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Grasping for Impossible Existence
Vaibhashika and Sautrantika: The Self
Introduction When we look at the concept of the self in Buddhism, we need to analyze it from the points of view of the four schools of the Indian tenet systems. We’re going to refine our understanding further and further as we work our way through these schools. When we speak...
The Four Buddhist Tenet Systems Regarding the Self
Identifying the False "Me"
The Continuity of the Conventional “Me” According to the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition, we have a conventional “me,” which is actually an abstraction that is an imputation on the everchanging stream of continuity of the five aggregates factors that make up each moment of our...
Meditation on Emptiness
The Two Essential Natures: Gelug Prasangika
The Need for Understanding Correctly the Two TruthsTo gain a true stopping (‘gog-bden; true cessation) of suffering and thus attain liberation, we need to gain a true stopping of unawareness (ma-rig-pa; ignorance) and of the rest of the emotional obscurations (nyon-sgrib) that...
The Two Truths: Gelug Prasangika
Incorrect Views of the Body
Developing Respect for Aryadeva Aryadeva was a very great Indian master who was born in Sri Lanka. There are two accounts of how he was born. One was that he was born to a royal family, and the other account is that he was born from a lotus, like Guru Rinpoche. And he lived...
Overview of "Four Hundred Verse Treatise" – Dr. Berzin
Mahamudra: Purification of Mental Activity
Stages of True Stoppings What is relevant here in our discussion of mahamudra is that in both the impure and pure situations, the nature of the mental activity is the same. The conventional nature of both impure and pure mental activity is always mere clarity and awareness....
Mahamudra and the Four Noble Truths
The True Causes of the Sufferings of Change and Samsara
We looked at the unawareness of behavioral cause and effect and how that underlies our experience of unhappiness. Now we need to look at the second type of unawareness, a much deeper type of unawareness, which is unawareness of reality: how we exist, how others exist and how...
Elaboration of "How Cognition of Emptiness Liberates Us"
Subtler Levels of a False "Me"
Review We have been discussing the qualities of the false “me,” which are quite specific. The level of false “me” that we’ve been dealing with is the one that derives from the concept of the “me,” or the atman, the soul, that is held by the classical non-Buddhist Indian...
Meditation on Emptiness
Emptiness of the Various Levels of an Impossible “Me”
Three Layers of Unawareness Voidness (stong-pa-nyid, Skt shunyata; emptiness) is a total absence of impossible ways of existing: impossible means there is no such thing. Here, we are speaking specifically about the voidness of impossible ways in which the conventionally...
How Cognition of Emptiness Liberates Us from Samsara
Training in Deepest Bodhichitta
Review Yesterday, we began the Seven Point Mind Training by the Kadampa Geshe Chekawa, and we covered the first of the seven points: the preliminary teachings to rely upon. The second point, which we’ll explain today, is the actual training in bodhichitta. The text deals...
The Two Bodhichittas in “Seven Point Mind Training” – Dr. Berzin
Designation, Delineation and Interpolation
Designation Names, Words and Tags Designation involves the application of a name (ming; word) and/or a tag (brda; label, term) to some item, whether or not that item is validly knowable. Unicorns and self-established existence (rang-bzhin-gyis grub-pa), after all, do not...
Imputation, Mental Labeling and Designation