Anda di halaman 1dari 25

Still remember we had a Lankavatara Sutra sharing session by Thusness in the beginning part of the

year? (6th January 2007)

Well, since I am a fast typer, I decided to type out everything that is said by him onto my comp while
I was listening to the audio recording again. Didn't take much time as my typing speed can easily
catch up with the speed of talking.

It is a 2 & a half hr sharing & discussion session. I hope u'll enjoy reading, as the 5 of us who joined
the Skype discussion that day really enjoyed the sharing session. The discussion was spoken in
simple terms, so it can be easily understood. Feel free to ask or discuss anything in this thread.

Update: note that this is only a casual discussion of one's experiences with Lankavatara Sutra, it is
NOT a chapter to chapter commentary. For this, refer to other sources.

2nd Update: Part 2 is posted.

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

Thusness: Ok. What are we going to discuss today?

Participant 2 (Me): Lankavatara Sutra?

Thusness: Ok. I think it’ s just mainly a simple sharing session about how I get to know about this
Lankavatara Sutra and how it help to account for certain of my experiences.

Hello, there’ s this hellscream who said psychic powers. This one is nub (Cenarious/Eric
Cartman/Omniknight) is it? {laughs} Ok.

I think let’ s not talk about Lankavatara history. The date of Lankavatara Sutra is to enter into a very
controversial kind of position. It is almost impossible to trace the date with our modern knowledge.
But it is fairly safe to say that it is compiled before 443 A.D. With regards to the textual authenticity,
there is always many disturbing kind of questions that... is it authentic or not? Is Lankavatara Sutra
the words of Buddha? This is like are Mahayana the true words of Buddha? So whenever we enter
these, we always have all these types of problems. There’ s also someone who doubts, have Buddha
really walked the land of Sri Lanka? Now if we were to engage in all these types of questions, there is
no ending to it. This is how I feel.

Ok, next it’ s also important to know, when we’ re going to approach Lankavatara Sutra from the
perspective of a practitioner, or as an academic study, whenever we do something, we always start
with what’ s the purpose, what’ s the objective, how real is it. We always go through from studying
it, whether historically, philosophically, psychologically, or scientifically. This is the way we’ re going
to approach something in the modern age. But when we come to something that is spiritual, it is
very very difficult to account this way. Why do I say so?

This comes to the point of why I came to know more about this Lankavatara Sutra. Actually I know
about this sutra 10 over years ago, when I was still quite young. But at later stage, due to certain
experiences, I could not find books written few years ago to account certain things that probably a
person experience, but is not stated anywhere. So after a period of searching, and then start
reading, I still could not find anyone, or any author that can tell me precisely, ok, this is what you are
experiencing, or somehow there is this experience that is there. Until one day when I started reading
this sutra, I think in Takashimaya, I was reading through, just flipping. Then I realise hey, self-
realisation, quite interesting. Then maybe some of the bhumi stages, then I find eh, this is an
interesting topic. And somehow it is stated somewhere there. This is how I came to be interested in
this sutra.

Now, the entire thing about Lankavatara Sutra can be summarised into something like Reality is only
Mind. That is, when we talk about Reality is only Mind, those who study Buddhism will know that
there is the Cittamatra and then there is the Vijnaptimatra. We have to be very very careful about
this thing. It is not going to be very scientific because you will sound stupid, you see. How can the
external objects, the external reality, the objective reality that is so clearly outside, out there, be said
to be the Mind? The manifestation of the Mind? How can you say that? Aren’ t you talking
something that is not scientific? How is it possible? When you hear the sound, it is very obvious it is
out there. When you touch the table, it is very clear that it is out there. The objective world exists
with or without your intervention. Now, this casts many doubts of how do we account for these
experiences, for experience the Lankavatara Sutra is stating all these. And I am only interested in
this. And we have to differentiate this experience with another experience by what we call the
Realists, by saying that everything is Perception. By saying No, it is actually your thoughts that is
important, your perception, they are just perception of what you are thinking. Lankavatara Sutra is
Not talking about this. Don’ t misunderstand. These are the concepts of philosophers. These are not
the real experiences of one that has entered Non-Duality.

So it comes to the first chapter, of what the Lankavatara Sutra said. The chapter is about
discriminations. Ok, in Lankavatara Sutra, they talk about the Five Dharmas. Mainly the names, the
appearances, the discriminations, right knowledge, and then reality. I think this is very very
important. What is appearance? Appearance is only phenomena that arises when the five senses
come into contact. This is what is appearance. But it is before the formation of perception. This
means whenever you sense something, before the formation of perception, that means before you
identify it with object, that is what I call appearance. Then it comes to identification with an object,
and that is perception, and this is the layer of what I call the symbolic world. And these are names.
How I see Lankavatara Sutra. Then you can discriminate, that is discrimination, and that is duality.
And then comes the right knowledge of what is it? And how do we experience reality.

First of all we have to understand that what is meant by All is Mind is different from what is meant
by All is Perception. Wei-Xin-Lun (Mind-Only Doctrine) is not the same as Wei-Shi-Lun
(Consciousness-Only Doctrine). When we say that you are young till now. Let’ s say you are an old
person. Everything that you experience, and everything that you touch, feel, or experience from an
experiential point of view is the Mind. This means every single thoughts, every single things,
including when you scoop the sand, when you touch the sand, and when you feel the texture of the
sand, is the Mind. This is the kind of experience that Lankavatara Sutra is talking about. So do not
confuse that hey, it is a thought in your mind. No it is not talking about this. Many people
misunderstand this. It is not talking about this. So first, we must be very clear that it is this
experience that they are talking about. It is the experience that is Non-Duality.

A person when first enters into meditation.. the first things that come to mind are thoughts. Streams
of thoughts, never-ending thoughts. It never stops, never cease. Now, how are we going to
understand what reality is all about, when we are covered by this layer of thoughts? And why going
beyond this layer of thoughts is important to feel and to see what Reality is? The question that the
objective world is so real outside you is mainly due to an attachment. Why do I say that? Many of us
are unable to go beyond what I call the body. That is, your body. Because of this body, we acquire all
our knowledge through the Five Senses and we make interpretations. It creates what I call a sense of
boundary, that there is some restrictions, and therefore beyond this restriction it is outside, and
within this restriction it is me, this is mental. But this is not actually the case when someone
experiences what I call a moment of Presence. There are many people who had experienced
Presence before. It is a state of clear luminosity and clarity. What is this experience all about? This
experience is the first experience when one engages in a spiritual life that something is very very
real. Something that is alive, and yet there is no thoughts. Something very very real. Something is
extremely alive, you know that you are not a machine, you are not a body. Very real. So we ask,
what is this? Now, it is this experience that serves as the condition that led many people to continue
searching in the spiritual path. It is this experience that is misunderstood by many people as what
they call the Eternal Witness, or they call the I AM.

Now a person must come to this awareness first, of the Presence, this Reality, this Presence, what is
it? Before they can proceed to the next step. This is important, because this is the first time you do
not understand anything by knowledge. You do not understand anything by thoughts. You do not
understand anything by the process of thinking. Everything just stops, and yet, there is Existence. So
this is a moment, this is a form of touch, of what they call the Transcendental. This is important. But
very soon, this experience is being distorted, completely distorted, by something that is very strong.
This is what I call the momentum. This momentum is often overlooked by many practitioners. This
momentum is very strong. To the objective world, it might not be. But to consciousness, it is very
very strong. And it is so strong that we cannot identify what is real. And it is so strong that it bonds
us life after life. How strong is it? It prevents us from knowing what that we touch, what that we
feel, what that we sense and what that we see. This is how strong it is. The very moment when a
person experience Presence and straight away they think that they are the I AM. This is the Eternal
Soul. This is the Spirit. And this is what in Lankavatara Sutra states: It is the propensities, the habit
energy. But it is so fast that even after you experience the Presence, you cannot go beyond it. You
are still affected by it. And the world that you perceive suddenly becomes, still dualistic. But it
becomes spiritual, but it is dualistic. This means that there is a subject and there is an objective
world and there is a subjective world. This Ultimate Subject is God. This Ultimate Subject is the One
that is behind, and everything is taking place, it is the Observer. This Subject that all is experiencing
is actually an illusion. Why do I say that? Why do I say that it is an illusion? It is because of the
momentum.

