April 17, 2014

The talk at last week’s sitting helped me understand emptiness in a way I hadn’t before.  It points out that we assume emptiness ”…to have the fundamental character of lack, and while lack may be its quantitative description, it is not qualitatively accurate at all.”  Experientially, it is a kind of felt space:

“The top of the mountain gives no one the clearest view.  The vista, it would seem, is almost endless from there, but in fact it is a view to the outside only, and so, even if you can see to the end of the world, you see very little indeed.  The view from behind your own closed eyes is much richer.  That interior view has the nature of spaciousness.  It has a length and a breadth to it not possible in the three dimensions that we have grown accustomed to.  But most importantly it has a feeling—not an emotional quality, not a physical sensation, but a feeling of richness nonetheless.  You can feel space here, inside you.  Outside you, you may look at it or occupy it, you may crave it or you may say, ‘too much’, but inside, you feel it, you know it through direct experience.  It is not inferred, it is not sensed, it is not translated to you through the media of your modes of perception; it is there, and you are there, and the two of you meet in the greatest and deepest kind of intimacy.  Space is the flavor of this interior, it is its sound, it is its essential quality.  Emptiness is space.  Emptiness is the richest, the most immediate, the most alive thing a person can come into contact with.  It is the experience of the root of all other experience.  And although there are many lovely things in that view from the mountaintop, emptiness is not among them….”

And it concludes by bridging that seeming divide between the world outside us and the one inside:

“…The interior view, ironically, is the one this whole world is pointing toward.  Everything else which seems to draw and entice and infuriate you is only the same signpost:  ‘Go in,’ it says. ‘Welcome in.’”


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