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Help understanding Emptiness please!

I'm really intrigued by emptiness and the logic behind the emptiness of all phenomena. But there is something that i really fail to understand and even with a lot of contemplation and meditation i still haven't managed to come to an understanding of such.

Basically, i understand that everything is empty of inherent existence. So everything relies on the mind to exist.
Even though i haven't seen emptiness of all phenomena, i presume i understand it but i still have questions.

All phenomena relies on my mind to exist then when i die it will no longer exist.

So if all of you appear to my mind then you don't exist inherently and you are mere appearance to my mind, this must be correct or emptiness would only refer to that which doesn't have it's own mind.. So, i realized that we all must be one with my mind. But apparently this isn't correct because we each have our own minds.. But if that is so, then either emptiness is incorrect or i can't perceive beings with their own mind because they can only experience themselves.

Also, If all of you are mere appearances to my mind why do i only perceive one body because of self grasping ignorance, aren't you all just an appearance like my body, why aren't i experiencing your body?

Monks have told me personally that we each have separate minds to which we accumulate karma, but if this is true then the beings i perceive in this universe that is a mere appearance to my mind are appearing to me in relation to the nature of my karma... But does my karma really effect the suffering of others or does my karma only effect how i perceive the suffering of others?

So many questions... I have tried speaking to monks in person about emptiness and it always left me feeling like the way the universe is - is a result of my karma. Which is confusing because that means all these beings that will defend their inherent existence are just appearances to me :/.

Am i looking at these teachings with hope of a more profound meaning than in reality?

Help me please?

EarthninjaShoshin
«13

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    No. I think you may be misunderstanding them.

    Consciousness is not empty of inherent existence. Each human undergoes re-birth and their consciousness is continued. Therefore, we are not, as sentient and cogent transitory beings ENTIRELY Empty of inherent Existence.

    Our bodies are temporary. Consciousness, ephemeral and intangible, impersonal and fluctuating, is re-born.

    Every second of every day.

    Drop a brick on your foot, and you feel it.
    I think you need to study up on dependent origination, and Self/Not-Self. You may be reading far too much into it.

  • HumanbHumanb Explorer

    I get what you are saying about Dependent origination because the body is a manifestation, as is the brick. I feel the brick because it isn't separate from my mind.

    But, i can't say i agree with the fact that we each have a separate consciousness because i personally think that consciousness is a single source.

    Because if you think about it, who we are is a direct result of the things we have experienced. If i was born into your body and lived your life right up to every single experience i would be you exactly, without a doubt.

    So, that consciousness is no different from my consciousness or anybody else's....
    For each one of us to have a different consciousness it would have to be unique to us, but considering there is no you without your body, personality and perception. What exists is the pure unaltered consciousness.

    But,
    I think the question is... Does consciousness depend on itself to exist?
    Does the act of being conscious of consciousness bring it into existence?

    I'm not even sure we can go further with this conversation actually, i struggle to understand the philosophy of others. I'm okay with understanding my own philosophy because that spans from my experiences haha.

    Can you explain Karma and emptiness with one consciousness in mind?

    Humanb

    x

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    If you die before me, I assure you I will not vanish.

    Nobody has taken me with them so far.

    Things change. Things have always changed and so this is emptiness.

    This form may be empty but it is here for now.

    I'd have to echo @federica here and suggest you get into the teachings of dependent origination and not-self before going into emptiness because it really makes more sense in that context.

    Going at emptiness right away is a surefire recipe for confusion.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    @Humanb said: I'm not even sure we can go further with this conversation actually, i struggle to understand the philosophy of others. I'm okay with understanding my own philosophy because that spans from my experiences haha.

    If consciousness was a unifying "energy" and we were all one consciousness, would we not see things the same way? Would we not be in agreement about this?
    Your own philosophy is ok with you, as it spans your experience. Ergo, that would indicate every experience is different. It's only a small step to understanding that Consciousness from one being to another, is also different....

    If your own supposed understanding of the matter leaves you confused, logic would dictate that your understanding is flawed.

  • HumanbHumanb Explorer

    @David said:
    If you die before me, I assure you I will not vanish.

    Nobody has taken me with them so far.

    Things change. Things have always changed and so this is emptiness.

    This form may be empty but it is here for now.

    I'd have to echo @federica here and suggest you get into the teachings of dependent origination and not-self before going into emptiness because it really makes more sense in that context.

    Going at emptiness right away is a surefire recipe for confusion.

    But if everything is empty of inherent existence then everything i perceive relies on my experience of it to exist, so when i die i am no longer experiencing you, or my body. thus it no longer exists. That is the teachings of emptiness isn't it?

    If everything depends on my mind to exist, when i am no longer perceiving it, it no longer exists, quantum physics says this too. When a particle isn't being perceived it exists as an interference pattern (Which means it neither exists as something or nothing) but when one views it, it changes into a particular state of existence.

    I will have a look at Dependent origination, maybe i'm suffering from a huge delusion :(.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited January 2016

    I'd say so... I mean, if we are all just the product of your mind then what are you?

    If you are just imagining all of us then tell me what part of the city I live in.

    Plus I may be older than you...

    Dependent origination should clear this up for you.

    You could also look up Thich Nhat Hahn and his teachings on inter-being.

  • HumanbHumanb Explorer
    edited January 2016

    @federica said:

    @Humanb said: I'm not even sure we can go further with this conversation actually, i struggle to understand the philosophy of others. I'm okay with understanding my own philosophy because that spans from my experiences haha.

