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Thread: "contemplating emptiness" video

  1. #41
    This is why Nagarjuna says in his Madhyamka treatise:

    "Whatever is dependent arising
    We declared that to be emptiness.
    That is dependent designation,
    And is itself the middle way."

    ... that the middle way is dependent designation. This means that dependent arising and emptiness, both referring to modes of existence, come down to mere designation or (labeling), which is also dependently arisen.

    It is not so much that things both exist and do not exist at the same time but by negation if a thing (a functioning thing) does not exist inherently, or as a stand-alone independent phenomena, then it must exist dependently. By virtue of negating the first hypothesis that things exist independently then there is only one option left and that is that they exist dependently (ultimate truth) if they exist at all - and they do exist or there would be nothing to label or no relative, or conventional reality at all, which is dependent designation.

  2. #42
    Forums Member srivijaya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    It is not so much that things both exist and do not exist at the same time but by negation if a thing (a functioning thing) does not exist inherently, or as a stand-alone independent phenomena, then it must exist dependently. By virtue of negating the first hypothesis that things exist independently then there is only one option left and that is that they exist dependently (ultimate truth) if they exist at all - and they do exist or there would be nothing to label or no relative, or conventional reality at all, which is dependent designation.
    Hi londerabroad,
    I know what you are saying, I studied the tenets extensively but perhaps my last post wasn't clear. Buddha himself, never engaged with the 'list of 4' in any way. Emptiness was directly realised by Buddha, not logically constructed.

    The tenets were composed by scholars with the aim of establishing what does/doesn't exist by way of refutation. The conclusion you outline above is nevertheless "a position", something the Buddha himself had no need of.

  3. #43
    Yes I think you are right Srivijaya. I think Mahayana Buddhism only developed to reach those Buddha couldn't - a development on the Pali canon, which gives an intellectual viewpoint students can then prove or disprove with their own meditation (or direct experience). It could be that or an attempt to speed up the enlightenment process by providing intellectual signposts and pointers to help followers in their meditations and start their process of realizations.

  4. #44
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    The understanding of the teaching on DO was thought to be simple by Ananda but the Buddha told him that was not the case.
    hi LA

    i already replied to your misinterpretation of the above teaching. Since you repeated your point, I will repeat my point:

    Quote Originally Posted by Element
    I would suggest to read the whole sutta, where Buddha replied "this generation of people" do not see it. In other words, Buddha was not refering to his disciples & students. In MN 38 and MN 115, Buddha unambiguously advised his students are to realise Dependent Origination for themselves, thus, obviously, it is not something difficult for the dedicated student.
    The Pali teaching is below:

    [The Buddha:] "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond samsara, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe and bad destinations.
    Buddha is referring to the world at large rather than to Buddhists.

    DO is not difficult to understand for one committed to spiritual investigation.


  5. #45
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    The emptiness of the five clusters of clinging is also referred to in the Dhammapada, verse 113:

    Better than a hundred years of life of a person, who does not perceive the arising
    and the dissolving of the five clusters of clinging (khandhas), is a day of life of one who perceives
    the continuous arising and dissolving of the five clusters of clinging.

    http://what-buddha-said.net/Canon/Su..._113.story.htm
    not so

    this verse refers to seeing arising & passing. the Pali is:

    Yo ca vassasataṃ jīve, apassaṃ udayabbayaṃ;
    Ekāhaṃ jīvitaṃ seyyo, passato udayabbayaṃ.
    it does not specifically mention 'emptiness'

    the Greek philosopher Heraclitis said: "All flows; no man can step into the same river twice". But there is no evidence Heraclitis realised emptiness as a result of peceiving the impermanence

    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    When we meditate we we can see the arising and dissolving of appearances of the mind. This is because both the mind's appearances and the mind itself is empty - that is it is interdependent.
    This is just theory; backwards theory.

    When we meditate, we see impermanence; we see conditionality. From that the mind may possibly see emptiness of 'self' in those things. But this does not necessarily mean the 'self' idea has dissolved in the mind. The mind may still have a sense of 'self' that believes it ('the self') is seeing impermanence & conditionality.

    From the Tao Te Ching, Chapter 16:

    Empty yourself of everything.
    Let the mind rest at peace.
    The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
    They grow and flourish and then return to the source.
    Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.

    http://www.wussu.com/laotzu/laotzu16.html
    ****

    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    Our thoughts, emotions, etc. arise from emptiness and dissolve back into emptiness - there is no abiding self
    Not so.

    Thoughts & emotions are emptiness.

    Thoughts & emotions do not arise from emptiness and dissolve back into emptiness.

    Generally, thoughts, emotions, etc. arise from ignorance.

