Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

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Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby White Lotus » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:42 pm

Vasubandhu says that the cessation of Alaya Vijnana: The 8th Consciousness occurs in Arhats. the Yogasastra says that even non regressive bodhisatvas also have extinguished the subtle mind as well as Arhats, Pratyekabuddhas and Tathagatas.

now i no longer have the subtle mind it seems that the breath enters and yet does not enter my nostrils. i am no longer able to enter samadhi and the oneness of mind and heart has vanished. before; to focus on my bodily mind was to focus on my bodily heart. head and heart were united. all zazen is now totally normal experience.

subtle mind extinguished when i pinned my mind in the hara and then merged it with the breath in the hara, such a simple thing to do. initial change was that the monkey mind had completely subsided and it was easy to sit in meditation for an hour with barely a single thought.

meditation now is an excercise which merely points towards cessation.

i would be very grateful for any quotes and references on cessation of Alaya Vijnana, to understand the experience in relation to academic teaching.
i realize that there are those that say that the 8th consciousness is indestructible and that to merely 'turn it over' is all that is needed.

my view on this experience is that it is merely another rung on the gradualist path, when all is already complete and always has been.

Huang Po taught: "All things have been free from blemish from the very beginning... why this talk of seeing into your own nature".

for almost a year seeing into my own nature was a daily experience and another rung on the ladder of the gradualist path. emptiness seen as easily as drinking a glass of water or looking at an object. i see none of these experiences as necessary. to me the ordinary mind that we all have is and always has been Buddha's mind.

i adhere to the vehicle that all things have always been complete, however i value the gradualist path, which has taken me beyond emptiness. now 'that' is a mountain. 'that' is a computer. that's that'. the stage of Icchantica beyond nature. i am no longer able to look within, my focus is immediately externalized. if i have a nature it is no longer within. i can truly say 'unborn', whilst before; when observing 'own nature' there was still a 'within', though that within was one with the 'without'. now prajna only reveals the without.

inspite of the extinction of own nature there is still a sense of the personal, though its very subtle and cant be pinned down. the personal without self. who is writing this? i wont give Bodhidharmas answer ("i dont know). i would say "i am writing this'', though there may be no 'I'. i find Bodhidharmas answer to contived and too conceptual and prefer the simple answer: "i am writing this".

i am sorry i have not visited this site for a while, access to a computer is difficult. I hope that you are all well and that rice bags is still visiting this site. it needs him.

best wishes, Tom x
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:37 am

Well, it's a good thing then, that you can still log onto the internet.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby White Lotus » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:45 pm

i wrote the previous article on cessation of the Alayavijnana a while back. this cessation is realized by mixing breath with mind. easy to attain.

since then i have also extinguished Manas. the ordinary mind, this is by holding ones breath and focusing between the eyebrows.

unless on the path of renunciation all this is needless. unless, however on the path of renunciation one will not see the dharma eyes (dharma cells) in the field of vision. dharma cells are first seen after extinction of the buddha nature. after the higher i am is renounced then the pupils in the dharma eyes appear. dharma cells/eyes are fundamentally dharma cacras.

after renouncing the nature, i am and, higher ME. still one remains as ME. and what is ME? it is life, though there is no longer any sensation of Me-ness (once renounced).

the path of the buddha is one of self renunciation. passing through many levels of self hood, to realise that ME, which exists even beyond self, and without self. one and yet zero.

any comments appreciated.

Best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:00 pm

Don't forget to exhale.
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby smcj » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:33 pm

You need to seek out a teacher that knows what they are doing rather than ask for strangers to guide your practice over the internet.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby White Lotus » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:28 pm

a buddha has spoken. (im serious)

just breathing. who is it that breathes? Me; who is me: you!

dont forget to breathe, ill try to remember!

