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Aloka
10 Mar 10, 08:11
I was wondering what your thoughts were in connection with teachings about ''emptiness'' ?

Does your understanding of emptiness have any impact on your everyday life ?


I think this sutta in the Pali Canon is significant because I think there can often be misunderstandings about the meaning of emptiness.

<u>SN 20.7 -Ani Sutta</u>




Staying at Savatthi. "Monks, there once was a time when the Dasarahas had a large drum called 'Summoner.' Whenever Summoner was split, the Dasarahas inserted another peg in it, until the time came when Summoner's original wooden body had disappeared and only a conglomeration of pegs remained.

"In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited.

They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.

"In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves."


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andyrobyn
10 Mar 10, 09:58
My understanding has been shaped mostly from Mahayana teachings, though I do not see such disparity with the above sutta from the Pali Canon.

The true nature of all things is that every thing which exists is impermanent and interconected to every other impermanent and interconnected thing - nothing has any solid existence, there is no permanent separate inherent being or 'self' .... in this way it is described as empty.

Aloka
10 Mar 10, 11:08
Thanks for your response Andy. I've added an extra question to #1.

srivijaya
10 Mar 10, 13:46
A very good question and one which I have studied and thought over for some time.

My interest in emptiness was sparked when I read the famous lines in the Heart Sutra - form is empty, emptiness is form. I resolved to find out about it and ended up studying the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism.

Years later, I have concluded that many Buddhists make a huge mistake when approaching this topic. Buddha may have likened this world to a bubble, rainbow or illusion but he never meant anyone to take it so literally, as to concoct a whole philosophical system which states that emptiness is some kind of ultimate reality.

Where that leads us, is to a belief that things exist in one way and we perceive them in another. Therefore, in order to be free, we have to understand and meditate on a philosophical construct to thus dispel our ignorance.

But this concept of Maya, the illusion, is borrowed from certain Hindu schools (not all btw). Just substitute Brahman for emptiness and you've got it.

All quests for 'ultimate' realities are missing the point. Buddha rejects time and time again, any attempt to pin him down on this.

Empty of self and anything relating to self, is as far as I would personally go, as it's experiential within Jhana. You can actually see this directly, without having to fabricate anything.

In the suttas, Buddha used the term in slightly different ways, but all of them practical and experiential. I've never encountered anything remotely resembling a 'theory' of ultimate existence in them.


the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering
This is sadly true. He could have added "Famous Buddhist Scholars" to his list.

When studying Tibetan buddhism you can sense the disparity between the veneration of the tenets and the great masters like Tilopa and Naropa who talk of 'direct experience'. The two are utterly unconnected. It took an old hag to point that one out to a self-satisfied Naropa and set him off on his quest.

Namaste

Esho
10 Mar 10, 18:59
The true nature of all things is that every thing which exists is impermanent and interconected to every other impermanent and interconnected thing - nothing has any solid existence, there is no permanent separate inherent being or 'self' .... in this way it is described as empty.

Yes... I have this same understanding. Also even when we can not see emptiness as such, impermanence is the evidence of it. With out emptiness there would not ocurre impermanecne and thins would never change in time.

At the moment we experience change we experience impermanence and we experience emptiness.

And yes... this understanding brought me a different attitude toward life and life facts. A deep feeling of freedom, in my personal case.

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Aloka
11 Mar 10, 10:10
I particularly like these verses from the end of Phena Sutta (Foam) SN 22.95 :


That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-Gone, the Teacher, said further:

"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.


The whole sutta can be read here: URL (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.095.than.html)


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srivijaya
11 Mar 10, 12:25
Very nice Dazzle.http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif

andyrobyn
12 Mar 10, 10:10
Does your understanding of emptiness have any impact on your everyday life ?

Helps reduce the tendency toward clinging, understanding the relationship between form and emptiness is the antidote.

