Re: Suchness

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Posted by David on November 23, 1999 at 10:38:59:

In Reply to: Suchness posted by Meghan on November 14, 1999 at 10:43:04:

Hi Meghan,

I think an old Zen saying may help explain the relationship between the concepts of emptiness and suchness fairly well. The Zen saying says that "In the beginning there are mountains and rivers, when you practice Zen there are no mountains and no rivers, when your training is complete there are mountains and rivers." Emptiness refers to no mountains and no rivers, suchness refers to the mountains and rivers after the training is complete, after complete enlightenment. The concept of emptiness refers to the impermanent, non-self nature of all phenomenon. Suchness, however, encompasses both emptiness and the phenomenon (causes and conditions) in the absence self-centeredness, or an attachment to self.

The Heart Sutra says that form is precisely emptiness and emptiness precisely form. This statement points to suchness. However, this idea of suchness is just an empty phenomenon, so don't get caught by it. It's only useful as a tool for your practice. :)

Best wishes,

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