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Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/8/12 9:55 AM
I seem to be getting a lot of mileage out of the Bahiya sutta since I came across it here a couple of days ago. I started with the Buddha's instruction "Only the seen in reference to the seen," etc., cycling through the six senses, and it has collapsed down to "In sensing, only the sensation." This leads to awareness of the self constructed in relation to the sensation, and holding it in awareness cuts it. Does this sound right? I think a new self is evolving in reference to the selves being elucidated by this practice, which may be problematic. Also, this practice demands very stable attention and if the sensation is disturbing enough it gets very tricky. In that case I go back to metta/tonglen.

Also, I find the Buddha's claim that Bahiya "did not pester with issues related to the Dhamma" a bit mysterious.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/8/12 10:43 AM as a reply to fivebells ..
hey fivebells, you might find a couple of blog posts by Nikolai to be interesting about this sort of non-conceptual awareness that doesn't create objects out of what is sensed.

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2012/05/appreciation-atammayata.html

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2012/05/appreciation-abandon-overlay.html

as for the "he didn't pester me thing" when he clearly did, i am baffled too...

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/8/12 11:27 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Thanks, Adam. Will take a look.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/8/12 12:26 PM as a reply to fivebells ..
fivebells .:
I seem to be getting a lot of mileage out of the Bahiya sutta since I came across it here a couple of days ago. I started with the Buddha's instruction "Only the seen in reference to the seen," etc., cycling through the six senses, and it has collapsed down to "In sensing, only the sensation." This leads to awareness of the self constructed in relation to the sensation, and holding it in awareness cuts it. Does this sound right? I think a new self is evolving in reference to the selves being elucidated by this practice, which may be problematic. Also, this practice demands very stable attention and if the sensation is disturbing enough it gets very tricky. In that case I go back to metta/tonglen.

Also, I find the Buddha's claim that Bahiya "did not pester with issues related to the Dhamma" a bit mysterious.
Just sharing from my personal experiences... Personally, Bahiya Sutta leads to the NDNCDIMOP (non-dual, non-conceptual, direct, immediate, mode of perception) of "seeing" "sensing" etc.

But more important than that, it led to the deconstruction of "Self", "Awareness", and the likes by direct realization of the right view.

Prior to this insight, I had NDNCDIMOP where all sense of an observer, subject, self, etc completely dissolves into "just the hearing", "just the seeing"... the vivid, direct, luminous perception of the senses as it is.

It should be noted that as an experience, without any insight, this NDNCDIMOP is very intermittent and appears to require a lot of effort, like you say "very stable attention". In fact it is always (prior to the arising of penetrative insights) the result of concentrative effort or very strong mindfulness such that one is able to breakthrough the layers of bonds that condition us into a subject-object mode of perceiving/contraction, and the mind/body construct, so that when we can temporarily dissolve or disable these bonds, a peak experience can occur. This need not happen in a particular meditative setting - the first time as I recall it happened to me when I was 16 years old, was when I was just appreciating the sceneries, the trees and the leafs moving and swaying from my window, when the sense of a self and observer dissolved and instead of perceiving as if "I am an observer seeing the tree", there is for a brief period of time JUST the seeing/the tree in all its vivid colours and shapes and movements... there was a very wonderful and amazing quality to it, and because this seems so different from the ordinary way we see things (dualistically), there is a "wow" quality to it, like it is something very special and extraordinary. (now it's still wonderful, but more ordinary, due to the lack of big contrasts as this mode becomes kind of effortless, ongoing/perpetual)

Yet the key to the effortless and seamless NDNCDIMOP lies in dissolving these bonds are through penetrative insights (though some concentration is also helpful and required especially at first). Penetrative insights see into the nature of what reality has always been and is - e.g. always already, in seeing only the seen, no seer! Not as a temporary experience but always so.

So anyway, as I had some insights back in August/September 2010 into the non-dual nature of Awareness, this NDNCDIMOP was becoming more frequent and seems to be rather ongoing rather than brief episodes, yet not fully effortless or stable. There is still something preventing complete effortlessness and seamlessness.

What I did not realize then, is that I was still having some constructs or view of an Awareness, a view of a subject, as something inherent. So much so that when the experience was expressed, the view, the construct immediately influence my expression into something crude like "everything is just the expression of Aliveness" "everything is the expression of Awareness". The mind still has this view of a truly existing essence, an Awareness, in which everything is an expression of. I see Awareness as completely non-dual, without any subject or object division, but still the view of a source, an inherent essence, a subject, is still causing this desync of view and experience.

