or Cycle mode, at least as I read what you have said, whereas to real full-on PCE mode, I wouldn't be as tempted to apply terms such disjointed, bubble-like, insubstantial and the like in quite the same way, particularly anything that involved heavy discontinuity. Releasing doesn't seem to make sense much in PCE Mode, though spontaneous sure does, though that is true of the other also.

Both are quite direct, transparent, boundryless, open, yet one just has this warping, space-fluxing, shimmering, resonating, tunable, shifting thing that when it converges produces Fruitions and when it does something similar but not quite it produces Nirodha Samapatti and when it is very disjointed produces the 3rd jhana phase aspects that would seem like problems except at at this level don't seem like problems, etc.. I would have a hard time imagining anything producing Fruitions in PCE mode, as it just doesn't seem to do that in the same way, like it doesn't apply, with state-shifting not seeming possible until it fades back to Cycle mode.

Just my impressions as best I can convey them.

How do you mean bubble-line, disjointed, insubstantial, etc that would differ from what I may be describing, just to go into that a bit?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/11 7:01 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
I do not perceive any form of oscillation between sensation and mental impression, other than the normal usage of attention which can focus on any detail of experience according to situations for practical/functional purposes.


And now, were we to continue this discussion, we would have to talk about what "normal usage of attention" is: either the attention wave in a subdued form (before MCTB-style vipassana has made it frothy and exaggerated so as to make its components more clearly discernible), or something else.

But, instead of talking about that, I will wait to see whether your conversation with Dan makes things clearer.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/11 7:55 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I don't experience "this warping, space-fluxing, shimmering, resonating, tunable, shifting thing" and "this sensate world straightforwardly" seems just right.

In my experience, even though I have realized in Oct '10 that seeing, awareness, hearing, thinking, observing and the likes are simply the brilliant, self-luminous, vivid, alive, wonderful textures and forms and shapes and colours and details of the universe and there is no such thing as a "seer seeing the scenery", and therefore am inclined from then on to effortlessly experience this mode of "this sensate world straightforwardly", I noticed a few months later that there was still some subtle attempt to cling a solid ground, something Here/Now, like 'The actual world right here and now', which I can 'ground myself in', like I needed to ground in something truly existing, like I needed to return to being actual, here, now, whatever you want to call it. At that point when I detected this subtle movement I instantly recognised it to be illusory and dropped it, however I still could not find a natural resolution to that.

Until, shortly maybe two weeks later, a deeper insight arose and I saw how Here/Now or something I can ground myself in doesn't apply when the "brilliant, self-luminous, vivid, alive, wonderful textures and forms and shapes and colours and details of the universe", all sense perceptions and thoughts, are in reality insubstantial, groundless, disjoint, unsupported and spontaneous, there was a deeper freedom and effortlessness. It is this insight into all as insubstantial, bubble-like, disjoint manifestations that allows this ovecoming of a subtle view of something inherent. There is no observer observing something changing: simply that the "sensate world" is simply these disjoint manifestations without anything linking each sensation to another, without some inherent ground that could link manifestations, so manifestations are 'scattered'. Somewhere this time, Thusness wrote me a post in blog: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/02/putting-aside-presence-penetrate-deeply.html

Also, this is not some form of altered state or special mode of perceiving things, rather it is just this insight or realization into the insubstantiality, bubble-like, disjoint nature of manifestation, which is always already the case, that breaks a subtler form of clinging. There is a difference between 'observing/experiencing impermanence' (whatever that means to the practitioner) and realizing 1st stanza in the same way that theres a difference between having PCEs where sense of self/Self temporarily goes into abeyance where there is just the intimate gapless pure experience of scenery, and the realization of 'seeing is always already just the colours, shapes, forms', as without insight, though certain experiences (e.g. PCE) might be there, there is no break-through as view of inherency (self-view, object-view) and duality (subject-object view) is still imprinted in one's psyche, so whatever experienced are merely passing peak experiences. This is why a person (in fact all persons, according to Richard) can have a PCE some time in their life and completely forget, move on, and remain completely untransformed by the event. There is no insight involved, and so the false view remains deeply rooted, and whatever experiences simply get locked away and could not be understood by the person.

When the view (of inherent self and duality) is gone, the mode of experiencing naturally shifts to NDNCDIMOP (non-dual, non-conceptual, direct, immediate mode of perception) and becomes natural, at which point you don't even try to get rid of self/Self to reach PCE in the same way when you recognise the snake to be a rope (analogous to the self being completely illusory) you no longer try to find ways to tame the snake, or you don't need to attempt to "go from a state of self" to "just the scenery, colours, shapes", when always already, seeing is just the colours, shapes, forms. Therefore experience and realization should be distinguished.

After 1st stanza is thoroughly seen in my case, experience is still simply "just the sensate world straightforward", "in seeing just colours, shapes, forms", but with lesser grasping and less effort (even though previously that effort was not seen as effort), effort here being simply a subtle unconscious attempt to grasp, ground, seek, stay, etc.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/30/11 7:45 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
An Eternal Now:
I do not perceive any form of oscillation between sensation and mental impression, other than the normal usage of attention which can focus on any detail of experience according to situations for practical/functional purposes.


And now, were we to continue this discussion, we would have to talk about what "normal usage of attention" is: either the attention wave in a subdued form (before MCTB-style vipassana has made it frothy and exaggerated so as to make its components more clearly discernible), or something else.

But, instead of talking about that, I will wait to see whether your conversation with Dan makes things clearer.
I wonder if you think this description by Kenneth speaks the same thing as attention wave (just did a random search on Kenneth's Direct Path today after seeing your post in KFD forum about practicing Direct Path exclusively at his 6th stage, and found this):

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/3rd+Gear,+The+Direct+Path,+Eckhart+Tolle,+and+the+PCE

"The direct mode of experience is the perfect complement to the filtered mode. To return to the wave metaphor: in filtered mode, you skillfully create interference patterns in the wave in order to observe specific aspects of the wave. This is how jhanas are accessed, for example, and this is how you systematically investigate experience, setting up one part of the mind to look at another. In the direct mode, however, you simply *are* the wave. No interference patterns are allowed. It turns out that interference patterns are part and parcel of what we normally think of as emotions, so emotional charge does not/cannot arise during the direct mode of experience. Without this emotional charge, there remains only a sense of simplicity and well-being. I see no reason to value one mode of experience over the other, although you cannot do both at the same time."


If so, this is simply describing what I said earlier:

There is no perceivable thing called attention, which 'attends' to 'things', just the experience, whatever it is. Attention, something, etc, are simply labels or descriptions for that self-luminous percept.

Everything is interacting and coming together for this particular, complete, and whole manifestation. So in that moment, the universe is manifesting as just that - attention/experience/thought/sense, the entire universe is just that sound, sight, experience. There is no movement.

The perception of attention attending something is dualistic, and if one clings to an 'attention' which can 'move' from object to object, movement is delusorily perceived.

....

I don't think its necessary that there cannot be attention in pce, but rather there is no illusion of a tangible thing called "attention" that could move from one object to another, such a sense of attention is utterly illusory. Rather in whatever experience there is just the shapes, colours, textures, and attention is merely a quality of experience rather than a separate thing moving and attending to things.


Btw, this Direct Mode is precisely NDNCDIMOP (non-dual, non-conceptual, direct, immediate, mode of perception) as I call it. And 'Vipassana' as I and Thusness understands it is also this Direct Path practice (in contrast to noting practice). So we never did anything else other than direct path. As a sidenote, I put a profile note in KFD forum that I have achieved Kenneth's 7th stage since some time back, and Kenneth wrote me a PM back, and commented that he thought my article on Bahiya sutta http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-commentary-on-bahiya-sutta.html (that I wrote right after my anatta realization) was very well written: "Hi xsurf. I read your essay on the Bahiya sutta and I think it is excellent. If you have indeed
seen through the illusion of self at age 20, you are an extraordinary yogi. Have you
spoken to a teacher about your realization? How are things in your life since October
of last year? Do people around you notice a difference in the way you relate with
them?
Best,
Kenneth"

Lastly I would ask, where does Direct Path practice starts/becomes important in Kenneth's 7 or 8 stage model (as obviously the lower stages having to do with technical 4 paths are definitely not direct path)? I suppose its the 6th stage?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/11 9:52 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
I wonder if you think this description by Kenneth speaks the same thing as attention wave (just did a random search on Kenneth's Direct Path today after seeing your post in KFD forum about practicing Direct Path exclusively at his 6th stage, and found this):

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/3rd+Gear,+The+Direct+Path,+Eckhart+Tolle,+and+the+PCE

"The direct mode of experience is the perfect complement to the filtered mode. To return to the wave metaphor: in filtered mode, you skillfully create interference patterns in the wave in order to observe specific aspects of the wave. This is how jhanas are accessed, for example, and this is how you systematically investigate experience, setting up one part of the mind to look at another. In the direct mode, however, you simply *are* the wave. No interference patterns are allowed. It turns out that interference patterns are part and parcel of what we normally think of as emotions, so emotional charge does not/cannot arise during the direct mode of experience. Without this emotional charge, there remains only a sense of simplicity and well-being. I see no reason to value one mode of experience over the other, although you cannot do both at the same time."


Kenneth's Direct Mode practice still includes the attention wave, but it becomes much subtler than usual, and this distinction is apparently not one that Kenneth found important to highlight in this context.

This is why I am so keen to get a precise answer about this question from you with respect to your experience. The attention wave can become quite subtle (or perhaps can remain very subtle if one doesn't practice MCTB-style vipassana), so that it appears not to be there at all if one doesn't look correctly...and yet, it is there.

(The difference between "a little attention wave" and "no attention wave" is extremely significant.)

Anyway, see if you can't figure this out with Dan, and I will chime in later if something changes.

Lastly I would ask, where does Direct Path practice starts/becomes important in Kenneth's 7 or 8 stage model (as obviously the lower stages having to do with technical 4 paths are definitely not direct path)? I suppose its the 6th stage?


Yes, stage 6.

Kenneth speculated that stage 6 is not attainable unless one has attained technical 4th path, BTW.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/11 11:14 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
End in Sight:
An Eternal Now:
I do not perceive any form of oscillation between sensation and mental impression, other than the normal usage of attention which can focus on any detail of experience according to situations for practical/functional purposes.


And now, were we to continue this discussion, we would have to talk about what "normal usage of attention" is: either the attention wave in a subdued form (before MCTB-style vipassana has made it frothy and exaggerated so as to make its components more clearly discernible), or something else.

But, instead of talking about that, I will wait to see whether your conversation with Dan makes things clearer.
I wonder if you think this description by Kenneth speaks the same thing as attention wave (just did a random search on Kenneth's Direct Path today after seeing your post in KFD forum about practicing Direct Path exclusively at his 6th stage, and found this):
Just saw this discussion http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1785930 (PCE = Kenneth Folk's Direct Mode??) : "I would be careful equating Direct Mode and PCEs. I believe Direct Mode is just being attentive to sensations within the body, grounding "emotions" in the physical body. PCEs may result from this practice, but I do not believe them to be the one and the same." - Nikolai

I think this is well said and I agree that PCE is not just about directness, and this is similar to what I was saying to Seraphis:

While intensity of luminosity may not be PCE (intensity of luminosity can be experienced with or without the sense of self/Self; the sense of self/Self must go into abeyance as a criteria for it to be called PCE), practicing the intensity of luminosity serves as a condition for pces and also for nondual realization. Means whatever you do, wherever you are, paying attention, zooming in to the minutest details of the senses, such that everything becomes amazing and wonderful, even eating and walking is intense, luminous, vivid, alive and wonderful, and so on (more descriptions in KFD link). Even Eckhart Tolle's description in The Power of Now where he said the sunlight was amazing and rich, everything was wonderful (right after his awakening) is describing this intensity of luminosity experience.

However, Eckhart Tolle did not describe PCEs. Just intensity of luminosity*. I don't know what is that called in AF terms - EE perhaps? I have had episodes of such experiences since late 2009, but PCE really starts in August 2010 (though I can distinctly remember having short glimpses of PCEs when I was younger), and then becoming effortless after realization of anatta in October 10.


*Eckhart Tolle: I woke up in a state of incredible inner peace, bliss in fact. With my eyes still closed, I heard the sound of a bird and realized how precious that was. And then I opened my eyes and saw the sunlight coming through the curtains and felt: There is far more to that than we realize. It felt like love coming through the curtains. And then as I walked around the old familiar objects in the room I realized I had never really seen them before. It was as if I had just been born into this world; a state of wonder. And then I went for a walk in the city. I was still in London. Everything was miraculous, deeply peaceful. Even the traffic.
/
"All I do know is that the next morning I woke up and even before opening my eyes I heard the sounds of birds and it was so precious; everything was so precious. Then I opened my eyes and everything was alive and new and fresh as if I had never seen it before. And I walked around and picked up things and looked at them. I was amazed at everything. There was no understanding of it. I was not even trying to understand anything. It was just so beautiful. Then I walked around the city in the same state, even in the midst of traffic. I was in a state of amazement and it was all so beautiful."

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/11 11:04 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:

Kenneth speculated that stage 6 is not attainable unless one has attained technical 4th path, BTW.
I don't think those 'direct path teachers' Kenneth mentioned actually went through the 'technical paths', if by that you mean the attainments resulted from 1st gear, as obviously many of them focus strictly on 2nd or 3rd gear.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/11 11:10 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
End in Sight:

Kenneth speculated that stage 6 is not attainable unless one has attained technical 4th path, BTW.
I don't think those 'direct path teachers' Kenneth mentioned actually went through the 'technical paths', if by that you mean the attainments resulted from 1st gear, as obviously many of them focus strictly on 2nd or 3rd gear.


I see reasons to think they did (as a side effect of their non-1st gear practices), and reasons to think they didn't.

I'm not sure what Kenneth would say, nor what his current position on the linearity of these stages are.

I think this "linearity theory" is testable...Bruno probably qualifies for Kenneth's 6th stage (based on the way he analyzes his experience into body tensions), but I do not know whether he claims 4th path, or whether he claimed it when he first was able to analyze his experience in this way. He might be able to illuminate this issue for us.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/27/11 3:36 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Eckhart Tolle: I woke up in a state of incredible inner peace, bliss in fact. With my eyes still closed, I heard the sound of a bird and realized how precious that was. And then I opened my eyes and saw the sunlight coming through the curtains and felt: There is far more to that than we realize. It felt like love coming through the curtains. And then as I walked around the old familiar objects in the room I realized I had never really seen them before. It was as if I had just been born into this world; a state of wonder. And then I went for a walk in the city. I was still in London. Everything was miraculous, deeply peaceful. Even the traffic.

