Thursday, February 13, 2014

Insights into Acceptance and Emptiness

In a recent retreat I had some great arising's on insight and emptiness.

The first insight came from a teaching from Master Culadasa on the emptiness of a chair.  I thought: "If I replace all of the components of a chair, one by one with different colors and styles and then I move the chair to another part of the house, only I will know that it is the original chair.  I will be the only being in the world who would perceive it that way and recognize that chair as the chair."

The second insight came as I pondered a photograph of 3 people in mind.  I thought about how the picture was very limited in the amount of data that it held.  I always thought of a picture as a snapshot of an instant in time.  But in reality there was very little information in the photograph.  All of the energy that brought all of the physical phenomena into being at that moment was not present.  Also all of the mental data that was occurring at that moment was not present.  So it occurred to me that we can't photograph ultimate reality and that the only reason that photographs work for humans is due to our limited sight capacities.

Then it occurred to me that in ultimate reality, there can be no present moments.  My teacher is often challenging me to think about time and Lama Marut often talks about how things change at a rate of 6 trillion times per second.  Also emptiness theory states that we can break time down infinitely and we can keep dividing it into seconds and fractions of seconds and so on.  So at the instant in time of that photograph there were an infinite number of mental and physical process that were in the process of changing.  So there is no identifiable present moment.

The next insight that arose was a contemplation on Indra's Net.  If we are all interconnected and that we are inter-beings according to Thich Nhat Hanh then we share the same subconscious mind and are really organs in a single being.  I tried to picture myself by a river where all of nature was interconnected and all things were reflecting in each other and flowing through each other.  If people can see themselves this way then they will decrease their delusionary thinking and move closer to understanding ultimate reality.  This is one of the key reasons to watch our morality.  To act as if we were beings in the same organism so that we decrease our attachment to our delusionary thinking.'s_net  

indra's net - the illusion of separteness. - YouTube

From these insights a great well of patience, tolerance and acceptance seemed to arise and stay.