Emptiness & Buddhism

November 2019 edition

Emptiness & Buddhism

Article summary

It seems like, Emptiness is becoming a trend among the so call Buddhists. With that concept many of them trying to show off their attainment by expressing how empty the everything is. But is this the real Buddhism & its emptiness? I don’t think so. Let me explain this in brief through a Zen story.

There is this Zen story;

Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. One day, he called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.
Desiring to show his attainment, he said: “The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received.”
Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing.
Suddenly, he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. The youth jumped, seething with anger.
“If nothing exists,” inquired Dokuon, “where did this anger come from?”

As we all know many of the Buddhist practitioners now interest over the topic of Emptiness than ever.  Many misunderstand the concept of emptiness which many know as a knowledge and the emptiness which explains in Buddhism are the same.  

Like in this Zen story, some people including monks are just trying to show off with their attainment, by saying everything is empty and there nothing… nothing exists at all etc… this concept of nihilism is not what Buddhism is actually expressing. 

Knowledge is not wisdom.  Wisdom is something which one realize and after that they don’t boast about it.  Those who actually realize what is emptiness which says in pure Buddhist teaching would not try to express it with others.  Because it is not something to express through words, it’s a realization.  And that realization has nothing to do with nihilism. 

This tiny Zen story is actually trying to give that message to the people who are new to the Buddhist teachings. 

Do not let your self mislead by the false emptiness which says there is nothing and there is no “I” etc… Buddhism is really deeper than those kind of concepts and when you are ready to embrace it with honesty you will be able to experience the emptiness which explains in Buddhism.  Till then stay tune to the pure Buddhist teachings which is actually guiding you to the core through what you experience right now. 

Rajitha Viduransi | Kelaniya, Sri Lanka