Advanced Buddhist Practices
Abiding in Emptiness
The various impediments (enemies) to abiding in emptiness are noted below.
- We have strong attachment to objects of mind and our sense door pleasures.
- We experience strong desire and cravings as our norms.
- We over-attach to forms of affection.
- We may become stuck in grief related to our experienced suffering.
- We may get stuck in our self-centered desires, wants, needs, cravings, clinging – the I/Me/Mine syndrome of misery.
- We may act with disinterest of the needs of others – greed!
- In severe cases, we may have a total absence of caring about others.
- We get stuck in samsaric conditioning for pleasure only over boredom and suffering.
- We are captured by the effects of the five aggregates (form, feelings, perceptions, formations, and consciousness) even if they are impermanent and unsatisfactory.
- We may wonder why we feel so unfulfilled no matter what we have in life.
The various processes that support abiding in emptiness are noted below.
- We live with loving kindness and compassion for others.
- We do cherish life – all life.
- We have deep appreciation for authentic joy, knowing it is impermanent in nature.
- We practice strong gratitude for what we do have now, not what we want.
- We have learned to remain in the present moment of experience, where our personal power resides.
- Our depth of meditation has reached a point where we experience inner peace and inner stillness.
- Our mind becomes still, no longer seeking, desiring, craving.
- We embark on non-doing for the sake of more non-desiring.
- We act with generosity in the interest of others.
- We escape the grasp of clinging and grasping by eventually relinquishing desire and craving – the passions to satisfy the self.
- Through the Four Nobel Truths, The Eight Fold Path, regular meditation practice, and walking the talk of the Path we become Enlightened.
- We no longer seek sense-gate satisfaction, pleasure conditioning, fear of suffering – we have arrived!
For more information refer to Armstrong, G. (2017). Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, pp.159-171.
Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont
Author of Mindful Happiness