Understanding emptiness

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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby kalden yungdrung » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:39 pm

Tashi delek,

Maybe handy to see, the 16 or 12 forms of emptiness.Sometimes very difficult to understand.... :)


https://www.wuala.com/Kalden.Yungdrung/ ... LPIvyWFXWq


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THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
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HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:04 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
yadave wrote:In any case, we're advised to find out for ourselves rather than treating Dharma as Dogma.

You see, this is the problem. Why is it that "finding out for oneself" is always taken by Western Buddhists to mean: reject the proposal until one can verify it?

You mean like you reject "materialism?" You may have a long wait trying to verify reincarnation. I heard that the Dalai Lama does not remember past lives but Shirley MacLaine does. ;)

I'm just saying it is not crucial to my practice, I'm comfortable not knowing. Different teachers hold different views. People probably settle into what resonates with them, it's all good.

gregkavarnos wrote:they were wrong about rebirth for 2500 years???

And much of the world believes in one lifetime plus Heaven and Hell? Are they wrong too? And then one of these groups finds oil and everyone goes to war under the banner of a concept they're still waiting to verify?

I'm just saying it is not crucial to my practice, I'm comfortable not knowing.

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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:42 pm

yadave wrote:I'm just saying it is not crucial to my practice, I'm comfortable not knowing. Different teachers hold different views. People probably settle into what resonates with them, it's all good.
Not knowing and not believing are two different things?
And much of the world believes in one lifetime plus Heaven and Hell? Are they wrong too?
I don't remember saying anything about wrong or right. I talked about trust vs doubt in regards to enlightened beings and their teachings. If you do not think/believe/have faith in the fact that Buddha is enlightened, then I guess that's going to make your progress extraordinarily slow and difficult. Right?

Back to the drawing board to reinvent the (Dharma) wheel each time? Tibetan Buddhism states that (four of the ten) assets that makes our human existence so precious is that: A historical Buddha has manifested in this world system, the Buddha has taught, the teachings are accessible today and there are teachers passing on these teachings. One of the eight freedoms is freedom from birth in a time when no Buddha appears, when there are no Buddhist teachings and therefore one receives no help to free oneself from the suffering of samsara.

So if somebody gives you a medicine and you want to remove ingredients before you take it, then obviously it is going to reduce its efficacy.
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby yadave » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:36 pm

These groups are addictive. I want to thank everyone again for the helpful feedback. Then I must tear myself away for a spell. ;)

gregkavarnos wrote:Not knowing and not believing are two different things?

From Random House:

know: to perceive or understand clearly and with certainty.

believe: to have confidence in the truth or the reliability of something without absolute proof.

So belief includes an element of faith while knowledge is more like something you can demonstrate. There's actually an interesting theorem in mathematical logic that explains how, under certain conditions, something is true precisely when you believe it is true. So be careful what you wish for. ;)

gregkavarnos wrote:they were wrong about rebirth for 2500 years???
...
I don't remember saying anything about wrong or right.


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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:44 pm

It was a question, not a statement (notice the question mark?).
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:58 pm

yadave wrote:One of reasons I like Buddhism is the quote attributed to Buddha where he admonishes students, "Don't take my word for it, find out for yourself!" Stephen Batchelor's "Buddhism without Beliefs" explores this eloquently but I cannot find it online today, maybe a copyright issue. In any case, we're advised to find out for ourselves rather than treating Dharma as Dogma.


Check out "Buddhism - The Religion of No-Religion" by Alan Watts you might enjoy that as well!

gregkavarnos wrote:In (overly) simple terms: reject ego, accept enlightenment!


Granted you said your statement was overly simple; but only an "ego" would reject an ego... or accept enlightenment for that matter, wouldn't you say?
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:08 pm

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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:18 am

So, why do I label a car as car? Instead of a lion. I see it as a machine not a giant animal. Wouldn't that mean there is something from the car's own side to make it a car?
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby catmoon » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:53 am

Suppose you believe in an objective universe. The universe does not differentiate between a car and a lion, it treats both just the same, as massive assemblages of electrons, protons, gluons and what not all obeying the same rules. It takes a mind to come into all that and start carving it up into conceptual objects.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:29 pm

It takes a mind, for sure...it also takes a myriad of causes and conditions--the apparent phenomena which make up the transitory collection, as well as the "name" which you learned early on...."car."

You have to keep in mind that Madhyamika doesn't say there is literally NOTHING--it's not a nihilistic view. In terms of our own experience and perception, the seemingly-solid phenomenon known as "car" appears due to dependent origination. It functions (hopefully! though it's still a "car" if it doesn't--just a "broken car!") and it appears to exist. From the absolute POV, there is no car, just as there are no tires, driveshaft, engine, etc. And also no mind to conceive of the "car," or even the "name" of the object we call "car." As a practitioner, one can understand that one's assumptions about the existence of the appearance are mistaken, and eventually, one may have a direct experience, in an nonconceptual, immediate, way, of this, in meditation. Eventually, one exhausts all cognitive errors and the inexpressible experience of Buddha dawns. At that point only, one TRULY knows "car."

:smile:
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:30 pm

..and even the "objective universe" which Catmoon starts with, or the "plenum void," or the entirety of it all, is a mere concept, actually.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:47 pm

Konchog1 wrote:So, why do I label a car as car? Instead of a lion. I see it as a machine not a giant animal. Wouldn't that mean there is something from the car's own side to make it a car?