What Bahiya Sutta led to is the deconstruction of the subjective pole by realizing that "awareness", perceiving, self are all imputed on just the ever-changing, arising and subsiding sights and sounds, that there is truly no inherently existing essence that can be pinned down whatsoever. Instead of seeing everything as the expression of one truly existing awareness, "Awareness", "self", "perceiving", "hearing" is simply realized to be JUST the transient sensations, sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, thoughts. There is nothing whatsoever that can be pinned down as I, me, mine.

A person at the ordinary dualistic level of experience/view sees "subject, perceiver" as separate and distinct from the "objective world outside", leading to a sense of alienation, distance, separation, as if there is an inner person looking out at the world from the center of the head. As an analogy: one sees that the waves and the oceans are two things.

A person who has realized non-dual awareness and has direct experience of the NDNCDIMOP, BUT still holds on to the view of an inherent "self" may formulate his experience in terms of inherent view and construct, such as "everything is all One, as the entire ocean and all the waves are only the one substance of water". In this case, it is One Mind. Everything is Mind, everything is Self, everything is Awareness/the expression of Awareness. One is still seeing in terms of a self and a source despite the background being inseparable or non-dual from the foreground, it is not seeing through the falseness of any truly existing background or subjective essence. Therefore, experience is non-dual yet view of inherency remains.

But someone who realizes Bahiya sutta actually deconstructing "Awareness" and "self", in the same way as deconstructing "water" by seeing that "water" is simply a label imputed on two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atoms co-dependently arising (see this: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2012/05/is-there-you.html ). It does not subsume everything to an essence but it is a way of deconstructing the "Essence", a self, an agent, a perceiver, in whatsoever form... by seeing that "self/Self", "Awareness", and the likes are simply imputation constructed on a conglomerate of self-luminous phenomena. In seeing, just the seen, "seeing" is just a convention imputed on phenomena "seen". Same goes for hearing, smelling, etc... and there is no "You" (as an agent, perceiver, controller, etc) whatsoever "in terms of that". Nothing can be pinned down. Now it is seen that all sensations/phenomena/dharmas are implicitly non-dual and nothing inherent. The effort to reconfirm something unchanging (a source, a self, an awareness), along with any sense of agency or self is dissolved in effortless No-Mind. Contemplating on Bahiya Sutta was what led to my insight into anatta.

The result of this is that NDNCDIMOP becomes effortless and seamless rather than remaining an intermittent experience.

This is not the end, but only pertains to the very first point in Thusness's 9 points to Taiyaki:

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/

Last year, a forummer from the NewBuddhist forum penetrated within a year the realization of I AM to non dual and anatta. He is an avid reader of this blog.

Thusness wrote the following pointers for him:

"There are several points that maybe of help to Taiyaki:

1. First there must be a deep conviction that arising does not need an essence. That view of subjective essence is simply a convenient view.

2. First emptying of self/Self does not necessarily lead to illusion-like experience of reality. It does however allows experience to become vivid, luminous, direct and non-dual.

3. First emptying may also lead a practitioner to be attached to an 'objective' world or turns physical. The 'dualistic' tendency will resurface after a period of few months so it is advisable to monitor one's progress for a few months.

4. Second emptying of phenomena will turn experience illusion-like but take note of how emptying of phenomena is simply extending the same "emptiness view" of Self/self.

5. From these experiences and realizations, contemplate what is meant by "thing", what is meant by mere construct and imputation.

6. "Mind and body drop" are simply dissolving of mind and body constructs. If one day the experience of anatta turns a practitioner to the attachment of an 'objective and actual' world, deconstruct "physical".

7. There is a relationship between "mental constructs", energy, luminosity and weight. A practitioner will experience a release of energies, freedom, clarity and feel light and weightless deconstructing 'mental constructs'.

8. Also understand how the maha experience of interpenetration and non-obstruction is related to deconstructions of inherent view.

9. No body, no mind, no dependent origination, no nothing, no something, no birth, no death. Profoundly deconstructed and emptied! Just vivid shimmering appearances as Primordial Suchness in one whole seamless unobstructed-interpenetration."



p.s. my take on Buddha's claim that Bahiya "did not pester with issues related to the Dhamma": understand and go for the essence, don't dwell in unimportant and unbeneficial side issues or things having no relation to your practice! At least, this is what Thusness advised me (though his advise were shorter than what I just said, but his meaning is something like that) just yesterday. Why? I always pester Thusness with all kinds of questions, while overlooking the essence of what he said. emoticon

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/8/12 12:24 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Brilliant as usual, AEN. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write so clearly about the progressive deepening of insight here. Really great stuff.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/8/12 12:34 PM as a reply to fivebells ..
fivebells .:
I think a new self is evolving in reference to the selves being elucidated by this practice, which may be problematic.
As in a Witness?

