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Taoism Emptiness Vs Buddhist Shunyata

Many believe that the concepts of emptiness in Buddhism and Taoism are identical. Let's see if they really are.

In Taoist approach there are several kinds of emptiness (wu).

  • Emptiness in the phenomenal universe seen as the origin of the ten-thousands.
  • Emptiness as a condition of acquiring the vision of Tao. (See the first chapter of Tao-te ching.)
  • And emptiness in Taoist meditation practice, for instance the Chuang-tzu's Sitting and Forget.

Buddhist emptiness, AKA Shunyata, refers to the concept of things devoid of self or consistency. Buddhist meditation aims at the realization of this view which is more a philosophical approach.

To conclude, Taoist and Buddhist concepts and approaches of emptiness are not identical.


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