Emptiness Cafe

Susan Kahn

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Image of the Week

Life moves
Like shadow and light,
Instantaneously appearing,
Though I cannot find time itself.

Cities mirrored in thought,
Nothing standing alone.
There is no seer without the seen,
No thought without thing.

Subject and object inter-rise.
Feelings, perceptions, none self-made.
Not even the heart
Lights its own flame.

The separate self departs.
There are sensations, conversations,
Aromatic contemplations,
But no I to claim
This emptiness cafe.

Susan Kahn teaches the philosophy and practice of Emptiness Teachings also known as Middle Way Buddhism or Madhyamaka. She is also a practicing psychotherapist.

Seed questions for reflection: What does hanging out in the emptiness cafe mean to you? Can you share a personal experience where time disappeared and life appeared? What helps you see non-duality in duality?

Add Your Reflection:

3 Previous Reflections:

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    On Feb 6, 2021 David Doane wrote:
    Hanging out in the emptiness cafe means to me hanging out in awareness that no thing exists, only formless waves of energy that constantly move, change, interplay, come together, move apart. Time disappeared and life appeared for brief periods when I've been immersed in the present which is Presence whichis Life. In such brief moments there is no time, past or future, there is only present, and it's alive. What helps me see nonduality in duality is awareness that all creation is one whole, one giant ocean, metaphorically speaking, out of which waves arise briefly giving hte appearance of separateness and duality but really all is one. More interesting to me is what helps me see duality in nonduality. I think major factors are our ability to be self-conscious, our very tiny sliver of the total bandwidth of perception, and the constant conditioning and indoctrination we suffer.

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    On Feb 5, 2021 Jagdish Dave wrote:
    Susan Kahn uses the metaphor of Emptiness Cafe to convey the idea of emptiness is fullness. The Spanish mystic John of the Cross calls 'unknowing" an ecstasy. Our mind is mostly dwelling on the same known thoughts. Thought is nothing but a thing. When my mind is still and freeI am hanging out in Emptiness Cafe. In this clear and empty space I feel the fullness of the present moment. It is like hearing the soundless sound. When I am in deep meditation and when my mind is free fromdistracting thoughts time disappears. I am in Emptiness Cafe where life unfolds with no boundaries of space and time.It is an experience of enlightenment and fulfillment, and abiding love andjoy. Like RabindranathTagore sings, "Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the center of my life, the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love." Dualityiscausedin the mind when I relate to myself as not a integral part of the universe. Then thewalls created by the conditioned mind between me and ... [View Full Comment] Susan Kahn uses the metaphor of Emptiness Cafe to convey the idea of emptiness is fullness. The Spanish mystic John of the Cross calls 'unknowing" an ecstasy. Our mind is mostly dwelling on the same known thoughts. Thought is nothing but a thing. When my mind is still and freeI am hanging out in Emptiness Cafe. In this clear and empty space I feel the fullness of the present moment. It is like hearing the soundless sound.

    When I am in deep meditation and when my mind is free fromdistracting thoughts time disappears. I am in Emptiness Cafe where life unfolds with no boundaries of space and time.It is an experience of enlightenment and fulfillment, and abiding love andjoy. Like RabindranathTagore sings, "Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the center of my life, the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love."

    Dualityiscausedin the mind when I relate to myself as not a integral part of the universe. Then thewalls created by the conditioned mind between me and the others create a mental split. It is a divided self. Listening to mystics, reflecting on their words of wisdom and integratingthem in my lifehas been very helpful to me to see non-dualityin duality. Daily practice of Meditation sustains andreinforces my stance. It helps me to see and experience the unity
    of life.
    Namaste!
    Jagdish P Dave'



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