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To Be, Not to Be or Neither

Mipham's Dialectics and Debates - coverMipham's Dialectics and the Debates on Emptiness
- To Be, Not to Be or Neither
— by Karma Phuntsho

This is an introduction to the Buddhist philosophy of Emptiness which explores a number of themes in connection with the concept of Emptiness - a highly technical but very central notion in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. It examines the critique by the leading Nyingma school philosopher Mipham (1846-1912) formulated in his diverse writings.

Mipham's elaborations on emptiness offer an excellent counter balance to the negationist interpretation of the Gelugpa school, which has won over many Western scholars. Demonstrably, his approach illustrates in a commendable fashion the middle path favored by the Buddha and Nagarjuna.

Avalokiteshvara, Simhanada, Nagarjuna, NagarajaKarma Phuntsho was trained to be a khenpo  - a Tibetan monastic abbot, for about a dozen years during which he studied, practiced and taught Buddhism in several monasteries in Bhutan and India. In 2003, he received a PhD in Oriental Studies from Balliol College, Oxford. He currently works at the University of Cambridge and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris as post-doctoral researcher specializing in Buddhism and Bhutan. His main interest lies in the preservation and promotion of Buddhist and Bhutanese culture.

The book focuses on related issues such as what is negated by the doctrine of emptiness, the nature of ultimate reality, and the difference between 'extrinsic' and 'intrinsic' emptiness.

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