What is suchness? suchness is seeing this computer just as it is, tasting your food just as it is, hearing voices speak, just as they are. its the simplest thing in the world. there are those who say that Suchness is just ''so''. that is an elaboration and implies falsely that things cannot be known or understood; there is usually a degree of knowing and understanding. actually suchness is this ordinary seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling that you've always had. you see this screen right now. that is suchness and seeing suchness. all experience is suchness.
tasting the sensation of all the things one sees, is the easiest way to taste mind/consciousness, this is tasting what is behind suchness and this deep tasting of suchness is tasting emptiness. when one tastes the ordinary sensation behind seeing an object one sees that it is empty. analysing the sensation of seeing is the easiest way to arrive at seeing emptiness. its when you recognise nothing special, nothing that can be grasped. just this ordinary seeing. that is emptiness and is also suchness. And, you cant hold onto it.
suchness is seen when one knows that the ordinary is special. emptiness is seen when one recognises what the ordinary sensation behind the ordinary is. when seeing emptiness comes there is the recognition that emptiness is nothing remarkable. it is empty of all remarkable and special qualities, it is normal seeing. if you seek to understand normal seeing you will understand suchness and emptiness.
to see suchness one need not necessarily taste anything about what one sees, one just sees. that's it. ordinary seeing is prajna. Seeing when analysed or focused on one sees what is the true nature of seeing. the true nature of suchness/seeing is empty. one sees a multiplicity of objects with ones eyes, however all these things one sees have the same taste, there is the same sensation behind all these things seen. a sensation that is barely seen, very subtle, that has as little flavour as a glass of water.
so, whats the point of first seeing suchness? if you first see suchness you are known as a non regressing Bodhisattva, who will with certainty attain anuttara samyak sambodhi. Full enlightenment. it is important to see suchness before you have a permanent perception of emptiness, in order to avoid becoming an arhat: so some say. I say that the spiritual path is perfect and that one cannot go wrong on it. it is like a golden spiral. once on the path there are no mistakes. some will disagree with me on this point. just see, hear, taste, smell, feel as you have always seen, heard, tasted, smelt and felt. that is ordinary seeing and is suchness, that is true seeing/prajna. And, the same prajna sees emptiness. (this is the same prajna that sees personal extinction too).
when emptiness is seen, you know that you have always seen it, it is ordinary seeing, but a recognition of this seeing is to know emptiness. it is wrong to say that you cannot see emptiness, and that you cannot know it. there is a seeing and knowing of emptiness when ordinary seeing is analysed and its sensation recognised. when one knows that seeing is empty, one also realises that the other four senses are all empty too.
if my advice was worth anything I would say seek suchness and emptiness in the ordinary. if you are looking for something special you wont find it. ordinary perception, especially ordinary seeing. this is why in some schools of Buddhism the eye is so important and the dharma wheel which is a similitude of the eye. Seeing is the most exalted paramita, Prajna. the time of seeing is the culmination of any path.
I hope this is clear and 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.