Author Topic: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS  (Read 18703 times)

psylotripitaka

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2013, 11:15:56 AM »
Dsiluvu,

To apply our experience of emptiness practically and effectively within any moment of consciousness we have to first gain genuine experience in meditation. Studying, receiving teachings, accumulating merit, purifying negativity, requesting blessings, doing Migtsema, and contemplating the subject very patiently are key foundations for successfully finding the object of meditation. It is especially crucial that we spend a long time on the first stage of emptiness meditation: identifying the negated object. This means identifying within our own consciousness how our self-grasping is perceiving and conceiving a phenomena to exist; identifying the conceived object of that mind - an inherently existent body for example. If we cannot identify the body that we normally perceive, when we do an "ultimate search" we will fall to extremes and be unable to apprehend the emptiness of that body.

It is really when we also study dependent-relationship that our ability to distinguish between the conceived object of self-grasping and the phenomena that does exist will become more clear, and we will fall to extremes less because the negated object becomes very apparent. We need to read commentaries about identifying the negated object, and we especially need to spend a lot of time trying in and out of meditation to accurately identify it. If we don't do this we will keep feeling confused by the next three stages of meditation because we won't be clear what we're looking for. Like when you go back to your room to get something and can't remember what you went to get, you won't be able to find it. You can't find the emptiness of a thing if you don't know what the thing is you're looking for, and so, you cannot absorb into space-like emptiness, so what experience is there to apply in daily life?

If we have done the first stage correctly, the remaining three work perfectly in bringing us to a non-conceptual concentration in emptiness. When we arise from that, our understanding of what we are perceiving in daily life is very different, more refined. In meditation we experienced the truth - the irritating person we normally perceive does not exist - and when we encounter the person again we need to remember that truth we found rather than doubting that truth and believing the person truly is irritating from their side. The depth we penetrate emptiness with concentration will determine how effective we apply that experience out of meditation. We will know from our own investigation how we are perceiving things, and that these things we normally perceive do not exist how we perceive them. When someone says "the things we normally perceive" we will know exactly what they mean, and we won't get so angry, so attached and so on. The very appearance of things will start reminding us and connecting us with their emptiness and this becomes another stage of training - the union of appearance and emptiness, and the relationship between this and the union of our mind and the Guru becomes more spacious and refined.

Unfortunately, the real problem preventing a successful application of this knowledge in our daily life is we do not fully appreciate the situation we and others are in, so we don't realize how incredibly urgent it is to experience emptiness! If we truly appreciate the predicament we're in, we automatically put daily effort to our practice of the Profound. Therefore, the most practical advice for using emptiness teachings is to first develop an appreciation of the nightmare we're all in. As the saying goes, 'if you think nothing's wrong, you're not paying attention'!




psylotripitaka

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2013, 12:30:57 AM »
Dsiluvu,

Also, the layman will not be able to penetrate deeply into the real meaning from a brief description in layman's terms. However, we can get a general idea that things do not exist from their own side by considering a couple simple examples.

We tend to just react to things in our life without considering the mechanics of what is going on or how our mind is involved. When we discuss movies, we talk of a bad movie or a great movie as if the movie is good or bad from its own side regardless of our opinion, yet two people can have completely different experiences. In fact, we ourself even view a movie differently at different times. If the qualities were from the side of the movie itself, how could the quality of the movie change so much?

Similarly, someone we find attractive may be unattractive to our friend, so where is the real attractive person? Likewise, someone or something we find annoying may be very delightful to a lojong practitioner, so where is the real annoying person?

Thinking like this helps us understand how our mind is determining the quality of our experiences and therefore shows us directly how we have freedom to change our experience through changing our view. Yet even at this basic level, if we do not proactively question our reality and our mental relationship to it, this knowledge will not bring us peace or control.

icy

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2013, 12:58:22 AM »
Wisdom realizing emptiness is like medicine because it completely removes our suffering; therefore, we should take this supreme remedy without fear. In general, someone wishing to make emptiness their principal practice should first gain experience of the basic practices of meditating on this precious human life, impermanence, actions and their effects, and all the stages of the path that lead up to conventional bodhichitta.  This is the most important of all.

psylotripitaka

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2013, 04:48:41 AM »
Love emptiness

DharmaSpace

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2013, 08:19:06 AM »
Thank you for the teaching psylotripitaka

With folded hands, feels like reading the Lamrim and great pointers that if we do not have a realisation of how dangerous and how much suffering we endure in samsara we will never look to even read or practice to realise emptiness. 

psylotripitaka

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2014, 05:48:16 AM »
Have you meditated on emptiness yet today?

brian

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2014, 06:05:33 AM »
I think a lot can be realized when one meditating on emptiness. Ones sufferings can be lessen just by meditating on emptiness because it will lead you to thinking about the precious human life that we have and everything else is less important than to make full use of this life knowingly it is very short. By developing this realization of impermanence, karma and emptiness also will make one's life to breathe easier and let go a lot of unnecessary sufferings. When a matter rises that ridicules our life, it won't be bothered too much and that is how we can make ourselves happier.