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/8/12 12:42 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
hey AEN, how do you recommend practicing to realize the insights that would bring one to the non-conceptual mode of perception?

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/8/12 2:04 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Adam . .:
hey AEN, how do you recommend practicing to realize the insights that would bring one to the non-conceptual mode of perception?
As with any insight practice, one must look nakedly at the nature of your experience. Because the conceptual layer is always unknowingly reinforcing a sense of self arising from latent bonds and uninvestigated views and constructs, in order to investigate, we have to drop our conceptual thoughts with its whole layer of presumptions/conceptions and investigate our own direct experience. This non-conceptual insight practice is often misunderstood however. It does not mean staring blankly at one spot waiting for some magical insight to arrive. It is not just a kind of concentration practice. Rather, it means to really investigate and challenge this core sense or position that "I am", "I exist" to see if there is any validity or truth in our direct (unmediated, bare, prior-to-concepts) experience.

An advise I often give is to strip yourself of concepts and just observe nakedly and experience our sensate reality as clearly as possible. It means to see the sights, colours, shapes, forms as clearly and intensely as can be, to hear the sound as clearly and vividly as can be, to experience everything in crystal clarity. Our senses are brimming with clarity. Then, investigate for yourself, is there ever a real self/subject/agent/etc, is this the way things are - that a self truly exists? Or is there always already simply the experience without an observer. In seeing, is there a self? Or is seeing simply the seen (shapes, colours and forms) without seer. Same goes for hearing, smelling, etc... Thinking...

We are investigating and challenging every uninvestigated notion, view, position, of a self/Self by checking out if they stand up to reality itself. For non-dual insight, you start asking yourself, does reality exist in terms of an "inside" or an "outside" - Where does the subjective pole ends and objective pole begins, or where does awareness/observing ends and manifestation begin? As for anatta, we question our assumption of a "self" as an inherent essence (like the weird notion of a "water" molecule linking up 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atoms - http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2012/05/is-there-you.html ) by seeing if it stands up to reality: isn't self/awareness/etc simply always (just a convention for) just the sights, sounds, tastes, i.e. in the seen just the seen, hearing is just sounds, etc (without a seer seeing the seen or a hearer hearing the heard)? Or is there truly an awareness/self/perceiver/observing/agent that contains, expresses, or observes things? Is there a core self that is the agent which controls, observes, the aggregates or is "self", "awareness", etc simply an imputation for hearing/sounds, seeing/sights, etc? Then we may begin to see that there is no "water" molecule at the center linking the 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atoms: rather, it is the co-dependently arising conglomerate of 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atoms that is *conventionally* imputed as a "water" molecule! There is no "water molecule" as a truly existing entity at all, it is mere imputations! Likewise, there is no "an awareness", "a self", any kind of subjective essence behind seeing, hearing, smelling, and so on. "Self" is thus a mere imputation for the five changing aggregates of form, feelings, perceptions, volitions and consciousness (consciousness itself is divided into six kinds), all of which are everchanging, arising and subsiding, without any linking core whatsoever!

In effect, what we felt as some solid entity at the center, or a being inside a solid entity called a body (another falsely constructed image of some solid entity with shapes and forms out of a bunch of disconnected and spontaneous sensations) gets deconstructed through insight by this kind of contemplation which investigates and challenges our baseless constructs like self, body, inside and outside, subject and object, etc etc... When we directly realize the falsity of our constructs through this kind of deconstructive investigation, we realize and discover, oh this is how it always is and has been! And what's seen through is simply seen through, no longer an experience that is entered and left (like those peak experiences where suddenly sense of self drops off but returns in a few moments).

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/8/12 9:37 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
This is highly relevant for me at the moment, so thank you plenty, all of you, for bringing this up. I have a few questions regarding this stage of realization.

I understand that we are talking about the transition to substantial non duality and/or the deepening of that to insubstantial nonduality.

NOTE: I don't think I have had the I AM realization (aka. Pure Presence, Being etc.), and the progressive deepening of that into "I AM everything" (aka. Impersonality, Universal I AM, Cosmic Self, etc.).

