Posted by: Soh

(note: more articles by Longchen can be found at Longchen/Simpo's Articles)

Here are some recent posts by my Buddhist forum moderator Longchen:

http://buddhism.sgforums.com/users/62459/posts

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

There's a thread three years ago created by our moderator Longchen: Is reality like quantum physics?

Dear experienced ones, especially Thusness,

I will like to seek your wisdom and experience.

Is Reality like quantum physics?

In Quantum physics, subatomic particles can be immaterial waves as well. Likewise, form/thought/perception is pure awareness/presence. Form/thought is pure awareness in its 'manifestation stage'. Pure awareness is 'essense stage'. There is this continuous change from manifestion to essense and so on so forth. Continuous stream of moment and change. There is no separation, but this very everchanging-ness.

However, through subtle intuitive knowingness, thought dissolves back to pure awareness. More and more of thoughts dissolve/revert back as the 'immediate' presence.

Thanks and kind regards.

Aiyo...

This is not so correct. When i wrote that years ago, i did not really have clear experience of the non-dual awareness yet.

Awareness (and essence) is never lost in any state.

There are roughly two stages of non-duality.

The first stage is understanding 'no subject-object division'. The second stage is a more refined transparency stage. The second stage has experiences and insight not found during the first stage non-duality. Second stage understand no-solidity, luminousity(light) and 'one-action with the universe'. The second stage understands the 'whole/universe' better.

Originally posted by An Eternal Now:

I see... by no-solidity you mean Emptiness? The 'one action with the universe'.. can you elaborate?

IMO, 'Emptiness' is realised at the second stage non-duality. During the first stage, the visions has no inner-outer division, but all the 'colours' of visions are still there.

During the second-stage, the 'colours' becomes transparent and bright luminousity... resulting in better understanding of 'form is emptiness, emptiness is form'. Additionally, one experiences that one's action is the same as the action of the whole universe. One realises that space is an illusion and all activities are simultaneous with the 'entirety/whole'. This is meant by when we eat, the whole universe eats.

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IMO, it is good to practice and refer to the teaching.. for authentication. Good realised Teachers are very important.

More often than not, the initial experiences will have in-correct assumptions. For example, the first experience of the pure presence will almost always be characterised and assumed to be a vast, all-pervading eternal witness that is observing and witnessing the world/sense experiences.

The realisations are usually stage-based. The implication, is that a wrong assumption will leave us stuck in that particular stage where the assumption was made. For example, if we assume that the Reality is like the I AM stage -level understanding, we most probably will not move on to realise the non-dual level experiences. And without the experiences of non-duality, it is quite impossible to realise the more subtle realisation of emptiness... as the emptiness insight 'required' the experience and understanding of non-duality.

So.. the insights build up progressively with each correct re-orientation.

Also, IMO, realisations are not just mind-level insights. There is an energetic aspect. For example, non-conceptuality is also an energetic experience. The energy-level of the body is different when non-conceptuality is experienced.

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

As for the energy level difference, it is not about OBE. It is that when non-conceptuality is occuring, the mental deconstruction let go of all constrictions and one feels energised and released. The energy difference is sudden and distinct. You know, all kinds of mental speculating, projecting, duality-split are actually very energy consuming. To hold convention reality in place, energy is unconsciously expended.. :)

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IMO, there is 'no should' or 'should not'. All already is.

For practice, learn to be aware of the mental and bodily sensation at moments as best as possible. It should not be a grasping type of attention, just a relax light noting.

Oneness has various degrees and depths. To me, it is induced by letting go.

Again, there are various degrees of letting go and release. IMO, the map is describing this various degrees of release. The thing is that, we cannot let go of anything that we are not consciously aware of. For example, one cannot let go of the dualistic grasping, if he or she is not aware that reality is non-dual.

Samsara has veils covering that are not made aware of until they(the veils) are discovered. This veils are firstly covering the non-dual nature of no-subject-object division. When the first veil is 'lifted', we discover the non-dual nature. Secondly, another veil is covering the 'emptiness' nature. When the second veil is lifted, we discover the emptiness nature.

Even when these veils are discovered, for practitoner, it is still an on-going process of integrating this natures into the daily life.

So, please be very very patient. For example, i have been practicing for decades, I do not consider my practices complete, but as of now there are very obvious benefits resulting from following the path. :)

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As a practice, i think it is good to work through relaxing attention to the six sensory inputs of mental thoughts, sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell. To me, mental thoughts and sight are the hardest to work on as there are so natural and automatic to our life experience.

