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Disappearing up the Nothingness

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited September 19 in Buddhism Basics

As we imagine (tsk, tsk) disappearing into an emptying or lessening egoic existence, we sometimes think we become an empty shell. That however is not the case, I have never come across such a person. They would in effect be little more than a rainbow [ahem]. The teaching of anatta or non-self is often misconstrued.

Here is a more helpful way to understand anatman (not to be confused with antman or other bodhi super heroes)
https://nobodhiknows.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/forest-meet-tree.html

As an aspirant to Being Empty but not too holy, I continue to find more facets of the jewel ...

Are you still full of it too? o:)

Bunks
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Comments

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I have in the past attempted to fill my head with wisdom from teachers and master's, and do what they say. But I am forced to acknowledge that much of what I was, I still am. There has not been a wholesale transformation, or perhaps I cannot see it.

    Certainly my mind has a better grasp on suffering, the klesha's, impermanence and inter-relatedness and the world and what is conceptual and what is reality, and i have had some glimpses of what lies beyond the mind but it feels like just peeking under the corners of the curtain.

    Emptiness is still far from my thoughts, I'm still wandering around earlier stages of the path.

    Snakeskinele
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 19

    @lobster said: Are you still full of it too? o:)

    With me it seems that the less there is in my mind the happier I am. :p

    I sometimes reflect on the fact that our universe is mostly empty space.

    lobsterKeromeSnakeskinKannon
  • With me it seems that the less there is in my mind the happier I am. :p

    Exactly so. Well said.

    How many of us practice meditation and are horrified to find we are possessed by a gibbering, flitting, mish-mash of arisings? No it is not just you or me come to that ...

    Nobody can tell you what the Matrix/Mind is ... you have to see it for yourself.

    Gradually this wild beastie/ox is tamed/settles and slowly but surely we empty ... It is dharma, it takes practice, it works.

    @Kerome is right about peeking BUT we must continue. We must learn to settle. Learn from the experience of those emptier to the inherent virtues/Buddha Nature/Free Mind. We must not fry our mind. This is the Way.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited September 19

    @lobster said:
    we must not fry our mind.

    Hmmm, butter, a little garlic... Yum!

    lobster
  • @Kerome
    Strangely enough that is how we cooked and enjoyed the 8 limbed Lama/Guru, Ollie Octopus . . . Here he is before hunger set in . . . and his picture was stolen . . .
    https://tinyurl.com/yay83mfk

    Kerome
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 19

    @lobster said:

    As we imagine (tsk, tsk) disappearing into an emptying or lessening egoic existence, we sometimes think we become an empty shell. That however is not the case, I have never come across such a person. They would in effect be little more than a rainbow [ahem]. The teaching of anatta or non-self is often misconstrued.

    Indeed. I think at least part of it is due to mistaking the formless for a literal nothing. Shunryu Suzuki makes this distinction in his book Zen Mind Beginners Mind when saying it's important to believe in nothing but not nothing as in a void, rather a formless something enabling change.

    Personally I think it would be easier understood as potential rather than a nothing that is actually something.

    Here is a more helpful way to understand anatman (not to be confused with antman or other bodhi super heroes)
    https://nobodhiknows.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/forest-meet-tree.html

    It only let me read a paragraph but I think I get the idea.

    As an aspirant to Being Empty but not too holy, I continue to find more facets of the jewel ...

    Are you still full of it too? o:)

    Being empty means we are full of potential as if we weren't empty, we could not change.

    paulysolobster
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    what can i say about empty?like the circle,the form is empty.what can we learn of this simple-bolic expression.anything can come and go. on a practical level,it can be the dharma of equinipose.the mahyanna --spelling wrong--aproach,my conjecture,is the circle--in zen--all be it a form,is a part of the greater whole in open space which is perceptively empty as spinynorman elluded to.as david suggest there is something rather than nothing as in the field of potential in form.which leads to the supermundain as shoshin suggest.dharma-key-awe...grace the space?i don't know?

