Sunyata and dependent origination

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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:53 pm

Right, but then....
Namdrol wrote:Abiding in the mind without objects
has the characteristic of space;
that meditation of space is
held to be the meditation of emptiness.


doesn't this imply that in "the meditation of emptiness" (equivalent to "realization?") one "abides" in the mind without "objects?"
In what way, then, is it "going beyond mind" rather than "abiding in the mind without objects?"
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:52 pm

conebeckham wrote:Right, but then....
Namdrol wrote:Abiding in the mind without objects
has the characteristic of space;
that meditation of space is
held to be the meditation of emptiness.


doesn't this imply that in "the meditation of emptiness" (equivalent to "realization?") one "abides" in the mind without "objects?"
In what way, then, is it "going beyond mind" rather than "abiding in the mind without objects?"



No, this is not equivalent with realizing emptiness. This is a method.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:44 pm

So that I understand you correctly, the "Abiding in Mind without objects" is the method, and involves the mind (Mental consciousness), which is "what we work with" when meditating on emptiness, but the "results" of such method are beyond mind. Yes?
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:09 pm

conebeckham wrote:So that I understand you correctly, the "Abiding in Mind without objects" is the method, and involves the mind (Mental consciousness), which is "what we work with" when meditating on emptiness, but the "results" of such method are beyond mind. Yes?


Yes, to paraphrase Nāgarjuna, one must comprehend the ultimate through the relative, and through realizing the ultimate, nirvana is attained.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:22 pm

Excellent, thank you.

One more, somewhat tangential, question, Namdrol, if I may....."Thamel Gyi Shepa." I know you're a Dzokchen guy, but you've studied some Mahamudra....do you feel this term refers to something "beyond" mind in the sense that we're talking about it here?
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:48 am

conebeckham wrote:Excellent, thank you.

One more, somewhat tangential, question, Namdrol, if I may....."Thamel Gyi Shepa." I know you're a Dzokchen guy, but you've studied some Mahamudra....do you feel this term refers to something "beyond" mind in the sense that we're talking about it here?



tha mal gyi shes pa, according to Gyalwa Yangonpa, is a yogi's term for ye shes.

I am not a "dzogchen guy" actually. I have studied not just "some" mahamudra, I have studied and practice mahāmudra for 20 years.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:40 am

mudra wrote:In the schools of individual liberation such as Theravada, I always had the impression that they discuss "selflessness/anatta" - mainly that of persons.


I'm embroiled in a huge angry discussion on another forum, and the argument seems to be that Shakyamuni Buddha's teaching of dependent origination (in the nikayas/agamas) did not necessarily extend to all phenomena -- whereas sunyata clearly does. Therefore, the argument goes, sunyata represents an unwarranted ontologization of D.O. and thus a departure from the Buddha's intent.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:06 am

Lazy_eye wrote:
mudra wrote:In the schools of individual liberation such as Theravada, I always had the impression that they discuss "selflessness/anatta" - mainly that of persons.


I'm embroiled in a huge angry discussion on another forum, and the argument seems to be that Shakyamuni Buddha's teaching of dependent origination (in the nikayas/agamas) did not necessarily extend to all phenomena -- whereas sunyata clearly does. Therefore, the argument goes, sunyata represents an unwarranted ontologization of D.O. and thus a departure from the Buddha's intent.


DO extends to all conditioned phenomena. There are only three kinds of unconditioned phenomena -- space and the two types of cessation.

Further, you must ask them, if shunyata does not extend to all phenomena, than selflesness should not either. If selflessness extends to all phenomena, also sunyata does as well, since they are synonymous.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:47 am

Lazy_eye wrote:I'm embroiled in a huge angry discussion on another forum...

as soon as you said 'angry discussion' i knew...
that bunch cannot see past their dislike of anything mahayana.
they are like hungry ghosts. no discussions, only arguments.
this is a much better bunch, in my opinion.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby PMTF » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:38 am

Namdrol wrote:You will never see emptiness in meditation directly for emptiness is a not a thing that can be seen.

Namdrol

I am unable to understand what you have said here. Have you said a mind cannot abide in emptiness? In my Hinayana studies, emptiness is referred to as "a mode of perception". Refer to Thanissaro monk. If emptiness cannot be experienced then how can it be known?

:thanks:
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:27 pm

PMTF wrote:
Namdrol wrote:You will never see emptiness in meditation directly for emptiness is a not a thing that can be seen.

Namdrol

I am unable to understand what you have said here. Have you said a mind cannot abide in emptiness? In my Hinayana studies, emptiness is referred to as "a mode of perception". Refer to Thanissaro monk. If emptiness cannot be experienced then how can it be known?

