Zen Teaching of Emptiness & My Encounter With It
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 .
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Good to read your experience. It is true, nothing is in our hands. Everything happens on its own, when we are ready. Our daily practice is the best way to prepare ourselves.
The experiences may come and go. They are impermanent, just like thoughts. Getting established in the pure awareness, in the present moment is necessary, in my opinion.
A book on emptiness: Zen Mind, Empty Mind
Thanks for your feedback and glad you are enjoying the website.
I love the way you put things, always so clear. Looking forward to reading your experiences and more of your insights.
I’ve found it is almost a “test” of whether someone has really experienced an awakening or not is if they think they caused it. Not that I’m testing you, but you get the idea. :-) We are awakening FROM this little sense of “me” into that which IS, that which we ARE. Who wakes up? Always back to the fundamental question: what am I?
It is really a pleasure to read about your experiences. I think I will write about mine sometime. Thanks and many blessings.
Thanks for your kind feedback and great to hear you are not only enjoying the website, but also helping spread the knowledge… appreciate that my friend :-D.
Enjoyed your site. I am relatively new to the enlightenment journey, having only started studying about 3 years ago. But at the same time I guess you could say I started 50 years ago at birth. Or was it before that?
Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for the articles!
Peace and Serenity.
During formal meditation, I practice mostly breath awareness (Zen – Zazen) and Silent Mind Meditation Technique (my own method which I have explained in that article).
At other times, it is either SM above, or any other technique that I am inspired to at that time (Who Am I – Neti Neti, Just Presence, etc). Such spontaneous openings generally happen if I am unoccupied and still for a while before sleep or at dawn (See 3 Simple Tips to Invite Enlightenment Experiences also).
It is simply awesome the way you explain it.I am really enjoying it ,in fact I have asked few of my friends to take the advantage of your teachings.
Thanking you from bottom of my heart for sharing your experiences.
I’m curious… do you typically come to these spaces by practicing an ’emptiness’ or Zen meditation, or do you practice moving energy in/around your body?
And if I want to learn all that you teach, what is the best way to start?
You can read a little about one variation of the nightly meditation in the article, 10 Things to Do Everyday for a Good Life (Item #7).
In addition, the insight which generally I am most inspired towards for that day, is the one I tend to approach the mind with to see (See Silent Mind Meditation Technique for more such details).
What I will do is put together an article about the approach that has worked for me during my nightly meditations as I think it will useful and to others.
Thanks as always for stopping by :-D.
You’ve got a great experience. It’s really Nice to hear from you. can u post about the night meditation. I think it may be useful for us.