Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by fuki » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:53 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:46 pm
Ohayo,

So, I was in the Bardo, minding my own business, not bothering anybody, when suddenly I began to receive ...birth-threats! ;)

--Joe
Lucky you, I didn't receive any threats or warnings, suddenly..poof! :lol:
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:33 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:59 am
Bodhi,

I'll keep silence, Noble or not, about some of the questions.
:D
desert_woodworker wrote:Hmm-m, you both misunderstand me.
Ah, so you've dropped the nobility, good.

I've not expressed any understanding. I asked how you believe a matrix relates to Emptiness/DO.
desert_woodworker wrote:if one is not dwelling in emptiness, say, day after day, and experiencing emptiness, following an awakening, then one does not see dependent origination. So, without the "Mother" (matrix... ) of emptiness, then, dependent origination, in all its haunting beauty and limpidness, is not seen: Missed, and no lively intimation of it. One is just not awake to it.
We all dwell in emptiness and it is quite apparent that we do so. It's plainly obvious that everything changes. If things did not change then yeah, it would be impossible to conceive dependent origination, or anything else for that matter.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by desert_woodworker » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:53 pm

b.,
bodhi wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:33 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:Hmm-m, you both misunderstand me.
Ah, so you've dropped the nobility, good.

I've not expressed any understanding. I asked how you believe a matrix relates to Emptiness/DO.
Well, that's twice now that you've misunderstood my sentence, sorry. :)

I "explained" (imperfectly) that one is the matrix for the other. Without experiencing emptiness, one does not see (experience what I consider the beautiful, limpid, and clear) operation of dependent origination. It's simple. The two, not really two, go together, or just are together, as one.

(Now, Fuki will probably say that this too is "good relationship advice" again! ) :namaste:

Meido Roshi, on a different topic here, wrote about continuing samadhi-practice following an awakening. A line he uses there resonates too with me in connection with, I would say, one's experience of emptiness, and hence experience of dependent origination as well: he writes that this samadhi-practice "...is the experience that everything one encounters is precisely one's original face".

I'd say the same about one's experience of emptiness and of dependent origination: it is "...precisely one's original face". Meido's fuller paragraph is below:
  • "The jewel mirror samadhi (hokkyo zanmai) isn't a method or something taught
    really. It is just the condition of someone who, emerging from the recognition
    of their nature, returns again and again to it, practicing to integrate it
    seamlessly within all activities. In other words, it is the experience that
    everything one encounters is precisely one's original face.
    "
Now, I may be wrong in intimating, however inadvertently, that there is a connection there, generally (say, for all people [practitioners... ] ), but I definitely feel one and don't mind saying so.

Back to the no-bull silence, now. :) :558:

rgds,

--Joe
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Nothing » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:56 pm

Anders wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:02 am

Not that I disagree, but "correct intellectual understanding of emptiness" is one of those battle grounds that quickly give rise to situations invoking the parable of the poisoned arrow.
Yes, Anders, I agree and good example with the parable of the poisoned arrow.
Anders wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:02 am
I rather like East Asian madhyamika and feel it is a shame it is so overlooked in the western Buddhist sphere. It feels in tune with Zen and you can see how Sanlun guys like Jizang and Sengzhao really influenced the chan masters that came centuries later.
Could be wrong but to me Mūlamadhyamakakārikā and the Lanka are two key texts that shaped Chan Buddhism.
Anders wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:02 am
At any rate, returning to "correct intellectual understanding of emptiness", I would say that for practical purposes, such an understanding amounts to having resolved that our experience can not be captured by concepts; that going beyond all concept is desirable; and that cause and effect is ubiquitous. A basic understanding of the two truths is perhaps also helpful. That's about it.

Further elaboration is mostly for those who are intellectually stubborn and are not able to put down concepts until they have fully comprehended all the arguments the madhyamikas put forth for why you should do that. "good horses run at the mere shadow of the whip".
Yes, well said, basic understanding of course, not the stubborn approach as you call it :)
and I wrote in the previous post - "some intellectual understanding of the basic Buddhist teachings".
Anders wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:02 am
I tried the stubborn approach and can't really recommend it. The habit also takes a fair while to shake once you realise you don't need it anymore. :oops: I am told there is a phase of post awakening practise where deep study also deepens one's experience in an experiential mirroring dialectic. Sounds nice.
You have been told well, Torei in "The Inexhaustible Lamp of Zen" is calling that phase passing or penetrating the Barriers of the patriarchs.
Learned monks, please take care and look! What is meant by time and seasons? Moment for moment, each one is as precious as a jewel. So as to test the Dharma-Gates you have atained to, you have to check them against the Buddha's Sutras and the Treatises, and study these again and again and again in detail and with insight. Always ask yourselves whether what you have attained tallies with what is said in the Sutras and Treatises.
Gassho