"All I do know is that the next morning I woke up and even before opening my eyes I heard the sounds of birds and it was so precious; everything was so precious. Then I opened my eyes and everything was alive and new and fresh as if I had never seen it before. And I walked around and picked up things and looked at them. I was amazed at everything. There was no understanding of it. I was not even trying to understand anything. It was just so beautiful. Then I walked around the city in the same state, even in the midst of traffic. I was in a state of amazement and it was all so beautiful."

This is a great example of how the way we describe these things can lead to very different understandings, the way Tolle describes this period of post-awakening matches (along with the way he describes things before that point), with uncanny accuracy, the way I experienced things for about six to eight weeks after what I'm calling stream-entry. How it would map in AF terms? No idea, but I'm certain that it was not a PCE.

Just thought I'd throw that into the pot... emoticon

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/27/11 11:08 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Actually, AEN, a quick question. Do you experience pleasant or unpleasant tingling sensations in your body? If so, what can you say about them? i.e., how often, what sorts of situations cause them, how intense, etc.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/28/11 1:38 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
Actually, AEN, a quick question. Do you experience pleasant or unpleasant tingling sensations in your body? If so, what can you say about them? i.e., how often, what sorts of situations cause them, how intense, etc.
I would say yes, it is almost like the 'natural absorption in the intimate aliveness and clarity of mundane seeing, hearing' (not a result of any form of concentration practice) can sometimes cause such pleasant experiences. It is a little bit like rapture of jhana, but it is not really jhana (as it can occur in the most mundane daily activities in a non-meditative setting), and it is not really tingles pervading the body but more like a natural bliss and delight. Intensity varies - it can be intense, or subtle. More often it is like what Daniel says, a "subtle thrill and wonder". What is your experience with them?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/28/11 7:31 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
End in Sight:
Actually, AEN, a quick question. Do you experience pleasant or unpleasant tingling sensations in your body? If so, what can you say about them? i.e., how often, what sorts of situations cause them, how intense, etc.
I would say yes, it is almost like the 'natural absorption in the intimate aliveness and clarity of mundane seeing, hearing' (not a result of any form of concentration practice) can sometimes cause such pleasant experiences. It is a little bit like rapture of jhana, but it is not really jhana (as it can occur in the most mundane daily activities in a non-meditative setting), and it is not really tingles pervading the body but more like a natural bliss and delight. Intensity varies - it can be intense, or subtle. More often it is like what Daniel says, a "subtle thrill and wonder". What is your experience with them?


My experience with tingling is that it is caused by the attention wave. I chatted with Nick about this recently and we agreed that this phenomenon always presents for us in context of the attention wave.

My experience with piti in context of jhana is that it is completely still...no tingling. A static unmoving wall of bliss. There is tingling in context of jhana only when it is pursued in the MCTB attention wave-y way. So, I personally would not compare tingling (or anything like tingling) with piti, as I see that piti is the static unmoving non-tingly thing, and the tingling is a distortion of it.

When I look at experiences of tingling, I can discern that every tiny momentary tingle is an instance where attention tunes out sensory experience.

My experience right now is that there is generally never tingling (which used to be common) in a gross way, but some very subdued experience along those lines which is hard to explain (as if almost all of the tingle has been removed). Maybe what you're describing, when you answer a question about tingling but then qualify that answer with "it is not really tingles pervading the body, but..."?

Out of curiosity, when you have had experiences you consider to be PCEs, is there this phenomenon? I recently was given a description of a PCE in which the body felt "like glass", and I consider that to be more like what an attention wave-free experience would be like in terms of body experience than would anything tingly or reminiscent of tingling.

Anyway, unless you can discern something in relation to this process, I'd still like to see whether you can work some understanding out with Dan.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/29/11 2:42 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
An Eternal Now:
End in Sight:
Actually, AEN, a quick question. Do you experience pleasant or unpleasant tingling sensations in your body? If so, what can you say about them? i.e., how often, what sorts of situations cause them, how intense, etc.
I would say yes, it is almost like the 'natural absorption in the intimate aliveness and clarity of mundane seeing, hearing' (not a result of any form of concentration practice) can sometimes cause such pleasant experiences. It is a little bit like rapture of jhana, but it is not really jhana (as it can occur in the most mundane daily activities in a non-meditative setting), and it is not really tingles pervading the body but more like a natural bliss and delight. Intensity varies - it can be intense, or subtle. More often it is like what Daniel says, a "subtle thrill and wonder". What is your experience with them?


My experience with tingling is that it is caused by the attention wave. I chatted with Nick about this recently and we agreed that this phenomenon always presents for us in context of the attention wave.

My experience with piti in context of jhana is that it is completely still...no tingling. A static unmoving wall of bliss. There is tingling in context of jhana only when it is pursued in the MCTB attention wave-y way. So, I personally would not compare tingling (or anything like tingling) with piti, as I see that piti is the static unmoving non-tingly thing, and the tingling is a distortion of it.

When I look at experiences of tingling, I can discern that every tiny momentary tingle is an instance where attention tunes out sensory experience.

My experience right now is that there is generally never tingling (which used to be common) in a gross way, but some very subdued experience along those lines which is hard to explain (as if almost all of the tingle has been removed). Maybe what you're describing, when you answer a question about tingling but then qualify that answer with "it is not really tingles pervading the body, but..."?

Out of curiosity, when you have had experiences you consider to be PCEs, is there this phenomenon? I recently was given a description of a PCE in which the body felt "like glass", and I consider that to be more like what an attention wave-free experience would be like in terms of body experience than would anything tingly or reminiscent of tingling.

Anyway, unless you can discern something in relation to this process, I'd still like to see whether you can work some understanding out with Dan.
Can you describe in more details the bliss you experience as "A static unmoving wall of bliss", and the difference between what you call tingles? Also how is the tingling felt?

When I used to focus on anapanasati (which is not noting but simply concentrating on the bare clarity of breathing sensations like sensing its details and qualities and textures like its coolness/warmness, solidity/softness without labeling), I had plenty of raptures starting from the second sitting I did on anapanasati (was 15). There was intense bliss pervading the body (similar to how Buddha descrives it), a very pleasurable sensation, though I do not recall any "tuning out of the senses" (instead mindfulness of bodily sensations were pretty high). Instead it is simply this blissful sensation pervading the body, but no tuning out from the body. It is a result of both concentration/absorption and a result of relinquishing attachments to mental and bodily sense (what Buddha calls the tranquilizing of bodily and mental formations).

I do see any sense of self or "being" in actualist terminology as intrinsically linked or required for with such experiences. This is not a form of dissociation (as in a subjective observer separates from the observed) or alteration of "the sensate world as-it-is" but easily arises with some level of concentration and a natural letting go of any agitations, clinging, hindrances. It is this natural letting go that Buddha said as "withdrawing from senses" necessary for jhanas - not that there was tuning out of senses, but a tranquilizing of mental and bodily agitations, clinging, etc. I can see benefits in such practices and would recommend this (as Buddha teaches, insight and tranquility in tandem, tuned to a higher degree, is what leads to liberation from afflictions)

After my practice shifted to 2nd and 3rd gear, not so much of this particular form of bliss anymore, but a more subtle bliss similar to the "subtle thrill and wonder".

There can also be a pleasurable sensation similar to what you get when you smile, a pleasurable sensation part of what we normally know as "happiness", except "happiness" can be more intense or 'ecstatic' in pce (a delighting of the senses) such that AF descriptions of paradise on earth seems apt.

Pleasurable feelings (vedana) are never a problem for me - the problem is never in vedana (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral) which can still arise (naturally as a result of sense-contact with pleasant or unpleasant objects) in an arhat according to suttas (as per description of nibbana with remainder), but any form of clinging, sense of self that leads to afflictive clinging and emotions which are lacking or absent in daily life PCE as I experience it.

Also, what do make of daniel's tingling neck and hair standing in the PCE - this is also a form of piti though perhaps not of the intensity of a full blown jhana: "I feel this tingling through the back of my neck and skull that seems to be one of the PCE's hallmarks as best I can tell", "often in the PCE there will be this subtle thrill of hairs rising on my arms or of a similarly charged though sometimes subtle sensual enjoyment"

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/29/11 8:54 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
Can you describe in more details the bliss you experience as "A static unmoving wall of bliss", and the difference between what you call tingles? Also how is the tingling felt?


I really have no way to describe bliss any differently, but here is my best try.

Bliss is like a distillation of the pleasure out of some pleasant experience; it has very few qualities that can be described except "pleasure". It is hard to say something like "it is a pleasure that feels like X instead of Y"...because its main characteristic is that it's pleasant, rather than something incidental.

Words like "tingly' do not apply because they describe rapid change (a tingly sensation tingles because it arises and passes very quickly)...but, there is no rapid change, one can imagine what it might be like if one took a single "frame" of a pleasant sensation, froze it, and looped that single frame through the mind for the duration of the experience.

When I used to focus on anapanasati (which is not noting but simply concentrating on the bare clarity of breathing sensations like sensing its details and qualities and textures like its coolness/warmness, solidity/softness without labeling), I had plenty of raptures starting from the second sitting I did on anapanasati (was 15). There was intense bliss pervading the body (similar to how Buddha descrives it), a very pleasurable sensation, though I do not recall any "tuning out of the senses" (instead mindfulness of bodily sensations were pretty high). Instead it is simply this blissful sensation pervading the body, but no tuning out from the body. It is a result of both concentration/absorption and a result of relinquishing attachments to mental and bodily sense (what Buddha calls the tranquilizing of bodily and mental formations).


If these experiences at 15 (when you had no deep meditative attainments) were basically similar to what you're describing now, then I would say I am nearly 100% certain that the tingling you describe is caused by the attention wave.

Would it be accurate to say that they are basically similar?

I do see any sense of self or "being" in actualist terminology as intrinsically linked or required for with such experiences.


The real question would be, how might your mode of perception be different if you were categorically unable to experience tingling?

What you see or don't see is in some ways besides the point, as we are talking about quite subtle realities. (This isn't an attempt to downplay your meditative attainment. When tingling caused by the attention wave is very subdued, it takes some practice to be able to discern the attention wave at all.)

I am still not sure you understand what I mean when I talk about tuning out the senses via the attention wave. It is not a gross experience, it is very subtle, perhaps (when tingling is highly subdued) happening for no more than 0.05 or 0.1 seconds. (That is a guess, not an exact figure, but it gives you an idea of how temporally short the tuning out is.)

Also, what do make of daniel's tingling neck and hair standing in the PCE - this is also a form of piti though perhaps not of the intensity of a full blown jhana: "I feel this tingling through the back of my neck and skull that seems to be one of the PCE's hallmarks as best I can tell", "often in the PCE there will be this subtle thrill of hairs rising on my arms or of a similarly charged though sometimes subtle sensual enjoyment"


Dan is good at vipassana, so he should be able to discern for himself whether every such minute tingle is a tiny split-second imposition of the attention wave or not.

From my experience, I would say that it most likely is.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/29/11 9:16 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
An Eternal Now:
Can you describe in more details the bliss you experience as "A static unmoving wall of bliss", and the difference between what you call tingles? Also how is the tingling felt?


I really have no way to describe bliss any differently, but here is my best try.

Bliss is like a distillation of the pleasure out of some pleasant experience; it has very few qualities that can be described except "pleasure". It is hard to say something like "it is a pleasure that feels like X instead of Y"...because its main characteristic is that it's pleasant, rather than something incidental.

Words like "tingly' do not apply because they describe rapid change (a tingly sensation tingles because it arises and passes very quickly)...but, there is no rapid change, one can imagine what it might be like if one took a single "frame" of a pleasant sensation, froze it, and looped that single frame through the mind for the duration of the experience.
So the difference is that "change" is experienced? How is "change" a problem when impermanence is a natural characteristic (dharma seal) of all phenomena? As I see it, "change" is wrongly perceived if there is a sense of an observer observing change, or it is not directly perceived but indirectly (such as through noting practice).

Also, does it matter whether rapid change is experienced? For example, conventionally, when you stand still at a single spot, your visual experience seems to not undergo rapid change, in contrast to sitting on a bus looking at the sceneries while the bus is moving at high speed in which conventionally the sceneries are 'rapidly changing'. To me, both are equally impermanent, and yet equally still, since there is no observer observing change, and no noting of change, but the transience directly and spontaneously presenting itself in a whole and complete manner.

By the way, when you said tingles, I didn't have 'rapid change' in my mind. I thought you meant 'tingling sensation'*. I don't recall so much of very rapid sensations, more of an all-pervading bliss which seems totally consistent with Buddha's description: He steeps, drenches, fills and suffuses his body with the rapture and happiness born of seclusion, so that there is no part of his entire body that is not suffused with this rapture and happiness

Dictionary 'tingles': . tingling - exciting by touching lightly so as to cause laughter or twitching movements
tickling, titillating
exciting - creating or arousing excitement; "an exciting account of her trip"

1. To have a prickling, stinging sensation, as from cold, a sharp slap, or excitement: tingled all over with joy.
If these experiences at 15 (when you had no deep meditative attainments) were basically similar to what you're describing now, then I would say I am nearly 100% certain that the tingling you describe is caused by the attention wave.

Would it be accurate to say that they are basically similar?
No they are not the same, as mentioned in my earlier posts. Those only occurred when I practised anapanasati as my main technique.
The real question would be, how might your mode of perception be different if you were categorically unable to experience tingling?

What you see or don't see is in some ways besides the point, as we are talking about quite subtle realities. (This isn't an attempt to downplay your meditative attainment. When tingling caused by the attention wave is very subdued, it takes some practice to be able to discern the attention wave at all.)

I am still not sure you understand what I mean when I talk about tuning out the senses via the attention wave. It is not a gross experience, it is very subtle, perhaps (when tingling is highly subdued) happening for no more than 0.05 or 0.1 seconds. (That is a guess, not an exact figure, but it gives you an idea of how temporally short the tuning out is.)
You mean it only occurs for that 0.1 seconds, or continuously? In any case I wasn't aware of it then.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/29/11 9:44 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
So the difference is that "change" is experienced?


The difference is that one tingles and the other doesn't, and "change" is the way I would describe it if you press me for a further clarification.

I really don't know why we are having so much difficulty communicating. Tingly sensations are very common for people. If I ask a randomly-selected person about whether they ever have tingly sensations, they will likely be able to tell me, and likely know exactly what I mean.

It's not an uncommon experience and there is no esoteric theory needed to recognize the experience.

How is "change" a problem when impermanence is a natural characteristic (dharma seal) of all phenomena?


"Change" and "the experience of something changing" are not the same. "Change" continues on even when an experience appears to be completely static.

