Emptiness – Shunyata

‘Emptiness’ means uncontaminated consciousness.
“Oh, do I have to be really holy to experience that?”!

When the eyes just see,
the ears just hear,
the nose just smells,
the tongue just tastes,
the body just feels,
the mind just perceives …
that is emptiness.

It’s with us all the time,
as we are, firstly and originally, pure consciousness.

All beings experience this but do not notice its significance,
which why the term ‘ignorance’ is used.

Emptiness goes by many names.
Ignorance goes by one name,
and that name is ‘Myself’.

Ignorance isn’t a problem when we notice it –
precisely because of what is noticing it …
that old, old – very old – timeless pure consciousness.

Have a great day.

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18 Responses to EMPTINESS – SHUNYATA

  1. Don’t you think you talk too much?

  2. Hi Tony, You write, “There is a secret life to the emotions”

    What do you mean by this?

    • tony says:

      Hello Ontologicalrealist,

      This is a fundamental and important question, and you have every right to disagree. This blog is all about the moment before an emotion arises, from a Buddhist point of view.

      I am aware that people can lie in ambush, so the answer is about practical personal experience rather that theory. It is simple realisation, but can take time to get one’s head around. This is about absolute reality within relative reality.

      There are three basic negative emotions: desire, aversion and ignorance. Pride, jealousy and all other emotions develop from these three. We walk into a room full of people, and are attracted to some, repulsed by others, and ignore the rest.

      These reactions are normal for human beings, but create friction; intentionally and unintentionally. However, in the very first instant before an emotion arises, there is pure perception present before a judgement is made, and we start reacting. This moment is what it’s all about.

      This is the Zen moment or Maha Ati, Dzogchen, Mahamudra … pure consciousness, pure awareness empty cognisance… pure being… This is where empathy and compassion come from, and love.

      Our true being has three enlightened qualities; purity, consciousness and compassionate. They correspond to the three basic negative qualities: desire, aversion and ignorance when we ignore our enlightened qualities

      Desire equate to purity: when we desire, we contaminate pure consciousness.

      Aversion equate to consciousness: because consciousness is contaminated, we judge and separate.

      Ignorance equate to compassion: because we judge and separate, we lack love.

      So as not to be confused about hope, fear and ignorance, we are talking here about what drives our entire life, rather than a need in the present moment.

      The moment an emotion arises, a adept, will recognise this as pure consciousness, thereby taming the mind, doing no harm, not making things worse, remaining at peace in non duality.


    • tony says:

      To put it simply.
      Just before an emotion arises the mind brightens. We see a wonky picture on the wall, before we try and put it straight or blame someone, pure perception is present, it just sees.

      That give us space to truly evaluate the situation and bring the situation back to balance.

      It’s especially important when dealing with wonky people. 😀

      Being wonky myself, I can empathise,

  3. Thank you Tony, you are a person from whom I can perhaps learn something which may be new to me. I will think about it and get back to you later. All the best to you.

  4. ” This is about absolute reality within relative reality.”

    What do you mean by ‘absolute reality’ and what is ‘relative reality’ relative to?

    • tony says:


      Most of us assume that we ‘have’ consciousness, when through meditation we realise that we are that consciousness.

      Going one step further, when this consciousness looks in on itself, it finds nothing but consciousness.

      That finding nothing else, shows that it isn’t contaminated, it is pure consciousness, absolute reality.

      It is reading these words at this moment without comment.

      If we are unaware of being pure consciousness, we revert to common consciousness that merely relates to appearances. That relating is called relative reality.

      This is our survival mode, which uses primitive brain, or reptilian brain of fight, flight or freeze.

      In human terms this is desire, fear and indifference.

      The Buddha’s are simple teachings and complete and taken from the Vedas.

      It is all about not two – non duality. The absolute and relative are inseparable, the same as heaven and hell, darkness and light.

      We cannot have on without the other!
      The trick is to see that the relative does not actually exist, as this is merely an idea in the mind or consciousness.

      Have I said too much!

      All the very best

    • tony says:

      One of the problems is not knowing that there are many traditions that emphasis different aspects, and this can cause confusion. It did me!

      In Tibetan Buddhism there are many traditions.
      Kagyu is more devotional.
      Nyingma is more about wisdom.
      Gelupa is more analytical.

      Then there are all the paths of Yoga.

      The main point is to know the difference between the esoteric and exoteric.


  5. ” The trick is to see that the relative does not actually exist ”

    I agree that the relative does not exist. But it is not a trick to see this, it is a profound understanding.

    “Have I said too much!”

    No Tony you have not said too much. 😀

    How many relative realities are there?

    • tony says:

      Hello ontological realist,
      Thanks for your reply. 🙂

      The word trick in context here means, the way to see this.

      Everything is relative being made of parts due to causes and conditions. So everything is impermanent, thus having no permanent reality as everything changes.

      Things come into existence for a while, and then dissolve back into the elements.

      The only reality is consciousness, as it never changes, like space.

      As long as you can remember, consciousness has never changed. It is the authority of all truth.


  6. How many relative realities are there?

    • tony says:


      Everything that we see and relate to, is relative reality.

      When there is just seeing with no relating, that is pure reality.

      Of course there are many ways of looking at this, depending on what has influenced us.

      You have to find what works for you.
      Start at 1.29 😀 I love this clip.

  7. “Everything that we see and relate to, is relative reality. ”

    What do you mean by ‘we’ ? Do you mean all humans? What about germs? Is the relative reality of humans the same relative reality as is of germs?

    • tony says:

      It’s nice to talk again ontological realist.

      All levels of sentient beings relate to their surrounding to survive, driven by attraction and repulsion, due to ignoring their true reality.

      When we have the good fortune to meditation, we silence the mind, tame it, see clearly. In thinking we can only guess. We need actual experience to know.

      What are we? We, ultimately are pure consciousness.

      However, because pure consciousness forgets it’s purity (it’s uncontaminated-ness) becomes gross consciousness, clever but unwise.

      Wisdom is transcendent knowingness of our true nature. This realisation expands empathy, compassion and love.


      PS. Answering question is a generalisation, as I do not know who you are, or what you experience.

      What sort of practice do you do?

  8. Earlier you wrote, “When there is just seeing with no relating, that is pure reality.

    Do you mean that when you are seeing a chair without relating to it then that chair is pure reality?

    • tony says:

      Perhaps you should look at Madhyamika the Middle Way philosophy, which teaches freedom from all extremes. They say that just as truly existent external phenomena were refuted, a truly existent perceiving mind must also be refuted, since both are equally lacking in inherent existence, being mere dependent originations.

      First through experience or practice, we have to see that what is purely seeing is pure reality. There are no sides.

      It is when we start relating that we create sides or attitudes.

      Conventionally or relatively, a chair is seen to exist, but it is made up of parts through causes and conditions. It cannot be said to exist in its own right.

      To be frank and realistic, I wouldn’t bother about philosophical theories, as there are no end to them. Just meditate, and see for yourself.

      The pure reality of a chair is that it is empty of any true existence. All phenomena reminds us that consciousness is relating to something. The reality is consciousness, pure consciousness. Still it’s nice to have something to sit on.

      It’s all about not-two, non duality. real knowledge comes from personal investigation. That’s why the Buddha said, “Do not take my word for it…”


  9. Anonymous says:

    There are three thousands articles on this blog, some technical, some experiential, and some to shock the mind. Just type in the word you are interested in at the bottom of the page.

    NB. There are no short cuts, we just need to assimilate from a fresh point of view, something which is ancient.


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