Monthly Archives: March 2015

Emptiness and The Dalai Lama

The branches of Buddhism debate with each other. They are conversations of different interpretations or stories that they believe the Buddha told. Emptiness, as we’ve learned describes lack of essence, or the interconnectedness of everything. However, these debates call into … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The relationship between The Four Noble Truths and the teachings of Nagarjuna

During the last few classes, I have noticed that there seems to be a deep connection between Theravada (specifically The Four Noble Truths) and the Mahayana (specifically the ideas of Nagarjuna on Madhyamika about essence/emptiness.) It took me a while to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Rethinking Female Roles

My previous blog post highlighted the lack of access to female roles and spaces in Buddhism in order to challenge its perception as an egalitarian faith. However, I began to reevaluate my previous critique after reading about how female followers … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can I let go of my “self” if I can still hold onto power?

In class the other day, I mentioned that my I think my ego gets in the way of my accepting emptiness/essenceless as Nagarjuna believed it to be.  How could I not have an essence, not even in this world?  It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Interdependence and Our Actions

When first trying to wrap my head around Nagarjuna’s theory of emptiness, I seemed to understand the world as ultimately meaningless and stagnant. Everything is always and unchangingly empty, including emptiness itself! However, greater reflection has lead me to understand … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Evolutionary Learning

Through the readings on emptiness, our discussions in class, in particular a comment made by a student in class today (4/4/15), and reading the other blog posts it seems that the ultimate and final criticism of Nagarjuna’s theory is that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Paradox of Nagarjuna’s Teachings

Nagarjuna, who founded the Middle Way School of Buddhist philosophy, reasoned that everything, without exception, is empty. Through his writings translated by Garfield, he attempts to convince his audience of his ideas on permanence and essence: that all things equally … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Essence and Emptiness

In the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to understand the concepts of emptiness and essence. Before this course, I never would have connected essence to dependence, as is a simplified paraphrasing of the argument made by Nagarjuna. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

So, everything is empty? What now?

The Madhyamika school of Buddhism argues that emptiness is at the core of Buddhism. Focusing on dependent origination, Nagarjuna argues that there is no essence, which he defines as something permanent and intrinsic. The idea that everything is empty, while … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Losing Arrogance

Last week when we discussed the poems written by Buddhist monks and nuns, there were two that were of particular interest to me: in the Theragatha, Chapter 6, Verse 9 “Jenta, the Royal Chaplain’s Son” and in the Therigatha, Chapter … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments