The word “emptiness” has come to have an uncomfortable, foreboding quality.
Rest assured it does not mean nothingness, a void, or a vacuum!
Mingyur Rinpoche says, “When Buddhists talks about emptiness, we don’t mean nothingness, but rather an unlimited potential for anything to appear, change, or disappear.”
He also equates emptiness with “the sense of openness people experience when they simply rest their minds” in meditation. - quotes from The Joy of Living, Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness.
A letter from the world of emptiness
For this week’s reflection, I’ve chosen two amazing quotations on emptiness from the Zen master Shunyru Suzuki-roishi.
“All descriptions of reality are limited expressions of the world of emptiness. Yet we attach to the descriptions and think they are reality. That is a mistake.”
“Although we have no actual written communications from the world of emptiness, we have some hints or suggestions about what is going on in that world, and that is, you might say, enlightenment. When you see plum blossoms or hear the sound of a small stone hitting bamboo, that is a letter from the world of emptiness.” - from Not Always So, Practicing the True Spirit of Zen, Shunryu Suzuki
I hope these quotations give you a glimpse of emptiness with all its potential. I would love to hear any thoughts or insights you would like to share.
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