Understanding emptiness

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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Center Channel » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:17 pm

Konchog1,

I noticed two things.

1. You are reading HHDL's commentary on the Heart Sutra. I have read that as well. The problem is that he uses a Gelug oriented presentation of Madhyamaka. No wonder you are confused by inherent existence etc.!

2. You pretty much approached the absolute limit of what can be understood by sutra methods. Sutra is not really that deep. You must switch over to Vajrayana and/or Dzogchen.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby sangyey » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:18 pm

This is a good translation of Nagarjuna's 'Commentary On The Awakening Mind' translated by Thupten Jinpa that may be of some relevance.

http://www.tibetanclassics.org/html-assets/Awakening%20Mind%20Commentary.pdf

Also Nagarjuna's 'Sixty Stanzas of Reasoning' translated by Thupten Jinpa as well.

http://www.tibetanclassics.org/html-assets/SixtyStanzas.pdf
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:03 pm

Center Channel wrote:2. You pretty much approached the absolute limit of what can be understood by sutra methods.
How do you know this???

Sutra is not really that deep. You must switch over to Vajrayana and/or Dzogchen.
Hog wash!
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Center Channel » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:09 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:How do you know this???


What is the bottom line of sutra?

Everything is empty (dependently co-arisen).

Bundles of conditions are imputed by nominal labels.

It is not really a deep message. :shrug:
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:10 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:I don't know if this is being said as the end seems to contradict, but if it is I also disagree :smile: ...."may be the result of karma, or it could be random"...

everything resulting from as consequence of karma, is what seeems to be. No other random thing can exist.


"random" in the sense that the causes and conditions leading to the event may have nothing to do with your personal "karma", your actions in a previous life, etc. Whether there are truly "random" occurrences in a quantum physics sense (regardless if this is compatible with abhidharmic buddhism as codified in the kosha or not), is almost certainly not known by any human continuum at this time.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby cloudburst » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:38 pm

Center Channel wrote:What is the bottom line of sutra?
Everything is empty (dependently co-arisen).
Bundles of conditions are imputed by nominal labels.
It is not really a deep message. :shrug:


This is a foolish statement, I'm sorry. I can't believe anyone who considers themselves a Buddhist is not deeply ashamed to write nonsense like this.

gad rgyangs wrote:recognizing it will not make getting hit with the pipe hurt any less


If one realizes emptiness directly, one would feel no pain, even upon having ones limbs hacked off.

gad rgyangs wrote: You are reading HHDL's commentary on the Heart Sutra. I have read that as well. The problem is that he uses a Gelug oriented presentation of Madhyamaka. No wonder you are confused by inherent existence etc.!


So the Gelug presentation of Madhyamaka is a problem from your point of view? You would prefer if we didn't talk about inherent existence? In what way would you say things DO exist? Thanks.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Center Channel » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:41 pm

cloudburst wrote:This is a foolish statement, I'm sorry. I can't believe anyone who considers themselves a Buddhist is not deeply ashamed to write nonsense like this.


I take this as a compliment since 99% of Buddhists are clueless, just parrotting the 4 Noble Truths etc.

Maybe you should confirm for yourself that the all the sutra teachings, if followed to their logical conclusions, ultimately boil down to understanding emptiness as explicated in Madhyamaka.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:57 pm

First of all you are posting in the Mahayana section so you must respect the fact that those asking questions in this section want Mahayana answers. This means Sutra.

Number two, I'll take it that you consider yourself within the 1% of Buddhists that know everything. So making statements like the above means that you have done nothing all this time to deal with your Ego-centred pride. This means that you too are merely parroting. Back to the 99% with you young lad!

Number three, sticking "student of Namkhai Norbu" in your signature means nothing at all. You may be a hideously bad student of Namkhai Norbu and in no position whatsoever to be a representative of his teachings (ie you may be doing him a mis-service with your statements here).

