Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, Enlightenment, final goal, Happiness, illusion, Meditation, Mind, Photography, Practice, root, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q275. I am a little frightened that I may fall into emptiness.

A. It may be due to the impression that comes from the stereotype of the word ’emptiness’ that you have such a feeling. Some people are worried that if they fall into emptiness, everybody they love comes to look like a shadow or a ghost, and that they may lose the feeling of love and connection they have shared with them so far. They may also think that everything will seem to be so valueless and useless because it looks empty to them. In the end, they are afraid that they are likely to become pessimistic.



Don’t misunderstand emptiness. The word ’emptiness’ used in Zen doesn’t mean what you have imagined so far. Its meaning is much closer to freedom than to void in that we free ourselves from all the yokes of life. Having fear of falling into emptiness is like having fear of falling into great eternal happiness because you have never experienced such happiness. Emptiness is where you are from and are to return to, so that you may obtain eternal happiness. Don’t be afraid to face this unknown happiness.



©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, emptiness, empty, Enlightenment, final goal, illusion, master, Meditation, Photography, Practice, root, self, true self, Truth, Uncategorized, Zen

Q263. What is emptiness?

A. Emptiness is not void but being both existent and non-existent at the same time, as it were, before division into ‘being existent’ and ‘being non-existent’. That is a state or an appearance without any imaginary lines. When asked what emptiness is like, some masters would say that it is full and others that it is active. All you can feel is emptiness. Even your body is emptiness. There is nothing that is not empty. If you follow emptiness, you will forsake it.



Student: “What is emptiness?”

Master: “Don’t forsake it.”



©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway