Quotes about Emptiness

Emptiness is an important and complex piece of the Buddhist path. It’s often misunderstood, and difficult to investigate. Here are some the best quotes we know of on emptiness from leading teachers and thinkers!

quote about emptiness“Know all things to be like this:
A mirage, a cloud castle,
A dream, an apparition,
Without essence, but with qualities that can be seen.

Know all things to be like this:
As the moon in a bright sky
In some clear lake reflected,
Though to that lake the moon has never moved.

Know all things to be like this:
As an echo that derives
From music, sounds, and weeping,
Yet in that echo is no melody.

Know all things to be like this:
As a magician makes illusions
Of horses, oxen, carts and other things,
Nothing is as it appears.”
-Samadhi Raja Sutra

“Become totally empty
Quiet the restlessness of the mind
Only then will you witness everything unfolding from emptiness.”
-Lao Tzu

emptiness quote“The nature of everything is illusory and ephemeral,
Those with dualistic perception regard suffering as happiness,
Like they who lick the honey from a razor’s edge.
How pitiful are they who cling strongly to concrete reality:
Turn your attention within, my heart friends.”
-Nyoshul Khen Ripoche

“If one conceives of ‘self’, then one must also conceive of ‘other’. Attachment and aversion arise as a result of these two conceptions – of self and other. As a result of relationships accompanied by feelings of attachment and aversion, all faults are generated. It should be understood that the root of all those faults is this view – that the transitory aggregation called I and mine has an inherent existence.”
-Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen

“In all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.”
-Carl Sagan

“If emptiness is endless, then everything rests in emptiness.”
-Dejan Stojanovic

“We are empty, or rather the matter of which we are composed is empty. But I must emphasize that emptiness does not mean nothingness. Some commentators have been mistaken when they have accused Buddhism of being nihilistic. We believe that the world in which we live is part of a flux, a stream of events. This does not mean it is nothing. Everything depends on everything else. Nothing exists on its own. On account of all the influences that come to bear upon them, things appear, exist, and disappear, and then reappear again. But they never exist independently. Form is therefore empty, by which we mean it is not separate and independent. Form depends on a multitude of different factors. And emptiness is form because all forms emerge from emptiness, from this absence of independent existence. Emptiness exists only to give rise to form.”
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV

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