zencave

Emptiness Meditation

Recommended Posts

What really is emptiness meditation? Is it a practice -

 

- like vipassana or zazen or watching the breath?

- is it 'simply' sitting like Shikantaza?

 

 

Or is it the result of a practice? If it is, what leads one to emptiness? Qigong? Zazen?

 

Can someone point me to Taoist approach to emptiness meditation - books, articles, audio etc.?

 

thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest sykkelpump

What really is emptiness meditation? Is it a practice -

 

- like vipassana or zazen or watching the breath?

- is it 'simply' sitting like Shikantaza?

Or is it the result of a practice? If it is, what leads one to emptiness? Qigong? Zazen?

 

Can someone point me to Taoist approach to emptiness meditation - books, articles, audio etc.?

 

thank you

 

the point of meditation is to slow down thoughts until you reach a state of emptiness (samadhi) there are different methods to reach the same goal.but silencing the mind and reach an empty mind is the goal of every meditation.I have touched real emptiness with the white skeleton meditation several times but every time I "wake up" because it feels like I am disappearing body and mind like I will die.

 

Since I have done many meditation methods and never been close to real emptiness with other methods than white skeleton meditation, that is the meditation I would suggest that you try. Anapanasati is also good.

 

To practice this technique it's best to first buy a little white model of a skeleton or to download some pictures of a skeleton from the internet. Then you must memorize what your bones look like from the pictures. You have to memorize them because you have to know what they look like in your visualizations.

 

In the olden days people would go off into graveyards where they would see rotting skeletons all around them, so they didn't have memorize anything. They looked, they saw, they experienced detachment because of viewing rotting corpses and they were then able to let go of their bodies and minds to enter samadhi.

 

So here's the basic meditation technique.

 

You visualize all your flesh, meat and organs rotting off your bones or simply being given away to all the ghosts or other beings you owe debts to. Then, starting with your LEFT TOE, you actually visualize all the bones of your body shining bright white. You start visualizing your left big toe, then all the toes of your left foot, then your right foot, then back to your left leg, then right leg and you work your way all the way up your body.

 

After you can visualize your entire body as being just a white shiny skeleton, you let the bones turn to dust so that only dust is left, which blows away to leave emptiness.

 

You first visualize your bones, then let go of everything, and stay in that emptiness to cultivate samadhi. From samadhi you go on to try and realize the stage of non-ego we call "seeing the Tao."

 

The skeleton method is a powerful meditation technique because it does many things simultaneously. It cultivates your chi, helps you cultivate detachment, teaches you to let go of the image and concept of being a body, teaches joyful giving to others, helps you pay back sentient beings you may owe and so forth.

 

Even the joy you're supposed to feel while giving away your flesh during the visualization is a way to cultivate the joy and bliss of the first dhyana called the "vitarka-samadhi" in Hinduism.

 

It's quite common for two things to quickly happen due to this meditation.

 

First, you can gain superpowers easily because you are cultivating your chi.

 

Secondly, because your vital energies rise it's easy to experience sexual desires and excess energy. If you lose your jing because you give into your carnal nature, however, then of course you are cutting short the road to a long life and won't make much spiritual progress. That's a teaching of almost every genuine spiritual school in existence.

 

Women also suffer a bit along these lines as well when they lose energy but not as severely as men since the uterus and vagina reabsorb much of the energy they lose. Their construction embodies the I-Ching principle that "yang offers and yin receives."

 

Now the topic of sexual desire, which arises because your vital energies arise and start circulating, brings up another meditation method.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you refer to emptiness in a Buddhist context, it is defined differently in every branch of Buddhism. In the Theravada even, it is known as the three marks of existence: annica, anatma, and dukkha. As you go up the scale all the way to Dzogchen, the definition changes but the same word emptiness tends to be used. It is a subject which requires an enormous amount of book learning. There is more to it than simply visualizing physically empty space or some bright light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest sykkelpump

If you refer to emptiness in a Buddhist context, it is defined differently in every branch of Buddhism. In the Theravada even, it is known as the three marks of existence: annica, anatma, and dukkha. As you go up the scale all the way to Dzogchen, the definition changes but the same word emptiness tends to be used. It is a subject which requires an enormous amount of book learning. There is more to it than simply visualizing physically empty space or some bright light.

