Emptiness as a condition for Enlightenment

May you be rich with the Blessings of the Dhamma, dear friend. Namaste.

Don’t worry too much about it. Just continue with your practice and move on. No one is perfect here, something we have to come to terms with. And getting a glimpse of the energy of a perfected One from the Suttas, I hope we can all learn together. I mean no disrespect. I highly value your input and wish you the best in your practice.

There is different understanding of Shiva in Kashmiri Shaivism, which may be of interest if you have not already encountered it. Is causality the Spanda of the ‘absolute’, a lure from paradise, or a process of dependant origination?

Emptiness, even in the Mahayana, is only in relation to its object; form is empty, emptiness is form etc. One and the same status. So emptiness does not exist as an “ultimate”. Nagarjuna said that anyone who holds emptiness as a view is incurable. Emptiness/not-self is realised in regards to all objects of reference, so in this sense it is all-encompassing, and may seem like an ultimate state?

Everyone would agree there is no liberation through a ‘conceptual’ understanding of emptiness, but it’s all a beginner has. Is meditation on a mentally projected emptiness valid?
Release through seeing and relinquishing stress in I-making; and mind grasping at self and objects has to be the prison break-out, because it’s what is binding us. It’s visceral and can be seen. We’re here to feast on the four nutrients and in order to do that we must constantly construct, sustain and develop self and other in gross and subtle ways, and this is ultimately stressful.

Love is very difficult to define, but perhaps it doesn’t require definitions. It is its own reality and those with it in their hearts are blessed.

A few rambling thoughts.

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Your thoughts are wonderful, thank you. Emptiness is perfect, and I agree with what you are saying.

“Emptiness” is certainly a characteristically Buddhist teaching. It is not just a creation of early Mahayana Buddhism, but appears already in early Buddhist sutras, although not yet as a central notion (cf. Choong MK’s The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism, p. 88).

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Yes I noticed there were some discourses on Emptiness in the Pali Suttas as far as I can remember.

For example, in MN 122:

“Ānanda, do not think that the attainment of the empty signless deliverance of mind is the same as the attainment of the formless attainments. Rather, Ānanda, one who has attained the empty signless deliverance of mind, having seen it as empty, sees the empty; having seen it as signless, sees the signless; having seen it as undirected, sees the undirected.”

This is a good description on the value of why Anatta and Sunyata are such important Teachings, and I think it’s kind how Sunyata can unify all phenomena, explaining why the illusion of reality must not be grasped onto, or craved after. I think deep down somehow this is the reason for Enlightenment.

This is the key of your post. But I think you mean something deeper by it too. Thank you for your Wisdom. Emptiness does not exist, that is why it’s so wonderful. It’s a gift, yet, it requires no existence!

In the teachings a distinction is made between wholesome and unwholesome formations. We must know and see this difference. And abandon unwholesome and develop wholesome. But there are also the sutta’s that say that we must see any formation as void, empty, alien, suffering, a dart, a tumor, perishing, not-self, an affliction etc.

I believe this also shows that formations are seen as essentially the same in their nature. That is what we have to see, i believe. This also makes it easier to practise. We do not have to divide our inner life into wholesome and unwholesome.

If we talk about the distinction between wholesome and unwholesome, i believe, this also refers to the world of grasping. It is only true in that world. It is not that formations an sich can be wholesome or unwholesome. Not grasped and seen with wisdom there is not really a (un)wholesome formation but just an empty formation.

At the same time i believe it is also good to be realistic and acknowledge that we are often in a situation of grasing and clinging to formations, and then wholesome and unwholesome is very real too.

Some schools in buddhism go directly to this core of making no distinctions anymore and directy look into the same nature of any formation.

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I think from that perspective, formations surely may not be identified as wholesome and unwholesome in themselves, but the kamma behind a formation can be identified as unwholesome for example. It’s a case of, sad despair for example, in someone having perception even in the worst of times, primarily the drive behind perception there is so that they have a chance to extinguish or become Enlightened with their mind, instead of ceasing their lifespan out of bad kamma, even amidst the greatest difficulty and most unwholesome kamma, because even life’s unwanted formations can give one a chance to repent of wrongdoing and become a better person. So it’s not the formations that are necessarily unwholesome, it’s the kamma they bring. This is identifying formations as mere mental constructs though.

When it comes to understanding Emptiness, we should not grasp at anything, but at the same time we should make distinctions and have Right View. We are not bereft of our moral responsibility.

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Developing the path does condition for Awakenning. Gaining Right view, conditions the right path to right liberation.

Excellent association conditions to hear the good Dhamma, on hearing the good Dhamma, by giving much into it, conditions right view.

Nothing empty along the way, good householder.

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