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Emptiness - Dhamma Wheel

Emptiness

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
ashtanga
Posts: 33
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Emptiness

Postby ashtanga » Thu May 06, 2010 10:16 am

Hi all,

Cacn someone explain how Theravadin meditation practices - following the breath, vipassana etc... - can bring about an experience of Emptiness. I see how the Tibetans do it, via nalytical thought, but I can't see how the same outcome would happen through methods like Vipassana?

Thanks in advance!

Tony...

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Emptiness

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu May 06, 2010 1:48 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

PeterB
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Re: Emptiness

Postby PeterB » Thu May 06, 2010 1:57 pm

I think that there may be a difference between the Theravada view of phenomena being empty of permanence and the Tibetan, or other Mahayana view, of Emptiness...

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Alexei
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Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Emptiness

Postby Alexei » Thu May 06, 2010 2:26 pm

Hi ashtanga,

There is couple of useful articles by Thanissaro Bhikkhu about emptiness:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... iness.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... iness.html

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Emptiness

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu May 06, 2010 4:58 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Chloe9
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Location: California, USA

Re: Emptiness

Postby Chloe9 » Thu May 06, 2010 8:00 pm

“Do not believe in anything because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observing and analysis, when you find anything that agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it.” – Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya, Vol1, 188-193)

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Emptiness

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri May 07, 2010 12:11 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

Shonin
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:11 am

Re: Emptiness

Postby Shonin » Fri May 07, 2010 12:34 pm

Emptiness (Sunyata) refers to the lack (or sometimes the perception of this in some uses) of an atman or permanent essential identity in phenomena. There are two aspects to emptiness:

the lack of essential identity in external phenomena
the lack of essential identity of oneself

Emptiness certainly isn't about nothingness, it refers specifically to there being no findable ultimate nature to things. It is because things lack an essential nature that they are in a continuous state of transformation: birth, growth, ageing, sickness and death are all emptiness. If they had an essential identity, change would be impossible.

Another way of talking about emptiness is to say that all phenomena arise conditionally or dependently on other phenomena.
It is also very closely related to (or the same as) impermanence. It is the Anatta-nature of all phenomena.

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Ben
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Ben » Fri May 07, 2010 1:02 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Shonin
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Shonin » Fri May 07, 2010 1:20 pm


PeterB
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Re: Emptiness

Postby PeterB » Fri May 07, 2010 1:30 pm

" Highly developed" by Nagarjuna ? Or the subject of proliferation by Nagarjuna ? Did it need developing ?

Shonin
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Shonin » Fri May 07, 2010 1:39 pm

Well I can see you have an opinion about that Peter, although a substantial discussion would take us well off-topic. For our purposes you can read 'developed' however you like. The Buddha himself developed and proliferated many concepts and taught the same principles in many different ways at different times to different audiences.

PeterB
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Re: Emptiness

Postby PeterB » Fri May 07, 2010 1:51 pm

My opinion doesnt really matter. I think what matters is trying to ascertain what the Buddha said.
He certainly did develop his Dhamma, or at least he developed his expression of it.
He of course was a Sammasambuddha.

Shonin
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Shonin » Fri May 07, 2010 2:05 pm

If awakening was limited to Gautama Buddha then his descendants have been wasting their time. If not, then surely we can learn from the insight of other awakened beings. Wisdom can be spoken by others too. Anyway, I don't see Nagarjuna as contradicting or being inconsistent with anything Buddha said. If you disagree, I'd be interested to hear more.

PeterB
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Re: Emptiness

Postby PeterB » Fri May 07, 2010 2:15 pm

Of course Awakening is open to others as a result of The Buddha turning the Wheel Of Dhamma.
I think that perhaps the General Theravada Forum is not the place to discuss Nagarjuna as I understand the guidelines.

Shonin
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Shonin » Fri May 07, 2010 2:32 pm

Indeed.

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Aloka
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Aloka » Fri May 07, 2010 9:42 pm


Shonin
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Shonin » Sat May 08, 2010 1:43 pm

I wonder what the Pali is for 'glob'...

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Chloe9
Posts: 11
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Re: Emptiness

Postby Chloe9 » Sat May 08, 2010 4:21 pm

“Do not believe in anything because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observing and analysis, when you find anything that agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it.” – Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya, Vol1, 188-193)

Shonin
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:11 am

Re: Emptiness

Postby Shonin » Sat May 08, 2010 7:34 pm

Thanks - good to have so many knowledgeable people around. :)


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