Conversation in the mountains

- through Fabrice Groult

Published on

Playful discussion of the reality of emptiness.

Several years ago, I was walking in the mountains with an 81 year old friend who is a dashing walker. After an hour, we reached a pass of 3000 meters, from where we could observe a grandiose landscape that stretched for several kilometers before our amazed eyes.

As we sat on a tall stump, contemplating this magnificent scene, he asked me:

– What does Buddhism mean when it says that all this is emptiness?

– This does not mean that this landscape is non-existent – ​​that would hardly make sense – but that it is empty of its own, independent and permanent existence.

"And what is wisdom?"

– It is to understand this nature.

– What then is the difference between emptiness and wisdom?

– Emptiness is the true nature of phenomena, whether or not we have recognized it as such. Now if we recognize it as such, it is wisdom; if we do not recognize it, it is misguidance.

Looking cheerful, he added, "You see, I can't wait to learn more about all these things, because I don't have much time left."

Then we turned back through the forest, continuing our conversation.

photo of author

Fabrice Groult

Fabrice Groult is an adventurer, photographer and Buddhist who has traveled the world since a young age. After studying Buddhism in India, he embarked on an eighteen-month journey through Asia that took him to the Himalayas, where he discovered his passion for photography. Since then, he has traveled the world capturing images of Buddhist beauty and wisdom. He was a guide for ten years, and is now a journalist with Buddhist News.

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