Author Topic: Form is emptiness, emptiness is form  (Read 4935 times)

Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2010, 04:07:19 pm »
I remember that ABC once made a remark that learning about emptiness of self is like the child who is learning that everything isn't "mine."  My four-year-old is under the impression that everything that's within her reach belongs to her.  But she'll quickly come to understand that this isn't so.  Likewise we are like that child.  I have "my" feet "my" legs "my hands" and so forth.  But none of those parts (including the brain) are Laura.  And there's actually no essence or permanent Laura to be found.  Yet emptiness is not nothingness, as there is a conventional reality in which if you stub your toe it really does hurt.  This is where learning about the 12 links of dependent origination is helpful.

So like the child we want to learn to not grab, cling, and own constantly, and investigate emptiness in meditation.

I hope this helps  :)

Best,
Laura

Offline pickledpitbull

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Re: Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2010, 04:28:34 pm »
Katey,

One of the problems is the word "emptiness" itself.  It's one of the problems with translation.  We just need another word. 

Suggestions, anyone?
You've been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn't and you're not.


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Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2010, 04:34:05 pm »
I'll vote for sunyata   :D :namaste:

Offline Karma Dondrup Tashi

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Re: Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2010, 07:42:46 pm »
I remember that ABC once made a remark that learning about emptiness of self is like the child who is learning that everything isn't "mine."  My four-year-old is under the impression that everything that's within her reach belongs to her.  But she'll quickly come to understand that this isn't so.  Likewise we are like that child.  I have "my" feet "my" legs "my hands" and so forth.  But none of those parts (including the brain) are Laura.  And there's actually no essence or permanent Laura to be found.  Yet emptiness is not nothingness, as there is a conventional reality in which if you stub your toe it really does hurt.  This is where learning about the 12 links of dependent origination is helpful.

So like the child we want to learn to not grab, cling, and own constantly, and investigate emptiness in meditation.

I hope this helps  :)

Best,
Laura

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Offline humanitas

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Re: Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2010, 03:59:09 pm »
That is a most excellent analogy Laura, thank you so much for that!!
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Offline Arya-Shraman

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Re: Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2010, 06:07:40 am »
Arya Nagarjuna uses the word ' Shoonyata' In his original sanskrit texts. I think Its better to call shoonyata as shoonyata in that context. Now If you argue that you dont understand sanskrit so 'emptiness ' is better word for you then Its inevitable to say one does not understand the term 'emptiness' either (if it was that easy!)

So better to call shoonyata as shoonyata only in this context (or as Pali 'Sunnata')

Shoonya(pali sunna) literally means 'zero' in Sanskrit. So for sake of translations 'Zeroness' is better word.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2010, 06:13:28 am »
Katey,

One of the problems is the word "emptiness" itself.  It's one of the problems with translation.  We just need another word. 

Dependent arising.

Spiny


Offline FaDao

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Re: Form is emptiness, emptiness is form
« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2010, 03:57:39 pm »
katersy,

I agree with Mondy Mind in that the word "emptiness" itself is the problem.  Like "suffering" for dukkha.  Neither convey the true meanings of the concepts.  However, if you're talking to fellow Buddhists, the word will do.  If you're talking to non-Buddhists, using the pali or sanskrit version won't help because you'll just have to explain that one, too.

What the concept means is that nothing exists on its own ("inherent existence").  Take a table - the table exists, but not without the wood it's made from, which could not exist without the tree, which could not exist without the rain and the sun, etc.  Thus it is said that the table is "empty of inherent existence".

For ourselves, it means that we cannot exist without our parents, without our experiences, without the things that make us "us."  It also means that who we are depends on the perception of others - we are parents, partners, employees, children, friends - different things to different people.  And we behave differently with each of them, so which is our true self?

In the conventional sense, people appear to have issues with "empty", hence their tendency to try to fill it up.  I think the notion is to equate "empty" with "not having".  Buddha teaches us that we already have everything we need.

Does this help?

Donna

Well phrased.
Say no more, say no more -- nudge nudge -- wink wink.
VM John Cleese.

 


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