HYPERLINK "http://www.chsbs.cmich.edu/Guy_Newland/REL_320/Handouts/Mahayana-Tantra/emptiness.htm" http://www.chsbs.cmich.edu/Guy_Newland/REL_320/Handouts/Mahayana-Tantra/emptiness.htm I. Emptiness INCLUDEPICTURE "http://www.chsbs.cmich.edu/Guy_Newland/images/emptin2.gif" \* MERGEFORMATINET Nagarjuna A. General Meaning things? lack of existing in and of themselves; things exist; but not in and of themselves synonyms: lack of inherent existence lack of essential reality lack of intrinsic nature lack of self-existence no-self B. Emptiness is the ultimate truth What you find when you search for their final nature is their unfindability under that sort of analysis. Does this mean that they don?t exist? No, it means they don?t exist in that way; it means also that they don?t exist in the kinds of ways that we reflexively think that they do. C. emptiness exists, but is a negative (a lack, an absence) Like the lack of elephant in room Like the absence of married bachelors in Mt. Pleasant. Like the clarity (lack of clouds) in sky: Things have a clear, open, unobstructed nature: an empty nature D. Emptiness is empty When you look for how chair REALLY exists, you find emptiness of chair; but when you look for emptiness of chair, it too is unfindable under analysis. This is a profound point in Buddhism. It is not that everything else is unreal in relation to one THING which is REAL in and of itself (see Hinduism). Rather, it is that nothing is real in and of itself; everything exists ONLY in relation to other things. E. The two truths But one can still distinguish: ultimate truth = emptiness conventional truth = everything else Both truths are right, are ok; neither contradicts the other; Two levels of analysis, in effect; two sense channels, two radio channels Each and everything thing has or is both of these realities. F. How empty things exist, if not in and of themselves they exist interdependently: parts and wholes causes and effects subjects and objects each depend on each other. They exist conventionally (part of meaning subj/obj dependence) They exist as imputations. They exist less solidly than we expect--but amazingly still function just fine. II. How to meditate on emptiness A. General points The importance of analysis in this system analysis as a form of meditation; but not finally liberating Compare to methods of Theravada, Zen Can we prove that emptiness is true? Is this equivalent to trying to prove that God exists in Christianity? If emptiness is true, does that make all of Buddhism proven? B. The structure of the analysis Cognitive psycholgy example elephant example Married bachelor example C. Actual analysis 1. identifying the object of negation conjuring up a sense of ?I,? catching yourself reifying painting the target. See Lama Yeshe. 2. limiting the possibilities law of excluded middle? other ways of getting a sense of assurance of comprehensiveness Example: finding assurance that: If something did exist in and of itself, it would have to be one with or different from its parts. 3. Excluding the possibilities, analytically, one at time for example; a. if a person were one with the aggregates, then each person would be five as the aggregates are five; yet that is not the case . . . b. if a person were truly different from the aggregates, and existed in and of herself, then she could exist without her body and without her mind, completely separate from them; yet she cannot| 4. This leads to the conclusion, the knowledge, the realization via meditative analysis, that the person does not exist as it appears, does not exist intrinsically. One realizes the emptiness of the person, the person?s lack of existing in and of herself. D. Combining stabilizing meditation with analysis E. Non-conceptual realization of emptiness = realizing nirvana, actual antidote F. Alternating between two channels, practicing compassion and wisdom: developing form (earthly and bliss) and truth bodies G. How a buddha sees stuff
Want to see the other 3 page(s) in Buddhist_Traditon_Notes_10_15.doc?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!