  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Explorer

    From the blog: "The Buddha says in [the Diamond] Sutra that anyone who thinks of him/herself as a Bodhisattva is not a Bodhisattva, because that reflects a belief in a self, an entity, a soul."

    I've not read the Diamond Sutra, but I've had that thought, not in terms of a Bodhisattva but of a Buddhist in the sense that a Buddhist is one who follows the teachings of the Buddha. It had occurred to me that, while it may be appropriate to identify yourself as a Buddhist to others when the question arises, identifying inwardly that way contradicts the Buddha's teaching on anatta and therefore makes you one not following the teachings of the Buddha and therefore not a Buddhist. Seems that was not even close to being an original thought. lol.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @David said:> Personally I think it would be easier understood as potential rather than a nothing that is actually something.

    What I see is space and and movement.

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

    Better than nothing.

    Kannonlobsterdhammachick
  • Anything is better than Nothing in the sense that @David implies ... B)

    In a sense we return to the emptying, rather than cling to the form.

    It is why dharma and perhaps in particular the hard discipline of Chan Buddhism is regarded as adamant ...

    Well I'm standing here what do I see?
    A big nothing
    Threatening me
    It's so sad
    When you're young
    To be told
    You're having fun

    Adam Ant

    ... and now back to the rainbow sparkle ...

    David
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited September 22

    I yesterday heard emptiness being described as potential, something alive rather than nothing. I thought it was rather beautiful.

    It was in I Am That, by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, which I am reading, yes wickedness I know, it's Advaita and not Buddhism. I picked it up the other day in a bookshop and the list of topics in the index rather spoke to me.

    ShoshinlobsterDavid
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 22

    @Kerome said:
    I yesterday heard emptiness being described as potential, something alive rather than nothing. I thought it was rather beautiful.

    The Buddhist view here is dependent arising and conditionality, lack of own-being, teachings on anatta and sunyata. I don't get the "potential" thing here, it makes emptiness sound like a ground of being from which things emerge - that might be descriptive of quantum foam, but it has nothing to do with emptiness in Buddhism. Actually it sounds more like Taoism than Buddhism - there is nothing wrong with Taoism, but on a Buddhist forum it is good to be clear about the difference.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lewis-richmond/emptiness-most-misunderstood-word-in-buddhism_b_2769189.html

    Snakeskin
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 22

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:> Personally I think it would be easier understood as potential rather than a nothing that is actually something.

    What I see is space and and movement.

    Actually, this is a pretty good description of pure potential.

    And to be clear, Zen Buddhism is basically Taoism with a few changed labels and shared ideas so let's not get into any "no true Scotsman" fallacies.

    Roshi means Lao Tzu and is a term adopted by Zen Buddhism as a title for the most accomplished Zen masters. Lao Tzu of course is the founder of Taoism.

    Some theory differs as it does between any of the different sects but the practice is basically the same. If the theory affects the practice it may be time to re-evaluate.

    At any rate, this thread is about confusing a process for nothing.

    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 22

    @David said:> And to be clear, Zen Buddhism is basically Taoism with a few changed labels and shared ideas so let's not get into any "no true Scotsman" fallacies.

    It depends which Zen school you're talking about ( there are several ), but there was certainly Taoist influence. The fact remains that anatta and sunyata have nothing to do with "potential", this is inaccurate and misleading, and confusing for newcomers to Buddhism. A while back you described yourself as Taoist-Buddhist, maybe that accounts for the confusion?

    Possibly the implications of anatta and sunyata are a little scary for some folk, but that isn't a good reason to misrepresent them. Thich Naht Hahn used to talk about interdepedence rather than emptiness. From the experience of practising in his school ( "Interbeing" ) I realised he did this because interdependence was more palatable and less threatening than emptiness.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 22

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:> And to be clear, Zen Buddhism is basically Taoism with a few changed labels and shared ideas so let's not get into any "no true Scotsman" fallacies.

