How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

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How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:06 pm

HOW TO PRACTISE?

To realise emptiness, externally we need a qualified teacher, and internally we need enough merit (or karma), purification, practice of ethics, keeping our vows and generating single-pointed concentration.
In the Tibetan tradition: first one tries to intellectually understand it, then later the realisation can ripen in the well-prepared field of our mind.
It is advised to analyse the "I" first, and then later one analyses other phenomena in the same way, for example using the "fourfold analysis":
1. Identify object of negation: inherently existent "I"
2. Determine possibilities of how the "I" exists: is it the body, the mind, both or different? (We can say, "I have have a body and a mind", which would indicate that the "I" is something different from the body and the mind, but is that possible?)
3. Is the "I" same as body and/or mind?
4. Is the "I" other than body and mind?
"While you are meditating there is an "I" (representing the Self) which appears to exist from its own side. Right on top of that think, 'the I is merely labelled'. Just meditate on the meaning of the I being merely labelled. I is a name; a name does not exist from its own side, a name is given, imputed by the mind. We can completely agree with that. This I is merely labelled; concentrate on just that. Try to feel that. This automatically eliminates eternalism, the view of a truly existent I."

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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby plwk » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:43 am

Use less water, recycle that paper sheet, use energy saving bulbs, when eating be grateful, forgive & forget...
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby ground » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:40 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:It is advised to analyse the "I" first, and then later one analyses other phenomena in the same way, for example using the "fourfold analysis":
1. Identify object of negation: inherently existent "I"
2. Determine possibilities of how the "I" exists: is it the body, the mind, both or different? (We can say, "I have have a body and a mind", which would indicate that the "I" is something different from the body and the mind, but is that possible?)
3. Is the "I" same as body and/or mind?
4. Is the "I" other than body and mind?
"While you are meditating there is an "I" (representing the Self) which appears to exist from its own side. Right on top of that think, 'the I is merely labelled'. Just meditate on the meaning of the I being merely labelled. I is a name; a name does not exist from its own side, a name is given, imputed by the mind. We can completely agree with that. This I is merely labelled; concentrate on just that. Try to feel that. This automatically eliminates eternalism, the view of a truly existent I."

Lama Zopa Rinpoche


An alternative may be the pith instructions given by the Buddha.
The Buddha completely negates the "I" through uncovering how it is: There are only the aggregates.
So the Buddha uses an affirming negation: No "I" at all but only aggregates. The later can be directly perceived and discerned through meditation whereas the "I" is thought only and is completely unfindable.
If seen from this perspective Lama Zopa Rinpoche advice raises the question: "How can an 'inherently existent "I"' be identified if even no 'mere I' can be found"? To answer I guess one needs additional advice from a teacher experienced in Lama Zopa's approach.

If no teacher is available then one should try for oneself what approach works better ... after having generated bodhicitta!


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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Individual » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:14 pm

Ngawang Drolma wrote:HOW TO PRACTISE?

To realise emptiness, externally we need a qualified teacher, and internally we need enough merit (or karma)

Whereas if you don't regard things as external and internal, nothing is necessary. :)
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby kirtu » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:34 am

Individual wrote:
Ngawang Drolma wrote:HOW TO PRACTISE?

To realise emptiness, externally we need a qualified teacher, and internally we need enough merit (or karma)

Whereas if you don't regard things as external and internal, nothing is necessary. :)


Yeah but the strong tendency toward dualism nonetheless arises.

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“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Tilopa » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:50 am

TMingyur wrote:If no teacher is available then one should try for oneself what approach works better ... after having generated bodhicitta!
Kind regards


Why after? There's no fault if we meditate on emptiness before generating bodhicitta.
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Individual » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:12 am

Tilopa wrote:
TMingyur wrote:If no teacher is available then one should try for oneself what approach works better ... after having generated bodhicitta!
Kind regards


Why after? There's no fault if we meditate on emptiness before generating bodhicitta.