Big Uncle

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2014, 04:42:29 PM »
Nice... Thank you psylotripitaka for your thoughts on this matter. I think we should as Buddhist pursue a certain level of intellectual understanding of emptiness. It helps us on my levels and we actually need lotsa merits just to have intellectual understanding of this subject matter. I myself have not spent much time pursuing this subject matter as yet but I did a little bit of reading on shunyata or emptiness as we know it.
As you have mentioned that it is actually the nature reality and in Buddhism we call it the Ultimate truth, perfection of wisdom. Hence, it is actually not something we can describe with words easily. Hence Chandrakirti devised a system of negation or the prasangika approach towards coming to an understanding of emptiness. A simple way to understanding this is that Empiness it not nirvana and not samsara as well. So, you keep negating according to the rules set forth by Chandrakirti and you would arrive on the conceptual understanding of emptiness. That's what I know...

Matibhadra

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2014, 02:10:49 AM »
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A simple way to understanding this is that Empiness it not nirvana and not samsara as well.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso states that, while emptiness is not an actual nirvana, which is a true cessation and a liberation, “a nirvana is necessarily emptiness, ultimate truth” (Ocean of Nectar, p. 358).


psylotripitaka

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2014, 08:44:40 AM »
I think we should as Buddhist pursue a certain level of intellectual understanding of emptiness.

Dear Big Uncle,

I would say overall that I believe we do not meditate enough in general, and especially not enough single-pointed meditation on emptiness. There is certainly a need for study to become clear, but more oft than not in this degenerate age, when examining our personal time closely, we clearly prefer the stimulation of intellect over actual concentration on virtuous objects. I mean no disrespect at all in saying this, but gaining deep meditative stabilization on emptiness immediately is infinitely more important than trying to figure out whether emptiness is nirvana or not. In some ways, it is enough to know that if we realize emptiness directly, we attain nirvana. Just that knowledge itself should motivate us to concentrate on it single-pointedly as often as possible. If that basic knowledge isn't very moving, this indicates that the full gravity of our predicament has not really hit us yet.

I appreciate study, and I've done a great deal of it for over 20years, but it was Marpa Lotsawa's words in a song to Jetsun Milarepa that hit me strong - (paraphrasing as I don't have the book with me): that sometimes the search for more teachings itself becomes an obstacle; that we should concentrate on those things that touch our heart.

What I see is that time is running out very quickly, not just for Dharma, but for us as an individual. I have begun to really appreciate what elderly folks mean when they say life passes in the blink of an eye. If we spend most of our time studying rather than meditating on the essentially points of the instructions, what a shame to have missed out on a golden opportunity to go deep, and go far.

Imprints of studying Dharma are wonderful. Imprints of realizing Dharma is even better.

dsiluvu

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2014, 09:33:35 AM »
Hello Psylo,

Namaste. Thank you so much for your encouragements in highlighting the importance of meditation... and meditating on emptiness. I am far from doing this, I must admit  :-[, and I should start to make it regular :) Is there a good book you can recommend for beginners like me?

I do agree it is very much needed for us to live happier and from us being happier within, I believe we can transfer that energy out to others.

Is meditating on death a good start? I find that this meditation helps me to let go of a lot of silly big or small things that bother me during my day. Breathing properly helps to calm the mind down and brings it back to focus on solving a problem at hand especially for someone who is always on the move. What would you recommend to the modern busy people who are new in Buddhist practice?

Many blessings to you...

psylotripitaka

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2014, 10:06:47 AM »
Dear dsiluvu,

In general breathing and impermanence meditation are great, but we are talking about emptiness here. I would recommend starting with a very concise explanation of the stages of meditating on emptiness. Short recipes are easier to get cooking!

Then, having done some short concise preliminary practices to purify negativity, accumulate positive energy and receive blessings, try to meditate on the subject.

