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Thread: Feeling the emptiness

  1. #1

    Feeling the emptiness

    Hi all,

    I wrote not a long time ago, a passage of the platform sutra, suddenly I saw my leg, my arm, and asking "untill when is it you if a day you don't have this leg, and so on". I said it with my head reading this passage, and suddenly I felt this strange emotion of emtiness. i felt happy to be free, but in an other hand I felt a little sad telling me that I'm not so important, me, only star dust in this universe. Why this sensation of sadness?Is it the manifestation of my "ego" attacked? Is it normal to feel that if liberation in the path is a joy? I know this joy can be a joy in wathever feeling if we stay in equanimity with all feelings.

    Let me know, if you want your thoughts.

    Gassho everyone

    Yang Hsin

  2. #2
    My thoughts are that as jewels in the net we are all very important in reflecting the other jewels which is our correct function of helping all beings. While there is great joy and ease in just sitting all kinds of thinking and feeling arises which takes us away but we continue to practice just sitting.
    _/_
    Rich

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by yang hsin View Post
    Hi all,

    I wrote not a long time ago, a passage of the platform sutra, suddenly I saw my leg, my arm, and asking "untill when is it you if a day you don't have this leg, and so on". I said it with my head reading this passage, and suddenly I felt this strange emotion of emtiness. i felt happy to be free, but in an other hand I felt a little sad telling me that I'm not so important, me, only star dust in this universe. Why this sensation of sadness?Is it the manifestation of my "ego" attacked? Is it normal to feel that if liberation in the path is a joy? I know this joy can be a joy in wathever feeling if we stay in equanimity with all feelings.

    Let me know, if you want your thoughts.

    Gassho everyone

    Yang Hsin
    At the risk of getting in trouble for being techish or wordy here...

    "Emptiness" is the very non-obstructed life of all conditions. Realizing "emptiness" is realizing the freedom of all emotions/feelings, blooming "as-such" all by themselves. Whatever state of body and mind there is now... as is. There is no "emotion of Emptiness"... Emptiness is not a specific state or condition.. it is the open freedom of all states. Emptiness is the perfect fullness of body, mind, and world... as-such. Including all emotions.

    Sorry...just had to say. gassho.
    大山

  4. #4
    Hi Yang Hsin,

    What you describe is a flavor of Opening Experience that we are apt to walk through from time to timeless time on this Pathless Path. They can be big and small, passing in a second or lingering for much longer. They are a vital and precious vista point on this Path, to be Treasured ... yet, in our way of Soto Zen, we deem the Whole Path precious, every step and all the changing scenery, do not linger in, cling to or run back toward any one placeless place ... and move on. Do not over value such insights, nor under value them ... and just Value them. The Whole Pathless Path is Buddha ... the whole of Life is the Dance of Emptiness

    Anyway, if you have been hanging around our Sangha for awhile, you already know that.

    However, the sensation of "Emptiness" as being that we are, for example, "unimportant" "without meaning" "just dust in a vast cosmos" or the like is not correct (the Buddha called this "nihilism") ... and is only your mind continuing to impose judgments, measures, and labels on the experience and scales of size on all reality. I mean, perhaps we are just smaller than an ant's pants in the big picture ... but that is not the Whole Picture!

    Listen to what Rich and Kojip wrote ...


    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    My thoughts are that as jewels in the net we are all very important in reflecting the other jewels which is our correct function of helping all beings. While there is great joy and ease in just sitting all kinds of thinking and feeling arises which takes us away but we continue to practice just sitting.
    Yes, in a Buddhist View, you and me and every single grain of dust is Sacred, a Jewel in its way, a Link in the Chain.

    The one comment I might offer on Rich's view is to underline that ... our "importance" and "sacredness" in the world is rather an "Importance" and "Sacredness" (Big Letters "I" and "S" ... leaving a big "IS" I suppose ) that is best encountered when we drop all small human judgments and measures as "important vs. unimportant" "sacred vs. mundane" "beautiful vs. ugly" "meaningful and meaningless" and the like (as dropped in Shikantaza, by the way ... plug plug ) Obviously, we are small, weak creatures born and living for a time a sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly life on a dusty world in a not very fashionable corner of a crowded galaxy in empty space. That is undeniable. Yet, we are simultaneously this Wholeness beyond and encompassing "big and small, weak and strong", beyond and holding birth and death, a Joy (Big J) and Peace beyond and yet expressed as human joy and sadness and all the broken pieces, in which all dust is a Jewel, beyond even human appraisals of flawed and flawless, and whereby the crowd and vacuum of space is Fullness!

    Such is an Emptiness never empty of meaning.

    Something like that.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-31-2012 at 04:52 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Jundo says : "The Whole Pathless Path is Buddha ... the whole of Life is the Dance of Emptiness" , and it seems to me close also to what Dôgen writes: " you clearly have to understand that the Universe and our own existence make only one ".
    Kosen

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kosen View Post
    Dôgen writes: " you clearly have to understand that the Universe and our own existence make only one ".
    Kosen
    Hi Kosen,

    I am trying to identify that Dogen translation. Do you have a citation?

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Hello, it is from the treaty Gyôji ; regrettably I have only a partial translation of it in French (Jacques Brosse, Master Dôgen, Albin Michel, 1998). "Nous sommes venus au monde sans connaître notre commencement ni notre fin. Mais, bien que nous ignorions les limites de l'univers, nous ne cessons de le percevoir et d'y marcher. Ne considérez pas les montagnes, les rivières et la terre elle-même comme extérieures à vous, comme différentes de vous, sous le prétexte qu'elles ne vivent pas selon votre mode. Vous devez clairement comprendre que l'univers est notre propre expérience ne font qu'un." (p.174).
    Kosen

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
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    Hi Yang Hsin,

    I think I know how you feel. I have experienced a similar feeling from time to time. Let me relate to you by telling a story of the most recent time it happened to me....

    It was on my flight to Japan. As I've mentioned in another thread I'm a white knuckled flyer. Which means it always makes me nervous and scaird. You know the thought of the plane crashing and all. Well I brought my chant book along for the ride because I thought it might help to go over the Heart Surta. Perhaps softening my nerves a bit while flying. Much to my surprise the words actually started to freak me out a bit . Now normally I think of it as a beautiful and touching sutra ! But with all the fears I had at the time of crashing and dying it just seemed dark and scary with all that talk of emptiness. In the end I just chalked it up to the drama of my mind theater which was influenced by fear. So I just put the chant book(and the drama) down and did some Zazen
    In the end it was insightful to see how my mind latched onto the fear and began to cloud my vision. Viewing things through a lense of fear really distorts everything you look at!

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your thoughts and asking us for ours

    Gassho,
    Hoyu
    Ho (Dharma)
    Yu (Hot Water)

  9. #9
    Thank you Hoyu, I will bring a booklet with me in case of, it may be usefull everywhere.

    Gassho

    Yang Hsin

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