Emptiness

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
shanyin
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 4:49 am

Emptiness

Post by shanyin » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:22 am

I have used the search bar to look for an answer on this but I couldn't find it.

What is emptiness in Mahayana Buddhism?

User avatar
Wayfarer
Global Moderator
Posts: 4608
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Emptiness

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:36 am

No wisdom can we get hold of
No highest perfection
No Bodhisattva, no thought of enlightenment either
When told of this, if not bewildered and in no way anxious
A Bodhisattva courses in the Tathāgata's wisdom.

Prajñāpāramitā Sutra ~ Conze Translation

shanyin
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 4:49 am

Re: Emptiness

Post by shanyin » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:56 am

I'm trying to read the first two google pages. But isn't it empty of inherent existence?

User avatar
javier.espinoza.t
Posts: 1158
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:29 am
Location: Chile

Re: Emptiness

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:36 pm

shanyin wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:56 am
I'm trying to read the first two google pages. But isn't it empty of inherent existence?
when you have experience, in the very moment you define the experience, you left emptiness.
"Don't profess a view you haven't realized!
Since the view is devoid of viewing, mind essence is an expanse of great emptiness.
Since the meditation is without meditating, leave your individual experience free from fixation.
Since the conduct is without acting, it is unfabricated naturalness.
Since the fruition is without abandoning or achieving, it is the dharmakaya of great bliss.
These four sentences are words from my heart:
Contradict them and you fail to discover the nature of Ati Yoga."


Guru Padmasambhava.
From "Advice from the Lotus-Born".

User avatar
Grigoris
Global Moderator
Posts: 19351
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Emptiness

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:55 pm

shanyin wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:56 am
I'm trying to read the first two google pages. But isn't it empty of inherent existence?
Yes, emptiness is empty.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
Wayfarer
Global Moderator
Posts: 4608
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Emptiness

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:42 pm

shanyin wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:56 am
I'm trying to read the first two google pages. But isn't it empty of inherent existence?
You're correct, those first two pages are quite hard to interpret, and understanding 'inherent existence' is quite difficult.

The best introduction to emptiness that I know of is by Venerable Thanissaro, Emptiness. It's only short. Have a read of that, if you have further questions on it, by all means raise them here.
No wisdom can we get hold of
No highest perfection
No Bodhisattva, no thought of enlightenment either
When told of this, if not bewildered and in no way anxious
A Bodhisattva courses in the Tathāgata's wisdom.

Prajñāpāramitā Sutra ~ Conze Translation

Jesse
Posts: 1735
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: Emptiness

Post by Jesse » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:55 am

I was once told, it's something you just 'have to get'... It's like a sudden understanding, in a sudden moment of time you will simply see, and experience it, and then your mind will instantly try to conceptualize it, and seek it out, and thus begins the path.

read as much about it as you want, you need a full intellectual understanding to begin with anyhow, and as you continue to practice you will begin to grasp it intuitively through direct experience.

The mind grasps at everything, at all understandings, experiences, sensations, emotions, thoughts.. then through this grasping, it spins a story that entirely engrosses you in samsara. Samsara... I would compare it to sleepwalking, or dreaming, and through practice, the causes and conditions of this dream are dismantled and destroyed, or some would say transformed.

Attachment, Aversion, Mental Grasping, Not understanding the mind, and having no control over the mind, all of these things obfuscate reality. They are deeply embedded karmic seeds that one must slowly transform through practice.

Typically through a consistent and good meditation practice, these things are temporarily suppressed( through samatha+vipassana) -- all grasping and aversion at either a gross, or subtle level will cease, and once this happens, you will have a glimpse of reality. (Emptiness).

Sometimes people must first be shown, other times it can simply happen through practice. I was personally shown reality, and then through meditation, I could recognize it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satori
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau

thomaslaw
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:00 am
Location: Australia

Re: Emptiness

Post by thomaslaw » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:57 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:42 pm
shanyin wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:56 am
I'm trying to read the first two google pages. But isn't it empty of inherent existence?
You're correct, those first two pages are quite hard to interpret, and understanding 'inherent existence' is quite difficult.

The best introduction to emptiness that I know of is by Venerable Thanissaro, Emptiness. It's only short. Have a read of that, if you have further questions on it, by all means raise them here.
The following book may be useful for understanding Emptiness in Buddhism: The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism, 1999, second edition, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, by Choong Mun-keat.

Thomas

User avatar
Caoimhghín
Posts: 1921
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Emptiness

Post by Caoimhghín » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:32 am

歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

thomaslaw
Posts: 108
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:00 am
Location: Australia

Re: Emptiness

Post by thomaslaw » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:34 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:32 am
I would also like to suggest for some like side reading Dependent Origination = Emptiness” —Nāgārjuna’s Innovation? An Examination of the Early and Mainstream Sectarian Textual Sources by Venerable Shì Huìfēng.
Good paper for the topic Emptiness. Do you know the published date and the full name of the Journal?