Understanding emptiness without compassion or morality can lead to unstable results. Because it is an understanding that is directionless. With bodhicitta generated, the goal is clear: freedom and happiness of all beings. Without this bodhicitta, the understanding of emptiness can make one bewildered and psychotic because the world seems to be an insanely blurry haze of meaninglessly non-individuated changes and there is nothing there to keep one grounded in anything.
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Tilopa » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:09 am

Individual wrote:
Tilopa wrote:
TMingyur wrote:If no teacher is available then one should try for oneself what approach works better ... after having generated bodhicitta!
Kind regards


Why after? There's no fault if we meditate on emptiness before generating bodhicitta.


Understanding emptiness without compassion or morality can lead to unstable results. Because it is an understanding that is directionless. With bodhicitta generated, the goal is clear: freedom and happiness of all beings. Without this bodhicitta, the understanding of emptiness can make one bewildered and psychotic because the world seems to be an insanely blurry haze of meaninglessly non-individuated changes and there is nothing there to keep one grounded in anything.


This isn't correct. Arhants have meditated on emptiness and achieved Nirvana without even hearing the word bodhicitta. Also there are two types of bodhisattva - 'intelligent' ones and 'dull' ones. The former realize emptiness first then realize bodhicitta whereas for the latter it's the other way around.
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby ground » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:43 am

Tilopa wrote:Arhants have meditated on emptiness and achieved Nirvana without even hearing the word bodhicitta. Also there are two types of bodhisattva - 'intelligent' ones and 'dull' ones. The former realize emptiness first then realize bodhicitta whereas for the latter it's the other way around.

That is not correct Mahayana practice, since when you realize emptiness without being conditioned by bodhicitta you will enter one of the non-Mahayana paths. You will be a streamer-enterer on the path towards arhat-hood but you won't have reached the 1st bhumi of the path towards buddha-hood.

Lama Tsongkhapa states it quite clearly:
Renunciation -> bodhicitta -> wisdom

Tilopa wrote:
TMingyur wrote:If no teacher is available then one should try for oneself what approach works better ... after having generated bodhicitta!
Kind regards


Why after? There's no fault if we meditate on emptiness before generating bodhicitta.

This is what makes the difference between Mahayana and non-Mahayana.


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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Tilopa » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:19 pm

That is not correct Mahayana practice, since when you realize emptiness without being conditioned by bodhicitta you will enter one of the non-Mahayana paths. You will be a streamer-enterer on the path towards arhat-hood but you won't have reached the 1st bhumi of the path towards buddha-hood


You can be training on the mahayana path and realize emptiness before bodhicitta. That understanding precipitates a special type of compassion which then becomes the basis for developing bodhicitta. As I said before 'intelligent' and 'dull' bodhisattvas do it slightly differently.

Although a Hearer or Solitary Realizer also understands emptiness he/she lacks bodhicitta and is not interested in cultivating it so follows a non-mahayana path leading to Nirvana.
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby ground » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:44 pm

Tilopa wrote:
That is not correct Mahayana practice, since when you realize emptiness without being conditioned by bodhicitta you will enter one of the non-Mahayana paths. You will be a streamer-enterer on the path towards arhat-hood but you won't have reached the 1st bhumi of the path towards buddha-hood


You can be training on the mahayana path and realize emptiness before bodhicitta.

But without bodhicitta you are not on the Mahayana path - at least according to Lama Tsongkhapa.

Tilopa wrote:Although a Hearer or Solitary Realizer also understands emptiness he/she lacks bodhicitta and is not interested in cultivating it so follows a non-mahayana path leading to Nirvana.

If they had bodhicitta they would not be Hearer or Solitary Realizer but Bodhisattvas.
Nobody doubts that Hearer or Solitary Realizer can realize emptiness. The issue was Mahayana practice.

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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Individual » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:19 pm

People can practice bodhicitta before emptiness, realize emptiness before practicing bodhicitta, realize and practice both in tandem, or perhaps do something else entirely that's essentially the same thing.

It doesn't matter who teaches it or what it's called; if it works, everything else is irrelevant. With the realization of emptiness, there are no dull and intelligent bodhisattvas, there is no Mahayana and non-Mahayana. With bodhicitta developed, though, one does not always express it like this (or even express it at all!), to avoid causing confusion. :)
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Tilopa » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:41 pm

But without bodhicitta you are not on the Mahayana path - at least according to Lama Tsongkhapa.


