Cessation (Skt. nirodha; Tib. འགོག་པ་, gokpa, Wyl. ‘gog pa) — generally the word refers to the absence or extinction of a given entity. As the third of the four noble truths, it refers specifically to the pacification of suffering and its causes, and is therefore a synonym of nirvana.
Cessation is of two kinds:
- analytical (so sor brtags pa'i 'gog pa) and
- non-analytical (brtags min 'gog pa).
This is the unconditioned aspect of the permanent elimination of destructive emotions and other factors to be eliminated, through the force of developing realization of the undefiling path, such as the wisdom of discernment, within the mind.
This does not refer to the ceasing of latent habitual tendencies as a result of analysis and investigation, but rather to the absence of a given thing in a particular place due to an incompleteness of necessary causes and conditions, as in the case of horns on a horse’s head, for instance. Another example which is mentioned in the commentaries is the fact that other types of consciousness do not arise when the eye-consciousness is distracted by a visual form. This also includes all the various forms of non-existence (or absence), such as the absence of a vase in a particular place.
Cessation in Dzogchen
The state of cessation: It is the cessation of all conceptualizations. There are two cessations: the individual analytical cessation is attained through discriminations and analysis by the mind. The non-analytical cessation is attained through contemplating on the ultimate nature with no mental discriminations.