Author Topic: What’s in a Word? Emptiness  (Read 3117 times)

Offline Matibhadra

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2018, 04:47:22 am »
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[stillpointdancer:]
The emptiness at the start of the article is that found when meditating, the timeless moment where conscious thought ends and you 'dwell' in emptiness. The rest is trying to sort out what it means when the experience is over, when conscious thought returns.

Was this “timeless moment where conscious thought ends and you 'dwell' in emptiness” sorted out as such by you during your meditation, or when the experience was over and conscious thoughts returned?

If it was sorted out during meditation, then you tried to sort out something while you should just “dwell in emptiness”, and therefore your meditation was not authentic.

But if was sorted out after the experience was over, and conscious thought returned, what has it to do with your “emptiness”, where conscious thought supposedly ends?
 
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 06:47:55 am by Matibhadra »

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2018, 05:27:27 am »
Conceptually I think of emptiness simply as conditionality.   The idea that everything arises and ceases in dependence upon conditions.

What I’d like to know is how a mechanistic, “conditionality” is any different from scientific materialism and why we should bother spending so much time turning our minds around and looking within if that’s all there is to it?

Possibly because the nature of our minds is also conditionality, though that is more difficult to see. 

 
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Offline Matibhadra

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2018, 05:32:26 am »
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[paracelsus:]
So emptiness is not to be thought of in relation to things, nor in relation to a lack of things or attributes. It is not to be thought of.

Interesting thought.

However, if it is related to emptiness, it is worthless, because according to you emptiness is not to be thought of.

But, if it is not related to emptiness, why do you spread such false information, deceptively claiming that it is?

Offline Matibhadra

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2018, 05:51:01 am »
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[zafrogzen:] What I’d like to know is how a mechanistic, “conditionality” is any different from scientific materialism

Is dependent arising, or conditionality, “mechanistic”? How do you define “mechanistic”?

Offline Matibhadra

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2018, 09:13:46 am »
OK .....

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Private communication should never be reproduced in a public forum without both correspondet's permission.  This has been a standard of online communication for decades.  This is not Right Speech and will not be tolerated.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 09:59:05 am by Chaz »

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2018, 07:53:49 am »
Conceptually I think of emptiness simply as conditionality.   The idea that everything arises and ceases in dependence upon conditions.

What I’d like to know is how a mechanistic, “conditionality” is any different from scientific materialism and why we should bother spending so much time turning our minds around and looking within if that’s all there is to it?

Possibly because the nature of our minds is also conditionality, though that is more difficult to see.

I'd say that everything that arises (is born), including “internal” mental phenomena, is subject to causes and conditions, not just time-wise but spatially as well. That is the material world of birth and death, of arising and dissolution (samsara), the world that we have become so adept at observing and manipulating to our advantage. According to Buddhism it is also the world of suffering and discontent.

However each and every form or phenomena is simultaneously empty of inherent, separate existence and is thus intimately interconnected with everything else. That is the world of the unborn, without which nothing could be born, nor could there be any deliverance from from birth and death.


« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 08:02:36 am by zafrogzen »
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Chaz

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2018, 08:37:02 am »
Conceptually I think of emptiness simply as conditionality.   The idea that everything arises and ceases in dependence upon conditions.

What I’d like to know is how a mechanistic, “conditionality” is any different from scientific materialism and why we should bother spending so much time turning our minds around and looking within if that’s all there is to it?

Possibly because the nature of our minds is also conditionality, though that is more difficult to see.

I'd say that everything that arises (is born), including “internal” mental phenomena, is subject to causes and conditions, not just time-wise but spatially as well. That is the material world of birth and death, of arising and dissolution (samsara), the world that we have become so adept at observing and manipulating to our advantage. According to Buddhism it is also the world of suffering and discontent.

However each and every form or phenomena is simultaneously empty of inherent, separate existence and is thus intimately interconnected with everything else. That is the world of the unborn, without which nothing could be born, nor could there be any deliverance from from birth and death.

Wow! good stuff!

But this is a head-scratcher:
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each and every form or phenomena is simultaneously empty of inherent, separate existence and is thus intimately interconnected with everything else.

I'm with you here:

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each and every form or phenomena is simultaneously empty of inherent, separate existence

But this:

Quote
and is thus intimately interconnected with everything else.

I'm not sure how that follows.  What makes Forms, and/or phenomena, being empty of inherent, separate existence (with which I agree) interconnected?  I would agree they are similar, same taste, etc.  That said, being the similar or even the same, doesn't necessarily mean they would be "interconnected" somehow.

Do me a favor. Fill in the blanks?  I don't disagree, but I don't see the how in what you said.