    If consciousness was a unifying "energy" and we were all one consciousness, would we not see things the same way? Would we not be in agreement about this?
    Your own philosophy is ok with you, as it spans your experience. Ergo, that would indicate every experience is different. It's only a small step to understanding that Consciousness from one being to another, is also different....

    If your own supposed understanding of the matter leaves you confused, logic would dictate that your understanding is flawed.

    I'm only confused because i'm trying to link my philosophy with Buddhism because i really like Buddhism, but there are things within the religion that i don't agree with.
    Its hard to remove my philosophy from my life because my experience has taught me my perception of things.

    I love the Sutra teachings, i like the idea of the Tantra but i find all the different Buddhas but Shakyamuni a bit off putting because it seems weird. I also love emptiness a lot, i meditate on it everyday, but i have never managed to experience it though contemplating it, only when i do thoughtless meditation do i experience emptiness, but when i told a monk i was told that its not emptiness i experience..

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    @Humanb said:I'm only confused because i'm trying to link my philosophy with Buddhism because i really like Buddhism, but there are things within the religion that i don't agree with.

    Such as....?
    I have found, in the 20+ years I have been studying and following Buddhism that if I found something "I disagreed with", more often than not (not to say always) it was my understanding, not the teachings, that were wanting.

    Its hard to remove my philosophy from my life because my experience has taught me my perception of things.

    You may not want to hear this, but your philosophy, constructed over years, may be incorrect. When they were convinced the earth was flat and the sun went round it, simply telling them, could not convince them. They had to be shown, and it had to be proven.
    Perception is often deception.
    That guy fiddling with the car lock, may be a car-thief. or he may well be the owner desperately trying to get in, after having lost his keys.

    You don't know for sure until you investigate further.

    Whatever your current perception, you should be adequately flexible to have it shot to pieces if necessary. But that's ok.
    It would be replaced with a more accurate outlook.

    I love the Sutra teachings, i like the idea of the Tantra but i find all the different Buddhas but Shakyamuni a bit off putting because it seems weird.

    That's because they're personifications of specific qualities and "energies" we aspire to.
    There are representations of specific states, and need not be taken literally.

    See? There's an explanation, right there.

    I also love emptiness a lot, i meditate on it everyday, but i have never managed to experience it, only when i do thoughtless meditation do i experience emptiness, but when i told a monk i was told that its not emptiness i experience..

    He was right.
    Did you ask him what it was?
    It's 'stillness', and 'Calm abiding', but it's not 'Emptiness'.

    You do realise Emptiness contains everything you could ever need, but is void of encumbrances?

    lobster
  • HumanbHumanb Explorer

    @federica said:

    @Humanb said:I'm only confused because i'm trying to link my philosophy with Buddhism because i really like Buddhism, but there are things within the religion that i don't agree with.

    Such as....?
    I have found, in the 20+ years I have been studying and following Buddhism that if I found something "I disagreed with", more often than not (not to say always) it was my understanding, not the teachings, that were wanting.

    Its hard to remove my philosophy from my life because my experience has taught me my perception of things.

    You may not want to hear this, but your philosophy, constructed over years, may be incorrect. When they were convinced the earth was flat and the sun went round it, simply telling them, could not convince them. They had to be shown, and it had to be proven.
    Perception is often deception.
    That guy fiddling with the car lock, may be a car-thief. or he may well be the owner desperately trying to get in, after having lost his keys.

    You don't know for sure until you investigate further.

    Whatever your current perception, you should be adequately flexible to have it shot to pieces if necessary. But that's ok.
    It would be replaced with a more accurate outlook.

    I love the Sutra teachings, i like the idea of the Tantra but i find all the different Buddhas but Shakyamuni a bit off putting because it seems weird.

    That's because they're personifications of specific qualities and "energies" we aspire to.
    There are representations of specific states, and need not be taken literally.

    See? There's an explanation, right there.

    I also love emptiness a lot, i meditate on it everyday, but i have never managed to experience it, only when i do thoughtless meditation do i experience emptiness, but when i told a monk i was told that its not emptiness i experience..

    He was right.
    Did you ask him what it was?
    It's 'stillness', and 'Calm abiding', but it's not 'Emptiness'.

    You do realise Emptiness contains everything you could ever need, but is void of encumbrances?

    Most of my philosophy spans from simple logic though.
    Like... We all exist in the universe and we are in essence the universe perceiving itself aren't we? That can't be wrong can it????? Alan Watts explains this clearly, he is probably the biggest inspiration for my own philosophy.

    I'm willing to open my mind more but it's really really hard because i went from being a drug using, gambling, life abusing person to a spiritual person almost overnight in a series of epiphanies, i thought i had finally understood what the universe was in the simple understanding that we are one being experiencing itself. I had an experience with a friend and it was incredibly personal and i felt my perception of the universe just expand greatly, it was really profound.

    Regarding the feeling of emptiness, the monk told me it was actually a bad experience because i let my mind go blank and it wasn't useful at all. Which was horrible to hear because the experience made me feel really peaceful. And another monk told me it could well have been emptiness.. Which as you can imagine is so confusing for me because i have been told 2 different things by 2 different monks.... No wonder i'm a confused mess haha

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @Humanb said:

    @David said:
    If you die before me, I assure you I will not vanish.

    Nobody has taken me with them so far.

    Things change. Things have always changed and so this is emptiness.

    This form may be empty but it is here for now.

    I'd have to echo @federica here and suggest you get into the teachings of dependent origination and not-self before going into emptiness because it really makes more sense in that context.

