The-Buddha

Responding to Hostility

‘When people speak badly of you, you should respond in this way: Keep a steady heart and don’t reply with harsh words. Practice letting go of resentment and accepting that the other’s hostility is the spur to your understanding. Be kind, adopt a generous standpoint, treat your enemy as a friend, and suffuse all your world with affectionate thoughts, far-reaching and widespread, limitless and free from hate. In this state you should try to remain.’

- Dhammapada, in The Buddha Speaks, A book of guidance from the Buddhist scriptures edited by Anne Bancroft.

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Śūnyatā, Emptiness

By Samsaran

Emptiness. So simple yet so complex. What could be more simple than nothing? It turns out, everything. The idea of emptiness, of nothingness in Buddhism is called Śūnyatā. In the Suñña Sutta we find this dialog between the monk Ānanda and the Buddha: “‘It is said that the world is empty, the world is empty, lord. In what respect is it said that the world is empty?’ The Buddha replied, “Insofar as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus it is said, Ānanda, that the world is empty’.”

In my tradition, the Mahayana, nothingness has two meanings and herein lies the difficulty for many western students. The first is “emptiness of essence,” which means that the phenomena which we perceive with our senses and our minds have no inherent nature by themselves. Next we have “emptiness in the context of Buddha Nature”. Here we have emptiness given qualities of awakened mind. Such qualities might be compassion or wisdom. Our ultimate reality is the union of both emptinesses.

You see suffering comes because we cling to things imagining that they are real, fixed and can be possessed by ego. Buddhist teacher Ari Goldfield’s said it best “to the reality of flux and fluidity that is ultimately ungraspable and inconceivable” that we can relax into clarity, compassion and courage. That lofty goal is what makes the effort to understand emptiness so worthwhile.“

When you rest in quietness and your image of yourself fades, and your image of the world fades, and your ideas of others fade, what’s left? A brightness, a radiant emptiness that is simply what you are.

– Adyashanti

If you come to feel that everything is useless because it is empty, you are mistaking emptiness for nihilism.

– His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

Hatred never ends by hatred but by love alone is healed. This is the ancient and eternal law.
—  the Buddha
If you do not find a companion, intelligent, one who associates with you, who leads a good life, lives soberly, walk alone like a king who has renounced the kingdom he has conquered … It is better to live alone; there is no companionship with a fool
—  The Buddha, The Dhammapada
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
—  Buddha