Author Topic: Questions on emptiness  (Read 2382 times)

Offline cosmic_dog_magic

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Re: Questions on emptiness
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2015, 09:16:16 pm »
going further, having understood and reasoned emptiness to be the nature of all things, we still have to deal with the suffering and pain we still experience, we don't need to put a bullet in our leg, but we can work with our strong afflictive feelings, like shame, self-hatred, anger etc.  First it's understanding our relationship to them is born out years of conditioning.  To know our bodies are empty, when we sit we can notice how resistant (ever subtle) or even dull we've become to parts of our bodies, that in pockets lies pain of all kinds, and sitting and doing nothing, these pains begin to surface and agitate our sitting experience.  But if we take an attitude of openness and surrendering to them, cut off our labeling thinking mind that in itself holds things at bay, and experience them in all their qualities, knowing that "if our bodies are truly empty as they say and as I reasoned so, then I should be able to handle whatever arises."  We may find an interesting process taking place, one that's both healing and hollowing -- and liberating.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Questions on emptiness
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2015, 02:31:27 am »
Sadhu! Well spoken.

Offline Caz

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Re: Questions on emptiness
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2015, 01:47:46 pm »
In the chapter "Training in Ultimate Bodhichitta" of his book The Path of Compassion and Wisdom by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the author talks about everything being empty.

here a a few quotes from this chapter

"Although things appear directly to our senses to be truly, or
inherently, existent, in reality all phenomena lack, or are empty
of, true existence. This book, our body, our friends, we ourself,
and the entire universe are in reality just appearances to mind,
like things seen in a dream."

"The universe appears to consist of discrete objects that have an
existence from their own side. These objects appear to exist in
themselves as stars, planets, mountains, people and so forth,
‘waiting’ to be experienced by conscious beings."

"Those who have a direct experience of
emptiness do not feel any pain even if they are beaten or shot.
Knowing that the real nature of their body is like space, for them
being beaten is like space being beaten and being shot is like
space being shot."

Coming from a Theravada background, I guess I just dont understand.

Can someone explain this to me?

 Because for an example, if I hit you with a chair, and you say the chair does not exist, and your body does not exist, then I guess you wouldnt even feel it. ( I would never really hit anyone with a chair, this is just an example)

Yet I challenge anyone, including the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, to say that being hit with a chair doesnt hurt, or that the chair or his body doesnt exist.

Please help me to understand this as I just cant grasp how this could be so.

A sincere thanks in advance for your replies


A deep realization of emptiness renders pain painless ! :) There are accounts of great Bodhisattva's in the past performing actions such as cutting of their own flesh to benefit others, they can only accomplish this because of their deep realization.
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Questions on emptiness
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2015, 11:00:01 pm »
A SPECIAL EXPLANATION OF HOW GENEROSITY PRODUCES HAPPINESS IN BODHISATTVAS

I. THE ACTUAL EXPLANATION

       If the joy the heirs of the victors feel
       Upon hearing "Please give to me"
       Cannot be matched by the joy of the sages entering peace,
       What need to mention their joy of giving everything? (1.14)

One may wonder, "What kind of joy do the bodhisattvas experience when they bring satisfaction to someone who has asked them for something?" If several beggars were to come to the door of a bodhisattva and cry out, "Please give this to me," asking for whatever enjoyments they desired, when the bodhisattvas first hear this cry they will first wonder, "Are they asking me or someone else?" When they realize it is they who are being asked, these heirs of the victorious ones experience a joy that cannot be rivaled even by the joy of the hearer and solitary realizer arhats when those sages enter into the pacification of all suffering. Therefore, what need is there to speak of the even greater joy and satisfaction that the bodhisattvas experience when they benefit others by giving away all inner and outer things?


