The Other Emptiness: Entering Wisdom Beyond Emptiness of Self

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LibraryBooksThe Other Emptiness: Entering Wisdom Beyond Emptiness of Self


Other Emptiness is the view of emptiness that goes with wisdom. It has long been thought amongst Westerners that the view of emptiness championed by the Gelug tradition following the views of Tsongkhapa is the one and only view of emptiness in the Buddhist teachings. However, that is not the case. The majority of Tibetan Buddhists accept two approaches to emptiness, a logical approach called empty of self and a non-conceptual approach called empty of other. This book clearly presents all of these views and shows how the empty of other type of emptiness is actually the ultimate teaching of the Buddha, the teaching on how to enter non-dual wisdom.

Other emptiness has usually been thought of amongst Westerners who have heard of it as a very complicated and difficult philosophy. It is subtle, that is true, because it describes what it is like to be in wisdom. However, it was not taught as a difficult philosophy. Rather, it was taught as a practical teaching on how to enter non-dual wisdom. The book explores this point at length.

The book was written to be useful for all levels of reader. It starts simply, giving a clear explanation of the Buddha’s non-dual teaching and how the other emptiness teaching is part of that. Then it goes into details about the history and teaching of other emptiness. Finally, it goes in to great technical detail concerning the other emptiness teaching, and supports that with extensive materials from various Tibetan teachers. Unlike many of the books on other emptiness that have appeared, this book does not only present the theory of other emptiness but keeps a proper balance between showing the theory of other emptiness and presenting the practice-based reality of the teaching.

The book is divided into four parts, each one a set of presentations from someone knowledgeable of the subject. The first part is several chapters written by the author in plain English in order to get the reader under way. Following that, there are sections embodying the explanations of Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso, and Jamgon Kongtrul the great. Ample introductions, glossaries and so on are provided.

Aside from many oral explanations, the book contains translations of the following texts:

  1. A Brief Discussion of The Rise of the Other Emptiness Middle Way Called "The Music of Talk on the Definitive Meaning" by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso (previously not seen in English)
  2. Introductory Section from A Complete Commentary to the Great Vehicle Treatise The Highest Continuum which Connects to Heart Meaning using the Explanation System of the Path of Direct Perception, Called "The Lion’s Roar of the Non-Regressing" by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great
  3. The Treasury which is an Encyclopædia of Knowledge on Thorough Ascertainments of Provisional and Definitive Within the Three Wheels, and of the Two Truths by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great
  4. Instructions for Practising the View of the Other Emptiness Great Middle Way, "Light Rays of Stainless Vajra Moon" by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great (Source: Padma Karpo Translation Committee)
Citation Duff, Tony. The Other Emptiness: Entering Wisdom Beyond Emptiness of Self. Kathmandu: Padma Karpo Translation Committee, 2014

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