Author Topic: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings  (Read 19645 times)

WoselTenzin

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An excerpt from Advice on Guru Devotion by Kyabje Lama Zopa (Source : http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=340)

Sentient beings in reality are empty, but they are not aware of it. They believe 100 per cent that they exist from their own side, because this appears to their hallucinating mind. They suffer so much due to this ignorance. It is like taking drugs, their minds are completely hallucinating, possessed by ignorance, and all their views become hallucinations. Whatever object appears is a hallucination, which in reality does not exist.

This is the basic suffering, believing in a total hallucination, believing that it is true. Then, on the basis of this, anger, attachment, pride, the six root delusions, the 37 secondary delusions, and all other delusions arise. This is the fundamental suffering. Out of that beings create negative karma and problems. Their lives are trapped in many big piles of hallucinations.


Being aware that we are empty does not happen overnight.  In fact it is not going to happen easily as understanding emptiness requires major purification of negative karma and a huge stock of merits and blessings. Once we have realised emptiness, we will release ourselves from the multitude sufferings of samsara.  We can still take rebirth in samsara and be in samsara but samsara will not be in us.  That will be the permanent end to all our sufferings.

Since everyone wants happiness and to be free from suffering, understanding emptiness should be a very appealing goal. In any case, realising the correct view of emptiness is one of the prerequisite to achieve full enlightenment which should be our goal anyways if we are serious Dharma practitioners.

So are we doing anything to achieve this goal or have we even started? 

triesa

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 05:21:33 AM »
An excerpt from Advice on Guru Devotion by Kyabje Lama Zopa (Source : http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=340)

Sentient beings in reality are empty, but they are not aware of it. They believe 100 per cent that they exist from their own side, because this appears to their hallucinating mind. They suffer so much due to this ignorance. It is like taking drugs, their minds are completely hallucinating, possessed by ignorance, and all their views become hallucinations. Whatever object appears is a hallucination, which in reality does not exist.

 






It looks like we are living in "Alice in Wonderland", samsara is all but a big dream, or better put in this way, a nightmare to many.



Once we have realised emptiness, we will release ourselves from the multitude sufferings of samsara.  We can still take rebirth in samsara and be in samsara but samsara will not be in us.  That will be the permanent end to all our sufferings.
 



Wonder what it is really like of being in samsara but samsara not in us......are we like dead zombies without emotions and desires? Or are we not attached to any of these?

samayakeeper

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 05:26:10 AM »
To read and understand emptiness isn't hard but to realize it is the ultimate goal. I am working to purify my uncountable negative karma so as to gain some merit to support my spiritual practice. I do my best not to create more heavy karma. I guess I can't stop creating karma for now. Even when I breathe, sleep and even being alive create negative karma.

For now, at my level, that's the best I can do. Follow what my Lama's words of wisdom and put them into practice. When I have obstacles, I make tea offering to Lord Shugden. It really, really helps.

Big Uncle

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 12:23:03 AM »
I agree with Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Our whole existence is dependent upon causes and conditions that are illusory. However, it would take tremendous amounts of merits to realize that and I think many of us don't have that so we are stuck. Some of us intellectually know that but they can't put that intellectual understanding into practice. Purification practices is one the most potent way to help this, and if it is done towards a Buddha, merits would be accrued and we have both. Hence, Lama Tsongkhapa did tremendous amounts of purification practices to amassed merits in order for his realisation of Madhyamika (right view of Emptiness).

WoselTenzin

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 05:36:58 AM »
It is amazing that even a superficial understanding of emptiness can give one tremendous peace of mind.  Suddenly all the anger, unhappiness and dissatisfaction can melt away because we understand that we are actually holding on to something that does not exist in the way we see it, that is ourselves and everything around as fixed and unchanging entities.

It may be a split second preview into this realization that does not last, but a glimpse into it can give us a taste of what it means to be free of suffering. 
 

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 02:58:43 AM »
Thank you WT, for reproducing article on Emptiness here.
We must be careful not to think of samsara as separate from us. Samsara is us . What we label ourselves as ' I ' is a composition of physical body, feelings, perception, mental factors, consciousness. Because these aggregates are contaminated , we have to suffer. The contaminants are due to the 3 root delusions of ignorance , greed and hatred, the first being the basis of the other two. Due to ignorance we mistake objects to have substantiality  when in fact they do not ( empty of inherent existence ). From this wrong view we develop attachment and anger.If we can see everything is like our dreams , we would not chase after them. Our self cherishing mind arises from thinking we are our ego entity and therefore more important than others. From this selfish mind, all other delusions are triggered and bringing the result of suffering from negative actions which follow.
I hope this way of understanding emptiness is helpful.

hope rainbow

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 07:12:45 AM »
Thank you WT, for reproducing article on Emptiness here.

