HOT OFF THE PRESSES: New article by Rinpoche for Lion's Roar Magazine

Published on 06 June 2017

The Clarity Aspect

 Emptiness without wisdom can lead to nihilism, explains Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. That’s why we have the teachings on buddhanature.

"As soon as we talk about a path like Buddhism, we think about its finish line—some kind of result or goal. But in the Mahayana, there is no goal. In the Prajnaparamita Sutra, for instance, we hear that “Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. No eyes, no ears…” and all that. There’s nothing to obtain. And there’s “no nothing” to obtain.

The Mahayana path is like peeling layers of skin and finally finding out that there’s no seed inside. We have to obtain liberation from the skins, but this is difficult to do—we love our skins. When we’re children, a sand castle is very important to us. Then when we’re sixteen, a skateboard is very important, and by then the sand castle has become a rotten skin. When we’re in our thirties and forties, money, cars, and relationships replace the skateboard. These are all layers of skin. More important, even the paths that we practice are all layers of skin, which we use to help us peel the other skins. The inner skin helps us think about the outer skin and motivates us to peel it. But ultimately in the Mahayana path, you have to be free from all systems, all skins."

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Photo by Mary Lang