In my experience, when the detachment is authentic and not unknowingly forced, the attentions will fall away. This will lead to awareness of what is automatically running all the time.. and that is our breathing. The calmness will be accompanied by the automatic feeling of the inbreathe and the outbreathe. Normally, when we are caught up in the self... we will not experience the inbreathe and outbreathe.

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The authentic cultivation is never about having a better conventional life. Following a real path will not make you have less trouble in your life, You will not become richer, more powerful or have any of the other pleasant things in life that one can think of.

By this point, many people will already be discouraged or even dispute these statements.

So what is it all about and it is worth it? It is about understanding what is really going on actually !!

In the conventional life, we will always want things to be going our way. But we are not aware of what is happening in our consciousness. So when things goes bad, our world also collapse. We fail to see something here.

Conventional life is conditioned by the apparent losses and gains. But, having no experience, we fail to see what is really going on. That is, from the utimate 'perspective/experience' nothing has been gained and nothing has been lost. This is very hard to understand from the perspective of 'self'. The unborn nature since the beginning has never been diminised or affected by any apparent happening in the relative and conventional sense!! The gains and losses are the dreams illusions of the self.

From my understanding, the sense of self is not a permanent entity but is really like a wave-like experience. When attachment to the senses (including mental thinking/concepts) inputs is strong, the unborn nature 'forgets' and becomes 'wrapped up/caught up' as a self. What that is really transparent, vast and luminous becomes solid and hard when experienced from the vision of the self.

IMO, an authentic practice is about becoming familiar with unborn, 'empty' non-dual nature, which is 'your' true nature. By that, we become more and more confident and less and less the gains and losses affects us. Takes a lot of courage and alert awareness here.

Must always remember the core teachings of the Buddha and the three characteristics of existence. These are most important but people just disregard it.

By having a good understanding of this, we will be able to better discern what is authentic and what is fake teaching.

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When one has experienced the bliss when the mind rest down and is with few thoughts and emotions... one will want to go towards pleasant states. This is a kind of dualistic preference as well.

So much so that we will view many things and emotions as negative and must be eliminated. This in itself is a form of desire and dualistic concepts. It is very very hard to let go of such a concept. For example, we alway think that we need to get rid of the defilements.. and this part is re-enforced in the teaching. .. or rather our assumption of the teaching. But the very concept of getting rid of the defilements is a dualistic concept leaning towards a wish for ever more blissful and pleasant state. This is a paradox.

From my understanding that which are negative emotions or discomforts can exist simultaneously with the peaceful acceptance of them. At the 'heart' level there can be a release and allow the arising of the so-call negatives. It is easier to see the spaciousness and luminosity when the mind is not stirred by negative emotions and discomforts. But the acceptance/equanimity can allow the negatives to co-exist... and surprisingly the 'negatives' will dissolve faster through the allowance of their arising and existence.

My experience is that by not regarding anything as particular important helps in smoothing things. When we view anything as particular important, the mind will pay extra attention to it and will 'drag' and slow down the release.

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Hi Thusness,

Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. It is very clear.

To me, 'whatever arises already is' is a distinctive stage and insight. It allows me to maintain non-dual in activities... as there is the realisation that no 'need/effort' can be done to acheive non-dual.

Prior to this insight, there was the effort to drop the 'sense of self'. .. but the mind didn't realise that the effort was the split.

After a while, it gets really clear 'why' there wasn't a split in the first place... and therefore 'how' a split(subject-object division) can never occur in reality.

Before 'whatever arises already is' insight there was much unconscious/habitual effort to fix the split. After the insight, the experience is that no-split have ever occured at all... which enable no-self experience to be better 'integrated' with activities. With this, the benefits of the practice is more clearly experienced.

Financially and physically 2008 was a bad year for me too... as i quitted the full time job and got injured. Many a times, the worries contract and make one get lost in the contents and lose sight of the 'indestructable ...' At the same time, the experiences have been 'educational'.

Once again thank you so much for your advices and help.

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Firstly, will like to state that I am still learning... so this is just a sharing.

To me, the 'Now' concept can be quite misleading.

What is more important for me is to expereince no-self in what is happening. It doesn't matter whether there are thoughts or not. There is a difference in experiencing the world through a self and one without it. This to me is more important.

The Now concept can put one into a state of wanting to get into such a state. This will cause a thinking that there is a Now state and a non-now state... and that the Now state is better.

However, the insight of spontaneous manifestation will change this view. Spontaneous manifestion need a clear understanding and experience of no-self. Here, it doesn't matter whether there are thoughts, feelings or not... these expereinces are arising not from a self... and cannot be stopped by a self.

