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December 24, 2019

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Hum! I do not quite understand your comment;
“Samsara (i.e., the empirical life-death cycle) is nothing essentially different from nirvana. Nirvana is nothing essentially different from samsara” (MMK XXV, 19, trans. K.K. Inada).
Are you saying that Samsara is different from Nirvana? That form is not emptiness?
That the conditioned is not the unconditioned? That the bounded is not the unbounded?
Or is it kind of is and is not? Or not is and not is not?
Seen from a ‘Samsara’ perspective, Nirvana is nowhere to be found. And seen from a ‘Nirvana’ perspective, Samsara is nowhere to be found.
I would think that as one ‘sees’ those two mutually incompatible as being indistinguishable one from another, one ceases to make use of words such as form and emptiness, samsara and nirvana, in fact they become entirely meaningless.
In another of your post; ‘…..direct cognition or intuition of the unconditioned which is nirvana.’ Sorry, but that is not enough, for there is still a duality ‘conditioned/unconditioned’. I have read somewhere that Nirvana is cessation, I would think that is a very good way of describing this Nirvana, for one cease to split reality into endless mutually incompatible perspectives, and thus put an end to being con by those.
Stop seeing things in terms of structures and/or ‘places/location’, and try to look in terms of process instead. As if one was/is inviting/begging for the ‘other’, similar to a love affair; one is the other, but in different ways. This ‘one’ is not structure, it is process or dynamism.
Meaning invites or begs for a context, and vice versa, they are two different ways to talk about the same thing, one in a particular way (meaning) and the other in a ‘global’ or whole way (context).

Mahaparinirvana Sutra:

"I shall now explain the
excellent three ways of cultivating Dharma. To think of suffering as Bliss and to think of Bliss
as suffering, is perverse Dharma; to think of the impermanent as the Eternal and to think of
the Eternal as impermanent is perverse Dharma; to think of the non-Self [anatman]as the Self
[atman] and to think of the Self [atman] as non-Self [anatman] is perverse Dharma; to think of
the impure as the Pure and to think of the Pure as impure is perverse Dharma. Whoever has
these four kinds of perversion, that person does not know the correct cultivation of dharmas.
Bhiksus, you give rise to the idea of Bliss with regard to phenomena associated with suffering;
the idea of Eternity with regard to phenomena associated with impermanence; the idea of the
Self with regard to phenomena without Self; and the idea of Purity with regard to phenomena
that are impure. Both the mundane and also the supramundane have the Eternal, Bliss, the
Self, and Purity. Mundane teachings [dharmas] have letters and are without meaning [referents];
the Supramundane [teachings] have letters and meaning. Why? Because mundane people have
these four perversions, they are unacquainted with the [true] meaning/ referents. Why? Having
these perverse ideas, their minds and vision are distorted. Through these three perversions,
mundane people see suffering in Bliss, impermanence in the Eternal, non-Self in the Self, and
impurity in the Pure. These are called perversions/ inversions. Because of these perversions/
inversions, mundane people know the letters but not the meaning [referents]. What is the
meaning/referent? Non-Self is Samsara, the Self is the Tathagata; impermanence is the sravakas
and pratyekabuddhas, the Eternal is the Tathagata’s Dharmakaya; suffering is all tirthikas, Bliss
is Nirvana; the impure is all compounded [samskrta] dharmas , the Pure is the true Dharma
that the Buddha and Bodhisattvas have. This is called non-perversion/ non-inversion. By not
being inverted [in one’s views], one will know [both] the letter and the meaning. If one desires
to be freed from the four perverse/ inverted [views - catur-viparita-drsti], one should know the
Eternal, Blissful, the Self and the Pure in this manner."

I added the smiley face to indicate a joke. When I was depressed a few years ago, a girl I know who is a yoga practitioner, said that to me, and it really annoyed me at the time. So, I get how you feel. I am less depressed these days, so samsara doesn't feel so bad, and I can now look back at my old depressed self and laugh.

we are all engaged in samsara currently. You might as well enjoy it and help others reduce suffering as best as you can. If you are unhappy, you can't help others.

Buddha never said that. Nagarjuna did and he is no Buddha.

From Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakrika:

“Samsara (i.e., the empirical life-death cycle) is nothing essentially different from nirvana. Nirvana is nothing essentially different from samsara” (MMK XXV, 19, trans. K.K. Inada).

There is a huge difference between a Buddha who has realized actual nirvana and the unawakened who are still entangled in samsara (rebirth).

Samsara is Nirvana :)

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