 

 

Another reader, if you practice this method for a while and get the hang of it you would understand what emptiness really is about. This method is WAY more than simply visualizing empty space and lights.but that happens by itself when you master this meditation. Frustrating how many clowns there are that always seems to now better because of something they have read about and not actually experienced themselves. And how would you know what reading source to trust when every book is different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What really is emptiness meditation? Is it a practice -

 

- like vipassana or zazen or watching the breath?

- is it 'simply' sitting like Shikantaza?

Or is it the result of a practice? If it is, what leads one to emptiness? Qigong? Zazen?

 

Can someone point me to Taoist approach to emptiness meditation - books, articles, audio etc.?

 

thank you

 

I'm assuming you're asking within Buddhist context. There is no such thing as "emptiness" meditation.

 

You can contemplate emptiness as the mark of phenomena. That is to say, phenomena are empty of inherent existence. All phenomena are conditional. Just think what this means. Now if you seclude yourself and put your daily grind on hold, then bring to mind this topic about the empty nature of phenomena, and give it some thought, that's called "contemplation." As you contemplate you may also have some unusual experiences, just like in meditation. Or you may have no unusual experiences. Contemplation is not a brute force technique. It's a slow process of considering something over and over in such a way as to cause a shift in your perception and appreciation over long term.

 

From a Buddhist POV all meditations, as well as all waking experiences are empty whether you like it or not, whether you want them to be that way or not.

 

So you can count your breaths, or just sit, or stare at a wall, or visualize a stream of A's going into your body and dissolving it, or whatever -- all this is empty, but none of those are "emptiness meditation".

 

"Emptiness meditation" is a confused term used by those who don't know what they are talking about in Buddhism. Emptiness is a concept that can be considered. You cannot meditate on it because it's way too abstract to be a subject of intent or activity (and the logical complements of those two).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...or stare at a wall...

 

 

I have found staring at a wall to be very helpful in many ways to explorations in contemplation, intention and meditation... In fact I tell most people who ask me about meditation to give it a try. (seriously)

 

(Perhaps this could be a new mystery school - the Way of Wall Stareing - or Stareing Wall Wu Wei... but it seems to me this has already been done a few years back [or a couple milenia ago] )

 

:blink: <-- this is the whole technique...err or this is the Stareing Wall Transmission - it is what makes it all possible.

Edited by -O-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is odd how you asked for a Taoist approach to "emptiness" and received mostly buddhist views. Just funny. It doesn't matter.

 

You can start with Wuji meditation.

 

Sit in lotus, 1/2 lotus or indian style. Make sure your butt is elevated a little. Press tongue to the palate, teeth together. You can use taji handseal or just place "baby fists" on knees. This is lightly held fists.

 

Sit upright. Drop your eyelids leaving a slit of light with your eyes focused on the tip of the nose. All your thoughts are on your dantian. Breath in with your nose slowly, using your spirit to guide your qi up the Du Channel then exhale down the Ren Channel. Do this 3 x and on the fourth just watch the Du and Ren Channel. Do this for 27 times or until you've reach total stillness. Don't think anything, feel anything or hear anything. Find a quiet place to do this and do not attach to any feelings or sensations that may occur. Don't worry about time either.

 

Tao Bless.

 

What really is emptiness meditation? Is it a practice -

 

- like vipassana or zazen or watching the breath?

- is it 'simply' sitting like Shikantaza?

Or is it the result of a practice? If it is, what leads one to emptiness? Qigong? Zazen?

 

Can someone point me to Taoist approach to emptiness meditation - books, articles, audio etc.?

 

thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Emptiness meditation is an analytical process and a process of being aware and it's applied all the time. Like Vipassana.

 

It's understanding dependent origination on a level that leads to the experience of emptiness not merely on an intellectual level, but it starts with the intellect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the point of meditation is to slow down thoughts until you reach a state of emptiness (samadhi) there are different methods to reach the same goal.but silencing the mind and reach an empty mind is the goal of every meditation.I have touched real emptiness with the white skeleton meditation several times but every time I "wake up" because it feels like I am disappearing body and mind like I will die.

