The Boundless Emptiness of Everything

The word “Emptiness” can sound very bleak and intimidating. However, the word was not chosen to be comforting. It is used in Mahayana Buddhism to challenge the fixed idea that we can grasp the nature of reality or anything within it, or that we can find any real boundaries between one thing and another. Emptiness means that all people, places, and things are empty of anything we can hold on to as unchanging or separate from everything else. Looked at in a positive way, this means that all of reality is without any real boundaries. As the Lotus Sutra says, “all things are open like the sky.” They are not non-dual, which means that they have no fixed boundaries, because all things are bound up with one another as part of the overall dynamic process of life. So Emptiness is not a dark nothingness. It is a way of helping us to open up our minds to the true nature of reality that transcends the rigid and ultimately false categories of birth and death, of self and other.

Lotus Seeds