Monday, October 29, 2012

Form and emptiness (Part 1 of 2)


Question :(Unedited) 

form = emptiness; emptiness = form
Hi Justin,

how would you get a westerner (having logic ingrained in them since birth) around this concept? do you have any examples that could help clear it up for me? i am struggling w/it. thx Justin.

My comment:

Hi P,

I don't know where you got this equation. Risking being labelled an intellect, I would postulate that form is not emptiness; and vice versa.  Perhaps if you can elaborate further, I may be able to comment.  Be that as it may, let me share with you the concept of "emptiness".

What we are experiencing in life IS real in form.  It is the whole futile process of living (existence) that is "emptiness".  Now let us be an observer of a life cycle of a butterfly.  First the egg, then the caterpillar, followed by the pupa in the chrysalis, and finally emerged the butterfly.  All this process took only a few weeks, and the butterfly will die after another two weeks.  As an observer, we can SEE the futility of this cycle which is real; but don't we see the "emptiness" in this process?  As far as the butterfly is concerned, it is a real life.  As far as we observers are concerned, it is just a passing passage of one very short life.  This to me relates very well to the concept of "emptiness".  Imagine the butterfly to be you, maybe you could see this "emptiness" for real!

As to "form", it is a combination of elements, always in motion.  The main characteristic of this "form" is its "incessant change", culminating in decay and destruction; and repeating its cycle of formation, generation, decay and destruction.  The whole process is a futile phenomenon of struggling to survive, which in the final analysis will inevitably end up in death/destruction.  

Smile from justinchoo :-)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shaking hands


Question : (Unedited)

Is it alright for a budhist man to shake hands with a woman, non budhist or other?

My comment:

Hi D,

Buddhism is about living peacefully with oneself and others.  How could one live peacefully when one cannot even shake hands with others?  Shaking hands has now been accepted globally as a gesture of coutesy and friendliness.  Of course if the other party refuses to shake hands with us, then it is their private decision.  There is nothing we can do about it, but just to respect their choice.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I am not a marriage counsellor


Question : (Unedited)
 How can I manage through the insecurities of a relationship.  My partner and I have been dating on and off for about 3 years, we've both made some heavy mistakes, but I'm struggling to look pass them both his part and mine and move forward. We are in a distant relationship and I would like to know the skills for allowing trust into my spirit again. Please help me.

My comment:
Hi C,

I was given a "bottom" rating when I told someone that I wasn't a "marriage counsellor" but only answering questions pertaining to Buddhism.  However I did put in my two cents worth of personal comments. Here, we are dealing with two parties.  You can do your part to be an understanding and forgiving partner.  A three-year relationship is quite a long time, and I would assume there are some mutual consolations to keep going.  As for the other party, there is nothing much that you can control.  

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