Viktor

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by fuki » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:07 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:53 pm

Now, I may be wrong in intimating, however inadvertently, that there is a connection there, generally (say, for all people [practitioners... ] ), but I definitely feel one and don't mind saying so.
Please do!
There were some "issues" ppl had on zfi regarding the "sharing of experiences" but I feel there's enough space and maturity here now that we don't take issue with your sharing. For me I welcome it and has and remains a spontaneous motivator/inspiration for Practise, the presence of many in here has that effect! Otherwise we're left like most forums stuck in pointless dialogues with the coteries of would-be "right view dharma-experts"

Which is fine but seems to dominate most forums and "sharing experience" from the horses mouth gets frowned upon. Nonsense! It only exposes one's insecurity and self-referentiality.

ps Meido's book is still underway, looking forward to it.
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:19 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:53 pm
b.,
bodhi wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:33 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:Hmm-m, you both misunderstand me.
Ah, so you've dropped the nobility, good.

I've not expressed any understanding. I asked how you believe a matrix relates to Emptiness/DO.
Well, that's twice now that you've misunderstood my sentence, sorry. :)
Again I've not expressed any understanding. In order to mis-understand there needs to be some kind of understanding that misses the correct understanding. Understand?
I "explained" (imperfectly) that one is the matrix for the other. Without experiencing emptiness, one does not see (experience what I consider the beautiful, limpid, and clear) operation of dependent origination. It's simple. The two, not really two, go together, or just are together, as one.
As others have explained, emptiness is not an organized structure or matrix. The concept doesn't mean containment or organization.

You need to explain how emptiness can function as a matrix, not just meaninglessly claim that it is a matrix. Or you may choose to regain your nobility and remain silent on the subject.

:namaste:

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:14 am

b.,
bodhi wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:19 pm
As others have explained, emptiness is not an organized structure or matrix. The concept doesn't mean containment or organization.
You're still not gettin' it. It may be that you'll benefit if you take a time-out.

You appear to want things to be the way you want them to be. It's just that it's not so. I've written what I know, not what I want to be the case. No-bull. We've done our best, given the raw material. Pity it can't be refined at such a distance.

--Joe

p.s. it may be that your notion of "matrix" is conditioned by a movie, and not by the English language. I affix an image.
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Trilobite in matrix
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:23 am

fuki,
fuki wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:07 pm
desert_woodworker wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:53 pm
Now, I may be wrong in intimating, however inadvertently, that there is a connection there, generally (say, for all people [practitioners... ] ), but I definitely feel one and don't mind saying so.
Please do!
No, no. What I mean is that I have said it, above. Conditioned-arising operates in emptiness. That is their connection. One must be dwelling in emptiness to sense the operation and the connection. This takes practice with a teacher, considerable application, and some very good luck.
fuki wrote:ps Meido's book is still underway, looking forward to it.
Meido's book is OUT, old man! (since March 27, 2018, I think). I'm very happy to have it and to be learning from Meido Roshi through the book.

best,

--Joe
"There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us". – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by Anders » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:12 am

Us Europeans are having to wait. I pre ordered and it is still not arriving till May.

I am sneak peaking a few chapters on the kindle version.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:28 am

desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:14 am
b.,
bodhi wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:19 pm
As others have explained, emptiness is not an organized structure or matrix. The concept doesn't mean containment or organization.
You're still not gettin' it.
Right. Has that not been clear from the very beginning?
It may be that you'll benefit if you take a time-out.
I was merely curious if you had anything meaningful to say about emptiness being a matrix. I actually didn’t think you would respond to the inquiry at all, as I mentioned.
You appear to want things to be the way you want them to be.

Yes I do want things to be the way I want them to be. Is it possible to want things to be the way I don’t want them to be? If that were the case, not getting what I want would be getting what I want.
It's just that it's not so.
So I don’t want things to be the way I want them to be?
I've written what I know, not what I want to be the case. No-bull. We've done our best, given the raw material. Pity it can't be refined at such a distance.
If someone can’t even begin to explain a claim they’ve made, much less support it, it means they don’t understand the claim they’ve made. Nothing wrong with that. It’s good that you’re trying out new ideas, I suppose.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by fuki » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:18 am

Anders wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:12 am
Us Europeans are having to wait. I pre ordered and it is still not arriving till May.

I am sneak peaking a few chapters on the kindle version.
I asked Meido to send it personally and he did about 2 weeks ago, if I look on a dutchy book site they can deliver in 5-7 days Anders. Ah well patiently abiding in the Uncreate, or non-hurrying as Clyde might say :)

Roger, Joe. I got that.

Bodhi I dont see the issue with the word. emptiness=relation
matrix translates in dutch as form or relation
twist.jpg
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perhaps I'm not trying to understand anything :cat:
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by fuki » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:58 am

Back to Shifu and (into the Depths of) Emptiness.

https://www.lionsroar.com/into-the-dept ... iness/amp/
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:21 pm

b.,
bodhi wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:28 am
Yes I do want things to be the way I want them to be. Is it possible to want things to be the way I don’t want them to be? If that were the case, not getting what I want would be getting what I want.
It's just that things are not the way you want them to be.

I see now that the problem is your lack of ability of understanding language. That's why you're "not gettin' it".

Just as well. To front-load or cue a practitioner about what emptiness and dependent origination may be and how they may cooperate is a disservice to a practitioner. It's to be experienced (and possibly later described if one should care to). No damage done so far: Whew! :D

Better -- best -- is to practice. w/ best wishes... .

My master Sheng Yen would say, "Bore into Ch'an!"

Let's see where Fuki wanted to see this thread go, back when he started it. He did some quoting, but not much directing or commenting on the text. See if he'll put the thread on-track. Meanwhile, we can again look at his page 1.

--Joe

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:51 pm

Ohayo,
fuki wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:18 am
matrix translates in dutch as form or relation
That's interesting!, Fuki. And 'way (very far) off from how English takes it.

English takes it from a Latin word for "Mother", the same source English gets "Matriarch" from (the word "mater", L.).

BTW, some Buddhist literature sources call Emptiness "the Mother of all Buddhas". I can't say they're wrong! My friend Lex Hixon (1941-1995) wrote a book about it.

:hatsoff:

--Joe

p.s. a taunting ditty between siblings in childhood I recall was:

"I will tell Mater
and Mater will tell Pater,
and Pater will beat you later!"


Fun, huh?... . ;)

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:30 pm

hi, Viktor,
Nothing wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:56 pm
Could be wrong but to me Mūlamadhyamakakārikā and the Lanka are two key texts that shaped Chan Buddhism.
Indeed. Sheng Yen also routinely taught however that two big influences on the development of Ch'an were Madhyamika (as you mention, but also works by others of the school besides Nagarjuna's kārikā), and the teachings and observations of Yogacara, particularly the 8 Consciousnesses Theory, or model of Mind, culminating in the theory of the Alaya.

He valued very much the "coming-at Mind" from the opposite directions that Madhyamika and Yogacara come at it. The first comes at it from the point of view of Awakening; the other comes at it from the point of view of Delusion. Wonderful!

But don't let's forget about posture, and physical practices. :)

I like it, by the way, that Jundo Roshi, here, uses upper-case "p", writing "practice" as "Practice", uniformly. :bow2:

--Joe
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by fuki » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:33 pm

Joe,

funny, yes actually Mother of form is also a translation in Dutchy. But I refrained from mentioning it on purpose.

Even 'void' exists as 'form' but not in a way form is commonly 'known', or conceived of. It may cause all kind of interpretative neurotics of mind. All talk about emptiness is expedient however practise related, by observing the nature of appearances one recognizes the essence of appearances and emptiness, which is identical. Hence everything is completely free from errors, if not grasping at anything which arises that is. Relating to page 1, loneliness or unity/togetherness are the cause of looking at any two things as different from each other. I wish my dear Mother could integrate such 'understanding' in her daily activities, as all beings.

Thanks for all contributions, Shifu, et all facilitators of direction (teachers) :111:
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:41 pm

Marcel,
fuki wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:33 pm
I wish my dear Mother could integrate such 'understanding' in her daily activities, as all beings.
"We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer."

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian and writer (1906-1945)

:111:

--J.

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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by fuki » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:00 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:41 pm
Marcel,

"We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer."

