Author Topic: Emptiness of the Body  (Read 3407 times)

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Emptiness of te Body
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2016, 03:36:19 am »
The concepts of Buddhism are experiential, not intellectual.
The surest way to misunderstand them is to try to grasp them with intellect.
Gradually, by doing the practices over a number of years, you start to see them operating within you, and this is how understanding happens.
You cannot rush this, you cannot fake it.
this is why the older monks are often so highly respected.  In Buddhism, "practice" really DOES make "perfect" (or close to perfect)

I agree that the ultimate aim in Buddhism is direct experiential insight. However, I cannot agree with the statement that "the surest way to misunderstand them (Buddhist concepts) is to try to grasp them with intellect." From what I understand, the whole purpose of the many texts in Madhyamaka philosophy is to convey a correct intellectual and logical understanding of emptiness. These include the texts of Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Aryadeva, Shantideva, Lama Tsongkhapa, and many other Buddhist masters.

While it is true that mere intellectual understanding of emptiness is insufficient, a correct grasp of the meaning of emptiness, in an intellectual way, can serve as an important aid in the quest for direct experiential insight of this ultimate truth. I understand that one of the unique features of the Gelugpa tradition is that they do focus on the attainment of a correct intellectual understanding of emptiness, as an aid to the meditative practice aimed at reaching a direct experiential insight of this truth. Of course, obtaining a correct intellectual understanding of emptiness may not be easy.

Good point. It's a bit like seeing through a card trick. Once someone shows you the trick, maybe in slow motion, you understand it. In the same way there are language 'tricks', or at least 'tricky language' to be 'teased out'. Shunyata is one of those. Meditating in the context of a rather complex concept like this is only useful when you have the chance to talk around it with someone who has been through it all before- a decent teacher. Then meditation can be allowed to bring it's own measure of understanding.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

 


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