Happy Christmas!

regards, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby TrimePema » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:58 am

Hi Tom,

Hope you had good holidays and they were very cheerful and you continue to be in the states you spoke of.
I am really new to this Buddhist consciousness stuff.
Maybe you can help me understand the 8 consciousnesses a little better, since you yourself have extinguished the impure 8th consciousness.
You see, when you say cessation of the alaya and then manas, I am confused. Here you say, "I have extinguished the 8th consciousness." and then also you say, "after that, I extinguished the 7th consciousness."
Okay. I must be missing something because I thought the 8th consciousness held all the karmic latencies resulting in the 7th - 1st consciousnesses arising. The 8th consciousness is simply the storehouse of causes and the effects are the rest of the 7 consciousnesses. When it is extinguished, we are only talking about the impurities, right? So then every effect of your karma would be pure, infinitely beneficial, and you would be buddha - no? It is possible, maybe, that you had some latency of great positive effect that was the temporary cessation of the alaya, and you have had some glimpses of buddha nature. This is very possible and common, from what I understand. Then again, I don't understand much - so please help!

Something I'm also new to is vows. One precept of the bodhisattva vow is not to talk about realization or accomplishments, because we might accidentally claim that we have some higher realization than we do, which is negative karma - but then how do we know if we have certain realizations in the first place????? :rules:

Edit: isn't the entire point of buddha nature that it is continuous due to the inseparability of emptiness and form, as well as emptiness and compassion?

:heart: :namaste:
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby Aemilius » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:16 am

Alaya-vijñana is the source of subject and object; if it gets destroyed, what is it that appears before you? What then appears to your six senses? Why does there still appear something?

Vasubandhu's Trimshika Karika or Thirty Verses throws some light on this subject.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby White Lotus » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:16 pm

thank you for your feedback, have done a little research:

the 8 consciousnesses.
8 subtle mind/store house consciousness/alaya vijnana. alows samadhis and stores karmic retribution which includes blessings when seeds of karma ripen.
7 manas =thought and conceptualisation.
6 manovijnana. perception likes and dislikes of the 5 senses.
5 remaining sensory consciousnesses. eye consciousness ear, nose, feeling, tongue. permits seeing, smelling etc.

there is no one to write this article and yet conventionally it is written. the 8 consciouness are extinguished and yet universal mind continues.
who is it that writes this... this/me/it. where there is conventional understanding. but fundamentally me that is not me.

in the trimsika (wei shih san shi lun sung) taisho shinshu daizokyo 1586. it says (verses 2 to 7?):

first the alaya consciousness is retribution and holder of all seeds...
it always evolves like a flowing stream and is abandoned in the state of arhat.
next, the second transforming consciousness, this consciousness is called manas (thought)...
in the Arhat, the samadhi of cessation and the supramundane path it does not exist.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby White Lotus » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:27 pm

isn't the entire point of buddha nature that it is continuous due to the inseparability of emptiness and form, as well as emptiness and compassion?


this 'continuity' is ambiguous. after the state of the great icchantica is attained, it is no longer possible to look within, and so there is a cessation, this cessation however is purely personal... look around you. you see a body, bricks sky etc. this also can be buddha nature and so discontinuity within continuity.

when personal mind and self are extinguished still impersonal universal mind continues. this, me, that, it. continues. so if buddha nature universally ceases all things cease. however it does not, only within does it cease after seeing the great pearl within yourself. your whole chest is filled with the great pearl and then... whoosh... can no longer look within and can no longer see emptiness, but can see at a later state all is no self.

best wishes, Tom. :anjali:
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby TrimePema » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:58 am

White Lotus wrote:
isn't the entire point of buddha nature that it is continuous due to the inseparability of emptiness and form, as well as emptiness and compassion?


this 'continuity' is ambiguous. after the state of the great icchantica is attained, it is no longer possible to look within, and so there is a cessation, this cessation however is purely personal... look around you. you see a body, bricks sky etc. this also can be buddha nature and so discontinuity within continuity.

when personal mind and self are extinguished still impersonal universal mind continues. this, me, that, it. continues. so if buddha nature universally ceases all things cease. however it does not, only within does it cease after seeing the great pearl within yourself. your whole chest is filled with the great pearl and then... whoosh... can no longer look within and can no longer see emptiness, but can see at a later state all is no self.

