Reply To: Understanding supporting ’emptiness of absence’ meditation

As Buddhists, we believe that Right Speech takes priority over Free Speech. Put simply, Right Speech means abstaining from gossip and talk which is false, malicious, or harsh. Write only what you believe to be true and relevant, voicing your opinion with kindness and patience. Avoid worldly, partisan, or discriminatory topics and remarks that are patriarchal, misogynist, sexist, racist, anti-semitic, pro-nazi, bio essentialist, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic or any other kind of hateful views even if such advocacy is couched in terms of ‘discussing the texts’ or ‘maintaining tradition’.

By participating in the forum, you agree to adhere to these guidelines and help maintain the forum as a supportive and enriching place for Dharma discourse. Moderators will be free to delete offensive content without having defend their choices.

If you have a question, need any sort of help, or want to inform us about offensive content or behavior, please contact us at

Home Forums Discussion topics In-Depth Meditation Training (EN) Understanding supporting ’emptiness of absence’ meditation Reply To: Understanding supporting ’emptiness of absence’ meditation

Sara Caldwell

I find it very helpful when you say “… and it is not self” after each aggregate we are investigating (form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, consciousness). It is at that point that I’m able to experience the insight that because of dependent arising, all conditioned phenomena, including “my own” consciousness, are empty of true or absolute existence. During the meditations, I can see that there is no self outside of what is dependently arisen. Even the present moment is empty of true existence, since it exists due to causes and conditions. That makes it easy to let go of my grasping because I’m wasting energy grasping at something that doesn’t truly exist. It’s quite sad and silly, actually, and no wonder the buddhas and bodhisattvas have such compassion for us. However, when I am not in meditation, it’s scary how quickly I go back to grasping, especially at a permanent, unitary, independent self and all the thoughts and behaviors that that belief entails. It’s SO subtle, that self, and I really want to be able to see it for what it actually is.

It’s been especially helpful for me to look deeply at my perception, how it is colored by karma (among other things), and how all of what I thought was true and real isn’t actually true and real; it’s just a conditioned way of seeing. I realize that my whole way of engaging with the world (contact, feeling, craving, grasping) is colored by karma. That makes it easier to let go, because none of it is absolutely true or real. Who knew!