    This is what Buddha taught in his Dependent Origination; which you are not focusing on; thus obviously not seeing.


  6. #46
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    The following is part 3 of the series of videos on contemplating emptiness, which talks about the existence of the self dependently.
    i have mentioned this previously

    because Nagajuna has focused so heavily on interdependence, similar to Tich Nhat Han's 'Interbeing', there arises the view of the 'interdependent self' rather than the absence of 'self'

    i mentioned earlier there is no 'interdependent or conventional self' in the Buddha Mind

    when Buddha Mind speaks the words "I", "me" & "mine", it is speaking merely words; just sounds; just noises

    Buddha Mind has no sense or feeling, whatsoever, that it has any kind of "self"

    Buddha Mind does not have an interdependent self nor a temporary self. Buddha Mind has no "self" at all

    regards


  7. #47
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by londonerabroad View Post
    It is precisely because the subjects - the clusters of clinging (khandhas or senses) - are dependent on the objects - things, that the two translations can said to be the same. It is because of the emptiness - the interdependence - of things (including the khandhas) that this is so and that both are dependently arising.
    This is very incorrect.

    Buddha refered to two kinds of khandhas: (i) pure khandhas and (ii) clung to khandhas (here)

    Clinging is dependent on craving; craving is dependent on ignorance. This is the Dependent Origination that Buddha taught.

    Clinging is not dependent on the khandhas or the sense objects.

    Buddha is free from clinging but the khandhas & the sense objects still function & exist in Buddha.

    What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana-element with residue left.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit...l.html#iti-044
    The khandhas are objects clung to by one of the khandhas (sankhara khandha).

    The term 'pancha khandha' ('five khandha') does not refer explicity to the 'clusters of clinging'.

    Instead, the term 'pancha khandha' ('five khandha') refers to the objects the mind clings to.

    It has been properly explained in the Pali when an Arahant dies, this is the khandhas ending.

    Then, friend Yamaka, how would you answer if you are thus asked: A monk, a worthy one, with no more mental effluents: what is he on the break-up of the body, after death?"

    "Thus asked, I would answer, 'Form is inconstant... Feeling... Perception... Fabrications... Consciousness is inconstant. That which is inconstant is unsatisfactory. That which is unsatisfactory has ceased and gone to its end."

    "Very good, my friend Yamaka. Very good.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....085.than.html

  8. #48
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    When we meditate we we can see the arising and dissolving of appearances of the mind. This is because both the mind's appearances and the mind itself is empty - that is it is interdependent. Our thoughts, emotions, etc. arise from emptiness and dissolve back into emptiness - there is no abiding self.
    Hi LA

    I mentioned earlier that when Buddha explained to Ananda the world is empty, Buddha specifically explained to Ananda the 18 phenomena that contribute to the 6 kinds of sense contact are empty. As I mentioned, Buddha did not really encourage the view that our thoughts & particularly "emotions" are empty because generally thoughts & emotions arise from "self-view".

    What I am saying is the Buddha encouraged us to realize emptiness by observing, intimately, the 18 phenomena that make up the 6 kinds of contact because these 24 phenomena are perceptually void of "self".

    But when the mind is drowning in thoughts & emotions, realizing emptiness is difficult.

    However, the view that thoughts & emotions arise from ignorance is a much easier method to control & dissolve thoughts & emotions.

    Thus, Dependent Origination, as Buddha taught, it suitable for the beginner Dhamma student. Where as Emptiness is difficult for the beginner dhamma student because the Buddha's Emptiness also refers to a mind completely free from 'self-view'.

    To end, IMO, you appear to be trying to make the easy (dependent origination) sound difficult & the difficult (emptiness) sound easy.

    In short, IMO, your analysis on this thread shows the Mahayana has convoluted (made more complicated) the teaching of Dependent Origination & trivialized (made less profound) the Buddha's teaching of Emptiness.

    Kind regards

    ;d

  9. #49
    Thank you Element for your contribution to this thread.

    As I understand it the Theravada position is that objects arise, abide a while then cease whereas the Mahayana view sees objects continuing, because of being empty (or interdependent), existing according to causes and conditions (which themselves are seen to be empty).

    Thus Thich Naht Hanh sees the clouds in the rain - the "interbeing" nature of the clouds and the rain, that the object exists by virtue of appearing through the gateway of emptiness. In the Theravada view one must be completely selfless not to simply be suppressing thoughts and emotions in meditation but to be dissolving them, or as Mahayana Buddhists like to say transforming them.

    Both positions appear to be very profound to me. I need to study and meditate a lot more before I can say I have gained any real, lasting realizations on the nature of mind.

    Thank you once again Element.

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