best wishes, Tom. :anjali:


yes, emptiness-luminosity is wonderful isnt it?
you cant see emptiness, period. you can only see luminosity. you can be aware of emptiness, and only the you who is watching but not the watcher can be aware of it. secondly, the great pearl is that.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby rob h » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:24 pm

White Lotus wrote:thank you for your feedback, have done a little research:

the 8 consciousnesses.
8 subtle mind/store house consciousness/alaya vijnana. alows samadhis and stores karmic retribution which includes blessings when seeds of karma ripen.
7 manas =thought and conceptualisation.
6 manovijnana. perception likes and dislikes of the 5 senses.


Hi there, just posting this incase it helps.

You listed the 7th as thought and conceptualization. I'm not sure if this is what it is (manas.) in a more theravadan sense or not, but in yogacara the 7th is often seen as the ego, or the part of the mind that creates discrimination, and the subject/object duality. It also mistakes the alayavijnana, the seeds, and the collection of imprints (vasanas.), which are manifested as various habits, likes, dislikes, etc, to be the self, or personality, and so on.

In this case you'd have the 7th being the false sense of self arrived at from creating duality, and from mistaking vasanas to be the self as well, and then the 6th would be the intellect, which carries out thought and conceptualization. (which in itself could be neutral, making the manas that turns these thoughts and concepts into the actual problem, by attaching to them.) So this could point to the idea that the likes and dislikes aren't the manovijnana, the 6th, but instead forms of habit energy/vasana that are coming from the alaya itself in the form of imprints.

I know this stuff can often seem overly complicated, so sorry for creating any confusion, but just saying incase it helps in any way.

BTW : if anyone sees any of this as wrong, thanks if you can point out where. It might be that I got something mixed up, or that there's conflicting interpretations.
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby White Lotus » Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:02 pm

for an amazing understanding of conciousness there is always the Ch'eng Wei Shih Lun, by Hsuan Tsang. it is volume 31 of the BDK English Tripitaka. in my own simple understanding Alaya is Mind that supports all the other six consciousnesses. i leave it simple and say that manas is thought, which involves discrimination and judgement. perception is the function of the 6th Mano and the remaining sensory consciousnesses. the sixth perceives outer phenomena or objects and inner phenomena such as likes and dislikes. it is the 7th that forms the notion of a personal self. i know its all complicated because many different people have many different ideas about the specifics. can one hold any position on this matter at all without falling into dispute. interesting that the Therevada have a complex understanding of the Alaya, but not surprising.

you see the computer, you see emptiness, feel it. emptiness has a radiance to it, yes, a form of luminescence.

in the vinisicayasamgraha it is written : "Arhats, Pratekyabuddhas and Tathagatas are not provided with an alaya consciousness.''

if you are ready for it you will understand what i say now:

by mixing mind and breath you will cause the Alayavijnana/subtle Mind to cease.
by holding your breath and focusing between your eyebrows you will cause the Manas to cease.

i would recommed practicing these two procedures a week or two apart so that you can observe their effects. with the cessation of Alaya it is no longer possible to enter samadhi and with the cessation of Manas it is no longer possible to practice single pointed meditation. one instead practices Wu Wei, non action without focus, without thought. it is no longer possible to hold the breath as the focus. one just relaxes in ones natural state.

hope this is helpful, best wishes,

Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby TrimePema » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:34 pm

White Lotus,

What you've said is correct to me. With my own understanding, I understand you to mean that when ignorance is no longer operational, what is operational is the clarity of the mind.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby White Lotus » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:29 pm

clarity of the mind... exactly. when all psychological aspects of the 8 fold consciousnesses are dissolved all that remains is clarity of mind. when no self is realised all one sees is mind. when alaya mind is completely extinguished still all one sees is universal mind or universal consciousness/reality. there is however still consciouness, thought and perception, though no person nor mind perceiving.

