A. To see things as empty may sound nihilistic and pessimistic since the conventional image of the word ‘empty’ may seem to suggest ‘void’ or ‘nothing’. Emptiness in Buddhism, however, doesn’t refer to voidness, or nothingness but means fullness, oneness and perfection. Everything is to Emptiness as every wave is to the sea. When we realise that everything is empty, firstly, we can be aware that everything is one as emptiness in essence, just as all waves are essentially one as the sea.
Then, everything that reaches your eyes and ears feels perfect and more beautiful, and you come to understand why Jesus said that we should love our neighbours as ourselves. Secondly, you can realise that death is not the end of your being, just as the disappearance of a wave doesn’t mean the disappearance of water that is the essence of water. This is referred to as the transcending of birth and death in Buddhism.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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