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Emptiness / sunnatha

24

Comments

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited December 2015

    For example=

    We assume we are the one who experience sights, sounds, smells, taste and touch. But without those experiences would "we" be here. The experiences and experiencer are one. Thoughts and thinker are one and the same. "We" don't think, "we" are thoughts.

    "I think therefore I think that I am." But whatever you think, you are not!

    The subject is the object: ying and yang.

    The aggregates are to be regarded as 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.'

    "Bhikkhus, when a noble follower who has heard (the truth) sees thus, he finds estrangement in form, he finds estrangement in feeling, he finds estrangement in perception, he finds estrangement in determinations, he finds estrangement in consciousness.

    "When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated. He understands: 'Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.'

    Anattalakkhana Sutta

    CinorjerStingRay
  • @Cinorjer said:
    And isn't it a wonderful metasutra?

    You mean like a Buju Cohen/Koan perhaps?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Buddhist
    http://itvs.org/films/jew-in-the-lotus

    I totally agree. To me it is both gentler and more than a koan. A koan needs the directive, setting and relationship with a living Zennith.

    The Mahayana dictum play between form and no-form can be studied, discussed, used, abused, moved everywhere including sideways and hopefully still be beneficial.

    It is part of the reason why at Heart, I am a Mahayanist.

    Long live the MettaSutra!

    CinorjerStingRay
  • I look at table.

    The table (form) is empty.

    That means the table is dependent arising.

    That means the table is dependent upon causes and conditions.

    There are immediate causes and conditions and not so immediate.

    For instance you can see that the table depends on your designation of it as a table. Your past memory of what tables are. A function of a table. Designers and craftmans throughout ages. The wood, the metal, the glass.

    So the table is exactly its conditions.

    Hence a table cannot be isolate, independent, intrinsically existent.

    We generally see things as isolates.

    But when we see dependencies (causes and conditions) we see emptiness. We see interdependence. We see the vast matrix of causal conditions as this instant eruption and thus end the distinction between I the subject examining the table.

    Fundamentally there is intimacy.

    JeffreyrobotCinorjerStingRay
  • welcome back taiyaki :)

    taiyakiCinorjer
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited December 2015

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

    In the first story, the Zen master asked the novice monk:
    “Tell me about your understanding of the Heart sutra.”

    The novice monk joined his palms and replied:
    “I have understood that the five skandhas are empty. There are no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or objects of mind; the six consciousnesses do not exist, the eighteen realms of phenomena do not exist, the twelve links of dependent arising do not exist, and even wisdom and attainment do not exist.”
    “Do you believe what it says?”
    “Yes, I truly believe what it says.”

    “Come closer to me,” the Zen master instructed the novice monk. When the novice monk >drew near, the Zen master immediately used his thumb and index finger to pinch and twist > the novice’s nose.
    In great agony, the novice cried out “Teacher! You’re hurting me!” The Zen master lookedat > the novice. “Just now you said that the nose doesn’t exist. But if the nose doesn’t exist then > what’s hurting?”

    Cinorjer
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @ourself said: No emptiness, no form; Emptiness and form, potential and fruition, cause and effect.

    So emptiness causing form? Form coming out of emptiness? Something coming out of nothing?

    This isn't what the Heart Sutra is about. The Heart Sutra is about emptiness being form, they are the same. Don't forget that form is only used as an example, it applies to all the aggregates.

    lobsterrobot
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited December 2015

    There is no table, only concept ... Form is Concept & Concept is Emptiness

  • Time for milk and cookies. And perhaps some cookies 'n cream ice cream.

  • taiyakitaiyaki Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @Shoshin said:
    There is no table, only concept ... Form is Concept & Concept is Emptiness

    It would be wiser to say

    the table is dependent upon concept

    rather than being reductionistic and saying its only a concept.

    because have you ever fallen on a table? shit hurts

    ShoshinsilverCinorjer
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited December 2015

    Shit happens....
    Pain is inevitable -but suffering is optional :wink:

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @taiyaki said:> because have you ever fallen on a table? shit hurts

    Indeed. "Brick" dropping on "foot" causes "pain". Except when wearing "steel toe-cap boots" or when "bricks" are made of "lego". ;)

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @Cinorjer said: It's most difficult to shock the mind out of dualistic thinking.

    I have found understanding sunyata to be a gradual process, based on mindful observation. I find working with the elements to be helpful, the sense of flux and interaction.

    Cinorjer
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @taiyaki We generally see things as isolates.

    Yes, and as substantial with an essence. We see ourselves in the same way of course.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @Lionduck said: .... ice cream.

    Ah yes, being One with the Intrinsic Purity of Vanilla which negates sunyata! Sheer bliss!

    lobster
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @ourself said: No emptiness, no form; Emptiness and form, potential and fruition, cause and effect.

