Greetings fellow practitioners,
In this talk that was given on the last day of an intensive meditation retreat I address the subject of 'voidness' or 'emptiness.' The supremely radiant and exceptionally peaceful experience of mind while glimpsing or realising the deeper nature of life, experience and conditions. It is important to understand the actual goal of practice ultimately, in order to have confidence in it and to give rise to the energy needed to practice towards it. In a world so bound up with concepts of self and other, past and future, it can be difficult to even imagine a truly boundless, spacious mental experience not tied down by deluded and constricting ways of grasping. And yet this is the result of sincere and concerted practice. Unbridled and unshakeable Peace.
I spend a few minutes comparing Venerable Sariputtas description of his meditation abiding in voidness - 'sunnyata vihara' and compare this with Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattvas description of the perfection of wisdom in the famous 'Heart Sutra' a Mahayana Sutta. It should not surprise us that the Arahant foremost in wisdom describing his experience of voidness has remarkeable similiarity to an advanced Bodhisattvas description of the perfection of wisdom. Whether one believes in Mahayana suttas or not – this is Interesting!
The talk starts with these profound considerations and moves into the area of practical suggestions for taking steady steps towards realising the goal.
I sincerely hope that something in this talk is helpful or encouraging to you wherever you find yourself now.
Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu
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