Tag Archives: emptiness

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If you use your mind to try and understand reality.
you will understand neither your mind nor reality.

If you try and understand reality without using your mind.
you will understand both your mind and reality.

— Bodhidharma

Using Mind to understand Reality

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I boasted among men that I had known you.
They see your pictures in all works of mine.
They come and ask me, `Who is he?’
I know not how to answer them.
I say, `Indeed, I cannot tell.’
They blame me and they go away in scorn.
And you sit there smiling.

I put my tales of you into lasting songs.
The secret gushes out from my heart.
They come and ask me, `Tell me all your meanings.’
I know not how to answer them.
I say, `Ah, who knows what they mean!’
They smile and go away in utter scorn.
And you sit there smiling.

— Rabindranath Tagore – Gitanjali – 104

The inability to describe the secret love for the Unknowable

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Psychologists talk about people who are co-dependent because they don’t have a sense of self. What psychologists mean when they say a person has no sense of self is very different from what the Buddha meant by no-self or selflessness. People with psychological problems actually have a very strong sense of self in the Buddhist sense, although they may not in the psychological sense of the word. Psychologically, they don’t see themselves as efficacious individuals in the world, but they still have a very strong sense of “I”: “I am worthless.” When somebody criticizes them, they don’t like it. They get into co-dependent relationships to protect or to please this “I.” When they fall into self-pity, their sense of an inherently existent “I” is very strong. Thus they still have self-grasping even though they lack a psychologically healthy sense of self.
Buddhism recognizes two kinds of sense of self. There’s one sense of self that is healthy and necessary to be efficacious on the path. The object of this sense of self is the conventionally existent “I.” The other sense of self grasps at an inherently existent self that never has and never will exist. Within Buddhism, when we talk about realizing emptiness, we’re negating the false self, this self that appears inherently existent to us.

— Thubten Chodron – Cultivating a Compassionate Heart: The Yoga Method of Chenrezig

No-Self

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For the complete mutation in consciousness to take place you must deny analysis and search, and no longer be under any influence, which is immensely difficult. The mind, seeing what is false, has put the false aside completely, not knowing what is true. If you already know what is true, then you are merely exchanging what you consider is false for what you imagine is true. There is no renunciation if you know what you are going to get in return. There is only renunciation when you drop something not knowing what is going to happen. That state of negation is completely necessary. Please follow this carefully, because if you have gone so far you will see that in that state of negation you discover what is true; because, negation is the emptying of consciousness of the known. After all, consciousness is based on knowledge, on experience, on racial inheritance, on memory, on the things one has experienced. Experiences are always of the past, operating on the present, being modified by the present and continuing into the future. All that is consciousness, the vast storehouse of centuries. It has its usefulness in mechanical living only. It would be absurd to deny all the scientific knowledge acquired through the long past. But to bring about a mutation in consciousness, a revolution in this whole structure, there must be complete emptiness. And that emptiness is possible only when there is the discovery, the actual seeing of what is false. Then you will see, if you have gone so far, that emptiness itself brings about a complete revolution in consciousness: it has taken place.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Book of Life

In the state of negation you discover what is true

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How does the observer come into being? When you look at this flower, at the moment you observe it closely, there is no observer, there is only a looking. Then you begin to name that flower. Then you say, “I wish I had it in my garden or in my house.” Then you have already begun to build an image about that flower. So the image-maker is the observer. Right? Are you following all this? Watch it in yourself, please. So the image and the image-maker are the observer, and the observer is the past. The “me” as the observer is the past, the “me” is the knowledge which I have accumulated: knowledge of pain, sorrow, suffering, agony, despair, loneliness, jealousy, and the tremendous anxiety that one goes through. That’s all the “me”, which is the accumulated knowledge of the observer, which is the past. Right? So when you observe, the observer looks at that flower with the eyes of the past. And you don’t know how to look without the observer and, therefore, you bring about conflict.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Mind in Meditation, pages 8-9

Why is that we human beings have not been able to solve this problem of relationship though we have lived on this earth for millions of years? Is it because each one has his own particular image put together by thought, and that our relationship is based on two images, the image that the man creates about her and the image the woman creates about him? So in this relationship we are as two images living together. That is a fact. If you observe yourself very closely, if one may point out, you have created an image about her and she has created a picture, a verbal structure, about you. So relationship is between these two images. These images have been put together by thought. And thought is not love.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Network of Thought, page 87

The observer, the images he has created and his relationship to these images

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Solitude is
When you do not need anyone around
And even if you are sick,
You are still happy.
Solitude is
To be wrapped in silence
By a mind unattached,
Sinking deep into a foundation of stability.

Solitude is
A clear understanding that
All of us, everything
Are just mental creations, conditioned.

Solitude is
To have abandoned the “I am” conceit,
And is free.

— Venerable Sujiva – Wind in the Forest – Solitude

Solitude