Humble before the Void: Western Science Meets Tibetan Buddhism by Chris ImpeyTake a journey to the top of the world. Settle into the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, and become a Geshe of time and space through the eyes of a Western professor as he transcends into the richly spiritual world of Tibetan monks who, despite having suffered greatly for their religious beliefs and their culture, embrace the teachings of contemporary science.
A travelogue suffused with the wisdom of an ancient religious tradition, Humble Before the Void is a modern-day encounter between Western science and Buddhist philosophy. In this narrative, you’ll discover the relationship between ancient Indian philosophical and spiritual tradition and modern science through the experiences of a select group of Tibetan monks. Their stories will transport you to an unusual classroom where the author, Chris Impey, uses active learning techniques and low-tech materials to teach this novice group of scholars. Through his experience with this small cadre of Buddhist monks—the first to complete the Science for Monks leadership program—Impey brings to life a fresh new approach to popular science. You will follow along as he leads this group through a series of lively discussions and witness his approach manifest into success as these students, free of western social pressures, willingly throw themselves into experiments time and again.
Fans of the Tibetan monks and science novices alike will fall in love with this tale of one professor and twenty-five monks who lose themselves to the spirit of curiosity and openly test their assumptions and preconceptions through their study of cosmology.
With a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this narrative brings together a dialog between science and religion that captures the Tibetan monks’ personal stories while also presenting state-of-the-art information on the universe.
Humble Before the Void provides a counterpoint between the questing and inquisitive tradition of Western science and the humility and contemplation that characterizes Buddhism.
Geshe Lhakdor – What is Emptiness?
The Shining Void: What Buddhists Mean by Emptiness.
Emptiness is a mode of perception, a way of looking at experience. It adds nothing to, and takes nothing away from, the raw data of physical and mental events. This mode is called emptiness because it is empty of the presuppositions we usually add to experience in order to make sense of it: the stories and worldviews we fashion to explain who we are and the world we live in. Although these stories and views have their uses, the Buddha found that the questions they raise—of our true identity and the reality of the world outside—pull attention away from a direct experience of how events influence one another in the immediate present. Thus they get in the way when we try to understand and solve the problem of suffering. If, however, you adopt the emptiness mode—by not acting on or reacting to the anger but simply watching it as a series of events, in and of themselves—you can see that the anger is empty of anything to identify with or possess.
Sunyata , in Buddhist philosophy , the voidness that constitutes ultimate reality; sunyata is seen not as a negation of existence but rather as the undifferentiation out of which all apparent entities, distinctions, and dualities arise. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History.
The Perfection of Wisdom
The Mystery of the Void
Of all Buddhist doctrines, possibly the most difficult and misunderstood is sunyata. Often translated as "emptiness," sunyata also spelled shunyata is at the heart of all Mahayan Buddhist teaching. In the Mahayana Six Perfections paramitas , the sixth perfection is prajna paramita -- the perfection of wisdom. It is said of the perfection of wisdom that it contains all the other perfections, and without it no perfection is possible. This realization is said to be the door to enlightenment.
Sunyata Emptiness is the profound meaning of the Mahayana Teaching. Two thousand five hundred years ago, the Buddha was able to realise "emptiness" s. By doing so he freed himself from unsatisfactoriness s. From the standpoint of enlightenment, sunyata is the reality of all worldly existences s. From the standpoint of liberation, sunyata is the skilful means that disentangle oneself from defilement and unsatisfactoriness. The realisation of sunyata leads one to no attachment and clinging. It is the skilful means towards enlightenment and also the fruit of enlightenment.
It is either an ontological feature of reality , a meditative state, or a phenomenological analysis of experience. In Mahayana , Sunyata refers to the tenet that "all things are empty of intrinsic existence and nature svabhava ,"   but may also refer to the Buddha-nature teachings and primordial or empty awareness, as in Dzogchen , Shentong , or Zen. The concept of Sunyata as "emptiness", states Sue Hamilton, is related to the concept of anatta in early Buddhism. The Pali canon uses the term emptiness in three ways: " 1 as a meditative dwelling, 2 as an attribute of objects, and 3 as a type of awareness-release. It is said that the world is empty, the world is empty, lord.