With effort, I too can 'isolate' the bareness/nakedness of experience into only sensation, such that "in sensing, only the sensations", and then it is abundantly clear that there is no perceiver/self "in terms of that", nor any objects "out there". However I can't do this with thought, and have a hard time with sight; sound and touch is very clearly "no-self". In addition, with further effort, it is possible to 'see' (i.e. to understand; comprehend) the "illocation" (i.e. un-location) of the sensations; they are appearing nowhere.

Is this 'isolating' or bare awareness coupled with noticing the selfless/subject-less truth of experience what I should be doing at the moment to realize nonduality?

An Eternal Now:
[Contemplation of the Bahya Sutta leads] to the deconstruction of "Self", "Awareness", and the likes by direct realization of the right view.

Is Right View realized with naked awareness (of experience), i.e. "in sensing, only sensation"?

An Eternal Now:
It should be noted that as an experience, without any insight, this NDNCDIMOP is very intermittent and appears to require a lot of effort, like you say "very stable attention". (...) I had some insights back in August/September 2010 into the non-dual nature of Awareness, [and the] NDNCDIMOP was becoming more frequent (...), yet not fully effortless or stable.

I do not have much/many NDNCDIMOP / PCEs going at the moment. Is this a hindrance?

An Eternal Now:
In fact it [i.e. NDNCDIMOP] is always (prior to the arising of penetrative insights) the result of concentrative effort or very strong mindfulness such that one is able to breakthrough the layers of bonds that condition us into a subject-object mode of perceiving/contraction, and the mind/body construct, so that when we can temporarily dissolve or disable these bonds, a peak experience can occur. (...) the key to the effortless and seamless NDNCDIMOP lies in dissolving these bonds through penetrative insights (though some concentration is also helpful and required especially at first). Penetrative insights see into the nature of what reality has always been and is - e.g. always already, in seeing only the seen, no seer! Not as a temporary experience but always so.

The keywords here seem to be penetrative insights, which is realizing that "always already, in seeing only the seen, no seer. Not as a temporary experience but always so".

An Eternal Now:
What I did not realize then, is that I was still having some constructs or view of an Awareness, a view of a subject, as something inherent. So much so that when the experience was expressed, the view, the construct immediately influence my expression into something crude like "everything is just the expression of Aliveness" "everything is the expression of Awareness". The mind still has this view of a truly existing essence, an Awareness, in which everything is an expression of. I see Awareness as completely non-dual, without any subject or object division, but still the view of a source, an inherent essence, a subject, is still causing this desync of view and experience.

What Bahiya Sutta led to is the deconstruction of the subjective pole by realizing that "awareness", perceiving, self are all imputed on just the ever-changing, arising and subsiding sights and sounds, that there is truly no inherently existing essence that can be pinned down whatsoever.

Do you think that someone who has not had the I AM realization will have such subtle clinging to a source, Self, Awareness, etc.?

An Eternal Now:
Instead of seeing everything as the expression of one truly existing awareness, "Awareness", "self", "perceiving", "hearing" is simply realized to be JUST the transient sensations, sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, thoughts. There is nothing whatsoever that can be pinned down as I, me, mine. (...) In seeing, just the seen, "seeing" is just a convention imputed on phenomena "seen".

Sounds to me like you deconstructed the first of the skandhas, form, or in other words, that you deconstructed the senses, not just the sensor. I'm on shaky grounds here, please correct me if I'm wrong.

As of now, I'm doing Direct Path inquiry "outside-in" instead of "inside-out". In other words, what Thusness calls the "second emptying" becomes the first emptying, and vice versa. The outside-in and inside-out approaches seems to converge around in/substantial non duality.

For anyone reading thus far, I can recommend Greg Goode's The Direct Path: A User Guide (kindle edition). When reading this book, you should take care to properly understand where Greg stands in the progression of realization and why and how he uses certain words like awareness. There are a few YouTube videos (especially this one) that can help you understand this.

The experiments in this book are absolutely fantastic, not because they are groundbreakingly clever, but because in their hand-holding they seem to be able to actually replace direct contact with a teacher (like Thusness for An Eternal Now) - no small feat. If you are interested, I have a copy of the first part of the book, to give you a taste before you buy.

Also, AEN, I'd love to get Thusness's take on this book. Any chance you could send him this digital copy of the first part that I have of the book to him (maybe send me your email in a direct message or something)?

