Home > Lessons for the Modern Man, Men and Spirituality > The Emptiness of Inherent Reality

The Emptiness of Inherent Reality

In yesterday’s post I wrote about the “belief in crystals” and stated that in the first place “crystals are real” and therefore, are not subject to belief. They just are part of this Earth-plane we inhabit. I also wrote: Not only are crystals helping me clear stuck beliefs, they are helping me understand the deeper nature of reality. Interestingly this deeper nature of reality is nothing but a belief system. The existence of crystals in the “real” Earth-plane is actually a belief.

We live in a consensus-based reality that we view as real but may not be as real as we would like to believe!

I am immersed in a deep look, with the help of crystals, into the Kalachakra Tantra Rite of Initiation by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and Jeffery Hopkins. The core of the book is based on the rite of initiation conducted by His Holiness in Madison, Wisconsin in 1981. I have had this book for a long time. I have attempted to read it before but was never able to get into it. Now I’m plowing through it with ease and excitement. Maybe some of my former beliefs are giving way to allow in the wisdom of this Tantra.

I am far from new to Buddhist thought. I have studied and practiced a form of Zen Buddhism for much of my life. I have worked with and read several texts on the Heart Sutra and have memorized a version of it from Zen Mountain Monastery where it is chanted daily. I have been chanting the sutra nearly daily for more than a decade. But this does not mean that I have fully penetrated the enormous implications of this holy text. I am getting closer! And it is likely the study of a life-time!

The main theme in the Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra is the emptiness of the five conditions of life, of reality: form, sensation, conception, discrimination and awareness. The practice and realization of this wisdom, this emptiness is what relieves suffering, sickness, old age and death and leads to the liberation from the wheel of samsara. This is the Perfection of Wisdom, the Prajna Paramita.

This can be summed up in the simple yet profound phrase: the emptiness of inherent reality. Of course, this too is a belief. But it is a belief that can lead to liberation from all suffering, all the misery that the Buddha witnessed as a young prince and led him on this journey to enlightenment.

I too am on a journey to this Heart of Perfect Wisdom, the Prajna Paramita. A major step along this journey is the Kalachakra Tantra Rite of Initiation. (I’ll write a full review of the book in a future post.) One of the key gateways on this journey is my suspension of belief in inherent, independent reality. And this can be particularly challenging living in modern western society where we are bombarded minute to minute by the commercial, material world of consumption of all forms of consensus reality. What would happen if we all suddenly stopped believing in the very underpinnings of life as we believe it?

With the realization of the emptiness of inherent reality comes Wisdom and Compassion – the two prongs of Buddhist philosophy. The Kalachakra Tantra is a path to this deeper understanding, this liberating belief. It is a path I have taken and will be reporting on here along the way!

Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha!

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