    So emptiness causing form? Form coming out of emptiness? Something coming out of nothing?

    This isn't what the Heart Sutra is about. The Heart Sutra is about emptiness being form, they are the same. Don't forget that form is only used as an example, it applies to all the aggregates.

    No, you are putting words in my mouth and confusing my post with what others suggest in theirs. All I said was no emptiness means no form. If they are the same thing it can be no other way.

    Emptiness and form do not cause each other and obviously I wouldn't say something comes out of nothing because that's silly.

    I did say that without emptiness there would be no causation or subjectivity but that seems to be elementary.

    If you cannot see how duality plays in the Heart Sutra I will not be able to make you see it but please try to actually read what you would argue against.

    Cinorjer
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @ourself said: If you cannot see how duality plays in the Heart Sutra I will not be able to make you see it but please try to actually read what you would argue against.

    I'm still not clear which duality you are referring to. Which two things?

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @ourself said: If you cannot see how duality plays in the Heart Sutra I will not be able to make you see it but please try to actually read what you would argue against.

    I'm still not clear which duality you are referring to. Which two things?

    That's just it, though... It isn't two things.

    It could be argued it's more about non-duality than duality but again we could hardly have a conversation about non-duality without duality.

    Remember too that duality is not just a pair of "seeming" opposites but every polarity between them.

    Emptiness and form would be seeming opposites for some people.

    That's not the meat of the Heart Sutra however. It iis about not worrying about the negation of sense and scripture and doing what your heart says.

    In the end, after all dharma and dharma gates have been negated, the bodhisattva relies on their nurtured wisdom regardless.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @David said: Emptiness and form would be seeming opposites for some people. That's not the meat of the Heart Sutra however.

    The meat of the Heart Sutra is the identity of the aggregates and sunyata, and the realisation of that.

    People have been talking about "duality" in a rather vague way, so I've been trying to find out which duality they are actually referring to. Possibly they are referring to the experience of non-duality which corresponds with the cessation of self-view, but I'm not sure.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duality

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    The Endless Further has a rather decent explanation in the article called "Emptiness- The Insight of Equality"

    It's all about the duality of the Heart Sutra if you are interested.

    I have no idea how to link to it from my phone though.

    Here we go.

    http://theendlessfurther.com/tag/heart-sutra/

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    I found the Heart Sutra but no article.

    But which duality do you think the Heart Sutra is referring to?

  • thanks David
    May Triple Gems Bless You

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @pegembara said: Existence/form and non-existence/emptiness is not the middle way...

    I think that's where the confusion lies, you're conflating existence with form, and non-existence with emptiness.

    Sunyata is not non-existence, it's conditional existence ( another way of saying lack of independent existence ). And form is not existence, it's well....conditional existence!

    So while existence and non-existence comprise a duality, form and emptiness do not.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:
    I found the Heart Sutra but no article.

    But which duality do you think the Heart Sutra is referring to?

    Try it now.

    I think it pretty much tackles all of them by implying that opposites are not really opposites as there is no true distinction between things.

    I still think it is more about how there is no solid ground and how we are to stand regardless.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @David said: I think it pretty much tackles all of them by implying that opposites are not really opposites as there is no true distinction between things.

    I found the article somewhat confused to be honest. There is mention of non-duality, but no explanation of what is meant.
    I find Thay's approach more intelligible: http://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited December 2015

    if i say

    non-duality = sunyata = non-self = anatta = emptiness = seeing Dhamma for the first time = Stream-Winner = Awaken to the Truth

    what do you think?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    I'm struggling with non-duality = sunyata.

    What exactly do you mean by "non-duality"?

  • > @SpinyNorman said:
    http://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/

    Thanks SpinyNorman

    can you provide the english translation (meaning of)

    Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
    Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
    Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!”

    May Triple Gem Bless You

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    From memory it's "Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond, all hail."

  • @SpinyNorman said:
    From memory it's "Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond, all hail."

    Thanks Good Friend (kalyana mitta)

    then it means ' a saying of all Arahants'

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @David said: Emptiness and form, potential and fruition, cause and effect.

    How so? How does sunyata "cause" the aggregates?

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Emptiness and form would be seeming opposites for some people. That's not the meat of the Heart Sutra however.

    The meat of the Heart Sutra is the identity of the aggregates and sunyata, and the realisation of that.

    People have been talking about "duality" in a rather vague way, so I've been trying to find out which duality they are actually referring to. Possibly they are referring to the experience of non-duality which corresponds with the cessation of self-view, but I'm not sure.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duality

    This definition is far too black and white if you'll pardon the pun. There are shades of grey and it is within these shades that one turns out to be the other.