    It depends which Zen school you're talking about ( there are several ), but there was certainly Taoist influence. The fact remains that anatta and sunyata have nothing to do with "potential", this is inaccurate and misleading, and confusing for newcomers to Buddhism.

    Possibly the implications of anatta and sunyata are a little scary for some folk, but that isn't a good reason to misrepresent them. Thich Naht Hahn used to talk about interdepedence rather than emptiness. From the experience of practising in his school I realised he did this because interdependence was more palatable and less threatening than emptiness.

    Anyway, wasn't the OP about anatta?

    You really have to stop pretending your opinion is fact, it's getting old.

    Potential is just a word that you obviously don't understand. That doesn't make it incompatible with Sunyata even if it is incompatible with your personal understanding.

    Need you be reminded this is a pluralistic forum and I referenced a Zen teacher only.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Thich Naht Hahn used to talk about interdepedence rather than emptiness. From the experience of practising in his school ( "Interbeing" ) I realised he did this because interdependence was more palatable and less threatening than emptiness.

    I think it's also a case that interdependence is a lot easier to get to than emptiness, from a daily experience point of view. If you're familiar with the real world and you know a little physics and biology, you can grasp his inter-being concept... I particularly like his example of seeing a cloud in his tea.

    The fact that you can extend inter-being to human beings, and even to the concepts that are in our heads, means that it's a very widely scoped understanding of the world. Anyway I found a little clip of TNH talking about emptiness, so you can see that he explains emptiness as being empty of an independent self, that we are made up of non-self elements only.

    Which makes perfect sense when you consider that in order to be made of Self, the universe would have to contain an element specifically labelled as 'you'. Which would be nonsensical, to a universe made up of elements... especially since wherever we see them in science, elements are strictly limited in number and role, from the periodic table to quarks.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @David said:> You really have to stop pretending your opinion is fact, it's getting old.

    And you really need to stop representing Buddhist teachings.

    Potential is just a word that you obviously don't understand. That doesn't make it incompatible with Sunyata even if it is incompatible with your personal understanding.

    So explain clearly how potential is compatible with sunyata then.

    David
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    OK, @David, @SpinyNorman , I am only going to give a heads-up once.
    Ok?
    I trust we will mind our manners and simply discuss the course of the thread subject, and not get into tit-for-tat discussion.

    Thank you.

    Oh and just in case there is ANY doubt, that was a

    Moderator comment.

  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Explorer

    I don't run in Mahayanist circles, so my understanding of the term emptiness might appear shockingly simplistic. I see it only as a positive inversion of not self, which I in turn understand merely as an instruction to not identify with, i.e., whatever is experienced, that is not self. By that reasoning, when nothing is identified with, then everything is experienced as empty. Though I think more in terms of not self than emptiness, I use the latter in my own formulation of the three marks of existence:

    What forms dissolves (anicca).
    What forms suffers (dukkha).
    All is empty (anatta).

    lobsterDavidTraveller
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 22

    @Kerome said:
    I yesterday heard emptiness being described as potential, something alive rather than nothing. I thought it was rather beautiful.

    It was in I Am That, by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, which I am reading, yes wickedness I know, it's Advaita and not Buddhism. I picked it up the other day in a bookshop and the list of topics in the index rather spoke to me.

    The reason I use the word potential is because it has almost a positive feel to it which I find refreshing after listening to so many people find emptiness teachings nihilistic. Emptiness is often confused for a void but it is a lack of permanence which denotes change.

    When I'm home from work I will post the exact quote from Zen Mind Beginners Mind along with the definition of "potential" from some dictionary and you will see what I mean.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited September 22

    The adamantine (diamond) teachings are very profound because they are found in experience, not words.

    How do we find this jewel?