    Going at emptiness right away is a surefire recipe for confusion.

    But if everything is empty of inherent existence then everything i perceive relies on my experience of it to exist, so when i die i am no longer experiencing you, or my body. thus it no longer exists. That is the teachings of emptiness isn't it?

    No. This sounds a bit new-agey to me.

    Emptiness is not nothingness and to be empty is not to be nothing because there is no such thing as nothing. You are headed towards a nihilistic view where compassion is an ideal at best.

    If compassion is not the logical conclusion then it is not a teaching of the Buddha in my opinion.

    If everything depends on my mind to exist, when i am no longer perceiving it, it no longer exists, quantum physics says this too.

    That is quite a big "if" though, wouldn't you say?

    When a particle isn't being perceived it exists as an interference pattern (Which means it neither exists as something or nothing) but when one views it, it changes into a particular state of existence.

    I don't think it actually changes states. How it appears is due to how it is perceived.

    If a tree falls and nobody is around to hear it, there are sound waves formed but no sound unless those waves reverberate on an eardrum.

    silver
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited January 2016

    @Humanb said: Most of my philosophy spans from simple logic though.

    Which, without adequate facts to back it up, is mere speculation sprinkled with a dose of fantasy....

    Like... We all exist in the universe and we are in essence the universe perceiving itself aren't we? That can't be wrong can it????? Alan Watts explains this clearly, he is probably the biggest inspiration for my own philosophy.

    I think you need to read other sources other than Alan Watts. Simply because he states something doesn't make him right. Some people consider his type of Buddhism to be 'bubble-gum philosophy'.
    I would recommend you expand your reading matter to include other authors...

    I'm willing to open my mind more but it's really really hard because i went from being a drug using, gambling, life abusing person to a spiritual person almost overnight in a series of epiphanies, i thought i had finally understood what the universe was in the simple understanding that we are one being experiencing itself.

    I'm afraid I'm with David. All a bit 'new-agey'. You "expanded" your mind with drugs. Now it seems it's snapped shut to reason and diversification.
    That, is equally unhealthy, and bordering on bouncing from one extreme to the other.....

    I had an experience with a friend and it was incredibly personal and i felt my perception of the universe just expand greatly, it was really profound.

    This is not the answer to all your questions, You need to be more open to 'other friends', because it may have been AN experience, but it wasn't THE experience.

    Regarding the feeling of emptiness, the monk told me it was actually a bad experience because i let my mind go blank and it wasn't useful at all. Which was horrible to hear because the experience made me feel really peaceful.

    The point of Meditation is not to stop thinking and empty your mind. A Blank mind is vulnerable to influences and suggestion.
    A Controlled mind is far more balanced and focused.

    And another monk told me it could well have been emptiness.. Which as you can imagine is so confusing for me because i have been told 2 different things by 2 different monks.... No wonder i'm a confused mess haha

    If you're a 'confused mess' please stop insisting you understand Emptiness, cease arguing and do more research of Buddhist literature - and not the 'easy-to-swallow' sugar-coated bytes, either.

  • HumanbHumanb Explorer

    @David said:

    @Humanb said:

    @David said:
    If you die before me, I assure you I will not vanish.

    Nobody has taken me with them so far.

    Things change. Things have always changed and so this is emptiness.

    This form may be empty but it is here for now.

    I'd have to echo @federica here and suggest you get into the teachings of dependent origination and not-self before going into emptiness because it really makes more sense in that context.

    Going at emptiness right away is a surefire recipe for confusion.

    But if everything is empty of inherent existence then everything i perceive relies on my experience of it to exist, so when i die i am no longer experiencing you, or my body. thus it no longer exists. That is the teachings of emptiness isn't it?

    No. This sounds a bit new-agey to me.

    This is the teachings of emptiness as taught by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in the book Modern Buddhism, is he teaching it different to other spiritual teachers??

    If everything depends on my mind to exist, when i am no longer perceiving it, it no longer exists, quantum physics says this too.

    That is quite a big "if" though, wouldn't you say?

    When a particle isn't being perceived it exists as an interference pattern (Which means it neither exists as something or nothing) but when one views it, it changes into a particular state of existence.

    I don't think it actually changes states. How it appears is due to how it is perceived.

    If a tree falls and nobody is around to hear it, there are sound waves formed but no sound unless those waves reverberate on an eardrum.

    I've researched a lot into Quantum mechanics and i can assure you that the way it has been observed is as i have explained already. The experiment is called "The quantum double slit experiment." but, that's actually the most known experiment, there are more.

    Particles have also been found to change the state they existed in in the past when observed in the future, which is completely mind blowing, it's such a profound science.

    There's actually a video of a scientist with a PHD in quantum mechanics explaining how it works and he even says that it proves that in fact the universe is one thing and we are all it. It isn't some random philosophy of mine, i'm using actual science to confirm my beliefs. Not much can argue with that. Not that i'm fighting to prove i am right, i just think that if we could combine the scientific understanding with the Buddhas teachings we may find an easier way to understand them.

    Time to wake up - we are all one:

    Alan Watts - you are the eternal universe:

    It would be great if you could watch these videos and let me know what you think!

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @Humanb said: All phenomena relies on my mind to exist then when i die it will no longer exist. So if all of you appear to my mind then you don't exist inherently and you are mere appearance to my mind, this must be correct or emptiness would only refer to that which doesn't have it's own mind..

