Review of cultivating insight into emptiness

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The text turns to training the mind on the stages of the path of advanced level practitioners. Part of a series of teachings on the Gomchen Lamrim by Gomchen Ngawang Drakpa. Visit Gomchen Lamrim Study Guide for a full list of contemplation points for the series.

  • Ignorance grasping true existence is the root of all dissatisfaction
  • Review of the views of different tenet systems
  • How the realization of emptiness works to eradicate ignorance
  • The causal sequence that leads to suffering
  • The two roots of samsara

139 Gomchen Lamrim: Review of Cultivating Insight into Emptiness (download)

139 The Gomchen Lamrim: Review of Cultivating Insight into Emptiness 06-08-18

Contemplation points

  1. Why is it that the wisdom realizing emptiness is the only thing that overcomes samsara?
  2. Venerable Semkye said that it’s important for us to understand that because of our self-grasping ignorance, we create suffering for ourselves. What is self-grasping ignorance and what are some examples from your own life of ways that it has led to problems? 
  3. What does it mean that things appear truly existent? Why is this appearance false? If it is helpful, use the example of being born with sunglasses on that Venerable Semkye discussed in the teaching. 
  4. How do the views of the mere “I” differ between the Cittamatra, the Svatantrika Madhyamaka, and the Prasangika Madhyamaka tenet systems? Refute the first two.
  5. Consider the analogy of the knapweed that Venerable Semkye used in the review. How is picking a weed like eliminating the root of samsara in your mind? 
  6. Consider the causal chain that fuels samsara: grasping at true existence gives rise to distorted attention which exaggerates the good or bad qualities of an object, which gives rise to afflictions, which gives rise to action/karma, which leads to all the results of the dukkha of samsara. Think through each step and why one leads to another. Why, when ignorance is removed, does the entire chain stop?
  7. Consider the analogy of seeing a face in the mirror. How is seeing the appearance of a face in a mirror similar to seeing the appearance of an inherently existent person? How does each appear? What is each dependent on? How can you use this analogy to start chipping away at ignorance in your own mind?

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