The momentum is so subtle that you can’ t see it, unless you meditate. That is why you have to
meditate. Meditation is for you to calm yourself down so that your mind can be clear enough to
sense this patterns. This momentum. This continuous momentum that is taking place from moment
to moment. Now, why do I want to stress this momentum? Because many people mistook reality,
because this momentum is always taking place and without being truly mindful, you just assume it to
be like that. It is a spell. It is a magical spell that bonds. So we are blinded because of the spell, and
consciousness reacts to this spell, which is just a bond. Just a bond. And you just can’ t see. And
consciousness is full of these bonds, all around, and you can’ t see. These bonds are what that
prevent us from understanding. Now, therefore, you have to take the Seventh Consciousness in the
Cittamatra and the Eighth Consciousness very seriously. The conscious mind cannot do much things.
Whatever you think you have a way of doing something can only take place not immediately. They
can only take place as a form of imprint, very deep into your consciousness. Becomes imprint and
momentum, and then resurface out as effects only at much later dates. It always work this way. This
is what one has to understand. So now, this is the momentum that is preventing a person from
seeing.

I have been giving IT seminars for many years. Many many years. Giving seminars for more than
hundreds of times for more than 10 over years of my career. But everytime, when I see a crowd of
people, my hand feel cold. So one day I was sitting down, trying to calm myself down, it kept coming.
I just had this feeling. But I search my entire conscious mind, I just don’ t feel that I should have this
feeling at all. But why is this appearing? Why is this appearing? I search my entire mind. I think I am
calm enough. I just cannot understand why it surfaced.

Why are they surfacing? Because of propensities. And this tells you that you don’ t have to think of
any reasons. What you have to do is to calm down yourself and you observe... they are always taking
place. Without uprooting all these propensities, you cannot have the kind of clarity to understand
what Dharmakaya is. And these propensities continue as long as you can feel the strength. Now,
what you have to understand is, these propensities have certain effects. It is the effect of bonding
you to see things in terms of what I call entities. Means, there is an “I”, there is a Subject, and there
is an Object. Always seeing in dualistic mode. And because of this, we are unable to know. All our
knowledge and all our systems of enquiry is a product of this propensity. The First Cause. God. We
ask the question “Who?” “What?” “When?” “Why?” and “Where?” The entire system that you are
thinking, we call this system, a system of enquiry, is based on the momentum. This seed. It is the
product of this seed. And therefore, as long as you are within this mechanism, you cannot
understand what reality is all about. Why do we ask “Who?” and “When?” and “Where?” and
“How Come?” So, we have to understand the entire mechanism is the product of this momentum. It
is not an entity, it is just the propensity. So the entire mechanism of enquiry is based on this. A
person who has experienced the Presence has mistaken the Presence as Eternal Witness will say
that: I AM, therefore I AM the Watcher, and I AM the Eternal Soul. And everything is appearing and
disappearing like a mirror, you know. The first thing they have to understand is this. Why does he
said that? This is because his entire mechanism is so deeply rooted to see things in terms of entities.
That is why he said that. But in Buddhism, you look at how the Buddha had presented it, Buddha has
not presented it in this way. Look at how Buddha had presented it.

When we look at Buddhism, Buddhism is very consistent. Why do I say that Buddhism is very
consistent? Not because I like Buddhism. You see, a person saying that I have experienced Presence,
and I AM the Eternal Witness, I AM God, I AM all powerful and I AM the First Cause, and yet, they
see a dualistic world. This is in total conflict; this has totally no logic at all. Because, you see, in
Buddhism when we talk about Non-Duality, we are saying something like the Dependent Origination.
Because of This, That Is. This arises, That arises. This ceases, That ceases. We look at the entire
formation, there is no “Who?” Where is the “Who?” When we ask “Where?”, there is no
“Where?”. When we ask “When?”, there is no “When?” It can be 10 million miles away. It can be in
another planet. The teaching is consistent. It does not require a “Who”, a “Where”, a “When”.
Condition arises, it is there. It is not stored in any place, or anywhere. This is the teaching. The entire
teaching is consistent when it comes to the practise. They didn’ t say Concentration can lead to
Insight. They tell you, Vipashyana Meditation can lead to Insight of what Reality is all about. It does
not teach that there is a Self. The Buddha taught the three dharma seals: there is No-Self. So the
teaching is consistent in terms of philosophy, in terms of meditation practice, and in terms of the
truths that is being preached.

And also in terms of spiritual powers. When I say something like Clairvoyance... I can see, not
bounded by distance. I can hear, not bounded by distance. How come? Why? If we were to take
other religions, they can’ t explain. But if you were to take Buddhism, Buddha had never told you,
has never taught, something of an Ego, something of a Where, something of a When. It is not
bounded by Time and Space at all in the entire philosophy. Never has he taught anything like that.
And therefore, when we talk about spiritual powers, it is consistent. It is knowing without the need
for a Space and Time, not bounded by Space and Time, because the entire teaching is so. And what
is being said about this? It is the Nature. This is your nature. Reality is like that, it is so. Therefore,
when we understand the teachings, we understand that yes, it is not right to be attached, therefore
we cannot say we want to seek spiritual powers, like Nub. But we have to understand, this is our
Nature, this is our Reality. Because the teaching has never contradicted itself. If you want to know
about your reality, you have to practise. That is the teaching. And the practise has always been
telling you to observe these 3 universal characteristics. So when we see the link between the
practise, the philosophy, even something spiritual and something that is not scientific. This is
important.

The next thing is that we must see the momentum truly exists. The momentum is very strong, and is
what that propels life after life. The momentum. If we cannot see this momentum, and we just
experience the Presence, it is not enough.

Now, karmic propensities, forms, the Source, or the Nature, all is Empty. This means that if you were
to search this momentum, you cannot find it. Just like the Source, it cannot be found. You can try to
pinpoint any place, any where, you cannot locate it. This is not the nature that is peculiar to our
luminous nature. Karmic propensities, even atoms, particles, they all exhibit this Emptiness nature.
So if we were to try to understand karmic propensities as something that is stored somewhere,
when it is stated that it is very deep, we cannot locate it, it is not located anywhere. Same thing
when we talk about karmic propensities, when we want to understand karmic propensities, we can
only understand by Feeling them, by Experiencing them. You cannot locate them. You cannot find
them. This is the way we must experience the propensities, and in order to experience this, we have
to be clear and we have to practise. And that is why your senses must be sharp, clear, in order to
feel it. You cannot lie to yourself. Therefore Propensities, Source, Forms, everything exhibit this
Emptiness nature, but it can be known.
Ok, now, until here, I do not want to formulate any theory. But I just want to tell people that are
sincere in practise, to experience the bond. The bond is something that is very strong, and this bond
has to be eliminated. Otherwise, it is a waste of time in practise. And it is this bond that propels you
for life after life. And if you want to understand why this bond can propel life after life, the first thing
you have to do is to Feeeel the presence, and the strength of this bond. How it can bond you for so
many years from seeing something. You must feel this bond, this is very important. So, when this
bond dissolves, then, your clarity can increase. Then there is clarity. If this bond is there, there is no
Seeing. So first, you must understand that the Name, Appearance, Discrimination, and then
Knowledge. Now, we must see that it is the bonds that are actually preventing us from seeing. And
therefore, I kept emphasising that a person has to meditate. Do not listen to people that says you do
not need meditation. You have to meditate in order to know the truth, because it is so subtle. If your
mind keeps on jumping, it keeps on chattering, it cannot understand, it cannot see at all. So first, you
must be able to calm your mind down and see this point. This is the bond that prevents you from
experiencing reality as You, as Mind only. This is the bond that before you can see, they already
cover a layer of illusion, a layer of symbols that prevents you from seeing that everything is the
Mind. So when you buy in to this bond, the best you can do is to understand that Reality is
Perception, that is the Realist point of view. When you work hard and is able to go beyond this layer,
and dissolve the bond, you will know that everything is the Mind. By the Mind, I don’ t mean
perception you know, I mean, your True Nature.

