In the Yogacara tradition of Mahayana Buddhism the teaching of “the four delusions of self”: self-love, self-delusion, self-pride, and self-reference is intended to bring awareness to the passion, aggression and ignorance of seventh consciousness (klistamanasvijnana) or to that area of the mind that tends to take anything that arises and relate with it in terms of “me” and “my stuff”.
Perception only Is a profound teaching of the Yogacara. The emphasis on perception only is to strengthen awareness. Everything is just your perception. It is the sound before the word sound, smell, before the word smell… before we go into the circularity of thinking that cranks out imaginary ideas of a separate self and other.
Sokuzan’s talk is inspired from verse 26 of the Trimsatika (Thirty Verses) of Vasubandhu on the “Consciousness Only” teachings of the Yogacara:
“As long as consciousness does not see that subject-object distinctions are simply forms of consciousness, attachment to twofold grasping will never cease”
Sokuzan’s talk is inspired by Yogacara teachings on The Three Natures: the imaginary, the dependent, and the fulfilled. He references a verse from “The Teachings of the Three Own Beings” by Vasubandhu, a fourth century Indian Buddhist scholar-monk:
“The constant state of not being found of “how it appears” in that which appears, can be known as the fulfilled own being…”
Yogacara, one of the two main schools of Mahayana Buddhism, is often referred to as the “Mind Only” school. This is not to say that anything outside the mind is unreal. It is intended to help you see that what you are experiencing is coming to you in some form of perception in consciousness, based on the six senses and the assumption of a separate self. When there is transformation at the basis of consciousness, that everything is dependently arisen is fundamentally seen. There is no separate self to be found anywhere.