The Value Of Emptiness

Emptiness hurts, But sometimes it is helpful for us.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Image Source: Google

I am sitting here with a hot cup of tea in my left hand. I cannot take it. It is hot, so I have to wait. Before me is a loaf of banana bread with a knife and a spoon on it. We are waiting for friends to come, so it is not cut. On my right side is a wicker basket beautifully made by some Chinese people. It is empty. The origin of the basket from China and the emphasis on the value of emptiness in the Taoist philosophy make the basket a double dose to move me away from the tea and bread into the first emptiness that is continuing to be in the process of being filled even though cycles of universes have come and gone. I have in my lap, my eyeglasses.

They are of no use to me now, because I am sitting with my eyes closed. It’s a paradox that things which are present do not interest me and what is not present has become the major interest of this moment. My friend who is taking down this dictation now tore off the sheet in hasty abruptness so that he could reach onto the next sheet before the coming of the word that was not yet articulated. Our preparation for what is yet to seem more real than experiencing what is already given. In fact, the whole theme of spiritual search is this reaching forward from the filled cup to the possibility of the empty basket.

What is taught is to be forgotten to find room for what is to be learned. Reaching forward in great enthusiasm, hugging half maddened by the excitement of holding on to what is not yet fully known, is followed by a passive forgetfulness which makes it easy to leave behind what is sought after with so much zest, and it is so wonderful that the mind is again filled with the same zest and zeal to stand in waiting for the advent of the unknown.

You and I are only expressions which are not as eloquent as this wicker basket, which has been filled and emptied many times before and is again empty to give us the lesson of the ever-fresh and ever-meaningful emptiness, the emptiness that gives birth to fullness. May you be born of emptiness. May you grow into fullness, and may you be the emptiness that everyone seeks for fulfillment.

Originally published at

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


The lack of meaning in life

by Petra Rakebrandt

Feeling is Healing…

by Krista Golightly

70’s Insomnia

by Rohini Ross

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.