One of the most difficult things to overcome the bond is actually the body. So in terms of practise,
one should understand how the Mind, when they cannot understand what Reality is all about, they
grasp what is most dearest to them. They grasp the body, they hold on to the body. So much so that
every action that is being taken, as long as it harms the body, it pretends not to see in the mind, the
mind that tries to observe. Before you say I want to observe, it prevents you from seeing. Because
you fear, you fear to see, you fear to experience. You fear to go beyond and see oh, what actually
happens if I don’ t have this. That prevents you. This is the working of the bond that prevents you
from seeing.

This is first... we talk about the symbols and the bonds, how they work to interact with each other.
Now, the next thing which is important is, I do not understand... in Lankavatara Sutra. Though it is
not stated very clearly. The idea of the transference of merits. They buy into this idea of the
transference of merits. That is like taking vows and then, not through the practitioner’ s effort, but
through the power of the Buddha, it brings them to the next understanding, the next stage. This is
the part that I think is in direct contradiction with the Theravada’ s understanding of Self-Effort. This
is the Parinamana concept. Now, I respect Lankavatara Sutra, so I will not say anything about it. If we
were to accept this, why Eternal Now ask me why I can’ t accept the vows... because if this is the
case, that means you can grant enlightenment. Because it can be transferred. This is the part that
puzzles me. What does it mean? Why is it so? So, it doesn’ t mean that... because I read Lankavatara
Sutra, I respect the Sutra, but I have to buy in all things. Because there are also many things that I do
not understand. What that troubles me is if I take in this, that means Enlightenment can actually be
given. I do not know. Any views? Colin?

Participant 1: Me ah? Actually I do not think that Theravada thinking do not accept the concept of
vows and the Buddha’ s contribution in the cultivation, you know. Because I was reading this
autobiography of this monk, this Thai monk, in his deep meditation he also made a lot of vows and
he did through the vows, he gained in his cultivation, and I think it is very instrumental in his
progress, you know.

Thusness: No, the vows are very important, because they affect what I call the pre-conscious level.
But what I meant is the transfer of merits.... let’ s say for example the Bodhisattva can make a vow.
But why does this vow serve as a condition for bringing them to the next Bhumi stage? This is
through the power of Not their own you know, it is stated in Lankavatara Sutra, it is by Buddha. Do
you get what I mean? There is a transference of merits, though it is not explicitly stated. This is what
I do not understand. Because if I were to take this as it is, as what it is being stated, then I have to
buy in the idea that it can be transferred.

Participant 1: I think this question needs to be experienced, you know.

Thusness: Yup. This is what I said.

Participant 1: The thing is, when I gone through the retreat, my progress wasn’ t as good as
compared to if I made any vows in my deep concentration and my visualisation. What I observe is
the sense of ego, how it grips me, changed, totally changed.

Thusness: I think the idea is this. They can only serve as conditions. But why by making vows, can
have that kind of impact? Now, I also realise one thing. When a person goes into deeper and deeper
stages of meditation, and enters into the different Bhumi stages, they cannot anyhow say things.

Participant 1: And the vow can also serve as a cause isn’ t it?

Thusness: Yeah, it serves as a cause. So, it’ s something like a person taking moral precepts very
seriously, they don’ t anyhow say things. Right? Now, there’ ll be people who have no sense of
responsibilities, no sense of morality, they’ ll just say out... I don’ t agree. So when a person takes his
practice very seriously, he will also realise that when he goes deeper and deeper, his thoughts
becomes clearer and also more powerful. He actually enters into a realm that when he speaks at
that level, it takes place. And therefore vows to some people cannot be made easily. That is why, I
cannot understand, why vows? Why a person must make the vows in order to go to the next stage?
This is one thing that I have not experienced yet. I do not know why it is stated so explicitly in the
sutras that this is important. This is one part. The rest, I think, ok.

Participant 1: Doesn’ t it mean that for you, you have to take it at faith level, make the vow and
experience it yourself?

Thusness: Ok, uh, taking vows of course I have taken already lah. It is the implication of, when you
take a vow, what is your mindset, and how should you prepare. I mean the vows, I have taken quite
a few times. But, what is the implications of the vows, why the vows are needed? This is another
story. Can you see what I mean or not? How people actually experience it and what does it mean? I
mean a vow, we have taken it what. So this is one thing that I cannot understand. How is it that a
vow at that level brings you to another stage. And you must understand, it is only at that level, you
know. Otherwise I don’ t think it serves much purpose.

Ok, now back to Lankavatara Sutra. When we say about... uh, a symbol. Name. Can a mind function
without a name, or a symbol? This is something that is very important. I remember during my
university days, a professor took out a book and said, tell me what is this. Then he took out
something that we’ ve never seen before. You just observe only, what is that? You just see only, very
attentive, you just look at it. There is no symbol for it, because we cannot identify it. But does that
mean that you are enlightened? So we must know that seeing things beyond symbols is still not
enough. It is still not sufficient.

So what they meant that to come to a stage of knowing your own reality, there are many conditions.
One of them is the capacity to see beyond symbols. But it does not mean that to see beyond
symbols, you are enlightened, you can see reality. The second conditions is the experience of
Presence. That is the I AMness. That is also very important. This, and the capacity to see in raw, and,
the ability to feel every moment as arising and ceasing and passing away, this three conditions must
be present. Means that if you do not experience the luminous clarity even just a glimpse, the
condition is not there.

Uh, somebody sent a.... ok, the issue of other power. I’ ll read about that later. Now I want to talk
about the conditions to want to see clarity, to see that all is One Mind. There must be the condition
of experiencing Presence. That is a moment of luminosity. There must also be the condition that one
is able to see things in raw, means bare attention for a prolong period of time. Means at least half an
hour, 20 to 30 minutes, continuously. One must be able to continuously see, touch, and feel in raw.
That is beyond symbols.

The third thing is to know about the power of the momentum. Now, the momentum will seem to
react very fast only when your mind is really not focused, when your mind is chattering, when your
mind is very busy. Your momentum will seem to be very fast. But when you are able to settle your
thoughts and see in raw, the momentum seems to be very slow. They arise slowly, and then you can
see that they subside. This means that the speed of arising and subsiding becomes very slow. Ok,
only when you are able to see this momentum, you'll know what "oh, I made this decision and this
way of perception because this momentum is reacting". Then, the condition is present for you to see
what reality is all about. Otherwise, reality will always be mistaken as perception, or as an objective
world, or as an Eternal Witness. Do you all get what I mean?

{End of Part 1}

Part 2

Due to laginess and poor sound quality, the last part is a little bit more difficult to read. Note that
the following conversation is a casual discussion and may not be related to Lankavatara Sutra.
------
Participant 1: During chanting... A state of uh...

Thusness: Calmness right?


Participant 1: Yup.

Thusness: Ok. Maybe you can share your experience about this.

Participant 1: What aspect?

