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27 June 2013

Empty Mind


We hear this phrase ‘emptying the mind.’ This can be a somewhat misleading expression. Because it can suggest that there are no thoughts, nothing present. 

Emptying the mind is like taking a glass full of milk that has been left out on the table too long. The milk gets sour. So, we empty the glass and wash it out; this is emptying the mind of (s)our clutter. 

But it doesn’t stop there. We reach for a bottle of fresh milk, open the cap and allow its cool liquid to spill down our throat. This natural 'spilling' is the in-rush or through-put of living in the moment, allowing clear, clean thoughts to flow in and through us. 

We don’t think about drinking the milk; we just drink – and in the moment-by-moment drinking of it, we experience it – with little to no thought. We simply enjoy and experience it.

One way to get potable water is to desalinate it, while another way is to drink it straight from a fresh mountain spring. One way takes a great deal of effort to get from point A to point B; the other way is effortless – we simply drink it straight from the source.

When we stand on top of a mountain and see nature spread out beneath us, our thoughts become quiet, and we soak in the moment. Nature has a way of balancing us. This quietness that we enjoy on the mountain top is  'mushin' - empty mind. 

We have all experienced it, and we all can relate to examples like these. The Monastery of Nothingness is a place where we share and encourage each other, where we relax a little more each day into 'empty mind' as our natural way of living.