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian and writer (1906-1945)

:111:

--J.
Wonderful, yes, thanks.
ps since Mothers are embedded in the talk let me share a transliteration of "From the depths of my Heart to my Mother"
[SPOILER]
Mother — the mind, the mind!

By recognizing its true nature, we can free ourselves from every suffering.
However, as long as we do not, we will continue to be confused by its endless parade of challenging and bewildering manifestations in the form of thoughts and images, illusions and delusions.

By haplessly and habitually identifying with whatever arises in our mind, we create the basis of our own stress, dissatisfaction, and discomfort.

Consequently, let’s open our eyes to our real condition and understand it once and for all.

In reality, there exists an unconditioned nature, the true and ultimate essence of the mind.

It is our original innocence, before we began adding worldly knowledge and stories of “me and mine”, “self and other”, “good and bad”.

If we leave this mind in its state of immediate unfiltered presence, without seeking to modify it in any way with our ideas about how it should be, or about how we should be, or about how the world should be, then its spontaneous and primordial wisdom will manifest naturally.

Now, what constitutes the unconditioned wisdom of instantaneous pure presence?

However much we try to define or think it, it is beyond the grasp of the intellect.
It never began, it resides nowhere, it knows no interruption.

It cannot be objectified or pinned down.

Nothing that we can see or know has any independent existence.

In other words, everything depends on something else for its existence, just like the flower depends on light and rain, which in turn also depend on the sun and clouds, which also depend on various other elements, all the way down to sub-atomic particles, and so it is throughout the universe, with everything originating dependently.

Everything permeates everything, nothing is separate, despite how things might seem if we do not look closely.

That is why the term “illusion” is applied to describe appearances, because everything is actually “empty” of any inherent existence, despite seeming to be solid and independent.

Just so, the essence of mind has always been the purity of that very emptiness, which pervades everything totally.

Indeed, mind’s nature is clarity, an open, spacious, and transparent awake awareness, which possesses the quality of wisdom in a state of total self-perfection.

Instantaneous presence, the union of empty essence and clarity, is the state of primordial purity — the unfabricated, uncontrived nature of mind itself.

It is actually the basis for the appearance of anything and everything.

Truly recognizing this state is what is called “the view of the total completeness of self-perfection.”

In this very moment, what does that actually mean?

If we look at an object to our right, and then shift our attention to an object on the left, in the moment in which our first thought vanishes and before the second one arises, don’t you sense a fresh awareness of the instant, untarnished by the mind, clear, limpid, naked, free?

Stay a while in contemplation, Mother, and observe!

By paying attention in this way, we can notice a gap, or space between thoughts, and it is there where we can rest attention.

Right there!

This is an example of the authentic condition of instantaneous presence, and also of what is called “the absolute equality of the fourth time,” which transcends the three times of past, present, and future.

At the moment in which you no longer rest in this state, doesn’t a thought arise, swiftly and spontaneously?

Pay attention, Mother, and notice how it happens!

Right there!

This is what is called “the uninterrupted energy of emptiness”, which is the essence of instantaneous presence.

If you do not recognize a thought as soon as it arises, then thoughts will multiply in the ordinary way, and thus you will be drawn back into the passing parade, rather than simply resting and observing the mind stream without identifying or fixating on any part of it.

This is what is meant by “the chain of illusions”. This simple activity of identification is the basis for our endless wandering about in a disturbing dreamland. We believe we are the thoughts, when in reality we are merely their witness.

Mother, when a thought is suddenly born in you, whether good or bad, recognize it immediately!

Stay with pure presence, relaxed in its state, without entering into action.

That is, neither accept or reject it, neither suppress nor indulge it, neither try to block it or entertain it.

In this way, by not creating some attachment based on accepting or rejecting, good or evil, pleasurable or painful, all such conflicting thoughts dissolve on their own, or in other words, are self-liberated.

They freely melt back into the space where presence and emptiness are indivisible. This is called “the fundamental union of view and meditation” — that dissolving of tension and stress in the total completeness of self-perfection.

When all doubts and uncertainties regarding the view of the nature of total completeness are dissolved from within, then continuing in that state is called “meditation.”

To support this view of the natural state, one needs to relax the consciousness of the five senses, starting with sight and hearing, without blocking those functions, while staying serene and detached.

If the various consciousnesses of the five senses become blocked, this means that one has fallen into dullness and lack of clarity.

