The Emptiness of Things

This article first appeared at Transcultural Buddhism.

The teachings on emptiness (sunyata or shunyata) find their most articulate development in the Kadampa branch of Mahayana Buddhism (Madhyamika Prasangika philosophy). To the Kadampas, nothing exists 'inherently' or 'from its own side'. All functioning phenomena exist in dependence on three factors:

  1. Their causes.
  2. Their parts or relations with other objects.
  3. Their imputation by the mind of a sentient being.

The sentient mind is NOT a physical construct or epiphenomenon of matter. The mind is clear and formless and has the power to know phenomena in a qualitati

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