Emptiness AND fullness



Just wanting to share an excerpt from the book “Shift into Freedom:  The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness” by Loch Kelly.  This book is amazing!  It’s really about (in my opinion) how the rational logical mind can participate in realizing awake awareness by bridging into a new way of being.

Here is what Adyashanti says about the book:  “In my many years of knowing and working with Loch Kelly I feel that he is one of the clearest expressions of authentic awakened freedom and love that I know. This book is a shining gem in the modern spiritual landscape. One that invites you, challenges you, and requires you to fully participate in your awakening to truth and the embodiment of love.”

Here is a random passage in the book that makes my heart sing with recognition:

“We often associate the head with thoughts and the heart with emotions.  When nonconceptual awareness becomes fully developed and embodied, we operate from open-hearted awareness, a subtler way of knowing that includes both thinking and feeling, head and heart, and being and doing–and goes beyond them.  Open-hearted awareness has a quality of knowing that is completely different from dualistic thinking.  One reason people often have difficulty transitioning to awake awareness is because it’s an intelligence that uses paradox.  Our everyday, conceptual minds can’t really understand two seeming opposites as simultaneously true; our conceptual minds are designed to use the dualistic thinking needed to judge if the streetlight is green or red.

This way of knowing may initially feel paradoxical or slow compared to the fast-moving dualistic mind.  In my classes, people answer the question:  “What does open-hearted awareness know?” One person will say “emptiness,” another will report “fullness,” and a third will exclaim, “I agree with both of them:  emptiness and fullness.”  Then the first two say at the same time, “Yes, that’s it!  Emptiness and fullness.  That is what I meant.” The linear logic of our trained, dualistic knowing could say, “That’s illogical.  It’s either empty or full.  It cannot be both!”  But it is both, and the awakened heart perceives and embraces what looks like a paradox to the linear mind.”


4 thoughts on “Emptiness AND fullness

  1. and i would say….and i did sitting here that when those folk said yes that is IT…they demanded an IT point because of that binary thinking a thing must be one of two choices and when one chooses all points them become other–sigh

    i do not yet know if this is what you are meaning by dualistic thinking

    • I am not quite sure what you are meaning, Elisa. I can only speak from this experience. In dualistic thinking it feels like there are two opposite viewpoints which can’t be reconciled. By shifting awareness into awakeness, it feels like those opposite viewpoints are both allowed, both accepted. Like the opposites marry. Does that create something other or new? I do not know. Only that my heart feels undivided and whole…

      • I’m not sure if this is what Elisa meant but what came to my mind in reading her comment is that by defining something, it becomes a point, which limits what it is away from wholeness, in a way still divides it off from the rest.

        • That is surely true, Deb. The way any kind of description or defining IS a movement away from the wholeness. Every time we open our mouth about any of this it’s pretty much futile in that sense… However, I love the way certain words and descriptions actually point toward emptiness/fullness. They gesture toward alive awareness. They can easily become yet another belief and another cage. Or they can propel us into THIS. I guess that’s why some of us love the challenge of utilizing language to describe something that ultimately can’t be captured in language.

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