Thusness: The aspect of going beyond symbols.

Participant 1: Ok. Actually I go pass through different stages. At first the mind is very focused on the
mantra, the mantra itself does not have any meaning which is comprehensible by the mind, so while
I chant as my mind is focused, my mind is absorbed into a sense of non-conceptual state, and this is
the first part. Gradually, I realise, observe that the distracting thoughts actually do occur in endless
streams. As I focus on the mantra without following the thoughts, the thoughts just naturally dies
off. From there I understand that the thoughts are impermanent, and their nature is also without
much meaning. Gradually as I carry on, I saw that the nature of the mantra as well as the distracting
thoughts whatever it is, whatever story it is, is actually the same. People ask me what's the nature,
but I don't know how to say.

Thusness: Ok. I think when we view consciousness, we have to understand that there are a few
things. We cannot keep on thinking about the objective world first. We must see how consciousness
reacts. That is if we react very intensely, strongly towards symbols, then whatever reactions will go
back deep into your consciousness. This is one thing. My perspective is that when you chant, you are
not dealing with our luminous clarity. We're dealing with propensities deep in your consciousness.
Insight meditation itself deals directly with this clarity. That is the luminous clarity. But if we were to
continue to chant, you are actually focusing more on the deeper layers of consciousness that deals
with propensities and the power of concentration. Do you see what I mean? It's not so much of the
luminosity. However, the chanting itself, when it takes strength, it creates a kind of momentum. A
momentum that synchronises not only with your sub-conscious or the deeper layers of your
consciousness, but also your conscious level. This means it can sync the two layers into one. This
syncing the two into one clears your mind, clears your thoughts. And then at this time, you ask who
you are, that is, not letting the momentum take place, but just feel and sense... then you ask what is
it. At that moment, you might see your reality. But your mind must be able to settle down first. But
you must know there is a difference between working at the concentration level, dealing with the
karmic propensities and creating new momentums, and practicing insight meditation that touch
directly the clarity and the luminous nature, are two different things. You see what I mean or not?

Participant 1: Yeah I think so. This means that I still need to do insight meditation?

Thusness: Yes you have to do insight meditation. Even if you attain calmness you still have to do
insight meditation. You must feel the awareness... You must sense it everywhere... That is very
important for liberation. Now when we talk about awareness, we don't call it Self or we don't call it
Mind. Why people call it Awareness is because they do not want to call it Self, because there is no
Self. The reason they said Awareness, is because Awareness is not an entity. It is not a thing. It is just
a point of luminous clarity. It is just clarity. But because we are so accustomed to thinking things in
terms of object and subject, we always take Awareness as something. It must be somewhere inside,
residing somewhere. Even if it is not residing inside the body it must be somewhere, someplace. This
is the problem, you see. So when you say that let’ s be aware. We always think of “how?” How to be
aware? When we say “where is awareness”, they always look for a place, they always look for a
something. This is how the mind react, this is what I call a momentum. They always behave this way.
They do not know how to say “Just do nothing. Everything is expressing itself by clarity.” They
always want to react, you see what I mean?

Participant 1: Yeah.

Thusness: It is an entire layer of doing. If now I tell you, can you just tell your mind not to do
anything, they can’ t. They just have to do something. It is a momentum at work. This is not the true
nature. This is a deeply rooted momentum exercising by itself, so we cannot mistaken this as our
nature. Just like you go to China. Then you go to India. The way they present Buddhism is so
different. And each of the teachings, there are always deeply rooted cultures that are fused into the
teachings, correct? So now, if we were to say, take out those culture, they also do not know what to
do, you know? Because it is deeply rooted. They thought it is wrong, but what has that got to do
with wrong or right? So we must know that what you say right or wrong, or that reality is so or so,
we must be able to discern correctly. Not to discriminate, but discern clearly “oh this is the
momentum at work, this is not it.” It has nothing to do with the true nature, but it is part of the
process of every appearance, every manifestation. This is the chapter on mind-system in
Lankavatara Sutra. The entire thing of how does the mind react. And how does the mind react? They
react in a way that the mind can’ t see it. Can you see the bond? Seeing how the mind reacts? So fast
that you can’ t see it? And therefore sitting is important. Don’ t think that you can move around and
see it. But once you experience it, it is very different. Once you experience it, when you move
around you will be able to experience it. But before you experience it, you have to sit. You have to
let everything settle down, let your mind settle down.

Now you must also be able to see the consistencies in the teachings. That is there is no I, there is no
Where, and there is no When. This is very important. Do not hold anything at all, then you can
experience it. You see, when we talk about cause and effect, the philosopher’ s cause and effect is
different from what the Buddha taught. Cause and effect always involve an entity taking place at a
certain date some time later... means, there is an entity, or a first cause, or something, taking a
process. Means there is changing ‘ things’ going through a process and after certain time interval,
takes place. This seeing things as entities. Now, to experience Reality you must not see things this
way. This is a deeply rooted culture that forms momentum by making you see it. You get what I
mean? Let’ s say you’ re doing explanation to someone. Somehow there is always bringing in the
concepts of Buddhism. And then there is always this dualistic concept. So you are affected now by
two momentums. One is a dualistic momentum. One is the momentum of non-dual. So instead of
one, it is affected by two. So at later stage they’ ll repeat. But it’ s ok you know. If this momentum is
not there, then probably there will be no understanding. So suffering is definitely to come. But you
have to take it. The two momentums are at work, so you must go beyond it, you must understand
emptiness. Can you understand what I mean?

Participant 1: So you are like living in two ways?


Thusness: It is not actually living in two ways. It is that the idea of the Self, or seeing things
dualistically, is re-enforced not by Buddhist teachings you know, it is by culture, by tradition, by
science, by all these, by the philosophies you read, by your experiences of the experiences of the
body. But you also need these Buddhist teachings that serves as a conditions to break your concepts.
It is good, but there will be pain that will come.

{laughs}

Thusness: Ok. And nub, are you there? Don’ t think too much about spiritual powers, ok.

{laughs}

Thusness: Spiritual powers is ok. But if you are too attached, then it is no good.

Participant 1: John, I have a question. After I chant to a certain extent, I can more or less understand
the nature of the thoughts, and be more sensitive to the thoughts at a moment to moment level.
You can see how it relates to your speech or actions. Isn’ t that a way an insight meditation already?

Thusness: Ok, there are two things you must know. In the three (or four) dharma seals, the universal
seals (characteristics of existence), there is the understanding of no-self, there is impermanence,
there is suffering and there is nirvana. Entering from the door of impermanence is different from
entering the door of no-self.

Participant 1: If I observe how the thoughts behave and realise it from there?

Thusness: Now you see, there are two things. One thing is that when you observe the arising and the
passing away of the moment. Of every arising of your thoughts. When you observe the arising and
passing away, it can also lead to the understanding of no-self, but from the door of impermanence.
This means that Self is seen as a series: Self1, Self2, Self3, that does not remain, from moment to
moment it changes. You see what I mean?

Participant 1: Yep.

Thusness: However, a person that enters through the door of no-self, means understanding no-self
directly, he enters through luminosity. That is more like a mirror bright, but he cannot understand
the luminosity due to momentum, then he separates the external world and the internal world. But
the no-self itself will break this mirror, then he will see that everything is the Mind. Do you get it?
One is from the luminosity door. No-self leads to the mirror bright, and then breaking the mirror and
then experience everything as the nature. The other one that leads to no-self is through the
understanding of impermanence.

Participant 1: {inaudible}

Thusness: Ok. Now, the understanding of these two is important, it must later be fused into one to
understand what Emptiness about. This means there is no point of reference, there is no centricity,
there is no where, there is no when, there is no I, but there is manifestation all and everywhere. If
you enter the gate of impermanence, later you have to experience no-self from luminosity, then you
have to fuse the two, then you have to stabilise the two, then you can understand Emptiness.