    That sounds more like idealism, philosophically speaking.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idealism

    Sunyata is basically about conditionality.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Śūnyatā

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @Humanb said: I've researched a lot into Quantum mechanics and i can assure you that the way it has been observed is as i have explained already.

    On a cautionary note, there is lot of pseudo-science associated with quantum mechanics.

    lobstersilver
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @Humanb said:

    Basically, i understand that everything is empty of inherent existence. So everything relies on the mind to exist.

    emptiness always left me feeling like the way the universe is - is a result of my karma. Which is confusing because that means all these beings that will defend their inherent existence are just appearances to me :/.

    what is 'I'?
    who is 'I'?
    can we see something or someone in 'I'?

  • @Humanb said:
    I'm willing to open my mind more but it's really really hard because i went from being a drug using, gambling, life abusing person to a spiritual person almost overnight in a series of epiphanies, i thought i had finally understood what the universe was in the simple understanding that we are one being experiencing itself. I had an experience with a friend and it was incredibly personal and i felt my perception of the universe just expand greatly, it was really profound.

    Hello :)

    Epiphanies, becoming spiritual and profound. Yep, happens to most of us. Then ... [spoiler alert] we throw it all away. We empty ourselves.

    Just as drugs, gambling and life abusing is empty.

    They just have different forms.

    After all, as it says in the Quantum Dharma:
    Emptiness is form and form is emptiness

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @Humanb said:

    @David said:

    @Humanb said:

    @David said:
    If you die before me, I assure you I will not vanish.

    Nobody has taken me with them so far.

    Things change. Things have always changed and so this is emptiness.

    This form may be empty but it is here for now.

    I'd have to echo @federica here and suggest you get into the teachings of dependent origination and not-self before going into emptiness because it really makes more sense in that context.

    Going at emptiness right away is a surefire recipe for confusion.

    But if everything is empty of inherent existence then everything i perceive relies on my experience of it to exist, so when i die i am no longer experiencing you, or my body. thus it no longer exists. That is the teachings of emptiness isn't it?

    No. This sounds a bit new-agey to me.

    This is the teachings of emptiness as taught by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in the book Modern Buddhism, is he teaching it different to other spiritual teachers??

    If everything depends on my mind to exist, when i am no longer perceiving it, it no longer exists, quantum physics says this too.

    That is quite a big "if" though, wouldn't you say?

    When a particle isn't being perceived it exists as an interference pattern (Which means it neither exists as something or nothing) but when one views it, it changes into a particular state of existence.

    I don't think it actually changes states. How it appears is due to how it is perceived.

    If a tree falls and nobody is around to hear it, there are sound waves formed but no sound unless those waves reverberate on an eardrum.

    I've researched a lot into Quantum mechanics and i can assure you that the way it has been observed is as i have explained already. The experiment is called "The quantum double slit experiment." but, that's actually the most known experiment, there are more.

    That is precisely the experiment I was referring to. Light doesn't change states, it is perceived differently depending on conditions and one of those conditions is the method of observation.

    Particles have also been found to change the state they existed in in the past when observed in the future, which is completely mind blowing, it's such a profound science.

    This is an odd claim and it makes more sense when we see that the method of observation now is different than the one we used in the past.

    There's actually a video of a scientist with a PHD in quantum mechanics explaining how it works and he even says that it proves that in fact the universe is one thing and we are all it. It isn't some random philosophy of mine, i'm using actual science to confirm my beliefs. Not much can argue with that. Not that i'm fighting to prove i am right, i just think that if we could combine the scientific understanding with the Buddhas teachings we may find an easier way to understand them.

    Time to wake up - we are all one:

    Alan Watts - you are the eternal universe:

    It would be great if you could watch these videos and let me know what you think!

    Alan Watts was one of my favorites when I started out too.

    The other video wasn't bad but I fail to see how it would cease to exist with your passing except for you subjectively.

    You are learning about the absolute and trying to dismiss the relative but without the relative the absolute can not be experienced within a sunrise.

    Have you researched the two truths?

  • HumanbHumanb Explorer

    I have spent so many hours contemplating oneness, if i admit i'm wrong i feel like i have wasted all my time and effort. I'll be straight to the point now, if admitting i am wrong is the correct thing to do in this situation then ill have to do it, no matter how much my ego screams and kicks like a toddler. I am wrong and i promise i will open my mind up to find out the truth..

    It's kind of upsetting because when i think about oneness i feel infinitely connected to all beings and phenomena. But if we are indeed separate it makes me feel a little uncomfortable, which is probably why i was always closed minded about oneness.

    But anyway, back onto Emptiness under the understanding that we have separate minds.

    If all phenomena doesn't exist inherently, by what medium are we experiencing each other? if everything is creation of your mind and emptiness is the true way things exist then how are you creating the appearance of another being with another mind, inside of your mind?

    I can't explain this very well because it doesn't make much sense...

    If Buddha said that all phenomena is a creation of our self grasping ignorance, and we each have separate minds which are also creating the appearance of an inherently existent universe. Then how do we appear to each other? If our mind does truly create everything and we see these things as existing outside the mind then what are you perceiving when you experience another human being with a mind of their own? Is it a part of your mind or not? Because the Emptiness of all phenomena means that all things are the mind, surely there are no exceptions or it wouldn't be true??

    It really does confuse me because it doesn't make sense, in fact.. in my opinion it seems to make more sense if we believe that we are one being.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    Buddhism is the middle way between the relative and the absolute.

    We are all a part of the same process but it is quite obvious that we each have unique abilities and perspectives of the world.