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2018, 09:58:39 am »
If they are empty of a separate existence but still arise (inter)dependently, they would necessarily be interconnected – by conditionality, the web of causes and conditions.
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Chaz

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2018, 10:50:36 am »
If they are empty of a separate existence but still arise (inter)dependently, they would necessarily be interconnected – by conditionality, the web of causes and conditions.

 :namaste:

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2018, 11:16:22 am »
Here's something I wrote on the subject some time ago at -- http://www.frogzen.com/meditations/

"In emptiness there is not only no self, but no other as well. Thus in emptiness we realize that we share our most basic nature with everything else — that our “self” is not a separate entity but is intimately interconnected with all of life. Thus if we harm others and our environment we are harming ourselves. That is the deeper meaning of the universal Golden Rule, to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Because they are you. It is also the basis for true compassion.

Although the word “emptiness” is inadequate, it at least has the virtue of being somewhat descriptive of how It is most directly accessed. Emptiness is experienced by being completely empty, because inherent nature is also empty. This is not an escape from the world. On the contrary, it’s being open to the incomparable illumination that manifests as our life."

My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline Pixie

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2018, 01:17:09 pm »
some words from the Buddha:

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Suñña Sutta  (SN 35:85)


Then Ven. Ānanda went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, “It is said that ‘the world is empty, the world is empty,’ lord. In what respect is it said that ‘the world is empty?’”

“Insofar as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus it is said, Ānanda, that ‘the world is empty.’ And what is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self? The eye is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Forms… Eye-consciousness… Eye-contact is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on eye-contact—experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain—that too is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self.

“The ear is empty.…

“The nose is empty.…

“The tongue is empty.…

“The body is empty.…

“The intellect is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Ideas… Intellect-consciousness… Intellect-contact is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on intellect-contact—experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain—that too is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self.

“Thus it is said that ‘the world is empty.’”

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN35_85.html



and an excerpt from sutta SN 22.95:


Quote

“Form is like a glob of foam;

feeling, a bubble;

perception, a mirage;

fabrications, a banana tree;

consciousness, a magic trick—

this has been taught

by the Kinsman of the Sun.

However you observe them,

appropriately examine them,

they’re empty, void

to whoever sees them

appropriately.

Beginning with the body

as taught by the One

with profound discernment:

When abandoned by three things

—life, warmth, & consciousness—

form is rejected, cast aside.

When bereft of these

it lies thrown away,

senseless,

a meal for others.

That’s the way it goes:

It’s a magic trick,

an idiot’s babbling.

It’s said to be

a murderer.

No substance here

is found.

Thus a monk, persistence aroused,

should view the aggregates

by day & by night,

mindful,

alert;

should discard all fetters;

should make himself

his own refuge;

should live as if

his head were on fire—

in hopes of the state

with no falling away.”


https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN22_95.html



_/|\_

.
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline Chaz

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2018, 03:56:04 pm »
Here's something I wrote on the subject some time ago at -- http://www.frogzen.com/meditations/

"In emptiness there is not only no self, but no other as well. Thus in emptiness we realize that we share our most basic nature with everything else — that our “self” is not a separate entity but is intimately interconnected with all of life. Thus if we harm others and our environment we are harming ourselves. That is the deeper meaning of the universal Golden Rule, to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Because they are you. It is also the basis for true


But there's empiness, what is there,ultimately,  to interconnect everything.  Even the connections are empty of self.    For everything to be interconnected, shouldn't they need to inherently exist?

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2018, 04:19:15 am »
Things exist, just not in the way we assume they do. We impose patterns and meanings on the world and then assume that those are the world. The power of the idea of emptiness is the way it gives us an 'in' to challenge these assumptions and hence to change our ideas about the fixed nature of existence.
“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

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2018, 05:13:30 am »
Here's something I wrote on the subject some time ago at -- http://www.frogzen.com/meditations/

"In emptiness there is not only no self, but no other as well. Thus in emptiness we realize that we share our most basic nature with everything else — that our “self” is not a separate entity but is intimately interconnected with all of life. Thus if we harm others and our environment we are harming ourselves. That is the deeper meaning of the universal Golden Rule, to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Because they are you. It is also the basis for true


But there's empiness, what is there,ultimately,  to interconnect everything.  Even the connections are empty of self.    For everything to be interconnected, shouldn't they need to inherently exist?


Yes, and I have the same reservations about TNHs "interbeing" idea.

"Interdependent" might be closer than "interconnected".
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: What’s in a Word? Emptiness
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2018, 10:37:59 am »
   For everything to be interconnected, shouldn't they need to inherently exist?

No, different objects and experiences are discriminated and thought to exist independently, but if they really had a separate independent existence, apart from everything else, they wouldn’t be constantly arising and disappearing based on causes and conditions.
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

 


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