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I’ve been on a quest recently to understand a bit more about the concept of emptiness. I wrote about it previously (you can read it here) where I argued that perhaps only those who have no desire to be human (as in their purposes in life are greater than living out their human lives) are prepared to conquer and defeat the human need for attachment and practice emptiness in their lives.

If you are interested in the definition of Buddhism’s emptiness, you can read it here. As with many publications, the definition is too ethereal and abstract to be practical for me, so I sought to understand how to practice emptiness. At first this may seem to counter my original post where I mentioned that it may be impossible for one to be empty and not attached if one also wants to live as a human. Well, what if you make the conscious decision to live more monk-like, there are still practical steps one needs to take to reach the state of emptiness. That’s what this post is all about – a practical guide to being empty, if you will.

First, being empty is not about being nothing. Being nothing (as in nihilism) is believing that existence is without meaning or purpose. In other words, if you believe in nihilism, you believe that everything is non-existing and a non-reality. Rather, being empty is, first and foremost, being objective about your surrounding. Everything is real, and everything around you exists. To be empty means to be able to see everything that exists and is real around you with an objective mindset. The more objective you are in assessing the situation around you, the closer you are to being empty. Read the rest of this entry »

Update: If you are looking for a practical guide to emptiness and non-attachment, you may want to visit my more recent post here.

One of my dearest friends is a devout Buddhist. I actually learned a lot about Buddhism just by hanging out with him. Although I am not a Buddhist myself, he claimed my thinking are very much in line with many of Buddhist teaching.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Buddhism, the concept of “emptiness” is central to the Buddhist philosophy and the practice of Buddhism. If you want to read more about it, here is a great resource to learn more. Without going too deep into what emptiness is (since I don’t really know much about it myself), it’s suffice to say that one of what they preach in “emptiness” is non-attachment. That is to say, you are not enslaved to anything or anyone with either your thoughts or your body.

In this day and age where consumption is king and materialism rules the world, it is too readily assumed that “non-attachment” is better than a full acceptance of earthly life. In fact, it is often assumed that ordinary humans only reject the non-attachment concept because it is too hard to achieve. But I am starting to wonder if that’s really the case. Could it be that there are people who genuinely do not wish to become enlightened? Is it not probable that some who achieve or aspire to achieve enlightenment have never felt much temptation to be human beings? In other words, what if I just want to be human with all the virtues and vices of one, including being attached? In fact, I rather like the fact that I am attached to the people I love; it makes me feel human. Why is that so wrong?