From the practice point of view, meditation is essential. It is also important to have the ability to realise one's blindspots... that is when one is unconsciously caught up. This can be very very subtle... and hard to discover... and presented the main difficulties for me.

The conceptual understanding is much easier that the realtime practice.

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Yah... Buddhism is the only religion that talks about "emptiness". It is a very profound realisation.... even more profound that the "non-dual".

Basically, 'emptiness' resolve a lot of mystery.

The word 'emptiness' and 'empty' is used in many other religions and spiritual practices too. This include Taoism, but the understanding is not the same. In many of these religion, 'emptiness' is referring to the Void. The Void in this case is the transcendental experience of All-pervading presence in a state of no thought.

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The author say that thought is a problem. It may not be entirely accurate.

IMO, when visual vision and thought imagery arise, there is a tendency to compartmentalise certain sections as entities, focus or objects. Next, there is a desire to modify that section. For example, in the visual sense, from the environment you are engaging a conversation with someone. The mind desires to change the 'person' into what it imagines will be the desired outcome. Example, you want to make the person think the way you think and so on so forth. The mind fails to see that this is 'hit and miss' and that the changes is really not dependent on the desire to modify the subject. Rather, it has got to do with the 'person' own willing or not.

So... to me, thought is the not the problem. Instead, the desire to modify and change 'what is' is the cause of suffering.

Also, when we say that we are not the thoughts or the body, unconsciously we have separated 'phemonena' from a 'untouchable' portion of ourself.

The difference at the non-duality stage is that, no attempt is made... Sensations are left as they are...

At the I AM/eternal witness stage, there is a seeking for the place beyond thoughts.

Also, at the I AM/eternal witness, no-suffering is preferred over suffering. There is no understanding that there is really NO blissful place that is beyond pain. When there is pain, there is nothing beyond it too.

So at the I AM/eternal witness stage, attempts may be employed by the mind to get rid of the pain... to go a place beyond the pain. The understanding that 'sensation and pain' is inseparable from Presence/Buddha Nature is not there yet.

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Just my opinion only,

I think Eckhart Tolle may have been suffering alot and suddenly he 'let go' of trying to work out his problems. This results in a dissociation from thoughts which give rise to the experience of Presence.

To me, 'I AM' is an experience of Presence, it is just that only one aspect of Presence is experienced which is the 'all-pervading' aspect. The non-dual and emptiness aspect are not experienced.. Because non-dual is not realised (at I AM stage), a person may still use effort in an attempt to 'enter' the Presence. This is because, at the I AM stage, there is an erroneous concept that there is a relative world make up of thoughts AND there is an 'absolute source' that is watching it. The I AM stage person will make attempts to 'dissociated from the relative world' in order to enter the 'absolute source'.

However, at Non-dual (& further..) stage understanding, one have understood that the division into a relative world and an absolute source has NEVER occcured and cannot be... Thus no attempt/effort is truly required.

Posted by: Soh
A post from newbuddhist.com by Richard Herman.

World and Universe

Quote:
Originally Posted by upekka View  Post
a very interesting 'object' is in front of me right now

is that particular 'object' in 'your' world now? or in 'your' universe?
Cant say. This post is. Awareness has a subjective and objective pole. Two sides of a single moment. When practicing neti neti ( not I not I) one "backs" toward the subjective pole as more and more subtle elements of "me" become objects of awareness. The subjective pole is not an object of awareness, but bodymind (everything called "Me and "Mine") along with the "external" world are realized as a single whole object of awareness. This "Me" belongs in it's entirety to the endless dis-equilibrium of the world, entirely to Samsara. Once the the subjective pole has been clarified of all objects in this way the sense of "I" dissolves. Experience goes from the sense of seer seeing seen to just seeing, without a seperate subject and object. The notion of a subject apart from an object or an object apart from a subject is an error in that it cannot meet the test of practice.

So your question can only be answered ... this is what seeing is now, and the information you are giving me about your experience is an abstraction, in the same way thinking about my car parked outside is. All I'm left with is This experience, everything else is an abstraction.
Posted by: Soh
By Peter Fenner, Ph.D

http://www.radiantmind.net/index.php/radiantmind/written-entry/we-are-what-we-see/

The manifold of phenomenal appearances is primordially unoriginated and non-dual, just like an image reflected in a mirror. The nature of openness isn’t separate from phenomenal appearances, just as water and its quality of being moist are combined in a non-dualistic condition. Free of the limits of illusion, like an imaginary city, the instant things manifest they are in the condition of being primordially unborn.

