Thus it must be filled as soon as possible!
In the East emptiness is viewed quite differently. It is experienced as full and fertile, but lacking content.
Emptiness allows the new to be formed. Emptiness is filled with possibilities. Therefore it is not to be feared, but to be cultivated by allowing the mind to quiet and become fallow.
It is obvious that something new can’t be added to that which is already full.
So how do we view emptiness?
Honesty and truth are very important qualities to me. I am dedicated to living as truthful a life as possible.
A renowned yogi has said if we want to know truth all we need do is give up our opinions.
Oh, there is that emptiness factor again.
I don’t find this easy, for I am filled with opinions. They pop up, unbidden, layered within every belief.
The best I can do is try to be mindful of these opinions and judgments that pour through my mind.
My first task deals with quieting the mind. It is my experience that getting interested in what is happening within the body is the easiest path. I breathe and note where that breath enters and leaves me. I do this as often during each day as possible.
My mind quiets as I become interested in what is going on within my body—the sensations flowing through the body. This eventually slows the mind down which opens space to watch my thoughts and allow my emotions to be felt.
I notice that I have many opinions about certain emotions. Some I like and some I don’t. Will I simply allow them to be felt? Or will I push the distasteful ones away?
Sometimes I get overwhelmed wondering the best thing to do, trying to figure out why certain emotions are occurring.
In truth I don’t know the best path to follow. I only think I do.
In most Eastern spiritual practices there is great value in cultivating the “don’t know” mind, which means letting go of opinions.
This is difficult for us in this West as it has been said that competence is the biggest addiction in the Western culture.
We often equate not knowing with incompetence. We must know!
Emptiness, not knowing, is too uncomfortable. And so we jump to conclusions, wanting to know, and conclude the inquiry as soon as possible.
But what is the truth? I only have my thoughts and opinions.
The best I can do is pause, step back and say, Maybe so, maybe not.
Let thoughts flow without hanging onto them. I can’t empty my mind, but I can slow it down.
Thoughts are similar to the clouds that float across the sky, always changing.
Meditation, quieting the mind by bringing awareness back to the breath, over and over, allows more space around each thought. This reduces stress, as things are not so tight.
Spaciousness has little content. It has room for freedom. There is space to maneuver.
Doing this again and again, bringing the mind back to the breath develops the ability to let the next moment be whatever it will be.
In this spaciousness one can begin to see what is no longer useful. Old opinions gradually dissolve. We feel lighter.
Our world contains both the East and the West. One is not superior to the other. Together they make a whole. They need to have meaningful dialogues.
Emptiness doesn’t need to be fixed. Just as fields must lie fallow at times so that they can continue to produce our minds must have quiet times.
We need to unplug. Turn off our electronic devices and just be.
Are we a human being, or a human doing? I find the being part must come first, or the doing will likely be off course and cause pain and hurt.
Our perspective shifts. The monkey’s grip on our backs has loosened.
Let the universe surprise us. We only need to allow the conditions for something new and beautiful to be birthed by giving it space—emptiness.
It is in the calm, relaxed mind that truly helpful ideas can spring forth.
Trust the process. It’s been working for eons!