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 1:04 AM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
With effort, I too can 'isolate' the bareness/nakedness of experience into only sensation, such that "in sensing, only the sensations", and then it is abundantly clear that there is no perceiver/self "in terms of that", nor any objects "out there". However I can't do this with thought, and have a hard time with sight; sound and touch is very clearly "no-self". In addition, with further effort, it is possible to 'see' (i.e. to understand; comprehend) the "illocation" (i.e. un-location) of the sensations; they are appearing nowhere.
Interesting, as it seems sight that was easiest for me first. It has to do with our perculiar imprints related to our path of contemplation, as Thusness noted in the comments section of Ajahn Amaro's Bahiya Sutta article: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2008/01/ajahn-amaro-on-non-duality-and.html

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Blogger Buddha Bra said...

I guess at this stage 'effortlessness' seems to subtle. Just the practice of 'experiencing' and then its ebbing when one goes back to one's mechanical thought process and then back again waking up seems to be the routine.
One aspect was noticed by me namely it appears to be 'easier' to experience sounds and just sounds within nothing coming in the way, or taste or smell likewise. However, visual seems quite impossible. Nothing can be seen fresh - the images stored inside the mind come up and replace the 'thing that is being seen'. I wonder if it is because visual impressions remain in sight for a long time while the impression of sounds or taste just stay only for a short moment in the ear or tongue?

March 19, 2009 3:05 AM
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Blogger PasserBy said...

Not exactly, for most Advaita practitioners, it comes from visual first and that is termed non-dual awareness. There is no observer and observed split but just one observation and this is most obvious to them if they were to progress from a phase of “Eternal Witness”. Dissolving into mere experience of just colors, forms, shapes and into the scenery is easier for them.

For vipassana practitioners that practice bodily sensations observing the 3 characteristics; ‘sound’ is most obvious then comes others with visual impression being last.

The reason is ‘imprints’. All views and intentions cause imprints. In this case, for you impermanence has a more subtle influence than no-self (no-subject/object division). As visual impressions appear to be more static, it becomes more difficult for a practitioner to experience that ‘impermanence’ and thereby blocking that experience. It can be overcome if we were to establish more firmly the view of no division between the observer and observed, the visual aspect will appear easier. This is just my view.

In whatever case, becoming too ‘efforting’ at later phase might cause some issues like sleeplessness due to over concentration. Do regular exercises to balance it up is equally important. If that still persist, just let go and stop your practice. You will realize that by ‘stopping’ for a 1-2 weeks and revisiting it later, you progress instead.

Just my opinion. Hope that helps. -emoticon
Is this 'isolating' or bare awareness coupled with noticing the selfless/subject-less truth of experience what I should be doing at the moment to realize nonduality?
Yes. Here, one of the posts in the comments section (you might want to go through them) is quite relevant:

Blogger PasserBy said...

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!

February 6, 2009 11:16 AM
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Therefore, you should be contemplating on the "always already so". In seeing, there is always only the seen. In hearing there is always only the sound. Never was there a seer or hearer.
An Eternal Now:
Is Right View realized with naked awareness (of experience), i.e. "in sensing, only sensation"?
Not just that. Right view is not only the second stanza of anatta, its about all aspect of anatta + the second emptiness/D.O. truth, see http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html

Your practice is currently more focused on penetrating the second stanza of anatta.
An Eternal Now:
I do not have much/many NDNCDIMOP / PCEs going at the moment. Is this a hindrance?
It is only normal. It is not a hindrance. PCE will be intermittent until the bond is dissolved via insight. It is not something that developing concentration and mindfulness alone will make "effortless". You can't get effortlessness this way. Without insights, NDNCDIMOP will remain intermittent and effortful. Which is why Thusness thinks AF method emphasized too much on cultivating the experience of PCE, which is not the key towards effortlessness. But it can also be seen as a more gradual method which can also lead to realization... just as cultivating "awareness of awareness" ala michael langford is a gradual method to I AM realization in comparison to self-inquiry. That is my understanding.
An Eternal Now:

The keywords here seem to be penetrative insights, which is realizing that "always already, in seeing only the seen, no seer. Not as a temporary experience but always so".
Yes. Just this activity, is already no-self - in thinking just thoughts, in seeing just colours shapes forms, no thinker/seer.
Do you think that someone who has not had the I AM realization will have such subtle clinging to a source, Self, Awareness, etc.?
Maybe they will not conceive of an awareness as super-self, but the clinging to a self/agent/etc still manifest. The conceit of self is what drives the whole samsaric rebirth/suffering/becoming process of all sentient beings.
An Eternal Now:

Sounds to me like you deconstructed the first of the skandhas, form, or in other words, that you deconstructed the senses, not just the sensor. I'm on shaky grounds here, please correct me if I'm wrong.
Any sense of a perceiving/awareness which 'exists' as a Subject (you can call it perceiver, sensor) is deconstructed in contemplating Bahiya sutta. However, the five skandhas only get emptied in the second emptying. At least that was what happened for me.
As of now, I'm doing Direct Path inquiry "outside-in" instead of "inside-out". In other words, what Thusness calls the "second emptying" becomes the first emptying, and vice versa. The outside-in and inside-out approaches seems to converge around in/substantial non duality.