 

Since I have done many meditation methods and never been close to real emptiness with other methods than white skeleton meditation, that is the meditation I would suggest that you try. Anapanasati is also good.

 

To practice this technique it's best to first buy a little white model of a skeleton or to download some pictures of a skeleton from the internet. Then you must memorize what your bones look like from the pictures. You have to memorize them because you have to know what they look like in your visualizations.

 

In the olden days people would go off into graveyards where they would see rotting skeletons all around them, so they didn't have memorize anything. They looked, they saw, they experienced detachment because of viewing rotting corpses and they were then able to let go of their bodies and minds to enter samadhi.

 

So here's the basic meditation technique.

 

You visualize all your flesh, meat and organs rotting off your bones or simply being given away to all the ghosts or other beings you owe debts to. Then, starting with your LEFT TOE, you actually visualize all the bones of your body shining bright white. You start visualizing your left big toe, then all the toes of your left foot, then your right foot, then back to your left leg, then right leg and you work your way all the way up your body.

 

After you can visualize your entire body as being just a white shiny skeleton, you let the bones turn to dust so that only dust is left, which blows away to leave emptiness.

 

You first visualize your bones, then let go of everything, and stay in that emptiness to cultivate samadhi. From samadhi you go on to try and realize the stage of non-ego we call "seeing the Tao."

 

The skeleton method is a powerful meditation technique because it does many things simultaneously. It cultivates your chi, helps you cultivate detachment, teaches you to let go of the image and concept of being a body, teaches joyful giving to others, helps you pay back sentient beings you may owe and so forth.

 

 

wont you harm your health by giving away or imagining your body rotting ?? just a curious beginner here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're looking for a Taoist response, I suggest you read 'The secret of the golden flower' (as translated by Cleary.)

 

You can relax and slow down your thoughts until you have alot of 'space' between thoughts... so it seems as though you 'stop' thinking... This is very relaxing and no doubt has some awesome psychological benefits when done on a regular basis. You will have very little stress to deal with.

 

Then there are the zen blockheads, who are as stiff as their postures, and 'force' themselves to 'stop' thinking. It is like you clamp down on your mind. This is really awful, leads to 'blockheadedness', and when done regularly leads you to hell. I think this is what is referred to as 'little oblivion' in "the secret of the golden flower."

 

Then... you can find the mysterious pass/mysterious gate/occult opening. With this, you tap into Primordial Yin, and into an 'emptiness' of a kind. I think this is enlightenment. To find this, just realize that all of corporeal reality around you, and that IS you, is all-together 'primordial yang'... and 'behind' (though not really,) or 'under' (though not really,) this primordial yang reality is the primordial 'yin' reality, that is both 'everywhere' and 'nowhere'... It is the 'centerless center'... You can comprehend it... but not really...

I think it is talked about int he Tao Te Ching.

 

You can tap into this.. and then live in the world (primordial yang,) at the same time. I would personally call this the supreme 'kan and li'. . . . Also, 'wu-wei'. I really think this is enlightenment. You just need to indulge in the mysterious pass most of the day. THIS, I think, is the taoist answer to 'emptiness'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS -- don't listen to these guys who emphasize practices that are so strictly corporeal in nature.

 

If it isnt this, it's a lie

 

white skeleton meditation doesnt have shit on the mysterious pass

 

the guy who tells you to sit with your back straight does a really good job of making your life suck for 30 minutes to an hour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest sykkelpump

If you're looking for a Taoist response, I suggest you read 'The secret of the golden flower' (as translated by Cleary.)

 

You can relax and slow down your thoughts until you have alot of 'space' between thoughts... so it seems as though you 'stop' thinking... This is very relaxing and no doubt has some awesome psychological benefits when done on a regular basis. You will have very little stress to deal with.

 

Then there are the zen blockheads, who are as stiff as their postures, and 'force' themselves to 'stop' thinking. It is like you clamp down on your mind. This is really awful, leads to 'blockheadedness', and when done regularly leads you to hell. I think this is what is referred to as 'little oblivion' in "the secret of the golden flower."

