Appearances and Emptiness

This is the key to letting go, and genuine freedom

All that we encounter, we make real, relating to everything, and giving our ‘value judgements’. We become attached to all these appearances, and that binds us to ideas in the mind. We want everything to be ‘right’ and that causes us heartache and headaches.

Our greatest upset is relating to the ‘me’ that is making all these judgments. It’s a running commentary on everything, and this is how we come to believe that we are a fixed entity – “I am, what I am!” Most of us think this way and are convinced that we cannot change; this is the status quo of humans. When we fixate, we are believing that everything is permanent, which it is not.

No thing has any true reality; things come and they pass. Our true reality of pure awareness sees all as ethereal and empty of permanence, whereas ordinary awareness focuses and relates to everything, becoming fixated by whatever it encounters. It blows everything out of proportion, and our emotions explode.

How appearances are emptiness:
First of all, phenomena has no reality of its own as all phenomena relies on other phenomena. Appearances are therefore empty of any true, inherent reality (and this includes thoughts and ideas).

When we look out of our eyes, we see and focus, and relate immediately. Try this: un-tense your focus slightly and become aware of the whole scene at once. Be aware of peripheral vision. Without looking, note phenomena at the outer corners of the eyes. It’s a little like seeing a crowd; we take it all in, as opposed to fixing on one person. When we drive a car, we are naturally aware of the whole scene and don’t fixate on any one car, unless something draws our attention. Be aware of the whole room, now. Don’t make anything of anything. No judgements. If needed, we can immediately focus wherever is necessary, and then return to an expansive view again. That panoramic view is pure awareness, and it’s natural. Practise alternating between focused attention and wide attention to see the difference.

We naturally do this all the time … wide open … focused … wide open … but we are unaware of the process and thus fall into being occupied or vacant, which clouds the view. Town yogis use this natural occurrence to be more aware and restful, and less fixated on everything.

Appearances are emptiness.
Thoughts are emptiness.
Self is emptiness.
Pure awareness is emptiness.

How does that make you feel?
But fully aware!

The world around us
wants us to fixate and take sides,
losing our detachment.

Take no part in others’ fixations,
but be compassionate to their suffering.

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  1. su bornstein says:

    Used to practice Castaneda’s ‘walking the right way’. Where you walked with fingers curled focusing on a point just above the horizon but taking in the whole panorama in your view. Then you could sweep your attention from the horizon point to the tips of your toes without altering the focus of your eyes. Did a lot of that. Totally revamped my knowing of my visual perception.

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