For anyone reading thus far, I can recommend Greg Goode's The Direct Path: A User Guide (kindle edition). When reading this book, you should take care to properly understand where Greg stands in the progression of realization and why and how he uses certain words like awareness. There are a few YouTube videos (especially this one) that can help you understand this.

The experiments in this book are absolutely fantastic, not because they are groundbreakingly clever, but because in their hand-holding they seem to be able to actually replace direct contact with a teacher (like Thusness for An Eternal Now) - no small feat. If you are interested, I have a copy of the first part of the book, to give you a taste before you buy.

Also, AEN, I'd love to get Thusness's take on this book. Any chance you could send him this digital copy of the first part that I have of the book to him (maybe send me your email in a direct message or something)?
I actually read the whole book and passed that book to Thusness a few weeks ago. I'll ask him for his comments emoticon You can contact me through the contact form at my blog.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 12:37 AM as a reply to fivebells ..
If somebody is interested, there are some exercises given in the book The Joy of Being by Tarthang Tulku. Under the chapter The Six Senses, there are instructions for "Just Seeing", "Simply Hearing" etc.

I have found those to be very useful. But I have been practicing Kum Nye for a while now and this book has advanced kum nye practices, so maybe this is not for beginners.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 1:06 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
There is nothing whatsoever that can be pinned down as I, me, mine.

That's the essence of it. This one lonely quote. Not really any need to say any more than that. Gotama made you contemplate, look deeper than you ever looked before to catch the insight he was pointing at. No time to be lazy or unmindful if you want to catch this insight.

In the seeing only the seeing (no sense of "I" doing the seeing), in the hearing only what is heard (no sense of "I" doing the hearing) and so on.

When the insight that the mind constructs a self for virtually every experience one has becomes a vivid reality, then you realize in the clarity of that moment anatta (without self). It's as simple and as uncomplicated as that. If you allow the mind to complicate things, you lose the insight!

"Nothing is fit to be clung to. (Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya.) If a monk has learnt that nothing is fit to be clung to, he directly knows everything; by directly knowing everything, he fully understands everything; when he fully understands everything, whatever feeling he experiences, be it pleasant, painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, in regard to those same feelings he dwells contemplating impermanence, contemplating dispassion, contemplating cessation, contemplating relinquishment. When he thus abides contemplating impermanence, dispassion, cessation and relinquishment in regard to those feelings, he does not cling to anything in the world; without clinging he is not agitated; being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: 'Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this world.' " (AN 7.58)

"Is feeling permanent or impermanent? . . . Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness? . . . Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine. This I am. This is my self'?" (SN 22.59)

It's all right there in the suttas if you will but look for it. . .

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 1:28 AM as a reply to Ian And.
Ian And:
An Eternal Now:
There is nothing whatsoever that can be pinned down as I, me, mine.

That's the essence of it. This one lonely quote. Not really any need to say any more than that. Gotama made you contemplate, look deeper than you ever looked before to catch the insight he was pointing at. No time to be lazy or unmindful if you want to catch this insight.

In the seeing only the seeing (no sense of "I" doing the seeing), in the hearing only what is heard (no sense of "I" doing the hearing) and so on.

When the insight that the mind constructs a self for virtually every experience one has becomes a vivid reality, then you realize in the clarity of that moment anatta (without self). It's as simple and as uncomplicated as that. If you allow the mind to complicate things, you lose the insight!