Participant 1: It’ s like, I tend to want to see and perceive things without concept through the door of
the mantra, the momentum. How does that relate?

Thusness: If you want to do that, you are going into mindfulness. That means you are slowly from
impermanence seeing that things arises and ceases, leading to no-self, and then leading you to
insight. That is the luminosity aspect already.

Participant 1: It is the same thing? {inaudible}

Thusness: Ok. This comes to the question of can effort lead to the effortless? You put in effort, can it
lead to effortless?

Participant 1: So it has eventually be so called natural?

Thusness: Yes. It has to be as natural as possible. But you must understand many people got
confused with the idea of being natural. Then they become lazy. {laughs} Being natural is not to laze
around you know. Naturalness cannot be misunderstood as propensities and momentum. When we
talk about being natural, it is the natural...

Participant 1: Wu wei? (non-action)

Thusness: (parts translated from Chinese) It is not wu-wei. It is a form of natural arising. Non-action
is during the process of practice, natural arising is just continuing to manifest by itself. But when you
say, I practise Wu-Wei, Wu-Wei is telling you to let go, but how to let go? There is no self, there is no
way to let go. So when you come to understanding, there is not even a letting go. There is no self
and everything is continuously manifesting.

Participant 1: Then isn’ t it easy to lose yourself, because the propensities are so strong?

Thusness: Ok, this is a very good question. Spontaneous arising cannot be taught first. You cannot
tell people things just happen by itself. You cannot tell people to practise this way. Only after certain
stage, when a person has seen non-duality, experienced the luminosity, experienced the passing and
dissolving away, you can tell them. Because it is leading towards that already. But before that, if you
tell them, they are being controlled by the momentum, merely swopped away only.

It is very dangerous to tell people to just relax. Why do person said that? Because they failed to see
the strength of what I call, pre-consciousness, the strength of propensities. You see what I mean?
When you tell or teach a person “just relax lah, just let everything manifest.” You can’ t. A person
that does this probably turns to being ultimate slacker. Didn’ t do anything. {laugh} Rather than
practising, he is digging his own grave you know, enhancing the momentum.
Why spontaneous arising is for a person that has understood (reality)... especially that he has gone
through non-duality. He can do spontaneous arising. He can practise spontaneous arising. Why is
this so? Because once a person enters into non-duality, the bond of the Self is already gone. A big
chunk of the bond, the Self-propensities are already gone. And when this self propensities is gone,
the energy turning against itself is being released, and work for itself. It does not die, you know. It is
just released and then works for itself, rather than turning against itself. So only a person that has
understood and experienced non-duality, it is better for him to penetrate spontaneous arising, to
practice this way. Because can see.. {inaudible} there is no need to respond anything. Do you get
what I mean? But if let’ s say you do not see it, like I said that everything is the Mind, but you did not
see that everything is the Mind then you start to say “don’ t need to do anything”, you are letting
your momentum take...

Participant 1: Sometimes can see, sometimes cannot see..

Thusness: Ok. Non-duality is a very very unique experience. One of the most unique experience I
have ever had.

Participant 1: I think there are different levels of it right?

Thusness: Uh, there are different levels of it. The finer of experience and the not so fine, the initial
level of experience. In the finest level of experience you will attain a sense of total transparency. It
means when you were to touch the sand, you feel the sand, you feel everything. You ask, which
aspect is not the Mind? You cannot answer. There is no in-between. There is just that.

Participant 1: How about the initial aspect?

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

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

(continued from above)

Thusness: Because once a person experience non-duality, there is no holding, there is just
luminosity. There is just a pure sense of existence, of clarity, of all things. Somehow, there is an
utmost joy and energy that flows from everywhere, that sustains a person. This is its nature.
Participant 1: So mine is only on a thought level is it? Seeing that there is no difference between the
thoughts and {inaudible}

Thusness: Actually I will suggest many people to start from meditation, and then feel the calmness.
There is such a stage called the dark nights that can be very painful. Dark night are stages of
experiences of non duality... the momentum somehow reacted much faster, and became more
intense, that created some problems. Created a lot of pain for the experiencer.

Participant 1: I don’ t think I am very near that, right? {laughs}

Thusness: {inaudible} Because it comes all of a sudden, you see. Just all of a sudden {inaudible} the
experience of non-duality. But you must understand, first, you must take this very seriously first.
First, take the teachings of Buddha very seriously, and no-self, what is impermanence, these serves
as a good {inaudible} It serves as good conditions for it to come. Means that if not, what you will
experience is mostly what I call is the Eternal Witness. The best that you can see is that thoughts
seems to be taking place, then it seems to be taking place WITHIN consciousness. So consciousness
becomes like a background container you know, a very big container then the things are taking
place, which is not the case. Having that experience, because your moment of experience is being
shaped by your momentum, that molded you to experience that way.

Because there is nothing that is telling them there is a kind of understanding or there is a kind of
experience that is not like that. You were taught like that. You get it? Like in Buddhism they teach
you otherwise. They teach you not to see things in terms of “I”, not to see things in terms of a
“where” and a “when”. Let’ s say something very simple. When I say that things happen, it is not
like those people that subscribe to think that anything is just taking by itself, it’ s nature. Mainly
what is important is conditions. You must have the conditions, then things can surface. When the
conditions is there, they just surfaces, and manifest. If there is cause in ten million miles away or ten
million light years away, or whatever it is, or in other realms, as long as there is conditions, it WILL
surface, it is not travelling {inaudible}. Can you understand this part? Condition is there, they just
manifest. This is one thing.

The second thing, to break the view of an entity, when we say that, where? Why must we keep of
asking where? Why must we keep on asking who? Where does the seed of propensity reside? It
doesn’ t reside anywhere. Don’ t ask where. It’ s just the way it is. Because whenever you ask where,
who, and when, it is because you are very accustomed to our way of inquiry. The way we enquire. It
is an inquiry system only. It is not reality. It is just the way you ask things only. It is just the way we
are molded, and therefore we ask things this way. If we ask things this way, then the idea of God is
more {inaudible} You see, the idea of God is based on the first cause, right? What is God? God is the
first cause. But why must there be a first cause? There is a first cause because there is a limit to the
way we think. It is due to the poverty of our own thinking mechanism. The mind requires a base to
start. So it is for the thinking mind to understand. It is not reality. Only the mind needs to understand
this way. Reality doesn’ t behave that way. Can you see? So we are trying to fit reality into a model
of concept. Correct?
Participant 1: Into our knowledge.

Thusness: Ya, into not our knowledge only, (but also) into the entire system of mechanism that we
enquire, that we see, that we perceive. Let’ s say for example you ask the first cause. Why do you
ask the first cause? Because the mind needs something to compare. Because the mind works
through measurement, right? So there must be something, then the mind can work, otherwise the
mind cannot work. Mind (different context of the word ‘ Mind’ here) is a thinking mind. So this first
cause is being created, otherwise the mind cannot understand. “Can you understand how the what
comes about, oh, you mean this.” You get it?

Participant 1: I tried practising what you call this non-discrimination without concept, as a
{inaudible}. When there is thought, Instead of using the momentum of mantra, I so call in way,
substitute the mantra with a so call {inaudible} call of no thought. In a way it’ s like, I so call try to go
through my mind without thoughts, interpretation, but the momentum and all those still come.

Thusness: I can understand, then you will be in struggling, you know.

