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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
Parting from the Four Clingings: Its Context and Source
Verses of Homage and Promise to Compose The name of this text is A Text for Discourse on the Mind Training “Parting from the Four Clingings”: Key to the Profound Essential Points (Blo-sbyong zhen-pa bzhi-bral-gyi khrid-yig zab-don gnad-kyi lde’u-mig). It was written by the...
Commentary on “Parting from the Four Clingings” – Dezhung Rinpoche
The Two Essential Natures: Gelug Prasangika
The Need for Understanding Correctly the Two Truths To 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)...
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
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 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”
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
Ways of Cognizing Not Indispensable for Mental Activity to Function
Intermittently Manifest Mental Factors Like primary consciousness, the five types of deep awareness and the ten ever-functioning and ascertaining mental factors, the rest of the mental factors also have no beginning. Although they share the same essential nature as the...
Types of Appearances Mind Gives Rise To: Gelug Explanation
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
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