We must be careful not to think of samsara as separate from us.
Samsara is us .
What we label ourselves as ' I ' is a composition of physical body, feelings, perception, mental factors, consciousness.
Because these aggregates are contaminated , we have to suffer.
The contaminants are due to the 3 root delusions of ignorance , greed and hatred, the first being the basis of the other two.
Due to ignorance we mistake objects to have substantiality  when in fact they do not ( empty of inherent existence ). From this wrong view we develop attachment and anger.

If we can see everything is like our dreams , we would not chase after them.
Our self cherishing mind arises from thinking we are our ego entity and therefore more important than others.
From this selfish mind, all other delusions are triggered and bringing the result of suffering from negative actions which follow.

I hope this way of understanding emptiness is helpful.

Thank you Khedrub Gyatso.
I find your post logical, concise and clear.

From reading it:
"samsara = me" means that that samsara is not a "world" in which I am trapped and that I am fighting with, it is a view of my mind that I need to correct.
Right?

dondrup

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2011, 07:21:06 PM »

From reading it:
"samsara = me" means that that samsara is not a "world" in which I am trapped and that I am fighting with, it is a view of my mind that I need to correct.
Right?

Khedrub Gyatso had explained samsara as our contaminated aggregates as the hell beings, hungry spirits, animals, human beings, demi-gods, and gods. These arise due to the karma that cause rebirth in those realms of existence. These realms of existence are the “world” that we live in.

Samsara is also known as the cyclic existence or uninterrupted rebirth without freedom or control.

Samsara is characterized by suffering and dissatisfaction.

Due to our ignorance of the nature of phenomena, we grasp at our existence ‘I’ and the phenomena around us as inherently existing.  We perceive samsara as inherently existing too!  We need to eradicate the incorrect view that all phenomena exist inherently.

A complete realisation of emptiness will liberate us from samsara and lead us to full enlightenment. Initially if we had an intellectual understanding of emptiness, it can lessen some of our suffering and dissatisfaction. However emptiness is a profound subject that is not easy to understand or realise.  We should purify as much as we possibly can our negative karma, accumulate vast amount of merit, and meditate on emptiness constantly in order to gain understanding and eventual realisation of emptiness.

hope rainbow

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2011, 02:30:17 PM »

From reading it:
"samsara = me" means that that samsara is not a "world" in which I am trapped and that I am fighting with, it is a view of my mind that I need to correct.
Right?

Khedrub Gyatso had explained samsara as our contaminated aggregates as the hell beings, hungry spirits, animals, human beings, demi-gods, and gods. These arise due to the karma that cause rebirth in those realms of existence. These realms of existence are the “world” that we live in.

Samsara is also known as the cyclic existence or uninterrupted rebirth without freedom or control.

Samsara is characterized by suffering and dissatisfaction.

Due to our ignorance of the nature of phenomena, we grasp at our existence ‘I’ and the phenomena around us as inherently existing.  We perceive samsara as inherently existing too!  We need to eradicate the incorrect view that all phenomena exist inherently.

A complete realisation of emptiness will liberate us from samsara and lead us to full enlightenment. Initially if we had an intellectual understanding of emptiness, it can lessen some of our suffering and dissatisfaction. However emptiness is a profound subject that is not easy to understand or realise.  We should purify as much as we possibly can our negative karma, accumulate vast amount of merit, and meditate on emptiness constantly in order to gain understanding and eventual realisation of emptiness.

Thank you Dondrup.
I have a question: if I get out of samsara, does samsara still exist?

vajrastorm

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2011, 12:59:51 AM »
HR had asked, if samsara still exists if I get out of it. Yes , samsara will continue to exist as long as sentient beings continue to be entangled in the web of deceptive pleasures of samsara and not recognize that contaminated happiness is essentially suffering. What we enjoy as a pleasure , for instance, taking a holiday, has the seeds of unhappiness. For one thing it is fleeting and for another, if we have a surfeit of a pleasurable thing, it becomes boring and discontent  and unhappiness sets in again.

However, we continue to be deceived by even the momentary  'pleasures' of samsara and see it as happiness. When we become discontented with one type of pleasure , we go chasing after another and so on endlessly. Hence how can we then break out of samsara unless we see through the deception and recognize true suffering and its origin? Hence , though now and again a being recognizes that what they experience in samsara is nothing but suffering and then develops a yearning to be free of samsara, most of the time beings prefer to stay in samsara and continue to enjoy its deceptive pleasures. So samsara will always be there until all beings accept, realize and practice Lord Buddha's Four Noble Truths and overcome the three poisons of ignorance, attachment and aversion.

hope rainbow

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2011, 01:08:47 PM »
HR had asked, if samsara still exists if I get out of it. Yes , samsara will continue to exist as long as sentient beings continue to be entangled in the web of deceptive pleasures of samsara and not recognize that contaminated happiness is essentially suffering. What we enjoy as a pleasure , for instance, taking a holiday, has the seeds of unhappiness. For one thing it is fleeting and for another, if we have a surfeit of a pleasurable thing, it becomes boring and discontent  and unhappiness sets in again.