Anyway, tingling sensations produced by the attention wave are not from changing physical sensations, but a momentary physical sensation, and then the senses being tuned out due to craving...the craving, and the experiences that follow from it, are what make up the tingle, and what give the impression of change.

But, apart from theory...as for how it is a problem, you should compare experience that contains it to experience that is categorically unable to contain it, and decide for yourself.

As I see it, "change" is wrongly perceived if there is a sense of an observer observing change, or it is not directly perceived but indirectly (such as through noting practice).


So, let's go back to pure descriptions of experiences, and avoid this theoretical issue.

By the way, when you said tingles, I didn't have 'rapid change' in my mind. I thought you meant 'tingling sensation'*.


Tingling sensations are rapidly-changing if you observe them closely.

But, I meant "tingling sensation". Absolutely nothing esoteric or unusual!

I don't recall so much of very rapid sensations, more of an all-pervading bliss which seems totally consistent with Buddha's description: He steeps, drenches, fills and suffuses his body with the rapture and happiness born of seclusion, so that there is no part of his entire body that is not suffused with this rapture and happiness


Does the all-pervading bliss tingle?

I am still not sure you understand what I mean when I talk about tuning out the senses via the attention wave. It is not a gross experience, it is very subtle, perhaps (when tingling is highly subdued) happening for no more than 0.05 or 0.1 seconds. (That is a guess, not an exact figure, but it gives you an idea of how temporally short the tuning out is.)
You mean it only occurs for that 0.1 seconds, or continuously? In any case I wasn't aware of it then.


I mean, every time the tingle is looked at (which is the same as experiencing it), however frequently that happens, there is this fraction-of-a-second tuning out.

So:

The real question would be, how might your mode of perception be different if you were categorically unable to experience tingling?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/29/11 9:48 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
My English is not very good, I had a check on dictionary and found 'tingling' to be similar to a prickly sensation you get from numbness (in which case I do get the 'rapid changing' since numbness/pricklyness is rapidly changing). In that case no.... I don't recall having experienced that. Just a very pleasurable sensation. No rapidly changing sensations as far as I recall.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/29/11 9:52 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
My English is not very good, I had a check on dictionary and found 'tingling' to be similar to a prickly sensation you get from numbness (in which case I do get the 'rapid changing' since numbness/pricklyness is rapidly changing).


Basically this. However, it can also be a kind of sensation that is looked upon as being pleasant, which is not identical to the sensation that arises after numbness (but is similar).

What does your skin feel like right now?

EDIT: Does it feel any different than it used to feel, before you had various meditative attainments? If so, when did this change for you?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/29/11 10:19 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
An Eternal Now:
My English is not very good, I had a check on dictionary and found 'tingling' to be similar to a prickly sensation you get from numbness (in which case I do get the 'rapid changing' since numbness/pricklyness is rapidly changing).


Basically this. However, it can also be a kind of sensation that is looked upon as being pleasant, which is not identical to the sensation that arises after numbness (but is similar).

What does your skin feel like right now?

EDIT: Does it feel any different than it used to feel, before you had various meditative attainments? If so, when did this change for you?
Don't perceive anything special or different. Maybe more sensitive to the sensations of coolness, the air, or any wind movement (generally the whole body and all senses are much more sensitive, alert, clear)

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/29/11 10:22 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
If there is no difference between your current experience and your past experience, then we are back where we were before, and I will bow out again:

EIS:
I will say that, if you have done away with this mode of experience (EDIT: the attention wave), that is pretty cool (and it seems you may be trying to describe that); but, in that case, I do not understand why what I am describing would not be familiar to you from the time before you did away with this mode of experience, and so I have some skepticism about that interpretation.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
12/6/11 4:32 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:


What is familiar to you? The intensity of luminosity? Can you describe it?

The practice of I AM and practice of non-dual is different, while the former is very much focused on experiencing luminosity as the Background, the Source, the latter is bringing non-dual into the foreground as explained here: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/08/bringing-non-dual-to-foreground.html


Sorry for the delay AEN.

Yes, it is quite familiar, although maybe I was more focused on what you describe as luminosity. Maybe because of the inner tendencies to experience "Who am I" (Ramana's method). I have been here for years now.

Now, especially after Emptiness (dissimilar to the non-dual experiences, however) is evermore present in my daily stream of conscious experience, the "I am" (with all its aspects) is fading away.

I have been intending to "perceive" along the lines you suggested above (and in the article on your blog) for some time now and results are interesting:

there is no one here to perceive, to be aware of (neither false ego nor the Self), it just is, just hearing that which is heard (that is the easiest), seeing what is seen (also easy), smelling & tasting & sensing (touch) what is sensed that way (most difficult thus far), "minding" what is in the mind/emotions.

The later one was the most liberating as it became clear to me that there is no need to try to get rid of suffering/rejoicing (by going into samadhi or by doing some oh-so-dharmic practice) as it is nothing inherently wrong with any given thought or emotion, even the most repulsive/attractive ones.
It is what it is, perfect, empty, just here, as it always was/is/will be, zero distance as you put it; no duality in perception.
It is not easy to write about this but I am so much more relaxed now, more at ease.

The most interesting part is that all sabikalpa samadhis are not all that far from these non-dual experiences. The samadhis I entered over the years are just one aspect of what the non-dual is, IMO. Or better yet, Absolute Presence can be: I am, Omnipresence, Everything is, It lives through me, luminous or non-dual. It seems the non-dual is just more refined, so to speak. Does that make any sense?

I had no problems "focusing" onto the 'emptiness is form' side of things. It is like now, I am more liberated than before, for I just have to switch to non-dual (even during very loud ambient sound or in the middle of an emotional storm) and all is ______.

Next step is getting to abide in that state spontaneously, effortlessly, I should think?
And the step beyond that?

What is the difference between sunyata and the nondual, in your experience, please?

Thank you.
s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
12/6/11 9:32 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]
An Eternal Now:


What is familiar to you? The intensity of luminosity? Can you describe it?

The practice of I AM and practice of non-dual is different, while the former is very much focused on experiencing luminosity as the Background, the Source, the latter is bringing non-dual into the foreground as explained here: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/08/bringing-non-dual-to-foreground.html


Sorry for the delay AEN.

Yes, it is quite familiar, although maybe I was more focused on what you describe as luminosity. Maybe because of the inner tendencies to experience "Who am I" (Ramana's method). I have been here for years now.

Now, especially after Emptiness (dissimilar to the non-dual experiences, however) is evermore present in my daily stream of conscious experience, the "I am" (with all its aspects) is fading away.

I have been intending to "perceive" along the lines you suggested above (and in the article on your blog) for some time now and results are interesting:

there is no one here to perceive, to be aware of (neither false ego nor the Self), it just is, just hearing that which is heard (that is the easiest), seeing what is seen (also easy), smelling & tasting & sensing (touch) what is sensed that way (most difficult thus far), "minding" what is in the mind/emotions.

The later one was the most liberating as it became clear to me that there is no need to try to get rid of suffering/rejoicing (by going into samadhi or by doing some oh-so-dharmic practice) as it is nothing inherently wrong with any given thought or emotion, even the most repulsive/attractive ones.
It is what it is, perfect, empty, just here, as it always was/is/will be, zero distance as you put it; no duality in perception.
It is not easy to write about this but I am so much more relaxed now, more at ease.

The most interesting part is that all sabikalpa samadhis are not all that far from these non-dual experiences. The samadhis I entered over the years are just one aspect of what the non-dual is, IMO. Or better yet, Absolute Presence can be: I am, Omnipresence, Everything is, It lives through me, luminous or non-dual. It seems the non-dual is just more refined, so to speak. Does that make any sense?

I had no problems "focusing" onto the 'emptiness is form' side of things. It is like now, I am more liberated than before, for I just have to switch to non-dual (even during very loud ambient sound or in the middle of an emotional storm) and all is ______.

Next step is getting to abide in that state spontaneously, effortlessly, I should think?
And the step beyond that?

What is the difference between sunyata and the nondual, in your experience, please?

Thank you.
s.Hi, good to hear your practice has progressed from "existence as background presence" to "existence as foreground presence". You are having more frequent nondual experiences in the six sense entries and not skewing to the nonceptual thought realm (I AM). The article Thusness wrote to me about foreground practice is even more relevant to you now.

For this mode to be more effortless, some insight must arise. First of all you must become doubtless that the taste of luminosity experienced in I AM is exactly the same taste in all six entries - sights, sounds, smell, taste, touch, thought. So now you realize the "one taste of luminosity". You realize that the I AM (nonceptual thought) that you realized and experienced is simply luminosity and NDNCDIMOP (non-dual, non-conceptual, direct, immediate mode of perception) in one particular state or manifestation or realm, by no means the totality, but by not realizing this you reified one state into the purest and most ultimate identity. You made a very good point that is related to this: that the I AM that you experienced is not too different from non-dual in other entries. Not only is it not too different, there is essentially no difference once you become doubtless that luminosity is not just background existence, luminosity is not about a particular state of existence but is the essence of all manifestation in all states and conditions just like all the waves of the ocean only have a single taste: saltiness. Apart from that you should challenge your views, of boundaries, of center, inside and outside, subject and object (that is why I said earlier some form of investigation would be necessary) until your dualistic view is dropped through deep insight into nonduality. At this point your understanding of awareness is transformed (no longer seen as merely a formless background), you see that awareness has no border or divisions and cannot be separated (no subject-object division) from every moment of manifestation, and thus you no longer "choose" or have "preference" on a purer state of presence to abide, since you see that I AM is no more I AM than a transient sound or sight or thought, everything shares the same taste of luminosity/awareness, and of non-duality. Here the tendency to refer back to a background is reduced as a result of this seeing. This insight is being expressed in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/10/one-taste.html

When non-dual insight arise as such, the bond of subject-object duality is largely reduced, however the framework of perception is still pretty much based on inherent thought. For example you may see "the sight, the breathe, the sound is simply the equal expressions of awareness/aliveness". However this is still based on inherent thought that sees awareness as something inherent, as if everything is made of the same substance of awareness. This is the phase of One Mind.

When insight of anatta arises, substance-thought is eliminated: instead of "everything is an expression of awareness", you see that "there is just sight, breathe, sound, thought", "awareness" simply being a label collating the conglomerate of self-luminous process of manifestation. Anatta realization arose for me while contemplating on Bahiya sutta: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-commentary-on-bahiya-sutta.html

When this is seen (in seeing always just the seen), anatta realization arise, which is also known as the firstfold emptiness. The twofold emptiness are: emptiness of self (thusness stage five), emptiness of dharmas (thusness stage six).

When you have matured your insight of anatta in terms of the two stanzas of anatta, after that you should look into emptiness (see http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html and http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2011/02/putting-aside-presence-penetrate-deeply.html ). For now it is best to focus on maturing your experience and insight of nondual and anatta first.

You may also find good pointers in this post by Thusness: http://sgforums.com/forums/1728/topics/390582?page=9#post_10025803

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/8/12 1:17 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
I would like to revive this thread as new experiences came along and would like to share, if i may.
See bellow, pls.

An Eternal Now:


Hi, good to hear your practice has progressed from "existence as background presence" to "existence as foreground presence". You are having more frequent nondual experiences in the six sense entries and not skewing to the nonceptual thought realm (I AM). The article Thusness wrote to me about foreground practice is even more relevant to you now.

For this mode to be more effortless, some insight must arise. First of all you must become doubtless that the taste of luminosity experienced in I AM is exactly the same taste in all six entries - sights, sounds, smell, taste, touch, thought. So now you realize the "one taste of luminosity". You realize that the I AM (nonceptual thought) that you realized and experienced is simply luminosity and NDNCDIMOP (non-dual, non-conceptual, direct, immediate mode of perception) in one particular state or manifestation or realm, by no means the totality, but by not realizing this you reified one state into the purest and most ultimate identity. You made a very good point that is related to this: that the I AM that you experienced is not too different from non-dual in other entries. Not only is it not too different, there is essentially no difference once you become doubtless that luminosity is not just background existence, luminosity is not about a particular state of existence but is the essence of all manifestation in all states and conditions just like all the waves of the ocean only have a single taste: saltiness. Apart from that you should challenge your views, of boundaries, of center, inside and outside, subject and object (that is why I said earlier some form of investigation would be necessary) until your dualistic view is dropped through deep insight into nonduality. At this point your understanding of awareness is transformed (no longer seen as merely a formless background), you see that awareness has no border or divisions and cannot be separated (no subject-object division) from every moment of manifestation, and thus you no longer "choose" or have "preference" on a purer state of presence to abide, since you see that I AM is no more I AM than a transient sound or sight or thought, everything shares the same taste of luminosity/awareness, and of non-duality. Here the tendency to refer back to a background is reduced as a result of this seeing. This insight is being expressed in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/10/one-taste.html

When non-dual insight arise as such, the bond of subject-object duality is largely reduced, however the framework of perception is still pretty much based on inherent thought. For example you may see "the sight, the breathe, the sound is simply the equal expressions of awareness/aliveness". However this is still based on inherent thought that sees awareness as something inherent, as if everything is made of the same substance of awareness. This is the phase of One Mind.


This has been experienced 6 or months ago, when usual sensory input just transformed into what I can only described as "outer satori". The satori I was entering at will for years just "expanded" into hearing the heard, seeing the seen and sensing the sensed. No-one was there to witness. Just the seen and heard and sensed.
Liberating as hell, I might add. It was like an upgraded satori of the Vedanta "I am" notion.


An Eternal Now:

When insight of anatta arises, substance-thought is eliminated: instead of "everything is an expression of awareness", you see that "there is just sight, breathe, sound, thought", "awareness" simply being a label collating the conglomerate of self-luminous process of manifestation. Anatta realization arose for me while contemplating on Bahiya sutta: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-commentary-on-bahiya-sutta.html

When this is seen (in seeing always just the seen), anatta realization arise, which is also known as the firstfold emptiness. The twofold emptiness are: emptiness of self (thusness stage five), emptiness of dharmas (thusness stage six).


I had, what I think you refer here to as anatta insight, a month or so ago, and it is still maturing.
It was as if one step further or deeper was performed, it was as if the Nondual experiences from before "expanded" even further and left "me" completely and utterly without the Self (anatma or anatta). Liberating as two hells. LOL

I can enter almost at will now into this state, usually via some koan or sutra (heart sutra for example).

Question, if I may:
when is this insight mature, when to go on? (ok, I know, it is a strange question to ask, but I would love to hear your experiences, please)
How and what did you do to go from Nondual to Anatta to Sunyata insights, please?

AEN, thank you. I appreciate your posts, they speak to me very intimately. Tnx.

