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Emptiness, empty. When someone enters the meditative practice and hears to speak of emptiness, he/she thinks: "Ah, yes, I have to realize the voidness". And he imagines an empty mind of every thought. It is wrong, it is right. It is wrong. Because emptiness means another thing. To start to understand the absence of a stable self, to start to understand that it has nothing to do with a mutable reality, changing even in its deeper aspects, those where we imagine there a stable substance, the soul, that would reach the heaven according to our beliefs or it would face the long process of reincarnations….
It is right. Because to create the mental void means to come at the end of every conceptualization, including the two precedents (heaven, reincarnation), to come into contact with the things as they are and not as we represent them.
It is wrong. It doesn't deal with suppressing the thoughts, creating a dualism among what is better and what is worse, between the thought and the not thought.
It is right: We cannot arrive at the end of the dualism if it is not overcome to think, to conceptualize.
It is neither a fault nor right. It needs also to abandon this opposition because it belongs to the world of the mental proliferation.
To this point the discourse is finished. We are reduced to silence. The mind has made a short-circuit.
But when you exhaust the possibilities, the only thing to be done is to live. As Wittgenstein, a philosopher that it sometimes happens me to quote, wrote: " The place where I want to arrive it is a place where I am now already."
For an instant I have realized the mental silence, for an instant I have enjoyed of a flash of apophatic mysticism (that is, based on silence). But then the mind takes back its natural course, to think and to discriminate, the psico-physical processes take awareness of themselves and they propose the image of a self and we stay with the usual problem: as to live a practice that can bring to the realization of the vacuity, that is of the realization of the absence of a self and the interdependence of all the phenomenons. Because another dualism to be overcome is that among instant realization, as above, and gradual realization, slowly, daily.
In the years I hear to speak and I have read a lot on the concept of emptiness, however I have not found from any part a meditation on emptiness. It seems that all speak without pointing out a practical path to , we say this way, an approximation at least. We know that three doors exist to the Liberation, to the Nirvana,: the door of the Emptiness, that of the no-sign and that of the absence of direction; there are also three types of samadhi and three types of liberation of the mind. But is there a specific path, of practical actions that is, that brings in this direction? It could be said: there is not any path, everything is deprived of a self. It's true, but this allows me once more to earth. I need some practical indication. Some specific attention that accompanies me really in this direction.
There is, to my opinion, a practical answer on which I now insist , the meditation on the space. It could apparently be objected that it is one invention of mine. In reality I confine me to propose one of the ancient subjects of meditation recommended by the Buddha and then partly abandoned for a complex of historical reasons that I personally have analyzed but that it misses here the space to treat. The same thing is also worth for the three doors to Freedom. Where do we ever hear to speak of them? Yet they are all indications that belonged to the ancient path. I certainly know , they deal with indications that usually imply an already advanced level of realization. But why to accept this gradualism? And therefore its opposite, subitaneism. Why not to overcome the dualist divarication between goal and way? Why not to plan already the practice in these directions? Emptiness, no-sign, absence of purpose.
All the traditions (religious, politics etc.) suffer, in the time, a process of historicization, becomes rich of new elements and they put in shade others. Motives are complex but substantially they don't do but to recall one of them, the fundamental: the impermanence. You think only of how much imaginative interpretation has suběto, in as soon as 150 years of history, a theory as the Marxist one and you can think how much imagination and construction are inserted in religions as the Buddhist (2400 years of history) and the Christian (2000 years of history) not to speak of those Jew and Moslem. Theirs founders-of Buddhism and Christianity, already to few years from the death, were deified (a process that for Buddhism it is initiated only very slowly, with Mahayana tradition; as it regards the Christianity it can be seen the discourse of the "God's Son": but all the Hebrews considered themselves sons of God - as they declare today at times also the Christians) and however they have had their own teachings submitted to a process of loss or acquisition. It is normal, it is the impermanence. But this goes too far. We return to the discourse on emptiness.
The freedom or Nirvana has to do with the understanding the deep vision, that a real self real doesn't exist, that complex phenomenons exist, only. This is what emptiness means, as we said above, absence of substance. Then the liberation has to do with an undiversified last reality, unconditional. There is now an only concept that draws near to this, that of space that was not by chance pointed out (wrongly) from some ancient traditions as an unconditional reality similar to Nirvana ( also in a theravada text, The Milindha questions). And not by chance the space was one of the many recommended meditative objects in the Mahaasakuludaahyi Sutta (MN,n.77) between the ten kasinas or bases of meditation (earth, water, fire, air, blue, yellow, red, white, space and conscience). Of it we shall speak in future.

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