Thought tracks

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I am reading the Dalai Lama's "How to Practice" book. On page 140 (chapter on practicing wisdom) it reads :

"A consciousness that conceives of inherent existence does not have a valid foundation. A wise consciousness, grounded in reality, understands that living beings and other phenomena - minds, bodies, buildings, and so forth - do not inherently exist. This is the wisdom of emptiness."

I have to admit I am still baffled over this paragraph. Read it about 20 times and still I am questioning my understanding. What I see, touch, smell, taste, hear are according to this text non-existent? This was the first reaction... How can it be? I KNOW that these objects are there! But reading it again the point comes to the word 'phenomena'. This is a greek word :-) which means 'what it appears to be'. So the phrase above, in my current opinion, does not mean that we live in a world of ghosts, but what we form as concepts of what we see/hear/smell/taste/touch is a product of our brain. As such they are an approximation ALWAYS of what we think, not the real object/person/idea. Thus we should always question our concepts. This way we can attempt to overcome ignorance about other beings or ideas. Then enlightenment may be possible.

But as I said in the beginning I am still baffled :-) probably resisting to let go of my own preconceptions.