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…”