Although the phenomenal world appears to be located (in time and space, in fact) it is the non- abiding dimension of being itself. The instant an appearance seems to disappear it does not in fact cease, (since ultimately phenomena) neither increase nor decrease. As such, phenomenal appear- ances do not exist in the way they appear.

These lines are from a text called the Natural Freedom of Being by the great Complete Fulfill- ment master Longchenpa who lived in Tibet in the fourteenth century. As we have said elsewhere, the Complete Fulfillment or Dzogchen tradition offers a spiritual perspective that is very consistent with our own work. Here we will unpack these few lines for they will help us understand the radical immediacy of the Complete Fulfillment experience which embraces and dissolves the sense of separation we create between ourselves and the world.

Longchenpa begins by stating that our sensory experience is uncreated and indivisible. He uses the analogy of a mirror-image to illustrate this idea. This is an image that is used frequently in nearly all Buddhist traditions to illustrate how our experience lacks any discrete and irreducible properties. In our own time we can also use the examples of film or video images. If we examine an image in a mirror the image gives the appearance of being composed of separate elements, yet in reality it is a single indivisible image. We cannot take the image apart and put it together in another way. The elements appear to be separate but in fact they are inseparable. As an image, the seeming boundary between one feature and the next signifies nothing. There is no change in constitution, or media that differentiates one feature from another. Even if the image is moving and changing its shape and constitution it cannot be broken up into separable elements.

From the Complete Fulfillment perspective the sense world is no different from the mirror image. While it appears to be divisible and manipulable like a set of building blocks, the idea that we can isolate one element of our experience and move it around, or replace it with another, is a linguis- tically created illusion. In particular, it is created through the language that attributes choice and agency to ourselves and others. The language of human agency produces the appearance of control and manipulation. We learn to claim responsibility when certain, often repetitive actions, occur in a predicatable way. For example, when our body moves as we stand up from a chair we say we choose to do this. At a more profound level, the image of a reflection in a mirror also illustrates the inseparability between a perceiver and that which is perceived. According to the Complete Fulfillment, concepts of a perceiver and objects of perception are theoretical abstractions, which have no basis in the domain of being. In the same way that an image in the mirror is inseparable from the mirror, similarly we don’t exist as something different from the universe that we experience. This is an extension of the idea that is now commonly accepted in the natural and human sciences, that our experience is “theory laden”. In other words, our perceptions are shaped and influenced by our beliefs, theories, and structures for interpreting the world. However, the Complete Fulfillment tradition applies this discovery in a far more radical way by demonstrating that even the most obvious and palpable dimensions of our experience, such as the feeling of being different from the things we experience, are but structures of interpretation.

The contemporary English mystic Douglas Harding has presented the visual dimensions of this disclosive space in a particularly accessible way through his notion of “having no head.” As Harding demonstrates in his writings, and through simple practical exercises, we never experience our own head in the same way that we experience those around us. In place of our head is a space that is the universe we experience. As Harding writes (p. 9), “This is not a matter of argument, or of philo- sophical acumen, or or working oneself up into a state, but of simple sight…. Present experience, whatever sense is employed, occurs only in an empty and absent head.” Our own head is a theoreti- cal construct, inferred on the basis that we are like the people who show up within the field of our experience.

Though our limbs and torso are often revealed within this field, our head is never revealed as an object of perception. Were it ever to be where we “think” it is, it would occlude the possibility of experiencing anything else. If our head was where we “imagine” it is, the universe would disappear. As Harding says (p. 11), “there is one place where no head of mine can ever turn up, and that is here on my shoulders, where it would blot out this Central Void which is my very life-source.” Of course, you might say that the existence of our head as the gateway for our visual, auditory, and olfactory perception can be confirmed by reaching out and touching a mass that seems to rest on our shoul- ders, but as Harding says (p. 8), “when I start groping around for my lost head, instead of finding it here I only lose my exploring hand as well: it, too, is swallowed up in the abyss at the centre of my being.” In the place where our head would be is a space that is the universe as we experience it. Consequently, from this perspective we are the universe. As Harding writes (p. 19): “It is absolutely Nothing, yet all things; the only Reality, yet an absentee… There is nothing else whatever. I am everyone and no-one ...”

In the above lines Longchenpa uses the term openness (shunyata), thus connecting the Com- plete Fulfillment to the broad and powerful river of Buddhist wisdom contained in the Perfect Wis- dom (Prajnaparamita) tradition. In language reminiscent of the famous Buddhist text, the Heart Scripture, Longchenpa writes that “the nature of openness isn’t separate from phenomenal appear- ances.” The Heart Scripture itself says: “Form is openness and openness itself is form. Openness does not differ from form and form does not differ from openness. Whatever is form, that is open- ness. Whatever is openness, that is form.”

