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Emptiness

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Extract from the Tibetan Buddhism Site http://www.kagyu.org.nz/ Meditation on emptiness is integral throughout this practice. A simple way to understand
    Message 1 of 1 , May 29, 2010
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      Extract from the Tibetan Buddhism Site
      http://www.kagyu.org.nz/

      Meditation on emptiness is integral throughout
      this practice. A simple way to understand emptiness
      is as follows. In the physical world, the personal
      ego has a relative span and will cease when the
      body does. So relative to it, the soul, or Enjoyment
      Body, is much more important since it will continue
      on after death. Thus saying the ego or self is
      empty means it is better to ground awareness in
      the soul and experience the ego as a garment,
      rather than only experiencing the ego and having
      no real connection with the soul. Thus emptiness
      is a statement about priority--we should consider
      the bigger context of our experience in order to
      live more wisely and wholesomely.

      The same principle of emptiness applies as
      progressively higher levels of reality are
      experienced. Hence, when the Enjoyment Body,
      or soul, becomes a living reality for the meditator,
      she or he continues to take it as relatively real
      and keeps grounding awareness in the encircling
      context. The context, or deeper level, for the
      soul is the Truth Body (which is just a more subtle
      version of the soul). So as a meditator realizes
      the Truth Body, the Enjoyment Body becomes the
      new object for meditation on emptiness.

      To recapitulate the entire process: at the beginning
      we have a body and mind (the personal ego or self).
      Next an astral body (Enjoyment Body) is developed
      and it is as if the physical body and personal ego
      have become the "body" and the astral body has
      become the "mind". Next a very subtle body (Truth Body)
      is developed and the final result is that the astral
      body becomes the "body" and the Truth Body becomes
      the "mind". At each stage of this sequence, the
      "body" is subjectively experienced as being empty
      by the "mind".

      What is the experience of emptiness like? At the
      beginning level of physical body and mind, emptiness
      means that one does not identify with any experience
      whatsoever. Any sight, sound, or other sense is
      recognized and honored for what it is, but it is not
      clung to. Similarly, all thoughts and feelings are
      also taken in this way--as being real and valuable,
      but not as being in one's possession so that one does
      not cling to the experience of them. It is as if
      all experiences, whether external (in the world
      "out there") or internal (inner thoughts, hopes,
      feelings, and desires), are viewed as clouds passing
      by. The reality is the sky which the clouds float
      by in. And if the sky is noticed, it too is taken
      as just another cloud wafting by. The result of this
      amazing relation to one's experience is an enormous
      sense of relief, peace, and clarity. At first it
      seems that one will die if one doesn't cling to
      experience, but after awhile it becomes apparent
      that one continues to live on anyway. We are more
      than just the experiences that we engage in.

      The same process applies at progressively more subtle
      levels of experience. The contents of experience
      become more and more amazing and wonderful (to our
      normal way of thinking) but the most skillful way of
      relating to them still remains the practice of
      mindfulness (emptiness meditation). So once a yogi
      creates an astral body and can experience reality
      at that level, he or she works at non-identification
      with the astral body. And similarly, once a Truth
      Body exists, meditation on its emptiness continues
      as well.
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