What is “the Triple World”?

We were recently sharing a livestream event at the Zen Center Regensburg. One of the students asked, “”Buddhism often talks about ‘the three worlds’, sometimes referred to as ‘the triple world’. It is also chanted in the Heart Sutra. What does this mean?”

The view of “the triple world” is an exceedingly important dimension in the Buddhist view of the nature of reality. It shows the profound insight of the Buddha’s enlightenment. It is an almost clinical dissection of the layers of reality which are “sandwiched” together to form our entire realm of perceptive experience: the realm of form, of formlessness, and desire. (This is sometimes translated as “sign,” “signlessness,” and “impulse/activity”.) Everything we can possibly experience — absolutely everything, and there is nothing else “outside” or “apart” from it — is experienced in this triple-world reality.

One of the students standing nearby took some film for her own self-study. Ioannis edited it together to share the reply with others. I hope it is useful.

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