Appearing and Empty (The Library of Wisdom and Compassion #9)
In this final volume on emptiness, the Dalai Lama skillfully reveals the Prasangikas’ view of the ultimate nature of reality so that we will gain the correct view of emptiness, the selflessness of both persons and phenomena, and have the means to eliminate our own and others’ duhkha.
In this last of three volumes on emptiness, the Dalai Lama takes us through the Sautrantika, Yogacara, and Svatantrika views on the ultimate nature of reality and the Prasangikas’ thorough responses to these, so that we gain the correct view of emptiness—the selflessness of both persons and phenomena. This view entails negating inherent existence while also being able to establish conventional existence: emptiness does not mean nothingness. We then learn how to meditate on the correct view by cultivating pristine wisdom that is the union of serenity and insight as taught in the Pali, Chinese, and Tibetan traditions. Such meditation, when combined with the altruistic intention of bodhicitta, leads to the complete eradication of all defilements that obscure our minds. This volume also introduces us to the tathagatagarbha—the buddha essence—and how it is understood in both Tibet and China. Is it permanent? Does everyone have it? In addition, the discussion of sudden and gradual awakening in Zen (Chan) Buddhism and in Tibetan Buddhism is fascinating.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and a beacon of inspiration for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. He has persistently reached out across religious and political lines and has engaged in dialogue with scientists in his mission to advance peace and understanding in the world. In doing so, he embodies his motto: “My religion is kindness.”
Thubten Chodron has been a Buddhist nun since 1977. A graduate of UCLA, she is the founder and abbess of Sravasti Abbey in Washington State. She is a popular speaker and author of numerous books, including Buddhism for Beginners.