Shunyata: Emptiness is Your Friend

Lecturer: Daizui MacPhillamy
Year: 1997
Shunyata is ku (emptiness or voidness). Hard-shelled Buddhism. Cold and austere. The four wisdoms: charity, tenderness, benevolence, and sympathy. Ku-ken, the delusion of emptiness. Nothing matters. Everything matters. The Lankavatara Sutra discusses seven kinds of emptiness. In the Path of Purification (The Visuddhi Magga of Buddhaghosa. Nanamoli (trans). Buddhist Publication. Soc. 1979), it says "There exists suffering, but none who suffer..." The Scripture of Great Wisdom "void, unstained, and pure". Bodhidharma said "The Dharma has no self because..." Dr. Francis Cook. The usual translations of the Scripture of Great Wisdom. Don't grab this, don't grab that. Nihilism and eternalism. Making the Unborn into a reified god. Trying to grab your Buddha Nature.
Anicca. The Clarifier of the Sweet Meaning Scripture. Appreciating shunyata and anicca together. A flow of time-space-being. Dogen's Uji. Lankavatara. If all the properties we have created are devoid of reality, then that voidness is shunyata. Srimaladevi Scripture (The Scripture of the Lion's Roar of Queen Srimaladevi): Dharmakaya is a name for the Ultimate. Tathagatagarbha. To know shunyata is to know the Dharmakaya. Dr. Diana Paul commentary "The concept of the Tathagatagarbha in the Srimaladevi Sutra" in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1979. Impermanence is enlightenment because anicca implies shunyata in its twin aspects. You can jump directly from anicca to enlightenment. In Shobogenzo: Sanjushichihon-Bodai-Bumpo (The Thirty-seven Conditions Favorable to Enlightenment, Nishiyama and Stevens, vol 2, p. 74) Dogen quotes Daikan Eno "Impermanence is the Buddha Nature". He also quotes Yoka Shinkaku: "All things are impermanent, everything is empty - this is the Tathagata's Great and Perfect Enlightenment." (This is a quote from Yoka Genkaku's Shodoka. I don't know if that means that Yoka Shinkaku and Yoka Genkaku are the same person.) Conclusions: First, if impermanence is enlightenment, there is nothing to fear. Shushogi: "The most important question for all Buddhists..." Second, you can trust the Buddha Nature. Third, we can relax our grip a little on this dream world.