    Maybe you should empty your cup if you want to enjoy Buddha's tea without prejudice.

    silverKeromedhammachick
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Humanb said: Because the Emptiness of all phenomena means that all things are the mind..

    Not really, I think this is where you're getting confused.

  • HumanbHumanb Explorer

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @Humanb said: Because the Emptiness of all phenomena means that all things are the mind..

    Not really, I think this is where you're getting confused.

    Well, in the book i am reading "Modern Buddhism by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso" he says that it is our mind that projects the existence of all things. here are two qoutes:

    "The universe appears to consist of discrete objects that have an existence from their own side. These objects seem to exist in themselves as Stars, Planets, Mountains, People and so forth, "Waiting" to be experienced by conscious beings. Normally it does not occur to us that we are involved in any way in the existence of these phenomena. For example, we feel that our body exists from its own side and doesn't depend on our mind, or anyone else's, to bring it into existence. However, if our body did exist in the way that we instinctively grasp at it - As an external object rather than a projection of the mind - We should be able to point to our body without pointing to any phenomena that isn't our body. We should be able to find it amongst its parts or outside its parts. Since there is no third possibility, if our body cannot be found either amongst its parts or outside its parts we must conclude that the body we normally see does not exist."

    And in another section on emptiness:

    "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. Moreover, Good and bad external conditions no longer have the power to disturb their mind, because they realize them to be like a magician's illusion, with no existence separate from the mind."

    Geshe says in both paragraphs that all phenomena exists in the mind.

    In case you do not know, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is the founder of Kadampa Buddhism which is a sector of Buddhism that came over to the west early last century.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    Does he mention which suttas or sutras he got this from?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    @Humanb , I would explore the general reputation of kadampa Buddhism too, if I were you.

    You may find your concrete, resolute and single-minded focus then begins to ease up and even unravel a bit....
    Kadampa is not universally-popular, oh no, not by a long shot.... 'Controversial' doesn't cover it.....

    lobsterDhammaDragon
  • HumanbHumanb Explorer

    @David said:
    Does he mention which suttas or sutras he got this from?

    I think his teachings have been passed down through many generations of monks, but what he teaches is basically the Gelugpa part of Tibetan Buddhism. He actually studied in Lhasa in his later youth.

    Heres a wiki about him:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelsang_Gyatso

  • HumanbHumanb Explorer

    @federica said:
    @Humanb , I would explore the general reputation of kadampa Buddhism too, if I were you.

    You may find your concrete, resolute and single-minded focus then begins to ease up and even unravel a bit....
    Kadampa is not universally-popular, oh no, not by a long shot.... 'Controversial' doesn't cover it.....

    I am already aware of the controversy following the Kadampa tradition, the Dalai Lama and Shugden practitioners. Unfortunately, I see it as my karma to perceive such un-pure things happening and i put myself in a state of ignorance over it all. There isn't anything i can do to help the situation, i do not want to join in with it all anyway.

    Basically, i either attend a Kadampa Buddhist temple or i don't attend one at all because frankly, there are no other temples. And i find it very helpful at the temple. If anything pops up about the Dalai Lama i just ignore it, its none of my business if he is the real Dalai Lama or not. I don't worship him and i never will, not because i don't believe in him but because worshiping him would be treating a being differently from other beings.

    Anyway, the teachings on emptiness i have received thus far have been very meaningful and profound, i just haven't understood it fully. Probably because i'm extremely cynical.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    I'm sorry @Humanb. little credence is given to a self-appointed Buddhist Guru with a cult following who never uses or refers to the Sutras for teaching practice....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    @Humanb said: I am already aware of the controversy following the Kadampa tradition, the Dalai Lama and Shugden practitioners. Unfortunately, I see it as my karma to perceive such un-pure things happening and i put myself in a state of ignorance over it all.

    I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous.
    Karma means 'Action'. It isn't fatalistic, and is under your control. It's not a judgement, result or retribution. It merely means 'Action and encapsulates mental, verbal and physical actions.

    There isn't anything i can do to help the situation,

    Of course there is. Kamma is yours to fabricate and control. It's all down to you.....

    Basically, i either attend a Kadampa Buddhist temple or i don't attend one at all because frankly, there are no other temples.

    I haven't attended a temple for nearly 7 years. What's your point? It's not obligatory. This here's my temple and Sangha. I'd much rather not attend a termple at all, if that was the only choice open to me....

    And i find it very helpful at the temple. If anything pops up about the Dalai Lama i just ignore it, its none of my business if he is the real Dalai Lama or not. I don't worship him and i never will, not because i don't believe in him but because worshiping him would be treating a being differently from other beings.

    The Dalai Lama would be the very first person to tell you the same thing. He would assure you he is a simple Monk, and has no interest in being treated in any other way.
    Is this what they have told you there? Good grief...!

    Anyway, the teachings on emptiness i have received thus far have been very meaningful and profound, i just haven't understood it fully. Probably because i'm extremely cynical.

    No.
    It's because they're wrong, misguided and based on a person's interpretation, without reference to authentic Buddhist texts or suttas.

    Please try to listen, instead of constantly protesting how and why you believe yourself to be on the right track.

    You're not.

    lobster
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    @Humanb great question,
    In the beginning i was following the buddhist teachings from a Tibetan monk regarding emptiness.
    He used a flower as an analogy, that the flower was made up of a multitude of different parts, that all those different parts put together don't make an entity called flower, only appearance.
    Eg putting 100 sheep together doesn't actually make a cow.
    Thought creates this illusion, very easy to realise this one.