II. EVEN IF SUFFERING ARISES, IT IS TRANSFORMED INTO A CAUSE FOR THE FURTHER BENEFIT OF OTHERS

       The suffering they experience when cutting off and giving their flesh
       Brings the sufferings of others in the hells and so forth
       Directly to the bodhisattvas' minds.
       They then swiftly apply themselves to ending that suffering. (1.15)

Do the bodhisattvas physically suffer when give their flesh and so forth away? There are two types of bodhisattvas: those without attachment and those with attachment. As to the first, it is impossible for them to experience suffering due to cutting off their own flesh, because they have realized that all phenomena are devoid of an inherent nature. Therefore their experience is just like the experience of someone cutting inanimate matter. In relation to this, the sutra called the Concentration of the Space Treasury (Namka Dzo kyi Ting-nge Dzin/nam mkha' mdzod kyi tingnge 'dzin) says:

It is like this: If there were a large forest of sala trees to which a few people came and cut down one tree, the remaining trees would not think, "They cut that tree down; they did not cut me down!" They would have no attachment or anger. The patience of the bodhisattvas is like that. It is completely pure, supreme, and equal to space.

Therefore, noble beings have no suffering due to cutting off their flesh.

As for bodhisattvas with attachment, the suffering they experience in their body from cutting off and giving away their flesh causes them to infer, from their own torment, the incredibly great physical sufferings of other sentient beings in the three lower realms—the hells and so forth. Through fully experiencing their own suffering, they see that the sufferings of the lower realms are a thousand times more intense and intolerable. The bodhisattvas, therefore, do not view the suffering that arises from cutting off their flesh as merely suffering alone. Rather, in order to put an end to the continuum of suffering of the hells and so forth, they swiftly apply themselves to attain great enlightenment.


The Karmapa's Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate
Snow Lion Publications (2008) pp.116-118




Offline Caz

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Re: Questions on emptiness
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2015, 03:52:53 am »
A SPECIAL EXPLANATION OF HOW GENEROSITY PRODUCES HAPPINESS IN BODHISATTVAS

I. THE ACTUAL EXPLANATION

       If the joy the heirs of the victors feel
       Upon hearing "Please give to me"
       Cannot be matched by the joy of the sages entering peace,
       What need to mention their joy of giving everything? (1.14)

One may wonder, "What kind of joy do the bodhisattvas experience when they bring satisfaction to someone who has asked them for something?" If several beggars were to come to the door of a bodhisattva and cry out, "Please give this to me," asking for whatever enjoyments they desired, when the bodhisattvas first hear this cry they will first wonder, "Are they asking me or someone else?" When they realize it is they who are being asked, these heirs of the victorious ones experience a joy that cannot be rivaled even by the joy of the hearer and solitary realizer arhats when those sages enter into the pacification of all suffering. Therefore, what need is there to speak of the even greater joy and satisfaction that the bodhisattvas experience when they benefit others by giving away all inner and outer things?


II. EVEN IF SUFFERING ARISES, IT IS TRANSFORMED INTO A CAUSE FOR THE FURTHER BENEFIT OF OTHERS

       The suffering they experience when cutting off and giving their flesh
       Brings the sufferings of others in the hells and so forth
       Directly to the bodhisattvas' minds.
       They then swiftly apply themselves to ending that suffering. (1.15)

Do the bodhisattvas physically suffer when give their flesh and so forth away? There are two types of bodhisattvas: those without attachment and those with attachment. As to the first, it is impossible for them to experience suffering due to cutting off their own flesh, because they have realized that all phenomena are devoid of an inherent nature. Therefore their experience is just like the experience of someone cutting inanimate matter. In relation to this, the sutra called the Concentration of the Space Treasury (Namka Dzo kyi Ting-nge Dzin/nam mkha' mdzod kyi tingnge 'dzin) says:

It is like this: If there were a large forest of sala trees to which a few people came and cut down one tree, the remaining trees would not think, "They cut that tree down; they did not cut me down!" They would have no attachment or anger. The patience of the bodhisattvas is like that. It is completely pure, supreme, and equal to space.

Therefore, noble beings have no suffering due to cutting off their flesh.

As for bodhisattvas with attachment, the suffering they experience in their body from cutting off and giving away their flesh causes them to infer, from their own torment, the incredibly great physical sufferings of other sentient beings in the three lower realms—the hells and so forth. Through fully experiencing their own suffering, they see that the sufferings of the lower realms are a thousand times more intense and intolerable. The bodhisattvas, therefore, do not view the suffering that arises from cutting off their flesh as merely suffering alone. Rather, in order to put an end to the continuum of suffering of the hells and so forth, they swiftly apply themselves to attain great enlightenment.