though alaya and manas are extinguished/dead there may still be residual mind. ie one may still be able to see the emptiness of mind: one may still have the ability to look within a personal mind and to see emptiness and thoughts therein. however i would suggest that mind needs to be completely extinguished to the extent that there is no longer a mind to look within. such that; attempting to look within a personal mind ones attention is immediately focused outwards and is unable to grasp a mind whatsoever. this is No Mind.

its the same with the Unborn/Anutpada. when one has no self and no mind whatsoever one is able to understand the unborn. through a process of renouncing apparent levels of self and mind one arrives at the stage where one only sees without and is unable to look within. this is dropping of body and dropping of mind. however universal consciousness THIS/THAT remains. after the apparent self and apparent mind are dropped one can see that they were never truly conscious; just accretions of false personality. merely by the fact that they are impermanent we know that they are not truly real nor eternal. we also know that there is no true extinction or annihilation since without a self the world is still seen, food still tasted, sounds enter the ear and yet there is no one seeing, tasting or hearing except in appearance.

the lesson of no self and no mind is Consciousness. since one is focused onto consciousness (mind or reality) by this experience. one is focused onto the external world, which is itself emptiness, though one has ceased to see it as such, one now sees just mind or reality - whatever you want to call it, it is just So.

drop of mind and self completely so that you are unable to look within and conscousness reveals itself as unchanging and unchanged.

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby rob h » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:53 am

Apologies, got caught up with other stuff, should've posted back sooner though!

White Lotus wrote:for an amazing understanding of conciousness there is always the Ch'eng Wei Shih Lun, by Hsuan Tsang. it is volume 31 of the BDK English Tripitaka.


Am intending to read this at some point and have been wanting to for a while now, will hopefully get around to it sooner rather than later.

White Lotus wrote:in my own simple understanding Alaya is Mind that supports all the other six consciousnesses. i leave it simple and say that manas is thought, which involves discrimination and judgement. perception is the function of the 6th Mano and the remaining sensory consciousnesses. the sixth perceives outer phenomena or objects and inner phenomena such as likes and dislikes. it is the 7th that forms the notion of a personal self. i know its all complicated because many different people have many different ideas about the specifics. can one hold any position on this matter at all without falling into dispute. interesting that the Therevada have a complex understanding of the Alaya, but not surprising.


Am mostly in agreement there, but would put the likes and dislikes as more related to the 7th. Like you said though, many of us have different opinions, and hopefully those differences don't cause us too many issues. Maybe it's acceptable to see things in different ways when looking at these concepts, and those several interpretations can still serve their purpose in helping us wake up if worked with in the right way.


White Lotus wrote:if you are ready for it you will understand what i say now:

by mixing mind and breath you will cause the Alayavijnana/subtle Mind to cease.
by holding your breath and focusing between your eyebrows you will cause the Manas to cease.

i would recommed practicing these two procedures a week or two apart so that you can observe their effects. with the cessation of Alaya it is no longer possible to enter samadhi and with the cessation of Manas it is no longer possible to practice single pointed meditation. one instead practices Wu Wei, non action without focus, without thought. it is no longer possible to hold the breath as the focus. one just relaxes in ones natural state.


Not sure if I'm quite at the stage where I can understand that, but if I carry on meditating enough maybe it'll make more sense soon. I get your recent post more though, especially the dropping off of body and mind, which I was actually meditating on less than an hour ago. Not that I acheived it(!), but I think I'm gradually beginning to understand what that means to a better extent.

Thanks for the pointers though, the mixing of breath and mind is something that I've read of more than once recently as well, will probably pay more attention to it shortly and see how it affects meditation.
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby White Lotus » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:42 pm

you have a point about likes and dislikes, though i am still learning about the 8 consciousnesses it seems to me that likes and dislikes may be judged within the manas, however they are percieved by the mano. this is not very clear in the trimsika (30 verses of vasubhandu).

to drop off body, to drop off mind and to drop off relative/personal experiences of self one focuses the mind on the object and then with a will or intention to dissolve the apparent object one focuses on it until it has ceased. one has an inner sort of control centre and by speaking with that one is able to direct and enact ones wishes.

