Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexually as

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

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Anatta
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In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of "non-self", that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in living beings.[1][2] It is one of the seven beneficial perceptions in Buddhism,[3] and along with dukkha (suffering) and anicca (impermanence), it is one of three Right Understandings about the three marks of existence.[1][4]

The Buddhist concept of anattā or anātman is one of the fundamental differences between Buddhism and Hinduism, with the latter asserting that atman (self, soul) exists.[5][6]

Etymology and nomenclature

Anattā is a composite Pali word consisting of an (not, without) and attā (soul).[7] The term refers to the central Buddhist doctrine that "there is in humans no permanent, underlying substance that can be called the soul."[1] It is one of the three characteristics of all existence, together with dukkha (suffering, unsatisfactoriness) and anicca (impermanence).[1][7]

Anattā is synonymous with Anātman (an + ātman) in Sanskrit Buddhist texts.[1][8] In some Pali texts, ātman of Vedic texts is also referred to with the term Attan, with the sense of soul.[7] An alternate use of Attan or Atta is "self, oneself, essence of a person", driven by the Vedic era Brahmanical belief that the soul is the permanent, unchangeable essence of a living being, or the true self.[7][8]

In Buddhism-related English literature, Anattā is rendered as "not-Self", but this translation expresses an incomplete meaning, states Peter Harvey; a more complete rendering is "non-Self" because from its earliest days, Anattā doctrine denies that there is anything called a 'Self' in any person or anything else, and that a belief in 'Self' is a source of Dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness).[9][10][note 1] It is also incorrect to translate Anattā simply as "ego-less", according to Peter Harvey, because the Indian concept of ātman and attā is different from the Freudian concept of ego.[14][note 2]

Anatta or Anatta-vada is also referred to as the "no-soul or no-self doctrine" of Buddhism.[16][17][18]

Anattā in early Buddhist texts

The concept of Anattā appears in numerous Sutta of the ancient Buddhist Nikāya texts (Pali canon). It appears, for example, as a noun in Samyutta Nikaya III.141, IV.49, V.345, in Sutta II.37 of Anguttara Nikaya, II.37–45 and II.80 of Patisambhidamagga, III.406 of Dhammapada. It also appears as an adjective, for example, in Samyutta Nikaya III.114, III.133, IV.28 and IV.130–166, in Sutta III.66 and V.86 of Vinaya.[7][8]

The ancient Buddhist texts discuss Attā or Attan (soul, self), sometimes with alternate terms such as Atuman, Tuma, Puggala, Jiva, Satta, Pana and Nama-rupa, thereby providing the context for the Buddhist Anattā doctrine. Examples of such Attā contextual discussions are found in Digha Nikaya I.186-187, Samyutta Nikaya III.179 and IV.54, Vinaya I.14, Majjhima Nikaya I.138, III.19, and III.265–271 and Anguttara Nikaya I.284.[7][8][19]

The contextual use of Attā in Nikāyas is two sided. In one, it directly denies that there is anything called a self or soul in a human being that is a permanent essence of a human being, a theme found in Brahmanical (proto-Hindu) traditions.[20] In another, states Peter Harvey, such as at Samyutta Nikaya IV.286, the Sutta considers the materialistic concept in pre-Buddhist Vedic times of "no afterlife, complete annihilation" at death to be a denial of Self, but still "tied up with belief in a Self".[21] "Self exists" is a false premise, assert the early Buddhist texts.[21] However, adds Peter Harvey, these texts do not admit the premise "Self does not exist" either because the wording presumes the concept of "Self" prior to denying it ; instead, the early Buddhist texts use the concept of Anattā as the implicit premise.[21][22] According to Steven Collins, the doctrine of anatta and "denial of self" in the canonical Buddhist texts is "insisted on only in certain theoretical contexts", while they use the terms atta, purisa, puggala quite naturally and freely in various contexts.[19] The elaboration of the anatta doctrine, along with identification of the words such as "puggala" as "permanent subject or soul" appears in later Buddhist literature.[19]

Anattā is one of the main bedrock doctrines of Buddhism, and its discussion is found in the later texts of all Buddhist traditions.[23] For example, the Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna (~200 CE), extensively wrote about rejecting the metaphysical entity called attā or ātman (self, soul), asserting in chapter 18 of his Mūlamadhyamakakārikā that there is no such substantial entity and that "Buddha taught the doctrine of no-self".[24][25][26] The texts attributed to the 5th-century Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu of the Yogachara school similarly discuss Anatta as a fundamental premise of the Buddha.[27] The Vasubandhu interpretations of no-self thesis were challenged by the 7th-century Buddhist scholar Candrakirti, who then offered his own theories on its importance.[28][29]

Existence and non-existence

Anattā (no-self, without soul, no essence) is the nature of living beings, and this is one of the three marks of existence in Buddhism, along with Anicca (impermanence, nothing lasts) and Dukkha (suffering, unsatisfactoriness is innate in birth, aging, death, rebirth, redeath – the Saṃsāra cycle of existence).[30][31] It is found in many texts of different Buddhist traditions, such as the Dhammapada – a canonical Buddhist text.[32] Buddhism asserts with Four Noble Truths that there is a way out of this Saṃsāra.[note 3][note 4]

Eternalism and annihilationism

While the concept of soul in Hinduism (as atman) and Jainism (as jiva) is taken for granted, which is different from the Buddhist concept of no-soul, each of the three religions believed in rebirth and emphasized moral responsibility in different ways in contrast to pre-Buddhist materialistic schools of Indian philosophies.[47][48][49] The materialistic schools of Indian philosophies, such as Charvaka, are called annihilationist schools because they posited that death is the end, there is no afterlife, no soul, no rebirth, no karma, and death is that state where a living being is completely annihilated, dissolved.[50]

Buddha criticized the materialistic annihilationism view that denied rebirth and karma, states Damien Keown.[47] Such beliefs are inappropriate and dangerous, stated Buddha, because they encourage moral irresponsibility and material hedonism.[47] Anatta does not mean there is no afterlife, no rebirth or no fruition of karma, and Buddhism contrasts itself to annihilationist schools.[47] Buddhism also contrasts itself to other Indian religions that champion moral responsibility but posit eternalism with their premise that within each human being there is an essence or eternal soul, and this soul is part of the nature of a living being, existence and metaphysical reality.[51][52][53]

Karma, rebirth and anattā

The Buddha emphasized both karma and anatta doctrines.[57]

The Buddha criticized the doctrine that posited an unchanging soul as a subject as the basis of rebirth and karmic moral responsibility, which he called "atthikavāda". He also criticized the materialistic doctrine that denied the existence of both soul and rebirth, and thereby denied karmic moral responsibility, which he calls "natthikavāda".[58] Instead, the Buddha asserted that there is no soul, but there is rebirth for which karmic moral responsibility is a must. In the Buddha's framework of karma, right view and right actions are necessary for liberation.[59][60]

Developing the self

According to Peter Harvey, while the Suttas criticize notions of an eternal, unchanging Self as baseless, they see an enlightened being as one whose empirical self is highly developed.[61] This is paradoxical, states Harvey, in that "the Self-like nibbana state" is a mature self that knows "everything as Selfless".[61] The "empirical self" is the citta (mind/heart, mindset, emotional nature), and the development of self in the Suttas is the development of this citta.[62]

One with "great self", state the early Buddhist Suttas, has a mind which is neither at the mercy of outside stimuli nor its own moods, neither scattered nor diffused, but imbued with self-control, and self-contained towards the single goal of nibbana and a 'Self-like' state.[61] This "great self" is not yet an Arahat, because he still does small evil action which leads to karmic fruition, but he has enough virtue that he does not experience this fruition in hell.[61]

An Arahat, states Harvey, has a fully enlightened state of empirical self, one that lacks the "sense of both 'I am' and 'this I am'", which are illusions that the Arahat has transcended.[63] The Buddhist thought and salvation theory emphasizes a development of self towards a Selfless state not only with respect to oneself, but recognizing the lack of relational essence and Self in others, wherein states Martijn van Zomeren, "self is an illusion".[64]

Anatman in Theravada Buddhism

Theravada Buddhism scholars, states Oliver Leaman, consider the Anattā doctrine as one of the main theses of Buddhism.[23]

The Buddhist denial of "any Soul or Self" is what distinguishes Buddhism from major religions of the world such as Christianity and Hinduism, giving it uniqueness, asserts the Theravada tradition.[23] With the doctrine of Anattā, stands or falls the entire Buddhist structure, asserts Nyanatiloka.[65]

According to Collins, "insight into the teaching of anatta is held to have two major loci in the intellectual and spiritual education of an individual" as s/he progresses along the Path.[66] The first part of this insight is to avoid sakkayaditthi (Personality Belief), that is converting the "sense of I which is gained from introspection and the fact of physical individuality" into a theoretical belief in a self.[66] "A belief in a (really) existing body" is considered a false belief and a part of the Ten Fetters that must be gradually lost. The second loci is the psychological realisation of anatta, or loss of "pride or conceit". This, states Collins, is explained as the conceit of asmimana or "I am"; (...) what this "conceit" refers to is the fact that for the unenlightened man, all experience and action must necessarily appear phenomenologically as happening to or originating from an "I".[66] When a Buddhist gets more enlightened, this happening to or originating in an "I" or sakkdyaditthi is less. The final attainment of enlightenment is the disappearance of this automatic but illusory "I".[66]

The Theravada tradition has long considered the understanding and application of the Anatta doctrine to a complex teaching, whose "personal, introjected application has always been thought to be possible only for the specialist, the practising monk". The tradition, states Collins, has "insisted fiercely on anatta as a doctrinal position", while in practice it may not play much of a role in the daily religious life of most Buddhists.[67] The Suttas present the doctrine in three forms. First, they apply the "no-self, no-identity" doctrine to all phenomena as well as any and all objects, yielding the idea that "all things are not-self" (sabbe dhamma anatta).[67] Second, states Collins, the Suttas apply the doctrine to deny self of any person, treating conceit to be evident in any assertion of "this is mine, this I am, this is myself" (etam mamam eso 'ham asmi, eso me atta ti).[68] Third, the Theravada texts apply the doctrine as a nominal reference, to identify examples of "self" and "not-self", respectively the Wrong view and the Right view; this third case of nominative usage is properly translated as "self" (as an identity) and is unrelated to "soul", states Collins.[68] The first two usages incorporate the idea of soul.[69] The Theravada doctrine of Anatta, or not-self not-soul, inspire meditative practices for monks, states Donald Swearer, but for the lay Theravada Buddhists in Southeast Asia, the doctrines of kamma, rebirth and punna (merit) inspire a wide range of ritual practices and ethical behavior.[70]

The Anatta doctrine is key to the concept of nirvana (nibbana) in the Theravada tradition. The liberated nirvana state, states Collins, is the state of Anatta, a state that is neither universally applicable nor can be explained, but can be realized.[71][note 5]

Current disputes

The dispute about "self" and "not-self" doctrines has continued throughout the history of Buddhism.[74] It is possible, states Johannes Bronkhorst, that "original Buddhism did not deny the existence of the soul", even though a firm Buddhist tradition has maintained that the Buddha avoided talking about the soul or even denied its existence.[75] While there may be ambivalence on the existence or non-existence of self in early Buddhist literature, adds Bronkhorst, it is clear from these texts that seeking self-knowledge is not the Buddhist path for liberation, and turning away from self-knowledge is.[76] This is a reverse position to the Vedic traditions which recognized the knowledge of the self as "the principal means to achieving liberation".[76]

In Thai Theravada Buddhism, for example, states Paul Williams, some modern era Buddhist scholars have claimed that "nirvana is indeed the true Self", while other Thai Buddhists disagree.[77] For instance, the Dhammakaya Movement in Thailand teaches that it is erroneous to subsume nirvana under the rubric of anatta (non-self); instead, nirvana is taught to be the "true self" or dhammakaya.[78] The Dhammakaya Movement teaching that nirvana is atta, or true self, was criticized as heretical in Buddhism in 1994 by Ven. Payutto, a well-known scholar monk, who stated that 'Buddha taught nibbana as being non-self".[79][80] The abbot of one major temple in the Dhammakaya Movement, Luang Por Sermchai of Wat Luang Por Sodh Dhammakayaram, argues that it tends to be scholars who hold the view of absolute non-self, rather than Buddhist meditation practitioners. He points to the experiences of prominent forest hermit monks to support the notion of a "true self".[80] Similar interpretations on the "true self" were put forth earlier by the 12th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand in 1939. According to Williams, the Supreme Patriarch's interpretation echoes the tathāgatagarbha sutras.[81]

Several notable teachers of the Thai Forest Tradition have also described ideas in contrast to absolute non-self. Ajahn Maha Bua, a well known meditation master, described the citta (mind) as being an indestructible reality that does not fall under anattā.[82] He has stated that not-self is merely a perception that is used to pry one away from infatuation with the concept of a self, and that once this infatuation is gone the idea of not-self must be dropped as well.[83] American monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu of the Thai Forest Tradition describes the Buddha's statements on non-self as a path to awakening rather than a universal truth.[57] Thanissaro Bhikkhu states that the Buddha intentionally set the question of whether or not there is a self aside as a useless question, and that clinging to the idea that there is no self at all would actually prevent enlightenment.[84]

Scholars Alexander Wynne and Rupert Gethin also take a similar position as Thanissaro Bhikkhu, arguing that the Buddha's description of non-self in the five aggregates do not necessarily mean there is no self, stating that the five aggregates are not descriptions of a human being but phenomena for one to observe. Wynne argues that the Buddha's statements on anattā are a "not-self" teaching rather than a "no-self" teaching.[85]

Thanissaro Bhikkhu points to the Ananda Sutta, where the Buddha stays silent when asked whether there is a 'self' or not,[86] as a major cause of the dispute.
[87] In Thailand, this dispute on the nature of teachings about 'self' and 'non-self' in Buddhism has led to arrest warrants, attacks and threats.[88]

Anatman in Mahayana Buddhism

There are many different views of Anatta (Chinese: 無我; pinyin: wúwǒ; Japanese: 無我 muga) within various Mahayana schools.[89]

Nagarjuna, the founder of Madhyamaka (middle way) school of Mahayana Buddhism, analyzed dharma first as factors of experience.[12] He, states David Kalupahana, analyzed how these experiences relate to "bondage and freedom, action and consequence", and thereafter analyzed the notion of personal self (attā, ātman).[12]

Nagarjuna asserted that the notion of a self is associated with the notion of one's own identity and corollary ideas of pride, selfishness and a sense of psychophysical personality.[90] This is all false, and leads to bondage in his Madhyamaka thought. There can be no pride nor possessiveness, in someone who accepts Anattā and denies "self" which is the sense of personal identity of oneself, others or anything, states Nagarjuna.[12][13] Further, all obsessions are avoided when a person accepts emptiness (sunyata).[12][91] Nagarjuna denied there is anything called a self-nature as well as other-nature, emphasizing true knowledge to be comprehending emptiness.[90][92][93] Anyone who has not dissociated from his belief in personality in himself or others, through the concept of self, is in a state of Avidya (ignorance) and caught in the cycle of rebirths and redeaths.[90][94]

The early Mahayana Buddhism texts link their discussion of "emptiness" (shunyata) to Anatta and Nirvana. They do so, states Mun-Keat Choong, in three ways: first, in the common sense of a monk's meditative state of emptiness; second, with the main sense of Anatta or 'everything in the world is empty of self'; third, with the ultimate sense of Nirvana or realization of emptiness and thus an end to rebirth cycles of suffering.[95] The Anatta doctrine is another aspect of shunyata, its realization is the nature of the nirvana state and to an end to rebirths.[96][97][98]

Tathagatagarbha Sutras: Buddha is True Self

Some 1st-millennium CE Buddhist texts suggest concepts that have been controversial because they imply a "self-like" concept.[99][100] In particular are the Tathāgatagarbha sūtras, where the title itself means a garbha (womb, matrix, seed) containing Tathagata (Buddha). These Sutras suggest, states Paul Williams, that 'all sentient beings contain a Tathagata' as their 'essence, core or essential inner nature'.[101] The Tathagatagarbha doctrine, at its earliest probably appeared about the later part of the 3rd century CE, and is verifiable in Chinese translations of 1st millennium CE.[101] Most scholars consider the Tathagatagarbha doctrine of an 'essential nature' in every living being is equivalent to 'Self',[note 6] and it contradicts the Anatta doctrines in a vast majority of Buddhist texts, leading scholars to posit that the Tathagatagarbha Sutras were written to promote Buddhism to non-Buddhists.[103][104]

The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra explicitly asserts that the Buddha used the term "Self" in order to win over non-Buddhist ascetics.[105][106] The Ratnagotravibhāga (also known as Uttaratantra), another text composed in the first half of 1st millennium CE and translated into Chinese in 511 CE, points out that the teaching of the Tathagatagarbha doctrine is intended to win sentient beings over to abandoning "self-love" (atma-sneha) – considered to be one of the defects by Buddhism.[107][108] The 6th-century Chinese Tathagatagarbha translation states that "Buddha has shiwo (True Self) which is beyond being and nonbeing".[109] However, the Ratnagotravibhāga asserts that the "Self" implied in Tathagatagarbha doctrine is actually "not-Self".[109][110]

According to some scholars, the Buddha-nature discussed in these sutras does not represent a substantial self; rather, it is a positive language and expression of śūnyatā "emptiness" and represents the potentiality to realize Buddhahood through Buddhist practices.[107] Other scholars do in fact detect leanings towards monism in these tathagatagarbha references.[111] Michael Zimmermann sees the notion of an unperishing and eternal self in the Tathagatagarbha Sutra.[112] Zimmermann also avers that 'the existence of an eternal, imperishable self, that is, buddhahood, is definitely the basic point of the Tathagatagarbha Sutra'.[113] He further indicates that there is no evident interest found in this sutra in the idea of Emptiness (sunyata).[114] Williams states that the "Self" in Tathagatagarbha Sutras is actually "non-Self", and neither identical nor comparable to the Hindu concepts of Brahman and Self.[107]

Anatman in Vajrayana Buddhism

Nairatmya is the goddess of emptiness, and of Anatta (non-self, non-soul, selflessness) realization.[115][116]

The Anatta or Anatman doctrine is extensively discussed in and partly inspires the ritual practices of the Vajrayana tradition. The Tibetan terms such as bdag med refer to "without a self, insubstantial, anatman".[117] These discussions, states Jeffrey Hopkins, assert the "non-existence of a permanent, unitary and independent self", and attribute these ideas to the Buddha.[118]

The ritual practices in Vajrayana Buddhism employs the concept of deities, to end self-grasping, and to manifest as a purified, enlightened deity as part of the Vajrayana path to liberation from rebirths.[119][120][121] One such deity is goddess Nairatmya (literally, non-soul, non-self).[122][123][124] She symbolizes, states Miranda Shaw, that "self is an illusion" and "all beings and phenomenal appearances lack an abiding self or essence" in Vajrayana Buddhism.[115]

Anatta – a difference between Buddhism and Hinduism

Anatta is a central doctrine of Buddhism.[125][126][127] It marks one of the major differences between Buddhism and Hinduism. According to the anatta doctrine of Buddhism, at the core of all human beings and living creatures, there is no "eternal, essential and absolute something called a soul, self or atman".[5][6][128] Buddhism, from its earliest days, has denied the existence of the "self, soul" in its core philosophical and ontological texts. In its soteriological themes, Buddhism has defined nirvana as that blissful state when a person, amongst other things, realizes that he or she has "no self, no soul".[5][129]

The traditions within Hinduism believe in Atman. The pre-Buddhist Upanishads of Hinduism assert that there is a permanent Atman, and is an ultimate metaphysical reality.[130][127] This sense of self, is expressed as "I am" in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.1, states Peter Harvey, when nothing existed before the start of the universe.[130] The Upanishadic scriptures hold that this soul or self is underlying the whole world.[130] At the core of all human beings and living creatures, assert the Hindu traditions, there is "eternal, innermost essential and absolute something called a soul, self that is atman."[5] Within the diverse schools of Hinduism, there are differences of perspective on whether souls are distinct, whether Supreme Soul or God exists, whether the nature of Atman is dual or non-dual, and how to reach moksha. However, despite their internal differences, one shared foundational premise of Hinduism is that "soul, self exists", and that there is bliss in seeking this self, knowing self, and self-realization.[5][131]

While the Upanishads recognized many things as being not-Self, they felt that a real, true Self could be found. They held that when it was found, and known to be identical to Brahman, the basis of everything, this would bring liberation. In the Buddhist Suttas, though, literally everything is seen is non-Self, even Nirvana. When this is known, then liberation – Nirvana – is attained by total non-attachment. Thus both the Upanishads and the Buddhist Suttas see many things as not-Self, but the Suttas apply it, indeed non-Self, to everything.

— Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices[132]


Both Buddhism and Hinduism distinguish ego-related "I am, this is mine", from their respective abstract doctrines of "Anatta" and "Atman".[130] This, states Peter Harvey, may have been an influence of Buddhism on Hinduism.[133]

Anatman and Niratman

The term niratman appears in the Maitrayaniya Upanishad of Hinduism, such as in verses 6.20, 6.21 and 7.4. Niratman literally means "selfless".[134][135] The niratman concept has been interpreted to be analogous to anatman of Buddhism.[136] The ontological teachings, however, are different. In the Upanishad, states Thomas Wood, numerous positive and negative descriptions of various states – such as niratman and sarvasyatman (the self of all) – are used in Maitrayaniya Upanishad to explain the nondual concept of the "highest Self".[135] According to Ramatirtha, states Paul Deussen, the niratman state discussion is referring to stopping the recognition of oneself as an individual soul, and reaching the awareness of universal soul or the metaphysical Brahman.[137]

See also

• Adiaphora
• Ahamkara
• Anicca
• Asceticism
• Atman (Buddhism)
• Atman (Hinduism)
• Dukkha
• Enlightenment (religious)
• Jiva
• Nirvana
• Mahaparinirvana Sutra
• Skandhas
• Tathagatagarbha

Notes

1. Buddha did not deny a being or a thing, referring it to be a collection of impermanent interdependent aggregates, but denied that there is a metaphysical self, soul or identity in anything.[11][12][13]
2. The term ahamkara is 'ego' in Indian philosophies.[15]
3. On samsara, rebirth and redeath:
* Paul Williams: "All rebirth is due to karma and is impermanent. Short of attaining enlightenment, in each rebirth one is born and dies, to be reborn elsewhere in accordance with the completely impersonal causal nature of one's own karma. The endless cycle of birth, rebirth, and redeath, is samsara."[33]
* Buswell and Lopez on "rebirth": "An English term that does not have an exact correlate in Buddhist languages, rendered instead by a range of technical terms, such as the Sanskrit PUNARJANMAN (lit. "birth again") and PUNABHAVAN (lit. "re-becoming"), and, less commonly, the related PUNARMRTYU (lit. "redeath")."[34]

See also Perry Schmidt-Leukel (2006) pages 32-34,[35] John J. Makransky (1997) p.27.[36] for the use of the term "redeath." The term Agatigati or Agati gati (plus a few other terms) is generally translated as 'rebirth, redeath'; see any Pali-English dictionary; e.g. pages 94-95 of Rhys Davids & William Stede, where they list five Sutta examples with rebirth and re-death sense.[37]
4. Graham Harvey: "Siddhartha Gautama found an end to rebirth in this world of suffering. His teachings, known as the dharma in Buddhism, can be summarized in the Four Noble truths."[38]Geoffrey Samuel (2008): "The Four Noble Truths [...] describe the knowledge needed to set out on the path to liberation from rebirth."[39] See also [40][41][42][33][43][38][web 1][web 2]

The Theravada tradition holds that insight into these four truths is liberating in itself.[44] This is reflected in the Pali canon.[45]According to Donald Lopez, "The Buddha stated in his first sermon that when he gained absolute and intuitive knowledge of the four truths, he achieved complete enlightenment and freedom from future rebirth."[web 1]

The Maha-parinibbana Sutta also refers to this liberation.[web 3]Carol Anderson: "The second passage where the four truths appear in the Vinaya-pitaka is also found in the Mahaparinibbana-sutta (D II 90-91). Here, the Buddha explains that it is by not understanding the four truths that rebirth continues."[46]

On the meaning of moksha as liberation from rebirth, see Patrick Olivelle in the Encyclopædia Britannica.[web 4]
5. This is a major difference between the Theravada Buddhists and different Hindu traditions which assert that nirvana is realizing and being in the state of self (soul, atman) and is universally applicable. However, both concur that this state is indescribable, cannot be explained, but can be realized.[72][73]
6. Wayman and Wayman have disagreed with this view, and they state that the Tathagatagarbha is neither self nor sentient being, nor soul, nor personality.[102]

