7 thoughts on “Can you find anything?”

  1. Just because things dependently originate, that doesn’t make them unreal. There in lies the path. Not emptiness by itself.

    Nothing is real by itself…including this concept of emptiness.

    Reality is like free-will, with no limits, no definable/boundable phenomenon. If we start bounding it as emptiness, it can be misleading. Buddha , on seeing this, focussed on ending-suffering using 3 components (not emptiness alone) – sila (action), samadhi(focus), panna(wisdom/emptiness). Speaking or focusing on either of these components alone by themselves, can be misleading to lot of beginners.

    Actually, I would say action(sila) is more important than emptiness. As nothing would originate(including the realization of emptiness) without its dependent “actions” (karma, the essence of dependent origination a.k.a emptiness). This is also why Santideva focussed heavily on bodhisattva vows , which have more to do with sila(“actions”) than wisdom (emptiness) alone.

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    1. We can only truly understand emptiness through our practice. It has to be a practical experience. First we listen or read our instructions with a very special view of receiving them directly from Buddha or Je Tsongkhapa (our root guru). Then we analyse or contemplate the object and hold it in concentration. Then we try to bring them into our daily life. Our practice. In this way all of buddhas teachings are practical advice. This is the kadampa way of life. We need all three. We do not just contemplate emptiness or wisdom teachings. We also contemplate the development of compassion. The mahayana path. We need both. That’s why we develop a principal motivation of bodhichitta or compassion to meditate on emptiness. I find this to be a very helpful and practical teaching for all levels of understanding. The word of Buddha. There are many ways we can approach the object of emptiness in order to devrlop conclusive readoning. The dream approach, dependent relationship, wisfom search for the object of negation. With my mind observing emptiness and a motivation of compassion I will complete all the grounds and Paths. Thus I will be able to benefit all living beings.

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      1. ‘There are many ways we can approach the object of emptiness in order to devrlop conclusive readoning. The dream approach, dependent relationship, wisfom search for the object of negation.’

        I reckon the above comment by Kelsang Gakyi is useful here. What is in front of us when we read it? The spelling of some words is incorrect, this is not because Kelsang Gakyi cannot spell, but the result of some other factor. The letter groups, devrlop, readoning and wisfom, have no meaning in themselves. As we have a knowledge of English, it is possible to make sense of those letter groups. The sense we make of these is dependent upon our mental factors and knowledge. So, although the letters on the page do not conform to the usual spellings, we can derive meaning. Even if the words were spelled correctly, they still have no inherent meaning, that is derived from the knowledge we have of language.
        Geshe Kelsang Gyatso does not appear to claim nothing exists at all, it is the way things exist which is at the root of his teaching. As has been said above, emptiness can not be explained without an object with which to work.

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    2. This is covered implicitly or explicitly in the article, Vitarka, motivation is crucial. And especially if you click on the links, you’ll find out more about karma and compassion and concentration and so on.

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