    The yin yang is a good example. There is a little bit of yin in the yangest of yang and vice versa. Also where the yin is thin, yang is thick implying many polarities between absolute yin and absolute yang. Yin may be the conceptual opposite of yang but yin yang has no opposite.

    So while existence and non-existence comprise a duality, form and emptiness do not.

    I don't think that is a fair comparison because nobody has any clue as how to measure the non-existent. I've never even seen anything that is non-existent and I'm pretty sure it is just a concept like no-spoon (that is also the only possible opposite of spoon.)

    Emptiness and form speak of cyclic change.

    Without duality, there would be no emptiness.

    Something that has been in constant change can not have a true form and is empty along with all of its parts and their parts.

    How so? How does sunyata "cause" the aggregates?

    There is a problem in translation from thought to page because I did not say that emptiness causes the aggregates. The only reason the aggregates can come together is because they are empty.

    Emptiness is that things change.
    Duality is the cyclic nature of change.

    I like Thays version as well. I saw it when he brought it out as I follow him on Facebook, haha.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @David said Without duality, there would be no emptiness.

    Why exactly?

    I'm still not clear on your definition of "duality", and I'm not convinced by your shades of grey argument. Here's another definition: http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/duality.
    To put the question another way, in what sense are you using "non-dual"? There are a number of different options here.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said Without duality, there would be no emptiness.

    Why exactly?

    Because duality is separation.

    I'm still not clear on your definition of "duality", and I'm not convinced by your shades of grey argument. Here's another definition: http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/duality.

    Nope, we're going by the same definition. The point is that it is the same coin and not really opposite but complimentary aspects of the same coin.

    There are no opposites except conceptually.

    The only opposite of coin is no-coin.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said Without duality, there would be no emptiness.

    Why exactly?

    Because duality is separation.

    I'm still not clear on your definition of "duality", and I'm not convinced by your shades of grey argument. Here's another definition: http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/duality.

    Nope, we're going by the same definition. The point is that it is the same coin and not really opposite but complimentary aspects of the same coin.

    I'm confused, first you say duality is separation, ie two coins, and then you say it's two sides of the same coin.

    I think the first definition is correct for "duality", that would be like existence v. non-existence for example.

    Two sides of the same coin is more like form and emptiness, different aspects of the same thing. That isn't a duality.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said Without duality, there would be no emptiness.

    Why exactly?

    Because duality is separation.

    I'm still not clear on your definition of "duality", and I'm not convinced by your shades of grey argument. Here's another definition: http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/duality.

    Nope, we're going by the same definition. The point is that it is the same coin and not really opposite but complimentary aspects of the same coin.

    I'm confused, first you say duality is separation, ie two coins, and then you say it's two sides of the same coin.

    I think the first definition is correct for "duality", that would be like existence v. non-existence for example.

    Two sides of the same coin is more like form and emptiness, different aspects of the same thing. That isn't a duality.

    It is based on a perception of duality. Any duality is based on one being split but if one can be split, one can be split indefinitely.

    Show me any two aspects of a duality and I will show you two aspects of the same thing and each with varying degrees.

    Non-existence vs. Existence is silly talk. There is no non-existence to speak of.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    The existence v. non-existence duality is something the Buddha used regularly to introduce his teachings on dependent origination:
    "'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications...."
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html

    We don't seem to getting very far with "duality", so let's try looking at "non-duality".

    Have a look at this article and tell me which one you are actually referring to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nondualism

  • @David said:

    Non-existence vs. Existence is silly talk. There is no non-existence to speak of.

    It can get silly for sure, but you can't have a middle way unless you have extremes to define it.
    Unless I realize that I'm taking an extreme view I might never get to the middle.

    David
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:
    The existence v. non-existence duality is something the Buddha used regularly to introduce his teachings on dependent origination:
    "'Everything exists': That is one extreme. 'Everything doesn't exist': That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications...."
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html

    That is not duality because he negates both extremes and introduces the middle way.

    I can see your point if we use the two truths though.

    We don't seem to getting very far with "duality", so let's try looking at "non-duality".

    Have a look at this article and tell me which one you are actually referring to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nondualism

    I'm probably referring to both. I'll have a look in a few.

    In a way nondualism negates dualism (the idea of opposites) so in a way I'd be referring to both.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

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

    The Wiki article describes 3 types of non-dualism:

    1. Advaya, the nonduality of conventional and ultimate truth in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition; it says that there is no difference between the relative world and "absolute" reality;
    2. Advaita, the non-difference of Ātman and Brahman or the Absolute; it is best known from Advaita Vedanta, but can also be found in Kashmir Shaivism, popular teachers like Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, and in the Buddha-nature of the Buddhist tradition;
    3. "nondual consciousness", the non-duality of subject and object; this can be found in modern spirituality.
    David
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @pegembara said: Existence/form and non-existence/emptiness is not the middle way...