References

1. Anatta Buddhism Archived 2015-12-10 at the Wayback Machine, Encyclopædia Britannica (2013)
2. Christmas Humphreys (2012). Exploring Buddhism. Routledge. pp. 42–43. ISBN 978-1-136-22877-3.
[ b] Brian Morris (2006). Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction. Cambridge University Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-521-85241-8., Quote: "...anatta is the doctrine of non-self, and is an extreme empiricist doctrine that holds that the notion of an unchanging permanent self is a fiction and has no reality. According to Buddhist doctrine, the individual person consists of five skandhas or heaps—the body, feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness. The belief in a self or soul, over these five skandhas, is illusory and the cause of suffering."
[c] Richard Gombrich (2006). Theravada Buddhism. Routledge. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-134-90352-8., Quote: "...Buddha's teaching that beings have no soul, no abiding essence. This 'no-soul doctrine' (anatta-vada) he expounded in his second sermon."
3. "Sañña Sutta: Perceptions" (AN 7.46) Archived 2014-09-28 at the Wayback Machine Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013
4. Richard Gombrich (2006). Theravada Buddhism. Routledge. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-134-90352-8., Quote: "All phenomenal existence [in Buddhism] is said to have three interlocking characteristics: impermanence, suffering and lack of soul or essence."
5. Anatta Archived 2015-12-10 at the Wayback Machine, Encyclopædia Britannica (2013), Quote: "Anatta in Buddhism, the doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying soul. The concept of anatta, or anatman, is a departure from the Hindu belief in atman ("the self")."; [ b] Steven Collins (1994), "Religion and Practical Reason" (Editors: Frank Reynolds, David Tracy), State Univ of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-2217-5, page 64; "Central to Buddhist soteriology is the doctrine of not-self (Pali: anattā, Sanskrit: anātman, the opposed doctrine of ātman is central to Brahmanical thought). Put very briefly, this is the [Buddhist] doctrine that human beings have no soul, no self, no unchanging essence."; [c] Edward Roer (Translator), Shankara's Introduction, p. 2, at Google Books to Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad, pages 2-4; [d] Katie Javanaud (2013), Is The Buddhist 'No-Self' Doctrine Compatible With Pursuing Nirvana? Archived 2015-02-06 at the Wayback Machine, Philosophy Now; [e] David Loy (1982), "Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?", International Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 65-74; [f] KN Jayatilleke (2010), Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, ISBN 978-8120806191, pages 246-249, from note 385 onwards;
6. John C. Plott et al (2000), Global History of Philosophy: The Axial Age, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120801585, page 63, Quote: "The Buddhist schools reject any Ātman concept. As we have already observed, this is the basic and ineradicable distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism".
7. Thomas William Rhys Davids; William Stede (1921). Pali-English Dictionary. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 22. ISBN 978-81-208-1144-7.
8. Johannes Bronkhorst (2009). Buddhist Teaching in India. Simon and Schuster. pp. 124–125 with footnotes. ISBN 978-0-86171-566-4.
9. Peter Harvey (2012). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge University Press. pp. 57–62. ISBN 978-0-521-85942-4.
10. Peter Harvey (2015). Steven M. Emmanuel, ed. A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 34–37. ISBN 978-1-119-14466-3.
11. Peter Harvey (2015). Steven M. Emmanuel, ed. A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-119-14466-3.
12. Nāgārjuna; David J. Kalupahana (Translator) (1996). Mūlamadhyamakakārikā of Nāgārjuna. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 56. ISBN 978-81-208-0774-7.
13. David Loy (2009). Awareness Bound and Unbound: Buddhist Essays. State University of New York Press. pp. 105–106. ISBN 978-1-4384-2680-8., Quote: Nagarjuna, the second century Indian Buddhist philosopher, used shunyata not to characterize the true nature of reality but to deny that anything has any self-existence or reality of its own.
14. Peter Harvey (2012). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge University Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-521-85942-4., Quote: "Again, anatta does not mean 'egoless', as it is sometimes rendered. The term 'ego' has a range of meanings in English. The Freudian 'ego' is not the same as the Indian atman/atta or permanent Self."
15. Surendranath Dasgupta (1992). A History of Indian Philosophy. Motilal Banarsidass (Republisher; Originally published by Cambridge University Press). p. 250. ISBN 978-81-208-0412-8.
16. Richard Gombrich; Gananath Obeyesekere (1988). Buddhism Transformed: Religious Change in Sri Lanka. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 246. ISBN 978-81-208-0702-0.
17. N. Ross Reat (1994). Buddhism: A History. Jain Publishing. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-87573-002-8.
18. Richard Francis Gombrich (1988). Theravāda Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo. Routledge. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-415-07585-5.
19. Steven Collins (1990). Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 71–81. ISBN 978-0-521-39726-1.
20. Peter Harvey (2013). The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism. Routledge. pp. 1–2, 34–40, 224–225. ISBN 978-1-136-78336-4.
21. Peter Harvey (2013). The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism. Routledge. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-1-136-78336-4.
22. Johannes Bronkhorst (2009). Buddhist Teaching in India. Wisdom Publications. pp. 23–25. ISBN 978-0-86171-811-5.
23. Oliver Leaman (2002). Eastern Philosophy: Key Readings. Routledge. pp. 23–27. ISBN 978-1-134-68919-4.
24. Nāgārjuna; David J. Kalupahana (Translator) (1996). Mūlamadhyamakakārikā of Nāgārjuna. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 56–57. ISBN 978-81-208-0774-7.
25. Brad Warner (Commentary); GW Nishijima (Translator) (2011). Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika. Monkfish. pp. 182–191. ISBN 978-0-9833589-0-9.
26. Nagarjuna; Jay Garfield (Translator) (1995). "Chapters XVIII, XXVII (see Part One and Two)". The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika. Oxford University Press. pp. xxxiv, 76. ISBN 978-0-19-976632-1.
27. Steven M. Emmanuel (2015). A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 419–428. ISBN 978-1-119-14466-3.
28. James Duerlinger (2013). The Refutation of the Self in Indian Buddhism: Candrakīrti on the Selflessness of Persons. Routledge. pp. 52–54. ISBN 978-0-415-65749-5.
29. Ronald W. Neufeldt. Karma and Rebirth: Post Classical Developments. State University of New York Press. pp. 216–220. ISBN 978-1-4384-1445-4.
30. Robert E. Buswell Jr.; Donald S. Lopez Jr. (2013). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. pp. 42–43, 581. ISBN 978-1-4008-4805-8.
31. Grant Olson (Translator); Phra Payutto (1995). Buddhadhamma: Natural Laws and Values for Life. State University of New York Press. pp. 62–63. ISBN 978-0-7914-2631-9.
32. John Carter; Mahinda Palihawadana (2008). Dhammapada. Oxford University Press. pp. 30–31, 74, 80. ISBN 978-0-19-955513-0.
33. Williams 2002, p. 74-75.
34. Buswell & Lopez 2003, p. 708.
35. Schmidt-Leukel 2006, p. 32-34.
36. Makransky 1997, p. 27.
37. Davids, Thomas William Rhys; Stede, William (1 January 1921). "Pali-English Dictionary". Motilal Banarsidass – via Google Books.
38. Harvey 2016.
39. Samuel 2008, p. 136.
40. Spiro 1982, p. 42.
41. Vetter 1988, p. xxi, xxxi-xxxii.
42. Makransky 1997, p. 27-28.
43. Lopez 2009, p. 147.
44. Carter 1987, p. 3179.
45. Anderson 2013.
46. Anderson 2013, p. 162 with note 38, for context see pages 1-3.
47. Damien Keown (2004). "Ucchedavāda, śāśvata-vāda, rebirth, in A Dictionary of Buddhism". Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-860560-7. Missing or empty |url= (help)
48. Robert E. Buswell Jr.; Donald S. Lopez Jr. (2013). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. pp. 708–709. ISBN 978-1-4008-4805-8.
49. Peter Harvey (2012). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge University Press. pp. 32–33, 38–39, 46–49. ISBN 978-0-521-85942-4.
50. Ray Billington (2002). Understanding Eastern Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 43–44, 58–60. ISBN 978-1-134-79349-5.
51. Norman C. McClelland (2010). Encyclopedia of Reincarnation and Karma. McFarland. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-7864-5675-8.
52. Hugh Nicholson (2016). The Spirit of Contradiction in Christianity and Buddhism. Oxford University Press. pp. 23–25. ISBN 978-0-19-045534-7.
53. Gananath Obeyesekere (2006). Karma and Rebirth: A Cross Cultural Study. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 281–282. ISBN 978-81-208-2609-0.
54. See, for instance, the "Snake-Simile Discourse" (MN 22), where the Buddha states:
"Monks, this Teaching so well proclaimed by me, is plain, open, explicit, free of patchwork. In this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork; for those who are arahants, free of taints, who have accomplished and completed their task, have laid down the burden, achieved their aim, severed the fetters binding to existence, who are liberated by full knowledge, there is no (future) round of existence that can be ascribed to them. – Majjhima Nikaya i.130 ¶ 42, Translated by Nyanaponika Thera (Nyanaponika, 2006)
55. The "fruit" (Pali: phala) is the culmination of the "path" (magga). Thus, for example, the "stream-enterer" is the fruit for one on the "stream-entry" path; more specifically, the stream-enterer has abandoned the first three fetters, while one on the path of stream-entry strives to abandon these fetters.
56. Both the stream-enterer and the once-returner abandon the first three fetters. What distinguishes these stages is that the once-returner additionally attenuates lust, hate and delusion, and will necessarily be reborn only once more.
57. "Selves & Not-self: The Buddhist Teaching on Anatta", by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tself.html Archived 2013-02-04 at the Wayback Machine
58. David Kalupahana, Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. The University Press of Hawaii, 1975, page 44.
59. Malcolm B. Hamilton (12 June 2012). The Sociology of Religion: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 73–80. ISBN 978-1-134-97626-3.
60. Raju, P. T. (1985). Structural Depths of Indian Thought. State University of New York Press. pp. 147–151. ISBN 978-0-88706-139-4.
61. Peter Harvey (1995). The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism. Routledge. pp. 54–56. ISBN 978-1-136-78336-4.
62. Peter Harvey (1995). The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism. Routledge. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-1-136-78336-4.
63. Peter Harvey (1995). The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism. Routledge. pp. 31–32, 44, 50–51, 71, 210–216, 246. ISBN 978-1-136-78336-4.
64. Martijn van Zomeren (2016). From Self to Social Relationships: An Essentially Relational Perspective on Social Motivation. Cambridge University Press. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-107-09379-9., Quote: Buddhism is an example of a non-theistic religion, which underlies a cultural matrix in which individuals believe that the self is an illusion. Indeed, its anatta doctrine states that the self is not an essence.
65. Steven Collins (1990). Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism. Cambridge University Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-521-39726-1.
66. Steven Collins (1990). Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 93–94. ISBN 978-0-521-39726-1.
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68. Steven Collins (1990). Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 96–97. ISBN 978-0-521-39726-1.
69. Steven Collins (1990). Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 3–5, 35–36, 109–116, 163, 193. ISBN 978-0-521-39726-1.
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71. Steven Collins (1990). Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 82–84. ISBN 978-0-521-39726-1.
72. Steven Collins (1990). Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 81–82. ISBN 978-0-521-39726-1.
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91. David Loy (2009). Awareness Bound and Unbound: Buddhist Essays. State University of New York Press. pp. 36–38. ISBN 978-1-4384-2680-8.
92. Diane Morgan (2004). The Buddhist Experience in America. Greenwood. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-313-32491-8.
93. David F. Burton (2015). Emptiness Appraised: A Critical Study of Nagarjuna's Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 31–32, 48 with footnote 38. ISBN 978-1-317-72322-6.
94. Ian Harris (1991). The Continuity of Madhyamaka and Yogācāra in Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism. BRILL Academic. pp. 146–147. ISBN 90-04-09448-2.
95. Mun-Keat Choong (1999). The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 1–4, 85–88. ISBN 978-81-208-1649-7.
96. Ray Billington (2002). Understanding Eastern Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 58–60. ISBN 978-1-134-79348-8.
97. David Loy (2009). Awareness Bound and Unbound: Buddhist Essays. State University of New York Press. pp. 35–39. ISBN 978-1-4384-2680-8.
98. Stephan Schuhmacher (1994). The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zen. Shambhala. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-87773-980-7.
99. Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. pp. 125–127. ISBN 978-1-134-25056-1.
100. S. K. Hookham (1991). The Buddha Within: Tathagatagarbha Doctrine According to the Shentong Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga. State University of New York Press. pp. 100–104. ISBN 978-0-7914-0357-0.
101. Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-134-25056-1.
102. Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-134-25056-1.
103. Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. pp. 104–105, 108. ISBN 978-1-134-25056-1.
104. Merv Fowler (1999). Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 101–102. ISBN 978-1-898723-66-0., Quote: "Some texts of the tathagatagarbha literature, such as the Mahaparinirvana Sutra actually refer to an atman, though other texts are careful to avoid the term. This would be in direct opposition to the general teachings of Buddhism on anatta. Indeed, the distinctions between the general Indian concept of atman and the popular Buddhist concept of Buddha-nature are often blurred to the point that writers consider them to be synonymous."
105. Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-134-25056-1.Quote: "... it refers to the Buddha using the term "Self" in order to win over non-Buddhist ascetics."
106. John W. Pettit (1999). Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection. Simon and Schuster. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-0-86171-157-4.
107. Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. pp. 109–112. ISBN 978-1-134-25056-1.
108. Christopher Bartley (2015). An Introduction to Indian Philosophy: Hindu and Buddhist Ideas from Original Sources. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-4725-2437-9.
109. Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-134-25056-1.
110. S. K. Hookham (1991). The Buddha Within: Tathagatagarbha Doctrine According to the Shentong Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga. State University of New York Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-7914-0357-0.
111. Jamie Hubbard, Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood, University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu, 2001, pp. 99-100
112. Zimmermann, Michael (2002), A Buddha Within: The Tathāgatagarbhasūtra, Biblotheca Philologica et Philosophica Buddhica VI, The International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology, Soka University, p. 64
113. Michael Zimmermann, A Buddha Within, p. 64
114. Zimmermann, A Buddha Within, p. 81
115. Miranda Eberle Shaw (2006). Buddhist Goddesses of India. Princeton University Press. pp. 387–390. ISBN 0-691-12758-1.
116. Kun-Dga'-Bstan; Kunga Tenpay Nyima; Jared Rhoton (2003). The Three Levels of Spiritual Perception: A Commentary on the Three Visions. Simon and Schuster. p. 392. ISBN 978-0-86171-368-4.
117. Garab Dorje (1996). The Golden Letters: The Three Statements of Garab Dorje, the First Teacher of Dzogchen, Together with a Commentary by. Snow Lion Publications. p. 319. ISBN 978-1-55939-050-7.
118. Jeffrey Hopkins (2006). Absorption in No External World. Snow Lion Publications. pp. 400–405. ISBN 978-1-55939-946-3.
119. Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen (2010). A Complete Guide to the Buddhist Path. Snow Lion Publications. pp. 259–261. ISBN 978-1-55939-790-2.
120. Karma-Ran-Byun-Kun-Khyab-Phrin-Las; Denis Tondrup (1997). Luminous Mind: The Way of the Buddha. Simon and Schuster. pp. 204–206. ISBN 978-0-86171-118-5.
121. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (2000). Essence of Vajrayana: The Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Heruka Body Mandala. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 140–143. ISBN 978-81-208-1729-6.
122. John A. Grimes (1996). A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English. State University of New York Press. p. 199. ISBN 978-0-7914-3067-5.
123. A. K. Warder (2000). Indian Buddhism. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 473–474. ISBN 978-81-208-1741-8.
124. Asaṅga; Janice Dean Willis (2002). On Knowing Reality: The Tattvārtha Chapter of Asaṅga's Bodhisattvabhūmi. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 24. ISBN 978-81-208-1106-5.
125. Elliot Turiel (2002). The Culture of Morality: Social Development, Context, and Conflict. Cambridge University Press. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-139-43266-5., Quote: "A central doctrine of Theravada Buddhism is Anatta, [...]"
126. Nyanatiloka Thera (2004). Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines. Buddhist Publication Society. p. 15. ISBN 978-955-24-0019-3., Quote: "anatta [...] This is the central doctrine of Buddhism, without understanding which a real knowledge of Buddhism is altogether impossible.";
For the development of anatta concept to the key doctrine of sunyata in Mahayana: Kenneth Fleming (2002). Asian Christian theologians in dialogue with Buddhism. P. Lang. pp. 26–27. ISBN 978-3-906768-42-7.
127. Trevor Ling (1969). A History of Religion East and West: An Introduction and Interpretation. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 86–87. ISBN 978-1-349-15290-2., Quote: "2.32 The essentials of early Buddhist doctrine [...] third, anatta, or the absence of a permanent enduring private self (atta) within the human individual. This last is the doctrine which most clearly distinguished the teaching of the Buddha from other contemporary schools of thought, and especially from Upanisadic thought, in which the affirmation of the soul or self (Sanskrit: atman; Pali: atta) within the human individual and its identification with the world-soul, or brahman, was the central doctrine. [...]"
128. Helen J Baroni (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0-8239-2240-6, page 14
129. David Loy (1982), Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?, International Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 65-74
130. Peter Harvey (2013). The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism. Routledge. pp. 34, 38. ISBN 978-1-136-78336-4.
131. Sengaku Mayeda (2000), Sankara and Buddhism, in New Perspectives on Advaita Vedānta (Editors: Richard V. De Smet, Bradley J. Malkovsky), Brill Academic, ISBN 978-9004116665, pages 18-29
132. Peter Harvey (2012). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge University Press. pp. 59–60. ISBN 978-0-521-85942-4.
133. Peter Harvey (2013). The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism. Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-136-78336-4., Quote: "The post-Buddhist Matri Upanishad holds that only defiled individual self, rather than the universal one, thinks 'this is I' or 'this is mine'. This is very reminiscent of Buddhism, and may well have been influenced by it to divorce the universal Self from such egocentric associations".
134. Paul Deussen (1980). Sixty Upanishads of the Veda. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 361. ISBN 978-81-208-1468-4.
135. Thomas E. Wood (1992). The Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad and the Āgama Śāstra: An Investigation Into the Meaning of the Vedānta. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 67–68. ISBN 978-81-208-0930-7.
136. =Shinkan Murakami (1971). "Niratman and anatman". Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Indogaku Bukkyōgaku Kenkyū). 19 (2): 61–68.
137. Paul Deussen (1980). Sixty Upanishads of the Veda. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 358–359 introductory note, 361 with footnote 1, 380. ISBN 978-81-208-1468-4.

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Nondualism
by Wikipedia
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In spirituality, nondualism, also called non-duality, means "not two" or "one undivided without a second".[1][2] Nondualism primarily refers to a mature state of consciousness, in which the dichotomy of I-other is "transcended", and awareness is described as "centerless" and "without dichotomies".[web 1] Although this state of consciousness may seem to appear spontaneous,[note 1] it usually follows prolonged preparation through ascetic or meditative/contemplative practice, which may include ethical injunctions. While the term "nondualism" is derived from Advaita Vedanta, descriptions of nondual consciousness can be found within Hinduism (Turiya, sahaja), Buddhism (emptiness, pariniṣpanna, rigpa), and western Christian and neo-Platonic traditions (henosis, mystical union).

The Asian idea of nondualism developed in the Vedic and post-Vedic Hindu philosophies, as well as in the Buddhist traditions.[3] The oldest traces of nondualism in Indian thought are found in the earlier Hindu Upanishads such as Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, as well as other pre-Buddhist Upanishads such as the Chandogya Upanishad, which emphasizes the unity of individual soul called Atman and the Supreme called Brahman. In Hinduism, nondualism has more commonly become associated with the Advaita Vedanta tradition of Adi Shankara.[4]

In the Buddhist tradition non-duality is associated with the teachings of emptiness (śūnyatā) and the two truths doctrine, particularly the Madhyamaka teaching of the non-duality of absolute and relative truth,[5][6] and the Yogachara notion of "mind/thought only" (citta-matra) or "representation-only" (vijñaptimātra).[4] These teachings, coupled with the doctrine of Buddha-nature have been influential concepts in the subsequent development of Mahayana Buddhism, not only in India, but also in East Asian and Tibetan Buddhism, most notably in Chán (Zen) and Vajrayana.

Western Neo-Platonism is an essential element of both Christian contemplation and mysticism, and of Western esotericism and modern spirituality, especially Unitarianism, Transcendentalism, Universalism and Perennialism.

Etymology

When referring to nondualism, Hinduism generally uses the Sanskrit term Advaita, while Buddhism uses Advaya (Tibetan: gNis-med, Chinese: pu-erh, Japanese: fu-ni).[7]

"Advaita" (अद्वैत) is from Sanskrit roots a, not; dvaita, dual, and is usually translated as "nondualism", "nonduality" and "nondual". The term "nondualism" and the term "advaita" from which it originates are polyvalent terms. The English word's origin is the Latin duo meaning "two" prefixed with "non-" meaning "not".

"Advaya" (अद्वय) is also a Sanskrit word that means "identity, unique, not two, without a second," and typically refers to the two truths doctrine of Mahayana Buddhism, especially Madhyamaka.

One of the earliest uses of the word Advaita is found in verse 4.3.32 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (~800 BCE), and in verses 7 and 12 of the Mandukya Upanishad (variously dated to have been composed between 500 BCE to 200 CE).[8] The term appears in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad in the section with a discourse of the oneness of Atman (individual soul) and Brahman (universal consciousness), as follows:[9]

An ocean is that one seer, without any duality [Advaita]; this is the Brahma-world, O King. Thus did Yajnavalkya teach him. This is his highest goal, this is his highest success, this is his highest world, this is his highest bliss. All other creatures live on a small portion of that bliss.

— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3.32, [10][11][12]


The English term "nondual" was also informed by early translations of the Upanishads in Western languages other than English from 1775. These terms have entered the English language from literal English renderings of "advaita" subsequent to the first wave of English translations of the Upanishads. These translations commenced with the work of Müller (1823–1900), in the monumental Sacred Books of the East (1879).

Max Müller rendered "advaita" as "Monism", as have many recent scholars.[13][14][15] However, some scholars state that "advaita" is not really monism.[16]

Definitions

Nondualism is a fuzzy concept, for which many definitions can be found.[note 2]

According to Espín and Nickoloff, "nondualism" is the thought in some Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist schools, which, generally speaking:

... teaches that the multiplicity of the universe is reducible to one essential reality."[17]


However, since there are similar ideas and terms in a wide variety of spiritualities and religions, ancient and modern, no single definition for the English word "nonduality" can suffice, and perhaps it is best to speak of various "nondualities" or theories of nonduality.[18]

David Loy, who sees non-duality between subject and object as a common thread in Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, and Advaita Vedanta,[19][note 3] distinguishes "Five Flavors Of Nonduality":[web 2]

The negation of dualistic thinking in pairs of opposites. The Yin-Yang symbol of Taoism symbolises the transcendence of this dualistic way of thinking.[web 2]
Monism, the nonplurality of the world. Although the phenomenal world appears as a plurality of "things", in reality they are "of a single cloth".[web 2]
• Advaita, the nondifference of subject and object, or nonduality between subject and object.[web 2]
• Advaya, the identity of phenomena and the Absolute, the "nonduality of duality and nonduality",[web 2] c.q. the nonduality of relative and ultimate truth as found in Madhyamaka Buddhism and the two truths doctrine.
• Mysticism, a mystical unity between God and man.[web 2]

The idea of nondualism is typically contrasted with dualism, with dualism defined as the view that the universe and the nature of existence consists of two realities, such as the God and the world, or as God and Devil, or as mind and matter, and so on.[22][23]

Ideas of nonduality are also taught in some western religions and philosophies, and it has gained attraction and popularity in modern western spirituality and New Age-thinking.[24]

Different theories and concepts which can be linked to nonduality are taught in a wide variety of religious traditions. These include:

Different theories and concepts which can be linked to nonduality are taught in a wide variety of religious traditions. These include:

Hinduism:

• In the Upanishads, which teach a doctrine that has been interpreted in a nondualistic way, mainly tat tvam asi.[25]
• The Advaita Vedanta of Shankara[26][25] which teaches that a single pure consciousness is the only reality, and that the world is unreal (Maya).
• Non-dual forms of Hindu Tantra[27] including Kashmira Shaivism[28][27] and the goddess centered Shaktism. Their view is similar to Advaita, but they teach that the world is not unreal, but it is the real manifestation of consciousness.[29]
• Forms of Hindu Modernism which mainly teach Advaita and modern Indian saints like Ramana Maharshi and Swami Vivekananda.

Buddhism:

• "Shūnyavāda (emptiness view) or the Mādhyamaka school",[30][31] which holds that there is a non-dual relationship (that is, there is no true separation) between conventional truth and ultimate truth, as well as between samsara and nirvana.
• "Vijnānavāda (consciousness view) or the Yogācāra school",[30][32] which holds that there is no ultimate perceptual and conceptual division between a subject and its objects, or a cognizer and that which is cognized. It also argues against mind-body dualism, holding that there is only consciousness.
• Tathagatagarbha-thought[32], which holds that all beings have the potential to become Buddhas.
• Vajrayana-buddhism[33], including Tibetan Buddhist traditions of Dzogchen[34] and Mahamudra[35].
• East Asian Buddhist traditions like Zen[36] and Huayan, particularly their concept of interpenetration.

Sikhism[37], which usually teaches a duality between God and humans, but was given a nondual interpretation by Bhai Vir Singh.

Taoism[38], which teaches the idea of a single subtle universal force or cosmic creative power called Tao (literally "way").

Subud[24]

Abrahamic traditions:

• Christian mystics who promote a "nondual experience", such as Meister Eckhart and Julian of Norwich. The focus of this Christian nondualism is on bringing the worshiper closer to God and realizing a "oneness" with the Divine.[39]
• Sufism[38]
• Jewish Kabbalah

Western traditions:

• Neo-platonism [40] which teaches there is a single source of all reality, The One.
• Western philosophers like Hegel, Spinoza and Schopenhauer.[40] They defended different forms of philosophical monism or Idealism.
• Transcendentalism, which was influenced by German Idealism and Indian religions.
• Theosophy
• New age

Hinduism

"Advaita" refers to nondualism, non-distinction between realities, the oneness of Atman (individual self) and Brahman (the single universal existence), as in Vedanta, Shaktism and Shaivism.[41] Although the term is best known from the Advaita Vedanta school of Adi Shankara, "advaita" is used in treatises by numerous medieval era Indian scholars, as well as modern schools and teachers.[note 4]

The Hindu concept of Advaita refers to the idea that all of the universe is one essential reality, and that all facets and aspects of the universe is ultimately an expression or appearance of that one reality.[41] According to Dasgupta and Mohanta, non-dualism developed in various strands of Indian thought, both Vedic and Buddhist, from the Upanishadic period onward.[3] The oldest traces of nondualism in Indian thought may be found in the Chandogya Upanishad, which pre-dates the earliest Buddhism. Pre-sectarian Buddhism may also have been responding to the teachings of the Chandogya Upanishad, rejecting some of its Atman-Brahman related metaphysics.[42][note 5]

Advaita appears in different shades in various schools of Hinduism such as in Advaita Vedanta, Vishishtadvaita Vedanta (Vaishnavism), Suddhadvaita Vedanta (Vaishnavism), non-dual Shaivism and Shaktism.[41][45][46] In the Advaita Vedanta of Adi Shankara, advaita implies that all of reality is one with Brahman,[41] that the Atman (soul, self) and Brahman (ultimate unchanging reality) are one.[47][48] The advaita ideas of some Hindu traditions contrasts with the schools that defend dualism or Dvaita, such as that of Madhvacharya who stated that the experienced reality and God are two (dual) and distinct.[49][50]

Vedanta

Several schools of Vedanta teach a form of nondualism. The best-known is Advaita Vedanta, but other nondual Vedanta schools also have a significant influence and following, such as Vishishtadvaita Vedanta and Shuddhadvaita,[41] both of which are bhedabheda.

Advaita Vedanta

The nonduality of the Advaita Vedanta is of the identity of Brahman and the Atman.[51] Advaita has become a broad current in Indian culture and religions, influencing subsequent traditions like Kashmir Shaivism.