    Let us start with ourselves. How empty is our dharma and how much us? Perhaps like this:

    When meditating every arising is self. That not arising is empty, nothing if you will.

    “Subhūti, suppose someone filled immeasurable, innumerable worlds with the Seven Precious Jewels, and then gave these away in the practice of giving. If a good man or good woman develops the mind of a bodhisattva and maintains this sūtra, even with as little as a four-line gāthā, and accepts, maintains, studies, recites, and explains it to others, then the merits of this surpass the others. How should one explain it? Without grasping at characteristics, in unmoving suchness. For what reason?

    All conditioned dharmas
    Are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, or shadows;
    Like drops of dew, or like flashes of lightning;
    Thusly should they be contemplated.

    After the Buddha had spoken this sūtra, then Elder Subhūti along with all the bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, upāsikās, and the devas, humans, and asuras from every world, heard what the Buddha had said. With great bliss, they believed, accepted, and reverently practiced in accordance."

    https://lapislazulitexts.com/vajracchedika_prajnaparamita_sutra.html

    Snakeskin
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I still find it odd that this concept should be called "emptiness". As per TNH's explanation, things are full of interdependent being, full of their non-self elements. The only thing that's not there is a quality that makes it uniquely that thing, a self. Calling that emptiness seems to me to be like answering a question that isn't asked because it's rather outlandish.

    Perhaps it's my scientific training but in a world made up of atoms and molecules any notion of a "self" element seems absurd.

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

    It's almost as if the terminology needs to be upgraded to make the most sense in an objective world.

    lobsterdhammachick
  • Indeed @David

    Art and religion adapt. In a sense we cherry pick or focus on our needs. Such a flexible approach is like the facets of the diamond. The light is different but the colours sparkle because of our perceptive angle.

    It is why for example people can insist the dharma is blue or red or green but of course this is the shimmering of words ...

    If we remove the diamond, we are left with nothing. That level of purity is beyond conception

    Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.

    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
    Blown on the steel breeze.
    Come on you target for faraway laughter,
    Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
    You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.

    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
    Rode on the steel breeze.
    Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
    Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

    Pink Floyd

    David
  • sunya4sunya4 Zaandam Nederland New

    what?
    Nan Yar? (Who am I?) | Translations | …

    www.happinessofbeing.com/nan_yar.html

    Nāṉ Yār? (நான் யார்? or நானார்?) — Who am I? — Tamil text by Sri Ramana with English translation by Michael James: The teachings ...

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 22

    "Nothing

    I found out that it's necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. We have to believe in something which has no form, or no color. Something that exists before any form and colors appear. This is very important point. Whatever we believe in -- whatever god we believe in -- when we become attached to it, it means our belief is based on more or less self-centered idea. If so, it takes time to acquire -- to attain perfect belief, or perfect faith in it. But if you are always prepared for accepting everything which we see is appearing from nothing, and we think there is some reason why some form or color or phenomenal existence appear, then, at that moment, we have perfect composure.

    When I have headache there is some reason why I have headache. If I know why I have headache I feel better. But if you don't know why you may say, "Oh, it's terrible I have always headache! Maybe because of bad practice. If my meditation or zen practice is better I wouldn't have this kind of trouble." If you understand things like this you will not have perfect faith in yourself or in your practice until you attain perfection (and there's no -- I'm afraid you have no time to have perfect practice) -- so you have to have headache all the time. This is rather silly practice. This kind of practice will not work. But if you believe in something which exists before we have headache, and if we know just reason why we have headache, then we feel better naturally. To have headache is alright because I am healthy -- healthy enough to have headache. If you have stomach ache your tummy is healthy enough to have pain. But if your tummy get accustomed to the poor condition of your tummy you will have no pain. That's awful! You are coming to the end of your life from your tummy trouble.

