Emptiness Is Empty?

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Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by sherab zangpo on Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:31 am

Discuss the view of shentong and rangtong. Is emptiness empty of itself, or of other?
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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by muni on Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:14 am


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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by sherab zangpo on Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:14 pm

Hello Muni-la.

from here



Sutra: Zhentong View


According to the Great Madhyamaka tradition, there is sutra zhentong and tantra zhentong. In accord with sutra zhentong, the Great Madhyamaka system of the Jonang emphasizes Shakyamuni's 3rd "turning" or final set of discourses. This understanding of mind and reality seeks to reconcile the paradox of a lack of any permanent essence (sunyata, emptiness), and that of an ever-abiding permanent enlightened essence (tathagatagarbha, buddha-nature).*


"Zhentong," (gzhan stong, "shentong") "extrinsic emptiness" or "other-emptiness" is a view of how the ultimate nature of reality is free from or empty of everything "other" than its absolute nature. In other words, a zhentong view understands how one's own enlightened essence is empty of everything false in superficial relative reality.

Zhentong as a view for meditation practice regards relative reality as empty of its own intrinsic existence. This emptiness of inherent substance or "rangtong" is considered to be solely the nature of relative reality while ultimate reality is understood to be empty of everything other than itself. Accordingly, transient tangible experiences remain devoid of inherent substance as the boundless luminous nucleus of Buddhahood within all beings remains intangible and invariant.

This enlightened essence is regarded as an indwelling permanently pure nature of awareness*. It is the mind devoid of its distorted perceptions. Likened to an embryo or a womb, this essence (garbha) provides the potentiality for living beings to be reborn into completely awakened Buddhas.




Sherab

* my emphasis



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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by muni on Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:52 am

Thank you very much Sherab La. :hands: All lovely.

I went to look and found this here to show differences in explanation to the view.

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    Dzogchen & Zhentong Submitted by Michael R. Sheehy on Thu, 2008-05-29 03:42.

    Reading through the miscellaneous guidance texts (khrid yig) of Khenpo Lodrö Drakpa, I came across a brief instruction that he gave on clarifying the distinctions between the 4 predominant Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna views: (1) zhentong, (2) rangtong, (3) mahāmudrā, and (4) dzogchen.[1]
    Of particular interest to me is the question, "What are the differences between the zhentong and dzogchen views?" This is a question of recurring interest in learned Buddhist circles. Not only have several friends in New York and elsewhere asked me this question, but I remember that while living in the monastery, monks would occasionally come to see my Tibetan teacher and ask him this very same question. Rinpoche would smile and assure the monks by saying, "There are slight differences."
    Since Khenpo Lodrak makes such clear distinctions between these 4 views ― and since his instructions are so short and sweet, I thought to translate the excerpt here,

  • Like a Star @ heaven The view of our own [zhentong] tradition is that within the natural lucid radiance of one’s own mind, there are coarse and subtle agitations, and there is a gross mentality that fabricates subtle and coarse degrees of laxity; within the nature of one’s own mind, there is an enduring experience of steadiness and stable attention, and there is an infinitely subtle mentality that fabricates these. The only unmodified natural flow of freedom is that pristine awareness that is the natural manifestation of abiding clear light without fixations, without conceptualizations, and without preset references.

    For the unfortunate, and from the vantage point of those who are less adept, this is difficult to fathom because it lies beyond the domain of what can be expressed through relative thoughts and words.[2]



  • Like a Star @ heaven The rangtong view is that nondual pristine awareness is free from all fixations onto any aspect of what persists as real.[3]



  • Like a Star @ heaven The mahāmudrā view is that vivid pristine awareness is the mere unmodified cognizance that quells the infinite proliferations of the subject-object complex.[4]



  • Like a Star @ heaven The dzogchen view is that the fabrications of the mind are qualitatively natural manifestations of pristine awareness that are originally pure clear light. This is the awareness of the uncorrupted expanse, the wisdom-mind of the actuality of phenomena that remains a forever unchanging timeless ground as the radiance of nondual awareness; the magnificent all-pervasive vast openness that is genuine and free from original time, spontaneously arising pristine awareness.[5]


These instructions were given on an occasion when Khenpo Lodrak was making general remarks on the 6-fold vajrayoga practices of the Kālachakra, and was distinguishing these various views in order to highlight how reality is regarded from multiple perspectives.[6]



Of course the danger with such concise comments is that its so easy to essentialize these nuanced and profound understandings of the nature of reality. Aware of that danger, and not seeking to de-complexify these views, its important to note the operative term that Khenpo Lodrak keeps chiming in on: "pristine awareness" (jñāna, ye shes). In fact, this short piece falls into the subgenre of Tibetan contemplative literature that is concerned with making distinctions (shan 'byed) about such key terms and concepts.[7] Similar distinctions have been a favorite topic of discussion in Jonang literature from the time of Dolpopa, and are considered to be very useful for enhancing one's own understanding of this material and therefore one's own meditative experiences.


