Variations on the Two Truths: Distinct, Identical, or Coalescent

There's something paradoxical or even ironic about the concept of the conventional (saṃvṛti) being understood as a kind of "truth" (satya), since in some interpretations of the two truths the conventional is understood as false in contrast to the ultimate (paramārtha) which is alone true. Generally, according to these views, often associated with the Sakya …

Bodhi

Bodhi, (which is Sanskrit and Pāli for “awakening”) can be said to be the highest possible attainment for any being, but it cannot be said to be ultimate reality, which itself is categorically inexplicable. Paradoxically and figuratively speaking we can say that Bodhi is the mind who cognizes ultimate reality, and this cognition is a …

Loud and Proud

As many, if not all, trans feminine individuals intimately come to understand, our social recognition is caught up in a peculiar catch-22: if you do not adopt the social conventions that uphold the meaning behind the designation “woman”, you're asked how anyone can take your identity seriously, but, if you do adopt such conventions then …

Genuine Non-Duality (as the Non-Duality of Duality and Non-Duality)

If and when duality (the mode in which phenomena appear as different from each other and occupying the states of presence or absence) is found to be erroneous, there is the tendency or urge to move towards a “higher” mode in which phenomena are seen in some sense as actually identical to one another and …

Beyond the Impasse of Self-Emptiness and Other-Emptiness in Tibetan Madhyamaka

Some thoughts on the dichotomy of self-empty (rang stong) and other-empty (gzhan stong): The basis of the dichotomy comes about from considering the role and scope of negation in the apprehension of emptiness.  The dialectic of emptiness that runs through the various tenet systems (from Vaibhashika to Sautantrika to Cittamatra to Madhyamaka) progressively refines the negandum or …

Verses on Xenotechne & Theopraxis

Xenotechne:Alien techniques of abstraction.Theopraxis:Divine art of communion. Devoid of the act of abstracting individualsout of the concrete continuum,There would be no congregation to communeIn the first instance.Devoid of the need for real communionBetween congregated individuals,There would be no reason for abstractionIn the last instance.Though functionally distinct, Xenotechne and TheopraxisAre basically inseparableIn their being different aspectsOf the …

On Madhyamaka non-foundationalism

In contemporary Buddhist Studies (which refers to the mostly Western, semi-global academic study of Buddhism, and not the indigenous systems of actually existing Buddhadharma) the Madhyamaka is often rendered as a form of philosophical anti-foundationalism, which is opposed to totalizing, metaphysical forms of thought based on self-sufficient first principles or self-grounding foundations which pretend to, …