    So it is absolutely necessary for everyone to believe in nothing. But I don't mean voidness. There is something, but that something is always -- is something which is always prepared for taking some particular form, and it has some rules, or theory, or truth in its activity. That is so-called Buddha nature, or Buddha himself. When we personify this existence we call it Buddha; or when we understand it as the ultimate truth we call it Dharma; and when we accept the truth, and when we act as a part of the Buddha, or according to the theory, we call ourselves Sangha. But, in short, even though we have three Buddha forms it is one existence -- some existence which has no form or color, and always prepared for -- ready for taking forms and colors. This is not just theory. This is not just teaching of Buddhism. This is absolutely necessary understanding of our life, and without this understanding religion will not help us."

    --Shunryu Suzuki Zen Mind Beginners Mind as presented by http://www.cuke.com/Cucumber Project/lectures/beginners-mind-ms-derby/03-nothing.htm

    Bolding is mine because Websters defines "potential" as existing in possibility :capable of development into actuality. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/potential.

    It is just a regular word, nothing fancy but in my opinion it conveys what he is getting at better than using the label "nothing" when talking about the formless something.

    As you can see this is not Taoism even as it is brought to you by a Taoisty Buddhist.

    Travellerlobsterdhammachick
  • Everyday I try to grab a pocket of Tao, suchness, potential emptiness, mind witout form, angels and bodhisattvas dancing on pins, clouds of mindlessness ... and throw them all away into nothingness ...

    So far Nothing, Emptiness and the odd rainbow wins out ...
    Must try harder easier ...

    Traveller
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 23

    @Kerome said:> I still find it odd that this concept should be called "emptiness". As per TNH's explanation, things are full of interdependent being, full of their non-self elements. The only thing that's not there is a quality that makes it uniquely that thing, a self. Calling that emptiness seems to me to be like answering a question that isn't asked because it's rather outlandish.

    It's really quite straightforward - emptiness here means the absence of independent existence or own-being. Seeing interdependence is a way to approach seeing sunyata, but is not the full story. The full story is told in the Heart Sutra, it is one of liberation based on insight and wisdom:
    "Avalokiteshvara
    while practicing deeply with
    the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
    suddenly discovered that
    all of the five Skandhas are equally empty,
    and with this realisation
    he overcame all Ill-being."

    https://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

    Perhaps it's my scientific training but in a world made up of atoms and molecules any notion of a "self" element seems absurd.

    Yes, and in the suttas a "person" is just a set of aggregates, elements or properties. There is no abiding self or soul or personal essence, just a process.

    lobsterShoshin
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 23

    @lobster said:> "All conditioned dharmas
    Are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, or shadows;
    Like drops of dew, or like flashes of lightning;
    Thusly should they be contemplated."
    https://lapislazulitexts.com/vajracchedika_prajnaparamita_sutra.html

    That gives a good feel for what we're discussing. It's rather similar to a verse in the Phena Sutta:

    "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."
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.095.than.html

    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    Handy hint: chant the Prajnaparamita mantra for 5 minutes, that should give you a feel for what we're discussing ( sunyata ).
    "Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha".
    “Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond, Enlightenment hail!”

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

    Sunyata is still not nothing.

    "Emptiness does not mean non-existence. It means independent co-arising, impermanence and non-self.

    When we first hear about emptiness, we feel a little frightened. But after practicing for a while, we see things do exist, only in a different way than we thought."

    "When we maintain awareness that we are all linked to each other, this is the Concentration on Emptiness (shunyata samaghi)"

    -Thich Nhat Hanh. Heart of the Buddha's Teaching.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 24

    I'll give it a go from the Tibetan perspective as well. This one is perfect in my opinion because it points to the positivity in emptiness. I think this is important for anyone that thinks there is a literal nothing and no thing is real.

    Again the definition of "potential" is existing in possibility: capable of development into actuality.

    "Emptiness is a rough translation of the Sanskrit term sunyata and the Tibetan term tongpa-nyi. The Sanskrit word "sunya" means "zero". The Tibetan word "tongpa" means "empty"; nothing there.

