Almost exclusively, the Emptiness quality is what the majority of today’s nondual (enlightenment) teachers focus on. Personally, I think this is a tragedy since ignoring the emotional and practical aspects makes awakening (and thus awakening Her) practically impossible.
Additionally, since Emptiness is the mental quality of Mystical Being (and so often confused with enlightenment), it is easy to talk about it online. It takes no skills to Google “enlightenment,” read about it, re-word it, and regurgitate it. This happens ad nauseum whenever someone mentions the word “enlightenment.” Because of this, to many spiritual seekers enlightenment is nothing more than a purely mental state, but what these “fundamental nondualists” are really talking about is Emptiness, which is just one quality (the mental quality) of the awakened state.
Ironically, it is the content of the mind—or more accurately, taking the content seriously—which is responsible for barring one from the experience of Emptiness and thus blocking the Divine within. This “trying to use the mind to transcend the mind” is probably why so few people ever drop their personal self and awaken to what most people call enlightenment.
Nonetheless, as mental qualities are a key component in our lives, Emptiness practice can be quite useful when combined with the emotional practice of Radiance and the practical aspects of living as an Eternal being.
As the Tao Te Ching states, “The Tao is the source of the ten thousand things.” Everything arises from the Divine. Everything arises from a vast sea of unlimited potential. Emptiness practice is designed to get you in touch with this potential… with God in Her unmanifest state (Radiance is God in the manifest state).
As the Frog Master taught me, the Wayne-thing consists only of thoughts, specifically self-referential thoughts (“me, me, me, me”). In other words, the thing I used to identify with (what I felt I was—the Wayne-thing) was only an illusion, just a bunch of thoughts in my head about my past and roles and relationships. The “me” was just a story, a collection of self-referential thoughts “based on a true story.” How do I know this? Therein lies the practice.
The practice of Emptiness is really quite simple: All you have to do is find yourself.
Since Emptiness practice is a mental practice, it is best done during meditation or sitting quietly. The key factor is this: If you can see it, it can’t be you. Why? Because there have to be two things there: You-the-seer (1) and that which you see (2).
See that tree over there? It’s not you because you (1) see the tree (2). See your hand? Then it’s not you because you (1) see your hand (2).
Two things: You and that which is seen (not-You).
Another way to say this is that you experience your hand. This may not seem like much of a distinction but when it comes to your thoughts, well, someone has to be experiencing them and that someone is obviously you, so you (1) experience your thoughts (2) which means….
You are not your thoughts. You are that which experiences your thoughts.
And to really freak you out…
Every thing you thought you knew about yourself is an illusion. The personal self is nothing but a collection of thoughts and memories… and those thoughts are not—cannot be—you.
In preparation for this practice, an excellent visualization is to start out from the Radiance practice of imagining you are the portal, then visualize reaching up to the top of your head, grabbing the portal, lifting it away and dropping it. Now all that is left is the nothingness that is sort-of-you.
So what are you? If you can answer that question, then you are… wrong. Seriously, because any answer is just a concept and a concept (2) is just something you (1) experience. Sucks, I know, but it’s the Truth.
While you are doing this practice, you may notice a very interesting thing: As you drop more and more of your previously thought of self, your boundaries or edges of “you” become smaller and smaller until they finally vanish. So what is left of “you” when all your boundaries vanish? Nothing…. and Everything… at the same time. Yes, “you” become absolutely nothing and everything at the exact same time. Boggles the mind, but it’s true.
What most people call “enlightenment” is when this seemingly impossible paradox (koan) is “realized.” Once seen through—once the truth of what you are is felt deeply at the core—the personal self falls away and the Divine within awakens.
The key phrase is, felt deeply at the core. This is why the practices of Radiance and the Eternal are so crucial to the awakening process—they address not only the mental aspects of life, but also the emotional and day-to-day components too.
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