On Emptiness

When emptiness is possible, everything is possible. Were emptiness impossible, nothing would be possible. Nagajuna

As I meditated late one night, I felt plates of armor like an armadillo’s begin to fall away. As they fell, I became more and more free, lighter, brighter. What were the plates made of? What was I shedding? The concept of emptiness is integral to the practice of Buddhism. This concept has been known intellectually to me for some time but I have struggled to attain the pure knowledge which comes through the direct experience of meditation. Thich Nhat Hahn speaks of a flower which is emptiness. The flower is color, form, petals, stem, the sunshine, earth, nutrients and water which allow it to exist. The flower is full of the cosmos and empty of separateness, not existing without many other elements. Every experience is empty of self. Nothing exists without many other elements. Emptiness is a lack of self.

Both formerly and now, I teach only suffering and the cessation of suffering. This was the Buddha’s sole interest. The truth of impermanence is a cornerstone of Buddha’s teaching. We suffer because we hold onto things that are ever changing, ever disappearing, ever evolving. Craving leads to clinging to those things which leads to suffering. This craving is known as attachment. The end of desire, the end of grasping and clinging is the end of the sense of lack. Through study, reflection and meditation and by abiding in the present moment throughout each minute of each day, the plates of armor surely fall away. I return to my original empty nature and find pure awareness. I am the silence. I am the emptiness.