The True Meaning of "Emptiness”
The word “emptiness” appears in the Heart Sutra, but it does not mean that there is something empty, or a state of emptiness.
If that is what it meant, there would be something that exists that is empty, and that would not be true emptiness.
What is the true meaning of “emptiness”? When eyes are closed, it is just the way it is with eyes closed, and when eyes are opened, it is just the way it is with eyes open. It is free activity, becoming anything and everything, never stopping. A cat meows. And just like that, meow.
In other words, because there is no fixed entity or state, the way things were previously does not stick around. It is always the way it is now, and this is the true meaning of “emptiness.”
Please try it. Try closing and opening your eyes and confirm. When actually doing this, the way things actually are now—that which is not a concept—is clear, and we call this Zen. It is the way things are, and has nothing to do with whether one is making an effort or not.
This is why zazen (sitting Zen) is sitting, just the way things are while sitting.
(Feb 18, 2022)