Participant 1: {inaudible}

Thusness: You see, the mind will not be {inaudible} unless it {inaudible} suffering and pain you
know... so painful until you want to drop everything. Then you {inaudible} stop for a moment. That is
because through {inaudible} not stop the thinking mind. But if you were to {inaudible} awareness, or
any kind of awareness to be aware of things. You are simply aware, but there is no symbols. If you
continue to practise this and this until one day, it need not be very long you know, probably will take
a few months or a few years, if you can put in effort to just practise it without all these layers of
symbols, you just practise insight: Awareness and awareness and awareness... You experience clarity
and joy. You get what I mean? Once you experience this, the mind is able to know “Actually I can do
without symbols” and there is certain bliss and certain joy and energy, can you understand this part?
{inaudible}

Let’ s say there are two beautiful girls. Let’ s say for example, you are attached to a lady. Then one
fine day... you realise that there are girls that are of better look or whatever, qualities, than the
current girls. Don’ t talk about morality lah. {laughs} Once you realise that, and you experience that,
you can drop away your girlfriend you know. It’ s something like that. When you experience a higher
reality, that “oh, you can know without thoughts.” And you feel {inaudible} to drop the thinking
mechanism {inaudible} because you experience something else.

Participant 1: But then the momentum is so strong that even after that, it still comes up?

Thusness: Ok now, this is what I call, the insight. The work of insight. The momentum can continue,
but it does not bother you. When you have the insight of something {inaudible} in Lankavatara Sutra,
it taught the Transcendental Intelligence. Or the turning point. Ok, once you experience that joy, you
are willing to drop the thinking mind. It means that the way you perceive reality, suddenly there is a
turning. This turning itself replaces the whole of the way you perceive things and understand things.
Then, the way of momentum of the thinking mind plays a secondary role. It doesn’ t subside, it hides
behind.

Participant 1: The thoughts still arise, but you can actually not differentiate it, and it will not affect
you?

Thusness: Correct. You are able to do that.

Participant 1: But I am able to do that to a certain extend only, you know. Something I just use it
{inaudible}

Thusness: You must keep on asking yourself this. Is there an observer? You practise observing.
Means, {inaudible}. But Truthz (Participant 1), I know you practise very hard, but it will take time
one. {laughs} You understand?

Participant 1: Yeah, I don’ t expect it tomorrow lah. {laughs}

Thusness: Don’ t just not expect it tomorrow. Don’ t expect anything, just let it flow. Same thing, for
example, when you practise and practise and then suddenly you just dare to allow yourself to be
transformed and let things arise and subside without an “I”, without a “Where”, without a “When”,
with clear luminous clarity you know. The funny funny kind of non-scientific phenomena will occur,
you know.

Participant 1: So the meditation, the chanting, the question of “Who Am I?” are actually not
relevant?

Thusness: Yes, but are you able to feel with clarity and let things arise without a center, just arise. If I
were to tell you that suddenly you lost and then you pop somewhere else, reappear, can you take it
or not? {laughs} You will not be able to take it you know, it’ s not what you think you know, Truthz.

A Self is there to put it back. It’ s just like a car trying to crash onto you... Suddenly your blood rush
up, kalang kaboh. Can you see what you mean or not? After you experience the luminous clarity, you
must learn the second door, the arising and the passing away. Until these two arise, they take
strength and gather strength, then you can talk about that. That is the 8th Bhumi stage and above. It
is not easy to say, instantaneously you are gone and you appear somewhere. Then there is suddenly
the awareness you are at another {inaudible}. You won’ t be able to take it you know, don’ t think
you can. You will not be able to, trust me.

Participant 1: “Practice” (Participant 3) has this question on the Window.

Thusness: Ok. Windows programming.

Participant 1: Not lah, the chat window lah. {laughs}

Thusness: Ok. I thought you entered into Programming.


Participant 1: The question is “Does that mean that we try to practise the right conditions such as
meditation for the mind in order to let the luminosity to arise.”

Thusness: Luminosity will always arise. It never fails to arise. Now, let me tell you what is luminosity
in the simplest sense. Have you ever experienced suffering? Or you experience anything. Suffering...
Suffering is actually luminosity. Otherwise how do you know it is suffering? Why the pain is so real?
Anything that is real, that you feel, that you touch, anything that you feel so real. It is actually
luminosity. How can you know what suffering is all about? Without thoughts or what, you still feel
suffering, right? The presence of suffering, any kind of existence that is made available is actually the
manifestation of this luminous clarity. You get it? However, they are fused with the momentum.
They are fused with attachment. And the entire fusing and the entire working of the momentum,
that instance, the manifestation is suffering. Everything is like that, you have to feel the pain. Can
you understand what I mean or not? When you feel the sand, or you see the texture or you take the
stone out, and the texture is so and so, that is actually luminosity also.

Participant 1: Is it that when that arises, the so called momentum cause us to label it?

Thusness: Yes, the first thing {inaudible} the Seventh Consciousness will actually label it and then
lead to the “self”. But there are other forms of attachment, other forms of thoughts, that are as
strong as “self”. Like for example, Nub, to look for spiritual powers. {laughs} It’ s a momentum that
actually controls his entire mind, but it’ s OK you know, just like Longchen said you know, it is ok to
seek, but you cannot let things control you that way. To know something that is beyond has always
been inside us. Even for scientists. It has always been part of us. Curiosity to know that we are more
than this. We are more than what you see as surface. It’ s ok to have that. But we’ re so engrossed
and so controlled by it that you fail to see what it is it, what it means. To me, it is our nature. But if
you were to see it as something to seek, to go for, to find, and then to grab, then you are leading to
a very dangerous path because there is a momentum that you cannot control. Alright?

I think when we are young, somehow we are very attracted by all these, it’ s OK. You know when I
was very young, probably 20 years ago. I can stare at a candle day and night for six hours, ten hours.
Then everytime I practise one hour, one and a half hour, without blinking my eyes, then tears kept
running down my eyes. I just stared at the candle only. This is what we call “Qi Men Tian Shu”, one
of the practise. We are so excited by all these. Then because of the power of concentration, because
you kept on concentrating, it was so intense... then your concentration becomes very powerful and
it just stays there. Then one day, you close your eyes, the next stage, I practised that for a few
months and then just close your eyes, and you just focus something on your forehead... Wah, that
one is very.... Then later the thing that you focus in your forehead, you just cannot get rid of it. You
know how painful is that? When you sleep, it is also there. It is something like sticking down there,
you know. But it’ s fun mah, just dunno mah, read some books {laughs} then looked for some master
and then start practising. Can you see what I mean? That is very dangerous. You see, everybody goes
through certain phases. So the right kind of understanding is very important.

Participant 1: I got question. I practise more on chanting.. so while chanting, you know, running
through the momentum. How does that coincide with developing insights? Because when my mind
learn from my experience, or whatever, it is actually the propensities, there is a “self” already right?
Thusness: That is ok. It doesn’ t mean that if you cannot understand the ultimate reality of your
nature, you will be doomed. {laughs} There are many levels you know. When you exert positive
qualities like concentration and all these, it affects your mind.

The problem now, Truthz, is you want to go beyond that and search, experience your true nature.
That is the problem, you know. Let’ s say you are those old ah mahs, they just practise and they just
chant, they will feel very happy you know.

Participant 1: Actually I don’ t feel any joy leh... {laughs}

Thusness: Ya, that is why I said, you are searching for the higher reality. To experience more of your
true nature. Therefore it is because you cannot get it, that causes the suffering and causes the pain
of the struggle. Not because of the practise of the chant that has the quality of making you calm and
something positive. Something positive is taking place if you practise correctly. But there is another
desire to go beyond this, because you think that this is not the thing that you are seeking, it doesn’ t
feel like what I am supposed to experience. This is what that is causing the pain. Then when you read
texts, and then you listen to Masters, then you listen to some friends like me, then you get more...
“hey, it’ s not this and it’ s not that” and you get more confused. But this is necessary to go through.
You understand? It is this that is causing pain, it is not the chanting that is causing the pain.
{inaudible} is creating a positive momentum.

