79 Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature, the third volume in The Library of Wisdom and Compassion series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Purified state of the emptiness of the mind
  • How wisdom eradicates ignorance
  • True cessations and afflictions
  • Explanation of nonaffirming negative and affirming negative
  • Object of negation
  • Description of things and non-things

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature 79: Nirvana (download)

Contemplation points

  1. What is nirvana?
  2. The mind and its emptiness are of one nature. What does “one nature” mean? What is the relationship between the mind and the emptiness of the mind?
  3. Describe the process in which wisdom gradually overcomes ignorance, eventually eradicating it completely.
  4. What does it mean that nirvana is either an affirming negation or a non affirming negation? What are the reasons supporting each of these ways of viewing nirvana? Which does Nagarjuna assert and why?
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.