And finally, if you have nothing valid to add to this discussion, then maybe you should just not be taking part in it.

The Sutta and Sutra have just a liitle bit more to say than an explanation of emptiness. Just a little.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Inge » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:17 pm

Adamantine wrote:
ronnewmexico wrote:I don't know if this is being said as the end seems to contradict, but if it is I also disagree :smile: ...."may be the result of karma, or it could be random"...

everything resulting from as consequence of karma, is what seeems to be. No other random thing can exist.



I think it's not necessarily so cut and dry

Is it possible to experience something that is not the result of past karma?
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Center Channel » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:17 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:So making statements like the above means that you have done nothing all this time to deal with your Ego-centred pride. :namaste:



:crazy:

Is there a sutra teaching that is deeper or more central than Nagarjuna's view of emptiness??
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby cloudburst » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:21 pm

Center Channel wrote:I take this as a compliment since 99% of Buddhists are clueless, just parrotting the 4 Noble Truths etc.


Take it anyway you like, of course

Center Channel wrote:Maybe you should confirm for yourself that the all the sutra teachings, if followed to their logical conclusions, ultimately boil down to understanding emptiness as explicated in Madhyamaka.


There is an embarrassment of wisdom and method to be found in the Sutras, to be honest, it sounds like you are actually the one who needs to take a closer look. To be sure, I will agree that no Sutra teachings go beyond emptiness, but what does that mean? that it is not profound? My goodness! Dint' the great Dzogchen master Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche say that "there is no teaching higher than emptiness?" I am citing this because I think it might help YOU, not because Buddha's Sutra teachings need anyone to speak up for them.

FULLY agree with Greg.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Center Channel » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:22 pm

cloudburst wrote:To be sure, I will agree that no Sutra teachings go beyond emptiness


Thats all I am saying.

You guys have a lot of ego, arguing over nothing.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Jikan » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:24 pm

Center Channel wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:So making statements like the above means that you have done nothing all this time to deal with your Ego-centred pride. :namaste:



:crazy:

Is there a sutra teaching that is deeper or more central than Nagarjuna's view of emptiness??


I'd like to nominate the Ekayana sutras for the contribution toward an understanding of Buddha Nature. (c.f., Srimaladevi Sutra, Lotus Sutra, &c)
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Center Channel » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:27 pm

Jikan wrote:I'd like to nominate the Ekayana sutras for the contribution toward an understanding of Buddha Nature. (c.f., Srimaladevi Sutra, Lotus Sutra, &c)



IMO, not deeper than Madhyamaka.

Buddha nature sutras were an unfortunate step back, and counterproductive to understand correct view of emptiness that goes all the way back to the Hinayana schools.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby cloudburst » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:27 pm

Center Channel wrote:
cloudburst wrote:To be sure, I will agree that no Sutra teachings go beyond emptiness


Thats all I am saying.

You guys have a lot of ego, arguing over nothing.



ha ha !

That much is true!
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Jikan » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:28 pm

Konchog1 wrote:Alright, then. I don't understand Emptiness. I don't even know what I don't know so this will be a little rambling. Sorry.

I understand cause and effect. I understand that a table is really a collection of items (leg, paint, top, empty space around it, and so forth) that is merely labeled "table" in dependence on its parts. I understand that the leg, paint, top, empty space, and so forth are merely labeled in dependence on their parts all the way down to subtle atoms where infinite recursion happens where the atom can be split into several atoms forever.

However, if a "person" "hits" "me" with a "pipe" it'll hurt just as much as if a person hits me with a pipe. Or will it? If everything is already empty then how would recognizing it change anything? And why is the fact that things doesn't have a self so important? It still functions, it just didn't cause itself to arise.

Thank you.


When you stub your toe or break a tooth, it is very convincing. MY FACE IT HURTS. It feels real in a conventional way, even though that reality doesn't hold up to analytical scrutiny. Does the experience of a toothache really correspond to the concept of "toothache"? The tooth itself? is it really "your" tooth? &c. Emptiness is another way to say "dependent origination."

