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January 14, 2024


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Very cool. I don’t believe in death… I guess this explains why.

Just opened my winter magazine on Chan (Zen) and no surprise the main topic is emptiness. I say no surprise because emptiness is one of the foremost concepts in Chan and Zen Buddhism. The article repeats the meaning of emptiness being ‘empty of inherent or independent existence.’

In Brian’s post here, Toliffson accurately describes emptiness, outlining how it embraces everything or as it says in one of the Buddhist sutras: ‘form is emptiness, emptiness is form.’

What interests me is how emptiness and impermanence relate directly to the other Buddhist tenet of suffering (or Dukkha, often translated as ‘unsatisfactoriness’ or ‘being out of kilter’) A study or meditation(s) on emptiness can reveal the main cause of suffering – the self. The self-structure cannot help but see itself as being a separate, perhaps lonely individual, a structure that is always striving to maintain its illusory existence. It seems to me that this striving creates the inability to see how thoughts tend to keep us enslaved in a ‘thought sphere’ that rarely has contact with the real or natural world. It’s enough that our brain/body creates our particular environmental realities and responses without adding a virtual world constructed by abstract concepts that separate us from the world, other people and ourselves.

As Toliffson points out: - “But this separation is conceptual. When we look for this "body" or this "mind" or this "person" or "this world," all we actually find is thorough-going flux and ceaseless change, in which everything is inseparable from everything else.”

I like this Buddhist emptiness..

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