This quote really got me thinking about it:
- Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche"But the appearance of things and their suchness-their reality, their emptiness-are not sequential such that first one of them occurs and then the other. It is not the case, for instance, that things first exist and later become empty. Rather then appearance of things and their emptiness are simultaneous."
I was trying to get what he means, and then I had this idea of a dog in the forest which finally
seemed to make some sense to me, but I'd love to have any feedback on this:
When walking in the park you don't see many things, and such things remain "empty" to your awareness. There could be a wild dog 50 feet from you laying down in the bush but you're unaware. You have no awareness of it, and the wild dog is empty of significance to you. There could be a thousand other creatures there in the forest living their lives in quiet desperation!
But when a dog runs out and you suddenly are aware of it, then you begin to feel emotions like fear or anxiety. Upon that moment we feel it is 'real' and we have important thoughts and feelings about it. One might fear it could be a threat, and may bite!
But the appearance of the dog and the reality of it does not happen sequentially like that: as though the wild dog is empty of significance to you and then the dog exists and is very important to you at that moment.
Likely the dog has lived for many months or years before you saw it. It's nature was empty of any existence to you, and you totally unaware of it. And certainly the reality of the dog doesn't suddenly come into being because you finally saw it. Instead awareness of the the dog, and it's emptiness of existence are innate aspects of reality, and occur together at the same time!