    But I'm beginning to see something deeper to the emptiness teachings. The problem is we try and realise these teachings with thoughts./intellect. I don't think this finite mode of inquiry will help us realise the infinite.

    Anyway from other descriptions I've been listening to.
    Emptiness is the substratum of everything. It can be described as energy, popping into and out of existence. It can be fully realised that everything both exists and doesn't exist simultaneously. This can not be taught because the intellect can understand it.
    Emptiness is realising there is no time and space, cause and effect are only appearances. There are no separate things and events.
    The brick , the pain, the foot. Are all one. They have never been separate. There never was any separation anywhere.

    This is extremely profound. I've had glimpses of the drop in all separation which makes me highly sympathetic to the above teaching.

    This is not an intellectual thing, which is why teachings about this are virtually useless as a method. You can only describe emptiness. Not teach it.

    Shoshin
  • HumanbHumanb Explorer

    @federica said:

    @Humanb said: I am already aware of the controversy following the Kadampa tradition, the Dalai Lama and Shugden practitioners. Unfortunately, I see it as my karma to perceive such un-pure things happening and i put myself in a state of ignorance over it all.

    I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous.
    Karma means 'Action'. It isn't fatalistic, and is under your control. It's not a judgement, result or retribution. It merely means 'Action and encapsulates mental, verbal and physical actions.

    There isn't anything i can do to help the situation,

    Of course there is. Kamma is yours to fabricate and control. It's all down to you.....

    Basically, i either attend a Kadampa Buddhist temple or i don't attend one at all because frankly, there are no other temples.

    I haven't attended a temple for nearly 7 years. What's your point? It's not obligatory. This here's my temple and Sangha. I'd much rather not attend a termple at all, if that was the only choice open to me....

    And i find it very helpful at the temple. If anything pops up about the Dalai Lama i just ignore it, its none of my business if he is the real Dalai Lama or not. I don't worship him and i never will, not because i don't believe in him but because worshiping him would be treating a being differently from other beings.

    The Dalai Lama would be the very first person to tell you the same thing. He would assure you he is a simple Monk, and has no interest in being treated in any other way.
    Is this what they have told you there? Good grief...!

    Anyway, the teachings on emptiness i have received thus far have been very meaningful and profound, i just haven't understood it fully. Probably because i'm extremely cynical.

    No.
    It's because they're wrong, misguided and based on a person's interpretation, without reference to authentic Buddhist texts or suttas.

    Please try to listen, instead of constantly protesting how and why you believe yourself to be on the right track.

    You're not.

    Your assuming i am not on the right track, yet Buddha himself said to "Find your own light." Doesn't that suggest there is no right track, but a goal to which the path itself is paved to by the walker?

    I haven't taken offence, as i understand how easy it is to get annoyed with mere text, just relax, i am not very good at typing in a compassionate way, i come across passive aggressive but i'm nothing like this in person.

    And it is fine if you believe things that i do not, Karma for me is obviously different to what you believe Karma is. It's not the end of the world, you don't have to get defensive over your beliefs, After all.. our perceptions are so vastly different that its inevitable that conflict of belief will happen between people.

    I hope any negative feelings towards me don't continue, i would hate to evoke such horrible feelings in anybody.

    ShoshinEarthninja
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @Humanb I think the idea is that the only 'world' you have ever experienced involves your mind. You don't have a single experience where your mind was not there. Also your sense organs were there etc. But that doesn't mean that when you die the 'objects' disappear. Yet nobody experiences those objects without a mind and sense organs.

    What people are saying is that 'world' to have any importance must have sentient beings experiencing it. If there are 100 billion things that are hidden and impossible to detect we don't care about them because they are not sensed. Scientists might be interested in viruses or quantum particles but in general it is not in my experience so it is not important day to day.

    Shoshinperson
  • But I don't understand a lot of your questions relating to non-solipsism and how we connect with other beings. YOu should find a teacher.

    silver
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    Focusing on this, for a moment:

    @Humanb said: And it is fine if you believe things that i do not, Karma for me is obviously different to what you believe Karma is. It's not the end of the world, you don't have to get defensive over your beliefs, After all.. our perceptions are so vastly different that its inevitable that conflict of belief will happen between people.

    It's not a question of 'believing' what Kamma is.
    It's what the Buddha instructed. It's what he explained and clarified. So 'belief' has nothing to do with verifiable instruction.
    If you want to continue 'believing' kamma is what you believe it to be, be my guest. But you are incorrect, and if you wish to study Buddhism and adopt any of its directions as your calling, you may find it more useful to return to the nitty-gritty grass-roots of the matter, and study the 4 Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path.

    A good place to start, would be here, and here.
    The two sites are extensive and detailed and an absolutely priceless font of information....

    I hope any negative feelings towards me don't continue, i would hate to evoke such horrible feelings in anybody.

    You misinterpret negative feelings.
    We're trying to help.
    I Am trying to help.
    But in order to accept new ways of seeing things, some of your old ways will have to be left by the wayside. They just don't fit.... and hopefully, as you'll learn, you will see the why of it....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    Discussions on Kamma.

    here and here.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 2016

    One thing going on in Buddhism is different lineages. So keep aware that there isn't one single formulation of Buddhism or a Buddhist idea such as karma. and even a certain teacher might teach different levels. for example they might teach 'the two truths' but also point out the disadvantage of that idea at a later time.