However, we continue to be deceived by even the momentary  'pleasures' of samsara and see it as happiness. When we become discontented with one type of pleasure , we go chasing after another and so on endlessly. Hence how can we then break out of samsara unless we see through the deception and recognize true suffering and its origin? Hence , though now and again a being recognizes that what they experience in samsara is nothing but suffering and then develops a yearning to be free of samsara, most of the time beings prefer to stay in samsara and continue to enjoy its deceptive pleasures. So samsara will always be there until all beings accept, realize and practice Lord Buddha's Four Noble Truths and overcome the three poisons of ignorance, attachment and aversion.

Thank you VS.

So when I get out of samsara, samsara may not exist in my realm of experience for myself, but it still exists as a particular realm of experience (of suffering) for every sentient being. Right?
Thus, it still exist for every sentient being.

So, let's imagine that samsara has ceased for me, and I see other beings entangled into samsara by the power of their karma and delusions.

But then... I heard before that when one becomes enlightened one sees everyone as a Buddha?
Is this correct?

Would that mean that enlightened beings see everyone, not as Buddhas, but at least as potential Buddhas?
And therefore pull these beings into their true nature?

Thanks for this debate.
HR
 

hope rainbow

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2011, 03:29:41 PM »
An excerpt from Advice on Guru Devotion by Kyabje Lama Zopa (Source : http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=340)

Being aware that we are empty does not happen overnight. 
In fact it is not going to happen easily as understanding emptiness requires major purification of negative karma and a huge stock of merits and blessings.
Once we have realised emptiness, we will release ourselves from the multitude sufferings of samsara. 
We can still take rebirth in samsara and be in samsara but samsara will not be in us. 



I recently heard this allegory which I found interesting:

Let's imagine one magician showing a rock to an audience, then let's imagine this is really magic right, so the magician uses some magic dust that he blows in the air and that falls on everyone's head making them see a duck where there is only a rock.
The magician has also received dust on his head and thus also sees a duck, and no more a rock.
Now, let's imagine somebody new arrives that did not get any magic dust on his head, what does he see? A rock of course.
What does the audience see? A duck.
What does the magician see? A duck also, but the difference is this: he knows that it is not a duck, he knows it is an illusion.
The magician sees the duck but he knows it is not real, he has not forgotten of its illusory nature.

This is like an allegory for an enlightened being that can see samsara yet does not fall for it, being in samsara though samsara is not in him.

dondrup

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2011, 08:51:19 PM »

Thank you Dondrup.
I have a question: if I get out of samsara, does samsara still exist?

Samsara continues if the causes and conditions for its existence remain. Samsara ceases when the causes and conditions that support its existence are no longer applicable.  If you are out of samsara, samsara does not exist anymore for you because you had exhausted or purified all the karma to be in samsara. You will not experience samsara.

dondrup

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2011, 08:59:52 PM »

But then... I heard before that when one becomes enlightened one sees everyone as a Buddha?
Is this correct?


In the Highest Yoga Tantra for example, practitioners visualise every beings around them as pure beings e.g. the Buddhas. In Lamrim, it says that if we view our spiritual guide as a Buddha, we receive the blessing of a Buddha. 

Buddhas have completely pure view of all sentient beings and hence Buddhas need not perceive everyone as a Buddha. 

Buddhas perceive directly other Buddhas.  Buddhas view all sentient beings as having the potential – Buddha Nature – to become fully enlightened. 

Tenzin K

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Re: Understanding Emptiness - The Method to End All Our Sufferings
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2011, 10:53:43 AM »
Thanks for all of your sharing above.
It's really beneficially for me.

Everything in Samsara is our own perception.
Our negative quality , react negatively towards our perception making us even more belief in our perception and eventually lead us to more suffering.

Sounds like we are actually living in a world of delusion, which called Samsara.
Indeed we are if we think we will be happy for all the attachment we chase.

To realize this is not easy as this is how most of the people perceive.
We really need a lot of purification to understand and realize it.

We are lucky because we have a Guru that always help us in anyway to purify our negative karma and tirelessly teach us the right method to realize emptiness.

Through the Guru kindness giving us one of the greatest protector practice, Lord Shugden to further help us to clear our obstacle, to further help us to get closer to realize truth of life.