Empty (# 1072)

29 10 2016
  1. Another day, another gift of time to be.
  2. Early this morning I felt that I felt I had a new understanding. Yesterday I listened to the section on the Heart Sutra (https://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/audio/details?num=73) on the FreeBuddhistAudio. The speaker is Sangharakshita. In short he saw the sutra as an internal dialogue. The ultimate goal is to see the perfection of wisdom everywhere. This seems similar to the Nyngma idea of the pristine mind. The new concept for me came because the speaker drew a parallel to the Zen tale. The student asked “what should I do if I meet the Buddha?” The answer was “Kill him”. That is a bit perplexing on the surface. The point is that Buddhism itself is empty. This morning I began to extend this to other religions including my own. We are taught to take religions seriously. Many vicious wars have been fought over religion. I think the point the Heart Sutra and the Zen tale are making is that religions are not the end. Many have seen the excesses of religion and turn against a particular religion or spiritual matters in general.A friend and teacher once told me that religions are solely to make people happy. That is true if religion makes people happy because it removes the clouds from their vision and allows them to see the “perfection of wisdom” or ultimate reality. Thus religion is a tool. In that it is not the end, it is empty. We do not want to be caught in labyrinths or the elaborate webs of theology. Perfect wisdom destroys all philosophies. Religion is not an absolute. It is a vehicle.While writing this, I re-listened to the lecture on FreeBuddhistAudio and I see I was simply thinking about what had been said and internalizing it a bit. It goes beyond my realizations and is far more radical. To reach perfect wisdom we need to go beyond all conditions and non-conditions, beyond all dualism and beyond even the concept of reality. Now that I do not yet understand.Thich Nhat Hahn’s translation of the heart sutra can be found at http://plumvillage.org/news/thich-nhat-hanh-new-heart-sutra-translation/
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