:thanks:


Unconditioned space cannot be experienced, nor cessations. Emptiness is like that.

N
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:05 pm

Namdrol wrote:You will never see emptiness in meditation directly for emptiness is a not a thing that can be seen.

Would it be more accurate to say,
"In meditation, you can never find a thing which you can point to and say, 'that's emptiness' ?"
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:08 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Namdrol wrote:You will never see emptiness in meditation directly for emptiness is a not a thing that can be seen.

Would it be more accurate to say,
"In meditation, you can never find a thing which you can point to and say, 'that's emptiness' ?"


When you don't find anything, that not-finding is finding emptiness.

When you don't see anything, that not-seeing is seeing emptiness.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:32 pm

Can we posit emptiness simply as a subtractive process -- i.e. as the result of abandoning all wrong views?

That would seem to be consistent with the Diamond Sutra, which equates realization of the bodhisattva path with the total abandonment of self-view and views of existence. It also strikes me as consistent with Nagarjuna's line of argument.

The main rationale for presenting emptiness in positive terms, it appears to me, is to counter the risk of nihilism. Or am I missing something here?

If it's a subtractive process, we wouldn't run into the problem of striving to attain some definable quantity, with all the logical problems that might entail.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:22 pm

Namdrol wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Excellent, thank you.

One more, somewhat tangential, question, Namdrol, if I may....."Thamel Gyi Shepa." I know you're a Dzokchen guy, but you've studied some Mahamudra....do you feel this term refers to something "beyond" mind in the sense that we're talking about it here?



tha mal gyi shes pa, according to Gyalwa Yangonpa, is a yogi's term for ye shes.

I am not a "dzogchen guy" actually. I have studied not just "some" mahamudra, I have studied and practice mahāmudra for 20 years.


Thanks for this, and apologies--of course, you're a "Namdrol Guy" and neither a Mahamudra nor a Dzokchen guy at all! Or, maybe both....
Wait, maybe you're a Lamdre guy...no, no...wait....

Oh, forget it. :smile:
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:55 pm

Namdrol wrote:When you don't find anything, that not-finding is finding emptiness.
When you don't see anything, that not-seeing is seeing emptiness.



This is essentially my understanding as well.

Someone once gave me this analogy:
We talk about wind blowing, but what does it blow? it does not blow wind. it blows air, leaves, litter, dust, and so forth.
But that movement of all those things, we call that wind. We say it is a windy day.
Likewise, all things are carried by Emptiness
even though that emptiness itself is empty.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:13 pm

conebeckham wrote:
Oh, forget it. :smile:


Exactly.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby LastLegend » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:14 pm

I'm embroiled in a huge angry discussion on another forum, and the argument seems to be that Shakyamuni Buddha's teaching of dependent origination (in the nikayas/agamas) did not necessarily extend to all phenomena -- whereas sunyata clearly does. Therefore, the argument goes, sunyata represents an unwarranted ontologization of D.O. and thus a departure from the Buddha's intent.


All phenomena are empty because they are product of the mind but not mind itself. Like thoughts are properties of mind but not mind and are not independent.

Those who cling to self or no-self is very attached to this view. The point of Buddhism is to detach. Suppose there is a self, but you are not clinging to it. Suppose there is no self, but you are clinging to it...if you have the tendency to attach, you will attach to anything. It is expected.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby muni » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:03 am

"Not to know the equality of appearance emptiness
And get attached to appearances alone is delusion
But to get attached to emptiness alone is delusion too
If you know the equality of appearance emptiness
There's no need to get caught up in or give up phenomena
These appearances and emptiness
What you must do is to rest in the spaciousness
Of the equality of appearance emptiness".

By Khenpo Tsultrim.

Trying to understand by logical thought only is idea, no understanding. Woohoo-above-the-clouds-belief neither can help to show one to understand own impermanent-dependent-selfless dream. Then in simple nature is no exhausting analytical joke (like trying to get the moon out of the pond by bucket), in order to verify the whole system of inner-outer phenomena by logics.
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Re: Sunyata and dependent origination

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:18 pm

It seems to me though that if we are not at a certain stage of realization, we have to approach "emptiness" conceptually, at least so we can know what it is not. Though understanding via concept and definition are not finally prajna, we still may need them as signposts.

There's a difference between understanding emptiness and realizing emptiness. The former by nature implies concept and even the idea of self. (There has to be someone who "stands under" it).

Concept, though, necessarily involves distance -- to conceive of something means you are regarding it (from outside). So it follows that a person who "conceives" emptiness cannot be realizing it fully.

Not meaning to be pushy, but might anyone here have a take on my question above?

Can we posit emptiness simply as a subtractive process -- i.e. as the result of abandoning all wrong views?
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