"Nothing is fit to be clung to. (Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya.) If a monk has learnt that nothing is fit to be clung to, he directly knows everything; by directly knowing everything, he fully understands everything; when he fully understands everything, whatever feeling he experiences, be it pleasant, painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, in regard to those same feelings he dwells contemplating impermanence, contemplating dispassion, contemplating cessation, contemplating relinquishment. When he thus abides contemplating impermanence, dispassion, cessation and relinquishment in regard to those feelings, he does not cling to anything in the world; without clinging he is not agitated; being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: 'Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this world.' " (AN 7.58)

"Is feeling permanent or impermanent? . . . Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness? . . . Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine. This I am. This is my self'?" (SN 22.59)

It's all right there in the suttas if you will but look for it. . .
Hi, insight once gained will never be lost. What's seen can never been unseen... as it has so for me, for almost two years. Then after insight, there can be lots of ways to express it... not just one way. Just as if you have seen something for yourself, you will be able to find many ways to express it. But the seeing it is the point. There is no need to express things in the same exact way as Buddha. In fact I am criticized by Thusness for my lack of creativity in expressing my insight. emoticon Something I need to learn...

Also as an off-topic note, "this is not me, not mine" is often misunderstood as dissociation... not saying you are making this mistake as you seem clear, but I think it is fairly common so I think it is important to bring this up. I have written a long article pertaining to this: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2011/10/anatta-not-self-or-no-self.html

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 12:00 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:

As of now, I'm doing Direct Path inquiry "outside-in" instead of "inside-out". In other words, what Thusness calls the "second emptying" becomes the first emptying, and vice versa. The outside-in and inside-out approaches seems to converge around in/substantial non duality.

For anyone reading thus far, I can recommend Greg Goode's The Direct Path: A User Guide (kindle edition). When reading this book, you should take care to properly understand where Greg stands in the progression of realization and why and how he uses certain words like awareness. There are a few YouTube videos (especially this one) that can help you understand this.

The experiments in this book are absolutely fantastic, not because they are groundbreakingly clever, but because in their hand-holding they seem to be able to actually replace direct contact with a teacher (like Thusness for An Eternal Now) - no small feat. If you are interested, I have a copy of the first part of the book, to give you a taste before you buy.

Also, AEN, I'd love to get Thusness's take on this book. Any chance you could send him this digital copy of the first part that I have of the book to him (maybe send me your email in a direct message or something)?
Quote from Thusness:

"It is a good book and can lead a practitioner until non-dual objectless awareness. However the instantaneous realization similar to that of koan is not there. Can hardly be termed "direct"."

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 11:50 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
More conversations.

6/9/2012 9:30 PM: John: I hv told u abt the disease of
6/9/2012 9:30 PM: John: Non conceptuality (see: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2011/08/disease-of-non-conceptuality.html ), u need to seek a balance
6/9/2012 9:31 PM: John: Otherwise it will limit ur progress into phase 6 and especially 7
6/9/2012 9:33 PM: John: View must be fully integrated into ur practice for u to understand what the maha experience is
6/9/2012 9:40 PM: John: Many do not understand the implication of right view yet
6/9/2012 9:41 PM: John: U do not go non conceptual and realized the maha experience of suchness
6/9/2012 9:43 PM: John: It is just like how dualistic and inherent view has integrate into our moment to moment of experience
6/9/2012 9:43 PM: John: And we feel and behave the world is really dual.
6/9/2012 9:44 PM: John: As if the world is really dual
6/9/2012 9:46 PM: John: If a practitioner is simply at "in hearing, only sound and no hearer", he can still get stuck at no self and simply be awe by the grandeur of the pce.
6/9/2012 9:49 PM: John: This is different from understanding the empty of self. Understanding "emptiness" requires u to understand the analogy given by the h2o YouTube and more
6/9/2012 9:50 PM: John: It also requires to penetrate into DO by deeper investigation of the nature of experience
6/9/2012 9:59 PM: John: Where does sound go? Is there a "going, coming", is there a "here and there" if sound, is there a voidness where sound return to? Then what does it mean by "no going anywhere" and seeing DO. Then we begin to understand the view of activities and actions and when we see everywhere the seemless integration and total exertions, then maha experience will become more and more obvious and effortless. At this phase there is no self, no dual... All these r already implied...
6/9/2012 10:00 PM: John: There r the content of emptiness
6/9/2012 10:01 PM: John: U should look at few aspects
6/9/2012 10:04 PM: John: 1. Seeing inherent object as a mere convention collating ... If a practitioner keeps penetrating whatever arises this way, experience will turn groundless and illusion -like
6/9/2012 10:06 PM: John: 2. Seeing clearly in non dual mode but deep in us realize that this is merely a dependent originated manifestation, nothing ultimate and solidly real
6/9/2012 10:07 PM: John: 3. U see "no going, no coming, no here, no there" and penetrate deeply into the seamless interpenetration of activities leading to the maha experience
6/9/2012 10:11 PM: John: Until this empty nature of whatever arises is intuit in our moment to moment of experience, u can then feel the total exertion and self liberating aspect of experience
6/9/2012 10:14 PM: AEN: Oic..
6/9/2012 10:18 PM: AEN: I wrote something on no coming etc I think a few months ago: http://sgforums.com/forums/1728/topics/450643
6/9/2012 10:30 PM: John: I will take a look later
6/9/2012 10:30 PM: AEN: Ok

