Shunyata and Satori


This is in response to a question from a zen practitioner about the emptiness and meaningless of life. It comes from a misunderstanding of “shunyata” or emptiness, which could just as well mean the vast unobstructed openness of awareness. 

“When it is realized that life is empty, meaningless, is not going anywhere and one’s life has no significance at all, it must be seen this realization is still a philosophical interpretation, a conceptual overlay on what is, and is not true. It is still an expression of the human neurotic process.

Satori is when this neurotic process suddenly stops. There is complete presence with what is actually happening now as there is no where else to be. Something, actually many things, stop happening.

The life scripts and the set of assumptions they are based upon are gone. All philosophical, psychological, religious, metaphysical and existential overlays are gone. There is no past or future. There is only This. Vast unobstructed awareness.

The neurotic process ends and life is lived in complete spontaneity, openness, vulnerability and astonishment. No one knows what is going to happen next. Or what is going on now. It is all just happening.

Everything that exists, exists now. Everything that happens, happens now. This is it. This is all there is. This is being your un-born Buddha nature. Relax.”

“All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn.” ~ Bankei