The oldest surviving manuscript on Advaita Vedanta is by Gauḍapāda (6th century CE),[4] who has traditionally been regarded as the teacher of Govinda bhagavatpāda and the grandteacher of Adi Shankara. Advaita is best known from the Advaita Vedanta tradition of Adi Shankara (788-820 CE), who states that Brahman, the single unified eternal truth, is pure Being, Consciousness and Bliss (Sat-cit-ananda).[52]

Advaita, states Murti, is the knowledge of Brahman and self-consciousness (Vijnana) without differences.[53] The goal of Vedanta is to know the "truly real" and thus become one with it.[54] According to Advaita Vedanta, Brahman is the highest Reality,[55][56][57] The universe, according to Advaita philosophy, does not simply come from Brahman, it is Brahman. Brahman is the single binding unity behind the diversity in all that exists in the universe.[56] Brahman is also that which is the cause of all changes.[56][58][59] Brahman is the "creative principle which lies realized in the whole world".[60]

The nondualism of Advaita, relies on the Hindu concept of Ātman which is a Sanskrit word that means "real self" of the individual,[61][62] "essence",[web 4] and soul.[61][63] Ātman is the first principle,[64] the true self of an individual beyond identification with phenomena, the essence of an individual. Atman is the Universal Principle, one eternal undifferentiated self-luminous consciousness, asserts Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism.[65][66]

Advaita Vedanta philosophy considers Atman as self-existent awareness, limitless, non-dual and same as Brahman.[67] Advaita school asserts that there is "soul, self" within each living entity which is fully identical with Brahman.[68][69] This identity holds that there is One Soul that connects and exists in all living beings, regardless of their shapes or forms, there is no distinction, no superior, no inferior, no separate devotee soul (Atman), no separate God soul (Brahman).[68] The Oneness unifies all beings, there is the divine in every being, and all existence is a single Reality, state the Advaita Vedantins.[70] The nondualism concept of Advaita Vedanta asserts that each soul is non-different from the infinite Brahman.[71]

Advaita Vedanta – Three levels of reality

Advaita Vedanta adopts sublation as the criterion to postulate three levels of ontological reality:[72][73]

• Pāramārthika (paramartha, absolute), the Reality that is metaphysically true and ontologically accurate. It is the state of experiencing that "which is absolutely real and into which both other reality levels can be resolved". This experience can't be sublated (exceeded) by any other experience.[72][73]
• Vyāvahārika (vyavahara), or samvriti-saya,[74] consisting of the empirical or pragmatic reality. It is ever-changing over time, thus empirically true at a given time and context but not metaphysically true. It is "our world of experience, the phenomenal world that we handle every day when we are awake". It is the level in which both jiva (living creatures or individual souls) and Iswara are true; here, the material world is also true.[73]
• Prāthibhāsika (pratibhasika, apparent reality, unreality), "reality based on imagination alone". It is the level of experience in which the mind constructs its own reality. A well-known example is the perception of a rope in the dark as being a snake.[73]

Similarities and differences with Buddhism

Scholars state that Advaita Vedanta was influenced by Mahayana Buddhism, given the common terminology and methodology and some common doctrines.[75][76] Eliot Deutsch and Rohit Dalvi state:

In any event a close relationship between the Mahayana schools and Vedanta did exist, with the latter borrowing some of the dialectical techniques, if not the specific doctrines, of the former.[77]


Advaita Vedanta is related to Buddhist philosophy, which promotes ideas like the two truths doctrine and the doctrine that there is only consciousness (vijñapti-mātra). It is possible that the Advaita philosopher Gaudapada was influenced by Buddhist ideas.[4] Shankara harmonised Gaudapada's ideas with the Upanishadic texts, and developed a very influential school of orthodox Hinduism.[78][79]

The Buddhist term vijñapti-mātra is often used interchangeably with the term citta-mātra, but they have different meanings. The standard translation of both terms is "consciousness-only" or "mind-only." Advaita Vedanta has been called "idealistic monism" by scholars, but some disagree with this label.[80][81] Another concept found in both Madhyamaka Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta is Ajativada ("ajāta"), which Gaudapada adopted from Nagarjuna's philosophy.[82][83][note 6] Gaudapada "wove [both doctrines] into a philosophy of the Mandukaya Upanisad, which was further developed by Shankara.[85][note 7]

Michael Comans states there is a fundamental difference between Buddhist thought and that of Gaudapada, in that Buddhism has as its philosophical basis the doctrine of Dependent Origination according to which "everything is without an essential nature (nissvabhava), and everything is empty of essential nature (svabhava-sunya)", while Gaudapada does not rely on this principle at all. Gaudapada's Ajativada is an outcome of reasoning applied to an unchanging nondual reality according to which "there exists a Reality (sat) that is unborn (aja)" that has essential nature (svabhava), and this is the "eternal, fearless, undecaying Self (Atman) and Brahman".[87] Thus, Gaudapada differs from Buddhist scholars such as Nagarjuna, states Comans, by accepting the premises and relying on the fundamental teaching of the Upanishads.[87] Among other things, Vedanta school of Hinduism holds the premise, "Atman exists, as self evident truth", a concept it uses in its theory of nondualism. Buddhism, in contrast, holds the premise, "Atman does not exist (or, An-atman) as self evident".[88][89][90]

Mahadevan suggests that Gaudapada adopted Buddhist terminology and adapted its doctrines to his Vedantic goals, much like early Buddhism adopted Upanishadic terminology and adapted its doctrines to Buddhist goals; both used pre-existing concepts and ideas to convey new meanings.[91] Dasgupta and Mohanta note that Buddhism and Shankara's Advaita Vedanta are not opposing systems, but "different phases of development of the same non-dualistic metaphysics from the Upanishadic period to the time of Sankara."[3]

Vishishtadvaita Vedanta

Vishishtadvaita Vedanta is another main school of Vedanta and teaches the nonduality of the qualified whole, in which Brahman alone exists, but is characterized by multiplicity. It can be described as "qualified monism," or "qualified non-dualism," or "attributive monism."

According to this school, the world is real, yet underlying all the differences is an all-embracing unity, of which all "things" are an "attribute." Ramanuja, the main proponent of Vishishtadvaita philosophy contends that the Prasthana Traya ("The three courses") – namely the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Brahma Sutras – are to be interpreted in a way that shows this unity in diversity, for any other way would violate their consistency.

Vedanta Desika defines Vishishtadvaita using the statement: Asesha Chit-Achit Prakaaram Brahmaikameva Tatvam – "Brahman, as qualified by the sentient and insentient modes (or attributes), is the only reality."

Neo-Vedanta

Neo-Vedanta, also called "neo-Hinduism"[92] is a modern interpretation of Hinduism which developed in response to western colonialism and orientalism, and aims to present Hinduism as a "homogenized ideal of Hinduism"[93] with Advaita Vedanta as its central doctrine.[94]

Neo-Vedanta, as represented by Vivekananda and Radhakrishnan, is indebted to Advaita vedanta, but also reflects Advaya-philosophy. A main influence on neo-Advaita was Ramakrishna, himself a bhakta and tantrika, and the guru of Vivekananda. According to Michael Taft, Ramakrishna reconciled the dualism of formlessness and form.[95] Ramakrishna regarded the Supreme Being to be both Personal and Impersonal, active and inactive:

When I think of the Supreme Being as inactive – neither creating nor preserving nor destroying – I call Him Brahman or Purusha, the Impersonal God. When I think of Him as active – creating, preserving and destroying – I call Him Sakti or Maya or Prakriti, the Personal God. But the distinction between them does not mean a difference. The Personal and Impersonal are the same thing, like milk and its whiteness, the diamond and its lustre, the snake and its wriggling motion. It is impossible to conceive of the one without the other. The Divine Mother and Brahman are one.[96]


Radhakrishnan acknowledged the reality and diversity of the world of experience, which he saw as grounded in and supported by the absolute or Brahman.[web 5][note 8] According to Anil Sooklal, Vivekananda's neo-Advaita "reconciles Dvaita or dualism and Advaita or non-dualism":[98]

The Neo-Vedanta is also Advaitic inasmuch as it holds that Brahman, the Ultimate Reality, is one without a second, ekamevadvitiyam. But as distinguished from the traditional Advaita of Sankara, it is a synthetic Vedanta which reconciles Dvaita or dualism and Advaita or non-dualism and also other theories of reality. In this sense it may also be called concrete monism in so far as it holds that Brahman is both qualified, saguna, and qualityless, nirguna.[98]


Radhakrishnan also reinterpreted Shankara's notion of maya. According to Radhakrishnan, maya is not a strict absolute idealism, but "a subjective misperception of the world as ultimately real."[web 5] According to Sarma, standing in the tradition of Nisargadatta Maharaj, Advaitavāda means "spiritual non-dualism or absolutism",[99] in which opposites are manifestations of the Absolute, which itself is immanent and transcendent:[100]

All opposites like being and non-being, life and death, good and evil, light and darkness, gods and men, soul and nature are viewed as manifestations of the Absolute which is immanent in the universe and yet transcends it.[101]


Kashmir Shaivism

Advaita is also a central concept in various schools of Shaivism, such as Kashmir Shaivism[41] and Shiva Advaita.

Kashmir Shaivism is a school of Śaivism, described by Abhinavagupta[note 9] as "paradvaita", meaning "the supreme and absolute non-dualism".[web 6] It is categorized by various scholars as monistic[102] idealism (absolute idealism, theistic monism,[103] realistic idealism,[104] transcendental physicalism or concrete monism[104]).

Kashmir Saivism is based on a strong monistic interpretation of the Bhairava Tantras and its subcategory the Kaula Tantras, which were tantras written by the Kapalikas.[105] There was additionally a revelation of the Siva Sutras to Vasugupta.[105] Kashmir Saivism claimed to supersede the dualistic Shaiva Siddhanta.[106] Somananda, the first theologian of monistic Saivism, was the teacher of Utpaladeva, who was the grand-teacher of Abhinavagupta, who in turn was the teacher of Ksemaraja.[105][107]

The philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism can be seen in contrast to Shankara's Advaita.[108] Advaita Vedanta holds that Brahman is inactive (niṣkriya) and the phenomenal world is an illusion (māyā). In Kashmir Shavisim, all things are a manifestation of the Universal Consciousness, Chit or Brahman.[109][110] Kashmir Shavisim sees the phenomenal world (Śakti) as real: it exists, and has its being in Consciousness (Chit).[111]

Kashmir Shaivism was influenced by, and took over doctrines from, several orthodox and heterodox Indian religious and philosophical traditions.[112] These include Vedanta, Samkhya, Patanjali Yoga and Nyayas, and various Buddhist schools, including Yogacara and Madhyamika,[112] but also Tantra and the Nath-tradition.[113]

Contemporary vernacular Advaita

Advaita is also part of other Indian traditions, which are less strongly, or not all, organised in monastic and institutional organisations. Although often called "Advaita Vedanta," these traditions have their origins in vernacular movements and "householder" traditions, and have close ties to the Nath, Nayanars and Sant Mat traditions.

Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi (30 December 1879 – 14 April 1950) is widely acknowledged as one of the outstanding Indian gurus of modern times.[114] Ramana's teachings are often interpreted as Advaita Vedanta, though Ramana Maharshi never "received diksha (initiation) from any recognised authority".[web 7] Ramana himself did not call his insights advaita:

D. Does Sri Bhagavan advocate advaita?

M. Dvaita and advaita are relative terms. They are based on the sense of duality. The Self is as it is. There is neither dvaita nor advaita. "I Am that I Am."[note 10] Simple Being is the Self.[116]


Neo-Advaita

Neo-Advaita is a New Religious Movement based on a modern, western interpretation of Advaita Vedanta, especially the teachings of Ramana Maharshi.[117] According to Arthur Versluis, neo-Advaita is part of a larger religious current which he calls immediatism,[118][web 10] "the assertion of immediate spiritual illumination without much if any preparatory practice within a particular religious tradition."[web 10] Neo-Advaita is criticized for this immediatism and its lack of preparatory practices.[119][note 11][121][note 12] Notable neo-advaita teachers are H. W. L. Poonja[122][117] and his students Gangaji,[123] Andrew Cohen,[note 13], and Eckhart Tolle.[117]

According to a modern western spiritual teacher of nonduality, Jeff Foster, nonduality is:

the essential oneness (wholeness, completeness, unity) of life, a wholeness which exists here and now, prior to any apparent separation [...] despite the compelling appearance of separation and diversity there is only one universal essence, one reality. Oneness is all there is – and we are included.[125]


Natha Sampradaya and Inchegeri Sampradaya

The Natha Sampradaya, with Nath yogis such as Gorakhnath, introduced Sahaja, the concept of a spontaneous spirituality. Sahaja means "spontaneous, natural, simple, or easy".[web 14] According to Ken Wilber, this state reflects nonduality.[126]

Buddhism

There are different Buddhist views which resonate with the concepts and experiences of non-duality or "not two" (advaya). The Buddha does not use the term advaya in the earliest Buddhist texts, but it does appear in some of the Mahayana sutras, such as the Vimalakīrti.[127] While the Buddha taught unified states of mental focus (samadhi) and meditative absorption (dhyana) which were commonly taught in Upanishadic thought, he also rejected the metaphysical doctrines of the Upanishads, particularly ideas which are often associated with Hindu nonduality, such as the doctrine that "this cosmos is the self" and "everything is a Oneness" (cf. SN 12.48 and MN 22).[128][129] Because of this, Buddhist views of nonduality are particularly different than Hindu conceptions, which tend towards idealistic monism.

In Indian Buddhism

According to Kameshwar Nath Mishra, one connotation of advaya in Indic Sanskrit Buddhist texts is that it refers to the middle way between two opposite extremes (such as eternalism and annihilationism), and thus it is "not two".[130]

One of these Sanskrit Mahayana sutras, the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra contains a chapter on the "Dharma gate of non-duality" (advaya dharma dvara pravesa) which is said to be entered once one understands how numerous pairs of opposite extremes are to be rejected as forms of grasping. These extremes which must be avoided in order to understand ultimate reality are described by various characters in the text, and include: Birth and extinction, 'I' and 'Mine', Perception and non-perception, defilement and purity, good and not-good, created and uncreated, worldly and unworldly, samsara and nirvana, enlightenment and ignorance, form and emptiness and so on.[131] The final character to attempt to describe ultimate reality is the bodhisattva Manjushri, who states:

It is in all beings wordless, speechless, shows no signs, is not possible of cognizance, and is above all questioning and answering.[132]


Vimalakīrti responds to this statement by maintaining completely silent, therefore expressing that the nature of ultimate reality is ineffable (anabhilāpyatva) and inconceivable (acintyatā), beyond verbal designation (prapañca) or thought constructs (vikalpa).[132] The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, a text associated with Yogācāra Buddhism, also uses the term "advaya" extensively.[133]

In the Mahayana Buddhist philosophy of Madhyamaka, the two truths or ways of understanding reality, are said to be advaya (not two). As explained by the Indian philosopher Nagarjuna, there is a non-dual relationship, that is, there is no absolute separation between conventional and ultimate truth, as well as between samsara and nirvana.[134][135] The concept of nonduality is also important in the other major Indian Mahayana tradition, the Yogacara school, where it is seen as the absence of duality between the perceiving subject (or "grasper") and the object (or "grasped"). It is also seen as an explanation of emptiness and as an explanation of the content of the awakened mind which sees through the illusion of subject-object duality. However, it is important to note that in this conception of non-dualism, there are still a multiplicity of individual mind streams (citta santana) and thus Yogacara does not teach an idealistic monism.[136]

These basic ideas have continued to influence Mahayana Buddhist doctrinal interpretations of Buddhist traditions such as Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Zen, Huayan and Tiantai as well as concepts such as Buddha-nature, luminous mind, Indra's net, rigpa and shentong.

Madhyamaka

Madhyamaka, also known as Śūnyavāda (the emptiness teaching), refers primarily to a Mahāyāna Buddhist school of philosophy [137] founded by Nāgārjuna. In Madhyamaka, Advaya refers to the fact that the two truths are not separate or different.[138], as well as the non-dual relationship of saṃsāra (the round of rebirth and suffering) and nirvāṇa (cessation of suffering, liberation).[41] According to Murti, in Madhyamaka, "Advaya" is an epistemological theory, unlike the metaphysical view of Hindu Advaita.[53] Madhyamaka advaya is closely related to the classical Buddhist understanding that all things are impermanent (anicca) and devoid of "self" (anatta) or "essenceless" (niḥsvabhāvavā),[139][140][141] and that this emptiness does not constitute an "absolute" reality in itself.[note 14].

In Madhyamaka, the two "truths" (satya) refer to conventional (saṃvṛti) and ultimate (paramārtha) truth.[142] The ultimate truth is "emptiness", or non-existence of inherently existing "things", [143] and the "emptiness of emptiness": emptiness does not in itself constitute an absolute reality. Conventionally, "things" exist, but ultimately, they are "empty" of any existence on their own, as described in Nagarjuna's magnum opus, the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā (MMK):

The Buddha's teaching of the Dharma is based on two truths: a truth of worldly convention and an ultimate truth. Those who do not understand the distinction drawn between these two truths do not understand the Buddha's profound truth. Without a foundation in the conventional truth the significance of the ultimate cannot be taught. Without understanding the significance of the ultimate, liberation is not achieved.[note 15]


As Jay Garfield notes, for Nagarjuna, to understand the two truths as totally different from each other is to reify and confuse the purpose of this doctrine, since it would either destroy conventional realities such as the Buddha's teachings and the empirical reality of the world (making Madhyamaka a form of nihilism) or deny the dependent origination of phenomena (by positing eternal essences). Thus the non-dual doctrine of the middle way lies beyond these two extremes.[145]

"Emptiness" is a consequence of pratītyasamutpāda (dependent arising),[146] the teaching that no dharma ("thing", "phenomena") has an existence of its own, but always comes into existence in dependence on other dharmas. According to Madhyamaka all phenomena are empty of "substance" or "essence" (Sanskrit: svabhāva) because they are dependently co-arisen. Likewise it is because they are dependently co-arisen that they have no intrinsic, independent reality of their own. Madhyamaka also rejects the existence of absolute realities or beings such as Brahman or Self.[147] In the highest sense, "ultimate reality" is not an ontological Absolute reality that lies beneath an unreal world, nor is it the non-duality of a personal self (atman) and an absolute Self (cf. Purusha). Instead, it is the knowledge which is based on a deconstruction of such reifications and Conceptual proliferations.[148] It also means that there is no "transcendental ground," and that "ultimate reality" has no existence of its own, but is the negation of such a transcendental reality, and the impossibility of any statement on such an ultimately existing transcendental reality: it is no more than a fabrication of the mind.[web 15][note 16] Susan Kahn further explains:

Ultimate truth does not point to a transcendent reality, but to the transcendence of deception. It is critical to emphasize that the ultimate truth of emptiness is a negational truth. In looking for inherently existent phenomena it is revealed that it cannot be found. This absence is not findable because it is not an entity, just as a room without an elephant in it does not contain an elephantless substance. Even conventionally, elephantlessness does not exist. Ultimate truth or emptiness does not point to an essence or nature, however subtle, that everything is made of.[web 16]


However, according to Nagarjuna, even the very schema of ultimate and conventional, samsara and nirvana, is not a final reality, and he thus famously deconstructs even these teachings as being empty and not different from each other in the MMK where he writes:[7]

The limit (koti) of nirvāṇa is that of saṃsāra

The subtlest difference is not found between the two.


According to Nancy McCagney, what this refers to is that the two truths depend on each other; without emptiness, conventional reality cannot work, and vice versa. It does not mean that samsara and nirvana are the same, or that they are one single thing, as in Advaita Vedanta, but rather that they are both empty, open, without limits, and merely exist for the conventional purpose of teaching the Buddha Dharma.[7] Referring to this verse, Jay Garfield writes that:

to distinguish between samsara and nirvana would be to suppose that each had a nature and that they were different natures. But each is empty, and so there can be no inherent difference. Moreover, since nirvana is by definition the cessation of delusion and of grasping and, hence, of the reification of self and other and of confusing imputed phenomena for inherently real phenomena, it is by definition the recognition of the ultimate nature of things. But if, as Nagarjuna argued in Chapter XXIV, this is simply to see conventional things as empty, not to see some separate emptiness behind them, then nirvana must be ontologically grounded in the conventional. To be in samsara is to see things as they appear to deluded consciousness and to interact with them accordingly. To be in nirvana, then, is to see those things as they are - as merely empty, dependent, impermanent, and nonsubstantial, not to be somewhere else, seeing something else.[149]


It is important to note however that the actual Sanskrit term "advaya" does not appear in the MMK, and only appears in one single work by Nagarjuna, the Bodhicittavivarana.[150]

The later Madhyamikas, states Yuichi Kajiyama, developed the Advaya definition as a means to Nirvikalpa-Samadhi by suggesting that "things arise neither from their own selves nor from other things, and that when subject and object are unreal, the mind, being not different, cannot be true either; thereby one must abandon attachment to cognition of nonduality as well, and understand the lack of intrinsic nature of everything". Thus, the Buddhist nondualism or Advaya concept became a means to realizing absolute emptiness.[151]

Yogācāra tradition

In the Mahayana tradition of Yogācāra (Skt; "yoga practice"), adyava (Tibetan: gnyis med) refers to overcoming the conceptual and perceptual dichotomies of cognizer and cognized, or subject and object.[41][152][153][154] The concept of adyava in Yogācāra is an epistemological stance on the nature of experience and knowledge, as well as a phenomenological exposition of yogic cognitive transformation. Early Buddhism schools such as Sarvastivada and Sautrāntika, that thrived through the early centuries of the common era, postulated a dualism (dvaya) between the mental activity of grasping (grāhaka, "cognition", "subjectivity") and that which is grasped (grāhya, "cognitum", intentional object).[155][151][155][156] Yogacara postulates that this dualistic relationship is a false illusion or superimposition (samaropa).[151]

Yogācāra also taught the doctrine which held that only mental cognitions really exist (vijñapti-mātra),[157][note 17] instead of the mind-body dualism of other Indian Buddhist schools.[151][155][157] This is another sense in which reality can be said to be non-dual, because it is "consciousness-only".[158] There are several interpretations of this main theory, which has been widely translated as representation-only, ideation-only, impressions-only and perception-only.[159][157][160][161] Some scholars see it as a kind of subjective or epistemic Idealism (similar to Kant's theory) while others argue that it is closer to a kind of phenomenology or representationalism. According to Mark Siderits the main idea of this doctrine is that we are only ever aware of mental images or impressions which manifest themselves as external objects, but "there is actually no such thing outside the mind."[162] For Alex Wayman, this doctrine means that "the mind has only a report or representation of what the sense organ had sensed."[163] Jay Garfield and Paul Williams both see the doctrine as a kind of Idealism in which only mentality exists.[164][165]

However, it is important to note that even the idealistic interpretation of Yogācāra is not an absolute monistic idealism like Advaita Vedanta or Hegelianism, since in Yogācāra, even consciousness "enjoys no transcendent status" and is just a conventional reality.[166] Indeed, according to Jonathan Gold, for Yogācāra, the ultimate truth is not consciousness, but an ineffable and inconceivable "thusness" or "thatness" (tathatā).[152] Also, Yogācāra affirms the existence of individual mindstreams, and thus Kochumuttom also calls it a realistic pluralism.[81]

The Yogācārins defined three basic modes by which we perceive our world. These are referred to in Yogācāra as the three natures (trisvabhāva) of experience. They are::[167][168]

1. Parikalpita (literally, "fully conceptualized"): "imaginary nature", wherein things are incorrectly comprehended based on conceptual and linguistic construction, attachment and the subject object duality. It is thus equivalent to samsara.

2. Paratantra (literally, "other dependent"): "dependent nature", by which the dependently originated nature of things, their causal relatedness or flow of conditionality. It is the basis which gets erroneously conceptualized,

3. Pariniṣpanna (literally, "fully accomplished"): "absolute nature", through which one comprehends things as they are in themselves, that is, empty of subject-object and thus is a type of non-dual cognition. This experience of "thatness" (tathatā) is uninfluenced by any conceptualization at all.

To move from the duality of the Parikalpita to the non-dual consciousness of the Pariniṣpanna, Yogācāra teaches that there must be a transformation of consciousness, which is called the "revolution of the basis" (āśraya-parāvṛtti). According to Dan Lusthaus, this transformation which characterizes awakening is a "radical psycho-cognitive change" and a removal of false "interpretive projections" on reality (such as ideas of a self, external objects etc).[169]

The Mahāyānasūtrālamkāra, a Yogācāra text, also associates this transformation with the concept of non-abiding nirvana and the non-duality of samsara and nirvana. Regarding this state of Buddhahood, it states:

Its operation is nondual (advaya vrtti) because of its abiding neither in samsara nor in nirvana (samsaranirvana-apratisthitatvat), through its being both conditioned and unconditioned (samskrta-asamskrtatvena).[170]


This refers to the Yogācāra teaching that even though a Buddha has entered nirvana, they do not "abide" in some quiescent state separate from the world but continue to give rise to extensive activity on behalf of others.[170] This is also called the non-duality between the compounded (samskrta, referring to samsaric existence) and the uncompounded (asamskrta, referring to nirvana). It is also described as a "not turning back" from both samsara and nirvana.[171]

For the later thinker Dignaga, non-dual knowledge or advayajñāna is also a synonym for prajñaparamita (transcendent wisdom) which liberates one from samsara.[172]

Other Indian traditions

Buddha nature or tathagata-garbha (literally "Buddha womb") is that which allows sentient beings to become Buddhas.[173] Various Mahayana texts such as the Tathāgatagarbha sūtras focus on this idea and over time it became a very influential doctrine in Indian Buddhism, as well in East Asian and Tibetan Buddhism. The Buddha nature teachings may be regarded as a form of nondualism. According to Sally B King, all beings are said to be or possess tathagata-garbha, which is nondual Thusness or Dharmakaya. This reality, states King, transcends the "duality of self and not-self", the "duality of form and emptiness" and the "two poles of being and non being".[174][/b][/size]

There various interpretations and views on Buddha nature and the concept became very influential in India, China and Tibet, where it also became a source of much debate. In later Indian Yogācāra, a new sub-school developed which adopted the doctrine of tathagata-garbha into the Yogācāra system.[166] The influence of this hybrid school can be seen in texts like the Lankavatara Sutra and the Ratnagotravibhaga. This synthesis of Yogācāra tathagata-garbha became very influential in later Buddhist traditions, such as Indian Vajrayana, Chinese Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism.[175][166]

Another influential concept in Indian Buddhism is the idea of Luminous mind which became associated with Buddha nature. Yet another development in late Indian Buddhism was the synthesis of Madhymaka and Yogacara philosophies into a single system, by figures such as Śāntarakṣita (8th century). Buddhist Tantra, also known as Vajrayana, Mantrayana or Esoteric Buddhism, drew upon all these previous Indian Buddhist ideas and nondual philosophies to develop innovative new traditions of Buddhist practice and new religious texts called the Buddhist tantras (from the 6th century onwards).[176] Tantric Buddhism was influential in China and is the main form of Buddhism in the Himalayan regions, especially Tibetan Buddhism.

The concept of advaya has various meanings in Buddhist Tantra. According to Tantric commentator Lilavajra, Buddhist Tantra's "utmost secret and aim" is Buddha nature. This is seen as a "non-dual, self-originated Wisdom (jnana), an effortless fount of good qualities."[177] In Buddhist Tantra, there is no strict separation between the sacred (nirvana) and the profane (samsara), and all beings are seen as containing an immanent seed of awakening or Buddhahood.[178] The Buddhist Tantras also teach that there is a non-dual relationship between emptiness and compassion (karuna), this unity is called bodhicitta.[179] They also teach a "nondual pristine wisdom of bliss and emptiness."[180] Advaya is also said to be the co-existence of Prajña (wisdom) and Upaya (skill in means).[181] These nondualities are also related to the idea of yuganaddha, or "union" in the Tantras. This is said to be the "indivisible merging of innate great bliss (the means) and clear light (emptiness)" as well as the merging of relative and ultimate truths and the knower and the known, during Tantric practice.[182]

Buddhist Tantras also promote certain practices which are antinomian, such as sexual rites or the consumption of disgusting or repulsive substances (the "five ambrosias", feces, urine, blood, semen, and marrow.). These are said to allow one to cultivate nondual perception of the pure and impure (and similar conceptual dualities) and thus it allows one to prove one's attainment of nondual gnosis (advaya jñana).[183]

Indian Buddhist Tantra also views humans as a microcosmos which mirrors the macrocosmos.[184] Its aim is to gain access to the awakened energy or consciousness of Buddhahood, which is nondual, through various practices.[184]

East-Asian Buddhism

Chinese Buddhism


Chinese Buddhism was influenced by the philosophical strains of Indian Buddhist nondualism such as the Madhymaka doctrines of emptiness and the two truths as well as Yogacara and tathagata-garbha. For example, Chinese Madhyamaka philosophers like Jizang, discussed the nonduality of the two truths.[185] Chinese Yogacara also upheld the Indian Yogacara views on nondualism. One influential text in Chinese Buddhism which synthesizes Tathagata-garbha and Yogacara views is the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, which may be a Chinese composition.

In Chinese Buddhism, the polarity of absolute and relative realities is also expressed as "essence-function". This was a result of an ontological interpretation of the two truths as well as influences from native Taoist and Confucian metaphysics.[186] In this theory, the absolute is essence, the relative is function. They can't be seen as separate realities, but interpenetrate each other.[187] This interpretation of the two truths as two ontological realities would go on to influence later forms of East Asian metaphysics.

As Chinese Buddhism continued to develop in new innovative directions, it gave rise to new traditions like Huayen, Tiantai and Chan (Zen), which also upheld their own unique teachings on non-duality.[188]

The Tiantai school for example, taught a threefold truth, instead of the classic "two truths" of Indian Madhyamaka. It's "third truth" was seen as the nondual union of the two truths which transcends both.[189] Tiantai metaphysics is an immanent holism, which sees every phenomenon, moment or event as conditioned and manifested by the whole of reality. Every instant of experience is a reflection of every other, and hence, suffering and nirvana, good and bad, Buddhahood and evildoing, are all “inherently entailed” within each other.[189] Each moment of consciousness is simply the Absolute itself, infinitely immanent and self reflecting.

