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Sunyata and Inmo

What is The Relationship of Sunyata and Inmo

Alex Kinsella posed the question of what is Sunyata and Inmo, for a Dharma Talk. Remember Alex-san is preparing for Jukai in November so one may also look at these concepts in relation to Precepts.

One might look at the first term as early and later India terms one from the Vedas (9-8 century BCE) then Buddhism, and then Nagarjuna and how all of this was expanded in Chan and then the focus added by of Dogen of Inmo expounded in his Fukanzazengi in 1227.

As noted in the first paragraph I suggest the short hand view of the two concepts (words are markers for a concept) could be Emptiness and Now. Constructs (concepts) are words crafted to explain an experience. In some way a word is a microcosm of my offering in this talk. A word stands for a composite of variables offered through one condition. That condition is relative while the variables are not settled but are rather in motion yet to form an entity which is subject to impermanence. To ask what is a word that describes emptiness, is different from asking what is the meaning of the concept behind the word. So my sense is that Sunyata does not mean for example, space as a feature of the universe between objects, but something behind that which is void of constant form, hence form is emptiness and emptiness form is a kind of inside-outness. Nagarjuna (1CE) adds to the awareness of Buddha Nature with expounding the concept of original co-arising.

Brahman, the Ultimate Reality of Vedanta, is not manifested in its true form in the relative world, and although it assumes forms under Maya (Illusion-sangaku), the essence of these forms remains beyond the relative. The essence of these forms is void in the relative plane, but not in the absolute sense, where it is Brahman. This Ultimate Reality can only be defined as what it is not, in the relative world; only Via Negativa. It is beyond all constructs, terms, conceptions and ideas of what it can be (underlined by sangaku). For every such ideation, what can be said is ‘neti, neti‘ – ‘not this, not this‘. Nothing more.

Chan and its relationship with the Tao offers the yin/yang as a parallel to Sunyata. The mandella in black and white with white in black and black in white are a symbol of Sunyata and co-arising, and Inmo as follows: Within the circle (Universe) there is flow, the Absolute (Black) and Relative (White) with each also in the other and the with the swirl of both (all) which is the cosmos (Universe). https://wSunyata (Emptiness) in the Mahayana

Inmo is now, which includes the cosmos and therefore Sunyata. Now is the forefront and the backdrop simultaneosuly. That is in the now nothing can be left out as everything is all at once. Every moment is “thus.” Being-As-It-Is | Two Rivers Zen Community:

Every moment is the “matter that is it.” “Everything is the matter, that is it.” Nothing is excluded. As Dōgen notes, worry is “it.” Laughing is it; crying is “it;” happiness, sadness, and everything in between is also “it.” Further, this on-going realization of suchness is never a static state, an end-point, or fixed reality. Thus “being-as-it is'' continues to be potentially and ultimately transformable while simultaneously always transforming. Shikantaza practice makes clear the transparency of this at once active and passive process. From Dōgen’s point of view, this on-going realizational activity is at the heart of a fundamental difference between linear, quietist, and facilitative or instrumental contemplation practices and the expressive, “enactment ritual” practice of just sitting.[4] For Dōgen the activity of just sitting is the realizational process.

Then, what is experience and how do we come to have it where the teachings of the Dharma not just make sense to us but we experience through sitting, walking, standing and lying-down. We become the IT of the Moment because we are the swirl of Sunyata.

To add more spice to the sauce, In many ways this relationship plays out in the math of Zero:

Sunyata is potential.

IT (ALL) is constantly now.

IT (ALL) is constantly changing.

We experience this through Shikantaza as a rising experience of IT becoming our sense of expanded awareness.

Inmo is "Thus" (Sunyata) now.

We experience both through insight and intuiting possibilities.

The eternal moment is our deep dive into Sunyata in the vehicle of Inmo.

Finally each precept is an Inmo vehicle.

When fully engaged it takes us into all realms.

Wherein “Preserve life do not kill,” arises simultaneously as Buddha Nature

…the true Dharma,

The true teaching of co-arising... Being or Buddha Nature…

Please join us through ZOOM on Tuesday night, August 29, at 7:00PM/EDT as we EXPLORE!

108 Bows,


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