In the busy hustle and bustle of the Western world, people often see the idea of emptiness as something negative.
It's usually associated with feelings of despair, indifference, or even nihilism.
This perception is not shared universally.
In Eastern cultures, the concept of "emptiness" takes on a completely different meaning.
And it can potentially bring unexpected transformations to your life.
The Chinese word for emptiness is 'kōng' (空).
It represents the void.
The space between breaths.
Instead of being seen as negative, it's actually considered a crucial aspect of meditation in many Eastern philosophies.
Buddhism advocates "Śūnyatā". A concept that highlights the inherent lack of intrinsic meaning in all things.
Laozi (a Daoist philosopher) also pointed out the positive side of emptiness.
“We join spokes together in a wheel, but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move. We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it liveable.”
Sure, understanding the idea of emptiness can be quite a challenge.
Like trying to draw a self-portrait of a pencil using the same pencil.
Trying to taste water.
Or catching morning fog in a glass.
But understanding and applying the principle of emptiness can not only lead you towards inner peace.
But also, paradoxically, help you live a more fulfilling life.
External Events Don’t Have Any Deep Meaning
One game-changing lesson I found is the idea that external events don't really have any deep meaning.
Let me explain.
Imagine if something "bad" happens, like:
- Losing your job
- Going through a breakup
- Experiencing a financial setback in the stock market
These events don't really have any meaning in and of themselves.
It's how you interpret them. And the emotions you link to them that give them a "positive" or "negative" tag.
Despite the initial emotional reaction, these so-called "bad" events could actually open doors to opportunities that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.
Losing a job can lead you to a more fulfilling career path.
The end of a relationship could pave the way for self-discovery and personal growth.
A financial loss could make you rethink your spending habits and prioritize what really counts.
Observe Life Events Without Attaching Labels or Judgments
In essence, Emptiness teaches us to observe life events without attaching labels or judgments.
It encourages you to embrace the space between events, breaths, and lives.
Finding peace and potential in the void.
Instead of thinking of emptiness as something negative, you can see it as a world full of endless possibilities.
Next time you come across something that seems negative at first, remember the Eastern concept of Emptiness.
It might not change the event itself. But it can transform how you see and respond to it.
And that can lead to unexpected paths in your personal growth and fulfillment along the way.