Another influential Chinese tradition, the Huayan school (Flower Garland) flourished in China during the Tang period. It is based on the Flower Garland Sutra (S. Avataṃsaka Sūtra, C. Huayan Jing). Huayan doctrines such as the Fourfold Dharmadhatu and the doctrine of the mutual containment and interpenetration of all phenomena (dharmas) or "perfect interfusion" (yuanrong, 圓融) are classic nondual doctrines.[188] This can be described as the idea that all phenomena "are representations of the wisdom of Buddha without exception" and that "they exist in a state of mutual dependence, interfusion and balance without any contradiction or conflict."[190] According to this theory, any phenomenon exists only as part of the total nexus of reality, its existence depends on the total network of all other things, which are all equally connected to each other and contained in each other.[191] The Huayan patriarchs used various metaphors to express this view, such as Indra's net.
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Zen Buddhism

The Buddha-nature and Yogacara philosophies have had a strong influence on Chán and Zen. The teachings of Zen are expressed by a set of polarities: Buddha-nature – sunyata;[192][193] absolute-relative;[194] sudden and gradual enlightenment.[195]

The Lankavatara-sutra, a popular sutra in Zen, endorses the Buddha-nature and emphasizes purity of mind, which can be attained in gradations. The Diamond-sutra, another popular sutra, emphasizes sunyata, which "must be realized totally or not at all".[196] The Prajnaparamita Sutras emphasize the non-duality of form and emptiness: form is emptiness, emptiness is form, as the Heart Sutra says.[194] According to Chinul, Zen points not to mere emptiness, but to suchness or the dharmadhatu.[197]

The idea that the ultimate reality is present in the daily world of relative reality fitted into the Chinese culture which emphasized the mundane world and society. But this does not explain how the absolute is present in the relative world. This question is answered in such schemata as the Five Ranks of Tozan[198] and the Oxherding Pictures.

The continuous pondering of the break-through kōan (shokan[199]) or Hua Tou, "word head",[200] leads to kensho, an initial insight into "seeing the (Buddha-)nature.[201] According to Hori, a central theme of many koans is the "identity of opposites", and point to the original nonduality.[202][203] Victor Sogen Hori describes kensho, when attained through koan-study, as the absence of subject–object duality.[204] The aim of the so-called break-through koan is to see the "nonduality of subject and object", [202][203] in which "subject and object are no longer separate and distinct."[205]

Zen Buddhist training does not end with kenshō. Practice is to be continued to deepen the insight and to express it in daily life,[206][207][208][209] to fully manifest the nonduality of absolute and relative.[210][211] To deepen the initial insight of kensho, shikantaza and kōan-study are necessary. This trajectory of initial insight followed by a gradual deepening and ripening is expressed by Linji Yixuan in his Three Mysterious Gates, the Four Ways of Knowing of Hakuin,[212] the Five Ranks, and the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures[213] which detail the steps on the Path.

Essence-function in Korean Buddhism

The polarity of absolute and relative is also expressed as "essence-function". The absolute is essence, the relative is function. They can't be seen as separate realities, but interpenetrate each other. The distinction does not "exclude any other frameworks such as neng-so or 'subject-object' constructions", though the two "are completely different from each other in terms of their way of thinking".[214] In Korean Buddhism, essence-function is also expressed as "body" and "the body's functions".[215] A metaphor for essence-function is "a lamp and its light", a phrase from the Platform Sutra, where Essence is lamp and Function is light.[216]

Tibetan Buddhism

The Gelugpa school, following Tsongkhapa, adheres to the adyava Prasaṅgika Mādhyamaka view, which states that all phenomena are sunyata, empty of self-nature, and that this "emptiness" is itself only a qualification, not a concretely existing "absolute" reality.[217]

Buddha-nature and the nature of mind

Shentong


In Tibetan Buddhism, the essentialist position is represented by shentong, while the nominalist, or non-essentialist position, is represented by rangtong.

Shentong is a philosophical sub-school found in Tibetan Buddhism. Its adherents generally hold that the nature of mind, the substratum of the mindstream, is "empty" (Wylie: stong) of "other" (Wylie: gzhan), i.e., empty of all qualities other than an inherently existing, ineffable nature. Shentong has often been incorrectly associated with the Cittamātra (Yogacara) position, but is in fact also Madhyamaka,[218] and is present primarily as the main philosophical theory of the Jonang school, although it is also taught by the Sakya[219] and Kagyu schools.[220][221] According to Shentongpa (proponents of shentong), the emptiness of ultimate reality should not be characterized in the same way as the emptiness of apparent phenomena because it is prabhāśvara-saṃtāna, or "luminous mindstream" endowed with limitless Buddha qualities.[222] It is empty of all that is false, not empty of the limitless Buddha qualities that are its innate nature.

The contrasting Prasaṅgika view that all phenomena are sunyata, empty of self-nature, and that this "emptiness" is not a concretely existing "absolute" reality, is labeled rangtong, "empty of other."
[217]

The shentong-view is related to the Ratnagotravibhāga sutra and the Yogacara-Madhyamaka synthesis of Śāntarakṣita. The truth of sunyata is acknowledged, but not considered to be the highest truth, which is the empty nature of mind. Insight into sunyata is preparatory for the recognition of the nature of mind.

Dzogchen

Dzogchen is concerned with the "natural state" and emphasizes direct experience. The state of nondual awareness is called rigpa. This primordial nature is clear light, unproduced and unchanging, free from all defilements. Through meditation, the Dzogchen practitioner experiences that thoughts have no substance. Mental phenomena arise and fall in the mind, but fundamentally they are empty. The practitioner then considers where the mind itself resides. Through careful examination one realizes that the mind is emptiness.[223]

Karma Lingpa (1326–1386) revealed "Self-Liberation through seeing with naked awareness" (rigpa ngo-sprod,[note 18]) which is attributed to Padmasambhava.[224][note 19] The text gives an introduction, or pointing-out instruction (ngo-spro), into rigpa, the state of presence and awareness.[224] In this text, Karma Lingpa writes the following regarding the unity of various terms for nonduality:

With respect to its having a name, the various names that are applied to it are inconceivable (in their numbers).
Some call it "the nature of the mind"[note 20] or "mind itself."
Some Tirthikas call it by the name Atman or "the Self."
The Sravakas call it the doctrine of Anatman or "the absence of a self."
The Chittamatrins call it by the name Chitta or "the Mind."
Some call it the Prajnaparamita or "the Perfection of Wisdom."
Some call it the name Tathagata-garbha or "the embryo of Buddhahood."
Some call it by the name Mahamudra or "the Great Symbol."
Some call it by the name "the Unique Sphere."[note 21]
Some call it by the name Dharmadhatu or "the dimension of Reality."
Some call it by the name Alaya or "the basis of everything."
And some simply call it by the name "ordinary awareness."[229][note 22]


Other eastern religions

Apart from Hinduism and Buddhism, self-proclaimed nondualists have also discerned nondualism in other religious traditions.

Sikhism

Sikh theology suggests human souls and the monotheistic God are two different realities (dualism),[230] distinguishing it from the monistic and various shades of nondualistic philosophies of other Indian religions.[231] However, Sikh scholars have attempted to explore nondualism exegesis of Sikh scriptures, such as during the neocolonial reformist movement by Bhai Vir Singh of the Singh Sabha. According to Mandair, Singh interprets the Sikh scriptures as teaching nonduality.[232]

Taoism

Taoism's wu wei (Chinese wu, not; wei, doing) is a term with various translations[note 23] and interpretations designed to distinguish it from passivity. The concept of Yin and Yang, often mistakenly conceived of as a symbol of dualism, is actually meant to convey the notion that all apparent opposites are complementary parts of a non-dual whole.[233]

Western traditions

A modern strand of thought sees "nondual consciousness" as a universal psychological state, which is a common stratum and of the same essence in different spiritual traditions.[2] It is derived from Neo-Vedanta and neo-Advaita, but has historical roots in neo-Platonism, Western esotericism, and Perennialism. The idea of nondual consciousness as "the central essence"[234] is a universalistic and perennialist idea, which is part of a modern mutual exchange and synthesis of ideas between western spiritual and esoteric traditions and Asian religious revival and reform movements.[note 24]

Central elements in the western traditions are Neo-Platonism, which had a strong influence on Christian contemplation c.q. mysticism, and its accompanying apophatic theology; and Western esotericism, which also incorporated Neo-Platonism and Gnostic elements including Hermeticism. Western traditions are, among others, the idea of a Perennial Philosophy, Swedenborgianism, Unitarianism, Orientalism, Transcendentalism, Theosophy, and New Age.[237]

Eastern movements are the Hindu reform movements such as Vivekananda's Neo-Vedanta and Aurobindo's Integral Yoga, the Vipassana movement, and Buddhist modernism.[note 25]

Roman world

Gnosticism


Since its beginning, Gnosticism has been characterized by many dualisms and dualities, including the doctrine of a separate God and Manichaean (good/evil) dualism.[238] Ronald Miller interprets the Gospel of Thomas as a teaching of "nondualistic consciousness".[239]

Neoplatonism

The precepts of Neoplatonism of Plotinus (2nd century) assert nondualism.[240] Neoplatonism had a strong influence on Christian mysticism.

Some scholars suggest a possible link of more ancient Indian philosophies on Neoplatonism, while other scholars consider these claims as unjustified and extravagant with the counter hypothesis that nondualism developed independently in ancient India and Greece.[241] The nondualism of Advaita Vedanta and Neoplatonism have been compared by various scholars,[242] such as J. F. Staal,[243] Frederick Copleston,[244] Aldo Magris and Mario Piantelli,[245] Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan,[246] Gwen Griffith-Dickson,[247] John Y. Fenton[248] and Dale Riepe.[249]

Medieval Abrahamic religions

Christian contemplation and mysticism


In Christian mysticism, contemplative prayer and Apophatic theology are central elements. In contemplative prayer, the mind is focused by constant repetition a phrase or word. Saint John Cassian recommended use of the phrase "O God, make speed to save me: O Lord, make haste to help me".[250][251] Another formula for repetition is the name of Jesus.[252][253] or the Jesus Prayer, which has been called "the mantra of the Orthodox Church",[251] although the term "Jesus Prayer" is not found in the Fathers of the Church.[254] The author of The Cloud of Unknowing recommended use of a monosyllabic word, such as "God" or "Love".[255]

Apophatic theology is derived from Neo-Platonism via Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. In this approach, the notion of God is stripped from all positive qualifications, leaving a "darkness" or "unground." It had a strong influence on western mysticism. A notable example is Meister Eckhart, who also attracted attention from Zen-Buddhists like D.T. Suzuki in modern times, due to the similarities between Buddhist thought and Neo-Platonism.

The Cloud of Unknowing – an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century – advocates a mystic relationship with God. The text describes a spiritual union with God through the heart. The author of the text advocates centering prayer, a form of inner silence. According to the text, God can not be known through knowledge or from intellection. It is only by emptying the mind of all created images and thoughts that we can arrive to experience God. Continuing on this line of thought, God is completely unknowable by the mind. God is not known through the intellect but through intense contemplation, motivated by love, and stripped of all thought.[256]

Thomism, though not non-dual in the ordinary sense, considers the unity of God so absolute that even the duality of subject and predicate, to describe him, can be true only by analogy. In Thomist thought, even the Tetragrammaton is only an approximate name, since "I am" involves a predicate whose own essence is its subject.[257]

The former nun and contemplative Bernadette Roberts is considered a nondualist by Jerry Katz.[2]

Jewish Hasidism and Kabbalism

According to Jay Michaelson, nonduality begins to appear in the medieval Jewish textual tradition which peaked in Hasidism.[240] According to Michaelson:

Judaism has within it a strong and very ancient mystical tradition that is deeply nondualistic. "Ein Sof" or infinite nothingness is considered the ground face of all that is. God is considered beyond all proposition or preconception. The physical world is seen as emanating from the nothingness as the many faces "partsufim" of god that are all a part of the sacred nothingness.[258]


One of the most striking contributions of the Kabbalah, which became a central idea in Chasidic thought, was a highly innovative reading of the monotheistic idea. The belief in "one G-d" is no longer perceived as the mere rejection of other deities or intermediaries, but a denial of any existence outside of G-d.[note 26]

Neoplatonism in Islam

Western esotericism


Western esotericism (also called esotericism and esoterism) is a scholarly term for a wide range of loosely related ideas and movements which have developed within Western society. They are largely distinct both from orthodox Judeo-Christian religion and from Enlightenment rationalism. The earliest traditions which later analysis would label as forms of Western esotericism emerged in the Eastern Mediterranean during Late Antiquity, where Hermetism, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism developed as schools of thought distinct from what became mainstream Christianity. In Renaissance Europe, interest in many of these older ideas increased, with various intellectuals seeking to combine "pagan" philosophies with the Kabbalah and with Christian philosophy, resulting in the emergence of esoteric movements like Christian theosophy.

Perennial philosophy

The Perennial philosophy has its roots in the Renaissance interest in neo-Platonism and its idea of The One, from which all existence emanates. Marsilio Ficino (1433–1499) sought to integrate Hermeticism with Greek and Jewish-Christian thought,[259] discerning a Prisca theologia which could be found in all ages.[260] Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–94) suggested that truth could be found in many, rather than just two, traditions. He proposed a harmony between the thought of Plato and Aristotle, and saw aspects of the Prisca theologia in Averroes, the Koran, the Cabala and other sources.[261] Agostino Steuco (1497–1548) coined the term philosophia perennis.[262]

Orientalism

The western world has been exposed to Indian religions since the late 18th century.[263] The first western translation of a Sanskrit text was made in 1785.[263] It marked a growing interest in Indian culture and languages.[264] The first translation of the dualism and nondualism discussing Upanishads appeared in two parts in 1801 and 1802[265] and influenced Arthur Schopenhauer, who called them "the consolation of my life".[266] Early translations also appeared in other European languages.[267]

Transcendentalism and Unitarian Universalism

Transcendentalism was an early 19th-century liberal Protestant movement that developed in the 1830s and 1840s in the Eastern region of the United States. It was rooted in English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the skepticism of Hume.[web 19]

The Transcendentalists emphasised an intuitive, experiential approach of religion.[web 20] Following Schleiermacher,[268] an individual's intuition of truth was taken as the criterion for truth.[web 20] In the late 18th and early 19th century, the first translations of Hindu texts appeared, which were read by the Transcendentalists and influenced their thinking.[web 20] The Transcendentalists also endorsed universalist and Unitarianist ideas, leading to Unitarian Universalism, the idea that there must be truth in other religions as well, since a loving God would redeem all living beings, not just Christians.[web 20][web 21]

Among the transcendentalists' core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both people and nature. Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions—particularly organized religion and political parties—ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual. They had faith that people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent. It is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.

The major figures in the movement were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Margaret Fuller and Amos Bronson Alcott.

Neo-Vedanta

Unitarian Universalism had a strong impact on Ram Mohan Roy and the Brahmo Samaj, and subsequently on Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda was one of the main representatives of Neo-Vedanta, a modern interpretation of Hinduism in line with western esoteric traditions, especially Transcendentalism, New Thought and Theosophy.[269] His reinterpretation was, and is, very successful, creating a new understanding and appreciation of Hinduism within and outside India,[269] and was the principal reason for the enthusiastic reception of yoga, transcendental meditation and other forms of Indian spiritual self-improvement in the West.[270]

Narendranath Datta (Swami Vivekananda) became a member of a Freemasonry lodge "at some point before 1884"[271] and of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj in his twenties, a breakaway faction of the Brahmo Samaj led by Keshab Chandra Sen and Debendranath Tagore.[272] Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833), the founder of the Brahmo Samaj, had a strong sympathy for the Unitarians,[273] who were closely connected to the Transcendentalists, who in turn were interested in and influenced by Indian religions early on.[274] It was in this cultic[275] milieu that Narendra became acquainted with Western esotericism.[276] Debendranath Tagore brought this "neo-Hinduism" closer in line with western esotericism, a development which was furthered by Keshubchandra Sen,[277] who was also influenced by transcendentalism, which emphasised personal religious experience over mere reasoning and theology.[278] Sen's influence brought Vivekananda fully into contact with western esotericism, and it was also via Sen that he met Ramakrishna.[279]

Vivekananda's acquaintance with western esotericism made him very successful in western esoteric circles, beginning with his speech in 1893 at the Parliament of Religions. Vivekananda adapted traditional Hindu ideas and religiosity to suit the needs and understandings of his western audiences, who were especially attracted by and familiar with western esoteric traditions and movements like Transcendentalism and New thought.[280]

In 1897 he founded the Ramakrishna Mission, which was instrumental in the spread of Neo-Vedanta in the west, and attracted people like Alan Watts. Aldous Huxley, author of The Perennial Philosophy, was associated with another neo-Vedanta organisation, the Vedanta Society of Southern California, founded and headed by Swami Prabhavananda. Together with Gerald Heard, Christopher Isherwood, and other followers he was initiated by the Swami and was taught meditation and spiritual practices.[281]

Theosophical Society

A major force in the mutual influence of eastern and western ideas and religiosity was the Theosophical Society.[282][283] It searched for ancient wisdom in the east, spreading eastern religious ideas in the west.[284] One of its salient features was the belief in "Masters of Wisdom",[285][note 27] "beings, human or once human, who have transcended the normal frontiers of knowledge, and who make their wisdom available to others".[285] The Theosophical Society also spread western ideas in the east, aiding a modernisation of eastern traditions, and contributing to a growing nationalism in the Asian colonies.[235][note 28]

New Age

The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology, holistic health, parapsychology, consciousness research and quantum physics".[290] The New Age aims to create "a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas" that is inclusive and pluralistic.[291] It holds to "a holistic worldview",[292] emphasising that the Mind, Body and Spirit are interrelated[293] and that there is a form of monism and unity throughout the universe.[web 22] It attempts to create "a worldview that includes both science and spirituality"[294] and embraces a number of forms of mainstream science as well as other forms of science that are considered fringe.[citation needed]

Scholarly debates

Nondual consciousness and mystical experience


Insight (prajna, kensho, satori, gnosis, theoria, illumination), especially enlightenment or the realization of the illusory nature of the autonomous "I" or self, is a key element in modern western nondual thought. It is the personal realization that ultimate reality is nondual, and is thought to be a validating means of knowledge of this nondual reality. This insight is interpreted as a psychological state, and labeled as religious or mystical experience.

Development

According to Hori, the notion of "religious experience" can be traced back to William James, who used the term "religious experience" in his book, The Varieties of Religious Experience.[295] The origins of the use of this term can be dated further back.[296]

In the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, several historical figures put forth very influential views that religion and its beliefs can be grounded in experience itself. While Kant held that moral experience justified religious beliefs, John Wesley in addition to stressing individual moral exertion thought that the religious experiences in the Methodist movement (paralleling the Romantic Movement) were foundational to religious commitment as a way of life.[297]

Wayne Proudfoot traces the roots of the notion of "religious experience" to the German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834), who argued that religion is based on a feeling of the infinite. The notion of "religious experience" was used by Schleiermacher and Albert Ritschl to defend religion against the growing scientific and secular critique, and defend the view that human (moral and religious) experience justifies religious beliefs.[296]

Such religious empiricism would be later seen as highly problematic and was – during the period in-between world wars – famously rejected by Karl Barth.[298] In the 20th century, religious as well as moral experience as justification for religious beliefs still holds sway. Some influential modern scholars holding this liberal theological view are Charles Raven and the Oxford physicist/theologian Charles Coulson.[299]

The notion of "religious experience" was adopted by many scholars of religion, of which William James was the most influential.[300][note 29]

Criticism

The notion of "experience" has been criticised.[304][305][306] Robert Sharf points out that "experience" is a typical Western term, which has found its way into Asian religiosity via western influences.[304][note 30]

Insight is not the "experience" of some transcendental reality, but is a cognitive event, the (intuitive) understanding or "grasping" of some specific understanding of reality, as in kensho[308] or anubhava.[309]

"Pure experience" does not exist; all experience is mediated by intellectual and cognitive activity.[310][311] A pure consciousness without concepts, reached by "cleaning the doors of perception",[note 31] would be an overwhelming chaos of sensory input without coherence.[312]

Nondual consciousness as common essence

Common essence


A main modern proponent of perennialism was Aldous Huxley, who was influenced by Vivekanda's Neo-Vedanta and Universalism.[281] This popular approach finds supports in the "common-core thesis". According to the "common-core thesis",[313] different descriptions can mask quite similar if not identical experiences:[314]

According to Elias Amidon there is an "indescribable, but definitely recognizable, reality that is the ground of all being."[315] According to Renard, these are based on an experience or intuition of "the Real".[316] According to Amidon, this reality is signified by "many names" from "spiritual traditions throughout the world":[315]

[N]ondual awareness, pure awareness, open awareness, presence-awareness, unconditioned mind, rigpa, primordial experience, This, the basic state, the sublime, buddhanature, original nature, spontaneous presence, the oneness of being, the ground of being, the Real, clarity, God-consciousness, divine light, the clear light, illumination, realization and enlightenment.[315]


According to Renard, nondualism as common essence prefers the term "nondualism", instead of monism, because this understanding is "nonconceptual", "not graspapable in an idea".[316][note 32] Even to call this "ground of reality", "One", or "Oneness" is attributing a characteristic to that ground of reality. The only thing that can be said is that it is "not two" or "non-dual":[web 24][317] According to Renard, Alan Watts has been one of the main contributors to the popularisation of the non-monistic understanding of "nondualism".[316][note 33]

Criticism

The "common-core thesis" is criticised by "diversity theorists" such as S.T Katz and W. Proudfoot.[314] They argue that

[N]o unmediated experience is possible, and that in the extreme, language is not simply used to interpret experience but in fact constitutes experience.[314]


The idea of a common essence has been questioned by Yandell, who discerns various "religious experiences" and their corresponding doctrinal settings, which differ in structure and phenomenological content, and in the "evidential value" they present.[319] Yandell discerns five sorts:[320]

1. Numinous experiences – Monotheism (Jewish, Christian, Vedantic)[321]
2. Nirvanic experiences – Buddhism,[322] "according to which one sees that the self is but a bundle of fleeting states"[323]
3. Kevala experiences[324] – Jainism,[325] "according to which one sees the self as an indestructible subject of experience"[325]
4. Moksha experiences[326] – Hinduism,[325] Brahman "either as a cosmic person, or, quite differently, as qualityless"[325]
5. Nature mystical experience[324]

The specific teachings and practices of a specific tradition may determine what "experience" someone has, which means that this "experience" is not the proof of the teaching, but a result of the teaching.[327] The notion of what exactly constitutes "liberating insight" varies between the various traditions, and even within the traditions. Bronkhorst for example notices that the conception of what exactly "liberating insight" is in Buddhism was developed over time. Whereas originally it may not have been specified, later on the Four Truths served as such, to be superseded by pratityasamutpada, and still later, in the Hinayana schools, by the doctrine of the non-existence of a substantial self or person.[328] And Schmithausen notices that still other descriptions of this "liberating insight" exist in the Buddhist canon.[329]

See also

Various


• Abheda
• Acosmism (belief that the world is illusory)
• Anatta (Belief that there is no self)
• Cosmic Consciousness
• Emanationism
• Henosis (Union with the absolute)
• Holism
• Kenosis (Self-emptying)
• Maya (illusion) (Cosmic illusion)
• Monad (philosophy)
• Neo-Advaita
• Nihilism
• Nirguna Brahman
• Oceanic feeling
• Open individualism
• Panentheism
• Pantheism (Belief that God and the world are identical)
• Pluralism (metaphysics)
• Process Psychology
• Rigpa
• Shuddhadvaita
• Sunyata (Emptiness).
• The All
• Turiya
• Yanantin (Complementary dualism in Native South American culture)
Metaphors for nondualisms
• Jewel Net of Indra, Avatamsaka Sutra
• Blind men and an elephant
• Eclipse
• Garden of Eden
• Hermaphrodite, e.g. Ardhanārīśvara
• Mirror and reflections, as a metaphor for the continuum of the subject-object in the mirror-the-mind and the interiority of perception and its illusion of projected exteriority
• Great Rite
• Sacred marriage

