Adyashanti: emptiness is… the bottom of separateness falling out

 

The funny thing about emptiness is that it’s not about an inner experience of being nothing, but it’s the bottom of separateness falling out. When you investigate one thing, you find everything else.

— Adyashanti

This is a very beautiful way to express it, and it clearly comes from lived experience.

As with some other words, I hardly ever use the word “emptiness” unless I am talking about specifically that words.

There are a few things in awakening that the word emptiness can be used to refer to.

One is capacity. We are capacity for the world as it appears to us. For this human self, the wider world, and any content of experience. Said another way, we are emptiness full of the world as it appears to us.

It’s not abstract or a metaphor. It does seem like capacity, or void, or “emptiness” that’s full of all content of experience. All experience happens within and as this capacity or void.

Another is empty of substance. When all is recognized as this awakeness or capacity, it all seems empty of substance. Since the world as it appears to us happens within and as consciousness, it doesn’t have more substance than consciousness. Even the most physical is substanceless although it still behaves as matter the way we conventionally see it. If I stub my toe, it still hurts, even if the toe, what I stubbed it against, and the pain all happens within and as consciousness.

And yet another is empty of separateness. This is what Adya refers to. All content of experience happens within and as what we are. It happens as a seamless whole that’s empty of separateness and any final I anywhere.

There may be the appearance of things and beings having an I but that’s a provisional I and is created from a mental field overlay. It’s all happening within and as what we are. It’s all happening within and as capacity for it all. It’s all empty of separateness and any real I.

Initial draft…

This is a very beautiful way to express it, and it clearly comes from lived experience.

As with some other words, I hardly ever use the word “emptiness” unless I am talking about specifically that words.

There are a few things in awakening that the word emptiness can be used to refer to.

One is capacity. We are capacity for the world as it appears to us. For this human self, the wider world, and any content of experience. Said another way, we are emptiness full of the world as it appears to us.

It’s not abstract or a metaphor. It does seem like capacity, or void, or “emptiness” that’s full of all content of experience. All experience happens within and as this capacity or void.

Another is that when all is recognized as this awakeness or capacity, it all seems empty of substance. Since the world as it appears to us happens within and as consciousness, it doesn’t have more substance than consciousness. Even the most physical is substanceless although it still behaves as matter the way we conventionally see it. If I stub my toe, it still hurts, even if the toe, what I stubbed it against, and the pain all happens within and as consciousness.

And yet another is what Adya refer to. A lack of separateness or a lack of anything or anyone having any final I in it. There may be the appearance of things and beings having an I but that’s a provisional I and is created from a mental field overlay, from holding thoughts as true. It’s all happening within and as what we are. It’s all happening within and as capacity for it all. It’s all empty of separateness and any real I.

….

And yet another is empty of separateness. This is what Adya refers to. A lack of separateness or a lack of anything or anyone having any final I in it. There may be the appearance of things and beings having an I but that’s a provisional I and is created from a mental field overlay, from holding thoughts as true. It’s all happening within and as what we are. It’s all happening within and as capacity for it all. It’s all empty of separateness and any real I.

….

What does emptiness refer to?

It can be another word for capacity. We are capacity for the world as it appears to us. And that includes this human self and anything happening as content of experience. We are emptiness that is full of the world as it appears to us.

It can describe how all experience appears to us when it’s recognized as awakeness or consciousness. Even the most physical appears empty of substance. It’s as if you can put your hand right through it, as a friend of mine described it.

It can be used to mean empty of separateness, as Adya points to. All is recognized as what we are, and there is no final or absolute I in any content of experience.

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