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BBnB 117 (5.7b) Questions of Emptiness - A Special Make-up Session - 8/3/2007

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  • ghanabhutii
    BBnB 117 (5.7b) Questios of Emptiness A Special Make-up Session - 8/3/2007 When: Friday, August 3, 2007 at 10:00 pm Eastern Time. Where: The Buddhism Basics
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 2, 2007

      BBnB 117 (5.7b) Questios of Emptiness
      A Special Make-up Session - 8/3/2007

      When

      : Friday, August 3, 2007
                      at 10:00 pm Eastern Time.

      WhereThe Buddhism Basics and Beyond Discussion Room
                (This is a Clickable Link to Our Chat Room.)

      Hi Folks,

      Two weeks ago, we were reading a text by
      Geshe Namgyal Wangchen, 'The Wisdom of Emptiness.' We didn't really get a chance to get to the many important parts of the text.

      Friday evening, I'm accompanying Ms. Bhuti to an event. I do, however, have a text for the room to consider.

      Below is a series of questions that are covered in Geshe-la's text. I suggest that you good folks get your heads together Friday Night and find the answers in Geshe-la's text. Perhaps someone can keep track of the answers so we can discuss them later.

      This material is vitally important as it is impossible to move onto the more subtle features of Emptiness without a sound foundation in these many basic points.

      You can find Geshe-la's text on the BBnB website at:

      Post 1431    BbnB 117 (5.7) The Wisdom of Emptiness - Geshe N Wangchen BbnB 117 (5.7) The Wisdom of Emptiness - Geshe N Wangchen
         
      See you soon.

      Namaste and Shanti,

      GhanaBhuti


      * * * * *

      Questions and Points Answered

      in Geshe Namgyal Wangchen's text


      For Room Discussion in BBnB,
      Friday, August 2, 2007


      1.  What is the special feature of mastering the Wisdom of Emptiness?

      2.  What is the necessary accomplishment that enables us to master the Wisdom of Emptiness?

      3.  Which view in the Four Tenet Systems represents the final view of the Buddha about the Definitive Meaning of Emptiness?

      4.  What is the importance of the other schools in gaining this Final View?

      5.  How are the attainment of Wisdom-Emptiness and the attainment of Buddha-hood related?

      6.  What are the Three Seeds from which Bodhisattvas are born?

      7.  What is the origin of our anger, attachment and dissonant emotions?

      8.  What use are the practice of Virtuous Paths in freeing us from Anger, Attachment and Dissonant Emotions?

      9.  What are the Two Truths in terms of the 'Self' as described by Lama Tsongkhapa? How is this related to Duty, Morality and Karma?

      10.  What are the Two Extremes and how does the Proper View of Emptiness help us avoid these extremes?

      11.  How is the Ultimate Self related to happiness? How is the Conventional Self related to happiness?

      12.  How does the Mental Continuum that persists between lifetimes differ from the 'Self' postulated by non-Buddhist teachers?

      13.  Why is the proper understanding of 'self' vital to gaining freedom from basic ignorance?

      14.  What are the fruits of holding the Extreme Views of Nihilism or Eternalism?

      15.  What are the Three Stages in the Analytical Meditation on Emptiness?

      16.  Why are these Three Stages important - actually, they are vital - in gaining a correct view of Emptiness?

      The answers to each of these questions is addressed in Geshe-la's text.

      Namaste and Shanti,

      GhanaBhuti


      * * * * *

      We Dedicate any Merit this Group and
      These Discussions Accumulate to the Benefit
      Of all Beings and thus to Highest Enlightenment

      * * * * *

      If you do not wish to receive these mailings,
      simply reply to this email and change the subject to 'Remove.'
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    • ghanabhutii
      Hi Folks, Below are the questions and my answers to the questions based on the Review of Geshe Namgyal Wangche s Text. You can find Geshe-la s text on the BBnB
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 11, 2007

        Hi Folks,

        Below are the questions and my answers to the questions based on the Review of Geshe Namgyal Wangche's Text.

        You can find Geshe-la's text on the BBnB website at:

        Post 1431    BbnB 117 (5.7) The Wisdom of Emptiness - Geshe N Wangchen 

        You can find my introduction to the Questions at:

        Post 1455 BBnB 117 (5.7b) Questions of Emptiness - A Special Make-up Session - 8/3/2007


        The Answers are below in this post.

        Namaste and Shanti,

        GhanaBhuti


        * * * * *

        1.
        What is the special feature of mastering the Wisdom of Emptiness?

        Mastering the Emptiness of Inherent Existence in both Persons and Dharmas. We do this based on our own experience after applying the Three Prajnas to analyze all dharmas.

        2.
        What is the necessary accomplishment that enables us to master the Wisdom of Emptiness?

        The negation of the Inherently existent self - as well as the ability to preserve the Conventional Self as a functional entity that acts in general.

