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What is the meaning of the Buddhist concept of emptiness?

The Buddhist concept of emptiness, also known as "shunyata" in Sanskrit, is a central teaching in Buddhist philosophy and is considered one of the three universal characteristics of existence, along with impermanence (anicca) and suffering (dukkha).

In Buddhist thought, emptiness refers to the idea that all phenomena, including the self, are empty of inherent existence or intrinsic nature. This means that nothing exists independently, in and of itself, but rather everything arises in dependence upon causes and conditions.

The concept of emptiness is closely related to the Buddhist teachings on non-self (anatta) and interdependence (pratitya-samutpada). It teaches that the idea of a permanent, unchanging self is an illusion, and that everything is interconnected and constantly changing.

Emptiness is not a state of nothingness, but rather a recognition that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence, and that this realization leads to the cessation of suffering. By understanding the nature of emptiness, one can overcome the ignorance that leads to attachment, aversion, and delusion, and attain liberation from suffering.

The concept of emptiness is central to many forms of Buddhism, including Mahayana and Vajrayana, and has influenced a wide range of Buddhist practices, including meditation, ethics, and philosophy.
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