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Csillag

Talking to others about emptiness

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Tashi delek :hello:

 

I have a problem.

The bodhisattva vow says we should not talk about emptiness to people who are not ready to hear it.

 

Unfortuanetly I come quite often in a situation where people from other spiritual traditions want to discuss with me on emptiness, as they read in a book about emptiness.

Many times I found out that they´ve fallen with their understanding on this subject in Nihilism. I also tell them that. I have then the feeling that I must talk a little bit about it to correct the fundamental misunderstanding.

I tell them buddhism is not saying things do not exist at all, but it says things exist in a different way we think that they exist.

 

Christians often ask me things like why buddhism is not believing that there is a god. I cannot answer them those questions without little bit talking about emptiness, just little bit , for instance I talk little bit about Buddhanature, that Buddhism is not agianst the idea of a god, but has problems with the ideas of an creator, as everything has a cause, and that buddhism is not believing that things are totally independent existing outside of us.

I hope it is alright what I am doing.......What do you think ?

 

How much can I talk about emptiness with such people ? :<

When I do not talk with them, they get angry and think than bad about buddhism, :(= so I have to say something, and I also do not feel right not to say anything when one is obviously fundamentally wrong in his or her understanding.

 

I read different explanations on the bodhisattva vow concerning emptiness, to this I have some questions:

 

One Rinpoche says:

 

Prematurely talking about emptiness to the untrained, thus causing them to take interest in the Sravaka path.

To speak to someone about the fundamental view of the nature of emptiness, which is free from all limitations of ordinary mind, without first examining to see if that individual has received any prematory training, or to speak of emptiness to those whose sensibilities are only capable of the views that correspond to Hinayana training.

If as a direct result of one´s word, the listener then seeks the view of the lesser spiritual pursuit, this constitutes a root downfall.

 

Unprepared or untrained here means those whose acumen or intellectual understandings has not been sharpened to the point where they can appreciate or understand emptiness.

It is a fact that emptiness is hard to hear about.

For that reason genuine teachers do not teach about emptiness casually.

 

In fact we are not in much danger of incurring this rootdownfall.

One who does not understand emptiness does not incur this downfall by explaining emptiness to those who also do not understand it.

Just as we are ourselves, not understanding emptiness, are neither delighted nor terrified by it, so also those to whom we might casually explain it would be neither delighted nor terrified.

This rootdownfall occurs when someone who understands and has realized emptiness explains it to someone who is capable of understanding emptiness, but is not ready to hear it.

Getting a glimpse of it, they are terrified

 

So from his point of view I could not commit this root downfall until I did not realized emptiness. IS THIS TRUE ?

 

Then a western scholar writes:

 

The primary objects of this downfall are persons with the bodhichitta motivation who are not yet ready to understand voidness. Such persons would become confused or frightened by this teaching and consequently abandon the bodhisattva path for the path of personal liberation. This can happen as a result of thinking that if all phenomena are devoid of inherent, findable existence, then no one exists, so why bother working to benefit anyone else?

This action also includes teaching voidness to anyone who would misunderstand it and therefore forsake the Dharma completely, for example by thinking that Buddhism teaches that nothing exists and is therefore sheer nonsense. Without extrasensory perception, it is difficult to know whether others' minds are sufficiently trained so that they will not misconstrue the teachings on the voidness of all phenomena. Therefore, it is important to lead others to these teachings through explanations of graduated levels of complexity, and periodically to check their understanding.

 

So he says, I am allowed to talk a little bit about in a graduated manner but what is really graduaded ?Taking about interdependence ? What would be too much ?

 

With all my best wishes

Csillag

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The bodhisattva vow says we should not talk about emptiness to people who are not ready to hear it.

Which means in its extensive way. But you can give some minimal explanation, so to remove gross misunterpretations.

 

The only gods we believe are those from the gods realm. Because if everything as an origine, what would be the origine of a God creator of all?

 

Surely, Buddhism is not nihilist. Emptiness doesn't mean nothing exist. It means all exist in interdependance, from an origine, and that what we perceive might not exist the way we perceive it.

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Tashi delek, :hello:

 

The only gods we believe are those from the gods realm. Because if everything as an origine, what would be the origine of a God creator of all?

 

I said this to the one with whom I was discussing. He replied to me: "And what about Buddha nature, where is the the origin, the cause for Buddhanature, when you say everything has a cause ?"

I said to this I won`t answer, because my philosophical knowledge is too limited, and just to say what I think I do not want, so I told him he shold wait for my answer.

