emptiness, fullness

When we think of emptiness, many of us imagine a void, bare or blank. The thought can be uncomfortable or scary. But scientists and Buddhists have a different understanding of emptiness—that although the void may appear empty, it can actually be full—pregnant with potentiality. That is how I think of emptiness: it is the potency out of which everything manifests—the timeless instant prior to the big bang.

What if emptiness is the potent spaciousness out of which every single thought, feeling, or object manifests? At any scale, from minuscule to immense? What if it is the reliable constant in this chaotic upside-down world: endless, vitally alive, fresh, unknown? And of course words fail, because it, emptiness, cannot be an “it” at all. It is too vast, too seemingly empty to have “thingness.”

I remember as a child trying to imagine the mostly empty nature of the vast universe—the whooshing sensation that thought produced was like cresting the final hill on a roller-coaster: terrifying, exhilarating, knowing the bottom was about to drop out.

That’s what every next moment is: fresh, uncontrollable, fecund.

© Skye Blaine, 2011

2 thoughts on “emptiness, fullness

  1. ss

    As a young Buddhist practitioner many years ago I asked my teacher :”What is emptiness?” He quickly said “Emptiness is the awareness, the knowing that nothing in the relative world (no thought word feeling form) has intrinsic meaning.” thus: Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is form.


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