Joyful Freedom: Western Pathways to Emptiness

Joyful Freedom: Western Pathways to Emptiness

(This article is hosted by The Culturium.)

Seeing things as empty flies in the face of our usual experience. Usually, we imagine the self and worldly phenomena to exist in a very non-empty way, as if they rest on firm, objective foundations. According to Buddhism, when we suffer, it is because these projections are out of synch with the empty nature of phenomena. But when we realize emptiness we bring the mind into accord with reality and experience peace and happiness. This is why in Buddhism, deeply realizing the self to be empty is taught as the key to lasting happiness.

But happiness is not for one’s self alone. The meditator also works on kindness. Cultivating sincere kindness towards others is indispensable to the deep realization of emptiness. In Buddhism, emptiness and compassion are treated as two aspects of the same loving way of life. When we meditate on either one, we grow in both.  More …