        3.
        Which view in the Four Tenet Systems represents the final view of the Buddha about the Definitive Meaning of Emptiness?

        The view of the Middle Way Schools (Madhyamaka) - especially the view of the Consequentialist School (the Madhyamaka Prasangika)

        4.
        What is the importance of the other schools in gaining this Final View?

        The Lesser Views are helpful in teaching this subtle wisdom a step at a time. They also serve as a source of wisdom for those who are not yet at the level to be able to grasp the Prasangika view all at once.

        5.
        How are the attainment of Wisdom-Emptiness and the attainment of Buddha-hood related?

        We grow in the progressive subelty of our view of emptienss - and as a result - drop more and more subtle levels of clinging to our self. As we leave behind more and more of these subtle self-clingings, we get closer and closer to becomeing a Highly Realized Being (Bodhisattva) and to actual Buddha-hood.

        6.
        What are the Three Seeds from which Bodhisattvas are born?

        1.    The Realization of the Wisdom that realizeds the emptiness of the inherently existent self,
        2.    Bodhi Mind - the Altruistic Mind of Enlightenment (Bodhicitta), and
        3.    Great Compassion.


        7.
        What is the origin of our anger, attachment and dissonant emotions?

        Our Misconception of self - holding that the 'I' exists inherently. This can be stated also as the 'Ignorance of the Emptiness of the Self.'

        8.
        What use are the practice of Virtuous Paths in freeing us from Anger, Attachment and Dissonant Emotions?

        These practices have no real value until we learn of the Emptiness of the Self. After we gain this realization, they are of value to help others as well.

        9.
        What are the Two Truths in terms of the 'Self' as described by Lama Tsongkhapa? How is this related to Duty, Morality and Karma?

        The Ultimate Truth is the Negation of the Inherently Existent Self
        The Conventional Truth is Maintaining the Relative Existence of the Everyday Self without damaging its ability to act in way that respects Duty and Morality and is knowledgable of Karma. As Geshe-la says in his article,

        "Each and every thing that exists has two natures: an ultimate nature and a conventional nature. By understanding the ultimate nature we can get rid of our deeply ingrained misconception of the things we perceive and experience; by understanding the conventional nature we have no trouble understanding the law of cause and effect."


        10.
        What are the Two Extremes and how does the Proper View of Emptiness help us avoid these extremes?

        Negating too much with the 'self,' an error that leads to Nihilism.
        Negating too little with the 'self,' an error that leads to Eternalism.


        11.
        How is the Ultimate Self related to happiness?
        How is the Conventional Self related to happiness?

        The Conventional Self is responsible for happiness and unhappiness in this current life. This Conventional self is also helpful in that it maintains our view of Karma as well as our sense of identity in the world. We must keep in mind, however, that this Conventinal Self is not inherently existent. It is merely a fabrication of past elements, present actions and future aspirations that changes constantly. Recognizing that this Conventional Self is a repository of actions, causes and consequences, we can see that Karma is what directs our path in a happy or unhappy manner.

        Realization of the Ultimate Self, however, is thre realization that there is no Ultimate Self. It is this realization that yields the wisdom with which we can help others find an end to their own sorrow and the source of their own Joy.


        12.
        How does the Mental Continuum that persists between lifetimes differ from the 'Self' postulated by non-Buddhist teachers?

        The 'Self' in Hinduism and other religions is posited as an inherently existent and unchanging 'essence.' This is not at all the same as the ever-chinging mental continuum that is described by the Buddhas.

        13.
        Why is the proper understanding of 'self' vital to gaining freedom from basic ignorance?

        Unless we learn to view our 'self' as a changing aggregation of causes and conditions, we will be unable to view our 'problems' as impermanent and transitory. If we know that our 'Self' has no permanent characteristics or essences, we have the freedom to grow, change and leave fear behind.

        14.
        What are the fruits of holding the Extreme Views of Nihilism or Eternalism?

        Nihilism leads to uncontroled birth in the lower realms.

        Eternalism binds us to the suffering of Samsara complete with the dense and impenetrable set of wrong ideas that color every action we take with mistaken understandings.

        15.
        What are the Three Stages in the Analytical Meditation on Emptiness?

        As stated in Geshe-la's text,
        "1. Recognizing the appearance of the inherently existent self
        2. Negating the inherently existent self
        3. Maintaing the meditation on the emptiness of the inherently existent self."


        16.
        Why are these Three Stages important - actually, they are vital - in gaining a correct view of Emptiness?

        It is only in the act of recognizing the error and establishing a plan to rid ourselve of ignorance that we can actually attain the wisdom of Emptiness.



        * * * * *


        All Original Text Copyright,
        © 2007 GhanaBhuti, GhanaBhuti@...

        * * * * *

        We Dedicate any Merit this Group and
        These Discussions Accumulate to the Benefit
        Of all Beings and thus to Highest Enlightenment

        * * * * *

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