The Prasangikas say that this teaching is an example of giving to the ’cause’ the name of the effect, for the emptiness of the mind of each sentient being is what allows for change of that person’s mind, and this emptiness is being called a fully developed Buddha. The emptiness of the mind, its lack of existence by way of its own being or its dependence on causes and conditions, is that most marvelous quality of the mind allowing it to be transformed into the wisdom of a Buddha.
…Buddha set forth the non-literal teaching of a Tathagata essence for Mahayana trainees who are not yet able to recognize the profound emptiness; he taught it in order to allay their fears of emptiness.
We fear the empty mind. The famous Protestant Work Ethic is based upon the belief that idle hands are the devil’s playground. We must be busy, busy, busy, in our bodies and our minds, at all times.
Blogging is work. It is hard work. It requires your brain to be fully engaged. It’s exhausting, using not just your brain but your entire body.
Yet, it is creative work. In creating creative work, there are times when we need to quiet our bodies and our minds and just be. Be in the moment. Be in the experience. Be in our thoughts. Or be nothing. Empty.
Emptiness, the kind described by Buddha and his followers, is a profound state. The kind of emptiness I’m talking about is welcoming, open, and ready for anything.
If your mind is closed or noisy, it’s hard to get a clear thought into it. Blogging demands you keep an open mind at all times – okay, most of the time.
Challenged to find something to blog about, or frustrated with a concept I’m trying to convey, I have to remind myself of Buddha and slow down. I quiet my mind, take slow, deep breaths, and tell my mind to shut up. I eliminate the noise inside, making room for something new, something fresh, some creative energy. It’s hard to do and has taken me years of practice, and I’m still not good at it, but I get better all the time. In the quiet, I just be. In the moment. I don’t bring up thoughts of what I was working on, nor await some blinding insight from the depths. I just stop. Breathe.
Within a few minutes, often 3-5 minutes, I return to the world, my energy level restored. My enthusiasm is back, and all the challenges and frustration melt away as the ideas flow across my mind and my computer screen as my fingers race to keep up.
Your blog exercise today is to make an appointment with yourself for empty time. Just you and your head doing nothing.
You may meditate, or just sit quietly and take slow, deep breaths. Clear your head. If you have a thought, put it on hold. Tell it to go away. It will be there when you come back.
I’ve seen people slow down and meditate in the middle of a crowded party, so I know you can do this any where. I’ve done it myself. On a plane, train, walking, at my desk. Just become a little Buddha and let your mind be quiet.
When you come back to the world, your mind may be opened just a little more to the possibilities around you. Blog them.
Remember to include a hat tip link back to this post to create a trackback, or leave a properly formed link in the comments so participants can check out your blog exercise task.