Notes

1. See Cosmic Consciousness, by Richard Bucke
2. See Nonduality.com, FAQ and Nonduality.com, What is Nonduality, Nondualism, or Advaita? Over 100 definitions, descriptions, and discussions.
3. According to Loy, nondualism is primarily an Eastern way of understanding: "...[the seed of nonduality] however often sown, has never found fertile soil [in the West], because it has been too antithetical to those other vigorous sprouts that have grown into modern science and technology. In the Eastern tradition [...] we encounter a different situation. There the seeds of seer-seen nonduality not only sprouted but matured into a variety (some might say a jungle) of impressive philosophical species. By no means do all these [Eastern] systems assert the nonduality of subject and object, but it is significant that three which do – Buddhism, Vedanta and Taoism – have probably been the most influential.[20] According to Loy, referred by Pritscher:
...when you realize that the nature of your mind and the [U]niverse are nondual, you are enlightened.[21]
4. This is reflected in the name "Advaita Vision," the website of advaita.org.uk, which propagates a broad and inclusive understanding of advaita.[web 3]
5. Edward Roer translates the early medieval era Brihadaranyakopnisad-bhasya as, "(...) Lokayatikas and Bauddhas who assert that the soul does not exist. There are four sects among the followers of Buddha: 1. Madhyamicas who maintain all is void; 2. Yogacharas, who assert except sensation and intelligence all else is void; 3. Sautranticas, who affirm actual existence of external objects no less than of internal sensations; 4. Vaibhashikas, who agree with later (Sautranticas) except that they contend for immediate apprehension of exterior objects through images or forms represented to the intellect."[43][44]
6. "A" means "not", or "non"; "jāti" means "creation" or "origination;[84] "vāda" means "doctrine"[84]
7. The influence of Mahayana Buddhism on other religions and philosophies was not limited to Advaita Vedanta. Kalupahana notes that the Visuddhimagga contains "some metaphysical speculations, such as those of the Sarvastivadins, the Sautrantikas, and even the Yogacarins".[86]
8. Neo-Vedanta seems to be closer to Bhedabheda-Vedanta than to Shankara's Advaita Vedanta, with the acknowledgement of the reality of the world. Nicholas F. Gier: "Ramakrsna, Svami Vivekananda, and Aurobindo (I also include M.K. Gandhi) have been labeled "neo-Vedantists," a philosophy that rejects the Advaitins' claim that the world is illusory. Aurobindo, in his The Life Divine, declares that he has moved from Sankara's "universal illusionism" to his own "universal realism" (2005: 432), defined as metaphysical realism in the European philosophical sense of the term."[97]
9. Abhinavgupta (between 10th – 11th century AD) who summarized the view points of all previous thinkers and presented the philosophy in a logical way along with his own thoughts in his treatise Tantraloka.[web 6]
10. A Christian reference. See [web 8] and [web 9] Ramana was taught at Christian schools.[115]
11. Marek: "Wobei der Begriff Neo-Advaita darauf hinweist, dass sich die traditionelle Advaita von dieser Strömung zunehmend distanziert, da sie die Bedeutung der übenden Vorbereitung nach wie vor als unumgänglich ansieht. (The term Neo-Advaita indicating that the traditional Advaita increasingly distances itself from this movement, as they regard preparational practicing still as inevitable)[120]
12. Alan Jacobs: "Many firm devotees of Sri Ramana Maharshi now rightly term this western phenomenon as 'Neo-Advaita'. The term is carefully selected because 'neo' means 'a new or revived form'. And this new form is not the Classical Advaita which we understand to have been taught by both of the Great Self Realised Sages, Adi Shankara and Ramana Maharshi. It can even be termed 'pseudo' because, by presenting the teaching in a highly attenuated form, it might be described as purporting to be Advaita, but not in effect actually being so, in the fullest sense of the word. In this watering down of the essential truths in a palatable style made acceptable and attractive to the contemporary western mind, their teaching is misleading."[121]
13. Presently Cohen has distanced himself from Poonja, and calls his teachings "Evolutionary Enlightenment".[124] What Is Enlightenment, the magazine published by Choen's organisation, has been critical of neo-Advaita several times, as early as 2001. See.[web 11][web 12][web 13]
14. See also essence and function and Absolute-relative on Chinese Chán
15. Nagarjuna, Mūlamadhyamakakārika 24:8-10. Jay L. Garfield, Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way[144]
16. See, for an influential example, Tsongkhapa, who states that "things" do exist conventionally, but ultimately everything is dependently arisen, and therefor void of inherent existence.[web 15]
17. "Representation-only"[157] or "mere representation."[web 17]Oxford reference: "Some later forms of Yogācāra lend themselves to an idealistic interpretation of this theory but such a view is absent from the works of the early Yogācārins such as Asaṇga and Vasubandhu."[web 17]
18. Full: rigpa ngo-sprod gcer-mthong rang-grol[224]
19. This text is part of a collection of teachings entitled "Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation through the Intention of the Peaceful and Wrathful Ones"[225] (zab-chos zhi khro dgongs pa rang grol, also known as kar-gling zhi-khro[226]), which includes the two texts of bar-do thos-grol, the so-called "Tibetan Book of the Dead".[227] The bar-do thos-grol was translated by Kazi Dawa Samdup (1868–1922), and edited and published by W.Y. Evans-Wenz. This translation became widely known and popular as "the Tibetan Book of the Dead", but contains many misatkes in translation and interpretation.[227][228]
20. Rigpa Wiki: "Nature of mind (Skt. cittatā; Tib. སེམས་ཉིད་, semnyi; Wyl. sems nyid) — defined in the tantras as the inseparable unity of awareness and emptiness, or clarity and emptiness, which is the basis for all the ordinary perceptions, thoughts and emotions of the ordinary mind (སེམས་, sem)."[web 18]
21. See Dharma Dictionary, thig le nyag gcig
22. See also Self Liberation through Seeing with Naked Awareness
23. Inaction, non-action, nothing doing, without ado
24. See McMahan, "The making of Buddhist modernity"[235] and Richard E. King, "Orientalism and Religion"[236] for descriptions of this mutual exchange.
25. The awareness of historical precedents seems to be lacking in nonduality-adherents, just as the subjective perception of parallelsbetween a wide variety of religious traditions lacks a rigorous philosophical or theoretical underpinning.
26. As Rabbi Moshe Cordovero explains: "Before anything was emanated, there was only the Infinite One (Ein Sof), which was all that existed. And even after He brought into being everything which exists, there is nothing but Him, and you cannot find anything that existed apart from Him, G-d forbid. For nothing existed devoid of G-d's power, for if there were, He would be limited and subject to duality, G-d forbid. Rather, G-d is everything that exists, but everything that exists is not G-d... Nothing is devoid of His G-dliness: everything is within it... There is nothing but it" (Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, Elimah Rabasi, p. 24d-25a; for sources in early Chasidism see: Rabbi Ya'akov Yosef of Polonne, Ben Poras Yosef (Piotrków 1884), pp. 140, 168; Keser Shem Tov(Brooklyn: Kehos 2004) pp. 237-8; Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk, Pri Ha-Aretz, (Kopust 1884), p. 21.). See The Practical Tanya, Part One, The Book for Inbetweeners, Schneur Zalman of Liadi, adapted by Chaim Miller, Gutnick Library of Jewish Classics, p. 232-233
27. See also Ascended Master Teachings
28. The Theosophical Society had a major influence on Buddhist modernism[235] and Hindu reform movements,[283] and the spread of those modernised versions in the west.[235] The Theosophical Society and the Arya Samaj were united from 1878 to 1882, as the Theosophical Society of the Arya Samaj.[286] Along with H. S. Olcott and Anagarika Dharmapala, Blavatsky was instrumental in the Western transmission and revival of Theravada Buddhism.[287][288][289]
29. James also gives descriptions of conversion experiences. The Christian model of dramatic conversions, based on the role-model of Paul's conversion, may also have served as a model for Western interpretations and expectations regarding "enlightenment", similar to Protestant influences on Theravada Buddhism, as described by Carrithers: "It rests upon the notion of the primacy of religious experiences, preferably spectacular ones, as the origin and legitimation of religious action. But this presupposition has a natural home, not in Buddhism, but in Christian and especially Protestant Christian movements which prescribe a radical conversion."[301] See Sekida for an example of this influence of William James and Christian conversion stories, mentioning Luther[302] and St. Paul.[303] See also McMahan for the influence of Christian thought on Buddhism.[235]
30. Robert Sharf: "[T]he role of experience in the history of Buddhism has been greatly exaggerated in contemporary scholarship. Both historical and ethnographic evidence suggests that the privileging of experience may well be traced to certain twentieth-century reform movements, notably those that urge a return to zazen or vipassana meditation, and these reforms were profoundly influenced by religious developments in the west [...] While some adepts may indeed experience "altered states" in the course of their training, critical analysis shows that such states do not constitute the reference point for the elaborate Buddhist discourse pertaining to the "path".[307]
31. William Blake: "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thru' narrow chinks of his cavern."[web 23]
32. In Dutch: "Niet in een denkbeeld te vatten".[316]
33. According to Renard, Alan Watts has explained the difference between "non-dualism" and "monism" in The Supreme Identity, Faber and Faber 1950, p.69 and 95; The Way of Zen, Pelican-edition 1976, p.59-60.[318]
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Web-sources

1. What is Non-Duality?
2. Elizabeth Reninger, Guide Review: David Loy’s "Nonduality: A Study In Comparative Philosophy"
3. Advaita Vision - Ongoing Development
4. Sanskrit Dictionary, Atman
5. Michael Hawley, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888–1975), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
6. Piyaray L. Raina, Kashmir Shaivism versus Vedanta – A Synopsis
7. Sri Ramanasramam, "A lineage of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi?" Archived 13 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
8. David Godman (1992), I am – The First Name of God. The Mountain Path, 1992, pp. 26–35 and pp. 126–42
9. David Godman (1991), 'I' and 'I-I' – A Reader's Query. The Mountain Path, 1991, pp. 79–88. Part one
10. American Gurus: Seven Questions for Arthur VersluisArchived 17 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
11. What is Enlightenment? September 1, 2006
12. What is Enlightenment? December 31, 2001 Archived 10 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
13. What is Enlightenment? December 1, 2005
14. [8] (accessed: Friday November 6, 2009)
15. Patrick Jennings, Tsongkhapa: In Praise of Relativity; The Essence of Eloquence Archived 18 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
16. Susan Kahn, The Two Truths of Buddhism and The Emptiness of Emptiness
17. Oxford Reference, vijñapti-mātra
18. Rigpa Wiki, Nature of Mind
19. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Transcendentalism
20. Jone John Lewis, What is Transcendentalism?"
21. Barry Andrews, THE ROOTS OF UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST SPIRITUALITY IN NEW ENGLAND TRANSCENDENTALISMArchived 21 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
22. Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. Cult Observer, 1993, Volume 10, No. 1. What Is "New Age"?, retrieved 2006-07
23. Quote DB
24. Swami Jnaneshvara, Faces of Nondualism

Further reading

General


• Katz, Jerry (2007), One: Essential Writings on Nonduality, Sentient Publications
• Loy, David (1988), Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy, New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press, ISBN 1-57392-359-1
• Renard, Philip (2010), Non-Dualisme. De directe bevrijdingsweg, Cothen: Uitgeverij Juwelenschip
• Taft, Michael (2014), Nondualism: A Brief History of a Timeless Concept, Cephalopod Rex
Orientalism
• King, Richard (2002), Orientalism and Religion: Post-Colonial Theory, India and "The Mystic East", Routledge
Buddhism
• Kalupahana, David J. (1994), A history of Buddhist philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited
• Newland, Guy (2008), Introduction to Emptiness: As Taught in Tsong-kha-pa's Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path, Ithaca
Advaita Vedanta
• Sarma, Chandradhar (1996), The Advaita Tradition in Indian Philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass

External links

• Media related to Nondualism at Wikimedia Commons

Madhyamaka

• Susan Kahn, The Two Truths of Buddhism and The Emptiness of Emptiness
• Patrick Jennings, Tsongkhapa: In Praise of Relativity; The Essence of Eloquence
• Emptiness, Buddhist and Beyond

Rangtong-shentong

• Wellings, Nigel (2009). "Is there anything there? – the Tibetan Rangtong Shentong debate".
• Acharya Mahayogi Sridhar Rana Rinpoche, Vedanta vis-a-vis Shentong
• Alexander Berin, Self-Voidness and Other Voidness

Advaita Vedanta

• Advaita Vedanta at Curlie
• David Loy, Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?
• Vedanta Hub - Resources to help with the Study and Practice of Advaita Vedanta
Comparison of Advaita and Buddhism[edit]
• Alexander Berzin, Study Buddhism, Nonduality in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta
• David Paul Boaz, Unbounded Wholeness: Dzogchen and Advaita Vedanta in a Postmodern World
• Eric T. Reynolds, On the relationship of Advaita Vedānta and Mādhyamika Buddhism
Hesychasm[edit]
• On Hesychasm and Eastern Christian mysticism

Nondual consciousness

Resources


• nonduality.com
• Non-duality Magazine
• Undivided. The Online Journal of Nonduality and Psychology
• Sarlo's Guru Rating Service: list of nondual teachers
• advaita.org.uk, Western Teachers and Writers
• Swami Jnaneshvara, Faces of Nondualism
Criticism
• After Non Duality
• Jed McKenna, Non-Dualist Fundamentalism
• Gregory Desilet, Derrida and Nonduality
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Dualism
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Dualism in Indian philosophy refers to the belief held by certain schools of Indian philosophy that reality is fundamentally composed of two parts. This mainly takes the form of either mind-matter dualism in Buddhist philosophy or consciousness-matter dualism in the Samkhya and Yoga schools of Hindu philosophy. These can be contrasted with mind-body dualism in Western philosophy of mind, but also have similarities with it.

Another form of dualism in Hindu philosophy is found in the Dvaita ("dualism") Vedanta school, which regards God and the world as two realities with distinct essences; this is a form of theistic dualism. By contrast, schools such as Advaita ("nondualism") Vedanta embrace absolute monism and regard dualism as an illusion (maya).

Buddhist philosophy

During the classical era of Buddhist philosophy in India, philosophers such as Dharmakirti argued for a dualism between states of consciousness and Buddhist atoms (the basic building blocks that make up reality), according to the "standard interpretation" of Dharmakirti's Buddhist metaphysics.[1]

Samkhya and Yogic philosophy

While Western philosophical traditions, as exemplified by Descartes, equate mind with the conscious self and theorize on consciousness on the basis of mind/body dualism; some Eastern philosophies provide an alternate viewpoint, intimately related to substance dualism, by drawing a metaphysical line between consciousness and matter — where matter includes both body and mind.[2][3]

In Samkhya and Yoga, two of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy, "there are two irreducible, innate and independent realities: 1) consciousness itself (Purusha), and 2) primordial materiality (Prakriti)". The unconscious primordial materiality, Prakriti, contains 23 components including intellect (buddhi, mahat), ego (ahamkara) and mind (manas). Therefore, the intellect, mind and ego are all seen as forms of unconscious matter.[4] Thought processes and mental events are conscious only to the extent they receive illumination from Purusha. Consciousness is compared to light which illuminates the material configurations or 'shapes' assumed by the mind. So intellect after receiving cognitive structures form the mind and illumination from pure consciousness creates thought structures that appear to be conscious.[5] Ahamkara, the ego or the phenomenal self, appropriates all mental experiences to itself and thus, personalizes the objective activities of mind and intellect by assuming possession of them.[6] But consciousness is itself independent of the thought structures it illuminates.[5]

By including mind in the realm of matter, Samkhya-Yoga avoids one of the most serious pitfalls of Cartesian dualism, the violation of physical conservation laws. Because mind is an evolute of matter, mental events are granted causal efficacy and are therefore able to initiate bodily motions.[7]

Dvaita philosophy

The Dvaita Vedanta school of Indian philosophy espouses a dualism between God and the universe by theorizing the existence of two separate realities. The first and the more important reality is that of Shiva or Shakti or Vishnu or Brahman. Shiva or Shakti or Vishnu is the supreme Self, God, the absolute truth of the universe, the independent reality. The second reality is that of dependent but equally real universe that exists with its own separate essence. Everything that is composed of the second reality, such as individual soul (Jiva), matter, etc. exist with their own separate reality. The distinguishing factor of this philosophy as opposed to Advaita Vedanta (monistic conclusion of Vedas) is that God takes on a personal role and is seen as a real eternal entity that governs and controls the universe. Because the existence of individuals is grounded in the divine, they are depicted as reflections, images or even shadows of the divine, but never in any way identical with the divine. Salvation therefore is described as the realization that all finite reality is essentially dependent on the Supreme.[8]

See also

• Dravya
• Dualistic cosmology
• Panpsychism

Notes

1. Georges B.J. Dreyfus, Recognizing Reality, SUNY Press 1996 (ISBN 978-0791430989)
2. Haney, p. 17.
3. Isaac, p. 339.
4. Haney, p. 42.
5. Isaac, p. 342.
6. Leaman, p. 68.
7. Leaman, p. 248.
8. Fowler, Jeaneane D. Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism. Sussex Academic Press. P. 340-344. ISBN 1-898723-93-1.

References

• Haney, William S. Culture and Consciousness: Literature Regained. Bucknell University Press (August 1, 2002). ISBN 1611481724.
• Isaac, J. R.; Dangwal, Ritu; Chakraborty, C. Proceedings. International conference on cognitive systems (1997). Allied Publishers Ltd. ISBN 81-7023-746-7.
• Leaman, Oliver. Eastern Philosophy: Key Readings. Routledge, 2000. ISBN 0-415-17357-4.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

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Reality in Buddhism
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Reality in Buddhism is called dharma (Sanskrit) or dhamma (Pali). This word, which is foundational to the conceptual frameworks of the Indian religions, refers in Buddhism to the system of natural laws which constitute the natural order of things. Dharma is therefore reality as-it-is (yatha-bhuta). The teaching of Gautama Buddha constituting as it does a method by which people can come out of their condition of suffering (dukkha) involves developing an awareness of reality (see mindfulness). Buddhism thus seeks to address any disparity between a person's view of reality and the actual state of things. This is called developing Right or Correct View (Pali: samma ditthi). Seeing reality as-it-is is thus an essential prerequisite to mental health and well-being according to Buddha's teaching.

Buddhism addresses deeply philosophical questions regarding the nature of reality. One of the fundamental teachings is that all the constituent forms (sankharas) that make up the universe are transient (Pali: anicca), arising and passing away, and therefore without concrete identity or ownership (atta). This lack of enduring ownership or identity (anatta) of phenomena has important consequences for the possibility of liberation from the conditions which give rise to suffering. This is explained in the doctrine of interdependent origination.

One of the most discussed themes in Buddhism is that of the emptiness (sunyata) of form (Pali: rūpa), an important corollary of the transient and conditioned nature of phenomena. Reality is seen, ultimately, in Buddhism as a form of 'projection', resulting from the fruition (vipaka) of karmic seeds (sankharas). The precise nature of this 'illusion' that is the phenomenal universe is debated among different schools. For example;

• Some consider that the concept of the unreality of "reality" is confusing. They posit that, in Buddhism, the perceived reality is considered illusory not in the sense that reality is a fantasy or unreal, but that our perceptions and preconditions mislead us to believe that we are separate from the elements that we are made of. Reality, in Buddhist thought, would be described as the manifestation of karma.
• Other schools of thought in Buddhism (e.g., Dzogchen), consider perceived reality literally unreal. As a prominent contemporary teacher puts it: "In a real sense, all the visions that we see in our lifetime are like a big dream [...]".[1] In this context, the term 'visions' denotes not only visual perceptions, but appearances perceived through all senses, including sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations, and operations on received mental objects.

Reality in Buddhist sutras

Buddhist sutras devote considerable space to the concept of reality, with each of two major doctrines—the Doctrine of Dependent Origination (pratitya-samutpada) and the Doctrine of Cause and Effect (karma and vipaka)—attempting to incorporate both the natural and the spiritual into its overall world view. Buddhist teachings continue to explore the nature of the world and our place in it.

The Buddha promoted experience over theorizing. According to Karel Werner,

Experience is ... the path most elaborated in early Buddhism. The doctrine on the other hand was kept low. The Buddha avoided doctrinal formulations concerning the final reality as much as possible in order to prevent his followers from resting content with minor achievements on the path in which the absence of the final experience could be substituted by conceptual understanding of the doctrine or by religious faith, a situation which sometimes occurs, in both varieties, in the context of Hindu systems of doctrine.[2]


The Mahayana developed those statements he did make into an extensive, diverse set of sometimes contrasting descriptions of reality "as it really is."[3] For example, in Tibetan Buddhism the Gelugpa draw a distinction between Svatantrika-Prasaṅgika in Madhyamika philosophy.[4] This distinction was most prominently promulgated by Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419 CE), when he argued that this distinction can be found explicitly and implicitly within in the works of Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, and Buddhapalita.[5]

The Theravada school teaches that there is no universal personal god. The world as we know it does not have its origin in a primordial being such as Brahman or the Abrahamic God. What we see is only a product of transitory factors of existence, which depend functionally upon each other. The Buddha is said to have said: "The world exists because of causal actions, all things are produced by causal actions and all beings are governed and bound by causal actions. They are fixed like the rolling wheel of a cart, fixed by the pin of its axle shaft." (Sutta-Nipata 654)[6]

The word 'illusion' is frequently associated with Buddhism and the nature of reality. Some interpretations of Buddhism teach that reality is a coin with two sides: the not-permanent characteristic or anicca and the "not-self characteristic" or anatta, referred to as "emptiness" in some Mahayana schools. Dzogchen, as the non-dual culmination of the Ancient School (a school with a few million followers out of a few hundred million Buddhists) of Mantrayana, resolves atman and anatman into the Mindstream Doctrine of Tapihritsa. The Buddha Shakyamuni is said to have taught the variously understood and interpreted concept of "not-self" in the Anatta-lakkhana Sutta. In this sutta, he lists the characteristics that we often associate with who we are, and found that these characteristics, ultimately, are not who we are because they are subject to change without control. He further illustrates the changing nature of our feelings, perceptions, and consciousness.

We can look at the concepts of not-permanent and not-self in objective terms, for example by deconstructing the concept of an aggregated object such as a lotus and seeing that the flower is made up entirely of non-flower elements like soil, nutrients, photosynthetic energy, rain water and the effort of the entities that nourished and grew the flower. All of these factors, according to the Diamond Sutra, co-exist with each other to manifest what we call a 'flower'. In other words, there is no essence arisen from nothingness that is unique and personal to any being. In particular, there is neither a human soul that lives on beyond the death of the physical body nor one that is extinguished at death since, strictly speaking, there is nothing to extinguish. The relative reality (i.e., the illusory perceived reality) comes from our belief that we are separate from the rest of the things in the universe and, at times, at odds with the processes of nature and other beings. The ultimate or absolute reality, in some schools of Buddhist thought, shows that we are inter-connected with all things. The concept of non-discrimination expands on this by saying that, while a chair is different from a flower, they 'inter-are' because they are each made of non-flower and non-chair elements. Ultimately those elements are the same, so the distinction between chair and flower is one of quantity not of quality.

The Diamond Sutra, a Mahayana scripture, has many passages that use the formula: A is not A, therefore A is called A.

Reality and dreams in Dzogchen

In Dzogchen, perceived reality is considered to be relatively unreal.

The real sky is (knowing) that samsara and nirvana are merely an illusory display.[7]

— Mipham Rinpoche, Quintessential Instructions of Mind, p. 117


According to contemporary teacher Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, all appearances perceived during the whole life of an individual, through all senses, including sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations in their totality, are like a big dream. It is claimed that, on careful examination, the dream of life and regular nightly dreams are not very different, and that in their essential nature there is no difference between them.

The non-essential difference between the dreaming state and ordinary waking experience is that the latter is more concrete and linked to attachment; the dreaming experience while sleeping is slightly detached.

Also according to this teaching, there is a correspondence between the states of sleep and dream and our experiences when we die. After experiencing the intermediate state of bardo, an individual comes out of it, a new karmic illusion is created and another existence begins. This is how transmigration happens.

According to Dzogchen teachings, the energy of an individual is essentially without form and free from duality. However, karmic traces contained in the individual's mindstream give rise to two kinds of forms:

• forms that the individual experiences as his or her body, voice and mind
• forms that the individual experiences as an external environment.

What appears as a world of permanent external phenomena, is the energy of the individual him or herself. There is nothing completely external or separate from the individual. Everything that manifests in the individual's field of experience is a continuum. This is the 'Great Perfection' that is discovered in Dzogchen practice.[8]

It is possible to do yogic practice such as Dream Yoga and Yoga Nidra whilst dreaming, sleeping and in other bardo states of trance. In this way the yogi can have a very strong experience and with this comes understanding of the dream-like nature of daily life. This is also very relevant to diminishing attachments, because they are based on strong beliefs that life's perceptions such as objects are real and as a consequence: important. If one really understands what Buddha Shakyamuni meant when he said that everything is (relatively) unreal, then one can diminish attachments and tensions.

The teacher advises that the realization that life is only a big dream can help us finally liberate ourselves from the chains of various emotions, different kinds of attachment and the chains of ego. Then we have the possibility of ultimately becoming enlightened.[1]

Different schools and traditions in Tibetan Buddhism give different explanations of what is called "reality".[9][10]

Reality in the Tathagatagarbha Sutras

Prior to the period of the Tathagatagarbha Sutras, Mahayana metaphysics had been dominated by teachings on emptiness in the form of Madhyamaka philosophy. The language used by this approach is primarily negative, and the Tathagatagarbha genre of sutras can be seen as an attempt to state orthodox Buddhist teachings of dependent origination using positive language instead, to prevent people from being turned away from Buddhism by a false impression of nihilism. In these sutras the perfection of the wisdom of not-self is stated to be the true self; the ultimate goal of the path is then characterized using a range of positive language that had been used in Indian philosophy previously by essentialist philosophers, but which was now transmuted into a new Buddhist vocabulary to describe a being who has successfully completed the Buddhist path.[11]

Contrasting with some forms of Buddhism, the Buddha's teaching on 'reality' in the Tathagatagarbha Mahayana scriptures - which the Buddha states constitute the ultimate manifestation of the Mahayana Dharma (other Mahayana sutras make similar claims about their own teachings) - insists that there truly is a sphere or realm of ultimate truth - not just a repetitious cycle of interconnected elements, each dependent on the others. That suffering-filled cycle of x-generating-y-and-y-generating-z-and-z-generating-a, etc., is Samsara, the prison-house of the reincarnating non-self; whereas liberation from dependency, enforced rebirth and bondage is nirvana or reality / spiritual essence (tattva / dharmata). This sphere also bears the name Tathagatagarbha (Buddha matrix). It is the deathless realm where dependent origination holds no sway, where non-self is supplanted by the everlasting, sovereign (aishvarya) self (atman) (as a trans-historical, unconditioned, ultimate, liberating, supra-worldly yet boundless and immanent awakened mind). Of this real truth, called nirvana - which, while salvationally infused into samsara, is not bound or imprisoned in it - the Buddha states in the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra:[12]

"What is the Real (tattva)? Knowledge of the true attributes of Nirvana; the Tathagata, the Dharma, the Sangha, and the attributes of space ... is the Real. What is knowledge of the attributes of Nirvana? The attributes of Nirvana are eightfold. What are these eight? Cessation [of ignorance and suffering]; loveliness/ wholesomeness; Truth; Reality; Eternity, Bliss, the Self [atman], and complete Purity: that is Nirvana."

He further comments: " ... that which is endowed with the Eternal, Bliss, the Self, and Purity is stated to be the meaning of 'Real Truth' ... Moreover, the Real is the Tathagata [i.e., the Buddha]; the Tathagata is the Real ... The Tathagata is not conditioned and not tainted, but utterly blissful: this is the Real ...".

Thus, in such doctrines, a very positive goal is envisioned, which is said to lie beyond the grasp of the five senses and the ordinary, restless mind, and only attainable through direct meditative perception and when all inner pollutants (twisted modes of view, and all moral contaminants) are purged, and the inherently deathless, spotless, radiantly shining mind of Buddha stands revealed. This is the realm of the Buddha-dhatu (popularly known as buddha nature) - inconceivable, beginning-less, endless, omniscient truth, the Dharmakaya (quintessential body-and-mind) of the Buddha. This reality is empty of all falsehood, impermanence, ignorance, afflictions, and pain, but filled with enduring happiness, purity, knowingness (jnana), and omni-radiant loving-kindness (maitri).

Vipassana

Vipassanā (Pāli) or vipaśyanā (Sanskrit: विपश्यन) in the Buddhist tradition means insight into the true nature of reality. It is a practice of realizing our reality in order to see life as it is, in turn liberating ourselves like Buddha.

See also

• Anunatva-Apurnatva-Nirdesa
• Buddha-nature
• Dream argument
• Guhyagarbhatantra
• Kalachakra
• Kleshas (Buddhism)
• Mahaparinirvana Sutra
• Maya in Hinduism
• Nirvana the state of being free of illusion
• Reality and chakras in Bön
• Simulated reality
• Śūnyatā
• Tathagatagarbha
• Ten suchnesses

Notes

1. Sarvabuddhavishayavatarajñanalokalamkarasutra as cited by Elías Capriles: Clear Discrimination of Views Pointing at the Definitive Meaning. The Four Philosophical Schools of the Sutrayana Traditionally Taught in Tibet with Reference to the Dzogchen Teachings. Published on the Web.

References

1. Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Dream Yoga And The Practice Of Natural Light Edited and introduced by Michael Katz, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY, ISBN 1-55939-007-7, pp. 42, 46, 48, 96, 105.
2. Karel Werner, Mysticism and Indian Spirituality. In Karel Werner, ed., The Yogi and the Mystic. Curzon Press, 1989, page 27.
3. See Henshall, Ron (2007), The Unborn and Emancipation from the Born[1], a master's thesis by a student of Peter Harvey.
4. Lama Tsongkhapa, Lamrim Chenmo V3 Pp 224-267
5. Lama Tsongkhapa, Lamrim Chenmo V3 Pp 224-267
6. [2]
7. In: Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light. Edited and introduced by Michael Katz, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY, ISBN 1-55939-007-7, pp. 117.
8. The Crystal and The Way of Light. Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. Compiled and Edited by John Shane, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY, USA, 2000, ISBN 1-55939-135-9, pp. 99, 101.
9. Dr. A. Berzin. Alaya and Impure Appearance-Making
10. Elías Capriles. the Doctrine of the Buddha and the Supreme Vehicle of Tibetan Buddhism. Part - Buddhism: a Dzogchen Outlook. Published on the Web.
11. Sallie B. King (1997),The Doctrine of Buddha Nature is Impeccably Buddhist. In: Jamie Hubbard (ed.), Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm Over Critical Buddhism, Univ of Hawaii Press 1997, pp. 174-192. ISBN 0824819497
12. Yamamoto, Kosho (tr.), Page, Tony (ed.) (1999–2000).The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra in 12 volumes. London: Nirvana Publications[page needed]
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:52 am

My Letter to the Mipham
by Craig Morman
Reddit
3/8/19

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Sorry, I'm Back
My Letter to the Mipham
Dissent
Your Majesty,

(one last time for old times sake)

You were supposed to help. You said you were here to help. Not only that, you said that you were one of the only ones in the whole universe who could truly help.

I was 21 years old when I met you. I was alone, vulnerable, and flush with inheritance money from my mother’s death. I hope you are enjoying it since most of that cash went to you or one of your shitty organizations.

