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hyperactive

what is the equivilant of shunyata in

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as the title states...

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what is shunyata?

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too lazy to type today (again?), so work from this please:

The word shunyata that means 'emptiness' is also the source of the sanskrit word for 'zero'. But to understand zero as merely the absence of everything or as 'nothing' is to miss the point completely. Zero is symbolized by our Arabic numeral '0'... The round fertile and creative motion of the universe everywhere. It is the cycle of life and energy even as each apparent circumference of it is unique and special. It is the sum total of everything in unity. It is relativity at play. Often spoken of as the 'womb' of all phenomena, shunyata is the concept pointing one towards all potentials. Without the space of emptiness, there can be no place for anything. Without silence one cannot know the source of the spontaneous sacred expression that is the ground of all phenomena.

People used to have the habit of translating shunyata as 'the Void', but unfortunately that word doesn't carry the same potential as something like 'emptiness'. Glass must be transparent for light to pass through it. Our minds must be open and clear in order to gain real insight. Our hearts must be open to let love in. Our lives must have space and freedom in order to accomplish anything new. All of our relationships to our world and the other beings in it are characterized by this innate creative potential. Whether we realize this or not is, of course, up to us. But think about this: How terribly cramped is a life lived in which a person cannot become empty of all the past experiences and baggage? How terribly small is a mind-heart that refuses to let go of past hurts/joys? We often like to fill up our lives in just this way with experiences, accomplishments, people, other beings, and things which we find interesting to us. We miss out on the wonderful radiance that is the play of shunyata.

Shunyata is the taste of freedom which makes the things we find beautiful so beautiful. Likewise, it is the compelling of our hearts towards those things. But to cling to them makes the taste of freedom get lost in a cloud of our habitual yearnings. It is said that clinging stifles everything. And even those who understand shunyata warned that 'those who are attached to emptiness are incurable' so it's important to experience shunyata and know it, but not to get too bogged down in philosophical speculations and views about it. All phenomena are shunya, but that just means they have more going on than one realizes. All phenomena are related in some way to all other phenomena. Nothing stands out as distinctly independent of any relationship. And relativity could very well be a good way of translating shunyata.

A page must be blank for a writer to create something. The same goes for all things. Shunyata is the continuous co-arising interdependent creative conditions that are the sum of all phenomena. Trees, lumberjacks, saws, soil, sun, rain, the writer's pen, her experiences, her skills, her sustenance, her relationships, and so much more go into the seemingly simple act of writing on a page. To be awake means to be continuously aware and open to this in a visceral and direct way.

To experience that is nirvana. Just as one can experience God, the Gods, Goddess, the Divine, the Truth, or however you approach it, in this very moment...likewise nirvana. And if each one of us digs deep enough or reaches enough into memory we can point to times when we have experienced this, to be honest, no matter what name we gave/give to it. Names are merely fingers pointing. They are keys to open the doors, but each one of us must open the newly unlocked doors for ourselves. It is time to stop arguing over which keys we use to open which locks on what doors. Each key is by necessity unique because the locks to the doors are really our individually unique hearts.

If you want to find the essence of your 'self' you can see clearly that it is anatta 'selfless', 'nonself'. That doesn't mean you don't exist. What it means is that your 'essence' or 'soul' is really the relationships you have with the world and others around you. It is that collection of impressions and perceptions between you and others. Can you really go around and mark off some conditions of your life as 'you' and some as 'not you'? Honestly some conditions you like, and some you don't like. And that's that. Obviously, some conditions you find acceptable and others you don't care for or try to avoid. But they are all part of your life, are they not? Some things may need to be changed and others may need to become amplified but they all are 'you' as much as they are 'not you'. So to try to point to some inherently separate collection of conditions or phenomena as being your true 'soul' or 'essence' is like using a sledgehammer when a gentle nudge would work better. You may find that the approach of anatta is actually more compelling in its taste of freedom.

Non-duality refers to the fact that there is no essential phenomena, thing, or boundary that can be said to exist without 'other' elements. There is no real separation between self and other because the 'self' is made up entirely of 'non-self' elements. 'Self' and 'Other' are simply convenient tools of communication. From the Buddhist teachings of non-duality we get statements like 'everything exists because everything is empty.'