I'd sprinkle on some oral teachings about the emptiness, and supplementing our meditation with reading a little bit more to deepen our understanding is absolutely necessary, but being gradual and taking time to consider the meaning of even one sentence will be very revealing.

The most concise description of emptiness meditation I've found is in Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's book The New Meditation Handbook. There are many books covering the subject but as a beginner we should keep it simple.

A well cooked meal is a delight to eat, but hey, even some of the ingredients on their own are tasty too!

Matibhadra

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2014, 01:40:03 AM »
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I would say overall that I believe we do not meditate enough in general, and especially not enough single-pointed meditation on emptiness.

A rather useless belief. One should care about one's own meditation, rather than going around posting unwarranted guesses about the meditation of others.

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There is certainly a need for study to become clear, but more oft than not in this degenerate age, when examining our personal time closely, we clearly prefer the stimulation of intellect over actual concentration on virtuous objects.

Again a useless, unwarranted guess. Please talk about your own personal time and how virtuously or not you use it, which might be a most fascinating topic for many of us, but please refrain from advancing fanciful, patronizing, and self-promoting opinions about others.

Unless, of course, your usage of “we” and “our” is just the royal plural, as when Maggie Thatcher majestically announced that '“we” became a grandmother', or the patronizing plural, in a self-sanctifying priest-like way, to “consolate” others by suggesting that they are not alone in the sad situation you describe.

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I mean no disrespect at all in saying this, but gaining deep meditative stabilization on emptiness immediately is infinitely more important than trying to figure out whether emptiness is nirvana or not.

It sounds rather ridiculous your “deep meditative stabilization” on something whose meaning you cannot even figure out. “Meditating” on something one does not understand or cannot figure out is surely the pastime of the fool.

If understanding the meanings of “emptiness” and “nirvana”, together with their distinctions, were not important and essential, then surely all the teachers, from Buddha Shakyamuni down to our lineage and present teachers, such as Je Tsongkhapa, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, and many others, would not take great pains to offer us careful and precise explanations about such meanings and distinctions, such as the previously one quoted from “Ocean of Nectar”.

Dismissing such teachings and their importance shows indeed a grossly disrespectful attitude not only towards the Dharma, but also towards all the direct and lineage gurus. You dismiss such essential teachings not because they are not important and essential, but only because you are unable to take them as personal instructions, because you are unable to make sense out of them, and because you are unable to integrate them into your meditation, let alone into your daily life.

The teaching of the old Kadampas, so much emphasized by the great and glorious Pabongkha Rinpoche, and exhaustively confirmed by his foremost disciple Trijang Rinpoche, is never to dismiss even one syllable of the holy Dharma, which would be tantamount to the great fault of abandoning Dharma, and always to take every single teaching as a personal instruction essential to reach nirvana. This is precisely what you fail to do when you dismiss correct understanding.

But how can you aspire nirvana, let alone reach it, if you cannot even understand its meaning? And how can you meditate on emptiness, let alone gain “deep meditative stabilization” on it, if you thoroughly dismiss the importance of understanding precisely what “emptiness” is or is not? If you cannot tell “nirvana“ from “emptiness”, you foolishly deceive yourself trying to gain that which is already there, and trying to “meditate“ in order to “realize” that which does not exist.

One cannot meditate on what one has not thoughtfully contemplated, and one cannot thoughtfully contemplate what one has not previously studied or heard. First to study or listen, then to think on what was studied or listened, and only then to meditate on what was thought, these are the steps taught by the Buddha, which you obviously want to abolish by proposing that people “deeply meditate” on that which they have not thoughtfully contemplated, on that which they have no clue about.

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In some ways, it is enough to know that if we realize emptiness directly, we attain nirvana.

But then how can you “realize emptiness directly“ if you cannot even tell emptiness from nirvana, and if you arrogantly dismiss the careful explanations of the great teachers who took great pains to precisely point out their respective meanings and distinctions?

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Just that knowledge itself should motivate us to concentrate on it single-pointedly as often as possible.

Where is the “knowledge“ if you dismiss the explanations on the meaning of the emptiness to be meditated upon, and on the meaning of the nirvana to be attained? If you dismiss the knowledge of both the path and the goal, together with the precious explanations by the great teachers about them, you are surely highly motivated to meditate only on your own pointless fantasies.

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If that basic knowledge isn't very moving, this indicates that the full gravity of our predicament has not really hit us yet.