Prior to and when beginning meditation and practice, my experience of moments of emptiness were associated with confusion, insecurity, loss, dissociation, anxiety and it all felt very wrong - fear would lead me to cling to form as security because form temporarily allows the mind to pretend that form is not also empty.
Emptiness can also be experienced positively in the form of spontaneity, inspiration, creativity and as a sense of wonder and vastness.
When we are able to relax into emptiness we are able to relate appropriately to form.
A realistic relationship with form is not possible unless we relate to emptiness – emptiness and form are non-dual.
They are aspects of each other.

Aloka
12 Mar 10, 20:07
In general, we can arrive at an understanding of emptiness through examining co-dependent arising and impermanence and the fact that everything exists dependent on something else ("because of this, that arises"). So things can be said to be empty of a separate, independent, permanent existence or 'self'.....including ourselves.

We can arrive at an experiential understanding of emptiness though meditation. When discursive thoughts settle, the mind eventually becomes calm, clear and at peace and there is an absence of 'I' and 'mine'. There is no fear, no self, no clinging. When meditation eventually begins to merge with post-meditation, then this is beneficial to our general awareness and well-being.


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sukitlek
13 Mar 10, 01:39
There are 2 kinds of emptiness.

1. The emptiness of 7th step or 8th step of Samatha or Jhana.

(7th) "Through the total overcoming of the sphere of boundless consciousness, and with the idea 'Nothing is there', he reaches the sphere of nothingness (akincannayatana) and abides therein.

(8th) "Through the total overcoming of the sphere of nothingness he reaches the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception (nevasanna-nasannayatana) and abides therein."

2. The emptiness of Vipassana. This is the result of insight developement. It is empty from self or no "I".

------------------------------

The other emptiness that is very dangerous of practicer who do Jhana to the 4th step and too much focus of body then like the mind disappear call Asanna-satta.

Asanna-satta : The 'unconscious beings', are a class of heavenly beings in the fine-material world; s. deva (II). "There are, o monks, heavenly beings known as the unconscious ones. As soon, however, as in those beings consciousness arises, those beings will vanish from that world. Now, o monks, it may happen that one of those beings after vanishing from that world, may reappear in this world...." (D. 24). Further details, s. Kath., Yam. (Guide, pp. 68, 79, 96 ff.).
------------------------------------------

Why dangerous ? Because this kind of being take a very very..... long..... time. Many of many Buddhas come and go. After reappear in this world, seem everything should restart from the begining. If born to be human, he like amentia.

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andyrobyn
13 Mar 10, 02:21
from the end of Phena Sutta (Foam) SN 22.95

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.
:

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frank
13 Mar 10, 04:12
Now, o monks, it may happen that one of those beings after vanishing from that world, may reappear in this world...." (D. 24).

My own searches found D.24 (DN24) as being Patika Sutta the story of the disciple who follows other teachers because the Buddha does not work miracles or teach the origin of things.

Is there maybe another discussing the Deva Realm?

Esho
13 Mar 10, 15:00
including ourselves.

Yes Dazz dear,

Is far as my understanding can get, in this same way is that we practice and undersand emptiness... the main idea is to understand it in ourselves.



We can arrive at an experiential understanding of emptiness though meditation.

If we "see" deeply how things are... we can grasp truly this fact... if this fact is all over nature... why we have to be an exception. We are in essence emptyness; if not... there will be no chance to experience changes in our lifes.

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Esho
13 Mar 10, 15:02
When I realized emptiness not as an itelectual debate or concept but as a realization through experience I experienced some kind of blissfull feeling of freedom. I became a little more happier and I loose a little the fear of death.

Emptiness is the condition of all fenomenom... of all fact in nature... of happening in our selfes including our own spiritual path.

As a very personal commentary something that endures endlessly arouse in me a kind of neurotic feeling about life.

"Nothing is for ever"

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thundreams
14 Mar 10, 17:43
All things are energy. When I close my eyes I see the universe and when I open them I see the illusion of self. For me emptiness is the the desolution of self. That as far as I've gotten.

Practice, Practice, Practice!!!

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Gail

Esho
14 Mar 10, 17:48
Practice, Practice, Practice!!!

Are you attending my dojo?

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thundreams
14 Mar 10, 22:13
I wish I were.

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Ha, Ha, Ha.

Esho
15 Mar 10, 00:00
from post #17

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