Understanding Buddhist Emptiness

A core concept within Buddhist psychology is sunnata, translated as emptiness; this talk reviews this often mystified and misunderstood aspect of Buddhist doctrine.  Early Buddhist schools emphasized that sunnata is synonymous with anatta, the absence of an enduring/autonomous self.  Later, the Mahayana teachers emphasized that sunnata applies to everything in the universe, building on the doctrine of interdependence.  Contemporary psychological and sociological research has validated the concept of emptiness.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Understanding Buddhist Emptiness

The topic for next week’s talk will be focused on the general areas of research that suggest the benefits of Buddhist meditation practices in terms of mental health and other life skills, such as financial management, relationship enhancement, etc.


Emptiness And Fullness

This talk is a continuation from the posting of September 6 entitled “The Five Aggregates And Emptiness”.  This discussion elaborates on a guided meditation, posted separately, that facilitates how to use body sweep meditation to cultivate a primary, holistic awareness of body sensations to “starve” the selfing process of attention and opening to the awareness of sunnata (shoon-yah-tah) during meditation practice.  The intention of this practice is to reveal the essential “emptiness” of the internal narrative that constitutes the primary misperception of an enduring and autonomous “self” and realize the fullness of whole body awareness.  As this awareness is perfected, all subjectively derived boundaries are diminished between embodied experience and the all-encompassing nature of sensory reality, including sounds, odors, flavors as well as body sensations, leaving and all-inclusive, universal experience that is stable and serene.  This awareness, when sufficiently cultivated, creates the circumstances the facilitate realizing nirvana, unconditioned reality.

Here are the notes prepared for this discussion:   Emptiness And Fullness

The guided meditation entitled “Emptiness And Fullness Meditation” will be posted separately.