 

Then... you can find the mysterious pass/mysterious gate/occult opening. With this, you tap into Primordial Yin, and into an 'emptiness' of a kind. I think this is enlightenment. To find this, just realize that all of corporeal reality around you, and that IS you, is all-together 'primordial yang'... and 'behind' (though not really,) or 'under' (though not really,) this primordial yang reality is the primordial 'yin' reality, that is both 'everywhere' and 'nowhere'... It is the 'centerless center'... You can comprehend it... but not really...

I think it is talked about int he Tao Te Ching.

 

You can tap into this.. and then live in the world (primordial yang,) at the same time. I would personally call this the supreme 'kan and li'. . . . Also, 'wu-wei'. I really think this is enlightenment. You just need to indulge in the mysterious pass most of the day. THIS, I think, is the taoist answer to 'emptiness'.

PS -- don't listen to these guys who emphasize practices that are so strictly corporeal in nature.

 

If it isnt this, it's a lie

 

white skeleton meditation doesnt have shit on the mysterious pass

 

the guy who tells you to sit with your back straight does a really good job of making your life suck for 30 minutes to an hour.

 

 

Hmm,remember an older post where you said you where enlightened,but unfortunatley it seems like you have lost it and than some

 

If you're looking for a Taoist response, I suggest you read 'The secret of the golden flower' (as translated by Cleary.)

 

You can relax and slow down your thoughts until you have alot of 'space' between thoughts... so it seems as though you 'stop' thinking... This is very relaxing and no doubt has some awesome psychological benefits when done on a regular basis. You will have very little stress to deal with.

 

Then there are the zen blockheads, who are as stiff as their postures, and 'force' themselves to 'stop' thinking. It is like you clamp down on your mind. This is really awful, leads to 'blockheadedness', and when done regularly leads you to hell. I think this is what is referred to as 'little oblivion' in "the secret of the golden flower."

 

Then... you can find the mysterious pass/mysterious gate/occult opening. With this, you tap into Primordial Yin, and into an 'emptiness' of a kind. I think this is enlightenment. To find this, just realize that all of corporeal reality around you, and that IS you, is all-together 'primordial yang'... and 'behind' (though not really,) or 'under' (though not really,) this primordial yang reality is the primordial 'yin' reality, that is both 'everywhere' and 'nowhere'... It is the 'centerless center'... You can comprehend it... but not really...

I think it is talked about int he Tao Te Ching.

 

You can tap into this.. and then live in the world (primordial yang,) at the same time. I would personally call this the supreme 'kan and li'. . . . Also, 'wu-wei'. I really think this is enlightenment. You just need to indulge in the mysterious pass most of the day. THIS, I think, is the taoist answer to 'emptiness'.

PS -- don't listen to these guys who emphasize practices that are so strictly corporeal in nature.

 

If it isnt this, it's a lie

 

white skeleton meditation doesnt have shit on the mysterious pass

 

the guy who tells you to sit with your back straight does a really good job of making your life suck for 30 minutes to an hour.

 

 

Hmm,remember an older post where you said you where enlightened,but unfortunatley it seems like you have lost it and than some

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What really is emptiness meditation? Is it a practice -

 

- like vipassana or zazen or watching the breath?

- is it 'simply' sitting like Shikantaza?

Or is it the result of a practice? If it is, what leads one to emptiness? Qigong? Zazen?

 

Can someone point me to Taoist approach to emptiness meditation - books, articles, audio etc.?

 

thank you

 

Here is a post on on emptiness meditation that is almost complete (99.95%)

 

The Savasana is known as the most important exercise in Yoga as it is the entrance to Raja Yoga - the awakening point. It is tha changing from focus on body to mental Yoga.

 

http://www.thetaobums.com/index.php?showto...1802&st=120

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Emptiness meditation is an analytical process and a process of being aware and it's applied all the time. Like Vipassana.

 

It's understanding dependent origination on a level that leads to the experience of emptiness not merely on an intellectual level, but it starts with the intellect.

 

Emptiness meditation is unlikely to be anything analytical, any hair-splitting of our consciousness is domed to fail ; it bars us from reaching any status of mindlessness, let alone Enlightenment .

