Emptiness of self

Emptiness of self

From December 17 to 25, 2006, at Sravasti Abbey, Geshe Jampa Tegchok taught on A Precious Garland of Advice to a King by Nagarjuna. Venerable Thubten Chodron complemented these teachings by giving commentary and background.

Verses 25-27

  • Learning the unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts in the text and in Geshe Tegchok’s teachings
  • Seeing them as a description of our daily experiences
  • When upset or craving, the mind grasps at true existence
  • The mind is totally under the influence of delusions
  • The need for great compassion

Verse 25

  • “Definite goodness” (referring to emptiness) is “frightening to the childish”
  • The aspect self (the “I” that appears as inherently existent) and the referent self (the merely labeled “I”)
  • “The wise” can differentiate between these two
  • Self-grasping as our enemy

Verse 26, 27

  • The “I” and “mine”
  • Wrong view of the transitory collection (the perishing aggregates), the appearance of the aggregates, the innate grasping at the “I” and other phenomena
  • Meditation on emptiness of self
  • The object to be negated
  • The process of negation
  • The conventional valid cognizer
  • The mind realizing emptiness
  • The observed object
  • The object of the mode of apprehension
  • Question: When we meditate with good concentration in a sadhana and do self-generation, when we stop do we meditate on dependent arising to contradict nihilism?
  • Question: Do ordinary beings apprehend the conventional “I”? What exactly is that?

Precious Garland 07 (download)

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.