Yes thats right but as discussed elsewhere viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2619&start=20 we can be practicing the mahayana path without having entered the mahayana path, something which only occurs with the generation of unfabricated bodhicitta. The point here is that there are two different ways of entering the path. One is by realizing bodhicitta first, the other is by realizing emptiness first.
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Tilopa » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:50 pm

Individual wrote:People can practice bodhicitta before emptiness, realize emptiness before practicing bodhicitta, realize and practice both in tandem, or perhaps do something else entirely that's essentially the same thing.


Can you provide an example of something that is entirely different but essentially the same and which acts as a cause of Buddhahood?

It doesn't matter who teaches it or what it's called; if it works, everything else is irrelevant. With the realization of emptiness, there are no dull and intelligent bodhisattvas, there is no Mahayana and non-Mahayana. With bodhicitta developed, though, one does not always express it like this (or even express it at all!), to avoid causing confusion. :)


Once again you assert that with a realization of emptiness nothing exists. So much for the 'middle way' and the teachings on conventional and ultimate reality.
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Individual » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:36 am

Tilopa wrote:Can you provide an example of something that is entirely different but essentially the same and which acts as a cause of Buddhahood?

If I could do that, I would be a Buddha. :)

Lamas do it when they use new words and concepts. Whenever one of them pleasantly surprises you with a unique insight not found in sutras, there is your example.

Tilopa wrote:
It doesn't matter who teaches it or what it's called; if it works, everything else is irrelevant. With the realization of emptiness, there are no dull and intelligent bodhisattvas, there is no Mahayana and non-Mahayana. With bodhicitta developed, though, one does not always express it like this (or even express it at all!), to avoid causing confusion. :)

Once again you assert that with a realization of emptiness nothing exists. So much for the 'middle way' and the teachings on conventional and ultimate reality.

I don't assert nothing exists; you assert that view and attribute it to me. For a nihilist, the view is simply "Nothing exists." My view is different: Instead I am saying that when things are clearly seen, there are no things to see; it's only when things are seen dimly and fuzzily that they take shape and distinction. You mistake my assertions of nothingness as being conventional expressions. :)
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby ground » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:58 am

Tilopa wrote:
But without bodhicitta you are not on the Mahayana path - at least according to Lama Tsongkhapa.


Yes thats right but as discussed elsewhere viewtopic.php?f=39&t=2619&start=20 we can be practicing the mahayana path without having entered the mahayana path, something which only occurs with the generation of unfabricated bodhicitta. The point here is that there are two different ways of entering the path. One is by realizing bodhicitta first, the other is by realizing emptiness first.


"practicing the mahayana path without having entered the mahayana path" is not worth any comment. The other will necessarily be entering the path of an arhat. Your interpretation necessarily leads to the decay of Mahayana.

But let's agree that we don't agree. As to interpretation of "Mahayana" and "bodhisattva" I am following exclusively Lama Tsongkhapa's teachings (which complies with Shantideva's) regardless of what others may say.

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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Tilopa » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:36 am

TMingyur wrote:"practicing the mahayana path without having entered the mahayana path" is not worth any comment


Study more and take teachings from qualified Lamas and you will understand the difference between them.
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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby ground » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:18 am

Tilopa wrote:
TMingyur wrote:"practicing the mahayana path without having entered the mahayana path" is not worth any comment


Study more and take teachings from qualified Lamas and you will understand the difference between them.


At "the end of the day" Mahayana is not a matter of study, but of direct experience which is the only valid means of cognition.
There have been compassionate teachers trying to convey their experience through verbal teachings.

Since maybe we both are focused or are trying to focus exclusively on the benefit of others we should keep just this in our minds so it may become easier to accept that we do not agree as to the a.m. issue.

Geshe Dromtönpa taught the essense of Mahayana in this way: "Renounce the world and practice bodhicitta".



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Re: How to Realize Emptiness in Daily Life?

Postby Tilopa » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:33 am

TMingyur wrote:
Geshe Dromtönpa taught the essense of Mahayana in this way: "Renounce the world and practice bodhicitta".



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