An empty mind

To see the empty nature of mind is liberating. It’s like a room full of furniture. Originally the room is empty. The furniture is brought in piece by piece. The person living there knows that anything they brought into the room can also be taken out — chairs, beds, tables, and so on. Similarly anything brought into the mind by prior causes and conditions can be taken out — afflictive emotions… all kinds of suffering. Nothing is stuck. This empty nature is the direct route to freedom. Once we know it, it is only a question of doing the work. As Suzuki Roshi put it, “People who know the state of emptiness will always be able to dissolve their problems by constancy.” Constancy here means continuing with our practice of right effort. Once we know the peace of an empty mind, we only need to keep letting go of the sources of suffering. The field of awareness, like vast space, is intrinsically empty. 

Guy Amstrong, in his new book,  Emptiness, A Practical Guide for Meditators

3 thoughts on “An empty mind

  1. The minute I saw this photo I saw how clearly it said your headline, although I would have used it to describe an empty brain. I discovered from dream therapy that if you dream about rooms in a house, with bookshelves and things on the floor, furniture, etc, the room represents a center in the brain. The objects in in the room are icons of what is stored there. Books or papers or files represent information that is stored there. Other things that represent specific places in the brain include a cupboard, closet or just book shelves. So a room like the above when you are looking into your own brain is a bad sign, but more than likely it is someone else’s brain you are looking at, someone who means a lot to you. It is repairing something that stored a lot of past memories and what you are looking at in these places are avatars or icons of what is stored there. It is up to you to interpret what they mean, however, since that is what is in your brain.

    For instance I awoke from a very strange dream that I was in my mother’s home when she died right in front of me, trying to get up to do something. After her death I was looking onto bookshelves and into a cupboard near them where she had a lot of different color-keyed watch bands stored: pink, green, neon orange, etc., still in their boxes. Next to these small colored cardboard boxes was a list in her very distinctive handwriting of all of her children’s names. That was all in a dream, since I did not happen to be anywhere near her when she died. I realized that one of her strongest fears was forgetting the names of her 7 children, which she frequently got mixed up with each other, or specifically me with my sister. I also realized that she might have thought of putting color-keyed wristwatches onto us as kids to keep us separate in her mind. But then I also realized that it would have been a concern since she kept forgetting about me as a baby, leading to me suffering from neglect and maltreatment.

    My brain had discovered where I stored this information and was repairing it. This is part of the therapy I am going through to deal with the fact that she rejected me at birth and never formed the mother-infant bond so important to brain development of the infant during the first 3 years of life. She would constantly attack me until I reached the age of 9. But she essentially ignored me until I reached 12 and she faced up to the fact that she hardly knew me. She sat me down to talk with her regularly since then. In the face of no bond, the only bonding she could make with me at that late stage is as “friend” and the same that I could with her. Most people got my sister and I mixed up when we were kids but my sister suffered from her attacks when we were kids because of that mix-up. So it makes sense that she died with that concern on her mind.

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