What is this “nothingness” they call Nirvana?
“Emptiness” is another word I heard while trying to describe what I believe is a state of “being.” A “void” where all stimuli, all sensory perception and all “thought” is “extinguished” from within.
I read the term literally means “blowing out.” Kinda like a flame going out, allowing what one mystic called “unbounded freedom.” It is the ultimate goal of this spirituality. Not sure, but I think those who have reached “Buddhahood” can sustain the state of Nirvana every moment of the day.
To me, that would be incredible. It’s like always being in the Christian “state of grace” but without being labelled “holy” or a “holy roller.” You know, the type that are always trying to sell you their religion. They usually befriend you, and may even be sincere in their openness with you as they get you to let down your hair and to reveal a vulnerability you normally wouldn’t share over a few beers on first meeting them in a bar. You get to like this person, their own courage to speak of some really meaningful event or series of tragedies they faced up to. You admire their candor, and how they overcame diversity.You find yourself relating something similar from your own life.
And then they hit you up side the head with the Almighty.
You offer your own “opinion” about God, the universe and some other beliefs you hold. Your new acquaintance seems to initially agree, but then asserts what you perceive is some doctrine of an evangelical group, maybe even with quotes from a religious book, all the way down to chapter and verse.
Holy mackerel, you may say to yourself. Is this person proselytizing me? Are they “hitting” on me to come into their ‘fold?” A fold that seems to say their way is the “only” way? Uh oh, better get out of this situation with some diplomacy, leaving both of us with our dignity somewhat intact. And your beliefs still standing after their religious seige and barrage.
Whatever you do, don’t tell “them” you meditate. And for Heaven’s sake, don’t let slip the word “Nibbana.” Or Nirvana, which is what the original word morphed into. Ease away from the zealot. Physically remove you Self as best you can, hoping that your body language will tell them you want no more to do with them. That you want to “void” your Self of them, “extinguish” their flame. Blow it out.
That you would rather seek Nirvana.
Here. And now.