Be Empty

The Teachings of Sri Tirtha Lal Mahanandhar

Another Book of Nothing  

THIS PAGE -    Title    Contents    Preface

Chapters 1 - 4      Chapters 5 - 9      Chapters 10 - 13      Chapters 14 - 19      Chapters 20 - 24       Chapters 25 - 29      Chapters 30 - 36

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© Patrick Lewis 2007/Revised 2021


       Chapters               Titles

          1 - 4                  Words



                                   Hide and seek

         5 - 9                   Nowhere man

                                   Saint or Sinner?

                                   In our own image

                                   Refuge from the storm


         10 - 13                Get back!

                                   A rose by any other name

                                   Sweet surrender

                                   All you need is love

      Chapters                 Titles

        14 - 19                  Ganesha 


                                    One and the same


                                    Shiva and Shakti

                                    I believe

        20 - 24                  Is God with form or without?

                                    We can work it out

                                    Within and without you

                                    To be or not to be?

                                    I think, therefore I am


       Chapters                Titles

         25 - 29                 Ego is not a dirty word

                                    You are everything...

                                    And everything is you

                                    Value judgement

                                    The art of wisdom

         30 - 36                 Reflections on having no head

                                    Practice makes perfect

                                    Chains of gold

                                    Raining in my heart

                                    Letting go

                                    Box of tricks

                                    And in the end


‘Another’ Book of Nothing?

Well, firstly, there already exist a few ‘Books of Nothing’, the oldest and most significant being otherwise known as the Hsin-Hsin Ming, or ‘Verses on the Perfect Mind’ by Seng-ts’an, or Sosan, the Third Patriarch of Zen, of which the opening verse is:

                  The Great Way is not difficult,
                  for those who have no preferences.

                  Let go of longing and aversion,

                  and it reveals itself.

Secondly, does anything have any ultimately enduring value or existence here? Doesn’t it all come down to nothing in the end? Of all the events and happenings, thoughts and feelings we have experienced in all the seconds, minutes, hours, days and years of our lifetimes, not to mention our bodies themselves – what really endures and what finally remains? Indeed how can anything retain any significance or meaning in this realm of time - this constant flow of ever-changing matter and thoughts like drops of water that are indistinguishable in the moving torrent of a great river?

Thirdly, there is the nothing that is emptiness – the essential backdrop to the perception of anything, even perception itself – as utter stillness is to motion or time, silence to sound, no taste to taste, and the empty screen or whiteness of the page on which these words appear. Our ever-passing thoughts display themselves, and our senses and their objects both become apparent, all in an otherwise essentially empty mind - a mind which, in appearing to take their form brings into existence both a perceiver and that which is perceived while not itself being being affected nor defined by either, like water or a mirror by the reflections therein. In the final analysis therefore, there remains nothing as such that can conclusively verify whether anything in fact exists or not, including the very notion of existence itself.

                  Within the expanse of spontaneous presence is the ground for all that arises.

                  Empty in essence, continuous by nature, it has never existed as anything whatsoever,

                  yet arises as anything at all.

                  Longchen Rabjam, The Precious Treasury of the Basic Space of Phenomena

Such is the underlying basis of the musings that follow as 'Another Book of Nothing'.