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Understanding Dependent-Arising is the Best Method for Realizing Emptiness

May 16|12:00pm1:30pm MDT

Dates: May 9 and 16

Lama Tsongkhapa writes lyrically about Lord Buddha’s teachings on dependent arising – the “king of logics” to prove emptiness, as Lama Yeshe puts it. With this perfect view, Je Rinpoche says, we can never “fall into the abyss of the great mistake” of nihilism, one of the commonest misconceptions about emptiness.

We will investigate how in Lama Tsongkhapa’s gradual path literature he skillfully leads us to the eradication of ego-grasping, the primordial assumption of a fear-driven, bereft, separate self, which simply doesn’t exist.

We start by applying the law of karma – an example of the first level of dependent arising: cause and effect — which gradually counteracts our pervasive feelings of hopelessness and self-pity, causing us to realize that we are the source of our own happiness and suffering.

Next, we get to the root of the problem by becoming our own therapists: delving deep into our mind and identifying our delusions – attachment, aversion, jealousy and the rest – and recognizing that they are fabrications rooted in ego-grasping.

Now, combining our practice with bodhichitta, we are equipped to understand the subtler levels of dependent arising and to use this logic to uproot ego-grasping itself.

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