Emptiness and the Practice of Non-identification

Emptiness and the Practice of Non-identification

The meditative concept of Non-identification is essential in meditative training as one deepens in their practice.  Non-identification is a recognition that the various emotions, thoughts, and images that arise in the mind are transitory in nature.  Through identifying with the emotions, thoughts, and images, we take them on, and become them.  Non-identification is the beginning of the process of undoing all that we have created for ourselves, whether consciously or unconsciously, by no longer identifying with the transitory essences.  One then may begin to come into a place in which these essences of the various emotions, thoughts, and images may be utilized through conscious action.

The essential nature of mind is Emptiness.  That Emptiness, is not a void, but rather a well-spring of all potential that can take on any form and quality.  When one takes on the various characteristics of the Emptiness that move through the personality, they are identifying with a moving Wind emanating from the Emptiness.  Like the motion of Wind in the natural world, this state is transitory.  For instance, the bliss one feels of a new love affair, is like a warm wind that is moving through one, wonderful to feel, but temporary.  The anger one feels in a broken relationship is no different, except the quality of the transitory Wind is different.  Individuals often begin to identify with either the bliss or the anger, but these are passing states only, and what is underneath that motion is the Emptiness that it is arising from.  Non-identification practices are meant to bring one into relationship with their own essential nature (emptiness) through recognition of the transitory nature of the Winds, or moods that move through them.

The more deeply one comes to an understanding of their essential nature of emptiness, the more one realizes what Maya (illusion) and Samsara (cycle of aimless drifting) are.  Through recognition of the Emptiness of being, the tethers of karmic participation begin to be released.  The being, rooted in Emptiness, begins to experience the various karmic tendencies rise up through the subtle body, but without Identifying with them.  This allows the consciousness of the rising essence to be observed.  In observation, one may see that all emanations have three characteristics: Emptiness, Clarity, and Energy.  One begins to meditate the nature of these in their essence, and how they work in conjunction with each other.  The following mantra can be recited and meditated upon to begin the process:

I recognize the Emptiness of being,                                                                                                            I recognize the Clarity of Being,                                                                                                                    I recognize the Energy of Being”

This can be expanded so that each of the characteristics interacts with each other:

I recognize the Emptiness of the Emptiness of Being                                                                          I recognize the Clarity of the Emptiness of Being                                                                                      I recognize the Energy of the Emptiness of Being

I recognize the Emptiness of the Clarity of Being                                                                                   I recognize the Clarity of the Clarity of Being                                                                                              I recognize the Energy of the Clarity of Being

I recognize the Emptiness of the Energy of Being                                                                                     I recognize the Clarity of the Energy of Being                                                                                              I recognize the Energy of the Energy of Being”

Through this mantra one begins to see the essence of the three characteristics working in conjunction with each other.  The mantra can then be expandedfurther by recognizing an additional quality of each of the three characteristics.  Emptiness can be further understood as Self-Arising wisdom.  Once meditated upon, one begins to see that all things arise through this Emptiness, and all things are Wisdom, regardless of quality.  The expansion of Clarity is the Appearance.  The understanding here is that Image precedes form.  One experiences the Appearance of all things within the Clarity of mind.  And finally, there is the Manifestation of the Energy, in which one brings the Energy into form through identification.  Because the essential Nature of Energy and Clarity is Emptiness, all forms can be reconciled back into their natural state.  Once this is fully realized, one may begin to understand what is meant by all karma being Self-Liberating.  When one realizes the Emptiness in all things, the concepts of Maya and Samsara are clearly understood.  The essential nature of Emptiness reconciles all forms.  The various hopes and fears one has built up over a lifetime are seen as empty, as their essential nature is Emptiness.  One’s idea of Self becomes Empty in nature.  One’s ideas of their friends, family, lovers, and strangers are all Empty, and yet this doesn’t imply non-existence, but rather it is Self-Arising wisdom manifesting through many streams: The One in the Many, and the Many in the One.  With the additions of these new qualities, the mantra can now be expanded to a more comprehensive form.

“I recognize Self-Arising Wisdom whose Natural state is Emptiness

I recognize the Appearance within the Clarity of the Emptiness                                              whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Manifestation of the Energy of the Emptiness                                                  whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Emptiness of the Appearance within the Clarity                                                whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Appearance within the Clarity                                                                                whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Manifestation of Energy of the Appearance within the Clarity                   whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Emptiness of the Manifestation of the Energy                                                  whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Appearance of the Manifestation of the Energy                                                whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Energy of the Manifestation of the Energy                                                         whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

As a further application of this mantra, one would meditate on a specific emotion, or event that you would like to bring to resolution.  For instance if one consistently has anger in regards to a relationship, you would begin to meditate the manifestation of the Energy of the anger.

I recognize the Self-Arising Wisdom of Anger                                                                                  whose Natural state is Emptiness

I recognize the Appearance of the Anger within the Clarity of the Emptiness                       whose   Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Manifestation of Anger in the Emptiness                                                            whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Emptiness of the Appearance within the Clarity of Anger                            whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Appearance within the Clarity of Anger in the Emptiness                            whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Energy of the Appearance within the Clarity of Anger                                   whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Emptiness of the Manifestation of the Anger                                                    whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Appearance within the Clarity of the Manifestation of the Anger               whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

I recognize the Energy of the Manifestation of the Anger                                                           whose Natural state is Emptiness, Self-Arising Wisdom

Through this mantra, one digs under the layers of the Anger to see that its essential nature is Emptiness.  Many times, we are caught in the Wind of an emotion, or a karmic pattern in our life.  This mantra is a means to releasing one’s self from that Wind through recognition of the Essential nature of all things as Emptiness.

In utilizing this mantra, one should not mistake Non-identification for repressing the Energy of the emotion, but rather it is going directly into it, and returning it to its source.  Meditation is not about running away from things, but rather going straight into the eye of the storm to see the stillness that is behind it.  From that stillness, one works consciously with all aspects of life.  Emptiness becomes recognized as the creative well spring of all things, full and alive with emanation.  Non-identification becomes the recognition of the essential nature of all things, that one may consciously navigate the Winds rather than aimlessly drift upon them.