Author Topic: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...  (Read 1366 times)

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« on: April 03, 2014, 02:54:24 pm »
I'm not exactly certain on what is meant by 'Emptiness' in Zen or Mahayana ... "The inherent phenomenon of things that exist are empty?" Or is it the focus of meditation practice? ....

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 04:57:50 pm »
Wesley, if you do a search of the posts on the forum you will find much material related to question from various traditions. Also check out the Wiki article because it's thouroughly cited:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunyata

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 11:36:08 pm »
Don't try to grasp emptiness in your meditation - because it can't be grasped.  You'll waste your time, it will be unproductive and you will tire yourself out.

Emptiness can be seen more as a tool for meditation.  Letting go.  Emptying your mind of all your worries and concerns.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 09:59:34 am »
It really depends on one's tradition... some traditions actually emphasize meditation on selfnessless --- for example. among New Kadampa and other traditions the purpose of understanding and meditating on emptiness is to release one's mind from wrong conceptions.

My advice to Wesley is the same as that offered by others in the past, namely that he needs to find himself a teacher within his chosen tradition, whatever tradition that might eventually be,  and follow that teacher's advice, oitherwise he is indeed wasting time, not only his, but also our own in answering his questions.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 10:03:01 am by Dharmakara »

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 12:13:31 pm »
Is that because I have a LOT more time to spend? ... I'm not "wasting your time" . . . I can set aside 3 to 5 hours each day for meditation.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2014, 12:56:38 pm »
My friend, whether you're wasting time, your own or the members here, well, that is open to debate. I sincerely hope not, but only you can answer that, where part of answering that question will depend on how serious you take your practice to begin with.

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 01:09:44 pm »
The basis of the Zen practice is ...?   

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 01:30:16 pm »
The answer to that might depend on who you ask, but the following from the website of the White Wind Zen Community sums it up nicely:

Zen is not just a "religion", a "philosophy", a "way of life", or a "belief". It is a practice. It is something that you do. Doing Zen practice under the guidance of a Zen Teacher means that you are entering into the practice and realization of the Buddha that has been transmitted directly from Teacher to student for two thousand six hundred years.

It is very rare to have the opportunity to begin such practice, difficult to be considered eligible to become a student, and very difficult to do and master the practice. This is not only because the sitting practice itself can be rigorous, but because the Teachers and the training ask us to put down our assumptions, philosophies and stories, and to enter directly into our experience of our life.

You can read more here >>>
http://wwzc.org/entering-gates-practice


There is also Prof. Masunaga Reiho's description of the meaning of Zen:

Zen and its culture are unique to the East, and until recently the West knew little about them. Some Americans and Europeans who have learned of Zen have become deeply interested in it.

The interest stems possibly from Zens ability to communicate new life awareness. Western culture is oriented primarily toward Being; Eastern culture, toward non-Being. Being can be studied by objective logic. Non-Being must be existentially understood; it is the principle of absolute negation that enables one to loosen bonds and turn toward limitlessness.

This culture of non-Being developed in the Far East with the points of emphasis differing from country to country. In India it was pre dominantly intellectual and philosophical; in China, practical and down to earth; and in Japan, esthetic and emotional. Zen linked up with these various cultural characteristics as it spread. What then is Zen?

To define Zen is difficult. To define is to limit to make a neat conceptual package that abstracts from the whole and gives only part of the picture. This would not capture Zen, for it is rooted in our deepest life flow and deals with the facts of unfettered experience.

The non-conceptual nature of Zen is apparent in the catch phrases that became popular in Sung China. Zen trainees took their cues from such expressions as:

1. No dependence on words and letters;
2. A special transmission outside the classified teachings;
3. Direct pointing to the mind of man; and
4. Seeing the mind is becoming the Buddha.

Zen is not bound by the words and letters of the sutras and satras. It passes from mind to mind outside the classified and systematized doctrines. Systematizing the Buddhist scriptures was a characteristic of Chinese Buddhism. But Zen basically eluded systematization. It does not lean on the classified teachings. It concentrates on penetrating to the inherent nature of man, and this is called becoming the Buddha.

More here >>>
http://www.zenki.com/index.php?lang=en&page=Masunaga01




Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2014, 08:19:42 pm »
When I meditate - the mind and self culminate 'emptiness' is that the goal eventually leading to enlightenment? ...
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 08:31:00 pm by NepalianBuddhist »

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2014, 10:33:35 pm »
Hmmm... would that be self or selflessness?

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2014, 11:54:59 am »
Could be ... The culmination of mind and self while meditating is emptiness.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 12:01:10 pm by NepalianBuddhist »

Offline Ananda10

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2014, 06:53:48 am »


One can contemplate that the 5 aggregates of clinging: form, feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness are impermanent and subject to change. Therefore the 5 aggregates are void of a self.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2014, 06:24:27 am »
I have found study and focus on this sutta helpful:

MN 122 PTS: M iii 109
Maha-suññata Sutta: The Greater Discourse on Emptiness
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.122.than.html

Excerpt:  from Buddha to Ananda:

Quote
"Ananda, a monk does not shine if he delights in company, enjoys company, is committed to delighting in company; if he delights in a group, enjoys a group, rejoices in a group. Indeed, Ananda, it is impossible that a monk who delights in company, enjoys company, is committed to delighting in company; who delights in a group, enjoys a group, rejoices in a group, will obtain at will — without difficulty, without trouble — the pleasure of renunciation, the pleasure of seclusion, the pleasure of peace, the pleasure of self-awakening. But it is possible that a monk who lives alone, withdrawn from the group, can expect to obtain at will — without difficulty, without trouble — the pleasure of renunciation, the pleasure of seclusion, the pleasure of peace, the pleasure of self-awakening.


As said, studying the sutta in its entirety is helpful.  I find it particularly so, while wandering in the forests near our home here in NH.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: Emptiness is the focus of Meditation? ...
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2014, 10:40:00 am »
Can you meditate on the World and get the sense of spirituality according to Great Mind? ....

 


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