I gave my entire adult life to your lies. I worked for 6.5 years for your organization under conditions that are most likely illegal. I spent money in the high five-figures on Naropa, and in order to sit in windowless tents for ten hours a day in sweltering heat while I listened to a recording of one of your slaves reading a really crappy book that you clearly made up by googling the etymology of words. By then I was realizing that you are full of shit.

Riddle me this enlightened master: how can you have spent so many years claiming to be enlightened and now expect me to have sympathy for your pathetic, flawed humanity? You broke all of your vows the minute you tried to have it both ways. I know that you fooled most of your Acharya slaves in the same way that you fooled yourself, so I can’t really blame them. If they had seen how truly pathetic you are, the way that I did, they might have realized that you are a fraud.

I keep saying slave because that is what you called me, to my face. Remember that night you apparently assaulted that woman in Chile? No? Of course you don’t. You were shitfaced.
You had no control of yourself and were not resting in the state of unborn awareness. Let me remind you of a few details.

When we arrived back at the apartment we did not have the keys. As we stood at the door you told Kevin to “break the door down.” I remember my feeling of terror as he calmly told you that it would be crossing a line.

So, while we waited for the keys to arrive you berated the two of us for around 45 minutes. To this day it was one of the most horrible nights of my life. Here is the funny part: When the keys arrived Kevin went upstairs and opened the door so that you could walk right in, and your stupid, petty drunk ass stood there and said “I don’t understand, it was locked and now it is wide open.”
That is some next level enlightenment if I ever did see it.

I kept your petty, greedy little secret for fifteen years. I got tired of your lies. Something about me still holds out hope that you will too. You are not, I believe, a monster. You are an irresponsible shithead who had a bad situation and failed to take the MANY opportunities you had to change things. There was a time when I and so many others tried to be a friend to you. It seems you preferred fancy vacations and lounge chairs. I wouldn’t blame you had you obtained those things through honest work, but you just kept lying to yourself and everyone else.

Today is my birthday. I have spent most of the day curled up in a ball crying. Much of that time has been spent thinking of you.

While I feel a certain amount of relief from having finally dispensed with the burden of carrying your many secrets, I feel you need someone to be truthful with you. Whatever you may think, no one has for a long time.

So, here is the scoop, Mipham. You are not a guru. You are not enlightened. You are not even socially functional. You wrote a book on conversation after 20 years of not having to have one.

I know why you faked it. I just wish you would stop. We had a few tender moments over my time with you, you can’t hide that shit from me, Mukpo. You have been afraid since the day you sat down on that throne.

You got a bad deal. You were forced into a dumb, deceptive cult that your clever, abusive father started. At times I think you even believed it was your job to save the world. I don’t think that you really cared if we got there, you just wanted to look like you are trying. You lied to yourself as much as you lied to all of us.


You can bullshit people more if you want, but I know the truth. You never wanted to be a Sakyong. You never wanted to be a guru. You did this shit out of some twisted obligation. The reason why I understand it is that I did the same thing. It would take way too long to illustrate the many ways that I rationalized your behavior. You don’t have to do it anymore, and you shouldn’t.

I hate to break it to you, but you aren’t helping anyone. The wisdom you offered us could be summarized in a pamphlet. You are not Profound. There is no benefit to those people as they slave away at land centers destroying their health for illegal amounts of pay. I told you that once while I lived at Shambhala Mountain. You looked the other way and changed the subject.

It is so odd to me that I could watch you for so many years avoiding any genuine human connection while ensuring that you got your rocks off in every conceivable way, and still take you as a teacher who was showing me how to face “things as they are”. It is a joke to me now.

There was a talk that you gave during one of the Sangha events with Pema. It was a rare post-2000 question and answer session. Someone asked a question about eating meat and you went on and on about how you couldn’t just proclaim that we should all be vegetarians because people had to arrive at the compassionate decision in their own way. This is what is called lying by omission. You let that woman believe that you don’t chow down on giant pieces of meat. But those of us who know you know that you prefer your meat on a bone. You are a liar, all you have to do is stop.

You deceived me, you deceived so many others. You stole my youth and the wealth of my family. You stole that money and energy by fraud. I say this because you and I both know it to be true. You are not enlightened, you are not even functional in society. It is not completely your fault, but you avoided and continue to avoid every chance you have had to make things right. You teach courage, and you are a coward.

The thing that I would like to see is for you to finally come clean.

Apologize for all that you have done and make it right with the people you have harmed. That includes me, the women you abused, and so many other staff members, kusung, directors and teachers. You have a lot of work to do.

If you were to make genuine retribution for all the terrible things you have done, the sangha might not want you to teach anymore but they might be willing to forgive you. They might even let you keep some of the money that you stole from us through your lies. We might even let you walk away.

Let’s be clear. You have no clue what it means to actually live in the world. Your seemingly impossible endeavors stemmed not from an enlightened vision, but a complete lack of knowledge of how the world works. Remember the Kalapa Center?

The fact is, you need to get a real job and live like an actual person before you have any right to condescend to your “students”. You should retire, move into a small cottage and go to therapy. I bet people would let you keep enough of the stolen money if you committed to that. No more thrones, no more servants. Wash your own dishes. Then see how hard it is to maintain a practice in real life. If you had known that before, then demands that you made of your students would have been far more appropriate. As it stands, you literally have nothing of value to offer those who are suffering. You cause more harm than good by a long shot.

You deceived me. You betrayed my trust and that of many others.
Had you not been so dishonest in the way that you presented yourself in public, had you taken any of the many offers of genuine friendship that you received from myself and many others, had you been honest enough with the community about your lack of certainty and your own very real neuroses, had you told us that you were a fucked up, confused guy who held some pretty potent wisdom, had you told us up front that daddy needs blue velvet, had you been a “warrior of the heart” something you once wrote to me as advice, then possibly you could have avoided the insecurity and rage that caused you to do the horrible things that you did.

I understand that you tried to convince yourself that you had healed by projecting it to the rest of us. I have done the exact same thing. But you did it on an enormous scale and the only way for you to heal is to stop faking it.

You are the only one who can tell the truth now. Think about what a great book it would be. You could finally tell the truth. You could admit your abuse.

I know what a relief the truth has been for me. You could admit that your manipulations of your staff had nothing to do with their benefit. You could admit that you don’t need that many pairs of shoes, i-pads, and the ridiculously wasteful lifestyle. You could tell the true story of how you went from an insecure throat-clearing mess to a somewhat powerful teacher, to a wealth obsessed entitled brat.

You could tell us why, when everything was given to you you still felt the need to take things by force. You could explain why you treated the people who loved you the most like total shit. You could admit that it was not in fact for their benefit. You have so much to teach us about trauma and how it leads to aggression and disconnect. You could be a warrior, but you would have to stop pretending to be a guru.

I know that you have a heart. I know that you care. I am pretty sure that you convinced yourself of your own crap, at least part of the time. I also think that you care very deeply for your father and for the Shambhala doctrine. I am not sure if that is in your best interests, but the point is that I know you were trying for at least some of the time. At least when I met you, you worked pretty hard. From what I understand, these days not so much.

You are now trapped in a room with two doors. One is to keep lying. The other is to tell the truth. Some of your students may be trying to rationalize this. Some will do it. They have too many sunken costs and so much identity caught up in the enlightened society project that it will be hard for them to get away from it.

The thing is, you don’t have the first clue about history, economics, business, or any kind of science. You never had any business “Creating Enlightened Society” or making it possible.

I took you seriously, so I started to try to understand those things. After looking at how your organization was run, I came to the conclusion that enlightened society could not possibly have been the goal. Either that or you are a fucking idiot.

Some might think that those of us who blew the whistle on your deceit have somehow broken samaya, or the kasung vows, or the super extra continuity kusung samaya that apparently has you and I bound for eternity. But here’s the thing: every logical way one looks at this has you being a fraud. Unless you saw this coming, in which case, kudos.

Your bond to your students is a two way street. A proper guru would not accept an improper student. Even if we were spies, as the piper said, your omniscience should have prevented that. But you see, your samaya was bullshit, and so was ours.

I appreciate that you released those students who wish to be released. It is the only decent thing that you have done through this whole ordeal. For those who were afraid to leave, you gave them some solace. I wish you had given proper solace to your victims.

As far as the kasung oath goes, I am following it even to this very moment. The fact is, just like any other victim of abuse, I still feel sympathy for you. When I finally told the truth and broke confidentiality I was committing my final act of protection. Protecting them from you, and you from yourself. I will keep doing so out from under your oppressive yolk.

So Boss, I hope that you will make the right decision. The protection that I offer is the advice that a friend would give you. A real friend, the kind that you always rejected, would tell you to tell the explicit truth, make amends, and focus on healing your deep wounds. I doubt that you will do it, but I have to try.

I am one of many who you stole from with your deceit. You have taken my youth, my wealth and my physical and mental health in order to further your acquisition project. You have hurt many more as badly and worse than you have hurt me. I am broke, broken and middle aged. Perhaps you could tell me how this will benefit me after I die. At this point the only teaching I see is that I should not trust those who would claim to be specially appointed to teach, yet cannot give a straight answer to a single question. Was that the teaching? Maybe I can use it for the rest of my life to attain some true wisdom.

This is just how I feel. Extend that to the thousands of hearts you have broken. I will carry that weight with you. I told your lies and kept your secrets too, so their broken hearts are on me as well.

Time to put on your big boy pants Ösel. Step down always and forever. Write your tell-all memoir, the one that has the truth in it. It will sell a lot better than the crap you have put out recently. Sell everything and compensate your victims. You can use the book money to fund your rehab. But most of all, work as a waiter or bagging groceries for a few years so that you can understand what the humility that you preached for so long actually looks like.

If you did all of those things I could maybe respect you again and might even forgive you.

If you keep this up though, that is on you.

Keep in mind that your biggest mistake was training those of us you abused better than anyone else. We know you. We know your strategies because you taught them to us and we helped you develop them. We know you think you can wait this out by playing the long game.

Diana and your Acharya slaves will try to salvage as much of the sinking ship as possible, then you all just wait until we forget.

You are operating like a anachronistic politician who has not yet grocked the power of the internet. We are not going to forget.
I recommend you choose warriorship. It is time to man up.

Say it. Say it out loud and clear. “I was forced into this and it made me an asshole. Now I apologize and here is the truth that I owe you.” You might even be able to purify your negative karma.

Okay, that’s it for me. I am going to try to salvage the last hour of my birthday with some hope that I will be able to afford the therapy that it will take to overcome the damage that you personally did to me, and that I can move forward with what is left of my life. I hope you will have the courage to do the same.

I continue my search for wisdom. I hope that you will begin yours.

Yours in the name of Truth, Justice, And the American Way,

Craig Morman
Preta
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:11 am

Letter from Lady Diana Mukpo
February 19, 2019

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Dear Members of the Shambhala Community,

I write to you today with a very heavy heart. This is an incredibly painful time for all of us. However, in many ways, I feel that the situation we find ourselves in as a community was inevitable. The deep dysfunction and unkindness at the heart of our organization has been like a festering boil that finally burst. The revelations that have come to light over the last year have been horrifying. It has been so shocking to hear how women have been harmed. The abuse of power and violation of trust that allowed this to occur is unimaginable. As an organization and as individuals, we need to do whatever we can to support not only the women who have been abused but, as we now know, the men who are victims as well.

I have been heartbroken for years as I have watched the expansive vision of the Vidyadhara becoming more and more reduced. He used to say that Shambhala was a vast umbrella that would encompass many different activities and levels of practice. Over the last two decades, our community has become fractured, and the teachings that promise the way toward manifesting an enlightened and compassionate society have become hollow words.

During my seventeen-year marriage to the Vidyadhara I saw him manifest and teach in many different ways. The priority for him was always to find the best way to connect with people. I am sure that if he were alive today, he would be using totally different forms to interact with his students than those he employed during the era in which he was teaching. During his lifetime, he created the Kalapa Court to be a vehicle for students to have access to him. The current interpretation of court is a perversion of the initial intention. The Vidyadhara’s court was designed to build a bridge for his students to interact with him. The current model has built a wall.

I feel that the model of the court and of monarchy has become an obstacle, within which, as we have recently heard, there were abuses and cruelty. I have avoided the court situation for many years, having felt increasingly uncomfortable in that environment. It has been very sad for me, but I felt that I had to distance myself. At the same time, not being aware of the harm that was being perpetrated, I felt that it would only have caused divisiveness to speak out publicly about what I perceived to be a misunderstanding of the teachings. I have watched so many of the beautiful parts of our culture disappear and be replaced by what I have perceived to be a culturally bound religiosity. Like many others, I also have felt marginalized and have been subject to unhealthy power dynamics. If I had thought that speaking out publicly would have helped, I would have done so. In many respects, I now regret that I did not do so earlier. Privately, over the years, I have tried to give the Sakyong advice, but his reaction has been to avoid communication with me. I wrote to him twice last summer imploring him to take responsibility for his actions. We spoke on the phone, and I made a similar plea. Ultimately it is up to him to do what he can to repair the harm he has created.


There has been much discussion about the Sakyong’s childhood. He had a very difficult time growing up. When he arrived in this country as a traumatized ten-year-old child, I, his stepmother, was nineteen. I did not have the parenting skills to help him sufficiently. I am sorry about this and wish it had been different. His father was always loving toward the Sakyong but did not give him as much attention as he needed. This too is sad, but we all have different degrees of trauma. It is the nature of life and doesn’t really excuse his abuse of power and all that went along with it.

There also has been plenty of discussion about the Vidyadhara over the past year. I feel that it is my duty to be completely honest about his life.He was the most brilliant, kind, and insightful person that I have ever met. He was also ultimately unfathomable. When one examines his life, it is easy to make judgements, since his behavior was so unconventional. He was a human being and was not perfect, but he was unrelentingly kind and helped many, many people. During this difficult time, many people have spoken up about how he saved their lives. This is how they have put it, and I can connect with that completely.

I am a 65-year old woman who was sexually assaulted many times by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche when he first settled in Boulder in the early 70s. I was the same age as, and friends with, his wife, Diana Mukpo. Having her husband sexually assault me over the course of two years when I was in my late teens, eroded my sense of self, trust in friendships and the very understanding of the core of Buddhism -- to do no harm.

-- An Olive Branch Report on the Shambhala Listening Post


I recounted a story from veteran Kusung who was violently assaulted by Chogyam Trungpa. Knocked to the ground and kicked multiple times with boots on....

-- An Open Letter to the Shambhala Community from Long-Serving Kusung To the Shambhala community, by Craig Morman, Ben Medrano, MD, Laura Leslie, Louis Fitch, David Ellerton, Allya Canepa


“It was summer of 1985. I "married" Rinpoche on June 12th of that year. I met him around May 31st at a wedding of Jackie Rushforth and Bakes Mitchell in the back yard of Marlow and Michael Root's home. That year, we had our wedding at RMDC a few days before Assembly, then we had Seminary and Encampment happened during Seminary.

That was the year he spoke of limited bloodshed and taking over the city of Halifax and the Provence of Nova Scotia. We were in the middle of the Mahayana portion of seminary teachings. For weeks, CTR (Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche) had been asking everyone he saw if they had seen a cat. He asked the head cook, the shrine master, and all of his servants if they'd seen one. We returned to our cabin late one night after a talk and there was this beautiful tabby cat sitting on the porch. I said, "Here kitty, kitty" and it came right over to me, purring and rubbing against my legs. I picked it up and said: "Here, Sweetie. Here's the cat you've been wanting."

I can't remember exactly which guard was on duty, but I think it was Jim Gimian, and of course Mitchell Levy. Someone took the cat from me and Rinpoche ordered them to tie him to the table on the porch. He instructed them to make a tight noose out of a rope so the cat didn't get away. He stood over his guards to examine the knots and make sure they were secure. I was curious at this point, wondering what this enlightened master had in mind for the cat. I knew there were serious rodent problems on the land and I assumed he wanted to use the cat for this problem.

Then, he instructed the guard to bring him some logs from the fire pit that was in front of the porch, down a slight slope. We took our seats. Rinpoche was seated to my right and there was a table between us for his drinks. He ordered a sake. The logs were on his right side, so he could use his good arm. (His left side was paralyzed due to a car accident that happened in his late twenties.)

The cat was still tied by a noose to the table. Rinpoche picked up a log and hurled it at the cat, which jumped off the table and hung from the noose. It was making a terrible gurgling sound. He finally got some footing on the edge of the deck and made it back onto the porch. Rinpoche hurled another log, making contact and the cat let out a horrible scream as the air was knocked out of him.

I said: "Sweetie, stop! What are you doing? Why are you doing this?" He said something about hating cats because they played with their food and didn't cry at the Buddha’s funeral. He continued to torture the poor animal. I was crying and begging him to stop.

I said, "I gave you the cat. Please stop it!" I'll never forget his response. He looked at me and said: "You are responsible for this karma" and he giggled. I got up to try and stop him and he firmly told me to sit down. One of the guards stepped closer to me and stood in a threatening manner to keep me in my place.

The torture went on for what seemed like hours, until finally the poor cat made a run for his life with the patio table bouncing after him. It was clear he had a broken back leg. I'm sure that cat died. I looked for him or the table for the rest of Seminary and never found either. I imagined him fleeing up the mountain and the table catching on something and strangling him.

I was completely traumatized by the event, but it was never spoken of again. Rinpoche told me the "karma" from this event was good. I was dumbfounded. A common feeling I had when around Rinpoche was that there were things going on that I simply could not understand. It seemed like other people, with a knowing nod of their heads, understood things on a deeper level than I. I was in fear of exposing my ignorance, so i learned not to question and to go with the crowd around him. They didn't appear to have any problems with what he did. Such was the depth of their devotion. I just needed to generate more devotion to Rinpoche and one day I might understand.”

-- by Leslie Hays


However, the truth was that Max was a nervous wreck, and beneath my dignified British facade so was I. Finally, Max asked Rinpoche if he could go back to Boulder for a few weeks. Rinpoche gave his okay and Max departed, leaving Rinpoche and me alone in a house surrounded by deep snow. By necessity Max left his dog, Myson, with us. One night after supper Rinpoche said, "Get Myson and bring him in here." I dragged the shaking dog into the kitchen and following Rinpoche's instructions I sat him on the floor and covered his eyes with a blindfold. I set up stands with lighted candles by either side of his head. Myson couldn't move his head without being burned. Rinpoche took a potato and hit Myson on the head with it. When the dog moved, the fur on his ear would catch on fire. I put out the flames. Now and then Rinpoche would scrape his chair across the tiled floor and whack him again on the head with a potato.

"Sir," I began hesitantly, trying to stop him.

"Shut up," snapped Rinpoche, "and hand me another potato."

I started to empathize with the dog. In fact, I became the dog. I was blindfolded and was banged on the head with a spud and if I turned my head my hears would burn and there was the squealing sound of the chair on the floor. Pissing in my pants I was that dog not being able to move, feeling terrified and at the same time excited. Finally, the scraping chair and the potato throwing stopped and we released the shaking dog, who ran upstairs to Max's empty room.

"That's how you train students," Rinpoche calmly stated to me.

"Jesus," I thought, "that's pretty barbaric."

Rinpoche had me change the telephone number so that Max could not call us before he came back. He arrived, bags in hand, concerned that he had not been able to reach us. Before he could say much else, Myson rushed in and jumped all over him in exuberant delight. Rinpoche deliberately scraped the kitchen chair across the tiled floor. The terrified dog shot out of the house and fled across the field. Max was shocked and pointedly asked, "Rinpoche, what did you do to my dog?"

"I don't see any dog," he replied, looking at me.

"I got it!" I said, with the realization of being blindfolded and having three things happen to you at once, knowing the scraping and the disappearance of the dog were both somehow illusion. In fact, it was all illusion. Everything was illusion, but real. Rinpoche smiled and warmly greeted Max.

Did I get it? Not then.

-- The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perks [John Andrews]


Regarding the actual stripping, Persis McMillen recalled, "It happened so fast." She remembers the guards surrounding her, and it took them two minutes to take off her clothes. She was shocked: she didn't resist. The guards hoisted her while nude, aloft. Being a dancer, at first she took a poised dance pose, but after a few seconds felt differently: felt, in her words, "really trashed out." She ran upstairs. In her own words, she "felt sick," and "literally stripped," and " ... very, very upsetting."

-- Interview with Persis McMillen (Santoli) 7/1/77

"I had a whole interchange with Rinpoche. I can't remember the order. I think it must have happened before ... He called me up to him. He saw me, and ... we got into this whole thing. He was picking up on my costume. The whole aggression. (She was in costume as a biker.) We started sort of like making out. I mean it was very lavish, and all these people were dancing, and sitting around (laughs), and we just started doing this whole thing. And he was being so brutal. He was being so physically brutal, and like, clawing my arm, and just, biting my lip, just so vicious. And then he did this whole thing with my cheek (bit into the skin, leaving tooth marks), and I was in this state of mind -- well, if that's what he wants, that's what I'll give him too. And I just came back with it. And we're in this intense, you know (makes unh-ing sound) like this you know, very tense, very, very tense ... Somebody else came up or something and I managed to get away. But it was very nonverbal, direct, powerful, intense brutal communication. I didn't know what to make of it at all."

-- Interview with Barbara Meier (Faigao) 6/29/77

"Then things got heavier and heavier. Rinpoche would start out by giving a talk, saying, 'I really admire Merwin's poetry, and I'm a great fan of his, and I think he's doing really well, but there's a certain kind of resistance going on, and he's under the idea that he wants to study Vajrayana and he really wants to practice Buddhism, and I want you to realize that I'm really going to insist that Merwin come down here no matter what, or what it takes.'

"... Everyone was getting very tired by then: it was getting late, around midnight. People were exhausted, drunk ... My own particular take was, God, Merwin, the worst that could happen is you get your clothes taken off ... 'OK, tell Merwin we're going to break down the door if he doesn't want to come down.

"... And no one wanted to do it; nobody wanted to do it. No one knows how to break down a door. And then ... loads of people are saying. 'Drop it, Rinpoche.'"

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"They went down and told Rinpoche, 'Merwin's barricaded himself and there is no way to break down the door, can't we drop it?' Rinpoche says, 'Break through the plate glass window' ... So the guards ... decided to simultaneously break through the door and enter the plate glass window."

-- Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

"So apparently they just grabbed him and the word got back that Rinpoche had sent out the word ... that Merwin was not to be harmed at all, because by then people were getting pissed. And the word was out that no matter what Merwin does to anyone, he is not to be harmed, except for physically subduing him. So, by then the guys charged in -- the story we were getting back was that Merwin, ya know, they got the beer bottle out of his hand, and a bunch of guys grabbed him and did a hammerlock on him. He started ranting and raving that he basically was trying to protect his girl friend, and that became his central theme ..."

-- Interview with Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

Then someone announced, with satisfaction, that Rinpoche had sent an order to bring us down "at any cost". Evidently it was just what some had been waiting for. They started to smash at the door in unison with something heavy; I never saw what it was, but I'd heard something earlier about getting a beam from somewhere. We pushed as hard as we could, but finally the lock (a brass knob) was forced through the wood, and that door gave way. As the first hand came through I hit it with a bottle, and as the opening widened I reached around and struck down, hitting something I couldn't see. The bottle broke. I passed the broken top of it to my left hand, took another, reached through and struck downward again, not seeing who or what I was hitting at, and again the bottle broke. At that point Dana shrieked, and there was a loud crashing as the big glass balcony door was smashed, by McKeaver, among others, with another heavy object -- a large rock, I think. It was taken away afterwards before I had a chance to look closely. I crossed the room and started to beat the remnants of the glass door outward onto the balcony, pushing with the broken bottles, but meanwhile the crowd forced its way into the room behind us, from the hall. Dana was shouting, "Police! why doesn't somebody call the police?" but they laughed at her, women too, and Trungpa later mocked her for that, in one of his lectures.

They surrounded us. Dana was backed into a corner. They kept away from the broken bottles I was holding out. It was then that McKeaver asked if I wanted to kill him. As I remember, my answer was to tell him to keep his distance. If I'd "gone berserk", or hit him, as he claims, he'd probably have scars. The way he'd just made his way into the room, for one thing, would seem inconsistent with his statement that "all physical damage" was my doing. If he told me at that moment that he was my friend, as he says he did, I may not have taken the statement very seriously. Another disciple of Trungpa's, Richard Assally (?), was trying to edge along the wall toward Dana, meanwhile coaxing us both, sentimentally, to come and "dance with the energies" -- a phrase that was getting a lot of use.

It was at this point that they led my (in fact) friend Loring up in front of me, and I saw that his face had been cut by a bottle at the door, and was streaming blood. At the sight, I suddenly fell helpless, put my arms out, and let them take the bottles. They bent my arms back and piled onto me, and as they did, Dana started to fight. It was she who dealt out the black eye -- or eyes. (We thought there was only one: a tall man named Hirsch. Neither of us remembers that McKeever got one. Oh well.)

-- W.S. Merwin, letter to Pope, Pickering, and Trupp, 7-20-77

"Rinpoche talking to Dana, said, 'You're oriental; you're smarter than this. You might be playing slave to this white man but you and I know where it's at. We're both oriental ... we know where it's at.' Then he started to talk about 'my country being ripped out from under me, and it was the Chinese communists who did it ... If there's one thing I want to see in my lifetime, it's to see my country back. Only one oriental to another can understand that.' He said, 'I know your background, Dana ... ' He kept doing this super racist thing ... very cutting, and her only response was, 'You're a Nazi, you're a Nazi,' and 'Someone call the police.' She was completely freaking out."

-- Interview with Jack Niland (Santoli) 6/23/77

They piled onto Dana, too, until someone, probably Tom Reikan, told them to lay off, and they let us go. We said we'd go down by ourselves, if they kept their hands off us. Tom told us they would, and we went down. The hall was crowded with onlookers. Dana shouted again. "Why doesn't somebody call the police?" One of the women insulted her, told her to shut up. One of the male disciples threw a glass of wine in her face. I didn't see it, and she said nothing about it until afterwards.

In the dining-room, Trungpa seated in a chair: a ring of subdued party-goers sitting on the floor. As we walked in, Dana looked around and said loudly, "You're all a bunch of cowards."

Trungpa called us to come over in front of him, looked up at me, and said. "I hear you've been making a lot of trouble." Grabbed my free hand to try to force me down, saying, "Sit down." (The other hand had been bleeding a lot and was wrapped in a towel.) When he let go, we sat down on the floor. He said we hadn't accepted his invitation. I said that if we had to accept it it wasn't an invitation. He insisted that it was an invitation. An invitation, I said, allowed the other person the privilege of declining. We pushed that around a bit. The way he saw it, no force seemed to have been used, except by us. I reminded him that we'd never promised to obey him. He said, "Ah, but you asked to come." Then, dramatically, "into the lion's mouth!" I said that they'd developed big corkscrews, new, for forcing coyotes out of their burrows, and that maybe he ought to get one, to do his job more easily. He said he wasn't interested. Cross. That he wanted us to join in his celebration. I said that we'd thought it was lugubrious, and that as I understood it, one couldn't be forced to celebrate, if it was to mean anything. In one of these exchanges he got angry and threw his glass of sake in my face. "That's sake," he told me. He turned to Dana and said. "You and I can understand each other better. You're an Asiatic." And more on that tack. I think Dana should recount what their conversation consisted of. She was very clear, and she I turned him off that one. In an exchange with us both the subjects of fascism came up. I said I thought his use of a gang, and of intimidation, was fascistic. He said the Chinese had ripped off his country, and that he wanted to rip off theirs. The whole question of violence, then. How violent we were. Dana asked him, "And what about the people who start violence and wars in the first place?" He said, "What's the matter with wars?" And in the pause that followed that, he changed the subject, said he wanted us to join in the dance and celebration and take our clothes off." At that point; then and there, we both refused, saying that it was one more non-invitation. He asked, "Why not? What was our secret? Why didn't we want to undress?" To Dana he said, "Are you afraid to show your pubic hair?" We said there was no secret: we didn't dig his party, weren't there at our own choice, and didn't feel like undressing. He said that if we wouldn't undress, we'd be stripped, and he ordered his guards to do the job. They dragged us apart, and it was then that Dana started screaming. Several of them on each of us, holding us down. Only two men, Dennis White and Bill King, both of whom were married, with small children there at the seminary, said a word to try to stop it, on Dana's behalf. Trungpa stood up and punched Bill King in the face, called him a son-of-a-bitch, and told him not to interfere. The guards grabbed Bill King and got him out of there. One of the guards who'd stayed out of it, went out and vomited, as we heard later. When I was let go I got up and lunged at Trungpa. But there were three guards in between, and all I could swing at him, through the crowd, was a left, which was wrapped in the towel, and scarcely reached his mouth. It didn't amount to much, and I was dragged off, of course.