A lot of people often try to approach non-duality with the idea that there is really an underlying unity underneath all the apparent differences. While sounding like a great idea, or the logical direction of compassionate understanding, approaching non-duality from this angle will only cause mis-understanding, at least in terms of the Buddhist teachings of non-duality. Non-dualism does not refer to an idea that there is really an underlying unity beneath apparent differences. In fact that idea is usually called 'monism', the belief that all things are one.

Non-dualism is simply the absence of duality. It accepts that all things, phenomena, conditions, exist in an interdependent co-causal relationship. It does not posit that there is an underlying unity beneath or inside it all. Each condition or phenomena exists for a time as long as the matrix of causes bring them together. This reality of continuous flux, where true boundaries between self and other do not exist, is what is really going on, despite all of the ways we conceptualize reality in our heads. And that's that.

One of the best ways to think about non-duality is as a way to approach the world that respects all phenomena and conditions as what they are, dreamlike and impermanent, but very real. Monism can cause this to be misunderstood because, if all things are really one, then the appearance of difference could then be considered an illusion. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least from Buddhist perspectives. When Buddhists say the world is 'dreamlike', they are not saying that the world is a dream or an illusion. They are saying that it is 'dream-like'. When Buddhists say that reality is non-dual they are saying that apparent differences are not inherent. They are not saying that everything is really 'one'. All things are inter-related, to be sure, but that does not imply that they are all one. If they were all one, then it would not be necessary to realize that they are inter-related.

Obviously there is a lot to be re-thought if non-duality is simply understood in this specific way. But the promise of Buddhist practice is that you can experience and realize non-duality for yourself, beyond simply relying on intellectual analysis. Even though you may already know 'non-duality' you may wish to reapproach it. Understanding never stops, and one's level or depth of understanding can only grow. 'Knowing' something often gets in the way of understanding it. With that in mind, each one of you who reads this is encouraged to work out your own approach to understanding the non-dual nature of reality. (I recommend a combination of meditation and chanting of the Heart Sutra, for those who would like to practice something, but yet have no practices of their own. Chanting this short text about the non-dual nature of all things will put you into gnosis whereby you will feel, in an embodied way, non-duality.)

http://www.geocities.com/tribhis/shunyata.html

(i used this one because it does not misunderstand it to mean void or emptiness - a common misconception)

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there probably isnt one. although you might try asking an eastern religion professor.

btw, i randomly clicked in that poll in your sig on B, so if you are wondering who voted mythology, it was me.

kinda funny.

grin2.gif

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this is what i have always thought based on my studies (part of what i find a fatal error in the monotheistics).

i just thought i would see if anybody has a differing opinion on it though.

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I guess "shunyata" would be the absence of God.

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but shunyata is to be of everything.

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Maybe I'm not exactly sure on what "shunyata" is...

I thought it means "emptiness." Or something....

I read the post you made, but it doesn't make much sense to me...

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Posted (edited)

let me give a short description:

the "god" is pure potential, a singularity, it is of neither form nor quanity, it 'is' everything, it is the origin, and it 'is' evolution, it is not the creator but the mind of the universe, a wholeness resting within itself, the "extensive continuum", it is non-dualistic.

man can reach this state. one way is through meditiation.

as you have debated with me before, i do not see things as artificially divided. there is no good or evil, there is but the whole. the same of any god, as described above, is everything, not just one part of an artificial divide. if there is a biblegod that is only good, then he is not the ultimate.

now to clarify i do not refer to the unity as a god, because it is not above us, it is us, just as i am you and i am everything.

when you reach shunyata, you are everything.

the failing or incompleteness of the monotheistics as i see it is:

- there is no ultimate unity or origin

- there is no way for man to be connected and recognize this unity and become fulfilled. monothiests are always beneath some incomplete(half) being.

Edited by hyperactive

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Firstly let me thank you for sharing a beautiful reading.

Regarding your initial question:

By virtue of definition in terms; "monotheistic religions", there will not be found an equivalent. ( to Shunyata.)

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