A Double Take On Emptiness
Emptiness = clearness, lack of adornment

In Sanskrit, the word ‘shunyata’ means emptiness. But what is emptiness?

We first need an intellectual understanding of emptiness, and then we can recognise the experience. Emptiness is non-grasping at any thing, idea or self image, all of which have no true existence of their own: they are empty of any true reality as they all rely on conditions to come about. Emptiness is the clarity of pure experience, without contamination.

But we need to take a second look at this – a double take – to experience the emptiness of emptiness. This is to make sure that we are not in a theoretical state, stuck in an idea of emptiness.

Traditionally, we can only receive this understanding from an authentic teacher. First, we get the ‘idea’, we practise and then we reach confirmation. Once we get it, a thousand buddhas could not convince us otherwise.

Emptiness is not beyond us: it is beyond the thinking mind. We are emptiness itself, pure, unmixed, flawless, perfect, complete. We can’t get better than that, can we?

In the stillness of just sitting, awareness is experienced. Awareness, through instruction, looks at itself and finds nothing but awareness. That ‘nothing but awareness’ is the perfect, non-state of emptiness: pure awareness. We use meditation to arrive at non-meditation, which is not doing anything but resting.

It is not, “I am being”:
just being.
Mindfulness is used to arrive at pure awareness:
just being.

Even though we may feel that the brain is not functioning properly, and is grasping at everything, or we are confused, tired, ill, drunk, emotional…empty awareness is constantly present. It is life itself. When realised, this is spontaneous now – the pure land. We start to feel glowy and shiny and content.

As humans, being sentient, we carry around a karmic load that is precious to us. As practitioners, we recognise the karmic load we have to live through, but gradually lose interest in holding on to old ideas.

We start to…well…just feel smily 😀

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  1. crestedduck says:

    “empty awareness is constantly present. It is life itself. When realised, this is spontaneous now – the pure land. We start to feel glowy and shiny and content.”
    I find my contentment and happy glowing feelings inside are always short-lived and never last more than a few minutes . My conclusion is this happens because when I look around and observe the reality we as humans are being forced to live and exist within, and my pure awareness knows this is not as it should be, and my compassion and empathy are real, and I’m aware of the illusion being foisted upon my pure spirit/soul.
    This is the “human condition”, or conundrum, of being born in the flesh yet created as a spiritual entity and part of, or you could say a extension of, or a completely perfect miniture DNA copy and manifestation of the creator/source of all manifested creation.

  2. marcel says:

    Shunyata, a welcoming space as big as the universe. I’m not sure yet, if it’s a saint’s, a rebel’s or a warrior’s place, but probably a mix of them. In any case, it’s the place to be and it takes lots of guts and discipline to get there.

    Have a good drink tomorrow. or a tea 🙂 We will see lot’s of changes in 2016. Take care.

  3. marcel says:

    “The world is so magical that it gives us a direct shock. It is not like sitting back in our theatre chair and being entertained by the fabulous world happening on the screen. It does not work that way. Instead it is a mutual process of opening between the practitioner and the world. Therefore tantra is very dangerous. It is electric and at the same time extremely naked. There is no place for our suit of armor. There is no time to insulate ourselves. Everything is too immediate. Our suit of armor is punctured from both outside and inside at once. Such nakedness and such openness reveal the cosmos in an entirely different way.”

    From ” Tantric Wisdom of the Buddha” by Chögyam Trungpa.

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