    I think that's where the confusion lies, you're conflating existence with form, and non-existence with emptiness.

    Sunyata is not non-existence, it's conditional existence ( another way of saying lack of independent existence ). And form is not existence, it's well....conditional existence!

    So while existence and non-existence comprise a duality, form and emptiness do not.

    Sunyata as you have described is not non-existence but anatta or lack of inherent existence. Eg. The ear is the sum of its parts and the parts are themselves the sum of smaller parts and so on. It is a convenient label or name to describe those parts in the same way Mr. Smith is just a convenient name(or fiction!) to describe the ever changing 5 aggregates. Mr. Smith is empty of inherent existence.

    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.

    Phena Sutta

    I don't see sunyata as existence or non existence but instead it is the middle way or transcendent right view. Form is emptiness/emptiness is form IS sunyata and not emptiness per se in this line. As is Form does not differ from Emptiness And Emptiness does not differ from Form.

    "Look upon the world as empty, Mogharaja, ever mindful; uprooting the view of self you may thus be one who overcomes death. So regarding the world one is not seen by the King of Death."

    Mogharaja

    The word empty in the quotes above refers to sunyata hence the confusion. Maybe the word insubstantial would suit better.

  • misecmisc1misecmisc1 I am a Hindu India Veteran
    edited December 2015

    shunyata - one of my favourite topics... the samsara seems cyclic, even staying on this forum it seems like cyclic - the same topics coming again and again - the compassion of the members here seem boundless, as they try so hard to explain such difficult topics - so thanks a lot to them.

    i was just browsing for my thread on shunyata, which i raised previously on shunyata, here is the link to it:
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/19028/shunyata/p1

    metta to you and all sentient beings.

    Jeffrey
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @pegembara said: I don't see sunyata as existence or non existence but instead it is the middle way or transcendent right view.

    Nargajuna would agree with you:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Śūnyatā#Nagarjuna

    Anatta, sunyata, dependent origination, these are all variations on the theme of conditionality.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @pegembara said: I don't see sunyata as existence or non existence but instead it is the middle way or transcendent right view.

    Nargajuna would agree with you:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Śūnyatā#Nagarjuna

    Anatta, sunyata, dependent origination, these are all variations on the theme of conditionality.

    Exactly. On reading that article I noticed the word sunya (empty) came from the word keu which means to swell and grow.

    So we have a void that is empty of all but potential.

    When I spoke of duality I was basically meaning the world sensed as separate but I see that is only useful Tao and Zen.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @David said: So we have a void that is empty of all but potential.

    I'm not sure about that, because again we're heading down the road of taking void or emptiness rather too literally.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: So we have a void that is empty of all but potential.

    I'm not sure about that, because again we're heading down the road of taking void or emptiness rather too literally.

    A void that implies growth can only point to the potential for change as far as I can tell.

    Potential for form is form.

    Emptiness is the potential for change as much as anything else.

    We may not want to be overly literal but we sure don't want to be overly metaphorical either. Otherwise we may as well just keep on day dreaming.

    I would almost make the leap to say emptiness/form is the dual nature of potential because when we put aside all the ribbons and bows, the Heart Sutra is all about the potential for bodhisattvas.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @David said:> Emptiness is the potential for change as much as anything else.

    Hmm, I think you're drifting into Advaita here. I think it's more accurate to say that emptiness is change. Transience and conditionality as two sides of the same coin.

  • @SpinyNorman said:
    I'm struggling with non-duality = sunyata.

    What exactly do you mean by "non-duality"?

    To retreat into Zennism, the non-duality that can be defined is not non-duality. I have been trying to figure out why "types" of non-duality make a difference. I am ready to admit that what you are thinking of as duality has nothing to do with sunyata. I suspect it's not what I am thinking of, so we're talking in circles. Also, my training says getting trapped in definitions and distinctions is to be avoided, so I resist going where you want me to go in the conversation. I apologize if that seems like I'm avoiding giving a straight answer.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said:> Emptiness is the potential for change as much as anything else.

    Hmm, I think you're drifting into Advaita here. I think it's more accurate to say that emptiness is change. Transience and conditionality as two sides of the same coin.

    I don't think so... Conditionality means that there must be the potential for change before a change can happen.

    Every effect is a cause and every cause is an effect but the shadow appears once the light hits us, not before.

    Jeffrey
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @David said: Conditionality means that there must be the potential for change before a change can happen.

    But the "potential" is just another set of transient conditions. It's all transient conditions.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @David said: Conditionality means that there must be the potential for change before a change can happen.

    But the "potential" is just another set of transient conditions. It's all transient conditions.

    I don't understand the objection unless we posit an original cause.

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