    The Sanskrit syllable "ta" and the Tibetan syllable "nyi" don't mean anything in themselves. But when added to an adjective or noun, they convey a sense of possibility or open-endedness. So when Buddhists talk about emptiness, we don't mean "zero", but a "zero-ness": not a thing in itself, but rather a background, an infinitely open "space" that allows for anything to appear, change, disappear and reappear.

    That's very good news.

    If everything were permanent, singular or independent, nothing would change. We'd be stuck forever as we are. We couldn't grow and we couldn't learn. No one and nothing could affect us. There would be no relationship between cause and effect."

    -- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche Joyful Wisdom

    To be empty of self is to be full of potential.

    But please tell me again how the word potential is incompatible with sunyata.

    ;)

    lobsterpaulysoTraveller
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    thank you david.i think in that same line of curvature of entirealy whole in a sense.what pop in my mind is this empty of self , potential in karma.i am reminded of two sayings of buddha and lao.first buddha,paraphraising,in the midst of abundance , count none as your own.and lao says,paraphraising,the cosmos tend to curve towards fairness and kindness.what a positve dao-dharma ....the cosmos empty and full...that's beutiful,imo.

    TravellerDavid
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    is like our perception transform from samsara to nirvana..that is hope.one of the angle of mayana thought,from the inside out...that potential our buddha nature....our metaphor diamond.

    Traveller
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 25

    @David said:> The Sanskrit syllable "ta" and the Tibetan syllable "nyi" don't mean anything in themselves. But when added to an adjective or noun, they convey a sense of possibility or open-endedness. So when Buddhists talk about emptiness, we don't mean "zero", but a "zero-ness": not a thing in itself, but rather a background, an infinitely open "space" that allows for anything to appear, change, disappear and reappear.

    You still seem to be stuck on the idea of emptiness as some sort of ground-of-being or space in which things occur. But emptiness itself is also empty, so such descriptions are misleading. See half way down this page: https://emptinessteachings.com/2014/09/11/the-two-truths-of-buddhism-and-the-emptiness-of-emptiness/

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I think emptiness can mean different things to different people, and there is basically no right or wrong. As long as one examines, researches, peruses and concludes, and is therefore ultimately satisfied with one's own interpretation, and one can live with that, that's ok.

    Isn't it?

    David
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 25

    @federica said:
    I think emptiness can mean different things to different people, and there is basically no right or wrong. As long as one examines, researches, peruses and concludes, and is therefore ultimately satisfied with one's own interpretation, and one can live with that, that's ok.

    Isn't it?

    There is correct understanding and incorrect understanding. Different Buddhist schools present sunyata in slightly different ways, but essentially it means that phenomena lack independent existence or own-being. Or you could say there are only changing conditions. Talking about sunyata as nothingness, potential or empty space ( whatever ) is missing the point.
    This Wiki article isn't bad: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Śūnyatā

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 25

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:> The Sanskrit syllable "ta" and the Tibetan syllable "nyi" don't mean anything in themselves. But when added to an adjective or noun, they convey a sense of possibility or open-endedness. So when Buddhists talk about emptiness, we don't mean "zero", but a "zero-ness": not a thing in itself, but rather a background, an infinitely open "space" that allows for anything to appear, change, disappear and reappear.

    You still seem to be stuck on the idea of emptiness as some sort of ground-of-being or space in which things occur. But emptiness itself is also empty, so such descriptions are misleading. See half way down this page: https://emptinessteachings.com/2014/09/11/the-two-truths-of-buddhism-and-the-emptiness-of-emptiness/

    I think I made myself rather clear. You simply have to accept that there is more than one way to understand sunyata. I have provided sources both Zen and Tibetan that clearly support my view here. If there's a right and a wrong way, guess what?

