Monday, June 15, 2020

Why We Teach Emptiness

By Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche

There are the appearances of this life which we perceive––the pleasurable objects of the senses, such as beautiful form, a pleasant sound, delicious taste, pleasant touch, fragrant smell––that seem to give us happiness. Therefore, we develop an attachment to these objects and treat them as having a real existence. We perceive that there are pleasant places and favorable conditions  for us and we have attachment to them as them being real. In this way, the appearances of this life seem pleasant and happy. But if we examine closer, we see that these appearances of this life are impure and that they all involve the impermanence of birth, sickness, aging, and death. When we contemplate this, we become saddened and terrified of outer conditions. We wish to transcend this situation and reach some state of complete peace and happiness.

 The actual cause or purpose for the teaching of emptiness is that when we realize the emptiness or insubstantiality of those all those phenomena we are attached to, and we truly understand that they have no reality, this causes our attachment to outside phenomena to diminish and then the result of this diminishment is that we can be in a state of true peace or joy. And similarly, by recognizing that these things that cause us to be frightened or depressed, such as birth, old age, sickness, and death have no real existence, then our fear is greatly diminished. We realize there is no reason to be afraid. With this view of emptiness, we can achieve a state of peace, and that is the reason for the teaching on emptiness.

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