"See?" Trungpa said, "It's not so bad, is it?" When I asked, "Why us?" I meant not just the stripping, but why had we been chosen, out of all the others who'd retired early from the "celebration." But I dropped the subject -- what was the point? Everybody rushed and took their clothes off, as though that was all it was really about. It must have been a relief. Some of them said it was: that they'd shared the whole thing with us. I asked if he was ready to call off his dogs and let us go. He said yes, and as we started out he came after us, saying something about how he really loved us. We went up to the room, where a few people were starting to pick up the broken glass and stretch plastic over the balcony door. (Laura Kaufman, whom we know only slightly, meticulously cleaned the whole bathroom.) And from there a friend drove us to the hospital.

-- William S. Merwin letter to Pope, Pickering, and Trupp, 7/20/77

-- Behind the Veil of Boulder Buddhism: Ed Sanders, The Party, by Boulder Monthly


In general and understandably, people – especially those who did not know him and only are hearing second-hand stories – may pass negative judgements on him. I know that there is one person who has prominently spoken up about feeling traumatized by the Vidyadhara and those around him. As his wife, the last few years of his life were very difficult for me. There is no question in my mind that alcohol had a devastating effect on both his body and mind in his latter years. My sense of this is quite different from some of the students who were close to him at that time. I have heard from a number of close students that they had positive experiences during that era, and I honor that. I think this is a time for us to honor one another’s experience, rather than judging or dismissing it. Simply speaking for myself, however, this period was very difficult. Nevertheless, it does not negate the brilliance of his teachings both in his words and in the sacred environments he created as learning situations.

The Vidyadhara taught that the Shambhala teachings should be practiced along with the Buddhadharma, and that the two must support one another. He wrote, for example: “We can plant the moon of bodhichitta in everyone’s heart and the sun of the Great Eastern Sun in their heads.” (Collected KA, page 194.) The Sakyong’s de-emphasis and outright omission of the Kagyu and Nyingma teachings in the last 15 years has been a great detriment for our community. As much as the Vidyadhara conducted Kalapa Assemblies where he opened the Shambhala terma, at the same time he also taught Vajradhatu seminaries where he transmitted the Buddhist teachings of the three yana’s in a traditional manner. Not long before his death, when he was very ill, he made it a priority to give the Chakrasamvara Abisheka to several hundred students. This was an important Buddhist ceremony empowering people to practice advanced vajrayana teachings. He felt that it was imperative that he give this transmission to senior practitioners. I truly believe that he saw the Shambhala and the Buddhist teachings as
equally important.

At the first Kalapa Assembly, in 1978, there was a lot of discussion about what problems might arise from propagating the Shambhala vision. In that era, people often openly questioned the Vidyadhara and each other about any number of things. The following question was posed to him:

“As someone who has been worried about fascism and the possibility of the degeneration of Shambhala into that, could you say something that might be a safeguard against that?”

His response was: “Gentleness, meekness. Most of the warriors are meek persons. That’s it. And also they are practitioners of Buddhadharma.” (Collected KA, page 148)


There are many other examples of how the Vidyadhara viewed the two aspects of his teaching as equally important and supportive of one another. I do not think it was his intention to combine these teachings into one “Shambhala Buddhism”, as the Sakyong did after the Vidyadhara’s death. This move has created deep and painful rifts, not only with Trungpa Rinpoche’s heart students but also with respected members and teachers within the Tibetan community. So I think we need to look to the buddhadharma, as well as to the Shambhala teachings, to help us find the path forward. This does not invalidate the path taught by the Sakyong, nor the diligence of his students in applying themselves to it or the genuine experience of devotion many have had. Rather, it is a call for us to incorporate a bigger version of our relationship to the dharma.

I am writing to all of you and sharing my innermost thoughts with you today because I do believe so strongly that this community is worth fighting for. The incomparable practice of meditation and all the valuable teachings we have received have helped numerous people. Clearly, everything has to be re-evaluated and a healthy organizational structure needs to grow out of this. Over the past year, I have worried that the unfolding of events would be the destruction of Shambhala, but now I am wondering if, in fact, these disclosures might be what actually saves our precious community. I truly pray that we can get back on track and become what we profess to be, becoming a safe and nurturing home for those who seek these teachings. I don’t have the answers, nor do I know how all this is going to happen. There is certainly going to be more difficulty as things unfold.

Please know that I am willing to help in any way I can. I will make myself available if anyone would like to reach out to me.

In closing, I would like to discuss the role that I have played as the copyright holder for all the Vidyadhara’s written and other intellectual properties. Since his death, almost thirty-three years ago, there have been close to thirty books published, and many more could appear in the years to come. It always has been and will continue to be my intention to make his work accessible and available to all those who wish to practice and learn from his teachings. I consider this legacy as a sacred trust and will continue to work to protect and safeguard his teachings so that they will be available to people for years to come. I will do whatever is necessary to honor this commitment to all of you.

Holding you all in my heart,

Diana J. Mukpo

Contact Lisa Fiore at: fiorelr@aol.com
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:04 pm

Part 1 of 2

Shambhala’s Military Starts Turning On Their King
by Christine A. Chandler, M.A., C.A.G.S.
Ex-Tibetan Buddhist and Ex-Shambhala Kasung
© 2019
Feb 19, 2019

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.




The Latest ‘Open Letters” from Shambhala’s Faux Military Arm and Shambhala’s Inner Sanctum’s Faux Promises of More of the Same:

A small portion of the faux-military branch of Shambhala’s ‘Enlightened Dictatorship,’ six members of the Shambhala cult’s ersatz army are blowing the whistle in their Open Letter exposing more of the truth about the horrors inside the inner sanctum of Shambhala International; part of the Karma Kagyu Lamaist cult in our midst.

Yet, many hundreds of these still-in-the- fold Kasung, the most cult-controlled, far-gone of all of Shambhala membership, will still tolerate these egregious things the six who broke free reported. The other hundreds will keep their vows to the Chinese Communist Karmapa, Head Karma Kagyu Lama of their Shambhala International organization, and protect Osel Mukpo, a.k.a. Sakyong Mipham, the No Longer Great, still pimping for him and enabling the same disgusting, abusive behaviors he has perpetrated upon his naive, devoted students, as described in detail in the Kasung Open Letter linked above.

Once these few Kasung put in writing what goes on in the ‘inner, inner sanctum’ of the faux King’s ‘Degenerate but Sacred World’ then Shambhala International’s Interim Board of Lies and Deceit knew, once some of their most thought-controlled, they believed, started to break free, using their reason and intelligence again, they had to immediately issue another, boiler-plate meaningless, insincere Shambhala Interim Board’ Promissory Letter. I think this is number four, if anyone’s counting. Same promise, same language:

February 18, 2019

Dear Shambhala Community,

It is from a place of great sadness that we write you today. When we took our seats as an Interim Board, we did so with the positive aspiration of restoring Shambhala culture to one of trust, kindness, and genuine concern for the welfare of others. In the last days we have learned of patterns of behavior by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche at odds with these fundamental principles.

Six Shambhala students who have served as Kusung, a role of close personal protection and direct service to the Sakyong, have bravely come forward with An Open Letter to the Shambhala Community from Long Serving Kusung. In addition to a signed, joint statement, each has provided stories that describe Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as an individual who has been disrespectful, unkind and has caused harm to others.

We strongly disapprove of the Sakyong’s behavior described in the Kusungs’ letter. We will do our part to protect Shambhala culture and community and we do not and will not support the behaviors described.

We feel strongly that we need to do what we can to protect the continued mission of Shambhala to connect people with their own basic goodness. We will remain focused on the issues of care and conduct in our community. The Interim Board completed the Wickwire Holm investigative project given to us by the outgoing Kalapa Council and will soon complete the project they started with An Olive Branch, pending receipt of An Olive Branch’s final report and subsequent communication with the community.

We will now turn our attention to exploring how to go forward as we work with these recent reports of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s behavior. We will engage with the various Shambhala leadership groups and the Shambhala Process Team to determine structures of governance that make most sense for Shambhala now and in the future.

Our hearts are with all of you in this time of difficulty. We aspire that we can rely on the truths we feel in ourselves and can find support with each other in our community. We value your continued input and rely on your support for our efforts.

Sincerely,
The Shambhala Interim Board

Veronika Bauer
Martina Bouey
Mark Blumenfeld
John Cobb
Jennifer Crow
Sara Lewis
Susan Ryan
Paulina Varas
Copyright © 2019 Shambhala, All rights reserved.


LIES LIES LIES and more LIES! And Cult Rote Talk.

They will do everything, say anything; they just want to protect their Shambhala cult, as they have for the last forty-five years, with the same self-deception and pretense for the public. These are promise-to-change letters written by cult members still in a frozen dream.

Every one of these people, who signed this above Shambhala Community Promissory Letter, has taken Vajrayana vows, or will, to keep their gurus’ secrets for life, and will continue to enable the abuse as ” great teachings and blessings”; lessons in the Vajrayana of ‘non-duality’ and ‘no-good no bad’, ‘no right, no wrong,’ transmitted from ‘wise beings’ beyond human understanding; their Lama Avatars, who must always be obeyed as Vajra Masters in all things.

And, this includes obeying all the other Tibetan Lamas who come in and out of their Shambhala mandala, who are also pretending that they are going to change and become ‘westernized’ and ethical, when Guru Yoga and obeying your guru, is the essence of Tibetan Vajrayana Tantra. It kept Tibetans enslaved for over a thousand years and has the Dalai Lama’s monks and nuns setting themselves on fire into the Twenty-First century!

So, no matter what egregious behavior they see? It will be reframed as “blessings” and as the only way to achieve ‘enlightenment’ in this lifetime and in future, imaginary lifetimes.

Besides, lying is perfectly all right in Vajrayana, as long as it keeps the Tantric teachings spreading. It is a great Bodhisattva activity!

When will the West wake up and realize that this Cult of Tantric Lamaism is far more dangerous than any other cult in our midst who can get parents of children to accept sexual abuse of young girls as ‘higher teachings’ of Tantra? When will we start calling these faux-religions, “Cults” and treat them accordingly? Before it is too late and their sickness keeps spreading to destroy our western nations by stealth? These Tibetan Lamas and their thousands of western helpmates are determined to destroy the separation of Church and State in our Constitution. No one notices that they have become highly politicized.

The Shambhala cult is also praying that no one discovers that most all the popular apps on Mindfulness such as calm.org, who have Shambhala-trained and Tibetan Lamaist Mindfulness trainers, advertised on major cable news stations, including Fox News, seen by more Americans than any other cable T.V.. and on Facebook, and every other social media platform, are mostly created by Shambhala and /or Tibetan Lamaist cult members. Many, who are listed as the mindfulness instructors on apps like these, are the more ‘advanced’ mindfulness teachers; i.e., those most soaked in their guru-worshipping cults, whose mindfulness meditation form put them in the same mindfulness trance as these Kasung who accepted this terrible abuse for so long, programmed to ignore western laws, ethics, and values. The Sakyong wanted ten million members by 2010. He may reach his goal through his students’ mindfulness apps by 2020.

This is a massive movement being promoted on iPhones and Androids, and courses online, advertised and hosted on social media platforms and other mass media venues to push a “Secular Spirituality’ Buddhocracy by stealth that is slowly undermining the reasoning abilities of increasingly more westerners and the separation of Church and State in our Constitutional Democracy. It will make more people passive, narrow, and dumbed-down, self-obsessed but believing they are becoming more awake as they lose more of their individuality, over time. The people they really hook? Are those who will commit to more mindfulness practices in the mindfulness instructors’ group retreats, later on. And, cults, like Shambhala International, always recommend doing ‘mindfulness’ retreats in groups.

These western change agents for their lamas have found a more indirect way to recruit.

Many Zen and Theravada groups, with greed in their hearts, and dreams of a Three-Stream Buddhocracy for the planet, are all on board. This is ‘too big to fail,’ they believe, and they see even more dollar signs for themselves and their own organizations. They are simply going to recruit people through this mindfulness disguise on our Skinnerian black boxes: our iPhones and Smartphones and tablets.

So, what does it really matter if the Tibetan Lamas are all going off to South East Asia and China, now? To help the Communist Chinese further dumb their populations down? They have done their job in the West. And, their thousands of cult members of Tantra are left behind, as mindfulness purveyors for their billion-dollar commodity to make the rest of the world chill out and “no longer judge’ things they should judge as terrible and inimical to a free society.

I am glad these Kasung have revealed the secrets of how bad it was; what those who escaped much sooner than them, and started speaking out, suspected was this bad. But, what took them so long? How did they tolerate this much sociopathy up close and for so long? It is hard to get your mind around unless you have been in this cult, and know how all the practices and mindfulness slow-frog boiling works.

One of the signators above is a licensed psychiatrist in this Open Kasung Letter linked above. That should scare everyone into discovering how many western-trained psychologists and psychiatrists are part of these Tibetan Lamaist Cults who will accept and enable egregious sexual abuses by Tibetan Lamas as not just normal, but leading to a higher ‘consciousness of understanding’ in the world of their Tantric non-duality!

This is a large part of why sexual abuse and pedophilia has increased and is more tolerated in western countries. Thanks to this amoral Tantra. Shambhala International is in every major city and town throughout the United States, and in major cities in Canada, Europe, and Britain, Mexico, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Africa; there is nowhere they have not planted their flag of Tantra.

Shambhala is still carrying on, as though nothing has happened, since the major newspapers. like the New York Times, and Washington Post, only reported on all this abuse in one article or two, here and there.

If these Shambhalians and Tibetan Lamas weren’t all on board the ” Green New Deal” religion of the Hard Left, a big part of its ‘spiritualized arm’ trying to impose their own fundamentalist geopolitical Utopia, do you think these Lamas would still be protected by the mega-corporate mainstream media and the New York Times and Washington Post? The Tibetan Lamas “Spiritualized Green New Deal” and their Chinese Communist Eco-Karmapa, has long been part of their Utopian mix and the Sakyong’s Shambhala International has long been pulling this chain. Helping the Hard Left dumb young people down with their own cult techniques. Each group has learned from each other in how to target and recruit groups. This keeps these other fanatic fundamentalists, the Western Lamaist Tantric change agents, safe in states like New York and New Jersey and California that has a Buddhist Governor and Dalai Lama groupie, Nancy Pelosi, and this Communist Tibetan Lama, the Eco- Karmapa the 17th in residence in New York, slated to take the Dalai Lama’s place.

India now rejects his claim as the Karmapa, long believing he is a Chinese spy. But The West doesn’t pay attention to factual news anymore and is embracing him. That’s what this Tantric influence, all over New York and California, does. It makes people crazy and unable to use their reasoning abilities and common sense anymore; electing women and men who hate our Constitutional Democracy and want to destroy it.

Besides, the colluding media has the Catholic Church’s abuses to keep trotting out as camouflage. The pattern of the Catholic Church abuse articles always coincides and overshadows the Tibetan Lama abuses that are hardly reported, if at all. Now, there is a Catholic Summit on their sexual abuse while Shambhala is still protected for their exposed pedophilia, sexual abuse grooming of young girls, harem-keeping and serial sexual abuses of young western women, that is institutionalized in their cult ‘religion.’ Not to worry, as long as you are part of the Corporate Green World Socialism movement brought to us by billionaires, East, and West, like the Dalai Lama.

People should know that these abusive behaviors by Trungpa, the Regent, and Trungpa’s son, are still tolerated and enabled by other psychiatrists and medical doctors in the Cult of Shambhala, such as Trungpa’s first Queen and wife’s, second husband, the Head of the Dorje Kasung.

Who is calling him out for enabling these things by the Sakyong, after enabling Trungpa’s harem-keeping and sexual abuses, and the abuses of the AIDS-carrying Regent’s behaviors that caused the death of a dharma brat?

Or these other hundreds of enabling Kasung who will keep this abuse going? Why are these six Kasung not going to the police with this information? What good are letters to the same old Buddhist chat rooms if nothing changes?

That is when I will believe this group has really done something to protect others from this abuse, instead of just protecting themselves, although that is important; leaving a burning building and warning others. But, letters to just inside groups? Talking forever amongst themselves? Circulating these testimonies in narrow venues ensures they will just fade and disappear.

Last time I looked, psychiatrists have a duty to report abuse to the police. It is part of their western oaths they took, to get licensing in their various States and countries, in the first place.

Or has enough of this sick Vajrayana Tantra infiltrated their professions so deeply now, that the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association all turn a blind eye, too?

The very best thing these six Kasung have done, if people read their report, is to realize, and help others realize, that Shambhala International’s Tibetan Tantric Lamaism, misnamed Tibetan Buddhism, has been able to more deeply indoctrinate their cult members into accepting the most egregious behaviors of their leaders, than any other cult group in our midst, bar none, for decades.

“CULT” needs to come back into our vocabulary to replace ‘new religious movement’ that has given these cults cover, and quick. And report this abuse to someone in authority that can stop it for good, besides just each other and on Buddhist blogs. I would certainly join them. The emotional, financial and spiritual abuse we have all endured by this sick cult and its leaders should be cried out, to every corner of the world.

COMMENTS:

Tara Carreon· Reply
March 19, 2019 at 3:46 AM
Hi, Chris,
I am enjoying reading your blogposts immensely — you are really expressing your anger without regret. Charles and I read your book. Thanks for all your detail. We are trying to get american-buddha.com back up but it is going rather too slowly. We got one article up on “compassionate killing” [NOT] and have another one coming soon on Bercholz’s hell book. Keep punching away here and we will try and get your back.

Christine A. Chandler· Reply
AUTHOR
March 21, 2019 at 11:49 AM
Yes, anger without regret. It was particularly ironic that when I started using my anger as fuel (in the beginning of breaking free one has to), all these Vajrayana “anger as clarity” and the so-called Dzogchen people where that is particularly true) were the first wimps who wanted to repress me over at Radio Free Shambhala, as they did you, and you were way out there, way more than me. I wonder if some of them remember that? What a bunch of manipulative cowards they were, ( of course they were really confused, believing they were NOT an arm of the Sakyong bunch controlling the narrative) They attacked you and then shortly afterward they kicked me off because I started to look at the root cause of all this Lamaism as being the problem. It was reading your posts on American Buddha that got me thinking, yes thinking with my rational mind again, the greatest obstacle we were all told that would prevent our enlightenment! They also told us there was no such thing as good or bad, so we would never see how bad they were. I am convinced that the Lamas learned a thing or two about mind control during their time with C.I.A. and MK Ultra was alive and well at the time. I didn’t learn about the Dalai Lama’s connection with the C.I.A. until I was almost totally free. And, you led me to the Trimondis, real scholars regarding Tibetan Lamaism, not the cult members and fans of Lamaism, most of them guru-worshipers themselves who write Tibetology articles for each other, to reinforce the cult members’ belief that they are engaged in an intellectual pursuit’ as Tibetan Buddhists! And can say they are “published.” When they are either writing for Tricycle or a predatory journal. The Madhyamika types really love that stuff. Papers that are so obscure and dense about these fairytale topics, so that these ‘academic’ Tibetan Buddhists actually believe they are engaged in ‘scholarly pursuit.’ Instead of this being all part of the massive mind-control. This western form of Tibetan Lamaism is, I believe, a syncretic form of mind-control that comes from many streams that were happening at the time, in the late sixties, and early 70’s and I have no doubt Trungpa was intimately involved in creating all this with the help of different streams, including his Naropa and Esalen pal, Bateson and his double bind theory in action.

Tara Carreon· Reply
March 23, 2019 at 6:25 AM
I wanted to say a few things about this Kasung letter. I was okay with Laura Leslie’s accounts of abuse from Shambhala men other than Mr. Mukpo. Her stories were detailed and believable. Of course, she was a woman kasung, and would not have seen all the crap that Sakyong would have engaged in around male kasungs.

Ben Madrano tells lots of stories, unfortunately without getting into any details and naming names. He tells how Mr. Mukpo drank from sunrise to sunset; made people take off their clothes; placed his hands on women’s thighs; invited many women to his private quarters; had girlfriends who were married; used his “grip” to hurt people; hit kasung; called people names; made people get naked; bit people; threw drinks in people’s faces; slapped people; insulted people; couldn’t get enough compliments from people; spent money like crazy; and was completely unsympathetic in his role as a teacher, and blamed people for bringing him their problems.

But apparently, Ben could have told us a lot more if he hadn’t been so grossed out by the Sakyong’s drunkenness that every time he started drinking, Ben would go find a place to hide.

But why is Ben encouraging people to remain anonymous with these lame excuses that (1) relationship dynamics are highly complex; (2) that it takes time to process; (3) that there are spiritual and social consequences to betraying your teacher and friends; (4) that people feel sorry for Mr. Mukpo and his family; (5) that they have doubt, shame, and grief. These are excuses for cowards who are morally degenerate. Where is their compassion and love for their fellow sangha members who have been harmed by this behavior? Ben should not be saying these things and encouraging silence from people who know about the abuse, including child abuse.

I hate to say anything critical of Allya Canepa because he’s so sincere, but he spent 25 years serving the Sakyong, and why couldn’t he give us some specific stories of sexual abuse after watching hundreds of women go in and out of Sakyong’s bedroom, and listening to them cry while he held their hands?

David Ellerton’s contribution was total b.s. 14 years as a Kasung, and he gives us nothing at all. Exactly what he thinks he has accomplished here, I can’t imagine. A grand gesture of emptiness, I suppose. Very blameworthy.

Craig Mormon confirms the Chile sexual assault happened just as the victim claimed. Good for him. And he tells us about the Sakyong’s vicious biting habits, which is very interesting. But he tells us he knows of lots of other abuse that occurred, but “that is for another time.” No, this is the time, Craig. He’s another big excuse maker for not speaking up. And he was 18 years as a Kasung. I’m sure he has lots he could tell.

And lastly, there is Louis Fitch (years as a Kasung unknown), who tells us that general ogling of women was common, but as to all the sexual abuse that took place, that happened because people like him kept his mouth shut — and he is still keeping his mouth shut. So his contribution is to tell us that it’s people like his fault that sexual abuse happened, and guess what? He’s still not going to tell us what happened!

So, in general, this letter shows widespread cowardice among the big, brave kasung to stand up for the victims of abuse in Shambhala. We need details, names, places, times in order to see this story. Shambhaloids should freekin’ start coughing up the details.

Christine A. Chandler· Reply
AUTHOR
March 23, 2019 at 1:13 PM
There are no more cowardly sycophants to Trungpa’s legacy and the Sakyong’s pathetic and sociopathic modeling, that took Trungpa’s inherent disdain for the West and sexual exploitations to new ‘heights, than these Kasung. That there are at least now three western licensed psychiatrists that never went to the police about all this, tells you how dangerous a silly delusional cult can be, if it is part of the Mafia of Lamaism and is one of the most popular and most brainwashed of the Lamaist cults under the Dalai Lama’s Lord Chakravartin umbrella. This is because we literally took vows to perpetuate this world of the frustrated, mentally sick War Lord from Kham, to perpetuate the sick world of the Wheel of Destruction Kalachakra prophecies, most of us clueless that that is what we were doing. He was so sneaky that he got us to distrust the Gelugpas, as a strategy, when he was actually fulfilling the Dalai Lama’s Kalachakra Prophecies for him with his Gesar of Ling War Lord Shambhala teachings. You can’t trust any of them. And why would we? The still live in their heads in the `8th and 13th century. But, that doesn’t mean they are not profoundly clever in creating a massive brainwashing tool and culture, so admired by dictators, Left and Right, throughout the centuries.

IF you have been heavily into the Kasung trip, as the Kasung branch of the cult were, they know exactly what the Gesar of Ling prophecies are about, and watched its sick movie trailer for decades, and did nothing, said nothing. Manchurian candidate Kasung Encampments. China is so pleased.

I think it is the undue influence of the enablers in the groups, who , if they don’t start going to the police, with details as you say, like to the Larimer County Police, where much of this abuse took place during these cult military events, then they are just trying to jump ship, now that it is sinking. What else could anyone believe if they don’t give details, as you say, name names and instead keep protecting the Sakyong and his merry gang of misogynistic sadistic enabling predators and bystanders? They enabled him, pimped for him, and without them, this thing of the Sakyong’s couldn’t have continued. To really make amends for that, they need to fully wake up and see what is going on, around them, as they try to have it both ways. Come out, but stay in. They are still in. Shambhala cult members are the most brainwashed and China is watching what they do. They can’t leave each other, stuck like glue.

Unable to: “Go Beyond Hesitation” that means more than giving blow jobs to the Regent and the drunk Sakyong, and drunk Trungpa.

Tara Carreon· Reply
March 24, 2019 at 4:57 AM
More from Craig Mormon here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ShambhalaBuddh ... he_mipham/

Tara Carreon· Reply
March 24, 2019 at 5:46 PM
The interesting thing here is the fact that Sakyong never wanted to be a tulku. John Riley Perks in his book “The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant” tells this story about a 12-year-old Osel Mukpo:

“I don’t want to be a tulku,” he would say to me. “I don’t want to be a tulku.” To me, it sounded like Brer Rabbit not wanting to be thrown into the brier patch.

“I don’t want to be a tulku,” he pleaded to me.

“Okay, okay,” I said. “Let’s hide and go to the movies.”

Osel brightened. “Great!” he said. “What’s showing?”

I opened the paper. “The Man Who Would Be King,” I read aloud.

Charles and I have been talking a lot about this lately. It’s so clear that the Sakyong is hugely angry and hateful at everyone for having made him a tulku-slave, that he is acting out and getting back at everyone. He doesn’t know what else to do but get drunk and abuse women and insult men. Can you imagine how hard it would be to imitate an enlightened Tibetan master? You’ve got to have a certain flair and charisma to get away with that kind of chicanery. It was the Sakyong’s basic truthfulness that made him express these opinions when he was 12 years old. How much he must hate people who see him as a transcendental guru when they know damn well that he was set up in this position like an actor in a play. Then, to take it all so very seriously — even unto eternity! No wonder he abuses his acolytes. They’re so very stupid.

I see “Lady” Diana in her last letter of February, 2019 is throwing the Sakyong under the bus. Is it conceivable in your opinion, Chris, that the Sakyong would do ANYTHING without “Lady” Diana’s permission in terms of major institutional programs, like focusing on “Shambhala Buddhism” as opposed to the Nyingma and Kagyu teachings? Surely, it was “Lady” Diana who forced him into this untenable position in the first place, and is now moaning over the Sakyong’s abuse of power, but promising us that she’s going to exercise her “copyright” privileges and publish more Trungpa books in the future!

