- Dharma Quote of the Week
The Prajna Paramita is a very profound philosophical doctrine, and I
will just outline the main ideas in it in order to clarify the Chod.
First we start off with the confused egocentric state of mind. This
state of mind causes us to suffer, and so, to alleviate the suffering,
we start to practice meditation. What happens in meditation is that the
speedy mind begins to slow down and things begin to settle, like the mud
sinking to the bottom of a puddle of water when it is left undisturbed.
When this settling has occurred, a kind of clear understanding of the
way things work in the mind takes place.
This understanding is prajna, profound cognition. Then, according to
Buddhist doctrine, through the use of this prajna, we begin to see that,
in fact, although we think that we have a separate and unique essence,
or self, which we call the "ego," when we look closely, we are a
composite of form, sense-perceptions, consciousness, etc., and are
merely a sum of these parts.
This realization is the understanding of sunyata, usually translated as
emptiness, or voidness. It means there is no self-essence, that we are
"void of a self." If we are void of a self, there is no reason to be
egocentric, since the whole notion of a separate ego is false. Therefore
we can afford to be compassionate, and need not continually defend
ourselves or force our desires onto others.
--from Women of Wisdom by Tsultrim Allione, published by Snow Lion
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