** If you see your Guru as a Buddha, you will recieve the blessings of a Buddha ** If you see your Guru as a Boddhisatva, you will recieve the blessings of a Boddhisatva ** If you see your Guru as a friend, you will only receive the blessings of a friend **

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February 2019
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Gharwang Rinpoche briefly discusses about "Emptiness"

Emptiness is an important concept to understand, however especially when we are new to the idea of emptiness, it can be difficult to comprehend
and accept. So, we must first learn what emptiness actually means. Emptiness is the n...ature of all phenomena. The objects that we see or feel and the consciousness which grasps these objects are all empty in nature. However, when we say that everything is by nature empty, we are not saying that what we see in front of us is not there or does not exist. We are not stubbornly rejecting what is quite apparent!

Let me explain emptiness in simple terms. When we watch a movie, we see people doing all sorts of things such as walking and talking, etc. However, when we carefully consider this act of watching a movie, we will see that it is the result of many causes and conditions coming together, including the light, the movement of film, the screen, the electricity, the actors, etc. Without all these factors coming together, we could not watch a movie. Similarly, there are so many things that come together for us to see, smell, hear, taste, and feel in our daily experience. The things in our experience arise in dependence upon a number of causes and conditions rather than through their own nature. When we see a picture that we think is beautiful, we may consider it to objectively possess the quality of beauty, but actually there are many factors involved in us seeing the picture in this way. For example, the object, the consciousness which grasps the object, the eye sense faculty, and finally our mental activity that subjectively discerns the object as beautiful rather than ugly, all come together to give us a perception of a picture that is beautiful. Actually, there is nothing which can stand on its own or by itself. Without all their conditions, things simply fall apart.

There are many reasons why understanding emptiness, or selflessness is considered so important in the Buddhist teachings. Attachment to a self is the main cause of our suffering. Based on attachment to self we have attachment to things as "mine." There is nothing wrong with owning something, but it becomes a problem for us when we have attachment to our belongings. This type of attachment is the root of our pain. All that we cling to is ephemeral and empty by nature, and it is not just a matter of if, but when we will lose these things.

Therefore, we should learn about and contemplate emptiness. By understanding and then applying this concept to our daily life, we will be liberated from the worries associated with attachment. We may not see changes immediately, but slowly and steadily our attachment to things will decrease. Also, as our understanding of emptiness deepens, we will gradually see through the illusion of dualistic experience, the culprit of our confusion, and in this way the practice of contemplating impermanence and emptiness will lead us to realizationSee more