Thursday, September 10, 2009

lost in emptiness

Many questions come up about non-duality. This passage addresses one problem with embracing the experience or an idea about it too quickly. Non-duality includes a need to be deeply aware of clarity, spaciousness, and stillness but to also know clearly and immediately how to pay attention and navigate skillfully in the world.

The danger is that we hear too much too soon. We think we have understood shunyata, err on the side of the absolute in a nihilistic fashion, and are obscured by concepts. Nagarjuna said, "it is sad to see those who mistakenly believe in material, concrete reality, but far more pitiful are those who believe in emptiness." Those who believe in things can be helped through various kinds of practice, but those who have fallen into the abyss of emptiness find it almost impossible to re-emerge, since there seem to be no handholds, no steps, no gradual progression, and nothing to do.

Nyoshul Khenpo