Participant 1: So while doing chanting, it is actually good at the initial level to practise some
discernment to understand the nature of thoughts, to examine how the distracting thoughts actually
react, what happens, and reflect on that.

Thusness: Ya, from one level to another. Let’ s say you practise chanting, or you practise meditation.
If I am contented 20 years ago with just the experience of being calm, I’ ll be OK for {inaudible}
years. I can rest on there. Then you can practise I Ching also, like last time I practise those I Ching
and all these. Your life will continue and you’ ll be happy, you know. But that is a different kind of
understanding. But once that person says that, “Oh, I want to know the ultimate reality.” Correct?
Then you say that hey those practises, though they can bring certain qualities, I cannot have that
kind of feeling that I have known all the things. You get what I mean? That is the problem that cause
you to feel the pain. But it is also not right for me to tell you that you all have to go into insight,
there is life after death, there is past lives and all these. What I think is that there must be certain
faith in the Buddha. Do what the Buddha teach and experience accordingly, that is enough. Your
understanding will change.

For example, a person in one fine day just experience the past life, suddenly, this life becomes very
meaningless. Last time seems to be very important, but (now) becomes very meaningless. So when
the insight just comes, there is a total change. Correct? Now when Buddha say that Life is Suffering,
and this is one of the universal truths, he is not talking about psychological pain and all that kinds of
pain you know. How can a person, a human that has memories of millions of lives before, and then
millions of lives before he can recall, tell you about... he’ s seeing things again and again, life after
life, and they tell you, life is suffering. And that is the suffering that he meant. Alright? It is not like
the psychologists that start telling you this is the psychological pain, that kind of things you know.
The insight is different. So when the experience comes, your perspective will definitely change, you
just let it be. But when you practise that time, you keep on wanting to reach a certain level of stage,
then that is pain. You just let it be.

Participant 1: But isn’ t that more or less... that is also a form of motivation, right?

Thusness: It’ s a form of motivation, but you must know that, can you take it? It’ s also going to be
stressful and painful.

Participant 1: {inaudible} {laughs}

Thusness: So it is good that you can take it. But you must also remember that the suffering is there.
It can be very painful, you know. So take step by step.

Participant 1: So if I choose a path that no need suffering and is also the same lah, {laughs} of course
practise don’ t suffer is better.

Thusness: You see the thing is there must be a middle way lah, hor? You don’ t choose the extreme,
you don’ t go to the extreme. Having said that, you also must know that, when you {inaudible} to the
minutest details of your thoughts, it is actually very painful, alright. When you want to zoom in to a
moment of arising, and then the momentum is acting, it can very painful you know.

Participant 1: If I see without so called discriminating and differentiating it?

Thusness: But first of all you must understand non-discrimination takes place after the formation of
perception, means you identify with an object. You know. Then there is a perception. But for
discriminations to take place, you have to have something extra. That is seeing things in a form of
entity. Then you will discriminate. Means you see things in a dualistic mode, then you discriminate.
Me, and you. This, and that. If you say a {inaudible} exists, a moment of thought arise, and you don’ t
discriminate it, that is also possible. Discriminate {inaudible} as practise, then slowly, you attain the
qualities of the mind to see a higher reality. For example you practise, say, those positive {inaudible}
wholesome actions. The paramitas. You will feel you know... then the joy itself is a kind of fruition,
that enables you to go beyond this self. Then you slowly release. But that does not mean you have
seen what your nature is. It just loosens the bonds of attachment by feeling the fruit, that is the
quality of joy. Then you can slowly release and then be able to see. Let’ s say the other way, taking
{inaudible} clairvoyance and that kind of things, your self is being strengthened. It’ s a different...
instead of being {inaudible}

You delegate how long to chanting?

Participant 1: At least half an hour... throughout most of my time, if I can, I am chanting inside lah.
Actually I don’ t see any so called sessions.

Thusness: That means you chant every moment?


Participant 1: I try to.

Thusness: Do you chant in your dreams?

Participant 1: That one cannot. If I do that, I cannot sleep lor.

Thusness: In your dreams, you know. Something happens, then can you chant?

Participant 1: Never occurred yet.

Thusness: In your dreams you never chant before?

Participant 1: These days no, last time, ya.

Thusness: Last time {inaudible}

Participant 1: You mean in dreams something occur then I chant in response? Ya lah.

Thusness: So when you chant in the dream, what happen, what you see?

Participant 1: In the dreams something bad occurred, I chanted, then the illusion was gone, I was out
of the dream lor.

Thusness: But when you chant that time, have you felt anything?

Thusness: You just wake up from your dream lah, after you chant?

Participant 1: Yah.

Thusness: Ok. So you continue to practise chanting lah, I think that is good for you.

How long have you been practising chanting? Practise (Participant 3), do you practise Chanting or
not? Practise? Hello?

Participant 1: Cannot hear him. Maybe he’ s {inaudible} on purpose.

Thusness: Ran away already. {laughs}

Participant 1: He have lah, on off lah.

Thusness: Any form of practise on {inaudible} so you create certain kind of yuan to go forward.
{Inaudible} to experience the propensities and the bond to realise the importance of this. So don’ t
underestimate it.
Participant 1: So I try to use both chanting and what just now I described to you, just no thought. As
in the seeds arise, I “bo chap” (ignore) it, and the seed dies.

Thusness: Ok when you “bo chap” your thoughts, what do you actually mean?

Participant 1: What I sometime sees is like what you describe, the thoughts arises in a very big
container, then dies lor.

Thusness: When the thoughts arise, and you “bo chap” it, what you {inaudible} is the content, the
stories, the meaning, and all these types of things. You react to the content and the meanings of it.

Participant 1: Yeah, I ignore it.

Thusness: {Inaudible}... You react to the content. You try to find meaning to it. Just like last time I
told you, you give you your thoughts, but how? Because you attempt to find meaning. You see what
I mean? You must know that these thoughts, you cannot react to the content.

Participant 1: From the chanting I understand this, and more or less I see a bit.

Thusness: Yes from the chanting I know you understand because the way you describe it {inaudible}
You must be able to see, to understand what is actually the problem is the reaction to the content.

Participant 1: One thing that puzzles me is sometimes ignoring it you know, as in not reacting to the
content, is this also a thought?

Thusness: This is a thought, but you are not reacting to the content.

Participant 1: So this is the part I said, no thought lor.

Thusness: {inaudible} Means to strip out the formations of the feelings, the emotions, don’ t buy into
the story. Then later you strip out the perception.

Participant 1: So the first step is to strip out the meaning, the content, then later the perception.

Thusness: That will be easier lah.

Participant 1: Actually what’ s the difference huh?

Thusness: Oh, a lot of difference... You see, {inaudible} there are many {inaudible} I call the
dimensions for a human, the make-ups. One of them is the emotion. The other one is the mythical
aspect, and then the spiritual aspect. Ok, perception has a lot to do with the rationality. Perception is
the thing that even without feeling it seeks to explain, like a philosopher. You understand?

Participant 1: Ok, without feeling?


Thusness: Now, without feeling, not that you become a rock you know, you must be able to
experience calmness. It must be transformed. Everything is being transformed. Let’ s say for
example the feeling and perception, the absence of all these must be transformed to bliss. We call
the Nirodha Samapatti (Nirvana of the Cessation of Perceptions and Feelings). You heard of it, right?

Participant 1: I think so.

Thusness: Thus the stripping off of the feelings must result in calmness. Have you felt a sense of
energy flowing around?

Participant 1: Something like Qi/Chi?