The Karmapa's Middle Way: Feast for the Fortunate
Snow Lion Publications (2008) pp.116-118


 :teehee: Good old Karmapa he does put it excellently.
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

Offline chowkit74

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Re: Questions on emptiness
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2015, 11:31:41 pm »
In the realm of emptiness, there is one forceful element known as the mind.  But what is mind and where does it derive from?  Actually, the mind is a pattern of consciousness that is born from awareness.  Awareness is a ground condition that ‘supports’ consciousness.  The nature of awareness is effulgence and it is in a not-knowing state before the appearance of object.  Consciousness, on the other hand, is appearance of objects in the mind.  When awareness touches on objects, consciousness would arise simultaneously.  Consciousness is naturally looking outward to objects and it is flitting all the time.  In addition, consciousness is synergy i.e. energy that expands through cooperation.  Synergy is a key to the geometric expansion of consciousness and thus the arising of its two terms i.e. prevailing consciousness and subtle consciousness.  In fact, mind is known as consciousness in individuality.  Therefore, the origin of individuality is the same as the origin of the mind.  Mind is something more objective and involves clear discrimination – differentiates and understands the characteristics of objects.  One utilises mind to understand things because mind understands the manipulation of consciousness.

On the other hand, emptiness plays a key role in clarifying the dependent nature.  In fact, the emptiness of phenomena is both the cause and consequence of the dependent nature of phenomena.  For example,

Microscopic analysis of things

If one were to zoom in the analysis of a solid ball by looking into the contents and then its basic matters i.e. atoms, one could realise that the ultimate result would yield to the absence of things (no things).  At the end of the day, one could declare that form is empty in the real sense because there is no core essence within it except for the basic elements (energy, matter and space) that orientate and evolve constantly under the influence of the external conditions.  In other words, one could mention that the form entity has a delusive nature i.e. it is an appearance, though not illusive, but devoid of inherent existence and constantly varies under the influence of conditional phenomena. 

Macroscopic analysis of things

If one were to zoom out the analysis of a solid ball by receding into a long shot distance indefinitely, the solid ball would appear to be shrinking into a tiniest size and one could realise that the ultimate result would yield to the absence of things (no things).  In other words, the broader the perspective that one engages in, the lesser the multiplicity of things would appear to be.  For example, the viewing of the earth from far and near would yield a different result to the observer’s perception altogether.

As a summary, we could mention that emptiness is the inherent quality of existence and is considered the ultimate truth because it inherently exists exactly as it is perceived when it is perceived directly by an enlightened mind.  And discovering the ultimate truth is the key to overcoming the ignorant state of mind.  However, we need to be clear that what exists is defined as that which can be known by the mind.  Anything that cannot be known by the mind does not exist and things or matters can exist as in fallacy or in reality.  Therefore, mind is the forerunner of all states in the dependent nature.  Transcending the mind via meditation would allow the dilution of one’s personal ego under the light of pure awareness and subsequently, it would give rise to the original source connection – the emptiness of all things. 

More importantly, one should not confuse emptiness with nothingness.  Emptiness cannot be meant as nothingness but instead, it is more associated with no-thing-ness.  No thing can mean no becoming or no changing.  No changing means no suffering.  No suffering means no mind.  Mind is the forerunner of all states.  No mind means a completely neutralised state of affairs - that is nibbāna.  The state of nibbāna is inexplicable in conventional terms but still, it can be tasted by the enlightened ones during deep meditation.



"Why is there mind arising in the dependent nature?  It is because there are elements of energy.  Why are there elements of energy in the dependent nature?  It is because there is emptiness.  Why is there emptiness in the dependent nature?  It is because there is emptiness of emptiness." 

Offline Matibhadra

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Re: Questions on emptiness
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2016, 07:55:27 am »
Quote
Yet I challenge anyone, including the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, to say that being hit with a chair doesnt hurt,

In such case, you should directly challenge the Buddha, who in a past life as a king shone with light as his limbs were cut off by the five bloodthirsty yakshas, the same who later became his first five disciples.

Quote
or that the chair or his body doesnt exist.

Actually, one might challenge you to prove that the quoted author said this! What that author said is that the chair or his body do not exist from their own side, which is quite different.

 


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