Should we be Afraid of Emptiness?

Should we be afraid of emptiness? If you think so, you may be incorrect. Just think about it.

Pick up any piece of paper. It could be a newspaper or a piece of paper that you use to take notes on. What do you see in this piece of paper?

Some people will say, “It is only paper.” But if you look more deeply, you’ll recognize that there is a cloud in the piece of paper. Why a cloud? If there were no cloud in the paper, there would be no rain. If there were no rain, there would be no trees. And if there is no tree, there could be no paper. A state of interbeing exists between the paper, cloud, rain, and tree. This means that they are all interconnected and are interdependent upon each other. Each of them is empty of a separate existence. This is what is meant by emptiness.

Free of Grasping

The experience of emptiness is not found outside of the world of ordinary appearance, as many people mistakenly assume. In truth, we experience emptiness when the mind is free of grasping at appearance.


Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, “Theater of Reflection” from
It’s Up to You: The Practice of Self-Reflection on the Buddhist Path

What other elements are there in the sheet of paper? You should be able to name at least five of them.

Books by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

It’s Up to You: The Practice of Self-Reflection on the Buddhist Path

Dzigar Kongtrul
Helen Berliner

On the spiritual path we speak of enlightenment. But how do we reconcile the idea of enlightenment with what we see when we look in the mirror—when insecurities, doubts, and self-centered tendencies arise in our minds? Dzigar Kongtrül suggests that we need not feel “doomed” when these experie… [Read More…]

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