S.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/11/12 10:27 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]I would like to revive this thread as new experiences came along and would like to share, if i may.
See bellow, pls.

An Eternal Now:


Hi, good to hear your practice has progressed from "existence as background presence" to "existence as foreground presence". You are having more frequent nondual experiences in the six sense entries and not skewing to the nonceptual thought realm (I AM). The article Thusness wrote to me about foreground practice is even more relevant to you now.

For this mode to be more effortless, some insight must arise. First of all you must become doubtless that the taste of luminosity experienced in I AM is exactly the same taste in all six entries - sights, sounds, smell, taste, touch, thought. So now you realize the "one taste of luminosity". You realize that the I AM (nonceptual thought) that you realized and experienced is simply luminosity and NDNCDIMOP (non-dual, non-conceptual, direct, immediate mode of perception) in one particular state or manifestation or realm, by no means the totality, but by not realizing this you reified one state into the purest and most ultimate identity. You made a very good point that is related to this: that the I AM that you experienced is not too different from non-dual in other entries. Not only is it not too different, there is essentially no difference once you become doubtless that luminosity is not just background existence, luminosity is not about a particular state of existence but is the essence of all manifestation in all states and conditions just like all the waves of the ocean only have a single taste: saltiness. Apart from that you should challenge your views, of boundaries, of center, inside and outside, subject and object (that is why I said earlier some form of investigation would be necessary) until your dualistic view is dropped through deep insight into nonduality. At this point your understanding of awareness is transformed (no longer seen as merely a formless background), you see that awareness has no border or divisions and cannot be separated (no subject-object division) from every moment of manifestation, and thus you no longer "choose" or have "preference" on a purer state of presence to abide, since you see that I AM is no more I AM than a transient sound or sight or thought, everything shares the same taste of luminosity/awareness, and of non-duality. Here the tendency to refer back to a background is reduced as a result of this seeing. This insight is being expressed in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/10/one-taste.html

When non-dual insight arise as such, the bond of subject-object duality is largely reduced, however the framework of perception is still pretty much based on inherent thought. For example you may see "the sight, the breathe, the sound is simply the equal expressions of awareness/aliveness". However this is still based on inherent thought that sees awareness as something inherent, as if everything is made of the same substance of awareness. This is the phase of One Mind.


This has been experienced 6 or months ago, when usual sensory input just transformed into what I can only described as "outer satori". The satori I was entering at will for years just "expanded" into hearing the heard, seeing the seen and sensing the sensed. No-one was there to witness. Just the seen and heard and sensed.
Liberating as hell, I might add. It was like an upgraded satori of the Vedanta "I am" notion.


An Eternal Now:

When insight of anatta arises, substance-thought is eliminated: instead of "everything is an expression of awareness", you see that "there is just sight, breathe, sound, thought", "awareness" simply being a label collating the conglomerate of self-luminous process of manifestation. Anatta realization arose for me while contemplating on Bahiya sutta: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-commentary-on-bahiya-sutta.html

When this is seen (in seeing always just the seen), anatta realization arise, which is also known as the firstfold emptiness. The twofold emptiness are: emptiness of self (thusness stage five), emptiness of dharmas (thusness stage six).


I had, what I think you refer here to as anatta insight, a month or so ago, and it is still maturing.
It was as if one step further or deeper was performed, it was as if the Nondual experiences from before "expanded" even further and left "me" completely and utterly without the Self (anatma or anatta). Liberating as two hells. LOL

I can enter almost at will now into this state, usually via some koan or sutra (heart sutra for example).

Question, if I may:
when is this insight mature, when to go on? (ok, I know, it is a strange question to ask, but I would love to hear your experiences, please)
How and what did you do to go from Nondual to Anatta to Sunyata insights, please?

AEN, thank you. I appreciate your posts, they speak to me very intimately. Tnx.

S.hi, sounds like great progress. Can you elaborate on your insight of Anatta, what exactly has been realized? What is your view about what consciousness is now? Does consciousness have any characteristics of being unchanging, independent or etc and if not what is it? How stable is your non dual experiencing now? Also I presume you have read Thusness's articles in our blog? One more thing: any changes in your sleep and dream?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/12/12 5:59 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Thank you for your emails and reply here, A.E.N.
<kind smile>

An Eternal Now:
hi, sounds like great progress. Can you elaborate on your insight of Anatta, what exactly has been realized? What is your view about what consciousness is now? Does consciousness have any characteristics of being unchanging, independent or etc and if not what is it? How stable is your non dual experiencing now? Also I presume you have read Thusness's articles in our blog? One more thing: any changes in your sleep and dream?


Anatta insight:

I was reading the text on integral psychotherapy and transpersonal identity development, and while reading the notions about the Nondual, it happened.
Those notions are worth mentioning, I think:
in Kashmir Shivaism, they outline ancient guidelines about obstacles to ultimate reality, so called malas (impurities):
- anava mala (belief that any given person occupies particular space, i.e. I am here not there, and certainly not everywhere)
- mayiya mala (belief that there are other objects outside of us, i.e. Jane is out there, not here where I am located)
Basically that is the root perception of false ego, the illusory center of reference.

By that time, Nondual was already here (only seeing the seen, hearing the sound etc...), it seems the first two malas were recognized as false straight away.

It is important to note that I was at that point able to switch back to "I am" presence, perceiving the well known Omnipresence of my True self. For years I entered this state at will, hence falling back to the "I am" presence was happening, I guess.

It was different this time, however: I realized with the so called aha! moment, that the I am presence is exactly the same as the "sensory input" I was experiencing. The seen, sensed, cognized AS the "I am" presence - only that "I am" presence was not there anymore. I was however, able to switch, back and forth, so to speak. Maybe it is worth mentioning that the Nondual was/is (still is) more liberating and peaceful than "I am" presence insight.

What sealed the deal, so to speak LOL, was:
- karma mala - belief that a person must perform an action, do something to remedy any given situation, say "I need to meditate to get enlightened"
It happened few moments after I read that notion, and everything just became crystal clear, no switching back to "I am" presence, there was no one here, there, anywhere to switch to!! And I am not talking only about the little false ego, I am also talking about the ultimate "I am" presence! For years, I was happy to abide as a Witness, Omnipresent and liberated, free from mental/emotional/physical bullshit.

But now, the "I am" presence was gone!! Even the so called Unmanifested "I am" was nowhere to be found (the Causal level has two sub-levels, lower (I am presence, the Witness) and higher (No "I am", just the Unmanifested, latent absolute potential), according to Wilber).

It seems that after years of entering satori at will, I was allowed to move on.
Only there isn't anyone to give the permission, or anyone to be allowed to move on. No one is here, it never was, it can not exist, because events are unfolding by their own, on their own. Phenomena is free, separated from every other phenomena, not touching but liberating as they come and go.

I can enter into Nondual at will now, especially after the shared experience. Driving the car, eating, looking out the window - it seems that these situations are easy and do not require much mental effort on my part, so I can easily let go.
What I also notice now is that I can discern the Advaita texts from the Nondual ones.

To my saddness, I realized that my favorite master, Sri Ramana Maharshi, is not speaking about Anatta, or not even about Nondual (as far as I can see), He mentions that even in Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi (the ultimate state, according to Him) there is "something" there which mediator is at One with. Well, He must be talking about something different, not about Anatta or Nondual.

Anatta I can enter almost at will now, but it usually just slips back to the Nondual insight, with slight resemblance of something here, traces or tendencies from years of "I am" presence samadhis, I guess.


An Eternal Now:
What is your view about what consciousness is now? Does consciousness have any characteristics of being unchanging, independent or etc and if not what is it?


Well, now I view consciousness as non-local, not centered in the "I am presence" anymore, there is no split between samadhi and everyday life, in a sense that there is no one to make that distinction. I am more at peace now, more at ease, laid back so to speak.

Yes, at the moment, I see the consciousness as something free, liberating in itself, "changing" by itself: events come and go by themselves, no one is in control, so to speak, no one to instigate coming and going, not even God.
And, I promise you, for me this notion ( there is no God, as a separate entity or Absolute Self etc... )is rather dramatic change.

I am still not clear why events or phenomena are perceived as coming and going. What is condition ("yuan" as per Thusness) for events to occur? What is yuan?


An Eternal Now:

How stable is your non dual experiencing now? Also I presume you have read Thusness's articles in our blog? One more thing: any changes in your sleep and dream?


I have read most of Thusness' articles at your blog, yes. But I don't get everything yet, especially about the Sunyata insights.

How stable is my Nondual experiencing now? I don't know what is the criteria for stability, but I can enter Nondual at will, it is easiest to do, as there is no effort needed (apart from letting go) or something gained. When everything is let go of, the Nondual remains, not as a state or level, but as base reality. No need to do anything, as it already and alone is.
All of this, it is not spontaneous yet, though.

It is interesting you should mention sleep (dreamless one, I suppose) and dreams.

Lucid dreaming is an important part of my sadhana, I have been dreaming lucidly (on and off) for years.
The change I am noticing for a few years is that all three states (waking, dreams and dreamless sleep) are happening to Me, the base Reality, they are happening in Me, so to speak (actually, everything else, everything, is happening in Me, as a part of my Being). Even in dreaming I am aware of this, not as in classic lucid dreaming sense but more profound. It is like common denominator, silver lining in all three states, so to speak.
Does that make any sense, pls?

But now even this has changed as I know beyond the shadow of the doubt that there is no Me as the base reality.
It is a process, I think, so I look forward to experiencing new insights.

Thank you.
s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/12/12 10:51 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Good insights there Seraphis! You seem able to actualize the living experience of anatta without dwelling much into view. Your insights unfold from recognizing "the same taste" of I AM in all six entries and exits, into seeing that the very idea of abiding is a hindrance, to the doubtless realization that there never was a "This I" to abide in, and whatever arises is already free and liberating.

There are similarities with my experience but somewhat different triggers. I had an intense non-dual experience (Aug '10) when dancing at a nightclub that totally dissolved the Witness for a few days (after which I was switching between I AM and non-dual for a period of time due to previous practice tendencies like you until clearer insights), before this event non-dual glimpses was occassional, few, short and intermittent but after this event I was able to 'switch' into non-dual mode with relative ease as my insight into Awareness/Existence was refined from "I AM pure Existence" to "Existence is the very stuff of whatever arises". Soon I was also contemplating and challenging the sense of subject-object, inside-outside, border and boundaries of awareness and manifestation, etc until it was all seen as seamless awareness (one mind). Then non-dual was pretty clear to me. Later during October 2010 I wrote two articles in reference to my insights, first on One Taste and then it was contemplating on the Bahiya Sutta about a week later that triggered the clear insight into anatta/"No I": http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2010/10/one-taste.html and http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2010/10/my-commentary-on-bahiya-sutta.html .

For now, you should not be distracted with stages of insights (sunyata or whatever) but be thorough and leave no trace of "I" for the willingness to let go completely (the I) has arisen. Check this out if you haven't: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2011/11/where-there-is-no-cold-or-heat.html

Next step is not to stagnate in no-self and engage wholly and completely into actions and activities then "satori" has no entry or exit; when the thunder claps, the whole of "satori" is actualized!

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/16/12 4:36 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
Good insights there Seraphis! You seem able to actualize the living experience of anatta without dwelling much into view. Your insights unfold from recognizing "the same taste" of I AM in all six entries and exits, into seeing that the very idea of abiding is a hindrance, to the doubtless realization that there never was a "This I" to abide in, and whatever arises is already free and liberating.


Well, yes,
and now I have another question, if I may (see below, pls).

An Eternal Now:


There are similarities with my experience but somewhat different triggers. I had an intense non-dual experience (Aug '10) when dancing at a nightclub that totally dissolved the Witness for a few days (after which I was switching between I AM and non-dual for a period of time due to previous practice tendencies like you until clearer insights), before this event non-dual glimpses was occassional, few, short and intermittent but after this event I was able to 'switch' into non-dual mode with relative ease as my insight into Awareness/Existence was refined from "I AM pure Existence" to "Existence is the very stuff of whatever arises". Soon I was also contemplating and challenging the sense of subject-object, inside-outside, border and boundaries of awareness and manifestation, etc until it was all seen as seamless awareness (one mind). Then non-dual was pretty clear to me. Later during October 2010 I wrote two articles in reference to my insights, first on One Taste and then it was contemplating on the Bahiya Sutta about a week later that triggered the clear insight into anatta/"No I": http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2010/10/one-taste.html and http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2010/10/my-commentary-on-bahiya-sutta.html .


I understand what you went through. Tnx for sharing.
Yes, I have read your posts, more than once. Great help for me there.

An Eternal Now:

For now, you should not be distracted with stages of insights (sunyata or whatever) but be thorough and leave no trace of "I" for the willingness to let go completely (the I) has arisen. Check this out if you haven't: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2011/11/where-there-is-no-cold-or-heat.html


I have read it only now, for the first time.
Will let it slide in, I don't know what to make of it yet, lol.

The first part of your suggestion, well, I think reading about stages beyond nondual has helped me thus far,
and I think it could help me in the future.
I am reading commentary on the Heart sutra now.


An Eternal Now:

Next step is not to stagnate in no-self and engage wholly and completely into actions and activities then "satori" has no entry or exit; when the thunder claps, the whole of "satori" is actualized!


Thank you.
Well, there is a new tendency there (after the anatta insight) to just, ehmmm.....I dont know how to put it.... to just not-be and be done with it. Previously, I was enjoying the cosmic movie as a Witness, but now the Self has gone.
What to do, where to go, how to do it - irrelevant questions. It is like floating around with no particular aim or goal.
Hence my interest in the "yuan" ('condition' as per your Teacher's words).

Which brings me to my new question:
I must have experienced it before, but not intentionally or willingly, so I am setting the scene to experience Niroda Samapatti.
Question: how NS relates to nondual/anatta/sunyata, in your experience and opinion, please?
Would it be of any help to me now or...?

Namaste.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/16/12 7:38 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]
An Eternal Now:
Good insights there Seraphis! You seem able to actualize the living experience of anatta without dwelling much into view. Your insights unfold from recognizing "the same taste" of I AM in all six entries and exits, into seeing that the very idea of abiding is a hindrance, to the doubtless realization that there never was a "This I" to abide in, and whatever arises is already free and liberating.


Well, yes,
and now I have another question, if I may (see below, pls).