Thanks

Thomas

User avatar
Wayfarer
Global Moderator
Posts: 4608
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Emptiness

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:11 am

pretty heavy-duty academic reading, though. Thanissaro's is a better introduction for someone trying to get the basic drift.
No wisdom can we get hold of
No highest perfection
No Bodhisattva, no thought of enlightenment either
When told of this, if not bewildered and in no way anxious
A Bodhisattva courses in the Tathāgata's wisdom.

Prajñāpāramitā Sutra ~ Conze Translation

muni
Posts: 4594
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Emptiness

Post by muni » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:39 am

when you have experience, in the very moment you define the experience, you left emptiness.
Thank you. A cut as appearances on 'this side' and emptiness at the 'other side'.

Broken *nondual equipoise*. Even cannot actually be broken, still broken/left. All definitions are phenomenal, and so as well all explained dharma 'about' emptiness. Perhaps how it is not can be said, to get a start. Only things-phenomena can be defined, not what is not phenomenal. It can only 'be pointed' in a variety of ways, never defined.
The mind grasps at everything, at all understandings, experiences, sensations, emotions, thoughts.. then through this grasping, it spins a story that entirely engrosses you in samsara.
:namaste:
*Om Mani Peme Hung*

User avatar
Grigoris
Global Moderator
Posts: 19351
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Emptiness

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:50 am

I would recommend the Lankvatara Sutra's chapter on emptiness.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
Grigoris
Global Moderator
Posts: 19351
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Emptiness

Post by Grigoris » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:09 am

Also Mipham Rinpoche's chapter on emptiness in his text "Gateway to Knowledge".
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Crazywisdom
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Re: Emptiness

Post by Crazywisdom » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:41 am

Shantideva I believe ch 9
Vajra fangs deliver vajra venom to your Mara body.

User avatar
Caoimhghín
Posts: 1921
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:35 pm
Location: Whitby, Ontario

Re: Emptiness

Post by Caoimhghín » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:11 pm

thomaslaw wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:34 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:32 am
I would also like to suggest for some like side reading Dependent Origination = Emptiness” —Nāgārjuna’s Innovation? An Examination of the Early and Mainstream Sectarian Textual Sources by Venerable Shì Huìfēng.
Good paper for the topic Emptiness. Do you know the published date and the full name of the Journal?

Thanks

Thomas
Journal of the Centre for Buddhist Studies, Śrī Laṃkā, Vol XI, I don't know the date published.

At the end of the article, it says that "the author here is presently working on a full English translation of this work, to be titled An Investigation into Emptiness, to be published by Noble Path Publishing, USA."
歸命本覺心法身常住妙法心蓮臺本來莊嚴三身徳三十七尊住心
城遠離因果法然具普門塵數諸三昧無邊徳海本圓滿還我頂禮心諸佛

In reverence for the root gnosis of the heart, the dharmakāya,
for the ever present good law of the heart, the lotus terrace,
for the inborn adornment of the trikāya, the thirty-seven sages dwelling in the heart,
for that which is removed from seed and fruit, the upright key to the universal gate,
for all boundless concentrations, the sea of virtue, the root perfection,
I prostrate, bowing to the hearts of all Buddhas.

胎藏金剛菩提心義略問答鈔, Treatise on the teaching of the gnostic heart of the womb and the diamond, T2397.1.470c5-8

kausalya
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:52 pm

Re: Emptiness

Post by kausalya » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:00 pm

shanyin wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:22 am
I have used the search bar to look for an answer on this but I couldn't find it.

What is emptiness in Mahayana Buddhism?
The basic idea informing emptiness (according to my own feeble understanding) is that nothing whatsoever has come into existence in the absence of causes and conditions. Not comprehending this to the fullest extent, we look out at the world and assume that things exist as objects unto themselves, and that a real person created those objects, for example. This is short-sighted, and causes us to have distorted views about the world and our place in it.

When we understand how objects exist, we know that they aren't solid, in a sense, and our attachment to them (and to ourselves as self-existent entities) gradually evaporates. At that point, we have an opportunity to work without confusion for the benefit of others, in the time that we have, and avoid creating negative karma in the process.
"Open sky does not abide, nor do sentient beings."

ItsRaining
Posts: 242
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 7:45 am

Re: Emptiness

Post by ItsRaining » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:03 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:11 am
pretty heavy-duty academic reading, though. Thanissaro's is a better introduction for someone trying to get the basic drift.
He asked for the meaning of emptiness in the Mahayana not the sravakayana.

User avatar
Wayfarer
Global Moderator
Posts: 4608
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Emptiness

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:59 am

Better to walk before you can run.
No wisdom can we get hold of
No highest perfection
No Bodhisattva, no thought of enlightenment either
When told of this, if not bewildered and in no way anxious
A Bodhisattva courses in the Tathāgata's wisdom.

Prajñāpāramitā Sutra ~ Conze Translation

User avatar
Josef
Posts: 2318
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Emptiness

Post by Josef » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:25 am

Crazywisdom wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:41 am
Shantideva I believe ch 9
Seconded.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.

Post Reply

Return to “Mahāyāna Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 40 guests