Form/Emptiness

“Form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form; form is exactly emptiness, emptiness exactly form”
-Heart Sutra

I have been slowly studying the Heart Sutra. This (quote) I get. Still, I wonder at the idea of placing understanding emptiness before compassion. Can one not understand and practice ego-less compassion without having understood Sunyata?

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4 Responses

  1. To turn it around –

    How can “one” practice ego-less anything without perceiving sunyata?

    ;7)

  2. Very good point! ^_- Very clever 😉

    I guess what I’m trying to say and not saying well is that, to truly be compassionate, “one” (“not-one?”) has to get out of the way first.

    So, maybe I’m answering my own question.

  3. My own unaccomplished offering, is that emptiness is not so much to be understood with our intellects, as recognised by our hearts. It is the source of compassion – or appearance is the display of the compassionate qualities inherent in what we call emptiness. In fact emptiness is all potential, a great cornucopia; compassion is its nature. I don’t think one can be put before they other, as they are inseparable.
    As to your last post, my teacher Jetsunma has often said she teaches the same thing from many angles, because the only way to really understand the entirety of a mountain is to ascend from many sides. Each of us may find different approaches and tools more effective to open our hearts and minds, which is the great blessing of Buddha’s wisdom, and the opportunities are vast; pure teachers such as Rinpoche provide food for contemplation to sustain and enrich us, as each glance at the mountain can teach you something new.

  4. Kunzang, these were very helpful, wise words, and I have been thinking on them. Thank you.

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