Emptiness : The most misunderstood name in Buddhism

The Buddhist teachings on emptiness are often misunderstood as implying that the world is in fact, completely empty. It is an image not unlike the white void in the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, some form of undifferentiated vagueness.

But the Buddha did not mean to imply that the world or universe is devoid of existence, that nothing is here at all. Rather, he suggested that no existent thing has self-hood, or inherent existence as a self. In other words, there is no static self, whether in man or in rock, in tree or in insect, nor in the farthest super-clusters and the largest forms.

In this way, emptiness implies form, and form implies emptiness, as we begin to see that the mutual interdependence of the cosmos, the shifting and relating of form and pattern, is reliant on the absence of some solid identity on the behalf of anything that exists. For, that which is empty has no obstruction to change, and as change is constant, we may see that it is in some sense unobstructed.

If I am full of myself, no one else may come in and share relationship with me. If I empty myself, I am open to be filled with another and in so doing, experience relationship. Our natural state is this emptiness, this readiness to connect, flow, change and relate, and we need not jump through elaborate hoops to realize it in our lives, in this very moment even.

Just relax, exhale, and watch your breath as if it were the most precious jewel in the cosmos, and let it all go. Allow the mind and the body to just run, on their own, and when distracted gently return to the breath. Try it now…

“If you see beyond yourself you may find peace of mind is waiting there…”

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19 thoughts on “Emptiness : The most misunderstood name in Buddhism

  1. Breathing is indispensable yet we dare to ignore it. We hardly pay attention if we are breathing properly or not!
    Just a few minutes of attention in inhalation and exhalation can do wonders.
    Have a nice breath full day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  2. And another misconception is that buddhism is all about sitting meditation. I believe the core motive behind meditation is constant awareness of one’s thoughts. One should really be aware of what is going on on his/er mind. But this is to be done all the time and hence walking meditation is also present in buddhism.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree Aishwariya. I have read some of the teachings and I believe they all direct us towards opening up and walking the path of inner peace, of contentment.

    Your article says very valuable things in a very small space. Wonderful read.

    Liked by 1 person

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