Emptiness (shunyata) can be used in several different, although relatively closely related, ways…
- As the Ground, the void everything arises from, within, and as.
- As awake emptiness and form, Big Mind… which is emptiness dancing as form
- As what is being inherently empty of any separate self, anywhere. It is just one field of awake emptiness and form, absent of any separate self… there is doing, but no doer.
- It is empty of separate self because it is emptiness dancing. (The void is just the void, no separate self there, not even when form is included).
- And it is empty of any separate self even within form. The world of form is a seamless whole. Everything happening has infinite causes and infinite effects. It is the local manifestations of the movements of the whole.
- And finally, as absent of beliefs. Empty of believing in the stories of I and a particular identity. Empty of taking relative truths (stories, thoughts, maps, frameworks) as absolute.
I am sure there are other forms of emptiness here, but these seem to be the main ones.
And the funny thing is that these are not intellectual fabrications. It is not something thought out (although it can be thought out, and it can make sense, to some extent, within the realm of thought).
It not only comes from what is alive in immediate experience, but what is alive in immediate experience for all of us… right here now. If we look, investigate for ourselves… using pointers from the Big Mind process, headless experiments, or other forms of inquiry.
In my experience, the word emptiness is the closest I can come to describe what is alive in immediate experience. There is really an experience of it all being empty… of all forms arising from (crystal clear, awake) emptiness, and being emptiness itself. It is similar to a hologram which is form but has no substance whatsoever.
And when it is seen, the absence of any separate self is also right there, not subtle (or theoretical) at all. What is here now, is awake emptiness taking all these forms… what I tell myself is a room, birds chirping, cool air over the skin, fingers tapping on the keyboard, thoughts surfacing… it is all arising within and as void… suspended in brilliantly clear and awake space… arising as space itself…
A section of the world of form was previously taken as an I. It was identified with, creating a sense of I here (as this human self) and Other there (the rest of the world of form). But now, that identification is released. Now, that region of the world of form arises as anything else… as part of the seamless field… that too inherently absent of any separate self, any separate I.
It is just happening on its own, as anything else. Living its own life. There is doing there, but no doer.
There is no more or less I anywhere in anything arising. No more or less identification with any of it.
There is no separate I that can experience separation or oneness with anything else. Even oneness falls away, because there is no I and Other.
What is left is just the field of brilliantly clear, awake void arising as form, with no center anywhere, and no part of itself arising any more or less as an I. It is an I without an Other, which is not really an I at all.
Update: I read the post on emptiness at Ordinary Extraordinary, and thought it was excellent…!