If all the parts of that same car were strewn about on a warehouse floor, would you see it as a car?
Actually, the Buddha discussed this very example, except that it was a cart rather than a car.

But you see a car as a car and not an animal because you already know what a car is -meaning, you already have an idea "car" in your mind, that you match up to whatever accumulation of parts matches that idea. So, even if a person made a birthday cake shaped like a car, even though it isn't a car, you would see it and think "car" or "car-shaped cake".

Now, consider this photograph. If you lived in a place or time where there were only ferocious beasts, what would you think if you saw these?

The example of car / lion is very interesting, because automobile manufacturers (especially Hyundai) Design cars to a target market, college-age men, and they design the fronts of the cars to appear to the subconscious mind as wild animals. These resemble, somewhat, snakes with fangs and menacing eyes

Just what every 22 year old guy wants. How cool is that?
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby White Lotus » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:39 pm

you cant understand emptiness. it is completely unknowable. it can however be seen. when you see your own nature and the nature of all things as not different, you will see emptiness. its just this normal every day feeling... but not all can see nonduality. therefore not all can see emptiness of the objective world.

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:05 pm

White Lotus wrote:you cant understand emptiness. it is completely unknowable. it can however be seen. when you see your own nature and the nature of all things as not different, you will see emptiness. its just this normal every day feeling... but not all can see nonduality. therefore not all can see emptiness of the objective world.

best wishes, Tom.
So all those enlightened beings giving all those wonderful teachins so us dumb asses can get a grip on the notion are wasting our time and theirs???
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:37 pm

White Lotus wrote:you cant understand emptiness. it is completely unknowable. it can however be seen. when you see your own nature and the nature of all things as not different, you will see emptiness. its just this normal every day feeling... but not all can see nonduality. therefore not all can see emptiness of the objective world.

best wishes, Tom.


I can't know it, but I can see it.
So, I won't know it when i see it,
but I'll see it when I know it.
There is no duality, just those who see it...and those who don't
so they must be the same people!
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:07 pm

The way I understand Emptiness is that there is no "i" or "Me".
We are one with everything that is alive.
So to say, "why would I cut that tree down, it is me and I am it. Why should I cause it any harm."
Or to say, "why should I hurt or kill that animal, we are the same. We are both part of each other."

So my understanding, the way it was explained in a teaching from FPMT, is that Emptiness is the realization of every living being being part of the grand existence of the Oneness of this physical realm. Therefore no "i" or "Me" really exists.
objects are just the label we put on them. You wouldn't call a pair of glasses a cup. You would be considered insane. And the coffee you poured onto them would just burn your hand


Kindest wishes, Dave
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby White Lotus » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:49 pm

truly no i nor me exists. all is empty, and only emptiness, my hand is empty, my self is empty, my mind is empty, the table is empty. there is no self of any kind when emptiness is seen.

it takes prajna/wisdom to see emptiness, however seeing it, i am still a dumb ass!

i have always seen my true nature, but didnt always recognise it, its always been within me. so normal. if you see your own nature you dont necessarily see its sameness with external objects. unless there is a dissolving of the divide between subject and object. unless ego is extinguished there can be no seeing of emptiness.

i think that its easy to speculate about emptiness, there have been some pretty interesting things said about it... its non empty for example. but unless you get the taste of emptiness. all this is mere head banging frustration!

its nothing remarkable. i think i am able to see emptiness and know that i am emptiness because i have kept things as simple as possible and looked for it within normal experience... i say this not because of any kind of speculation, but simply because its what i see.

i know that i see emptiness, but i dont know what that emptiness is. some have called it Mind, others presence, others spirit. but infact it is extrordinarily difficult to speak about. even in terms of no mind and no nature. is a logical understanding of something that transcends logic really helpful?

it has to be seen. we all see it when the time is right. no worries, spring comes, it always does. so does seeing emptiness. if you look for it, you will find it... and then... whats the big deal?!

its like the taste of water, so i guess it is a big deal, but seems plain and nothing special.

still just a dumb ass!

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby conebeckham » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:23 pm

Just to be clear, A direct, nonconceptual experience of Emptiness in samadhi is said to be the hallmark of the first Bhumi. So, when someone says they "see emptiness," directly, in meditation, rather than (merely) intellectually "understanding" it as a concept, that is equivalent to claiming they have attained the Path of Seeing.

It is, in fact, a BIG DEAL. Remarkable.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby White Lotus » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:05 pm

seeing emptiness/nature is samadhi. the time comes when it can be seen as all things whether or not one is in a deliberate meditative state. prescence in all things. i like what one master said... just do your best. i guess thats the best piece of advice ive ever heard. doing your best can mean being very creative in finding your own skillful means, your own techniques and methods, but it definately helps to have teachers around, usually for the giving of that special word that helps you to break through to better understanding.
doing your best doesnt necessarily mean striving, a balanced and easy approach has always helped me.
most of this journey however is your own. at least thats the way i see it.

best wishes, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Understanding emptiness

Postby 5heaps » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:02 pm

Konchog1 wrote:So, why do I label a car as car? Instead of a lion. I see it as a machine not a giant animal. Wouldn't that mean there is something from the car's own side to make it a car?

perhaps we can for the moment agree that there is something on the side of the object--but what is that thing? is it "lion" or "car" that is coming from the side of the object?
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