Thusness: It is not actually Qi, you know. Qi is another thing. It is like vibration, like an energy force.
A vibration. Qi is something that is different... Qi is the concentrated movement of your mind. It is a
directed thought, that is Qi.

Participant 1: So that is an energy that is flowing around your body, is it?

Thusness: It is a natural energy that is flowing, you know. Have you ever felt that before?

Participant 1: I think so.

Thusness: Maybe another day, then we meet up, and then I can understand more of your things,
your experiences.

Participant 1: But my experiences are not consistent, you know.

Thusness: Of course lah, the consistencies comes from... it actually has to do a lot with the bond or
the momentum you have {inaudible}. Insight actually burns the bond away. Insight meditation,
insight into reality. You understand suddenly... the bond loosens, just breaks. Then stability is it must
sink very deep into your consciousness, then it becomes stable. When I say sink into consciousness,
it doesn’ t mean that there are {inaudible}. It is just for the sake of saying it has to sink very deep
down.

Consciousness, when I say that there is a sub conscious, and there is the conscious level. And I say
what is done in the conscious level must sink very deep down into the sub conscious of they call
{inaudible} and the 8th consciousness. When somebody said that, straight away the thinking mind
thought that there is a sub conscious mind and a conscious mind, they are two, they are different.
{inaudible}

The sub conscious, the propensities, and what we call the conscious level are just mental states only.
They are all the same. And you have to understand that they do not reside anywhere. When
{inaudible} We are in a conventional world. The thinking mind will divide the conscious and the sub
conscious and think that they are separate. The thinking mind will treat it as that way.
Just like I said... is your head separated from your neck? {laughs} Is your legs separated from your
head? {laughs} So first of all you must understand these first. You must be able to see things as a
whole, and treat things as a process first. Just like you always hear people say “shi bai shi cheng
gong zhi mu” (failure is the mother of success) Then you say that, this person fail. Then this person
succeeds. Then to the person, at that moment he fail, is actually the beginning of success. To you,
that is failure. But to him, that is the beginning of success. {inaudible} Same flow. But the mind goes
and divides it, and you think that there is a very distinct layer, this is success. {inaudible} But the
mind continues to divide, and that is the problem. {inaudible}

Now can concentration lead to the understanding of reality, I said I don’ t think so. Correct? Because
it requires insights. {inaudible}... of a subject and an object.... {inaudible}

Participant 1: John, it’ s lagging.

Thusness: Now, can you hear me?

Participant 1: Yes.

Thusness: Ok. Just now can you understand about the success and failure?

Participant 1: Yes. That one is very clear. You are trying to relate to chanting right?

Thusness: Now I ask you one thing, another thing. I’ ve told you a story before... lets say there are
three partners that are very close to each other that set up a company. Then they are very
successful, they earned a lot of money. Now one fine day, someone {inaudible} tell you the
company’ s success because of.. {inaudible} John, you, {inaudible} tell me the company’ s success
{inaudible} is because of them {inaudible} Then they go and do alone, set up their own company.
{inaudible} Then, three of them think that {inaudible} understand why we fail. Actually for success,
three of us come in together. {inaudible} they start fighting, fail again. {inaudible}

Participant 1: John, it’ s lagging.

Thusness: {inaudible} Why is it so?

Participant 1: You are saying that the three persons go into business again, at another time,
together, but still failed. Thinking that the conditions for the success is {inaudible} three together, is
because of the timing lor, and other factors. The timing is different, all the external factors
{inaudible} changes.

Thusness: {inaudible} competitors and all these. So what is success? It is just an appearance. The
{inaudible} of all things, the cause, the conditions, that forms success right? Ok. Now, if we were to
see just success and just failure and identify with it, we will see life and death... and think that they
really exist, hidden some place, some where. But success and failure will keep on arising and then
subside as long as these interactions are there. Can you see what I mean?
Participant 1: Can you explain?

Thusness: If I were to strike a matchstick, then they burn. Correct? Fire. Fire is so clear and so real.
Then suddenly the fire is gone. Then you ask one question... where has the fire gone to? It may
sound stupid, right? But where has the fire gone to? Then you say the fire has gone to the east and
west and north and south direction. Because we always treat things as entities and then the
question we ask where it goes, north east south west, has no meaning at all. {inaudible} When you
ask a question, and that is not how the way it works. How can you answer? Can you see? Then you
ask, there has to be a “where” what. How can there be no “where”? There must be a direction, it is
either up or down, left or right. Can you ask that? Can you understand what I mean? Because
{inaudible} try to apply into a system of enquiry. And you think that the enquiry is so real, that is the
only way things can be, so you ask all sorts of questions that {inaudible} but just by simply a
{inaudible} then it is gone then you cannot ask these sort of question.

Same thing, when you view things in a form of entities, “I”, bonded because of the momentum of
your attachment of your body and all your karmic propensities, you think it is so. So you ask all these
sort of questions, correct? But in Buddhism they already tell you that the nature is not like that, it is
altogether different, the nature is empty. Correct or not? But you continue to go by that way of
enquiry, you can never understand.

{inaudible} how are you going to know? {inaudible} In Buddhism it is being taught this is the way. I
mean you experience it, it is different.

Participant 1: It is a paradigm shift?

Thusness: Yes. It is a paradigm so when you see it is like that, you will never ask that question again.
{inaudible} “who” {inaudible} Then the momentum is gone. That momentum. Because you stop
{inaudible} insight. This is not the way it works. This is how reality is. You know what I mean?

Participant 1: Ok. So through seeing in itself than through the conceptual mind, we are able to...

Thusness: {inaudible} that there is no self, that everything is impermanent. They explained to you,
the dependent origination, correct? They explain to you, the karmic propensities, correct? And then
they devise a way of, in order to know Reality, {inaudible}

Participant 1: Lagging, the last sentence.

Thusness: Insight meditation deals with the arising and cessation and the clarity of the arising and
cessation. This is the practise taught in Buddhism, right? So you must adopt this way, you must learn
this way, you must see this way {inaudible} You cannot adopt the other way to see, the other way
{inaudible}

Participant 1: The other way in what sense?

Thusness: The other way of “Who?” “Where?” “When?”


Participant 1: You mean that the Buddha taught the right way to enquire, how to enquire.

Thusness: {inaudible} tells you the experience, right? They explain the origination, taught the
{inaudible} meditation way, correct?

This is the way. You must {inaudible} that these are what the Buddha said. You get it? So you must
follow {inaudible}

Participant 1: Lagging. Are you saying we should follow what the Buddha taught in terms of the
meditation, insight meditation, to experience the three dharma seals, and all these?

Thusness: {inaudible}... and then the way of seeing things, and the way of explaining things. It must
be part of you right? If you do one thing like that, then on the other hand you do like that, then you
mixed up. Of course you cannot see Reality right, true or not?

{Inaudible} the way of seeing things {inaudible} that means This is, That is. We have to practise to
see the twelve links, we have to practise to see the karmic propensities, see the three universal
seals, all that kinds of things, correct?

Participant 1: Yeah.

Thusness: {inaudible} practise insight meditation. But your enquiry system... you keep on enquiring
“Who am I?” “What?” “Where?”

Participant 1: Hmm. So you’ re saying that our practise, which is the insight meditation and all these
doesn’ t coincide with our way of thinking?

Thusness: {inaudible} The thinking must be that way, it was taught that way. {inaudible} then they
tell you this is the way. You have to practise that way, right?

Participant 1: How do you {inaudible} that way if the thinking mind is always based on the ego?

Thusness: No. Therefore they say ok, this is the way, that there is no self. So you must practise
{inaudible} philosophy, understanding, practise, meditation and all these, all into one, you will
experience it. But if you {inaudible} then you can’ t.

{END OF LANKAVATARA SUTRA DISCUSSION SESSION}