 

As I know Buddhanature is without beginning and end, it is not subject to impermanence .Christians also say God is without beginning and end. So it could be here the same thing buddhism and Christianity is talking about just with the difference that one is believing in dualism where the other one does not.

What do you think ?

 

With all my best wishes

Csillag

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Tashi Delek,

 

can others that also haven't involved themselves read the text given above? Because it is said if you read things that aren't ment for you, you wont understand it well or correctly...

 

best regards

 

Uroš

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Tashi delek

 

can others that also haven't involved themselves read the text given above? Because it is said if you read things that aren't ment for you, you wont understand it well or correctly...

 

....and one should have also transmission for the text, I heared.

 

Our " everday - life- dharma" looks little bit like this: book here and there,what we get into our hands we read.

My experience is that I was able to benefit from books for which I had no transmission, so from my point of view I would say there is nothing wrong with reading a book without transmission, as long one is fully aware of that a transmission would be of benefit and that the danger is greater to get something wrong....

With the possible danger of getting it wrong, I usually ask than a teacher, or I understand certain things by hearing teachings which deal with that subject I was reading of. And if something really interests me I try to get the transmission for it.

 

Maybe with transmission one can reach to to the essence of a teaching, which is beyond words which would be impossible without having a transmission.....

 

One question comes up . What if you got the transmission for a particular text in past life,but you do not remember it anymore and supposed you come into contact with that very teaching in a book, do you need to renew the transmission in order to be able to realize that particular teaching ?

 

With all my best wishes

Csillag

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Tashi Delek :P ,

 

In an attempt to give Csillag some elements of answer to her question, once in a book writen I believe by Lama Yeshe or by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, I read that some beings had been known to spontaneously generate the awakening spirit, just by hearing the word "Bodhicitta" pronounced !

 

The implication would be that one doesn't necessarily needs to receive the transmission again in this lifetime in order to get the generation or the realization, just as long as one has reached a certain degree of spiritual awareness in a previous lifetime... We can easily relate this fact to the ripening of karma ...

 

Best regards,

 

frédéric

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Guest Ani.Chödrön

Tashi Delek,

 

I would like to add just an opinion, not a real answer. Obviously there is a difference if one gets a transmission or not; if one attends a teaching directly or just reads the same text; and if one have heard and practiced it before or not; if someone is new in Dharma or not. I compare this to better or poorer soil for Dharma seeds. It is logical that both – previous work and direct transmission of a qualified Teacher – can accelerate our Dharma development. o:)

 

I don’t know how deep is the difference in the stream of our minds. I have started to respect it more and more and i notice their effect better, but this is all.

 

From a practical point of view, I don’t really find it important what I experienced and did in the past, i lay more importance in what i do of it now.

 

We get an imprint by the power of activities of Realized beings, if we are aware of it or not. Fortunately, because many of us with insufficient concentration and many animals and other sentient beings can benefit of this profound impact this way. Sometimes we are not aware of the depth of Dharma and we do the rituals blindly, out of routine, like washing the dishes. :v The impact is still here.

But on the other hand i believe that the only real change rises from the strength of our own effort and humbleness and perseverance. Without this even Buddhas can't help us. I see it as watering the seed and nourishing it, pulling the weeds of negativities regularly etc. :// A plant can grow also without this, but maybe it won’t give fruits, maybe it won’t continue further in time. :@ For me this is never sure, so I prefer to put effort in practice. I believe that, no matter what our past was, no matter what our present is, our effort should be always at maximum if we want to get flourishing results. To our momentarily abilities. :wink:

 

To my limited knowledge the dissuasion of reading the texts can refer to two kinds of things:

- the fourth Anuttarayoga Tantra texts before receiving the proper initiation,

- the texts (like Emptiness, for example, to stay within the title topic :wink:) which a Teacher finds unsuitable to a certain disciple from any other reasons (like: a text which could bring disturbance while some other text could benefit; or to test him; or to teach him perseverance; or to evoke stronger interest that will find its place later on…).

 

The topic reminds me also of the old Kadampa Geshes who took a small amount of new teachings, practices or initiations, but rather practiced one thoroughly – to the complete Perfection. {|:) In this sense I find limitations useful.

 

But as far as I have noticed, the approach towards the books depends to a large extent on a practitioner himself or herself. If one has a Teacher. What kind of relationship one has with Him or Her. If one is used to apply the advices or to bargain about it. Etc. At least on the West.

 

Best regards,

chödrön

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