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Appreciating The Depth of Emptiness

May 29th, 2007 by Wai Loong (Add Your Comment)

As I’m typing this post, I’m listening to a few really peaceful tunes off my sidebar.

Cool! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look to the right and scroll up and down until you find a little control that allow you to select some songs.

It’s so much better for me now when I compose my words – the increase in concentration to contemplate on the topic at hand.

Okay, let’s discuss some serious topics today as I’ve gotten from my own self reflections from reading the book “The Truth of Nature FAQ” by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (I’ve completed the book already).

Emptiness Kong

What is emptiness?

And how does understanding the concept of emptiness help me?

To begin with, I make no claim that I fully understand this deep principle. In contrast, I attempted to appreciate it from my own observations and learning experiences that indeed, the monkey mind in all of us are perceiving our world as solid, graspable and finite.

How do I know if all of us have this perception?

Very Simple! Check this one out:

Campus Superstar May 2007

I was back home early this evening and I managed to catch a glimpse of the “Campus Super Star” show. I was wondering why the young school girls, who were disqualified from the 1st and 2nd rounds of the auditions, were crying so hard.

You won’t see them cry so hard when they fail their mid-year exams do they? 😉

And even some of the guys drop tears too!

Why? If there isn’t any attachment (to expectation of winning, gaining fame in front of parents, siblings, friends and relatives) to the name of the face, would any contestant really care what will be the outcome? Pheew! I bet Channel U will have nothing to show. 😉

When was the last time you feel emotionally affected? By others or incidents? Let me give you some hints:

  • Riding on a heavily crowded train/MRT?
  • Trying to squeeze into a crowded lift?
  • Stepping on a puddle of pee in the lift?
  • Staring at the girl/boy sitting opposite you next in class?
  • Scolded by your boss/best friend?
  • Going to meeting your in-laws?
  • Waiting for your first date?
  • etc…

Ah ha! So you have some experience of emotion attachments? It’s now easy to explain further – this disease.

This disease or the attachment or clinging to the “self”, whatever you may want to call it – is so strong that it infects all age groups. But as you begin to understand, loosing a competition is not the end of the world. So why mourn over it? You may call this silly but it applies to both sadness and happiness in our lives. Think about it and see if you resonates with what I mean or you can relate it to several events in your life.

What do I mean?

Simply put – it is the ignorance and mindfulness of the truth of nature, that all forms in all worlds are but changing. And when we try to materialize it and perceive that matter is attached to us somehow, our feelings and emotions gets entangled and there we have created dukkha. As dukkha arises, so comes dissatisfaction, pain and suffering shall be our song.

Emptiness is the essence of what the Buddha teaches. Essentially, all forms are ever changing so there is no permanent form or “self”.

The Buddha ask not that we ignore the physical body. We are mentally and physically connected as a body that is heading towards destruction every minute. What we should do is to earnestly be mindful that even our physical bodies are constantly changing (aging) and we should avoid getting too attached to the sensory pleasures or discomforts we are all experiencing.

Zen Emptiness Kong

Ok… I put in this Zen symbol above to reiterate the expression of emptiness.

We do not all have infinite time to live, so cultivating our spiritual mind is extremely important and we must strive to be mindful at all times. More importantly, the human body is the most optimal form to work towards nibbana (freedom of “self”).

Perhaps, that should awake some of us now, that we should be grateful and appreciate every of our moment, and every breath we take on this little planet we call earth.


Have a wonderful week ahead! 😉

Posted in Buddhism

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About Insights, Inspirations, Tranquility, Peace and Harmony

Ng Wai Loong

Wai Loong is an electronics engineer by profession. He currently resides in Singapore, a thriving hub at the heart of South-East Asia. When he is not so stress out on the computers or laboratory, he enjoys value reading, jogging at his own pace and blogging in his spare time. Other times, he likes to catch up with some close friends over a cup of latte or teh tarik. As a gift from this friend, you are invited to interact freely with him on his personal blog.

PS: May the person reading this blog transforms his/her businesses, finances, relationships and life for ALL to WIN!