"When I forget my ways, I am in The Way"

Philosophical and experiential notes on Nothingness, with supporting insights from martial arts, quantum physics and Taoism


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.