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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by muni on Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:19 am

I am still looking to little differences in Dzogchens' clear light.

Conceptualization-analysis: All people are sitting on a clear pond and everyone takes a stick. Now nicely turning around till mud is mixing with the water. Done. Now time to see how to make the view clear. 🤔

Maybe called laziness.

The Great 5th Dalai Lama:

"Since all phenomena of samsara and nirvana are perfect in this vehicle of naturally spontaneous perfection, it is called the Natural Great Perfection. This natural condition, which has never been stained by defilements of thoughts and emotions, is pointed out directly naked realization."

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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by muni on Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:14 am

Whether the view of Shentong or Rangtong; the importance of distinction can only be properly understood and evaluated in the light of a far deeper knowledge than "the I know" experience. There is in this evaluation neither a woohoo-mind nor there is an independent knowing mind.

The actions of body, speech and mind. _/\_

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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by muni on Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:50 am

Bowing to naturally liberated mind-naturally liberated quality. _/\_
Bowing to conceptualization-analyzing leading to liberation. _/\_

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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by LauraJ on Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:17 pm

[*] Like a Star @ heaven The view of our own [zhentong] tradition is that within the natural lucid radiance of one’s own mind, there are coarse and subtle agitations, and there is a gross mentality that fabricates subtle and coarse degrees of laxity; within the nature of one’s own mind, there is an enduring experience of steadiness and stable attention, and there is an infinitely subtle mentality that fabricates these. The only unmodified natural flow of freedom is that pristine awareness that is the natural manifestation of abiding clear light without fixations, without conceptualizations, and without preset references.

For the unfortunate, and from the vantage point of those who are less adept, this is difficult to fathom because it lies beyond the domain of what can be expressed through relative thoughts and words.[2]


  • Like a Star @ heaven The rangtong view is that nondual pristine awareness is free from all fixations onto any aspect of what persists as real.[3]



  • Like a Star @ heaven The mahāmudrā view is that vivid pristine awareness is the mere unmodified cognizance that quells the infinite proliferations of the subject-object complex.[4]



  • Like a Star @ heaven The dzogchen view is that the fabrications of the mind are qualitatively natural manifestations of pristine awareness that are originally pure clear light. This is the awareness of the uncorrupted expanse, the wisdom-mind of the actuality of phenomena that remains a forever unchanging timeless ground as the radiance of nondual awareness; the magnificent all-pervasive vast openness that is genuine and free from original time, spontaneously arising pristine awareness.[5]

What a beautifully simple but deep explanation. This deserves thought and reflection. Candle

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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by sherab zangpo on Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:13 pm

I think an important distinction must be added here, that mahamudra is a path based upon mind (i.e. cause and effect) and Dzogchen is beyond cause and effect.

Dzogchen has nothing to do with madhayamaka or yogacara at all.



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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by muni on Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:50 am

_/\_ _/\_ No causes.

A profound and very crucial point of Great Perfection : it cannot exactly be found in the intrinsic emptiness or extrinsic emptiness traditions. Dzogchen view is not to find in Mahamudra and so on. Direct and naked realization does not confuss with ordinary (ma rigpa) mind.

"Surpeme wisdom dwells in the body.
Those who are obscured by the darkness of ignorance
Hold that Buddhahood lies somewhere apart from the body.
But it dwells within the body, although not caused by the body." What a Face

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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by muni on Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:05 am

Supreme wisdom.

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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by sherab zangpo on Sat May 09, 2009 4:48 pm

sherab zangpo wrote:




According to the Great Madhyamaka tradition,






This "great" of madhyamaka is just Shentongpas salesmanship. Looking at the two streams of thought of madhyamaka, the autonomous and the consequence divisions, I cannot see why shentong can be considered madhyamaka at all.

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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by muni on Sat May 09, 2009 6:29 pm

Regarding the non dual "positive" awareness, Innate Nature. Innate qualities of mind.:buddha1:


I found this.





Shentong is a philosophical sub-school found in Tibetan Buddhism whose adherents generally hold that the nature of mind, the substratum of the mindstream, is 'empty' (Wylie: stong) of 'other' (Wylie: gzhan) (i.e., empty of all qualities other than an inherent, ineffable nature), in contrast to the “Rangtong” view of the followers of Prasangika Madhyamaka, who hold that all phenomena are unequivocally empty of self-nature, without positing anything beyond that. According to Shentongpa, the emptiness of ultimate reality should not be characterized in the same way as the emptiness of apparent phenomena because it is prabhasvara-cittasaṃtana, or "clear light heart/mind continuum," endowed with limitless Buddha qualities.[2]. It is empty of all that is false, not empty of the limitless Buddha qualities that are its innate nature.