An Eternal Now:


There are similarities with my experience but somewhat different triggers. I had an intense non-dual experience (Aug '10) when dancing at a nightclub that totally dissolved the Witness for a few days (after which I was switching between I AM and non-dual for a period of time due to previous practice tendencies like you until clearer insights), before this event non-dual glimpses was occassional, few, short and intermittent but after this event I was able to 'switch' into non-dual mode with relative ease as my insight into Awareness/Existence was refined from "I AM pure Existence" to "Existence is the very stuff of whatever arises". Soon I was also contemplating and challenging the sense of subject-object, inside-outside, border and boundaries of awareness and manifestation, etc until it was all seen as seamless awareness (one mind). Then non-dual was pretty clear to me. Later during October 2010 I wrote two articles in reference to my insights, first on One Taste and then it was contemplating on the Bahiya Sutta about a week later that triggered the clear insight into anatta/"No I": http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2010/10/one-taste.html and http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2010/10/my-commentary-on-bahiya-sutta.html .


I understand what you went through. Tnx for sharing.
Yes, I have read your posts, more than once. Great help for me there.

An Eternal Now:

For now, you should not be distracted with stages of insights (sunyata or whatever) but be thorough and leave no trace of "I" for the willingness to let go completely (the I) has arisen. Check this out if you haven't: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2011/11/where-there-is-no-cold-or-heat.html


I have read it only now, for the first time.
Will let it slide in, I don't know what to make of it yet, lol.

The first part of your suggestion, well, I think reading about stages beyond nondual has helped me thus far,
and I think it could help me in the future.
I am reading commentary on the Heart sutra now.


An Eternal Now:

Next step is not to stagnate in no-self and engage wholly and completely into actions and activities then "satori" has no entry or exit; when the thunder claps, the whole of "satori" is actualized!


Thank you.
Well, there is a new tendency there (after the anatta insight) to just, ehmmm.....I dont know how to put it.... to just not-be and be done with it. Previously, I was enjoying the cosmic movie as a Witness, but now the Self has gone.
What to do, where to go, how to do it - irrelevant questions. It is like floating around with no particular aim or goal.
Hence my interest in the "yuan" ('condition' as per your Teacher's words).

Which brings me to my new question:
I must have experienced it before, but not intentionally or willingly, so I am setting the scene to experience Niroda Samapatti.
Question: how NS relates to nondual/anatta/sunyata, in your experience and opinion, please?
Would it be of any help to me now or...?

Namaste.

s.hi, what you have described so far is more of the passive mode of no-self. Thusness told me to also understand the active mode of no-self, see http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/10/total-exertion.html

I have not experienced NS (NS seems to be a state mental activity including consciousness comes to a complete standstill and vital signs are not detectable). NS is a shamatha state, some say certain level of insight may be needed but I don't know. Insight into nondual, anatta, emptiness need not result in NS unless you cultivate deep shamatha, jhanas etc. For NS qn maybe Daniel may answer you better.

One more thing: NS is not nirvana. See http://sgforums.com/forums/1728/topics/447451

By the way can you describe the NS that you experienced?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/16/12 11:34 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]
Thank you.
Well, there is a new tendency there (after the anatta insight) to just, ehmmm.....I dont know how to put it.... to just not-be and be done with it. Previously, I was enjoying the cosmic movie as a Witness, but now the Self has gone.
What to do, where to go, how to do it - irrelevant questions. It is like floating around with no particular aim or goal.
Hence my interest in the "yuan" ('condition' as per your Teacher's words).

s.Mindfulness extended to everything is important as it leads to the experience of different and unique instances of consciousness arising out of different conditions (sense faculty and sense object). This was noticed here when I was at thai massage with my parents, then I did vipassana (direct perception, not noting), as there are lots of unique sensations/instance of consciousness due to different conditions. Then I noticed how perculiar is each manifestation (which is pure consciousness) arising upon different conditions. It is quite effortless but requires relaxing distracted mind into each spontaneous unique manifestation of consciousness upon conditions or the meeting of the dhatus. For example the consciousness of the sense of touch is very perculiar or uniquely different from a pure consciousness of sound, but always without center, division, substance or location, it is an instance of pure consciousness that liberates upon contact. Completely luminous but empty, dependent lay arisen, momentary and transient. Consciousness is completely inseparable from causes and conditions. This is, that is.

This also leads to the intensity of luminosity... the texture and fabric of reality (awareness), but understood from D.O. Perspective. Thusness advises me to spend quality hours without concepts, lose myself and be deep in this. Also failure to experience this intensity of luminosity, or the forms and textures of awareness, one may be prone to a form of "oneness presence" but fail to experience it as pure manifestation.

Eighteen dhatus (elements) teaching define the relation of consciousness and conditions. Consciousness is not some ultimate self or source, rather it is a manifestation, an effect, of various causes and conditions. There is no place where consciousness resides because consciousness is empty (of self) and arisen conditionally. Different conditions result in very unque instances of consciousness. For example in eighteen dhatus:

With the meeting of eye and visual object there arises visual consciousness.

This is very different from skin touching tactile object resulting in tactile consciousness. Each instant of consciousness is differentiated and is precisely "where manifestation is". Self-aware manifestation. No purest consciousness, all consciousness-es are primordially pure.

Read this: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/01/munindra-on-anatta.html

So you see, Buddha's teaching of consciousness is very unique and different from any other (including non dual like kashmir shaivism) teachings but it can be fully verified in experience.

However, how this extend to total exertion is a different issue.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/12 12:41 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Hi AEN

An Eternal Now:

hi, what you have described so far is more of the passive mode of no-self. Thusness told me to also understand the active mode of no-self, see http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/10/total-exertion.html


Thank you for that.
That's exactly what needed to be read, it seems.

This resonated with my current awareness very deeply:


10/20/2012 11:03 AM: AEN: Appearance appearing according to conditions, unmodified and unaltered by dualistic action/sense of self
10/20/2012 11:04 AM: Thusness: That u r talking abt no-doership
10/20/2012 11:04 AM: Thusness: What if there is intention
10/20/2012 11:04 AM: Thusness: As in chanting
10/20/2012 11:05 AM: AEN: There is no problem with intention, bcos that too is an arising without self... Its like total exertion in every moment, total action without self, whether chanting, walking, sitting
10/20/2012 11:06 AM: Thusness: An arising without self meaning? As in no-doership...u hv to b clear...
10/20/2012 11:07 AM: AEN: There is total involvement of all conditions, just without agency
10/20/2012 11:07 AM: AEN: Conditions include intention
10/20/2012 11:08 AM: Thusness: Total is always void of self
10/20/2012 11:11 AM: Thusness: When there is no gap between actor and action, that is non-action
10/20/2012 11:13 AM: AEN: I see..
10/20/2012 11:13 AM: Thusness: Lot of movement in appearance but nothing truly moves
10/20/2012 11:15 AM: Thusness: When the one who will is gone (no-will), the entire movement appears to be "your willing"
10/20/2012 11:17 AM: Thusness: It is not abt no-doership and arising spontaneously but doer and deeds are refine till none in total action.
10/20/2012 11:18 AM: AEN: Yes there is no standing back watching action unfold but instead whole being is just action, no self
10/20/2012 11:18 AM: Thusness: When insight of anatta arises, the heat and cold "kill you" is the actualization non-action.






An Eternal Now:

I have not experienced NS (NS seems to be a state mental activity including consciousness comes to a complete standstill and vital signs are not detectable). NS is a shamatha state, some say certain level of insight may be needed but I don't know. Insight into nondual, anatta, emptiness need not result in NS unless you cultivate deep shamatha, jhanas etc. For NS qn maybe Daniel may answer you better.

One more thing: NS is not nirvana. See http://sgforums.com/forums/1728/topics/447451

By the way can you describe the NS that you experienced?


I am sorry, I don't think I have experienced NS yet.
(I said I must have experienced it)

Ehm, when I think about it now, what is the point of shutting down the whole awareness?
It may arise spontaneously, and if it does, ok, if no, ok as well.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/12 2:38 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:

Mindfulness extended to everything is important as it leads to the experience of different and unique instances of consciousness arising out of different conditions (sense faculty and sense object). This was noticed here when I was at thai massage with my parents, then I did vipassana (direct perception, not noting), as there are lots of unique sensations/instance of consciousness due to different conditions. Then I noticed how perculiar is each manifestation (which is pure consciousness) arising upon different conditions. It is quite effortless but requires relaxing distracted mind into each spontaneous unique manifestation of consciousness upon conditions or the meeting of the dhatus. For example the consciousness of the sense of touch is very perculiar or uniquely different from a pure consciousness of sound, but always without center, division, substance or location, it is an instance of pure consciousness that liberates upon contact. Completely luminous but empty, dependent lay arisen, momentary and transient. Consciousness is completely inseparable from causes and conditions. This is, that is.


Yes, thank you for that.
Consciousness AS causes and effects, each free on its own and liberating/liberated.

Its almost funny how old and deeply rooted personal or even intimate issues are almost gone. All is slowly
loosing the grip over "me". There is not Self to (be) Witness, ergo no issues.

It all makes perfect sense, now, after anatta insight.

An Eternal Now:

This also leads to the intensity of luminosity... the texture and fabric of reality (awareness), but understood from D.O. Perspective. Thusness advises me to spend quality hours without concepts, lose myself and be deep in this. Also failure to experience this intensity of luminosity, or the forms and textures of awareness, one may be prone to a form of "oneness presence" but fail to experience it as pure manifestation.


Yes, at the moment, the anatta insight is not stable yet, it usually slips "back" to nondual and rarely, in fact, almost never back to the Witness or "I AM" Presence or "The Self".
It seems that the Witness has done its job.

This is arising here, when I read your words:
to stabilize the anatta insight, intention to different senses ought to be directed, to one at a time and
dive deeply into each.
What do you think?
Or do you have maybe better suggestion for stabilize anatta insight, pls?

I have done something similar on the nondual.
I went into nondual and slowly moved my palm down the wall.
First time I did that, OMG, it was almost overwhelming. But, back then, no anatta, so...


An Eternal Now:

Eighteen dhatus (elements) teaching define the relation of consciousness and conditions. Consciousness is not some ultimate self or source, rather it is a manifestation, an effect, of various causes and conditions. There is no place where consciousness resides because consciousness is empty (of self) and arisen conditionally. Different conditions result in very unque instances of consciousness. For example in eighteen dhatus:

With the meeting of eye and visual object there arises visual consciousness.

This is very different from skin touching tactile object resulting in tactile consciousness. Each instant of consciousness is differentiated and is precisely "where manifestation is". Self-aware manifestation. No purest consciousness, all consciousness-es are primordially pure.


Yes, all manifestations AS consciousness, all equal and empty (of observer, doer etc...)

Could you suggest a book on the subject, pls (apart from your e-book, which I am reading as I go along)?
Has your Teacher written any book maybe?


An Eternal Now:

Read this: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/01/munindra-on-anatta.html

So you see, Buddha's teaching of consciousness is very unique and different from any other (including non dual like kashmir shaivism) teachings but it can be fully verified in experience.


Yes, I can see that.
Actually, I know next to nothing about Kashmir Shaivism (I know lots about Vedanta and Advaita, obviously), but the triggers in the said book did work.
Also, I believe that weekend spent with my ex professor (who is thoroughly into nondual) added to the ease of anatta insight.

Actually, when I think about it, it is the loose approach to insight meditation I employ, that was crucial in all of this. If I focused too much, I put too much energy into harnessing the mind and it rebelled. Maybe I should have used more noting. Oh well.
It doesn't make much difference now, though.
Ego, may s/he rest in peace. LOL

It seems, my previous actions resulted in my tantra practice (kriya, mantra and direct insight/perception practice) and only after meeting You (more so than meeting others) here, things changed. There must be some karmic connection involved or at least some "kindred spirits and insights" going on here.


An Eternal Now:

However, how this extend to total exertion is a different issue.


I read the Total exertion article, and it speaks very loudly.
How did you do it, if I may ask?

s.
PS
I'd just like to express silent but strong joy that is arising here, when I read your words and receive your sharing.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/17/12 9:40 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]
An Eternal Now:

Mindfulness extended to everything is important as it leads to the experience of different and unique instances of consciousness arising out of different conditions (sense faculty and sense object). This was noticed here when I was at thai massage with my parents, then I did vipassana (direct perception, not noting), as there are lots of unique sensations/instance of consciousness due to different conditions. Then I noticed how perculiar is each manifestation (which is pure consciousness) arising upon different conditions. It is quite effortless but requires relaxing distracted mind into each spontaneous unique manifestation of consciousness upon conditions or the meeting of the dhatus. For example the consciousness of the sense of touch is very perculiar or uniquely different from a pure consciousness of sound, but always without center, division, substance or location, it is an instance of pure consciousness that liberates upon contact. Completely luminous but empty, dependent lay arisen, momentary and transient. Consciousness is completely inseparable from causes and conditions. This is, that is.


Yes, thank you for that.
Consciousness AS causes and effects, each free on its own and liberating/liberated.

Its almost funny how old and deeply rooted personal or even intimate issues are almost gone. All is slowly
loosing the grip over "me". There is not Self to (be) Witness, ergo no issues.

It all makes perfect sense, now, after anatta insight.

An Eternal Now:

This also leads to the intensity of luminosity... the texture and fabric of reality (awareness), but understood from D.O. Perspective. Thusness advises me to spend quality hours without concepts, lose myself and be deep in this. Also failure to experience this intensity of luminosity, or the forms and textures of awareness, one may be prone to a form of "oneness presence" but fail to experience it as pure manifestation.


Yes, at the moment, the anatta insight is not stable yet, it usually slips "back" to nondual and rarely, in fact, almost never back to the Witness or "I AM" Presence or "The Self".
It seems that the Witness has done its job.

This is arising here, when I read your words:
to stabilize the anatta insight, intention to different senses ought to be directed, to one at a time and
dive deeply into each.
What do you think?
Or do you have maybe better suggestion for stabilize anatta insight, pls?

I have done something similar on the nondual.
I went into nondual and slowly moved my palm down the wall.
First time I did that, OMG, it was almost overwhelming. But, back then, no anatta, so...


An Eternal Now:

Eighteen dhatus (elements) teaching define the relation of consciousness and conditions. Consciousness is not some ultimate self or source, rather it is a manifestation, an effect, of various causes and conditions. There is no place where consciousness resides because consciousness is empty (of self) and arisen conditionally. Different conditions result in very unque instances of consciousness. For example in eighteen dhatus:

With the meeting of eye and visual object there arises visual consciousness.

This is very different from skin touching tactile object resulting in tactile consciousness. Each instant of consciousness is differentiated and is precisely "where manifestation is". Self-aware manifestation. No purest consciousness, all consciousness-es are primordially pure.


Yes, all manifestations AS consciousness, all equal and empty (of observer, doer etc...)

Could you suggest a book on the subject, pls (apart from your e-book, which I am reading as I go along)?
Has your Teacher written any book maybe?


