Realizing the Nature of Emptiness

True cessation is fully realizing the nature of emptiness and liberating oneself from the cycle of birth and death. How does one fully realize the nature of emptiness? To understand emptiness we should first understand the workings of causes and conditions. Phenomena come into being through 'conditioned arising,' the coming together of causes and conditions mutually influencing each other. Everything is in constant flux; nothing remains the same one instant to the next. Any cause or condition affecting the object will transform the whole. Through this constant transformation all phenomena arise, deteriorate, and eventually cease. Since everything is in flux without a permanent nature or identity, there can be no separately identifiable 'self.' We call this quality of selflessness in phenomena 'emptiness.' This emptiness of substantial reality we call 'no-self.'


Those who realize the nature of emptiness also realize that their own nature is that of flux, change, and impermanence. They will directly experience that mind, body, and environment, are pervaded with a dynamic quality of emptiness. They will see buddha-nature. To deeply and fully realize buddha-nature is to become an arhat, a noble one who has attained cessation. It is to have the four characteristics of an arhat: (l) that all defilements have been purified, (2) that all that needs to be done has been done, (3) that all future rebirths have been exhausted, and (4) that liberation from karma and retribution has been achieved. This is realizing the true nature of emptiness.


Source : "Setting in Motion the Dharma Wheel"