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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by muni on Sun May 10, 2009 9:45 am

Dear Sherab La, can you explain me a view how to see the idea of display in mind by Jonangpa? Can it come in a kind of agreement or is there just the other approach which need no digging? 🦋

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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by sherab zangpo on Sun May 10, 2009 2:52 pm

A general overview from my simple understanding.

The issue really is from the rangtongpas is how the shentongpas have tried to make the empty of other but not itself fit into the three natures, the parikalpita, the paratantra and the parinishpanna. Its about early Indian understanding vs later Tibetan interpretation to make doctrines fit in with their idealistic tendencies. Its not a true middle way in that regard.
If we hold that a ultimate reality exists and that all other conditioned phenomena dont inherently exist, we have an impediment to the arising of dependent conditioned phenomena. We have issue with how a multiplicity arises from a "essence" that is non born, never ceasing etc. In early understanding, emptiness is left as it is, without further investigation because its not a valid object of investigation, only conditioned phenomena are the basis, not emptiness. It has taken the nihilistic deviation and taken it too far, strayed into the other end with subtle eternalism.

Sherab
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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by sherab zangpo on Sun May 10, 2009 7:49 pm

In all actuality it is expedient to teach when one clings to impermanence, that the Buddha is impermanent. Then explain the teachings of the dharmakaya as natural purity, permanent and unchanging etc. When one clings to the Buddha as permanent unchanging etc, then explain the teachings of the form kayas. That the buddha is impermanent, the buddha changes, passes into nirvana etc. The actuality is between these two.

nagarjuna writes.

whatever is the nature of the tathagata
that is the nature of wandering beings
the tathagata has no inherent nature
wandering beings have no inherent nature.



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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by sherab zangpo on Mon May 11, 2009 2:02 am

sherab zangpo wrote: It has taken the nihilistic deviation and taken it too far, strayed into the other end with subtle eternalism.

Sherab

Simply saying that both rangtong and shentong are in fact mirror opposites of the middle view.
One view holds a view, a non-affirming negation of true existence is ultimate. Shentong asserts the affirming negation of true existence is ultimate.

Rangtongpas are nihilists, the Shentongpas are eternalist. Both positions are not freedom from the extremes.
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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by sherab zangpo on Mon May 11, 2009 3:09 am

muni wrote:Dear Sherab La, can you explain me a view how to see the idea of display in mind by Jonangpa? Can it come in a kind of agreement or is there just the other approach which need no digging? 🦋


Hello muni-la

A simple overview.

Shentongpas would take basic Buddha nature as the fundamental ground of clear light luminosity.
Their understanding would present a view that it this, is covered over by stains, so that it can be used as a base for removal of these obscuration which would lead onto the path. The path takes these obscuration as basis for realization. The fruit of the sugatagarbha has been achieved etc.

Shentongpas would assert that the sugatagarbha is permanent and unchangeable. The idea behind that would be because if it changed it would not be a basis for the base, the ground.
It would not be a suitable antidote to samsara. There would be no liberation, because it would be conditioned and impermanent, hence ones enlightenment would also be conditioned and impermanent.

Now regarding the view of the inseparability of the "qualities" and emptiness, the Buddha nature, they place these "qualities" outside the sphere of conceptual mind, i.e, placing them outside of dependent conditional arising. they place the qualities in the wisdom mind as an essence outside of co-dependent production. They claim that these qualities are timeless and pure and exist primordially, rejecting the notion that the Buddha qualities are produced by good deeds, merit and virtue etc.

Sherab
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Re: Emptiness Is Empty?

Post by muni on Mon May 11, 2009 10:58 am

Yes. That kind explanation is appearing clear. Specially permanent and unchanging while the obscurations are used as basis on the path. sunny

When seeing through Rigpa: contuously, no arising or ceasing like in ordinary conceptual mind and so therefore called innate and permanent. Cannot be harmed by mental states or bound by adventitious virtuous or non virtuous thoughts as it is unimpeded.

"Empty essence is primordial purity, free and uncompounded. Uncontrived and selfluninous, clear light, wisdom of comemergent great bliss, wisdom of inner clarity, wisdom that is beyond the ordinary mind, the nature of the wisdoms and the Dharmakaya as the ground."

Phenomena of nirvana depend on clear light nature inseparably like the sun and its rays. The Kayas have always been in this nature.
But adventious concepts; like clouds in some sense depend upon the sky, but become no part of the nature itself.

To separate samsara and nirvana and so "destroy" discursive concepts by the help of body-speech and mind for searching flaws. And non conceptual "meditation".

Kalachakra is important for Jonangpa I could read. _/\_

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