Understanding Emptiness in Fullness

#Inspiration Sunday

Understanding Emptiness in Fullness

"How to view all phenomena and how to view others."

In Buddhism, we say that everything is emptiness, but that emptiness is not the same as nothingness. When everything is empty, why isn't it nothing? Empty means that it's not truly existent, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. When we say that something is not truly existent, it just means that it is dependent upon something else to exist as it is. We think that everything, including ourselves, truly exists, but actually, nothing exists independently.

When you look up into the sky, sometimes you see a rainbow, but you do not always see it. The rainbow only appears based upon whether or not the conditions that allow the rainbow to appear are present. Those conditions are the proper light, humidity, water droplets, and the angle of the sun all being there in a certain way to form the rainbow. We think that seeing a rainbow is an auspicious event, but as a dharma practitioner, the real meaning of auspicious is the ability to see beyond that. It's when we can see that everything exists by its own conditional phenomena, by relying upon something else that allows it to become as it is, for as long as it can be.


What you can see is considered external phenomena, but what about the phenomena of self and others? When you look at others, what do you see? How do you perceive them? We usually cannot perceive anything. We can only understand things through learning. The eye is doing the seeing, but something else is telling the mind what you are seeing. Your eyes, your ears, your mind, and your experiences are all working together to give you this information. The mind on its own, working independently, cannot see, hear or smell, so cognition does not happen with only using one's sense of seeing something. Our experiences and knowledge also come into play. Seeing is not always believing, and hearing is not always the truth. Those are all perceptions of yourself or of others. There is nothing that is truly trustworthy in samsara.


The main thing we should do as practitioners is to observe the nature of the mind. You can check your mind, but how can you trust your mind? Your own mind is based upon your own perceptions and beliefs. Can we drop the hearing, drop seeing, drop smelling, tasting, and feeling and simply be a vast space?


The Buddha-nature mind is clear, and it is omnipresent, but we choose to focus on the small stuff. We should perceive externally with people and with phenomena and internally with ourselves / our own mind, every moment as it is.  Be there and live to enjoy every moment as it is.

Dharma Teaching by Singha Rinpoche & Edited by Sandeep Nath

27 Sep 2020