An Eternal Now:

Read this: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2012/01/munindra-on-anatta.html

So you see, Buddha's teaching of consciousness is very unique and different from any other (including non dual like kashmir shaivism) teachings but it can be fully verified in experience.


Yes, I can see that.
Actually, I know next to nothing about Kashmir Shaivism (I know lots about Vedanta and Advaita, obviously), but the triggers in the said book did work.
Also, I believe that weekend spent with my ex professor (who is thoroughly into nondual) added to the ease of anatta insight.

Actually, when I think about it, it is the loose approach to insight meditation I employ, that was crucial in all of this. If I focused too much, I put too much energy into harnessing the mind and it rebelled. Maybe I should have used more noting. Oh well.
It doesn't make much difference now, though.
Ego, may s/he rest in peace. LOL

It seems, my previous actions resulted in my tantra practice (kriya, mantra and direct insight/perception practice) and only after meeting You (more so than meeting others) here, things changed. There must be some karmic connection involved or at least some "kindred spirits and insights" going on here.


An Eternal Now:

However, how this extend to total exertion is a different issue.


I read the Total exertion article, and it speaks very loudly.
How did you do it, if I may ask?

s.
PS
I'd just like to express silent but strong joy that is arising here, when I read your words and receive your sharing.It is a joy to read your sharing too emoticon

Thusness advises that I should look at it from 2 different angle: before or after maturity of anatta.

From passive moving into active mode of non-action when the insight is mature is natural. It just comes when that tendency to create any form of 'self/Self' in from the deepest level is uprooted, the flow into total movement or oneness of action (non-action) is a natural progression. That is, once 'the cause that reify and separate' is dissolved, we just wake up one day and it becomes so natural and actions are fully embraced. It is also the trigger point for the arising of deep compassion. Before that, certain practices for me like anapanasati* (breath-mindfulness) to go in tandem with the insight of anatta will help but don't rush into experience..

I am still in the midst of refining view and experience. I don't know what books are good for you, I can recommend a few and they all have slightly different emphasis*.

P.s. I don't know much about kashmir shaivism too, but its basic philosophy is that unlike advaita vedanta where all phenomena are relegated as illusory superimpositions on the ultimate reality of brahman, in KS all manifestation are real, they are all shiva, they are all ultimate consciousness, only subject-object duality is delusional. So it is nondual realism where shiva is the source and substance of the world like gold is to neckless. Buddhism (or: seeing the inseparability of luminosity and emptiness) on the other hand does not fall into the inherent view of realism/eternalism nor nihilism.


*on anapanasati, check out mahasatipatthana sutta and anapanasati sutta

*books you might want to check out:

(Arranged alphabetically)

Buddha:
Topic: Buddhism

In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (Teachings of the Buddha) by Bhikkhu Bodhi
Majjhima Nikaya

Dakpo Tashi Namgyal:
Topic: Mahamudra
  
Clarifying the Natural State: A Principal Guidance Manual for Mahamudra

Dogen:

The Heart of Dogen's Shobogenzo (by Norman Waddell)

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche:
Topic: Mahamudra

Essentials of Mahamudra: Looking Directly at the Mind 

Mu Soeng
Topic: Buddhism/Emptiness teachings

The Heart of the Universe: Exploring the Heart Sutra

Steve Hagen:
Topic: Buddhism and Zen

Buddhism Is Not What You Think: Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs
Buddhism Plain & Simple
Meditation Now or Never

Ted Biringer
Topic: Zen; Dogen studies

The Flatbed Sutra of Louie Wing: The Second Ancestor of Zen in the West

Thich Nhat Hanh
Topic: Buddhism

The Sun My Heart

Toni Packer:
Topic: Zen and Krishnamurti influenced

The Wonder of Presence: And the Way of Meditative Inquiry
The Silent Question: Meditating in the Stillness of Not-Knowing

Walpola Rahula
Topic: Buddhism

What The Buddha Taught

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/18/12 12:49 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
A friend wrote to me last month:

Interesting times. Nondual is becoming more and more stable. I don't understand it, but just reading your material and deeply contemplating it seems to have tremendous affect. Yesterday while driving home from work and walking to my house, there was just walking, just driving. This was is what is becoming more and more sustained.

I do follow your advice and follow the breath without counting. Then there is only breath. It's more effortless these days. So, thank you.

...luminosity, but not awareness as a thing or entity. just the senses, experienced as independent streams. It's the walking experience which seems different and sustained. No one is walking. At first this would be experienced with a bit of effort, but it's becoming more natural and the feeling of it always having been this way is there.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/19/12 3:47 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:


Thusness advises that I should look at it from 2 different angle: before or after maturity of anatta.

From passive moving into active mode of non-action when the insight is mature is natural. It just comes when that tendency to create any form of 'self/Self' in from the deepest level is uprooted, the flow into total movement or oneness of action (non-action) is a natural progression. That is, once 'the cause that reify and separate' is dissolved, we just wake up one day and it becomes so natural and actions are fully embraced. It is also the trigger point for the arising of deep compassion. Before that, certain practices for me like anapanasati* (breath-mindfulness) to go in tandem with the insight of anatta will help but don't rush into experience..


Thank you for that.
It does help to separate the pre and post anatta scenarions, yes.




An Eternal Now:

P.s. I don't know much about kashmir shaivism too, but its basic philosophy is that unlike advaita vedanta where all phenomena are relegated as illusory superimpositions on the ultimate reality of brahman, in KS all manifestation are real, they are all shiva, they are all ultimate consciousness, only subject-object duality is delusional. So it is nondual realism where shiva is the source and substance of the world like gold is to neckless. Buddhism (or: seeing the inseparability of luminosity and emptiness) on the other hand does not fall into the inherent view of realism/eternalism nor nihilism.


Well said.

Tnx for the books titles.


According to your understanding and that of Thusness, how would you describe nirvana, pls?
In comparison to anatta insight, for example?

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/12 1:58 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]
According to your understanding and that of Thusness, how would you describe nirvana, pls?
In comparison to anatta insight, for example?

s.Total clarity without self/Self and any mental fabrications/conceivings is Nirvana.

Also, Thusness and I very much likes this article's description on Nirvana: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2012/09/great-resource-of-buddhas-teachings.html


Also: in the teaching of four noble truths, Buddha defined the truth of suffering as the five clinging aggregates. The source of suffering = craving. The end of suffering = the end of craving. Path to end of craving/suffering = the eightfold path.

In the case of Nirvana or the end of dukkha, does that mean then the five clinging aggregates cease? Not exactly, but the Buddha said "Monks, when the gods with Indra, with Brahmā and with Pajāpati seek a monk who is thus liberated in mind, they do not find [anything of which they could say], “The tathāgata’s consciousness is dependent on this.” Why is that? A tathāgata, I say, is untraceable even here and now."

This does not mean the tathagata's consciousness is 'independently existing' but it is like drawing on water - utterly traceless and self-releasing. When you try to draw on water, the picture does not land, does not lead to 'growth', does not lead to grasping or infatuation. Likewise the apperceptive awareness of five aggregates self-liberates upon contact instead of 'being established in the five aggregates', i.e. having desires, cravings, conceivings of 'I' and 'mine' in reference to the five clinging aggregates. There is no where that consciousness land, instead it is traceless. There is no support for consciousness in the five aggregates - the five aggregates does not lead to the formation of a chain of dependent origination of dukkha.

There is only in the seen just the seen, in the heard just the heard, but nothing is being established be it subject or object, there is no referencing of the five clinging aggregates in terms of an 'I' and 'mine', but instead are self-luminous, self-manifested (according to conditions) and auto-released.

Buddha: "When that consciousness is not established, not increasing, not concocting, it is liberated. Being liberated, it is steady. Being steady, it is content. Being content, he is not excited. Unexcited, he personally attains complete nibbāna. He discerns that, ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, done is what had to be done, there is nothing further here."

"Venerable sir, if one has no underlying tendency towards form... feeling... recognition... fabrications... consciousness, then one is not measured (anumīyati) in accord with it. Whatever one is not measured by, that is not how one is labeled (saṅkha)."

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/20/12 2:18 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
[quote=Seraphis .'.]
According to your understanding and that of Thusness, how would you describe nirvana, pls?
In comparison to anatta insight, for example?

s.
Total clarity without self/Self and any mental fabrications/conceivings is Nirvana.

Also, Thusness and I very much likes this article's description on Nirvana: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2012/09/great-resource-of-buddhas-teachings.html

Thanks for the above link AEN.

There is a passage from that site :-

"The contemplation of selflessness is given in AN 10.60 Girimānanda Sutta:
Now what, Ānanda, is the recognition of selflessness? Here, Ānanda, a monk, gone to the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or to an empty place, discriminates thus: ‘The eye is not-self, forms are not-self; the ear is not-self, sounds are not-self; the nose is not-self, odors are not-self; the tongue is not-self, flavors are not-self; the body is not-self, tactual objects are not-self; the mind is not-self, phenomena are not-self.’ Thus he abides contemplating selflessness with regard to the six internal and external sensory spheres. This, Ānanda, is called the recognition of selflessness."


The Buddha says "discriminates thus" - I am wondering one thing about this. Is this practise meant to be done
via contemplation alone or should we actually see objects and try to see the selflessness directly in that object.
I have inclined myself in both ways and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt..wondering which is more
effective.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/20/12 3:27 AM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
Contemplation on selflessness is important, contemplation leads to insight, insight leads to the stilling of conceivings. Then in that stilling of conceiving there is neither 'self' or 'no-self' but only the directness, gapless, and self-releasing perception 'in the seen just the seen, in the heard just the heard'. At this point there is no longer a need to contemplate 'selflessness' as the view is already actualized and forgotten.

It's like you no longer need to keep thinking 'no monster' if the hallucination of a monster due to mental illness has stopped. As long as the inherent view is still lingering however then we investigate the aggregates in direct contemplation and perceiving that aggregates are empty of self. We need to investigate and challenge every view of self in any way possible - for example for me, there was this subtle sense of 'awareness' as this 'super-self' or subject or agent, and it was seen that such a view is erroneous: seeing is only the experience of the seen empty of any self, subject or perceiver.

If inherent view is not seen through, then 'self forgetting' is merely a temporary state or peak experience like PCE. But if inherent view of self is seen through, then the 'actualization of everything' is quite effortless. So this is not just about cultivating a direct self-less mode of perception (like PCE), but contemplating to give rise to the insight of selflessness of dharmas. Then the direct mode of perception and the 'actualization of all dharmas' becomes quite natural. Still, to be fully actualized every moment requires maturation of view and experience even after initial realization of anatta.

And as Dogen says "to study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away" (Genjokoan).

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/20/12 3:56 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
But if inherent view of self is seen through, then the 'actualization of everything' is quite effortless. So this is not just about cultivating a direct self-less mode of perception (like PCE), but contemplating to give rise to the insight of selflessness of dharmas. Then the direct mode of perception and the 'actualization of all dharmas' becomes quite natural. Still, to be fully actualized every moment requires maturation of view and experience even after initial realization of anatta.


Thanks AEN. Indeed , there is a realization phase and then the actualization takes time until the time it is forgotten..sometimes the actualization doesnt work(maybe the realization was not strong or maybe it is not being used in practise and thus forgotten) but I guess like every other thing in life , repeated practise is key.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/12 2:06 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
It is becoming clear to me that only now, after anatta or anatma insight, true progress has been made. Previously, I was stuck or locked-in into the Self or I Am presence realization, Witnessing everything as a dream, by Choice-less awareness - and nevertheless still dreaming.
It is as if I have woken up, yet again, like all those years ago, when I first experienced The Self.

There is bunch of stuff, that the I am realization in fact made it difficult for me (due to imperfect and incomplete realizations, of course):
- the I am god notion (presented me with real challenge, I had really grave times back then, balancing this Godlike notion with my own emotional/mental bullshit)
- only I am is real, everything else is not or as Sri Ramana Maharshi used to say: "That which is not present in deep dreamless sleep is not real." (I tried to compensate the inner tension by focusing on Omnipresence of the I am presence, trying to realize the "only real" when awake)
- further inner tension which came out of inherent dualistic view, subject-object dichotomy (it seems that intuitively I knew that nondual existed and that I am presence was not final realization to be had).

Well, now all of this is gone, for good it seems.
Too bad Vedanta is silent on these topics.

Anatta is setting the whole perception free, downright and deeply.

I read in the 'In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon" about anagami stage, where one eradicates lust, hatred, delusion, sensual lust and ill will.

Yesterday, for hours I deliberately looked into memories of lust, hate, sensual lust, delusion, some old inner issues, mental/emotional dis-harmonies and really honestly tried to find Heart in my chest, as a base reality on which I could pinpoint my memories or issues, suppressed emotions etc. There is nothing there.

It is like a huge hole in my chest where hridaya (spiritual heart) used to reside. It is gone now, gone beyond, only found in no-mans-land of separate manifestations, in seen images, heard sounds, cognized thoughts, sensed sensations, tasted tastes. Freedom, actually.

All content in my awareness I focus on just leads me into nondual/anatta insight, over and over again. It takes few moments or even minutes usually, but in the end I end up in nondual or even anatta insight. Even really emotional stuff like thoughts of 4 yrs old daughter, or memories of sex lust, existential issues of modern life etc... no one is there to base these streams of consciousness on.

Anatta realization and insight is all important, it seems. For me, at least.




An Eternal Now:

Total clarity without self/Self and any mental fabrications/conceivings is Nirvana.

Also, Thusness and I very much likes this article's description on Nirvana: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2012/09/great-resource-of-buddhas-teachings.html


Will read it.

Things are happening really fast now, tnx for your support, here and via emails.
<kind smile>


An Eternal Now:

Also: in the teaching of four noble truths, Buddha defined the truth of suffering as the five clinging aggregates. The source of suffering = craving. The end of suffering = the end of craving. Path to end of craving/suffering = the eightfold path.

In the case of Nirvana or the end of dukkha, does that mean then the five clinging aggregates cease? Not exactly, but the Buddha said "Monks, when the gods with Indra, with Brahmā and with Pajāpati seek a monk who is thus liberated in mind, they do not find [anything of which they could say], “The tathāgata’s consciousness is dependent on this.” Why is that? A tathāgata, I say, is untraceable even here and now."

This does not mean the tathagata's consciousness is 'independently existing' but it is like drawing on water - utterly traceless and self-releasing. When you try to draw on water, the picture does not land, does not lead to 'growth', does not lead to grasping or infatuation. Likewise the apperceptive awareness of five aggregates self-liberates upon contact instead of 'being established in the five aggregates', i.e. having desires, cravings, conceivings of 'I' and 'mine' in reference to the five clinging aggregates. There is no where that consciousness land, instead it is traceless. There is no support for consciousness in the five aggregates - the five aggregates does not lead to the formation of a chain of dependent origination of dukkha.