  • HumanbHumanb Explorer

    @federica said:
    Focusing on this, for a moment:

    @Humanb said: And it is fine if you believe things that i do not, Karma for me is obviously different to what you believe Karma is. It's not the end of the world, you don't have to get defensive over your beliefs, After all.. our perceptions are so vastly different that its inevitable that conflict of belief will happen between people.

    It's not a question of 'believing' what Kamma is.
    It's what the Buddha instructed. It's what he explained and clarified. So 'belief' has nothing to do with verifiable instruction.
    If you want to continue 'believing' kamma is what you believe it to be, be my guest. But you are incorrect, and if you wish to study Buddhism and adopt any of its directions as your calling, you may find it more useful to return to the nitty-gritty grass-roots of the matter, and study the 4 Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path.

    A good place to start, would be here, and here.
    The two sites are extensive and detailed and an absolutely priceless font of information....

    I hope any negative feelings towards me don't continue, i would hate to evoke such horrible feelings in anybody.

    You misinterpret negative feelings.
    We're trying to help.
    I Am trying to help.
    But in order to accept new ways of seeing things, some of your old ways will have to be left by the wayside. They just don't fit.... and hopefully, as you'll learn, you will see the why of it....

    You do not know what the Buddha taught about Karma unless you were physically there, all you can do is assume that what you are being taught is the Karma. Things change, Buddha taught this, or at least i assume he taught this. You know the game of Chinese whispers, the more people it is passed through, the more risk of it being changed.

    The problem here is, my understanding of karma comes from monks and i actually asked why i experience unpure things in the world and he said it is because of our Karma, now if you want to argue about this, i suggest you take it up with the Monk haha, hes a really nice chap and i have confidence in the things he tells me.

    In a nutshell, karma is cause and effect. its like the justice system of the universe.

    I feel like we aren't talking about the same religion here... What sector of Buddhism do you study?

    Shoshin
  • The way I understand it is that everything is interconnected and does not exist inherently on its own. Everything is interdependent and depends on everything else in order to exist in the way that it currently does. If you die it does not mean everything else ceases to exist completely, it only ceases to exist in the way that it existed when you were around before you died.

    I think that on an ultimate level we all share the same awareness/consciousness, but you have to be completely enlightened in order to perceive that. We have a very limited consciousness and perspective due to our ignorant perception of self and identifying ourselves with our ego.

    Since everything is interconnected/interdependent, your perception, consciousness and actions affect everything and everyone else in existence although it may be in an indirect way.

    Your perception of an "I" creates the distinction that there is not "I" or in other words other people. So in that way your perception creates other people, but in fact you and I are an illusion that do not inherently exist on our own.

    Don't know how much sense that made, but hopefully it might help you.

    ShoshinEarthninjalobsterperson
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @Humanb said:

    @David said:
    Does he mention which suttas or sutras he got this from?

    I think his teachings have been passed down through many generations of monks, but what he teaches is basically the Gelugpa part of Tibetan Buddhism. He actually studied in Lhasa in his later youth.

    Heres a wiki about him:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelsang_Gyatso

    The reason I ask is because his teachings differ from Buddha's. Any good teacher will cite the sutta or sutra along with any explanation in my opinion.

    It's not a big deal but if it isn't in the suttas/sutras then it is hard to classify it as Buddhism.

    That's likely why they have a problem with HHDL... He would probably tell them their teaching does not line up with Buddhist texts.

    That's just a guess though.

    Earthninja
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @David are you considering just the Pali Canon sutras or any writings? Some teachings (for example an oral dharma talk) they do not cite the polemics (sutra source etc), but indeed you could ask the teacher for suggestions on which sutras to read. And a Tibetan Buddhist is not going to limit themselves to the Pali Canon.

    My sense from my teacher is that writings including sutras are 'frozen bodhicitta' that you can use in your studies though they are not a substitute for your direct insight of your mind. For example you could not understand the sutra deeply but at a later time understand it better when you have more insight and meditation experience. In my lineage the relationship to the teacher pointing out my insight is more important than 'the authority of written word'. And in history there are people who have practiced differently. Some do more scholarly work (which is not a bad thing) and get the name 'Khenpo' (in TB) in front of their name which means they are a great scholar. The Gelugpas are actually typically more scholarly thus I am sure Kelsang Gyatso could point to the sutras supporting his vision or position if you asked him. And then on the other hand there are some people who are much more into their meditation compared to reading or contemplating. Those people might be called yogis or yoginis.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 2016

    I would think if you want to study the wisdom of emptiness look for writings on the 6 paramitas (wisdom perfections). That is the point in the path (as a Bodhisattva) that a person is learning wisdom of emptiness. Prior to that point it is just philosophical ideas. Study is not isolating ideas but also includes comittment (ksanti) discipline and prioritizing (want cake and eat etc.. want to be with friends or do something different).. many concepts such as realistic goals etc.. But the wisdom paramita is not isolatable from the other paramitas which are practice issues.

    Kerome
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    @David are you considering just the Pali Canon sutras or any writings? Some teachings (for example an oral dharma talk) they do not cite the polemics (sutra source etc), but indeed you could ask the teacher for suggestions on which sutras to read. And a Tibetan Buddhist is not going to limit themselves to the Pali Canon.

    My sense from my teacher is that writings including sutras are 'frozen bodhicitta' that you can use in your studies though they are not a substitute for your direct insight of your mind.

    I agree but somebody elses insight taught as if it were canon is even less of a substitute than canon.

