sunyata

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sunyata

Postby kindergarden » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:35 pm

:soap:

IMO, Sunyata should not be translated as "empty." First, it makes us sound like Nihilists, for example, in the Heart Sutra. Secondly, it misleads the new practitioner away from the truer meaning. "It refers to the fact that no thing, including human existence, has ultimate substantiality, which, in turn, means that no thing is permanent and no thing is totally independent of everything else. In other words, everything in this world is interconnected and in constant flux. A deep appreciation of this idea of emptiness thus save us from the suffering caused by our egos, our attachments and our resistance to change and loss"...and gain. What word to use if only one word is to be used" How about sunyata?

I do not recall my source for the quote about the meaning of sunyata but it came with my copy of the Heart Sutra.

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Re: sunyata

Postby Aloka » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:51 pm

.

Hi kindergarden,

The Heart Sutra isn't a Theravada text.

This sutta might be helpful:


SN 22.95 Phena Sutta: Foam

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Ayojjhans on the banks of the Ganges River. There he addressed the monks: "Monks, suppose that a large glob of foam were floating down this Ganges River, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a glob of foam? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any form that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in form?

"Now suppose that in the autumn — when it's raining in fat, heavy drops — a water bubble were to appear & disappear on the water, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a water bubble? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any feeling that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in feeling?

CONTINUED:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.095.than.html




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Re: sunyata

Postby kindergarden » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:12 pm

I did not know that the Heart Sutra was not a Theravada text. We chant it in Rinzai. I travel in many Buddhist circles, however. I thank you for the excellent sutra you posted. Still, is there word "sunyata" or it's equivalent used in Theravada texts and is it translated as "empty?" I am suggesting that if a better English word cannot be found that we just stick to "sunyata." It is too important to be lost in translation any more than words can truly mean anything.

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Re: sunyata

Postby cooran » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:23 pm

This might be of interest:

http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/s_t/sunna.htm

With metta,
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Re: sunyata

Postby kindergarden » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:34 pm

Thank you, Chris. "Void" seems to have a better ring to it (Neither the spell checker not I know how to spell "nuance" it seems). However, I don't think it is adequate. You may think this trivial but I am thinking of the Western seeker, of whom, I was once. Sometimes, skillful means builds on existing words in a language. Other times, it must start from scratch. No?
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Re: sunyata

Postby kindergarden » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:37 pm

Thank you, Chris. "Void" seems to have a better ring to it (Neither the spell checker not I know how to spell "nuance" it seems). However, I don't think it is adequate. You may think this trivial but I am thinking of the Western seeker, of whom, I was once. Sometimes, skillful means builds on existing words in a language. Other times, it must start from scratch. No?

mOrlOck suggested this translation, although, it doesn't fit into a sentence very well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQm3ndwteVs :sage:
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Re: sunyata

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:47 am

This may be of interest:

Heart-wood from the Bo Tree

'Heart-wood from the Bo Tree' is a collection of three talks given by Ven. Ajaan Buddhadasa to the Dhamma study group at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok in 1961. In these talks the Ven. Ajaan proposes that the 'heart-wood' or the pith or essence of the Buddhist Teachings is the practice of non-clinging, the dwelling with a mind empty of the feeling of 'I' and 'mine'. He masterfully shows how this practice may be developed and how taking emptiness as the fundamental principle one has a wonderful tool to understand and make use of every one of the many concepts and skilful means that lie within the Buddhist tradition, and also how to distinguish those things that are alien to it. Drawing fluently from material in both the Pall canon and the teaching of the Chinese Zen Masters he makes terms and concepts that often seem dauntingly abstract, immediate and practical.


http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/books ... o_tree.htm

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: sunyata

Postby pegembara » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:01 am

Sunya - lacking (void of) substance, lacking essence.

Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "It is said that the world is empty, the world is empty, lord. In what respect is it said that the world is empty?"

"Insofar as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus it is said, Ananda, that the world is empty. And what is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self? The eye is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Forms... Eye-consciousness... Eye-contact is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self.

"The ear is empty...

"The nose is empty...

"The tongue is empty...

"The body is empty...

"The intellect is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Ideas... Intellect-consciousness... Intellect-contact is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Thus it is said that the world is empty."


Suñña Sutta

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: sunyata

Postby Aloka » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:00 am

.

Hello again Kindergarden,

This is from the section " Non-Self" in "No Ajahn Chah"


94

The real foundation of the teaching is to see the self as being empty. But people come to study the Dhamma to increase their self-view, so they don’t want to experience suffering or difficulty. They want everything to be cozy. They may want to transcend suffering, but if there is still a self, how can they ever do so?

95

It is so easy once you understand. It is so simple and direct. When pleasant things arise, understand that they are empty. When unpleasant things arise, see that they are not yours. They pass away. Don’t relate to them as being you, or see yourself as the owner of them. You think that papaya tree is yours, then why don’t you feel hurt when it is cut down? If you can understand this, then this is the correct path, the correct teaching of the Buddha, and the teaching that leads to liberation.

96

People don’t study that which is beyond good and evil. This is what they should study. "I’m going to be like this; I’m going to be like that," they say. But they never say, "I’m not going to be anything because there really isn’t any ‘I’." This they don’t study.

97

Once you understand non-self, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy. Learn to let go without struggle, simply let go, to be just as you are - no holding on, no attachment, free.

98

All bodies are composed of the four elements of earth, water, wind and fire. When they come together and form a body we say it’s a male, a female, giving it names, and so on, so that we can identify each other more easily. But actually there isn’t anyone there - only earth, water, wind and fire. Don’t get excited over it or infatuated by it. If you really look into it, you will not find anyone there.

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_Chah_No_Ajahn_Chah.htm


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