There is only in the seen just the seen, in the heard just the heard, but nothing is being established be it subject or object, there is no referencing of the five clinging aggregates in terms of an 'I' and 'mine', but instead are self-luminous, self-manifested (according to conditions) and auto-released.

Buddha: "When that consciousness is not established, not increasing, not concocting, it is liberated. Being liberated, it is steady. Being steady, it is content. Being content, he is not excited. Unexcited, he personally attains complete nibbāna. He discerns that, ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, done is what had to be done, there is nothing further here."


All of this is so very much in tune with what I am experiencing these days,
seems like you know exactly what to say to help.
I thank you again.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/21/12 4:40 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Sounds good. Indeed. As we progress we will see these three poisons disappearing though not immediately after initial realization. It is also unfolding day by day and moment by moment for me. Now there is simply unreserved openness as uncontrolled manifestations always. At times when there is karmic disturbance, still there is retraction and contraction but I will spend quality hours to open up fully until Anatta is clear in view and effortless again.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/22/12 4:26 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
Sounds good. Indeed. As we progress we will see these three poisons disappearing though not immediately after initial realization. It is also unfolding day by day and moment by moment for me. Now there is simply unreserved openness as uncontrolled manifestations always. At times when there is karmic disturbance, still there is retraction and contraction but I will spend quality hours to open up fully until Anatta is clear in view and effortless again.


Not poisons, if I may say so, only images seen, feelings felt and thoughts cognized, thats all. No sin as there is no sinner.
emoticon

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/24/12 1:12 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Question, if I may, AEN, Thusness (or anyone else):

anitya (anicca), is translated as impermanence, an inherent quality of arising and ceasing events.

How would you relate anitya to anatta and sunyata, pls?

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/24/12 6:16 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]Question, if I may, AEN, Thusness (or anyone else):

anitya (anicca), is translated as impermanence, an inherent quality of arising and ceasing events.

How would you relate anitya to anatta and sunyata, pls?

s.

Arising and ceasing by definition is impermanence in action. How could there be a permanent separate identity if everything that seems to compound together to be (mis)perceived as 'self' is actually arising and ceasing continuously? How is there some 'thing' that inherently exists if there is this continuous arising and ceasing? Isn't the perceived 'permanency' simply a concept overlaying such a (mis)perceived continuity of compounding phenomena? If every aspect of the field of experience is, at the minutest to the grossest level, arising and ceasing as we speak, could we say that there exists something inherently? Unchangingly? Completely permanent? Or is it all empty of such permanence and actual existence. Isn't it simply a conceptual overlay that seems to give it exisitence?

From seeing that it is all (and by all i mean all) arising and ceasing continuously, how could there be any permanent unchanging core/self/being at the heart of it? And if there is no inherent permanency in any of it, then all concepts that seem to suggest and insinuate permanency are ultimately just empty concepts overlaying the mind's tendency to select and create 'objects' for it to establish a relationship with. No permanent unchanging core for the notion of 'self'. Seen that? Then apply that same insight of no inherent core or existence to all 'things' outside the notion of your own 'mind and body'.

My 2 cents

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/12 1:22 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]Question, if I may, AEN, Thusness (or anyone else):

anitya (anicca), is translated as impermanence, an inherent quality of arising and ceasing events.

How would you relate anitya to anatta and sunyata, pls?

s.Nikolai's post and article is good. Its good to focus on penetrating the impermanency in practice. It is related to the first stanza: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html

With the seeing through of the sense of a substantial ground or coordinating self underlying momentary experience, theres only disjoint arising and passing away phenomena very much like bubbles, spontaneously manifesting in an uncontrolled manner and releasing upon its very inception in lightning speed.

..........

Thusness:

http://sgforums.com/users/97367/posts?page=2

After gaining experiential insight of what you expressed above, there is a natural tendency to let Presence manifests spontaneously in the flow of phenomenality. Depending on your condition, you will eventually realize that your 'letting Presence manfests spontaneously' turns out to be a contrieve effort of substaining a pure consciousness experience in the foreground.

There are 2 aspects of anatta as I have written to you in the article On Anatta (No-Self), Emptiness, Maha and Ordinariness, and Spontaneous Perfection.

Your tendency now will still be centered on the ‘brilliant and pristine presence’, the direct vivid experience of ‘aliveness’ in the foreground (The essence instead of the empty nature). So not to talk about spontaneous perfection of whatever arises for now. :-)

Rather focus on the essence of the first stanza of the article:

The impermanent nature...

The stream of arising and passing away...

The stream of continual releasing...

Perpetually letting go...

......

Yes Simpo,

That is what I understand too. There are subtle differences between Advaita non-duality and buddhist's anatta both in terms of realization and experience.

When contemplating on the subject of 'no-self', the mind of the practitioner is directed towards the transient phenomena and upon the ripening of conditions, the mind suddenly sees the illusionary division of subject-object duality; with the maturing of this realization, experience becomes seamlessly whole. There is no hearer in hearing or perceiver in perceiving, just simply a sense of perception. In terms of this experience, they are similar.

However although the blinding bond of 'duality' is dissolved, the tendency to see things 'inherently' isn't. The practitioners continue to resort back to a Self despite after the clear seeing of this truth and rest their understanding of 'no-self based on Self'. This is substantialist non-duality. There is an ultimate essence and abiding in Self is still the way towards liberation and there is also the temptation to treat this experience as a sort of pseudo finality.

Buddhism on the other hand sees this experience and realization as the first step in the 8 fold path -- right view. It means right view of anatta is fully authenticated with this non-dual experience but Buddhist’s non-dual is non-abiding, groundless and essence-less. There is no resorting back to an ultimate essence and the entire idea of liberation is based on seeing clearly the anatta, non-substantiality, essence-less empty nature of whatever arises, including Awareness or Self. Experience is luminously non-dual yet empty.

Therefore in Buddhism, besides the experience, right view is very important. Upon the clearing seeing of ‘no division’, it is advisable to penetrate further into the impermanent nature of phenomena both at the micro and macro level of experience. In terms of practice, there is no letting go to an ultimate ground or great void but the letting go is due to the thorough insight of the ‘empty nature’ of all arising -- Reality is perpetually ‘letting go’.

So in addition to the non-dual seamless experience, there must also be the clear experience of perpetual letting go of non-holding to whatever arises. Therefore when AEN told me non-dual presence, the NDNCDIMOP or being lock up permanently in PCEs of the AF as the key solution to eliminate emotion, pride and anger…the 10 fetters, I told him not yet, not because I am stubbornly attached to Buddha's teaching but because that is my realization and experience. :-)

The journey towards 'no-self' is analogous to peeling an onion. Practitioner goes through the process of peeling from dissolving of personality and identity to non-conceptuality to non-duality to realization of the lack of ownership to clear seeing of 'no agent behind transient phenomena to the empty nature of whatever arises. As we peel, the 'willingness' to let go certain aspects of 'self'/Self' grow and with more 'willingness' to let go, we come closer to seeing the true face of freedom.

Deeper clinging to a Self is not washed away with the non-dual insight. There must be further integration of the ‘non-dual’ experience into this arising and passing away, this impermanent nature, to dissolve the illusionary sense of self, anger, emotion, pride even the non-dual presence that we treasure so much; let whatever arises goes, be it during the waking, dreaming or deep sleep state. There will then come a time where a practitioner realizes the same ‘taste’ of the 3 states as there is no holding of the non-dual presence and all experiences turn natural, effortless and self-liberating.

Just my 2 cents. emoticon


......

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/25/12 1:31 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai, AEN, thank you.

Yes, anitya IS (and may seem to be) inherent nature of things arising and ceasing, but who / what is really inherently in the manifested phenomenon?

What bothered me was (and still does) that in anatta insights, the perceived events became "heavy" and full of something, of some transient and illusory qualities. I thought anitya was that quality.

Well, it is and it isn't. Impermanent yes, but also and foremost free and empty all arising and ceasing is.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/26/12 8:06 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]Nikolai, AEN, thank you.

Yes, anitya IS (and may seem to be) inherent nature of things arising and ceasing, but who / what is really inherently in the manifested phenomenon?

What bothered me was (and still does) that in anatta insights, the perceived events became "heavy" and full of something, of some transient and illusory qualities. I thought anitya was that quality.

Well, it is and it isn't. Impermanent yes, but also and foremost free and empty all arising and ceasing is.

s.Thats good... the view of 'inherent objects' is the same type of inherent view as subjective 'self' that led to the sense of 'heavy, full of something' in phenomena. When the emptiness of self is equally realized to be the nature of phenomena, then there will be an illusion-like perception of reality as mentioned in http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2012/06/advise-for-taiyaki.html

When we see dependent origination and secondfold emptiness, we see not only no 'who' but also no 'when' and no 'where' to which phenomena arise from or abide in, and neither is there any real substance to phenomena... they are like a magical illusion.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/27/12 2:49 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:

When we see dependent origination and secondfold emptiness, we see not only no 'who' but also no 'when' and no 'where' to which phenomena arise from or abide in, and neither is there any real substance to phenomena... they are like a magical illusion.


Sunyata, how would you describe it in gory details, please?

Say, in relation to anatta?

tnx for the link.
e.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/28/12 5:21 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]
An Eternal Now:

When we see dependent origination and secondfold emptiness, we see not only no 'who' but also no 'when' and no 'where' to which phenomena arise from or abide in, and neither is there any real substance to phenomena... they are like a magical illusion.


Sunyata, how would you describe it in gory details, please?

Say, in relation to anatta?

tnx for the link.
e.Be it a thought, or a perception, or anything at all, when you try to penetrate into the core of the existence of 'forms', you discover its emptiness, i.e. thought does not come from somewhere, nor does it abide somewhere, nor does it go to somewhere, simply because there is no 'it' at all, just a dependently arisen appearance. Nothing is 'stored' or 'hiding' anywhere - not only with regards to a subjective 'Self' (like a soul or Atman) but also the 'Self' of all things - literally, everything is empty.

So everything has no 'thing-ness' in and of itself but appears as a mere dependently arisen appearance. Like a mirage. If we look at a mirage over the ocean on a hot day it may appear that there is a city over the horizon, there is no you that is a looker of the mirage, but not only is that the case, there is no 'city being seen' either, for the city is a mere mirage of dependent origination. It does not come from somewhere, it does not abide somewhere, nor does it go somewhere. Because there is no 'it' at all - what you are seeing is not an entity existing in and of itself but an appearance of dependent arising. When this is not merely intellectually understood but directly realized in experience, every perception turns out to be of this 'illusion-like' quality and a sense of wonder may arise - everything is appearing, yet empty, everything is empty, yet appearing! The whole universe is like a magician's trick.

Our entire field of consciousness is likewise. All our experiences are likewise. All forms and phenomena are likewise. It is perceiving everything as being empty of any true substance which leads to the illusion-like experience of the whole field of experience, seeing that what dependently originates has no true substance nor locality. Every manifestation is simply appearing and self-luminously experienced where they are but there is no true entities that can be pinned down anywhere, or any true entity at all that is being born. Everything is an unborn, ungraspable, non-abiding appearance.

But all this has never in any way denied the luminous Awareness in experience (nor does it assert a substantialist 'One Mind' where every object is subsumed into an inherent Mind), i.e. all experiences are no less intensely vivid. Empty-Awareness as Forms must be experienced, but there is no locality, no who, no where, no when. Neither Self nor Objects. Only an empty, shimmering Suchness. Appear vividly according to conditions and spontaneously self-liberated.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
11/28/12 5:18 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
Be it a thought, or a perception, or anything at all, when you try to penetrate into the core of the existence of 'forms', you discover its emptiness, i.e. thought does not come from somewhere, nor does it abide somewhere, nor does it go to somewhere, simply because there is no 'it' at all, just a dependently arisen appearance. Nothing is 'stored' or 'hiding' anywhere - not only with regards to a subjective 'Self' (like a soul or Atman) but also the 'Self' of all things - literally, everything is empty.

So everything has no 'thing-ness' in and of itself but appears as a mere dependently arisen appearance. Like a mirage. If we look at a mirage over the ocean on a hot day it may appear that there is a city over the horizon, there is no you that is a looker of the mirage, but not only is that the case, there is no 'city being seen' either, for the city is a mere mirage of dependent origination. It does not come from somewhere, it does not abide somewhere, nor does it go somewhere. Because there is no 'it' at all - what you are seeing is not an entity existing in and of itself but an appearance of dependent arising. When this is not merely intellectually understood but directly realized in experience, every perception turns out to be of this 'illusion-like' quality and a sense of wonder may arise - everything is appearing, yet empty, everything is empty, yet appearing! The whole universe is like a magician's trick.

Our entire field of consciousness is likewise. All our experiences are likewise. All forms and phenomena are likewise. It is perceiving everything as being empty of any true substance which leads to the illusion-like experience of the whole field of experience, seeing that what dependently originates has no true substance nor locality. Every manifestation is simply appearing and self-luminously experienced where they are but there is no true entities that can be pinned down anywhere, or any true entity at all that is being born. Everything is an unborn, ungraspable, non-abiding appearance.

But all this has never in any way denied the luminous Awareness in experience (nor does it assert a substantialist 'One Mind' where every object is subsumed into an inherent Mind), i.e. all experiences are no less intensely vivid. Empty-Awareness as Forms must be experienced, but there is no locality, no who, no where, no when. Neither Self nor Objects. Only an empty, shimmering Suchness. Appear vividly according to conditions and spontaneously self-liberated.


Thank you.
Simply speaking, sunyata is just maxed out or finalized anatta, as it were.


Dependent origination?
Show me that, pls.

s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
12/8/12 6:18 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]

Thank you.
Simply speaking, sunyata is just maxed out or finalized anatta, as it were.

Dependent origination?
Show me that, pls.

s.

AEN hey again, I am wondering something, and I think it has to do with the above question, somehow:

After the anatta insight, I perceive the "I am presence" (luminosity as per Thusness, the Causal as per WIber and the True Self as per Vedanta/Ramana Maharshi) as a burden of sorts.

Maybe "a burden" is too strong a word, but there indeed is something going on there that need not be there.

Why some are completely ok with the True Self realization (Ramana Maharshi and numeruous others) and why some seem to want to go in the sunyata direction (Buddhists)?