in the Lankavatara sutra the wei and tang versions encourage one to abandon all 8 vijnanas. however, in the sung version i believe only the first seven are dissolved. in my own experience all 8 consciousnesses are extinguished. one only knows that the 8th consciousness is extinguished by its effects: the inability to enter samadhi and to meditate in the traditional shamatha way.

when one has dropped off body, mind and self one sees consciousness, however there is no one seeing it. yet it is seen. consciousness is perceived by the unborn (anutpattica) just as it is by the ordinary person, however it (consciousness) is also perceived to be unborn since it has no observing base or support. consciousness is like a tree without a root, a clock without a mechnism, a tortoise shell without a tortoise, a flame without a source. that is how consciousness is perceived. consciousness/mind/reality: this. this is all Me, however when unborness or no birth (anutpada) is realised it is seen that there is no personal Me, only an impersonal Me. an actor that eats, sleeps, protects itself, works or whatever else it does. however it is not even emptiness. it is just so. this is since it cannot be said to exist since it is impossible to observe and is observed as such. nor can it be said not to exist since something is eating, drinking, sleeping etc. just living. so it is impersonally Me, but not personally Me.

all that the unborn shows is that consciousness does not depend on anything at all. not a self, not a mind, not a body. birth and death are mere fabrications, though of course are taken very seriously.

i hope this is helpful,

best wishes,
Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby jiashengrox » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:44 pm

I would recommend the Mahayanasamgraha (Summary of the Great Vehicle) by Asanga. The text is much less daunting than Ch'eng Wei Shih Lun (or at least I feel) and is also one of the root Indian treatises of the Chinese Mind-Only school. Vasubhandu wrote a commentary on it and was translated into Chinese by Reverend Xuan Tsang (if I never remember wrongly). For a more modern scholastic point of view, Reverend Yin Shun's commentary can be a good idea (though personally i have not savoured his entire commentary, and i do have my reservations towards some of the ideas he brought up, but nevertheless, it's a personal opinion).

Hope this will help! :namaste:
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which through knowledge of all leads Hearers seeking pacification to thorough peace
And which through knowledge of paths causes those helping transmigrators to achieve the welfare of the world,
And through possession of which the Subduers set forth these varieties endowed with all aspects.

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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby White Lotus » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:21 pm

Thank you Jiashengrox. informative. rgds, Tom. :namaste:
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Cessation of the Alaya Vijnana.

Postby White Lotus » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:17 pm

hello Rob h, i feel that you are doing very well, from the manner of your post: you express wisdom.

if you are struggling to bring certain elements such as mind to cessation you might try communicating with your mind. tell your mind of your intention and then creatively focus on your goal and using imagination or will, move towards that goal. there are subtle sensations that one can feel when engaging in such an excercise. if it is successful there is often a feeling of completion as well as a direct change in ones perception, for example regarding the complete abscence of any form of personal self. (in my case this has come through levels of renunciation.)

as for developing your maturity of experience you can focus in meditation on passing eons of time in every given moment simply by instructing your mind or willing it to pass such vast periods of time. this is a form of meditation that may help.

for me one of the guiding principles is to follow the 8 fold path to the best of ones ability and to persue renunciation on many different levels concerning psychological and personal aspects of reality. i tend to take a middle path with little strenuous discipline, but simply practice and follow renunciation of things that need to be renounced such as mind or consciousness. in the lotus sutra we are told that there is complete extinction to be attained in this life. that extinction however sees, experiences, etc but it is not. the unborn is not emptiness of emptiness since nothing is perceived whatsoever. there is no perception of a within or without in regards to mind, body or self. in latter stages of ego identification there can be a perception of 'that' i am, an external i am, this external experience is however still rooted in asmimana (deep rooted ego conceit). there can be a complete shedding of personal feelings of i ness.

hope this is helpful. was originally stumped by your post; not quite knowing how to reply to it. sometimes knowing where to begin in how to direct someone in dharma can be daunting. sorry it has taken such a long time to reply.

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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