Barriers to Emptiness

The goal of Barriers to Emptiness is to enhance understanding of the first three Noble Truths by examining the operation of the Conditioned States that are at the root of Suffering (1st Noble Truth), and the Liberated Activities that are the expression of the Cessation of Suffering (3rd Noble Truth).

Participants can expect:

  1. To become familiar with a new way of analyzing the effects of Conditioned States and to begin to recognize the path to Liberated Activities.
  2. To establish or augment an existing foundation of Buddhist meditation practice.
  3. To gain knowledge of the elements of the Buddhist self and the nature of the Mahayana principle of Emptiness.


The level of instruction is designed for individuals who wish to create or improve the foundation of their Buddhist practice.  Participants learn what constitutes Conditioned States, how to identify them and to verbally express descriptions of them; they also learn how to experience or to imagine Liberated Activity free from conditioning. Dukkha is the first of the Four Noble Truths, often translated as ‘suffering’ or ‘dissatisfaction’.  In a wider sense dukkha consists of experiencing the totality of our human situation.  Buddha taught that recognizing the truth of dukkha was essential.    Acknowledging dukkha provides the basic framework for comprehending the other three Noble Truths.  The causes of dukkha are Conditioned States that are the result of Ignorance, the inability to see life just as it is.  Not seeing life as it is results in inauthentic responses and behavior as our life unfolds. Six different Conditioned States: Permanence, Ownership, Randomness, Mind Constructs, Problems, and Objective Definitions are studied to uncover their hidden actions, and what Liberated Activity would result if their domination were reduced or eliminated.