 

Many people equal emptiness meditation to a status of mindlessness , which is unlikely to be true . I think we have to identify two different situations:

 

1) unproductive : a continual status of having no fluctuation of our consciousness ,even lasting for hours , yet does not lead to a bigger Mind (an appearance of Buddha-Mind). This status is called Pseudo-Emptiness

 

2) productive : a continual status of having no fluctuation of consciousness , then leads to a sudden pop-up of another Mind (Buddha-Mind) ,totally different from our daily trivial one. This is called (approaching )Genuine-Emptiness .

 

Of course, the later one is what we want to have , yet any chasing after it is doomed to failure .We have to wait for its own appearance patiently ...

Edited by exorcist_1699

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Emptiness meditation is unlikely to be anything analytical, any hair-splitting of our consciousness is domed to fail ; it bars us from reaching any status of mindlessness, let alone Enlightenment .

 

Many people equal emptiness meditation to a status of mindlessness , which is unlikely to be true . I think we have to identify two different situations:

 

1) unproductive : a continual status of having no fluctuation of our consciousness ,even lasting for hours , yet does not lead to a bigger Mind (an appearance of Buddha-Mind). This status is called Pseudo-Emptiness

 

2) productive : a continual status of having no fluctuation of consciousness , then leads to a sudden pop-up of another Mind (Buddha-Mind) ,totally different from our daily trivial one. This is called (approaching )Genuine-Emptiness .

 

Of course, the later one is what we want to have , yet any chasing after it is doomed to failure .We have to wait for its own appearance patiently ...

 

Emptiness Meditation is when Meditation reaches the highest acheivable level.

There is only awareness.

No thought,

No breath,

No body,

No time.

 

To Taoists/Buddhists it is called Mindfull Meditation.

To those that discovered, it is called the Savasana of Raja Yoga.

http://www.thetaobums.com/index.php?showto...pid=153631&

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What really is emptiness meditation? Is it a practice -

 

Just popping in for a moment. I promise I won't stay long.

 

I have stated a couple of times that I do not ritualistically practice anything.

 

"Emptiness meditation" is exactly that - emptiness. That is, we sit in the most comfortable position we know of and then we empty our mind. We forget what we are thiking about then we totally stop thinking. We don't think about our heart rate or our breathing or anything else. Our mind becomes totally empty. Afterall, it is only where there is emptiness where something can enter. Something may or may not enter. It doesn't matter.

 

The important thing is that when we finish our meditation we have a clear mind and we have the capability of seeing things in their truest nature, without expectations, without prejudices, without illusions and delusions. What we do with our clearness of mind after that is up to us.

 

Peace & Love!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an analogy:

 

Imagine a wall covered with dots. Concentrative meditation focuses on only one dot to the exclusion of all else. Emptiness meditation seeks to gaze equally upon all the dots which can only happen if you empty your mind.

 

Edit:

Concentrative raises your energy and emptimess draws energy into you. Or a yogi would say concentrative raises kundalini and emptiness draws shakti down.... or something like that.

Edited by DarinHamel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings..

 

Marblehead's post is spot on.. when the mind is still the 'process' reveals itself, away from our inclinations to 'paint it our favorite colors'.. as your meditations progress, it is possible to carry this meditation into 'Life at large'.. my Taiji practice offers this potential, becoming so comfortable with 'Living' that there is no need to 'think' it.. it naturally responds to its own existence..

 

Be well..

 

Greetings..

 

It is interesting to note the various attachments to 'ritual' in a Taoist forum.. something a bit inconsistent with Taoist philosophy, as i understand it..

 

Be well..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings..

 

It is interesting to note the various attachments to 'ritual' in a Taoist forum.. something a bit inconsistent with Taoist philosophy, as i understand it..

 

Be well..

 

I do agree with what you said but we must consider that there are those who function much better if, especially in the beginning, they have a particular set or procedure that they follow in order to begin their training.

 

Once a 'way' is found the individual can then modify their experience in order to maximize the effort until it becomes a non-effort (natural) experience. I guess the important thing from a Taoist view would be to not get stuck with the rituals and ceremonies and loose the experience.

 

Peace & Love!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites