(note: more articles by Longchen can be found at Longchen/Simpo's Articles)
Here are some recent posts by my Buddhist forum moderator Longchen:
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.
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.
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.. :)
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. :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.