Forgetting about the “predicament” of others, the full gravity of your own predicament, which has clearly not hit you yet, is that you want foolishly to “meditate” on an “emptiness“ whose meaning you refuse to figure out, in order to attain a “nirvana” whose meaning you refuse to figure out too.

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I appreciate study, and I've done a great deal of it for over 20years,

If so, why do you dismiss its importance now? This is a clear sign that your 20 years were uselessly wasted with a misguided and incorrectly motivated intellectual learning which you call “study“,

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but it was Marpa Lotsawa's words in a song to Jetsun Milarepa that hit me strong - (paraphrasing as I don't have the book with me): that sometimes the search for more teachings itself becomes an obstacle; that we should concentrate on those things that touch our heart.

The meanings of emptiness and nirvana obviously did not touch your heart therefore, right? Maybe you should have chosen another subject to study, something which would have touched your heart, rather than Buddhadharma with its meaningless (to you) talks about “emptiness“ and “nirvana”.

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What I see is that time is running out very quickly, not just for Dharma, but for us as an individual.

If so, why don't you try to learn Dharma with a correct attitude, rather than dismissing the teachings as “unimportant”, and why don you try to take each and every teaching as personal instruction instead of just “intellectual excitation” as you have confessedly done for the past 20 years, which is obviously why you have developed the pompous, patronizing, priest-like, hypocritical attitude of displaying a false concern for the time which is running 'for “us” as an individual' while obviously failing to take care of yourself and of your own time.

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I have begun to really appreciate what elderly folks mean when they say life passes in the blink of an eye. If we spend most of our time studying rather than meditating on the essentially points of the instructions, what a shame to have missed out on a golden opportunity to go deep, and go far.

If you had studied with the proper motivation, this very study would have brought you to fruitful meditation, rather than being the waste that even you recognize it was in your case. And since your “meditation“ is not the outcome of proper study, it is not an actual meditation but just a hollow pretense serving only to inflate your ego and make you so grossly dismissive of the Dharma.

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Imprints of studying Dharma are wonderful. Imprints of realizing Dharma is even better.

The sad thing is that your imprints are neither of studying nor of realizing Dharma, but rather of dismissing and abandoning it, and of uselessly wasting your life with wrong study and wrong meditation, thus becoming the hypocritical, preposterous teacher of that which you do not practise yourself.

psylotripitaka

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2014, 02:26:19 AM »
Jspitanga,

Thank you for taking the time to share your perceptions. On most accounts you have simply misinterpreted my meaning, indeed much of what you say is very sound. I just want to make clear that my general comments about people's tendencies are not based on guesses but observation and conversations with many people that share their daily practice habits. I apologize if you were offended by that. I do want to point out here though that the very patronizing unwarranted guesses about other meditators that you accuse me of is exactly what you have done to me here. Its ok though, I understand the useful dynamic of dialogue that gathers clarification while teaching many valuable lessons for everybody. Thank you!

My meaning is we should strive to gain deep experience of emptiness as soon as possible and of course that includes study. I have not been dismissive or disrespectful of the teachings, merely pointing out the need to try getting some actual experience in meditation based on concise explanations initially rather than get too overwhelmed by the incredibly intricate philosophy of the two truths too quickly.

If you had read my previous posts in this thread you would see that I am definitely not dismissive of stages of meditation or fine tuning our understanding to refine its accuracy. Therefore, of course it is essential to refine our understanding of many points in this subject, I'm merely saying not to get too overwhelmed by excessive thinking while neglecting actual meditation.

In your last few paragraphs you offer a wonderful account of how incredibly foolish I am having failed to take of myself and my own time. This will be the last post. I hope some people have found elements of my ramblings useful. Jspitanga, thank you for pointing out all this to me and showing me the import of correct practice. Through our karma together may you swiftly reach the final Union.

Much love to everyone,
psylotripitaka

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: WISDOM REALIZING EMPTINESS
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2015, 02:21:40 PM »
Thank you, all contributors on this article. On reading the opinions, although the greatest wisdom is realizing emptiness, it is not an easy practice nor realisation.

Reading all the comments, it is important to intellectually have an idea what is emptiness, ponder and contemplate it every moment and with practice to realise emptiness.  I have not as yet have such a wisdom realisation but I can visualise how beautiful and serene our mind can be with perfect emptiness as a state of being.  Imagine the beautify we can absorb for realising the nature of things. There will be no projections nor emotions, pure ease of equanimity.

One troubling question?  Will that mean, we will not even having feelings of compassion or kindness when we realise emptiness? I wish I can figure this out.