Christine A. Chandler· Reply
AUTHOR
March 26, 2019 at 1:42 PM
I don’t believe there are, or ever were, ‘enlightened Tibetan masters.” That ended for me when I was able to get rid of Trungpa as such. That is the hook for ex-Tibetan Buddhists, that deeply programmed belief that there were, or are, Tibetan Enlightened Masters, somewhere. The next charlatan who comes along will know they can depend on that deeply embedded hook in western Tibetan Buddhists’ heads.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:04 pm

Part 2 of 2

peter· Reply
March 24, 2019 at 7:07 PM
I don’t know Tara, not very convinced. He’s no longer twelve. Guess what?, neither am I and I don’t get the pass. Your showing up little late to the game and not buying what you shilling.

peter· Reply
March 24, 2019 at 7:13 PM
It is not a fact. It is a supposition.

Tara Carreon· Reply
March 25, 2019 at 4:51 AM
I was in the game when you were still in nappies, Peter. I cooked dinner for the Sakyong at Gyatrul Rinpoche’s request, and knew him for a jerk on that day. I took empowerments from Pednor Rinpoche before Pednor sold Mipham his title. And Craig Mormon has been in the game for some time, and the letter he put out makes it absolutely clear that every word I said is correct:

[Craig Mormon] I know the truth. You never wanted to be a Sakyong. You never wanted to be a guru. You did this shit out of some twisted obligation.

Christine A. Chandler· Reply
AUTHOR
March 25, 2019 at 3:20 PM
I will agree with Tara, based on what I observed during the 1991-2001 period when I was watching the Sakyong try to take a seat he could never fill.

First, there were three camps re the Sakyong. The Old Trungpa students who never saw him capable, many who split and joined the others who left, after the Regent scandal, going off like sheep to further slaughter, with other lamas.

I would have left sooner, too, but I started taking care of the Sakyong’s handicapped brother and was really stuck. And delusional still myself about the Vajrayana and Trungpa, but not the Sayong. That gave me a very objective, I believe view about him, to watch the next scene in the Shambhala play-out. I became an distant but increasingly informed bystander although not witness to the worst of his behavior like those in this letter. But I felt his anger that he couldn’t disguise. I felt he didn’t like or trust anyone, really. But, he loved the perks.

In my role, not way in but not way out, I always felt I was watching the coldest most self centered dysfunctional family, and I came to see all of Trungpa’s children as handicapped, emotionally if not cognitively like the son I was taking care of. They had been made dysfunctional in some way and handicapped themselves, and all narcissistic and angry, by being around so much sycophantic flattery of Trungpa’s students. This was true of the children of other second-generation Tulkus, as well from other sanghas. to take their sick feudal thrones, and now they had not even the 13th-century training of their predecessors; had not any training at all, and only cult members surrounding them, too.

The Sakyong was a lost son and ignored in the grand Shambhala Court as the history goes; The Old Trungpa students, who stayed after the Regent fiasco, the Acharyas and the ‘waiting-with-bated-breath and more sycophancy, decades of it, to get that coveted title, (meant more cash donations) groomed the Sakyong with speech therapy and idiot compassion, and writing his books for him (common by translators of Lamas, and the first one took his editor, and former consort, eight years. She would visit us and complain about how difficult it was).

Both these groups felt sorry for the Sakyong, however. The Trungpa students who stayed, and those that left. I felt sorry for him. He was very good at getting people to feel sorry for him, as some learning disabled children are, who manipulate from a ‘learned helplessness’ state. They get others to do everything for them, because of this emotional blackmail learned early.

The Sakyong knew how the sangha felt about him when he was a lost child. Now,with Trungpa and the Regent dead, he was going to make up for them ignoring him. Not one Old Lama of Trungpa’s Karma Kagyu sect recognized him as a Tulku. Karma Kagyus usually recognize relatives. They weren’t impressed and probably suspected he wasn’t Trungpa’s son. But Akong’s son; the bursar of Trungpa, until elevated by the Global Elite idiots and China, to be another Great Tulku Akong Rinpoche; colluding with China since 1984, and “discovering the Chinese Government’s pick’, Ogyen Trinley, the now head of the Karma Kagyu sect by the West, but not India anymore. And then soon the Dalai Lama is also recognizing him, already giving him a temple in Dharamsala to stay in; but still playing the victim of China while promoting this Chinese Karmapa for all those billions in Free Tibet donations.

After the stupa was built, The Dalai Lama gave the Sakyong further prestige when he came to the grotesque Stupa for a Ceremony of Peace Award that the Sakyong gave him! Look at how that elevated this fraudulent lie. The Sakyong is so high in status, he gives an award to the Dalai Lama.That was the narrative created. But it is really the Dalai Lama using the Sakyong as a puppet to further his Kalachakra prophecy through Shambhala and its Mindfulness hoax. And the New Age, Sustainibility Hoax now merged with the Lamas’ Tantra. Think about how colluding the Dalai Lama was with this sexually abusive cult! Just like he was with Sogyal’s Rigpa. Also pushing mindfulness and sexually abusiveness e in the extreme too. And this stupa? When I was with the Regent as his personal, at the ’88 seminary ground-breaking ceremony during more humble RMDC days, it was going to be much more ordinary in height and when finished it was what? A hundred and eight feet tall. That secretly the other lamas made fun of, just like the Sakyong’s 10-foot throne. Most Stupas were about 15 feet tall, or shorter, not a Las Vegas-style height to attract cash-paying visitors. It was already Hollywood-esque and Shambhala was being made into an Esalen-like spa for the wealthy elite and their conferences. Shambhala Mountain went through that phase for A-type personalities to come and ‘chill out’; even fly-fish! When called out by it, the Sakyong minions said it was ‘catch and release’. Now the CEOs could have their training for their executives in Mindfulness. Another way in infiltrating into Goldman Sachs; you also hire the spouse of one of the daughters of a Goldman Sachs head CEO. Suddenly the Sakyong is giving talks before Goldman Sachs executives. And other former CEO’s join in, in promoting this fake Lama. They are all fakes. But this one is a fake, fake Lama. Now the propaganda and spin really begin.

Then there were the dharma brats, affected by all this nonsense, who took their cues from the second group, the enabling Old Trungpa students, who had careers to maintain in this cult and to me were the least bright of Trungpa’s students. Or the most ambitious for their careers. Or both.

Observing the Sakyong as I did, in both intimate groupings and larger groups, I always felt he hated his role, he always seemed sarcastic and that he couldn’t believe how stupid people were to be groveling around him, and it made him hate them more for it. He was imprisoned, as all these tulkus were imprisoned.

However, after a lifetime of being trained in the Systems Theory of Esalen New Age Gregory Bateson, and watching what this ‘let’s blame the system’ so no individuals will have to be responsible, I balk at letting people are free the hook with system excuses. Notice none of abused Western Tibetan Lamaist devotees now believe that any of these Lamas should be punished under western laws because they have all been brainwashed in the U.N. model of ‘forgiveness.” and let’s talk it to death. Fake remorse and just a confession and apology will do, the U.N. model for rogue countries that have gotten worse and who have now taken over the United Nations and their Progressive Model.

So, I also reject that he wasn’t responsible for this, which is not what I hear Tara totally saying, and what Peter is very clearly saying: That he was responsible. I also remember a Dharma brat writing up an interview with the Sakyong, when he admitted to her (it’s still is in the Iron Wheel archives that many of us have saved) that he had tried to set a part of Samye Ling on fire when he was playing with matches, and Trungpa was very upset! This Dharma Brat didn’t even pause or blink or seemed to notice, being in this cult since a child, and with her own pedophilia cover-up in this group to deal with. Already a compartmentalized mind to cope when quite young. There were many dharma brats like this, I am sure. Just cut off the painful parts to cope. Be a super Shambhala child and devotee.

At that time the Sakyong is referring to, in the interview, he was seven years old, and was staying with Akong and Trungpa was visiting him. One can imagine that this was already a damaged child caught between two crazy Tulku ‘parents’. One has to remember that these two Lamas, one a Tulku, and one the bursar of the Tulku in charge, might not have known who was the father of the Sakyong was between this woman they shared, both in their flight from Tibet and at Samye Ling where they all lived. It was common for these Tulkus to have shared intimate relations with one woman. Paternity was not an issue for them. Uncles, Fathers, the same. And, the Sakyong’s mother, a nun, had no status in this group, but probably knew enough to claim that Trungpa was the father since he had the most status, both in India with the Dalai Lama, and later in Europe and America. Her own status in the future was at stake. But the Sakyong looks nothing like Trungpa and much more like Akong. So there is that. ( Radio Free Shambhala even put out the two profile pictures of Akong and the Sakyong, and one can see that resemblance immediately).

So, now you have a child who doesn’t know who his real father is. They are presumably fighting over him, and he is setting the house on fire, is learning disabled, and has been in Refugee camps with his mother; a very low status for Tibetans in India. He has much to make up for in this realm and that is probably brewing over his adolescent years.

So, this is already someone with lots of problems at seven years old. But these cult members that stay, after the Regent nightmare, and who wind up grooming him in the new Shambhala International they delusionally but craftily create, together, would never look at Western facts anymore, or assess this situation rationally. They would ignore everything in their face for their fantasies about Tibet, Lamas, and the Vajrayana; that always rejects Western Reason anyway. Now they are going full-throttle and with George Soros type approval, and a wealthy corporate elite, to fulfill Trungpa’s plan to create an Enlightened Society based on a degenerate kleptocracy, who lost their own territory because of their greed and cruelty. But, the new War Lord son has to be given more status by a Progressive Globalist elite who are promoting these Lamas and already gave the slaveholder, the 14th Dalai, a Nobel Prize. For what? Fleeing from his Country? Abandoning his own people with his mile-long mule line escaping with the tons of Gold? Yet a beggar to the West. and a Victim. When he and his Lamaist cabal were the perpetrators in Tibet. They always ‘escape’ when the going gets rough. Abandoning the people around them, as this Sakyong did over and over. Calling it a ‘teaching.’ Or, in the Dalai Lama’s case, an escape from being tortured, himself. I don’t think so, anymore. So Precious are they, they must save themselves and their Precious teachings. They even designate themselves ‘precious ones’: ‘Rinpoches’ with a capital ‘R.’

ALL these Lamas are not who they seem. ( in my view, the Sakyong is being thrown out as a scapegoat, this time around, as is Sogyal) so Lamaism overall can survive in its new incarnation that Trungpa started: MINDFULNESS; and the Sakyong completed with Yoga/Mindfulness/Green Hoax Climate Change, Millenial Shambhala Mountain Spas. And, this already damaged soul is surrounded by the craziest of the Karma Kagyu sanghas and Vajradhatu/Shambhala’s next inner-circle, the less bright ones but crafty, like him, determined to have him fulfill his role so they can continue as Acharyas and administrate their Tantric Mindfulness Hoax, and Nalanda Translation, and Gampo Abbey, and the new Spa Yoga centers can continue; and they can and write their own books that can be published in the Lamas’ Publishing Houses. They aren’t going to let it go, Part of the grooming is to have Penor ‘recognize’ the Sakyong, assumed to be taking payoffs for recognitions, also common I would bet ( Steven Segal at the same time).

They elevate him to “MIPHAM THE GREAT” he gets a 10- foot throne that needs a ladder to serve him tea during his still rambling and incoherent and always the same cookie cutter talks, that he just wants to get over, so he can get back to his practices of exploiting women and emotionally torturing young men, and hanging out with his rotating drinking buddies, whom he will also exploit and torture, sadistically, hope and fear; and his translators/ editors who create more ‘authored books”, and make him a YouTube star, and marathon runner, with another duped wealthy benefactor, who promoted this image for him and ran his kleptocracy for a while, and he is able to fool the Beastie Boys, like Trungpa fooled Joni Mitchell, and Shambhala Songs by the Beastie Boys, are created by 1995-1996! The fix is in, again. In its next incarnation of fooling another generation. Generation X.

So, you have a boy with sociopathic tendencies already, and tremendous anger, who questions his paternity ( playing with matches was a very red flag when I was a protective social worker) learning disabled, and in a misogynistic, feudal cult religion, pretending to be Mahayana Buddhism for the newer students, and the ones that remain being the most naive; who will continue to deny what Tantra is pointing to, i.e.; guru-worship and exploitation of everyone, and mostly women and young girls, but everyone and the Sakyong now has a revolving group of total useful idiots around him, less sharp, but savvier in media spin. The most cynical, or the most naive; but all of them with delusions of grandeur. Like him. A Perfect Storm.

And, as for Lady Diana, who doesn’t want her royalties from Trungpa’s archives and books and online courses that spin out by the Sakyong’s inner circle, to dry out; a sangha that is always scheming to reach that 10 million mark of new recruits. She even writes a book. Further adding to the Trungpa myth by excusing him as a ‘great teacher’ and making herself a hero/victim. So the money can’t dry up for these spoiled exploiters and deceivers: the cling-ons of the head cling-ons. Nor her ability to pretend to be Royal aristocracy, while having a gutter mouth and with her own issues of revenge on those early consorts of Trungpa, who now become her own cadre of sycophantic slaves and media spin, to make up for their having slept with Trungpa.She was able to use their guilty feelings I believe. She too wants it both ways. Again, this is what I observed. She is recognized as the Queen Dowager now, when the Sakyong is elevated as Mipham the Great, and taken back into the fold, after escaping to Hawaii when the proverbial ‘hits the fan’ with the Regent. And the Old students are very pissed at her. I heard that over and over. But, now, after elevating the Sakyong, she is back, to be really running the show more than ever, behind the scenes with the Sakong. The Sakyong always kowtowed to her wishes. From what I observed.

The dharma brats are the angriest, now, because they were the most deceived.

If they were the brighter ones, they were also taking in the bullshit as well as the fantasies, which exploded when the Truth was revealed. They are the ones not afraid, they were the ones that took The Shambhala teachings’ to heart and have the most cognitive dissonance to contend with, to break through it. They believed that this was real. Instead of a clever way for Trungpa and his early students to create a “Path’ to fulfill, by deception, the spread of the most sexually exploitative, feudal cult and its Kalachakra Prophecies, by Lamas that kept they own people serfs and slaves for a thousand years and is an Apocalyptic Cult, admired and embraced by the violent Khans, Himmler, and other Fascist dictators, and the Pan Hinduism Nationalists of Modi, not the India people who are sick to death of these Lamas. They no longer ‘recognize’ the 17th Karmapa, as legitimate, always believing he was a Chinese spy. But, the cult members of Shambhala are never told that. That news is kept from them, as this Communist-run Karmapa starts further taking over New York along with Shambhala, whose sexual abuses explode, but are still not fully reported. The Catholic Church is always the story in the no-longer-illustrious New York Times.

These Billionaire God Realm Dwellers, like Soros and Zuckerberg, have their own delusions. And are promoting this feudal society for the future to destroy the ordinary middle class who still believe in a nation.Soros is doing it cynically and purposely with billions given to Leftist causes, and Zuckerberg is doing the same Mindfulness practices and has gone Buddhophile trance. He hasn’t a clue but is another Utopian God that can and should control what people say and think. elections, and is in the same God Realm. Both are destroying the middle class (Zuckerberg has already done that in parts of California) but the middle class keeps us from becoming a third world dictatorship. Instead, Let’s have a more debt-ridden, over-taxed populace everywhere! With Tibet as the model! That is what these bright bulbs are doing, without a clue about anything, or are cynically wanting that to be true.

That the Fascist Left has hooked up with these Lamas, particularly in New York City, slowly turning it back to a hovel of the early 18th century, more crime, more homeless people, and people taxed to death to take care of what these liberal progressives have done for the last forty years in that city? I never forget that it was Wilson, First Progressive President with a Theosophist Vice President, who created the League of Nations, that turned into to U.N. who has always had a World Citizenship trajectory, with them as the World Government. Wilson was one of the worst presidents we ever had, who signed the Versaille Treaty that brought Germany to its knees with repayments that caused such suffering. Paving the way for Hitler and World War II. We see the same Progressives and their arrogance again, trying to bring their own country to its knees’ Progressive Utopian idiots who have almost run our country, and countries all over the world, into the ground. Now they want to go full-throttle in their Utopian Insanity with the Green New Deal. The Plan to tax the middle class out of existence. They are always so dumb.

The dharma brats, as part of their recovery, should demand from the American Government a release of the C.I.A.’s involvement with the Dalai Lama, and the true history of Tibet; how these Lamas, some of them still alive, treated their own people, and are still controlling them in India under the CTA. This is an exploitative, misogynistic kleptocracy, and the sooner the ex-cult members realize this, the sooner the world can be set free of this myth of Shangri La; the sooner the dharma brats can be released from their profound personal grief and ‘personal’ storylines we all have to tell. Otherwise, they will waste another decade or more of their life, in another Lama sangha, coming to the same realization and same place. Wasting ten more years of their lives. Under this sick Lamaist spell. I hope they don’t do it. They have so much more information at hand and are not alone, like Tara was, and later me, but I had her as a precedent boldly speaking out; she had no one when coming out and telling the truth as she experienced it. She had June Campbell and the other Tibetan scholars, but they were in England or Europe, not here in the U.S.; the most targeted to be fooled. The should request a Freedom of Information Act release on these Lamas, and their real history and C.I.A. involvement; And the Dalai Lama’s ‘escape.’ I watched this ‘escape’ of the 17th Karmapa, by helicopter and S.U.V. on a pirated film in 2000. The Chinese could have stopped him, they didn’t because he was sent here to continue this Tibetan Lama influence on our nation; China’s best weapon.

It has been sixty years now. Time for that to be known to the American public who has been inundated with lies from the establishment media swamp regarding these lamas, who believed these duped members of Tantra. That is, if the dharma brats really want to help the world, as they say.

They were in a CULT, that is what they first have to realize. Yes, even them; who all believed they were so smart, so special; the special children of Dharma? Right? and so savvy compared to all the ‘heretics’ they saw in ‘samsara’ out here. Whom they took vows to these charlatans to ‘save’. They need to save themselves, now. We were in just another cult of coercive control and sexual abuse, like those Christian cults, whom we were taught to look down on, but many of them have woken up sooner. It will be humiliating for only a while, and then totally freeing. If they can get there. And realize they are not ‘special’ but ordinary. And, not as smart as the people who never joined Shambhala. Saw it was a cult right away How many people did Level I of the programming and said, ‘This is a cult” “I am getting out of here.”

These kindest, morally superior, and oh, so, compassionate Shambhalians, were so vicious to Tara, as the other Tibetan Buddhists were to June Campbell, whose life was threatened. Why? because Tara was direct! And very angry. They couldn’t stand that. They couldn’t stand anyone using anger as clarity, what they all claimed they were striving to achieve. They couldn’t even recognize anger as clarity. They were Church Ladies. Both the men and the women in Shambhala. And, Tara took on that trickster, the worst of the worst, and the most twisted, Dzongsar, that only now, almost twenty years later, the other western Tibetan Buddhists are seeing how creepy he is, and what a two-faced deceptor; with a little ‘r’ another sociopathic Lama, in my view. Who has managed to fool the wealthy academic elite. The easiest to fool. Just like the Dalai Lama has done for so long.

peter· Reply
March 25, 2019 at 2:10 PM
I am always very cautious with arguments that lead with ‘ I know the truth’ or ‘I know him better than anyone…I know best….I have the most’….etc i am so proud you are expressing your anger so well. Always gives me pause . The letter referenced from Mr Mormon leaves open the potential return of the king as has been hinted at by a number of forgiving pro sakyong reddit commenters and a potential DARVO like senario .

peter· Reply
March 25, 2019 at 5:20 PM
Thank you you both,
Greatly appreciated.

Christine A. Chandler· Reply
AUTHOR
March 26, 2019 at 12:42 PM
Thank you, for your input on here. Each of us has our own experience with this group, which has been dismissed over the years. We never seem to be able to channel that energy, like, say, former Scientologists, who grouped together and really went after those leaders, or like some Christian groups, and the best example is Catholics who were abused and worked together to get these priests jailed.

I think it is because the teachings in the Vajrayana really messed with our reasoning minds. All of us, in different ways but similar in that it made us more mentally absorbed instead of taking action. We didn’t act in this group, we obeyed, we self-visualized and created images in our heads, and we chanted for hours together, but separate, on our cushions. We were programmed for years to believe we were in this big “together hug,” when in reality we were in separate bubbles, in a cluster of bubbles that all moved together, according to the way the cult and its inner circle blew us.

It takes years, in my experience, to just recover from that, and everyone personally has their own trajectory in recovery.

The dharma brats that have woken up, like that Craig Mormon, or even these six Kasung that wrote the letter together, clearly have a focused purpose to even write and sign that letter, but I bet they are at different places and the idea of going to the police together? None of them? And besides, when after this, how do you trust anyone, again, to work together? Plus this wish-wash recovery model in now so built into the mix, that people just want a confession, and an ” I am sorry.”

What happened to justice? Were the last two generations so programmed to not believe in our justice system, not just because it sometimes fails people, but because of now two generations awash in this U.N. forgiveness model? That’s really worked out well in worn-torn Africa, or how about the U.N. when the U.N soldiers are caught raping women. Third-World countries that keep slaves have as much voice as the Democratic nations? We should abolish this U.N. run by Global Progressives; they are Utopian ideologues and idiots. Who are ignoring abuses of countries just like cult members are still the leaders of Shambhala.

This apology trope is just a theme and variation of the Little Red Book to me. This demanding a confession, Except with no real consequences for the perpetrators of this abuse. Even in their anger, the dharma brats seem to just want remorse from sociopaths. As though their confessing and apology is enough. But, sociopaths never feel remorse. Or it is fleeting and their predilections continue. That is why we still lock up sociopathic predators. So they can’t live to abuse again.

It seems the only thing left is our personal stories, our anger and our views of what happened. Because Buddhists are just so passive unless their idealized leadership tells them where to move. That is why dictators love Buddhism as the religious part of the equation. Think Pol Pot, Myanmar, Tibet.

But getting a confession and apology from the Sakyong, (it is easy for him to do that) is not going to stop this from continuing. It is weighing the facts. Do people, whose injuries and abuses are within the statute of limitations have a case, even a class action suit which would be better if it gets lots of press? That is the only way this is ever going to stop this abuse. Otherwise, Dzongsar and his ilk will have won. The Vajrayana will have trumped Western Law.

Tara Carreon· Reply
March 28, 2019 at 7:35 PM
Chris, I am so impressed at your March 25 post about the Sakyong’s anger. You should pull that out and make it into a proper topic all its own. It’s a very important topic. And it’s some of your best and clearest writing, not generalized in any way, but specific. Beautifully written. Compelling reading. So honest, direct, and thorough. i hate to see it get lost in this comments thread.

I am interested in hearing more about “the UN model of forgiveness.” You know Freda Bedi, “mommy” for the Tibetan lamas escaping Tibet, was funded by the League of Nations, and probably also the CIA-funded World Council of Churches. I’m doing a big research project on her right now.

I agree with everything you say about “the fascist left.” I have been a radical leftie all my life, but never a Democrat, or fascist leftie, (I’m a third party Nader fan) and it has bothered me to no end that the left is so caught up in fascist ideas that they are not aware of. Which are definitely emanating from the Green Party in Europe (not America so much), who have that racist, class-conscious, ariosophical background through Rudolf Steiner, whose group was thoroughly complicit with Hitler. For any one interested, see “The Art of Avoiding History,” by Peter Staudenmaier and also his “Anthroposophy and Ecofascism.”

I think that people who want to play the lama, or guru, should think twice about adopting that role, which is really for a lifetime. Are they going to be able to keep it up? Will they want to do that their whole life? Are they sure they’re not trapping themselves in something they’d rather not do at some point; rather, perhaps, be free.

Peter: I thought you were just a nasty troll, but you didn’t come back with more nasty in response to my reply, and so you’re not the guy I thought you were. Good for you, showing some fairness and kindness.

It’s a good day for the Truth here at your board, Chris.

Tara Carreon· Reply
March 28, 2019 at 9:36 PM
Chris: You talk about the reasons why Buddhists aren’t able to get together like Scientologists and Christians to talk about our problems: (1) our reasoning minds have been messed up, (2) we are too obedient, (3) we’re locked in our own minds, pursuing inner practice while ostensibly practicing together. And you ask what about justice?

I just read a book called, “Zen at War,” by Brian Daizen Victoria, which I highly recommend, that taught me that Buddhism has not been Buddhism since King Ashoka, especially in Japan, but rather a state-run Buddhism on the Hegelian model of “everything for the state; nothing for the people.” So the Japanese people were taught to be the most slavishly obedient people in history due to their state-run Buddhism for over 1,500 years. So when World War II came, and all the Buddhist propaganda for war emerged in its full ugliness out of the mouths of every Buddhist priest, after the war Japanese Buddhists started looking at what happened in light of imported American values. [But why they listened to the same propagandists tell them what went wrong, who had psychologically bludgeoned everyone into believing that kamikaze self-sacrifice would get them enlightened (just like the Muslim suicide bombers), I can’t imagine.]

Anyway, this guy Ichikawa Hakugen came up with twelve reasons why Buddhism was responsible for the Japanese conduct in the war (God forbid the priests should be responsible) that I think are worth looking at here in answer to your questions, and are also reasons why Buddhists everywhere act the way they do.

The first reason was the basic subservience of Buddhism to the state. He pointed to a number of Mahayana sutras from India that emphasized the role of Buddhism as “protector of the state,” that had been particularly welcomed into Japan. At the point Buddhism is serving the state rather than individuals who make up the state, Buddhism has been completely gutted of any real content, and is just an empty vessel for the teachings of nationalism, militarism, and imperialism. That’s what all states do to Buddhism: gut it, and fill it with their nasty content as needed.

The second reason was the doctrine of karma overrides social justice issues. We all know how karma works according to popular belief: everything is your fault, and you deserve everything you get. And everything is just the way it’s supposed to be in society. If there’s a problem, it’s you and your karmic problem from this and future lives. You should work on yourself more.

The third reason was a particularly Japanese Buddhist reason that had to do with one of Japan’s oldest legal documents, the Seventeen Article Constitution of Prince Regent Shotoku (604), that said everyone had to obey the emperor, based on Confucian reasoning that the people of earth couldn’t overthrow the emperor of heaven without causing destruction. So it wasn’t only the state that Buddhism protected, but also the hierarchical social structure as well.

The fourth reason pointed to the Buddhist doctrine of dependent co-arising, that says all phenomena are in a state of flux, with no inherent existence, and empty; and self is also empty, leaving no room for individual anything. So Western enlightenment concepts such as human rights and justice have no place in this kind of Buddhism. So forget about the self, and serve the public good, which is the state and the emperor.

The fifth reason is the Buddhist emphasis on the inner self, with little concern for external actions. How is it that Mahayana Buddhists talk so much about compassion, but what that really means is sitting in meditation and imagining things to be good. No impetus at all to go out and work for humanity. “Compassion” in Buddhism is as empty as everything else.

The sixth reason was another particularly Japanese Buddhist idea called “debt of gratitude,” to our parents and rulers. “Debt of gratitude” to “all sentient beings” is lost in the process. So it becomes a doctrine that focuses only on the Japanese people, as opposed to people in the whole world.

The seventh reason is the Buddhist belief in the interdependence of all things, which leads to this Hegelian “love the state and corporations as our daddy; we are one big happy family.”

The eighth reason is the Buddhist doctrine of the Middle Way, which is about compromise and avoiding confrontation, and basic capitulation and unwillingness to fight for social reform.

The ninth reason is also a repeat, so I’ll skip it.

The tenth reason is again peculiarly Japanese Buddhism, which sees society as based on a set of ancient and immutable laws, including its hierarchy, which smart people don’t mess with. It’s inherently conservative.

The eleventh reason is again a repeat of number five, which is Buddhism’s focus on inner peace rather than justice. So again, there’s no reason to change society here. It’s all about you.

And the twelfth reason is the Buddhist concept of “suchness,” again leading to a detached, subjective harmony with things the way they are.

Buddhism gutted of its original beauty thus has no power to push us into confronting reality or promoting social change.
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