    Grapes a bit sour I'm guessing.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 25

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:> The Sanskrit syllable "ta" and the Tibetan syllable "nyi" don't mean anything in themselves. But when added to an adjective or noun, they convey a sense of possibility or open-endedness. So when Buddhists talk about emptiness, we don't mean "zero", but a "zero-ness": not a thing in itself, but rather a background, an infinitely open "space" that allows for anything to appear, change, disappear and reappear.

    You still seem to be stuck on the idea of emptiness as some sort of ground-of-being or space in which things occur. But emptiness itself is also empty, so such descriptions are misleading. See half way down this page: https://emptinessteachings.com/2014/09/11/the-two-truths-of-buddhism-and-the-emptiness-of-emptiness/

    I think I made myself rather clear. You simply have to accept that there is more than one way to understand sunyata.

    I don't have to accept incorrect explanations.

    I have provided sources both Zen and Tibetan that clearly support my view here.

    No, you really haven't. All you have done is some quote mining which doesn't actually support your idiosyncratic interpretation. Meanwhile you have studiously ignored core texts like the Heart Sutra.

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

    You seem to be the only one confused so I'm good. Good luck with all that though.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 25

    @David said:
    You seem to be the only one confused so I'm good. Good luck with all that though.

    I'm not in the least bit confused on this topic.

    David
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 25

    Ok there, Buddha.

    I guess you missed my post the other day recommending Infinite Circle by Bernie Glassman which has one of the best explainatons of the Heart Sutra in my opinion.

    It has been demonstrated that you and I also differ in our interpretations of the text. Hopefully your implication that I ignore the text means you forgot our previous back-and-forth and are not being willfully ignorant in order to score some non-existent points.

    In other words, please don't assume ignorance just because interpretations differ. It only shows the log in your own eye to borrow a phrase.

  • Dear Suns and Moons of the Buddha,

    As we know from experience, the empty space we rest in during meditation or mindless [eh mindful] awareness is always there. Sometimes it is called the original mind, Nirvana, the 'gone Beyond'.

    How best to describe it and understand? Buddhalessness?

    We beginners are empty with expectation ... o:)

    Answers to the usual empty cushions ...

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

    I'm at work but I just googled sunyata as potential just for kicks and there's quite a few hits. I guess I'm not the only one seeing relevance of the term.

    I'll have to sift through them later and see if anything resonates.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited September 25

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:
    You seem to be the only one confused so I'm good. Good luck with all that though.

    I'm not in the least bit confused on this topic.

    You are the only one that seems to have a problem comprehending what I am saying so I'm going to go ahead and figure it's your problem and not mine.

    Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is Tibetan and he sees it the same way I do. The only way to disagree with that is to misunderstand the definition of potential. He is not Taoist or even Zen but is a Tibetan Buddhist and he knows his stuff.

    Sorry if you disagree but that is hardly my problem and I do not think you really qualify as an expert, sorry.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    thinking outloud,hopefully coherent...hehe.ok.nonself and empty.we are informed the self,or the skandas or aggregate ,do not exist entirely independent of itself.the point,imo,the practice of nonself view is to lessen the stronghold--on a practical level--of selfishness...of me , myself ,and i,kinda-thing.to see nonindependent but interdependent origin.if we follow the codependent line of thought,the discovery of nothing there.which,refutes,any eternal self existing reference.....sorry got to go to work.....should i continue thinking outloud?or just drop it,let it go.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    continuing to think outloud....upond discovery of nothing there,or empty of a changeless self..or some would view as soul,a host of reaction is possible.some find peace who is on the quest of bhodi,or enlightenment...and continue to explore the dharma.what is the positive of nonself discovery? within the framework of four noble--perhaps meaning sincere--truths,nonself eleaviates this self grasping....or being unbound to the held view of a changeless self.being changeable in its component,through dialectical negation that the buddha employ,helps lessen the clinging of view of a soul that may during his time was pravalent and assist to the problem of why do we suffer?i will continue tomorrow.might be a habit in the morning to think outloud.

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