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 12:50 PM as a reply to Change A..
Thanks, I browsed a bit of the relevant sections on Amazon. Looks interesting.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 2:04 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Thanks, Eternal. I don't really understand point 1 of the advice to Taiyaki. I have some experience of 2, and an attachment to an "objective" world is still unconsciously operating (i.e., I can see it there when you point it out), so that is worth taking a look at too.

I think I understand what the "didn't pester me" claim was about. It is essentially connecting the insight teaching back to ethics. It was Bahiya per se who pestered him, because Bahiya has no intrinsic nature. It was the klesha of Bahiya's need to attain the status of Arahant. (I'm not saying here that there's anything wrong with aspiring to Arahanthood.)

Edit: Oops, I meant it was not Bahiya per se who pestered him.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 1:03 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
I've seen that terminology, but don't really know what it means. Probably not the same thing, though, because what I mean is development of a new becoming/birth of a self-concept defined in relation to the self-concepts observed as part of the Bahiya practice, the new self-concept arising out of the imperative to put the other self-concepts to rest by cutting them with attention.

Let me know if I'm not making sense. This is hard to express clearly.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 1:05 PM as a reply to fivebells ..
fivebells .:
Thanks, Eternal. I don't really understand point 1 of the advice to Taiyaki. I have some experience of 2, and an attachment to an "objective" world is still unconsciously operating (i.e., I can see it there when you point it out), so that is worth taking a look at too.
For point number 1, a good theoretical understanding can be found in this video: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2012/05/is-there-you.html

A more experiential account can be found here: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html

By 2, you mean you experience the "vivid luminosity of forms" as in PCE? Anyway having a PCE does not mean or imply first emptying, but first emptying does makes PCE effortless.

First emptying and second emptying are insights:

Here is an excerpt from a Buddhist glossary site on the definition of twofold Emptiness:

Two emptinesses (二空) include (1) emptiness of self, the ātman, the soul, in a person composed of the five aggregates, constantly changing with causes and conditions; and (2) emptiness of selves in all dharmas—each of the five aggregates, each of the twelve fields, and each of the eighteen spheres, as well as everything else with no independent existence. No-self in any dharma implies no-self in a person, but the latter is separated out in the first category. Realization of the emptiness of self in a person will lead to attainment of Arhatship or Pratyekabuddhahood. Bodhisattvas who have realized both emptinesses ascend to the First Ground on their Way to Buddhahood.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 1:16 PM as a reply to fivebells ..
fivebells .:
I've seen that terminology, but don't really know what it means. Probably not the same thing, though, because what I mean is development of a new becoming/birth of a self-concept defined in relation to the self-concepts observed as part of the Bahiya practice, the new self-concept arising out of the imperative to put the other self-concepts to rest by cutting them with attention.

Let me know if I'm not making sense. This is hard to express clearly.
I see.

When a thought (even of a self concept) arises, train yourself to see this: in the thinking there is just the thought, no thinker, always so.

All thoughts - be it of a self-concept, a santa-claus concept, a memory of your mother, a random thought, whatever... still, another thought without thinker.

Any sensation of self or bodily contraction? Just another sensation, another thought, without sensor or thinker, no self to be pinned down. What we call sense of self is only conceived to pertain to a self, it's totally conceived or constructed without any basis. Just like a thought of santa claus is simply a thought, there is no actual basis of that thought anywhere.

No thought, no sensation, even if the thought conceives of a self, actually pertains to an actual self.

There is no need to put out anything including the sense of self (which is just more thoughts, sensations, etc, not an actual self), simply see whatever arises as it is ala Buddha's instructions to Bahiya - in the seen just the seen, in the heard just the heard, in thought just thought, no you in terms of that, etc.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 5:46 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Thanks. Sounds like I'm on the right track.

RE: Questions about the Bahiya sutta
Answer
6/9/12 6:54 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
For point number 1, a good theoretical understanding can be found in this video: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.sg/2012/05/is-there-you.html
Ah, I see, no personal essence.