Zen Teaching of Emptiness (Shunya)
Zen Teaching of Nothingness
There are no rules when it comes to Enlightenment, but what I have noticed is that awareness shifts out of Duality and into infinite Reality more so during quiet moments when the mind is not heavily occupied with daily activity. It was just such a scenario that led to the shift which took place most unexpectedly last night.
Yesterday was our seventh wedding anniversary and miraculously we manged to get the kids to bed early, so we could enjoy some private celebrations, as all happy couples ought to on such special occasions. Eventually, the evening wound down and I found myself with the opportunity to practice my nightly meditation, which I do in bed prior to going to sleep every night.
I don’t think I had even begun to do anything related to witnessing my mind, when suddenly and without warning I was completely thrown out of the ordinary world and completely engulfed by emptiness. There was nothing but emptiness in all directions. Everywhere I turned to look I found nothing whatsoever. Nothing at all, just an endless void. The exact right word is emptiness and it was all that there was. I could find nothing, anywhere. Only blissful, beautiful, boundless emptiness.
This is certainly what is meant by the Zen teaching of Shunya. Of nothingness or emptiness. It was incredible.
It even remained for a while, thus allowing me to play.
I tried to remember where I was, but could not. I simply could no longer create or re-enter my ordinary reality. It would not emerge. Thoughts such as that, just would not form. Emptiness would have none of it. It simply persisted, consuming anything and everything.
I remember thinking why there was no fear. Although most enlightenment experiences are full of bliss, and I have encountered strange states with no sense of self before, the experiences which take away your willful control of the mind and body, tend to normally be, at minimum, unnerving.
In other words, some kundalini experiences create a temporary state of complete paralysis, or other energy states totally subvert consciousness and these can be scary, but not this one. Even though this state was preventing any attempt to return to, or remember ordinary reality, there was no fear at all. There was only unending, peaceful, silent emptiness. It was extraordinarily beautiful.
Enlightenment Cannot be Controlled
The one other aspect of such profound enlightenment experiences that come on their own, is that, no matter what you may try, they tend to go on their own as well. This can be a problem for many who are new to such incredible experiences. How can they get that beautiful state back? How can they make the bliss persist? How can they live there forever? They can’t.
Meditation, spiritual practice and wise living is the answer in terms of what you can do once you return to the mind, but recreate or manipulate enlightenment experiences, nope, that is mostly out of your hands.
Don’t worry though, fortunately my experience has shown that once you break through and if you continue to be true to your practice and passion, the next invitation from The Beyond is not far away. So relax, enjoy, be good, do good and stick to your practice, the next opening is right around the corner .