The Abbey sent this teaching to all our friends via the monthly emailed eTeaching. Sign up here for the mailing list.
Cover of "Search for the Self", showing Orange Manjushri
Why Realizing Emptiness is Important


Searching for the Self

Volume 7 of The Library of Wisdom and Compassion – new book!

by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and
Ven. Thubten Chodron

Wisdom Publications

It is crucial to seek the correct antidote to ignorance.

Although we Buddhists learn and apply the antidotes to specific afflictions—such as meditating on impermanence to counteract attachment and on love to subdue anger—these antidotes alone cannot eradicate self-grasping ignorance.

Attachment, anger, arrogance, jealousy, and so forth are problematic in our lives and applying the specific antidotes to them—contemplating impermanence, cultivating love, rejoicing in others’ good fortune, and so forth—subdues them temporarily.

However, their seeds still remain in our mindstream, ready to rise up in an instant as full-blown afflictions. To cut these off so they can never reemerge, eradicating them from the root is imperative.

The only antidote capable of eradicating self-grasping ignorance (also called “confusion”) is the wisdom realizing the subtle selflessness of persons and phenomena. By realizing emptiness, we cease to assent to or grasp ignorance’s false appearances. At that time, there is nothing that can act as a basis for us to give rise to afflictions such as attachment and anger.