Although Siddhartha realized emptiness, emptiness was not manufactured by Siddhartha or anyone else. Emptiness is not the result of his revelation, nor was it developed as a theory to help people be happy.
Whether or not Siddhartha taught it, emptiness has always been emptiness, although paradoxically we can’t even really say that emptiness has always been, because it is beyond time and has no form. Nor should emptiness be interpreted as negation of existence — that is, we can’t say that this relative world doesn’t exist either — because in order to negate something, you have to acknowledge that there is something to negate in the first place.
Emptiness doesn’t cancel out our daily experience. Siddhartha never said that something spectacular, better, purer, or more divine exists in place of what we perceive. He wasn’t an anarchist refuting the appearance or function of worldly existence, either. He didn’t say that there is no appearance of a rainbow or that there is no cup of tea.
We can enjoy our experience, but just because we can experience something doesn’t mean that it truly exists. Siddhartha simply suggested that we examine our experience and consider that it could be just a temporary illusion, like a daydream.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist
Read a random quote or see all quotes by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.
Further quotes from the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist:
- Pride and pity
- Living fully
- Your own ignorance betrays you
- Shielding ourselves and others from the truth
- Not paranoid but prepared
- Not a buddha yet
- Like monkeys
- Appreciating the whole cycle of impermanence
- The spiritual path is a temporary solution
- Bound by practicality
- Enlightened beings may seem insane
- I don’t give a damn
- What is life?
- The habit of self
- Pride and pity
- Buddhist renunciation
- Change is inevitable
- The cup that holds the teachings
- Eventually we are disappointed