What is your explanation (if there is one), please?

namaste
s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
12/8/12 9:31 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]

Dependent origination?
Show me that, pls.

s.Don't know if I posted this before, but anyway: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2009/06/bodhidharma-on-awareness-and-conditions.html

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
12/8/12 9:44 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
[quote=Seraphis .'.]
AEN hey again, I am wondering something, and I think it has to do with the above question, somehow:

After the anatta insight, I perceive the "I am presence" (luminosity as per Thusness, the Causal as per WIber and the True Self as per Vedanta/Ramana Maharshi) as a burden of sorts.

Maybe "a burden" is too strong a word, but there indeed is something going on there that need not be there.The burden is due to effort and clinging. Something seen as precious so all effort is made to 'keep' a state of presence deemed as purest. It is like seeing a red apple, then every moment wanting to keep that particular state of presence, that 'redness of apple' in sight. That 'redness of apple' is seen as something inherent, unchanging, independent, something blissful and precious to be kept at all costs. Or wanting to keep the 'summer' state (seen as 'purest' and 'most ultimate') even when you are facing autumn, winter, spring, etc. The same goes for 'Self' or 'Presence'. This is not natural. Rather understand that consciousness is empty of self, transient, and completely inseparable from diverse causes and conditions moment to moment. No attempt to cling to any purest state... instead just dissolving, opening fully to whatever arise, letting the natural conditions and manifestation unfold and dissolve without a trace moment to moment in its pristine clarity.
Why some are completely ok with the True Self realization (Ramana Maharshi and numeruous others) and why some seem to want to go in the sunyata direction (Buddhists)?
It is more like they didn't see any alternative. Or they did not have faith in Buddha so they did not begin to investigate his teachings. The Vedas and Upanishads (Buddha did not accept them as authority) are full of scriptures confirming their realization of Self, so it is natural to think that they have reached the final goal of spiritual path. If they knew better I think they would investigate more.

The Buddha had teachers that taught him formless samadhis. He was unsatisfied and went on his own path after he realized it did not end his suffering. I suspect he had been through the 'I AMness' phase himself.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
12/8/12 9:56 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
AEN, thank you yet again for the sharing.

It all resonates so much with what is arising here.

namaste
s.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
12/8/12 10:43 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
emoticon

Just remembered something Thusness wrote yesterday as a comment on someone on Facebook, a sharing:

"It is not easy... Will take some time. Even for me the struggle continues for years. Faith in Buddha's words was important in my case. As you authenticate the truth of Buddha's teaching with direct experience, a time will come when "the willingness" to let go arises, that will be the turning point. This willingness to let go of any inner/outer Essence gives rise to clear and unsurpassed clarity of uncontrived Awareness; relaxed, natural and groundless, yet vividly present. Then somehow the "fear" and "stubborn" attachment just disappears and it is seen clearly. Just the ongoing play of dharma."

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
3/24/14 7:32 PM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Hello Seraph, I understand you're writing something, wondering how's the progress?

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
3/25/14 5:31 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Ah ok I found out that Seraph has already posted excerpts from his upcoming book "after anatta" into the internet. I'm not sure if he wants to reveal his real name, so I'll not post those links publicly here.

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
5/31/14 8:40 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal NowAh ok I found out that Seraph has already posted excerpts from his upcoming book "after anatta" into the internet. I'm not sure if he wants to reveal his real name, so I'll not post those links publicly here.


Real name, Soh?
Good one.

Whats real, anyway?
emoticon

Have to add some new stuff I encoutered on the subject of anatta and the book is ready.

emoticon

RE: Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi
Answer
6/2/14 4:02 AM as a reply to Seraph .'..
Seraph .'.:
An Eternal NowAh ok I found out that Seraph has already posted excerpts from his upcoming book "after anatta" into the internet. I'm not sure if he wants to reveal his real name, so I'll not post those links publicly here.


Real name, Soh?
Good one.

Whats real, anyway?
emoticon

Have to add some new stuff I encoutered on the subject of anatta and the book is ready.

emoticon


Look forward to reading your book emoticon

After anatta, for me, I looked into dependent origination as total exertion (+A) and resolving all appearances as non-arising (-A)

As Thusness told me before, "The path after anatta insight is not exactly the same from realizing non-arising nature. Both r equally valuable in my opinion."

Also he wrote:

"John Tan Haha Jackson, u never give up.

    This heart is the "space" of where, the "time" of when and the "I" of who.

    In hearing, it's that "sound".

    In seeing, it's that "scenery".

    In thinking, it is that "eureka"!

    In snapping a finger, it is seizing the whole entire moment of that instantaneous "snapping".

    Just marvelous such as it is on the fly.

    So no "it" but thoroughly empty.

    To u this "heart" is most real, to dzogchen it is illusory. Though illusory, it is fully vivid and brilliance. Since it is illusory, it nvr really truly arise. There is genuine "treasure" in the illusory.

    I think Kyle has a lot points to share. Do unblock him.

    Nice chat And happy journey jax!

    Gone!


    .........

    John Tan Hi Kyle,

    Actually I am saying instead of attempting to deconstruct endlessly, why not resolved that that pure experience itself is empty and non-arising.

    In hearing, there is only sound. This clear clean and pure sound, treat and see it as the X (treat and see it like an imputation/conventional designation as u explained), empty and non-arising.

    In seeing, just scenery, just this clear clean and lurid scenery. Where is this scenery? Inside, outside, other’s mind or our mind? Unfindable but nonetheless appears vibrantly.

    This arising thought, this dancing sensation, this passing scent, all share the same taste. All experiences are like that -- like mirages and rainbows, illusory and non-arising, they are free from the 4 extremes.

    Resolved that all experiences are non-arising then pure sensory experiences and conventional constructs will be of equal taste. Realize this to be the nature of experience and illusory appearances will taste magic and vajra (indestructible)! Groundless and naturally releasing!

    Just my 2 cents of blah blah blah in new year."

Thusness: "try to understanding emptiness from DO (Dependent Origination). Not just empty."

And I wrote early this year:

"In deep contemplation, it can become apparent in direct experience and insight that all appearances are merely appearances, nothing arising or staying or ceasing... there is no actual birth of anything. Just like no matter what images appear on the movie or in a dream it will never amount to anything more than an appearance, without anything that truly come into existence. This is different from resolving non-arising through being-time. Lastly it is not that things are mental projections but that they are dependent arising.. what dependently originates is empty and nonarising appearance... momentary suchness, but still as vivid.

It is with some reluctance that I'm sharing this... I'm afraid that writing this might be a disservice to readers. I shall refrain from posting and discussing further about this. I do not wish this to become merely something to talk about, it has to be seen in direct taste and insight... so that one knows what the experience is like and what the realization is. Spouting big words or philosophizing about this do not mean anything."

Thusness in 2009:

"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.au/2008/01/ajahn-amaro-on-non-duality-and.html

Also from a recent talk two weeks ago by Loppon Namdrol (Malcolm Smith):


"If you look at the Mulamadhyamakakarikas, if you look at all of the
treatises of the great Madhyamika masters, you'll discover that the key
thing they're all talking about, the view, is not emptiness! This is the
big mistake that people have. They think, Buddhist view is emptiness.
That's not true. The Buddhist view is non-arising, and that is the
consequence of Dependent Origination.

For example, in the sutta
nipata, there is an arahat who achieved final Nirvana. He passed away.
And, someone goes to the Buddha and says, you know, where's that guy
now? And the Buddha said, it is not appropriate to talk about the
non-existence of something which has achieved cessation. There's nothing
by which we can describe its non-existence. This is a really
interesting thing, because you see, Nagarjuna said in the 15th chapter
of the Mulamadhyamakakarika, he says, those that talk about existence,
non-existence, inherent existence and dependent existence have not
understood the truth of the Buddha's teachings.

If you can't
find the existence or the non-existence of phenomenon, you have no other
conclusions but to conclude that they don't arise. When you can be in
that state of non-arising, you actually discover for yourself
concretely, not left as an intellectual posture, then you have some
freedom. Then you should start to become a little bit free from your
emotional afflictions at that time. But if you think everything is just
empty, then you're going to be a little frustrated. Because thinking
that things are empty, and then (knocks the table) hitting something
solid, these things are totally contradictory.

But if you
understand, first through analysis, then through meditative stability,
and you have some confidence that everything is non-arising, doesn't
mean that things don't appear... I'll give you an example of something
which never arose yet appears. Now, a lot of people they hear about
illusionists in ancient India. Actually what these illusionists were...
because then they say a mantra over some sticks and some clumps of mud
and cloth, and then from that you see elephants and princes and
warriors, and these kinds of things. For those people who live in
Indonesia and nearby, who have been to Bali and seen like those Bali
puppet shows, where you know the person sits behind the screen and they
have those sticks, and they do the Ramayana and stuff like that... those
illusionists are really properly speaking should be translated as
puppeteers.

The point is, there is an appearance of a tiger for
example, or the appearance of an elephant in a puppet show. And when
you're there in a puppet show of course you'll believe it, why do you
believe it? Well it's just like watching a movie, you're spontaneously
suspending a disbelief. But for you, that tiger appears to arise, that
elephant appears to arise. It appears to be there. But in reality, it
never arose. There was never a tiger in that place, there was never an
elephant in that place, or a castle. You have to understand that this
metaphor is how we can understand dependent origination.

Through
the dependent origination of all these causes and conditions, we have
these appearances which seem to arise. But when we examine them, we go
to find them, we are like thirsty animals chasing a mirage of water. No
matter how close we get to that mirage, still, there is nothing to
drink. Ok, but there is an appearance. We couldn't say there wasn't an
appearance, but did water arise there? No. Water never arose there.
Ever. Not at any time.

So therefore we can understand,
everything is just like that illusion. Everything else is just like that
mirage, that is what it means when we say, things never arose. We can't
find them. They appear, true, I'm not saying that things don't appear,
of course they appear. But what's their nature? Their nature is, they
never arose. That's why in the tantras it say, Emaho, the secret of all
perfect Buddhas is, Perfect Buddhas never arose. Everything never arose
from the beginning, even arising never arose. I mean, this is a
beautiful statement, honestly. So, if you understand this, if you have
this understanding, then you have come to the limit of the view. You
have nothing more to investigate. But you have to do the work yourself,
you can't just listen to me waffle on about it, you have to do something
concrete."

"'If emptiness by nature is realized, understand that
there is no birth in samsara.' So here he's saying that if you realize
emptiness, this is freedom, this is liberation. 'Similar to a reflection
in the mirror, understand that the nature of appearances is emptiness.
Similar to a display seen in a dream, understand the nature of emptiness
is appearance.' So maybe we explain this a little bit. ' Similar to a
reflection in the mirror, understand that the nature of appearances is
emptiness.' that means that the appearances in a mirror have no
substances, they're unreal, just reflections. 'Similar to a display seen
in a dream, understand the nature of emptiness is appearance.' A dream
is empty, there's nothing there, but nonetheless things appear in a
dream. So this is how we understand it. They're the same metaphor but
Jetsun Gyaltsen cleverly reverses them."

"Non-arising is the
fundamental principle that Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings are trying
to get us to understand. And so if you understand that everything is
non-arising then you understand that birth, sickness, ageing and death
never happened.

Another good quote from the same talk:

  • "Manjusri
    said, 'Whatever has arisen in dependence, has in truth, not arisen at
    all.' So basically speaking, what we should understand is, and this by
    the way incidentally is why Buddha's teaching on dependent origination
    is the key factor, that differentiates it from other teachings. And
    emptiness for example that is not derived from understanding dependent
    origination will not be correctly understood emptiness. This is Really
    what Nagarjuna is trying to get across to people. If you don't
    understand emptiness based on dependent origination, you can have the
    word emptiness in your mouth, but it's going to be a conceptual
    emptiness. That conceptual emptiness if you meditate on it, that's going
    to result in rebirth in one of the formless ayatanas of 'everything is
    empty' because that is conceptual.

    See
    a lot of people think that emptiness is the big teaching of the Buddha,
    but it's not. There were people before the Buddha that recognised there
    was emptiness, that is why we have the formless ayatana of 'everything
    is empty'. What is unique to the Buddha is understanding how to get to
    the view of emptiness without creating a throwing karma in meditation
    that will impel you into one of these formless ayatanas, one of these
    formless states where you stay hanging out for gazillions and millions
    of aeons until you exhaust the merits and then immediately fall into
    avici hell, where you stay for many more millions of aeons until you
    finally, slowly, work your way out."


    Also, Piotr wrote:

    Piotr:

    Thusness gave me impt advice

    to not skip and go directly to non-arising

    but to see that non-arising comes from dependent origination

    so instead of skipping

    i took a look at this sensory appearance of immediacy

    i had always this

    mindblock

    also apart from nihilistic grasping at is not

    you know

    that mind block that preventso ne to see how exactly DO

    is not causality

    of 4 extremes

    arising from self, other, both and causelessly

    so i look into AAAA

    of guruyoga

    and noticed that the fact it's dependent make it absurd to see AAA I produce

    as stand-alone

    seeing mere THIS without seeing that [DI, moments of continuum of pracitcioners of my lineage, energy of contemplation of dakas and dakinis]

    my problem was how exactly dependent origination is not causality

    but when i looked into this vast array of endliess dependency it's seen

    nothing can be approached as stand-alone

    "this" without "that"[secondary condition]

    so this very pure sound of AA

    cannot arise from itself since it lack stand-alone-ness and identity that would allow to even look at it as "it alone"

    cannt arise from other since there is NOT SINGLE THING

    that can be seen as stand alone

    cant from both since its double mistake

    cant causelessly since for it to be causeless is to see it as stand alone

    so i had a little breakthrough of mental intellect

    to see how endless dependency is actually what makes thing-ness

    impossible

    just like when i look

    into window/glass

    when i ride a bus

    due to secondary causes

    it superficially appears that there is transparent reflection of my body

    "inside" glass/window

    it's not really "inside" glass; it merely appears so. in reality it's mere reflection of secondary causes. but being mere reflection of secondary causes on contrary how inherent view thinks is not oming FROM real things

    there is no coming from

    there is only immediace complete mere apparition in glass that is not really there

    but immediately vividly "appears" due to secondary cause

    like mirror instantly reflects

    without there being possiblity to see "arising" of reflection

    there is immediate mere appearance

    just immediate mere appearance

    nothing really "inside" mirror

    just like reflection of moon

    only superficcialy seems to be "on" surface of water

    while it's mere apparition immediate without coming and coing; mere reflection of endless dependency

    but in realiy reflection of moon is neither inside water

    not outside water surface

    nor in-between

    tthat is the point of watermoon analogy

    not that moon in water

    is not moon from sky

    lol

    i also did not understand it till recently

    breakthru came yesterday

    when riding buss

    i looked into transparet reflection of my sillouette in teh window