I first came across the following quote (from a poem by Seng-ts’an) back in 2009:
“Do not seek the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.”
I don’t think old Seng-ts’an was saying you shouldn’t have opinions. Just don’t love them too much. As for “do not seek the truth”… well, that’s harder for me. From the same blog post:
“Get comfortable with the emptiness of no beliefs, no ideas, no concepts, no knowing, no desires, no anticipation, no system, and no future.”
What does that leave? Direct experience. And about the only thing we can be certain of, based on direct experience is: I am. I exist. I find this ever so comforting (when I can remember it). The stress and anxiety of the last year is (for me) the result of beliefs and ideas and concepts and desires and anticipation and what’s gonna happen in the future.
Emptiness. It’s an important concept in most (all?) Eastern philosophies. It doesn’t mean the same thing it does in Western thought. Just saying the word makes me feel lighter. Calmer.