In that case, one must make one’s condition more lucid and transparent.

If one meditates with some personal goal or aim in mind, there is great risk that the meditation will become analytic or conceptual, and this creates a new set of impediments.

Rather, it is enough just to leave consciousness in its original state and at the same time not let oneself become distracted. Since distraction is equivalent to falling into illusion, it is important to focus attention on not letting illusions multiply.

Remember, whatever thought arises, whether it be good or bad, neither reject or approve it, but let it liberate itself in the same way it arose.

Whatever thought arises, good or bad, let it manifest, but do not become involved by making judgments about it.

Just as waves, after churning on the surface of the sea, eventually turn calm and serene, so too is thought, when left as it is, also liberated into its own prior state.

Some so-called meditation experts claim that meditation consists in stopping thought and achieving a state free of thought, but this is the opposite direction from the path of dissolving of tensions in total completeness.

To stop thought is an action. Undertaking an action while meditating can become a further source of confusion, perpetuating the sense of stress and dilemma.

It is definitely not the way to liberate oneself from suffering born of mistaken identification.

Therefore, when a thought arises, regardless of whether it is perceived as good or bad, the key is to continue in a state of pure presence and clarity, without involving oneself in any actions based on either blocking or multiplying thought.

When one continues in this state, whatever mental object presents itself does not become a target for our attachment. Our perception of it remains in its fresh, original condition.

Thus all phenomena which appear as objects manifest without their specific character being changed or sullied by thoughts deriving from attachment.

We refrain from adding any of our own fantasies of interpretation to perception.

In this way, everything that appears and is recognized becomes that wisdom which is the union of emptiness and clarity.

This recognition of one’s own state, which is a condition of pure clarity and presence, can eventually become continual, whatever our daily activity might be.

When walking, when eating, when seated, when lying down and so forth, if a thought arises which is linked to an emotion or passion (for example to a pleasure or a pain, or to something good or evil), do not yield to the impulse of trying to manipulate it.

Any sensation of pleasure or pain, if observed and left in its purity and innocence, will dissolve in the same way it emerged, without our interference.

The principal cause of our suffering is due to our unconscious inclination toward grasping and avoiding, so use every occasion to return to that deep natural state in which all concepts of acceptance and rejection purify themselves in their own condition.

May the ultimate meaning of the Awakened State arise perfectly in you, Mother!
May all beings who have contact with you liberate themselves in the primordial space of Supreme Enlightenment!


This was written by the dzogchenpa Namkhai Norbu in Lhasa on the twenty-fifth day of the first month of the male earth dog year, 2502 years after the parinirvana of the Buddha (that is, March 1958) at the moment of separation with his mother, and then freely transliterated by Bob O’Hearn, as a gift from his Friend Fukasetsu Marcel Vuijst to his mother, on her birthday, September 13, 2014.
Happy Mother's day! (may 13th)
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by boda » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:22 pm

desert_woodworker wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:21 pm
b.,
bodhi wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:28 am
Yes I do want things to be the way I want them to be. Is it possible to want things to be the way I don’t want them to be? If that were the case, not getting what I want would be getting what I want.
It's just that things are not the way you want them to be.
This is a different claim, but it's also false. :| Many things are the way I want them to be, like this very sentence, for instance.
I see now that the problem is your lack of ability of understanding language. That's why you're "not gettin' it".
No, all you need to do is explain how emptiness functions as a matrix, or otherwise say something meaningful about how emptiness is a matrix. Just claiming that emptiness is a matrix is meaningless. Did you mean 'form' or something like that, as in, emptiness is form and vice versa?
Just as well. To front-load or cue a practitioner about what emptiness and dependent origination may be and how they may cooperate is a disservice to a practitioner. It's to be experienced (and possibly later described if one should care to). No damage done so far: Whew! :D
Why is it a disservice? How do you know no damage has been done?

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fuki
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Re: Sheng Yen; Emptiness and Loneliness

Post by fuki » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:30 pm

bodhi wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:08 pm
Screen Shot 2018-04-12 at 11.04.50 AM.png

Uh, no, it translates as matrix. :lol:
Haha, if you'd check a dutchy dictionary you'd get 20 translations, ps check the "5 more translations" the last one says "mother-rock" or "mother-stone"
Is understanding a zen sin or something? :114:
Not at all, "Solid as a Rock" :lol:
http://www.acmuller.net/dogen/onebrightpearl.html
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

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