My point: you might say there are two levels of truth-claims to be made about an ordinary phenomenon such as a toothache. (ahem) That there might be something of value in the idea of the two truths when discussing emptiness. yes?
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Jikan » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:31 pm

Center Channel wrote:
Jikan wrote:I'd like to nominate the Ekayana sutras for the contribution toward an understanding of Buddha Nature. (c.f., Srimaladevi Sutra, Lotus Sutra, &c)



IMO, not deeper than Madhyamaka.

Buddha nature sutras were an unfortunate step back, and counterproductive to understand correct view of emptiness that goes all the way back to the Hinayana schools.


Yes, in your opinion (IMO, as you say). But not in fact, as you present it. Relative "profundity" is a judgment call. You happen to believe your own judgments, which is fine.

I'd argue that Tathagathagarbha is incoherent without emptiness: without it, Buddha nature becomes a kind of eternalism.

Buddha Nature is merely the claim that all sentient beings have the potential for awakening. In the absence of this claim, all you have is endless determination, samsara without limit. Buddhism is about liberation, not about the impossibility of awakening. To posit the possibility of awakening is to posit Buddha Nature. How exactly is that a step back?
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Center Channel » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:35 pm

Jikan wrote:Buddha Nature is merely the claim that all sentient beings have the potential for awakening.


And this claim is not in Madhyamaka already?
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:38 pm

If pain were specific to the extent of being merely bodily sensation, then yes, understanding would have no part in its reduction...but as one sees with this article.....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pain ..pain starts with sensation and then expands to include many other things.
I certainly am not stateing the senation removes with understanding, in our conventional sense of things, but looking over that one can see may things such as phantom pains psychological pains and on and on do not amount to only sensation.
My personal observation is that sensation is only sensation. MOre than that is much more of pain than the sensation. The sensation makes you sweat makes your heart rate increase and nothing more, as message of avoidance. . If you say that is what you feel when you feel pain in every manner and sort...then yes your pain will never be reduced by understanding. But if you study your pain I think you will find your pain is much much more than that.All the much much more may be removed.

As to karma....it is certainly as cut and dry as that, there can be no accidental and karmic things as for one the rational consideration of such a thing precludes it....Imagine some are karma and some are accident...then what place would be things to a being....one would have perhaps a karmic thing...say received a 1000 dollar bill as result from some good act of compassion giving to another this thing....then the wind comes along as accident and blows that bill away...the result on the individual how could we say that individual then be resulted upon by karma..accident it all would be.
And result of accident would be no result of karma at all....as if karma never happened at all.Then we could all do bad and good acts simply wait for a accident and then they be all resolved....no that is not so.

It is either all karma or all accident. As it is clearly not all accident it must be all karma. As not a thing exists that exists perceived by one who does not exchange with that thing....so also all is karma, as exchange is necessary for this thing to be perceived as well.

Karma as in universes and all the rest....the large amounts of individuals and their karmic predispostions present in certain patterns that are perceived in such ways in grand scale and variance by no means infers such things are not exercised on the equation of a karmic root.
To large for us to see as each cell in a body sees not the body but itself does not infer the body is not all cells composed.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Jikan » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:46 pm

Center Channel wrote:
Jikan wrote:Buddha Nature is merely the claim that all sentient beings have the potential for awakening.


And this claim is not in Madhyamaka already?


Now you're shifting. I'm rebutting your claim that nothing more profound that emptiness is to be found in the Mahayana sutras. Yes, you can find plenty of material on Buddha nature in the exegetical literature, which suggests that it is not reducible to emptiness.

My broader point is that the sutras are more complex (and more interesting, more "profound") than you seem willing to admit, and that it is an error to dismiss their relevance. It's fine to advocate for Dzogchen, which is an excellent path. Just watch the hyperbole.
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