    For example you could not understand the sutra deeply but at a later time understand it better when you have more insight and meditation experience. In my lineage the relationship to the teacher pointing out my insight is more important than 'the authority of written word'.

    Again, I agree however it is up to me to see if the teacher will help with my insight or push their own.

    And in history there are people who have practiced differently. Some do more scholarly work (which is not a bad thing) and get the name 'Khenpo' (in TB) in front of their name which means they are a great scholar. The Gelugpas are actually typically more scholarly thus I am sure Kelsang Gyatso could point to the sutras supporting his vision or position if you asked him.

    Probably but at the same time he has the O/P pretty confused according to the o/p.

    And then on the other hand there are some people who are much more into their meditation compared to reading or contemplating. Those people might be called yogis or yoginis.

    Sure but then this is a Buddhist forum and the O/P is asking for help understanding emptiness.

    No disrespect intended, I'm just wondering where some of these ideas came from.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 2016

    has the O/P pretty confused according to the o/p.

    And then on the other hand there are some people who are much more into their meditation compared to reading or contemplating. Those people might be called yogis or yoginis. <- Jeffrey said

    "Sure but then this is a Buddhist forum and the O/P is asking for help understanding emptiness." <- David said

    @David 'Buddhist' includes yogis such as Milarepa.

    "No disrespect intended, **I'm just wondering where some of these ideas came from.
    **"

    I don't feel disrespect of course but I wonder if you haven't heard these ideas because you don't have wide knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism (which is what guru OP referenced)? I wouldn't assume something is 'not buddhist' because I have never heard it. I agree there is usually confusion when people try to understand emptiness including myself. And that's what I am saying when I say that you won't understand it until a Bodhisattva. I am not at that level myself but from what I have read the wisdom is 'ungraspable' so you can only get these sort of crystallizations or glimpses which might seem insightful from time to time. Things such as 'interconnected' that may flash to an insight.

    My advice would be (for OP) to find someone near him/her of the Gelugpa lineage. If I tried to help I would only confuse you with (my background of Kagyu/Nyingma) view of emptiness.

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran

    i heard somewhere - there is only your perception of you, which you perceive, and there is only their perception of you which others perceive of you, and there is nothing in between - this is the emptiness of phenomenon .

    lobsterHumanb
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited January 2016

    Humorously sometimes if you want all the polemics and sutra sources you might be given a reading list that will take quite some time. And those will be readings which you might not understand and so if not then you have to overcome that or maybe give up and start somewhere that is more manageable for you.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I noticed I hit the "lol" button on a couple of posts. Was not intentional... It keeps doing that when I scroll.

    Just thought I'd clear that up as it could seem disrespectful.

    Earthninja
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 2016

    ^^^ Click on LOL again to turn it off again and return to respectability. It toggles. ;)

    Emptiness is LOL and LOL is hollow/empty ... as they silently say in the unrespectable Buddha Clown Lands.

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    All we need is LOL.

    lobster
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @Humanb said:

    All phenomena relies on my mind to exist then when i die it will no longer exist.

    All phenomena exist in your mind = yes including I-making and mine-making.

    So if all of you appear to my mind then you don't exist inherently and you are mere appearance to my mind, this must be correct or emptiness would only refer to that which doesn't have it's own mind.. .

    Most assuredly the earth will still be here even if you aren't. On the other hand even if you see a distant star through a telescope, you have no way of telling if it still exist by the time its light reaches your eyes.

    So, i realized that we all must be one with my mind. But apparently this isn't correct because we each have our own minds.. But if that is so, then either emptiness is incorrect or i can't perceive beings with their own mind because they can only experience themselves

    Your understanding of emptiness is incorrect.

    Also, If all of you are mere appearances to my mind why do i only perceive one body because of self grasping ignorance, aren't you all just an appearance like my body, why aren't i experiencing your body?

    Because you are not Universal Mind. We don't share the same awareness/consciousness because consciousness is not a thing but just a process.

    Monks have told me personally that we each have separate minds to which we accumulate karma, but if this is true then the beings i perceive in this universe that is a mere appearance to my mind are appearing to me in relation to the nature of my karma... But does my karma really effect the suffering of others or does my karma only effect how i perceive the suffering of others?

    If you hurt or steal from another, would that affect them? If they take revenge, would you be affected? Could mere "appearances" hurt you? What is your direct experience of this?

    So many questions... I have tried speaking to monks in person about emptiness and it always left me feeling like the way the universe is - is a result of my karma. Which is confusing because that means all these beings that will defend their inherent existence are just appearances to me :/.

    The way the universe is is the result of causes and conditions. Your senses and intelligence make you see the world in a different way from say a monkey or bird or earthworm.

    But you are ultimately not your senses or thoughts or feelings or body.

    ShoshinbrianhorlicksKeromeAkasha
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited January 2016

    @Humanb said: In case you do not know, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is the founder of Kadampa Buddhism which is a sector of Buddhism that came over to the west early last century.

    I was involved with NKT many years ago, so I just dug out my old copy of "Heart of Wisdom", his commentary on the Heart Sutra.
    On page 68 he lists 5 ways in which phenomena are dependently related:
    1. On causes;
    2. On name;
    3. On parts;
    4. On a basis of imputation;
    5. Mere imputation by conception ( requiring the presence of a mind to conceive it ).

    I think #5 is the one you're talking about. I don't know if this interpretation is common to the Gelug school.

    In any case you might find it helpful to focus less on the philosophical and more on the practical, observing your own experience. Can you find anything in your own experience which is permanent and which exists independently?

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