When I first entered the big room it was entirely empty,
and so I began filling it with all sorts of interesting stuff.
However, after a time I felt that stuff was not enough, and so
next I began populating it with various fascinating people,
creating many webs of intertwining relationships, experiences,
events and memories, drama, excitement, and adventure —
more than enough to fill the empty room to overflowing —
but eventually, it seems, I began to weary of all the activity,
all the busy hustling and bustling that filled the room
with so much sound and motion, and thus it was that
I began to yearn for the simplicity, the serenity,
peace, and quiet of that original empty room.
What I discovered was that I had to disentangle myself
from whatever I had placed in the now crowded room —
all the memories, events, experiences, intertwining relationships,
all the interesting people, and even all the delightful stuff–
all were left to go their way, migrating on to other rooms
or just disappearing from lack of further attention.
Of course, this was not easy, since I had a certain fondness
for the many inhabitants who now populated the room
and made it so attractive, but finally I came to see that
if I really wanted to return the room to its original state,
there really was no option but to let it all go, surrender it.
And so it came to be that the room gradually emptied out,
the party goers grew bored and moved on to more exciting venues,
stuff was sold off or given away, and at last the room was empty again,
all except for myself, here in the middle of tan enormous empty room,
wondering where the peace and happiness was that I had so long sought.
I stood in the middle of the empty room, and as I gazed around
I saw nothing but empty space everywhere, extending
infinitely in all directions.
Impressed by such pristine emptiness, I forgot something very crucial.
Even though I had managed to let go of everything and the room
appeared completely empty, the one who admired the emptiness,
who had longed for such emptiness, was still standing in the room.
As long as someone remains in the room, it is not truly empty —
the room is only truly empty when that one goes.
Indeed, it has been that one all along who represented
the only impediment to tranquility, and when this simple fact
was finally recognized, that separate one also vanished.
Only a spacious peace remained, the pure and transparent
impersonal awareness of vast and all-pervading emptiness.
After a long while, I become curious about that big empty room.
Because it is so vast and empty, I begin filling it with all sorts
of interesting stuff, but that is not enough, and so next I begin
populating it with various fascinating people, creating many webs
of intertwining relationships, experiences, events and memories,
drama, excitement, and adventure . . .