The point being made here is that there is no separation between that which is disclosed (i.e., the phenomenal world) and the disclosive field that makes the disclosure of any universe possible. A disclosive space is the field within which all things manifest, persist, and decay, exactly as they do. Ultimately, it is indistinguishable from the experiential field. It is the occurance of that which occurs in it. As Harding says (p. 60), “The Space is the things that occupy it.” This disclosive space cannot be created since this is tantamount to creating the universe. Further, to the extent that there is never a time when there is no disclosive space (time being an occurance within it), it is a vacuous concept. In fact, the disclosive space that is disclosed doesn’t exist. This is why Buddhist philosophers such as Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti emphasize that the experience of openness is itself open and insubstan- tial.

A consequence of this level of immediacy is there is no act of perception. As the Heart Scripture also says, “in the sphere of openness there is no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or mind, and there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables or objects of mind. Because there is no perception, there is no perceiver, or object of perception either. As Harding writes (p. 6): “[T]hese coloured shapes present themselves in all simplicity, without any such complications as near or far, this or that, mine or not mine, seen-by-me or merely given. All twoness-all duality of subject and object-has vanished: it is no longer read into a situation which has no room for it.” It is meaningless to say that the world is out there, or in here, because disclosive space is neither inside nor outside. There is nothing it doesn’t disclose, so it can’t be inside since nothing can be outside. Nor, can it be outside because whatever is inside is disclosed by this space. Also, because there is no inside or outside, this space cannot be said to be small or large, expanded or contracted, hidden or revealed, here or there. Furthermore, because there is no sense of here or there, there is no experience of distance within this disclosive space. The feeling that we are closer to some things and further away from others is an illusion created by the beliefs that things remain constant in size, even when they change their dimensions, and things can occlude each other. Consequently, we aren’t located within this space because we are the space itself. For example, when we sit in a room we believe that the room is located within a house which is within a city or town, but this isn’t given in our experience at all. That our room is located in a country on planet earth is an interpretation that is seemingly substanti- ated by memories.

Perhaps that is so, you might say, but I still have the experience of being located in this room. You might say you are sitting near the west facing wall, or standing in the middle of the room. If we say we are located near the west wall we do so on the basis of a belief that the room exists in a larger universe. Here the sense of location is derived, not from our experience, but that things exist “on the other side” of our experience. If we say we are in the middle of a room we believe that things can be more, or less distant from us, in virtue of believing that phenomena have stable dimensions, even when they shrink or enlarge within our field of experience.

Because the experience of distance and location deconstruct within the Complete Fulfillment perspective, there is no experience of motion or stillness. The phenomenon of walking or driving is completely consistent with us moving through a stationery landscape, or the landscape moving through us. In the absence of an arbitrary framework of interpretation, there is absolutely no way of distinquishing whether we are moving, or whether phenomena are moving through the clearing we identify as the locus of our head. Consequently, we are neither still nor moving. From the Complete Fulfillment perspective there is simply “an experience” of colors and shapes that modulate like reflections on water.

This thing that we call our “body” isn’t the locus of our identity. It is simply the most constant gestalt that occurs in “our” experience. Many of our visual experiences are accompanied on the lower periphery by an inchoate and indistinct sensation that frequently transforms into an experience of hands, arms and sometimes legs. We identify these sensation as our body because they invariably show up wherever we think we are. We think we are there because these limbs consistently display the same markings in terms of color, shape, size, weight, etc. If another set of limbs showed up with predictable constancy around the bottom half of our visual field, we would think that we were there. We interpret that we are walking when certain changes occur in our visual, auditory and tactile fields. In fact, we simply witness modulations in our experience like those that can be partially replicated with virtual reality technology. The difference between virtual reality and the Complete Fulfillment perspective is that virtual reality creates an impression of movement while we are statio- nery. This is partially a limitation of virtual reality technology which cannot yet replicate the pixel resolution of human vision, or simulate the muscular activity involved in actions like walking. But more significantly it is due to the memories we have of stepping into a virtual reality unit. But unlike virtual reality the Complete Fulfillment perspective doesn’t condition the experience of being in a fixed location with images changing around us. In other words, though the experience of real motion dissolves, it doesn’t produce the sensation of being stuck in the same location. Spatial location and dislocation both dissolve in this perspective. From the Complete Fulfillment perspective, reality is always a virtual reality.

Adapted from forthcoming book by Peter titled The Natural Freedom of Being. A free Audio CD Interview is available for those interested in the Radiant Mind Course.